Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Missing Someone I Don't Even Know (May be Boring)

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

Norman Vincent Peale

Good morning, everyone.  Thank goodness the rain stopped.  I'm off to have my field test today, and it is quite a walk from the house.  Lately I try not to take cabs if I can help it.  Need the exercise.  I'm feeling a little anxious.  I know the test is simple, but annoying according to some.  I just don't want to have glaucoma. I'm terrible about putting drops in my eyes.  Most of it ends up running down my face.

Did you ever miss someone you never even met?  Sounds silly, doesn't it, but I find I'm missing my neighbor.  I don't even know what she looked like, but there was a comfort level knowing she was there.  I almost felt like I knew them.  Perhaps an explanation is in order here. 

When we were looking for a place I wanted a first floor with windows.  Wouldn't accept anything else.  Windows were a biggie.  In  my last apartment I only had two windows in the front bedroom and two in the back bedroom, and when you take into account the two air conditioners, you might as well say I had two windows in the entire house.  I had the back door which opened out into the yard, but being that Miss Minga was poisoned twice, I couldn't keep it open.  

 My boring view.

So, when I first walked into this apartment and saw that was on the first floor with reasonable rent and  had windows in every room, I immediately grabbed it.  It was perfect in most respects.  The only problem was the view from the windows.  My apartment looks out over a small courtyard.  The view consists of two sides of my building and the side of my neighbor's house.  Most of the windows I look upon are rather bland, a few plants here and there, but no holiday decorating.  My neighbor decorated her windows for just about every holiday. And Christmas was especially beautiful with her tree and the blinking lights on the windows. And this year it is gone, and dullness has returned.  And I feel blue each time I look out the window.  

Of course, I've done the best to spice mine up...

From my living room window.

I may not have a view, but at least I don't have the noise anymore.  The city, including Brooklyn, can be a noisy place 24 hours a day, and for all of our years together our bedroom was located in the front of the house.  All night long cars and trucks passed and ambulances, sirens and lights flashing, whizzed by our window.  So, although I may not have a view, I have peace and quiet quiet during the night.  

Well, guess it's time to get ready.  Have to take a shower and grab a bite to eat before I go.  Hoping you all have a good one...and sure hope this post wasn't too boring.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Hard Way

Some of us have to learn the hard way and make our own mistakes instead of learning from others.


Good morning.  All went well with the endocrinologist yesterday.  My Graves Disease remains in remission.  That was a relief.  Have to see her in three months, but before that she wants a sonogram because when I swallowed she felt a small nodule.  I'd thought it was gone, but it must of just shrunk.  Before it was very noticeable. The whole side of my neck was enlarged.  Now my neck appears normal.

Well, my goddaughter picked a winner again.  Maybe this time she will pay attention to what I tell her.  Remember she was with the abusive ex, broke up with him, and then, despite my warnings, picked up another guy on Facebook?  Then, the next thing I saw she had moved him in with her.  That's when I worried, but wiped my hands of it.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

So, when she posted pictures of her new 'hubby' all over her FB page, I didn't join in when everyone else was congratulating her on her great 'catch'.  I saw right through him.  Supposedly he worked and had his own place.  So, if all this was true, how could he have moved into her place so darn quickly.  After all, wouldn't it have taken time for him to take care of his own apartment?  And speaking of apartments, if he had his own place, why wouldn't he have her move in with him rather than continue living in the dangerous projects?  Yep, I saw his true colors from the start.

Time went on, and she was forever posting how happy they were.  Putting up a good front until she just couldn't hold it in anymore.  Friday was her birthday, and she posted about the miserable birthday she had.  He not only didn't take her out as promised, but didn't even get her a gift, claiming he didn't get his paycheck.  Turns out this was his modus operandi from day one.  He has supposedly had three jobs but never 'picked up a paycheck' from any.  My niece has been footing the bill for everything since he moved in.  Now she is broke...and he is gone. 

I feel bad, yes, but sometimes we have to learn the hard way.  At least he didn't hurt her physically like the last boyfriend.  She swore to me that she was going to take my advice this time, that she is getting too old for this. We'll see.   And as frustrated as I may get with her, I will always be there when she needs me.

Well, that's about it.  I'm off to art class this morning.  Missed last week due to the weather, but I won't miss this one.  Have a great day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday This and That

Sweet souls around us watch us still, press nearer to our side; into our thoughts, into our prayers, with gentle helpings glide.
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Good morning, everyone.  Hope you all had a great weekend.  I know with the holiday right around the corner most of you were probably busy.  Did a little shopping myself on Friday.    Bought the following ornaments for the tree

My newest Christmas Angel.

And this Betty Boop for hubby.  Just couldn't resist either one of them.

Spent a lot of time reading.  Actually I am reading two books, one fiction, one non-fiction.  I've been reading "The Red Tent".  The book is great.  Although there are a few changes, from what I've read so far follows pretty much along the lines of the mini series...only in far more detail.  The non-fiction book I am reading, or should I say re-reading, is called "Eating by the Light of the Moon" by Dr. Anita Johnson.  The book itself teaches women free themselves of disordered eating habits with the use of folk stories/bedtime stories. Love all the wisdom that is found in this book.

From the back cover....

Weaving a rich tapestry of multicultural myths, ancient legends, and simple folktales, Anita Johnston teaches women how to free themselves from disordered eating by discovering the metaphors that are hidden in their own life stories.

"Storytellers speak in the language of myth and metaphor," Johnston explains. "They tell us a truth that is not literal, but symbolic. If we hear the stories with only the outer ear, they can seem absurd and untrue, but when listened to with the inner ear, they convey a truth that can be understood and absorbed on a deeply personal level. In this way, stories help us connect with our inner world, to the natural rhythms and cycles of the earth, and to the power of our intuitive wisdom."

In addition to being immensely enjoyable reading, Eating in the Light of the Moon is filled with practical exercises and profound insights. Twenty chapters explore different themes of self-discovery and empowerment on core issues such as:

Intuition: The Inner Seeing, Hearing, Knowing
Symbolism: Hunger as a Metaphor
Feelings: Gifts from the Heart
Moontime: Reclaiming the Body's Wisdom
Dreamtime: The Journey Within
Sexuality: Embracing the Feminine
Recovery: Out of the Labyrinth

I am not bulimic nor anorexic. but I do have a problem with compulsive eating.  It took me awhile to admit it to myself, but all the telltale signs are there.  If left to my own devices I'll eat even if I am not hungry.  Food is always on my mind.  I often said it was stopping smoking that did it, but the extra 83 pounds I gained in a matter of only a few years tells me it goes deeper than that.  

In fact, when I look back on it, I've always had a thing for food.  Even as a little girl, I'd find myself eating two or three peanut butter sandwiches only a few short hours after dinner.  When hubby got sick years ago, I found comfort in eating huge ice cream sundaes every night.  But I never put on weight.  Guess until recent years I had good metabolism. 

I know now that having an overactive thyroid makes one hungry so perhaps that's what is hitting me now.  I can't get enough to eat.  I fight it, of course, but it's no fun being hungry all the time especially when you know that you are eating enough.  My thyroid levels were normal during my last blood test so my endo took me off the methimazole to see if I remained in remission.  I had my blood drawn on Wednesday and see her this morning.  I sure hope I am still in remission.  The next step would be the radioactive pill to kill my thyroid and then medication for the rest of my life.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Well, that's about it folks.  I've a long bus ride ahead of me so I'd best be getting a move on.  Talk to you all tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Roundup;

Good morning.  Friday has arrived and it's time to plan for the weekend.  Actually, weekends aren't the same since I retired, but they are still enjoyable.  Went to WW yesterday.  First time  that I didn't lose.  Actually I stayed the same, and it is certainly a relief that I hadn't gained, but was still a bit disappointing when she told me.  I realize plateaus happen and knew eventually it would hit me, so I am not going to go off the deep end.  Just going to try harder for next week.

It was a brutally cold day yesterday and snow was coming down fairly heavy for awhile even though it didn't stick.  The bus was late, as usual, so I snapped a few pictures of my church.

This was taken on my way to WW as I was waiting for my second bus. The church is so huge it is impossible to get the entire building in one shot.

And while waiting for the bus to go home.

Part of the churchyard.  Notice the snow on the ground.  First of the year.

Did you ever dream something and then it happens?  I dreamed on Wednesday/Thursday night about food.  Much like the drug dreams that addicts in recovery have, but in my case, I dreamed of healthy foods.  I remember in my dream coming out of the store with a package of grapes, all mixed--green, red, and black--and when I awoke I remembered it and thought how nice it would be to buy them packaged like that.  Then, after my WW meeting I stopped in the C Town next door and guess what?  There was the packaged grapes, just as I had dreamed about it.  This was the first time I found them packaged this way.

Oh, some good news to share.  Hubby made his first group yesterday.  He came home all excited with information to share.  He admitted that he hadn't gone to the meeting the other day and didn't want to disappoint me.  I assured him that, although I might be disappointed, the person that would really be hurt from it was himself.  Loneliness and boredom have such a negative effect on illness.  Needless to say, he enjoyed it and is looking forward to the next meeting.  I am really a happy camper.

Well, I'm to start my weekend now.  After a shower and breakfast, I'm headed to the banks.  Holidays will be on us before we know it, and I want to be totally prepared.  Have a great weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

The most vivid memories of Christmases past are usually not
of gifts given or received, but of the spirit of love,
the special warmth of Christmas worship,
the cherished little habits of home.

Lois Rand

Good morning.  There's another dreary day in store for us.  But, I can deal with the drizzle.  I'm off to WW this morning.  Time for my weigh-in.  I don't understand what happens to me.  I'm fine all week long, and then two days before weigh-in my stomach becomes a bottomless pit.  I get so hungry, and even after I eat, I feel like eating more.  I hold off as long as I can, but it gnaws at me until I grab something...usually a boiled egg or a piece of fruit.  I know it's all psychological.  After all, I don't get hungry like that until I get close to weigh-in.  It's almost like my mind is out to sabotage my body.

Had my blood drawn yesterday. Some people are just brutal in drawing blood. It started with that band they tie around your arm. No one has ever pulled it that tight, and it was downright painful, and I let her know about it. Her response: "This will only take a minute." as she put the needle into my vein. And that hurt, too. Now, I've gotten pretty used to blood tests and usually don't mind them, but I also want someone who is gentle. Would you believe I actually felt a stinging feeling where the band was late in the afternoon as well as soreness around the injection site 

So, hubby has been claiming that he has been attending the support groups I found for him. I wish I could believe him, but something tells me he is just telling me what I want to hear. It.s just that he didn't 'volunteer' the information to me. I have to ask him about it, and since we've been together almost 22 years now, I know that's usually a sign that he hasn't been going. Hubby has always liked to talk about his day so when I ask, "Did you make your group today, and how was it? and all he responds is 'yes, it was okay, that is a sure sign. Had he been going he would tell me all about it in such detail that I'd wish I hadn't asked.  I hate seeing him so lonely and depressed all the time.  He's the one who asked me for help, but he is not following up on it.  What am I to do?

Yes, hubby can be so long winded that I often wish I hadn't brought something up.  It is one of his quirks.  He can go on for an hour just answering a simple question like 'how did you like the movie?'  He goes into such minute detail and rambles on and on and on until I want to scream out "Enough already".  And don't let him watch something he finds interesting on the History Channel or Discovery.  He'll talk about that for hours.  But as much as it may annoy me, this is one of the things that make me love him. 

Yesterday I spoke about my Christmas gifts.  I have them, but I cannot use them.  They are sitting under the tree...which is good because it gives me time to re-organize in the kitchen.  At this point, I have no idea where to put the crock pot.  It's times like this I wish I had a bigger kitchen.

Well, guess it's time to shower and eat breakfast.  A lot of the women I attend the meeting with forego breakfast on weigh-in day, but personally I want an honest answer, and that means doing the same as I do every day.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just a Little Note

"The earth has grown old with its burden of care
But at Christmas it always is young,
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air,
When the song of angels is sung."

Phillips Brooks

Good morning, everyone.  Boy, did the rain ever fall yesterday.  It was non-stop for the entire day.  So glad I chose to stay in and dry.  There will be plenty of other art classes.  So I cozied up in my rocker, purchased a copy of "The Rend Tent' for my Kindle and spent most of the day reading.  I found it an amazing story, and when I like something, I have a tendency to become obsessed with it.

In late autumn I joined a Facebook Christmas group.  The administrator asked if anyone would be interested in starting a Christmas card exchange, and immediately about 200 people signed up to take part.  There were so many that the administrator broke us all down into groups.  And since just before Thanksgiving I have been steadily receiving cards. 

And there is still two weeks to go.  It really brightened my day to open my mailbox and see the red and green envelopes from well wishers.  They also had a Christmas gift and a stocking exchange, but the minimum was $25 on each, and when you add up the cost of mailing it, plus all the money I already spent on cards and stamps, it was just way out of my budget.  Maybe next year.

Speaking of Christmas, Hubby bought me a grill pan and a crock pot for Christmas.  These are two things I told him I really wanted.  Now, I can't wait to start cooking with them.  I have so many recipes lined up to try.

Well, that's about it for now.  Time to get showered and ready to head out to the old center.  At least I'll have art there this week...even though I do my own thing in art class.  No instructor.  Talk to you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss
suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a
promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to
understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone
else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in
the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love,
and then speak it again.

Howard W. Hunter

Good morning, everyone.   Today is art class, but I won't be going.  There's a real nor'easter out there today.  If it were only the rain I wouldn't care, but the winds are supposed to hit 50 or 60 mph at times.  No way to stay dry in that.  So, I will just stay home and practice by myself.  I did find out, however, that the new center has a van/bus that will pick you up at your house and bring you to the program.  That's great to know.  I was too late to be added to the list for today, but in the future I know I won't have to sit home during inclement weather. 

Yesterday I came across the above list of things to do for Christmas and thought it was a great share.  There are a few on that list that I plan to focus on.  

Tried another new recipe on Sunday. Anelletti al Forno  Al Forno  describes  pasta dishes that are finished off in the oven and prepared with al dente pasta.  Ingredients in this dish include anelletti, mozerella, frozen peas, seasoned bread crumbs, olive oil, salt free butter, and a meat sauce of your choosing.  The photo above is what it looked like before it went into the oven.  It came out looking beautiful, but I grew over anxious and didn't wait for it to cool enough before inverting the pan to put it on a plate.  The result?  I fell into pieces.  (It was supposed to slide out of the pan onto a plate just like a layer of cake.)

But it sure tasted good. Would I make it again?  I doubt it.  Too many steps and aside from the bread crumbs, it tasted much like a pan of baked ziti.  

Well, not much else to talk about today.  I think I am going to go back to bed for awhile...that's if Miss Minga will allow it.  She usually screams for my company.  Love this little girl.

Have a good one...and stay dry.