Monday, September 10, 2018

what I realized this weekend

selfie, merely old in an antique store

I read a blog (happy-homemaker-monday)  today, that has a link party with questions to answer. I find it very interesting to peak into someone's life. It feels good to share goals and not be alone... I started to answer some of them for myself, and although I linked up,  my post is not like the others, I wanted to share my thoughts today.

 The weather here right now

It was on it's way to being perfect but looks like it's back into the 90's this week and dry. I thought it would be dry enough here to stop mosquito growth but we've had enough to torment us in the back porch this summer. I do not like heat although I love being outside on the porch. There is something putting out pollen too, and we're all congested. Still it's been very pleasant to be out, and sunny skies are cheerful.

Things that make me happy: 

having a free day ahead of me. I love Mondays actually, getting back into being in the house alone, still sorting and putting things away from the move. I realized I quite like doing laundry now that the washer is upstairs. Dirty things go in, clean soft things come out. Folding and sorting make me feel like I have some control over the things in the house.

Book I'm reading:
I am quite a slow reader and read my novel in bed at night. I only read a couple chapters before falling asleep. I'm trying to finish Whispers of Warning by
because it's overdue at the library!
Image result for novel whispers of warning

During the day, I'm looking through/reading/enjoying my saved old magazines. I ordered a lot of subscriptions when they were on special price and couldn't keep up with them. Then we moved, so I packed them up to bring with and enjoy here. I love magazines with all the glossy pictures and suggestions as to how to live a great life! It feels good to look through them on the back porch while Milo plays, and then put them in recycling to lighten the load of things to do.
What's on my TV today: 

I might watch the dvd of a comedy, checked out from the library. I watch a couple episodes during lunch but find I don't watch as much TV here in CO.

Very funny!  Tonight however, I'm watching the finale of Bachelor in Paradise... a secret vice. I can't help myself, it's fun to watch and I talk back to them. I'm like that show, "people's couch" where groups watch shows and talk through them making snarky comments. It used to be on Bravo.

On the menu for dinner:
who knows. If they made people chow, I'd have it.

What's on my To-Do list
It's so long, and would bore you. Mundane things, big things that won't get done, everyday things like unload the dishwasher (so I can check something off)

I need to face calling the moving company repair guy to fix two broken items that are very special. I need to do laundry, and call the consignment shop back in MD, and vacuum. I really need to try to clean hardwater minerals off the shower door, but since I'm allergic to chemicals and the cleaner is a commercial one I'm nervous.

I need to finish unpacking the studio which is a massive job because every item must be examined and placed somewhere new and possibly be let go as no longer needed.

I would love to clear off the dining room table but that's where the magazines are living. If they get put away we'll never go through them!

I need to do something about my fingernails as they are all breaking, and the polish is half off.

Small and big, some keep me up at night, some are do-able.

What's in your craft basket
Since crafts are a big part of life for me, the house is my craft basket!
I'd love to stop everything this week and paint or sketch something. Maybe I'll squeeze that in.

I created a design wall (pictures on this post moveable-design-wall.) so hopefully will sew soon

What are you looking forward to this week?
Finally getting control over my life. 
No biggie, just keeping my head above water, remembering to water the plants, writing the great American novel, curing diseases. (I watched Miss America Pageant last night)

Actually, to be honest, I'd love to just stop hurting. My back is a source of nearly constant pain. I haven't had a good pain management person since I had to leave my wonderful PT in MD and was made worse by the person I saw here.  Chronic pain is depressing.

Tips and tricks
are you kidding me?
Well, in those old magazines I saw a lot of crazy decorating suggestions. I also kept a recipe for piccadillo meatballs I can make with turkey. I grew up in Tampa Fl. eating Cuban food, and piccadillo is so good, but I'm allergic to beef so seeing this recipe made me almost want to cook again.

I am always inventing something around here, and came up with a brilliant hack for sewing items, but that's for later.

Lesson learned the past few days
Not a new lesson, but I was reminded this weekend to talk to people. And listen to people.

It would be so easy to walk past with no interaction, or to answer "can I help you with anything" by saying, " just looking" but then you miss the connections between people. I am able to do small talk with the best of them. I can interview people easily as I am interested in people. But lately I am just more... real... with strangers.

While visiting another town recently, I had three fabulous interactions with strangers. On each interaction we talked about real life issues, laughed together, shared concerns together, and got a glimpse of who that person is. One can even learn more about themselves while talking to others.

The first person had a beautiful chubby black lab with her as they had just finished a four mile hike. We initially spoke because our dogs mingled, but I have learned if you say one little thing about your real life, or ask one real question, people often want to share. The ones who don't, just move on. 
Their loss.

We chatted outside the visitor's center in a mountain town for about 15 min. She was funny and open, and pissed off about all the changes she's seen to her town during her lifetime. She appeared to be in her late 40's or possibly older, but a bit younger than I am. She liked her town the way it was as she grew up. Quiet, few newcomers, odd old hippie types, unspoiled.

Poor woman wanting to stop time. I can imagine the generation before hers wanted her generation to stop messing up "their" town too. But I get it.
She doesn't like the influx of people in the last 10 years. She waved her arm toward what looked like nothing unique or special to me, and said look at all that! It wasn't here! I looked and didn't see anything unusual. A road, a safeway grocery store, a mountainside with rocks.
She wanted the snows to pile up this winter to chase off all the people who moved to her area. Snow like they used to have before the climate warmed up so much.

She was a bit peeved to find out we moved here. DH said, it's zero sum... the owners of our house moved out of state, we moved in.
She shrugged but ... would not be appeased. She didn't like the changes she saw.

I hear you, sister, I don't like most regulations that choose making profits at the expense of clean air and water. I would rather there be an emphasis on human rights and acceptance.  So, I related to her discontent. I listened to her, and heard her. We left the exchange knowing each other better. I was intrigued by the fact that she seemed reluctant to say goodbye.

The next meaningful exchange took place outside an antique store. A woman sat at an outside table, and my husband and dog joined her while I looked inside. When Milo called me out (so I didn't get lost in the store), the woman and I had a wonderful exchange. She was open, and real, I asked leading questions that gave me a snapshot of her life. She and her husband were of retirement age, and lived in a state south and west of us.

She was holding a wooden saddle of sorts. I asked about it, and she said she and her husband collect old mining items. We had a lively discussion about that and her home that has become a repository of those items. I asked if she had to charge people to come see, just to cover costs and she snorted, we don't show anyone! We don't even want people to know what we have!

I asked what started her interest in collecting those items. I think people's collections tell you so much about them, don't you? That led to her telling me about her husband's life, and work, etc. I told her of my collections, flamingos (from Florida upbringing), cows, poodle things from the 50's, and quilts.

We discussed quilting, and blogging, and laughed together, our husbands joined us and we all had fun for the 20 minutes we stood sharing our worlds. I felt I knew her by then, and she took info on my blog to follow up. I loved one of her final comments, basically.
"what's the deal with people who have nothing in their homes? Not a magazine, no knitting, no teacup display, nothing" she asked, then added "how empty not to collect anything! How boring! I love my stuff!!!"

Me too sister! We were united in our collecting, and interest in life!

The third meaningful encounter was suggested by her as it turns out. She said, have you been to the history museum up the street? Not yet but we went in because she said it was lovely. 

It looked like the other wonderful buildings on the main street, most built around 1880, deep doorways probably needed back when there was snow all winter, and all those architectural details to love from late 1800's to 1901.

We were met at the door by a woman I had seen earlier in the day walking through town. She caught my eye, as she was wearing a cool bedazzled black cowboy hat, and wonderful boots, and well, she caught my eye probably because of her spirit. Some people do that... they quietly exude an aura that catches your eye.

She was open, and welcomed us in with historical info as if she'd known us all her life. She wasn't from here,  but she loves history. I love history.
During the next half hour, I grew to know her on a deep level as we shared real life discussions. We talked of history, we talked of antiques, and houses and old ice boxes, and after my husband left to walk Milo, she made a comment about a real life issue she survived.

Instantly I decided I could trust her, and we virtually took a look into each other's eyes and made a mutual decision to go deeper.

It takes two, both people willing to be real, and open a door, risk being misunderstood or judged but suspecting they'll find understanding. The older I get the more I risk in that way. I've learned how to handle things like rejection better. I have a strong desire to cut through bullshit and see people.

We had much in common on one level, and differences on another. We are about the same age, shared many of the same trials and tribulations growing up. We were both survivors of life and both strong because of it. She grew up in NM, and is from a different cultural background than I, she rides motorcycles and worked in the mines, she is a comedian on the weekends, and has a different sexual orientation than I do.
 We are different but the same. 
Yes, the same. I risked being open about my life, and she went there with me instantly, and we knew each other. She is my sister in spirit. I am richer today because we talked. I saw her. I heard her. She saw me, and heard me. I was not alone.

Likely we'll never see each other again, but this was an important meeting. It taught me that risk is not about jumping out of a plane, it's about saying who you really are and dealing with the possibility that the other person won't accept that. It's about a connection that has nothing to do with a handshake or even the words shared. It's something deeper, more spiritual, something unseen but vital.

  DH and I left the town with mixed feelings. Our first encounter was someone pulling out of a parking spot and almost hitting us. DH tapped the horn, and the person called us assholes for that. I started laughing through my open window at the absurdity, an old woman with no teeth, nearly hitting us because she owned the world, then verbally attacking us for trying to protect our property? really? No "sorry" with an embarrassed shrug? 

Next many stores said, no dogs allowed. No reason, just not allowed. I always wonder about how much they lose to children careening through breaking stuff. Okay, no problem, we won't shop or buy things there, someone else will. We miss Annapolis.

We were on a mission to learn about the area though, and experience our new state, so we continued on looking for friendly faces and experiences to turn the day around.

We were happy to find them in our three encounters...

We didn't buy anything even in the antique store which by the way, was fine with Milo coming in. 

Milo is quiet and just wants to be secure with his pack, after our big life change. Milo acknowledged the shop dog, and stood by my legs the rest of the time.While there,  I asked one of the shop workers about the provenance of a set of salt and pepper shakers, possibly offensive to a section of the public because they painted to look like those old jockey statures. 

The shop keeper answered, "they're old"

I said, well, it is an antique store... but what do you know about them?
They were prominently displayed. It would have been an interesting lesson for me, as well as interesting to know why he chose to sell them and display them that way. But the discussion stopped there with, "they're old"

One can be open, one can ask questions leading to interesting discussions but...
you can't win them all.


  1. I like mondays too... they became my "sundays" during the years with dogs :o) I wish I would be there with you in this store and in this museum... I can see the woman with the hat and the fantabulous boots with my minds eye ;O)

  2. Enjoyed reading your post today. I think you should link up your post, how boring would it be if the posts (or people) were all the same! Interesting reading about all your encounters with the different people as well. I'm bad about listening in on conversations (in restaurants, while waiting in line)...a nice reminder to maybe interact a bit more instead. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  3. Such an interesting post today! My to-do list just keeps growing and growing, and I need to check off some things. Mostly I need to get back to de-cluttering again. And what am I looking forward to this week? Getting in some more walking exercise and hoping my inflamed Achilles doesn't bother me.

  4. I'm so glad you decided to join us at HHM - personally I've been participating for 10 years and find it helps me center and organize my weeks while helping me focus through tougher times.

    I REALLY enjoyed your post! and hope you'll be joining in EVERY week. I also see you're a quilter so will look forward to reading back into your posts about your quilts.

    Have a GREAT week.

  5. What a great post .Both deep and informative and funny.You had me at " I have a strong desire to cut through bullshit and see people...".as do I. Even a short conversation in the isle or in check out lanes can make my day and hopefully to the person in front or behind me,at least colorful or interesting, i also enjoy your adventures as you sure get around!! be well,sonja

  6. Great post - and seems you met great people. I love that life-lesson.
    Lovely dog. Have a great week

  7. Glad you are joining HHMM! I loved when you said what you were looking forward to was getting your whole life under control! That is exactly what I say every weekend! Have a great week!

  8. Fascinating post! You have a talent for writing (and listening evidently).

  9. It's amazing to me how you get so much done and how you continue to enjoy meeting new people despite your pain. I hope you get some relief soon. Interesting comment about how you don't watch as much TV here; makes me wonder why.

  10. Vinegar!
    I found this site
    what to clean and not to clean with vinegar...
    I use vinegar on the glass shower wall once a week !

  11. Very interesting and thought-provoking post. I'd like to ask you more about how you start up conversations with strangers. You have a gift for connecting with others that few people have.

  12. I love these sort of posts because I really get a sense of who the writer is and how much (or little) I have in common with them. I understand the overwhelming nature of moving and getting everything back in its place. Not an easy task. I also am no stranger to back pain and suffered for years with it until my herniated disc ruptured and I had surgery. Fortunately, we found a surgeon who did an arthroscopic microdiscectomy (small incision back surgery) and I've been pain free since 2005. I also think it's interesting to start up conversations with people in various settings. And, of course, we both have poodle dogs....although mine is 3/4 poodle. :-)

  13. I see it's already been recommended, but I'll reiterate: I have chemical sensitivities, and have found vinegar to be effective at removing water scale. I even removed and soaked a shower head; boy, did it make a difference! (Sometimes, time/soaking is a needed step. Maybe wet paper towels with vinegar and apply them to the doors?)

    I also seem to have an intolerance to beef. I found this picadillo recipe (saves the making/cooking of meatballs) in which she has "done this with ground sirloin, turkey, pork, and chicken. The choice is yours..."

    I wrote the above before I read the rest of your post. I can make small talk with strangers, but you seem to have a gift to go beyond that. You must have an openness (demonstrated by noting the differences with the people which didn't stop you from proceeding) that others respond to.

  14. I love it when places are dog friendly, I wish every place was. You are one busy mammajammer. It's so hard for me to stay with a good book, curse you, Netflix.
    Back in the 90s, nooo thank you. The mosquitos are mad here too but I haven't been out as much as I like this summer and we've had a gorgeous cool down. Back into the mid-80s at most here I think.

  15. Lee Anna- you are so more social than I. Plus, you are quite the traveler. Thanks for sharing all these visits. It's fun to see how people respond. I have planted large lavender plants on my front and back porches to steer away mosquitos and it works. White vinegar soaked paper towels should work on the shower door- maybe a couple times initially but weekly thereafter. Best of luck.

  16. LA - I am always so impressed with the conversations that you have with people - I am a fairly private person and would struggle to share like you do. But one thing is pretty certain - you will never find these like-minded folks if you don't initiate or at least be willing to engage. So glad that you are not choosing to retreat … Hope your week ahead is joyful and less painful.