you wouldn’t believe me if I told you…

Well, hello there & happy new year! (why yes, it IS January 26th! I’ve been busy, okay?)

Where to start…the Christmas season was great. We stayed home this year instead of booking a week at a cabin for the family. It just seemed we were all a little too tight on money and everyone couldn’t get off the same time, etc, so we just had Christmas at home. Actually, we always do. We don’t get a cabin the actual week of Christmas (do you know how much they charge for that?!?!) We always book the first or second week of December and then when Christmas rolls around, we just have our usual family gatherings: Christmas Eve at Mom’s or my sister’s or one of the kids’ houses and then Christmas morning breakfast at our house.

kids opening gifts
A very sad (quality-wise) pic! I was trying to get spontaneous shots! *sigh* This is my boys with their wives.

It was crazy because it POURED the rain all day on Christmas and the temperatures were so warm we had the heat pump off and the windows open! Talk about kinda mind-boggling! It didn’t feel like Christmas at all except for having everyone over.

Hubbs had a four day weekend, so the day after Christmas, we got up fairly early and went out to our shop/garage and started cleaning. Yep. All kinda fun right there.

building the walls
See the upper level? We have just got the framework of studs up & are starting to put the plywood on!

Hubby has this huge 30 x 60 shop with two large garage bays, one with a car lift, an “office”, a bathroom with shower, a room with a small garage door for our lawn mower and another room that was originally intended to be a “tool room”.

what a mess! ACK! too much stuff!
Here’s a small sampling of what we are dealing with!

Now, before you go thinking we’re rich, let me stop you. Hubby bartered for most of what’s in there (that 6000 lb lift? yep, $200 and a day spent clearing garbage) so even though it’s really REALLY nice considering what we spent on it, we just “squeaked by” to get it completed and enough of the insides done to use it.

In the part of the shop where those rooms are, he was able to get a set of metal stairs so he built an upper level with the intention of closing it in for more household-type storage.

But we somehow never got around to putting up those walls. For one thing, the money just wasn’t there to buy the material, then what material had been left over from building the shop that we’d hoped to at least start on the walls with ended up getting used in some other project. So over the years (yep, YEARS) with each of the boys getting cars that needed parts and then having parts taken off of things that they’d sell… (yeah, right)…well, that upper floor got covered in all manner of stuff!

There was also all the stuff from the house that we just didn’t know what to do with…the dining set that was my grandparents that we used for awhile until my mom gave me a nicer set, the two chairs the boys had used when we were homeschooling, bookcases, books, lamps, sports equipment, weights, siding, trim and tile from projects in the house. You name it, it was out there and open to all the elements a shop can present…dust, black soot from the wood stove that heat the place, sawdust, welding “dust”…it was just filthy up there.

We had a small attic that we’ve used for storage all this time. We had to keep our Christmas stuff up there because it was the only place we had. Because of the way our ceilings are made, we had to put the entrance inside a closet in one of the spare rooms. That makes what little space is up there almost more trouble than it’s worth. So, we decided that we had to get those walls up so we could store the Christmas stuff out in the shop. It’ll be MUCH easier to load a dolly with totes and roll them down the wide steps and into the house than to wrestle them out of the attic. AND we would have enough space to move all my craft stuff out there plus all the other seasonal decor we have stuffed up there.

We decided that it’d be nice to run lights up there, of course, so we could see what was up there, but MORE lights and set up a table so that I could actually work on craft projects out there and not have to gunk up the house every time I wanted to paint something or do a project.

installing the door with no lights yet
See how dark? Hubby’s installing the door, with Samson’s help, it looks like. ūüôā

So, we spent a lot of time running metal conduit and electric through those, wiring the lights & getting them hung. That was after framing and covering the walls. We even added a small window so you could see out into the shop from up there. It was out of our old kitchen door!

let there be light!
Hubby ran this metal conduit all across the ceiling & over those beams

After working almost every evening for a week, and I mean, working the whole time he was off for Christmas, then the next four-day weekend for New Year’s and then every evening after work til late, we got really, REALLY tired! Just burnt out, really.

LIGHTS
Let’s shed some light on this mess!
Walls completed! What's next?
Got the walls covered! See the little “peeking” window? ūüėÄ

The thing is while we had got a LOT of stuff done for the upstairs and the actual storage area, we were also cleaning and clearing and fixing things in the main shop area too. For instance, Hubby had a work bench he needed to put a new top on. He had kept a big piece of marble-like material he’d gotten from somewhere or other and so we got that down and used the table saw to cut it to the size he needed, cut another piece to make a small shelf over the bench then made another top and corner shelf out of the rest of it. Of course, he had to round all the edges and make it perfect (sheesh!) so that took a lot of time. Now he has a very nice workbench with the shelf above it and a light mounted underneath. He ran wiring for a switch and an outlet.

What's that? The FLOOR! Ladders now have a home!
Hey! There’s the floor! And now the ladders have a home! Woo!

Another project he’d wanted to do for awhile is to get some way to play music out there. The old boom box he’d been using was great…when it would pick up a station. But in a metal building, radio reception is hit or miss, and stations would “wander” so it really frustrated him. Our oldest son told him how he could stream music through his phone. He had run ethernet cable out there from the house (underground!) several years ago so he could do research about stuff he was working on without coming back and forth to the house. So since I’d just upgraded my phone, we had my old one to use solely for streaming music…we just needed something to stream it to. He pulled out another of his “I can use this for something” items…an older car radio with mp3 capabilities. He got our daughter-in-law’s brother, who is a whiz with computers, to come up and help him rig it all up. Then he got into the stack of speakers he’d been amassing. He wired all of those up that sounded decent and so now he has full stereo sound in the shop with clear, crisp streaming music!

So as you can see, our “build walls and clean up a storage area” project was anything but cut and dried!

At this point, we do have a lot accomplished up there. We got the big piles of just STUFF that Hubby had saved from various and sundry building projects sorted and categorized and put into milk crates that are stacked along a wall. the bigger items we put into totes. We built a hook thingie to hold all the remaining conduit and other long, thin items up off the floor and easy to access. We threw out a bunch of junk along the way, used a lot of stuff in the building of the room and moved some out to the shop below.

Yesterday, I wiped down all the Christmas totes that had been stacked in the shop so Hubby could carry them in. While we don’t have the area where we plan to put them completely finished (we need to insulate the outer‚Äč walls and cover them) we do have room to put the totes where they’ll be kept clean and out of the way. I now have them all stacked in the family room (yep, in the middle of everything) which I don’t really care for, but at least I can work toward getting Christmas put away and getting the house back to normal. Hopefully soon I can start carrying craft items out of the back room. First, though, I have to get some shelves emptied and a bit more junk out of the other part of the room.

One more sort-of bump in our road to organizing and cleaning the shop…our youngest son had an accident a couple weeks ago. Praise God, he wasn’t hurt because his Jeep flipped end over end and he could have been seriously injured or killed just as easily. But his Jeep is pretty banged up. The frame was twisted slightly, so the insurance company totaled it and our son bought it back for practically nothing and he wants to fix it.

upsidedown Jeep!
Thank God, it looks a lot worse than it is!

That means it’s in our shop now. *sigh* It’s been okay. He’s been up here for the past week helping Hubby do work out there in preparation (& probably payment‚Äč) for his dad’s help fixing the Jeep and a place to work on it. But tonight, they brought it home, so now they are out there messing with it.

I told them they really needed to finish the project they’d started a couple days ago which was putting wall board up in the office (which had been just studs and bare insulation til now) and tin up on the ceiling. So now all the stuff is moved out of the office into the shop and while the walls are done, the ceiling has only one run of metal on it. I’m hoping tomorrow they will get back on that.

Another dilemma there is that we want to move the chest freezer out of the office (yeah, that was the only place we could put it at the time…we got it from his parents) into the mower room, but that, of course, requires a whole ‘nother clean up and move stuff and organize project. We started that tonight, but didn’t get finished. We did get a piece cut out of the roll of carpet we’d had for years big enough to put under our bikes so we could throw the rest of it away and get it out of the floor in the shop (after it had come from upstairs) We got part of our camping supplies out of the mower room moved upstairs and most of the shelf that has to move to make room for the freezer emptied out.

SHEW!!! I’m just about to get overwhelmed with all this stuff!! What I want to do once the majority of this cleaning is done is have a sort-of open house so people from the homeschooling community can come and buy all (hopefully) the tons of books and supplies I have sitting in FOUR bookcases down in the shop covered with a tarp!! I’m still going to have to dust all that stuff, even with the tarp, they’re a mess, but they’ve been sitting there for about 3 years now!

So yeah… we have got a ton of stuff done, but we have SO much more to go! And I’m halfway trying to clear, toss, declutter and organize in the house too.

I hope I get most of this stuff done before it kills me! That way at least when people have to go through my stuff, it won’t drive them bonkers too! LOL!

More updates later.

homeschooling: the early years

I worked for a family-owned natural food store when my eldest was about two years old. I was there a little over a year working mostly part time, but I ended up doing a lot of work from home after I became manager.

They were an Adventist family who homeschooled their four children. I had never really heard of homeschooling before then and honestly, hadn’t even thought about it even though I had a child of my own!

Yeah, I’m not really the plan-ahead or worry-about-the-future type of gal, I guess.

So anyhow, while I worked there, other homeschooling families who knew the owners would come in, so I got to talk with them and the owner-family’s mom would bring books in about homeschooling and I’d look through those.

It piqued my interest in the prospect of homeschooling even though I really still didn’t feel like “school” was a real “threat” in my future. I was still relishing my little toddler and spending all the time I could with him. I really loved being a mom!

Homeschooling Concept
By the time he was ready to start kindergarten, we had another baby and I had had a few medical issues that had left me in pretty bad health. I was always so fatigued and I didn’t feel there was any possible way I could attempt to homeschool.

We arranged with the local private school that was just starting up to work out part of the tuition so we could just barely afford to send Corey to preschool. It was okay. I grew stronger during that year and by the next year, tuition had gone up, of course, and we had to decide what we were going to do.

I had made friends with another young mom and her son had become friends with Corey, so I was able to send him to the city school where her son was going to attend first grade.

That’s when we started seeing all the benefits of educating him at home. First there was the shortage of reading books. Part of the time, he was sent home with one, part of the time he wasn’t. When I asked his teacher about it, she told me they didn’t have enough books for all the kids.

I know. I was like, “SERIOUSLY?!” I then began to see the pattern of sending a ton of “homework” home with him to do. I’d ask him, “What did you do at school today?”

“We watched The Lion King!” he’d answer while unloading his little backpack of all the papers he was supposed to have done for tomorrow. They had started to implement whole language at that time, and it was the most idiotic thing I’d ever seen. He would bring home pages of scribble and when asked what it was, he’d tell me it was some story he had been told to write. There wouldn’t even been one letter on the page that was recognizable, let alone any words.

They put up work papers on the walls at school with smiley faces on them and tons of misspelled words. Written on the top in mostly-legible handwriting was the word “Spelling”.

By the time that school year was over, I was just sick of the whole thing. It was just ludicrous to me that I was sending my child to spend 7 hours a day, being nickel‚Äč-and-dimed to death every time I turned around (and they STILL didn’t have enough books?!) and he seemed to be getting nothing for that time investment. We were spending several hours each evening doing the work he could and should have done at school instead of watching Disney movies. And that’s not even counting the fact that I was the one teaching him to read at home.

various stages of homeschooling
I think I’m at stage 8. (thanks, GFH!)

Tommy and I talked it over, prayed about it and decided to bite the bullet and homeschool the next year…“Just to see if it will work and if we like it.”

We ordered A Beka‘s second grade set of curriculum and then stood mouth a-gape looking at the two stacks of books that came. I guess I felt relieved that we got something tangible for the money we’d spent, but I mean, the stack of books just for Corey was almost as tall as he was!

And yet, we plunged in. To clarify, I ordered A Beka because that was the only thing I knew! That’s the curriculum the private school had used. I figured it was good enough for them, we could certainly do just as well with it.

I didn’t know any other homeschoolers at that time, other than the people I’d worked for at the food store and I didn’t really know them well enough to call up & ask questions. So ignorant me, didn’t know enough to realize that actual classroom textbooks are full of “busy work”. I thought we were supposed to do every single thing on every single page.

Needless to say, we cried a lot that first year.

*sigh*

We evaluated things after that and I had started chatting online with several veteran homeschoolers who helped me realize that I was overburdening us both with trying to do EVERYthing in the textbooks.

I ordered from Alpha-Omega the next year.

Things went much smoother that year. Even though we now had a toddler getting involved in things, it was still a lot less stressful using AO for school. The only thing I found was that some of the subjects were a little shallow for our liking.

The thing that stands out most to me is when Corey got to a section about Loius Pasteur and the booklet just sort of skimmed over his contribution to science but Corey had more questions about him and what he did.

I ended up finding some library books he could read to satisfy that curiosity, but it showed me that we still hadn’t found “THE” curriculum for us.

By then, I had finally met some other real-life homeschoolers in the area and began getting more tips and insight into ways of homeschooling. And by the end of that second year, we had decided that we were comfortable enough with it and Corey enjoyed it enough that we would continue.

homeschooling works!
For our family, it really did! Marvelously!

And so began our journey of learning at home…stay tuned. More memories of those years to come!

on the upswing…

Things have been going much better at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s just the good Lord pouring His favor on me.

I’ve been in such an awful place over this house. Ever since the horrible bout of depression for most of 2014, I have just not taken care of the house. I did what laundry HAD to be done, kept enough dishes clean to eat off but that’s about it. Seriously, this place has really gone to the dogs.
`
It’s hard for me to admit that “out loud”, but there are plenty enough people who know it either first hand or because I told them. But I guess because of the way my mother is, the way I was raised, having a messy or dirty house is a direct reflection of your character. Your worth as a human being. I’ve worked a long time, a lot of years, to be able to deal with the indoctrination that because I didn’t keep a pristine house, I was a lousy person.
house-hatemorethan
My mother is an immaculate housekeeper. My dad always had his own businesses and so Mom always did the bookkeeping and such instead of having a job outside the home. She apparently was almost OCD about cleaning when she and Dad first got married. Her older sister laughingly told me that she caught my mom ironing Dad’s underwear when they were newlyweds. I guess she laughed at my mom then too, but it seems to be Mom’s way of showing love. The love language of service.

She once told me that as a child, her mother, my grandmother, wasn’t a great housekeeper. She seemed to not even take into account that Grandmother had 7 kids, an unsupportive, cheating husband and always lived in a rented home with little money to live on. After I learned those things about my Grandma, I realized she was probably really depressed!

All my mom remembers is how embarrassed it made her to have people see their messy house, so she would clean it as best she could. She was the youngest girl and next-to-youngest child of the seven, so her older sisters were either about to get married, busy dating and going to high school and really didn’t care about the house the way Mom did.

Somehow, even as an adult, Mom didn’t realize that more than likely the biggest reason Grandma didn’t worry about keeping the house nice is because she was depressed.

I mean, I think you’d have to be depressed if your husband was running around on you and left to you deal with seven children on your own. Oh, he didn’t walk out on them…he just cheated on her and then came home expecting to be welcomed and respected.

Anyway, I think that’s why Mom connects the way you take care of things with your self-worth. She’s made me feel like dirt many times over the years, just ragging on me because my house wasn’t clean enough to suit her.

When I was a child I had chores of course, but most of it only involved my own room. As I got older, she’d have me do other chores around the house…mostly washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming. The times she wanted me to do anything else, though, like cleaning windows or mirrors, I never did it “right” and she would just go behind me and do it over. The only things she didn’t complain about or do over were the vacuuming and dishwasher. I guess there’s not many ways to mess that up.
neither do I
I think it really messed with me the way both my parents tended to not be really generous with compliments or encouraging words. Add the way Mom never thought I did anything right with those tasks and how mad it made her, and I ended up with a huge deficit in the confidence department.

Years ago when the kids were young, any time she came over, she’d never sit and chat like normal people. She would start cleaning. Because even if I’d just cleaned, it was never clean enough for her.

Now I admit, I’ve never been a super-duper housekeeper, but I used to do just fine when the kids were home. Even after my youngest moved out, I could do okay.
burglar obstacles
Then last year happened. A lot of things just came to a head. I think there were many “little” things that all worked together to send me to the bottom of The Pit and because I’d gone off my anti-depressants, I ended up in a horrifically dark place for over eight months.

And during all that time, it was all I could do to get out of bed. I avoided people, going only to church and not much else. I certainly didn’t worry about or feel like cleaning or taking care of the house.
i-don-t-care
Now, it never got quite THIS bad:
nasty
in case you’re picturing an episode of Hoarders or some other equally nightmarish reality show.

It was probably more like this:
house-clutter
Except with a LOT more paper. Paper/mail/documents are the bane of my existence!

So anyway, somehow, some way I have had more determination and energy to tackle the long-neglected chores around here. The hubby helped me get a bunch of items out of the house that were causing clutter too. We even got the Christmas decorations out and finished putting up the tree AND have the mess from all that cleaned up already.

I’ve dusted and swept and vacuumed and mopped in places that haven’t had any attention in a long time. I have all the laundry caught up and most of it put away. I did a major decluttering and cleaning in the bedroom and really all I need to get done is the kitchen (where most of the papers are) and master bath.

It’s crazy how much better I feel just knowing I have started to get some “control” over the state of this house. It’s crazy how I KNOW it makes me feel better, but when I’m depressed/tired/frustrated, I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter how much I know it’ll make me feel better…I just can’t make myself do it. It just seems too overwhelming.

Now, to just finish these last rooms (we will talk about my two spare rooms that need major work at another time) so I can start planning a menu for our traditional Christmas breakfast at our house!
messy house prayer
I’ve prayed this prayer many times before in my life. I can’t imagine ever NOT needing to pray it, though!

drifting…

I feel this urge to write. ¬†To “make a post” here, but….

I have no clue what to write about. ¬†There’s nothing pressing weighing on my mind really, no earth-shaking updates in my life that I need to make. ¬†Just nothing.

But I find that when I sit here with my fingers tapping the keys that sometimes “things” come out. ¬†Things that I didn’t know were simmering just below the surface of my awareness, ya know?

Right now, I’m thinking about how I NEED to get some sort of exercise. ¬†It’s been almost a week since I’ve been on my bike. ¬†Hubby has had to work late every evening there was a scheduled ride and even on the days when it was just nice “bike ride” weather. ¬†Things have been crazy at work. ¬†It’s weird because when he calls to tell me he won’t be home in time, it’s almost like I feel relieved. ¬†Even though I enjoy riding, I guess it’s the process of getting ready to go actually do it that I hate. ¬†Maybe? ¬†I dunno…

I’m also thinking about how I am tired of cramping. ¬†If there are any male specimens reading, this might be the time to look away. ¬†(ha ha ha!) ¬†I was a little insulted when I went to the new gynecologist back in January and she looked surprised when I told her, yes, i still get my periods. ¬†I mean, c’mon! ¬†I realize I’m a lot closer to 50 now, but that doesn’t mean I should automatically dry up and stop doing my womanly ‘duty’, does it? ¬†Maybe it’s rare for women past 45 to still have their periods? ¬†Or maybe for a woman of that age to still even have her uterus at all what with hysterectomies being so prevalent these days

Anyhow, so I’m thinking maybe I need to go back on the progesterone cream for awhile. ¬†I first used it about 12 years ago when I was ready to get myself a hysterectomy just to avoid the misery that was mine every month. ¬†I had horrendously long, heavy, clotty periods… like 7-8 days long and occasionally I’d do that twice a month! ¬†And the cramping!! ¬†Oh my gosh, how awful it was!! ¬†At that time, a friend suggested progesterone cream, which I’d never even heard of…so I dragged myself to the health food store and picked some up.

I used it every day up until the day my period started, then stayed off it for 6 days (I think.. maybe it was a week) and then started it again, over and over. ¬†I used it for about 3 years and was never so pleased with how something worked in my life. ¬†I went to 4-5 day long cycles that were much, MUCH lighter and hardly any cramping at all. ¬†A MAJOR difference from pre-prog-cream days of being incapacitated by the pain and flooding “super-sizes” of all varieties for a week at a time.

I probably haven’t used the cream in a good 6 years or more. ¬†And my periods are still much lighter than what had been my norm, but I’ve started getting horrendous acne and having a bit more cramping in the week or so prior to starting. ¬†Maybe it’s time to get back on the wagon for awhile?

I know there is another regimen for using the cream during menopause, but I’ve NEVER missed a period… like I said, I sometimes have two in a month, so I don’t think I’m “there” yet, but maybe doing that routine would even help with the cramping and acne? ¬†I dunno… ¬†I’ll hafta do some research.

Ugh. ¬†Just discovered that maybe all the cramping for today may NOT be from the monthly. ¬†Although it is time for that and I’m sure that’s what it has been up until now, but ugh! ¬†Intestinal distress is mine today and I’m not sure why. ¬†Sheesh.

Okay, so that was a li’l TMI… sorry. ¬†Anyhow, see what I mean about when I sit down to write sometimes things just “come out”? ¬†Occasionally that is literal as well. ¬†BAHAHA! ¬†(sorry…potty humor!)

I haven’t got much done around the house. ¬†It seems when I start thinking about what all needs to be done, I get so overwhelmed because there is SO much that needs doing. ¬†*sigh* ¬†I have all the Christmas stuff down and put in boxes, but the boxes still sit in the living room, which is our unused room, not the family room where we live/watch TV.

I need Hubby’s help to get them back into the attic and he hasn’t seemed to feel it necessary to even attempt to do that. ¬†I think I will try maybe Friday after he gets off work and see if I can get him to carry them up the ladder for me. ¬†I’m puke sick of those boxes in there. ¬†And I mean probably a dozen big totes, not just a few shoe boxes, okay? ¬†They take up the entire room. ¬†I think if I could get those out of the way, maybe, just maybe I would get energized and focused enough to start making some headway on the house altogether.

Perhaps I’ll put together a list of what needs to be done and the projects I’d like to accomplish and post that here. ¬†Not sure I’m that brave just yet, even though no one really reads this. ¬†It is accessible and people could see it if they chose to read. ¬†*sigh* ¬†We’ll see.

But as for accomplishing anything, yesterday WAS a little better than usual. ¬†I got up and took our tax stuff to the CPA at 10. ¬†Then I went by my doctor’s office, the GP, and picked up the orders she’d written almost a month ago for physical therapy for my neck and shoulders. ¬†I kept forgetting to stop and get it…that is after they forgot to even give them to me. ¬†*ugh* ¬†After that, I went to the grocery store. ¬†Got the ingredients I needed to make some Chicken Enchilada soup I’d shown to Hubby and we agreed sounded yummy. Then I stopped at the gym and laid for a few minutes in the tanning bed. ¬†Toyed with the idea of going there to actually work out a little soon, but I detest driving to the gym. ¬†I know, I am pathetic. ¬†After that, I went to the bank to see about getting the app on my phone working again. ¬†After it updated, I had to re-input my info and it kept telling me my security answers were wrong when I KNEW they were right! ¬†Talk about embarrassing! ¬†Turns out instead of entering the month and year of my anniversary, I was supposed to be putting in the month and DAY. ¬†Sheesh! ¬†Thankfully the woman who helped me apparently runs into this a lot with customers and she just laughed with me and told me it happens all the time. ¬†Suffice to say, I didn’t tell Hubby how they remedied the problem. ¬†Ha ha!!

After the bank, I went to the therapy place my mom recommended. ¬†She’s been to a lot of physical and occupational therapy over the years, so I figure she knows which one is the best. ¬†That took a long time because they don’t participate with my insurance company. ¬†The nice lady offered to call them though, since I have two separate policies with them to see if that would make a difference.

It didn’t, of course. ¬†She showed me the difference in doing it out-of-network versus “in ¬†network”. ¬†Quite an expensive difference. ¬†*sigh* ¬†I would be “allowed” 50 less visits and each one would cost twice the amount. ¬†Nice.

One of the therapists was sitting at another desk and when I said I’d better just check around first, she started telling me that she was hearing from patients that their office does much more “hands on” therapy than others. ¬†Meaning, I gathered, that they actually do some muscle manipulation (massage) where the others just put a TENS unit and some heat on you and have you do some neck stretches. ¬†I swear, I think a few good massages would probably fix my stupid neck anyhow.

THEN they tell me that their other office, about 35 miles away, DOES accept my insurance. ¬†Now first of all, I’ve never heard of a medical group where one office takes an insurance but the other doesn’t. ¬†That doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. ¬†But that’s what I was told. ¬†I asked how often they thought I’d have to go and was told probably twice a week in order to help the problem as quick as possible.

Now, I am starting the pelvic therapy in Lexington with once a week visits in about 4 more weeks. ¬†I just don’t think I could handle a 100-mile trip to Lexington and another two 35-mile trips each week on the interstate. ¬†I just think that might possibly increase my stress level, ya know? ¬†And that’s not counting the 50+ miles every other week to see my therapist in Richmond.

Too much driving for me.  Ugh!

So I’m not sure what I’ll do about my daggone neck. ¬†I might try just going to my chiropractor and see if getting aligned will help any. ¬†Knowing my history with that, the muscles are probably so tight, I won’t be able to stay in alignment from one appointment to the next.

Ugh! ¬†Sucks to be me, right? ¬†Heh. ¬†Oh well…

Okay, so to finish up my tale of accomplishment from yesterday…once I finally got home, I gathered the eggs, found we had got another monster one and promptly had to send a picture to Hubby and the kids:

sometimes, one of the girls gets a little uber-ambitious!

And then I had to send another one once I got inside and put them in these cups to compare the size:

I couldn’t resist… heh.

And after all that fun, I tidied up the kitchen (read: cleaned up the mess that was there so I could cook) and fixed the enchilada soup.  That took a little longer than I expected, but after I got all that done, I even cleaned up that mess too and put on a load of laundry and swept the kitchen floor.

Go, me!!

Psalm 24:4¬†– “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”

moving forward…

[NOTE:: ¬†Originally, this post was entitled “hurt people hurt people…” but I have changed it because it morphed into something different. ¬†And I am thankful for that!]

That is… people who are hurting will hurt others. ¬†That’s the conclusion I’ve come to and of course, we all know this deep inside. ¬†It’s hard, though, to deal with these folks. ¬†We reach out to them in love and they respond by hurting us. ¬†This plays out day after day, a zillion times over. ¬†Everywhere.

My second daughter-in-law (DIL2) is like this with me. ¬† It’s all very complicated and I’m sure it would become majorly twisted if I were to try and explain it all here, so I’m not going to do that. ¬†And I don’t want this to seem like a “bash DIL2” post either. ¬†That’s NOT what I want to do. ¬†I am just trying to sort it all out and make things better.

And that’s a hard task, lemme tell you.

I think DIL2 is so determined to have “overcome” her past, her childhood & the teen years when she was fairly wild, that she tries to come off as loving to EVERYONE, as if that’s how we’re supposed to be if we are followers of Jesus. ¬†But we are still human. ¬†We still mess up, we still don’t get along with everyone. ¬†So pretending that you do is #1- lying, #2 – ¬†gotta be incredibly tiring and frustrating and #3 – ¬†not healthy.

(March 24, 2015)

I used to think she just didn’t understand this aspect of things. ¬†That she just thought that you get saved and you’re supposed to just love everyone. ¬†But it’s been long enough that I think she ought to know that by now. ¬†So maybe it’s just that she’s always been this way…wanting to please everyone she meets and not able to stand it if someone didn’t like her. ¬†That too is an unhealthy view, but I don’t know how to make her see it. ¬†I mean, if EVERYONE likes you that means you are lying to someone, ya know?

If no one ever dislikes you, it means you aren’t standing for anything but bowing to whatever the will or whimsy is of the people you are with…that will automatically lead to lying, even if it’s only to yourself! ¬†Not healthy.

Of course, maybe she IS over it because it doesn’t seem to bother her so much to be at odds with me. ¬†And it’s so hard for me to accept that, but since I don’t know how to fix it, I just have to live with it…which is not exactly the same as acceptance, right? ¬†*sigh*

I do have to admit though, that things are a little better. ¬†She still doesn’t text or call me very often, but talks to Hubby several times a week. ¬†Maybe it’s that I don’t call her? ¬†Probably, but it’s a little hard to do that now after she withdrew and outright avoided me for so long in the winter. ¬†Yes, I should “get over it”, but it’s still very awkward to just call up for no particular reason. ¬†Our face-to-face conversations are still pretty strained and mostly small talk. ¬† The only “deep” subject we have broached is my son’s health and she can be a little defensive about that if I suggest something she’s not on board with, ya know? ¬†But maybe I’m reading into it… It’s just a little hard for me not to these days, but I’m trying.

I do try to text her, which seems to help some. ¬†I’m excited because she’s actually texting me right now about some exciting stuff going on at her work. ¬†Apparently the residents are helping set up for a Big Daddy Weave concert! ¬†And it’s not a group text like usual…it’s just me and her chatting a bit.

Baby steps, right? ¬†ūüėÄ

There WAS a very awesome and random development Sunday afternoon.  Hubby and I got out of the early service at church and went to the grocery store with the intent of getting a couple steaks and some charcoal to grill at home.  By the time we got home, our eldest son called to see if we wanted to meet him and his wife for lunch as they had been on a job all morning (something that could only be done during that time while a production line was down) so we told them we planned to grill and suggested they come over for that.

I’d seen DIL2’s friend at church heading into the second service with Son2, so I figured they would be eating out with her maybe, but Hubby called them anyway. ¬†Turned out they were dropping the friend back in the next town over and they wanted to come eat some grill food too.

It was SO not planned and the house, of course, was a mess, but we had a good time just cooking and eating and then we had all the dogs out too…our little Max (Shi-Tzu/Maltese) and big Samson (chocolate lab), Son1’s Timber (Australian Shepherd) and Son2’s Biscuit (golden retriever). ¬†What a mish-mash of dogs, all running every where trying to keep up with what the others were doing. ¬†They both had brought their dogs’ favorite toys, which kept them all busy for quite some time then someone got out a frisbee and all three of the guys got out in the yard to play with the dogs running back and forth trying to catch the thing when they got a chance.

It was a really nice afternoon and a rare occasion when we had all our kids together.  Hubby and I both were very thankful for it and tried to let the kids know how much it meant to us.

The Kids2 left first saying they had some tax papers they needed to get through before Monday, so Kids1 were left with us, which is more often than not, how it goes.  Besides the fact that they are really the ones who ever even call us to get together or go out.

Now more than ever, I’m really thankful for that. ¬†Like when we went to see Tim Hawkins, that was because of our older kids asking us and that was even to join with their other friends from church. ¬†They make us feel wanted and welcomed for the most part. ¬†And that’s so not how it is with our younger kids.

But maybe that will change soon.  Hopefully with the warmer weather coming on, we can have more cookouts and games in the back yard.

Lord Jesus, please let it be so!!

Psalm 127:3-5Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are thechildren of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

.

more later…

I have appointments today with the PA to talk about getting on some meds and then with my therapist again. The roads are mainly clear, but I’ll be driving our “good” truck…the one withOUT four-wheel drive (which wouldn’t matter with ice!), the one that needs new tires, the one we haven’t had out in the snow at all… That makes me nervous, but it probably shouldn’t.

And I’m going by myself. I haven’t really heard from my friend who went with me last time. Just a few short responses to various Facebook posts or online videos, etc… and I asked how she was and wasn’t satisfied with the response I got, and I told her that. I was NOT convinced that she was doing “fine”. I never got a response.

We are also having a gathering with our Emmaus reunion group. This one is going to be open to any lady in Emmaus, so we’re expecting about 30 women, I think. I have to fix food for this, so I have some Dill Pickle Soup already started. Gonna fix some Oreo Fluff when I get back home.

Need to run by the pet store while I’m in Richmond to pick up food for Max and something for the kids. We tried to do that last night, but the pet store was already closed. We went up there to the Japanese place for DIL’s birthday with our other kids and some friends of DIL’s.

Hubby’s having some intestinal issues that I’m afraid might be from a hernia. I told him to call his doctor today.

I had planned to order my Thrive today too, but I can’t. I am so sick of being unable to get the stuff we need. The stuff *I* need to feel better. SO so sick of it.

Oh, and with the rains, our house is stinking again. (something to do with drain pipes crossing septic lines? it’s horrific and disgusting and a nice addition to all the crap I feel right now)

On that note, I guess I’ll head out of here. More on how things go later!!

being single isn’t for me

For those who don’t know, I’m married. ¬†Not separated, not divorced.. just minus my man for a longer amount of time than I am used to the past couple weeks! ¬†Normally, he doesn’t travel much at all for his work. ¬†Maybe a couple days once or twice a year.

However, he’s been gone almost 2 weeks this time!! ¬†It happened that two different conferences/seminars were happening back-to-back & they wanted him to attend both.

Egads, but it’s been cah-ray-zee around here!! ¬†He left the day after I got back from serving 3 days with Emmaus, so there was that. ¬†Then he left that Tuesday for Alabama. (I’d just gotten back Monday night)¬†He got back from there late Saturday night. ¬†We dumped his clothes into the washer and then hit the hay. ¬†We rushed to get to church the next morning, then ran home, finished his clothes, repacked them, adding some winter clothes since this time he was going north to Indianapolis and off he went at 1pm Sunday afternoon. ¬†This is Thursday afternoon and he’s just now heading back home.

Thank God!!

I woke up kinda sick Monday morning & not wanting it to progress, I decided to go on to the doctor, which meant sitting there pretty much all day.  Turns out I had yet aNOTHER double ear infection and the beginnings of bronchitis.  AGAIN.  Ugh!  So they did the usual, two shots & a round of Omnicef.  I thought, great, I will beat this out before it gets any worse.

WRONG.

Woke up yesterday (Wed) morning feeling worse. ¬†But I had an MK training that I really needed to go to, so I went. ¬†I wasn’t out in the cold that much, just between the truck & my house, then to her house & back home again. ¬†I went straight to bed soon as I got home, ¬†hoping some sleep would somehow improve the condition.

I got home about 3:30 pm yesterday, so when the hubby called around 7 pm & woke me up, I quickly realized I was NOT better.  I was worse, if anything.  Very tight chest with barking cough & lots of congestion in my head.  Ugh!

So I finally went back to bed around 11 pm, exhausted so I fell back to sleep pretty quick.  Around 3 am I groggily woke up wondering if I had left my little poodle outside because I could hear distant barking.  But it was Samson, our chocolate lab, going crazy in his pen outside.

He never makes a fuss, so I was concerned, but didn’t have a clue what I should do. ¬†I was now dealing with Tucker, the poodle who was doing his own loud barking now. ¬†I texted Tommy because frankly, I just didn’t know what to do.

I looked out at the pen which is in a bit of light from the night-light across the street. ¬†I could see him walking round & round his house, looking away from our house & just barking. ¬†I couldn’t see anything or figure out any direction he was focusing on. ¬†I thought maybe it was a skunk or a stray dog, but didn’t see a dog & didn’t smell a skunk.

I didn’t get a response from Tommy so I called him. ¬†No answer. ¬†I was desperate now to get Tucker to shut up (he doesn’t have an inside voice) so I turned on Pandora & laid back down with my bedside lamp on. ¬†Tommy called me in a few minutes & I told him what was going on. ¬†My head was SO full of gunk & I was trying to blow as much out as I could.. I felt purely miserable!

Then he tells me I need to take the shotgun & go let Samson out of his pen.

*SIIIIGH*   Really?

Ugh.

Did I mention I have this double-ear infection & bronchials from Hades right now?

So I muster up my courage, remind myself that God is always with me (seriously!), that fear is the enemy’s tool to make us lose focus of what God wants for us AND that I was really really tired & wouldn’t be getting any sleep til Samson shut up… and I stepped out into the dark.

Of course, everything was fine as best I could tell. ¬†Sometimes we have coyotes around here, but I hadn’t heard any & it was kinda cold for them to just be roaming around. ¬†I didn’t smell the first hint of a skunk & you KNOW when those suckers are causing trouble even if you never see them. ¬†So I don’t know what Sam was so upset about.

I do know that when I came back in the house, I called Hubby back, as was the plan, *(to tell him I was still alive, I guess. ¬†Haha!) that sleep did NOT just pounce on me like I’d hoped. ¬†ImageAs sleepy & sick as I was, there was no sleep for me. ¬†I propped my trusty .410 within quick reach right at the bedroom door & just stared at it while I waited for sleep to come.

I think it finally showed up about 5 that morning. ¬†“You took your sweet time!”, I thought to myself.

Ahhh, so now my husband is home at last. ¬†I am just not good alone. ¬†Just NO GOOD at single. ¬†And I guess, after almost 30 years of marriage, that’s probably a good thing!

hmMmM.mm

Okay, so I’m not sure if this is really productive… I forget if this template shows time of post or not, but people, it’s almost 5:30a & I’ve been up since about 3a!

Tucker hadda go pee, okay?  And totally abnormal for me, I felt wide awake.  This as opposed to the usual closed-eyed stumbling I usually do when letting Tucker out at night.

So…. while waiting for him, I started cleaning our bathroom. And if you read my last personal post, you can guess it was a big disaster area. ¬†I’ve gotten completely out of the habit of trying to at least wipe things down in there every week. ¬†I’ll clean the toilet every day if it looks dirty, but the vanity can get totally gross and seems like I just can’t make myself clean it up!

But no more… at least not for today. ¬†I wiped everything down with foam cleanser, detailed the faucets, scrubbed the toilet (again) including wiping the tank, behind the seat & the base, scrubbed down most of the tub.. have to get to the higher spots today sometime (please, Lord?) ¬†All I lack (ha!) is the mirrors, the floor and the two shelves.

I am stoked! ¬†ūüėČ ¬†BUT… I’ve been sitting here for close to an hour now… searching in vain for a Christmas theme for here. ¬†Where on earth ARE they? ¬†I’ve even been looking for “premium” (read: not free) themes, but all I can find is yucky-lookin’ stuff.

*sigh*

Ah well… I can hear Tommy snoring through the wall, so I may end up on the couch. ¬†I was hoping that the heavy-equipment-like snoring would end once his blood pressure got back down, but… no. ¬†*sheesh*

Hopefully I will have more progress to report later on.

Blessings~

th.E moSt wOn.deR.ful tiM.e oF thE yE.ar!

An Autumn Walk

this just makes me tingle.. LOVE the colors!

I love autumn. ¬†I love the smell, the colors, the feel of the air, the anticipation of the family getting together.. oh, wait. ¬†Well, it’s not that I dread the family part, it’s the getting ready for all that that seems to put me in a tailspin.

Can I hear an “amen” out there?

In case you didn’t already know, I’m one of the most unorganized people when it comes to my house. ¬†Other places? ¬†I’m an organized dynamo, but not at home. ¬†I think part of it’s because at home, I have to live with my decisions–what to toss, where to put the untossed, etc.. ¬†I get so overwhelmed… partially over worry that I’ll make a bad decision and partially because it seems I never have enough energy. ¬†Unlike when I’m doing my thang elsewhere, at church for instance, I can keep up my energetic-seeming job doing for a finite period and then go home. ¬†Whereas at home, not so much.

I know depression plays a huge part in why I’m so lax at home and why I’m so easily overwhelmed by the tasks I need to complete. ¬†It’s a double jeopardy kinda thing… the pain keeps me from doing & the non-doing adds to the feeling of being overwhelmed which deepens the depression. ¬†What a vicious cycle!!

My other catch-22 is that my not wanting to do or go keeps me at home, but at heart I’m a more social person. ¬†I love getting together with friends and talking the night away, ya know? ¬†So I discovered facebook, which most everyone knows can be a blessing and a curse! ¬†At least it is for me.

I’ve found SO many long-lost friends and become closer friends with those I only knew in passing before. ¬†facebook can be a wonderful way of connecting and staying connected to friends, family and loved ones. ¬†It can also be terribly addicting!

So… I’m going to try to break this awful cycle of non-doing and my addiction to facebook all at once. ¬†I’m not going cold turkey though. ¬†I think that might lead to more depression. ¬†Does that make sense? ¬†Well, anyway, I’m going to give it a try.

Time will tell if I’m successful. ¬†Pray for me!!!

Thx!