grand new job

When people ask me what I “do”.  I always say, I am a Mom.  What do you do?

They politely giggle and say, no what do you really “do”.

That is what I really do.

To be honest, my days are no longer filled with BASKETS of laundry.  I don’t step on Match box cars or Legos.  I don’t have to answer the daily question “is there anything to eat”?   I no longer have to read one more book aloud about dinosaurs, motorcycles, rocks or bugs.  I have not had to go ask someone to pick up a wet towel off the bathroom floor in years.  I have not spent one moment of a lovely dinner gently correcting someone’s table manners.  I have not spent one minute teaching fractions, geometry or algebra to a young person living in our home.  Nor have I had to correct punctuation on a paragraph about robots. I have not spent one hour of my time lately looking for ___________________.  (a backpack, shoe, whistle, purple & white marble, lucky baseball hat, etc)  I have not been back to the hardware store to have house key number 8 made.  Gosh, there are a lot of our house keys out there somewhere.   I am no longer on a first name basis with the eyeglass repairman.  You will not find me, every Wednesday in the orthodontist waiting room for 10 minutes while someone’s retainer is adjusted.

Just what do I do with all my free time, now? 20150423_075756

So nice of you to ask.

I order surprises for Grands.  I buy & write books for Grands.  I send postcards to Grands.  I make birthday gifts ahead of time for Grands.  I talk on Skype with the Grands. I plan stuff for Grands.   I look at pictures of Grands.  I frame pictures of Grands.  I buy funny straws for Grands.

20150422_202159-1Why just yesterday, I spent most of the day making hair bows for Grands.  Yes, yes, that is a hair bow with corn on the cob.  Geesh.  One grandgirlie loves corn on the cob.  Of course I would make a hair bow just for her.  20150423_075824

I am excellent at my grand new job.

Have I mentioned lately, what a lucky girl I am?

grab the old ladies

pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes………...’cause everyone knows”  

……..take my hand……………….Hallelujah………..Hallelujah…………………. 

(I will pause here, to allow you, my followers to put on some Neil Diamond.  I like to listen to it loud. smiling.  However, I am sure you have your own way of “getting down” to the beat.  ha)

Similar to the masses, gathering up supplies, people and moving towards, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”, I sure wish there would be the same interest in the library.

You heard me.  I wish that libraries and books generated as much enthusiasm as a “get saved” show.

Oh, I know not nearly as magnetic, or popular.  No where near as loud. No gospel beat, pounding in the background.

Can you find salvation at the library?  You bet.

Can you find books about good gospel music and Neil Diamond?  Yes, again.

Can you find books about quilting or dogs or healing naturally?  Make that a big fat, yes!

Reach out your hand…………….walk with me this day………….

20150417_090954Yesterday, I reached my limit.  Yes, I did.   Goodbye old, boring, serviceable black, sturdy library book bag, we got as a free sample. 20150421_190820

Hello Hotness!  Oh my, you have flare and style.  I believe they call that charisma! 20150421_164231

I had ordered amazing, jaunty elephant material.  Soft and stable by Annie’s for the strength and stabilizer for between the outer fabric and fabulous teal lining.  I used a piece of stunning braid I found in  Alabama.  I wanted to sew all the good karma and goodness I could into this one bag.

I warmed up the sewing machine and turned up the music.

 …………..starting soft and slow………….like a small earthquake………………. and once I get into my groove and I let go and let the machine fly ……………………………half the valley shakes.

Brand new, freshly sewn, with the perfect pocket for library cards.  Padded handles and reinforced seams to hold the weight of all those good books.

Pack up the babies IMG_9312and grab the old ladies……………………. I read that as grand kids are reading, grandma’s are reading…………20150422_072359

All the cool kids are reading.

Honestly, I want a huge stampede to the ragged tent, I mean the brand new, brick and mortar building.  Grab a book or two or ten.

A new Library book bag!

Can I get a Hallelujah?

so green, so good

20150419_161018Yesterday, I came up with an idea of how to get Mr. Right to take a break from yard work.

a snack.

Yep, that did the trick.

If you have never stopped by the VegKitchen with Nava Atlas, give it a try.  mouth-watering recipes to fill your belly and soul with goodness, seriously uplifting blog.

Okay, I made the Very Green Avocado Tahini dip.

Start to finish, with clean up………..maybe 7 minutes.

4 ounces spinach, 1 ripe, peeled and diced, avocado, 1/3 cup tahini, fresh juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 Tablespoons combined: parsley, dill and cilantro.  You need and will love the flavor. Real Salt and fresh ground pepper.

Rinse the greens (I use raw, you can also cook if you want)

Place all the ingredients plus 1/4 cup filtered water into your Blendtec or some other fancy blender.

Push play. Wait for magic.

Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or my favorite, Black bean chips (yum-oh) .

Say Grace before you walk out to the back yard to serve.  There won’t be time, once your mouth starts watering.

so green, so good.

grateful for dog hair

Are you a list person?

Quite often, I write notes to myself.

Buy pears.  Make birthday card.  Order dried white mulberries.  Pay $1.04 library fine.  Buy Bigger gratitude jar.

On New Years Eve, we dumped out the slips of paper from last year’s jar and read all the things we were grateful for.  At the beginning of the New Year, we started over with an empty grateful jar.

Being much more aware of things to be grateful for…..the jar ended up being too small.  Now, THAT is a great problem to have in April!

Making room for gobs more, we bought a big enough jar so that we could fill it up with oodles of stuff we are thankful for.
20150418_192140

Of course we write down the obvious things we are thankful for:

healthy, happy Grandchildren (times 3)

healthy, adult children

fresh bouquet of flowers

health

sunshine

healthy dog

freedom

safety

If you happen to be with us on New Years eve 2015, you will get to hear all the things we are grateful for.

To you, the words might be somewhat odd;

vacuuming  (then spent 20 minutes cutting thread and dog hair from the rotating brush on the bottom)

making bed

shook bathroom rug

washing windows

taking out garbage

money (to buy all the vegetables & fruit & vitamins & supplements and books & magnesium salt & a rebounder & a bike & and on and on the list goes of things that help you get healthy, but “health” insurance does not pay for)

Secret:  You cannot heal from anything without being grateful for every thing.  You’re welcome for that.

Here’s the thing, once you have been really sick, I mean really sick….the ability to accomplish Monday morning chores, all by yourself is an amazing thing to be GRATEFUL for.

Who knew I would be grateful to take out the garbage?  ha

Can you start a brand new grateful jar in April?  Only if you have things you want to write down that you are grateful for.

You might want to start out with an old mayonnaise jar.

I highly recommend you think BIG.  Buy a BIG ASS  (yes, I said that) jar and start filling it up.

We are in this together. 20150420_122154-1

Here’s to all the things to be grateful for.

And yes Virginia, there is always, something to be grateful for.

let’s trade

  Trade phones with your spouse/significant other for one week.

Yesterday, while browsing blogs, I came across this challenge/idea/suggestion.

Can trading phones for one week make your relationship stronger?

While it has been brought to my attention that this was a “game” lesson in trust…….my first thought was empathy.empathy

Oh my stars, if I had to answer all the questions and text that Mr. Right receives…….yikes.  I am not sure I could go on and on about the shipping industry, Army, politics, golf or hockey playoffs.  Nor do I think he would be that interested in my friends talking about quilting and recipes and kids and spouses, dog treat orders or the new website for ordering dresses.

(Okay, we are not REAL scientists here, so don’t get all twisted in knots over this experiment.  If you don’t have a spouse, substitute the word girlfriend or sister, adult child, co-worker.  Maybe even try it for a weekend?)

The idea is you trade phones and have to answer text and emails in place of the other person.  Not in their voice nor can you say, “Hi Joanne, this is Mr. Right, I am using Daleen’s phone for the week, she will get back to you in seven days.”

You have to answer the greeting and have a conversation.   “Oh Hi Kathy, this is Mr. Right, do you like the orange fabric for the border of the quilt or do you think teal would be more shocking and fancy?”  or   “Oh my goodness, I am sincerely sorry your friend passed away.  We will begin praying for you.”   Then go get a sympathy card and get it ready for mailing.  “Will you join us for the potluck on Tuesday?  Yes, and I will be bringing a vegetable tray.  Thank you for including me”.  Then write down veggie tray on the calendar.

Will your spouse say NO?  My work is much too important for you to dabble in it!  Will your spouse say NO, my phone, my private life?  Will your spouse say NO, I am vital and no one, not even you can take my place? 

Or will your partner in crime say, SURE, I will gladly let you see how my week unfolds.  Yes please, you talk to these folks for a week, see what I go through.  Here you go, can we start NOW? 

Now, I don’t think the experiment means answering specific work related questions.   I don’t want to answer a government question about shipping something to Argentina or if I think the Toronto Maple Leafs should get a coach (which, by the way I do think they should GET A COACH, any coach).

I think there are some questions you can politely answer.  However, let’s leave the work specific questions to the pros.

I think the general idea is to walk a week in your spouses shoes.  polka dot shoes

plain blackThe idea of me carrying a plain black phone is sort of sad.  I love my teal colored case.  It has “diamonds” that sparkle all over it and a lovely quilted pattern.  Under my fancy, girlie case, my phone is gold.  Yep, you guessed it, Mr. Right’s phone under the black cover is black.teal phone case (seems rather dull and boring)

So, once we trade phones, the discussion begins.

Wow, you have a lot of friends who check in with you.  My goodness, you sure keep in touch with lots of folks.  You must get tired of answering some?  How do you manage to stay kind and friendly with some mean and grumpy folks at your business?  How on earth do you keep all this straight?

Will this experiment give us more understanding of what our significant other walks through daily?  Will we be more understanding when, at the end of the day, they say, geesh, I am tired.

Will we find it charming that they still lift up and continue to cheer on friends from 30 years ago, or do we find ourselves being a bit jealous?

Will we have more empathy and act more loving toward that person?

I am like a 6th grade girl twisting and twirling a lock of her hair.  Smiling.  I think it will be a lovely experiment and a look behind curtain at how the magic happens. I think it will bring to light just how kind, generous with time, considerate my spouse really is.

Are you game?   Are you brave/curious/thoughtful enough to take on the challenge?

hello again

While our boys were little, Mr. Right did quite a bit of traveling for business.  When he returned home, bearing gifts, the boys would be thrilled & excited to see what treasures he handed out.  I would be so happy.  The boys would be occupied for a bit and Mr. Right and I could smooch and smooch some more without feeling like we were ignoring the boys.  They were after all, busy figuring out and sampling their trinkets and goodies.

The gift bags, read that as plastic hotel laundry bags would include “treasures” that included: mini bags of pretzels and peanuts from airline flights, sometimes plastic pilot wings, or maybe a bag of snacks from the area visited. There would also be hotel pens, hotel note pads and a “do not disturb” sign now and then.  One time, they each got a plastic shower bonnet.  haha, yep, they put them on as they investigated the rest of their goodie bag.  There would be maps of the area or state & brochures with colorful pictures and sometimes even those tiny little pencils they give out at golf tournaments. Without fail, there would just happen to be a brand new Match box car in each bag.

I am not sure why kids and kids at heart, love doodling and drawing with a new-found pen?  Little pads of hotel stationery seem to be the perfect place to try out different designs or a new language you have just made up.  I know as the wife of said Mr. Right, I was delighted to have the extra time to chat with and yes, once again smooch with my boyfriend.

20150411_091321Fast forward a few years.  Mr. Right comes home from a business trip. (side note: golly I love that man & miss him like the dickens when he is out of town)  Notice I said “dickens” not chickens”.  ha

He always comes bearing gifts.  Now a days, home it is just the dog and I.  Oh, how times change. Oh sure I get a couple of smoochies and a t-shirt.  (have no idea when that started, but boy do I have a fantastic colorful, happy collection of amazing sleep shirts) The “gift wrap” is still a plastic laundry bag from a hotel, ha.  20150411_092224Sometimes, I get a piece of fun jewelry, or he brings home a new coin he received in change.  Of course there are brochures, magazines, books,  maps, pens and paper.

Strangely enough, while I am wearing my new t-shirt, trying out the new pen on the little mini stationary, flipping through the latest magazine……Mr. Right is spending his time, rough housing and saying hello again to the dog.

They have such a happy, energetic, fanciful reunion……..I really don’t mind.  I am occupied looking through all my new-found treasures………..hey, wait a minute!

soup for the soul

My day started before daylight broke.

A bit unsettled this morning.

For me the goodbyes are hard to do.

Oh sure, I know I am loved.  He tells me and shows me and surrounds me in this cocoon of goodness.  He pushes my swing.

I have a lovely dog.  She adores me and shows me.

I have brilliant adult children who share amazing grands daily.

I have a handful of lovely angels that flit into my life here and there.  They leave little nuggets of ideas that make me crave more.

Books; I feel so safe and secure with all the books in my life.

Sometimes, you just want that extra salve for your soul.  You know?  With 20% of our adult population taking mood altering drugs on a daily basis…………I think some folks forget it is amazingly okay with being a bit blue.  It doesn’t have to be sad.

I have plans for the day.  I am creating with fabric and color.  I set everything up last night in anticipation.

Maybe it’s melancholy?  In no way is it awful.  Just a gentle nudge to be kind and generous to myself today.

Instead of a traditional breakfast, I bathed myself in the grace of savory goodness.

Ah, homemade broth.

20150408_091731Be still my heart.

Matzoh Ball Soup for Breakfast. Yes, I said breakfast.

I used two very, very fresh eggs to make the matzoh balls.  20150407_154039How fortunate I am to have the best of eggs to make this meal to feed my soul?

I slid the matzo balls into the simmering savory broth laced with fresh parsley and the thinnest slices of carrots.  The broth20150408_093559 somehow has hidden layers of flavor.  With each spoonful my taste buds discover a hint of celery, sage or shallot. After time in the broth, the tender matzo balls almost melted in my mouth.  Each bite, encouraging another. This soup reminds you to savor each spoonful slowly and with passion.

An ordinary breakfast, took a turn.  The warmth of the meal, soothed my soul and elevated the day to a lovely place.

I surprise myself when I remember just how worthy I am of a nourishing meal.

“Don’t wait for extra ordinary opportunities.  Seize common ones, and make them great.”

May the day ahead sooth your soul and help you see the goodness right before your very eyes.