The Beach and OCD

I love the beach, I love the water, I love people watching and I love getting a tan. What I don’t love is the sand. Yes, you read that correctly,  I love the beach and despise the sand! How is that even possible? Well I guess you can thank good ole OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) for that one.

A normal beach routine for me would be finding the perfect spot, setting up in right direction to the sun, laying my blanket out just so and then setting up my chair. About 20-30 minutes in I would notice sand on my blanket or maybe on the cover-up I just took off. I would act like it doesn’t bother me. About 1-2 hours later, after I went for a dip in the water, sand would now be all over my feet, my calves, arms and hands. I would repeatedly try to wipe it off with no luck. I would then move on to applying suntan oil or sunblock and proceed to have sticky gritty sand on my fingertips.

I can’t be the only one this irritates?! Please someone out there speak up?

I have gone to beautiful islands, stayed at gorgeous beachfront resorts (with beach cabanas and beds) and still chose to set up camp at the POOL, just to avoid the sand.

The thing is, I don’t feel guilty about it, not for one second. I don’t feel like my hatred for the little sandy granule is causing me to miss out on anything. I can still see and feel the beach within my comfort zone, it’s a very happy balance. As the saying goes “a little sand between the toes, takes away the woes”…or something like that.

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Walking the Plank

There was a quote this year during the Netflix show House of Cards, when Clair Underwood was asked “Do you regret it, not having children?” and instantly replied with “Do you ever regret having them?”. Now I immediately laughed out loud and yelled “Well played Claire, well played!”. Don’t get me wrong, while I love a bit of snark and sass within any conversation this reply emphasized the inappropriateness of asking such a personal question, one of many I am sure.

The decision to have or not to have children is one I always considered a private matter between myself and my husband. I never understood the reasoning behind someone asking such a question. Is it because they think you would have been a great mother? Do they think less of you because you chose not to have children? What if the reply to that question was, “Well because I was not able to have children”. In some ways I bet that answer would be more widely accepted than returning the god awful question with “do you ever regret having them?”, btw it still makes me chuckle!

But what if the reply was something we were not ready for? Why would a person even potentially set themselves up? This my friend is what I like to call “walking the plank”….a method of execution used on ships where the one being executed falls into deep waters of their demise. See where I am going with? Asking these inappropriate questions is basically making yourself walk the plank into deep dark waters of the conversation sea, one you may not survive.

In any event, I applaud the “Claire’s” of this world who answer in such a manner that keep things real, that no one is safe from the inappropriate question(s), that if you give it then you have to take it.

 

 

Crazy Woman

Music is and has been a part of my core upbringing. I remember hot summer nights sitting outside on the porch while my parents turn the radio to a local station and let the sound of blues flow through the open the windows. Some nights (my favorite nights actually) family would be in town and all of us would sit outside laughing, drinking, eating…..my dad or my uncle would grab a guitar and start to play to whatever song was on the radio.

They would reminisce about the “good ole days”….laugh about the lyrics and then talk in-depth about what they mean. This is where and when my appreciation of music and lyrics began and has continued on for years to come.

I remember my mom calling into the radio station and requesting a song to be played. It was Crazy Woman by Buddy Guy, a song my dad “dedicated” to her and the station ended up playing! That moment hearing it was soooo cool! Those memories remind me of a  simpler time, when our attention was focused on who we were with and our great appreciation to the music.

 

 

This Is Forty…..I Think?

We all have heard the saying that “age is just a number” or “you’re only as old as you feel” and while I do believe there is a sense of truth in both of those sayings there is also truth in the fact that wisdom comes with age and age plays a role in who we are today.

May is my favorite time of year. It is in my opinion the true beginning of spring, when the flowers bloom, the sun heats up and you start pulling out the flip-flops and tank tops, you get ready for summer. It is conveniently also the month I was born. This year is a pivotal year for me….it is one of those milestone years when it comes to age…..can you tell I am stalling?? Yes…this year, 2016, this month of May….I turn FORTY…..(or so I think). You know how you refuse to say things out loud because the minute you throw it into the universe it makes it REAL. Well that has been me for the past twelve months…..but now I am okay. I am okay saying the reality of my age.

So what has the past 40 years shown me? A LOT! My twenties were fun and carefree, full of late nights and friends, busy doing who knows what but enjoying every minute it and somehow never being tired. I got married in my twenties, bought a home and started a new job. My thirties were a decade of finding out who I really was, growing into myself and who I wanted to be. I somehow skipped the high school years of drama found myself in the middle of it during my thirties, in a decade of nonsense. During those years we sold and bought another home, I started another new job, I went back to college to finish my business degree, unfortunately experienced death of a few close to me, went through major life events of close friends and began the reality of aging parents. I have to be honest and say I was not prepared for any of it.

However, those years taught me the importance of family, loyalty, self-worth, confidence and the need for self-control. I have to only assume that others were also going through a change and maybe it was a perfect storm of everyone evolving into who they needed to be. Regardless, those years literally made me who I am today and while I say goodbye to my thirties I can honestly say “I am ready”. I am ready to be forty, I am ready for this new chapter of my life.

So is age just a number? Well I don’t feel forty and anyone who really knows me, knows that a good percentage of the time I don’t act my age (haha). I continue to be “young at heart” and find that those in my inner circle (whether younger or older) feel the same way. You see, what I have also learned is those around you keep you young, the ones that make you feel good about yourself, make you feel beautiful. Why? Because a happy heart and a peaceful mind has no age.

So hello fabulous forty! I have been waiting for you! 

 

COUNTRY

For those of you who know me wellyou will get a kick out of this

Have you ever heard someone say..oh shes a country gal..she grew up in the countryaround animals, bugs, ect.
Well this is something Ive heard my entire life..let me take you back some years ago.
I was born in West Chester, PA.an area that I would not consider country”…but we did live in a farm-like setting.  My dad especially was very much an outdoors kinda of guy.
A hunter, a fisherman, a MacGyver of sorts.  We moved out of West Chester when I was 5 years old to an area called Unionville. VERY country.
I would say I was tomboy.always running around in the woodsclimbing trees, hanging with my dad..taking walks in the woods.fishing, deer hunting.ground hog huntingyes.ground hog.
(dont ask).  I would play on the haystacks in the fieldgo down and visit the horses
Well living out in the country meant that you would encounter certain things..snakes, spiders, weird looking green worms with horns, bats that fly into your headya know things of ALL sorts.  Well this is where I am struggling with the true meaning of a country gal”…somehow the fact that we moved to the countrymeant that I should be OKAY with all these critters and creepy crawly things.  Now I would like to ask all of you that have grown up in the country.is that true?  Am I the odd one?
Now dont get me wrong…I love to work outside…I love to garden.  But when it comes to WILDLIFE AND BUGS…I just cant deal. I thought maybe it would be something that I would get over as I got olderI cant really explain what it is or what type of thing freaks me outbut pretty much if it can run, jump or fly I am terrified.
Now lets bring you to the PRESENT..we recently moved to new home with over an acre of propertymy dream come true..to have space and privacy. To be able to put up a volleyball net, have a pig roast. What I never imagined was the ZOO-LIKE area I had moved into.
Lets start with the first few weeks……early on I noticed that if you sit on our front porch you can hear the sound of water trickling (a bubbling brook)there is a little creek across from our house. I thoughtthat is so cool!  I can sit outside with a glass of wine and just chilllisten to the water.  Well as the days went on we noticed this sound at nightsomething like hundreds of crickets..it was mentioned that the sound was very similar to what you hear in Jamaica.  Well my parents were over one night and I said listen.do you hear that?”…my dad said…”yeaits FROGS.    Frogs..hmmm..frogs in Marchinteresting I thought. So I did some research, turns out we have TREE FROGS!  Spring Peepers they are called. Tree frogs in CoatesvilleOkay.well from March-June is mating seasonand that is the peeping sound we hear.  (CREATURE #1TREE FROG)
As the days got warmer…I decided to take a walk through the neighborhood.  One of the other neighbors was also out walking and we started talking.now I knew we had deer (something I am not usually scared of).but to my surprise….our little area has an ALBINO DEER.  (CREATURE #2..ALBINO DEER).  Now that is something I have NEVER seen……it comes out on occasion.so of course I have my binoculars handy and my camera within arms length.  We noticed some hoofs marks in the yardcould it be the Albino????
Since it has been warm latelyweve been keeping the windows open at night.  Well the first night we kept the windows open I was awoken to the sound of, I would say MILLIONS OF BIRDS.  And it was oh around 4am!
Yes4AM.  Have you ever been in one of those bird house things at the zoo?  The place where birds from all countries fly aroundchirpingwhistlingthats exactly what it was like.  I thought I had fallen asleep and woke up in the middle of a rainforest or a jungle. (CREATURE(S) #3BIRD).
I think it was last week..Jeff leaves for work in the morninghe walks out of the house into the garage.hits the button to open the garage doorand as he is walking out of the garage a squirrel comes running into the garage. Literally at mock speed…zooms past Jeff and jumps up on the window. At the same timeJeff is almost out of the garagea HUGE BIRD comes flying down and almost attacks Jeffs head!  Now my guess is that the bird was trying to catch the little squirrel for breakfast. And when that squirrel saw the door open it knew that was its only way to safety.  (CREATURES #4 AND #5.SQUIRREL AND CRAZY BIRD)
Well this week the builders finally came back to finish grading the yard.so the other night I took a walk in the back yardya know to check things out. I had been back there before and the one time I thought I had heard some rustling in the brushbut I never really saw anythingwell this week I was near the same spot and I heard the rustling again.  So I stopped walkingand I slowly crept towards the noiselike on my
tippietoes, hunched overeyes focused on this one spot.  AND THERE IS WAS.well sort of..i saw the leaves movingthen it stoppedthen it moved again.  I FROZE.  I didn’t know whether to run, stay, jumpor what.
So I picked up a stick and threw it at the spot.NOTHING.  So I decided to go back in the house and wait for Jeff to come home.  I told him what happened and he said oh it was probably a bird..which is what he said the last time.  So I made him walk back up there with meat first nothing happened.but then there it was again….that noiseso we both turned and walked towards it.and then it stopped.  So Jeffs decides to throw a rock at the spotwell I JUMPEDnow granted nothing came outbut still.i just knew something was going to come running towards us.  (CREATURE #6NO CLUE I suspect it’s a snakebut I am still in denial of that idea.
Well this brings me to last night.  Not really sure of the time exactlybut it was after mid-night.  I think it was close to 2am. I am a pretty heavy sleeperbut there was no escaping this sound.  It started out as a loud yelp and then turned into the sound of a small child or woman screamingyepit was a FOX.  And I think it was right under our window!  Now the funny thing is, we had heard from neighbors that there was a fox in the area recently....but we never heard anything.  The one neighbor I guess woke up in the middle of the night and walked outside with a BAT.she didnt know that it was a FOX and NOT a HUMAN.  Not sure what she was going to do.  (CREATURES #7 AND #8 FOX AND CRAZY NEIGHBOR)
So lets recap
CREATURE #1TREE FROG
CREATURE #2..ALBINO DEER
CREATURE(S) #3BIRD
CREATURES #4 AND #5.SQUIRREL AND CRAZY BIRD
CREATURE #6NO CLUE
CREATURES #7 AND #8 FOX AND CRAZY NEIGHBOR
So what is the point of this little storywell I am not sure.  Other then the fact that growing up in the COUNTRY didnt prepare me for the ZOO I have moved into.
Is a person born country-fied or do they become country because of their environment?  I will let you decide.but feel free to stop at The Cusamanos Local Zoowe are open everyday, 24/7. 

Just PLEASE DONT FEED THE ANIMALS.