Saturday, February 25, 2017

car accident

Today I was reminiscing about my car accident history. My first was soon after I got my license at 17 or 18 years old. My little car was hit broadside by a much bigger stronger-built vehicle which did mine a lot of damage. It wasn't my fault as the other driver was in the wrong, but it probably could have been avoided if I had more driving experience.

The second accident was when I was 22 years old. The driver was on my side of the road unfortunately, coming from the other direction. He crossed over the line and hit me head on. I was hurt and badly shaken up and taken away in an ambulance, my car totaled. I remember knocking on someone's door in the area and using their phone since it was way before cell phones... back in 1982. I was lucky or blessed or whatever you want to call it. I didn't have a seat belt on and had some cuts and scrapes. I got stitches and two black eyes to deal with for a while since my head hit and broke the windshield.

This accident wasn't my fault either.

The driver was going much too fast around a corner I could not see around... nor could he ... and the road was wet. This could have ended my life right there. I got a bit of insurance money for the car and for pain and suffering... I bet I could have gotten much more if I were the suing type.... I still have the scars....

Yesterday's accident was much less dramatic. I was slowly stopping at a red light near my home. I was stopped when the car behind me decided he'd use my car to stop his... instead of his breaks.

Again, not my fault. This guy was definitely a distracted driver and only he would be able to tell what actually happened. Was he talking on his phone? Was he texting? Was he looking down at messages. Just what was he doing other than paying attention to actually driving? There are unfortunately many people like that on the roads today.

So I'll now need to get it repaired and all the inconvenience of that. But the good thing is of course that no one was hurt.  It could have been worse ... and it reminded me that I haven't been in an accident in 35 years! Certainly something to be grateful for!

Friday, February 24, 2017

breakfast sausage from scratch

Without a doubt there is a difference between something you buy in the grocery store and something you make from scratch with fresh ingredients. Ingredients that you know are in their purest form with no preservatives or additives that cannot even be pronounced.

This is by far one of the best and tastiest things I've ever made. And it was easy. I made a big batch for freezing and the flavor is amazing. I'd be here for a long time if I had to think of all the wonderful adjectives to describe it. I will be making these again... probably for Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving and anytime whatsoever.

Fresh garlic, thyme and sage

If you ever wonder if fresh herbs are worth buying over ground dried herbs in a jar ... use fresh if possible... It really makes a difference.

ground turkey and ground pork and pure maple syrup

The recipe is HERE ......  and HERE. 

Not sure I could ever enjoy store-bought sausage again. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

health and when we hurt

I believe I have hurt my health over the more recent years by taking on the pain that I assume others are feeling. I had imagined Edd's pain, not just physical, but emotional and mental, and suffered with him. He actually seemed pretty happy most of the time. But I was deeply suffering. Then after he died I continued ... The same when I lost mom and I felt my dad's pain and loss (as well as my own) ... and the same with other family members. But we weren't meant to carry another's pain as our own. God says we are given grace for our own pains and burdens, not for someone else's.... I've been learning and relearning this for the last few years ... making progress, but it's still something I have to continually work on.

We can (and should) feel empathy for others and offer our love and kindness and help, but letting their suffering or pain become our own is not a burden our bodies are capable of bearing. It does absolutely nothing to help the situation and in fact makes things much worse.

How can we stop though? It is a form of anxiety and worry and a lack of trust that God is active and aware and present and cares. We need to revisit (if we've strayed) and once again embrace the fact that we do have a God who empathizes with us, hears us when we pray, sees us and knows how we feel. We do not have the power to change every bad situation as much as we might wish we could.

I've sometimes felt paralyzed by seeing so much suffering. I know there are many wonderful things happening all around the globe, but the horror stories can cause such anguish as we think of what some people have to endure because of their own failures and choices...  or by no fault of their own.

So no I can't make everything better or solve others' problems. We aren't meant to carry all the suffering of others.

But ... and here's the most amazing thing...  Jesus DID.

I read in Isaiah 53:4 that "Surely he has borne our sufferings and carried our sorrows"....

From what I understand, this was part of a string of prophesies about Jesus as our suffering servant and savior. It mirrored what he actually did on the cross for us. Did Jesus really do this? He bore our suffering and sorrows? He felt them? He took them upon himself? When he died for me, he took upon my pain and the pain of others and felt them in his own body? From what I know of taking on the pain of others this act of Jesus' is more than I could ever even imagine. It humbles me. It somehow comforts me and makes me grateful because I know he understands human suffering.

God works in mysterious ways. Remembering that and really embracing that truth is also helpful. It takes time for situations to work out and lessons to be learned. Sometimes people are lost in the process and that hurts. But giving our sorrows and sufferings to the one who understands is the best place to be to find spiritual health.... and physical, mental and emotional health as well.

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!