Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Home and hearth, In the Southland, Life in the South
I know it’s Christmas season. I can tell, because WordPress has little spots floating around like snow falling. Do you see it? I hope so, because it’s cute and cheery. There is no other way to tell it’s Christmas time, because it’s 80 degrees and humid outside. A warm front from the South has come in and is confusing the jonquils. And me. I am confused. There is absolutely no desire to put out the Christmas stuff but I know once it’s out I will start singing Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra songs about snow and marshmallows and Baby, It’s Cold Outside even though it isn’t.
Thanksgiving was a complete miss. Not for sad and depressing reasons, but because a friend and I decided to blow it off completely and go on a cruise together. 5 days long, floating between here and the Bahamas, drinking fruity rummy things with umbrellas in them and eating, eating, eating. Pictures eventually. I had never been on a cruise before and it was the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on. I can safely say it is the first time I have come back from a long vacation and not needed to recuperate from it. I came back happy. But, the missing the Thanksgiving thing has set my holiday clock off entirely. Not to mention the 80 degree weather.
Then, my computer died. Not just the blue screen of death you need to reinstall stuff, but like, a cold hard death with tolling bells and ravens and grinding noises and kind of all Judge Dredd dystopian whatever. It was bad. So Terry found another one and ordered it but that took a few days then I had to figure it out because naturally it’s a different operating system and no. I do not like Windows 8. But that’s ok. I don’t like anything new and I am sure eventually it will grow on me. At least there are discs for the expensive programs. I lost some stuff like photographs and some embroidery designs, but hopefully the person I purchased the designs from will be understanding and let me download them again. If not, it isn’t the end of the world.
It’s not The Worst Thing Ever. That would be standing in the line at the post office….. Huh?
Ok, there’s this commercial that comes on sometimes, and it’s for this device you can use to label stuff you’re mailing. The people in the commercial say things like “I hate standing in line at the post office! It’s the worst thing ever!” That sends #4 and I off into a tizzy, and we reply with stuff like “That’s right! Even terminal cancer isn’t as bad! Neither is losing your house and family in a tsunami!” And so on.
Where was I?
oh yeah. In the interest of attempting to get into more of the Christmas Spirit, I have been baking biscotti- those crunchy twice baked not-too-sweet cookie things you dunk in coffee because they are hard as rocks. I have been baking them for about 20 years now, every Christmas. Since discovering the chopped nuts at the Dekalb Farmers Market, thus eliminated the most tedious part of making them, happiness has abounded. Chopped almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, mixed in not-too-sweet cookie dough along with some sort of dried fruit like cherries or apricots or currants, shaped into logs and baked, then sliced and baked again. Yum, y’all. And, it’s what I do at Christmas so it is how I get in the mood for a tree in the house and the cat knocking things off of it.
It is difficult, this Christmas Cheer thing…when it’s 80 degrees and the windows are open and there’s weeds growing in the yard and the 14 yr old says “Mom, I think the grass needs to be mowed.” It’s difficult when you want a glass of iced tea more than a cup of hot chocolate, and the idea of eating a rich and filling winter stew kind of makes you queasy.
But that’s ok. It will come. Eventually. Probably.
Lately, stress has become a regular houseguest, like that weird uncle who won’t leave, or a mother in law who decides to move in, or something.
Fortunately I have the kind of mother in law who subscribes to the “guests are like fish” theory, that is, they start to smell after 3 days.
Anyway, stress. The high blood pressure tight muscles in the neck are we out of vodka again type. You know the kind, if you are at all human with or without kids. There is is, in the form of balled up neck and back muscles. Nightly pummeling by Himself causes short term relief and that is lovely.
also ,a bit of high blood pressure, which results in ringing ears and fantasies about beaches. That is what the hypertension guy says when I show up at his office. “tink aboot de beach” he instructs in his fairly thick Nigerian accent, then he sits me in a dark room for 20 minutes. I don’t have time for dark rooms and beaches right now.
Another doctor told me to find someone to talk to over a glass of bourbon. “It doesn’t have to be a therapist, it could be a lawyer or a pastor at church or the clerk of the convenience store, as long as they will listen and nod a lot. But not your husband. It needs to be someone objective who won’t try to fix it.”
The problem is how very subconscious it is. In the thinking part of my brain all is well. I am relaxed and content.the kids are fine, the house is fine,the dogs are fine, Himself is doing well….so what is going on??
there is change on the horizon and since I don’t know exactly the form of the change, only that it is there, thus I don’t know how to prepare for it, the innermost brain part,the part that reacts rather than thinks, is very busy reacting all over the place and that is what is causing the stress. the innermost brain is going “oh No! Panic” while the thinking part is going “la la la have a toffee cookie hum de dum” so the muscles in my back do the panicking since obviously the thinking part is a pansy who doesn’t what is what about anything.
anyway, that is how The Good Dr. H explained it to me, all that about inner and thinking brains and such. I guess the good news about the stress is that my appetite is nil, and that is making the weight I was fussed at about by the 12 yr old nephrologist easier to shed.
oh,and menopausish stuff as well. the Change Of Life. Ht flashes are actualiy kind of hilarious, what with this turning red and clothes flapping and keeping the house at 65 degrees. That is not the change I spoke of earlier, but it might be part of it all. Who knows. Could I please be 35 again? 35 was nice. Size 10, old enough to know better, a bit of mental security,all that. I like being 48, it has definite advantages over being younger, but the bifocals/turning red/going to bed at 8 thing is kind of weird.
Today was spent doing something entirely new. Something we had never done before and while it was comfortable and familiar in that the whole process was the same as many other times,and the people were the same and the event itself was similar, the result was something I had never experienced before and it was…really cool!
you see, #4 son runs cross country with his small school team. (I need to leave the auto correct corrections because they err often ridiculous) (see?) How small? It is a school obat out …about…230. That is from k to 12. Anyway, cross country running. The team? Today was the state championship for their division. The Adam? Team? The Adam…the team came in first place. seethe status. Dangitbecause good grief. First place in the state. That is right. My son is on the first place armaments . Good grief. TEAM (armaments??? Seriously autocorrect?) He also beat his personal time last week by 5 minutes, then beset….what? BEAT that time by anything minute today! ON HILLS! Another…not anything. No, he didn’t place, but his time hit removed …has improved by ten minutes over the season. Proud mama?? YAH YOUBETCHA!
anyway, the new experience of the day involved going to a state championship thing, seeing my sons team win a shiny trophy and do things like hoot and dump ice water on the coach. Several of e kids beat their personal best times. Mind you, #4 is no speed demon. But the team is a team, and all the boys cheered for all the boys, from the first tithe…to the llast this is hard enough n it’s own butmthendogs are determined to help…
anway…I have neve had a kid do a state championship thing, even with a small division private school thing and it is a new sensation. The sense of team and sportsmanship should give encouragement tithe older generation about the upcoming one. The courtesy shown from team to ute am, dangitbecause….team…to…team was delightful. Everyone encouraging everyone, from the kid that came in first at 18 minutes to the last one at 28 minus sets…minutes, all cheeses …cheers…and no razzing or jeering. It was heartwarming. Particulayay for me, I mean..particularly, for me, since #4 was more toward the back of the pack, yet people waited and cheered instead of wandering off to do something else and leaving the last stragglers to chug in alone and unnoticed. Nope, they were cheered as had as the first heroes of the race.
Anyway, that is the new thing of the day and I am proud of my boy!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Oh for pete's sake, oh no not another diet post
It is going prey …pretty (note: I am refusing to turn off auto correct or correct it because sometimidiot can entertaining)…well all things confided…considered like the whole red meat dairy and fat restrictions. I et half as much as I used to and am not having trouble with it. I snacks bit more but it’s stuff I am supposed to eat more of anyway, olive fruits and vegetables. Not olive…like…like fruits and vets. Whatever. Vegs. I do not eat vets, neigh dang it. Neither veterans nor animal doctors. Plants. I eand plants and lots of them. Eat. I don’t even know what wand …eand…means.
i do not know if I have lost weight yet, as scales are not in my lexicon. However there is a particular pair of pants I will try on next week sometime. Those are the gauge by which diet efforts are gauged. With apologies to mr. bailey for using gauged twice in a sentence. I know better but there it is anyway.
i am an all-or-nothing dieter. I cannot have a sip of someone else’s milkshake, because I will want one for myself and get my feelings hurt. No sips and I am fine. No ‘just a bites’ and no ‘one won’t hurt’. it is when there is no one else around that is a problem. If there are people around I do not want to be a hypocritical dieter and say ‘oh this time it will be fine’…except on the cruise upcoming then all bets are off because, well…seriously, a cruise. And it was planned long before the 12 year old nephrologist told me I was fat and needed quatliy…what? Quality time with Himslef in the form of exercise. So fine. I don’t know what I will do then. Probably just eat half of whatever I get and call it ‘doing the best I can under the circumstances’ .
Except the muffins at church. I will eat a whole muffin and delight in the pecans on top. They are Muffins To The Glory Of God and I will not waste ones of one. Half, that is. Half of one.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Disease and infirmity, oh no not another diet post, Oversharing
So. I saw the nephrologist yesterday. He’s a new guy. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but he’s acquired a partner and fobbed me off on him because I am boring (kidney-wise) . The new guy is a 12 year old Indian “I am from India by way of Philadelphia” he stated), fresh out of school (why else would he be in East-Middle Notmuch, Georgia?). He’s nice enough, and spent a good 45 minutes asking questions and fondling my ankles. Nephrologists do that, to determine water retention issues. I got a lecture on lack of exercise and non-lack of weight. “Nobody ever died of exercise, in my experience.” he said. (“you do not HAVE any experience!” I thought) ”Do not eat cheese or red meat” I was told, when he showed the lab results. Kidney function is down, below the range of “normal”. Last time I visited it was at the low end of normal and I guess there was too much celebration in the form of salty things and fatty things and cheese and red meat.. And bacon. No More Bacon. I have a 12 year old sadist for a doctor now.
So, because I am a good little soldier, a visit to the store was made. Vegetables and fruits were purchased, plans were implemented for the short term, and plans were made to make real long term dietary returns to what happened 4 years ago when those 20 pounds went on vacation…only vacation tho, because they returned and brought Son Of 20 Pounds with them.
damn cookies. Why do you have to be so delicious with coffee?
So a visit to the Bi-Lo ensued,and plant materials were thrown in the buggy. I recalled his admonition to cut back on the grains. Not “low carb”, so sweet potatoes and fruits are good, just lay off the grains. Ok, I think that can be managed. Also, no more cheese. What on Earth am I supposed to have for LUNCH?? Cheese and crackers are norm, with a tall glass of (low salt) V-8, easy, convenient, and requires no forethought. Anything from a can or a box (like soup, or frozen meals) are out, due to sodium concerns. So, in the short term, lunch today is a baked sweet potato, easy enough. I’ll sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon and be good to go. Snack: kale chips. Good enough, I like them. Supper tonight, I am making chicken and dumplings for the menfolk. I’ll have chicken soup sans dumplings. Sigh.
Ok, so I am fully aware of the dietary requirements for weight loss, that also include the dreaded Exercise. I am trying to convince myself that exercise is FUN! that I will ENJOY it! He suggested I take a walk in the evening with my husband and use the time to talk and improve our relationship. “It is good to spend time alone with your husband, and you will both benefit physically and spiritually.” great. I have a 12 year old (SINGLE! I might add!) advisor. This is going to take some getting used to.
What I would like are some snack suggestions. I am not a good snacker. I would like interesting things, more so than an apple or a handful of baby carrots. I am already considering cooking some chickpeas and roasting them to make a crunchy sort of spicy thing. I love crunchy spicy things (like wasabi peas! yum!) but must also avoid nuts (high in potassium, bad for kidneys) What do you suggest?
And dadgummit, I just bought a bunch of new clothes that fit. They’ll be too big (God willing!) and I’ll have to buy MORE new clothes! I hate shopping!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Home and hearth, perspective
So, I had this idea for all sorts of whining and complaining about how many (First World) problems we’re dealing with right now. About how, just because a problem is First World and there are millions of people out there who’d give their left leg to have the same problems, doesn’t make it any less of a problem for me. Then I thought about it a little more and came to realize the things I want to complain about aren’t even problems…they might be irritating situations sometimes, but problems? no.
A problem is a life threatening disease, Or, in First World context, having to have the septic tank pumped because your neighbor is complaining about the smell and threatening to call the Health Department. Trust me on that, it can be a very real problem. Especially when….well, anyway…
An irritation would be having to, yet again, clear the junk mail off the dining table in order to set it for dinner. Junk mail is not an irritation. It is confirmation that you exist, especially if it’s addressed to you specifically and not “Postal Customer”. I like confirmation. An irritation is having to find a place for the gun stuff. A problem? NO…a problem would be living some place where we weren’t allowed to have gun stuff…or the faith of our choice…or a Bible. That would be a problem.
And no, the apparent dissonance of discussing Bibles and guns is not lost on me. But that’s how we roll around here. You got a
problem irritation with that?
My attempt, this week, is to sort out the difference between problems (disease! persecution!) from irritations (dirty footprints! that mysterious odor in the bathroom!), and remind myself to quit complaining about the problems and stick to
complaining about the irritations recognizing how good we have it here.
Oh sure, the house could use some work. The landscaping? ugh. The rotten bits on the eaves? whoo. The way the spiders build webs so the front porch looks like an invitation to a Halloween party? really? A problem? Not exactly. The roof is sound, there’s room for all of us, and that funky odor in the bathroom can be dealt with (and is…lemon juice and baking soda, the ultimate odor remedy)
Remembering the difference between problems and irritants is important. It keeps me sane, and grateful.
Look at irritants as an opportunity to exercise your creativity. The landscaping is 47 years old and Not Pretty. What to DOOOO? Get a landscaping program and start playing around, then hire a son to get out the old and put in the new. The rotten bits on the eaves? Normally Himself’d fix them, but we have decided to contribute to the local economy and some other person’s financial well-being by hiring a fixit man. Plus Himself is dealing with arm surgery (VERY irritating bordering on a Real Problem) and can’t do it. I’m going to have to work on the spider situation.
Anyway…that’s how it is here. I am wondering if there’s anyone around here who has mad decorating skillz and can come over and help figure out how to make this house prettier without buying thing. It’s a real problem for me, the way it looks.