Saturday, September 24, 2022

A bit of a traffic jam

Winslow encountered these on his morning walk yesterday.  My husband text me with the first video and said "the walk should be fun today."

Then they started their walk.  I was surprised Winslow acted the way he did.  I was thinking he would be barking more and pulling at his leash to get to the geese.

I think he was overwhelmed seeing so many of them. 



I am always surprised to see the Canadian geese at our parks and golf courses year round.  I thought they were migratory birds.  I did a little reading and found out that they do stay put if all their needs (food, water, not cold weather) are met.  Apparently they like the heat because I see them in the middle of summer when it is over 110 degrees.  

They are messy though.  That's all I'll say.  You can figure that one out.

Do you have them in your area?

Happy weekend! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Remembering Jeff

I wanted to write about Jeff for a little bit, but every time I thought about writing about him it just didn't seem like the right time.  However, today, being September 11th, I think it is the right time (if there is ever a right time to write about him) as I think you'll understand why I chose this day to share Jeff with you all.

Jeff was a casualty of September 11th.  He wasn't in one of the ill-fated planes that day or in either Twin Tower or the Pentagon.  In fact, he wasn't even on the East Coast or surrounding area on September 11, 2001.  He was in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  I'm not sure he was even working that day, but he soon would be working and soon would be traveling to New York City.

Jeff was a fireman/EMS/first responder in our area.  He also trained for and was on the Search and Rescue team, so when the call came out for search and rescue teams to come and aid in the search, etc after September 11th, Jeff and his team took up the call and traveled to New York City to assist as they could.

I'm not sure how long Jeff was in New York City and what exactly their part was in the search and rescue or recovery or whatever, but he was there long enough to be exposed to the dust and the toxic fumes that were there at Ground Zero and long enough to develop heart and lung problems because of his work there.

It didn't take long afterwards for him to start having those heart and lung problems that would eventually lead to him having to retire, medically disabled, from being a firefighter/EMS/first responder here.  

I don't know much about the years between 2001 and 2021 with what Jeff was doing, how he was feeling, how affected his heart and lungs had been.  I came to "know" him shortly after he started working at the restaurant where my son is a chef.  Jeff had a passion for cooking.  He also wanted to be productive as much as he could. My son mentioned Jeff when Jeff started working there, telling us Jeff's story, including his involvement at Ground Zero and what it had done to his health.  

Over the time that Jeff worked at the restaurant, son would share more about Jeff, his ongoing health issues, things going on in his personal life, etc.  Jeff had been in a long-term relationship that had ended and was having trouble coping with it.  Son and him bonded as friends and son spent a lot of time with Jeff, just hanging out together when they could after work, etc.  Jeff also made an effort to go to church and had dedicated his life to Jesus.  Week after week Jeff would invite son to go to church with him.  Son would say sometime he would go, but it never came to be.

Jeff got Covid and got really sick from it and was in the hospital for about a month, but he recovered.  He also had to miss a lot of work because of his heart and lung problems and he always worried that Chef would fire him because of his inability to work a consistent schedule.  But when Jeff was there, he worked as hard as he could with what he had to work with and his job was always secure.

The beginning of April 2022 Jeff had a heart attack.  He was itching to go back to work as soon as he could be released from his doctor.  He did eventually make it back to work.  I never met Jeff but early May I invited over a waiter from the restaurant and his girlfriend to lunch at son's house   The waiter was so personable, from Italy, had left San Diego to move to Phoenix because of a woman he had met on vacation down in Mexico.  Their story mimicked son and DIL's story in that son had moved to Phoenix from San Diego to be with her when she moved to be closer to her mom.  The waiter had taken great care of us at the restaurant that I just had to invite him over for lunch.  It was easier to have the event at son's house so we brought the food, son cooked for us, and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together.  Jeff was supposed to come too but he got delayed at his dad's house.  Jeff had a motorcycle that he would often drive up on the weekends to his dad's who lived in a mountain town 2 hours north of Phoenix.

A few weeks later, on a Thursday evening our son called us.  You have to know that son never calls us unless he is in trouble, needs money or now having a problem with something in the rental house of ours that he and his family live in.  It is not that he doesn't want to talk to us, he just texts occasionally and we see him a few times a month for meals together.  We have a mantra "no news is good news" when we don't hear from him.  So when he called, right as we were sitting down to eat dinner, we were on alert.  What is wrong now went through my head along with how much is this going to cost us.  We did the usual greetings, hi, how are you, etc.  And then he says "Do you remember Jeff?" The minute he said that, I knew.  I just didn't know the rest of the story.

Jeff had passed away that day.  What I gather is the preceding weekend he had been up visiting his dad.  Jeff had one of those defbrillator things implanted in his chest to help control his heart rhythm.  It would shock him at times.  Apparently this shock on that particular day was a pretty intense one and it made Jeff lose his balance.  He fell, hitting his head, losing consciousness.  Obviously, he was transported to a hospital.  I surmise, but am not 100% sure, that he might have had a brain bleed or similar as a result of his fall (being on blood thinners) and there might have been some type of irreversible damage and he was eventually taken off of life support.  

Jeff had signed up to be an organ donor.  Obviously, his heart and lungs would be of no "value" but his kidneys and liver were and those were donated.  

Son relayed what had happened.  Of course he was devastated and sad.  It was also the first time he had to talk about death to his son (our grandson).  Our grandson knew Jeff and had spent time with him.  They said a prayer for Jeff.  

Curious as I am, I "had" to find out more about Jeff so I looked him up on Facebook.  That was the first time I saw a picture of him and he looked different than I had pictured him to look.  He had written this back in October 2021 about his experience of working at the restaurant:

In April I applied for a job at (name of restaurant) and Chef hired me that first day. I was upfront about being sick, but I was dying faster just sitting on the couch or doing nothing, and going back to work, even for a few hours was what I needed.
Since April, I’ve been in the hospital several times, got COVID, and have gone home early because I was struggling to catch my breath.
In the restaurant world, calling in sick isn’t a solid career move and I was sure after the days I’d missed they’d have to find someone who wouldn’t be gone, or miss time like I had. I had genuine concern they were going to cut me loose, and I’d found a place I really enjoyed, even if it turned out to be a few hours a week. I was wrong. They. Didn’t. Flinch. One. Time. Not. Once.
Since day one everyone has treated me like family. Chef's wife, one of the owners, checked on me every day. My coworkers did the same. (Son and another chef) were simply amazing.
I spent years in a job where brotherhood was the cornerstone of the bond we had. It doesn’t hold a candle to where I am now.
I say all of this so you know what they’ve done for me. What they continue to do for me. I wasn’t going to post this but I think it’s important for you all to know.
If you can, please support the restaurant as much as they’ve supported me. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I cried when I read it. (I put the name of the restaurant in parentheses as well as the name of son and the other coworker; the original Facebook message had both the name of the restaurant and son/coworker's names in it but for privacy chose to do it this way).

I cried more a few days later when this was posted on the restaurant's Facebook page (written by Chef's wife):

How does one put into words the loss of a dear friend and very special cook we all came to love? Jeff had been a First Responder here in AZ when his team got the call to help find lost souls on 9/11. They went. After a grueling two weeks, Jeff and team came home. Not soon after, Jeff began his illness after being exposed to the highly hazardous materials from the site. He came to work with us over one year ago to regain his love of the culinary arts. He could not have been a happier man doing what he loved most with Chef and his incredible team. We loved him at first sight. Always a smile and eagerness to learn and be part of the magic.
Troubles hit paradise shortly after coming to work for us when the illness of his heart began to spiral. We’ve lost count as the many times we had to call 911 to have him sped to the emergency room. As we awaited news, he wrote “So sorry and apologies to everyone.” Really Jeff??? All we wanted to know was if he was recuperating; and he was! So back to his beloved dream job. Every time. His last episode was the one he never came back from. May you fly with the angels dear Jeff and know your beautiful energy and vibrations will be with us forever. We will miss you to eternity.

I asked son a week or so after Jeff had passed how it was going in the restaurant. He said it was tough not to see Jeff in the kitchen working alongside him and to know Jeff would not be working alongside him again. He said one thing Jeff always did, before the start of service, was to show Chef the crazy socks he wore (he had quite a collection of them). Chef would always shake his head but always with a smile on his face.

I never met Jeff, but I will always remember Jeff. Thank you Jeff for your service to our country in a time when it was needed.

Jeff leaves behind a 21 year old son, parents, a brother, numerous relatives and a boat (another story for another day).


Friday, September 9, 2022

That Dog

 Likes to take walks.


Knows when it is time to go into his crate when we are getting ready to leave.


Likes to play tug of war.



Can take out a squeaker in a toy within seconds when he is determined to do so.


Likes to sniff around the pool area where the cats like to walk (I mainly included this picture because I like the white flowers on the saguaro cactus).


Likes to listen to my husband play guitar (hopefully this will play).  Still a learning process how to take videos and put them on YouTube.  Hubby is practicing Christmas music for the upcoming season. 



Likes to nap by husband a lot (he really is his favorite)


Is picturesque with a beautiful Arizona sunset


Likes to watch TV (Westerns are his favorite)


Smiles a lot 


That dog is Winslow! 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

August book reviews (almost to goal)

I slowed down a bit reading in August but did read 6 books as reviewed below.  This puts my total books read for the year at 49.  I think I'll make the 50 books I challenged myself to read by the end of the year :)

Kitchen Yarns:  



This was a delightful book.  I think maybe Lori had mentioned it on her blog?  Ann Hood, the author, wrote mini essays (a chapter each) of foods she enjoyed from growing up to adulthood and beyond.  Foods her grandmother, mother, and father had made; foods she had made.  Recipes she had found and had adapted to be her own.  At the end of each chapter was the corresponding recipes for the foods she had talked about.  The essays aren't in any particular order.  Some from her childhood, then to being a young adult, a mom with young children, etc.  Always a life story along with the food impressionable to her at the time.  I really enjoyed this book and the recipes, for the most part, seemed simple and easy to put together.  I can't wait to try some of them, especially the blueberry muffins from her time as a Marsha Jordan girl. For an easy summer read or anytime of the year, I would highly recommend this book.  I give it 5 stars.

Three More Months:


Chloe is a busy pharmacist living in a different town than her mom.  She has been neglecting spending time with her mom due to being busy but plans to take a weekend soon to go visit her.  In the meantime, her mom dies.  Chloe now has to go home (about 3 hours from where she was currently living) to tend to the funeral arrangements with her brother, Andy.  Devastated with grief, they wonder how they'll get through life without their mom and Chloe also feels the guilt of not visiting her mom more.  By some miracle, she wakes up one morning before the funeral and sees she has gone back in time of about 2 months and her mom is still alive.  Over the course of the book, she tries to keep her mom alive through healthy food cooking class, exercising, and mindful meditation.  She is always anxious, wondering if something will again happen to her mom.  She plans a wonderful birthday surprise for her mom and a trip to a place her mom always wanted to go to.  They have a lovely vacation but then she wakes up again on another morning and her mom is now dead again.  She wasn't sure if she had dreamed the extra 3 months she had with her mom or if it was just a fluke in the universe but she was grateful for that time.  An interesting story.  I got a little tired of the continual writing of how much guilt Chloe had about not spending time with her mom and how she had to do everything to try to keep her mom alive, but the story was engaging and the book did wrap up at the end.  I'll give it 3 stars.




This is the description of the book from Goodreads:  Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.  One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.  With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page.
 
Sounded like an interesting thriller and it was up to a point, but BIG SPOILER ALERT.  Casey had discovered 14 months prior that her husband was a serial killer, killing 3 women in the area and dumping their bodies in the lake.  Her intent was to turn him into the police, but instead she kills him by giving him lots of antihistamines and then taking him out to the middle of the lake and pushing him out of the boat, drowning him.  She starts drinking a lot because she can't handle the guilt of killing him or knowing he killed 3 other women (though she did not turn him in because then it might have been suspicious with his death).  Meanwhile, she does rescue Katherine from drowning.  We find out that Katherine's husband, Tom, is poisoning her slowly but in the meantime when she was in the lake, potentially drowning, she became possessed with the spirit of Len.  Now this is when I should have stopped reading the book because I do not care for these particular plots but it was about 70% into the book and I had to see how it ended.  I won't give any more spoilers (gave enough) but the book does rap up, no loose ends, but there are not pleasant parts of the last few chapters until the last epilogue we will call it.  I would never have checked out the book if I knew the plot would develop like this. I give it a 1 star because of my not liking books like this.  It was a thriller for sure and nicely written.  But just definitely not my kind of book. 


The story involves the matriarch of the family, Ronnie, her twins (Sam and Sarah), Sarah's husband (Eli), Ruby (Eli's daughter), Gabe (Ruby's fiancee) and Rosa (Gabe's mom.  Ruby and Gabe are planning to be married in Cape Cod at the family summer place where Ronnie has been hanging out since the pandemic began . Now that life is getting back to more normal, the family is looking forward to the summer wedding though each of the main characters have secrets from the past that potentially could come and expose them during the wedding weekend.  It does somewhat end "happily ever after" but there are lots of different twists to the story and a bit of sadness along the way.  A good summer read.  I give it 4 stars.  



I believe Bijoux mentioned this book and I'm glad she did as it was truly a delightful story to read.  I got "lost" in it and had trouble putting it down.  It is  a fictional story of a famous singer who had 4 children but could not remain faithful to his wife.  The story is told in the then and now with the now being centered around a party that the oldest child, now 25 years old, holds yearly at her home in Malibu, and the closeness she and her 3 siblings have with each other and the reason for their close bond.  The story was well written and had a good ending.  Definitely a great summer read.  I give it 5 stars.  


Another book I truly enjoyed.  Three families adopt siblings who are biologically related and resolve to try to have the siblings remain close to each other though raised in separate homes.  The "family" get together for holidays, weekly dinners and other events.  The story centers around their first vacation taken as a family and the dynamics of that as well as the birth mom of the four siblings (a set of twins) is pregnant again and has decided not to raise this child so the family has to decide if one of them will adopt the baby or introduce another family into their family.  Interspersed within the story are profiles of the people who are working with the adoption agency who are looking for a child and their reasons to adopt (took me a few of these profiles to get what they were).  The book doesn't resolve who the family is who will adopt the new sibling but alludes that a family has been picked.  Since I have 2 adopted children, this topic was  of interest to me (though both of mine were closed adoptions). A great read.  I give it 5 stars.  

I can't believe we are in September already! We'll blink and it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas! Wow!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

August, a losing month

We lost one of our steak knives.  It was old, not fancy, one of three knives left from that set.  We have another set of eight, all those are accounted for.  But it is a bit disconcerting wondering what happened to this one.  I'm not sure how long it has been missing but I noticed it was gone today when I was unstacking the dishes from the dishwasher.  Our sharp knives are kept in another drawer away from the other utensils for safety purposes.  As I went to put the knives away, I put away the two that had been washed and there was not a third that should have been in the drawer.  I mentioned it to hubby who said when he had used one of the knives the other day for cooking, he noticed there were only two in the drawer and he had run the dishwasher and unstacked it that morning before he began cooking.  A mystery.  

August must be the month I lose things because I misplaced (lost) the key to a storage closet at work.  We get our termed employees from the divisions across the country in boxes like this.  


 There is only a small area in the office where we keep the files we are working on.  We usually open the boxes and take out the files, stack them in this little area, process them, and scan them.  If we get an overload of boxes and no room to unpack them, then we put them in an overflow room we fondly call "the closet".  For the past year I have had the key in my desk drawer when not needed.  When I need to go to the closet to drop off or pick up boxes, I usually keep the key in my pants pocket, open the door, get what I need, take the key out of the door, put it back in my pocket and then when I get back to the work area, I put the key back in the desk drawer.  The few times that I have forgotten to put the key back and saw that it was in my pocket at the end of the day after I had left work already, I usually put the key in my backpack in the zippered pouch where my license and debit card is kept, so that I know I'll have the key with me when I go to work the next day, in which case I take the key out of the backpack and put it back in the drawer.

But this past week when I went to look for the key to take some boxes to the closet, the key was not in the drawer.  It had been about a week since I had used it.  I scoured all the desk drawers to make sure I had not put it in another one.  I took apart my backpack three or four (or five or six) times to make sure it wasn't in there.  It wasn't.  I can see the key.  I can sort of remember the last time I used it but I can't place where it is.  I may have left it in the closet when I was retrieving boxes.  But I'm not 100% sure and it wasn't the normal pattern I do.  So it is a mystery. (No problem to get another one.  Facilities at work has been contacted and are working on replacing it).

I don't like losing things.  No one does.  I'm more concerned with the knife missing (we looked in the dishwasher).  Maybe it will surface.  Maybe it won't.  And if it doesn't, it will continue to be a mystery.  

And now I'm wondering if there will be a third item that comes up missing.  August still has ten more days to it.  

When was the last thing you lost? And did you ever find it? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

July book reviews

 July was a prolific reading month with my reading of 8 books.  It is probably because it is so hot here there is nothing much to do but read :)

Summer Island:  


Nora, now a successful radio talk host who gives sincere advice to those who call in to her program, but left her husband and children 11 years prior, has an affair exposed from her past and she is put on leave from her talk show.  Mortified at the events, she ends up drinking a little too much and getting into an accident.  The only one available to help her in her recovery is her daughter who has not spoken to her in 11 years and has returned all Christmas and birthday gifts during that time.  They go back to their summer house on the island and try to attempt to fix their relationship.  Intermingled with the plot are 2 brothers who were childhood friends of Ruby (the daughter) and her sister (Caroline) who is now married and the mother of 2 young children.  Kristin Hannah, the author, is a favorite of mine and I have read pretty much all her books.  I almost burnt down the house when reading Winter Garden as I forgot I had eggs and potatoes cooking to make potato salad.  Anyway, this is just as good as any of her other books.  Her recent novel, Four Winds, is also very good.  I read that probably the latter part of 2021.  Highly recommend anything by Kristin Hannah and would give this book 5 stars. 

Blood, Bones, and Butter:  


This is the memoir of Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of Prune, a very successful restaurant in New York City.  Lori had read it.  This was the month I decided to read out of my usual genre which included either a biography or a memoir so I decided to check this book out.  I had no idea who Gabrielle Hamilton was when I got the book but I so enjoyed reading her memoir.  She had a difficult childhood, young adulthood, career in the culinary industry including owning and running her restaurant.  She married an Italian man with whom she had 2 boys and spent the month of July every year in Italy with his large extended Italian family.  She wrote very well her experiences of her life.  Thoroughly enjoyed the book.  I was not familiar with her restaurant, so I googled it (what would we do without Google) and saw that it was temporarily closed.  She wrote a very extensive article, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/magazine/closing-prune-restaurant-covid.html, for the New York Times about closing her restaurant during the beginning of the Covid pandemic.  I had seen some other articles that perhaps Prune would be reopening, but could find nothing that substantiated it.  I'll let the reader learn why the restaurant was called Prune.  I would give the book 5 stars. 



This is the story of Johanna and Solomon (Salo) Oppenheimer.  Their courtship, marriage, attempt to start a family, their ability to have a family through the help of in vitro fertilization with the subsequent birth of triplets.  Then the book switches to the triplets in their last year of high school and their college years.  Oddly the triplets are not close and resent each other and are glad to be out of high school, forging their own lives.  There were four eggs harvested at the time of the triplets birth.  After the triplets graduate from high school, Johanna decides to have the fourth egg as the fourth child in the family, this time using a surrogate.  The second half of the book tells of the "latecomer" (the fourth child) in her senior year with some unusual twists to the story along the way.  This was probably in the top 5 of the best books I've read so far this year.  Highly recommend this story.  Very well written, thoroughly enjoyed it.  Would give it 5 stars.


I have read books from the author before.  This was unique in that it told a story of a family (Mercy and Robin Garrett and their 3 children) but it told it in separate stories focusing on one aspect of their lives at a time in that individual story.  For instance, a chapter was devoted to a family vacation they took back in 1959 and then another chapter would be of an event that happened in 2010.  Once I got the gist of it going back and forth like that and each chapter was an individual story, it made reading it a little more sense but I was confused for a chapter or two (the chapters are long, at least 20 pages each).  Each chapter was interesting but on a whole I didn't enjoy the book because there wasn't a consistent flow through it if that makes sense. I'll give it a 3 stars.





I told Jack that I would read a Western some time this year as he enjoys reading that genre.  I have to be honest.  I didn't know any Western authors so I googled "Western authors" and Louis L'Amour's name came up.  I had heard of him.  I looked at all the books our e-library offered of his (quite a collection) but settled on this one since it was based out of Montana and I used to live there.  It tells the story of Pike and his friend, Eddie, who were hired to watch over a rancher's cows during the winter months but trouble comes their way in rustlers trying to steal cows from not only that ranch but other ranchers around the area.  Gunfights ensue with lots of loss of life.  There is a love interest in the story for Pike and to coin a phrase from popular fairy tales "they all lived happily ever after" though there is also sadness with the deaths of some key characters in the book.  It was an interesting read.  I'll give it 4 stars.


 

Lizzie and Dan have 2 daughters, Portia and Becca.  The story begins with Lizzie and the daughters finishing up a mini vacation they had together on a school break.  As Lizzie is driving them back home, she gets into an auto accident where the car plunges into a lake and she can only save herself and one of her daughters.  It take a couple of chapters to reveal which daughter is saved.  The remainder of the book deals with the grief of losing their other daughter as well as a bit of a thriller with perhaps the accident wasn't truly an accident but intentional.  I don't want to give away too much more of the plot to spoil it for anyone who might decide to read it.  It held my interest, it wrapped up the story at the end of the book, so I give it 4 stars.




This is a memoir detailing a relationship the author had with a man who eventually became her husband.  He basically worshiped her for the years they were together but suddenly became cold and distant and his social media and other records indicated he might be having an affair, something he vehemently denied for a long time.  She finally found an email from an apartment broker who was trying to help him and his girlfriend find a place together and she started putting the pieces of the puzzle together.  She had just given birth to their daughter when this all began to unravel.  The author, Jen Waite, of course is devastated and she is trying to figure out what went wrong with their relationship, etc.  She finally, through research, decided he was either a sociopath or a psychopath.  She tells the story in sections before and after.  How their life was before she found out about the affair, and then after she found out and how she was dealing with it and then her trying to pick up the pieces afterward.  She eventually gets to a place of healing with the help of a therapist, her parents, family and friends.  It was an interesting sad story.  I kept reading it  because I wanted to find out what next happened, kind of like you drive by an accident and are prone to want to slow down and stare at what is going on.  I give it 5 stars for her bravery to write something so personal but 3 stars overall with my "enjoyment" of it.  





From the first few paragraphs of this book, I was hooked and almost had trouble putting the book down.  It tells the story of Lilie who has been happily married for 19 years facing her husband having an affair with a "gold digger" and the husband wants to leave the marriage and marry that woman.  Lilie's and Brad's only child, Dylan, is graduating high school and going off to college in another state come fall.  It is a delightful story told over the next few months of her dealing with the breakup, of her work as a midwife, of the story of the "gold digger" who enticed her husband away from her.  I truly enjoyed this book very much.  A good summer read.  I rate it 5 stars.  

So far, I have read 43 books of the 50 I challenged myself to for the year.  I think I'll reach the goal by the end of December if not sooner :) 

As always, let me know if you have any good books you would recommend.  

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Lottery

By now, probably everyone has heard that someone won that huge MegaMillions jackpot of approximately 1.34 billion.  I didn't buy any tickets for it, did you? 

In the past, we have bought tickets for various lotteries when they have amounted to big payouts, but it's like throwing money out to the wind, lol.  When looking at the numbers on our "winning" numbers purchased against the "winning" numbers on the actual winning tickets, we barely matched one number, let alone the entirety of numbers needed to get the big payout.  I think over time we have learned to save our money and not buy any tickets.

It is fun to dream though of what we would do if we won such a lottery.  This morning I read this article about 10 people who had won the lottery but wished they hadn't in the long run.  The article also stated that the majority of people who win a lottery run through their winnings within 7 years, albeit it their winnings were not quite as big as last night's drawing. 

Every time we dream about what we would do with the money, our dreams have changed.  There are the usual things we would do.  Pay off all our debt (not much we have in the first place), remodel parts of the 2 houses we have, maybe buy a new car or two, take a vacation; that sort of thing.  We have included at times setting up foundations or charities for different causes we both support.  And then of course setting up trust accounts for the grand kids college funds.  This time around when we dreamt about what to do with all that money, I said it might be nice to buy 20 houses and then rent them out to those struggling to make rent here in Phoenix (which has gone up significantly in the last 2 years) and give them an incentive if they kept the place up nice, they would get a refund of their rent quarterly.  It could be a win-win situation.  We would get a steady source of income (not that we would need it if we would millions) but we might be helping others in the process.  

In the long run, though, I'm pretty content with all the blessings God has given me.  We have a nice place to live, plenty of food to eat, cars that drive us around safely, a variety of clothes to wear, and so much more.  It might be nice to have a cabin in the woods here to escape the summer heat.  But other than that, I don't really care to travel much and especially not by air (airplanes are not my friends).  Perhaps maybe a motorhome with a car to tow behind it to travel the states and Canada.  I enjoy a minimalistic lifestyle, so I can't imagine myself going crazy and buying a lot of clothes, household items, etc.  Besides, I couldn't take them with me when I pass and someone else would be left to deal with disposing them.  

I came to the conclusion a few months back that I'm glad I don't have a lot of money.  We have what we need and a little bit more.  And I trust God will provide my every need as His word clearly states He will.  

So, congrats to the person who won the MegaMillions. Congrats to other lottery winners past, present, and future.  

But for me, I'll save my money or go and buy yogurt or some other little treat with the money I would have spent on a ticket and sometimes think and talk about the "impossible dream" with what we would do if we won so much money.  But as they say, talk is cheap.