Self-Portrait 


I woke up with these crazy hornet stings itching like crazy. Which seemed to be as good an excuse as any to go to the beach and soak in the warm Gulf water. While we were there,  Dan created the sand-sculpture-self-portrait above. I think it bears a remarkable likeness to him!  

And our mission was accomplished. The stings stopped their relentless itching and now we’re getting ready to go out and listen to some of our friends play music.  

It’s a rough life but someone has to live it. 😊

Love and light to all. 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

You know, some things just bite you in the ass. Really. It’s happened to me more than once in my lifetime. I’m guessing in yours too. You try to do something good, and you get a swift reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.

Yesterday when I got up, I slipped on a long pink t-shirt type dress. I wear this dress around the house only, it’s very comfy. I didn’t put any underclothes on under it, because I was planning to shower shortly, and I wasn’t leaving home. I proceeded to get into one of those cleaning jags, where one thing leads to another, and in a couple of hours my living room and bedroom were totally straightened up, absolutely no junk laying around. I took everything off every surface and dusted and washed them. I found places for all the errant stuff that I needed to keep but which does not belong on the coffee table. I laid out in some organized fashion my many wire-wrapped pendants on my dresser (I make jewelry so have a lot of them.) But I think you get the idea.

I was ready for my shower.

But then I remembered that as he was leaving that morning, Dan remarked that my hibiscus had a few yellow leaves (as well as some remarkably HUGE orange blossoms) and that maybe it needed watering. I told him I’d do it, because he needed to get where he was going. So,instead of going in the shower, I decided I’d go water the plants first, because it’s hot here, and I figured I’d be pretty sweaty by the time I was done.  I put on some shoes, flip flops. Because that’s basically all I have for shoes. I went out by the hose and began to unwind it from the box which has the reel in it. I was looking for ants, those damn fire ants, because once before I was unwinding the hose and got about 6 ant bites on my foot. Luckily no ants this time. But I kept looking, and kept thinking, “you need to get some easy-to-put-on outdoor shoes that are not flip-flops.” But I seemed to be safe, there were no anthills or ants near the hose box. And I was still dressed in the long pink t-shirt dress over my birthday suit.

I dragged the hose out to the front of the house, and began to soak down the roots of the hibiscus tree, as well as some others plants growing in that bed. There are two hornets nests on one end of the bed, small nests and not very aggressive hornets. We keep saying we need to remember to spray them in the evening, and then we forget. I was, however, aware of them and not about to anger them by spraying the hose on them.

This is where karma bit me. Apparently, I pissed off one or two of the hornets anyway. Maybe they were attracted to my beautiful pink dress. I don’t know. They are dead now. But didn’t die until they flew up my dress and stung me in the butt 3 or 4 times.

Ok, not really my butt. At the base of my spine, just where the butt begins.

I immediately shut off the hose nozzle and pulled the hose around to the side of the house and ran in the house, pulled off my dress, and dug through the freezer for an ice pack, which I promptly slapped on my rear end. An aside here, last time I got stung by a bee was about 15 years ago, in the foot, and my foot and whole ankle swelled up, in excruciating throbbing pain, and was black and blue.

I sat on the couch, with the ice-pack on my butt, and waited for the excruciating pain to start. I called Dan, just to be talking to someone in case I had a really bad allergic response. Based on my experience 15 years ago, I was afraid I’d developed an allergy to insect stings.

The good news is that the ice pack helped a lot, but the excruciating pain never came. This type of sting felt like pin pricks, not that throbbing ache that the yellow jacket sting gave me all those years ago. I sat with the fanny pack for about a half hour, then went about my day with some slight discomfort, but no terrible pain.

All things considered, it could have been much worse. I mean, imagine!!! Much worse.

This morning the stings itch. I hope I’m not walking around scratching my ass all day.

Love and light everyone.

Autumn in Florida

Halloween is coming on. The stores are full of pumkins, the jack-o-lantern kind. We saw one the other day that was selling for $20! Other than the pumpkins, and some folks Halloween decorations in their yards, I would never know it’s fall. It’s still hot most days, around 90°, though less humidity. My hibiscus blooms. Dan just planted some new herbs for me that we bought at the weekly fresh market yesterday: rosemary, basil, and sage.

The fresh market is a pretty cool place, with vendors under canopies all up and down the street in the commercial waterfront district, selling everything from homemade cheeses, to hand-rolled cigars, tie-dye clothes, pottery (with the artist working at his pottery wheel), CBD candy, and fresh produce. Besides herb plants, we got Dan some hand-rolled cigars, and some unbelievable popcorn, and Dan bought me a very cool tie-dye dress, We try to go fairly often. It’s really nice to live in a small town that does this every week, in addition to having an artwalk twice a month. The artwalk is similar, without all the food products. But the galleries and stores are open, the restaurants all have music in their outdoor spaces.

Back to Halloween and fall….. I think the thing I miss most about fall is picking apples. Here, in FL, I saw Granny Smiths and Gala apples last week at the store. I miss going into the fields and picking a bushel of Cortlands, Empires, Delicious, Golden Delicious, MacIntosh, Honey Crisp, Fuji, along with Galas and Granny Smiths. Enough to make apple crisp, apple pies, applesauce. I loved being out in the fresh autumn air, riding the hay wagon around the orchard to the different kinds of trees, and ending the day with hot cider and fresh apple fritters. And, at one of the orchards, I could buy pumpkins for $.25 a lb. I bought the small sugar pumpkins here a couple weeks ago, and cooked them to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but it’s hard to pay $8 for a jack-o-lantern pumpkin I used to buy for $3 or $4.

As for Halloween…..I don’t get a lot of trick-or-treaters, in fact, last year I got none. Back in CT, I would get about 300, literally. I kind of miss that. I usually had a friend over to help me pass out candy. If it was nice we’d sit on the front steps and have a drink and admire the kids costumes.

So there are a couple of things I do miss….but they are counter balanced by a 75° morning where we could sit on the deck with our coffee, and talk, and watch the birds and the squirrels run along the back fence or traverse the banyan tree. Counter balanced by the thought that maybe tomorrow or Friday we can go to the beach again. Counter-balanced by sitting outside on a perfect night at open mic tomorrow, and at a local music fest on Friday night. A lot of people don’t know it, but October and November are beautiful months in Florida. It’s still in the 80’s during the day, maybe down to 70° at night. The Gulf of Mexico temperature is still in the low 80’s.

Choices. We all make choices. Even though fall in New England is incomparable with the thick woodlands exploding with color, it means winter is not far behind, and that always took the joy of it from me. I gladly traded the apple picking and the Halloween trick-or-treaters for the warm days and evenings. I trade the winter’s frigid temps and piles of snow for a summer that’s incredibly hot and wet. It’s not perfect anywhere, but Florida’s climate suits me.

Love and light, all.

Happiness, Or Is It Happyness?

Against all odds, I am so happy today. Against the odds? Why, one might ask? Or most likely not, lol, as my little world does not spread so far and wide. But it’s worth remarking on, today.

I slept terribly last night. For the most part, lately, I have been sleeping the sleep of the dead. Asleep for 7 or even 8 hours, with no artificial inducement like Ambien. Just sleep, blessed sleep. Last night,no.

I woke about 2 in the morning, and my right elbow was just throbbing. Why, I don’t really know. Although, with thought I might say that I have been feeling much less pain since starting the cannabinoid tincture, so perhaps I overworked that particular joint. Usually, in bed, I can find a position that doesn’t hurt, and get to sleep. But last night no. My elbow was just painful enough to keep me awake.

So, why am I happy today? Because my significant other, Dan, felt me stirring, and woke up. Instead of being angry I woke him, he wondered if I were ok/ Did I need anything? I first took two tylenol. But 20 min. later, it still hurt. Dan stayed up with me. Did I want to go to the hot tub? No….I was so tired, I would have but just didn’t want to walk the 100 yards over there. I finally said, “I think I need an ice pack.” And was about to get out of bed and get one, but he beat me to it, and began to dig through the freezer for an ice pack. He came back with it wrapped in a towel, and a band to secure it to my arm, and helped me get it on.

About 5 minutes later my arm stopped throbbing. I turned to him and said, “You’re so good to me.” He said, “It’s unbelievable to me that you just never had anyone who gave a shit before.” He was right, I hadn’t. But I did now. It’s friggin’ amazing, to have someone who truly gives a shit about how you feel, what you say, what you dream. I mean, with this new diagnosis of RA….to not be facing that all alone. To be with someone who encourages me to treat myself well, to take care of myself.

Then, today I got a notice that my new bedspread was delivered to my house. My old bedspread was stained, from my cat, but I loved it so, and kept it. It needed replacing. I found the EXACT same one online, for about what I paid for it 6 years ago. So, I told Dan I wanted to run to my house and get it off my front stoop and put it on the bed. He had no problem. I know that sounds like no big deal, and it shouldn’t be. But stuff like that always was. Stuff I needed….I needed to do alone or wait. Not now. I have a partner. It’s friggin’ amazing.

On the way back, when we drove into the community where Dan lives, he pulled over and told me it was time I drove his truck. It’s a Ford F150, fairly new, with the double cab. It’s a BIG truck. Now, I’ve driven other trucks, my ex and I had always had a pick-up truck. But this one was new…idk, it’s been awhile. But I got into it, drove around his community, and parked it, using the back-up camera.

Cool.

Then we split a bottle of wine over a plate of bruschetta. Then we made an awesome dinner. Then we thought we’d go soak in the hot tub and work out a little in the pool.

So….I’m happy. You know, that kind of happiness that radiates outward, so that your mouth is in a perpetual smile. Yeah, that. Happyness.

Love and light, everyone.

SoCS: Saved, and Safe

SoCS 2017 badge

Back when I was going through my divorce, and my son was living with his father, and I was terrified for him, and was facing an epic battle to save my son, the song The Prayer came across my view and I adopted it as my anthem for that dark period of my life. It was the following lines that I related to so well:

 

Lead us to a place,

Guide us with you grace,

To a place where we’ll be safe.

 

Fast forward to the present time. After a few detours and mis-turns, I have gotten to a place that is safe. It came on gradually, but the cumulative result is that I wake up happy every day. I no longer feel dread faced with a new day. I love my life. My son also is safe, and a new and happy life for himself. My ex….well, he’s in a place that’s safe and where my son and I are safe from him, though I could not save his life.

The other day I ran across this Mary Oliver poem, The Journey. It speaks so eloquently of the difficult task ahead of us when we leave an abusive, or even just bad relationship, or situation. I thought I’d share it for those who haven’t run across it. I hope you all enjoy it, and that you’re all safe.

Love and light, all.

The journey

 

This post is written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing prompt.  If you would like to join in the fun, please go to her page https://lindaghill.com/2017/10/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-717/  for all the rules.