Thursday, October 31, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween everyone!  Trick or Treat is over and I got 0 knocks on the door from trick or treaters which does not surprise me one bit although it is rather disappointing.  I did decorate the porch last night after my company left to be ready for this day.

 (Knock at the door)...

Well, it wasn't a trick or treater ~ my friend Cynthia came down bearing gifts ~ a new big mug for tea!  Now I am up to 2 as I lost our two favorites in one shot when they both dove into the sink simultaneously a couple of months back.

After hanging out with Cindy for a bit and sending her away with candy so it was almost like I had a trick or treater ~ my phone rings and it is Cindy ~ laughing because I gave her a partial dozen of eggs to bring home for her baking ~ and it's trick or treat night or mischievous night so she was laughing because the eggs were not in a bag and she was worried that she would get arrested on suspicion before she got home.

I began laughing as well ~ cuz there were only 8 eggs left in the dozen.  I reassured her that she was probably pretty safe ~ she only lives a block away and she is an older lady and not a teenager.  It is a good memory for Halloween.

Today has been very productive, orderly and fun.  Overall is was an excellent day.  I had a taste testing of the Crab Rangoon's for the birthday party so I began my day making fresh Won Ton Wrappers.  A friend was over as I was making them and filling them.

The first two were a disaster as I could not remember how to fold them.  I had to look it up ~ which is the one thing good about technology ~ do a Google search and you are there.  I was already for one with the oil heating and tea on hand.

So now I know what I am making for the party.  We went shopping and picked up the supplies I will need minus a couple which will need to be fresh and I have my timeline.  Always like to have it straight in my head. It is indeed a fun project I am involved in and I cannot wait to see how it all falls together.  My friend is so organized an together and has a great team for success!

My son came home this afternoon as well so I have him to torture.  Just kidding on the torture.  I am glad he is home.  It was nice to have dinner with him and listen to him talking to his teammates on his game as they are involved in the battle.

I have to not swear at the games I play while he is on his microphone.  Sometimes it is difficult.  I could never wear a mic.  I do swear way to much for that.  Thomas used to think it was funny in the old days when I walked into his room ranting at him to mic me.  Of course I would not realize it until I heard about 10 guys laughing.

My rants were famous worldwide.  OMG!  I could have killed him!  It was kind of funny though and I would laugh along with them ~ the rant long forgotten.  Ah ~ the sacrifices we make for our children!  They have driven me crazy over the years but I love my boys and I kinda think they feel the same way about me (most of the time!).

I am off to fight my dragons and feed my dogs.  (Game references).  Hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween!  May you all get more treats and less tricks (unless you like tricks better.)  See you in November!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ONE MORE DAY DOWN

I made it to and through my cat scan ~ only a minute late and my calves burning horribly when I arrived to sit down and do a short questionnaire before I was escorted in for the test.  It was over before I knew it and when I walked out the lady after me said she hoped hers wasn't as quick as that. Quick is good when it comes to tests.

With the rest of my day ahead of me I was ready to go home and have some lunch and get back into busy mode ~ keeping my brain busy and away from thinking the wrong thoughts.  Thankful for my support system and my wonderful friends reminding me who I am and what I am made of.

I even had a call from my doctor I spoke with yesterday reminding me of something we had spoken about to focus on no matter how stormy the seas get on Monday.  I am thankful to be all scheduled in for Monday afternoon however ~ I am sure I am going to need to vent in a safe surrounding.

My son is still at his brothers house so it is even trickier to not let the emptiness engulf me.  It is all good however ~ I have the party to get ready for ~ I am making a sampling of the Crab Rangoons for Thursday afternoon for the Birthday girl so she can decide if she would like some of those for her party as well.

I am definitely making the Crab Rangoon Dip which I have the recipe worked out for 50 people and today I found another true and tried Dip recipes for the veggies.  Making a bunch of WonTon Wraps will keep me busy for sure!  One thing I can do ahead of time for the party if she chooses.

I ran across my Gram's handwritten recipes from when I was just starting out making cookie platters for my Aunts and Uncles and friends and family ~ like I did this past Christmas for my Sons and my friends.
I really love seeing my Gram's handwriting.  She has been gone for a very long time now but somehow they seem to bring her closer to me.  Never far from my heart and thoughts these recipes mean more to me than just about every object which I treasure (and I treasure a few).

Six more days to make it through to get to Monday.  At least there is First Friday ArtWalk this week.  There is also a post ArtWalk Gathering at the Whitney Center for the Arts for Artists and Friends and Art appreciators like myself which I am looking forward to utilizing as a distraction as well.

I am confident that I can get through this no problem.  It is having the restraint not to respond when I get slandered which is going to be the most difficult part of the whole ordeal.  Somehow I just have to not react. That is easier said than done.  It figures that the night before is Daylight Savings Time.  One extra hour to not sleep and not get anxious.  I may need to start drinking on Sunday just to make it to Monday!  I am joking of course.

I am waiting for company to arrive as I type ~ I am no fool ~ I know I will not make it through this day and into the next stress free in this quiet apartment!  Tomorrow I clean my floors at the very least ~ which will take me all day as I have been very bad about them even with the Swiffer!

I think one of you told me that housework was for winter anyway.  I really liked that comment.  I loved it in the 80's when the new rule was that you could put aside the dirty dishes and have fun with the kids.  No one is going to remember the dirty dishes but the kids will remember the quality family time forever.

Of course I always tried to have everything in order all of the time.  I can only stand the dust balls in the corners and the piles of clutter for so long!  Everything in its place and a place for everything as they say.  My company should be arriving momentarily so I am going to say goodnight and God Bless ~

Thanks to those of you who take the time to remind me of who I am when I forget myself!  I loves ya!






Monday, October 28, 2013

MONDAY ~ MONDAY!!

I do not have a problem with Monday's like so many people do.  I kind of like them.  It is the one day a week that I have an appointment at the same time same bat channel.  It is a nice middle of the afternoon activity with a nice walk thrown in and many pit stop choices along the way.

Today, despite the wind, it was warmer ~ our Indian Summer has departed and it is truly fall weather.  We had blue skies amidst the clouds however ~ which makes it seem nicer than it actually is.  I was wondering when fall was going to arrive and bring the dark, gray and cold along with it.

I came back home and hung out listened to music and visited with a friend of mine.  Our conversation led to food and how hard is it to make applesauce ~ so I moved into the kitchen and started some applesauce ~ opting for the pink kind with the skin on which takes a little longer and you have to strain.

I smell the delicious aroma of apples and cinnamon as I am writing this ~ it is a bit distracting despite still being full from the Risotto with pork medallions and garlic and onion with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese I treated myself to this evening with the absence of Thomas taste to take into consideration.

I am trying to stay in a really positive frame of mind as I have 6 days and counting til the second attempt at that stupid court case with my ex and the violation of the restraining order on his end which got forwarded to Monday.

Hence the cooking.  Huge distraction.  The more steps the better.  The less fattening the better as well unless I have a guinea pig to test and consume a majority of what I make.  It is bad enough that there is candy in the house for Trick or Treat on Thursday.

I have already consumed a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups over the past three days.  That was before I was anxiety ridden!  See ~ I am beginning to feel it creep in ~ I hate anxiety and I refuse to let this take hold of me!

Breathe in the delicious aroma of apples and cinnamon ~ relaxing to the sounds of Roger Waters ~ sweet guitar.  Peaceful yet deep and complex.  Very nice.  Thank God for distractions!  Six more days to go and put it all behind me ~ 28 + years of love, hate, laughter, tears, fear dread and hiding.

I would like it to go out like a candle flame being blown out rather than a bang.  Some people like to draw things out ~ I for one like to keep good ties and cut those bad ones out and learn the lesson and carry on in a more positive fashion.

I got a call earlier for pre-registration for my Cat Scan in Pittsfield and on North Street.  I am glad they called as my doctor's receptionist never did.  She called Thursday while I was out and walking to an appointment with nothing to write with and was supposed to call back with the information on my cell phone.

She did call my cell phone back and I did not answer because that is what she said to do.  Of course I never got a voicemail with the details.  In the excitement of getting ready for my granddaughters visit on Friday I never gave it a third thought until last night.

What can I do about it on a Sunday night?  Well then next time I remembered was 5:21 this evening.  Too late to check and considering she did mention the 20 something I knew I either missed it or it was tomorrow.  This chick really must hate me ~ I have an appointment at 11:20 in the morning!!!

I had discussed the issues with the receptionist last week with my doctor.  I am trying to be compassionate as my doctor said she was going through something.  How compassionate can a person be when it seems they are a target of this girl on every turn?  Is she doing this to every patient my doctor has?

I am a new patient so I am not that familiar with anyone there.  I would hate to be the person she makes a mistake on as far as medication or something life threatening to be sure.  She actually argued with me regarding scheduling the Cat Scan in Pittsfield although the doctor had specifically written Pittsfield (not a 45 minute drive for someone with no car!)

It is frustrating when other peoples problems have an effect on their jobs.  I find it very unprofessional.  I love my doctor however, she is a wonderful communicator.  I would hate for her practice to suffer because of this girls situation.  Ah well ~ it is a lesson.  I hope not to let my stress impact anyone  elses life negatively, especially mine!

So I am off to stir and strain the applesauce and enjoy a bit of it warm.  The ultimate comfort food!   Happy Monday everyone!  May we all succeed in lifes lessons with grace.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ENDING THE WEEK WITH A BANG

It has been one long and slow week.  Not to say I wasn't somewhat busy and active, but it was lagging.  I guess all of that summer/fall activity and the slower pace has taken it's toll.  It is okay though, because my pain levels and flare ups have increased over the past two weeks leaving me grateful not to have had to do too much.

I spent a lot of time socializing in my home on my couch with my heating pad trying to figure out where the pain paths start to try to relieve the pain.  I do not take meds so it is a puzzle at times to do this.  I like a good challenge however and sometimes I get lucky and others not so much!

I had a couple of interesting things this week.  My oldest son used to play Bass.  He has a natural talent for music and used to spend hours making music.  He had a band for a minute and I have one of his c.d.'s of which there are two.

My son, of course had zero copies of his music.  Go figure.  He asked me some time ago if I had any of his music on c.d. and I told him I had one of the two ~ (I had both until a mishap a couple of years ago.)  On Wednesday one of my long time friends came over and he had found a copy of my son's music at his house, having been involved in our lives at that time.

He even burned copies for all of us.  I was excited to compare it to the one that I had and after listening we realized we had recovered the missing c.d.  So I gave him the one I had so he could produce backups and have the rest of the music for himself as well.

I phoned my son while I was running around doing late errands and got the machine.  I figured he didn't answer because he did not recognize my cell phone number and when I got home I was sitting with my son and my friend and remembered I had gotten the machine so I tried to call from my house phone.

Of course, I was talking and dialing and got a machine with a whole other recorded message.  I am a little slow at times, so I commented to the room that I got a different message.  My son told me I had left a pretty weird message on top of that.  I agreed.

A couple minutes after that I decided that I had dialed the wrong number because no way does my son have two different answering machines on his phone and realized just as he answered that I had dialed 458 instead of 464 (our old exchange).  So now I have left an weird message with  my number to someone in either New Ashford or Williamstown.

So I got to talk to my granddaughter after telling my son we had his music in our possession.  (Which of course he brushed off with his seemingly disinterested demeanor.)  It was much more fun talking to Ainsley who was awaiting the Halloween Parade on Friday.

I told her to check and see if she had anything going on this weekend in case there was a chance that we could get together for another sleepover.  She was free so of course we made plans for after the Parade because it was closer.

Friday, my son calls me to chastise me for making plans with a six year old instead of an adult (I swear we were having a three way conversation with her Mom in the background!)  Note to self  ~ speak with an adult for confirmation!  I also got spoken to about being at the Park after dark ~ in my defense it was only dark for about 15 minutes before we left!

Boy, it is funny how when your Sons grow up they try to be your parents.  I do love it though but don't tell them that!  I do what I want for the most part but leave it to them to let me know when I step out of line! Sheesh!

So after the Parade we had our sleepover.  Thomas did not bail on us for a change and we ate some dinner and played some Sorry ~ which neither one of them knew how to play and of course they hated it at first when I got a one before them and got to start my turn.

We opted out of the game but left it set up and went to watch "Coraline" which Ainsley had brought over. Another Tim Burton and a favorite of mine.  I have not seen all of his movies but I love the ones I have seen. We snuggled on the couch and got about halfway through it when it started skipping a little.

It was getting late and Thomas was a distraction for Ainsley.  They played on the computer while I brought the D.V.D. player upstairs to watch it in my room in pajama's  and with less distractions.  Before the movie was completely over Ainsley was sleeping and Thomas and I were admiring our Sleeping Beauty before sneaking downstairs to have a cigarette and watch some television.

I knew from the first sleepover that morning would be here early so I tried not to stay up too late.  When I went up to bed Ainsley was sprawled over most of my bed which is saying a lot because she is tiny!  I put her head back on the pillows, covered her up and found a snug place beside her and she snuggled up and continued sleeping.

In the morning we put on the cartoons and she jumped out of bed to go wake Tom up.  She surprised him by jumping on him.  I knew that he was still up at 4 a.m. when I had gone down to the bathroom and had no idea what was about to hit him!

She could not get him up and we went downstairs.  I needed a tea badly and she put her cartoons on downstairs.  Awake is awake for my granddaughter and soon she was into a couple of things.  Before we even thought about food she had the markers which you can write secret messages, Scrabble Junior, and we had finished our Sorry game from the night before!

She also found another paint/craft with sponges and a roller and got to town with that.  I can say one thing ~ she certainly has gotten my creative side going and I have been painting as well.  I did two water colors this week and actually like one.

She also saw my painting I did (refrigerator art) with her leftover paint from a couple of weeks ago!  I am running out of fridge space!  Her masterpieces of today are still drying on the table awaiting their induction to the Fridge Gallery.

I was about to make French Toast when she remembered the Fish Sticks and wanted those for breakfast. Who am I to say no?  I do not really eat breakfast so it makes no difference to me.  I have eaten many cheeseburgers for breakfast when I was a waitress.

We were not even dressed when her Mom and my son and her Uncle showed up to pick her up.  No one told me they were on there way!  So we had to scramble to get dressed and brush teeth.  They were carving pumpkins today which is always a fun thing to do!

As always it was so much fun to hang out with my granddaughter.  We can even survive not having a ton of plans and still have fun.  No playground this weekend.  Hell, I am still in my pajama's as I write this getting ready to go to my room in my totally quiet and empty house and watch t.v.  Thomas bailed to his brothers house and I am bored with my computer!

Jennifer M Gallant 10/23/2013

Jennifer M. Gallant 10/23/2013

FRIDGE GALLERY

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PROGRESS ALONG THE WAY

Lately it seems that I have been reconnecting with people from various stages and parts of my oh so diverse and sometimes dramatic and usually traumatic times.  My life has not been dull to say the least.

I came in with a bang a couple of  months early to have my father pulled out of the jungles of Vietnam for a double funeral as my Mom and I were not expected to live. In the meantime his entire Platoon got wiped out, or so the story goes.

Anyway, back to the story.  All of these experiences which I am not willing to get into at this very moment have led to the very good/bad ability to build up walls and not remember stuff from certain times.  Therefore when I see people who I don't see often or at all in say 30 years or so it is difficult to place them if I have buried that whole segment of time.

Luckily, I have learned how to avoid drama and most negative based situations as best I can in order to not have to forget my life.  One thing I like about having a blog is that I have a journal of my experiences that I can look on and remember.

I have noticed lately that it is getting easier to remember the great times that have filled my life without having to relive all of the crazy weird and unrealistic events which occurred over the course of my existence. Another sign of forward motion in my mind.

Progress is always a good thing as far as I am concerned.  On that note I am happy to report that my cholesterol check up has improved dramatically.  I do need to get the good cholesterol up some more which should not be too hard right?

I just spent the past couple of hours hanging out with my youngest son, who amazingly enough will be 21 in a few short months.  Time flies so quickly.  And one of my oldest friends.  It was funny the three of us hanging out and talking.  Much easier to carry on adult conversations when your kid isn't 4 and demanding all of your attention.

Looking through photo albums recently for pictures for my friends party ~ coming across pictures of these old friends whom shared a large part of my life when I was younger even than my youngest son... These people who are so far away from me and yet some of the people who know me so well.

Memories do not always have to be bad.  Which is why I am on this journey.  This exploration forward discovering what life is like in the light so to speak.  Doing things that I like ~ rediscovering what they are. It has been a fun journey with some unexpected rewards.  It makes me laugh when I rediscover something that I liked or used to do with passion that I just forgot.  Very strange indeed!

Not to say it is over ~  this journey has been on going for quite sometime.  I hope it continues for many years to come.  I have a lot of work to do ~ miles to go before I sleep (one of my Dad's favourite saying in days gone past.)

I however must get some sleep.  It is late as I write this.  I am tired in a good way.  Proud that I was able to achieve this goal I set by adjusting my diet, and also this giant leap of self discovery and moving forward as well.


            Always keep the faith no matter how bleak
                   and dark the place you find yourself.
                            The light will always find you.
                                                   jmg





Sunday, October 20, 2013

SUNDAY~ LAZY SUNDAY!

I had to pass up an opportunity to watch my sweet grand-daughter last night so her parents could go to the Haunted House.  I was delighted to be asked.  It is the first time so I think that we must have passed approval after our fun sleepover last weekend.

The day before I had been invited to join a planning committee for my friends big birthday bash coming up on November 16th.  I offered to take Ainsley with me but I got turned down flat on that one- it was funny as when I mentioned it to my neighbor from 28 years ago - (blew me away to hear how long we have known each other!) she said "She could have come too."  I knew that and that is why I put it out there to my son.

There were four of us at the meeting.  My friend is super organized ~ I told you there were so many things that I love about her!  She is one of my finest role models and I have been blessed to know her and be considered an friend and an asset.

Truth be told her home and her family were a fun and safe place for me.  If I can give back even 1% in this minor way to help her have an amazing party for all that I have loved and learned from her from how to be a decent, caring and fun loving yet very responsible person and Mom then I will gladly do so!

The party was for 100 people, the hall is booked and the details are in good order, of course with the invitations sent out and more people are remembered it could be up to 150 before the week is out ~ but not more than 175 cuz that is all the hall holds.

I am excited more than worried.  I work best under pressure anyway.  I think that her amazing cousins whom I met last night and who have experience with doing this kind of thing are going to be wonderful teachers and I am sure I will learn much.

I don't know much about Polish food ~ except how to eat it!  This will take me a bit further in my culinary experience for sure!  I am Polish as well, however, as one of my Grandfather's is Polish.  He was adopted however so I did not have the upbringing or experience of knowing what that means other than the Polish jokes when I was a kid.

I have been enjoying my Sunday quietly and productively dishes, gathering the piles of clothes and blankets from around my house and deciphering exactly what my son has done while I was sleeping.  My kids have always wondered how I know what they do when I am not around ~ it is easy to follow the trail they leave in their wake.  They will figure it out when they have kids.

I decided to do some research on Polish Food earlier.  It made me really hungry so I threw some potatoes and onions in the skillet and added the remainder of the leftover steak from last night and had a little feast a short while ago.  You can only drink so much tea before you need to eat something.

I have two doctor's appointments tomorrow.  One is my talking one and the other is to find out the results of my fasting blood work and cholesterol.  My doctor will probably be pissed because I did not make it to North Adams for my Cat Scan on my Chest like she ordered.

I barely was able to obtain a ride to Price Rite yesterday for groceries 10 minutes away let alone a 45 minute ride to the hospital in North Adams which I think is ridiculous when they can do the same test on North Street which I can walk to.  For some reason though my doctors receptionist ~ after booking me the appointment in Pittsfield and canceling it on me ~ says it can't be done in Pittsfield.

I say ~ too bad.  If I can't get it done in my own city with my known transportation issues then I do not need it.  I refuse to give in.  This is the same girl who insisted I needed to get this scan done a week after I had gotten it done when I knew that was wrong and I wasted my son, the technician and my own time and gas money for nothing.  I will discuss it with my doctor when I see her Monday afternoon.  

Sunday night - I think my son and I are all caught up on last weeks shows we watch together so we should be good to go this evening.  I do not know why it seems like every show we watch is on Sunday night.  Is it the only night people watch t.v.?

That really isn't true however, we do have a couple of other nights with shows we like to watch.  It just seems like Sunday is the one where we have to choose one show over another a couple times over!  We are addicted to our programs!

Now that I have satisfied my tummy with some morsels I think I may start on dinner.  I am going to make a marinara sauce with burger and onions and peppers and probably some diced tomatoes as well.  Maybe I will get extra motivated and make some meatballs as well.

One thing I do know is that I am going to try to make it a pajama Sunday which I have not done in a while.  I have been so busy over the past month.  Now that I have caught back up to myself and my life is somewhat in order it seems only right.

Have a great Sunday everyone and thanks for reading!


Friday, October 18, 2013

LOOKING FORWARD SOME MORE



I was right ~ I predicted last night that I would be starving in the morning just because I could not eat before going to the lab for my fasting blood work.  As a matter of fact, I had to resist the urge to hit the fridge for leftover frosting all night despite having eaten a peanut butter sandwich as close to midnight as I could get away with.

The funny thing is I do not usually eat at night or even first thing in the morning.  I do my caffeine/nicotine routine and that is breakfast ~ long standing tradition with me.  The brain is truly a wonderful piece of work ~ always making us crave what we don't normally want just because we cannot have it!

Before jumping in the shower I did my customary look out the window and go out on the porch to see what the weather was like and today a little extra look as there were gunshots outside my house at 2:00 a.m. which I did not bother to investigate then hearing no screams from downstairs from anyone inside my house or out.

Thomas did not run upstairs to alert me either and he was on the first floor so I just ignored it and went to sleep.  There were no bodies ~ only one of the maintenance guys planting some bulbs for the spring thanks to my landlord.  We will have Black Eyed Susan's next year ~ my all time favourite flower!

I got him to plant my phlox plant while he was at it and he put it right outside my front door where it will get plenty of sun and hopefully be safe from the groundhog out back.  Who knows maybe it will spread and we will  have more of them and I will be doubly blessed with two of my favourite flowers next year.

I made it up street and was on my way to the lab when I encountered for the second day in a row ~ my friend Rich.  I have mentioned him before and I am pleased to report that he no longer is following me around like a puppy dog ~ he has met a girl with similar life challenges to him.

As I was talking to him his new friend showed up to meet him for breakfast.  Megan is just visiting until December but I see very good things in store for these two.  They are both sweet and kind and adorable together!

I left them to get my blood drawn.  There were a few people ahead of me so I stood until the next chair was free and waited my turn eager to get this test over with and get a cup of tea and begin my day in a more normal way.

As I was working on my daily computer stuff, my friend Cynthia's son dropped by and he utilized my son's computer looking for a better job in his profession to replace making bread boxes for seven hours a night at the bakery.

He is in marketing so we have a bit in common to talk about.  He has definitely had more experience than me for sure got the language down as I heard while he was on the phone from a call back ~ asking all the right questions that I probably wouldn't have thought of until hours later.  He has been in the game for as long as I have been out of the game.

He was heading out when I realized that it was Friday and I had things to do.  I quickly changed and walked up the road with him leaving him at his house to get ready for work and heading to the supermarket and the pharmacy and a couple of stops in between.

It was pretty quiet on the strip today.  After last night it was a ghost town!  Too bad the stores I went into were not empty!  Everywhere I went I had to wait today!  I began at the pharmacy and had to wait for three people ahead of me.

I picked up some sale items there and decided to continue on to the supermarket with what I had as I was only planning on getting two things ~ something for dinner and some cream cheese for another batch of Crab Rangoon's since I made plans with my girl Laurie and Kathleen a couple of weeks ago and Thomas ate my cream cheese.

Of course that never works, only getting two things.  I ended up with two bags full.  I could not resist the sale on the pork tenderloins at a buy one get one free ~ needed peppers, a couple of potatoes and cube steaks, then there was some great cheese on sale that I had been dying to try and I needed crackers for the cheese ~ see never do I make it out with what I intend.

I am glad I was planning on the cube steak for dinner as when I got home and looked at my receipt and the meat I was overcharged and sold meat that was outdated by a day (the latter I did not notice until I was on the phone with the meat manager who said that never should have happened.)

I love that.  Well at least, like I said it wasn't dinner for tonight but it now means another mile walk back to the store which I assured the meat manager I was not going to be making this day!  That just gives me something to do tomorrow (silver lining?)  yeah right ~ I still haven't returned the half of the roast beef to Price Rite from two months ago that was bad!

Thankfully, this is all I have to complain about so I am doing Aces!  The inflammation in my wrist has gone down ~ my elbow is okay and my spine is not feeling soldered together today.  My back does hurt just because I carried all of those groceries today.

It is all good as they say.  I am sitting with a heating pad after a pretty okay day.  I am getting pretty tired and ready to get into my p.j.'s.  I am excited about the planning party tomorrow evening as well!  I love it when there are things to look forward to!

Here is to looking forward to looking forward and doing so with great expectations and not the possibility of disappointment!  That is part of my new personal growth along with a couple other personal growth realities I have come to realize lately.  This journey has been extraordinary so far and can only improve the more I learn and grow.  I may not know what is at the end of the path but I know I am enjoying smelling the flowers along the way!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

THIRD THURSDAY

It seems like forever since I last wrote.  It has felt like a month since the long weekend ended and it is only Thursday.  The journey from the incredible weekend feeling so elated and amazingly like I was in the most perfect place in time and space which just was an amazing feeling I floated upon for days.

Reality hit and time for the past couple of days has been like walking through gel instead of air.  When I woke at 6 a.m. I rolled over and let that time pass me by and continued my 11 hour sleep not waking and rising until after 10:30 a.m. with a nice twinge in the old sciatic nerve to remind me I am alive.

I was inspired by a phone call which gave me a purpose once again ~ planning a birthday party for 100 people.  Now that is something I can really sink my teeth into.  I am delighted and honoured to be involved in this venture.

One of my most cherished people on the planet. (Name withheld cuz I am not sure how she would feel if I put it in.)  An inspiration to me since I met her, as a mother, a fun loving woman with a beautiful smile which radiates through her eyes.  She grew the most amazing plants and had the most beautiful flower beds ~ my neighbor and friend always.  Ah, the memories which float before my eyes and through my brain!

It is funny the way so many people from my past have been connecting with me lately.  It seems they are all from a specific period in my life ~ my informative years.  My very closest of friends and confidants for the most part ~ the people who know me and not just on the outside.

It is unfortunate that most of them live pretty far away however.  I can agree that technology has helped in connecting through the Internet and over the phone even, as well as being lucky enough to see many of them randomly when they came home for visits which I prefer.

Back to reality.  (Catching myself daydreaming).  It was also, being the Third Thursday of October ~ Pittsfield's Third Thursday event ~ the final one of the year and boy was it mobbed with kids in costumes and kids just there who normally are not.  It seems like they came out in droves this evening.

Thomas finally came home this afternoon, I met him at the lab and we grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at B.K. before heading home so I could regroup before the big event.  I was looking forward to the music and the kids in costumes ~ the little kids always look so cute.

I have mostly lived in remote places where we don't get trick or treaters and even the past two years being in a neighborhood with kids around I am lucky to get two trick or treaters and before that I was out with my kids trick or treating ~ which is where the fun is at in reality!

So I had to regroup before going because my sciatic nerve pain had been nice enough to trigger some pain in my wrist and my elbow and my right trap along with my lower back and three places in my neck I frankly needed a rest.  I managed to leave late and it was a fun hour I had checking out three incredible bands and if my spine didn't feel like it was fused I would have definitely been dancing in the streets!

I was home by 6:30, as I could stand no longer and the walk home did not help one bit to loosen up anything.  I declare ~ I feel like I am falling apart at the seams!  I am currently sitting on a heating pad hoping to get to the route of all evil and enjoying my son sitting next to me threatening to play "GodSmack" really loud.  (Which would not bother me one bit truth be told!)

I have to go get the dreaded fasting blood work to see if my cholesterol has dropped with a change in my diet.  Which I plan on doing first thing as I am grumpy without at least one cup of tea in the morning ~ don't want to expose the world to that side of me!

So finally a purpose with the first brainstorming session on Saturday evening.  It will put me back in my old neighborhood and into my stepfathers mothers house overlooking our old domain where I grew up since fourth grade on.  I am excited to be a part of this wonderful party!

I think I am just about out of words for this evening ~ my heating pad needs to jump back in the microwave and I need to work on my neck and back next ~ which I cannot do sitting in this chair.  Feeling better despite feeling bad which makes no sense but that is just me!




Sunday, October 13, 2013

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!

What a blast it is being "Gramma"!  When my granddaughter arrived for our first official sleepover I had finished baking the cupcakes, gotten the Roast Pork in the oven and was patiently awaiting her arrival and confirming dinner guests to join our celebration before peeling the potatoes for the mashed.

We set to work frosting the cupcakes which was fun with a six year old and then I set to work getting the normal time dinner on the table, worried that the roast would not be ready at the time that I told my son and his Dad to arrive ~ but I got that right and had our meal on the table with plenty of time for Pat's Dad to do his nightly visit to the nursing home.

It turned into a girls sleepover when Patrick kidnapped Thomas and the guys cleared out without indulging in the chocolate cupcakes (all the more for us!)  Ainsley had such a good time last time at the Park she was dying to go back.  There was still some daylight in the sky so we put the food in order and headed up to the Common for some playtime.

There was a kick ass band playing at a house party on the other side of the tracks so we got to use the whole playground and rock out at the same time as the light faded from the sky.  It was a blast and very difficult to convince her to go ~ but we still had our wooden pumpkins to paint and cupcakes and fried dough on the agenda.

We got back to the house and did bath and pajamas before we began our painting and waited for the boys to return as Tom forgot his medicine.  We were busy painting away when they arrived and Tom grabbed a pumpkin and began painting and Patrick helped Ainsley open different color paints ~ master mixer that she is ~ I cannot believe some of the color combos she came up with!

They left and we cleaned up and had cupcakes and Ainsley remembered the dough so I put the oil on to heat and turned on some cartoons for her to keep her occupied for a moment until it was time to get our hands into the dough and then she helped me make a couple and I got the powdered sugar out while the dough was cooking.

Thomas had told her about "Nightmare Before Christmas" on her last visit.  It is one of my oldest son's favorite movies and in turn one we used to watch repeatedly to get Thomas to sleep when he was a youngster and fighting to be awake.

It was fun hanging out on the couch and watching the movie with her as she told me at every song how Jeffrey knows all the words and would be singing away with the movie.  I think we have a third generation fan on our hands!

She fell asleep on the couch and I watched the end of the movie and debated on whether I should bring her upstairs.  We had discussed sleeping arrangements and she had been excited to sleep in my room with me so I carefully carried her upstairs and got her snug as a bug and went downstairs to do my daily's on the computer.

One of my out of town friends phoned from down the street so I invited him over and made a tea with nothing else in the house to drink.  That may have been my downfall ~ the tea ~ in hindsight.  We listened to some music and hung out in my "Great Room" as my girl Lisa calls it for a few and before I knew it it was really, really late.

I sent him on his way and tried to go to sleep.  The tea was really kicking in apparently and sleep was not a even a remote possibility.  It did not help that I put on the Hobbit movie ~ you know the first one that came out ten years after the trilogy which is as confusing as the Star Wars thing.

It was too interesting and not something that I can ignore so it was getting really early in the morning when I realized that I had no idea when Ainsley wakes up.  That answer came all too quickly.  At 7:12 she was awake and so was I.

Well, I tried.  Every time I opened my eyes they were watering instead of focusing so I begged a couple more minutes of "resting my eyes" and she buried me in my biggest and fluffiest stuffed animals which was nice and we discussed breakfast and I kept testing my eyes.

They finally worked. And she was talking about the Park after breakfast when I reminded her we still had to finish the second sides of our pumpkin decorations.  When we called her Mom to say goodnight the evening before we got a tentative time of between 10 and 11.  Ainsley told her Mom " If we are not at the house we will be at the Park so come to the Park."   (Have I said lately how much I love this little gem of a girl?)

I set her to painting laying out fresh paper, paint cups and brushes and she set to work mixing paint and I a more conservative pumpkin painter had mine finished before she had the first batch of colors mixed for hers. She finished hers up so we could mix up the pancake batter.

We worked together on the batter.  Sausage already cooking and the pan heating up while the batter rested.  She had a glass of milk and soon we had two nice plates of hot and fluffy pancakes and were eating in front of the t.v. before we headed to the park.

There were a few kids in the park and we soon opted to walk to the store to get a slushie and candy which one of my friends chastised me about ~ I just used the Gramma card.  We walked to North Street with our treat on a mission to check out the costume that I had seen in one of the stores ~ but alas it had been replaced with another similar but not what I wanted to show her costume and the store was closed.

We decided to check out the display of mini Christmas Trees at Steven Valenti's Men Store ~ a thing I had noticed last year and really wanted to get involved in but apparently missed out again!  People decorate these mini tress on a mirror and they are auctioned off to raise money for the food pantries.  They are super cute and we both liked a few of the same ones.

We looked in the window of the toy store as well.  We had already phoned the "parents" and gained another hour of time for our visit ~ having tried for a second night sleepover (me not realizing that she had slept over her cousins the night before) we got shot down as her Mom wanted to spend some time with her baby over the long weekend.

We window shopped at the toy store and then the man arrived and so we walked in to play with the cool things and find a souvenir to mark our visit.  After playing with things and looking at everything twice she opted for a cute little white seal with the biggest blue eyes ever.

Time was passing too quickly so we made our purchase and headed back home ~ fitting in a few minutes at the playground on our way through.  With such a nice day it was packed already with about 15 kids and their parent(s) (Which was even better to see) interacting or close by.

We did a quick slide and opted to go home and make some dough before the dreaded departure.  She was hoping Mom would change her mind about sleeping over again. So was I but it was not to be.  She went over to my calendar and pointed to an opening next weekend and told me she wanted that day ~ which I love and which I hope to grant to her as well.

We visited and retold our adventures to her parents and she worked on them some more to no avail and they left loaded with clothes and toys and all her sleepover supplies and her pumpkin to hang up and a plate of cupcakes.

I got to work cleaning up the kitchen before I decided that I needed to "watch some t.v." and that was code for sleep for six hours ~ which is more sleep than I get in an average night!  I was beat and I woke up too late for any of my shows ~ oh well ~ that is what On Demand is for!

Thomas is still gone and it is dead quiet here.  I am not hungry and am debating another cup of tea as I write this ~ I don't think it will hurt ~ I am still exhausted!  It was worth it ~ and despite what my Uncle Matt said about me being an old lady (haha) I am just one fun gramma, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Who knows, perhaps my granddaughter will turn me around on having expectations and prove to me that not everything one looks forward to in life will turn into a disappointment!  I am so blessed to finally having a little girl in my life!  After raising three boys it was a wonderful and pleasant (and well worth the wait) experience!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

EXPECTATIONS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS

 I grew up learning at a very young age that when you have expectations you will 99% of the time be disappointed due either to the failure of said expectations happening mainly.  Part of my defense mechanism was to learn how not to expect anything from anyone no matter what they say regardless of who it is saying it.  After all words are just words and actions do speak louder than words 100% of the time.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon with my "new" granddaughter who is 6 years old.  She is a smart, funny part tomboy, part princess and the holder of my heart.  Our afternoon flew by, but before she left we made plans to have a sleepover!

Today is the day!  How I have been looking forward to this day to arrive for two weeks putting aside my defense mechanism ~ especially after speaking with her during the week and making sure that we were still on ~ her Mom said ~ "She has been reminding us everyday about the sleepover" ~ so I guess she was also holding our time together as a great expectation!

I phoned her last night, before dinner, to check in with her on the menu for dinner ~ seeing if she liked Beef Stew (which is always better the second day, and which I had happened to make finally yesterday), or Pork Roast with mashed potatoes and gravy ~ the Roast Pork won out so we ate the Beef Stew last night.  I asked my boys before calling her and they were like "Whatever" so I figured I would ask the person whom it mattered to and love that she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to say so!

I for one am enjoying the wonderful anticipation which I have been feeling.  It is brand new for me to experience this feeling.  I did get nervous when my son called this morning ~ first thing I said was "What is wrong" bracing myself for the worst answer (normal reaction for me) when he said "Nothing ~ what time do you want Ains."

Phew ~ big sigh of relief!  I knew they had plans at 5:00 for an anniversary party ~ and I also knew I had to walk to the supermarket for more potatoes ~ never have enough potatoes in my house ~ I went through 5lbs in 2 days!  So I told him threeish ~ giving each of us plenty of time to get done what we needed to get done.

I thought of all of the plans that I have loosely made ~ the food, the crafts, the act of just hanging out and being around each other ~ after all ~ I am the new gramma!  She is a doll and had to talk to me after I spoke to my son and we were both so excited ~ I am bursting with it!

I was planning on making cupcakes with her ~ but decided to make them ahead of time so I could get the roast in the oven just about now so that we are not eating at 8:00 at night ~ kids require regular mealtimes ~ unlike my son and I who eat quite late in the evening I must admit.

The cupcakes just came out ~ 12 regular cupcakes and 8 heart shaped cupcakes ~ just in case the boys don't like heart shaped ones (you know how boys are)!  I figure they will be cool and she can help frost them and that will be a "fun" activity.  Girls are foreign to me ~ having raised three boys myself ~ so I am a bit nervous truth be told.  I think I have this covered however!

The oven is hot and I need to go prep my roast for the oven and get the potatoes peeled as we are going all out ~ go big or go home is my motto with special meals.  I invited my middle son and his Dad and hope they can come over for some Ainsley time as well!  This little girl turns my sons sweet ~ not that they are not sweet ~ (don't tell them I called them that)!

Time for me to bail!  For once my expectations are going to rule over the disappointments which is an excellent change as far as I am concerned!  Talk to you later and have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A NEW DAY WITH A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

I was able to get out of my head and out of the house late last night and visit with old friends in the lap of luxury in their two bedroom suite in a very nice hotel last night.  It was wonderful to catch up by the glow of the fireplace with old friends from a past life (which is how I look at all of the different phases and stages of my life.)

I woke up very much rested and came home needing to publicly apologize to all of my friends on Facebook for the automatic spamming the overuse of my game playing as a result of my overburdened brain and the worry I have caused myself ~ now realizing it does no good to worry ~ it is a wait and see situation and hopefully the American Public will shame those people who are causing such a commotion in our Country ~ what will happen will happen regardless of what the citizens want.

I had a semi early appointment with friends for coffee, so after a quick shower, I grabbed my camera and began my journey.  Walking a very familiar route I used to walk with my dog Simba, I decided to get some shots, as I hadn't been down that way in a while.


 The sun was trying to come out ~ there was some nice
 reflection on the water.

Try as I might ~ I couldn't convince the sun to shine any brighter!
They are building a walkway around the lake which will be ready next year probably ~ I did spot two out of the twenty birds who used to live here before they cut down all of the trees and began construction.

They were too fast for me, however to capture so I went with this amazing tree across the water and getting a couple of nice shots.


My camera view screen is so small I cannot tell how the pictures are going to be until I download them ~ but I don't think they are too bad considering how grey the day was!







I journeyed beyond the lake and saw some more familiar sights of color once a daily scene but no more ~ it, was a melancholy walk to be sure!  I miss my dog everyday and this is a salt in the wound kind of walk for me!


 I love this combo of color!  It always catches my eye!  Glad I had the camera.




Further down the road this color (below) jumped out of the mix of greens.



I was worried I was going to make people nervous while I was walking to my destination taking pictures but no one jumped out at me to complain so I took what shots I wanted along the way.






 

 


I love taking the time to see what is around me in my present situation.  Especially when it is colorful, bright and natural!  It really did make my day better!  Some of these were taken at my friends house.  The spider plants are amazing and I wish mine which was started the same time as one of those pictured above looked like that!

It was a nice walk and I made it back home and decided to go get some potatoes so I could could a number of things ~ depending on the time.  I see Shepherds Pie and Beef Stew in our future.  I had a tea first and caught up on the computer before heading across town the other way ~ bringing my camera yet again to capture some of the awesome ever changing colors in my world.

 These leaves were yellow with a cool outline of red around the edges.  I wish the picture did it justice ~ maybe on a sunny day before they all fall off I will try again!

It belongs to the tree on the lower right ~ which was full and beautiful before our huge wind and rain storm the other day ~ shows how you have to enjoy the colours while they are here as in an instant life changes drastically!















I was concerned about the weather so I headed to the store ~ resisting the urge to photograph every pretty flower and tree I saw along the way.

I did my shopping ~ from my house to Big Y and then from one end of North Street to the other making sure not to forget anything.  I was loving the day to be sure.  I am pleased I was able to throw the depression that I felt consuming me out the door and say goodbye!

I returned home and began listening to some Pink Floyd ~ always a treat and realised it was going on 5:00 and I thought I had a meeting at 5:00 but upon checking the time realized it began at 6:00 so I am enjoying a pre~group tea and able to share this colorful blog with you before I depart!

Hope you all enjoy it!  Have a great day and thanks for reading!

ANOTHER DAY ~

Today I woke up feeling like I almost should apologize for yesterdays blog.  It made me feel dirty and un American to hate on my country.  In reality, I love being an American and I am just frustrated at the war and the economy and the total un-American behavior of our Government.

I hate that while so many of us are struggling and being labeled by those "others" who are profiting at the peoples expense and continuing to profit with all of the lobbyists and corporations.  Hell, I am sure if the tides were turned and we could switch places they might be a little less harsh on the "people".

To think that all Americans who are not making six figures are lazy and just looking for a handout is simply ridiculous and untrue.  Sure, there are some spoiled apples in the bucket but it does not apply to everyone!  Once the people that have realize that the people who have not are not all useless scumbags ( my words entirely) the better off the country will be.

I agree with the President about not bargaining with Congress regarding the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling.  I think Congress are being bullies ~ something which most Americans are very much against in general.  As a parent anti-bullying campaigns have been going on for many years.

Terrorists they seem to be ~ placing fear in the heart of the people and the rest of the country.  Truth be told I think that everyone needs to step back and take a breath and take the blackmail and the bullying someplace else!

On a more pleasant note it was a nice sunny and warm day here in the Berkshires.  I got up early and made it out only 15 minutes later than I wanted to leave with a beautiful walk to South Congregational Church to pick up some much needed food ~ thank you again for that option!

I hate running out of food and money and having to stand in line and take a handout ~ but I would rather do that than starve ~ pride does cometh before the fall and I am not too proud to admit that.  When the government let the banks run rampant and I got scammed out of my house with a bad mortgage and I let my perfect credit dissolve I was not expecting this but thankfully it is there.

I doubt I will ever be able to build my life back up to where it is unless I learn something new that I can work within my physical limitations.  I am not getting any younger though and my pain levels are not getting any easier to deal with.

I am trying to figure out a solid course of action.  Legal to be sure.  I do not have the aptitude or the stomach to scam people or sell drugs which seems to be two ways which people are going.  Besides, you need money to make money and I haven't learned how to spin straw into gold!

I have been fortunate to hook up with some really fun and interesting people who keep my spirit alive by inviting me to get involved in volunteering, tell me about the many wonderful free opportunities here in the Berkshires, (many of which you read about in my blog), the City of Pittsfield for sponsoring First Friday ArtWalks and Third Thursday's up until October and Live at the Lake on Wednesdays in the summer (although I missed all of them this year without a ride!)

I have always been a hardworking individual and I go mad at times with my inability to provide for myself ~ something which I have been doing since Junior High School (middle school for you younger folks).  I thank all of the people who let me babysit and wash their tractor trailer trucks and clean their houses when I was a teenager but too young to get a work permit!

Believe me ~ I am not a lazy person ~ just a physically challenged person who pays the price for every bit of work and fun I do and have.  I am grateful that I learned to accept my health issues and choose to live in spite of the pain that that living brings me.  Believe me, if I could find the right opportunity I would be all over it!

Just today I was brainstorming with someone who thinks differently than I do to come up with some creative and hopefully profitable ideas for a better future ~ something which is never too far from my mind.  There is no Knight in Shining Armor or Fairy Godmother with a magic wand coming to make my life better ~ I know that ~ part of the reason life sucks so much is the reality of life on this planet and the crueler reality of the previous 13 years of living with disability, coming to terms with losing everything in 2008 and finally being aware of what I should have done differently in 2013!  When your life is suddenly slammed with the unexpected  it is difficult to know what the correct action is.

With luck, hard work and determination I would like to be more than a useless person living on nothing and lead a more prosperous life.  I am now in the "What was I thinking stage" as in what was I thinking ~ why did I not keep at least one of my three cars?, or why did I try to pay a mortgage instead of my credit cards?

Now I am thinking ~ how do I improve my situation (without finding a man to bail me out) oh yeah for about two seconds I wondered that one ~ but I would not be me if I had gone along with that one at all!  (but it did cross my mind!)

One day I do hope the world will be workable ~ not just for those who already have money, but for our young adults who are wondering how in the hell they are going to begin life in this country and what their version of the American Dream will look like.  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be good on a more balanced level for all of the people and not just a select few!

For now I am going in search of some happiness!  You all have a good night and keep the faith.  Thanks for tolerating my rants!  Peace

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

MY RANT FOR THE DAY

Being sick is beginning to take it's toll.  Ever since the unusual back pain on Friday I have had less energy and ambition.  The simple act of just driving around with my friends to Bartlett's Apple Orchard and the drive to Lee sapped my energy and my motivation.  I cannot seem to shake it.

I feel like all I do now is rest and sleep and decline doing anything except the minimum requirements to keep my life and my household going without overdoing it (the floors need to be cleaned and there are dishes waiting in the sink from dinner.)

I wake up more fatigued than I was when I went to bed, if that is even possible and I resist the urge to just go lay down and do nothing!  It is beginning to cause a shift in my attitude and my ability to even care about being my good natured self ~ I am feeling myself sinking down a great hole of depression!

It is depressing in itself to be standing on the edge of that swirling black hole ~ knowing that a slight breeze can send me spiraling down into the endless hole of darkness.  Even with awesome things to look forward to ~ my granddaughter and our first sleepover ~ the much anticipated visit from another friend from down South and the beauty of the fall surrounding me I am struggling.

It doesn't help that while I was gathering paperwork for my fuel assistant application and I phoned Social Security for verification of income that the man who answered my call to tell me how sorry he was that he could not give me what I needed due to the shutdown of our government.

A man working without pay ~ a man who no doubt is also feeling the grips of the horrible economy due to the recession and the war as well as a majority of Americans in this country ~ apologizing to me.  I wanted to cry right there on the phone.  I thanked him for his continued service and apologized to him for our government whom he works for with my voice cracking almost unable to get the words out.

I do not understand politics and government to a large extent.  I do not understand how our government can cause the complete ruin of our country in the blink of an eye.  I don't know how all of the people in our country are not outraged and doing something.  But what is there to do?

How did our country stray so far from what our forefathers set up and which worked for the people, by the people.  Why are some people using their power to make so many people suffer?  Why don't all people count the same?

I watched Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" the other day.  I had to watch it in two parts because it was so long and I cannot always stay awake during really long movies ~ especially when I am comfortable in my bed.  I think Abe would be rolling over in his grave right about now ~ as would all of our forefathers who so diligently put together the Constitution of the United States of America.

I am surprised they are not roaming the earth and haunting our current politicians responsible for making a mockery of our Constitution for what seems like a personal vendetta against the President ~ why?  Because he is a man of color?  Yes, I wrote it and I believe it to be true.  Let the man do his job which the people elected him to do ~ please for God's sake!

The government is not supposed to be run by the corporations and for the corporations and it seems to me that is the way of our world.  It makes me sick and ashamed to be an American.  Watching our world ~ which was divided by class and race before but which now takes it to a whole new level putting so many people up so high to look down and squish everyone else who is not as such under their shoes like little bugs and without a thought.

I wonder how they sleep at night?  I bet they sleep fine ~ sipping on overpriced alcohol and enjoying the good things in life while many Americans sit in bread lines and get at best outdated and sometimes spoiled food ~ not even fit for human or animal consumption, trying to figure out how to eat and pay the bills and stay warm with winter fast approaching.

I worry.  I try not to.  Rarely do I get involved or voice an opinion in regards to what is going on in the country.  I am old school and I fear government.  I fear it even more now.  I wonder, how we are going to make it through to the other side and what the other side is going to look like.  I worry about being a useless air breather and food eater in this day and age.  I worry for me and I worry for every other American in this country.

Sorry, but for once I do not see a silver lining in this situation.  I see starving and fear and death.  People reacting by trying to drive through the gate at the White House and not being disabled but being shot dead ~ dead people can't tell you why they did something ~ what ever happened to disabling a person who is a threat?

Why is everything so extreme?  Why are people lighting themselves on fire?  What is going to come next?  When any form of protest could be considered as an act of terrorism and you could be killed for trying to use your voices and show what side you are on how can the people be heard let alone make a peaceful stand that won't get them killed?

You may agree or disagree depending on your economic status with what is going on in the country.  The people who are doing fine choose not to see the struggle ~ they feel if they ignore what is going on it is not happening ~ until they are down here with the majority of Americans struggling.  I am pretty sure that is not how it is supposed to go.

What happened to our great country and how do we make it great once again?  The balance needs to be restored.  Please let us put our prejudices aside and be the fine country that we once were not so long ago!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF MY LIFE

I have been seriously pushing my limits lately and that all came to a head early Friday morning when I tried to roll over in bed and could not move to do so around 3:45 a.m.  I managed to get into a sitting position and stand up only to be unable to fully stand ~ let alone walk across the room to walk downstairs to use the bathroom.

I was paralyzed, holding onto the dresser and wondering how in the hell I was going to let go and head to the stairs, a feat which I accomplished by sheer willpower and determination alone.  I managed to get to the top of the stairs and faced the obstacle of going down the stairs with tears in my eyes and pain encompassing every move!

Stopping in the dining room to lean on a wall and rest ~ I noticed my son, still awake and embroiled in a battle on the computer.  On one hand I was mad as hell as we just had a conversation about his late hours and changing them and here he was up later than ever!  On the other hand ~ I was grateful that I had someone to ask for help to make it across the kitchen and into the bathroom.

Being in serious pain sucks!!  It had begun around 1:00 the previous day with stabbing pains in my right lung which increased with every step and movement.  By 4:00 I was seriously contemplating how I was supposed to go to a fancy dress up event that evening and stand and converse with people.

By 5:00 I had decided that I couldn't even envision this at all.  I love to dress up and be around people more than the average bear and had been looking forward to this event for a couple of weeks.  Sadly, I phoned my friend and had to cancel out ~ something I almost never do ~ but I just could not even begin to think about faking it ~ I am not that good of an actress!

Thinking that it was my cold dropped into my chest, I got into p.j.'s and slathered a ton of Vick's on my chest to try to relieve the pain ~ although my chest didn't feel congested I did not think it could hurt.  I had some dinner and had a quiet night in bed watching t.v. until I awoke in the middle of the night.

I have a chronic pain issue which I have had since 1999/2000 which I generally try to ignore.  I do not take medications ~ I used to but they really do a number on your body and I really like to be somewhat healthy.  I do not even take aspirin unless it is extreme and when you have a chronic pain issue extreme for me would be level 20 pains as opposed to the level 12 pain I woke up with.

As you may know if you read my blog ~ I have issues with Doctors and hospitals as well, but I found it necessary with this particular pain to go to the hospital.  I got dressed somehow and headed out of my house in the darkness of the early morning.  I was amazed at how warm it was and grateful it was so early that no one saw me walking and crying with each step.

The walk normally would take me about 20 minutes to the hospital.  It took me nearly an hour to walk there, although I must say it did get easier walking after a while ~ except for when I had to stop and cough for a couple minutes at a time before I could continue on my way.

For a change the E.R. was dead.  There was also no one at the desk so it took a few minutes to get someones attention and get checked in.  I stood while they checked me in the first room and paced until I got into the second room and clarified what "multiple complaints" meant since it was easier for the first lady to write that than what the "multiple complaints" were ~ passing the buck!

The girl made me sit down to take my temp and blood pressure.  It turned out to be a big mistake.  When I tried to stand up I could not straighten up again ~ evil body which I own!  I was taken into a room in the back and I eyed the bed not sure if I should even attempt to lay down.

I am an idiot so I laid down and waited for the doctor who came in within ten minutes or so ~ sat in a chair and asked me what was going on and in the middle of what was going on answered a silent phone and carried on a conversation for a couple of minutes swinging his leg and tapping the bed sending flashes of pain through my body!  I asked him if he minded not doing that and he stopped.

When he got off the phone he told me to sit up ~ like that was an easy task ~ HA!  I managed to sit up and he asked me where specifically it hurt and I tried to point it out ~ not being able to really reach the area and then he began checking out and pounding on my back ~ are you kidding me!  Asking me if it hurt ~ wow are you an idiot I was thinking as he slammed me very hard on my back and then checking for pain in my abdomen.

He listened to my lungs and heart and decided that I needed a chest x-ray and a e.k.g and left the room.  I waited a fair amount of time for the X~ray lady but she was nice ~ until she moved my shoulders forward and a fresh burst of pain slammed me almost on my ass and a fresh batch of tears as she apologized for the pain.

I told her not to worry about it and she managed to take the x-ray and brought me back to my room to wait for the e.k.g.  After about ten minutes with me standing in the doorway another nurse who was sitting at the desk asked me if I had gotten my e.k.g. and when I said no she went to get a machine and made me lay down on that bed again.

By this time my neck was in agony after all that pounding on my back.  The nurse hooked me up and while she was finishing the doctor arrived with another machine ~ I asked him what that was and he said he was going to do a sonogram on my gallbladder ~ I told him good luck as it had been removed in 1989 (something he would have known if he listened to my "any major surgery response".

So, me being in huge pain and dealing with stupid when I am trying to get much needed help does nothing to enhance my usual good nature ~ especially at 5:45 a.m. from a medical professional!  I shook my head and tried to laugh it off but come on now really!!!

On top of that with a clear chest x ray and the best e.k.g. (no smoking lecture for a change) the nurse hands me lower back discharge sheets ~ which made me shake my head even more because my lower back was never an issue!!!

I left the hospital to walk home.  It was much cooler outside now and I was fueled with the "stupid" energy and the desire to get home and call my own doctor the second they opened up to get the advice of someone I trusted as I was not happy with the results of my trip to the emergency room.

The day seemed to go from bad to WTF ~ when I phoned at 8:01 and both of the emergency slots were already filled ~ already!  The soonest my doc could see me was Monday according to the receptionist from hell.  I took that appointment and tried to keep calm and carry on ~ not really sure what that would look like.

Thanks to some great support from many of my friends on the computer I managed to change my attitude to be more fitting for me.  I also got a call from the receptionist with a 3:00 appointment that day.  I still had to go do my errands so I took a really hot shower and left early for my appointment to get things done before said appointment.

It was First Friday ArtWalk and everyone was setting up getting ready for the night of shows.  I had misjudged how long it would take to do my errands and peeked in at Mary's Carrot Cake where Scott Taylor was showing and he was there so I checked out his "Fresh Paint" and chatted with he and Jackie Kearns -another amazing artist who was also showing that evening at Bisque, Beads and Beyond.

I still had too much time left so I decided to grab some Won Ton Soup, ordering my son's favorite meal to bring home (minus the soup) as my friends from South Carolina and I were getting together later for Maine Lobster ~ something they can't get in S.C., which I selflessly offered to let them cook at my house as long as they got me one as well and Thomas doesn't eat lobster hence the Chinese food for him.

Finally it was time for my doctors and I went through everything with her and she listened to my chest ~ still clear and had me lay on her table.  She is an Osteopath and she soon determined the muscles in my back were so tight it was causing the horrible pain I was experiencing.

She gave me an tool to help loosen it which I have to do using a towel and explained what I had to do to loosen my back and focus on my breathing and get my rib cage to actually move (which normal peoples do naturally).  And I left feeling a little bit better and more relaxed.

I was determined to go to ArtWalk even if for just a short while ~ besides walking and moving were easier than sitting or lying down and soon enough it was almost 5:00.  I spoke to my friends and we finalized our plans for when they arrived back from a road trip to Springfield.

My son kept calling me and finally as I was headed to my last place I wanted to see he decided to meet me.  My friends hadn't phoned yet, and I was worried as I could have walked to Springfield in the time that had passed.  (Not really but almost).  I met my son and skipped the last place and revisited a couple of artists whose work I thought he would like instead and my friends finally phoned.

I told them that we would meet them at my house and they beat me there!  It was good to see them and we got the water on the stove and visited in the living room.  Old time friends, Wendy and I knew each other before we had children and Tom and Tori were like two peas in a pod when they were little ~ before they moved to Florida.

The last time we had seen each other was in New Ashford about 8 or 9 years ago when they came up for a visit.  Not much changes despite the time passing, but we still had much to chat about.  It is really strange for me to see the passage of time in children turning into young adults.

I put a lobster in the boiling water and my son was watching and I asked him if he wanted to do one and he said "No ~ it has eyes ~ I can't do that" Tori wouldn't even come in the room!  So I was forced to be the lobster killer!

It was worth it ~ they were delicious and it was fun watching Tori cracking open her lobster as she has never done it before and to listen to Tom say how gross we were for liking lobster in the first place.  Wendy was an expert and had hers done in no time!  I am not bad at it but was the last one done eating as I savoured every morsel!

We parted company as they still had a 45 minute drive to where they were staying and planned on getting together today if my plans for hiking fell through, and they told Thomas that regardless if I was home or not he had better answer the phone the next day when they called.

I headed up to bed with my heating pad which goes in my bear (same premise as the rolled towel for me only with heat include) and I tried to relax my back after the longest day in my life almost!  I was thankful that it helped and woke up this morning feeling much better and able to stand up straight and walk downstairs no problem!

I was wondering what time my day would begin when my friend I had hiking plans phoned and decided for me that I should not overdo it today to get some rest to be in shape for Sunday's busy day.  That kind of sucked because I really wanted to go on the guided tour of Wachonah Falls.  I knew he was right however, as in reality I had limited energy to go along with the limited pain.

I had some tea and was going to go back to bed with  my heating pad when Tori phoned to see if "we" wanted to go to Bartlett's Apple Orchard with them a short way away.  I tried to wake up Thomas who was having no part of it and I got in the shower after I finished my tea.

Tori was at my door before I was ready, so I let her in and got dressed while she went in and made Thomas get up and come with us ~ threatening not to leave without him.  (I wonder how these people manage the impossible?)  He got up and was ready almost before I was!

We headed to one of the local cemeteries to visit a mutual friend, but it was just after noon and no one was there, sadly.  But, on a brighter note, I know where my old friend Paul Marshall is buried now thanks to Wendy showing me and I got to pay my respects to a friend that left the planet way to soon!

We headed to Bartlett's and it was hopping with activity.  The apple cinnamon donuts smelled amazing and it was hard to resist the urge to get a bunch of them but I did.  I took a few pictures while the dog stretched her legs and the girls ate there donuts before we headed to Lee to go pay our respects in another cemetery to Wendy's Mom and Grandma and visit her living Uncle and Aunt.

The foliage was beautiful as we traveled roads I hadn't been on in a while and I pray it holds out the week as I have another friend coming up from Florida at the end of the week who I told the foliage should still be good ~ fingers crossed it will last!

We said our goodbyes to Tori and Wendy and left them to go and visit some more of there family ~ knowing we probably will not see them for another few years.  I was glad I had the opportunity, but I was beat so Tom and I decided to watch some t.v. and I needed my heating pad again.  We both fell asleep watching television!

October is turning out to be a very social month - it just may turn out to be my favourite month of the entire year!  Now if I could just shake this cold!  I have an extra special weekend next weekend as my lovely granddaughter is sleeping over my house on Saturday!  An event that is more valuable to me than anything and I want to be the same for her as well!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

BUSY IS BETTER

I like to keep busy.  It is easier for me to make it through a day when I have planned things to do.  More times than not I waste a lot of time wasting time.  I am good at it, but it is not fulfilling to me to sit by and let the world pass me by.

Every once in a while, especially over the course of the previous few weeks, I find myself with a day or two with nothing going on and I think ~ that is okay and before I know it I am whisked off to do this or that with a moments notice.

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop at the Lichtenstein Gallery,  MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center "Tricks of the Trade" Workshop on how to write an Artist Statement.  Although I am not an artist, I write about artists, I know a few artists and in reality writing is an Art as well.  I have been asked to write an Artist Statement for friends in the past so I figured it would be a good tool for my tool box.

I was glad I attended.  I got to meet some people whom I have only heard about, and others whom I do not know at all.  It was a little tricky to accomplish the writing and other tasks in the short time allotted to us for these tasks, however, but a great deal of fun and very informational, with a great brochure with more free events to attend which I cannot wait to participate in!

When I finished there I was planning on just heading home and relaxing, but my friend Paul had another idea ~ there was a showing of a documentary at the Berkshire Athenaeum about Mass MOCA followed by a question and answer period.

We arrived for about the final 10 minutes of the documentary and stayed for the full Q&A.  It was interesting.  I have yet to visit this wonderful museum, having been invited for an opening this past Friday but feeling too under the weather to attend (I do stay home once in a while!)

On the way home, my friend told me about a Real Estate program he had registered us for the following day so I said sure ~ why not.  I met him at the Library where he was doing some work.  While he was finishing up I ran into an acquaintance of mine ~ another man whom I had met at around the same time as my friend Paul.

It is always a huge pleasure of mine to see and chat with this person.  With only a few minutes before the meeting, we stepped outside in the Courtyard to catch up and I am glad that I did, although when I went back into the library I had lost my friend (who was searching the library for me, unbeknownst to me!)

I panicked, thinking he had headed over to the Crowne Plaza where our meeting was, calling him on the way to let him know where I was only to get voice mail!  Long story short ~ we met up outside the building and listened to 90% of a pitch leaving before the extremely high pressure sale began.

It was nice and sunny when we went into the event.  When we came out the sky was dark and full of clouds and the temperature had dropped a bit.  I had business at the other end of the street so I left Paul to go back to his car and departed to do my errands before the rain came.  (Two hours later ~ no rain, but no serious sun either ~ that is the Berkshires!)

Now I am sitting at my house, happy to be home and enjoying the fact that I have nothing scheduled until Thursday evening and another new experience my "Social Director" has dug up for us to attend.  My good friend Wendy and her daughter Tori will be arriving from South Carolina and we have plans to get together Friday, and go to First Friday ArtWalk together and eat Maine Lobster (her treat as long as she can cook and eat them here ~ no Maine Lobster in S.C. which surprises me!)

My ex (not the bad one) came and had tea this morning, bringing me some brand new pastels and a art pad for pastels.  One of the perks of my life ~ ask and you shall receive.  (Not really, but this week it seems to be the case!)  I am still feeling a bit under the weather so I need to really keep it low key so I don't perpetuate this illness longer than need be!  The art supplies will keep me sitting still, in my house and using very little energy (other than creative).

I have a full weekend of outdoor events and weather permitting will be sharing some amazing information and pictures with you all ~ it is the Fall in the Berkshires so fingers crossed it will be dry and 100 % doable!  I am off to make another tea and sit back and relax for a bit!

Have a marvelous day!