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Sunday, March 31, 2013

A little nostalgic

Those first few moments of relief as I slid into the hot steaming water were so wonderful,  the pain disappearing as each new part of me was embraced by the healing heat. Gone were the aches and pains of another long day. It will be a relief to go back to work tomorrow and use more brain than brawn because I have just about worn myself out.

The girls dropped by as planned this  morning and then were gracious enough to come back for dinner. I just couldn't let the holiday go by without some type of small celebration with my little family. And while I was too tired for colouring eggs, we can do that another day, and at least I have some leftovers for meals this week.

Some of my favourite holiday memories are of sitting around the big round table at my grandparents. Two half rounds of plywood hinged together would fit over the round patio table in the living room, and over that would go the white linen table cloth. It was a big to do setting the table, fixing the candy dishes, and laying out the silver. Then there would be bowls and platters of wonderful things to eat and ten or twelve of us sitting around in a big circle. Mom would have sewn new dresses for me and my sister, and there would have been lots of running around like tomboys while looking like angels. There is a part of me that regrets I am unable to give my granddaughter that same experience. I think I mostly came to terms with that years ago, but with the recent break with H I am definitely a little hypersensitive just now.

And while I would like to think that in a parallel universe somewhere events unfolded today a little closer to how I once dreamed a holiday would be like, it hurts just a little too much right now to even contemplate that and I have to let it go.

Thank heavens for my girls; how many times have I thought that lately. I have so much more than some will ever have, and I am truly grateful.

barking dogs - the five toed kind

The first trip out of bed this morning did not go so well. I could barely walk my feet felt so bruised, like the elves had been hammering on my left heel all night and rubbing sandpaper into my right foot pad  Guess that's what I get for being on my feet all day instead of sitting at a desk or in front of the boob tube.

Speaking of which, I did some retail therapy last night and while maybe driving to Target in the rain after three beers to buy a new telly was not the best thought out plan, it was effective. I am happy with the new set up in the living room if not with the actual picture on my new LED screen. Looks nothing like the demo in the store and I even remembered to buy an HDMI cable. But hopefully this is just a call to tech support later this morning.

In the meantime my feet are gradually feeling better as I putter around straightening up and sorting through the bits and pieces left over from moving day; after an initial dive back under the covers to soak up any residual warmth I once again braved the upright position and as my feet become accustomed to the weight the pain is receding. And it is rather fun to have a goal - get everything out of the bedrooms and living room so Adrienne can come in and get busy on the carpets.

But back to my original thought, my feet are really paying the price this morning, as in 'no good deed goes unpunished!' Indeed. So as soon as the taxes are done I need to set back up my standing workstation and re-establish the habit of taking daily walks. Easily said with summer just around the corner, though it is still very wet out on this particular spring morning. I am looking forward to rambling walks with A, and being on my feet as much as possible. Enough lazying around already! While I am tired and sore and still hacking up dust, over all I know this whole reorganization project is, as my DD pointed out, good exercise for me.

I want to say back to the coal mines, but I have a feeling that is an insensitive and politically incorrect remark so I retract it. Instead I posit a demure, back to task at hand!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Moving on

Today was hard work, moving always is. But helping my ex-partner all day to move out - well, I should have wracked up some excellent karma points by doing so is all I can say. He did thank me at the end of the day, which was nice. But I could have done without seeing the FB post that leads me to think he has plans with another woman tomorrow. Two beers down and I can't seem to shake this feeling of ... not anger, disappointment I guess. She looks like everything I once wanted to be, or thought I was, but more so. Pretty, curvy, sexy & confident; just his type. I wish this didn't hurt. "She loved him enough to know he was better off without her."  I think it's Dickens you can thank for the quote.

And here I am without even the comfort of a couch and a movie. I can't get the tv to work in the living room, and I don't want to be in the master where the tv works - too much dust and too many memories.

I've been doing so well, and I am hoping I have enough energy left in this day to make myself believe I am still okay. That I can create each minute, that it doesn't matter what happens it only matters how I react to it. The last 20 minutes haven't been so great, and I don't want the rest of my evening to be the same so I will turn it around. I will decide that this too is going according to plan, that letting him go gives him the chance to be happy; that truly this has been my intention all along, and I will not begrudge him his fun. And I know in my heart that I will be happy again too. It has been a long time, but I know it is coming. Did he really have to use a smiley face....let it go, let it go, let it go....

I think I just need a good nights sleep. And a cuddle with my little dog. And in the morning I will see the family on their way to an Easter Egg Hunt. And maybe, just maybe, I will get organized enough to roast a ham and make some coleslaw and see them again for dinner.

I would so like for this hard part to be over.

Calm, Cool & Collected

Last night passed without fireworks or fanfare. Two tired, aching, abused bodies each  spiraling in their own orbit. Business as usual, we have always done that, and I think that all of our problems were just symptoms of that core fact. I am not trying to disparage our relationship; we had something very special together and I will always hold that close in my heart. But I needed, need, something more. Trust me, I am the first one to laugh when I see a couple all matchy matchy, like they are clones. But I am also the first one to turn green with envy when I see a couple working together with a common goal.

So today he packs up the U-Haul and away go the mattresses we shared. Also going are the washer & dryer and living room furniture. The house will feel different this evening, and I am sure I will also feel somewhat empty. But the weeks ahead will be full of cleaning, different furniture, and a new life. There will not be time to mope. And this morning I am not morose at all. Not dreading anything. Instead I remain calm, cool & collected and ready for the next chapter in my life. Lets see.

Reader (or, the great disappearing act)
Mountain Girl
Moving to San Francisco
Swing years
Speed & Harley
Motherhood (favorite)
Divorce & Costa
Shooting with H (archery - next favorite)
Disability (next least favorite)
Losing Joey (least favorite)
The Rift

I don't know the title of this next chapter, I will have to save that task until I have a better perspective on the subject, but with a four year old involved I imagine that 'bedlam' will be in there somewhere. What I do know is that I am ready for this change, that I made the right decision, and that whatever comes I will embrace it. Because it is my life, and today I am choosing this path with hope and love and determination. And yes, when I am complaining about no privacy or hot water I will remember this feeling. 

I am on the road to recovering my muchness, and while I will miss the future I once dreamed about having with H, I will not despair over losing it. Instead we will forge something new, and I hope and pray that there will be archery in there too. A small part of me is dead inside without that. I just want us to both have happier lives, and given my series of unfortunate events and our duel propensity for depression it just wasn't happening together despite the love. I will miss him so much, but with grace, not remorse. I have read many times in different ways that people come into our lives to teach us something, to bring meaning, and while I have yet to distill the lessons, I am grateful we had the journey.

One life, many chances to choose how we live it.

One hour later update: Went to take H to pick up the moving truck in my slippers, took ten minutes at the store to pick out two flavours of soda, forgot the beer, and if not for the kind young man who was arriving as I was leaving would have left my wallet in the grocery cart. So maybe just a little discombobulated...

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Extra Mile

Women are just wired that way, to go the extra mile. You know, "we can bring home the bacon, cook it up in a pan...". But I imagine there comes a time in every woman's life when they have had enough and cry Uncle. Today might be that day. Dirty, exhausted & emotionally drained I am ignoring hints about dinner. At this particular moment I don't give  a rat's ass if I never eat again. I feel I have eaten enough in the last fifteen years to last me a lifetime. Or at least the rest of mine. It's a rare feeling for me to not feel like eating, so for the hour or so that it lasts I am going to revel in it and dream of not eating and being a size 12 again. Cuz that's where I look and feel great. Okay, the one adult summer I had to take in my size 9 jeans was pretty awesome too, but I will never go back to that drug induced thinness. I have an athletic frame and as my ex Mother In Law used to say, I am precious but not delicate. I loved her - no really, we worked together for years and I had the highest respect for her and love her to this day. She just said it like it was.

Anyway, I think I need a hot shower more than a trip to the local taqueria. More sweat has  escaped these pours in the last couple of weeks than in the last couple of years; since I stopped slaving over cafeteria sized food pans working at Open Heart Kitchen. Now that was satisfyingly hard labour.

But I digress. I am not going to be the one to go out, and really while he would appreciate it he doesn't expect it. It's just that I usually jump on the band wagon and offer to go when he starts making noises.  Because I am wired to please. And maybe he does that passive aggressive thing unconsciously to trigger that response in me - don't know and don't care. All I care about is not feeling that special dirty, sticky, dusty, grimy feeling all over my poor aching body.

Shower and jammies and maybe a movie. What's the saying? Put a fork in me, I'm done?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lighten the Load

Yesterday I piled up about ten big black plastic bags of stuff along with a couple of boxes and a small TV down by the curb. No small feat, we have a long driveway. And when I arrived home this afternoon after being gone 11 hours I didn't even notice it was all gone. For a while anyway, until it was time to drag the garbage down to the curb.

And I felt lighter all of a sudden.

Tomorrow I will take in six brown bags of books to trade them in for store credit, then ship the rest off to better world books. I am loving this whole downsizing thing. The more I ship out the more I want to get rid of.

Go Me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dazed and Confused

Or maybe just overwhelmed? I took off work a couple of hours early so I could rummage in the garage and get a little more organized for the move on Saturday. H was in the shower when I arrived home and headed out to 'run errands'. Which I think is new code for getting laid. I don't blame him, but after a few trips of squeezing past the bowflex  (no we have never used it) (it was a gift) and trying to finagle boxes out from the back of the garage to the front to see their contents and do some more sorting before goodwill picks up tomorrow I...stopped. WTF? He is the one moving. Deep breath. I am moving too, I want to thin my stuff out too, this has nothing to do with him. This is my shit. He is the only one in charge of him now, and my nagging rights have disappeared. Not that I ever used them, but strangely enough, now that he is leaving I WANT to. Get your a$$ back here and work, goddammit.

I seem to be doing a lot of deep breathing lately. Oxygen is good, right? So is Macaroni & Cheese and I just happened to have a box from TJ's. While it seems there is no end to this madness, there actually is. Or will be. Because he is really moving this coming weekend. Yes I know, Easter, and perhaps I will set out early to catch the sunrise on Sunday. But most likely I will be in the hot tub soaking away Saturday's soreness. My days of tubbing au natural are coming to a close, at least for a while anyway, so I must make the most of it while I can; I hate pulling my way out of a wet bathing suit. It sucks. Literally.

So this weekend I will be deciding things like - do I need the large black trunk full of saved material (quilting, mending, whatever) that just never happens, or likely ever will. Or the box of Disney VHS tapes. Or two, count them (2), sewing machine cabinets. I sort of thought one would made a great entry table one day (the one with the iron pedal) when I had a house that actually had an entry way. (Again, never happened.)The other would be for the craft room and sewing projects. Right. My road to hell isn't just paved with good intentions, it's gilded. With platinum.

In the meantime I have closed up the garage and have put in some laundry, because one of the damn cats decided to pee all over the stack of clothes I had in the bathroom and I have nothing to wear out to lunch tomorrow. At least I got through a few more boxes, and last night I re-organized the wardrobe in my bedroom and finished cleaning out the closet in the master. Despite my griping, progress is being made everyday. Baby Steps. And there is less dust everyday, as my grateful lungs have pointed out in relief.

Did you know you can clip an ipod to the band holding up your ponytail for audio pleasure while in the tub?  I think it's time for me and a clockwork angel to go take a dip.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Let it Rain

This is the weather forecast on my desktop this morning, and glad I was to see it. Not because we have had a dry winter and need the water, oh no, because it  means I can wear everyday this week the one pair of jeans that still fits and not stress about the pedal pushers that I recently tried on while sorting through clothes and found they no longer fit from last Spring. And they were my 'fat pants'. In a nutshell, if you haven't kept up refer to dinner last night and the reason will become apparent. 

One more week. I will try to get through it without stress eating. I will spend money on healthier convenience foods like the beet juice from Jamba juice, and the bottled goodness of the Green Machine, and prepackaged salads (the cost of which makes me CRAZY in normal circumstances) and natural dressings. Wait, that means going to the store, let me think this through. Ok, it's all good; H is taking the kid's fridge so I can buy things to keep in ours.

Who am I kidding, I'm in too much pain to even think about grocery shopping or making meals. I'll stick with the juice idea and drink my way through a couple of days. I can go to the store at lunch and stock up on lunches for work - except not today because there is left over Chinese....

Big Sigh. Apparently nothing has changed and I am still on my well trodden path to hell with my good intentions. Have I reminded myself lately that hell is just a place we create here on earth with our decisions? And the same with Heaven? Come on, make a better choice 'ya big sissy'. (you did the impression from Home Alone, right?)

Slouching in my chair in a depressed posture of depression, something is pinching in my neck and causing pins and needles to race painfully down my right arm and my thumb is going numb. Time to get up and stretch and quit dwelling on my short comings.

One more week.

Monday, March 25, 2013


This past weekend really did wreck me. Today I was so exhausted, luckily it was a comparatively slow  Monday and I was able to keep pace and then leave 15 minutes early which makes all the difference in the commute home.

Chinese delivery for dinner (yummy veggie moo shu, kung pao tofu, fried prawns, pot stickers, sweet & sour pork, brown rice, cream cheese wontons, and bbq pork chowmein) with enough left overs for our lunches tomorrow. Comfort food galore and we finally watched the latest Total Recall. Sometimes there is just so much CGI that you lose touch with the storyline, but it was a fun new take on the whole secret agent, memory thing.

Just thinking about packing a box makes me ill and I don't know if I can muster the strength. ROFLMAO, jeez Vail, dramatic enough? But you get the picture. I am bone tired and it was all I could do to stay awake during the movie.

I want a 'I'm too old for this shit' app but that wouldn't go with the whole idea of trying to keep a positive attitude, now would it???

Now sleep, there is a thing of beauty.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz out.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


After working through a rough afternoon yesterday, I sat down this morning to write about my ideas on reactive and proactive actions, or vice versa, and how they sometimes present the opportunities for  second thoughts (or even second chances) depending on the order of things.

But I stopped in at Dani's blog on the way here and saw this, and I felt that this was everything in a nutshell. That the ideas running through  my head had sidestepped a basic truth that I had forgotten.      Beauty

I don't need to second guess myself, I just need to find my inner Pollyanna and resuscitate her. At one time she was the very cornerstone of how I identified myself in the world, and I would like to have that perspective again; I would like to have that foundation back.

In the meantime, here's to another day of packing & stacking! I am so going to love this house again once we are all done. I am ever so grateful that I have R to help me make this a home again. Now there is real beauty.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Left Behind

Knowing one will be left behind is one thing. To find evidence of it, well, that is quite another. But I fought hard, and contained my emotions long enough to  get home safe without embarrassing myself. I am happy for H that he is enjoying feathering his new nest, that he has met a new 'friend', and that he will apparently be just fine without me. The nerve. Big Sigh. I don't mean that last bit, it just surfaced unbidden from this place that hurts just a little bit too much. Have I been suppressing my feelings? Of course I have. But I am still sure it was the right decision; it's good to see him happy for a change.

I am exhausted through and through, from my skin to my soul, and I need to escape into sleep.

Sufficient unto this day was the evil thereof.

This and That on a cold Saturday Morning

I miss the weather I grew up with; I am a California girl through and through and this climate adjustment is not sitting well with me. It is Spring, is it not? Of course my own personal weather system is shot to hell and that doesn’t help matters at all. Being fat comes with its own assortment of challenges as any weight enhanced personage knows only too well. This morning I am missing my body’s ability to control my temperature. I’m either too cold or too hot or too sweaty – I miss being ‘just right’. A concept that A is enamored with right now thanks to Goldilocks and her bears. Love it.
But not loving so much my dip back into the fast food fray. No wonder my mood has been stable, I’m walking around in a fog of denial induced by chemicals and food products and a severe lack of nutrition all week. Ugh. I have resorted to stress eating and I can literally feel it killing me. What a difference a week can make! I felt so good the days I was juicing. But my back wasn't holding up and packing is a much more imminent problem. I mean challenge.

I have two more shelves to clear off in the master, and then only the furniture will be left. As soon as H takes the mattresses we can disassemble the water bed frame and list it on Craig’s list. It’s a handsome handmade oak four poster – the first thing my ex and I purchased after buying the house. A little sanding and finish and it will be pretty as new, for someone who cares. Funny, after 30 years that is no longer me. I loved the curved head and foot boards, and especially the drawers underneath.  And I realize that I will even miss it, but there is no place for it and I don’t love it anymore. Which is my ultimate goal – Love it or Leave it.

Good Grief I am surrounded. Getting up to fix tea I realize that the motley crew is camped out on the bed behind me. There they sit glaring at me, two cats and a dog, all of a similar dark colour and size; all eyeing me suspiciously from their respective places nestled in the down throw. Will I kick them out? Are they safe? Should they run? For now I will leave them be; the house is cold after all and much evidence to the contrary I do still have a heart.

Yum. cinnamon.ginger.cardamon.cloves. Chai spices with a spoonful of sugar and a splash of almond milk. At least there is this if the morning has to be cold. And I have a massage later this morning. How spoiled am I? While my everyday pain is being handled to manageable levels by my concoction of meds, Tylenol & Ibuprofen, I do look forward to the relief I get from these twice monthly splurges. While the treatment is normally an exercise in pain, the relief lasts for days afterwards  and I can feel myself healing from the inside out.

Weather aside, I must take a moment for gratitude. Through everything life has thrown at me I still have my little house, I am back at a job that is finally settling down to something I can grow to love working with a team that I am glad to see each day, and I can once again afford (barely) the massage treatments. And thinking back to holding my granddaughter's hand in mine yesterday as we chatted through the car window, I remind myself that there is someone who loves me without measure, unless you count to the moon and back, and I take a moment to feel blessed and grateful and whole.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bad Batt

I have tried to post, but the keyboard is acting up even after replacing the batteries.  

Giving up and going to pack, or watch tv and drink tea. I need a break and tomorrow is Friday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To quote from Dani, "WTF WTF WTF!!!!!"

Miss Dani has spoon fed me many wise words since I've been following her blog, and sometimes she hits my mood right on the head. WTF indeed!

Tonight I moved the big dresser from the Master to the Boudoir, which meant shuffling everything around like crazy; everything being the safe, two computers, My grandmothers old wooden TV case, a bookshelf, two small tables, a big plastic tub and of course all of the clothes that were in the dresser that had to be removed so I could take out the drawers, tilt it on it's end, and with H's help slide it into it's new spot. I refuse to divulge the quantity of dust that was revealed behind it's old spot, but yesterday's blog, Death by Dust, comes readily to mind.

And while OMG has been used to death in recent years, looking around at how much is left to do it just seems like the appropriate expression to use since I have pretty much worn out WTF at this moment. So...OMG!!! And again, I initiated this mayhem. My Bad. Or not.

BTW, all of this chaos is wearing out the poor little dog. I have displaced her perch in the old bedroom (on the dresser in her Woolworth bed at the perfect window height for barking at every small infraction that occurs on her street) and for the time being replaced it with a plastic tub leading to a chair that gains her access to my bed so she can continue her neighborhood watch from the new bedroom.

Have I mentioned that I think the dust is killing me? Or that I haven't done my taxes yet? Or that no one person should be allowed to accumulate so much stuff over the course of 30 years? I moved into this small house with my then immediate family in June of 1983. I'll bet there is still a box somewhere in the garage that was never unpacked from that initial move; believe me I will crow about it when I find it. (The intention to begin clearing that out next weekend has been voiced (passive on purpose, no grading allowed.)

I have done quite a bit of lifting and sweating over the past few days and I'm still walking and breathing; it truly is amazing how resilient this ugly bag of walking water is when put to the test. 

Just a quick note about food. I rough chopped the left overs from St. Paddy's Day and while they were warming up I thickened rest of the cooking liquid with a little flour, then stirred it all together and added some steamed jasmine brown rice - delicious dinner, and the corned beef was all in H's bowl. (Okay, I nibbled on a couple of crispy bits.) I am going to miss the dinners we share while watching the shows we both enjoy; tonight it was Castle. But no dwelling, I will have lots to occupy my time.

Maybe it's the exhaustion that is keeping my mood stable, because even that last thought didn't make me sad. Okay, I know it's probably the exercise but it felt more fun to say it the other way. I just hope I can sleep tonight, after three solid sleeps in a row last night was a big disappointment. Arghhh, blathering = time to sign off. Ciao.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Death by Dust

I have never seriously considered suicide. My thoughts run more to jumping a tramp steamer and heading for parts unknown as a constructive alternative. But I may have unwittingly signed my own death warrant by precipitating this break up, because the mechanics of the whole thing is slowly killing me. Years of neglected dust bunnies are coming home to roost, so to say. Mixed metaphor? So shoot me - put me out of my misery. I don't know if it's the dust mites, or the physical labour, or just the burden of knowing I have been at the crossroads of lazy & depressed so long that I had just about buried myself. 

At times I have been a wee bit envious of H who gets to move to a newly upgraded little house and start from scratch, but that is a fleeting thought that quickly disipates into the ether. Mostly I would like to end up with my own little house feeling spacious and clean and well organized.

Which brings me to this morning and not being able to find the laundry I had folded last night. I had indulged in watching an episode of shameless, the Showtime series which at one point in my life annoyed the hell out of me but which lately I am finding hilarious. I was up at 5am, wrote a bit here, then made tea and laughed at the TV until almost 7. Which gave me 15 minutes to get my shit together and out the door to work. Having showered yesterday post all the sweat and dust and chalk that the day was filled with, I knew I just needed to throw on my clothes and pack some left overs for lunch and I would be good. But the stack of clothes that actually fits me right now was nowhere to be found. I finally  pulled on the jeans I swore I wouldn't wear again because they are falling down big and headed to work. This evening I found everything neatly stacked in a tub in the living room - one that I had been sorting into for items that would eventually find their way to the wardrobe in my bedroom. Of course first I have to unpack the plethora of mending and mementos that are currently filling up that space. You get the picture.

I was sore before ever reaching work this morning from all the work yesterday, and I was hurting fairly badly upon arriving home. Ice, shoulder massage pad (best present from H ever) and Ibuprofen gave me the boost I needed to get my two boxes done for the day. But I am more and more tired each day and with each new dust patch I clean up I feel like I am inhaling a little death. I know I will survive this ordeal, but I am wishing pretty hard to be able to twitch my nose like Jeannie and have done with it.

What a sorry sack I am. And mood is still stable despite all my bitching and wailing. I'm guessing it's good for me to be up off my fat a$$ for a change. And with that I am off for a glass of red to clear my throat.

Dreams etc

I would like to keep a notebook and pen by my bed so that upon waking I can scribble down any dream that might have lingered past REM. I do love a good story, and that drowsy pre-cognizant dreamland where you are aware of the dream but not really awake yet is one of my favorite places to hang out.  And I especially love it when I am able to direct the action, so to speak, while still in touch with the part of me that knows exactly what I want. Probably because I am so seldom able to do that in my waking hours.

At least in my personal life. At work I am better at seeing what needs to be done and no longer have a problem expressing such; experience does tend to lend a voice in that instance.  I wonder why the same doesn't hold true for the other eight hours of the day. (Here's the math; 9 working\commuting, 7 sleeping, 8 other = 24.) One would think that after 58 years of 'experience' I would know not only know exactly what I want but also how to achieve it. I should have married rich instantly comes to mind, but that is just the old whimsical wish that money can fix anything. At least in theory it would open up the options a bit while lending comfort to the decision process, but as for the crux of the matter - knowing what I want - I'm not sure it would have helped.

How on earth did I go from dreams to money? So much for thinking I am awake! So back to the original thought - I would like to jot down my dreams for a bit and see what shakes out. Besides the obvious desire to have only to think about the ways and not the means. At the moment my night stand is covered with stacks of trays that are on their way out as part of the current move in progress. But I will remember to leave a notebook there once those have vacated the office. No, not office, boudoir. My new nest, or fortress of solitude, or whatever. Speaking of which I need to paint. Which reminds me I am not yet awake and need tea.

Oh Yes! The corned beef for dinner last night was divine, living up to my expectations admirably. And the '05 Novella Synergy H uncorked was so nice I drank one glass too many -hence my foggy brain this morning; it's all making much more sense now. The previous dream-fugue state, my lack of A.M. clarity, the inability to focus. Go Red!

And good morning Monday - what a relief to be able to leave off packing and go to work for the day. Good Grief (Charlie Brown), that was a strange sentence to type. One last thought, I was able to add several items of Joey's clothing to the goodwill bag yesterday. It definitely felt like progress. I didn't weep, I let myself feel a little bereft and then calmly did the deed. I was and am okay. Now, Hi Ho...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Only the closed mind is certain, Sir"

After working around the house all morning I laid down to rest my back and watch Dean Spanley and the subject quote is the last thing I remember hearing before my nap overtook my intentions, and the thought occurred to me that my mind must be as wide open as the ocean for all the certainty I have in my life just at present.

Now it is 3 hours later and while I have no idea what else happened in the  movie I did have a much needed rest and I have a lovely piece of corned beef bubbling away in the kitchen. What a delightful smell, so comforting and rich with promise.

It's actually turning out to be a nice quiet productive Sunday. I will pack until it's time to add the veggies to the roast which means two more hours of playing 'this but not that' as I continue to sort my way through the wreckage of my closet. Which brings to mind a revelation I mentioned to my DD this morning; what was I thinking the last ten years as I saved items of clothing I would 'fit into someday' and didn't throw away the short shorts? I mean really, ten years ago I was 48 and past the age when one should wear such things, no? Yet save some I did through years of spring sorting and apparently never a thought given to my age and only to the quality of the shorts in question. Today they went into the donation bag and good riddance!

Still, I believe it's a good thing that I am apparently still young at heart. And still remain open minded, lets not forget that part.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Eye for Fashion

A few years ago when my Mom was reorganizing her garage I inherited some of the playthings from my youth; specifically Betsy McCall and her trunk of homemade clothes courtesy of the aforementioned Mother. And like the pack rat I am I saved them. For 'A'. And today she spent a couple of hours playing dress up. Asking me for help with snaps and the occasional pair of slacks or hook and eye challenge. But mostly she had Betsy trying on one outfit after another, even draping a shall around her shoulders at one point. And while it has been clear for some time she is fashion savvy, it really hit home today that she has inherited the 'eye'. While I don't snap pictures the way I once did, I still have a good eye for composition and colour. My siblings are respectively an engineer and an architect, my daughter a graphic artist, and my Mom has a degree in interior design while her sister was an artist and a professor of literature. I believe it stems in large part from my Maternal Grandfather Maynard L Parker, who made photographing homes his life's work - 30 years of it at House Beautiful. He had an amazing eye for light, contrast & perspective that brought life to his photographs of houses and turned them into homes that leapt off the pages where they were published. And this evening watching my granddaughter I was so happy to think of this connection between her and a man I loved dearly.

We had a wonderful afternoon together, she and I; planting in the back yard the seedlings we had started inside earlier this month. Sharing glasses of freshly juiced oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger and spinach on the back patio. Drawing colourful designs on the stack of bricks in the driveway out front, and finally settling down in the living room to play quietly with the dolls.

I did get some more sorting, dusting, packing, tossing and cleaning done earlier in the day, I am glad to say. Tomorrow should see the last of my 'stuff' moved out from the Master bedroom, and hopefully I will continue in my office the rest of the week. I think someone wrote a book a few years ago on the connection between clutter and weight; we'll see. I'm just ever so grateful that I am feeling pleased rather than morose, as my improved mood continues.

Dinner: Microwave popcorn and a Vicodin. And yes, while I wish my back didn't hurt so much, it does feel good to be tired. To feel like I have accomplished something.


It's not what the day brings, its how you handle it. Death days are perfect examples. Looking around my office this morning and not knowing where to begin, my eye lit on the picture of a young woman holding her two very young boys, a toddler and an infant. They both look very much like their father, a friend and neighbor who died in a power line accident - just over a year ago I think. Maybe longer, the time eludes me. Anyway, the quote above came to mind as I looked at the picture and wondered how she was doing. We each have a D-Day to get through each year, yet for each other that day is just one like any other. It's true that the power is not in the day, but how we react to it. Or rather, it only has the power we give to it. The day itself is no more or less special than any other day.

And this is true any and every day. When my grief first began to fade in small patches as I found a reason to smile more often, as my granddaughter became old enough to hug me and hold on to me like I was something special, I panicked that by letting go of my grief I was letting go of Joey. Like I was betraying him by not letting him die again a little bit every day and keeping the angst alive in my heart. I know by now that he will always be with me, and I don't need to torture myself on a daily basis for that to stay true.

I need to translate that lesson into how I handle...everything. Including letting go of memorabilia that serves no purpose, and even worse a negative purpose. As my very smart daughter pointed out, if it doesn't make me happy throw it out. And she is right; how can I react in a positive manner to each new day if I am surrounded by sorrow and failure and their ugly red headed step child guilt.

And this isn't just about Joey. It's about lost business opportunities, art projects that never made it off the ground, and old VHS tapes that I will never want to watch again. It all has to go, and somehow this morning after thinking it through I am okay with that.

What I said, Writing helps me Think ♥

Friday, March 15, 2013

type type type

I guess I'm just going to burn up the keyboard going through this process. Diarrhea of the fingers; gross but accurate description of the urge to type. To purge. To release. First comes the urge for release and then, since the ice cream is gone, I head for bed, see the keyboard, and begin to type.

Two drawers emptied, and the realization that I am a collector of nothing and everything. A handful of marbles, a batch of baby safety pins attached to their mother, a stack of greeting cards, 2 old fashioned cap guns (lord I can't throw those away) and half a dozen small cosmetic bags each with their own collection of stuff. Foot care, nail care, sleeping aids, a couple for overnight necessities. Have you ever seen George Carlin's bit about a place to keep your stuff? I was channeling him tonight and laughing at myself in between huge sighs of frustration that I have so much STUFF!

It's everywhere, in every drawer, nook and cranny. And most of it is covered with dust because in our gloom and doom we have been neglecting and avoiding everything and anything that is in anyway even remotely related to taking care of ourselves and our home and our things. Well, okay, we do the dishes and our laundry, but not much else. That's the big D for you.

I haven't even started on the books; H has packed up 5 small boxes and tomorrow it's my turn to finish emptying bookcases. Oh to light a match and run away with Kaylee tucked safely under my arm. The cats will have to fend for themselves.

I keep telling myself I will only keep what's necessary, but the reality is that I will have to do this in stages. Throwing away what I can now and then sorting again to thin things out as I decide what to pack away for 'later'. NO. STOP. This is not a good plan. I need to sort as if there is no later, and only keep what makes me happy.  Only keep the clothes that fit and the books I know I will read again. The Annes, McCaffrey and Rice; J.K. Rowling of course; Katherine Kerr, Jean Auel and Robin Hobb.  Oh the days and hours their stories have captivated and rescued me in equal measure. If I had to pick one drug for the rest of my life it would be words. Reading them, writing them, listening to them. In fact I want to start re-reading all of my favorite stories right now and just avoid what needs to be done around here! Indeed, I am an escape artist of sorts.

But in all honesty I look forward to cleaning out the house and making a fresh start. I really do. Just writing about the clutter makes me itchy and anxious to get more done. As Oprah has said, one's home should rise up and greet them. I do try to keep the front of the house presentable, but all of this mucking about in corners with dust balls is a little unnerving and I want it to be done. I want the whole house to feel wonderful again. And the yard. And the garage.

Oh the joys of being tired and rambling.


Originally I typed in the classic TGIF, but there is also something to be said to looking forward to spending two days with Kaylee, my furry little friend who knows when to stick close and ooze comfort. So Thank Dog It's Friday is also an appropriate sentiment, and the way I feel and think about God there is really no difference between the two. After all, Kaylee helps me find pieces of heaven on earth, reminds me that I can take one moment at a time and choose to be happy in it, and makes me smile whether I want to or not just by being herself. A lot of responsibility for one little dog, but her dwarven legs seem to be holding up fine under the pressure.

I hope to get a lot done this weekend, but then I always do! And I just realized that I haven't had as many 'mood' swings lately. The playing field of my brain has sort of evened out. Of course I still have my moments as evidenced by last night's mini melt down, but I am 'fine' this morning and not discouraged; there is no black cloud of regret hanging over this muss of morning hair. Maybe the anti-anxiety pills are finally having an impact. Or maybe my boat is sailing more smoothly under the steady pressure of the coming change. I'll go with the latter, I like that image ( I miss sailing.)

So a busy work day ahead - TGIHAJ - and then some taped shows to watch tonight. And popcorn just popped (ha ha) into my head. Warm, buttery, crunchy, end of the week treat! Of course I am all out so it will all depend on if I remember to run down to the store at lunch today. Hmmmm, 'A' might be coming to spend the night Saturday so perhaps I should save that treat to share with her; if it's one person who loves popcorn more than me it's my adorable 4 yr old granddaughter. That would be another good one, TAIF! Heaven knows her spirit soars and keeps me afloat much of the time.

Enough rambling; guess I needed to balance the universe with some positive energy after last night. Feels good, the whole feeling positive thing. I hope it sticks around a while.

I do spend a lot of time hoping for one thing or another don't I?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Touch

I was so exhausted, and I knew once I stopped there would be no getting back up. So instead of sitting down when I reached home today I headed straight to the back yard  to  mow the tall spring grass before putting out the green waste container for the garbage pick up tomorrow. I also raked up dead leaves from one corner of the patio to line the compost pit in the back yard and then took the time to spread all of the food scraps I'd been saving over it to make the next layer. I imagine that the pulp from juicing will give a head start to that whole decomp process.

After icing my back and having a quick visit from the girls who had stopped by to see how the seedlings were growing I landed in the kitchen, elbows on the counter and straw in my mouth. Too tired to pick up my juice container I slumped there drinking to slake the thirst I had worked up. And H came in the kitchen to get something and barely touched me as he  brushed past to the counter at the end of the kitchen. His hand was electric on my waist and it so pisses me off that at this late date in the game my body can betray me like that.

Now my throat aches and I'm sitting in the shadows of my office trying not to cry and trying to find my muchness to beat down these feelings. This was the best of us, the chemistry we had, and this is the part my grief tore to bits. I don't think either one of us will ever forget what it was once like, and while there are always two sides to every story, I know without a doubt that my side of the teeter totter is closer to the ground than his. Maybe there is a part of me that still hopes some day we will each come to a place where we can be together again. But I can't think about that right now. I have to think about the decision I made and why I made it and see it through; I truly believe it's the right thing for both of us. 

A deep breath, stress flowing out of my finger tips and out into the universe, and I know we will both be okay. Hopefully sooner than later, and hopefully still friends. Now, if only I had boot straps to pull myself up and go pack another two boxes. Guess I'll have to do it anyway. Damn.

Little heartaches

The thing about decluttering, downsizing, and attempting to thin out one's baggage is that you tend to stumble across...memories. Your heart trips over those that are painful and gloms on to those that bring joy. Present tense. Feeling something now makes it real all over again; the good, the bad and the ugly. If you don't let yourself dwell time can temper a past moment into just that - history. But if you let yourself fall then you bring that moment back alive and what difference does it then make if it was then or is now. Not much.

I remember holding my children and knowing those moments for the gift they were. They were my escape from situations beyond my control; my anchor to love and knowing who I was and giving me a reason to try my best. As it turns out that wasn't quite good enough but that is another story that I have recapped enough in this particular piece of work.

This morning I am thinking about Joey, and last night I dreamt about him after going through some of his things in my futile attempt to clear out my office so I can make it a safe haven amidst the adventure that is about to become my new life. A change that I instigated, I remind myself daily. And while I remember the determination of that moment when I snapped and said enough, the niggling little doubts are trying to creep their way in. Especially now that I am in the mechanics of making it happen. What have I done? The right thing, I tell myself. And I believe it.

How scattered my thoughts this morning, I will type anything other than the emotions that drew me to write. Fear of losing a little more of Joey as I try to clear out his things. Trepidation at the thought of missing H when he is really gone. Anxiety linked to letting go of the clutter I have surrounded myself with. And excitement when I look past this necessary labour to the love that will replace these things as my family comes to share my home.

What was the movie..."One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode"...Ah yes! Ron in one of the Harry Potter movies. Thank you J.K. Rowling.

But I did get 2 boxes packed last night, and I will get another two packed tonight. I haven't been able to sort out anything to actually get rid of yet. But I will. I will draw the line between saving memorabilia and being a pack rat. I will.

Dinner last night: Hot Mess Wedges from JITB  Breakfast & Lunch were juice. How's that for balance! I forgot the toll packing would take on my back, so I need to cut back on juicing (lots of prep involved) and figure out healthy fast food. Maybe I can just drink my way through this with prepared juices. Not ideal, but it would solve the whole dirty dishes and food prep problem while I pack. 

I'm off to make a green smoothie and hit the daily grind, my thoughts full of J and R and reminders of how blessed I am.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An Apple a Day

Favorite juice so far:
     3 small apples
     3 large carrots
     1" ginger
     lemon juice
     2 big handfuls of baby spinach

Bright, fresh, yummy! Oddly enough I am not putting lemon through the juicer - it's easier to use my little wooden manual twisty thingy than to peel the lemon before juicing. And it works great. Monday & Tuesday I juiced for breakfast and lunch and had a bad dinner. Monday was take out Chinese (tofu, veggies and rice(not brown) that I brought home from Panda Express then last night H ordered in pizza (classic, not a healthy version.) I am thinking I'll take a can of low sodium lentil soup for lunch and drink my 2nd big bottle of juice on the way home from work to see if I can't do better today.

I think I feel better. Whether it's from the nutrients or the knowledge that I am doing something to actively pursue better health I don't know. If it works I'll take a placebo any day! But it's not just my mood, my body feels better, it likes this.

Today's juice (I'm trying to use up everything in the house) is a little stronger in flavour so I added some Acai juice I had purchased from Costco and need to use up. This concoction is not as yummy as others I have made but still interesting.

Bok Choy

Yesterday was similar, sub in celery for the bok choy and red grapes for the oranges. It was delicioso. And it's not bad cleaning out the juicer either. I'm making a large batch(s) in the morning which means I'm only cleaning it once a day.  So far so good! Yay me!

But all in all I think the most satisfying part of this endeavor is that I am responsible for the juice. That I am creating something wonderful each time I decide what will go into the juicer. I can hardly wait to try beets, I hear they are the best.

And as for the packing part of my double hitter agenda,I did pick up boxes, bubble wrap and tape yesterday. They even made it into the house. Of course I couldn't open the large box that the smaller boxes were packed in, but it's a start! And tonight I will get the damned box open and begin. Because I won't have to spend time making dinner, wink wink. I'll drink it on the way home, take a machete to the big box, and start packing my stuff from the bedroom. I will. I will envision it on and off all day and make it happen. Psycho-cybernetics come to Mama.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let the juicing begin...or not

My new Humor is set up in the kitchen, I have the ingredients for several different juice recipes, yet about a half a cup of fresh apple juice has been the only actual result of all my here to fore dreaming and planning. I had envisioned about a year ago running out to get a juicer and immediately beginning my join the reboot regime. My dreams were of better health, of losing weight, of a magical daily energy that would carry  me effortlessly through  my days .... and despite having a brand new expensive juicer sitting on my kitchen counter I can't seem to get started. Realizing that I am delaying because 'this is going to change my life',  I have decided that I need to apply what I have learned in my life instead of falling prey to the all or nothing mindset that is so seductive, but ultimately completely unproductive in the extreme. Perfectionism has no place in my life. Not if I am going to get anything done.

So this morning I am having a green smoothie, and then I will plug in my audio book and clean the kitchen and prep the food I need to juice for lunch and dinner. Hopefully I will have the energy this evening to prep the food I need for juicing in the morning. This feels like a doable goal. 

The other item on my honey do list that I am procrastinating about is cleaning all of my stuff out of the bedroom. I said I was going to do that this weekend. It's Sunday about 10:30 (counting our lost hour) and I haven't yet begun. I can see it; clean out the wardrobe in my office sorting between giving away, storing elsewhere and throwing out. Then transferring my clothes from the Master to my new boudoir. Next to come out will be the sewing machine, the chair, and then all of my nick knacks that are ... everywhere. I have inherited the 'collector' gene from my Mother and I while I am looking forward to going through my treasures, I am not looking forward to thinning them out.

Should I go grab some boxes first? No, kitchen first, then food prep, then boxes. I need my health if I am going to make it through this transition with any semblance of sanity. I don't have to finish the bedroom, I just have to make a big dent. Really, I just need to put the project in motion so that it stays in motion. Or should I say Projects with a capital S. Because really there are two. Juicing and Packing. Two things to focus on for a month. Seriously, I should be able to do this.

The inner me, the real me, knows I can do this. I am listening.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A year of Work

I think it was April of 2009 when the job I had been with for a dozen or so years closed their doors. I stayed till the end helping to pack up and clean out, after all, I didn't want to go anywhere else. After Joey died I was able to work when I could, acted as a consultant when I couldn't, and showed up when I needed a safe place to distract myself. It was nice to feel useful but not pressured, and the office and people in it became the haven I needed to collect my scattered morbid self into something resembling human.

It took a while to find another job. And I'm sure I've moaned and groaned somewhere in this tirade of a blog about making $11 an hour driving the catering truck part time for a non-profit group who was feeding the needy of our valley. I cried almost every day as I drove that truck, but I worked hard and tried to do a good job. I had lost much, but not my center core of pride, and I felt it was important work. At the same time I had another part time job, and it was my hard work at this 2nd job that gave me the recommendation  leading to where I am today. I gave up both jobs for the security and benefits of one full time job, and today I celebrated my one year anniversary at the new company.

The Boss invited me out to lunch, and much to my surprise he let me know the confidence he feels in the department we have developed over the past year. That was the five minutes we spent on shop talk - the rest of the hour we spoke as..friends; sharing stories from our personal lives and laughing and enjoying a wonderful meal. It was a really nice break ( I normally work through lunch) and I guess I really needed the boost because I returned to the office in a much better frame of mind than when I left it.

We all need little reminders that we are valuable, and all too often we forget the impact we can have on another's day\week\life just by voicing a compliment once in a while. At a meeting this year the speaker said that most of us are dog people, and like our furry friends we just need a little pat of approval when we do a good job. Once upon a time I knew that, and I was the 'Pollyanna' of the office - always looking for the good and making sure recognition was given. I think I have mostly forgotten that along the way, and it saddens me because I think it was a large part of who I was. Of where my goodness stemmed from. And today reminded me I need to open up that part of my life again.

Baby Steps...but steps.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

'These are a few of my Favorite Foods' (sing it!)

Originally I had mulled over the idea of beginning a juicing regimen on March 1st; I would like to know if I can get rid of this rotten cough! And lose a few pounds to see if it helps my pain management. But I couldn't decide upon a juicer, and then on Friday last came upon an advert for the Hurom. Watching the comparison to another juicer, I realized that one of my hesitations was noise, and another the bother of the whole process. This one is QUIET, and CLEANS EASILY, and produces more juice. I checked in the store, but not finding it ordered one online from Costco.

Friday was March 1st. And Yesterday was my Birthday (can you say pineapple upside down cake?)  So now I have a new plan - eat everything in the house that isn't juiceable in preparation for the arrival of my new toy\tool\inspiration to be healthy.

Breakfast this morning: Buttered, well toasted wheat bread cut into squares and two lovely eggs over easy broken over the top. Even Kaylee had toast as my knife slipped and two squares hit the kitchen floor; lucky pooch! It was so rich and yummy, and something I hadn't had in years while I was eating plants and losing weight. I'm not sure why anything has to be all or nothing; I need to learn moderation - another of life's great lessons. Certainly I could fit in the breakfast a couple of times a year without damaging an otherwise healthy life style. But what if I did that for all my favorite meals?

Mac N Cheese
Homemade meatballs over egg noodles
Ice Cream
Left over Pot Roast stew served over buttered bread
Baked Potato with butter and sour cream
Toasted Bagel with peanut butter, bananas and honey
Harvestgrain Pancakes
Cheese bread

See the pattern? Bread and Butter. That's me. (I like Toast and Jam too.) If I had one favorite thing a week that would not work; I can eat more calories in one meal than I should have in two days! But what about once a month? And eaten family style so that I am not pigging out alone, but sharing something wonderful with others? A Sunday breakfast or a Saturday night celebration. I don't imagine that eating any one thing in moderation can be too horrible when compared to 30 or so days of eating well. This is one of the ideas that I think I need support to implement, and I envision that day coming - April 1st to be exact. Fuhrman's idea is also valid, shop healthy for the home, and splurge when eating out (which is not everyday, but a special occasion.) I did this while losing weight, having my bread and butter in a restaurant one cannot eat a whole loaf nor a pound of butter. But I digress!

I would like to have the fridge cleaned out in preparation of H moving out; we don't know yet if he will be taking it with him and I would like to be ready for either eventuality. And eating up frozen entrees from Trader Joe's is not a bad way to spend my meals while I wait for my juicer to arrive. But this morning's eggs were ... an inspired choice. There were only two slices of bread left, after all, and it would be a shame to waste them.

Thinking ahead I have lemons, kale, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, apples, kiwis, bananas, ginger and spinach to start juicing with, and a printout of lots of recipes to try from where the idea originally came from. These are all part of my usual eating healthy selection of plants, but juicing is different, and there will be no sausage muffins interspersed with the juice! Once the juicer gets here I will do a week, see how I feel, and hopefully do another. Eventually I imagine doing the first week of each quarter year as my wonderful massage therapist Catherine shared that her Aunt does.

And now my  decadent breakfast has left me with a tremendous thirst (damn you salt!) and I am off for water and a day of puttering around the house as I begin to prepare for the upheaval soon to come.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thank You Google, I Think

I woke dreaming of garden enclosures and was amazed with this greeting from Google upon opening my browser; fun or scary? In either case I went about my searching and came upon this delightful idea.
Would it keep the jumpiest of the dogs out? No, but it might discourage him.. And I could treat the tanbark to keep away the cats, I think. At about $800 this is not going to happen, but I printed out the picture and I am sure with enough input we will be able to create something similar. Imagine the door to the garage in the middle of the back with a trellis on each side instead of one solid trellis across the back. Then we could put two 4'x8' raised garden kits, one on each side under a trellis. I'll have to go measure, but I think we could add a small path around the outside so we have more access to the plants, and then surround the whole thing with a Roxbury Garden System fence with the gate at the front like in the picture. Maybe. An idea worth exploring. Because I have mostly decided against using the railroad ties; I'm waiting to see who wins, the earthitarian or the penny pincher who are duking it out inside.

So Happy Birthday to me. My mood improvement was apparently not a fluke and each weekend I get something done. Today the girls are coming over and I foresee either\and a trip to the pond so Miss A can feed the ducks and a visit to home depot to look at garden stuff. 

I also intend to start packing tomorrow - one month till the 'big change' in my life. And no, I am not ready physically or emotionally so I'm letting this one play out one day at a time and trying to not dwell on anything at all. It's all good, as MF would say.