Thursday, February 04, 2021

Family Body Project - List

 So, Bucket and I participated in the Family Body Project (from University of Oregon).

It's a program that youth and parents can participate in to help foster a healthy body image. Our group (which was made up of AWESOME moms and daughters) had discussions and assignments to help us recognize and acknowledge the high cost (physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally) of aspiring to society's unattainable standard of beauty.

As an exit assignment, one thing that I chose to do (and am inflicting on you) is to compile a list of things that I like that my body can do.

Here goes ...

  • Luxuriate in warm baths
  • Enjoy scented candles (visually and olfactorally)
  • Pet cats and other animals
  • Smell flowers and foods
  • Enjoy flavors and textures of food
  • Hear (and feel) cats' purring
  • Curl up and read books
  • Cook food for myself and others
  • Do the grocery shopping (and unload the car)
  • Have the ability to clean our house (and enjoy a functional space that works for us)
  • Come up with witty responses
  • Read aloud/tell stories (an online group of wonderful ladies complimented me on my pleasant speaking voice. Aww!!)
  • Singing
  • Swimming
  • Enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin
  • Using the internet and technology
  • Sitting and eating popcorn as I watch movies with my family
  • Getting to help take care of my mom
  • Giving hugs (which I don't get to do so much because ... pandemic)
  • Dancing
  • Walking on the beach, with the salty air tangling my hair, tasting the ocean on my lips
  • Snuggling (and [redacted]) with my husband
  • Putting lotion on my hands
  • Walking barefoot on the grass or in the sand
  • Practicing penmanship
  • Eating chocolate
  • Serve others
  • Craft letters
  • Grew three healthy children and nursed them (not always easy)
  • Remember and recite movie and TV quotes
And that's where I'm going to stop for now.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Crazy Dream Chonicles - #7,247

 Yeah, I have no idea what number this would actually be ... but last night, it was a bit vivid.

In my dream, I was in a Relief Society (church women's organization) meeting. Of course, I hadn't read the lesson. Again. But I was there to take roll and take notes, dang it.

We were meeting in a space very much like the Relief Society/Sunday School classroom at the Corvallis, Oregon college wards building (it's now a YSA [Young Single Adults] branch). It was the first church building for our Church in Corvallis. Nice building. Lots of history.

As I was there, with a pile of Women's World magazines on my lap, my friend from college (not a member of my faith), Talana (yes, we had rhyming names. AND we sat next to each other in class. I'm sure our professors LOVED that, ha ha.) came in.

I scurried over from my seat and sat next to her. I told her that I'd missed her (which is true. She passed from Cystic Fibrosis .... let's see ...four years ago. She'd had a double lung-transplant ... and her body was rejecting them). She was fun and sweet and I was grateful that I could keep up with her on Facebook while I could.

In my dream, I reached over and rubbed her hair, told her that I had missed her, and tried to settle to take notes. Talana, however, was trying to show me where she was going to build her new house and DID YOU KNOW THAT AMAZON MAKES HOUSES? I DESIGNED ONE. IT'S ONLY GOING TO COST 1.7 SOMETHING ...

(No, Talana did NOT specify whether her dream house was going to be $1.7 million OR $1.7 billion. We may never know)

... and I WANTED to go see, but I had to take notes.

Lovely trees, though, where she was trying to take me.

I miss her.

In other news, one of my friends posted about losing one of HER friends to pancreatic cancer. My heart goes out to her and the loved ones of her friend. 

One of my ladies from my home ward (the congregation where I grew up) is passing from stage 4 cancer. One of Mom's friends (also from my home ward) is doubtful that Buena (since that's her name) will even make it to Christmas. My heart is so sad for Buena's daughters and family. 

I'm grateful for the knowledge that death isn't permanent. But I still don't like it happening. I don't like separations.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

I wrote my way out ...

So, I've not written in a while and I'm not even going to try to catch up.

I had to take Michael in to the ER on Tuesday night. We got home at 4 in the morning.
He has gallstones and is in pain. Loads of pain, to be honest.

Wednesday, I ran about on three hours of sleep. Got his prescriptions from the ER doctor. Got him to his primary doctor. Got an appointment with the surgeon for a consult ... got Bruise to soccer (socially-distanced) practice... got Mom to her first physical therapy appointment (since her hip surgery went great).

Thursday had my eye appointment (still no prescription), the big kids' dental cleaning, I ran into the next town (our clinic) for a urine lab (I STILL have a UTI. Joy. At least it's MOSTLY asymptomatic. I mean I have to pee a lot. And there's some blood in there, but it's not that painful or anything ...). Got Michael to his surgeon's consult. We're looking at laparoscopic gallbladder removal in the near future. But not near enough. I hate seeing him in pain.

Yesterday, he ran out of the ER painkillers, so I made sure that his doctor had sent in a new prescription. Ran some errands with various kids ... Got Mom to her other PT appointment (she's made great progress in just two days!!).

Today, I'm washing sheets and Michael's pillows, since he's been sweating so much. 

Bubbles isn't feeling great (sore throat) and started a fever. Bucket is peeved that we cut computer time (since the kids weren't responding to our needings of help (headphones, man ... I don't know that I love them).

Mostly, I just want to sit in the shower and cry. Or nap all day. And I haven't found a way to do either.

I need to finish making the bed, get Bubbles into a bath, ... and about a million other things. But I know that they won't get done.

I hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling useless. I hate feeling powerless. 
I hate feeling like no matter what I'm doing, I'm letting my kids down. I hate that they are worried about their dad. I hate that I can't fix this. 

I'm grateful for the amounts of prayers and help that people have extended. 
One of Bruise and Bucket's elementary teachers facebooked that she's moved back into town and would be happy to help ferry the kids about for soccer and dance. Hopefully, at Mom's next appointment on Thursday, she'll be given permission to drive again ... then we're back up to having two drivers in the home again.
A friend is bringing over dinner tonight. (And, even if she weren't, we have lots of leftovers ... which is great, too.)

Okay. Time to get moving again. Let's get my littlest baby to feel better.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

All the crazy dreams!!

So, last night, I had a plethora of crazy dreams ... which flowed and ebbed into each other.

It started with visiting a gal I know from church. Her marriage isn't the best right now. Her husband has some pretty serious (and getting serious-er) mental health problems.

At one point in the dream, he asks for some help. (IRL, I'm not completely comfortable with him.) Since Michael's also there, in the dream, visiting these folks, I hesitatingly agree to assist him.

He asks me to come stand near the bathroom door. He proclaims that he's got a terrible fear of water, can't even step in the tub. He starts to fill the bathtub with not even an inch of water. I turn, not knowing what to tell him. He and his wife's son (but wrong age) have stripped or are in the process of taking off their clothes. ... I back out, scrabble for Michael's hand and announce, trying not to sound as panicked and disturbed as I feel, "Thank you SO MUCH for your hospitality, but we really must be going. I have a terrible headache and must leave. RIGHT NOW."

Later, in my dream, we're home ... but it's not like any house I've lived in. There are some similarities to my childhood home ... but it's not. The gal from the previous dream called, asking for help for her husband. And I am trying to be SO NICE since I'm genuinely feeling bad for her. But I am also FREAKED OUT by the situation. And I tell her that, no, I'm very sorry, but I am not the person to assist in this situation. AT ALL.

And I am so tired. And Michael and I are in our room (which, in this dream, is right by my mom's room). And I start to get undressed. And we start to ... well ... get a little frisky. Mostly clothed. But we haven't totally closed our door. And my mom walks by as she heads down the hall. And we have a rather awkward, but short conversation. Whoops.

So, in the next section of dream, our house (which is not our irl house) ... well, the door was left open. And I'm telling off the kids because they KNOW that we can't leave the doors open. BECAUSE THE CATS WILL GET OUTSIDE. And it's dark and I'm trying to count our cats, to make sure that everyone's in the house and safe. And Celeste-cat slinks into the light from the porch, carrying something in her mouth.
At first, I think it's a wet rat, something that she's hunted and brought back ... but it's actually a wet kitten. I would think it was just born. Except that it's about twice the size of a newborn kitten. It's got a collar that says something to the effect of "If you find this kitten, it's yours. We are done keeping track of it."


"Hon," I call. I think we just got ourselves a fourth cat. Sorry?"

Then, in my dream, Michael and I (and maybe Mom and the kids are with us?) are shopping at a little store. It's a lot like the shops downtown and a little like the ones that I shopped at over 20 years ago in Victoria, B.C.

We're browsing through things. At one point, I'm looking through some sale items in a cart outside a shop. They're marked down a LOT. One thing is even free, since someone told the shopowners that it was an empty box, but it wasn't. Things were so on sale that it all came down to around ten dollars.
Even though, with the item marked down to three, it's over $20 of stuff.

There are two shopkeepers. One is a blonde, younger woman. She's sweet and is just trying to keep her shop afloat with all the crazy. The other (her dad?) is an older, bald man. He's grousing about how much things are marked down, muttering, worried.

I dig through the cash in my purse. I give him a ten and two fives, telling him to keep the change. As he looks through the money in his hand, his whole demeanor changes. He's awed and humble and so very sweet. And it didn't cost me much ... just giving a fairer price for all that I was buying.

So, we leave the shop, everyone happy. Celeste-cat is walking along, in front of us, having followed us, like a dog. I think she still has the new, inexplicably still-wet kitten.


I really have no idea what a lot of this is all about.

The phone call from the wife ... I'm pretty sure that's related to a guy who was trying to buy my mom's property. He was ... a knucklehead. He was demanding and really rude to Mom's realtor (and good friend). For someone buying a house on contract (therefore, needed to be in long-term business/contact with the other party), he was quite a piece of work.

Needless to say, we shined up our steel spines and gave the "we cannot accommodate that/those request/s. Good day." ... And, once he realized that he had REALLY messed up and that we were aware that he wasn't our only option, he turned face and had his (sweet) wife call the realtor and ask if we would reconsider.

No. We really wouldn't (and are glad of it). He would have been a very trying neighbor for the folks on either side of the property. And we (and the existing neighbors) are SO VERY GLAD that we put our foot down. ... Really, if you're going to completely try and lowball on a property sold "as is" and THEN make multiple demands (reroof, cleared out, yardwork, etc ... when the seller kindly offered to pay for the property to be mowed AND offered to pay for a dumpster for clearing out the shop)?? Yeah, that was irritating and not happy-making.

But, there's a new buyer. And his family is SO excited for the property. And he's already helped DO stuff. So that is a huge blessing.


But, yeah. That's most of what's going on in my subconscious.

... I agree. I totally wouldn't want to visit either. But I don't get a choice. Ha ha haaaa.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Quarantine Ramblings

So ... It's been about a month since the kids were sent home from school. And it's been almost 18 months or thereabout since I last posted.

Yeah ... it's not like anything has happened in the meantime. Because stuff has happened.

Bruise and Bucket have had two birthdays (They're FOURTEEN). Bruise has long hair (past his shoulders now. Bucket's hair is much shorter. I gave her an undercut yesterday.

Bubbles is now eight. She was baptized ... that almost didn't get to happen. Mom, Michael, the kids, Bishop, and I were the only people who were able to attend in person. We were also able to broadcast a live feed over Zoom, thanks to a friend in our ward (congregation). So Bubbles is now an official member of the ward, with a membership number and everything.

Mom gave the opening prayer, Michael baptized Bubbles, Bruise and Bucket were witnesses. I helped her get dried off and dressed. After Bubbles was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost, I gave the closing prayer ... and started crying during it. It's just been ... a lot going on.

If I were to say that my anxiety isn't doing great ... that wouldn't be a complete lie. I am still mourning Nana's passing. Now I am also mourning all the opportunities that my kids (and other people) are missing out on. We've postponed Bubbles' friends-party (she wanted a science party ... I have all the goodies for it, really ... for when the social-distancing-thing is over) indefinitely.

One of my best friend's mother passed very unexpectedly at the end of February. She had just gotten the all-clear from her doctor to start flying again. Then she had a pulmonary embolism. No one could have seen it coming. We attended the funeral before the pandemic hit. My friend looks SO much like her mom. It was good to see people ... but not under such circumstances.

One of Michael's uncles also passed. The funerals were a few days apart. Again, it was good to see family. But not for a sad occasion. And two funerals in one week is ... draining.

Bucket has been going to counseling for a couple months. It's been good. She was depressed (due to anxiety ... doesn't that sound familiar? Ha haaaa....) ... but she's getting back to her usual self. It's good for her to be able to handle her emotions better. And she tells her counselor and me how much I should get counseling. She's not wrong. But she has better insurance coverage, ha ha ha.

We've started the whole distance-learning-thing in earnest now. It's ... going. Bubbles is in a dual-language immersion program. And the other language is Spanish, which none of the adults are good at. And Bruise and Bucket dropped Spanish at the end of last year ... so it's interesting. Especially the writing assignments.
We finally got their workbooks in the mail yesterday. (Bruise and Bucket got 8th Grade Reading, Language Arts, and Math. Bubbles got a Summer Bridge from 2nd-3rd Grade in English). Bruise and Bucket also have two-week packets for Science (Genetics for now) and Social Studies (the Alamo). They should be receiving information on how to do their Algebra as an independent study since all of the eighth grade is doing the same math currently.

I sewed some masks. It was not quite a comedy of errors ... but since my sewing skills are not what I would describe as brilliant, it was definitely a bunch of learning experiences.

We went down to my mom's property and cleared out a dumpster-full of all the crap that my stepdad "collected" and left in the yard. The back yard is mostly mowed. The side yard is nearly cleared. We still need to weedeat and mow the front and creek-side parts of the yard. And clean out the rest of the junk in the big shop and the side yard. Lots of yard work, since we couldn't ever find anyone who would be willing to do it. *sigh* But it's looking a lot better.

We've been getting a lot more birds in our yard. There was a crow the other day. We also have ducks from the lake. We see a lot of duck orgies happening. There were two ring-necked doves on the fence this morning. Lots of juncos, a goldfinch, sparrows, chickadees ... sometimes we get a hummingbird or two, some swallows.

Michael is (mostly) working from home. He goes into the office once a week to check messages (and forward those on to coworkers). Mostly, he's in the furnace room on his computer. We got the furnace room a bit more cleaned and organized, so that gives him an ersatz office. He's got wifi, electricity, and is close to a bathroom ... the concrete floor is cold, but he can wear his slippers.

Bruise has been on a big heist-movie kick. He's watched quite a few: Going in Style, Ocean's 11-13 (with Brad Pitt), The Italian Job (the one with Mos Def), Catch Me if You Can, ... I'm almost worried that I've managed to raise a criminal mastermind. Thankfully, this child has strong Gryffindor tendencies, so if he doesn't follow through on becoming an anesthesiologist, he might go into crime prevention.

Bucket has been reading a lot. And watching shows, mostly on Disney+ and Netflix. She and Bubbles will do online Zoom dance classes with their studio during the week. Or Bruise will take Bucket for a jog/walk around the lake.

Bubbles and I have been working our way through the Little House books. I've been reading them aloud to her. We got through Little House in the Big Woods. Now we're a few chapters into Little House on the Prairie. She's enjoying them.

I've been reading the Abhorsen books (by Garth Nix) to Bruise and Bucket. We finished Sabriel last week and are about seven chapters into Lirael. It's slower going since the books are much longer. But it's nice to have the time and opportunity to share some of my favorites with them. Bruise is reading the last book in the Arc of a Scythe series. Bucket is in the second book now.

Since he doesn't have to commute to work everyday, Michael has more time to read. He's been rereading Weiss and Hickman's Chronicles of Dragonlance trilogy.

I've not been doing so well at getting through books. You'd think that I would have been able to jump on the chance to have more time to read ... yeah, not so much. I'm in a bit of a book slump. Doesn't help that the libraries are all closed for coronavacation.  I've gotten few a couple books, but nothing like my usual pace when life isn't so busy.

I try and check in on my Ministering Sisters. One lives in an assisted care facility. One is turning 90 this year. Two are sisters. And I gained another who has some health issues, so already didn't get out much. Thank goodness for texting (except for the oldest gal who I actually do call to check up on and chat with). I don't know that I'm the most effective Ministering Sister. I hope that they all know that I do care for them and am here to help.

I have taken baths to relax. I should paint my toenails. I always feel better when my toes look like I've made an effort.

My dreams ... I don't' usually remember them. But I do recall bits of one that caused me to wake up laughing. I was with Moss (from The IT Crowd). And he kept mispronouncing something ... and it involved the word fork ... maybe "enforkled?" But it was so funny and he was hilarious ... that I know that I giggled myself awake at least once.

......... Oh my freaking HECKK ... these writing assignments might just be the death of me.
Between Bubbles' Spanish writing assignment, Bucket just losing her data (it's not showing up ... then I DID find it. Huz-freaing-zah), and Bruise totally broke down crying over not knowing how to even start that dang assignment (so I sent him out for a walk around the lake ... it didn't really work.).
I did offer to be their stenographer (except that I don't write in shorthand. Though, my HS Choir teacher did know shorthand. He told me that he would leave notes for one of his teachers and she'd respond, also in shorthand).

And I just FINALLY finished cooking one of the worst-looking coffee cakes of my life. I was supposed to take 40 minutes to cook. I had doubled it ... and it took over two hours  ... and it's really not even cooked all the way through. Even though the flavors are okay, I am NOT going to add this to my repertoire of recipes. Yeah. It's really wet still. AFTER TWO HOURS AND TURNING UP THE HEAT. UGH.

So, yeah. There's been enough tears and I'm really done with this morning.

And I need to go pick up dirt for the garden. And I don't want to do ANYTHING anymore today.

Do over, maybe?

Saturday, December 15, 2018


This week has been BUSY.
Choir concert, Relief Society Board Party, Mutual, etc, etc, etc ... and tonight is the Ward Christmas Party ... which has been rather last-minute, so we're all scrambling.

I'm just so DONE. And that was BEFORE I knew that we'd be setting up not only at 10 this morning, but ALSO an hour before the party starts. UGH.

Michael and the Scouts are out camping. They SHOULD get home by 1. I have to be back to the church by 5pm.

I've cooked a ham (with my mom). We didn't have to buy it, so there's that.
I will also be bringing a dish of scalloped potatoes.
AND a dessert.

I really feel like my brain is melting.

Between all that and the fact that I miss Nana and Pop-pop and Grandma Darlene something fierce. And that this year I have to miss ALL THREE of them ... it's a little rough.

Good news: My mom is totally living here (since Thanksgiving). It's awesome and I love it.
We have 98% of all the presents wrapped. I got presents to my uncle and his family as well as the presents to my great-aunt and her girls already all mailed off.

My stepdad hasn't contacted my mom at all since he moved up with one of my stepsisters. I know it hurts her. Especially since her life was pretty centered at taking care of him. It looks like their future divorce is pretty imminent. That and he was always talking about how, if he's not living at home, he'd divorce her and marry a nice LDS widow who would take care of him. ... Dementia is SO FUN. (That's a total lie. It sucks. Majorly. Especially when it totally turns someone into a complete narcissist. Bless his heart. He's a good person when he's lucid. ... But, more often than not, lucidity is harder to find.)

Okay, I have to run over to the church (which Michael, Mom, and I cleaned yesterday) to help set up.

Is there enough Cherry Coke in the world to get me through today?

(Though, I did sleep in until 8:30. I did wake up when the power blinked off around 3:30am ... but after resetting a couple clocks and taking a bathroom break, I submerged into blissful unconsciousness again. Lovely.)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Quote of the Day

Today, a sister in our Relief Society lesson mentioned this quote.

I liked it.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. "If you are anxious you are living in the future. "If you are at peace you are living in the present.”― Lao Tzu