Monday, December 28, 2020

December 28, 2020 Monday-2:30pm New Year's Goals for 2021

Definitely afternoon!

But that's okay.  :)  

With the holidays, I almost forgot it was Monday--LOL!   Well, here I am.  By the time I post again it will be 2021.  I don't make resolutions but I do make goals.  In 2021 I plan to be spending a lot more creative time...with art journaling, card making, and calligraphy.  I plan to find a way to add gentle exercise into my life.  Those are the two main goals.  But--over and above that--I need to change my inner landscape.  

Leah even wrote me a letter (to try to get through to me) basically telling me how I shouldn't push myself till I get sick (when I got the bad sinus attack).  That she wants to help with cards--would even have finished them by herself--happy just with my company while she works.  (I am tearing up just writing that--no one wants to be a burden or not pull their weight, you know?)

So, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I have been fighting all my health issues...especially since becoming officially disabled in 2004.  Remembering how easily I did things in my before I used to feel energetic and could accomplish so I loved jobs where I was juggling ten things at once and had an excellent memory.  Well, I need to accept that I can't get any more done than I do.  But instead of clumping too much in a cluster on a good day and then getting nothing done for days I should learn how to spread it out more.  Be more patient with myself.  

It's been this constant internal battle...a juggling of the few spoons...endless priority lists that shift from day to day or even hour to hour...a nagging grey guilt on my bad days and guilt that I can't get more done on my good days.  I am causing my own stress.  Thinking things might get better...the optimist in me...hasn't wanted to let go of some parts of me I cling to in those nooks and crannies.  Like the mountain bike hanging in my garage I haven't be able to ride for almost 20 years.

I think it's because I used to be a regular energizer bunny that would go-go-go till I collapsed for a that's what I was used to.  I was probably a type A, I suppose, with OCD tendencies.  Looking back, my entire life I pushed till I dropped.  I have always seemed to have two speeds--full and dead stop.  And many periods of time I had to keep pushing even after I wanted and truly needed to drop (hence mono in 1999).  You do what you have to do.  Work, jobs, family...sick boy...sometimes sick just kept going, you know?  Keeping a roof over your head and food on the table and paying the bills...hand to mouth, as they say.  

I did it...and truly loved almost all of it.  When my body gave out on mind was still the same.  If I couldn't do, I could plan to do, right?  

I have been collecting art and craft supplies since I was in high school.  I am the dabbler who never had much time, took classes here and there, and always said that one day I hoped I would have the time to really play and use the supplies I was collecting.  

Be careful what you ask for, eh?  

I have had the time since 2004...but not the physical ability or stamina.  And that has been frustrating this old, broken energizer bunny for 16 years.  

Inside I am still the person who could assembly-line 100 cards over a weekend...even if I was up till 3 or 4 in the morning for a couple of nights--LOL!  Who when I moved could have my entire apartment completely scrubbed down, everything unpacked, hung, and put in a new proper place within a week--sometimes a matter of 2-3 days.  I had moved over 30 times before I came up here to Fargo/Moorhead in 1999--only twice since then and each move wiped me out for months and months!  I needed help to unpack!  Me!  Energizer bunny me.  :(

Yes, I have adjusted...learned by trial and pushy, determined error what I can and can't do pretty much.  Fibro is a fickle and unpredictable ruler...who also moves in with a lot of unpleasant baggage.  Plus there's a whole choir of other health issues always singing along in the background--and occasionally stepping forward for some solo time.  Yes, I have been in pretty good spirits all these years, am grateful for so much in my life, and do think I have handled it pretty well in general.  But down in the nooks and crannies of my being--I have been fighting myself.  Doing battle with my bossy body. 

 I. Need. To. Stop.  

I need to end the internal battle.  Not because I can't win...but because acceptance is how I will truly win.

For example...I am using up leftover birthday cards for 2021.  Not scrambling to finish a new set right now--plus worrying about the Wanderlust bonus classes...and driving myself crazy--ROFL!  And now I have an entire year to make a set of birthday cards.  (In fact, I have enough leftovers that I could go another year--LOL!)

  I truly have been relaxing over the years about a lot of things that used to drive me bonkers...but I never made it a priority...with joy.  It felt like I was forced against my will into slowing down, you know?  

Well, I was.

So, my focus for 2021 is to avoid as kind to myself as I try to be to others.  To accept that I am physically not the person I used to be.  To find more ways to avoid stressing my own silly self out--hehe!  And that includes being creative and adding exercise.

For another example--I found a solution to the bonus classes stress of maybe losing them in a few days.  I spent a couple of days this past week going through the 24 advent prompts and taking detailed notes so now I can do those any time.  They are not going to be lost to me.  (I really want to do those first of all the bonus stuff!)  Then I went through all the bonus class materials and downloaded everything I possibly could.  Which ended up being almost all of it--tada!  So--all that pressure--that stress--is gone!  Sweet!

Sitting stuff is easier for me to do so I also set up the leftover birthday cards for 2021--all addressed and chronologically sorted.  [I do this every December--and can add anybody who'd like a handmade card at any time--just let me know.  I do love to send cards and write letters--even if I may not be the fastest pen pal--LOL!]  Was way faster this year when I didn't have to make new ones in December--LOL!  Kind of fun going through the old ones, too, to be honest.

I had some super plain thank you cards that were kind of half done because normally I would have had to add something else to them...well, I just used them as is.  Finished all of those yesterday so they'd go out in the mail today--tada!  Really boring cards, but it's the words that count, right?

I had Leah over the week before for Craft Nite and then I went to visit McFamily every other day a couple days later--three out of five days.  (Tuesday we taught the boys how to play Chutes & Ladders.)  So I was totally shot but content over Christmas and, honestly, didn't even get dressed--LOL!  Just hung out with Annie and watched It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story like I do every year.  I had a video call on Christmas Day with McFamily.  The boys were all wound up!  Ian had gotten a magic kit and showed me all his tricks.  Liam was laughing and tossing these soft rings from a game all over Mama--over and over and over as three year olds will do.  Was a sweet, noisy visit--LOL!

Finally connected with my mom yesterday.  Over Christmas her cell phone was going directly to voice mail (which she doesn't know how to use).  I guess my brother got special permission to enter the building to fix her phone.  She had forgotten that fact for ten minutes when I called and didn't remember what was wrong with the phone (dead battery--who knows?)--but did remember she didn't get calls over Christmas, of course.  She's getting quite forgetful.  She can't do a lot for herself anymore from the sounds of it.  I told her over and over why she didn't get calls over Christmas--so hopefully she'll remember.  She still sounded in pretty darn good spirits, considering.  I think she actually really enjoys having the various people coming and going day and night in her apartment (hospice).  That's a good thing for a social butterfly, I guess.  (Would drive me crazy!)

Okay--I do have a few pictures--never fear--LOL!

The lentil soup concoction I put together turned out quite good.

Not much snow to speak of over Christmas...
...despite having a blizzard.
The wind blew so hard that all the snow was down between the brown blades of grass--LOL!
Leah dropped off some food for me (including home-made caramels!) during the blizzard so she parked in the parking lot for that building across the way so she could cross over right to my patio.  You could still see her footprints in the morning!
So--a semi-white Christmas?
Back in July Ian and Liam sat with me to read a book.  It was such a rare occasion for Liam that Leah grabbed the camera.  I asked for them a couple times, but she hasn't remembered to send me those pictures...and then I forget to ask again.  We both forget anything we don't write down--LOL!

Anyways, she has my Smart TV set up to family pictures rotating when it's on and I'm not watching anything.  I saw this one come on and grabbed my cell phone to catch a photo before it was gone.
I need to ask her again to send me those.  It was a fleeting moment and Liam wouldn't come near me again for a few months--LOL!  I love these pictures!
Blogger is doing some format shifting while I am trying to write this.  Moody ol' thing.
Annie cracks me up.  Cats always seem to like to get water someplace other than their water dishes any time they can.  Whenever I go to refill my new humidifier, Annie runs over and drinks out of the bottom area where the water sits.  
This humidifier just works by a fan and sitting water.  But it does a pretty good job...if I remember to fill it.
We finally got more snow!  
Woke up yesterday to this.
We didn't have a very white Christmas...
...but I'll take a white New Years!  :)
Supposed to have 100% chance of snow tomorrow and Wednesday!
Granted, it is much easier to love the snow when you don't have to shovel it!  But--truth--I loved it back when I did have to deal with it...and could.  Back in my before time.  ;)  
So, that's it for this week, I think.
Oh, yes!  Forgot to say--Supernatural did have a satisfying ending, in my opinion.  ;)
It's quarter to five and almost dark already.  At least I didn't forget it was Monday--LOL!  Happy New Year to you and yours.  I am actually feeling positive about 2021.  Slow shifts for the better, I think.  By this time next year things should look quite a bit different.  I have hope and optimism again.  Thought I lost it for a while there.  ;)  
I guess kindness even works on yourself.  :)
Love and hugs!
Stay safe and well.
"A true smile is one that crinkles the eyes, tempers the heart, and unfurls the soul."
Fabiana Fondevila

Monday, December 21, 2020

December 21, 2020 Monday--noon

Good afternoon!!

What a week!  Busiest I've had in a long time now that our quarantine times were finally up.  Getting my visiting in while I can.  :)

Leah came over on Tuesday night--earlier than usual and stayed till 1am!  Got the bullet pages all printed off, cut in half, and punched!

Last year I used the TUL journal with the solid rings (different punch).
I may not have had as much going on in 2020 so the bullet looks a bit sparse, but I would be lost without it.  
Still keeps me organized.
This year I am using this refillable journal.
Different punch needed for the six rings.  Leah figured out how to set it because I was lost--LOL!  So far, I did get all the blank pages collated for 2021 this week.
Now I just have to start filling them in.  At least get January filled in.  Man!  That is coming fast!
Leah put up the new lights around the patio door for me.  98 feet for really cheap (actually bought them last winter) so they went almost five times back and forth!  

Really nice and bright.  But they don't twinkle--even if they said so.  They all flash rapidly--awk!  I like them just fine without the twinkle, though.  Realized how much I have missed all that color!  I've had half a strand working across the top since last Christmas.  Seemed fitting, I suppose, for 2020--LOL!  Now I have pretty lights again for 2021.  ;)
Ended up my extra spoons didn't go to any art again this week.  Didn't have as many, more recuperation time, and needed to make food--LOL!  But I had a wonderful reason.  Having our early Christmas on Friday was easier than Sunday for Leah (dinner and all)--so I went over for the day on Friday.  These boys were waiting for me... their red Christmas pajamas.  :)
Liam is chatting with me more and more.
Ian was getting the table cleaned off before dinner.
There was playing and watching Daddy play Zelda for a while in the afternoon.  (Zelda doesn't look anything like it did when Dagan was little!)
After dinner the boys got to open Gramma's presents.

Ian was playing pirate with his homemade eye patch for a little bit in case you're wondering--LOL!

They love to help Mama and Daddy in the kitchen.
Now they have their own matching aprons.
Then we started to open the games that I gave to the both of them.
You may notice there were still unopened presents on the table--LOL!
As soon as one was opened Ian wanted to learn how to play it.  So I showed him how to play Connect Four (travel version out of wood).
Meanwhile, Daddy helped Liam open up Parcheesi.  Liam tossed the dice a few times.
They opened up Sorry and the Chutes and Ladders...but we actually took out Candyland (they already own) so that Liam could play more easily.
And we could play a real game together.
I combined some of Leah's photos with mine.  
Now the rest of these are Leah's.
I love the candid shots.
Boys being silly by Mama and Daddy's walk-in closet.
This was a big important project.
Wrote letters to Santa this year...since they couldn't go see him at the mall.
Liam dictated his (so funny).  Ian wrote his with a little help.
You probably have to click on these to enlarge them to be able to read them if you're interested.
The post office is doing this, I guess.  You send them in to Santa at the North Pole and Santa sends a letter back.  (Which was Leah being Santa on the back side so they can always be kept together.)
I didn't know Ian wants to learn magic tricks.  He added lots of hearts and a picture of a snowman's head.

Liam wants a train (but also added some really cute stuff).

This should be pretty exciting for the boys to get.
But I wonder if they will get them before Christmas??
They helped a lot decorating cookies.
I think that is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen--LOL!
Since I had previously planned on coming over on Sunday for early Christmas...
...I spent most of the day visiting on Sunday, too!  Just a low key visit to hang out.
Dagan was watching football, the boys were playing, and I started playing solitaire on my phone.
Ian noticed and wanted to know what I was doing... thing I was teaching him how to play solitaire...and then Liam came to watch, too.  We played sorting games, matching games, and wooden puzzle games.  They have so many ads to wade through--and kept "advertising" this silly game where you had to squirt frosting out of a unicorns butt.  It made the boys giggle so much I finally put it on the phone and they got to take turns with the unicorn...a duck quirking out bubbles, and just a tube squirting out ketchup.  You collected keys and they got to open treasure chests, etc.  We wasted most of the afternoon playing games on the cell phone.  Ended up I had Liam laying his head on my shoulder and Ian on the other side most of the time. 
BUT--I got rid of that game as soon as it was time for dinner.  It was three free days and after that something like $7.99 a week!!!  Really dumb, silly game that the boys exhausted themselves laughing.
We had dinner, Liam went to bed, Ian got to watch Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time--the old one with Burl Ives as the snowman.  Gramma was home by 9pm...and slept 10 hours last night--ROFL!
And, believe it or not, I'm going back again tomorrow!!  Because after that McFamily will be visiting with her sister and family...and that will be another 2-week quarantine after their visiting is done.  (They both teach and their boys go to day care and school--so they've been quarantining so they can have Christmas with McFamily.)  So I am getting about as much visiting as I can handle while I can!  :)
Today--I still need to make some soup (chicken/bok choy), but that's about all the spoons I have for today after blogging...and I'll have to work up to making the soup--LOL!  Tired and sore but very happy.  My time with McFamily is very precious to me...especially these days.
I'll leave you with a little video I made of two partridge coveys squabbling over the seed on my patio.  Always makes me laugh.  I hope this new way of adding a video works for me again.
Until next time--Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it.  Best to everyone.  I am so hopeful for a better year to come.  :) :)
"What do happy people have in common?
They appreciate what they have."
Chris Woodman

Monday, December 14, 2020

December 14, 2020 Monday--1pm

Good afternoon!
This group of five partridges is actually here right now as I am starting our chat. 
I think I have two smaller coveys and one really large one that come every day.
Been so cold I am very happy to help them out.  Was supposed to get down to 5 F last night (-15 C).  But it probably was even colder because that is what the temperature is right now this afternoon.
Leah and I had our video call Tuesday night and then she made a couple of drop offs at my patio door, too, last week.   On Wednesday she dropped off some stuff she ordered for me (and for them, too) for gut health.  ION is the name of it.  Got the drops and the nasal spray.
Supposed to help get your gut microbiome (?) back to normal.  Since Dr. Kessler said that was my priority issue to deal with we've done more research on gut health and leaky gut syndrome...and this could help.  Says to start out slow and I haven't had any issues with it yet.  Nice!  Fingers crossed.  I am willing to try just about anything.  Been a long year and a half with the new and different health issues added to my pain and exhaustion cocktail--LOL!  
Leah also dropped off bird seed from Fleet Farm and some CashWise groceries on Thursday.  I met her in the garage where she piled the bird seed for me.  She said that the difference between getting a 40# bag or two 20# bags was only a dollar and something so she got me 20# bags.  They should be so much easier for me to haul inside and get into the bird seed bin--whoohoo!!  She is always thinking of things to help me out.  Is it any wonder she is so dear to me.  :) :)
I worked on Christmas cards/letters all week long...every day.  Finally finished up yesterday and walked the rest of them down to go out in the mail today.  I can't believe I actually got them out by the middle of December--whoohoo!  That's my normal deadline.  Shock!  :)
Meanwhile...I have limited time to do the free bonus mini-classes for Wanderlust so I decided to go through all of them and watch the videos so I could prioritize which ones I want to be sure and get to by the end of the month.  (Bonus classes aren't all available to download and keep like the Wanderlust classes in 2021.)  
So, on breaks from Christmas cards, I was going through the bonus classes.  There were a few that were just a coupon code for money off of an online class or classes offered by that particular teacher apart from Wanderlust.  (I splurged enough on Wanderlust for next year, so no money for that.)  Then there was about half a dozen who had free printables for collage papers.  Since I don't really have "collage" papers I took advantage of those feebies!  After that there were 11 or 12 actual classes for free.  Most were one or two short videos, but maybe 3 of them were long full classes with many videos.  So, I know which ones I want to try to get to now and am organized.
I plan to do all the bonus classes in the square Fabriano journal I did the first and only class in--LOL!
It's an interesting art journal with different shades of paper inside.
My one class so far was the mandala.
Now that I am done with Christmas cards and I have decided to use up leftover birthday cards for 2021...I am free to start on Wanderlust finally!!  That's where my spoons will be going.  ;)
But what is so funny...
I totally forgot I had also signed up for the free advent calendar prompts by the lady who runs Wanderlust.  I would have remembered if I was getting an email with a link every day.  Turns out it was one link to get to all 24 prompts!  (Talk about being behind--LOL!)
So I started watching these short videos to get an idea what was involved.  Lo and behold--these sound just perfect for me to start with!  They are supposed to be done in a very small art journal--preferably one you made yourself.  They're specific prompts; supposed to take a short amount of time; you are to try to be loose and fast; and supposed to gather up supplies to keep in a container of some kind to have at hand every day.
Well, I haven't done any mixed media (or art in general, for that matter) for years!  The blank page is super intimidating right now.  And I actually have a small watercolor journal that I made eons ago.
One of the first journals I made when learning bookbinding...
...that felt too "precious" to use, you know?
So, I decided that it was about time I use this little journal.
Plus the heavy watercolor paper will hold up easily for collage, too.
Step one: gather up supplies in a container.  
That won't take long, right?
Three hours later...
...I finally had jammed full this tote with a handle.
I couldn't fit any paints in there--just gesso--but everything is close at hand for me in the studio.  I was mostly just trying to find all the tools!
Leah was busy with babies when I moved here and I was pretty well shot for a long time after the move.  We have said we were going to eventually go through everything in the studio and hallway bookcases to organize and label things.  Well, we are dedicated procrastinators--lol!  
So...I had this supply list...tissue paper--where the heck is my tissue paper?  Glue brushes--where would they be hiding?  This went on and on.  Was actually kind of fun because I had forgotten some supplies I had and it felt like an early Christmas!
But got so tired and hurtin' that I finally had to just quit searching.  I did find tissue paper in a couple scrap satchels that could be used for I just cleared some space and drug them in from the hallways bookcases.
Obviously, I will have to change some things around in order to be ready for an entire year of mixed media.  At least this was a start.
Anyways, that's how my week went.  All the Christmas cards are in the mail.  [I already have half a dozen new letters to answer from people I already mailed cards to--LOL!  At least they are not time sensitive.]  
The covey of eight is here right now.  I got this picture last week of the one with 14.
They all stand up if they see me inside or someone coming down the sidewalk.
I froze so they would stay and eat.
But then they took off because of a lady walking her dog.
They do come back regularly, of course.  I think each covey comes by many times a day when it gets cold like this.
We had a little bit of snow yesterday.
Barely a dusting.
I'm hoping for a good amount before Christmas!
For the partridges, too.  They stay warm by digging down and huddling in the snow.  Got to be a lot colder for them with no snow cover.
Okay--so this week.  Leah is planning on coming over for a craft night tomorrow night!!  She's going to help me print off and punch all the pages for my 2021 bullet journal.  (You may recall she made up the pages for me for my 2020 bullet--and I have loved them!)  Then she will teach me how to store all the classes I will be downloading for Wanderlust--in the cloud--One Drive?  And finally--most of my colored twinkling lights I have (all year) around the patio door are burned out and I bought some new ones.  Leah is better at climbing around and doing that kind of thing--and she'd rather I didn't try, honestly.  So we will have a lot to do and I can hardly wait.
We are also planning on an early Christmas on Sunday the 20th!  I will go over to spend the day--and the boys can open their presents.  Really excited about that.  Haven't seen them for a long time.  
So, I hope all goes well and both those things can happen.  My head isn't AS plugged up as it was.  Seems to have moved into the chronic but less annoying phase.  Today I'm doing laundry and, hopefully, some cooking/baking.
Oh, the end of that mini-series, Reckoning, was disappointing.  The acting was really good and all of that but it left you hanging.  Which would be fine if it was season one...but it said it was a mini-series.  I don't like being left hanging in the way they ended this one.  Being left hanging can be satisfying sometimes, but this definitely wasn't.
I am currently watching the final season of Supernatural on Netflix streaming.  I have avoided hearing anything about how it ends--so don't tell me anything!  Had to first re-watch the first half that I already saw, of course.  (They always split their seasons for some reason.)  Fifteen years.  I don't want it to end.  
Well, I hope to have and be company this week...and to start on the art journaling!  Eight partridges and about 30 sparrows are here at the moment.  Yup--birds are here from dawn to dusk when it is freezing outside...and I am tickled to have smaller bags to haul from the garage thanks to Leah.  :)
Time to move the clothes into the dryer.  
It is almost Christmas!  
As I seem to say to everybody all the time this past year--stay safe and well.  Till next week...I am grateful for all of your company.  Best wishes!  :) :)
"Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.  Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."
Dr. Albert Schweitzer