Sunday, March 05, 2017

Do Unto Others

Yesterday, on the way to town, we were heading in on one of the by-ways. Traffic was extremely congested and heavy- I'm not sure why.

Hubby was having to use all his concentration on the road and the crazy drivers, but as we rounded a bend, I saw off to the side an elderly couple on the side of the road beside their car. The lady was standing behind the car with a walking stick looking around and the gentleman was really struggling with the lug nuts on the car.
Both looked like they could snap at the slightest  bend.
I felt my heart tug and I said to hubby "Oh bless their hearts." He asked who and I told him "The elderly couple back on the side of the road trying to change their tire." But by this time we were a couple blocks away and nowhere to turn around safely and easily. So he drove on and we continued our day as planned.

But it really bothered me. I mean it REALLY bothered me. All day I just couldn't stop thinking about them. Had that been either one of my boys I was with, they wouldn't have hesitated to just pull over and park the car and run back on foot to offer assistance to those people. And it wouldn't have mattered their age. If anyone looked like they were in trouble and struggling on the side of the road, they would have stopped. End of. I have been with them several times when they have done so. Every time I thought about them I had to bite my lip to keep from bursting into tears.
Maybe had we stopped and offered assistance to them they might have got offended(as Elderly often do) for insinuating they couldn't take care of themselves, or maybe they would have said Thank you- we are waiting for roadside assistance to show up- or maybe they would have said Thank you- they would very much appreciate it. But at least we would have offered and if they had been insulted- well, that would have been fine- my conscience would have been clear.
But we didn't- and it's not. I'm still fighting back tears and hanging my head in shame that I didn't insist we go back and offer assistance. We Southerners just dont look the other way. It's not how we were brought up.

To the couple - I offer an apology for not stopping and offering assistance as I should have.
To my parents and grandparents, I offer an apology for looking the other way and not following my upbringing.
And to God, I ask forgiveness for not doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.
I'm positive that Karma will come back to take her revenge someday- and I will surely deserve it.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentines Day... and Other Couple Gifts...

Paul and I usually don't "do" Valentines Day. I think it's just  a stupid commercialized holiday hell- bent on profit through guilt.
ie: The more you love someone- the more you will spend on them. And the one-upmanship grows and grows and grows. Prices are  inflated, and the pressure is applied.

No thank you. I prefer to take myself out of that particular equation.

For me, if I have to depend on Valentines Day Gifts to guage someones love- they can keep it. Give me nothing on Valentines Day. Unless it's your time. Gift me with cuddling on the couch. Or a walk in the woods(not to murder me tho). Or cook me dinner and play a board game with me.  Chess is good. I'd much rather have someone remember my birthday or our wedding anniversary than Valentine Day.

Hubby and I walked to Tesco for lunch together on Valentines Day with a group of his friends. As we walked out the door, he turned to me and said " Your Flowers aren't going to be a surprise now." (The past two years for some odd reason he did get me flowers and chocolates and a card- I think due to peer pressure.... or maybe just to shake things up a bit- who knows....) Anyway, I told him I really didn't want flowers... nor a card....and especially not chocolates with me trying to lose weight. It was a lovely thought- and I told him so- but we are buying a new car hopefully in the next couple of weeks- and there is a lovely set of glass front display shelves I want for our living room to house hubby's fabulous collection of Star trek Star-ships which are on open shelving now and are the biggest dust magnets ever and are so delicate they break if you barely look at them the wrong way (not me-that was hubby), so I would rather save our money for those expenses next month.

One year early in our marriage we were Christmas shopping and when he asked what I wanted I pointed out a set of cookware I was simply dying to have.  Up to that time I had never owned a brand new set of cookware, it was all bits and pieces given me by relatives and friends. He looked at me as if I had grown two heads and said "I'm not buying you cookware for a Christmas present." The look on my face must have told him how much I wanted the set tho- because he ended up telling me not to cry, if that's what I REALLY wanted, then cookery things I would get.

Over the years we have quite often bought some new gadget for the house instead of more personal gifts for each other. There have been more personal gifts too- but the way we look at it is, we are making an investment and commitment in US and our relationship every time we choose something for our home that we can use to make our lives easier or more relaxing and enjoyable together.

As it should be.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Following My Interests... Again


When I was a teen I belonged to a hiking club. Every couple of weekends we would ride up to the State park and go on 5-10-15 mile hikes together. There was a Hike-Master who kept us teens out of trouble, we took a packed lunch and plenty of water and a small first aid kit with us. And always a spare pair of socks.

When I  became a parent, I, as many young parents do, had to give up my hiking days for diaper changing, extra laundry, and all the extra expenses that go with a growing family. And I did it with joy in my heart because raising my babies was much more important than  going on hikes with my friends.

Well, now my babies are all grown, I live in a different country- and I am seriously out of shape. I want to explore the country I've moved to, but  hubby doesn't like to drive and in the shape I am now- I couldn't walk  to work(a 7 minute drive and 2 miles away), let alone do a 5-10-15 mile hike.

So I was watching a TV show the other night about Britain's Best Walks with Julia Bradbury and I saw episode 4 & 5. The 6 mile Countryside Walk, and the 6 mile Riverside Walk- (that one is also a coastal walk.).
I haven't been able to stop thinking about it and I've become obsessed with taking it up again.
So, I did some research- I'm buying a pair of new hiking boots for my birthday end of the month- and I'm already training for my first hike by upping my Fit-Bit goals and changing my eating plan up. I think I will be ready for one of the 6 miles hikes mentioned above for late summer or early autumn.

My Bezzie in the UK, Lisa, has agreed to do these walks with me, (and hubby and his dad, if they choose to join me). I'm so glad because we seriously don't get to spend enough time together anymore.  My ultimate goal is to someday hike the entire 32/34/36 miles of the Sandstone Trail. I'm going to say that's my 5 Year Plan Goal.  But for now- it's going to be a daily walk- short ones to begin with then adding to the distance every day, until I can walk to and from work every weekday during the summer months. Then I know I will be ready to tackle a full fledged actual hiking trip. I dont want these to be rush trips. I want to be able to take it at a nice easy pace and be able to enjoy being in The Great Outdoors again.

Oh the joy of being out and about in nature again is making me smile!!!

If anyone has any suggestions as to a good waterproof medium weight hiking boot with good ankle support, please let me know. (Or notwaterproof- I can waterproof them myself) I'm looking for quality that will last at least three years, but I really don't want to go over £100 for them. (That's my "pocket money" for the month). I did think maybe Military Jungle boots might work well too. Thoughts? I just want to go ahead and get the hiking boots so I can get them nicely broken in and used to wearing them.
I have a good sturdy suitable backpack already.  And a First Aid Kit as well.

So that's me. Deciding to do something I want to do. Like it or not- here I come.

 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Repost- May 10, 2005....Changing The Rules

Every relationship has a point where it happens. Some of us try it when we're still dating- some of us wait until we've been married a few weeks, some have the idiot idea to change the rules after a half-century. But we all do it. Don't we?

My husband and I are approaching our first anniversary this weekend and I am happy to report that we have made it thus far without a single serious argument. Quite an achievement considering the fact that we actually had been in each others company for approximately 3 months before getting married.

We met over the internet and became pen pals- different countries- an ocean apart. Pen pals for more than two years before we actually met face to face. During that two years, we became best friends. We e-mailed each other, we chatted on the phone an hour every day, (Bell South and AT&T loved us and sent us B-day and Christmas cards each year), we spend his 6 week holiday making trips to different states along the eastern seaboard. We discussed everything under the sun and debated everything as well. We knew where each other stood on almost every possible subject.

And so far "The Rules", as we defined them, haven't changed for us.

But other couples have their own set of rules. You know the ones-What they consider cheating, what they consider flirting, where the defining lines are not to cross. And the rules do change with each new phase of the relationship. When they get in trouble is when they make the big commitment-no matter what phase that happens to be- and then decide to start changing the rules. Usually without discussing the changing of them with the significant other.

All of the sudden, things that were a big no-no aren't quite so cut and dried when a cute co-worker seems to be hanging around becoming more of a friend than they were 6 months before. Suddenly having a drink or two doesn't seem like such a big deal before heading home. And then the following week, or month, it doesn't seem like such a big deal to go to their house instead of the local bar & grill for that drink. Pretty soon having a swim in the pool there isn't such a big thing either. Neither is skinny dipping the following month. And then things aren't so fun at home anymore. Because the rules have changed. There is now another more seamy set of rules that apply to the relationships between the committed couple and the new friends couple. YUK!
Too much.

On the less serious side there are also the simpler rules that change. The unspoken but understood rules, like bathroom time is private time. The first time you're both late for work that one goes completely out the window and it is HARD to go back to PBT, (Private Bathroom Time) , once that happens.

One of my personal favorites is when the female says not a word about the male putting the "seat" down while they are dating. Then after they are committed it becomes a huge point of contention.

Excuse me- But WE don't put the seat UP for them- why should they have to put it DOWN for us? And why doesn't the female bring it up before the "commitment"??


Why is it that most people think that just because they love someone they have to do everything together?

Or the exact opposite- why do some people begin to think that they don't want to do anything together? One or the other of the couple begins to want to do things separately? Go out with "their" friends. Go for trips or vacations by themselves. I even know one couple who have been married forever and they go out and go to separate spots for dinner because they can't stop thinking of themselves long enough to compromise on a place to eat! What the heck kind of a relationship is that? When did they change the rules? More importantly- why did they change or why did they LET them change?

If the rules of the relationship change at some point- will the relationship change? Will it change and make the relationship stronger- or will it ultimately destroy it?

Or worse than either- will it just stagnate?

This is in no way a reflection of how I personally feel in MY relationship- I am still the clingy one in ours to be honest. I WANT to do everything together- The shopping, whether it's at the Dress Barn for me a dress or at the local Home Depot to look at power tools for my husband, or at Toys-R-Us shopping for a new toy or game for us. (Yes we actually DO). I want to ride to the mountains together and have picnics, pay the bills together, snuggle on the couch together, cook and clean together, fish and shoot together. I have had enough of doing things on my own and I adore spending time with my hubby.

BUT- on the other hand, I don't mind the occasional time spent apart when he is target shooting and I am reading a book- or whether I am off fishing while he is catching 40 winks before dinner.

I don't think anything will change for us because we discuss everything together- and that's OUR set of rules.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week 3 & 4 Dining Room & Command Center Complete.

Not much to write about this week, I'm afraid.  These two ares stay neat and tidy, mainly because I  have to look at it in front of me and it drives me nuts if anything is out of place.
 I did scrub the table and chairs down and then after they dried, polished them with Mr. Sheen so they positively shine!!! 


  I also wiped down the window-sills and hoovered the floor. And that was the dining room done. It's part of the living room which is the next room I'll tackle, so it's an area- not a full room.



Then there's the "Command Center/Launch Pad" as the trendy people call it. 
It's actually a basket that assorted nuts came in as a Christmas Selection from the local food shop Christmas 2015. After the nuts were gone instead of tossing the basket in the bin, I had set it on the top of the bookshelf, and when hubby came in he set his keys in it and his spare change and a lighter he had in his pocket- so it became  our "Command Center". Our phones sit on each side of it if they aren't on the charger.

 The open binder is the 2017 Home Organization Checklist and Schedule. If it isn't there, it's in my hands. That thing is a BLESSING!!!







On to  Week 5- The Living Room!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 Home Organization Challenge- Week 1 & 2 : Kitchen & Pantry

Well, I did it!! Week 1 & 2 The Kitchen & Pantry are done!

Everything was pulled out, wiped down, sorted and re-organized. I got rid of a lot of unused things.... and a few things I used but during the clear out I found things that I liked more to replace the them.

So it was a LOT of work, but well worth the piece of mind I'm enjoying after the clear out-or "purge" as they call it in organization-land.
Below is the overall BEFORE photo and then the AFTERS of all the areas of my  postage stamp sized kitchen. (Don't mind the BEFORE mess- it's not always that bad- it was particularly bad that day because I had made lasagna and fresh baked bread and everything was out of place and before I cleaned up after eating.-I promise, I'm not that nasty.)
This floor- I detest it. That's it after 3 hours with bleach and a scrub brush and washcloth on my hands and knees. Upside- it hides actual dirty spots. Downside- it NEVER EVER looks CLEAN!

All Tidy.

This is my "Pantry".

Small appliance storage and hot and cold cereals.

New Fridge/Freezer. Just  a quick wipe-out and tidy for this.

I'm still looking for a storage solution for the K-cups. I did find one just thinking how to implement it.


The kitchen needs some serious upgrades and repairs. I'm not big on renting.


Our new beverage station. The canisters are from hubby's childhood kitchen and we treasure them.
I have moved the magnetic schedule to the side of the  fridge so it looks neater...... and as an added bonus we bought hubby a new computer station for his office and set it up, too.
It was tough!! It took  3 days longer than I thought it would, but as I did two weeks challenge it didn't take as long as it should have.

So- next weeks challenge room is the dining room. Another shared space as this is our Dining room/Living room and Launch Pad. Probably the tidiest room in the entire house most of the time.
So I'll have 3 weeks time to complete those 3 areas/one room. I figure it will take an entire week. Photos will follow

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Home Organization Challenge

Last week I joined a group called the 2017 Home Organization Challenge.

I actually got started on it Friday after work. There is a schedule outlined- 14 weeks- one week for each room/area. And there are checklists for each room/area as well.

Week 1 is the Kitchen... I didn't find the Challenge until it was almost over for Week 1 so was getting a late start, but since I have a postage stamp sized kitchen I thought it would take Friday evening to do- at the absolute worst- I'd have to finish it up on Saturday morning before heading out to run errands. Ermmmmmm.... not.

I'm still working on it. This is called a Challenge for a reason- it's certainly not a hit and miss quick clean. This is a PURGE and Deep Clean Challenge. All I have left to do is:
1) One small cabinet to clear out and organize.(this will be done Monday after work.)
2) My cabinet I keep my pots and pans in is always organized, but needs everything taking out and the shelves wiped down. (Tuesday after work.)
3) The wall behind the rubbish bin and the baseboards wiped down and the floor mopped.(Wednesday after work.)

Kitchen/Pantry will be done. I'll post before and after photos when each is completed.

The pantry was supposed to be Week 2 but as I dont have one and store all food in the kitchen I actually had two weeks to complete my kitchen.
I had some issues... Like cleaning between the spaces on each side of my cooker/stove and the cabinetry on each side. I have an apartment sized cooker in a full size cooker space. I ordered some silicone gap covers thinking that would solve the problem. It took me 3 hours to clean those aforementioned sides of cooker and cabinets, gas stove that cant me moved more than 2 inches to either side... it was a real challenge for sure. Then the gap fillers.... No matter how the  cooker was positioned, the fillers came up short. so now I have to figure it out. And I will....

On the bright side (if there IS one)- some of the positions I had to pretzel into trying to get to the hard to reach places to purge and clean made me glad I have been doing a bit of yoga in the past few weeks (albeit a minimum) and had made me think if I ever leave my job, there's a possibility of a career as a contortionist in the circus.
Then, on one of my breaks between chores, I learned that Barnum and Bailey is closing the act after 160+ years.
Well, damnation...there goes THAT idea.