Monthly Archives: February 2013

Contentment

Standard

This is the first day I’ve had for doing absolutely nothing…if I choose.  I realized that I have been super stressed because I’ve had no time to do nothing, or even string together blocks of time for thinking of doing nothing. My soul took a big breath today and I feel relaxed for the first time in weeks. Went and saw the epic Lincoln, with my besty, and am feeling content.  By the way?  Sallie Field is brilliant, and David Spade more than held his own with over the top performances by Daniel Day Lewis and cast.

Sallie Field as Mrs. Lincoln

My daughter will be returning here to live, two weeks hence, and I can’t help but be happy to have my kids nearby again. I know due to the vagaries of life, that this is temporary, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it…whether they like it or not.  I deserve the contentment, it’s been hard earned.

I’ve read three books this week, always a barometer for how in sync I am with myself. Reading isn’t just a hobby for me. It’s necessary for my well being. Oxygen for my contentment. My poor copy of The Elegance of the Hedgehog has been lying neglected while I read the four books that came in for me last week. The wonderful character of Flavia de Luce didn’t let me down in her latest mystery. She is acerbic, brilliant and precocious as ever, and more than holds her own with all the adult characters parading through her English village. She is someone I’d be delighted to meet, because she is so very interesting, along with her trusty side-kick Gladys. Not easy to do with an eleven year old. She was seven (going on 70) in her debut in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, but is standing the test of time brilliantly. Do yourself a favor and read this wonderful series by Alan Bradley.

My next read was Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, the powerful and amazing story of a doctor who has a near death experience (NDE) and is forever changed. For those of you who find the fundamental Christian movement as terrifying as I do, you will find hope in this story. It is a simple reminder of what the afterlife is, and should be, (based on the unlimited love we are constantly told that exists in God’s heart for us) and what unconditional love must  feel like. I love the message he heard when first arriving. Paraphrasing, you can’t do anything wrong here. Wow, what a concept! I get overwhelmed with the do’s and don’ts and expectations felt here on earth. There are surprises in this book I don’t want to reveal, but for all those people out there spiritually confused or doubting, this book will give you lots of  food for thought. I love how he reconciles science and the afterlife. We are taught they are separate but he discovers otherwise, and shares the message. This won’t be the last we hear from Dr. Eben Alexander, and I’m glad. This is fascinating.

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society is the perfect book of imperfect characters, to offset the seriousness of life. Take a middle-aged wife and mother from Boston who’s moved to a small Florida town in 1962, (who is about to emancipate herself via Betty Friedan) and throw her in a convertible with a young gay man, and a black woman yearning for college: mix and stir with a paroled wife who murdered her husband, the town librarian and a divorcee, among others, in the conservative segregated south, and you have a molotov cocktail of drama and hilarity. I adore this book just half way through. It is bursting at the seams with everything but the kitchen sink.

Last but not least, calling to me in the wings is Kate Morton’s newest book The Secret Keeper. I fell in love with this storyteller in The Forgotten Garden, a book I couldn’t put down. It was also a huge hit in our book club. So there you have it. The reasons I never have to worry about what to do, when I want to do nothing.

Advertisements

Ahhhhh Books!

Standard

The cure for what ails you! I have a back ache today. Caring for the elderly can be bad for your back. They think because you are so much younger than they are, your back is made of granite. Walkers are heavy to drag in and out of a car! I came home from work early and decided it was the perfect excuse for spending the evening in bed with a heating pad and books. I’ve been reading “Life Below Stairs, True Lives of Edwardian Servants” by Alison Maloney. Alright, I admit it! Downton Abbey spurned this curiosity with the life of English servants. Were they really that mean to each other some times? Yep. They definitely had their own class system, come to think of it, I’m beginning to feel like a servant myself. World War I changed Britain’s working class world forever, kind of like the electronic age is changing ours now. Interesting read, but it can’t compete with the arrival of the newest Flavia de Luce mystery by Alan Bradley.

I’ve gone barmy over this 11 year old amateur sleuth with a macabre passion for chemicals, some of the poisonous variety. She even has a creepy laboratory in her odd families Gothic estate in a rural English hamlet… of course. I was half finished with The Elegance of Hedgehogs, when I received an email that Bradley’s fifth  book, Speaking From Among the Bones, was in. Bradley’s superb characterizations made this decision a no-brainer, and it bumped everything else off the list. I’m starting it soon, so I can see what hilarious torture Flavia has planned for her two older sisters.

I also just received Miss Dreamsville And The Collier County Women’s Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth so Hedgehogs will get bumped again I’m afraid. No renewals for books with a waiting list, but that is what makes it so much fun. The anticipation of waiting.  I do wish they didn’t all come at the same time, although I think I can live with this problem. The alternative is much too horrible to contemplate.

Jon Stewart hosts author Ellen Schultz

I finished Retirement Heist but found it very upsetting. It makes you damn mad, but helpless as well, at the knowledge of so much greed and irresponsibility by employers, with very little solutions. Schulz’s book blows the whistle loud and clear though, and maybe Americans will wake up to what is happening in this country with our retirements and benefits.

Well, my book is calling…what back pain?

The Mysteries of Plastic Bags

Standard

My week didn’t go so well. Ever had those bad kind of weeks that never seem to end? I did figure out, very quickly, I was working too many hours and it was affecting the quality of my work, thoughts, patience, driving, judgement etc. A case in point. Yesterday I forgot a client I see Friday mornings. Oops!

How automatic garage doors are supposed to look without cars stuck in them

My car was in the shop and I borrowed my friends cute little Prius while she was out of town. I am backing out of her garage when I hear a THUNK. I look in the rear view mirror and see half the automatic garage door in my sites. Because of the roof lines on the cute little Prius I couldn’t have seen the door coming down even if I had wanted to (and I did) so I am not sure I could have stopped it. I am still trying to figure out how it happened. Like it matters now. I just don’t want to be seen as the dope who gets her car stuck in an automatic garage door. Too late.

What a normal garage looks like when a car is parked inside, with an automatic garage door.

So now, not only have I forgotten a client, but I may have permanently screwed up my friends garage door, on a house she rents, from a very picky land lord. Great. But her dog is doing great!

The kind of garage door I remodeled.

Thankfully there was no damage to her car. Just me…emotionally. It was a wake up call that I am heeding loud and clear. I am behind on my class work so I lessened my available hours this past Wednesday, but it doesn’t start until next week. I realized all the extra time I am spending in the car driving from one address to another, in heavy traffic is adding to my mental fatigue. That’s what I am calling it. No snickers please.

Two of my clients are in their nineties and they can’t hear well. I find myself speaking loudly a lot now. I am talking to myself more too. They tell me how to do everything. And I mean everything!  How to fold things, how to say things to them, how to clean things, how to do laundry, how to change sheets, how to make a bed, how to spell. Yep. They even tell me how to spell. I try not to laugh, but sometimes I have to tell myself how lucky I am to have survived as long as I have without their directions. When one was telling me how to empty a basin of water in the sink I looked at her, and said very loudly…”did you know I birthed two kids and raised them to adulthood”? She didn’t get it, or she didn’t hear me. It’s kind of cute that they think I am young and helpless.

I know it’s because everyone is bossing them around (their own children) and telling them what to do, so they are passing it on. It’s o.k. most of the time. I understand. Today I got a serious lecture on why I shouldn’t put wet wipes in a plastic garbage bag. It could seep and they might get in trouble for throwing it down the garbage shute. If it were my family I would most probably look at them (with a hand on my hip) and say “Are you serious??!!” But instead I quietly try and explain why the plastic bag won’t seep (because the damn wipes are already dried up) because it’s in plastic,and how would they know they were your wet wipes?! Then I ask them why they are  going through the garbage?! Then I remember they can’t hear me. That has it’s advantages. I usually just do what I want, they can’t follow me in their walkers. I feel like they have eyes everywhere though. It’s kind of creepy. It’s like they know you might try and scam their plastic bags.

Next time I better bring my own plastic bag. They keep track, so they can reuse them, over, and over, and over. I know it is a good thing to recyle plastic…or not use it. This is recycling at it’s most annoying. When they ask me if I brought the tattered Wal Mart bag back from the recycling bin (picture a deer caught in the head lights) I always say yes now. Hope they don’t start counting them.

My favorite ninety year old and I went out to lunch for Mexican food after her doctor’s appointment and I felt sorry for the waitress who got very detailed instructions on how to properly heat her coffee up before delivering it. She explained to the waitress that they don’t know what a hot cup of coffee is in Colorado. Evidently they only know in California, where she is from. Then she grilled ( no pun intended) her on how their chile relleno’s were made and was the family that owned the restaurant really Mexican ( I already had told her they weren’t) and did she know that the only real authentic Mexican food was in Texas? I just smiled very big at the waitress. Thankfully they were the best relleno’s she’d ever had. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Texas! And I made sure the waitress got a good tip, seniors above 80 tend to tip like it was 1948.

I honestly like these people, and really enjoy them (when I am not mentally fatigued), but I can’t help but think this would make a great reality show. They have no idea how predictable they are and how entertaining and refreshing they can be. Is it the era they came from? ( and not all 90 year old’s are like this, I know) Will we all end up in some version of here? Better start saving plastic bags.