Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ramblin'

Or, as Steve Martin once sang: R - A - M - B - L - I - N...........apostrophe! :D Does anyone else remember that? From "Let's Get Small"? I have *all* of his LPs -- and yes, it's *that* Steve Martin, if anyone's asking.

Anywho, this is a ramblin' post today. Can't find just one subject that's occupying my thoughts today, so I just want to make some random statements/observations/etc.

First, I GOT MY CAST OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even tell you how FREE I feel now! After a month -- that's right, people -- ONE WHOLE MONTH -- of not being able to drive, not being able to go downstairs in my own house, or basically not being able to leave the house unless some gracious person was willing to drive me, I'm finally FREE AT LAST!!!!! So far, I've used my freedom for good -- I've been to the grocery store (with hubby), and to church today to attend a meeting for all the teachers in the Religious Education program. (Hubby & I teach preschool & kindergarten.) Tomorrow I plan a wild day of going to church, then out to lunch with the GLBT+Friends group, and then home to prepare for our turn to host "Dinners for 9". That's a deal set up by the Fellowship Committee that matches up, from those who indicated interest, 9 people to have a meal together in someone's home each month, rotating through all of the group members. Today I've already put together my utterly fabulous (I have witnesses!) Vegetarian Chili, so tomorrow won't be so stressful.

We signed up for Dinners for 9 not really knowing what to expect, or who to expect, for that matter. We live a good distance from our church, and there aren't a whole of other members who live out this way, so just getting to know those near us was benefit enough. But it's turned out to be a lot more fun than we imagined! The people in our group range from their mid-30s to their 80s. We have four educators, three of whom are college-level, one of whom is a Driver's Ed teacher! Then there's the retired Psychologist, the nurse, the college administrator, and the Special Ed teacher. My hubby is a consultant for our state's Public Service Commission, and is currently serving on a couple of task forces requested by the Governor. I am currently not working. But, just to be different, we actually have 10 in our group, because we have a hubby who decided to join in with his wife without having signed up, so we have a more round group than usual.

These folks are all becoming good and better friends. We're discovering a great variety of things we have in common and are talking about keeping our little group together in the future, though we're supposed to change up each year. Nothing says we can't have our own little dinner parties in addition! At first I was nervous about this, about making a commitment to be with people regularly that I didn't know very well, but I overcame my innate reserve when it comes to certain kinds of social functions, and I've had a marvelous time. I'm so glad we did this. I know I've gotten more out of this than anyone else, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

One thing our church is good about is putting people together, and gently challenging our comfort levels. I can't believe all the things I've gotten involved in with this group -- I've never done things like this before, and I'm so happy to be able to participate in meaningful ways for meaningful purposes. One of our greatest sources of pleasure has become our Religious Education class. There are usually about 10 children in our class, and most are regulars. We get the unique privilege to get to know these little people just as people -- not as our children, or our nieces/nephews, etc. And they get to know adults they can trust who are not part of their immediate families, which, I think, is very beneficial. I know that, as a child, I could frequently tell other adults things that I could not tell my own parents. Or maybe other adults would view my emotions differently, more positively, than my own parents did. It's my belief that children always need unrelated, trustworthy adults in their lives, and I'm happy to serve that purpose for these kids.

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New topic: Do any of you use social bookmarking services, like del.icio.us? I'm way hooked on that one myself. If you're interested, look for the email address associated with this blog to find my bookmarks.

I've been playing with newsfeeds lately, and have discovered a whole wealth of fascinating information just a click or two away. In fact, I read *YOUR* blogs via Feedreader, if you have a feed. The only thing that really bites is that I can't comment via the feed -- which is why you may not have seen a lot of comments from me lately. I read you -- don't think for a minute that I don't!

One reason I'm really enjoying this whole feedreader experience is because I can glance, very quickly, through lots of stories and choose the ones I want more details about without having to search & search for the info. My near-favorite feed category is "Lifehacks" -- i.e. tips and tricks for how to better live your life in almost every aspect. (No, this isn't some kind of Amway thing -- just good, practical, and sometimes unusual advice on life issues of all kinds.) Also, having it all aggregated cuts down on wasted surfing time. I wish I had jumped on this bandwagon sooner, but, better late than never!
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I miss knitting, and hope to get back into it. "Just pick up your needles and some yarn!", you say. Oh, if it were only that easy. I have tons of everything I could possibly need when it comes to knitting supplies, but what I don't have is motivation, or enough motivation, maybe. I find cool patterns, I have cool yarn, but I don't have cool initiative. I also have wrist and thumb issues, which I know to be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the wrist, and think the thumb problem is something like DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis. Hubby had that himself, and was treated first with cortisone injections, and then surgery, which relieved the pain completely. I see the same ortho that treated Hubby in two weeks -- this is also the doc that took care of my leg, so I medically-love him anyway. I don't want surgery, necessarily, but I do want my right hand to quit giving me a hard time, so I'll trust the doc to decide the best thing. Maybe THEN I'll be able to get my knitting freak on. And take some more classes, too.
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One thing I haven't blogged about yet is reconnecting with some family members whom I haven't been in touch with for more than 20 years. I have a cousin who is one year older than I am, though her father and my grandfather were brothers. I guess this either makes us second cousins or first cousins, once removed. I don't know the difference -- do any of y'all?

Anyway, after my uncle died in December, I was speaking with my aunt about genealogy. She got in touch with one of her cousins, who then sent me the entire family tree, all the way back to 1768!!! I had no idea anyone had this information until this distant relative emailed it to me, so it was quite a joy for me to receive. But, that's not the best part.

The same evening that I received the genealogy data, I received an email from that one-year-older cousin, out of the blue. I had no idea anyone knew where she was, so it never occurred to me that we might reconnect. She was so happy to find me, and said she'd missed me like crazy and loved me to pieces and really hoped we could get together soon. Well, I cried with joy. (I'm like that, y'all -- wayyyyyyy sentimental) I wrote her back right away and told her that I felt exactly the same way and couldn't wait to see her. I also went back and found some old family pictures that dear Hubby had scanned and placed online for us a while back that I shared with her via email. You would have thought I'd given my cousin the Taj Mahal! That's because she and her sister had absolutely no pictures of themselves when they were children, and I did!!! SEE?!?!? That's why it's good to be a packrat sometimes!

That very weekend of our virtual reunion, Hubby and I dug out all of the old family pics we had, and we began to sort and scan them. I have no clue how many photos we ended up handling that weekend, but every single one of them has been shared with every family member we could get an email address for, including great-grandchildren, and far off relatives we didn't even know we had. Now my cousin calls me several times a week and also calls my brother, who is equally as thrilled to be back in touch with these girls. We are trying to figure out a time/place to meet up as soon as possible. The next step will be to try to put together an all family reunion. I guess the older you get, the more family can matter.

Bottom line? I feel a lot more at peace with myself and the world being reconnected to half of my ancestry. Now, I need to go back before that dude in 1768 and figure out if we're royalty or something. Surely we have some hotshot in our past that left us an estate and title somewhere, don't you think? I've practiced my Queen-with-a-purse-on-her-arm-and-long-gloves-while-wearing-a-dignified-if-large-tiara wave for as long as I can remember, so I'm ready to assume my responsibilities as (Insert fancy title here) Suzanne of (Insert royal sounding estate name here)hamshire. Just be sure I get staff with that. That's all I'm saying.
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Another love of my life is the Fine Tuning channel on XM radio. They play THE most eclectic mix of music I've ever heard, other than when I have filled a 51 disc CD changer with CDs and put it on random play. One minute it will be "Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy"; the next it will be Frank Zappa. Now, you tell me, can it get much more diverse than that??? I just wish I could download XM channels/music to my brand new MP3 player.

Oh! I get to actually enjoy it now!!! Now that I can walk again, I need to load up my brand new Christmaversary present from Hubby!! (Our anniversary is 12/20, and we decided that we'd celebrate that and xmas together on the 20th, since we usually visit family at the holidays anyway) I haven't wanted to even look at it yet because it just killed me that my newly adopted and goingverywell,thankyou walking regime was interrupted by le broken leg. But, now I'm no longer encumbered, so I need to hop to it, as it were. Before you even say it, yes, I know I do not have the strength or stamina that I had built up to before the fall, but I am determined not to lose the progress I'd made. I was so happy today to put on a pair of "real" (i.e. not having to have bell bottoms) pants that I had just been able to get back into and find that I have not gained any weight during this month, even though I've basically been sedentary the entire time.
This was a huge relief, which I'll go into at another time.
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So, that's the news/ramblin' from near the Cumberland Dam, which may or may not give way at some point in the future. I hope all of my blog friends out there, and my non-blog friends, too, have a lovely week and have every good thing occur for you and yours. Keep the faith, mah peoples! Life is good, even if it does a damn good act of concealing that fact from us sometimes.

Love, and peace!
Suzanne

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I'm glad to hear that you're free, free at last (from the cast!)