Sunday, December 25, 2016

Peace Be With You

We re actually going to to be VERY close to 70 degrees today.


We are having a very low key Christmas here.  

We went to Mass last night and I didn't spontaneously combust on the spot.
(SM loves to call me his little Pagan.)

I grew up Methodist and married SM who is Catholic.

All I had to do was get the thumbs up from the priest, (what's not to love here...Hm?) and promise to give my children a Catholic upbringing (which I had no problem with).

When asked, I describe myself as a spiritual person, not a religious one.

Men made religion not God.

And men do terrible things in the name of their faith.

So no thanks.

I'll continue on as I have been celebrating the sun, the sky, the air that I breathe and the hand that I hold.

Peace.

May it be with you and all that you hold dear.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Life - It's All About Your Perspective

I think we can all agree that Facebook can be pretty annoying. 

I love the posts that make me laugh.

And I open any video with an animal in it. 
What's not to love there.

I skip over anything too deep.  
You know the ones...




The "life quote" stuff makes me think.  

Sometimes too much.
And that makes it perfect fodder for a blog post.  Ha!

Take this post I found on my feed this week.




Now, in theory, I agree with everything written on this page.
What's not to love here?

And Kudo's to the folks that can actually make this happen.  
It's something that everyone can strive for I think. 

But I also think that a post like this can be very frustrating to people who are struggling to make ends meet.

Why does everything always seem to come back to money?

Hear me out for a moment please.  

Maybe this is just me being too practical, but if you choose to have a spouse, children, mortgage, cars, cellphones...blah blah blah...then your being a good worker becomes super important.  

Your actions provide for your family and isn't that a form of respect and love?

Why guilt people who have to work two jobs or have to travel for work and are away from their families into feeling like they are not being a good parent or spouse.

And what about those folks who truly enjoy what they do?  
Or those that dedicate their lives in service to others?

A post like this needs to be separated out, I think.

Combined, this post makes it seem like work is bad.

That "The Company" demands too much from you and misdirects you into thinking that caring about your job creates a situation where you care less for your family.

And I expect that since I know the person who posted this, that this coloring my opinion too.  The poster is a professional woman married to a professional man with a family and the choice of whether or not she wants to work is completely up to her. 

Anyway...I thought it was interesting enough to post about.



Saturday, December 10, 2016

House Frau



Something happened to SM along the way this year.

He got old.

Or at least that appears to be the only reasonable explanation

This summer SM had his first bout with sciatica, which he recovered from only to develop a bilateral shoulder issue.  After several months of pain, SM's primary care Dr gave him a shot of cortisone in each shoulder and told him it was bursitis.

OK.

So another month or two goes by with SM still in pain and expecting things to resolve on their own like the sciatica did.  

I, being the good wife, suggested that maybe he needed to see a specialist, which got poo-pooed for another month or so until I sent my baby an email with a list of in-network Ortho Dr's and told him to pick one.

Subtle aren't I?

Anyhoo...SM does my bidding as he see's he has no choice in the matter.  The Ortho guys puts him on a ramped up anti-inflammatory and gives him exercises to do and says he'll see him around Christmas for a follow-up and decision making appointment.

IE: MRI imaging and potential surgical intervention.

SM's regular xrays show that his bones are in alignment and he has a "smidge" of arthritis in one of the joints.  

I'm pushing for the MRI to be done as it will show soft tissue damage, tears and nerve impingement.  

"You just want me to go under the knife."  SM accuses.

"You'll go under the knife with me or with the Doctor.  Pick one."  I fire back.

SM says he feels like he IS getting better but he's frustrated at how S L O W the pace seems to be. 

(Tell me about it! You think HE's frustrated?)

The Ortho Dr gave him Tramidal (for pain) and a muscle relaxer to help him get through all this and Dr Tami makes him go see a massage therapist several times a week.

Which helps.

SM has had to face a new reality.  He can't get comfortable regardless if he is in a chair or in bed, so restful sleep is a rare thing.  This makes him a bit cranky.  

I know ALL ABOUT cranky having gone through the sleepless nights and intense hotflashes of menopause.

"Just roll with it."  I advise.  "Don't get angry, just absorb it.  Sleep when you can regardless of the time of day."

"I'm becoming a House Frau."  SM complained to me the other day.  

He's been self employed for years now and does a lot of ladder work, electrical wiring, crawling through attics and crawl spaces (which no doubt created his condition.) And since he is in SO MUCH pain, he is on hiatus for now.

"I love that you're a House Frau."  I say to him giving him a hug.  "You are helping me out so much!"


Image result for men doing housework meme

Seriously.

I mean sure...He's helped out before but (like most women) the bulk of the household work typically falls on me.

Image result for men doing housework meme

Not anymore.

SM does the grocery shopping, cleans the bathrooms, vacuums, does the dishes.

He even decorated the Christmas tree.
Which is a first.
He's never done that before and I must say it's the prettiest tree we ever had.

I want him to get better of course...
But on the other hand...

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mary, Mary...

I've been a closet fan of The Great British Baking Show on BBCA for a while now.  




While Paul and the "Ready, Set, BAKE!" team are a delight, I tune in mostly for Mary Berry.

Love me some Mary!  




Just imagine having your "bake" criticized by the sweetest lady on earth.  And her British humor shines through in her critiques. 




I wouldn't want to disappoint Mary but if I did I would know that I could at least laugh about my failure. 



And now the US has lured Mary over to judge a new batch of amateur bakers on ABC's The Great American Baking Show.



Will TGABS be a hit?  

Time will tell.  

I watched the 2 hour premiere the other night and it felt a little flat.  
Was it the bakers?  
The challenges?  
I'm not sure.  

They copied the British version right down to the big white tent and rainy weather.  

RAINY WEATHER!!!

Good GOD!  

The Brits are used to baking in the rain, but us poor Americans avoid it like the plague.  No wonder the "Show Stopper" cakes looked so bad. 




But there are some stellar bakers in the batch that pulled through to make America proud.  




I could never pull anything like this off.
But it just might inspire me to try!




Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Sound Of Silence

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” ― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth



Writing is something that both comes naturally to me and something I have to force myself to do.  

I'm a slow writer.  
I read what I've written.  
Get up, walk away and then come back again and re-write, edit, think some more.

My brain is sometimes my own worst enemy.

That and an unaccustomed laziness that has descended upon me these last few months.  

At work, I chug along at a pace that makes my coworkers shine as the mere mortals that they are.  

I've often thought that my employers got a bargain when they hired me.  Two for the price of one sort of thing.

But when I'm not on the clock, things are vastly different.

I have time off at home to do what I please.

And what pleases me now is not much of anything at all.




Which is weird.  
I'm usually a "project" sort of girl.  
Line things up, tackle them and move on to the next big thing.

Looking back on my blog silence these last few months, I can see how it can be seen as something negative.  Something must be wrong.

Not at all.
Life.
It keeps on going around us.  
And mine has too.

Sometimes life needs to rest like Winter.  

Sometimes life is in transition like Spring or Fall.

After five long years of not sleeping well (due to "The Menopause"), I have rediscovered the joy of sleeping again.  

And of dreaming.  

I'm not sleeping through the night like I did when I was younger.  I doubt that I ever will again but it is a joy to wake up at 1 or 2 am and roll back over and sleep some more.

I'm almost hungry for it.  

Which makes sense in a way.  
Menopause denied me a good nights rest for a very long time.
I was in transition with the mood swings, hot flashes and lack of sleep.

I feel that I'm settling into my new body, my new spirit.
It's not laziness.
It's peace.

It's a centering of my soul that allows me to observe the insanity of the world around me and smile.

There is a silence in me now that sings to me of softness, stillness.




And peace.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wedding Vows 2 .0





SM has had his first bout with sciatica this summer.  
Poor baby.

For the past two months, SM has been moaning and grouching and sighing over his pinched nerve, back pain, foot pain, knee pain, shoulder pain....

Did I forget something?

Oh yeah, butt pain.
(grin)


Image result for grumpy old man humor

Some days are better and some days are worse but the general cure for such maladies is gentle stretching, gentle exercise and time.  Lots of time.

We went out shopping early this morning and SM had some difficulty getting in and out of the Camry.  He's used to his SUV and Minivan which have the higher seats.

Anyhow, we get back to the house, unload and SM announces he's going to do a lap around the neighborhood.

He sits at the kitchen table to put his shoes and socks on.  I look over and he's bent over trying to put his sock on his left foot (which is the sciatica leg). He can't reach it.  He sits up and see's me looking at him and holds out his sock to me.

"Well, this is an new one."  I say struggling to get the sock on his foot.  "Need me to wipe your butt yet?"  I asked laughing.

"No.  I would never expect you to do that."  SM said.

"Why not??  I asked.  "I meant it when I said that I'd love, honor and cherish you.  I'm in it for the long haul mister."  I say pointing my wifely finger at him.

"Well, I don't remember that being in our wedding vows."  SM pauses.  "You know, it's been thirty years.  Maybe we need to update our wedding vows.  The 2.0 version."

I start laughing and say..."I promise to love, honor and wipe your butt?  Is that it?"

"I ain't wiping your butt.  But I will stick you in the shower and hose you off."  SM replies with a grin.

"Thanks Sweetie...I knew I could count on you."



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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Doomed I Tell Ya...

Well...What is there to say about Summer in the Carolina's that hasn't been said before.




It's hot.
It's humid.
We need rain.

The garden is chugging along thanks to the occasional random thunderstorm and (if rain is in short supply) my valiant efforts with the garden hose, which keeps things alive but doesn't do much for production.

At this point in the game we have had a bang up year in terms of summer squash and spring planted carrots.

The zinnias are doing their thing as usual...



But I got a late start on the beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe and cucumbers.  

The plants are looking good so far but what's that I see?  

Temperatures hovering between 95 and 100 for the foreseeable future.  Makes me want to move to Minnesota...(HA!  MP)

The most fun I've had this past month has been watching my grey lady, Sweet Ginny Girl, recover from her stroke.  



It's been 2 months and her appetite is back, she trots when we go out for a walk, and she doesn't pee her bed anymore.  What more could I ask?






Casey Pig is happy enough to be out this morning.  Little do they know that they will both be in the bathtub later.  Scrub a dub-dub.  Stinky Pig in the tub!



And I've been happy enough to sit out on our back porch and watch the birds eat our seed and hear the SNAP of the rat-trap I've set with peanut butter to kill all the field mice that have moved into our area.  

We have 4 homes that share a back ditch area and I've noticed a big ole pile of brush build-up.  Add to that the tasty yummies that grow in the garden and the birdseed...Well, we've seen the little bastards running through the garden and I've managed to kill over 20.  

Probably the biggest news for me is that (I hope) to be on the back end of a really nasty case of poison ivy.  It's been an itch fest around here the past 3 weeks.  I really didn't want to get on Prednisone.  Thought I'd suck it up instead.




I look like a kid with chicken-pox. 
So disgusting with the scabs and welts.
Oh well.  This too shall pass.

Didn't I say that about The Menopause?



Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Shady Side Of The Street

Today we have a bit of a rainy day forecast.  



It seems that there is a tropical depression forming off the coast of the Carolina's that is pushing a bit of light rain our way along with that moist humid air that makes the dogs pant and makes me run for the splendor of air conditioning.


SM remarked the other day how glorious it was to feel the heat of Summer.  I agree with him to a certain extent.  When the humidity is low and I poke my pasty white legs out into a sunny patch it does feel good.  But if I stick anything else out into the sun I get overheated too easily.


It seems that as I've gotten older, I've become allergic to direct sunlight. Even in the Winter, it heats me up too fast and makes me feel weird.

So I've come to appreciate days that are partly to mostly cloudy.  I can get a lot more outside work done on those days.  The Carolina's are blue sky country for sure.  In the Summer, I try to get all my outside work done before 10 am.  After that I head for the shade either under the porch roof or under the trees.


When we moved here it was nothing but hard concrete dirt.  Not a single tree or shrub.  We were told that this part of our subdivision was built on a farmers field.  Maybe he grazed cattle.  If he grew soybeans or corn then that might explain the depleted soil.

On a day like today when the rain emphasizes the "lushness" of my yard and garden, I've come to appreciate just how far we've come in the 18 years we have owned this property.  


Every bush, tree and flower has been bought and planted with intention.

We do have a cool line-up of naturally germinated Maples that we are allowing to grow.  It makes me happy to think that one day my backyard will be mostly shady.  I envision myself sitting out back with a book and an easy chair listening to the birds sing.

I'll still have plenty of sunny patches that will feel like an inferno within the month.


Still, it's kinda neat to think just how far we've come with this property.