Friday, February 26, 2010

Tim McGraw. Oh my goodness! Last night we went to see the Lady Antebellum/Tim McGraw concert at the Mizzou arena. The evening started off rather crazy, but then got better and better. First Randy was late getting home from work. Then we got stuck in concert traffic, and went bumper to bumper for 40 minutes. When we got to the arena, parking was difficult, and we had a long walk (and boy was it cold). We finally got in and seated, 30 minutes late. Fortunately, we got seated right before Lady A came on, so we didn't miss anything. Plus, we had great seats, 8 rows off the floor.
I like Lady A, but am not a huge fan. However, they put on a good show.
But when Tim M came on, I was hooked. Not only does the man look sensational, and sing well, but he has incredible energy. He began singing one hit after another. My new favorite of his is "Blank Paper". However, the most moving was his hit about the soldier writing the letter home. You could feel the emotion in the place. A service man and his family sat in front of us, and after he sang, several people around him, obvious strangers, hugged him and shook his hand. I think that is just a piece of what makes America great. It was an amazing concert!
On a separate note, we finally have sunshine. The forecast is even great. The temperture should be in the 40's all weekend, and into next week. Which means that hopefully our road will thaw and be easier to travel. Only one little negative about the sun. . . it has made me realize that my house is in desperate need of cleaning. No sun equals invisible dust and floors. Lots of sun equals dirty windows, dusty floors and furniture. I think I really have my work cut out for me in the next few days. It is worth it to see the sun. Maybe this long hard winter has ended. Amen and thank you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well, here I am at work at 6:30 a.m. The winter and our roads have digressed to the point that I am afraid to get my little car out. The problem now is that the road ditches are full of ice and snow, so the monsoon that we had on Sunday has no where to go but on the road. I worried a few times yesterday when Randy and his 4- wheel drive truck brought me to town. He was the taxi man yesterday. He dropped me off at work, picked up the grands and took them to the sitter. Came back in town to take me to lunch (spoiled, right?), went home for a little while, then picked up the kids, and then me and then dropped the kids off! Today, he is working, so I rode in with him at 5:45, and will be here until 6:15 or so. The good news is that I should get a lot of work done. The bad news is that makes for a very long day.
I feel like such a whinner, but I am really so very tired of this winter. A cousin is vacationing in South Texas and posted beach pictures. It made me want to jump in the car (which would probably get stuck in the driveway) and drive South. I need to feel the sun on my bones!
Enough of all this. I really wonder what I will ever blog about once winter is over. It seems like most of my postings reference the weather. I guess in Missouri the weather always give us something to talk about.
On the bright side (and I had to think hard about this one), I am caught up with all my Tivo'd shows. I tape Oprah and Dr. Oz daily. The way I see it, I am not really wasting my time watching these shows, I am just learning something in passive mode. Dr. Oz hammers daily about healthy eating and exercise. I think the message is coming through, because today for my lunch I brought 3 pieces of fruit and I have a vegetable based soup. The weather is definitely interfering with my workouts. No car means no trip to the Y, and slush and mush make it difficult to walk outside. Although on Saturday, the kids and I braved the elements and went on a long walk. We happened upon an old downed telephone pole and had a great time walking on it. Maddison seems to have great balance and Mason, well, he had fun just jumping off. They had a blast, and didn't want the walk to end. Unfortunately, Mimi had very cold toes, so we had to cut the walk short. It was great to get them outside and get some fresh air, even if the sun didn't shine.
I am looking forward to long walks in the spring. A final, last sad note. The giant hay bales that we had so much fun sliding down and jumping over are gone. The farmer across the road used the last of them to feed his hungry cows. I guess we will just have to wait until next year to do that again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You know, I never plan what I am going to write until I log on here. There is something about a keyboard and a blank screen that just makes me want to write. I guess some people feel that way about a blank canvas or a piano keyboard. I have always wanted to be able to draw well or have a talent like playing an instrument or singing. I guess that is why I get frustrated with people who have talent and don't use it. It seems like such a waste. What I wouldn't give to be able to belt out a song (in tune) or put a picture in my mind on paper. I guess I have to settle for writing. There is really no gauge for talent in writing like there is in music or art. I know it all depends on peoples likes and taste, but seriously, you are either in tune or out. You can either hit notes or you can't. The same is true with art. Even though art is varied, some people just have an eye for good art, and then there are those of us who don't.

Enough of that! It has been nice to see the sun the last few days. I still feel an aura of sadness in the people I know lately. Is it the condition of the world that has people down? The economy, worldwide disasters or a general feeling of hopelessness? I love to blame the weather for all our ills, but certainly reasonable people know that by this time of year, winter has just about been whipped. Another possibility that I have considered is that I am more intuned to people than I used to be. My years of experience have fostered a deep empathy in me for the plight of others. The friend who recently lost her husband. Who, my age couldn't relate to that? The mom of teenagers who is dealing with the stress of those growing, changing years. It has been almost ten years since I have had a teenager, but the memories and worries stay fresh in my mind. Family struggling with small children and the challenges for two working parents and childcare issues. And through my job, I daily see people who have been laid off their jobs, have lost their insurance, and are dealing with health issues in their children. I think in the past I have been so busy with my daily life that I had less time to dwell on these issues. Now I seem to take on the sadness and burdens of others shamelessly. I woke up in the night last night worrying about someone I love. Of course the worries often get exaggerated in the middle of the night. I found the only way I could get any peace was to recite, in my head the Serenity Prayer, over and over. God grant me the the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Words to live by, and to remember when the burdens of the world seem like too much.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow. Why not? I have decided to stop fighting the weather and just go with it. We have had snow on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and more forecast for Monday. I have already made plans to car pool to work on Tuesday with my hubby. The wind is supposed to be 30 mph, which I am sure will mean more drifting, and the temperature is supposed to plunge.
We have had a nice weekend with company, outdoor play and indoor card playing. Valentine's Day is always the mark of the end of winter for me (of course I have been trying to tell the weather that). It seems like we usually have some warm, sunny days in February, but they have not appeared this winter yet.
Mason and Maddie spent Friday night with us, and sad to say Mason got a touch of the flu. I had a flash back into the days of a sick child, and little to no sleep. Yesterday was a bit of a fog because of it, I think. Mason was lethargic, feverish and "spuked" several times.
We got Maddison a play-doh ice cream sunday maker for Valentines Day. We had so much fun playing with it. We made sprinkles, swirls and molds. And of course, we had to have some time to make and decorate some real Valentine cupcakes. We made strawberry cakes with pink icing and strawberry slices and sprinkles on top. Quite colorful and delicious! Mason got a wind up camping flashlight, which I am sure he will enjoy when he is feeling better.
All in all, it has been a nice 4 day break in routine. Tomorrow is a day of rest, with a little laundry and shopping in the works. Randy finally got a facebook page, so we have messed around with that some, too. Now the Olympics are on. In the sports world, we go right from Football to Olympics to Nascar, to basketball to baseball, and then back to football. We didn't even get a week of sport rest! Argh!!! I guess it passes the time while I sit back and watch it snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow. . . you get the point!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is winter over yet? Last night I got stuck in the snow AGAIN! This time it was in my driveway (which happens to be a long distance from my house) The wind was blowing and drifting the snow, and I literally "missed" the driveway opening. I decided to hunker down and wait for Randy to get home from work and rescue me. About 10 minutes into the waiting, a good samaritan and country neighbor came by. He pushed, pulled and directed me out of the snow, and into a driveway across the road. And if that wasn't enough, he took me to my front door and offered to come back later if Randy needed help getting the car "home". Well, soon Randy came home, and used his truck to break a path so my car could go through. It was another new adventure for me, one I would rather not repeat again. This morning, I sent my scout out to check the road conditions (okay, so my scout was my husband). It didn't take him long to call home and tell me that he didn't think I would make it to down the driveway, or on the road. So here I am, with a whole, unplanned day ahead of me.
If you must know, I am a planner. I can not imagine a whole day, alone without doing something productive. Here is what I decided that I will do: First, wash sheets, mattress pad and all, next make some homemade bread (a true love of mine that I haven't indulged in for months), then, I will move my old addresses to a new book. I have had this new address book for several years, and have not had the motivation to transfer information. Can you tell how desperate I am? Then there is always the need to clean. . . which will be easy to push back, way back so that I may actually run out of time for this chore.
Oh, and to ease my guilt at missing work (I know, but I can't help it, my parents were both educators and "calling in" was not an option!), I am going to participate in a work related conference call, from home, in my pj's. Now that is a first!
I wonder if the measure of a woman's life can be gauged by the activities she does on a day like today. And if so, what does that say about my life?
Of course with the whole day in front of me, I may be visiting my blog several more times. Now that is something to look forward to! Cheers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Depression. There I have said it. It seems to be everywhere around me this year. People at work are depressed, family members are battling depression and I am trying to keep my head above water to escape it. The other night I was on my way home feeling generally down. The weather was gray, work had been difficult and I just needed some general cheering up.
So, I called my daughter. Well, as it turns out, she, too has been battling a bit of depression. So when my husband came home from work we were talking about our day and he said, "I can't shake this feeling of impending doom". Wow, just what I didn't want to hear that evening.
Since I live in Missouri, I am going to blame the weather on this phenomena. After all, that is what we do in Missouri, blame the weather! It has been a rainy, cold, dreary winter season. And I am sick of it. No surprise there, you may say. Problem is, I don't usually complain about winter. I see it as the rest period for wonderful growth and change through the other seasons. I like warm soups and stews, curling up in front of a warm fireplace with a book and watching it snow. But this year it has been too much for too long.
I was reading recently that depression can be helped by eating healthy foods and avoiding processed or fast food. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean come on, can fast and processed food really be the root cause of all of our evils? I don't even eat much of it. I love to cook from scratch, and I take my lunch most days to avoid fast food. It just seems like fast food and processed food is the popular step child of the world right now.
Other depression causers can be lack of sunlight (duh!), not enough exercise, isolation and lack of sleep (or sleeping too much).
I am lucky that I have never suffered from any severe bouts of depression. It just comes and goes with me. Although I have to admit that the other night I kept asking myself "what is the purpose of all of this?" meaning life in general. And then I thought; "is this all there is?" Not exactly Susie Sunshine thoughts.
But I feel better today. The sun was out for a short while today and I had vegetable soup for supper. With that combination, I must be cured!