I'm watching PBS - a docu-drama about Pompeii that oddly stars the guy who plays Carson on Downton Abbey as this important Roman figure. It's a step up or down, depending on your perspective from the three hours of Bachelorette finale I watched last night. Let's just say I'm diverse.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Posted by Heather at 9:53 PM
Friday, July 25, 2014
Hey y'all! Time to play the "sorry I haven't blogged all week" song again. I don't know that I have anything ground breaking to share but I knew it was time for a welfare check with my mother hens and blogger babes.
After the fall on Sunday I was uber sore and moving around even less than usual. I just planted my happy butt on the loveseat and stitched to my heart's content. Here's the progress of my latest project after one week:
I'm debating leaving Farmville2 because as I've progressed in the game it has become a huge timesuck and most of the time I'm playing it out of obligation not because I'm enjoying it. I'd rather devote more time to things that matter like my genealogy stuff and bible study and - I don't know. It has just started to feel like a job not a hobby. Whereas I can't WAIT to start stitching in the morning and I hate it at night when I'm tired and start making mistakes and have to quit.
Austin was with us a couple of nights this week. Two, maybe. He came and did some yard work and was semi-helpful around the house and then he headed back to his girlfriend's house.
I took some funny pictures of Little Trouble Kitty being all stealth in a clothes basket that my mom had put on the landing of the basement stairs. Every night around 7:30 we gather all the kitties in the basement and have "nummy time" where they get their treats and close the door heading into the house. The reason for this is to keep Lily (who is still hanging in there despite her cancer diagnosis over a year ago) from coming downstairs. She can't go UP stairs so someone has to walk her around the house up the hill when she escapes. During the day we keep a baby gate at the top of the stairs, sort of propped against the doorway so there is enough room for the cats to get through. Lily has lost so much weight that she can slip through herself but the gate does discourage her slightly. However, at night if she comes down it's really hard to guide her up the hill because she doesn't see well and when it's dark outside, it's really dark (no street lights). Anyways... one night Little Kitty was on some kind of secret mission to watch and see if the door opened up again. He kept peeking out at me then peeking up the stairs to look at the door. And I guess he thought since Mawmaw carries the basket up the stairs that she might carry him.
Stubby got sick the other night and threw up ALL OVER the mattress on the floor by the hearth. I used to be a champ at cleaning up disgusting bodily fluids but for some reason since my kids are grown I can't stomach it. I was heaving like crazy. I'd dab up a bit of it and then have to run for the bathroom. Keep in mind that I was moving slower than normal because of my fall and so that whole process of bending over and then running away was no picnic in the park.
Another night Oscar the dachshund got upset because my parents went out in the boat WITHOUT him. He is constantly with one or the other of my parents and he loves the lake and loves riding in the boat. He was climbing in my lap for comfort and then tried to climb OVER me to the table behind the loveseat. That table is literally just propped up - one of the legs is broken and you can't put any weight on it without it collapsing. So I was reaching back over my head trying to pull 16 pounds of chubby dachshund back to my lap. I finally hollered for Austin and he came and intervened in the doggie meltdown.
I can literally do nothing all day and still - just by chance and happenstance - end up doing things that aggravate the fragile state of my spine. I try to be as careful as I can but life happens.
On Wednesday this week I took my mom to the doctor while dad was down in Atlanta taking care of Grandma's errands with her. It was uncomfortable but not excruciating. Then we went shopping at Dollar General because I was out of shampoo and conditioner and a few other necessities. Dollar General is preferable to Walmart because it is so much smaller and involves less walking but we still manage to find all kinds of fun things there.
Yesterday while Pop was golfing my mom decided we needed to treat ourselves to going out for lunch. Driving thru for lunch, I should say because I hate sitting on hard surfaces and we took Oscar with us so he wouldn't be scared at home by himself. We got Chick-fil-a and the nice girl in the drive-thru gave Oscar a dog biscuit. He was like, "Chickfila is now officially my favorite place in the whole world!". And it kept him from sticking his snout into our food.
We have a baby pumpkin growing on a vine right beside my porch.
And that's life in Cedar Holler this week. Hope your week have been lovely! Love and hugs, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 10:48 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for her weekly feature: Answer Me This.
Before that... let me tell you about my graceful swift descent to the floor yesterday morning... that's right, all (undisclosed number) pounds of me went from vertical to horizontal in one hot, painful second. I landed mostly on my left knee but any sudden jolt to my spine is not just painful, it's dangerous. I've been in much more pain since then but the scariest part is the new spots of numbness. My spinal stenosis means that there are nerves that are always close to being compressed. Falling changed that delicate environment back there and I'm having wicked muscle spams and twitches that are brand spanking new to this game. The pain is standard operation procedure around here. The numbness is usually *mostly* avoidable as long as I don't stand too long or sit upright compressing the nerves. Since yesterday, I can't find a position where I don't go numb. It stinks.
Anyways. So there's that. I also received an anonymous donation from a blog reader that was sent through my mom. I don't know who you are but I thank you very much for your generosity. My parents have gone over and above in making sure I not only have everything I need but also pretty much anything I want. I thought that once the money ran out I would be devastated and honestly, I haven't missed out on anything. However... being able to have a little jingle in my pocket to help pay for meds and doctor appointments and all that jazz lifts a burden of guilt off my shoulders so thank you, whoever you are. I pray that God returns your gift to you ten fold!
I was too lazy/tired/doped up on pain meds to add photos to this blog entry so I'm posting a picture of my very handsome oldest child and his furbabies. I miss you, Boo! Love you!
Now... on to those probing questions:
Posted by Heather at 9:21 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Posted by Heather at 1:47 PM
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
|Kids in a raft on the dock (while waiting to launch).|
Austin and his girlfriend have been working in VBS at her church this week. He is surprisingly good with kids, probably because he is just a big kid himself. Tasha is teaching a class and Austin is helping with games. Last night they did something like musical chairs. One little girl with Downs Syndrome got attached to him. She gave him a hug and melted his heart. The middle school he went to in Florida specialized in autism - they divided their special ed kids by disorder instead of geographically which meant that the staff knew a lot more about that disorder than most teachers. It was a great system but would only work in a large school system. At any rate, since he was high functioning autism he was mostly in the regular classroom but was able to go to the special ed class when he was out of sorts and needed "time out". Being in class with the kids who were profoundly autistic really made him compassionate toward kids who are different. I see that in him still and thought it was really sweet that he bonded with this little girl. She reached for him while her daddy was holding her - she was about two - which, like I said, melted his heart. There were two little girls from our church there and they both were tickled to see "Auggie" which is what Sarabeth and Jamie (and most of our family) call him.
Another funny thing... Pop picked up Zaxby's for lunch for us all. Jamie and Sarabeth ate adult meals and my mom and I ate kids' meals. The kids' meal was plenty for me and Jamie ate every bite of her adult meal. What was funnier was Jamie "taking orders" before they left. She said she wanted a big zax snack and I told her I wanted a small zax snack. She said, "then you want a kid's meal because there's not a small snack". She was right.
I'm watching The Bachelorette for the first time this season and it's about like reading the National Enquirer. You know it's complete bunk but you can't help yourself. I think there are like two more episodes and she'll pick her guy. They did this thing last night where she has the opportunity to invite guys to the "Fantasy Suite" which was essentially like inviting them to spend the night. I don't know... it just seemed a little... I don't know... creepy... that she took two guys there on subsequent nights. I guess it felt like Sister Wives without the kids. It was more than I wanted to know about their dating process. It's kinda like the two nudist communities here off our street - one is just a place where people hang around without clothes (and most of them are people you would NOT want to see naked) and the other is a place where they're naked and doing stuff, like a sex club. Club Med for pervs. It's like you just don't want to know people are doing that half a mile from your house.
|Jamie & Sarabeth showing why a mattress in the living room is good.|
Other than those two reality tv shows I've been pretty much a PBS and CSpan junkie. I could tell you a lot about what I've been watching on PBS but I'll save that for another day.
The headache is winning. Time to stop focusing for a few minutes. Happy Tuesday! Love and hugs, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 5:26 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Every blog entry I start to write feels so oppressive and depressing that I just close blogger and go on to something else. See... I am so incredibly fortunate to be where I am, to have the amount of family support that I have that it feels wrong to come here and complain about how I'm feeling. But... I know you wonder and I know you come here because you want to know how I'm doing. I don't want to be a downer. I don't want to be the whiny blog that you avoid because you just can't stand to hear the same sad song. Truly, it's hard to wake up every day facing a day of discomfort and isolation and uncertainty. When I say that I don't mean that I want to stop waking up... because that's not the case even in the least. I just lay down at night knowing that a good night's sleep is just pressing the restart button on whatever pains the next day brings. It's hard. That's all.
Here's the thing - if you took pain out of the equation I'd have to say that I'm at a very peaceful, happy point in life. I'm not feeling any romantic ambivalence... "does he really like me?" or "is he the right guy?" or "should I give that relationship another chance?" all that drama that has plagued me most of my adult life in the grand search for Mr. Right. I always prayed that God would either bring the right guy into my life or allow me to be content as a single person and I'm honestly, one hundred percent content. I can't imagine inflicting the instability of my medical situation on someone who would love me and be concerned about me and have to base their lifestyle around the things that I can't do - which is a lot. It feels so perfect to not have that.
I feel at peace about my kids. Yes, I want Austin to find a job and be more responsible but the heavy sadness that was hanging over our heads for awhile has dissipated. He's in a happy relationship and is spending a lot of time with her family. Please don't think me a bad mom for saying that I'm glad that he's not home as much. I love my kids. I love spending time with them. I just don't love spending ALL my time with them. That's all. Cody's doing well at work and happy in his marriage. Ryan and Sara are doing well (last I heard). As much as I don't want or need a romantic relationship for myself, I need for my kids to be happily coupled and they are.
I love shopping with my mom... who always insists that I get something for myself. I love grocery shopping with my dad as we plan meals for HIM to cook during the week. I am spending time with them that few adults get to have with their parents and they take care of everything I need. I spent my entire adult life struggling financially and worrying every month about keeping the rent paid and the lights on and the car in the driveway and it's nice to not have those things hanging over my head. I'm anxious about getting a response from social security - and I can't even imagine what I'll do if it's ultimately a no - but this wait could be SO much worse than it is.
Without sounding like a crazy cat lady, I am so grateful that my cousin picked out Little Trouble Kitty for me three years ago. I've never had a pet that I enjoyed or adored as much. He's really my best buddy and constant companion. He's the perfect pet for me and I treasure him. I even enjoy the rest of the herd, both dogs and cats (although I couldn't care less about the fish). They enrich our lives and I'm glad to be able to have the luxury of fur babies.
Honestly. I add these things up daily along with so many other things and I am grateful for this season of life. I really am. I'm glad to be able to spend time with my nieces. I'm loving the time to indulge in hobbies like cross stitch and genealogy. It's fun to be a couch potato and to expand my mind with hours and hours of CSpan and PBS. There is so much good in my life... but it hurts so bad. And it doesn't hurt the same way every day. One day it's the evil gut pain. One day it's a migraine. One day it's my lower spine. Always something. Hardly ever a day - or even an hour - completely pain free. And it's not just the pain - it's what the pain takes from me like the ability to carry on an intelligent conversation because I'm so distracted. It's the inability to go places and see people and do things and the isolation that brings. It's being 46 and knowing that I'm not ever going to be free of this pain. It's hard to connect with people because the world is a very different place for me than most people.
And then I compare my life and my non-fatal (as far as I know) pain to people who are suffering on a whole different level - people who are dealing with potentially fatal illness, people who don't have the freedoms I enjoy here in this country - people who don't have family to fall back on. I feel guilty about feeling sorry for myself at all.
That's the mental marathon I run every day. Dealing with the pain. Feeling grateful for the blessings in my life. Feeling frustrated by the limitations in my life. Feeling guilty for feeling bad for myself. And those things are the constant undercurrent of my life and I know I've said it here a thousand times in the past three and half years and I can't imagine why anyone would want to hear all that again.
So I close the blog and go work on my cross stitch.
The project I finished last Thursday is at the top of this page. My new project came in the mail on Friday and it is HUGE. It's going to take a long time to complete but it is a really neat family keepsake. It's my motivation for getting out of bed in the morning.
And that's the way it is. Hope you're having a great weekend... love and hugs all around!
Posted by Heather at 4:36 PM
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Hello again from your twice a week blogger! Maybe I'll get back in the habit of articulating every day but lately I just don't have much that feels blogworthy.
I'm nearing the end of the big cross stitch project after four solid weeks of sewing every day. A new project is on it's way from Overstock.com... a really awesome family tree that will combine my cross stitch hobby with my genealogy hobby which in my world = perfect! I'm *hoping* to make more than one piece out of that pattern if I'm not totally burned out on it by the time I finish the first one. I'll re-use the pattern and just buy more material and thread. We'll see.
Yesterday was our musical theatre/crafts day. We watched Gypsy, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and The Music Man. I was a little unsure about showing Gypsy because at the end of the story Louise becomes a stripper but... she wasn't really a pole dancing-dollar bill collecting exotic dancer - it was very mild burlesque with her wearing more than most people wear to the beach. I ran it by my sister-in-law who had not ever seen it (!!!???!!!) and she checked the ratings which - it was made in the sixties and very clean cut as far as language and stuff - so she left it up to my judgment. The girls did have a lot of questions about why Louise decided to do burlesque and why she was mean to her mom in the end. It opened the door for a discussion about people who have their priorities wrong and want to be famous, even if they're doing something they shouldn't do. The girls felt like being in "show business" made everybody "mean" to each other in the end which is a conclusion that had never crossed my mind before. I think they enjoyed the story of Seven Brides the most although - they are totally my girls and noticed the fake backgrounds and poor production quality of it. They wouldn't TELL ME which they liked the best but they seemed to enjoy the music in The Music Man the most.
|Bethy making a necklace|
The only downfall to having a nice cozy place in the middle of the room is that the cats enjoy sleeping on it (especially Stubby who has trouble climbing on to the other cozy spots around the house since he's missing a leg). The cats got into the habit of sleeping there but when Jamie is here they can't. She's highly allergic to cats. We keep her blankets and pillows packed away in a closed trash bag when not in use so that they are as fur free as possible in a house with six pets. In between visits we wash her stuff and put it back in the bag until she's here again. It seems to work pretty well and she hardly ever has any reaction to being around the pets when she's here. Yesterday, however, Stubby kept wanting to get in Jamie's nest with her and we kept having to evict him, poor trick.
Anyways... it was awesome to spend time with the girls and today it's awesome to have a quiet day to watch my adult programming and nap at will. Hope your week is going well! Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 1:28 PM