Pluviophile Mama

a lover of rain;someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Tired Tired or Grief Tired — December 4, 2021

Tired Tired or Grief Tired

Oh the holidays! The joy, lights, music, scents (best smells ever come from holiday scents!!!), people, celebrations, and traditions. Ah traditions. They are the biggest comfort with the sharpest edge to people who are grieving.

The year of “firsts without Nana” is coming to and end and as she passed on the first of January it leaves us with celebrating the holidays right before that one year anniversary. Our family is really close. I know I’ve mentioned this because there’s no way I haven’t.

Its been the most comforting thing in the world to have them to lean on through this. But as December hits and the Christmas vibes really kick up and shove the joy down your throat I find I’m so tired. I’ve been paying attention to my fatigue levels after having Covid but even before that I notice there’s a difference in my tired days. There’s the normal “its been a hard week and I just don’t want to adult after work” tired, the “wow everyone is really on my nerves please leave me alone with my books” tired, and then there’s “I don’t know how life goes on brain fog full body exhaustion” tired. That last one I can now identify as grief tired. If this is a real term let me know because as of right now I think I made it up.

Its not all consuming and please don’t recommend a therapist (I’ve got one don’t worry). Its just that sometimes the grief comes in waves and feel physically heavy. Sometimes it knocks the wind out of me and sometimes its more subtle. It just blankets over me and feels like I’m exhausted and my brain is foggy but looking at pictures or remembering stories about Nana helps. Generally it lasts a few days and I rally and get my crap together. Except that lately I haven’t got my crap together. My house is suffering for it and the time has come for me to be an adult. I hate it.

Even when it comes to running the business I can feel it. The reminder that I didn’t pay close enough attention to what she was teaching me when we were working together. The fact that I took for granted that she would always be there weighs on me and flares up for days at a time. I wish I had clung to every word and had a memory like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory so I could recall every second of our lives together. I’ll take the good and the bad!

So I’m venting to hold myself accountable. To put it out in the universe that I wont be held down by the grief anymore. I will put on my big girl pants and clean my house. My mom always says “messy bed, messy head” and it always drives me insane. Even more so when I realize she’s right. I don’t want to hand this lifestyle down to my child. I really don’t want my reality TV debut to be on the show Hoarders so this weekend we make changes! May even ask for help.

November Reading — December 3, 2021

November Reading

I had a great reading month! I’m really missing Literary Society meetings but with the holidays we were too stressed. January though its on!

I listened to quite a few audiobooks since I’m not working in direct patient care anymore. I’m able to put my headphones on and work and listen at the same time. Its brilliant.

So here’s what I accomplished this month!

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

~ I listened to his on audio and let me just tell you…. read the actual book. I enjoyed the story and even when it felt slow I was intrigued and stayed with it. My Aunt and I read/listened at the same time and I found myself texting her asking what the heck was going on!

This book is a story about a family dynamic that I adored. I love family stories! But the mother goes “missing” after sending a cryptic text. The story goes back and forth between the present and months ago ( I think it was months it could have been a year?). While I liked the story I have to be honest… I did not enjoy the narrator. Like at all. The voice made every character sound like a whiny little brat!

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

~ I was just texting with a friend about this book. Its about a plus size instagram influencer mixed with a little murder mystery. I was torn after reading it. Not sure if I loved my body the way it is, or had a strong urge to lose weight and get in shape! Either way it was good read. I didn’t hate it but not sure how often I’d recommend it. It would have to be someone looking for exactly this type of story.

The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella

~ I feel very strongly that when I’m feeling sad Sophie’s stories can lift me right up. I listened to it on audio and loved it. AGAIN with the family dynamic stories. I didn’t mean to that with the holidays coming but I’m not mad about it.

When her life is turned upside down and her childhood house is listed for sale all she can think about is getting her childhood treasure back. But because of a massive conflict with her dad and his new girlfriend she declines to go (after being left off the original guest list). Instead she plans to sneak in, get her treasure, and sneak out. The family dynamics is something I adored about this book. The idea of hiding/sneaking around and being able to hear what your family says when you aren’t around is interesting to me. I loved every character in this book. Even the ones I loved to hate!

Anxious People by Fredrick Backman

~ I know I’m behind the times on this read. It was plastered everywhere, so naturally I didn’t want to read it. But eventually I listened and loved it. It was dark but also super funny. Like I laughed hard at some spots while at work and wonder if my coworker thinks I’m crazy or if she’ll start calling me “nerd” like my family does. Anyway this is about a bank robber, but also a hostage situation, but also a book about idiots. I appreciated everything about it. I loved that it went from thought provoking to just making fun of humans. My apologies for not wanting to read it because it was trendy, clearly there was a reason it was everywhere.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

~ I bought this on my kindle because it was an ebook sale. I had seen it before but with the state of the world right now I haven’t been much in the mood for WWII. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself. Someone recommended this to me and I swear it was my Aunt but she says she’s never read it before. So to the mystery person out there who told me I had to read it… thank you.

Yes its a WWII true story but no fear the author does a brilliant job of telling the story and giving details without making your stomach curl. At least thats how I felt about it. There are some WWII that I can’t make it through because it upsets me so much. But this story brought hope to me and reminded me that we have to keep our heads up and stay positive and believe that we will get through anything. I understand theres a second part of this novel about one of the other characters. Based on what she went through in this book I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it but I’m certainly going to try.

My Top 5 All Time Favorites…so far — December 1, 2021

My Top 5 All Time Favorites…so far

I’ve been looking for some more book talk in my life. I’ve tried podcast and some online book clubs but it seems to me everything has an agenda. Every recommendation is laced with race, LGBTQ, or anti-Trump something or other. I can’t anymore.

So here is a space for people wanting recommendations on the story and how it made me feel. I’ll be honest and open to conversations.

I’m not the best at summarizing so I’ll give incredibly brief overviews and leave it to Goodreads, Amazon, and the publishers to give you the good details. So I guess I’ll jump right in and start with my Top 5 all time favorites.

There’s a chance this is a cliche by now but I don’t even care! This historical fiction follows two sisters through WWII. I loved both sisters for their very different personalities and was rooting for them so hard! It left me ugly face crying and feeling all the emotions. I recommend it to everyone

#2

Between life and death there is a library and the books are the different lives you could have. The main character attempts suicide (dark but it’s overall hopeful I swear) but finds herself in the library. She chooses different books and gets to try the different lives she’d be living if she’d made different decisions. I think about this book all the time. I recommend it to anyone looking for something different and new outlooks on life. Great for book clubs

#3

I think their are 8 books in this series. I flew through them and it felt like 1 gigantic book. It’s a young adult fantasy fiction. I can’t even give a description because each book blends together and it’s such a long emotional, empowering journey. I swear I drew strength from these books in the hardest time of my life. The friendships and love stories are brilliant. I recommend it to anyone who likes escaping to an entirely different world and wants that dig deep to find the hero within vibe.

#4

Okay full disclosure I read this a long time ago. I know it was slow moving at first but it was so worth it! It’s one of those books I still think about certain parts of. Even if I don’t remember the whole thing.

#5

To round out my top 5 I went with this lovely story about sisters. While watching the news one day a woman sees her sister in the back ground. Except her sister died in a train accident years ago. So she goes on a mission to find her. I don’t have siblings but I enjoyed reading about them and this whole story was touching, heart warming and heart breaking! I recommend it to anyone who loves family reads mixed with some mystery and happy endings.

It Gets Easier… liar. — November 18, 2021

It Gets Easier… liar.

We are rapidly approaching a year since Nana passed away. January 1st is coming out of now where. Time is now measured in terms of “before nana passed” and after. I’ve heard people talk about this but as I’ve explained before, this is my first time it hit me hard. So as the 1 year mark approaches things look different to me.

The first few months “after” people would say encouraging things like “it gets easier” and “you just learn to live with it”. I’ve seen more than one counselor who’s encouraged me to “find the new normal”. I swear that term is for idiots. Its also wildly unhelpful and sparks an almost physical response in me. Of course this isn’t a “new” normal this is just life. All of life is the “new normal”. Uh sorry, between Nana passing and this damn pandemic I swear the “new normal” is 2021 version of “be present” and “live intentionally”. All seems like it should sound good but really earns an eye roll and barf face from me.

Anyway back to the “it gets easier”. Liars. It hasn’t gotten easier. We have continued to live our lives and haven’t hidden under the covers and refused to function as a human (although the state of my house tells a different story). We’ve lived this year. Our family has gotten to together and celebrated and done all the things we know will make us feel better, be connected, together, stronger, and like our whole world didn’t come crashing down on us January 1st 2021. But it did. And there are days when it feels exactly like that.

Every first this year was hard. I am forever grateful for my family. No matter what we pull together and we make a real honest effort to be apart of each others lives and to live the way she would have wanted. We continue to be close and connected. The relationship some professions might deem “unhealthy” lives on. We are just missing The Don.

Sometimes I swear I feel her guiding us. Rylan and I pray every night to give her hugs from us. Rylan told me one day when we were driving that the sky looked like cotton candy and as the clouds moved she said “look mama it looks like Nana and Jesus are playing with it”. She then asked if I needed her to plug my nose because thats what she does to my mom when my mom cries. Now every time the sky looks like cotton candy I think its Nana and Jesus playing with the sky for Rylan. No its not getting easier.

Pat bought us a new truck. You know the holiday commercials where the husband surprises the wife with a new car? I always think “how stupid! People don’t actually make huge purchases like this without talking to their significant other”. Except they do. I wanted to be annoyed because while we had talked about it, we hadn’t actually decided to it. But its beautiful and I love it so I can’t even pretend to be mad. Anyway we took it through the Chevron car wash and Pat was telling me about a time when our friend took their truck through and a ton of cans in the back of the truck went flying everywhere (he had forgotten they were in there). He said once the car wash stopped he pulled forward and got out only to find Nana behind his truck picking up cans yelling at him “damn it Jim what the hell were you thinking you know better!” I can just see both of them laughing. Of course he helped her clean but these stories that I didn’t know about that I love to hear.

Keeping her memory alive is what helps. Those stories and traditions are what help me. After hearing that story and listening to Rylan talk about her it feels like a Aloe on a sunburn. You’re still burned but it soothes just a little bit. Just for a little while.

I read the book Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella about a girl who’s parents get divorced and her dad is selling her childhood home only the step monster didn’t invite her to the last party in the house. (yes mom quick boring book talk but I have a point I swear). The whole story is adorable and witty and makes me think of my own family. Even though we are all hurting, we will come together and tell stories, laugh and be the aloe to all our sunburns for each other. I’m grateful for each and everyone one of them.

Just A Blip — November 14, 2021

Just A Blip

My bestie and I always have the most interesting conversations. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have normal catty moments of talking about people (we live in a tiny town it’s hard not to) but we really do make a conscious effort to not talk about people. We try and keep it positive if we do and be very understanding of the fact that we have no clue what’s actually going on in other peoples lives.

Recently we were talking about life and death. Not unusual since grief is still all consuming in our lives. But it got me thinking about how wildly short our lives actually are. I’m reading through the Bible and to God we are just a blip. A tiny person who lives for like a minute in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve talked about my thought process tangents before so buckle up here comes another one. I thought of us being a blip and how we all think we are so important. Here’s where I split. On one hand we are here for literally a second on the grand scale of the world so what’s the point? There people who are so smart, so intelligent that they do nothing with their lives because everything would be easy. They end up riding bikes and bumming around Santa Cruz because they are already bored with the world. Nothing challenges them and competing in the work force is offensive because they could breeze through everything.

On the other hand I think of the satisfaction when I’ve worked hard through out the day. I think of how good it feels to be there for a friend and how we make each other better people. When parenting is so hard I ask God why he thought I could do this, there’s usually a moment when something shifts and Rylan gives me a hug and everything falls into place. That moment is so satisfying and makes this blip we are living so worth it.

So we may be a blip. But in our blip it’s the whole world. We choose to keep things positive and to work hard because it feels good when we accomplish things. I can’t imagine being so smart everything is easy (I’m far from it) but I’m also proud of every little accomplishment and thing I get right. Even things I get wrong are a lesson designed to make me better, stronger, more compassionate.

These are the conversations I love having with friends. It doesn’t add any value in my life to talk about other people and to be honest it’s none of my business anyway. Someone said “what other people think of you is none of your business” and that hit me so hard. It’s true. Someone doesn’t like me… it’s their business. As long as I’m not a total dick than it most likely has nothing to do with me in the first place but is actually a reflection on whatever they have going on.

I could tangent off in a million more ways but I need more coffee.

21 DAYS IS NOT ENOUGH — October 19, 2021

21 DAYS IS NOT ENOUGH

For the longest time I would have no problem buying books at all. I’d spend a small fortune at the local book store and then turn around and order more on Amazon. Thankful for my kindle or my husband might have left me for spending so much.

Then I discovered the library. *cue romantic music and birds chirping* its amazing and the Libby app is also fantastic. I’ve learned over time to managed my hold list and not request too many titles and end up with all these books and no time to read them all.

BUT there is still one problem. I read long books sometimes. Even The Discovery of Witches is a longer book. Let me add here that I’m not a fast reader. I read a lot because its all I do in any spare second I can steal. But I’m not a fast reader. Which means when I check out a book from the library I need to mentally prepare myself to read it in 21 days. Who set that limit? Is it based of average reading times for people? Who are these people who can read 500 pages in 21 days?

Truthfully I could read 500 pages in 21 days. But I would have to sacrifice something. Like sleep. I just started sleeping decently again, which means I’m able to wake up early and get my workout over with before the day starts. I like doing that. I feel more productive the whole rest of the day. I have more energy and am more pleasant to be around. Most of the time.

Since I started writing this post I’ve finished A Discovery of Witches. I loved it. It was a fantastic book and aside from my issue with the short lived Twilight vibes it was ignore laundry good. Not ignore your kids good though.

I started reading the second book… I can’t do it. Maybe if they came right back from 1590 but from the start of it and the summary that doesn’t seem likely. I want to know what happened but not as enough to read through a massive book from that time period!

ANGRY RECEPTIONIST APOLOGY — October 8, 2021

ANGRY RECEPTIONIST APOLOGY

A few years back I did a blog post called “The Angry Receptionist”. I let loose on all the things receptionist think and how we feel. It was brutal. It was a bad day mixed with PMS and having just been verbally attacked by a patient. I let loose on all the things we joke about when no one is around and while its funny to joke about the reality of the situation is its not funny stuff. Don’t get me wrong I think I’m funny but when I wrote it things were different. The big bad C word has changed everything. (not the see you next Tuesday one, the other C word!).

I stand by everything I said in my rant. However these days things are so charged and its not a joking matter when people are calling and getting really angry at the receptionist. When we hang up the phone now its not a small joking matter over not getting a medication filled immediately (please for the love of Kayne call us 4-5 days in advance we are at the doctors mercy!). No, now its about people getting the test they need so their kids can go back to school or so they can go to work. Now its lively hood at stake and to most people the only thing standing in their way is the receptionist.

So I deleted the original Angry Receptionist post. I’m not caving to cancel culture, I don’t think anyone was trying to “cancel” me. I’m not really big enough to even be thought about (that’s not a reach or pity party, I don’t get paid to do this). I deleted it because I think people already feel receptionists are bitchy and rude. I didn’t need to prove them right.

So what I will add is that we are all under stress. There’s so much going on in the medical field right now that being nice to the receptionist goes a long long way! By the time you talk to the receptionist she’s probably already been yelled at 5+ times, been given orders about the doctors schedule 3 times, and is trying to do 14 different things. Talking to a nice person in the midst of all that immediately makes us grateful.

In the midst of the pandemic anyone in the medical field has gone from a selfless hero to a domestic terrorist over night. So on top of everything we’ve always done we are also dealing with that. I don’t give a flying rats butt about your view on the vaccine it is a choice everyone has to make for themselves so save it. I don’t care. I’m simply saying to keep in mind there’s more going on in every office than ever before and it’s emotionally draining. No matter where you stand. It’s a lot.

While the original Angry Receptionist was the only post that gained any attention and brought people to my site it had to go. Considering this page is a glorified diary I’m sure the internet will survive.

Crescent City — September 30, 2021

Crescent City

I sat here and stared at this blank screen for a solid hour trying to figure out where to start with my love of Sarah J Maas! However, I am beyond annoyed at myself for picking up her book House of Earth and Blood. It’s part of a series that is not finished and I know better. I should have waited until there’s at least 3 books out before starting the series because now I’m just devastated with a massive book hangover. I much prefer reading the whole series like a giant book to reading one and now having to wait till… 2022?!?! Are you joking? Ugh I shouldn’t even have looked.

This book gave me all the feels. I was slightly confused at the start but once I got into it I was hooked! I borrowed the ebook from the Libby library and finished it in 21 days with time to spare.

This is not for everyone and I wouldn’t recommend it to most of my friends who read. My Literary Society wouldn’t not enjoy. But give me Fae, immortals, a strong bad ass female lead and add in cellphones you’ve got me hooked. I appreciated the adult content as well. Not enough sex drugs and enemies to lovers in most fantasy books but Sarah J Maas delivered.

I am still grieving pretty heavily so I’m not sure if my sobbing towards the end was repressed emotion or if it was just that good of a book. I have a sweatshirt that says “Give me romance, but make it dark”. This book is what I’m talking about it. Dark and twisted enemies to lovers working their own shit out along the way. I need book number two immediately.

Pluviophile Positivity — September 19, 2021

Pluviophile Positivity

Summer is truly rough for a pluviophile. especially here in The-Middle-Of-No-Where California. I know we don’t have it as bad as some but temps of 111 are just not okay with me. I’m the opposite of a witch, I melt in summer.

I could bag on how much I hate summer all day. I could say how proud it makes me when we’re driving and my 6 year old tells me she hates the sun. I’ll never forget driving her to Preschool and her asking me to “turn down the sun, it’s too much”. Future pluviophile in the making.

But my cousin and I just had a long conversation about how negative we are even without realizing it. At first I was thinking that it didn’t apply to me. I’m a generally happy person and I laugh a lot so I’m not negative. But the whole next day I paid attention to every thought and every word that came out of my mouth and you know what? I’m pretty negative! Sure I’m funny, but that’s just a coping mechanism and is usually at my own expense! What good is the humor when it’s just beating myself up?

So we are both paying attention to our own attitudes and let me tell you… it’s not easy! I feel like I’m retraining my brain. I’m also paying attention to the people in my life. How I feel when I leave them, see a text come through from them, get off the phone with them. Some conversations have me thinking “I don’t feel good energy in this conversation” or with that person. Just going to put a little distance and see how I feel.

My hope/goal is that all this will make me a more enjoyable, pleasant person to be around too. Not that I won’t have moments, we both texted each other saying “my mood was brought down today”. But we’ll try again tomorrow. And every day after that.

I had started this post earlier in the week. I had finished yet but when I woke up in the middle of the night I smelled rain! Yes rain!!! When we woke up Rylan and I sat outside bundled in a blanket. I had my kindle and she snuggled in my lap and fell asleep while it sprinkled on us both. It was so perfect and made my heart explode with happiness. That moment is what life is all about and what encourages me to be positive and spread that energy from this morning around.

Wishing everyone positive vibes only going into the week!

Time Heals? — August 31, 2021

Time Heals?

“It has been said that time heals all wounds. But I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissues and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” – Rose Kennedy

I first heard that a few years ago on an episode of Criminal Minds. Side note: I hate that show but Pat always watches it and I can’t look away no matter how hard I try. But the statement stuck with me and really hit home in the last few months since Nana Passed.

Its been 8 months since my world was torn apart. It has been kept together with a mixture of the best husband in the world, an amazing mob like family, a strong friend circle (small but strong), and books. I can feel my mind creating the scar tissue to protect my sanity and while I keep it together for the most part (my husband will read that and strongly disagree) there’s still the very real void.

I’ve compared the grief to having the wind knocked out of me and 8 months later that’s still true. I tried counseling which was helpful, but virtual, which means it was too easy for me to ignore her and not want to deal with things. I read somewhere that women like texting because its easier to hide our emotions. Its significantly easier to lie to your friends with a text saying your fine and a funny gif than it is to speak to them on the phone or in person. Its harder to hide the pause while you regroup, the crack of your voice leaking out real emotion, or the welling up of your eyes at someone who cares for you asking how you are.

This scar tissue is helpful but just like a real scar it changes you. The tragedy itself changed me for sure in gigantic ways I was not prepared for. Friendships shifted and perspective radically changed. Priorities were scattered and only things that were absolutely essential became doable. But as life goes on (which it does despite the desperate urge to make it pause so I can get my bearings) I’m realizing this scar and my life are never going to stop changing.

That’s part of this “healing” process isn’t it? Realizing that things will always change and its up to me how to make that work for me instead of against me. It would be entirely too easy to curl up and not face our problems. Its tempting. But the stories that I love to read are never the ones that just end with giving up. That’s a short boring book. Its the stories about the girl who fought, who overcame, who persevered. Those are the stories that keep me up at night with the book light until the early hours of the morning. Those are the stories that light a fire inside me and keep me pushing through.

There’s a quote or a story (sorry for not remembering it clearly) that says when tragedy strikes look for the healers. Look for the good. Look for the people who encourage you to keep going, to keep fighting. You can see the same scars on other people but for me I didn’t see that until I had those scars myself. I didn’t know what to look for until I had them and suddenly I could see it on people I’ve known forever and I felt so bad that I hadn’t known before what this felt like.

It wasn’t my fault and I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t know. I’m thankful that they haven’t felt this pain before. But there will come a time when we all have similar scars. No one makes it out of this world unscathed and all we can do is be there for each other. Encourage one another to get up and keeping fighting. Even if those scars aren’t fully healed yet.

Sorry I kinda bounced around it’s been a while since I’ve posted and just had these things on my mind.

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