Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, may I thank the heavens every day that MY M.I.L. lives in a rural Oregon farming community, doesn't drive, doesn't fly, gets a phone call from me every Sunday , and whom I actually visit every two or three years when WE make the trip up to see her. This helps keep the relationship between us fairly calm.

However, I have a daughter who lives less than a half-hour away, whom I see ALL the time - who calls me several times a day, has multiple crisis a week, doesn't drive... but then calls on ME to drive her when necessary. Good thing that I love this kid, because man, she can be such a drain emotionally sometimes.

One added bit of calm, however - we have adopted another greyhound (Lady, our last grey, had to be put down about two years ago). Those unfamiliar with the breed assume that an ex-racing dog would be hyper and high-maintenance. Surprisingly, greys are the exact opposite - 40 m.p.h. couch potatoes. Dehlia does need two to three walks a day - and 'walk' is at a sedate, very calm pace - but then is sound asleep for most of the day. My dog gets along fine with her, and the cat already has her completely bamboozled - Dehlia respectfully lays down and turns her gaze aside whenever the cat waltzes past.

AND I am SOO excited that my OTHER daughter (the high-maintenance, multiple crisis a week one - but who DOES take care of herself, her family, her duties ... and me, most of the time, via long-distance counseling) and her family are coming for Thanksgiving. It is also getting focused on cleaning and decorating things that I have been able to ignore most of the six+ years I lived in this house. I am getting very creative in ways to 'disguise' some, hmmm, unmodifiable (is that a word) items (necessity if the mother of invention, right?). My carpet will remain stained, and I expect both Kate and Colin to add some new ones - but I'm just psyched to have them here for a few days. AND I am getting some painting done!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why do people choose certain professions? I know sometimes it's because of a particular teacher who wonderfully influenced you - a family 'tradition' of a certain career - maybe something that struck your fancy in college.

But why do people become proctologists - gastroenterologists - ENT specialists? Well, I can't complain, at least not today, about someone becoming an Ear, Noise and Throat Specialist - I saw one today that fully redeemed my sinus-infection-drawn life of the past three to four months. But he was sort of... well, different. You could just see the 10th grade geek in the back of the classroom, probably with a slide-rule and pen protector. He had old-fashioned examination equipment - extremely weathered leather straps hanging onto shiny little doo-dads that I've only seen in Dr. Kildare re-runs from the 60's (Richard Chamberlein was a real cutie back then).

Listen, any of you odd.... I mean, doctors in UNIQUE specialities, let me know what prompted you, okay? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I simply love watching children in church sing and give short, memorized little bits of scriptures and/or spiritual thoughts - that is, I love it IF I do NOT 1) have a child up there to worry about and.or 2) be in charge of any group of the children that are in the presentation.

And talking today to a woman I have known for over eight years, I discovered something I never knew - she is dyslectic enough that she cannot read at all normally - she has to read a sentence at least three times (and I mean EACH and every sentence) to make certain she is getting it right. Very bright, very dynamic woman, always in a leadership position, very involved in her community. And she has to face this each and every day.

Wow, and sometimes I complain about stumbling over words and forgetting things.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It sometimes astonishes me how I act when I get tired. First it's just slight irritability - then a headache - and then almost anger (which is NOT a normal emotion for me) - and finally resignation and a resolve to simply cope with reality.

After waiting some four hours, I was long past the anger, and tried to be patient with the wait for "Dehlia" (Delhlia?), a greyhound up for an adoption today. Finally the foster parent showed up; a long-haired, 'fag'-smoking (I am saying fag because I am not entirely convinced that it contained tobacco at all) gentleman about my age, who was in fact obviously very very fond of Dehlia - an extremely multi-colored female grey; multi-colored in being sort of Dalmatian-spotted, random sections of almost tiger/tabby orange and black. But also affection, and NOT at all hyper.

Yes, I was weak, I was weary - I said "yes."

But we brought her home. And so far she is being great - very passive with my dog (who is not at all the alpha-male), avoids the cat completely (who IS the alpha-male), eats politely when my dog is finished, and asks nicely to go outside when necessary. She accepts the horses simply as over-sized dogs, and walks very calmly on a leash.

I'm just grateful she is sleeping in my husband's room, and not mine.

It's only 8:20 p.m., and quite cool now - I am trying to summon up the energy to go finish the painting in my study (i.e. walls, not any attempt at artwork), since it didn't get touched at all today. As I get older, I think I understand more and more why people use drugs - if I could give myself an adrenalin shot right now, I think I would.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am, pure and simple, a Harry Potter geek. I just happened upon "The Chamber of Secrets" on the Disney channel about a half hour ago, and I am jumping up and down and yelling, "HEY! I never saw this scene before!! This must be the uncut director's-cut left-on-the-editing-floor-until-today" (didn't we have a discussion about the over-use of -s just the other-day?!) version!" I am enjoying it WAY too much for being an adult of... well, maturing years.

This evening I went and played busboy (buswoman?) at my favorite local cafe (which sounds so chic as opposed to a place where the cook wears a baseball cap and mumus). Friday night is their busier night (all-you-can-eat fish fry - there, does that totally destroy the latte-image?), and I simply offered to help. Doing dishes can be a whole lot of fun... if you can keep the right attitude. And that is something that I should write a book about - I can do it about almost every time (exceptions being nauseous, somebody else driving a car that I am in, and cleaning the cat box).

Now, I must go through about 37 color samples I picked up to day at Lowe's, if nothing else to eliminate my concept of combining Clay Ridge with Coriander, Anjou Pear, and Chilled Cantalope (don't you just love the names they come up with for paint colors?). Since my husband is pretty much color-blind when it comes to anykind of pastel, I can have free rein on just about any color. What do you think about Honeysuckle Bloom, Old Man River, and Wheatgrass (which, I am convinced, are shades which can only be recognized by women or gay men).

Good night - and Tom Riddle is now accusing Hagrid of unleashing the Chamber of Secrets - ARGGGHHHHH - sorry, I can't stop!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I don't have anyone around to brag to - well, the dog and cat are here, but the cat isn't saying anything nice since I woke him up and moved him - and Murray loves everything and anything I do, so I can't take his comments too seriously. And my daughter is dealing with the mother-in-law-from-hell right now, right after moving back into their house after a wildfire which got within one mile of their home - I shouldn't really bother her.

But I have painted ONE WHOLE WALL in my study! YAHOO!! Yeah, ME! Yes, yes, I know, I still have three to go - but this way I at least get to make certain the colors (I'm using two shades of yellow - idea is to create an optical illusion that you think the further walls are nearer and the nearer walls are further) are gonna work. Plus I do still have to take down my lovely collection of license plates; but hopefully later this afternoon.

It's only been six+ years that I've been thinking about painting this room - maybe before 2013 I can actually get the rest of the house done ;-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's amazing what can be accomplished when one of your children is involved in the main CNN Headline News story for two to three days. Watching the S. California brush fires steadily getting closer and closer to where Harmony and Blake live, and become more and more convinced that their place was going to burn to the ground, it provided the perfect stimulant to make me 1) clear out my study (my equivalent to a garage - where you stick all your junk), 2) wash just about EVERthing in the house besides clothes (blankets, sheets, pillows, and more blankets), 3) advertise for someone to take my cat away for my known-allergic daughter (and have three names on file of people who will take Leader-Of-The-Known-World aka Pandora) and 4) FINALLY move some furniture that had needed to be moved for a couple of years.

Unfortunately, with all this wonderful bursts of energy, I have also fallen prey to stress-eating - although chocolate is a major food group, I have gone way beyond my month's worth of calories in three days. Extra-long walks with the horses and moving very heavy hide-a-beds (do you realize that I can actually sleep eight other people in this house?) haven't compensated for the junk food at all.

However, now that Harmony and Blake are safely home (albeit their cars won't be unloaded for a while just in case another evacuation order comes through), I can relax and enjoy my clean, organized house - no, wait, now that I have cleared that study, I am going to have to PAINT it before I move anything back in - and with at least 482 more photographs found, I have to continue work on my combined "This-Is-Your-Life-And-See-I-Have-Photos-To-Prove-It" work-in-progress.

So the only question that remains tonight - am I beginning to use -s like Harmony uses ""?!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Am I shouting? Is this too loud for everyone?

My husband contends that I am always speaking too softly - I think he doesn't want to admit any of HIS hearing loss.

We have a deaf sister in our ward, and although it's very interesting to watch her translator(s) throughout church, it's also making me appreciate more and more what hearing I do have left. It's still difficult when people who don't know me sit on my right side, and then think I'm simply ignoring them (although in some cases it might be the best thing to do). I have resigned myself to simply missing a lot of conversations. But as my daughter can testify, it's annoying as heck when I do respond to what I think someone has said... and am totally off!

I am setting forth some new goals this week to simply get/keep myself moving. This past week has been nothing much than a struggle to keep the kleenex one step ahead of my sinus, and at last I've found some medicine that seems to work... for at least an hour and a half. I have way too many things I want, not just need, to get done. Let us see if anything changes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I love watching old Gene Kelly movies. Ridiculous plots, very bad acting, horrible sets. but WONDERFUL dance scenes. In some ways, I wish I had been born forty years earlier when everyone learned to actually dance. Unfortunately, my generation began gyrating instead, and it's just stayed that way (any questions about that, visit Harmony's blog and watch her 'evolution of dance').

Today has been alternating between emptying tissue boxes and catnapping. And I mean 'catnapping' literally - whenever I actually do get to sleep, my cat decides that right then and there, he deserves attention, plops on top of me, and purrs so much when I wake up that I can't really get mad at him.

My middle child turned 26 today. I remember how upset my mom was when I (the youngest) turned 25 - maybe it will hit me next year when my son turns 25. Right now I sincerely LOVE the fact that my kids are all adults... well, at least legally. I decided quite a while ago to never get old, but I enjoy so much that they are making adult decisions... and without asking me! Heavenly Father blessed with three just basically decent kids - He knows my limitations.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It is so difficult to deal with an unthankful individual. I can appreciate more and more how gratitude, counting your blessings, appreciating what you do have instead of what you don't - all these put you closer to God, to His Spirit. We all moan and groan about our impossible loads and trials and aches and pains, and while this is completely acceptable for therapy (especially my personal long-distance phone counselor - yes, you know who you are), it ends up clogging our personal communications/prayers with others and with Heavenly Father.

Yesterday I compared someone's attitude to a huge air filter, that is completely clogged and stuffed with junk... but it's with their own, personal junk - and they have no desire to clean it out in any way, shape or form. Getting the air filter cleaned or at least partially accessible is taken as a security breach - an attack on their protection system.

Yes, I know - I need to take my own advice more often. There are so many wonderful, beautiful things in each of our universes, and it makes our worlds much brighter if we try to focus on those positive bits.

Live and learn, eg?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Driving in good therapy. At least driving alone. And for longer than, say, twenty minutes. When it's cool enough that you don't have to have the window open - or have good air conditioning - mainly, when you can have the windows up instead of down. Then if you need some 'alone' time (oh, my, I may have caught the 'quote' flu from my daughter), and perhaps some primal scream therapy - I mean, just if you need to get some things 'out' (okay, it's certain, I have it) and don't feel 'safe' in their circumstances. Driving can allow someone to 'let it out', to 'release' your emotions, to 'let your hair down.' How 'good' you 'feel' at the 'end' of the 'drive' may 'depend' on how 'much' you have 'expanded' your 'lungs' and 'tear' ducts.

Whew. I can't 'do' this any 'more.'

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's funny when someone has to cancel a lunch date with you - and you are secretly relieved. This is a friend who needs a great deal of support - and sometimes I just don't feel like being that supportive person - especially when you are trying to eat!

I am also trying to load a truck with an unreasonable amount of junk to take to the county dump. When you throw out twenty things, it suddenly becomes much easier to dispose of another twenty - and my truck's bed simply isn't that big! And since it's $5 a load, my money-conscience self (read that 'cheap') wants to get as much as possible in.

So my spare bedroom is getting cleared, with the main object being to have the extra room when/if my daughter's family comes for a late-Thanksgiving-very-early-Christmas. I am certain my hygienically-conscience girl (yes, I am more and more convinced that we must have gotten babies switched at the hospital) will want to stay in a hotel (for one thing, better cable), but I may be able to create a fun place for my grandkids to play (or to put the dog and cat in for the day).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I've begun work again on my life history. It's a chance to write (without having to get on-line), and get nostalgic, although I hope not sappy. My kids have heard a lot of my stories, but not all - so they will just have to shift through the repeats to find anything new ;-)

I'm going through old photographs also, which prompt a lot of stories. Some are ones I wish I could rewrite without being dishonest - some just are better forgotten. However, I have rediscovered how incredibly cute my kids are.

It's a sure sign that I am getting older, I am certain, but it's amazing how much has changed - in our lives, in the world, in fashion (even back then, I was not a much into any kind of clothes other than jeans and t-shirts). The Cold War, racial integration, how women were so different from men (which we ARE, it's just BETTER), sports... wow.

Okay, enough for the night!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today has been a marvelously unproductive day. My main accomplishment has been separating a roof piece that took me several weeks to put together. Otherwise I have avoided almost everything regarding chores, watching the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and sighing over Mr. Darcy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

All things are relative after all. I could have to put up with my wicked mother-in-law for 11 days. Well, I don't really have a wicked mother-in-law - just one that stays happily in Oregon and just needs a phone call every Sunday evening.

Today, however, I was involved in an underhanded covert operation - a puppy hand-off. It was executed brilliantly in broad day-light, but has relieved me of the eighteen-hour duty requiring constant survialence (sp?) to keep my carpet slightly less stained.

See? A great day after all! Even with another power outage, and stark realization of my dependency on spider-solitare and fans.

How can I let such tiny, minute pieces of negativism clog up my normally healthy, optomistic vision? These bit are almost beyond number, bu yes, I have to carry a huge bottle of 'spray-away-bad-thoughts', and I have to make certain I refill it at every opportunity (scriptures, prayer, taking to Harmony) - but it DOES work. I just have to remember to spray it.
And right now I am having such a good time. Naps almost any time I want one, time to play with the horses, finish the hay shed (before it officially becomes an item for the Arizona Preservation Society), write goofy things on blogs, and continue to catalog the chronicles of my life (i.e. trying to finally get photos sorted and labeled).
"Count Your Many Blessings" - they are numerous.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I am just feeling like griping right now - and I don't want to dump on my oldest daughter (she is already dealing with a root canal for her three year old), my son's at work, and my other daughter is perfectly oblivious (sp?) to anything outside of her own little world.

I am TIRED WEARY EXHAUSTED WORN-OUT being with someone who is DETERMINED to remain unhappy, upset, irritated and anti-social.

It just came to a head this evening; 'someone' commented that so-and-so actor (who was on television as a supporting actor in something) was 'never going to be anything other than a terrorist' to him because 'he was that in such-and-such program.' I, stupid person that I am, said, "Well, maybe it's time to just let go of that character; just means he was a good actor in that character!" Immediate retort - "I don't have to!"

I know, I know, happiness is a decision - and it's one that I can make on my own. Tonight I just feel like the three hours each evening are like standing right on the edge of a huge black hole, that just tries to suck all the light out of my life.

Thanks, now I feel a little bit better.

There was an incredible talk at General Conference a few years ago by Elder Bedner (Bednar?) about being offended being a CHOICE, not something that is laid on you. And it's a great talk to someone like me who honestly and truly BELIEVES that!
However, I live with someone who does NOT believe that, and tonight got 'insulted' because I didn't take something he was describing 'as seriously as you should have.'
Are we having fun yet?

Monday, October 1, 2007


Sleep deprivation is one of the many reasons we should have children at a relatively young age. We can survive on 3-4 hours sleep - might be grumpy, might feel like trash, but we can survive.
At 52, just missing my afternoon nap feels like death!
But since we have a new puppy, it's become a minute-to-minute surveillance - okay, he just work up - rush him outside to pee. Yikes, he might be squatting - rush him outside to poop. Hey, he just ate something... take him outside, quick! Whoops - I missed some signal - let's get the paper towels and OxyClean out again.
At least at night he is sleeping in my husband's bedroom. But I am getting way too old for even DAYS like this.