Time to Rest

I have finally become a dot net thanks to our daughter and son-in-law.  A gift from them was to pay my annual fee and our daughter set it up for me.

This spring has been extremely busy.  He and I took a trip to San Dimas to see our son, his bride and our little California Dream.  Then our daughter and and son-in-law welcomed our Yellow Rose of Texas into the world.  Dream came to Texas to meet her little cousin.  I had a grand couple of weeks!

I haven’t quite caught my breath from all the goings on over the past couple of months.  Every weekend has been packed with activity.  Evenings have been busy, too.

I have reached my step off point.  I am not feeling well at all.  Time to do some tending to me.  Tonight will be a super hot bath and a long stretching session.  Some pain reliever and an early lights out are in order as well.

Tomorrow is iffy for the 9 to 5.  If the morning starts like this one, I’m out.

But, my Physician is with me.  He will provide the healing required in His time.

Not much else to say right now.  Just figured it was past time to set words on the screen.  Especially with my new identification as rainingorchids.net.

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Another Blue Winter

My usual winter blues have arrived in full force.  February has always been a very difficult month for me.  Obviously cold is not the problem.  We have had record warm temperatures for a while.  Is it the low sunlight?  Probably.

Compounding the problem is what my health care provider and I believe is fibromyalgia.  I started a prescription medication today.  The pain and fatigue is constant in different levels of intensity.  The kind of ache that occurs with fever or the flu.  All the time.  I have sought help for this several times over the years.  Most providers just dismiss my complaints as stress and depression.  I told this one I don’t care what she calls it.  Just give me something to help me feel better.  It will take a few weeks to get results.  Interestingly, this time my trip to the provider was not from a feeling of desperation.  I have a feeling of positive expectation to have my symptoms relieved.

Despite this problem, I think I finally have what I need to complete a long standing project.  Family photos.  I am certainly not a scrap booker. I have boxes of photos I want to put into regular photo albums.  Over the years I have sorted through the stacks. I have passed along and throw away stacks and stacks.

I want to state how I came upon the albums.  I was on the way to the doctor’s office.  I was thinking of the things I wanted to look for in the city shops.  Suddenly, I was impressed to pray over “my plans”.  I had photo albums on my list among other things.   About the only thing I purchased were the albums and additional pages to fill them.  The rest of this story is that they were on sale half price.  I got them at Hobby Lobby.  I picked up a sheet of pretty poster board paper for something else for a couple of dollars.  That was it.  Nothing else purchased despite stopping at several places looking for some things on my list.

A definite yes.  That is how I am trying to operate these days.  When shopping, when cleaning and sorting, when doing anything, I am seeking a definite yes.  If I have a maybe, it is a no.  For example, today I went to a department store to check for a pair of shoes.  No shoes found.  But, purses were seriously on sale.  Oh, my! Temptation.  Serious temptation.  I found a purse I liked.  I didn’t love it. But I could think of several positives with it.  I went so far as to have the sales clerk check the actual sale price and got in line with it.  Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have a definite yes decision.  I had reservations about the color and a couple of the details.  I had reservations about buying a purse I could do without.  It does not fit in my 2017 theme to reduce.

He has been intensely concerned and supportive, as usual.  One of my best blessings is him.  I don’t deserve him.  I am very grateful to Him for him.

This is where I am this week. Positive expectation.  Seeking a definite yes.  Reducing distractions.

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Trending

I have been noticing and reading about hygge.  It is trending in my web orbit on various sites.  As I read about it, I am not finding anything new to me.  The Danes are crediting with creating a way to survive the long, cold winters by doing certain things.

Here in Southeast Texas, long cold winters don’t happen.  However, we do have days strung together of damp, grey rain.  This morning is one.  Yesterday was one.

As long as I can remember, I have set myself to enjoy such days.  I have the curtain drawn back and the window open to hear the rain.  The lights are low.  A candle flickers.  My pillows are propping me up as I snuggle under my coverlets.  A cup of tea is steaming on the nightstand.  I have my journal at hand to scribble my thoughts.

I have spent time this morning thinking and planning.  Pondering where I want to go with the projects I am working through this month.  As an update, over the past week, I have hauled off some odds and ends to the charity shop.  I have added things to the costume box for our daughter’s theater.  I have dumped some projects.  I will be continuing to haul off the junk associated with those projects.

Additionally, I have determined to dump the mindset that tells me I must have everything on our place clean and orderly before I can actually feel happy, content or satisfied.  Several years ago, in an effort to fight off this very mindset, I wrote an exhaustive list of all the things necessary to achieve such a situation.  I actually included: no fire ants anywhere on the place.  We live on seven acres in Southeast Texas.  I included no fire ants.  Of course, it was one of those extreme exercises designed to show me how ridiculous are my thought processes.  In the quiet of this morning, I recalled that and laughed all over again.

What does that have to do with now?  I have some items on that very list that are not so ridiculous still holding sway over me.  I am determined to rewrite the tape that plays in my head.  “If this, then that” goes round and round.  If I could get this done, I could have that.  But, I am like the mule at the millstone going round in circles chasing the carrot that dangles on the line out in front of me.

Already I have significantly reduced the incoming flow of stuff.  I have unloaded things.  I am focusing on the things I really want to pursue.  Not pursuing them, yet. I am thinking about those things rather than the carrot dangling out there.

I am allowing myself to truly enjoy the art of doing nothing.  I am giving myself permission to be happy with being imperfect.  I am granting myself leave to embrace my oddities.  I was once described by a friend as one who marches to the beat of her own drummer.  I have tried so hard to seem normal.  To be less strange.  To not distance people with my weirdness.  I am giving myself permission to let it all go and see what stays.  See who stays.

This is a good trend to follow.  “To thine own self be true.”  What year did W.S. write that?  After 400 years, it is still a good trend to follow.

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Centering

I was reading back over my summer journal. I have been really down recently.  I know the primary medicine for this problem is walking.

I have been walking at a local track. It sits beside a busy highway. It is a track.  Round and round.  Not much changes in the view.  Even over the course of weeks, there isn’t much new to notice.  I had become dependent on my iPod for music and checking Facebook or Instagram to battle the boredom and battle the distraction of the cars on the road.

I sometimes astound myself at how stupid I can behave.

Even closer than the track is my park. I always think of it as my park.  I grew up in it along the lake. My grandmother named it.  So much of my childhood and early adulthood was spent there.  I used to always walk there.  I don’t know why I stopped.  I don’t know why I decided the track would be a better choice.

The park has an ever changing view. The park has the lake to see.  That lake reflects light like no other I have ever experienced. There is a chance to see wildlife. There are always memories to meet me.

Today was my third consecutive day to walk it. Already my severe hip pain has lessened.  It is related to my lower back issue.  My inner turmoil seems lessened.  I am feeling centered.

I included a photo on my very first blog post of this circle of trees. I have spent about one minute on each of my three walks standing in the circle and lifting up a prayer to Him.  Standing in the circle, centering.

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Oops!

Yes, I know it is Thursday. I did not really forget to do Raining Orchids yesterday.  I just forgot when it got time to do it.  Sometime this morning or maybe late last night when I was almost asleep, I remembered I had not posted.  Coming back to reality after the past couple of weeks is taking its toll on me!

I was a little concerned I would not have much to get excited about for a little while. I was wrong.

I got my iPod going last month. He bought me a new one for my birthday.  I waited until this week to start walking the track again.  Between all the scheduled traveling and the deadly heat, it seemed prudent to wait.  Even today, the heat is causing me to delay a while.  I need the track time.  I sleep better when I have made a few laps.  Better sleep makes for better days altogether.

We have a special event coming up at church. I am looking forward to the event and also the preparations I will have a part in leading up to it.  There is a vacancy at the church he and I are trying to help cover.  I have not worked with youth in years.  A couple of girls come fairly regularly and are delightful to engage in conversation.  He is trying to cover Sunday School and I am trying to do something Wednesday evening until a regular youth minister can be hired.

A new issue of Bella Grace should be on the rack at the bookstore.  I need to pick up some supplies for the activities at church in the big town an hour south of us tomorrow.  I have a few items still needing to be packed up and shipped west.  The gathering of the girls that was delayed last month due to illness has been rescheduled.

We have weathered heartbreaking losses over the years. We are managing something that is devastating to think about.  My mother’s sister has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for a few years now.  I take her sister to visit her and we have a small party with “the girls” so as not to overwhelm her.  We dress up and act silly for a few hours every month when possible.  When I say dress up: we are dressing up as clowns for our ritual group photo this time.  I hope the littlest one isn’t afraid of clowns.

My life is ridiculously simple to most folks. My life is incredibly rich to me. Small delights and great blessings abound.  Orchids are pouring down upon me. It doesn’t seem right to not be happy.  Not with all I have undeservedly been given.

I always thought somehow we would all finally get well and gather together and live happily ever after. It took me so long to figure out that life is not a destination. I don’t know when I started grasping that idea.  I don’t know if I fully grasp that idea.  Part of me is still waiting for everyone to come home.

Life is what it is. Someone very dear to me recently told me something his father has been telling me for so many years. We were sitting out on the deck looking out over the mountains behind his house.  Talking about this and that.  He said:

“Just be happy.”

Okay, son. I will.  I am.

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Blue Winter

Silly of me to feel this way.  I have had a blue winter day.  The sunshine of the island and the false spring days we have had lately didn’t stick with me today.  The gray sky and cold rain got me.   At least for part of the day.  I let myself get blue for a while.

I seem to have turned the mood around.  I switched to the 70’s music station on the television and actually did a little dancing.  Ironically, in front of the same mirror I danced before when it was the early 80s. I didn’t like dancing alone so I always danced in front of my mirror.  Tried it today to see if it would work on my blue mood.  Yes. It did.  Thank goodness.

Every time I have a down time, I fear the return of the black depression that has plagued me on and off through the years.

Lately, I have had some down days.  But, my thoughts haven’t really been down.  I feel more like I am bored.  I am busy, but not at anything very engaging or interesting.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit this.  I believe intelligence should overcome boredom.

Perhaps, I am reacting to job stress.  Maybe I have my thought processes zoned out to keep from stressing about the upcoming audit and the needs of my current position.  Not enough hours in the work week to do all that needs doing.  No overtime allowed at all.  Period.  This will be my third such audit that comes along every three years.  I always lose sleep over it.  We have always had great outcomes.  Nevertheless, I fret.  May is forever away and just around the corner.

Perhaps, I am unwilling to do things at home to make myself feel better.  I have been reading for pleasure.  I have a simple crocheted scarf almost completed.  I have a few crafting projects awaiting.  Even better than all this I have a wedding to help put together for our daughter.  Only parents and siblings and his daughter on the guest list, but still I want the event to be special and memorable for her.

Still, I have a gap in my attention.  I pass time piddling on Facebook or Pinterest, puttering around the house trying to keep up with the housekeeping, occasionally doing something in the yard.  Mindless things.  I need something to hold my attention and get my mind focused on the task at hand.

A hobby?  Yes.  I suppose a hobby other than reading and writing.  I hesitate to delve into something.  I can’t recall how many projects for which I have bought supplies and tools yet not completed or even started.   The tools and supplies are usually passed on to other crafters.  As I stated, I have a few projects I could do but not enough enthusiasm for them to drag stuff out and begin.

Frustrated.  That is it for me right now.  I was busier with projects when the children were young and Mother and Daddy needed my help than now when I have hours I could spend creatively.

What is the problem?  What do I really want to do with my time and creative energy?  Am I overreaching the issue?  Probably.  Break down the problem.  What do I really want to do this week with my time and energy?  Do I want to work out patterns to cut felt pieces for ornaments?  Do I want to get a darker washable ink to draw on the fabric I have been trying to embroider with my own design?  Do I want to try again to smear paint on a piece of canvas?  Would I rather write a draft of a new poem?  Should I work on the painted finish of the stool in the bathroom?

I have a friend or two I need to make time to call.  I have a cousin I need to call and hopefully be able to assist.  I have a birthday party to attend.

And always, I have him…..he needs attention.  I love giving him attention.  Sometimes, he lets me.  Sometimes, he is busy with his own projects.  When my blue winter days come, he gives me attention.  He turns the blue to silver and the gleam of delight returns to my heart.  I am ever mindful of him and what he might need from me.  After all, he is my favorite hobby.  And definitely never boring!

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The Right Medicine

My grandmother called them “nerve pills”.  She would go to the doctor and get a prescription for anti-anxiety pills.  I wonder what demons chased her.  I wonder why she could be so violently angry and yet so generously loving.

When I was growing up, she would come spend the night and sleep with me in my bed.  She would rub my back for the longest time.  I guess until I fell asleep sometimes.  That was good medicine for me.  I need to be touched to feel loved.  I need hugs and kisses and cuddles and back rubs to feel all is right with the world.

These days those kinds of things are scarce in my life.  There is only him and infrequently my angel baby to provide such affection.  That need in me is why in never put a certain baby down when she is with me.

I must often turn to another kind of good medicine.  A muddy waterhole on the Neches River.  It is actually a legitimate lake.  Neglected and dismissed in the shadow of grander drama queens in the area.  She is home to me as much as this house in which I live.

When the tears flow, I run to her like a mother.  I walk through my abandoned parkway and the tears fall.  I call out to the ones who have gone before.  I call out to Him.  Always, I am met with one or the other of them.  This evening my grandmother, not the one above, but the other one, passed through my mind.  I talked to her and felt her presence.  I could see her clearly and recall images of us together.

I was overcome with despair and grief at the losses I have faced.  But, then suddenly, unexpectedly, something changed.  Rather than ending in resignation and toiling home to endure a season of sadness, I stopped in my tracks and turned to the water.  I spoke out loud.

“I do not want to feel this way.  I do not want to be sad and grieving.  I do not want to feel useless and without purpose.  I will not do this.  I will not despair.”  And I looked out over my muddy waterhole and saw the beautiful lady that she is to me.  I was filled with courage, peace and strength.

Further evidence of my ever improving emotional health.  See my beautiful lady.  She shines gracefully and serenely.  Welcoming my tears and returning them to me as calmness.  She is my nerve pill.  Just to have her in sight is enough to allow me to reach deeply into my soul and straighten out the tangles of darkness.  I never know which of my ancestors will meet me.  My Lord always meets me.  And my lady, the lake herself, patiently awaits.  I live here on a hill above her.  I cannot see her from here, but she in only minutes away on running feet.  Comfort to me for as much of my half century I can recall.  Here she is in her cold winter evening shimmer, veiled with black lace.  Isn’t she lovely?

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