Saturday, March 26, 2016

in a minute...

I'm sitting out back, there is a gentle spring breeze and the sun is slowly setting. I'm listening to a mix of sounds.  The birds are still singing, they haven't decided it's time for a nap.  I can hear the deer and squirrels romping through the dead leaves.  Although the chatter is fading. Mostly I hear lawn mowers, string trimmers and blowers.  Seems everyone is taking advantage of this beautiful evening to tidy up their yard for Easter. It's supposed to rain tomorrow.  Hard to believe by the beauty that is surrounding us.

 It's been a hard day.  A roller coaster kind of day.

It started off beautifully, bright and crisp as an early spring morning should be.  Hubs and I had a final morning of zoo sitting, so we walked the boys and took off in the early morning light.  He'd agreed to walk with me.  I am getting fanatical about those 10K steps.   I didn't have time to be crazy this morning, had to be in to work early.  And as I was the only one with a key, sure didn't want to risk being late.  So after a nice walk to and from the zoo.  I hurried and got ready for work, while the Hubs ran to get our supplies for smoothies.

For a change we chatted about stuff not work related.  It was fabulous!  We are plotting a mini-getaway. Somewhere to unwind, to just exist. We need it.  We're both tired and stressed.  We are finding conversations are fixated on work and that is about all. Today, we were day dreaming of a him and I and the boys kind of weekend.

At work myself and two of my team hid 6 dozen eggs for our members to find.  Believe it or not grown ups need Easter Egg hunts too.

That's when it happened.  I got a call from one of my B's.  The kind of call that makes your head spin, your heart stop and that you know there is not enough prayer to patch the heart.  The first call was simply a call for prayer, from a distraught mom.  She didn't have all the answers yet, just a mom sense.  A deep need for someone to pray with her.  I hope it was enough, it was all I had to offer.  Besides offering to come and get her and take her where she needed to go. The next call so few minutes later was the one that took every ounce of air in my lungs. I knew that I couldn't do anything, just pray.  And be there if she needed me.

It was simply two words. I've only heard them a few times in my life in my immediate world.  "He's gone."

After we hung up, I sat and cried.  I'm a mom.  I can't fathom that pain, and yet I fear it just the same.  My children are my world.  I know that her's are too.  I know the kind of love she has for her babies, I feel the same about mine.

She's strong.  I admire that strength.  I am just worried for her.  Even the strong can only survive so much. She's already lost deeply.  This cut is even deeper.

All I can offer is prayer and support.  I will give her both.

I sent my son an IM, I needed for him to know I love him.  I gave my girl a hug as soon as I could after work.  It was like a salve to my heart and soul.  I long to be able to offer her the same.  Sadly, I can't.

It hurt my heart so much.  I wanted to rush to her side and let her take my strength to lift her up, so she could save the bits left.  As I couldn't I did the closest I could.  I covered all her shifts and activities at work.  I arranged to take on her tasks for at least the coming week.  Luckily, I can easily do most of her job, as I have done it before, and the things I can't do, I have other staff I can task to handle it.  I can do my best to lighten her daily load as she deals with the unimaginable.

And I can bow my head and pray.

My own sweet son didn't reply.  But that is normal, he's probably thinking his mom has gone a bit crazy.  My girl knows them and as a mom could understand.  I think we talked for a few hours tonight.  Her hugs were so warm and reassuring.

A mom should never have to experience this.  And as I talked and dreamed with my girl tonight... my heart hurt for her, remembering a conversation about hopes and dreams that she had just shared with me.  Please say a prayer for my "b", she needs all the love those can bring.  And while you are at it.  Hug your loved ones just a bit tighter, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Friday, March 25, 2016

little blessings...

The sunshine is pouring in the back windows.  My house smells heavenly.  I am simply relaxing on my sofa for a few moments while my polish dries, the nut bars cool and the Hubs drifts in and out of a nap.

I have to head to work shortly.  I volunteered to take the first holiday weekend, as it was my fault I didn't get the list out quicker for the team to choose from.  Sure didn't expect Easter to sneak in quite so quickly this year.

I have so much to accomplish, so it will be okay.  And we are closed on Sunday, so I will have a day of rest and celebration.

This morning as the sun was thinking about rising, I took advantage of the hours I had before work, and got most of my 10K steps in already.  It was a bit brisk, 36 degrees, so much so that Hubs opted out of going with me.  He isn't a fan of being cold.  I decided to walk around our complete subdivision, yep took on the hills.  I am not sure my knee is overly thrilled, but I did it!  And I am feeling pretty darn proud of myself for it!  Even two months ago, there is no way that my knee would have allowed me to walk those hills, much less just flat ground.

The clouds didn't decide to move on until I had already gotten home, so it was a bit dreary and dismal.  The soft spring breezes have pushed them on their way now.  And it's beautifully sunny.  It won't be extremely warm today, so I won't feel so bummed about being closed up inside looking longingly out the windows. We all know I am a huge fan of spring time, and it kills me to be closed in as it returns each year.

In my quest to clean up our eating, I took time this morning to make more of the nut bars that I have been including with our lunches for a daily snack. Honey Nut Bars (I'm including the link) have become a passion. They are so yummy and a great way to avoid that middle of the day "crap candy" moment.  Just knowing what all the ingredients are is huge for me.  The one's I made today have the cacao nibs.  Those are another new favorite of mine.  Used them in my smoothies this morning.  Gotta say... Chocolate covered Cherry flavor in a healthy smoothie... fabulous!

So far I have made Cinnamon Nut and now the Cacao Nut, I can't wait to try the Orange Nut.  Need to get more pecans before that one happens.

Finding time for some of the things that I want to make happen in our world is a bit challenging.  I love to create, regardless if it is healthy foods, things to use or decorate our home.  When I don't find time to do this, I feel out of whack.  Like my universe is not moving the way it should.

So even the tiny victory of making nut bars feels huge!  Now I am praying they cool enough to cut before I head out the door.  I am going to make a black bean hummus before I leave also.  Heirloom carrot dippers and a protein rich hummus sounds like a great addition to my salad today!

I hope that everyone enjoys this beautiful Good Friday, and that everyone finds something good and wonderful in this day!

Time to get ready to leave...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

loving ordinary...

After a busy morning, walking dogs, feeding my girls critters, a short motorcycle ride with the Hubs in the early rising sun, smoothie making and ironing, I thought I would take a walk to get my steps/miles in.  As hubby headed off to inspect a building, I headed off to Sugar Creek Park.

I figured I'd be early enough to miss all the mom's and kiddos and have a pretty peaceful walk.  I was partly right.

For the most part it was me and only me. During the first two miles, I was cherishing the birds, squirrels, the soft breeze.  I was hoping to be able to lose myself in thought.  I am working through some things that are nagging at me and I really needed the silence.

That's about the time it dawned on me, that while it is a precious park, with a great walking path (lots of ups, downs, hilly and flat, even a small section that isn't paved).  Unfortunately, as I discovered today, it also sounds like a drag strip.  Getting lost in thought is something that is very hard to do with the non-stop road noise.

I am afraid I will have to find another walking path to lose myself.  One of my favorite parts of living out here in the county is the focus one sidewalks, parks, and areas that are removed from the insanity of everyday life. Our old neighborhood lacked even sidewalks.

Despite the distractions, I had a fabulous walk - I actually got a bit wrapped up in hitting my steps and miles and walked about 15 minutes longer than planned, so this will be short.

I got home and chopped up a big pot of veggies to make a nice Italian Wedding soup.  Complete with meatballs.  And I am waiting for it to safely be simmering so I can go get ready for work. I told Hubs and one of my "b's" that I would bring lunch around noon.

Hurry, hurry... rush, rush...

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

thinking through the ashes...

If I thought the moon rise was spectacular, it had nothing on the moon set this morning!  I need to download the camera, I am hoping to have caught at least one shot of that breathtaking view!  Hubs and I walked all over the neighborhood with the boys looking for the best angle.  To the point that I was standing in the turn lane of Big Bend praying that my clothing choice (all black) didn't lead to me being road kill at 5 am.

Circled by high clouds, it radiated and glowed! It was so inspiring.

And as I sit here sipping on my morning smoothie, I am watching a sunrise that fills me with hope and joy.  I need it.

I woke up this morning to the sad news out of Brussels.  My heart is breaking for the people there.  It is one of my favorite cities!  I have spent many hours and days roaming the streets and exploring this exceptional city.  The old and new combine in a such a way that both feel as though they belong.  The people are kind, warm, loving, welcoming (unless you are driving - then it's hands down a bumper car derby)... in fact, it's probably those very traits that are hurting them so badly now. Their kindness, generosity, accepting and welcoming nature have led them to a place where now people with none of those traits are doing heinous acts just for attention and destruction.

I am struggling with so much that is going on in our world today.  I wonder what lessons the universe is trying to teach us that we are stubbornly not trying to learn.

Each day I see so many homeless people, lying in parks, doorways, streets, leaning on fences or huddled inside playground structures.  Some of them are in dire straights because they are unable to reason or understand what is going on.  Those rip at my heart. Family either doesn't know or doesn't care.  They are the lost ones.

Then there are the ones that are battling chemical demons. So much of it is killing them - not their bodies, but them.  Several that I know are such wonderful, vibrant people, and then they use.  And you see the blank stares, the swaying bodies you are worried for them.  Wondering if it is the heroin or the K2, praying it isn't a combination of both.  Paramedic's and police won't touch them if it is K2 - that crap isn't illegal.  Just deadly.

And I watch the city treat them with disdain.  The part that breaks my heart, so many of these men and women are our veterans. People that have put their lives on the line for us, people that we are treating like yesterday's garbage.  Stripped of their dignity and grace by life events.

We have people that are being taught to accept poverty and demand more be given to them, taking away self respect.

There is an increase in murder, theft, abuse and so much more.

What are we missing?  When did we stop fighting the good fight.

A hug costs nothing.  Well okay occasionally it is an assault on the senses. The lack of bathing is sometimes hard.  But hugs save lives.  They build hearts, they heal wounds that you cannot see.

A conversation.  A smile.  Common human kindness.

We are losing a battle... and it's one that we might never get the chance to fight for again.

Brussels feels so far away when you live in the US, it feels like another planet, when it's really only 8 hours or so from most locations by plane.  Less than some people spend at work each day.

Is our lack of human kindness, love, empathy, respect, caring, kindness and compassion as a whole going to cause people to follow the same insanity that is raging over across the ocean?  When people feel lost, desperate, and a deep need to belong and feel valued does it cause them to lash out?  Are we as a country allowing grown adults to act as children demanding and expecting everything?  Will this lead to them as a whole lashing out when those needs and wants aren't met, not owning their own responsibility in any failures or disappointments?

It's hard to be surrounded by the beauty that is all around us while knowing there is so much falling apart, so much pain and anger ready to swipe it all away.

Today... I need a moment in prayer.

Monday, March 21, 2016

moon rise...

Moon rise tonight was so beautiful. Bright against the brighter sky.  It sparkled in the setting sun.  Rising higher as the sky dimmed.  Hubs and I walked down to my daughter's.  Did a clucker and meow count.  All the fish were accounted for, the snake and lizard appear to be well.

It was so beautiful this evening.  I was planning to walk, even if Hubs didn't.  I really am on a mission. I'd walked down this morning while he was showering. Each trip up the hill is getting easier.  I am trying to focus on walking 10,000 steps each day.  I've been trying for a couple of weeks.  First, the knee was giving me fits.  Then the right foot was hurting so much the idea of squeezing an extra walk in wasn't going to happen. New shoes that support my foot better seem to be making a difference.  The last three days I have exceeded my goal.  It feels good.  I feel stronger.

Like I am finally breaking out of my shell.  I feel like I am taking control of my life again.  Less pain.  Each day, it's a bit better. My knee is feeling so much stronger.  I am sure a lot of it was the shot, I am prayerful that I will not need another one. But in order for that to happen, I have a lot more walking to do.  Many more steps, miles to cover.  Muscles to strengthen.

I am hoping to squeeze in some water aerobics tomorrow.  Not sure.  I work late to provide support for my newest staff member, and have a ton of work to get completed, few short deadlines.

Unfortunately, last night was far too short, and my eyes are burning.  So sleep is calling me... it's time to rest.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

welcome spring?

Salad is made for lunches tomorrow, dishes are done, lemon water is set out so that it's ready for tomorrow.
Hubs is upstairs softly snoring, his exhaustion factor is pretty high tonight.  Gator went up the stairs before Hubs did. As usual it's me and Neeko.

I don't think Neeko likes to leave mommy downstairs, no matter how tired he gets.  He's lying on the sofa beside me snoring away.  Silly guy.  He is ever watching over us.  Me in particular.  Last night I was having a particularly bad dream.  And evidently I was talking in my dreams.  Actually I was praying, as I was in a room with a particularly ugly darkness.  It must have left my dream and I awoke to the big guy laying full against me, nuzzling my cheek to wake me.  He would have made an awesome therapy dog.  He's just a big, gentle old goof.  Sometimes he is the smartest dog I've ever seen, and others... well... let's just say he'd be in danger on his own.

This first day of spring has sure been an interesting one.  Hubs and I were standing in the kitchen having coffee and talking while waiting on his "paint" clothes to dry, when we looked up and saw the biggest snow flakes falling silently.  We'd just come in from walking the boys not 20 minutes before and it was chilly, but honestly snow was not at all what we expected to see. Maybe a bit of a spring shower, but definitely not snow.

It kept falling for a few hours, luckily it's been warm enough that it didn't stick.  A blessing considering all the buds and flowers that have taken advantage of these beautiful days. Although seeing the beautiful budding trees blanketed in white was an odd sight this morning.

Since Hubs had to go back to finish painting this morning, I made the decision to join him.  For many reasons, mostly... I missed him!  I could have stayed home and finished picking up the house, did some cooking prep for the coming week, maybe even caught up on the ironing.  While that would have bought me time later in the week, it wouldn't have given me time with my Hubs.  Besides, I could see he was getting tired, even if he couldn't.  Besides many hands make light work, and I am a darn good painter.  In less than four hours we were done and on our way.

By mid-day it was a bright chilly day, but much more spring like.  Gotta love the mid-west.

Tonight instead of driving down to my daughters I walked.  It's not a bad walk, only ten minutes.  Problem, it's got a mean hill that either my knee or foot haven't liked. Today I decided I win.  So after Hubs and I walked the boys, I left him home and walked down to take care of her mini-zoo.

The ladies were being a bit quiet. I was worried, I always worry when she is out of town, but especially that the mothercluckers were being quiet.  Silly me! They were just resting waiting for Gramma to show up!  As soon as I opened the door all the way they had plenty to tell me about.  Evidently when you are a chicken, you certainly have a lot to cluck about.  After a few minutes they were all walking around my feet, flying up to sit on the hutch roof and very concerned that the food dish hadn't been filled quickly.  And even more concerned that I was scooping up stuff from the bottom of their house.  They weren't too thrilled that I was disrupting their decorating.

All was good in Clucksville.  All the wet critters were accounted for.  I bothered the lizard, but as I hadn't seen him I was concerned.  And thankfully the snake had decided to move back under his rock (I really do dislike snakes!).  And two of my grand kitties came for loving and treats.  The baby didn't, but I saw him this morning.  The king mouser was probably doing just that.

Heading back up the hill I decided to check my FitBit stats on my phone.  I am really trying to get in 10,000 steps.  I'd felt it buzz, so I knew that I'd hit it. I wasn't quite at five miles.  I wanted to hit five miles.  I don't compete well with others, but I can be ruthless against myself.  Hubs was at home resting the past three days had beat him up pretty good, I didn't figure he'd mind if I took a slight detour on the way home, so I walked the entire neighborhood.

I am completely focused on healing my leg naturally, I'm currently taking the one medication they feel I need. I can assure you that isn't going to happen for too much longer.  I am totally the definition of anti-medication. Hate it.  No tolerance for it and frankly I don't trust big pharma.

So as the sun started to consider setting I continued in my circle around the neighborhood.  I feel I am getting stronger every day.  I need to focus more on my physical therapy.  I haven't been as good at it now that I don't go to the therapist, for the first time I fully appreciate the value.  It's the accountability factor.  My current accountability factor is I do not want another needled shoved into my knee. It hurts.

The moon is high in the sky as this first full day of spring comes to a close, my eyes are getting heavy.  Some other time we will talk about the journey into eating cleaner and exercising more, the quest continues.  Now it's time to climb the stairs, coax the two bed hogs to let me and Neeko climb in, and rest.  Tomorrow is another day...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

gotta go back...

I found this song shortly before Joey died.  It's so beautiful and completely explains how I feel. I'd really love to go back to a time that seems so long ago.  A time when Hubs and I spent more time on us and less time on everything else. I feel so much like I am losing things that are important to me.  And I simply don't know how to turn back that clock.  We do the stupid time thing twice a year, but it never seems to make things more like they should be. 

I decided to spend the day doing chores.  I got my hair cut, went shopping for shoes (thought I found a pair - nope - gonna have to try that again tomorrow), did all of our grocery shopping for the week, and planned an awesome dinner for Hubs.  I also got the yard mowed and after trying three different hardware stores found the line for the trimmer, so I was able to edge the yard.  Hubs was going to do it tomorrow. I was hoping by doing all of that, Hubs and I could have a peaceful day doing things that make us happy. 

That was all before Hubs let me know that he would be working later than he originally thought and that he would be going back tomorrow. I won't lie a sob actually caught in my throat. We hardly see each other anymore.  We leave at different times, in different directions.  Most lunches end up either being cancelled or rushed.  Usually by the time I come home, he's sound asleep.  

Anymore, it feels like we only spend time together walking the boys or talking on the phone. In fact as I sit here typing he's sound asleep.  Yesterday was about 10 hours of painting, he barely slept, and then he spent another 10 hours painting today. For a desk guy, that's a lot of manual labor. And I am sure that even though he is not supposed to be on ladders, he no doubt spent quiet a bit of time on one.  He's that guy. The one that will put himself in danger before he will let anyone down. 

Cauliflower Fried Rice and Soaked Carrot Spring Rolls

I am not even sure he really tasted the dinner that I made for him, he'd fallen asleep in the chair and I am thinking he ate on auto-pilot.  I hope he rests well.  He will make himself sick if he doesn't. His immune system took a beating over the past year.  Too much...

I am feeling a mixture of emotions.  

I know he didn't want to let down the guy he said he'd help today, which is why he is working tomorrow. And this is one of the very things I love the most about him.  He's so generous and caring.  His word is his bond. 

At the same time, it's been a very long time since we've had a full weekend at home together.  Which is why I worked hard to get everything done today.  So we could have an "us" day tomorrow.  Even if it was simply just hanging out. 

I guess I'm sad.  And feeling selfish, I don't want him to take hours from me to give to someone else.  It feels too much like that is all either of us do.  

I'm sitting here on the sofa curled up with the big dog!  We even took dog selfies.  I took both of the boys for a long walk.  And I spent serious time talking with chickens... Rosie was a little sweetie.  She seemed to understand my stress... Oh lord... I am having conversations with dogs and chickens... This might be a bit of a problem.

Neeko is trying to decide which is his best side...

Looking innocent...

Just gonna sleep on Mom...

I guess I will head upstairs.  Finish off the day early.  I am kind of tired of hanging out with myself.  And Neeko is snoring, so there is no conversation happening there.  And my eyes are drifting... its been a busy day.

a cluck, cluck here...

I am not a farm girl, I swear it!  But one sure would think so.  I live firmly in the burbs, in the midst of shopping mecca's, strip malls, subdivisions of houses, condo's and apartments.  My yard is a postage stamp compared to my old house.

And yet... before 6:30 am today, I have walked my boys, fed the turtle, checked on a snake (yep, he's firmly under the water bowl that needs to stay full, so I will have to do that again in a bit... have I mentioned I HATE snakes?), made sure the water dragon had clean water and his crickets had fresh feeding cubes (? I am now feeding crickets?), checked all the aquariums, checked on kitties, and took care of chickens.
I am wondering if I have somehow slipped off into a very strange place. My girl is on an adventure so I am watching her zoo.  She lives in the same area I do, so nope, she is also not on a farm.  But she definitely has an eclectic taste in pets.

The kitties brought in a field mouse and killed it, leaving it lying in the middle of the living room rug, a gift for their missing mommy I'm sure.  Just in case you are wondering, in the dark that is not something you want to see. Thankfully, Hubs took care of the situation and I did not have to.  I am not a fan of cleaning up dead animals of any type.  Although I was a bit thankful that he was not running around, that would have been even more unsettling.

Hubs has headed off to work, it's unusual for him to work a weekend. He's usually a Monday - Friday kind of guy.  I'm the one with the insane schedule. You simply never know where I am going to show up.  I considered going and volunteering, I really did.  Then I thought about it for a few minutes longer.

I am a great painter, it's actually something I love to do. And normally, I would enjoy volunteering my time to help someone out.
Hubs and I the last time we got to just hang out... 

But... I decided that I would really rather stay home, run my errands, do stuff that I want and need to do.  I have been working an insane schedule for a couple of months, it happens.  I've spent far more time away from my beautiful home than in it.  My house needs some love, my yard needs some love, my dogs aren't sure who I am, I haven't sewn or knitted in forever.  And honestly, I just need some down time.

last time I knitted...

I want to take a picture of my front yard and go to some nursery's and get some ideas. I need to reconnect with me.  I need to be selfish.

Honestly, the chaos of the little farm in the burbs, was so soothing to my soul.  The smell of coffee, the sun breaking over the ridge, the snoring of my boys.  I need it.

So today, instead of helping the guys paint (they've got it... but many hands make light work) I am going to have myself a mini-me day.

Easy to get lost in thought...

I've already run an errand for the Hubs, and no I don't like meeting strange Craig's List purchasers in places that I don't know where I'm at... nor do I want them coming to my home. And on the way home I went to Sugar Creek Park and walked a few miles. Not sure yet if my knee and foot are happy about that or not, although I didn't really intend to give them a vote, so... all is good.

Ready for smoothie making

Homemade Honey Nut Bars - No preservatives!
It was supposed to rain all day, looks like it changed it's mind.  Because it is a beautiful sunny spring day, I might simply have to finish channeling my little prairie girl.  Cooking, cleaning, puttering around the house. There is dirt that needs something planted in it, there is grass to mow.  I love to mow the grass, I love the scent.  It makes me long for my Papa.  It takes me back home in my memories... to Erie.

Yep, today I am going to be a very selfish woman.  Today, it's about grounding myself.  And you don't get much more grounded than cleaning up chicken poop.  Today's about what makes me happy.  What's going on in your world?

Ollie didn't feel the need to wait for fresh food!
But... it's empty...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

it's blowing in...

Was an early start today, long before the sun had considered waking up I had already helped Hubs walk the boys, made a smoothie, done a load of laundry and given Hubs a haircut.  He was seriously needing it! We were in a hurry to find out new polling place.  It's voting day after all. 

Hubs and I found it.  We made our mark.  I hope enough people care to do the same.  Right, wrong or indifferent, I have very little patience for folks that don't vote.  It is a right that has been earned for each of us with much blood shed and many battle scars.  And not only the kind earned on the battle field.  So many have sacrificed so much for us to have the right to make that little mark or push that little button.  

So many won't make the effort, feeling their vote doesn't make a difference.  I saw a meme the other day that completely demonstrated the reality of that mistake.  It showed the Washington Mall, surrounded by all of our monuments to the people that gave so much to shape our country.  It was filled to capacity with people, pouring over the edges.  It represented all of the people that didn't feel their little vote mattered. 


I am not an overly political person.  I have my beliefs, which happen to be a pretty good mix of things.  I will not hate or belittle you for yours, I expect the same from others.  I feel it is one of the things that makes this country of ours so amazing!  Many thoughts, beliefs and concerns are represented.  And each of us has a vote.  If we don't use it, shame on us. 

Do I expect my choice to win... well I have no idea.  Some years I am in the majority, some the minority. But as I made the effort to vote, I feel I have the right to voice my opinions!  To complain when what is going on is something that makes us weaker, or to lose our rights.  I also feel I have the right to celebrate when we as a country have shone brightly.  

I am thankful for the brave men and women who over the course of time have fought, protested, marched and petitioned for each of us to have the right to vote.  

I proudly displayed my ID and my voters registration card this morning.  I am new to my state, this was my first opportunity to be engaged as a citizen and resident. As I looked at all the forms of identification that they would accept, I was puzzled about all of the commercials and news stories that I have seen concerning how hard it was to prove who you were.   How it was making it hard for people to vote.  The list was very long and I personally could provide about six of the forms accepted.  Some I had never heard of, and I was completely shocked to see they would even accept an ID from another state.  

I personally feel that if you have to have an ID to cash a check, accept benefits of any kind, see a doctor, fill a prescription, get a library card, or anything else then it is truly not asking for much to prove you are a legally authorized voter.  It is far too important to all of us!  And honestly, when people have sacrificed their lives to give us the right to vote, is it asking too much to go and get a state ID?  Or evidently bring your power or sewer bill?

Wow, did I get off on a bit of a rant?  Didn't mean to... 

I was happy to see so many people coming into the little church that serves as our polling place, many of my neighbors.  I am hopeful that we do not waste this opportunity.  So many other countries are jealous of our freedoms.   We shouldn't waste them. 

It will be a busy day at the polls, and a busy day for me.  I am getting ready to spend a quiet morning in Hubby's man cave.  Typing furiously on the main computer.  I am so far behind with so many things and that means that for a minute I am going to fore-sake things that are important to me.  Things as simple as a walk in the sunshine, coffee on a sunny morning with my girl, time with my Hubs or even a trip to see my boy or my parents. 

Although I feel like the universe is trying to give me a message.  Too many things are popping up in my world that are screaming at me to slow it down.  To step back.  To re-evaluate. I am willing at this point to spend the next few weeks crazy... I am okay with what I have to do right now.  

But I feel quite strongly that April is going to signal a huge shift in my world.

This is a time of monumental change... in our world, our country and in each of our lives... I feel I can have the most impact in my immediate world... where will you make change?

Monday, March 14, 2016


I almost did...

Yesterday walking the boys in the late afternoon, I saw the dandelions.

I almost picked them.  I almost did.

For years Hubs and I have been picking them carefully from non-treated fields.  They were a favorite treat of our little lizard Yuri.

At the grocery earlier in the day I noticed the kale was particularly crispy and deep green.  As I reach to pick up a batch Hubs halted my hand.  Reminding me that Yuri was gone.  I was buying it for us, but it definitely crossed my mind that he would love it.

There are so many times lately that I feel like I live in "almost land".

Looking at the delicate blades of spring grass.  I almost reached out and ran my fingers through it.  It was too delicate to be touched, so I pulled back.  Longing to feel it's soft, tender newness.

The buds are popping everywhere. I feel an overwhelming need to wander for hours in the beauty!

Instead... I find myself eating a late slightly well done dinner at my sitting desk, it was probably fabulous a few hours ago, but at least I am able to eat a home cooked dinner. I sure wasn't expecting to be home so late. I managed to miss being able to eat every meal with Hubs today.

He let me sleep in until almost too late this morning, he knows the time change plays havoc with me.  Rushing around like a crazed woman I got his pants ironed (nope, never got to all of my weekend chores), made him a smoothie for the road and managed to get a kiss before pushing my own day into high gear.

The boys and I took a leisurely (is there any other kind where Gator is involved?) stroll.  It was foggy, damp and basically the perfect spring morning! I could have spent the day out there, wandering slowly with them. The smell of the earth waking up after it's winter slumber really changes my perspective.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. Meetings filled the day.  I'd packed a wonderful lunch, that I was looking forward to sharing with my sweet Hubs.  Needing just a scrap of time with him.  My meeting ran late, almost straight into the next, Hubs meeting ran late which led me to handing him his lunch in the stairwell.

Dinner... knew that wasn't going to happen.  I made it for him in the crock-pot.  It's not the same when you eat alone in a quiet house, instead of spending the time with your loved one.

I'm almost ready to go to sleep, but I wanted a few minutes.  I want to wake my sweet Hubs, I want to have time to chat with him, laugh and snuggle.  Seems like there is less and less time for that.  I'm not okay with it.

I don't want a day to come where I almost do something for him only to realize that it's too late.  I don't want to regret those missed lunches and dinners.

I don't want to feel like I almost did...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

the dawn of spring...

The star magnolia and cherry blossom's are starting to pop open, there are daffodils, crocus and jonquils popping up in random gardens. Our Rose of Sharon is starting to put forth buds and so is the lilac.  It's that time in early spring when everything is starting to consider budding out.  In a few weeks it will be a riot of color and life returning.  A welcome respite from the dreary, dank, bland winter.  

This morning
I love winter.  Don't get me wrong.  There is nothing that makes my heart sing like a deep, bright, white blanket of snow.  The kind that instills a deep silence, that makes everything have a heavenly glow. Unfortunately... we simply didn't get much of that.  The trees only bowed briefly, the ground soft and fluffy. The world frozen for a moment in time.  Instead... we got a lot of cold, blustery winds and a ton of dreary, lifeless browns.  Persephone was truly resting in Hades. The only brightness or beauty were the few stolen days with a beautiful blue sky and sunshine, the blue birds, blue jays and cardinals brought a brief respite also. 
Three weeks ago...
My favorite seasons are spring and fall, by a long shot.  I don't believe I have SADD, but I do believe the dreariness causes me to feel very sad.  

This morning it took a bit longer for "morning" to arrive, thanks to daylight savings time, and the fact that the fog was so thick London and Seattle would be so proud! There is a constant rain. Tiny and almost invisible, the kind that doesn't really drench you, but makes you damp to the bone. Falling gently, persistently.

It appears to affect Hubs and I a bit differently. He's bundled in a fleece jacket, jeans and hat sitting in the garage smoking a cigar.  Almost seems to be hibernating.  He's a tad on the grumpy side and sort of growling at the world.  Internet is being squirrely (ironically it is no doubt due to the squirrels) and he gets bored easily. 

Me on the other hand... well after a long week of work, an unexpected day spent outside on the parking lot and a ton of stuff to actually get done (both work and home)... I am sitting here sipping my smoothie (got my new blender Friday!)  trying to "talk" myself into doing those chores.  

But... I really just want to plant my flower boxes full of peas and radishes in this soggy wet fog.  I am imagining their sweet goodness, if the squirrels are able to be kept at bay. 

I want to go out front and ravish those ugly long neglected box woods.  Tear them out at their roots.  Expose the earth in front of the house for beautiful flowers that love the partial shade it seems to always be bathed in. The norfolk pine, also long neglected and abused really needs to go.  I loved it initially, but seeing it daily, with the majority of it chopped away carelessly to accommodate the fact that it was planted far too close to the house, it looks awkward and odd.  Almost half dead.

Do you see me hiding?
I would love to spend the day walking in the drizzly rain.  It reminds me so much of the time I spent in Germany as a teen and adult.  I saw many of Europe's great wonders through this type of misty rain.  I long to go to the zoo, walk without the crowds.  Not caring if my hair gets wet, my glasses spotted or the cuffs of my pants get damp.  Just to enjoy the walk.  

This type of early spring rain feels like it cleanses away the stress the winter puts on me.  It makes me feel alive and vibrant.  Even the ache in my knee isn't making me as gloomy.  As I prepared our smoothies this morning, I was tempted to leave out the greens.  To simply make it a fruit smooth, bright and cheery.  

The dawn of spring is so life giving. The smell of the earth, getting my hands dirty in soil.  Preparing for the beauty. I even have more energy.  Which is darn good, because I have not been hitting my 10,000 steps a day.  Some of that is this stupid knee, some of it is exhaustion, some... well let's be honest, some is simply laziness!

I have a lot going on at work right now, so my mornings are spent rushing around between therapy (not even accomplished every day consistently), getting dogs walked, lunches packed, smoothies made, and honestly I am usually trying to iron work clothes at the last minute. All before I have to leave for a 40 minute commute. Not gonna lie, that kills me!  I hate to drive, and hate it even more that it is so long, but I don't want to give up what I am doing in the city nor do I want to move from my beautiful home (my castle).  So I'm still stuck in the middle for a bit. 

By the time I remember that I really should go home, it's time to start the cycle in reverse again.  Walk the boys, cook dinner, clean up, and here is where I really should get more exercise or do something I enjoy, but what I usually do is crash.  I sit brain dead beside Hubs, willing myself to stay awake for another hour or two. 

I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.  I have nothing left to offer.  Heck way too often dinner isn't even cooked.  We either go out or don't eat (nice options - NOT). And when I have to be at work until 9, chances are Hubs is either grazing on unhealthy, grabbing a sandwich, or something else even worse for his waistline. 

Between his hip replacements and the moderate/severe arthritis diagnosis for this stupid knee, both of us seriously need to be healthier.  I am not doing well with the instruction to take medicine twice a day (I HATE medicine!).  Maybe this additional hour of sunlight will help! Time to start considering replacing our bikes, time for longer walks, time to even squeeze in some water aerobics at the Y. As the days get longer and warmer maybe I will tackle a bit of a garden again (except for those poacher squirrels).

Hmmm... I might just plant a few radishes and peas today...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lessons from Gator...

Early this morning, long before I'm normally awake, I simply ran out of sleep.  Usually I drift back off, usually it's simply a momentary rustling around in the blanket cocoon that I have somehow created in my sleep.  The warmth temporarily stealing my sleep with I search for the coolness of the air in the room.

Today, that didn't happen.  Today I was wide awake.  A million things running through my mind, some work, some personal, some hopes, some aspirations, some crazy thoughts.  Didn't matter, it completely robbed my sleep. And 3:30 am is rarely a time that I actually see, much less register alertness on any scale.

Tonight, well I tonight when I start driving home at around 9:00 pm, I am fairly certain I will be seriously regretting that slip in my routine.

My mind was flipping through things so fast that it felt like someone was spinning one of those old fashioned Rolodex, like we used to do when we were younger and one presented itself to our inquiring fingers.

This year has felt like it is one full of change, since the moment the clock struck midnight.  It's felt exciting, frightening, challenging, comforting, and out of the ordinary to me.  Two months have already slipped by, today starts a new month.  Although they are starting to feel like they are simply melding together and the calendar is as meaningless as anything else.

I wonder if all this is caused by the fact that I am now in my 50's, that my brain is starting to force me to think differently.  I actually caught myself at the doctor's office yesterday saying the words "I'm 50, I don't want to waste the rest of my life wishing I had done something sooner." Yikes!  Where did that come from?

Maybe it was still playing in my head when I woke up suddenly this morning.  Not sure.

That stupid knee was bothering me, so I took a long soak in Epsom salts, detox and hot water, elixir of the Gods if you ask me!  And spent a few long minutes reading "Tribes".  It was assigned through work, initially I was bummed, wondering where time was going to come from to squeeze that into my schedule.

Reading it has altered my thoughts in a lot of ways.  I will probably read it again.  There are lines in there, that I am finding stuck in my brain.  They are causing me to feel tossed and turned, the are mixing up with my already altered mind set.

After reading my brain starts turning things around even faster, spinning almost out of control. I am questioning so much more.  The food we eat, the quality time we spend together, the changes that are important for our health, how to avoid surgery (yeah this one is rapidly looking less likely...), work, life, home, balance... so many things that are completely mixed, mashed and tossed around.

Truth is... I am 50.  Realistically more than half way through my life. I am questioning.  Am I doing things that at the end I will regret?  I have always tried to live my life where I have few regrets, I am not sure I am doing that now. Hubs spent the majority of the past month alone.

Gator and I were walking a bit slower than Hubs and Neeko this morning, I didn't rush him.  It was a fairly warm morning, almost 50 degrees out there.  An early spring morning, perfection at it's best. Normally, I am prodding him to walk a bit faster, to not take time to sniff every blade of grass, to do his business and move along.

Today... I didn't.  Hubs and Neeko started walking faster when the rain drops started to fall.  Big ones, the kind that actually leave the "splat" marks and sound when they hit the pavement.  You could smell that heavy, dusky, earthy smell of rain moving in.  There were no clouds visible in that pitch colored sky, no moon to lighten the sky even though it was almost six.  Normally, Gator would have flipped out being that far from home and getting... gasp... wet!  This is a boy that definitely needs all the creature comforts of life.

As Hubs disappeared around the curve, Gator and I meandered. Nope that walk isn't counting for "active" anything on my Fit-bit.  Hub's offered me his ball cap as he and Neeko headed off, I declined.  So what if I'd already done my hair, the drops felt refreshing, I could do my hair again.  I think my little old guy was feeling the same.

We wandered slowly back towards the house, simply enjoying the moment.  He sniffed every blade of grass, climbed up the little hills, and bounced around with mom.  The drops weren't bothering him.  I saw a meme the other day of a dog with his person walking, it said "who's walk is this anyway?"  Solid question.  

Gator's been through so much.  He's an old guy.  Who am I to deprive him of a leisurely stroll simply because I can't slow down myself.  The slowness of the walk made me stop and think.  I need to do the same myself.  I need to slow down, I need to let a few raindrops bounce on the top of my head.  I need to really look at my priorities and evaluate who is setting them.  Is it me?  Am I sniffing every blade of grass? Or am I running along mindlessly hoping I will come back to it later?

I have an unnerving feeling that I am chasing dreams for other people, rushing through life and forgetting to live it.  I desperately wanted to enjoy the part of the beautiful Sunday that I wasn't working.  I was so exhausted from the LONG Saturday the day before, that I muddled sleepily through a sweet late lunch with Hubs - not even remembering what we talked about, totally skipped the desire to walk at the zoo, and wasn't even able to buy a new pair of sneakers because my stupid left leg was so swollen from the day before that I couldn't accurately judge how they fit.  I finally gave up, ran the few remaining errands, skipped dinner and just sat mindlessly on the sofa at the end of the day waiting out the clock so I could lay my head down on my pillow.

I need to learn a few lessons from Gator.

Love unconditionally.
Be loyal to my family.
Patience.  Good things come when you are willing to wait.
Be picky about my food.
Enjoy the beauty of a long leisurely stroll, soaking up the sunshine or the rain as both are fabulous!
Be willing to take a nice long nap when I need it.
Ignore anything that doesn't make me happy.

Anyone else questioning?