Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's a good life...

This mornings walk was cool and breezy, a welcome change from what we've had.  It's easy to tell when summer is coming to an end here in the mid-west.  It knuckles down and gets brutal for a couple of days at least.  It will not go peacefully into the night.

That softness made for a beautiful change.  Both of the boys were bouncier than usual and had to be coaxed to come back to the house.  Walking the last few houses, letting my mind wander and my eyes absorb the changes around me, I saw it.  The first sign that as we wrap up August, as the summer fades, fall is getting a bit pushy herself!

If you've read my blog for a bit, you know I am absolutely passionate about fall.  And finding those few brightly colored leaves on the ground was enough to start me day dreaming about mum's and pumpkins.  It had me craving the cooler days and nights.  My jeans and sweatshirts are never far back in my closet.

This morning as the kitchen aid was churning the french vanilla ice cream for today's barbecue with some of hubby's long time friends.  I was starring at the big bag of apples.  They are local or fresh, a bit too soon, give it another few weeks for the best ones.  Thankful for the request to bring an apple pie. I cannot wait for that warm cinnamon smell to fill my house.

I wish there were a big bouquet of sunflowers on my table and some apple wine.  I think it has more to do with spending so much time in Germany than anything else.  But those are things that always make my heart happy.  Maybe even an onion pie...

Oh well... It's been crazy busy around here lately.  Hubby and I are trying so hard to complete the move to the new house and finally leave the old behind.  Living is in two worlds has been difficult and unnerving.  I am ready for it to be done.

We are on vacation this week, and we are finally going to complete the move.  We are renting a U-Haul and devoting how ever much time it needs to it.  I spent all day yesterday painting and finishing up the stuff on the main floor.  There is still one room left that isn't finished.... heck I'm not sure it's really started.  I can't even come to a decision about paint colors in here.  The walls are barren, no carpet and random placement of furniture.  I would say it is time to focus on this little room.

Everything in Illinois goes on the other two floors, so we are at least functioning.  Moving forward. Today I am hoping to complete the kitchen chairs, cleaning the living room chair and finally working on the little side table to go beside my blue chair.

Boy it sure does sound like I am doing nothing enjoyable on my vacation... truthfully, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from creating your home.  From working hard on things for yourself.  That is where I'm at!

That didn't stop us from going to an amazing baseball game last night with our Grand baby and one of her friends.  It was hot and steamy, but great seats watching an even better game.  Laughter and fun... Followed up by a sweet little girl sitting at the kitchen table painting pictures and expressing her artistic side while eating a snack.  We even started the day with a tea party yesterday.

Life is moving back into that fulfilling balance that makes it enjoyable! There is still chaos all around me, there are things locally and globally that are bringing me to prayer far more frequently than the past.  There are many things going on and people saying things that scare me.  I need some time not to focus on that.  I need to say a prayer and walk away. At least for now...

So what are you doing today??

Saturday, August 23, 2014


It's 7:35 am... I have no business even being awake! It's hot and sticky here in the mid-west (and it doesn't matter what side of the river you live on. And the past two nights have been super late.  I am an early to bed, early to rise kind of gal.  And that doesn't mean early morning to bed... but habits are hard to break.

I haven't turned on any news or even the radio, I have decided I need a full day without any one giving me any inaccurate facts on anything.  I need a day to forget all of it. It's been placed in Gods hands and I don't need to waste energy or time worry about things I cannot change.

We were planning to go pick up another load or two of stuff from the old house, honestly... I can't take any more time outside right now.  It's way too hot!  My fibro and heat are mortal enemies.  It takes me down faster than anything.  I don't feel the need to go out in the heat at all today.

Last weekend was crazy productive and I think I am going to spend this one being just as busy.  We've finally gotten three full rooms done.  When you realize that is out of nine, well, you just don't feel so accomplished.  But it's a start.

We finished the kitchen hutch over the past few weeks and filled it with Gramma's china.  It looks so amazing!  The irony of the china... I had been searching for that very pattern for over 10 years. Way back in Washington, a dear friend and I had been thrift shopping and I bought a butter dish.  Oh I loved that butter dish.  And it matched absolutely nothing in my home.  Every chance I got I searched for the dishes to go with it, my sweet little $1 butter dish was lonely.

Fast forward over a decade or more and Hubby and I were cleaning out the basement in Fairview, his mom had passed away the year before and he had simply stored many of her belongings down there, not ready to deal with them yet.  In a far back corner was the most amazing steamer chest - at least in it's day... that had sadly been destroyed when the sump pump had failed during a storm (yeah, don't miss that!).  I was so hesitate to open it, the smell from the rotting paper was pretty darn bad.  I vaguely heard hubby in the background telling me who's chest it had been, because I was mesmerized by the treasure inside.

There among all the icky paper and mold was the china I had searched for.  A complete set, service for eight, that matched my little butter dish - ironically the only piece that the set did not have.

We finally finished the hutch for the dining room.  That big old beast is wonderful! It's the one I rescued from Savers for a whopping $25 back when we first found out we were moving.  The piece that was supposed to be completed and ready to go when we moved, the first treasure for our new house... remember that one? The piece that would not stand up in the old house, so it sat in the hall on it's side until we moved.  Yep that one.

I love my new dining room.  There are small pieces that I still need to complete.  I want to make a quilted table runner and place mats, but those are projects for a bit later.  The girl spent her Sunday helping us paint the walls as the final finish on the hutch dried.  It's welcoming, cozy, a place you want to be invited to eat a meal.  I am hoping to serve our first official dinner in there for company tomorrow.  Hubby and I eat there as much as possible! We have served the kids as it was in progress.  But it is now officially done.

Today, I have a feeling that I am going to spend the bulk of the day emptying boxes and sorting stuff for donation.  We were doing that as we packed, but discovered it was dragging us down.  So now we bring it all over in a box and sort as we but it away.  I am getting ready to fill a big coffee mug and head upstairs.

I am also going to get a quilt made for sweet baby William, I might not have all my tools moved, but that has never stopped me from making a quilt in the past, so I don't know why I have been waiting now.  He's arrived already and while it's far too warm to snuggle in a quilt right now... he needs it! I just know he does.

And finally, maybe if the heat is not too overwhelming, I am going to get the television stand done.  But I am not sure my little fans can make that garage feel comfortable at over 100 degrees heat index... we'll see.

But most importantly, I am going to spend some quality time hanging out with my sweet little grand daughter! I don't know what we will do, but we will do something.  Spending time with her is one of my absolute favorite things to do in this world.  Like she tells me all the time, in her old soul way... "family is the most important thing in the world..." yep... it sure is!

So how are you filling your gift of a weekend?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

the line between right and wrong...

Can you see through the fog?
I am listening to an old country song playing through my brain... I need Grampa to tell me about the good old days.  I want to remember when the only boogie men were in stories told to frighten.  I want to remember when good was more prevalent than bad.

I woke up to more ugly.  I woke up to hear of more arrests, more attempted subjugation of our laws, more stupidity and anger.  That is being fueled by something more insidious and evil than reality.

I am worried about the people of Ferguson.  I am worried about my friends.  I am worried that the people that are using that city to make their political points are destroying something beautiful.  I am tired of hearing race baiting, I am tired of it all.

My heart is hurting.  I am blessed, I only have to read about it, not live it.  But people I love are living with it. I had a conversation with a gentleman yesterday.  We've become good friends despite that I can't imagine living in his world and he can't imagine mine.  Our lives are very different.  But we have empathy for each other.  We care that the other is safe and happy.  Oddly, we could not stand each other the first time we met.  Now we celebrate each other's children and their victories at life.  We talk about silly mundane things, and more recently we talk about deeper things.  Things that are spiraling out of hand.

During the course of our conversation this large, intimidating man shared with me his own fears of the area he lives in.  How he longs to drive home and take a deep cleansing breath and feel relief.  A relief that is being robbed from him, because not too long ago a group of young men moved in across the street.  They are being little terrors who feel something is owed to them.

They are forcing their ugly feelings about life, their sense of entitlement on the entire community.  My friend is fearful for his family, he struggles to rest.  He lives very near the epi-center of chaos in Ferguson.  In fact he lives right around the corner from the shooting that occurred yesterday.  When a young man chose to charge the police with a knife in his hand.  He's dead. Where are those protests?

This feels orchestrated.  This feels like it was planned. It doesn't feel organic, it doesn't feel like a genuine reaction to a tragic death and loss.  Maybe it's the looting (because nothing says I love you, quite as well as destruction and theft), maybe its all the outsiders that have rushed in to "protest" for them.  You know groups that are egging on the civil disobedience.  Groups like the Revolutionary Communist Party... yep they've shown up, or the New Black Panthers, or Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (who tried to turn it into a fund-raising opportunity), or the Nation of Islam, or any of the others that have used a tragic, senseless event for political gain. For something more than it is.

Everyday, across America there are deaths that need not happen.  In North County people are shooting each other left and right for far less of a reason than the one on August 9.  Why this one?  Why this time?

I need those good old days, "when the line between right and wrong didn't seem so hazy..." It amazes me that in the midst of the chaos in the world... all the other geo-political problems the entire country is focused on creating a bigger mess out of little Ferguson Missouri than it really is or should be.  Did the border crisis finally get solved, did we stop bringing thousands of illegal immigrants to a town near you?  Did ISIS finally stop raiding and killing and destroying lives and countries?  Did all of our monetary issues suddenly become resolved?  And everyone now has affordable health care that isn't going to break our countries monetary backbone?  Are all of our military and troops finally safe? Have all the wars ended? Seriously??  Or did little Ferguson just become one heck of a smoke screen with little to no concern and care for the wonderful people that live there.  Are they simply another pawn in the hands of idiots that are power hungry?

I am praying for my friends in Ferguson.  I am praying for Mike Brown's family and I am praying for Darren Wilson and his family also.

Take me back to yesterday....

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who's winning the race?

Brrr... yes I really said that in the Midwest in August...

It's raining outside, and it makes me remember the beautiful rains in Brazil.  At the time I was not so fond of it, it was cold and non-stop.  Gentle and persistent. That is how it is falling here today. I was hoping to take the boys for a walk after it let up a bit, but the old guy was not at all inclined to wait.  Odd, considering back in the days of being let out back to do his business he would have none of the rain, it wasn't happening.

So off in the rain I went.  It's actually a warm rain until it really starts to soak in.  Then not so much.  It was so quiet out there.  No sound really, just the occasional soft rustle of the water in the drainage pipes. Rushing to the river down the hill.

The air, has that beautiful fresh smell that comes from a morning rain and walking two big boys in that kind of beauty gives me time to think and focus.  I enjoy the peace that can be found in silence.  I love the time it gives me to clear my thoughts, plan my day, pray and talk to God.  Yes, I do that on a regular basis...

This morning walking in the stillness, I was reflecting on the past two days and the trouble that has come to our area.

I was blessed this week to attend The Global Leadership Summit, I've never been before, and now I can't imagine not going ever again.  I feel like my spiritual, mental and emotional buckets have been filled to over-flowing.  It didn't hurt that I was blessed to absorb those two days with so many people that have such a strong influence on me.  Including my Brazil buddy and one of my long time friends in St. L.... sitting between the two of them really made it rewarding.

Some of my dear friends from Ferguson were there too.  I feel that it was a mixed blessing for them.  Filling up your bucket when chaos and trouble is so close to the door must have been so difficult.  I said many prayers for them while there.

I learned many things over the course of those two days.  I giggled internally at the speaker on the "quiet revolution", because I could completely relate.  I am a complete introvert, I am one of those people that could gladly live far from the chaos and distraction of the world and be quietly lost in it.  Then I laughed out loud when I thought about the people that I surround myself with... Hubby is a major extrovert, everything they said perfectly described him, he's the life of the party and creates one when none can be found.  My Brazil Buddy... same story... maybe that is what made us a great team.  I know it is what makes Hubby and I a great pair.  I am the calm to his storm, and he is the excitement to my stillness. We are yin and yang, the two parts to a whole.

It filled me up to hear about servant leadership.  To know that is the type of leadership that I personally thrive with and to pray that is the type of leadership I give.  This will require more reflection on my part, but it definitely impacted me.

As I was driving home listening to the news, I found it ironic that Rev. Al Sharpton, could have benefited from attending that summit.  That he might have learned many things.  He is definitely not a servant leader. The word reverend in front of his name a disservice to all it represents.

I have tired greatly of hearing all the "opinions" on Ferguson.  I am saddened when even people that are family and that I love are listening to the poison and making an assumption based on false information.  I am wondering how many times have I been guilty of that myself?  I am, or maybe I am not any longer... I was a self admitted news junkie... I felt incomplete without the entire story laid out before me.  I needed to follow it, suck it up and absorb it.

I don't watch as much any more, when we switched to Roku, it wasn't available.  Now we have cable back, but I haven't found time to re-immerse myself in it.  It's playing as I drift to sleep, but with the schedule I keep lately, I am fairly sure I see about two minutes, if that.

I am sure there are a few in the midst of the Ferguson mess that live there.  I am sure just like every community there are dead beats and slackers, those that want someone else to provide for their needs, that refuse to take responsibility for their lives, because we have made it too easy for them to do so.  I have many friends that live in that city, many others that I only know through other friends... and that description couldn't be further from the truth.

The people of Ferguson are not the ones you are hearing about, after all who wants to do a news story on the people that are cleaning it all up. That are trying very hard to preserve their community, to save it from the ones bound and determined to use it to make a political statement.  No one evidently.

I am tired of the media's agenda.  I am tired of failing to see the whole story, because it doesn't fit someone else's agenda.  Rev. Sharpton, and the hate groups he's brought with him, need to go away.  There was a tragedy.  And as it continues to unfold, there were lies told, and many other bits and pieces that were left untold.  No one was completely right, no one was completely wrong... (except possibly the little weasel of a friend that has lied continually and fed the flames of fury that are over running that city).

If the outside people would simply stop.  If the hate mongers would leave, if the people that are rushing in would allow the city to deal with this mess itself... Oh if only...

There are so many things wrong, the city needs a servant leader to help guide them.  The family needs prayers, not a weasel of an attorney looking for fame.  The time may come for an attorney.  The time may come for protests and conversations.  Now is not the time.  There are too many answers not known.  There has been too much chaos surrounding the situation to allow for the answers to be found.

It isn't just close to home that there is so much evil in the world.  I don't care what your religion is, as long as your religion does not harm others.  I find it hard to believe that any form of higher being would condone the death or destruction of any of it's creations.  So when atrocities are committed in the name of Allah or anyone one else... it frightens me.  Are we losing a critical battle that we are not paying attention to?  Is the evil in the world taking too deep of a root?

I can't solve the worlds problems.  I am but one small piece of humanity.  But I can lift it up in prayer, I can take it to my God and ask his intervention.  Imagine the power if all believers lifted the worries, trouble and strife of this world up to their God...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

what is the content of your heart?

My heart is heavy, my spirit hurts, and I am simply being worn down by the sad events that have hit the St. Louis Metro area.  The sadness from Ferguson is overwhelming.  This area is a bunch of smaller communities that have basically blended together into a larger city... each retains it's own individuality, it's own personal flavor but we are really all basically the same family.

a bit of beauty in the darkness
And like most families we have our nuts, our success stories, our flaws and our beauty.  Sometimes all in the same area or group of people all at the same time.  Sometimes not so much.

Over the weekend a young man lost his life.  An officer made a decision that altered the course of many lives, his own included.  We don't know the cause, we don't know the reason, we don't basically have any information other than that.  Two men, and I'm sorry but at 18 you are a man - not a child, made some type of decisions that have had a tsunami effect on an entire community and those surrounding it.

A shooting in this area is not a random, nor rare occurrence. Sadly, it's part of the city that has many shootings and deaths.  More last night.  What made this one a catalyst for the wanton destruction and chaos that has ensued... one can only guess.  Innocence children have been shot, elderly sitting at home have been shot and killed, the riots haven't ensued in those cases?  There was no looting, no destruction, no insanity in those cases.

There hasn't even been enough time to conduct a proper investigation.  Maybe the officer jumped to conclusions, maybe he is completely at fault... I don't know, I wasn't there.   But calling for him to be fired and indicted for murder before any investigation can happen seems to me to be circumventing the law.  If the kid had lived and killed the cop, would this all have happened?

Maybe that "kid" wasn't as pure, good and wholesome as they want you to believe... maybe his own actions led to his death.  Tragic and sad, but definitely a possibility. I read something last night, I didn't research it, so I am not prepared to say it was or wasn't something... But given the way things have been for a long time in North County... well... just maybe he wasn't as pure as the driven snow.

There are too many unknowns, there are too many things being destroyed that are delaying a quick investigation...

I am prayerful that the police officer has been relieved of duty while the whole situation is being investigated. And that if it is found that he was grossly negligent that he is punished to the full extent of the law.

My heart is struggling with what is going on...

What does it solve to riot, loot and destroy?  Does that bring back to life a young man?  Sadly so many of those involved are outsiders, they don't belong to that community.  Nine have been arrested so far, not one of those nine live in that community, they took advantage of a bad situation.  We have outsiders coming in and leading protests, assuming that nothing is being done.

Here's a thought Mr. Sharpton and all those others... why don't you wait until the case has even been investigated, and then if it seems to be biased or unprofessional, then lead your protests, make your demands.  Until then... well how about we follow the same laws that should apply to everyone.  It would be wonderful if the Alderman stirring this hornets nest would stop.  I am not even sure if he is their Alderman, fairly sure he isn't...

I am going to continue to pray for those innocent people that are having to survive this mess.

I am going to continue to feel our media needs to stop being biased for once. For once that they will allow the truth, and nothing but the truth to pass their lips.

And I am going to continue to pray, that the ignorance that is fueling this mess stops.  I don't care about the color of your skin, I don't care who you pray to, I don't care who you love... there are many, many things I couldn't care less about... what I do care about is the content of your heart.

I am going to continue to pray for those brave loving souls that are spending their days repairing what those with the darkness in their hearts spend their nights destroying.

I hope this resolves soon, I would hate for the world to know our area based on the ignorant, hatred driven people that are showing out for the world.

As I bow my head to pray, I hope others are doing the same.  We alone can change the course of the world. I don't care who you are praying to... but show love and goodness instead of hatred and bigotry.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

It's her birthday!  It's her birthday!!  My sweet little grandbaby is eight today!  I wish I were able to take the day off and enjoy it with her, but unfortunately that is not going to happen. Too much other stuff going on this week.  It's okay, her mommy needs time to enjoy her.  She's been on vacation and traveling with different family members all summer.  Mom has barely seen her more than we have.

I remember the morning we got the call that she was on her way.  Hubby and I were fishing up in New Athens.  We'd been there all morning, we had decided to continue our celebration of my birthday by doing some fun stuff for us.  Truth be told, I was bumming a bit, as my ex was in town and I simply don't share my babies well.  So I was a bit pouty.  So in typical Hubby fashion he had me out catching fish and trying to avoid ticks (you get Lyme once and that is truly a freaky feeling), totally distracted from my imagined hurt feelings and enjoying the sunshine.

Until the phone call...

She was on her way...

And evidently Gramma-to-be had forgotten that first babies are not notorious for arriving early.  So it was a long day...

I remember waiting my turn to hold her, I was in quite a mood... as my ex held her first.  Now don't get me wrong, I get along great with him, and was so happy he was there... I just was being a kid at Christmas and I didn't want to wait!

When I finally held her, that bond was instant!!  She is my mini-me.  My travel buddy, my cook helper, my best little buddy! She never fails to make me laugh, smile and cry with joy.  A hug from my baby girl can solve anything the world throws at me.

She has Gramma and Grampa wrapped around her little pinky finger, there is NOTHING in this world we won't do for or with her.  She is one of the main reasons we've moved. To know she is around the corner, its amazing and wonderful.

At some point today, we will love on her!  She's amazing and we are blessed!

Happy Birthday Baby girl!!  We love you!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A life worth living...

Nicely chilled glass of white wine, soft lights in my almost finished family room.  I am sitting here enjoying the quiet, looking at a silly lizard who has bent himself in half over his rock and watching the turtle swimming everywhere.  Hubby and the boys are upstairs.  The girl will be here shortly.

It's the perfect end to a wonderful, love filled day! I am not a huge fan of celebrating.  I will gladly celebrate you, but I don't like center stage... today, it was nice!  After a slow easy start to the morning, the newish routine of walking the pups and then breakfast together, giggling a bit more over the awesome gift hubby got me for my birthday... I know I picked it out - sort of - he's the one that remembered and rode his motorcycle in the rain to get it for me!! The day has just been fun since.

Waking up to a text and facie bookie post from my girl... she is so silly!  That started my day with a smile and love!  Moments later my boy sent me a text... this was promising to be an amazing day!  With in an hour of waking up I heard from both my girl and boy.

On the way to work, the twins called and sang Happy Birthday to me.  I was simply feeling very loved. If my day hadn't changed one bit, it would have been perfect.

I was a bit apprehensive approaching work.  Last year, over night, my office had become infested with what seemed like hundreds of black plastic roaches.  I keep them in a wine glass on my desk, people are forever taking a few when they come in, like it is a strange fascination, I get it, it fascinates me.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it all looking normal, although I do admit that I searched all around my desk in a panic, there is a certain red head that is known for birthday pranks and is responsible for the before mentioned roaches.

Did I really survive unscathed?  Nope... While I was catching up with the boss, seemed like forever since we'd chatted and caught up, my office was transformed into a mass of hanging streamers, colorful balloons and a large banner.  It was so wonderful.

Silly birthday song, hugs and warm wishes!  I felt so blessed.

The b's got me a gorgeous plant for my deck.  It made me smile, its so bright and cheery!

A phone call from the greatest grand baby in the world singing Happy Birthday to me, and my day felt complete!

Hubby took me out to dinner, a card arrived from my parents (Dad even signed it himself- those of you that know, well you KNOW) and now I am waiting for my girl to come over.  She's driving home from a trip west.  I miss my babies.  So I can't wait to see her.

Maybe, just maybe this is going to be the best year yet, because when it is filled with so much love, laughter and warmth how can it be anything but wonderful?

I truly am blessed... what a warm, rich, amazing, wonderful life I have been blessed with....

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 ...