Sunday, October 31, 2021

I'm Okay

Not working in the daycare kitchen created a strange surprise yesterday. I was walking through the store when I came upon a Campbell's Soup display. There on the shelf was the elusive Campbell's Chicken Gumbo Soup. My mom had a recipe for making Sloppy Joe's with just the thing, so I bought two cans of soup, a package of hamburger rolls, and a couple pounds of ground beef. Maybe this cooking break at work will work to Hannah's advantage.

I woke up feeling ill this morning. Headache. Queasy stomach. (Probably from the headache.) I went downstairs for a cup of tea and something to tame the headache, listened to church online, and went back to sleep for half an hour or so. When I next awoke the headache had dissipated and I found functioning possible.

My car goes into the shop Tuesday. I'm borrowing a car from my cousin for the next couple of days and hoping my own will be back to feeling like herself again soon. *fingers crossed

I took my cousin's car for a ride down to the lake this afternoon so that I wouldn't be driving it for the first time tomorrow morning. Our glass hunting sandbar is pretty much gone. The rains from last week's nor'easter washed it out into the lake and opened the creek to brown trout, steelheads, and salmon. Good for both fish (maybe) and fishermen. I snagged a few pieces of glass from what used to be the sandbar and snapped a few pictures. 

Down toward the road and on the opposite side of the creek from the parking lot I found a woman fishing. "I know you," she said, and I answered, "You do?" She asked if I used to homeschool and then told me her kid's names. Nothing was familiar at all except her eyes and her voice. "What's your name?" I asked her, and that was when I knew that we didn't know each other from homeschooling at all. It was CoDA. We chatted for a bit, then she went back to her fishing and I went to Target.

It's Halloween night. When I was a little girl the streets of this small neighborhood were filled the costumed children, but in recent years the crowd has been pretty thin. Even so I bought a couple bags of candy this afternoon, just in case. It's 6:20pm and I've had three children come by so far. I'm here by myself so it's kind of nice having a little company, even if they don't stay more than 20 seconds. 

Oh, yeah. Yesterday afternoon I cleaned off my shelf at the pottery studio. I'm just throwing money away (or making a huge donation) by keeping it. I never go outside of taking a class, so there's really no reason to keep it. I'm feeling a peace about it this time that I didn't have at the beginning of the year. I still love playing in the mud, but I'm thinking it's going to go in a new direction. Stay tuned to find out, along with me, what that means.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Some Days I'm Okay

Some days I am fabulous. Some days I am okay. And some days I am neither fabulous nor okay. And that is okay.

I started the day fine, fabulous even, but this evening I am finishing up a tad less than okay. Twelve days behind me and I am itching like crazy. Perhaps there is an unknown requirement to have scratched absolutely every place on my body before the torture has passed. This evening I remarked how my arm pits hadn't been itchy yet... Well, we can check that off now too. I'm drinking Nettle Leaf Tea in the hope that it will relieve some of the discomfort. I slept last night without taking anything else. Of course I scratched vigorously during the night, but I slept too.

My car is unhappy. Tired and sluggish. I need to take her into the shop again... She doesn't like climbing hills or switching into the higher gear. I fear the mechanic's diagnosis and I haven't even called him yet. *sigh*

The back half of the garage roof is leaking. There was a discussion about roofing it when we did the rest of the house but it was thought unnecessary. Where do I find someone to roof half a garage? I can't even find someone to change out a sliding glass door... And how do I pay for it when I need to fix my car?

I am perfectly happy being single. Most of the time. This year has found me the most settled. It's been a really good year. Even with everything good and wonderful, the ache inside still surfaces and the wounds still bleed. Some days I still can't believe I actually moved out of the house I loved so much and away from the farm that was my home, that I left behind the boy I'd married, the father of our children and the man I loved in spite of the abuse...

One of Mom's favorite sayings was "God hates divorce." It was drilled into my heart and soul, deep into my very being. She never bothered to tell me that God hated abuse even more, or that abuse wasn't always broken bones and visible bruises. I saw mean, cruel, confusing, and even volatile. I saw a man who mistreated our children in order to control me, but nobody I asked for help saw. They saw a wife who needed to submit more, and pray more. They saw a husband who was being "undermined," not a family in peril. And my mom? Well there were some things she did try to tell me... "I always knew he was a predator type..." she'd said, and I thought she was referring to me as the prey. I didn't understand what she was saying and I held the telephone away from my ear... In the end I had to draw a line and it almost killed me in the process. On the outside I tried to smile, but on the inside I was a broken mess. 

There are still days I ache but the days of hope now far outnumber the achy, bleeding days. In another week or two the intense itching should dissipate and disappear, and I'll be free of my dependence on antihistamines. In the morning I'll call the mechanic and see if he has any advice. Eventually I'll find someone to help me slap some shingles on the back half of the garage. And, I'm going to keep loving the life I have, the one full of babies and little people, fantastic and inexpensive vacations, and little trips to the lake or woods with my camera. It's really a wonderful life.

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Weekend

 It was a nice weekend. We celebrated Idris's birthday (which is really the 27th) with a party on Saturday afternoon. I made pizza for the guests and Hannah put together a fabulous cupcake shark. It was cold outside so we had a full house. I love that this child gets birthday songs in both English and Spanish. I also loved that he seemed to appreciate it more himself this year. (It was actually Bethany's birthday, but she was willing to share with her little nephew, and we sang the birthday song for both.)

Yesterday morning I met my friend Gail out in Sodus Point for one more walk along the shore. The sun was out and we collected a few bits of glass along the seaweed strewn sand and stones. When we got hungry, we drove down Lake Rd to Burnap's Farm Market for lunch. Theirs is a seasonal market and so they'll be closing down soon for the winter.

A bit farther down Lake Rd I turned off into the orchard and drove all the way through to Shepherd Rd where our farm sat like an old friend who looks mostly the same but has dyed her hair and wears an unrecognizable garment. I looked enough to see that Jon has cut down the apple trees on the property he owns and put up a fence. Kudos to him for facing down the farmer. Other than that I couldn't look much and found later that I hardly remembered the drive from there all the way back to Webster. It still aches but the memories of home are sweet.

I am okay. Both inside and outside. I can make healthy choices, like going off medication that causes terrible itching (I scratched all day Saturday) and breaking a date with an old friend (I was invited by the father of the groom to a wedding) when I see that his choices aren't healthy for me or my family. God is still here with me, fighting for me, leading me, gathering me close when I start to wander, and always, always loving me. I am forever blessed.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Bits and Pieces

 * Zyrtec withdrawal is going well. I still get itchy but every day is getting better. I've taken both Benadry and NyQuil throughout the week (Yes, I do know they contain antihistamines.) to help me sleep at night. They don't have the same intense itching withdrawal symptoms and I feel confident that I won't become addicted to either one. I honestly only wanted to get through my first week without the Zyrtec and will try sleeping the weekend without either one. I'm no longer wanting to scratch myself down to the bone, so something good must be happening.

* I spent the entire week with babies, anywhere from 3 to 4 of them. On Tuesday I had a clingy 14 month old who eventually spiked a fever. She is such a sweet little thing. I already knew early on that she wasn't feeling well, and since we've had both RSV and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease going through the daycare, I was fairly confident something was cooking. Her daddy came to get her not too very much into the afternoon. The rest of the week has been spent with Very Littles, anywhere from 6 months down to 3. It's been a busy week full of bottles, diaper changes, and cuddles.

* Last night a few of my own grandchildren were here. I got to snuggle the mermaid and she went to sleep in my arms. *sigh* Number 12 (Logan) and I played catch with a stuffed dolphin while his brothers and Idris bounced off the ceiling and walls. Ha ha! I went from my work daycare home to another. What a fabulous day!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Magically Delicious

I am beginning the grand, new adventure of quitting Zyrtec and let me tell you, this is going to be agonizing. Not only do I have seasonal allergies, but I deal with terrible itching, which is why I have taken antihistamines long term. Every time I forget a day, I begin to experience intense itching. I could scratch myself raw. I have been 

known, in the past, to wake up vigorously scratching my feet, ankles or legs. I've had lines and patches of hives left from my fingernails. Just rubbing up against something can get the itching started, something as simple as removing a piece of clothing. 

Last week I discovered that intense itching is a symptom of withdrawal. I was itching because I was taking the medicine! Oh, boy... It's been two days and it could be three weeks. I tried tapering off the medication a bit last week but even so I am driving myself crazy with the scratching and there is not a part of my being that can't join in the party. (I took a Benadryl this evening in the hope that I'll be able to sleep.)

In other news, better news, my people and I took a trip back to Mendon Ponds this afternoon. Number Nine had several little birds take a seed from his hand and was thoroughly delighted!

 I love watching to look the of wonder and sheer delight come over the faces of my kids and grandchildren when a chickadee lands on their finger. Even Killian found it amusing.

I had needed a walk in the woods and this outing was absolutely perfect.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Disappearing Act

 I haven't written a post in weeks, partly because I've been tired, busy and distracted, and partly because it can be hard to put my thoughts into something congruent and understandable. Mostly, by the time I come upstairs to my computer I'm tired and not able to express anything I want to pass on. The sad piece is that I'm no longer keeping much of a journal at all.

* The first weekend of October, my friend Gail and I went to a Sea Glass Festival in Ship Bottom, New Jersey. 

The weather was absolutely fantastic and I fell in love with the ocean all over again in a new way. While home packing for the trip, I took my bathing suit out of the drawer and then chided myself. "Martha, it's October. You don't need your bathing suit." Oh, silly me! Thankfully, I am well practiced in getting my feet and pant legs wet while down at the lake. The ocean waves and surf were glorious!!! By the time we left the beach I was wet all the way up to my backside. (I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of my vacations this year!)

* Things have been switched up at work. We have a plethora of babies and so I have been transferred from kitchen duty to the baby room where I am in charge of four babies who are 3, 4, 5,and 6 months old. All girls. (That's my mermaid granddaughter in the picture.) Most of the babies are pretty easy going, but there's a feisty little character in the mix who keeps me hopping. I'm still hopping on the days she isn't there, but when she is, I hop faster. Ha ha! They are a sweet little bunch and all enjoy a long, close snuggle here and there. The worst part of the job, aside from being trapped in a back corner and forgotten, is that I miss all my other little friends who are taking their naps when I go on my lunch break. I snatch every moment or two I can to smile, wave, or give them a hug.

* I'm in the middle of another wheel thrown pottery class. This time  Dan (who is my chiropractor, and I haven't been there in weeks...) is in the class along with Katie, one of his receptionists. I had to laugh when Tuesday night he made a suggestion and she said, "You're not the boss of me." I'm failing at the wheel this time around. It feels like my heart just isn't in it anymore and I'm about ready to give up the shelf I rent and never use. The money would be better spent on my Friday night ventures to do pottery with my cousins. I thought I might have a change of heart after this class, but it hasn't happened so far...

* It's a rainy weekend. I'm inside all week long so when the weekend weather is nice I don't stay in. Dark clouds, wet ground, and a constant drizzle make it easier to stay home. I might even sort through some of my room. Maybe.