Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Times Like These


Hello Darlings...

(This is not a "cancer" blog...we don't need that right now...I'm ok and the Keytruda/Lenvima seems to be working...we are balancing my dying thyroid and I had the sinus infection from hell that caused me not only to have hives but also severe gut issues and an allergy to penicillin...it's been super fun! Ok enough about that...)

well well well...

I don't think anyone could have ever imagined we would be in a global pandemic locked in our houses, did we?

I mean if you had said to ANY of us:

"Spring Break will end in disaster and you will end up locked in your house for months at a time and Texas will allow restaurants to serve alcoholic drinks to go and the irony will be that Cinco de Mayo will be ruined by a virus called Corona"

"oh....and there will be something about hornets..."

Well we would have laughed and said "try better at a joke".

But this is no joke...

Over these last many weeks (I have lost count since I have been locked inside since early March) I have had so much time to think about all of this...and thankfully it has let me work through some stuff.

So
Much
Time

I've learned a lot...

I bet we all have...
and if you haven't learned something from this...well...

honestly how the hell are you functioning because there is no way to have been dealing with this unscathed or without some lessons...or learning what Tik Tok is...

hell if I can learn to bake banana bread surely most people have learned something about themselves or at least tried a Pioneer Woman recipe

And can we discuss the lack of washing our hair?

On second thought...maybe not...

I've literally gone nuts inside my house so I am blessed that Aunt Jane is letting me have the use of her spin bike so that I don't start glittering items in my home as a way to deal with stress.

And thankfully my beloved Revolution has virtual classes so I can ride with my people and cry when I see their beautiful faces on my computer screen (full disclosure I have actually watched a yoga class just so I can hear the beautiful Aussie voice of my HeavenlySkye).

One would think I have gotten all kinds of things done...

One would be WRONG

Oh I have perfected my bourbonrita and I am a wiz at making one chicken last for many more meals than I thought possible and yes I attempted banana bread but otherwise I have been lazy and/or dealing with feeling like crap because of the meds I am on to battle El Diablo.

For the first time in over 30 years I have bare nails and I will not comment on my feet.

My skin looks great because I have only put on makeup maybe 4 times in 8 weeks (for doctor's appointments and chemo) and I'm drinking all the water water water...

I've also had some sleeping issues which I am sure more than a few of you have also had. Mine seem to be induced by my thyroid issue but I also think a layer of stress is on me that I am not acknowledging. I have discovered that if I turn on BBC America and they are showing one of the 423 Planet Earth documentaries that the soothing sound of Sir Richard Attenborough's voice does seem to help me drift off...and I have learned a lot about the mating habits of birds in Madagascar and New Guinea (look up Bowerbirds...no seriously look them up...really cute...not gonna tell you why so you have to look on Wikipedia).

I've started and stopped more streaming series than I care to list but I will give you:

Hollywood (just started...excellent)
Little Fires Everywhere (about halfway through...really good just other things to watch)
The Morning Show (soooo good)
Unorthodox (beautiful and enlightening)
We're Here (watching as each episode is doled out by HBO...compassionate and beautiful)
Ugly Delicious (when I don't want to think)
Alta Mar (subtitled but oh the costumes...as it was described to me: Clue on the Titanic)
Dr Thorne (lovely...just lovely)

I tend to go for happy sweet shows or anything with Reese in it (and yes I have watched Legally Blonde at least twice) and I am always always in for a costume drama (Belgravia anyone?)

So we are all washing our hair less (did I mention that I wish I had stock in dry shampoo?) and washing our hands a lot more and spending our time watching Netflix and not wearing bras or real clothes...

So how many Pioneer Woman recipes have you tried? I tend to cook like her so to me it's like watching myself cook...

And I have remembered that I don't enjoy baking (although I have loved looking at the pictures of my friends' efforts on social media and I am jealous).

Margaritas to go is something that better remain in place after quarantine is lifted because I am safer drinking a Club No Minor purple margarita at home than I am while at the restaurant. Plus I'm the only one who has to put up with me AFTER said margarita...

Now raise your hand if you have taken scissors to your own head or put on some form of color on that may or may not have left you with hair that was not quite the shade you were going for...yeah I see you...I took off a few inches the other day and I rediscovered Sun-In (which mercifully took my roots away and has not left me looking like I had an accident with peroxide).

I flirted with the idea of dying it pink, or putting in a pink streak, or doing a dip dye thing and then I realized I didn't want to risk ruining my hair and that I am 55 and maybe I need to behave...so I bought clip in streaks instead and that way I can have pink when I want it...

I had a sad little moment when my last acrylic nail popped off...and I found myself buying nail polish on Amazon that will hopefully grace my nails sometime before June...or July...or August...(polish will not stay on my naked nails...I have to have 1988 style acrylic for it to work lol)

Speaking of Amazon who has "sad shopped"?

What is "sad shopping"?

self explanatory---it's shopping while sad...which is not to be confused with drug or drunk shopping.

Sad shopping yields things like blow up swimming pools or Adirondack chairs or a color balancing hair treatment (see above with the hair stuff)...and yes all 3 of those were or are about to be something I am purchasing...guess which 2 are already paid for?

Drunk or drug shopping is a whole other thing...

I shall explain:

in 2018 when I had the first spinal fusion surgery I was on a good deal of morphine...a very good deal of morphine...because it HURT LIKE NO PAIN I HAD BEFORE NOT EVEN CHILDBIRTH.

So there I was hopped up on morphine and at 1:30 in the morning I'm channel surfing while I am recovering in Memorial Hermann and I find QVC and...well...

let's just say things came to my house that I had no idea I had ordered...I had even received emails about them but in my drugged state I just deleted...

I ended up with:
a fabulous primer
a dress that I always get compliments on
a new eye shadow pallette that I use all the time
and
yoga pants

by some miracle I seem to do better shopping on morphine than I usually do while sober but I will tell you the surprise of all of these boxes appearing at my door threw me for a loop...the yoga pants was normal...

So mercifully I have avoided drunk shopping during quarantine because I have not gotten drunk and I don't do drugs unless I am recovering from surgery and then those drugs are the serious scary stuff...

and the last time I was in the hospital I noticed that they had taken QVC off the channel lineup...

I'm betting I wasn't the only one who had a mysterious dress show up...just sayin....

But I do think we might all succomb to quarantine shopping...

and let's see how many of you have bought things off Facebook or Instagram ads...(I will be raising my hand here...at least twice)

I will not make you raise your hand if you have hoarded the Charmin but honestly people are you sure you needed all of that lifetime supply? I'm sure none of my friends have but I am sure some of you saw *that woman* in the HEB who had a basketful of Cottonelle and all the Clorox wipes who was unapologetic about it.

I am unable to go into HEB (or any store for that matter) so I have not witnessed this craziness firsthand but I have heard about it on FB.

Instead I have to depend on curbside delivery as my doctors have basically told me that I have the immune system of a newborn and I better not mess it up or test it...I tend to get texts from one of my doctors that end in exclamation !!!!! points to make sure I understand I am under no circumstances allowed out in public. I'm not even gonna ask her if I can get a pedi or hair done and I already can imagine the 8 !!!!!!!! that will accompany the "no" if I ask her if I can go spin...

So I am grateful to curbside delivery to keep me stocked up with chicken and the worlds biggest spaghetti squash (that will get tackled this weekend) and I sadly can't seem to get goat cheese (but I found a new source). And yes those magical margaritas I mentioned...(seriously people if you haven't tried a purple El Patio margarita now is the time when you are safe at home...I recall I almost left the ex early on in marriage thanks to the blue ones from there).

Right now my favorite game is seeing how long I can make one chicken last after boiling it (so far I have had a chicken salad, chicken tacos, and have 3 quarts of liquid gold chicken stock that is so rich it is practically gelatin). I also like to see how long I can go between curbside visits and to use all my groceries wisely...and I have learned that I really really like to use cilantro and onions...

When all of this started I had GOALS:
I was going to blog a lot
I was going to organize my closet
I was going to hang the pictures I have never bothered to hang
I was going to learn to bake things
I was going to organize and start using my study(instead of it just being the cat box room)

Zero of that happened...and this is my first blog in months...

But what I have learned is some grace for myself and my fellow man through all of this...

I had a silly fight with an old friend when this started and I'm happy to say we reconnected better than ever once we both simmered down (I'm gonna throw myself under the bus for that one).

I have learned that just because I can handle things a certain way doesn't mean others can

I will not judge those who want to "get out" and those who want to "stay in"...everyone deserves to be as in control of that as they are over their own bodies...

I do not have to "make things happen" at home and if I can just manage a day that I don't cry I am calling it a good one.

I am so grateful to God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost that I am not married to the ex during this and that my kids are grown and I'm not having to tell someone to do their calculus or read that book...

My ex and I would have killed each other...seriously we would have been on the 10 o'clock news and guess which one of us would have been holding the gun?

My cats are completely annoyed that I am home so much...Angel finds that I am in her way although Dragon loves that there are more meals he can try and steal from.

I have learned that I can do with a lot less than I thought (especially grocery wise).

I don't miss putting on makeup so now I take these awful selfies with a bare face and no filters...but it has made me realize that I feel braver and more beautiful that way. I have always been one not to take a photo unless it looked good until a few years ago when I started at Revolution and sweaty selfies became a thing. My current social media profile pic is me with terrible hair and no makeup in the sun. Something I would never have done a year ago but now I'm feeling like I want to be me and not hide behind a veil of something. And I don't judge those who do but for me the challenge lately has been to find the love and self acceptance of myself AS I AM. (and there is more to that but it is for another blog).

I have a lot of beauty products...let me rephrase that: I have far too many beauty products...so I have been trying to use them to make my skin/hair/teeth/nails look better even if all I do is take selfies with no makeup/no filters. I scared the beejeezus out of my daughter the other day when she came by and found me with a sheet mask on and it scared her...her words: good one, Mom.

And do we even know what day it is?

I just call every day "DAY" now...there is no distinction...Monday can also be Wednesday.

I used to mark my days with my workouts but now that is gone too...I just fire up a class on my computer and get on the bike and take my punishment (and have fun) but it's no longer "Mel Monday" or "Ethan Sunday Service"...every day is just everyday...

Today it is Day and tomorrow it will be Day...

I'm blessed that I don't have to work remotely and show up and look good on a zoom call.

Oh...yes...ZOOM...

Now for me when I used to think of the word "Zoom" it conjured up a 70's public television show that featured kids doing (what I thought were) cool things like cooking and making crafts.

I learned to make my own play dough from that show.

And cook cinnamon toast.

And do Bernadette's magical arm thing...now that was some witchcraft right there until she showed us how she did it.

THAT'S what Zoom means to me...now it means that my friends mostly end up looking at me with a glare behind me from my lamp while they look mostly up my nose and see me once again with no makeup and hair that has only flirted with washing...

But I have loved that it has let me connect to a group of my close friends and we all have a virtual happy hour once a week so we can catch up, sing together, laugh and generally not feel so alone.

During those calls we have witnessed a haircut, played games, broke into song many many times, shared recipes, had birthday parties, and no one has turned themselves into a potato on screen.

Another thing (on a positive note) that I have noticed is that my neighbors are all being so "neighborly".

I live in a very stereotypical suburban neighborhood full of houses built in the late 60's and 70's with a few new ones sprinkled in where we have mature trees and a strong neighborhood association. I love driving through and seeing families out on walks and bike rides and neighbors sitting in their FRONT yards to talk across driveways.

Today I caught up with my neighbors across the street who have little ones...I love seeing their children playing outside. We were waiting to see the Blue Angels but alas the trees here prevented us from getting a good look. But I feel like that wasn't my purpose of sitting outside today---it was so I could meet these two PRECIOUS young moms and make new friends. I also got to meet the couple behind me who have this great fun dog and a cat (named Mayhem which is probably the best cat name ever) who likes to go for walks with the dog and his humans. So no fun jets but a good excuse to catch up with the people who surround me...

I've tried to support friends who have restaurants by ordering from them along with my own attempts at what I call "Quarantine Cuisine" and I pray all my friends with small businesses are able to stay in business once the worst of this passes us.

And now apparently we have to worry about "Murder Hornets" which honestly I felt like I needed to look in the Bible for because that sounds right up there with a plague of locusts.

Time passes differently these days...I sit outside in my back yard and get some sun to feel it on my skin, I ride my spin bike to feel stronger and I miss being with my students and people.

I feel so bad for my seniors and my friends' kids who are seniors...no prom, no last performances, and possibly no graduation---at least for a while. Those things are important.

But so is the time they have gained with their families as they are locked in together in their homes, apartments, townhouses and yards...

I miss hugging my students and hearing their silly jokes...or what happened in math class...or drying tears after a breakup.

I miss those precious moments of CONNECTING...zoom calls happen, texts happen, but nothing beats getting to hug one of them with love and pride...

I miss hugging people in general...

I'm a hugger...and it is HARD on ya girl here not to hug...

the other day at chemo my nurse Amshaa and I said to hell with it and hugged...for me it is normal to hug my angel nurses and it hurts not to wrap my arms around them...my nurse Ivy held my hand the other day after telling me my CA125 was still in normal range...I cried and just needed to connect with relief.

Being alone in a pandemic is LONELY y'all...

but it also has taught me to appreciate the moments I am not alone even more...be it with my kids...or a zoom birthday party...or a text exchange with a student...or sitting in my driveway talking to my neighbors.

I'm buying some adirondack chairs to put in my front yard.

For the 6 years I have lived here I have hidden in my back yard when I went outside. But now I will sit in the front in my new chair and enjoy a bubbly water while I watch the kids play outside and visit with my neighbors.

I can't easily walk up and down the street but it will be nice just to say hello on a day when going to Walgreens might be my only excitement because I get to talk to the human at the drive through.

I've learned things about friendship during this time and today I was reminded of how I often think of my friendships as a giant garden...and I think now is a good time for us to be mindful of our gardens...

The succelents bloom away and don't need much tending...the roots of those friendships thrive without constant attention but if tended easily they thrive...

The flowers need more care and attention...those are our fun friends and they bloom for us and keep us bright and happy...

The trees are our sturdy shade...they are the ones who shelter us in our own storms and they have strong roots with us...they are our real and chosen families...some trees are strong oaks and some are evergreens and some are fruit who nurture us along with the shade...

There are vines in the garden that weave in and out to connect us to others...

there are vegetables that nourish us as well...they are the ones who feed our souls and keep us going....

and yes, there are weeds...I have pulled out more than a few of those lately...

So each day while I am alone I know that I have a garden of love out in the world that I need to tend and it will give me back great love and pleasure...

I hope all of you are safe in this crazy storm of illness...I pray you are all healthy and learning things but also have the grace to know that it is perfectly ok if you spend a day in bed with the covers over your head or binging on Real Housewives...

There are no rules here on how you have to be...other than wearing masks and washing hands...

I just wanted to check in...to make sure you all are doing ok...that the murder hornets aren't building nests in your faith that this will all end...

that it's ok if you don't bake sourdough bread...and it is great if you do...

that it's ok if you don't shower...but at least wash your hands...

that it's ok if you get a lot done...or nothing at all...

it's ok...

we will be ok...

and one day, after this has ended, we might all have a little more love and grace for each other...

because it is in times like these we learn to live and love again...

Inspiraton Song: Times Like These by the Foo Fighters (one of my favorite songs and bands...Dave Grohl is my biggest celebrity crush). There is a gorgeous new version from Live Lounge All Stars from BBC Radio. There words are perfect for this time...

Lyrics:

I, I'm a one way motorway
I'm the one that drives away
Then follows you back home
I, I'm a street light shining
I'm a wild light blinding bright
Burning off alone
It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again
I, I'm a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?
It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again
It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times
Source: LyricFind


Bye Darlings...stay safe...stay smart...find grace and forgiveness...there is no "right" way to do this so just find a way to live and learn and love...






7 comments:

  1. Anice-Anice, a natural beauty and life enthusiast!

    You bring goodness and life to my world with your observations and appreciation for people and things that matter.

    You're a lighthouse. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you too are a lighthouse in my life and I love and adore you

      Delete
  2. I was blessed the day I met you, even amidst the worst of circumstances, and our FB friendship continues to bless me. Thank you for sharing your life with me. God bless and stay safe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are such a life force! I honestly knew I was destined to love and know you when I got to know Kristi...you are truly an amazing woman and the second I saw you I knew we were friends...love you!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hey Anice, reading some of this made me laugh. Yes, I have "roots" in my blondness mixed with gray and dark brown hair. I look like I'm advertising for Baskin-Robbins, and I am ready to shoot the husband, but don't own a gun. I'm glad we have some comic relief. It's always a pleasure walking in YOUR garden. Karen

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