Garage Sale Saturday

I personally find garage sales awkward. “What in heaven’s name is she talking about?” you say. Such a simple thing…..figure out what you no longer need to dust or read or wear or move out of the way every time you turn around, put a sticker with a price on it and sit and drink coffee and chat the morning away in your driveway.

I love the idea of recycle/re-purpose so the garage sale concept is so…..I don’t know….delicious. I have made some spectacular finds and love the feeling of being lucky to have done so. Serendipity for sure and by the way, that is one of my favorite words. According to the dictionary it came about in 1754 and basically means “a happy accident”. Plus, it’s fun to say. Ser-en-dipity!

But I digress.

Garage sales are also a tiny glimpse into people’s’ lives; did someone really treasure that? Or was it a gift from a mother-in-law that just needs to go? (The gift, not the mother-in-law. Well, maybe both). I read an interesting study where people were asked to value an item based on whether they were buying it or selling it. Not surprisingly, if people owned something they felt it was worth much more than if they were buying it. So garage sales are Psychology 101 and that is where I get hung up.

What if people don’t want to buy my stuff? Do I make eye contact? What do I say? What do I do? It really isn’t that complicated and it isn’t about me at all. Can we say “over thinking”? I have survived the ultimate rejection and am happy; so why not act like it? Got nothing to lose…..

Charlie is not for sale

Charlie the dog is not for sale

So this morning after Gandalf, Pippin and I returned from our walk I placed the price stickers and set up shop with coffee and computer. I am loving chatting, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, watching the kids across the street and listening to the CDs I have playing in my garage. It is a regular parade….adults, kids, dogs, bikes, motorcycles; the best show in town. A guy just rode by on a bike while carrying a small hockey goal net. There are the garage sale pros (all business/no visiting), the drive-by people and those who appear to have accidentally wandered into the neighborhood.

The breeze is cool, the sun is warm and I have discovered that some swallows are building a nest where the eves peak over my driveway; I may regret it but I am going to let them stay. So far I have made $1.00 in real money but the experience has been priceless. I might not sell everything and you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Garage sale as therapy. I like it.




My Oxygen Mask


Mare's tails

Blogging again at cruising altitude. I think I figured out what happened on the flight out to Virginia so this post should stick right here. Fingers crossed.

When journeying by air you become familiar with this phrase: “…..if you are traveling with someone requiring assistance, please be sure to put on your own oxygen mask first….”

Yep. It’s true and while I know it (taps forehead with finger), I am learning to truly know it (rests palm of hand on chest). And therefore do it (flaps arms rapidly while jumping up and down). OK, I didn’t actually flap and jump but it was an interesting visual…..I hope I didn’t worry you. Now…where was I? Ah, yes, the doing part; that was how the trip evolved; I was starting to flounder and the Universe presented me with a work conference in Norfolk. I could attend this and then visit family while having to be responsible for only myself; I would not take Rebecca and that was the difficult but necessary piece of this.

North Carolina Arboretum

This is the first time I have been away from Rebecca since our world got crazy. I have used every tool I know for maintaining a healthy mind/body/spirit and I recently added a low dose anti-depressant to help with the PTSD/anxiety left over from all the death and destruction. My Higher Power has my back as it was soon after starting that med that Rebecca was taken and I realized I was hanging on by my fingernails. She cried when I left last week but I was losing cabin pressure rapidly, the oxygen mask was dangling in front of my eyes and there was no turning back. I grabbed it and ran.

Did I feel guilty? Yes, but my survival instinct won the day. I am not sure Rebecca could grasp the concept of me going on vacation by myself, for myself, (I can’t either, actually, hence the conference part of the trip) and in fact she spent the first twenty four hours after my departure being rather surly. Sarah helped her buck up via Face Time, which we have found to be a marvelous tool for communicating with her, and the days rolled on.

Once Rebecca remembered that snarling about the situation wasn’t a productive way to manage it, her mood brightened and she started to attend to the things she needed to do. Her bike tires required attention, laundry was waiting. She went for a run or two and knew she could call or text me, which she did. My being out of town was on her monthly support calendar so her staff was aware. She could count the days on her calendar. We had cooked before I left and she had meals in her freezer. William, Kate and I shared photos and we did a Face Time visit once. Sarah helped her work through a small emotional collapse at the end of the week. I couldn’t have had this time away without William and Sarah’s support.

Rebecca survived this separation and I hope as the new normal of our lives becomes more familiar she will be less prone to meltdowns. This week provided more insight into how to support her; I am not going to live forever and one day Face Time won’t reach wherever I am (probably the Lido deck in hell, truth be told), but that is not today.

I have been the woman who packs along at least one of everything, ready for any eventuality. Part of this came from living with a man who slowly sank into chemical dependence and I never knew what I was coming home to, or what was coming home to me. This week I off-loaded much unnecessary cargo and didn’t feel panicked; impending doom as a companion is exhausting and I am getting used to the feeling that the world is not going to end every time I turn around. I like it!

The view from 30,000 feet is one of my ship riding higher in the water; all my emergency stores were swamping my boat. Sarah and her family, William, Kate, my Dad and friends are helping me breathe into a new lightness of being.

I am one lucky Momcat, renewed and ready to press on.

What is your oxygen mask?

Wholam Clinical Trial update

I am learning more every day, the newest lesson being “how wi-fi works at 30,000 feet”…….I was flying to Virginia to visit William, Kate and my dad and had this post almost done. I thought it would be so cool to publish from cruising altitude and hit a key; all my words instantly flew off into the sky. I am still not sure what happened but now the “save draft” button is my very best friend. I was initially bereft but found that publishing this post later rather than sooner has allowed me to add links to local food producers in Virginia and some fun photos; in between tropical storm Andrea’s downpours William, Kate and I shopped at farmer’s markets, picked up their CSA at Five Points Community Farm and visited the farm cat while buying the week’s share of eggs and milk at Full Quiver Farm. So just for you…..a second ago I held my breath and pushed “publish”. Whew. We’re still here. Enjoy!

Here we are, five months into Paleo-ish and finally spring; we did have frost last night which confirms that here, the naming of seasons is like “the pirate code”…..mostly guidelines. Now it is gorgeous, green, the trees are blooming and I love it.

Anyway, I had to have a physical for my health insurance and the dreaded lipids were to be measured. I had not planned on having them drawn for another month but it was time to pony up and see what was up, or down, as the case may be.

I have struggled with a rising cholesterol for about 6 years. Both my parents have been on meds for elevated lipids for years and while we do not have the genetic high cholesterol problem I wondered if it was just going to be the way it was for me, too. My doc at the time wanted me to go on meds and I didn’t. I modified my diet even further: (low fat everything, extra veggies; olive oil), began supplementing with Red Yeast Rice (a naturally occurring statin) and Co-Q10, continued my exercise routine and plugged along. I achieved an acceptable ratio and my triglycerides were OK so my doc and I called a truce and life went on.

Full Quiver Farm

Full Quiver Farm


Farm cat

Farm cat


Full Quiver Farm

Full Quiver Farm

Here are my lipid panel numbers. And remember, Paleo-ish is what is working for us; you will have to find what works for you. 

A few years ago while following conventional dietary guidelines:

  • Total cholesterol 242 (125-200)
  • HDL 76 (>40)
  • LDL 117 (<100)
  • Triglycerides 85 (<150)
  • ratio  3.2 (<5)

After five months of Paleo-ish

  • Total cholesterol 227 (<200)
  • HDL >100 (>50)
  • LDL Too low to measure on their device (<100)
  • Triglycerides <45 (<150)
  • ratio <2  (<4.0)

    Five Points Community Farm Market

    Five Points Community Farm Market

I have lost a couple of pounds and a couple of inches. While I still have the perpetual pants-shopping problem of the waist being too big when the rear fits, I now struggle with this issue one-half to one size smaller. I swear I can see muscles in my upper arms and some nights after work I have the energy to go for long Gandalf walks or short non-Gandalf runs. Most mornings I wake up a bit before the alarm goes off and I no longer take the supplements.

Rebecca is wearing pants she hasn’t worn for four or five years and rarely naps during the day. She has the motivation to take herself out running a few days a week and recently ran a ten minute mile with one of her staff members! Her sibs agree she is clearer mentally and I am positive that this clarity contributed to her keeping her cool when she was taken two months ago.

I love the recipes and the simplified shopping of Paleo-ish. I have signed up for local produce through a CSA program and I am going to investigate the Nourishmat for my home garden. I am going to buy a food dryer in anticipation of preserving this wonderful bounty for Rebecca and myself; we have a freezer and will get to savor the summer when the snow flies again. I will close my eyes and remember this trip and the growing goodness. I hope you can do the same!

See the Nourishmat? Five Points Farm Market

Check it out in your area!

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