The Hot Handle

A blog interspersed with occasional gluten free recipes.

Please note: If you have a family member who requires a gluten free diet, be sure to use a cast iron skillet that has never previously touched gluten....and if it has, scrub it all down completely and re-season, to be on the safe side.

Looking for information on Celiac Disease? There are many good sites, but here is one to get started with:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Crazy life

My life recently has been crazy but very good.

After a number of years of my daughter and her husband living in South America, they suddenly moved back to the USA almost a year ago.  He is in a school for watch repair, and that will end in yet another year.  We don't know what will happen then, but for now, we are in heaven!  It's almost a five hour drive to visit them, and we do it approximately every other month.  I can now send her cards or even packages, or just give a quick call or text.  It's really not much more phone-like contact than before, but the ability to see her more often and to send cards (that actually reach her) is priceless.

In April, our son finally got a job that uses his many skills and talents, while also paying a living wage.  He got a new apartment in a nearby town.  He comes by regularly to do his laundry and eat dinner.  No problem with that!

Having kids that have surpassed the teenage years and have entered real adulthood is awesome.  I am proud of both of them more than I can express.  They each have unique talents, they are both extremely kind people who do amazing things, and they seem to truly enjoy our company!

This May, hubby and I celebrated 36 years of marriage.  That's pretty cool, too.  He's a total sweetheart.  I can sit and talk with him more easily than anyone.

Shortly thereafter, our daughter received her Master's degree in reading!

Following that, we went on a short cruise to Bermuda to celebrate my 60th birthday.  We are currently acting on the idea that one never knows what is around the corner, so we should do things while we can.  (Last year we took a trip to Alaska.....came back to a big mess and lots of angst, but that's a separate story.)

I had told hubby, "No party!  We're going on a cruise instead!"  He said OK.

Just before the cruise began, hubby was hired for a new position in New Haven, and he formally retired from his job at UConn.  He is uniquely qualified for this new position, and sees it not only as a challenge but as a "last hurrah" before retiring for good.  When I saw his interest and enthusiasm, what more could I say?  The grand plan (at least for the moment) is for both of us to "really" retire in two years......

Between the Bermuda cruise (which was great) and his job change, I had barely enough time at home to do laundry.  Routine household tasks were difficult to accomplish.  We visited our daughter, transferring ownership of a vehicle to her.  We went to Maine for a weekend.  We got a "new" (pre-owned) vehicle for him to commute to the new job.  We went to a car show in Bennington, VT, and stayed at an inn there.  So much fun; not much time to breathe!  The end of the school year was in full swing, and I had been careful to get as much work in as possible before the cruise, but the scheduling for the following year always gets me anxious for some reason.  I knew I could do it and I did, but wow.

We did all this to pack in summer fun before hubby's new job kicked in on June 12.  You don't want to leave work early or take lots of days off when the job is brand new!

On June 10, it was after my birthday.  Daughter and son-in-law were coming to CT for the weekend.  We were to have dinner together with my dad, brother, and son.  I had said, "We can even just grill here at home," and hubby said, "No, I think we should go out."

I figured, "Why should we pay for dessert and coffee?  We can just come back here for that!"   I made an ice cream crunch cake (GF of course) and set the table.  Hubby never said anything.

We arrived and parked across the street from the restaurant.  We walked across the street and I saw my two amazing children walking on the sidewalk toward me.  My daughter looked beautiful.....and amazingly, she was wearing a dress that had been my mother's.  Mom had worn it to my wedding 36 years ago!  

We walked into the restaurant.  Oh, look, balloons!  Someone is having a party.  Um, that's my friend.  Um, I know everyone here!  Oh my gosh!  They are having a party for me?

Hubby said daughter really wanted to have this party. She was the driving force here.  How could he say no?  So he's off the hook, and the work involved in this means more than any presents ever could.

Needless to say, after a full four weeks like this my back and neck were in knots.  It was good stress, but I'm a person who needs down time.

I was doing errands the following Friday morning and noticed a salon next to my bank.  At this salon, they also do massage.  I walked in.  Next thing I knew, I had an appointment right after lunch.  It seemed to be just what I needed!

Now I am home for the summer.....except I will be doing a bit of summer school......and my house needs a lot of attention.  I am cleaning out my closets and have a long list of things to accomplish.

Lessons learned in the last year:

  • Sometimes we just need to wait a long time for the good things to come.  
  • Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things. 
  • Life goes by quickly.  (How did we ever get this old?)
  • Appreciate your loved ones.  Tell them so.  Act like it, too.
  • Take time to meditate.  

Wishing you all a multitude of blessings in the near future....