Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sleep

I have always needed my sleep. Under ideal conditions I go to bed, sleep for 7.5 hours, wake up refreshed and start my day. I can remember that happening a few times in my life.
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I remember visiting my cousins who did not have a strict bedtime in the summer.  They would be running around well after dark and I just wanted to sneak away and curl up in bed to sleep. I couldn't believe my aunt and uncle were so irresponsible as parents!

Once as a teen I was invited by neighbors to spend a week at their lake cottage. One night we all went to see some friends of theirs who had a horse farm. It was fun until adult conversation went on . . . and on . . .  and on. By one in the morning I was pretty sure my eyeballs were bleeding.

There are significant periods of my life during which sleep was elusive.
There was a long stretch during high school  and college when I would wake during the night and could not go back to sleep. Every night sound seemed magnified and designed specifically to keep me awake. One night I buried my wind-up alarm clock in a large box of outgrown clothing my mother had stored at the back of the closet. I had no trouble understanding the horror of Poe's "Tell Tale Heart."

Pregnancy -- certainly one does not sleep for two. It only gets worse once the baby is born. But as the kids grew I found I could fall asleep in seconds and not rouse until the alarm and/or the first sound of stirring children. Sleep deprivation will do that for you. Maybe I wasn't so refreshed upon waking but at least I was dead to the world for a period of time.

Then kids become teens -- a whole new style of sleepness develops. And job stress can do a number as well. Part of my early retirement was from being so consistently sleep deprived that I felt sick far too much of the time -- job stress plus helping with care for my mother who had dementia really had me at a breaking point. Oh, and let's throw in perimenopause.

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Retirement did not cure my sleep problems. Bad habits and poor sleep hygiene were firmly established. I ended up going to a sleep clinic and being sent to a behavioral change group therapy program and the university. It worked.

But, of course, this comes up now because I am experiencing those 3 a.m. wake up/can't get back to sleep periods. It started with a Code Red Weather alert that there was a tornado threat in the immediate area of Ashwood Drive. Gee, that was ominously specific.

Now that I am older and wiser, I know that a.) I have tools to understand and deal with periods of sleeplessness and b.) everything changes. This is not a permanent condition.

I find that if I stretch and let my arms go up and wide to accept the day, I feel immediately more refreshed. Yesterday a yoga instructor suggested adding a grateful for thought to this routine and I do feel ready for my day.

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(Sometimes I get the feeling that people around me just want to slap me up side my head.)

Friday, October 18, 2019

A few pictures:

It took me a while to get wifi up and running. That's a whole other blog post, but who wants to hear another convoluted Comcast tale of woe?


I took a walk on the beach while in South Carolina. (I believe on Fripp Island.) Low tide scenes:


Kind of looked like a scene out of some outer space movie. Most of the debris caused by Dorian has already been cleaned up.

Here is where I slept in my step daughters' lovely brand new home:

Antique, yet comfy bed.

On Sunday we took a horse drawn carriage ride through historic Beaufort, S.C.
It was really interesting hearing the stories our docent had to relate and to realize how deep and wide the history of any given place can be. Old homes in this district were so beautiful as well, but of course I had neglected to bring my phone.

If Don is around I don't leave the house without his asking, "Do you have your phone?" so I thought I was getting better about this, but how quickly we revert to form!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Long Ride, Safe Landing

I have been in travel mode for the past week. I'll admit that I was a little nervous about a solo car trip from Vermont to Florida. I have done it before but the thought of that was then kept creeping in. I decided to not make a straight shot out of the trip but to take y time and make many stops along the way. It felt like a vacation as a result.
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I spent the past weekend with my step daughter at their new home on St. Helena Island -- South Carolina low country.  There was a lot of fresh fish and seafood, time on the beach, an historic tour of Beaufort, and endless throwing of tennis balls for their two border collies to chase after.

It's beautiful there -- so many beautiful spots to see in this country -- in a soft and subtle way. This is where movies -- The Big Chill (one of my all time favorites), The Great Santini, Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy territory), and Forrest Gump. Now I want to watch those movies again.

Gossip: locals loved Tom Hanks. Barbra Streisand -- not so much.

So I am Florida now for about a month before I will return to for holiday hoopla and a bunch of appointments of one kind and another. I have pictures that will available at a later date.

I am settled in now and will spend some time catching up with blogs.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

What's a Week End?

I attended the stage play Pride and Prejudice last night with two friends. As you no doubt know it is a good story and there were some modern twists in the play that did not distract in the least.

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We had a frost last night but the day was sunny and gorgeous -- not warm but beautiful nonetheless. Unfortunately, I spent part of the day attending a funeral of a teacher and former colleague. The fact that he was only 57 years old made it very sad. He was obviously well loved and obviously lived his life with gusto. It was a beautiful service, quite a tribute to the man. Still, sad.

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My good friend who fell and shattered her hip seems much improved. She is doing occupational and physical therapy and appears much stronger. I watched her walk using the bars and she is able to transfer herself into bed. I do keep reminding myself not to break a hip though. It is just a horrible, painful process of recovery.

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One of my former students works at the rehab facility so I ran into her while on a visit to my friend. She's had the job for nine years now and has been able to buy a house. It is such a treat to run into a former student, especially one who seems to  doing well. 

You can' help but wonder what happens to people who pass through your life and spend a bit of time there before moving on.

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I had lunch with my sister. She works for a guy whose father is doing my trust. The lawyer (father of her employer) could not get over how much alike my sister and I are -- same expressions, same mannerisms, same laugh, and am I as smart as she is (HA!)?  My sister and I don't see it at all although this has been mentioned by others before. 


Thursday, October 3, 2019

It's Around the Corner

Fall sort of snuck up on me this year but there is no doubt it is here now. The chill is in the air and the leaves are turning. It's a pretty time of year. I am sure I will enjoy it as I travel south.

I noticed signs for ski and snowboard sales, a sure sign of another season to come.

Halloween decorations are out on lawns. Candy selections and pumpkins are already kind of picked over in the stores. I did see Santas lined up on a shelf next to skeletons at CVS yesterday.

No way the holiday season sneaks up on anyone anymore.



Friday, September 27, 2019

Fun Food

I sometimes buy a store brand loaf of wheat bread -- not necessarily because I am cheap but because it is less sweet than the name brands I know. If I have an egg salad or a tuna salad sandwich I like soft, bland bread.

This morning I decided to make some toast with some of that bread. This was the last heel of the loaf.

Clearly, it has a mouth.

Of course I had to amuse myself by turning it into a bread puppet.


Help! Help! She's putting me in the toaster!
Nooo! I'll burn!

Some people are not nearly as amused by me as I am by myself. I've noticed that a lot.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Job?

Don thinks this is the funniest thing ever and he swears I have way too much time on my hands. He suggests I get a job.

I made a few of these bags to take to the grocery store or farmers' market so I don't have to use plastic bags.


A little bit of netting and no more than five minutes sewing time.

Hey, maybe I could get a table at one of the Farmers' Markets and sell produce bags?

Nah, that sounds like too much work. I'm retired and enjoying it!