Giving Thanks for Time #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

Last week, I was complaining to myself for having so much to do and not enough time. Then, I got the dreaded phone call, a call I’d received several times before, a call that meant deleting every event on my calendar that didn’t take place virtually. I had once again been exposed to COVID. This time, one of the gals in my singing group had tested positive after attending our last practice.

This meant I had all the time in the world, but I felt depressed. We’d been having lovely weather, and I’d been looking forward to eating lunch at the senior center and taking walks.

I’d planned to get my COVID booster on Friday. I called to ask if I should still do that or wait. The receptionist told me to wait at least a week. This I was glad to do, since I’d suddenly realized I could possibly infect the transit driver who would take me there.

On a whim, I asked the gal at the public health department if it would be okay to take a walk if I didn’t have any symptoms, wore a mask, and did my best to distance myself from anyone I encountered. What she said surprised me. “Since you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to quarantine.”

Seriously? It was my understanding that even if I was fully vaccinated, I could still pass the virus on to someone else, even if I didn’t have symptoms. What’s more, I wasn’t fully vaccinated, technically, since I hadn’t yet had my booster. After giving the matter some thought, I decided it would be okay to take my walks for exercise while wearing a mask and keeping my distance. If I developed symptoms, I would stay home.

Now, it’s been over a week since I was exposed. I’ve survived yet another COVID scare. What I’ve learned is this. Instead of griping about having too much to do and not enough time, I should prioritize and do what I can in the time allotted and not worry about what doesn’t get done. That’s better than having “Too Much Time on My Hands.”

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Facebook

Website

 

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

 

An Apple from the Teacher #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

I’ll never forget that day in 1972 when my fifth grade teacher at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind gave me an apple, and it wasn’t because I was her star pupil, which I don’t think I was. Mrs. Jones, as I’ll call her, got it into her head that I needed to try foods I hadn’t eaten before. I don’t know why I was the only student singled out for this treatment.

After everyone else in the class had gone to the gym for physical education, I sat at my desk in the front row with this apple, while Mrs. Jones sat at hers, watching me. At first, I was only too glad not to have to go to P.E. But after I took the first bite of bitter apple, I would have given anything to be in the locker room, struggling to fasten the snaps on my gym suit. But Mrs. Jones insisted I stay there until I finish eating the apple.

A few minutes later, after managing to swallow a few more bites, I asked if I could get a drink of water from the fountain down the hall to wash down the bitter taste, but Mrs. Jones said no. She must have thought I was planning an escape, but that never occurred to me.

After a few more agonizing minutes, I managed to get the whole apple down. My stomach revolted, as I got up and made my way to her desk, intending to tell her I needed to use the restroom. But I realized I wouldn’t make it that far. I’d like to think that I regurgitated that apple all over that teacher, but common sense prevailed, and I used a nearby wastebasket instead. Since then, I haven’t been able to eat an apple by itself, although I like apple pie, apple sauce, etc. One bad apple can upset an entire barrel.

How about you? Is there an incident in your life that you’ll never forget. Please tell us about it.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Facebook

Website

 

Spring Outside #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

Now that spring has sprung, I’m looking forward to doing more walking outdoors. I enjoy trekking down a sidewalk, my long white cane swinging back and forth in front of me, breathing in fresh air and the scent of flowers, and listening to birdsongs.

My favorite place to walk is a cement path that runs along a creek. It starts by a bridge and meanders past houses, a soccer field, a senior apartment complex, a doctor’s office, and other businesses before tunneling under another bridge and heading across town. Of course, I don’t do the whole trail, but I do part of it, which is about a quarter mile, and it’s about a half a mile to it from my house.

When the weather gets warmer, I like to sit in my back yard, writing, doing email, or just reading. Again, I enjoy breathing fresh air and the sounds and smells of nature along with the occasional noises of neighbors. During the week, the day care center next door is an excellent source of racket. But if I decide to work outdoors at that time, I use a pair of noise-canceling headphones, which helps me concentrate, and I can still enjoy the outdoors.

How about you? What outdoor activities are you looking forward to doing now that spring has finally arrived?

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Facebook

Website

 

 

To Be Or Not to Be a Pepper #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

This is the question Hamlet would have asked if he and his doctor had the same conversation my doctor and I had last week during my annual wellness visit. “Your triglycerides are slightly higher than normal,” she told me. “Although they’re getting into the pre-diabetic stage, they’re nothing to worry about yet. You just need to cut back on sugar. Do you drink soda?”

“Yes, I drink Dr. Pepper but only one can a day.”

“Well, that one can a day has too much sugar.”

“But I drink it for the caffeine, and I don’t care for coffee or tea.”

“Caffeine is good for you, but the sugar isn’t. Do you drink any juice?”

“Yes, one glass of orange juice with breakfast.”

“Many juices have too much sugar. Genetically, your body can’t handle it.”

“But I drink orange juice for the calcium.”

“Since you consume plenty of dairy products, you’re probably getting plenty of calcium.”

“What about protein shakes?” I asked. “Would they be a good substitute for orange juice?”

“Many of those have too much sugar,” she answered.

For once, I wished I wasn’t wearing a mask, so she could see my face. Needless to say, I left the clinic with a heavy heart.

Then, I got to thinking. For years, I’ve been consuming only one can of Dr. Pepper a day. Why now are my triglycerides slightly higher than normal? Granted, soda plus orange juice plus protein shakes plus the hot chocolate, ice cream, and brownies I forgot to mention might be a bit too much sugar. So, I can cut back on everything else, but I’ll never give up my daily Dr. Pepper caffeine fix. I’m a Pepper through and through.

To prove it, here’s a poem I wrote years ago that appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2011

 

I like to swallow its cold carbonation,
feel it come back into my mouth in the form of a belch.
Oh, that feels so good!

I drink it in mid afternoon.
It helps me get through the day.
I sometimes consume it in the evening
when I’m sleepy, and it’s too early for bed.

In the good old days,
I drank a lot of it,
just what the doctor ordered.
Now, the doctor says it has too much sugar
so I limit my consumption to one or two cans a day.
What would I do without it?

 

Ode to Dr. Pepper

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Oh When I Die #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

My late husband Bill loved organizing things. He planned every little detail of our wedding, including who would bring us a plate of food at the reception. Naturally, a few years after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, he decided to plan and pay for his own funeral.

We visited one funeral home and weren’t impressed. A representative from another came to our home. Right away, we liked him and what he had to offer.

At the time, we were living in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I still reside today. Bill wanted to be buried with his family in Fowler, Colorado, about 500 miles away. We were assured that when the time came, that could be arranged.

It felt strange, planning a funeral for someone who was still alive. But when Bill’s time came, I was glad everything was arranged in advance. He wanted only a graveside service, which turned out to be lovely, despite the November wind. Many people attended, including my dad, two uncles, an aunt, and cousins. Several of Bill’s friends shared their memories of him. As he requested, I played my guitar and sang “Stormy Weather.” You can read more about this in My Ideal Partner.

I just turned sixty last summer. I should start thinking about planning my own funeral. It would make things easier for my family like Bill’s making and paying for his arrangements did for me. But I have so many questions.

My brother once told me that when people die, they simply cease to exist. So, what is it like not to exist? We talk about pets crossing a rainbow bridge when they die. Why can’t humans do the same thing like in this song by Abba?

Then again, what if, when you die, you’re still aware of what’s going on around you, even though you can’t move or talk. If this is the case, cremation is definitely out for me, since I’ve always been fearful, yet respectful of fire. Lying underground would be boring but not painful. Yet, burial is more expensive than cremation.

I know one thing for sure. I want to sing for my own funeral. When I’m ready to make arrangements, I’ll provide the funeral home with one or two recordings of me singing songs with piano or guitar accompaniment that can be played during the service. I know this sounds vain, but when I die, I want a celebration of life, where people can hear me sing one last time and share memories.

How about you? Have you thought about what you want done when your time comes? Thanks to Morpethroad for inspiring this post.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website