Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Happiness

I have missed a couple of days on my happiness project.  It's not that I didn't have many things to make me happy, it's that one of those things was oxycodone/acetaminophen that I was prescribed after my gall bladder surgery.  And my motto is "Friends don't let friends blog drunk" or stoned or under the influence of too much caffeine.

Monday, we arrived at 5:15 am to prepare for my surgery.  The intake folk at Palmetto Baptist were wonderful, professional, efficient and friendly without being irritating.  Not one asked me "how are we feeling this morning?"  My doctor did ask if I was ready, which made me wonder what would happen if I said no.

I went home and my darling husband took care of me all day.  OK, he gave me drugs and hogged the TV remote, but he's still a peach.

Good drugs, good insurance and excellent heath care.   Gotta make you smile.  And be grateful, because I know I am fortunate to have all of this.

Tuesday, I felt a little bit yuckier, but not terrible.  I took drugs and slept between writing and knitting.  I am knitting something, and am proud of myself because I've never succeeded in knitting more than a small triangle.  

Today is Thanksgiving; the day we set aside for gratitude.  When asked what I am grateful for, I always say "family and friends, home and hearth," because those are the basics.  I don't want to leave them off, ever, because I am blessed to be able to take them for granted.

I am also thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life who make me laugh, give me hugs, help me think.

I am thankful for my children and grandchildren, and I pray that they will all find the way God wants them to go.  Soon.  Not that I'm rushin'...

I am thankful for my friends, virtual and real.  I am thankful for love without judgement or limits. 

I am thankful for things that are happening in my life, my heart, and my mind; and for the people who are helping me on the way.

I am thankful for so much, I think I'll stop.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday morning

Friday, Bob and I went to Brookgreen Gardens on our way home from Myrtle Beach.  Brookgreen Gardens was the home of the Huntingtons and houses the wonderful sculptures by Anna Hyatt Huntington and other marvelous sculptures they collected.

It is a garden, and even in the winter, it has lots of happiness potential.

There are berries and camellias all winter long.  There were even some roses and sage flowers of some sort.  And pansies, of course.  It wouldn't be winter without plantings of pansies.

The sculpture and the trees are beautiful.

Diana and her hound... she's here a lot.
We had a lovely lunch in the middle of the garden in the old kitchen building.  I ate a vegetable wrap with dill sauce and iced peach tea. 

It was an afternoon full of happiness and appreciation for the joys of life... big and small.  The small being, I was able to walk around the garden for three hours without too much twitching from my twitchy hip.

Yesterday, Saturday, I read alone most of the day.  I took a warm bubble bath and read some more.  The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordon.  I'm almost finished, then I'll give it back to Mark.

Gabe and Brendon spent the night... and now we are getting ready for church.  I guess I'd better help...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Red sky at night/ red sky in the morning... mixed messages


Last night there was a beautiful coral sunset over the ocean.  I'll put in the picture when I can download it.  Of course, the picture can only represent the vision --- you'll have to imagine the smell of salt and winter in the air, the cold embracing the city.  Since I'm in SC, I welcome cold.  I know some of y'all have already had enough.  This morning there was a crimson sunrise.  Beautiful, but what?  Red sky delight or warning?  Oh well.  We'll see.  Still stunning.

I love the beach in the winter.

I enjoyed the seminar yesterday.  PTI tax has interesting amusing speakers who don't cross the line into silly or (heaven forbid) political.  Taxes are what they are.  Congress makes a new mess every year, and every time they "simplify" taxes, we get new clients.  That's not political, that's life.

I love good continuing education seminars.

In my continuing farewell to my gallbladder tour, I had a wonderful fried seafood dinner at Drunken Jack's in Murrells Inlet.  Bob, Bruce, and I went down there last night.  It was too dark to see the inlet, but you can just feel the water, can't you?  They also had yummy sounding not fried food, but that wouldn't be a farewell to my gallbladder, would it?

I love good seafood at the inlet.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Good news/bad news

The good news bad news is that I am in Myrtle Beach in an ocean front hotel getting ready to go downstairs for another tax seminar.

Yesterday's blisses were pretty easy to find, I'll just have to narrow it down.

I rode down to Myrtle Beach with Bob.  That alone helped me relax enough to be an not unpleasant person this morning.  The weather was great on the ride down.

Once we got here, the fog rolled in.  I couldn't see anything from the balcony but fog, and I could hear the waves thundering beneath it.  Very very cool.  It was even cooler when a thunderstorm hit later in the evening.  We could see the rain dancing over the ocean.  Bob said it was like watching ghosts.  We slept with the balcony door open, listening to the wind and the surf.

We went to Outback for dinner.  It was close and I decided to eat a blooming onion as a farewell gesture to my gallbladder, which is leaving me on Monday. 

The color of the day is gray, but I kind of like that. 

On to tax education!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stretching for Happiness

Yesterday was a day.

A day that makes me stretch to find the happy places.  But they are there.  Sort of.

First, I went to an orthopedist about my supposedly herniated disks and arthritic hip.  He poo-pooed them both, having seen much worse.  The fact that he himself is getting his knee replaced may have lowered his sympathy level. 

That is ok, because I don't want a hip replacement or back surgery or any of those horrible things.  I want to be able to sleep through the night, sit on the floor, and let my grandkids and lovely niece sit on my lap without me screaming.

And, I have high hopes, because he is sending me to a physical therapist.  YEAH!!!!  I hope he does massages and gives me exercises that will make me feel better.

Happy moment number one.

I probably shouldn't mention that I left the office, went the wrong way, got lost & found, took the elevator the wrong way, made it to my office and walked into the office... wait that's my second story.

I'm in my office about 10 minutes when Gina gets in from her class. 

"Your car sounds funny."

"I noticed it was making a weird noise when I got out."

"Really, how long ago?"

Moment of enlightenment.

I run hobble outside.... yep.  I left my car running.  And thought, I wonder why it's making that sound, like it's still running...

At least I didn't lock the door.

Why is this happy moment number 2?  Well, it made us laugh for the rest of the day, and we have a new catch phrase:  "I know this may seem dumb... well not as dumb as leaving your car running..."

Number three.  Number three.

I'm going to have to go with the weather again.  Bee-you-tee-full.  I'll take it as long as I can get it.

I guess that's the point, huh?  Find happiness where you can and embrace it.  Not too hard or it might break...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

South Carolina Fall

Spring in South Carolina is one of my favorite days, but I have to say that autumn is the very best.

Yesterday was one of the fine days of Autumn... 78 degrees, sunny, with a mild breeze.  The leaves that change are glorious: yellow maples and crepe myrtles, red maples and dogwoods, orange oak;, all blazing out among the still very green pine trees.

The air seems as if God has set the thermostat for the perfect temperature.  As the wind brushes my very light-weight sweater, I feel no temperature to notice.  It's not hot; it's not cold.  It's just right.

And that is one thing that made me very happy yesterday.

When I got home, I took Mark to Gamestop so that he could fix the arrangements for a game he has preordered.  When I first went to Gamestop, or any shop like that, I just sat back and let my kids speak the gaming language.  Now, I'm a tiny bit more comfortable, but I still love to see my 13 years old walk up to the store manager and start talking about games, system requirements, and whatever.   The people who work at these stores are gamers.  That's great for the kids customers and for parents, uncles, grandmothers, etc who go into the store and say, "Um my grandson plays some game that seems to involve a blue... animal..."  With a few questions, the folks at Gamestop figure out what you mean, find out what the game system is, and send you on your way.  Maybe I've been lucky, but I've had great help at several stores.  We usually go to the one on Two Notch (Columbia), but I've had help at others.

And that, believe it or not, is number two.  A trip to Gamestop.

Number three also involves shopping.  I went to Bi-Lo with Bob and Mark.  We each had a little basket and we picked up a few things for dinner.  I got American Grain bread and feta cheese spread, fresh pasta, an apple and a pear.  Mark and Bob got other stuff.  We all ate whatever we wanted when we got home.  Did I mention that my stove needs a new motherboard?  Anyway, it was a pleasant trip and I am very much into bread and cheese these days.

Number three: a trip to Bi-Lo where we didn't kill each other.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I read that people who sit down and write about things that made them happy during the day are happier people.  I think it's three things and they can be things that were just bits of joy, things you did that made you feel accomplished, things that helped someone else.

I think I will try this, especially since I tend to freak out during the holiday season, which leads quickly to tax season, which leads to melt downs, night terrors and loss of patience at home.

Since it's 7:28 am EST, I'll think about yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I told the story of Joseph in Egypt to the combined Sunday school classes at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.  The children ranged in age from 7 to 13 (since my grandchidlren weren't there) and they all listened well and talked about what was important to them in the story afterwards.  It was terrifying but very cool.  They are wonderful kids.

I had a conversation with Mark, who is 13, and Joseph, who is 22.  It doesn't matter what we talked about --- they are my sons and it's always a wonderful thing to have a real conversation.

I spent a good bit of the day reading in bed with my husband Bob.  We were both a little under the weather, and the closeness was a comfort.

Right now, for today, I am about to have a great (I hope) cup of coffee.  That's a great start.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where did the time go?

It's been four months since my last post on this blog.  Where did the time go?

Part of it went to (sort of) taking part in the Blogblast4peace countdown at The Matriarch's Corner, another of my blogs. 
Part of it went to Gardens of Time and Sims Social of Facebook. 
Part of it went to catching up at work after a fairly disastrous beginning of the year. 
Part of it went to working on the board at Carolina School for Inquiry, a child-centered inquiry-based multi-aged public charter school in Columbia, SC.
Part of it went to reading and taking classes at St. Michael & All Angel's Episcopal Church.
Part of it went to my family and their needs and wants and whatevers.
Part of it went to myself: falling apart at 51 & trying to sew myself back together.

I should make a pie chart...


So now it is November 4.  I have thought a whole lot about peace in the last three months and I think it's helped me find some personal peace.  The dreaded holiday-with-family-drama season has begun and I'm not freaking too much.

OK, I did schedule gallbladder surgery for November 21, and that might interfere with Thanksgiving a little.  I'll still be able to go to the dinners (one Thursday and one Friday), but if I need to leave early, everyone will understand.  No dramatic, "I can't believe you just said that!" but more of a "I think I'm going to puke, see ya later."

This is really really going to be a hard candy Christmas.  My son and daughter-in-law and their three children may be homeless in January, although they are taking steps to find a place with another couple (bless their hearts).  My husband and I have a house and are making enough to get by, mostly, but there won't be a lot of stuff under the Christmas tree.

There will be a tree, though, and I think we'll try to observe Advent more meaningfully this year.  We will go and look at light displays (the more color and plastic reindeer, the better).  We will make and eat cookies if my range gets the new mother board it needs.  (I am not kidding.  The damn stove has a mother board.  You'd think it would cook for me, or at least make some suggestions...)

Anyway, this season from Thanksgiving to New Years Day is about family and community not about money. 

And as our parents get older, we wonder if we'll be able to have these same damn arguments every damn year for very much longer.  I know that since my Mom died five years ago, I actually miss her yelling "Use the ricer!  It works better!"  every time I made my cardiac mashed potatoes (with the beater... "remember when Kathy broke the beater making mashed potatoes?")  Well, not really, because her voice is still in my head.

And as our children get older, to that in-between age where there are no toys for them and they'd rather go naked than wear the clothes we bought even if we bought them in the cool store... ("Yesterday, Mom, it was cool yesterday..."), we wonder how much longer we'll be able to lay claim to first place in their hearts.

Then the children who have another in first place, a wife or husband and children of their own, will come by briefly as they go to visit other relatives and other friends.  The hugs and candy-cane kisses make every Christmas bright, no matter what day or for how long.

I wonder if I can enjoy this season this year.  Put aside the annoyances.  Forget the to do list.  Avoid the Martha Stewart magazine.  Just eat candy canes and hug people I love.

I wonder...