Monday, September 9, 2019

Spoonfuls of Wishes #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to September's Blog with Friends Round-up. Each month, participating bloggers choose a theme, and create a unique post based on that theme. Each post will be different and connected to the theme in whichever way the blogger chooses. This month's theme is 'Wishful Thinking'. When I heard the theme, I knew I had to participate. I have been scribbling down thoughts about a post for weeks, and though I know it won't add much to the round-up, I had more than once told myself it was wishful thinking on my part. So, here I am, giving my addition to the round-up. Blog with Friends posts can include any number of things, from poetry to short stories, to recipes and crafts, to DIY instructions and long winded rants, and anything in between. Once you've read mine, I do hope you go check out the wonderful offerings, from the other talented participants.

A short time ago, I went to the movies, and watched the extended release of "A Star is Born". I honestly had no idea what the movie was about, and had not gone to see the original release, but decided to see it, after seeing Gaga and Bradley perform together. I was amazed the he could sing so well, and she had me hooked. I had to see her act and hear him sing. I was warned a tiny bit, that it was emotional, but I genuinely found myself unprepared in the end.

It really gripped me for a while. I wasn't entirely sure why. I am so not Gaga or Ally. I cannot sing or dance. I am so not a star. I can honestly say, I am grateful, I have never had a Bradley/Jackson in my life. I would not have minded, just would have hoped for a different outcome. (On a totally unrelated side note, I have prayed for a Sam Elliot, or just HIM in my life since I was young, and sad to say, it never happened, but I loved seeing him in the movie!) So, I was not sure why I was so taken by the movie, but it truly touched me. I have listened to the soundtrack often and thoroughly. I really enjoyed it all, as a package, and have planned to watch other versions in the future.

A few weeks ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. It happened as we were cleaning house on a Saturday. I knew since the first time I heard it, that "Remember Us This Way" was my song for Chad. Down to the fact he was born in Arizona, and we reside in California, and if you have heard it, you understand that. I had put on the soundtrack, and was cleaning our bedroom, and reliving the movie, while letting the songs washed over me.


Suddenly I understood. I finally understood, what my subconscious had obviously known, that I had not figured out yet. I suddenly understood exactly why the movie hit me so hard, down to my soul. I just had to throw out the norms and really get to the heart of the matter. I am no Gaga. Chad is no Bradley. However, I am a Jackson and Chad is an Ally. Once I stopped trying to relate to gender, and thought about relating to the characters, it all made sense.

I told Chad what I realized. It would have been easier, if he had seen the movie, but I explained it as best as I could, and in terms of he and I, so that he would understand. I unloaded baggage I have been holding in for years. I also made him listen to "Remember Us This Way". REALLY listen to it. I cried so many tears.

If you haven't watched the movie, you may want to skip this next bit. If you have watched the movie, you know that Jackson has a chronic ailment, and he tries to overcome the impact it has on him, and the struggles of treating it cost (not talking money) him so very much, including his life. He loves Ally, but he feels like nothing but a burden. He medicates to function, and over-medicates to handle the weight of it all. He holds it all in. He doesn't reveal his soul to Ally, most probably because he does not want to be more of a burden, than he already is.

Ally loves him. She loves him despite it all, and she'd do anything for him, though she never truly understands him and his innermost battles and struggles.

Ultimately, he felt like he was dead-weight, weighing her down, and he ends his own life.

I get that. To the core of my being, I truly understand the struggles on chronic illness, and the burden and  pain, of feeling like you are no good for the very people you love. I even understand having to take medicines, just to be able to function on a basic level. I understand the want to end life, and end being a burden on the very people you care the most about.

Y'all.... I totally get this movie. I GET it. I get him. I get Jackson. I so get it.

So, explaining how I feel to Chad, was difficult and freeing.

However, it is hard to explain something to someone, who has never experienced it. So, I relied on the spoon theory. If you have anyone in your life, who is chronically ill, I recommend looking into the spoon theory, and trying to get some understanding.

Basically, what it is saying, is that everyone has a supply of spoons, to accomplish the necessary and desired tasks, of that day. Everything the person does, uses up their spoons, and different activities require varied numbers of spoons. The amount of spoons a person has, and how many spoons tasks takes, varies from person to person. Healthier people tend to have more spoons and require fewer spoons per task.
Chronically ill and temporarily ill people, tend to have a limited spoon supply, and tasks take more spoons to complete.

For example, maybe taking a shower for myself, required three spoons, and for Chad, it only requires half of a spoon. Tasks taking more spoons for some people, possibly would not be quite so bad, if everyone had a large supply of spoons. I know, for me, my spoon supply varies, depending on how well I am.

So, something as simple as a shower, probably seems easy peasy lemon squeezy, for a healthy individual, but could be beyond daunting for a Spoony (Chronically ill person, that generally has a limited spoon supply daily). That day in particular, as we were cleaning up our bedroom, and putting away laundry, I had Chad bring me a box of books from my favorite author, and I (finally) put them up on the shelf, I had Chad hang in our room.

He got the heavy box down, off the top of the hallway linen cabinet, carried it to me, and I placed the books on the shelf. I was instantly overjoyed, that my books were finally where I wanted them, and my heart was happy. Chad remarked on my excitement, and said I could have done such a simple thing, on any given day. Obviously, he cannot understand something he's never experienced, especially if I've never told him detailed explanations of it.

I told him to remember that moment. How, for me, getting my books onto the shelf was monumental, but to him seemed like no big deal. I explained how, I have a minimal spoon supply, and since injuring my Meniscus, I had even fewer. I told him, the book task probably took him only part of one spoon, but had I gotten the box down, carried it to the bedroom, and shelved the books, it would have required multiple spoons, and I probably wouldn't have even been able to get them off the cabinet.

I try to save my spoons for super important things, and I use them carefully. I remember when I had a seemingly limitless supply of spoons, tasks took partial to one or two spoons, and I'd often have some left at the end of the day, and that was with purposely adding in extra activity, to maintain my health. I miss those days. If I had known I would have a limited spoon supply one day, I'd have taken the little things less for granted, and I'd have done more.

Despite how impossible it seems, I keep hoping that one day, I'll start having more spoons on a daily basis, so I no longer have to ask for so much help, or put off doing simple things, so that I have enough spoons for more valued activities. It is sad, when simple tasks, like eating, bathing, using the restroom; requires so much effort, that they often lead to feeling triumphant once complete.

I know that it's just wishful thinking, that one day I'll have an increased daily spoon supply, and simple tasks, will once again be simple. I cannot help it. I am an eternal optimist, who not only thinks anything is possible, but also believes in miracles.

How about you, what do you have wishful thinking about?!

Here are the links to the other 'Wishful Thinking' posts:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado shares her recipe for Banana Cream Cake.

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Happy Sweater Weather.

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Calorie Free Cake - Wishful Thinking.

Kia of The Ground Beneath My Feet shares Wishful Thinking: How a Map Made Me Want to Consume the World.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Tips for Returning to Work After Working at Home.

Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom shares Wishful Thinking? Make it Happen!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Simple and Sweet #UseYourWords

Welcome to August's Use Your Words writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
hardwood ~ monster ~ VCR ~ bicycle ~ boys ~ motorcycle

They were submitted by: (Thank you for the magnificent words!!)

I am going to keep today's post, as short and sweet as possible. By no means due to the words not inspiring me, but possibly because they inspire me so much. If I wrote everything these words brought to mind, I would probably spend hours at my computer crying, and not all sad tears. 

The very first vision I saw in my mind, when I read these words, were my cousins and I running along the hardwood, wrap around porch, at my Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie's house. The boys would chase the girls. The girls would chase the boys. We would all take turns sitting on Uncle Ricky's motorcycle, while everyone else made sure no adults were coming. We would play monster games, cops and robbers games, tag, taking turns riding on the bicycles, hide and go seek, and just plain had fun. 

We are all growing older and memories fade, and things change, and people go away, and others pass on. Life changes. Journeys take us elsewhere. I think it is beautiful, that in our minds, we can revisit days long gone. Memories nearly forgotten, and just reminisce in their purity. Enjoy the unbridled joy that they bring us.

In so many ways, those were the best days of my life. I was loved. I was safe. I was surrounded by family. I had my Daddy. I had fun. I laughed. People loved me. Of course, my cousins and I did not always show that love, but let someone else mess with any of us, and see what happened. Trust me, we loved each other, no matter how much we annoyed one another.

I really grew up with my second cousins. My dad did not have me until he was forty. By then my first cousins, had kids my age. As was custom, I did not just walk around calling my older adult, first cousins by their name. They were Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. I knew they were my cousins, but there was a respect there, due to the difference in age. I am an adult now, and they are still Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. 

Their kids have kids, and they are growing up, just like we did. Loved, safe, and together. I hope they enjoy these days. Before long they will be gone. People will be gone. Memories will be faded. The important things will be distorted. At least, I know they will never, ever forget the love. I can close my eyes, and still feel it wrap around me. All the love I was shown. That kind of love, it can never be forgotten. 

I wish I had our old VCR, and all the VCR tapes. I would love to spend hours and hours just watching those days. I remember thinking how silly it was to film everything, and now I would give anything to have those tapes. Those visual memories, to sit, and help sharpen my mental memories. Those were the days. We have advanced so much, but those simpler days.... Those were the days. Simple, sweet, perfect.

I wish I could go back, and tell younger me, to really  soak in and enjoy those days. Focus on all the good, because there is SO MUCH good, and let the bad go. I grew up, and I spent years focused on the bad, and looking back now, I see those were not the important parts. It was all the good, that deserved focus and remembering. At least I remember them now. A bit too late, as it had a huge impact on my relationship with my Daddy, and I would love to change that. I would love to redo it, letting all that good, be what had the impact on our relationship, especially in the final years.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:


Friday, August 9, 2019

Reckless Voyage #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to August's Secret Subject Swap. This week eight awesome bloggers submitted a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:
You're shipwrecked or lost somewhere. What three items are your musts?

It was submitted by: (Thank you for such a fun subject!!)

I have never not liked a Secret Subject I have been assigned over the years, based on merit. I think they have all been excellent. Some I have struggled with, because I have difficulty in turning them into a decent blog post, but that is actually the beauty of these challenges we do.... being actually challenged by the prompt/theme/words/picture that is placed upon us, to weave into a post worthy of reading. Over the years, many of these challenges have shown my lack of writing ability, and have highlighted why I do not do this blogging thing, on a more professional level. I still stand firm, that when I say I am a blogger, I feel like a phony, because I know some awesome bloggers, and to be labeled the same as them, just does not seem accurate. 

Every so often I get a prompt, and I may or may not do it justice, but the prompt itself sparks something in my soul, that makes me feel like I am doing exactly what I should be doing. I cannot accurately describe it, so I won't even try. Just know, that when I read this prompt, my soul was on fire with excitement to write about this. 

Any of my friends, mostly those who knew younger me, the me before life sort of beat me down, and turned me into this new me, that is not quite the old me, but is also not quite not the old me, would read this prompt, and probably have a flashback to a conversation with me. I used to love to talk about random topics with friends. I especially loved playing twenty questions, or simply just asking the most random conversation starters ever, and one of my most favorite questions, has always been the stranded on a deserted island question. I almost think it is safe to say, that it was my absolute favorite question.

Over the years, I have answered the question many different ways. As my life changes, as I change, as the world changes, so to does my answer. I think the very first time I ever answered this question, I said something like "My favorite book, a bottle of water, and my walkman", and then my friend gave their answer, and it included survival items. It was in the moment, that I first ever really analyzed the question, and over the years, I have analyzed it so many more times. I do not know how many times I have answered this question, but I am fairly confident that I have never given the same answer twice.

One of the more memorable times I answered, was when my friend and I were just randomly answering questions. He answered first, and his answer was very well thought out. We could have five items, not just three, and his answer included items to help him get rescued, as well as items to help him survive on the island. Now, I like to get under my friend's skin, and I am really good at it, and when he set the guidelines for our answers to the question, he left some loopholes. So, my fifth item was a bottle with my very own genie inside. He nearly lost his mind arguing with me, but in the end, agreed it was not against the rules. That was probably the best answer I have ever given to this question.

Today, as I ponder an answer, I have three things that immediately pop into my mind, but when answering this question, I never give my first thought answers. I give my analyzed answers. So, let's analyze...
If my cell would have service, then definitely that, so I could call for help. However, cell service is never a guarantee, so chances are that would be a wasted item. Though, if I were tech savvy, I could probably use it to create a working communication device, but let's face it, I am clueless. So, I definitely think cell phone is out.

With my OCD being what it is, I need to keep in mind sanitary conditions. It will be hard, but I can do my best. One thing that would definitely be helpful, is a complete pot/pan/utensils/knives set. One like you can by all boxed up. So, I want a boxed up Pioneer woman pot/pan/utensil/knives set. I wanted to go with Rachael Ray, but Ree has beautiful designs, and I think they would cheer me up. So, I definitely want this as one of my three. Having proper cookware, will enable me to keep things sanitary enough, that I do not go insane. Plus, let's face it, I will need all the help I can get in the cooking department. Having cooking materials I am accustomed to, will be a massive help. 

Of course my mind immediately goes to books. Reading will definitely help, and in dire circumstances, they can help keep fires going. However, my soul sort of hurts at the thought of burning books, and I should be able to have plenty of burn material. Plus, if it rains, the books would be destroyed. I have my mind and imagination, and they can handle the entertainment factor, so I would say books are not the best idea.

I also immediately think Chad and Gigi. I would not want to be without them. Logic then kicks in. I will probably struggle just to keep myself safe. Having two more people to worry about, may not  be wise. Plus, if anything ever happened to either of them, it would ruin me. Also, if I am lucky, with them home safe and sound, they will lead efforts to find me, and not give up until they do. So, it is probably best they stay home.

Now, I have never been camping. So this whole experience is going to be difficult on me. One thing that is certain, I need a safe home base. A place where I can be as safe as possible. A place I can lay my head and rest. I think I would be good at building boobie traps around my home base, to alert me of anyone or anything approaching. I just worry I won't be able to build adequate bedding. So, I think it would be wise to have one of the tent kits. They one with the tent, blanket, pillow, and weather proof sheet. This way, I could have a great place to rest and relax. The boobie traps would help protect me while I am asleep. 

So, I have cooking and sleeping/protection from the elements covered. One more thing. One more item that would be best at helping me survive my time on the island. 

Well, the other thing that comes to mind is health. Health is incredibly important. So, I would definitely want a fully stocked first aid kit, enclosed in a large, weather proof container. I want it fully stocked.... Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, band aids, liquid band aid, splints, medical tapes of all sizes, ace bandages, tweezers, those break and freeze ice packs, those break and warm compresses, Neosporin, Calamine lotion, Tums, Tylenol, my medicines, suture kit, gauze, iodine, Benadryl, my inhalers, burn salve, aloe, sunscreen, etc etc Anything and everything you would want in a first aid kit.

I don't have anything to entertain myself, but hopefully, I will survive.

Now, before anyone comments... Yes, I considered every single type of coffee maker. I just could not figure out a way to work it or make it beneficial. So, here is to hoping withdrawal isn't too terrible.

What would you bring?! Am I dumb for not choosing Matt Damon?! I feel slightly dumb.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring August's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pot #FunnyFriday

Welcome to July’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.
1. I really wonder the story here. 

2. When Susan said, she didn't have a green thumb, she meant it. No flowers, plants, shrubs, or flower pots stood a chance against her. 

3. Let the kids help plant flowers, they said. It will be fun they said. 
4. Brenda was not completely sure, but she thought she'd gotten the spider. Maybe she should get the lighter, just to be certain. 

5. I relate to this flowerpot a lot. 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado   
Southern Belle Charm      
Spatulas on Parade                   
The Bergham Chronicles   
Bookworm in the Kitchen

Friday, July 12, 2019

B to the BBB #UseYourWords

Welcome to July's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
bump ~ burp ~ bury ~ bundle ~ best

They were submitted by: (Brilliant job, Karen!!)

I read my words, and then I read them again, and then once more for good measure. I decided Karen must have been in a bubbly mood, or possibly a bitchy mood, or maybe even just bewildered, when she submitted this months words. Whatever the mood, she definitely have b on her mind. I am not sure why, but my mind instantly went to using all the words in one sentence.

I thought it over, and figured I had done that before, so I needed to do something differently. I thought it might be best, to just give y'all an update, but nothing too exciting has happened. The recent earthquakes, that made cracks in the ground, did not come to our yard. There were no mudslides to bury houses or cars. I may have a bump, but it is not because their is a bundle on the way. I am definitely just fat. Let's face it, none of you, even want to spend a minute, reading about my most recent burp. It was not long, before I was back to the one sentence idea.

So, I switched it up. I sent the words to a few friends. I asked them to use the words in one sentence. I said they could do two sentences, if absolutely necessary, but most importantly, I just needed every word used. I told them it could make sense or no sense at all. I told them it could be funny or serious or weird or anything they wanted it to be. Just to use every word and send their sentence to me. 

I wanted to see what sentences a small group of people would come up with, when given the same group of words to use. So, here are the results....

Me: I do my best to stifle my burp, as I quietly bury my head in my books, trying not to bother anyone, or bump into anyone or thing, as I carry my bundle of books to the checkout counter.

KofKCBundle is the best bump starter in all of BurpBury Land!!!

TRizzo: Today was horrible, I woke up , got out of bed and walked into the bathroom only to bump my hip on the vanity. I wasn't feeling the whole coffee thing so I drank a soda which brought on a humongous burp which woke up my hubby. We both realized my child's bird had died and wrapped it in a bundle of cloth, placed it in a box and took it out to bury it. Our child was so upset, but we told her the bird was very old and it was for the best.

TC: You better not bump into me, and tell me it is best if we bury our noses in books, while you burp and bundle yourself up in self-doubt.

AuntieNR: Careful not to bump an animal while driving, you'll have to bundle it up and bury it. Don't let a burp out, try to be at your best behaviour.

HUZ: With a burp he settled in, doing his best to bury the bundle so not even a bump showed above the turf.

I want to thank Karen, for such a beautiful bounty of words. I also want to thank my friends who played along and helped me out. It truly is interesting, to see the differences and similarities, in what people come up with, when presented with the same group of words. What sentence would you make with these words?

Do not forget to check out the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts! I will meet you there, but first coffee. Today is going to be a long day. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:


Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own un...