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2020 is Giving Us a Hell of a Ride

I guess everyone feels like these last few months have been like riding in the back of your Dad’s pickup. No seatbelts, no cab, just a bouncy ride in the open air with nothing to restrict or restrain you. Depending on the speed of the ride, it can be a joyful experience or a terrifying one.  It can be smooth and the wind just whips your hair into the corners of your mouth or it can be steep and bumpy where you hold on for dear life trying to keep yourself from bouncing out of the truck altogether. The resounding memory of my rides in those old truck beds is how cold and hard they are. Just like those hard steel  pickup beds, life is just hard right now!

 

During the Pandemic I finished my second trip through 5th grade, I hope all of you are impressed that Christopher and I received straight A’s. It was a team effort and it was hard.

School for Christopher ended the 25th of May, 2020 and I was still working at least 35 hours a week during the shutdown. I worked remotely for one portion of my contract and on a construction site doing punch-out work and painting at a second site the other part of the time. I was also helping Christopher with his remote learning and trying with all my heart to keep him from getting behind on his reading and math. Some days were good and others were terrible. I brought him to tears once and the pandemic brought me to tears a couple of times.

 

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One of 13 rooms with a wall of conduit that I painted before the office is reopened.

 

I also had my hardworking husband home for two solid weeks, working from home and then every evening for the last two months. Let us just say that is was fun and funny at times.

So, the new normal became, feed three people, three meals a day, every day possible. Go to the construction site and paint for two days, then work from home for two days, building a website. along with my projects, I helped Christopher do 5 days of homework over about 4 days. Then try to write my blog and paint on my downtime with whatever that was left.  Friday was my shop with my mask on, use hand sanitizer at the grocery store day, making it the most stressful day of the week. Saturday and Sundays were the days we worked on the remodeling project we started while we were home instead of out in the world  …… Yea,… I’m enjoying all this time off and am feeling bored… aaaaa…”NO!”. We made daily trips to Lowe’s. Some days I would go to bed so tired that at 8 am the next morning I was still tired and I didn’t feel like getting up and doing it again.

 

We actually finished about 85% of that remodeling project in three weeks. We are still working on it, just like we are still social distancing and wearing our masks in the store. We have new work tables to install this weekend.

 

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Tom sanding the hardwood floors of what was the formal living room and turning it into a workspace for both of us. 

 

I am glad school is over and Christopher is allowed to just play in the neighborhood with his friends again. It is so important that they are not totally isolated. This way he has a chance to have some good times during this hard time of staying at home. The kids play the same games we played as kids which makes me smile. They run and scream through the yards playing games of hide and seek after dark and kickball. We all enjoyed a bonfire this weekend from a tree that fell in our yard earlier in the spring.

As I was sitting looking into the flames,(Flames that I know are burning all over America because of the untimely death of George Floyd.) I remembered that life will get back to some kind of normal eventually. We just have to take the time to heal. We need to heal our bodies from the pandemic and our minds from the violence that has taken over our country. We need to take time to heal our countries broken spirit. Today I realize, WE ARE A COUNTRY WITH A BROKEN DREAM, THAT ALL MEN ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL IN AMERICA. It is time to set the broken bones of our country no matter how painful so we can grow and heal and become strong again.

  

Now  West Virginia prepares for the 1.5 to 2.o million Cicadas hatching out over the next few weeks. It makes us wonder if 2020 was the year that everything was supposed to fall apart. Maybe this is our chance to change to grow as people. We can do better to make things better for the little kid bouncing around in the back of that old pick up truck.

Categories: childhood memories, Covid-19, family memories, fires, Graduation, Truck, Uncategorized, work | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Change of focus for 2020.

During New Year’s and the last several days, I have spent time reflecting on what I want the New Year to be about. I keep seeing posts and news stories that worry me. I toss and turn at night about the state of our county and our communities. I wonder about the increase in gun violence, hate speech, and intolerance in our country. I have to wonder if all these things are a reflection of the ongoing and frequent ideas of the “You” agenda.  We are bombarded with messages and the younger generation has been raised with the mantras “Take Care of You”, ….”Make Time for You”, … “Your Happiness Matters Most”,..”Heal Yourself”.  Not that I think overall that these are bad ideas. I just wonder if this is another expression of being focused on ourselves and not others. So much so that the larger picture of service, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness are lost.

When we stop as people looking at each other as neighbors and more like enemies, I become unsettled and wonder why it is happening. I often look back at the 1980’s AIDS epidemic and the years following 9/11 terrorist attacks and know that we can come together to combat the injustice that is experienced in the world. We have proven that we can work together for peace and healing, but somehow we are losing the battle to combat hate and intolerance in our own communities and those around the world. In this way, we are losing America’s Humanity.

So what does this all have to do with my New Year and 2020? I am going to move the focus of my life off of me and try to refocus it on others. I am going to make me a less important figure in my life and place others in the center of who I am. I going to make service, love, empathy, and forgiveness the mantras of my year. It is a shift that might need to be taken nationwide.

If for one moment we could have gotten just one of those gunmen to understand forgiveness or empathy in the moments before the shootings, they would have never happened. If for one moment they could have stopped filling their souls and brains with self-aggrandizing statements maybe they would have felt humility and reverence for the lives of others. Maybe if they were not focused on what the world had done to them and felt thankful for what they had, those lives would not have been so easily wasted.

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brothers fishing  Stone Wall Jackson Lake 2019

My goal is to become a better community member, a better neighbor, friend, wife, and mother. To learn to be less the center of my own universe and more about making others universes better. I want to have fewer things and give more. I want to do work that makes our struggling communities succeed and I want to share love, compassion, understanding as I move forward into 2020.

Let’s pray for a more compassionate year for the United States in 2020. img_20191121_155937893_hdr2020.

 

Categories: About me, Change, Life Changes, New Years Eve, New Years Resolution, Uncategorized, work | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Frustration of the unhealed bone

I don’t often complain on my blog but today I am just at my wit’s end. After 6 months….yes…. 6 months have passed since I broke the quarter size bone in the bottom of my foot and I am still in pain. I have followed the Dr orders and they have not done much to help in the healing of the Sesamoid bone in my left foot.

bones of the foot showing the side view of the

bones of the foot showing the side view of the

From the bottom image in the diagram you can see the small little bone that I have broken on the bottom of my foot. The bone is like a cap to the joint of our big toe, acting like a knee cap does to our knee-joint. It is nice to have it to protect the joint but is not necessary for walking per say.  This little free-floating bone ( like the knee cap) is kept in place by tendons and muscles . In my case the bone broke perfectly in two pieces and is now flexing sharp bone shards back and forth as I walk. The pain is like having a paper cut every time I take a step, not pleasant at all. The burning and stinging eventually increased to the point that everything inflamed  making walking impossible.

I broke the bone in a very unusual way, In Oct of last year I was changing from my work clothes into yard work clothes, I lost my balance and ended up stomping my foot to the floor to catch myself from falling and “POP” went the bone. This bone is usually found broken in joggers or cross-country runners, not house wives and merchandisers.  As you can guess, It became sore and the whole of my foot became tender to the touch but the pain passed in a couple of days. I was left with just occasional times of burning and tenderness. I just thought it was a something dislocated or deeply bruised. I was wrong.

So finally,  in the first weeks of Dec. I just could not walk any more. The hours I put in walking as a merchandiser and Auditor in retail chains was more than I could stand . I headed to the Dr and proscribed a walking cast boot for up to twelve weeks.

photo of me Dec 10th 2013 in boot cast

photo of me Dec 10th 2013 in boot cast

I worked and did my daily routine with the boot through one of the coldest and snow covered winters that we have had in thirty years. I slipped and bobbed my way through winter being thankful to say home 6 weeks of those 12 weeks.

Air boot cast in snow

Air boot cast in snow

Then at 9 weeks I returned to the Orthopedic surgeon and the new x-ray showed no healing of the bone. Their is only two options at this point, 3 more weeks in a cast and/or surgery. The idea behind the three more weeks was that the Dr hoped that my body would form a scare around the bones to prevent it from moving and causing any more movement and pain.

During the last 3 weeks, I just burnt out. I tired of having cold wet toes every time I go out side. I hated that walking had become dangerous for the rest of my body, as I tried to walk over ice and snow up stairs and over slippery side walks. Finally, at the end of my 3 additional weeks I took the boot off a couple of days early as we went shopping and helped a friend with a couple of mini donkey trims in the snow. The test trips with out the case went well and I put the foot back in the boot for another week before the big reveal.

When freedom came  last week I was over joyed, I  had hoped to put the boot cast to good use,  letting my 5-year-old turn it into a toy. My happiness was short-lived. The pain returned quickly.

Christopher daning in my Air cast boot

Christopher dancing in my air cast boot

Now about two weeks have passed and I feel crippled again. The nonstop pain is back every time I take a step with out this cumbersome device. I am back to wearing it unless I am reading, writing, or watching TV and generally sitting down. The future plan is to have to bone removed ASAP, meaning sometime in the first weeks of April. Then another 5 weeks at home on bed rest and then another 4 to 5 weeks in another cast.

my air cast boot in the entry area with other shoes

my air cast boot in the entry area with other shoes

I am finding this whole process frustrating. It will be  harder as the weather warms up and the flowers and garden need planting. I am hopeful that by the end of May that I will be in my Crocks again working outside. Until then I am still plugging around the house and finding as much enjoyment in my kitchen as I can. I am adjusting to my more sedentary life as best I can. It is hard not to walk on the treadmill and take mile long walks with Christopher. It appears that I am  home bound a while longer and need to learn to take life more slowly.

Categories: About me, Healing, health, Pain, work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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