Alas Poor Coffee

Tragedy and woe struck the house. Wailing and lamenting, not to mention mourning took place.

Sure to those on the outside it might have seemed a bit much, but loss impacts us all differently. Some people are open with their emotions and grief cycle, and others are more stoic.

Beloved asked if he should say a few words as we stared at the horror at our feet. A cup of delicious coffee, properly adjusted to suit my taste, was puddling into the rug as it filled the air with its heavenly perfume.

Okay so perhaps that is a bit much for a cup of coffee, but when you adore and love coffee the way I do, this is a wasted of such potential. Potential to make me content and properly caffeinated for the day.

The dog joined our circle of mourning, he glanced up at beloved and then myself as though trying to figure out what was going on. He assessed things on his doggie level and then decided he needed to do something.

He moved towards the puddle we were attempt to clean up and showed us how it’s done. He started to lick the puddle, just to taste I’m certain. And then to roll in it, because what dog doesn’t want to be perfumed with fine coffee?

Beloved opted to deal with the dog, we needed to get him out of the house before he sprayed the room further with coffee and I cleaned up the puddle.

Alas poor coffee, I barely knew you, barely tasted your robust flavor. Hut you will be with us for a while, as we try to get you completely put of the carpet. Until that time your scent will linger and hover, like e ghost of one who has died with unfinished business.

Monster Types

When I was a child, monsters lived under the bed, partied in the closet and invited the witches in wall to dance on my ceiling.

Of course the minute I called my parents into my room for monster duty everything was calm again. Once the door was closed,the monsters would ooze or creep out of where they had gone to hide and it would all start up again.

But as typically happens,somewhere along the line those monsters melt away, drift off to visit another child and the nights become better. Oh sure I still had worries once the monsters left, but bees were different. These were more sinister.

The dreaded math formulas would haunt me at night, teasing and daring me to sleep a deep sleep. They knew, oh how they knew, that if they just waited, just there at the edge I wouldn’t be able to rest deeply.

As I got older, they brought their friends, chemistry formulas and physics. They wouldn’t come up and scare me, they allowed me to scare myself just thinking about them.

And now, older still I realize none of that stuff is really all that scary. The scary stuff is the stuff of life, and in some cases death. Bills can become huge monsters that seem to eat humans. Ill health casts dreadful spells upon your whole being. Finances, or rather the thoughts of them, ensure you never rest as peacefully as you should.

It is true, most children have vivid imaginations when it comes to monsters. Adults do not need to have vivid imaginations for their monsters because the real world brings them right to our door, sometimes sliding them right into our houses without being asked.

Sure the bill monster looks like a lightweight piece of paper that we can surely rip up and destroy. But some people know that isn’t true, that piece of paper weighs far more than you would ever suspect and ripping it isn’t going to do anything, because it just grows bigger and stronger.

Maybe finances don’t frites you, but I come with a healthy aversion to numbers so they need no special powers of outfits.

Ill health, for me looks like a shape shifting wolf at steals into my life just when I think I have things under control. But it also comes in the disguise of blood tests, frowns on the faces of doctors, needles and so on. Sometimes they appear as altered blood cells, and other times as something I cannot even see, like a ghost in my body.

At least when I was young, those monsters couldn’t hurt me and they could be chased away. The math monsters and their friends? I can handle them I can scare them away with Shakespeare and Twain. There are moments that I yearn for those days again, when things were simpler and the monsters could be tamed.

Does anyone want to trade monsters? 🙂

Disconnecting To Connect

A friend had recently gone on some type of leadership/team bonding session for her work. When she came back we went for coffee and she shared her experience with me.

The group included her boss, some peers and several other high levels of management. The session included a day spent on an obstacle course, another day saw the employees on a ropes course and the final day included an intense round of tug of war.

She said that they were forbidden from taking their laptops, cells phones and tablets. This session was all about them working together, building on team work and human interaction because, according to the experts that is something that is lacking in our modern world.

When I came home, I told Beloved all about my friend’s experience and wondered, aloud how this would help them work as a team. If anything it would take me back to my early years in school, when you had to do things with everyone and play nice. Beloved pointed out that the workplace expects us all to be able to work together, but people don’t normally play nice.

I also wondered how being forced to spend 3 days and nights with coworkers and not have the distractions if the internet or calls home would impact a person. I can’t see myself suddenly enjoying everyone all that much more.

Beloved decided we should give this “diet” a try. He unplugged the televisions, took batteries out if cellphones, removed routers and such and decided we could just enjoy each other without the distractions of every day life. Friends took wagers on how long we would last and who would cave first.

The first few hours we were nice, we talked and just enjoyed each other. The next few hours found us with a puzzle. After that there was of course cooking and then, well long hours stretched ahead. Books were read, more conversations here or there, puzzles completed and finally a comfortable silence settled in. I knew I wouldn’t feel exactly the same way if I was forced into this with coworkers. But I also knew that if I were with coworkers I wouldn’t be in just a house with them. There would be activities to do, but dismal weather had us in the house.

There is something to being disconnected from all the immediate distractions of the world, the television and internet for example. It’s nice to just reconnect to people face to face over conversation without any interruptions. But don’t get me wrong, I like my cellphone and access to the internet.

Of course this doesn’t mean we won’t be disconnecting any more because we have decided we want to disconnect a few times in he year so that we can simply reconnect with each oer.

Cookies of Peace

Ask almost any child or even most adults, and the truth is, sometimes chocolate is the answer. Combine that chocolate with cookies and surely the key to finding world peace and such us within our grasp.

Don’t believe me? Oh ye of little faith, obviously you haven’t started to make chocolate chip cookies any time recently. I, on the other hand, attempted (yes that’s the correct word) to make said chocolate chip cookies recently.

I’ve shared, probably to freely, my experiments in the kitchen, my disasters of grand promotions, but chocolate chips cookies are my thing. Chocolate chip cookies, I can do this, I do this!

So anyway back to the whole making of the chocolate chip cookies, I had combined all my ingredients into the bowl and was getting ready to put that delicious looking dough into cookie sheets when a beloved came home with some friends. All university professors, all distinguished in their fields and all turned into little boys. Yep each one of them after washing their hands sampled the raw dough.

After sampling said dough, they retreated into the yard to have drinks and discuss something from university. I on the other hand finished baking my cookies and then strictly for quality control purposes sampled one while the chocolate was all ooeey gooey and just right.

Cue the grown men who turned back to wee boys to enter the house for, yep you guessed it, cookies and milk, to eat outside.

Heated discussions settled into sowing else and cookies and milk were devoured. And that’s when it occurred to me, the answer to us all getting along comes in chocolate chip cookies and milk and sunshine.

Maybe in the next beauty pageant, one of the contestants will make chocolate chip cookies. She will no doubt win the title and crown and hopefully go on to work on world peace.

As for me, well I think I will go for a walk after all I’ve consumed some of those cookies too!

Seeing The Bewitching Sea-Witch

Apparently, if I were in the Disney version of “The Little Mermaid” I wouldn’t be a mermaid at all. Not even a cute fish friend or a singing crab.

No friends, nothing like that. Instead it appears I would be Ursula, the sea-witch. I know some people would be upset if they were determined to be a sea-witch, but not me.

You see in the movie, she has the tentacles of an octopus, flamboyant makeup and a personality of sorts to match. Plus part of me enjoys the villainous side of this character.

She reminds me of an opera singer who is anything but what we would expect. She is loud, she is flashy and she is a woman who knows what she wants. Further to that, she knows how to get what she wants, at least she will scheme to try to get it.

Ursula doesn’t bother trying to conform to the slender and fashionable way of Ariel. Oh no, not Ursula! Instead she marches, or rather glides, to her own tune. She is confident in her own style and her own fashion.

So you see friends, I’m rather okay with being Ursula the sea-witch!

Escaping Lupus

Beloved carried me outside, set me in a chair before heading back to the house for tea.

A lovely day with the sun out, the birds singing and gently breezes carrying the sweetly perfumed air to me. Home from the hospital, but not really able to take care of myself, Beloved decided I needed fresh air. The dog stayed by me, not even going to Beloved when he came back with our tea.

“Let nature soothe you, allow it to be the balm that helps heal,” he said as he passed me some tea. I knew what he meant, just being out and enjoying the simple things would help to at least heal my wounded spirit.

The thing with serious chronic illnesses is that not only do we have to cope with the physical disabilities it brings, even if those are only temporary, but also the emotional upheaval and turmoil that comes with the flares.

I’m fortunate that to know in don’t have to face lupus alone, not completely. I have friends who support me as best they can, loved ones who take care of me when I stubbornly insist “it’s nothing” and a medical team who goes through the ups and downs of this horrible illness with me.

I try to remember that at times friends and loved ones need a break from lupus, away from my issues. I do not begrudge them this, I just wish I could do the same. Instead I take mental breaks from lupus, I ignore it until I can no more and I always hold days like this one in my memory so when lupus is more active I can take a brief escape into my memories.

What Happens

There is something about a slightly rotund tummy on a small wiggly child that just demands to be tickled. And somehow this is okay, for people to tickle those rotund, sweet little tummies and listen to those cute little giggles and squeals of delight.

Try doing that with an older child and those giggles stop. Of course people will look at you like you are crazy too. And you are lucky if it’s just a look and no further actions is taken.

Try doing the same on an adult, either male or female, and be prepared for a violent response. Be it verbal or physical. Perhaps a trip to jail. Especially if you try this on a stranger!

Tiny little tootsies ask to be kissed. Older kids and adults, well let’s just say stinky feet may be if issue and very few people are open to having their tootsies kissed. Again try this with a stranger at your own risk!

Why are these things okay to do with a small baby and a toddler and then it stops? Do these innocent things suddenly become something else, something evil? Do we change how we view them or do we simply out grow them?

Hospital Stays

Trips to the hospital are never fun. Not just because it’s the hospital, I mean I don’t mind trips that require me staying at a hotel. There are times I don’t mind room service, but a hospital is very different.

Sure they bring you food to your room. They also bring needs, cold hands, sometimes small crowds of students and so on.

Yes the bed is adjustable in the hospital, but I have yet to find a position of said bed that is actually comfortable. Again, since I isn’t mind staying in hotels we can’t argue that I don’t find this bed comfortable silly because it is not my own.

Let’s not discuss their ideas of sleepwear because t reminds me of my attempts of sewing many years ago. And I freely admit I’m not handy at making my own stuff!

I do like the heated socks though, that helps to c,bat some of the chill that is always in the hospital air. I understand they have a reason for this, but that still doesn’t mean I have to like it.

So typically when I have to go into the hospital I have a bag of items I take, just to keep things a little more sane. Books yes, my own lotion and toiletries, yes.

As much as I dislike my stays, I’m always grateful for the people who take care of me, both health wise and otherwise. I’m talking about the people who clean the hospital top to bottom and wash the sheets. The people who make the food; and the people who make sure the heating and plumbing work. And yes of course those doctors and nurses too!

The Bike

“I’ve a present for you,” he bellowed cheerfully from the door. A present! Perhaps a pet hippo or monkey, heaven knows I’ve been asking for these.

He stood in the doorway, a huge smile on his face and with a wave or his arm he “showed” my new present…a bicycle. It was not what I expected. Not in the least.

“Now you can go about without worrying about parking and all,” he beamed at me as he tapped the bike with his hand. He was right if course, getting around his hometown would be so much easier on a bike, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

A professor on a bike? With books? And juggling a purse and where would my morning coffee go? A bike with heels? What was this man thinking?

“You don’t like it,” he asked. He looked a little crestfallen, but not one to give up he rallied quickly with, “but it’s practical and lots of professors have one.”

“I, um, I just, well thank you,” I managed. Back home you just don’t see that many adults riding bikes to work, certainly not professional adults. Oh no, North America is a world of cars and drive-thru coffee places and impossibly small parking stalls for huge vehicles. My American fiends would giggle at the thought of me on a bike. I’d be giggling too if I wasn’t wondering if riding a bike, was well, exactly like riding a bike.

“Are you conjuring up ways to make it fly or something,” he asked. A joke, about my field of study. A joke to hide his unease.

“Not conjure, cast a spell perhaps and turn something or another into gold at the same time. I mean why not? It is lovely of you to have gotten me a bike, I just never gave it much thought.”

I could see it now. He would explain to his family how we have bikes, but I can’t/won’t ride mine because, well it’s just not my thing. Another strike against the strange North American no doubt.

It wasn’t my first, not by far. That had happened when he proposed, and I refused, politely. It isn’t that I didn’t want to spend my life with him, but I didn’t unwed a piece of paper for that. He was puzzled by this, just as his family was confused to learn I had never planned or dreamed of my wedding as a girl. No idea about cakes or flowers. I mean marriage is just a legal state right? Love is what keeps the relationship together, not some piece of paper.

And then there was the time I manage to make him traipse all over the historic sites of his country so I could see the places where the folklore came from.

And then trips into the pubs to learn from the locals. Oh my, the strikes against me, and now the bicycle! It was practical of course, just not ideal for a place that has a lot of rain, when a girl isn’t a fan of getting wet. Unless it’s the confines of a nice hot shower.

Ah but I digress. My mothers didn’t raise me with bad manners, so I went to my bike, hopped on it and started to ride it. Surprisingly riding a bike, is just that,it’s like rising a bike. You have to re-acquaint yourself with balance, but that’s about it.

And yes professors do ride bikes with hooks and a purse, thanks to a thing called a bag. As far as morning coffee goes, haven’t figured that one out yet. Best of all, beloved and I have had fun traveling around the country side on our bikes. There is more freedom in being on the bike, closer to nature than if we were in a car. There is also a sense of a simpler and slower life when we are on our bikes. And I adore the closeness it brings.

Now if only I could make this thing fly!

Today I Realized…

Friends, I have become old. I know, it was a shock to me too, but there you have it. I wasn’t expecting it today, sure one day down the road, but today?

It wasn’t a look in the mirror, it wasn’t even the thought that sensible shoes might be more comfortable and therefore suddenly more appealing. Oh no friends, it wasn’t anything as simple as that.

No, no the old age showed up when the dread words slide across my my tongue and over my lips. Yes THOSE words. “When I was your age…”

The thing is, I meant it when it came out of my mouth. Beloved’s niece was complaining how she has to arrange her schedule around her father’s since he drives her everywhere.

I’ve noticed this with a fair number of younger people, they are used to almost being chauffeured to and fro. When I was the same age as this girl, I took public transportation or walked to where I needed to go. My father didn’t feel a need to offer me rides everywhere, although he would offer rides now and then. I never expected him to offer and I knew well in advance of where I was going how I was going to get the.

Now I know, depending on where you live, things may be spread out and public transportation may not be an option. I also know that the world I grew up in is not exactly the same. There are different fears and worries out there.

I understand all of this and yet those dreaded words were out before I could stop them. Those dreaded words that made me want to look around and see where my mother was because it was something she’d say. So. yes folks, today I got old.