Wednesday, May 8, 2019

have you tried...

I am learning.  

It's a late day for me and I am enjoying the solitude of the morning.  I am working on bringing some balance back to my personal life. 

This morning I was hoping to sit on my new deck, it's so pretty and feels so much safer than the old one.  Yes, I have actually jumped, wiggled and leaned on every bit to insure I felt secure. Unfortunately, the rain that we've been expecting for days has finally moved in and everything is drenched.  

My plan was to plant some flowers, putter around putting things back where they go (translation - out of the kitchen) and just enjoy some sunshine. I've picked up some beautiful lavender plants, I think the sun on the deck will be perfect for them. I also have some seed potatoes to plant in the old wash tub again this year.  Watching them grow was so interesting last year.  It's just going to have to wait until the weekend.  The sun is supposed to return and I will have more time. 

It's okay, I always have a plan B.  

Today it will involve a bit of needlework, I am trying to teach myself that my work is not all that defines me and that I can function quite well without always being deeply involved in work. I had developed a very bad habit, I was spending my home hours working on work and my work hours working on work.  

I think too many of us today define ourselves by how busy we can be.  We've allowed our electronic leashes of the phone and computer to keep us far too connected to our jobs, careers, etc.  Without considering the impact it is having on us. Hubs and I work for the same organization, so many conversations are just extensions of the day to day work.  There is no clear turning off of the light, so to speak. 

I had developed the habit of looking at my phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night to see if there was anything that needed immediate attention. 

Hubs is just as bad, if not worse.  He will sacrifice sleep to insure that he is keeping ahead. I admit I have been guilty a time or two of the same thing.  Budget season and reviews are crazy times and I will dig in deep to make it work. And don't get me started on Annual Campaign. 

As I am starting to force these self-imposed, not going to do it stop times on myself I am discovering that I have greater energy to deal with it in it's own space and time. I can be more focused and engaged. And I am enjoying the random moments with family and friends.  We actually stopped the world and enjoyed our oldest grand daughter's spring concert last night.  It was painful when I asked why we weren't told about them to hear, you guys are always so busy working we didn't want to add more.  

What?  I've been missing out on the important things for what??

I need to fill my personal bucket too.  The way I am reasoning this through is that I am sure my employers would not be thrilled if every minute I was at work I was doing personal business, I need to just as jealously guard my personal time from work.  I would never dream of not giving my all to work.  That just isn't who I am, but never think twice about taking my personal time and giving it up.  

There have been a few things lately that have really stirred my thinking.  And it isn't just the fact that nothing is getting done at home and I was constantly struggling to keep up. 

I try to keep an open mind.  To look at all perspectives and ideas.  Sometimes I succeed, other times, I feel it takes me longer to process. 

One of my biggest ah - ha's was one that took a bit of time to simmer and come to life.  I'm not old, but I am definitely not going to be confused with a youngster, I had been hearing more and more of my age peers making the statement "there is no work ethic among the young".  I've been guilty of thinking that myself on more than one occasion.  It was the most recent one that sent me into a tail spin and started unraveling my own thought processes. 

I was beyond furious at the young woman I had taken a chance on.  She had degrees, a skill set, and seemed to be someone that could tackle the job ahead of her.  Three weeks in she quit without notice.  We'd invested time, money, training and grace on her.  Working around her part time job's two weeks notice that turned into three, assisting with things when she couldn't be there, etc.  She left the department looking like someone had dropped a bomb right in the middle of it.  Schedules not done, lesson's not assigned, hiring and disciplinary actions left dangling, it was an absolute horror.  

In my frustration and anger I didn't take her up on her suggestion that she come meet with me to tell me what we had done wrong.  Hindsight being 20/20 I wish I had. Unfortunately her actions caused my entire world to hit a tailspin and increased my own work load to an almost unbearable level. 

During her three weeks with us, I had heard 'I need my time to keep balance", "I am not answering my phone on my off days or when I am doing things with my fiance'", " I don't check my email if I am not at work".  At the time, I wrote it off as youthful defiance, I mean haven't we all had those moments when we were young and learning how life worked?

I took on the task.  I started searching for a replacement, making schedules, finding instructors.  We made it "work".  Sort of.   The extra load was exhausting for me.  And my old school brain kept saying keep going.  In fact my sweet Hubs bought me a bracelet that I wear every day... it's plain silver on the outside with two arrows.  It's the inside that brings a smile to my face.  Hidden from the world it reads "keep f&#king going".

As I filled holes, waited patiently (yeah right!) for my new person to finish where they were at and join us, I was getting more and more frazzled, snippy and plain worn out.  To say my give a damn was breaking would be an understatement.  I mean seriously when you are excited to go take care of a family member having surgery because it meant rest, you have pushed those envelope edges too hard. 

As I sat in Arkansas, chatting with family, taking care of Mom, slowing down and simply being. I think I figured out what that young woman's message was.  It isn't unique to where I work.  It is today's world. Very few of us have the luxury of simply turning off the lights on our job's and going home.  Definite ends don't happen.  Long gone are the days that you walked out of work and barring a true emergency (epic on the scale of a fire, natural disaster, etc) that no one called you.  We live today in a very 24 hour society.  

I get messages from people on our business Facebook messenger at midnight, wanting an answer now.  We shop at all hours, very few places simply stop.  There isn't an end.  

Maybe our younger generation is trying to teach us a lesson.  Maybe the frustration we feel at the "I don't give a damn" attitude is being misinterpreted. Maybe it isn't they don't care?  Maybe it's simply that they are farther along in valuing themselves than the older generation is.  Maybe they have found that key to balance that we all seem to be searching for. 

I can't remember which country, but I read an article not too long ago, that a law had been passed forbidding work to be done in non-work time.  I'm not so sure we need a law for that, but maybe we all need to start balancing our time a bit better, learn from those young folks.  

Personally, after dealing with her job for over a month, I can assure you that I am exhausted.  Passing it off was a blessing.   And there were far too many times that I had my down time hijacked because of things that could have waited.  But once the pendulum had been swung that way, I did not have the personal ability to push it back. 

I wonder if somewhere in the middle, the value of the job and the value of your personal time isn't something we all need to learn and treat both with equal amounts of respect.  While also respecting where all of us are in our journey's. 

I'm respecting myself a bit more.  I'm cooking, cleaning, planting and crafting.  I am doing the things that fill my bucket with more intention.  I want to continue to love my job, I want to continue to be a contributing and sustaining part of the Y fabric.  I cannot do that if I fray my own edges. They I become a cog. I can't show up with joy and energy.  I show up with exhaustion.  

I also want those same ideals to apply to my home life.  I want to savor those long walks with my dog, instead of feeling the need to rush him (knowing that he truly isn't too much longer for this world) because I have somewhere to be and things to do.  I want to eat dinner at home and enjoy the time with my Hubs.  I want to sit in the auditorium proudly beaming at my grand daughter whether she is singing or planing an instrument.  

I want to be 100% present in my world. And not feel guilty for not focusing on work. 

I personally think each of us needs to own responsibility for our happiness.  None of us are cogs in a giant machine.  We are people that need balance, inspiration and rest. 

My favorite line from a show I used to watch with my son is "have you tried turning it off and on again".  It referenced a computer, but I think it applies to people also.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

wasting the moments...

This morning I chose to simply sit for a moment and enjoy my coffee.

It's semi-quiet, Hubs is up and down in his man cave working on - work - he struggles to shut off for even a day.  I can't say much, so do I.  I spent most of yesterday morning dealing with work.  So I really can't say much at all. 

All of that put me a bit behind on the things that I wanted to do yesterday.  But in proper perspective, it simply didn't matter.   It needed to happen. 

Shortly I will hear my Gator making his exasperated humfing sounds at the top of the stairs, his age shows when it is time to travel those silly stairs and he must suffer the indignation of human assistance.  I assure you, he feels it is suffering. I think if he could talk it would be in a very haughty proper English gentleman's accent and he would have no problem telling what insufferable bores we were being while assisting.  Instead, he rolls his eyes and makes those silly humfing noises.  Enough to let us know that he is not impressed with our feeble attempts to provide service. 

Neeko on the other hand is simply chilling. He's moving much slower now, but is still the same mellow, gentle giant he's always been. He just moves at a slower pace and rests a lot more than he used to. 

When they have both decided to wake for the morning (I would say day, but honestly it will probably be an hour or two before nap time) we will take them for their morning stroll.  It used to be a brisk walk, now... it's a barely moving shuffle.  Definitely cannot count that as a daily walk anymore.  Not sure the Fitbit would even register it as movement. It's sad.  Yet at the same time, we are thankful for every single moment they stay with us. 

These past few years have definitely been ones that have driven home the lessons of loss for me.  At the same time they have highlighted the gratitude that permeates every moment. 

Forever now it seems that I have been saying "I'm too busy" "I don't have a moment" and a few other phrases that are very similar.  I don't think that it is the truth.  I think I have created a non-stop mentality, that isn't leaving me room for what is truly important.  

I am trying to start making time.  

I don't want to say scheduling, because that simply means more of the same.  I am working to identify the things that are truly important to me and making the time to do them. 

The repair to the deck was on of those things.  It's been waiting. 

Yesterday was the start of another example.  

The first spring we lived here I noticed a struggling little lilac bush on the edge of the back yard before it rolls down the steep hill that is the majority of my yard. It was so pretty the little baby flowers.  Sadly, our yard has been over run for years before us with invasive honeysuckle.  Every year since I have told Hubs I wanted to get down there and cut out the honeysuckle.  Between illness, rain or heat for 4 years it has gone unchecked.  I was sure I had completely lost the lilac bush and the Rose of Sharon (what survived from my grandson's pruning a few years back) on the other side was definitely looking like it was lost also. 

Hubs and I headed down the steep hill.  The honeysuckle was going down.  

As we cut through honeysuckle and wild raspberries, the thorns tearing at our arms and legs, I was feeling hopeless.  It took a few hours to cut back the honeysuckle, it was so overgrown and killing everything.  Finally, there it was.  

The little lilac bush was still there.  It's in bad shape from having been overrun, but it is still there. 

We also cleared around the Rose of Sharon.  Maybe it will bloom this year.  It's so beautiful. 

There are piles of honeysuckle dying in piles on lawn.  It is not finished.  It is definitely going to be a long term project.  But it's a start.  

We accomplished something that had been waiting for years.  It felt incredible, at least the accomplishment did.  The aches and pains today prove Hubs and I were smart to hire our grandson to deal with the rest of cutting and bagging. 

Having made the decision to just dive in, felt incredible. It felt inspiring.  It felt like it opened more opportunities. It is amazing how much time we waste on television, computer and phone time.  It eats up hours of time.  Hours that we don't realize we lose until far too late. 

Who knows maybe this is the beginning of me finally starting to wrap up some projects.  I love my job.  It does make me happy.  So does my home.  I've been neglecting too much. 

I was hoping to invite one of my friends over for dinner yesterday.  We wanted to grill and visit.  As most of the deck items are stashed in the house, there was no way I was going to subject anyone to that.  Maybe the deck will be finished tomorrow... I need some time with family and friends. 

I love this shift... I hope it continues...

Saturday, May 4, 2019

digging down...

Dirt under the nails, smudges on my glasses.

Finally feels like spring.

Hubs and I finally decided to get our deck repaired.  It wasn't in bad shape as the guys have assured me multiple times since yesterday morning when they started.  In my world, it was terrifying.  I am sure a lot of it is because I am terrified of heights.  Yet it wobbled a bit much for me and the rails simply didn't feel sturdy.  I had panic attacks every time someone leaned back or if we had more than two guests over wanting to sit on the deck.
It is coming together beautifully. The dreary blue has been replaced by the warm earthiness of fresh wood.

Being out in the cool, damp morning looking at the work progressing definitely got me motivated.  That and the fact that my car is "trapped" in the garage - I can't get it out, but Hubs assures me if I need it he can.

Maybe what I need is to be trapped.

The front beds have been weeded.  More of that dreaded English ivy has been pulled up, I truly hate the invasive nature of it.  Killing my trees and climbing up the siding.  Uggh...

I pruned all the trees that I could reach from the ground.  I am not that short so they were not all shrubs.  Although I will need a ladder to finish the rest.  Maybe when the deck is done.

Before I headed out I even managed to transplant most of my indoor plants including the one that I almost killed at work by over-watering it in a moment of not being able to focus due to stress. Hubs has put that one down in the man cave to try and bring it back to life.  The window there is perfect, not too direct of light, perfect to nurture and nurse the plants.

I've been in an odd place for a bit.  One of the reason's I haven't been writing.  I wasn't somewhere that I felt I could write.  Not so much a mental block as an exhaustion block.  The stress of the past few months has been unreal.

It's kind of lead me to feel frozen in place. 

It started thawing when I was in Arkansas to help Mom.  It's the longest I have even been away from Hubs, which was a bit stressful, I missed him.  But it also reset my brain processes and my thoughts.

I took a lot of projects with me, things to keep me busy while she recovered, although I wasn't clear on what would motivate me. I actually found several that completely engaged me.  I move around in what I work on, I have far to many favorites to stick to one. I've been a bit obsessed with yarn work for a good long while, I'm moving back into needlework and smelling all the saw dust has me looking longingly at my saws.  I am also getting ready to tackle learning to make jewelry with my stones that bring me comfort.  Yep... easily distracted.

While I was visiting Mom I helped her get her deck plants planted.  I think that is where the bug started.  Day's later I found a quote about working in soil and how good it is for the soul and the body.  I love to have my fingers in dirt. One of the only things I miss about my old house, is that I no longer have a garden.  It hurts my soul to not be digging in the soul, weeding around the nourishing plants that are waiting to be harvested. Here our deck gets to much sun, container garden's bake.  I could try the lower deck, but then I am simply planting to feed the squirrels, raccoons, opossum and the deer.  That would wear me out.  I love fresh veggies that I have grown.

There are so many things still swirling for me.  I feel like the energy shift is moving towards better.  Life at work is balancing.  I am building an awesome staff team.  At home I am starting to have a burning desire to work on my home, finish projects.  Create our nest.

I actually love cooking again.  It feels like life is starting to become real again.

Was it the dirt under my nails?  The needles sliding slowly through the fabric?  Or maybe it was simply slowing down and putting things into perspective for myself again.  I don't know.  But for the first time in far too long, I feel like me.

I want to celebrate this life of mine that I love.  I want to take care of my home, my Hubs, my everything.  Maybe it was losing Snug?  And dealing through that hurt.  It has dampened my fear of losing the boys.  I know it will hurt, but I also know they are loved, and know that they know they are loved.

I feel a thawing.  I feel walls coming down and joy returning.

The other day I was blessed to participate in an energy class, learning techniques to center myself, to balance and increase my energy flow.  I will definitely be connecting deeper into what I learned.

It's time to get back to creating (I had written work, but it isn't work, it's joy).  To balance out the chaos with the joy and the accomplishments that are waiting.

It's time to dig into more....

Sunday, April 7, 2019


I want to sleep.  I haven't closed my eyes yet tonight. 

I should be worn out and sound asleep.

Until about an hour ago, I was sitting up with the last of our two black kitties.  She passed away a right around 3 this morning. 

We'd spent the day bouncing in and out, helping our girl at her house. Going to the home show, drooling over a few things and just basically enjoying the first truly beautiful spring day.

Snug has been slowing down.  I mean geez she would have been 17 next week.  The stairs were proving a bit more difficult and our little micro kitty was moving a bit slower, looking for her favorite spots in the sun. Yet even this morning she shared breakfast with Gator.

Over the years, we were betting that she would be the last one to cross the rainbow bridge.  Not the first.

Tonight when we got home I could hear her meow in the garage.  It was unusual, but I figured she was coming out of her food closet and Neeko or Gator got too close.  As I cleared the door she was lying against the closet, she had meowed to let Neek's know he needed to move away.  She was the queen of the castle until the very end, but she didn't look right.

She had a strange look in her eyes and her head was a bit wobbly.  Never did that beautiful black baby girl with the neon white whiskers ever look wobbly, she always looked regal. I often joked we should have named her Sheba.  Because she was every bit a queen.

By the time I had emptied my hands and turned around I watched her struggling to take just a few steps.  Something was very wrong.

I called my girl, let her know that something was up with Snug and I was afraid we were losing her. I could already feel my heart starting to break into tiny pieces. I'd scooped her up and was carrying her snuggled close to my chest, somehow hoping the body heat was going to change the thoughts rushing through my head.

A short while later my girl came over, bringing Hubs' phone.  He's developed a habit of leaving it at her house today. She looked at our Snuggy and the look in her eyes confirmed what I had already figured out.  She wasn't long for this world, she was going to be crossing the rainbow bridge very soon.

We called the boy.  He lives far away, but Snug is his baby.  I still remembering agreeing to let him get her all those years ago. She wasn't 2 weeks old when he had claimed her as his own. When our girl put him on speaker it was the most heartwarming and heartbreaking thing I'd ever seen.  With her limited strength she edged over and nudged the phone with her head.  I think she loved hearing his voice.  She worshiped her boy. 

We each have our favorite memories of that little dynamo.  I am not a cat person at all, yet she and her brother stole my heart.  We lost him almost 5 years ago.  Hubs will remember driving 2000 miles in a weekend for her, I remember her falling in the wall at my ex-mother-in-law's home when she was all of 7 weeks old, she liked to hide, she and I almost came to blows over that.  I will forever remember when I was so sick that sweet baby never left my side.  Sleeping curled on my head as I struggled to get well. I wonder if she thought it would heal me?  I will never know.  Mostly, I will always remember that she loved her boy.  Rushing to his arms whenever he was home.  He was always and forever her person. 

As I sat holding her tonight and gently petting her soft, soft fur.  A million memories rushed around me.  I was torn.  I was softly reassuring her that I knew it was her time to go and that we loved her and would miss her, and silently wished she could make it long enough to see her boy again.  I knew she couldn't.

I'm allergic to cats.  I strive to not hold them for long, as I will pay for it.  She needed me tonight.  I needed to be there for her this time. I can't believe how fast the hours ticked past.

It's Hubs birthday.  Not exactly a great way to start his special day.  I'm starting to dislike birthday's connected with him.  My Dad passed over on his Dad's birthday. As I look around the house, I am mentally ticking off the things I have to do.  I don't know if my heart will be ready today. 

I don't know that her toys will need to leave right away, but there is no sense at all in keeping a stinky litter box now. Just not tonight.

I think I will go and pet her soft, soft fur one more time. She will wait at the rainbow bridge, not for me, for her boy. I gave her as much comfort as I could, I hope she knew how much she was loved.

Run free at the Rainbow Bridge Snug... we love you and will miss you here...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

lost in my thoughts...

Well, finally happened.  I finally managed to push myself past the edges of my immune system.  I knew it would happen.  Everywhere I have turned for months people have been sick with a variety of maladies.  The air has literally been a a petri dish of epic proportions.  Add to that the obscene why I have been pushing myself... well lets just say that I'm surprised it too so long.

After literally giving up half way through Friday, my team assures me I was a pretty strange color of red, I came home (should someone not really functioning actually drive?), crawled into bed where I stayed for pretty much 18 of the following 24 hours. I actually barely remember Friday - so hopefully I didn't make any impossible to keep promises.

I knew it was coming.  I was already feeling it Monday when I got the email that was basically the tipping point. I am going to blame my damn Northern laborer roots for the outcome.   Frankly, I have no one to blame but myself.  The warning lights had been going off for over a week.  Flashing at me in bright neon colors.  The old K-Mart Blue Light special wasn't as obvious.

I was engrossed in half a dozen challenges at work.  I didn't want to believe another one was lingering, trying to get my attention. Yet there it was finally in black and white.  No getting around seeing it then.

I don't like labels, on anyone. And I could be all angry and self-righteous blaming all millennial's and their lack of work ethic and selfish behavior. As people my age sometimes do.  I could.  But I would be wrong.  It wasn't all millennial's.  It was one young person.   Someone that had evidently not been raised with any sense of work ethic or basic human values.  It wasn't just me that she impacted.  It was a lot of people.  She was overwhelmingly self centered and childish.  People lost dollars from their paychecks, others were inconvenienced because those losing dollars weren't there (it wasn't their fault - it was her's).  When I should have graciously tapped out and rested I was scurrying to fix the damage before it could impact anyone else.

To a degree, I have to say I envy her.  To have the ability to simply say this is too much work and I don't care to do it anymore.  That must be a powerful feeling.  Sadly I am watching way too many do this every day.  The irony is that in a public forum just a few days before that same young lady fought viciously against someone saying "millennial's do not have a work ethic, they don't stick through anything", her anger had a bite as she scathingly told that person from an older generation how wrong they were about her and her peers.  Just a bit ironic.

There were a few times this week, sitting at my desk, the door semi-closed to keep as many folks away as I could, that I felt like I could simply put my head on my desk and sob myself to sleep.  I knew I was getting quite ill.  But there were people counting on me. And it's simply not in my DNA to let another down.  Not if I can prevent it.

As I was trying to think straight, my team, a wonderful mixed bag of people from my age down to those "dreaded" youngsters rushed to my aid.  Forcing me to accept I am human and I simply couldn't do it all.  The youngest, took on the biggest part of my impending task load and carried it off without many hitches at all and none that weren't immediately able to be overcome. 

So it isn't at all about age.  At least not in my world.  It's more so about who you are as a person.  How do you treat others. The Human race... it's not really a race.  Absolutely no one gets out alive.  Actually, I'd say we're truly here to help one another.

Are there people jealously guarding their right to a work/life balance?  Of course there are.  And they exist in every generation.  I am far more concerned about other things I am witnessing in our world today than spoiled children who refuse to think of other's in their mad, self-centered dash through life.

Do I wish that I could be that way.  Yes.  Sometimes I do.  I wish that I had enough self-awareness to know I needed to stop sooner than my body forced me to do.  I wish that having stopped I would have been able to put my head on my pillow and rest.  It's not who I am. If it's you.  That's awesome and I will be envious at times. I know if I had tried, I would have simply tossed and turned restless at all of the unfinished business.

Our world is rapidly getting far too complicated.  I sit in wonder sometimes.  Pondering what we lost when we started teaching to the tests.  Will today's children ever see the pictures of the German people with wheel barrels full of money trying to buy a loaf of bread?  Do they understand hyperinflation as they shout for a $15 living wage? Will they ever know that there was a time that a mere quarter was a good wage? Will they be taught the real reason for World War II and Hitler's rise to power?  Will they study the ancient Romans?  Russians? Or any of the other dynasty's across this beautiful planet, so that they are not condemned to repeat those lessons until learned?  I doubt it. 

Nope I'm not worried about a little selfishness, it is just a symptom of a far greater illness. 

It's probably a good thing that I rarely get sick, that I rarely have time to think and ponder. 

The child that threw a temper tantrum when the going got tough.  I feel for her.  She is going to have a very hard life.  At some point she will have to learn that life gets tough, you can't always walk away because life is impacting your "me" time, and that sometimes you suck it up and move forward.  It is only going to be that way for a moment in time.

Me?  I got a bug, simply from too little sleep and too much temporary stress.  I am going to be just fine in a short while.  My feet are still grounded, my head will clear (or at least I hope so - because this stuffiness is for the birds!), and I will continue to always try to do the right thing by others.

I threw a tantrum when I was sent to my new Y.  I didn't want to go, it was uncomfortable and HARD.  It's still hard, but I am blessed everyday.  I'm not always going to hire the right people, people are tricky like that, there are still going to be long days and early morning phone calls.  And I will still do it.  Because I am blessed.  I have amazing people around me.  And even on hard days, I can still make a difference.

Sometimes a bit of time and distance make all the difference in the world.... Well... it is now time to go and finish nursing myself back to health, so that I can enjoy the trees budding, the light breezes and warming sunshine.  Like my sweet guy has found in the sitting room.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

wandering thoughts...

The sunrise this morning was breathtaking. The camera on my phone is not even remotely going to do it justice.  I decided to walk the boys myself this morning, since this loss of an hour has me so discombobulated. I truly wish we could leave things alone.  I understand when it had a time and place.  I don't think we still have those needs. Today we live in a 24 hour society for the most part, so all it does is steal an hour of sleep as we seem to function by the clock.

Out in the brisk morning air with the beautiful sunrise my mind completely started wandering.  I cherish quiet alone times for that very reason. In the silence the mind is free to roam.

I never take my phone with me when I walk the boys.  Although as I type that, I realize that I probably should if I am alone.  Not because I have anyone I need to talk to, but because they are both very old and getting more frail by the day.  What if something happened to one of them and I had them both with me... oh dear that is another rabbit hole that needs to wait for another day.

In the silence this morning, I could hear the poem about the sunrise/sunset that my parents both always shared with us... red in the morn' sailors take warn... does that apply to the almost brilliant purple and pink hue that I saw today?

Playing with my old man in the front yard filled my heart with such joy.  I know that my time with him is fading, yet the morning romp and stomp is still so fun and joyous.  It brings memories flooding back from all the years we've played it.  And it will be one of the things that I will miss the most, so I have to be sure to play it each morning, need to fill that memory bucket to over flowing.

Before the boys woke up I was sitting in one of my favorite chairs, yarn laced in between my fingers as my crochet hook gathered the stitches in the baby blanket I am working on.  I needed seven yesterday morning, but sweet Hubs noted that one of his staff became a Daddy for the first time last week and that his little man, a whopping 10 pounds 6 ounces, could use a blanket to keep him warm.  Luckily, I have one made that is quite masculine... I was hoping for gender neutral, but none of the yarns I have bought so far have quiet ended up that way.... so now I need at least eight.

As the yarns slide between my hands I was daydreaming back to a time that didn't seem so long ago, but now I'm not so sure.  A time before cell phones and portable computers.  Sure I had a computer back then.  And I technically had a portable phone, after all it was cordless.  I was thinking about how much more I used to accomplish.  The things I made didn't seem to take so long, they just became real.  As I was sitting here, pondering the difference between then and now it seemed elusive.

My skill has improved, that was over twenty years ago.  I have mastered many things in that time.  What was causing my lack of creative productivity?  The yarn sliding between my fingers is soothing.  It's that way with all of my creative outlets, they calm me.  So what had changed?  Was I really working so much that I couldn't find time?

My mind for some reason kept returning to the huge ranch house on the farm in Spanaway, Washington.  One of my all time favorite homes, despite being hopeless trapped in the early 70's.  I kept remembering a morning sitting at the island in the kitchen while the kids were eating breakfast before school and I was working on a baby bib.  I don't remember what it looked like, I just remember my ex questioning me about it and telling him that if I did a bit a day I would have it finished in no time.  The mind is a crazy thing.  It truly is like a card catalog in a library or a computer with too many tabs open, bouncing in between them all.

My old boy likes company when he eats breakfast and dinner after his walks, usually I sit and play a game on my phone or surf the internet.  I seriously do not do well just sitting still, probably something I should work on mastering.  Today I didn't have my phone or my Chromebook.  I picked up my coffee cup and my craft bag.  Then sat beside him working on the blanket.  It was like someone hit me with a brick.

It all the sudden occurred to me what was slowing me down. What is probably slowing many of us down from accomplishing things that we love to do.  The things that fill our souls and help us grow.  Electronics.  Computers, phones, constant connectivity.

I have a stack of books by my bed, I never seem to have time to read, even though I desperately want to do so.  My excuse is that I don't have enough time.  Yet I will lie in bed at night and read short article after short article until my eyes grow heavy on my phone.  I don't know if it is the lighting or the ease.  Or is it simply that we are being programmed to only handle short snippets as opposed to a book?

My mind can get kind of twisted.  I can go down all kinds of rabbit holes when allowed the time to think.  I am surely not the only one.  And many conspiracy theories jump out at me. Again probably as a result of all of the electronic brainwashing that we are all subjected to.

I think it is time to get lost in the past for a while.  To recreate the days when I could spend hours in my sewing room without noticing.  Or spend a day walking through new towns and exploring new places.  I didn't have a cell phone then or at least one I used much, because I would have to buy more minutes.  I remember hours sitting in the parks while my children played in fountains and on playgrounds, reading a book, working on projects, absorbing the laughter and sunshine like they were essential elements of life.

Yesterday was a day of contrasts, yet I am sure it is where these thoughts started. Hubs and I went to work to support the job fair, even though it was a crazy rainy morning that few were brave enough to tackle going out in.  I was able to support the team with shutting the pool due to lightning and finding guards.  Then Hubs and I headed to the physic fair, normally I can't wait, but I wasn't drawn yesterday, so we skipped it.  He drove, so that I could crochet, I was finding so much peace in it. A few errands and Bloody Mary's later we arrived back at home for an early afternoon nap.

Hubs woke me up around four to tell me that it was 65 degrees and sunny, of course that meant we were dropping the top and heading out to explore in the sunshine.  We'd never been to Lone Elk Park, yet it's been on the to do list and seemed like the perfect excursion for the little bit of day we had left.  I feel we will go many more times, the sunshine, the top down, the bison and the elk.  Sweet Hubs was sitting on the back of the convertible taking pictures and both of us were enjoying the beauty of nature.

The view from where I am sitting today, is a picture of perfection.  My old boy sleeping, my spinning wheel with roving waiting for attention.  The rising sun casting a soft glow.  Spring is on the way, I just got a high pollen alert, I'd say that its definitely time for some out with the old, in with the new.

Time for more intention and less distraction...

Monday, March 4, 2019


It's been one year and 3 1/2 hours since I got that call.

He was gone.

4:55 am this morning I woke up and looked at the clock.

One year later.

Last year my sweet Hubs held me as I was finally able to stop, it was pouring down rain outside.  I felt like the heavens were sobbing with me.

As I pulled into Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery this morning I felt a familiar thought.  It was blanketed in white, bitter cold and everything was frozen.  Kind of how my heart is feeling today.  As I wrapped my arms around the headstone that guards a few of his ashes Mom let the military have I didn't feel much of anything.  I felt as frozen as the ground I was walking on.

I know he's not suffering and I know that he is with me with every breath that I take.  My ring with his ashes is sparkling bright today.  Maybe it's my imagination.  And if so... thank you.  Because today in particular I need to feel that closeness.

My sweet Hubs drove out with me to the cemetery, he held me tight as I cried the only tears I was willing to shed.  He was heading about 20 miles in the opposite direction.  He needed to be there the same as I did. I'd planned to sit and have coffee, enjoy the beauty and solitude.  Maybe even watch for a cardinal or two.  Five degree's is far too cold for that to be a thing.

I stood in the snow, my feet are still feeling frostbitten 30 minutes later, and let the little girl in my heart mourn the loss of her hero.  I placed my cheek on the frozen headstone and let a tear or two fall. Then I turned away.

My Dad isn't there.  It's just a place to remember him, to honor what shaped the man he became.  To show respect for a lifetime of sacrifice.   My Dad is all around me.  I have random pictures and a lifetime of memories.  Sometimes when I look in the mirror or at my kids and grand-babies I see glimpses of him.  He is all around me.  He helped my mom shape who I became.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always with love.

Today was going to be a hard day.  I knew it.  I'm choosing to not let it. It will be a day to celebrate my Dad finally getting the rest he was ready for.  He didn't leave.  He simply passed to another realm.  He is as close now as he was when I could physically touch him.  I won't lie... I would love to wrap my arms around him and press my cheek to his.  I would love another of my Dad's kisses and I love you's.

I think... I will just continue to live a life that will make him and Mom proud of who I am and who I have become...

I miss you Daddy.  And I will love you forever!

have you tried...

I am learning.   It's a late day for me and I am enjoying the solitude of the morning.  I am working on bringing some balance back ...