Tag Archives: home

Pinch Me

Five days settled, which means I’ve ticked a few things off my Master List:

Furniture rearranged and boxes unloaded.  Check.

New bank account opened and changes reported to Social Security.  Check.

Internet connected and (HooHoo!) a Netflix subscription ordered.  Check.

Most important wall hangings up with the rest on hold.

I’m thinking more about fabric, fibers, flowing funk.  Must ponder this a bit.

Modest IKEA and summer clothing orders finalized.  Check.

Cats settling down and loving actual window sills that offer views of pregnant robins and mourning doves.

Today, I’m off to start applying for Medicaid, then browse a big antique mall for an idea that’s percolating.

I know its early days, but we all love it here.  We love the funky, older construction of the duplex, the friendly neighbors, the bend-over-backwards landlords, the wealth of shops and amenities, and the joy of family rediscovered.

So, pinch me.  I think I’ve come home.

(P.S.) My Etsy shop is open again (the link is in the sidebar at left).  Not that there’s anything new yet, but some folks wanted to know.  And there WILL be new stuff.  Soon.

SLS 04/08/2019 – “Heartlight”

Okay, I am a little late on this one, but I didn’t want to pass up a chance to write about the guy I have had a crush on for 50 years – Neil Diamond. He, along with Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager, was inspired by the movie “ET” to write a song. I believe it …

Whatever the Weather

I don’t have a lot of memories from my early days in Saskatchewan. We left when I was seven. I remember I had several friends from my street and we often played on the big manmade “hill” at the end of the block. I also remember the winters when I went off to kindergarten and …

An Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving may still be three weeks away, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I have to be grateful for. Life hasn’t always been awesome to me, especially not in the past five years or so; still, I have been blessed with many good things. Here are some of them.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for family. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for them and their support. No matter how bad I feel on a given day, there’s always someone to offer a shoulder to cry on. Recently my daughter Mindy told me on Facebook Messenger that she was reading my blog and had come to the conclusion that I was “fucking incredible” (her words) and that “you need to be told you’re awesome”. Coming from her, that is high praise and it made my year. She is admittedly not good with talking about feelings, but I think she did a great job with these!

I’m thankful for nature and its connection to God. I love to watch the trees turn to red and gold and orange, to feel the brisk wind in my hair, to listen to the rain on the roof. (Even though the rain gets old after the first couple of days.) I love the green of spring and the golden summer days. I’m not wild about winter, but even that has its beautiful moments. Sometimes I look at nature in all its glory and say “Lord, you make such cool stuff!” Well, He does.

I’m thankful for the roof over my head. Once upon a time, Will and I came within a whisker of being homeless, and believe me I appreciate not have to worry about sleeping in a car or living in a cardboard box behind the strip mall. I love it that I live in a warm, comfortable house with people I adore. I think I’ll always be somewhat insecure in this area because of the trauma of losing my own home, but I take that one day at a time.

I’m thankful to be on Social Security and Medicare. I’d rather be able to work, and the amount is barely enough to survive on—I couldn’t live on my own even if I wanted to—but it does pay my rent and bills and leaves a tiny bit for fun. I’m still amazed that now I have little money to manage, I do a good job of it. I wish I’d figured this out when I was making 60K a year. I haven’t had an overdraft in years. I even have a credit card which I pay faithfully each month. It took some doing and some time, but my once-Very Poor credit rating has improved to Fair. I’m proud of that.

I’m also thankful for the medication that keeps me stable for the most part. It’s what makes the rest of my life work. I don’t like having to take so many pills, but the reason I am on six psych meds is because five weren’t enough. Thank God for the wisdom of the doctors who have prescribed them for me! I was just looking back at a post from 2014 in which I wrote of my dismay at having to be on two anti-psychotics, and I laughed because it was so ridiculous. Truth was, I wasn’t making it on one, and Dr. Awesomesauce knew it. Now, years later, I’m still on two APs and there are no plans to change that anytime soon. There’s a certain amount of security in that, so I just consume my meds twice a day and enjoy the fact that my moods aren’t all over the map.

Most of all, I’m thankful that I have so much to be thankful for. I miss my husband something fierce and I will yearn for him for the rest of my life, but in this second year without him I feel nothing but gratitude for having had him as long as I did. He visits me in my dreams on most nights, and in all of them he is happy and healthy, and he looks just like he did in the prime of his life.

Happy early Thanksgiving!


Making A Home

This summer I spent some time considering a move to Des Moines, but after talking to a realtor (what was I thinking?) and finding out how impenetrable the subsidized housing process is there, I changed my mind.  Instead I opted to work at making Marshalltown my Home.

I grew up here and have been back for ten years, but I never really thought of it as home.  Growing up on a farm, “town” was a place to get groceries, a place the school bus dropped me off and picked me up.  After going through electroshock, losing my job, my home, and my husband coming back to Marshalltown mentally ill was a personal failure and a punishment.

I left Minneapolis with its liberal politics, diversity of culture and a townhouse I loved for a conservative rural backwater where I lived in my friends’ spare room with a curtain for a door.  I didn’t want to be here.

My life became richer over the last ten years.  I learned how to manage my illness better.  I moved into an apartment I loved.  Our eco-conscious public library and busy YMCA became part of my daily routine.  I embraced our Aquatic Center by water walking in the silky summer evenings.

But I still despised the town.  I hated the trains blasting at 5:00 AM along with the barking dogs and screeching kids next door.  I hated the yahoos who barreled along my street with their woofers blowing out my eardrums and their muffler-less pickups rattling my windows.  I hated the decrepit meth-lab houses and the soul-sucking poverty evident on most every street.  I still didn’t want to be here.

The work of Making a Home, I’ve discovered, is much like the work of Gratitude.  Instead of focusing on what I’m grateful for, I purposely seek out what I love about Marshalltown.  I quiz others about where they like to eat and hang-out, what they like to do here.  I’ve started reading the newspaper to look for events to attend and to get a better sense of the community.  I plan to take a class at the art center or with the continuing education program at our junior college.

Another part of making a home is practicing forgiveness, not just accepting people, places and circumstances for what they are.  The first target of forgiveness must be myself—for all the ways I let myself down, abandoned my dreams or my safety, and let the negative voices of my illness tell me how horrible I was.  Acceptance of my whole self took decades, but I feel like forgiveness can’t be that far away.  Whenever old resentments or regrets surface, I open to the possibility of forgiveness.  Whenever I turn my attention to the negative aspects of Marshalltown, I open to forgiveness and pull up my list of “Marshalltown Love” on my phone.  It’s startling how many times a day this happens.  It’s equally startling how long it’s taken me to be willing to forgive myself and others.

Forgiveness, like gratitude, requires a change of perspective, a change of heart. Sometimes those changes are a long time coming, so I’ve adopted an “act as if” attitude until it makes a home in my bones.  But, I’m determined to forgive.  I’m determined to find all the hidden spots of beauty and compassion in Marshalltown.  I’m determined to be my authentic self and thrive here.

Because, I’m still on an Adventure.


Paper Tea and Five Flavour Life Savers

One of my favourite relatives was my Mom’s Aunt Annie. She, along with her father, sister May, and my Mom’s Dad, Wilfred, came to Canada when Annie was in her early twenties. They all lived in a small house in … Continue reading

Reblog – Home Sweet Home

Originally posted on My Medical Musings:
Life can hold  many wonderful adventures. Travel, work, days out, drives in the countryside, eating at wonderful restaurants and cafes, visits to family and friends. The list is endless. The opportunities to broaden your…

Planting Roots

Daily Prompt – Roots This daily prompt word (for Wednesday) could not be any more appropriate. We had just come back from having a second look at the place we will be calling home in little less than a month. … Continue reading

Understanding Stress

Okay, I know that title is a little ironic. After all, stress can come from not understanding or not being prepared for a situation. In one of the groups I am in, someone asked how to deal with stress when … Continue reading

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Bedroom Paint1Today is Paint The Bedroom Day.  The first coat is on the walls and ceiling, so I’m freshly laundered and off to The Brew House to eat, rest and journal.

ETA for the second coat—1:30.

Henry7:16Henry is showing his age today.  He only banged on the door to get in a few times.  In his youth, this Alpha Tom would have hammered the door as long as it took for me to remove said barrier.   But, like most old guys, he’s more interested in going back to his post-breakfast, mid-morning nap.