Oh My!

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It has been over a year since I posted to this blog!! I bet you (if any of you even stop by here anymore) have wondered if I’m still alive.

I am.

I wish I could tell you about a treasure trove of exciting events over the past year. Events that would justify neglecting a blog. Events so wonderful (or not) that they consumed my mind and actions to the neglect of all else.

I can’t.

I’ve been living my life. Quietly. Silently. How boring.

I take care of my husband and pets. I go to work and come home. I read till I go to sleep. I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve been listening to audio books while at my factory job. I watch a lot of Fox News Channel programming. I listen to podcasts by Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh. Yes, my liberal friends, I’m one of those “right wing extremists.”

Somehow during this I became discouraged. I lost my voice. I withdrew. Hmmm, I got depressed. Maybe I got more depressed. I think I’ve been depressed to one degree or another all my life. It’s a natural state of being for me,

It is time to get over it though, so I’m reviving my blogs (yes, there’s more than one gathering dust from neglect).

Know what? Now that I’m actually thinking back over the past year, there are some blog posts in there, sandwiched in between the boring stuff. Yes, some are forming in my mind as I write.

Hang on, folks, I’ll be right back…

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Snowy Days

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I undertook to do the post-a-day challenge. It soon became evident that I was not going to make it, so changed to the post-a-week challenge. Its just more my speed.

We in North Carolina experienced the Ice Crone’s wrath Monday and are still digging/thawing out. I missed two days of work. Some folks missed even more. The school systems are trying to plan how to make up the excessive snow days. Snow and ice are so disruptive. They make me go into panic mode if I so much as have a fleeting thought of driving anywhere. I’m from South Carolina, where there is even less snow; I blame my phobia on that.

The sun is out and melting the snow from the roads. It will refreeze tonight, but I will drive slowly on my return from work. Until it all melts, the beauty is breathtaking. Snow disguises the clutter and mess. It shows the landscape in an entirely new and wondrous perspective. 

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I heard on the news today that all states have snow – except Florida. I’m sure those of us who have so much of the white stuff would be willing to share.

Back to the Daily Grind

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The holidays are officially over for me today. After a series of long weekends, its back to the normal 5 and 6 day weeks we’ve grown accustomed to at my workplace. I will miss these lazy, unstructured days I’m sure. Still, it will be good to see my co-workers and share holiday stories.

Did I accomplish my “to do” list while I had time off? No. It seems I never do. Did I make any New Years Resolutions? No. Why make a promise you can’t (won’t) keep? Did I enjoy myself? Yes. I spent time with my husband and family. I spent quality time with our cats and little dog. I did everything at my own pace, no rushing to beat a clock or deadline.

One thing those days off did for me was make me look more longingly into the future and retirement. Whether I retire early at 62 (doubtful) or at full retirement age, having my days free to do as I liked made retirement look good.

Those thoughts aside, today there is a clock to watch, time constraints, and deadlines. So, its back to the daily grind. I have also taken up the Post-a-day Challenge WordPress tossed out to their bloggers. So, for better or worse, this blog will be more active. The quality of the content is NOT guaranteed.

Please bare with me as I try to get the gears oiled and moving in my tired old brain and write a post a day this year. If you have taken the challenge too, let me know. I’d like to see what you are talking about each day.

Be Blessed.

Reading and Writing

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Reading and writing have always been a huge part of who I am. Journals and notebooks full of my thoughts have been filled and carried along with me from place to place since I was very young. One diary with details of my first love lies forever out of reach. It was thrown into a dry well when I was a teenager and that first love went sour. Destroyed because my boyfriend had moved on and (mainly) so my mother would never read it.

My library has grown to consume huge amounts of space because I can’t seem to part with any book. Topics range from mundane cookbooks to history and religion. There are books on gardening, minerals, gemstones, food storage, herbs, and poetry. There are novels and technical manuals.

When my children were small, I told them that if they learned to read nothing would be out of their grasp. Whatever you want to learn about is somewhere in a book, waiting for your eyes and brain to absorb the knowledge.

Nowadays, the options for learning by reading have increased a thousand fold due to the internet. The potential for learning is mind boggling.  Likewise, the potential for writing, sharing your knowledge and opinions, has grown with the internet. To me, this is the greatest thing it offers. Those who want to see their thoughts go out to others can write a blog and reach their audience.

As for me, I still keep adding to my book collection.

And the journals are still increasing, although slower since I started blogging my thoughts.

My Third Birthday Cake

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Some months ago my granddaughter and I were talking about a birthday cake she had made for her father. During the conversation I mentioned that I had only had two birthday cakes in my entire life. One when I was seven that my sister made and another when I turned 40, made by my husband.

The scarcity of birthday cakes in my life is caused by the nearness of my birthday to Christmas. Only one day separates the two events on the calendar. As a result my birthday and Christmas have always been a blended holiday: this gift is for Christmas and your birthday, people always said when I was a child.  Some still do it today. My children and grandchildren don’t. We have had many Christmases where gifts for my birthday were held back and after the Christmas gift opening was over, someone would announce that now was time for Mama to open her birthday gifts.

The children and grandchildren seldom come here for Christmas anymore. I live too far away from the rest of the family and they choose to gather more locally. Travel is difficult for us since my husband’s disability so we don’t make the trip down to where the yearly coming together takes place. These days we celebrate the holidays with each other, simply and quietly, just enjoying each other’s company.

My granddaughter has an excellent memory. She plotted and planned to make me a birthday cake and bring it on my birthday. Mother Nature stepped in with the Christmas snowstorm and nixed her plan. But today was a mild winter day for us and she arrived with her husband and children early this afternoon, birthday cake in hand.

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May the God’s bless her for not attempting to put the exact number of candles on this cake. If she had, we may have burned the house down before I could have blown them out.

My birthday story has to be revised now, for I have, in my entire life, had three birthday cakes. Each cake made by someone who loved me enough to make my birthday stand out as a special time. Each cake made by a person who will always have a special place in my heart, with or without a cake, for they love me for who and what I am.

Goodbye 2010 and Welcome 2011

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All-in-all, 2010 wasn’t as bad as some years. For instance 2008 was hell-on-wheels, ripping through our lives with a vengeance. That year my husband had three amputations, almost died from a bacterial infection, and then nearly bled to death from taking blood thinners that were supposed to be saving his life. To add insult to injury, some we thought were friends disappeared like ghosts exposed to daylight, and we found ourselves with only our core family members and a couple of true friends for emotional support.

With that to compare to, 2010 was not too bad. Sure, the economy tanked and I feared for my job just like everyone else. National politics and all the crazy actions by our lawmakers drove me nearly insane. Chronic illness among my cats and the death of one have worried and hurt me. BUT, I have not made those mad dashes to the emergency room and I have not paced the waiting room floor while more surgery was done on my beloved husband.

However, 2010 was the year I started a slow crash and burn. Knowing, but in denial, I slid into depression and anxiety to a point of making an emergency room trip of my own. Life can be difficult caring for an amputee. Slowly but surely; caretaking, job responsibilities, the house and gardens became “too much”. Formerly joyful things lost their appeal as lethargy set in. In depression, each day becomes like the next as you go through the motions and get things done on autopilot. Eventually it becomes nearly impossible to get them done at all.

Thankfully, I have a great doctor who has gone through the last years with me and, once consulted, started helping me feel better. I am feeling more like myself now. Thank goodness!

As I write, we are on our first day of 2011. I have been blessed today by a surprise visit from my eldest son. Always a joy to see, he brings a breath of fresh air into the cottage when he visits. He is an animal lover and all the animals except the shyest await their turn for a petting as he talks to “Pop” and me. If this surprise visit was an omen, then 2011 will be a very good year.

So, goodbye, 2010. You could have been worse. Welcome, 2011. Lets journey through the next weeks and months and see what you hold in store. Its all about the journey after all.

Be Blessed.

My Cats

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My cats have a blog of their own, The Cathouse Chronicles. If you’ve found this, my other bog, and are looking for the kitties, just hop on over and tell them hello.

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