Saturday, December 31, 2016

I’ve been seeing a chiropractor and getting a massage about every other Friday lately.  I have had trouble with my neck and shoulders for some time and was getting sick and tired of it.  My insurance gave me a choice of ONE chiropractor to see in the area.

Just my luck that he is gorgeous and very pleasant to visit.  My massage therapist if Adrianna and she is magnificent.  I had a 15 minute session the first time and 30 minutes the second and third times. She has located these balls of knotted fibers and is working to break them up.  It is so painful but I practice my yoga breathing while she does it.  I’m doing an hour with her next month.  Right now my neck is pretty sore from the kneading she gave me.

After Friday’s session, I met up with friend, Garnet, and she took me out to lunch at JMK Nippon.  It is one of my very favorite restaurants.  I had the Tonkatsu, which I always have because I don’t get it very often.  It is breaded pork cutlet and served with Tonkatsu sauce, which is heaven.  The hubster and I make it about twice a year. 

Garnet caught me up on her medical conditions and it is not good news but we laughed and joked and had a great time.  She has such a good attitude and now that her hair is growing she is a happy camper.

There are friends in my life that I just could not do without.  Garnet is one of them.  We lived two houses apart for several years before I met her.  She got me a job at the local Mental Health Institute where she worked and we worked together for about six months and then I moved into the office where I worked for another six months.  We took walks at lunch and after work we rode our bikes around the lake.  She complained with every pedal she made and wanted to turn back all the time.  When we got back, she wanted to do it again.

We parted ways for a while after she moved away from the Lake.  When she got sick I determined that I was going to be part of her life again and we became kayaking buddies.  We have been on many adventures and gone so many fun places together.  She has eaten Indian food, Chinese food, Thai food and many other things she would never have tried if not for my urging.  We even took a trip to Denver, Colorado because she had never seen the mountains.

I’m hoping one day to travel to Jamaica with her because I know she would just love the place as much as I do.  Great food, lovely people, marvelous music, they speak English and you can drink the water.

Cancer is a bitch and I hate it.  It has affected so many people that I dearly love and has taken many folks that I loved.  The only thing we can do is try to see the beauty in the world around us and appreciate the things we have.

Here is the cancer joke I made up.  What do cancer and Adolph Hitler have in common? They are both really bad and I’d love to kick their asses.

I made an apricot pie for Christmas dinner.  And I know that ratty old cookie sheet should be thrown away but I keep it to bake my pies on in case they spill over.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I just read a very inspiring book called Circle of Three about a grandmother, mother and granddaughter and their mother daughter relationships.  It made me think a lot about the relationship between my own mother, and me and my daughters.

My mother was a very nurturing mother but she didn’t teach me skills.  She didn’t allow me to help with dinner.  She never taught me how to sew.  She certainly never taught me how to raise two daughters.  I sort of made it up as I went along.

My mother and my father, to be exact, did everything for me.  I wasn’t taught much of anything at home except for religion.  My parents were religious zealots who believed everything was sinful.  I wore dresses until my sister who was ten years older than me bought me shorts and insisted I should wear them because I was such a tomboy. It was better climbing trees in shorts and not letting the boys see my underwear when I was in a dress.  My parents assented to this.

I dressed in guilt every morning of my life but I tried very hard to please my parents.  As an adult I very much resent the fact that they didn’t teach me life skills to get through life.  In the book one of the women says, “She (her mother) influenced me to not be like her.  My mother tried to influence me to be her.

I never really wanted children.  I was never around them and frankly, most children pestered the daylights out of me.  I determined when I had my first daughter to teach her life skills.  With the second daughter I was even more determined to make sure they grew up responsible and able to cope.  I didn’t want to be like my mother.

When the girls were very little I sat them on the countertop in the kitchen while I cooked.  I talked about what I was cooking and why to put what seasoning in what.  Cinnamon didn’t go in cornbread.  Sage didn’t go on the pudding.  They pulled chairs up to the stove to practice turning pancakes.  They used a spatula and a chopstick to turn the cakes.  It broke my heart the first time one of them burned themselves on the stove.  But it was a lesson learned.

I also was determined that they should enjoy their childhood.  I made them play in mud and make mud pies.  We went to every playground in the city.  I took them sledding in the winter and swimming in the summer.  Both my girls were in the pool before six months old.  One took to it rapidly but the other one cried entirely too much.

When they were teenagers I insisted that each of them plan and prepare a meal for our family at least once a week.  They both turned out to be excellent cooks.

I tried to teach them gardening but they soon lost interest when the little seeds they had planted didn’t come up fast enough.  One turned out to be a gardener and the other lives in the desert (the non-swimmer).

When the older daughter was in high school she once told me that if her father and I divorced, she was going to live with him.  My heart has never been broken so entirely.
The younger daughter once told her teacher that she adored me and wouldn’t change a thing about me.  The teacher wrote me a letter to tell me so and I still have that letter.  It almost mended my broken heart.

Another heartbreak was when my parents refused to let me be in band in elementary school and I never learned to read music.  Thanks to choir I was able to read music by ear.  I could hear my line of music and could pretty much replicate it by memory.

When my girls were in elementary school I encouraged both to join band.  I wanted them to know how to read music.  I encouraged older daughter to take up the oboe which I dearly love.  She played it for years before giving it up to become a percussionist.  She loved playing her marimba.

Younger daughter played flute and later piccolo.  She taught herself to play the saxophone so she could play in the jazz band at school.  She also brought a bass guitar home and learned to play that also.  I was very proud of her for doing such.

I started my mourning period when older daughter was a Freshman in high school.  I knew she would be leaving me in four more years and I was distraught.  I tried to assure myself that I would have a whole year with younger daughter and I would soon be used to having an only child and then a year later be childless.

Having read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet years ago, I agreed with his philosophy about children.  “Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.  They come through you but not from you.  And yet they are with you, they belong not to you. For they have their own thoughts.  You may house their bodies, but not their souls.  For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”

I firmly believed this probably because my parents never would have.  I wanted to raise two children to go out into the world and make a difference because I couldn’t.  Only by helping them to do this, would I have made a difference.

I don’t dote on my children any longer.  I let them have their lives and be the person they were meant to be.  I think of them often but they are no longer my reason for living.  We try to talk or text whenever it comes to our minds to do so.  I don’t call them every Sunday and they don’t call me every Sunday.

I live in the knowledge that I raised them properly and they are fine on their own.  I know there are parents out there that think about their adult children constantly and would never understand my point of view.

That is fine because I took care of my own backyard, so to speak, and they can take care of theirs in the way they see fit.  One part of the book the mother thinks about her mother’s hold on her and she says, “She will spend her life getting over losing her child.”  I won’t.

Peace be with you.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I haven’t blogged in quite some time.  First of all, I am getting winter lazy.  I do it every winter.  I just want to hole up and read, sew or bake and cook.  And I cleaned my keyboard the other day and the stupid space bar keeps sticking and I am getting so angry.

My computer is doing the dumbest thing.  It tries to update and shut down but it goes right to shut down and then it won’t come up in the morning when I turn it on.  I have this little circle of white lights that keeps turning and turning. The hubster looked it up on line and has got this system for getting me back in my computer. I have to unplug it three times and then it will talk to me and say to wait and then a recovery window comes up and he has to type this dos looking stuff into the computer.

I stopped and cleaned the space bar with alcohol and it seems to be working better.  (It is probably clogged with those magical fibers of love that aren’t dog hair.)

I went on an adventure with friend, Lauri, on Black Friday.  We went three hours north of Madison to visit the Amish Walmart.  It was out in the sticks, had no lighting and smelled pretty bad.  I purchased two bandanas.  I ran down the battery on my telephone using it as a flashlight.  If you are into old stuff, antiques and carrying a flashlight to look for things, go to the Amish Walmart better known as Trail’s End.  Otherwise just go to the Goodwill store in Delavan as it has a lot of cool stuff.

I had my Master Gardener’s Book Club Christmas party the next week.  My club read my children’s book, The Cow Who Ate the Hippopotamus, for our monthly selection.   It has absolutely nothing to do with gardening but is a quick read and you can do all those other things you need to do in December like reading, sewing and baking and cooking.  Anyway, I think everyone enjoyed it, but I don’t really know because no one said as such.  They just asked me where I got the idea.  I showed them the huge cow photo from Photobucket.  Just surf huge cow photo and you can see it too.

The next week was my Master Gardener’s Holiday Party.  I was in charge of ordering the meat dish and entertainment.  I put together some holiday carols as they had enjoyed that game at the party two years ago.  Example:  O Shrinking Steel mills is Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.  Facilitate translucent ice crystals was Let it Snow.  Fun game.  Let me know if you want a copy.

We also played a game to guess what was in the stocking.  I stumped a bunch of them with an old broken protractor.

Emily and I haven’t had much excitement.  It is too cold and snowy to go for walks We play sqeeky toy a lot.  I may try to take her to Petco someday.  I just don’t know how she will react.  I guess I can just go in and if it isn’t going well turn around and leave.

I had to clean up some snow yesterday to prepare for today’s snow and Emmie went out with me.  She jumps right into the mounds of snow and leaps and is so very entertaining.  I tried to get her to fetch snow balls but she wasn’t being taken in by that stupidity.   As soon as they exploded on the ground she just walked away looking at me as if I had grown another head.

When we got inside I decided to try the boots on her.  Addi and Sam had gotten them for Jessie dog but she only wore them once and lost one on the way and I had to backtrack to find it.  Well the hubster gathered in the living room to witness the donning of the boots.  I thought at first they were too small but sure enough I gave them a little twist and on they went.  I velcroed it up and her leaping began.  She jumped three legged and shook it.  Then she tried to bite it.  I told her “no” and told the hubster to get a treat and fast.

We assured her that she was the best dog in the world and I got a boot on the other front leg.   She was sitting down to one side and I got the back boot on.  I told her to stand and I started getting the other back boot on.  The hubster was feeding treats and telling her “good girl.”  Well the Velcro got stuck to the other back boot and they both came off.  I lay back on the floor exhausted and she came to kiss me but remembered the boots and started to eat them.

I tucked the boots away but determined I would try again.  I’d really like to walk on the ice again.  I think she must wear the boots to keep her little paws from freezing.   I haven’t walked on the ice on the lake since I got Jessie the first year, that must have been about ten years ago.

I don’t know if you have ever walked on an ice frozen lake but it makes the coolest sound ever.  It kind of sounds like a whale.  And it is so peaceful out in the middle of the lake with nothing but a bunch of drunks in ice fishing houses and holes drilled everywhere in sight.  We used to fly one of those Styrofoam airplanes back and forth when the girls were little.  Some guys used to hit orange golfballs.  It is another world out there folks.

So today I am going to try to make my candied peanuts.  The last two times I made them I burned them.  They are too much work to burn so I have to watch my temperature.

Yesterday I made chocolate covered cherry cookies and candied ginger.  I used Alton Brown’s ginger recipe as I couldn’t find my old one.  He always weighs his measurements (really pisses me off) and so I over sugared my ginger and have a pint jar of gingered sugar.  Anyone interested?  It is pretty good in tea.

The chocolate covered cherry cookies came out great.  I like my cookies to remain a ball rather than let them melt flat.  Son-in-law Anthony has proclaimed the name of the cookies to be Big Black Boobie Cookies. No derogatory disrespect intended!

It snowed last night and the wind was blowing pretty severely.  We have a mound at the front door and I must suit up in my snow gear and go out and clear the way.  The dog has to jump over another mound outside the garage.   Hope my back holds up.  Bengals game comes on at noon and I must go get the snow problem taken care of.