Annoyed, amazed, humored, and sad. All in one day.

Our little (uncovered) grill in the Big Woods in the First 5" snow.

Our grill.  Which does not squeak.

    1.  Very annoying.  Yesterday we “fixed” the wood stove furnace belt, which “entertained” us with squeaky noises for the past month.  An hour later the new belt is entertaining us with different squeaky noises. Can it be fixed?
    2. At times squeaky noises do not bother me.  At other times they do.
    3. I have been pondering humor and the Universe.  What makes one person laugh, and another cringe. And another shake her head wondering, “Why the heck is that funny?”  My mom and I do not share the same sense of humor.  (OK, she also does not understand many of my spiritual inclinations, especially last November when I carried on for maybe twenty minutes about Deepak Chopra’s book “You are the Universe“.  I kept saying,  “Isn’t this the MOST FASCINATING stuff in the world, Mom?  Isn’t this fabulous?  Aren’t you EXCITED?”  I would read her sentence after amazing sentence. She shook her head and looked at me as if from a foreign planet.  “Kathy, this isn’t even interesting,” she said.  Dumbfounded, I stared at her.  How could this Universal understanding not be AMAZING?)  I am still shaking my head about this. (And smiling…)
    4. Speaking of amazing, another relative–yet unnamed–turned and said, “Do you realize that’s the third time you’ve said ‘amazing’ in the past ten minutes?”  I wanted to shout, “But LIFE is amazing, isn’t it?” but mumbled something inane instead, suddenly wanting to throw the word “amazing” out the window evermore, feeling suddenly stupid. (P.S.  I could have used the word “awesome” instead of “amazing”.  Just sayin’.  This memory is not always amazing.) The use of the words amazing or awesome have NOT been stifled in ensuing months.
    5. It’s overcast today.  It’s cold.  Fifteen degrees.  Downstate, at my childhood home, it’s snowing buckets.
    6. My mom and I talked for 20 minutes today.  I told her about my friend, Reggie, from Cape Town, South Africa.  About their water crisis.  About how there’s not enough water to wash dishes, take showers, wash cars, do laundry, on a daily or weekly basis. Reggie’s email pierced my heart today.  It’s funny how it takes a friend half way across the world to intimately wake us up to what’s happening to precious others on our blue and green spinning planet. I have read her email twice now.  Will read a third time, and maybe a fourth, before responding.  How can one respond to that? Especially when one soaks often daily in a hot bath?
    7. The greatest gift of my children’s partners has been that they’ve opened my heart past the boundaries of the United States.  When something happens in Egypt, I think of Diaa’s precious grandma.  When something happens in South Korea, I think of Seunghye’s parents and brother and sister-in-law and babies.  It’s harder to armor the heart when family live in so many places.
    8. Yet, I do armor this heart.  Don’t you?  Because there is so much pain in the world.  If a person felt every single blow, hit, murder, hurricane, tsunami, tornado, rape, devastation…how would we make it through the day?  Yet, if we don’t feel some of the pain, we’re like ostriches with our heads in the sand.  How to live with open heart and hope?  That’s the challenge.
    9. We filed our taxes yesterday.
    10. Yesterday was a long day in our Little House in the Big Woods.  Barry has been sick with a cold for almost two weeks.  I almost succumbed, but did not, and hopefully won’t. Mostly I like retirement.  But sometimes the days are…long. Like yesterday.
    11. Thankfully I am going to Florida to spend some time with my mom in about a week!
    12. Have been working at the school on and off, helping the new Business Manager.  This morning spent 2.5 hours filing federal reports, re-figuring mid-year employee wages, processing paperwork for a new employee.
    13. Thanks for stopping by and reading these random thoughts, happenings and feelings. From a deep January woods with a squeaking wood stove belt in the basement, your blogging friend, Kathy
I mean it, Dog.  Numbers run screaming off pages.

Dog.  Amazing dog!



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in January 2018 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Annoyed, amazed, humored, and sad. All in one day.

  1. Barb says:

    That squeaking belt would drive me crazy. I like quiet which is different than silence because it’s attainable. Ever person’s quiet is different but a squealing/squeaking belt is nobody’s quiet. I like that you and your mom can be honest with each other. We are all so different – good to have all those options/opinions swirling around. Part of that gray area I love. Good that you’re going to visit Mom and walk the beach again – amazing in fact! I’m going to the beach in May and am already daydreaming about it. PS maybe earplugs would work for the squeaking?

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Barb, we have had SO MANY squeaking grumbling banging noises in this house the past several months. One gets fixed and another gets started. When I’m centered and “universal” (ha ha) it’s all fine. But apparently have not been there lately, because it’s not fine. Hey, what a good insight about the honesty. It struck me when reading that Chopra book that–hey–she really isn’t interested. And that’s OK. Can’t wait to walk the beach. Wish mom could walk, too, but that probably won’t be happening any more… 😦
      I am really enjoying your blog posts, too, in case you didn’t know!

      • Barb says:

        Thanks for reading, Kathy. Sometimes I imagine I’m flinging the words out there and nobody is catching them…

        • Kathy says:

          Barb, I am catching your words and feeling their beauty and then releasing them back into the precious Universe. Keep writing! (And I feel the same way you do…except for the people who comment…)

  2. Stacy says:

    I think your thoughts are amazing. Amazing. Amazing. There. I said it 3 times in the span of a few seconds. Which reminds me, if you said the book is amazing, I am going to read it. XO

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, Stacy, Stacy! First, I love that you will openly and willingly say the word amazing. Thank you! Amazing! However, you have to realize that I thought the book was amazing in NOVEMBER. Now, when I think back, it doesn’t seem like it was that amazing. It was in-the-moment, ya know. It was just the next thing that the Universe said, “READ, Kathy.” I am not sure if the Universe would say that to anyone else. Hmmm. Go on Amazon, look at the link, and then ask the Universe. It’s kinda a scientific book. You gotta be in the mood for scientific. I will quit typing now.

  3. I love your amazing post. And the amazing photo of the adorable dog. Is he yours? I think if we go through life un-amazed, we are not truly LIVING. Every ordinary moment is amazing, even with annoying squeaks. One of my writing students wrote about how we are made of so many millions of tiny cells, and they’re all part of us, inside and out, ‘all the way to the ends of our eyelashes.’ Aren’t you amazed at eyelashes? My 5-year-old grandson has eyelashes as long as a peacock’s feather. Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But whatever, they’re amazing.
    Go in peace, my friend. Stay healthy. Hope Barry’s cold blows away now like the frosty air outside your window, that the squeaks stop, that as you read in your easy chair, you stop for a second and think about the amazing-ness of you. All the way to the tip of your eyelash.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh no, the cute doggie is not mine. He was found, unexpected, amazing! I loved your comment. And what your writing student discovered. Sometimes I think that every person we meet is actually one of our cells, made manifest. What do you think of that? And to think that your grandson has eyelashes like that! How utterly amazing. Truly. I am hoping Barry’s cold blows away, far far away, and that he’ll be healthy here in the North Woods whilst I am in the Southern Mangroves and Beaches. xoxoxo

  4. Carol says:

    But so many things are amazing! How can you not use that word? The fact that the birds and the squirrels know when seed has been put out for them. That the squirrels figured out where the seed is stored and figured out to get to it. That the earth turns in a consistent pattern and doesn’t spinning off into the black hole. That the day I dawdle and am still in my robe at noon is the day someone WILL come to my door.

    • Kathy says:

      I am smiling at your amazing description of life here! How indeed do those birds and squirrels get it “right”? How indeed do we stay out of that black hole? How indeed does the visitor come on the ONE DAY we’re still in our jammies at noon? I have NONE of the answers! Only questions, like you, Carol.

  5. Bonnie says:

    I use the word beautiful a lot, but awesome and amazing are excellent words too. On another point, I could weep for hours if I let the woes of the world get to me. At times I can’t bear to listen to the news.

    • Kathy says:

      Bonnie, your comment is beautiful. Thank you for not sighing over the “a” words. Yes, couldn’t we weep for hours? Maybe until the end of time? It’s one reason we do not have a TV. But my mom has a TV in Florida…so will soon be embroiled and enmeshed in things that make me crazy! Soft gentle blessings, my friend.

  6. debyemm says:

    Filed your taxes !!!! I’m just hoping to make it without an extension this year. In fact, am still waiting for the CPA to wrap up 2016 (yeah, I was late – gave it to her early November but . . .). Such is MY life and it is still amazing, sometimes annoying, love when humor reaches me (and I’m not good at “getting” a joke) and sad too often. Stay warm. Maybe you’ll learn to love the squeak as white noise ? We’ve had water adventures here today. Trying to get off Mountain Valley Spring Water by going with a Reverse Osmosis filtration system (the spring water is 3 times more expensive). Problem is our youngest is a huge water drinker and calls the RO water “trash”. We have 30 days to make up our mind. No, it doesn’t taste as good to me either but I could probably get used to it to save money . . . such is life. Maybe we’ll save less and keep some spring water for my son.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my–water adventures. Doesn’t sound like any kind of filtration fun, Deb. Yet you want your son to keep drinking water that he likes. It seems like having water on this planet should be a simple matter–but so often it’s not. I like that you experience the fullness of life’s feelings, too, and that you express them here, there and everywhere. Blessings, Deb.

      • debyemm says:

        It wasn’t 24 hrs and the drinking water system broke down. Not one of us minded going back to the bottled spring water (we get Mountain Valley 4,000 yr old water in 5 gal glass bottles). It doesn’t look good for keeping this system beyond the 30 day trial. The water pressure is horrible and the taste is not good.

        Yes, water is SO VERY IMPORTANT to health – right up there with breathing air.

        The water guy will come today to “he hopes” fix it. We are so remote it takes days to get service. It isn’t looking “good” for keeping it and I’m not sad. We are doing this because repeatedly my husband has threatened to cut it off and I have defended it as – “it is important that we drink water and so the water must taste good, so that we drink as much as we should”. I’ll know for certain by March whether I have to tolerate the new water (reverse osmosis) or we give up on it.

  7. Good for you, getting your taxes done! That certainly can make for a long day, though. Especially, I’m sure, when accompanied by squeaky sound effects! I tend to over-use words now and then. Sometimes it seems like the perfect word in every single instance of usage. Still, if I notice it in my writing, I go back and find other ways to say it. That’s not possible when I’m speaking. When it has been pointed out to me (and I wonder, do they mistake me for a child, or a student, or a fool, that I need to be guided through a conversation???), it makes me feel very self conscious about it. Then I become more thoughtful and formulaic in my speech, less spontaneous and “from-the-heart.” I resent that, as it took me many years to find the confidence of my true voice; I should not have to stifle it, to guard against grammatical improprieties! I’m glad your “over-use” of “amazing” hasn’t come up again. It is their loss, my dear, for not understanding that what we need in this world is MORE amazement, not less!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, I know what you’re describing about becoming self-conscious when someone points out an overused word in speech. It can set a person back years if we start stifling that “true voice”. Not sure how we can navigate the waters between expressing ourselves fully and not going underwater when we’re challenged. It’s a journey! (As to the “amazing” conundrum, I haven’t been around that person since the first time. I am thinking it will be VERY important to use the word “amazing” at least three times in the first ten minutes around him/her. Then, if and when they make the same comment, I have a response which should rock their socks. LOL.)

  8. dawnkinster says:

    First off, the dog is cute, I hope he/she found her way home!

    I am very noise sensitive. Random noises, or repeated noises both bug me a lot. I can’t think or work if Katie is huffing at me. I’ve never been able to do homework with the television on, or even music playing. So I get how annoying the squeaking belt can be! I hope you figure it out soon! I would have a hard time even sleeping!

    Amazing. Awesome. We just hired a painting contractor that I think might be 20 something. When I let him know we were picking him his one word response was … “awesome.” I laughed. If I didn’t like him so much that response would have given me pause but I think it’s just the way things are these days. Amazing.

    Look forward to your time in Florida! It’s not snowing there! We got a whole bunch of snow today, after a beautiful, dry roads, no snow kind of day yesterday. We thought (and we knew it was wrong, but still) that spring was on the way yesterday. We have been snowed back to reality now. Katie and I hope to go to Alabama maybe next week. We’ll see how the weather is for driving. Maybe we’ll be ‘down south’ at the same time!

    • Kathy says:

      First, the doggie wasn’t seen again…so am assuming he found Home.
      Second, I am sorry about your noise sensitivity. As someone with an on-again off-again sensitivity, I can image your challenges.
      Third, Awesome about your contractor. LOL! Yes, sometimes those words just bug us. And other times not. I think we could write an entire blog wondering why.
      Fourth, I wonder if we’ll be “down south” at the same time. I’m headed out (without Barry) next weekend. Flying the friendly skies through Minneapolis. Hope your snow melts fast, or at least remains manageable until you leave!

  9. Brenda says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing, rambling thoughts! Thank you for opening our eyes to amazing things around our world! Thank you for bringing to mind the amazing wonders of our brains! I hope all the worries and concerns you hold in your heart will be resolved in peaceful ways (mine too, please) and I hope Barry feels bright and chipper real soon. I pray you have safe travels on the way to and from your Mom’s and that the visit is filled with many amazing moments. May your friend, Reggie know that prayers are going up for her and everyone in her area suffering from the water crisis. And of course, prayers are going up for your family and their families across the globe. Sometimes, the rambling thoughts bring us together and give us the opportunity to understand the world we live in and to understand the people we meet in a deeper way. Thank you! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Did you like all this rambling, Brenda? I am glad! I hope your worries and concerns will resolve, too. And I appreciate that you are praying for Reggie and Cape Town. Thank you. Thank you twice. Thank you a third time. And thank you for your comment about how rambling can actually bring people closer by revealing small things.

      • Brenda says:

        ❤ You're so welcome honey ❤ Yep…I always love your writing ❤

      • Reggie says:

        Thank you Kathy and Brenda, for thinking of us. We’ve been going through dark days down here in South Africa. We’re all praying that the drought will end and the rain will return to bless our land, because it is parched. A recent thunderstorm had us all dashing outside in the middle of the night, trying to capture the rain and loving,loving,loving it on our skins!

        • Kathy says:

          Reggie, I am thinking about you and South Africa so much these days, and sharing with others about your situation. Glad you had at least one thunderstorm to give you hope that perhaps the rain will return and gift your beautiful land with water…

          • Reggie says:

            Thank you, Kathy! It’s been a historic couple of days, with our president finally resigning and a new one being sworn in today. We wait with bated breath to see what will happen. We need wise, level-headed, intelligent, compassionate and far-sighted leadership to tackle all the difficult challenges our country is facing – not just with regard to the widespread drought and lack of water, but in every single sphere of life – politics, society, finance, race relations, land ownership, employment, health, education, infrastructure…. The last 9 years have been devastating on so many fronts.

            • Kathy says:

              Reggie, congratulations on your new president! May he make those wise and fruitful decisions that will guide your country back to wholeness. xoxoxoxo

  10. Lori says:

    Amazing thoughts! So, which book are you going to bring to read to your mom when you visit? The story of Siddhartha? LOL Yeah, my mom had absolutely no sense of humor for years. That was difficult for a person who vows to laugh at least once a day, but mostly more than that. Since I moved back home though, she laughs more often. My husband is “Mr. Wit,” and she always laughs at his stuff. She likes him better than me. LOL I’ve also gone on about my spiritual endeavors with her, and she looks at me like I must’ve been born of a different woman than her.

    Anyhoo, great time of year to go for a visit in Florida. January and February are the only two months I’d ever set foot back there again. In the mean time, keep warm with your squeaky furnace.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori–oh no, a good daughter learns her lesson! I will not be reading my mom any more spiritual books…OK, unless I’ve had a glass of wine and can’t help myself! My mom loves a dry sense of humor. She really admires wit like that. I, on the other hand, love word and metaphor humor so much. Oh, the stories we could tell about the intricacies of our family relationships… But most of those are not meant for print. I can’t wait to spend some time with Mom in sunny warm Florida. Yes, February will be warm but not TOO warm. Thanks for stoppin’ by and sharing your thoughts.

      • Lori says:

        I hope you know that it was my sense of humor when I mentioned Siddhartha. 😉 As far as telling about the intricacies of family relationships, I already used them for one work of fiction (faction) from the in-law side. Next comes my family. They all make for good story fodder.

        • Kathy says:

          Oh, yes, I know you were kidding! It’s odd how, in a family, you can be so close in some ways and other ways so different. I don’t usually write about my extended family too much. Maybe some day…

  11. Sybil Nunn says:

    How many canaries in coal mines will it take before we wake up ? I should write to Reggie.

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