Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Silver Linings

Not every gray cloud has a silver lining; some only hold rain. No, I'm not being philosophical; this musing is based in reality. I was painting a lamp yesterday outside by the woods. Sure, the forecast that flashed up on my phone called for rain but they are never right....until they are. The paint job looked terrific but it was drying very slowly because of the high humidity. So, I left the lamp sitting outside to dry while I went inside to do other chores. It wasn't until I heard rumblings of thunder that I thought to check on the lamp. Thankfully, it was just sprinkling but the lamp and shade were covered with droplets. I tried wiping....big mistake. The towel took off still wet paint with the water. I got some canned air from the office and blew off the remaining beads of water and touched up the paint as much as possible. It's no longer perfect but I'm still liking the new color and it's  the perfect little lamp for the bedside table. Excuse the spots on the wall. My husband did that but the walls will have a new coat of paint this weekend. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

How to Lose Weight Without Trying

As many of you know, we've had a lot of our stuff packed away for years-long story. Well, I'm finally going through all of that stuff and it is like a treasure hunt. I'm finding great things I'd forgotten about having or having gotten as a gift and it is like my birthday and Christmas all wrapped up in one. Then there is the stuff that makes me wonder, what was I thinking? Why did I even bother packing this away when I could have tossed it years ago? It's an adventure but the finding and the tossing are making me feel much lighter and I haven't lost a pound. lol
One thing I found was this beautiful little vase that a friend gave me years ago. I'd completely forgotten about it but it was a wonderful surprise. I know exactly where it's going once I get all of this work done. Right now, it's waiting patiently with my other vases on an old dresser.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

How Cute Is This?


This arrived in the post yesterday just as I was needing a boost. Isn't he the cutest?
I ordered him from amazon.com. If you want a hunny bunny, too, here is the link.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CLUTTER!

Clutter is ruling my life....or more accurately, RUINING my life!

It's everywhere I look: my desk, my office in general, my kitchen shelves, my closets, my email inbox and most certainly, my mind. So many thoughts, so many things that need doing, so many worries, so many little, niggling problems, they clutter up my mind until it is difficult to think clearly much less come up with a solution. My life has become filled to the brim with mostly useless clutter and it is overwhelming! There has to be an answer to this mess but worrying about it, just clutters up my brain even more and offers confusion instead of answers.

I read an article on organizing your kitchen. I hadn't realized what a mess mine is until I saw the neat, frugally decorated kitchens pictured in the article. One suggestion that seemed feasible to me was to clean one drawer out a day. Suddenly, what had seemed an impossible task, sorting and organizing an entire room at a time, became doable. I can clean one small drawer, or shelf a day and it won't take that much time and effort. Also, like dollars spent, that one small task a day will add up over time. So, I have a plan.....I will make a list of  things that need doing, clearing and in no particular order, small tasks in each area of our home and I will try for a month's time, thirty days, to click off one each day. I will record this task on my calendar only after it is done. Seeing that list of things "done" every day will boost me up and make me feel lighter as time goes on and it will encourage me more and more each day to tackle another small task the next day. It will also be much easier to let go of things and either donate or throw away what we don't use or need if I do it in small bites.

At first, I thought, it is going to take forever to get everything that needs doing done at this rate but I was wrong, it may be slow moving at first but it is still forward progress which is more than what's happening right now. Now, I simply look at it and then turn away because, as a whole, it is too overwhelming, insurmountable. So, slowly will get me to the finish line much faster than expecting too much of myself and never starting.

A Few Random Thoughts on a Few Random Things

MELATONIN:

As those of us who are a "certain age" know, sleep can be a fickle friend. There are times it plays hide and seek with you all night long, giving you a few minutes here and a few minutes there and then leaving you searching for it the rest of the night. There are times it is combative and wants to fight, it will jerk you away from your dreams just as you were floating away and then start punching you painfully in various parts of your body. There are times when it just disappears and abandons you all together, making you feel like a jilted lover. Ironic as it seems, these battles with sleep, leave you exhausted and thinking constantly about that you can not have. As my husband often says, "I'm so tired that I can't stand myself."

My doctor offered me a solution, melatonin. I was skeptical; part of me tends to think of herbal cures as snake medicine no matter how much some friends swear by them. I discovered though that this natural cure was a miracle worker. Just as advertised, I take it and 30 minutes later, I'm dozing off. And it appears to be a sound sleep because when Bodie, our dog, wakes me up every night barking at the bedroom door because (as he says) he needs to pee (when all he needs is to sniff the air and peer about for all those noises in the night), I am so sluggish as I stumble through the house to do his bidding. Falling back to sleep after those nightly journeys into the darkness use to be a problem but now, I drift right off. In fact, it almost feels as if I've been drugged which is the problem and the reason this high praise is turning into a complaint. Yes, it puts me to sleep and keeps me asleep but if I do not get the required eight hours (uninterrupted), I am sluggish the entire day. And who has time for eight to ten hours sleep a night? I was just wanting six max so I had the energy and stamina to finish the eighteen hours of tasks I have in a day.

So, what is the answer? I'm going to try staying on the melatonin for a month...I still have a week to go. Then, I'm going to see if I have trained my body to fall asleep on its own. If that doesn't work, maybe taking the melatonin every other night will. Who knows? All suggestions for a solution are welcome.

STRONG SUITS

We all have those things we are best at. I'm just becoming aware of this and all because my husband, Steve, seems incapable of learning how to use the new universal remote or the Roku. He can turn the TV on and change the channels coming from the antenna but finding the local news on Roku, no. He just hands the remote to me and tells me what he wants. This perplexed me so much. I mean, my husband is a very smart guy. It amazes me how quickly he comes up with solutions to all sorts of technical problems and how repairing any piece of farm equipment or figuring out the exact chemical mix of nutrients his hay fields need seems second nature to him. Then I realized something, how often do I  turn to him with a problem or something that needs to be fixed that I most likely could do myself with a little effort but why bother when it is so easy for him? We all have our strengths and, in any relationship or marriage, I think we quickly learn who is best at what and suddenly, that becomes their permanent job. I'm not necessarily talking about those activities that society has declared "gender specific" but more what each individual is best at. Of course, I've often wished that I wasn't the one so "skilled" at washing dishes.

STRESS

Stress....or as I like to call it, the root of all evil. I will be going along, singing my song and feeling like I finally have my world on a string and BOOM! Something happens, something unexpected and often, seemingly unsurmountable pops out in the road of progress I'm on and snarls at me like the Big Bad Wolf at Red Riding Hood. It shows all of its teeth and it's bigger and much badder than little me; I just stand there shaking in my Mary Janes....well, now days, tennis shoes, crocks or boots most likely. I am frozen with fear, stuck in place and wanting to run but there is no place to go. I'm not talking about real problems like health or death. Those are the ones that often are unsurmountable. What I'm talking about are what I call "grown-up problems." It seems in my case, most of these concern money or time, both seem on short supply. That's when stress raises its ugly head, smirks and pretends to be there to help you. They say stress comes from those cave dwelling days when we needed to be told to either stand and fight or run. Today, it too often tells me to hide. I hide from my problems at least for awhile. Well, first, I cry and then I hide and then I think which seems useless at the time, more like simple worry. But in those times of what appears to be another grown-up problem, depression, when I don't want to leave my bed much less the house, I seem to eventually come up with a solution to those unsurmountable problems. So, even though it is unpleasant and I usually feel like a completely lazy failure during the process, there is a purpose in the madness. During my latest bout of stress induced lethargy and ennui, I realized that the "stress" (yes, lets call it that) is often the fertilizer that makes good things grow. In other words, there are silver linings in those dark storm clouds that threaten to destroy you. Once you weather the storm, your life comes out better in the aftermath. I'm in such a situation right now. Something happened that seemed horrible at the time, seemed overwhelming and yes, unsolvable. After a few days accomplishing little but worry and thought....and a whole lot of prayer!......, the clouds cleared and I saw, not just a solution to the problem, but hopefully, some things I've been wanting for a loooong time on the other side of the storm. I won't or can't go into the details of the problem but let's just say, life will be better not only once we work our way through it but during the process. I've always said that it is the hard times that make us grow, teach us lessons. No, they aren't pleasant and neither is the stress and worry but the other side, we will be better for it.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ok, why am I posting this picture again? I know, you're saying, "Wow, she must be really proud of that wreath!" Well, I am but not for the reasons you think. This small act of DYI helped to bolster my entire day yesterday. I know you're scratching your head and saying that doesn't make sense but here's the answer to your pondering.....Thirty-five years ago, I was a juggler. No, not in the traditional sense since I've never possessed the physical coordination to dance (walk with out tripping) much less juggle. I juggled life then and I never dropped a ball. I was going to school full time (with a 4.0 GPA), working full time (at a factory where I had to lift hundreds of thirty pound motors multiple times in a workday), looking in on my aging parents every day (thankfully, I realized their importance and how much I would miss them when they were gone so I grabbed every moment with them that I could) and still finding time to do things like gather weeds and make wreaths. It felt as if I was actually always looking for something more to do! The past few....probably 15 since the downward slide started at 45....years, I have been searching for me and trying to regain a bit of that past energy and glory. The truth is I've been searching for motivation and a lot of other things that have dropped by the wayside during my lengthy ennui. This one small accomplishment yesterday, making this wreath, seemed to brush away a piece of the fog that's enveloped me and helped me to remember what it felt like to be not only productive but to relish life. I feel like I have regained a bit of me. After the wreath, I went on to accomplish much more in my day, quite a few tasks I'd put off because I felt they had become overwhelming. And now, it is the next day and I'm still feeling that surge of joy just to be alive and able to do something that is simple but fulfilling like gathering materials and making a wreath. I wonder what my adventure will be today?

I forgot to add the... -Mark Twain...to the quote above. I've always been a fan since Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn captivated me as a child. Google quotes by Mr. Twain. The man had some seriously wise and thought provoking words.
Where I'm at now..... even though I failed at establishing that exercise habit (not really failed since I'm still trying) because of the interruptions of life...namely, a hay crop coming in and prep for a soon to be published coloring book......, I feel like I am beginning to "get my life back." Honestly, the last few years have been rough on me both emotionally and physically...and we know that both go hand in hand. I've had a lot of loss, I've had a lot of emotional turmoil and I've had some illness. I really feel like I lost me along the way. Another bite off the honesty apple, I've been losing me over the last ten years of so. I saw a TV program once where they were interviewing a diverse group of women who were all 75+ years old. They were all asked, "What has been the most difficult and painful time in your life." They all agreed on the answer, the time from mid-forties to sixty. Why? Because, "change is always hard and painful." So, I guess I haven't really been losing me, I've been finding me. I think of this age, the menopausal stages, as being like a caterpillar's transformation to a butterfly. I've often wondered, do caterpillars feel? Do they think about the sacrifices of going into that cocoon? Is the transformation painful? The butterfly should be the symbol of this new age of ours because we've gone through that painful process of transformation and we've emerged, more beautiful and with wings that let us escape the earth and soar. All we have to do is let go and fly.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What I made today from all those weeds I gathered...and a few dried roses I've had for years. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mother Nature, Please


What are you looking at, you ask? Well, the makeshift greenhouse (vase of water covered with a plastic bag) is holding what is left of my basil. I'm trying to revive it so I can cook with it. Just last week, I had three healthy basil plants but the lack of rain and the unrelenting heat have taken their toll on our entire garden. The only thing still producing are the Sun Sweet tomatoes but the vines are dying. There is also the mystery of how the yellow Sun Sweets (a heirloom tomatoes) are turning red. There is both red and yellow fruit on the same plant.
Despite the heat, we had a great dinner tonight. I split the Sun Sweets and cooked them with garlic in olive oil. I then poured that over a pan of chicken I'd already cooked seasoned with Italian seasoning and then sliced. On top of that, I put a half cup of seasoned olive oil, an Italian mix of cheese, shredded parmesan and sliced mozzarella. Put that under the broiler until the cheese melted while I toasted some pinenuts which I mixed in with a bit of that basil above and a big bowl of pasta. It was delicious even if I do say so myself. lol

Ch..Ch..Ch...Changes

I saw one of those cute little memes on FaceBook that say something inspirational. Usually, I just brush by those things but this one really hit home with me. It was talking about change which I'm all about these days. It said basically, if you want to change, you have to change. Sounds simplistic but how true. If you (I) want to get something done, we (I) have to get off Our (my) duffus and away from the TV (and this computer for non-work time) and DO SOMETHING! Change and habits go hand in hand. I made a few challenges for myself at the first of this month and they have gone to the wayside. Why was that? Well, basically because it became too easy to say, "Later." The thing about LATER, it never comes. There is always some reason to put it off: you're too tired (because you're just staying prone in front of the TV), you didn't get any sleep last night (If the thing you're putting off is exercise, well...it actually helps you to sleep...proven fact, a 30 minute walk in the morning and you will sleep better at night.), those few extra minutes...hours...in bed and it's gotten too hot outside for any activity, you just want to see what happens on the next episode of that TV show you are binging or you want to see how this book ends or you have to beat this darn game on the computer, just one more cookie or other sweet won't hurt...you'll eat healthier tomorrow, the exercise, better eating, etc. habit is already blown for today so why bother? I could go on...and on and on...but you get the point. Wasn't it Nike that had the ad, Just Do It? Well, that needs to be our (my) new motto because frankly, I'm getting a bit fed up with me....no collective pronoun here because it's up to you to make this decision for you. Personally, I'm tired of my excuses, I'm tired of my never accomplishing my goals or even starting an effort to accomplish them, I'm tired of being TIRED all of the time. It is time for a change and my life is not going to change until I do!

New Name

So, you've noticed that the name of this blog yesterday is not the same one it has today. It's just a slight modification. It's gone from Dream Hanger to Moon Hanger. I titled the last post Moon Glow and well, there was that spark of magic again when I saw it on the page. So, today, this site is officially titled, Moon Hanger.....and I think there will probably be some future art work to go along with that. :)