Friday, May 30, 2014

An amazing day...


What an amazing day it has ended up being!  After that sluggish start, dreary feeling and whiny, after a few cups of coffee.  After being sure it was going to be just another icky day.  The sunshine was bright, the medicines finally have started to work and my energy level is starting to come back.

Those are all great things, but not the best stuff... Like I said it's been amazing!

Hubby got the motorcycle out, so we could get a few miles in before the rain came.  It was coming, it was on it's way. But we were determined.  After all a week of ick, I needed to feel that freedom. We ran our errands and zipped around town.  When that kind of storm is lingering on the horizon, well you don't get far away.

Amazing started with the very first stop, the camera shop.  When we bought my camera Hubby had talked to the manager.  Seems we had found a bag of old disposable cameras, we had no idea of what, how old or if they could even be developed.  But we decided to give it a try, she'd seemed pretty confident they could develop them and we decided to give it a try.

Now it's confession time... I was terrified of picking up those pictures... We had some tragedies that could have been captured on them.  Things that would make me sad to see remnants of, memories that I will probably never decide I am okay with. What if they were there??

There were a few snippets, I didn't look at those, I couldn't. Twelve rolls were memories too precious for words.  We have to admit the thirteenth, well... there are simply no words.  We have no idea who those happy children and families were.  Never met any of them.  It was hysterical! But ah, those other 12 rolls.  Probably only about half of them are worth keeping, but that half...

2004 Washington me & my girl
We'd lost the majority of our wedding pictures due to an accident.  We have a few random shots, we had none of the reception.  As of this morning, we have an entire row of our wedding.  Shots that I had forgotten.  The kids, the laughter, the smiles, the love. Our wedding cake, and first toast as husband and wife.  These all exist again.

Take that... 2003 or 2004
There were pictures of my trip to Washington to see my daughter, and the trip to Michigan to take the boy to East Lancing for debate camp.  There are pictures of trips, and Halloween's long forgotten.  My son's sweet boyhood smile captured as he is playing with his wooden sword, stabbing Hubby for the victory in battle.  Camping trips and treasures all brought back to life.

Eureka Springs July 26, 2003
 




Oh the treasures...  I was pretty sickly back then so they are kind of frightening in my world to look at, but sweet just the same.

After the wonderful trip down memory lane we decided to make a stop at Savers, I know, I know it's a bad addiction.  But since I am going to be splitting my living room up between two rooms I really am trying to stretch the furnishings.  And Hubby had a feeling...

We walked in the door and almost tripped over two beautiful (once upon a time) end tables.  Bassett and solid wood.  With a smoked glass tops.  Again I wasn't sure I wanted to see what they were going to cost, but... we looked anyhow.  I didn't care that they were dirty and faded, I couldn't care less about that, they weren't destined to stay that way anyhow.  I was super thrilled to find them, and even more excited when hubby told me that it was only going to be $8.99 for both of them.  What??  Wait... don't forget the DD214... two tables for $6.24.... score!


No, I wasn't paying any attention at all to the fact that we'd arrived on the motorcycle and I was not even slightly going to be able to carry those home like that.  I had to get them.  Luckily, or unluckily depending on your perspective Savers will hold things after they are paid for, up to 24 hours.

I was pretty sure my day could not get any better, even though the dark clouds were rapidly coming in as we headed towards home and the SUV so we could get my tables.  Oh, my head was spinning on the drive home, every color had me trying to decide what colors to use on those tables. What was going to pop, while blending in with my new wood floors and the beautiful cream/blue curtains in the main living room.  What color from nature was going to match my deep chocolate colored sofa, the beautiful gold chair that has hung out in my basement for so many years.

We no sooner got home when the heavens decided everything needed a through cleaning, heavy downpours came through in waves.  After a wonderful lunch, and much conversation with Hubby I had decided on my color choices.  Time to get the tables...

No sooner do I walk in to pick up my tables and they have brought out a brand new, never been even sat on patio set for two.  A little cafe table with two chairs.  Perfect for our new deck.  The ideal place for us to sit and have morning coffee while we watch the sun rise over the woods behind our new home.


In two days we have found end tables, the dining room hutch, and a patio set, I haven't spent $70 yet...

Hubby and I have spent the evening working on those beautiful tables.  They are looking so beautiful.  The first two coats of paint are on.  One more tomorrow and then we will distress and stain.

That will happen around the trip we are going to take up to Pawnee, Illinois.  Weather permitting we are going to do a fund raising ride for The Wounded Warriors.  Something near and dear to our hearts.

A wonderful day like this... well it kind of makes up a little bit for the string of ick!

Let the Journey begin...

Seriously!  A weather vane!  I am in love!
It's Friday already. I know, that should be said with more enthusiasm and joy.  I mean after all it is FRIDAY!

It's just, well it's just a little sad.  I have been on vacation since last Friday, and well... I haven't accomplished anything I set out to do this vacation.  I have rested.  I have slept, I have spent days that I really don't remember clearly.  I have not vacationed.  I have not worked on getting my house cleaned out and packed up.  I have not done much of anything.  Heck I haven't even done the laundry or cooked really.

I am so tired of fighting whatever this mess is.  I hate medicines, pretty much feel that doctors are evil and have zero patience for anything dealing with illness. So the past five weeks have been most unpleasant.  The fact that I finally gave in and went to the doctor and ended up worse than when I went, well that doesn't sit well with me either.

So here it is a full week of vacation later, and I am finally feeling like I might be up to doing something productive.  Okay, maybe not productive, Hubby just told me that the forecast says clear skies until around 1 and then rain the rest of the weekend.  So, my vote is to hop on the back of that Harley and save a minute or two of this week.

She's waiting!
Productivity can seriously be over rated.

Right now, I am feeling frozen.  Overwhelmed might be more of the feeling.  Having been under the weather for so long, I am behind on everything.  Seriously, EVERYTHING!

Maybe Hubby shouldn't distract the nice man inspecting the roof...
We did the inspection on the house the other day, and well... it's starting to feel real.  We are moving.  It didn't feel concrete before, it felt like a dream.  Now, it's starting to feel like a full blown panic attack.  I woke up this morning arranging the kitchen in my head.  Spent a full hour doing that.

My girl has me painting walls in my mind also.  Yikes, talk about insane.  I do think I agree with her though... that wall with the beautiful fireplace needs to be a warm chocolate brown. Accented with the sandstone that I love so much.

Family Room/Living Room
Sitting in the house for a week with nothing to do, I surfed Pinterest...  Dangerous thing that is.  I will finally have a dining room.  It's the only thing I have truly missed since living here.  A real dining room.  I got rid of my dining room set when I moved here, there was no room.  A piece of it went to my daughter and I think it is still in her old house.  The table is in the basement, covered with remnants of crafting projects, paint, glues, spills and splashes. I think the bench is still around but most of the chairs have broken or gone.  It wasn't a collectors set, but it made me happy.  So thinking about that beautiful, albeit empty dining room just about made me giddy.  It was a clean slate, and I had nothing for it.

Surfing and day dreaming was quite an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Yet it wasn't getting me anywhere.  I've told you all about Savers, and how much I love that silly resale shop!  Yes, this from a woman that has little patience for resale shops.

So the other day, after a short motorcycle ride it was time to head to the inspection of the new house.  As we had a minute and it was on the way, I asked Hubby to humor me, I just knew that there was something at Savers I needed.

And there it was...

The hutch for my dining room.  I think I pinned about 10 hutches on Pinterest. Old beauties that were lovingly painted with chalk paint and waxed ready for their next 50 years of service.  I have simply fallen in love with the style.  And I was fairly positive that I would never find one.  And if I did, I would NEVER pay the price that someone would want for it.

Well, color me wrong!  As I walked back to the furniture section, I could tell there was a large amount of furniture in stock, something that's been rather unusual lately.  The back was to me, but I was fairly certain of what I was seeing.  She's missing two panes of glass... looks like she is missing a piece of her hardware (found it in the drawer).  But she is a beauty.  Made of real wood back in the 1960's, made to last.

I was rather hesitant to look at the price. Sure they were going to be a bit unreasonable.  I almost fainted.  It was marked at less than $40.  That alone is exciting.  Even more is the fact that Savers gives a military discount, and Hubby had his DD214 (discharge papers from the service).  I became the proud owner of that beauty for $29.00.  Shoot, you can't go out to eat for that amount of money.

The daughter helped us get her home, I had planned to work on it over the next few weeks around packing, something to help me feel more centered as we move. But this baby house of ours had other plans.  I can't stand it up with the low ceilings here.  Probably a good thing, even if it is blocking the hallway a bit, I really should focus on the rest of the stuff I have to do.  I can put it in the garage at the new house and get her all fixed up while decorating.

Living room
Now this is a master bedroom!
The Hubby and the Girl... seem to love hanging in the basement
Half of the basement...
I had planned to post pictures of the new house.  I even took my camera.  I just felt awkward taking pictures as the current owner had decided to stay home, he wanted to meet us. He's a delightful guy.  Daughter and I completely enjoyed meeting him, and listening to the stories of the home he built with love for his bride.  She passed away last year, you can hear the love in his voice, the loneliness too.  It makes our new home that much more special to know it's history and story.  To know it was built with love and filled with it for 21 years.  We will get to continue it's wonderful tradition!

So most pictures will have to wait.
Don't know what it is... but Daughter and I both love it!
Let the journey begin!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you!

The sun is gently peaking over the little ridge across the street.  It isn't sure if it wants to be a beautiful day today or not.  I understand the feeling.  It's technically the last of a three day weekend, I heard on the television yesterday all the sales that are going on today.  I also noticed all of the junk mail flyers.

For me it isn't a day to go shopping, I probably won't have a barbecue, and I see no reason to do anything with it, except to honor those that this day is for.

I come from a very long line of veteran's.  Between Hubby and I we have family members that didn't make it back from those wars they fought in to protect our freedoms and liberties.  In fact I think that this current generation is the first one in probably a hundred years or better that hasn't had an active duty service member in it.  But they are still young, who knows what they will decide.

I struggle, especially with it being Memorial Day, with the fact that I am okay with the fact that none of our children have decided to join the military.  Because I feel there is no higher honor than serving your country.  And at the same time, I feel our country has forgotten how special the gift is that each military member gives them.  I don't feel the need for any more of my family or frankly anyone's family to put their loved ones in harms way for a country of ingrates.

Where I work, we service a large population of Veterans.  People who have proudly given their all for a country that seems to have little concern for their welfare once they are home.  I work in a city that is over populated with homeless, sadly far too many of them are veteran's of our wars that came back home and were made to feel less than.

I turn on the television, radio or any form of social media to hear that we are treating our veteran's with complete disdain and disrespect.  Our VA hospitals are a shame.  The very people that risked everything for us, that signed a blank check payable with their very lives for the American people, are being subjected to death panels, lack of care, complete disregard.

I am really struggling with what our country is becoming.  I am proud of those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  I am proud to say that my family has been part of that tradition from the start.

And yet I wonder how many bow their heads, whether in prayer or silence, to honor the precious gift given.

I asked on Facebook the other night what was wrong with our country.  It was the first day of a three day weekend and already they were talking about 7 people being shot within two miles of where I work each day.  A week or so ago two homeless men were fighting over a woman, just a block from my office.  One of them is now in jail, the other is in the grave - guys she wasn't worth it.

The answers I received were thought provoking. They resonated with me just the same.  We are becoming a country lacking in family values, morals and pride.  If we know these things about ourselves, why can't we make a change?  What is destroying us, from the inside out?

On a day like today, when we are remembering the sacrifices that gave us the freedom to make our choices.  When we remember how unselfishly men and women have laid down their lives.  Why can we not honor that?

Did our soldiers fight so hard for the birth of our sovereign nation to end up just like what we ran from?  Taxed to bits to serve the glory of a king, queen or dictator?

Did our country undergo such a brutal growing pain as the Civil War, pitting brother against brother to insure that all men and women were free and able to pursue happiness, just to have us allow ourselves to be enslaved again to greed?  Have we forgotten that the pursuit of happiness and liberty are hard earned rights not to be given away for a few "free" dollars? How have we forgotten that nothing is free, and that there is always a price.

Our country called on our young men and women to fight on the global scene in World War I and II, they proudly answered the call.  After all they belonged to the greatest nation on earth, they proudly represented good, and doing what was right.  Despite the tremendous cost, they answered the call.  Our greatest generation.

Once we moved past those wars, fighting to defend the same rights, freedoms and liberties that we here in America enjoy, it gets a little murky.  We've been engaged in global wars for a long time now.  Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan to name a few.  We've lost so many.  So many that weren't even given the right to decide to stand up for our country.  In wars that seemed to have no rhyme or reason.  More like political games played with many lives. They don't seem to have an end plan, they don't seem to be changing anything, except the lives of our troops and far too many families and civilians.

And still our troops answer the call.  Their families stand silently by supporting them.  But is our country?

We still send men and women off to fight wars in far away lands, we still bring them home hurt, damaged, changed or in boxes.  But do we the American people even value that sacrifice any longer?  Do we understand?

My husband and several uncles were Vietnam Vets, they were the first ones we choose to blame for something out of their control, for answering the call of our leaders.  Far too many weren't even given the choice, they were ordered. The children my kids grew up with are the most current, far too many coming home with injuries that we cannot see or fathom.

I am so thankful for the strong men and women in my life.  Family or not, that have proudly answered the call of their country.  Never questioning.  And today, I will celebrate those that are gone.  The truest heroes our country has ever had.  They didn't have a pop album, weren't movie, sports or even reality t.v. stars.  For the most part they are people whose name is forgotten here on earth, except maybe to their families.  They are the reason we can have false heroes.

I have had the honor of standing on the beaches of Normandy, at the base of Point Du Hoc.  I have been blessed to stand among the graves of Luxumberg, and walked the hallowed grounds of Bastonge (Battle of the Bulge).  I have felt the power of those places, the willingness to do what needed to be done for the greater good of our country and those who have called upon us in their time of need.

I am proud to be part of the fabric of this country.  I will proudly bow my head to remember those already gone on to glory.  And I will be thankful for their sacrifice on this Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Head in the clouds....

I think she's lost her mind... what do you think??
Dreary outside, day dreaming inside... this is a promising start to the day! Although I must say Pinterest is evil.  It definitely has me wishing away this lingering, nasty illness and wanting to spend a day searching for just the right old dresser.

I have decided I need an old dresser to disassemble and paint.  The new digs are much larger than where we are now, with space and more rooms.  It is calling to my inner decorator.  I haven't done much with this house, there aren't a lot of options.  Rooms are pretty set in how they can be used and the furniture that will fit.  I am not complaining, it's been perfectly fine.

But now that there are options?  Now that I can have the things that make me smile, now that my imagination can run wild... well... it's off at a full gallop! I have always loved painted wood anything.  I guess my passion for ammo boxes shows that.  And after two sick days spent drooling over the ideas on Pinterest... well... let's just leave it at that.

As soon as I get to feeling better, I actually need to spend time cleaning out this house.  Making plans for it.  I was a military brat, moving so frequently that stuff didn't accumulate, you were forced to make hard choices.  Having moved here in 2003 and not moved an inch since, well, lets just say that hasn't been the case.  It's so easy to put stuff away and say I will deal with it a different day.  That day never comes, but somehow you always think it will.

A bit of sunshine on a gloomy day
Right now as long as I don't move, I don't cough and I can breathe, so I have been working on finishing a few random projects.  I started a wall hanging for my girl last year, it was supposed to be her house warming present.  I got crazy busy at work, and it is still not finished.  I showed her it a bit ago, and she loved it.  Talk about motivation to finish!  So sitting ever so still yesterday I started working on finishing it.  At this rate, I might be able to get it done this weekend.

I gathered all the bits I needed to make a wall hanging for myself.  I last made it somewhere around 1992 or 1993 for a friend.  I always wanted one for my own kitchen, but simply never had a kitchen big enough to worry about it. I do now, and the best part is, the kitchen is the perfect color for the style. I am so amazed by that fact.  I have wanted it for so long now.  Seems one more sign this was meant to be.

Next week we will do our inspection, next week it will really feel real.  Next week I will take a million pictures, start decorating in my head.  I am fascinated with the two fireplaces.  One on each floor.  I love a fireplace.  Neither mantel is huge, my snowy village won't fit.  But that is okay, I am sure I will find the perfect home for it.

Yep... heads in the clouds...
I am day dreaming and pinning in between stitching and resting.  All in all it's not such a bad way to spend the day.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Vacation... Nope not really...

 Sitting in the semi-darkness, sipping hot coffee and thanking the heavens that I am not coughing because my sides can't take anymore.  Yep, that is how I spend the first day of vacation.

I am listening to hubby coughing down in the man cave.  Neither of us really planned to start our vacation like this.  He's watching old shows, heat turned up high. Drifting in and out of sleep.  He was fine two days ago.  I am sure the hurried drive home on the motorcycle in the pouring rain did nothing for the cold that was already brewing inside him.

Me... I have been dealing with this for a month, finally give in and go to the doctor... and get worse? What? And folks wonder why I don't like doctors or conventional medications...

So how do you spend that kind of a first day of vacation?  If you are anything like me... you spend it browsing Pinterest and all your favorite recycle pages.  You spend it making plans to fit what you have going on in your life. Of course that is in-between naps.

Hubby and I are getting ready to embark on probably the biggest change that we have had in our entire lives together.  It's a bit scary, a lot exciting and frankly just a bit crazy!  I feel like a little kid running back and forth from waves.  I know they are cold and scary, but they are so pretty and I just want to splash in the froth.

The youngest two graduate next week.  We will truly be empty nesters. Not that they really come to visit often anyhow.  Their mom lives in St. Louis, their boyfriends live in St. Louis, they work in St. Louis... other than Dad... they don't really have any reason to come to Illinois.

My baby lives half a country away.  And my girls live 45 minutes away.  Forty five minutes doesn't seem like much, pretty close in the grand scheme of things.  Unless you start thinking about squeezing that time in around jobs, school and life.  All the sudden... it might as well be as far away as my boy.  I miss all of them so much.  Even Hubby's eldest no longer lives in Illinois from what we've heard.

Seems we are the last of the family living in a state that is trying to implode from the sheer weight of stupidity coming out of Chicago.

The day dreaming with my girl was a bit more planned that I originally suspected.  And now the day dreams are larger than life.  I am beside myself with excitement.  And I am scared to death. Hubby and I never started from scratch.  Our home was his that my son and I morphed into. Some of that has been tough at times.  Remembering boundaries and respecting the past.

This time, we will both truly be starting over.  This time, it will be strictly about us.  What makes us happy, what doesn't.  I have never had a home that was completely from scratch.  The military moved you in and out, but it was never yours.  This one was the closest I have ever had.  I am fairly adaptable, and would have been quite content here.  Forever.

I love my yard, my garden and my silly little $2.57 rose bush out front.  It was the first thing I planted, I am going to miss it's scraggly beauty.

Same rose as the first only a few days earlier...
I will miss Hubby's attachment to this home we now share.  He bought it for his parents when he came back from Vietnam.  His memories run deep here.  I am worried that moving him away from this little house will make him sad.  I am praying that it will not.  The huge silver maple out front, planted from a thin sapling.  The beautiful red maple in the back planted as a memory.  The towering pine in the front yard rescued on our first camping trip to Crappie Cove with the boy, that towers high above the house now.

Hubby and I have definitely made some memories in this little house.  Did our part to raise some amazing young adults here too.  We've had much joy, deep sadness and everything floating in the middle here.  Misadventures, learning opportunities and many other experiences.

I have asked him a million times in the past few weeks if he was seriously okay with the idea of change.  He swears he is.  In fact he says that the new one is what he's always dreamed of.

Me too... It's like it was custom made for us.  It's perfect! It is quirky in a beautiful country way. It has character, it isn't a cookie cutter house. It even has a weather vane on the garage.

And despite the beauty, the perfection, and everything else... the most perfect part...  It's near our girls.  Within a half mile walk of my beautiful daughter and grand baby.  Tucked away at the end of a quiet cul de sac. It's peaceful. There will be family dinners again.  Time together will not have to be planned and scheduled.  Evenings can be spent sitting on the decks, watching fire flies and playing with our angel, talking and laughing is always natural around them.

It is amazing.  I am so excited.  And so afraid.  I know where my boy gets it from, he doesn't like change either. I understand.

While my head is spinning, what to take, what to get rid of, my heart is singing.  I will be able to enjoy my girls.  Hubby is hopeful that the twins will  have a bit more time to hang out once we are closer, at least until they go to school.  We get it, it's a long drive for dinner.

There will be many changes in the next month or so... so much to do, so many plans, so much will not be the same... We'd planned to spend this vacation working on that list.  Cleaning out the house, buzzing around on motorcycle excursions.  Today was supposed to be a motorcycle day.  Instead, we are both curled up with tissues and dreams...

Today is for snuggling this guy...

No worries tomorrow is coming...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

He waited for me...

My hubby knows how to make me smile... he makes my life balanced, without me asking.  This morning due to a total communication misunderstanding I thought he and I were riding together, he thought he was riding alone.  He didn't really want to work the long day that was ahead of me, and I couldn't really blame him.  After all, I had gotten him to work late the night before playing a victim for our in-service.

He didn't balk or complain, at all.  He simply grabbed my helmet, helped me put lunch in the fridge for dinner and told me he had cash to buy me lunch.  He waited patiently while I changed into appropriate shoes and off we went.

The sun on my face, the wind in my hair.  I felt ready to tackle the world.  He can always ride, I am too short to even learn to ride our Harley, so I am completely dependent on him.  It was so refreshing, liberating.

We could have walked to lunch, there are plenty of places near us.  But he made sure we had time for a nice lunch a bit further out and then took me exploring.  By now you know how much I like to explore old neighborhoods.  I love to hear the stories he tells me while we putt along.

Today he took me through neighborhoods I have never been to, he took me into areas that I probably shouldn't have been.  But they were so fascinating.  The beautiful old homes. So regal and elegant.  It breaks my heart to see the old beauty slowly falling into decay.  Oh there were some gorgeous old beauties.  Some that only the exterior remained, some holding on for dear life. And others so pristine in their maintenance, so lovely.

I wish that I had had my camera with me.  It was lovely and slightly terrifying at the same time. It's not an area that really invites guests in, it is going through some struggles as it transitions as all neighborhoods do. I am positive I would not have entered that area under the cover of night.  But in the crisp noon sunshine, wow!

He took me along Hall Street, showed me where he used to drive trucks and the stories of when he was younger.  Things that he and his friend had done before the trucking industry was deregulated. He took me back in time with him.

It was wonderful. Really truly wonderful.  It made me happy, it made my day better, it helped me get organized and focused on the remainder of the day.

I felt bad that I was there until 7, that he wasn't able to leave with enough time to enjoy the day, but that he waited for me. I am sure he found tasks to busy himself.  Until it was time to go.

On our way home he assured me it would be warm enough to ride after we walked the boys.  He was right we were able to chase the sunset, even finding time to stop for an ice cream at the Caseyville Dairy Haven.  I'd never been there, but again, it was a place he had been with his mom and dad.  And it was wonderful!

We found the time to snap a few pictures of a flaming red sunset before heading home for dinner. And yep we do sometimes enjoy dessert before dinner. It was absolutely heavenly.  He knows how to center my world.  To bring the sunshine and joy back into it.  I didn't mind going in early, I had plenty to do.


Oh he could have shortened his day by a couple of hours, gone for a ride on his own, but he didn't. He waited for me...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Overloading... downloading...

Interesting sounds are bouncing around outside.  I am trying so hard to get motivated to do something, anything really!
Flower's from Hubby...
I am sitting here listening to the birds compete with the cars racing past.  Looking around my house, making a list in my head of all the things I need to do. I am afraid to commit that list to paper, because sadly, I am afraid it will scare me to death.  Heck, lately just the list of things I would like to do scares me to death.

I am fairly positive I am not planting a garden this year.  Too tired.  My fibro is conspiring with life to make energy not something I have in abundance.  I seem to use all my energy in the simple act of working and getting through each day.

There has been a lot of negative thoughts in my head lately, and I am really struggling to push them out, to focus on the good and the positive.  But sometimes when feelings get hurt and hearts get involved it isn't so easy.  I am fairly certain that is the cause of the flares.  Stress is my mortal enemy.

And sadly there has been a lot of stress and ugly lately.  And I am not really sure how to process it.  The past week was tough. One day even found me close to tears all day.  It was frustrating.  I am a happy person.  I love life, and I usually do not want to run from it all.

I am slowly coming around this time.  I can feel it.  I don't feel as angry, as hopeless and helpless.  I still feel hurt and disappointed though. I am also sure some of it has to do with this "cold" (yeah lets call it that) that I have been struggling with for over 3 weeks now.  Sooner or later I will break down and head to a doctors office (can you tell I deem that an acceptable solution?  NOT).  But mostly, it is things that I cannot control or impact and it is wearing me down.

Losing myself in things I love helps.  Yesterday, I was not thrilled about being at work all day.  Seriously, who is thrilled by working 6 days in one week.  I have long ago accepted it, but it wasn't making me smile to be inside when the sun was shining (too cold to be out though) and I could have been home with my hubby and boys.  And then it happened... it was time for the quilting class that I was teaching.




Initially I was concerned over having three young girls in the class, as well as three adults.  I was worried, that the project was going to be too hard, that they would not understand the basics well enough to be successful.  I was worried that my current mental state was not going to allow me to be successful as their teacher.


I shouldn't have worried.  It was hectic and a bit frazzled around the edges at first.  The first hour was brutal!  The excitement and the energy was palpable.  Suddenly like a switch had been turned it all stopped and started to flow.  I could feel the energy level shift, the excitement started to be contained.  And as 5 potholders came to be, you could feel the pride and success!  I felt sorry for mama, she helped me with those three young girls and wasn't able to make one herself.

I need that flow a little more consistently. 

When friends, family and even strangers let me down and hurt me, I need to look past it.  I know we are all human and that we do things occasionally that cause hurt and distrust.  Sometime it might not be an accident, but an unwillingness to treat people as we ourselves want to be treated.  I am sure I do that to others from time to time without realizing it.  None of us are perfect.

I am still feeling a little conflicted and stressed.  I am still feeling a need for a shift inside.  I still want to run and hide.  But slowly the lens is clearing.  It feels like I am standing on the precipice, waiting for the sun to whisk away the fog.  So that I can see my way to safer grounds.  I am still being cautious and watchful.  These are not normal actions for me.

As I stand frozen in time, watching, waiting and trying to find my way forward.  I am also reevaluating, and measuring value of people and things in my life.  It's a turning point.  I know there are many things that will change as we move forward with life.  I know that I have several rocks to cling to the Hubby and the B's... my eldest and my youngest, and a few unnamed. And as for the rest... well God knows best.

Peony from my sweet neighbor... who never lets me miss the beauty as it arrives!
I should clean my house, I should iron clothes, I should sweep and mop and mow the grass.  I think what I will do instead is see if Hubby wants to head to a Renaissance Fair.  Lose myself in the past to find my path forward into the future...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day dreaming can be dangerous...

Making the coffee this morning, I realized that I have made a mistake this week.  I am not someone that is dissatisfied with my life.  I am content to be where I am.  I am not the person that is always wanting more or better.  This week I allowed myself to day dream, and now I am regretting it.

My girl does a lot of interior decorating - she has an amazing eye for detail and color.  She looks at a space and boom it morphs into something amazing. You should see her home.  If she wasn't my daughter and I wasn't over the moon happy that her home is that gorgeous (except for those baby garden snakes that keep showing up - yeah I think her kitties are bringing her gifts) I would be jealous.  But I'm not.  I am so glad that she and my grand baby have such a wonderful home in such a great neighborhood.  I don't worry about them anymore, no need to. And the fact that it is so beautiful... well that is icing on the cake.

I enjoy going to her home, helping her cook (she has a kitchen that is a cooks dream) and just enjoying the beauty that she has created.  I didn't see it when she started talking about it, I thought she was off the chain nuts!  Rich reds, deep metallic browns, yeah, I frankly thought she was nuts! It's like wrapping yourself in a warm quilt when you enter her home.  Everyone I know loves to be there.  You feel a sense of calm when you walk in.

So when she asked hubby and I to come out a couple times this week to look at other houses in her neighborhood, I thought ehhh what could it hurt.  After all, it was simply day dreaming.

The first house was just two doors down from her.  Ironically, the same house on the inside - although the outside would definitely deny that. And maybe I should clarify that, the layout was the same, the house completely different! The yards were equally beautiful. The homes... not even close.  It was easy to dislike that house.  It was dirty, the colors were horrible, and while the black granite counter tops were breathtaking the rest of the kitchen was just run down.  There was water damage to one of the ceilings, and it was just over all not something for anyone to covet.  I wish that woman well... but she is going to need a reality check to sell that house.  Daughter is going to offer her services to help her get it up to speed, hope she accepts.

The only thing truly amazing about that house, was grand baby telling me "gramma you would be right next door and I could see you all the time!"  Now I would almost be willing to move into a cardboard box for that to happen.  That is the only thing I hate about my girls beautiful home. That it is so far away from me.  They used to live a 10 minute walk away, I saw them all the time, I was in heaven.  But that home was not safe, beautiful or good for either of them, you can't be mad when your children move from something like that.

So in an effort to humor the girl, I think she was just needing an excuse to look in the neighborhood houses, we agreed to go look at another home in her neighborhood the next day. I knew that was going to be a mistake from parking outside to get the information to go look inside.  I knew it! It was that same feeling I had when we found the home I loved in Washington.  Hubby fell in love too.

Its a bit further from her, but well within the walking distance for a princess wanting to see a grandma. And it is beautiful! I know they will have no problem selling it.  In fact I am surprised they haven't yet, there must be a hidden reason that I couldn't find.  It definitely wasn't the beautiful collection of light switch plates (I had never thought of doing something like that - it was so amazing!), or the beautiful deck over looking the trees. I am guessing it was the carpeted dining room, because it was not the beautiful hardwood floors, and I did find that a little odd.

I know I can't live in her neighborhood.  It is out of my league.  But dreaming about it was fun.  I almost fainted at all the storage and counter space in that beautiful kitchen.  Mine is small and not laid out well for cooking.  But after 11 years, I am used to it and I have accepted it.

I have never considered myself to be someone that covets others stuff. I might admire a belonging and tell you so, but I have always been content with what I have.  I gotta say, its tough forgetting that gem.

I will find myself distracted soon enough, I will find myself busy and wrapped up in making my life.  I think in the future I will allow myself to day dream, but maybe not go window shopping. Because that is something that could allow me to start coveting.

My girls are too far away, maybe I need to start finding more time to visit so I am not missing them so much.  And maybe I need to look at cleaning out and rearranging my kitchen so it doesn't seem so unfriendly like now.  Its too small for an island, but maybe a few changes.

It was nice to dream for a minute.  And I am sure they will rapidly find someone to love that gem that they have created.  Someone will have dual rockers in front of that fireplace in the bedroom or even the one in the living room. To enjoy coffee on that beautiful deck listening to the birds chirp in the tree tops. I wish them luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Just so tired...

Chasing away the clouds...
That is how I am feeling today! I am struggling to wake up and face the day, even if the week is flying past.  That is some of the worry... it is flying past!  No matter how fast I have been moving, I simply don't feel like I can catch up.  We have so many things going on at work, a new session getting ready to start, my teams gearing up for summer fun, so many flyers and so much advertising need my attention if everything is going to run.  And that is just work...

On the home front, well lets just say Better Homes and Garden's better not come knocking for a photo shoot.  I am fairly sure that Sunday, my next day off will be filled with lots of cleaning.  I simply cannot catch up.

Maybe the tired feeling is a physical response to an entirely mental feeling.  Just the idea is overwhelming today.  Yesterday was the same... Heck I am still trying to remember some of yesterday, and what I was looking for.

Seriously, I know what it is, I just like to pretend I don't.  I like to ignore things that I find unpleasant. I have fibromyalsia, have for a really long time.  A stupid tick decided in 1997 that I looked like I could use a healthy dose of Lyme disease. I survived it just fine thank you. Worst experience of my life, but definitely survivable.  The only lasting effect was the fibro.

I rarely face up to it, I definitely do not let it define me, and I am never going to let it win.  This week it is playing havoc with my head, something that really ticks me off! I don't like that ever present fog, or the constant feeling of forgetting.  It's an odd distortion.

I know this current issue is a direct result of some unrelenting stress and anxiety that I have had lately.  I know that I need some down time to recharge and balance my world.  That is coming. Hubby and I are getting ready to take a nice long break, I cannot wait.  In the meantime... bring on the post it's.
Yes... vacation time means... motorcycle time...

This past week was National Fibromyalsia Awareness Day.  For the first time ever I shared it on my Facebook page.  Maybe after almost twenty years I am ready to "come out of the closet" to let people see the crack in my armor.  Or maybe I am simply hopeful that with the power of social media we will finally have a chance to cure this invisible, variable and exhausting disease.

I am going to go with the cure.  Because I am fairly sure there are no cracks in my armor!

Invisiblity, that is the biggest challenge.  Forever people felt it was all in the head, there are still people that feel invisible means imaginary.  I have honestly had people tell me I was imagining it. Actually, no I am not.  I would never imagine some of the struggles this has caused. I will also never begrudge the difference it has made in my life and how it has changed who I am.

Because of this wonderful, invisible disease, I have learned to have much compassion and empathy.  I have learned to be tough both mentally and physically.  So long ago I was told that I would never be able to get past it.  To take all the medicine's they prescribed and basically to give up.  I found out they were wrong!  I found there are ways to work around the yuck, the fog, grog and pain. I have found that being medicated does not work for me, ever! I tried it, those are days, weeks and years that I cannot even remember.  I am not about to ever go there again. Some people find it works for them, and for them I am happy. For me?  No thanks!

For me, I will eliminate foods that accelerate symptoms.  I watch the chemicals in my diet.  I will sleep a bit more.  Find quality things to do with my family.  And simply slow down a bit.  I have an arsenal of coping mechanisms - the years have taught me well.  I will step back and weed out the things that are important and walk away from those things that are not.  I will minimize the stress in my world and focus on the little things like flowers and laughter.  I will snuggle my boys a bit closer and not let stupidity into my circle.  I might even take a walk or two.


Today is still a little foggy, hopefully I can remember some of the things that I am struggling to remember since yesterday. Today, I will once again rely a bit heavier on the people that I have chosen to allow inside my circle, today I will dream a bit bigger and today I will show more compassion towards others.  Because honestly you never know what anyone is struggling with.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Reflections...

Sipping coffee, listening to the quiet, reflecting on a week well spent.  It's odd what you hear in the early morning silence.  The baby birds are calling to mom and dad that they are hungry for breakfast.  I never mess with nests, and I have several birds that come back every year to have their babies in the nooks of my carport and actually in my attic.  The click of the ceiling fan, it's been slightly off center for years, we are actually afraid to mess with it, it's so old and replacing it will be difficult because they don't make many any more that are not hard wired. Then there is the big old clock on the wall, it's rhythmic tick, tick, tick omnipresent.  There is an occasional car zipping past, who knows where they are off to this early in the morning. There is the hum of electricity, but you only hear that when all else is still. And around all of that is silence. The silence of the mini-city.  Not true silence.

Hubby is still snoozing, he must have woken up early and went down to the mancave with Neeko, when the wrong number called at 4:45 am this morning it was only Gator and I in bed.  I won't bother him for a few.  I am going to savor the quiet while I write. Besides, he's earned a bit of extra sleep.  He's been working on the yard for me in his spare time, and the humidity has been brutal this past few days.

It's always like that when storms are promised but fail to arrive.  The Old Farmers Almanac said we were expecting a drought again this year, I am wondering if they aren't right.  I will definitely be sitting some rain barrels out just in case.

This past weekend was bittersweet.  My sisters were all down in Arkansas with my folks.  I wish I could have been there, but sometimes things don't work out the way one would hope.  One of my sisters graduated with honors with her bachelors degree in nursing.  And I am so very proud of her. And then they spent mother's day with Mom.  I am sure it was wonderful.

I didn't have enough time to plan and rearrange my schedule when I found out, maybe next time.  I hope Hubby and I can head down before long.  I would love to spend some time with my folks. They don't come up here often and sadly we don't get down there.  Often we are guilty of making a living not making a life.  Not by choice, but out of necessity.

I am blessed to have a wonderful mom, someone that has always been there for each of us girls. A natural born mother that has always been there for many.  I got to talk to her for a bit yesterday, it's hard to have much of a conversation when there is a house full of people also wanting her time. But it's okay.... Learned a long time ago how to share with my younger sisters.

I was struggling with the fact that my youngest was on the other side of the country and I hadn't heard from him.  He's a grown man, and doesn't need mommying, that doesn't mean that I don't need to be a mommy.  And I sure didn't expect a call from him.  He hates phones, he will text like a demon, but he isn't big on conversing.  And just as I was starting to think I wasn't going to hear from him, he popped up online. He sure put tears in my eyes.   Evidently he'd ordered flowers for me and darn UPS screwed it up.  You could sense his frustration, I hope he could sense the joy in my heart.  My grown up little boy/man has never sent me flowers.  He says they might arrive today, I am so excited it feels like Christmas day!


I had the chance to spend time with my girl... And help our grand baby give her a gift that was perfect.  My pieces girl loves the beach, and we found the perfect frame to showcase two of the pictures from the spring break trips.


I was giggling when I walked out on the deck... For years now it's been a running theme, I always get 3 ferns from my girl for Mother's Day.  I almost think I would be devastated if I didn't.  Even when she barely had money for groceries, there were always three ferns. Some years they were small, waiting to grow into huge bushy ferns on my front porch in the shade of that big old maple. Other years they were bigger, already looking full grown.

I used to have 3 posts on my front deck. We didn't replace them when we rebuilt the deck last year.  So I wasn't really expecting ferns.  Yet when she pulled up in that big ole Harley Davidson truck of her's I was rather surprised to find 5 HUGE ferns on my deck as she walked in telling me I'd better water my ferns quickly because she'd forgotten about the heat and they had been in the back of her truck in the sun for a full day.  Yep that is my girl!  She sure does make me smile!

I may need to put a rail on my deck after all.  They sure are beautiful.  And despite her fears they were not harmed at all by the lack of water for a day.

Ferns, flower, a tripod and new battery for my camera and "office supplies", I would say my family knows me well!  I love them all so much!  Even a text from both of the twins, one even had an "I love you"... it was a good day.


It wrapped up a good few days actually.  The early part of last week was rough.  I couldn't bring myself to deal with most of it right away, but I will.  I am still processing it all. The last part was simply amazing.  The tides turned and Hubby taking me to a Zootini in the rain made it all start to get better.


Playing with sting rays, listening to Caribbean music while enjoying chocolate martini's and a delightful Caribbean meal was a sound start to a reset in my heart. A few motorcycle rides made it even better, although I am not sure I am ever going to get anything done around the house at this rate.



We traveled south on the river road this time.  It is a route that will need some further exploration. It was late in the day when we were able to go and we were pushing against nightfall.  I am not a huge fan of night riding for multiple reasons, the biggest of which is the bugs.








Fort De Chartres was amazing!  I want to go back and explore it further when the museum is open. The bluffs as a back drop, framing the beauty of that rich farm land.  Bottom ground left behind from that big meandering river.  The ride back along the bluffs where the caves chill the air to a nippy 55 degrees and the beautiful eagles soaring so gracefully against that bright blue sky.









Any time I start to feeling depressed, I simply need to step back and take a minute.  I have an amazing family and dear friends.  People that truly make my life a blessing.  A Hubby that I adore, children that make my life a rich tapestry, a grand baby that is simply perfection to me... my four legged babies that give unconditional love.  I am rich beyond words... I have treasures that are priceless...
Sunset on a beautiful day...