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Giving thanks - …

“The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.” Job 1:21 NLT

So you may recall my excitement about purchasing a new refrigerator for the kitchen, moving the one from the kitchen to the garage, and getting rid of the two dinosaurs that were energy vampires. It was a wonderful arrangement - the new fridge in the kitchen and a cleaner, roomier, better organized fridge in the garage… and then it died. Am I giving thanks that it died? Oh, you know better than that. I’m giving thanks that the Lord saw fit to make sure we had a new fridge before the old one died. None of them were garage ready, so when winter weather arrived and the temperatures dove into the single digits, the freezers stopped working altogether. It comes as no surprise really. Just kinda bums me out to think about living without the second fridge and what that means for the frequency of shopping.

Outside my window - The sun is shining and it’s supposed to be in the 50s for a good part of the day. And then the rain, the sleet, the snow. Lots and lots of snow.

Edit* It’s now several days after I began this post and the sun may be shining somewhere, it’s tucked away behind the snow that is now falling. First rain, then freezing rain, and now snow. :-) But it is quite lovely I have to admit. Putting the tree on the deck was such a great idea!! Now I plan to get a BIG tree next Christmas - one just for the deck and the birds.

The good news is the bird feed worked! It drew in all the birds and it makes us all a little happier to watch them flit around filling their bellies. Yesterday we even saw a Red Headed Woodpecker. We’ve had woodpeckers but never the bright red-headed beauty that we had yesterday. I’m willing to brave the nasty weather to make sure there is seed out there for them, come what may.

Clothing myself in - I have the closet and dresser drawer purging project on the radar and on a project list, but it’s not done yet. I have managed to keep up with laundry although it rarely finds its way to the proper place in our rooms. Clean, folded, ready to wear is better than Mount Washmore, right? For now, it’s comfy sweatpants and a favorite long sleeve maroon t-shirt. The hair is getting long and needs a trim, but I think I like the length.

Edit* with the weather coming in, we knew we’d be “stuck” at home. So I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to work on one or some of those projects. But you know what happened instead? I played. I did some cutting, some sewing, and listening to the book on Audible. You know what else? I’m planning to do more of that today. :-)

On the homefront - Burnout. I realized this past week that the issue I’ve been struggling with most is burnout. I am usually able to push through difficult periods and regain some sense of normalcy, but between Covid, never being alone in my house because of current circumstances - husband working from home, daughter taking online college classes, being full time caregiver to my mom who has been dealing with significant recent health issues, so many changes and so many loved ones hurting for various reasons that I just hit a wall. And the wall won’t budge. I have lost interest in things that were once top priorities to me and would rather stay tucked away at home than go out and enjoy things I once did. I’m more tired than ever and sleeping in rather than taking advantage of the early mornings to spend quiet time alone. I hadn’t walked the trail for months prior to yesterday when I decided it was time to resume the one thing I know is the best medicine for me. And we stopped attending church again with the resurgence of a new strain of Covid that’s even more contagious. It didn’t matter, we all still got it. John and I have determined that, God willing, this Sunday we will return to in-person worship with our church family. And we’ll return at an earlier time that will suit us both better for what we want our Sundays to look like.

Once I named the thing, it was much easier to understand how I need to approach recovery. If I don’t manage it now, I run the risk of spiraling into full blown depression and that’s good for exactly no one.

Since overwhelm has been a real thing stopping me from managing my time and energy well, I decided to simplify a little and wrote a few projects on index cards. One project per card. When I find I have a little time and energy to work, I can pull one of the cards and, hopefully, not have to think or over-analyze anything. Just put one foot in front of the other, doing the next right thing. That has been my motto for a long time and I think I just lost sight of what that meant when the world turned upside down.

It was helpful to me to read this article.

Edit* I have definitely turned a corner. I’m feeling some relief from the burnout. I mentally surrendered some personal expectations and allowed myself to rest. I also cleaned off the kitchen counters a bit, and that felt like a big accomplishment LOL.

On the menu - John, Rachel and I have decided to tackle the freezer overstock. We’ll be trying to save money to put toward a mortgage payoff and not waste what we already have on hand. So the menu is awaiting my attention and it will focus on using up what I inventoried a couple weeks ago. Wish me luck. :-)

A new recipe - Not new really, but I had a whole frozen chicken and I decided to use a small cooking bag (we only use these for turkey usually) and roast it rather than rotisserie. I also dried some bread to make dressing (Stove Top tends to be too salty for me, which is saying a lot). At the last minute I decided to add some cream of mushroom soup before baking it and what-the-heck?! I’ll be making that again.

I managed to remember to snag a quick photo of this delicious chicken noodle soup made with the leftover roasted chicken and homemade noodles - my mom's noodle recipe.

Writing - Just these words (and now these too LOL) I think I am finally letting my membership in Hope Writers go. It's a fantastic group but at this stage of my life it's really of no benefit to me.

Reading - My daughter convinced me to start using my Audible account to listen since I rarely have time to hold a real book and read. But there is plenty of time when I’m cutting fabric or working on something in the basement where I can listen. We started with Midnight at Blackbird Cafe. I like it already and I’m only a couple chapters in. I raised a smart kid, don’t you agree?

Edit* I’m loving this SO MUCH!!! I listened while I worked yesterday and I’m on chapter 13. Hooked, just consider me hooked.

Watching - Vampire Diaries seems to go on for an eternity. I almost decided to take a break from it but my girls convinced me that it’s just now starting to get good. Okay, I’ll press on and see what happens. I must confess, we did like The Originals and they play a big part of this series. Of course, The Originals is a spin-off of Vampire Diaries so that only makes sense. And if you didn’t read my previous post when I admitted to watching this teeny-bopper series, I said no judging. LOL

Edit* The episode last night was the introduction to the storyline that begins the spin off The Originals. Rachel insisted that the series doesn’t get really good until season 5… I might agree.

Listening - Above mentioned book on Audible. Podcasts have taken a backseat for a minute. What weird thing is going on with Brene Brown? You just start feeling like you can trust someone despite your differences, they go and do something that makes you question all that.

Edit* She has “updated” her feed to say that she paused her podcast to evaluate the situation. I don’t know that I’ll ever really see her in the same light again. I don’t even know who this guy is that caused all the commotion. It doesn’t really matter to me who he is or what he says. The thing that matters to me is that somehow I feel like that pause and even the potential to cease using the platform tells me and others that we aren’t able to decide for ourselves what is right. That somehow we are not intelligent enough or compassionate enough to recognize garbage when we see it or hear it and respond accordingly. Most people don’t like being told what to think or how to feel. In program, I learned that I needed to speak the truth with grace and how someone else responded to it was on them. It wasn’t up to me to present them a version of the truth or even to keep the truth from them. I had to trust that they could handle whatever it was and if they didn’t, it wasn’t on me. I called it candy coating. It’s really a form of censorship.

Making - Aprons, table runners, curtains, cushion covers, and quilts - Oh my! :-)

The week ahead - Your guess is as good as mine.

A new thing - I might be ready to learn how to use the long arm quilting machine…

Something to remember - The way a simple thing like inviting birds to the backyard brings me such pleasure. Sitting quietly at the table watching them while I enjoy my first cup of morning coffee is a gift.

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