Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Wordless Wednesday: Tahoe

I'm back and have just a few things to say. Since it's 108 outside, I'll share some pictures and start tomorrow. And yes. I survived the flight.  With the good drugs, but I survived.

Bears at the wedding venue!

Family photo. He's still as tall as he was!


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Drugged and Slighly Less Informed

 Confession time:  I have not watched television news in well over six weeks, maybe two months. And my life is better for it. Actually I can count on my hands how much television or streaming I’ve done, but that’s more because I have been inundated with books on reserve that need to be read (a post on that shortly)

Anyway, back to the no boob tube.  I have seen no presidential walks of shame, no trials, no space X, no Sixty Minute interviews. No interviews of families of school children or in depth studies of various shooters. Nada.

 I read the New York Times every morning (before embarking on Wordle, Spelling Bee and the Crossword), and then I take a  quick glance at PBS news and the BBC news and on some occasions heaven help me, I quickly view CNN. I am fully aware of what happens in the world, but I am no longer willing to be caught in the proverbial mire. I do read of the above pages in the morning, glance again at the end of the day, keep an eye on the weather when necessary, and assume that between neighbors, social media and texts, I’ll be well warned when the zombie apocalypse comes mid day.

If there is something I want to know more about (and that happens), I’m a former researcher and know how to get to the real stuff-or the closest thing available to the real stuff. And occasionally I take a deep dive. Becausey deep dive is always going to tell me more than an hour of television.

But I have turned into a “just the facts, Ma’am” kind of news viewer. And life is better. And I am less anxious (see below). I don't need to see weeping families or the takedown of a killer to know the tragedy of another school shooting.

It may be true that I’m a little less informed. But I am so very tired of being bombarded with information, opinions, and the need of the 24 hour news networks to keep the content fresh. And it’s not just the news. I am actually a follower of the aunt of the young man who was shot through the glass, and so I learned of that by scrolling through pictures on Instagram of all things. And my Facebook feed (which is full of friends of similar persuasion), was full of “Yes” and “Whew” long before I went to a news source to check out the Supreme court. It’s enough.

In other news, my doctor recently prescribed Cymbalta- a depression drug that is also used for minor anxiety and neuropathy and arthritis pain. All of which I have times ten.  My sister in law, the nurse clinician takes it, so I figured it could only help and was better than moving to something addictive or taking too much Tylenol for pain.

Apparently that’s true in the long run, but there’s an adjustment period. During which time you are completely lethargic (Not dizzy so you can’t drive, I’ve driven, just lethargic).  As in sitting like a bump on a log daydreaming about what you should be doing, having dry mouth like you took ten Tylenol Pm’s and just-lethargic. Another short term result is insomnia. You can take sleep help with it but I am trying not to do that.

So after about five days I messaged my doctor and said basically “ I don’t know if I want to do this”. He assured me it would be mainly gone after a couple weeks and thankfully that was mainly true. Mainly. But it was a rough week plus, and if people who take larger doses have more of that effect, I understand why so many avoid medication.

I somehow managed to move through the fog and make a list of all the stuff to do and make and places to go.  But any pictures of makes will have to wait a few days. Because cutting quilts or cans or using tools cannot be done without full mental attention.

Which I now have again.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Zombie Jesus

 Last weekend was a crazy one. 

On Saturday, my daughter and I did a craft fair.  Tis a good thing it was a beautiful day, because my daughter and I spent the afternoon sitting and chatting among ourselves and the other  “sellers” as the place was deader than a doornail (In a church parking lot in a totally residential area). It was okay for us, we’re part timer’s who do it for fun more than money, not so much I expect for the people who do it every weekend and plan for crowds. I did decide that we need to do it together though, acknowledging that me putting up a tent and one or two tables by myself (never mind taking them from the car on my own).

On Sunday, I had Easter Dinner at the home of my darling daughter and son in law. This of course, was after Saturday night church vigil (if you know you know) and the feast afterward, a lazy Sunday morning in bed watching the Easter day service, and not much else.

As we prepared to toast before we ate dinner (I with my water glass, they with the wine), my daughter said “cheers!”, and then “Today we remember the Zombie Jesus”.  When I looked at her, she said “Well, he died and came back to life!!”.  I said something about zombies not going to heaven when they die and she just looked at me and said “You can’t know that”.  At which point discretion being the better part and all that, we turned our religious discussion in another direction, lol. Seriously folks, my daughter is a questioner of all things still at 43, and she has a nice Episcopalian girl for a mother and a guy who was raised in a fairly conservative Catholic home for a husband (although he no longer goes to church). With only the three of us at the dinner table normally, this is her chance to ask all the questions. And occasionally pops up with what she sees as sudden revelations. Last night it was “Wait, so Jesus was Jewish, right?”

As always the long night involves about twenty conversations after the obligatory Jesus questions. Sunday night included finances (mine and theirs), Whether it was worth seeing any of the Oscar movies, If Jaime Lee Curtis really deserved an Oscar or if they thought she was done acting and gave her a gift, what the top series endings and worse TV series endings were (we are unanimous on Six Feet Under being the best series finale).

Then we talked about the field that was cows and sheep and so on when she bought the house (longer readers will remember) that is now going to be a Costco, and how they will need to move further out in a year or so, the fact that they no longer have a guest room and people will need to sleep on the floor/couch or get a hotel (craft and hobby room for him and her and fitness room), how my daughter wants to learn to use a sewing machine just so she can take the pockets off her dresses,  and a few million other things.

Oh, and we talked about Lake Tahoe, and our June destination wedding plans. Where there are no Airbnbs without stairs, flights that come and go (into Reno) at six am. Oh Joy!! Yes, I have decided to fly, and yes I will be taking the good stuff as well as air sickness tablets (I took those even when I loved to fly).  But I’ve decided with the cost of the party that I’ll bring my mother of the bride dress to the wedding along with it. While I need clothes and maxi dresses I just can’t justify another formal dress for two and a half days. And it will be two and a half days because most of the “action” on Lake Tahoe seems to be of the no electric cabin/sleeping on the ground or casino type amusement. Which this body can no longer handle.

While I don’t have pictures yet, I’ve taken on two new hobbies (I know, I know). I have a large collection of tin cans of all sizes ready to be painted and decorated into vases and baskets and wind chimes and such, and my weaving loom is finally front and center. Never a boring moment, I tell you.

Oh, and I started my Cymbalta two days ago. I need a couple days before I can rule on its effectiveness on my pain or on my anxiety level, but there’s definitely a little lethargy in the mix, at least so far.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday Musings: Happy at Home

Fabric Easter baskets on my table today!

As I write this I am sitting “rear down and legs up” as I described elsewhere. Actually I used a different word than rear, but you get my drift. The after effects of an abbreviated and difficult walk (for whatever reasons) this afternoon. I really should limp around the house for ten minutes a couple times, as I had more than a few hershey’s kisses during the dreaded errand day! We’ll see.

Yesterday I had an illuminating discussion with a church friend. Her husband died in October. She had been doing as well, or as well as can be expected considering her recent widowhood. Then, she fell and fell badly. Post surgery she has been staying with her daughter and son-in law, and within her limitations post cast, doing the kinds of things she did in her own home. Reading, cooking, knitting, watching TV. Playing with her dogs, visiting with her family, meeting up with friends one or two days a week and going to church. Apparanly she had never talked much with her adult kids about her (their) retirement lifestyle, because the children think she’s depressed because she’s not leaving the house on a daily basis to go out and do up the town. She has however met me for lunch more than once, attended various church stuff, and done other social things that of the kind she would have done pre widowhood and pre injury. There is just a communication gap.

Which makes me wonder what my own kids think I do in retirement. I mean, I have a lunch group and a crafting group and am active in my church. I occasionally do a social thing at the senior center, or take a drive, or go to the movies on Tuesday. Or maybe attend the local amateur theater depending on their show. And I visit my daughter every week or so. And lord knows, I’m going to a wedding in Lake Tahoe in a few months.

But much of my time is spent here, in the proverbial nest. Crafting, sewing, reading. Streaming TV shows. Doing my version of cooking or not cooking. Reading or writing. Sitting on the patio reading or writing. Sewing. Putting up seasonal decorations. Chatting with the neighbors. Walking the grounds and going to the pool in the summer. Doing as I am at this moment post dinner: sitting in my recliner with a book and my laptop and observing life as it goes by my patio door and window.

I do try to keep social connections, especially after moving. But I enjoy my own company and my little abode. Which means, when I leave it, it’s going to be for a good cause or reason, because otherwise I am mainly happy where I am planted.

Tomorrow I will go to my gals lunch. Saturday afternoon and evening I will partake in a pop up craft fair, with a group of folks who are mainly half my age. Sunday I will go to a class and to church and perhaps out to brunch although I am trying at least a little Lenten abstinence on tap. If she gets away, my kid may come for half a day.

In general, this is enough for me. This is where my balance is these days.There was a time in retirement (as long time followers may remember) when I went to school full time, had a craft business (the kind where I did a road trip based on where there were craft fairs), had a big house, two active dogs, and volunteered by giving time to multiple organizations at the same time.

Things have changed. Not because I’m less active as such (although generative and immune diseases tend to march slowly onward, lol), but because I value my own time more , appreciate less chatter, and have an endless ever growing list of stuff I want to do. Right here at home.

Mainly. Mostly.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Making Habits (Or Not), And Sleeping Away My Life

Obviously, I won’t be putting “Making” in every title onward. Just when it works. Mainly.

This morning I climbed out of bed at 9:20 or something in that general area. While I would like to blame that all on the time change (which I hate hate hate hate hate hate), the truth is I’m just a lazy being lately-and marking it up to letting my body tell me what I need, if you will.

I mean last night (according to my ever present all knowing smart watch), I went to bed at 11:10 and this morning I woke up at 7:54. That includes a very brief break for my three am visit. A quick eight and a half hours.  Except that after that, I got my morning caffeine and climbed back into bed to check on the word and do my morning pages (more about that later). And I may have put my head down again, because when I climbed out of bed and started turning on lights and opening windows it was a good nine thirty.

Whatever the cause, I’m taking it. Because I am after all retired. And already do everything humanly possible to make no commitments before noon. Because, retired. And lazy. And slow moving!

Speaking of morning pages, I am not a “schedule” person. For the most part, the list of things I need to do on a daily or weekly basis is extremely short. It’s pretty much also ingrained in my brain, and the rest of the day I flow, although I do have a calendar, and occasionally I get a little bit of joy from marking off list items (like my current list of all the movies the best and supporting actors and actresses are in).

And at my age I am not necessarily interested in developing new habits, I like the ones I have.  But there were a couple goals I was kinda sorta, maybe, heading for. 

The first one was to do the full, one to one and a half hour workout that I am doing these days (much of it sitting and more about that later) all in the morning, every day. The second one was to get back into more creative writing and try to do the morning pages thing every day-be it morning or evening or whenever.

On the physical front, it has been a fail. Not a disappointing fail, because I lead a mainly sedentary life otherwise, and I am realistic (as seen above) about my morning energy. So I remain fine with the two hours divided up into small bites here and there.

The morning pages thing has been mainly successful. If not in the truest sense, then in my own casual way of implementation. I write for somewhere around three pages, but not necessarily when I wake up, not necessarily without stopping, and not necessarily in the morning. I actually enjoy writing at night, if only as it seems like kind of a “brain dump”. But so far I am keeping on keeping on, and since it’s not different from my regular journal, when I get ideas or thoughts of new things to do, make, whatever, I can just make notes on the same book.

Which, by the way, means that I can buy a brand new full sized bullet journal. And make all the doodles, in all the colors. In all the pens and pencils.

Also, my newest finishes for upcoming pop up events:

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Craft Day

Today was one of those days when I threw plans to the wind. Of course, being retired, said plans included things like exercising, reading my new book, sewing a little, and thinking about moving my plants to the patio since it’s March.

But my daughter called out for craft day, and so off I drove. Seems like it was activity day for all, cause when I got there SIL was working on his 1351 (you read that right) LEGO Millenium Falcon Model, which, when finished will be 5x17z12 inches and have rotating levels and turrets.

Anway, today we (she) played more with her new Cricut Maker. First we downloaded a flower pattern to print out on card stock, then we (I) rolled all the pieces into flowers and hot glued them together. Next I took this dollar store bunny form and filled it with the flowers (after bluing card stock on the back for support.  Three hours later, a new piece of Easter decor is on my wall!

Next I watched from afar and with awe, as she took a couple dollar store bunnies and printed out Eastery sayings on vinyl and pressed them on. These will be on my book/picture shelf to add to my spring ambiance.

Last, but not least, a little role reversal!  Instead of the mother decluttering, today it was the offspring fully in motion. Mom came home with a new state of the art multi temperature glue gun, multiple bags leather and otherwise with pockets, different pattern china cups whose saucers were broken and a few other goodies. Oh, and a calendar whiteboard.

The glue gun was one of those things where a part was missing and they sent her a new one and told her to keep the old one. The purses, well I have yet to refuse the gift of a purse in 71 years (there’s this story about a coach store across from a Krispy Kreme that I found while golfing in Myrtle Beach one time), and the cups will somehow be used when we have grown up summer bible school at church.

In other news, I have tickets to Lake Tahoe so I guess it’s time to request the Xanax or some Valium. Tickets at twice the price I would have paid a few years back, when I could haul myself through LAX at a clip. These tickets are one way, and include a ride on or a chair. And the return direct flight leaves at six am from Reno. This is true love, people, I tell you.

Now if I could just find an Airbnb anywhere in Tahoe that did not have multiple floors and flights of steps, life could move forward.

I had a Whataburger and fries on the way home. No fruits or vegetables, but no cooking, either.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Just a quick note

 As I return to my old/new blog, a confession is in order:

With one or two minor, very quick exceptions, I have not visited any blogs or checked in since my last post, which was at the end of January.  In fact, for the most part, I have not visited any blogs (on my sidebar or following elsewhere).

Turns out a great deal has happened. People are moving, people have had surgery, at least one of my blogging friends has lost someone dear to them, and a couple blogs have changed direction or had other issues.

This passed me by, and it will take awhile to catch up. Normally even though I personally am not posting, I stop by and check in on others. That did not happen this time- I ended up taking a complete break.

So please bear with me, because even as I begin blogging again this week in a new frame of mind, it will take me time. To check in, say hello, insert my opinion, wanted or not, and catch up on everything and everyone.