coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, November 27, 2023

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

I'm trying to get into the right frame of mind for Thanksgiving, you know, the state where I want to clean and cook. It's getting late, so it better happen soon. Thankfully my husband cleans, and he's always game to make the turkey and mashed potatoes. I don't think I have ever made a turkey. I'm spoiled rotten.  

I would like to experiment with wild side dishes, but our daughter and her family have food issues. Our daughter has gluten issues that will make her sick in bed if I use wheat flour. Grandson N has a milk protein allergy and will spend his evening in the bathroom if I'm not careful. He's also extremely picky because so many foods have made him sick in the past. Granddaughter E is the foodie, but even she doesn't like onions. Neither does her father. I want ALL of us to be happy on Thanksgiving. 

I make two stuffings, one gluten free. I sauté onions and celery blended to high heaven with turkey broth before I bake this GF one. The other is made with cornbread and includes apples, pecans, onions, celery and mushrooms. Guess which one I eat? Gravy is made with gluten free flour, and it turns out just fine. I use cold water instead of milk. Tom and I are the only ones who will eat the cranberry sauce or the sweet potatoes. Everyone likes green beans. Butter doesn't have milk protein in it, so there's plenty of butter in or on everything. 

Grandson N will eat chicken nuggets and separately roasted potatoes. Don't judge me, he's my grandson and I'll make him whatever he wants. You be you. I'll be me.

Make me say it: I make fresh green beans for some, green bean casserole (with gluten free cream of mushroom soup and crispy onions) for others.  

Our daughter is in charge of dessert. She's a good baker, and sees it as her lot in life to adapt wheat based recipes to gluten free.Whatever she makes will be super damn yummy. 

In my mind, Thanksgiving is the best meal of the year. For all who celebrate, enjoy!

Last year's meal. Oh gee, I need to run to the store for
red beets, and apples to make applesauce. Aaaack. 
Granddaughter E LOVES red beets.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Metaphysical woo woo

I often think of my paternal Grandma. I love her beyond words. Well, maybe I'm being dramatic. I could probably describe how much I love her in any number of ways. 

I could write a litany to describe her. I like litanies, especially the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A litany drills you right down to the core of an archetype. Words of power and images of faith. After an invocation was read by the priest, the congregation would reply in unison the following supplication: "Pray for us!" If you could pay attention long enough, it was magical. Not much different than a Babylonian prayer to Ishtar.

Those old fathers of the church really knew what they were doing on a deep psychological level. In addition, the BVM litany gave you an indulgence of 7 years off your time in Limbo! But I digress. Grandma.  

She was Protestant to my Catholic. Raised Southern Baptist, she became Pentecostal in middle-age. She could talk in the language of the angels if the spirit moved her. I was scared of her church and only went with her once. You may think pre-Vatican II Catholicism was metaphysical woo woo, but that's only because you never went to Grandma's church. Still, she believed. Her life wasn't easy and it got her through a lot.

I never told her I lost my faith. How could I?

The nuns said non-Catholics wouldn't go to heaven. They told us lots of crazy stuff, trying to make sure we'd never think for ourselves. That's how I knew religious dogma was purposely manipulative, because my Grandma was the holiest person I ever met. If Grandma couldn't go to heaven, then there must not be a heaven. 

To be fair, Pentecostals believe Catholics are a cult and will burn in hell. With 7 Catholic grandchildren, I wonder what Grandma thought about that? 

A Mother Goddess if I ever saw one!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Awash but not completely submerged

I was awash with feelings this past week, having spent a few days with a three people I love very much. They are three people I don't often spend time with. When I say "awash" I mean I was covered in emotional goo. 

My husband and I live a quiet life. Being with more than one person over the course of a few days is kind of overwhelming for me. I find myself practically dissociating at times. When I have used up every ounce of my energy reserves, I need to rest. Fully overwhelmed I might hallucinate, talk in tongues, overeat, and drive badly. Stone sober, I might accidentally drive the wrong way on a one way street.  

That didn't happen this time. Well, okay, I did drive the wrong way down a divided entrance/exit to an apartment complex. But it was dark and I was in unfamiliar territory. It was a short entranceway. That could have happened to anyone.  

After a few days of intense social interactions, I am running on empty. Sometimes rest is not an option and I must keep going. Then I trust that if I just go through the motions, one movement will lead me to another.  It works.  

Monday, October 30, 2023

Sea of Joy

My favorite blogger has done it again. Tone Deaf inspired me to write a post. 

I started commenting on his blog a few years ago. Okay, I don't really know how long ago it was. Does it matter?

Robbie may be as old as Methuselah, you know, 969 years old. He is scary honest, and starkly opinionated. There is no one else like him. Consequently, I had to force myself to overcome my trepidation when I first commented on his blog. I expected to be ridiculed and outed as a hack. Sometimes that happens, but mostly I learn a lot. Most of his comments on my or other blogs make me laugh out loud.  

He writes about many things, just about anything really. Sometimes he writes about aging without apology or fear. When the spirit moves him, he doesn't hold back. He probably wouldn't anthropomorphize the creative spirit. But I will.

He wrote today about the various restrictions aging has imposed over time. That was interesting, but then he included imagination in that lot, which gave me pause. 

Now this post becomes about me, because that pause turned me inward. I'm hoping the creative imagination is the last to leave. Coy as she is, withholding, and then bam! A Muse holds us close to her heart and the words flow.  

I think creativity is an act of faith.  Surrender.  Blind Faith.  Sea of Joy.

Just following my Muse where she takes me.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Halloween approaching

I bought a pumpkin, but I can't put it outside or the Florida heat will make it rot.  So it is sitting in my dining room until Halloween.  Sometimes I buy two so that both Tom and I get a chance to carve one.  I don't think I will this year.  I'm not all that interested.  

Our granddaughter was home from college last weekend, so I got two small pumpkins for her and her brother.  I thought they might like to paint them, but they insisted on carving.  They turned out pretty cute.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Making a change

I am taking a break from wine. I don't know if it is permanent. Probably not. I just know I haven't had anything wine all week.  

A friend of mine went to an Ayahuasca ceremony a few months ago. She came back reporting she had a good trip, but the message she got was that alcohol is poison. I'm not going to go that far, but I heard what she said and I know what she meant.  

I will order a drink or a beer if I go out to dinner, or I am with friends. But at home, I'm not drinking. What I find is that my anxiety levels have been reduced to almost nothing. I wake up happy, and have energy to do things throughout the day. 

Let's see how long this lasts.

Sunday, October 1, 2023


Well, that was rough, going to a funeral for a 32 year old man. Death is always hard, but when a young person with so much to live for dies, the loss delivers a particularly potent punch.  

Birth, death, and all the living happening in between. It's all so very odd, isn't it? We all come from nothingness and eventually turn back into the same. Is dying simply one's "time?" Or is it just random cruelty? I surely don't know.

Then, almost immediately after a significant loss, there becomes a new normal. A normal without them. It isn't fair, it always sucks, and it is never okay. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

I can't think of a title for this

I've been sick with a sinus infection all week. I called the doctor on Monday, but couldn't get an appointment so they set me up with a nurse practitioner for a video appointment. She said as soon as she got off she'd call in a prescription for me to my local pharmacy. Instead, she called it in to my mail order provider. It's Saturday, and it still hasn't arrived from the mail order place.  

I called on Tuesday to let the nurse practitioner know the pharmacy hadn't received her order. She fessed up to her mistake and said she'd call it in to the local place. Yesterday (Friday), the local pharmacy finally texted me that it was ready. I picked them up. Today the mail order pills will arrive. When it rains it pours.

I'm very low energy and feel like crap. Tomorrow Tom and I fly to Indiana for a family funeral. A really freaking sad one, by the way, for a 32 year old husband and father of 2 young children. He was my niece's husband. It makes my sinuses ache just to think about what's ahead.  

I'll see family members I haven't seen in years over the course of two days. I will run the gamut of emotions.  Actually, it will seem more like running the gauntlet. Families are tough!

There may be a hurricane off the East Coast right now, but there is no wind propelling my sails. I'm just going through the motions for the people I love. For my niece and her little ones. For all the nieces and nephews and in-laws of her generation who are dealing with peer loss for the first time. For my siblings and in-laws who are triggered by the memories of similar losses, and extreme familial love. For the kind of love that wrestles you to the ground. My heart is broken.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Card tricks and magnets

Our grandson N is in middle school now.  He's rarely silly anymore, darn it.  A couple months ago he stopped hugging me hello or goodbye. I knew it would happen eventually, but I didn't see it coming so soon. Darn! I never had a boy child, so male growing pains are new to me. It's quite interesting.  

He came over alone the other day to make cookies. He swaggered in and took over the kitchen. He likes to cook, and has created his own special cookie recipe. The cookies are good, too. He started right in, not needing my advice or help in any way, shape, or form.  

When the cookies were done, he played with magnets for a while, and then wanted to go home. We couldn't take him right then. I needed to find something to entertain him with for one more hour, so I brought out a deck of cards.

At first he entertained me with card tricks. Then he built card structures. I was afraid it wouldn't go well and he'd be annoyed, but no! He successfully build a small structure and he was both surprised and pleased. Finally, we settled down to a game of War. Grandpa even joined in. It was like turning back the clock, back to those old days when the three of us were the best of friends. We laughed, slapped the cards down, and teased each other. Honestly, it was the best time I'd had in weeks.