Thumb-thing’s Missing

Thumbs down:  Gone missing.  I’m still here:)  Barely.  Still haven’t made any decisions about my blogging future but I did accidentally think of a possible title if I go with a new blog.  Mostly, I haven’t had the urge to write ANYTHING.

Thumbs up:  You.  For your kind words and shared wisdom and continued support as I waffle and ramble on about blogging.  Or not blogging.  Thank you:)

Thumbs up:  Long-distance mothering.  My son, now officially a resident of a state halfway across the country, reminds me now and then that it’s nice to be still needed.  Last week he called to ask how to get chocolate out of a shirt.  This past weekend he texted several times to get details about a recipe.  He seems to be settling into his new life just fine.  Thumbs down that when I hugged him goodbye, after spending almost a week helping him shop and set up his apartment, I broke down into unexpected tears.  I guess it finally hit me:(

Thumbs confused:  Too much of a good thing.  My other son, on the other hand, is still home, although we mostly just see a trail of pizza boxes and dirty clothes since he sleeps until the afternoon then stays out until the wee hours of the morning.  Recently we had him take a sophisticated (which also means expensive) aptitude test to see if it would help him with his struggle to change college majors.  It didn’t much because, drum roll, he’s pretty much good at everything!  Makes it rather hard to narrow down a direction.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Going fine.  I’m enjoying it.  Mostly.  The register still confounds me.  I’m shaking my head just thinking about it.  Thumbs down.

Thumbs up:  Summer reading.  I’ve been really going to town on books lately.  Two of the ones I’ve most enjoyed are Gone Girl (despite a thumbs down on the ending) and the Steve Jobs biography (despite the fact that I have never owned an “i” anything).  Thumbs down that it is still a constant battle to not mindlessly snack while I lay supine on my couch with a book propped up on my mid-section, my favorite reading position.  Thumbs up for the book I just finished, The Stonecutter, which I wouldn’t have even started since, yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, or at least, by the “inside flap,” had my mother (aka book supplier) not known me so well to think to call me to tell me that I’d like it.  Sometimes mother really does know best.

Thumbs up:  Summer TV guilty pleasures.  Two of my favorite shows right now are Design Star and Food Network Star.  Pure fun with no concentration or thought needed.  Thumbs up at getting caught up on chick shows while my guys were out-of-town.  Thumbs down at the brouhaha over House Hunters being staged.  I wish it wasn’t, but I still enjoy watching.  And speaking of brouhaha, thumbs down that the world cares so much about TomKat.  Or that the media thinks the world cares so much!

Thumbs still waiting:  Personal training.  As some of you already know, for years I have been working out every week with my mom and a trainer.  FUN!  But not for the past month while our trainer is between gyms.  I miss it and I miss seeing my mom and catching up twice a week.  But thumbs up that I’ve been pretty consistent with getting to MY gym (where I also do yoga) for strength training group classes.  Thumbs up that it doesn’t even cost me anything since my fee pays for unlimited classes.

Thumbs down:  The weather.  Hot.  Hot.  Oh, did I mention it’s been hot?  And dry.  So dry that the gas line leading to our friends’ house broke in the dry ground.  We spent time hanging out in their yard, waiting for the “gas man,” after we dropped them off from dinner recently, because an observant neighbor smelled the gas outside.  Thumbs down that I ended up with a slew of mosquito bites and right now I am ITCHHHHY.  And, thumbs down, apparently I’m allergic.  To the mosquito bites, not the heat.

Thumbs down:  Car trouble.  Almost the minute my husband (aka liaison to all things car related) left town, the check engine light came on in our minivan.  Thumbs up that thanks to some internet research, I discovered an auto parts store nearby that would check it for free and read the “error code,” even on a Sunday evening.  Thumbs up that it ended up being nothing serious.  The irony was that as my teen left home (for the overnight trip to take the aptitude test mentioned above), he admonished that I should NOT drive his car while he was gone; for a few hours there it looked like I might have to!  Thumbs up that he’s pretty excited about his new (used) wheels and that his college roommate will be flying here so that they can make the long drive out to California together.  Thumbs up that I’m only just slightly worried about two teens in an SUV taking a road trip cross-country.

Thumbs down:  Food.  For the last month I have eaten more crap than, well, than in a really long time.  There are several reasons, or call them “excuses,” but I don’t plan to write about that stuff anymore.  Just want to be honest, given how and why I started this blog, and say that, yes, oops, I did it again.  But I am once more back on track.  Thumbs down that it is very clear to me that I will ALWAYS need to be diligent to not slip into old habits and to not lose focus of the new ones that serve me well.  Thumbs down that I really should feel motivated to write a blog post about that habits stuff, but, nope.

Thumbs up:  New recipe.  The vegetarian and the “good carb-er” happily met in the middle with grilled, marinated portobello mushrooms.  Meanwhile, the carnivore, aka our teen, had a steak.  Thumbs down that our son has been getting lots and lots and lots of Chinese food while he’s home.  I’m pretty sure that even the healthiest sounding of options are not actually healthy.  Probably even the broccoli that I nibble from his dishes (heaven forbid he ingest a vegetable) is laden with sugar and salt and…

Thumbs to be determined:  Blood pressure.  Whenever I see my internist, as I did last week for my annual exam, my blood pressure measures high.  I’m used to this anomaly so I have gotten smart and track it for a while at home before I go in, so that I can show her the very good readings that are typical for me.  This year she wasn’t taking my word for it and wants me to bring my home machine into her office to be sure it’s accurate.  Meanwhile, my husband’s pressure, which he also tracks at home, has been reading above normal for a while so I’m happy to report that I think he finally is accepting that he should implement some lifestyle changes to see if he can bring it down before his own appointment in a few months with the same doctor.

Thumbs up:  Future plans.  I have something very excited planned for next year.  A fabulous trip.  A “my nest is finally empty and I’m going to splurge and say I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday so I don’t feel guilty spending all that money” trip.  I don’t want to say more about it yet until dates are officially chosen and deposits are paid.  But if I actually had a bucket list, this would be one of the top items on it:)

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?  Read any good books lately?  How’s the summer treating you? 



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50 responses to “Thumb-thing’s Missing

  1. Your last thumbs up sounds exciting and I can’t wait to hear about it. Your son sounds like such a sweet heart and it’s so nice he calls home to ask you for advice.

    Good luck with everything! I’m glad the car trouble ended up being solved and not a big issue. I hate unplanned expenses!

  2. it seems like you have a lot going on but you are holding strong. hang in there! i love that he called about getting chocolate out, that is something I would totally do too! I am in the same boat, I feel like i have been eating more crap lately got to change that.

    • It was a work shirt! I’m not sure I’d have heard from him if it was just any old tee. And my younger son, the one at home, keeps getting stains on his shirts (not WORK shirts) and needing his mom to help get them clean:) I told him that his messy eating trait comes from his dad, not me.

  3. Whoohoo for trips :>

  4. What a treat to find a fresh “Thumbs” post from you this morning. I almost had an audible happy gasp! It does sound like things are humming along in your life – we’re also going through transitions with all 3 kids and right now 2 are at home but only for a short time. Happy dilemma that a son has so many aptitudes that it’s difficult for him to sense where his bliss will be.

    Oh, the heat! It was actually cooler in the endless sauna of Atlanta last week than it was here in PA, and this week as well.

    I think of you a lot and do plan on emailing, Karen. Thanks for the comment yesterday, and know I’m always at the other end as well. Like you, I’m not disappearing from this realm but rather going on hiatus. Time will tell.

    My bucket list is long…lots of dream destinations! Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, India, Viet Nam…can’t wait to hear about yours.

    • I think it was a boost to his self esteem:) But, I’m not sure he’ll do anything with such ambiguous results. Now my husband and I are curious about ourselves! They do have a version for “retirees.” I might actually get to those top two in the next couple of years because our niece is at school in Australia and if we are ever going to go, we figure we should go while she’s there.

  5. Sounds like you have exciting plans for the future. 🙂 We have had a busy but fun summer, but I’ve been struggling a bit with my choices for the past month too. Things are looking up though! 🙂

  6. What a lot of changes you’ve had recently – new job and seeing both sons off to the next stages of their lives. Nice to have a trip to look forward to. 🙂

    • I guess our goal as a mom is to have them not need us anymore. Sigh. But let me just say that planning a trip without having to take them in to consideration makes life much easier.

  7. There’s a fabulous supplement my naturopath recommends for BP. It’s called Carditone (Google it and you’ll find all you need to know). I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and it’s wonderful.

    Gone Girl is on my list. Am currently reading The Kitchen Wife (for book club). I read (and loved) John Irving’s latest, as well as Lone Wolf (Jodi Picoult).

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

    • Thanks, Karen. I’ll pass that along to my husband if he doesn’t read this for himself.

      Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors but I didn’t like that particular books as much as some of her others. Gone Girl took me a while to get into but it was worth it.

  8. So intrigued on your trip!!!

    My dream trip is Italy and France–wine drinkin’ and cheese eatin’!!!

    • Oh yum!! We are going to be traveling with my older brother and his wife and when we invited my younger brother to come along, he and his wife told us that their next big trip (and their first without kids) was going to be to Italy! Then the told us that we’d be babysitting for the two weeks.

  9. Jan

    Thank you for thumbing us! Books to explore, yay!

    Tell your son to go with his passion. (It’s nice if one can make living, but, eh, he’s young.) Also, let him know that he cannot make a mistake this early in life. When I was about to start medical school, a very wise woman told me, “No one ever said that you can’t change your mind at any time.” That statement provided a huge sense of relief even though I was following my passion. Who knew it would take 30+ years after graduation to change my mind? 😉

    I’m looking forward to your travel plans. We have a 5-week vacation early this fall and will probably drive north somewhere (Canada?) for 4 weeks then back for a teeny surgery on my foobs.

    • “thumbing us” – cracked me up! So, get this… one of the things they told him to consider is medicine! But he should go with ER or family practice so he has more variety. It has never been on his radar before and he might take an anatomy class now. But I sort of thought he’d have a “calling” if he was destined to be a doctor.

      • Jan

        Does he like people and enjoy solving problems? Medicine might suit him well. Primary care is a sucky field right now. ER medicine does have variety and stable hours. I enjoyed the rush (on rotations as a resident), but I did not like the lack of continuity. That is what many folks prefer – leaving the patient behind. Sue loves anesthesia because she has brief, intense relationships with patients (even their families), sees herself as the absolute protector of life (during surgery) and reliever of pain then goes home without having to worry about them. LOL

  10. Always love these posts! I’ve just finished Karen Kingsbury’s newest (I think its was Coming Home), a new Karen Carpenter bio called, “Little Girl Blue,” and right now am reading, “Abundant Simplicity” by Jan Johnson and “The Look of Love” by Mary Jane Clark. Saw a new Elin Hildebrand book this morning in Sam’s and also a Jennifer Weiner book that must be brand new. Never a shortage of good books to read, is there???

    My travel bucket list??? Everywhere?? I suppose top priorities are more of the National Parks in the west i.e. Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, Yosemite, etc.

    • I just saw that Wiener one written up in a magazine and reserved it at the library! Hey – did you get my email that actually told you where we are going and asked if you’d been? I just realize I never heard back from you. Hmm.

  11. Karen, the more I read your posts – the ones now that your not posting that much, the more I think about pulling back… it seems more inevitable now…. read books & other life stuff! Money making too! 🙂

    I CAN’T wait to hear about this trip!!!!! HOW EXCITING!!!! PLs, a little tease on where! 😉

    • And I keep thinking I’ll see less posts from you! Try it, see how it feels. You can always go back to posting more often. A tease… hmmm… well, I’ll be eating a lot of fish, I think:)

  12. So lovely to read you again, but I do understand the need to step back and reassess.

    I’ve heard a bit about Gone Girl… perhaps I’ll order it from the library rather than buy it! I’m doing a lot of reading at the moment, which isn’t necessarily a good thing as I lay in the bath until 1am last night (and had to be up by 7am for work). It was after midnight the two preceding nights as well. Gah!

    I love that you’re keeping up your exercise despite the PT pause and that you’re not too angsty about less-than-healthy food choices.

    And the idea of a holiday sounds lovely! I’m keen to go to Italy at some stage – but keep putting it off until I lose weight!


  13. Congrats on your anniversary! Hope you have an amazing time on your trip. Australia tops our travel bucket list since neither of us has been. We hope to go at the end of 2013 or 2014.

    • We might actually get there too in the next couple of years. Our niece is at school in Melbourne and it seems to us that if we plan to go “someday,” why not when we have family there:)

  14. I love when you’re all thumbs. It makes for good blog-reading. xo

  15. You have so many thumbs, not a bad thing. Hopefully having more thumbs helps amongst all the changes stirring there. Plenty of opportunity for exciting results amongst it all too, you are blessed. Keep those BP numbers where they need to be!

    • I’ll be interested to see what my BP registers when I see my allergist next week. Usually it is ONLY high for that one doctor. So, not classic “white coat” syndrome.

  16. Great post–it really cleared the air! Parenting older children can be challenging. I remember that stage, and it does pass, but not without some angst. I agree with the Tomkat thing! Also, I think it’s ok to step back from blogging. Sometimes the creative juices need to simmer again for a while before they’re ready to be served ala blog. At least that’s where I’m at during this oh so hot summer of malaise (thanks for the word, Caron)!

    • It certainly seems that things have slowed down in the blog world this summer. But I seem to remember that happening in summers past too.

  17. Thumbs up for the book suggestions!

  18. I’m totally addicted to Food Network Star and Design Star, too. Plus, I’m enjoying The Closer.

    As for reading, I’m mostly sticking to mysteries for the summer. It’s too hot for anything deep. 🙂

    have a great weekend, Karen!

    • I’m so sad that The Closer is ending:( I guess I’ll record the spin off and see what I think. But, really, Kyra Sedgewick and her character make the show.

  19. I really like the Steve Jobs book. I also enjoyed seeing the author interviewed last Sunday. I own an iEverything! I have Apple loyalty extreme!

    My latest book is For the Love of Lakes. A wonderful tribute to the beauty and grandeur of lakes and the aquatic ecosytems. Not for everyone, but I am loving it.

    We are approaching a big anniversary in the not too distant future. I think we mostly want to continue to enjoy our Western National Parks.There is so much beauty in those parks. I think we will be staying at some of the beautiful old lodges when we do. I have done a fair amount of traveling and tend to want to go back to places that were terrific (like Paris or Norway). Love Europe.

    • My brother and his wife are big loyalists too:) My teen is trying to talk me over the dark side to join him with an iphone. But I keep explaining that as long as my husband sticks with android, I will too since he’s my “tech support.”

  20. I watched the end of Food Network Star last night and loved it! I am glad to see a thumbs post from you – I love these Karen!

    • Oh, so glad you didn’t tell me who won! I record it. Funny thing is I love that show but I never watch the actually cooking shows once someone wins. Okay, maybe I tune in once out of curiosity if I think of it. I’ll be watching Top Chef too when that starts up again. And my teen was sick this weekend so we had a Chopped marathon.

  21. Miz

    oooh Id missed this since myoud posted on my birthday and then my parents came to town.


  22. Loved reading your post. Your upcoming trips sounds mah-valous. DH & I are going to France in October. Still planning.
    I’m the same way with the BP. Appointment next week and I’m recording morning BPs to prove that my “white coat” BP readings in his office are wrong. It never occurred to me that they might not trust my home readings!

    • This is the first year she questioned it. And I have to give her credit, she could be correct, in which case I do have high blood pressure. So I respect her concern. BUT, I am pretty darn sure she’s wrong:)

  23. I had to laugh about the results of your son’s aptitude test. I guess he will have to go for something he enjoys. Sigh.

    So glad you are enjoying work. So.

    Way to pique my curiosity about your trip. Where does an empty nester go that is exotic and romantic? My vote might be… romantic train trip to Rajasthan destined for the lovely and exquisite Udaipur Oberoi Udaivilas. Yum.

    More realistically, I would choose to visit a friend who has a beachside home in Phuket Thailand. I have been all thru SEA, but it was when I was mighty young, fairly ignorant and relatively poor. My hubs nixed SEA. Did not want to catch bird flu. Yep. You read that right. Ah – Hawaii is a fine substitute.

    Breath mostly abated waiting for the trip unveiling.

    • Ah, but that’s the crux of it – what does he enjoy? Or rather, what will he enjoy enough as a career to put up with classes he might not enjoy but has to take to get to that career? Who said exotic and romantic?!

  24. sunnydaze

    I’ve been wondering about you – if you’re staying, going or changing sites… so thumbs up to see that you’re still posting. 😉 Thumbs down for the empty nest. I’m going through the same thing, I’ve accepted it but I don’t like it.

  25. Thumbs up: YOU! Really. You’re a gem, Karen!

  26. “the cash register still confounds me” – I think it would confound me as well! So funny.

    The one thing I’m going to tell my boys when they start thinking about careers is to consider the sort of lifestyle they want; as the job at the end may not jibe with their life goals.

    I don’t have a bucket list, but I do want to get published in a magazine. However, I’m having trouble coming up with the time and the guts to actually make it happen… Ugh.

    I always recommend Newfoundland and Labrador and Turkey. I’m looking forward to be able to travel again. But for now, it’s just not in the budget for us… Can’t wait to here where you are going to go for your 25th anniversary!

    • That’s a good point about lifestyle. Mine probably want the “sit around and play video games and work as little as possible” lifestyle:)

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