thanksgiving - 2018
Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your loved ones. Today is our day to give thanks to those that deserve our thanks. Let me first say what I am most thankful for. I am thankful to God for continuing to give me the strength and the courage to remain alive. I want to still be here to give memories and wisdom to others, but mainly to give my memories and wisdom to Annie.
I am going to share some of my memories of Thanksgivings-past before I spend a portion of this Thanksgiving with Tom’s family in Southern California. This will be my first flight since my incident over 1 year ago - I am looking forward to it, actually. I am glad, though, it is only a 1-hour flight.
When I was growing up in Indiana, we always celebrated Thanksgiving with just our immediate family. The rest of our extended family was in Pennsylvania. So, on Thanksgiving morning Mom got up early and started cooking the “usual turkey” in the oven. She did all the necessary cleaning and removal of things, of course, before having to put it in. I remember the first time I cooked a whole turkey myself...I had to call her and get blow-by-blow instructions on how to hold and clean a turkey before getting it ready for the oven. Gosh, I think I was already in my 20’s!!
She placed the turkey in the oven without putting dressing (stuffing) inside. (I’ll explain the dressing in a moment.) At the Thanksgiving dinner with the turkey, we had mashed potatoes made with good old-fashioned russet potatoes (still my go-to all-time favorite anytime), corn, her dressing, turkey gravy and dinner rolls. We also had her famous cucumbers and onions (sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, equal parts water and vinegar, and sugar, and some salt/pepper to season) instead of a salad. Dad liked cranberries so he got the canned cranberry sauce!
Okay the dressing was “on-the-side” and not cooked in the turkey. Mom cut up white bread into nearly 1” squares and added cut-up celery and onions and seasoned it with salt, pepper, parsley. She let it “toast” (dry out) in the oven at 350 degrees. She kept an eye on it, as you should, to make sure it didn’t burn. She softened it lightly with some Swanson Vegetable Broth. It truly resembled Stove Top Brand Stuffing of today!
So on the plate, the special plates (as pictured above - 22-carat gold trimmed, now at least 70 years old) that we used for only Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, was the turkey, mashed potatoes and the dressing. All of those (before the corn, cucumbers/onions, rolls) I would smother with her turkey gravy. My mom's gravy was made with the drippings from the turkey cooking in the oven with a little bit of flour.
After that delicious Thanksgiving dinner some of us (my dad and me) would take a nap until it was time to enjoy a piece of Mom’s homemade apple pie.
I tried to spend as many post-high school Thanksgiving Holidays with family but that isn’t as possible once you go away to college, and that really isn’t as possible once you then move across the country!!
Again, Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless You, Peg!
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” -Willie Nelson
Tom would probably call this a “list” & he really thinks it’s a waste of my time to make such lists, but I want to keep track of my accomplishments (and if I have an accomplishment everyday, even just one, that’s something to celebrate!). Since my stroke I would start such lists of accomplishments, and then get rid of them, and then start them new again. Well, that cycle went on for some time. I’m done starting and stopping...I am ready to take it seriously now. Here goes...
I want to keep trying new therapies/exercises - new methods. The methods that definitely work for me, I want to incorporate into my daily routine. Those that have certain steps that are good (but maybe not all), I want to adjust & incorporate them into my daily &/or weekly routine.
I will incorporate what I have done & included in my Therapy Tuesday blogs in today’s blog to start, and then I can build from there. Another thing that was pointed out to me several times, at several different locations, since my subdural hematoma (stroke) was that it is very valuable for post-stroke rehab persons to dwell on their accomplishments on a regular basis. It helps them realize what works for them & what doesn’t & how much effort they are putting into their own rehabilitation.
First is my schedule of Tuesday Therapy blogs per my website (here at www.pegspoststroke.org) & on my Instagram page (poststrokepeg). I’ve listed the ones I’ve posted and the ones I plan to post through Christmas.
My accomplishments yesterday were an astonishing threefold!
ACCOMPLISHMENT #1 - CHAIR RAISE-UPS
ACCOMPLISHMENT #2 - WRIST MOVEMENT WITH ARM RAISED
Holding my arm straight up has become quite an accomplishment itself lately, but to be able to hold my hand straight up is also great! And, to be able to move my wrist up and down and in little circles is absolutely wonderful - it lets my brain remember what the arm/hand can do!!
ACCOMPLISHMENT #3 - LIFTING MY RIGHT ARM OVER MY ENTIRE BODY
I would like to say that the first 2 accomplishments were the best for one day, and they were! But the third accomplishment was the true icing on the cake!! In the past it was a struggle for me to bring my entire arm over my body - especially to bring it over my body without touching my body. Well, I was able to bring it over my body AND I didn’t touch my body!! I didn’t let any of the sweater top interfere with my bringing my arm/hand over my body or back!! I made sure that I lifted my right arm/hand up over my stomach/belly to raise it up to my left side and then I brought it back down without dragging it on my stomach/belly at all!! Way cool!!
Okay. Now, what accomplishments did I have for today? Well I did these three things (yesterday’s accomplishments) again, each twice. So each is now a part of my routine. I remember telling Annie of another accomplishment I had yesterday. I put on a pair of yoga pants myself standing up with no shoes on yet. Usually I put them on sitting down not standing up.
Then I did “open/close” with my right arm/hand making sure I kept my hand/wrist flat and bringing it to the right of the mat if it drifted too far to the left after 4-5 “open/closes.”
Okay, time for me to do some more therapy/exercise. And it’s time then for me to work on more thoughts of recipes to post, therapies to post, getting to know me thoughts to share and post, and of course (what Tom wants most of all) my thoughts on his business idea and my thoughts on my business ideas. And I really hope my friend, the investor, Teddy, will be back in the next few days to see me.
God Bless, Peg
"Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again."
― Richard Branson
11/11/2018 -veterans day
11/11/2018 - Happy Veterans Day - to all the brave men and women who have served us proud!!
As I have done in the past, I give a special honor to my mom on this day for enlisting in the 71st Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on April 13, 1943. She served as Corporal Margaret J. (“Marty”) Basalla.
The Women's Army Corps (WAC) was the women's branch of the US Army. It was created as an auxiliary unit, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on May 15, 1942, and converted to an active duty status in the Army of the US as the WAC on July 1, 1943. Its first director was Oveta Culp Hobby, a prominent woman in Texas society. The WAC was disbanded in 1978. All units were integrated with the male units.
The WAAC's organization was designed by numerous Army bureaus coordinated by Lt. Col. Gillman C. Mudgett, the first WAAC Pre-Planner; however, nearly all of his plans were discarded or greatly modified before going into operation because he expected a corps of only 11,000 women. Without the support of the War Department, Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts introduced a bill on May 28, 1941, providing for a WAAC. The bill was held up for months by the Bureau of the Budget but was resurrected after the US entered the WWII. The senate approved the bill on May 14, 1941, and it became law on May 15, 1942. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill the next day, he set a recruitment goal of 25,000 women for the first year. That goal was unexpectedly exceeded, so the then Secretary of War Mr. Stimson decided to increase the limit by authorizing the enlistment of 150,000 volunteers.
About 150,000 American women eventually served in the WAAC and WAC during WWII. They were the first women (other than nurses) to serve with the Army. While the "conservative" opinion in the leadership of the Army (and the public) was opposed to women serving in uniform, the shortage of men necessitated a new policy. While most women served stateside, some went to various places around the world.
My mom served during WWII in Newport News, VA. She left great photos from those days and shared great stories. We still have those memories she left behind and we will always cherish her very fond memories of her service. God Bless, Peg
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy
Today is Election Day and I was able to vote! And I did! It was such an exciting feeling to be able to vote. I felt like I once again had another reason to be here - to be able to "voice" my opinion and to be "heard."
I remember how important elections, and voting, were to my parents from the time I was very young. My mom always made sure she worked at the local polling booth as a Poll Worker back in Indiana in the 1960's and 1970's (when I was in school there). And once they moved from Indiana to Las Vegas they remained staunch supporters of their voting rights. Both my mom and dad made it very clear to me that voting was my privilege and honor and should never be taken for granted or given up.
Both my mom and my dad were so very PROUD TO BE AMERICAN. They both served in World War 2, and because of that they both have the privilege and honor of being buried at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery (SNVMC). For information regarding the SNVMC, please check them out online. The SNSVC is located in Boulder City, NV, which is approximately 26 miles from Las Vegas. The cemetery is located on 79 acres of land owned and maintained by the State of NV. The grounds are serene, peaceful and immaculately maintained. The cemetery serves as a place of rest and reflection where eligible veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents are remembered and honored. Typically a spouse has to share a headstone with her (or his) spouse, but because my mom was also a former veteran, she has her own headstone! Again, the cemetery is beautiful and peaceful, and it is a place where I liked to hang out with my dad and mom when I needed time to really be with them again. And I know of a few friends' parents who have been laid to rest there and they (my friends) feel the same way I do. It's comforting - very comforting...
The cemetery is responsible for verifying eligibility and should be contacted directly for specifics by calling 702-486-5920.
God Bless , Peg
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ―Maya Angelou
my niece and nephew
Hi, it’s Peg. I have mentioned before that I have a beautiful, smart and wonderful niece and nephew from my brother, Bob, and his wife, Aiko. My niece is Layla and my nephew is Alex. They were both born and raised in Tokyo. Layla was born in the mid-80s and Alex was born in the late-80s. Layla is married to Sebastian Cole. Layla and Sebastian have a son named Kai. He is turning one year old in January and already looks like he is almost three! (I guess it would serve me well to mention that Layla is 5’9” tall and Sebastian is 6’2”.) Kai is so darn cute! Layla, Sebastian, Kai and Alex all live in LA. Bob and Aiko still live in Tokyo. As I may have mentioned previously, Layla, Alex and Sebastian are all grown now and graduated from college. Layla is now employed as a Wardrobe Stylist on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Alex works on commercials and photoshoots as a production manager/coordinator, and Sebastian is an actor. Most recently Sebastian has had multiple appearances on Amazon Original’s I Love Dick, starring Kevin Bacon, and Freeform’s (Previously known as ABC Family) Stichers. Please be sure to check him out!!
Although Layla and Alex did not grow up in the States, we kept in touch with them as if they had - my parents made sure that we could and that we did! And because Bob was a professor at a university in Tokyo, he and Aiko and the kids were able to spend much of every summer here in the states with us when the kids were growing up. And they spent much of the summers with my parents later, after the kids did grow up.
I could “spill” some priceless family secrets here, but I won’t. But for sure, if you happen to know either Alex or Layla, you may want to ask what Alex happened to say in front of my mom one night. He said it one night at my home (near the front door) when his dad was planning to stay with me and his uncle but Alex had to leave for the night with his grandparents. He wasn’t happy about having to leave the party. Let’s just say he spent a few precious minutes in the bathroom with his dad - being told not to use that sort of language in front of his grandmother!
One of the special things I remember doing every summer when Bob and his family would come for their visit, is have a sort of a family reunion. We would swim, visit, eat, play games and just enjoy ourselves!! We were able to invite as many people as we could. We invited not only family, but friends too. And over the years we were able to invite friends from distant years back and family of some of those friends. I remember always being able to invite Scott. He was a friend of Bob’s who later became part of our
family - along with his wife, Rika, their son, Kota and his mom, Rose. We were also able at one point to invite old high school friends of Bob’s, Tim and Doug.
When Layla was ready to go to college, Bob and Aiko wanted to make sure she went to university here in the States. She attended and graduated from the University of Oregon. Alex also attended and graduated a university here in the States. He went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles - a Jesuit University. His dad was a professor at Sophia University in Tokyo - another Jesuit University. And our Annie happened to graduate from Santa Clara University - yet another Jesuit University!
Sebastian and Layla met in Los Angeles in 2012, but prior to that he attended Florida Gulf Coast University. Sebastian was raised in Florida by his Swedish mother, Catherine, and Colombian father, Carlos, that was a prized bullfighter. Although Layla and Sebastian met in the States, they married in Sweden during the summer of 2017. In addition to Sebastian’s family being able to make it to the wedding, many of us from Layla’s family were able to make the wedding as well. What a wonderful global mix!!
The Blog Posts are written by me and are written for you.