Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Coffee Chat: Under the Bluest Of Skies
Would you believe I was all ready for a coffee chat last week and then forgot to invite you? Yes, I was. And then...and then, I just plain forgot! I don't know what happened.
Well never mind. I'm here now and please do come in for coffee. There is candy in the candy jar. Yes, really. I have this husband who is not a diabetic but has insisted on sticking to my eating plan these past few months. Here in the last two weeks he has mooned about looking for that elusive 'something' and finding the cupboards bare. A good sale, plus coupons, presented themselves to make candy really cheap just now, John seemed to find that 'something' was the sugar he was denying himself. Me? I have a piece now and then, which is why I bought the small fun/snack sized items, but I can take or leave it. I find a single square of good dark chocolate is the ultimate for satisfying me. Help yourself and let's have a nice chat.
We can sit on the back porch if you'd like. It's warmer again and humid but it's bearable when there's a breeze as there is now. If you peek between the clouds at present you'll see the skies have turned that beautiful autumn blue, the bluest of blues. I'm struggling with myself over this back porch. I am really. For one thing that orange table and green rocker are just a bit much for me. And it's not the green I'd planned on, but John says it's 'cute' and looks country and I'm going to trust his opinion over my own at the moment. I stepped out of my comfort zone I guess, and I'm regretting it. It's always good to stretch a bit isn't it? I've got other projects I want to work on and m list doesn't include re-doing the back porch. I can live with it...I can live with it.
It's finally a bit cooler. We've had lovely weather really with the blue skies overhead and not too much rain. It's been a whole week of cooler nights and mornings now and boy have I enjoyed not having the AC run all hours. I am inspired to start decorating for fall, but I've made up my mind this year I'm not going for bright oranges and reds and yellows. That is not Autumn in Georgia. Autumn in Georgia is more brown and green and clear blues and just barely tinged leaves, at least the first couple of months. Later, perhaps in November, if there are leaves left on the trees then, they will turn those brilliant autumn colors.
I want cooler colors this year for the early autumn days. Buff, and pale gold, browns and deep greens. I have started slowly. I took down my arrowheads on the living room wall and filled the frames with a buff print scrap paper with a leaf in each. Those leaves are special, just a very few saved from 24 years ago when John and JD and Mr. Harry went to New York state one September to visit family. Asked what I'd like to have them bring back, I suggested autumn leaves. It was already frosty cold in New York state and still muggy and hot in Georgia. My guys brought me back two paper grocery sacks filled with colorful autumn leaves. I've used them in various ways over the years. I pressed a few in a big old book and found them recently. Now they are mostly brown/auburn but they look lovely in the frames. And it means something to me, sentimentalist that I am.
I also have a couple of glass milk bottles. Mr. Harry brought me glass bottles of real dairy milk with paper caps and cream on top and New York Jewish deli bagels. I didn't get to go on the trip but the men of my family made sure I enjoyed it when they returned.
I have other memories, less pleasant ones from that time. Of quarrels and such. I was unreasonable, I admit I was. John and I were fully a year deep in our relationship at that point and we didn't seem any nearer to getting married than we'd been at the beginning. I had to do some long hard soul searching but I also wanted to push and force things to happen, to have them my way, you see. Well, some things just don't need to be rushed. God had work to do in us yet. It wasn't long after this time that I got saved one morning in my den, falling onto my knees and crying out to Jesus. I didn't trust God, but I felt Jesus was someone who would understand me. I didn't understand that God was Jesus. God was called Father and I hadn't a father worth trusting, didn't in fact know a single man who was a father that I felt was worth trusting except John and Mr. Harry and I wasn't totally sure of trusting them...But somehow, once I'd called upon Jesus, I had to address God and learn to trust that he was indeed a loving father, one ready to forgive his wayward children, willing to cry out to them in their state of being lost. A father willing to sacrifice Himself for love of me. And Mr. Harry and John helped a lot. They never failed me those two and they helped me grow into the woman I am today.
It's been an odd journey, this Spiritual one. But I started the only place any one ever can: on my knees. There are days that is the only way I can continue, too. It's amazing how far going to your knees can carry you.
I kind of wandered away from Fall decorating didn't I? I've been pinning away this week, looking at Neutral Autumn or Neutral Fall Decor as my searches. Apparently I'm not the only one who has determined that there is a need for a more subtle nod to early autumn. Click on the link to see the direction I hope to go in this year with my decor.
You do know that projects for fall weren't on my list of things to do? That's the way I work these days. I think I have six big project ideas and now I'm adding in autumn stuff. I guess the truth is that I like being busy. I don't like to exercise, but I don't mind work and so I'll work. I confess that being home is not a hardship, especially these days when the demands on my time are less than it was when I had children at home, but I don't see it as a license for leisure. I have a vision for my home and there's a load of work involved in that vision...and you know I just want to make my place as pleasant as it can be, indoors and out.
Another thing has changed with me. For years now I've lived in this house as though it were just temporary, nothing more than a rental and not my permanent home. You'd think after 20 years (very nearly) living here and all that we put into paying the place off, I'd have come to the conclusion sooner than I finally did: This is my home. It's not temporary. It's where I live. And if I don't try to make this house the home I've always dreamed of having, if I keep fantasizing about a home I've yet to see, well I'm hardly living! It's like a girl friend I had once who was always actively looking for her next boyfriend, even when in relationship with someone...I always thought what a waste it was. She never appreciated who she was with because she was too busy looking for the next man, the one who would be different, closer to her ideal, than the man she was with at the time.
Well, I admit that might seem a bit extreme an example, but it is sort of the same principle in that I haven't wanted to invest myself in my home. I'd think why bother to put money into it, why bother to do the labor to create the yard I want, why paint, why remodel? I'm tired of feeling that way. I want to make my home, the place where I live, as lovely as I can make it within my budget and ability. If, in the end, I leave it for another home, well I've had a bit of practice at making a house a home haven't I? And if I find I am here until the end of my life, then I'll have the satisfaction of having made it as near what I want as I could have.
I admit I drew inspiration from Granny really. She was widowed about my age. She stayed in her home out here in the county when she might have chosen to have an apartment or at least a home in town on smaller more manageable plot of land. Oh the work she put into that yard of hers! Things changed dramatically after Grandaddy died. There were no more straight rows of trees and flowers. There were strawberries in the sunny spot near the old shed and there were roses clambering over a fence. There were pools of flowers here and there of all sorts. That was where she spent the bulk of her money and energy. She changed very little indoors aside from replacing furniture and occasionally shifting it around or putting up new curtains now and then. But that yard was everything she'd ever wanted it to be and it was lovely.
Well I want it all. I want my yard and my home to reflect my likes/dreams or as nearly as I can afford to show them, which means it's a matter of energy and imagination using what I have, more than of spending, lol!
I felt so energetic Sunday that I overdid. I worked double time, doing some deeper cleaning in the bedroom, doing the regular kitchen cleaning, and routine housework and painting two coats on the front porch floor. I didn't get finished. I piled things on the stairs to keep Maddie off the porch and filled the two nooks with all the rest of the porch furnishings when I started painting and there it has all stayed. Today it is raining a bit and sunny a bit and to changeable to consider finishing the painting.
I enjoyed painting Sunday despite the heat. It felt good to finally get a job that's been postponed far too long done. And it felt just as good to do a really good job of it. No splattering paint on railings or about post bottoms as it's been done in the past. No. I carried out a damp cloth and when I'd make a boo boo of that sort, I'd carefully wipe it away. I'll have to go to the trouble of cutting in with a small brush but I'm happy to have it look so nice this go round. In the past, we've paid the kids to paint things like this.
But much as I enjoyed doing a good job of painting, it was too much with all the rest. I realized as I sat here, limp as a dishrag, Sunday afternoon, that it was all too much. Mama had just called and picking up the phone I heard how weak and weary my voice was...Too late. I paid the price Monday. I got only a bare minimum of things done. I snipped and snapped at John. Unreasonable. I gave in to it. I took it easy. I took a nap.
And then I had the other aftermath of a tough day. I slept very very poorly last night. I would doze off and jerk awake. I got up and wandered the floors in the dark. I seriously considered going out to sit in the dark but I could hear thunder rumbling and was sure it must be humid. I finally settled down about 4am. I'd gone to the guest room where I could toss and turn without disturbing John. He woke me at 9 this morning with a hot cup of coffee in his hand and the announcement that he was cooking breakfast. Oh what a lovely way to wake up! I felt a lot better than I had the day/night before and was raring to go this morning. And then it began to rain, ever so gently. Plan B was decorate the living/dining and front entryway for fall.
Oh what mess it all looked but now I'm done I'm rather happy with it all. All these ideas I'd played with in my head came to a lot less in reality though there is plenty enough of it. I found first that I was in short supply of things in the shed. And then I found as I worked that ideas I'd had simply didn't, in reality, work out at all. So it's nothing at all like what I planned except the part where the wooden bread bowl sits in the top section of the middle bookcase. That part worked out just fine. It was everything else that sort of faltered along.
At one point I nearly gave up, simply because undoing and redoing had created such a mess. And mixed in with all of that were the things I'd removed and hadn't yet moved out of the room and books that were stacked in front of others that I'd removed hoping to find a less conspicuous home for...Well the room was all tumbled to pieces is the truth and I hadn't cleared it up before starting either so it really did seem a bit of a tempest had gone through.
I finally stopped long enough to see how I liked what I had done and truth was, I didn't care for any of it. I switched things around and moved them again and then one little vignette that pleased me well earlier, I put back as it had been and switched more things around. I stopped a couple of times to cool off and get a new perspective. I did get rather amused at my husband who commanded me to sit down at one point and I said "But John! My brain is just ticking away." "Your brain never stops ticking. Sit!" Well he's right about that. So I sat and let my brain tick away while I was resting.
I'll show you all pictures in a later post but oh how I enjoyed that creative work! A sneak peek perhaps? Well there is this:
I don't think I've mentioned my latest bits of news. I am now able to decrease the Metformin. The cinnamon and Oregon Grape Root Extract combined with diet and lots of work have lowered my blood sugar numbers to what my doctor's office referred to as 'normal'. In fact, his nurse informed me the other day that they never fuss unless it's over 140. My numbers are much less than that. And that's what I get for reading so many online sites...I've been trying hard to get numbers closer to 100 per website recommendations. I do have an occasional day that just isn't good. I honestly can't say why. On the days when I'm less careful of diet the numbers are just fine. But I've noted that lack of sufficient sleep or not drinking enough water will definitely result in higher numbers.
I haven't stopped reading by the way. I keep looking and trying to learn because I want to stay atop of this thing. Imagine how disgusted I was this week to read a nutritionist's comments on diabetes control. She plainly stated that all diabetics got where they were by overeating, and consistently eating, the wrong foods and there was no other explanation for it! I've read more nutritional articles in the past 4 months that assure me diabetes II is metabolic and the reason many are overweight is that the body's metabolism is out of whack and craves the foods that increase glucose.
Well, I'm grateful I didn't come across that silly young woman's article when I was first diagnosed. I spent quite enough time reeling since I'd so changed our diets over the last few years. I was too well aware after Atkins of the need of balancing carbohydrates and proteins and fats. Obviously I by no means knew it all and have learned still more these last months but I was on the right track, albeit faltering.
I'd lost another 5 pounds. My doctor asked me if I was exercising...and I answered him quite honestly that I was working harder and doing more but I didn't see much point in 'exercise' per se. I told him I would happily work though and I'd been making it a point to do just that. Then I told him all the 'extra' work that I've done in the past month. He didn't say much more about exercise after he reviewed my daily numbers. I guess that was enough to convince him or else he figured I was a lost cause on the exercise front. But then we've been over that before haven't we? I can walk along with someone and talk but John and I walk at very different paces. To keep up with him and talk too is impossible. Granny and I used to keep pace together and that made her a wonderful companion to walk with.
I recall one autumn day many years ago, when we were new here (so it must have been just before we marked our first year on the land). The fields were blond with sedge grass and the skies were deep gray blue and it was cool and breezy. I had all the windows open and was working away when Granny knocked on the door and stepped in. "Let's walk..." she said. I went right out the door with her and we walked the place, following the old wagon road and going all the way to the back fence line and coming back through the grove of trees where we children spent many a playtime.
That is one of those stand out days for some reason, though there was hardly anything extraordinary about it. We walked the place many times before that and many times after but that day is just one of those memorable days that won't fade.
I looked out the windows earlier and noted that the golden rod here is blooming now. And there are red, copper and maroon leaves here and there amongst the dusty green leaves on trees. The lawn was scattered with leaves that have blown from the trees in the gentle breezes. It is beginning to look like autumn. The slant of the sun through the windows is so lovely that I hate to shut it out in the hot afternoon hours, but I do. I will admire it in the cooler days as much and appreciate it more then than I appreciate the AC working doubly hard to cool the place down with that hot sunlight pouring in.
Well dears, I do believe I've quite run down with my chatter. You're certainly welcome to a second cup of coffee and another bit of candy if you'd like. I think I'd like to try my hand at gingerbread using a bit of whole wheat flour and honey rather than molasses. I am feeling rested enough to get up and start again...