I have never blogged before. I wrote a few chapters of a book when my first husband was sick with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease). The working title was "There ARE Princesses in ALS Land: Musings from the Throne" (someone needs to illustrate a bedpan for me). The title comes from a well intended Social Worker at the clinic who told me there were no princesses in ALS land.... and I told her to meet the first one. Princess does not mean a Hilton heiress. Nor is it the pop celebrity of the hour. Princesses seem to have gotten the short end of the stick as of late. A TRUE princess brings to mind Princess Grace. Someone who unites, protects and serves those around her fiercely with dignity the best she can while learning and holding her head high no matter what happens.
There are about 5 working chapters and I started it when he was diagnosed and kept up for a few years. I am stuck on the chapter entitled "Ass Hair - Men have it, We don't". But I've only gotten as far as... If you are full time caregiver, wait until he is sleeping and wax him. Then I got sidetracked. I am not putting those out right now.
I'm going to just jot what I think about daily. I have dark humor and scare people when they first meet me (or some would say "first, shit, I'm still scared of you) and I'm sorry if I offend. Just thinking.
And I begin with an apology to the man I call The Cutest Boy In the World - and here I have to nod to Jill Conner Browne, Leader of the Sweet Potato Queens and acknowledge that name came from her book. I use it with great respect. Scott puts up with a lot and I mean a lot. God Bless Him. He has my whole heart.
And I also to the best kids who are going to grow up warped for sure.
anyways. just thinking....
I'm 2 weeks behind on blogs. There's been something different to do every day and sitting writing wasn't one of them. I have managed to bathe on a regular schedule and subbed yesterday so I've contributed something to society but I haven't had time to sit and think. Last night I got a taste of the 40s+ years so today finds me sitting. Just thinking.
The boys were at the field at practice so Mackenzie and I went to the back yard to work on her shooting. When she asked me to go my obvious first response was, "Me?" "Outside with a ball flying at me? "shut up and leave mommy alone" but that didn't come out of my mouth. I was shamed by a friend who just found herself widowed and caring for her 10-year-old son. She had been trying to practice with him in the back yard. She's working so hard to keep it all together and she was out there doing her late husband Mo's favorite job... she was training him and the stories were fun. So, having heard Pam's stories the day before, I ignored the warning bells in my head and said, "Of course. Let's go practice. You can shoot on me. I want to help".
She started slow on me and she shot and I blocked. Nothing heroic but I was stopping them. We joked about being a overweight goalkeeper over 40 and it was all good. The first one to take me down was a strong shot that hit my ankle. I went down faster than an Italian, Champions League contender. I flopped and cursed for a good 6 minutes off the clock but Holy Crap it hurt. I stopped when she talked about calling Scott on the field to come home - that would be a bad thing for anything but a major injury. She and I being so much alike we didn't really thinking about it being a bad idea to continue. She got her foot stuck in the net and was hopping around on one foot so, of course, I took a shot directly on her. Thank God I can't run and think at the same time so I missed her and she wriggled her foot out. I have no clue how she's such an athlete... she's a bull in a china shop on those legs that seem to grow an inch a day but she manages to run and swim and play soccer (well I don't know if she's doing this well because we haven't had a game yet).
I really don't remember the sequence of events after that. I know I shot and scored once and she shot and scored and we blocked some and did some foot work and then there was a break away (for most of my friends... a break away is when the ball gets loose down into the open field). So we went for it. Two ungraceful people were racing in the dark on an uneven back yard. I knew the ankles on my soccer pants were unzipped but had never really wondered WHY they zip in the first place... Soccer pants zip so there is no fabric to trip you. If your soccer pants are unzipped there is a chance your feet can get tangled in the fabric. Mackenzie said it was a large thud. I remember hearing her say "oh shit' but it was drown by whatever came out of my mouth. THEN she started saying "ohhhhhh now i'ma REALLY call dad now..." and I said "oh hell no you're not. I will be inside before he gets home" and then a whole bunch of dog butt fur because they were wrestling and landed on me and I said "oh *&%$ shoot me right here".
I got in before he came home. She iced down my shoulder (we are calling the move I made a pile driver). You know, she's a really awesome kid. Scott's first words were "You know sweetie, you're over 40 now".
This morning I felt like I was run over a few times. A little bruising but no bruise as bad as when Mackenzie told me this morning what she felt. She said she blames herself because she should have know to bring me in at dusk. Welcome to my secondlife - over and down the hill. I didn't take a photo so here is what I wish I'd looked like when it happened but I'm sure it was ungraceful AND unappealing.
this is her - doing a headstand
So anyway, mama's moving but moving slow this morning and I don't think Kenzie will ever let me go out and play again :-(
On the positive side... the cutest boy in the world took lovely care of me so there's that. Oh and we got a puppy from Humane Society but more on her later. I'm sure this will be fun.
It's been a week since I left you sitting looking at that sunset. As with any week in my life every day is the emotional polar opposite of the day before with new adventures by the minute.
Friday morning Tricia and I headed off to Metrolina Expo. I've been trying to make sure everything that Hielan does (other than the photo paper) is recycled or repurposed. Neither of us has been to the Expo and headed off to North Charlotte with a basic knowledge of where it's held and the knowledge they have "old stuff". I'd looked at a map of the Expo and decided the people who rented the "inside" booths had paid actual money so they knew the stuff they had and you would pay considerably more. Then again their stuff will be restored to the standard. There are outside booths which are inside "car garage" areas (with roll up doors). Shelter but not climate controlled so it would be cheaper (if not scattered is if designed by Lewis Carol on opiates). Then there are the people set up on the grass; these people have cheap stuff but you have to be careful and know it's not restored. These people pulled it from the barn and it's sold as is. What we didn't expect were permanent buildings with stores. We decided right off those would cost the most so we would avoid them (this is said in "anticipatory irony" font)
We strolled through the climate controlled area and were correct... high priced but nice things. A good place to start to get a gauge on prices and a look at antiques we knew were quality. We didn't buy anything in there and I didn't snap photos. Pretty stuff. If you don't want to have to redo something then head there. It's lovely.
We headed outside. Friday was the day during and right after those horrid storms. There were still cells of storm in the morning (we got there at 9) but by noon it had passed. It hindered the sellers a bit and the ones on the grass couldn't even set up. The things that were left in the rain were discounted per the sellers discretion.
The outside areas were amazing. They had everything from "fresh from the barn" to "moderately restored" to "no clue what it is but it's old". It reminded me of my Great Aunt Millsey's post-depression house. Some of it reminded me of what it would be like if it weren't cared about for 30-40 years and some of it reminded me of the era. Some areas were set up modest but clean. Quilts were scattered around and there were old huge ashtrays filled with odds and ends. I use to love those. My uncle Paul would have one on a dresser that had everything from a pocket knife to change, from buttons to pieces of starlight mint. They didn't throw anything away and you never knew what you'd find. This was like that and it was an actual representation of the stuff I could have found. There were antique toys and war medals and military memorabilia and telephone chairs and old bolt-down desks. There were vintage ads and milk bottles (there was even one paper milk carton and the image of 40 years of bacteria danced in my head). I was looking for a desk and had "vintage" as the only image in my mind and this place had my eyes and brain bouncing from place to place. We wandered and, to be honest, had too much fun stuck in the world of our grandparents. She found a big ole tin lamb butter mold that moved her to pounce and I found a desk that caught my eye.
Representation of mold - not actual mold purchased
THIS was what Tricia Noti adored. It's a happy lamb butter mold. I'll be damned if I thought one of my friends would mold butter but Tricia Noti is the type that does what she wants so who knows
actual desk I loved.
And another he had on the truck but that was FRESH out of the barn and a bit much for me to handle my first time out.
I didn't get the little one because it was only about 3 feet across so work with frames on top of the desk would be impossible.
This one excited my brain but Scott texted back with a WTH IS THAT? I have to agree it's rather large and would have to go in a larger space. It's an old rolling work area from a mill. I could make the back into a display. See? SEE? Ok it's 7' and 300 lbs but come on...
Anyway didn't get that one either for some reason.
These I looked at for Ella to use as a vanity (redone - that blue stripe is interesting but not Ella I'm sure)
Then turned back to finding my desk.
wanted this one but was way too long
REALLY wanted this but already have one.
Ok. By now we are at the "stores outside that have to be too expensive and we won't go in there" and as you would have it, I found something I liked and set about mixing and matching from an AWESOME lady Tammy.
In the end I got it all for under $160 dollars or something and Tricia went home with a cast iron stove toy, an old Dutch jug and her lamb mold and I went home with a desk, 5 old explosives boxes, 3 smaller boxes and some old money for Scott. If you can get to the Expo GO. It's a fun day and it's almost guaranteed you will see something from your youth. Anyways I'm really tired of typing I'd be amazed if you're still reading.
Later I'll get to the James Bond, Hooters, and the Tummy Virus
I don't like to do the same thing each day so this morning's adventure was to pull apart the pallets to salvage the wood and make frames. Really it wasn't going to be an adventure so much as quick work since the wood and nails are old. I was planning to pop out to the garage and just pull them apart with gloves and strength. Is there actually something you can rupture under your armpit? Cause I really need to have that looked at. Anyways, needless to say to those of you laughing at me, nope it didn't work. And to those of you thinking it may work, it didn't work.
In my previous marriage Gary spent a lot of time and effort hiding tools from me knowing he'd never know what he'd come home to if i had access to them. I learned to improvise various household items into functioning tools (meat mallets, knives and such). Today, after the failed attempt to separate wood and nails with might, I was happy to go out and grab the first pounder and lever things I saw and try it that way.
Little tack hammer and screw driver didn't really do what I wanted. I needed a bigger hammer and wedge.
Can anyone fix this? I'm really lucky they didn't find me laying on the garage floor with a head wound.
After lunch I decided to go to Lowe's to see if they had anything that could help me. You know, those guys over there are really nice and if you explain to them what you are doing they can tell you what to get. so I got some stuff.
I got home and spent the next few hours liberating very old wood from very old nail. But ya see, there is a guy at the pallet company and that guy's only job is to make sure the pallets are strong. So this guy goes back through and pounds in or shoots in or screws in whatever is needed to make sure this pallet is NOT gonna come apart. I also found out that rusted nails and old wood together form one of the strongest bonds in nature. And maybe, just maybe, this guy is a drinker and comes back with some kind of vendetta against the pallets as seen below...
No no, Skeeter, 6 nails at the same joint isn't overkill *rolls eyes*. The reason you pay so much for reclaimed wood products is it is almost impossible to get it apart without damaging the wood. So if you have something reclaimed appreciate it.
I've spent the rest of my day hammering, and wedging, and praying, and swearing and hammering and placing some curses on Skeeter and lots of prying (a few times I hit myself with the hammer too so there were some colorful words and "thank God"s).
Like the work table? Made it myself. Protip: buckets of drywall mud and an old pallet aren't a good work surface. Anyway. After what could be a broken knuckle, metal paint shards in my eye, tetanus, Gary's dad's broken hammer, and whatever that yellow stuff is on the ground... I have reclaimed wood
A VERY small pile of it and only 5 more pallets to go. So now I offer reclaimed wood frames... $50000 for a 4x6. Just a thought.
Today I had 2 girlfriends come over and while dealing with outside issues, we sifted through all the prints that showed up in the mail today (200 or so). We also played with the pallet wood Lowes gave me. We love the pallet with the plant stained circles but we're trying to decide to best use it. Frames? On the wall as a whole?
So far we've just leaned some of the prints against it. I've got more prints than things to put them on at this point The white sheet is to save the new paint on the walls (so is the checkered table cloth on the lower photo)
Eventually the two pallets will be hanging on the wall and I'll have used the rest of the wood to frame some prints. On Friday I'm going to the Expo to see what salvage I can find. I'm trying to stick to my vow to only use reclaimed materials in my office and to frame the prints. We'll see how it goes.
I have 98 photos in the hopper ready to go through (here's one I grabbed)
And there are a ton more from the same night (last night) to weed through for quality. Now I have to go feed my girlchild while my boychild is at soccer in threatening thunderstorms. I don't think the girlchild will accept a Green Smoothie either. She gave up chocolate for Lent and is a little bent out of shape from the lack of cocoa.
So stare at the sunset and sorry. Just thinking (on a pot of coffee)
Everyone around me is fit. I am not fit. I like to take photos and I like to sit on the couch and uncover what I've shot. I worked hard for several years when my husband was sick and now I'm not lazy, per se, but... well, conservative of my energy. As I progress with the photography I want to be able to go everywhere and photograph everything; now i have to get in shape.
So this leads to my post from yesterday on Facebook, "Having a Green Detox smootie. Spinach, greek yogurt, banana, orange juice and pears with skin on it...". My healthy friends posted things like "yummy" and "awesome" and "I love those". My fun friends who don't go outside much and make me happy posted, "hork" and "why?" and by bestest friends texted or posted "What the **** are you thinking?!?! Don't drink that thing! Do you know what is going to happen"? Put down the glass *****!"
I drank two.
At around 6pm I posted "OMG. Reporting. Detox takes 6 hours" or something like that... I was wrong. I've figured out that was everything in my body, not associated with the detox, fleeing from what's to come. I realized what my best friends knew. As a 40-year-old-woman who doesn't ever eat 4 servings of spinach and pear peels every day, my body was going to be angered by this move-to-health-in-one-day approach. At 40, your body can be as in control of you as you are of it... even more in control than you. And earlier I figured out what my body was up to (as my abdomen cramped and complained). It is going to wait until 6pm. It is going to wait until I am away from home for 3 hours. It is going to wait until the most inconvenient and embarrassing option comes along and teach me a lesson for what I've done. And I'll never drink a Green Detox Smoothie again. And I'll learn my body is in control. And I'll wander into my 40s wondering what is going to crap out on me next. And hopefully laugh.
So that's it. That's the story behind the green shake and I hope my public admission of this will convince my body I am wholly apologetic and I will never try anything like that again and I will ease into health and no more surprises.
And in good news, I was able to drink some water this morning without shuddering so there's that