This I Know
I know I still want to write. There is a lot to say about what I’ve been thinking, but I don’t know how to say it or where to start.
I know I miss my friends. I know what they are up to for the most part, but I miss them physically. We’ve lost family. We’ve lost beloved furkids. We’ve lost mutual friends. I think we need to hug each other. We need to laugh together. We need to reconnect with our silly selves.
I know that I am kicking ass at this whole Grandmom gig. Logan is 4 and goes to preschool twice a week. Soon it will be full time. I’ll miss the time I spend with him. He loves Legos, wrestling, and video games. We go to the library and I can sit and read while he plays with other kids and plays learning games on the computer. It’s great. My grandbaby Claire is two and a half. She is also going to be a big sister this summer. She is beautiful. She is imaginative, artistic, musical, and vocal. She has had very little “baby talk”. She loves Flyers hockey and Union soccer and goes to a few of the games with her daddy. She comes over here and greets me with such an enthusiastic “Hi Mom-Mom!!” and she gives great hugs.
I know that the hubby and I can survive each other for long periods of time alone. We drove across the country to see the Grand Canyon, Garden of the Gods and visited family in New Mexico. He wants to do it again and I am not afraid to do it again! This year will be 36 years of marriage. I think we’ve been quite successful.
I know that my parents won’t be here forever. Dad had throat cancer. It was terrifying. He came through like a champ and is now cancer-free (knock wood) but the thought of losing him was so hard for me. Mom is still Mom. Our relationship is changing and I don’t like that. I will just say that I am probably as much to blame for that as she is. We are too much alike. *sigh*
I know it’s raining outside and the dampness is making me achy. I am so fucking cranky right now that I don’t know what to do with myself.
I know Logan is waiting to cuddle and watch a video.
I know it’s time to turn off the laptop.
As Time Goes By
It’s been a year since I stopped by. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.
In the past year, Babygirl has graduated from college. Yes, college.
I am the grandmother of a beautiful little girl and a terribly cool little boy. Girl has gotten past her “shy stage” and now calls me “Mom-Mom”. We play tea party and color. Logan teaches me lots on his Kindle. We watch some strange tv shows and have adventures when we leave the house.
I have quit smoking. Yes, QUIT! May 30th will mark one year. It was hard. After all the tries with the patch and gum, I finally did it cold turkey. I don’t miss it either. A rare day will show up and I will simply light a smoke and put it out. I can’t bring myself to smoke.
I am still married to my wonderful husband. We still run our business, but it is time to bring on our sons. In the upcoming couple of years, they will be taught to bid jobs, keep an inventory, and take care of the business. Hubs is ready to retire. He will stay on for the foreseeable future, but it is huge step nonetheless.
While I have enjoyed all of these changes, I haven’t enjoyed some changes in myself. I’ve become complacent about my weight and health. I simply don’t care. I have also become extremely judgemental. I criticize the television, celebrities, the government, news, my husband, my kids, my shoes, my dogs, my life. Why? Not a clue. I hear my mother every time my mouth opens and I slam it shut. This is something I am working on. I don’t care if I get fat. I just don’t want to allow myself to become a bitter woman.
Other than that? Not much. I see most of you on facebook. I’ve kept up with you, your families, jobs, etc. The blog roll on the left? I couldn’t tell you who is still writing. One or two are, but I’m about out. I only stopped here to see if it was still mine.
I’ll pop back. Maybe. I’ll let y’all know.
Reaching Into My Brain
New year, new me.
I am trying to be more positive in my everyday life. I have plenty of reason to be that way. Great husband, great kids and wonderful grandkids.
I am still struggling with my smoking. While I don’t smoke nearly as much as I used to, I am still smuggling them here and there. Part of the new me will continue to fight. But more than just trying to quit, I am reaching into my brain to learn about myself. More on that later.
I am still struggling with my weight and eating habits. Healthier food choices are around the house. More fruits and vegetables are coming into the house and I am experimenting with different ways of cooking/flavoring old favorites. More than just trying these things, I am reaching into my brain once again.
Why am making the choices that are taking me into difficult directions?
I am becoming more aware that much of it is boredom. If I am not actively jumping around with Logan or cleaning the house, I am attached to something. Laptop, phone, or kindle, it matters not. I am scrolling the news sites, playing a game or two, or laughing with friends. In an effort to cut back on this, I am back to my needlepoint. I MUST keep my hands busy.
“For Satan always finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” ~ Isaac Watts
Ah, yes. Those proverbial ‘idle hands’…
Not tapping on a keyboard, or a screen. ..not touching the needlepoint while I watch tv…not stuffing my face with chips or popcorn while reading… all bring about the cravings. Food? Chips? No. I’m not hungry. I don’t know what it is, but my psyche is itchy.
And so I smoke.
Or else I don’t.
Instead I realize that I want a smoke as a replacement for the food. I hold out against the smoke and feel proud of myself for resisting. But I still want….something.
So I reach for the chips,
It is a circle of cravings, resistance, pride, indulgence, despair, cravings…..
I won’t let it get me down. Realization is the biggest part of the struggle. Now the next step will be finding the balance that will help the cravings without indulgence or despair.
Take Me As I Am
Nothing says ‘New Year’ quite like the abundance of weight loss commercials. They assault us as we vegetate in front of the television, soft drinks and chips in hand. They shout at us, ” NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” We are made to feel worthless by the ads that try to brainwash us into believing that we can shed pounds quickly with just a little pill, a special powder, a body squeezer, etc.
I recently came across a group of random photos. Why they were grouped together, I have no idea. Included among these pictures was a small time capsule of my life.
I was holding my oldest son as a toddler. My joy shone from my eyes. But I distinctly remember seeing that picture at the time and thinking that I needed to shed a few of those baby pounds. I remember feeling like a failure when I couldn’t fit into my size 6 jeans and was forced to size up to an 8.
I was at a wedding. The dress I wore did me no favors. Ruffles and patterns were a distraction to the eye. I remember that Hubs hated that dress. I remember buying it, knowing it was in style. My girlfriend urged me to get one that was just a bit shorter and less patterned but I was stubborn. As I was at the wedding, I knew they were both right and I was uncomfortable.
Son2’s prom. I was standing beside my tall, dark and handsome son beaming with pride. I had on a blouse with stripes. Ugh. They pointed out how wide my waist was and how big my chest was.
Holly’s graduation. A sleeveless dress. God, my upper arms are flabby!
I put down the pictures. There was a thought niggling at the back of my mind. I didn’t know what it was. The more I tried to pull it forward, the more elusive it became. I folded laundry and went back to the pictures.
The thought crashed into my consciousness.
No matter how my weight rose, the body shape was still the same.
In high school, I had no waist. I had an “athletic build”. After the kids were born, no waist. I had “baby fat”. I needed to tone up those abdominal muscles. As I approached middle age, I had no waist. I was “unfit” because I didn’t exercise.
Were all of these things true? To some extent, they were. Now I look at these pictures and think that I would give a million dollars to be that small again. I would switch things around a bit. I would show more cleavage then and less now. I would be more revealing in a bathing suit and less now. The difference?
I now know that I was MADE this way. I will NEVER have a clearly defined waist. I will always be built like a box with legs. That is my BODY TYPE. With age comes wisdom. Sure, I will try to lose weight, but for health reasons, not vanity. I will dress better. ( I hope!) But because I am paying more attention to what is right for ME, not what society dictates is ‘fashion’.
I will be more forgiving with myself.
THIS is my resolution.
Give This Mouse a Cookie….
A call to pharmacy
getting a shower
wiping down the bathroom
What do they all have in common? They are things on my ‘to-do’ list for the day. Each of these things can be accomplished in 20 minutes or less. And yet- and yet I can’t get my ass moving. I poured a cup of coffee and went to the living room. Running through the list in my head, I started to prioritize. I could put my roast in the crock pot by noon at the latest. I could wipe down the bathroom after my shower. Hmm…I don’t want the washer running while I’m in the shower, so that has to wait. Ugh. Now I need another coffee.
So I gathered up yesterday’s newspaper, and sorted through the coupons and found all the best ones in my coupon wallet had expired. This means I have to sort all of them. I did. Then I fed the dogs. I went to the sink to fill the water dish, and decided to do a load of dishes. First I had to put the already clean ones away. Whoa. The pot from last night’s mac and cheese needs to soak. Time for another coffee.
I brown the roast for dinner and throw it in the crock pot. It only took 5 minutes. Jeez, all this bullshit and I’ve gotten nothing but dinner off my list!
The pharmacy calls to let me know my scripts are ready. Which ones did they fill? Hmm…let me look in the bedside drawer…So that’s where my lint brush was! And look! There’s a photo of me and Hubs at a friend’s wedding. Don’t I have an empty frame? Sure I do! I should frame this before I forget. Damn, this table is dusty, and since dusting is on my list…..
The washer is done, so I switch out the machines and decide to hop in the shower real quick before running the washer. I go upstairs and see that I left a mess next to the bed table. Gah! Lemme put this away. Empty chapstick? I should get rid of that. Maybe while I’m at it, I’ll lose the lipsticks and glosses I don’t use. Then I find a nail polish I’ve been looking for forever. I hope it hasn’t gotten thick. I put some on. It’s good! Let me put on a coat while I finish another cup of coffee. First let me turn the washer back on….
Now I have wet nails and can’t take a shower. I fiddle on Facebook, play some Words With Friends and….SHIT! Is that a truck in the driveway??
Yes, Hubs is home. Why so early? I look at the clock and I’m shocked to see that it is 4 already. I am still in my pajamas, my pits stink, and my hair is greasy. There is a cold cup of coffee beside me and there is still a pile of crap in front of the bed table which sits beside the unmade bed.
“Don’t even ask. You caught me doing nothing.”
He walked past the bedroom to his office, glancing in and shaking his head.
Why am I so exhausted? I finally throw everything back in the drawer, jump into the shower and finally wipe out the sink and the shower walls. I take the towels to the basement and switch out the machines again.
As I climb the basement stairs, I realize that I’ve finished everything on my list. It could have been done in two hours, three tops. And yet, it has taken me all day.
Procrastination can be a bitch.
Once upon a time, I wished that my family would eat healthier. Oh to go back to such a kinder, gentler world.
Holly has always loved fruits and veggies. Salads are her friend. A fruit of any sort was always something she chose over cake and candy. Rob….well, Rob has never been a fan. Even as an infant, he immediately gagged on all vegetables and this followed him into adulthood. Only recently has he come to eat an occasional salad, mashed potatoes, or corn. He will grab fruit when the mood strikes him. This was a change I was overjoyed to see.
Now Hubs? Green beans and corn. That’s it. Or at least it had been until his heart attack. Now he has no choice but to add these things to his diet. Now, there is fruit in the house. Oranges and apples abound. He will grab lettuce (notice, I didn’t call it a ‘salad’) It’s been hard to keep him away from ranch dressing, but we found one that is heart friendly. Now, if he wants red meat, we bribe him with V8 juice. He doesn’t like this, but if he wants a steak, he gets the extra veggies. Now, he is really thinking about whether or not that roast beef is worth it.
These days, we have turkey. A LOT of turkey. Hubs will not eat fish unless it is square and covered in breading. Chicken likewise should be breaded and preferably fried. This is not allowed and until I find a way to cook it in a way that he likes them, we will have turkey at all times in the house. We tried turkey meatballs. As they cooked, all I could think of was ‘wet dog’. Holly came out of her room and asked, “Who the hell is cooking dog meat??” Rob was too hungry to care and said he would give it a go if only to support Hubs’ efforts. The family voted unanimously to banish this creation from our home for eternity.
Tonight, while grocery shopping, Hubs picked up a package of Italian turkey sausage. I don’t have high hopes for this, but being such a good wife, I will cook this for him. We have bought oatmeal fruit bars. He is allowed 35 lightly salted peanuts. (This amount is just enough to satisfy his salty/crunchy craving) For me, 35 is a mouthful. For him, it is a luxury to be eaten one peanut at a time.
Gotta love my kids, though. They have been great sports about trying the change in foods. They wait until Hubs leaves the room before telling me whether they liked it or not. If they can’t stand the idea of eating with us, they manage to go out with friends or wait until we eat before looking for frozen pizza or chicken tenders.
Just before writing this, I had a toasted blueberry bagel with some cream cheese. Not actually good for me, but hey, it’s what I wanted. And there I was, a fifty year old grown-ass woman trying to keep the aroma from travelling down the hall to the bedroom where Hubs was watching tv. It brought back memories of trying to sneak a smoke in my bedroom as a teenager. I enjoyed every fucking bite, don’t get me wrong. I just felt like I was eating forbidden fruit. I’m not on a restricted diet, but just knowing that he is struggling so hard, makes it seem like cheating on him.
Well, I was the one who wanted to have more fruits and vegetables around. I was the one who wanted to try new ways of cooking for my family. I was the one who wanted things to be different.
Now my wish has been granted. Is it good or bad? My brain says “Yes! Of course it’s a good thing!”
My tongue and belly are still out on this one….
Sunday, I gathered with cousins for an impromptu dinner at Marty’s house. My sister and I drove together following a route given by mapquest. All went exceedingly well for that ride, even though she wasn’t happy with the bridge or cattle chutes along the way.
We followed the directions with no problem and made it to a neighborhood that, well, would not have been out of place on any dramatic series involving a wealthy family. We were a bit nervous, not seeing cars in the driveway. Apparently we were the first to arrive and the family’s cars were in their garage. I offered to knock at the door to see if we had the right place, and was confronted with an intercom. Holy shit. This had to be wrong!
My cousin’s wife answered the door and I’m sure my mouth dropped open. This was a huge house with a grand piano in the music room which was across the hall from the formal dining room. The french doors opened into a large comfortable family room and a granite and steel kitchen area which was surrounded by stools for casual munching. Beside that was a breakfast area with floor to ceiling glass windows. Jesus! All I could think was that my house could fit into this area and it wasn’t even half of the house already!! From the windows I could see an upper deck where they could use their gas grill. The lower deck surrounded the pool area and beyond that was the batting cage. YES, a batting cage!
When my cousin entered the room, the comfort level returned…for a bit. He showed my sister and I around the rest of the house and we were stunned by what a party palace this was. The basement was the entire length of the house, carpeted wall-to-wall and complete with a pool table, foosball table, shuffleboard, darts and air hockey table all within viewing distance from the full bar. (It turns out lots of the furnishings and entertaining pieces were left by the previous owners who were divorcing and downsizing)
My cousin chatted with us, offering us drinks and it felt like we’d never been apart. He’s my age and we’d been fairly close as kids. My sister needed to use the powder room and I took the opportunity to ask him where the hell the money came from. Turns out, when his parents passed, he made good investments. His business is doing well, but still, he is in debt to his eyeballs. They don’t entertain. His daughter is away at college and his son will be there soon as well. Seven bedrooms and only him and his wife. It’s overkill. Such a waste of resources!
The rest of the family arrived and we enjoyed the visit. I was impressed that he has become quite the host. This was his party, not hers. He did the food, the drink, the planning. He did the cleaning up and serving. It was awesome. Until….my mom starting shooting me disapproving glances when I used the word “freakin'” in place of “fuckin'”. I was urged to use a glass in place of a can or bottle of beer. Another cousin scolded me for making a crude joke-not aimed at anyone, just overheard. Now I was uncomfortable. So was my sister. We have become the klassy kousins. The others are not wealthy, they just pretend they are. I remember when some of them ate dirt in the backyard! I remember when we shared hand-me-downs. I’ve seen them falling down, throwing up drunk. The people in front of me had a stick up their ass and looked around to see if their spouses were watching them.
Later, alone with Marty, I noticed a sadness in his eyes. I asked what was up and he told me. The debt is an issue between him and his wife. This house was her choice and he was pressured by his in-laws to make her happy. He worries all the time. Business is good but it stresses him. Surrounded by all the “opulence” he longs for hotdogs and mac and cheese, not organic foods with fancy names.
On the outside, it looks like he has it all.
I’ll keep drinking my beer in my skeeter filled backyard. I’ll cook in my 5′ x 10′ kitchen.
Now I know that I’m the one who has it all.
Smiles and Tears
Again I have lapsed, my friends. My life is very busy. I have lots to do and have rediscovered the joy of reading in a quiet house. I haven’t actually watched a movie in quite some time and even most of my nighttime shows are caught in a random hour here and there.
My days are spent with Logan, mostly at his house. This isn’t an excuse. Why? Because I am offering no excuses. This is more of an explanation of my happiness. The child truly is sunshine. He rarely cries-even while teething! So far, we have two bottom teeth, accompanied by lots of chewing and drool. He has now started baby food and so far, it seems that squash is a favorite.
Carrots are definitely not a favorite.
We play, we laugh, and oh, my do I smile! I recently realized just how much I smile when I was getting ready to go out. I was putting on eyeliner and as I looked into the
soul-sucking magnifying mirror, I noticed fine lines at crease of my eyes. I always had a few, but these are deeper. Know what? I am not freaked out by them. On the contrary, I am embracing them. They are my badge of grandmotherhood.
Logan has also learned to crawl. This happened two weeks ago. This week, he is pulling himself up….on the steps, on the coffee table, the couch, the dogs…you name it, he is the Edmund Hillary of the house.
And as long as I am telling you all of this, I may as well jump in and tell you what happened today.
Babygirl is home for the summer and her new roommate drove an hour today to hang out and have dinner with her. Just in case they were eating here, I made meatballs and sausage for sandwiches. Logan settled in for his nap and Babygirl went upstairs to get her shower. I sat right beside Logan on the couch. Normally we snuggle up together on the couch or on the floor. Sometimes I can get him to sleep in his car seat. Today, though, I was sitting beside him. He slept for an hour before I remembered that the meatballs were still in the oven. I could smell that they were done or needed to be turned. Either way, they needed attention. Since Logan still had about half an hour in his usual nap time, I jumped from the couch and ran to the kitchen. I opened the oven, stirred the meat around and was ready to close it up and return when I heard the thud.
He rolled off the couch.
I never leave that child alone! I toss him into the pack-n-play, the car seat, the floor….but never on the couch. The one time I did….for only 30 seconds….
He cried then. Oh, yes, he did. He looked at me bewildered by this new sensation of pain. I cradled him in my arms and kissed him, tasting his tears on my lips. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t take it away for him. I cried as he cried. And after all the boogers were wiped from his nose, he smiled. He hugged me and snuggled up. We looked out the front door at the cars passing by. When there was lull in the cars he looked at me and I saw it….
…..an egg on his forehead.
I cried a little more as I tried to hold an ice pack to his head. He cried a little more as he tried to avoid it.
Then his dad came home early. (Of course!) I could tell he wanted to yell at me. He knew it was an accident. But he also knew that he was the one who would have to tell Shenanigans. I felt even worse, knowing that she would freak out about it. He packed up Logan’s stuff and ran out to pick up Shenanigans at work. I cried a little more in the bathroom, rinsed off my face and finished dinner. I found it very hard to feed myself.
I talked to Son1 tonight. Shenanigans was a little upset, but as he said, she will get over it. Logan comes back tomorrow, and I will admit that I feel a little nervous. After all these years of caring for kids, Logan isn’t the first one to roll off the couch. He isn’t the first to get a goose egg. I’m sure he won’t be the last. But the fact that this is his first lump, his first real bruise…..and it happened at my house…it rattled me.
Tomorrow I’ll get back on that horse again, and laugh and sing and play……
And nap on the floor, right beside him.
Nowhere To Gift
I want to clean my basement. It is piled high in a 7×7′ area with Christmas decorations and 5×5′ with Halloween decorations. There are bins of seasonal clothes, sheets and drapes, and books. Hubs has one half of the basement, where he keeps surplus work supplies like wire, tools, our AC units, etc. All of these things will stay, perhaps thinned out, but still here.
As I looked around, I saw other things. Kitchen items that I saved for Son1. He didn’t need them, but when I tried to get rid of them, Son2 protested with the argument that he or Babygirl would need them. Other kitchen items are mine, too big for storage in my tiny kitchen.
But there are still more than a few boxes and bins. These are mine and I want everything in them.
Over the 31 years of being married, I have received some awesome gifts. I have quite a few items of Native American pottery and kachina dolls. They used to be displayed on our entertainment center, but when we got our flatscreen attached to the wall, they were packed away. Right now, my brother is displaying his own collection of pottery and I am jealous. I am also very fond of snow globes. I have several, some for certain holidays and some for every day. Still…..nowhere to display them.
And pictures! Don’t get me started on the thousands of pictures of family and friends that I have. I have lots of wall space, but since this is a rental home, I hesitate to put up shelves or hang frames. I had finally gotten two printer’s box shelves filled with a teeny glass menagerie but it was removed to make room for the tv.
Every day I watch the home makeover shows that tell me to display the things that I love. But where? How? I told Hub’s that I would like a curio cabinet for Christmas. I don’t know where it would fit, but I’d sure as hell try.
What do you do with gifts that you absolutely love? Is your home cluttered with things all over like a mishmash? Or are you artistic, clever, and have an eye for decor? I need help! I’m like a dancer with no rhythm. I have the tools, just no clue as to pull them together.
From the Depths of My Sadness…..
I haven’t stopped in for a while and there are very good reasons for this.
First off, when Mom-Mom died, it hit me very hard. Upon the phone call, I promptly got a migraine that didn’t let up until I saw her body. I wasn’t sleeping very well at all and even my sleep aids weren’t working. I was depressed, tired and very, very testy. To top it off, the funeral coincided with a dental appointment that Hubs had been waiting for since New Years. He had all but two teeth pulled and this was the day that he was going to be molded for his new plates. Now, I understand that he hasn’t eaten well and he must be starved constantly. I understand that even after this molding, there was more to be done. But this wasn’t about him. I was hurt and felt betrayed. I stood by him through the loss of both his parents and his grandparents, as well as cousins and friends. I have been blessed to have lost very few of my own dear ones. I needed him now. Finally, all the emotional and physical pain came to a climax and I let him have it. I also cried like I haven’t in a long, long time. He got the point quickly and stepped up. He was like a body guard, not letting issues or people touch me unless I invited them in. I still walked in a daze. I missed my daughter terribly. I cried while folding laundry. I couldn’t even call my best friend to tell her what I was dealing with. I began to scare myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shattered.
At the funeral, as I saw Mom-Mom in her casket, I realized that it wasn’t her. She was tiny, frail. The woman of my memories was robust, a force of nature. Even in her old age, she was the same. It was just in the last few months that she began to waste away. I said goodbye and tucked a letter under her blanket. I turned away and never looked back. The pain in my head disappeared and I suddenly felt so tired. My entire body relaxed and I knew it was the stress and grief that had piled on me. I believe she took it away and told me not to look back.
And from the depths of my soul, the grief was lifted. It was to be replaced with joys uncounted.
My son had brought Logan with him to the funeral at my father’s request. The child came into the church and every tear was replaced with such joy! He smiled at everyone. He was held by one great aunt after another. My own cousins gathered around laughing that I had joined the ranks of ‘grandparent’ (only one other out of 27 is a grandparent) Dad had had the best idea by asking for the baby to attend. It was brilliance. The child fussed a tiny bit after an hour and was ready to be fed. My son did that and he was out for a nap. This was an opportunity to watch my son fully in the Dad-mode. Shenanigans had to work and he was on his own. I was so proud.
I got home from a long, exhausting day and went to bed at 7:30. I woke up at noon the next day.
In this past week, I have been flooded with only good, long lost memories of my grandmother. It makes me smile. I watched Logan Friday and Saturday. They came for dinner on Sunday. I watched Logan again yesterday. Lemme tell ya, a good baby is the best medicine for an aching psyche. I have laughed, and danced my days away. I got together with my best friend and we went shoe shopping. I put on a fun pair of plaid flats….not something that I would normally wear. I ran up and down the aisle of the store laughing. I decided not to spend the money, but she insisted on buying them for me, stating “Chrissy, if they can make you that happy, it would be a sin to deny it”.
She was ri– , ri—……..correct.
So…..after the upheaval and neglect, I expect to spend the day with my doggy boys, bathing and brushing them. I plan on catching up with laundry and finally COOKING!
Life goes on……..