Category Archives: Inspiration

Update on George

I thought it time I brought you the latest news and update on Little George, who’s almost 13 years old now and definitely not little. He’s turning into a very handsome young man.

It’s hard to believe it was 7 years ago when all the family were busy crowdfunding to raise the money to send my nephew’s son, who was born with cerebral palsy, to St Louis in the USA for an SDR operation. An operation that was a success but it later transpired he had misaligned hips too. Consequently, he had to undergo major surgery again to correct the problem. You may recall the photo of him with a metal frame pinned through his body.

Last year, after 5 years of 3-monthly trips to the Bristol Children’s Hospital, major hip surgery, an incredibly tough rehab, setbacks and a pretty worrying time all round, in yet another operation, all the metalwork in his body was successfully removed. His hips had recovered 100%, his left leg completely healed, and a perfect hip Xray for the first time. At last, he had a good range of movement, leaving his surgeon and his parents very happy, especially being told George should never need any more surgery. It was the best news ever for his parents.

Let’s be fair, he and his parents have endured an incredible amount over these 12+ years. A lot of worry, a lot of expense, and a lot of hard work on all three’s behalf with the constant physio George needs. And that help will be needed for life.

But George always amazes us. He rarely complains, he pushes himself as hard as he can as he so wants to be able to walk and be as independent as he can be given the circumstance. He loves his little sister, enjoys jokes, playing games, teasing and having fun, like any child. He enjoys school and has lots of friends but along came lockdown.

He struggled with it at first, like all teenagers missing his friends, the play and the fun, the lessons. And his parents miss his carer. He’s a big lad and heavy to lift now and needs a lot of help, so his parents have had their work cut out. I haven’t seen him since Christmas, but my niece tells me he’s now coping well and still the happy, giggly George we so love.

He’s settled down to doing his schoolwork at home, usually with his little sister sitting at the table helping him. But he does miss surfing, which he loves, always going into hysterics whenever he has a wipe-out, and can’t wait to go again.

 

And he missed his outings to his favourite restaurant where he always has his favourite meal including a hot chocolate. I was delighted to hear last week that he could finally meet up with his PA, who took him there for lunch, and guess what he ordered? His favourite, oh, and a hot chocolate! So for him, and the rest of us, life is slowly getting a little normality back.

George and his family live in a lovely part of the North Devon coast, which has meant they have been able to have many pleasurable secluded walks but because of being home all the time, not being able to have his regular physio sessions, and due to the fact that he has grown so much, his legs are stiff, making his walking extra hard work. What doesn’t help is that he’s also outgrown his trike which allowed him some independence, and he’s now in urgent need of a new one.

A Tomcat Bullet has been trialled. George loved it as he is unable to ride a standard bicycle. For the first time since hip surgery he was able to peddle independently. A huge achievement for him. You can imagine the huge smile on his face. But like all things like this, it doesn’t come cheap, and with his parents being furloughed, money is tight. Charities here in the UK have been approached, but because of Covid, they are not accepting applications. But not to beaten, the family are crowdfunding again in order to buy one. The benefit of this trike is it grows with him up to a maximum size of 6’2″ meaning he shouldn’t need another one after this. We’ve still a long way to go, but we’ll get there. And no doubt, sister Daisy will enjoy rides on it too.

Kit Domino’s Website and Blog

A Tale of a Tree

Jillian here. It’s June already. Can you believe it? Time is going fast this year even with a lot of places locked down and folks staying home. You’d think that would mean time has slowed,  but it seems like every time I turn around, it’s Thursday again.

June in my backyard means it’s hurricane season. There were two named tropical storms before June 1st which sometimes happens. The third storm, Christobal, hit the Louisiana and Mississipi coast this past weekend. We got some wind, rain and storm surge because of it. We’re about 2 hours from the Louisiana line and 1.3 from Mississippi, so when the storms hit there, we usually get some of it and vice versa.

We have this tree at the office that got struck by lightning a number of years ago in the middle and you can still see the stump of it inside. The cool thing is that the rest of the tree lived and thrived. I think I’ve blogged about it before here. It means a lot to me that this tree defied the odds and kept on going. It seems like our lives are that way. We get hit by bolts—sadness, illness, death of loved ones—yet we keep going. Our core may be hurting, but we keep blooming. Each time I look out my office window, I see that tree and think about it. I watched that lightning strike and worried about the tree, but it didn’t need my worry, it thrived without it.

Tropical storm Christobal did some damage to my little tree, but it’s still standing. We’ll clear away the debris and leave that lightning-struck core (Picture 4) and new growth as another reminder that when life’s storms come, we can weather them. Maybe not in a pretty way,  but weather them we shall.
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Moments of Joy

2020 has been a pretty tough year so far. My household is on Day 87 of sheltering-in-place, though we have made the occasional trip out for necessaries we couldn’t get delivered. And we got to stare at different walls for a few days when we went to my sister’s last week. It hasn’t been easy. I like to travel and we’ve now cancelled our 4th and final trip for 2020.

But that’s peanuts compared to what others are struggling with. With the world in crisis, it can be hard to find joy in life, and that’s the focus of my blog today.

Finding the joy.

To that end, here are some of the joyful things in my life. I hope some of them give you ideas that make you smile.

  1.  Getting along with my husband for this long. Who’da thought? 🙂 Actually, he’s been my rock through all this turmoil and I love him for that. And his hair is getting LONG. I’ve always liked men with longer hair, so I’m a happy camper. Him, not so much. Lol.
  2. Video chats with my family and friends and grandkids. THIS has been the godsend of my at-home time and keeps me from going completely crazy. I miss hugging them, but this is the next best thing.
  3. Sitting outside and reading. Or puttering in the garden. Or, well, staring at the sky, the stars, the neighbors walking.
  4. My journal. Putting words to my fears helps me let them go, at least for a little while. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back and read my 2020 journal, but I think it helps me process.
  5. Practicing kindness. Recently, a family who lives in our neighborhood put a high school grad sign in their front yard. We don’t know them, but I made a congratulations card and dropped it in their mailbox. Just a card with some words. The thank you card we got back floored me. This small act had given their family so much joy, that a stranger would pay homage to an important event in their lives.
  6. Walking around the neighborhood. Seeing the new growth on the evergreens, the rhododendrons blooming, and all the projects people are working on.
  7. Digitizing old VHS tapes – a wonderful walk down memory lane.
  8. Getting my deck chairs recovered. Okay, still waiting on this one. They are with a seamstress and I can hardly wait! (They are about 20 years old, so WAYYYY overdue for a spruce up.

A couple online or television joys (at least, for me):

  1. For anyone who’s a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies:  https://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-lord-of-the-rings-reunion-was-a-delight-heres-/1100-6477912/ This is a cast zoom reunion and I laughed and cried my way through it. Well worth the 50 minutes.
  2. Anything Jeff Dunham. https://www.jeffdunham.com/ Irreverent, but hilarious.
  3. The Great British Baking Show. https://www.pbs.org/food/shows/great-british-baking-show/

Not sure why this has such a calming effect on me because those bakers get pretty frantic. But I’ve come to love watching this show.

I’ve been watching this video lately. I think it’s message is still important:

 

Gosh, I’m sure there’s more, but these are just a few of my favorite things. I don’t really have any pictures to share this month. Most of mine have been of flowers.

Stay safe.

Stay healthy.

Stay calm.

This, too, shall pass. Hopefully, with better communication between all of us and with a kinder world to live in.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
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“WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT”

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 I received this in an email and thought it was worth passing along. I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. … Continue reading

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Life in the Slow Lane

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Well, that was a slow month! And not because of lockdown either. Strange times, but the restrictions in place haven’t impacted on us as much as it might on others. For Dave and me this is our usual way of … Continue reading

Beach House Memories

12917577We recently purchased a condo in North Myrtle Beach South Carolina.  I’d never been there before we flew down to look at the unit and I love the area. This book is set on the Isles of Palms which is 95 miles from North Myrtle Beach so perfect timing for me to read it.

It opens with Lovie (Olivia Rutledge) again at her beloved beach cottage. She is an old lady and in the last stages of cancer. The story is designed like a sandwich with the first and last chapter in the present and the rest of the book mainly about the summer of 74 at the beach. A plus is the sub plot where they study loggerhead turtles and the newly hatched babies. We saw some nesting spots when we were in Florida. These creatures are amazing.

Lovie finds love this summer and she truly finds herself. We all face crossroads in life. Some us face more than others, but  I think we all wonder what our life would have been if we had taken the other road.

As I read this story I thought that everyone over maybe 60 should read this book. Choices were made that changed the course of life and in the end, if you believe in soul mates you can believe that these two will meet again.

Maybe it’s where I live, but I seem to be more aware of the life journey than I once was.  Here it’s 55 and older, and there have been a lot of changes on our street.  One couple downsizing to an apartment, another moving to a local assisted living, another choosing to move across the state to be closer to their daughter and they also chose assisted living.  One lady described it to me as turning to a new chapter.  This book made me look back and see more clearly the chapters of my own life story.

A recommended read for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fathers Day

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Last Sunday was Fathers day and as I frequently do I pause to be Thankfully grateful for my dad. The picture is of a family dinner My mom and dad are on the left,  mom’s leaning around dad. My Grandmother … Continue reading

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Energy

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I don’t know if it’s age, the time of year, laziness or what, but I don’t seem to have a speck of energy. In fact, the picture on the left looks like I feel. So what to do about it? … Continue reading

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Looking Back on 2018

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Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I love this time of year and what a fun way to end a year.  Only 10 more days until we see 2019. Today is the first day of winter and we … Continue reading

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LEJOG The Last Leg

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Peter’s 70th Birthday Challenge seems a long time ago and unreal in a weird sense.  It is hard to remember all the details as highlights surface and become treasured memories but he did it! I left you with the awful … Continue reading