Friday, February 28, 2014

They've got it!

Beautiful... but I still don't want to see it at 4
Why does 4:00 am even have to be a time on my clock?  I am fairly positive that when my work day ends at 8:00 pm I am not going to be loving this.  It seems that every time I have to close I end up awake crazy early.  I think my internal clock might need reset.

I am fairly certain that I am not a helicopter mom after all.  Oh I might worry obsessively, and I might "need" for my kids to either call or text me on a regular basis to feel okay with the world.  Last night, sitting in a meeting for the youngest of the twins (called by their mother) I realized that I am actually a fairly hands off mom. 

The girls are 18, the oldest of the two often goes on trips to other states with her friends, skiing, sight seeing, simply doing whatever she wants. No one ever invites us to a meeting about this, or really lets us know until we see it on Facebook for that matter.  The youngest, not so much.  Her first true foray into adulthood is a trip that she and originally three of her closest friends are planning for spring break.

Some of it seemed like normal concerns, truly it did... Insuring they had enough money for gas and expenses for the week. A bit of concern about three, one of the four had to drop out, young ladies traveling for almost thirteen hours.  Other things were simply mind boggling! 

Yes I want a text to know you have arrived, a call would definitely make me happier. But I can honestly say that asking for a call or text every half hour is a bit much.  I wonder if the older twin is going to have the same requirement as she is going with someone's family?

These girls are not flighty or prone to doing stupid things.  And they are 18, I get that the federal government has now decided that being 26 means you are still a child and able to be on mom and dad's insurance, but truthfully, it wasn't that long ago that 18 meant you were a "full grown adult", responsible for your own life, income, family, home etc.  Heck, used to be at that point you were an old maid if you weren't already married and had children by that point. You know putting you out to pasture. Heck at 18 you are old enough to fight and die for your country, even if you can't have an alcoholic drink.

I understand worrying about your child.  And if these girls had selected Daytona Beach or were known to throw or attend wild parties, well then there might be a bit more cause for concern.  These young ladies are simply not like that.

In fact listening to them speaking, when the adults weren't it was easy to understand why I didn't feel fearful.  They were talking about things like insuring they had requested off work for the week, debating on which car to take based on the reliability factor and gas mileage.  They had done their home work.
Seriously the one in pink, is such a party animal... NOT!
They knew the mileage, they knew the mpg of car they had selected, they were the ones that said "okay can we talk about money" when the parents had wandered off into "stranger danger" and appropriate clothing to wear into a bathroom.  They were the ones that could not understand the fixation with there being four girls, as opposed to the now three.   These young women had it all thought through.  They'd even been forward thinking enough to reserve a spring break campsite months ago to insure they had a spot.

I actually cringed inside when Dad offered to use some of his vacation and go down with them.  I watched three bright eyed young women appear crushed, while three mom's looked very triumphant.  I knew it was out of love, and I am so glad he knew it was not a good idea. They need to grow, they didn't need an old man chaperone. And when you are 18 and planning your first adult getaway,   61 year old Dad, is just that an OLD man.  Not to mention a serious bath of cold water on your dreams.

I am proud of our youngest daughter and her friends.  One I know well, she's gone on many adventures with us or our oldest daughter, the other I met for the first time last night.  I only had a few questions going in, the biggest being why single out this child when the other was also going on a trip.  It seemed discriminatory to me. 

I figured that out last night.  By sitting back and watching.  The youngest is the most mature, she is a young woman, she is planning out her life and her break out from being a child.  It's uncomfortable when you are a controlling parent to watch, I am sure. I am blessed as the "step parent", I get to love and watch her and I am not really allowed to have a say in things so my view is less tainted.

In two weeks the girls will head off on their first grown up, grand adventure!  I will worry about idiots on the road while they are, wait for the first pictures and I will say a few extra prayers.  I am not worried about three young women that are chasing their dreams.  Wanting to take that last big break before graduation and a head long plunge into adulthood. Wanting to spend a week lounging in their bikini's with their toes in the sand, sipping sodas and watching the cute guys. 
This girl... she's got this!
 It's a rite of passage...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Loving the layers of life!

Layer after layer, I could feel the stress sliding away.  The weekend didn't really go the way I planned, but isn't that what they say about the best laid plans?

It was a beautiful day yesterday, high 50's into the 60's after the brutal cold of late, it was far more than welcomed.  We had decided to spend the day out in the sunshine, cruising around, taking advantage of the rare welcome treat.  Such a great gift.  Wind on our faces, sunshine in our eyes, the breeze gentle inviting us to whisk away our stress to the sounds of our Harley.

We started the day running a quick errand, then off to the funeral service for a dear friend of Hubby's mother-in-law.  It was beautiful and everything I do not want when it's my time.  I want a celebration of my life, I want laughter, and beauty.  And I certainly do not want to be laid out looking nothing like myself because my essence will no longer be there.  Jeannie C Riley has a song... "Sing Me No Sad Songs"... I hope my family will always remember that.

After a morning and early afternoon spent in a beautiful Lutheran Church and a sun drenched cemetery I was completely ready to ride.  And we did for a couple of wondrous hours, calming, centering, enjoyable!  Definitely what I needed. 

I was a bit quiet, I was wrapped in my own mood.  Sometimes I get that way. I was struggling with missing my kids, my perception that maybe Hubby wasn't listening to my needs (when maybe I wasn't hearing his?) I was just in a mood.  It was dark and sullen.

Watching the clouds roll in promised me an even darker day, or maybe not.  Hubby and I were going to head straight to the store on the bike... one stop, etc... we didn't.  It was getting darker, my left arm was hurting too much to manage getting back on the bike another time, so we headed home.  Let the boys enjoy a few minutes of the beautiful day and then off for supplies.

My girl has been wanting "mom's lasagna", she didn't tell me until too late last weekend, so I was not able to get it made. Last week at work was overwhelming, it happens.

Her excitement at knowing I was making it was all the motivation I needed.  I had spent the early morning tidying my house, doing laundry and making beds, I was definitely in home making mode.  Probably why I was missing my kids.

Once we got home, Hubby laid down to take a nap. Me? I broke out my George Straight collection and started cooking.  Listening to the old tunes that I love so much I started on pans of lasagne, the recipe is the same one I have used since I was in seventh grade, learned to make it in Home Ec.  Definitely not going to help anyone with the math on that.  While pots bubbled, meat browned and cheeses melded together for that wonderful taste and flavor, I was singing along (yes off key and out of tune) to songs that filled my heart with joy and centered me.

As George begged the lady to give him back his Chair, I started layering.  Each layer drew me into a realm that I thrive in.  With each layer I felt more at peace.  As I put the final touches on the third pan, grating the Parmesan fresh so that the flavor wasn't muted, I was ready to start on the dessert.  For some reason I am drawn to the old tastes and flavors.  Things that comforted me as a child, still comfort me.  I have a cookbook with the recipes from the 40's, at times it is a challenge to follow, after all we are all so spoiled with how recipes are written today, but it is worth the struggle.  I made a couple of pineapple upside down cakes.  One for us, one for my girl.

I wish that my sweet son was not so far, I would love to send him a good home cooked meal.  I am still trying to sort that one out.

I love being a home maker, I love taking care of my family.  It is who and what I am.

Upside down cakes in the oven, lasagna wrapped and ready for delivery, or the freezer in our case.  I cut up a few packages of chicken for my boys.  Treats for the week.

Aren't the colors so beautiful against the Polish Pottery Plate?

The smile on my girl's face, the hug that was out of this world... it made that 45 minute drive each way worth it.  I felt complete, whole, I felt needed.  For me that is critical to my being.

Today, didn't go as planned either.  My fibro has been making itself known for a bit now, and evidently there was a fee to be paid for that joy, the sudden temperature drop didn't make it any better.  I had promised a couple of haircuts, instead... I am still sitting in my comfy chair, exhausted to the point that moving isn't happening, me and my old dog and I took a long nap, I did a bit of knitting, mostly I have just sat and enjoyed Sherlock Season 3 with Hubby (so glad son convinced us to watch!). It's okay, it happens.  It didn't help me achieve my plans, but knowing tomorrow starts a 13 day stretch complete with longer hours on the weekend, I decided I should listen to what my body was saying.

Pair #3

I've chatted with my boy, hugged my girls and had a great couple of days with Hubby and the boys... maybe it wasn't such a bad way to spend the weekend after all...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Times they are a changing....

Was that the chirp of a spring song bird?  I am sitting here waking up and sipping my coffee, and I believe I just heard the soft chirp of a bird.  It's been so long...

This winter has been brutal.  Over the top, exhausting and simply unpleasant.  The past few days has seen the snow finally melt, the temperatures rise and the tense attitudes of  many (myself included) begin to thaw.
White caps on the Mississippi from the Stan Span
I know that I've been absent, I've had some soul searching I had to do.  I feel that I am truly in a transition stage that has required some in depth attention.  The kind that occurs in the depths of the heart and soul and is not for public consumption.  I feel as if this deeply frozen winter has been helping guide me through some very basic changes and transformations.  Maybe I have been hibernating?

Work has been filled with challenges.  Big ones, things that were out of everyone's control, and they are on-going.  Surviving the destruction and being positive and upbeat for others when you are feeling like you are drifting (that's sort of ironic considering it was a flood) and so uncertain is exhausting! But we have all been pulling together and we are coming out on the other side.

Home has been full of changes and adjustments also.  This year, we truly became empty-nesters.  And while I am not so much sad that my youngest has moved on to start his life, I do miss his close presence and feel a bit lost.  My girl isn't so far, but 40 minutes is far when life is as busy and hectic as it's been.  My kids and I have always been a close knit team, rarely far apart, and even then close enough to include. They are feeling a bit scattered to me.  Trying to figure out when I am going to see my youngest around his life and the distance is a bit frustrating. Also balancing the need to not be a "helicopter" mom. 

The youngest two have always been hit or miss.  Their mom never instilled in them the importance of including Dad in their lives, in fact in the eleven years (tomorrow actually) that I have lived here, Dad usually hears about the wonderful stuff after the fact so there is no chance of him being included. They are adults now, but because of that we rarely see them.  They are busy with their lives, they are seniors, and sadly because of the way things were when they were younger seem to find little time to squeeze in time for their Daddy that loves them more than there are words. He's an amazing Daddy, nothing he would not do or give to his girls and because of forces beyond his control is forced into "a shadow waiting in the wings" roll.  It makes me angry and frustrated.

The empty nest is looming large at home.  Even the critters notice it.  This winter, the time of change has been altering my perspective.

I am looking at changing those spare bedrooms, that is all they are now.  Like I said the girls rarely come to the house and they will be heading to college soon. It seems wasteful somehow.  Just random odds and ends stashed out of the way in their rooms a place to stash the things I have been too busy or lazy to put away.   The fragments of their childhoods waiting to be cleaned out and donated.

It really is a new starting place, a new journey is forming for Hubby and I .  It's odd. 

About a month ago, we decided to make a few changes, those first steps I guess. We stopped eating out.  I love to cook, but rarely have the energy or make the time.  I was looking at expenses and realizing that we were wasting a great deal of money on substandard meals simply because  I perceived myself to be too busy and tired. It's been over a month now, and honestly, I have no desire to go out to eat.  NONE!  I have discovered the joy that cooking at home brings me.  That peace that I had when we went to the country, it was here.  Just like it was in Germany where fast food isn't prevalent and dinner at home was the common theme. 

We went to lunch with the Pastors and their wives last weekend.  The company was amazing the atmosphere and food... blah!  I couldn't wait to get home to cook dinner.

We drive past the packed restaurants on our way home, parking lots over flowing, lines waiting at the door. I think about the noise, the disruptions, the chaos.  The waiting, the inability to have a private peaceful conversation. I don't miss it.

Sure there are nights when I am so tired I want to cry, and Hubby sitting in the living room relaxing while I am cooking drives me to the point of wanting to do bodily harm. The reality of the moment isn't that I am "slaving" over dinner while he is resting... the reality is that I am angry that the rest of my world infringes on my energy (which isn't unlimited) and interrupts what I find joy in. 

Making a nourishing , tasty meal for my family.  Even if my family at home now is just Hubby and I.  My kitchen is far too small to make cooking together a positive experience. And frankly, I am a very selfish cook, I want my space... all of it and I don't want you messing with what I am making.  Period! I want you to sample when I ask and stay out of my way.  And I want the joy that comes from placing a good dinner in front of you.  I want the satisfaction that is older than our lifetimes of providing for my family and my friends.

Hubby and I are making changes, we are changing things up, in a positive way.  We are working on getting back to basics and finding ways to not only survive, but thrive in this challenging economic world that we are living in today.

I keep reading things that make me shake my head.  I keep experiencing things that make me question if people are seriously that disconnected with life.  I think I am ready to start blogging again.   There are many things on the horizon, some will be challenging, some will be easy, I have a feeling at the end of the day all will be rewarding and transformational.

I am learning to set boundaries for myself, I am learning to stand my ground, and I am learning to move life forward... It's all about the journey...

there are bound to be rough waters...

Yep... those were song birds, the season is changing...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

picking up pieces and sorting it out...

I will always have your back, I am loyal to a fault. If I have given you my word, If I have promised you my loyalty, if you are my friend, family, love or even someone who's position in my life assures them my respect, for the position if not the person.  You have all I have to give.

I might not agree with you, I might not want to do what is asked of me. But I will always give you everything I have to give.

All I have ever asked from anyone in return is to be treated fairly and with kindness.  I have always only wanted to be treated with respect.

I don't ask for favors, I don't give less than is expected of me. Oh it might take me a few moments to catch up, maybe I can't be super woman and work miracles.  But I won't stop until I have met the goals put before me.

I don't demand nor appreciate being singled out in a group for praise or recognition.  That isn't my style.  I prefer a soft, genuine thank you when I go above and beyond, or when I have accomplished all my tasks.  I want to be appreciated for what I bring to the table.

I have never been someone motivated by mean, biting words, demands or negative pressure.  I will always pull my own weight and I will pull yours too, so that we all reach the goal together. 

The people that I love, that know me.  They know this to be true. Those that are special to me, they know I will always go above and beyond, I will fight the good fight, and give them 100%, more if I can.

Those that don't know me.  Those that have never taken the time get to know me... the ones that will use everything I have to give... those that take credit for my work (when I won't complain - that isn't my style)... those that demand, demand and demand... yet never give so much as an ounce of positive...

Those are the ones that are tearing me up... Making me miserable... taking my joy...

I haven't written, I haven't had the energy or what I've needed.  I spend too much time wanting to curl up in a ball and give up.  I hate that I am allowing others to control my feelings and emotions. I hate that I will still give as much as humanly possible to the things that I have committed to.  I hate that I am not the person that can simply walk away and forget about it all. I hate that I allow myself to be used.

For those of you that truly know me, know I love you and that this too shall pass. Those that don't... well it doesn't matter.. does it?

I might be "gone" for a bit, I have some stuff to work through... I don't know... This year has been hard so far, it's wearing me out, tearing me up... leaving a worn out woman...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Blessings in the shadows...

It's amazing what 12 hours, team effort, phone calls, and love and support from family and friends can make to your world.  This morning I was ready to throw in the towel, my white flag of surrender was being hoisted up the flag pole.  Tonight, I feel energized and in better control.  I am exhausted, but I feel empowered.

Hubby and I teamed up to tackle the house, it feels like home again.  Christmas is completely put away... well not completely.  I could not bring myself to take down the Snowy village yet.  It matches outside and makes my boy feel closer.

I got to talk to my son, text messaged with my daughter, instant messaged with family and friends near and far.  Today I got my cup filled.  The "me world" feels more balanced.  The work world is not really something controllable.  I wish it were, but that is not the nature of working in the non-profit world. My family and friends reminded me that I am loved and supported, that many of them have walked in my shoes or ones quite similar and not only know, but understand, my pain and challenges. They get my feelings, and know that my rant was simply a survival method.

Hubby and I have been toying with cutting the cable.  We've been looking at all angles, trying to decide if it would make us happy.  Hubby is a movie fanatic, he loves his television and movies, its how he escapes from reality.  Me on the other hand... for me it is background noise. Occasionally something will catch my attention, but it doesn't make or break my day to have television on. 

We have been plotting ways to better control our finances, trying to finally get ahead, again when you work for a non-profit, you are also a non-profiteer.  And we would like to eventually retire, oh my that is funny!  Anyhow, we've both been complaining a bit about the high cost of internet, cable and cell phones.  A phone call later, and I have an extra $181 in my bank account each month... okay $161, I did subscribe to Netflix and HuluPlus.  Hubby is happy and I am happier. 

Never before has AT&T offered me a better cell phone plan that I had and I've had the same one for a really long time.  Who knew they didn't even have roll over minutes anymore?  Guess I made the call at the perfect time, I was hoping to save $15 by dropping Hubby's line (which he hasn't used for a really long time... he just didn't want to lose the number) and that ended up being a $40 savings.  WooHoo!!

U-Verse didn't carry many channel's I like, but I don't expect them to carry what I want only, the variety wasn't there for the amount of money I was paying.  Now Hubby can watch so much variety, we now have all the HD channels on the locals, we didn't that have before.  It's a good thing. Eventually we will put a Roku on all three TV's that we actually watch. The girls will take their television when they go away to college.  

I feel more in control.  Just something that small can change your feelings and emotions.  Having your home the way you like, having just a few major victories on any front can make you feel empowered.

Today, I got a bit of control over finances, my Christmas stuff finally found it's way downstairs and into storage, I have a kitchen table, knit a few inches on my sock and loved on my puppies.  Talked with Hubby and felt like I regrouped. 

Today... I needed today!

I feel empowered to take on tomorrow... I feel like I am refreshed.  To my family and friends that supported and empowered me... Thank you!  I love and cherish each of you!  I am blessed even when I don't always realize it!

dreams... drifting away...

Woke up this morning to more snow... I can officially say, I am no longer a fan of snow.  Sure it's pretty, but it is causing more issues than it's beauty is worth.  Sure the big fluffy flakes drifting down were absolutely beautiful.  Watching my poor pups trying to navigate it so they could go potty not.  My old guy scared me to bits yesterday when his little legs got so cold that he could not make it back up the three stairs to me as his feet were too cold.  And that was in just three minutes.  I am officially ready for spring!

It's a good thing I have no where to be this weekend.  That my plans all revolve around my home.  Around the chores that I haven't had time to do, and a bit of knitting and crochet.  I also need to find my Bible.  I misplaced it somewhere, and it's driving me crazy.  I've uploaded one on my Nook, and I have several others, but that is the one that I like.  Hubby bought it for me years ago, I got to pick it based on me.  I miss it.

Lately I am missing a lot of things.  My mind might be at the top of the list.  It's been such a crazy year, I guess you can tell that from reading my blog... okay, so what I really meant was from not being able to because I haven't had time to sit and write. 

I feel like I haven't had time to do most everything.

Hubby and I don't even really have time to have a life it seems.  The average day goes like this... wake up at 5, fix breakfast, pack lunch, take care of the animals, iron work clothes (because I haven't had time to squeeze it in), hurry and shower and get ready for work (usually leaving with wet hair because I haven't had time to dry it), make the 20 minute drive to work that really takes almost an hour.  Arrive at work as close to 8 as is humanly possible... plan to be able to leave as close to 5/530 as possible, hope to have at least thirty minutes for lunch, reality is... I am thankful for almost 20 minutes that was only interrupted three times.  Then watch the clock tick past 5/530 as one thing after another comes up for one or the other of us.  Maybe head out by 630 for that 20 minute drive that inevitably is closer to 40.  Get home, let the dogs out, unpack left over lunch that we never got to eat, fix dinner and feel like dropping from sheer exhaustion by 800 pm. 

Everything seems to get the lion's share of our life, except us.  I know that a lot of it is our fault.  Hubby and I are both people that if we tell you we will get something done, we will get it done.  We don't walk away and leave simply because we are tired.  End result is that whenever something needs done... it gets handed to us.  We aren't the ones that say... well it's 5:00 and I've been here since 8:00 am, let me stack everything up and go, it will be here tomorrow.  If we did, we might have more time to have a life.

Lately my frustration level is growing.  I want to finally haul all the boxes down the stairs and put Christmas away.  They have lost their charm.  I want time to spend doing silly things with Hubby. I miss it.  I would have loved to have woken him up for a walk in that beautiful snow this morning, it was my favorite kind, big fluffy flakes.  I thought about it while I was making coffee before cleaning the kitchen that had been neglected the last few days.  And then I thought about the bags that are always under his eyes lately, and how tired he's been.  And I let him sleep. 

Down in his peaceful cocoon all toasty in his man cave.  Hubby, has not been sleeping well.  He simply has too much on his mind.  So every night he wanders down there sometime during the night and snuggles up and watches t.v. until his mind settles back down. I can hear the faint sound drifting up through the vent.

I am at a loss as to how to turn this all around.  I really truly am.  I feel like the faster I run, the faster this darn treadmill goes.  I can't keep up.  I am getting to where I don't want to.  It's bad, really bad, when leaving work after another physically and emotionally draining day walking past a group of homeless folks laughing, that you seriously wonder if maybe they aren't better off.

Each day, there is another news story about more taxes, raising taxes, etc. Every time I sit down to pay my bills there is an increase.  At some point in the last couple of years they managed to pass a new "law" that allows them to increase the cost of water/sewer by 15% each year in October.  I wonder if the folks that bought into the line "it will only be a fifteen cent increase"... realized that the 15% increase would be greater and greater each year.  Our water bill, when there where five of us in the house was $25 per month.  Now it's just Hubby and I, I only do laundry once a week and three loads at that, you would think it would be less... nope... now it's $40 per month.  Someone should have done some math. 

I feel like we are working so hard to simply fund someone other than ourselves.  It was a "slap me in the face" moment explaining a pay statement to someone recently.  They asked what value do Medicare, Social Security and a few other things have to me.  And knowing how young they were and how unlikely either of those were of existing when they needed them, having to answer that question was hard. They did research on another $55 coming out of their check, finding out that it didn't matter how much they paid into that fund they would still only get a certain maximum, and that money was funding other people's retirements that had been promised but not budgeted for, was another eye opener.

I am tired, I am grouchy, I feel like I don't even have time to have a life.  Simply to work for someone else, squeeze in the bare necessities for Hubby and I around the rest of it, and dream of a better day some other time.  I am getting really tired of dreaming, really tired of hoping and wishing.  I want to enjoy my husband, I want to have time to love on my pets, spend time with my kids and grand daughter and not when I am simply too worn out to do it.  As for having dreams of any other kind... right now it feels hopeless...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

bringing back Rockwell...

I am still marveling at the Rockwellian experience from last night. Wishing that my driveway had been paved and not rock.  Amazed that for the first time in 11 years of living here that I encountered good old fashioned work ethic.  Something I respect more than anything else.

It snowed again yesterday, seems to be a common theme this winter.  I used to long for home, for Erie and its snowy winters.  I'm pretty much over that! In fact way over that!  Actually, I am starting to understand the value of moving south. 

Regardless of that, a young man, probably middle to late twenties, showed up on my doorstep yesterday evening.  He didn't look particularly warm and was wearing several bags on his feet in place of boots.  He was tall and thin, wearing a too thin jacket and those thin gloves you buy for a dollar at most stores.  He had a snow shovel in one hand and was offering to shovel my drive for $15 dollars. 

I wish I had been forward thinking.  I wish that I had come up with an alternate idea at that moment in time.  Hubby had already shoveled the deck and an uneven rock driveway is not the easiest thing to even think about shoveling.  My mind hadn't thought about the fact that even a light shoveling would have made a difference.  I hadn't thought. 

This young man, evidently needed money, and was willing to work for it. 

The willing to work for it part is what I am still thinking about.  So few people today are willing to work for those few dollars in their pockets.  Maybe it's where I live, I truly want to believe that everyone is not the same.  Maybe it is completely different.  Maybe...

I have a strong work ethic, I don't want hand outs and I don't like to give them.  I am a firm believer in a hand up, never in a hand out.  I believe in helping each other to achieve success. I wish I had been able to help that young man.  I didn't have any cash, but I would have driven up to the bank.  It would have been worth it.

I long for the time of Rockwell.  I long for a simpler time.  When the money we spent went to people that we knew.  Your beautician was your neighbor and the "company" she supported was her own.  There was value to what your money bought. Because if she did a bad job, you didn't let her do it again and that was money she needed.  If you needed bread you went to the local bakery, your baker took pride in what he produced and you could read the ingredient list of flour, yeast, water, sugar and the occasional egg.  Your butcher was where you got your meat, the drug store had your prescriptions and knew what you were taking and protected you from drug mix ups.

Somewhere we lost touch with working hard for what we want.  Somehow, that once common action of knocking on a door and offering to shovel someone's drive to help make ends meet sort of faded away.

Doing things for your neighbors also has taken a beating in recent years.  Yesterday, as all of the directors were closing up the Y,  Hubby had gone out to warm up the car and take off the layer of ice that had encompassed everything.  I was just starting to worry about him as we were locking the door.  I could say that I was surprised by what I saw, but I wasn't.  I am sure those last remaining members leaving into the storm were.  Hubby, bundled against the cold, armed with an ice scraper had cleaned the windows of every car on the lot.  They all might have had to leave in yuck, but they didn't have to stay outside and scrape windows in it.  I was simply so proud.  And I am sure those folks that tried to tip him where shocked at the refusal. 

I don't for a second imagine that life was easier back then, though I doubt it was harder.  It was just harder in a different way.  It was refreshing yesterday.  It was heart warming.  Maybe the pendulum is swinging back towards a more normal time. Maybe just maybe folks are starting to realize that 99 weeks of unemployment is not a career choice.  Maybe folks are starting to realize that handouts are eating at their self-worth.  Maybe...

Yesterday, tilted something inside me.  Maybe that young man will still be wanting some extra work this summer.  I can never keep up with the grass mowing, because of the hours I work.  If not maybe someone else will want to make a few dollars the old fashioned way... by earning it.

Anyone else miss those times?  Or am I simply living in a rose colored memory missing something completely unreal?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hidden in Plain Sight...

A restful weekend at home.  That's what I needed.  It's what I took.  January caused me to break a lot of rules that I have for myself.  The adventures it brought with it, pushed boundaries that I knew better than to cross.  I am paying for it now.

I was lucky enough to get Lyme disease almost 18 years ago. I won't say it was the greatest experience in the world, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  But 18 years is a long time and I have learned how to control the remnants of issues left by it without taking medication (yuck!) and for the most part functioning normally.

I have learned the boundaries that I need to respect, and how to control nasty flares over those years.  Generally, I am a bit stringent on what I will and won't do. Last month, I threw caution aside and proceeded without fear or remembrance of what would be waiting. 

As always, I remember now.  Stupidity knows no boundaries.  I left property management because I simply couldn't physically take it.  The brutal cold has not helped.

It will wain again, it always does. It just takes time. The rational side of my brain knows that the amount of time is all relative, it feels like forever, soon it will be forgotten again. I am sure it is very similar to what all the Broncos fan's felt last night.  I am not a sports fan but those few hours lasted forever.
finished number 2

I took the time I needed to be still and as stress free as I could this weekend.  The majority of the time was spent in my jammies, curled up in my comfy chair, working on projects that required little movement.  Hubby and I watched hours and hours of old movies and television shows. It was easier to get up today.  Not sure it was enough time, but at least it was a start.

started number 3
This morning will be busy... I hope it doesn't undo all of the weekend's rest.  Sadly, I can't curl up and mend for longer.  The turtle's aquarium needs cleaned, the laundry needs done and so does the ironing.  Major chores will have to wait.  I will take it slow.  I don't have much of a choice.  It doesn't mean I won't be productive and take care of my responsibilities, it means I will simply move slower in getting them done.

If you have friends or family that have "invisible" illnesses, please try and be understanding. When you encounter a person that seems to be moving slower or struggling please try and remember that not everything meets the eye.  Sometimes that person is struggling with things that are bigger than themselves.

Sometimes compassion and understanding will help someone more than you know. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


bring on the rain...
Happy February!  Your arrival on such a soggy note is very welcome.  Your predecessor was less than kind to too many people.  I was so concerned about the weather forecast when I went to bed last night.  There was a forecast of ice and snow.  I didn't want to wake up to more snow.  The country has been through such a strange weather pattern this year.  It happens.  Weather moves in cycles, it's just that time, but I personally am tired of snow.

Frankly I am tired of a lot this year.  I knew yesterday was going to be a crazy one, when a man with a towel on his head literally walked in front of us on the highway on the way to work yesterday.  Just strolled across.  He wasn't in a hurry, he wasn't about to walk a bit faster, he simply wasn't about to do anything normal. 

Luckily, it wasn't a normal day, and for a change we weren't in the thick of traffic, because on a normal day there would have been no slowing down to almost a full stop from sixty miles an hour.  Not without causing a massive accident.  But God must love idiots, because the road was fairly clear and we didn't hit him.  There were no other cars close enough to cause us or him problems.

Sadly January 2014 went out in true January 2014 form.

Yesterday was full of hateful, mean people.  Yesterday was stressful and ugly.  The "black moon" the second new moon of the month was pouring insanity all over.  I don't know if I talked to anyone that wasn't feeling it's effects.

There were bright spots, a friend that I hadn't seen in far too long suddenly appeared!  That made me smile and feel refreshed.  My girl called, she had exciting news and it was the start of a change in the day for me, it made me feel renewed, it made me feel hope.  My son and I talked online for hours, it calmed my day, mellowed my world. I love that the internet has the ability to close the distance between people and bring them together.

Today starts a new month, today the moon is behind us.  Today is a chance to start fresh.  The rain feels like it is washing away so much negativity and stress.  I hope so... Like I said January was simply not a good month.  We survived it, we moved forward and we are just fine.

This weekend is quiet, this weekend is bathed in peace.  I am prayerful that this weekend starts a fresh run at things.  Maybe this can be a new, New Year, because it needs it.  I think I am declaring this my reboot of 2014.

There are good things on the horizon, there are positive things... I am excited about an opportunity to work with The Haven of Grace. I am almost done with pair two of socks for my knit along. I am hoping to visit my son this year (at least once).  Maybe even finally work through my yarn and fabric stashes, okay, maybe not.  Soon spring will be busting through the dreariness of winter, my garden will be planted... ah... the future is definitely looking more promising than the past month...


The sun is just breaking over the beautiful Smoky Mountains.  Watching it set last night was breathtaking! Tomorrow I will get up and ...