Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's the Dead of Winter...

Author's Note: Blogger and I are not getting along when it comes to posting you'll have to imagine cute pictures of sleepy little Frenchtons as you read this...And just be thankful that I didn't feel the need to make up for the 1000 words each picture is worth.

As usual, I didn’t think it was going to happen, BUT…the winter doldrums have set in. I don’t think I’m the only one suffering from them either. I’ve heard from numerous people that they are feeling lazy, unmotivated, bored.


Me too. It’s a feature of late Januray throughout February, in my experience. I’m trying not to care. Or worry about getting things done. My goal is to keep my head above water, and not castigate myself for all the stuff I should be doing…All those plans I made in the heat of new year fantasies  and new beginnings fervor. By now, I should know myself well enough to predict that this will be a most unproductive time for projects of duty, e.g. washing walls and windows, organizing the garage, trying to get maintenance type projects out of the way before the yard work begins. Letting go of plans will not reduce the lack of productivity a whit – but I won’t feel so bad about it.


That’s an improvement…not the improvement I always strive for…but one that I can enjoy.


And so, with that introduction/explanation/true confession, I bring a most random post, covering a wide range of info.


Those of you who are my Facebook friends already know that our son-in-law, Jon, had surgery a week ago. A severely herniated disk, that had been making itself known for a few months already, demanded that it be tended to immediately -- I mean IMMEDIATELY -- by causing terrible, terrible pain. So, a month and half after saying their vows, the newlyweds tried out the “in sickness and in health” clause. I’m happy to say that they left no doubt that they meant what they said on their wedding day! They are persevering through the trials of traumatic pain, surgery, and now, recovery. Thankfully, Jon feels less pain now than he has for quite some time – but he still has a ways to go before he is back to normal activity. Oh, the boredom he is enduring! Fortunately, he is now feeling well enough to tolerate having two little dogs keep him company…


Not sure that is a blessing, but it cuts down on the boredom…as long as you don’t mind picking up the shredded paper that Olive makes when SHE feels boredom.


Jon’s going to be so glad to go back to work…


Olive and Angus stayed with us for several days while Jon was in the hospital, and after. They are good little dogs…except for when they are not…which is about a 50-50 proposition. You can count on them to be good at two different times of the day: when they get up in the morning, and when they go to bed. In between is when we have problems…


Oddly enough, they LOVE to go to bed. They are waiting for you to say it’s bedtime. When the magic words are spoken, they fly up the stairs and leap onto the bed, and have a little wrestling match of joy. They wait, poised to take their positions while you get ready to crawl in. Once the hoomans are in the bed, they burrow, or snuggle, and rapidly drop into the heavy breathing of peaceful sleep.


As the pups find their spots, I just can’t help look over to The Farmer and laugh. Quite ungraciously, I have to remind him that I had to sneak around and force my hand when it came to getting a house dog…And now, at his behest, the littles get to sleep in our bed.


I’m not sure what has happened to him…But I find it quite marvelous, and incredible!


And a little crowded.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Being sentimental is a lot of work...

A tradition that will never die! The mandatory family photo before gift opening...accompanied by a level of incompetent camera operation  that first makes us cringe and eventually makes us laugh.
So – we had a good Christmas time. I really enjoyed it this year. I guess it seemed like a breeze compared to getting ready for a wedding. And the wedding had gone so well that I was full of satisfaction as Christmas time started, and nothing could go badly enough to wreck that sense of good will.

Being of good will, and also tired, I had a much more relaxed outlook on what I expected of the holiday season and I learned a few things. The most important truth that came home to me this year was that being sentimental is a lot of work. I determined to cut back on that. All these “But we always have…” and “It has to be on…” and “But our favorite things must all be present or it isn’t Christmas”…sentiments really stress me out! Oh yes – there are some things that should never change, but there are a lot of things that don’t matter a whit. And I put a lot of effort into them…What for? 

I got to contemplating this a year or two ago when my mom mentioned, at our family Christmas party, “…and I have the flashing lights out!” She said it so triumphantly that I had to query…”Oh – what for?” “Well -- I always have some flashing lights on when you all come for the party!” Uh—sorry Mom, I never noticed. 

Poor Mom…all that work to maintain a tradition that we were unaware of. 

Anyway, that got me to thinking about some of the things I made sure were done just the same way every Christmastime…even when it was pretty hard to accomplish…and took note as to whether there was any evidence that anyone else noticed. If I doubted it, that “tradition” was done – and few others that I found especially obnoxious were jettisoned as well. 

It’s so freeing to not be sentimental!!! I mean, what did I think was going to happen if we didn’t put all the kids old ornaments on the tree?? Would none of us have any fun if they were absent from the branches? I know that I would have MORE fun if I didn’t have to find places for them all…and still for years I fussed over them.  

And I have to say that this whole “let’s give the kids an ornament each year and then they will have enough to decorate their own tree when they move out” ritual sure backfired…No one wanted to take their ornaments when they moved out. The little bears and snowmen and trains and angels just didn’t fit any theme tree they decided to create. So the ornaments stayed at my house, and my tree was perused for these themeless wonders…. And they would report an absence if I hadn’t put all of them out. 

Well, let freedom ring! Let the white dove stay in the box of kid ornaments that is stashed in a closet waiting for little grandkid hands to lovingly destroy! They don’t fit my theme anymore either…My theme is “guiltless”!  

I think I’m going to have to admit that sentimentality has just a little bit (or maybe a lot) of superstition in it. Just like the guys who don’t shave, or always wear the same socks, or do the same ritual before the game, we have to do the same rituals to win a Happy Christmastime. We don’t dare stop because what if that little action is what our victory hinges on… 

I decided to go on faith that a Happy Christmastime, and a Happy Life don’t hinge on superstitious sentimentality. I dropped some rituals, and didn’t even wait for the other shoe to drop. And nothing bad happened! Even though we had turkey dinner leftovers, and then pizza, on Christmas Day, we had a wonderful time together. 

No one even asked where their ornaments were…{insert wink, and satisfied smile}. 

Now I can’t wait to jettison some more sentimentality during the rest of the year!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (