Day 115-Ready For Feast and Family

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all are busy in the kitchen getting ready for your own feast- I will live vicariously through you this time! Actually, we  still have our oven and microwave, Dave will be warming the ham we bought for the dinner, here in a little while.

What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions and memories?

Photo credit: Getty images Old pride pic from the 60's
Photo credit: Getty images
Old parade pic from the 60’s

I remember as a child being exited to get up and watch the parades. Before they got so commercial and everything has to be about a sponsor, they were actually pretty neat. When we were kids, the joy was in all the brightly colored floats, the super talented marching bands and the cartoon character balloons, featuring our favorites like Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse.

The new Humpty Dumpty balloon, followed by a redesigned Olive Oyl holding Swee' Pea, floats down Broadway in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1986.  (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
The new Humpty Dumpty balloon, followed by a redesigned Olive Oyl holding Swee’ Pea, floats down Broadway in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1986. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Woody Woodpecker makes his way down Broadway in the 64th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 23, 1989.  (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Woody Woodpecker makes his way down Broadway in the 64th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 23, 1989. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

Another memory is playing football in the backyard, once we let our dinner settle a bit, although, I only remember doing that a couple of times.

My best memories of all though are from the years we traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, where all my aunts, uncles and cousins lived, to visit my grandparents. They lived smack dab in the middle of a pecan orchard. Grandmother had us kids busy ourselves, picking buckets of pecans, and of course we were happy to, knowing we would earn a dime a bucket and then feast on the pecan pie she eventually made from them. I loved playing with all of my cousins, getting into mischief and hearing all the latest gossip. (this was usually later, after the feast was over) It’s so sad that the older I get, the harder it is to recover my memories, I wish I could be with my cousins today so they can help me out!

Thanks to the magic of Facebook, we at least try to stay in touch with each other. In fact, some of us spoke last night after my cousin Rosa prompted us to remember or state our favorite Thanksgiving memory.

I miss those trips and all the family we lost. Being married and having children, we had to start our own traditions and split time between families. I became known as the dressing maker and we would drop it by my parent’s on the way to David’s Aunt Wanda’s in Wylie, Tx.  One of the best memories I have of those trips is getting iced in one year, and all of us sleeping on the floor in what was then a pretty small house!

I hope you share some of your best memories with me and that you make some new ones, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and I will try to post some pictures from mine later on.

Day114-Can't We Just Be Sad?

My husband and I had a conversation last night about what I wrote for my 100 Naked Words post on Medium yesterday. The post was about whether I was sad or actually had S.A.D.- seasonal affective disorder, and went on to explain what that was.

He said, “Why does everything these days have to come with a label? Can’t we just be sad?” He said the same thing about our son, when he was being diagnosed with ADD- Attention deficit disorder. “He’s just lacking discipline,  being a boy, why do they have to label him?”

Well, he’s right in a way, it seems these days we can’t just be permitted to have feelings or some kind of behavior that people have dealt with for hundreds of years without a doctor wanting to stick a label on us. However, because of school officials, lawyers and other professionals not wanting to DEAL with any of this- we have become a labeled society. How else can we get the medicine we need to cure such ailments? What about the legal ramifications?

In my son’s case, the teachers at school didn’t have the time, patience or resources to deal with him, I’ll admit he was a handful. Never sat still, wanted to talk to his neighbor constantly, did not respect authority, etc.  They had too many kids to a class, had to follow a certain curriculum and did not have the patience teachers did in the past or permission to discipline them. ( even though we gave them permission) So…he got tested. They insisted. That way, he could get the proper treatment, medication and attention he needed-right?

No. Not really. He fell through the cracks. It’s a long story and what happened was we followed the rules. Initially, we fought against the idea. My husband did not want him tested or medicated. I insisted, thinking they were right and maybe the medication would fix him. He got tested, labeled, medicated and still fought the system tooth and nail. My husband knew every official at the school, he had to go down there so often. Truth is, if we and the school had been more patient, had taken the time to properly deal with him; i.e. give him the attention he needed, maybe none of what happened to him would have, we will never know. As it is, he rebelled against taking the medicine, self medicates with pot and alcohol, does not know how to deal with life like other people, struggles to maintain relationships or keep a job, but manages to get through life with his personality and street smarts. He is so likable, he has friends everywhere that take care of him. We and they, enable him because we don’t want to hurt his feelings, we feel like it isn’t his fault, life dealt him a shitty hand, whatever.

As far as me and this label S.A.D., I feel like maybe it’s a little of the same thing. Yes, I feel depressed at this time of year, I miss my mom, and other family members we’ve lost. That is regular sadness. S.A.D. has to do with feeling a certain way during a particular season, namely, winter.  There are so many ways to cope with this other than medication. Is it hard, yes, but you have to try. Otherwise, we become a nation of doped up individuals who don’t have the tools to deal with what life throws at you. I have been on medication for depression in the past. I didn’t like it, and took the steps needed to get off of it. It had nothing to do with S.A.D. and I have never been actually diagnosed with it.

WebMD defines it as a disorder that may be related to hormonal changes deep in the brain that trigger attitude-related changes at certain times of the year. Duh, I hate cold, therefore, I have a crappy attitude about it because I know it’s coming and I hate it.

It also says the chemical reason for the moodiness and depression may be caused by the fact that less sunlight causes our brains to produce less serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood. This can lead to depression and weight gain. The solution for that is to exercise willpower and put the pie down, not take a pill. Get outside a few minutes a day, even when it’s cloudy. Not necessarily pop another pill, shot or spray. We have become lazy as a nation. We want the quick fix, the easy way out. I’m guilty and so are many other people I know.

Can’t we just deal with our sadness and the root causes of it some other way? Why do we feel guilty because we feel sad? It’s a natural, normal emotion. Cry, get it out, talk about it, whatever you need to do-play some feel good music. Dance! Get with some friends and go window shopping, or to the park for some fresh air. Take a walk and clear your mind.  Let’s try to get past the notion that we have to label every little thing.

There are so many folks who have diseases, conditions and terrible illnesses that really need medication. We better start trying to deal with life in some other organic way because, let’s face it folks, the healthcare system is broken. We need to get back to nature and the things God gave us to live a normal life on this planet. Real food, not processed. Essential oils like frankincense, bergamot and lemongrass-pick you up, soothe your soul and create feelings of well being. They have been used for centuries, even before Jesus was born! The wise men brought them to Jesus!

There is also great power in prayer. Let’s pray that we can overcome the need to label and medicate ourselves and use the tools we have in our arsenals to deal with the everyday issues and problems we face. I’m not saying there aren’t conditions that really need medication. I still take plenty of it.  If I could, I would get off of all of it, and some day, maybe I will be able to. But I did get off the antidepressants. By myself. My doctor said I was doing it right and good job for weaning myself off slowly and using my essential oils the right way. Maybe, in time, my health will improve to the point that I can do without a few more of the ones I take on a daily basis.

Ok, my rant is over, however, I do hope you see my point and try to take my advice.

I hope everyone has a good time tomorrow, being with the family you love and seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while. Eat some good food and share some funny stories. Get out in the yard and toss a ball. Whatever makes you feel good and gets you through the day. Because being with family and making new memories is what it’s all about. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Day 114-Thoughts on Community-NaNoWriMo update

Oxford dictionaries define community as:

  1. A group of people living in the same place or having  a particular characteristic in common (Haltom City’s Vietnamese Community) for example

  2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. (The sense of community that organized religion can provide)

The first definition I relate to say, living in a trailer or rv park. It’s a small community, where all the folks there share a common thing-they live in a trailer or recreational vehicle; i.e.; they can all relate to something. They share a common living space and can congregate, talk about it, share experiences and ideas, help each other out.

The second definition I relate to the blogging world. It is the sense of community with these folks where one can share feelings, help provide a service, commiserate with each other, that makes writers want to stay. We fellowship with each other much like people in church do. Sans the covered dishes and physical hand holding, we still feel a sense of caring from the others in the group. It’s a community I’m proud to be a part of and hope to belong to for a very long time. I enjoy having all of you to talk to and welcome the feedback you provide. Some people provide a service with their blogs, others treat them like a journal and still others provide a friendly space for people to share their experiences, feelings and advice. I’m not sure how my blog helps all of you, I just hope it does in some small way.

I bring all this up because this week is all about family, another community of sorts, where we all gather to eat and give thanks for the blessings we have been bestowed. It’s a time for sharing and caring, a precursor to the magical giving spirit of Christmas. A time for showing our love and appreciation to each other by the cooking and eating of food, a re-creation, if you will, of the first meal in America put on by the Pilgrims.

We used to travel to Mississippi at this time of year for a family reunion and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. I miss those days and the fuzzy feeling I got from my little community of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. They are distant now, raising their own families, and life is so busy for everyone. It’s sad that all we have is social media to keep us in touch with one another. It seems the only other thing that brings us all together (those who are left) is a death in the family. The last time I saw any of my Miss. family was two years ago or so, when my Mom passed away.  It is sad really, and I’m just as much to blame for not keeping in touch. We traveled there to see my sister in Biloxi, although we didn’t (we ended up visiting my niece) because she (my sister) was in mourning for her “other” mother. Later on, after Mom passed, there was a family reunion on my Dad’s side, and I saw a whole different community of people, some I’d never met before. It felt good and strong, coming together with all these people and we promised to stay in touch. We talk a little more than before-on social media of course, but that’s about all.

So, we gather with those closest to us come Thanksgiving, my dad, brother and two sons that live here in the area, and Dave’s side, Claudette (his mom), his brother and wife, and his sister-in-law and her daughter and hubby.  Our family, our community is shrinking, where one time it seemed it was growing out of hand. Now that some of the other kids are grown and moved away, some of our people are sick and cannot attend, and some have passed on, we truly need to cherish and nurture the ones we are with and cherish the time we all have left together on this earth.

Likewise, we need to nurture our blogging community-share our stories, reach out to each other in times of need, and give out the information that we need to help one another reach success. I hope everyone reading this has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, I hope you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and I hope you are spending quality time with the community you live in.  As for my goals, this month it’s all about the writing because I am woefully short of my promised 50,000 word count. I need to turn and burn today because as of yesterday, my word count was 23,031. Ten more days to the finish line folks- can I make it?  We will just have to see. I have a few assignments that, if I really put my nose to the grindstone, might get me passed the halfway mark. Wish me luck, stay warm and dry, and happy food prep to everyone! We may pop a ham in the oven while we still have one, that will be our contribution along with the afore mentioned relish tray supplies. Whatever else gets accomplished may just have to do some in someone else’s kitchen- seeing as we don’t really have one right now. 😉

What are your thoughts on community?  Where are you in your goals?  Sharing is caring- put your comments in the box and let me hear it people! I’ll be waiting on the patio! 🙂

Walking the Dogs

Whiskey & Brandy on our evening walk
Whiskey & Brandy on our evening walk

I left the house earlier this evening with my trusty, and eager…shorkies, anxious to explore the neighborhood.

While we trotted around the neighborhood and back down the hike and bike trail, Brandy pulling me along like there was a fire somewhere, I reflected on the earlier conversation I had with my son, Josh-the lovely Rayven’s daddy. Seems they are temporarily homeless at the moment, although his girlfriend’s mom has kindly stepped in to let them stay for awhile. How long, I’m not sure, hopefully long enough for him to secure a new job, because he definitely needs that to be able to someday get their own place.

Please say a prayer that he gets the job he’s going for, it isn’t ideal, but it’s a job, a place to start from and he’s at his ropes end right now. Roaming from friend to family member is no way for a new family to live either. I’m confident that God will lead him where he needs to go, and speaking of Him, I guess He decided now was not the time for me to be traipsing off to Ohio (how I longed to sing that song) to see my new granddaughter.

Things have a way of working themselves out, even if it’s  not the outcome you might have hoped for. So, I will say this mantra and repeat it; I will go on with the usual Thanksgiving plan, and I will love it. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, they just unintentially get under my skin sometimes, just like everyone’s family, I’m sure.  I get on my inlaw’s nerves sometimes too. Paleo living clashes with old traditions so….anyway.

I’ve submitted a new pic of my loves for you to enjoy (some of you, a second viewing) and for me to keep pining for, if only a little while longer.

Josh and Rayven
Josh and Rayven

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and please, love the ones your with, they’re all you’ve got! ❤️

Day 113-Thoughts on Thanksgiving

We can talk about anything here, right folks? That’s the premise of this blog after all.

I have to confess, I’m in a dangerous place in my mind right now… A thought has grown and now I cannot drown the sound of it out of my crazy head. I’ve been awake since four this morning, and the realization came to me, why I was feeling so sad and confused yesterday.

I’m missing the family we have lost, and while that is true, I’ve also determined that I’m longing to meet someone new. I shouldn’t have these thoughts, I know. But I’m not needed, I want to go. My mind is full of poetry, I’ve penned some somewhere else.  I wrote it down, the feelings that I’m fighting with right now. Should I stay or could I go, it’s but a fantasy, I know.

I would miss the chance to dine with the family that is here. But could they blame me for wanting to go and visit my son and his new baby? Just the idea is driving me crazy.

source
source

I cannot stop these thoughts unbidden

tumbling round my brain, although I try to push them out,

they struggle to remain. A car, a bus,

I could just hop aboard a moving train

But no, thats silly, I can’t go

my place is here with you, I know

Still, maybe you could go with me

Lets take off down the road, you’ll see

It’s easy, if we just let go

Just buy the ham and drop it off

Say “catch you later” then take off

Aww, we can’t do it, we should stay

We could visit some other day.