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How I won TWO cars

I have just won 2 (two) 2008 cars in the “Master Card Joy of Giving Sweepstakes”.

ahh yep! SCORE
ahh yep! SCORE


At first, I was like …yeah right…but curiosity got the best of me and I began searching the internet last night.  Today, I have spent one hour on the phone with the Master Card Company, and another hour with the Sweepstake Company and then hubby and I had affidavits signed and notarized.  Hubby and I both went into our bank and spoke with the branch manager for just over an hour and had her verify the winnings.  The bank manager faxed our affidavit’s in from the bank, and she congratulated us.. and then we fed ex’d the affidavits to the Master Card Sweepstakes Prize claim division. From there, they will be verifying that neither my hubby or myself work for the above mentioned companies and have no affiliation whatsoever with the sweepstakes.   Hubby and I are both in major shock …and are waiting for the dealership to call us so I can go pick a vehicle.  They are going to give me two identical cars in the equivalent of $33,000.00 each.  Until the vehicles are parked on my driveway,  I don’t think I can get anymore excited about this car thing…  My hubby and I have done as much research as possible on this and now it is a waiting game.

 How I got entered into the sweepstakes:

In November or December, Master Card was running a sweepstakes that…if you used your debit card, during those months, you were automatically entered into a sweepstakes.  Each week, they awarded prizes in duplicate  ( thus, the name of the sweepstakes is called:  “the joy of giving”).  The winner gets to choose one prize and get awarded a duplicate of that prize.  (The commercial is at the bottom of this story)

 What I purchased:

I made a $16.98 purchase with my Master Card / Debit Card.  That entered me into their sweepstakes.

We thought  (especially me)  it to be a scam as so much of that stuff goes on.  But when the bank verifies the winnings, and the credit card company also verified the winnings…  I believe this to be a true and valid sweepstakes.

With this being said, and if it IS indeed true,  I do believe there is a couple in Idaho who might be interested in this.

Yup, I’m still in shock … I just had to share this with you all.   And yes,  I wont believe it until they park it on my driveway.

And yes, they did even ask about the TV stations I watch and what radio stations I listen to.


It is too good to be true.  So, we wait and hope that this is legit.

Um, it was true.  Happy Ending!




To Timmy with Love

did you ever wonder about your dad?……a veteran’s story


His childhood was pretty normal. Plenty of homework, playtime, sports, trumpet lessons, a dog in the backyard, summer camping at the reservoir with our friends.  Pretty average, pretty normal.  Except for one statement he kept making.

I do not know what triggered his comments….but I imagine it had to do a bit with grandpa having his private pilot license. At a very young age, your dad began telling me that he was going to join the Air Force when he grows up.  Nice.  I thought it was a phase and it would probably change every week or so.

As time went on, he never changed. It was always about the Air Force.  It was always about joining the Air Force when I grow up.  We entertained his excitement about the Air Force by taking him to as many Air Shows as we could.  Sometimes there were actual Air Force pilots standing near the aircrafts they flew.  It was an exciting time for him and I thought this would be a great learning experience.

I would take a blank pad of paper and a pen with me to the air shows. As we approached the aircrafts, we would stop a ways away from it.  I would ask him what the name of the aircraft was and what kind of bomb/missile it used/dropped.   As I wrote down his answers, we would walk right up to the pilot and I would ask him what was the name of the craft and what kind of bombs it used.  Much to my surprise, my son knew his stuff!  He was usually right all the time.  I’m not bragging, not kidding.  He really knew the correct answers.

We also made his bedroom a bit of an Air Force zone. Camouflage curtains, a wallpaper border of jets and the like.  A bedspread with more jets, a bag of those green soldiers along with a handful of rubber bands  and tons of Air Force books for him to enjoy.

I still believed he would change his mind about the Air Force…but for now, the Air Force was the ticket for him. And he just enjoyed what we were able to give him.  and, still his statement was  “Mom, when I grow up, I’m going to join the Air Force”.

I would hear that statement off and on for the next EIGHT years. He was twelve when I finally talked to him about his future.  One day he again brought up the ‘joining the Air Force’ conversation.  I let him say his peace about his intent.  However, when he was done, I said “Son, I believe you and I think that if you do NOT join the Air Force, you will regret it for the rest of your life.”

Since that conversation, I never heard about how he wanted to join the Air Force when he was old enough.   Never.

5 Years Pass…



age: 17

September 11, 2001

After the attacks on America, he came home with the documents to have us sign off on him joining the Air Force as he was “only” 17.  I asked him one time:  “Are you sure?”  Already knowing the answer, he gave a very confident YES.  I said ok, but he would have to have his dad sign the form.

And poof… he was in the Air Force. He served for many years, served a tour in the Middle East, lived in a different country for three years. and has stayed strong in his commitment to serve our country.

To say “thank you for your service” hardly seems enough. Rather…I am honored by his service and honored to call him “Son” and I will ALWAYS praise God for your dad, your mom and, ofcourse YOU.

Tell him Thanks for his service.

Love always,


  Dealing With My Mom’s Depression


To my “Friend In Need”:

I remember the time my dad went in to the hospital for surgery. I remember meeting up with my sister just prior to the surgery. We knelt on the asphalt in the hospital’s parking structure and prayed. We asked God to let dad survive the upcoming quadruple bypass that was scheduled for him that day. Better said…we pleaded. We prayed for the surgeons and nurses, that God would be with them and guide the hands and decisions of all involved. A few moments later, we were with my dad and all the members of the family. I bent over and told my dad that my knees hurt. I just smiled. He knew why.

God did answer my prayer. My dad survived this huge operation. I was amazed as I noticed better flesh tones on his face…rose colored cheeks and bright eyes. Things went good for a while. But as time passed, things grew dim. After some testing of the heart, there were no signs of any bypass done. NONE. It was as if his body absorbed every correctional measure performed on his heart. Sadly, it is unbelievable. No doctor could tell me exactly why this happened. We were dumbfounded, to say the least.

The doctors then performed stint implantations which seemed to hold up. This extended my dad’s life for two more years. However, during those two years, he was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the illness and passed.

This was devastating for everyone. I have four siblings. We all dealt with his passing individually, and in ways that seemed to help us. Thank God for the support I had and for my loving husband. We kept up with mom’s needs and support for her as well. But, it was very apparent, she was slipping into depression. After a marriage between dad and mom that lasted 56 years, the loss was just too much for mom. We also experienced 4 more relatives who passed away over a short span of only 5 months. The last death was my aunt, my mom’s sister. Mom never told us about her death and we only learned about it months later.

Mom’s depression is in full swing at this time. My aunts passing seemed to be the last straw in my mom’s life. Several of us, her kids, asked her to move in with one of us. She refused each and every time. Then she would turn around and cry out for help. Help Me. Help Me. Those words forever ring in my ears. One of the last decisions my mom made on her own was definitely a bad one. She decided that she no longer would eat or drink. She was extremely suicidal. She lay in bed all day and refused to turn on any lights because she did not want anyone to think she was home. During this time, there were several emergency room runs we made and unexpected physical needs that needed to be dealt with. One of the independent final needs came during a visit from my brother who came in from out of state. He called me at work and said that he needed my help getting mom to her doctor. I immediately left work and met him at mom’s house. The situation was very grave. We did not give any more options to mom. We managed to get her frail body into my car and went to the doctor’s office.

The staff separated the three of us and evaluated us, mom and the whole situation. The doctor commented that she would have not lived much longer if we had not brought her in. A clear indication was her clothing. Her regular clothes size prior to my dad’s health issues was 16. She now weighed in at 98 pounds. Mom literally looked like a skeleton with skin. She was immediately admitted into the hospital for about a month. Not a regular hospital, it was the psych ward. The doctor had her committed to a hospital for people with severe mental issues. This was quite a blow and apparently we children needed a major wake up call.

What next.

Mom couldn’t go back home after that. Physically, she may have been “healthy” enough to be released from the hospital. Emotionally, she was far from healthy. Mom’s needs are mental. And, sending her back home was not a solution. Mom needed care for her depression. She often said that she would like to go home and be with the Lord. The doctor pulled the 5150 card. She was not well enough to be left alone. He gave her a minimum stay of 30 days in the hospital’s psychiatric ward.

During her second week in the hospital, I began getting the necessary legal paperwork for conservatorship over mom. Interesting enough, the path God lead all of us down on ended up working out within days of being released from the psychiatric ward. I was granted conservatorship over my mom. The paperwork was completed and we got mom a room in the old age home….three houses away from my home. I visit quite often.

At first, mom was extremely upset about not being able to return home. And, we all tried to encourage her to take steps towards returning to her normal life. Unfortunately, mom remains in depression and needs two prescription to help her cope with her mental anguish. It has been five years since my dad passed and mom has made very small steps towards a more normal life. She doesn’t really want to be here on earth and often tells me that she wants to be at home with the Lord.

Living at home would mean taking her prescribed meds as directed, eating three meals a day and drinking plenty of fluids, and also taking showers and general hygiene…none of which mom is willing to do. We suggested having a visiting nurse come and also a meal program drop off a meal or two per day. We suggested so many variations…but everything was shot down.

All five of her kids agreed on getting mom into the old age home where she remains today. She is safe there. She remains in the skilled nursing section because she refuses to advance on recovering from her depression. It is sad to think that a women who raised all of us with pure joy, love and discipline and loved her husband, now acts in such a manner. An example is that mom is capable of walking. She is a bit unstable, but she is able to walk. However, she just sits in a wheelchair because “she doesn’t want to walk anymore”. Mom refuses to take care of herself. Her hair has grown very long. It is a stringy mess. And, no matter how often we suggest having a salon day at the in-house salon, she refuses.

Another hard to take issue is that mom absolutely refuses to go outside for any reason. I could easily take her to my home for a visit. The southern California weather and mild temperatures are long lasting. It’s not like I would have to wheel her in the snow. But she refuses. To this day, she refuses. Often she does not wish to visit with me, and, for the most part, that is o.k. …just not normal. I continue to encourage her and try to hold up a one sided conversation. Once in a while, something interests her and will spark up an actual two-way visit. It is most refreshing. As I walk to see her and on every visit, I wonder if today will be the day mom makes a step towards normal living. It was almost 3 & 1/2 years before she kissed me back and said “I love you, Pat”. I was thrilled! I reminded myself… baby steps. Just baby steps.

Easter 2016: Today my husband and I walked down to visit mom with a few fresh cut roses from our bushes. As we walked, our silence was a very clear indication that we both wondered how long of a visit mom would allow. We could only hope that she would be receptive to us.

When we arrived, mom was slouched down in her wheelchair with her chin below her knees fast asleep. I gently rubbed her back until she opened her eyes and acknowledged us. We did manage to have a pretty decent 3-way conversation. Unfortunately it only lasted for 20 minutes and she was pretty much done with us. Some days, it’s just too hard to carry this part of living and try to appease mom with happiness and laughter. We did our best.

So, how does one deal with a family member’s depression? How can someone hold up through such a sickening sad situation. This type of situation is one that cannot be ‘fixed’ with a surgery, a pill or a person’s kind act. Although, many of the kind acts and pills may help ease the depression, it is not a fix and it never will be. Each person’s depression is as individual as they are. And, how one copes and interacts with the family member’s depression is individual as well.

The absolute BEST piece of advice I received was given to me in about a 2 minute conversation from a women who had gone through her own personal wringer with her own mom. She had so many parallel situations with me, it was uncanny. Anger, guilt, unaccepted, sadness, the list goes and goes. It took me a while before her words actually sunk in. Once her words hit me, I took a step back and re-directed my focus. Here is basically what transpired in the two minute conversation:

The Two-Minute Conversation That Will Affect Me For The Rest Of This Trial

1. Stop Blaming Yourself. This is not your fault. You did not cause this.

2. The anger thrown your way is actually not directed at you. She is just comfortable telling you everything. You were close to her and she feels that it is ok to unleash on you. Be a listener and stop taking it personally.

3. Continue to care. Even though this is one of the most difficult things to do, continue to care, to love, to let her rant and then turn around and be kind. Her world crumbled. Be there to catch the pieces for her.

4. Remind her of joy. Keep visiting. Keep inspiring her. Try to get her to reflect and smile…maybe even laugh.

5. Accept and continue to pray. Accept the turmoil. Accept it with an open heart and understand it is controlled by God. NOT YOU. and never stop praying.

It is no wonder it took me so long to understand those points. I was so wrapped up in the embarrassment of all this, that I couldn’t focus on what is really the important meat and potatoes of life. I kept hearing her words.

Simply read them over and over. Remember, I’m not in YOUR predicament, but I’ve been through some real hair-raising moments.

As for my mom, will she ever start to mend? Will she ever completely recover? I’m still in the midst of it all. I have no answers. I only have a better understanding, a better focus and God who loves me unconditionally.

…. I hope this helped.



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