Sharing and enjoying my small-town life with my darling husband, family, friends,
faith, two adorable Ragdoll cats and one very sassy Yorkie!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Missing my mother... one year later.

January 17, 2013.   Today is the one year anniversary of my mother's death.

If you missed earlier posts about my wonderful, warm-hearted, fiesty, always sassy/sometimes brassy, totally endearing, blingtastic, fiercely-loving mom, please look HERE, HERE and HERE for some of my favorite "[Amazing] Grace" stories.

Someone recently said simply, "Grace was quite a gal."  Yeah... she was.  She really was.

It's hard for me to believe she's been gone a year now.  A whole year without her?  How can that be?

We were very blessed and fortunate that she had 88 wonderful, healthy years.  That was a gift that I am thankful for every day. She was living independently in her own apartment, active, driving, visiting with friends, and enjoying her life until she got sick in mid-November, 2011.  She died 2 months later, on January 17, 2012 -- in my home, with Hospice support and family caregiving.

I think of her every day, and although I am grateful for all the years and memories we had together, I miss her every day -- so very much.  And I know I always will.

I thought about her when my daughter graduated summa cum laude with her Master's Degree in Social Work.  Mom would have LOVED to have shared in that.  She was always so proud of each of her 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grand-children.   None of them ever had a greater fan.

I thought about her when my sister and my daughter and I traveled recently to Maryland to visit our other sister.  My mom would have LOVED that. She'd have probably gone along, too, the Queen Bee Riding Shotgun.

I thought about her when my husband and I recently spent two weeks in Cancun;  I made a Photo Journal of that vacation and since my mother ADORED photos, she would have LOVED that!

I thought about her when my sisters, our husbands and I recently made plans for an upcoming Arizona vacation together.  Mom probably wouldn't have gone along on that trip (in her later years she really shied away from flying) but she would have been thrilled that "her girls" were vacationing together, and she would have expected (and received!) daily updates (phone calls AND emails), and of course a copy of every photo any of us took.

I think about her every time I have spaghetti with really chunky meat sauce; it was her all-time favorite food EVER.  In fact, sometimes I make spaghetti (with really chunky meat sauce) -- just because.

I miss her when something good happens because she would have rejoiced with me in that wonderfully unselfish way that only mothers can.

I miss her when something is troubling me, because she always patiently listened to me, and genuinely shared any sadness I felt.

I miss her when I have a question about my dad, or my grandparents, or about how things were in our family before I was old enough to remember... those kind of questions now will always remain unanswered.

I miss her when something silly happens, or I read or hear an especially funny joke.  She loved to laugh.  We had the same quirky sense of humor, and she and I would frequently *CRAAAACK UP* over things that other people barely found funny.

I miss her whenever I see bright, glitzy, over-the-top scarves and jewelry. She LOVED that, and she had a totally inimitable style -- colorful and unique (and always sparkly!)  I think of her hundreds of times every day.

Life changed a year ago when she died, and it's sad and sobering to know that it will never be the same.   But yet, in many ways, she still lives on, in me and my sisters... and in our children.  Those thoughts, along with the many memories, photos and letters I have and cherish are what help me to live without her. 

I love you and I miss you, Mom.   So very, very much. 
And I always will.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Feelin' (and sharin'!) the DROPBOX looove!

Yes, it's true -- I am a bit of a gadget girl, a techie junkie.   I love my Mac, my iPad and my iPhone .  I love apps of all sorts and sizes.  And I LOVE Dropbox!!!

If you are already a Dropbox user, then you know how great this li'l free app is -- and you can probably skip this post.

But if you are not YET a Dropbox user, oooooor if you joined but never downloaded it to your computer or device yet, then stay with me, babeeee, I'm gonna convince you why you neeeeeeeeeeeed this!

Basically, Dropbox is free, safe, cloud storage (a hard drive in the sky, baby!)  And that's good.  But what's even better is that whatever you put in your Dropbox will sync across ALL your devices (in record, warp, speed cyber time!)  That means your PC or Mac, your phone, and your tablet or iPad.

So, in practice, what does this all mean?  It can mean lots of (good!) things.

Example #1:  You are cruising the web on your computer and find a recipe you want to try.  You save it to Dropbox.  When you get to the grocery store, the recipe is waiting for you on your phone.

Example #2:  You are working on a document on your work PC; you save it to Dropbox before you head home.  Later that night, on your home computer, you open up the document from Dropbox and pick up where you left off.

Example #3:  You keep all your important pictures and documents in Dropbox, and if your computer ever crashes, that stuff is safe! safe! safe!  (I still have an external hard drive back-up, but several of my friends don't -- they only use Dropbox.  But I'm a super-duper-safety kind of a girl!)

There's also an optional "share" feature in Dropbox, that allows you to select certain folders that other Dropbox users can also see.

Dropbox is awesome because it works on both Mac and PC, iOs devices (like iPads, iPhones, iPods), as well as Android devices!

Dropbox is free, and there are no catches or fine print.  When you first open a Dropbox account, you are given 2GB of free storage.  You can "earn" more storage in several ways; but one easy way to earn more storage is to refer friends.  And that's a two-way benefit, because the referrer AND the referree BOTH get extra space!

Yes, as my lovely niece, The Daring Librarian pointed out in her blog post last year singing of Dropbox praises, it's kinda like a pyramid scheme of free, fun goodness!!!

So, if you think Dropbox is something you'd like to try, then sign up using this referral link:
DROPBOX FREE EXTRA SPACE!    (NOTE that this link does not expire, so even if you are reading this months -- or more-- after the date of this post, you can still use it to gain more initial Dropbox sign-up space!)

Once you register -- and have downloaded and installed Dropbox on at least your computer -- YOU will get the extra bonus space, and I will, too.

Please feel free to share your Dropbox stories and tips, too... comments always welcome!

Welcome 2013...