Saturday, September 10, 2016

cannot connect...

Are we too connected?  Too technologically integrated?  Oh the irony of that statement as I sit here typing a blog instead of writing in a journal.

As lightening flashed and thunder literally rumbled on for long drawn out times, I was actually jarred awake at 315 am by my phone. It wasn't the beautiful storm that woke me, it was the theme song to the "IT Crowd".  As I was groping in the darkness for my phone, answering it without looking at caller ID because... 1) can't see without my glasses and 2) if you are calling me at 315 am, I am going to assume it is important.

Hmmm... important... I guess it depends on who you are.  I would rate that one as absolutely not important. It was the alarm company calling to let me know that our maintenance trouble alarm had gone off and reset itself.  Of course it did.  It's storming.  Our phone lines are horrible and as soon as they disconnect, the alarm says there is a maintenance trouble.  And it resets when they reconnect. So no, I would not say that is a valid reason to call me in the middle of the night.

Building on fire, that one I would buy.  But a disconnected phone line?  I am guessing someone in Kansas City working a night shift got bored.

Trying to drift back to sleep after a 2 minute phone conversation in a raging thunderstorm with your pups huddled against you quivering out of fear is difficult at best.

Just as I was finally drifting back to sleep an alarm goes off, my phone is once again loudly buzzing. This time to let me know there is a flood warning for my area. Okay. Fair enough, I live in a fairly large area surrounded by rivers.  There are large areas of land that are in the flood plains.  I am not. As it was storming when we all went to bed, I would think they would have paid attention to those alerts stating there was danger of flash flooding. Maybe not.  But, I got it.  I understood.  I guess.

As I was once again struggling to fall asleep and wondering if those people they were trying to warn actually had cell phones, someone else must have wondered the same thing.  As my phone was yet again playing the "IT Crowd" theme song.  This time is was an automated weather alert, telling me the same thing the text message alert does.

I struggled for a long time after the third waking in an hour and 15 minutes.  I seriously considered giving up on sleep and just starting on my "homework" early.  I was just so very tired.  My brain was working at warp speed, full of things I needed to do, composing this blog, thinking of the day ahead.  I was not a happy camper.

At some point I finally drifted back to sleep, probably grouchy, because I sure woke up a few hours later feeling cranky and out of sorts.  The rain had stopped and my pups were whining to go for a walk.

As I got ready to walk them, I found myself longing for my high school days.  No I am never nostalgic for high school, it was simply something to get through.  In fact I am not someone who ever wishes to go back. What I was longing for was a time before phones in my home.  When I grew up we walked to the payphone or used a neighbors if we wanted to make a call.  Cell phones were simply the communicators on Star Trek. Computers were new fangled things that hadn't quite started being "personal".  There was no email, if you wanted to communicate in writing, well that is what you did, you got a piece of paper and you wrote it down. Maybe it was a note you passed in class or a letter that you put a stamp on, but nothing at all was instant.

When you went to bed at night, it was to sleep. You didn't get jarred awake.

I often feel that we are far too connected.  I am just as guilty as anyone else.  I often chat with family and friends as I drive to and from work.  Even as I curse the fact that my Honda and my android phone are never going to be close personal friends, and I refuse to buy an "i" anything. I use the time to catch up.

It seems that we are all so busy now, that we squeeze things in, we don't take the time to just be.  Maybe that is why I refuse to listen to music while I walk.  Maybe I need to connect with nature?  I don't know.  I do know that constant connection is stressful and wearing thin.

We used to mail letters and wait.  Now we send text messages and get annoyed when they are not instantly answered. What an inpatient and demanding world we've become.  No signal, often equals stress and a feeling of loneliness.

I think I need to incorporate a bit more disconnection in my life.  A bit more silence, face-to-face conversation, time with people and not so much "connection".  I need to read a few more paper books and a few less online stories.

Although, I don't think I will ever go back to writing a paper journal.  My handwriting stinks, always has, and I enjoy blogging. It helps me think. To reason through things in life that seem crazy and complicated.  Or simple and mundane.

I think I am going to call down to Hubs, again with the irony on the intercom and see if he's going to walk with me this morning.  I missed my walk due to weather yesterday and that could have something to do with me being out of sorts.

Find some time with weekend to disconnect.  For a moment or two at least...

Monday, September 5, 2016


It's Labor day... the traditional end of the summer season.  I remember a time when it was bbq's and family time.  Those days have sadly faded.  The kids have their own lives, their own families.  Their own things to do.

Hubs and I have spent many hours riding this weekend.  The wind in our faces, the miles drifting past us. Saturday was spent buzzing around locally.  Stopping in little shops, walking through the Soulard market - walking might be a stretch - sitting in the sunshine sipping bloody mary's.

Sunday found us traveling a bit north and east.  The roads in Illinois beckoned us.  I love Calhoun county, the winding roads, the hills, the sheer beauty.  I find it so calming and peaceful.  As we ride we often see old farm houses and barns, beautiful in their emptiness.

Often as we ride past, we wonder.   Our conversations often include questions and propositions.  We often wish the houses could talk.  The stories they could tell. Would they speak of families gathered around large farm tables to celebrate the end of a summer of farming season?  Readying themselves for the upcoming harvest.  Baleing hay, picking apples and putting up the produce for the long winter to come?  Or would they share stories of the floods that are all too common in the that beautiful, bountiful area?

As we rode through the hills, we found many cemetaries.  Large and small, carefully attended.  Families honoring those that went before.

I guess I am feeling a little down at the loss of holidays as a family.  When the kids were small, we were military, we only really had each other.  Extended family was so far away.  A part of my heart always thought we would forever hold on to that.

Time changes things.  I get it.  Looking around outside, there are not groups of family gathered at the houses near us, no friends, no end of year celebrations. The smell of bbq is strangely absent.  So is the laughter of children.  It's odd.  So many things that I considered rites of passage are sadly silent and gone now.

Maybe they are all out camping, at zoos, running trails or gathered around one of the local parks to celebrate.  Society is changing so much, I'm not really sure what is the norm anymore.

The river was really high yesterday.  Small waves, left in the wake of each boat passing by, reached almost to the road.  Branches floated by, some more like large trees. Watching the the tug boat struggle to move the ferry concerned me.  I struggle to understand how people can go out on that river in smaller boats. Especially when it is so high.  I am not so much a water person anyhow, but when I am watching the dash past in little speed boats and jet skis I always say an extra prayer.  Those tree branches were by far bigger and more deadly than their watercraft.

Hubs and I were planning to head out for another ride today after completing our chores.  We spent two days playing, a chance to unwind, so needless to say our chores needed to be tackled.  Hubs worked on the outside cleaning both of our cars, mowing the grass, cleaning the garage (he decided my car needed to be inside again).  Today is a hot one compared to the past few days.

I took care of the inside and washing clothes for the week.  Grocery shopping is finished and dinner is cooking.

We opted out of going for a ride.  Too hot.  The cool breezy temperatures have left us for a bit.  We are not back to heat and humidity.  Maybe later tonight.

For now I am listening to the hiss of the pressure cooker.  Sweet and Sour Ribs, corn on the cob and cole slaw will fill today's menu.  I even picked up a watermelon.  All the flavors of summer to celebrate her official passing.  Sure there are 16 or 17 more days until it's officially over, and the heat advisory that popped up on my phone a bit ago is reminding us that at least here in the mid-west... Summer does not quitely roll over and go away.  Autumn has to fight for it's place! The cool soft breeze yesterday, with the swirls of leaves falling, was a tease.

It's not time...

Sunday, September 4, 2016

3 am is not people time...

I read a meme yesterday that said that those who are awake at 3 am are creative, artists, actors, geniouses, etc.  I have a different hypothesis.  They are owners of bratty dogs! Because I have been seeing a lot of 3 am's lately.  And they have definitely not involved anything creative, artisitc or even remotely intelligent.

They have involved me staggering to the kitchen to get the dog leash and then trying not to trip over my pj pant legs that are getting too big as I make my way down the hall being herded by a big lug wearing a cone on his head.  By the way those cones HURT!  I'm pretty sure the back of my legs look like I have been beat.

This morning the old guy decided to get in on the middle of the night strolling.  By the time I walked both of them in the front yard, refilled the water dish for Gator as Neeko didn't even leave a drop, and staggered back to the chair that has served as my bed this week... lets just say the ability to go back to sleep was gone.

My knee was simply not enjoying the recliner last night.  And I think I miss sleeping stretched out. No, there is no thinking about it, I completely miss sleeping stretched out.  I cannot wait for Tuesday night.  He gets his staples out and I am fairly sure the stair ban will be over.  I am praying it will be over.  I am so sore.

Right now he's lying in the dining room, where he thinks I can't see him.  Dad took his cone off of him, not sure why, and he keeps turning to lick.  He really is a slow learner. I think he is probably healed well enough, but the thought of any further time in that chair insures that I don't want to take that chance.

I am waiting for Hubs to finish watching his movie.  I am ready to go for a walk, he isn't.  And while I enjoy walking alone, I get bored and will walk further with him.  We need to walk the boys first and then we can go.  I am an inpatient person, I know this.  I also am not a movie person.  So putting anything on hold for a movie, just makes me a bit crazy.  I get it, we all have our own way of de-stressing.  That is his.

I think he wants to go ride in Illinois today.  I don't mind the river road, what I do mind are all the other people.  It's hard enough to trust just one person with your safety when you are a passenger on a motorcycle.  It's worse when there are others that are not being as safe.  I get a bit stressed out.  I want to go over to the Brussels area and then head north, there are a few sites there that are demanding my attention, north of Hardin, so maybe that is where we will head.  Seems to be an archeological site a bit further north. Definitely my kind of day.

I am hoping his ankle is feeling better, because I really would like to get a hike in today.  It doesn't have to be long, but I really want to give these stronger muscles of mine a try.  Or maybe we can take an evening bike ride.  Just something a bit more than we do during the week and a bit different.  I don't like to get bored.

I found a recipe yesterday that I am going to make for our picnic lunch today.  It's a five bean salad.  I am hopeful that it tastes as good as it looks.  I'm planning to make it, chop up some veggies and I found these wonderful little crackers at Trader Joes (have I mentioned how much I love that store?), and of course I think we will need a few small cubes of cheese to go with it.  The more time I am spending making "real" food, the less I want to eat out.  It just doesn't taste as good.

Well, the Hubs is done and the day is calling... Enjoy some beauty today...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

the view...

This morning under a heavy blanket of deep velvet blue sky sprinkled with brilliant stars I went for my walk alone.  Hubs strained his ankle yesterday and didn't want to push it, probably a very smart choice.  I don't listen to music or other noise while I am walking.  I feel like I am absorbing energy from the sounds of nature. The crickets, cicadas and goodness knows what else chirping and chattering in the cool morning air.  An occassional bird speaks of its displeasure at my intrusion.

I chose to walk through our neighborhood, even though I do not really enjoy that huge hill, I simply felt safer. At 5:20 am it is awfully dark and quiet, only a few windows have light shining through and I realized this morning, that our subdivision is not well lit.  Shortly past my daughters house, while I was engrossed in watching a young deer grazing just up the road I was startled by a chiming sound behind me.

I've been reading in the news of the crazed idiot dressed as a clown trying to lure children into the woods, in that particularly dark stretch I was hesitant to turn.  As I did, I couldn't help but laugh.  My daughters cat Bella (my favorite of her babies) was running as fast as her little legs could carry her to catch up to me!  She is not particularly affectionate.  For all her beauty she is a sterotypical stand-offish cat.  Yet, every morning as we walk past she comes for her morning snuggle before jumping down and continuing with her daily cat routine.
the view...

As I put her down I noticed Milo (the youngest of her kitties) sitting up on the hill slightly hidden behind a tree.  Milo and I have never bonded, he always watches me closely, never coming close.  After Bella got her morning snuggles she decided she would simply watch me walk the rest of the way down and back.

As I cleared the top of the hill and proceeded to keep walking the silence was starting to be broken by distant engines and motorcycles.  As the sun was turning the sky a softer and softer shade of blue and blurring out the stars I saw more of my neighbors and heard fewer sounds of nature.  It was time to consider heading home.

I enjoy the peacefulness, a chance to settle my brain and to mellow out, I need it. My life is feeling more balanced.  I am not sure why.

The stress at work is still there, but different.  It's not the unknowing stress, it's the known and manageable kind.  The kind that gives you a growth challenge.

Home still has chaos, but I feel like the walk is balancing me.  I try very hard to never miss a single day. Although as I get stronger and move quicker and more, it's a bit harder to get all of my steps.

Each day I am more thankful that Hubs talked me into YDPP.  Each day I feel like I am gaining more and more control.  Instead of drifting along and letting life happen to me, I feel in control.  Even with the strain of this past week... it still feels controlable.
thanks mom

It's been just over a week.  A week ago I brought the silly boy home.  Groggy, unstable, weak and poofy. Drooling on himself due to strong pain medications.

For a week Hubs and I have modified our home, our lives, our sleeping arrangements, and definitely our budget.

And... we couldn't be happier.

Only a few more days of sleeping in the recliner to keep him calm and from doing whatever is needed to be with his family.  A few more days of medication schedules ruling our lives.  A few more days of being picky about the treats that he is given. A few short days longer to be injured with the cone of shame.

My pig... mine!

Just over a week ago, we didn't know if we would have him as part of our lives any longer.  We thought he was heading for the rainbow bridge.  Now he's scurrying through the house, the cone more of a weapon or bull dozing tool.  He's walking happily through the house his green pig, squeaking it as he goes.  He's chased his tennis balls and is back to walking his normal walks.

my view each morning...

I am so grateful for the prayers and well wishes.  The Neeks is back.

Today is a million years away from last Saturday.  Last Saturday I was bummed out.  Hubs was heading out on the motorcycle yet again (it's only been over a month since I've been on a ride) to help at an event.  I was rushing around cleaning and sanitizing the house to bring Neeko home.  Worry, fear and okay... jealousy were all tugging heavily at my heart.

Today, I am getting ready to go run a few errands while we wait for the temperature to hit 70.  I will pack us a healthy picnic lunch and we will be able to spend a few hours enjoying the sunshine, the cool temps the wind in our faces.  Hopefully we will go somewhere that we can get a good little walk or hike in to enjoy the day.

Whatever you are doing, be grateful for the day.  You woke up, you get a clean slate every day!