Thursday, July 12, 2018

It was the best of times... it was the worst of times...

  I'm having some of those rare burned out days. And naturally, I'm not the only one. At least 2 women in my life are having meltdowns, so my phone is ringing constantly.  People are behaving badly. Hearts are being broken. I'm exhausted, even when I sleep all night.  My friend Dianne died yesterday after a bout with cancer. My new friend Kate is heading back to Massachusetts, so I got to say goodbye to her yesterday. Oh, how I wish she lived here ! I have 2 more major things to do this week and then I'm sort of done for a little while. Sort of. Except that my debit card was hacked and then re-hacked and now my checking account is about a grand lighter than it was and this kind of turmoil is not ideal for people who mostly live paycheck to paycheck. I've been at the bank three times this week. Some of the funds will be recovered. Eventually. And an investigation will ensue. But in the meantime, the car registration (which is 101.00 in Illinois) a speeding ticket (himself) , the 250.00 electric bill and the property taxes are all due. So... there's that.  And there are some solutions available and I'm grateful for that, but all in all, I want to run and hide. lol  But there's an Italian Cream Cake in the oven for a birthday tonight, hummingbird juice on the stove, a dirty house and numerous other paltry things waiting for me, which would still be there when I got back... (unless the cake in the oven burned the house down.. lol)

  Life happens. It's particularly sticky in the electronic age.  But I am re-thinking a lot of things, so there's that.  I'm in the mode of eating everything out of the pantry to save a little money there. Clearing out the fridge.  Making do. "Everything will all be okay in the end... if it is not okay, it is not the end." One of my favorite quotes from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I may have to shuffle some things around and pay some late penalties, but everything will get paid. We will not go hungry. And unless the guys clearcutting the property next door drop a tree on my house, then we will have a roof over our heads. So... how bad can it be ? (Except in my head, of course).  It can be pretty bad there. lol

  The weather has cooled off some, thank God. Still July-ish temps, but not hell like it was for a bit there. The classic midwest humidity is still there. But feels like a bit of a respite when the temps are only 89.  The AC just now kicked on (almost noon)  because the oven is going, but the cake is almost done. Used the last of my butter to make the cake so gonna have to run to the store and buy some for the frosting. I had everything else to make it. It's a bit of a labor intensive expensive cake that I make from time to time. It's beautiful baked as a layer cake, but I'm almost always transporting it, so I stick with the 9x13 pan.  Lots of coconut and pecans, 5 eggs, 2 sticks of butter... yum. Cream cheese frosting. 

  I need to find myself some food. Haven't eaten yet and I'm starting to feel it.  Been trying to do this 14-16  hours fasting thing to see if it won't kickstart some weight loss. I have lost 20 pounds in 6 months and that doesn't seem like much, but it feels like it. Clothes fit better, bones feel better. lol I'm not giving up yet. I have added some carbs back into my diet though because it didn't feel healthy.  Only changed it up from 20 or less to 50. Just a bit. We'll see what happens. Trying to watch the calories too and eat sensibly.

  Happy Thursday peeps.  The cathartic act of writing this stuff down has provided me with some relief, as it will. I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking it a day at a time and I'm sure that everything will work itself out in the end, as it usually does. 

  I'm going to go do some mindful sweeping outside and inside, because action always helps too. 


Monday, July 9, 2018

When Chaos Reigns Supreme...

  ...and all you can do is dance.  Or cry. Or run screaming away from everything.

  And none of those are particularly viable options, but you still think about it and lament  your circumstances/life/how nothing has turned out the way you thought it would. Which brings you right back to the present (if you are lucky) and looking down at where my feet are and realizing that actually, right here, right now, I am okay.  Everything is okay.  Not horrific and not awesome, but okay.  And some days, that's as good as it gets. 

  As a child I dreamed about how perfect my life would be if my real parents ever found me, because obviously, I had been switched at birth and given to the wrong people. This only became more and more apparent the older I got.  Then as a teenager, I thought that things would be really great if I could just get out on my own. Make my own decisions, my own plans.   As a 30 something year old, I was in a position to see where I had taken myself, with all my grand was nowhere near what I thought it would be. Again.  Now, as a sexagenarian (look it up-- it's not what you're probably I walk through the hallways of my mind, wondering what the hell happened ?  The other night I was sitting here thinking about when I ran away from Illinois to live in California. A life changing time of unimaginable proportions. I was 23. I had a 5 year old boy.  I was insane, and drunk a lot. I met this really nice guy (and how did I 

know that ?) in a bar one night while playing pool. He was going back to southern California where he had lived while in the Marine Corps. Hated Illinois.  I hated Illinois too.  He couldn't wait to leave and did I want to go ?  The more I drank the better it sounded.  Anyway...I digress.  I was sitting here the other night trying to remember his name. I kind of think it was Joe. I can almost see his face... olive skinned, dark curly hair, blazing black eyes. But maybe that is someone else. 

 God knows there have been a lot of faces in this bizarre parade that I call my life. But that was a pretty momentous occasion. You'd think I would remember it. Alas...I cannot pull that particular tidbit out of my sexagenarian hat.  (You know I'm going to be using that word all the time now, right ? For at least the next 5 years.  bahahahaha).   So many things are lost in my booze and drug crippled brain that I will never be able to retrieve. On a bright note though, the time of my death (when your life flashes before your eyes) should be delayed a while, going through all this crap piled up in my inaccessible memory banks.  So, there's that. 

 Last night we had a nasty little dog fight here. One sister dog stepped on a smaller sister dog (accidentally) waking her out of a deep sleep and setting off a fight of epic proportions. They have never done this. I couldn't get the big dog off her.  There was a decent bite and lots of blood and much fear and screaming (on my part). I was up at midnight doing my best CSI job of cleaning up the blood all over the carpets and floors.  And trying to clean up the leg to see how bad it really was. (Not so much, certainly not like it looked, considering all that blood). Trying to calm down little dog and not punish the other one TOO much.  Molly and Bella have always gotten along well, and I really think that this was a case of her being startled by being stepped on and then self defense.  And we all know how that goes.  

  Add that to some other events from the weekend and I was over the edge. But, once again-- where are my feet. I don't have to run away or hide or fight or do any of a million other things I have been known to do in the past.  I just have to accept that... into each life, some rain must fall.  This life will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. I can only do the best I can and hope like hell it's good enough. And it usually is.  (I guess....since I'm still alive and kicking).

 Life goes on. Things work out (or they don't). I heard someone say once  "If I start hitting too many roadblocks, I just change where I'm going."  Maybe it's time I change where I'm going.  Or maybe I need to sit still. because, as we's important to 



  Love, The Sexagenarian.

Monday, July 2, 2018

      About 45 years ago. On July 2, 1971 I gave birth to this little doll.  Today he is 47 years old.  He's a gorgeous, strong, brilliant and creative guy. He grew up (despite his mother, I might add) into  a man that I am proud of, with a compassionate heart and a strong sense of himself.  He is kind and he is resilient.  He works hard and plays hard and spends lots of quiet time in between.  He dotes on his mother (to a degree) and  has the heart of a hippie but the mind of a realist. I could never ask for a better son... 

Here he is 2 years later. Believe it or not, he was born with coal black hair.  By 4 he is almost blond. lol

 And here is one of the last pictures of him and his wife, before they divorced.

  He's all grey now and looks older than me. lol  (Not really)  He'd have a hissy if he knew I was  putting this out there on the world wide web, but since he has no truck with things like the internet or Facebook, he'll never know. lol  So, happy birthday to my son, the old man. lol  


  It's been bumpy around these parts.  Can't believe the whole month of June flew through so fast. I have no chickens, no garden, no usable yard. Everything here is a complete mess. The weather has been atrocious, with daily heat indexes in the 105-110's. Or horrific thunderstorms.  Partially as a result of those conditions, the weeds in my yard are shoulder high in places. Himself is off on vacation, scheduled to return today. Through a series of miscommunications and other plans made that were too difficult to change, I stayed home and he went to see his family up north. It's been a dangerously hot few days and I have mostly stayed inside. 

  I celebrated 28 years of sobriety on Saturday with a group of my pals. The actual date was the 12th, but the celebration happened at the end of the month. 2 other women celebrated too and we had a grand time. The weekend before that 2 of my friends had a bash and we went to that as well.  June is a good month for getting your life back. lol

  I feel disconnected from things, with no garden and chickens. On the one hand, grateful to not have to try to save it from the heat (or work out there in it) ...on the other hand, I miss my hands in the dirt and the bounty of nature. I figure this experience will do one of 2 things-- convince me that all that work can be let go of and never do it again, OR really motivate me for next year. Kind of a toss up.

  I have lots of householding to do today, so I'd best get my big butt in gear.  Took it pretty easy the past couple of days, and things have built up, as they will with a houseful of dogs and cats. I really meant to start laundry last night after it had cooled down a little (to 80) but decided to go to sleep instead. So, there's that too.  lol

 Have a wonderful week everyone. I'm gonna bake a little something for that boy and figure out supper for tonight, and hopefully not have to go to the store for anything.   We'll see...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Let there be peace...

  No one can ever live in a PLACE of peace, I have decided. The world is too chaotic and loud.  The trick is to find that sanctuary inside yourself where you can cultivate and immerse yourself in peace.  Easy to type, not always so easy to do. It takes discipline, it takes practice and it takes a willingness to forego all the things you think you know about yourself and the world. If we are lucky, we get to live in quieter places, like I do. That makes it easier.

   The ancient Indian ideal of Ahimsa hands us that on a platter.  A basic practice of non-violence, it becomes a guiding force of reverence for life.  Transformation of me is necessary for transformation of the world.  "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me..." words to a spiritual song that tells us as citizens of the world we must cultivate peace in our own hearts if we want to " the change we wish to see in the world" as Gandhi taught.  So many words of wisdom can be found around us...our job is to pick them up and find the one that fits us.  Of course, that's only IF we are seeking peace and serenity. I know people who have no problem with the crazy life they lead. The drama, the hatefulness, the chaos.   It makes me tired... it hurts my heart.

   I have a list of suggestions to help me practice a discipline of peacefulness that I read every morning. It breaks it down into each day of the week one simple suggestion.  Today is Wednesday. For today I get:

    WEDNESDAY: Speaking For Peace.

     Today, the purpose of speaking is to create happiness in the listener. Have this intention- TODAY, EVERY WORD I UTTER WILL BE CHOSEN CONSCIOUSLY. I will refrain from complaints, condemnation and criticism.

   Easy enough to do (maybe??) when I'm at home here on Honeysuckle Hill by myself. How will I do out in the world ?  Can I slow myself down enough to even process what's getting ready to come out of my mouth ?  Practicing mindfulness certainly helps. And practicing watching my words as they swirl around in this cabbagehead of mine helps too.  BEFORE they come rushing out the gate. lol  Most people, I find, do not usually have the intention of hurting other people. And yet over and over we do... unconsciously  perhaps, because we are ego driven and un-mindful, When all I think about is me, I ignore the effects my words and actions (however seemingly insignificant)  have on others.  Decades ago, someone made a comment about how sarcastic I was.  Then they said-- do you know that the root of the word Sarcasm means to tear flesh ?  That every time you are sarcastic with someone to show your superiority, you are chewing them up, tearing them down. I was shocked. I remember sputtering that I wasn't sarcastic because it made me look smarter, better, quicker...but because I was witty, funny.  I'm pretty funny... and the more I thought about it the sicker I got. It was true... and I have made a practice to watch that ever since. It still creeps in sometimes and I still get some pleasure out of it. But for the most part, the idea of belittling someone else in that way does not serve the woman I am today. Thank Goodness.

  SO, for today, in search of peace in my heart and peace in my world, I will carefully choose to speak words of peace, words of  uplifting, words of assurance.  I will remember that As With in/As With out. I will hum the words Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. And it will be a good day.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Keep Calm... spring is coming !

The daisies aren't quite this lush yet, but I am hopeful.  lol  These are in my backyard, down by the bird feeders. I planted the originals (which have spread every year) to cover some areas  I didn't want to mow.  :)  The promise of spring is an amazing tonic during the cold dark winter months, and this year it has been like a dangling carrot, bribing us forward step by step through this seemingly endless winter.  The irises are up, about 4 inches tall in some places. The trees are leafing out, as are the honeysuckle vines and the lilacs. The peach tree is covered in sweet pink blossoms.  Makes me feel a little more certain that as May approaches, we may actually see some spring.  The temps have  been a little warmer the past few days and yesterday and today we have some showers and mid fifties temperatures. I need some sun.  We all need some sun.

  The yucko-bug has hit the husband and he has been sick for over a week now. Bad cough and I am hoping that he won't pass it back to me. It's been a rough winter here on the Hill as far as respiratory ailments go.  I'm feeling better but the cough lingers...which is the main complaint I hear from everyone who's had it (and that's a lot of folks).  I'm trying to pace myself with all the stuff going on and running around I have to do. Generally it's go a day, take  a couple of stay home days. I have 2 big projects I need to start, but am not feeling quite ready to start them. lol  So... I am hopeful that one day I will wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed and get busy. (HEY! It could happen...). We'll see how that works. 

 The diet is going along slowly.  But I have lost 17 pounds.  So that's something I suppose. And I am wearing jeans I haven't been able to fit into for a few years. I'll take it. It's a healthier way to eat, all in all. I'm going to start eating some fruit that I've been avoiding though, because my body feels like it needs that. But no sugar, no flour, no rice (mostly) or pasta.  The inflammation in my joints is down. I am off the blood pressure medications as well as the arthritis meds.  So, I keep on keeping on. Tonight I am going to oven fry some pork loin chops for supper, with a nice salad and some green beans  or broccoli.  Tomorrow night we will feast on zucchini noodles (Zoodles) with marinara and home made meatballs. And salad. It isn't hard to eat this way really. Just that sometimes you want bruschetta.  lol  Experimenting with using coconut and almond flours.  New things to learn. Made some low carb peanut butter cookies the other night. Meh. lol  But like so may things, it's a matter of getting used to a slightly less sweet product.

  We still haven't taken the plastic off the garden beds and haven't planted a thing. Trying to reconfigure  the crops we plant, since there are a few things we are no longer eating so it's silly to plant them. Thinking specifically of spuds, of course. Things to think about.  More cruciferous vegetables, less carbohydrate rich starchy ones. We need to sit down and figure it out. I'd love to grow a ton of cauliflower this year and rice it and freeze it. But it's a late planting plant here I think.  I haven't grown it since we lived here because the summers are so hot.

  Well, I feel like taking a nap instead of straightening up the house and making supper. I have somewhere to be at 7:30, so I have to map it all out or I'll be late. Takes about half an hour to get anywhere from here.  But it's only 3 PM. I could sneak in a nap and a shower and do some minor straightening when I get up. And then do some more tomorrow.  Part of my lazy is the gloomy rainy weather. Part of it I was away from home yesterday for over 8 hours, doing some stuff.  Playing a little catch-up today.  

  See ya later, taters.  I'm off for a nap. (But I'll set the alarm to make sure I get up in a timely manner). lol  Hasta Luegos, babeeees...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Quiet Moments

  It's a quiet Sunday morning here on Honeysuckle Hill and it's snowing. I didn't think it would-- it's been relatively warm out there. But, what do I know ?

  It's been an interesting week or so around these parts.  Lived with the one car after the truck died for a little over a week and decided it was too hard. So off to the dealership we went and sold our soul  and bought a new car. A 2017 with 200 miles on her... a little Nissan Versa Note (hatchback, close to 40 mpg,  a nice little drive).  Here she is (Zelda)  in her first snow:  lol

  So now all the money juggling begins again. It's good to have a very dependable car, and one we can drive on long distance trips and not worry about having a breakdown. It's all good. We'll probably save enough money on gas from just not driving that truck that it will pay much of the car payment. lol  We did get a good price on it, because of the showroom miles and the fact that they are clearing out the 2017 inventory to make room for the 2019's already.   And so it is...

   The seed catalogs have started coming in and the back gardens are all compost-y and warm with the black plastic over them. Himself was raking up piles of leaves yesterday in the front yard (and now they will be wet and heavy) and those will go on the beds too at some point.  We use lots of that kind of yard debris for our gardens. Makes for good healthy dirt. Looking forward to warm weather so we can really get out there and get some stuff done.  I bought a high pressure washer that hooks up to the garden hose so that I can get the gunk cleaned off the outside of the house this spring. In the past (when I have done it) I have just used a scrub broom and a 5 gallon bucket. Makes it a hard job. This should simplify my life. It will really help with the decks too...they get really slick between the algae or moss or whatever it is that grows on them and the spring rains. I have almost busted my keister more than once out there. The other thing is the chicken coop... it's almost time for the chicks to start showing up in the farm stores and we have done nothing to get the coop rebuilt. Always so much to do.  And the older I get the faster it seems to fly by, leaving me in the dust of unfinished projects.  I guess it's part of the joys of home ownership, these unfinished projects. I remember 13 years ago thinking-- we have all the time in the world to get this or that done. Hah. 

  Seems like we have had an inordinate number of terminal cancer cases popping up in this area. Learned of 2 more last week. 4 I know off hand already that are battling various forms. Makes you think.  I've always been that one who hollered about pesticides and chemicals in processed foods and all the other things that we know cause cancer. And at this point in my life, I'm too tired to keep hollering.  I just keep not drinking city water (we have a spring accessible to us nearby), not using deodorants with aluminum chlorhydrate in them (35+ yrs now)  and staying away from processed foods as much as I can. Is that a magic formula ?? Probably not. But at least I'm not making decisions on a daily basis that increase the odds. Reality can get pretty scary unless you just stay where your feet are, and remember to be mindful about the present. God bless 12 step recovery. It's the thing that saves me.  In June I will celebrate 28 years of 12 step living. It has given me tools for a life that works.

  Here's a little more snow... in case you don't have enough at your house.  lol

  It's still coming down.

  Well... I have laundry to do today because I didn't do jack yesterday. A little housekeeping--nothing serious.  It's after 11 AM and I am still in my pajamas, so I guess it's time for clothes and action. Well... movement anyway-- let's not get carried away, on this quiet snowy Sunday morning.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

February. What can you expect from a month spelled like that ?

  My latelys have been a crazy mixture of trepidation and contentment and wonder and sorrow.  Am I just human ?  More often than I care to admit, I am emotionally rocked by external goings on in the world I inhabit. On a large scale (school shootings, government, world politics) and on a small scale (my life and home and community). And I seem to react equally. Huh. What's that about ? 

   The truck engine gave up the ghost last week. After an $800 repair bill *that included a new battery*.  Seriously ? Sigh. So we are now down to one car and I have been looking at cars the past few days.  Online.  And then the sales people track me and start calling, offering me all kinds of deals. lol  I got a letter in the mail telling me I was pre-qualified for 75K in auto loans. 75K.  Really guys ? I think not.  That's more than I paid for my home.  So anyway, it looks like we are about to enter the "Ididn'twantacarpaymentbutIhavenootherchoice"  zone.  The talk around Honeysuckle Hill is to get a newer car for me and he will drive the Malibu to work. Discussion is continually ensuing over whether or not we even really need to have a truck.  My vote is not so much. His is oh yes we do. And so it continues...endless debate between married couples that has been going on since time began.

   Things have been relatively calm around here (and by around here, I mean in my head). lol  In spite of broken cars and choking dogs and exploding canning jars. I thought about canning pinto beans today, but have decided I'm not doing much of anything instead.  Himself is off hiking or something and I am home here with 60's hits playing on the radio.  Haven't even cleaned up the breakfast dishes yet, because I didn't want to. Looking around at my living room and  kitchen/dining room I am was all cleaned up on Friday when I played Holly Housewife all day and had things looking great. Now the dog toys are scattered everywhere, his shoes under the end table, crap spread out all over my nice clean table, mud tracked in all over the floors from dog feet and his boots. Sigh... job security, I guess.

  I just read this and thought it should be passed around--A LOT.  lol 

Women aren't nags--we're just fed up

  And so it goes... just another day in February.  It's been sunny all day for a change and the temps mild. The whole next week the temps look like May.  I need to figure out what's for supper and make a plan. Sun rise, sun set...and the world keeps going. Himself is out taking the last dog for a walk, I watched The Library of Congress Gershwin Awards ceremony in honor of Smokey Robinson and then The Royal Tennenbaums. Made some lunch, washed the dishes.  Straightened up the living room, picked up all the dog toys and put them, back in the basket. I'm meeting up with someone this evening and will be leaving here in a couple of hours.  For now, that's about as far ahead as I can plan.  Adios amigos.