Assisted Living & Salt & Vinegar Chips


⁠We snuck in a short visit with dad.

If you know my dad

First when he says jump,

you ask how high?

You don’t tell this man no.

My mother died last July. They had been married for 66 years.

My dad is 90 years old and yes his health went downhill especially after mom had passed.

Like most of us would be at 90 years old he is extremely stubborn. Well, he always has been.

He made a decision for himself to move into an assisted living home.

We are so grateful he made that decision.

Honestly, he doesn’t like his kids doing anything for him.

I think his choice to make the move was simply so that we weren’t all trying to take care of him. And we wouldn’t need to do everything for him.

He would rather pay someone else to do it.

He seems happier with this situation.

That being said he is obviously

So bored

The assisted living home has kept all of its residents free from the coronavirus to date.

They are serving all meals in their rooms.

They are practicing social distancing.

IF they leave to even go to a doctor’s appointment they are put in quarantine for 14 days.

Even at his age and in his health dad expects a lot from himself and his body.

When the weather allows he walks around the complex all day long.

We can drop off his favorite treats for him.

I talk to him almost every day and he will always say he doesn’t need anything.,

Then he will call and ask for diet coke and salt and vinegar chips.

So we make our run to get him what he has requested plus something extra that I know he likes.

I’ll call his cell when the goodies are in the building.

Then he always tells me I’ll be right there.

Don’t leave. Wait for a minute I’ll be right there.

Ten minutes later he appears from around the far corner of the property.

We were happy we had Fred with us.

He gave him some much-needed attention while we distanced ourselves from him.

I realized that Fred was more than likely the first breathing body that Dad had touched for how long?

A heartbeat and warm stinky breath

That thought is so sad for all the individuals who are isolated even with people so close by.

We stood outside with Dad in the sun and just enjoying the fresh air.

Knowing dad was happy to have a little company. And especially the love of a dog.

Then some lady appeared out of the blue. She told us we were breaking the rules and needed to leave.

So we did.

And we most likely will do it again.

 

A Gem of A Woman

 

It has taken me some time to accept the difficult things that I have learned regarding my biological family.

The circumstances and story I’ve learned are not at all what I was expecting when I decided to search for my birth mother.

It took several years for me to come to terms with my adoption. However, eventually, I did find peace in the knowledge that my biological mother had wished me dead from the time of my conception. You may think I’m being dramatic or exaggerating; however, I am not.

The only information that my sister Darlene was willing to share with me about our biological mother was that Pearl tried to use a coat hanger to abort me herself and end the pregnancy. The thought of this still makes me nauseous.

I tried to put this thought out of my mind by telling myself Darlene was trying to be hurtful and perhaps was jealous of the life I had led because of my fortunate adoption into a “normal” family if there is such a thing.

Darlene was fifteen years old when Pearl was pregnant with me. Oh, and I want to make sure to mention that that year was when Pearl abandoned her oldest daughter in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was 1963. That day was the last time Darlene ever saw her mother.

You might be wondering if I ever found Pearl and if we had a conversation.

The answer is yes. I had one phone conversation with my birth mom. Her words are etched into my soul like a knife to the gut.

The short conversation went something like this.

Hi, my name is Shari. I am trying to find out a few things about my medical history, and I am hoping to talk to you regarding my biological family.

Pearl said, Who is it you are trying to call?

I went on to tell her that I had been adopted by a family in Utah when I was two years old. I also mentioned that I was born at the LA County Hospital on October 17th, 1963.

Pearl told me that she had no idea who I wanted to talk to, but it wasn’t her.

I repeated myself by mentioning again my date of birth, that I had grown up in Utah since the age of two. I also said the names of her parents and even asked her about Darlene.

I will admit that I did throw her history in her face. I wanted her to be clear that she was the person I needed to find. And that she was the person who could answer my questions.

Pearl was forty years old when I was born. This conversation took place thirty-five years later. In my mind, I thought that she would have come to terms with the fact that she had given a child up. I also assumed that at seventy-five, she might be interested to know what my life had been like if nothing more than to have closure before her death.

But nothing could have been further from the truth.

Let’s get back to that conversation.

I told Pearl that I didn’t expect to have a relationship with her. I had a fantastic childhood, was married and had children of my own. I didn’t need anything from her besides information about my medical history.

There was silence on the other end of the phone,

and then Pearl said, “why would I want to talk to you; you are dead to me.”

That was it, and she hung up the phone.

Queue dramatic music.

I am not sharing this with you for you to feel sorry for me.

I share this with you because we each have something from our past. We have a choice to make; we can continue to have that chip on our shoulder to carry around with us for a lifetime. But if you are willing to deal with uncomfortable emotions, I recommend that you put your big girl pants on and dive right into the sludge. In the end, you will be better for it.

Now back to Pearl, the “Gem of a Woman” that carried me in her womb for nine months.

Later that day, I chose to write her a note. I apologized for catching her off guard and expecting a conversation with her. I included my address and phone number just in case she ever had a change of heart and wanted to get in touch.

I never heard from her, and she has since died.

Every year, International Peace Day rolls around on September 21st. For that reason, I chose peace to be the topic of September.

Picture your families, communities, colleagues, and schools. Think about the people who have something in their lives that they carry around from their past.

I’m sure you are aware of how often our issues and burdens affect us.

On that thought, remember how we all need to be accountable for what we carry into our relationships as well as how it not only affects us each day but everyone around us.

Do you have a chip on your shoulder because of something that happened to you?

I know that I had been carrying a large boulder.

Since my adopted mother passed away recently, I have been looking at photos from my past.

I was shocked as I carefully looked at pictures of myself from the age of 25-40 years old.

There was something about what I saw in my face that was different. It was a lost look. And was someone I didn’t recognize.

I thought about those photos for several days. And then it dawned on me.

I hadn’t realized how important it was for me to go through the ugliness and sadness of knowing the truth of “my beginning.”

I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted for so many years of my life. But through experiencing the hard journey, it led me to understand and believe in who I am today.

As difficult as it is to face our demons, once you do the work and get to the other side, similar to myself, you may not recognize yourself from the past.

And I am ok with that. Getting to the other side is exhilarating. Shari

 

 

 

How’s Your Flow? – A Happy Habit

 

How’s your flow?

No, I’m not talking about your Aunt Flo who comes to visit every month — or in my case use to come for a visit.

Finding your flow – is essential Habit of Happy People.

Ok, this one is new to me, but the more I have read about it –I realize that “It” is a necessary form of happiness in my life.

I have noticed that when I feel stagnant, I am not at my best, and I think “out of sorts,” and this can eventually lead me to be grumpy or just plain sad.

But I’ve learned how I can quickly recover.

When we are involved in trying to reach a goal or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called “flow.”

“The loss of self-consciousness that happens when you are completely absorbed in an activity – intellectual, professional, or physical — is described in contemporary psychology as a state of flow.”

When I find myself in a bit of a funk, the following is an example of a routine I have learned to follow.

I start by clearing my mind. I need to quiet all the chatter in my head. The noise is not serving me and is causing the distraction that is causing me to be stagnant.

Here is how I clear my mind. Let’s call it a mind sweep. I’ve learned this from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. David often states that our brains are for having ideas, not storing them.

The more we keep in our brains, the more stressed we become. Stress does not lead to happiness.

Now it is time to dump what is in my mind.

So I will write a list. On my list is everything that I can think of that I have not gotten to yet.
Like;
Fix the leaky sink
Pick up the drycleaning
Buy the airline tickets
Sweep the porch
Write this week’s blog post
Plan some social media content
Plan next week’s meals
Organize the kitchen
Clean out the closet
And the list goes on and on.

And when I can’t come up with anything else to add to the list, I feel so much better because now I can see a way of getting some if not all of my tasks completed.

I start by seeing what tasks I can have someone else accomplish. I will call it my “honey-do list.” Repairs around the house. If my Honey can’t do it, he can call the repairman. He certainly can take care of the dry cleaning since it is on his way to the office.

I continue going down the list and creating a plan of action and going from task to task. Not all of the to-dos will get crossed off the list at that time. The important thing is that they have become organized on paper, and a plan of action is in place. And I can now breath a little easier because I am mo longer holding them in my mind.

And this is when I do my best thinking. Because now I get to decide which project I want to do next.

I have a hobby that has turned into a project and two-plus years later

My project has also become my “Side Gig.”

“My project” leads me to find my flow. It can be an emotional outlet for me, where I share my feelings. It has surprised me at times when my creativity blossoms.

I am in my flow when I am working on my social media. I get excited and energized with new ideas. I meet new friends often. I learn something new each day. It might be something I’ve learned from you, or it may be a new way of posting content.

Either way, it all brings me joy, and that is when I know I am in my flow.

Sixty-Six Years of Marriage

  William Arthur Ward wrote, Feeling GRATITUDE and NOT expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it! No matter who you are, every single person has something to be grateful for. By consistently practicing gratitude, it shifts the entire focus of life. Stress dissipates, and a calmness washes over our being. I … Continue reading “Sixty-Six Years of Marriage”

 

William Arthur Ward wrote,

Feeling GRATITUDE and NOT expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it!

No matter who you are, every single person has something to be grateful for.

By consistently practicing gratitude, it shifts the entire focus of life. Stress dissipates, and a calmness washes over our being.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lovely place to be. The bliss of the miraculous life we have.

Sixty-Six years ago, these two love birds were married.

I am so grateful for my parents and my siblings as well.

I am fortunate to be the youngest daughter of Dell and JoAnn Tyler – I say that because I was adopted and became part of the family at age two.

Unfortunately, my mother passed away this past week. She was 85 years old. It thrills me to know that she is no longer in pain, and her mind once again is active, and she is full of life.

It is difficult to watch our parents age. For me, at this time as happy as I am that my mother has transitioned through life, I am equally as heartbroken for my father.

He has lost his sweat heart and is deeply grieving.

His own health is deteriorating quickly, and there is no way of knowing how long he will be here to answer my phone calls and hold my hand at chemo appointments.

Please keep my sweet father in your hearts and prayers.

These are lyrics from my mother’s favorite song.

*Taker *Matcher *Giver –Which are you?

“We’re all on our own journey. No matter where we came from, what language we speak, the color of our skin or anything that seemingly makes us different, in the end, we’re all just humans living our own story. And it’s up to each of us to be the hero of our story, which inspires other people to do the same.”

Years ago I was asked the question, “are you giver or a taker”. This was not an easy question for me to answer.

 

“We’re all on our own journey. No matter where we came from, what language we speak, the color of our skin or anything that seemingly makes us different, in the end, we’re all just humans living our own story. And it’s up to each of us to be the hero of our story, which inspires other people to do the same.”

Years ago I was asked the question, “are you giver or a taker”. This was not an easy question for me to answer.

However, I did realize I was more of a taker than a giver. That self-knowledge didn’t make me feel too good about myself, but I learned from that hard lesson. And I decided to make some changes.

Here is a question for you…

Giver, Taker, or Matchers – Which are you?

Maybe you need some help to determine which describes you best.

Takers are self-focused and put their own interests ahead of others’ needs. They try to gain as much as possible from their interactions while contributing as little as they can in return.

Matchers like to preserve an equal balance of giving and taking. Their mindset is: “If you take from me, I’ll take from you. If you give it to me, I’ll give it to you.”

Givers are others-focused and tend to provide support to others with no strings attached. They ask themselves, “How can I add value for this person? What can I contribute?”

Have you ever been guilty of judging someone who is begging on the street corner?  I know I have.

The following are three things that I have learned that are helpful to keep in mind when practicing random acts of kindness.

First, a lesson that I have learned is that we never should assume what someone’s situation or story is.

And second, don’t ever expect someone to give back because it takes all of the fun out of giving in the first place.

And last, the kindness muscle needs to be exercised consistently. If you want kindness to become a daily natural action.

Here are ten fun ideas to get you started with your Kindness Matters project.

Remember to enjoy yourself!

  1. Have a cold drink ready for the mail or delivery person.
  2. Purchase socks and hand them out to homeless people. Steve and I have done this, and they genuinely appreciate this small gesture.
  3. When you are in line at the drive-thru.
  4. Purchase someone’s drink or lunch, which is in the car behind you.
  5. Leave some cash on someone’s windshield.  Steve and I love this one. We’ve done this at a Walmart parking lot. We left 20 dollars on the windshield and under the wiper so it would not blow away. Then we sat in our car and watched the person who would return to their vehicle.
  6. Send a text to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. Don’t expect a reply. Let the person know the significant part they are in your life.
  7. Write a gratitude letter.
  8. Invite someone to coffee or lunch as your guest.
  9. When you are filling up your gas tank, pay for someone else’s gas as well.
    Make a meal for someone.
  10. Purchase McDonald’s hamburgers and give them away to homeless individuals.

I saw you

 

I recently read an inspiring story on Facebook that I knew I needed to share with you. Aaron Sherinian, I believe, is Steve’s third cousin. Aaron’s occupation requires him to travel all over the world. Aaron was kind enough to let me share this story with you.  This is his recent experience and in his own words.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

To the man outside the convenience store on U St. in Washington, D.C.: I saw you. I saw what you did a few minutes ago. I witnessed it all.

I saw your face as you overheard the uncomfortable conversation between the homeless man and the store owner. The details were unclear. But I could see from your face that you wanted to help.

I saw you quietly buy this man the items he could not afford. And then more.

I heard you subtly encourage another man to refer to this person with more respect. I also heard you treat the convenience store owner with empathy as well while you covered his debts at the cash register. I watched you try to observe the situation without judging…Just helping. I listened as you communicated it all in soft tones so that others would not notice your role.

I saw you quietly help the homeless man outside the door.

I saw you shake his hand, walk 2 blocks away before ordering a cab so that he would not feel embarrassed or beholden to you once you both left the scene.

I witnessed all this. You did NONE of it knowing you were being observed. But you were. I saw it all.

And you did not see what I saw after. I saw the homeless man sit down, eat his lunch, and say a prayer.

I have no idea who you are. But you reminded me that there are good people everywhere. I do not know what motivated your actions today. But I know it was not praise.

I saw you. And it changed the way I will look at the rest of the day. Thank you. I know that it is not always possible to do everything or help everybody. But I witnessed an act of kindness on U Street that reminds me we should do what we can whenever opportunity crosses our path.

So, Thanks. Whoever you are.
-Aaron

P.S. I also couldn’t help but notice that you bought Double-Stuff Oreos for yourself. So, extra points. Well done, you. I saw that, too. #GoodTaste

You can follow Aaron on Facebook and on Instagram