Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year, Different Life

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I am not a maudlin New Year’s person. I don’t generally reflect too much on the last year, and I don’t usually have huge high hopes/resolutions for the new one. I try to live life one day at a time and take it as it comes, but this year is different. For the first time in my life, I am going into a new year alone. I have a beautiful family, a wonderful husband, and beautiful, healthy, smart children, but the family I was born into is completely gone now.

After an eight year struggle with dementia, my mother died on June 3. We had a small family to begin with, I am the youngest of two children, so I really, truly knew all along that barring a wayward truck or piece of space junk, I’d be the last one left. My brother had a falling out with my parents when I was fifteen years old and I never saw him again, but found out that he died in 2008. My Mammaw died when I was a senior in high school, my Dad died in 2005 and then my mom got sick. Even though she was physically and mentally ill, she was still here and I was not alone. Sadly, by the time she passed, it was a relief. A relief from watching her suffer. A relief from knowing it was coming.
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As I approach 2014, it dawns on me that this will be the first year of my life that there is no one on earth who knew me when I grabbed hold of the bar in my closet and my feet left the earth. I got stuck and hung there screaming until my mom and brother, laughing, rescued me. No one but me remembers when I sat in my doll stroller and again got stuck, and sat there screaming until my mom and brother, laughing, rescued me. No one but me remembers the Halloween my mother sat on the porch roof under a sheet with a flashlight turned on, weaving slowly back and forth to scare me, while my brother, laughing, pointed out the “ghost” on the roof. I tried to run, and likely would have run to the next town, but Billy grabbed me, and he and my mom, laughing, showed me that it was her, and then he took me upstairs and helped me climb out on the roof and under the sheet with her, while he went back downstairs and outside and ran around the patio screaming, and falling down in fake terror to make me laugh. Nobody but me remembers how happy and proud it made me when my huge dad with my tiny hand in his giant one introduced me to the firemen at the festival as his “girl.”

I am, for the first time in my life going to start this new year fresh. I am going to try to continue to heal family rifts that were not created by me, but that have profoundly affected me. I am going to use my mother’s things and think of her every day. I am going to continue reminding my son that the Boy Scout ax that he has and loves so much belonged to his Uncle Bill. I am going to remind my daughter that she looks like my mom. Every time my husband fixes something, I am going to remind him that my dad taught him how to do all that stuff. I am going to try to stop crying over everything. It’s time to be myself. It’s time to be the grown up generation in the family. It’s time for me to be happy and content all the time, not just some of the time.

I hope all of you have a wonderful, Happy New Year. Put the old behind you and embrace the new. Keep moving forward and be kind to one another.
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Green Tea or I’ll Do Anything To Stay Healthy

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I hate tea.  I think it tastes really weird.  I think I should’ve been born in Seattle, because I’m a coffee kinda girl.  Sadly, I have realized of late, that if I don’t get my proverbial shit together, I’m going to end up like everyone else in my family of birth.  Too in love with food which will end up giving me a bad ticker and arteries so hard I could use them as drink stirrers.  Then there’s the dementia element which can also be aggravated by the above mentioned over-love of food, so I started researching, and the results of that research are in the box above.

I found out that if I drink a cup or two a day of green tea, which is green because it is not cooked to death when they process it or something along those lines, my cholesterol will go down, my weight will go down, my blood sugar will remain stable, my heart, brain and various cancer attracting organs like my colon will remain happy and will thrive.  That sounds like a pretty good cheap deal to me, problem is, I have to drink tea.  Bluck.

So when I went grocery shopping, I bought a box of Uncle Lee’s Organic Green Tea.  I drank a giant mug of it yesterday so I’d get the couple of cups done all at once.   It wasn’t too bad actually.  There was Splenda in it, so it was sweet, it tasted kind of grassy with a hint of pumpkin underneath which is also not my favorite, but I got ‘er done.  Today, I made another cup, and today, it was gross.  It tasted like tea.  The sweetness didn’t help, the pleasant grassy taste was gone as was the undertone of pumpkin, it was just gross tea.  On the other hand, I have to say that yesterday I had way more energy than I usually do, and today I feel a little more like my regular, not addled by life self.  Feeling some sharpness coming back in the old noggin.

What am I going to do you ask?  I’m going to keep drinking it each and every day and pray to God that I develop a taste for it.  Maybe I can brainwash myself into thinking it tastes like coffee with vanilla creamer.  Oh, ummmm, that sounds good.  Oddly enough, I’m not craving it though.  Another healthy side effect of the green tea?  Maybe.  If it is, that seems slightly nefarious.  Next, I’ll be craving quinoa and veggies instead of French toast for breakfast.  I’m might even get a little thinner.  I’m hoping so…

If you’d like more info on green tea, everyone from the Livestrong Foundation to Web MD have articles about it.  Check it out here http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea  and here (apparently this person can live without the taste too, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do…)  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-of-green-tea-that-you-didnt-know-about.html

So put down that soda, coffee, Hawaiian Punch or juice and brew up a nasty cup of tea, it’ll probably make you healthier!  Cheers!  Have a good one and please be kind.

The Joys of Christmas Break

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Well, it’s been a year since I last posted on my blog. In that intervening time, my mother lost her battle with dementia, I found out that the depression she suffered from for as long as I knew her was actually much, much more and I am finally starting to recover from the eight years of handling everything.

In the interests of my recovery from the severe stress I was under, I’ve started doing yoga, and I’m taking time off from substitute teaching. I just don’t think I can handle too many needy people right now and if you know anything about school kids, they can be pretty needy.

Even though I am not teaching right now, doesn’t mean that I don’t need and love Christmas break. Or winter break. Or holiday break, or whatever you want to call it. We call it Christmas break and it works for us. Unfortunately, we don’t get a full two weeks, but the week and a half that we ARE getting is beautiful. I’ve been sleeping about twelve hours a night, I’ve seen three movies so far, and I got another pile of books to add to my to-be-read stack that I am convinced will someday fall over on me and crush me to death.

I am becoming even more live and let live than I was before and I am beginning to feel my muscles relax. I am keeping tabs on the events of the world because I don’t like to be taken by surprise, but I’m trying really hard to block out a lot of the buzz. I’m binge watching House of Cards on Netflix and catching up on movies like The Conjuring and Dark Shadows. I think I might add a category on here for reviews of books and movies and such, since I think that would be fun for me to do, and maybe fun for you all to read.

Gonna keep it fairly short today since I’m just getting my groove back, so you all have a wonderful, safe New Year and be kind to one another.