Random thoughts…

I am so thankful to the creator of the universe this morning. For sustaining my life through the night once again, so that I may live another day, and somehow be a light to others, showing forth his love for them.

I am so grateful for insect repellent!! I have an awesome essential oil recipe I use. Smells good, is natural, and works! I brought a pack of baby wipes soaked in it to a friends house last night. We went for dinner, they live in the woods, last time I was there I came home bumpy and itchy. I felt the first “landing” on my arm around 8pm. I quietly slipped to the foyer where my purse was, wiped down all exposed skin, and enjoyed the rest of the night “landing, bump and itch” free.

Our permits to build were approved this week! So exciting. It took a month to get something that should have taken a week. Our area is definitely experiencing a building boom. Monday, my honey and I, go into the community development department, sign our names in front of their notary, pay our fees, and “poof” we are official! Let the framing begin! Ok, let the cement pouring on the footings begin first.

On a related note, last night my husband was sharing about feeling very unprepared for teaching at church this morning. He hates that feeling. We both do. Both of us like to feel in control and prepared. I have also been feeling very out of control with the whole building process. Everything seems to be happening so fast. We need to order wood so the guys can prep window headers while waiting for the permits, but the companies I asked for bids from are still working on them, so we buy from the company we think will have the best pricing. Our DIY in floor heating has taken an interesting turn too. We have hired a guy/consulting company to prepare the schematics of the system for us, and the control panel. We will lay everything, and connect it to the main panel, etc. however to get the permit for the mechanical, I have to provide “calculations” about capacities, oem something, and lots of other techie words I know nothing about. When I asked if they do that, or could help me with that, they said that the HVAC contractor usually does that, and asked if I had one. Ummm. No. Doesn’t DIY mean do it yourself, or, in other words, you won’t need to hire and pay an HVAC contractor for this project? At first I was angry, really angry. However, after a drive to the big city thirty minutes away, with my calm me down music by Brian Crain playing softly in my ears, I came off that ledge and began to think about how we could solve the issue. Was that a moment of personal growth? Oh my! This old dog is not too old to learn a new trick!!! Another thing I am thankful for.

I think my homeopathy regimen is beginning to show results. Last night I had some key limeade with dinner, a few bites of sugar laden rhubarb pie and a very cheesy chicken enchilada casserole. All delicious, but dairy gives me a gassy tummy and sugar can exacerbate the hot flashes. Yet, I slept well. Really well. In the past I have battled dealing with adrenal fatigue. My hormones have been out of whack, I get exhausted, but too wired to sleep soundly, often waking four or five times a night. Pretty much the only remedy was stopping everything and spending a month at home, in jammies, doing only things which are emotionally non stressful. But, in spite of the house stuff, I seem to be doing better, handling the stress better, handling life better. Again, I am thankful to God for his mercies and provision of all that we need in life, including homeopathy. I started this part of my journey after reading a blog I can across on joettecalabrese.com. She is a great educator, and all of her stuff is downloadable and a lot is free. She also has classes you can take, which I will when life slows down a bit (meaning when the building process is done). I would add the link, but I haven’t yet figured out how that feature works yet, sorry!

Oh! I am thankful there are no bees buzzing around my food!

Last thought. I am thankful for summer Sabbath mornings. Cold sweet potato pie, breakfast on the shaded back patio, colorful blooming flowers, cats eating long grasses so they can go into the house later to puke it up in a location I won’t see until my bare foot lands in it. Crickets are chirping, doves are cooing, and the neighborhoods resident pheasant chimes in periodically with his distinct voice. My soul is at peace.

May you also find the confidence and humility you need to stay teachable during your journey on this earth, and may you find your “Sabbath morning” peace for your soul.

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Twenty years…

Tuesday will be our twentieth wedding anniversary. My honey blessed me with a long weekend trip to Banff, Canada, to celebrate. We honeymooned there, many years ago, and have returned a few times since.

It was hard leaving. I was finishing up misc. building things up until we were ready to leave. I hate to admit it, but I also brought two little things with me to do while we were gone. To be honest, I knew the weather was going to be rainy, and we would probably have one full day in the hotel room, so I don’t feel too bad for bringing work with me.

Spanky cat wasn’t real happy with us. She was fine the day before we left, because I was the only one who has pulled out a suitcase. But when dad pulled one out too, she gave it to us. First, she jumped into his suitcase, pleading her case to come with us. When that didn’t work, she followed my honey around as he went around the house gathering his stuff to pack. She finally perched on a sweater I was going to wear, figuring I couldn’t leave if she was on it. She was wrong. She retreated to her bed donut, and watched us pack with her ears laid back. When we were ready to go, I wrapped my arms around her, rubbing my chin on her head. I whispered a little prayer of protection for her, then counted off the days until we would return to her. We have always counted off days until we return to our pets. I think it makes us feel better that they know how long we will be gone.

My honey is great at finding unique hotels to stay in. We stayed at The Fox. A beautiful lodge style hotel. We had a loft room, on the fourth floor. The views were spectacular! We were close to downtown, but not too close. We enjoyed some time in the semi outdoor hot pools, created to mimic some local cave hot springs. That always helps the achy joints that weren’t an issue twenty years ago. We made decisions about garage door styles, heating options for the house, design decisions for the house and more. The conversation flowed smoothly, and yet, we were also content to sit on the couch quietly reading, or watching a basketball game.

It was a nice weekend in spite of the rain. A much needed respite form the hustle and bustle we left behind, and would have to return to.

I hope you can find a time of respite from your hustle and bustle, even if it is only a few hours.

Mothers and daughters…

It was an early morning for me. Well, actually no earlier than normal, I just had a “date” with my almost nine year old grandson planned. His elementary school is great at putting together various, usually, before school activities. Muffins with Mom’s, Donuts eight Dad’s, Time with Grandparents. His older sister would have joined us, but she has early morning orchestra practice.

I rushed to get my morning chores done and eat some breakfast. A bowl of quick oatmeal with freeze dried blueberries and pecans should hold me over til ten or eleven. I actually got on the road with what I thought was plenty of time to get there, forgetting that over the past few months, the commute has gotten a bit longer. Thirty minutes from door to door used to be perfect. Now I am looking at closer to forty. I hate being late, and could feel the stress rising in me, so I plugged in my earbuds and turned on my Brian Crain music. Shooting piano and orchestra would keep me calm for the remainder of the drive.

This morning, I deliberately put on the ring I inherited from my mother, and the one from my grandmother. My grandmother died when my kids were young, they didn’t really know her. My mother passed going on ten years ago now. She met her first great grandchild and died a year later. On the trip to the school this morning I reminisced about this. The tears flowed as I thought of all she missed out on, she would have had four great grands to date. My father lives with us and so often gets to see the greats. As I thought about it, I thought I would tell my grandson about three rings. I would tell him that my mom would have been there with us if she was still alive. My grandmother, not so much. The tears flowed again, as I realized that that was one good thing I learned from my mother. Attending the little hints is important, even if she was always late.

He was just getting shoes and socks on when I arrived. We drove the quick five minutes to school in the rain, and arrived in time. After signing in, we were handed a pack of papers and we were able to choose muffins and milk. The muffins were the humongous Costco muffins. My grand chose chocolate chocolate chip with chocolate milk, I went with blueberry. We sat and talked and ate. We talked about the rings, we went over one paper that was titled “Twelve things for grandchildren and grandparents to do together”. We marked off the ones we had, and circled the ones we hadn’t. Turns out we have never bird watched together or been to the movie theater together. We’ve done plenty of walks, cooking, gardening and meals out. But, no bird watching. Go figure. I will just have to get out my mini binoculars and my Birds of the Region book and we will have to do some. As we left for recess, they were offering spare muffins to all. My grand suggested that we get one for his sister. He chose the poppy seed for her, and I wrote a note on it, with love from Grammi. In the halls, he saw her teacher and asked if she would give it to her when she arrived back from band.

My grand asked me to stay after muffins and come to his classroom with him for indoor recess. I was blessed to meet a couple of his friends/classmates and his teacher, and watch him play his favorite motorcycle game on the computer. When other kids started to arrive, I offered to leave if he wanted me to, and he patted the chair next to him and said that he wanted me to stay. My heart was full.

I still have half the muffin in the van. I am sitting in a friend’s house hoping the cat will come out to say hello, but I am pretty sure that isn’t going to happen at this point. They are out of town and asked me to look in on her. From here it is off to WallyWorld (our nickname for WalMart) to grab a shirt to complete an outfit I want to send to my out of town grandson. His birthday is next week. Of course I will send the customary snack boxes of Goldfish crackers in rainbow colors. He lives in a different country where they can’t buy those. Then home to prepare for the last night of company during the Feast, and Sabbath. If I have any time left after that, and it stops raining, I have some all natural fertilizer that needs to get out of my dining room and onto our lawns. I’m not holding my breath on that though.

So far, it’s been a good day. I hope you find beauty in raindrops, and joy in the sound of them hitting the roof.

Maaaag-nolias!

Isn’t it amazing how a scent, a sound, a word, can transport us to another place, another time?

When I smell mushrooms sautéing in butter with salt and pepper, I am a young teen, in the kitchen with my grandmother as she teaches me how to make a mushroom omelette. The sweet scent of a rose reminds me of her and my father. My dad taught me how to prune roses, and my grandmother cut a fresh bunch for the kitchen table every week. Chanel 5 perfume sends me back to watching my mom get ready to go out for a special occasion.

Blue jays cawing and I can almost hear my family laughing during our the yearly vacation we took to Carmel Valley, CA, each year while I was growing up. Memories of drinking Coke out of a real, glass bottle that came out of a vending machine near the ping pong table near the pool, stepping on the acorns, diving for pennies and eating goldfish crackers while playing cards with our grandma.

Today, it was seeing a Magnolia tree while enjoying my morning walk. I can’t say the word normally. It is always thought and said long and drawn out, with a southern drawl, usually in the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, the southern rooster of long ago cartoons. Suddenly I was sitting on the old gold, vinyl couch, with my cat on my lap, quietly watching Saturday morning cartoons. No one else was awake, the house was all mine, at least for a few minutes.

Another word that is always spoken, or rather, sung robustly, and repeated is Tradition! Tradition! Topol sung that in Fiddler on the Roof. I have seen it two times with my honey, and would see it again. Tradition is important to humankind, probably more so with us women. Our family traditions are what keeps us glued together, no matter how many miles may separate us between those times.

My heart goes to a peaceful place with these types of memories. I hope that my children have these types of memories. I yearn for my grandchildren to have them. I know that not everyone has good memories. I pray yours are. If there are not, today is a good day to start creating new ones. Here’s to new memories.