Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday This and That

Thanksgiving is the holiday of
peace, the celebration of work
and the simple life. . . a true
folk-festival that speaks the
poetry of the turn of the seasons,
the beauty of seedtime and
harvest, the ripe product of
the year--and the deep, deep
connection of all these
things with God. 

Ray Stannard Baker
Good morning, everyone.  Another week has passed, and soon the holiday season begins.  Lost another pound this week.  That's 17.2 altogether.  The topic of yesterday's meeting was "The Great Plate", and it  was all about planning for Thanksgiving, how to enjoy the holiday without adding too much extra poundage.  I'm feeling pretty good about my plans.  I'm not going to deprive myself of my favorites--turkey, stuffing, gravy, and sweet potatoes--but half my plate will be filled with veggies and the rest I will have in moderation.  

Received my origami package yesterday and can't wait to dig in.  This and my art should keep me busy on those dreary snow days that I cannot get out.  I'm even thinking of buy some yarn and seeing if I remember how to crochet.

Today I am off to the bank for bill and rent money.  Next week is Black Friday, and I plan to stay safely in my house that day.  I can't take crowds.  I get shaky, cranky, sweaty, and start to cry. Sometimes I even feel like I am about to pass out.  I never thought of them as panic attacks, but I guess in a way they are.  So, I guess I'll be trimming my tree that day.

This weekend will be last minute planning for the holiday. I've got to clean out the refrigerator to make the extra room. Then there will be lists of what to cook when, things to do, veggies needed at the fruit stand, etc.  My days will be mapped out.  After a quick run for my weigh in on Wednesday morning, I'll be knuckled down in the kitchen preparing whatever I can the day before.  One reason my parties and holidays pass without a hitch is careful planning.  Everything, and I mean everything right down to putting the cranberry sauce in a dish, goes on my list and is crossed out when done.

The negative part of that is that because everything must be done as it is on the list, I do not prepare myself for emergencies that might arise.  I think one of the worst was a party I was throwing for my son's birthday.  Family and friends were invited, and I was cooking a huge Italian meal.  Everything was going as planned when the kitchen pipes sprang a leak.  Talk about panic.  Everything eventually got done, though, when I realized I could get water from the tub faucet, and the food was great.  Can't say the same about my stress level.

Well, that's about it.  I want to get an early start today, so I'm off to the shower now.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Ramble

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Such a beautiful quote from a beautiful and caring woman.  I have always found great solace in the writings of Elizabeth Kubler Ross.  I've read all of her books and have found that all of them touch your heart while teaching you how to live.   She was truly a special person.  

Hubby went to his first support group yesterday.  When I asked how it went his response was, "Well, it's only my first meeting.  Let me try it for a few times, and I'll let you know."  Knowing hubby like I do, that's telling me he probably won't go back.  And perhaps he 'really' didn't like this meeting.  There is still the other one to try. And last night I discussed the volunteer opportunities with him.  It is hard to pull yourself out of 'hermit' mode. The fact is, he REALLY wants to work so perhaps volunteering someplace a couple of days a week will be good for him.  He'll feel productive again.  

Hubby's retirement was a forced retirement. He didn't choose to retire.  His health literally made it impossible for him to work anymore.  I retired because of my health, as well, but mine was by choice.  I probably could have hung on longer, but the stress I was facing at work was playing havoc on my blood pressure...and it was getting harder and harder to climb those subway stairs.  The difference between us was that if I had been able to find employment here in Brooklyn on the bus route, I may still be working.  Hubby doesn't have that choice.

When the television came off the wall and crashed on the floor this weekend, it took the screws with it and  left four small holes in the wall.  The super plastered it, but couldn't find matching pain in the basement. So, we originally planned on painting the one wall a different color. But,  after his meeting, hubby stopped at the store and bought the above to hang on the wall behind the television.  He texted me two different wall hangings, but I chose this one.  It is the sun and its rays shining outward.  The Sun is the symbol of love, light and energy, and the sun's rays have the power to heal. 

Well, that's about it for today.  I'm off this morning to my WW meeting.  It feels good to be finally taking control over what I put in my body rather that allowing my body to control me.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warning: Not a Happy Post

Prayer is a means of sharing the burden, which relieves pressure, as you tell your worries and concerns to someone who will listen and won't judge, no matter what you say. Praying is like handing the problem over to someone else as you talk it out. Then you can tune in for guidance and a different perspective that will exude heartfelt energy. When you pray, you are exposing your real self and extending sincere, loving energy to yourself. It doesn't matter if your words are fancy or plain, and there is no way to do it right or wrong. Prayer is about opening your heart and being sincere.

Lucinda Bassett

Good morning, everyone.  Today I'm feeling sad, really sad.  Too much happening in my life.    Too many things that I am not ready to deal with, let alone face.   I sit here everyday, and I watch my Miss Minga, not knowing  how much longer she will be with me, and it hurts so bad.  She has good days and some bad days, but from her appetite and how well she gets around, she doesn't appear to be suffering; however, she is in her 23rd year now, and sadly, I have had to face the fact that it's not a matter of years anymore.  Now I see it in times of weeks.  And now, there is hubby. 

He's been a little quiet lately, and last night he went to the bedroom to presumably watch boxing. However, when I went to the room I found him sitting there, his head buried in his hands.  He was crying. "What's wrong?", I ask.  "I'm dying,' he responds.  "Every time I go to the doctor it is something else.  The eye doctor has me putting  two different drops into my eyes  twice a day now because my glaucoma is getting worse.  I an sent for  a Cat Scan because of  back pain, and they find a problem with my kidneys.  I can't breathe anymore with my emphysema,  and now my liver hurts, and the doctor tells me it is in bad shape, and I have to start treatment again right away.  It didn't work the first time.  What makes him so sure it will work this time?" He went on.  "I have no friends so all I do is sit around and think about dying. I can't even work anymore."  

Hubby was much like me.  His only socialization was work, and now that's been taken away from us because of our health.  I've accepted it, but he hasn't.  I chose to reach out and try something new--senior centers, church, Weight Watchers, Art class, exercise--and I have my online friends here, Facebook, and My Fitness Pal, but he has stayed fairly close to family, and as good as that may be, he cannot visit them every day and is missing the companionship of friends. The centers I attend hold no interest for him, and there are no courses he would like to take.  So, I went online and found a few support groups and places he can volunteer.  I can only hope he follows up on them. 

I'm trying so hard to keep up my spirits up for everyone's sake because, and now is not the time for denial, this may very well  be our last holiday season as a whole, and I am going to make sure it is extra special.   It would be a true miracle if Miss Minga shared another Thanksgiving dinner with us.  And hubby?  He is really not looking well, and I am scared.  All I can do now is pray.  

All this while I myself am struggling with chronic pain.  I never complain about it, just grin and bear it, but, to be honest, just walking down the block can sometimes bring tears to my eyes.  Everything just brings me down once in awhile, but hopefully now that I have new hobbies, I'll have something to occupy my time. 

Forgive me for laying all this sadness on you.  I just have no place else to get it out. I'm hoping that when I go to the clinic next week for my blood work, I can get a referral to a therapist.  I just need to talk, to have someone listen, and to have someone say, "You're going to be all right."  Thank you for listening today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

Good morning.  It's a cold one, for sure.  Yesterday it rained all day.  A cold, dreary rain that gets into your bones.  And even though I didn't go out in it, my bones sure did ache.  Haven't had that much pain in a good while.  I spent the morning watching 'Supernatural' while dozing off and on, a few minutes at a time.  I'd been awake since 4 am.  The pain in my hip was shooting down my leg.  Sciatica. 

I also purchased a book for my Kindle over the weekend,  "The Christmas House" by Barry KuKes.  I was going to hold off reading it until closer to the holidays, but I was bored.  Didn't feel much like practicing my drawing, and my origami has not yet arrived, so what the heck.  I'm not very good at book reports or reviews, so here's the book's description....

....An enchanting tale of a magical house that allows deceased relatives to visit every Christmas Eve. A reminder that people should take time for their loved ones before it's too late. How would you like an annual visit from your deceased loved ones?

A faint tone lingered from the last chime and faded into the silence. An old woman in a dark blue dress proceeded to the door as a smile came to her face... the guests outside yelled, "Merry Christmas Martha!"... As they hugged and kissed, the doorbell rang and guests continued to fill the house...old and middle-aged people, young children. Some even brought their dogs. The house was abundant with joy and merriment, so much so that it was just wasn't normal...

There seems to be nothing strange with family Christmas Eve visits...or is there? From Barry T. KuKes' vibrant imagination comes an emotional, enigmatic tale of a magic house that brings the dead back to life every Christmas Eve.

Set in the affluent suburbs of Chicago, the story of the magical house unfolds through Martha. After all of her relatives died, Martha was left to take care of the old, magical house to preserve its mystical foundations. However, having forseen her impending death, she sells the house to a simple, happy family who has no idea that their first Christmas Eve in the magical mansion will change their lives forever. Soon, all the characters learn the true meaning of love, family and sacrifice.

An exceptional story, The Christmas House is more than just magic and fantasy. It delves into the deepest and most profound human emotions that would prove even more powerful than any element or dimension. KuKes especially wants his readers to know that life is too short for dilly-dallying and regrets. The Christmas House is a sweeping reminder that people should take time for their loved ones because, in reality, the dead cannot come back for a visit...

....Needless to say, I completely the book in one day. Rarely do I sit for hours reading without shutting my eyes for a snooze.  That says a lot for how good it was. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

We don't accomplish anything in this life alone...and whatever happens
is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.

Sandra Day O'Connor

Good morning, everyone.  It's a rainy day here in Brooklyn, and I am going to play it by ear.  If it is raining too hard when it is time for me to go, I'll just stay home.  I've lots to do here anyway.

Look at the difference a few short weeks makes.  With temperatures in the 20's tomorrow morning, winter is definitely here.

Spent  much of the weekend trying to find information about an ancestor for the DAR. Becoming a member is very important to me, and I tried several years ago, but because of one break in proof of family line, I just let it go.  But, I am the last of my line that will take the time to honor and preserve  the legacy of my Revolutionary War ancestors.  My sons have no interest in genealogy.  So, I figured that since a few years passed, perhaps there is some new information.  Same stuff, though.  My one last shot is census records which list father's state of birth.

Yesterday started out well.  Got up and went to church.  It was pretty cold out, but I enjoyed it.  And while at church, all I could think of was getting home and putting on my comfort clothes, fixing lunch, and then sitting around watching the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  Too bad it turned into a nightmare.

I walked into the house and found my television lying face down on the floor.  Hubby was picking up autumn owl set which was strewn across the floor with several pieces broken.  It seems hubby was in the bathroom shaving just a few minutes before I got home when he heard a huge thump upstairs followed by the crashing of my television.  Thinking the guy upstairs fell and hurt himself, he ran upstairs to see if he was alright.  The guy pretended he wasn't home.

I ran and got the super cause I was furious, and I was in panic mode.  It's not the first time the guy upstairs has dropped heavy items.  He moves his furniture around every day.  For what reason, I don't know.  Well, to make a long story short, hubby and the super discovered that the old super who had volunteered to help us had not attached it to a beam, plus he had put the attachment on upside down so it was an accident waiting to happen.  It was surprising that it hadn't happened sooner.  The guy upstairs had only helped it along.

I'm annoyed that he wasn't man enough to open the door by pretending not to be home.  It was obvious he heard the crash.   But, I am also grateful it happened when I wasn't sitting in my rocker when it happened.  Miss Minga would have been lying at my feet and probably would have been killed. (I shudder at the thought).  Instead, she was snuggly sleeping in her special spot under the end table.

Hubby is so special.  He ran right out and bout me another television.  I love that man.

Well, that's about it for today.  Hope you all have a good one, and if you have rain, stay dry.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Roundup

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong
one; stronger than magician
ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to,
in the strongest conjuration.

Charles Dickens

Good morning, and a happy Friday to all.  It has been a strange week, weather wise, with temperatures ranging from warm and humid to a wintry chill. When I think of it, the weather has been strange for a year now--record breaking snow and ice last winter, no spring that I can recall, and a summer that felt much like spring.  I think here in the city there were only three days that hit 90.  So, let's see what this winter will bring.  If the weather is bad like last year, I will, hopefully, have Access a Ride and not be home bound for weeks on end.

Lost .04 pounds this week.  I'm not thrilled about it, but at least it is a loss and not a gain.  And with the holidays just around the corner, I'm really going to have to watch myself.  Lots of veggies on the menu this year along with the turkey and its trimmings.  I'll just have to keep myself strong and keep my health upfront.

Not much on my agenda this weekend. I did my food shopping yesterday and bought some of the nonperishable items needed for Thanksgiving dinner, and this weekend I'll sort through the list to see what I still have to buy and what I will need to pick up at the fruit stand just before the holiday.  

Gosh, I can't believe it.  I was sitting there last night, and it suddenly occurred to me that it will also soon be time for me to do my Christmas decorating.  The tree usually goes up on Thanksgiving and then over the weekend I do the rest of the decorating.  This year went by far too quickly.  And, I also thought about how blessed we are to have Miss Minga for another Thanksgiving.  She's my special little angel.

Well, that's about it for this week.  It seems that I live a dull, boring life, but, in fact, I am always doing something.  Even at home.  I skim recipes, take care of all my blogs, practice my drawing skills, read, take care of the household, and soon I will be learning origami.  Amazon notified me that my package has been sent, and I am so excited.  Can't wait to begin.  Maybe I can make a new garland for my tree, or perhaps it is even harder than it looks so I am asking too much of myself.  We'll see.

Have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yesterday was a Good Day

 Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

Good morning.  The days of great weather is about to leave us.  Personally, it was a bit too warm for me.  Fall isn't supposed to be like this.  I am looking forward to the colder weather, but hoping we don't have as much snow as last year.  I am happy with my life right now.  I don't want to become homebound.

Yesterday I went to art class, but the instructor wasn't there.  He'd thought we'd be closed on Veteran's Day so he didn't make arrangements for someone to watch his kids.  So, we played it by ear.  I did some practicing on my drawing skills...

I know I have a long way to go, but at least I have graduated from stick figures.  

I'm not going to the old center today.  I usually go for art (coloring), but I've had to change my plans.  I was going to go to the post office to mail my cards on Friday, but I was reminded that Friday is the memory test at the new center, and I really want to attend that.  Having forgotten within two weeks that it was on November 14th is proof that I really need a testing.  LOL!!! 

So today I am off to the post office and then to the store to see if I can get some winter stretchy pants.  I know I said I wasn't going to buy anything until I lost weight, but stretchies will last for awhile.

Yesterday I had a visit from a social worker referred by my insurance plan.  She is going to help me to get rent assistance and Access a Ride for this winter when it becomes difficult for me to get back and forth on public transportation.  This way I won't be forced to remain homebound if it is snowy and icy.  It was a good visit.  I liked her and am so glad I chose Emblem Health for my insurance plan.  No complaints whatsoever.

Well, I'm off to the shower.  My back is hurting badly, and water is always healing.  Hoping you all have a good one.