Friday, March 28, 2014

The Phoenix Attempts a Comeback

Actually, I don't consider myself to be like the proverbial "phoenix" -rising from the ashes of my blog that I have pretty much ignored for almost two months now. Let's face it, I'm nowhere near to being of that caliber. But, it's true that I have been extremely lax with my blog.

And for why? Well, I didn't really feel I had time to post anything mainly because my brain was very occupied doing a whole lot of thinking. Not working, mind you - just thinking. Was I busy? Well, sort of. There were several things ongoing in my life that pushed a lot of things aside for quite some time. But the main issue for me then was I just didn't feel up to writing. January and February were both difficult months here.

Not just with the weather but with just about everything, or so it seemed. We lost two very good people who were members of our church during that time. One was a lady who had surgery one week, I believe she had received a pacemaker if I remember correctly. Some of the women in our group had visited her after she came home from the hospital and had said she seemed to be doing quite well. Then one day, when I picked up my mail, there was a card in there addressed to me from this lady for me to read at our next group meeting as it was a thank you from the woman for a bouquet of flowers our group had decided to send her. That afternoon I picked up a copy of the daily paper and was totally shocked when I saw a death notice in that paper -the very same day I had received her thank you note! Incredible! What on earth had happened? She had written in the note that she was feeling much better and hoped to be back at our meetings in the very near future. We later found out she apparently had a blood clot that moved suddenly into her lungs and that was it! Small consolation that it was fast and she really didn't know what hit her so I guess it's best to look at things from that angle whenever one can.

 Then, just a couple weeks after that happened, a man from our congregation -a trucker -was working one day and for some reason or other, had pulled over off the highway and got out of his truck. (Initially, many thought he might have been having some type of problem with the truck or the trailer or his load or some such.) But anyway, he was standing behind the tractor -when apparently the brake he had set on the truck failed and the tractor rolled over on him, crushing him between the tractor and the trailer! Needless to say, this was also one big shock to lose him and especially in the terrible way that he died too.

As many of you, my blogger friends, are very well aware the winter weather this year has seemed  at times to be well on its way to being recorded as the never ending winter! It certainly has been a very cold one, that much is for sure! In all my years, (and remember, I'm OLD) I do not recall ever before enduring three weeks at a clip of temperatures all below zero and then, factoring in the wind chill on top of that, frequently it was more like 25 to 35 below zero here. Not that this area of the country doesn't get really cold temps and also, some extremely low wind chill temps too at times, but for three weeks solid? Not ever that I can recall has it lasted that long before!

 The snow though, I must confess most of that wasn't really all that terrible to contend with. We didn't have a record-breaking total of snow this season -not compared to some winters when we actually had to endure raging blizzards a few times. One year -I think it was my last year in college which was the winter-spring of 1994, we had snow almost every day or at least every other day, from January 2nd until the end of March and the total accumulation was well over 100 inches. This year, the last report I saw on our total accumulation it was only somewhere between 50 and 60 inches.

Another "nice" thing about all but two of the snowfalls we did have was that the snow was the kind that is light and dry -not the great big wet snowflakes that are really hard work to shovel even a small area of sidewalk out, much less the parking area in the front of my house which is large enough to put 5 full-size vehicles in there! So, the majority of the snow we did get, I was able on all but two occasions to shovel the entire parking area out in a matter of about 45 minutes to an hour at most. And I didn't really have to shovel it either as that type of snow was such that I could start with the shovel at the lip of the road and just push the snow across and over the embankment at the edge of the parking area. But then there were those last 2 snow storms when we got hit with the heavier wet stuff and then, I had to actually shovel the stuff. I confess that those two events didn't exactly make a place on my nice snowfall days, for sure!

 The grandkids were here twice over the past 3 months for a weekend though and that helped to curb some of the cabin fever and crankiness I was experiencing. They came up the first weekend in February to celebrate the great-granddaughter's (Lola) first birthday and then, were able to come and spend a weekend with me about 4 or 5 weeks later in March. It was so nice having those two kids in the house again even though much of their time here was spent (or so it seemed at times) with Maya picking on Kurtis a whole lot. I suppose I can call that as normal sibling rivalry but with her and the attitude she often cops with her little brother, she does frequently take things just a tad too far.

I've done a little reading -not an overly large amount, but at least some books I've had here for way too long, intending to read them but never getting around to doing that, I think I did manage to get at least two of them read. Definitely not setting any records for doing something that generally I enjoy very much.

And the same pretty much applies to my needlecrafts too. I have been working on a table topper that I started about 15 months ago but my embroidering has been pretty much rather haphazard - a little here, a little there. I did do a couple small projects -embroidered an apron for Mandy for her birthday. I thought it was really cute as it involved a picture of a wine bottle and a couple glasses of wine with the wording on it "Conserve Water. Drink wine!" I had also embroidered a set of small towels that I thought when I bought them were intended to be "dish towels" however, upon opening the packet and looking at the fabric, I was very disappointed in the quality of the fabric because it was more like embroidery on pillow case material and not something that would work well then to sop up water off one's dishes, ya know! They too had a "Wine theme" with some wine glasses and the saying of "I cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food." Both the towels and the apron I thought were cute and appropriate gifts for Mandy since she has become quite the lover of wine the past year or so. But, because of the quality of the fabric on the towels, I didn't even give them to her then.

January and February are also notorious to most all Avon Ladies too as being the months out of the year that are really difficult to get people to order products and boy, this year was no exception of that rule! It was really sad and very disappointing then too because I earned virtually nothing during those months as my orders were so sparse and small that they barely covered the costs of shipping, getting new brochures every two weeks and purchasing demo items and samples. I confess I was really upset, very depressed with how things went then. Finally, the first order I submitted in March, my sales did pick up somewhat. Not near enough to satisfy me, but enough that at least I wasn't operating in the red then anyway!

Oh well, you know, you can't have everything all the time and I have to accept that there is always and ebb and flow to how people spend their money and how their prioritize their purchases then too where something like Avon is concerned. I just keep telling myself it will get better -this too shall pass kind of pep talk to myself -and yes, it does help and the orders do fluctuate like that as well.

There are a lot of other things that have changed here too -the step-granddaughter and her baby, Lola, moved out of my house the first of March and are now residing in an apartment about 4 miles from me where they are living with the granddaughter's boyfriend. So I now have the entire house all to myself and I confess on that aspect to beginning to enjoy the solitude more now. At the time when Katie moved in here with me, I was still hurting a lot from missing the two younger grandkids -Maya and Kurtis -so it was nice, much of the time, having the baby here. But now -being just me, the silly dog and goofy cat -I can come and go exactly as I please and when I please too. I don't have to worry about figuring out a meal every day for two adults and a baby now. Sometimes, I kind of miss not cooking myself a full meal but much of the time now, I just fix small items, smallish meals, since Sunday is usually the only day of the week that I might end up cooking a dinner for a couple extra folks -usually my son and his girlfriend.

I'm going to end this three-month semi-detailed report of happenings in my life at this juncture now. The other things that have taken place here are going to take  a lot more use of my pea brain to put them into some kind of sense to be type and read here.

And, I do plan on trying to get back to normal and post with some degree, at least, of regularity again.

And in the mean time, let's all try to get ready to welcome spring! At least, hopefully when it finally does show up, it will be a nice and pleasant time. I noticed the other day that the jonquils and crocus plants as well as the tulips were pushing their little heads out of the ground in my paltry flower bed in front of the house so I'm taking that as a definite sign that spring is well on its way here!