Thankfulness and Appreciation

Thankfulness is knowing what you have and appreciating it. It is looking around with eyes wide open, seeing all the blessings in each day. Sometimes the blessings are disguised and difficult to see, and yet they are there. Waiting.

Summer is winding down, and school will start back in a few weeks. The bright greens of summer will begin to fade and the golds of Autumn will dot the hillsides.

Time moves on…sometimes slowly, sometimes with lightning speed.

Grab the moments. Each and every one.

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Today I am thankful for:

* quiet evenings on the deck

* the sound of geese as they fly over

* the slow glide of the red tailed hawk

* good conversation

* riding around listening to the radio

* church friends

* fuzzy kitten stampedes

* doggie nuzzles

* emails from family

* the health of family members

* new exercise equipment

* walks around the property

* the first taste from the garden

* blazing sunsets

* amazing clouds

* old barns

* smiles and inside jokes

* the smell of my husband’s coffee brewing

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 

 

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Summer Days Are Sweet

English: Porch swing at sunset along the Saint...

So far this summer has been good for me.

I’ve had time to think…and not think. Sometimes I need that. I tend to dwell on things, worry about stuff.

It is refreshing to have some time to just relax and not to be chained to a schedule.

Trading in calendars and clocks for a porch swing and hammock.

Enjoying early mornings and slow evenings.

Cooking becomes grilling out.

Meeting new people, making new friends.

Sight seeing and soul searching.

Afternoon thunderstorms and evening lightening bugs.

Mulling over plans.

Wondering what lies ahead, as I sip my sweet tea.

Content.

 

 

 

Opportunity

Lisa-Jo took a break from her 5 minute Fridays in December….but, now she’s back! Five minute Fridays are always fun, so why not jump in and tell us what you have to say?

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:

Opportunity…

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Opportunity…a chance to do something.

Sometimes opportunity knocks and I am too blind to see it, or too busy.

I need to be more aware of the faint tapping.

Opportunity can open up a whole new world, one that I might never have known had I not opened that door.

Taking a chance can be scary, but not taking it might be worse.

Missed opportunity is a huge regret.

Don’t let it get away…

English: Ahem! Road sign and tree at Kirkbuddo.

Is That A Gray Hair?!

leg warmers photo from flickr by iluvrhinestones

Does anyone else wonder where the time went? I always heard that time seems to go faster, the older one gets. That is the honest truth.  Some days I feel older than others. Yep. I wake up and stumble to the bathroom mirror and think, “Wow. When did this happen?”

My daughter enjoys that I can get all the 80’s references in the show that we watch together. The best music is still from the 80’s or earlier, in my humble opinion. I miss leg warmers and Jordache jeans. (although I saw a commercial yesterday for Walmart that Jordache jeans are making a comeback. I had a pair circa 1985.)

I was always the one that said I would age gracefully, ala Katherine Hepburn style. Lately, I’ve just felt the burn…without the Hep. Sigh. I know. I know. I have several readers that are older (read that as mature)….and would love to be 44 again. Okay, so that might be true, but I’m still seeing gray hairs and feeling achy joints. I’m sojourning on, but aging can be the pits. Just sayin’.

On the positive side, as I’ve aged I think I have a better perspective about things. I at least try. Experience brings

wisdom…well, at least with most things. The important stuff, truly is the important stuff, and I realize it. I’m trying to slow down. I want to enjoy the moments that God has blessed me with.

Life.

I’m always learning, and taking it one day at a time.

(P.S) I secretly wish I could still fit into my Jordache jeans from 1985. A girl can dream.

Shoppers Beware

Does it mean a person is mentally unbalanced if they laugh at themselves, or at their own jokes? Um…..because, I admit…..sometimes I crack myself up. Doesn’t it feel good to laugh? Really laughing…like when you get tears in the corners of your eyes or you laugh so hard you snort. Not that I do that. That would be uncouth and not very lady like. So of course, I was talking about someone else. I was!  Work with me people, after all I am the one telling the story here.

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

My daughter and I had to run to Tractor Supply and Walmart today, two of our most common places to shop. That says a lot about us, doesn’t it? Living out in the sticks, I rarely get to see the Mall or “chain” stores anymore. I cry a little inside when I get fliers in the mail from Target and realize I have absolutely no clue as to where the nearest Target even is, much less how to get there. I’ve been having cravings for a Chili’s restaurant lately, and once again….not a Chili’s to be found. Sigh. Alas, I have digressed from my original story. I apologize. My husband tells me that I tend to do that. A lot. What can I say? I like to give details when speaking….or writing….or speaking while writing. Anyway……….

After getting back from this latest shopping adventure, I feel like our country is in crisis. I’m not talking politics, because that is an whole different story and I’m not going down that road today. I’m talking fashion sense. Or is it common sense? Now, I know that there are videos out there on the internet entitled “People of Walmart“. Those videos scare me to be honest. This week I witnessed a shopping scene that, well, it was just wrong…on so many levels. People. People. People. Get some clothes on. Really. Please.

I will be the first to tell you. I like to dress for comfort. Jeans, a tee shirt, a pair of flip flops….my usual summer attire. If you saw me at Walmart, you probably wouldn’t really notice me because for the most part I look fairly normal. ( I realize that is a subjective statement, but for the sake of my story let’s go with it.)

What (Not) To Wear When Going To Walmart

1. Wear comfortable clothes. Do not wear vampy, black  boots with six inch stiletto heels while shopping for produce. If you back up into me and step on me, I might end up with a deep puncture wound on my flip flop covered foot. I could possibly need emergency treatment. Plus, the boots do not work with the sweat pants you are also wearing.

2. Gray haired grandmothers with their young grandchildren in the cart, should not be wearing halter tops. I don’t care how young you feel inside, time has already caught up with your outside….and it is no longer feasible for you to wear a halter. Unless you are Raquel Welch, keep everything covered. I think this rule is in the grandmother’s handbook. Check it out.

3. Young men, do not wear your pajama bottoms to the store. I know that this particular piece of wardrobe seems to have become “appropriate” shopping apparel. Believe me when I say, it is not. You do not look as hot as you think you do….and I am not interested in seeing your backside hanging out. Have some dignity. It cannot take that much effort to pull on a pair of jeans if you are going to be seen in public.

4. Men, while I am on the subject. Open tank tops are a no-no. You know the kind I mean. The ones with the big armholes that allow one to see everything the man’s got. The tank looks more like a cotton drape then a real shirt. This is an especially important piece of advice if you are standing next to a person trying to shop for some meat.  As you lean over to check out what to put on the grill for dinner, you are exposing your hairy (and probably sweaty) armpit to the person (namely,me!) standing next to you. Now, I know men have armpits…and I know they are hairy….but, I don’t want to look at it while I’m checking out a package of  hamburger. It’s making you feel kind of gross while you’re reading this, isn’t it?  Now you can feel my pain.

5. Please do not wear your bathing suit into the store. They make coverups for this sort of thing. I understand that you are heading to the lake, and you need some chips and soda before you head out. I get it. Do us all a favor and pull on a tee shirt and a pair of shorts….and make sure the shorts are more than a denim pair of underwear. Walmart shoppers can only take so much sexiness at one time.

If you ever find yourself in one of the Walmart “no-no’s” make sure you are also wearing a ball cap and a pair of dark sunglasses, so you can’t be recognized…..because people are watching.

Ten Ways To Stay Cool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week is has been HOT. I don’t do hot very well…as a matter of fact I’m melting faster than the wicked witch of the west.

On that note, I am taking a few moments to list 10 ways to stay cool when the thermometer is reading 100+.

1. Take a small towel, soak it in water and put it in the freezer. After it has frozen wrap it around your neck. If your neck is cooler, you feel cooler…..even if you technically are NOT.

2. Get an old fashioned fan, you know, the ones with the blades…..sit in front of it and don’t move. Like all day. Well, except to go to the bathroom. Then run back to the fan.

3. Eat ice cream. Flavor does not matter. Eat it and don’t feel guilty at all. It is helping you to not have a heat stroke, therefore it is healthy.

4. If you are lucky enough to have a pool, use it. You also might want to get yourself a frosty cold drink to sip poolside. Invite less fortunate friends over to take a dip. They will owe you for keeping them from a heat related episode. You are a good friend.

5. Walk around with a spritzer bottle of ice water. Periodically, mist yourself. Mist family members. Friends. Mist the dog and cat. It’s all about staying cool.

6. Slurp an icy drink, fast. TRY HARD to get brain freeze.

7. If you have air conditioning in your house, in your car….thank the Lord that you live in this time period, and were not born in pioneer times when air conditioning meant walking into the ice house.

8. Sit down and watch White Christmas, or Frosty The Snowman…or some other holiday movie that has snow in it. Think about snow. Mind over matter.

9. Wear as few clothes as is legally (and morally) possible.  Don’t scare the neighbors. Although, come to think of it, they might be doing the same thing.

10. Think cold thoughts….and remember Autumn with its cooler temperatures will be here in less than three months!

 

 

 

I Want It All

I saw this quote today……

from Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"

from Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day” (Photo credit: academy of american poets)

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” — Mary Oliver

It made me think.

I want to live my life as a child of the King. Have a personal relationship with the One who knows all things. Just give me, Jesus…..

I want to live a life full of love, and laughter, and grace,  family time, and strong friendships. I want memories that make me smile, and tears that cleanse. I want sunrises that amaze me, and sunsets that relax me. I want a life filled with hugs, and I love you’s. Lightning bugs, and star filled nights. Full moons and hot summer nights. Colors of pumpkins and gourds, the smell of wood smoke on a Fall evening, and drives down country roads. Warm mittens, hot cocoa, and counting down until Christmas. I want meadows of wild flowers, birthday celebrations, and fresh cut grass.

I want dog licks, and furry pets. I want roosters crowing in the morning. I want bare feet on cold floors and shoulders wrapped in cozy blankets. I want the sound of thunder and the strikes of lightening. I want to be in awe of it all. I want music and song, and dancing and rainbows…and promises.

I want to read, and find out of the way bookstores. I want to find the best deal and write long letters. Sending cards for no reason, and cheer at ball games. Calligraphy and flowing words, journals, and great quotes.

Sunglasses and glitter. Country living, and city trips. Flowers that smell sweet, and a glass of iced tea.

My husband and sharing this life together. Commitment and desire. Words and touch. Smiles and sobs. Holding hands and holding hearts.

Motherhood and mystery. Babies with soft newborn skin smell and children that imagine. Teenagers with long legs and short legs and those that smell funny.The heart of the matter. The bottom line. The last chance. The endless possibilities and hopefulness.

The black. The white. The gray. Breath and dying. The questions and only some of the answers. The beauty and the ugly that create a canvas of this one fragile, and precious life.

It’s all good. This life…..

One day at a time. One moment at a time.

And I am truly and unapologetically thankful…for it all.

A gift. Every bit of it.

Get Your Motor Runnin’

Yard Sale Northern California May 2005. This i...

Image via Wikipedia

Saturday morning a little after 8 o’clock in the morning, my son, daughter and I jumped in the van. We were yard sale bound….

First stop, an estate sale way out in the country. It was a beautiful drive, dotted with picturesque white farm houses with multiple red barns, pure Norman Rockwell. We pulled up to the house and jumped out. Hmmm….some stuff was way overpriced if you ask me. There were some nice furniture pieces, but I wasn’t really there for furniture. I didn’t really have any idea what I WAS looking for, but I knew that I’d know it when I saw it. That is my motto. There was also a barn with all sorts of stuff in it. I found 4 school cafeteria trays for a couple of bucks. The melamine kind with the square places for each type of food. So, old school (literally!). My kids looked at me as if I were I was nuts. Like that has ever stopped me. I was thinking they would make wonderful TV trays and the kids were having flashbacks of women wearing hairnets, spooning mystery meat on a plate. Whatever. To each his own.

At this home I also found a cute wooden school chair……child size. I cleaned it up and put it in my library with one of my Boyds bears sitting on it. Perfect.

Next stop, a garage sale. WAY overpriced. If I want to spend that much money I’ll just go to a store and buy it new. The few exceptions to this were some nice vintage embroidered table cloths, pillow shams, and dressy scarves. The lady said she has so many, she was just wanting to thin out her collection. I snagged  some vintage, for a dollar a piece and got a silk scarf for my daughter. Oh, I also found a beautiful framed picture of a young Victorian girl. I wonder whose daughter she was? I always find antique pictures intriguing.

After a couple more stops to pick up a hand held electronic chess game for my daughter, a huge hot chocolate mug, and a Michael Buble’ Christmas CD…..the morning was over.

Even though my son didn’t find anything he wanted today, he enjoyed the hunt. (and getting to drive)

Time to head back home.

Until next time…

 

 

10 Reasons I Hate Grocery Shopping

Standard shopping cart, picture taken at a Weg...

Image via Wikipedia

It is the end of a long week and time for a good laugh…..

I had to go to the grocery store this morning. It was either that, or allow my family to starve. I considered it. Ahem…..just kidding.  The grocery store is not my favorite place. As a matter of fact, I find myself becoming overly depressed when food shopping. I can literally feel myself becoming poor with each push of the cart…..which leads me to the ten reasons I hate grocery shopping.

1. I always end up with the renegade cart that has wheels that go in different directions. I think I have a predetermined genetic condition that draws the wobbly carts to me. The strongest thing I drink is iced tea, but steering the crazy cart up and down the aisles makes me look like I’ve been on a week long bender. A great way to start the morning, let me tell you.

2. The one thing I’m looking for is not on the shelf. A.) It is now a discontinued product and will no longer be available. or B.) I got there too late and some other mom scarfed up all goods and left nary a crumb for anyone else. At the time I was thinking ugly thoughts. I will not type them for all to see.

3. I had to go through 5 egg cartons before I found one that didn’t have damaged eggs. Ugh. If an egg can go through all the trauma of being laid by a chicken…..can’t we get them into a box and shipped without cracking about a million of them? Just saying. I have cracked egg frustration.

4. Little old ladies that talk on their cell phone…LOUDLY. I realize that she probably spoke loudly because she couldn’t hear herself…..but, the rest of the store could. Plus, every time she replied to the person on the other end of the conversation, she stopped her cart. I almost ran her down. Not intentionally.

5. Meat is expensive. My family likes meat. They have membership cards to carnivores of America. They know the difference between real meat and fake meat. I’ve already tried that.

6. I got all the way through the store and realized that I had forgotten something. Because I didn’t make a list this time. Because I was tired and didn’t feel like it. Now, I pay the price! Oh well, I didn’t need it that bad.That’s my story anyway.

7. There is a man in front of me with 50 bazillion items and there are no other cashiers available, so I sigh and get in line.

8. There is a woman behind me with two items and I let her go in front of me because if I don’t I’ll feel guilty. She said, “thank you” to me. I smile, but I’m really thinking, “I hate you because you only have two things to buy”. Okay, I didn’t really hate her. I was just jealous. Plus, I was sweating from all the steering of the cart and schlepping meat products into those plastic bags. It’s hard work, people.

9. The grocery store parking lot has a trillion parking places, most of which were empty at this time of the day. You’d think that no one would feel the need to park smack dab next to my van. Well, you would be wrong! As I came outside and pushed my cart to the van I notice a car parked on the side of my van that has the sliding door. The door I need to open and get the cart next to so I can unload my groceries. I begin to talk to myself (and to anyone within earshot)……Who parks a car that close to a van when there are a ton of other parking spots?????!!!!!! I am forced to squeeze the cart in between the van and car. Just as I am situated and attempting to unload, a woman and her teen daughter emerge from the store. She laughed, “Oh, sorry. I guess I parked a little close.” I gave her the death glare. She deserved it.

10. After returning the cart to the store, I jumped in the van and circled around to the entrance of the parking lot….at which point I heard several thuds and realized that my canned food was now rolling around on the van floor……Big sigh. I’ll have the kids help me unpack when I get to the house. They can crawl around on the floor looking for the canned peas.

 

Take Me Home To DIY Projects

A while back I blogged, asking my readers to help me figure out what to do with an old picture frame. You can read about it, here.  I finally got around to working on the frame. Here it is, so far.

The plan is to paint a piece of wood, that my husband has in the garage, with chalkboard paint. We (I told my husband I would appreciate his help with this part) will then attach it to the back of the frame. I will have a cool looking chalkboard/memo board when this is done. Old school function and aesthetics.

One old wooden picture frame sanded down. Two coats of robin’s egg blue spray paint. A coat of clear gloss sealer. A leftover piece of thin wood from the garage. A couple coats of chalkboard paint. Attach to back of frame. Add a piece of chalk (an entire box at Wmart is only 78 cents) and an eraser. Then add a cute inspirational message on the board. Perfect.

The other project I currently have under way is this.

I’m going to paint the jars today. I plan on using my jars as candle holders. Perfect for Fall……

Hopefully, by next Tuesday I will have both projects finished for you to see.