Posted in Musings and Mutterings

9 years and 6 months

My blog is 9 years old today, and it’s been 6 months since I’ve written in it. I find both of those time frames amazing.

I used to write in Snippets and Tidbits all the time. Now, I can’t seem to find the time to read a book, make my bed (who wants to do that anyway) or get regular exercise. So, what changed?

I do sleep more than I did. I was told caffeine wasn’t really my friend and to go with the natural flow for sleep with the goal to get a good solid 8 hours. And I decided to take a bit of time in the morning for meditation/reflection, which is good for me. But it seems these self-care health changes have impacted others. I used to get up and go for a walk, but now I’m sleeping in. I know the thought is to go to bed earlier, but 10 is early enough, and during the work season, I don’t get home until then anyway. In any case, I guess it’s a matter of priority. You can always make time for something you feel is a priority.

When I do find the time to sit down, I seem to have “lost my voice”. For a while there were things going on that I wanted to write about, but felt I couldn’t. When I could write about them, I didn’t want to anymore. I didn’t want to give the subject more power. And I didn’t feel, “I got up, ate food, worked, did chores and went to bed.” merited a blog post.

Over the last six months, I’ve certainly had a few things to write about. I’d like to find my “voice” again and exercise my sense of humor and blogging brain again.

Let’s start with a generic update, and I hope I can expand from there in future blogs.

M turned one and is now 18 months old. She’s amazing!

Work continues to grow and evolve .

We sold our BIG house and are living in a much smaller home.

We went on tour to England and Scotland. Hubby and I went to the Highlands after the tour group left, and I continued on to Ireland.

I guess those would be the highlights.

So, yeah… kinda boring post, but… it’s a post, and that’s a start.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

MTV

So, my biggest kick for the past year has been my daily dose of MTV. Not the channel MTV which used to actually play MUSIC ( insert deep inhale of shock here) but M-TV. Just about every day I get a video chat phone call from my daughter, but starring my granddaughter M!

M is almost a year old, and through this medium, I’ve been able to watch her grow from miles away. I’ve played peek-a-boo, watched her learn how to shake her head no.. often.. and then finally yes, watched her starting to crawl, get to her feet and now walk with help and enjoyed watching her learn how to feed herself in all her messy glory.

I remember looking at my dad’s copies of Popular Science back in the 70’s and looking at the articles about how we’ll be able to one day SEE the person on the other end of the phone. I always thought that would be a cool way to communicate. This cover is from ’88 and it feels ancient.

When my daughter went off to college, now just over 11 years ago, we set her up with a laptop and camera so she wouldn’t feel so homesick. She’d check in just about every day during that first year, easing the separation for both herself and me. Though grainy and sometimes stuttered, I still got to see my girl and we got to chat about how life was going on. I remember her friends commenting that this set up was so cool… and relatively new at the time.

As time moved on and technology rapidly progressed I now get to see my M with crystal clear clarity, whether at home or on the go. Definitely a change.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Art of Miscommunication

What are the hallmarks of a good conversation?

Two people who are truly interested in what the other has to say? Each feeling as though the other has been “heard”? The ability for one to ask a question of the other without the other feeling questioned (attacked)? An experience where both people contributed thoughts, feeling, opinions and ideas freely and openly without fearing that what they’ve said is “wrong”?

If you think that’s the right track, I agree.

But that’s not what’s been going on around my house, even though both of us would like it to be.

In my house there’s been lies which broke trust. There’s been repeated betrayal, which caused suspicion. There’s been assumptions, which lead to the breakdown of communication and the ability for someone else to hear those problems and slide right in to fill the spot.

BTW-intentional or not, that was awfully shitty of you, Theresa Cesario. You may want to refer to the above paragraph about how to have a good conversation and see if you can talk to your husband Craig, instead of mine.

The thing is, there’s also love. There’s true love in my house. Not the false love of a temporary relationship. I know my husband loves me. How? He’s willing to look at himself and be honest about his choices. He’s willing to look to see if the feelings he thought he felt are true. He’s willing to look at the story he was telling himself and realize that much of it was conjecture and ego.

I think we’ve had miscommunication because we are both insanely concerned with not harming the other. We’ve both been walking on eggshells to not “set the other one off”. Today we had a difficult but good conversation and I’m proud of the way he took a step back and looked at things and chose to not be defensive and close down. I’m also proud of the way he’s opening up to tell me more than just how work went and having a “surface” conversation. I think he’s an amazingly bright person and learning how his mind works has always been interesting to me.

I got something in my email today that said you need to act as though you are already where you want, not as if you will eventually be where you want.

Let that sink in. I’m going to.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Old People Are Hard to Keep Up With

As you may know, I’ve spent some time in Dexter-land (Oregon) visiting my bestie. She’s the manager for a beautiful community perched high atop a hill with expansive ocean views. If you watch HGTV often enough, you’ll hear the term “million dollar view” tossed around fairly often, but that’s common in this community. Let’s just say there is abundance and affluence here.

One of the things Bestie does is arrange social gatherings with this crowd. We go to dinner on Tuesdays, there’s luncheons, wine and cheese parties, a winery tour complete with limo, and byob bocce.  I don’t think there’s any even that a bottle of red isn’t either present, or welcome to. I don’t know how these people can drink so much!!

This evening we had a going away party for someone in the neighborhood and everyone brought bottles of wine to share along with other goodies. The table was groaning under the amount of food they brought, and the wine flowed freely. Everyone ate and chatted and enjoyed themselves. The guests of honor were very sweet people who are moving closer to the kids and hunkering down. I spoke with the gentleman and mentioned that I was considering the same kind of move, and he said he thought it was a wise choice to do. He thought it was a good idea to start resettling a little earlier than later.

I counted a good 15 bottles of wine gone, along with another 5 that were partially empty and 3 that were unopened, a bottle of rum (emptied), some beer (all gone) and a few mixed bevvies that were brought. Again, all gone. Sheesh!! Here I am, at least 15 years younger than they are and it’s impossible to keep up!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Life in Dexter-Land

For any of you that followed the TV series Dexter, you know he ends up as a lumberjack in what we believe is the PNW.  Even though I know he’s fictional, it crosses my mind that I’m in Dexter-land when I go out for walks here. Not that I should have ever been worried. I wasn’t Dexter’s normal kind of prey.

Bestie and I have spent some extra quality time together this summer, as I needed some space to get my head together after the 5 year mind-fuck that’s been going on at my house. It’s been good being on the beach, feeling the breezes and walking through the stillness of the trees here. It feels so good that I’ve thought of staying.  Amazingly, it’s been one of the hottest summers for Portland, with temps in the 90s, yet where we are, we are lucky to break 67 and I had to go buy another sweater. It’s been weird to have October in July, but if you are a fan of typical fall weather, you’d love summer here.

This past weekend, we went to Portland’s Saturday Market, then off to Spirit Mountain to try our hand at the slots and enjoy the local feeding trough. Both were pretty good. Due to parking restraints, we didn’t get to spend as much time at the market, but enough time to get my purse I’d come to find. I was so happy, I got two!

At Spirit Mountain, we paid our respects and donated (gambled) our money in the casino. It was a nice facility. The next morning we got up and drove to Evergreen Air Museum to see the “Spruce Goose”, which is a marvel in engineering. It’s freaking huge!! It’s so big you can’t really get a good shot of her.

Even this panorama doesn’t really illustrate how phenomenally huge this plane is.

Unlike visits to the PNW in the past, this time we aren’t so structured. I’ve enjoyed the easy pace and relaxing time with my bestie.

I’m here for another two weeks, so we’ll have a few more adventures before I go home.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

1 of 6

Even though I had some travel planned already, Hubby and I decided we needed a bit of a break to clear our heads and give each other some space. I extended my travel to 6 weeks away, with only a few days for me to come home and repack.

Last Friday was week 1 of 6.

Yesterday, I needed to do something outside of the house, so I went to the Phipps Conservatory and wandered Schenley park. I’m finding pockets of Pittsburgh that I like! I went into a Carnegie Library and saw the museum of natural history… though it was too late in the afternoon to go in.  I hadn’t realized that Pittsburgh had its own version of the “lock bridge” either.  I wandered by the fountain dedicated to Mary Schenley and saw kids playing in the water and I wandered by people who had brought their hammocks to the park, their toes peeping over the edge of the fabric while they read their books or lazed in the shade.

In one corner, there were young flexible people using each other as support for some pretty acrobatic balancing holds. In the opposite corner were some elderly Asian folk, performing a kind of meditation. And across the way, there were princesses dressed up in their finery to visit with children who were learning to play chess and connect four with giant game pieces. Students were strewn about sunbathing on the lush green grass and everyone seemed to enjoy the very pleasant weather.

This is the same kind of scene you see in the movies just before an alien ship crashes into the park, or a giant monster starts plucking up people and eating them. But no, it was just all very pleasant. So I left and went to the casino!! Because that’s what you do, right?

The casino was in the direction I had to go to get home, so I stopped in. At first I lost $20.00, but then my penchant for playing machines named for places I’ve visited kicked in and I played DaVinci’s Diamonds until I’d won all my money back. Then, I left! Because that’s also what you do, right?

It’s been a lovely visit with my daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law, and while I don’t leave for another few days, I’m already missing everyone.

 

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Frustration

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You know the feeling. Stuck between what you want and what you don’t/can’t have, or just plain confused and riled up to the point of feeling overwhelmed.

Yup. Sums it up.

Currently, I’m trying to wrap my head around how/why people do things. I know I’ll never fully understand, because I’m not in their shoes and will never be able to fully see their perspective. However, humans in general project themselves and behave in a manner that they believe others would treat them, or how they expect to be treated.

If you are nice to someone, you’d expect they’d be nice to you. If they aren’t, you feel a bit off, or hurt, angry, or maybe defensive and consequently frequently fall into the same craptastic behavior you didn’t like in them.

But, is that the best way to respond? What if you took a moment to look at things from a different viewpoint. You don’t know what that person was thinking or what was going on in their life at the moment they were mean to you. They may have some inner demons sitting on their shoulder at that moment.

However, when you sit down with them and ask them what’s happening in their world, or inquire as to why they were crankypants with you, and they can’t really give you a reason other than they were “stupid” or “selfish” or “foolish” (all good adjectives that would be accurate, but not really what they were feeling at the time), maybe the best thing you can do is to ask them to think a little more and get back to you.