Coffee Chat: Everything and Nothing
Hello there. I know it's been a good long while and here it is very damp and very cool outdoors, so come on in and let's have a hot cup of coffee. There's cookies in the cookie jars, so help yourself.
February is almost half over. No really, half over tomorrow and I haven't done a thing all month long. I seem to have slipped back into that mode of waiting for a bit: a bit more money, a bit better weather, a bit more time, a bit more energy. I'm restless as can be but can do nothing until there's a change. Sigh. I should be used to this, really I should.
John went back to work tonight. I do miss him, more I think on these Wednesdays than at any other time. I know it's partly because I was gone a good portion of the day. I'll slip into my own routine once more tomorrow but in the meantime, I miss him.
It's been raining here. And raining and raining and raining. Did I mention rain? I have two inches just from the past two nights and it barely rained at all compared to how much rain we got Sunday. It rained hard all day Thursday of last week as well. There's water standing in the yard. Lake Cheney, as Katie used to refer to the top of the hill here, is filled once more. Should I wander out there to wade, the water would come to mid-calf on me. The ditches are running like streams. The river is as high as the banks and rather fearsome looking though I've seen it much higher and swifter in years past.
I am not complaining about the rain. It will restore wells and give trees much needed moisture. Sunday and Monday it was terribly muggy, the air so thick and heavy that we had to turn on the air conditioner for a bit just to bring the humidity levels down indoors. And then, Georgia-like, while we were in the bank yesterday morning the temperature dropped and we came home to turn on the heat because it was so cold.
We had a rather quiet weekend. I daresay Sunday was as unproductive as could be, though I woke full of ambition. However the gray heavy skies and the occasional sprinkles of rain as that heavy weather rolled in put an end to my plans of working outdoors. I succumbed to the call of my favorite chair, a good book, and genealogy searches after dinner dishes were done. And there I stayed all afternoon and evening! I can't say it was unproductive really because I did learn things as I played on the computer and I did enjoy that book. I haven't 'lost myself' in a book in a long time. I promised I'd read every day this year and so far I think I've only missed one day. If it's only fifteen minutes, I take up my book and read.
So far I've read My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss and Right From Wrong by Cindy Bonner. I'm deep in the middle of The Pink House by Nelia Gardner White at the moment. I must confess that when I was looking for my next book, I found a whole stack of unread, new to me books that I'd bought last year. A stack mind you! And had I looked at my bookshelves harder I no doubt would have found more, but I was so ashamed that I'd accumulated that pile of books and never looked at them that I couldn't bring myself to see how many more I had that I haven't read.
Do you know what my current big thrill is? "Swamp People" will begin a new season tomorrow night! Yes, I am a big fan of that TV series. It's one of the few that remains true to it's beginning premise: men (and women) who work hard during alligator season to hunt as many gators as they can. The folks on the program are real people, not actors. Most have humble homes and work hard. They garden and hunt and fish and barter and trade. They are honest to goodness people. There's none of the drama and trashiness and OMGoodness factor that goes into a lot of these so called 'real people' programs.
I was out with Mama today, at Walmart, a place I seldom go these days. I'm just so over the whole shopping without a purpose thing. I tried hard today to keep purchases to items we needed or that were already on my list of purchases. For instance, pain relievers and lotion and corn tortillas (I'm longing for some tacos!). I indulged in a bottle of perfume that I wore for years but couldn't find. I kid you not, prices have risen crazily but the last bottle of that scent (Vanilla Musk) I had, Katie bought for me in her senior year of high school. She paid $13 for it then. I bought a bottle today for $14. No inflation to speak of there!
I wandered into the fabric department. I wanted grommets for a project for the front porch that I've got in mind. I found those and bought one packet. Then I looked over the end of bolts pieces of fabric that are always discounted. I found some I sort of like for my dining room chairs, but then I found this little piece that just pleased me somehow. Next thing I knew I was planning a quilt around it! I picked up a single yard of one fabric and a half yard of another and then found another end of bolt piece that went nicely with the rest. I'll need more fabric but I went on and bought thread too while I was there. At least I can start...and before you ask, No, I haven't finished my other quilt yet. That's been on my mind this week, something I mean to tackle. It got put away one weekend when we were having company and then we got busy with holidays and such and it's been put away ever since.
I didn't pick up a lot of stuff but it added up, the way things do as you add them to the buggy. I couldn't help but think of how things would have added up if I'd been truly impulsive. Oh the number of things I looked over and never even considered putting into the buggy! Something has changed in me in the last few months. I'm far more purposeful in my spending in the past six months. I suppose part of it is that we don't just go out to shop for entertainment. I really think hard about what I want/need for my home, my wardrobe, projects, etc. these days. And I get such satisfaction when I've saved up for or waited on a purchase that impulsive shopping just feels wrong somehow.
Those pansies and kale on the back deck have made me smile every single day. Every day. I spent a whole $18 on those plants for the back deck and every morning when I've gone to the back to open the shades, I've smiled at those cheerful little plants. I feel the same way when I handle the new dishes and silverware. I want that sort of satisfaction from all my purchases!
Late last month we slipped off one Sunday and spent the day in Athens with Katie and Samuel. We went to a local place to eat sandwiches and then we headed to the bookstore. I suppose all of us had a book in mind when we walked through the doors except for John and he nosed around a good bit himself. I didn't want a book but a magazine, a very particular magazine. The British edition of Country Living was what I looked for and I don't even know how much it cost, didn't pay a bit of mind to the price. I have savored that magazine! I'll buy it again unlike many others that I long ago stopped buying because they became so much the same as every magazine. There are frugal hints, gardening wisdom, decorating ideas, recipes, beautiful cottages (oh an English cottage!), etc. Honestly I was just blown away by the magazine. I don't know when I'll ever come across it again but I mean to buy it when I do.
That's another bit of that being deep down satisfied with a purchase that I've been talking about. I could buy a dozen magazines right now and regret the purchase before I'd read two. Mama gives me her gently read issues and honestly most months I find myself thinking "I'm so glad I didn't buy that!" as I lay it aside after flipping through the pages. I appreciate Mama sharing them and I try to clip coupons and make good use of articles/recipes I find in them but for the most part, if you read this month's issue of "Y" magazine, you've read "A,B,C" too.
I was feeling rather bluesy this afternoon and evening. That deep down satisfaction didn't come with today. No regrets in my purchases from Walmart. I tried to have running conversation with Mama but she was contrary today. Not in an argumentative way, but our opinions seemed to just differ on nearly every subject brought up by either of us. We disagreed as well on where we'd eat and of course, Mama is the final decision on that score, even though we take turns treating the other to dinner. I tried to make the best of it but the menu was limited and left no scope for breaking out of ruts or bursting through a gloomy day.
The weather began to spit rain all over again as we headed home and no doubt four gloomy days in a row left their mark as well. Then John didn't hear me when I came in when I called to him. I could hear him tinkering in the back room and I suspected that going in would either startle him or interrupt him, so I went on about putting things away. I must have been home a half hour or so before he was aware I'd come in. I think it was the aroma of coffee brewing that got through to him, lol.
And so the day went right up until John left and then I felt like laying my head down and weeping. All over nothing you know, and everything, as it were. The disappointing day, the awareness that I'd missed time with John, missed hearing a chapel service that we enjoy and I haven't seen in two weeks time now. I suspect there's some unhappiness I can't quite put my finger on in my family. Blah blah blah. So I did the only things I know that are sure fire ways to turn a woman's mood around: I watched a sunset and said a prayer for the hurts. And then I went for the other boosters: chocolate and red nail polish. A coat or two on my toe nails and a bagel spread with Nutella for supper. It might not exactly right the world at large but it's a start, right?