Tea with my Sister

A couple of lifetimes ago (yet I’m only 37) my sister and I would sit down and have tea together. I do not recall any of these dates being at my house. Her house was always more tidy than mine. She would boil some water to put in one of her tea pots. The tea pot would be sat on a tray next to two cups with saucers under them. Silver spoons would lay on the saucer, secured by the bottoms of the cups. Honey and lemon were sometimes added on a small plate to the side, or sugar perhaps. She was more honey while I was more sugar. Two or three different types of tea would accompany the array of items. We would talk about our parents, our brother, our children, the husbands, about God, people in our congregation, our childhood. We would laugh. We would snort, then laugh some more. We would yawn. We would have slowed conversation only long enough for one of us to remember a story we had started but not finished. Then we would usually laugh some more. We had jokes no one understood even though she was eight years older than me. She always had overstuffed couches. We both always sat with our legs tucked under us.

We do not have tea together anymore.

We are both still breathing. Sometimes the air burns my throat and I can’t swallow because we no longer have these mid afternoon sit downs.

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Today she became a Grandma for the second time. We were in the same room but exchanged just barely more than formalities. There is little point. I have my beliefs and she has hers. We will have separate yet equally as important roles in the lives of her Grandchildren because the bond I have with my nephew has proven to be just as unbreakable as her bond with her son.

I suppose as a reader you are hoping this will be the beginning of a series of revealing stories or rants as to why there isn’t a relationship between us anymore, but alas, dear reader, even I do not have the answer to that. This is one of the parts of my heart I like to ignore because it feels too much hurt.

For now I do know I only have to wait about a year before I can have pretend tea with my beautiful, freshly hatched Great-niece!

 

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Apparently I am Human

Dropped the ball

Bit off more than I could chew

Too many irons in the fire

Yes, this is me! As a functioning adult I do not seem to always function very well. During the month of November I took on Writing 101 and Blogging 101 through WordPress. Loved it! Could not keep up! These were free courses offered to help new bloggers get into their writing and understand the blogging community. It is also for experienced bloggers to hone skills. I wasn’t thinking about Thanksgiving, the 6+2 kids, or new orders coming in for dolls.

It was something I was doing for me and of course it got pushed to the back burner. Just like diet, exercise, meditation, and even my business. I also am very aware that I am taking on more and anything I can get my hands on to avoid the hard feelings. The grief of losing my father-in-law, the void created by my oldest moving out, and the scared deer in the headlight feeling freezing me in my tracks over the guy my daughter is dating.

I did fairly well keeping up with blogging 101. It was an awesome way to figure out how the site works from commenting to publishing my own page. Writing 101 gave great pointers on keeping the writing juices flowing. Both courses offered a commons area where we could all ask questions and post our links to the things we were writing. Feedback is a major part of blogging and knowing that you are part of this awesome community of writers and readers is a great place to hide for an hour or two if you can spare it.

I plan on retaking the writing 101 on its own in the future when I can focus. Maybe January or February when there is nothing to do outside and its too cold to go anywhere.

Our First Holiday without John

Should I write this?

Can I write this?

I’m sitting here in the dark as my husband and children sleep, staring down into the keyboard visualizing shards of my broken heart bouncing around on the keyboard before they eventually lose energy and disappear under the keys.

 Hello there Grief, yes I have been busy, and yet here you are!

Maybe before I start I should get a drink. Hmm wine or hot tea? How far we gonna go with this?

First you need to know who John was:

John was my father-in-law, friend, fill-in Dad, mentor, teacher….. In August, just after celebrating his 66th birthday, he past away after a fairly short fight with Liver Cancer.

His obituary read like this:

CLINTON — John Rollie Parker, 66, of Clinton, Ind., went to be with the Lord Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. He retired as a coal miner after 20 years of service, beginning with Zigler Coal Mine in Murcock, Ill. He also spent many years as a truck driver, most recently with Dump Trucks Unlimited in Clinton. He was known by his fellow truck drivers as “Nickel.”

He was born Aug. 2, 1949, in West Terre Haute, Ind., to John Arnold and Anna Pauline VanPatten Parker. Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Sarah P. Stout Parker; two sons, Steven Rollie Parker and wife, Jennifer, and John P. Parker and companion, Amy Creasey; two stepdaughters, Anna Pine and husband, Dale, and Debbie Thomas; his mother, Pauline Parker; two brothers, Duane Parker and Dennis Parker and wife, Darlene; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, John Arnold Parker; and a stepson, Howard Lee Thomas.

John was a member of the Cross Roads Baptist Church. He was a man of God and had a strong faith. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed coonhunting, fishing and loved his dogs. He also enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. John was a loving, compassionate man. He had a wonderful, dry sense of humor and was very witty. He loved his family and truly loved being a grandpa.

Wise words from an old guy

In dealing with the grief I read through different articles I found online and went back through some of my old psychology notes from college. Of course Pintrest was in that too.. https://www.pinterest.com/nonnyjenn/the-end-but-he-wasnt-done-writing/

Below is something I printed off from Facebook and it has brought me the most comfort.

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Since August the waves have come in the form of new activities the kids are involved in, when the stone was set at the cemetery, driving the ’41 Chevy, moving a daughter, and once because it was Sunday.

As Thanksgiving approaches and the kids are happy to be out of school, but Steven and I have little to say. We both know that there will be a point on Thursday when John won’t walk through the door at my Mom’s house to play cards. We know his witty, one liners won’t be made to have us all laughing. We know we loved deep, we are scarred deep, but that we have each other as part of the wreck to hold on to.

Oh, and as far as wine or tea? I went with Hot Chocolate. I don’t numb pain. To feel pain is to feel that I am still alive.

Find your Friendly in the Blogging Community

How easy it is to sit down and be clickety-clacking about on the keyboard, lost in our own world! Especially on those days when our Muse has allowed us to sleep and we wake refreshed ready to let out our inner ideals to the world through our blog. Yet we shouldn’t forget the backbone of blogging, other bloggers! If you find yourself in a rut then branch out and check some tags and categories of those who you normally wouldn’t. I decided to figure out what this freshly pressed tab was all about under Reader. I found myself in four completely unrelated areas but found each one interesting. I commented, liked and started following blogs I normally may miss. Thus getting my friendly on!

Here was my favorite of the four: Make a new word to further your fiction. Whereas being born in 1978 I grew up with Luke as my boyfriend and snuggled my Ewok at night, I have to admit I am just an ordinary Muggle. I needed this article in my life! I’ve had an idea for a story but thought ugh, its so been done. What better way of making it unique than using his suggestions? He put time in this one so enjoy!

Another was something every new Mom needs to read because guess what? We don’t have to love every minute of a crying, snotting baby! Laud have mercy! I love the way she candidly puts it out there. The thoughts many of us have but feel if we share everyone will think we have Post-partum depression and not leave us alone with the baby. (No offense meant to Moms who go thru it, after my brood I know the feelings!)

So you have toddlers too? Did you know Sesame Street has a character with Autism? I didn’t and not only that but I never would have thought of how someone with Autism may view this character either! This writer gives us an open letter to Sesame Street to shed some light on the Oops made by our favorite educational show.

Finally I happened upon a new word: Pantser. Boy do I know this word! Someone who flies by the seat of their pants. Like a few of us have done, or do on a regular I read along as this writer struggles with a novel where characters and plots are not fully developed. Writing as a Pantser. Have a look and send some love! We have all been there!

Until next time!

Howdy Friends!

Peace, Love and Puppies!

Not Doing Housework…OCD Much?

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well”

– Mark Twain

I can’t sweep the floor until I clean the top of the counter.

I can’t clean the top of the counter until I wipe down the stove.

I can’t wipe down the stove until I load the dishwasher.

I can’t load the dishwasher until I scrub out the bottom of the fridge.

Why?!

It goes in an order. An order in which I must go through or it isn’t done correctly. However, going in an order means sometimes the thing that needs the most attention isn’t getting done at all.

Illustration: I had a mess in my garage for 2 weeks because of a blender that once I plugged it in I found out it didn’t work! The blender was sitting on the floor closest to the door. One must start the mess closest to the door and work toward the Freezer. This is obvious to anyone who would have looked in my garage. So my brain tells me. I couldn’t tell you if I am a master procrastinator, I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) or I am a perfectionist who must have things done a certain way. Ultimately, I am going to revert back to my own diagnosis of I am mentally merged with the Mad Hatter.

Avoidance

There are definitely times I can recognize my behavior is simply avoiding doing something I don’t like to do. If I put it in my head that I am going to clean off my desk and file paperwork, I will miraculously have time and energy to rearrange the living room, clean the kitchen and mow the yard. Since this is a chore I despise, I take it in small doses. I do all my blogging and computer work in the morning. I have a hotspot for internet which means if it is overcast or satellites are in odd positions I have to wait a while for things to load. While waiting I will organize the desk around me. Ope, page loaded, Yay I can stop paperwork. Sounds anti-productive but it works!

I'll get there, it just takes me a little longer than the rest.

I’ll get there, it just takes me a little longer than the rest.

Perfectionist

The Picky Sister syndrome or The She got it from our Momma Effect

If you get around to seeing the dolls I make on my website, know that they almost never happened. When I first learned what Reborning dolls was I fell in love! I immediately ordered kits, paints, fabric, and tools. I took everything out of the boxes but was stopped in my tracks. I had spend $300 of which I couldn’t rightly afford on dolls I wasn’t sure I could make. I wanted my first doll to look as good as the artist who were established in their craft. I would look at my supplies and think, “Do it! Just start! Life will not end if you mess up!”  Of course, I did eventually jump in. I remember the day very well and the best part of the day was how good it felt to finally begin. My first doll did not turn out like the pros, nor my second, or third. However, my dolls are my creation, not theirs. My dolls hold a beauty and creativity that comes from ME. I always get compliments on my creations, even if it is just my Mom.

So where does this brain block come from? I have a sister who is eight years older than me so she helped influence who I became. Her house was always spotless. She always had things on her to-do list accomplished before bed. If she lent someone a CD, they got their name written in the big book of belongings. In school she had to have designer jeans, which back in the day were Jordache. Everything was just so, all the time! This was her personality. My personality was more laid back. I could’ve cared less about where my jeans came from. My house has been a mess since my second child was born, he is 16.

My sister got it honest though. She got it from our Momma! Mom and Sister have always ran households where everything has a place and there is a place for everything. They seem to be able to move into a new house and within a week have it clean and organized. I’ve had some moves where when I went to move out two years later there was still a pile of unpacked items in the corner. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was that my brain needed to do it in an order. I needed to hang a shelf before I could unpack the one on top. I needed to buy shelf anchors before I could hang the shelf. This was the order I needed to do instead of just putting the items somewhere else.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It’s also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.

With OCD, you may or may not realize that your obsessions aren’t reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.

As defined by the Mayo Clinic

My initial example of doing things in an order I don’t really feel fits in the category of OCD as defined above. As an example, here is a picture:

They couldn't have rotated that circle just a click?

They couldn’t have rotated that circle just a click?

For me this is annoying. It causes a tickle just under my breast bone and my hands feel twitchy, like I need to fix that circle. However, if I walked by this on the sidewalk, yes it would annoy me but once I walked past it I wouldn’t think about it again. Someone with true OCD may think about it several times or even have the need to fix it before continuing on.

I think for me putting things off is first I want it done just right. Thanks Mom. Secondly, I avoid chores I don’t like until they overwhelm me, as if raising six kids isn’t enough! So if you’ve been reading along thinking OMG! That is so me! or Wow! They let this lady have a driver’s license?! I hope you enjoyed our time together. Now, I’m going to make cookies since I don’t want to mop the floor. Until next time!

Happy List for Cloudy days

When your Sad     and lonely    and need a helping hand

You can call me       I’ll be there   …….  except I have to get the kids at 3

It seems this is about how it is anymore. We all have friends we know we can rely on but everyone either works full time, is a caregiver, or volunteering to save the world. Meanwhile you just woke up and it feels like someone put concrete in your slippers, the coffee isn’t working, and all you really want to do is go back to bed. But, alas, who shall clean thy King’s socks? Or braid the Princess’s hair? Or prepare the feast?

So sometimes when we get up we are thinking more of shoving the King’s socks down his snoring throat. And sometimes we wake up with a true hatred for Walt Disney and Pixar because thanks to them we have to learn how to do the Elsa braid in under five minutes on two different girls or the bus driver is going to leave without them.  And sometimes, yes sometimes, we just want everyone to figure out for the love of all that is true in the kingdom to be able to pour their own cereal! To accept frozen pizza can be a meal once in a while, and it isn’t necessary to make five course meals everyday!

We could pretend we are the dog, and just sleep all day!

We could pretend we are the dog, and just sleep all day!

A List of my Happy places

  1. Sitting by a crackling fire with the smell of Apple Cinnamon in the air, sipping a cup of hot tea.
  2. Marking things off a To-Do list, sometimes I even write down things I’ve already done so I have something to mark off!
  3. The woods in the Spring and in the Fall, I’m a fair-weather friend to woodland creatures.
  4. Johnny Depp’s arms, sshh, let me have it
  5. Watching a movie with my husband or best friend
  6. Music that makes me dream, cry, dance, or sing loud
  7. Receiving packages in the mail even though I knew they were coming and know what is in them
  8. Walking thru cemeteries alone and thinking about what stories the dead had when alive
  9. The smell of books at the Library
  10. Walking into the craft store

What if the Mad Hatter Used the Writing Desk Instead of Making Tea?

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

I am convinced most days that I am in fact Alice, living in a wonderland, and trying to find my way home. To my real home.

In order to funnel my creative art ideas, my parenting theories, my spiritual philosophies, and of course my humor so that I don’t feel myself going stark raving mad I am entering the writing world. As quoted by Gloria E. Anzaldúa, “To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit . . . Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.”