Thoughtful Thursday – Good Enough Days

photo from pixabay

How are you on this cool autumn morning? Are you gazing at your perfectly pegged fresh laundered linens wafting in the gentle breeze while putting the final touches on that handmade card for next month’s birthdays? Will you be settling down to a breakfast table, prettily laid for one and savor a slice of homemade quiche with a dollop of Summer tomato chutney, followed by a perfectly frothed cappuccino? Yeah, me neither.

For while I have known those perfect days, and I will know them again, today is not that day. Today is a drinking bagged black tea brewed in a giant Halloween mug while scarfing down a bowl of raisin bran day. And that’s OK. Today is a low-spoons day, when I do the bare minimum to see us through the week ahead. To make sure we have clean clothes to wear, enough food to feed us and a kitchen floor clean enough to keep my sweet Mommy from rolling over in her grave, or smacking me upside the head in the dream world. Today is not the day I will be making performance art out of brewing coffee or turning my mantle into something worthy of artistic enshrinement.

While I want to live that perfectly decorated, elegantly cottage, shabby chic life twenty-four seven, it’s not something I’m striving for today. All of the frilly, yummy nonsense of cottage living can wait for another day and I can let everything be enough. Today, I’ll take care of myself. I shall relax and let the warm sun shine through my streaky windows while I enjoy a cup of instant coffee and a pumpkin biscuit, just because. Because my body and soul need a little nurturing today and the laundry will still be there tomorrow.

Dust if you Must – by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Til next time ~stay trippy hippies ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – a life under construction

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “under construction” and I must admit, I’m not one to take pictures of construction much. It is seldom appropriate to photograph road construction between rants and building construction is generally driven right by without stopping to investigate, so I found myself somewhat stymied, until I realized that, heck, my WHOLE LIFE is under construction, or maybe re-construction, but you get the point.

piece of a hailstone from my living room

On August 27, 2021 a catastrophic hail storm hit Rapid City, SD. For 20 minutes fist sized hail stones pummeled our lives. The financial loss was significant but paled in comparison to loss of our entire way of life. It became clear that we could no longer live full-time RVing and that massive rebuilding was required. So, we repaired what we could, sold what we could, wrote off the rest and started to reconstruct our lives.

Pitching machine under construction in Kunshan, China

We turned the page and began a new adventure. A few years ago “adventure” meant traveling overseas to work with factories while the sporting goods lines we developed were under construction.

Family of Canadian Geese at our lake

These days it’s all about those mundane adventures. Sitting on the deck and watching the goslings grow oh so fast.

Farmers Market Booty

or scoring pirate booty at our local farmer’s market, fresh, beautiful bargains.

Asian Grocery

Or reminiscing about our travels while exploring the Asian Grocery store in our new home town. Ahhh pineapple cake, how I have missed you my old friend.

Fanell Scudder Exhibit

Checking out the art at our local library. Here an exhibit of Fanell Scudder an 83-year-old local resident.

My boys

Of course, there are also family bonds under construction. Here one exhausted wanderer with son and two of the grandsons. For fifteen years they’ve seen me no more than twice a year and yet we take to each other like the geese to water. I do adore my boys.

Moonset

And, as always, I watch the moon.

This post inspired by
Terri’s Sunday Stills – Under Construction
and Marsha’s PPAC # 61

Til next time ~Would you like to have an adventure now or would you like to finish your tea first? ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Dog Days of Summer

from my polyvore collection

The breeze this morning bears a certain something. A phantom caress as I lift my face into it and breathe in the faintest lick of coolness. A sigh comes unbidden at the first hint of Autumn. As nature prepares to run her flame-colored tongue over all this green and fresh, I pause in anticipation; sensing the tingle of excitement the precedes the nuclear explosion of color that is Fall.

I seem to lose a bit of myself in summer, routines go to pot, fatigue runs amok, outing plans are lackadaisical at best and all sense of purpose seems lost in an endless litany of “what’s for dinner?”

The “ber” months may well be the most scrumptious of all, but to get there, I must slog my way through the sticky final vestiges of Summer. Those final dog days that can leave even the most resilient Spoonie exhausted and frumpy. Hair has wilted refusing to do anything other than frizz, shorts and light tee shirts have long since lost their appeal, cosmetics are comprised of nothing more than sunscreen and even a bentonite clay mask cannot restore any semblance of vigor to my lackluster complexion.

And so it is time to rest, to dream, to plan. To re-establish the structure that supports our lives. Time to plan fall outings, and winter holidays; to dig through my recipes for soups and savory muffins. Time to dream of pumpkin spice and contemplate the world over a steaming latte. Time to breathe in and pause in anticipation … Winter is Coming.

Til next time ~ Keep Calm – Fall is coming ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – The Sounds of Summer

I’ve been thinking about Summer quite a lot. Deep summer is a tough time for most Spoonies. Pain and fatigue run roughshod over my days, crushing the heart and soul. Summer is equal parts bitter and sweet, there are farmers markets on cooler mornings, swimming pool for exercise, and I must say I’ve never been so grateful for central air ;-). I can’t change the weather or the heat but I can change the way I react to it. I can choose to let the fatigue wash over me, let myself slow down and breathe in the essence of Summer. I can write and craft and lift my spirits rather than letting maudlin anxiety over things I cannot change control my day. Today I will listen and appreciate the

Sounds of Summer

The discordant buzz of cicadas
as they begin their mating songs

the vibration of wind singing
across the rim of my sun hat

the whine of a distant trimmer
a quantum of electromagnetic flux on the breeze

The sounds of summer
stir heavily through the sultry air

No industrious activity as the world
lies in lethargic somnambulance

Too hot to move
too moist to breathe

Til next time ~drink iced coffee ~JP

Friday Flashback – What I wore way back when

For this week’s Flashback, I went back to my old, pre-wordpress days. This is a collage I made in the old Polyvore app for a 30 day challenge called “What I Wore Today.”

What I wore today Aug. 5 2017

It was a wonderful reminder of where I was in my life at that time, I was between two total knee replacements and resting a lot. My wish for your weekend: may you pause and feel a single moment of utter amazement at the beauty of life.

This post inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Coping with Residual COVID

Bleeding Tooth Mushroom

It has been over a month since COVID-19 descended upon my Castle Serenity. The virus itself was mild and over quickly. But, my lungs didn’t clear fully so it was on to a round of steroids and then, of course, the pursuant oral thrush. ARGHHHH!!! Stupid Covid! Now, I seem to have developed Long-haul COVID. I’m still dealing with fatigue, headaches, cough, loss of sense of smell, brain fog and anxiety. I mean seriously? Anxiety from a virus? What’s up with that like I didn’t have enough anxiety issues?

Now here’s the question, how much of this is long-covid and how much is just my wacky immune disease? How much is just summer weather? I have no idea and frankly it doesn’t matter. I have appointments scheduled discuss the most distressing of the residual effects of brain fog, anxiety and my missing sense of smell with my PCP. In the meantime, I’m using more “lists” for anything I need to remember. Although, by the time I pick up a pen, the thought is already gone. Still if I can get it to the paper I stand a pretty good chance of remembering it. And hopefully, within a few months all will be right again.

That’s it for this rant til next time remember:
The grass is always greener over the septic tank ~Erma Bombeck
~Peace ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Thoughts on TAA and a July Meditation

photo from Pixabay

So I have spent the past six days in Prednisone purgatory. Yesterday, a really icky weather pattern moved into our area which has, naturally, led me straight into the first level of “weather flare he**.” Yeah, I’m not afraid to say, I’m not up to much right now. I’ll be fine in a day or two or as soon as the weather system settles in. Funny thing, I’m fine with either wet or dry, hot or cold, what sets my little lungs off is the change. The good news is that while I’m struggling to breathe, my peak flows remain solidly in the yellow zone. For non-asthmatic readers, peak flow meters measure how quickly you can exhale, like blowing out a candle. It’s a fair indicator of how constricted your bronchial tubes may be and I use it daily to monitor my asthma. Thunderstorm-Associated Asthma (TAA) is a real thing. I don’t think anybody knows exactly why it happens, but we know it does happen and it can turn dangerous very quickly. I am totally stocked up with every asthma drug known to womankind and I just ride it out. *grumble grumble stupid COVID*

I have caught myself recently focusing on lack. Lack of health, lack of confidence in the economy, lack of a vacation, you get the idea. That must stop RIGHT NOW! I have so many blessings I can’t even begin to count them but sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I use a specific prayer/meditation every month to shift my focus to where I know I should be and (more often than not) out of where I shouldn’t. For your perusal, my July Prayer/Affirmation:

“Great Spirit, I welcome You on this beautiful day.
I reach out to You with a grateful heart and give thanks for all the blessings of my life.
This day, help me let go of judgments about what is lacking or wrong.
Help me replace these negative thoughts with mindful gratitude that I may remember my vast riches of blessings.
Just for today, let me shine with the light Your presence brings.”

adapted from Pocketful of Miracles by Joan Borysenko, PhD

Til next time ~Namasté my friends ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – July Playlist

As I continue finding fun things to do this summer while NOT spending a lot of money, or going out of the house much *grumble grumble stupid COVID* I’m utilizing my music resources much more effectively than I have in years past and I’m having fun curating my own playlists which I play via a little off-line music player called Musicolet. Here is what I’m listening to for morning motivation for July.

July Playlist

Brighter Than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
Long Time Sun – Snatam Kaur
Colors of the Wind – Judy Kuhn
Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
Our Song – Taylor Swift
I Feel Lucky – Mary Chapin Carpenter
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
What is Life – George Harrison
Summer Wind – Michael Buble
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Sailing – Christopher Cross
Changes in Latitudes – Jimmy Buffet

If you’d like to give the whole thing a listen on Spotify, you can find it here.

Til next time

~May your Mondays be short and your weekends be long
may your memories be sweet, and your coffee be strong ~JP

Coping with Covid day 7 – Final Entry

Over it yet?

Every day I’m feeling more and more like myself. I still have some muscle aches and fatigue, but my breathing is back to acceptable and improving. Brain fog seems to have settled in. It’s not overwhelming but I really have trouble concentrating and my brain does weird stuff. What kind of weird stuff? Sdrawkcab yltcaxe ecnetnes eritne na depyt tsuj I. I just typed an entire sentence exactly backwards. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, it was actually only three words, but it’s weird how often wohs shows up in my writing. I really miss my sense of smell too. None of my remaining symptoms rate any more attention than just continuing the healing process.

In the on-going battle against inflation I’ve noticed that it’s actually not difficult to cut a few corners, especially if you’re in quarantine. wink wink This week we eliminated grocery store trips with the exception of one pick up for basic essentials and lived off our prepper pantry. I’m not really a prepper but that seems to be the current terminology, I used to call it the “squirrel” pantry where I squirreled things away. We also converted a doctor’s appointment to Telemed phone interview. Yeah NOBODY wants us to come in for an office visit ;-).

When I needed to restock office supplies (pens, file folders, note pads) I simply dug through my “office stuff” box, resorted some files, and came up with everything I needed. Saved a trip and the cost of extra supplies, I mean really how many highlighters does one woman really need? While sorting the extra supplies, I located and/or created birthday cards for the July birthdays.

So that’s about it for my experience with the Omicrom variant of COVID-19.

Til next time ~May you coffee be stronger than your brain fog ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 6

Two steps forward, one step back. Yesterday we were able to pickup a grocery order and today we made a quick run for diabetic tussin and cough drops. Superhubs continues to improve and since we stopped the conventional cough syrup, his blood glucose is slowly returning to normal. Weird thing about LADA diabetes, any time he gets sick, his number shoot up, but our diabetes specialist assures us that is normal.

Today, my cough is worse, deep wracking spasms that leave me gasping for breath, my throat is raw and my tongue is sore, probably from too many cough drops. Wheezing is worst in the mornings, abating somewhat as the day rolls along. I have added “steaming” to my morning self-care regimen. Simply a large bowl with steaming water, a drop of eucalyptus, tent a towel over my head and breathe it in. Funny thing, I can’t smell the eucalyptus but I can feel the cooling effect on my airways.

All in all, I can’t really complain, I am functioning very well. I’ve had common “colds” that were worse. These symptoms are annoying and heaven knows I am tired of being tired, but I’ve apparently got a very mild version and I’m grateful for that. If you’ve had the “bad” version, I extend my sincere sympathies.

Til next time ~Stay Safe ~JP