When your dreams get your attention


Normally I don’t remember my dreams, but the one I was having just before my alarm woke me up stuck with me.

I was dreaming that our local Air Force base got nuked, and I was trapped and unprepared in my own home. Getting caught short unprepared for any situation is never good, nuclear explosion notwithstanding.

Generally I find that my brain will take smalls bit of information and roll it up into a nightmarish story designed to get my attention. I have very few of these sorts of dreams, but they always stick with me. I can count a good handful of dreams I can remember, and none of them are good.

The last one I remember like this, someone came to me in the guise of Mad Eye Moody, and he looked me right in the eye and let me know bad things were coming. The time to do something is now. It wasn’t Mad Eye Moody, though. I have suspicions on who I think it was, but I’ll keep that to myself for now.

Needless to say, I didn’t heed the warning and I was caught very unprepared with a surprise divorce a few months later.

I’ve had this really weird feeling that something is coming. Time to get off my ass and get prepared for whatever.

For now, I will quietly re-stock my naked pantry with as much non-perishables I can, and this winter will be spent getting my basement workshop back into shape. I have a plan, and that is half the battle.

Here’s hoping you have a plan, for whatever needs it. Baby steps are good, and you have to start somewhere. Blessings all.

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Deep cleaning, and found treasures


Today I am doing some housework, not only because my house sorely needs it, but also Older Son and his girlfriend are going to stop by.

I still hadn’t quite put things right after I painted the entryway, so this morning finds me picking up and reorganizing everything that hadn’t been put away after its displacement. Much less is going back into the entry, so I have little piles of things that need packing away in basement or shed, as well as stuff that needs throwing.

Of the previous few things going back in the entryway this is one of my favorites:

Two reasons this is one of my favorite things:

1. I’ll be a die hard fan of the University of North Dakota as long as I live.

2. Die hard fans are not required to love the new UND mascot, and that ugly bird is nowhere on this sign. #Go Sioux!

This used to hang next to the door, but I moved it to the opposite wall for now. Once I get the workshop going downstairs, all of my UND Memorabilia will find a home there. It’s all going to be done in UND colors (thank goodness those didn’t change too), and it will feel homey. At least, that’s the plan as it stands now.

Just now, somehow “homey” got autocorrected to “ornery”. Hmmm… Freudian slip? Maybe my phone knows me better than I think it does.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to go finish what I started. Deep cleaning and organizing doesn’t get done by itself.

Here’s hoping you all find treasures you’d put away that make you happy to find again. Blessings all!

Of oopses and wooly boogers


It’s been a productive weekend, and much painting has been done. I’m about 3/4 done with this project, but there are a few lessons I’ve had to relearn since the last time I painted.

First lesson, remember to dust dark corners so that I don’t get wooly boogers on my paint brush. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a wooly booger is just a clump of fluffy dust that gathers in dark corners, or on undersides of things. It’s a terrible thing to be painting along and run into one of those because it sticks to the paint on your brush, and then you have to stop and pull it off. It’s a momentum busting problem that can cause much huffing of breath, and I’m told much swearing. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Second lesson, make sure to watch where your paint-filled roller or brush go. In two seconds, a wall you just painted will need to be fixed because you weren’t paying attention and accidentally smacked it with another color. It’s especially vexing when you are close to being done.

Not having learned this lesson will cause a loud shout of “Oops!!”, and I hear that some oopses may cause loud swearing on occasion.

Ahem…

Oh, well. It just paint, and I can paint over this oops it when it dries. This is certainly frustrating, but if this is the worst it gets I guess life isn’t so terrible. This definitely comes under the heading of silly first world problems.

Painting is done for the day, and I’m waiting on The Flirt to stop and get me. We are thinking about driving two hours to go fishing, but it’s raining and at this point I’d rather stay home. Maybe I can talk him into just going to supper and a movie.

Here’s hoping that you experience few oopses or wooly boogers, and that your projects go smoothly. Blessings all!

Renovation procrastination…the struggle is real


Faithful Readers, I’m still avoiding getting on that ladder. I have to admit, though, I’m pretty successful while dwelling in avoidance mode.

I got the big ladder out and got it all set up where I need to paint next. I climbed up to get something off the wall so I can begin, only to realize it’s nailed on:

This horse shoe has been hanging above my kitchen door from the back entry for a long time. I’m not sure how many years, though I know it’s less than 10, because I was divorced almost 10 years ago. It’s been there more than 5 years, because Younger Son put it up for me, and that was before he graduated from high school in 2014. The color on the wall has been there maybe 12 years, or so, which I’m sure of because that happened before the divorce a few years. I can’t believe I waited so long to paint. Good bye “mocha”… hello “washed denim”!

I’ve come to a place in my life where I mark time by before and after I was divorced. I’m sure it’s a common thing to remember events by he milestones in life, but I find it a little confining. Not sure why, but there it is.

To continue with my procrastination story, there are some bits that needed painting in the trim color, so I removed screws from those pieces and painted them. It took a whole 30 minutes. That’s a good thing, but it means I still have to go get back on that ladder now.

Hmmm. So, it’s a good point to take a break and blog some more. Procrastination achieved. 👍

Ok… time to get back on the ladder, take down the horse shoe and get painting.

More later… I’m going to need to procrastinate some more later. Blessings!

Home renovation isn’t for the faint of heart


It’s been in my To Do List to paint my entryway, kitchen and hallway for quite a while. I bought the paint, and it’s been sitting in my kitchen gathering dust for a long time waiting for me to get myself together and get going.

I have two days off in conjunction with 4th of July, so I took this as a great opportunity to get started. Last night, all things (and there were a LOT of things) were dislodged from the entry and put into my kitchen and spare room. Disgorged might be a better word. There’s stuff everywhere, and it looks like I’m going to be downsizing as I put things back. I can’t believe I had all that stuff stored in that little room!

Having emptied the room, I opened the can of paint and began. It felt scary and fantastic to put those first brush strokes of paint on the wall.

Holy buckets… the paint is called “washed denim”, but went on very purplish. Luckily it dried darker, but still has quite a purple cast to it. I like it, but both of my kids were put off by the color when I sent them pictures. Good thing I’m an empty nester…LOL.

There are a couple of crappy things about painting a room. First, the rest of your home looks like a bomb blew up in it for having the contents of the room you’re painting having to go somewhere else.

Second, there is the problem of heights. I am not a fan of ladders, and now that I have a bad knee, and terrible balance, things get a little dicey trying to reach high places like the ceiling over a stairwell.

There are some good things about painting a room. There is the obvious bonus of getting a boost from having a new color in your environment. Change is a good thing, and paint is one of the cheapest ways to make a big change without breaking the bank.

It’s a good opportunity to change the organization of a room since you have to put things back in it, once the paint is dry. It’s also a great time to evaluate what goes back in the room. If you haven’t used something, time to downsize.

So, as much as I love blogging, I must confess that I am really just avoiding getting on that ladder. I quit earlier than I wanted to last night, just because the idea of getting on that ladder to do the high places was so daunting. Sunshine streaming in the windows helps a little, and I’m not exactly sure why.

Home renovation isn’t for the faint of heart, so I best screw my back bone into place and get on with it.

Maybe I will finish my coffee first. 😉☕️

Here’s hoping you all can dig down and find that place where bravery dwells when having to do something that scares or intimidates you. The results will be worth it. Blessings all!

Marie Kondo has become a verb at my house


As you, Faithful Readers, are aware from previous posts, I’m trying to thin out my stuff.

It’s been made clear to me that I keep so many things that are never looked at or used. These things are generally all kept packed up, and take up space in all kinds of nooks and crannies. They were most likely inherited, or given to me by someone close, and I keep these things not because they are useful but because I feel obligated to keep them.

Keeping things out of obligation is a terrible way to live. Getting rid of things I have been keeping out of obligation has been very difficult, until I ran into Marie Kondo. Follow the link to see a snippet of her Netflix show on You Tube. If you have Netflix, go give the show a good look.

If you have a hard time watching it, like I did, stick with it. She is a little out there with some of her methods, but there are so many kernels of truth in what she has to say about what to keep and how to organize things, that it is worth paying attention to.

One of the big thing things I took away from her show is to ask yourself if an item “sparks joy” when you pick it up. If not, it’s probably time to donate it. Make space only for the things you really want or need.

For me, that morphed into asking myself why I’m still holding onto something if I haven’t been using it. The answer generally seems to be that I have felt obligated to keep it.

Hmmm. It seems I’m drowning in stuff I feel obligated to keep. When I look around my house, there is so much I don’t use, and little that I need very often.

So, last week I culled books out of my shelf, and only kept the things that I felt were useful. Today, I was making myself some coffee, and spied my recipe box sitting on my counter. It’s full of recipes that I have either never used, or ones I will not use again. So, I Marie Kondo’d my recipe box this morning. That’s right… Marie Kondo has become a verb at my house. I culled fully half of my recipes, and now have a whole lot of spare room in my recipe box. Next step is to do the same to my grandmother’s recipe box, and combine the two together. That’s for another day, though.

Baby steps, Faithful Readers, are ok. For those of us who are easily overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, just do one small thing at a time, and do not feel obligated to do a whole room at a time, just because other people have that capacity.

I know lots of folks who can dive in and are driven to spend a whole day or weekend on one room and get the whole thing done. I just can’t. It’s too much, and I’m learning to be just fine with that.

Today it is a recipe box, and a few things I’m taking out of my closet, but not the whole closet.

Here’s hoping you all find just the right pace for you to do what you need to do, without letting others influence your speed, or reasoning of purpose. Anyone who tries to pressure you into thinking their way of doing things is better can go jump in a lake. You can tell them Sparrow said so. 😉 Blessings all.

Be a weed- bloom where you land


Today, I started a chore I had been dreading: weeding behind my shed.

Generally, I enjoy putzing with plants, but I have this little plot of land that enjoys sprouting really giant weeds. It also gets a kick out of harboring feelers from my neighbor’s Virginia Creeper.

It’s really a do-nothing slug of a plot of land. Largely, that’s my fault for not paying attention to it.

Given that this is the year of “Decrappify and Spiff”, I’ve decided to try to rehab this little 10×12 piece of land. Time to get out what I don’t want or need, and make it a productive, satisfying, happy place.

I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get most of it pulled up. I was a little sad though, because there were some happy little bees harvesting pollen from a bunch of the flowering “weeds”. Seeing that, I left some of it to do for tomorrow. Let the bees have their lunch.

I pulled out a whole lot of thistle, which has the prettiest flower. I’m a huge fan of weeds and their flowers, but these do need to go in order to make way for progress. Not quite paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, but I’m aware of the irony of it. I hope to make this space as functional for the bees as for me.

So, what to do with this space? I think I’m going to take my time, and step terrace the little hill behind the house. My plan is to make my yard a fully functioning space, loaded with gardens. It needs to be an oasis that feeds me, physically and spiritually.

Wow. Sounds like a tall order, right?

Maybe, but chunked up into baby steps, each one is a doable achievement. It’s my hope that just the physical labor of doing the activities associated with what I’m calling the Back Yard Metamorphosis, will be one satisfying aspect all by itself.

In short, I’m trying to enjoy the journey of blooming where I’ve landed.

For so long, I’ve felt intimidated by all the work it will take to get this yard into shape. Now, I just want to putz with one little project at a time. It’s my hope that one day I will look up from whatever I’m planting, or harvesting, and have the sensation of having arrived. At that point, I’ll need a new project. Lol…

Now I’m off to visit a cousin I haven’t seen in person since I was 16. It will be a nice visit.

Here’s hoping you all find ways to bloom where you have landed, in whatever capacity. Beautiful flowers come in all shapes and sizes. Blessings all!

Giving yourself permission to take baby steps


It’s been a long week. Not a terrible week, just long and slow.

At first I couldn’t understand what the reason for this was, because everything went better than anticipated. I had expected a couple of hard days at work, and it turns out that the anticipation was much harder on me than the actual events.

Note to self: Don’tover think things.

I was able to finally get my living room painted and mostly put back together. It’s a lovely shade of blue/gray which (depending on the time of day and the light in the room) can be seen as gray, various shades of blue, or purple. It’s quite a change from the cool mocha that has been on the walls since a few years before my ex left. It was just the change this room needed. Paint is a really cheap way to make a big impact in a space.

You, my Faithful Readers, will notice I mentioned my living room was mostly put back together.

My intention was to take everything out while painting, and only put back in the things I absolutely wanted in this space. For the most part, I feel I’ve been successful in doing just that. However, there are a few items I’m just not sure what to do with yet. I also don’t have any pictures back up on the walls.

It’s functional for now, and that’s what’s needed most.

I’m trying really hard not to over think it, and to give myself the time and space to just let things happen. I keep reminding myself that I get to take baby steps, and that I don’t have to be in a hurry.

This morning I will continue to sit in my lovely new space, slurp coffee with slow, wild abandon, and peruse blogs I didn’t get a chance to read yet this week.

Here’s wishing you all give yourselves the space to take all the time you need. When you feel rushed, take a big deep breath and ask yourself how it serves you to be in a hurry. Blessings all!

Depression sucks the life out of you like a mosquito.


I’ve been struggling recently. A lot.

I didn’t realize I was experiencing depression because it sneaked up on me like a mosquito looking for a meal. I keep absentmindedly swatting it away, but it finally found a place to land, dig in, and began suck the life out of me.

What could I possibly have to be depressed about? I just kicked someone to the curb, who I love very much. I just couldn’t take what he was dishing out any more. My mom is losing her mind, slowly. It’s become apparent to me that Dad knew a long time ago but didn’t say anything, and he is struggling in dealing with Mom’s issues, and what I strongly feel is depression. I still need to have a chat with him, and I’m not looking forward to it.

Feeling depressed is often mocked and made light of. I have never been in favor of just “laying down and taking it”, rather I always tell myself to get the hell up and get moving. The familiar tape plays through my head…No more feeling sorry for yourself, there are too many people counting on you so get your shit together and take care of your responsibilities. This isn’t the healthiest thing to say to one’s self, or anyone else for that matter.

These days, my perspective has changed, along with my circumstances.

Being an empty nester, I don’t have the daily need to make things happen for my kids every day. In large part, they saved my life when my ex husband left. Just the fact that I was needed made the difference, and I was able to suck it up for them. It’s different when there’s nobody at home to suck it up for.

A lot of people are able to go the route of medication as a means of feeling better. I went down that road from 2000-2008, and it was a giant medicated disaster. Most of the many anti-depression or anti-anxiety meds I gobbled either didn’t help, or had such horrendous side effects that I felt like killing myself or just slept all the time. Others have success with medication, but I’ll never go down that road again.

The only thing that does help is extreme exercise and better eating. When I was in the process of getting divorced, I walked, and walked, and walked. I spent much time and many miles just walking and thinking.

A nice unintended side effect of that was that I lost 50 pounds, and felt stronger. It gave me the space to think and work through problems. It was a like playing a long rambling game of chess with myself, working through all of the contingencies of whatever problem cropped up.

It’s probably the solution I need now. I have a tendency to eat my way through my problems, and I have gained back all of the weight I lost since joining Curves in February, plus some. Some people drink or do drugs to try to feel better. My favorite poison of choice is carbohydrates…it’s like consuming anesthesia.

Enough.

I see it now, and it’s to time to kill it like I would any other blood sucker.

I’m in the middle trying to paint my living room, and it’s been hard slogging. I have painted this same room twice before, and have done it in less time. That’s ok. It will get done this week, and that will have to be good enough. No more beating myself up because I’m not moving fast enough. It’s just me living here, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else being inconvenienced.

It’s time to clean out my fridge and only stock it with things that aren’t junk. The less carbs I eat, the better off I will be. More Whole Foods, less processed pretend food.

Time to get started. Daylight’s burning.

Here’s wishing you are all finding a way to practice self care, however that looks like in your world. Taking care of yourself is a good thing. Blessings all!

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