When It’s Coffee On The Table

A hot cup of coffee, nice and strong, waited for me at the kitchen table.  It had been the same way for roughly a week.  Each morning the cup of coffee was waiting for me.  And each morning the coffee grew cold and untouched until I threw it out in the sink.

Numbly I would wash the cup clean, dry it and hang it back where belonged.  At my place the cups I own are stored neatly in a special cabinet, hardly ever used.  I’m more of a mug person to be honest.  Beloved refers to mugs as beakers.  He was the first person I met who actually had those little cup hangers and used them.  To hang cups up.  Everyone else I know just uses the shelves in their cupboards.

The first morning the cup of coffee appeared after the words which could not be unspoken had come into the house, I tried to drink it.  But there was an odd smell to it. Not only has the coffee gone untouched, but food has lost all flavor and interest to me.  I’ve reached the point of eating whatever is at hand only when I absolutely must.  But I’ve gone a week now without coffee.

The house is empty, even when we are all in it because when hearts break sound ceases to fill the void.  Empty spaces seem to grow, and it’s hard to say what does and doesn’t matter.  For some people there is nothing to be done other than go through the motions until a spark kicks things up.  For others it is a case of filling voids with as much as possible in an attempt to ignore the new emptiness.

We’ve come to that odd place where you either push through and make it work, or you go your own way.  Conversations that once felt natural and happened easily for us now seem to have dried up and gone away.  Perhaps if we just talked, but then again perhaps we out-talked it all.  Then again there may be fear about words which could not be unspoken still being in the house.  Fear that more of those words may be spoken never to be unspoken.  So we walk on eggshells, speak carefully and keep space for now.  And the cup of coffee appears like clockwork each morning.  Perhaps a peace-offering of sorts, an olive branch or maybe just thoughtfulness that couldn’t have been present before.

Separate, Together and Apart

He was home.  The loud sound of the knife hitting the cutting board once it cut through whatever he was cutting left no doubt that he was home.  Shortly after that the sound of running water and the smell of onions cooking let me know he was in for at least the amount of time it would take for him to cook, clean, eat and clean up.  Depending on what he was cooking and how he chose to make it would determine the length of time required for him to be in the house.

The dogs hadn’t let me know that he was home, but then they hardly ever bark unless I want them to be quiet!😉  And he hadn’t said a word to me since he came in.  Not that I knew exactly when that was either.  We weren’t speaking to one another.  Who knew packing a suitcase could bring on a whole new Cold War?

So the suitcase brought out a whole new topic of discussion.  A discussion that at times got heated, got loud and perhaps wasn’t really a discussion.  After that the suitcase sat where it was left and a strange silence had filled the house.  We had become two people who were living in the same space, but were no longer living together.

It was inevitable I suppose.  Both of us having dreams, desires and lifestyles that we simply couldn’t seem to mesh together.  We thought splitting time in two different spaces when possible would help solve the problem.  But the suitcase held words that hadn’t been said before, but somehow become unpacked for us to hear prior to being packed up again.

Now he was preparing his meal, which from the smell of things was potato soup and bread.  He taught me how to make bread, but somehow it never tastes as good as when he makes it.  And I knew there would be more than enough bread and soup for me to join him, but why bother?  We would just be two people sitting st a table eating the same meal, but the Grand Canyon would rest between us.  No sense making this more uncomfortable than it already is.

When I was learning to ride a bike and it wasn’t going well, I decided to give up.  Weeks upon weeks of disaster had left my young heart battered and bruised and my confidence in crumbs.  My daddy was probably as crushed as I was, certainly his patience was frayed beyond repair when he asked me if I really wanted to learn to ride.

What an odd question, I thought because of course I wanted to learn how to ride!  To a young child, learning to ride a bike was freedom.  How could he think I didn’t want to learn to ride?

Once my daddy knew I wanted to learn how to ride he offered me this little bit of advice that has held through out my life…if you want something enough you will fight for it.  Was that the thing that was missing here?  We weren’t fighting for us?  Did he not want to make things work?  Was I afraid of the hard work required?

He left a bowl of soup to warm and a nice thick slice of bread on the table with a note, a note that said he missed me, and he was hoping the way to a woman’s heart was the same as it was to a man’s…through honest, good food.  And somehow the food might be magical, might bridge the gap and erase the words.  Food and love, to him, go hand and hand when it comes to magical properties.

My Listlessness With Life Lists

Some people have bucket lists, I have never bothered with one.  I can understand why people create them, goals and dreams are important to have.  It’s just as important to be able to see that you are achieving your goals and reaching a bit closer to your dreams.  I’ve just never wanted to create a list of things to see and accomplish before I die.  I mean what if you finish all those things long before you didn’t?  Or what if they just aren’t feasible based on life situations?

I do, however, have my Noah’s list.  Or as Beloved calls it, the impossible animal list.  Hey some people have places they want to visit and other have things they want to do.  Me, I just have a list of animals I’d love to own and love as mine.  I call it my Noah list because if I were to have a Noah’s Ark moment, these are the animals that I would save on the ark in a heart beat.  I freely admit it’s  basically a list that doesn’t take all the animals into a safe place.  I guess that’s why I’ve never had to save anything really big or be counted on to maintain the animal population.

Just like some people have near impossible things on their bucket lists, I have near impossible animals on my list.  I also have some  animals that are, in fact, achievable in my life, living in my current situation.  So why don’t I have these animals in my life?  I suppose because I know I don’t have the time to spend with them and thus it wouldn’t be fair to them.  Maybe it is because I feel the need to have some type of a list, but I’m not feeling a strong enough desire to own them.  Maybe it’s because just because I want these animals, it doesn’t mean that is what’s right for them.  And maybe it’s because I’m lazy.

Do you have lists like this, ones that you have because you feel you need to have the list, but you aren’t in a hurry to actually do anything withyour list?

Some Gifts I Would Rather Not Receive…Does This Make Me An Awful Person

You know how sharing is caring?  I don’t really need as many people providing me as much care via sharing as I’m getting right now.  I know that makes me seem ungrateful, and honestly I’m not.  But I am struggling how to appreciate all the sneezing and coughing people who want to share their ailments with me.

When you have w chronic illness like lupus you have to be more cautious with colds and flus.  Sure my immune system is in overdrive, how else do you explain the fact that my body is attacking itself, but I take medications to knock my immune system back.  And since we all know I have no balance at all, I’ve really knocked back my immune system.  Basically now I will catch just about anything and hang onto it much longer than most people would. 😐

So what I really appreciate, what makes me really appreciate people is when they share that they will be staying home while they are sick.  I cannot express how amazingly wonderful the gift of not having to worry about catching something from a coworker really is.  This way we can share good times together when we are all healthy.

Does it make me an awful person to be picky about the gifts people bring into my life?

My Love-Hate Affair With Love

I was reminded today about why love isn’t all roses and sunshine and to be honest, a part of me wishes I hadn’t been reminded.  We all, to some extent, desire to live an easy life or at least have most things be rainbows and unicorns.  Love, of course, is a balancer in all things.  It is the sunshine and the darkness, the roses and the weeds.

Love means saying hello and getting to know someone and making a space for that individual in your life.  Love means sharing new experiences, seeing things through fresh eyes.  Love means settling into routines so comfortable and familiar you don’t give them the second thought.

These are all the good parts of love, the easy parts of love.  The parts of love that people write about, turn into movies and dream about that’s what is above.

But love is an equalizer.  All things must be balanced in love.  And this is the part of love that I hate.  It’s the part of love that I dread because no matter how many times I am faced with these moments, I find I’m still full of inadequate struggles.  You see, love also means slowly letting go of someone and eventually saying goodbye.  Love means finding old experiences as something new through failing eye-sight.  And this side of love means holding onto those moments that you never gave a passing thought to before because soon there won’t be any more of those moments.

This is why the fairy tales end in happily ever after with no one really defining ever after.   The final image on the screen is when love is in full strength, riding off into the sunset.  No one wants to see the completeness of love shown on the big screen.  Not really.  After all we have reality for this part.

I dread the time I must face this other side of love, for I know it is coming sooner than I want especially with the four-footed ones.

When I Listen To Them

Walking, they told me, would be a nice and gentle form of exercise.  Plus it’s a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.  Walking, they said, would be different without my four-footed friends.  You see four feet seem to equal going like crazy wherever your nose takes you.  It’s a bit like what I imagine a drunken toddler might do.  A dash over here followed by a wobbly trip back sort of only to get side distracted with a quick run again.  We may take a million steps, but I don’t think we even leave the neighbourhood.

So a friend grabbed me and off we went for a nice, gentle and relaxing walk.  She said she knew just the right path to take that wouldn’t be too challenging with horribly uneven terrain.  She even promised a lovely view, lots of green space.

She was right about the view being lovely and the path wasn’t too challenging with uneven ground to cover, which is always nice.  It started off nice and relaxing.  And I’m sure there was no way anyone could have foreseen how it turned out and become shortened.

Lets just say I think I’ve made up on the missing steps through scrubbing all the mud and stuff off my clothes and myself.  I’m pretty sure if I had stayed with the four-footed ones and just did our usual walk I would have been more clam and relaxed.  And a lot less muddy.

You see what my friend failed to mention is that mud, yes mud, is used to level out the ground.  Well okay so dirt really, but it was wet so that made it mud.  We gave up when we hit a very slick  part of the path and she went down face first.  Up until then she told me to just keep on keeping on.  And then we stopped.  And I went home and cleaned up.

Pretty sure the dogs are looking at me with their I told you so faces.

Protecting Myself or Overly Safe

Why is it when you have a small injury that one natured part of your body continues to get injured?  I mean the rest of my body was and is available for a wee booboo, but nope of course not.  The same already injured sport keeps getting attacked.

You’d almost think that I dislike this finger or something.  You see it started with a small burn on m finger, maybe the size of a quarter.  I tended to the burn after doing the requisite dance of pain…no matter how many times I do this I still have yet to master the dance.

Since burning my finger, I have banged the burned area, scraped another part of the finger and managed to get a paper cut right near the burn.  And all of this while trying to take extra care with this finger.  Surely a burn was enough, but of course not.

And of course this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.  A few months ago I dropped a can on the side of my ankle.  Yep you guessed it, that ankle got attacked by shopping carts, canes and even the car door.  It seems the more care I take with an injured part the more I am likely to continue to injure it.  Perhaps I should just not care about any part at all.  Maybe then all of me would be safe!

Frankenstein and Oatmeal? Why My Kitchen Is A Laboratory

My house is awash in oatmeal.  A variety of oatmeal, from steel-cut oats to quick cooking little oat crumbs.  If a leak were to spring in my house, I’m sure the oatmeal would absorb all the water and therefore remove any potential for water damage.  Of course we couldn’t eat the oatmeal after that, but that’s okay, it would have saved the house!

Typically I use the oatmeal as cooked cereal or in muffins and bread.  I also use it in cookies and desserts, but it never occurred to me to use it in savoury dishes, which is rather odd when you think about it.

Why not use oatmeal as a pilaf or stuffing?  Crisp oatmeal coating on fish?  Why not it may be most tasty.  I can wrap my head around these.  But oatmeal stir fry or oatmeal risotto?  For some reason these seem to not compute in my brain.  Not even in the slightest.  But I have all this oatmeal and there is only so many bowls of it, or muffins I can actually eat.  Let’s face it, I’m getting tired of the oatmeal routine that we have going on here in this house.

So oatmeal stir was tried, much to the horror of Beloved.  Next to the sacred potato, oatmeal should never be tampered with.  You can imagine the wail of anguish let loose from his lips when I brought forth my new creation.  Actually when you stop and think about it, it is a bit like Frankenstein.  The oatmeal replaces the rice and adds a different flavor to things.  The sauce also changes because the way the oatmeal reacts with it.

I won’t say that I will be recreating my version of Frankenstein any time soon, but now and then it’s nice to play around in the laboratory and see what you come up with!

Little Things Mean So Much or IV Therapy Lupus Style For Me

the nurse who was doing my IV was one I had never seen before.  She was young and seemed a bit uncomfortable.  Not that I blame her in the least, my veins aren’t the most cooperative when it comes to needles.

My regular nurse, Kathy, calmly stepped in, handed me the bottle she always hands me to hold rather than just creating a fist and viola the needle was in.    She says the bottle is way to help keep her “ladies nails nice”.  As far as she is concerned anyone who has to put toxic medicine in their body to maintain health should be allowed to keep something nice, be it their nails or hair.

IV treatment is never really my idea of a good time, but it is needed.  To make it more enjoyable I may take a book to read, read off an ere adder or do some work.  Sometimes, if someone new is sitting near me and I tell this poor person is nervous or anxious I will talk with them to help put them at ease and make the time pass by for them.  I remember my first time ever with IV treatment and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel as alone as I did in that moment.

It wasn’t the IV that made me feel isolated, it was the reality that I was getting something that was toxic. Something like chemo.  And it made me realize that I was somehow different than I had been before I felt the medication slip into my system.  I chose to go alone, it was mine to handle on my own.  It was now something that only others who had already been down this road would understand.

That of course is a coping mechanism.  Sure none of my friends at that time had lupus or any other scary chronic illness.  But did that really make me so different from the Main? Did it mean they couldn’t understand?  Of course not.  It just took time to realize it.

I also realized that I could actually talk to the people near me during treatment if they wanted to talk.  And that sometimes talking helps ease the thoughts that run through your mind.  The monsters your mind can create that don’t really exist.

I struggle with new nurses and not just because of my horrible veins.  You see I want to put them at ease, but I’m afraid talking to them may put them off of what they are focusing on,  but once Kathy took over, I turned to the new nurse and asked her how she was doing.  After that it was smooth sailing.

To be honest I had some wonderful conversation with my seat mates and the nurses.  Time went by pleasantly and now I’m back home with a nice warm blanket and a comfortable chair to relax.

Trouble in Paradise Found

I seem to be exceptionally good at messing things up.  I mean this is on a level of pure talent that if it weren’t for the fact it means ruining things, people would marvel at my talent.  Actually for all I know people do that now, from afar.  You know how you can drive past an accident and even as you cringe at the wreckage there is an awe to the amount of damage or the unique way someone has managed to wreck a vehicle or some such item?  Yeah that’s it.  Exactly.

I’m in the midst of trying to find the perfect coffee maker again.  I was sure I had the perfect one.  It made wonderful coffee, paradise to my taste-buds.  And then it stopped working.  The kind of stopped working that can’t be fixed.

Now a reasonable person would,probably replace said coffee maker with a similar one.  But remember I have a habit of messing things up.  In this case I decided to test drive, if you will, a new coffee maker.  A different brand even.  And it made a good coffee.  But why stop there when there were other types to try and find my version of paradise?

So I tried several more because of that whole in the midst of trying to find the perfect coffee maker thing I have going on.  The problem is I’ve tried a great number of makers with a variety of coffee.  And I ordered a coffee maker, the perfect one I thought.  Except then I wasn’t sure so I ordered another one…different one.  And I cancelled the first one, but then I wanted it back and well let’s just say this is all a huge tangled mess.

Yep I’ve managed to create trouble in the paradises I’ve found with coffee makers.  In other news, I won’t be sleeping for some time!