Random bits of this and that, and a free song

As I write this, it’s well after midnight and I’m more awake now than I’ve felt all day.  I have always been a night owl by nature but the past couple of years the shift off of day light savings time change, has left me worse than usual.  I find myself wanting to be completely opposite (asleep during the day, up all night).  Which obviously isn’t a workable solution, for a wide variety of reasons.  I don’t mind being a night owl, but I can’t go completely opposite of “normal”.  I find myself needing sunshine this time of year badly anyway, and it doesn’t help if you sleep through what little of it there is. But with my health issues missing out on too much sleep is very bad also.  So I try to strike some sort of balance.

Today has been a bit of a bust.  Nothing horrible.  Just a general blah, non-productive sort of day for me.  I hate those. I just haven’t had the energy or stamina to get much of anything accomplished today.  That’s the sort of day that I find extremely frustrating.

I thought I would share, if you are looking for Christmas songs, Amazon has lots of free mp3’s posted this time of year.   If you just look around.  This is not a sponsored post, nor is this any sort of affiliate link.  I just thought I’d share this with you.  I got quite a few neat little Christmas mp3s for free last year from Amazon.  And while you do have to sort through some crap to find good freebies, there are good ones on there.

I liked this version of Silent Night, by SixPence None the Richer.  That one song I linked directly to, off that album, is free right now.  I’m not sure how long that will last, but it is free at the moment.  And free is good right?  😉

Right now it’s 19 degrees outside, snowy and windy.  I can’t help but think about the two veterans I spoke of in my earlier post.  My husband went out to check on them again today.  He said the road to where they are camping out is rough and it didn’t look like anyone had been up it today.  But someone had brought them a load of firewood since he was last there.  And they weren’t out of the bottled water or canned food yet.  My husband took them some more meat for their fire today.

We wanted to make sure they weren’t out of propane yet, since those little canisters they are using to heat their tent don’t last long.  But they were doing ok.  Their spirits seem good, in spite of their circumstances.  I’m not going to share too many of their personal details here, because I haven’t asked permission to do so and it just wouldn’t feel right.  But they talked about how much they appreciate the people in this area and how much the local community has done to help them.  They are on a list for housing, but the waiting list is long.  They said some members of a local church chipped in and got them a cell phone with a few pre-paid minutes, that way they could call out if they have an emergency, and keep in contact with the VA.  My husband talked to them for a little while, but he didn’t want to keep them out of the tent for long since it is so cold out.


Christmas Acorns?

I was growing a little tired of the two sidebar photos I had up of the fall leaves.
So I decided to switch it to a mini version of this:

I took this picture in mid-November for my Nature Blog.  Last year we had hardly any mast, and the squirrels and other animals that depend on things like acorns had a rough winter. But this year we had a very abundant mast. And there have been more acorns than the squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc. can handle.  Acorns of all types are everywhere! It’s nice to see.

I think the ones with the metallic silver sheen are the prettiest of all.  I photographed these 3 because they remind me of Christmas bulbs, and leave me with the feeling of a happy and festive mood.

Dorky Deb… Grandma?

So I haven’t been posting very frequently here in recent weeks.  I started several posts I didn’t finish (LOL) but I’ve had a lot going on.  Amongst other things, it is currently ragweed season (i.e. Misery Season for me).  My breathing issues are much more complex this time of year.  And I just generally feel like crud.  I have breathing issues year round, but this time of year is the hardest on me.

That combined with the other stuff I deal with, just makes for a rough time of year.  So I kind of struggle to manage what I have to manage, much less worry about blogging.  So it’s not that I walked away from here, it’s just that I don’t feel very inspired to write anything when I am struggling to just put one foot in front of the other. No trying to be whiny, just trying to explain.

In other news while I’ve been not posting so much…

I had my 33rd birthday.  I still don’t think I’m that old in my head.  It’s so weird.

To pile on the weirdness in my life, I am now a Grandmother.  Got that… “Dorky Deb” is a GRANDMA.  At 33.

Not biologically, but in name.  My oldest step-daughter, who is 21, gave birth this past week to our first grandchild. He is so cute!  He was supposed to be a girl.  So I sent her tons and tons of baby girl stuff.  Loads of pink.  (Pink is my step-daughter’s favorite color as well.)  But it’s ok.  Toward the end of her pregnancy we were getting word that more recent ultrasounds were predicting the initial call may have been incorrect.  But they weren’t getting a good enough look to be sure.  So it wasn’t a total shock when he was born.  Personally I’m happy either way.  I just wanted him to be healthy.

Thankfully all of the big stuff we sent (papasan swing, bassinet, etc.) was all gender neutral.  So no pink there.  LOL And some of the outfits were gender neutral as well.

So my kids (ages 1, 6 and 7) are now aunts and an uncle.

baby Conner - newborn pic

Conner 4 days old

He’s a little early and is 4 lbs 1.5 ozs.  But he is doing great.  Breathing on his own and all that jazz.  I think my husband is going to need some time to get used to the term “Grandpa”.  He keeps whining…  “But I’m only 43.  I’m not old enough to be a Grandpa.”    Ummm….. yeah, hon you are.   😉

The term Grandma isn’t bothering me a bit since I’m not old enough to be her mother anyway. LOL!  He says it doesn’t help him when I say that.  😉

I plan on having fun with it.  There seems to be a certain percentage of the population that mistakes me for a teenager.  I have no clue where they get this (I think they need glasses).  But it happens, rather frequently.  And ever since I hit 30 it just makes my day.  LOL!   But I just can’t wait for the next time someone mistakes me for a teenager. I’m going to say, “Teenager, No I’m a GRANDMA!”

LOL!   🙂

The Beechnut

According to the Department of Natural Resources:
As the beechnut or American beech tree gets ready for winter, its leaves turn a brownish russet color and the three-sided nuts it produces are borne in prickly burs.
Because the nut is small and covered with a thin, leathery shell, sometimes people don’t take the effort to harvest it. However, they do have a delicate, rich flavor.

Most days I handle being disabled pretty well.  I am good at keeping a positive outlook and realizing just how blessed I am to be alive.  I have the ability to see the blessings in my life and not simply the struggles.

My faith gives me strength.

But there are some days, when it is harder to be the optimist.  Some days I feel like this beechnut I photographed.

Full of potential,
yet held back so much by the prickly confines of my disability.

I watch the world go by,
just like the water whirling past this beechnut.

I see all of the things I want to be doing,
and I watch them float by.

It brings a moment of sadness,
then guilt for the sadness.
I have much to be thankful for.

Perhaps someday I will be released,
and be able to meld my life experiences in a way where I can enjoy the things of my past – yet hold on to the appreciation that I have for those things now.

The beechnut either rots in its prickly shell,
or it makes it out and can go on to live so much more.
Some even become a tree.
Some grow tall and strong.
Some make more beechnuts.

Then it hit me,
perhaps I’m already a tree and I just don’t realize it.

~ ~ ~

Look out world!

There is now a fiery red-headed version of me.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


First steps

Yesterday our 11 month old baby girl took her first steps. She has been able to walk for quite some time, but yesterday was the first time that she was brave enough to let go and do it on her own, without holding onto anyone. For the past couple of weeks she’s been walking holding your hand and not actually using it, but she feels more secure just to know it’s there.

We were all in the living room, so the entire family got to see her take these first steps. I think her brother and sister were more excited than anyone.  It was quite precious.

When they took their first steps, I don’t recall them noticing it at all. They just walked to whatever they wanted and were far more interested in whatever had caught their attention than what they had just accomplished. But this one, this one knew exactly what she had done.  She was so very proud of herself.  She yelled, “Dada Dada DADA!” when she got to where she was going, as she turned to see if her precious DaDa was watching. She is quite the Daddy’s girl.

And she was so excited when we clapped for her, she clapped along with us.   🙂

I had my first two children very close together, “Irish twins” everyone tells me (LOL). They are 11 months apart. So, I kind of learned all the new baby parenting stuff with them together. But one of the things that you learn with subsequent children, that you don’t realize with the first, is how incredibly fast it all seems to go.

I remember what it was like to be bored sometimes. I remember that concept. But once you have kids life just seems to whirl by. It’s not that you are constantly busy (although it sure feels like it). But it’s that even when you do choose to relax there are 500 things on your mind that you feel you “should” be doing.  As if relaxing isn’t a “should” do sort of thing.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that my oldest was toddling around the Christmas presents, using them to stand and walk. And now he’s 7 years old. So what comes with this knowledge, and the fact that this is our last baby, is that every moment feels even more precious. With my first two I didn’t realize how fast it would fly by. How I would seem to just blink my eyes and they were so much bigger.

Knowing now how fast it flies by, and that we most likely won’t be doing it again, I want to hold onto every moment. Soak it all in. All the baby kisses, the smiles, the giggles, the tiny wiggly toes. I wish I could just bottle these feelings and pull them out later. The sense of joy in our living room yesterday as our youngest took her first steps was wonderful. I want to remember it forever.

What is a moment you want to remember forever?

There’s a skink in the living room

My morning started off with, “Um Deb, you might want to come down here.”

Sleepy me:  “Do I have to?”

Hubby:  “Yep.”

I walk downstairs to find a five-lined skink in the middle of our living room carpet.

I’m not sure how it got into the house.  They like to sun themselves out back and they startle when you go out the door. And on very rare occasions, they run inside accidentally.  So I’m guessing that probably happened sometime yesterday and we didn’t realize it.

I tried putting an old big plastic bowl over it and then sliding a magazine under it.  But that didn’t work, it escaped a few times trying that method.  I hated to use my hands because typically if they are startled that much, they will pop their tails off.  It’s their way of escaping predators, etc.  And I was really hoping it wouldn’t do that.

Finally after it escaped the bowl trick for the third time, it was highly motivated to find a place to hide.  So I had to scoop it up with my hands and hope that it wouldn’t decide to leave it’s tail with me.  (It didn’t, so I was happy about that.)

After I took it outside and tried to place it in the grass, it acted like, “Wow your hand isn’t too bad.”  And just hung out there for a bit.  Long enough that my husband went and got the camera and snapped a photo. Unfortunately my husband is not used to my camera and had it on the wrong setting, so the photo is blurry.

Then it scurried away.  Here’s one afterwards.

And a happy ending for all.