Two Days

I have Friday off from work. And nothing scheduled Saturday. Two days.  I am working out things to have both days to devote to home keeping.  Not housework.  That should be completed by Thursday’s bedtime.  The activity to which I am referring is more like making things pretty.

I have several projects lined up to create ornamental objects for the house. One is actually for Christmas decorating. I won’t reveal that at this time.  I will have to see how it turns out before I publish it.  A long while back I purchased some very large framed oil paintings super cheap from the thrift store.  The subject matter is not why I bought them.  I wanted the frames and the large sized canvases.  I intend to gesso over them and put my own creations in place.  I have no thought to do a painting.  But, I do have an idea with which I want to experiment.

The weather is predicted to be pleasant enough to work outside. I hope to do a lot of catching up on the yard work.  Every area is behind on care.  I have good layer of pine straw in the front yard.  I want to clean the azalea bed and mulch with the fresh straw.  The purple jew is overflowing its area and I want to move it to a better spot.  Weeds, weeds, weeds. I don’t even want to think about that topic right now.  Yard work is excellent therapy for the mind and soul.

Part of my working out being able to stay home the two days was seeing someone this evening. Someone I love is in the hospital.  I needed to see her tonight so I could have my two days without fretting about her.  She seems a little improved.  I told her I was coming.  She said I didn’t need to go all that way.  I told her I was coming anyway and could I bring her anything.  A coke from Sonic.

I hope my coming helped her. It helped me.  I recently saw a meme that reads: Find your tribe. Love them hard.  I am defining my tribe. Redefining, I suppose.  I want her to be part of it.  So I needed to do something to connect.  She always reminds us that we are strong women from a long line of strong women.  She has to be the strongest of us, though.  Frail, delicate, brave, and tougher than old shoe leather.

I appreciate him for supporting my going. I appreciate how much he supports me in so many ways for so many things.  I appreciate his never giving up on his crazy wife.  My half-baked ideas and goofy schemes make him shake his head.

The walking is going well.   I have been getting some photographs along the way.  There is so much to see and things change constantly.  Leaves turning, flowers, the sky, the light on the water.  Then, there are the trees themselves.  So beautiful and so often overlooked.  Seen as window dressing rather than a focal point.  A frame around the view.  But, I love the trees.  See…….black lace.

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Beginning, again.

Folks who know me personally will expect this to be about the news we recently received. I am not yet ready to put words to that.

New hope. That is what I want to talk about.  Sometimes we go along and things seem to be flat. Like a Coke sitting open on the counter overnight.  Still sweet, but no fizz.  Life needs some fizz to keep one from becoming flat in the soul.

I have a new hope. Someone who makes all the difference.  More than anything, I have been concentrating on the feeling of hope.  Not the kind of hope when one says “I hope so”.  But, the kind of hope that says the rescue ship is sitting at the shore.

Things have been challenging for us this year. I counted up a dozen crises he had to deal with in a couple of months or less.  His health, the children’s vehicles. A tree falling the wrong way.  He always says “the Good Lord takes care of it”.  And not casually, but with absolute unwavering conviction, he knows He is taking care of all the “its” in our lives.

Some things turned out to be blessings in ways we never imagined. Some things just turned out.  I have often felt my prayers hit the clouds and crashed back down.  He (the Father) showed me a specific and powerful proof that He is listening and working things for my good and His glory to use a cliché.  Truth, though.

Recently, I have been shown some things. I have asked for some things in prayer.  Not so much for something to happen or to be granted.  My salvation is secure and I am “forgiven” in the grand scheme.  I needed to ask His forgiveness for some other things and truly acknowledge in my own heart that He granted those petitions.  I asked Him to change my “heart-itude” about some issues.  I asked Him to let me pray for certain things with a pure and sincere heart.

Some special things have occurred that directly impact my outlook and my direction. He also reminded me of a truth I have let get too far from my thoughts.  If His plans agree with mine, I will retire in just over three years.  I am fairly young for that to happen.  But, in my heart of hearts I am a homemaker.  I enjoy taking care of the physical structure we call home.  Additionally, I am a writer.  Perhaps, someday I will even be an author.  Meanwhile, I have new hope growing in California.

My photo was taken late winter. The tree is still bare and the sun is setting.  But there is the hope of spring and the dawn of a new day very near.  So it is with me at this time.  Very near are He and he.  Very near is new hope.

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Time On My Hands

This past weekend, I had time on my hands. I spent most of Saturday sitting in a deer stand and part of Sunday afternoon, too.

It was raining Saturday. The woods in the rain are lovely to experience.  The rush and patter of the rain.  The whoosh of the wind.  The dance of the trees and swirling of light over raindrops.  The noisy quiet of nature.

I spent time trying to focus the vision. I know one thing for certain.  I am a home keeper at heart.  Everything seems to come back to home.  I love to travel.  But home is my vocation.  I expend a great deal of energy and thought on my home.  Trying to figure out how to make it better.  How to make it stay cleaner.  How to make it more comfortable and user friendly.  How to make it kid-friendly, both crawler size kids and grown, married size kids.

If I move this over there and rearrange this closet. If I get rid of this and try to find something like that?  So it goes with me.  Drives him crazy.  I don’t mean to make him nuts with all my moving and changing.  Sometimes I get things situated and think it will work and it doesn’t.  Or something changes.  Or it doesn’t fit the way I thought it would.

I do the same in my deer stand. I have three chairs in each of my stands.  Each chair serves a different purpose.  It took me a bit to work out the best arrangement. I like to be comfortable.  It is a long time sitting.

But the reward of the confined space in the open woods is great.  I have to sit still and let my mind be my occupation.  I take my journal and write page after page of gibberish.  But, amid all the static, I hear that voice telling me this is the way.  I see the light for the next step.  The fog clears from the vision for a moment and I have a chance to make a note on my pages before it is shrouded again.  But, this time I am not in despair.  I have captured a glimpse of the vision on paper.  I have words I can refer to when I get unsure again of the next step.

Take the broom and sweep. Put away the paraphernalia let over from the past days’ adventures.  Clean the fish tank.  Pull a few weeds.  Cook a good pot of tortilla soup.  Get the coffee pot ready for the morning.  Figure out what tomorrow’s chores will be. Decide what closet needs attention.  Another page in my life has been written.  Today was a good one.  A good one preceded by good ones.

I just realized I am doing what my mother and her mother always did.  My mother’s sisters do the same thing, too.  That constant moving and rearranging in our homes.  And so the family connection flows.

I love hunting season. One of the main reasons is the time to unravel my mind.  And let Him show me wonders of his world.  And have time with him adventuring in the mud and rain.

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The Donut Man

Sometimes writing this feels like the man in the old Dunkin Donuts commercial.  “Time to make the donuts…” as he drags out of bed well before the rest of the world of is awake.

I pull up my word document and begin typing.  I don’t know what will come out or where it will go.  That is the interesting part.  What am I thinking today?  What am I feeling?  The posts are definitely of the moment.  If I am having a bad time of it at the moment, the post is sad.  If I am having a good time of it at the moment, the post is happy.

I am feeling simply quiet.  Today was a holiday for me from work.  Texas Independence Day.  I have spent the weekend moving forward.  Friday, I picked up some novels at the used book store, a couple of movies on DVD at buy one get one free.  I replaced the quilts on our bed with new ones.  I read one of the books on Saturday.  We visited a new church on Sunday.  My wash is done up.  I have a menu plan working for the week.  My clothes outfits are planned for the work week.  The house is tidy.  Supper is cooked.  Dishes pending.

I would say I have had an orchid kind of weekend.  Not every weekend is full of outings and people.  I am very pleased with the things I have accomplished.  No.  I did not get it all done.  There are still some things I have not completed.  But, I feel rested and content.  Isn’t that a good thing for the end of a weekend?

I have made some plans to maintain forward motion.  I love to make lists.  I have made yet another list of simple things to remember to do when I am not moving forward.  Things like: assemble the next meal’s ingredients, lay out my clothes for the next day, read a book.  My 9 to 5 has enough challenge and stress.  I need simple things at home.

I hope starting March this way sets a pattern for the month.  I need space to rest and turn off my whirlwind thoughts.  I had a restful time.  The plan is to have a productive week at work and at home.  And naturally there is a plan B, C and D.  Not really.  I just try to remain flexible and adjust as the days flow.

I continue to work on ways to better care for him.  He is my priority.  It may not seem like it sometimes.  I try to look put together for him.  I try to cook better for him.  I try to keep up with my chores for him.  Clean clothes, clean dishes, a tidy home, groceries bought, meals cooked.  Yes. It is old-fashioned.  But, I have the time, talent, knowledge, and the heart’s desire to do it.  I do it for me as well.  But, I do it differently because of him.  I can’t quite explain how it is different than if it was just for me.  But it is.  Simply because I love him with all my heart.  I want him to have a long, happy, healthy life.  I will continue to do whatever I can to contribute to that life.

 

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Washing the cat out with Dash

Now don’t get yourself worked up about animal cruelty. It is only an expression. Granny Sally and Mother used to call a certain kind of house cleaning washing the cat out with dash. There was a washing detergent called Dash. I don’t know if it is still made or not.
To wash the cat out with dash means to really deep clean the house. Not spring cleaning exactly, but still very thorough. It seems I used to be able to do it in half a day. The entire house would be dusted, vacuumed, mopped. The bathrooms scoured, the kitchen shiny, the washing done up.
Today(Saturday), I got some cleaning done. The house looks good. The floors and kitchen are done. The wash is clean. But, I have more to do.
Even when the children were small, it didn’t seem to take so long. Of course, I was home full time and twenty-something years old. Many things got taken care of as I went along. I could get busy and get the shine on pretty quickly.
Also, I had a room separate from the rest of the house that held projects and stored sewing and crafting supplies and equipment. I had a small shed to house a lot of boxes of stuff as well.
In this house, I have eight closets, generous pantry shelves, large bathroom cabinets. I also have an attic that holds quite a bit. I fret over them having things in them that may not need to be there. What if I have too many Christmas decorations? What if I have too many purses in storage? What if I have too many never to be used arts and crafts supplies and tools? As I look around my home, I wonder do I have too many decorative items? Too much furniture? I don’t even want to think about my overflowing bookcase. Books are precious to me. I love books. Nook can’t replace the tactile experience of paper and ink books.
I am trying to break the thought process that leads to the fretting. Whose business is it anyway? As long as he doesn’t mind, and I like the way it is, who else matters? What hovers in the dark memory of my past that makes my mind go off on that path? I think I know what it is. When I was young, not yet a teenager, an elderly man made a comment to me that hurt my feelings in a way that I still stings sometimes. He criticized me for allowing my room to be a mess. My mother was never one to force the room cleaning issue. She might mention it and then just close my door so she didn’t see the mess when she went past.
When I became a homemaker, the nagging feeling of shame haunted me. I think that is why I have never allowed personal things to sit on tables. Books, notebooks, nail file, a bottle of polish, pens, markers, lotion, those types of things, I don’t allow myself to leave sitting in the public areas of my home. The bathroom counter is always free of bottles, combs, hair bands. A soap dispenser or dish with soap is all that I allow. Kitchen counters are as clear as I can make them without too much inconvenience. No canister sets, toaster, bread box, etc. sit on the counters. Even in my bedroom there are no collections of toiletries or stacks of magazines. Our bedroom has a lot of furniture and most of my treasures, relics and trinkets. Even those are boxed up and put away when I feel suffocated by them.
Less is more for me. Less stuff to clean and clean around means more time and energy to play and to laze around daydreaming. Two of my favorite things to do. Although, I do love to get busy and wash the cat out with dash some days. That freshness of a washed up house is wonderfully relaxing. That sense of accomplishment silences a ghost voice I am still trying to banish. I like doing it just for the joy it gives me.
A huge almost empty room. Natural light illuminating everything. Sumptuous bed. Beautiful plant or flower. Great book to read. Cup of steaming black coffee. Sounds like paradise to me. How do I get there?