Gratitude week 153

  1. Well, since I have not left the house since last week’s gratitude list…I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to get a lot of things done online I was once only able to leave the house to do.
  2. Clean sheets…again.
  3. To be feeling better every day.
  4. As of last night I pretty much finished all of my Christmas shopping.
  5. My husband and his friend got a huge home project done. Because of them, we are ahead of schedule on the home renovation projects.
  6. My husband did a great job keeping everything running while I was sick. He was very supportive.
  7. If I had to get sick, it was a good time for it since I didn’t have to cancel a lot of plans.
  8. I did have to cancel going to an open house at the spa I got non-refundable tickets for. The good news was that I received a text saying I won a $1,000 gift card to the spa.
  9. I am eating real food again.
  10. My husband and I started playing a new to us card game of gin rummy.

I dropped off the edge of WP

Sorry if it seems I dropped off the edge of WP. The day after my last post, I came down with the flu. I spent way too many days in bed staring at the ripples on the ceiling and talking gibberish to my dead grandma. After the fever went away, I ended up with a bout of colitis. Let me tell you, fun times. I am still not eating solid foods and every time I move too fast I hack up a lung. But I am slowly improving to the point where I can finally do the laundry, clean the house, and turn on my computer again.

I blame it on trying to do too much and not getting enough rest. Apparently I am not 25 anymore. I didn’t sleep well the night before Thanksgiving. That one was my own fault. I changed my cartilage earring from a stud to a hoop. The hoop was way too tight which swelled up my ear which woke me up in the middle of the night in throbbing pain. I spent hours starring at the ceiling wondering if I should get out of my warm bed to change it. That made Thanksgiving morning come way too early. Then Paul and Angel were off to run the Turkey Trot race. I stayed home by myself to keep an eye on the turkey, cook, clean, and decorate for the party at noon. No one was home so I blasted my music and got to work.

After Paul and Angel got back, my mom and Matt were the first to arrive to the party. When my mom arrived I turned off my music, then she came into the kitchen and turned her music on without asking. She yelled at my brother Matt for where he was setting things down which is out of character for her. Paul and Angel were talking about the race and my mom asked me if I ran too. I was getting upset at this point and told her I did not run for a year. Besides there was no way we would put the turkey in the oven and leave the house for several hours.

Everyone seemed to arrive at once. My best friend’s son brought his new girlfriend. He introduced me to her as the matriarch of the family which I thought was really sweet of him. My mom put him in his place and told him I wasn’t the matriarch, she was. It was a very awkward experience. This may or may not have been the point when I started drinking. Everyone was in the kitchen trying to talk and ask questions as Paul was trying to cut the turkey and I was mashing potatoes. My mom was asking where the bowls are. Paul’s step-dad Darryl was talking Paul’s ear off about hunting and fishing while his fiance asked if I wanted her to put whip cream on part of the Jello or all of it. I told her to go ahead and put it on the whole thing, then my mom came over a told her not to.

Finally the meal was ready and it was time to eat. As I was eating, my mom came over to the table with Matt and showed everyone his incisions from his gallbladder surgery. I didn’t have much of an appetite after that. Then it was time to clean up. Afterwards the drinks were flowing and we played games and opened the pool. The last guests left around midnight and I stumbled into bed once again not sleeping well.

The next morning Paul, Angel, Alex, Lexi, and I went to the Christmas tree farm and picked out two trees. I spent most the day decorating the house and trees with the kids. Then Paul and I went Black Friday shopping for a couple hours for a futon couch which we didn’t find. Saturday I went shopping again until I finally found a futon couch. Then I also stopped at Kohl’s because I needed socks and bras. Maybe this is more than you want to know, but I threw out 4 bras in the past month that were worn out. I no longer had any plain white socks either. Both items I don’t buy myself at the thrift stores. But I wanted to get them on sale. Sale, sale, sale. Then I spent the afternoon with Angel volunteering.

Sunday was church, then I spent the rest of the day shopping the sales online researching vacations and creating the family calendar for 2023. I turned my computer off at 9 PM exhausted. Then I was back at it again on Cyber Monday shopping the sales for Christmas on my computer. In the morning I shopped with Paul, then the afternoon I shopped with my mom. By that evening, I was sick and fell off the edge of WP. I think I am finally on the mend.

This uncertainty, part 4

Usually I have my whole life planned out. Well, maybe not that extreme but you get the point. I thought I would be one of the few marathon runners that would run into their 70’s. That didn’t happen. Sometimes I still dream of running. I hate exercising now. I told the doctor all I really wanted to be able to do is run again. She chuckled at this and told me if I did she would be replacing both my knees in the next two years. It’s been a whole year since I ran and this year my husband and daughter will be doing the last race I did without me. I am happy for them and don’t want them not to do it because I can’t. I just never expected my life to be this way.

I thought I would be checking Europe off my bucket list in the summer of 2020. You all know what happened with those plans. Who would have guessed? When I plan things I pretty much plan on it happening. But I also learned life doesn’t always work out the way we plan.

Usually by this time I have next year all planned out as far as travel goes. This year I have no idea what I want to do. Right now I’ve set aside several dates on the calendar for going on a trip. That’s about it. My husband and I are thinking of trying last minute deals with these dates. My only rule is that I want to go somewhere I haven’t already been. The problem with this plan is that we aren’t spontaneous people. Even if we have absolutely nothing going on, we both plan our days. We are by nature extreme planners. We like our structure and lists. On Mondays and Thursdays I wash towels. We are going to try this but we might not like it.

Typically I would get some input from my husband about where he wants to go and I would plan everything. Checking off all 50 states and all continents is huge on my bucket list, but my husband does not have these constraints. These are higher priority trips for me. Now my husband is getting involved in finding the deals. Since at heart he is a finance guy, he spent hours creating a financial calculator down to the penny to analyze which is the best deal. I could care less about that but I am concerned I will find something and it will be gone before he can decide what the better deal is. Then who is in charge of the planning. It has always been me and it’s something I really enjoy. I have a systematic way of doing things. Hopefully this is not going to create conflict. Now I think all this spontaneity might not work. Part of the fun is doing all the research and planning the details.

There is also some uncertainty about the next step in our business. There is uncertainty regarding the economy. In my mind there is still some uncertainty around COVID. This year we had to cancel a trip because of it. If anything I am getting better living with uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’m not one of those we’ll see how everything pans out kind of person.

Gratitude week 151

  1. With the way the holidays fall this year, I’m grateful to have found a date that works for everyone.
  2. I went in for my physical this week and there weren’t any new health surprises which I am very grateful for.
  3. I got my tetanus shot this week and thankfully it didn’t stop me from continuing to clean and fill up the dumpster we rented.
  4. Everything went really smoothly with the dumpster rental and we got the right size.
  5. We finished our room remodeling project and the flooring is completed!! It all happened a lot quicker than I had planned which is always a plus.
  6. I have my own office!
  7. We had our first snowfall this week and it is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately it is now bitterly cold outside and with last weeks record highs we’ve had a 50+ degree drop in temperature.
  8. Along with filling the dumpster, we also donated several boxes to the thrift store. While we were there, we got some good deals thrifting. Sadly, I think someone old probably died because I scored on a local collection of polka records. I also found a gorgeous tree skirt that looked like the skirt worn by Mrs. Claus.
  9. We spent an afternoon volunteering and helping others.
  10. We were able to visit with all our kids this week.
  11. My brother Luke and his family visited this weekend and we were able to go to our niece’s swim meet. They live several hours away so we are not able to do as much as we would like to. This is the first swim meet we’ve been to and my niece beat her record on a couple events.
  12. My brother Matt had his gallbladder removed and the surgery went well.
  13. Because Arabella missed a lot of work due to COVID and mono, she was taken off the schedule at work. She just started working for Door Dash making deliveries. I think this is a great opportunity for her to be able to work around her health and mental health issues.

Before and after…with a little help from our cat.

Gratitude week 150

  1. The election is over! We are done with the crappy ads, middle of the night texts, an overflowing mailbox, all day phone calls, the surveys, and the constant pressure to go out and vote which had the opposite effect on me but I did anyway.
  2. Mom and I went in for a spa day.
  3. We had game night a couple times this week with Arabella. One evening she stopped in to do laundry and we ended up playing games.
  4. Paul and I had our date night at the arcade. It was something different to do. We surprised Will as he was cleaning up a spilled drink by me telling him someone puked all over the place. This was not true but it was funny. I think he was happy to see us.
  5. We got a lot of work done this week filling the dumpster. Yesterday Paul and I yanked out all the overgrown shrubs in our yard, probably somewhere around 20. I’m still on a plant killing rampage apparently. It needed to be done and I wanted to to do it right before the ground froze to avoid nesting birds. At least I’m not killing the birds.
  6. We have great friends who are helping today finish the flooring. I hope by next week’s gratitude it will be done. I will post pictures.
  7. Last night I went to a friend of a friends 46th birthday party. It was over the top. The birthday girl rented the biggest limo I ever saw, rented a hall, got a band, had an open bar all night, catered in wings, had a baker cater in gourmet cupcakes (the same as our daughter’s wedding), and rented a hotel room. I did feel bad because I know they can’t afford it. I’m grateful my husband and I are on the same page as far as finances go.
  8. Talking about finances, we had our annual visit with our financial advisor. It went really well and he gave us a lot of things to think about. It’s time to update our will. The last time we updated it was when several of our kids were minors. My mom is listed as our power of attorney for healthcare and it’s time to switch that. It’s strange to think I am at an age where I start handing the reigns to my children. I even had to update forms at the doctor’s office and gave them my daughter’s name with her married name. The receptionist noting the different name asked if she was my daughter. She didn’t ask if she was my mother.
  9. Tomorrow I go in for my annual physical. I’m really hoping for gratitude next week on that. I had my blood work done on Friday and so far everything looks good.
  10. We had another week with record breaking warm weather. That was strange with the combination of darkness at 4:30 PM. We were able to get out and enjoy the last bit of warmth we’ll be receiving in a while. Yesterday we had snow flurries and we are expecting snow this week so I think it was the last of it.

Gratitude week 148

  1. I’m grateful for Ashley’s family letting the blogging community know of her passing. I feel a lot of sadness over her loss. I feel thankful her family provided us with closure and let us know how much comfort blogging provided her in her life. There have been many times over the years bloggers have just disappeared and just left us guessing in worry.
  2. Our friends had their annual Halloween party over the weekend. We also had our annual sailing banquet which we also dressed up for. It was pleasant to visit with friends we don’t see often. I also love to dress in costume. That was probably my favorite part of being involved with community theater, dressing up and being someone else for awhile. Although someone did ask me if I was dressed up as a pregnant porn star. Definitely not the look I was going for. Paul and I dressed up in vintage 70’s disco outfits.
  3. My husband started his month long detox diet. I’m grateful he takes his health seriously.
  4. My son-in-law came back home yesterday after spending two weeks out of state for work.
  5. I finished painting my future office.
  6. We will be renting a dumpster this week to pull out the carpeting and get rid of junk.
  7. I had a good session with my therapist.
  8. Paul and I did some volunteer work. I enjoy helping other people and getting out of my own problems for awhile.
  9. I have been sleeping pretty good lately.
  10. We had a game night with Will and Arabella. We had a really good visit.

5 days

My dress doesn’t fit. When I first tried the dress on at the bridal store it was a good fit albeit a little snug in some places. I decided to order the size up just to be on the safe side. If anything it seemed like I was more apt to gain weight than lose it. The dress I ordered was a little too big. It was also too long, but I was expecting that. The dress has small sleeves off the shoulder. It was too big in that area so Angel’s future MIL did alterations for a tighter fit in the shoulder area. In doing so she also brought up the chest and now the cups are way too high. I’m hoping it will be an easy fix.

Needless to say, Angel and I are both going back this evening for alterations. Angel is a nervous wreck. I have been anxious too, but it doesn’t even compare to my daughter’s anxiety over the upcoming wedding. I’ve had some rather strange worries too. I’ve been worried about my brother Matt. The other day I even asked my mom if he was okay. It just came out of the blue a premonition he was sick and going to die. I wonder if my daughter’s upcoming wedding triggered in me some memories from my own wedding when we feared my brother could die because he was really sick. That’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t recall feeling this way towards him since I got married. How utterly bizarre.

Other than that, I feel good today. I feel confident in how I look. I have confidence in my immune system. I reminded myself that I was only sick once this year (with COVID) even after being around other sick people. I reminded myself that before I got COVID, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick. I think it was 8 years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins, drink a lot of water, and don’t do anything fun. I’ve been avoiding groups of people. I’ve taken precautions and the extra steps to strengthen my immune system to the best of my ability. What more can I do? Angel is doing the same yet she worries. Maybe she is more like me than I even thought.

One good thing is I will have a preview of Angel in her dress tonight. I really don’t want to cry at the wedding when I see her in her dress and be a big pile of snot with raccoon eyes. Angel said she wrote me a letter to be read right before the ceremony with the photographer taking my picture. Why?? Oh, why?

I can’t believe we only have 5 days left.

Gratitude week 143

  1. My daughter is getting married this week!!!
  2. My best friend and I found Arabella a beautiful dress to wear to the wedding.
  3. Today is my husband’s birthday. I’m grateful for him and his mother for trying to give him the best life she could as a single teen mom.
  4. I’m grateful Paul’s gift arrived early (when he wasn’t home to see it) since the delivery date wasn’t until after his birthday.
  5. I’m grateful to have the kids home to help him celebrate his birthday. I bought him a pie and we are going to order Indian take out.
  6. I’m grateful for some time to just think and reflect over the weekend. My husband was gone all weekend for work and my son, his roommate, and girlfriend were out of town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I realized I haven’t spent a lot of time alone in my life. I’ve never lived alone. It was refreshing to have some quiet time. It was nice to do what I wanted. I could listen to the music I like without someone asking me to turn it down or complain about how depressing it is. LOL I finished the book I was reading.
  7. Earlier this past week, I was able to enjoy what the rest of summer was willing to give. Then like clockwork it got dark and cold on the first day of autumn. Nearby areas had frost warnings. I’m really sad to see summer go, but I am looking forward to my second favorite season autumn. The leaves are starting to change colors and that’s simply gorgeous. I enjoy the cool crisp air, campfires, fall cleaning, not having to do the endless weeding, wrapping up in a blanket, pumpkin pie, and fall holidays.
  8. The landscaping company came and replaced all of our dead plants.
  9. My mom got a last minute call on the waiting list for cancelled appointments to see a specialist she had to wait several more months to see. They were able to do some tests and hopefully she will have some answers soon, a lot sooner than waiting until the middle of December anyway.
  10. I’m grateful for my close friends who offered to do things for the wedding. Lisa, who previously worked as a hairdresser, is going to be helping Angel get ready. My best friend Cindy offered to take their vehicle back to their house after the ceremony and drop off the gifts later that evening. Angel asked two of her bridesmaid’s fianc├ęs to help, but one of the guys apparently didn’t feel comfortable driving anything bigger than a Prius. Seriously??!? Our friend James offered to drive people home who have been drinking.
  11. I’m also grateful to have a lot of people we know helping with the wedding such as the florist, the photographer, and the DJ. It’s great to support local businesses. They all gave us discounts even though they didn’t need to.

1 week

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe the wedding is a week away. I feel the anxiety. There is a fine line between anxiety and excitement. My mind creeps over to worrying about the things I can’t control. What if I get sick? I worry about Angel and Dan getting sick. Angel who was always the one to get sick right before a big performance. The anxiety burns her body out and runs her right down. But the anxiety cannot be controlled either.

I have been trying to stay healthy. One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to do is drink more water. I started taking more vitamin D. I try to make healthy food choices and exercise every day even if it’s just a walk around the block. It’s been hard to give up sugar, not because I crave it but because it is in everything. Look at labels and you will be surprised. Pinto beans? Seriously, there is sugar in canned beans. What I miss most is sweetened coffee creamer. But I realize I could do everything right and still get sick. Maybe I’m being anxious thinking if I carry around some sort of rabbit’s foot I’ll have good luck. If I try extra hard to be healthy I won’t get sick.

I also wanted to lose a few pounds. The overweight comment by the doctor a few months back really stung. I feel old now. I felt really good up until 45. That was the year everything happened with my dad. Then right after that was when my daughter attempted suicide. Followed by COVID a couple months after that. Then I started having health problems. Maybe it would’ve happened anyway. It’s hard to say but no doubt the stress probably didn’t help.

I’ve aged a lot over the past 3 years. I stopped coloring my hair. It’s been two years now and no color remains. I haven’t had my hair cut since January and have no plans of cutting or coloring it soon. Angel says she likes my gray hair. I have to say the color is very unique, a sandy blondish brownish gray.

Nobody says I need to lose weight for the wedding. No one really cares but me. I just don’t feel like me anymore. Maybe I just want to feel young again. Today I went to the pet store and bought a 20lb box of cat litter. The young lady that checked me out called me ma’am and asked if I needed assistance carrying the cat litter to my car. Three years ago I ran a 50k and now I look feeble enough to need help carrying something to my car?

I swear I am trapped in someone else’s body. What really scares me is that I see my dad in myself as I age. He never exercised a day in his life, is obese, and has a lot of aches and pains. He is everything I don’t want to be, yet I find myself like him in some ways.

I’m afraid my arthritis will be acting up and I’ll end up sitting in a chair all night and not cutting up the dance floor. I’ve found that having arthritis is a delicate balance between not overdoing it and not doing anything at all. Today I would do anything just to be able to go running again like I used to.

I’m going to try to relax and not freak out so much about everything. But that is easier said than done. I was invited to a party tonight but opted not to go to avoid being in groups right before the wedding. Gotta stay healthy. The funny thing is I didn’t want to go anyway so it’s not much of a sacrifice. Why would I feel guilty skipping a party I didn’t really want to go to anyway? Am I obligated to go if I have nothing else going on?

Yesterday Arabella found out she has mono. In the last month she has had COVID, an ear infection, and now mono. She is sick all the time and her immune system is garbage. But she does nothing to take care of herself.

I just have to keep telling myself that regardless of what happens, Angel is marrying the right guy. It’s not about who gets sick or stays healthy. It’s not about whether or not my dress is a little tight around the waist. It’s not about whether the day is cold and rainy or if snow flurries fall. It’s not about how much I get out on the dance floor.

One week left, I have to stay focused on what really matters.

24 days

In 24 days my daughter is getting married. Until now, the date seemed so far away. July was the bachelorette party with friends at the cabin up north. August was the bridal shower. Our 25th anniversary trip in between those events, still the wedding seemed far away. The calendar on my wall flipped once again and now it is less than a month away.

Time keeps marching on although I wanted it to slow down a little. Maybe we could go back to when Angel was still young and holding my hand. I find myself wishing for things that have already passed. I haven’t experienced a lot of longing for the past in my life up until now. The other day I had a dream she was leaving me. The feelings seem silly because she will always be our daughter even though she will no longer carry our name.

I have been busying myself getting everyone else ready for the wedding. I made the appointment for Paul to get his tux fitted. Yesterday I took Arabella shopping. I want my other children to have something nice to wear to their sister’s wedding. I don’t know why I thought I could just waltz into a store and find something. I haven’t seriously shopped for a nice dress for my daughter since before COVID. Remember when department stores had racks and racks of homecoming and party dresses? It’s not like that anymore. The only dresses I found a lot of looked like nightgowns, pajama dresses.

It’s even more difficult to find something nice in the plus sizes. The only acceptable dresses that didn’t look like nightgowns were dresses my grandmother would be too young to wear, never mind a teenage girl. I ended up ordering a dress on Facebook marketplace and I’m praying it is going to work because my daughter is extremely busty. Thankfully she does have one nice dress she could wear if it doesn’t work.

I had a heck of a time finding shoes. My daughter wants me to wear nude dress shoes since I am standing up in the wedding. I do not own a nice pair of nude colored dress shoes. I started that search several weeks ago and came up empty handed until last night. I don’t wear dress shoes anymore. (Plus I hate the color). The only thing I could find looked either like ballet shoes or were two inch stilettos. No way! I did find a cute pair that looked promising only to try them on to experience excruciating pain with my arthritis and bunion. There was no way I could stand to have them on my feet much less stand up with them for the wedding. Last night I found an ugly pair of dress sandals on clearance that don’t make me feel like someone is sawing off my foot. Done.

Yesterday I started a new diet. Okay, I will tell you right now I am an incredibly vain woman. A couple months back when I was diagnosed with arthritis, I also got diagnosed with being overweight. The doctor said I should exercise more. Funny thing was before I started being in pain all the time I was at the gym 3 times a week and was running marathons. I was in a strength training class. I prided myself on maintaining a youthful figure. I thought it would always be that way until my own body humbled me. Now I’m all squishy. Not that anyone expects me to look like I’m 25 besides me when I’m almost twice that.

Yesterday I started the diet of no alcohol, gluten, dairy, and sugar. I’ve done it before after the bad bout of colitis I had. I did feel a lot better, but it is hard to maintain. I am hoping to lose some weight, but mainly to just feel better. I am not going to be super anal about it. But I would like to get back to being healthier again.

I thought I would write about getting ready for the wedding as that is what is happening in my life right now. I feel like I dropped the ball a little with everything being a super organized planner and all. In some ways I don’t think I’ve had to do a lot of worrying because my daughter is also a super organized worrier at planning her own wedding and I don’t want to step on her feet. I really didn’t think about it all that much and here we are at 24 days already.