Tag Archives: chores

It comes down to this?

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Yesterday while driving home I could see a rescue vehicle coming towards me, in the opposite direction I was traveling.  I pulled over and stopped.   It’s not only the law but the right thing to do.   I held my breath as I looked in my rear view mirror.  There was a line of cars behind me.  How many would not pull over?  How many would speed by me in excitement of ‘getting ahead’.   To my satisfaction and surprise every car behind me also pulled over and stopped.   I sat watching this, teary eyed.   First off, I’m a sap and I have been extremely sensitive the past couple of weeks.  Also, I found it moving.  It reminded me of being at a funeral and how you stand in respect, watching the casket be loaded into the hurse.   It is showing great respect, acknowledge of, a tribute to the person whom has passed.   This rescue vehicle was answering a call to someone in need, someone in trouble.   Everyone who pulled over and stopped was paying tribute to, and respectful to whomever it was that was in need, and their family.

A couple of years ago I was on Long Island with friends.   It was a Friday night, we were heading out to eat.   Behind us were blaring red lights and sirens.   My friend who was driving did as he was supposed to.  He pulled over, stopped.  The cars that were behind us and in front of us did not.   I was watching this in shock.  Really?    The rescue vehicle went up on the median and was trying to make his way through the intersection.  These cars could have cleared a way for it, but they did not.  I was disgusted.  What if that were their wife? daughter? father?  family member?   There is a word for them but I’m trying not to swear as much as I do…. May the force be with me!

For the past week my mom and I have been cleaning out my uncles apartment.  He was a tidy meticulous man who had order in all areas of his life.   That was the easy part.   But the stuff that man had was unbelievable!  8 days of sorting, bringing stuff to the hospice thrift shop, taking home a few things we wanted in remembrance.  Today we finished it up.  Hallelujah!    I still have some odds and ends to unpack from the jeep, but I am absolutely thrilled this chore is behind us.     

We found 6 electric shavers, 12 pairs of sunglasses (including womens), 14 clocks including a couple right out of the 60’s and 70’s.  When he replaced something he would not part with the old.   It was funny, actually.  He also had been on a spending spree because we found a lot of new things.  Hey, good for him!  He started to spend money on himself!  This is a man who could squeeze poop out of a buffalo nickel!   The first couple of days I was sad, upset.  Is this what it comes down to?  Your family cleaning out your earthly possessions?  Obviously we can’t take anything with us, so why do many place importance on material things?   I took a few things, a couple clocks which were worth little but they will serve to remind me of my Uncle daily.   My mom took her mothers dresser, solid oak, and a few pictures that had been her mothers.  We found pictures of us here and there, he still had a painting I did for him, and a Christmas wreath which he had stored ever so carefully. Also was surprised and pleased that we found the book I had authored in 2003. Sweet!

As nice as it was to find unique things, it was always difficult for my mother.    I did my best to ignore the bossiness, the short comments that at one point in my life would have hurt.  I felt the need to stand up for myself a couple of times, in which she realized she was out of line.    She is relieved that this part of Hank’s death is behind us.   We still have the burial and there is still things pertaining to probate.

My mind and body are tired.   I was about over this two days ago.  I wanted it to be done.  Sort of like when you are leaving a job for a new one and you have the 2 weeks notice to work through.   That’s hard.  You just want it over with to start anew.

As I bid farewell to the sweet apartment, nestled by a beautiful and sometimes treacherous brook which housed my Uncle for the last 20 years of his life, I smiled. Someone else will be moving in, starting a new life there. It’s a sweet apartment, I’m sure they will enjoy it there. Well, the day is still young and the sun is calling me outdoors.    Hope you are having a great day, and I hope you, too, are enjoying beautiful weather. ♥

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Ramblings of a lazy one

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I feel perplexed.  Should I write about my lack of motivation, feeling stuck?  Or should I find a positive topic to write on?  Ahh, yes, I hear the mental gurus saying “Positive, do positive, talk about the positive!”    If only life didn’t throw out to us the sucker punches.

It is always safe to talk about the weather and we are enjoying incredibly beautiful weather in New England.  The sun has been shining, temperatures have been between 60-75 with the softest of breezes that cool from the heat of the sun.  I wish we could have this weather through summer, but if wishes were horses we would all ride, eh?

With little motivation I feel like I’ve been on vacation but with guilt!    I remember when I worked for others my vacations were spent catching up on things on the house, first, then fun.   I certainly have plenty to do.  How about getting the canvases and frames off the porch and into the sweet shed that stores some of my art, supplies?  Then I can pull my treadmill down and so that it is actually usable?  How about painting the kitchen cabinets in which I have put on unfinished scrolled wooden pieces a year ago?  My plan?  To paint them, antique them, I can see it, I just haven’t done it!   How about finishing the Tuscan mural on one of my kitchen walls?   Wouldn’t it be nice to walk downstairs in the morning and seeing it finished?   Like most, I could go on and on.   The one thing I do like about finishing projects that have been long standing is the feeling of accomplishment is so much greater than that of new.   At least that is true for me.   The unfinished projects reside quietly in the corner of my mind, always there, always reminding me, always readily available, offering me ammunition should I want to beat on myself!

My memory has been thwarted.  I am seeing a difference in my sight.   I will sit down to bead and not being able to decipher as to colors and size .  This isn’t particularly good for an arteest!    I must admit, I find great comfort in sorting the beads, however.  I find it particularly soothing.

Another $35 and I’ll have paid for my new used “toro” lawnmower.   I think this is the first lawn mower I ever bought.   It’s as exciting as acquiring new canvas, brushes, beads…NOT!   I do look forward, however, to walking the distance of my acreage.   It will serve to sort of reacquaint me with the land I work hard to pay for.  Okay, so maybe I am not lazy if I am looking forward to yard work?

This weekend I plan to fire up the gas grill, throw on some burgers, dogs (not the German Shepherd or Terrier), having friends down to join in the fun.    Not fond of vegetables at the moment, I am looking forward to grilling them, which I will then eat in excess.   

Hope you are having a great day filled with sunshine and warmth.   I hope your day is filled with good news, comfort from the difficult and laughter overcoming all.   Now I will quote Paul Harvey “Good day!”   Oh wait, was that Newman?

Country girl…

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Having just licked my fingers for the remainder of the butter that was on my english muffin… the same English muffin that I also frosted with sugar free jelly… I acknowledged to myself the ridiculousness of this.   I like butter.  I don’t want to eat plastic (margarine) or the supposed butter clones that are healthier, I want butter!   I love butter!  It’s sort of like going to a restaurant and having French fries, fried seafood and a diet pepsi.

As a kid in grade school my best friend’s parents owned a dairy farm.   We would frequently visit the area where the vats of fresh milk were and skim the top of the milk, thus whipped cream.  It was better than ice cream.   I’m sure now the Department of Agriculture would frown on this, or worse yet, fine you.

Why am I sharing these mundane details of my day?    Well, yesterday, on my way home from running errands I was totally aware of and enjoying my surroundings.   I love going by the farms, we have such a beautiful working farm here, generations of family owned “The Miller Farm” that I admire every time I pass.   They used to put vegetables out for sale and a tin can for you to pay for them.  With my hands firmly on the steering wheel, sitting up straight, I existed and were “in the moment”.   I love the country.   The authenticity test of loving country life is a smile at the smell of manure (well, I admit, sometimes it’s enough to make me gag).   The smell of freshly mown hay, grass, the sighting of farm animals, wildlife, nature, running brooks, dirt roads, chimneys bellowing smoke lending warmth to it’s creator, wood piles, well they are not only a daily sighting in my life, some a staple in it.    I feel secure within the mountains and I love the energy they emit.  I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

I have spent time in cities, 30 other states.  I appreciate and seen many different ways of life, culture of others.   I feel the busy energy as I am first driving into Boston, New York City and the many others cities I have visited.  The fast pace hustle and bustle holds within it evidence for all five senses, smell being my least favorite.   I have been gifted with a trip to Newfoundland, Canada, a cruise in the Caribbean.  I visited the Myan Ruins in Tulum Mexico, stayed at a 5 star resort and zip lined over a jungle in Mexico.  I have climbed Diamond Head crater on Oahu, Hawaii, and while I am not what you would call a world traveler, I am grateful for where I have been, what I have been privileged to see.    Still, within the scope of all of these beautiful places, upon my return, when I start to see the mountains, signs of country, rural living, I smile,  I am home.  I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

My surroundings are breathtaking and the seasons bring more than a temperature change,  With it comes many chores.    I am no stranger to shoveling or raking snow off from my roofs, chipping ice, sanding and salting my driveway, my walkways, throwing wood into the pickup, throwing it out, stacking it and gathering kindling, starting a fire.   I am no stranger to the hazards of driving on what others may consider primitive style roads.  I own a lawn mower, a wheel barrel, this contraption that they call a “snake” to help unclog drains, pipelines.  I drive a jeep, and truly enjoy venturing into the woods with my furries in the back seat.  The quiet, the beauty, the sights all breathe joy into my lungs.  I have reluctantly participated in the cleaning of chickens that my father and sister just slaughtered and plucked, fed livestock and more.  I drive 40 minutes or so to the nearest mall, and 15 or 20 minutes to the closest grocery store or bank.  I grew up in and live in a town which have no street or traffic lights, that have volunteer firemen.  A flashlight is one of the survivor tools of the trade, particularly on a midnight run to the outhouse!    I own and operate a saws, hammers, screw drivers and my favorite, a wrecking bar.  My tools that may surprise you.  I have fished for dinner and brought home pizza, have camped in the wilderness in just a sleeping bag underneath the stars and skinny dipped in ponds and lakes at dusk.   I have tiled floors, wall papered and painted walls, sanded floors, dug out walkways and laid 20″ heavy blocks.   I know what it’s like to live in the country, to be self sufficient.   I also know what it’s like to be so fed up with Winter that I swore I would never live through another winter in New England.  Just when we’re all about to jump ship, put a “For Sale” sign on my house, just when we’re climbing the walls and suffocating in cabin fever, spring will show welcomed signs of its arrival, of rebirth and the changed attitude “I can do this, I can do this”.   As soon as the weather is warm enough to go outside in just a sweatshirt (well, jeans too!) the memories of the harshness of the past winter fade away and are replaced with the awe of the new season.    Our backs may heal from the shoveling but are once again tested with rakes, hoes, and again shovels if gardening.   I have grown vegetables and eaten cucumbers and tomatoes right off the vine and delighted in fresh eggs that bring with them the most beautiful color of yellow you can imagine, and the tastiest of eggs.    I have eaten venison, sugared off (making maple syrup) with family, with friends and enjoyed what we New Englander’s call “Sugar on Snow”.  Yes, I know what it’s like to do physical work, to maintain my home, my land to the best of my ability through the trials and tribulations of all four seasons, living, surviving independently and reveled in the benefits, the outcome of all.  Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

I have owned rabbits and chickens, dogs and cats, ridden horses, ponies and a mule.  I have climbed trees, rode a toboggan down a steep hill, skied the prettiest of mountains, skated on frozen ponds and once fell partially into freezing water and was thankfully rescued.   I’ve cooked marshmallows and hot dogs on a stick that I cut in the woods and dined in exclusive restaurants atop five star hotels.  I have learned, through experience, that I am allergic to bees.   I have been bit by dogs, nipped by horses, been stuck in the mud, the snow, and have walked out of a boot barefoot, from the boot being sucked into the mud with such grip that I was unable to pull it out.      I’ve walked on railroad tracks, walked in the rain and been on a lake in an aluminum boat when a thunderstorm has rolled in.  I’ve picked apples and pears, strawberries, peas, clipped pussy willows and rhubarb, made the prettiest of wreaths and florals from materials hunted in the woods or my own yard.    Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

When I take the time to sit back, to review,  and in this case write about so many things I’ve done, my cheeks pucker upward, a smile comes to my face, I have been blessed.  I am blessed.   Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

As my joints grow painful, my back amiss, and the cost of living rises, I am not sure that this is where I will always live.      I sometimes long for an easier life, a house on a lake equipped with a rocking horse on the porch and a partner carrying in the wood to start a fire in the stone fireplace.    I sometimes long to have less responsibility, to be able to go back to the archaic “women’s work” and let someone else to the labor.    I sometimes long to trade in my wool lined barn coat for a long cashmere coat, my sorrels for fashion boots, and my hats and gloves for regular, more frequent manicures and pedicures.  I sometimes want to bolt from the challenges that comes with living in the country, and trade my house in for a condo.  I sometimes want to live where I never have to do these chores again.  But you know what?   I will always own cowboy boots, I will always hold dear, of my upbringing and years living in New England, in Vermont.    Don’t get me wrong, however and visual me being a hick from the country who picks my teeth at the dinner table.  I can dress to the nines and hold my own while socializing, and have many times, shocked others when they find out I am a Vermonter.  Not sure what the Vermont stereotype is, but I assure you, while we do have “country folk” who talk with a back hills drawl, many of us are or can be sophisticated, abiding proper dress and etiquette when necessary.  When all is said and done, when I climb into bed and pull the covers up to my neck, I smile, I thank God for the life I have known, living in rural New England.  I am a country girl, and I love Vermont.  I so love Vermont!   ♥♥♥

 

My “Honey do your own” list

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My days have been crazy busy this week.  As good as it feels to check things off my “Honey Do Your Own List” I am constantly adding more to it.  I don’t mind it as much as my dog.  He sits quietly looking down his nose at me, with the saddest most pathetic look on his face.  Poor baby has to entertain himself when momma is busy.   I just know he’s wondering how to dial NSPCA, if only his paws weren’t so chunky!   Have no fear, I take a break every hour or two and play ball with him, or let him know he’s still #1 in my book!    Yes, he is spoiled, and he will be until he no longer walks on this earth.  He will be 11 soon, I hate thinking about that, especially considering a close friend of mine and her family said goodbye to their old family dog this morning.  I held him extra tight just after I read the sad news.  Time waits for no one.  Every day is a gift.   I enjoy my furry kids.   I take great pleasure in caring for them, in providing for them.    My dog has always lived a priviledged life, my cats have not.  They are all rescues, so I feel especially good that they live like Princesses. 

 If I were able to work everyday I don’t think my life would seem to hectic, but there are days that I just don’t feel well enough to, so I do what I can, but it isn’t always enough.  The consequences of such are, it feels like I am always playing catch up.  Sometimes the smallest tasks can overwhelm me.   Today I had at least 15 things on my list that had to be done today.  I  was overwhelmed with how much I had to do that I just had to focus on one task, and then work on the next.  Eventually I was able to start prioritizing, stopping one task to get another one done, then going back to the previous one.  My brain has never worked well working in different directions.  What is interesting is that I can teach a “potpourri” class, 8 students working on 8 different projects and I do just fine, but it’s all painting.  If we are talking entirely differently subjects or things, I can’t do it.  This became much worse after losing my sister and it never came back to the “fair” level that it was before.   So I have accepted that about myself, and I just do my best.  One example of something that really confuses me is if I’m talking on the phone and someone is trying to talk to me in person.  I can’t do it!   The result is I get short with both people because I quickly feel overwhelmed, confused.  I wish I weren’t this way, but then again, if horses were wishes we’d all ride…

The other problem going on here is that I haven’t been sleeping well.  I wake up at least 3 or 4 times a night.  This is discouraging because my sleeping had gotten to a point where it was actually good!  Oh well, here’s hoping it will be again.

The sun is shining, its NOT  snowing, I’ve had a really productive day, and class went very well.  I am about to take  a long hot bubbly, will play my nightly Literati game with my bestest girlfriend, and will then call it a night.   Tomorrow’s tasks are much more fun and less tedious than todays, and then I head out for a teaching gig in CT which I’ve been prepping for all week.    I am looking forward to this.  I haven’t taught here in years, and last time I did they were a fun group.  I am also grateful for work.

Now…if only I could remember that I had started laundry and it needs to be transferred to the dryer…. like 2 days ago!  Ewwwww smelly towels!!!