Saturday, November 19, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I am settled in enough to enjoy my first Thanksgiving in my new home. I still have more work to do unpacking but the kitchen, living room and bathrooms are done. The bedroom needs a few additions to add some color and interest but it is capable of being used for it's purpose as is. The only remaining rooms left to do are my art room and hubby's office. Those will wait until I have rested some. My joints are protesting and I'm wise enough to know when to ignore and when to rest. 

Tomorrow I will be spending the day in the recliner with my feet up watching the snow fall and whatever movies I find interesting. With all the work I've done, I earned it.

I was fortunate enough to be outside taking pictures of my home when the cows were leaving the barn after milking. It's an interesting process to watch since it occurs for the most part in single file with the occasional pair that look like a couple of friends sharing a walk together. Life is beautiful when you look around you with peace in your heart and joy in your eyes.. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mama Wasn't Always Right

My mind has wandered into the vast lands of Joy and Blessings. Two weeks away from the move and the upcoming holidays which are my favorite times of the year. In the midst of the purging and packing I got a laugh out of how I do things. Some people would just pack and not bother to clean things first. I clean things before packing and since I don't use newsprint for the breakables I can just unpack without cleaning. Some people don't clean things either before or after. I guess they figure it was cleaned at some point and that is enough.

I will admit that all this purging and packing has been creating sore muscles and this morning there was a difficulty getting my knees to bend without complaint. It's a lot of work that I don't normally do so I expect these temporary issues. I also was comparing my endeavors to that of my Mom when she found it necessary to move when she was my age.

In 1996 my Mom's husband died and she found it necessary financially to move into a subsidized senior apartment. She asked for help which all of us provided. The problem was, she didn't do a single thing herself. She and her husband were living in a two bedroom apartment with attic space and frankly she wasn't the best of housekeepers. Things were usually just shoved into places where they were promptly forgotten and this was a smoker's home.

My uncle, his wife, their 2 kids and myself worked in this apartment daily to clean and pack for her move. Every week my Uncle would go over and cart bags of trash down a flight of stairs to the street. While all this was going on my Mom sat in the kitchen reading a book, twirling her hair around her fingers as was her habit and smoking cigarette after cigarette.

Everything we packed was marked keep or give on the boxes. We asked her to look at everything after we left to see if we had it right. Every day she would tell us it was fine. We took 10 huge boxes of clothes, after we washed them, to the Salvation Army. After we packed what she wanted to keep, we found on moving day that we had discarded 150 bags of trash. Not all in one day, but over a 5 week time frame.

Now, we worked like dogs to get her ready to move and after she moved we heard how we lost things she wanted to keep. The day of the move some things disappeared into the home of one of her step-daughter's but that wasn't our fault. They were returned when mentioned as missing with one of those oops, we took the wrong box home with us excuses. No real harm there unless she hadn't asked them to check if they had it by accident.

All the work we did and all she did was be lazy, complain about our efforts and blame us for the attempted theft. I finally lost my temper with her one day and told her that had she gotten off her lazy ass and done something she wouldn't have anything to complain about but since she chose to sit on her ass while the rest of us sweated ours off she could suck it up and shut the hell up.

This tirade on my part got me the usual "I don't understand how hard it is to suffer with so much pain" lecture. I'd find out when I got to be her age how little of the things I used to do would be something I could still do.

I am exactly the same age now as she was then. I have a hip that will need replacing eventually and a look at my spinal xrays show that I have chalk instead of that lovely healthy looking translucent appearing bone. I'm also 30 pounds heavier than she was then. I am cleaning, purging and packing all my things with no help at all and little damage beyond the soreness and stiffness of age. What a con artist she was! I've been giggling at this for 2 days now and it's making me silly.

I now know how lazy she really was since there were times that I felt sorry for her with all her pain. I have found that the more you carefully do, the less overall pain you have. And, since I do all the time instead of just when I need to in order to move, I won't have 150 bags of trash. I've managed this with only 1 extra bag of trash a week. Mostly my husband's clothes that no longer qualify as gently used.

Life really is what you make of it. When you actually do something to make your surroundings something to be enjoyed, you are moving enough to alleviate some problems that will eventually lead to more pain. And constant whining about how hard life is. Quite the opposite of Joy and Blessings I should think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We Can Do This

I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm awake. Packing for the move begins in earnest tomorrow. In addition to that I will have to buy drapes for 5 rooms, lamps, end tables and something to display my knick knacks on. I checked the price of curio cabinets and darn near fell out of my chair. We have overhead lighting here so we don't have more than 2 lamps. There is no overhead lighting there so in order to see anything I'm going to need to spend money.

I will have to go over there to vacuum and mop floors. With all the guys tracking in and out to get things done the floors got filthy. I just realized I'm going to need shelving paper for the kitchen cabinets. We hope to move in by November 5. I'm not wonder woman so if I manage to get everything done and moved by at least the week before Thanksgiving, I'll be happy. Working by myself here and I am 67 years old.

I will have help carrying most things but I did buy 2 smaller plastic totes that I can handle when I pack them. I figure I can use them for clothing, sheets, towels and some of the kitchen items I will want to put away. And I am still going to keep downsizing. I don't believe there's anything in the kitchen that I will get rid of since I did that after Christmas and haven't purchased anything since.

I just remembered we are going to have to buy a water cooler. The well hasn't been used in 2 years. After peering down in it my husband decided to shock it. The water will be fine for washing up in and doing laundry but without spending the money to have it tested, we are leery about drinking it. Besides, I like the taste of filtered water better anyway, especially when it's cold. I need to find out where Youngest buys his water. He has the same issue with his well that we have with ours.

The power is turned on there, the fuel tank has to be installed. We will need to insure we have the money to have that filled. My husband thought the new furnace was propane but it's kerosene. With the much better insulation in newer manufactured homes plus the energy efficient furnace and fewer windows, we are going to delay putting in the woodstove. If for any reason the power goes out during the winter, we have a propane heater that we can use to stay warm. Also, since we actually own this home and the land, we can get a generator as well.

The big deal for us is the reduction in monthly expenses this move will create. Here I pay a lease for the land of $325 a month. There I will only have taxes which will cost us around $100 a month. Maybe less when we sign up for the STAR Program next year. Heat should cost us more but not enough to be concerned over and that can be reduced if we install the woodstove next year. Electric will run close to what I'm paying now because all appliances are energy efficient and TV and Internet will be cut in half with the ability to sign up for cable. Even if that goes up in a year it still won't cost any more than I'm paying now.

For the third time in my life I'm going to be a home owner and this time I won't lose it due to catastrophic illness or a change in finances. My income is fixed and we have good Medicare  supplements. We're working hard to stay healthy which helps. With the expense reduction we will have time to rebuild what we spent which will give us a little nest egg in our older age. Now I just have to survive the move.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ups And Downs

One of the changes due to moving that I am looking forward to is being able to change my ISP from satellite to cable. I pay almost $80 per month for speeds less than 8 megabits which is considered slow. My upload speed, according to Speedtest(dot)net is .7 and my download speed is .5. I can get better speeds than that from cable for $35 per month.

Due to the change of the home on our property I will have to pay for installation. Don't know how much money we'll have left and haven't spoken to Time Warner to find out what it will cost so we might have to wait awhile but I don't think so. Life has those glitches that gets thrown at us now and again so I can't guarantee anything.

I need to get lamps for all the rooms since there are no overhead lights. Tables to put the lamps on. Drapes, and since we won't be having the computer desks in the living room our only seating will be the couch so we need a chair. I need a break from some of the contentious people we meet online anyway.

Have you ever watched a situation unfold that you knew was going to end badly? I admit it ended in a way that I didn't see coming. There was a betrayal of trust that resulted in someone leaving the site. The remaining party that had more than his fair share of the responsibility didn't have sense enough to keep his mouth shut and started making demands that the admins quit. He made an absolute ass out of himself and being me I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Well, I couldn't keep my fingers off the keyboard. Way too much shadenfreude on my part.

I didn't call him any names, I just told the truth that he spent hours demanding that the other person prove her statement and when she did, he started crying like the baby he is. He baited and bullied her and when it all blew up in his face, he started crying to anyone who would listen. He played with fire, he got burned and he whined like the coward he is.

He was all over the place with his accusations and threats. I stayed on my own blog until he took a paragraph of my post to someone else's comments. Then I took the rest of the salient points there as well. I did pretty much tell him as did the admins that he is stupid, dense and that we were laughing at him. He's hired a lawyer. I'm still laughing at him because he and his friends hung themselves with some comments they made.

They complained that I stuck my nose into it and got told I did it on my blog which I am entitled to. It seems that this worshipped freedom of speech applies only to those that agree with them. And there was also a threat to gang up and dogpile me.

I had no intention of saying anything until I saw a comment he made that we were not safe there. Excuse me. None of us are safe from his bullying. He does things like present polls to declare who the Village Idiot is, he blocks people from his blog and then tries picking arguments  with those he's blocked.  I spoke out. I did so with kindness but I did make it clear he was responsible for his own grief and it was time for him to own it. He's not going to and I seriously doubt he'll be there a lot longer. He's got a banhammer hanging over his head and he doesn't have sense enough to shut up until it gets withdrawn.

When I disconnect for the move, I can promise I won't miss him a bit and maybe when I get back online he'll have shot his mouth off and had that hammer dropped on his head. Although with all the grief he's given me, I'd like to see it happen. I guess I can't have everything but it sure doesn't stop me from wishing I can.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This And That

How do you write something when you have nothing to say? Scratch that. Maybe I should ask how do I have nothing to say when there's so much going on? I've been sitting here for the past half hour thinking that I want but can't put my finger on what it is I want. At the same time I'm content to sit here with a smile on my face, doing nothing.

I don't want to paint and I have to since I need to fill an order before I pack away everything for the move. My head is full of all the new things I'm going to need for my new home. I want to go shopping and yet I don't want to leave the house right now. Maybe tomorrow, maybe I better fill that order, maybe I should pack more things?

I will need lamps, drapes, an easy chair and a water cooler. There is no overhead lighting except in the kitchen and I don't have end tables so I'll need floor lamps for the time being. The computer chairs we use here in the living room will be in the office which leaves me without seating except for the sofa. My treasures will have to stay packed until we can find something suitable to display them on. Here I have built in shelves, there I have nothing.

We should be on track to move in by December 1. Would like to do it earlier but the electrical inspector says the overhead wires, which the power company needs to do something about, are bare. This is not anything we have to pay for but it may delay getting the power turned on in a timely manner. If it weren't for that I could have the power on by next week. Which would have meant we could start moving November 1. We still might be able to but I'm not counting on that.

Every day we are closer to making this move and that is all that matters. Well, that and being ready to move which is another thing entirely.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Art Of Living Kayfabe

Somewhere around 2002 to 2003 I stopped watching wrestling matches on TV. As a 3rd Generation fan of wrestling, I always knew it was fake, but it was entertaining in a mindless sort of way and like many people I needed entertaining.

I was introduced to the entertaining aspects of it at the knee of my paternal grandmother back in the days when the superstars were Gorgeous George, Verne Gagne and Mean George Steele. I mean really, what 6 year old isn't going to get a Saturday noon giggle over watching an overweight adult chewing up a leather turnbuckle?

Prior to cable TV, all you got to see of it in the comfort of our homes was those half hour telecasts of adults behaving badly in some high school gym somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Once cable happened, it opened up the genre to new and exciting programming. Provided one was allowed to stay up that late on Saturday night, that is. Saturday nights belonged to McMahon Sr and his WWF wrestling promotion. If we had cable, we could be exposed to the Southern promotions like the NWA and the WCW on Sunday afternoons. As more homes got cable, wrestling became a go to cheaply produced program like reality TV is today.

"Watcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" I don't know how anyone else handled that, I simply ignored it and settled in with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Man. Then Vince Jr bought out Daddy McMahon and promptly changed the entire game. Kayfabe got broken when he admitted he presented "sports entertainment". We knew it was scripted, but it still was fun trying to figure out who was supposed to win. Besides, where else could you get to watch an angry employee dump a ton of concrete into the bosses $50,000 Corvette? I sit here laughing at the memory of that. Yes, it was kayfabe but probably one of the most satisfying "take this job and shove it" action that I ever saw in my life.

For those who don't know what kayfabe means, it's an old carny word that means to present a work of fiction as true or real. Vince McMahon Jr used to know exactly how to do that and make billions from it. At about the time I got disgusted with the direction of those works of fiction, Vince seems to have become more and more enamored of degrading and taking a direction that physically damaged his talent. It wasn't fun anymore and I walked away without ever looking back.

The younger members of my family still are avid fans and watch it regularly. They tell me what's going on and who the new superstars are and what they're all about. In Facebook I follow Mick Foley, Steve Austin and Chris Jericho so I am reminded of the fun it used to be via their posts. In the midst of this election cycle, one of them posted about Donald Trump's induction into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. He's a friend of Vince McMahon's. The light dawned.

I have spent years trying to figure out how our entire political system became so broken. It becomes a little clearer when you begin to compare society and the individual's understanding of political science to the sort of mindless entertainment we've been enjoying for decades. Too many of us stopped needing to find the truth, to believe in the real. Too many of us embraced kayfabe because it's easier to do so. After all, if we don't like the current story line, a click of our remote button or our mouse or a swipe on our smartphone screen and we can change the world as we know it.

"But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns. Don't bother they're here."

I will not vote in this Presidential election cycle. Too many clowns.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Got some pictures from inside my new home. It's been delivered to our land and leveled. This week they'll install the tie downs. Then all we have to do is extend the plumbing, connect the electric, and skirt it up.

It's 3 bedroom, 2 baths and I love the kitchen.

The stove slid away from the wall a full 2 feet during the move. We hadn't put it back when I took the pictures.

The living room.

There was a room I stepped into that made me smile. Someone who lived there was very creative with the decor and that will be the room I sit and paint in. I took a picture of a detail on the wall. It's only in one place although the wallpaper chair rail extends around the room.

My husband is going to put in place an area of patio blocks for the propane tanks we need for the furnace. He went under the home to see which direction the pipe extended. While under there he found that the original stove in the home wasn't an electric stove. They simply cut the pipe off and left the pipe open which means that this remodel of the kitchen didn't happen until spring of this year. Had it happened during the winter, the uncapped pipe would have allowed the propane to be released under the home and in the kitchen. 

I would say the remodel was entirely to add value to the home for the purpose of trade in on the double wide they bought. They spent $12,000 on just the kitchen plus all the windows are new. We bought the home from the dealer for $11,000. I guess they lost money, and we gained a perfect home for us. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Sacrifice I Make For My Cats

I don't know why the area I live in is different from the rest of the nation but it obviously is. I had a conversation online with someone in Texas who was informing me about the kinds of goofy people who shop at her local Walmart. What she describes to me are the kind of folks featured in the People Of Walmart website. I feel somewhat deprived since I can shop at our Walmart Supercenter and never see anything except normal people.

A couple of years ago there was a plethora of male Duck Dynasty wannabees with their gray hair in long pony tales down their backs, sporting beards while wearing Tshirts and plaid flannels, Not exactly the most attractive fellows since they were old enough to know better, but... Whatever floats their boat and all that. I just haven't ever seen the kind of weirdos that other people claim to see when they shop at their local Walmart.

I mention this because I have to make a trip there today and I am dreading it. Not because of the people I might see but they're remodeling the store while staying open and I can't find a single thing I need without a great deal of hunting. Every single department has been moved and in cases where the new location isn't fully ready, stuff is in a temporary spot which changes all the time.

They have signs up that state that we can ask an associate if we can't find what we're looking for but when you do ask, the associate doesn't know either. At the moment the Craft department is located in the annex which used to house Lawn and Garden. I haven't located Lawn and Garden yet. The TV's and other electronics are where the Crafts used to be. The Jewelry counter and the Bakery counter are gone. Cakes and stuff like that are out in the coolers where the berries used to be and I haven't seen the berries. That doesn't matter so much since I have a freezer full of local grown but where are they hiding stuff? Who even knows if these new locations are permanent?

Last week when I went there they had started ripping up the food sections. Apparently that's going elsewhere. Today I have to get cat food which is now in the back of the store next to electronics, instead of in the middle next to kitchen appliances. I haven't seen kitchen ware in my travels through there so I don't know where that went. I need grapes if I can find them and facial tissues.

I have a list of other things which may not get filled because it's likely to take me a long time just to find the stuff I've already mentioned. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I view all this as a nightmare shopping trip and have been told by women decades younger than I am that it's not that bad.

Oh yes it is!

If it weren't for the cats starving to death I wouldn't go there at all until after the remodeling is finished. Unfortunately Walmart is the cheapest source for the canned cat food and the ONLY store in my area that carries a variety of flavors in the original consistency they call pate. My options are braving the remodeling process and hunting for what I need or taking a 50 mile round trip to Target. Just for cat food and then having to go shop for the other things I need elsewhere.

Maybe I'll feel braver after a second cup of coffee?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

When Men Go Shopping

I am more than willing to purchase underwear for my husband but for some reason he chose to do it for himself. We now know he shouldn't ever do that again. He is the proud possesser of 6 pairs of briefs one size too large for him, 6 pairs of knee socks and a cat toy.

Also, one jealous cat. 

Precious was having entirely too much fun and Butterscotch would not allow that. It got a little tense when Butterscotch decided to assert himself by cuffing the offending kitty upside the head. The thing that is annoying is that Precious was having so much fun and Butterscotch isn't interested in playing with it. He just wants to stop Precious from playing with it. 

Once we have moved and we then have rooms to separate them into, we are going to try to keep Precious in the house all the time. He's getting older and I'm thinking that if we can keep him safe from Butterscotch and provide him with enough things to interest him we might manage it. Where we might have a problem is getting him to use a litter box. He never has and I'm not sure how that's going to go. If I decide that will be an issue that I'm not going to like the outcome of, I am planning an enclosure that he can access. I know enough people who are handy with a hammer so that should not be a problem. 

The enclosure may be a better idea, I won't know until we move. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I Need An Energizer Bunny

It's been  a highly stressful week. Things kind of popped open and we now have everything we need to get the property to the point where we can move. I'd like it to happen before Christmas but we did find we have to change a utility pole. The home dealer says we need to get hold of National Grid this week because they take forever to do their part. They have to mark the spot where the new pole will go and then hook it into the power grid. This may delay the move until Spring.

I don't care. It's a reality now. We have the land, the mobile home with a custom designed kitchen, the permits to begin work. All paid for and with enough left over to pay for the new pole.

I have to start sorting and packing and I'm goofing off right now to energize myself for the ordeal.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Would I lie?

I'm going to miss my neighbor the beef farmer. 

And the wide open spaces across the road from me. 

But, I'm going to love living without any monthly rental except for the taxes. And the upkeep. Since I own my own home except it's on someone else's land and my new home is in far newer condition I'm thinking the upkeep will be mostly things I want to improve on instead of fix. Money saved by getting rid of the landline that was costing us this much money every month can be saved for improvements. We're now officially a cell phone only family but we still say no to smart phones. 

I suppose I'd better get to work. *sigh*

Monday, September 5, 2016

Life With Cat

When you live in an older 12 X 65 mobile home with 3 bedrooms you find the rooms are rather small. When we decided to add a wood stove to the home in order to stay warm without breaking the bank buying kerosene. We removed a wall between living room and the first bedroom which was a whopping 6 X 8. That left us with a second closet in the living room so we built shelves in it and used it for storage. One can never have too much storage since no matter how much we have, it's never enough. In this closet I put cases of paper towels and other things like hubby's tools and past years of his business book work.

I needed a roll of paper towels out of the closet and once I had one in hand decided I needed to go up the hall to the bathroom. I put the roll on the seat of my computer chair and when I came back into the living room, it wasn't there. I was hearing this rather strange popping noise so I followed it and discovered Butterscotch lying on the floor on the other side of the coffee table hugging the paper towel roll and driving both hind paws into it with claws extended.

There was tiny bits of paper floating through the air and sliding across the floor. Some of them had made it the remaining 4 or so feet to the dining room floor. My darling cat is a paper shredder. He thinks it's his reason for living. He'll shred books, business receipts, newspapers, magazines, toilet tissue, paper bags, heavy cardboard box one bite at a time and paper towels. My newly opened roll of paper towels looked like this.

I wish I could say the cat was hanging his head in shame in this next picture but I doubt it. I actually think he was probably laughing at me. Now that I've looked at this picture again, I realize that's one of my husband's business receipts under his nose. Maybe he was planning some new mayhem?

Since I have a 4 legged fur bearing paper shredder in the house, I am so grateful we no longer have carpeting. I can't imagine the damage to the carpet, possibly the vacuum cleaner and definitely my nerves that having carpet would create. Just one more reason to count my blessings.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Farmers Market Day

This particular market is a producer only market. If you don't make it with your own hands or grow it yourself, you don't get to sell it at this market. Some of the other area farm markets allow the farmer to buy produce and resell it until their own comes in. Not at this market.

Many of the farmers are Amish and do not allow pictures so I had to stand in the middle and shoot the lane which doesn't give any idea of what's for sale. The only exception is Heather's booth of hand made soaps. When I took pictures there, she bent over and tied her shoes.

Available products today were all the types of veggies and fruits you'd find growing this time of year. There's pillows and jams, breads, berries and cookies. One booth is hand made wooden cutting boards, There's an alpaca farm booth where I bought some alpaca socks for my husband. One person sells pies and one person sells fresh garlic only. Oh, and the wine maker.

I bought my half bushel of green beans for the freezer and a couple of acorn squash. Tomorrow it's clean, snip, blanch and package it up for the freezer. I'm already tired.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Trouble With Trying To Change One's Lifestyle

I have been making lifestyle changes, one at a time to acquire new and better habits. I'm chuckling at myself because the changes, while beneficial, have been small and easy ones. I still haven't tackled the big ones I need to address but they too are in my future.

This morning I really need to go clean my kitchen. I am suffering from inertia and a tendency this morning to watch the clock looking for the magic lunch hour numbers. After a year plus of retirement I finally figured out I can buy things I want to eat that Hubby won't eat and have them for my lunches on days when he is out. So, yesterday I purchased 3 cans of Progressive soups. Granted I prefer home made split pea soup, but without anyone else eating it a large pot of soup would languish in my freezer until it deteriorated to the point where I wouldn't enjoy the consumption of it.

Anyways, I purchased a can of Split Pea, a can of Lentil and one of Italian Wedding soup. Got to get into that one last night when hubby wanted a supper I won't eat. The remainder of that oh so good soup is sitting in my refrigerator waiting the noon hour for further consumption. Maybe I should have had it for breakfast?

I had plans for today which included a morning walk and having the kitchen clean by now. All I can say in defense of myself is I'm LAZY! And I really need to stop being that way. It's after 10 and I'm not even dressed yet. I should be ashamed of myself but I'm not.

I am aware that this type of thing isn't being kind to myself. Learning to be kind to myself is kind of a process achieved by trial and error. It requires movement. I feel like Goldilocks with the too much, not enough and just right categories. Too much movement increases pain. Too little movement increases pain and I haven't found the just right movement amount yet. Have faith in myself that I'll get there...eventually. I do consider that maybe eventually needs to come a little sooner since nothing is ever guaranteed, but I like living dangerously once in awhile.

Since today is going to be one of sunshine and moderate temperatures I will manage that walk after supper. I'm thinking about taking my camera and see what I can find worth capturing. Right now I better do more than think about capturing a clean kitchen.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

There Is A Time

There was a time when the internet was new and exciting to me, now that I'm older it has become exactly what I choose to make of it. There is a conscious decision we have to make to avoid drama and trolls and anonymous adults behaving as if they're stuck in kindergarten. Sometimes watching people treat each other as badly as they do can be painful. Ignoring it becomes easier when there's something going on offline that passes for a real life.

Having a real life is harder when there are physical limits. The days when partying and dancing until dawn on a weekend night were a regular thing, have passed for me. That's a good thing. I'd need a month to recover from them if I did. It took me awhile to accept that life is a little bit slower when one is older. I used to regret those nights when I was stuck at home watching my very tired husband fall asleep on the couch almost immediately after supper. I thought we should be doing something or going somewhere, now I'm just grateful that he's here .

Now I don't have to be in a hurry. I can move slower and breathe in the scent of newly mown lawn. I can listen to the crickets or the breeze rustling the tree leaves. I can contemplate the changes of the seasons without the stress of wondering how I'm going to go here or there in winter. I can go where and when I choose to go without pressure of having to be someplace at a specific time.

It was when I began to take better care of me and stop to smell the roses that I realized this was my time. This was when I can explore new things, listen to genres of music that I don't ordinarily listen to. Which is how I found "There Is A Time".

I have faced the fact that this aging body of mine isn't quite as capable of doing all the things it used to do. I've torn a rotator cuff and will require therapy to strengthen it and to free the shoulder that is trying to freeze up. This too shall pass and I will learn how to pace myself to avoid it happening again in the future.

There is a time for quiet enjoyment of a good book, the purr of a contented cat and I am there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Written With A Smile On my Face And Joy In My Heart

I started getting miserable with myself because I made a schedule last night and I might as well not have since I didn't stick to a bit of it. I was silently ranting at myself when I stopped to look out the open door at the chipmunk standing on the deck post chirping away. I told him to shut up which caused him to try flying when he obviously isn't capable. I thought at first that he'd hurt himself but he appears to be fine now, if the speed at which he ran away is any indication.

I didn't tell him to shut up to be mean. I was thinking about the location of the Precious Kitteh, killer of all things smaller than he is. Had Precious been any where around, Mr Chipmunk would have lost the ability to chirp loudly and incessantly. He would have been silenced and left on my deck as an offering the way every other such offering has been. Mice, moles, rats, voles and a squirrel have all found their final resting place on the wooden floor of my deck. Left there as breakfast for the humans who take care of him, I suppose. Unappreciated, by me anyway, payment for food and shelter. I'm quite sure he isn't paying for the vet trips and the shots to keep him free of the many ailments cats can catch.

I'd rather keep him in the house but am unable to until we can devise a way of allowing him freedom from the resident bully cat. I ignored his request to be let out for a bit the other day and was treated to the sounds of 2 cats having a set to with fur flying. Don't know who started it, but I have 2 alpha males and the only way to have peace is when Precious is sleeping. Precious comes in when he needs protecting from the elements, food, a soft place to sleep and cuddles. Outside he's a free spirit with a lust for adventure.

We had a little wind damage to the roof.last week. Husband sets up the ladder, climbs up to inspect and decide what he needed. Came down and into the house for something and when he went back out, Precious was on the roof. When my husband was done he decided he'd grab the kitty to bring him back down but he had to bring down the other things he took up there first. When he turned around to go back up, here came Precious down the ladder. Head first from rung to rung just like he did this every day of his life.

When I let him out I always tell him to behave himself and come home early. From what I can see, he always behaves himself according to his principles but he comes home when he's darn good and ready. Unless it's raining, or snowing or seriously hot or cold out there, he's in his element and I've learned to accept that there's not much I can do about that right now, and maybe not ever.

This reminds me I really, really need to clean the desk off and file the paperwork. There's not as much of it there today as there was when I took this picture. It would be easier to organize right now since there's less of it and Precious Kitteh is outside in the sun exploring his universe. At least he is until time for dinner. Mr Chipmunk lives to chirp another day and I'm blessed to have experienced a great day. Even if I didn't get much done.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Snipping Beans And Talking To My Cat

Lately all the drama online has made me want to dig a hole and climb into it. Between the shenanigans and idiots at my other blogsite and the politics of the day, I'm fed up and in some ways bored with it. It's gone on long before I drove onto the information superhighway and it will be still go on long after I'm nothing but ashes in a container somewhere. I'm trying not to be judgmental but can someone explain to me how, after 8 years of President Obama, people who love guns still have them despite their insistence that he's coming for their guns? All the facepalms, eye rolls and side eyes in the world won't begin to measure the depths of my disgust at the sheer unadulterated stupidity of that one. But that's none of my business.

I am so over sitting in front of my screen trying to find people of sense that I'm actually doing work like things to occupy myself. I actually have a half bushel of beans all snipped, blanched, packaged and in my freezer. One quarter, so far, of yellow wax beans and one quarter of the Italian Romano or Roma beans that I love. I have a half bushel of regular green beans on order and will be getting another round of the Roma and yellow wax to freeze. This bowl of yellow wax gave me 5 quarts of goodness and today's Roma beans another 5.

Once the middle of October rolls around I will have beans, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, carrots and any other root veggies that I can find at the farm markets in my freezer. I've already done the strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I'm going to add peaches, plums, grapes and applesauce. Home made applesauce which given the price of apples is going to break the bank because I want lots of it.

The decision to do this is due to the listeria scare that happened toward the end of the past winter. If I can do all this, why am I wasting time buying food from a factory farm that is susceptible to food borne bacteria? By the time that recall was over, almost every prepackaged frozen vegetable in my freezer had to be disposed of.

I probably could get a better price if I bought by the bushel, the problem with that is my body wouldn't be able to lift it into my vehicle and out of it to be carried into the house, Then I'd have to work harder to get it put up than I do just buying half a bushel at a time.

I like yellow squash and zucchini but that gets watery in the freezer so I'm just using the yellow squash. Will add butternut and acorn squash as the weather cools. I read that if you pierce butternut squash and bake it in the oven, all you have to do is cut it, scoop out the seeds and then it can be frozen. Same with acorn and buttercup squash although those have real hard shells so you cut and scoop before baking. The yield from these was 3 quarts so I need to buy more this weekend.

With everything I'm doing during the day now, I'm not being aggravated by the people who are choosing to be right instead of kind. I'm moving, building strength, sleeping like a baby nights and waking up excited to see what I'll find at the market or the farmstand today.

During the hours I'm working my supervisor lays on the floor just out of the way of my feet to watch what I'm doing and to listen to me talk or sing to the music I'm listening to. When I take a break he climbs into my lap and gives me lots of purrs and cat hairs. So far none of the hairs have made it into the produce. He doesn't seem to care that I don't sing very well. Work seems to fascinate him. He can lie down right beside it and watch. And play with whatever falls on the floor.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Been There, Done That, Probably Have A Few Scars To Prove It

There are times that I'm not a nice person and this may be one of them. Every person handles life and it's many woes differently. I get that, I do, but, when all you do is whine about it, don't look to me for comfort after the first couple of times. I'm not going to encourage that because you aren't dealing with anything I haven't dealt with.

Two of my online friends have lost their beloved husbands this month due to cancer, Boo is handling things, including her beloved's family of vultures with a sense of grace in her loss. Yes, she asks the inevitable question from time to time as any one in that position does, . How do I live without him? The answer for any of us is different, of course. For me it was I don't know but I don't have a choice. Crybaby, on the other hand is not even trying to cope.

 Crybaby is financially secure. She has no medical bills since he had better insurance. When he became ill, Crybaby had to learn how to operate the riding lawn mower and the weed whacker and she had all kinds of help to take care of things. Boo had to deal with her beloved's family trying to take things away from her except, of course, the bills. Boo has that 20% of catastrophe to pay for.

Boo would periodically express her fears but she coped on her own to get through watching him die breath by breath. Crybaby couldn't do anything at all except post on Facebook that she wanted to die. Trust me, I understand that too, and because of the 20% of catastrophe that I had to pay, I almost did.

I was working 2 full time jobs to support myself and pay the bills, only, I didn't always have enough for food. I didn't tell anyone that, I just did what I could do and lost a large amount of weight in a very short time. I wound up living in one room with a refrigerator and hot plate. I had a sofa bed, a dresser and 2 end tables. The shower was in my room right outside the bathroom door. I caught a cold in April and by June I was so weak I couldn't walk without staggering. I was working 76 hours a week and fueling my body on water, coffee from the pot at work and 1 meal a day 4 days a week.

I know what cancer is. Dick had it in his lungs, prostate and his brain. Three years of doctors, hospitals and the knowledge that I was going to be a widow. I handled it. I lived as normal a life as I could being grateful for every day we had together. Even on the days when he had seizures and I had to stay away from his flailing arms. It wasn't him, it was the cancer and I wore the bruises it caused in silence. I was scared to death when he died. Didn't know what I was going to do without him.

Not once did I say I wanted to sleep and not wake up. Not once did I pick a fight with someone and then call someone else to cry and carry on as if I was suicidal. Not once did I complain about my lot in life. I handled situations where his buddies considered me to be a lonely merry widow. I cried when the one I never expected it from tried. I lost every single friend I thought I had because I was thin, decent looking and they didn't trust their husbands. They were right not to, but they should have trusted me.

It was hard, it toughened me and for a while I think it made me bitter. Lost that bitterness when I met my husband. This coming Wednesday we will have been married 25 years. Life hasn't always been easy for us, but we managed. We have what we need and I enjoy a sense of gratitude for that every day that I wake up with him beside me.

I will not ever be someone with patience for those who won't even try to cope with life as it is. The self centered woe is me kind of person that Crybaby is makes me want to be mean and tell her to grow the hell up. I won't because I'm not quite that uncaring. I'm just not speaking to her if I can avoid it and since I know she has enough support at her beck and call, I don't need to bother with her.

Depression is a real illness and I don't wish to take that away from those who suffer with it. If someone who suffers with it isn't taking advantage of all the opportunities to help themselves through medication, counseling or whatever a medical professional is prescribing, then I am not going to enable that pity party. Stop jerking people's chains with this "I want to die" crap and look at what you're doing to those who care about you. Just leave me out of it because I'm not liking what I'm seeing you do and I won't be a party to that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sorry, Not Sorry

I haven't posted here in a week and I don't feel the least bit guilty. I'm spending my time with the fictional characters found in books rather than the social media kind. I've had the first four volumes of George RR Martin's "Song Of Ice And Fire" for quite awhile now and didn't seem capable of tearing myself away from the internet to read them. I don't really know why I managed it this summer, but I'm not really caring about that.

In all honesty it probably has a great deal to do with the political mess this Presidential Election Cycle has become. I'm of the opinion that reading works of fiction is a far better use of my time than supporting the current political process would be. As long as we continue to throw all our efforts into picking one person to head the country and refuse to see that who sits in the White House won't change a thing, we will get what we deserve. The President can suggest, he can request, but it's Congress that has to approve the suggestion and create the law. As long as we keep electing the all or nothing at all Congressional Politicians because that's who we have become, then we will continue to get nothing at all. All or nothing occurs in dictatorships, choose wisely.

I am normally a purist when it comes to books and movies. I either read the book and refuse to watch the movie or I see the movie and won't read the book. I don't have HBO so I actually haven't watched a single full episode. I have watched the highlights on Youtube and have read the spoilers that occur every Monday following and episode. However, once beyond Book 1 "Game of Thrones", so much is changed that doing both would be a good idea.

During the time of watching just the highlights I was a big fan of House Stark. Reading the book taught me that despite their honor and integrity, they weren't very smart about the ways of the world. They stood and fell on that honor without the faintest clue that their failure to listen to the needs and opinions of others contributed to the end of their lives. Everything for them was clearly black or white with no allowances for extenuating circumstances. Their honor drove them to be right all the time with no room for kindness.

When Ned Stark lost his head and his daughters were left to suffer, Sansa at the hands of Queen Cersei and the wholly evil Joffrey and Arya at the mercy of every bad thing she encounters in her travels,  I was shocked and angry. Now, reading the book, I see why this had to happen and am looking forward to seeing who gets their just desserts and who actually wins at the game. I suspect it will be someone with their own somewhat slippery sense of honor and integrity but sometimes when the stakes are high, those gray areas need to exist. Even life has it's moments when gray areas need to be explored.

I hope to be moved into a home on my own property before the next season debuts on HBO. I will be able to switch from the more expensive satellite internet connection to Roadrunner since Time Warner is available there. We also will be giving up our Verizon landline since there is a different and much cheaper phone company that services the area. With so much in savings I will be able to enjoy HBO and will be able to see the last 2 seasons of episodes there. I'm looking forward to that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lifestyles Of The Couch Potato

Behold the species of fauna commonly known as Couch Potato, sub genre Husband and Cat. Quite easily studied, if one was inclined to study something this common. I don't recommend it since it's akin to watching paint dry or grass grow and is quite likely to put the observer to sleep. I find it a rather poignant occupation since I am aware that we are living on borrowed time. So much of our life behind us and so little remaining to enjoy. I shall not complain since I count us as among the lucky in life to have lasted this long. Blessings counted and unfortunately promptly forgotten or taken for granted.

If we ever find a mobile home that has axles and can be moved to our property, I have been thinking I might like to get a dog. I had pretty much decided that I would be out of my mind if I did, when Hubby said something at suppertime that surprised me. He said that people find him odd because he doesn't want to own a dog. He prefers cats. I found myself wondering where this person came from because for 29 years I thought he preferred dogs.

The cat I had when we met was not pleased with him when he came to visit because he would bring his dog Buck with him. When he moved in with me his brother took Buck because my landlord didn't allow dogs. When we found someplace that allowed us to have a dog, his brother and sister-in-law were so attached to Buck that we didn't have the heart to take him away from them. Buck lived happily where he had land to roam and people there with him all the time. In our home work would have forced him to stay alone all day.

For all the years Buck was alive we visited with them weekly and once Buck was gone so were our visits. I've always thought he regretted not keeping Buck and today I found out he prefers cats. He just didn't want to appear to be abandoning Buck since the dog belonged to him in the beginning.

I can understand at the age we are now not wanting to disturb our Couch Potato status to spend the time walking the dog, picking up poop in all kinds of weather. Snow, sleet or freezing rain can't prevent a dog from having to do it's duty. Cats have litter boxes, dogs have yards, roadsides and sometimes other people's front lawns. Litter boxes are easier.

On the one hand, I'd get more exercise if I had to walk a dog. On the other hand I'd have to walk a dog in the snow, sleet and freezing rain. This doesn't appeal to me for some strange reason. I'm not overly enthusiastic about being outside in the heat either so there's that too. Besides, my cats would object. They don't even like each other, but they sure do like my Husband.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Letting Go And Moving On

I had myself convinced for far too many years that my husband's children thought of me as part of their family. I found out in a very painful manner that they don't when my uncle died. They didn't say a word. None of them asked me if I was all right, they didn't offer me an "I'm sorry for your loss". I posted his obituary on my Facebook page and people who have never met me reacted to it with the sad emoji or said they were sorry in a comment. From my husband's family there was absolutely zero acknowledgement for my loss.

My husband and both of his sons are self employed. While the sons have their own business certificates and company names, their business comes to them from the business phone number and advertising paid for by my husband. When I retired, that phone became my responsibility. I'm the one that answers it, takes the messages and forwards them to the proper person or I set up the appointments and portable restroom rentals and forward that information. I receive no pay for this. I benefit from my husband's income, however, the bulk of the calls I take are not his. I saw this as helping people I care about and willingly put up with the aggravation of not being able to go anywhere.

For 16 months of my retirement I left the house to go grocery shopping, to the doctors office or to the hairdressers. For 16 months I carried a phone into the bathroom so I wouldn't miss a call. I have gotten out of a shower covered in soap and dripped all over the bathroom floor more times than I can count so that nobody missed an opportunity to make money. For 16 months I saw my 93 year old uncle maybe 3 or 4 times.

He was 93. He needed help that I am qualified to give. There is so much we could have shared had I not been so sure I was doing the right thing for people who mattered to me and who I thought I mattered to. I essentially gave up being there for my family to be there for someone else's family and I can't make that up to my Uncle because he's gone.

I did a Facebook post about how I felt. I said in it that I taught them to treat me as if I had no value to them. I got told that I had no right to criticize my husband's children or their spouses. They had lives outside of Facebook. They don't seem to grasp that the lives they have outside of Facebook are made possible by the life I lost answering their business calls. I actually got told by one of them that she lost her Mom and Dad 5 years apart and she didn't attack anyone. Odd how she doesn't remember I was there offering her a shoulder to cry on if she needed it. Something none of them offered to me.

None of them cared enough about me to offer condolences and as far as they're concerned I had no right to expect any. There is absolutely nothing I can do about this except move on. The problem is finding a way to move on without damaging my relationship with my husband. I refuse to place him in the position of having to choose sides or to deal with a major blow up.

I'm still stuck answering the phone and taking their messages although sometimes I just give out the cell phone number belonging to the person the call is for. Today I'm purchasing a new phone system so I can let an answering machine relieve me of the need to go to the bathroom with the phone in hand. I have missed a couple of calls for one of the sons who found out about it when they ran into him. He was quick enough to call me to complain. I didn't even say I was sorry. I just said that I went to the bathroom, shit happens. I handed the phone to his father and walked away.

I have never asked them for anything and a part of me wishes I had. I would have been forced to acknowledge the situation instead of continuing to fool myself. Truthfully, the evidence was there, I just chose not to see it because it occurred in situations that weren't so painful for me. I can't say I forgive you for what you did to me because they didn't do it to me. They just did what they always do. They were who they always have been. It was me who placed trust in them to care enough to pick me up when I was down. It won't happen again.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Some People Need To Be Loved From A Distance

This past Monday I ran into a former co-worker while I was out and about. She's a nurse who has done the same case on the graveyard shift for 18 years. The case was the result of a Dad who shook his baby badly enough to cause serious brain damage. This nurse has dedicated herself to this child, now an adult child, to the point where she really wasn't there for her family. She allowed her need to care for a baby to come ahead of the need her teen children had to have a connected Mom in their lives.

She was there for the drama, but in between the bad stuff she didn't share with them the things they were interested in. She was too tired to attend school functions since she needed to sleep to go to work. When she did attend, her conversations were all about the condition of the abused baby. You never heard a single thing about the triumphs of her own children, just the bad things. Like when her daughter got into drugs and they affected her mental status. Then there was the attempted suicide of her son. Her husband getting caught cheating on her, his heart attack, etc.

All the times we talked I would tell her she needed to take care of herself and her family first. The only time I ever earned a trip to the bosses office for a session was because I told her that company policy was family comes first. It wasn't anything other than an offhand statement to her apology for letting the client's family down when her daughter was in the emergency room, but she lodged a formal complaint against me for saying it. I chalked it up to her own guilty conscience and didn't make a fuss because the conversation didn't go on my record. Now I can say what I want and she can't do anything about it. I told her she needed to learn to take care of herself.

I was shocked when I saw her condition. She moves like a woman 20 years older than she is. Her litany of health issues include fibromyalgia, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis of the knees and a possible detached retina. She drove to work last Sunday night unable to see out of one eye. Reaping what she sowed is an issue with her. She is unhappy with...well...everything.

Her oldest child will help her out but the other 2 can't find the time. I'm standing there looking at a woman who is 8 years younger than I am whose skin is gray, she's obviously exhausted, she can't stand up straight so she's leaning her full weight on a shopping cart. She told me that she was going out on disability at the end of the month unless the doctor took her out after the appointment she had for 2 pm that day. I hope he did, but I don't know because I've gotten a grip on myself and am taking care of me.

I very badly wanted to give her my number and tell her to call if she needed anything. I didn't do it because I could see the big black hole of need that I would be sucked into and that black hole is toxic. Her decision to accept her disability and give up her patient showed her how little loyalty that patient's family had to her. She now has to face the reality of what she did by prioritizing that patient over the needs of her family and it's not pretty nor does she like it. She oozes negativity and I fail to believe that situation will change.

I am hoping that she finds peace in life. She'll feel better when she does. I know I feel less pain when I'm content with myself and my choices. Even when they are somewhat selfish. Sometimes it's necessary to be selfish and put ourselves first. In life people come and people go, the only constant then is me. I'm learning to be here for myself because nobody else can be here all the time except me.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Heart Was Not Enough

This week I learned a harsh and painful lesson. I learned that after 25 years my husband's children are not my family. They are his family, not mine. The lesson was taught to me when my uncle died. They did not see fit to offer condolences to me even though my husband told his sons that I was grieving. I posted the obituary on my wall in Facebook and those who are online almost all the time didn't see it. They did not show up to pay respects at the funeral home to me, and made no effort to see if I needed anything. I had all the tissues I needed, could have used a hug though.

One of them told me she didn't know because she wasn't online as much as she used to be and missed my posts. She was the only one that said how sorry she was and apologized. She saw my short post about the wonderful people who came all the way from Binghamton to pay pay respects. You know, those OLD people who were his friends? They made a 3 hour round trip to send off a kind gentle man to his reward and to hug those of us that needed it. I needed it. I still need but there is no one there to offer it except my husband. Good enough I say, however, inside me where I hide, the pain is unbearable. It's going to take time. I may be standing mostly alone, but I have the strength to do so.

Yesterday I spent time breathing deeply and resisting the urge to start a fight. I did make a Facebook post stating how I felt and it was ignored. Floundering through my day questioning why this was happened, reminding myself I didn't do anything, and using box after box of tissues didn't provide any relief. It was a short post from my husband's youngest daughter-in-law that did.

They had picked up pizza and wings for supper and on the way home the sauce from the chicken wings spilled onto the back seat of "her" vehicle. Her baby as she called it. After years of her claims that this place makes the best pizza suddenly she won't be buying from them ever again because the grease spilled onto the back seat of her Kia Soul. The restaurant didn't tie the bag closed. The restaurant offered her $10 off their next order and this isn't good enough. She isn't saying what she wanted from them for their carelessness. Mind you, she saw the bag not tied closed, she could have done that herself before the restaurant ruined "her baby".

In my petty mood I saw this as karma and it made me laugh until the light pierced through my dark cloud of grief. I do not need, nor want, people in my life for whom the things they own have more value than the people who love them.

I let my uncle down by believing "my family" needed me. I was unable to spend as much time with my uncle as I should have because of that belief. I can't fix that because he's dead. I can make better choices with my surviving uncle and his wife. I won't ever allow myself to believe my husband's children need me if it would keep me from spending time with the family that was there for me when I hurt.

I love them, I just don't need them anymore. I wish them well.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

And Quietly He Slipped Away

He lived most of his life on his own terms. I know he didn't foresee the tragedies he would have to face, bankruptcy, the death of both of his wives and of his only son. I'm sure he was devastated by those losses, yet he never complained. He just stood tall and moved forward.

Two years ago he moved back home to the city he was born in but left almost 70 years ago. There no longer was anyone there that was family and when we near the end of life, having the life we're used to without the people that love us in it, isn't much of a life at all. He didn't say much about how he was liking the change, like everything he had to deal with he just made the best of things and kept moving forward.

Then his body began to betray him. First a stroke and a hospital stay, then a rehab facility. Then another hospital stay for a bleeding ulcer only this time he refused to go to rehab. This time he went home. To the home he lived in from Thanksgiving weekend of 2014 until sometime last night when he went to sleep to wake up no more.

I knew Tuesday that he'd given up. I knew it was a matter of time but still was shocked to my core when I called there this morning to tell him I was still contagious and would see him Monday and his sister-in-law answered the phone. She and my other Uncle had gone to pick him up to go grocery shopping. His body was there, he wasn't. Odd how things occur, isn't it?

He didn't like being sick, he didn't like being dependent on anyone. It took away his confidence in himself. It also took his will to live with it. He was no longer able to live life on his terms and that made life something he no longer wanted. It doesn't matter whether or not another stroke took him or whether or not his heart gave out. He'd made the most of his 93 years. It was time to say goodbye.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Taking A Deep Breath, Doing What I Can Do. Letting The Rest Go.

Attempting to process the situation in my family is leaving me with an urge to slap someone upside the head. I keep breathing deeply and telling myself to let it go. I can't change part of it and allowing it to eat at me won't help the situation and might actually hurt me.

My 93 year old uncle wound up back in the hospital over Memorial weekend with seizures and bloody vomit. The uncle that is executor of the will seemed to be handling things so I kind of stayed out of it. I was told he was going to be getting meals on wheels and home care so I chose not to stick my nose where it isn't wanted. I stopped in for a visit with him on Saturday and found out the whole story isn't exactly the way I was lead to believe.

He can't enter an assisted living facility. He makes too much money to be Medicaid eligible and not enough to pay for the rent there on his own. So, they then applied to the Office for the Aging to receive meals on wheels and a home health aide to assist with showers and cleaning his apartment. He's on a waiting list for both. Waiting list for these things when I retired was 18 months to 2 years.

I told them a month ago it was like this, but I didn't know what I was talking about. So, when everything I told my executor uncle turned out to be the truth, did they call and ask me if I could help? Of course not. They just left my 93 year old uncle without. As I got told on Sunday afternoon, he belongs in a nursing home. Except he's not in a nursing home and there are things he can't do for himself. His mind is sharp, it's the container it's in that is the problem. His body is letting him down. He will not go into a nursing home and no doctor will order it because his mind is too sharp.

For 15 years I did home care for a living. I know what to do and I know what he needs to be safe in his home. Are they listening to me? OH HELL NO. They keep telling me I cant do that because the visiting nurse and the physical therapist don't want that.

He is a fall precaution. However, instead of the walker without wheels they assigned him one with 2 wheels. It takes a forceful push to move it over the grout lines in the ceramic tile floors. I suggested a 4 wheel with a basket and a seat. First I was told it was too heavy and he wouldn't be able to fold it and place it in the vehicle when he went anywhere. His doctor has told him no driving. So, someone can't help him do that when they take him anywhere? Then the story is he can't have it because he's a fall precaution and it might roll away from him causing him to fall. However, a walker that he can't use while trying to fix himself something to eat or drink and carry it to the table in the dining area won't make him fall because he can't use it at all while carrying his food or hot coffee.

With a 4 wheeled walker that has a seat, he can place his food and beverage on the seat and roll it to his dining area. We can't have that because the PT and the visiting nurse say no. The visiting nurse doesn't do anything except set up his meds from a tray of prescription bottles she stores on the ceramic cooktop of his stove. It's on the back, which doesn't wash with me because no stove has only 2 burners. There are also 2 more burners in the back of the stove. However, those people who know more than I do because they went to college, don't feel this is a fire hazard. Metal tray, ceramic top and controls on the front of the stove where they can be easily turned on by brushing against them. I was told he doesn't use the stove except it's greasy and has food particles on it. How long have they been there?

So, what we have here is an Aunt and Uncle, 2 cousins with spouses and grown children who couldn't pick up a spray bottle and wipe the damn stove clean? And what we also have here is me, who knows how to help him stay as independent as he can, being told to go clean his home and mind my own business.

It's going to be cooler here later this week. I think I'll bake a pie. He was always partial to pie. I'm also sure a few meals he can pop into the microwave won't come amiss either. Might find his appetite since he used to like my cooking. Might stop some of the weight loss since he'd actually have food in the house to eat. Who knows?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I Wonder If The Road To Success Starts In A Parking Lot?

This morning I drove a neighbor and his dog to the vet's office for shots. I chose to wait in the car in the parking lot instead of going in because the day was gorgeous and I wanted to enjoy it. This particular animal hospital is at an intersection of a major state highway and a country road. There is a stop light there and a lot of traffic.

I was just admiring the work of the state employees on their zero turn lawn mowers racing up and down the median strip when an unmarked tractor trailer entered the intersection. There was no visible identifying freight company markings on it, but on the side of the trailer in huge letters it said; "Nobody said the road to success was a smooth and easy drive. You just have to watch out for the bumps." As I finished reading that I realized the stop light on my side of the intersection was green which meant that the light that controls the direction he was traveling in was red. He had slowed for the light but somehow didn't stop. Fortunately there was no traffic at the crossroad or his road to success might have included not only a few bumps but a few traffic tickets as well.

That intersection has seen it's share of death. After the wife of a friend of my family and her 3 children were killed there back in the 80s, the state reconfigured the intersection to try to make it safer. It, of course, didn't change much. It isn't a flaw in the intersection that is the problem, it's a flaw in the drivers. Yes, I am a driver and including myself in that statement. While I don't speed or make unsafe turns, there are times when the boredom of the drive lets my mind wander. All drivers are constantly distracted by life which is why I get so frustrated with those who feel they can drive safely while doing other things.

When we stop to think about the fact that we're already thinking about things that have nothing to do with the road and the other cars, pedestrians, animals, farm equipment or what have you, we're already multitasking. Most of us do not have a brain designed to do that successfully so why would anyone add fixing makeup, eating or posting status updates on Facebook?

Today the sky was beautifully blue, the grass was green, the flowers were blooming and I saw all this while sitting in a parking lot waiting for my neighbor to come out. Made me a bit nostalgic for those Sunday drives we used to take in the summer. Now we're in too much of a hurry all the time to go nowhere and we haven't the sense God gave a horse to realize how much we're missing. In case you're not familiar with horses, God didn't give them much sense at all. They're smart animals, they just don't have any sense. Kind of like people these days.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Less Thinking About Doing And More Doing

The program was a positive experience for me. My numbers improved. While my cholesterol wasn't high to start out with the ratio between HDL ad LDL needed improving. That happened as a result of the program. My glucose levels also went down. Total weight loss was 5 pounds, body fat was down by 3%. My yeast overgrowth lessened which shows as a lack of coating on my tongue, a lack of itchy blotches on my face as well as a drop in my sedimentation rate.

My purchase of the Earth Shoes intrigued her. She knows the benefits of wearing them. It never occurred to her that I was aware of the negative heels and the improvement I can gain in posture and lack of stress on my knee and ankle joints. We had a laugh over my statement that learning to walk in them when you're 25 is a far cry from doing the same thing at 66. When I pick up speed, I walk on the balls of my foot rather than the heel to toe which the shoes encourage. It's an awkward feeling that will improve since I wear them almost exclusively except around the house when I go barefoot.

When I was asked what my chosen goal was going to be I answered that it was to learn to be consistent in my physical activity and food choices. She suggested that I make a list of tasks that I wish to accomplish each day and then check them off when I do them. She feels that doing the list will help me pace myself so I'm not doing so much I hurt and then find I need too long to recover. This interferes with my ability to lose weight at the caloric intake she has assigned to me. She also suggested I try a wider variety of vegetables. I eat mostly green veggies and she tells me there are other colors out there.

She is pleased with my diligence in completing the program and with the things I improved and learned as a result of the program. Most important to me is that I feel the program has put me in a good place and given me the tools I need for continued improvement. Now it's just a matter of following up on what I've learned to continue the growth necessary to reach my goal of being in health.

Monday, May 23, 2016

At Day's End

Last day of the program and I made it. I'll find out tomorrow how well this worked for me. Had the blood work done Thursday morning so she'd have the results at tomorrows appointment. Whether I've achieved what I'm supposed to have remains to be seen but I have learned a few things. I'm going to continue to follow the program on my own. I feel better, there's less pain in my joints. I'm also calmer which is a good thing since our plans had a major monkey wrench thrown into them and now we don't know if we have enough money to develop the property we bought.

I was wondering if that might have something to do with not being online as much. At first I dismissed that because I don't really pay enough attention to my use to be able to say I'm online less. Today in my email there was a notice from my provider that I had been restored to full speed since I was using less. I guess that answers my usage question. Whether it answers the question or not of being calmer because of less usage remains to be seen. It is more likely to be the yoga since that's meditative in nature but the lack of internet aggravation can't hurt.

The daily keeping of the journal fizzled out somewhat these past days. I actually transferred what I was thinking to a composition book since some of it was painful to me. I found I didn't want prying eyes reading what I was thinking and feeling. Blogging by it's nature doesn't lend itself well to privacy. I found I needed privacy.

After today I am free to resume consumption of the foods that were to be omitted completely while on the program. I may add them back but not for regular consumption. This week there will be cake and ice cream since my husband's 68th birthday is Wednesday and when the Amish resume their Saturday morning bake sales I might stop and buy some of Mrs Yoder's World's Best Sugar Cookies. That won't happen every week, I surprisingly didn't miss the sweets, bacon on the other hand has been calling my name for the last week.

I may have a bacon and egg breakfast on Sunday with white bread toast. And I may just have them with Ezekiel bread. I just know that there will be 3 slices of crispy bacon residing in my tummy some time this weekend. Whatever else goes down with that remains to be seen.

The birthday boy and his little buddy seem to have the need for a nap. I had the air conditioner on earlier and it blows directly onto the couch which made him cold. I shut it off. 

This is my little buddy wondering where the food is. He likes a little bacon now and again too. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Got Up Offa That Thang!

Despite the emotional upheaval involved in the depth of self examination that I am asked to do during this journey, I seem to have acquired a sense of something I'm having difficulty defining. Yesterdays weigh in found that I am down another pound and a half which makes the 19 day total 6.5 pounds. All other numbers are coming down and the yoga and walking seem to be translating into inches lost since my jeans are quite baggy around hips and thighs. 

I'm enjoying, not just the weight loss, but the learning involved in this process. I'm learning the science of nutrition and exercise and learning things about myself that I probably knew but dismissed through all these years. About a week ago I stopped doing something. I stopped most of the negative self talk and started finding the ability to say that I made a mistake and I need to accept that and move on. 

My husband had asked me to do something and I forgot it. When he came home and asked me if I had done it I told him I forgot and would do it then. I stopped what I was doing and went to do what he'd asked of me without justifying myself while he nagged at me. Got it all done, handed him the finished product, asked if he needed anything else and apologized again. That is so not me. I usually get mad at myself and spit and sputter and then end up bickering with my husband when he nags. Not this time, don't know why the change for sure but suspect it has something to do with eating a lot less sugar and learning to feel that I don't need to be perfect. 

There is a lot less joint pain although the stiffness when I first get out of bed is still there. I added some bone strengthening yoga positions to the ones I've learned to do at the beginning of this program. I started those yesterday and was a little sore this morning and my legs felt stiffer than normal. 

I had a wonderful experience this morning. I was dusting, got down on my knees on the floor to dust teh bottom shelf under the TV stand. Didn't hesitate, never asked myself if I could get up if I got down there. I just did it and got up very easily. Next thing I know I could be dancin' in the streets. LOL

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Working Towards My Goals.

Sitting here looking at this blank space and wondering if the area behind my eyes looks like this because I can't seem to find what I want to say. Something must be in there somewhere, I just can't find it.

This is the week I'm supposed to decide on a long term goal for myself. I've been thinking about it and haven't come up with anything unless she'll accept live to be 100 and get shot by a jealous wife. I'm pretty sure she's looking for a commitment to the transformation from a state of being less than healthy to being in health.

Its a process that has to be committed to. I have commitment issues when it means giving up mashed potatoes and gravy, chocolate cake, pie and brownies, among other things. It's like my head says I want to be in health but I haven't been successful with the hard work and sacrifice part. I'm actually wondering if the company I've been keeping online might not have something to do with that.

The constant negativity from the media along with the members of my blog site and Facebook Friends is contagious. I've never really spent time thinking about whether I'm a half empty or half full kind of person. I do know I am mistrustful of people I can't see with my own eyes and I am far too cynical. And that has existed since I was a child.

When I was 11 a very damaging bit of gossip went around the adults of the neighborhood. When it got back to the family the gossip was about, I got the blame. I got called a liar and trouble and people I respected ordered me off their property and refused to allow me to play with their children who were my best neighborhood friends. Every single one of the neighbors knew who started the rumor including my Mom, and no one would tell them it wasn't me. Honestly, it was my own Dad that started it, and everyone was most interested in protecting him at my expense. It was a lesson I never forgot. I learned that you can't trust anyone, not even family. I don't think I can change that. Not with the way people are now.

The one thing I did finally figure out when I sat down to think things through was that I can't continue to allow that to color my view of myself. During the course of my meditation on the subject I realized that while I had said I forgave them, I actually hadn't forgiven my Dad. Some of my less than brilliant decisions throughout my life were made because I didn't forgive him. Now what I have to do is find that forgiveness.

I think that will be my goal because a healthy mind is necessary for a healthy life. I think my goal will be to learn to forgive my Dad so I can banish all those negative self talk thoughts that interfere with me reaching whatever goal I finally do set for myself. Being healthy feels better and I need to find the willingness to work on that.