having grace when you are different

Today and tomorrow, Mr. Right is attending an out of town conference.

It is being held at a well known , nation wide hotel.

This morning everyone attending was asked for their lunch preference.
Here we go again………………the Vegetarian choices were as follows:
Salmon, Lasagna (yes with meat) or chicken.

HELLO, is this microphone on? tap…tap…..

His choice was no longer available so he was served Sweet
& Sour Chicken stir fry with a scoop of rice…………. sigh

Okay, we have been on this roller coaster for about 15 years now.
Yes, we have been asked all the questions….Where do you get your protein?
(broccoli, why, where do you get yours?) You eat chicken right? (um, no that
would be an animal) Do you have leather auto upholstery? (again, no that would
not be in line with our thinking, we ordered cloth).

The greenhouse gas emissions from producing a pound of beef, are 58 times greater
than those from producing a pound of potatoes. Refusing meat is the single most
effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

With Mr. Right’s strong family history of heart disease, diabetes & cancer we decided to research and learn and read everything we could get our little mitts on,
about how we could manage to live maybe not longer lives, just much better & healthier lives while we are here.

Sure, we love and adore animals. I don’t think anyone approves of
many of today’s massive slaughterhouse practices.

We have devoured library books, articles, listened to lectures, bought & read books,
we subscribe to magazines…let’s be honest we read anything we can get our
hands on about health and eating healthy.

We want to be good stewards of this earth.

We want to set a good example for our children and grandchildren.

We have been judged and laughed at. We have been ridiculed and made fun of by many, including family members.

One of the worst parts of working outside our home in an office situation was the lunch hour. Pot lucks are torture, having people pick apart and ask what you are eating for lunch, going to company dinners, having to “tell your preference” out loud and sort of defend it. Well, let’s just say it is harder for me to do that gracefully than it is Mr. Right. He embraces his choices.

Our dinner invitations and party invitations have become more infrequent. You bet, we take a lovely hostess gift. You bet we are polite and conversational. Heck, we even shower and put on our Sunday best to show up on time. Yes indeed, we
send a wonderful thank you note or flowers. It is just that people have told us, we don’t invite you because we don’t know what to serve you.

Mr. Right eats one piece of turkey on Thanksgiving just so he doesn’t have to tell people he is a vegetarian.

Golly, if you ever feel lonely or in need of some conversation, just tell people you
home schooled your children and are vegetarian. Folks come out of the woodwork to give you their opinion. (warning, not all of those opinions are kind & nice)

After chatting with a friend, I now understand some days I am stronger to accept criticism about our lifestyle than others. Today was not one of those days.

“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an
angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” ~S. Barr

laundry soap = happiness

It really makes me happy to make laundry soap. Yesterday, I spent about 10 minutes and today about the same. I made 300 ounces of (this time) Lavender & Clary Sage scented laundry soap. I spent about $1.00. That will last about 7 weeks.

I like not having to purchase and bring home and then recycle yet another liquid laundry soap bottle each month.

Yes, I am crazy about laundry. I do a load or two a day. Yes, even with just two adults living here. I like having the laundry done, daily.

I like spending my money in other ways. I like not buying one more plastic bottle that will eventually load up the landfills.

Just saying……

Love Notes

Between you and me, let’s call them “love notes”. A couple of boys under 10 years old make a weird “blechish” sound & begin the throat grabbing when they hear the word “love”.

When our boys were young and learning to read we left notes for them to find. As encouragement during the time we homeschooled we would sometimes leave a message scrawled across the bathroom mirror or hidden in the refrigerator, tucked into the book they were reading. Our “principal” would chalk a message on our sidewalk, usually something about always doing your best, school is cool, to whom much is given, much is required, that sort of thing.

While living in Germany, Mr. Right would pen a letter to his family each Wednesday morning. I can vividly still see the note & drawing the day after I had studied for three months and taken and passed the European driving test. I was a stick figure with wild curly hair driving the minivan, looked like I was going fast and under the drawing were the words “Autobahn Annie”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the time they entered public school we were in full “pack a lunch” mode. Not being super great eaters, I would try and be as creative as possible when it came to the food portion of the lunch, and the notes….yes the (love) notes.
After the boys had gone to bed, Mr. Right and I would sit down every Sunday night and write out 10 great notes. Sometimes with stickers or special paper, sometimes a funny joke or glue on a comic. Some were helpful to a shy kid, ‘I wrapped two cookies for you today. Eat one and give one to a friend”. Sometimes, when they were stubborn young teenagers, the note (void of hearts and flowers and smiley faces) would be very small and discrete. Sometimes, the note was wrapped in plastic along with some paper money tucked inside a sandwich. Hey, sometimes they were smart enough to at least look at the lunch before throwing it away! When they were old enough to drive, a reminder note would be left on the seat to buckle up and maybe a dollar or two to buy a Slurpee.

Once while driving across country during which time our “baby” had his 13th birthday, we made a BIG sign (note) that read “Happy 13th Birthday, please honk!” Oh man, he got over 80 honks, whistles and cheers. That day, the Lake Michigan Park Rangers, cheered and shouted and even got some birthday cake. I saw the sign (note) a while ago, tucked into a scrapbook.

I used window chalk to paint on the van window when son number one graduated from High School…. “Goodbye College boy, Hello Sewing Room”. When son number two graduated, I wrote “Look out California, here he comes”!

Darn kids grew up and moved away. Oh sure we sent college care packages and those always contained a card or a note. My guess is that the snacks & gift cards were more than enough to tell them we loved and missed them. I am thinking that they didn’t tape up sweet notes from their mom for others to see.

Every day, and yup, I mean every day, Mr. Right, pens me a 5 X7” love note or short letter. I get a stick figure drawing every day and a sticker once in a while. Some days, I find them taped to the bathroom vanity. Other days they are taped to my coffee cup or to my Kitchen Aid or taped to the computer keyboard. I hear everything from a thank you for a nice dinner or packing my lunch or a sweet musing, sometimes even an idea of something we could do for the upcoming weekend. I always get hearts and it is always signed with LOVE.

When the day came and I was lucky enough to tell Grandpa the news of the new grandbaby’s name, you just know I wrote a note on his back windshield! (He LOVED the news, wasn’t exactly happy with the chalk paint on his car. Graciously, he was a good sport.)

So it was with a happy heart when I woke up this morning at 2:17 am and came up with and wrote down a totally wonderful idea. Instead of sticking our noses in and giving valuable top notch advice, (once the new grandbaby has arrived), “Pop Pop & Nanners” will begin writing a book! Yes indeed. Together we are going to write a note every single day for the first 365 days. Of course it will have stick figure drawings and be full of amazing wit & wisdom. I ask you, who among us wouldn’t want to start life out with 365 love notes?

“Letters mingle souls, surely letter writing must be a part of the pursuit of happiness” J. Donne