Bored

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, No Whining, Our Kids

Yup. It’s true. I’m bored. But take no offense, it’s not you I’m bored with. I’m bored with me.

I can barely make it through writing a post without losing interest in it and either saving it as a draft or outright trashing it. If I can’t stay interested enough to make it through a few readings to check for errors, how the hell can I expect you to read it?

In fact, I just closed the third post of the night because I was BORED with what I was saying.

So I’ve decided that I will try and shake off the mean reds I’ve fallen into and post a minimum of three times a week. It may be something I’ve learned, an especially enjoyable experience or just my good things for the day.

My good thing for today was laughing with my oldest son, now 20. We spent the weekend together, along with my husband, and he’s an amazing man. For his birthday, instead of video or computer games, he asked for running shoes. Instead of cheesecake, he asked for the healthiest of desserts in my baking arsenal. They grow up so fast…

Vivid Mommy

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Breast Cancer, Chooch, Dizzy, Dizzy, Family, Friends, Mom, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter, Vestibular Migraine

Just like millions of other people, Mother’s Day is a rough one for me because my mother is deceased. I’m also a mom, which makes it a very bittersweet day. When you add that this year, for what I recall as the first time in 20 years, I won’t see any of our kids, it ensured that I’d be avoiding social media and anywhere that I’d be inundated with the message that I don’t want to be reminded of. Yep, I’m bitter. Then I realized I hadn’t checked in on friends since yesterday and decided to check Twitter and make sure all was well.

As expected, there was a deluge of Mother’s Day wishes being exchanged. One that really touched me was by friend and author Mur Lafferty: “PT has made me toast and yogurt and a can of selzer and brought it to me in bed. “i didn’t know how to make coffee.” I nearly cried.”

On the other end of the spectrum, brand new dad Cheyenne Wright posted “A bit out of sorts. This is the first chance I’ve had to celebrate a Mothers Day in 18 years.”

That one got me right in my vulnerable spot. I closed Twitter as I realized my dizziness had kicked in with an anxiety attack and now-standard accompanying trembles. It was not at all surprising if you understand my current health situation, and I cursed myself for logging in. My husband unwittingly helped my through the brunt of the symptoms (Hey Chooch, this is why I was upset earlier), but I still feel the need to share something about my Mom today. I don’t do this easily because:

  1. I’ve been told in extremely loving ways that I need to try and move on from grieving her as I do, out of concern that it may be unhealthy;
  2. I’ve been accused of talking about my Mom and/or my health issues to garner sympathy for some unknown purpose, either witnessed by me or as reported by others;
  3. I’m not entirely sure Mom would approve of what I want to share.

To those from item 1, I say a sincere thank you for your concern. But my highly remarkable Mom left a massive hole in my world, and it is simply taking a long time for me to heal. In some ways, I never will because I will always miss her. That’s simply the price of having a jewel like her for a Mom, and I’m willing to pay it. Know that I’m making progress and doing the best that I can, and you should feel free to delete any message, change the subject, or ignore any posts. I expect nothing from you when the need arises for me to talk about her.

To those from item 2, I say without hesitation ~ kiss my ass. You don’t understand me now and never did, regardless of what you may believe. Yes, yes, I know, “Never feed a troll,” as it only encourages them. But I’m tired of not defending myself when I’m being vilified and disrespected to those I care about. So I’m using this post to “balls up” and remind myself that my Mom didn’t raise me to be a doormat. In fact, she specifically counseled me on the need to stand up to some of the aforementioned “item 2” people. I feel no guilt over including this paragraph, because they will only be identified to themselves and to those that they’ve trash talked about me. It’s unlikely that most of them will ever read this, except for some that may be looking for ammunition, but this is my little corner of the internet and I’m tired of censoring myself when others won’t.

And for item 3, I mean that Mom would probably not like this picture because she’s not wearing makeup. She was intensely self-conscious and hid from cameras most of my life. I’m posting it anyways, because later in life she embraced her silly side in fantastic fashion and stopped running from cameras. Also, it’s one of my very favorite pictures of her, as it documents a very special moment in our lives.

The tiny hair clips were part of her 60th birthday gift from me. I had gotten a basket and decorated it with silk flowers and ribbons and filled it with brightly colored hair clips, ponytail holders, barrettes, hair bands and a tiara. I wanted to celebrate that the chemo for her newly diagnosed breast cancer wouldn’t make her hair fall out like it did when she battled it in ’91, and it was insanely fun (and cathartic) to pick them out in the girl/teen accessory section.

When we realized that some of the little clips matched her vibrantly colored shirt, my sister put her hair in the little twists that my then-early-teenaged nieces were known to wear for a time, and we couldn’t resist snapping a picture of the spontaneous hairstyle and her reaction to it. A few months later her chemo was changed because it wasn’t working, and her hair promptly fell out. Two and a half years later she was gone.

But I present you with photographic evidence that my Mom was highly remarkable. Even when faced for a second time with the same life-threatening disease that she watched eat away at her mother and grandmother until there was nothing left of them, she was still able to laugh. And when presented with a gift that in hindsight may have unkindly brought the cancer back to the forefront of her mind, she giggled and was delightfully silly. As only she could be.

I won’t exaggerate and say it was Great Bravery or Courage documented in this moment, because it wasn’t. It was just a silly and spontaneous moment. And damned if it’s not one of the most treasured moments of my life. Isn’t she glorious?
Funnest Mom Evah!

This post is written to honor my Mom, Nat, Jaimie, Terry and Zach ~ five people who are no longer with us that are at the forefront of my mind. The first three I miss terribly. The fourth and fifth I never met, but because of their impact on people that I dearly love, I desperately wish I had. You are missed.

Move Update with Pictures

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Consumer Info, Family, Household, No Whining

Brace yourself, kittens. I held off on posting photos because I wanted to see friend MAinPA’s reaction to the changes firsthand. Since she has come and gone, here they are. If you’ve been to our house, you’ll notice a HUGE change, specifically in the former living room/now sitting room. And most of the belongings that display who we are and what our interests are now reside in a 10′ x 10′ storage space a few miles away.

Welcome to our shame of living in a home free of personality and color.

Yes, the 65″ tv is in storage. And it was Chooch’s idea! The first reaction we typically get when folks enter the house is, “I had no idea you had windows there!” since the tv was placed in front of the windows in the now sitting room.

It doesn’t seem fitting to continue to call it “Our Big Paradise,” now it feels like we’re staying in a hotel that we have to constantly clean.

Ah, well. At least we have memories and pictures of how it used to be. And it will be much easier to move, whenever that is.

Rules of Etiquette, Lesson Five

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Friends, No Whining, Rules of Etiquette, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter

This one does not come from a Victorian essay or etiquette book. And it may not actually be a lesson in etiquette per se, but rather a lesson in paying attention to what you say and type.

Let’s just shorten this to “Own what you say.”

I think after the recent deluge of misquoting Martin Luther King Jr, it’s safe to say that folks are more likely to pull the “Retweet” or “Copy/Paste/Share” trigger than they are to checking to see if it’s a true quote before posting to their social media site of choice.

In case you are one of the lucky few to not know what I’m referencing, allow me to explain. Almost immediately after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s murder late Sunday night, the internet went crazy with opinions, thoughts and quotes. One of two (both now proven to be fake) quotes that was copied over and over and over and over in FB was:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” ~Martin Luther King Jr.”
~Copied from my sister’s FB page on Monday

We now know that only the ending was an actual quote from Dr. King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Very powerful stuff, although not distilled and specific enough to have likely gotten all the attention that it received. But I think it points to a more powerful issue. It’s so easy to podcast, Tweet and post on Facebook or on a blog, that I think words are starting to lose their power. How many times has someone said, “I remember what you (said/tweeted/posted) about (Issue XYZ),” and you have no recollection of it? I think people have a thought, instantly shout it into the abyss of the internet, and in many cases forget about it. As someone with over 33k tweets, I can assure you I doubt I can remember even 1% of what I’ve tweeted, retweeted and linked to.

And I don’t know that I think there’s anything particularly wrong about that. I’m deciding as I type this to contemplate that on another day, possibly in another blog. I just think we have to ensure that we OWN every statement we make, whether in meat space, Twitter, the blogosphere or anywhere else we express ourselves. Too often, people hide behind veils to give opinions, whether positive, invented, embellished or libelous.

Why not check a quote before retweeting it or copying it into your FB page? You’re on the internet already, the answer is just a few clicks away. I can’t even remember if I was one of those that retweeted it, but I can tell you that I take no joy in any man’s death, regardless of his crimes, so it is possible. If I did, I own that I shared without thought and I apologize. I, like many, need to think before I Tweet.

And as I read through various Dr. King quotes this morning, I came upon one that I really needed reminding of. Although I actively continue to embrace forgiveness* of those that have or continue to wrong me with lies and/or hurtful actions (intentional or unintentional), I also choose not to hate.

If that means I have to avoid current events to dodge the toxicity, so be it. There are more than enough people to rage in support or opposition to every issue, so I will bow out of conflict every chance I get. And no, you can’t make me argue that decision. 😛

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

~~~~~~
*Forgiveness is something I give constantly, although many of those I forgive will never hear me utter those words. The toxic nature of some people impact me too intensely. Besides, my words hold no value to them beyond twisting them to use as ammunition against me at a later time. Whether the hurt occurred a week ago or twenty years ago, there is typically no value of forgiveness for the transgressor, but it’s invaluable to the one that forgives.

Move Update

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Friends, Health, No Whining

The house has been on the market for two weeks now, and I think we’re finally getting used to the new layout. We have not yet adjusted to the daily cleaning-as-we-prepare-to-leave routine. At least, I haven’t. It makes me grumpy to add an extra 15 minutes prep time to go anywhere. It has made me very grateful that I started the Home-Ec 101 program again.

I’ve been visiting friend Paulette Jaxton , who helped us get the house prepped, since Wednesday evening. I don’t believe I posted about it at the time, but she twisted her ankle in the garage as we were moving things around right before the Realtor arrived to take pictures for the listing the day it was put on the market. At the time, Paulette allowed no fuss over her ankle as she was sure it was just a slight twist. After a week with the pain worsening, she went in for X-rays and discovered that she had broken the tip of the bone off on her fibula(? Anatomy is hard!). Eek! Very worried I really wanted to visit to help out if she would let me, plus we’ve been trying to visit each other while we are both without full-time employment. (I’d say during our “free time”, but both of us feel pretty pressed by our projects.)

Luckily, the break doesn’t require a cast or “boot” and she still has lots of freedom with the heavy duty brace they prescribed. Her movement is not as limited and it’s far more comfortable than the other options would have been. I just feel terrible about it, especially since it’s the same spot, the little ledge in the garage that drops down about 2 inches, that twisted my ankle in 2008 (2009?) and also caused injury to Chooch a few months ago. It’s not something we’re able to alter, and I’m severely pissed about that fact. In fact, we had just relayed the story of both injuries to Paulette the day before, joking about how the house seems to demand a sacrifice from time to time. This is no longer funny, obviously.

But we’ve had a great time, staying up late and chatting and I’m glad I finally made it up to her place for the first time. Paulette hasn’t let me fuss over her, other than doing a few tasks for her, but I can’t fault her that. I don’t like a fuss either, I just hope I relieved some of her boredom.

As for the house itself, it’s been on the market for two weeks now, and it’s been viewed twice. No word back on either, but in the current market, we knew we’d have a wait ahead of us. The crazy storm system that came through town two nights ago blew down a section of fencing, which Chooch has already repaired. Otherwise, we’re just waiting.

Definitions You Know: Family

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Definitions You Know, Family, Firsts, No Whining, Soulful

My niece, her husband, her almost 3 year old son and 1 month old daughter are visiting from out of state. We’re hosting a celebration/baby shower for Baby M and a Welcome Home visit for the rest of them and another niece arriving today. None of these definitions exactly fit our relationship, as she and her sister are the daughters of my brother’s ex-wife. We have no blood or matrimonial bond, but try and tell me Baby M’s not family as I hold the sweet bundle in my arms and I’ll have to put a serious smack down on you.

As dear friend Heather Welliver says, “There’s the family you’re born into, and then there’s the family you create.” And we long ago accepted these girls into our hearts, where they remain regardless of the legal and blood-lines dictate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

fam·i·ly

/ˈfæməli, ˈfæmli/

–noun 

  • a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family;
  • a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family;
  • the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family;
  • the spouse and children of one person: We’re taking the family on vacation next week;
  • any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family;
  • all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor;
  • Chiefly British . approved lineage, especially noble, titled, famous, or wealthy ancestry: young men of family;
  • a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants;
  • the staff, or body of assistants, of an official: the office family;
  • a group of related things or people: the family of romantic poets; the halogen family of elements;
  • a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together: Many hippie communes of the sixties regarded themselves as families;
  • a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer;
  • Biology . the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usually consisting of several genera;
  • Slang . a unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra operating in one area under a local leader;
  • Linguistics . the largest category into which languages related by common origin can be classified with certainty: Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, and Austronesian are the most widely spoken families of languages. Compare stock ( def. 12 ) , subfamily ( def. 2 );
  • Mathematics
    • a given class of solutions of the same basic equation, differing from one another only by the different values assigned to the constants in the equation.
    • a class of functions or the like defined by an expression containing a parameter.
    • a set.
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Home Ec 101 – Help For Your Housekeeping

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Consumer Info, Cooking, Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Household, No Whining

The majority of the house prep is done and our home has been listed for sale. Now it’s just a matter of knocking out the yard sale to clear the garage and we can sit back and wait for the offers to come rolling in. Oh, I forgot, we have to keep the house pristine for potential buyers while living in it with a large dog that drools and sheds a lot. No big deal, right?

The site Home Ec 101 first came to my attention, guessing here, when author Mur Lafferty tweeted about it at some point in 2010.  I looked into it and was immediately sucked in. It provides all sorts of information for those that may have never learned how to do the basics of cooking and cleaning and find themselves in need of guidance. The site also gives guidance on home repairs and laundry solutions. The site is not just for beginners, as I’ve been maintaining a home of my own for over 20 years and still find lots of useful information. There is even a section on cooking, with information for beginners, along with recipes and food safety.

From the site, “Home-Ec 101 is an attempt to reach average people and teach them the domestic arts that make life a little less expensive, a little easier, and a little more enjoyable.”  Blogger Heather Solos gives a slightly different take on how to get things done, and I enjoy it. You don’t get beaten up for not being Martha Stewart and it casts a realistic eye on the availability of time and funds of American families.

My very favorite thing about the site? The cleaning schedule. When I first perused the site I jumped at a pre-made, no thought needed schedule for keeping the house clean. I fell off the schedule during the Christmas rush, but now that my home is clean and needs to stay that way, I’m back on the program.

It’s simple and straight-forward, although not easy. Yesterday was laundry catch-up and bedding day, and since I was otherwise occupied for most of the weekend, that means pretty a LOT of laundry had to be caught-up. I didn’t finish (four bedrooms and not being well), so I’m rolling it in to today’s tasks, which includes cleaning the floors and a 15 minute quick pick-up and smudge patrol.

There is a standard set of tasks to do every day, along with items like those listed above added on top. I really enjoyed the results when I did it before, and like everything else, consistency is what will make it a success or a failure. Miss one or two days and you can catch up easily without a major re-cleaning. More than that and you’d better put some real time aside. Being back on this schedule will also prevent me from feeling like I have to obsess for hours every day, just in case we’re lucky enough to have someone interested in viewing our house.

And while customization of the list may be needed to fit your individual households, it’s a great place to get into the mind set of keeping things tidy.

**Thanks to Mia for noticing the schedule posted in my kitchen, as it reminded me to share the site here. I hope you find it as useful as I have.**

Definitions You Know: Patience

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Definitions You Know, No Whining, Podcast, TV

I’ve always known that I’m an impatient gal. I hate waiting on people. I hate waiting on things. I even hate waiting to get somewhere and will leave extra early to make sure the drive doesn’t delay me from what I’m doing. And I get anxious from the anticipation and have to fight to keep my expectations from growing beyond possible reality. I’m even impatient for something I didn’t even want.

Game of Thrones, the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, was picked up by HBO for a new series. I was infuriated, even though I think that HBO does a fine job with their original programming. I railed against the idea that any could be so presumptuous as to try and bring what lived in the pages of his books and my imagination into some tangible experience. I knew it would fail to live up to even HALF what the series represents to me. Then I started seeing the casting, and I started to get excited. Over the months, my excitement has continued to grow to see if they can, in fact, pull it off.

In this and many other things going on in my life right now, I’m spending a lot of time learning patience. It’s about time, but is torturous nonetheless. Two weeks ago, HBO aired the first 15 minutes of the first episode as a special sneak preview and we watched it. I only have one more day to go, and my patience will be rewarded.

Who else will be happily watching the debut tomorrow night? HBO means no commercials and no need for a buffer to skip through them. Come back and tell me what you thought of it, if the mood strikes you.

pa·tience

[pey-shuhns]

–noun 

  1. the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
  2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
  3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
  4. Cards (chiefly British ) . solitaire ( def. 1 ) .
  5. Also called patience dock . a European dock, Rumex patientia,  of the buckwheat family, whose leaves are often used as a vegetable.

Obsolete:  leave; permission; sufference.

Origin:

1175–1225; Middle English pacience  < Old French  < Latin patientia. See patient, -ence.
And if the mood strikes, check out the new podcast that my husband and I are on from SpecFicMedia, Beyond The Wall – A Game of Thrones Podcast.
I promise, the audio will be vastly improved on the next episode. And promise I’m not a cylon. Pinky swear.

Move Update ~ House Prep

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: 5k, Consumer Info, Household, No Whining

I’ve been working like mad, mad I tell you, trying to get the house ready for the arrival of the Realtor at 2 pm today, which you know if you follow me on Twitter. I’ve been a pain in the butt complaining about it, so you have my apologies. Doing what I can to stay sane with the accompanying dizziness, migraines and nausea for such high stress levels as I’m running.

I’ve had no exercise since Saturday’s 5k run. Did I write about that? I’ll check later. I know that’s seriously impacting my mood and I crave a good long run.

I’ve been eating all the right food, but am on a weird schedule and haven’t been tracking my Weight Watcher points. I only eat when I’m hungry, no more than once every four hours and I stop at a regular serving. Easy to do since I’m home and it’s all the same stuff. Weird thing is, I feel squishy and think I’ve gained weight this week. Again, no run since Saturday morning, and even with all this hard physical labor, it doesn’t seem to be maintaining me, let alone helping me lose.

I’ve only been able to nap the last few days, and wake in a panic to start working again. It’s kinda working, in that it’s the only thing I can manage right now. But, I’m sure that’s thrown my metabolism way out of whack.

Back onto a normal schedule after we get past this hurdle, and hopefully I can salvage the week, weight-wise. But if not, I’m cutting myself a damned break. I deserve it.

Prodigal Niece Returns

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Kids, No Whining

We got some troubling news on the living conditions of my oldest niece, which was immediately followed with news that she’s returning to live in the area. She will move in with a friend and get settled into a new job and resume life, hopefully none the worse for wear for what she’s been through. No, this is not the niece that just gave birth to Baby M, it’s her older sister.

I’m crazy excited to see her and it’s had me floating around during this chaotic period of house prep and never ending work in getting this place ready to list for sale.

So, instead of whining about something, I thought I’d share that happy bit of news.

“On a scale from one to awesome I’m the shit. Get over it.”
~A Gym Class Heroes quote that always makes me think of her.