Friday, November 17, 2017

Taking it at a slow pace

Hello faithful reader,

Have you been thinking about me? Isn't there an old wives tale about itchy eyes meaning someone is thinking about You? I'm not sure but my eye  twitched spastically for 4 days straight last week. Either someone is thinking of me really hard or it could be medication induced ms. Lets hope not. I'm sure there may be a little less dramatic reason and i am monitoring the situation.

One early Saturday morning I was up with the sun and intent on doing some yard work in preparation for winter. I got a lot done but it came at a price. Namely a painfully itchy blistry weepy rash covering half my arm and eventually spread aroung my waist and thighs. The dr. took a culture and told me it was shingles. It was not. She had read the results wrong. It's has since been determined that it was likely caused by poison parsnip (yes there is such a thing). It's been a little over a month now and the areas are mending but still occasionally uncomfortable.

Having this skin stuff has kept me from swimming. Which sucks. The scale was finally moving in the right direction. Not now.. but I will get back to it in due course.

Connor had a great fall theater run. Production week was long but rewarding. He did great and is adapting to high school perfectly. Auditions for springs small student run  plays are near the beginning of Dec. Also with a little medication .. He no longer has migraines, no longer complains of lights (although sounds still get to him).

Willow .. well.. she plugging along. She tired of the drama of her "peers". They suck and it wears her thin. Senioritis had already kicked in as well. We take it day by day.

Greg has been mostly home since my last post. He started to take a cholesterol meds. They did something to his mood. He switched to a new one and it's not doing anything weird (As I proof-read through this I realize that so much of it is about health stuff. Gosh I'm turning into a little old lady!)

In other news the holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving.. We have not had been to a family style thanksgiving in what feels like many many years. This year Willows boyfriends grandparents have invited us to the family gathering. I'm making my butternut squash soup.

Our Yuletide celebration  is going to be geared toward health and well being. We are adding a few keypeices the home gym and scheduling a few fun (although relativly local) family trips in the spring.

Speaking of Spring.. Willow is graduating. Holy Cow! I mean I knew it but the fact of ceremony etc just dawned on me. Anyway..

On it goes..

One foot in front of the other.

Isn't that right mom?
(She had both knees replaced Monday. God bless her!)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Whats in a number?

I am sitting here on the eve of my 44th.


Its interesting. It doesn't feel old. Especially now that I am properly medicated. I touched my toes yesterday! That seems like an odd statement but I had gotten so stiff over the last few years that even 2 months ago my finger tips hung inches from the ground. The new meds have made quite an improvement. Im not saying I am completely ache free but my feet are not curled into immobile claws in the morning when I wake up and I can manage the stairs normally when I traverse them. It is fantastic and I feel like I have a new lease on life.

44 is shaping up to be a great year and it is arriving in grand style. Thursday, under the light of a full moon, Greg and I will take in the first Blackhawks game of the season. And then my old high school friend Aimee and her family will be by for the weekend. Auspicious beginning to be sure. 

In other news? The kids are recovering from some bug. Tobi has turned into a big game hunter. Greg and I have been visiting some trails with Rosie. Life is beautiful and good. (Except I dropped my phone and I had some allergic reaction but those are the breaks.) Photos are here


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Through the Darkness

I am burning some midnight oil tonight!

Well maybe not really.  Its only 9 pm. But it feels much later seeing as I am up at 4:30 to get Greg off to the airport.

I might just have to rethink the whole merlot/arting thing. Last Tuesday, the family went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Greg and I shared a nice bottle of Merlot. Upon getting home, I went directly to bed. I don't think it will serve up the conditions I need to paint deep into the night. Looks like I am going to have to find my inspiration elsewhere!

So anyway, our anniversary.. we had dinner. Sitting next to us was this cute gay couple who you could tell were on a first date. Anyway, the conversation at our table wandered from topic to topic, as any leisurely discourse should, and Greg began telling about a time he was out to eat and ended up with Bone Marrow as his meal. Connor asked how you eat that. Greg begins to discuss it in gross detail. Shudder. So to wrap things up and not linger much longer on the subject, I pipe in, rather loud and direct, "Son, You take the bone and you suck on it!" and then I made a sucky sound. The gay guys struggled to keep their composure. But did ok.

Greg also brought home a delightful bouquet of flowers. It featured Irisis that where just on the verge of blooming.

Speaking of flowers... Here is a funny story. I generally do my shopping at a particular store. One of the cashiers, Antonio, has taken a shine to me.  He is from Cuba. He is an older gentleman. His English isn't perfect. But he runs a public access show about Cuban music and local music scene and he also teaches a Spanish language emersion course. Anyway, he is a sweet old character and I tend to choose his line if he is working and I am not in a great hurry. A few weeks ago, after a congenial exchange, I left the store........ with flowers in my hand.


So the rest of the week played out as per the usual. On Saturday, Connor went off to play practice in the morning and then went to a cast party that night. This is part of the school campus:

Willow spent the whole of the day with Matt and his family. When they didn't know what to have for dinner she riffled through the cupboards and whipped them up a nice fried rice.

It is  historically odd, but becoming rather commonplace, that both of the kids are gone more often and, more over, at the some time. Both beginning to live truly independent and external lives.

With both of the kids out for the night, Greg and I enjoyed some sushi and he was asleep by 8:00. All of the travelling (And he has barely begun his journeys) had left him wiped out and he really needed to fully recharge his batteries before he begins the next stretch.

Here is fun news. An old friend, Aimee, and her family are coming out to enjoy a weekend this fall. I think it will be my birthday weekend!

P.S. Karen! Yes. That was a picture of the free tea drop sample you shared with me. I received 2 teas in a cute little wood box and the tea was extremely flavorful. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Taking the Plunge

 (I have recorded this here if you prefer to listen. The two  are similar but not identical)

Deep Breaths. Cool breeze blows through open windows. The sound of wet tires amplify the noise on the road down the street. Tea in one hand, pen in the other.

The time is here!! It took longer than expected. I think because I have been so ready for it arrive. Years ago I began the first of many attempts to organize and structure my day efficiently. Over time I have tried different systems/styles/structures; falling in and out of habit as we contended with our ever changing and not yet settled lives. In some regards, living in Germany should have provided me with ample time to attend to my arts, but some of us were drowning in the void (Not to mention the sensory overload that happens when trying to absorb a new language and culture). But now. Yes. Now. It is time.

Today...well technically "yesterday" as I am only today sitting at the computer as opposed to a notebook... Anyway, today is the first real day of school (real day meaning... kids get on bus in the am and return on the bus in the Pm) since Willow was in Jr. High. It has been 6 years of oddball schedules and driving and at least one kid schooling at home at least part time if not full time.

Holy shit! This has been a long time coming and boy am I set to tackle! Hut Hut Hike!

I've planned my days to maximize the amount of time I will be dedicating to writing and other personal projects. But mostly writing. And by writing I don't necessarily mean this blog. Its not SNOT but it is a good place to start (And I know my Auntie is itching for an update).Oh and by way of explanation, Snot is the working title of a novel I have started and is going to be a focus of my time. at least that is my intention.

Greg will be out of town much of the next couple months. That means I get to put some milage on the truck!

I may use my evenings to paint. It is fall after all. I have already smelled chimney smoke hanging on the evening air. The trees have begun their transition. Long nights of Merlot, oil paint and moody melancholy music are nearly upon us.

We have been sprucing up the joint. We redirected the run off from the roof in an attempt to suppress what we suspect is some underground erosion that maybe shifting the pool.  We also have been adding some weed suppression.

I love our yard.

Inside, Greg helped my put up some shelves which will house digital photo frames.

 I have only just begun going through all the files. I have so far come across some funny family videos which I put up on Youtube. When Willow saw them she said she wanted to recreate one. So there may be some of that coming.

I have taken the Embrel shots for two weeks now and just took my third injection. Im not sure what to think at this point. I am having injection site reactions but these should stop happening after a month or so of use. Wait and see. The injection itself is not really painful. And really neither is the reaction. At least not compared to the shingles shot. Anyway, The effects of the meds.. I can feel them working though my system. When they reach a joint that has been effected, it sort of makes it flare. But rather than the whole region being aggravated, its deep in the joint. And the pain is more "nervy". Then it moves further out to the next joint and does its weird work there. I suppose that I am moving a little easier down the stairs first thing in the morning. This medication can take a little while to show its effectiveness. Wait and See. What I have found effective is a recent addition by my Naturalpathic Dr. She suggested I use "My Community" It is a mushroom blend. It really strengthens the immune system and has elevated my level of energy. Hail the Plant Allies! 

Connor has been busy learning his parts for the schools Fall Play.

Last week there were several freshman orientation evens and a few days of settling into the school. They really do ease the freshman into the high school here and then it looks like they really strive to provide a security net of relationships. Anyway, I will go on about my observations of the schools in a future post.

Lets get cooking, shall we?! Willow started up in her culinary arts program. She will do great in it. At work she has changed positions and is now in the Deli. Cutting and chopping all the live long day. Its more work but she likes being busy more than being at a register waiting for a customer or dealing with them in general. Plus its a buck an hour more. Her relationship with Matt seems stable and healthy. She is exactly where I would want my 16 year old daughter to be. Well... with the exception of her not yet wanting to start driving. But hey, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

I am going to wrap this up here. I still have to type this up!

Well that sums up what I had to say yesterday. Checking my email this morning I was reminded that it is Greg and my anniversary. (Thank you Auntie!)

Happy 19th Anniversary!
Oh!The Adventures!
The Life!
Onward to 20 and beyond!
Love you!

P.S.  Here are some pictures from the day of the Festival of Fools. This is a French holiday which is celebrated in the summer. Its the event Quazimoto wants to go to... or does drop in on. I don't remember which. Anyway... 

 Believe it or not these ladies were making French Fries.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The time had come



The weight is gone.. and so is the grey. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mountains, Music and Memories

Shit it is August already? July was an eventful month.
Company came from Germany and a stay-cation ensued. Good Times. Swimming, museums, concerts, History tours and the like.  A lot of other stuff happened too.

If you want to hear more about it..  listen here: Mountains Music and Memories
(I am still getting my bearings with the podcast thing so this doesn't have music in the background this time. It is simply a voice drifting, literally, out of the darkness.)

I didn't capture all the excitement or the details of our travels and adventures in the podcast. Such as: Willow and I walking 2.5 miles through a torrential downpour in Saratoga springs.. it had been raining all day and looked like it was clearing up. The storms here are amazing and come in fast. Anyways, This meant no pollen in the air and after a long day of driving, well, it seemed like a good idea. Anyway, we were going to go to a concert. ( SilverSun Pickups, A band that Willow has loved since the family received a mix cd one Christmas many moons ago.). Cars spraying us with water. A guy who looked like Sloth from the goonies stopping to offer a ride. (Shudder) It was a good concert but we caught a cab back to the hotel. We effectively drove around all of Lake Champlain, through the green and Adirondack mountains, to go to the concert than swing back  up to Canada to pick up Cora before coming home.

I also didn't mention our trip to the indoor waterpark at J's Peak. Vermont has several ski resorts. Jays Peak is about a 1.5  hour drive to the far North East Corner of the state just at the Canadian border. It was a nice scenic drive and a good time playing in the water was had by all.

I am going to leave this here for now.
Time to switch gears.
Stop looking backwards and start looking forward!

Anyway, here are a few  Pictures from Coras Stay

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thats a Wrap.. aka .. Its Summertime!

Summer is officially here and we are all dancing.

(We deserve too!)

If I think of everything that has happened in the last 6 months it is sort of overwhelming.   
- We bought a house in a weekend. 
- Moved overseas. 
- Bought two new cars and will have our old one shipped to us soon.
- Started new schools or new jobs.
- Suffered through two months of the flu.
- Established new doctors.
- Set up new accounts.
- Had the hot water heater break during the middle of the deepest snow storm.
- Saw Willow through some rather severe depression and anxiety. She is doing much better these days. Shes gotten involved in volunteering with the Burlington art center, Special Olympics, and the Autistic kids at school. She has made a good little committee of friends at the youth group from First Methodist, has grown some friendships from school..on the bus that live close!! And now she has a boyfriend who she met through youth group.
- Willow is greatly looking forward to her year next year. when she will be taking the culinary arts technical training and a few fun and easy academic courses
- There were two graduations: Greg with his Masters, and Connor from 8th grade. (Not to mention 3 other graduations in the extended family. Congratulations guys!!)
For so many years you get used to the idea 
of these little ones 
always being around and then..
 They grow up

Then there is the exploring, learning, downloading and processing our new environment. 
- There was a week in Nevada. 
- Willow and I drove to NH and adopted Rosie who is slow, sweet and often scared. 
- We adopted a sly cunning cat who touched our lives deeply but who wasn't suited to the comforts of home. 
- Then there was the adoption of another cat who came to us bloody and bruised and required some definite care and nursing. He has since proven to be a loyal companion. And he is a gentleman/cat. I once saw actually use the toilet. 
- Then there was my arthritis diagnosis, subsequent medications which mean I  can't drink, body wide hive reaction that I thought at first was shingles, a return to pain and inflammation when I stopped the meds . All that fun was followed by allergies and asthma that have kept me locked inside for more than the last month because passing even an open window takes my breath away. Its called the green mountains for a reason and I ground to a halt as all this regional grass keeps me locked up .  I am greatly looking forward to a time when my arthritis and allergies are both well managed. There won't be any stopping me once the pain is down and my energy rebounds. 
-  I learned how to start and maintain a spa
- I am learning how to keep a pool
- Willow and I went on a weekend road trip. Saw Silversun pickups and went to Canada to get her friend from Germany who is here with us for a few weeks. (Ill blog all about it when we send her home)
- Found out how useful a snow blower is. 
- Found out how useful a Riding Mower is.
- Established with a hematologist that Greg's iron levels are not something to fear or contend with. Whew!
- Connor participated in a ski program.
- Connor spent a weekend in Washington DC and came back even taller. 

- Connor took an overnight field trip to a Dude Ranch in Upstate New York. 
- A few weekends ago Connor had auditions for the High Schools Fall Theater production of Josephs technicolor coat. He was cast as a guard and Ishmaelite.  Not huge parts but perfect for an incoming Freshman without any formal music or dance training. I mentioned to him that Theater on Ice might be a great thing for him to look into.

Are you exhausted by looking at this list? I am! And I am sure that that isn't even the extent of it. But we made it. And,God Willing, we wont see a period of such extreme transition again. 

Something New! I know some people *coughs Greg* don't have the time to read but they can incorporate listening into their routine a bit easier. So I have decided tto make a podcast where I will audio record these in the future. (*Pst..Happy Birthday!!*)  This is the podcast home for future reference