Guest Blogger: Linda Bethea

My first guest blog was a 2015 post by Linda Bethea of Nutstrok.

Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life thought it deserved a re-post, so here it is.

The original post begins below this drawing by Linda’s Mother, Kathleen Swain.

A hand colored drawing of a mother holding a little boy on her lap as he points to a bird in flight.
The Forever Mom by Kathleen Swain

My first test subject guest blogger is Linda Bethea of Nutstok.

When I read her blog I feel like I’m visiting with a friend.

Linda’s style is graceful and she writes with empathy and love.

“Forever Mom” is a drawing by Linda’s Mother, Kathleen Swain..

Linda wrote: I am so delighted my dear friend Robert Goldstein asked me to do a guest post for him. He was gracious enough to allow me to share a portion of Kathleen’s Memoirs of The Great Depression, my current work in progress.

Thanks so much Robert.


The Gentlest of Men

“Good to see you, Doc, but the baby didn’t wait for you. Lizzie was just cleaning up after breakfast when she told to send for you and Miz Smith. She barely had time to put a pot of beans on and shoo the kids out to work the tomatoes before Miz Smith made it here. I shore was proud to see Miz Smith by the time she got here.” Roscoe ushered him in to the front room where the only sign of a recent delivery was Lizzie nursing her newborn. Not wanting the doctor or the kids to find the place a mess, Mary Smith had hurriedly tidied up the mess from birthing and put it out to soak. Before heading back to her own family, she had bathed the baby, helped Lizzie into a clean gown and put the embroidered sheets back on the front room bed. Dr. Bohl knew those sheets were on display for his benefit and would be carefully folded away as soon as he left. The little girl howled at being examined, flushing and waving her fists, clearly preferring her mother to this indignity. Dr. Bohl allowed she’d be a fine baby, if she lived and did well. She had slipped up on them late in life, with Roscoe nearing fifty and Lizzie thirty-eight. Had anyone been dared ask the couple a year ago if they wanted another child, they’d have declared, “That’s the last thing we need in these hard times,” but she’d found a welcome home.

Roscoe called the kids in to the surprise of a new sister before making a pan of cornbread to go with Lizzie’s beans. Mystified that a headache could turn into a baby, Annie sliced fresh tomatoes and heated leftover stewed squash between peeks at the baby she’d been allowed the honor of naming, Kathleen Gordon Ree Holdaway. Kathleen, for a distant cousin the infant Kathleen wouldn’t meet for more than fifty years. Gordon was a traditional family name and Ree was for one of Roscoe’s domino playing buddies, a name Kathleen learned to heartily despise. Every time she looked at the man, she was disgusted Daddy had picked him to name her for. John set the table and brought in water and wood for the cook stove without being told. Roscoe took Lizzie a full plate and a mason jar of fresh milk before the rest of them got started. After their early supper, Roscoe and Dr. Bohl drank coffee in the front room and talked with Lizzie while the kids cleaned up and whispered in the kitchen. Doc’s cynical opinion altered when he found them both well-read, Lizzie having qualified as a teacher before her marriage. Roscoe kept him laughing with tales of his wild misdeeds as a young man. On a corner table, several books were stacked near the coal oil lamp, where a tattered copy of Robinson Crusoe lay bookmarked with a scrap of paper. Before they finished their coffee, the bawling of the hungry calf and cow’s lowing called Roscoe to evening chores.

Digging deep in his overalls pocket, Roscoe dug out a lone dollar he had managed to save since the disturbing day Lizzie had told him she’d need a doctor that spring. Dr. Bohl considered, needing cash as much as the next man, but in a rare moment of warmth, decided against taking it, knowing it was the only cash they had. “I missed most of the work. If it’s all the same to you, I’d sooner have my pay in garden stuff. I’d sure appreciate if you could throw in a ham.” Relieved, Roscoe filled a tow sack with potatoes, tomatoes, a smoked ham, two quarts of canned peaches, a couple of dozen eggs, and a pound of butter……..far more than a dollars’ worth. Miss Loney had been hounding him about his bill at the store.   Both men were pleased with their transaction and before Dr. Bohl left, they shared a nip from the bottle Roscoe kept tucked high on a kitchen shelf.

Hours later with the kids in bed and Lizzie at rest after her exhausting day, Roscoe smoked and read a western in the dim light of the coal oil lamp. Kathleen stirred and mewed quietly in her mother’s arms. Her gaunt father lifted her, and returned to his chair for a cuddle, “Well, Kitten. It’s just me and you. The rest of ‘em gave it up. You want to talk to your old daddy just a little. Well…..” The gentlest of men, Roscoe’s heart melted anew, for this unexpected child of his age. He loved his other children, but was never able to hide his special feelings for her. To him, she was never Kathleen. From that day on, it warmed her heart to hear him call her “Kitten,” signaling a fine mood. Kat was for ordinary days.

To see more of Linda’s fine work please visit Nutstrok

(c) Linda Bethea and Kathleen Swain all rights reserved.

First posted April 16, 2015

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Guest Blog: How to Approach Chronic Pain at Home

Today I have a guest blog from Jackie Waters.

Jackie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her mid-20s. Afterwards, she began to make the lifestyle changes in order to
minimize the amount of medications I would need to take.

Below are her suggestions for managing chronic pain:

For people living with chronic pain, finding ways to minimize the pain isn’t easy. In working with your doctor, you may have tried various medications and therapies to get some relief. While they may work for awhile, these methods might not be the solution you have been seeking. There are other ways you can try to approach chronic pain at home to minimize pain and make life more manageable. We share tips for doing so below, to get you started.

Take a Mindful Approach

Photo of a young woman gazing out of a window
How to Approach Chronic Pain at Home

Sometimes people who live with chronic pain cause themselves more pain because they get angry and frustrated and just wish the pain would stop. Practicing mindfulness is one way to approach chronic pain that is highly effective. Clinical psychologist Dr. Elisha Goldstein explains that being mindful entails paying attention to something and giving it a fresh look.

If you are taking a mindful approach to chronic pain, therefore, you will avoid having negative thoughts and judging the pain, which makes it worse and causes anxiety and depression. By taking a mindful approach to pain, you will be curious about the intensity of your pain rather than judging it and being negative. You will stop setting goals and having expectations about how to minimize your pain and instead will create a learning mindset that promotes healing. You will be more aware of your pain and have an accurate perception of it rather than thinking your pain is constant all day. You will be less frustrated, anxious, and stressed, which will naturally lead to less inflammation and less pain overall.

Hire a Housekeeper to Alleviate Pain Caused by Chores

If you are trying to keep up with your laundry and house cleaning, there is a good chance that you are contributing to your pain by doing too much bending, stretching, and lifting. If you hire a housekeeper to care for your home, you will have a better chance of minimizing your pain. If you are concerned about the potential cost of hiring a housekeeper, consider having her deep clean once every other week rather than coming once a week or asking her to do the tasks that are too much for you instead of cleaning your entire home. For example, she may scrub your floors and clean your showers and bathtubs, and you may continue doing light dusting and vacuuming.

Some housekeepers charge less if you keep the home free of clutter and stay organized. When you interview applicants, make your needs known and negotiate a price that works for both of you, given the size of your home, the frequency of the cleaning, and the tasks that she will complete for you.

Create a Relaxing Home Environment

If you have a home that creates stress, you will exacerbate your pain. That’s why you should work to create a relaxing home environment that soothes your mind and your body. The first step is to organize your home and erase the clutter. Add plants and flowers to bring nature indoors. Remove dark, heavy drapes and install light-filtering sheers to allow in as much natural sunlight as possible. Paint your rooms in tranquil colors such as blue, green, and gray. Add accent pillows and decorations featuring your favorite color. Create a reading area that is comfortable and welcoming and include books that are inspiring and uplifting or that are written by your favorite author. It’s important to keep work-related materials out of this reading area so that it fosters relaxation.

Another way to create a relaxing home environment is to add scents that soothe you. Purchase an essential oil diffuser and scents that reduce anxiety and pain. Essential oils known for their relaxation-inducing capabilities include lavender, rose, vetiver, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and frankincense.

Taking a mindful, relaxed approach to chronic pain at home is one of the best ways to minimize your pain. Work on changing your thinking, hiring a housekeeper, and creating a stress-free home environment to find some relief.

Jackie Waters

Website: Hyper-tidy.com

Contact: jackie_waters@hyper-tidy.com

Image via Pixabay by Unsplash

Please note: this blog post is not an endorsement of Hyper-tidy.com by Art by Rob Goldstein

 

 

 

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“ever on drea street” by Harsubagh Khalsa

A few weeks ago I invited a friend and contact on Flickr to post one of his poems on my blog.

I invited him to post another one.

Today I present “ever on drea street” by Harsubagh Khalsa

Leaping spacester

flighting hobbits

brave station

i wait you

from some distant

pandered from the sun

ever on drea street

to see the mustard trails

dipping the tailed flagged on

the different hollar points

summing up the news briefs

Image and poem are the property of Harsubagh Khalsa.
(c) Harsubagh Khalsa All Rights Reserved

 

“the dooth pattern” by Harsubagh Khalsa


 

“the dooth pattern” by Harsubagh Khalsa

A friend of mine on Flickr told me that he was toying with the idea of starting a blog for his poetry.

I invited him to post to my blog as an experiment so he can see how his poetry looks and feels on a blog.

Today I present “the dooth pattern” by Harsubagh Khalsa

tieing spirally laces

 

     lips summer from umbrella

         tieing spirally laces

     granting the filament

hard deep suggest then

     it doesnt matter stuff

       it doesnt matter when

   hearting cade

           river nance

         too much piruling

                 a scarry race

                       the scurry dance

                     delected dreams

                         mind beaming the

                             ridge patterns

 

Image and poem are the property of Harsubagh Khalsa.
(c) Harsubagh Khalsa All Rights Reserved