About Jana Hassett

Growing up a Friday the 13th baby can be stressful without permission to use your magic wisely. But my journey has been full of once-in-a-lifetime adventures and a joy (for the most part). I've raised two daughters; have two grandchildren; created my own very successful line of beadwoven jewelry and ornaments; had leadership positions in political organizations; worked for a member of Congress; been a Journalist with a weekly column; a Book Reviewer; and now a Blogger. Over time this blog will contain my writings, book reviews, magazine articles, and ramblings (known as a platform) I'll use for the Historical Fiction I've started writing. Please ask questions, make comments, and suggest writing ideas. I value your input and ideas.

Mother’s Day 2017

Watching someone you love slowly deteriorate into a mass of humanity wrapped with pain was not the experience I expected with my mother during her last weeks on earth.  I thought the morphine and opioids would wrap here in silence as her body slowly shut down.  There wasn’t any conversation the last few weeks.  She couldn’t focus on one subject long enough to really discuss it.  I’d ask a question and she’d answer, and answer again and then again.  Or she’d ask me a question and then ask again and again, not being able to focus on the answer, her mind still stuck on the question.  I realized the days of our “conversations” were over. 

Starting last summer, we had talked about just everything I could think to ask her.  I knew one day we wouldn’t be able to share any more.  She wanted to know what I was going to do with the money she was leaving me.  I told her I was going to get a winter-worthy vehicle.  The minivan I have is not safe on slippery streets and was not 4 Wheel Drive.  She thought that would be a good way to take care of me.  We talked about maybe buying a few personal items, but nothing major.  We really didn’t need anything else.

That’s when the Murphy Gods stepped in and put us at the front end of a three-car accident in Lancaster, California 3 weeks ago and just a week after she died.  Minding our own business and heading to the China Restaurant for supper, a 16-year-old boy drove his “new to him” car into the Dodge Ram Pickup next to us and he rammed (no pun intended) into us.  The insurance companies will spend time arguing with each other as to whom will pay and I expect we’re going to end up on our own to repair it as his car wasn’t registered, it wasn’t insured and he had no driver’s license.  Sigh!!

With only 2 weeks before we leave for the first show of the year, we’re in no position to be looking for a truck to replace ours, and we can’t put it in the shop until after we return.  In addition, if the insurance companies decide we get to pay our $500 deductible and they give us a check for the balance of the $3,000 repair estimate should we really make the repairs or should we take that money and get a “new to us” truck.  In addition, should we spend the $3,000 the truck needs to tighten the front end and the steering? So many options.

We went to the Tree Nursery in Kanarraville Thursday and found the perfect tree for the flower box.  A lovely weeping spruce, so we went back today to get it.  At the end of one street was the brightest red Tahoe XL you’ve ever seen.  2001, 134,000 miles on it.  Original owner. Lived in the garage it’s whole life.  It was calling my name.  We stopped and looked at it on the way home and decided maybe it wasn’t the right fit.  A couple of hours later we were back talking about what we’re going to do with vehicles.  Tracy calls the owners and we go buy “Big Red”. Mom would approve – of both the new tree and the Tahoe.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!

 

Goodbye My Friend

It was fun watching the Salt Lake City Soccer Team (RSL) play their game in the snow.  The ball didn’t roll away as fast, the players were ever cautious about slipping and getting hurt, and they won their first game since August of 2016.

After the news was over I looked outside and it was snowing here.  The weather man said it would, but it seemed like fiction – it’s April.  But April showers will bring May flowers.  And you know those are for the living. 

As Tracy finishes up fixing the front flower box I need to decide what flowers will live there and what native plants.  It will have water for the hot dry summer days but otherwise they will have to live on what mother nature provides.  That’s what my mother is doing these final days of her life – living off what she has within her and the morphine that smothers the pain from more suffering.  What a terrible way to end one’s life.  Whether you get treatment or not,  it saps your energy, life and spirits.  There’s no sense sending flowers while she’s still with me because she can’t see or smell them.  So I’ll just have to depend on her knowing that I’m with her in spirit. 

I’d plant her favorite pink rose, but the deer with eat them long before the aphids.  And carnations take too much water.  So pink penstemon will be planted in her remembrance.  Pink was her favorite color – she would have loved that 56 carat pink diamond (since she’s an April child) that was just at Sothebys.  She will pass on this week and I will be thankful for the snow.  The peace and quiet it provides as it covers the scars on the earth – much like death.  May you rest in peace my friend.

As for me, I shall begin life again, sine it too has been on hold since August of 2016, waiting for the phone to ring with a strange voice on the other end telling me my best friend has passed on.  I’ll miss her – but I’ll watch for the pink penstemon to bloom each year and remember.

A Look Back at 2016

It’s past time for my annual review of goals, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I usually try to write this prior to Winter Solstice, but this year it’s been hard to focus. 

My Mother had taken the time to reflect on the past year and commented that she had no idea how I had managed to get through 2016, little alone reach any of my goals.  I thought about that and decided I should look back at the year first, then look at what I might have accomplished.

We started the year living in our 25’ travel trailer.  We had sold our home in Escalante, UT and had purchased a new (to us) home in Enoch, but had allowed the sellers to rent back until February 1st.  We put everything we owned in our commercial building in Escalante and went to Quartzsite, AZ for the month of January.  Tracy was changing his hobby/craft one more time from photography to lapidary arts and needed some equipment.

It didn’t take him long to find an 18” and a 24” rock saw.  The bigger problem was how to get them home.  “No problem”, he says.  “We’ll buy a utility trailer and run them home”.  After driving nearly every street in Quartzsite, we finally found an old beater that would work.  It looked like the devil, but was of sound structure and had bigger tires than most.  The saw dealer arranged for the parks’ forklift use and the saws were loaded in no time.

I took advantage of the opportunity and purchased an old mine car complete with rails for front yard décor.  It just fit in the unused trailer space.  We hooked that poor trailer to the truck and headed for Enoch.  That was after we spent a whole day wiring the lights on the trailer.  The ones there didn’t work and we couldn’t haul it 500 miles through 3 states without lights. 

It was a 3-day “adventure” to “run” the trailer home, park it and return. Sore rumps and wet weather made for a “just drive” trip.  On the return trip, we got to the motel at Henderson and were greeted with a pack of big horn sheep. Not something you expect to see in the heart of the Las Vegas Valley.  But all that lovely, well-kept grass was too much to resist for their afternoon nap in the shade of the city park trees.

We returned to Quartzsite for some beads, picks, signs, and the 6 buckets of rough rock we purchased at the Saturday Auction.  Those and the 4 buckets of found rock were tucked under the trailer and we headed to La Mesa, Ca. to see my mom.

Her health has continued to decline and as trustee for the Family trust I needed to gather paperwork for the tax returns.  We took her to Balboa Park and the natural History Museum.  She had ever been.  It’s a place I spent many hours as a teenager, meditating as the pendulum clock knocked over little wooden pegs that marked every 5 minutes, as it swayed back and forth in long arcs across the shiny floor.

Time to return to Quartzsite and retrieve the trailer and rocks.  The sellers had left our new home the 15th of January and the house was ready for repairs.  We were ready for our next major adventure – or so we thought.

Until next time – – –

Thanksgiving Week 2016

We had quite the rainstorm this AM.  Now it’s turned to snow.  At first it wasn’t sticking, but now it is.  I need to visit the post office today, but I’ll wait until it quits.  Glad we got all the outdoor chores done before this started. I still have to store the patio chairs, but now they’ll have to dry first.

 Good friends came into town yesterday and we spent several hours “catching up”.  It was nice to just sit  and talk.  Spent the rest of the day writing our Thanksgiving cards and getting our family letter out.  They’ll go in the mail today.

Now I can start working on earrings for the Christmas Market in two weeks. I have Christmas Candy Baskets ready, except for putting in the candy.  Rock Candy, of course.  A few will have chocolate peppermint pieces.  In the meantime, I’ll try and get the blessing blanket done for a wonderful lady who is expecting her first in March. Then I’m going to go back to knitting baby outfits – more fun.  I’ve found  some new needles I’m going to order that replace the sets of  5 double pointed (DP) needles with three bent double pointed needles.  DP needles are okay with larger yarn, but I have trouble holding onto No. 1 and 2 needles.  Old hands are not as pliable.  It will be fun to try something new.  I have several patterns I’d like to try that call for small size DP needles.  And I need to settle on a project for the hospital.  I’m thinking a scarf would probably be the best, I won’t have to count stitches, just knit. Then again, I might be better off keeping track of a pattern – busy mind to go with busy hands.  On second thought, maybe I’ll do both.  LOL

November is about over and I have much to be grateful for – a wonderful husband and partner, good kids doing their thing, a wonderful house that is warm and dry, plenty of food and #enough money to live a nice life.  Every year, about this time, I sit down and go over my goals from last year and make new ones for the year to come.  I’ll do that this week.  Stay tuned – – –

Happy Sandwich Day

History of Sandwich Day
There is a commonly known story about the history of the word sandwich, and it’s attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. One piece of that history that’s rarely discussed is the meaning of the word Sandwich and the town it comes from. Sandwich is a city in the shire of Kent in England, originally the word was spelled Sondwic, and then Sandwic, and ultimately in 1086 as Sandwice. The name of the town came from its purpose and its claim to fame, it was a market town. So what does Sandwich actually mean? “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.

John Montagu was the 4th Earl of this town, a royal title that essentially means ‘chieftain’ and placed them in charge of a territory in the King’s stead. John was a well a known lover of card games, and it’s said he originally ordered his meat to be delivered to him between two slices of bread so that he would not get his grease laden fingers on the card, nor require a fork to eat. As people heard of this, they started ordering their food “The Same as Sandwich”, and eventually just “a sandwich”. From such things are legendary culinary delights born. Sandwich Day celebrates both the Earl himself, and the wonder he brought to us in the form of the sandwich.