Friday, July 31, 2015

finding fifty: on the side of tired

This is painful.
I thought I could come up with some seriously fun and not so fun things about turning fifty,
but instead I find I am torturing myself with this activity.

Why is it torture?
I work Monday thru Thursday and am so tired I can't see straight some of those evenings.
So what's wrong with the rest of the week?
Because while some folks relax on the weekends, I feel the need to fill every minute.
I'm not even capable of reading a book unless it is a learning kind of one anymore.
I listen to audio books because it allows me to multi task and get multiple things done at once.
My weekend ends up the same way.
Oh, don't get me wrong.
I probably spend plenty of minutes with my bottom firmly attached to upholstery, but it is rarely idle unless someone is over here visiting.
Even then, I might be winding strips of fabric into rope or something equally nutty.
Not kidding. I made it to work Thursday with fabric strings on my scrubs.

What is with this urge to get everything done?
I remember a time when I felt a sense of urgency that life was going to be short.
The baby books were all updated.
All ducks were in a row ... more or less.
I went to a Mother's Camp around that time and found that I wasn't the only one feeling the urgency.
I don't think I've touched the baby books since then ... and the kids are all now grown.

Is it because the To Do List isn't born of necessity, but rather of want?
Notice I'm not reminding myself to hit the grocery store or the car wash.
Is it because my homebody crafty creative self likes to create just as much as she enjoys her work outside of home?
Because I did the not working thing for 3 months a few years back and realized that I get more done all the way around if I'm working.
And, face it, life is busy!

You would think this empty nest thing would afford all kinds of opportunity to sit back, put up the feet and just enjoy the quiet .. and feel rested.

To be perfectly honest (and I know my kids are reading this), there are days when I crave a minutes peace and quiet.
A day to just meander from one thing to another and do whatever I want.
And I get those days.
Then there is the need to have the house just hopping and full of life.
I need and love that too.
One child on Monday, another on Tuesday, a few more on Thursday, another on Friday ... and maybe all of them on Sunday.
That is good stuff.
I wouldn't trade it for all the coffee in Columbia.

And then some days I'm just so tired I want to cry.
I actually did cry at work on Wednesday I was so tired.
Thank goodness there weren't any patients there.

Take a nap! you say.
Yet another might say Go to bed earlier!

I do and I do. Some days.

Way back when the kids were little people and there wasn't time in life to accomplish my missions, I would add things to my mental When I'm Fifty List.
One day I looked around me.
My eyes lighted on my parents and I knew I was in trouble.
They were retired and busier than ever.
That was the day I realized that I had better get a move on things if I wanted to get them done.

The move has been on ever since then.

I'm starting to get a glimpse of why it might take a wee bit longer to get things done ...
and maybe hubby's bedtime of 9:30 isn't so crazy after all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nearing harvest time

Prickly pear jelly is on my agenda this week.
I hope I can find some mighty thick gloves to wear for harvesting!

Monday, July 27, 2015

staying home is a good thing

at least once in a while.
I'm really a homebody at heart and running (even for a day) too many weekends in a row gets me all messed up. Seriously.
I need a good dose of at home between Friday and Sunday to maintain sanity.

My rotary cutter ran a million miles in two days.
The sewing machine didn't need to go far, but I finished another project!!
Christmas is only 150 days away and I'm plugging away at getting things done while the weather is so croakin' hot outdoors it isn't fit for humans.
109 or something equally insane over the working days of the weekend.
The goal is to get a bunch of things done before it cools off and I can head outside to sanders and painting projects. 

A trip to Target for the necessities of life, like a new toothbrush for the main man.
The checkout register had scads of wafer cookies ... a different variety for every tastebud.
I thought these might work for the littles and promptly ate half the package myself.
Obviously a day for sugaring the brain cells.

My brain must have been in a sugar haze, because I then made monster cookies.
I don't know if I've baked a cookie since Christmas and We really don't eat them around here, but monster cookies it was! Alto' maybe if I made them ....  Crank up the oven and heat up the house. What on earth is wrong with me?!

Anna spent much of the day here on Saturday. We played with Wyatt, took naps and visited. After she left, I went to start putting away laundry and had enough of the closet situation ... Jari's side. So it got cleaned out. Our closet might qualify as a cupboard in many opulent homes today and really doesn't have room for anything that isn't being worn on a regular basis. Suits that get worn to weddings and funerals went out to the laundry room in garment bags. And as often happens, I had to remove the lapel flower from the last wedding before I packed it away. Wool socks and winter riding/playing stuff moved out to the appropriate tote outside and then I filled bags. Trash and Goodwill. Cut up some tee shirts for rags and I think I can handle looking at it for another little while!

We did get some visiting in. Enjoyed an evening at Randy & Sheryle's where the news from the oncologist was uplifting last week. Love good news! There is enough hate and negativity floating around in this life to choke a person.

A trip to Home Depot to pick up some shelving that should fix a problem I have with office type storage. We left with absolutely nothing from that store. I think it might be the first time ever! We decided to make do with what we have for a while. I just need to take some more trash bags to that corner of our abode and start pitching. By the time I'm done I'll have caught up with Carol who is doing a bang up job of decluttering her life. Even if I really want to run and pick up some of the stuff she's pitching!

There isn't a lick of fresh grocery items in this house for dinners this week and it looks like it is egg salad for lunch every day. Not a thing in the grocery ads looked good and I would have just picked up more sugar if I went into the store. Best to stay home and eat cookies.

And the bestest ever news over the weekend ... we will have another boy grandbaby! I love these little boys!! This one won't be living near us, but will certainly give me mighty fine reasons to travel.

Friday, July 24, 2015

finding fifty: does it really matter?

Does it really matter if I drink my coffee in bed?
Does it really matter if I grab a protein bar and a favorite magazine
and enjoy the quiet of the morning's early hour?

And, seriously, I don't drink coffee in bed.
I don't ever just lay in bed in the morning.
I turn the alarm off. Maybe three times or so.
Then I hurl my aching bones out of bed.
The ache totally depends on which position I ended up in for the last 5 hours while my eyes were closed in slumber and drool was bathing my pillow.

Yesterday morning my alarm first rang at 4.
Sometimes I still can't believe I get up at that time of night day.
I know other people do it all the time and it's no big deal.
For me? It is a great big deal.
The fact that my eyeballs even know how to open at that hour.

Years ago I had a wake up call service call me in the morning so I could make it to work on time.
Long before cell phones even existed and when my alarm clock was still white noise.
It was kind of like having the hotel give you a wake up call, but I paid these folks to actually call my house and wake me up in the morning.
Back then I actually had a house phone that rang ... and I woke up to the sound of it.
It may have been the only thing I woke up to back then.
Obviously, I didn't have teens yet.
Teens brought along the knowledge that the phone wasn't ringing for me anyway so why bother answering it.
Thank goodness my ears had been tuned to the alarm clock by then.

Is it a getting older thing or a born of necessity thing?
Probably a necessity thing, but aging has brought with it the beauty of mornings ... at least for me.
Quiet mornings.
Okay. So the days can and evenings can be quiet as well now, but I love the mornings.
I'm annoyed if I sleep past six in the morning and downright ticked off it's past seven.
I've just lost precious hours of getting stuff done time!

So if I'm on vacation and sipping my coffee in bed while the family I'm staying with is still snug in their slumbers ... it doesn't matter a whit.

I should ought to try this at home.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Camp Verde Corn Fest

Why not try something new?
We added the Camp Verde Corn Fest to the calendar and left it there, even tho' the forecast was for some whopping rain storms and flash floods.
I packed the umbrellas and sweatshirts.
Sweatshirts because, just in case it rained, one might experience a chill.
I know that Camp Verde isn't a cool climate, but rain might help it.
It was a bit toasty.
We chased the rain clouds on the way up ....

and found lots of very friendly folks. Booths featuring vendors and foody things.

And a whole lot of corn going on. Cornfest pays homage to the locally grown Verde Valley famous sweet corn. Don't you just love the smiling worker bees?! She was working under the misting system, but probably would have been grinning anyway. She has that look about her.

The local market is open on Saturdays featuring produce and whatnots. I picked up several loaves of bread that are pure delish yummy made of freshly milled wheat.

Finding some shade for a bite to eat and a respite from the sun ...

Frybread is the only thing I hanker for when I go to a fair. At least I use to. Now it might be funnel cake instead. I had my frybread and even better ... found the woman I dubbed the original Holly Hobby!

I didn't notice the green case hanging around her neck when we spoke with her. I wonder if it is holding her cell phone or her tissues.

We gals walked through the crafters area, inside the air conditioning, and I found some prizes. Local crafters selling their wares is my kind of thing.

Off to Dairy Queen for some lunch for some and ice cream for others.

I was so pumped! We were going to make it home to enjoy the Phoenix storms that were coming!! When the forecast is for low temps and rain ... I start planning on it. I start smelling the rain in the air even if the present day is dry as the Sahara. Rain was falling in the distance ...

The clouds were looking promising ...

and we got a mere dribble on our windshield on the way home.

I think we got a few drops at home as well while the rest dumped on Wickenburg.

In the future we decided that we'll go visit a festival there in the fall rather than the heat of summer or find one somewhere further up the mountainside.

Home to share some dinner with the kids, grilled peaches with ice cream for dessert and a quick visit with Blayde before he left to start work in Williston.

These kids of ours just keep making tracks out of town!

Friday, July 17, 2015

finding fifty: flashing

I'm not taking up flashing.
Incidentally, I tell my patients who have to wear those cover nothing ever gowns that we only flash on Fridays. I only rarely admit that we don't work on Friday.

So how fitting is it to be flashing here on Friday?!

My goal here is to talk about finding fifty.
I'm equating fifty (at least in my world) with the onset of the lovely change of life known as menopause.
And at least one thing that comes with it.
I'm sure every woman out there has their own tale of terrors, but the one that reared its head with a trumpet blaring was the flashes of heat.
First of all, I don't like the heat of summer in Phoenix. At. All.
And this was one serious summer going on without the benefit of air conditioning.
I live here for reasons that have nothing to do with the summer heat.

However, there was a period of time that I was seriously wishing for a dip in this.

This particular dipping and cooling off spot is a mere 1,710 miles from my hot flash zone so it was a bit unrealistic. Add to that the fact that I really don't swim. And if I do ... it is in water that is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

My other option, for a time, was to put clothes on .... take clothes off ... put clothes on ... take clothes off.
According to a quick jaunt through Google, I was burning some calories in the heating and cooling off. I didn't find anything about all the exercise I was getting in the undressing and redressing department.
Some day .... I am going to have some serious rolling on the floor belly (cuz I really didn't burn that many calories) laughing at the friend who got great amusement out of my discomfort.

At some point in this torture, I had a life changing visit with a friend who led me to a solution.
I'll be honest.
I know that this hasn't worked for everyone who has tried it. Some are unable to use this product at all due to undesirable side effects they have experienced. Others I know use it along with traditional western pharmaceuticals. Yet others, like myself, rely solely on this little miracle bottle of wonder.

I've shared this with some folks I work with and have found it to be a remedy that has worked for many others. In the sharing, the husband of a coworker started asking her if she had "oiled her ovaries" that day.

It stuck. We now Oil Our Ovaries and are so much happier for it.

We burn less calories because we've stopped the hot flashing business, but what a trade!

I haven't been miserable with mood swings. Or if I have, no one around me is complaining.
It could very well be that this lovely little purple packaged bottle of Progessence Plus is taking care of that as well. And, if you ask me, my mood was swinging with each flashing episode. It was downright intolerable.
I'm still working at getting my PMSing offspring to give the Oiling Ovaries a whirl and see if it provides them any relief.
In the meantime, my ovaries are oiled daily after a shower. The instructions on the bottle say: Apply 2-4 drops on neck area. For added effect, apply 1-2 drops along forearms daily. Do not exceed 2 applications per day.
I tried that one day and went back to Oiling the Ovaries. I find I get better results from that.
If you don't know where your ovaries are located, ask Google. I apply several drops to each side, on the skin, once daily.
If you're a Young Living oil user already and are in the throes of heat waves ... give it a try and see if it works for you.
If you need a source for this little miracle that keeps me sane, you can hit this lovely little colorful link.
If you have questions ... please feel free to ask!

In the meantime, I'm hoping to wear a sweatshirt this weekend!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

picture book without words

 The live story was really, really fun.
I'll let you make up your own.
I miss you!

Monday, July 13, 2015

waste not .. want not

I shared this little scene of what I consider bliss in May.
We were at Kamp Kipa and I had a few minutes to enjoy the peace while crocheting.
She is done!!
My color scheme had a reason.
My bathroom shower curtain has equal amount of teal and brown in it,
and lately I am adoring the color teal.
Some extra white sheets in the laundry room became differing shades of teal
using Rit Dye. I didn't get the dark color I wanted in the first go around.
Maybe because I didn't have the patience to stir the hot bucket of color changing
fabric and maybe because I didn't put enough liquid dye in to begin with.
So, I plunked some of the dyed strips back in the dye bucket and went for round #2.
Worked fabulous!
I've done round rugs and oval rugs, but never a straight rug.
I know I learned something.
I tore parts of this out and redid them several times trying to get the edges to stay in a line.
A straight line.
When I was done, I realized what I had done and could have just disassembled and started over.

The leftover strips became uneven, slightly fraying knotted fringe along both edges.
It may fray to the point of crazy when it goes through the wash a few times,
or it may fray to softness.
We shall see!


One end of the rug, the side closest to the commode, is a bit narrower than the other.
I started out with single crochet and did the rest double.
The stitches are probably a wee bit tighter on the single end.
So, I placed the narrower end where your feet sit.
If you're spending a lot of time just sitting, contemplating and critiquing the rug ....
it will look even.

Next time I'll try something different!
Something like 2 unused worthless sheets later ...
my laundry room is rid of extra stuff and I have something adorable (in my estimation)
and sure to last long after I've given up on the color teal!
In case you're thinking you don't have time for this kind of stuff, you probably do.
The cutting and the dying may take a few moments of your time,
but once that is done ... you can sit and visit while you work your crochet hook.
The only problem with this project, unlike yarn, is that I don't dare take it in the car.
I have little pieces of threads everywhere.
Enough that I still have some hanging around and I've vacuumed furniture and used the lint roller.

Friday, July 10, 2015

finding fifty: cottage cheese

I don't eat cottage cheese plain.
That stuff just looks scary enough to have me running the other way.
Like it has some serious resemblance to my thighs lately and that is just too disgusting.

However, when I was in Alaska recently I had the yummiest pancakes.
The recipe is a Trim Healthy Mama recipe that included cottage cheese.
I don't do THM.
I sort of tried.
I got as far as taping up some E and S menu type things on the inside of my cupboard doors for a while before I finally took them down.

When I came home, I actually looked at the container of cottage cheese.
Shucks, but that stuff is full of protein, and as I'd spent some time trying to curb the carbs in my life, why not play with some cottage cheese.
Part of this getting older thing is realizing that you just play around with and find the things that work for you.
There is no carbon copy anything that works for every single woman.
I don't care what the latest diet fad or eating plan says.
Especially when I have less willpower than an ant.

So, I started with some Starbucks Refresher.
I couldn't find anything else in the house.
I made the 16 oz drink in a bottle and tucked it in the fridge to dole out one shake at a time.

My strawberries are usually frozen in the Costco bag. I'm lazy that way.
I plunk some in a bowl and nuke 'em a bit.
Cottage cheese. I can't believe I buy it in big containers now. Really strange.
I throw in about a cup of that.

And as long as I was in the freezer, and there happened to be a bit of ice cream in there, why not add an itty bitty scoop of that as well?!

Send it whirling into a frothy concoction ....

and grab the bag of peach slices (thank you dear neighbors for inviting me to pick off your peach tree!) ...
and drop some of those into the mix.
I don't count, I just drop in whatever looks good.
Since the peaches are all gone ... I'm using whatever berries I have around here.

A bit more whizzing and whirring and voila!
You have a protein rich drink that tastes a bit like an orange creamsicle.

And if your household is like mine ....

they'll all be disgusted and you won't have to share.

In my really rough estimate, you're taking in (minus the dollop of ice cream):

Carbs 36g
Sugars 35g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Fat 5g
Protein 25g

I should probably throw in some spinach next time.

Monday, July 6, 2015

quiet weekend with bullet

It was a quieter weekend around these parts ... at least for me.

Fred came to town and the guys have been busy running around doing all kinds of boy things.
I've been home doing girl things. (grins!!)
The girls have been here with grandkidlets some days and other folks some evenings, but many hours of quiet for me.

Actually, Friday I didn't have a bit of gumption to do anything. Was rather disappointing. I had extra days off last week so it threw my whole world off kilter!

Other than being quiet ... I was also home to make sure our new family member behaved.

She hasn't done too bad!

 Excuse the goober eye. It was doing fine all day ... until I took out the camera. Of course.

We found out she was coming to us last Monday and let me tell you, we were nervous.
We've had over a year of being able to just leave the house and not worry at all about who was being left behind. We could run away for the weekend and not think twice about having someone take care of the pet.

Not only have we not had a pet, we have not had a puppy in forever and a hundred years.
Although she certainly has an interest in getting into some things ... overall so far so good.

I think she likes the taste of Thieves Household Cleaner 'cuz the window gets a bit of lickin'.

I've been looked at like I'm a cruel human being, but she is an outside dog. She has been outside her entire life (all 18 weeks of it) and it is going to stay that way. We put in misters on the patio but that just drenches all the humans and probably doesn't do much for the four legged creature. Sure feels good once in a while tho'.

And then there is the pool. I bought it for the little kids, but yesterday I threw Bullet in it. She was rather slow about the investigation process so I sort of helped her along. She loves it! She's in there frequently through the day playing and cooling off. It works!

So between paying attention to the little lady, I've finished a few projects today!
Share coming later this week!

Updated correction: She is naughty. Middle. Of. The. Night. Naughty. Pillow ripping naughty.
She might have to learn to love a crate.

Friday, July 3, 2015

finding fifty

Several years ago this fall, Jari and I were at a camp working in the kitchen. Another couple, a few years older than us, was there and we were sitting around visiting that first evening. I don't even remember where the conversation led us but we hit on all kinds of subjects. For instance, preparing dinner and our lack of motivation to do just that. And, most importantly, the fact that we no longer cared. The guys could fend for themselves sometimes and it wouldn't hurt anyone. The other woman looked at me and said, "Are you fifty? You sound like it!"

I was intrigued. After that weekend, I came home and hit up google. What is fifty? What does fifty sound like? What comes with fifty that someone else could see it in me? Even if I wasn't there yet!

Google didn't have any answers for me.

Lately, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading a dear friend's posts on Facebook as she spends her nights of insomnia writing about life. Talk about good laughs. I don't have her ability to write, nor do I have her witty sense of humor, but I started thinking about this fifty thing.

It is a whole new kind of life.


Like who thought hot flashes could be so much fun? I almost wanted to buy one of those fans you can hang on a rope around your neck and call it a new piece of jewelry. I'm not even close to being a fashion guru so wouldn't have a clue that it isn't a stylish thing! Alas, someone helped me out in that department and saved me the embarrassment of showing my fanning self in public.

I am very fortunate to not have any serious health issues, but what the dickens made me all of a sudden start thinking about the things I was putting in my mouth? It didn't matter before! How did taste buds all of a sudden decide that asparagus is about to die for?  And when will beets acquire the same level of delicacy?

I never wore shorts to town when I was growing up. True statement. I would wear shorts at home and change into jeans if I headed to the whopping metropolis of Virginia. I should have worn them while I could. Because exercise is still not in my vocabulary. Kind of the same situation as the beets. I keep hoping waiting. Like, seriously, do my legs have to resemble the stuff I put in my smoothie?

I've been eating some weird things lately. Scary enough to my family that they won't touch them. While that isn't all bad ... I do enjoy when I have salted licorice in the cupboard and I'm free to enjoy it all ... there might be a few of you out there that might give some of my goofy ideas a whirl and enjoy them.

There are probably a few more things I can think, but that's good for starters.

No weekly photography challenge has my attention this year. Life has sort of quieted down a bit for a blink or two. So, I'm thinking it is time to ramp it up a bit or I'm going to take a trip to the SAS Fabric store and I probably don't need that. In fact, just this week I was keeping a tight hold on my steering wheel as I passed the Indian School Road exit. It was tough ... but I managed to keep my car from veering off to the exit lane.

Fridays at 430 Breezy Lane are going to see me finding fifty. I'm not joining the Red Hat Society or anything, but I might just come up with a little more attitude. Even the thought makes me nervous and weak kneed. Some weeks you might get something healthy coming your way. Other times it might be a very healthy dose of decadent chocolate that you probably won't want to live without. Some days it might be a rant, because I think I'm almost the age when I can get away with it. Maybe a link to a goal I hope to accomplish before the decade is over and out. Perhaps something useful that has helped me in my life.  Maybe my feet will be soaking in the ocean. Or maybe just a random thing off Pinterest that I would have scoffed at ten years ago. My challenge, at least the rest of this year of turning fifty, is to share. Aren't you just excited?!!

Maybe I'll even get that wacky fellow fifty friend of mine to share a thought or two with all of us.

Now I've got your attention!!

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

wordy wednesday

So ... we are ambling around the house .. just the two of us.
We have kids visiting.
We have grandbabies visiting.
But after a long day at work, it ain't all bad to just sit.
My feet have been howling lately after wearing a lead apron at work all day.
Sitting is good.

So ... the house is quiet.
Last week, on Wednesday, Jari commented on how the dishes just don't seem to accumulate.
Maybe I told him that it would help if I actually cooked something.
I don't remember.
I do know that I can clean the kitchen and it stays that way.
Clean and kitchen in the same sentence?
Maybe I'll have to admit what Alyx did for me last Friday. Later.

So ... the house is empty.
That means that for the first time in 28 years or so we sleep with the bedroom door open.
I shut the hall light off awhile ago, but this is a whole new thing.
Air can circulate!
It is quite a miracle.

And if you lock the front door ...
you can take a shower with the bathroom door open to let out steam in this heat entrenched summer we are enduring.
There are kids who have keys, but I figure if the front door is locked and they just pop on over ...
they deserve what they get.

Did I start off talking about sitting?
Back to that.
I did some sitting this week, and being as my laptop was perched in a convenient position I started editing and organizing photos.
2015 is done up to date!
That includes all photos from my phone.
I do crazy things like label most photos with the date they're taken.
They sometimes end up in other folders that don't have dates on them and then I sort of have a clue.
Now I need to start going backwards in time!

This particular one made me chuckle. Out. Loud.

I think he had a clue what was coming!

Enjoy the rest of your week and the new month! Happy July!