The Ability To Do Nothing

I wish I had this ability. And what exactly would the definition of ‘nothing’ be?  Meditating?  Sitting in the sun?  Staring mindlessly at the television? Hmm.

Anyway, I have been fighting this oddball sinus issue that could last weeks more. Things are getting better but I still have bouts of vertigo and the occasional headache. I have been trying to take things easy but…. while the last thing I want is to be sick at Christmas (which happened last year and really sucked) there is just so much to do.

I have always been a work first and then play kind of girl but the problem with being a stay at home mom is the work is never done. I have been struggling mightily with trying to balance my life. I am making progress in the right direction.  I am doing much better with single tasking, taking breaks and focusing on enjoying tasks, or at least the results from chores.

I have every intention of feeling joy with everything I do the entire holiday season.  I may not succeed but I certainly intend to try.  And if a task isn’t bringing me joy in some way why am I doing it?  My holiday season will run from December 6th, St. Nicholas’s birthday through January 6th, Epiphany.  Lots of fun stuff is planned but I will be sure to include some down days as well.

This week will be busy with all those once a month tasks:  church Guild meeting and luncheon, change counting and once a month bowling league.  Hoping to get most of the Christmas shopping finished too.  And I have to put away autumn which always makes me a little sad.  Autumn is by far my favorite season and I feel annoyed when everyone rushes into Christmas  before Thanksgiving is even over.

But the two weeks after this one?  I will be happy to spend lots of time at home wrapping and baking and adding decorations gradually.   I even plan to find some moments to simply sit and take it all in.


I did get this Christmas beauty out to use for the Guild luncheon tomorrow!

Listening to your body

It was full dark at 6:30p. Tracey put on her cozy pajamas and climbed between flannel sheets. It was a relief not to have to hold her eyelids open any longer.

It was a relief that she didn’t have a brain tumour or a stroke, just a simple sinus infection. Odd that she had no sneezing or runny nose, just sinus cavities stuffed full and fluid bulging behind eardrums causing persistent headaches and vertigo.  There was hope all would be well by Thanksgiving. She had antibiotics, a nasal spray and a neti pot. She would rearrange her to do list as needed.

There was also relief that her craving for bed these last few days was an actual physical ailment. She wasn’t lazy or depressed or overwhelmed by looming holiday preparations. Her body had simply been trying to tell her she was sick and needed extra rest.

She slept ten hours and got up to put an autumn stew in the crockpot and a pecan pie in the oven.  She ate breakfast and took the pie out of the oven and then went back to bed.  Her work for the day was done.  Now she would rest and hydrate and take care of herself.  She would switch to the couch in the afternoon and watch The Territorial Cup game between the University of Arizona and  Arizona State.  Go Wildcats!  She would not do dishes or vacuum.  She would go to bed early and see what the next day brought.  She would listen to her body.

Three by Three

Sometimes bad things happen in threes, or at least it seems that way.

Here are my three for the past week:

1. Did you know that your rear license plate has a light? I had no clue until I got pulled over by the Tucson PD. Me, with a blank look on my face, “the front or the rear plate?” I ask the officer. (Duh, they don’t use front plates in Arizona!) He was very nice, I think they were actually doing some kind of training as there were three officers and two cars. Anyway, he didn’t give me a ticket. I was baffled as I usually get a dashboard message when I have a light out but the officer said probably not for the license plate. Um, so exactly how are you supposed to know you have that bulb out? I guess when the police pull you over  is how you find out. I have probably been breaking the law for years as my car is a 2001 and I have never replaced those bulbs!

2.  The four day headache with a touch of vertigo.

Day one – Maybe I am just dehydrated.  I drink extra water and decaf green tea.

Day two – Maybe I am just dehydrated and tired.  I stayed up way late on Saturday night watching the University of Arizona Wildcats beat Utah in double overtime. (Way to go Cats!!)  It was quite chilly in the stadium so I didn’t drink much water.

Day three – Maybe I have a bug of some sort though my only symptoms are the tiredness and headache.

Day four – Am I going to have a stroke?  A brain tumor?  Should I go to the doctor?  Maybe I need to get my vision checked.  When was the last time I went to the eye doctor?

And finally the headache faded or the ibuprofen worked. Phew. (Though I am going to see if I am due for an eye exam.)

3.  Three correct football picks out of fourteen games this past week.  Pitiful.


Since life is all about balance here are three good things that happened in the past week:

1. The weather has been downright autumnal!  Various combinations of chilly, rainy and  blustery the last few days.  I am one happy camper wearing long pants and sweaters!

2. Of course I didn’t have the proper teeny star head screwdriver that I needed to get to the tiny license plate bulbs.  But the nice man at O’Reilly’s auto parts hunted one down for me and let me borrow it.  Five dollars and five minutes later and I was all legal again.

3.   I sold my son’s duplo legos on craigslist the first day I posted them.


The bad and the good, such is life.  Only one week until Turkey Day!  Wooo-Hooo!






It’s that time of year


Madera Canyon Veteran’s Day hike

I have to confess my mind has not been on blogs, either reading them or writing this one. This time of year I always suffer from ‘monkey mind’. I am not sure if that is the scientific term or something I picked up from “Gilmore Girls” but monkey mind it is.

Each morning I sit down with my bullet journal and look at my weekly to-do list and write my daily to-do list.  And then my brain jumps to Christmas.

Christmas??  Here is the thing:  I love Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday.  What could be better than cooking a lot of food, eating a lot of food, watching a parade and football and a nice post dinner, pre-pie walk? I worry that one year people will take down their Halloween decorations and go straight to Christmas.  I have no intention of taking down autumn until 1 December.  And then I will put up some wintry items but most of Christmas will come out gradually, peaking around mid-December.  Our live tree?  Not up until Christmas week.

But here is what my brain does two weeks before Thanksgiving when I go to write the day’s to do list:

Start to write down items for the day.

Start thinking about Christmas gifts.  Check excel spreadsheet where I jot down ideas and color code items already purchased.  Delete items already given to son for birthday.

Make another list of things to be bought on-line.

Make a list of items to be purchased around town.  Make a list of stores.  Look at calendar and decide when to go to each store.

When am I going to wrap presents?  Where will I hide them?  Which presents will be from Santa and which from family?  When do I need to mail packages?

When will we do “A Christmas Story” movie night?  Don’t forget 6 December is St. Nicholaus’ birthday, make cake.

Move on.

Look at Calendar again, when are we leaving for Flagstaff?  Note: buy E some new gloves.  Add gloves to shopping list.

My hair has really been looking good lately, I hope this phase lasts awhile. Um, okay, why am I thinking about this?

Look at calendar and wonder when to deliver cookie plates to neighbors.

Look through cookbooks to figure out what types of cookies to make.  What to make for bowling potluck?  Guild luncheon is 1 December.  What dessert to bring for that?  When will I do all this baking?


Wait, have I even planned the Thanksgiving menu?  What about a shopping list for that?  When am I going to go to the commissary for the turkey?

Ack, what about dinner tonight?  Back to today’s to-do list.  By now my brain hurts and I call the hubby and ask him to bring dinner home.  A girl can only do so much during the holidays.


Sherlock:  Don’t forget to add walk the dog to the list!

Let’s Talk Sports

Now that I am thinking about it I have a pretty varied range of interests. Some of the things I love to do include read, hike, camp, needlework, bowl, bake and watch sports.

Over the years the sports and teams I follow have changed. In high school I was a huge Baltimore Oriole fan. When I was stationed at Offutt AFB, Ne in the mid- 80’s I followed the Washington Redskins. For awhile I watched NASCAR, rooting for Joe Gibbs racing.  I have a tendency to pick my teams sometimes by geography but mostly by good role models.  I like athletes who are making millions of dollars to exhibit a good work ethic, a sense of responsibility to the community and excellent sportsmanship.  Cal Ripken Jr. was all about the work ethic, Jack Kent Cooke was an excellent owner and Joe Gibbs (a coach for the Redskins before retiring to run his NASCAR team) is hardworking and open about his christian faith.

These days I am a football and basketball fan. We have season tickets to University of Arizona Wildcat football games this year.  It is only six games so not too big a commitment. It is more of a geographic choice but I do like the atmosphere at college games.






For my pro teams it has been hard to find good role models lately.  Nothing worse that a team that has players who should be in jail (or have been in jail) for assault in any form, drugs, drunk driving etc. For now I  follow the Denver Broncos because I am a Peyton Manning fan.  In my opinion Peyton Manning is one of the best role models in football these days.  It is amazing what a person who has raw talent and an astounding work ethic can accomplish in one short athletic career. Not to mention what a giving, unselfish person he is.  His parents got everything right with him!

(As an aside I am  happy so many Denver fans were as upset as I was about Aqib Talib’s horrible behavior.  I agree with the one game suspension and wish the Bronco’s would throw in some postseason community service as well.)


miami heat


And then we get to basketball.  For many years I was a Phoenix Suns fan because of Steve Nash.  When we moved to Tucson I was excited to be able to go to a few games a season and watch all the rest on television.  For a few years I was a happy camper.  And when Nash retired I had no problem moving my allegiance to Goran Dragic, another excellent example of unselfish sportsmanship, hard work and community spirit.  His community spirit exists for both his native Slovenia and his  adopted U.S. home.   When the Sun’s front office made some really boneheaded moves  I was quite disgusted, not the least impressed with Bledsoe and totally on Dragic’s side when he decided to jump ship.  So now I am a Miami Heat fan.  I have asked Santa for tickets to the Heat vs Suns game in Phoenix in January.

It is not always easy to be a sports fan these days.  Favorite players change teams, teams move, teams go through “rebuilding” phases (ie. many losses in a season) and sometimes teams play really well and everyone jumps on their bandwagon.  We true fans hang in there and enjoy what we can.

I hope the players remember that the fans are the reasons they get to be paid for doing something they hopefully love.  I hope the players think about all those kids looking up to them before they go and do something stupid.  I hope the players remember to be grateful for being able to employ their wonderful gifts. I hope the Bronco’s win the Superbowl and the Heat win the NBA championship.  And I really hope Santa brings me those basketball tickets!

So long CSA

In our quest to eat healthier I signed up for our Local Tucson CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) over the summer. I was excited about eating locally grown, freshly picked real food. I was curious to try some new vegetables. We gave it a go for twelve weeks but opted not to renew our subscription again.

It made me kind of sad to give up but it really wasn’t working out very well and I felt like I was wasting too much food and hence money.

There were two basic issues. The first was the distance to the pick up location. It was a good 30 minute drive each way and once school started I had my husband begin to pick up our share on his way home from work. The problem with this was my husband doesn’t cook or grocery shop so he wasn’t good at selecting items. He also got there fairly late so typically there wasn’t any good trading to be done.

The second issue was the types of foods we were getting.  We were inundated with onions and various types of spicy peppers.  Though I live in the desert southwest I don’t cook a lot of southwestern dishes.  I was glad to try my hand at making salsa verde, we ate one batch with chicken enchiladas and I put a second batch in the freezer.  But I didn’t feel the need to make a third batch and had no idea what else to do with tomatillos and all those peppers.

We also got shares of monsoon greens, basically weeds that sprout up after rains.  I used a few in various salads but they just weren’t my thing.  We enjoyed different types of potatoes, melons and squash.  We also liked the corn and fruit but it wasn’t enough for three of us.   And despite being really fresh things had a tendency to spoil quickly.  I tried my best to meal plan accordingly but it didn’t always work out. A few times we were trying to eat what we had picked at Apple Annie’s and then got the same vegetables (eggplant, green beans) and fruits (apples) in our CSA share.

I finally had to accept that for now the CSA wasn’t in the cards.  I will keep it in mind for the future though and would certainly consider doing it again.