Tag Archive | Family

Do You Feel Lonely or Forgotten

Lonely 3Most of My Entire Married Life, I Have Been…ALONE and At Times Felt LONELY

Being Alone is not an easy place to be for many. In-fact the divorce rate jumps from an average of 11% to 57% among shift workers because the shift workers spouses are so lonely.

As the spouse of a shift worker, I often find myself “alone”. Though I have a fabulous marriage and adore Richard with every fiber of my being and I know he adores me…I am often alone and at times find myself lonely (There is a difference in being alone and being lonely). In our earlier years it was less obvious because we had children and they filled my void. As I have gotten older and our children have left the nest…I have filled my lonely days with Work, Projects, Facebook, Blogging, and of course…Retail Therapy.

However, as I have gotten older, I have also come to realize there is something far worse than being lonely…

 Being Forgotten!

In my current role as Director of Nursing in a Skilled Nursing Facility I have become keenly aware that being forgotten is far worse than being lonely. Loneliness can be remedied through touch, conversation, laughter, and activities. There is however only one remedy for Forgotten and it is being Remembered by those the love!!!

Forgotten Can be a Subtle Transition or Blatant and Purposeful

Forgotten can gradually evolve when your children learn a new level of independence…When they learn to toilet alone, dress themselves, cut up their own meat, cook their own meals, drive themselves, leave home, get married, have children and develop adult friendships and hobbies. While this is a natural and essential process of maturing…One feels Forgotten!

Forgotten can occur when a friend moves away or you able to witness them develop and nurture new friendships via social media and all the while calls and contacts are farther and fewer between…One Feels Forgotten!

Forgotten can also occur when families grow apart or together without you…One Feels Forgotten!

Here are Some ways I have found to cope with being Lonely or Forgotten…

  1. Be realistic: Everyone gets left out
  2. Look honestly at the situation: Seek like-minded people
  3. Make a choice to be better not bitter: Don’t wallow in self-pity
  4. Smile: Makes people wonder what you’re up to
  5. Try not to read too much into being left out: Look for the simplest explanation first
  6. Find something to do: This will distract you
  7. Talk to your spouse or a trusted friend about your feelings: It helps to have someone to keep you grounded
  8. Listen openly to their responses: Feedback provides an opportunity for growth
  9. Be proactive: Take the initiative to reach out to those who want to be a part of your life
  10. Heed the message: Remove yourself from those who drag you down and make you feel alone and forgotten


Always Remember…

A Season of Loneliness and Isolation is When the Caterpillar Gets its Wings

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Seasons Greetings


Seasons Greetings from Our Home to Yours

We have all heard the saying “The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”…Well, it was my plan to get this greeting out before Christmas but time just got away from me.

Christmas It has been a fast and furious year for Richard and me.  Richard continues to work at BASF as a Process Technician working long hours a lots of over time. I started a new job about a year ago at Woodlake Nursing Center as the Director of Nursing. I too put in a lot of hours and am on call 24/7. While it is a demanding job, it is by far the most favorite position I’ve held. Not a day goes by without a hug from a Resident, Family Member, or a Co-Worker. Hugs by the way are my Love Language!  So, while we are very grateful to have jobs we are more thankful for any time we are able to spend together.

When we do have time together, we try to connect with our Children and Grandchildren. Brandon and Sarah have blessed us with the most beautiful great granddaughter, Payton. Mike is a Senior in High School, and Cheyenne enjoying her first year in High School which has afforded us lots of family time. We have attended Marching Contests, Band Concerts, and lots of Football Games. It has been such a joy to watching Cheyenne celebrate her passion…Music! I am especially proud of Brandi and Robi for allowing her to pursue her passion!!!

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Our girls are doing very well. Tori continues to live in Austin and comes home to visit as her schedule allows. We were able to spend a whole week with her just before Christmas which was especially nice since it was the week of Richard and my Wedding Anniversary. Tori said it best…”It is Our Anniversary” meaning we all celebrate the Love Richard and I share. Brandi stays busy being a Band Mom, volunteering at the Wildlife Refuge, and working with the Children’s Choir at church. Both Brandi and Robi are so enjoying grand-parenting!

In addition to our children, we have been blessed with a couple of extra fur babies. Last Spring a Tuxedo Kitten emerged from the woods and adopted us. Chey named him Tucker and he instantly was home! Then in October, we were blessed with a little girl Lemon Beagle pup. Chey named her Remi. She is a working pup…Everyday she goes to work with me and rounds on the Residents. While this increases my work load, I realize the worth when a Resident I had not heard speak for a good while stopped me to say, “Hey, that’s a pretty little puppy” and then smiled or Remi comes up missing and I find her cuddled in bed with one of the Residents sleeping. She is definitely a blessing to many!

We are thankful for all God has allowed us to do over the past year and look forward to the New Year. Though Richard and I have little time together, we make the moments memorable…We truly Live, Laugh, and Love!!!

As the New Year begins, we pray it will be a Year of New Peace, New Joy, and an Abundance of New Friends…

May God Pour Out His Blessings On You in 2015

Happy New Year!!!

Love Richard & Lee Ann


Get Rid Of The Life Suckers

How many times have you walked by or into a closet and thought to yourself, “Oh My Gosh…this clutter is killing me” or opened a drawer and said, “I am going to clean this out one of these days”. I call the areas of my home which evoke frustration, dread, or irritation “LIFE SUCKERS”. I am sure you know what I mean…those areas that literally suck the life our of you when near them.

Well, lately I have been checking my pulse to see if I am  even alive!!!

Last May we bought our dream home; a home we have admired for over 25 years. With the help of family and friends we moved into the place like a whirlwind…That should say it all. “Essentials” were unpacked and  the rest left in boxes and placed in closets, drawers, and cabinets. Needless to say, almost a year later I am still going thru boxes… “Life Sucker”

Each day I pull into the garage of our wonderful home, I am greeted by dark cedar walls, a work bench full of clutter, yard tools scattered throughout the garage. Welcome home… Wow, I am being greeted by a… “Life Sucker”

Then as I exit the car and walk through the breeze-way to the back door, yet another “Life Sucker” tries to grab me…the dark brown paint on the walls doors, and ceiling of the breeze-way and entrance.

As if that were not enough…As I enter the back door, the kitchen with its dark worn cabinetry sucks me in…“Life Sucker”

My list could go on and on to the point I have no pulse so I recently decided to tackle the major “Life Suckers” in my life.

So, during the time period in which I made no entries to my blog…I was very busy trying to take  my life back.

First, we started with our cabana out by the pool…It was dark, heavy and uninviting so we lightened it up with a lot of paint!





Next, I moved to the kitchen…Also dark, drab and worn thus MORE paint!!!


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While these were a couple of my big “Life Suckers” I have also manged several small ones as well…

  • I made a table-cloth to put on my glass top table so I no longer saw finger prints and smears on the glass
  • Removed heavy curtains in one of the guest rooms and replaced them with light and airy sheers
  • Cleaned out the closet under the stairs
  • Unpacked more boxes stored in an upstairs closet
  • Organized a “Christmas Closet” which holds all the Christmas decorations

No, I haven’t tackled the garage but…that is coming up next!!!

So, if you find the life being sucked out of you by your surroundings…TAKE CHARGE!

Get Rid Of The Life Suckers!!!

Love Lee ♥

A Love Lee Place


Treat Them Like Royalty

Oh my, company is coming!!!

 So the ritual begins…

  • You clean the house…Fresh towels in the bathroom, clean linens on the bed, scrub the commodes, spray a few squirts of room freshener and light a candle.
  • Then you begin meal preparation…Plan the menu, buy the food, bake a dessert, and pull out your best dishes…


While you want your company to feel at home, comfortable, and be impressed, I ask what about the ones you love and live with; those who are your world? Routinely we should do the very things for our family we typically do for company because after all aren’t they the most important people in your world and don’t you want them to know it?

Here are a few ideas to make your family feel special:

  • Put out fresh towels in the bathroom for your children
  • Routinely change their linens
  • Place a vase of fresh-cut flowers next to their bed with a love note on their pillow
  • Burn a candle
  • Turn off the TV and turn on some music
  • Served a sit down meal on your best dishes
  • Bake some cookies
  • Put a roast, chicken, or ham in the oven so the house if filled with the aroma of a home cooked meal

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1Peter 4:10

Do for your family what you would do for company…

Treat Them Like Royalty!!!

Love Lee ♥

Let There Be Light

For all who have visited our home in Jones Creek know all too well the importance of light in my life. In-fact, anyone who passed our home could see the lights from the street as the electric candles burned in every window to illuminate our home.

These electric candles burn 24/7 as a symbol of life to all who pass by. Life, love, and hope that filles our home served as a beacon for all to join us in our celebration. In-fact, prior to moving, I received a card from a neighbor thanking me for keeping the candles burning throughout the night. She suffered from a chronic illness and spent many sleepless nights gazing out her window across the street at our lights stating they served as a symbol of hope for her. One of the saddest moments I experienced when we moved was unplugging my lights and packing them away.

As I unpacked boxes in our new home, I came across the lights. I debated about putting them in the windows but got side tracked and put the box aside and totally forgot about them. After dinner last night, Richard said, “Hey Babe, can you come here for a minute?”. I followed him outside to the front of the house and Oh My Gosh…The entire front of the house was glowing! He had unpacked my lights…

Let There Be Light…We are Home Now!

Love Lee ♥





You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29


Being Normal

Wow, it seems like forever since my life has felt “NORMAL”

When I sit back and reflect on the past seven months no evidence of normality could be found.

Since October:

  • We sold our home, moved all our belongings into storage
  • We moved into our motor home
  • Richard’s mother passed away
  • My dad passed away
  • My job description was redefined
  • I was hospitalized for a severe infection
  • I had a root canal
  • We purchased a home in May and set-up house in 4 weeks
  • Spent 3 weeks out-of-town on work related trips while trying to move
  • Hosted the 6th Annual Smith Family Reunion

While things have been hectic we have made many great memories together!!!

Now, I am working my way back to the art of “Being Normal”

Tonight “Normal” included coming home from work to prepare dinner…Richard was elated to eat with a fork!!!

Love Lee ♥




Greetings Our Precious Family and Friends!!!

Wow, this year has flown by and while so much has changed in our lives since 2010, we remain very much the same. This year Richard and I spent time celebrating life events with our family which included birthdays, weddings, graduations, Tae Kwon Do, and basketball.  In May family and friends joined us for the 5th Annual Smith Family Reunion which was filled with lots of food, fun, laughter, and lots of MEMORIES!!! Our lives are so enriched by the moments we have with those we love.

Then in October, heaven gained an Angel and we lost our Nana (Richard’s mother). This Christmas will be especially hard for us as Christmas was Nana’s favorite holiday and Christmas Eve will not be the same without her. 

It was also in October we moved to the “Ranch”.  We sold our home and moved into our 38 foot motorhome…Talk about a huge task!!! All our belongings which were in our 3,100 SF home are now housed in 3 different storage buildings and have no clue where to find anything!!! 

I am sure about now you are probably thinking we have lost our minds…I assure you we have not!!! We will be building a home on our daughter and son-in-law’s ranch right across from our precious granddaughter!!! Wooohooo…talk about making some incredible memories…In-fact we have already started!!! A huge thanks to our son-in-law, Robi for getting a place for the RV set-up while we were busy moving…We would not have made it without his help!!!

Since moving into the RV, we’ve added a deck, put up a fence, made time for play breaks, and even taken a trip to New Mexico for Thanksgiving where we spent quality time with Brandi and Robi in Taos before driving to Albuquerque for time with Uncle Russell, Aunt Karen, and Richard’s cousins…Making Those Memories!!!

Richard continues to work for BASF as a process technician and for Alston Group LLC as a technical writer. Lee Ann celebrated her 10th Anniversary at Angleton Danbury Medical Center and continues to focus on the Revenue Cycle and Case Management. We both are keenly aware of how blessed we are to have such wonderful employers and incredible co-workers.  

While life is very simple now…It is a great life!!!

We pray during this Holiday Season God will surround you with His peace and you will take time to bask in His presence throughout the entire year…

Merry Christmas and Lots of Love

Beneath His Sheltering Wing…


Richard and Lee Ann ♥


Our Nana is Awake

As I wrote just a few days ago…”What a Difference a Day Can Make”. Yesterday our Nana was on a ventilator and today she is off and breathing on her own. Not only is she breathing… She is talking!

God Is Sooo Good!!!

As I sit here holding her hand, I thank God for His sweet presence.

Nana still has a long road ahead but she has come such a long way so quickly.

Please continue to pray for our Nana as she still has a nasty infection which is wiping her out!!!

But for now…

Our Nana Is Awake!!!

Love Lee ♥

Praying For Our Nana

Amazing the difference a day can make. On May 7th 2011 the family was celebrating the graduation of one of my nieces the next day our Nana took a nasty fall in the parking lot of the hotel. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and while she had a couple of nasty bumps and bruises on her forehead and a laceration on her knee she was cleared for discharge home. Later that month, we had our 5th annual Smith Family Reunion and Nana was not able to attend because her knee was not healing. In-fact because she is a diabetic it was progressively getting worse. She was so disappointed she was not able to attend as she loves being surrounded by family and friends.

The first of June Nana returned to the doctor to find out she had a nasty infection in her knee and would require IV antibiotics…After long term antibiotic therapy and 6 knee surgeries our Nana took a turn for the worst last Thursday.

One day she was celebrating the graduation of her granddaughter…the next she sustained injuries from a fall.

One day she is getting a manicure, pedicure, and her hair done while sitting on the side of the bed…the next she is in ICU engaged in a battle for her life.

Our Nana remains in ICU in septic shock…She is on a ventilator, receiving mega doses of antibiotics, feedings, and dialysis…

All of this from a FALL…

I share our Nana’s story for three reasons:

  1. To Remind Everyone to Put Safety first!!
    Falling is the leading cause of unintentional injury at home among Americans 65 and older. Older people sustain such injuries by stumbling on stairs; slipping in bathtubs; falling off ladders and step stools; and tripping over garden hoses, dog leashes, and household appliance cords. Nana fell in a parking lot…
  2. To Remind Everyone to Talk to your family about your wishes!!!  What do you want if:
    Your heart stops beating or you have a lethal arrhythmia: Do you want someone to try to get your rhythm back by performing compressions or shocking your heart with a defibrillator?
    You quit breathing: Do you want to be intubated and placed on a breathing machine?
    You are not able to eat: Do you want to sustain your life with feeding tubes?
    Your kidneys shut down: Do you want to have dialysis
  3. To Remind Everyone each day is a Gift!!!
    We are not promised tomorrow so…Grab every opportunity you have to tell your family and friends how much you love them.

Please Continue to Pray for Our Nana…

Love Lee ♥

Tread Softly on My Dreams

I remember in our early years of marriage Richard and I would sit for hours and dream of the future. Believe it or not…We still do!!! I love sitting out on the swing while having coffee and listening to him as shares his thoughts and dreams.  Oh, and I so love the fact he is interested in mine!

When sharing my dreams with others, it is such a reality check to be reminded of my age… The buzz words are “at your age”…I am not quite ready to be an “old woman” and at times can be a  sensitive subject for me; I sooo miss my youth!!!

I love this quote by James Dean:”Dream as if you’ll live forever… live as if you’ll die today.” I have always adopted this mindset. We only get one chance in life remembering… Dreams can often become challenging, but challenges are what we live for. ~ Travis White

Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born. ~ Dale E. Turner.  So, as Justin Bieber would say…”If you don’t dream big, there’s no use of dreaming. If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing.”

Having a dream is all the more realistic when I dare to dream with the person I love the most in this world. It is even more special when we both have individual dreams but they are amplified because they complement each other and are intertwined. For me to have a dream and my husband’s dream is the act of creating what I dream for…That is God in His awesomeness further amplifying how we compliment or complete each other….A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. ~John Lennon

Do you have a dream you are afraid to share with others? Don’t be!

Speak up…Share your dream and conclude with…

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ~W.B. Yeats

Love Lee ♥