Sunday, January 8, 2017

Master Bedroom before and after

I have enjoyed updating my bedroom the past few weeks. Sleeping in a king-sized bed and only using a tiny space every night seemed a bit silly ... not to mention a little lonely... so I began by getting a new queen-sized mattress and new headboard.

It was nice during Christmas but I was still left with the ugly green walls. The New Year was beckoning me to start fresh and bright .... so this week I got the room painted and I'm very happy with the results!

Monday, December 26, 2016

mom's diary ... and things forever in our heart

Among my mom's things I found a little diary. It was called "Peter Rabbit's Diary". She liked it enough to actually write in it a few times... back in 1995. Over 20 years ago. 

She loved Beatrix Potter. Her first entry was on her birthday. January 13. She said Mary Jane had a small dinner party for her and they had a wonderful time and they gave her very nice presents. Then she wrote about helping with the Little Whale Cove publication and that all the comments regarding the newsletter were positive... then her San Francisco trip in February..... No details.. just that it was "great fun". She said they received three inches of snow on February 13 and it looked so beautiful and white and clean. All was snow covered when they got up that morning.

And that was all.

She didn't write in it much but I bet she wanted to and then life got busy... or she left her little diary out of site and "out of site, out of mind" took over ... or she just started it all on a whim and never really intended to be a serious writer. But I look at it now and see her handwriting and I smile and feel close to her. She didn't write anything profound or poignant or deeply moving. She was just herself ... sharing what was happening in her life on a few select days. 

And that's what I'd like to do. 

Sometimes I write to get out my feelings and emotions and thoughts. I write in order to process my little place in the world and what is going on in my life. Sort things out. But I can write small snippets of my day too. I don't have to always have something profound to say. None of us do all the time. We just live life.

I also have a little diary I began last year... one year ago. I wrote one short entry. I think I'll pick it up again and ... in memory of mom... write a bit each day. I'll try anyway.

I miss you mom. So very much. I'm so glad you are forever in my heart and a part of me....

Sunday, December 25, 2016

nostalgia and belonging

It's a different kind of Christmas. Maybe I say that every year... or at least I have been saying it the last few years. Someone recently said to me that "the joy and sadness of life seem so intertwined at this phase of life" and I agree.

Christmas is something I seem to settle into every year. Sort of the way a dog gets comfortable in his bed, going round and round, sometimes giving his bedding a little dig with his paws... a tweak here and there... and then easing into it.... moving around till it feels just right. Kind of working through the wrinkles and kinks in the fabric and finally finding the warmth....

This year was no exception.

Nostalgia. That is a big word. Only three syllables, but a word with a lot of meaning. If we're not careful it can ruin our holiday as we think nothing is the same anymore nor will it ever be again and the "good ol' days were where it was at". It's hard for some people though. I am one who can feel the sadness of remembering the long-gone past, but also very capable of feeling all the happiness and warmth as I remember all over again and feel so grateful for the memories that seem very real still. Life doesn't stay the same. People come and go but our past is all inside of us and hopefully gives us strength to find our way...

Amy Grant when speaking of one of her holiday songs said she thinks "there is a kind of exquisite longing that we all feel at Christmas".  I think we are all wanting to somehow recreate that sense of belonging we once felt or wish we had. We all want to feel we belong somewhere.

I hurt to think of those who don't feel they belong. I have a feeling it's a big group. So many searching for answers. We're all responsible for finding a healthy sense of belonging though... working through the wrinkles in the fabric and ... finding the warmth...

It's there. Sometimes we need to reach far back to find it. Or reach deep. Or just reach out and let someone help... or lend a hand to someone else who has lost their way.

For me it comes back to my faith time and time again... when I feel lost and lose my way. The Christmas story. Immanuel. God with us.

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.