I Honestly Love You

*Note*

For The Laughing Nanny followers, this is an assignment for a psych class I am part of. It needs to be available to others online so this was the first and only choice. Feel free to skip right over it as it’s not a usual (whatever that is) post. Thank you for your patience.    TLN

I was in a local store when an old song from the past came on, Olivia Newton-Johns ‘I Honestly Love You.’ Just that quick, tears started falling. Had to get out of there and fast. Came home with tears still in my eyes and listened to the song all the way through. I cried…. four years worth of tears…. enough that it made me physically sick, which is a first for me. What brought this on? Pretty simple actually, and all in a nutshell of this rotten peanut.

It’s not a good feeling to constantly feel like you have to be on guard… for your health, your well-being, your sanity, your creature comforts, your safety. You’re not ‘who’ you’ve always been because you’re adopted, or so you’ve been reminded. You’ve lost your identity in more ways than one. Your health and sanity takes a toll when threatened with physical violence against you and your dog, knowing someone is outside of your home because they’re beating on the house, and meager attempts at break-ins, yelling from vehicles in order to scare you, leaving threats on voice mail and writing threats out in messages. You’re scared to walk outside during the day. You leave in the early morning hours for the closest all night store just to be around humans not trying to attack every aspect of you. “Call me if you need me,” in one sentence and “I don’t want to get involved,” in the next. Coming or going? Undecided? It’s been a long, tough 46 months since dad died. Add to that the fact that my grandkiddos are either in or out of my life based on whatever whim happens to smell the best at the moment makes some days not worth the effort and nobody will know exactly how much effort it takes for this body of mine to function properly through each day. Each and every day. Always. And forever. Any joy and happiness I feel with my grandchildren means nothing since I am alive….. and I can’t compete with another grandmother who is no longer with us. I’d like to spend as much time as I can with my kiddos without the threat of ‘I’m pissed off with her again so we’ll punish her” mentality. God knows I won’t be living a long life – God knows I probably won’t make it until the next birthday. I don’t have the energy and am too tired to fight any of these losing battles. I don’t want any more confrontations that I didn’t instigate and I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m grabbed and thrown to the ground again. The worst of all is the look in the grandkiddos eyes; they don’t know what to do when they see me…. they don’t know if they are supposed to like me or dislike me. I can’t let that happen anymore. They can’t be pawns in their parents game of manipulation. I just hope my kiddos realize that I have loved them, both of them, ALL of them, more than I loved me. If they don’t or can’t see that, they are in worse shape than I thought.

That song opened up a dam that refused to budge. Don’t know why, don’t know how but it sure felt good for so much stuff to wash away. I guess it’s officially spring again.

 

Social Media

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ~ Eric Schmidt

Believe it or not, I heard that from a television show I was watching yesterday; started writing it quickly in my hand for looking up later on… you guessed it… the Internet.

About 20 years ago, I did a research paper in a Sociology class about how the invention of the light bulb may have changed our society, more specifically our daily family life. I had tons of information (gathered mostly from books, not the Internet) but I kept the paper on the straight and narrow, addressing only the subjects of the outline. Still, I was amazed at the information I’d found that I couldn’t work with but still was viable information on the change which most definitely had happened in our lives. For the sake of an objective opinion, the light bulb is a great thing but maybe we have carried it a little too far? What do we gain versus what we lose? More money? More work time? Less time for family and friends? Difficult for me to say because I don’t know what you think.

Then yesterday, I heard the above referenced quote. Instantly, my mind went to social media and how it is used. Which made me think, “How IS it used?”

We use it to post about self, or family, or stories, or hateful and/or hurtful politics, or we’re out degrading someone or something or saying nothing important at all. We see what you’re having for dinner, we know when you’re mad at your husband or boyfriend or your subtle innuendos directed to someone who has no clue that your post is about them, if that person even sees it. It’s the place to use every foul word you know and get by with it because ‘it’s your page.’ It’s the way to spread hate, discrimination, dishonesty, have affairs, be accused of having an affair when nothing could be further from the truth. In short, we have turned into a full narcissistic and jealous society without even thinking about it.

Anything to make someone feel bad about their self.

Then we use it to post about self (again), family (again), or stories (again) with the hope that someone gets a smile or laugh out of it. We share happy photos of friends and loved ones, knowing they are appreciated. We can keep up with our friends that are under the weather, find out in a flash if there’s anything we can do to help. There’s always a happy video, a funny saying, a roll on the floor laughing poster, and there’s the poor doggie and kitty posts that need a forever home. We share our art, our creativity, our music, our devotions, prayer requests and we’re thankful to know there are those around that really care.

Anything to make someone feel good about their self.

I only participate in two social media sites – Facebook and this blog. The blog is simply for anything (literally) that comes to mind. It’s not, however, my private or personal journal. If it’s not a funny story, it’s about a subject that’s been on my mind. Anything other than that will be private and personal and not on any site.

This past week or so, I’ve been bombarded with Friend’s Requests on Facebook. I almost never receive Friend’s Requests as I keep my circle small and have people that will communicate with me. Ever so often, I go through the list and delete the ones that I never hear from or those I don’t see in the Newsfeed any longer. So no, I don’t get many Friend’s Requests… until this week. I knew one person for sure; the rest? From mutual friends. I check each person before accepting or declining and see that most of these mutual friends have over 1,000 friends on their list. Seriously? How in the world do you keep up with over 1,000 friends? You can’t! Can you? I also realized these mutual friends were one’s that didn’t communicate with me at all and I never saw them in the Newsfeed. I’ve sent messages to those sending requests asking if I know him or her. I don’t know these people and there’s no telling what they post, something I’m getting pickier and pickier about.

I’ll admit I’m somewhat addicted to sharing with others, especially photos I take or some music video or some hiking article or hiking place. Photography is a hobby and I have many photographer friends that message me with hints, help or atta girl, good job! My favorite subjects are nature and my grandkiddos. The death warmed over look keeps selfie’s to a minimum so no narcissism there. Music is a no-brainer. Hiking? More and more people are beginning to love the great outdoors as much as I do and that makes me smile.

You can see so much on social media if you only pay attention. Admittedly, there are some things someone doesn’t want to know and then there’s the extreme where someone wants to know everything about everything and have no qualms about asking something that may not be any of your business.

Which brings me back to the quote…

HAVE we unleashed the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had?

Do we REALLY think people are that interested in us?

Honest, I tried to write this objectively but know that there are some subjective points of view within. Please know I’m always interested in another opinion and realize there may not be a specific right or wrong.

Love

Nanny

 

 

The Girls Only Weekend

Let’s face it; Nanny is getting old. Where did all the energy go that was there while chasing a young son around for 18 years of life? Then chasing him around still for the next 10 years? It sure didn’t hang around long, not with all those granddaughters and their antics, which was non-stop for 52 hours. Whew! What a weekend!

Picked both of them up late Friday afternoon from their respective daycares and decided we were eating out. No siree, it was Friday night and perfect for someone else to cook us some grilled cheese sandwiches. Good thing we all love grilled cheese sandwiches because they’re quick and easy to fix, taste so good and nothing is left on the plate. Truth be known, we could probably eat them for every meal and be perfectly happy doing it.

Took our time and it was after dark when we pulled in the driveway at the homeplace. In my mind was one thought rolling around… bedtime… bedtime… bedtime. Ahh, blessed bedtime. Of course there was the million things to do before we made it that far, the toys that needed to be played with, pj’s to put on and the forever question of “Are you sure you brushed your teeth?”

Finally, they were in the bed with Miss Priss on the top bunk and Baby Girl on the bottom bunk. Ten minutes later, Nanny was in the bed with Baby Girl, enjoying that special time to be with her before she fell asleep. Ha! Sleep? Did not happen soon. She talked for the next hour or so. And expected me to talk back and answer her! Miss Priss is already sacked out and Little Sister keeps running off at the mouth! Oh goodness, is she ever going to sleep, I thought with a grin?

Saturday dawned bright and early as I lay there listening to the Little Ladies sleeping but that didn’t last long. The upper bunk began to move… the bottom bunk had a Baby Girl head on my stomach with arms wrapped all around me. Then she looked up and smiled a big, sleepy smile. I melted. It was so sweet. But the early morning sleepy peace soon came to an end. Daylight was burning and it was time to play!

They both quickly dressed (that a whole different story in itself) and out the backdoor we went. “Nana… Nana… Nana…” If I heard Nana once, I heard it 300 times in the next two hours. Riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, walking Hershey – the Wonderdog, feeding Gina, the sweet pit bull. Quite a busy morning before breakfast.

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Busy Little Ladies

That’s how the rest of the day went until we went out to the local church for family night. Kids, kids and more kids. My grandkiddos had a blast playing with their cousins and friends. Also, they were happy to see their other grandparents. Yea, those girls love to play and Nanny was…. you guessed it… exhausted! Plus neither had had a nap that day. Yippee! This night would be different!

We arrived home way after dark, did the nightly routine and in the bed they went. I did not hear the first peep or movement from either one of them – they fell asleep just that quick. Whew! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Ten minutes later, Nana was in the bed with Baby Girl and it was lights out. Ahh…. blessed peace at last.

Sunday, they scraggled out of bed after 9 a.m., unlike the early-bird risers from the day before. Again, it was breakfast to eat and outside to play. Rain. Phooey. That put a slight damper on things but it soon ended and the sun came out. Later on we jumped in the truck and rode to O-town to walk around and look at the big boats. That was a big hit. Lucky for me the girls like to go walking and hiking and always enjoy the new stuff we find to do outside. Miss Priss told me she doesn’t like to watch tv and she and Baby Girl like/want to do yoga. Oh gosh, they’re killing me! Not really, they just have SO! MUCH! ENERGY! 

I really enjoyed the time I had with just the girls for company but I’ll admit it sure felt good to get back to my humble abode. Later, I texted my kiddo and thanked him for asking me to keep them this past weekend and how much I enjoyed it. He replied with a thank you, and I love you BUT I needed to quit sleeping with the girls because they’ve had trouble the past two nights getting Baby Girl to sleep.

Me? I laughed. Why? Because the girls and I had obviously made some happy memories together.

Oh well…

Love

Nanny

 

Camping Friends

 

 

 

 

Camping

Campers like to eat

There are many reasons people camp and although I’ve never ‘interviewed’ anyone, per se, I’ve listened to enough stories over the years to find there are lots of viable reasons for primitive camping and/or hauling a travel trailer/motor home.

By far, the number one reason for any type of camping is the freedom involved and the sense of peace that comes from that freedom. Whether you’re pulling into a campsite or have everything in a pack on your back as you walk in the woods to that special place, nothing else could possibly give someone that sense of melding with nature, letting that feeling roll not only over you but inside of you. I’ll admit that even in a campground with others around, that same sense of peace is still there, knowing all you have to do is walk out the door and be in a world that’s quite different from the norm.

Years ago, when my kiddo was a young son and I was a single mom, we lived in the beautiful mountains. Camping was our weekend excursions. Every weekend. The truck was always ready with the necessities and all we needed on Friday afternoon was to pack a bathing suit, some food and be on our way to wherever we decided to go. It always involved hiking on the hilly terrain and hours in the lakes. We’d spend a lot of time walking around the campgrounds, talking to different folks, enjoying their stories, meeting the campground host or hostess or both, watching the local wildlife making their way around and watched our step for snakes. Yea, there’s a story or two or ten about snakes. Regardless, we looked forward each year to our first weekend back in the woods after winter. So many different people and it was all so interesting.

Years later, I advanced to a camper, an Airstream to be specific. She was set up on a lot and my learning experience on how to live small. After a couple of years of that, I invested in Gypsy ~ The Cherokee and decided she would take me around to unknown places far and wide.

Well, she has and it’s been a blast. I’ve seen things I’ve only dreamed of or seen pictures of or watched documentaries of. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could change landscapes from one day to the next and see all of this with my own eyes.

A lot of people camp together, in groups. Four or five campers in a group and everyone knows everyone else. That is so cool. My guess is they’re either in a camping club or everybody just enjoys the great outdoors and sharing it with each other. I sit on the sidelines and watch, smiling at their antics and all the fun they have with each other. I find it much more interesting to be on the outside looking in than inside contributing limited information. I find I learn a lot more this way.

camping1

Camping friends

 

Facebook can be a wonderful tool when finding people with the same interests as yours. There are several ‘friends’ that are campers and I follow a lot of the long-distance hikers of the PCT, CDT and AT. I ‘met’ a friend via Facebook who lives in a more southern state that camps with his wife. We’ve been friends a year or two. Not too many weeks ago, I had the wonderful chance to meet this gentleman and his lady one evening, along with some other friends. We had a blast! My very first camping friends! They had traveled up to the Eastern Shore and were staying locally a few miles down the road at another campground.

I’ve been invited to visit when I’m way down south in their neck of the woods. It will be nice to visit with them again and enjoy their company. It’s nice to pick the brain of a fellow camper but it’s even nicer to find out more about these special people.

Camping brings freedom and peace; and it’s nice to be around people who enjoy that same thing and also understands the need that drives it.

Love

Nanny

What Day Is It?

Really, what day is it?

Since February had an extra day this year and on a Monday, no less, this whole week has been out of sync. Okay, truth be known the whole week hasn’t been out of sync but my brain certainly has been.

March is a super busy month with all kinds of appointments and only one obligation, thank goodness, but enough stuff is going on I’m looking forward to April.

What started out as a perfectly organized calendar for the month of March turned into several days of showing up at offices when there wasn’t as appointment scheduled for that day. The dates were fine; I just showed up on the wrong day. At least I was ahead of schedule instead of behind.

One office has seen me walk in for an appointment three different days when the appointment was actually scheduled for the next day each time. Golly, how embarrassing is that? Actually, it’s not. It’s funny as heck and not only did I get a good laugh, the ladies behind the glass couldn’t help but laugh with me.

I think that extra day we had Monday must have been possessed or something. I mean the calendar and everything written in it, both dates and days, were correct. My mind had the right date but had the wrong day. And I surely don’t want to start this week over again just to fix it!

I’m not going to blame this on the ‘dork’ status that I use occasionally (although we know that does happen occasionally and hey, I’m good with it), but instead blame it on the med change-up my doc and I discussed and started me on Monday. Been prescribed another drug to decrease and slowly eliminate two drugs; however, she said it would ‘zing’ me and I guess it ‘zinged’ me in the day department. That’s so funny to me. She also gave me another med to counteract the ‘zinging’ during this time and said for me to take those religiously, which I have not, hence the day issue. My gawsh, that’s even funnier! Maybe I should listen and follow her instructions instead of doing it my way? Hmm….. might be a good idea in this case since I have another week and a half to go. Oh dear!

Even better news than lost days and ‘zinging meds is the fact that it will and has already put me on the path to quit smoking! Now that right there is quite an accomplishment. I took the first ‘zinging’ pill Monday. By that afternoon, a smoke tasted horrible and that’s bad news for a smoker. Since Monday, I have cut down tremendously on the smoking and recently told a friend that I wouldn’t be surprised if I had quit completely by the end of the week, if not before. Yea, I’ll admit it. I’m a little excited about this turn of events. I’m really looking forward to taking less prescribed drugs and really glad that I’m finally on the right regime of supplements and vitamins that seem to be working and very seldom making me sick. Plus, no more cigarettes. Yes!

So, if all of this is accomplished because I have the days screwed up because Monday was possessed, then I’m happy it’s turned out this way.

Love

Nanny

 

 

Winter Recovery

I don’t speak much anymore about my health so this will be the last time. The rest is just a lifetime of dealing with the ups and downs and whatevers that will be each new day concerning these particular health issues of mine, the never-ending malnutrition, and other problems that are directly or indirectly related to it.

When I parked Gypsy the first of September, my body was nutritionally depleted in a serious way although I didn’t know it at the time. I was so tired, so lethargic, couldn’t think, couldn’t see, could barely climb the steps to get inside the camper. Basically, I couldn’t function. For two months after arriving, I did almost nothing but sleep for 18 hours a day. Never had I felt like I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other as much as during that time. All this from the camping Nanny that could hardly wait for the next adventure or next sight she would see.

After doing some backtracking, I saw I had mentioned how I felt in a blog post dated July 31st, so I’d been feeling yucky for a while. I made it to my doc appointment on the second of September and labwork was done. I received a call from the doc within three hours about how lacking my body was in nutrients, the immediate need to rectify this with some heavy hitting pharma meds, injections and whatever else she/he/they thought would work quickly, in addition to seeing a more specialized doc in this field. Well, isn’t this just great, thought the sarcastic me.

Weird how the body works now. I eat as healthy as I can. I cook my own meals and make sure it’s things that will help whatever ails me, in addition to the supplements. Last spring, before the first camping trip, my levels were within normal (albeit low normal) and I eased up on the supplements and relied on the food. Actually, I never thought about any damage I might be doing or falling below the “I’m having a hard time getting through this day” line that my body required. I didn’t realize it then or I could have tried to stop it but it never crossed my mind.

After receiving the lab results today, I see some things are good and others not so much and must be improved upon. Doc and I had quite a prayer meeting Monday but in a nutshell, food will never again be able to sustain my body. Different minerals metabolize in different parts of the body and the tummy surgeries have taken away most of the abilities for anything to work as it’s supposed to. I learned a lot from the doc and we updated the supplements and changed things around some. There’s also a little concern about CNS damage from years of being on the nutrient rollercoaster ride. Eleven years of it, with the last nine being the worst. It’s not funny when you can’t get the right words to come out of your mouth or your fingers.

I do my best not to plan things to do, go out with friends, invite people over or even go visiting. I never know what each day will bring or if sometime during the day ‘it’ will kick in and literally knock me off my game. I take care of necessary stuff and grin and bear it through the rest right now. I’m thankful friends and family understand when I ask them not to stop by and visit. I don’t like seeing people when I feel my worst and, if I should be home, you can probably bet I’m at my worst. Makes me a hermit but it’s the world’s best hermit and I actually like myself even when others don’t get it. There’s no such thing as date nights or time outs with friends because I shouldn’t eat but will do it anyway. Then I’ll pay for it, usually sooner rather than later and that is not fun at all. Or my energy level goes from slim to none and it’s either rest or sleep it off. Believe me, it’s taken a long time to adjust to this but I finally have and I’m good with it. I can only do what I can do, nothing more at this time.

The good news is I don’t have a feeding tube and I will do whatever I have to do in order to keep from having one again. Another thing is, although I can’t repair any damage that has been done previously (especially the CNS and brain), I can do my best to keep the levels within a normal range as long as I take the right supplements every day. We find that out by the labwork. What I have found and as the doc explained to me, it doesn’t take long at all to drop off the charts nutritionally but it takes months to build yourself back up to some kind of normal. Truer words have never been spoken. The past four to six months have been a struggle, to say the least, but I’m still learning how all of this is supposed to work. After all, it’s only been a year and a half since the last surgery and that whole timeframe has been nothing but trial and error.

Malnutrition is not something most of us think about in this day and age. There’s too much stuff out there to keep us on the straight and narrow. However, they don’t make an app to fix it. You have to do it on your own.

Through it all, I’ve been grateful it’s not any worse than what it is. I could be bed-ridden, have a feeding tube, have full-blown dementia symptoms and/or have some dreaded disease added to the list. I don’t bitch or gripe about it anymore or feel sorry for myself. I just don’t talk about it with anyone. I quit because it really doesn’t matter. This journey is mine and I’m doing it the best way I know how with the proper guidance. There aren’t even any more white lies since I’ll bypass this subject. Yes, I am grateful that even though I’m not where I need to be, I’m better than I was. The body still has to learn the ‘new’ normal again and that takes time. So much so that I’ve finally learned to be patient with myself and let me be me in the moment–good or bad moment. The little saying below? Exactly where I am at in the grand scheme of things.

“Happiness is finding peace in the midst of all the chaos.” ~ Unknown

Love

Nanny

 

 

Mileage Estimates

A little breakdown of time and mileage for these spring / summer camping excursions. 🙂

The Big Adventure

May 13, 2015 – June 15, 2015

2,032 Total Miles

On the Road Again

July 20, 2015 – September 1, 2015

2,289 Eastern Shore to Oklahoma and Texas

1,626 Oklahoma and Texas to Eastern Shore

3,724 Total Miles

Both Trips

5,756 Total Miles

Tuesday

2,289 left Elk City/Clinton KOA Oklahoma

2,591 Ft Smith AR KOA

302 miles

Wednesday

2,591 Ft Smith AR KOA

2,731 Little Rock North KOA

140 miles

Thursday

2,731 Little Rock North KOA

3,020 Buffalo / I-40 TN KOA

289 miles

Friday

3,020 Buffalo / I-40 TN KOA

Asheville East KOA (did not stay – refunded)

3,454 Walmart parking lot Asheville

434 miles

Saturday

3,454 Walmart parking lot Asheville

3,569 Statesville KOA

115 miles

Tuesday (Sunday and Monday in Statesville)

3569 Statesville KOA

3,915 Eastern Shore KOA

346 miles

Total

1,626 miles