Canary in the Coal Mine??

the moments matter

Do you smell good?  Stay away, please.  This is so hard. I can’t be around most people who smell nice, can’t be in places that smell lovely, can’t use many products that are fragrant. I’m hyper-sensitive to chemically induced fragrances. That’s most of our world, ya know? Essential oil fragrances don’t seem to bother me–guess it’s because they’re “natural” and not man-made?? Man-made chemicals in general don’t agree with me. Why do I have to be the overly sensitive one? I LOVE fragrance. But it has the potential to literally kill me. People really have a hard time wrapping their brains around this. Now if this was a peanut allergy, everybody understands that one! Or shellfish. Or bees. But fragrance?? It’s mind-blowingly hard. Even the place I’m receiving my Zolair shot isn’t a fragrance free zone. This is THE asthma and allergy center in my area. They don’t make the…

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Twelve Years Young and I Lived

…in a brand new split level home in northern Wisconsin, with my mom and dad.  That was the year, ironically, that my parents also split.  Huh, I never thought about that correlation before.  We’d lived in a duplex across the street and got to watch the house being built.  I was incredibly shocked when I found it was ours!  It seemed so huge.  You couldn’t just holler to somebody as there was too much separation between rooms and floors.

Lots of stairs in the house, with landings and a boxed corkscrew effect.  When you walked in the front door, you could either go up a few stairs to the living room that had a brick fireplace set on the diagonal, or go down a short flight of stairs to the garage entrance,  with another short staircase leading into the family room.  The family room had a fireplace directly below the one upstairs, so we thought this place was really something because we had TWO fireplaces, never having had even one before.  In the family room, we had a honkin’ big new picnic table that I helped my dad stain and paint, and it was the only movable furniture in this long room.  I wonder why? The three of us would have picnics down there when it was too hot and humid outside, as well as having picnics all winter long with a fire in the fireplace. There were also built in benches under the windows to sit on, but I didn’t like them as they were terribly boxy and straight, and not at all comfortable.  You know, I haven’t thought about how quirky and unique this house was until just now. Funny, looking back.

Also down in the lowest level was the utility/laundry room and my dad’s “bathroom” with the only shower in the house, all in one room.  The shower was cinderblock, cold, dark, and I hated it. But I hated baths more, so I’d go down there to shower anyway.  My mom still had a wringer washer she preferred using.  She had a regular washing machine too, but said the wringer washer got clothes so much cleaner.  I can’t tell you how many times my fingers got “wrung” as I helped with the laundry.  (Not by choice!!)  There were clotheslines down there too, for rainy laundry days or winter weather.  We had a fairly new dryer, but my mom preferred hanging things to dry.  I didn’t like it because of the stiffness of the dried clothing, bedding and towels.  Especially the towels.  ooooh and washcloths.  Not pleasant at all, even though we used fabric softener!

If you were up on the main level, you’d go up another small flight of stairs to the three bedrooms and main bath.  I LOVED my bedroom.  Peach walls, white sheers on the windows (three large windows, so there was a LOT of light,) with white shades for privacy and darkness.  The best part was the crazy shag carpeting.  Surprisingly colorful for my parents; dark orange (almost a rust color,) medium orange that was Halloween pumpkin-ish, and yellow orange, like butternut squash.  The amazing thing was that we found a bedspread with those exact colors.  It was meant to be, I swear!!!  I had white French provincial hand me down furniture that I never really liked from my next older sister, consisting of  a huge dresser, a headboard, and make-up table with a little chair.  Never understood why we had a  make-up table since my mom wouldn’t let us wear any.  ha!  There was also a wonderful and simple bookshelf my dad and I made out of cedar, painted a shiny white.  He tried to talk me out of the high gloss, but that was what I saw in my head.  I still have it, and my son treasures it because his Grampa and I made it together. Honestly, I’d forgotten how much I treasure it too.

The kitchen was full of new “avocado green” appliances. Even the hood over the stove and the first dishwasher we ever had.  We were living in style, we thought. But I’d have moved back to central Wisconsin in a  heartbeat. That was where we were still together, still a family.  But then I wouldn’t have my orange shag carpeting…

With warm wishes on your journey,


Where would you go, Right Now?

I thoroughly enjoyed going “home” with this post, and wanted to share from my own blog,

the moments matter

Here’s today’s assignment from Writing 101, Day 2: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now? INSTANTLY, I thought of the cottage at the Croan Cottages in County Kilkenney, Ireland.  I’m not kidding–instantly.  I felt like I was home when I was there.  It was only about 800 square feet.  But it was in IRELAND.  I’d wanted to go to Ireland since I was about eight years old, when there was an article in LIFE magazine.  I would gaze at those pictures in the article, absolutely craving to smell the air, to see the rolling green hills dotted with baa-ing sheep and happy cows, to hear the brogue as people speak.  I was sure my eventual husband would be an Irishman, so I could hear that brogue every day.  Ha!  The thoughts of an eight year old!!

For my 50th birthday, my wonderful husband totally shocked…

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Simple Pleasures + 100 Happy Days = Making lists

I posted this on my blog, and want to share on the Covey View as well. I hope you enjoy the thought processes, and maybe even start the processes yourself if it’s not something you already do.

the moments matter

A recent blogging “assignment” I had was to write my blog as a list. That was something different; self brainstorming, no grammar worries, a different kind of writing. Not bloggish as we think of a blog, but a list. As I wrote on May 22nd, I also recently signed up to do the 100 Days of Happy, where I take a photo of something that made me happy during my day. Every day, for 100 days! That’s a lotta happy. A fellow blogger wrote a post about 50 simple pleasures in her life. All of a sudden, I’m seeing a theme going on in my world.

It seems like people are trying to find the good stuff, the stuff that makes us happy, the positive influences, figuring out what’s real and important to us individually as well as universally. This is really incredible! Those moments that matter so much…

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A Roller Coaster in My Head

My 13 year old son had just gotten out of the shower, excitedly asking if I’ve ever gone on a roller coaster in my head.  Why, no, I don’t believe I ever have.  And, in my opinion, it seems like a very curious (aka odd) thing to do.  I couldn’t even imagine it, when he first said it, as I’d been reading a document I found in The Daily Post through, called “Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog.”  My brain SURE wasn’t thinking about being on a roller coaster.  I had to ask how you do it and excitedly he told me…

First, with your eyes closed, you stand with your face in the spray from the shower.  Then you move your head from side to side as if you’re on a great roller coaster ride, kinda jerking it like what happens on those rides.  He swears it was just like being on a roller coaster.  HUH?  I mean, Oh! Cool!  Still obviously not sold on this imaginary r.c. ride, I just wanted to get back to this fascinating and educational article I was reading.  Sonny boy wasn’t going to let it go.  This was something I apparently needed to know more about.  More details were given, more happy feelings were shared, so I pretended I got it and could hardly wait to take a shower to try this imaginary ride.  Was that wrong of me?  I kind of just lied to my dear, sweet boy.  Not a bad lie.  But an untruth.  A falseness.  

Do you get it?  The roller coaster in your head thing?  After kissing him goodnight, I realized that he shared a true glimpse into his imagination.  Not the stories he can tell that keep me spell bound till they’re finished.  Not the novels he’s writing that keep the reader entranced, turning pages until you reach where the story has paused and you want more.  (There are three, currently, with other titles and details written down for future use.)  Not the deductive explanations he shares as we watch Dr. Who or Castle or the other detective shows we’re both hooked on.  But a pure, active, innocent, young imagination of a boy looking forward to the rides he’ll go on this summer with his friends, all screaming their heads off with complete joy, all creating the memories they’ll have when they’re old and wrinkled and achy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a glimpse into his mind like that.  It was incredible.  I’m a lucky mom.