Away Too Long

I didn’t realize it has been almost a month since my last post until this evening.

The orchids have continued.  I’m not sure what kept me from the page.  I noticed my private journal has been somewhat quiet most days.  Just a spell, I guess.

My next to oldest friend came to see us.  It was so comforting to simply visit with him.  I look forward to him coming again and bringing his bride.  She is my oldest friend.  Fifty years this summer since we started playing together as babes.

Our best friend’s step dad passed away.  We went to see him and his mother one evening.  It was good to see them even with the circumstances.  His mother was in her characteristic animated mode.  Showing off the cows and wild deer and wild ducks.  Feeding everything that moves.

I attended my littlest niece’s birthday party.  She is three already!  I got to see several beloved family members and friends that are family. Pizza, cake, piñata and lots of toys to open.  Great fun!  Our baby girl, the one about to be thirty and a first time mother was there with our acquired granddaughter. She has a ten year old step daughter and is expecting our new girl in May.

Two dear friends and I went to the annual ladies’ retreat sponsored by our association of churches.  We had a special time.  It was a time of bonding for the three of us that is not possible in the settings where we usually encounter each other.  The retreat itself was okay, but we came away with inspiration and direction that came more from left field, so to speak.

He has been terribly busy with many obligations.  All I can do is continue to lift him up to Him for care and protection.  I try to stay alert to his needs that I am able to meet.  The Father is blessing his work in all areas.

I have some friends recovering from or going for surgeries and other medical procedures.  I am trying to be careful to lift them often to the Physician in my prayers.  He heard me the first time.  But, it builds my compassion and matures my heart to maintain contact with Him on their behalf.

I have worked on my Facebook news feed and my Tumbler dashboard and my Pinterest account to increase seeing scriptures and praises and prayers on them.  I have adjusted other things to reduce adverse exposures.

My friend asked me if I listen to contemporary Christian music.  I told her no.  Our area has limited reception to most contemporary Christian stations.  But, I have set my dial to some so I can try to tune in when possible.

I want to draw closer to Him.  I want to be more for Him.  That is one prayer I know He will answer.  Anyone who seeks Him with a sincere heart will be rewarded with Him making His presence known.

We anticipate a visit with our California Dream in the near future.  I can’t think about it too much.  I get giddy with excitement.  More than a kid on Christmas Eve.

So, yes, the orchids have been pouring down.  A sweet fragrance of blessings all round.  This is short and sweet, this evening.  I give myself credit for showing up on the page.  It is enough for now.

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Deadline

Rather than resolutions, I have set a deadline. I have several “projects” similar to the snow village lined up to do.  I have a large ornate framed canvas with an oil painting I don’t like.  I only bought the piece for the frame.  I picked up a landscape picture about 20 by 40 inches.  There are some other things I can’t specifically recall at the moment.  Things lurking in the closets and on shelves.  I have particular plans for some of the items.  Some of the items are still awaiting inspiration.  The deadline has to do with actually completing things.

I am going to spend some moments gathering things. I will either complete the project at hand or get rid of the stuff February 1.  January 31 is the last day to complete things.  Let’s see if I can stick to this plan.

Additionally, I have set the same deadline to unload some excess dishes and kitchen items. With all my talk of decluttering, my kitchen is seldom mentioned.  Rather, I continue to add to my packed cabinets.  Dishes are like chairs for me.  Both represent hospitality and parties and a house full of people visiting.  They are occasionally irresistible. Particularly when they match or resemble things from the ancestors’ kitchens.

Another area that remains untouched is my jewelry collection. I don’t have any real stuff beyond a few rings and a pair or two of earrings.  I have piles of costume jewelry, though.  Some of it has to go.  And not to my daughter’s house.  She says it will go to the prop room at the school theater.  I’m not sure it will make it there.  She likes to collect as much as I do.

I intend to keep this scheduled deadline for several reasons. I want to resolve past projects. Either finish or eliminate them. I want to spend time working on the yard in February and March.  I am supposed to have a particular visitor coming in February as well.  By May, I will be fully engaged with another new Dream. This one a Texas Dream.

Incentive and motivation are so important in my venture. The incentive is increased physical space, less cleaning, easier cleaning, more energy, more free time, less wasting of mental energy on indecision.  Motivation is preparing for the new generation before they get going on their feet.

I have a slight hope that eliminating distractions will force me to write. Not this babbling. Not my journal scribbling.  I need to focus and write the stories.  Write the tales that haunt my dreams and drift in memories.  Write the tales that will be unfolding in the coming years.  Write the tales I want my grands to read.  Tales that will show them who we are. Show them the toughness and the love that brought us to this point in this race of beings.

Yes. I would say I have incentive and motivation to meet my self-imposed deadline. Now, if I can just pay attention long enough to get it done!

Happy New Year. May all our plans be guided by a Greater Hand and be filled with His Love.

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The Beginning of Christmas 2016

Last evening was a super productive evening.

I wanted to cover up an eyesore in the living room.  There is an old air conditioner installed in the wall in the corner where I like to put my tree.   I hemmed some homespun and now it is a faux window.  The star needed a little trimming, too.  But, the tree is up.  The table is decorated.  My new old coffee table has been refinished.

I have guests coming.  No. Actually, I have family coming this weekend.  They are my dears.  I have my menu done and the beginning of a shopping list completed.

Tomorrow will bring an afternoon off my 9-5 to take care of some Christmas business.  I need to pack a box to ship to California.  I plan to gather the items for packing on the morrow.

Here are some photos of my Christmas décor so far.  Simple country is all I am.  Nothing spectacular or especially wonderful except to me.  I think my little weekend visitors will like things.  I know he and He like them.

Still Too Much

Last week I did a photo group of what I was taking with me for five nights in San Dimas, California, via plane trip.

I still had two shirts I didn’t wear. I opened my Nook for about 3 minutes on the flight out there.  I didn’t wear or need the jacket I took.  I would take it again anyway.  I left my damp swimsuit with my son’s bride to run through the wash and stow.  We had a late evening swim the last night I was there in the newly filled pool.  I plan to need it there, again.

Hollywood is an experience! The crowds on the street were a little overwhelming. Like midway at the fair here in the country.  I did love the opportunity to see some things in person.

The pier at Santa Monica is crazy. Well, the folks on it seem to be. On the pier and along the boardwalk we saw some interesting characters.  I know what slacklining is now.

I got to put my feet in the Pacific again. I always try to take a photo of my feet in the sand at the edge of the water.  Just one of my personal traditions or rituals.

The best part of my trip was simply the visit with two of my favorite people in the world. Just being in the house and watching them living was worth more than anything.  Did I mention how talented his bride is at decorating their home?  So lovely and tastefully done.

Well, actually the best part of my trip was this:

I had the privilege of feeling our little one kicking and squirming. I got to hook up to Facetime and share a photo session with him.  It was a shoot of her perfect little face and a wonderful little hand and two little feet with legs crossed at the ankles.  The wonders of technology exposing the miracles of Him!  It is all so surreal.

It’s good to be back home. With him.  But, come on November!  I am ready to fly again.  Next time we go together.  For a very special someone’s Grand Entrance!

There was a lot of too much this past week. I took too much stuff in my bags.  I was stunned by too much traffic in the Greater Los Angeles area. The concept of that little girl growing is still too much for me to grasp.  I can’t completely write or even think about her.  I become overwhelmed with too much emotion, still.

I will set aside a day, soon, to let my mind and heart go. I will let it all be too much and when my tears have been shed, I will know it is all much too wonderful, still.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

I spent the day at home. Took a day of vacation from the 9 to 5.  I sat on the deck in the heat most of the time.  I would come in and cool off and get something to drink occasionally.  Crazy. Yes. I know.  Southeast Texas in July is hot and humid. Sweltering is a good word to describe the heat.  I needed to be outside.

I have been battling the abyss some this summer. Sitting outside detoxes my mind and spirit. I spent some time reviewing my resource notes.  I like to use my birthday to reflect and assess my situation.

I am pleased at what I found when sitting and listening to my own thoughts. I am not as down as I thought I was.  I have had a few days of aggravation at the 9 to 5 and in dealing with some things at church.  The frustration was at my own performance and attitude rather than other people.  I complain about others when it is really myself with whom I am angry.  I think I have let go of the irritation and I am already feeling better about things.

There was a special set of events today that had a profound effect on my well-being. I got to enjoy the gazebo he put together for me.  Our son called and we had a great visit.  Our daughter called and we had a great visit.  Our daughter-in-law called and we had a great visit.

Another great thing for my birthday-I had an iPod that had become like an IV for my soul. I had my music with me any time I was not at the 9 to 5.  Then, I broke it.  I have had a difficult time since.  I stopped walking at the track. I feel down more than usual.  I was simply crushed without being able to listen to Dean Martin or Martin Denny whenever I wanted.  But, he presented a small package to me last evening.  A new iPod!! I am so grateful!

Now I have to figure out how to make it work again. Our daughter advised me on what to do. I want to wait until I have a clear head to fool with it.  But, I have hope for music again.  I did not realize how critical music is for me until I had it at will then lost it.

I found another gift today. As I was sitting outside, I noticed a tell-tale purple petal on the ground near the porch.  The banana tree has baby bananas!  Year before last, we ate a couple from our tree that produced late in the season.  They were very small. They had a pleasant and less sweet taste than the store-bought variety.  These have developed in time to perhaps have a full hand of them to eat later this summer.

Our daughter had sent books and movies from my Pinterest wish board earlier this month. A card and perfect gift from him.  Calls from my beloved children. Time at home feeling Texas summer to my bones.  No cake or candles. No happy birthday song. None needed.  Happy Birthday number 51 to me!  Thank you to the family for making it wonderful. Thank you to Him for making it wonderful. Thank you to him for being wonderful.

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Orchid Petals

I have noticed a change.  I am sure it has been occurring more and more in recent years.  But, I realized it this  morning.

As is common with children as they become teenagers and young adults learning to use their wings, mine would sometimes respond to unsolicited advice with a less than positive attitude.  “Mom, I’ve got this.”

I had the privilege of spending time with our daughter at her first full dress rehearsal as a theater teacher.  She had the parents of the middle schoolers attend.  I spent time doing make up, encouraging quiet backstage, helping actors get to various places.  Afterward, as we were driving home, she and I chatted on the phone.  I suggested some things and she happily agreed.

Then, again this morning, I suggested another idea and she readily agreed.  I have a similar response from our son these days.  When I suggest some option to his situation, he doesn’t put me off.  He actually welcomes my input.  Whether they take my advice or not is irrelevant.  I just appreciate the chance to be part of their lives in a new dimension.

I remember when they were the ages of my great nieces.  At five, it’s just about playing and having fun.  At 20 months, it is just about playing and being cuddled.  I love being able to watch the older one change from toddler to girl and the younger from baby to toddler.  But, each changing stage is poignant.  Reminding me of time racing and lives changing.  Please slow down just for a minute or two each day old world.  My love is still pouring out for that little one of yesterday.

My mind goes back to a teenage boy I once knew.  He was new to town and his amber eyes melted my heart.  He was strong and stubborn.  Stronger and more stubborn than me.  Yet, his love for me was tender and passionate.  There is a man’s man in his place now.  Still strong and stubborn.  Gentler and more patient than the middle days. Nevertheless, he is not a bear I want to cross.  I am still amazed at how much he loves me.

Our life together is the best part of me.  I told someone recently, my life mainly consists of my 9 to 5, a little housework, going to church and tagging along after him.  Tagging along is the best part of my life.  I love to tag along with him and with our children. You should see the path of orchid petals they leave behind for me to enjoy!

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Busy Orchiding

I finally got to “unwrap” my birthday present this past Friday! He bought tickets a while back. He took me to see Travis Tritt perform! It was a wonderful event. The songs brought back so many memories of our past.

We have had so many wonderful years of living and loving together. We have had our problems, of course. But, we have continued to love each other through it all. We laughed as we remembered the songs. And we joked about some of the lyrics.

He has been helping me get a project done and I appreciate it so much. It’s one thing for someone to tell you they support your plan. But, actually helping move it forward makes all the difference.

Saturday was spent apart. He went to work on things for hunting season. I took one aunt to see the other. We had a smaller group this time, but still had a ball like always! Shrimp gumbo, brownies and homemade ice cream on the menu. Old fashioned dresses and bonnets for the group photos.

Our daughter had her iPad full of photos from the wedding and honeymoon. The aunts spent a long while looking through all of them while the cousins peeked over their shoulders.

Sunday was my first week to teach in my new full time position for the senior adult ladies class. Teenagers have nothing on them for being rambunctious! I love to teach and am looking forward to the continued experience.

After service Sunday evening, we caught up with a couple from church and had supper. We are in the process of getting acquainted with folks at our new church. She is precious and has been warm and welcoming to me from the first day. But, then, so has everyone else. We have been blessed to find a church family so full of love for the Lord and for others.

Looking forward through the fall weekends, I have lots of plans.  Festivals, birthdays, Hallowe’en, hunting season.  It will be the holidays before we know it!

The weekend brought many orchids. Monday, not so much. Maybe Tuesday will be back on track. Meanwhile, I will savor the fragrance of my weekend blossoms looking forward to many more.

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