Holiday spirit

We are Muslim so we don’t celebrate Christmas. But then again, we are both converts. Me from Judaism. Hubby a Christian. Anyway, the holiday decorations and holiday spirit still move us. We have had a full tree in the past, but with the hardwoods installed, we don’t want to risk water stains. Plus it’s just the two of us and the four-legged children. So this year, we went for a tabletop tree I dug out old vintage ornaments and by “vintage”, I mean ones from when the SOMH was a wee one.

Happy holidays!!


Picking at the seal

You know those sticky tabs that seal things shut? Well that’s the therapy stage I feel I am in right now. And I don’t like it. I don’t like it because I have to face my own ugliness buried deep under the “do everything perfectly for —- (insert boss, husband, daughter, mother)” sand dune I have lived under for as long as I can remember. And the really scary part is we haven’t even peeled the seal all the way off. I had a therapy session Monday. Tuesday I was sad, teetering on the edge (or so it seemed). I replayed the session and what I should have said or the direction I should have gone. My therapist doesn’t yet know me and has jumped to a few conclusions, but I set her straight. Nothing serious but assumptions that my need to be a good wife is somehow related to me being Muslim. It’s not. It’s related to the need to never give him a reason to leave me. Not that that has ever been an issue…in my mind I’m just waiting for the axe to fall. After all, I’m a needy, anxious, chubby, restless, indecisive, old lady and who would be able to look past my faults and love me? (Insert many paragraphs as to why I should be fired from my job, hated by my children, looked at as a terrible daughter, sister, friend.). MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT REALITY.

So today I am seeing the doctor (psychiatrist). I’m not sure why other than he is in charge of managing my medications. I have met him once before and he seemed very nice. I feel like I confuse the doctor and counselor because I was not an unloved abused child nor am I unintelligent. I am told I am attractive (wow that hurt to type) and I am a good person. I think he must find it hard to understand my low self esteem. Oh sure, I had a relationship with a egotistical, narcissistic sociopath who always criticized everything I did but this goes back long before that. Hell, I probably sought him out to validate the negativity I felt toward myself. Totally my fault…again.

Nevertheless, I almost want to stop counseling after only three appointments. I feel I would rather live in my world of apathy constantly trying to improve myself by setting unrealistic goals than pull my head out of the sand and face the reality that I am never going to achieve the goal of being the person I want to be. I am who I am. And she’s not that bad (yes she is).

I wish there was a pill to stop my racing mind constantly imagining the thoughts of others as though it was reality.

I wish I could take something to erase the need to complete the errant thoughts when I’m trying to concentrate. I do not need to figure out 311-68 at that very moment, but until I do…it won’t stop. I do not need to remember whether on not I put my keys back in my purse…at that moment. But I do. And if I try to push it away, the whispering is still there, behind my ear…”just figure it out, then you can concentrate” my brain lies to me. So I do…and then the next errant must-solve-now thought starts. It is maddening.

And I really wish there was a pill to stop the tinnitus which is seemingly made worse by the anxiety the counseling-to-help-me-deal-with-anxiety is causing.

Sneezing fit

while strapped into my CPAP mask.

Although this was not mucous filled sneezes (thank God), they were nuclear sneezes.

The first sneeze started deep down in my toes and from tickle to explosion was less than .00002 of a second. In that microsecond, my brain went through every scenario from “this is how I die” to “I’m going to pop my mask”. My brain froze all logical thought like hit the stop button or lift the nasal pillows. So I lay there…flat on my back…and sneeze air back into the CPAP as my CPAP forces 5-20 cmH2O air up my nose. As the air is forced up my nose, you cannot open your mouth or that air escapes. This my brain remembers. First 2 sneezes I kept my mouth clamped shut. But the battle of the pressures was overwhelming and quite frankly the hysteria was setting in. I started laughing. Sneezing, laughing and gasping all at once.

Thank God I peed before I went to bed!


Copying the creative idea of a fellow blogger, I am at my local Starbucks. I had a very good, heartfelt, bare my soul blog written, but it is not to be. As I was finishing it, poof internet cut out and it was gone. No draft saved. I guess today will have to remain a mystery.


So this weekend we went to Elk County (aptly named) and stayed the night in Saint Mary’s so we could be out before dawn. When I say “we”, I mean me, my husband and his son…my SOMH. These two boys rival my two daughters in “not morning people”. Fortunately for the boys, I woke with a headache so my usual morning chipperness was muted.

We still managed to get up and as we headed to Winslow Hill to view the elk, we were stopped along the road by a very large bull elk and his haram. He desperately wanted to cross the road but the crowd seemed to make him mad. The bugling was getting intense.

We eventually made it to Winslow Hill and we were not disappointed. The elk are majestic animals for sure. There was one cow trying to make a break for it, so my SOMH, husband and I turned it into a soap opera. She was a tease, but then the tables turned and the other cows made a break for it while the bull elk was trying to corral the cow. There was some bugling going one in the lower field and we suspect he had a bigger rack. 😜

It was also fun to be the object of curiosity to the groups of Amish also visiting the elk. I am sure they often get the stares, and it was hard not to smile when they could not help but stare at me. I don’t suspect they see many Muslims.

We also took a short 2 mile hike but by this time my headache was a full blown migraine and all the tasbih (remembrances) couldn’t distract me. We drove a bit more but by then the elk had moved into the woods so we started the drive home. We saw a black bear but he was moving so no time to take pictures.

I sat in the back to rest my head, but it was unbearable and the winding mountain roads didn’t help. The pain was moving. The normal left temple, but also burning across the top of my head and heavy throbbing at the back/base of my head. The tinnitus was unbelievable and felt “trapped” in there. Very odd.

About an hour into the drive home I was torn between begging my husband to stop at a hospital or drugstore. Most small mountain towns had neither. We finally found a CVS and I blindly stumbled in for Excedrin migraine. I briefly thought about begging for an imitrex shot, but I suspected that would not go over well, so I got to the counter, barely able to speak and the chipper clerk asked if I had a CVS card. Uh huh, yes, no, I don’t remember, just um…no. I stagger back to the car and choke down a handful of pills. (Two pills, it was only two pills…the temptation was there tho.)

My husband, clearly irritated by the unexpected stop and getting grouchy from hunger, takes off down the road. Every sharp switchback, slow then fast, stop and go, the loud squeaking of Jane, the navigator GPS, and stifling air, had me moaning and groaning and wishing for a coma. I realize I hadn’t eaten and the pills hit my stomach. New problem. Ugh. 🤢

We finally get into Tyrone, PA, the boys decide to look for food. In Tyrone. There was a sketchy looking Subway (or Suay, according to the lighted sign). Or a Burger King. Fast greasy food. By this time, alhamdulillah, the headache was subdued. I ate a few fries and sipped some Sprite.

Over all the trip was beautiful. The leaves are almost at peak.

I dealt with the headache aftermath today – brain fog and leg cramps – and pray for no rebound headache.

First Apple Massacre of 2017

So many cores and peels, I wish I were a skilled composter. My wrist and arm got quite a workout! This is just the first of several applesauce making weekends. I always argue that it’s is truly a waste of time to can the applesauce. They eat it in a few days.

I had a bit of a pot issue. I think I will need to invest in a bigger stock pot. Nevertheless that’s what 11.5 pounds of peeled and sliced apples looks like.

The apple butter cooked all day in the crockpot. I had most of my spices except for ground cloves. I broke out the ole mortar and pestle and ground my own. I love the white flesh of the cortland and empire apples.

Crush took his usual spot against my ankles except for when I used the apple slicer. Then he waited for one to slip off the board and into his always ready mouth.

My husband decided today was the day we needed to pick out living room furniture so I quickly cleaned the kitchen, threw a skirt on over my Walmart-ready white leggings and off we went. I just sat down to finally relax on the last day of the weekend and my SOHM stopped over on his way back to school to print some notes, snatch a jar of applesauce and get his puppy all riled up. Then he left. Crush will now mope around for the next hour missing his buddy.

Again I have to say this is my favorite time of year….baseball playoffs, hockey season, cooler weather, holiday season – starting with Halloween — it’s just a happily busy time of year.

Total Diet Fail

Today was the Apple Harvest Festival and by far one of (if not the one) favorite weekend of the year. I love this time of year. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, the fields are being harvested and it’s officially deer-dodging season.

My husband wanted to go early to the festival as it is the first weekend and the crowds can be pretty bad. I did not argue (for once) since I already had to tell him he was right twice the day before and, let’s face it, it’s three words most wives choke on.

After visiting the amazing booths of crafts and mulling over whether to get a plaque that says “for me and my family we serve the Lord” or “all those who come in peace are welcome” or any number of other cutesy little wall art…none of which we could agree on and truth be told, the money I brought was really for what followed.


Open pit beef with horseradish and bbq sauce. My first 3,000+/- calorie meal of the day.

Post-breakfast palette cleanser

Funnel cake with stewed apples, confectioners sugar and cinnamon. I had to laugh when they gave me two forks. Like I was going to share. Forks are not needed when I tackle funnel cake. It’s the one time I can honestly say sticky fingers don’t bother me.

One cannot go to an apple harvest festival without obtaining the harvested apples, however the festival sells pre-bagged apples and since I plan to can apple butter and applesauce, I like to get a variety of apples so we made a stop at the round barn (historic round barn)

for a half bushel of apples…jonagold, cameo, Fuji, empire, winesap, gala and others.

I’ll be busy tomorrow.

Sadly I did not take a picture of the final “must have” from the festival as they were eaten after dinner. Apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream. I’d say I managed to consume more calories than I care to admit, but oh my they were tasty calories.