Saturday, January 18, 2020

My Temporary "New Normal"

My temporary "new normal" is anything but normal! But then, with our wacky weather, I'm not sure what normal is anymore.

While Australia is experiencing an environmental tragedy from the brush fires, I know many of my friends in the south and southwest faced horrible tornadoes and damaging winds in the storm of the weekend of January 12. I hope your clean-up wasn't too bad. For us, it was the predictions of a very bad ice storm. (They said it was moving northeast, so that goes for you all, too.)

When we see the Weather Channel broadcasting live from our little town, it's a bit disconcerting. Mid-Michigan is not the world's most popular travel destination, so when I was checking the weather and saw a fellow huddled up by a spot that they said was Lansing (but I didn't recognize) it was worth taking notice.

The predictions were for lots of rain first, followed by lots of ice and possibly power outages. This brings back memories of the ice storm of 2013 when Rick was without power for 11 days. (Most of the city got it back within six or seven -- still too long in one of our coldest winters. And it began two days before Christmas, which made it quite the holiday to remember, despite how much you want to forget it.)

But I digress. Rain. Yes. We got it. Inside and out.

I was going to wait to replace my basement windows till later in the season because I need them for rain and it doesn't rain in winter, right? It snows? Needless to say, with two rains over less than two weeks and ground too frozen to absorb it, I am rethinking that strategy.

We were worried that the ice and following snow would be so bad that no one would come to Rick's concert or that it would be canceled. But we shouldn't have wasted that energy! While it was sloppy and a bit icy, things didn't materialize as badly as predicted and a warm and enthusiastic group gathered at the library to hear our guys play!

It started with a solo by Rick and I really wish I'd recorded it. It was a really beautiful piece and he rocked it!

I have to say, I was really proud of him. It's scary to get up there by yourself and perform. I've done it too many times and it's still nerve wracking. As the audience continued to come in, he just kept playing. And it was beautiful.

Then the rest of the gang came on and they played a concert of about an hour.

And they sounded great! I was surprised after when Rick told me he had been pretty nervous. They've played small gigs for nursing homes in the past but it's a lot different when a) there are more people b) the program is much longer and c) the audience can both hear and is mentally present and awake, and not just wheeled in for the show. My surprise was that it didn't show to me.

I feel my own world is in a bit of chaos and total mess and it's making me a little crazy. I can't really take down Christmas till I can get the basement ready, and also till I can beat a path to the basement door wide enough to take down a tree. Which I can't do till the kitchen pie rack and chest are out of the passageways. Which I can't do till the back wall is painted and the stove is installed. Which won't happen till we return from Texas.

We may be back, by the time this posts. But till then, nothing is back to normal. Nothing is in its right place. And, there is only so much I can do till it is. So, I counted my loose change.

Well, not so loose. Let me just say that if you toss your silver change into a piggy bank (or in my case, four piggy banks) for a year or so, you can end up with $256.50 if you're diligent! I see new basement windows in my future.

Lizzie has been naughty. Because of the chaos in the house, nothing being where it should be, I put her Christmas present -- two unopened bags of treats -- in a totebag with other things from the same shelf on a chair. Of course, I didn't zip the totebag.

So it shouldn't have surprised me when I found one bag of treats open and half eaten on the family room floor. I did what any smart cat-mom would do and zipped up the bag to within an inch. The next day the bag was open and her other bag of treats on the floor, dragged half across the room. That, too, was open -- and half empty.

Let's just say some in our household seem to be liking the new normal.

Which includes not having to practice so hard for a bit!


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I always hate having to spend money on things like windows or a new roof. There are so many more fun things you could buy, right?

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Kudos to Rick for his concert performance. Funny thing about nerves when speaking/performing before a group. I do a lot of public speaking and lectures, about birds and ecology as you might imagine, and I never, literally never, get nervous. The smallest group I have spoken to was five and the largest over six hundred. I am sure that Rick overcame his nervousness quickly and if the notes were coming out right no doubt that helped in building his confidence and composure in a hurry. A friend of mine plays cello and was performing one of the versions of Ave Maria, I forget which one, and her G string broke. There has been much mirth over that as you might imagine. I hope that your chaos is ameliorating, Jeanie. It sounds a tad overwhelming, but we dismantle Christmas the day after Boxing Day - and we are minimalist in terms of decorating anyway, and we have no misbehaving pets, so we are back to the normal flow of our life in no time at all.

La Table De Nana said...

I hate chaos lol..are you surprised?Oh my gosh your change..and poor you w/ the basement.Enough already.We had the same warnings re freezing rain etc..all was well..not anywhere near the forecast.You must be proud of Rick:)

This aft at 4..we are under a storm warning..poor Newfoundland and Labrador..state of emerg and 75 cms of snow..
That's a lot.
Take care..hope the renos get done soon.
Our Christmas..all indoor got tucked away yesterday..took me 5 hours.That's about right..5 up 5 all the colonial candles get put away and wreath..trees..garlands from outside.
Jacques said he misses the tree:)

Regina said...

Good for Rick for going up on stage to perform. I'd be a nervous wreck! I'm still trying to get my Christmas put away. Our mantel is still cheerfully decorated but the decorations have been have at least been taken off the tree.

Too bad you didn't get pictures of the half eaten container of treats. Our cat loves her treats and I can recall we had accidentally left them on the counter one day before we had went out for errands. We came home and the box of treats was on the floor and opened. Kirstie knows she's not allowed on the counter too.

You try to stay warm and please be safe out there!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

You created an interactive toy for Izzy.

I've never had to preform or speak to a large group. I'm nervous enough doing it in social settings. More power to Rick for pushing himself out of his comfort zone to bring his talent for others to enjoy.

eileeninmd said...


The weather has been wacky lately. I am ready for Spring. It would be nice to spend your savings on something special. Lizzie likes her treats, especially when she can help herself. Congrats to Rick on his solo. Have a happy day and a great weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful experience! I would have been nervous FOR him but I know he was amazing. Hope your trip is nice! Hugs! Normal....what's that? lol

My name is Erika. said...

Oh I know that feeling about weather (we have it too) and when the house gets worked on. With me it is the upstairs bathroom and not much done but the list is the same. I must do this before I can do this...Sorry about the windows needing to get done ASAP. That has to be a wrench in the plans. But it is exciting about Rick's concert. How cool is that. I could never get up and perform in front of a big audience-it is bad enough the first few days of new classes-so I give him kudos for doing that. What an accomplishment for sure. Hope the trip to Texas went OK. Hugs-Erika

bobbie said...

The older I get, the more I hate chaos!! It feels like my whole world has over-turned!
Kudos to Rick for 'getting 'er done'!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, I know you are sick about your basement windows and tired of cleaning up water. I have done a bit of that over the years, mainly when we lived in Virginia and went through dreadful hurricanes.
I know the concert by Rick and friends was wonderful and so glad the weather didn't keep folks from attending. Hope your trip to Texas was an enjoyable one and that by the time you read this you are home safely.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Oh, Jeanie, that old basement has become something to deal with, hasn't it? We need a new roof very badly and have had one leak right over the guestroom bed, but had it patched for now. So far the rest is holding but when we bought the cottage around 30 years ago we had a new roof put on and it cost $9,000 then. Yikes, I can't even imagine how much it would cost now. I'm so glad that Rick's concert was successful and that Lizzie is a smart one, and it will be so nice when you get the kitchen done..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

DUTA said...

Rick's appearance on the stage is very dignified! I'm sure the concert was a success.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I hope the rains have subsided and that your Texas trip filled your cockles with enough sunshine and warm to stay you through the remainder of the Winter. Or at least until you get your Christmas put away:)

Thanks for sharing a window into your world. Always you inspire me.
Always you make me smile:)

- Jennifer

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Crazy Michigan weather! I hope the new windows make the difference for you. So your kitty broke in and made a get-a-way! They do have a nose for that stuff! I know what it’s like trying find things to do during this weather. We’ve gotten 9” since last night. Ugh! I’ll sip some wine tonight in your honor!

Valerie-Jael said...

The question is, what is normal? Whatever, I hope everything turns out as it should be and that the weather behaves itself. Glad Rick played so well. Hugs, Valerie

shoreacres said...

I really laughed when you mentioned "the weatherman" from TWC who was in town. That wasn't Jim Cantore, by any chance? The big joke around here is that when Jim Cantore shows up, it's time to take the hurricane seriously. During Ike, he was holed up in the Hilton across the lake from me. Well, he would have been across from me, if I'd been here. We had evacuated, and were enjoying the La Quinta in Nacogdoches.

I'm really glad the weather didn't affect Rick's concert. That would have been so disappointing. As for Lizzie -- well, if you're going to turn the house upside down, she's darned well going to participate!

anno said...

Don't know what the deal has been with our weekend weather recently, but it sure has been miserable! So sorry to hear about the suddenly urgent need to replace your basement windows... and I hope you are soon reaping the benefits of your kitchen renovation.

The clip of Rick's rehearsal that you posted earlier was lovely -- glad to hear there was a good turnout for the performance last week.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I think the weather globally is establishing a new normal which starts and ends with being unpredictable. Ours in the UK is all over the place, floods, storms, even tornadoes. Roll on Spring!
It will be new windows and such here too. Might be more fun things to spend the money on, but mopping up leaks and dealing with the ensuing mess is not much fun either.

~~~Deb in Wales

Karen said...

Life can be bloody overwhelming at time can't it?
Hope you got to just sit and enjoy Rich's concert and put all the bothersome details in a box in the back of your mind.
Are you getting the storm? Snowing pretty good here and blowing a gale, but hey, we don't live in Newfoundland, whew.

Lowcarb team member said...

It seems to me that no matter where in the world you live, the weather is all over the place.

As Deb says above, here in the UK we have had such a mix including a tornado!!! One of our sons had his fence blown down in strong winds!

Roll on Spring :)

All the best Jan

PS So pleased that Rick played so well, and the concert was good.

handmade by amalia said...

I hope that you can sort the basement soon and go back to the old normal. I always feel unsettled when the house is in chaos, I feel for you. And good for Rick! You must be proud.

Sami said...

Congratulations to Rick on his musical performance.
I'm so sorry for you Jeanie, how awful to get your basement flooded again, apart from the chaos a new kitchen brings to the household.
Poor Lizzie, she's probably using food to help with the stress, lol.
One of my cats has learned how to open the timed feeding plates, so she will eat her breakfast just after having dinner! No wonder she's been putting on weight again!!
I also save coins and then deposit them.
Have a good time in Texas

Victoria Zigler said...

Sorry about all the storm damage. We had a bit of a storm, but it was nothing compared to what most people around the world are dealing with. A friend had the heavy gate they hadn't had a chance to put on the end of their driveway (one of those big old farm gates) blow over, and some stuff had to be cleared off the lines before trains could run, but nothing worse than that appears to have happened around here with our storm.

I'm glad so many people showed up for Rick's concert, and he was able to hide how nervous he was. Shame you didn't get a clip of him doing his solo... I'd have loved to have heard it.

Had to laugh about Lizzie and the cat treats.

Pamela said...

I wish I could have attended the concert! I have to smile about Lizzie!

Iris Flavia said...

Boy, am I glad I live in boring ole Germany!
I remember but one (!) harsh winter when the snow was higher than me (I was 5 years old).
We put socks on our shoes and life went by as usually.
My, I never ever had a day without power!
(I do have a torch, though).

Your Rick looks great :-)

I take my loose change to the bakery. I know how much Ingo´s bread is, put the money in an extra purse and hand it over :-)
It´s always € 2,20.

Lizzie looks.. a tad annoyed ;-)
Thank you for the giggle.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

I call the state that you are in, discombobulated. That state drives me crazy. I crave routine and order. It sounds like you do, too. Glad to hear about your windfall, tho. Next time Rick performs, do a video of him. I would love to hear him. Last but not least, sounds like you have a busy Lizzie on your hands! Hope you have a somewhat calm week, dear Jeanie!

R's Rue said...

Keep warm.

Anca said...

The weather changes so much each year, faster than we can adapt.
Rick did amazing. He should be so proud of himself.

Nikki-ann said...

It's seemingly been wet & windy here for months, although we did have a hard frost this morning.

Naughty Lizzie... but you can't blame her! :D

Jacqueline said...

So nice to meet you! I am so glad that the concert was able to go on and it was well attended. I am sure he was pleased too. Weather can be such a joy killer!
I am like you, I have to work on the basement before I can get the last of Christmas put away! I will have to do a blog post on it!
Good luck with the giveaway! The truth is, that the giveaway tote was my personal favorite of all of the totes. It is a huge prize!

Karen said...

Congrats to your husband!! No easy feat - I played in an orchestra for six years of my teens/young adulthood (perhaps my hearing impairment has something to do with that) and it was thrilling and scary at the same time.

The weather has been crazy here too - cold, then warm, then snow, then rain, then cold and warm again.

Prims By The Water said...

So sorry to hear about the rain inside your home. Not fun at all. We had snow sleet rain and snow today again. Sure wacky weather for sure. Janice

Sandra Cox said...

I'm pleased Rick's concert went well. The trailer you had of them the other day was so beautiful.
I'm sorry your life is in chaos right now. I can sure relate. Heh.
And Mz. Lizzie would fit in just fine at the Cox Household:)
All the best.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

So nice to see Rick performing and hopefully this will help him get over the nervousness so he can share his gift with more people! I so admire people who have a musical gift. I hope that your weather has improved or at least not become worse and you didn't lose power. I like the tip about freezing the bottles of water! Houses are such Divas, always needing attention.....Sounds like you are making the best of it and kitty, too :) Hope all goes smoothly. Hugs xo Karen

Anonymous said...

Well done Rick! May it be the first of many. Put out an album!


Jenny Woolf said...

I really do sympathise with you. It's terrible when you feel you cannot do as you wish in your own home, and I certainly hope that you get some respite from the weather so you can get straight again and feel more normal, (even if Lizzie doesn't necesarily agree!)

Rick did incredibly well! It would be terrific to hear some of his playing online when you have time to put it on., even if you couldn't record the piece at the concert.

We too are upside down and I intend to write ....but maybe a little patience is needed there too....

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

So glad that Rick's concert was a success.... I am not good at speaking in front of a lot of people and thank God that I am not in the position to do so frequently...Sorry to heat that things are a bit chaotic for you now...Hopefully, things will right themselves soon!! Thanks so much for always taking the time to visit!!

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, I know that feeling all to well. Renovations are wonderful, on the other side! You just have to get through it. I do wish you had recored Rick's performance :) I have to say he looks very comfortable on stage and if he was nervous it doesn't show. I know you are very proud of him. Hang in there you'll get it all done and it will be a wonderful feeling. And, I see someone does enjoy finding two bags of treats! That is a guilty look if I ever saw one.....

Mr. Rant said...

Oh Lizzie! I am impressed she can get those bags open. I don't think Oscar could do that! We keep her treats in a cupboard and I am fairly certain she could open the door but I don't know that she could get the treat bags open - at least she has never tried!

I hope you can get your house back to order soon and that you are done dealing with water in the basement soon! You have had to deal with so much - on top of being sick! Here's hoping you get a calm stretch ahead of you.

Alexandria said...

Congrats to Rick for a job well done! We have power outages during hurricanes and hopefully things will get better for you soon.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Yes, don't get me started on the weather, after bushfires, floods and this weekend a tropical hailstorm (it summer!) which damaged two cars, I said I'm now waiting for the volcano we didn't know we had to erupt!
Well done Rick and Lizzie!!!
Wren x

Hena Tayeb said...

Oh no.. so sorry to hear about the water coming in..
Look at all of those coin.. can't believe they all added up to so much! :)

Marilyn Miller said...

Wow! A lot going on there. Rick's concert sounds like it would have been extra special. The little bit you posted on FB I really enjoyed. Oh that little stinker kitty. They do that for sure. I go my Joey a toy for Christmas and he could smell it the moment it came in the door. No surprise for him. It has since disappeared. Silly kitties! He has also figured out how to open kitchen cupboard doors on the lower level lately and I woke to Comet on the kitchen floor a couple days ago.

Lynne said...

Amazing how we can be affected dramatically when
“things in our pad” are mixed up, out of place.
I hope “things” find their right places, and SOON.
We certainly don’t want you crazy and frazzled!

Pom Pom said...

Oh, I hope you aren't TOO overwhelmed. I know how that feels.
Your kitty is hilarious! She needs to fatten up for winter, right?
Have a nice trip to Texas, Jeanie!

Arti said...

Congrats on Rick's successful concert! Yes, it would be wonderful if you'd recorded and shared with us here. As for weather, yours is balmy compared to our -30's temp. But, I'd rather have that than flooding. Take care!

Tracy said...

Hope you are keeping warm and safe there, Jeanie! The weather is a bit all over in so many places, isn't it? Here we're meant to be in the depths of winter and snow... not a white flake yet--VERY strange! The lack of snow sure makes walks and other things easier on the daily, so I won't complain... but it is very odd! BRAVE of Rick to fly solo like that, so to speak! Glad the show went on! :) WOW--that's a lot of spare change for windows! Lizzie got confused, I think... maybe she thought you'd set up a kitty treat buffet?! ;) Embracing a new way to roll takes guts, I think. We get so used to our normal! Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, the weather can really cause our lives to be turned upside down. Thankfully, we experienced no damage or tornadoes where we live, but three fellow Alabamians died in the tornadoes. So very sad and heartbreaking. Thinking of you that everything will move along and you can get your life back. I know the concert was fabulous!

Bonnie said...

I am so sorry to hear all these problems. Hoping the weather will be milder than forecast.
Thinking of you.
Rick's concert sounds great. said...

So glad there was a good turn out for Rick's concert, I know you were beaming with pride! Sorry your house is still in chaos, that can be so unsettling, hand in there, it will all get done and Spring is only a few months away!

GretchenJoanna said...

You are going to Texas soon? Is this something you always do in the winter? Safe travels! I empathize with leaving things "undone" when you have to leave -- it's hard!

Barb said...

Oh no - leaky basements are the worst. I hope you're drying out. I definitely would have been nervous for Rick, but good he doesn't show that he's feeling nervous. My son plays for us and occasionally jams with others at a party but getting up on stage would make us all catatonic!

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, Just a quick question, is that black mold on your basement wall by the floor? I sure hope it isn't! This has been a very usual winter for us and it seems like we're getting more rain than we normally would. Not good for your basement and not good for Sadie to go out in. She doesn't want to get wet!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I apologize sincerely for the lateness of my visits. I'm trying to play catch up right now. Good for Rick for taking the stage and playing until others arrived. That was not just brave, but very professional of him.

I can relate to problems when you have to do one thing before another before another and before another. I've done remodels like that, too, and the house being out of whack is never fun, especially for an anal person like myself.

I bought a bag of very expensive cat food and was going to mix it with the less expensive. I put it on the washer for a day because I didn't have time to mix the two foods. Lo and behold, the young one got into (chewed or scratched) the sack and knocked it over in order to get to the "good stuff." What a waste of money. He sure ate well for a day, though.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Weather, climate change...stressful...Here in Maine we just had a mild rain. Which is also atypical for January. Ice is our foe, we hear of many people slipping.
I can see why you would be so proud of your Rick! He looked great too!
Yes, order in the house...I am actively working on that again. I need order in order to be able to calmly create and enjoy my activities...
Sounds like you've laid out a good plan...

William Kendall said...

I'm sorry about the storm damage.

Awww, sweet Lizzie.

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