Category Archives: Family

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Is this what you see when you see me?

I’ve been sitting here, reading posts on a Facebook group about… do you or don’t you wear a mask? Do you or don’t you believe it’s a pandemic? Do you or don’t you bleat when you walk around all day … Continue reading

Just Like It Was Before…

People are talking about when life can get back to the way it was before. The way it was before Covid-19. The way it was before everyone became aware of all of the things they touch and all of the ways you can spread diseases… any diseases… not just the pandemic one.

Funny… I thought I was super duper careful about what I touched and how I thought about things before. I mean, I’ve had active RA (been classified moderate to severe for what… 12 years?). I have been washing my hands and singing happy birthday twice. I’ve been washing tables off at restaurants. I’ve been “careful”… but I’ve never really, I guess, been CAREFUL.

People talk about how it’s just like the flu. People talk about how mild their symptoms were, they barely knew they had it.

People talk a good game about social distancing… and meet every evening in the driveway within arms length of each other to discuss the day. No gloves, no masks.

The mail man walks up to you to hand you your delivery box… no gloves… no mask… hands it to you… and you have an internal panic attack because… because you were just walking around the house to go inside and you didn’t have your gloves on and you didn’t have your mask on and he just hands it to you. It was in his truck with lord knows what other stuff. He has touched mailboxes and mail and (apparently) other people… and here you are walking around your own yard and should you wear your mask and gloves not out in public but in the semi-privacy of your yard?

Back to normal?

I don’t know if I will ever get back to “normal” if what before was was normal. Covid can live on surfaces 72ish hours (or 14 days depending on whether you are a cruise ship or not…) but the flu can live on surfaces (yeah yeah… depending on surface, humidity, temperature and the phase of the moon and what color underwear you’re wearing blah blah blah) for 48 hours. Two days. Who touched that door handle two days ago? Who pushed that elevator button in the last 2 hours let alone the last 2 days?

Am I a germaphobe? No. I will eat tomatoes off my vines without washing them. I will snuggle my dogs knowing full well they have been rolling in the mud. I will talk to people (eventually… when all of this is over) without the use of technology between us. My house will never be pristine (I have four dogs… I’ll just be glad if I can keep the dust down to a small “Pigpen” cloud most days).

But I will be way more aware of things.

I will probably bag my groceries less by just tossing anything in the bags… I will bag cardboard together, cans together, perishables together. I will leave the cans in my trunk (unless I NEED them sooner) for a few days.

But more…

Normal looked very different in more ways than just that. Normal was running and going and doing and not time for this and no time for that. I love having time. I love being able to do things as a family that we just didn’t find possible before.

Movie night. Game night. Putting jigsaw puzzles together, together. Sitting on foldy chairs in the front yard and talking.

It will be nice to be able to get in the car and drive to the lake. It will be amazing to get in the car and drive to mom’s for a few hours. It will be a hugely special treat to go to the store and walk around and browse rather than just get in and get out (or more… order everything delivered).

Will I ever go to Disney again? My plans are still to run the Goofy in honor of my Goofy. Looking at it now, that may not be before there is a Covid shot I can get about the same time I get my flu shot. Will I look at running in races differently (10000 of your closest friends herded into corrals)… oh yeah. Will I do it? Hell yeah.

I will continue making my own hand sanitizer because I just like mine better than the commercial gel kind. Will I carry some in my car, my purse, my pocket, my backpack, my desk… yeah. And I will use it way more religiously than I ever have before. And I will carry gloves and a mask and my buffs (which I do anyway because well… buff)… yeah, and I will use them.

Life has changed here. Covid-19 situation in the world has changed me in a lot of ways. Some good… some not so much. Monkey butt said, last night, that he thinks some of what I’m doing right now will stick forever… making four thieves vinegar… making citrus cleaner… making citrus enzyme cleaner… coming closer to zero waste. He’s probably right. And I’m enjoying getting back to growing my own herbs and starting my own plants.

Life has changed.

It will be good to get back to not being terrified of the outside world. It will be good to not think judgemental thoughts over what other people do in any situation.

I will take way less for granted.

And I really really hope that life doesn’t actually get back to what normal used to be.

Will it ever get back to “normal” if normal was what it was before? Probably not. At least not for me. There will be a whole new normal. I’m not sure when that normal will be… but there will be a whole new one. And it’s okay.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
4/9/2020

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Sunday Morning Contemplation

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Sitting at my kitchen table, coffee in hand, spending some time spending time. Dog Channel is playing… the ocean through the sea grass… sunrise… the dogs could honestly care less about Dog TV, I keep it for me. And it … Continue reading

Finding Yourself In The Midst of Chaos

We are all finding ourselves in the midst of chaos. It is all around us. It is falling down around our heads and threatening to bury us. And yet…

It’s been a rough couple weeks for me, mentally… physically… emotionally… but maybe… just maybe… I’m starting to dig myself out.

It’s Tuesday… the third week of whatever this is… sheltering in place… social distancing… whatever we are calling whatever this is trying to avoid as much of the outside world as is possible. I’m SUPPOSED to (according to the people who decide how to keep yourself sane and on track for working at home) get up and dress as if I were going to work every day. Guess who is totally NOT doing that.

Yep, this girl. My new “normal” dress is leggings and whatever athletic shirt seems appropriate for the day. Sometimes t-shirts… sometimes technical shirts (long or short sleeves) sometimes sweat shirts. And you know what? I can do my job just as well in sweats as I can in dockers and a sweater. Better in fact because it makes me happy and comfortable. Remarkable, I know. Who would have ever guessed it.

I’ve started to be way less focused on the things that piss me off. I have started to use the unfollow feature on Facebook for the people who insist on nothing but back biting and rhetoric. I have started to deliberately avoid the news conferences in the evening. I periodically watch Dewine at 2 pm. I check headlines for details and I rely on Monkey Butt to inform me how things are in the world. He’s my filter. It’s working for me right now.

I’m hunting down motivational quotes to center myself.

I’m taking pictures of things that make me happy.

And the kids and I are starting to put puzzles together. Once upon a time mom and I put puzzles together. I was very very little and I remember sitting in the living room at a card table, sunlight streaming through the sheers, putting together puzzles. It’s been what feels like a lifetime ago (and it really is) since I’ve taken the time to sit down and put together a jigsaw puzzle. Monkey Butt bought two at Walmart a couple weeks ago and we started the 500 piece one. I bought two on Amazon and this morning we picked up a quarter of a put together puzzle so we can put together the one that shows books on a bookstore shelf. Monkey Butt says he’s incredibly sorry that it has taken the current situation for us to do this but he’s really glad we are doing this and he hopes that it doesn’t stop when the the world stops turning turtle (new Mary Poppins… it’s a song worth listening to). I hope so too.

But now it has become an obsession. Hunting puzzles that speak to me (and there are many) and coming up with the wildest ideas of what to do with them later later.

And this morning I found the puzzle I want with all of my heart. It will take some saving up for me to be able to justify taking the money for it… but it is a two sided puzzle of Carl and Ellie from Up… it’s way more money than I can justify on a puzzle right now… but it is the puzzle that I need to do (since I am Carl and Bear is Ellie in our world)… I need to do the puzzle, glue it together, and put it between two pieces of glass and have it framed… it will hang in the window of my office. It may be after I’m really Carl but I will find a way to justify the money for that puzzle.

It’s funny… but putting these together has brought me as close as I’ve been to peaceful and chasing some of the Mary Sunshine clouds away than I have had since this scary shit started. I’m still scared but I’m finding small pockets of peace to bring me out of my terror.

With all of my heart, I hope you can find your little pockets of peace and sunshine.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
3/31/2020

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January

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Good grief, it is already/only half over.  I’m exhausted this year by the sheer weight of January.  It’s been a long few weeks… but it is high time to start getting back to the me I need to be. SO… … Continue reading

Finally Feeling Human!!!

So, here I sit.  Disney Christmas Music playing on YouTube and the smell of a gas station hot dog eminating from my coworker’s desk making me feel like I want to vomit.  I finished my third glass of water (this one with FIZZ grapefruit electrolyte replacement in it).  I think now is a great time to pull together my “holy crap it’s getting to be nearly time to worry” post for the Disney Half Marathon.

For starters, I’ve been preaching at Amandya to work on HER blog about her volunteer teaching in South Africa helping work through things in her mind and through planning and passing the time.  I guess practicing what I preach is probably a good idea.

I signed up, today, at work to join our company partially funded Gold’s Gym Membership.  It’s probably still more expensive than I should be really doing all things considered, but it is close to work (and frankly close to everywhere) so I can run over at lunch, even when I’m on pager patrol, and get in some workout time.

It won’t be all of the training that I need, but it will certainly help.  I know having that helped before and I know it can’t hurt.  It’s horribly warm out when I can be out walking at lunch and I don’t want to make myself sick.

This trip was kind of stressing me out a little before.  When I signed up, I thought I wouldn’t care so much that I was going to have to deal with the adventure on my own.  I was wrong.  I was stressing.  Being ALONE with a half marathon half a country away from anything resembling people or places of home… not the best feeling in the world.  And the advice to try to get people who were from around here to admit to running Disney was an even bigger joke.

Now, though, it looks like this is going to be an incredibly wonderful trip.  We are not only all going, as a family, we are making it an extended family adventure and taking grandkids and all kinds of stuff along with us.  It’s going to be a truly magical adventure.

I’m actually feeling like I’m going to be up for this challenge because I’m looking forward to it so much.  I’m determined to make this a magical adventure for the kids (big and smallish) and bringing really lasting memories to everyone.

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Night Creeps In

I’m sitting on the bedroom floor. Tv turned way quiet. Blankets and my trusty afghan piled around me. I’ll bet she never dreamed those years ago when she crocheted it all together how much use it would get… How much … Continue reading

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Ah Elusive Sleep…

Up and not able to fall back asleep at mumblemumble o’clock in the morning… My mind races… my wrist is tender… my toes and fingers ache.  I’m thinking taking one of the post-op percocet would be wonderful, just to help … Continue reading

More Than Face Value

Do you have someone in your life that people tend to take one look at and make snap judgments about?  Someone who is one of the most amazing people… but who put people off because he looks just a little different and walks to his own drummer…?  I hesitate to call him a black sheep because 1. that is cliche and he is SO not cliche… 2… heck I’m one of the family black sheep, woooo… 3… he TOTALLY is not a sheep… that is an incredibly big thing with him.

He is such a good kid.  He is an incredible person.  He is artsy fartsy.  He reads and plays the violin and this is him with his favorite ‘thing’ in the whole world.  People tend to look at least twice when he is dressed in his big long duster, his black fireman boots, his black hat… looking morose and withdrawn and the dog (peanut) comes running up to him and his face transforms into the most beautiful smile!

He is getting up at 4 am to haul his butt into ‘town’ with me for the half marathon.  He isn’t going just to cheer me on.  He has figured out that he loves to volunteer at the event.  This year he is handing out half marathon medals.  I have a goal… to make my best time quickly enough to have him hand me my medal.  I won’t make it… but it means a lot that he wants to be there with me.

He looks out for his sister.  He is the first one to make fun of her when she deserves it (and lord knows sometimes she deserves it) but he is the most viscous in her defense when it matters… and it matters.

I also have, in my family, at least one person… actually more than one… who tend to dwell a lot on appearances.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not really high on the list of at least one of them.  I get birthday phone calls (sometimes actually on my birthday) and the first words are either about them or about wishing them happy birthday… When I get a phone call it is usually to tell me about the wonderful things that they are doing for their charity or in their lives.  When I get an email it is to ask for me to support…. this or that… never ever to just say hi.

Today I found out today that they actually are impressed with my kid.  I’m proud of him… he really is a good kid… but to know that they think he is a good kid is such a wonderful bounce to my heart… it gives me hope…

He shrugs it off… but it wonderful to know that there are people who live by appearances who think he is a good thing.

YAY!!!

Girls Day Out

I’m not entirely sure I like the day after Christmas shopping… it is… kind of… nutsy.  Parking is a nightmare.  People are crazy.  Lines are horrendous… and it was probably one of the best days I have ever spent.

Amandya didn’t ACTUALLY get up for my 5:30 Walmart excursion.  She didn’t ACTUALLY make it out of bed until almost 11:00.

She wasn’t thrilled about getting out of the house.  She doesn’t really “do” people even on a good day and she has been a bit on the moody side the last few days.  But I knew getting out would do her good… and she had several gift cards and Christmas cach that needed using so off we went.

Rue 21 at the outlets she got T-shirts

Disney store at the outlets I got a double Dry technical shirt with mickey on the sleeve.

Journey… socks

off to Target to see if I could find the Disney CD for half of… and of course by after noon it was all gone.  sigh…

Barnes and Nobel… calendar and journal… and a for dummies book for the squirrel…

Walmart (again?  yeah, different one) so she could buy herself a mini-fridge and I FOUND MY SOAPS!!! wooohoo… I didn’t think I was going to find them but I did.  and another doggy toy for peanut.  On our way back to the car, Squirrely was trying to conserve energy (yeah… she’s a little nut) and hopped on the front of the cart and I pushed her butt to the far end of the parking lot, up hill, laughing the whole way.

It really was a girls day out.  Adam was playing WOW and Runescape (something about a crab hat that has a santa hat on it… not TOTALLY sure… ) and Bear, Ron and Angela stayed home hanging.  Bear took down all of the outside Christmas decorations so they don’t get wet again… sliced open his finger and really made a mess of it all… but they are away and the yard looks naked… sigh…

Pizza for dinner. and now just… hanging out… watching Gandalf the Gray getting snowed on.

A decidedly wonderful day.