My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, September 1, 2013

To Labor or Not Labor

Little Kitty helps make coffee...
Lazy Sunday for me. It's not pajama Sunday because I honestly DO try to at least get dressed every day, even if I'm not catwalk fashionable. Today it's a sundress with a button up shirt for extra modesty. I do makeup if there are potential other humans in my path, except for this eye *thing* that I have going on where eyeshadow makes my eye start to itch and flake and ... well, it's just gross. I'll have to toss out all the war paint but I'm going to wait until the eyelid is completely healed. Until then I'm trying to not wear makeup but it's hard. I braided my side braid on the other side today, just for variety.  So... no pjs but about as casual as you can get without being yoga-wear. It ain't purdy.

It's September, isn't it? I don't have one single solitary thing on my agenda for the entire month. No doctor appointments, no conference calls with attorneys, nothing. My parents have birthdays this month but other than that it's going to be a yawner from a blogging perspective. You've been warned. Perhaps there will begin to be a little change in the foliage... perhaps a new floor in the Whine Cellar post flood remodel... maybe a school pickup or two with the nieces but mostly... same old, lather, rinse, repeat.

trying to find pound cake crumbs
We had company yesterday... two people who worked with my dad (and me, even, for awhile) at ING, formerly Life of Georgia and now something else. They came and toured the Mountain Mansion, took a trip into Helen (which was extremely tourist-ridden yesterday) and had dinner from North Georgia BBQ (takeout) with us. They brought an UH-mazing pound cake which is almost all gone after having been ravished by two hungry young guys in the middle of the night last night. Oscar the dachshund loved the cake so much that he went stalker crazy last night when I tried to sneak a snack upstairs to my temporary lodging. It made me realize that at my advancing age I need to learn how to make a decent pound cake so that I will fit in with the pot-luck, post-funeral crowd. Maybe that can be my September project.

I've spent today mostly horizontal because it hurts less. I have a feeling my next medical crisis will be bedsores, though, so I try to be up and about every so often... you know, give the kitties a treat, go to the kitchen to top off the refreshments, etc. It's brutally hot today otherwise I would have made a Dollar General trip. Austin and I are out of some of our toiletries and there's the whole makeup replacement thing. Nothing so dire that it's worth sweating and/or getting a heat headache to accomplish. Little Kitty has been napping for roughly four hours straight. I put some treats beside him and he sniffed... stretched... snacked... and went right back to sleep. That's my boy.
Little Kitty observes crazy dog trying to find cake crumbs.
The expanse of the manse from the view of the dock
Tomorrow we're hosting the family who lives across the street from my parents in their other house up here at the mountain house... firing up the grill and what-have-ya. If I do make a run into civilization I think I'll get the makings for pasta salad as that goes well with such gatherings. OR A POUND CAKE! I could make a pound cake! We probably have everything we need except flavoring. Or I might just enjoy the fruits of the labors of others. 

My spine has been particularly unkind to me lately. As I gather anecdotes of people who are on disability I hear tales of people traveling, hunting... basically, functioning. This is not the case for me. A brief trip to the store once or twice a week as needed, cooking when nobody else is in the mood, cleaning the kitchen from time to time... if I could do anything fun, I would attempt to work. For the last few years the only thing I did was work which left me in too much pain to do anything else. Lately, even minus working, there's not much that I'm willing to suffer enough to do. I don't know what that means for the next season of life. I try not to worry about it beyond a day at a time. I do what I can do today and if I get up the next day and am able to do a little more, I do a little more. Otherwise, I just enjoy the company of my kitty and the entertainment of the internet and whatever humans cross my path. And sometimes I don't enjoy anything but I do try not to be a buzzkill for anyone else. I don't elaborate a lot or explain "I'm not doing thing because it hurts"... and I try not to complain about it what I'm not able to do. I just don't do it.

Won't this hill be fun when it snows? 
I'm not sure what prompted that whole disclaimer paragraph. Sometimes it seems necessary to note for posterity where I am in this process. When my grandkids have internet access chips in their brains they'll be able to read this auto-Whine-ography and know that from this point in time, this is what life was like for me. Still very good in many ways but maybe not in the obvious ways that it is for others. I mean, truth be told, I've never had huge career aspirations but I used to enjoy doing things and going places and having a full life and was willing to work as hard as I needed to in order for my kids and I to have the basics. I've become very pragmatic about things. I can't wish this away.

Patton Lake - at the bottom of the hill
I've been observing a lot of ummm "monetized" (for lack of a better term) blogs... situations where the blog income is sufficient that neither mommy or daddy work. I enjoyed my few years as a stay at home mom and perhaps if circumstances had been different (i.e. my husband had been a reliable source of family income) I would have done so longer. However, the reality is that he wasn't and I couldn't and I'm grateful for the work experiences that I had over the roughly 25 years I was gainfully employed. I have a tiny, tiny pension available from one employer (think: enough to pay for internet and cable tv) once I'm a certain age and I have enough of a work history to qualify for disability, once I qualify for disability. (once they realize that folks who can't sit long enough to go out to eat can't sit long enough to earn a living). More than that, though, the work that I did, both pre-insurance agent and post-insurance agent expanded my understanding of people and life and things that matter. On so many levels I think it mattered far more that I could be a kind voice on the other side of the phone than it mattered if I sold one insurance product or another. Working in theatre exposed me to so many wonderful, talented people. Even just keeping score at the ballfield or working in the concession stand enriched my life in many ways. Those relationships and experiences are the things that color my world today, in a time when it could be very dull. I'm not sure it's always a question of whether or not you financially need to work, I think it's a question of whether or not you could live a better life by working.

bushes gone... water routed away from foundation / Whine Cellar
I also worry that once a blog becomes your only source of income it changes the content and quality of your writing. OBVIOUSLY I'm not creating a literary masterpiece here but I'm not limited in what I write about, other than by my morals and desire to not humiliate my family. I don't have to pretend to like a certain kind of dish soap because they sent me samples. I don't feel pressured to stage activities and events for blog fodder. If my life is boring, I write boring blog entries so that you can feel the pain right along with me. In some ways, though, I think that my life is boring enough to see things and realize things that I might not have time to observe if I was living a typical middle age life. I spent an hour today reading about Highclere Castle. I work up during the night last night and finished a novel on my Nook. I can satisfy my curiosity about people and places even if I can't go and actually witness things for myself.

Where was this going? I don't know, exactly. Just my way of saying life is hard but it's not that bad. Let's consider it my Labor Day perspective on working/not working. Hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend! Love and hugs and all that stuff!