Sunday, June 2, 2024

Almost old as dirt...



   It's Sunday June 2nd. It's a beautiful day with lots of sun after a week of off and on stupid amounts of rain.  I have puttered about and done a bit of laundering, a bit of critter care and a bit of fooding. It's 3 PM now, and considering I didn't go to bed last night until after 2:30 and then didn't get up until almost noon... I'd say I've acccomplished a lot.  lol   Or certainly enough for a Sunday.  I'm such a heathen... about the only thing I have taken from Christianity is their " Sunday Day of Rest" thingee.  lol  And Love one another. Which I do a better job of some days than others.  Oh well.   It's all a matter of perspective. Such is life. 

  I am looking at all the things that need doing around here and are not getting done, things I CAN and CANNOT do myself.  It's disheartening. My little front [guest] bathroom has the floor falling in for about 5 months now, a little worse every day. Haven't been using it all .  My son is going to fix it next week, he brought most of the materials in today while we were having tuna salad sandwiches for lunch. I tried other avenues but couldn't get anyone, so he said he's do it.  He's on vacation this week.  Every time he offers to do something, someone in this house gets their panties in a bunch, even though that person has no intention of doing any of it.  Today it pissed me off. I'm pretty sure I told him it was happening, but he doesn't remember.  So after slamming about a bit, I came back here to offer some prayers and meditations to whatever gods might be listening. I got the kitchen cleaned up. I have a small basket of his work clothes on the table to be folded. Peeled the rest of the medium boiled eggs that didn't go in the tuna salad.  Still clenching my teeth and muttering.  So... Bless him and change me. Bless him and change me.  Bless him and change me. 

  It's gotten me thinking about the life I live and the spiritual growth I have barely managed so far in my 71.5 years on the planet.  Almost 34 of those years sober.  You'd think I'd be better than this by now.  I'd hoped I'd be better than this by now. But as with most things, it is what it is and I better get used to it. Or change it.  So what can I do to change the things I can ?   Talk to someone else about it to get a clearer view. Pray for everyone involved, and that includes me. Start taking steps to clarify my intentions, no matter what anyone else thinks they know.  Considering the amount of stress and physical and neurological changes going on here due to health issues and AGE, (and certain character defects) it might help to write things down and post them on the refrigerator or somewhere.  So there's no argument about what was or wasn't said.  And I guess I'm done with this rant. My blood pressure feels lower and I am breathing quietly and the noise inside my head has stopped. Mostly.

  So, Sunday. I have more things to do, one of which is getting back to reading another Michael Connelly book I started called Dark Sacred Night. It's a Hieronymous Bosch detective book.  Always good stuff.  I may or may not give that man a haircut. He looks like raggedy man and has been very passive aggressive about not getting it cut. I HATE doing it. Mostly because it's not my area. I am not and have never had any training in the barber arts.  He asked me to do it and I didn't want to. That really amped up the srgument.  lol  

  That might be it for the news at Honeysuckle Hill.  Nothing exciting, lots of ridiculous and mostly just a couple of bozos trying to wind their way through a life road filled with potholes.

   Whatcha gonna do ??

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Time has come, the walrus said....

.........To talk of many things--of shoes-- and ships-- and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Of why the seas are boiling hot -- and whether pigs have wings.

  I woke up in a melancholy state this morning. Not sure what triggered it, except that I am hurting again today and railing against the confines of a 71 year old body that has been rode hard and put away wet. (So what did I expect to happen by now ?)  Sigh... perhaps it was the memories of my dad this past Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps it was just time, in a Universe I neither understand or control.  It started out with a crying jag, just some sobbing really. And feelings of pain and loss and abandonment and being tossed aside by people in my life. And it has washed over me randomly throughout this morning. 

 Yuck. Almost 34 years sober and I still don't cope well with my emotions. Maybe that's part of it. (Cell memory)  Almost 2 weeks to my sober anniversary. I haven't gotten too squirrely the last few years around this, but I certainly did in the past.  And maybe it's a culmination of things. Feeling thrown away by 2 women in my life. Closing doors and all that... new ones have opened as well and that is always good.  But it doesn't change the loss of friendships.  And I don't know that I should mourn these losses... or even want to.  I want to trust that [eventually] all things happen for the best. I want to believe that my Soul Journey knows exactly where it's headed and why. I want to believe that everything is not about me, that perhaps my part has just been a catalyst in someone else's journey and now my part is done.  I can live with that.  But the old childhood traumas are etched deep in my psyche. And sometimes they interfere with my growth as a spiritual being. 

  So.  Life continues happening around here.  lol  Not quite halfway through the chemo treatments, himself became deathly ill from a build up of the toxic drugs. He apparently has a deficiency in a particular enzyme (DPD).  This enzyme binds to and carries certain toxic chemo drugs out of the system. So his just built up until he was so dehydrated and starving and toxic he almost died. He couldn't eat. He lost 40 lbs in about 2 months.  He was hospitalized for over a week.  IV fluids 24/7, added potassium and other nutrients by IV.  It was very scary. They stopped all treatments and he got better.  Tomorrow we have a surgical consult. An MRI showed that the radiation and what chemo he had shrunk the tunmor markedly, so they're going to remove it.  Then we see.  Last week he went back to work part time.  lol  You wouldn't know anything was going on to look at him.  He's still more tired than usual, but has been working at building up his muscles and stamina.  It's been a rollercoaster, to say the least.

  Well, I cried through some of this writing. Sheesh. I used to be a tough old broad.  I don't know what happened.  lol  (Just kidding.  I know exactly what happened.)  Guess I'm going to have to make a dr appt and see about some pain management. This hip pain is not receding and it's been more than 3 days now.  Sigh... getting old ain't for sissies...

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Sledge hammers and litterboxes


  This has been a rollercoaster of a few months.  I don't know  where to start.  I feel like I really need to get some things out of me and on paper, so I have chosen to blog about them, since this doesn't get read by many anyway.  I take full responsibility for that, as I am such a hit and miss blogger the past few years. It is past midnight and I am beyond tired.  This past summer one of my nephews died of a heroin overdose. A couple of years before that, HIS nephew died of a heroin overdose.  My heart breaks for the brother that these belong to. It is brutal and senseless and so unnecessary.  The one that died this summer lived with us for a while when he was in HS. His life has been nothing but grief to his family these last years and it was inevitable. I tried at one point to get him into a recovery program, hooked him up with a nice young man close to his age, but he didn't want any part of it. It's heartbreaking watching the havoc addiction wreaks on the lives of the addict and everyone who loves them. Then just before Thanksgiving, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  We kept the news to ourselves for a while, as he tried to process it all. Then we told family members. I had confided in a couple of very close friends, but he was keeping it bottled up. Finally he told a few people and then it was out.  December was full of consults and dr appointmnets in St Louis and in the first full week of January, they started radiation treatments.  We're blessed to have one the nations top cancer centers here.  The medical care from the VA has been superb.  My husband has a great attitude and managed to work half days through the treatments.  After they were finished, the side effects began. He has missed the last week of work and is feeling really crappy.  (**it's weeks later now).  He missed another week and a half of work before he could go back.   He had a little down time before they started the chemo treatments, and on January 30th the first infusion was administered. The second one is coming up in 12 days. In between, he takes 2 weeks of chemo PILLS, one week off, then the next infusion.  Total of 4 infusions.  Then tests to see if they can do surgery yet to remove the tumor. He's had some strange side effects from the chemo, most are fleeting. He looks tired. He's worked 40 hours this week by the time he gets home. Last week he was able to work 20.  This stuff is not for the faint of heart.  Today is his 64th birthday. He doesn't want a celebration, but I'm making one of his favorite dinners of lemon chicken with rice and some vegetable.  He's lost about 8 pounds since this started, his appetite is different than normal.  I made some sugar free chocolate pudding with almond milk since he didn't want a cake. lol  The chicken is marinating right now. I've been a householding fool today, and managed to get a lot of things done, (like laundry and scrubbing out litterboxes). I have a little birthday bag for him with an Irish flag and a Celtic symbol on a chain that he'll probably never wear. But I liked it.  lol  

   So, in between all this, I had a bad diverticulitis attack that landed me in the ER.  They ran all kinds of stupid tests (as they are wont to do) and then ordered a post ER Ultrasound on my gall bladder. Seems I have developed gall stones. Sigh... not causing any real trouble yet, but they want to remove the thing before it does. Been a real clusterfork trying to get it scheduled because I need to do it around his treatment schedules and I want to do it half an hour from here instead of over an hour where they originally wanted to schedule it. It's all been frustrating. Oh, and did I mention that my brother also died rather unexpectedly in December, right before Xmas ?  At the same hospital they wanted to send me to ? can imagine my general state of mind. Top that with a new phone I got that will not work well...supposed to be "senior friendly" and I bought 2 and after much ado, am sending them both back and getting my $$ refunded.  Dropping calls, not opening apps, lousy reception and speakers.  Luckily I only set up the one to see how it worked. lol  So we still have one halfway dependable phone. 

  All in all, it's a wonder I haven't run screaming through the streets. But so far, I've been okay. We have lots of love and support around us and I am so thankful for everyone that has offered and done little things to help us. My friend Mary comes to mind, who said once... "Life comes at us like a sledgehammer sometimes.  No time to duck."  Whew. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

I'm the worst blogger in the history of blogdom...


But, in my defense, it's been a crazy few months. lol  Not that I haven't had tons of stuff to blog about, but getting the time, motivation and energy (all at the same time) to get on here has been the problem.  Even now, I should be cleaning up this house. Instead I have sat on the front porch and read and waited while the fat lazy mailman stuffed a box that was too big into my mailbox, instead of driving up the driveway and putting it on the porch. Hell, I would have even walked out to his truck and gotten it. I couldn't get the damned thing out of the box and had to come back in the house (cursing his name) get a long flat edge screwdriver and pry it out of the mailbox.  Luckily it was double boxed, so I didn't damage the dvds.  I was furious.  So far I have refrained from calling the PO and registering a complaint. He really is a huge lumpy limpy mess. This isn't the first time he's done this.  But dammit, I am disabled too.  Grrr... (bless them and change me...bless him and change me...)

 On a brighter note, it's beautiful out there today. Sunshine and blue skies.  We have had the screwiest weather imaginable, all year. May is proving to be no exception to it either.  It got to temps in the 80's, then crashed back down to the 30's. Lots of severe storms.  Dust storms so bad (from freshly plowed fields- we live in corn country round these parts) on the interstate north of here that it caused a gigantic crash Monday morning of 30 commercial vehicles and about 42 cars...7 people dead and 30 injured. Explosions from gas tanks and big trucks created black smoke you could see for miles. 60 mph winds that were NOT tornadoes.  They closed the road for 2 days trying to get vehicles cleared away, and then the next day the winds were bad again. Today though, it's barely breezy and the temps are in the mid to high 60's. 

  I'm getting ready to start a batch of marinara for supper tonight. All vegetables, salad and garlic naan, unless I run to the store right when he gets home. I was going to bake some garlic rolls, but like everything else I was going to do, I haven't.  lol  I've been hungry for some Sketti. I probably still have time to make the rolls...but I probably won't. I don't know what's wrong with me.  I have 6 baby kittens that are about 4 1/2 weeks old and so cute I am paralyzed with adoration.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  lol  They are starting to gallop down the hallway now and climb anything they can reach.  Including our pantlegs.  lol

  So...all in all still alive and well.  Life on Honeysuckle Hill moves on.  Life continues to be a series of miracles.  And that's about the gist of it.


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

So... this is how it feels....


   We have been the proud parents of a severe winter event here in the midwest. All over the country, actually.  The winter of '22 will go down in the history books as one with the most severe winter weather in centuries. Something called a bomb cyclone hit the Great Lakes regions and spread it's perverted cheer all over the country.  Texas had zero and single digit  temps for crying out loud. Here in  Corntown, we had temps below zero with wind chill factors of 35 below.  The wind blew for 3 days at about 25-35 mph non stop. It was scary. For the first time since we lived here (18 years now) the water pipes froze and as of today we have been without running water for 5 days.  The temps are finally on the upswing and in the 30's today.  Heading for the 50's by Thursday. Hopefully that will thaw things out so we can see where we stand as far as repairs, etc that may need to be made to the plumbing.  It's really aggravating and makes everything so much harder and I am stomping my feet and having a hissy fit.  lol  And that has changed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. 


 I had a good cry last night. I don't know if it helped or not. I don't generally fall apart when SHTF --  I'm usually really good in emergency situations.  But this time I am just tired. Seems like it's been one thing after another (it has) and I am not being my usually resilient self.  Add the weather, the financial strains, the deaths of people I love, the illnesses (Covid is back in the house ! Not my house, but probably a matter of time).  Being a one car family when we 're used to having two. The physical issues I am dealing with. Having all these ANNOYANCES going on in my life.  And that might be the worst part. None of this is life shattering. None of this is anything, in the great cosmic scheme of things. And this isn't even the first time in my life for a lot of these things. But, for whatever reasons, it is all hitting me really hard. The house isn't warm enough. The windows are drafty. I can't come and go as I please. I'm tired of everything being os hard.  Boo Hoo.  Poor little me.  lol

  I have spent more time this past month in a melancholy state than I maybe ever have in my life.  Not completely depressed, I don't think. But certainly tinges of that. I'm not normally a depressive person. I tend to have a very Pollyanna-ish outlook on life.  I am blessed to have not been raised in a religious family (although plenty of my siblings and cousins are now, it seems), so have spent my life picking and choosing what works for me in terms of a Creator or Higher Power or Spiritual life. No heaven or hell, no good or evil, necessarily. No sin. Waywardness, maybe. It gives me room to grow and learning to be the Annie that God dreamed me to be. Whoever God is. Connections. To the Earth, to God, to each other. Some spiritual guru said, When I hurt you, I hurt me.  We are one.  I like that. And it gives me pretty clear guidelines on how to live. Another guy said, Do unto others as ye would have others do unto you. Same thing.  Be kind. Love others [as best you can].  Primum non nocere, latin for First, do no harm.  Attributed to Hippocrates, but not part of the Hippocratic Oath. Part of the unspoken Annie Oath though. In 10 days I will celebrate 70 years on this planet.  Whether I have been on other planets before this one, I'm not sure.  But it wouldn't surprise me either.   Not much surprises me anymore, with the exception of my own behavior sometimes. So I think sliding into 70, being home alone a lot more, and this shitshow of my life right now has me feeling a certain way. Whether it's depression or melancholia, doesn't much matter. What matters is...what do I do with it ?

  So, for today, I am trusting that things will be okay in the end. If it is not is not the end. I don't have to skulk around pouting and hissy-ing.  I don't have to say things that don't need saying.  I don't have to do ANYTHING I don't want to.  Because THAT, children, is the gift you get for living this long. 

  Later taters. I need to go stir that big pot of veggie soup I made for vegetarian supper.  See you in the funny papers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Last day of November...


   And we slide into the end of the year.  The weather this past month has been stupid warm or stupid cold, with not much in between. Yesterday was 60 and today is about 35 and feels like 29 because there's a healthy wind blowing out there. Tonight's low will be 19.  My brain and my body can barely cope. But still, I soldier on. lol

  We had a nice Thanksgiving with himself's brother that drove down from the Twin Cities and a friend. My son stayed home because he was deathly sick. The other guest was having some troubles and cancelled. It was a nice meal, I cooked a small turkey and a small spiral sliced ham. All the trimmings.  It was a good day all around. We had a nice visit with Mike, who left on Sunday to make the trek back. In the meantime,  lots of people I know are suffering from an epidemic of flu and colds and upper respiratory viruses. One of those folks came by for a visit on Monday and then got really sick in the middle of the night. She called to tell me and I tried to reassure her not to worry, I would probably have been exposed somewhere, one way or another. 

***Taking a break here- need a shower and to get supper figured out. Wanted to start this***

  Jumpin' Jehosophat !!  I thought I had started a new blog post, but when I looked on Dragon Woman's Kitchen, there wasn't one. So, I just figured-- my old pal senility has visited again.  lol  Then I go to start a post here and find the draft.  Didn't get very far and never found my way back. 

  It's the story of my life.

 Just for the record, 2022 has NOT been my favorite year.  Certainly not the worst in my life, but definitely down there in the lifetime rock 'n roll favorites. 

  It's the middle of December now. less than two weeks til Xmas. I have one decoration up, but I might be inclined to get some out today.  Maybe.   It's rainy today, but about 55 degrees too, so there's that. The weather has yoyo'd up and down so much you never know what's going to happen. Cold winter Illinois temps are supposed to start moving in next week, so we'll see. I could do without those Arctic temps, but it is what it is.  So far, our house is warm, the roof doesn't leak and we have enough food to eat for probably close to a year. If we are careful.  The world over sees people and countries tightening their belts and trudging through life and sometimes falling flat but mostly not... dire predictions coming at us from all directions, amidst the head in the sand ostriches claiming that things have either never been better or aren't really SO bad. Things look scary out there though, to this little Pollyanna. I am  (and have been) trying to keep my thoughts positive, my actions kind and my pantry full and that's about the best I can manage.  Life here on Honeysuckle Hill has had it's ups and downs this year.  2 years ago I would have told you that THAT was maybe the worst scariest year ever.  And it WAS interesting.  Achilles tendon repair in February, which resulted in my being no weight bearing for 2 months and partial for another.  Covid hitting like an atomic bomb, affecting everything in it's wake. Then August was open heart surgery, and being housebound for the next 6 months to keep me from being exposed to Covid which could have easily killed me then.  Lots of time for introspection, surely, but mostly lots of time figuring out how to make it through.  The next year was mostly occupied with learning how to live [gratefully] in my new normal and within my new limitations. Oh wait, did I forget to mention in February  '21 I fell in the bathroom in the middle of the night and broke my ankle ? A very nice break, called a Trimalleolar fracture where 3 bones break down in the lowest part of the ankle, which required surgery and pins and plates and another 6 weeks of ABSOLUTELY no weight bearing. 3 days home from the hospital, sitting in my recliner , my sweet little JRT dog, Molly laid down beside my chair and took her last breath while we loved her across the Rainbow Bridge, breaking my heart into a million pieces. We knew it was coming.  She was almost 18 years old, way past her time. Then a month later I lost one of my outside rescues-turned -lap cat that was hit by a car at the end of our driveway. We never quite made her an inside cat, as she was an adult when she adopted us. Then all this gimpy walking, etc caused pain in my knees (replaced in 2017), which caused pain in my back (more pain, as I'm already dealing with the chronic pain of an old industrial accident). And then my neck got involved and my shoulders and ... it goes on and on. 

  So life goes on... and we with it.

   And now it's December again. A time of parties and gaiety and rich foods and gifts. My gifts this year have already been bought and paid for. A huge vet bill when we thought our Bella was dying, which she did not. Yet. And that is enough of a Xmas miracle for me. A dead truck and no immediate view of what to do excepts share the good vehicle we have. Which is mostly inconvenient for me and otherwise not a big deal. After 30+ years of cohabitation, we don't need to exchange gifts, we have plenty of food for a nice Xmas meal. We have lots of friends and family who love us. We have each other, still crazy after all these years. lol  

  It looks like it might be a tough winter. But the gifts of trying to live it all one day at a time help immensely. The kernels of faith carried in every human being in our soul, give us hope and some trust that everything will work out exactly the way it is supposed to for the good of all. In my world, 2 + 2 = 4 still. Love will win over hate. Kindness is always the best choice. And especially, this:  

Thursday, August 18, 2022



  It's a quiet Thursday here on Honeysuckle Hill. I love days like this... I was able to sit out on the front porch with my coffee first thing this morning, and be serenaded by the buzzing of the hummingbirds, the calls and whistles of all the wild birds both in the trees around me and at the feeder.  I love living out here. It's certainly not a mansion, but I get to have space to breathe and be in wonderment a lot of the time at the beauty of the natural world. And other times it's inconvenient living so far away from towns and people and stores. (But not often enough to make me move.) lol  And that's just life, isn't it ?  You do the best you can (or want to) with what you've got and you take the good with the bad and the happy with the sad and in the end it all sorts itself out, one way or another. 

                         My front yard on Honeysuckle Hill.

  I'm listening to cassette tapes the past few days.  Yep, you heard it-- cassette tapes. Those buggers are practically indestructible and last a lifetime. The problem is finding some way to still play them, when even cd's are becoming obsolete. Like me. I feel like I am obsolete a lot of the time.  It used to bother me.  Now that I'm sliding into my 7th decade of life, I don't care so much.  Still obsolete, but don't care.  lol    But listening to all this old music has made me a little melancholy, or thoughtful, or something... Pulling up old memories out of the nethers of my mind.  Yesterday I listened to John Denver. That really tugged at some heartstrings.  The day before I listened to Paul Simon's Graceland. Today it's Peter, Paul and Mary. We disconnected from Direct TV this month and I used to always play the music channels, so I had to find a new option and remembered that I had an old stereo in a pretty little cabinet, so I dug it out and set it up.  So far can't get the turntable to spin at the correct speeds and the cd player won't open.  But the tape player and the radio work okay. It'll do for now.  (Don't tell, but I also do have vinyl phonograph records. LOL)  

  Life seems to be whizzing by. School has started again, so twice a day the school bus rumbles down our country road.  Autumn is on it's way and the summer is winding down. I'm getting some free produce from some kind people who are sharing their bounty either because they're really sick of the vegetables and all that goes with that OR they're sweethearts.  lol  Probably a little bit of both. At any rate, I'm grateful as the tomatoes and cucumbers are just enough for me to eat.  And we all know, there is NOTHING like home grown tomatoes.  And I adore those little pickling cukes, just wash and eat. YUM.

  I broke my ankle about 3 days after my last post on here.  Took a dive in the bathroom in the middle of the night, fell over the little trash can.  Trimalleolar fracture. Least common, doc says (naturally). 3 bones broke down in my ankle, so surgery, pins, plates and 6 weeks of no weight bearing.  Almost drove me mad.   I'm not good at that kind of stuff.  But all over now and am back on my feet with just little twinges of pain from time to time. I think I've had about enough.  lol  I don't like being in a wheelchair. 

   Guess I'll stop rambling. I felt like writing this morning, maybe I'll work on my story that I'm trying to turn into a book. (Not trying that hard, but it crosses my mind from time to time...)  So much going on in the world that it's easy to be distracted.  And I'm teetering on senile, so there's that.

 Hasta la Vista, kids.