Weekly Wrap-Up

Wow, another quick week… Is time speeding up or is it just me?  Okay, I know Einstein proved that the closer a person comes to the speed of Light, the slower time goes…my lollygagging and sauntering is pretty far from 186,000 miles per second, so maybe I Am speeding up time…  (sorry if I just offended you with some science;  you don’t actually have to believe it to make it so)

Monday I hung out with Samantha while her big sis went to the allergy doctor.  Olivia has a peanut allergy and freaks out every year when she has her blood drawn.  Happily, this year they didn’t test her, so she came over and played with us for a while afterward, too, though I’ve only got the pics of S, dancing…

Tuesday was Dentist Day.  I really love my new dentist, not just because everybody in the office is super, but mostly because they let me pick a prize from a big suitcase every time I visit!  I got a candle this time!

Wednesday was Super Special.  I drove over to Southern Illinois, site of my illustrious beginnings, because my dear friend Kathy was in Carmi, staying at her sisters’. First, however, I stopped off 15 miles up the road in Grayville to visit with Uncle Jr, who is doing great at the Home over there.  Jimmy had finally brought over some pictures and we talked about his Mom and Dad (my grandma and grandpa Eaton) and his brothers and sisters.  I always greet him with “Hi, Uncle Junior!  It’s me, Jo, Ruby’s girl”  So far, he acts like he knows me, but he might think I’m my sister…that’s okay, too…  I’m not sure I have this picture of Grandma and Grandpa, so I took a quick shot through the frame.  When I go back, I’ll take tomatoes and do better…

I met Kathy back in August, 1971, as we moved into the dorms at Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing.  The friendship that started then, deepened into a True Love for each other that has only grown over the years.  Our outsides are not much alike, but if you saw our insides you’d think we were twins!!  We had many adventures before Life moved us apart.  I thank the Internet that I found her again (even her parents had moved) and we have managed to get together every year for, gee, about 10 years now!

Arriving in Carmi, I Finally got to meet Kathy’s oldest daughter, Devon, and her son, Olsen.  I felt such Peace emanating from Devon, and as for Olsen—too, too cute, sweet, and darling.

 

Her sisters, Judy, Karen, and Denise, were there, too, so it was real Family time.  It was nice to see how Families stick together through thick and thin, supporting and encouraging each other.  I was a little jealous…  These women, far from perfect, have not even considered walking away, severing the relationship, or using a person’s mental status to judge and reject.  Of course, close relationships go through times of strain and tension, but Sibling Bonds were designed to Last Forever.  Yeah, I envy the Love that those Sisters Share, a bond that cannot be broken.  Luckily for me, Kathy and I share that same Sister Bond.

Saturday was my daughter-in-law’s (Jess) birthday!  My heart is full of love and respect for this young lady.  Here’s to many more birthdays and un-birthdays for Jessica!

The main show, however, is the back porch…  While I gallavanted around, speeding up and slowing down time, Casey was keeping a steady pace building my “greenhouse” walkway.

 

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On August 5 Casey and I marked 40 years since our first date, and this week we’ll celebrate 38 years of wedded (or is it weeded) bliss.    I’ll write something appropriately gooey for that.  Till then…

Peace

 

 

Finishing up July…

It’s been just over a week since the house emptied out, though we did have Olivia and Samantha on Thursday.  Mostly we’ve been putting the house back in order and trying to make the best of the garden.  Weather went from hellishly humid to pleasant, but only enough rain to stir the dust up.  You can catch up on the garden at Growing Every Season.

Anyway, I had been hoping to get away to Asheville and meet up with some cousins and see Michael Franti, but babysitting duties called and we were just too tuckered out to load up and travel.  I was there in spirit, though…

 

I was a little grumpy about it, but Casey started right in with a Major Project, one we’ve been talking about for ages.

You see, you have to step out of our kitchen door and walk about 15 feet to our laundry room.  This can be a real pain in the ass.  We built on a screen porch, then built a kind of walkway between the porch and the door, but over the years, it has proved to be less than adequate.   We’ve stared and figured a dozen different ways to make it work, and recently agreed just how it should be done.

 

In the end, it will be like a greenhouse, but right now it looks pretty shabby.  I’m excited to have it done before winter, but it will take at least a month of Casey obsessing…

…which added to my grumpiness, since we’ll have to stay home the whole month.  Not that there isn’t plenty to do just eating tomatoes…and there are no less than a dozen bell peppers that need to be harvested,

 

 

 

So the old wise woke woman sat down and made a list of things to do around Eville, places to visit that I haven’t seen in a while, or upcoming events.  I was rather surprised that there is so much to do!  I also listed the activities I love to pursue in solitude:  playing the piano, practicing yoga, reading, writing, and listening to music and singing along with my favorite songs.   There’s some good cooking and grilling to be done this time of year, as well.

August is going to be a sort of on-the-road-retreat kind of month…  Never a Dull Moment…

 

Peace

 

FB shut me down…

I still don’t understand why, but “suspicious activity” had been detected, so they said.  Okay.  They wanted me to send them a picture of myself, so they could determine if, indeed, the me that was sending them the picture was the Real me.  The Actual Person me was immediately offended, then concerned, so I took the problem to google and discovered that this is not an uncommon situation and it was safe to send them the picture.  But what’s up with sending them a picture?  Don’t they already have all my pictures?  Couldn’t I just pick one of me even if I weren’t me?   How does that verify that I’m really me?  I look at recent pictures and hardly recognize myself, so where does Mr. Bigshot Facebook get off thinking he knows me so well.  Shouldn’t they ask me piercing questions:  What is the name of your first elementary school?  What was your grandmother’s maiden name?   What is the most surprising thing you can tell us about yourself?   How could I surprise them?  They — who the hell is They? — track everything I do on the internet.  How, or why, would they suspect that I am not me?  Who else could I be?  I am decidedly me.  And that old woman in the picture is not the proof you are looking for.

I checked my driver’s license.  There is a picture of me, taken 12 years ago, wearing my nurse scrubs and dark red lipstick, long hair, few wrinkles.  That’s not me, though it was me.  I turned to my brand-spankin-new Medicare card.  No picture, but the name:  Christina J Casey.  I was so bummed when I got my card and saw that I was now going to be, until I fly away from this terrestrial globe, Christina J.   (I was named after my mother (Ruby Christina), a default measure after Dad wanted to name me Ruby.  I don’t know why they never called me Christy, or Tina, or just Christina, but they didn’t.  I was The Bug to my Dad and Jo to everyone else.)  Perhaps that’s suspicious?

This all happened 4 days after I had started my hiatus from blogging, determined to retreat and reset.  I got to thinking it must be a sign that I needed to verify for myself that I am still me.

I began a a spell of study with teachers from the Sounds True Meditation and Mindfulness Reatreat:  Alice Walker, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh.  I listened to some of Oprah’s Sunday interviews with Maya Angelou.  I reviewed my Ayurveda lessons and did some Dosha and Chakra Work.   When the snow and ice came, I watched the birds at the feeders and soaked up the warm cozy.  I started 2 book challenges, one fiction, the other non and read 2 from each list so far.  I dragged out my book of 40’s standards and played Misty and Cry Me a River.

I got back on the treadmill–but only once!!!  Now That proves that I’m really me.

I did eventually send the folks at fb a picture of me, and a week after that, I was bombarded with a barrage of “come back and see what you’ve missed” emails and notifications.  I really hadn’t missed a thing.

I am returning to blogging, though, refreshed! ready!  But I still wonder who I am…

Peace

 

 

Cool and Calm…

I’ve been enjoying this down-time before the holidaze, just piddling around the house, cooking up some soups and casseroles.

I’m reading “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman.  I love it!  I’ve been reading several chapters a night, like bedtime stories, and Love Odin, Thor, and especially Loki.  Though they are Not lovable, really.  Great Stories!

I’m listening to 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde  a live album by folk, country, and old-time music band, Old Crow Medicine Show. The album is a track-for-track tribute to Bob Dylan’s landmark 1966 double album Blonde on Blonde.  Old Crow re-imagined the arrangements of the individual tracks with manic fiddles and banjos, and it’s all good.

I’m practicing on the piano “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.   Seems like everybody in high school who could play piano could play this one, but I just found the music in a used book from a rummage sale.   It’s more difficult than I thought it would be, so I am challenged…practicing a lot…

My piano sounds better than that…

One more week until Thanksgiving, so I’d better pick up the pace and get ready for

Turkey and Tradition, the Opening Race of the Holiday Triple Crown.

I am so thankful for thankfulness, it just makes me feel so grateful for gratitude… I’m bound to win…

Peace

Yikes! The Trees!

Helllp!  I meant to get out of here and run chores all day while the tree-guys did their thing.  Up early, I got lazy…

They showed up in a gaggle and are out there putting all kinds of raucous motors to work.  I hate this.  But I’m awfully glad to get the dang thing down.  It has fallen a few feet every day, accompanied by the sinister snap, crack, and popp…  We were relaxed as cats out in the pool yesterday, when the swoosh and thwack of another fall sent us scurrying inside.  A bit of the branches are already on the wires, and we could just imagine ourselves fried to obliteration on our rafts and Michael would finally find us in a few days and be traumatized for life…or at least that’s what I imagined.

Now I’m hemmed in by various large trailers and forced to endure the sensory overstimulation that triggers my anxiety…

Deep Breaths…Centered..Om

Soon, though, just before the storms hit this evening, I’ll have one less worry and a lot less cash.

I hope this puts us back to “normal”, but I have to confess that I started re-arranging and cleaning as soon as I got home from NYC, so the house is in temporary disarray.   Yes, it’s another mental illness of mine…  This time, I’m really going to go through and throw things out.  Seriously.  All of the glassware!  Really, am I going to have a cocktail party for 40 and serve brandy in those snifters?  Am I seriously afraid that if my mother returns she’s going to want her stuff back?  Will Grandmother Mayne be checking to see if I still have her lamps?  It takes a lot of gumption for me to part with so-called heirlooms, as I consider myself a “Keeper of the Archives”.  Still, I have way too many broken-down chairs and chipped nick-nacks and I am determined to toss the excess junk.

Dreading it, but eventually this will culminate in a rummage sale.  I’ll let you in for a presale when we’re ready, probably a couple of weeks.  You need some new chairs…  and brandy is hip…

Peace

 

Weekly Wrap…

Last week was catch-up time here at Sonnystone.  The garden was showing signs of powdery mildew, so we neemed and trimmed.  We officially moved to the downstairs bedroom, and turned on the a/c.  We put up the new pool, a 14×36 cheapo from Big Lots, and put in a trellis around its west perimeter.   The hot, muggy weather made it the perfect coolant after doing our chores.

 

I may have mentioned that I am not at all comfortable in water that is over my head, or too close to my nose for that matter.  I had a traumatic near-drowning experience when I was a teenager, swimming up at the stripper pits in Pelzer.   I never swam, or floated, in the pits after that and will have nothing to do with lakes or ponds, either.  When my children outgrew the baby pool, I started sending them off with other adults so that I didn’t have to brave the anxiety of watching their heads bobbing around in a sea of rowdy splashers, or hide my panic as I watched fretfully for them to resurface after diving.   Both of my kids are excellent swimmers and think I’m just being my usual neurotic self, like when I won’t let them near edges…   The grandkids sort of know that if they’re going to a Real Pool, JoJo will not be there, because it makes her nervous…no one likes to make me nervous…

I am, however, a World-Class air-mattress-floater, and have taught the girls how to slither into the pool without getting wet, a skill that will serve them well, long after their desire to do the breaststroke has left.  We bought some new rafts this year and I’m floating high on the water…

I’ve been doing this 15:9 intermittent fasting thing and have taken off a couple of lbs in prep for the bathing suits.  Of course, there’s 15 more to go, but I don’t think that’s going to be happening in the summertime.  I sweat like a…well, there is a small fountain at the top of my head that opens up whenever my body temperature goes above 98, pouring perspiration over my face, into my ears, funneling down the delta of my chest to saturate my clothing.  This sweating thing really is an excellent excuse to not work too hard in mid-day heat, and the chiggers are the excuse to stay on the screened porch at dusk and dawn.  With all that work-avoidance, and the holistic approach of treating sweating with cold beer, I’ll be happy to just maintain….because I’m old and confident…

I spent a welcome rainy Sunday reading for a new Book Challenge.  Willard Library’s Adult Reading Challenge invites you to read 10 books from 10 categories to be entered into a drawing for $250.  I think it’s read 3-4, you’re in for $50, going up with however many you read.  Thus far, I have read “book with a 1-word title” (Commonwealth) and “book with an animal as a character (Travels with Charley).  Currently reading “A Hillbilly Elegy”.

It looks like a lazy week up ahead and we’re going to take full advantage.  Though Casey will always find a project, he’s making good progress in sitting around with me.  Next week we are busybusy, and The Jose’ fam will be here before we know it.

We’re scheduling our Camp Sonnystone activities and trips.  Do you have a suggestion?  Have you been to the elephant ranch?  What did you think?  Emma and Eliza will be attending a week-end Feis in St. Louis at the end of the month and I hope we have time to hit the zoo and the arch, too.  Closer to home, we will visit our zoo and museum,  Ellis Park,  New Harmony and Harmonie State Park.   Am I missing anything?  Riverfronts, both Eville and Newburgh, perhaps?  There will be the usual arts, crafts, and music.  I’m thinking let the kids do some photography, too.  Soo excited.

With the Solstice in 2 days, this may be my last post for Spring at Sonnystone…  It’s a beautiful, 72-degrees and sunny, day and I’m going to get out there and do nothing…and perhaps a little nap afterwards…

Peace

 

 

 

 

4 days in Manhattan…

The Kindergarten Graduation

5 years ago Emma graduated Kindergarten…Same hat.  At least my head hasn’t grown…

Party at American Girl

Swinging in Central Park

Roaming the Met

Sadly, I did not take any photos of the Ceili, only videos, and I would Love to share them with you.  Alas, wordpress is not being co-operative.  If I figure out how to upload them, I will post them.  All of the dancers were wonderful, especially Emma and Eliza.  So much excitement!  Word to my daughter, send me some pictures!

We’re back at Sonnystone, catching up with the garden and putting up the pool.  The New York Family is scheduling a July visit—hey, that’s just a couple of weeks!  Plans for Camp Sonnystone are underway.  Being with each family is wonderful, but getting All of Us Together is Superlative..!  See you soon!

Peace