Friday, June 19, 2015

Wallow and obsess...those are my superpowers.

     Here's the thing.
When my son Joey died (at the age of 20) in June of 2012, I don't know that I followed the appropriate mourning protocol. I don't know that there is any one best way of grieving. I guess we all do the best we can to get through it. 
What I did was throw myself into life and kept very, very, very busy.
I signed up for college. I took care of the rest of my family.
It went something like this: my oldest daughter had moved to another state at the age of 21 with my grand daughter. Over the 7 years that she was there, we saw each other in person maybe 5 times. And then Joey died, and maybe 3 months later, she moved home and reconnected with her ex-husband/baby daddy, and they have remarried and had another baby.
The next month, another daughter that had lived in another state left her whole life behind just like that and moved home, and immediately reconnected with an old flame. A month later, he moved here. Now they are married and have a baby. 
My son who lives in the next state over was here more than not.
At one point...ALL of those people lived with us (at the same time!) in our little bitty house. 
And then my niece and her husband and three young children moved here. 
I was going to school and doing home work and hanging out with all these people all of the time. I was very very busy and preoccupied. 
     And then last summer, I got "sick" and ended up in the hospital with Congestive Heart Failure, but what? I kept on going! I went to school and did homework and babysat my wee little grand daughter and more often than not, had 12 or 15 people for dinner! 
    I was very busy and very preoccupied. 
    Then I may have crashed and burned a little bit. 
   I took the spring semester off from college in order to catch up with myself and focus on my health.

     Back tracking just a bit, 4 years ago I saw a picture of myself and felt a deep self loathing. I had gotten SO FAT, and decided to do something about that. And so, I embarked on a mission, and actually lost 60 lbs. At one point, I was very involved with the Sparkpeople website, and motivating others was motivating to me. At the time that Joey died, I had just broken through a plateau and was at an all time low. Over the course of the following 3 years, I was very busy and preoccupied. (Have I mentioned that already?) I stopped paying attention to my eating habits, I stopped exercising regularly, and the weight started creeping back on. 

    The past 6 months have found me wallowing instead of getting myself in line.  One daughter and her husband moved to another town about 2 hours away.
     My niece and her family moved to another state. 
     I'm not going to school or doing homework. I'm not writing, which is what i'm supposed to be doing. I'm still babysitting grand baby duck. ( Both of them while school is out.)
Pretty sure I got less busy, less preoccupied, and a big black cloud landed square on top of my head! I have felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and when the third anniversary of the traumatic day that changed our life forever (June 10-11...he was missing on the 10th and found on the 11th) rolled around, it just rolled over me like a massive boulder, and I just was not expecting that. It's been three years, for pete's sake! 
     ANYWHO! The point is, I have GAINED 10 lbs since I was in the hospital, and I haven't been in a good place emotionally,  and then I had a check up with my cardiologist. My BP with meds was 160/116! 
    That number sort of screamed at me, penetrating the fog, and now I have to pull myself together or (literally!) die trying! 

    I don't really want to be obsessed with what i'm eating or what my exercise habits are, but it's the only way i'm going to get anywhere! I have rejoined (if you need some health/fitness/weight loss motivation, check it out and look me up! Vibrantval is my user name!
    This whole long blog post is just an attempt to warn whoever might be in my life in any manner that, as wearing as it can get for the general population, i'm about to be talking a lot about all that mess. Perhaps if I were a more balanced type of person, or less ADD, it could just be a side job, but no...i'm not, and immersing myself is the only way for me to stay focused! 

    So...let's hear it for losing 50 lbs by my next check up in December, and another 20 or 25 after that!  To getting my blood pressure under control and maybe just maybe ditching the meds! And to shaking the gloomies and getting on with the rest of my life!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I have found the one that I love

Have you ever heard of Barbara Claypole White? I had not until very recently. She is an author, and I don't exactly remember where I came across her name. I "follow" way too many authors, some that I don't even like, for the sole purpose of finding new authors.
    Anyway, Barbara's name ended up on my "to check out" list, and just a couple of days ago, I got " An Unfinished Garden" on my laptop.
     Oh my word!!! OH MY WORD!!! This story grabbed hold of me from page one and didn't turn me loose...well, it hasn't yet. Even though I finished it last night.
When I was supposed to have gone to bed super early, because I am really exhausted lately, and I just need some SLEEP.  I don't know why I think going to bed early is the answer...I don't sleep anyway...but that was my plan. Instead, I finished this book, turned out the light at about 11:00, and still had a hard time sleeping.
    Anyway, about the story:
      I suppose it is a "romance", but definitely not your typical one, and there is SO much more to this story than romance. It's about Tilly, who is a widow and consumed with grief and guilt, and her 8 year old son Isaac. It is about James, who is a software developer or some such, but has sold his family farm, his company, and his home and retired at the age of 45 in order to move to South Carolina. He is there to participate in clinical trials for treatment of OCD.
    James is OCD! Not as in " I'm a neat freak, so I'm OCD". Not "I like to organize my cabinets" OCD. He is actually, clinically OCD, with the rituals and obsessions and all.
    Also in this story is Tilly's mother, ex-high school love who has always been buzzing in the back ground, and her best friend.
     Oh my stars and garters, this story is intense! It is about fear and courage. It's about facing demons head on. It's about helping each other do that. It's about all kinds of relationships and all kinds of love, and there is more than one way that the story could go, and the reader is not really sure which way it SHOULD go,  and the WOW!

    There is some strong language in here just so ya know, but its not like some books where it's in every other sentence.

    There are no sex scenes in this book! No body has sex with anyone in the course of this story! There is physical attraction. There is passion. There is the actual development of relationships. But no sex. And it was intense.

   I really have no gripes about this story.
I loved it, and I want to crawl up in it. Instead, I will move on to the next book by this author.
     *Note: There are only two, with a third coming out soon.

Okay, that is all!
Go read this book!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Living it up

I'm on a Joy mission. Joy has been missing from my life for awhile now, and i'm over it. Determined to make the most of summer, one of my joy projects was to turn my tiny backyard into a mini tropical paradise. Because I was born for island time. Because I yearn for sun and sand and water and palm trees. If it was up to only me,  our house would be a beach house even though any beach is very very VERY far away! Thankfully, I don't live alone, so I have the privilege of taking the preferences of the other family members into consideration. 

Anyway. The back yard was a mess. The Chief was working on his garage and there was stuff everywhere. Have I mentioned that the back yard is tiny? Eventually, all the stuff found it's place, and this past week was all about the transformation. First, I painted this furniture. An old desk that has been out in the weather, and the two stools that Joey gave me shortly before his Departure From Earth. I can't just get rid of them, but there is no room for them in the house.

Tiny backyard...picnic table...grill...some junk...

Ta da! I painted the desk and the stools with exterior paint. I just happened to have a gallon of this very light blue. Back before the budget got so tight, we picked it up for a few bucks because it was a custom color and then the customer didn't want it. My sister in law, Monica, taught me to do that! I've had this gallon of paint for a couple of years, and guess what? I found a use for it! It might not be the color I would have chosen to use in my own personal mini "tropical paradise", but it works! I spray painted a couple of planters and the rusty folding chair that has been lounging out here. And, well, there is my pool! Would I rather have a real in ground pool? Why, yes, yes I would!! Desperately! But I don't have one of those and probably never will. What I do have is a $15 "family size" kiddie pool! It is only 1.5 feet deep, but it is big enough for me and the grand babies to play in...and when they go home? Oh, ya! Pool meditation! 

I have to confess that I hate bugs in the pool, and spend an inordinate amount of time skimming. 

Here is a close up of the "garden" Two of these plants are "palms"....but not. For example, the ponytail's not really a palm tree. It is more of a desert plant. But I don't care. I like it.

And on the picnic table....My sis-in-law contributed these shells, and I got a citronella candle from family dollar for three bucks. Isn't it CUTE??? I love it!

I am very pleased with my summer area! I can honestly say that it adds joy to my life! And my poor dead aloes down there? They are showing signs of revival!

Don't you love getting stuff in the mail? I do! It is very sad that actual snail mail is practically a thing of the past. Snail mail is one of those nice little things that infuses joy into my life! Another Joy project is sending snail mail.  This project got off to a slow start, because i'm not that crafty, but i'm also on guessed it!...budget. Alone time is at a premium as well. Here is a sample of my efforts. Scrap book paper...cut up gift bags...card stock printer paper...a glue stick...ta da!  Inexpensive, fairly simple and quick...but fun! 
And...I don't know where my last picture went. It was a photo of the dining table set for a meal. No matter how many there are...or aren' meal time, meals are almost always a sit down family affair. These dishes that you can't see...I got them at a garage sale for a quarter a piece. Similar to Fiesta Ware (which I LOOOOOOOOVE), but my mom said that she saw these at Family Dollar...for a dollar! There is one each of blue, coral, sage green and yellow! Dinner plates, I mean.  I love how they look on the table. They make me happy! There are also hot pink plastic glasses from walmart...4 for a buck fifty or something like that. Just an example of how color and fun and joyful things are available without big bucks! 

And...that is all for this post I think! 
How do you infuse Joy into your life?!