Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another day in Paradise...

 Woke up to 40 degree temperatures at 8's almost 50 now.  Sheesh. 2 days ago, we had  over 2 inches of snow. Today is all sunshine and blue skies.

  This about sums it up, don't you think?


   I am going to the dr. with a friend today who has found a lump in her breast and is scared. She went for a mammo a few days ago and they wouldn't do it  without the dr being there.  Of course, now she is even more terrified than before.  Sigh....I will go and hold her hand and pray for a good outcome...this is what friends do. And we will talk about not putting the cart before the horse and not making assumptions about any of it until we have the facts. And then, we will go from there.  And I will be scared for her too, and for me and for all women who face this stuff each and every day.  Thankfully, the detection rates and treatments for breast cancer are so much better than they used to be. Women the world over have done a much better job of self-examination and paying attention and getting treatment than ever before.  Please keep us in your prayers, if you're inclined to do that sort of thing.


 I am (thankfully) off for a couple of days.  I have an afternoon massage scheduled for tomorrow. I have no big plans for people or parties or even housecleaning. (Though, I may do a little straightening).  lol  I am tired and lazy and full to the brim with holidays and people. Time for a little quietude and reflection, as I am wont to do this time of year.  The neighbors may or may not be having us over on New Years Eve or Day (lol)...all depending on the arrival and departure of their grown children. I will be happy to go or not go, as the case may be. 

  As you can see...I am slithering out of 2011 with  a slovenly lurch.  


  What does 2012 hold for us? Interesting to think about, but not obsess on. I've been thinking about it  little. All the usual suspects...need to lose weight, change my diet a little (sugar), do a better job of saving money. Those things are probably on everyone's list. But what about the stuff that entails the real inside job stuff ?  

    I need to take more time for my spiritual life...prayer and meditation. I am, not the most disciplined person I know, that's for sure.  My husband, on the other hand, does not miss his morning time, EVER. We could be in a flood with water rising up around his ankles and he'd still be in his  As for me--the dog farts and I'm up and running, looking for paper towels to clean up the mess.  I've never learned to lock myself away from everyone and everything in order to have uninterrupted time. Couldn't do it when I was a young mother...still don't seem to be able to do it today.  Is it a woman thing?? Are we always so "on" and alert to the world around us that we can't quite get to that place?  Because we have to take care of our world around us in the home, whether it's animals or children or husbands...we are the ones who hear the scratching at the door, sense the small sounds of a sick child,  smells the smell form the kitchen that no one else seems to notice?  I don't know. The truth is that although those things used to be true for me, they're really not so much anymore. But I am undisciplined and untrained and unable to shut off the sounds around me.  I guess the question really is: Am I too old, is it too late...for me to re-train myself?  The answer is probably NO. But I am so lazy and tired and this sounds like an awful lot of work...even as I hammer it out on the keyboard.


  I guess I will decide if I'm making New Year's Resolutions or not before the dreaded day arrives.  LOL   Top this off with the fact that a week from tomorrow I will turn 59 years old, and I'm thinking it might be a too little too late kind of thing.   

  In the meantime, I will get moving, take a shower and go hold my friends hand.  Then we will maybe get some lunch or coffee and talk and I will come home to where the Irishman will have gotten off work 2 hours earlier than usual so he can finish up his unused vacation time for the year.  We will have a little supper and then I will traipse off to a womens meeting and share my experience, strength and hope with other women in recovery, who are trying to make sense of their lives too.  I've been doing this circus act too, for 21 years and so they think I know something.  I told one of them that "You can be an old-timer too someday, like me. Just don't drink, and don't DIE."  And together we can do what we could never do alone.

  Have a great Thursday afternoon, people.  It's the last one you get this year !!


Monday, December 26, 2011

The morning after... we sit.

   All the gaga is over, the fridge is bursting with leftovers of various and sundry sort...and the house is quiet.

  My brother-in-law just left for Minnesota, heading back home, laden with gifts for the sisters who live there. Fed him a big bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and raisins and a couple of cups of good coffee, and he is on the road.  Husbandman just took Molly, the Jack Russell Terrorist in the truck, where they will drive to the local reservoir and she can run until she drops. The house is a little disheveled, but nothing too bad.  And right now I can hear the sound of a dog munching kibble and the furnace whirring in this 34 degree morning and all is right with the world.

  We had a great Christmas.  Nobody got too excited or upset about anything, we had a balanced weekend of activity and rest, of  cooking and eating relatively healthy foods, and so much love and laughter that it almost makes me cry to think about it.  It as just GOOD, darn it.    :)

  The Irishman still has today off and goes in to work tomorrow. I go back to MissB's this afternoon around 3. I will try to clean up a little and maybe slice that turkey breast I cooked last night. We ate ham for supper, with sweet potatoes from the garden and a big pot of green beans with onions and garlic. Nobody goes hungry around this house. lol  

  There's still an apple pie sitting on the island in the kitchen,  someone brought it for the party on Friday. Himself can take it to work tomorrow..the guys will eat it. Maybe the leftover cookies too.


  There's always something so anticlimactic  about the end of the holiday week.  Or is it just tranquil?  lol  I got the cooling racks I wanted as gifts, along with a couple of books,  from the Irishman. His brother gave me an Advent Calendar and a 21 year Minnesota AA coin. (lol--I think he thought we didn't have those here--but I appreciate the thought). My kids got me coffee syrups (vanilla, hazelnut and peppermint), a pair of penguin pajamas and a box of chai tea latte mix.  It was a wonderful time, all in all. And now I just want to go snuggle back in, it's 10:30 in the morning  so that's probably not a good idea.  Even though none of us had a lot of money to spend, we did alright. I made the kids a gift basket with salsa, jellies and a pound of Sumatran coffee beans, 2 gas gift cards and an ice scraper mitten for their cars. The oldest grandson got a pair of gloves and hat and the youngest got a Twilight game, a pizza gift card, and a fleece blanket.  My husband got a Backyard Orchardist book he wanted, as well as one about weeds. He also got gloves, ice scraper, and a calendar of  [Mini] Weapons of Mass destruction, which has pictures and directions for building catapults and things on each month. lol  As you can imagine, him being a boy and all, he LOVED that.

  And now, here I sit in the quiet. 

  Loving my life, loving my family and loving my friends.

 All in all, a good way to feel, on this, the 2nd day of Christmas.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's officially Merry Christmas

 Froeliche Weinachten.


   It's closing in on 1 AM and I am getting ready to go to bed. All the Christmas shopping, the wrapping, the making of goodie baskets, the signing of cards....all done.

  We had a lovely gathering of friends at the house on Friday night, and it was GOOD.  The soup was just right, the cookies were laid out in all their glory and the hot spiced cider filled the house with the dazzling aroma of cinnamon and cloves. There were 14 people and 4 dogs and only one small mishap.  lol  Old connections were strengthened, new ones were forged and all in all it was a rousing success.  The house was clean enough and the candlelight  and minimal Christmas decorations were perfect. I put together a snack tray of cream cheese and jalapeno and sweet red pepper jellies and everyone was knocked out by it. 4 people went home with jars of the jalapeno jelly.

 By the time it was all over, I felt happily beaten to death. lol  And while I sat on my big ole white butt, my husband and his brother cleaned up the last of the dishes that my 2 good friends didn't get done.  I could hear the boys in there, laughing and telling stories and I stuck my head in to ask if they were having flashbacks of their childhoods. My BIL said--No, he hasn't punched me yet. And they dissolved in laughter.

  I am so happy that my husbands brother was able to come down and spend this holiday with see them together like this is heart warming, to say the least. The look in my man's eyes says it all.

  We have a 9 AM breakfast date at my son's house and then we'll take a nice walk somewhere before coming home to spend the rest of the day together. I'm baking a ham, and a turkey breast, and all the accoutrements.  I've invited my neighbors over if they want to come...they will be leaving on Monday to meet up with their grown children up in Wisconsin, so will be home alone for the Christmas Day, unless they have plans with some of their church family.  I emailed them tonight and haven't heard back...otherwise it will be just the 3 of us here for the feast.  Whatever happens will be exactly right.

  I am sitting here feeling especially have friends and family, to have cyber friends that mean so much to me.  This blog means the world to me and the rich contacts I have made here are an absolute and complete blessing.  I got an email from Mama Pea telling me I won the Christmas Cookbook giveaway and I am tickled pink. Thanks!!!  I come here and read about your lives and your trials and your joys and am reminded once more just how connected we all are and how interdependent life is. I learn from you and maybe I even teach you from time to time. I am touched by the beauty of all of our lives and the small blessings that we share with one another. I am overcome with gratitude tonight and I wanted to take a minute to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being such an important part of my every day life. Thank you for sharing your life with me...your strengths and your weaknesses, your fortitude in the face of adversity and your pure true hearts.  You make me want to be a better make me laugh and you make me cry and most of all, you make me write from my heart too.

  Merry Christmas to each and every one of you....may all the blessings of this world be yours.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I really should be sleeping...

...or something. Working.  Sleeping, probably.

  Doesn't really matter. It's after 1 AM. In approximately 17 hours I will have a house full of people expecting to be fed and so far I have only made 1 pot of vegetable beef soup. Well..and some snack mixes.  I have to make Creamy potato soup and white chili still, as well as some rolls or loaves of bread.  I have to finish cleaning and go to the book store for my brother in law's Xmas gifts. I need to hit Aldi's and the Starbucks for coffee and half and half. Oh shit. I'm never going to have things ready in time.

  Oh well. It will be what it will be.  Right. I can always delegate some of the work to the Irishman, although he doesn't always follow directions well.  I sent him to Walmart for gift cards for his sisters and he came back with Discover cards instead of Visas that I asked him to get. And you know how hard it is to find anyone who takes Discover cards. Well, you and I know. He hasn't a clue. sigh... I sit. And I worked up a storm today doing something (I must have--I'm tired). But the birdcage is still not cleaned. The office is a disaster. The guest room, however is all clean and the linens changed and so at least there's that. 

  My body is tired but my mind is racing. Ever feel like that?  Not sure if I can shut this thing off long enough to fall asleep if I do go in there... I need to carry the soup pot out to the mudroom and get out the frozen ground turkey for the white chili so it can defrost. It won't take long really to make the other two soups. One of my guests is bringing Xmas cookies. One is bringing a cheese and cracker tray (or something). I will put out a tray of 2 blocks of cream cheese, one with a jar of sweet red pepper jelly poured over it and one with jalapeno jelly.  It will look quite festive, all red and green.   I have enough crackers and snacks to keep them all busy... I usually put out a tray of different pickled things from my garden...dilly green beans, pickled okra, sweet and hot peppers, pickled baby beets...add some olives  and  call it done.  

  Can't wait to see my brother in law...what a treat to have him here for the holidays.

  Okay...maybe I've talked myself down some and can actually get some shut's going to be morning entirely too soon.

   Merry Christmas, everyone!!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah.....someone's in the kitchen, I kno-o-o-ww.....

It's the week of Christmas.  Everyone will be scurrying around making themselves crazy with all the last minute shopping and baking and cooking and cleaning.

Me??  I'm trying to pace myself.  LOL

  On Friday, I cleaned me a little house.

  On Saturday, I baked me some oatmeal with dried cranberries and walnuts and some sugar/butter cookies.  They turned out nicely, about 8 dozen cookies in all, I think.

  Today though, I'm getting ready to make  Alton Brown's toasted coconut macaroons.  The coconut is toasted and ready...

 The recipe looks easy enough and all I have to do is run to the store for a few things first.  Oh, and I did the dishes from this morning's breakfast.  AND  gave Roxie the Doxie a bath. Used a new botanicals pet shampoo that I picked up somewhere and it's got aloe and oatmeal, so hopefully it will help this infernal scratching from her dry skin. I'm going to start feeding her fish oil capsules as well. She didn't have a flea on her, which surprised me....

  So the Irishman is gone and won't be home til long after I've gone to MissB's.  He was gone for over 12 hours yesterday. it's service commitments.  I'm thinking I might just get dressed and take a run up to the county seat in Carlinville. There's a grocery store up there that has good meat sales from time to time, and also has a quaint little square filled with cool shops. I still have to find something for Patrick's brother, who is coming to spend Christmas with us.  I haven't gotten anything for my husband either, as far as that goes. But I never shop until the last minute. Ever.  Not sure what that's about (sales, maybe?  LOL) but I have done this ever since I can remember.  My kids are getting a big basket of yummies with some gift cards tucked in around the edges, so that's no big deal.  My sister-in-laws and niece in Wisconsin all got gift cards that will go into the cutest little purse/card holders I got at Walgreens.
They have a snap closure...too cute.  The moms and pops are getting a Harry and David Christmas basket, which is winging it's way there as we speak.  Little baby Lily will be getting a soft toy from us...those things will all be going back up with the BIL so we don't have to ship them.

So really, I guess, It's pretty much all done, except for the Irishman and his brother.

  So--on to the party this coming Friday.  lol

  I am going to make some of the caramel snack mix and need to get the stuff for that today as well. It's Chex cereals, pretzels, bugles, peanuts (or mixed nuts), and cheerios.  You whip up a caramel coating and pour it over and then toss it in the oven to toast.  It's awesome and addictive, and makes nice nibbles. I'll pick up a box of candy canes too.  I might even make caramel's easy and inexpensive enough...

  Starting tomorrow I will be baking crackers and breads and on Thursday will start the soup making endeavors. The Irishman only works Monday and Tuesday this week and then has vacation he has to use up, so won't be back to work til the Tuesday after Christmas. I have big plans for that man.  LOL  We'll spend most of Wednesday and Thursday housecleaning, inside and out.

  One of the women I work with at MissB's  informed me at our little Christmas lunch on Friday that she is working for me on Christmas Day !! She's spending  Christmas Eve with her kids and I told her I'd stay late for her last week so she can have more time with her grandson.  What a nice present !  I was completely surprised by her gesture...I had accepted that I would be spending a chunk of both Eve and day away from home.  I guess all those suppers and cookies and jams that I have given her this year have paid off! lol

  I have a half a ham (probably 10-15 lbs) and a turkey breast (2, actually) in the freezer and that's what we're having for Xmas Day. I'll gussy it all up and fix some sweet potatoes and green beans (from the garden, of course).  I have a pumpkin pie in the freezer too and a peach, so there's that. The BIL gets really tickled pink about eating things we've grown...poor city  It will be a Christmas meal fit for kings. Thinking I may just have to fix a plate and haul over to MissB's for my friend as well. It's the least I can do...

  Well, the tree cutters are working again today and making the doglets crazy. Although they are better...getting used to it I guess, as they've been here the better part of 5 days.  On Thursday I was coming home from the store and saw them fiddling around, so I slowed the car and leaned out the window, batting my eyelashes..."Hey boys...."  (in my best Mae West imitation)...I asked them what they were doing with the wood chips and they told me they have to drive all the way to the other side of town with them. I asked if they would like to leave a load of them at my place, just up the road.  (Let me back up a minute here...these guys are from southern Missouri, a town called Fair Play. In an absolutely non-derogatory manner, I am going to tell you that these boys are true hillbillies, in every sense of the word. They didn't have a mouthful of teeth between all 4 of them. They were chawing tabaccer and spittin' and when I pulled up, one of them said to me "Hey sis." in that southern midwestern drawl. These are my people, ya' grandfather's family and my dad --all from southern Missouri.  Just sayin'...)  So anyway, by now, they are all crowded around my car.  They asked if they would get their truck stuck and I said no, I have a long driveway and a turnaround. Another one said--You know, it's a LOT of chips, sis. And I said yes, I know...I got some last time the trimming was done here, 5 years ago.  The younger one of the 4 then said tom me..."Ya got a tractor, sis?"  To which I replied No, but I've got a wheelbarrow and a really good shovel.  I thought he was gonna ask me to marry him....

  So, I am now the proud owner of a small mountain of free wood chips that will be used to line the walkways between my 6 garden beds, the path that goes around the side of my house, to fill in the areas of the  yard right in front of the porch where Bella and Roxie have been excavating. I'm going to throw down grass seed, put a light layer of straw and then chips over it and wait til spring.  I'll use it around my rock wall over on the side yard and it will become a helpful weed barrier where all the lilies and irises are planted. Plus it will tidy up that area. Whatever is left will go in bare areas around the chicken coop and compost bins and wherever else I can find that needs a little TLC and erosion control.

  Merry Christmas to me.  LOL  Someone told me "You know you're a country girl when you get THAT excited over a pile of wood chips."  "FREE wood chips", I pointed out.  It doesn't take much to make me happy these days.

  Alrighty. I need to get those cookies made.  They're not gonna make themselves....


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Whaddaya gonna do?--It's Christmas...

 It's official...I am an idiot.

  Yesterday, in a fit of holiday madness, I planned a quickie respite from the holiday madness in the form of a small dinner/gathering for about 15 of our friends, on the Friday evening before Christmas Eve. The insanity of it is that it will be a respite for everyone except (duh) me. I started thinking about it, went to Evite, made an invitation and hurried up and sent it out before I could come to my senses and change my mind. The upside is that I need a smack in the head about holidays (this should do it) and it gets worse every year, seems like. I procrastinate, I grumble, I drag around like I'm waiting for the executioner. It's ridiculous.

  The crazy thing is, once I get going with things I'm fine. I'm not just fine..I'm ecstatic. I'm a sucker for holiday celebrations, and any excuse will do.  This morning I woke up thinking..hmm.. a light supper.  Soup, naturally...a couple of different kinds, some a little more hearty, some light...and some breads and cracker assortments...and hot spiced cider and Mexican Hot Chocolate and coffee and teas and (of course) Christmas Cookies.  I haven't baked or made anything yet, cookie-wise. But that won't take SO much time, right? I have one recipe for a basic dough that you divide and make 5 different kinds of cookies with. That's a time saver.  lol 

  So now, I have a reason to get the house all decorated and fling myself with abandon into the festivities. Because, dammit, I DO like the festivities .  I DO like the excitement and the love and the FOOD.  lol  MY brother-in-law is coming for Christmas with us, if the weather doesn't prohibit it. I am so happy about that.  MY husband will be happy about that.  We usually have small uneventful Christmases together...and the last 2 years we have spent Christmas morning at my son's house, where he cooks a magnificent huge breakfast and we exchange gifts. In years past, when we lived away from all our families, we had quiet melancholy holidays that included phone calls and maybe a movie. Now that we're closer, it has changed some...we always have Thanksgiving with his family or mine, and though Christmas is still immediate family, none of his has ever been part of ours. SO--this year (God willing and the creek don't rise--or the blizzards come) his brother will be here with us.

  I have had 2 Christmas parties here in the last 6 years. It is always fun and in the end, I am always glad I did it.  I don't get myself too worked up over it all...and make sure that I enjoy myself.  One of the beautiful things about winter parties is that it gets dark early, so you can softly light your dirty house with twinkly lights and candles and nobody knows the difference.  (Take THAT! Martha Stewart!!  lol)  I do usually try to make little gifts for everyone...a fancy wrapped box of home made candies, a small stocking stuffed with exotic treats,-one year I found Santa Claus and Snowman jars at the Dollar Store and filled them with a sweet Chex mix recipe that my mother-in-law makes. I stuck red and green ribbons on the top and they were sweet beyond belief.  Sometimes I make baskets of jellies or something, but usually I try to keep it simple and cheap.  It's more fun that way, and easier for people to take. lol


  It's after 1 AM now and I'm fading fast. Another rough night with the Altzheimers patient, bless her heart. She's  losing her bearings a lot more often now, and doesn't know where she is, then gets very agitated.  It's hard to watch and even harder to deal with. Every muscle in my body hurts...stress, I'm guessing. Stiff neck, headache and  all my joints are aching. It's done nothing but rain all day too, which never helps me.   So I shall bid adieu and head for that beautiful sleigh bed, with it's soft beautiful linens and the lovingly made quilt that lies atop all. 

  An appointment with the Sandman....


Sunday, December 11, 2011

In the quiet of the morning...

  Dance, puppet...DANCE.  lol


  I woke up this morning thinking about my dad. I could hear the Irishman in the living room laughing and playing with the dogs, telling them to shush, 'cause mom's still sleeping.  To be honest I couldn't hear them at all, only him laughing. How blessed am I ?  The first time we spent a weekend together was at a campout, and when we woke up in the tent that morning, he woke up laughing and ON.  And I thought "Thank God--a man who doesn't take an hour to wake up enough to be civil and talkative!"  LOL  I have always been that person--the minute I wake up, I spring out of bed and and fling myself into the day. Smiling (usually).

  But this morning I woke up really sad that my dad never got to know this man...this man who has the heart of a giant and a pair of blue eyes that light up my world.  This man who carries spiders outside and gently puts them on the tree. This guy who caught a flying squirrel (that somehow [cats] got into our house once) in his ballcap and carried it a half mile from the house to let it go so the dogs wouldn't go after it.  This wonderful man who sits on the couch to read, and becomes a nesting place for assorted cats and dogs, who he accommodates with love. This guy whose love for nature rivals my fathers...the man who passed that love onto me as a child and it has stuck with me ever since.

  And then I jumped out of bed and grabbed my glasses so I wouldn't bump into the walls, and came out to the living room, where he sat in his underwear and socks, playing ball with the Jack Russell Terrorist.

  This is my life people.


  I have some bread raising (rising?)  in the kitchen and some dirty dishes from breakfast waiting for me too. We had a big bowl of old fashioned oats, with walnuts and dried cranberries and brown sugar and cinnamon. So, not too many dishes, but enough to make it messy.  And I was looking around at my kitchen and thinking messy is okay, when you live out in the country and you work in your kitchen probably as much or more, than anywhere else in your house.  And I was thinking about how lived-in my house is...from the kitchen to the bathrooms. There is certainly no mistaking this place for any kind of show room. lol  But you know, we are really HAPPY here.  It's no mansion, probably not even a really NICE place. But love fills in the cracks like spackle from the heart. There is a lot of love here. And it's all ours. And that means something to these old folks. It's the kind of a blessing a lot people don't ever get to experience, and I'm just so grateful that we do.  And it must show, because everyone that has ever come here has loved it and immediately felt at home.


  It's cold again today, but not as cold as yesterday was. Supposed to get back up in the high 40's by mid week.  I hope to get out to the studio and get some of my Christmas stuff out for some decorating.  Will just put up a couple of small fiber optic trees probably, and might even buy one of the little rosemary "trees" they like to sell this time of year around these parts.  I have a Santa collection, but last year I didn't even get half of it out. Probably time to go through it all and cull the least favorites. But not today.  :)  We have lots of fresh evergreens outside, so I will carefully take some down and bring it indoors for the decorating too.

  Today I am going top start a couple of projects: I'm going to make the Christmas wreath that Julie from Mooberry Farm made (go see her!!!)--the one from recycled plastic bags and a wire coat hanger. She put the complete directions on her page, and I can follow directions.  lol  The other thing is a batch of pickled cranberries. I got the cranberries yesterday.  It just sounds exciting to me, pickled cranberries. (I am a HUGE cranberry fan).  I also have a recipe to try, for a Vanilla Pear Jam. I bought the pears and vanilla beans the other day. And I want to make some orange marmalade--oranges are plentiful this time of year, and I have always wanted to make it and never have. The last 2 will have to wait for another day...the marmalade will be a day-off endeavor, since I suspect cooking oranges down to marmalade is a long process.


  I can't tell you what a mixed blessing the internet and a computer is for me.  lol  One the one hand--gazillion of bits of information at the touch of a key.  On the other hand,  gazillion of bits of information to read through and go through and link to and sink in


  Okay. I need to think about what to make for supper and whether it's going to be a soup or stew maybe?  I have some cubed pork in the freezer I could use to make a Jamaican goat stew with, since I don't have anything out there except ribs of the goat persuasion.  A hot lightly spicy  steaming bowl of chunks of succulent meat, sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes in a thick gravy with a handful of dried corn thrown in for good measure.  That does sound good, doesn't it?  The bread this time is also loaded with whole grains and quinoa and flax seed and raw sunflower seeds.  I have some gingersnap bars still, loaded with molasses and ginger and ground cloves that will go well with a steaming cup of cocoa too, for after dinner snack. That will be after I get back from MissB's house tonight at 8...

  If I don't step away from the computer, none of this will happen.  So, here I go.

 Happy  Sunday, all y'all....


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Drawing down from a long week...

   (I LOVED this....says it all)

I'm tired. Too tired, and now the doc says the EKG shows a problem. A "possible" inferior event--whatever the hell that means. Do these guys just make this shit up as they go along? And how can one guy look at it and say it's good and another look at it and say it's not? The latest wants me to have an echocardiogram and a stress test. At a hospital that HE chooses.  

  The whole thing smells very funny to me.

  At any rate...

  One of my dearest friends died yesterday. She lived her life like a freight train sometimes, lol, hard and fast and did whatever she wanted to whenever she wanted to.  And in the end, she died peacefully of a cardiac arrest.  And I have cried and remembered and processed as much as I can, and I am exhausted. And I will miss her with all my heart, and remember our times together with great love. And there will be a hole in me, from now until forever.


  If that weren't enough...little Roxie took off like a bat outta hell last night and disappeared. I mean--vanished without a trace. We looked everywhere for her and she was nowhere to be found. That really gave me something to cry about. *grin.*  She was gone all night long, and all I could think was that she was lost and the temperature was in the 20's and she couldn't find her way back. Would the coyotes get her? Would the big German Shepherds that live up the road find her? 

 I didn't sleep well, everything considered. When I got up this morning there was still no sign of her. I went to my 10 AM dr appt and  then went to do a little grocery shopping and when I got back, there she was, curled up with the Jack Russell Terrorist (who doesn't like her, normally). I was beside myself. She ran into the house and dove headfirst into her little burrow of fleece blankets. She proceeded to sleep most of the day, either in the blankets, or up on my lap. 


  I feel all funny and disconnected and sad and scared and tired.  I am going to bed in a minute here, because the events of the past 24 hours have just been too much. 

  I actually cleaned house a little today, just to give me something else to think about. Well, that AND my old high school friend is coming by tomorrow morning for a quick visit. lol She has some cat allergies and so I try to make sure things are vacuumed before she comes.  Poor thing.  I took the leaf out of the table, put groceries away, vacuumed, swept and mopped and put a lace tablecloth on the table. It looked so nice...and later, when I was sitting in the living room with my DH watching The Mentalist, I looked over and realized that I had put a lace curtain panel on the table.  AND IT FIT.  Crikey. I'm leaving it on there too, lol.  I have the loveseat covers in the dryer and the chair cover in the wash. Before I go to bed, I'm going to get those covers out of the dryer and get the others in and started. I'm not putting the slipcovers on tonight though...if I do, they'll be full of cat and dog cooties before daybreak.


   This is short and not so sweet...I hope I'll be in a better frame of mind tomorrow. Must be the moon....


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rainy Sundays...

  A warm weird Sunday morning in December.  Rainy, but 55 degrees.  It's 5 AM and I am up because I was in bed again last night at 7:30...exhausted from spending the better part of an otherwise beautiful day in the ER at our local hospital. On Friday night, once again, I was experiencing slight chest pains and was having shortness of breath episodes. Not bad, but enough that it had me so tired I was in bed again at 7 PM and slept for over 2 hours before getting up and staying up awhile.  On Saturday morning, when I got up looking like hell, the Irishman said "Enough." and made me go to the hospital.  I know he was worried about me, and thinks that I don't think I'm worth taking care of...but it isn't that at all. I very much think I'm worth taking care of, lol.  I just don't always think that doctors are the ones who can do it.

  I swear to you...the pains never subsided, though they lessened some. Naturally, even though we got there and were one of maybe 3 people in the whole place, we apparently opened some cosmic floodgate, and within an hour there were 4 major emergencies and maybe 20 other people filing through the emergency room.  We were there for almost 8 hours.  

  The good news is...the ekg showed a very healthy normal heart, banishing any fears I had that  my genetic anomalies were worming their way out of my genes and into my reality.  That is something always in the back of my mind, since both parents had heart disease and their parents too. (Side note: my mother died at 55 and my father died at 60). In 33 days, I will have lived to the ripe old age of I'm closing in on being a winner in this race.  The blood work they did showed every single thing they test falling right smack in the middle of their range. (I've always been super good at taking tests, even when I BS my way through things). *grin*   My blood pressure was high, 169/78, but for heavens sake, I was in the hospital ER , surrounded by dead and dying people.  Plus, my knee hurts so bad, I'm sure that is part of the deal.  

  My dear Irish husband sat through the entire ordeal with me, holding my hand, making jokes and generally annoying the nursing staff.  

  The upshot of this is that there is something wrong, hence the SOB and pain, but they don't know what.  The charming old doctor, (who, it turns out was raised on a farm near here, and sounds just like an old Marlon Brando) says he thinks I should go and have a complete thyroid workup, and wrote an order for such.  I think I should go to my regular doc and have him write me a prescription for Zantac again, as I'm thinking maybe the anti-inflammatories  that I take for my knee are wreaking havoc on my digestive system and maybe this is all a bad case of acid reflux rearing its ugly head again.  After I got hurt, back in 2001, I was on so much medication (pain meds, A-I, bladder meds, and muscle relaxers, that I nearly died from the acid reflux they caused. lol  (You have to understand that I am not a pill taker, and at that point I had been sober for 11 years with nothing stronger than an occasional; aspirin in my system--so it was kind of a chemical holocaust in my gut).  At any rate, they put me on Nexiuum for a year, which solved the problem.   And I will have the thyroid workup done as well, just because.

  I felt very foolish yesterday for taking up space in a busy ER, wasting money I could easily spend on something else, and being so afraid of having heart problems. And I really was afraid that I had had a small heart attack the night before Thanksgiving. Because here's the deal: I have lived a very different lifestyle than my predecessors. I have never smoked. I have eaten healthy food, lots of whole grains, since the early 70's.  I eat little red meat. I am not a nervous, crazy person.  I live a pretty quiet comfortable life.  And I know all this has to balance out whatever genetic evil lurks within, to some degree. And I don't care what a study from some University says about attitude not making a difference. I know better.  I know it matters, and a LOT.

  So...there you have it.

  On a brighter note, lol, last night I slept from 7:30 until 4:30 this morning.  HOLY CRAP BATMAN !!!!  And this morning my back hurt so bad I could barely get my butt out of bed. And I was sweating like the mayor at election time. I felt like I must have slept the sleep of the dead and not changed positions all night. lol

   We went to the movies on Friday, a matinee, and I was appalled at what it cost (went to the movie in the city).  Our little small town movies are 4 dollar matinees, and a popcorn combo for like 5.50.  In the city, it was 6.50 for the matinees (each, people!!!!)  and almost 11 for 1 medium popcorn and a large drink.  We shall certainly confine our movie going to our little theaters from now on...just on general principle. AND they had bagged up the popcorn ahead of time, and put it under a light, so it sucked. Nothing worse than cold old movie popcorn. I am a shameless popcorn afficionado, and if I could take my own, I would.  Anyway, we saw the new Adam Sandler movie, Jack and Jill. It was a hoot, with a wonderful performance by Al Pacino. 

   Not sure what's on my docket today in the hours before I go to MissB's, but it might include taking it slow and easy today. A tiny bit of straightening the house and maybe finally giving Roxie the bath I've been meaning to do for a week.  Maybe. I'm already starting to yawn and thinking of lying down a bit....there are all kinds of sappy Hallmark and Lifetime movies on tv about the holidays and miracles and god-knows-what-all. Maybe I'll get another cup of coffee and lie around like  a bum and just ease into this new, healthy hearted day.  lol  I don't watch a lot of television, except when I'm [rarely] sick...then I indulge myself in the stuff.

  Hope everyone is having a great weekend. No sign of snow here, lots of rain though.  Looked at the weather channel a minute, since the Irishman is driving up north about 2.5 hours from here. I see that some of you are getting mucho can keep it, thanks!  lol 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

And so begins December...

  The world is my classroom....


  It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. About 50 degrees out there and sunny as all get out. I am doing laundry and going to bathe the Honey Badger. I just finished blanching and freezing 6 quarts of Brussels Sprouts that I picked up at a little nursery/produce market the next town over.  I love those things. I'm going to make a recipe to go with dinner that is caramelized onions, garlic and Brussels Sprouts...and maybe the Irishman will try them and come to love them as well.  Maybe.  And if he doesn't, well then....more for me.  Bahahahahahahahaha......


  I found a nice piece of material with which to make the Irishman's shirt today. It's a soft medium brown stuff--got it at a thrift store.  I'm gonna give it the old college try.  I didn't find much of anything else and so I came on home. My pecans arrived that I ordered from my neighbors church. The dogs are out basking in the sun. All is right with the world. I could use a nap. Was up at zero dark thirty and didn't go to bed until almost 2 AM...foolish girl...


  Slept over 2 hours.  I did some laundry, cooked a magnificent supper, went to a women's meeting, and now I'm back home again.  It's getting cold outside and I'm ready to snuggle in for a nice long evening. I'm in my flannel jammies with my aqua blue fleece housecoat and my fuzzy socks,  and ready to go. lol  The Irishman is watching one of the National Treasure movies and the dogs are in various sleeping/playing poses around the living room. I had hoped to get the Honey Badger bathed today, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow. She needs a good going over, ears cleaned and scrubbed up good.  She's going to love it, you can bet.  *grin


  My friend is in the hospital in Florida, suffering from a variety of age/tobacco maladies. God bless her...I hope she's going to be okay.  She called an ambulance the day after Thanksgiving because she couldn't breathe. Apparently she'd been having  problems for awhile, and kept ignoring it and hoping it would go away.  Typical.  lol  I've been talking with her daughter and she's keeping me updated. It's making me think long and hard about the stuff that's going on with me...heart racing, a little short of breath and extremely tired.  Damn. Getting old ain't for sissies, as a friend of mine always says.


  Well, I'm gonna go hang with my baby and turn off this computer and try to get to bed at a decent hour. 

What'da ya think??  It could happen.....