Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stupid things that make my day!

1. Seeing this aqua colored Herr's potato chip delivery truck made me smile today. It reminds me of when i was a kid and milk was delivered in a similar type of truck. In fact,, just the colors aqua and bubble gum pink remind me of childhood.

2.  Thimbles. And now I have a thimble bell that i wear as a necklace. It reminds me of the quilt show that I recently attended.

3.  I love the grumbly sound that my dog makes when i scratch his is a sound of utter joy.

4.  I love the trees on campus that I call dingleberry trees.  They remind me of  trees from a Dr. Suess book.

5.  I just love the sound of the birds in the morning and being able to sit outside, drink my coffee and wait for my dogs to take their morning constitutional.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Checking in.

It has been a busy week.  I've been cleaning and making things look nice.  By things, I mean the living room.  By nice, I mean that I've kept it swept, dusted and neat.  I'm not known for my housekeeping abilities. To me, keeping an immaculate home ranks right up there with, um, all that stuff that is so unimportant to me that I can't even remember what it is.

Honestly? I find that I really enjoy my living room being clean.  I enjoy that the coffee table isn't heaped with books and magazines. I enjoy that I've moved embroidery and knitting paraphernalia off the top of the entertainment center and now I can see my candles and pictures not clumped together.

Tomorrow I'll work on the bathroom and move some of my sewing stuff, my clothes for being with the animals out of the bathroom.  Or at least, put up a couple dedicated hooks to hang my coveralls and sweatshirts.

I've been working on Christmas presents. I've been trying to finish some of the books I've been reading.  I want to start my annual reading of Fannie Flagg's Red Bird Christmas as well as some of my other Christmas books.

Not only have I been busy but we had a snowstorm over the weekend.  Not really sure that it actually was a storm - just a heavy snowfall.  But it seems that over the past few years, instead of simply having snowfalls, every snow event is labeled as a snowstorm.  I guess that being dramatic is good for business.

So as the evenings before Christmas wind down, I'm completing my projects and not feeling rushed.

PS I forgot that I wrote this.  It is now 2 days before Christmas and I'm waiting for my oldest son to come home on the bus from Denver.  I have all of my projects completed. I have a couple things I still want to buy but overall, I am very happy with what I've accomplished.  And I am happy to say that all the things I wrote about above that I was going to do? I have completed them :)

Wrong note.

It is funny. More than 30 years after high school, I can still feel the shame and humiliation of being the least popular person in the school.  I really wish that certain situations were as quick to bring back good feelings as bad experiences are able to bring back feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, friendlessness..........

It is amazing to me how I allow myself to feel like an outsider.  I am an outsider.  I'm odd. I definitely don't fit in with most people.  But church?  I play the piano.  I'm not good at it but in a pinch, if I mess up, I'm able to pick out a recognizable tune with one finger.  Enough so that every one can keep singing because for some reason, even when I have my foot on the damper, you can oftn hear the piano over the organ.

It is true that sometimes I sit a little off on the bench and my fingers don't exactly line up where I am accustomed to them being and as a result, hit the wrong notes.  Because I can't see from the book to the keys, I play by feel.  My son and his buddy sit very, very close to where the piano is.  AndI can hear them laughing.  It is like my worst nightmare come true.  Flashback to nearly 40 years ago when I totally messed up playing the piano for a Christmas concert at our church and the humiliation I've felt ever since.  People don't think that it hurts when they laugh but it does.  I can't laugh it off. I can't shrug it off.  I feel like a failure.  Just because I'm an adult and should know better, I can't really make myself not let it bother me.  And it does bother me, which compounds my nervousness for the next time I have to play.

And then I remember the time that I laughed at a friend who sang in front of our church.  I was 16 at the time.  And she was incredibly off key.  And I laughed to myself but thank goodness I got up and left before anyone else could have guessed that I was laughing.  So I guess I deserve it.  But thinking back, I was really nervous for her. I was mortified that someone else was going to notice which really made me laugh.  I think she was incredibly brave for offering that part of herself.

So I'm a little bit sensitive.  But it hurts.  I don't want to be seen as someone who can't hit a right note.  Because at home I am able to play the piano.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Another gripe.

so here we are, 16 days before Christmas.  I've not had an anxiety attack, haven't felt as if my heart was going to pound out of my chest, haven't felt like passing out......nothing like that.  I'm pretty sure it has something to do with having not gone to the mall.  I detest busy places.  I loathe people-filled areas, not because I don't like the people, just that it is too much.    

Too much emotion flying around, too much talking, too much just plain noise.  I swore off Walmart years ago because in addition to all the talking noise, the narrow aisles and seasonal displays creating a labyrinth, all the millions of choices and the video screens assaulting my senses, I can't stand the thought of all the mom and pop type stores that have closed simply because price-wise, they couldn't compete.  That's not to say I haven't gone to Walmart at all, I just don't go often and only as a last resort.

 For my groceries, I have gone to the same supermarket for the past 20 years. . . a little local chain that through the years has offered a good variety of groceries and cashiers that actually seem to like people.   So........they just finished a huge remodel.  This comes a few years after the Taj Mahal of grocery stores was opened in a town about 15 miles away.  It was complete with a gas station, cafe and bottle shop. And aisles and aisles of canned goods, produce and other stuff that you don't normally see in a grocery store and that I can't see ever really needing.  

Anyway, now my little grocery store has grown into a store that resembles Walmart in many ways.  There is music blaring from speakers to greet you as you leave your car and walk into the store.  The first time, I couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from - I thought I was hearing voices.  There are tv screens and things inside the store blaring advertisements for the store the entire time you are walking up and down the poorly designed aisles.  There are self-check outs that never work, never dispense the right amount of change and  if I stop on my way to work, are sure to guarantee a frustrating start of the day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What I hate most about winter.

Although I've been known to gripe and complain about winter, the freezing temperatures, the icey roads, the way I have to cancel nearly all of my trips up north due to the blizzards that inevitably fall on the exact days I plan to travel, I don't hate winter all that much.
Snow is very pretty and if the moon happens to be shining brightly and the dogs haven't trampled down all the snow out back and pooped in it, the fresh snow looks a lot like twinkling diamonds.  And traipsing outside in my nighty to throw wood in the woodstove twice nightly in the frigid temps isn't really all that bad.   What I hate the most......what I just really, really loathe is breaking up the ice in my animals' water troughs.  And in the winter, it is a chore that needs to be done several times a day.  I have this big metal bar that we use to tamp the dirt around fence posts. It is the perfect instrument to break up the ice.  If I slept well, ate my wheaties and am able to lift it.  You need 3 boys and a man to lift the rotten thing but of course, there is only me.  I must say though that I will develop some pretty buff shoulders this winter at the rate I'm going.

I'm not sure how my goats, pony and chickens feel about winter - after all,  they do have warm cozy stalls to snuggle in, straw to insulate them from the cold and plenty of food.   And I'm pretty sure they enjoy the way they have clean - unfrozen - water every day.

At one time we had an electric water heater but apparently something chewed on the cord since the last time I used it.  I don't care how much electrical tape I use, there is no way I am plugging that in.  So my mission for the next couple weeks is to figure out how to keep my animals' water from without using electricity, without having to dig a hole (the ground is frozen) and without needing a degree in engineering.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Safe dreams.

 Safe dreams. I don't know why I put these words together. They don't fit.  I read the blog of a friend today.  This was someone who was injured by just participating in the usual duties of everyday life. Many comments to the blog post cautioned him of not doing things, not doing them by himself, be a little more careful.

I started thinking about this. I also started thinking about people I know - people who are younger than I am - who have started talking about some of things that their parents should or shouldn't do. As if it were their choice to make.  Honestly, the way some people treat their parents.  I understand the caring and concern of aging parents. But to prevent an adult from doing something just so they don't hurt themselves.....well to me, that is craziness.  I would rather die living my life and pursuing my dreams than wasting away, being preserved so that nothing happens to me and that I can be sustained as long as possible.  That's not a life.

 I really hope I've brought my kids up to respect my life and my lifestyle through the ages.  I like to care for my little farm. I love hauling buckets of water, fixing things, building things...... that makes me who I am and gives me a ton of enjoyment.  Hard work, sure - but I would never be content not this stuff.  I think of my mom who is around 80.  Honestly? I'm pretty sure she would kick me in the rear if I ever tried to foist my opinion of what she should and shouldn't do.

I've always had problems with rules and the ideas of things certain populations should and shouldn't do. I've been inundated with concern that some of the roads I've traveled have been, well....stupid.   I've made a heap of mistakes over the years and some of my decisions have turned out badly but that's the price a person pays to follow a dream. I know that a couple of my kids have been made to feel bad that the choices they've made haven't been the safe path.  I say good for them!

I haven't raised my kids to take the easy way out.  I hope that I've raised them as well as set an example to always challenge themselves.  I will allow and encourage them to follow their dreams.  I hope when I am (much) older, they will allow me to continue to follow mine.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some of my favorite people are trees.

Some of my favorite living things are trees.  I'm like my dad in that respect. I am incredibly lucky.  I work on what I believe is the most beautiful university campus in the country.  Everything is beautiful there: the buildings, the lawns, the sky, the flowers, and the trees.  I feel as if I've met each and every one of them.

One day each week, I take a yoga class.  It is the first yoga instruction I've had and I enjoy it immensely.  But I do have to say that I feel the same kind of relaxation when I stroll through campus and look at the trees. Or when I'm running on some of the trails close to campus.  The tranquility of trees definitely rubs off on me.  I think it is fairly common to dream up stories about people with whose paths you cross.  In all honesty, I am more likely to dream about the trees.

When I walk through the mall near Old Main, I think about the grand American chestnut trees that used to line the side of the mall walkway.  I believe my parents were students at that time and I think that this particular path was called the 'ghost walk'.  I can imagine them walking toward the Corner Room through the leafy awning of the trees with the bell tower on the left and the obelisk on the right.  In the past several years, elm have been planted in the ghosts of those old Chestnut trees.  The walk downtown is breathtaking but I really would have liked to have experienced the Chestnut trees.

There is this very interesting tree outside of the Chambers Building that reminds me of the limbs of an elephant stretching out.  The bark of the tree, smooth and shiny, with little wrinkles in the crooks - just as I would imagine an elephant's wrinkly knees would look.  On the far side of the same building is an old oak tree with its branches spread out wide with whimsical little bends and corners in the lower branches.  A tall person would need to duck to walk under those limbs.  I imagine the day will soon come when those branches will need to be trimmed to prevent such an accident.

It is amazing how much a difference a few trees can make.  I so understand people who prefer the company of trees and other plants.