Frazzle Rock

Before I begin the topic of the day, I just wanted to thank you all again for your sweet notes and comments on Memaw’s passing. Your thoughtfulness means so much to me. Thank you.

As the title of this post suggests, I’m feeling a bit (hah!) frazzled these days. In addition to the emotional upheaval of the past few months, I’m caught up in a whole host of activities competing for my time and energy. Individually, none of it is terribly taxing, but taken all together it’s wearing me down. Here’s what’s happening…

Work - For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been leading four training sessions each week. Between getting dressed, commuting to the site of the day, and then leading the training, I’m missing my morning gym time. I think this contributes to that frazzled feeling. I’ve been getting plenty of exercise in other ways, but I like the routine of my strength training. Oh well, the current flurry of assignments is set to wrap up next week, so I’ll get back to the regular stuff soon enough. Meanwhile…

Kitchen Update – I’m pleased to announce that there is NO wallpaper left in my house. Well, there are a few small bits in the kitchen, because the jerks who “updated” the house they inherited apparently thought it was a good idea to apply wallpaper on wet plaster. That stuff’s not going anywhere without a saw or a jackhammer. I finally gave in, slapped on some bonding primer and am hoping for the best. I’ve also skimcoated and patched the walls and applied primer to walls and ceilings.

When I pulled the last of the wallpaper from the laundry room, I found mold under it. Yuck! Apparently this is not uncommon when wallpaper is used in laundry rooms and bathrooms. Online research and a consultation with my favorite Home Depot person (paint department) convinced me to try just cleaning the wall, applying a mold killing agent, and then primering the heck out of it. If the mold shows up again, then I’ll worry about replacing sheet rock.

Oh, since I had the dryer out in the middle of the laundry room floor (and wasn’t that a fun project!), I took the dryer vent apparatus apart and vacuumed it all out. I’d thought I was getting all the lint by cleaning the front trap and the outside vent, but there was quite a bit of lint stuck in the vent hose. If you haven’t cleaned your dryer vent in a while, I highly recommend it. I hadn’t realized how inefficiently my dryer was working until I cleaned it top to bottom.

If I can find The Perfect Shade of Yellow, I’ll paint the laundry room this weekend and get everything muscled back into place.

Memaw’s House – With my mother still recovering from her surgery earlier this year and my sister just plain worn out from taking care of Memaw, I’m in charge of sorting through and organizing Memaw’s things. She had done a pretty big purge when she moved into her in-law apartment, but she still has quite the collection of stuff. There are several thousand (yep, THOUSAND) books, CDs, DVDs, and tapes to go through, as well as a couple dozen boxes of quilt pieces and assorted materials to deal with. For right now, I’m just getting like with like so we can see what we’re dealing with.

Facebook Reselling – Back in the spring I joined a local Facebook resale group. It works a lot like Craigslist, only you can sort of check up on who you’re buying from or selling to. I sold a few things, bought a few things, and generally am at a break-even point. It’s fun, for the most part. Somehow, I volunteered myself to serve as a group admin for an East Memphis group that had about 3,000 members. As of today, we’re over 6,500 members and growing. Yikes! It’s a lot of (uncompensated) work, but it’s also good experience to include on my resume, plus I’m meeting some awesome people.

Other – And then there’s yard work and regular housework and other every day things that need to be done. My to-do list seems to get longer rather than shorter, but I think that’s a perceptual thing based on feeling frazzled.

All of this is to explain what I’ve been up to and why I’m not blogging or reading blogs that much just now. I do appreciate your patience as I get things straightened out, and I’m convinced I will get them straightened out. Mantra of the moment: I lost 100 pounds; I can do this, too! :)

The Last Rose of Summer

Peace rose- yellow rose with red-tipped leaves“The Last Rose of Summer” by Thomas Moore

‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

I’ve known for some time now that this post was coming, but I’d selfishly hoped it would be just a while longer.

My beloved grandmother, Lila Richert Brady, died early Sunday morning at her home with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law at her side. She was 94 years old. Her final weeks were difficult, as her body and mind began to fail her, but she was quiet and comfortable in her last hours.

We’re feeling sad and a little empty, of course, but there’s also peace in knowing that she no longer struggles to breathe…to remember…to live. There’s also joy in knowing that she lives on in each of us. We have many years of happy memories to keep her in our hearts.

Memaw, as my sister and I called her, was a strong and intelligent woman who loved gardening, reading, quilting and cooking. Some of you might remember a few summers ago when, at the age of 90, Memaw grew her very first watermelon.

watermelon and small black dog

Memaw’s First Watermelon, admired by Daisy Dog

She was so proud of her crop and summoned all family members to come see it. Not eat it, mind you, just to see it. She did finally allow it to be sliced, but what stands out in my mind is the unmitigated joy she found simply in raising it. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Memaw did not pass along to me her gardening and quilting skills, but she did pass to me her love of reading and writing. She loved to discuss books! Sadly for me, most of what she read was of the Harlequin or historical romance/family saga genres, but I made it through our discussions. Homemade biscuits helped. :)

We’ll miss her, to be sure, but she is at peace now and does not suffer, and that’s what matters most.

While I’m reporting sad news, I also have to mention and honor Daisy Dog, shown above anticipating her share of melon, had to be put to rest last week. Her health and mobility had declined to the point that the Ugly Decision had to be made. Daisy will also be missed greatly by the family, but again, we know she’s no longer struggling and that helps.

Fortunately, that’s the end of my sad news. Life does go on, but I wanted to take this day’s post to honor one of the strongest women in my life.

Rest in peace, Memaw. We will miss you and love you always.


Alphabet Soup: Give Me a ‘G’

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve played with the alphabet. If I recall correctly, ‘G’ is the next letter up in my series exploring different words and phrases that have helped me lose and maintain my weight.

the letter gI don’t think anyone will be surprised by my first ‘G’ word: gratitude. At some point early in this process, I realized that in the past, I hadn’t been applying my usual ‘gratitude in all things’ philosophy to weight loss. I focused on what I couldn’t eat instead of the abundance of healthy foods to which I had access. I grumbled about having to exercise instead of celebrating the fact that I could exercise. Gratitude thinking changed everything.

Another game changer was shifting the way I thought about goals. As I’ve written before, my goals used to focus on pounds lost. Period. My week was deemed “good” or “bad” depending on the scale results. Switching to action-based goals–results I could control–meant every week was a good week as long as I followed the plan. And I did!

I’m not even going to try to pretend that I embraced those ideas every single minute of every single day. There were–ahem!–moments. At those times, I tried to remember that I was good enough just as I was. Yes, I wanted to continue the healthy trek, but if I never lost another pound or dropped another size, I had value and worth at every size. Don’t I wish I’d realized that much, much earlier in my life?

Let’s see…gratitude…goals…good enough…yep, that about covers the letter ‘G’ for me. What other ‘G’ words should I consider adding?

This letter G is brought to us by Ganesha Balunsat via Flickr.