From 19 to 20

It was back to work for EJ today. He had last weekend off, as usual, then worked two days, then had two days off, and now is working another two days before the weekend. I am now all messed up about which day it is because today feels sort of like Monday.

Our neighbor

Two days of wintry weather had brought us several inches of snow so our neighbor came driving up in his tractor to snow blow our driveway. Ever since he saw me clearing our driveway with our little snowblower last winter, he has snowblowed it for us with his tractor. He’s been such a blessing–he can clear in a few minutes what it took us more than two hours to do. He won’t accept payment so we bought him a gift box of sausage and such as a thank you. I was going to make him homemade candy and cookies, but he mentioned to EJ that he didn’t have much of a sweet tooth.

Today the temperatures warm again into the lower 40s (F) so the snow began to melt again although we could get freezing drizzle overnight.

Our first cheesecake, half-eaten.

On New Year’s Eve, I made 21 small turkey potpies and I made 14 more yesterday for a total of 35 pies. Yesterday evening EJ and I made cheesecake together in our Instant Pot. I quickly volunteered to make the graham cracker crust because I was tired from making pies, and I left EJ to make the filling. We both made some mistakes, but it was still tasty. Yum! But, ugh, after a couple days of eating pizza, chips, and cookies, we are both feeling rather yucky. EJ said we will now have to be good until next Thanksgiving. I agree.

On the weekends, EJ often goes out with me in the evening when I lock all the animals in the coop. When we went out last weekend, we discovered that Millie and Theo had caught a chipmunk. Sometimes Millie had it and sometimes Theo did. We didn’t want them to bring the chipmunk into the coop so I hurried into the coop, shutting the big doors behind me. Before I could get the little door closed, Theo brought the chipmunk in. With a small scream, I hurriedly unfastened the big door and scurried out because I didn’t want to risk the critter getting free and climbing up me in its panic. Theo took the chipmunk outside again, and as soon as he dropped it on the ground, I picked him up and put him in the coop with the other two cats and the chickens. I think the chipmunk crawled under the coop. I suspect he didn’t live long.

This was the first rodent we’ve seen the cats catch. Millie and Theo aren’t the serial killers that Madeline was. I really liked Madeline, but I’m relieved that I don’t find dead bodies every day.

Last week I wrote about some of the Red Flag traits that I look for to help me identify an abusive person. Those traits basically include attitudes of self-centeredness, superiority, and entitlement, as well as a lack of gratitude and generosity. Today I read a couple of articles that Dr. George Simon wrote on his website that says pretty much the same thing. One was about how to recognize covert narcissists and the other was about their lack of gratitude, the latter of which I want to quote from here.

…One of the pioneers studying character disturbance made an interesting observation. Folks with significant character disturbances came from all backgrounds. Some experienced early trauma. But others came from remarkably benign backgrounds. Some were impoverished in many ways. However, others were products of privilege. But one thing they all had in common was a disturbing attitude. The world owed them, they felt. And they owed nothing back. For them, life was all about taking what they could get. And sometimes it was an additional kick to take nefariously. They had no sense of obligation – to anyone or anything. And that, in a nutshell, lay at the core of their character dysfunction.

When it comes to having integrity of character, it all begins with gratitude. Appreciating the precious gift of life itself comes first, of course. Gratitude inherently inspires a sense of indebtedness. And that indebtedness inevitably inspires us to give back and not just take. So, real thanksgiving is not so much about feeling grateful. And it goes beyond expressing gratitude. It’s more about showing it by doing our part to make the whole enterprise work….

Dr. George Simon has worked with and researched manipulative people–narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths–for decades. His writings have really helped me to understand and recover from abuse. I highly recommend his website if you want to learn more.

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