Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flowers ...

I bought some roses for myself today. They're little ones, what my Grandfather called "florabunda" because there were so many blossoms on one stem. They're a pretty shade of lapis ... As I write, I'm seeing the trees outside my window shake off their leaves. The colors are breath taking! I ride around in a van with a dear friend once a week, as we volunteer for the hospital (we pick up patients who have no transportation, and deliver them to their appointments). We commented more than once to each other how vivid the colors were, and how quickly the leaves turned. As I face a new challenge ahead, one of uncertain consequences, I am reminded that we're never assured of anything other than just this moment. As I sit here and write I am only guaranteed this time. An hour from now, a day, a week, a month, there's no knowing where I'll be, or where you'll be. Again comes the adage, "stop and smell the roses". I spent the afternoon making documents ... will, health care power of attorney, the usual stuff .. all things that were not done before my husband died. There always seemed to be plenty of time for that. As i plod through the legality and red tape he left me with, I vow not to do that to my children, or my friends. I'm enjoying my roses ... they're here for a few days before they wither and wilt. But I will enjoy them while I have them. I have a sense of accomplishment with this afternoons labors. As for tomorrow, I'll deal with that when it gets here! My challenge to you is to ask yourself, are you prepared for the unknown? or are you assuming tomorrow will be just as today is? Have you smelled the roses of today, not missed out on anything? You can't go back to today once tomorrow comes, and you don't know what tomorrow brings. Think about that. Be a good steward with your life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

goodbyes ...

My "grand-cat" died yesterday. She lived a long full life for a Scottish Fold, but the grief we felt as a family wasn't comforted much by that. Critters, in my family at least, are family members. They are "not just animals". I firmly believe all of God's critters are provided for in the next life, but none of that lessens the pain when eyes close for the last time, and furry bodies become empty of all that made them special. Shermin was a good cat. She put up with a family of large dogs, and did it gracefully. She didn't get the memo that Scottish Folds are cuddly lap cats, that all seemed to be beneath her dignity most of the time, but she was loved for the fur-person she was none the less.

I've often wondered why we lavish so much attention on our pets, and so little on each other. Is it because it's easier to love an animal who does not criticize, who forgives our transgressions (like an empty kibble bowl) or worse? Is it that it's easier to "let our hair down" for a critter than it is to expose ourselves to other people? I don't know. I have my own opinions, the strongest of which is that we respond to the unconditional love they give us, when we won't respond to our heavenly Father's unconditional love. I think their lives are shorter than ours to keep us from taking them for granted. We know when we first choose a cat or a dog, a bird or a hamster, that we're setting ourselves up for hurt when they die ... but we do it anyway. I've lived with cats for 43 years, as well as birds, hamsters, fish ... and grieved deeply when they died, but that didn't stop me from going to the pound and bringing home another. Not to replace, but to replenish.

And it doesn't stop there. I have outside feeders for birds, squirrels, any other creature who passes by, and I mourn the deaths of those who dare to cross the highway when they shouldn't. I honestly don't think I would live, or thrive, without the furry, finned and feathered ones who come and go in my life. People who have lived with me, or knew me, often didn't understand all that, but they're rather to be pitied than censured. They left out of their own lives some really wonderful and "wonder full" moments in life.

So, my challenge to you today is to stop and look around you. If you have pets, take some time to spend with them, with all your attention (not just filling the kibble bowls). Look around you at the flora and fauna that live around you. In short, "stop and smell the roses" of life. Oh, you might have a truly wonderful day if you don't, but you'll make it even more special if you do. And if you're too busy to do this, you're too busy!! MAKE time!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Magnificently Millennial.

I don't usually do a book review, but ...   You can find the book on Amazon, both in print or in Kindle version. I've read it twice already, and know I'll read it again. These are troubled times, no doubt about it. But reading this fills a person with hope, and something to anticipate. Yes, it's fiction, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not more fact than fiction. I don't think you'll be disappointed with the time spent.  Here is what the nice folks at Amazon say about it: 

Be transformed and be inspired!

Magnificently Millennial contains the chronicles of Prince Jay-vareh, a glorified child of the Most High God. After experiencing the Rapture and life in heaven for seven years during the Great Tribulation, Jay-vareh returns to an earth desperately trying to arise from the ashes of planetary war. Seeing a staggering need, Jay-vareh along with his consort (the beautiful princess Sha-hareh) are among the first of their kind to travel the globe spreading their own unique brand of supernatural hope, healing, and love during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.

   From the Inside Flap

There are beginnings, and then there are new beginnings.....

The millennial reign of Christ on earth has been anxiously anticipated by generations of Christians down through the centuries.  Countless prayers have been sent up, imploring Jesus to return for His church and lead the world into the new era of worldwide peace as foretold by the ancient prophets.

And on one spectacularly glorious day, despite all the skepticism and rhetoric to the contrary, the blessed event finally and mercifully occurs.

Glory to God in the highest ....

Changes ...

One of my favorite musicians has lyrics that say "changes in latitude, changes in attitude".  Change is inevitable. We can't avoid it, circumnavigate it, ignore it, it's going to happen whether you want it to or not.  The 20th of July marked major changes in many people's lives. The obvious first two were the death of my husband, and the realization for me that nothing that was will stay the same.  For him, it meant the end of horrible and chronic pain, the indignity of being kept alive by medications, feeding schedules, and endless lists of things  he couldn't do. Physical limitations frustrated him the most. He was reduced to sleeping his days away or watching television.  For him, death was swift, and merciful.  For those he left behind, there were feelings of helplessness, loss, even anger.

The most difficult task was notifying his children, and believe me there was no easy way to do that. His sister lives about 20 minutes from here, so she arrived before the chaos in my living room subsided. Yes, Dennis was here at home, in his own room, when I found him.  As the shock waves reached cousins and friends across the country, I discovered my role had changed, from that of "grieving widow" to "comforter".  It was left to me to "say the right thing", find a way to soften the blow, help those grieving people to find a way to accept this thing that had happened in their lives.

As for me,  as the dust settles, I find myself in uncharted territory. Nothing I have experienced in my lifetime has prepared me for the changes that continue to occur. When my father died, I had Dennis to lean on. But in the past six years, I've dealt with the deaths of four people who played major roles in my day to day existence. This time, I'm "winging it".

Change isn't the worst thing that can happen to you.  Complacence would be.  Since I am a "planner", I've rehearsed in my mind many times what I would do if I found myself alone. I'd even planned what dishes I'd use.  As I put into place the things I'd imagined doing, I find a bit of comfort. I'm not standing there in the kitchen, deer-in-the-headlight-ish, I have a plan.

I think what I want to say to you is to think ahead, be able to embrace change without a sense of sheer panic.  Every day changes most of us can take in stride. But are  you really prepared for the catastrophic ones? Have you thought ahead in situations that would cause major changes (good or bad)? While no one is ever prepared for the loss of  a loved one, or a family member, having rehearsed in your mind what you'd do, what you would need to do, if that occurred can be the difference between coping or not.  I was able to calmly make phone calls to Social Security, Veterans' Affairs, etc. Don't get me wrong, I had my melt down, and I'm sure as the months progress there will be other melt downs ...

My challenge, then, for you is to think ahead, think outside the comfortable box you live in, and imagine what you would do "if".  Do you have a central location for important documents, and does someone else know where that is? Do you have an idea what you or a loved one would want done if death occurred? Do others know what you would want?

Friday, March 16, 2012

"In the true sense of the word, to enable is to supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity to be or do something -- to make feasible or possible.

In it's true form, then, Enabling behavior means something positive. It's our natural instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems."  (

That being said, I'm an enabler. But there is a dark side to enabling ... when your behaviour allows others to continue their unhealthy behaviour.  Sound familiar? All too, I'm sure.

When we're little, our parents "enable" us, encourage us, and then bail us out when we make mistakes.  Maybe that's not always wise, however.  If we learn as little ones that someone else will always "Fix" our problems, we never learn to face them on our own.  Then, another bad behaviour emerges, in the form of control.  If you are one who hates confrontations, and will do just about anything to avoid them, you can be manipulated into "fixing" issues for others, rather than having to draw lines in the sand, over which you will not step.  It's a vicious circle.

It's never too late to sit down and take stock, and having recognized where you are unhealthily enabling someone, put a stop to it.  Both you and the other person will be better for it.  Get the monkey off your back, and hand it over to the one who needs to deal with it.  Not easy, I'm not trying to tell you it is.

My challenge to you is to examine yourself,  your life, and take steps toward being more healthy, and less a victim of your own good intentions.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We take so many things for granted these days.  Speech, for instance. Computers open the world to those who are shut in, or ill, or retired, or just "internet junkies". But what if your spelling leaves a lot to be desired, or your thought processes don't seem to spill onto your keyboard.  My kids and I bought "Dragon Naturallyspeak"  as a Christmas gift for someone with just those issues.  We had such success with it we recommended it to another friend with a mind a sharp as a tack, but fingers that don't work anymore. His speech is slightly affected by surgical procedures, but Dragon "learns" what a person says, how he speaks, etc.  Magic!

The Kindle craze is another thing.  NOTHING, short of NOTHING will ever replace books for me, I love their smell, how they feel in my hands,  everything about them. But those same hands are affected by the normal aging process, and holding a book for any length of time can become painful.  With not much confidence in the thing, I acquired my first Kindle. Wow!  Without spending a dime I amassed an impressive library of classics, public domain books.  I have solemnly apologized to my Kindle for ever doubting it.

I'm not just doing an advertisement for Kindles or Dragons, mind you, I'm instead trying to suggest you take a good look at some of the folks in your life, and ascertain whether or not such modern marvels would make their lives easier.  We DO take too much for granted.

It's the little things we do that last the longest.  I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw, who writes ...  "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live."

I'd like to think that will apply to me, when I am finally face to face with my Maker.  Daddy's favorite poem was "Let me live by the side of the road, and be a friend to man."  He was, and so am I.

My challenge to you is to look around  you. Are you doing all you could do? Are you "giving back" to the community?  Go volunteer at the hospital for a few hours a week, you know you have the time for that ... and when you drive home, you'll feel better than you did before.

As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me ...


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success."~Elbert Hubbard

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I should be getting to sleep about now, but I wanted to spend a minute with you ...  I need to make an appointment with a dentist.  The "Ivory Hunter"!  At this point in my life that shouldn't be a problem, but I'm stark raving Terrified of Dentists! Did you know the suicide rate among doctors is highest for dentists? They can't cope with everyone hating or being afraid of them.    

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Social Networking ...

Social networking ... everyone's doing it, so it seems.  But it has created the need for an entirely different code of behaviour.  I mean, if you visit a friend's house, you and your children are expected to follow certain time honored rules of etiquette, but we don't seem to have anything in place for social networking.  We become privy to other peoples' lives, their daily doings, feelings, ups and downs.  We probably know more about our online "friends" via social networking than we do about the family next door.  

I made a big faux pas today.  A grand child's birthday was assumed "forgotten" by the child's grandmother, and in the spirit of giving a heads up to the forgetter, I had my head handed to me.  Now if this was the family next door, I'd have never interfered!  I took liberties, and poked my nose where it didn't belong. 

Daddy and I often discussed how easily the written word could be misunderstood, because we can't "hear" the tone of voice or inflection, and can't "see" the facial expressions.  I'm sure all of you have had similar experience with such misunderstandings.  

I'm not sure if the "rules of etiquette" have broadened to include the age of computers and cell text messages,.  We don't sit down to pen and paper to write a "newsy" letter to a friend or relative, instead we hit the keyboard.  I'm not offering a solution, mind you, but rather asking you to take a step backward and look at where your non verbal communications take you. Do you stop to think before hitting "send" about how your words might be received? Are you writing about something that really isn't your business in the first place? My daughters will tell you I am most assuredly the guiltiest person in our family for sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. I do it with all the best intentions, and never seem to learn from my mistakes.  That being said, here is a gentle reminder, dear reader, not to do what I did!

As always, thanks for reading my humble words, and click on some of the Amazon or Google links. That puts pennies in the coffers, and allows my webspaces to remain free!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Change ...

 It's been awhile!  It's not that I haven't thought about all of you, I've just been in my own little world.  In November I made the decision to part with my beloved Bernina, but I am here to tell you I have welcomed a new member to the family, the Brother CS6000i machine!  What a good little trooper he is!!!  

And that brings me to today's topic. Change.  Change is inevitable, is daily, is moment to moment, and it is necessary for growth.  Sometimes change is negative, others it's more welcomed, but always it is necessary.  I considered the usual laundry list of "resolutions" for the new year, and then I looked in the mirror instead. It wasn't about things I needed to do for others, or do for diets, exercise, or other typical topics. Change was needed for nurturing myself.

That's not an easy thing to say!  I was taught that to put yourself first was selfish, it wasn't until well into midlife that I realized I'm no good for ANYONE if I'm not all I can be for myself.  SO, this year's resolutions are to embrace change with an open mind, and to nurture the person inside me.  In a lifetime of doing things for others, or with others in mind, I realized I hadn't been honest with myself, and what *I* needed.

My challenge to you is to examine your heart, are you really taking care of yourself? Are you giving ear to your heart's needs? Are you providing yourself with opportunities to grow? Are you who you WANT to be?

I know that over the years folks have thought things I did were selfish, or for my own aggrandizement, but the reality was I wanted to be accepted, approved of, even liked for those decisions.  Those aren't the right reasons to do anything.  In the final analysis, I hurt more people than I intended, and appeared stubborn and unyielding. SO, as I strive to care for the person I am, I realize I need to be aware of those around me as well, so that I don't tread on toes.

It's the second month now, and I've accomplished 7 quilt  tops so far this year! Now the challenge is to get them quilted, and off to their forever homes.  I can't keep them all, they need to go into the world to provide warmth and comfort for others.

   Do you have your Kindle yet?! What are you waiting for!  There are many versions now, with prices for any budget.  I find that mine lets me read in bed or on the go.  The units are light, easily held, and very easily customized to suit your own preferences.  Never be without a book to read again! Don't be bored by waiting room copies of magazines 2 years old! Pull out your Kindle and enjoy the wait!!