Somewhere between “Everything is Awesome” and “Glory”

During our 2015 Oscar party, my DDIL and I both infamously voted for the “Lego Movie” as the winner in the best song category. No matter that I didn’t know that song because I forgot to watch “Lego.” And it shouldn’t have mattered that we hadn’t yet seen “Selma” and didn’t know that song. We both had busy years and weren’t up to speed on all the film stuff, despite the last few weeks of running around trying to watch everything before the red carpet started. And usually we just make a wild guess based on what we’ve heard and we get the answer right anyway.

30 seconds into John Legend’s performance of “Glory” we both knew we were done in that category and acknowledged it out loud. The rest of the partygoers said to us, “Really?!? You chose “Everything is Awesome” over “Glory?!?” What were you thinking???”

Despite that silly decision, though, I’ve been thinking that either awesome or glorious is a good target for daily my daily life outlook. Or, anywhere in between.

Hiding depression

Hiding depression. Used with permission.

Since becoming fully retired I have some of “those days” where I just don’t seem to get off square one. It’s like the months right after high school or college graduation. You know the rest of your life lies before you, full of limitless opportunity, but your brain is riddled with confusion and uncertainly. Eventually, you make some choices, you lurch forward, and you live your life. I think retirement is exactly the same, and I’m learning how to do it as the months go by.

I’m trying to learn more about depression in the senior population (of which I’m a solid member now) after having focused for years on adolescent depression. I hadn’t known that depression is common in older persons, and that it shouldn’t be considered a normal part of aging. In fact, symptoms of depression in older people can manifest differently than in younger persons, and is often misdiagnosed as a sign of another illness.

Now that I am aware of it, it feels like a topic that bears closer examination. A good place to start is at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). And here’s a great personal account of living with and addressing depression.

Shoot for awesome or glorious, knowing that some days will be neither. But if your days fall short more often than not, ask for support from someone you know and trust. And if someone you know is exhibiting some signs of depression, start a conversation.

“Too Much Time on My Hands”

Finding your valentine in nature.

Find your valentine in nature this year

I woke up from my antihistamine-fueled dreams today with this song playing in my head. In fact, I was never a Styx fan. The reality is, the tune dates back to 1981, the year my firstborn arrived and, therefore, the last time in my life that I really DID have too much time on my hands.

Now that son is 33 and I’m … well, never mind.

I think you can figure out I’ve reached a certain age. An age, apparently, where things like this happen:

  • I finally sewed up a terrific polartec jacket as a gift for my husband (two years after purchasing the fabric for it). Upon completion, I discovered that I inserted the cool separating zipper upside down.
  • After a quiet day at home baking, knitting and attending to other domestic goodness, I hurriedly tried to make myself presentable prior to heading out to a meetup with friends. Running my hands through my hair a final time I found I’d distributed a large amount of bright blue, gooey, extra whitening anti-plaque toothpaste throughout my locks.

I could go on, but why? I think it’s only when you have all the time in the world that you discover that you were far more efficient when every second counted. When the obligations of caregiving, working full time, and the raising of your kids gradually slide away, there’s a blissful interval during which you really can slow it all way down. For awhile. But then it’s time to reengage with some activities for which your natural born gifts are well suited.

When this time arrives in for you, enjoy the peace and quiet, but not for too long.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

“Are You a Truck Driver?”

There were a lot of changes in latitude in our family this year. Between March and October, my dad-in-law, my husband and I, and two of my sons moved to new addresses. There was a lot of hauling, caterwauling, and aching. We all figured out ways to help one another get it done.

The final move of 2014 (unless someone is sitting on a big surprise) involved a road trip from Arizona to Ohio, in which son #2 and I delivered him and his belongings to his new home.

About halfway through my trip (remember, I still had to drive back to Arizona), I made a stop at a Walgreens where someone overheard me say I was from Arizona and had just been in Ohio. She asked me, “Are you a truck driver?” Wow, I never knew I gave off that vibe. But I guess that’s what 3000 miles in the driver’s seat in 10 days will do to a girl.

I don’t know what my son thinks about it, but for me it was the best road trip I’ve ever taken.

Eeeeeek! She Let me Steek!

So my mom said she doesn’t wear this sweater bought on out road trip to Orcas 10 years ago. Weird. The one we got color me didn’t work out either. She says she wishes it was a cardigan. Hmmmmm …I turned MINE into a cardigan.

Mom's Orcas Island hand knit sweater

Mom’s Orcas Island hand knit sweater


Never mind that we are heading out on (another) 4-day roadie tomorrow morning. She’s packing and I’m dragging out her Janome so I can stabilize the cut stitches on either side of the steeking.

More on the final outcome after I am reunited with my stash and finish knitting up some kind of band on the front to encase the raw edges

IF YOU ARE TRAVELING, TOO, you know it can be daunting to find yourself far from home when your car needs attention.

Kennedy Auto Repair in Park Forest got me in to check things over and would not let me pay a dime. Kudos to them. They are at 55 North St. Phone (708) 747-0882. Thank you!!

When Screaming is Good

Clearly, if you are in dire straits, a scream might be good. I can now report that screaming combined with maniacal laughing and tears can be incredibly cathartic.

I’ll briefly remark that this was an exceptionally challenging year, beginning in November 2013. Everyone has them. Everyone knows how tough they are to get through, so I don’t need to elaborate.

I WILL say that a trip to Disney, while expensive and chock-full of bad food (sorry, Walt, but it doesn’t have to be like that!), is a fantastic way to cast off the hard times. I especially recommend any roller coaster or ride that drops straight down.

My Disney accompaniment included my husband (our first time to go there together!!) and our oldest grand girl. Exhausting, and more fun that anything.

I’ve also resumed my knitting with my former feverish rate. I’ve just finished:

  • A beautiful “Panoramic Shawl” by Hannah Fettig (done in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering Indigo purchased at Red Sock Yarns in Fish Creek, Door County, Wisconsin)
  • A wonderful “Rolling Rock” by Thea Coleman (done in Plucky Knitter Primo Sport color way Lonesome Highway).
  • A scrumptious “Mini Water’s Edge” also by Hannah Fettig (done in Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted, color way Narragansett Grey), seen below.



Drilling Concrete



I can do a fair amount of home repairs, as long as there’s no plumbing, electricity, or leveling required. I like to think that my projects are well conceived, but sometimes brutishly executed. I’m ok with that.

My new house is made of concrete. That’s the walls, floor and ceiling. Concrete. Poured in place. The three little pigs would love it, and I do, too.

Some projects I’ve wanted to tackle necessitate drilling into that concrete. After watching two contractors install some appliances (involving plumbing and electrical work) and how many drill bits and and how much strength and will it took to get those jobs done, I was approaching my simpler drilling tasks with trepidation.

Naturally beautiful

Naturally beautiful

So here’s what I finally did. Harnessing my femininity, I whipped up a homemade deep conditioning treatment (yogurt, banana, avocado, honey and olive oil), slathered it on and just sat there for an hour. Yeah. That felt good, and gave me a good hair day.

Then I got out a recent gift of Scotch Naturals nail products and painted my toenails (Thank you, Bert). There, that’s better. Those little piggies like it.

Finally, I rubbed on some of this fragrant Lush “Wiccy Magic Muscles” massage bar (Thank you, Megan). Wow. Energizing AND relaxing AND strengthening.

Wickedly Wiccy

Wickedly Wiccy

Then I put on safety glasses, rounded up my DeWalt drill, popped in a rock carbide bit and, wham! I hung up a vintage magazine rack salvaged from my old home. Now it can once again be used for outgoing mail, magazines, knitting patterns, or notices to a certain spouse.

It was a good day!


See what I can do?

See what I can do?