Bind Your Tears

My brother once again aims for the nail and hammers it with one swing!

commonsensiblyspeaking



~~~

Do not cry for me, dear friend

Let not sorrow rule the day

Life chimes, now at its end

And my body has gone away

~~~

I travel now, a different path

In a world you cannot see

Spirit sheds the mortal plane

Soul finally set free

~~~

I have returned to the start

My universal home

And you are there within my heart

As this larger realm I roam

~~~

And I still with you, in everything

In every cloud, each stone and tree

When you need to feel me close

Just look and you’ll find me

~~~

I am thankful for my mortal time

And all the love you made me feel

And though my face seen differently

I am no less me and no less real

~~~

Now, bind your tears with my love

Share my joy that I lived well

I have found my cosmic…

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Why Some people push away the people they love?

This blog post is very intimate in my own life of love.

Readers choice

I’m sorry, I love you, but I have to leave you. You were the right choice, but not my ‘happy’ choice.”—Hallie Mantegna

What?! Did I hear you correctly? If you love me, why are you leaving me? I am definitely missing a piece of this puzzle.

But as it turns out, you may not be missing anything. Sometimes, love and life clash. Usually, this conflict can be traced to one of two issues: (1) Romantic reasons that have to do with the nature of one’s love, and (2) Reasons concerning the flourishing life of the partners.“I love you, but not strongly enough.”

“I love you, but not strongly enough.”

“There is a difference between someone who wants you and someone who would do anything to keep you. Actions speak louder than wishes.”—Unknown

Romantic love is not an all-or-nothing attitude — it comes in different degrees. Some degrees…

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Traveling down Memory Lane

Closer to two than one year(s) ago, I decided it was time to sort out the boxes and boxes – and boxes and boxes – of photos, souvenirs and trinkets that I’ve collected over these many years. I passed on photos that I thought would be more meaningful to the people in them, and I finally said finally goodbyes (with some tears) to objects that reminded me of some previous ‘romantic’ relationships. I admit that I was in a funk for several days after that part of the project, and had to fight myself not to pull things back out of the trash so I could look at or handle them just one more time.

I tried sorting what I had left, which filled up 1-1/2 of the boxes, and began the process of scanning them. I had to purchase a stand-alone scanner. Those of you who already know how technologically challenged I am can imagine how long THAT took to set up and get working! I managed to get through about 10% of the stuff I had saved, and then I lost interest in the project.

New Year’s goals (not resolutions) included getting the rest of these items scanned into my laptop and then onto a thumb drive. I’ve finally recently started back on this project. Of course, I had to learn – all over again – how to connect and use the scanner!

As I write this, I am about 45% through scanning what is left from my past part of the project. I needed some additional sorting, and will continue to sort into ‘categories’ as I scan them, so I’ll know what’s what on the thumb drive. And, many of you probably know that, when you scan a photo, it assigns it some long sequential number, which means going into each photo after it’s scanned and renaming it so it makes sense and can be placed in some kind of proper order. It is a tedious task, but the longer I do more in one sitting, the easier it gets to be to remember the sequences to follow. I now have 5 different categories scanned, renamed and put onto the thumb drive.

Recently, I divided up all of my parental photos – separating out mom alone, dad alone and mom and dad together. At first I was a little surprised to see how few I had of dad alone, but then remembered that he was usually the one behind the camera. I’ve gotten the ones of my mom scanned and renamed so I had some sense of chronological sequence. I also decided to share them on my Facebook page, knowing that family and friends who knew my mom might enjoy seeing them. It was a bit laborious, but it was truly a labor of love. It’s wonderful to look at them all – in chronological order – and get a visual story of my mom. The earliest photo I have of her was from when she was 3 or 4, and I have a few from her growing up, her college graduation, but most of them are from times I remember.

I didn’t experience any kind of emotional feelings – at least none that I became conscious of – during the several hours it took to complete the project. I did experience a sense of satisfaction that I now had those priceless memories on the Internet cloud where they could remain forever. But later that afternoon, I found myself feeling a little bit empty inside. I could have been feeling that way for several reasons (which I could name); I only know that, while I was thrilled to share them on Facebook and received a lot of views and comments, I felt at the same time that, by sharing them that way, I had given away something that, until then, was all mine and significantly special.

And then, to give my brain a break while I was writing this, I looked for a possible photo to use as my feature photo for this post, and stumbled across this:

My attitude suddenly shifted! I realized that, although I had to share the photos with others, the memories from those photos do not belong to those people. And, by posting them as an album on Facebook, I can now travel down memory lane more often that I did all of those years having a mix-n-match pile of photographs in boxes on a high-up shelf in a spare room closet.

It has also been a blessing to have family and friends who knew my mom react with love to her photos. Many of us don’t keep in a lot of contact with each other, and this has helped me feel re-connected to those people.

So, the project will continue, and, I suspect become a little easier during the rest of the process. And I’m starting to be a little bit excited of crossing this project off as completed on my goal list for the year!

That is, of course, until the lack of energy shuts me down again….

United

I’m borrowing the title for this blog post from a yet unreleased original song by the same name. In fact, it is the chorus lyrics in this song that have inspired this post. The song was written, music and lyrics, by an up-and-coming Australian singer/songwriter who was classically trained on the piano for ten years and recently decided to stretch his love of music to all genres. His name is Dom La Ferlita. His originals (all instrumental) are available on Spotify. Recordings of his covers of songs can be found on You Tube. And you’ll find me occasionally sharing his original music here because I feel that other ears need to experience it.

It is almost the 20th anniversary of the events of 9/11 – and anyone who was alive at that time will ne’er forget the events, nor the actions and reactions in the days and months that followed.

And united we were after that fateful day. No division by race, color, gender, sexual preference, political party preference – just Americans who came together to fight against terrorists who sought to take down our great country. If you remember what followed, then you remember that we joined hands, did what we could, didn’t think about refusing to help someone of a different race, etc.

I’ve said more than once, and maybe even in a past blog post here, that seeing our country so truly divided makes me wonder if we need another “kick in the butt” to wake up and realize that we, as the song lyrics say, “all have the same blood in our veins”. It’s actually that line that hit me the last time I heard the song.

If, hypothetically, you needed a blood transfusion to save your life, would you honestly CARE about race, color, sexual or political preference of the donor whose blood you are receiving? If you needed an organ donation and one became available to you, would you turn it down if you knew the donor was of a different race, religion, culture, etc.? HELL, NO! Why then, if you are willing to accept blood or an organ or, in some way, the gift of life without thought to from where it comes, do you otherwise hold people who are ‘different’ than you in some regard as ‘inferior’ or with ‘less value’???

I live every day with a little niggling fear inside me that our country is more susceptible to an outside attack than we were 20 years ago. We are so divided, and we’ve added political division to the list of ways we’ve always been divided. If we don’t figure out – and soon – how to “live and let live”, we have only ourselves to blame for what happens to us and to our country in our future. It took me a long while after the events of 9/11 to feel safe enough again to go back to living life. I don’t know if I have the energy to do that again!

Please, I beg of everyone, it’s time to accept that we are all different in many ways, but we all choose to live our lives in the places where we are, and peace can only be truly found when we learn to co-exist despite those differences! I can’t wait until this song gets released….and you have my promise that I will put a link to it here, and on all of my social media, in the hopes that more people will listen and ask themselves if they need to be more accepting of their fellow human! Remember, first and foremost, we are the HUMAN RACE!

Thoughts?

Superheroes

If I asked you to name a superhero, there is a good chance that your first instinct would be to say “Superman”. Superman first made his appearance in comic books in 1938 and has been actively in our presence through today. There were animated cartoons on Saturday morning when I was a child, and then movies with actors and even a TV series (I adore Dean Cain, so he was my favorite!). Although I don’t know for certain, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that there’s even a video game for gamers today revolving about this superhero.

But, if I asked you to name your superhero, what would your answer be? Would you even have an answer? For many of us as children, “dad” was considered to be the superhero of the family. But not every child had or knew of their dad, through whatever circumstances. A relative or close family friend could have somewhat taken over the role as “dad”, even a stepdad, but that’s not always the same. And sadly, not all dads were superhero material.

I don’t recall ever recognizing that I had a superhero in my life. My dad, who was absent from home so much for work as it was, also did some things during my childhood that made it impossible for me to look at him as any kind of hero. He was smart, intelligent, capable of fixing a lot of broken things, and he paid the bigger share of keeping a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and food in our stomach. But I must have thought even back then, as I do now, that those things are a parent’s responsibility when you choose to raise a child. And, in my case, my dad did actually choose to give me his last name and take the responsibility for my upbringing (no doubt, my mother was quite persuasive in his decision). I know there are parents out there who don’t even provide for their child/children’s basic needs, but doing so is the expected “norm”.

It dawns on me that the word “superhero” in terms of actual people isn’t anything but fantasy. We have our share of heroes – think events of 9/11 or the nurses, doctors and other essential workers who put their lives on the line during this COVID pandemic – but is there a way to differentiate between “hero” and “superhero” for any of those people? Every person who has or is serving in the branches of our armed services literally signs the right to their life away upon taking the oath to be sworn in, and aren’t they all heroes simply for being willing to do so?

Oddly, what I remember most about the Superman I grew up with was his ability to step into a telephone booth as Clark Kent, whirl around in a vortex, and exit as Superman. And don’t you DARE ask what a telephone booth is or I will smite you! Maybe I actually need to see the transformation of an ordinary person into someone with extraordinary powers in order to understand the definition of superhero.

I am lucky to have a hero in my life – not a superhero, but a true hero. He is someone who will draw his sword at and slay dragons he can’t even see because he knows I can see them. He has the uncanny ability to see me from the inside out. Like me, he will fight for what he believes in, but doesn’t judge someone for believing differently. Like me, he’s learned to choose his battles and has learned to discover how few of them matter in the big picture. I know that he would kill for me, that he would die for me.

He wasn’t always my hero. We butted heads a lot over the years, and there were times I wanted to shake him by the shoulders (probably times he wanted to do the same to me!). But for all of his faults and flaws, he remains steadfast and true to himself, and he cares for me more than I probably deserve. And I am lucky because the person I call “hero” I also call “friend”. And this person I call “friend” I also call “brother”.

I don’t have wealth, am not and will never be famous or become a celebrity. But if anyone wants to be envious about me for any reason, be envious of the fact that I have a relationship with my brother that I know is rare and precious. And even though he doesn’t step into a telephone booth and exit it wearing a cape, he is the closest thing I’ve ever known as being a superhero in reality.

Love you with all that I am, Brad

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life, What Are our Barriers to Happiness

Ouch! This pinpoints things I’ve been doing for so long that they are as subconscious as breathing! I’m not sure I even know how to break habits that are 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years old! And which one should I choose first to try to break?

Readers choice

If we could all stop worrying and choose to be happy, that would be wonderful, but for some people, it’s not that simple. We all have the desire to obtain happiness, yet at times it appears to be unattainable. Obstacles are standing in your way. It might be a matter of slowing down your pace and analyzing what’s stopping you from being content in life. It’s natural to become frustrated when you can’t seem to find joy in anything and think, “Why can’t I just be happy?” The reality is you can’t force yourself to be happy if you’re not. What you can do is recognize negative thought patterns that keep cycling and make a concerted effort to change them.

Happiness is extremely complex. We can’t just snap our fingers and be happy; we have to genuinely feel it from within. And that’s not always easy. The good news is…

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It Was Perfect!

I turned 65 years old yesterday. Although I’ve never really had an issue with the number/age of my birthday, I struggled with this number a bit. Somewhere, it’s ingrained in my brain that being “65” is significant. At 65, retirement is a viable option. At 65, you are officially considered as a senior citizen and you can take advantage of any and all senior citizen discounts (some places have lower age requirements, but 65 is standard everywhere).

When I was young, I always had to celebrate my birthday along with my older brother’s because we only had 12 days separating our birthdays. Being July birthdays, we often had cook-outs in the yard with the neighbors and their kids invited, and the only way anyone knew it was a ‘birthday’ party was because of the cake. Otherwise, it was just a neighborhood cook-out.

For my sweet 16th birthday, I did get my own celebration, but the “friends” that were invited were still just neighborhood friends. Honestly, that’s really the only actual birthday celebration I remember growing up.

Even after leaving home, birthdays were never a cause for great celebration. Maybe the immediate family got together, maybe we didn’t. Gifts came from mom and dad (most often $$$$) and significant others. I do remember that, for many years, I got a birthday card from my life insurance agent. I always sarcastically mentioned that I knew he was the one person I could count on, because the longer I was having birthdays, the insurance company didn’t have to pay out on my policy.

I remember my 25th birthday and the ‘celebration’. My friend Sue and I always hung out at a little bar, which was about 5 miles away, and when neither of us had a car, we’d actually walk there. It was totally cool there and everybody who hung out were fun to be with (think “Cheers”). We always knew we’d get a ride home from someone after last call. For my 25th birthday, the gang got together and bought me 25 shots – all lined up in front of me. It did take me a few hours to get through them, and needless to say, I was a long way away from sober at last call. Honestly, that was probably the most fun I ever had celebrating my birthday – including some time spent alone with my friend with fringe benefits (and that’s all I’m going to say about that!) – well, except for the massive hangover I had the next morning and the fact that the milk I drank to coat my sour stomach curdled and came back up!

When I was married, my (then) husband asked me one year what I wanted for my birthday. I told him I wanted the Trivial Pursuit game and a new set of silverstone (non-stick when it first came out) pots and pans. He got me a knock-off trivia game and a new set of amber colored glass pots and pans. I should have taken that as a clue for my birthday in the future – that I wasn’t going to get what I asked for but what someone else decided they wanted to give me. Unfortunately, at the time, I just thought it was just him.

For my 40th birthday party, since it was a ‘decade’ birthday, I decided to throw myself a birthday party. Mostly, it was people I knew from the place I hung out for karaoke and dance parties and that’s what we ended up doing.

For my 50th birthday, also a ‘decade’ occasion, I was ensconced in managing a brand new hotel and stressed out all of the time. My birthday fell on a Sunday and I begged the owner to allow me to have the day off. I told my three gal friends that all I wanted for my birthday was an afternoon movie and a quiet meal afterwards, just the four of us, so I could let go and relax. One of the gals, Bonnie, picked me up at my house and told me were going to Nancy’s house for a glass of wine before we left for the movie, and the other friend, Mel, would meet us there. We arrived at Nancy’s and Bonnie had me go in first. I opened the door, and a bunch of voices yelled, “Surprise!” I looked, saw all of the faces, turned around and walked back out the door crying. Bonnie, who was still outside, put her arms around me and asked, “Why are you crying?” How could I say, “Because I wanted a quiet time with a few friends, not a party with a bunch of people?” Honestly, if my own car had been there, I might well have walked to it and climbed inside. But no, that wasn’t an option and I didn’t want the flack for doing it, so I dried my tears and went back inside. I looked around at the people there. While I might call all of them ‘friends’, they were ‘friends’ from my professional life and none of them I ever spent time with except when we saw each other at a professional event. This compelled me to put on my ‘professional life’ mask, not be able to let my hair down and just relax and be my authentic self. I got through, despite the fact that I didn’t care for the food they’d prepared and the punch was spiked with rum, which I don’t like. And, of course, I had to write thank-you notes to everyone for coming to my party and bringing me a gift.

Since that ‘party’, I have not wanted to have a big fuss made over my birthday. I don’t post my birthday date on social media sites because I don’t want all of the people I’m connected with on them to send me a birthday message simply because they are reminded to do so. That feels, if nothing else, superficial and therefore, not genuine. I’m of the old school who still keeps important birthdays on my calendar so I don’t need those reminders. And if I do get reminders on social media of a connection’s birthday I’ve never celebrated, I seldom message them.

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Word.

When I turned 60, my brother drove 2 hours to see me at work, and luckily caught me before I left town to go see my bestie. That was pretty special, since he doesn’t really make a big deal about birthdays, his or anyone elses. When I got to my bestie’s, she and I and the rest of the Wentling clan all went out to dinner at a restaurant/bar, and while it wasn’t some elegant kind of place, the food was really amazing. No servers to sing “Happy birthday” to me (I don’t like that unless it’s being done to someone else) – just a good dinner with people I can truly call friends, some small gifts from my bestie.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year – 2021 – is the year I join the rank of being an “official senior citizen”. I’m still adjusting to the sound of that number because it’s sounds old. In a way, it feels like 65 is the top of the mountain and it’s all downhill from there. Since I’m struggling with the age, it is obvious that I don’t want any kind of celebration or notice about my birthday. Then again, I’ve had birthdays that have gone by unnoticed by anyone, and ones which have received such a little bit of fuss that I don’t know if that counted.

I don’t want a party of some kind for my birthday, even if I live to see my 100th birthday. But a little bit of fuss – some time with loved ones in a quiet celebration – would make me at least feel noticed. And yea, it makes me sad that so many people whose birthdays I choose to write on my calendar and do something, even if it’s just sending a card, don’t know/remember when my birthday is, which makes me feel like the relationship is very one-sided. And that hurts!

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That’s how it makes me feel…

Maybe it sounds to you like I want to have my cake and eat it too – that is, that I don’t want a celebration but I want a celebration – but that’s not true. I don’t want a party, I just don’t want to be forgotten by the people I make such a priority to never forget. I’ve never been someone who likes surprises, so a surprise party is definitely a no-no. And I certainly don’t want to have gifts I don’t necessarily like so that I have to pretend to like them, then take them home and immediately put them in my donation box.

Since my insurance agent retired many years ago, there are no annual cards coming my way from him. My bestie will make sure I know she’s remembered my birthday, and my brother might or might not remember it (I don’t expect him to, so that’s okay). The Prin remembers my birthday and makes it a point to make sure I know she does. And for all of the other people in my life about whom I care and who say they care about me, the day will go by unnoticed as just another day.

This is the part that bothers me, the part that makes my already fragile ego feel unworthy even more. I know it goes back to the fact that I’m such a giver and I wish others would be as well, even though intellectually I know that won’t happen. Sometimes I wonder why I repeatedly give to people who only take. Maybe that’s something I have to work on???

Apparently, I ask for too much.

I cannot bring this post to a close without saying a heartfelt and genuine thank you to my bestie, Joanne, for making my birthday exactly what I wanted it to be. A day trip together to our beloved Lancaster County to visit our favorite food and thrift stores, a new place to try for lunch, and no other big hoopla. I had told her that, for my birthday, I wanted experience and memories instead of any kind of tangible gifts, and she gave me exactly what I asked for. Considering my past experiences with asking for what I want for my birthday, from ill-wanted gifts to unwanted parties, it only took me 65 years to get exactly what I asked for! Seriously, this is the second happiest birthday ‘celebration’ I remember (second because, after all, I got “fringe benefits” on my 25th! HA HA HA) Joanne, if I forget to tell you later, I had a marvelous time with you and I am truly grateful!

Now I just have to get used to saying a new number if I am asked my age and try not to let a cringe in someone’s face or some comment about being old get to me!

Puttering

I’ve been puttering around the house for the past couple of weeks. No, I have not been playing indoor golf! (In case anyone was confused!). I assigned myself three major in-home projects for this year. The first one I decided to tackle was cleaning out my spare bedroom/office/storage room. I started with the closet, which went pretty smoothly. I had a couple of totes that had, inside them, things to sell at a future yard sale (or sales). Of course, these were packed pre-pandemic and not touched since then. I went through them and decided which items I thought had enough value to post (for free) on our local online yard sale group. That involved taking photos of each of them as well as descriptions and price. I’ve had some things listed now for about 2 months and I’ve managed to sell two of them. I have photos of things I haven’t posted yet – I plan to rotate the items listed so I always have something new to offer. I managed to pack up two totes of things to sell, organized so I know what is in each tote should I need to get something out, and found room to tuck them in the closet I’d just cleaned out.

Next came the shelves. I have 3 sets of shelves in this room, including a 4-shelf large bookcase and two 4-shelf metal racks. One of the metal racks is for my extra kitchen gadgets (crock pot, air fryer, 22-quart soup pot, cast iron skillet, etc.). These are things I use routinely but not often enough that I have to have them handy in my kitchen. The other metal rack holds extra personal hygiene products, cleaning products, extra paper products, extra boxes of coffee pods, etc. The wooden bookcase holds all things associated with crafting. I also have three totes of crafting stuff, and another project is to sort through all of that and decide what is reasonable to think I’ll use versus stuff I thought I might make some day. So that shelving is being ignored for now.

That room does not have air conditioning, merely a ceiling fan. Once summer hit, it became obvious that I’d be working on things in there a bit at a time until I got all sweaty. I’m probably done with 90% of the two shelving units, but haven’t quite made a decision about where I want a couple of items to fit that is to my best advantage. Meanwhile, I had family photos propped up on one windowsill and a few stuffed bears propped up on the other. I finally took the time to research what I could use on the backs of the photos that would stick to my uneven, old plaster walls. I’d tried Command strips without success. I found this product called Alien Tape which is an amazing product! Well, of course it made sense to clean the glass of the photo frames before I hung them, so while I had the glass cleaner out, I went around and cleaned all of the glass on other items I had hanging throughout the place in other rooms, including mirrors. That side-tracked me for a bit. I finally decided how I wanted to arrange the family photos on my hallway wall, so that also side-tracked me from my organizational plans.

Then, of course, once one windowsill was empty, I needed to take care of the other one. I have, over the years, weaned my stuffed animals down to three bears, all of which matter to me. One is a small Koala bear with a sweater that has the flag and has AUS on it. I’d met a gal from Australia from playing the same Facebook game, and we became online friends. She and her hubby like to travel internationally, and I found out she was coming to the East Coast of America and would be spending a night in Lancaster County. Although all of her reservations were made before they even left for the trip and she wasn’t staying where I worked, she and Graham made the short trip to me from their hotel so we could meet and I bought them lunch. We only got to visit a little bit (I was at work, after all!) but we got a photo together and she gave me this keychain as a reminder of our meeting. The second one I have is a Boyd’s bear from my friend, Prin. It’s maybe 5 or 6 inches tall, and it holds a pillow that says, “Friends are never far away”. The third bear – whose name is Rusty – has been with me for 49 years. Rusty is a wind-up musical bear, and he was a gift from my Grandma and Grandpa Halbert for my sixteenth birthday. To make a long story short, they all needed a bath. I started with the smallest first and used carpet cleaner. Other than taking a while to be dried thoroughly and then vacuumed (my car vac came in handy), no problems. Then I got to Rusty. The poor thing, I discovered, had a gash at the pad of his paw, most likely dry-rot of the thread after all those years. I sewed him up there, discovered another gash on the inside of one leg and also sewed that up as well. After I’d done his entire body, in stages, with the carpet cleaner, I was blotting him and put my thumb right through the seam on his side. Yup, out came the needle and thread, and another few minutes for my weak eyes to be able to line up the thread with the eye of the needle and get it pulled through, and he got stitches for the third time. I treated him very gently and tenderly from then on, got him vacuumed, and put him in a safe place in my curio cabinet behind the clear door so he’d be less prone to getting dirty again. And the music still plays when I wind him up!

I have managed to go through a few more things that were stored on my metal shelving units and found a few more small things for the thrift store donation box. (Prin, the ravioli maker finally made it into the donation box!) I also changed a few things around to where I think they will work better. And since I seem stuck on getting that task completely done, I’ve grabbed all of the paper and booklets and letters regarding Medicare and my Aetna plan and am starting to sort through them. If you follow my blog, you remember the difficulties I was having with finding and getting a plan, so all of the paperwork both originally about Medicare and then, specifically about the Aetna plan, got put in a pile to sort through. This again becomes puttering, but it’s got to be done.

My other two tasks for the year are to, of course, sort through all of my crafting stuff and donate then reorganize, and to finish scanning photos into my computer and then putting them on a thumb drive so I can dispose of the actual tangible copies of the photos. If – and that feels like it’s a big if right now – I can get this all done by no later than the end of January (I’ve given up on being done by December 31, 2021!), then I can deep clean my living room, actually deep clean my spare room, and finish deep-cleaning my kitchen by the time spring is officially here in 2022.

So, I guess it’s best that I get back to puttering along! Or, as the new thing I’ve learned just now, I best return to JOMO!

Mindless Musings & Mutterings

I have had a bunch of ideas going through my head about potential blog posts, but none of them wanted to flesh themselves out to be a full post, so I’m just gonna throw stuff out there and let it land where it may.

Now that the 4th of July celebrations are over here in the US, there’s no real need to complain about that ‘one neighbor’ who feels the necessity to put off fireworks in their own back yard. This year, it was all about the noise – the booms and crashes – and not so much about lighting up the sky. For safety regulations, I appreciated that decision. However, they had apparently bought enough to be able to set them off on Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and evening (two rounds) and Monday evening. While I try to be tolerable that the idea of fireworks is how some people wish to celebrate, three consecutive evenings was a bit much.

I’ve never been a prude about language and swear/cuss words. Trust me, if I want to, I can swear like a college-edjumacated drunken sailor! The one word I will not tolerate is the one where a female is called a c*nt. At no time do I find it appropriate to label someone with that word, no matter who that someone is. I quietly deleted someone from my social media for doing exactly that. I do not want to be associated with anyone who considers that appropriate. Likewise, I’m finding that I’m becoming more intolerable of people who drop “F” bombs simply because they can. It is a word I seldom use, even when I’m swearing about something, and to hear it come out several times in different forms within the same sentence just really turns me off! Again, I’m starting to choose to not associate much with those kinds of people these days. To me, it just seems to be overkill!

We’ve made it through our second heat wave now, and since it’s early July, I’m anticipating that it may not be the last one. I have made the temporary move to bring my laptop to a usable space in my living room where I have a window air conditioner. I have chosen not to go outside on those days unless absolutely necessary. I think I’m faring even worse with the humidity as I age, since I now can have a sweating episode while sitting in an air-conditioned room!

I’m “officially” on Medicare! Honestly, that was such a fiasco to get there! I had to make one small change, since my Medicare Advantage plan assigned me to a doctor and my current one also accepts this coverage. I can change in-network doctors pretty easily, so I’m giving my current practice one more chance because I’ve been scheduled with a newer staff member I haven’t seen yet. I refuse to return to the one who is always 30 or more minutes late and too slow to get past reviewing lab results to discuss anything more. I will be seeing this new person for what is called a “Wellness Check”. I’m not sure what that means, but I hope it means I get a chance to talk about other issues that Keith either ignored or had no time to discuss with me. I’m giving the practice one more chance because they have all of my records, from my previous PCP as well as the 5 years I’ve been going there, and I hate to start with someplace totally new. However, I accepted having to do that while I was on the Medicare hamster wheel, so it doesn’t bring up any anxiety anymore.

I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen this summer, again, because there is no air-conditioning in the back of my apartment. I did, however, try out one hack I’d learned. I have a friend who makes the most gorgeously brown turkeys for the holidays, and my skins never get like hers. She told me her trick was to make sure the skin was dry, and then rub the entire skin with olive oil. (She also has a convection oven which, I’m sure, helps.) I did that with a small turkey breast in my toaster oven on a cooler day, and although it didn’t have to cook as long as a huge whole turkey, it did brown the skin enough to make it enjoyable to eat. I love the skin when it’s brown and crispy, so that was a nice treat!

I was thinking the other day about an older neighbor back when my (ex and now deceased) husband and I lived in the other half of the double home. I was in my mid-30s and while I never asked, I know she was at least in her 70s. I remember thinking often, while living there, that I wondered what she did to fill her days. She did not drive and I never saw visitors coming or going from her side of the front porch. Occasionally, when weather was cooperative, she would come out and sit in the rocker on her porch for 30 minutes or so, but otherwise, you never saw her nor heard a sound. Like I said, I used to wonder what she did all day – and now, I look at myself and ask myself what I did all day! My energy level, even though I’ve gotten my iron and Vitamin D levels back up to where they should be, continues to be less and less. I putter almost every day, and I’ve been doing some of the ‘oddest’ jobs around my house that I normally never think of as needing done, but bigger projects can sometimes take several starts and stops before being completed. Again, it might be because it’s hot in most parts of my apartment and I need to have cool-off breaks more often, but I’m not certain. Meanwhile, my ‘puttering’ includes things like cleaning the glass on all pictures and wall items that have glass throughout the apartment, giving what few stuffed animals I still have (I’m down to three, not counting my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls) a ‘bath’ by using carpet cleaner on their fur, etc. Weird things that I don’t usually ever think about doing (and which obviously needed done!).

The test will be next week, when my bestie, Joanne, and I are headed to our beloved Lancaster County, PA for a day trip. Usually we leave around 9 AM and it’s mid-afternoon when we return, which means my energy is spent for the day. This time we’re actually leaving at 7 AM (works for me since I’m such an early riser!) and will wander our way through our favorite places and then try someplace new for lunch. Lancaster County is becoming ‘ripe’ with produce, and I’m planning to get some fresh fruits to make a fresh fruit salad. I made one last year (of fruits from my local grocery store) and I enjoyed the heck out of it! I’m also looking to see which of our foodie-shopping places might have cup cheese. Cup cheese is definitely a Lancaster County item, and people either hate it or love it! (Google it if you’ve never heard of it!) Cup cheese was always in my grandma’s fridge and was a treat when she gave us some! I actually looked at having some shipped by the only place in Lancaster County that makes it, but the shipping costs were pretty outlandish, what with having to keep it cold and all. I could drive to and from Lancaster County twice and the gasoline wouldn’t cost as much as those shipping costs!

Meanwhile, my life consists mostly of some puttering around the house and/or working in pieces on bigger projects, listening to music online and reading. I’ll continue to travel vicariously through my amazing friend, Prin (aka Marnette) and count down the days until I get to visit my brother again in early September. And, of course, I’ll continue to read some amazing blogs here, even if I don’t write much on my own.

So, how are YOU keeping busy?