In the pink

I know I said I was going to keep it light…..sometimes…but today there is a serious issue I must face.  My tan has faded.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking “why Lynn, you have been gone from Florida for 3 whole months I’m sure it was faded a long time ago” but I say NOT!!  I actually have probably just a little color left.  Like you know very little, enough that I don’t scream and run away when I look in the mirror.  But it’s faded enough to know I don’t live in Florida…at the moment. So here’s what I think happens.  When you visit the sunshine state from the north  you get a “tan” but when you live there, as I did, with unlimited sunshine, unobstructed by the workday world, I believe your skin actually gets dyed.  I was pretty dark as anyone who has seen me in the past couple years would agree.  Our neighbor in the back here in Virginia always says she hates me when I’ve come for a visit, and when I first moved here she repeated that sentiment, that she hated me….temporarily of course. But now?  She does not say she hates me.  It is quite upsetting.  Now I am one of them.  Those northerners.  I have reverted to my roots of “get that sun at any cost.”

I believe it was when I moved from the Moon Township apartment to the city that I asked my mom to store a couple of things.  I sent down 2 beach chairs (since she is closer to the beach than Pittsburgh) and a bag of pictures that were hers and no one knows who they are and she can’t see to tell us and I can’t bring myself to throw out – so I gave them back to her.  I’ve decided they belong in this house – her house.  They are her pictures. Let someone else throw them out. Right? Well anyway, when I was here in September and headed back to Fla in October I grabbed one of the beach chairs and took it with me.  Why, you ask, when I had one in storage?  Not to mention Stephanie has several?  Why did I grab another one?  Nostalgia I guess.  I remembered those beach chairs from long ago. The no bugging chairs. I called them the “no bugging chairs” when my boys were little as when I was sitting in one it meant “no bugging mom” – Jimmy recently told me that he always knew they were called “no bugging chairs” but had absolutely no idea what that meant. HA!  Damn kids…Plus I took it as it’s easier to put up and down than the Costco one I have. Now it’s in Florida in storage.  But I still have one left here and this is where I sat the other day:

I think I lasted 15 minutes, under a blanket

It’s not the same.  You just don’t get sun in these northern states like you do in the south.  Zachary chided me the other day for calling Virginia the North.  But really it is far north of Florida is it not?  800 some miles I believe based on my last trip.  Well anyway so that’s a big deal in my life right now.  No sun tan.  But I have yet to wear makeup, although I believe I have worn mascara once or twice, I’m still not breaking out the big guns.  I can’t.  I just can’t

Let’s see, what else is earth shattering?.?.  Well, there is the issue of these pink pants.  In my past life I had to get them.  I had a gift card to Chicos and they had these pink pants and they fit and they were comfortable and maybe on sale so I got them.  But I have yet to know what to wear with them.  I imagine I thought they would be appropriate for the type of weather that is going on down there in Florida now – cold, in the 60’s, but still Florida light color pink. I can’t wear them here, not now.  First of all they’re pink. Second of all in the woods there is dirt and since my place is by the fire, like Cinderella, I am mostly full of soot at any given time and well that just wouldn’t suit a pair of pink pants. I do have some pink tops but that just makes me look toooo pink.  I believe I have some white tops but again, Cinderella and all. So what should I do?  I think I wore them to work once in Florida but I remember feeling like I had on sweats.  At my job here, yes my job here I said, I have to wear khakis and a white shirt. No pink pants allowed.  So, I need some ideas.  And no at this point I am not ready to part with them.  Because when I DO move back to Florida they are going to come in handy,,,,someday,,,,when it’s cold and I want to curl up on my new couch, in front of the TV, watching Game of Thrones.

I guess that’s it for today.  I’m heading out to the chiropractor.  Remember how I hated my chiropractor because they wanted me to come all the time?  Well now I LOVE my chiropractor and I go three times a week.  Do you know why I love them? Because they are taking me on pro-bono.  Because I am poor.  I love this county, and yes I mean county, not country.  Not that I don’t love my country but it’s the “county” that is providing the services.  I have a lot of giving back to do.  I look forward to doing that soon.

Perhaps in my next post we will discuss being poor.  One of these days I won’t be poor anymore so I might as well talk about it while I still am. Compare and contrast – right?

xoxoxo

 

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
5

Rules of the Woods

Ok Ok so last night mom and I were listening to our book on tape.  Right now we are listening to Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.  I had read this book before and just absolutely loved it.  So I ordered it for her. It’s hard to know what to get her.  She likes the murder mysteries but then says she gets tired of all the blood and guts so I thought why not get her a nice book.  This particular book we got through her blind library.  When she gets books through them she can insert the cassette into her blind person recorder and knows how to stop and go and all that.  When I get audio books from the regular library I have to put the CD’s in the old boom boxes because she can’t tell one CD from another and then if we have to stop it for any reason I need to be able to see what track it’s on so when we get back to it I know where to get back to.  We haven’t been getting much from the Blind Library lately so I’ve been getting some books on tape from the regular library.  I got The Shack – although I know she’s heard it before she doesn’t remember and I would like to hear it again.  Love that book and can’t wait for the movie.  I also got The Help – figured she’d like that and that is something she can listen to without me since I’ve read the book.  Even though I’ve read the other’s as well.  Anyway, I also got Goldfinch because I read a review somewhere that it’s a good book and thought we can listen together.  You know there’s no TV here so our routine is I make dinner, she does the dishes, I get the fire started and we sit down and listen to a book together.  However, with the Goldfinch I can’t stand the guy’s voice. So I got the book book out of the library and I’m reading it.  The voices in my head are much better than some of these readers. Also mom will make these faces listening to that book and I’m like “turn it off” and then she says it might get good again so she’ll suffer through.  Good grief… So anyway anyway, I really got sidetracked here because what I wanted to share was last night while listening to Rules of Civility I heard screaming coming from outside.  Loud screaming.  I asked mom to turn off the book, jumped out of the chair, went to the porch door and opened to hear.  She didn’t hear it but started telling me to lock the screen door.  It was a bit unnerving to say the least.  So then I called Brenda, our neighbor on the other side of the woods because the screams were coming from that direction and fortunately she answered the phone very calmly.  She also did not hear the screaming but informed me that she is hard of hearing.  She called back in a little and said they had not heard any more screaming but her husband, Danny, was outside keeping a watch for a little bit.  So then we talked about animal sounds.  I had looked up what animal makes a sound like a scream, and I came up with foxes (and cougars)  It says “The cries of the red fox can sound surprisingly similar to a human in distress. Males give a short “scream” in aggression, and females “shriek” as a mating call.”  Brenda said she thinks Coyote make a screaming sound as well.  So that was the excitement for the night.  Took awhile for my heart to calm down as that screaming was very very unnerving.

So today I’m up and about.  The babies and I Facetimed.  Mom was playing the drum for them and they loved it.  She wants to do a drum circle with them next time. The babies are 6, 4 and 2.  They got out the pots and pans but my sister (their grandma) said enough of that and hung up.  So we’ll just have to have a drum circle another time.  That call sure did perk up my mom though.  The kids wanted to see the house so I walked around with the phone and showed them all the rooms.  When we got to my room Mya (the 4-year-old)  said “I hate your room” – dam kids – she got real quiet after that and wouldn’t say why.  I mean it’s a little messy, laundry day and Saturday and all – but not that bad.  She’s seen worse, but she’s funny.  Who knows why she hates it.  She misses her Aunt Lynn and gets very confused that I’m not in Florida and wants to know where the pool is.  :-/

So after that phone call I was looking out of the kitchen window and what did I see?  Well I wasn’t sure, at first I thought it was a dog.  Rather big, a little bigger than Max (my old dog) very fluffy and the same coloring as Max, tan and white, and in a split second I realized it was a fox!!  I know right!!  So I grabbed my phone (camera) and opened the back door and off it ran.  I couldn’t even get a picture of the tail as I couldn’t get around the tree in time.  Sooooo, I came upstairs on the upstairs porch and thought maybe I’d wait around and be quiet and see if it might come back and then get the picture.  Sure enough I open the door and it was already into the middle of the yard and ran off again…dammit…when it heard me.  Then I heard some walking around in the woods in front of me (the fox was to the side of the porch) and well anyway with all the leaves in the woods we often hear squirrels and birds and anything you can imagine walking around – so I assumed it was a squirrel that I was hearing BUT BUT it was NOT!  It was another fox!!  This one was smaller and redder and it took it’s time meandering around the woods working “her” way back over to find her mate.  I tried to get a picture but the screen on the porch got in the way.  It was so very cool though and now we know what was going on in the woods last night.  They were hooking up.  I feel better knowing that my neighbors weren’t screaming for help but still I think I will always call just to be sure.

somewhere to the right of the shed in the woods is a fox. I can’t find it in the picture but it’s there!! Shooting through a screen is not helpful.

After the fox siting I put on my work clothes and gathered some wood.  We are out of our split wood that I buy but I wasn’t in the mood to go over there and fill up the car and buy it.  I want to see how long our own wood will last.  Probably a day or two.  I should probably head over to the wood guy tomorrow since who knows what next week will bring.  Well anyway, I cut some of the smaller stuff by hand.  Wayne had cut some of the bigger pieces with his chain saw.  I am always wondering if I should put a “small” chain saw on my wish list (vision board)  I like the exercise of the pruning saw I use and I do believe my arm fat is disappearing…not by a lot but enough – and if I got a chain saw would I get fat arms again and then maybe lose a leg at the same time?  I’d like to think that I wouldn’t hurt myself but I don’t know that I want to tempt fate.  But anyway, if I did have a chain saw there are a lot of little trees I could cut just to clear out the woods. I could see myself getting carried away with cleaning up the undergrowth.  But I also like my arms and legs so I’ll keep mulling it over.

See? I started with this (as an example)
and end with this. Just call me PW – Pioneer Woman

So I did my yard chores, cleaned up some leaves and pruned some of the dead branches off of some of the shrubs.  At some point I put on the Fitbit (yes Amy I charged it!)  Since 3:00 pm I have walked 5118 steps.  Just since 3:00. (it’s now 6:00) I also walked to the creek when I had it on and it counted 183 steps to the creek.  A little further than my 150 steps to the beach.  Walking back up from the creek back into the house it counted 600 steps though.  Guess I went in a circuitous route.  Well anyway, I did not spy any foxes during the rest of the day.  Nothing around the house and nothing at the creek.  However tonight, when I hear screams I will give them some privacy.  I wonder how long it will be until we see some baby foxes roaming the woods.

I’ve been loving the outside air.  Only 49 ish degrees but there is something about this fresh air that I just can’t get enough of. And all I had on today was a tshirt and sweatshirt, well in addition to pants, but you get the point.  It’s this sunshine that keeps me going. I’m doing okay!

Ta Ta for now,

xoxoxo

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
522

The sun will come out tomorrow

I have pinpointed, without a doubt, that my moods are weather related.  Perhaps everyone is going “duh” but living here it’s much more noticeable. In Pittsburgh the sun was hardly ever out so when it came out everyone was happy.  In Florida the sun was always out, and it’s hard to know if everyone was happy because it was just the norm.  I think I was happier.  I know I was happier with the sunshine but there were other factors there as well.  Here, in Virginia there is a mix of rain days and sun days.  There are no other factors that affect my positive mood so I have pinpointed that when the sun is out I am a happy happy camper.  My mood is different, the world is full of possibilities and well my life is just happier with sun.  Even when it’s 40°, if there’s sun I’m doing well.

This time in my life was probably not the right time to try to sell a book.  It is daunting and it’s so depressing.  First of all there are all these “rules” about writing the perfect query letter.  I want to say “isn’t this about the book??”  Can’t you just read the book and decide?  Who cares what experience you have or how your letter reads?  Either you like the book or you don’t?  I don’t know, call me crazy but I think these agents should read 10-20 pages, if you hate it pitch it.  That’s all.  But to hate it based on a letter?  And you know “my” book isn’t a literary masterpiece. It’s just fluff.  Maybe this is the wrong time to be pushing fluff?  Probably nobody wants to read fluff now.  Or maybe it’s the right time for fluff?  I thought I’d be okay with 200 queries and not get depressed knowing the Harry Potter story and there were agents (or an agent) that didn’t like the Beatles. I’m not saying I’m in that company of course but it’s hard to keep going.  I’ve received 4 rejects and the rest no response.  I’ve sent out a little over 20 queries.  A far cry from my goal of 200 and yet it’s hard to keep going.  On a sunny day, like today, would be the time to send them because I would be more positive about it, except I’m back to the lifestyle of when the sun shines I gotta get outside and enjoy it.  So today I was out clearing the front getting ready for the daffodils..

See?

Actually this was taken before I did my clean up but I forgot to take an after picture. But just look how high the daffodils are already!!

And then I walked down to the creek and sat there for a while trying to calm my mind.  I don’t think we’ve talked about the creek yet have we?  Well, there is a creek 🙂 As kids we would play in this creek.  There is a creek path.  I meant to count the steps to it today, so we can all compare to the 150 steps to the beach comparison but I forgot.  I’m going to guess it’s around 150 steps down the creek path.  I’ll count on the next 60 degree day.  Well anyway it is a very peaceful location.  There are birds, there’s the abandoned sawmill, there’s the sound of the water.  It’s so peaceful. ONE of these days I’m going to expand that path – not to the road – but just around so someday, maybe one can meander by the creek around the property – you know like a meditative walk thing.  Maybe, someday.  Hunting season starts here in November, right as I moved here, and was over on January 7 so there is no going to the creek during that time frame.  But now?  Before the bugs, before the chiggers come out is the perfect time.

creek sitting bench
abandoned saw mill
we used to slide down these rocks as kids. That big tree going across was not there back in the day

Have I mentioned that I have a paying job now?  I will never be able to pay a bill with it but it is something, which is better than nothing, or so I’ve been told.  I am a compassionate companion, i.e. babysitter for the elderly.  I have babysat twice for the same lady.  She is very nice.  The family is very nice.  It gets me out of the house and I will make enough money to have lunch with Lori and chai latte’s at Wegmans.  I know, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up, on many levels.  BUT whatever.  I can pick and choose my hours and assignments.  So there’s that.  Each time when I have come home I have gone straight to the computer and sent out a couple more queries for the book.  It is motivating to be broke and without hope of a career revival but at the same time it is demoralizing to have just another avenue of rejection.  It is hard to believe or at times imagine my life getting any better.

And now this world we live in has me really concerned.  I don’t typically get involved in politics other than listening to NPR.  I swore I would quit listening when Trump took office, much like I did when George W was in office.  And I do walk away from the news a lot.  But look at Facebook.  I can’t stand it, yet I keep getting drawn to it.  It is awful.  Everything about what is going on is awful.  Well almost everything.  I want to stay out of it but really I don’t.  I want to be in the middle of it.  I don’t want to sit by and let things happen but I don’t know what to do about it.  Sitting by the creek this is what I thought of:

I am thankful to Trump for the following:

The Women’s March – for years Obama was trying to get us all fired up, get us to get involved, get us to become passionate about the process and we all just sat back and posted things on Facebook.  Trump is in office one day and millions of us, around the world, are in the streets. MILLIONS.  What I also like about Trump, because it’s so unTrump like is that he has not said much about it.  What I have read is that at first he wasn’t pleased but then said “peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.”  To that I say Go Trump.

The Press – because of the way Trump is attacking the Press I am hopeful that this will make the Press more vigilant in reporting facts. There is no denying that there is fake news, there is stupid news, and there is unsubstantiated news.  Trump and his alternative fact news will only strengthen the legitimate journalists in the world to be more vigilant and cautious as they are reporting the facts.  As consumers of these facts WE must be vigilant as well.  As we are now finding out that Trump is suppressing information and of course we all know he’s making shit up it’s going to be up to us to figure out how to know what is true and what isn’t.  Now when I see something posted on Facebook and I become outraged I take a breath and think about whether or not it’s fake.  Fake news outlets are going to take advantage of our naïvety and our willingness to jump all over Trump so we “lefties” have to be careful that what we’re responding to is true as well.  It is interesting scary times but hopefully we will all learn discernment and I am hopeful to have more accurate reporting because of it.

Voting fraud – on the surface I think Good!  Screw yourself asshole (speaking to Trump) If there is voter fraud then let’s find it. However, I am hearing the implications of this could be that there are stricter rules making it harder for people to vote.  However (again I say however) I see this still as a good checks and balance thing.  Maybe there IS voter fraud, and maybe it’ll work against him.  It is an antiquated system for sure that should be visited and reviewed.  However, having his hand in it is pretty scary.

That’s the end of my list of thankful to Trump.  He scares the bejeezus out of me.  And he should scare the bejeezus out of all humans on the planet.  But I came to another realization sitting down by that creek, we as a species are just never going to agree on anything.  Take the Women’s March.  I was shocked at the comments from other women. Which was stupid of me to be shocked when I was the one that commented that women have always fought against each other and then I see other women saying “you’re not marching for me” kind of statements and I’m like WHAT?  WHAT???  I mean the comments that “I’m not oppressed blah blah” I’m like okay.  But you know there are others in the world that don’t share your same fortune?  You know that right?  I have never had cancer, yet I walked in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk.  When I go to church and we pray for the sick and poor and whoever else we pray for well I’m usually not sick at the time and there are people MUCH worse off than me but I don’t get up and walk out of church and say “oh this doesn’t apply to me so I’m going to leave now.”  I mean doesn’t it make sense that just because our own human rights haven’t been violated that so many other people in the world DO have their rights violated?  And so what if Trump has not violated them, although clearly he is misogynist, but what is wrong with being an active participant in our country, and in our world? What’s wrong with saying “we’re watching you Trump and we care about these things and we’re letting you know in a BIG way?”  How is that wrong?  The only thing I think women can argue with each other on is abortion laws.  I am anti-abortion and I’m pro choice.  I see both sides, clearly.  But don’t you think women should be arguing/debating this in Washington?  Personally I don’t think this is a government concern.  The government shouldn’t be making decisions about our bodies BUT BUT I understand the other side.  Again though, it is women that need to be debating this not Trump and his merry men.  If nothing else it is women that keep the human species alive.  Without us there would be no humankind.  Every one of us has come from some woman’s womb.  Right?  Aren’t test tube babies put inside a womb as well? We should at least all agree that we are the mother’s of humankind whether or not we have bore children we have come from a woman.  And if we are to believe the Bible we don’t even need a man to have a baby. (although I wouldn’t bet on this idea to keep humankind going – and I am a fan of the two-party (mother and father) system)

Well, anyway, I had sent an email out earlier to a few like-minded peeps saying I don’t know how to handle living in today’s world.  I want to stay active, I want to stay vigilant but I don’t want to argue with people on Facebook and I know I am risking losing friends (but probably not good friends) by voicing my opinion.  The truth is that those of you that agree with me are going to agree with me, those that don’t agree with “our” side will NEVER agree to our side.  So what’s the sense in voicing my opinion?

And then I came up with this (all while sitting by the creek):

Those of us that WANT to stay vigilant and on top of things need to keep this going.  We need to keep reading things (or writing things) that keep our passion and activism alive. We need to be each other’s checks and balances too.  If we see something that claims Trump makes it illegal to be a redhead we should first do some fact checking. Instead of trying to change anyone’s mind my hope is to just keep vigilant (yes I KNOW I’m over using that word) and wait for the next time we can be heard or participate in a march and come up with ways to stay on top of “our” country and what is happening here.  I hear there may be a Science march next.  Maybe this time I’ll get on a train and go do that march in DC.  I really don’t know what I’ll do next but I can’t not do anything and I can’t not say anything (because that’s what I do, say stuff).  I want to give Trump a chance, I do, and I think Melania might really work in our favor, but he is a scary scary man and these are scary scary times.  There is no debating that.  This truly is the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I want to be brave!

All this from 30 minutes at the creek. Next post I promise I’ll stick to fluff.  Unless of course there’s a reason not to 🙂

xoxoxox

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
6

A new day dawns

That is actually the title of my THIRD book…A new day dawns. I gotta get through book two first.

Every time the leaf blowers come I am amazed at the transformation of this yard. Just take a look:

Before:

After:

And look at this….the daffodils are already coming up.

Wait until you see the pictures of the daffodils here.  Just beautiful!!  You’ll have to wait for it though.  I am extra excited to see it in it’s full splendor this year as I have typically not been here to enjoy it – always getting here after the blooms are gone.  But you will have to wait, as will I, for those pictures.  It will be worth it.  Believe me.  Just the thought, the anticipation of them coming up is worthy of “a new day dawns” title.

Really that’s all I wanted to share.  Well, that and that I’m “not” marching tomorrow?  Have we already talked about this? Because of the check engine light coming on I am not comfortable driving up. Although I just now found out there are trains that go from Richmond to DC, I doubt that I will pull it together in time to go but just knowing there are trains that I could hop on to go to DC for lunch or something, I mean how metropolitan is that?  Just the thought of going to a city for something/anything gives me hope.  I believe I will be looking forward to some lunches with Jennifer, but unfortunately not marching with Jennifer, this time.

Do you wonder why I was marching?  Oh good then I’ll tell you.  I think I heard someone say “yes Lynn, what is your issue?” I have had a couple of comments about reasons to march that I was definitely not participating in, it’s not about “anti-Trump” for me, but then again it’s really all related I guess.

Here’s my issue…in my opinion, there is not a one of us women in the world that has not been bullied by some male, or male system, in our life, i.e., brothers, boyfriends, husbands, fathers of our children, the justice system (when it comes to custody, child support, abortion rights, PFAs, rape, divorce) our bosses, our employers to name a few.  In my life I have always felt that I was fighting for my own rights, and fighting just to be equal to normal. The “normal” is now what I’d like to fight to overcome.  I was always expected to accept whatever the issue was, that’s just the way it is.  Whether it’s been about my weight, my education, my marital status, when I was going through divorce, when I was a single parent fighting for child support or bullied into certain custody rights, when I knew I wasn’t getting equal pay or promoted at work for the same job done by a male, I have always felt like I’ve been short-changed.  I would have to say it mostly boils down to being a woman, primarily a single woman, trying to fight for a place in the world. We are judged and bullied way too often on things in life that just don’t matter in the bigger picture. That is why I wanted to march.  In solidarity with others that have had some of the same experiences.  I have often thought about those suffragette who fought so hard for us women just so we could vote.  Other “women” were the suffragette’s main obstacles, at least this is what I learned in my women’s studies education at Carlow, and I don’t believe that is fake news. We women have historically fought against each other and so anything that would bring us women together I am all for.

That is why I wanted to march and that is why I am very sad to miss it.  I have been a women’s liberer (like that word?) all my life. It’s like my thing.  I like having doors opened for me, I like walking first through a doorway, those things don’t make us unequal. Those are courtesies. I can hold the door for a man too. It’s just nice. And I know plenty of men that have been slanted against especially in parental rights as well…Actually I did a paper on “father’s rights” in Carlow – I am “pro” father’s rights.  It’s not a perfect system, but in any case, tomorrow is about women and women’s issues. I’m excited to see this happening.  I’m excited to see all the upheaval and attention brought to issues.  I think to say I’m optimistic is a stretch but I will be thinking of my “sisters” marching around the world tomorrow.

And lastly I think Melania Trump looked absolutely stunning today.  That blue dress and gloves were beautiful.  She is a beautiful woman.  I like her “issue” that last I heard she was going to champion, cyber bullying.  If anyone is an insider in that arena it would be her.  I don’t know much about her past but I don’t think there’s a one-of-us that can throw stones, or should throw stones.  As a woman I plan to support her and wish her well on this adventure that I’m sure she is not excited about.  The last thing she needs is for any of us to condemn her.  Sorry didn’t mean to get so preachy there. Just wanted to say she looked nice and then I got carried away.

That is all.  Enjoy your weekend.

Xoxoxo

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
2

Any Peeps there? Hellooo???

Do you wonder what I’m doing with myself these days? I feel like I’m so out of touch with my peeps.  Anybody care?

I’ll just pretend like you do, cause that’s what I’m good at; living in my head.  Punctuation, probably not so good at.  Living in my head is where I thrive.

So let’s so, ummmm…oh yea, well it’s not that much different here than my Florida life of the caretaker.  Let’s take a look at a couple of days shall we?  Mom’s friend called that she was coming to stay the night so I made a pumpkin roll for her (did you see the picture on Facebook?) – she was having a bad day as she had to put her cat down.  Us pet owners know how difficult that is, and she loves my pumpkin roll, so I did that.  But wait why am I telling you this? I can’t remember the rest of that day.  Let’s move to Sunday.

My sister sent me a text saying she was sitting in front of the TV not feeling so good with a baby on her lap.  I said it sounds like heaven because this is what I was doing:

  • Made breakfast
  • Went on a wood run – loaded the wood – unloaded the wood
  • Collected more kindling from the carport (where I wisely stocked up on the last 70° day)
  • Vacuumed out my car
  • Cleaned/washed out the shop vac
  • Scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees
  • Set the fire for the night
  • Made fish over spinach with mushrooms and baked potato for dinner
  • Lost sleep over the check engine light coming on

Yesterday – a day out of the house was:

  • Go to the EZ Ship place to fax the stupid Florida Department of Transportation because they were going to suspend my Florida license for cancelling my car insurance. MEANWHILE, could they not take it a step further and look up the car to see that it’s not registered in Florida any longer?  I mean if they have insurance records shouldn’t they also have car registration records?  And shouldn’t they know that I don’t even have a Florida license to suspend now? So of course because I didn’t get the notice timely due to my Florida mail being forwarded – well anyway, I ended up faxing the info yesterday.
  • Then onto the Chiropractor. Why do most chiropractor’s sound like used car salesmen?  They talk so fast.  That said, I like this guy.  He thinks he can fix me.  I’m very excited about that.
  • Then onto Aldis to do some grocery shopping
  • Then onto Wegmans (they’re close together) to get what I couldn’t get at Aldi’s – treated myself to yet another small Chi Latte. They are so good.
  • Then onto the mechanics to check the “check engine” light. Sat there about an hour texting with my friend solving the problems of the world in our texts.  Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, we actually talked about how bi-polar we feel at times with these up and down moods.  Of course no one knows that better than me who will post one day about how my life sucks and the very next about how I am so blessed.  But the good days are winning.  That’s a good sign.

The car business is still uncertain.  They think it’s an ignition coil or something or other.  Also my windshield washer fluid is not coming out – apparently the motor is broken for the washing fluid.  I left the garage when he said he wouldn’t take the warranty, only to call him back when I found out the parts aren’t covered anyway.  I love this garage.  Robert sits at the desk.  Robert cut the grass here at this house for my grandparents.  He also worked on their cars.  He has yet to charge me for any service.  Even yesterday after an hour with the guy taking the car apart he did not charge me.  Do you see why I want to take my car to him?  I owe him.  So anyway, I await his return call on the price of the parts.

Then home to make dinner – last night was rotisserie chicken (I needed it to make more broth)– rice – green beans with mushrooms and walnuts and a sort of waldorf salad.  Mom made the salad AND snipped the green beans.  I had her working.  She did need to lay down after that and I did offer to do the dishes to reward her hard work.  Normally she does the dishes every time. She wants to do them and considers that her contribution.  She also takes out the garbage, runs the shop vac in the kitchen and does her own laundry.  That’s more than some people I’ve helped before.

So today, I made breakfast for us, started the broth, brought the computer downstairs because mom doesn’t want me leaving the kitchen if the stove is on, started this blog, then read her lots of news off my phone – love the Skimm (there’s a lot of that reading kind of stuff), then Mel the exterminator came and we listened to him for quite a while. Mom needed a break after he left, he does talk alot.  She’s up sitting on the porch in the quiet.  After I post this update (which I started at 11 am and it’s now after 3)  I will make biscuits and then I’m going to try to replicate her Aunt Margaruete’s Potato Salad as a surprise for her.  Then I’ll set the fire for tonight.  Then I’ll make dinner. Then as she does the dishes I will light the fire and we will settle in which is usually about 8:30 or 9:00 pm, I will make us tea, and then we will listen to our audio book.

Well anyway, those are my typical days.  When I’m home here I’m working on stuff. Cleaning out drawers, closets, basements or getting wood in the woods and cooking.  When I’m out I’m running errands and catching up on doctor’s appointments or going to the library to “plug-in” and sometimes I’ll meet Lori and have a friend day.  I don’t know why in Florida I was more apt to detail all of my mundane adventures but here in the woods it feels routine.  Guess cause mom has been in my life all of my life while with the Bakers and the new geography, well it was just all so new. Also since this house has been in my life all my life it just doesn’t seem new or newsworthy.  And really oddly I don’t feel like I have a lot of time these days.  One day (I think it was Saturday) I told her I was going to go watch a movie on my computer (I got one from the library) and well I never got back upstairs to watch it.  It seems like me escaping is her cue to ask me to do something and well I just do whatever she says. That happens A LOT. She’s old.  It’s not about me now.  It’s okay.  It won’t last forever.

But I assure you my life is anything but dull.  It’s very different.  Very different from anything I’ve ever lived so far.  I have never been so secluded.  I have never lived with my blind mother.  I’ve lived with a vital young energetic very different mother, but not for the last 40 years and I was never her caretaker. Forty years – that’s a long time. I am almost totally unplugged and I have one friend.  And I really am good with it all.  Everyday is better.  So at least you can expect a great deal “less” of the poor me posts as I really have acclimated to this environment and lifestyle.  My cousin Ira has suggested ways to fix the TV and we all know how often I’ve complained about it, especially during the Steeler’s playoffs, but really it would change the vibe and our routine and well I’m kinda digging the new routine. (although….I mean really I would love to see the games) Right now mom and I are listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany. For any of you Finally Florida followers I believe I posted that it took me forever to get through that book and then ended up loving it. So I listen to it now with Mom.  She has become quite attached to Owen.  We only have 3 more discs left to listen.  We will miss him.

Obviously I am still not published or that would be the first thing I would have said, but I’m sending out my queries. And I’ve started book two!!  I think I’m up to 14 queries. 3 rejects. I need to get on that more.  It’s just I do so much research on the agents before I send them out that by the time I’ve done my research and sent one out it’s time to make dinner.  Last night I was working on one, then Jimmy called and I was half editing while talking, then I accidentally deleted the whole effing thing, and then I had to redo it because I had deleted it and couldn’t get it back, and then I was 45 minutes late getting dinner started (which is why mom made the salad and beans and then subsequently needed a nap) so you see, pressure everywhere…But I sent that one query out – probably full of errors because in the end I was rushing. And that was only one. 186 to go before I start giving up.  It would be nice to have a sign that I’m on the right track…except that I don’t believe in signs…which I always say when I don’t have one.  But if I had a sign maybe I would believe in it.

Peace and love and prayers for cheap (but quality) car repairs,

Xoxoxo

 

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
5

The Bluebird of Happiness

One time when I was like 8 years old I bought my mother a birthday card all by myself.  It had a picture of a bluebird on it, and well we have always loved birds.  She even got me one for my charm bracelet way back in the day.  So when I found this birthday card with a bluebird on it I knew it was the one for her.  I didn’t show anyone the card ahead of time and proudly handed it over on her birthday.  I remember how pleased I was as she opened it knowing that she was going to be so happy with me.  She opened it, and then there was chaos and I was completely at a loss for what had just happened.  My mother, who was often in those days rather volatile, was unusually calm. I think my brother ran off in hysterics thrilled that I was in trouble and my dad just looked amused.  I however was baffled.

Here’s what the card said, ”May the bluebird of happiness (open card) crap all over your birthday cake”

How the hell is an 8-year-old supposed to know what “crap” means? Maybe today’s 8 year old’s know but I just thought it was a pretty blue bird, something that bonded us together, and there was a cake and it was her birthday.  I mean really, who the hell writes these cards and where the heck did I buy it?  I know where I bought it, at Seven Springs lodge somewhere.  Some sense of humor that gift shop had.

Well anyway, I laugh every time I think of that memory.  Thankfully my mother doesn’t remember so apparently hasn’t scarred her for life.  I would suspect that bluebird charm was purchased before the incident though.  I don’t know how many years it was before I bought her another card.

It was, even at the time, hilariously funny although I felt bad about disappointing my mom and although her disappointment showed she was nice about it.  Parenting is like that though, great big ups and downs.

I love parenting.  It has been the greatest gift of my life. There is no other experience like it. There is this love you feel for your kids that is unexplainable and until you have children unimaginable.  You just can’t describe it.  It is also the only experience where you can feel this unexplainable love for your children while at the same time wanting to run them over with your car.  Know what I mean?  I mean some days you just want to kill them. Not literally of course but honestly…Liesa Besong just sent me a letter that Mr. Vaccaro sent to her when our boys were in 4th grade.  It was a detention warning about how bad Jimmy and Jeffrey were. Hilarious…now.  Did we think it hilarious at the time?  No.  It was a long nine more years with the two of them. One time I had to drag them off the floor of the Thrift Drug store as while I was paying for something at the cash register they were on the floor wrestling.  I think they were 14 years old ish. Ya know? Not little kids. I wanted to kill them but couldn’t stop laughing.  I had to bite my cheeks so they thought I was really mad. Crazy kids. They were always doing stupid stuff like that.  It was without a doubt very entertaining years and those memories are wonderful.  I rarely remember (now) wanting to run them over with the car.

Well, my life continues to be like that. Sometimes I forget that bad days and good days are just two sides of the same coin, so to speak.  Mike Henning, God rest his soul, spoke at Dennis and my wedding.  His talk was a warning to us that we needed to learn how to hate each other.  His point was that it’s easy to be in love, get married, have the honeymoon but until you learn how to hate each other, as well as love each other, you’ll never last. We didn’t last. But it was much more complicated than that.  But such good good advice.

I am often afraid of the bad times, and the hate times, as if that’s it, we’ll never get back to where we were.  That’s probably why I’m quick to pack my shit and go.  I just have never learned to trust that the bad will be over.  I’m afraid that once something takes a down turn that’s the end of it.

Well I’m getting better.  I realize, now, after so many years that maybe it’s okay to have a “I hate this place” day because the next day I’m going to have a “I am so blessed to be here day” – But I need to figure out how to remember not to be so fearful about my bad days and down times.  At least today I’m aware of it. And I must remember (as well as my 22 readers) that my next “just shoot me” blog day will shortly be followed with a “God loves me” blog day. This is I’m sure what Maryann means by “riding the wave.”  I am just way too overly concerned with crashing and burning for good. I’ve always known the “good” days don’t last, but I need to reframe to focus more on the “bad” days don’t last.  (PS – does anybody know if I’m using these “quotation” marks correctly?)

I know I am not alone in this up and down business, I would assume I’m also not alone in the trying to balance when not to “run” during the bad times (run just being a metaphor for thinking it’s the end) but most people know to keep this shit to themselves.  I’m not crazy for having these thoughts, but blogging about them?  That’s what makes me batshit crazy.

Oh well, to know me is to love me.  Could be why I’m all alone living in the woods with my blind mother who really has no choice but to love and house me, and thank god she doesn’t remember the bird card or hold it against me.  It’s okay though.  I really did have a blessed day today out there in the woods, with the snow all melted and the sun shining and 70 degrees.  It really is beautiful here.  I didn’t feel like running over anyone OR slitting my wrists all day!

xoxoxo

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
121

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…until Monday

Well, we got our first snowfall of the year and it’s beautiful. Mom is worried (as she tends to do, worry) about the electricity going out and all the things that can go wrong.  And yes there are a lot of things that can go wrong but I kinda like to look at the glass a little fuller. Not to say when I was outside taking pictures that those tall trees creaking in the wind didn’t give me pause…like big pause..However, I’m prepared otherwise.

yea – these are tall – and they creak in the wind and I really don’t want one of these on the house, on the car or on anything.

In preparation of the snow storm I gathered my wood which I do about twice a week – well I’m in the yard gathering kindling a couple of times a week – this log run I try not to do very often:

The wood pile I visit to load up
my car – my sports car – not my pickup truck – but it’s a very versatile and patient car and is willing to be there for me…so far
add the kindling that I gather in the yard and this is what the porch looks like

So see?  Now we’re good to go in the event of a power outage for heat – if we stay in front of the fire – for a couple of days anyway.

We have enough water stored to flush toilets for a year – not a lot of drinking water but I’m pretty sure with temps up in to the 60’s by Wednesday we’re going to be okay.

a small sample of what is stored around here – you should have seen how much she used to have

I am loving this snow.  First of all it’s my first snowfall in 3 years and it’s just beautiful.  Second I’m prepared and third it’s the weekend and I’ve nowhere to go – which is a good thing as I don’t know how I’d get out of this driveway.  I do have someplace to be on Monday so I’m hoping it melts by tomorrow???

Also the brightness of the snow makes the whole house brighter.  You would not believe how dark it is inside a wood/log house.  So today it’s brighter, it’s beautiful looking outside and it’s about to get even cozier when I light that fire and sit in the chair with a book.  Just like Christmas 🙂

And then back up to 67 next Friday.  I am liking this climate for sure!

xoxoxo

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
82

Piece of cake

Look it’s me!!  I’m back to blogging about nothing. I know, right?  It’s who I am.  What can I say.  You know who else I am?  A waster of money.  No that’s not true, but yesterday I went to the stores.  I did my rounds.  Dollar Store, Goodwill, Aldi’s, Wegmans, back to the Dollar Store (I forgot to buy new reading glasses the first time there) and then back home to no electricity.  So first…let’s start with the Dollar Store…

Among other things I bought a small poster board to make myself a new Vision Board.  So years ago I watched that video, based on the book, The Secret.  I think the Secret is about Vision boards – maybe it’s more about believing in yourself. I don’t know as usual the point of the movie has slipped my mind BUT I remember making a Vision board after seeing that movie. For those of you that don’t know what a Vision board is (do you live under a rock? Jk) Well anyway, a vision board is a piece of paper or a poster board where you glue all these “things” that you would like to see your life be.  Wait I’m screwing that up…  Here I looked it up:  A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.

So that’s what it is.  Anyhooo, mom and I were listening to a new book on tape the other night (called Vanished..it’s good) and I started looking at my pile of magazines by my chair and then I ripped out a picture (beach picture) and after I ripped it out of the magazine I remembered that Vision board fascination I had years ago and well I just started cutting.  Mom of course asks, “what am I hearing? What are you doing over there?” She asks that question A LOT.  So anyway,  back to the Dollar Store, I bought some poster board.  Tonight I will compile the Vision Board. Maybe I’ll take a picture of it once I’ve completed it.

I’m trying to think if I bought anything else of significance to share – well I did get two candles, on sale after Christmas and that purchase happened to be quite fortuitous as our electricity was out and we needed them last night.  Alright that’s about it there…then onto Goodwill

I went to Goodwill to look for a winter coat.  Zachary, wise Zachary, asked me what is the deal with the winter coat as I seem to be obsessing about it.  After a couple of breaths (see yesterday’s post) I said “you know Zachary, you’re right” surprise, surprise.  Well the fixation I seem to have on the winter coat is merely because I don’t have one – I threw out the last one because the zipper was broke.  But here’s the thing.  I don’t really know if I need one. I have learned to layer it up and really the temps aren’t that bad.  That said it’s going to be in the teens this weekend, BUT I’ll just stay inside.  See?  Problem solved.  Perhaps I will save money on that winter coat.  So I decided to go in Goodwill anyway, just to look, and also I wanted to see if I could find one of those wax warmers – you know to melt wax so it smells good without burning a candle in this wood house?  I knew my warmer went to charity so maybe I could find someone else who gave their wax burner to charity.  Which I did not.  But I did find these:

It’s a sickness – and a blessing.  I am determined to have my own place again someday and well “now” I picture my own little cabin in the woods – well not “in” the woods but maybe here in Virginia – but anyway I thought look at these mugs – how perfect that would look in a cabin.  Alternately, I can just keep them here and wait for us to break a couple of the mugs that are in this house and replace them with these.  Anyway, 3 of them for $2.  They spoke to me.

And this item?

It’s going in the bathroom of my new little cabin.  It was halfprice at $1.  I know I know that’s a total of $3 I could have spent on a chai latte at Wegmans but I thought maybe, just maybe it is an investment in my future. I found that encouraging to my psyche.

Let’s see what exciting thing did I do next…

Oh Aldi’s – where you can buy $100 worth of groceries for $38, which is exactly what I did.  But I also got this calendar.

It’s beautiful and I didn’t make my mother buy me one this year – I figured she’s done enough – so I bought my own – $3.  I know, I’m a bargain hunter.

Wegman’s was a stop for soup for dinner because our electricity was still out and mom was cold and hungry so I had to high-tail it home because it was now dark and the house would get  colder without the heat being on.  Luckily the low’s have been around 40 which is not bad, but still this house gets cold.  This weekend it’ll be frigid as the temps dip into the teens, where you will find me curled up beside the fire under blankets waiting until it passes (3-4 days) – so anyway home I came, she had her soup, I made a fire and we stayed in front of it until after midnight when the electricity finally came back on.  Then I had to stay up with the fire until it burned down to the coals – so it was a long night.  Just think if I would not have been here.  My poor mother.  That’s a blog for another day though. There’s some weird living with a blind person stuff that is blog worthy – like I said, another day.

Otherwise, today was a perfect day to do nothing.  After yesterday’s rain, which took down a tree in our woods, which fell on the electrical line, which blew the transformer, which resulted in no electricity for 12 hours, well I decided I’m staying in bed…for awhile anyway.  After having breakfast and vacuuming water out of the basement I watched a movie on my computer, in my bed (the Rewrite, I recommend it) and then I got a hot bath and read some more of my Plot and Structure book, and well that led me to think about stuff.  Cause I don’t do enough of that.  Think about stuff.

So I’ve learned that I’m in Act II of my NEXT book, being somewhat grateful that my first book seems to follow the recommended structure of Act I – introducing the character – Act II – the Middle – deepens character relationships (I do that) Keeps us caring about what happens (I hope I’ve done that) Set up the final battle that will wrap things up at the end (yep) – and Act III- Ends.  Now I’m living book two of my series (HA!  – see I’ve gone from wanting to be a writer to thinking I have a series in me)

In this next chapter of my life – my next book…Act I readers are introduced to the “hero’s” world…A disturbance interrupts the hero’s world.  The hero crosses the threshold into a dark world.  Act II- a mentor may appear to teach the hero – various encounters occur with forces of darkness – the hero has a dark moment within himself that he must overcome – a talisman aids in battle.  Talisman?  Talisman?  I believe that entails another trip to the Goodwill store where I will find a Talisman that has mystical powers and leads me on a quest to Act III – fight the final battle and return to my own world.

See?  Piece of cake.  I got this..

Speaking of cake, I’ve also thought about how fun it would be to open a bakery at the end of the road – there’s a space for rent and what if I just baked cookies and a pie or two and when they’re gone they’re gone.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I also think it might be fun to teach blogging or creative writing…that kinda comes from watching that movie Rewrite.  I of course can’t do that as I am so far unpublished, but I’m just stretching my imagination while I hide in my room, watching movies, reading books and basically enjoying a down day.

Before I leave you to shake your heads remembering the old rambling me – I took a walk (to the mailbox) and was noticing once again how beautiful this woods is here.  The rain brings out the green – green mold on the trees, green ferns, green moss.  It is beautiful.  The rain also makes trees fall out of the ground onto electric lines, houses and cars, but for today it is just a beautiful site living here in the woods.  Here, see for yourself:

Maybe I had too much caffeine today…

xoxoxo

 

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
31

Taking a deep breath or two

New Year’s Day is a perfect time for reflection.  So says every stinkin thing I’ve read today and over this past weekend.  I think I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time reflecting over these past 6 months. I’m ready to stop reflecting and look to the future.  However I will share (because that’s what I do..share) that I realized in 2016 I spent an awful lot of time trying to figure out what was going to happen next, or what was “not” going to happen next.  Looking back I feel like I was in a rush all the time.

January –  I quit my job early in the year – I was in a rush to quit and move on.

March/April –  I wanted to come here to Virginia to spend extra time with my mom – I felt compelled that I “had” to do that in April. – I had to hurry up and do that so I could focus on looking for my next job.

In May –  Philip said we had to move (we were moving together at first, remember?) and I was in a rush to get everything packed cause I thought “we” had to get out…Then of course, the big reveal happened and then “I” was in a rush to get out. And get out I did, at like lightning speed.

June – At the beach I never thought I would leave Florida so I was not in a rush there, but I was anxious the whole time wondering if it would end, but never believing it would.  And then it did…end.

September –  I left in a rush because of the Hurricane believing that it was going to hit my mom and wanted to be here incase she got hit by the first hurricane (she didn’t)

October – then I was in a rush to go back to Florida, through the next hurricane, after a promise of a job, and when that fell through I was in a rush to get rid of all my stuff in storage, I rushed through finishing that book (with Stephanie’s help) so I could start sending it out, and then

November –  I took my time coming back up here to Virginia.  No storms, no jobs, nothing to look forward to that I had to rush for and since then I’ve been trying to relax.  It was a whirlwind year no matter how you look at it.  And what is my takeaway?

Slow the fuck down 🙂 Sorry…Not that I would do anything differently, it doesn’t matter now but I feel like I’m still trying to calm down.  I’m not in a hurry to do anything.  I don’t even know what to do next.  But I’m going to be taking a lot of deep breaths this year.  I’m also not going to expect anything to happen.  I’m not going to expect good things, I’m not going to expect bad things.  I’m going to take the year as it comes.  I did that last year too as I can tell by all the last-minute changes that I rolled with all year.  This year though, I am going to try to make a conscious effort to take a breath or two before whatever.

My reading asks me “What do you need?” Peace in my heart. What do I hope for? Peace in my heart. What do I want to work on?  Peace in my heart.  I want to just be peaceful and quit running. And well an income would be good too.

And because I know as soon as I hope for peace – well then I’ll probably have to move again but next move I want more closet space.  I’m just saying.  I need a dresser where I can use all the drawers, not just 3 out of 6.  I need a bigger closet.  I need a place for my boots.  I mean I have scaled way way back but seriously is a nice walk- in closet too much to ask?  Is it?

One of those reflection questions said something like “what can you give up?” and I say NOTHING!!  I am not parting with one more effing thing.  I want all my boots, all my boxes, all my clothes.  Well okay, some of those clothes I can part with but only because I want to.  Not because I have to.  But that’s it, no more giving up.  As a matter of fact I might go crazy and buy myself a pair of jeans this week.  Maybe (after a deep breath or two).

2017 is going to be a year of excess. I’m kidding.  I’m going to take it as it comes.  I think we all have to do that this year because it’s possible our world as we know it is going to change drastically as we prepare to make Murica great again!

Here’s to another great year full of surprises!

xoxoxox

 

 

 

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
2