Holy Moly! Where Has the Time Gone?

It’s been three months since I’ve blogged. I am partly ashamed and partly surprised. I can’t believe it has been that long and at the same time I can’t believe I have neglected this little corner of my world so badly. I have never ever gone this long before. Needless to say, it has been a busy, hectic summer.
So what in the world has been going on with me?

I have not fallen off the ends of the earth, although I do have a new address. We made a move in the middle of June back home to the wide open spaces, glorious sunsets, and scalding hot summers of the Texas Panhandle. We had an enjoyable couple of years in Ruidoso, got more than spoiled with God’s beauty and mild temperatures, but it was just time to come home.

Boy, was moving a chore. Neither J-Dub nor myself recalled the move to New Mexico as trying, aggravating or long processed as the move back. It took quite a few trips and quite a lot of grit to get it done, but we finally arrived in one piece. After that heinous ordeal, and after searching for a solid four weeks for the iron, I decided that we had too much stuff. I mean, really. I read a little book called “The Magic Art of Tidying Up” and with that new knowledge I have released a lot of my possessions in a serious act of purging. I still have a ways to go, but I at least feel like I have a good handle on it, although we still can not park in the garage yet. All in due time my pretty, all in due time.

What else has happened? In order of events, here’s a quick run through.

1. I joined Stitch Fix! I was so excited to get my first fix, and had every intention of blogging about it, but then I saw the pictures. ACK! EEK! Couldn’t do it, but maybe next time, which is coming up very soon.

2. I spent way too much time and frustration attempting to get my Texas Driver’s License. I will never let it go again. No matter what. I am convinced the government makes things so difficult, that it is easier to just be an outlaw.
Angel the Kid.
Kinda has a nice ring to it.
Or not.

3. We inherited three ducks.

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The only thing I’ve learned about ducks….they’re not chickens.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

4. EK is as beautiful, smart, funny, and wonderful as ever. She’s had a summer full of growth. She’s learned how to tell a pretty mean knock-knock joke. She attended a Princess dance camp and was left by herself for the first time with “strangers”, and loved it and wanted to go back. She is getting braver all the time, not peeking out from behind her momma’s skirts as much as before. She went to VBS at church and loved it! She’s been riding horses with her daddy and I couldn’t be prouder of all that she is and all she is accomplishing.

5. I took a job. I think. There’s a bit of hang up with some paperwork, but I think it’s okay to announce it. It’s part-time at the Alternative School working with at-risk teen mothers in the homebound program. Yeah, it’s going to be so different from anything I’ve ever done. If emotions were candy, they would be a bag of Skittles. I have an emotion of every color surrounding this new adventure. Both professionally and personally. I can hardly wrap my mind around the change that this will bring in both me and our family dynamic. As we speak, I am officially finishing up my last week as a SAHM. In everything there is a season, and with the end of one, there is a process of grief for me. It was a good run and I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to spend these last three years with EK. There is so much I’m going to miss, but I won’t think about that now, I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Well sweet friends, the sun has set, the cicadas are humming and the world is peaceful here. Before I began blogging tonight, I had just finished a really great book “Eleanor and Park”, and I’m itching to open another one up before it gets too terribly late. It felt really good to write to you. I’ve missed it.

Until next time,
Angel

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And the Earth Renews

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Glory, glory to this early spring day!

Although I woke from a very restless sleep, my body groaning under the weight of its 40 years: hips and hamstrings, neck and knees, the outside world renews me. I’m so glad my 3-year-old wanted to dress and head directly outside, despite my opposition.

The birds are so happy today and why shouldn’t they be? They are announcing the coming of a glorious day.

The earth is wet from either a heavy dew or a light rain and it doesn’t take long for Emma’s shoes to grow wet all the way to her pale pink socks, as she frolics and plays.  The sun is warming the world ever so slowly, removing the chill, granting the warmth.

There is an earthy smell of rebirth in the air. The wind carries it on its breath. Nothing can keep quiet. Nothing can be still, for this day is indeed worth shouting about. The whole of nature is trumpeting the coming of spring!

So I sit with the small pleasure of life: coffee, front porches, pen and paper, and wet tennis shoes. I watch the world in all its activity. My little black cat pounces and climbs, pausing on occasion to stare at something unseen to me, and switch her tail in eager anticipation. And then, as if it couldn’t get any better, the icing on the cake—–a “butterfly”, as my daughter calls them dances by.  She’s black with yellow rimmed wings. She too heard the call of nature, felt the breezes, heard the birds, smelled the dampness of the earth and yet, knowing her days were short, came out to play.

Apple trees are in bloom, lilac bushes are in bud.  I say to them, “careful, careful, not too soon. Have patience”. But surely they know better than I.

My senses take it all in. My soul exhales the dregs of winter. Truly nature is where we find rest yet energy, calmness yet revitalization, serenity yet pulse. A place of reprieve, of lessons, of growth, of birth.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.~~Bernard Williams

Glory, Glory to this early spring day!!

Lose This Day Loitering

By: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Lose this day loitering—-’twill be the same story

Tomorrow and the next more dilatory;

Each indecision brings its own delays,

And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.

Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute—

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—

Begin it, and then the work will be completed!

This is a poem I read the other day.  It spoke to me so much I copied it and taped it to my wall.  Every day I read it, and yet…..well you know the rest of the story.

It is so very inspiring, and at the same time it still doesn’t do the job.  A cattle prod.  That’s what I need….a cattle prod.

What happened when I quit Facebook

I quit facebook.  It was huge for me.  I think either today, tomorrow, or the next day marks two weeks.  Two weeks!

I don’t even know why I did it, except that somewhere in the past few years, months, weeks, or days, when it happened I’m not sure, but at some point, I kind of lost myself.  It’s not face book’s fault, but just a combination of my choices.  Maybe it’s never happened to you, but I got to the point where I just found myself sick to death of everything, including myself.  So I pulled the plug.  I can’t pretend it wasn’t hard.  Within moments my mind was racing with pathetic thoughts. The first thing I worried about was that if I died, while not on Facebook, no one would be able to visit my wall to eulogize me and tell my loved ones how much they missed me.  Or give a nice story.  Or even know I died at all.  That thought process right there may be indicative of the health of my mind at the time.

The next thought, after the death one, was that my sister’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days and just how was I going to handle that?  Usually it was an ol’ happy bd fb post, but now I would need an alternate method.  To the card store I went.   It got me thinking that I didn’t receive one card in the mail on my previous birthday, except from Bealls, the local department store, with a friendly $10 gift to use toward my purchase.  I may not have received a card for my birthday, but I know I probably got more than a hundred fb messages.  What is that saying about us as people?  Anything at all?  Sending cards will soon be filed away in the same archaic vault as sending a lock of hair to a loved one.  I almost sent one to my sister, just for old times sake.

Then over the next few days of my fb fast, I would catch myself thinking “I should put that on Facebook”.  Or wondering about certain people who I only kept in contact with through that venue.  It was comparable to a grieving process, how for a brief moment you  pick up the phone to call your mom or your dad, only to remember they’re no longer living.  But as the days passed, it became easier and better.  I haven’t really missed it.  Except maybe, a little.

I did want to post Ashlynn’s first day of 10th grade, so here it is:

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Isn’t she lovely?  This was the day after she was released from the hospital with yet another stomach blockage due to adhesions.  It had been a while since we have had to deal with this, and it was downright scary. She spent three days in there feeling terribly.  Normally, I would have been straight on fb for prayer, because it is a great avenue for that.  My sister kept the Facebook world updated and many prayers came for healing and I am much appreciative. I know her healing is from God and I know the many prayers of friends and family reached the heavens.

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Friends helped keep her spirits up.  She developed a nasty cough right afterwards, but about has that whipped now too and is on to smooth sailing.

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So here it is nearly September, and we are squeezing the last drops out of summer as we can.  We went and took Emma out on a paddle boat the other day and found ourselves way too far out with just a few minutes to get back.  Our thighs were burning trying to get back to the dock in time.  Emma was crying in the beginning, she is such a cautious child and really tends to get anxious at new things, but she was all smiles in no time.  A package of m&m’s might have helped.

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She’s a full blooded two and a half year old now and keeps me laughing.  She’s so good and a true blessing and joy in all of our lives. I really need to write down more of what she says because they’re just so darn funny.

All in all, since my fb sabbatical (and my deletion of all other social media, save pinterest and words with friends) I am feeling much more light hearted.  I’m finding my focus, which primarily should be on the people who live under my roof.  Other than that, each day is just a repeat of the previous.  Sometimes it’s drudgery, sometimes it’s chaos, but there is always beauty to be found when I pause long enough to look around.

The big things are still the same:  I’m still trying to find my purpose in life and  still trying to grow my bangs out, both of which might take to the end of my days.  And in the event the end of my days might come, you might have to go to the card store to send a condolence.  Go ahead and stick a lock of hair in their too, okay, just for old times sake.

 

 

Lilacs

There is a row of bare bushes that line the side of our property. They sit in a strong straight row bumping their branches into one another, housing nests of birds, and toying with my emotions.

I think, hope, wish, and pray that they are lilac bushes. As we begin our second spring here in this beautiful place, maybe my wish will come true.

Last spring I anticipated their blooms. I imagined the smell of the hundreds of lilacs merging together. My intent was to snip the fresh bouquets and place them everywhere in the house: the kitchen windowsill, the fireplace mantle, the bedside table.

I have such a fondness to lilacs that transports me to my grandmothers house, doesn’t everything of fondness remind us of our grannies?

My plans, like so many others, didn’t come to fruition when a late freeze killed the tiny, purple clustered blooms.

So here we are on the cusp of another possible lilac explosion and I’m remaining optimistic. I awoke this morning to a snowy frost hanging thick on all the trees including these massive 10 feet tall bushes. I immediately checked the temp and saw it dropped to 28 degrees. It didn’t stay cold long into the day and in fact as I sit outside soaking some rays and blogging, I just may have a slightly red chest; the sun is so warm.

I’m hoping for two things: 1) last nights cold wasn’t harsh enough to kill them 2)there won’t be another freeze this season. Okay 3 things: 3) they truly are lilac bushes.

I’m afraid my disappointment will be too great otherwise.

If you are one who possesses a green thumb and recognize these plants, maybe you can let me know.

I’m hoping for a house filled with vases upon vases of purple!

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Love is…..

Today I’m eating crow.

As you all know, it is Valentine’s Day.  Yesterday, the facebook statuses started trickling into my news feed.  You know the ones, posting what their sweetheart got them.  I don’t really know what came over me, because I’m not against love or the designated day of love, but I just got a little nauseated thinking of what everyone would be saying about their lovers.  So I put as my facebook status,

Gag. I think I’m staying off fb tomorrow. I can only handle so much lovey dovey crap and I’m pretty sure I’ve already reached my limit. Bah humbug.
This is me.  I’m not a romantic.  Big surprise.  I’m not really fond of physical affection (Please insert sympathy for my husband here).  I don’t think you should tell your 900 followers how great your spouse is and how much you love them on facebook when you should walk into the next room and tell them to their face, if in fact you really do feel that way.  Nor do I like the bragging, the pictures of all the candy, flowers, diamonds, tickets to Hawaii etc.  Sidenote: I do however enjoy seeing the pictures of kids dressed in their valentine attire holding their little valentine boxes they worked hard on.  
So I had a few people like what I had to say, surprisingly they weren’t all single, and I got a little teasing from it as well, along with some comments of commiseration.  It was all in fun of course.

When I woke up this morning, February 14, my husband was gone.  I knew he’d made a run to The Walmarts before they crazy crowd hit.  I was expecting the usual, but what I got was not the usual and it truly made my day.  I have to share it.  And I’m not bragging.

It’s not going to mean a thing in the world to anyone else.  It is not a fancy diamond or a sports car with a red bow.  It is not a new puppy or a day at the spa.
What I got…………drumrolll please………….is………..
……..a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.
And rolos.  Because, duh?
Now some of you may be furrowing your brow and looking puzzled, but I am smiling.  I can’t help but smile.  When he handed that to me, I laughed and laughed and laughed.
It is quite frankly, my favorite line from one of my favorite movies You’ve Got Mail, where Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan,

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

I love fall, school supplies, that movie, Meg Ryan, and newly sharpened pencils.  The smell of them, the way they sound scratching on paper, all of it.One time in our life, I told Jason that I loved that line, that idea.  Whether it was last year or 9 years ago, who knows.  But he remembered my attraction to that silly notion, how I too would love to receive a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.So, that’s what I have.I love it.  I’m not ever  going to use them for it will mess up the meaningful arrangement that he constructed.  My gift?   It is thoughtful.  It is unique.  It is creative and meaningful.  It is an inside joke.  It is one of the most romantic things he could have done.Love is not about a day, friends.  It’s not about a feeling you get in your stomach when you see a certain someone.  It’s not about how much money you spend.  Love is about the everyday things you do for one another.  It’s about consciously putting other’s needs above your own.  It’s about sacrifice and never giving up.  Love is our greatest commandment from Jesus to love one another, to love your neighbor as yourself.Love is patient. Love is kind.Love is a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.20140214-102110.jpg

An Un-Manic Monday

I just crawled under my big white down comforter next to EK who is already asleep and snoring just faintly.   It’s a Monday afternoon and it is far from manic.  You all remember the Bangles?  They used to sing a song called Manic Monday.  It was completely dumb but I can’t help but think of it every time someone mentions their crazy Monday.  And now, it’s on repeat in my brain.  If it’s on repeat in yours, then I’ve done my job well.

I can’t help but think of what a good place I’m in with my life right now.  I’m happy.  Truly happy.  Yes, of course I still have “those days”.  Everyone does and we all will until we breathe our last breath, but for now, for me, I’m content.

I don’t have anything profound to say today, just wanted to say hi, but since I’m here why not unload a few thoughts on ya?

Thought #1:  Early in January I received a big  manilla (used to call it vanilla, doesn’t every kid) envelope addressed to me with my maiden name from my only blood uncle.  Inside was some writings and photos of my dad’s.  I kind of thumbed through it all, not really diving in, and then put it away.  I’m not sure why, but like the ostrich I buried my head in the sand and pretended it wasn’t there, not sure I wanted to take that emotional ride at the time.  Since then, I’ve pulled it out and there’s a few more stories that I’ve never published on here before so I’m going to have a few more installments of Stories By My Dad very soon.

Thought #2:  It is 4 weeks to the day until I turn 39.  Woo hoo, woo Hoo!  No really, I’m very excited about that knowing I’m one year closer to my 40’s.  Crazy I may be, but I’ve been looking forward to my 40’s for a few years now.  I think they are going to be great.
Fabulous Forties.
Fantastic Forties.
NOT Frumpy Forties.

So, the bad part about it being 4 weeks until my birthday?  I was going to lose 16 pounds by then.  You want to know how many I’ve lost so far?  +1  Yes, yes, I’m up a pound and it’s not for lack of effort either.  But I’m not letting it get me down.  I’ve been consistently exercising (except for one week in January when it got a bit crazy) and eating healthier and I can see my body changing.  I’m not going to let the number on the scale discourage me when I know it’s working!  Carry on.

Thought #3:  I almost, ALMOST gave Ozzie away today.  Remember Ozzie, that little chi weenie I got a few months back?  Well he’s a royal pain in the rump.  AND he cannot learn to get along with the chickens.  I truly think he killed one, but I can’t be sure.  I only know I found a headless chicken and I totally wigged out.  I have no proof it was him, but my suspicion in high.  That was several months back, maybe in the fall.  J-Dub was out of town working.  Let me tell you, I became a basket case.  I didn’t even know it was in me to behave in that manner.  But I did what I had to do,with  snot running down my nose, and got a shovel and disposed of the headless bird.  To top it off, I think it was  Freedom.

So last night it was arranged that I would take Ozzie to someone today at 4:00.  I was emotionally ready.  Or so I thought.  And then he and EK started playing and cuddling and she was saying, “I love Ozzie so much.”  “He’s a good boy”.  That’s when the guilt started.  You see, I’m from the camp that believes once you get a dog, you have that dog for life.  Yours or its.  So guilt and failure came creeping in.  Then he got up in my lap and laid so sweet and when he looked at me, it was like he knew and was pleading with me.  I was sad and guilty yesterday evening and this morning I was almost in tears.  I held him and stroked him and thought of the time I’ve put into him.  The times I woke up in the middle of the night to take him outside to potty when he was tiny.  The times I carried him on our walks because he was so little and pooped out to make it back to the car.  I thought to myself he’s almost a year old, we’ve almost made it through the puppy stage, and I shouldn’t give up on him.  So I backed out.  I did.  And I’ve felt much better all day about it.

Thought #4:  I love quinoa these days.  If you’ve never tried it, you must.

Thought #5:  I checked out two books from the library BEFORE Christmas and have re-checked them like 2 or 3 times since.  They are due Thursday and I think it’s time to add them to the list of books I never finished.  One is We Were the Mulvaney’s by Joyce Carol Oates and All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthey.  If you’ve read either one and you think I’m making a big mistake by returning them unfinished, stop me now.

Let’s see, what else?

Welp, I think my well has run dry now, there’s nothing else going on in this brain of mine now except the Bangles song.

I hope your Monday is good and un-Manic!