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.

trilogy

I didn’t see it.

I didn’t take the time.

It was 1982 and Mr. Right and I were sitting on a blanket in the middle of a city park having our picture taken with our new baby.  I am guessing the car was packed full with all kinds of supplies that new parents think they “need” for a 30 minute trip. Our entire focus was to make that new baby HAPPY.  As young, brand new parents we wanted a great family picture.  We wanted that brand new baby boy to be the star.  So just outside “the” perfect shot was a stack of clothes, the stroller, diaper bag and on and on. The behind the scenes “magic” to help keep a baby happy and picture ready.

Our mission was to set up “camp” and have our photograph taken.

The park was a beautiful scene.  It measures 10 city blocks right smack dab in the middle of a big city, our city. The park was established in 1886  & I would guess, thousands of people have had their wedding, baby, family, engagement, Sunday afternoon in the park, pictures taken somewhere in those 27 acres.

Side note:  my grandma used to go to church across the street from Wright Park.  I wonder if she ever had her picture taken in her Sunday best?

We were so caught up in trying to make a baby happy and focused on our photos, that honestly we did nothing else.

20150405_142337 20150405_144610We did not explore.  We did not even walk 50 feet ahead and take in and enjoy a brand new piece of art.  The sculpture was created by Larry Anderson.  It was placed in the park in 1978. He named it “Trilogy”.

I didn’t see it.

I didn’t take the time.

Sunday afternoon.  We took the time.  The year is 2015 and we did not have a baby with us.  We strolled, hand in hand through the beautiful hometown park.  We took in the Seymour Conservatory.  Yes, in this day and age, we still have a stunning, breathtaking Seymour-ConservatoryConservatory to explore and soak in.

It was the perfect way to “fill up our pitcher”.  We all need to do that now and then.

20150405_143739I wish someone had told me that when I had a 4 month old baby.  I should have taken the time.  I would have been a much better wife and mom.  I/we were so busy trying to take care of and learn about a new baby, we had blinders on.  We forgot to fill our pitcher and take care of our souls.

We didn’t see the beauty.  Only had eyes for our family of three. The mechanics of everyday life overshadowed the beauty that was right before us. 20150405_142836

This past Sunday we experienced “Trilogy” in the park, we drank it in.  We took pictures, we talked about it.  Heck, I even sent the photo to a few friends and asked for first three words that came to mind:

joy fun family

breathless moving goodness

adventurous playful carefree

contentment confidence optimistic

joy adventure love

20150405_142607When I was reading a bit of the history of Wright Park, I noticed 21 other parks listed in the Metro Parks of Tacoma line up.  You can guess what I am going to say next.  ha

Sometime, during this spring and summer, Mr. Right and I are going to visit all 21 parks.  We are going to explore, look around, soak in the beauty and fill our pitchers to overflowing. 20150405_142418

We are going to take the time, open our eyes and see the beauty right before us.