Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Maybe it's Menopause

You know the jingle
"maybe it's Maybelline"?

That's what we sing around here, but we change the words..

"maybe it's menopause!"

I just sang it a few minutes ago in the kitchen.

It's the 1st of July.
Weather.com predicting a high of  82 degrees today, with humidity in the 3,498% range,  and I'm up in the kitchen making vegetable beef soup.

I'm sure Glenco and Aaron can't wait to get their mouth up on a bowl of hot, hearty beef vegetable soup on a steamy July day such as today.
Maybe I'll bake a pumpkin pie.

What would possess me to make a pot of this today?

Perhaps it's that my veggie drawer in the fridge is starting to resemble a morgue.
I'm going to call Glenco to the fridge soon to see if he can identify some of the contents.
I'll cover the veggies with a paper towel and somberly pull it back as Glenco looks on in horror.
 'Yes!  I recognize that leek! The last time I saw it was at the Piggly Wiggly -
 that had to be over a week ago'.

It's time to make some soup, y'all!

Last night I made this for dinner, and it was a hit.

Recipe  HERE

Strawberry Poppyseed & Bacon Chopped Salad

The only problem was that Aaron ate all the bacon up on me. 
I was perplexed, as I'd cooked it before I left for the day, only to find it mysteriously missing when it was time to assemble the salad.
Aaron was also mysteriously missing.
He knows better. 
 I could have flown into a rage when I noticed the bacon missing!
Or started crying.
Maybe it's menopause!
(seriously - I never fly into rages, I really don't.)

As delicious as the salad was without the bacon, I can only imagine (and trust me I did) how great it would be with that divine salty crunch.

In other news, we had some pretty hardcore storms hit the area last night.
I lost a potted plant.
I shall rebuild.

In other other news - I found out that I have a torn meniscus in my right knee, and some bone on bone action there as well.  Couple this with the tendinitis that is still in my right shoulder and forearm - I'm a hot mess.
I could barely raise my right arm today.

As I stand out in the garden with my fork...I feel like I'm standing at the ocean with a Dixie cup.
You just have to laugh, you know?

I do promise to post some pictures of the carnage that is my yard.

I cannot tell you the grieving process I've been in over it.
Literally - all the steps.

I in no way mean to make light of the loss some people have experienced, but loss - is loss.
Yes, the loss of my garden doesn't compare to the loss of other things - but I do believe that we need to even grieve and process the small losses in our lives.

Shock:  How did my garden become such a hot mess?

Denial:  Wait, I can do this.  Sleep is overrated.  We don't really have to do anything else this summer other than yard work, do we?  Order a pizza and let's get busy!

Anger:  Why won't anyone help me?  Don't they like yardwork?  Who planted all these stupid plants!?  Why do things keep growing!?  I want to move to a retirement community.

Bargaining:  OK, OK - I can do this.  I should just make it a LITTLE bit smaller - I mean come on - look at all the time you've invested in this.  It's so lovely!  Everyone will miss your gardens.  Maybe you could just mass plant - yes - mass plant - that would be easier than the cottage garden.

Depression:  All is lost.  I have no life.  Who am I without gardening?  No one will ever like me again.  Why would anyone want to come here?  I'm such an idiot!  I've created a monster!  I'm old!  I'm crippled!  I can't do this anymore!  I don't want to do this anymore!  Is there really life outside the trowel?  I'm going to move to Florida and take up Zumba and macrame.

Testing:  This is where I am now.  Making peace with simple.  Making peace with a little well done.

Acceptance:  Stay tuned.  : -)

As always - I encourage you all to love your family hard today, live a little slower today, and be grateful for.every.little.thing.

Like hot soup in July.  

Til soon.


Monday, June 30, 2014

I Got Nothin'

Thank you for such a warm welcome back!

I've been sitting here in my living room, savoring a delicious latte as I listen to a gentle storm passing through the area.

We've sure had our share of the rain up in here.

I've got my yoga video queued up and I'll be unrolling the yoga mat in a moment.

I've sat down a few times to write a blog, and well...

I got nothin'.

The beauty of nothing new.
I'm embracing it.

In actuality - there's a lot new - but it just doesn't seem noteworthy.
I'm more about listening than talking these days.

I've downsized the chickens.

I have 7 now.
I'm liking it.
I can dote on them again.
It was hard to spread my affection between nearly 20 hens.
I don't know how the Duggars do it.

The gardens continue to be under construction, or perhaps more accurately - deconstruction.  No sooner do I close one up - I fight the urge to make a new one elsewhere.

Glenco is great, Aaron is swell.
I'd have to start thinking hard to find something to complain about.

Word on the street is that I'm flat out tired.

If I'm honest - I'd say I've caught myself resenting summer this year.
I shan't have it.

I think I'm more menopausal than I'd care to admit.

I feel that in ways my eyes have been opened to my manic, yet endearing views of life.
My 'go big or go home' ways of living have caught up to me.

I bet I've apologized to, and thanked Glenco a hundred times in the month of June.
I've thanked him for all the hard work he's done around here, and apologized for how often I've changed things - over and over.  I keep promising him that this downsizing is for real - and will stick - and I dasn't plan on changing my mind about it.

No, really, I don't.
"Go small and stay home" is my new mantra!

I just wanted to drop in today and tell you I was thinking of you all - and let you know how much I appreciate you!  Please know that I as I go through my daily routines around here, I think of you all and smile - 

Til soon...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Up From the Dead She Arose

Have you wondered where I was?
Did you think some evil befell me?
Were you having visions of the chickens pecking at my decaying carcass?
: -)
I'm here - and very, very well!
There's going to be heaps to catch up on - but I just wanted you to know -
I live.
Just over a month ago - my laptop gave up the ghost.
Replacing it, or repairing it was low on my list of priorities - so I just closed it and put it away.
I pulled out my old defunct cell phone and tried to stay somewhat connected through that - but it was such a pain.in.the.butt.
I tried in vain about four times to put a one sentence blog post up letting you guys know what was up.
Thank you for your comments and emails!
A blog reader from California, sweet Mary Jo - heard about my plight on Facebook.
She had a dream in which she sent me a laptop.
Upon waking - she sent me an email saying that she felt she was supposed to send me one.
I hemmed and hawed a bit - not knowing if I could/should accept such a generous gift - and how would she feel if I didn't blog - but just sat around and ate Cheetos and surfed Pinterest?
I thought perhaps I was done blogging.
I was enjoying my season of being unplugged.
Then, one morning whilst making the bed - I had a blog post burning in my duodenum that I felt needed to get typed out.  I even had a title for it "Chasing the Noodle".
I accepted her offer.
This beautiful laptop I'm typing up on is nicer than anything I could have purchased for m'self.
It literally just came out the box, and here I sit - pecking feverishly, letting y'all know I'm alive.
Do you know that feeling you have after you've slept in a strange bed for a few nights?
How good your own bed feels?
That's how my fingers feel right now typing up on a real keyboard!
I'll catch up with you in the days ahead.
I've missed you.
PS - I apologize for any technical errors this post seems to have - I have to do some figuring on here....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Living Life Less Fabulous

All things are well here.
Nothing much new to report.
My sister is moved and loving Crown Point.
I visited family in Missouri and dodged tornadoes.
Glenco and Aaron are well - thriving even.

The chickens are happy and healthy -  I'm waiting, as I type, on a farmer from Watseka, IL to 
stop by and pick up Lord Grantham.
Its been a hard decision to re-home my rooster - but a decision has been made.
He's a fine chap - but he's just too rough on the hens.  I can't think of a word to describe him.  
It's somewhere between rambunctious and barbaric.
My hens need Rogaine.
Not on my watch L.G. - not on my watch.

The bees are busy and things feel set aright now that I have my boxes full of them again.

The garden - well - the garden is under big time construction.
We've taken down all the wooden 'shabby chic' picket fences. 
At some point during the Polar Vortex they crossed that fine line, going from 
'Shabby Chic' to 'Meth House'.

We are going to replace it with the old wire fence I have.

garden gate and fencing.
from Pinterest

When we took it all down to repair and repaint it - Glenco and I just kind of looked at each other like 'you feel like doing this again when your 70?  Ya, me either.'

I'm reseeding some of the gardens with grass seed.
Although it will save time in the future, it's a ridiculous amount of work right  now.

Some things in my life are coming to an end.

Saying yes to all of this yard work has me saying no to other things in my life.
Other things that I want to say yes to.

Bike rides.
Camping trips.
Feeling like things are 'done'.
Day trips.
Knitting socks.
Not smelling like Icy Hot.
Weekends of 'what to do?'
Motorcycle rides to no where.

It's hard to see seasons of life go.
It's hard to admit that you can't do it all anymore.
When your gardens have been fabulous, when you are 'known' for them - it's hard to let that go.
When you are known for your baking - it's hard to see that gone.
When you are known for your humor - it's hard to go through a quiet season.

It seems that right now - everything I've been 'known' for - is gone.
It leaves me feeling a bit lost.
It leaves me feeling.
It leaves me.

This whole business of downsizing - minimizing - it's been quite a journey.
Things are less fabulous.
I don't do a lot of fabulous crafts anymore.
My home is less fabulously decorated.
The gardens aren't 'tour bus' worthy anymore.
There seems to be something in me - or maybe you too - when you like old junk - when flowers feed your very soul - when making home is your passion - there seems to be a propensity to wear yourself flat out.
You work your fool head off to make your life Pinterest worthy.
For what?

I'm going to tell you a little secret that has taken me 52 years to figure out.


So here's to a life less fabulous, but more fulfilling.  
Here's to meals that I make that never get photographed and put on a blog. 
Here's to ordinary days filled with extraordinary moments that never get put in a status update.  
Here's to less stuff but more time.
Here's to smaller gardens, better tended.
Here's to more soul time.

Here's to exhaling - and being a human being, instead of a human doing.
Here's to being delightfully average.
And here's to being OK with it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ordinary Life

I thought it high time to stop in and say hello.

The kicker is, I haven't really a thing to say.

Nothing funny, nothing profound, nothing.

It's just an ordinary day here in NW Indiana.

But with these beautiful, ordinary days come extraordinary opportunities.

Opportunities to trust in the midst of fear, hope in the midst of despair.
Life lessons that encourage us to answer back in kindness when spoken to in anger.
To treat respectfully when we are treated disrespectfully.
Opportunities to love instead of judge.
A gentle reminder that we control so very little in our lives.

With each new ordinary day - we are given another chance to love ourselves and others unconditionally.
With each passing click of the second hand, with each new drawn breath - it's a new beginning.
How can one not hold on to hope and joy in the midst of 86,400 new beginnings in each day?

I feel quiet today.
Humbled by kindness.

I got my sister and brother-in-law moved.  
It ended up being a very emotional time for me - seeing her come into the apartment that I set up for her.
Oh gals - it was a little dollhouse too.
My friends were so kind and generous, everything fell together perfectly, and honestly the only thing my sister didn't have in her apartment was plastic wrap - it completely slipped my mind.

She was overwhelmed, in a most delightful way.

I've been exhausted, and just now, at this very moment - do I feel rested again and ready for the next round of shenanigans.

I've stopped working so much - even in the face of a bit of lack.
There's just flat out too much to do here right now, and me being gone so much was not a good thing.
Not quite sure what's going on with Glenco's job - but he's working part time it seems.
Not sure what we'll do - but for now - all is fine.

When I was at the laundromat washing my sister's clothes in hot water - drying on hot for 40 minutes... 

(the Interweb said 20 minutes would kill bedbugs - so I went 40.  Die suckers!  In the entire move, I never did see one bug - and my goodness I don't think anyone could have taken more precautions than I did.)

....while I was there - I just stared at the dryer going around and around.  One man joked and asked me if they dried faster if you stared.  I told him 'most certainly they do!  By 30%!'

I stared at those clothes going around and around.  
I looked around at the people.  I thought a lot.
What does life really boil down to?
Love and kindness.
That's my thought anyhow.

I flat out don't care how good looking you are, how popular you are, how much money you have or don't have.  I don't care what you drive, where you live, or how you live.  I don't care what you do or don't do for a living.

Are you kind?

Today - right now - that's really all that seems to matter to me.
Are you kind to yourself?
Your husband/wife?
Your family members?
Are you kind to your children?
Your dog?
Your cat?
Your chickens, goats, cows, and pigs?
To strangers?

I believe kindness makes an ordinary life most extraordinary.