Grandma

How do I grieve such an important person as my Grandma Gladys? I’ve felt a little disconnected from her death, as if her passing was an event that I hadn’t been invited to. We aren’t having a funeral for her…most people who she was close to are long gone (she’d have been 88 at the end of November) and are planning an immediate-family-only memorial early next year.

It’s very anti-climatic.

She's in heaven

This is my grandma with my son in 2006. She was 82 and still living a completely full, independent life all by herself on the farm.

I don’t deal with death very well. My mom died, suddenly, tragically, when I was 14 and my sister was 11. All sorts of bad shit ensued after that, including my sister just fucking falling off the deep end. For a long time. Some could say she’s still there. Though, I am reconciling myself to the fact that she’s doing the best she can with what she’s got. Just like the rest of us. Her human-ness doesn’t look anything like mine does but that doesn’t make her less valuable or less precious or less responsible for her own station. In mind-blowing lesson after mind-blowing lesson, I realize that I love her no matter what. No. Matter. What. And I still strive to have connection and meaning with her even if she still keeps herself as loosely connected as humanly possible.

I’m getting off track.

You see, mom’s death threw us into chaos that still swirls. Still effects generations of us.

Death is serious, crazy shit and I think my gut and my heart just want nothing to do with it. Period. Which is why I check out when people are dying. My mom’s dad died (of old age and lots of senility) and I mostly didn’t visit him in those final years. His wife, the only grandma on that side that I ever knew….barely saw at the end. My dad’s long-term girlfriend (who was twice widowed after two 20 year marriages, then was rewarded for her struggles with panceatic cancer around her and my dad’s 3rd anniversary)….I totally checked out. Then, my grandma. She was one of the best friends I have ever had. I barely saw her in the 5 years that her senility arrived and her body slowly departed.

I’m not shaming myself when I say this, though there are plentiful puddles and ponds of guilt laying about with regards to people I’ve loved and lost. I’m no psychologist, but my heart tends to know the truth most of the time, whether or not I listen to it. I step in those puddles, wade through the ponds and try to do better. Last year I had an elderly aunt (my mom’s sister) fall ill and pass away. I was grateful that I’d identified that whole “fear of death” thing by that time so I could just lean into it, go visit her and then be with her and other family as she faded and left. It was surprisingly profound to have that “let’s gather around to love and support each other” experience.

With my grandmother, though, it was really sad to see such a vibrant woman fade into a shell of what she once was. All of us were shocked to see the course of her life in the last few years. We figured she would live to be 95 and die of a heat stroke because she continued to mow her own lawn (she really did mow her own lawn with a riding mower until she was about 82). Or because she got bit by a snake (she kept a shotgun for snakes and other unwelcome visitors perched up above her back door).

It was selfishly uncomfortable for me to be around to see the bizarre decline. Her bizarre decline came during my own bizarre decline from a “happily married” to “enthusiastically divorced”. There was only so much my heart could take during those first couple of years and by the time the magnet was back in my compass, she was gone. Here… but gone. It sucks and I will forever feel guilt for all of the above. She started fading away but I faded from her faster than she faded from herself. Bleh. Death and dying sucks balls.

Let’s talk about other stuff about her. Let’s not talk about ways I failed her, but ways in which she gave to me. Ways in which I hope to give to my kids and grandkids.

  1. She taught me how to sew.
  2. And how to bake.
  3. She kept a few drawers of old dresses and slips for us 4 granddaughters to play dress up. And a big plastic shoebox full of retired costume jewelry (which I inherited and is one of my prized possessions).
  4. When she’d make a pie she’d let me work up the crust scraps with cinnamon sugar into cookies (kind of)
  5. She babysat me and my sister nearly every single Wednesday night for years. YEARS.
  6. She loved to watch M*A*S*H at 10:30pm and mostly fell asleep before it was over.
  7. WTH?! Does that mean that she was letting me stay up until at least 10:30pm on a school night? I just now realized that.
  8. Her pantry was this closet without a door in her kitchen and where the door should have been there was a bamboo curtain that I used to play with constantly. I’d lean against the door frame with the kitchen to my right and an insane amount of canned goods to my left (no, really) and fiddle with that bamboo bead curtain.
  9. She kept a big ceramic tea kettle (ornamental) on top of the fridge and it was full of quarters. I still don’t know why.
  10. For a very long time the running water in the house was hard well water and salty. So, they’d have to haul drinking water in and there was a shelf adjacent to the kitchen that held a enamel bucket full of fresh drinking water and enamel ladle from which to serve it. Sometimes I’d drink from the ladle just like my grandpa did, not realizing it was rude.
  11. I’d give my eye teeth for that bucket and ladle.
  12. She was somewhat of a food hoarder, as many people who survived the depression were. A coat closet-sized pantry full of stuff, a fridge and two deep freezers full. Plus a cellar of canned stuff she’d put away.
  13. She loved to compete. Every year she’d enter into the Lincoln Country Fair and win oodles of blue ribbons and a little prize money. The money helped her try to break even. I think she just liked the purpose and activity and competition and recognition.
  14. And I mean she’s enter over 100 categories with her GAME FACE ON. I loved August because it meant her house was loaded with all kinds of confections.
  15. She made perfect pecan divinity. It was “her thing.”
  16. When I make toffee and people love it I feel close to my grandma because now I have a thing like she had a thing.
  17. But she was a homemaker for 60 years. She had a LOT of things.
  18. She loved to play cards and, when I was little, she and grandpa often had friends or family over to play. I don’t remember which games but I’d guess gin and spades.
  19. She’d serve sliced kielbasa and cheese and crackers and pickles and I’d think that was the greatest thing ever.
  20. She made the best Swiss Steak.
  21. And the best mashed potatoes.
  22. And HOLY LORD, the best potato salad. With American cheese chunks, tomatoes, red onion, bacon…everything.
  23. A cornbread salad that was very similar and to die for.
  24. When I read The Pioneer Woman I am often transported back to my grandmother’s kitchen and that’s one reason I love Ree. She’s keeping that part of Oklahoma alive.
  25. She always, ALWAYS gardened. I mostly remember the tomatoes.
  26. She’d grow these big, beefy tomatoes and would serve them at every supper. She’d peel, then slice them in 1″ rounds. Sometime they were still warm from the sun and I get weepy that stuff like that exists in my memory and not in my present.
  27. She made great hot rolls. One Thanksgiving I made hot rolls that were killer and everyone raved. I think she got jealous and I took that as a huge compliment. All I did was follow a recipe and I wouldn’t have even known how to follow a recipe if it weren’t for her. AND the recipe was in a cookbook she’d given me as a wedding gift.
  28. She inscribed it and had the most beautiful penmanship.
  29. I have her edition of that same cookbook and it’s totally beat to hell.
  30. I also have a clean and unused edition of that cookbook that I’d like to give Gabi or Tanner when the time is right.
  31. She used to help me throw tea parties for me and the baby dolls when I was a preschooler. I still have the tiny table on which we’d dine.
  32. She wrote my name on a tag on the bottom of the table 10 years before she started declining.
  33. I hope I’m that thoughtful when I begin thinking of my end and who gets what.
  34. She helped run a dairy farm and I can remember walking out to the barn in the late 70s/early 80s to watch her check on “the girls”.
  35. I can remember her lifting me up to look over into the massive vat of milk in the big silver holding tank thing.
  36. She used to pack picnics for us (me and the other granddaughters) and we’d eat creekside on a small offshoot of Deep Fork Creek.
  37. Mostly I remember sandwiches and baked beans served out of a mason jar. Chips, too, I’m sure.
  38. She sewed my freshman winter formal dress.
  39. She sewed my junior and senior prom dress. (Same dress. I loved it so much and just did one modification between the two years to make it “different”.
  40. I was SO overweight that she really had to alter the pattern to make it work. And she did it like it was no big deal. I remember her making the bodice out of muslin to test her pattern so that it would fit well. It did and I felt very pretty (which was quite the feat in those times).
  41. She fried french toast. Floating-in-oil fried.
  42. Every Wednesday night I made and ate an ice cream sundae. She always made sure that there were ground peanuts, ice cream, carmel sauce and chocolate sauce in the house.
  43. She’s prolly a big reason I was a fat kid.
  44. When I was in elementary school we had something called the junior olympics. I only chose a couple of places to compete because I was SO not an athlete. I ended up coming in somewhere near dead last in my competitions and was mortified. Luckily it was a Wednesday so I was going to her house that night. I remember being way too grown up for her lap but sitting on in anyways and bawling. Cried my little eyes out to the person who most loved and understood me.
  45. I tried to write a book one time in my early 20s. The protagonist was based on her.
  46. Her middle name was Irene.
  47. Gladys Irene Siebenaler. She has a Catholic name in there somewhere but I don’t remember it.
  48. She married my granddad and became a practicing Lutheran, so I guess it doesn’t much matter.
  49. Her and my granddad met in the mid 1940s during war times.
  50. He was in the army, but riding around in big planes away from intense combat.
  51. But when they met, he was stationed near Alliance, Nebraska. I may have my military designations wrong. For all I know he was in the Air Force….I just know he wasn’t a pilot.
  52. She was working as a beautician and had put herself through school to do so.
  53. Her dad was an alcoholic.
  54. I never, ever, ever saw her drink a drop of anything. At all.
  55. Her mom had something like 13 pregnancies but only 4 babies. And only raised 3 children. I can’t imagine living through times like that.
  56. There was a diner in Wellston, OK right along Route 66 when I was really young. She’d take me there to get a dip cone.
  57. In junior high, she gave me perms. I wanted them kinky curly so she gave me tedious perms, often piggybacked, on 1/4″ rollers. She got so good at those that I’d only need them every 6 months or so when my hair just plain grew out. The curls never faded.
  58. For a few years she had a church organ on her back porch. She bought note labels to cover the keys so that whoever wanted to learn them, could. I don’t remember what happened to it, though I kind of assumed she was borrowing it or holding it for our church. Or someone’s church.
  59. We sat on the second to front pew on the left side of the sanctuary. Only. If we ever were anywhere else, it was because so many were in attendance that bled onto the next row back.
  60. She mowed her own lawn on a riding mower until she was probably 80.
  61. The year my mom died she drove in from the farm to bring my sister and I dinner at least a few nights a week and to be there when we got home from school.
  62. I don’t remember how long that lasted but I remember how comforting it was.
  63. My dad took her to Hawaii on one of the trips he’d won.
  64. I do think that besides kids and grandkids, it was the highlight of her life.
  65. She often worked into the conversation, “When Gary and I were in Hawaii” 20 years after she and dad were in Hawaii.
  66. I was her favorite, or at least perceived to be.
  67. When I was young it made me feel special and when I was older it made me incredibly self-conscious and feel guilty. But she was just being herself and the notion of favoritism makes me a better mom.
  68. One time, when I was a poor college kid, she slipped me a $20 and told me not to tell my grandpa.
  69. On my way out the door that same day, my grandpa slipped me a $20 and told me not to tell my grandma.
  70. She sewed nearly all of her own suits, skirts and non-jeans pants.
  71. I have one of the suits hanging in my closet. It is a million years from fitting but I kept it anyway because I’m as sentimental as they get.
  72. I also have a lot of her brooches. Mostly they are cheapie things she picked up at Wal-Mart or JCPenney, but I still like having them because she always wore one.
  73. Her favorite perfume was Opium. She almost never bought it, though, opting for the knock-off scent called Ninja.
  74. I stayed with her for a week when I was a high school freshman 5 because I had mono.
  75. I couldn’t figure out why her chocolate milk was so much better than any non-commercial chocolate milk I’d ever drank. Eventually figured out that it was because she used whole milk, chocolate syrup and a teaspoon of sugar. Of course.
  76. She liked swinging on the porch. For all of my childhood (and probably before) she had one almost identical to this. I’ll own one like it someday.
  77. She had two daughters, a son (my dad) and four granddaughters.
  78. Most of us went to her house on Sundays just to hang out. This happened for at least a decade, probably two.
  79. If we got there and she was at church, there would be a note left on the cutting board for whoever got to the house first. It let us know where she was, when she was returning, and what we could do to start or finish lunch if she’d already prepped it.
  80. She never owned a dishwasher.
  81. She drank a metric ton of coffee everyday. Always had a cup nearby.
  82. She always wore gradually tinted eye glasses.
  83. When she sat at a table she always had an arm crossed to the other and the uncrossed arm up so that it looked as if she were resting her chin/cheek. I often do the same thing.
  84. She started a free clothes closet every August for back-to-school. Or maybe she just ran it…I can’t remember anymore. But for years her back porch would get BURIED in garbage bags of clothes that got sorted and distributed to people who wanted to come and shop.
  85. She sang alto in her church choir for decades. Sometimes she was 1/3 of the choir but did it anyway because she loved it.
  86. She practiced her songs by playing a cassette tape of piano music that her choir-mate had performed while grandma recorded it on her portable tape deck.
  87. She made quilts for money and for fun. She made me one as a a wedding gift. She made a lot of simple ones for kids in foster care (think sewn and yarn tied). The most beautiful one is with my cousin in Seattle who when asked, picked the Hawaiian quilt grandma had made after her return from the island. It is gorgeous and took an eternity.
  88. Man, alive. I miss her.

If I had a million years

…I could get caught up on all the blog posts in my head.

Last month we opened a new restaurant, which is always an intense time in the home office. Then right after it launched my daughter had a birthday. Then the day after that we got on a plane for a 10 day vacation to one of our most favorite places in the world doing all of our most favorite things in the world. On day 2 I got a phone call that my most favorite person in the world had passed away after a long, full life with the exception of several years of dementia and sharply declining physical and mental health. Services won’t be for 6 more weeks so…power through! Wine country then the city and in the middle of that I read two books and averaged 5 miles a day (as opposed to the 50 feet to which we are accustomed) of walking in San Francisco. Oh! And we tasted well over 100 different wines. We also attended two concerts and spent an obscene amount of money and calories that WERE WORTH EVERY MORSEL AND CENT. Someone remind me of this in December when Santa fills our stockings with coal.

My brain. It is FULL of stories. Full of tears. I haven’t the slightest idea of where to begin. Life has been like that all year. I don’t know where to begin because so much is constantly coming at My Thinker for processing. Y’all…there are all these stories about buying the house I haven’t told!  Concerts I’ve been to! Pastries I’ve eaten! Pinteresting things I’ve made! ALL OF THE PHOTOS! Memories to share and, mostly, document before they fade.

* * *

I do want to tell you briefly about this book. It is likely responsible for pushing me past this writer’s block of having TOO MUCH to say. And wanting to say my things at a million miles an hour without eloquence. Imperfectly.

Go read this. Then loan it to a friend. Or buy it for a friend. Chances are, he or she will want to mark it up and highlight it and spill coffee on it and sleep with it under their pillow. Here’s one of her TED talks, if you want a hint of what she writes about…

2012 TED Talk

I also read this:

…which was just pure joy, especially if you have a certain sense of humor. Jenny Lawson is in the category of what I call, “Me in my head.” I can’t wait for several women I love to get their hands on this. It made my 5+ hour plane ride feel like 30 minutes. I wish Jenny Lawson would write a book for every time I need to fly 2,000 miles. I’m sure she’d do that, right?

Friday, June 1.

May 31st winded down to a melancholy ending. There were a million things happening that day and the kids and I were scrambling like mad to get to my step daughter’s play that evening. Clayton had made reservations at a nice restaurant afterward to celebrate the end of school and our families merging with homeownership the following day.

Earlier in the week the anger of the gods unleashed all manner of hailstones on Oklahoma City. In the wee hours one morning I awoke to hail and listened to it land, off and on, for over 2 hours. The longest stretch of time the ping pong balls of frozen water fell was about 30 sickening minutes. I miraculously maintained all of my windows, but my roof wasn’t so lucky.

Last Thursday I raced home to meet a repair man on a honey-do item I wanted fixed before closing on Friday then raced to get my kids from their summer program. Then raced to get a green smoothie and we picniced a late afternoon snack in Classen Curve while I phoned in my hail claim. I promptly called my real estate agent to let him know I’d done my due diligence on the house I was about to sell the next day and he said, “Have you checked your email?”

“No.”

“Well…” he said. Then Peter went into the details as he knew them and it was becoming clear that someone was about to rob me of my third close date. Prime Lending was jacking with my buyer for the umpteenth time in the last few weeks and it was derailing my plans.

I broke it to Clayton then sat down to watch his daughter’s play. We made it through dinner without trying to explain the confusion to the kids but there was no hiding the less-than-celebratory ambiance at the table. I told my stepson later that they must’ve noticed that us adults seemed like we were sitting at a funeral a lot of the time that night.

The house ups and downs had worn us out and this latest news was just about more than we could stand. I was emotionally blown out and I really wanted to give up on the whole thing because I knew that surrender would bring Peace and Certainty, things I hadn’t seen much of lately.

We left dinner, went to our two homes, chatted briefly on the phone, then went to bed. I couldn’t think much more that night. I needed a new day.

I awoke the next morning and after a half of cup of coffee, I wrote a blog post.

Then I opened my email program and went through all my records. I made notes of every soul involved in these transactions, where they worked, their role in that company and their phone numbers. I didn’t write down emails because I was fucking done being passive. I wanted a house, dammit, and I needed real people to talk with me on how to Make Shit Happen.

After I had a list of 8 or so people to call, I started at the top of the food chain: the closing officer at my title company. I was nice, but clear and agressive about my plight. About 9:30 am I learned that I *might* be closing at 3 pm. That’s all the wiggle room I needed. I stayed in constant contact with my realtor, my new house’s realtor, the  lender and the title company. Ran around and signed papers. Ran home to meet the movers. Begged a friend to come sit with the movers while I ran to close. Begged Clayton to stop the packing of his moving truck to come relieve my friend who had an appointment to attend. Screeched into the Bank of Oklahoma and picked up a cashier’s check. Sauntered in to the title company and drank a real coke. Ate a Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. Bought a house. Ran to the new house to direct my movers. Ran to the ATM so I could pay them and to Conoco for twenty bucks worth of bottled water and granola bars while we unloaded Clayton’s U-Haul. Ran to dinner with family.

Stumbled home in a carby stupor to fall asleep on bare mattresses on the floor of our new home.

Our. New. Home. ❤

Hey @winedr....

Thursday, May 17 sucked.

And the days since haven’t been a picnic.

When I started blogging again I gave myself a few rules to keep my touch-of-ADD self better focused, thus keeping the writing a bit more enjoyable for whomever stumbled upon it. One such rule is, “This is not your journal, whine to someone else.”

I’m breaking that rule again to tell you about the hot mess that was Thursday, May 17.

First, the day started out with this: My Yelp review about the experience. By the time that was over and finished I decided to call the day a wash and head home to finish up packing because Friday was Double Close Day! And the movers were coming at 11am! Thank you Universe for sending me home because less than an hour later the wheels were coming off the whole damn thing. By the time I hung up with my real estate agent, Peter, he and I were both in a silent sort of shock. There was a miscommunication with my mortgage company about some recommendations from an engineer’s report I had ordered and this miscommunication meant that I couldn’t close Friday unless I could turn in two bids for the two projects and put the cash in escrow. All this was at about 2:30pm.

I hung up the phone so Peter could put his brain to it and stared out the window of my living room. I looked at my green grass in the back yard and noticed that it again needed a mow. I looked at all the boxes stacked high all around me and wondered where I’d put them on Friday when I had to move out of this house I was selling. I looked at the rug on the floor covered in dog hair from Clayton’s sweet Akita/Lab mix named Shiro. For some reason she likes to stretch in front of me and it always makes me smile. Then I remembered that my yoga teacher often told us that if there was something in a yoga class we couldn’t handle that we could always return to the Child’s Pose.

I slid off of the sofa and crawled to my hands and knees, knees slightly wider than my hips. I laid one of my bare feet on top of the other behind me and let my hands extend as far as they would reach in front of me as lowered my chest to my thighs and rested my forehead on the hairy floor. And I wept for five full minutes.

Buying house is stressful in its own right and I have been holding my breath for months as all the pieces click into place. I never put all my faith in any one part of the proceedings and instead comfort myself in the overall progress. Oh, and I constantly worry.

I cried and cried and cried until it hurt because I guess Child’s Pose puts a lot of blood in your head and once you’re all worked up from bawling then your sinuses shut down air flow. It wasn’t exactly calming but it opened me up and let all that emotion free. The physical pain snapped me out of the pity party long enough sit up, blow my nose and sort of get my shit together. I wandered around my house for a few minutes, checked my email and fielded some phone calls. Clayton touching base. Peter had a plan. Loan processor called to explain some things. Then a person from the title company called to tell me that the buyer on my house had to postpone their closing because they were missing some financial documents.

So. I didn’t buy a house on Friday, nor did I sell one. It’s taken a few days to really process that. Lots of people advise you, “Oh, no one ever closes on the first close date!” But I waited for over a month to even bother trying for a close date. We didn’t even set it until about 10 days beforehand and a couple of days before I heard the phrase, “You have a clear-to-close” from my lender. I was reasonably confident. All the utilities and services were scheduled for transfer or cancellation. House was 90% packed. Blah, blah, blah. It didn’t happen and here we sit, waiting.

Because of my new requirements that involve me writing another big check, we have to wait for my house to sell before we can make the purchase. We think that will happen on May 29. I’m trying to chill out about it.

All The Spinach

It’s getting late and for every box I pack I seem to remember at least one completely unrelated task that needs to be done before Friday. Today’s biggest ::gasp:: moment? I need to replace a pipe under my bathroom sink for the buyers of my house! Whoops! I’ll get it done in plenty of time, of course, and I’m glad it came to light today and not Friday at closing.

The house is about 75% packed/ready. Tomorrow night after work I disassemble kid beds and pack/purge those random items in the garage that tend to collect. And cook spinach.

Oh… didn’t I mention that?

My dad and aunt came by to crash this evening because my dad has eye surgery in the morning at the ass-crack of dawn and they are using my house as a home base tomorrow. As a tithe of some sort he brought me (at least) 3 pounds or organic spinach leaves from his garden. So much spinach it had to be transported in a small garbage bag. So…yes. Tomorrow night I shall be cooking ALL THE SPINACH. 🙂

Ready to warp to a different level

Last night I found out that we’ll probably close BOTH houses and move on May 18. It’s not exactly the scenario I had in my head but it does have the end result that we want…which is to be owning this new big house with its 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. And an additional half bath that I’m turning into this:

Mario Bathroom

Because that’s just badass.

How the heck does one wake up in the morning, go sell a house, go buy a house and direct the moving company from the old to the new? And have that all happen within the 8-hour day? I guess I’m about to find out. 🙂

The next chapter

Last week we went to a party thrown by a friend of ours who was honoring the notion of The Next Chapter. She’s been through a major life change recently and noticed that a few of her friends had, too. Is there a better reason to have a party? Nope!

Among many things, she provided a craft to keep the theme going. We were to tear a page out of an old book and write the first page to our next chapter. Then, we slide it into a nifty fridge magnet and voila!

next chapter

I’ve been absent from my blog for the past several months. A million things have kept me away (that may or may not be named, pending free time to write about them), but one major one has been the decision to blend families.

We’ve known about this intention for a long time, relatively speaking, but didn’t rush into moving in together the moment the idea came to mind. Plus, I owned a (not big enough) house. Actually, I owned two (one was my childhood home I’d inherited when my mother died. After 20 years, we finally sold it last summer). And we needed to find a house spacious enough to fit the physical and emotional needs of our families. And I needed a big kitchen.

UntitledUntitled

Check!

It’s been a loooooong six months. Lots of painting, cleaning, mowing, hauling, purging and crying. Stalking houses and imagining futures is fun. Touring houses is a little less fun. Narrowing the field is even less fun. Making the offer isn’t any fun at all. Negotiating the contract and hiking through the process is work. Dealing with The Person Who Shall Not Be Named* was the drag to end all drags. Waiting for repairs to get scheduled and completed sucks. Waiting for an official close date is hell. It feels like everyone I’ve made eye contact with in the last 2 months wants a check for $300.

Ditto for most of that on the house I’m selling…though this process has been a bit easier than the house we’re buying.

Add to that the hopes and fears that come along with starting a Next Chapter. We both have a boy and a girl. We both survived divorces that came at the end of 10 year marriages. We love food and wine and music and each other immensely. But like any couple, we have The Fear. I could go into The Fear, but I digress…

I’m at my wits end. No, really I am. I’ve been stressing out on just about any given topic for months. I look older. I feel older. I’ve had a headache for a week. My mood has more swings than an amusement park. I’m constantly distracted. My thoughts are muddled. I can’t pull out of my driveway without having to put my car back in park and go into my house for a forgotten item — sometimes twice! I can pep talk myself in a thousand different directions but there’s no getting around that I’m depressed more than I’m not. There’s lots of carbs and very little intentional exercise in my life. I’m too tired to exercise (no, really). I’m whiney. As you can tell.

I’m more than ready to get to the next chapter. I’m exhausted of this one. I want to move on and live in peace. I posted this song during my separation and divorce on an old blog I kept during my stay-at-home-mom years. I love Patty. Really love her. Got to tell her that to her face last year through happy (crazy person) tears. I’ve lived this song. I’m beyond the walls of the fortress and I’m ready for the bird of peace to come in for landing.

*a person in our home buying process that has given me at least three fresh gray hairs. My poor realtor is handling this human from now on. Let him get the gray hairs. 🙂

Oh, Paula

This made me crazy: Paula Deen on the Today Show

Drugs don’t cure diabetes. She’s led herself down this path, is tempting others down this path then is selling a “cure” that is no cure at all. It’s just one more lie about how to care for your body. She’s perpetuating the problem with her apparent ignorance or just disregard. Towards the end of the interview she insinuates that to be healthy you have to starve. And that taking care of your body is a form of punishment. ::massive eye roll::

I love food. Like, really really love food. I spent ten years fluctuating between 250 and 300 pounds. I’m still hanging out at 200. But here’s the deal…my kids are really important. *I* am really important. I need to be at my full capabilities for all the things I want to give to this world and my family. I refuse to get diabetes, period. I watched it rob my dad of most of his eyesight and a large part of his health for a long time. A bone infection in his foot cost him a toe. His eyes required laser surgery every couple of months for two years about a decade ago. Endless bills for medications and doctor visits. Early retirement due to physical disability. I could keep going on and on.

I’ve recently made a few minor changes that will make a long-term drastic improvement in my life. (I will write more about that in weeks to come.) Paula could have done that, too. She could have been a platform of change. Paula Deen has influence. I had/have a great respect for the obstacles she overcame as a single mom and a person who struggled with mental health issues. I related and was incredibly proud of her accomplishments, no matter how many sticks of butter she peddled. I was raised by a poor, single mom. I am a single mom. I’ve struggled with depression and watched other close to me struggle with way worse than my worrying nature. I get it and was proud of her for rising above.

I read in a USA Today article yesterday morning when the story finally broke that she was consulted about her disease by Dr. Mehmet Oz. I’m certain that Dr. Oz talked to her about changes she could make to halt and reverse this disease. She could have been a revolutionary in educating the benefits of true health and how delicious and invigorating it can be. Instead, she’s pushing a pill and cashing a check.