Where It All Began

Can we all just join together in a moment of silence for all the teachers out there? For me and many others, tonight marks the end of our Christmas break. It is back to the grind tomorrow. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t a tiny bit melancholy about this.

The past two weeks, I’ve been super introspective. I’ve allowed myself to slow down enough to listen to my thoughts. To evaluate my life. I’ve truly spent the last three years, since beginning my LuLaRoe business, working my fingers to the bone. Ignoring parts of me that need tending and ignoring people in my life that need nurturing.

Today I found myself in a dusty attic looking for something from nearly 30 years ago. I’m a sentimental old hen and have saved nearly every card, every letter, every personal email that has ever been sent to me. I found what I was looking for. Rummaging through sentiments from the past, sneezing through the dust, took me to a place of serious nostalgia. I let the past collide with my present and I’m not sure about you, but it never fails to leave me worse off than when I began.

I went way back down memory lane today. Far back into dark reaches I haven’t been in a while. I decided I should write my memories while I still can. I began to think of the house that built me. An small orange brick house on the edge of town. I got my journal and I drew out the floor plan. I remembered so many details of that house and the yard. As memories flooded my mind, words began to pour forth, carrying me back to places I have left in the dark.

Did you ever play a game where someone grabbed one of your wrists and one of your ankles, picked you up, and began to spin you around? Maybe it was called airplane. Or maybe that’s what I call it. If you were light enough, they were able to raise you high and lower you down all while they were spinning you around and around. You watched the world go by at dizzying speed, blurring before your eyes, losing all sense of where you were. After what seemed like a really long time, they would put you down and you would stagger around like a drunkard with the world still spinning until you fell into the green fescue grass in childhood laughter and waiting for everything to return to normal.

That’s how my childhood felt. Exhilarating highs. Then being so low it felt like the ground was rising up to meet me. The spinning. The blur. The dizziness. The confused stumbling. Waiting for normal.

I think it’s good advice not to look back. That’s not where we are. It’s not always a pleasant place to visit, but in some mystical way, it’s calling to me. I don’t know why. I don’t know why now. I’m not sure I want to go because of the feelings that come up. But I think there’s healing back there.

I recently read Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63. It’s about a man who finds a portal to the past, and he returns to right some wrongs. I too have discovered a portal to the past. I can’t right the wrongs, but I can look them in they eye now. So I’m going to journey back to a place of long ago, and I’m going to return different than before I left.

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!

 

Life in the Real World

I have an addiction to Facebook.

Before that I had an addiction to MySpace.

And before that, I had an addiction to different community forums like exercise and teaching ideas where I could converse with others and learn from them.

I guess it’s not the worse addiction you can have, it’s not terribly expensive, but like any addiction it controls my mind and steals my time.

I remember when the internet was invented, yes I do.  I was at my sister’s house, she was showing me around the World Wide Web and it was a confusing mess with its browser buttons and home page.  I remember thinking I would never understand it and why would I even need to.

Then, for me anyway,  computers were for writing college papers and nothing more.  A fancy typewriter that didn’t need correction tape.  There were no such things as digital photos or downloadable music.   We had 35 mm film and a cassette player.  What more could we possibly need?

I have grown to love the internet, in the most unhealthy of ways.  If I counted the hours of my life that has been, dare I say it, robbed by sitting in front of the computer, I would be riddled with guilt.  It is my Encyclopedia  Britannica.  My source of information at my fingertips.  It is my friend finder, connector to others and relationship builder.   And with my blog, it is my voice.

It’s not all bad.  The internet has taught me much.  Where would my brain be without all the useless knowledge with which I’ve filled it?   It has brought me closer to others.  In the last few years of my dad’s life, we grew to know one another  in a deeper, more personal way.  A way in which we never would have experienced if left to our own conversational abilities, of which neither of us are considered stellar.   And I cherish that.  But with the invention of smart phones, the connection to the internet has gone overboard for me.  Even though I want to believe it is enriching my life, I often wonder if it is in reality sucking the life out of me.

Two weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account.  Like an addict, I can say today it has been 14 days since I’ve drunk in Facebook, snorted the comments of others, inhaled the sometimes hateful, sometimes loving, sometimes funny, sometimes snarky remarks and jokes of friends and family.

I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve missed it.  It is the first thing I think about doing when I wake up, and throughout the day I catch myself wanting to write on my wall and cyberstalk others.  But it’s been one of the best things I’ve done as well.  I long for the connections with others, but I tell myself that anyone who gives a rip about me has my number, knows my address, maybe has my email and can find me if they truly want to.  It’s nice to have been missed by a few, but for the most part, I’ve discovered my “friends” are merely “acquaintances”.

Will I be back?  Who’s to say.  I’m working on my real-life relationships instead.  Trying to improve my real-life self and draw meaning from this place called life.

So if you’re reading, thanks for stopping by.

I wish you’d say hi.

I probably miss you.

 

Howdy, friends.

Oh, hey there!

It’s me.  Don’t you recognize me?

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I know, I know, I’ve been much too quiet lately.

Oh?  You don’t agree?  Has it been a nice break for you?

Well, not for me!  I’ve missed you all so.

Life is happening with this old gal, I tell ya.  First of all, my computer has been in the shop due to, uh, what is it called, oh yeah, accidental damage from handling.  Translation:  a cracked screen.  One day my camera rolled off the ottoman and landed on top of my closed laptop.  I gasped!  I quickly picked up my camera, inspected it once, maybe twice, found no damage, and silently told myself that was a close call.  Only to find the next day a nice shattered screen and a spider web of cracks on my laptop screen.  Fortunately my husband had the good foresight when he purchased the laptop for me in January to buy insurance.  I thought it would be a snappy ordeal, but was again dismayed to discover they had to ship off my laptop and it would take 2 weeks.  TWO WEEKS!  What can a girl do, but wait it out.

In the meantime I’ve been using my phone to stay connected, but blogging on my phone is just no fun, so I’ve just been waiting it out.

But now, we’re together again.  How sweet it is.

So since it’s been a while, I’d love to catch you up on what’s been going on with me, but alas, that would take all of 2 seconds.  Not much is going on here except I have a precious six month old.  I’m not sure if I’ve told you that before or not.  Would you like to see a picture?

I know you’ve seen her, but really she’s worth looking at again isn’t she?

You’re smiling aren’t you?  I knew it.

And do you love that little get up she’s got on?  Well, it’s your lucky day because I have quite a few of them.  Actually, I’ve started a little online business and named it after my sweet little inspiration Emma Kate.  You can find a sampling of our goodies on Facebook.  It’s right here at this address:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Kates/408211979239943

Go ahead and hop on over there and like the page, I’d sure appreciate it.

Not too long ago I was reading some of my old blogs from way back and it just made me homesick for the way things used to be.  You remember, blogging almost everyday?  Attempting to post a blog everyday.  I truly love it.  It gets under my skin.  I need to write like dogs need shade on an August day.  It helps me with the ordinary day to day dealings.  I’m going to try to do better.

Also, I’m on a diet, but what else is new.

That’s about it for me.

What about you?

How’s life going?

 

I’m so giddy, I can’t think of a title

My little 3 month old, EK, just left with her daddy to go check yearlings and feed horses.  They’ll be gone a couple of hours. Checking yearlings consists of driving through the pasture, feeding the young cows, counting them as they line up to eat, and looking them over good to check for sickness as they have been recently weaned from their mamas and have now entered the world of independence. They’re like teenagers, J-Dub would say.

Not yearlings, but cows in a cake line
Not yearlings, but cows in a cake line

I love my little EK with all my heart and soul, I mean who wouldn’t love this face,

but I can’t help but confess that I’m just a little bit giddy right now.

I mean I have 2 hours!  Two hours to myself!  Two hours to myself at home! What shall I do?

Obviously I’m going to blog.
And I’m NOT going to clean.
I might do a little exercise tape, as I have developed quite the extra large size.
I might sit in the yard and listen to the birds chirping and have a glass of tea.
Maybe I’ll read some of the 3rd Hunger Games book that I started weeks ago and haven’t picked up since.  I’ll have to start over since it’s been so long.
Maybe I’ll take a walk with Drew and Grace.
Or I might go pet a chicken.
Or take a nap.
Maybe I’ll just go sit on the potty and take my time without feeling rushed or worrying about interruptions!

2 hours. Um, an hour and a half.  All to myself.
Maybe I’ll waste it all figuring out what to do.

I’m giddy.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time.” Unknown

Blessings

I have a hot drink, a quiet house, and a long to-do list, but I’m going to sit a minute and write.  I miss blogging.  If I had my ‘druthers, I’d stay home, write everyday, and make preserves; or some other similar lost art.  It sounds idyllic, but I’m sure it would get old after a while.

J-Dub and Ash have gone on a bike ride to a nearby, near-dried-up lake, and I’m sitting in my comfy chair, in my comfy preggo pajamas, listening to the flock of birds that live outside my window in an evergreen tree causing quite a ruckus. 

Today I feel so blessed.  Most days I feel blessed, but sometimes it is an overwhelming feeling that I simply can’t describe.  I believe it has something to do with Fall.   It’s quickly becoming my favorite time of year.  or it may have something to do with my little baby to be, Emma Kate.  Oh I dreamed of her last night.  It was the most precious thing.  She was about 5 or 6 months old, and had the biggest eyes you have ever seen.  She was eating a strawberry.  It was the first strawberry she’d ever tried.  When she got a taste of it, her big eyes grew even wider.  It was like a taste of heaven in her mouth.  I loved waking up with that sweet image in my mind.   I must plant strawberries this spring! 

For the past two years, I have attempted a pumpkin patch, and have failed both times.  Ash used to have a flower-pot of strawberries and they would produce about 3 a year.  I hope to have better luck with my green thumb.  Emma needs strawberries.

I’ve also been dreaming of my lost loved ones lately.  My dad and my grannie have both been present with me in my dreams.  It’s nice to wake up after being visited by a loved one, passed on. 

But mostly, my blessed feeling has a lot to do with God.  Isn’t he awesome?  He has given me so much, even the things I thought I didn’t need.  He knows our every thought before we think them.  He knows the number of hairs on our head.  He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves, and the most amazing thing is, He loves us still.  His love is bigger and wider and deeper than anything we can fathom. 

I hope you know Him.  Somedays I’m an ungrateful child of the King, and I think I’m too busy to spend much, if any, time with Him.  But He doesn’t hold it against me.  He welcomes me back as a loving Father.   He’s with us all ways.  Even before we ever knew Him, He knew us.  Right now I’m reminded of a scripture, Psalms 139. 

1 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.

 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
   Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
   your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
   and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
   I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

He’s always with us.  Always there.  May you have a blessed day.

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