09 September 2017

a few random thoughts...

Hello again, my dears.

This is not the post I'd originally planned to share today (actually, two days ago), but I wanted to be here.  So here I am.  

I've misplaced the cable that connects my camera to my computer and cannot download my pictures.  My camera is loaded with photos of art I've made, scenes from my last trip to the mountains and many other things that have caught my eye lately.

Yesterday, I headed to the farmers market and stocked up on fruits and veggies.  I probably over stocked really, but I just get so excited around all that good healthy real food.  Afterwards, I loaded up the crock pot with pinto beans, experimented with a peach cobbler and made this chicken.  The chicken was delicious and I've already taken another package of chicken out of the freezer to make more.  

The pintos are for chili I'm planning to make on Monday when it's cold and rainy (Irma effect).  Today is football (Go HEELS!), knitting (Scoreboard 2.0) and roasting tomatoes, some to freeze and some for the chili.  And some time in the next few days, I'll be putting up applesauce and cooking green beans or maybe freezing some of them.

I've walked this morning, cleaned up the patio (we had new fencing put up last week and everything had to be moved around) and a few other piddly things.  I'm getting a new dining table this weekend so I have to take everything out of my dining area until the table is in place.  Then I can maybe move some things around it.  It is a big old farmhouse table (like the Walton's had) from our mountain house.  I've wanted that table since the first time I saw it.  I'm so excited to have it be mine!

I'm going to sign off now.  Football has started and I need to get busy with the rest of my day.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  And I hope you will take a minute, where ever you are, to say a prayer (to whomever you pray to) for the safety of everyone on this planet we call Earth.  So many things are happening everywhere - fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, monsoons, etc. - too much tension for our souls to have to bear well.  Personally, I pray for peace in our hearts, minds and souls for every being on this earth.  

Thanks for stopping by, 

love & blessings


04 September 2017

Lessons Learned (long)

These past 11 months have been a mixture of the usual and the unusual.  I fell into the well again.  This time I fell in earlier than usual and stayed there longer.  No matter what I have done, I have not been able to break this pattern.
Just after the first of the year, I was offered an opportunity to move.  The new option was a much smaller community that I was already familiar with and knew several people that lived there.  The house would be about the same but different layouts and the bonus of a garage.  At first, I was shocked and couldn’t even contemplate moving again.  It would mean having to pack up everything I own (and I own a LOT) and selling my place. 
I guess I didn’t really give it much attention.  I was so deep in the well that barely any light reached in and I couldn’t rouse myself for heavy thoughts.  In the middle of February, I received a phone call saying they needed a decision.  Uh…WHAT!?!? 

Yeah… So, I made a pro/con list.  I wrote down everything I could think of big or small.  There were a lot of pros on the list, many more than the cons.  However, one item on the cons had a much heavier weight to it and so needed to be counted as more than one item.  I reviewed the list, slept on it, reviewed it again and tried to contact my “best friend” to get some additional insight.  I could never get in touch with her.

Two days after the ‘we need a decision now but no pressure’ call, I received another call saying now we REALLY need a decision.  So…I dived in and said yes.
I called my realtor, went under contract on my house within 10 days and packed up.  On May 14th, I moved into my new place. 

Within 20 days, I was ready to move again.  There are a lot of reasons why, and I’ll get into that another time.  But let’s just say that con that had so much weight?  It was much, MUCH heavier than I’d given credit to. 

We will call this, lesson one.

I’ve been making the best of things here.  I’m walking again as I feel safe in the community and know that if I have a fainting/falling issue, someone would be there to help fairly quickly.  I’m very much enjoying the trees and having a small wooded bit behind my home.  And I love having a garage.  I store my excess there instead of having tubs stacked hither and yon in my house proper.  I was also able to set up the guest room as my studio and have it actually useable.
For the past couple of years, my family have been trying to sell our home in the Southern Appalachians.  My grandparents bought it 30+ years ago and I have so many wonderful memories of holidays and vacations spent there.  I’ve always loved the house and the location and even offered to buy it from them many years ago, but I couldn’t afford their asking price. 

Now, it is being sold.  It is under contract and should have closed in early August.  That was pushed back a week and then another week.  Now we are waiting to hear when the closing will be.  And honestly, some are wondering if it will even close.

To take advantage of my last chance of spending time there, I took myself off at the end of July for a short visit.  I had such a marvelous time, I extended my stay by a few days and would have stayed longer but I hadn’t taken enough of my prescription medicines with me.

I felt such peace whilst there.

It was a mental peace, an emotional peace, and a spiritual peace.  Surprisingly, it was also a physical peace.  I had no breathing issues (this is a new thing I’m dealing with), I hardly had to blow my nose the whole time (at home it is many, many times a day – TMI!).  The most important change I noticed was a bit of lessening of the constant pressure/pain in my head.  I’ve had such never-ending pain with these headaches for so long, even the slightest lowering of pain is noticeable and wonderful.

It was simply – my place.

For many years I’ve avoided going up there unless someone else was with me.  The reason why is too long to explain here, but I wasn’t comfortable being there alone. 

Until now.

I should have gone many times.  I’ve had years that I could have spent any amount of time up there I wanted.  Lots of wasted years.
When I returned home, I realized that was where I needed to be.  I NEED to be in the mountains. 

We will call this, lesson two.
A week after I returned from the mountains, I received a text from my “best friend”.  Yes, the same person I wasn’t able to get in touch with months ago when I needed her.  Her text was basically saying how much she missed me, thought about me all the time, wanted to talk to me all the time and how I’m so important to her life and always will be.

After a flurry of texts between us where we “caught up”, I got a call and we started talking about the eclipse.  She was telling me how, many months ago, she’d reserved a hotel room someplace in Georgia that was in the path of totality.  She talked about how it was such a big event and she wanted her two youngest to experience the whole thing and was taking them out of school to take them to view it.  I wondered out loud if our mountain house area was in the path and she looked it up and said it was.  We quickly made plans to head to the mountains (she could save those hotel fees) and have our own little viewing party.

Long story short? 

The mountain house town was in the 99% and another town 20 miles away was in the 100% so she took her kids and paid an exorbitant amount of money for a hotel room for the night before the eclipse and left me at the house alone – with no car.

Side note: she did say I should come with them, but I couldn’t as I had someone coming the afternoon of the eclipse to pick up a piece of furniture to bring back to my house.

Late Monday afternoon, I get a text saying traffic is stopped on the highway and the hotel had a no show and was going to let them stay there that night and they would be back the next morning.

Now we are at two nights alone with no car.

Tuesday morning, a text comes in saying they are on their way.  Two hours later they show up (it was a 20-minute drive) and the youngest is not feeling well.  After about two hours of doing nothing but fidgeting she says she thinks it’s time to go home.  We were supposed to go on Wednesday, although I was possibly going to stay since my mum might have to come up for the closing at the end of the week. 

I told her I was not ready to leave but if she felt she had to go, then she should.  She spent the next three or so hours packing up, asking me every 10 minutes if I’d heard from my mum (so I’d know if I would have a ride home) and talking about cleaning.

When she first asked I explained that it would be late in the day when I heard from my mum.  I told her this repeatedly.  I also asked that she run me to the grocers before they left so I could have plenty of water (the tap water was very metallic tasting).  Eventually she was done, and just left for her 6 ½ hour drive (what should only take 3) with a sick child who very easily gets car sick. 

And no, I didn’t get that ride to the store.

I received a text that they’d made it home about 4 hours later.  (She said she’d put the wrong route in her GPS hence her thinking it would take 6+ hours.)  Oh, and she wanted to know if I’d heard from my mum cause she’d come back and get me if she needed to.  Right.

Night three, alone – no car.

She texted the next day to ask if my mum was coming up.  I replied that everything was fine.  I’ve had one other text that I’ve not replied to and haven’t heard another peep from her.

If I’d had a pad of paper with me, I’d have written her quite a scathing letter.
Instead, I reflected on our friendship of 13 years and I realized something.  She is a user.  She is a person who takes what they want from people and gives back only enough to have the person willing to let her take from them again.  The times I really needed her, she was never there.  When this first occurred early in our friendship, I (and she encouragingly) attributed her behavior to the influence of a third party.

Now I know that was never true.  It has always been her way.

Over the past few years, I had told myself many times I was done with her friendship. 

Now things are crystal clear.  I am D O N E. 

We will call this, lesson three.

And what a lesson it was.
August and I have not been friends for many, many, many moons.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever liked the month of August.  It has always been too hot for this cold weather loving heart.  It signaled the start back to school, which was never my favorite place to be.  And then there was the name that my father gave it when I was young and lived summers with him – Austerity August.  Yes, he named the months that he said we couldn’t spend money for things. (Stingy September, etc.)   Well, except for his rounds of golf.  His many, many rounds of golf. 

Anywho, my real loathing of August began in 1983 when my grandmommy died quite suddenly.  Since 1983, August has taken many souls from my life.  All of my grandparents died in August (all within the same five-day span over 20+ years), my beloved beastie – Dylan (my black lab), a man I met only once but he touched my soul so deeply I felt I’d known him for centuries – Papa Edgard, and several friends of my family.  Then, of course, there are things the likes of Katrina and Harvey, which deeply affect this tender-hearted empathic medium.  So many souls passing so quickly…  So much devastation and the grief singing through the air.

Every year, I begin in June or July to worry as to what August will bring.  This year, when I arrived at the mountain house at the end of July, I felt compelled to try a new tactic. 

I made friends with August.  I did this publicly (on Instagram) and therefor set my intention not just within myself, but sent it wide to the universe so it couldn’t be missed. I set up a little altar to welcome August and Lughnasadh on the first.  Every day, I consciously focused on August being a good month.  I did things that would make it a good month: sketching, reading, painting, witching, creating, walking, eclipse watching, etc.

Now, I’m happy to say, August and I have made friends.  We’re not besties, yet.  But we can enjoy each other without anxiety and with appreciation for what we have to offer.

That makes lesson four and brings us to the end of this series of lessons.
(I’m planning to try that consciously focused method whenever the well starts to deepen and hopefully it will help me stay out of it.)
I’ve been a very neglectful blogger, even in visiting.  I’ve started making the rounds again and trying to see what everyone is up to.  I truly miss it when I’m not here visiting with you lovely souls.  I think I stopped writing because I felt I never had anything to say.  My life for several years now has been quite boring, filled with the ravages of chronic pain/health issues and little else.

Well, I’ve been doing a lot more, and I have lots to share.  My life seems to be filling itself up and I am quite happy.  I hope to continue to fill it even more and keep having things to share here.

Thanks for visiting (and sticking with me),

love & blessings