Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Good Morning!
It's taken me 45 minutes just to get the pictures up.  I think Blogger got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Oh well...here we go.  :)
Ian McGregor turned one year old last Wednesday and had a birthday party on Saturday.  I got these pictures from Dagan.
Looks like Ian had a wonderful time! 
Mama was there to help him open presents. 

His cousin, Julian, wanted to help, too, looks like--LOL! 

His first birthday cake! 
I forgot to ask Leah what kind it was and if this was his first cake ever or not.

Looks like he was enjoying himself, though.

I'm so glad they took some pictures since Gramma missed the party!  :)
Meanwhile, Miss Karma had the best of both worlds for a while.
Both the memory foam... 
...and my grandmother's doll. 
Karma got bored with her after a few days and the doll is packed away now with my grandmother's old salt and pepper shakers. 
Dagan, Leah, Ian, and Leah's youngest sister, Ariel, came to work on the garage for a couple hours on Sunday afternoon.  I didn't take any before pictures.  Forgot the camera.  But it was hot--around 84-85 is melting weather for us.  We even had a fan running out there.
Okay.  Truth.  
I was terribly sore...totally exhausted...it was so hot (was 80 degrees in my apartment with the AC on--no point in running it anymore so I have to call them about that)...I thought Dagan and Leah were going to be there earlier and stay longer...was too miserable to make Ian's birthday party the day before...so I was cranky and short with them and wasn't feeling my usual self.  We did get a lot done, but didn't quite finish the sorting of the shelves.  Dagan or Leah said they will be coming over in the evenings to help every night they can from now on until we get done or it's time to move, whichever comes first.  Yippee!!
  But McFamily will be busy, too, because the sprinkler company is supposed to FINALLY show up to install the sprinkler system in the yard this week and then they can FINALLY order the sod after that!  Whoohoo!!  And they have rocks to spread around and garden boxes to finish... busy, busy summer for us all up here.
After they were here Sunday I was so sore I couldn't sleep...not even on the delicious new memory foam pad.  I was feeling so badly for being bitchy that I wrote an apology email to the three of them at 3:30 in the morning.  I think it was just everything--feeling awful...the heat...frustration over not being able to do more myself...my dad...my mom...moving...and then, to top it all off, being so ashamed of myself for taking it out on them.  I try never-ever to take my pain or worries or sorrows out on anybody else.  Not that I deny them or don't talk "about" them--but there's a difference between that and actually acting or speaking negatively, you know?  Well, I just sat here and cried for a while in the middle of the night.
I hadn't ever cried about my folks being in the accident...my dad dying...being worried about my mom.  Was trained from a very young age not to cry.  Stoic Swedish blood, you know?  And, yes, I've had a counselor tell me years ago that it's not healthy...that I shouldn't feel it's a sign of weakness or vulnerability...blah-blah-blah.  I don't feel that so much as it is just something ingrained in me...a combination of genetics and training.  
And it has served me very well, to be honest.  I was responsible for other people at a young age.  I didn't have anyone else to lean on or depend on.  So you don't waste time getting emotional when there are things to be done, people (or critters) to take care of, and no one else to do it for you.  Any crying I did was alone, later, on my own time.  (Put your tears on hold for too long, though, and you can forget how to cry.)  But this made me alert, level-headed, and good in a crisis.  Since I had a life filled with various crises (up until I moved here ten years ago), I survived them all very well and was able to help & be there for others.  
Having all the compounding health issues gradually take me down...like a buffalo being slowly forced to its knees by a pack of hungry wolves...well, that was the first time in my life I needed other people to help me just to function, you know?  And, grateful as I was for the help, I was very angry about needing that help for years.  I was the one who always found a way.  Mind over matter.  Figured it out on my own.  Could take care of myself, you know?  People came to me.
I think I have still been kind of trying to do that since the end of May--with the cleaning, purging, and packing.  But no matter how carefully I have been playing the pain dance, I have slowly been physically going down the tubes--LOL!  There's still that part of me that doesn't want to ever ask for help...that expects to be able to take care of myself, you know?  Yes, I know--not totally like I used to, but I still seem to fully expect to be able to bite off a bigger chunk than I can actually chew.  Optimistic?  Prideful?  Stubborn?  Foolish?  Don't want to be a bother, for sure.  It is still uncomfortable for me.  Even after over a decade.
Well, luckily, they didn't seem to think I was all that crabby or bitchy and all told me they loved me...but I know I wasn't myself.  I had lost my inner calm.  I felt I had reached the end of my physical rope that day.  No spoons left.
Have any of you ever read The Spoon Theory?  I read it many years ago when the wolves were dragging me down to my knees.  It is hard to explain to other people about having to think through priorities and dibbying out your good time and energy just for daily living tasks.  I had everybody read it years ago and used to talk about my spoons a lot back then.  Now that lovely Des from South Africa sent me the link and I have read it again...you can bet I shall be mentioning my "spoons" again.  You can read it here if you want to know what I am talking about.  It's not terribly long.  :):)  Right now today--I am using a spoon to write the blog and I am conserving spoons the rest of the day for when Dagan comes over again after dinner to help me clear out the storage area and work in the garage.  ;)
Dagan came over yesterday after dinner.  Here I thought it looked like it might rain because it was so dark out...but Dagan told me that it was smoke from Canadian forest fires!!  I tried to take pictures of the sun. but my camera shows the sun as white with an orange ring around it.        
 It is actually a solid orange ball in the sky!!
I took pictures of the garage when Dagan and I got down there last night.
Here's the bird stuff I am going to donate to the bird rescue group in town.  *sniff sniff*  Just needed to find the boxes of bird toys. 
Keeper pile.  Cannot get rid of my massage table I used for years when I did Healing Touch/Reiki/Soul Comfort.  It does have the open ends so that you can sit on a chair at the person's head or feet, so it's not like I couldn't ever do it again.  Just can't let that go yet.  (I would actually sell it, if I ever do, and not give it away--which would have made my dad very happy--LOL!)  And for the T Stands For Tuesday ladies--I thought I had my water thermos on that folding chair, too, next to the zip lock bag of cookies from Leah, but Dagan's lemonade jug with the teal cover and handle will just have to do.  ;);)
Empty boxes--trash pile to the left and give away pile to the right. 
We were down to the last shelf at the bottom to go through. 
My bike hangs from the hooks on the ceiling.  Silly as it is I just cannot get rid of my bicycle, either.  That would be like admitting I will never, ever get any better.  (Did I mention stubborn swedish genes?)   
This morning I walked down to the garage... 
...(still an orange sun ball)...because I forgot my camera out there--ROFL!! 
And I had to show you all my pictures, right?  :):)  It would just seem wrong if I didn't have any pictures, wouldn't it?
Make that two spoons for the blog--LOL!  
It is now 11am. 
I will use a spoon (or two) journaling, emailing, and writing letters today...and save my few other spoons I have left for tonight.  This works much better.  Like I told Dagan when he said they'd be coming over to help me--what we can get done together in 2-3 hours is what it would have taken me days to accomplish by myself.  So that takes the pressure off and I feel I can take more recovery days.  I've been starting my days with less and less spoons as the month has gone by.  I don't want to push myself over the brink and wake up with no spoons...for days and days.  It's horrible.  Been there.  Done that.  And I have been skating too close to it lately.
 Dagan brought empty boxes for me from home--but he put them in the garage--ROFL!  He said he knew I would be more tempted to fill them if they were in the apartment--LOL!  True.  True. 
So, I will actually be able to take some R&R time in July without worrying about getting the purging done.  Well, or not worrying as much--LOL!  Today--this exhausted lady is going to take some extra cuddle time with Miss Karma, who will be glad to see me in slow motion for the day.  ;)  
Have a good one!!  :):)
"For myself, I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." 
Winston Churchill


  1. Anonymous12:03 PM

    I bet your bitchy is everyone else's normal. :)
    That doll was so real looking, I wondered if it Ian was dressed up!

  2. I broke my left arm last April. I've regained almost full motion in it, but for a long time I was unable to pull up my underwear on that side. The entire West Coast contingent of my family (Nameless, her husband & two daughters, my husband & my son Blake) happily did that for me. If that isn't love, I don't know what is. You have Dagan & Leah to help you pull up your underwear!!

  3. Hello, dear Rita, and happy first birthday to Ian! That picture of Ian gazing at his cake with one big glowing candle is a keeper, a classic, and so is the one of him shoveling that goodness into his little mouth. He is such a wonderful boy and I can't help loving him. It also warmed my heart to see Karma snoozing on the foam as that dolly watched over her. You take so many memorable pictures! Please don't beat on yourself for getting testy with your loved ones. I am sure they understand where it comes from. You can't go on forever w/o asking for help once in a while and there is no need to feel ashamed of that or to feel frustrated because you can't be superwoman and handle everybody else's problems on top of your own. Having a good cry now and then has a cleansing, therapeutic effect.

    Happy Tuesday, dear friend Rita (and Karma)!

  4. The garage is looking GOOD. Not much more to do on it, it seems. Also, I enjoyed seeing the bird cages will go to a good cause. MUCH better than trying to sell them or get rid of them on Freecycle.

    Nice to see photos of Ian's first birthday. It looks like chocolate cake on my monitor.

    Thanks for joining us with Dagan's cup, your sky photos, the garage purge, and Spoon Theory (must read) for T this week. Blogger took forever with me yesterday, too, so you aren't alone.

  5. What cute birthday pics of little Ian who is growing so fast.
    The eating cake shots always make me smile.
    Everyone has their breaking point and it comes out in various ways.
    At the end of the day we each do our best and try again for another day.
    Take care. I know you're already working too hard. Hard to temper it when there is so much to do.
    Hope you're having a Happy T Day.

  6. Happy First Birthday to Ian! It looked like a fun party. Well, it seems like you are almost finished with the garage and have paced yourself better. Karma looks like she is enjoying her memory foam cushion!

  7. Give Ian a belated birthday hug for me. Looks like he enjoyed opening presents and eating cake.

    Will use the link and read Spoon Theory. I'm sure you were not as cranky as you thought you were. Everyone is entitled to a bad day and your family obviously knows that and certainly loves you anyway.

    Hope you and Karma get some quiet time hanging out with one another today.


  8. Well I'd say it was definitely time to slow down a bit and take care of yourself. I know exactly how you feel though and know that you will continue to push yourself. Just be careful ♥ Ian is getting so big and so cute and I do love to see those pictures of Karma with the doll :) Take a day of total rest and be kind to yourself. ♥♥♥♥♥

  9. I know what you mean by being reluctant to ask for help. It just feels...well...wrong.

    But... you know something? That's what friends are for... and if you don't ask, your friends can't be the best friends they can be...

  10. P.s., I loved that picture of Ian smearing his cake all over the tray on his chair!!! LOL!!!

  11. Happy Birthday Ian! You are making progress Rita...one spoon at a time. I love the spoon theory...that works for us too. Some people just don't "get it"
    Karma looks all comfy.
    I am certain you are under some stress with the move...it will be okay!
    The Bird rescue place is getting some great cages.
    Sell that bike...unless you have a helmet! :)

  12. The odd grump here and there never does any harm - hope you have a better week! Chrisx

  13. Wow, Ian's first birthday already? They sure do grow fast! Dear Rita, don't be so hard on yourself. You have been working so extremely hard and under stress too. Sometimes these things are enough to trigger lots of other things from our past and when one breaks down it's time to go with whatever surfaces, feel through it, then let it go. You have handled your emotions so elegantly. I have never heard of the spoon effect and will check the link once I post this mssg.
    Oh, and that doll-how I would love to see more details-it looks like the one I have from my great grandmother!! Happy T day, and do take care.

  14. We each handle things in our own way. It is hard to let some things go; but the time for it will eventually come, and you will recognize it in its own time. It looks like you're making progress. I love your Churchill quote :)

  15. You really have been pushing yourself. I do wish you might lay down and rest before you don't have a choice, but to do that, you have to pay attention sooner! I'm glad you have the McFamily to help, but how about taking a day for yourself and do absolutely NOTHING? Please? :-)

  16. Happy Birthday to Ian! Congratulations on all the progress! I know you are paying for all the work, but hopefully resting in July will help you make the move more easy. Regarding getting cranky with Dagan, Leah and Ariel...while they can't really, truly understand what you go through every day, just to do normal things, they also know you've been going through a lot these last couple months, and sometimes the stress just overflows.

  17. I take it that you will be moving as well?? Hopefully something fabulous opened up for you! I understand the pain thing and having to divy up your energy carefully!!!! Big hugs! I wish I could be sleeping right now, but my legs and feet wouldn't quit.... *sigh*……

  18. Oh, my dear, it's hard. It's so hard. I'm having quite a rough time, too, and don't know where my children are. I'm glad Dagan and Leah help you, and it's good to cry. I should probably cry more often. It might be better than panic attacks. Happy Birthday to darling Ian.


    P.S. You should keep what you want and the hell with what anyone thinks. It's your stuff. Sometimes we need certain things around us.

  19. Thank you for sharing one of your spoons with us week after week Rita, and for the lovely comments (an other spoon) you leave me and the girls.

    I find it hard to ask for help (must be the Norwegian or Irish in my blood) seems I am still the "go to" person in the family, and getting older really doesn't help. Some days I really do not have enough spoons and I know I have many, many more than you. Take care of yourself and be bitchy if you need to be, family usually understands because love gets in the way of not understanding.

  20. Have to say glad you got the photos of Ian uploaded as they are so bloody great he is such a cutie.

  21. Happy 1st Birthday to Ian!!! They grow up so fast, don't they?! Hard to believe that Mikayla will be five this year. Ian looks to be loving his birthday cake. :D

    We're all allowed to be a little bitchy now and then because nobody is perfect. It's lovely that you wrote an apology email but I doubt they felt it was needed considering their response to your apology. I do get what you mean though as I'd have probably done the same thing. It's nice that close family understand those down days. xx

    Wonderful that you are donating the bird cages to a bird rescue group. They will surely appreciate them.

    It looks like progress is coming along nicely with the garage organising.

    Now, I'm off to read about spoons. ;)

    Love and hugs xo

  22. Happy Birthday wishes to the little one. Great photos and best wishes always!

  23. I'm late doing the T round, being on the road with little wifi access. Charming little Ian, happy birthday to him! And I didn't read your entire long post in detail (16 minutes left of my connection) but "stoic Swedish blood"? I'm a Swede, and we cry all the time. It is allowed and encouraged, at least among those who didn't do the journey over. It is good to embrace one's grief and sorrow. Happy belated T-Day!

  24. Ian is adorable and Karma is a lady. Love your photos!Your garage is wonderful! Happy belated T-Day!

  25. That's a difficult step to let go of things that you no longer need or can use...especially when they represent what you used to be able to do. I remember when I sold my massage table. I had great hopes of having a successful business with massage, aromatherapy, and reflexology. In this rural area, though, there's not a huge market for it. Combined with degenerative disk disease and arthritis, I realized it was time to let it go and create space for other things in my life.

    The Swedish stoic nature you have and the German background that I have that likewise encourages you to forge ahead despite emotionally challenges does catch up with you at some point. That's good that you are taking time for grieving and loss - you are going through a lot of changes and have had significant loss with your dad this year. Take good care of yourself, Rita!


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