June 29, 2020

Really Struggling

As I sit here tonight I've come to the conclusion that it's time to admit that I am and have been struggling in a few area's of my life and, for quite some time....

First and foremost, I am struggling with my health which, is nothing new for me in the last twenty eight years but what is new is the degree to which I am struggling. Since getting so horrifically sick this past January (doctors and I suspect I had Covid-19) I have just not been my normal struggling self. Over the last month it's seems to be getting a little worse. So, what am I struggling with.

Brain fog is huge on this list. I can't seem to get myself together. I am a person who needs structure in their day and normally I am pretty good at planning my days accordingly but the last few weeks I feel like I am constantly flying by the seat of my pants all the time. I keep forgetting what day it is, never mind knowing the date. And no, it's not because of the "virus", our lives haven't changed much.

My thoughts feel completely scattered. Today, Sunday, I literally forgot to put the turkey breast in the oven I defrosted for dinner for today. Mr wound up having a can of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner.  Yesterday I forgot to give my Sarah girl her thyroid pill. My planner looks deserted. I use my planner every day. Without it I'd get nothing done. 

I feel very tired all the time. My energy level has been at zero for a long time. Now I do have RA and maybe it's the RA just messing with me, maybe it's not having a period in six months messing with me (I'm headed into full blown menopause) and maybe it's damage left over from what is suspected Covid19 that I had. Honestly, I have no idea at this point but one thing I do know is it's driving me nuts to feel like this..

I am struggling to pray because I am struggling to keep my mind quiet. My brain feels like it needs to be watching or listening to something twenty four - seven. When it is quiet I try and focus on my breathing and relaxing. That lasts for about three point five seconds. My attention span has become that of a flea.

Each day I say to myself, okay you know you need to get this, this and this done and then my brain says, but boy, I"m tired. Think I'll just go lay back down or think I'll just go watch some videos and on the couch I go pretty much for the entire day and night accomplishing nothing but wasted time...

So folks, I am on the struggle bus. Please pray for me that I can get off it soon...

June 25, 2020

Life Updates

Hello everyone! Happy Summer!

I just checked and my last post was all the way back in May! Good grief.. get it together girl!

In all seriousness, life got somewhat busy. Dogs needed various things, my Mr needed a testing procedure because for weeks on end he was having some pretty strange and serious stomach issue's which included and ER visit in the middle of this pandemic. Yeah, that was fun. (insert sarcasm) Thankfully though he's okay and it's not very serious and things have gotten better. 

Then there is my garden as you can see from the above photo is doing very well this year!. Now if I can only find a way to keep those pesky mocking birds out of my tomatoes I'll be good! Those darn birds. They keep eating my tomatoes before I can get to them. I tried hanging the plastic bags on the cages so they make noise in the wind. That didn't work because it's been raining I kid you not every day for at least the last two weeks and the bags fill with water.

Now, I'm trying pin wheels from the Dollar Tree which, my husband informed me this afternoon for all the pin wheels I put out it seems only one in spinning in the wind. (face palm). Then I was dealing with tomato worms which happens every years it's just part of growing tomatoes. Needless to say the garden has been abuzz.

On a personal level I'm dealing with some family issue's, who isn't these days and truthfully it's been hurtful. I also have two nephews who are more like my sons who are police officers in very dangerous inner cities on the East Coast so I worry for them daily. It's a bit stressful.

My own health is so so. I try the best I can to ignore it but there are days and I have to admit, weeks that I can't no matter how hard I try.  Seems with the RA even the slightest change in the weather, the slightest change in my digestive health and I am not only hurting and swelling in my joints but overall just feel lousy with an energy level of almost zero. So, it's a battle and has been the last few months. So, there are the life updates I wanted to share with you. 

I hope to be back again by Monday with a new post. 

I wish you all a good weekend and pray God bless you and keep you safe.

May 27, 2020

So Satisfying

This is only my second year planting a vegetable garden. It wasn't until I was forty-eight that I got the 'bug'. (pardon the pun).

Last years garden was a bit of a disaster and did not yield a whole lot but having learned from some of my mistakes of the past year when we planted this year, I "think" we did it right this time or as right as you can.

This years garden although early is already producing much fruit. Everything is growing!.. I went outside this morning to check all the plants like I do every morning and I picked our very first fruit of the season. A banana pepper and not just any banana pepper but a HUGE banana pepper! It was so incredibly satisfying to know that we planted it, watched it grow and with Gods blessing we picked it and how it will be on our dinner table. If you can and you haven't, I urge you to begin a vegetable garden. There is such satisfaction and peace in growing your own food.

Do you have a vegetable garden this year? 

Whose Your Hero?

There is a website that a mortgage company put up called #EVERYONEKNOWSAHERO . 

They are asking the public to nominate and upload a photo of someone who is a hero in their life and hopefully they will feature your hero on the site. 

Last week I uploaded a photo of mine. He's my nephew Eric who is a police officer in a large city in America and he was featured the next day! I am so proud of him.

Eric is my hero in so many different ways. Since he was a little child he has always had a heart for others as big as the outdoors. There is nothing he wouldn't do for you if it is in his ability to do so. 

He loves his family and he's always there for us. He's an example to all of us and to strangers as you can see from the photo above. 

To simply say I love him would be an understatement. The love I feel for my Eric, although I did not give birth to him is as strong for him as if I had. He is a huge piece of my heart and he always will be.

I love you Eric and yes, you are my hero! 

May 24, 2020

Weekend Wrap Up

My weekend was full. Saturday morning I went to the local farmers market which was finally able to open. Usually they open around April first and end on October first. This year because of the coronavirus hysteria they didn't open until yesterday. I got there around eight-thirty AM and it was already jam packed with people. It was good to see the vendors and the people again. 

I bought some really beautiful, locally grown beets, strawberries and blueberries. I also purchased two soy wax candles that smell just like a real peach from a girl who is there every year as you can see in the photo above. She's a bit expensive but I have found her candles to the best around. 

After coming home I washed all the produce and then made some juice smoothies to have for the next few days. 

The rest of the day was spent doing household chores and the like. At night I watched a documentary on the destruction of the farming soil in America by big commercial farming. Was very enlightening to me. 

Sunday is the Lords Day and I try very hard every Sunday to make it a day of rest, prayer and spiritual reading. Unfortunately, Mass is still unavailable to me so I began the day attending Mass as much as I could via live stream on the internet. It's not the same but it's all I have at the moment. Afterwards, I made some coffee, gave the dogs their breakfast and then sat at the dining room table talking with my Mr for a while. He then decided he was going to go in garden for a bit. We are re-arranging things a little bit in there.

I spent the rest of the morning reading a book I've been wanting to get too for some time.

I also took a decent nap this afternoon and now, I have a beef roast in the oven for dinner, potatoes cooking on the stove top. I will do the dishes and then relax for the rest of the evening. 

I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead. Talk with you soon! 

May 21, 2020

Corona Diaries 5-20-2020

It's been a while since I've given an update in my Corona Virus diaries.

So where am I today in all this now that it's the middle of May?... To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure. As is now and was before, there is still so much conflicting information, it's all been turned into a political game so you have no idea who is telling the truth about this thing and who isn't..

Lot's of doctors and nurses have come out on social media over the last few weeks saying we are being lied to and telling us what they are seeing first hand. Lots of people who we 'thought' we could trust have been discredited in a big way, yet, main stream media along with federal, state and local governments are still playing the hype card.

Certain big box stores are requiring shoppers to wear masks or they aren't letting you in, our Constitutional Rights have been spit on, stepped on and trampled on and no one is doing anything about it. People who wear masks are shaming and fighting with others in public who don't, people are spying on others and reporting them to authorities (yes it does sound like Nazi Germany, you would be correct in that thought.).

So where am I an in all of this.. I am pretty much the same as I always have been and maybe just a bit more cautious but not for myself, it's for my Mr.  He's sixty - two years old and he does have underlying health conditions that are nothing to shake a stick at. So we have not been going out at much but we will go out and run errands when we have too. We do not wear masks,we do not wear gloves. We do wash our hands when we come home, change our clothes and take our shoes off at the door. I do try and keep the inside of the car wiped down and I do try and clean all door handles, knobs and electronics often, more often than I used to.

But, my real position with all this is, I'm with God. Do I believe that God will do what I want Him too? No, I believe He will do what is best for us. We are all going to die one day, none of us can get away from that. Do I want to die yet or my husband? Of course not but, that's not in our hands. That's in His hands. He decides the time, the day and the why. I have put my faith in Him and have as best I can each day to accept whatever He decides. We live like we always did. For that day and we don't worry about the next.

How are you? Where are you in all this? 

May 20, 2020

Happenings On The Homestead

Well hello! It's been a bit since I have had time or energy to sit down and write a blog post for you all. So let me bring you all up to date with whats been happening on what I like to call our little homestead..

Summer has arrived in my part of South Carolina and with spring and summer, it's sort of a mixed bag here in the South as far as temperatures go until about the middle of May, so with these seasons come planting time. And planting we have been. We've also done some home repairs which also took a bit of our time. In this post I would like to share with you what we have planted so far. I say so far because I have more things I want to grow we just haven't gotten them in yet. I know people up north and up in the North West the growing season can be quite short but here in the South where I am our planting and growing season begins after the last frost which is usually the end of April and we can go all the way to the end of October and even to December depending on how hot it will be that year.
I have quite a few more things I want to do on our property this summer and when they are finished I will share them with you also. So without further ado let me get to showing you what we have thus far..

The tomatoes have begun to produce fruit.

The Sweet Banana Peppers too..

And the Crooked Neck Squash as well.

This here are onions that I experimented with and it's working! I took two sweet yellow onions that I had bought from the store, I cut the bottoms off where the root would have been and planted them just to see if they would grow and low and behold they are!

I did the same thing with a few organic carrots I also bought from the store and today I noticed they are growing!

We've also been growing and drying fresh herbs that we dehydrate on our small dehydrator. Here we have Basil, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme and Cilantro.

Sunflowers are my most favorite flowers. They just look like such a happy flower and they make me smile when I see them. A sweet friend of mine bought me some for my birthday back in April and then I bought another container and my Mr planted them. Here they are looking so happy and bright...

Even our Hydrangea bushes are feeling happy and putting out the most beautiful blooms!

Now you see why I haven't been around. Been happy to be outside and working on our land and food.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what we've been up too and I promise I will share with you soon what all else is happening.
Until then.......

Turning Fifty During A Pandemic

I would have never thought that I would see a birthday I would be celebrating or not celebrating during a worldwide pandemic but, there I was.

Fifty is a big birthday. I had large plans of taking a train up to see my family in New Jersey for my birthday this year but Coronavirus put and end to that. Instead I found myself staying home doing, well, not much of anything.

Instead I just took the day off. I sat out on my deck in the sun for a while, I finished a book I had been reading for way too long and it was for the most part a very boring, quiet day.
I did do some reflecting on my life now that I have reached the age of fifty. Some of it good, some of it not so good. I was and am grateful that God has allowed me to see fifty as my father didn't get to see thirty six nor have many friends gotten to see forty so I do know how blessed I am.  But reflecting for me isn't always a good thing.

For me, it tends to lead to looking backwards and feelings of sadness. On the flip side of my gratefulness my sadness is,  I miss my parents, I miss friends and family, there are things I wish I had done, things I wish I had never done. I think for a lot of people as we age we begin to look towards the end of our life. That may sound morbid to some but I am more closer to the end than the beginning and I know this. For me, that is bittersweet. Maybe for others too.
The one huge bright spot in my day was hearing from my kids. I call them my kids but they are really my nephews and my niece. Why do I call them my kids? Because I was just a kid when they were born and for most of the formative years in their lives I was very hands on in helping to raise them and teach them and love them. So in my heart, I may not have given birth to them but I love them just as any mother loves her children.

They aren't children anymore and in fact one of them has children of their own but as any parent will tell you, it doesn't matter how old your children get, they will always be your babies.  Those three kids have always been my heart, the lights in my life and they always will be no matter how old they or I get. To get phone calls from all three of them truly made what started out as a kind of let down, boring and in some ways sad day, to a good day. All it takes is to talk to one of them and I am instantly feeling better about life in general.

When we are able we will celebrate and until then I will be thankful to God for all He has and does give me and look forward to brighter days.

Corona Diaries 4-19-2020

Yes, I took some time off from the blog. I've actually been quite busy here and there over the last few weeks.
To begin with I put in another small garden this year which I swore after last years fiasco I wasn't going to do but times being what they are at the moment I thought it might be a good idea to try again and so, I did.

I went for another container garden. I did the same last year only then I used these garden bags I had gotten off Amazon which had rave reviews for planting both vegetables and flowers in. I guess they worked and the failure of the garden was most likely my own fault. The black plastic you see in the photo from this years garden is actually what you should use. It's called WeedStop and it's not a plastic but a mesh type material that has teeny tiny holes in it for drainage.

Last year the first mistake I made was using a heavy duty plastic with no holes in it. While the garden bags did drain well the water had no where to go so I believe I ended up with root rot in some of my plants. The pots you see there now all have had holes drilled in them so between the holes in the pots and the tiny holes in the weed cloth the garden drains nicely and nothing is sitting in water.
The second mistake I made last year was watering to much. I had read that container plants need much more water than if you had planted straight into the earth. I was always worried they wouldn't have enough water so I was watering every day sometimes twice a day and I believe it was too much.
This year I will not water that much and I've learned about how to tell if your plants are not getting enough water. So between learning that I watered too much and learning the signs of over watering I will keep a better eye on my garden this year.
You can't see it in the photo but off to the side I planted some squash and bush beans directly into the ground as sort of a test. We do not have the best soil but I am interested in seeing how those three small plants will do. I will keep you updated.

The garden wasn't the only project we worked on. We also had a lot of things to clean up in our back yard. Just lots of stuff that needed to be put in the shed, two wood piles that needed to be cleaned up and moved, my deck had stuff that also needed to be cleaned off like, ladders, and misc outdoor tools that never made their way back into the tool shed.

We bought a new deck umbrella for this year. We got one of those huge umbrellas that stand on their own and open up to ten feet across so I also rearranged the deck and now it looks very nice and it's a pleasure to sit out there. It's not the best of everything but it's good enough for us. I do not have a photo at the moment but I will share a photo of the deck when I can.
If you're not following me on Instagram or Facebook then you should. :)

Corona Diaries 4-4-2020

Today is Saturday April 4th 2020 and for the most part it's been a quiet day.

I left the house this morning at seven - thirty am to head over to our local Walgreens to pick up one of the prescriptions my husbands doctor had called him in on Friday that the pharmacy was able to fill.  When I returned home I did my usual cleaning up of the kitchen and straightening of the house. That didn't take too long and so I was finally able to get to my house plants that have been seriously needing my attention for a few weeks now.

I watered them all and gave my spider plant that is over twenty five years old a good bath and hair cut as I call it. I snip off all the dead ends and spruce him up a bit. Yes I call the plant a him and sometimes I even talk to him. I remember scientists said it's good to talk to your plants because they can hear you and respond. Now I don't know if that's true but I figure it can't hurt. This plant has been with me since approximately 1992. My mom, God rest her soul made it for me when I moved into my apartment after being married and it has traveled with me through three different houses and one state move. He's resilient I will say that.

Tonight I had to put Alvin, that's my twenty two pound chi-mix into the sink and give him a bath. Every year when it begins to get warm here he goes through an itching phase. Neither myself nor his vets can figure it out. Tonight I gave him a benedryl and a warm bath with a medicated shampoo made for itching. For now it seems to have helped him some so he can rest. I may have no choice but to take him to the vet this week and have him get a steroid shot.
Speaking of leaving the house. My state does not have a stay in place order in effect as of now. I don't know how I feel about those orders either but I will say, as I am sitting here tonight I can physically see why some states are enforcing them. As I look out my window I can see the neighbors across the street are having yet another soccer game on their property. This goes on every weekend in the warm months. They had a weekend long party last weekend. These people simply do not believe that staying away from others to stop the spread of Coronavirus applies to them and they aren't the only ones.

Our public beach access was closed last week for the same reason. People, spring breakers, getting together in droves on the beach. Yesterday I had to go to the store to pick up the items the doctor recommended my husband have. That grocery store was packed with people. All those people needed to go out for "essential items"? I drove past Lowes and the parking lot was packed with people, Walmart was packed with people, Dollar stores, Target etc.  People are not listening.
Part of the problem in my state of South Carolina is that we are not testing nearly enough so for now in my county and state the positive cases and death rate is low. People I guess are taking a false sense of security in that. If and when we do begin testing on a massive scale I am afraid both cases and deaths are going to explode here. It doesn't help that we have a governor who seems to be living in his own little bubble. He seems to think we are a "unique kind of people here in South Carolina"(his words not mine)  I have no idea what in the hell he's even talking about and neither does mostly anyone else.

What on earth would make us so unique? Nothing. I've been sick many years and I know first hand, illness of any kind does not discriminate.. It doesn't care about your race, gender, financial status, nothing. So what this man is talking about, I haven't a clue.
I know for us I am trying my best to be at home as much as possible. I do have to go out because I have a husband who needs things because of his health, me as well and I have five dogs who also need things for their health. I believe these are essential reasons for leaving the house. Anything else? Not so much

Corona Diaries 4-3-2020

Well, again.... it's been a day.. As per usual nothing went as expected. I really need to listen to that old saying because it's so true... Men plan and God laughs.

My morning began with me knowing I had to go out to the bank, to Walgreen's to pick up prescriptions for my husband and to the drive up at the vet to get their medication. All essential outings. I sat down with my coffee at the dining room table and also mapped out how many pairs of gloves I'd need, masks, and wipes. How to handle the bags, how to wash everything when I got inside etc.

After running those three errands, I came home and did all the 'things' to disinfect. I was kind of tired so was getting ready to sit down for a while when my husband said, " I don't feel well". You can imagine my thoughts because of all that is going on. He said his lungs hurt and were burning when he breathes in, he has the chills and he feels run down.

First thing I did was call our local health department line to see what my next move was. I was told to call my doctor which I did. At twelve- thirty his doctor called us on Face-time. He says he does not think it's Coronavirus but he can't be one hundred percent sure as of yet. He says my husband is not showing hardcore symptoms yet and because of that he wouldn't be tested yet. So, he called him in an antibiotic along with telling him if at any point he runs a fever or breathing is worse we are to go to straight to the ER. So far, he has no fever, says his breathing hasn't gotten worse and his pulse OX (yes we have a finger O2 meter here at home) has been normal. For this weekend it will be keeping an eye on him. Please keep us in your prayers.

My husband is also having trouble with his intestines as well. Two years ago he was in the hospital for four days with a tube up his nose and down into his stomach. He had an intestinal blockage and we don't want or need that to happen again. So along with the antibiotic the doctor also said soft foods like soups, eggs, pudding. He said my husband looked somewhat dehydrated and to get some gatorade and drink water. Well of course I don't normally have some of these things on hand so that meant going back out to the store. (think petri dish).

Before I went to the store a few hours later, I called Walgreen's to see if his antibiotic was ready. Turns out, the way the doctor wrote the script and the amount don't match up and they can't fill it until they speak to him. Guess what? It was 4pm on a Friday. Doctors office was closed and their emergency number is not working. It's a good thing we have a whole course of antibiotics here he can start in the meantime. If your'e wondering why I did not make a pick up order for the grocery store, I did. They are so low on stock by the time they got done texting me what they didn't have I had no other choice but to go there physically and see what I could get.

On a brighter note, my great nieces birthday is today. She turned six years old. I got to Face-time with her and her daddy who is my baby (my nephew). That was the bright spot in my day. As for myself, I'm just tired. I am surrendering all of this and us to the good Lord and praying for an increase in my faith and trust, perseverance and courage to do His Holy Will and not that of my own.

Corona Diaries 3-31-2020

After the post I put up last night I knew I needed to sit down and get my brains straightened out. So, I did...

I actually took out my journal and began to make a sort of list. I needed to put things into perspective for my own mental health and I wanted to share it with you in the hope it may help you also.  T will stand for "Thought" and CT will stand for Counter Thought. This is a trick I learned to help me recover from severe anxiety disorder years ago and it does work.  Here is what I wrote last night :

T - This may very well kill those I love.
CT - Those I love including myself could die at any time for any number of reasons. You've learned that hard lesson too many times since childhood. Stop forgetting it but don't obsess over it either.

T - This plague is killing thousands of people every day, we are surrounded by death.
CT - Influenza kills thousands of people every year. Every day we are surrounded by death we just don't hear a lot about it.

T - This plague is so much more contagious than Influenza.
CT - Is it really? As of right now it seems to spread in the exact same way.

T - What have I touched? Have you disinfected enough? Did you do it correctly? Are you washing your hands enough?
CT - I remember as much as possible what and who I've come in contact with.  I have done my best to disinfect everything I can the way I know how. I wash my hands as I've been taught.

Conclusion : I am doing the best I can and asking God for His help. I am trying the best I can to do what I know and to leave all those I love and myself in Gods hands. No one can ask anymore than that from me not even myself.

Corona Diaries 3-30-2020

I apologize for being missing in action the last few days. I had to take a break.

I needed a break or so I thought. Now I'm thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea.
In truth, it is getting to me. I thought I would be able to handle all that is happening or not happening but my brain feels like it's going to explode. So many thoughts just racing through my mind. I've tried to stop them but it doesn't seem to be working and it's affecting every area of my life and I don't know how to make it stop.

I haven't watched the news, I've kept social media use to a minimum but still my thoughts go right back to all the questions, the uncertainty, the loss of life.
How much worse will it get? Will I lose someone I love? Will my husband get it? If he does will he survive it? Would I? Is it ever going to end? When it does what will life be like? Will I even be here? How would I make it without my husband?

See all those questions up there? Those are the first things you're supposed to stop when trying to recover from anxiety disorder. I know all about the what if game. I played it for years, it ruled my life for years and it took me years and a lot of grace from God to get out from under it and lately I feel like I am being thrown right back down the rabbit hole again. I know in my heart I have control over that but, in a situation that none of us on this entire planet has ever had to deal with before, I do not know how to stop my slide.

I've been holding it together for the most part. On two occasions I have found myself in tears while in prayer. The loss of life is devastating and we know it's going to get worse before it gets better. How many more people will have to pay for the evils of others?
No, I have not lost my faith but in truth, it's shaking right now. I know Jesus is with me, us and I am trying best I can to fight my fear because fear is not from God. I beg His help with this but I also know I am human as well. I am not perfect and I don't believe there has ever been a saint for all of their holiness who was never afraid at any moment. I believe that is impossible as a human being. The degree of fear is another thing but fear itself I believe is a natural human reaction no matter how much faith you have.

So, I will continue to beg God to end this scourge upon the humans of this earth, to send me His peace and fight it as best I can..
How are you doing?