Ode To My Friend

20201018_130057I miss my friend.

As the memories come tumbling back, in no particular order, they play out as scenes from yesterday.

From fifth grade on, we rode the bus to school and away games, we pedaled our bikes down dusty country roads, and we would lay out in the sun together – as long as we could stand it before jumping into the pond. We spent long idle summer hours, planning our futures when we grew up.

We watched late night movies at her house during sleepovers, we raided her mom’s leftovers & freezer stashes – and got in trouble the next morning. We hunted bugs in the woods for biology class, and we dissected starfish, frogs, and fetal pigs. We acted in class plays, we bowled, we roller-skated, we wrote speeches, and we competed in Latin contest together.

We waitressed, we detasseled corn, we were nurses’ aides together. We borrowed trays from our dorm’s cafeteria (where we worked) to mud-slide, and we watched the first streakers on our campus in the 70’s. We wore hot pants, midriffs, and bell-bottoms. Yes, we partied, and felt the after-effects together. I can’t tell you how many times we searched for her lost contacts… We hitchhiked, we pulled all-nighters, we whispered & dreamed about boys, and we shopped & tried on clothes for hours.

Sometimes we would read the same book at the same time, hanging over the side of the bed, turning the pages. We played April Fool’s jokes on people together. We laughed until we cried, and we cried on each other’s shoulders. We watched every Doris Day movie ever made, went to Gone With The Wind six times, and we baked cowboy cookies and cinnamon rolls.

We spring-breaked with each other, we danced, we went to church, never missed an Easter sunrise service, and we sang in the choir. We got in car mishaps, and we marched in the band together. We were roomies in college. Sure, there were times we disagreed, but we gave grace to each other and moved on.

We grew up together and in a weird way, we grew apart together. (Though we planned to marry best friends and live beside each other…)

Life took us down different paths. Twice, after years apart, we still managed somehow to serendipitously end up living within blocks of one another, and fell back into our old routines. What do you want to do tonight? I don’t know, what do you want to do? You pick me up. No, you pick me up… What are you having for dinner? What are YOU having for dinner? We hung out in a lot of coffee shops and talked endlessly.

Most importantly, we supported each other. We were there for each other. We listened, even if the other was crying so hard, no words could come out. We also rejoiced together, and cheered the other on. We understood each other. Our history was so deep that no backstory or explanations were ever needed. We held each other up. And so it went, as if we had forever.

Sometimes, when I’m not motivated to write, I remember that Linda believed in me. She always, always planned to be the first in line at my first movie. (I had to explain to my husband that she would be the one to accompany me to the Oscars, btw… I mean, we planned our outfits together.)

Now there’s no more Linda. She’s been gone two years. It seems like I talked to her yesterday, but I can’t call her, I can’t visit her, I can’t reach out to her – except to the ether world and imagine she’s listening to me from above.  Linda had the most faith of anyone I ever knew, both spiritually, and in others – in me. She was the first to believe in my writing, and she never stopped.

After a month and a few days into retirement, with no work demands and no social activities, my mind has relaxed, and glimmers of ideas are bubbling up during my long walks with Zu.

I’ve been thinking the least I can do is try to honor the faith of my dear friend and write something that would delight her. ~ GJDB

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It’s Almost Halloween – How to Avoid Becoming a Zombie.

So what’s my plan? How do I protect myself?

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Paul did a frightfully good job carving this pumpkin one year.  

Step 1. Remember the good times when there were no Zombies in sight.

Over the years, I’ve had some really fun Halloweens. I’ve dressed up as often as I could. (Never as a Zombie…)

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Oh Christmas Tree, A California Grape, The Cowardly Lion

Not pictured, but just as fun:  

  • Half of a pair of dice (Tip – don’t ever use a box as part of your costume and go to a party. People will set their bevys on your corners, especially if you are short.)
  • A Mime (That only lasted until my second beer…)
  • Lily Munster (I took advantage of my waist-length hair and a super tall boyfriend in college who dressed up as Herman.) 

Step 2. Be aware of how Zombie-dom can creep up on you. 

News numbness is real. So is doom-scrolling

At the 3:20 mark of this recent clip from SNL/Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon steps out of character as Dr. Wayne Wenodis (“We know this.” – Yes, I had to sound it out…to share her struggle of grappling with current affairs:

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Step 3. Distractions only work for awhile. Take action.

Voting early counts. Last week, Paul & I masked up, delivered our mail-in ballots to the County Clerk’s office, and dropped them in the locked ballot box. We exercised our rights. 

20201014_055619Love the confirmation. 

Step 4. Speaking of exercise… 

Yes, it’s good for us. Paul & I “restarted” our 30 day pushup/plank challenge, and should be done right after Election Day. #MovingForward

Step 5. Spend time in nature. Fresh air wipes the slate clean. The wonder and majesty of trees lift my spirits. 

fullsizeoutput_a9dSeen in my neighborhood…

Step 6. Don’t forget to use moisturizer. Exactly. Have you ever seen a Zombie with good skin?

Step 7. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

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Once an inquisitive nature nerd, always an inquisitive nature nerd.
Once a ukelele-playing surfer boy, always a ukulele-playing surfer boy.

Step 8. Stay connected with your friends and loved ones. Whether it’s through phone calls, texts, safe visits, emails, mail, Zoom, social media, and/or blogs, keep in touch. We all need to make sure there are no Zombies stalking one other. 

Steps 9 & 10. Last but not least, have a guard dog to scare away Zombies. 
And don’t forget the back up.

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She may be older now, but she’s just as scary. 

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He’s seriously ready.

Though it will be different this year without trick-or-treaters, we’re still counting down the days to Halloween and our own chocolate stash.  Boo to any Zombies! ~ GJDB

“Smiling is my favorite exercise.”  
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Honey, I’m home!

I am now officially retired. Yippee!

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Just a girl and her dog, and some buckeyes.

My work-from-home husband is likewise “officially” happy, yet at the same time I sense he’s a bit terrified/concerned/cautious that I might rock his world. (Yes, his to-do list suddenly got real.) 

I had been working remotely since March, so physically I’m occupying the same space, but something has shifted.

I’m free:

  • Free to wake up whenever I want. That was the first thing I noticed…
  • Free to forget what day it is – a bit disorienting, but only the first couple of times.
  • Free to walk with ZuZu to Buckeye Land (a little slice of nature tucked into the neighborhood) and join her for a nap under the trees, whenever we want. 
  • Free to nap on the back porch with the cat and dog, commonly referred to as Sluggo and Sluggette… (Yes, we like our naps.) 118791979_3150245251695987_5037796330903653993_o
  • Free to donate all those work clothes I don’t need/never “loved” to charity. 
  • Free to lose track of time.
  • Free to grin from ear to ear that I am retired, baby

People ask me what I’m going to do now. I have a long list of passions to revisit, new interests to investigate, and more. Much, much more. (As an example, if you explore this site at all, yes, it needs a total re-haul – something on my to-do list that has been set aside for too long.)

What I really want at the moment is an adventure – a bridge from my dutiful conscientious life to something more – something free.

Paul pitched an idea, and though I choked and nearly dismissed it, the seed was planted, and like my beloved garden, it’s starting to grow, albeit slowly – with a slightly different vision. In the age of Covid, there are challenges, so we’re having fun dreaming of the possibilities.

120093143_3210880092299169_4752198212182222459_oZinnias in various stages of opening. 

Waaay back, my husband wanted to quit his job and become a forest ranger. I said yes, until I realized we would frequently move from park to park, and we would have to give up our home – our roots – over and over. I didn’t want to be a nomad.  

Now that I’m retired, and he can work remotely from anywhere, he suggested we sell everything we own, buy an RV, and travel the country. His plan would be to wait until everyone who bought an RV to travel the country during Covid returns home, and sells their RV’s in a year or so. (It makes sense.)

Part 1 was getting me to agree to that.  Part 2 was getting rid of all of our belongings while we’re waiting for all those RV’s to come on the market. (He has already identified the “van” type as the way to go. *Note to self: Research.)

What I am willing to agree to is to rent an RV to try out the lifestyle, and go from there. His practical mind suggested we explore different areas of the country and decide where we really want to live in retirement instead of throwing darts at a board. It’s also possible we may find the grass greener, and gladly return home. 

My mantra is to live in retirement with no regrets. Health is my first and biggest priority for both of us.

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A few years ago, I gave up triathlons with the onset of exercise-induced asthma, so beyond lifting weights (#Boring), my paths to better fitness include dance classes (*will have to wait until after Covid), kayaking and SUP options, bicycling, and hiking with a new hobby – birdwatching. We could incorporate many of those on an RV road trip. My writing travels with me, I can read anywhere, and I’m already envisioning capturing beautiful photos. This would definitely be an adventure. 

If we move forward with the RV plan, I’m prepared with my national parks card, as visiting every national park is on our bucket list (*not to leave out state parks – we never pass by). Visiting every major league baseball stadium when the Cardinals play is also on that list. Wouldn’t that be fun? 

Because of the virus precautions, my retirement has not followed a “normal” trajectory of what I would have expected. I’m not calling pals for lunch or taking day trips to explore quaint towns and greenhouses. Paul and I are not meeting friends to celebrate, though my office surprised me with a goodbye/goodluck yard celebration that I will never forget. It brought me to tears when I saw all their masked faces and the signs they held up. They know me well.

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We are not going out and dining with friends. Our shopping is mainly picked up or delivered. Cutting our hair has been… interesting, and no, we’re not trying to live off the grid. We will venture forth if needed.

Bike riding, dog-walking, and nature picnics have been our main non-house activities. Paul also windsurfs, and regularly serenades the neighborhood from the front porch with his guitar. He even sometimes teases me into singing along. While the weather holds, we enjoy garden visitors. We’ve agreed on our own set of “rules” and have found that it helps eliminate awkwardness when we simply review those rules to evaluate potential social activities.

On the plus side, not gadding about has resulted in my staying still and processing what truly matters. Guess what? It’s not a bunch of stuff. Paul’s already dropped off several loads of donated goods and we’re feeling lighter and lighter.

18880170_1320595744660956_6112369540916964411_oNot exactly Walden Pond, but there are birdbaths, and it feels kind of magical.

36129574_1675293692524491_5939518511385673728_n*From a park outside Milwaukee when we went to a Cardinals/Brewers series. #HowIFeelWhenAnIdeaHits

This extra time allows me to truly enjoy writing snail mail again, and I’m happily downsizing my email inbox – when I look at it.  I have real conversations with family and friends via phone and Zoom. Not seeing people in person has been most difficult, so I cherish the garden chats.  

Our home is our safe place – our sanctuary. I can write – on my schedule and dust off projects that I loved to work on, but didn’t have time. Or not. I don’t want to trade one strict work schedule for another unless I know that’s how I want to invest my time.

Writing content for this blog is a great way for me to step back into writing, so… there will be more because I do enjoy it, and it’s a way I love to communicate. The more I write, the more things I want to share. (And when winter comes, and Paul and I are locked in this house from the cold… I will need a release valve. HahahahaHA!)

I view this initial phase of my retirement as a fallow period. As the last traces of summer transcends into fall, I’m resting as I gather strength. I’m preparing mentally and physically, and I’m embracing the time I have before my (our) next adventure.

Instead of ruing my lost “activities,” I’m thankful for the freedom to slow down and evaluate what’s most important. 

I hope to bring you along for the journey.  Cheers! ~ GJDB

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It’s Time.

Time to smell the daisies.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. In fact, it was December 4, 2016.

I’ve missed sharing my observations, so I decided it’s time to return with an updated perspective.

What is life like when you retire in the midst of a pandemic with a feisty cat, an aging pooch (Hey, who’s talking?) and a self-employed husband used to having the house to himself?

This is ZuZu. She’s almost 13. She grows more beautiful every day.

Yes, I’m retiring. My recent birthday gave me the peace of mind to do that.

So, woohoo. Though I had a vague vision of some sort of celebration when the time came, instead I’m deeply thankful for what I do have.

High school seniors have missed their graduations, college grads had job offers put on hold or withdrawn, weddings have been postponed, new babies have been welcomed in much smaller circles, and baseball still hasn’t come back, so I can suck it up, buttercup.

Working remotely since mid-March, I’ve discovered a few things.

While seemingly in the minority, our family remains in phase one mode, and so far, I have almost everything I need. I’m still able to avoid going out, partly because even a recovering packrat still has stuff.

Mainly, I love being home – a lot. Gardening bolsters that. (Expect lots of flora pics.)

Are there things I miss? Sure. (Don’t get me started.) The biggest is connecting in person, but for now, I rely on phone calls, texts, emails, social media, virtual connections, and the occasional socially-distanced garden visit.

As I continue to work from home until my job replacement is found, I’ll tend my garden, revisit my studio, and rekindle my passions. (Watch out – I feel a big cascade of writing coming on.)

And, I look forward to exploring new interests too. Cue: The husband shudders.

Then there’s unfinished business. For instance, do you have any idea how many broken windchimes I found in my “to be fixed” stash? Let’s just say the garden is hearing some new music.

I plan to share as I go, starting with now. It’s time.

Honey, I’m home!

As always, thanks for following along. ~ GJD





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2016 Christmas Movie Reviews

christmas-comet

Seasons Greetings!

I’m back at it! So far, I’m technically only one day behind… December has started with a bang.

Here are my movie reviews so far.  With our first snowfall of the season gently floating down from the sky, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. ~ G

2016 Countdown to Christmas Movie Review

Day 1 – A Heavenly Christmas, 2016: Earned 5 of 5 Candy Canes

Day 2 – Journey Back to Christmas, 2016: Earned 3.5 of 5 Christmas Comets

Days 3 & 4 – Holiday Switch, 2007, and A Dream of Christmas, 2016: Each earned 3 of 5 Visions of Sugarplums.

Day 5 – Charming Christmas, 2015: Earned 5 of 5 Silver Christmas Charms

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Are Your Feed Dogs Running Right?

Who even knows what feed dogs are?

What Paul sees

No, they’re not hungry cats.

Literally (and figuratively)… mine weren’t operating correctly, and I had no clue they existed.

I took a sewing class in high school back when McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity patterns were all the rage. To buy a Vogue pattern elicited Ooohs and Aaahs and sparked rumors of untold wealth among classmates.

Pattern - jacket and skirt

That skirt and jacket look so familiar.

 

 

 

pattern - halter top

Oh, yes. It was the 70’s.

 

My father gifted my mother with a Kenmore sewing machine, which she had no intention of using, so by default, I sewed my little heart out on it. Back in the days before petite hems caught on, I had to adjust everything.

Creating things came naturally to me. Though we kids were warned at both Grandmas’ houses not to play with their Singer sewing machines, Aunt Margie forgot to mention that caveat, so in third grade, I figured out how to make a pillow with a ruffle on her machine.

But back to feed dogs. I made extra money in college by embroidering and repairing blue jeans. (I will NEVER replace another zipper in a pair of Levis again.) I decorated my first apartment(s) with sheets turned into everything from throw pillows to matching curtains. How was it I’d never faced a feed dog?

embroidery jeans

Here we go.

Because I didn’t have to. As long as a machine runs smoothly, we assume all is okay, right?

I was able to part with that Kenmore in its heavy table when I found a portable Brother XV 809 at a garage sale for $20.  It had never been used, though the woman’s husband bought it for her with hopes she would use it.  She showed him. (Sounds like my mom.)
With one initial tune up, my little Brother has served me well. Until yesterday.

A friend wanted to surprise his wife by redoing their bathroom while she was out of town, which included a simple panel of matching curtain material he’d found at Hobby Lobby. He was desperate to find a seamstress. When I realized how easy the project was, I offered to whip it together.

curtain

What began as a simple project…

Let’s face it:  I didn’t know I had feed dogs, so I assumed everything on my machine worked correctly. I jumped into what should have been a thirty minute project. Fours hour later and under pressure to complete the promised deadline, I discovered feed dogs.

I’d wasted a huge amount of time trying to ensure my bobbin tension was correct, which I may never know now because I was so focused on that being the problem, I probably screwed it up, too…

Bottom line, I definitely had a problem with my feed dogs, and unlike newer models, there was no switch to lower or raise them to engage. No, for my baby, you have to unscrew stuff and unscrew other stuff to reach them.

feed dog access

Except mine doesn’t have a diagram to help. (Can you spot the feed dogs?)

So, what did I do?  As every seasoned seamstress knows, there are “fix-arounds”. Once I identified the real issue (and confirmed I would not be able to fix it on my own), I improvised. And, yes, the seams will hold together.

Though the finished product might not be up to my standards, the end user – the guy planning to wow his wife – was thrilled to have this small piece of his puzzle ready to go.

For you non-sewers out there, my simple definition of a feed dog is a cog/gear (teeth) to pull the material and automatically feed it forward so one’s hands do very little work except to guide it.

But when they don’t work, watch out. You have to pull and fight the material and be very careful so the nut/bolt above the presser foot doesn’t whack you if you’re too close to the needle/action.

feed dogs under presser foot

The feed dogs are the two rows on the bottom with “teeth”. The presser foot above lowers to clamp the material down until the feed dogs move it forward when you step on the pedal to engage.

As I was desperately wrestling with an innocent piece of material, trying way too hard to make a simple curtain, I pondered feed dogs and what they symbolize in life. I woke up thinking about them.

            What are my own personal feed dogs?

How have I taken them for granted?

How have I neglected them?

Is that why I struggle so hard with things that should be easy?

*Taking the sewing analogy a bit further, the upper and lower tensions must  balance one another.

I’m glad my little feed dogs need a tune-up. Recognizing there are problems lets me fix them before they’re beyond repair.

Happy August 1st!!! (Rabbit Rabbit)
Today is a new day and I have at least one dog to feed!

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Oh, but you will feed me whenever I command.

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The Whole Shebang

I’ve been remiss.  Though I faithfully posted my movie reviews each day in my Countdown to Christmas on The Yule Blogged at GaylaBetts.com, my screenwriting website, I have not shared all of them here.

Now that Christmas 2015 is past, and I’m finishing my current 2016 Christmas script, I’m catching up after the holidays.  (Though I still have to tackle the rest of the Christmas cards…)

It was fun while it lasted, and I’m already looking forward to next year!!!

The entire list is below.  Happy January!  ~ GB

January Christmas

Happy Month-After-Christmas!  Stay warm!

2015 Countdown to Christmas Movie Review

Day 1 – The Nine Lives of Christmas, 2014:  Earned 4 of 5 Sprigs of Mistletoe

Day 2 – A Bride For Christmas, 2012:  Earned 5 of 5 Golden Rings

Day 3 – The Holiday Yule Log, 2007:  Earned 5 of 5 Yule Logs
Also, it provided the inspiration for my new blog title with a little Yule history.

Day 4 – Angels Sing, 2013:  Earned 4 of 5 Christmas Lights

Day 5 – Christmas in Boston, 2005:  Earned 3 of 5 Snow Globes

Day 6 – Hitched For the Holidays, 2012:  Earned 5 of 5 New Year’s Eve Toasts

Day 7 – The Santa Clause, 1994:  Earned 5 of 5 Hot Chocolates

Day 8 – Northpole: Open For Christmas, 2015:  Earned 3.5 of 5 Magic Snowballs

Days 9 & 10 – The Flight Before Christmas & A Christmas Detour, both 2015:  Combined earned 2 + 2 of 5 Snowstorms

Day 11 – 12 Gifts of Christmas, 2015:  Earned 4 of 5 bright red Christmas bows

Where’s That Christmas Spirit?:  A little perspective at the almost halfway mark.

Day 12 – The Christmas Gift, 2015:  Earned 1.5 of 5 Secret Santa’s

Day 13 – Trading Christmas, 2011:  Earned 5 of 5 Christmas Cookies

Day 14 – Christmas With The Kranks, 2004: Earned 5 of 5 blow-up Frosty’s.

Day 15 – Ice Sculpture Christmas, 2015: Earned 4 of 5 Ice Sculptures

Day 16 – Holiday in Handcuffs, 2007: Earned 4 of 5 Spiced Egg Nogs

Day 17 – Journey to the Christmas Star, 2013: Earned 3.5 of 5 Christmas Stars.

Day 18 – Santa Baby, 2006: Earned 4.5 of 5 double-swooped candy canes

Day 19 – Last Chance For Christmas, 2015: Earned 1 of 5 Reindeer Antlers

Day 20 – The Spirit of Christmas aka Hollygrove, 2015:  Earned 5 of 5 Smoldering Christmas Distractions

Day 21 – Snow, 2004: Earned 3 of 5 Flying Reindeer

Day 22 – Elf, 2003: Earned 4.5 of 5 “Swirly twirly gum drops”

Day 23 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989: Earned 5 of 5 Leaping Christmas Squirrels

Day 24 – A Christmas Story, 1983: Earned 5 of 5 Secret Decoder Rings

Day 25 – IT’S CHRISTMAS!!! and… It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946: Earned 5 of 5 Zuzu’s petals

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A Little Christmas Movie Escape

I mentioned that I’m writing a Christmas Family Adventure script.  I’m also watching and reviewing Christmas movies as part of my process, and it is FUN!  I’m rediscovering movies I’d forgotten about, finding movies I wish I’d watched years ago, and enjoying new releases.

The real classics I’m trying to save for Christmas Day.

If you find yourself buckling under any holiday or Christmas pressure at all, my advice is to indulge in a little Christmas movie escape.  My recap of reviews since the countdown on December 1 is below.  The full reviews are also at GaylaBetts.com -> The Yule Blog.

santa and the spirit of christmas

Santa at his finest.

Day 1 – The Nine Lives of Christmas, 2014:  Earned 4 of 5 Sprigs of Mistletoe

Day 2 – A Bride For Christmas, 2012:  Earned 5 of 5 Golden Rings

Day 3 – The Holiday Yule Log, 2007:  Earned 5 of 5 Yule Logs)
Also, it provided the inspiration for my new blog title with a little Yule history.

Day 4 – Angels Sing, 2013:  Earned 4 of 5 Christmas Lights

Day 5 – Christmas in Boston, 2005:  Earned 3 of 5 Snow Globes

Day 6 – Hitched For the Holidays, 2012:  Earned 5 of 5 New Year’s Eve Toasts

Day 7 – The Santa Clause, 1994:  Earned 5 of 5 Hot Chocolates

Day 8 – Northpole: Open For Christmas, 2015:  Earned 3.5 of 5 Magic Snowballs

Days 9 & 10 – The Flight Before Christmas & A Christmas Detour , both 2015:  Combined earned 2 + 2 of 5 Snowstorms

Day 11 – 12 Gifts of Christmas, 2015:  Earned 4 of 5 bright red Christmas bows)

Where’s That Christmas Spirit?:  A little perspective at the almost halfway mark.

Day 12 – The Christmas Gift, 2015:  Earned 1.5 of 5 Secret Santa’s

Day 13 – Trading Christmas, 2011:  Earned 5 of 5 Christmas Cookies

Day 14 – Christmas With The Kranks, 2004: Earned 5 of 5 blow-up Frosty’s.

Day 15 –

Day 16 –

Day 17 –

Day 18 –

Day 19 –

Day 20 –

Day 21 –

Day 22 –

Day 23 –

Day 24 –

Day 25 – IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!

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It’s been awhile…

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And it is that time of year again!

First off, let me say how well my husband is doing almost a year and a half after his major bicycle accident.  He’s recovered so well, I’d like to call it a mishap, but when you are technically almost internally decapitated, it is not a mishap.

He is more-or-less back to his usual activities of (yes) bicycling, running, wind-surfing, cross-country skiing, and almost every other physical endeavor he tries.   I say “more-or-less” because he’ll never be quite the same, but we are both so very grateful for his amazing recovery, nuances at this point fall away.

He continues to struggle with his right hand as the improvement with dexterity and strength continue to challenge him, but he is a shining example of not giving up, even if the improvements are slower in this area. He is my hero.

Second, we are very appreciative for all the prayers, good wishes, and encouragement we’ve received from our family, friends, and so many people who simply wish him well.

Christmas background thank you

 

Third, and this is about me, now.

I’ve announced to the world that my screenwriting specialty is writing Christmas Family Adventure stories. I’ve revamped my Gayla Betts Screenwriting website to reflect that.

If you go over there before January 4, 2016, you can see very cool snow falling lightly across the background.

As part of the redo, I’ve created a blog there called The Yule Blog, where I’m currently reviewing Christmas movies each day until Christmas.

So far I’ve reviewed on a scale of 5:

Day 1 – The Nine Lives of Christmas (Earned 4 Sprigs of Mistletoe)

Day 2 – A Bride For Christmas (Earned 5 Golden Rings)

Day 3 – The Holiday Yule Log (Earned 5 Yule Logs)                                        Also, it provided the inspiration for my new blog title with a little Yule history.

Day 4 – Angels Sing (Earned 4 Christmas Lights)

Day 5 – Christmas in Boston (Earned 3 Snow Globes)

Day 6 – Will be forthcoming today.

In the future, I intend to share my happenings, which will of course include husband stories, plus cat and dog stories, from that blog.

Thanks for your support on my journey!  ~ G

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My Husband is a Koala Bear.

Seriously, do you see the resemblance?

Seriously, do you see the resemblance?

Not just because he’s cute and hug-able.

Did you know Koala bears sleep 18-22 hours a day?  Since his accident, Paul has taken naps.  Lots of naps. He’s trying to do more and more things, but for every effort, he has to rest:

Make breakfast; take a nap.                                                                                                                         Physical therapy; take a nap.                                                                                                                          Walk the dog; take a nap.                                                                                                                                    Call his mom; take a nap.                                                                                                                                    You get the picture.

The surgeon told Paul he’ll continue to feel worn out for another 6 months.

For the record, Paul and I disagree on the amount of time he naps as he feels he’s tapering off.  Perhaps he is, but from my vantage point, falling asleep in the middle of a movie counts as a nap.  Coming home to find him sacked out with his mouth wide open counts as a nap.

(I’ve asked him to guest-post if he’d like to set the record straight – no editing on my part.  Maybe the next one.)

Yesterday marked 6 months post-surgery, that magical deadline when “things” are to start happening.  Like… the internal swelling in his neck could start to subside and reduce the pressure on the nerves controlling his right thumb and fingers.

His occupational therapist was overjoyed this past week when Paul slightly moved his right thumb into a certain position he’s not been able to reach before, so we’re cautiously (and super) optimistic.

One thing I love is that Paul never stops trying.

Overall, he’s pretty much back to normal, except for tiring out, loss of upper body strength, and use of his right hand (single-digit typing for example).

In measurable achievements , he runs regularly, sometimes taking ZuZu along.  He joined a water-aerobics class with some older ladies with whom he made a pact:  What happens in the pool stays in the pool…

What does he do there?

We can only imagine.

The music he plays on his guitar is often identifiable (cannot hold a pick but able to strum with his finger), and he’s back to almost 100% of the cooking, which includes making breakfast, packing my lunch, and usually preparing dinner.  I also love that he knows me so well.

(Okay, I still can't do that...)

(Okay, I still can’t do that…)

One huge breakthrough Paul had was pulling the lawnmower cord to cut the grass.  Yes, we had a huge celebration.

We’re seeing real light at the end of the tunnel.  I recently transitioned to a new job and am working on my master screenwriting certificate, so with Paul’s efforts to return to as much of his past routine as possible, I’m starting to feel like I’m not falling off the edge of the world anymore and yes, I might be able to catch up on my to-do lists.

cat balance
This Thanksgiving season, I’m especially grateful for the patience and kindness of our friends and family and most of all, I’m thankful for my Koala bear guy.

Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?

PS:  Here are the original bicycle accident details.

Posted in All About Paul, Animal Impact, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments