Green Tuesday

It’s not even 1 p.m.

Today is already too busy.

Last night my dad invited the teenager and I for breakfast so he could spend the day with her.

But first she had to go to the pediatrician to get her meningitis vaccine and school physical.

I started a load of sheets— apparently the teenager needed all of hers washed—and the washing machine was acting funny.

On the way to the Poconos for breakfast— our local library called asking if I could stop by to help with a computer issue.

Pancakes

My dad took the teenager for a long motorcycle ride and she snapped this amazing photo.

And I already had a meeting with my blind friend Nancy to help her with her writing.

Then, I had a request for two more meetings and my mother-in-law asked if I could help her write a thank you card.

Somewhere along the line I decided to dye my hair between meetings.

My hair is dark brown but has been turning red. Not a nice red. A dry looking orange red. So I found some green envy Manic Panic in my bathroom and thought the green should neutralize the red.

I’m happy with the results.

My neighbor brought me an Impossible plant-based burger from Burger King. We shared onion rings, ate on the porch and went for our evening walk. We visited the sad house on Washington Street that has been foreclosed upon.

And the teenager brought me tapioca pudding.

Monday gratitude

Today I am grateful for:

  1. My local school district providing grab and go lunches for our kids in urban food deserts or in families facing unemployment during this pandemic.
Sample Grab and Go Meal

2. Living in a neighborhood where my neighbors and/or their dogs love to take random walks.

3. The view from my parents’ deck in the Pocono Mountains. Nothing like an after dinner coffee with your dad, admiring the horizon.

Happy Monday!

My Sunday Morning Pilgrimage Moment

Pilgrimages are for the humble, the weak, the seeking and the hurting.

Pilgrimages are often undertaken by the rich and/or the spiritually shallow, often to gain stature.

My morning started in my backyard with my mother, who has always been far more talented and motivated in terms of gardening. She did a little bit of my weeding— I believe that’s part of her “love language” to help me with my household chores.

After she left, I finished hanging the sheets on the clothesline and did some more weeding.

In those moments, I spent a lot of time reflecting. And I thought about the relationships I have been strengthening lately and the virtual pilgrimage via the El Camino that I have joined with friends on Facebook.

And I thought about how you have to have a strong sense of purpose and determination to take a pilgrimage — I know often religious commitment sparks such a journey but it often intersects with a need for healing, either spiritual or physical.

And the sense of facing challenge and achieving a difficult goal is part of the sense of success.

Then my neighbor (Sobaka’s Mom) said she was going for a walk at one of my favorite parks. I asked if she wanted company and she said sure. That she didn’t really want to go alone.

Of course, before I could go, I had to set Nala up with her puzzle of the day— Video of Today’s puzzle

We walked 5 miles. We talked about a little bit of everything. She’s a strong and plucky woman, and I enjoy her company.

A Place to Ponder

For Fausta

Right now, I am in a mindset of hope and facing “a clean slate.” I am part of a Facebook group doing a virtual El Camino pilgrimage this summer and I find the timing of life to be at my speed right now.

My friend Fausta, also on the pilgrimage, posted about having a place to ponder. As a life coach, she’s name her business “Fausta’s Place to Ponder.” She encouraged all of us to think about and share our individual places.

Here is her original post: Fausta’s Place to Ponder

I immediately wanted to join the discussion but I needed to reflect upon my “place.”

I realized that I have several.

My morning spot is my enclosed sun porch.

I love to gaze at the roses and use them to center myself and focus my thoughts. Two months ago the entire bush was covered with massive blooms, which of course, faded. So I trimmed them. And now I see these long, hearty stalks (an amazing amount of new growth) about you bless us with new flowers.

Life is much the same— we bloom, we sometimes get chopped, but we come back.

But I also like to ponder in my bedroom with my birds, often in the evening after a long day.

But I also love to ponder on road trips, solitary drives. These are the times when I often face my own versions of hard truth and decide on life change.

The next Sea Hale snack

I do so love Grocery Outlet and Sea Hale snacks.

I used to think the $2.99 bags of the larger Sea Hale snacks was a fantastic deal. I believe it’s the Tango Mango I love…

But now…

Grocery Outlet had the individual bags on sale for 69 cents so the teenager and I are slowly sampling all the flavors.

Past reviews:

Sea Hale Macaroon

Sea Hale Maple Pecans

Today we tried

As the teenager says, they are amazing and the best nuts ever. They are sweet enough to be yum and not so sweet that they are gross.

I really enjoyed them and Nala wanted all the macadamia nuts.

Mama cat, part 2

Whelp, the joke was on us.

Our sweet Mama cat was a neutered male.

What seemed like an awkward baby belly was primordial pouch.

I tried Facebook again to find his owners, but at 5 pm he will be headed to the cat sanctuary.

But that cat looked like Mama.

Explains why it acted differently toward us than in our past experiences.

And the cat was sent off in our biggest cat carrier so now we don’t have enough for all our pets should we have to transport everyone.

So Mama did not get surgery today.

Mama Cat, part 1

Last July, this small grey and white cat appeared in my neighbor’s yard. She was so small we thought she might be a kitten.

We tried to catch her— to no avail.

She disappeared as quickly as she came. A few mouth’s later she returned to my neighbor’s house.

But disappeared again.

Two months later, three solid grey tiny kittens appeared on her doorstep. It took about six weeks, but we trapped them.

The first was Mistofelees, now nicknamed Misty, the runt of the litter who always stayed behind when Mama and the others went out hunting.

They all lived under my neighbor’s porch.

We started feeding them, and got a trap as the December nights got colder and wetter.

Misty was terrified and for two weeks lived on our enclosed, heated sun porch.

Eventually, my daughter won his trust and he moved to her bedroom.

The second we nicknamed Smoky. Another neighbor found a home for it.

Fog was last at the end of January— he was so damn smart. We reunited him with his brother in the teen’s room and the two immediately snuggled up together.

I couldn’t bear to separate them.

Fog would not let anyone handle him, but after a while he started appreciating sitting next to a human on the couch or a good chin scratch.

Mama’s boys yesterday

Last weekend, I noticed Mama at the neighbor’s house again and she looked heavy.

I warned my neighbor.

On Tuesday, Mama walked up to the teenager and let us bring her home. She appears to be very pregnant. Someone in the next block has been feeding her.

I made a post on our neighborhood Facebook page but no one claimed her.

“Mama”

We bathed her, combed her, cleaned her ears and gave her expensive flea medicine.

Someone on Facebook recommended someone who has a cat rescue and can get her spayed.

We contacted that person and they can get her spayed today. We asked if we could foster her until the kittens are born as the organization finds them all good homes.

We were told yes.

A few hours later, we received a text that one of their regular foster family’s may take her.

This made us sad.

I feel like Mama wanted to have her kittens with us, because she has seen us raise her other kittens.

But I don’t have the money to get her spayed and her health assessed. Today is my last day of work and I already have too many cats.

So a new life awaits Mama.

Casual Update

There’s so much good activity in my life right now — I’ve been too busy to catch everyone up.

  • My last day at work is tomorrow and my colleague, Mr. Accordion, is coming over tonight.
  • I have been working hard publicizing Aspire to Autonomy’s upcoming events, and they have given me the title of Communications Director. I am working with a fantastic intern on public relations and I think, I hope, she is having fun.
  • Gayle, the teenager and I, went for a nice walk in Easton Cemetery last night. Every time I go up there I find more cool things!
  • Gayle, the teenager and I went to Porter’s Pub last night after the walk and they let me eat all the “stinky cheese.” Gayle bought me a very delicious salted caramel chocolate porter from Saucony Creek. To celebrate new beginnings!
  • I cashed in my free medium 2-topping pizza from Dominos.
  • I’ve been making Nala puzzles every morning to try and keep her busy.
  • We found someone that can get Mama cat spayed for free. (Did I mention we were out on a walk and our kittens’ mama came to us and we brought her home. She’s pregnant. Again.) We thought the organization would let us foster her and her kittens until they found homes… but now we’re being told they might keep her. So we are a tad sad.
  • And for multiple days in a row I have made 10,000 or more steps a day!

Treats discovered at The Grocery Outlet

Last week the Grocery Outlet had the single serve packages of Sea Hale nut blends on sale for 69 cents.

I bought some of every flavor.

I love these snacks. This was the first time I tried the berry macaroon— very berry and very full of large pieces of coconut.

But I also love candy. And Haribo candies are some of my absolute favorite.

So these were 50 cents.

The fruity flavors is far superior than other gummy candies. They taste like a burst of sunshine.

And the shapes are very fun.

Somber thoughts on disability and reliability

So I had a somber thought this morning about disability…

How does disability color our view of the world, security and life?

Over the weekend, my daughter and I went to visit my dad, while my neighbor shopped at my step-mom’s store (The Flag Store, Rt 209, Sciota). My daughter and Dad were spying on me from the security camera.

“You know, Mom,” the teenager said, “Your CP is a lot more noticeable on video. Because when you look at you when you are with you, it’s just that you walk a little funky. But looking from the camera it’s obvious that bodies shouldn’t do that.”

My initial thought was relief because I thought everyone saw me as I appear on video.

It’s the whole reason I refused to allow anyone to video my wedding.

And smart phones weren’t a thing back then.

So today— while pondering recent stresses in my life— I had a sober thought.

Does disability teach you to rely on others and therefore make it easier to ask for help?

That’s how I see my friend, Nan. She’s been blind since birth. She never had children. She’s outlived her whole family. Yet, she has this amazing network of friends who are also helpers. And we all love her sense of humor, her adventurous spirit and of course her practical approach to everything.

But for me, disability has intensified my insecurities to the point where I think no one, and nothing, is reliable. I know there are a lot of other factors that contribute to that in my mind, but I wonder if my disability “tightens the screws.”

Because I can’t even rely on my body.

Will it be an easy walking day? Will I trip and fall? Will my S1 joint protest? Will aches and pains plague me? (Or will my allergies make me nuts as if I don’t have enough health issues?)

Just a somber thought.