No phones, No clocks Just you, me, a bed Soon, no clothes I unbutton your shirt, Run my fingernails lightly Across your chest A trail of tiny kisses From nipple to nipple A flick of the tongue You thrust your hands Into my hair A small groan escapes I feel you stiffen against my leg As liquid heat floods My center I moan and reach greedily For your mouth with mine All imagination of course You flirt, you tease But don’t touch I rollercoaster between hope frustration need want resignation despair And then I give up Walk away Relieved the torment is over Yet cry myself to sleep
April 1st is National Census Day – no foolin’!
The census is important. Being counted means your state is properly represented in the House of Representatives. Being counted also helps your state get its fair share of federal funds.
As we know getting a really accurate count this year is going to be a challenge but it will be done. It is required by law and was even done in 1920 despite the havoc wrought by the Spanish Flu.
And now we have technology on our side. Even if you haven’t gotten any mail from the census yet (there may have been a problem with your mailing address) or you lost it or tossed it away, you can still go on-line or call and provide your information. Personally I didn’t find the questions overly intrusive or too time consuming, though the more people you have residing in your home the longer it will take.
The census doesn’t share specific information with anyone. Not the IRS, not immigration, not even the President. Very, very few people will see your name linked with your data. Statistics are what the census bureau creates.
You can do the census at anytime, you don’t have to wait until the First of April. So please, go to https://2020census.gov/?cid=20002:%2Bcensus:sem.ga:p:dm:en:&utm_source=sem.ga&utm_medium=p&utm_campaign=dm:en&utm_content=20002&utm_term=%2Bcensus
Feel free to pass this blog post or website on. The more people that respond the better it is for your state. BE COUNTED.
3/18 2:00P MOUNTAIN TIME
Just got the word, Census is shut down until further notice. Sigh. *********************************************************************
I just wanted to say I won’t be around much for the next 3 weeks as I am working for the census once again. My job has been modified slightly so I don’t have any contact with people. (We are leaving questionnaires on doors in areas where there is an issue with the mailing addresses.)
I confess I haven’t paid much attention to what is going on with the virus until recently. I was bummed when they cancelled basketball but still unconcerned. I was shocked to discover empty shelves at the commissary. But when they closed the libraries? That really brought it home.
I find it ironic that me, the stay at home girl, is now out and about while everyone else hunkers down. But it is just a few weeks.
This is how my months are going these days.
Five or six days before the full moon my hot flashes amp up. They get more frequent and more intense, especially at night. The closer to the full moon we get the more frequently I wake up and the more trips to the bathroom I make. I used to think I was nuts but some research says otherwise. If you think about it it makes sense. The moon affects the tides why wouldn’t it also affect the liquid in my bladder? Also the closer the full moon gets the harder it gets to get back to sleep, even with my sleep mask.
And I want to eat all the time, even when I am not the least bit hungry. Stepping on the scale is a complete no-no during this week.
And then there are the very vivid and weird dreams. For instance I dreamt that I was waiting for the elevator in a building that was open on one side. The elevator was round and just an open platform, no sides or ceiling. I pushed the button and then, not paying attention, I stepped off the edge while the elevator was still one floor away. I grabbed the edge of the floor and was dangling there, trying to psych myself up to drop down but before I could the elevator started descending. I yelled for someone to push the button and that is when I woke up. Crazy!
How about one when I was playing poker but instead of cards we were using invoices and receipts. I had four tens and three sevens and thought that was a full house, but I wasn’t sure I was using the correct numbers on the papers. What in the world was I thinking about when I fell asleep?
So now the full moon is waning and we enter the cranky and weepy stage. Everything said to me I find irritating. My son, “what are you doing?”, me in the act of filling up his water bottle for school, “What does it look like I am doing? I am doing the same shit I have to do every morning”. Every slow driver makes me want to just run them over. Each tiny irritant is now the size of a mountain crushing me.
And the random crying. “The Great British Baking Show” and “The Kids Baking Championship” make me cry. They also make me want cake. After a few days of this I can’t even stand myself and once again find myself dreaming of a cabin in the mountains near a lake and complete solitude.
On the positive side my hot flashes lessen and the crazy dreams subside. But halfway through the crabby/weepy stage I find all I want to do is sleep. Bed and pajamas feel so good. I climb into bed embarrassingly early (under the guise of I am going to read). And I do read as long as I can but some nights it is lights out as early as 8:30p. And getting up in the morning? I don’t want to write about it.
And more symptoms that come and go with no discernible pattern: joint pain, itchy spot on my lower back and depression. Some days my fingers just hurt. And a few days a month I feel terribly blah. So depressed that I give myself permission to forget about chores and errands and do whatever I want and I can’t think of a single appealing thing. These days are the worst.
And then I have a few good days. I feel rested, my mind is clear and I start thinking life is good again, that normalcy has returned. I make plans.
And then the moon grows again and the whole cycle starts over. Bah.
What really baffles me is why? Why does the human body go through all this? What purpose do hot flashes serve? My only thought is we aren’t supposed to live this long and the body doesn’t know what to do. Think about it, living past child-bearing years is a relatively recent phenomenon evolutionarily speaking. For the species I have outlived my usefulness.
I want to end on a positive note but frankly one is escaping me right now. I guess I’ll go make some emergency brownies to stash in the freezer and then take a nap.
Part II: What I Received
Yesterday I wrote about what I made for the Handmade Joy Exchange. Today’s post is about what I received from Sarah.
A lovely painting on silk! I never even though of painting on silk, it seems impossible. And it was from France! I have been to France twice for military deployments (pre 9/11) and this package brought back many happy memories. Thank you so much Sarah!
Even though I had my doubts about participating in the Handmade Joy Exchange I am so glad I did it. It really did bring me joy, in both the giving and the receiving. Thank you Anne for sponsoring such a lovely idea!
Part One: What I made for the Handmade Joy Exchange
I mentioned I was looking at more areas than just writing when I thought of my word for the year. I like to dabble in many different creative-ish areas. But I am, sadly, not very talented. I wish I could paint a landscape or design and sew a fabulous quilt but I am who I am. One very organized, list making, linear, planner, rule follower of a person. When I did a sketchbook experiment with a friend I was quite lacking in ideas. All his sketches seem so cool and fun. I wanted to be Bob Ross and paint a happy little tree with a sun dappled barn and a babbling brook. Or at least cool abstracts in a Paul Klee kind of way.
In this creative area I am thinking maybe my word should be creative acceptance. I am who I am and there is nothing wrong with that. So I can’t draw a picture but I enjoy coloring one. And I am good at following the directions in a needlepoint kit and creating ornaments or wall hangings. And I have done some bead work kits and sequins on felt. I have knitted scarves and one afghan. I made a quilted dresser scarf.
So maybe I am not creative in the traditional sense or exactly how I wish I was in my mind. But I have decided to believe I am simply creative in my own linear, follow directions, non-spontaneous way. And yet, there is more to the story.
After careful consideration I pushed myself to participate in Anne’s (My Giant Strawberry) Handmade Joy gift exchange. I felt like this was a pretty big leap for me. I was worried that all the other participants would be artisans with Etsy shops and booths at craft fairs. But I did it anyway.
I came up with my idea, started working on it and kept my fingers crossed that it would be suitable for whoever I got. I started off making a small needlepoint sign in spring colors. Or maybe it was a bookmark. But it didn’t seem to be enough. I decided it was a sign and then decided to make one for winter. It was supposed to be a snowflake but I think it turned out more like a flower. It would have made sense to stick with a needlepoint theme but of course why would I make sense? So I followed my creative courage and colored a leaf for autumn and made a felt sun for summer. I included a suction cup hook and now I get to imagine my “art” hanging in a window in England! I got to send my items to an Italian architect living in England. How cool is that?
I am just sorry I forgot to take a photo of the back of the sun, I put the word “Joy” on it with sequins. Oh well.
One of the great things about having a child has been getting to read so many children’s books. Old favorites and new authors have all been enjoyable. One of my new favs is Cynthia Rylant. I love all her series but especially ‘Henry and Mudge’ and ‘Mr. Putter and Tabby’. (I say new but we started reading her books 8 years ago, so by new I mean not of my childhood.)
In the past I have tried both gratitude lists and joy lists but neither quite defined what I was trying to capture. And then I read “Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book” and I had my epiphany. Not to spoil the plot but Mr. Putter is having a hard time writing a book and instead writes a list of “Good Things”.
I am stealing this idea because I love it. So thank you to Ms. Rylant and Mr. Putter 😊.
Good Things ☘
- chamomile flowers from Trader Joe’s 🌼
- working in my sketchbook (see pics below)
- the sound of an owl hooting in the distance ( I also like it when I hear trains or church bells) 🚂
- learning how to add emoji’s 🌵
- signing up for an on-line photography class that starts in April 📸
- reading “Match Making for Beginners” by Maddie Dawson and having a great line stuck in my head: “Whatever happens, love that.” 📘
- chocolate covered strawberry ice cream from Tillamook 🍨
- cloud shadows on mountains (makes me smile every time!) ☁️
- lace curtains moving in the breeze
I am thinking this will become a semi-regular feature, like Photo Friday. We’ll see.
Sending good thoughts your way!
You probably don’t want to read this post. It is full of frustration and indecision and fear. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day or good mood so seriously, you don’t have to read this. But I have to write this. I have to get all this out of my head and throw it into the universe. I am secretly hoping by doing this that I will magically be shown the path I should take. So here goes.
I had my doctor’s appointment on Friday and I got what I wanted, hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Only now I am afraid to take it. Let me start with the doctor. I have seen her a few times but I don’t really feel comfortable with her. I can’t be positive but she looks like she has had plastic surgery (face lift kind) and something that plumps lips. And she has blonde hair that looks dyed. I feel like I am looking at a Barbie doll. I am not questioning her competency or intelligence but it made me uneasy looking at her.
Secondly the office was really crowded and she was running rather late (I thought) for a 10:00am appointment. Things felt rather rushed I realized later. She asked me about getting tested for the breast cancer gene, how I wanted the therapy delivered and we talked the cost of bio-identicals. Bam, Bam Bam.
When I climbed into bed Friday night I realized I had made a pretty big decision in a rushed and ill-informed manner. I panicked and then told myself it wasn’t set in stone.
We were very busy Saturday, lots of errands and by the time we got home I was exhausted. I laid down on the bed and started crying. The fact that I am in a lose-lose situation hit home. I suppose an important fact I should add here is that my mother died of breast cancer at the age of 33. There can be no doubt that colors how I think.
And now it is Sunday morning. Spouse and small child went up to Phoenix for the Nascar race so I have the whole day to myself. I am still in my jammies, still in bed with my name on a homemade blueberry muffin. (Just waiting to digest my thyroid meds, about 1 hour.)
So let’s run through some scenarios:
SCENARIO ONE: I get tested for the breast cancer gene, find I have it and decline HRT. Now I get to continue to feel miserable and hear the ticking time bomb ALL THE TIME.
SCENARIO TWO: I get tested, don’t have it and take HRT. I feel better but still worry because frankly it seems like nothing conclusive has been discovered about HRT and cancer without the gene.
SCENARIO THREE: I don’t get tested and take the HRT. Will I still feel better? Or will all the worry about probably triggering cancer cells (if I have them) cancel that out?
SCENARIO FOUR: I don’t get tested and I don’t take HRT leaving me right where I am now. All I can do is hope that once menopause kicks in I feel better. Let’s say that takes another 2 1/2 years at most. (I’ll be 55 then, surely I will be in menopause?!) I have already survived 2 1/2 years of this craziness. My biggest fear is that the mood swings and irregular periods and hot flashes are going to get so much worse before subsiding. That is what triggered looking for help in the first place. I am afraid I am going to get worse and have the summer from hell. Life is too short to lose a whole summer if you don’t have to.
SCENARIO FIVE: I accept the crazy situation and move to a one room cabin (two with the bathroom) up in the mountains on a lake. I walk around the lake and do a photography project where I take a picture of the same tree everyday and document the changes until I am done with this phase of life. There are no inconveniences and keeping warm with just a woodstove is a piece of cake. I eat healthy by default only shopping at farmer’s markets and local places. I sleep when I am tired and hardly ever have to clean as it is just me. Okay, this isn’t a viable scenario but it is in my head so I am putting it out there.
And then there is the as yet unknown scenario. I think about how the anti-depressant made me so sick and wonder if I should try St. John’s Wort? Studies appear somewhat inconclusive but it is used a lot more in Europe. And yet I find myself hesitating. Has anyone out there used it? Can you share if it worked or not?
My biggest fear is what happens if I run out of hope? If have nothing left to try? I like to think I will be okay just soldiering on. If I continue the yoga and meditation and 10k steps I will survive one day at a time. And one day I will wake up and it will be like magic, my energy and enthusiasm and patience will be back.
For now I am holding tightly to that hope, it seems that is all I can do.
As for today, I will survive. Later I will get dressed and go to the library and pick up the copy of “Enchanted April” that I requested. A trip to Italy this afternoon seems to be just the thing. I have lots of happier posts to work on too and I figured out my next sketchbook idea which I am excited about. I will enjoy the peace and quiet and not having to cook. I’ll take a nap if I feel like it.
And now I wait patiently for the universe to send me my answer. Thank you for listening.
I am a weather geek so living in southern Arizona is rather boring. Ninety percent of the weather is hot and sunny. We do have winter and summer monsoon seasons but they have been pretty tame most years since I have lived here. This winter we have actually been having winter. Well, as wintry as it can get here. But still, it is exciting to have a reason to watch the weather channel. And be able to wear my sweaters.
My son was off from school Wed thru Friday this week. We had planned on going camping at Madera Canyon but changed our minds when we saw cold and rain and snow in the forecast. Tuesday night we had a hard freeze, temps down in the twenties. So Tuesday is when the ‘inclement weather’ work began.
On Wednesday my son and I took advantage of the sunny day and went to the library. Books and UNO are hunkering down requirements.
Thursday morning I got up in great anticipation of a foul weather day. An 80% chance of rain, wind gusts up to 40mph. I continued to work preparing to hunker down.
First order of business was to make cookies. In case the power goes out. (The power has never gone out here, but still, one wants to be prepared.) Oatmeal cookies so they are suitable for breakfast if required.
Now it is 4:00p on Thursday. It is finally beginning to rain! And there is wind spattering the rain against the window. (See picture at the top.) I just want to sit here and stare out the window! (And that is exactly what I am going to do after I set this post up for publishing in the morning.)
The plan is to post photos next Friday of whatever weather we get tomorrow (today for you).