- It was a rather quiet week to rest, reflect, and recuperate from the wedding.
- I was finally able to find some undergarments to fit Arabella good enough.
- Paul and I were able to get a lot done to get ready for winter. We sailed our boat to its winter home, covered the pool, shut down the cabin, and will be getting the yard ready for winter. It always feels good to get these tasks done.
- The trees have reached their peak in colors.
- We are getting ready to fly out east tomorrow for a business trip. I will be checking another state off my bucket list. Not to worry if you don’t hear from me much this upcoming week.
- We had a plumber come out this week to fix a couple problems we were having.
- I found the key to our bedroom door so we can lock it when we are gone. It’s not a huge deal, but last time we were gone Arabella slept in our bed and used our shower. We just don’t want anyone in our room.
- Dan and Angel got a duplicate gift of a big mixer for their wedding which they gave to me.
- We made plans to go to a yurt with our friends this winter. We will have to snowshoe 4.5 miles to get to a remote location without running water or electricity. Sounds like an adventure.
- My brother Luke and his family are planning on coming over for the weekend next month as my niece has a swim meet in the area. I’m glad I will finally be able to watch one of her meets. I had a good conversation with my brother.
change of seasons
Gratitude week 116
- It’s the first day of spring! Personally I am not a big fan of spring as someone who has seasonal allergies. It’s also the time of year where we have a couple of nice days then get a snowstorm. But I am grateful for the longer hours of daylight, sunshine, and the anticipation of my favorite season summer. I think I even saw the first robin of the year yesterday.
- I’m grateful to get out and go for a walk on the couple of nice weather days we had.
- My second tattoo. It’s starting to heal nicely. My second tattoo was totally different from the first. This one was more painful. It’s also different not being able to see it. Looking in the mirror, it looks as if brilliant light is going into the prism and darkness is coming out. I would say that I like both tattoos equally though.
- Arabella came home from the hospital. They put her on some new medications that hopefully will help her. She is on 7 or 8 pills now which I am not excited about. But if it helps her…
- We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by having an old friend over for lunch of grilled cheese and corned beef sandwiches on light rye bread. Our friend is Paul’s late best friend’s son. He is in the military and was visiting family in the area with his two little kids. He is a relatively recent widower whom we haven’t seen in over 10 years. We never got to meet his wife. I forgot how much energy little kids have. I’m not sure I am quite ready to be a grandparent yet.
- I am grateful the last two nights I went to concerts by a local Pink Floyd tribute band. They were awesome. The audience was totally pumped, partying like it was 1999. It’s been 3 years since they performed last and everyone was so excited. One night I went with Angel and Paul and the other night I went with Alex and Lexi.
- Friday night was a blustery evening and my son was on standby in case he had to work, so he ended up switching shows with his sister. I’m grateful for that because Friday night there was a pretty intense light show. I totally forgot that my son’s girlfriend Lexi has epilepsy. First I take her with us to the waterpark remembering she can’t swim as we are heading towards deep water in the wave pool. Then I take her to a concert that has a pretty intense light show when she has epilepsy. I swear I’m not trying to kill her off. The light show wasn’t as intense last night. I’m grateful we ended up switching shows for her unknowingly and she didn’t have a seizure.
- I started making TikTok videos this week and posting them. Angel said that both Paul and I regressed after she moved out. Paul is always on his video games and I am making cringy videos sure to embarrass my kids who oddly are liking them probably to make me feel better.
- Paul got some big projects done around the house. He, with the help of a friend, cut down a dead tree in our yard. He also replaced a showerhead that was spraying water everywhere.
- I’m also grateful for our friend Ted who is willing to help with projects.
I want my money back
I heard an ad recently that stated if you’re going to borrow money, borrow it from a pessimist because they won’t expect you to pay them back.
Recently my daughter Angel called me a pessimist.
That makes me question…Are all depressed people considered pessimists? Why are pessimists viewed so negatively? Why is it such a bad thing that most people resist being labeled a pessimist?
I admit I have been rather depressed lately. I haven’t felt much like writing. Tis the season. It’s not uncommon for me to feel this way at the end of summer. I’m going through warm summer sunshine withdrawal. My favorite season is coming to an end. It’s starting to get dark at 7 PM and I’m ready to go to bed. I haven’t been sleeping well and have been having nightmares again. We closed down the cabin for the year. The long sailing trips are over. Even the early morning runs before my daughter starts working will be over soon too. I eat, breathe, and live for the summer which is almost gone. I can almost taste the darkness that lies ahead mushed in with this crazy world we live in right now. It tastes a little like pumpkin spice mixed with onions.
Now before you cast me off as a hopeless Eeyore, I want to argue that perhaps I am not a pessimist after all. Maybe, in fact, I am quite the opposite. Maybe I am overly optimistic. I have inside of me this innate perfectionism. I can envision in my mind a flawless utopia. I see the world as it should be. The problem is that it is not that way. There is a difference between my ideal and the way things really are. How can that be fixed? I wish I knew. I kinda somehow think it’s going to take a little more than rose colored glasses.
A couple months back I told you the story of how my elderly friend Harv surprised me by baking me a cake for my birthday. It was a bittersweet moment because my own dad never acknowledged my birthday. No cakes, no cards, no calls, not even one birthday spanking. That one act of kindness from Harv nearly broke my heart. It was a happy day, yet at the same time very painful because my own dad probably didn’t even remember it was my birthday.
A pessimist might say…My dad hates me. I hate myself. Birthdays are stupid anyway. Harv is retired so he had nothing better to do.
A realist might say…Most dads care about their daughters enough to wish them a happy birthday. Harv is a good dad. My dad doesn’t care. It is what it is. How people treat me does not define who I am.
An optimist might say…Isn’t it wonderful that someone cares about me enough to make me a cake? Maybe next year that will be my dad making me that cake because I am fricken awesome. He really does care about me but has a hard time showing it. Blah, blah, blah…
I’ve always aligned myself as a realist instead of a pessimist. But sometimes the truth is too painful. I don’t have control over whether my dad calls me for my birthday or not. I could try to force it by calling him and telling him it is my birthday. But why bother? It’s not going to change things. Sometimes I just want to have a perfect life. Is that so wrong? I see how I want my life to be but I don’t have control over other people’s choices nor should I. Sometimes reality sucks and if that makes me a pessimist so be it then.
I don’t want to be an optimist, but here I am a utopic visionary in a dystopian world. Optimists rather annoy me anyway with their chirpy words of false hope. Things will get better with your dad. Just wait. How much longer do I have to keep waiting? I want to know because I am not getting any younger. I’m getting older. Okay, I’m 47.
Oh by the way I hate the glass half empty half full argument. In all reality, that glass probably shattered a long time ago. And I want my money back.
Gratitude week 40
- The fall colors are almost at its peak. Despite cold and rainy weather yesterday (not to mention not knowing the status of the rest of the school year) we were able to get some nice outdoor shots of Arabella for her senior pictures. She took a few pictures with her mask on too. One can always hope this will be unique in the years to come and not viewed at as normal.
- WP is working. For some reason the last time I was on to write/edit a post I wasn’t able to load this page. There was nothing but a blank page so thankfully it worked (and really fast to boot) today.
- We were able to have a nice campfire with our previous employee. It was really wonderful to be able to see him again.
- For clean sheets and pulling out the electric blanket.
- Crisp clean air and preparing for winter. Washing windows. Getting things done because there really isn’t too much left to prepare for. We don’t have any big plans. No winter vacations or even talk about getting together for the holidays. It now seems like the simple things are big. I am almost ready for big parties and family gatherings again. I can’t believe I am actually saying that.
- There were a couple of shootings this past weekend in neighborhoods I worked in this past week with the census job. I am grateful that although at times I was afraid I was able to stay safe.
- My son surprised us by getting a hair cut. I guess it is the little things. He had long curly locks which I liked and now his hair is shorter than mine.
- It’s been wonderful having Angel home again. She even made supper a couple of nights.
- We are supposed to get some warmer weather in the next couple days and I am always grateful for that.
- I’m grateful that my son was able to get away for a few days with his friends in WI Dells. I’m surprised the waterparks are even open. I’m grateful he asked me for trip planning advice. It’s kind of cool to have your child do something for the first time and ask for advice. I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a long time. My youngest child still thinks I don’t know anything.
Gratitude week 35
- Summer, for what is left of it. We are starting to feel some fall weather patterns push through. The A/C is off and the windows are open.
- Having a hot and windy day last week on my day off to make for perfect sailing weather with our boat neighbors.
- Staying safe this past weekend as a census worker in a really rough neighborhood.
- Having the day off today to go school shopping. My daughter starts her last year of high school tomorrow. I usually don’t put off school shopping until the day before but I really was not sure and still am not quite sure what is happening this school year. Yeah, just when I thought I had everything figured out too. (Last child in last year of school).
- Being able to meet up with my best friend for lunch over my break from work over the weekend.
- Making plans to see my brother and his family up north at the family cabin for the holiday weekend. It will be the first time we got together since COVID.
- Seeing my daughter this weekend. It will be less than a month until she moves back home.
- School is starting back up again. It’s been over 5 months.
- I’m grateful to be able to work hard and earn some extra money by doing a meaningful job.
- I’m grateful for the ham in the oven for supper. I’m grateful I will be able to eat before 8 PM since I have the day off. I’m grateful to have the windows open and not having to worry about cooking heating up my house.
Good-bye winter! Spring comes today.
It’s been a long winter in Wisconsin. My kids had 8 days off of school for inclement weather. The average is 2-3. We’ve had heavy snowfall followed by subzero temperatures multiple times this winter. The salt doesn’t melt the snow on the very cold days. Some towns ran out of salt. The roads were horrible for an extended period of time.
A lot of people died on our roads this winter. A couple of weeks ago there was fatal pile up on the highway that involved 131 cars. It wasn’t even snowing that day. There weren’t any warnings or advisories in that area. It just happened to be very windy and blew snow across the highway causing white out conditions.
There were some days that school wasn’t called off when it should’ve been because we used up so many snow days. What are we to do when we live in a climate that has the potential for nasty weather half the year? We drink! Which pretty much makes our roads hazardous year round. We lock ourselves indoors chronically depressed from the lack of sunshine and stormy weather that cancels our plans.
Okay, I will try to be more positive. Winter is beautiful. I had to share some pictures of the big snow this year. I was able to go out cross country skiing a couple of times. It was a great year for winter sports such as snowmobiling. Most years we don’t get this much snow.
Do I think that winter is over because the calendar says that it is spring? Probably not. Last year we got a huge blizzard in April. That is what I hate about spring (besides seasonal allergies). It fails to deliver. Spring is my least favorite season. I like summer best followed by fall then winter. At least with winter, we know what we are getting.
The trick is to try to enjoy every season while it is happening. That is sometimes easier said than done. The first few warm days gives me a feeling of false hope. But it won’t be too much longer. Last week we had a day in the 50’s. People started putting on shorts and were driving around with their windows open. But I know we will probably get more snow in April or May.
I can’t wait for the first run outside in this new year. It won’t be too much longer. I have to keep telling myself that at the end of a long grueling winter. The days are getting longer. The birds are coming back. The bugs will soon follow. But I won’t complain, winter makes me enjoy summer more. You need a few dark days to enjoy the light.
Biking the rat race
This morning I thought I would go for a bike ride at first light. My kids already left for school and I thought that maybe for once working out wouldn’t conflict with work.
It wasn’t my best idea. I got caught up in the rat race of people rushing to get to work and school.
I had to slow down for the neighboring school’s buses. I counted 4 buses on my(?) route. Several passed me before stopping in front of me to pick up kids.
What would I do if I can’t unhook my shoes from the pedals?
I slowed down for a bus stop, then had to speed up because there were dogs out.
Interval training at its best.
Everyone that wasn’t on the road seemed to be letting their dogs out for the morning. Will they chase me??
I learned several things…First, the neighboring school district has nicer buses than ours. Second, I now know the garbage pick up schedule.
If I did fall off my bike surely everyone and their neighbor would see me….school children, moms holding hands of children waiting for the bus, and people taking out the trash. Maybe I would fall in a dumpster. Maybe I would get hit by a car, garbage truck, or bus.
There were wild turkeys grazing on the side of the road. I couldn’t hug the shoulder. I couldn’t hug the middle of my lane as the cars whizzed past..
Biking kind of makes me feel stressed out..
Why do I even do this anymore?
That’s right, I spent a lot of money on the bike.
It was a cool and windy day…soon it will come to an end and my bike will be put away for the winter…then next spring I will start all over again…but I probably won’t be biking the rat race anymore… I mean, I didn’t even get a participation award..
19. If I could live anywhere…
Day 19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
It is that time of year again…the time of year when the old year is coming to an end like the falling of the leaves….and a new year with new opportunities is almost upon us..
It is at this time of year that I reflect…. What do I truly want?
If I could pick any place in the world that I wanted to live, it would be Tahiti. I have images in my mind of forever lounging in the sunshine on a sandy beach.
But, would that be what I truly want??
I have never lived in a warm climate. We get a total of 2 months out of the year that lounging in the sunshine on the beach is really possible. If we are really lucky, we get 3 months of warmth and beach weather.
Would I miss the change of the seasons? Would I get bored spending every single sunny day on the beach? Would I take it for granted?
Summer is my favorite season.
Would I miss cuddling in a warm blanket on a cool fall evening? Would I miss breathing in the crisp cool refreshing autumn air? Would I miss the beauty of the leaves changing color?
Would I miss waking on Christmas morning to fresh fallen snow? Would I miss the excitement of the first big snowfall? Would I miss seeing icicles glisten like crystals on barren trees? There is something special about the roaring wind that whistles through the cracks in our very foundation that ushers in the winter snow….The appreciation of warmth inside when the house cracks from temperatures of 30 below.
Spring is my least favorite season..Every time there is a glimmer of hope, it seems like we are dragged back into the dark, desolate winter again. But would I miss the expectation of the arrival of summer if it is always summer? Would I get sick of something that I love because I have too much of it? Would it still be as special??
Although I would like to say that I want to live in forever summer, I don’t think that I really want to live anywhere but here…
Would I be happy away from friends and family to live in sunshine and warmth? Maybe for a few months out of the year, but not forever…
Maybe, just maybe, in the darkest loneliest days of winter I will pack my bags and live for a short time in forever summer…That sounds perfect to me!
Summer, don’t leave me too!
The Canadian geese are flying south. Just like that a light switch was turned off. Summer is ending.
I always have a hard time this time of year. It’s not that I don’t like the changing of the seasons. It’s just that I live for summer. I love the warm weather and sunshine.
Now all of my kids are back in school. I had to say good-bye to my oldest child for the first time when I sent her off to college. It wasn’t just like saying good-bye to a child, it was saying good-bye to a friend. Over the past few years, the active parenting ended and a friendship began. I hope it will be like that with all of my children.
Out of all of the people living on this Earth, my daughter Angel is the most like me. She looks just like me. She has my mannerisms. We have very similar personalities, viewpoints, morals, and taste. We are both firstborns. We relate on all levels. Sometimes I think that she is an unjaded version of me. She is what I could’ve been. People have asked before if she is my clone. It was hard to let go.
My son Alex takes after my side of the family in everything but looks. Because of this, I understand him. Arabella is completely alien to me. We have nothing in common. To be totally honest, this has been a struggle for me. Sometimes we clash instead of click. It just doesn’t seem fair!
The morning after dropping off Angel at college, my husband went away on a week long sailing trip with friends. He will be back home tonight. This has made things more stressful for me at home and at work.
At first, I was fine. It seems like it takes me a few days to process my emotions.
Monday the anxiety and worry hit me hard. It probably didn’t help that I checked my phone before going to bed and noticed that Alex was not at his friend’s house that he was staying overnight at. Apparently they got bored and decided to aimlessly drive around much to my disappointment since I was the one filling up the tank with gas.
I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I waited until Alex got back to his friend’s house on my phone. Then I still couldn’t sleep because I stirred up the demon of my relationship with my dad. I didn’t realize that it upset me as much as it did. Of course, it is probably not wise to stir up painful moments in my life when I am feeling so emotional about my daughter leaving. My anxiety was through the roof and it kept me from sleeping most of the night.
The next morning I felt exhausted and depressed. I had to man the office by myself all day. Work was very busy and I didn’t feel like doing it. When I feel that way, I want to give up everything. I want to quit running. I want to stop blogging. I want to curl up in a ball and totally shut down. I will never do that though, somehow my mind beats out my heart every time. I don’t let myself shut down or even relax.
I will never give up this blog without telling people I am leaving. I am one of the least impulsive people I know. I am cold and calculating. I am schedule and routine. I am all or nothing. I overthink and underfeel. Like it or not, that is how I am. Yet somehow I can still manage to be fun.
Change has always been difficult for me, even if it is for the better. I have accepted that my daughter left home. It has to be a good thing for me because it is good for her.
Now I just have to accept that summer is over. This weekend we are shutting down the cabin for the season. The water will soon be too cold to swim in. By next month, we will be taking the sailboat out of water. The first few flurries will start to fall. My long outdoor runs will have to take place indoors on a treadmill.
Summer, please don’t leave me too!!
But I can’t look at it that way!
I have to be happy that my daughter is starting the future of her dreams. I still have other kids at home to bond with. I am married to a wonderful, adventurous man.
I have to look forward to crisp autumn days. Cool evenings spent in my hot tub gazing at the stars. Bonfires with friends. Photographing the beauty of the trees changing color. Reading cold psychological thrillers wrapped in a warm blanket. And having plenty of time to write…
I should’ve known when I opened the box and saw the glue that it wasn’t going to be easy.
I have one of those high strung intense type A personalities. So, yes, I find that I have a hard time taking it easy or relaxing. There is always something to clean or laundry to do. I have to actively seek out ways in which I can try to relax. Over the winter months, I try to relax by doing puzzles. It was something that I would do with my grandma years ago.
This winter I did two puzzles. Well, that is not completely true. The first puzzle was moderately difficult just because 75% of the puzzle was green in some shade or another. I just wanted my second puzzle to be easier and more relaxing. When I opened the second puzzle, I found glue and instructions to hang the puzzle on the wall like a picture. That was puzzling to me. It looked easy. I dismissed it as tacky and started working on the outside edge. After having difficulty with the outside edge, I searched the box two more times without finding any extra pieces. It was a brand new puzzle, so there weren’t any missing. I finally had to rework the edge.
After getting 75% done with the puzzle and wasting countless hours that I could have spent cleaning, I found out that the edge was still put together wrong. There were many pieces that matched in shape and design but weren’t right. I still was not finding a perfect fit in many edge and inside pieces throughout the puzzle. I came to the realization that I would have to take apart what I had already done and completely rework the puzzle.
In an impulsive fit of rage, I took my arm and swept the puzzle onto the floor. A jumble of obscenities and puzzle pieces flew across the room in an angry roar. Then I started throwing puzzle pieces into the box, which I threw into the garbage, which I threw into the dumpster that I took to the curb before I changed my mind. I felt like a complete and total failure.
I tried to commiserate with other puzzle friends. One friend is working on a puzzle that he separated into different containers based on puzzle piece shape. He works for a half an hour every night to find one piece.
Oh, what a failure I am!
Then today I realized that I am not a failure. The puzzle failed me! It was supposed to bring me relaxation but failed to deliver.
I did learn a few valuable lessons. First, never judge a puzzle by its box. Second, if you find glue inside the puzzle box it means that the puzzle is so difficult that you might want to hang it next to your diploma on the wall.
I am done doing puzzles for this winter. But I did find a few puzzle pieces while doing my spring cleaning today.