Saturday, November 11, 2023
Friday, July 7, 2023
It's been a minute.
I should probably quit trying to think of a catchy opening and just stick with a tried and true. An oldie but goodie.
It's been a minute.
It's also been wild, ya'll!
My friends. I have been in the hospital. Again! Shortly before Christmas, I was there for a Rona/Flu/Blood Pressure extravaganza. This time around, I caught some strange intestinal virus and ended up dehydrated and with crazy low blood pressure. One of my nurses is one that I had during my last go-around. Even she remembered my crazy blood pressure issues. Only with the Rona/Flu combo it was high blood pressure.
I can't take myself anywhere.
At least this time I got to go spend a few weeks with my Momma.
And it was bliss. I didn't do a whole lot. Mom made me strange tea concoctions and let me sleep as much as I could.
This. This, my people, is why, at 51, I still need my Momma.
A few nights I woke up to her making sure I was covered up.
I would have happily stayed at The Farm the entirety of the summer, but...adulting.
I meant to blog and record the whole happy farm experience. The best laid plans of mice and men...Frankly, I was too busy resting and drinking crazy tea concoctions.
I will share a few pics. One or two I actually took. The rest I shamelessly poached from Mom and my nephew, Chris.
I'm in love. These girls are too precious. Mom and Dad recently had a chicken catastrophe so their numbers are few. There is another black hen but she was probably terrorizing a duck.
I don't have any other pics to share. We did get to have lunch with aunts and uncles. That is always such a treasured time. This particular group contains two of my Dad's oldest sisters and their husbands. I wish I would have gotten a picture with all of them together. These are the most precious people you will ever meet...in your life. And I'm not kidding. A good time was had by all.
I also got to spend time at my brother's house while the boys and Dad helped on a remodel project. One of my great agonies in life is being so far away from my family, which especially includes my nieces and nephews. They have grown up to be spectacular people. We didn't get to have Cousin Camp this year. Some of these people actually have full-time jobs! The nerve! Still others, have busy summers and are in between college semesters. My oldest niece was in the Dominican Republic on a missions trip during part of my visit.
Of course, there were a few flea markets to visit. Surprisingly, I didn't buy very much on my trip. It's amazing how much energy is required to "shop 'til you drop."
Well, that's all I can manage for tonight. There is a mystery book that is calling my name.
Monday, May 1, 2023
Note: For the next few posts, I am going to share several months' worth of posts or journal entries. I didn't post them at the time because I was stressed, uninspired and didn't think they were worth sharing. We can all get in our heads.
Shew! I just checked my blog posts archive and I have really dropped the ball. It has been months since I posted. I really do have a few good excuses. I started doing a little bit of an update on Facebook. It gradually grew into a novel. I decided to forget it and post on my blog instead. I have some big goals for my blog now that I am done with school (you heard right!). Now is as good a time as any to start.
Instead of writing a ginormous rambling post, I will revert to my trusty numbering system. It is what I do when I have a lot to say and need to keep things brief. You're welcome.
1. Most friends and family know that Troy has been driving back and forth from our house to his home town (about 3 hours away) weekly to help care for his parents. His mother had really declined over the past year. It was a labor of love. She passed away a few days after Thanksgiving. We were actually there when she had a stroke. She never woke up. Her family made the difficult decision to take her off life support. She had family with her constantly and was never alone. It was some of the hardest days we have had to experience. Troy preached her funeral. It was beautiful and sad.
2. We had gone home just a few days before she died. I was nearly out of medicine and Josiah needed to get back to work. I hadn't been feeling while and it turns out, neither had Troy. It was Covid. All three of us (and some additional family members) had it. We were now quarantined and sick. Good times.
3. We were all tested at the emergency room because we needed to know for sure that we had it because of the current circumstances. Troy and I were given the anti-viral medication. I actually felt pretty good after a few days, considering. We think that Troy caught it at the emergency room when his mom initially had the stroke.
4. A few days after my quarantine ended, I got sick again. I went to the doctor. Turns out I had a rebound Covid case. Of course, I did. Yippee! A few days after that, I had to go to the emergency room because my blood pressure readings were too high. I spent 2 1/2 days in the hospital. I am now resting at home and monitoring my BP. A few days ago, I had a follow-up visit with my doctor. I not only had Covid in the hospital but I had Influenza A, as well. Of course, I did.
5. In the middle of this Josiah celebrated in 21st birthday. His grandma died on his 21st birthday. We were going to have a party. He wanted walking tacos and a cake from the grocery store.
6. On the day I was released from the hospital, I also graduated from college. I obviously didn't attend the ceremony. It hasn't sunk in yet. I expected it to feel differently.
So life goes on. There are too many things to think about. It is all overwhelming. I know in time we will be able to process all of it. Maybe not today.
It’s been a minute.
I could wax eternal about life, the universe and everything in it, but I am (frankly) not in the mood to pontificate. If I tell you that the last several months have been a doozy…believe me. And we aren’t talking the fun kinda doozy, either.
I am not going to spill all the beans (or my guts) but trust me when I say that feel so much for those of you who are going through the fire. I also know that there are varying degrees of burns…and they all hurt.
For one, we lost my mother-in-law last November. She had been failing so we knew that we would eventually have to say good-bye. But there was always a small hope that she would somehow recover her strength. It has been a strange world without her.
We were with her when she had a massive stroke. One of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever witnessed was watching my husband and father-in-law try and wake her up. Another heartbreaking scene was several days later when I heard my husband sobbing on the phone as his sister called him to tell him she had finally passed.
There is much more to the story but subsequent illnesses, and unrelated events have left me fatigued and heartbroken. I’m not sure how other creative-type people work, but stress does me in. My creative energy has gone into a free fall. I have only recently started to see flashes of inspiration from the corners of my eyes. It could be all of the pollen that is floating freely in Indiana but I like the idea of coming back to life just a bit better.
Those flashes of inspiration (or pollen…take your pick) have reminded me that I need to feed my mind and soul with beauty and hope. Part of that hope is to talk of God’s goodness…despite circumstances and situations.
So here we are again. The storms of life are not as violent as they were a few months ago…though the damage that has been done is lasting. We all are a little scarred and weather-beaten but are reminded that God is faithful and….in the words of the fabulous Kelly Clarkson…”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Whelp. I did it.
Last week was my first week back of my final semester. At least for this stage of the game. Whether or not I go back and get my Master's remains to be seen.
I meant to do a whole first year back in college recap back in May. Obviously, I found something else to do.
As an online student, my school supply list was pretty basic. If you have ever had to purchase college textbooks you know that it would have to be. But then again, I have no idea what the cool kids on campus have in the way of school supplies. I am content with a hot beverage, my laptop, and my cat for company.
I did order a pack of fancy gel pens and picked up a pretty hardcover notebook at TJ Maxx. I have always had the best time going back to school shopping. Let's be honest. Office Supplies make me happy. If I happen to gift you with a journal and a gel pen, you know that I love you. I have found that, in general, office supplies aren't as fun when one is taking classes online. I will use my pretty notebook and gel pens to write out lists, take vague notes during online lectures, and doodle.
Instead of more notebooks, some sort of sturdy backpack, and writing utensils, I bought a steam mop and a cute duster-length cardigan in the color "latte." The purchase of the $80 Charactertistics of Human Resources book didn't quite have the same charge. A girl has to have her kicks somewhere.
I am a bit proud of myself. I only needed seven credits to graduate, but in the world of college credits, I actually had to take three specific courses to complete my major. As I am generally over the top, I am taking twelve credits this semester. Why take any chances?
Anyhoo. Last spring I procrastinated in registering for my classes for this semester. One of my required courses had to be from a list of Upper Division Elective courses. I really wanted to get into the popular "History of Rock" class. Let's face it. Everyone needs a few of those kinds of classes in their college career. We used to joke about underwater basket weaving and the like, but I get it. Sometimes, the fewer brain cells involved the better.
I didn't get into the class. Instead, there were only a few classes that had available spots. My advisor recommended that I take Research and Development Something Something Something. I say "something" because I can't even remember the complete title of the class. Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I ordered my books and when they came in the mail I gave all of them a quick flip-through.
Research and Development Something Something Something was in all actuality some kind of class engineers take. THERE WERE FORMULAS AND MATH ALL THROUGH THE TEXBOOK. Can you feel my panic?
Friends. My last math class was in 2000. It was Math for Teachers. The one before that was College Algebra and it took place in roughly 1997. And do I resemble an engineer? I am the least analytical person I know.
I frantically emailed my advisor. How in the world could we fix this? It wasn't a matter of dropping it and taking something more appealing. I HAD to take something from the Upper Division Elective list and those classes were fulled up, jack. She suggested that try to register for something else every day and keep on trying. After all, folks do a lot of moving classes around that first week or so before school.
For the next two weeks, I tried to add "classes" (plural). Three. Times. A. Day. Nothing. The day before classes started I had decided that maybe Jesus knew something about me and engineering that I didn't. Maybe this would be something I was good at...like binge reading and thrift shopping.
Thankfully, Jesus knows all things, and as the morning classes began one of those valued Upper Divison Elective classes opened up.
My new class? Society and Aging.
I am elated. Now, this is in my wheelhouse. I know all about aging. I am most likely the oldest person in the class. Most of the students (according to their online introductions), are rehabilitation therapy majors, or medical professionals. There are one or two others taking the class for their Upper Division Elective class. If this first week is any indication, I am going to love this class. I am practically living it!
I promised in my last (but brief) post that I would do a better job of keeping in touch. It is my goal to post more frequently. Everyone needs goals. Mine this week include posting more on the blog, consuming fewer Diet Cokes, and keeping my family in clean underwear.
We do what we can, friends.
We do what we can.
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
It's time to get back to writing and posting on this little blog. I have unintentionally neglected it for such a long time.
I originally started it for selfish reasons. I was facing some challenges and needed an outlet. I needed to pontificate and ramble. I also needed to remind myself that life can still be beautiful despite the scary stuff we all face in life.
I admit I've experienced burnout along the way. This past year, especially. I am trying to find my pace again and trying to focus on something other than my own fears and foibles. In other words, I need to find joy in places and situations that seem joyless.
Life is still challenging. There are issues that haven't magically disappeared into that place where all problems go to die. But it is time for me to find the delightful moments in life and encourage those of you who have struggled to do the same.
My delight might be different than your delight but at least we can all encourage one another. The world is too full of nastiness and spite.
I am going to honor my promise to be more purposeful and deliberate in my days. AND to honor those goals I have set for myself. With God's help. Always with His help.
Have you found yourself stuck in place?
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
It's literally been a YEAR since I've posted anything on the blog.
I started a few posts. They generally started with....
"I've not written anything in a while." That was about as far as I got. One of the goals I have for the year is to be more consistent with my writing. And to get back to some of the fun, lifestyle kinds of posts I used to do in the past.
I just need to be better organized with my life. And everybody said, Amen and amen. However, that is another topic for another post.
I thought I would use this post to catch up with all five of my readers (hi, mom) about the comings and goings of the past few months.
It has been a doozy! Instead of writing pages, and pages, and pages of what's been going down, I am going to implement my favorite tool in life. The List.
This, my friends, is The List.
1. I did go back to college. I am still there. I survived my first semester and made the Dean's List. Classes start back next week. I am armed and ready with a new planner. I currently have only six classes to complete before I am finished with my Bachelor's degree.
2. What am I going to do with that degree? I have no clue at this moment in time. Just thought I would put that out there just in case you asked.
3. My parents and nephew had an awful car accident at the beginning of October.
4. I tried to write about it and couldn't. All the feelings are still being felt. My nephew was in the hospital for weeks. And then rehab. My parents still are recovering from injuries they suffered.
5. I went to Missouri and stayed for two weeks. It is awful to feel helpless. I still feel helpless.
6. Everyone is doing better now. There are still challenges. Josiah is currently with his cousin. In a few weeks, both the boys are going to go to the farm. Chris needs some additional time to heal and to recover and my dad needs some help. Mom broke her arm and continues to deal with that injury. It looks like Josiah is the most likely candidate for cook and bottle washer.
7. I hope the folks like peanut butter sandwiches and fish sticks.
8. My in-laws have also been in crisis. Last year, my mother-in-law develop some significant nerve and spine issues. She had surgery and has never completely regained strength. The Muffin has spent months going back and forth nearly every week to help her and his dad.
9. There are many grand things about getting older. And then there are many hard things. One of those hard things is watching your parents age and go through difficulties.
10. Princess the Cat is still fabulous.
11. I have gained so much weight since moving to Indiana. Combined with that and the stress of the past few months, I started 2022 with a significant health crisis.
12. Not to worry. I've been here before. Unfortunately, recently, feeling poorly has been more of a daily norm. This has to stop. Do you ever feel like you are your own worse enemy?
13. I recognize that I have challenges that other people don't. But I also have all the tools that living with chronic illness has given me. I know what to do. It's a matter of loving myself enough to do it.
14. Anybody relate?
15. I guess we just need to start where we can and go on from there.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Well. I've finally succumbed to the peer pressure and showed some stuff I bought on line. You know I love a good fleamarket/thrift store crawl.
In this video I've shared the stuff I've acquired over the past few months. Some of it is furniture.
dangly earrings. One cannot forget the long, dangly earrings.
At least I can't.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
I've neglected my little blog terribly.
Stuff. That's all I can say about it all.
I've had stuff.
AND I continue to have stuff. Some of the same stuff and some new stuff.
AND I know you clicked here because you are curious about the title of this post. AND it's all true.
I am going back to school. Long story short. At least, I will attempt to keep this long story short. Those who have followed me a while know that I can be a bit wordy (just a bit).
WAAAY back in 1996, I went back to school. For the first time. Actually, I went to Beauty School directly out of High School. So I don't know if I need to count Beauty School as the first time....?
But...you know what I mean. One month into my first semester in college I had a MASSIVE car wreck. Which I emphasize the life-changing event by using ALL CAPS. It was that major. I continued classes at home when I was sent home from the hospital. I was taking 9 credit hours and my college agreed to let me continue them correspondence over the next semester. Keep in mind that online classes just weren't a thing back in 1996.
I went back the next Fall Semester with 9 hours under my belt, in addition to a handy-dandy cane and major PTSD. I basically went to college for the next 4 years. In that time, I went into Heart Failure, was diagnosed with diabetes and cardiomyopathy, graduated with an Associates Degree, went on to teacher's college, taught in a Christian private school 40 hours a week, had a miscarriage and adopted a baby boy.
I ended 2001 with a new baby and just a few credits away from my Bachelor's Degree.
Can I tell you I was tired? 2001 was a rough year for so many reasons. I had a miscarriage in August. Exactly a month later 9/11 happened. We adopted Josiah in November. I decided to stay home with my baby boy and take a little time off.
That time off turned into nearly 20 years.
I don't regret staying home with that brown-eyed baby boy. However, I have always dreamed about going back and finishing my degree. I knew I couldn't teach again. At least, I couldn't teach little kids. Which is tough when your degree field is in Early Childhood Education.
I've looked into going back before. Sometime when Josiah was 10-11, I thought I would check it out. But frankly, our little family was too stretched in other ways. We needed me to be at home and we needed me to be healthy.
This year, however, this blessed year with all of its stresses and anxieties gave me permission to be just a tad bit selfish.
I contacted our local state university and sent them my transcripts. I had more than enough credits to fit nicely into one of their programs. I got the money I needed. And yesterday morning, I purchased my books.
I have about a year until I graduate.
What's my degree in?
I really couldn't tell you.
It has Career Education in the title and my minor is in Education.
Do I think that you need a college degree to be successful and happy in life? Absolutely not.
But do I believe in going after a goal and finishing the course? Absolutely.
I am 49 years old. Many of those other dreams and goals won't be fulfilled in my life and I've had to come to terms with that. But, wow! It does feel good to have one more thing checked off that list.
And really. I'm a nerd. I loved college. All the 4200 years I went. Though this time it will be online. Do I even know how to do that?
I'm 49. I'll figure it out.