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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Trouble with the Orchids

I am having trouble smelling the orchids today. Of course, it is Monday. This morning was not a bad as some have been lately. I don’t know what was different in my preparation for it. Sunday was good. Not exceptional. I slept okay, not great. But, somehow, the morning was better than I expected.

The day went fairly smoothly. I didn’t hit any big snags doing reports. I walked at Magnolia Ridge this evening. I saw five deer. They saw me and just watched me stroll by and then back by on the return. Supper was good.

The family is doing pretty well. Aunt and cousin still firmly in our daily prayers as they struggle with ongoing health issues. But, the rest of us are okay.

I had planned on writing about my son. He turned thirty this past Saturday. He is four thousand miles away working and playing. I miss him, but am so proud and thrilled he and his wife have this opportunity to live in paradise for a little while. I decided I was not brave enough to write about him. I might come undone if I delve too deeply remembering my sweet son. Oops…stop…even now my eyes sting.

Changing the subject quickly, I am once again sitting at my new desk typing. I also have continued to write the prescribed “morning pages” from Cameron’s work. I have too many things awaiting my attention. Too many courses of study pending. Not enough hours in the day. I have been saying that a lot lately. I don’t usually have this complaint. My biggest problem is prioritizing what to work on at any given moment.

Decision making is one of my weakest points. I even try to make certain rules to go by so I don’t have to struggle with such trivial things as deciding what to eat from a menu or what products to purchase for housekeeping.

Other things I simply put off deciding until the decision is made for me. Either the opportunity is lost or someone else decides and I go along. It is a trust issue. Not trusting my own choices. I feel I have made so many poor decisions in my life that I still feel the repercussions from I don’t want to take risks. Fear.  How I despise it.  Yet, it still stalks me.

But, the fear has to do with him, too. I don’t want to make poor decisions that adversely affect him. I try to avoid causing him chaos. I am not sure he would agree with that statement. I know he goes out of his way to tend to my difficulties. I so appreciate him for it. And yes, his patience has grown by leaps and bounds over these many years.

I suppose I do smell a faint whiff of fragrance after all. The orchids are sometimes lost in the tangle of my mind and I don’t see them or smell them. I have to stop and untangle my thoughts. Stop and talk to Him. Walk out in the fresh air. Fuss at myself some. Then, finally, sit down to the page. Whether here or in my journal to write it out.

I write almost every day. Sometimes, I seem to write all day. When I go too many days without writing, I can’t see the orchids. The dark tangle of my emotions overcomes me and I struggle to get through the hours. The words flowing onto the page are like the flood of tears from a grieving heart. They give relief and ease the spirit. Even when the thoughts and words, the days and occasions are happy, they can become tangled for me if I don’t write out the feelings.

I know when I am at my worst. My journal becomes a long to-do list. Listing, of course, being my great crutch to try to resolve chaos. I am almost without a list at this time. I know of a couple of short ones and then the long lists of books I want to read and songs I want on my iPod. Those don’t count. Like some of my pin boards don’t count when I feel the need to redirect my interests. Books and music are paramount for me. I don’t know if being without the lists is a good thing at the moment or if I am just in transition. Time will tell. Besides, Cameron’s book has homework assignments requiring lists! (Hmmm! Maybe that is part of the appeal!)

I need to do some untangling of my thoughts before bedtime. This is what my mind feels like sometimes:

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Lists

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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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.

More Connections

Friends, friends, and more friends!

Friday with a couple at their special place simply referred to as “the hill”.  We hadn’t seen them in nine months.  Just that couple of hours were wonderful.  Touching each other’s lives again.  Feeling like we had never been apart.

Saturday a road trip took him and me to spend the next 24 hours or so with our bestie.  Our best friend and I have been friends since I was 14.  When I met my husband, they also became best buddies.  Our friend has a lovely wife and three of the most wonderful sons I have ever met.  Crawfish, huge delicious crawfish were on the menu for supper.  Lots of laughs with the larger group of their friends.

Sunday, home and a nap!  My porch felt wonderful!  I laid up and read a book all evening.

Monday morning brought severe weather to our area.  Many of our neighbors and friends are still without power.  Thankfully, ours came back on earlier this afternoon.  He spent a good part of his day going round the neighborhood helping neighbors with trees and clearing the side roads.

We did get to see another couple of our friends.  She is a precious lady in my life.  I can go to her with my heartaches and my happiness and her compassion never ceases to amaze me.

Our son sent video posts of the amazing waterfalls on the road to Hana.  One of the videos has his voice in the background.  It is just a passing word or two.  But, I listened to it over a couple of times.  Just to hear him.  Yes, we can call on the phone.  But, the time difference and the reception on his end along with my job place restrictions regarding cell phones reduce the window of opportunity for that.

The best part of the past few days was this evening.  My daughter turned 28 today.  I cannot begin to describe her endless wonderful qualities.  I would certainly be accused of exaggeration by those who do not know her and scolded by those who do for leaving out their favorite thing about her.  Generous to a fault, incredibly smart, energetic, creative, compassionate, sassy, stubborn, beautiful……her father and I were blessed with a brief supper date this evening.  We had planned on a slightly grander event, but the weather put us off from that trip.  Still, no matter where we are or what we do, time with her is all that matters.

Orchids pouring like the waterfalls of Hana, like the powerful storms of a Texas spring, like the love of friends and family.  Filling my life and my heart with a lovely fragrance and beautiful blooms.

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Raining Orchids

What does “Raining Orchids” mean?

I love orchids.  I haven’t been successful growing orchids, yet.  But, I love them none the less. 

In my mind, the orchid is the true queen of flowers.  Delicate, long lasting, fragrant, exotic.  Less common than roses.  Very desirable and lovely. 

The idea of orchids relating to life was inspired by Marjorie Hillis’ 1937 book:  Orchids On Your Budget.  She explains the balance of budgeting for the happier things in life such as hosting parties and enjoying entertainments among other things.  She also touches on the idea of making do and being truly happy about it. 

If you are familiar with the phrase “raining cats and dogs”, translate that image to “raining orchids”.  Orchids rain onto my life.  Not in the sense of endless loveliness and happiness, but of blessings sometimes outright and sometimes disguised by difficulty. 

This past weekend, I got to visit with my loved ones.  I was able to cook copious amounts of food to serve them.  I had some time with friends.  We remembered the Easter promises.  Yet, I thought about my mother, gone 16 years, yesterday.  How much I miss her in so many ways. My heart aches for her and so many others gone. 

But, my heart rejoices in the company of my great nieces!  Age three and age 2 months, they bring a kind of joy only little ones can.  And yes, I still get a thrill to see my adult children.  Three of the most wonderful people on the planet.  Period.  And then there is him.  He guards me, supports me, brings orchids into my life every day.

So many orchids in my life!  People and circumstances that create endless love, happiness, and blessings, both outright and disguised. 

Despite the books on growing them, I have lost the live orchids I had.  These silk orchids on one of my treasure tables will have to do until I figure out how to grow the real things.  Meanwhile, I will revel in the symbolic orchids raining throughout my life.  Him, family, friends, a table of plenty, a Risen Savior. 

 

 

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P.S.  65 is the year I was born.  I am too glad to be alive to worry about anyone knowing my true age!