Sunday, November 20, 2016

holiday time ... and "stuff"

The Christmas season is upon us. I don't mind saying that before Thanksgiving. It doesn't make me enjoy Thanksgiving less. I like to get an early start on easing into the Christmas season because I love the beauty all around this time of the year.

I don't know if it's because of the political season we just endured or if something has been building in me for a long time but "stuff" around my home, in my personal living space, makes me less... happy... it seems to take joy away.... and I want a simpler home... a simpler Christmas. Simple in that I don't want a lot of decorations or glitter or added clutter in my life.  I hate to describe the beautiful things I've accumulated over the years as clutter, but just because things are pretty doesn't mean I have to find a place for every piece of it in my home during the holidays. Lately I have looked around my home and have seen too much. As I take things away, put things away, give things away, donate things ... peace settles more into my spirit and it's so needed and kind of wonderful. I need to translate that wisdom now to my Christmas decorating! 

The thought of dragging out boxes of Christmas decorations and finding a place for them seems like a weight to me.  So I am looking through the boxes and taking a few things out and leaving the rest for another time... another year....

Since I've been purging my house of clutter lately I don't want to give up the simplicity. I'm not a grinch and I love Christmas wholeheartedly  but I want to actually SEE things... clearly and with thoughtfulness. It seems the more stuff I have around the less I see what is actually there! I'm feeling very excited and encouraged and joyful with the thought of just decorating my tree .... maybe two trees! ....  and taking out a few things that I love that make me happy. Simple. I hope to continue this throughout the rest of the months to come. It feels relaxed and peaceful ....

My quest and challenge for this coming beautiful season.... and the years ahead!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

what a day!

Today was busy from the moment I woke up until... now. And as the day progressed it got a bit wild and strange too.

I had my sweet granddaughter until around noon and an air conditioner repairman all morning too. I then rushed to make a hair coloring appointment at the salon and then decided to cast my early vote afterwards at about 3pm.

That's when the excitement really began!

I waited in a long line that actually moved fairly quickly. I chatted with some people near me and thought about taking my driver's license out of my wallet but waited a little longer. I was almost at the front of the line when I discovered I DIDN'T HAVE MY DRIVER'S LICENSE! And I had to leave the line and go home....

I looked everywhere! I never take it out of my wallet so it was very perplexing. I took everything out of my wallet and everything out of my purse. I looked under the seats in my car, in drawers in the house... in the hamper, in pockets....

I kept trying to go back in time and remember ... and then oh.. Yeah! On Monday I walked to our neighborhood mail boxes because we were getting new keys since the old boxes had been replaced with brand new ones. We needed to show our I.D. to be issued our new keys. That's the last I remember seeing my driver's license. 

I then searched my clothes again, pants pockets, washing machine and dryer, plastic bag I carried my mail home in, my recycle bins inside and outside... even searched through my two-day old garbage with plastic gloves... I mean, I looked everywhere! Even called our Homeowner's Association to see if maybe they hadn't handed it back to me. I checked my mail to see if someone found it and may have mailed it....

At this point I began thinking I better get on-line and search out "how to replace a lost driver's license". I did everything I could think of but then it occurred to me that I would NOT have put my license in the bag with my mail. I would have put it in my pants pocket. That is definitely what I would have done. But it was not in my pants pocket and the pants had been already washed and folded. 

So I looked in the washer and dryer one more time. More carefully. Very carefully. 

And there it was...  inside the dryer, stuck on the drum. I hadn't seen it the first time I looked which is understandable because it wasn't even in view unless I practically climbed into the machine!

And that's when I decided to hop in the car .... and stood in another long line a second time to vote.

And this time I actually DID!

I can be very unwilling to give up, persistent and stubborn when I want to be!

But I am exhausted.... 

Monday, October 24, 2016

we all have those days

Having one of those "I forgot my list so it's such fun to go home and see everything I forgot to get at the store and my hair looks horrid and I feel itchy and stuffy-nosed and just achy today....and I'm looking around and seeing all the junk in my house that isn't in its place and I'm irritated at everything especially myself" kind of day! 

 ...sigh...Whoa! That was a lot. 

On the bright side....

I fixed the settings on my camera and it's taking wonderful photos again!

I made reservations to visit family on Thanksgiving. I am flying on Thanksgiving day, but that will be fun too!

I ordered that foyer light I have been wanting. Finally going to change out the old builder's brass monstrosity!

My daughter took some wonderful photos of my grand daughter and me. What a little joy!

And I'm so glad Autumn is here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

figuring it out

I may have just stumbled onto something pretty significant. After months, actually almost two years now, of wondering just what I "have" as far as my health goes, I think I may have figured it out.

Seems like arthritis, but sometimes not. Pain in my thumbs, top joints of my fingers, wrist pain that came on very suddenly and has stuck around. Moved to both wrists. And the tops of my feet and sometimes toes... and elbows. Both sides.

My doctor did some tests and x-rays and was able to eliminate scary stuff, like bone tumors ... and even Rheumatoid Arthritis. No gout. Good lab work.

So I figured it was arthritis. It's somewhat better than it used to be. The pain has died down some. But sometimes there are flare ups.

But now I found something called Inflammatory Erosive Osteoarthritis and that seems to describe it perfectly. It tends to mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis somewhat but isn't serious like RA. The symptoms are similar but the inflammation gradually dies down although the damage to the joint, if there is any, will remain. But the prognosis is excellent and doesn't require scary medicines other than simple pain relievers.

It generally hits middle aged, menopausal or post menopausal women. Bingo.

Lots more to it but I have also been able to make a correlation between my diet and flare ups of painful symptoms. Losing weight has helped because when I am in weight-loss mode I am eating less processed foods that are generally high in sugar and saturated fats. Those types of foods promote inflammation in the body.  When I eat fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and lean meats in moderation, I not only lose weight, but my body does not produce the inflammation that causes pain in my joints.

Simple. Yes. But it's been a lengthy process for me to figure that out. I'm pretty confident that I'm figuring out what's going on in my body... and I'm so thankful because the "cure" is good for me. A healthy diet and moderate exercise every day. Nothing strenuous. Just keep moving without over taxing my joints.... My elliptical machine, walking, riding my bike, yoga....

I feel so much better when I do what is good for me.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

feeling the change

Such a wonderful early fall day.

My day began with a bike ride. The Veloway near my home is a trail just for cycling and is just enough of a challenge for me to get a good workout. Some steady inclines and a couple of hills. Of course downhill feels great and usually comes when I need it most. A slight wind was at my face much of the time though and made it just a little more difficult.

I love when the sun shines in beams through the trees and lands in patches on the grass. The morning was perfect for sitting outside for a while and just enjoying how everything felt. I did some weeding in my flower beds and then took off with my camera for the Wildflower Center ... also just a half mile away from my home. I'm really lucky to live next to these two great places!

I walked a trail and got some more exercise and took advantage of one of the nicest days we've had since early spring.... in my opinion anyway. Many people love the hot Texas weather, but I'm not one of them.

 I found out yesterday that the work I've done to lower my cholesterol paid off! My numbers were down by almost 40 and in the normal range without having to take any medication. Just by being careful with my diet, losing some weight, and including regular exercise.

Sitting at my desk now and looking up at my high windows I see blue sky and leaves that are still green. This view will change during the next couple of months. The leaves will turn yellow then brown and then fall... revealing only branches.

I am thankful for right now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

these present interesting challenging times

I know people who support Pro-Life organizations. They are against abortion and rightly so. Recently I was invited to be involved in a fund raiser in support of the pro life movement. A good thing I am sure but not where my focus is right now.

I am pro-life but involved on a personal level. I don’t necessarily believe the ultimate answer is to vote Pro-life candidates into office. They may be scummy people who actually are hiding under the pro-life candidate’s agenda. People think they HAVE to vote for them and they have no other choice. I personally don’t feel that way. I don’t necessarily think they will ultimately do anything to help. To help where the problem really is. With the pregnant woman who feels she has no choices.

Many people would disagree with me and that is their right, but I’m not going to be backed into a corner of having to vote for an idiotic person because they claim to be pro life.

I believe the responsibility is still and has always been in the women’s hands. She has the personal responsibility. And will carry the consequences and guilt. And that’s where our focus should be, not which government party supports pro life and which one doesn’t. If your candidate supports pro-life great. But if you think this person is not a good choice given ALL your values you do not have to be forced to support him or her. 

I think our focus needs to always be on the woman who is deciding whether to keep her baby or not. She is the one responsible. Not the government. And it's a huge responsibility. She is the person who is accountable to God and will answer for her choice. Will we support her and help her baby live and be taken care of after she has made all kinds of horrible decisions to get where she is? Will we work to share real information about life happening early in the womb? I know for a fact there are considerably less people willing to get involved with doing that.  

They feel they are doing their part and can then look away when confronted with an actual woman in need... and there are thousands of them.... many unlovely, drug addicted, poor, mentally challenged who desperately need help and support and resources. There just are not enough of these resources available ... or people who actually care to get involved. It's sad how little help is available for those who choose to keep their baby in spite of all the challenges. It's uncomfortable. It's hard. It's messy.

Will you help with child care? Because the woman who is unwed and poor and without any support who kept her baby cannot work because she has no one to care for her baby while she does.

Will you help give her a ride to the store? to doctor’s appointments for herself and for her baby? Will you give her a call regularly and offer encouragement so she doesn’t go back to the loser who got her pregnant in the first place? I could go on and on……

Oh, it’s so sad. It’s such a tragedy … but there are lots of tragedies all over the world. All kinds of suffering and people who are killing and hurting others. The answer is always one person caring about another person. And doing what we can. Every day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

celebrate anyway

Enjoying the day today. I need to try to overcome the joy-killers in my life though. You know (maybe you don't) the voices in your head that say, "You really shouldn't be happy or relish in anything good happening to you because ..... (fill in the blank)". I have quite a few things like that in my life. People I care about and fill me with concern. Worries that keep nagging at me. The "what ifs" that I constantly try to regulate and control.

My daughter's best friend doggy pal, Cooper, fell ill and quickly deteriorated and died two days ago.  Just died. Damn damn cancer. It's so traumatic. Death. I hate it. It leaves me feeling sick and sad, lonely and empty feeling. Sad for me. Hurting for my daughter. For the loss of a beautiful faithful loyal furry friend of 11 years. Are we grateful we had him? Of course. Was he loved? Immensely. Could our love heal him? No.

This isn't the Me that used to have all kinds of faith and trust in God.


Ah... but this day, today, always has much good in it. The hot steamy humid days we have been experiencing have ceased. At least for now. It feels like fall and that proverbial "change is in the air" has arrived. And it should be celebrated!

I had a doctor's appointment today, my yearly exam, and I was ten pounds lighter in weight than I was at my last exam in June! I've been trying. Really trying. That should be celebrated!

Norman ran out of the yard yesterday after the neighbors' kids left my back gate open. He was nowhere to be seen. I called for him and he eventually came running from around the block having traveled quite a distance down the street and around the corner. Good dog Norman. You came when I called you! That should be celebrated!

There are so many things I could celebrate even though my little family feels kind of battered and bruised. Let's face it, the whole world seems battered and bruised to me. 

I do still have my faith and trust in God though. It's definitely small as a mustard seed. But God says that's enough. 

And that should be celebrated too.