Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!!!!

As the final hours of 2013 approach I have been internally reviewing my past year.  It has been one hell of a ride!  I succeeded in the most part with my resolutions and I refuse to beat myself up for the ones I was unable to finalize.

Instead, I choose to focus on all of the wonderful things which occurred.  I have made great strides in overcoming my fear of putting myself out there for the "world" to see.  No longer wishing to be invisible and hiding within myself.  That is huge!

I have attended functions ~ with fear still, but able to set aside those fears of failure and rejection and get out of my very secure comfort zone.  I have had great fun volunteering at the Barrington Stage, attending plays, attending ArtWalks and speaking with artists and connecting with quite a few of them.

I went in a canoe twice and look forward to many more canoe adventures ~ kicking myself a little because when I bought my house there was a canoe and a river and I never ventured near either one of them together!

I have reconnected with many old and very real friends from many time periods in my life who reaffirmed in me that I am not a horrible person like that voice in my head tells me, sometimes my own and sometimes tapes from past voices.

I have made huge strides I think though my work is not done in recognizing red flags and warnings before or shortly after they go off.  Learning lessons along the way when the alarms rang too late ~ almost repeating past mistakes and realizing in the nick of time saving myself the full brunt of the pain that comes with those mistakes.

Third Thursdays were great fun as well ~ walking down North Street checking out the bands and the zillions of people who I have not seen since I bought the ticket and took the ride in the 90's when I left this fair city I call home once again.

I got over (sort of) my fear of medical professionals and reconnected with my Chiropractor, my counselor and obtained a primary physician.  All huge steps for me indeed!

I have connected with myself through art and writing.  Enjoying both on a very regular basis and feeling pleased most of the time with each!

I am building a stronger relationship with my eldest son and his new family and blessed to have another chance and enjoying having a 7 year old granddaughter to hang out with and who brings me great joy, many smiles and wonderful refrigerator art!

I am learning to find my voice once again ~ which I have really missed.  I am actually figuring out how to figure out what is good for me and learning how to accept the good qualities which I recognize a bit easier now in myself, not beat myself up when I make a mistake, and to love myself a little bit.

I refuse to make resolutions this year other than to continue to grow and learn as a person, keep smiling find and give inspiration, and spread the love one smile at a time!

I am grateful for the people who are on this journey with me.  Some I know and have known for a while and others who I know not at all.  Everything does happen for a reason and everyone you meet you are meant to meet whether for the support or the lesson ~ I openly embrace both and will continue to pray for those who were lessons and hope they find their own peace before they die.

I warmly wish you a very Happy New Year!  Please be safe if you are out in the world this evening!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

ANOTHER DAY TRYING TO FEEL OKAY!

I actually succeeded in falling asleep earlier than I have been doing last night.  I am thankful for the sleep, but not for the stomach turbulence this morning.  Since I have barely been out of the house for weeks I am thinking I must have picked it up from my son who was sick a couple of weeks ago.

Feeling like crap on this lovely Monday.  Last one of the New Year!  It is a day off from Doctor's today as well.  I had been planning on going with my son to the lab.  When I woke him up he informed me he was getting a ride from his brother.  A bonus for me, now I may be able to lay down and rest for a while and with luck this will pass.

I am looking forward to another year.  A clean slate and new resolutions.  Truth be told, last year I made a few.  I normally don't ~ I mean why set yourself up for defeat?  I did manage all but the "Big" one.  Filing the bankruptcy.

At this point I am down to what a year and a half to wait.  Still too long to not answer my phone and restore my credit anyway I can.  No biggie.  I am not beating myself up for it.  I did pay the long overdue excise tax which I hadn't calculated into the mix so I am calling that a win.

When I feel a little better I need to go and get my license.  Next step towards freedom and mobility.  After having to stop and rest because my legs and back were screaming at me four times yesterday during my 20 minute outing I think transportation is getting to be a necessity.

I am tired of walking distances and carrying groceries.  I am too old.  My body is too broken for that crap.  I am tired of kidding myself that I am alright and possibly damaging my discs anymore and having to get more surgery.

I missed a call from my eldest son yesterday while I was napping.  He didn't leave a message so I didn't know until I noticed the number had gone up on the caller I.D.  I hope I didn't miss an opportunity to spend the day with my granddaughter today!

They are all working so I have to wait and find out what is/was up.  Probably better if they needed help today that I didn't answer considering how I am feeling.  I would hate to get the munchkin sick as well.  No one needs to feel bad during school vacation!

I am headed to lay down and check out one of my new books if I can focus.  I hope it takes me to another world like the last book did.  I sure could use the distraction!  I will let you know if it does the trick.  Until next time ~ keep warm, well and safe and don't forget to share a smile!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

MY MINI "VACATION"

It feels like longer than two days since I have written.  I thought about it but was so involved in reading a story and screwing up my schedule that I just haven't had time.  I let everything go over the past couple of days while I was involved in a real to goodness solid book to hold in two hands and turn pages.

I am kicking myself since I devoured the tale instead of sipping on it for a while and savouring its goodness.  I could not help it.  It was a quick read so they say ~ all 500+ pages, unlike that tedious historical drama I got into a few months ago.

That just dragged and dragged.  It was good but a lot of history to absorb.  Funny how stories are like that.  The good ones flow and before you know it you have read 200 pages and a couple of hours have flown by unaware.

I thought Stephen King did an excellent job in Doctor Sleep.  It has been years since I have read the Shining and the details were not present in my mind before I read Doctor Sleep ~ no refresher.  None needed.  It reminded me of my love for a good story.

The details from the past were nicely placed when you needed them and I found myself watching the story in my minds eye as I read ~ also another good tell for me.  My own little mini movie.  I hope he does make a movie out of this one.  Wonder if Jack would come out and play for the flashbacks etc.  (Etc used in place of giving any of the story away.)

Before I began writing my blog this evening I walked into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.  I glanced at my full double sink as I put water in my cup and stopped my task to organize the mess ~ rationalizing to myself that stacking would be good enough ~ tea forgotten.

 I stacked them ~  washing the bowls and the pans that did not fit in the neat stack and placing them to air dry haphazardly then of course not able to leave the rest ~ plates don't take long ~ out of order I was left with juggling everything around to get them to fit in the drainboard to dry.

Realizing my teacup was not in the microwave I crossed the kitchen to put my tea in and decided that my Avocado Tree is in too drafty a spot and began moving it into the dining room with the other plants.  Looking at my neglected plants, I tended to them ~ forgetting the avocado relocation for a moment as I removed dead leaves.

It is so easy for me to forget A and do B, C, and D in the meantime.  I feel much better ~ less guilty for taking a two day time out from everything but the necessities of which the book was a huge one.  Been a while since I have read a book ~ Huck Finn was the last.

The other day I also got all my pictures off my computer and onto the little USB storage device in preparation for my computer re haul.  I have only put that task off for the past year and a half.  Determined to resolve all of the chaos within my P.C. once and for all and have my audio drivers restored.

My computer says they are there but things are not where they should be for some reason.  Everything is scattered everywhere in the wrong folders ~ how I do not know but I do know how to reinstall windows.  I am not a technical person at all when it comes to the computer.

I am not afraid to make changes but even when I write down what I did so I can undo I can never quite figure out how to.  It is kind of funny ~ but not when you have totally screwed the pooch.  I almost did the other day ~ needing to open task manager and type in from there ~ my desktop and everything else was not there.  By some miracle I did fix that.

This was all caused by me trying to find my drivers and have them be recognized by my entire computer and not some part that is inaccessible.  Then I remembered the storage device my son picked up for me ~ better to have the stuff I want off the computer before I totally lock myself out.

That was when I decided to start reading the book.  It was the safest of all options.  I was intending on waking up today and finishing it right off the bat.  I came downstairs to make a tea so I could read in bed but then I stopped at the computer and did my stuff.

I checked the weather and found it was going to rain this afternoon with a very cold front coming in after that.  I was already waking late so I knew I needed to rethink my day.  I woke myself up with a couple of teas and jumped in the shower after I cranked the heat to make it last for more than 2 minutes ~ something which seems to be happening a lot lately and the solution seems to work.

So I got ready and headed out did my errands and  grabbed some grinders as a treat for my boy T and made it home walking in a light sprinkle.  I was happy to hear the rain increase in strength while I was taking off my outdoor clothes and shoes.  Finally my timing seems to be getting back on track!

Tom was still sleeping.  I wasn't surprised as we were watching t.v. well past three last night.  I really do not know how he does this regularly.  Of course he sleeps for 12 hours due to the medication ~ I on the other hand can barely manage 7 hours and that is a good sleep.

For me I can deal with less sleep.  It is bothersome to wake up late ~ I look at all the time I have wasted sleeping.  Not that I have pressing matters to attend to.  Sleeping for me sucks anyway.  I wake up more tired than when I went to bed and have to fight with my aches and pains from being immobile for those hours.

I grabbed half of my grinder and brought it to my room.  I don't usually eat in my room but I wanted to get my hands on that final section of story.  I began to read as I was eating.  The food put me in a coma and I soon put the book aside and found myself napping.

Two hours later I forced myself up ~ grabbed my book and went downstairs, made another tea and  to the living room I went.  Of course all I could remember was 15 so I went to pg. 415 which was not the page ~ so I went to 485 which was the page ( 15 from 500).

The rest of the book was done in no time ~ sadly as I said earlier.  I was choked up at the end ~ it wasn't sad ~ it was the realization of full circles and finishing what you started and loose ends and connections which got me.  Hard to explain what I really mean ~ people take different things out of what they read.

I still have the Hogwarts books to read.  Those will be a breeze.  This time I am not going to rip through the books.  I say that now but I am like a junkie with his drug and a good story is always hard for me to resist.  I just hope that I scored the good stuff.

It is getting late and I still have dogs to feed and dragon's to fight and with hope, speed and luck a Solitaire tournament or two to win in between.  I am hoping to be fast asleep long before 3 a.m. tonight and back on my "normal" schedule tomorrow.  It might be the day that I get my computer back on track ~ then again you never know!


Friday, December 27, 2013

CHRISTMAS REVIEW

Christmas turned out fine, as I knew it would despite the turmoil the previous day.  It turned into a small family gathering with our core family together ~ the four of us sharing a meal before we headed over to visit and do Christmas with my eldest son.

It was fun knowing I had to go somewhere and I took the opportunity to wear my new shirt that Cindy gave me, hoping I would wear it for Christmas ~ she is very style/holiday oriented so she shopped with the holiday in mind.

She picked a nice red and black lace top with a little matching top ~ very versatile for summer as well minus the outer top and nice for social gatherings also.  An excellent choice and she got it at our favourite thrift shop with the original store tags still on it.  It fits perfectly I might add ~ she is an excellent shopper!

It was funny, because before we ate Jeff talked to one of the boys and asked when we were coming over. After dinner we ate and I put the food away sent out a few texts, including one to Cindy who had to work to see if she wanted to get together after my visit with the family.  She was down for that and since I never made it up to her place I still had her gifts.

Thomas had plans to escape to Williamstown with his friends later that evening as well.  So we got ready to go, I grabbed my hat and coat ~ always the last to be ready and the phone rang ~ "We need an hour~ dinner is ready."  It felt like I had just been through a fire drill and then all of the sudden ~ no rush!

We killed an hour ~ reading one of the real hardcover BOOKS my son got me for Christmas.  I am delighted to have actual books in hand to place lovingly on my shelf after I read them of course!  He had gotten me first a book by Stephen King based on a poem where the villain of the Dark Tower first came to being entitled "The Dark Man".

Excellent cover art on this book and the inside artwork was almost too distracting to really read the poem which was thankfully written out in the back of the book.  I say that because the art really was excellent and told it's own story and the words were secondary for me.

My serious book collection began with Stephen King and my Uncle Matt, my Uncle Mike began my addiction of Anne McCaffery and the Dragonriders of Pern with the White Dragon and it was downhill from there.

I was hooked and until a few years ago had all of the books.  I accidentally donated the wrong milk crate of books to the nursing home and someone score a nice batch of first editions and I lost part of my heart and my complete collection!  Oh well such is life as they say!

My son also graced me with a copy of Doctor Sleep as well by Mr. King.  I have not yet read it and have no idea what it is about.  I am sure I will enjoy it.  I have a spot all picked out right behind "Under the Dome" Collectors issue ~ which I didn't even crack the binding on ~ I read that one in the library.

I miss the days when I had every new book by my favourite authors when they came out.  I was part of a book club before the recession and the spending freeze.  Books are a total luxury.  I  love books!!!!

Sadly, he did not get me the final Harry Potter book I need to complete my collection.  I would kill to have that one my shelf ~ to read it even.  The movies have come and gone and I have not read the words!  He did however get me a box  set of the Hogwarts Library ~ stating it was part of the collection.  I have never heard of them but look forward to reading them as well.

Finally our hour passed so we returned to our jackets and I was again last one out the door.  We journey across town and arrived in minutes.  The family was enjoying a much needed pajama day and I got to see Ains' fox p.j.'s.

Pat couldn't wait to give his present ~ a 15" stuffed fox from "What does the Fox say" which she absolutely loves.  I couldn't wait to see it I had heard so much about this fox.  She unwrapped it and it was in a plastic bag with the air out of it.  When he came out he puffed right up ~ it was amazingly soft and somewhat squishy ~ she loved it.

We all exchanged gifts and Ainsley showed me her room and asked me if I wanted to color.  She showed us her scooter with light up wheels when you ride it and zoomed off down the hall and into the exercise area of the living room and back to show us the glowing wheels.

Then she grabbed a coloring book, her new crayons and her favourite crayons hidden in her room and we sat down to color a "My little Pony" together.  She had Tom riding her scooter as the adults visited in the living room.

Soon it was time to go ~ everyone, myself included was getting tired.  We headed back home and Cindy messaged me while we were in the car ~ free coffee at Cumby's for Christmas ~ no takers but a nice thought!

I told her to meet me at my house and she arrived a couple of minutes after Bruce and Pat dropped off Tom and I.  Tommy got on his computer to connect with his friends in Williamstown and before I knew it Cindy arrived and Nico and John a short while after that.

It was nice to see two out of three of my "sons" from my pre-Pittsfield life.  You really miss things and people you see regularly for years.  We had so much more of a social life in New Ashford than we do here. Granted it was at my house and not like my life is now.  Living in the country is entirely different than living in an apartment in a "City".

I find it difficult to even call where I live a City, as it is unlike Boston or Hartford or Albany or any major city in the world.  It is more like a large town to me after being in bigger cities.  I am sure it must be fun in it's own way to live in a real city.  Maybe someday I will experience that.

Anyway, the boys took off and Cindy and I hung out.  She didn't have Christmas dinner so we made up a plate and I made a ham sandwich for myself.  Thomas took his mouse for some reason so I let Cindy use my computer to do some messaging to her family and friends and before we knew it Christmas was almost over and she had to go.

I would like to say there was no calamity but sadly, my bulb got too heavy and fell over in the morning and snapped the flower stem with the unopened flowers on it, two of the four other flowers fell off as well so I placed them in a bowl of water as a centerpiece and they were and still are lovely.  The other flowers opened up much quicker than they would have, but at least they opened!

One more holiday to get through and with some good luck I hope that I have been through all of the emotional turmoil that I need to for the next ten years.  This was a really rough holiday for some reason.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride for no real reason on the surface.

I don't think I have any demons lurking in the shadows to come out and bite me in the ass regarding New Years but you never know.  Demons like to lurk in the dark and shadowy recesses and come out when you least expect them and when they can do the most harm.

I am good with all that.  If I have to hang garlic around my neck, light candles ~ what ever ~ anything not to have to go through that again.  Fortunately my son Thomas knows the right words to say and when to give a much needed hug ~ I raised that boy right!

I guess the trick will be to keep the right attitude and stay in the light where there are no dark shadowy recesses and remain calm, laugh and dance and keep them at bay.  I would rather read about Stephen King's demons than deal with my own to be sure!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

After a day beginning and ending with loss yesterday ~ starting with losing my last $20.00 of the month in the first store I went into yesterday and finishing it off at bedtime by realizing I had lost the gift I had made for the boys on the way home from my friends house last evening I was more than discouraged to say the very least.

I went to bed with a knot in my stomach and lay awake for hours retracing my steps in my head like my Mom taught me, after searching every place possible and impossible including the driveway and into the house unsuccessfully, the new mantras I had read to flip the switch in my brain away from the negative long forgotten ~ I gave tapping a half a thought and gave up.

I was thankful to have Cary Grant and the Bishops Wife to distract me from my problems and take me off into a very un-restful nights sleep.  I realized that it is not the money or the present for the boys which was bothering me so much.

My loss goes deeper ~ money can be made, found, or borrowed, the boys don't expect anything from me since the recession began and my son reminded me late last night that all they needed was an awesome meal cooked by the best Mom as he gave me a hug and tried to make me feel better while I tried not to cry and make his holiday even more bothersome.

I woke up tired, sore and sad.  Read a few comments and began to read a post from a new follower and fellow reader which made it click for me ~ I couldn't finish reading ~ her story and the connection was more than I could take before tea and in my state of mind.

I have a lifetime of loss which is never more evident than the holidays.  My boys are not the only family that are important to me.  I have family near and far who for one reason or another ~ mainly the dispute with my mother, and including my mother and father who despite our differences in opinions, actions and overall caring and the fall out from all of that and the effects on family ~ not bringing it together but dividing it even further rolling downhill to my children and their relationships and attitudes towards family as well or more to the point ~ the lack of family love and support.

Lines were drawn in the sand many years ago and me and mine were left on one side while everyone else was on the other ~ as we are all very stubborn ~ teachers teach well and that is what I learned along with some other unsavory lessons.  I have feelings however, being a very emotional person, something which seem to be lacking or hiding in some of my kin.

I try to hide the pain and sorrow which I feel everyday.  Knowing that even if things were different they would still be the same.  Everything has it's price you know ~ you just have to be willing to pay and I am not at times willing ~ the cost is too great.

I spoke with my eldest son and got the scoop on the plans for the day ~ spoke with my granddaughter as she told me that Santa knew everything she wanted and she didn't even write a list!!! I love that childlike surprise and wonder and her laughter made me feel better.

I wrapped her presents still puzzled about what I had lost last night ~ determined to figure out the mystery ~ and too early to call my friend to see if he had gotten my message in case I left the gift at his house.  I checked the garbage again and to my amazement found what I was looking for!

Seems that the reason I was walking around with this receipt in my hand instead of the gift was that I had thrown the wrong thing out earlier and the gift went in the garbage.  Fortunately I had the foresight to look a little closer and glad it was also wrapped in protective paper and foil!

I know the day is going to be full of fun and love and family and good food.  Now that I have acknowledged to myself what is really going on inside of me I hope I can reclaim the peace and level of existence I had prior to this knowledge or at least accept life as it is once again.

I am off to get ready for the day ~ pudding to make for pie, potatoes to peel and ham to glaze and decorate and since I am not having a pajama day for a change I may make it in the shower and into some street clothes today.

I am happier to have something to share with my boys ~ grateful for the friends and family and the friends who are my family as well, the encouragement and love from my readers around the world and the swelling in my heart in a good way as I watch the next generation ( my boys) take charge and make me proud of them.

Merry Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate) to all and may you have more blessings to count than sorrows, much peace, love and hope, now and throughout the year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS EVE 2013

Christmas Eve...

Oh what  can I say?  This year is totally different from any year yet.  Excited, eager and ready for the holiday and then not so much.  Changes in plans adjustments and all is well for a minute or two.  Get back into the spirit and hang there on a tightrope ~ not sure what to think living on the brink of happy and sad.

I think I am reading too much news.  All of the bad news and the reality of the times on the planet ~ especially the U.S. of A. is great for about 400 people in the country ~ I wonder if they are even here or are they enjoying their holidays away??

I really used to enjoy the bubble I created for myself.  Despite the horrors of the world ~ when you live in blissful ignorance it makes it easier to deal with.  Exposing myself to the "horrors" reading about them, living them as I currently am not one of those fortunate 400 people is really having a negative effect on my attitude and ability to smile.

It seems I am in a perpetual state of trying to trick myself into feeling like everything is okay and can only get better.  After all, things have been worse and I have survived many difficult situations.  The truth is, I feel like I am grasping at straws and the whole pile is falling on my head.

The holidays seem to enhance this feeling.  Random occurrences recently have been leaving me puzzled and weak.  Distractions and good memories are barely making a dent in chasing these blues away today.  I was fortunate to have been taken out of my world this afternoon after a trying experience.

I read a couple of survival mantras today which were very good and on time while I was visiting.  Next time I am there I am going to write them down.  Out of all the pages of all the books the one that was handed to me ~ full of beautiful pictures that would make your mouth water ~ I happen to land on three paragraphs that I most needed to read.  I smiled, then I read them out loud to my friend who agreed it was odd I found those words at this time.

Sometimes the universe puts what you need where you need it when you need it!  I am behind now, but since this is me going with the flow and what is the big deal anyway?  My obligation is a meal and I could bake a ham and create a feast in no time with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.

I have a few gifts for the munchkin to wrap and the hardest part there will be finding some tape.  No rush there since I am not even sure when we are going to see her ~ I am not in charge of the details, my sons will have to figure that one out and I will go with the flow.

I do have to get up the street to see my girl Cindy, whom I ran into today looking mighty stylish coming out of work with her cool hat and her pretty outfit ~ very festive as usual!  She really does have a nice sense of style.  I was going to go up this afternoon after my errands but I had a mishap while I was out and then I got kidnapped and time just slipped away.

I wish my camera was working because today all four of the flowers on one stem opened up and it is simply beautiful.  This evening when I turned on the lights in the dining room I noticed the flowers on the second stem were just dropping.  It looks like I will have something to look forward to up to New Years!

On that thought I will leave you with the hopes that you all have a wonderful, happy and safe Christmas!  

Monday, December 23, 2013

KICKING "BAH HUMBUG" TO THE CURB

After my bout of "Bah Humbug" upon learning that my eldest son and his family would not be coming to Christmas Dinner at my house (something I have been told I must have made up in my head when I know that at Thanksgiving it was on), my sadness turned to understanding after hearing that my daughter in law just wants to stay home and cook.

Fine with me.  She works hard, I don't blame her.  After all, I am the queen of pajama days myself, how can I begrudge anyone that same luxury?  They brought me my granddaughter and we had another sleepover and I got to babysit during work hours ~ supposed to be until 3:00 and we were dressed when my son arrived a whole hour early!

I am totally over it.  The thing with me is, whether mad, sad, angry or disappointed ~ once I vent/rationalize the situation out I am over it ~ water under the bridge, over the dam or what have you.  We waited for dinner and played.

It was difficult for Ains to keep her fingers off the giant peanut butter cup I got for my birthday which I had told her I would save and share with her.  Only problem is ~ that is what she wanted regardless of dinner.  I knew she would never eat dinner if we had it first.

She tried to blackmail me and I bounced it back on her when she would not come to the table and eat.  She had a pout ~ I had a pout and my son of course just said "Girls!"  We worked it out and she soon came to the table to eat some food ~ Tom had scooted by then so we had to call him down for his share of the peanut butter cup for dessert.

We did some work on the tree.  No camera, no pictures which totally stinks!  I really was getting used to having a camera, although I seemed never to have it when I really needed it.  Bummer!  Our Christmas bulb is really opening up as well with two flowers opened on one stem out of four and the other one looking like it should begin to drop and open as well in another day or two.  Our timing seems to be perfect with the bulb.

After dinner we got into our p.j.'s ~ made popcorn and watched the Polar Express.  I had only seen it once years ago when it came out and I really enjoyed it, along with the popcorn.  After the movie we retired upstairs to watch a cartoon I had never seen before, but one which my son and I will be looking for again in the future.

Morning came quicker than I would have liked.  She was awake before first light.  We headed downstairs to use the bathroom and say goodnight to Tom ~ who was still awake at that god awful hour.  I went back upstairs and she followed a short while later after giving Tom a hug.

I napped and she cartooned as I prayed for my sciatic nerve to stop what it was doing to my left leg. Grateful that I could at least stand and walk, whereas in the past I have had to crawl to the top of the stairs and slide down the stairs just to make it to the first floor.

She was more than ready to begin the day when I finally got up at 8a.m.  She was eager to get her hands in the dough for fried dough and confectioners sugar.  I had to stall citing safety reasons ~ needed to be more awake to work with hot oil ~ made a tea and joined a snoring Thomas in the living room to admire the tree in the morning after our hard work.

We washed our hands and started making dough for breakfast.  It was yummy.  Who needs a carnival to enjoy dough?  Not us!  We love it!  After that she timidly asked if we could do some art.  Wanting to do some more timed pastel works.  I agreed, naturally.

I took a detour during drawing to seek out some completed crafts I had done a few years ago ~ finding ceramic Christmas decorations which I painted but which I feel need to be touched up a bit.  That is the trouble with being a perfectionist ~ even when a project is done I am not happy with it ~ I should be selling this stuff.  I hit pay dirt!  Finding so many cute things ~ Santa's and snowmen, snowflakes and sleds ~ I could decorate a couple of trees (if quality control would pass them!)

I found leftover sand for sand art during my search so we put away the pastels and did some sand art.  I have been lugging it around for at least 13 years when my son had to have it when he was 10!  We each made two things and had a great time creating together.

I also collect tea pots and last night she asked if we could have a tea party.  I have only been to one tea party and that was with my own Gram many years ago and she made snacks with peanut butter toast and bacon.  I had no bacon so we did peanut butter toast and toast with cinnamon and sugar and used one of my pretty pots ~ the one she picked, along with the pretty porcelain teacups and saucers.

It was most excellent ~ as always to spend time and interact with my granddaughter.  I am so blessed with this little girl in my life.  I forgot just how tiring it is to give 150 % of your time to a child.  I am exhausted!!!

Heading out to pick up Christmas dinner in a bit and do some other food shopping as well.  I still have a bit of work to do on my major craft project for my granddaughter, but I still have a day to get it done and I am sure it will be done by Wednesday.  It might be the last present wrapped but that is okay!

I am glad I have a day to rest.  I can finish her present while laying in bed or watching t.v. so it is all good and it will prevent me from smoking since I need both hands free to do this project.  If I get motivated I have one more task besides a quick vacuum to do to be ready for the holiday and three gifts to wrap for my granddaughter.

The boys may understand about celebrating with a meal and no gifts but I am sure my 7 year old granddaughter would not get it one bit!  I have to run ~ my ride will be here soon and I need to be ready to go.  I hope you get through your bah humbug blues as quickly as I did ~ or miss them altogether!  Have a wonderful holiday and thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

BAH HUMBUG!!!

This Christmas has just changed dramatically from what I was planning and what is actually going to happen.  To say I am not disappointed would be a lie and a huge one.  I just found out when re~confirming dinner plans with my son and taking a head count that he and his little family will not be joining us ~ well, that new tradition went out the window.

That's okay.  I am so crushed though.  It is going to be difficult to pick this shattered heart up off the floor and be happy today, tomorrow or the next day for that matter.  Ains is coming today and sleeping over, that should help.  Difficult to be sad with her around!

We have plans to decorate the tree together ~ she has been busy baking cookies with her Mom all weekend.  Something else I am not doing this Christmas either.  If I don't get to a store we will be having spaghetti with jar sauce on top of it instead of Holiday Ham.

I am not worried.  Not me.  I have faith that the people who are supposed to be taking part of the ham part will actually bring me with them so I will have food to serve with the ham or like I said it will be spaghetti and plain sauce.  Right about now I do not even care one little bit.

One day at a time right?  That is what they say.  I think I am at one minute at a time cuz I just feel like crawling back into bed and not waking up until Thursday ~ or New Years or never for that matter.  The bah humbug Scrooge attitude which I have been trying not to pick up from my hater family is creeping in and oh what a horrible feeling it is indeed!

Oh well, I am glad that I had a wonderful birthday for a change.  It was nice in a silly kind of way.  No great surprises other than all of the well wishes I received from near and far ~ some expected and some totally caught me off guard.

Our Christmas bulb is opening nicely ~ I would post pictures except my camera from last year must have been one of those one year cameras which died a week earlier than a year.  I will be laying it to rest in a small private ceremony later in the week.  When it rains it pours!

So this is a far cry, as I said about what I was expecting ~ setting myself up yet again for disappointment and yeah ~ one thing disappointment does not disappoint!  One of the reasons I do not have high hopes or look forward to anything ~ bam ~ confirmation ~ never a good idea to look forward.  Everything changes in an instant.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

HOLIDAY PREP AND UNEXPECTED CELEBRATIONS!!

Building a tree
Lights!  (I was a little tipsy)





















I got kidnapped last night for a bit and hung out with my old friend and a few new friends out of my house which was nice for an unexpected three hour pre birthday celebration.  The wine flowed and the stories and memories were shared and all and all I had a wonderful time.

My son called me three times ~ hungry and wondering where the hell I was.  I told him to go ahead and cook his dinner and I would take care of mine when I got home on the second call ~ he offered to cook for me as well, but I told him I would manage when I arrived.

Call three came and my girlfriend was at my house.  I had made plans with her earlier in the afternoon to get together after work.  I told her to make a tea and get on my computer and I would be home soon the party was breaking up where I was.

I arrived home to get teased by my youngest son and my friend for floating a couple of feet off the ground ~ I didn't think it was obvious ~ when I looked, my feet were touching the ground ~ but as I floated there, smiling and laughing at their teasing it did not seem so.

We uncorked another bottle of wine and shared a couple of glasses.  After a while my son was eager to rejoin his friends on the computer but I reminded him we had a project to do and I figured it would be a good time to solicit his help to bring the tree up from the basement.

I had looked at it earlier and decided it was a two person job.  You know how guys are though, he had it ~ I followed behind picking up the branches which fell out on the way up the narrow stairs, through the door and across the house.  I was surprised to learn that even fake trees lose their needles ~ as there was a trail of them everywhere this morning.  Another reason to be happy that I was behind on my housecleaning!

The tree made it in a few pieces into the living room.  It was a mess so I set to work removing the lights that were on it when I received it.  Figured it would be easier to reconstruct it and then put the lights back on.  My friend was on my computer and Tom was on his so I figured I could keep with my goal of at least getting it up and lit before my birthday.

I usually wait to do anything Christmas related until after my birthday, which falls 5 days before Christmas.  I always got robbed by the holiday so it is just something I do to keep the two separate these days.  Not that it is really a special day anymore ~ as we get older they tend to be just another day.

It took me a while to bend branches and do the lights but when I called the critics out Cindy said it looked like a real tree ~ bless her soul!  Tom like it as well.  We celebrated with another glass of wine.  I still hadn't eaten dinner so I was buzzed off the wine for sure!

Cindy had to go ~ her hubby was getting out of work soon and it was later than we all realized.  In my condition and with my task at hand, time really did pass quickly!  When she left I was grateful for the mac and cheese I made the other day and I heated that up and got busy doing my games and my dailys ~ feeding dogs, fighting dragons and trying to win another solitaire tournament to qualify for the week.

It was way too late to write ~ it was almost 2 a.m. when I finally decided I had had enough and Tom and I went up to watch a show together before I passed out in front of the t.v.  I couldn't even tell you what we watched!

Morning came and I decided it was way too early when the sunlight hit me in the face.  The original 3:10 to Yuma was coming on.  I really wanted to see it but alas, my eyes couldn't handle it ~ I woke up when it was over and decided I really needed to get up.

I thought 10 was late ~ we were nearing 11 when I stumbled downstairs ~ assessed the damage from the night before ~ panicked about the time ~ or loss of time, more accurately.  I booted up the computer, lit a smoke and made a tea and  took stock of what I had to do today.

The sun was amazingly bright and warm ~ snow melting and dripping.  I knew it was the wrong day to sleep in.  I did my morning daily's and hopped in the shower after two cups of tea really did not do the trick and motivated myself right out the door.

I was determined to do some food shopping for dinner and hit the bank for some much needed cash. Luckily the two are across the street from each other so I donned my waterproof boots to navigate the puddles and mess of the day and headed out into the world.

I saw Cindy coming through the park after her lunch session at the restaurant and made plans to get together with her after my adventure to the market and headed off into the world.  The weather gods seem to be shining down on me today!

The sun and the temperature was just right.  Blue skies (no rainbows)!  Just right in my estimation!  I could live with this for the rest of winter and joy of joys ~ it is going to get nicer over the next couple of days! How did I get so lucky??

I over shopped as always ~ my load was extremely heavy.  I finally found Tom a large container of lemonade so I don't have to buy it every two days.  It was worth it in the long run despite having to stop 5 times to readjust and rest!

I met Cindy's hubby coming through the park.  The park is a funny place, sometimes it is totally empty and sometimes you see who you want to see coming through.  We walked together and I was grateful for his company as we walked by my exes house and he was outside, thankfully with nothing to say since I had a witness with me.

The last block was a killer!  My arms were ready to fall off as I scaled a small pond at the intersection before my street.  I was never more happy to be home in my life that I can remember as I unloaded the bags and removed my boots before going inside.  A tea was indeed needed after that adventure in grocery shopping!

For some reason I have been craving some fried chicken and tonight is the night.  Thanks to Franya for the large container of oil from the party I am set now!  My stomach is growling just thinking about dinner and I can't wait for dinner.

I do not know how I am even typing as my arms are completely numb right now from the shoulders down!  I think I have more than made up for sleeping in as far as productivity goes for now.  I am off to work on a present for my granddaughter which I hope to have completed over the next five days.  Wish me luck on that one ~ no procrastination allowed on this one!

I totally have a procrastination problem.  I may have learned my lesson this week with that however.  I had quite the experience the other day, which I will share with you before I go.  The funny thing is ~ it should have gone smooth but nope!

As you know, my birthday is tomorrow.  My driver's license expires and I had some outstanding excise tax to pay in order not to have my license go into suspension and then there would be trouble for me.  The bill was generated from a very small town which I no longer live in a few years ago.

I had done the research a few months ago to find out what I owed which took a couple of hours on the computer and on the phone.  I was good.  I had a balance and a website to pay it on.  I had the money as well.  Did I pay it then?  NO!

Tuesday I decided to work on it before the big day Friday.  I found my notes, typed in the address and what did I get ~ some Chinese website and an error.  FML!!!  Two more hours later after getting yelled at by a couple of town clerks and another two wonderful women trying to help me out I finally found it accidentally

I had everything I needed, I thought.  I submit my information and get the page up and they slam me with an unexpected $8.00 charge.  That meant I had to walk to the bank and take the cash I had to put into a different account to make up the difference.

The day was bad.  The weather, my attitude everything!  I was so done with the day  before it even began.  You can be sure I was not smiling as I walked in the frigid cold to the bank ~ leaving the web page up so I wouldn't have to go through all that crap all over again when I returned home.

I was a Popsicle when I returned home and the payment went easily enough, despite the drama earlier.  I was pleased and done!!  Now the only thing left to do since I need a new picture is print out the receipt and go to the registry.

Despite not having a car ~ part of me not being in my right mind ~ thinking I could survive without a car when I have had a car always for 35 years ~ definitely a sign of how messed up I was after letting my house go and transitioning into my new life of living without necessities.

Perhaps realizing what a stupid move that was is a sign of recovery???  Not sure about that one yet, the jury is still out.  I do not want to let my ability to drive legally lapse that is for sure.  I may not have completed my major resolution of filing for bankruptcy last year as my New Years Resolution but I was not about to add more trouble in my life!  Problem solving is the goal, not problem creating.

So, if you are a procrastinator, take my advice ~ learn how to modify that behaviour!  Take it from me, I am a professional.

Bulb 12-19-2014


I had to share a picture of Ainsley and my bulb.  We are shooting for Christmas flowers and I hope it holds out to be blooming for the holiday!  One of them is beginning to open and I am so excited!  So much fun having a kid who shares my love of science and art!!!






Monday, December 16, 2013

HAPPINESS AND TEARS ~ GOALS AND FEARS

I am one messed up chick!  I say that lovingly about myself and in reference to the fact that happiness ~ happy words, thoughts and deeds make me cry.  Not in a negative and depressing way ~ although the happy tears do make me sad.

This is one long on-going thing in my life.  I can remember going to the Barnum and Bailey Circus with my Dad's parents and a couple of my cousins when I was in elementary school and the anticipation and excitement made me sick to my stomach ~ so much so that I had to drink Pepto Bismo (which does NOT help for anxiety tummy aches) and almost missed the circus!

Happy endings in movies and on t.v. have the same results.  I am not sure why.  Are those tears for things that I missed out on and mourn in my own life?  Hard to say.

My life has been a trip and experiencing the loss of what I remember of my parents and my brother and I happy in the early days and then just gone and the confusion may have something to do with that to be sure.  The confusion that followed and the complete and total change of life until we transitioned into a more stable and ordered life in a house with a good guy (my stepfather).

There we had dinners and family rides, a house and a yard and dog.  The freedom of being able to ride our bikes anywhere and not just to the end of the road.  The security and stability of someone being home to answer the phone when you needed to come home sick ~ being a part of a family again and being loved again was good.

My life as a teenager was difficult.  Teenagers are rebels anyway and I had the added bonus of fighting against someone (my mother) wanting to control my life when she seemed to walk out of my life when my father left.

She didn't - she was working and trying to support two children she was left with.  My father was no help.  The war and the drugs and his "family" (the people on the "street") don't confuse them with his blood family because we did not matter.

He fought my mother every step of the way as far as supporting his children and family went.  It was kind of embarrassing not to have pajama's to sleep in or the basic necessity's of life.  I loved my Dad despite his actions.  I tried really hard to be where he was when he was going to be there although in hindsight it cost me a great deal more than I ever could have realized when I was rebelling against the main rule ~ "you cannot see your father."

Self esteem has a lot to do with how I react to life.  I have been discovering a lot about myself since I began to write on this journey of self discovery.  Re~discovering things that I used to love to do that were such a huge part of my life, discovering new interests and not being afraid to express myself without fear of rejection is all a part of it.

One of these days I hope that my wires will get untangled and I will develop the ability to have proper responses to emotional events in my life.  To experience the happy times and not worry when the other shoe is going to drop, accept a compliment without getting embarrassed and to see myself as others see me and to love myself 100%!

This is a pretty tall order for myself and as the New Year approaches I am going to write these in permanent marker and try everyday.  All of these people who recognize what I do not cannot be wrong ~ I need to untwist the negative self images in my head and get it straight and then I will be a much happier woman!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

MARKING GROWTH MAKING TRADITIONS

 A few weeks ago, I wrote about a wonderful Christmas bulb my friend had given me to plant as a thank you for helping with her Birthday Celebration.  My granddaughter and I planted it together and I took some pictures along the way.
 The bulb flourished but had a slow start, but I was encouraged and patient, waiting for it to grow.  One morning I came down and my bulb went from the above picture to what follows below within a few days!


 Soon the stems produced flower stems!  Two of them and between Thursday and Saturday, December 12 ~ 14 I have some serious growth happening!  My granddaughter spent the night on Friday night and she was so proud to show my middle son's Dad just how much it had grown since Thanksgiving when we were last together.  She carried it carefully and proudly out to the computer room ~ the flower stems over her head as she walked.

We are anxiously awaiting the beautiful flowers which shall be coming soon!  With 10 days til Christmas, I promised that if the bulb blooms before I see her I will immediately take and post pictures to her Mom so she can see the wondrous beauty and science of the life cycle of a bulb.

In the meantime, Friday evening Thomas, who was without a working graphics card, and Ainsley had a grand time running and playing and laughing throughout the house while I prepared dinner.  She had arrived after a Art Event at her school pumped up and ready to go!  It was nice to have Tom, who arrived back home Thursday night, available and up for the task of being a wonderful Uncle to his energetic niece!

Thomas chose our craft for the evening, asking if I had any clear glass ornaments to decorate ~ one which also brought hours and days and years of traditional fun in our family.  It seems I have planted traditions in without even realizing it while I was raising my brood.

It was an excellent idea, since when I had money and was dealing with disability, a girlfriend of mine and I were going to make and sell crafts.  I used to hit the end  aisles of the craft departments for the clearance items ~ regardless of whether I needed it or not at the time ~ after all, everything has a purpose eventually!

Unfortunately, my girlfriend lost interest before we actually made too many crafts.  I on the other hand have a ton and a half of various craft supplies ~ ceramics to paint, wooden things, glass ornaments, paints, pencils, rubber stamps and all that that hobby requires ~ including embossing powder ~ you name it and I probably have it ~ somewhere!

So, without too much difficulty I found 12 clear glass ornaments ~ bringing out a six pack for starters and basic paints and some empty pill bottles for dripping our paints into.  My granddaughter is great ~ she asks for glitter ~ I am also a holder of many kinds of glitter which I magically produced and we went to town!

I had never done glitter with the ornaments before and we began adding it to our already painted ornaments (on the inside) and amazingly ~ the glitter headed for the glass and came through the paint.  I was impressed but wanted to experiment some more so I pulled out the other six and we tried it glitter first, paint and more glitter!

Crafting with Ainsley and Tom ~ completed and dripping ornaments 2013



We had a blast and things were dripping when Tom's brother and his Dad came over to rescue Tom from a night without a computer.  Before Ains arrived we had ruled out monitor and cables and it was a pretty good guess that it was the graphics card.

Pat and Tom and Bruce set to work on that stuff and I did my Gramma gig.  It was getting a bit late and my girl was pretty tired I could tell when she headed for a couch with her bowl of pineapple and crawled under the blanket and began watching television.

As tired as she was, one thing I knew was that she was not going to sleep while the guys were visiting.  She loves the attention that we all give her ~ not difficult cuz she is a darling girl and she is so darn cute!  I hung out on the couch with her until the guys got ready to go and then hugs and kisses and goodbyes and no hesitation to my suggestion of p.j.'s and finding a movie up in my cozy bed.

My girl was beat!  15 minutes into Yogi's First Christmas she was sound asleep!  Despite Thomas watching t.v. with us ~ he was a major distraction last time ~ last night not so much!  She awoke for a second when I stubbed my toe on the t.v. which is sitting on my floor since Tom brought his H.D. t.v. in my room ~ but only momentarily.

Tom and I retreated downstairs for our first cigs in hours where we were not hiding out in a Ainsley free room ~ not an easy feat for either of us to sneak away for 5 minutes.  We watched t.v. and I headed to bed after doing some things on the computer.  Forgoing the blog, having learned my lesson about staying up too late on sleepover nights in the past.

Surprisingly, I woke up before Ainsley by a half hour.  I was highly functioning when she woke up, having come downstairs and turned up the heat so it wouldn't be freezing when we ventured downstairs.  She opened her eyes and her face had a smile and a hug for Gramma!

I like being a special person in someones life!  It is so nice and makes me feel so good!  I love when her Mom says ~ "she has been waiting all week/day to come over!"  My boys are of an age where it is less evident that I am special.  I know I am but with a child you cannot mistake L-O-V-E and what is more special than the love of a child??

I handed her the remote and she put on cartoons while she woke up.  I urged her to relax while it warmed up downstairs (my room is always cozy) and I made a cup of tea and had my tea in bed.  We discussed breakfast and made our way downstairs and checked out our project from the night before ~ both pleased with the results of some and noting others needed some additional work.

Once she heard Tom was sleeping on the couch she could not wait to get downstairs and try to wake him up.  Try she did and he did briefly a few times - missing pancakes and sausage no matter how hard she tried to entice him.  He didn't even wake up when she jumped on him.

After breakfast we explored the Christmas bins looking for the Ceramic Trees and Nativity.  She helped me locate and decorate the ceramic trees.  We got them up on the shelf and lit up and I took a couple of pictures before we did touch up on our crafts and did some drawings with pastels.

Almost got a picture!

2014 Shelf by Ainsley
We tried out some multicolored rainbow crayon pencils and other supplies for drawing and then she wanted to do some chalk pastels.  I grabbed two sheets of pastel paper and she set the timer on the microwave and we each had the same amount of time to do a picture.

Her total suggestion.  I was cool with it and almost done with my picture ~ just adding a rosebush when she went out to check the timer and decided to call time!  Chalk down and we were fini with our drawings and had new art for the fridge.

Warming up with Art
Timed Art Jen and Ains

She was just asking for lunch when I recommended getting dressed just in case her parents arrived during lunch.  We went up to change when I noticed a car in the drive and her parents were here!  I tried to have us ready but I was foiled again!

The roads were getting bad and after dressing and showing off her activities to her Mom ~ we picked out six ornaments for their tree ~ brushed teeth and got into winter gear and sadly departed after hugs and kisses and wishing she could stay ~ one of these days we will try two days for sure!

I still needed to do my errands and get some supplies in the house before the storm came as well, so I got into my gear and headed off to do my errands.  It was windy and cold but not too bad considering.  I am sure the worst is yet to come.

When I arrived back home ~ after making a major score where my Granddaughter is concerned ~ I unloaded my loot and checked the mail.  I was happy to find a Christmas card from my eldest and his family and a new picture of my Granddaughter.

The phone rang while I was cooking dinner ~ my eldest checking on Tom and his graphic card.  Tom handed the phone to me and Ainsley was updating me on her day and her unexpected visit with an old chum who moved away and how they spent their day and just chatting away!  Very cool ~ this kid is awesome for 7!

Life is so good ~ as good as it gets for right now!  No amount of food, wealth or security could replace how valuable this relationship is to me.  Sure ~ it could be better but this is what really makes my heart fill and my smile widen!

Sometimes my focus gets shifted and I turn dark and introverted, feel that life is horrible and never will be great again.  Times like these remind me what life is really about and believe me, at times I need a good boot in the pants to remind me.

I am so blessed that my lifes commitment to my children, despite the bumps and turns along the way, sometimes questioning my choices and doubting my dedication and my tactics ~ I can't say enough how glad I am when I see the results!

My son is waiting for me to finish so we can spend some quality time together on this fine stormy Saturday evening.  Sauce is simmered and cooking plans for the day tomorrow.  I am out until we meet again.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

(YEARS OF) FAMILY FUN!

I found a toy of my childrens that we all enjoyed playing while I was cleaning and digging out decorations.  I also had batteries so I decided to take a turn with the Bopit Extreme 2.  It has a few game settings but I am playing solo.

It is a handheld game ~ fairly big and gets a bit heavy after a while.  You begin after selection of your game choice and it calls out one of five selections with a short amount of time to twist, flick, pull, spin or bopit.   You continue until you are too slow or make a mistake.

It has a date mark of 2002 on it, so that is telling you how far back that game goes.  I do not even know if they still make it anymore but it had given my family a lot of fun and enjoyment.  Excellent source of quality family time and fun competitively.

I have been home alone and practicing before the boys find out I have the game and batteries.  I know they will have a reaction to it.  We all used to be good and it is one of the sources of good competition we all seem to have a healthy streak of that running through us.

When I first found it I was lucky to figure out how to make a selection and get more than a 5.  I got excited when I hit double digits and then last night I broke 90 and today I achieved a 95.  Not a bad way to take a break and enhance my listening skills and hand, eye coordination.

I highly recommend this game for hours (and years) of family fun!  They have changed the newer models design more sleek and colourful ~ and also have a jack for headphones for noise sensitive locations.  They are available at KMart and Amazon for around $25.  (I had to check and see if they even were in existence anymore!)

Ages 8 and up ~ but I think a 6 year old would have fun with it as well ~ I will let you know after this weekend when my granddaughter visits!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

GOING WITH THE FLOW

What a great day it has been!  I woke up to one of my favourite Bette Davis movies ~ "Dark Victory".  As I watched the last hour of the movie I was really struck yet again by how much I love the end even though it is so sad.

I hopped out of bed and made my tea and got the all clear from the huge scan I did last night ~ no virus's or problems with the computer ~ yeah!   I did my daily routine ~ fed the dogs, and dragons.  The tea was good and went down quick enough to want another one right away.

I surveyed my day and my living room ~ rolled the stereo and speakers to a new and better location for the holiday season and opted out of moving the t.v. and the couches around.  I grabbed the six extra milk crates from my living room and brought them to the basement in exchange for a wonderful box of Christmas lights to check out.

I made a tea and tested the neatly packed (can you believe it?) bundles of lights finding 4 totally intact and working lights with a brand new bundle of lights under the whole pile.  I am loving the person who put these holiday lights away!

I made it simple today.  Did some laundry and messed around with all the little things I had been thinking about over the past few days.  It was snowing nicely and I was very happy today to be sure!  I love snow and I wasn't planning on leaving the house anyway!

That changed pretty quickly when my girlfriend called to remind me about the food pick up at the church this afternoon.  I jumped in the shower and made some lunch and got ready to depart to meet her at her house a block away.

They were having a little holiday tag sale for the patrons of the food pantry.  My love of Christmas decorations and stuff in general led me to the vestibule which had just about anything you could imagine from games, toys, puzzles and decorations.  I even found a small Christmas tree for my project over the winter!

I picked up a couple of odds and ends I thought might come in handy this season and grabbed some bread and apples, eggs and cheese and juice.  My son will be so happy to have some real orange juice for a change!

I had a great time chatting with the volunteers.  A few of whom I have known from working at the church and a few more that I have just seen at the church and out and about in the world.  It was great fun sipping tea in the dining room and enjoying a place where I spent many hours a week and have tons of memories of!

My girlfriend and I scooted off through the park and she deposited her things at her house and came down for a math book.  Her husband is doing the Math G.E.D. and I hope the book will help him.  He is challenged by English so some things do get lost in translation!

We had some tea and she took over Tom's computer this time instead of mine ~ one of the breaks ~ I let her use mine and suffered through his yesterday ~ she types one letter at  a time so it is less of a challenge for her.

We experimented with some sweet potato french fries versus chips and some regular homemade potato chips and remembered too late that she needed to go to Family Dollar so we grabbed our shoes and made our way to the store.

It was a wee bit chilly and slippery, but not too bad.  It only got cold when you stopped to wait for the cars in order to cross the streets but not too bad otherwise!  I left her at her corner and headed down to my house ~ forgetting to check the dining room lights from outside on my way in!

I did finally have to change out a string of lights in the living room as well, since half of one string went, not surprising since they have been up for a year and my most regularly used lights in the living room ~ unless my middle son is over because he likes bright and glaring lights!

My dining room is once again the dump site.  It is only temporary.  That is the fun of the holiday.  Shifting and moving and organizing ~the chaos and then the beauty.  How can you not be happy and jolly this time of year?

I may hold off on the tree until this weekend.  I need to look into re-securing a couple of those branches that got broken off in the transport ~ technical troubleshooting ~ right up my alley.  A job for tomorrow ~ to assess and complete if I have what I need to do the job on hand.

My boys just called as I was writing ~ then as I sat resumed writing there was a knock at the door and Cindy was here bearing gifts ~ a nice treat to go with another cup of tea ~ some delicious orange walnut bread and a box of Christmas Cards.

I still have Christmas Cards addressed and never mailed from the 1980's.  I am not really good about them. I much prefer to hand deliver a card attached to a plate of homemade cookies I made with love to my friends and loved ones.

I am finally back.  Loving the unexpected day that I had.  It was nice not to have to take any more of that medication, although I am still feeling some residue ~ nothing too serious in comparison of the past week.  It seems that this day has a certain kind of flow to it.

I sent out an email to a few special friends and each one responded positively and in a timely manner and my sweater that got misplaced has been found!!!!  I mean could this day really get any better?  From the moment I awoke to the present moment ~ one hour left in this day and unless a meteorite drops I have made it through a perfect for me kinda day!

Simple pleasures is what life is all about for me.  I think that is what makes me the most me.  Since I love everything from a bright sunny day to a bunch of falling snow, flowers, children, animals, art, colours, music ~ instrumental and or natural ~ a beautiful sky day or night ~ just about anything can be construed as a simple pleasure in my brain and when I remember that it and focus it makes it easier to overlook the dark and ugly ~ another me thing totally and that after all is what I choose for me!

It is late and I am in need of my bed.  Garbage day in the morning and much to do so no lallygagging around even if there is a wonderful old movie on when I wake up.

Wishing you pleasant nights and days full of happiness!







Monday, December 9, 2013

PLANS AND ORGANIZATION

I made it through the rest of the weekend low key after Friday nights adventures.  I was so wiped out when I finally went to bed that sleeping in Saturday was a pleasure.  It seems the smaller the dose of meds I am taking on this taper schedule the more difficult the crash time is and it goes without saying waking up out of sorts has been the norm.

My head sort of stopped that out of control racing which has also been a benefit.  I must have still been zinging when I finally made it out at 6:00 p.m. for my afternoon errands ~ just a wee bit later than usual ~ amazingly I was back in my house in 25 minutes, and back in my p.j.'s 10 minutes after that!

Sunday was a total wash ~ when I finally did get to sleep early Sunday morning, it was even worse sleeping and waking than before ~ I kept telling myself that it is almost over ~ two more days of medication and it has to get better.

I was slightly productive despite spending the day in the living room visually moving around what I need to move around before I actually begin moving things around.  I have a plan which entails decorating on Friday with my Granddaughter.

In order to do that however, I have to be set up so the planning stage is most important.  That is my main focus tomorrow since I have already taken out the crates of holiday decorations this evening and it is on the agenda.

Fingers crossed, sleep this evening and waking tomorrow will be the best yet and with no medicine to tweak me I should be okay by the afternoon ~ right?  That is my plan ~ rearrange ~ get the tree up and have the lights on it and clear areas for Santa's, teddy bears, trees, angels and Nativity for Friday.

It is going to be difficult for me to resist unpacking things ahead of time, but all in good time, as the saying goes.  I think the tree will prevent me from getting too zealous.  It has been about eight years since I have actually set up and placed a tree ~ not since the recession began and Christmas and holiday celebrations ceased to be more than a nice meal with my family.

I like to have a plan when I have my granddaughter over.  And a backup as well, and I like to play it by ear. I am sure we will have some art time and may pull out some holiday ceramics to paint and put on her own tree or give away.

It is also fun to just spend some unplanned time hanging out.  I need to hit the supermarket and get some supplies before she arrives.  I am pretty sure I am all out of pineapple and she loves it as much as I do and no soda - caffeine is not allowed she told me so on Thanksgiving when I offered her a rare glass of Pepsi.

The boys have called me twice in the past three hours.  I am liking it.  My middle son reported at the last call that they just returned from shopping.  He hates stores and always has.  I could hear the excitement in his voice however, when he told me he had been shopping for Ainsley.

We get to spend Christmas as a family.  Me and my boys and their families and Dad's.  I was just informed that if Pat's Dad isn't allowed to bring a spiral Ham for Christmas then Pat is not coming.  He is such a goof! This is the big holiday with all of us together and it is so much fun with a six year old!

My son's marriage has played a huge role in bringing my boys closer together.  It was awesome to see my younger son's participate in my older sons wedding.  We all love my son's wife and her family so we really scored ~ they don't mind us either so that is a great start!

I am also kinda digging my new relationship with my eldest son as well.  Having the phone ring and hearing his voice is always a treat, and not one that I had been hearing enough over the previous ten years.  Like fine wine and old Scotch, some things do improve with age!

My friend Cindy came down in case I was lonely without Thomas and I helped her (hopefully) locate her hubby's son on Facebook.  It was almost like Thomas was here, except I was on his computer with the sticky keyboard while I let her use my computer.

I do not know how the boy works that keyboard.  I do not like the HP keyboard at all.  He hates my Gateway keyboard so we are even.  Mine is so old but it is not compact and I don't spill things on mine so the keys don't stick.

It is getting late and I am getting that slight headache back from the medication which means it is time to put my head down give thanks for making it through yet another day.  I made my list and can't wait to begin checking things off of it tomorrow!

The anticipation is beginning to develop!  We have a bit of snow on the ground and it is still fairly warm as well so the odds have been in my favour!  A girl could really get used to feeling like this for sure ~ especially when that girl is ME!

Peace 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

LESSONS ALONG THE WAY II

Another day ~ another realization.  I am thankful despite the pain and hurt that affirmation of learning what lengths and the results that toxic people and their poison have and the trail radiating from a toxic person which infect seemingly healthy relationships despite the smart and healthy people knowing the toxicity of the sick individual who has nothing better to do than flex and sharpen their claws and hurt and try to infect good people instead of dealing with the pain and problems in their own lives!

The claws have been out and scratching away ~ not mine mind you.  I am not that creature ~ thanks be to the Gods (insert your choice here)!  I just had a nice view of it last night.  I did not let it spoil my fun however.  I am used to it.  It is the story of my life.

I saw and recognized but did not react.  Someone else saw and recognized and discreetly began a conversation with me regarding the interaction.  She was hurt for me.  I was not.  It was difficult explaining to her how come I was not bothered ~ despite being bothered.

One of the reasons I tried not to develop relationships in the past was just for this reason.  Unfortunately, my life choices today require healthy relationships instead of toxic ones.  Fortunately I am learning to develop tools which help me uncover said relationships more quickly than I have in the past.

I like most people need people in my life.  I love people and large groups ~ the energy, the vibe and the overall experiences of being around people with no agendas is wonderful, even on the outside looking in!

This year has been a very large one for me in regards to putting myself out there in the world instead of being an observer in the background.  It has been also a very good year for learning on a more deeper and personal level how to recognize and evaluate the difference between good and bad relationships.

The results have been surprising.  Out of 10 meaningful relationships I have developed this year alone I have found only three or four authentic non toxic relationships and 6 or 7 very toxic relationships the jury is still out on a couple of them.  Actions do indeed speak louder than the words coming out of some peoples mouths to be sure!

I have had in the past some excellent friendships and relationships with awesome people, who despite the distance of time and space are still excellent and wonderful, long term and ongoing.  Thanks friends for that! I love that you pop up when I need you and need the affirmation!

I will not give up despite the challenges I face.  I have faith that the world is not full of toxic people and one day I will find my niche ~ I may already be there and just not know it yet!

Despite the pain of being wrong about some people (which is worse than the junior high behaviour from adults!)  I will carry on, hold my head high and pray for those people full of so much pain and negativity who have no choice to be who they are and do what they do!




FUN FIRST FRIDAY ARTWALK

My day was filled with the normal feelings I have been experiencing since Wednesday and then some ~ one of my readers wrote in comment that it sounded horrible.  That is true ~ but I failed to tell you that those were the good side effects ~ if they can be call so.

Despite how I felt, I was determined to fit everything in ~ opting to begin with my first ever Christmas Tree Lighting in Park Square, the various ArtWalk Exhibits, and the opening/after party at the Whitney Gallery.

My son was hungry so I had switch up my plans regarding the usual late dinner as is customary on ArtWalk Night.  I still had to take a shower, I got caught up in an old movie and needed to see the end before doing either.

He was going to his brothers so I could not bargain with him in regards to a late dinner anyway so I jumped in the shower and then we began dinner prep broiling a simple steak and nuking a couple of potatoes ~ quick and easy.

I began the broiler and he seasoned the meat ~ I thought he put the meat in the broiler after seasoning it, but when I was upstairs getting dressed he asked me if I wanted him to put it in ~ (he had already begun the potatoes for me) so he basically cooked dinner.  I was such a scatter brain!

When I headed out it was raining slightly which meant that I may have made the wrong choice in coats.  Although I had layers and a hat and gloves some coats I prefer not to get wet ~ and this was one of them!  I continued on hoping for and eventually receiving no rain or what did fall being insignificant.

I was excited about getting out of the house after the past couple of days.  I was not disappointed at the tree lighting ~ enjoying a free hot cocoa from Patricks Pub as is traditional from previous years.  After the countdown the tree was lit and Santa arrived on the Fire Truck.

That was my cue to leave and begin phase two ~ ArtWalk.

I headed off to the MarketPlace Cafe where Nancy Meissner had on exhibit a display of oils and acrylics which had an excellent use and blending of color adding a wonderful touch to her paintings.

I have seen Nancy's sketches in a previous ArtWalk a couple of months ago and was really impress with her work back then.  She is someone to keep an eye on ~ wonderful talent!

Both of her styles of work are well worth the viewing for sure!  Be sure to head to the MarketPlace and check them out.  The food is pretty good as well ~ the paintings will be up for the entire month of December ~ a nice addition to holiday shopping Downtown.

I saw my friend Cindy working so I stopped into the Amazing Pavilion to see when she was getting out of work ~ she is always fun and likes Art as well.  Just my luck ~ she was out in 15 minutes so we made plans to meet up when she was finished.

I checked out a couple of places ~ one was closed and the other had a flag but no Art ~ some days you get a hit and some you miss!  Never discouraged ~ I just headed up to the Crawford Square where there was a group showing at the Kinderhook Real Estate which had many interesting pieces.

I saw Brenda from Brenda & Co. Caterers and she said she had Art and Clam Chowder.  Two of my favorite things to be sure!  I have fond memories of tracking down the best Chowder between Western Mass to Rhode Island to Boston over the course of a summer.  I am happy to find a nice bowl of Chowder downtown.

Michelle Sylvesters layered pastel drawings of rusted and abandoned trucks and her comparison to the trucks with elderly people made me have to look her work over a second time.  ( I am backwards and have a habit of looking at displays in reverse and then read the artist statement ~ hence the second look.) Not something I plan to be sure but it occurs over and over again!

I remember when I first saw the works of Michael Rousseau I think I had to look at least 5 different times. The work was so beautiful and compelling to me.  Each time noticing something new or different.  Sometimes you can't get enough of a good thing.

The Onota Building has a wonderful Christmas Display which I noticed on Wednesday, but cannot get enough of!  Sure to put you in the Christmas Spirit it is a wonderful inclusion donated by the Allegrone family at 74 North Street.

The snowflake lights decorating North Street ~ with the double arch and the music made it almost perfect ~ if only the rain had been snow!  I am sure I will see that before they change the windows!

I stopped into Steven Valenti's Clothing for Men and saw a group showing entitled "Let it Snow" showcasing paintings and photography by Denise B. Chandler, Gerard Natale and Marion Grant.  Some wonderful works as can be expected to be found anywhere and always a delight to chat with Denise!

I ran into Cindy while I was enjoying a wonderful slice of Lemon Cake at Mary's Carrot Cake with Marguerite Bride at the Gallery 25.  I love Marguerite's work and company as well and it was nice chatting with her before the crowd trickled in.

We headed off to two stores so she could get her after work supplies before heading off to the Whitney Center for the Arts where "Whimsy" was on display.  17 illustrators, sculptors, painters and cartoonists from around the world working in a whimsical vein.

As we headed across Park Square to admire the still lit Christmas Tree the rain began to take on a icy and biting feel to it.  We carefully made our way to the gallery.  There were lights flashing outside for effect coming from the second floor.  We were trying to figure out what it was as we were making our way towards the gallery.  A nice touch.

It is always nice to go to the Whitney Gallery.  The are new but they have such a skill with picking appealing artists and works to show.  Today was no different.  I fell in love with the drawings and sculptures!  I loved the dolls ~ their expressions and costumes were amazing!

We chatted with some people and had a good time.  I was getting tired and my friend was getting hot so we headed out into the night after saying goodbye to a couple of people.  As always it was a wonderful time and I continue to look forward to many more good times there in the future!

It was finally snowing!!!!!  We walked out the door into these gigantic blocks falling from the sky!  It wasn't too cold which made it even nicer!!!  I love snow ~ hate cold but love snow.  My experience in the past was that snow was good ~ it was like insulation and made it warmer.

Nowadays I do not find that we get enough snow and with the addition of these mad strong and powerful winds it is a lose lose for me!!!  I would be a bear and hibernate all winter except First Friday ArtWalk if I could!!

I would miss seeing all of the wonderful works of art ~ last and not least Scott Taylor and his wonderful and colorful new works I got to see ~ along with the fresh paint he was laying on his easel.  I am a huge fan as you know of his work and it just keeps developing into a ever more appealing visual delight!

One of the benefits of my life ~ watching great artists get better!  I have a number of artists I have been enjoying and say Cudos!  I am enjoying this part of my journey to be sure!

It is late and I am totally wiped.  I hope it makes sense ~ every word has been a typo practically ~ hope I didn't miss too much.  Bear with me this trip will soon be over ~ tomorrow will be the taper to three pills.  Not expecting much different from today or yesterday for that matter but keep your fingers crossed for me.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

WASTED DAY TAKES ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING!

My week of possibilities has turned into a week of limited possibilities once I took that medication on Wednesday.  What a trip and a half.  I am not sure if I have been coming or going.  With my brain revved up a million miles an hour and my body fatigued and no energy.

I took the first dose on Wednesday ~ within 20 minutes I was feeling so different and I had an appointment that day with no way out of it.  I was ready in time, but then I was almost late.  I had to stop at the store on my way and had seven minutes to make it from First Street to South Street.

I don't know how I managed to be sitting in the waiting room reading a magazine with ample time to spare.  I was so wired and tired.  A walking contradiction totally!  By the evening I was a total mess.  Thankfully the friends and family who were around me were tolerant of me talking 10 million miles a minute.

When my friends left I made an attempt at writing but my brain would not let me sort anything tangible to write so I went to bed.  I have barely dreamed over the course of the past 5 years since I have been off of the major pain medication which I had been taken since 2001 ~ I must say I had little problems dreaming that night!

The morning was the absolute worse however.  I woke up later than usual and could not get out of bed for a couple of hours.  To be sure I was not looking forward to the second round of medication, although it is a taper so instead of 6 pills I had to take 5 ~ should not have been too bad the second day, but alas that was not the case.

Fortunately I had prior experience from the day before and nothing pressing which I had to leave the house for and Turkey soup in the fridge ~ another reason to be thankful!  I spent the day doing as little as possible, which is all I could do with the manic brain and the paralyzed energy.

Time went fast despite how I was feeling.  Another night of dreams ~ interesting and weird and another morning of late sleep, lack of energy and a major resistance to taking the medication today.  I just bit the bullet and did it which gives me another 10 minutes or so of functioning.  I figured I would get my writing in before I can't think straight.

Today is First Friday ArtWalk with a crappy weather forecast, and the Christmas Tree Lighting and also the gathering at the Whitney Center following ArtWalk.  In other words a very fun and busy evening if I am up for all of the challenges.

I do hope so, as I have been looking forward to this day for a couple of weeks.  So very bored with myself and I have a huge need to get out and see some Art and some people this evening for a change.  I am going to go and regroup in order to make this happen tonight.

I am out for now ~ feeling the brain fuzz coming on!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LOVING THE DEVELOPMENTS



As always, what we plan and expect varies according to the day and like the weather changes constantly.  I for one prefer not to have hopes and expectations to avoid disappointments.  I must say that my hopes and expectations have been exceeded greatly and no disappointments is a huge benefit to a happier me!

For one thing, I expected the cold front to be here by now ~ I am not disappointed that the weather has remained unseasonably warm and will continue throughout the week!  The wind has held off in so far as I am not out when it is windy and colder after dark.

With the completion of the Turkey soup came my middle son for dinner last night ~ never a disappointment there ~ the soup was excellent and I remembered to make my ditalini on the side for those of us who like pasta and potatoes.

The one hiccup in my whole holiday season occurred totally because I forgot to double check the calendar and my sons lab and meds.  That was huge and an epic fail on my part.  I had it in my head that we were good to go until after the holiday, but when I did a check over the weekend the math did not work out so I had to have my son reduce his night meds to make it to the lab on Monday and wait for the meds the next day.

We made it to the lab.  No problem there ~ but upon checking we had no refills on the meds.  Calls in to doctors on Monday relieved my mind a bit ~ after all with technology and faxes all I needed was the right person to talk to and get it going.

Of course the right person was out of the office so I left a voicemail Monday.  No call back on Monday and no refills on Tuesday when I confirmed the lab results at the pharmacy.  Back on the phone ~ and a bit of insurance ~ I had the pharmacy fax a request to the doctor as well.

I called my son's Dr.'s Nurse only to get her voicemail again.  Back to the main number and a request for someone else who could possibly help me out ~ explaining the person I needed was at lunch, only to find out that she was actually on the phone with me, listening to my predicament and letting me know she had made an appointment for Thomas (whew!)

She connected me with the Nurse in charge of the medicine and I was soon relieved that all would be well before too long!  As a matter of fact, within an hour I got the call that we were all set.  I phoned the pharmacy to make sure they were all set and my worries were over!

I had to postpone my Monday outings as I was not feeling too well.  Luckily, my Doctor had a Wednesday opening for me ~ same time different day, much to my relief as well, and being such a great guy he even phoned me this morning to let me know if it was better I could come in today if I wanted.

I passed, as I had this other mess to deal with.  My middle son had been on the phone with me for the previous two days making sure I was doing everything I could to get my son's medicine.  He gets so worried, as we all do that the lack of medicine is going to cause problems which none of us want ever again thank you very much!

I took my sick day to call my main Doctor to find out when my dermatologist appointment is for this stupid rash which nothing seems to be working on which is spreading and itchy as can be even with treatment of the over the counter type that is not working!

Come to find out the lovely receptionist must have gotten hungry or thought the garbage can was cuz the doctor's order and her letting me know they are booking into April got tossed out the door or wherever Tomika puts her orders from her boss.

Soon the Doctor herself was calling me back.  Puzzled as I was and certainly making excuses for this poor girl who is going to lose her patients ~ I am close to losing patience with her ~ compassion or no ~ I think she needs to be put in the unemployment line and give someone who is not out to sabotage their employer a job!

I know that it is on my mind to look for another medical provider.  A shitty thing I know cuz it took me a couple of years to find this one who takes Medicaid!  I am not sure that I can go through that again.  She did prescribe me some oral steroids to try in the meantime and if I don't hear from her by Wednesday...

I am afraid of the steroids however.  Last time I had an injection I had a horrible experience with weight gain ~ something they did not tell you about 10 years ago but I notice it is the first thing on the list on this paperwork.  Balls!  I am not up for weight gain in the freezing cold winter when I can't walk as much as I need to in order to make a difference!

I have to do it though.  The cure is going to be worse than the problem.  Lord help me!  Oh well, I will just have to move that exercise bike into my room!  Actually I spoke to the pharmacist and she said it shouldn't be bad as I will only be taking it for a week or so.  Fingers crossed ~ big girl pants are going on and I am going to bite the bullet and just do it!

I was blessed earlier with seeing with my own two eyes and having coffee with an old friend who has not been doing well circumstance or health wise.  I was happy to spend some time conversing and catching up. It makes a huge difference with me, when I am worried about a friend to actually lay eyes on them.  Some people say everything is fine when it is not and he is one of those people.

Now I can rest assured that although things are not great they are much better than what my imagination can think and worry about!

I am looking forward to the rest of the week.  Who knows it may be time to pull out those tubs of holiday decorations after all and get started making it a festive Christmas Season now that Thanksgiving is out of the way!

Glipho put up a new Challenge and I hope to get to that today and I have been thinking on that group book as well ~ trying to get a clearer picture of the "Prisoner Alien" and a work off point ~ who knows ~ I may be contributing another chapter before too long!

As I said ~ it is a week of possibilities ~ some planned and some unexpected.  I like them both!  Hope you all have a wonderful week!