I am a compulsive list maker.  I think I have written about this before.  But, it has come up again in my thoughts.

I have lists of all kinds of things.  I have books of lists I have made over the years.  I don’t just make lists of things to do.  I make lists of things I like, things I want to learn, books or movies or songs I want.  I make lists of favorites such as colors, flowers, animals.  Places I want to go, meals I want to cook, stories I want to write.  Lists of values, strengths, weaknesses.  All kinds of things.

Why? I often ask myself that question.  I don’t know if I am trying to remember things or trying to figure out things.  I used to get frustrated because I didn’t have a single favorite color.  I didn’t have a single favorite flower.  I always thought that was a flaw in my mental processes.  That it meant I was unable to decide or to commit to something so simple.

Finally, I resigned myself to being uncommitted and discovered my favorite color is aquamarine and my favorite flower is the orchid.  One of the wall colors of our bedroom is aquamarine.  The empress of flowers has so many faces; it is easy to love her.  Enough variety and color to satisfy my ever changing mood.

I make lists of outfits and define elements of styles.  Clothes, home décor, gardening.  Anything is subject to being listed.  Pinterest boards are magical picture lists.  I go through phases of collecting, rearranging and discarding pins and boards.  My dream come true site!

I have common lists of things to do each day and tasks or special projects I am working toward.  The items on those lists are marked through when completed or when I have talked myself out of it.  Sometimes an item will get transferred to a long term list.

I suppose I have benefited from the lists.  I have accomplished many things through the years.  I keep my home and its business in pretty good shape considering my life circumstances.  I have worked through some problems and figured out some issues.  Some resolved, some simply defined.

I hope to be able to understand what drives me each day to do the things I do.  I don’t want to get to the end and not have at least tried to know myself well enough to behave well toward others.  What does having a favorites’ list have to do with that?  Nothing really.  It is simply an offshoot of hours of day dreaming and digging into my thoughts.  Always wondering and pondering and wrestling with the mental and emotional world inside.

Always trying to be better at being Me each day.  One list at a time.

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Black and Blue

At times, my heart becomes black and blue from the concerns that come my way.  I find myself overly concerned about my children, about home things, about him.

I say “overly” because I believe worry to be a futile waste of energy.  I want to be concerned enough to pray for them, to spend time helping them, to tell them I love them, to gently guide or present another view.  But, to be so concerned that I become fretful is not a good thing.  It shows lack of faith.

I confess I have been overly concerned about my son and his wife during their recent travels and their island move in progress.  They are managing just fine.  He is just more relaxed about everything than I am.  I like having a detailed plan and definite commitments for big things like they are doing at the moment.  He seems to fly by the seat of his pants, like his father.  They are both successful men and have each other for conferring and helping when needed.  I need not worry a bit.

I encouraged my daughter to try to refrain from becoming distressed about situations in her life.  In fact, I have been doing that a lot recently with her. She is getting married, moving, changing jobs, all this summer.  Just one thing at a time.  Patience.  His timing is perfect.  Regarding a loved one’s illness, I simply said, find out what you can and pray.  Not much else to do for the situation right now.

I am not so very worried about him today.  Things are going well for him.  I am always trying to feed him healthier foods.  He is trying to like it.  I told him I don’t want to be a widow for my last 30 years, since I intend to live to 102!

As for myself and home, I got a few things done.  But, I was too late to salvage one project.  It will have to redevelop.  I am set up to do it now, though.  Our yard is looking so good.  The grass is green from all the rain.  Even in the flower beds!  The rain has been steady recently limiting the opportunity to work on some things.

I started a special project the first of June.  When I get more done on it, I will talk about it.  I don’t want to diffuse my energy and focus by discussing it yet.  Suffice it to say, things are going.  Not as quickly as I would hope, but I am not losing confidence of the final result coming sooner rather than later.

Yes, my heart gets black and blue.  But, then I recall what I have survived and to what I have to look forward.  And my heart feels better.  Great thing about it, I don’t have to wait for the bruises to fade.  Just a moment and the miracle of Mercy can make it rosy red again.

There is one black and blue I love to look at over and over.  On a special day, in the middle of the ocean, where molten rock once met salty sea, I found a perfect black and blue:


Real Tropical Living

A weather system is moving in from the Gulf.  It may be a tropical storm by landfall.

Thankfully, I had some time in my schedule today to get the yard readied.  I moved my potted palms against the house along with the other pots of plants.  I picked up some odds and ends and put them away in the shed.  I put my yard tools in the shed from the carport.  I took his flag down and put it in the house.

I know it is only forecast to be at most a tropical storm.  Having seen the likes of Rita and Ike, I try to not get nervously excited over it.  Still, the wind and rain can make a mess of things and I wanted to do a little prevention.

I have plenty of food in the house.  Our water company is set up to provide continuous water.  I filled up my car with gas.  I hope the children and he did the same.

I am sitting out here on the porch now sipping coffee and listening to the rain coming down.  Just a regular rain at the moment.  No wind.  The windows are fully open.

This is one of my favorite kinds of moments.  The porch, the rain, the coffee.  My memories hold many moments of enjoying this kind of thing.  I love the sound of rain.  Thunderstorms are awesome to me as well.  No fear, just respect.

My son and his bride are home from the islands for a short visit.  We have had a little time with them.  This storm has disrupted some plans we had made.  But, just the brief moments allowed are appreciated.  So many people love them so much and miss them being here in Texas, we have had to share them more than we would like.  What parent doesn’t want to hold tight to their child after having felt their absence so intensely?

My daughter and I had a wonderful visit cooking gumbo and potato salad and all yesterday.  She, her father and I rode up to see the overfull lake and rivers.  She is full of plans and has an agenda to meet her goals.  Prayerfully, I hope for continued progress and blessings on her path.

I had not realized how quiet my home life had become until they came to see us.  Something about my two children is so intense and vibrant, it tumbles my heart around and I feel unbalanced.  They are not afraid.  We worked so very hard to make sure they were not afraid.  Their courage and boldness is awe-inspiring.  I don’t mind the unbalanced feelings.  It means they are dancing.  Just the way I always hoped.

I Can’t Believe It!

I forgot to post last night.  I didn’t even realize it until he pointed it out to me!

I have been very busy with a new schedule and projects.  Plus, I have a very special event coming up day after tomorrow and I have been so focused on that, I just forgot about Raining Orchids.  Actually, I forgot about posting in Raining Orchids because orchids have been flooding my life.

I am not at a “talking about it” stage on the projects.  One you will hear about over the next couple of weeks.  The others will have to wait.  I don’t want to lose any wind from my sails by discussing it.  There is something to be said for keeping things private in the initial stages.

One thing I will discuss is food.  Meal planning actually.  I have been trying to feed us better meals.  Nutritionally better meals. I cook wonderful meals all the time, but they are not necessarily the things that contribute to great health and long life.  I have been making menu plans and preparing our meals accordingly.  I have found a product that is helping greatly.  A simple electric skillet.  It is coated with a non-stick surface, heats immediately, browns food well, cleans up instantly.

I cook every evening. I work my nine to five and come home and cook.  This evening we had stir fried chicken with pineapple, carrots and broccoli over rice.  Tomorrow will be lightly fried chicken over a salad.  We like to make a big green salad and add chicken strips, nuts, cheese, olives.  It is good with a nut and fruit only trail mix blend, too.

The meals are sometimes made up of left overs.  Or as mother called them, planned overs.  Because of his preference, when I serve planned overs, I also try to make them over.  I modify or reorganize the meal in some way.  It is a creative challenge for me.  I enjoy doing it.

Another thing that has developed with us is a planned snack in the evening.  We have popcorn a lot of nights.  Last night, it was grapes, cheese and crackers.  Tonight it will be nectarines and yogurt or cottage cheese.

By planning, we eat less and feel better.  Rather than getting a little of this and some of that and too much of the other close to bedtime, we have a healthful something to enjoy.

Enough of this.  I am getting hungry.  My week will be all messed up because of missing my Monday posting.  I will be a day off.  Now I understand why earlier I kept thinking it was Monday!    I can’t believe I am late.  But, I can believe all the things I have been doing that got me sidetracked are positives in my life.  Flooding orchids.

His Biggest Fan

I am his biggest fan.  I am his roadie, his groupie, his fan club president.  He sings specials in church.  He is my favorite singer.  Period.  He has never had the ambition to pursue singing on a larger scale.  He is content to sing at church whenever the opportunity arises.  He sings for his Lord.  He sings to help others see who Jesus is in his life, ever hopeful his song will lead a lost soul to Christ.

I am his grunt on home projects.  I fetch the tool or the light.  I hold this or push right there.  I go behind and try to get the tools and mess picked up and put away when I can.

I am his housekeeper and chief cook and bottle washer.  I like doing that, too.  He appreciates what I do and how I cook and says so.  Appreciation expressed is a nice thing to hear.

Some menfolk were talking about their wives’ projects.  I commented that he is my project.  Looking after him, tending to things, keeping up with business matters, stocking supplies, tagging along.  It is what I do.  What I want to do.  I want to love like crazy.  I want to surround him and our family with love and affection.  No other agenda.

I was visiting with a lady at a crawfish boil.  She was a fun, happy character.  She and our husbands were talking about the toilet seat issue.  She asked me to take her side in the discussion and I declined.  I simply don’t think that I have more authority than my husband.  I should look before I sit.  She liked that I took his side.  He is my best friend.  Of course, I take his side.  Even if he is wrong, I will take his side.

It has taken many years of married life for us to get here.  I knew early on this is the way I wanted it.  I knew I wanted him to be the man in charge.  I promoted the idea and prodded him sometimes to make him understand I wanted him to take control and let me play the supporting role.

My reward for what I try to do and the way I try to act is knowing he does not lead a life of quiet desperation.  He does not dread “dealing with” me.  He knows he can make whatever decisions and choices he wants without discussing anything with me.  I not only do not interfere in his business, I usually don’t even have an opinion to share when he asks for it.  I trust and believe in him in so deeply, I will go with him into the gates of hell never asking why.

He is in no way perfect.  I get my feelings hurt from time to time.  He is one of the only people on this planet who has the privilege of hurting my feelings.  Sorry, but no one else really does.  (Except my children.  But, don’t tell them.  I wouldn’t want them to know if they did hurt mine.  It would hurt theirs.)  Some people make me madder than a wet hen, but they don’t hurt my feelings.

He keeps me from going too far.  I am a little wild and a little crazy.  I have a tendency to get down and depressed.  He reins me in and keeps me safe.  He is my hero and my favorite celebrity. I am his biggest fan.