Friday, May 7, 2021

Moving Ahead, Trying To Grow and Change if Necessary

So I have a 10:00 am Zoom call with Andrew, my attorney. I need to get my feet under myself, talk basics, and figure out where I want to go. I'm lucky to get 20 words a day out of DH, and I know if I "talk" to him about how close to ending our marriage I am getting, he'll shut down like a door slamming in my face. I'm not ready for that yet. I'm still exploring any options at all that will give us a future together. But it's not looking positive right now. 

I'm still hoping for a miracle, but I don't think it's 
going to happen. He's got it into his head that the 
problems we are having are all due to my food 
program and that if I wan't sticking to those foods, 
all would be OK again. No. It's not that simple. 

WildFit is into the last few weeks and I'm really going to miss my Tribe. We've been there for each other, celebrating the wins and giving support for tough times. We're currently discussing things like living with WildFit and 3-day fasts (water and veggie smoothies only, no other foods, so not as tough as it could be), to help jump-start people who might be stalled. Realistically, a 3-day fast, or even longer, isn't really a problem. When it comes down to reality, air is the #1 thing we need, sleep is another thing that is necessary. Water ... the human body can do without it for a few days under pressure, but food actually comes way down the list. Nonetheless, I'll join with all of you in saying that I do enjoy food, and really don't have intentions of giving food up anytime in the immediate future. I'll probably try some fasts, but I'm under enough stress right now without adding that to the mix. 

I don't really want a divorce, but I don't think I can 
continue to live with his constant anger and 
depression. He won't seek help, and I can't force 
him. Maybe this will shake him up enough that 
he will look for counseling, etc., but I think 
it far more likely that he'll just lose his temper 
and get worse, not better. 

Having a Zoom call in the middle of my morning, along with another one with my Tribe at noon, splits my day in half quite effectively. I will be working in the kitchen this afternoon because I have things I have to make, but I'll also have to push through a quick trip to the grocery store and I need to drop a package off at Kohl's to return an item to Amazon. Meanwhile, my thoughts just won't stop whirling around and around. I feel like a dog chasing it's own tail, but the dog does it for fun, and this is anything BUT fun. 

I'd suggest Relationship and Couples 
Counseling, if I thought he would 
actually go and participate actively. 
I still might try it though. I hate to 
say I didn't do everything in my power 
to resolve this. I guess I'll start 
tracking down someone who might 
be able to help with that, not just 
talk to an attorney (although I've 
been dealing with DH & his 
tempers for decades, and I'm rather 
tired of them). 

Still, I will persevere, as the saying goes. I am strong and I will succeed in making the life for myself that I need to. I'd prefer it to be by DH's side, but we'll see. That may not be in the cards any more. So, have an excellent Friday and please, stay safe, be kind and please wear your mask. I'll be back tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A House Tour - It Was SOOO Nice, But I Turned It Down

First of all, the house was beautiful. It was large, spacious, used top-level materials, and was well laid out. The property was well maintained, although some work needed to be done with the landscaping. The lot next door had a stone wall with a small garden at the back. "My" lot led to a drainage area, so I'm not sure if a garden similar to next door would be feasible. I have a sheaf of paperwork, and took some photos (although not enough, when I look back through them) but I'm passing on the house. Not because I didn't fall in love with it - I could live there very happily. More because financially, I think it's a bit out of my reach. 

The kitchen has solid maple cabinetry with brass 
fittings. It's not easy to see in this photo, but there's 
a center marble-topped workstation in front of the oven 
and refrigerator. The black marble is then carried 
throughout the L that comprises another counter-top 
and the sink area, which leads to the 5-burner gas 
cooktop. I could really work in this kitchen. I drooled 
over this kitchen! Not quite enough pantry space, 

It was a delight to look at it. I haven't toured a house for a long time. When I was in college I used to go through open houses regularly. I wanted to see what I liked and what I didn't like about homes I saw. I learned a lot about architecture, traffic flow, and those little amenities that make a home jump away from the "run of the mill" houses. Even after moving up here, DH and I attended the "Parade of Homes" for several years until he declared he wasn't interested any more. I'm rather sorry we fell out of that habit because I loved seeing what was new in home architecture. 

Facing from the other direction, it's easier to see what I'm 
talking about with the kitchen island. There's a lot of 
storage and cabinet space, although in a kitchen, there's 
never really enough - LOL. 

This home was built in 1996, so it wasn't "new", but it was well cared for. I'm showing older photos here, but they repainted the walls white - which I actually liked. I would have had to revamp one small bathroom completely (disgusting wallpaper) and the custom closet in the master bedroom wouldn't suit me well (I need more hanging and less drawer space), but the rest of the house was darned near perfect. Another day, another dream, another time. DH, of course, is still grumpy and still not talking much. I can't figure out if this is a health issue or if he's stressed, or what is causing it. But it's driving me crazy and I'm not sure how patient I'm supposed to be. 

The master bathroom was outstanding. The floor and 
the central element were beautifully dressed stone and the 
glass blocks for the shower was inspired. The doorway to the 
immediate left was a small alcove for the toilet, allowing 
it to be separated from the rest of the room - a nice touch. 
This room was quality from top to bottom. 

I think I'm actually pretty happy that today is a work day. Even with Chickie on the "injured reserve" list, it'll be nice to have a change of scenery for a few hours. I did get a chance to have a phone call with my attorney yesterday and I feel much better about how the law would look at our situation if I were to file for divorce. I really don't want to do that unless it's my final option, though. DH might be a grump, but he's MY grump, and he might drive me to drink (figuratively), but I truly do love him. I guess I have to take some bad with the good, even if the bad is overwhelming right now. I'm pretty resilient, I bounce. 

The upstairs featured this large loft space at the head of 
the stairs, and down a small hallway were two additional 
good-sized bedrooms and a nice bathroom. I could go a 
bit crazy in a house like this, but I really miss not having 
a basement. I've always had one except for our rental 
house in New Mexico. I contacted the realtor this morning 
and turned down the house. I adored it, but I'm not ready for 
this yet. 

Have an excellent Thursday and I'll be back tomorrow. Also, please be kind, stay safe and wear your mask. It's a courtesy, and a kindness towards others you may meet during your day. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Broken Toes and Dreams - Plans and Pretties

Chickie's fourth toe and probably her third are definitely broken. I think the baby toe escaped with a bruising. She came to work wearing her Teva sandals and hadn't even taped her toes up! I found some adhesive tape in the supply cabinet and getting them taped up was the first thing I had her do. She was smart, bringing a camp chair along with her so she could sit most of the time and keep her foot elevated. Since we had a really slow day, she was able to remain seated, working on tying strands of stone in preparation for pricing and putting out on the sales floor. Since that's what I wanted her to accomplish in any case, it wasn't really a problem. I hope she's doing better today, but I know better. Often the second day is actually worse than the first. 

On a positive note, my bush is now fully in bloom and 
it makes my heart sing. I pass by it at least twice 
a day since it's at the edge of the driveway, and I 
always appreciate how lovely it looks. 

I have a 10:00 am appointment to do a quick walk-through of the townhome. I'll be sure to take lots of photos. I've downloaded nearly all of the information I could find on the property and I'm as prepared as I can be. I'm going to try hard to not be too impulsive, but it's hard. I was tossing and turning all night last night, and even a 60-minute meditation for sleep from my favorite meditation guide couldn't help me for long. I gave up on sleep around 2:30 am and if I get a chance, maybe I'll grab an hour nap. Right now the bags under my eyes have bags. I don't do extremely well with only four hours of sleep. 

Here's a closeup of one branch. The flowers are fat, 
multi-petaled clusters - just lovely. As I mentioned 
last week, I have no idea what kind of bush this is, but 
it's my favorite thing in our garden. 

I did take the step of contacting an attorney yesterday to set up a free consultation about what assets I could legally claim in a divorce if I decided to go that route. DH is my one and only, but I'm not sure I can tolerate his ever increasing distance and his habit of ignoring or denigrating everything I say or do for much longer. I need a bit of legal guidance, so I'll try to get an appointment within a week or so. There are questions I have that need to be answered. 

I have lots of questions that really can only be 
answered by someone very comfortable with 
the law and it's querks. I'm not trained in law, so 
I'm not going to trust myself. The firm I chose 
offers a free consultation, and I'm going to take 
advantage of that before moving forward. 

So that's my life in a nutshell. Lots of uncertainty. I have options, and I'm exploring them to the best of my ability. But I'm not so sure I want to exercise those options. Still ... it never hurts to be fully prepared for any/all contingencies. On that note, please stay safe, be kind, and please wear your mask. I'll be back tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Broken Toes and Stubborn People

Apparently Chickie sent me a text around midnight, telling me she might have broken up to three of her toes. The cover for her stockpot fall off the stove and the edge crashed into her foot right at the toes. I imagine she's in some pain, and I also know from experience that toes aren't something that get casted - they get taped and you're told to "suck it up". It basically means she'll be completely useless at the shop today, and maybe for a few days, which might cause all kinds of problems for my schedule. 

We're two stubborn people - neither 
of us give way often or easily. I probably 
would have left him decades ago if I wasn't 
so stubborn, and he's had his chances to walk 
as well, passing them by. 

DH has unbent (slightly) and is (slightly) less prickly. But, he's a German/Scotch/Irish stubborn and things will have to work through his system slowly. I'm still not going to eat whatever he tells me to eat. I'll find things on any menu that will work for me. I actually can out-stubborn him, it's just exhausting to have to do that all of the time. As much as I love this townhouse I'm thinking about, I'm realistic enough to know I can't make any moves on it quickly enough and it will be sold to someone else. Still, I can dream, and maybe even set up a tour just to take a closer look. I'll talk to the realtor today and see what's what. If Chickie can't work on Wednesday, that'll be all kinds of problem for me. So with her stupid broken toes, any planning is suddenly up in the air. 

I've been an addict for "The Curse of Oak Island" for all 
nine seasons so far. It's just always appealed to me - hidden 
treasure, pushing the boundaries of known history, and 
a cast of great characters who have tenacity and (fortunately) 
some money behind them. It's always been a Tuesday night 
favorite for almost a decade now. 

Tonight's the final episode of "The Curse of Oak Island" and everything is hinting to a final finding of the fabled Treasure Vault. It's been a heck of a season - starting out with quarantine because of Covid, and ending up with some spot drilling which seems to be turning up with some intriguing possibilities based on water analysis in previous drill holes. I realize lots of people stream their shows now, not bothering with network or cable TV channels, but I'm old fashioned. I like my TV as it is - shows on a schedule, networks, and the expanded choices offered by cable. I'm not really fond of streaming, although there are times when it's handy. Irregardless, I'll be watching "Oak Island" tonight and I can hardly wait! 

Brothers Rick (L) and Marty (R) Lagina have been the
driving force for the Oak Island treasure hunt. It was a 
story that grabbed hold of Rick in his youth and never 
quite let go. The two of them are like bulldogs - clamping 
onto every clue and not letting go until there's a reason 
to change focus a bit. They're as stubborn as DH is, 
but a bit better about moving from one issue to another. 

 So I'm going to stop this a bit early today. I need to mull over what will happen if Chickie is too injured to come to work for a few days. I don't like working solo, although I have done so in the past. It's much more difficult to get bathroom breaks, etc when I'm on my own - I have to be empty, and then lock the front door with a "Back in 5 Minutes" sign on it. Also, it's hard to give the level of customer service we're known for if only one person is helping customers. But we'll see. I'm not sure she's incapacitated yet. *sigh* Life - always curve balls, all the time. Have a great day, I'll be back tomorrow. And, as always, please be kind, stay safe and please wear your mask. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

What a See-Saw Day!

Early yesterday morning we went to Home Depot. DH needed more dirt for the garden, and we wanted some tomato and strawberry plants. Next weekend we might go to Gertens, but we'll have to be there first thing when they open - the store is a zoo as the day progresses and I don't want to part in the far ends of forever just to get some plants. Last year, with COVID restrictions, we never made it out to Gertens at all, so if we actually get there this year, it'll be nice. There are some plants they have that I've never seen elsewhere in the Twin Cities area.  

Gertens is one of the few plant and landscaping services 
left in the Twin Cities area. When I first moved here in the 
late 1970's. there were three excellent centers near our 
house. The last of those closed more than three years ago, 
leaving us with no options but driving long distances 
to get to a decent nursery, or plant shopping at our local 
home improvement stores (not the greatest plant selections). 

After getting our plants and the dirt, DH got to work in the garden and I started working on my dinner in the kitchen. My goal was to have everything I wanted for dinner already cooked and prepped, so I wouldn't get in his way when he cooked his own dinner. He wanted Sloppy Joes for dinner, so I made a ground beef and sauce dinner for myself that was similar to his - not identical ... no "Manwich" sauce for mine - but similar and somewhat tasty. 

I totally admit that I really love Hunt's 
"Manwich" sloppy joe sauce. It's got 
the perfect taste and seasonings, and 
even smelling it was lovely. But I'm 
not ruining my body for the sake of 
a sloppy joe. I made and ate my own 

I also made two types of cole slaw - a mayonnaise-based one and a sweet vinaigrette-based one. They're both good, but I'm not sure I'd repeat either recipe again. I'll eat what I have left, though, no problems doing that. 

My replacement sloppy joe sauce 
recipe called for using Coconut 
Aminos for sweetness without 
being a sugar. It's an acquired 
taste that I'm still not sure about 
although I've been using it in 
cooking now for several weeks. 
Still, it tasted OK in this recipe. 

We were getting along great for a change, DH and I. Until he said that he could hardly wait for my "program" to end so we could go get dinner at the Tavern Grill. Specifically, he said go "get a burger" at the Tavern Grill. My response was on the order of "that would be fantastic. I'm sure they have a deconstructed burger I could have." He shut down, turned to me and said "No, a burger, with the bun, and you're going to eat all of it, including the bun." I said no, although I would love the burger I would not eat the bun. The night disintegrated from there. He didn't say another word to me, and I spent an hour or so looking at houses on-line in case I decide I've had enough. Ir's rather amazing how fast things can hit the toilet in my house these days. *sigh*

I'm looking at possible touring and maybe even putting 
money down on this townhouse a few miles from where I 
currently live. It's got lots of space, plenty of room for 
my crafts as well as a guest room for visitors, and a great 
kitchen. I can afford it too. The property taxes aren't 
horrific, but I have no idea what the insurance would cost 
or whether it has a security alarm system or not. Things 
to research farther. I might take a walk-through on 

Have an excellent Monday. I plan on having the best day I can have, and continuing to meditate out my residual anger because it doesn't really help anyone and stress is bad for my health. I'll get there. I plan on being back tomorrow and hope all of you stay safe, are kind, and wear your mask. We're not out of the COVID woods yet, by any stretch. I'll be back tomorrow. 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Good Beltane - A Robin, A Scale and a Bush

Good Beltane to all. As we move toward Midsummer (it hardly seems as though Spring has arrived yet, and here I am looking towards June), my rose bush is a day or two from full bloom, a robin has been silly enough to build a nest on top of my exterior main door lamp - she'll be disturbed at least twice a day while I retrieve the newspaper for DH and when he goes out in late afternoon to collect the mail. I hate disturbing her, but I'm not going to open the garage door for silly things like the newspaper and the mail. 

The light sits to the right of the main entry door 
of the house. As you can tell, there's a robin's nest 
sitting on top. Although it gets protected from rain 
there, the winds in a storm can blow it right off 
(it's happened in the past), and the squirrels are 
able to get to the nest with some squirrel 
acrobatics movements that defy gravity. 
All in all, not a great place for the nest. 

I bought myself a new bathroom scale as an early birthday gift. It arrived at the shop on Thursday, so I got it set up Friday amidst many other errands and projects. My old scale has been with me since high school. It always weighs me about five pounds lower than reality, but a scale really is just a guide, not an absolute. It's measuring the amount of gravitational pull your body and the earth exert on each other. Plus, using the same scale all the time allows me to have a good feel for plus or minus in weight over time. 

The WYZE scale works with an app on your 
phone via Bluetooth. It checks for a lot of different 
items - weight, body fat %, muscle mass/lb, 
body water % and many more. I think I'll 
like this new "toy". 

But I felt it was time to upgrade to a "fancy-dancy all-seeing scale". I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money on this - I've had scales similar to this in the past and have been disappointed. (In fact, I tossed one of those disappointments into the garbage within the past month.) But I did some research and the WYZE scale fit my budget and the requirements of what I wanted from a la-di-dah scale. 

Almost two weeks ago, this is what my "rose" bush 
looked like. It had a LOT of buds, so had promise 
of a spectacular bloom later on. 

It automatically calibrated my weight up four pounds from my normal scale - not really a surprise, but disappointing because those numbers, although they really don't mean much - mean a lot psychologically. Still, it also gave me a lot more information - body fat, muscle mass, body water percentage, lean body mass, bone mass, protein, visceral fat, and BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). I'm pretty happy with most of what I'm reading on these indicators, although I'll need a lot more than two days of information to establish any guideline. 

A few days after the photo above, the buds were larger and 
much more prominent. 

Still, for $40 from Amazon, I felt it was well worth the try and I'm happy with the scale. Now I have to find a good place to keep it. Although it fits where I put it, I'm not thrilled with the placement. It's OK for the summer, but directly under the heater for the winter and that's probably not ideal for the electronics. I'll keep it where I have it for the time being, though. Maybe it will give DH an opportunity to get used to having it there ... or not - LOL. 

Late last week it was showing signs of 
a magnificent bloom this year. I've had some 
disappointing years in the past, but this year 
won't be one of those. 

So on this day of celebration, I'm sharing photos of my flowering bush with all of you. I've adored this bush from the very beginning when I moved here, and it never fails to lift my heart. I'm not really sure exactly what it is - I call it a rose bush because I think it's a type of primrose, but I really can't say for sure. What I do know is this year's blooms will be spectacular. Just look at all of the buds ready to burst into bloom within a few days. 

Although it would have been lovely to have it in full 
bloom for Beltane, it's actually a bit early for that. It 
usually flowers fully in mid-June. But we had a mild 
winter season, so I think it's running about a week 
ahead of schedule. I'll keep taking pictures and share 
one when it's fully in bloom. 

On that note, I'm out of here. Have a truly wonderful weekend and I'll be back on Monday. Please stay safe, be kind and wear your masks, for your sake as well as that of others. Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Dreams - A Kitchen of Dreams to be Exact

I received several comments on yesterday's post along the order of "I have a kitchen with a lot of counter space, but the counters are cluttered - so I really don't have space at all. Who lives with clean counters, anyway?" Well, my Mom did. In her condo (the final house where my parents lived before their deaths), the kitchen was relatively small, but well laid out. Entering from the south, you faced the stainless steel sink with above-counter and below counter cabinets on each side. 

I like this kitchen a lot. I'm not necessarily 
fond of the white on white approach, but it's 
pretty well laid out and has a lot of cabinet 
and counter space in a smaller area. I could 
do without the center island, if necessary, but 
it's a pretty nice design. 

To the right was the refrigerator, a small stand of drawers the stove with a built-in microwave above it, and the upper cabinets progressed from the fridge, over the microwave, and joined in with the northern wall's cabinetry. 

Obviously there's more to this kitchen, we're missing 
the refrigerator completely, and it's probably to 
the left. But, I like the warmer cabinets, I like 
the recessed lighting, and the sink and stove are 
convenient to each other. I'm not sure if there's a 
dishwasher, but since I haven't used one for more 
than 25 years, that wouldn't matter to me. 

To the west was another bank of free-standing cabinetry above and below with a counter top, stopping to allow passage to the dining area on the other side of the kitchen area. Mom had them install an industrial glass cutting board to the left of the sink on the Northern wall, and there was overhead lighting above the sink as well, with smaller cabinets in that short area. It was well organized, and Mom kept it absolutely immaculate. 

I like this kitchen. It's small, but with the associated 
eating area, it gains some counter space and a more 
friendly feel. Again, white cabinets, but there are a 
lot of them and I need lots of cabinets. I like the overhead 
lighting above the eating bench also. 

My own kitchen is actually similar in a lot of respects. I have the banks of cabinets, upper and lower. I have the open area where the sink is. If I get another microwave I'll probably have it mounted over the stove which would clear a bit more of the counters. I would welcome that. But the main difference between Mom's kitchen and mine is that final section - the counter top that is the pass-through to the dining section. Mom kept hers almost completely clear of stuff. I can barely squeeze an orange into the space I have open on mine. 

I've lived in places with Gallery kitchens before, and 
they can be a nightmare. But I really like this one - the 
layout is good, and those cabinets and drawers 
are spectacular. I think I could be quiet comfortable 
in a kitchen like this if there was sufficient electrical 
outlets available. 

That's pretty much due to DH who keeps a lot of paperwork there. We also have a small TV because he's addicted to having a TV on in every room, and at the end, there are his piles of loaves of bread and various buns for his meals. On the kitchen side we have the toaster, his ground coffee bags, his fruit for the week, my fruit and veggies waiting to ripen bowl, and a pile of papers that he really needs to go through before I lose patience and shred the lot. 

My ideal kitchen would come close to this one - warm 
woods, stainless steel, some natural light, and good 
interior lighting with lots of cabinet space. I doubt I'll 
ever have a dream kitchen, but sometimes it's good 
to dream a bit. 

My kitchen would look awesome if that pass-through was cleared, but I don't ever see that happening. He's having fits because I'm now "sharing" the kitchen with him, and his mood is down the toilet again because I won't (refuse to) eat what he was planning for our Sunday dinner (refined sugars are an absolute NO). He had agreed he wouldn't be picky about Sundays until after WildFit ended, but now he's breaking that promise. I'm NOT happy about that. But I'm sticking to what works for me and he'll just have to deal. 

Have an excellent day. I hope you enjoy some of the lovely kitchens I've shown above. We can dream, right? LOL As always, please be kind, stay safe and wear your mask. I'll be back tomorrow.