Friday, August 22, 2014

Bittersweet Memories

This will be the first year since 2004 - 9 years - that we've missed opening weekend of The Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD

This will be the first year in 10 years that we haven't attended.

Yes you heard that right.  We're not going this year.  With the move, the impending foreclosure on the house in Maryland, and other expenses, we just can't justify it.

It's hard being an adult.

I will miss the smells.  I will miss the leaves 'raining' on me during the autumn.  I will miss the smiles, the laughter, the hugs, the kisses.  I will miss the lovely wenches loving up on my husband.  I will miss the dressup, the pretend, the parading around the site, drinking out of a wooden mug and eating food that you just normally wouldn't (like food on a stick).

I will miss the friends.

However, as time marches on, sometimes difficult decisions are made.  As Jon said, we have a new life now.

Perhaps next year.  Or maybe not.  We will see where life takes us next year.

the photo above is from the side of The Dragon's Lair looking up towards The Dragon Inn.  A favorite spot of ours - just across from the elephants.  Good times and good friends and the fondest of memories.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Profound Words of Wisdom

Don't complain that you have to go to work - be thankful that you can go to work - Sarah Osborne Bugg.

No she wasn't talking about be thankful that you have a job.  Rather - upon our 50th birthdays (hers a few days before mine) she was sharing words of wisdom from her mother.

Her mother was a woman who was thrilled to be able to see 50.  She had been fighting a terminal illness for near to a decade.  She lost the fight a few years after her 50th birthday.

But this isn't about terminal illnesses and the losses they cause.  This is about the ability to work.  See Sarah's mother couldn't work.  She was disabled.

She missed work.  She missed going to work.  She missed being productive.  Heck she missed going out.

That's something I often forget with Jon.  Since he cannot drive anymore and honestly it's just not safe for him to wander about without me, he's trapped.  Trapped in the house.  Trapped in the car with me driving.  Trapped with my decisions.

Thankfully he loves me or else it could be a quick road to resentment.  I cannot say I would handle it better.  Hell I know I wouldn't.  Being perfectly honest, I would probably take out my frustrations - and yes envy - on him.

That would be envy of freedom, of mobility, of choice.

He had an awesome career as a data base administrator.  He could program SQL and COBOL and make databases dance and sing.

Now he greets me in the mornings and watches me get ready for work - my mundane little job make sure people get paid.  He watches TV and reads and watches YouTube on the computer and naps until I get home.  Then he greets me and often has to hear about my horrible day --- probably thinking You Bitch at least you get to get out and DO SOMETHING.

ok knowing Jon he's not thinking anything of the sort but I bet it is still a bit bittersweet to hear about my struggles throughout the day ....

So for today - on this day after our 11th anniversary (and in his 2nd year of full disability) I will try and remember those words of wisdom that Sarah Osborne Bugg shared with me courtesy of her mother.....

Don't complain that you have to go to work - be thankful that you can go to work

the photo above was taken last year in Virginia Beach.  Jon was watching the rain .... and quite possibly remembering the times we walked the beaches in rain -- or shine -- and just cannot anymore.  Yet you can still see the smile.  That's facing life with grace and wisdom and integrity and peaceful acceptance.  Oh I wish I could say I would be that amazing ... I know I wouldn't.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On being 50 .......

Hard to believe.  50.  Wow.  Shouldn't I feel something?  Shouldn't I feel different?  Maybe have an epiphany?

Apparently not.  Just another day.  Another milestone.

I decided low-key was the way to go.  I treated myself to an awesome massage and a fabulous facial at our local day-spa.  I will say this:  living where I do, everything is close.  This place is just around the corner less than 3 minutes from the house.

I did get to hear that I didn't have the skin of a 50 year old - more like 40.  Sunblock works apparently.  My hands and forearms tell the tale of my age though.  I see the veins, the rough spots, and yes I know these hands have worked.  I see the beginnings of varicose veins on my legs and yes they've worked as well.  My body has served me well though I would prefer a bit less padding.

I also decided to toss the diet to the four-winds today and eat junk.  It wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be.  Perhaps another lesson learned there?

I'm at a good place in my life.  I have a career that I can either choose to expand or just keep as status quo.  A decade or so ago, I would have wanted to keep reaching, keep pushing, keep trying for more more more.  Now?  not as much.  I don't want to be in charge.  I just want to be indispensable *grin*  I'm happy at work.  I have enough to do to keep me from being bored without being stressed.  This is a wonderful gift.

I have a husband who adores me, though why I will never know.  I have 3 awesome children who call me Mom though I only gave birth to one of them.  I have awesome grandchildren.  I have friends throughout the country to whom I touch base daily and we keep up in each others lives, trials, joys, and tribulations.  More gifts.  The best gifts of all - people who you can love you can choose to love you in return.

Yes 50 is fabulous.  I bet 60 is even better.

I cannot take credit for the photo - it's a cake topper.  Since I'm not a cake person, I rarely get to see these but I thought hey Groovy ..........

Saturday, June 28, 2014

For some, love is ..........

.....expensive trips

.....a new car?

For me?

Love is having a partner who not only knows your tastes in shoes but knows your shoe size :D

We went to Target today.  I knew I needed some new sandals because frankly mine were worn out.  I told Jon I wanted to look at the shoes.  While I'm looking, he comes back with a pair from another aisle.  Then while I'm looking some more, he comes back with 3 boxes and tells me "You Need These".

Yes I definitely have a keeper.  I went with the idea of grabbing one or two pair of sandals.  We compromised at 4 pair -- he wanted to keep shopping.

It's definitely a special man who can buy a woman shoes - and who demonstrates he enjoys it :D

I can't take credit for the photo but isn't it a great quote?  Shoes didn't change my life but they remind me just how much I adore my beloved.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shades of the future, remembrances of the past

The photo above is from NOAA of the April 26 1991 Red Rock (OK) tornado.  Apparently they didn't capture the Cowley County tornado of that day.

Anyway, yesterday at work I hear an eerie sound come over the loud speaker - one I'd not heard in over 10 years.  Everyone just stood around and I asked "whoa are we under a tornado warning?"

Yes I know the heart stopping sound of a tornado siren.  I hear them in my sleep.  I hear them in my nightmares even though I never heard the siren that April day.  Being raised in Kansas and Oklahoma you just know that sound.  You grow up with it.  You live with it every year.  The first few seconds tell you to grab what you're going to and find shelter - NOW.

Next over the loud speaker was that we had a weather warning and for everyone to shut down their machines and go to the nearest shelter in place.  While others were standing about going WTF?, I shut down my laptop, grabbed my purse and headed to where we were supposed to go.

Was it a drill?  probably.  If so they picked a really bad time to do it.  It was dark and a bit stormy outside.  Anyone from tornado alley knows you NEVER test the sirens - which test every Tuesday where I'm from - when it's even the slightest bit stormy.

The general consensus was it was a drill even though that was never announced.  It was probably a drill even though the factory was told to stop the line and shut down the machines - something they don't do even for fire drills.

I don't care if it was a drill or if someone jumped the gun on something.  All I know is the seconds of heart stopping fear....and the memories that flooded back like it was just yesterday.

...not like it was over 20 years ago

photo credit NOAA.  When I get my scanner set up, I will probably post photos of what was left after that fateful day in the beautiful spring of 91 ... and what wasn't left.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Creative Solutions for Small Living

So what does one do when they have glassware and china but doesn't have the dining room space for a conventional china hutch?  Enter the curio cabinet.  This is the one Jon picked.  I was dubious but after putting them together (yes I got 2 - one for each corner) I must say that it's a good move.

As you can see, no wasted space.  In a small apartment, that is a must.  Plus with my glass and chrome dining table it works.

We did the less-is-more with some creative solutions for bookcases.  Enter IKEA on that one.  We were very limited how deep they could be in the living room without blocking the walkway.  We checked every place we could, measured the ikea bookcase we currently have, and ended up ordering 2 more.

Having to think outside the box as it were ... I just wish when it was outside the box, it was already assembled.

I can't take credit for the photo - that is the photo that is used on Amazon where we purchased the curio cabinets.  When I get the dining room finished, I'll post photos.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Trash - out of sight out of mind?

No that's not my kitchen but it is the same floorplan as mine (sort of)

We have a tiny galley style kitchen.  I thought the big issue would be where to put all of my cookware.  Thanks to some creative thinking and space saving devices, that isn't the problem.

It's where do you put the trash can?

We've tried under the sink counter.  Not really convenient.  Then we tried having one in the dining room.  Hated it.  Now we're back to the under-the-counter solution.  Of course that means that the tiny trash can gets full every day or at least every other day.  Yes with just two of us it is amazing the amount of kitchen trash we have.

There's a lesson there I'm quite certain.

So for now, I'm still trying to figure out an equitable - and aesthetic - solution to our problem.

at least I can take out the trash and haul to the dumpster anytime I want.  If we had been on scheduled trash pickup I don't know what we would do.

photo credit:  beaumont farms