Friday, May 20, 2016

Water... With a Little Something Extra

I've been pushing myself to drink more water.  I've come up with a few things to help me stay on track.



The best thing is getting back on track with infused waters.  To make an infused water, you simply add one or more ingredients to the water and let it sit for a couple of hours.  Two or three ingredients are really all you need to make something fabulous.  The one above is cucumber mint.  I made that yesterday.




Today, I made strawberry-basil water in the pitcher and lemon-ginger in the mason jar.  The strawberry turned the water pink after a little while.  It was so pretty!

All of these were fabulous and so much more interesting that plain water.  The flavor is very subtle, so if you try it, don't expect it to taste like a juice.  Want to know more?  THIS SITE has good information on infused water as well as lots of recipes.

There's another slightly goofy thing I'm doing to encourage myself to drink more water.   I'm using a pill case to keep track of how many glasses I've finished each day. Each time I finish a glass, I close one of the pill holders.  I fill my glass to hold approximately 12 ounces, so when I close all the pill holders, I have had 84 ounces. I've added a couple of vitamins to my routine, so I put those in the holders as well. I know this is a little silly, but I've been doing this for a little over a week and I'm drinking more water than ever.  It's a very satisfying feeling to close all 7 of those holders!




Sunday, May 8, 2016

Are you OK?

Yesterday, was Rudy's 1 year gone  "angelversary" (as Sharon C. puts it).  I decided spend the day on my own, incommunicado.   If I had talked to a bunch of people, they all would have done the, "Are you OK?" thing (because that's what we ALL do, right?). When I answer that question a number of times, after a bit, I'm not OK because each time I answer, I think about my situation too much.

To answer the question, I am both OK and NOT OK. I'm sad and missing Rudy like crazy EVERY SINGLE DAY, but dealing with it very well and spending time with friends and focusing on the good things in my life.  It is what it is.  * Rudy's gone. I'm still here.  We are not supposed to waste our lives, so I will figure out how to make the best of it.  

I worked outside most of the day. It was truly the best way to handle the day.  I dug up and moved an overgrown border of monkey grass. (NO MORE MONKEY GRASS BED BORDERS NEAR THE HOUSE!) I had to work on it in sessions.  Whew!  It's much easier to dig and separate if the ground is damp.  The ground was a bit dry, so I watered it well and waited.  I had to repeat the watering a number of times in order to get all of those stubborn clumps out of the ground.

In between sessions of monkey grass digging, I mowed a bit of grass.  After finishing a couple of sections, I parked the mower in front of the house to run in and get my good earphones.  When I came back out, it wouldn't crank.  It just makes a sad clicking noise.  The battery.  Shoot.  

What to do?  I was determined to deal with it on my own.  The mower doesn't need to stay in front of the steps.  It was too heavy to push myself.  I could move it a few inches at best.  Think.  What would Rudy do?  He'd pull it with the tractor, but the tractor is gone.  I didn't want to use the truck.  I wondered if the John Deere mower would pull it.  The Skag mower is heavier than the John Deere, but it was worth a try.  I found Rudy's heavy duty chain and connected the two mowers.  It was slow going and a strain on my sweet John Deere, but I finally got it moved to a section of driveway where it could be worked on easily.  



Unfortunately, the move left some tracks in the yard.  They aren't as bad as they look.  Mostly, it's a trail of broken grass and the next time I mow, it shouldn't be too noticeable.  



I still have lots of yard work to do around the house - especially trimming bushes.  Some of the bushes will have to wait.  I discovered a nesting mama bird in one of them!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Actually, Rudy is not completely gone.  I feel certain he's still hanging around because of all the crazy signs I keep getting that are often too spot on to be coincidental.  I still talk to him and I can practically hear what he'd have to say about most everything.  

Saturday, May 7, 2016

One Year Without Rudy - Happy Memories Are Best

Rudy died one year ago - May 7th at 9:15 am.  I have tried to write this post over and over.  I write, delete, and repeat the next day.  Nothing I write seems good enough.  The 11 month post was hard.  I thought maybe if I worked on the one year post over the course of the month, it wouldn't be so bad.  It didn't help.  It's difficult because I keep thinking of this time last year and it was all pretty horrible.

I'm taking the pressure off myself and won't post a tribute to Rudy.  Instead, I will write about two miscellaneous things on my mind - one serious and one funny.

The serious point I want to make is for anyone who is grieving or anyone with sad memories.  The thing that has served me best (kept me from losing my mind) this whole year has been to push away bad memories.  I recently learned the newest grief research backs me on this.




My favorite widow book so far, Saturday Night Widows,  explained that grief is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It used to be that trauma victims were encouraged to talk about the events that had triggered their condition, to get it out of their systems." Recent studies have shown "talking about trauma, or even thinking about it too much, can reinforce disturbing memories."  

From the start, I didn't want to dwell on the awful things Rudy had to go through or how awful that made me feel or how wrong life is without Rudy.  Remembering horrific times is nothing but self-torture.  I wanted to focus on the good times.  The good memories are the ones I need to reinforce!  Maybe that's one of the reasons these "anniversary posts" are so hard.  They are reminders of bad times.

Stopping the negative thoughts that pop into my head is not easy.  Bad experiences have a way of searing into your brain, don't they?  During the last 6-1/2 months of Rudy's life, he suffered one awful thing after another.  As soon as I realize I'm thinking about those bad times, I remind myself those memories are not helpful and Rudy would not want them to define his life.  I make myself picture Rudy looking happy.  Rudy would want to be remembered for the happy times!!!












Now for the funny part...  John Prine was one of Rudy's favorite musicians.  On more than one occasion (long before Rudy got sick), he told me and his sister, Nancy, he'd like John Prine's song, Please Don't Bury Me,  played at his funeral.   We'd all laugh as we imagined what the reaction would be.   When it came time to choose the music for Rudy's "Celebration of Life Party", Nancy thought we should honor Rudy's request and play this song.  His sister, Linda, was not in favor, to say the least.  If I had thought for a minute that Rudy had been serious, I would have insisted on it being played, but I knew he had been joking.  Also, he had said on a number of occasions, the most important thing at a funeral was to do whatever might comfort those who were grieving.  Playing this song would not have comforted Linda and might have shocked a few others as well!  We found other songs to play that ended up being perfect.  I think this one year anniversary might be a good time to present the crazy John Prine song.  It's a bit irreverent and perfectly captures Rudy's warped sense of humor.  He'd like nothing better than to be remembered with a smile!  But darn it, I'm crying as I write that.  I sure do miss him and his sense of fun.   I can't imagine ever again having as much fun as I did with him.




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cut the Cable - Part 2

I cut the cable today! I loaded the cable box and all the cords in my basket and turned it all in. Oddly, they didn't even try to talk me out of it or ask why. The only cable TV I've watched in months was the last season of Downton Abbey. Netflix and Amazon seem to be all I need these days. More than I need, actually. I watch what I want, when I want, with no commercials. No scrolling through an endless TV Guide and still finding nothing worth watching. I've particularly liked NOT watching the news or keeping up with politics this year. I originally intended to avoid news for a year, but I think I'll hold off even longer.



I have actually been thinking of doing this for some time.  At one time, we had 3 cable boxes for TVs around the house. I had already turned in two ages ago, but held off turning in the last one till I was truly sure.

Last spring I looked up all sorts of information about cutting cable. I wrote about my findings here - Cut the Cable Part 1. By the way, I have a Roku 3 and just love it. If you have a smart TV, you won't need that at all. I don't have a TV antenna and probably won't get one.

This is one more step in simplifying my life. It feels good.

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