Iced Tea Chat: Gently Easing Into Routines
Hello dears...Come in and have some tea. Though pleasant enough outdoors it's very warm. There's lemon, lime and ginger root to flavor the tea if you'd like. I wish I had fresh mint. My but that is refreshing in an icy glass of tea! I acquired a taste for good tea unsweetened in the hospital and assure you I can drink it just so...but it must be GOOD. Perhaps I'll become a tea aficionado just as I have acquired a taste for really good coffee.
There are no sweets. I'm not ready to push that into my diet at present, though I've eaten plenty of melon and berries of late. I'm waiting upon the peaches to begin coming in. I'm not such a fan of the early varieties except the white peaches. However, I did find some lovely nectarines in the grocery yesterday. I'd gone in to remedy the lack of whole wheat products in my home. I bought bread and pitas and rolls which I put in the freezer and some brown rice and whole grain pasta. I don't expect to use loads of those things but I have them on hand for when I do want them. I took all the white pastas from the cupboards/pantry and the lovely jasmine rice I'd bought and will pass that on to the kids and my niece. I did this because the pastas made a major stumbling block for me this past weekend. I just couldn't seem to shake the idea that only pasta or rice or bread made a starch. I didn't feel well overall and was not eating quite as well as I might. I gave myself a stern talking to, spent hours online researching menus and snack foods and copying out ideas I might use. In the end, I realized I'd forgotten that some vegetables are higher in carbs but better for you than pasta of rice: potatoes, corn, butter beans, black eyed peas, dried beans...Well that was just the right twist to get my head screwed back on right...and the inspiration to go by the grocery when we were out to pick up a few necessary whole grain items.
I went through my recipe file notebook and cleared out every single recipe that had never been tried which had no nutritional info printed at bottom. It will be a help in future meal planning. I didn't discard my very favorite, most repeated recipes. I kept those. I might not make them so often but I've made them so many times I can't picture myself never making them again. However, for desserts/cakes/pies, I kept only those most tried and true sorts and nothing new at all.
I've been perusing the Good Housekeeping cookbook. Samuel had that cookbook and I used to love to just sit and read it. It's a thick and heavy book, meant to be read while resting on a table because I swear that book weighs ten pounds! It has lovely photos and recipes are sometimes repeated in different sections, but there are all sorts of neat little non-recipe type footnotes and suggestions for things that make the book just fun to look at. It has all the nutritional values listed after most recipes and I need that information just now to help me judge what I might eat and what would be best left off. I noted at least three soup recipes I mean to try right soon.
I had a new issue of Taste of Home magazine and I went through it to search for friendlier recipes for my current eating plan. I was happy to find a few. I told John perhaps I shall try Cooking Light as a source. It's just a matter of tweaking a few things these days, not a hard stretch for someone who loves to cook and readily substitutes anyway.
I will say that I've cooked all but three meals in the past twelve days at home. I've enjoyed being in my kitchen playing about and all in all I've done well, at least per the finger stick numbers. Confessions time though: I'm a lot less physically strong than I'd anticipated being! I think I got a false sense of how well I felt at the hospital because all I did there was rest/eat/sleep/and donate a certain amount of blood on a four hour basis for tests. Here at home, I've found it a bit different to piddle along and feel tired and make a meal and clear up behind. I'm improving. Little trips out of the house don't devastate me the way the first couple did and I can almost manage a full routine clean of a room before resting. It's all...not exactly uphill, but on an incline!
I was just worn slap out last Wednesday. We went to the hospital lab for blood test, then John got a haircut. We had lunch out (I chose my meal very carefully), then to Aldi. I finished up the shopping and left John to bag it all and bring to car. I couldn't even hold up my head at that point, I was so worn down. When we came home I crawled up in the bed and stayed there for over two hours, too exhausted to move. John put away the groceries all by himself. It shocked John and I both how crazy tired I was. I decided then and there a gentler approach was required and I took it. Hence the improvement over this past week.
John has been a complete and total guardian, and he is quick to clear up and vacuum and do laundry and make beds. I cook because I need to cook (it's therapeutic for me) and it gives me best control over my eating plan, which he is attempting to follow. I've assured him he can snack at will and have more and sometimes he does, but he's trying hard to avoid sweets and I simply don't care for any at the moment which is a nice state of affairs really. I think honestly John's finding it a harder go than I, but I can't make him see that I'm not feeling deprived in the least and he won't send me over the edge if he does have a bit of something sweet, so we'll just keep pushing on.
Thursday John went off to work and checked in every couple of hours, worrying over me from the day before. I slept well and gently worked my way about house. I made myself a soup lunch (Beef Stroganoff soup with Mushroom Tortellini...)Oh it was so good! That's part of me being kind to me approach. I enjoy soup and I'm indulging a lot more. Later I put a chicken and vegetables in the oven to roast. My son and Bess and baby were packing up their apartment Thursday and planned to spend that night with me. I just felt sure they'd be happy with a hot home cooked meal waiting at day's end and boy were they ever! That and a shower were the two best offerings I had for them.
Josh was upset by the day, lack of proper routine and naps, and hot and sticky as well. I bathed him in the kitchen sink with lavender soap and he was a happy boy after that. It felt so nice to have a baby fresh from the bath in my arms. And what baby isn't happy splashing in a bath?! It made me happy just to see his pleasure in it. He really did not want to settle down and about 9:30 I encouraged them to just put him down and let him cry it out. In less than 10 minutes he was quiet as could be, sound asleep, but what a little ruckus of upset went on until he got to that sleep stage! Poor little fella. Everyone wanted to rock him and soothe him but there was none of that going to put him to sleep. I think it bothered his Mama and Daddy because they thought I'd be disturbed but gracious, Gramma has learned a thing or three about babies over these years!
You might think that visit was hard on me, but no, it wasn't. Bess and Sam were quick to do things for me and really I just settled down to play with Josh and have a good chat with them about their new home and the things they hope to do in their new community. Bess and I always look forward to a little one on one time and so I stayed up a bit later than I've been doing just so we could talk a little. I was glad to see that her previous anxiety was less and her anticipation was increased. It's a big move for her, to be so far from family, in a new state and in a new community, but I could sense she'd made her mind up to it and was ready to take it on.
They came with all their pets, four cats and a beagle who goes by Blossom. The cats were put in a crate for the night on the porch, and I can't imagine what they all thought of life at that time, as they are very much indoors cats and two of the four are the sort of skittish type that you will seldom to never see. The other two are far more friendly, including Muffin, which is Sam's cat, a big orange tabby who truly seems to feel he is grandchild to me. Muffin generally finds his way to me to nudge or flick his tail over my arm when I'm visiting and will sit quietly next to me.
Blossom, too, is an inside doggy but did she ever take to running free here! She barked her beagle-y bark, gazing up into empty trees, tail wagging wildly. She tracked rabbits and barked lustily at nothing and just completely took to the country dog life right off. In fact, they had a hard time getting her to come to load up the next morning! It did my heart good to see a doggy enjoy my peaceful country land.
So the kids packed up and left a bit after 5am Friday morning...and the house seemed awfully empty after they went. I regretted John didn't get to see them at all, again...sigh. And I thought how very grateful I am that there's cell phone, text and facebook to stay in touch. Eventually we'll be traveling down to see them, but I really must build up my strength once more before we travel so far. It's a six hour drive from here...and that's why they spent the night as it took three hours off their trip for the day. They signed papers on their house on Friday and moved in immediately after, just an hour before Josh's first official birthday rolled around. I teased Samuel that a house was certainly a big birthday present for a one year old and I'd no idea how he might top that next year.
John and I did light housework Friday morning and then after lunch he suggested we get the car serviced. We'd been ignoring the warning light for a month. I gathered up several things to mail: letters to the grand daughters in North Dakota, a package from my long time pen pal to be forwarded to Katie for Taylor, a magazine from another friend I was sure V would enjoy, a thank you card to a dear soul...We took off trash and stopped by the flea market so I could settle up. I owed rent money this month but it can't be helped...No time to refresh or rearrange since we went on vacation and no energy to do so now. John went off to post office while I was in the flea market and mailed things off for me. Then we drove to Perry.
The drive was pleasant enough and I really enjoyed it but I could feel my energy slowly draining away. I was so disappointed because I'd truly felt better the past two days. But I gave myself a cheering talk and reminded myself that I just needed to give myself a bit of time. We couldn't get the car serviced as we'd planned, as the place was packed. John drove to the grocery to buy me some sugar free ginger ale. I've had some unpleasant symptoms from two medications and I was hopeful the ginger ale would be helpful.
I was tired when we came home but thirty minutes lying down put that right once more. I got up and managed to pick up the house and set it to rights, a sort of soft Shabat cleaning. Towards the end of the hour I was essentially giving a lick and a promise to tasks, but you know what? That was good enough. And good enough is just all right and I mean that sincerely. Sure I like to do things right, and to make a good job of what I'm doing, but I'm smart enough to realize that sometimes it's okay to relax and do just enough. It felt good to have the house neatened up once more. John's a dab hand at many things but he doesn't notice the accumulation of stuff on surfaces so much, the very thing that makes a home look not so neat when they aren't there, you know?
Do you know what the most fun thing of all has been for me of late? It's reading the comments of you all who took my Wardrobe posts to heart and commented on how often YOU are getting compliments when you go shopping or run errands! I just love that you're enjoying stretching yourselves in that direction just a little. It's no surprise to me either that those of you who have done this report how nice you feel. It is an attitude changer, as I know very well. I took time to set up fresh outfits one morning this week, using my notes of tried and true combinations to put things together. I have used two already this week and think I have three in the closet at the moment, just waiting for the next appointments and errands. And good thing I got inspired to do this because I sure don't have energy right now to shop for clothes.
By all reports my family are doing well. Katie is pretty much confined at home at present, not yet allowed to drive. The baby looks healthy and well. Matt went back to work shortly after Katie came home when it was obvious she was going to manage things just fine. I hope I get to see them next weekend. Neither Katie nor I can drive at present ( I hope that changes tomorrow at my doctor's appointment) so that is hindering us girls from visiting.
I had a letter from Lily, who is Amie's second daughter. It was a sweet note, wishing me well after my hospital stay and complimenting me on my 'nice handwriting...the nicest I've ever seen.' lol I wrote her a note back yesterday morning and told her of Blossom's joy in being a country dog for a little while. I hope she enjoys that letter. I went ahead and wrote a letter to Josie as well while I was at it and then gathered some other items up to mail off to various folks. I thought how pleased they would be to get 'good mail' in their boxes. I hope to do more mailings this year than I've done in the past. Postage is such a minor expense and it's so nice to have real mail that isn't requesting payment.
I like texting and facebook well enough but two things I've found I enjoy greatly is a good long phone chat and a real honest to goodness, hold it in your hand and read it card or letter! Knowing I'm hardly unique I've made up my mind that those are pleasures that cost little and bring much joy. Evidenced by a happy phone call from V on Monday thanking me for that magazine I'd dropped in the mail. If I've gotten a 'life is short, let's enjoy it' attitude of late (and why shouldn't I?!), it's certainly time to make it show.
My oldest son went to California to check in to his new post. He was back home by the weekend. His family has chosen to continue to live here in Georgia. He'll be in Pensacola next week and that will be his duty station for four months, then he'll go out to sea for five months. I think it's best to keep the family in their home but I worry how well they'll do without seeing Daddy, you know? But that is in God's hands, where I am learning to put more and more things.
My oldest daughter has a heavy care at the moment. Her partner is in the hospital with a major heart attack. He's not a well person overall, but this major event followed on the heels of a smaller minor one. He'd just been stinted and a blood clot formed. He's in ICU and poor Amie is struggling to juggle home and family with hospital needs and work hours. She was so broken up over my own health scare and I can't even imagine how she's coping at the moment, but she will. She's awfully strong, in a wonderful way, but I know how difficult it can be to stay strong for long periods of time on your own without respite. Ya'll keep her in prayers please. She needs that lifting up!
Sad news this past week: the lovely old Victorian home where we enjoyed going to eat in the foothills burned to the ground the other morning. Mama, John and I were all saddened by that news. I confess it's the only restaurant I'd given thought to what I might eat when we returned for a visit. Well...as a friend said to me, what's the point of even going if we can't eat at the Bulloch House? For myself the mountainside where John and I go to pray is call enough to head in that direction but admittedly it will seem odd not to treat ourselves to dinner after a good long prayer time.
There's no replacing something like that. No one would ever build a house as lovely or detailed or as solid as that old place was. I think of all the people unemployed by that loss as well. The young man from Montana who managed the place, the waitresses who were familiar faces. And then there's the behind the scenes folks who worked in kitchens and bakery and such, the gift shops that relied on the trade on that site... sigh. What a loss!
Well I suppose really that's all my chatter. I haven't done so much thinking of late. I seem to be quite content to just let time pass quietly and not delve too deeply into things. I know this is just a temporary state with me. It's my true nature to figure things out, to analyze why I see them as I do and to share my thoughts. I've finished a book, Emilie Loring's When Hearts Are Light Again. And now I've started a Miss Read book. But in the meantime, be patient with me. Inspiration will strike and energy will arise and things will return to normal in time.
Now I will end here and bid you well...until next time.