Some Things are Better in Pairs

For instance –

Candlesticks

How about double waterfalls in Washington State

and in Hawaii

 How about cute little kittens

 Maybe two little girls fishing

 Maybe double flower baskets at Banff Springs Hotel

  How about a pair of adorable shih tzus

Even two identical Goofy alarm clocks

Two spires on a church in Montana

 Or in Quebec Canada

Or even two adorable boxer granddogs

Or….. how about the very best pair of all

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!


I know it’s not too clear

But yes, IT’S TWIN GREAT GRANDBABIES!

and they are coming my way in September.

Life Lessons and Other Stuff

I don’t really have any special photos that go with this blog post, so I’m just going to drop in pictures that either make me happy or make me feel at peace.

 I had one of those days Thursday that thankfully come few and far between at this point in my life.  I was just mad at the world.  Nothing was going my way and everything and everybody irritated me.

Even these two little sweeties.

What made it worse is that I know how my attitude for the day affects my day,  and I still couldn’t shake it.

Turns out, it didn’t matter where I went or what I did, a couple of life’s lessons were waiting for me.  Now don’t get me wrong, I already thought I had learned these lessons (she says sheepishly).

I WAS BEING JUDGMENTAL!

I thought I had that one completely under control, ha ha.  But the Universe wanted me to realize that I was completely out of control by putting things right smack in front of me that I needed to see.

 (Ah, now there’s peace to me.  Our front yard in Missouri)

Anyway, I was just running around judging everyone and especially those judgmental folks that kept popping into my life.  I went to a class at church and lo and behold, it was on the perils of being judgmental!

Okay, so now that I’m irritated at everyone, I’m not feeling very loving and kind – which is my normal nature.  I’m even disgusted with myself at this point.  I’m not being very forgiving either.

I tell Hubby, it’s not you, it’s me, but please just don’t speak to me because you irritate me!  He knew it wasn’t him so he just left me alone so I could work this out.  He’s really good that way.  He doesn’t take it personally at all.  Of course that irritated me at the time because I really did want it to be all his fault.  (Oh my!)

(Freshly baked cookies always make me happy.)

Okay, so now I decide to go through the checkbook and I find a $122 error and NOT in my favor.  Well, it doesn’t matter what else happened, just know that it wasn’t a great day.  My attitude was NOT shifting!  I was on the downward spiral and sinking fast!

Anyway, I decided to read and wouldn’t you know it, I picked up one of my spiritual books which was just sitting there by my chair.   Without realizing it, I opened to the section on Love and Forgiveness.  Oh my gosh.  I wasn’t ready to give up my lousy attitude at that point – but I had NO choice!  The Universe was yelling at me!

I succumbed.

I read, I felt myself mellowing.  I was feeling better but yet still bruised and battered from my day.

I told Hubby that I think some comfort food is in order.  He asked me what I wanted because he so wanted me to be happy again.  (Did I say he is great?)  He is naming off things like a big juicy hamburger, maybe some chocolate, maybe pizza?

You know what I ended up getting?  You won’t believe it, McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies.   Before you laugh, have you tried them?  You would think your mother made them.  Really!

I”m feeling much more like myself again.  I have learned, however, that I do not graduate the course “Getting it all Together.”  It’s just an ongoing process that never ends.  You know, that’s okay.  Feeling pretty much at peace right now.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Before I start, I want to let it be known that I know I’m in the minority.  I follow enough blogs to understand that most everyone loves it when the snow starts to fall.  I know there are those who can hardly wait.  I get that.  It’s very beautiful, but this old gal was born and raised in sunny southern California.

Enjoying the snow to me meant taking an hour to drive north up to the mountains and play in the snow.  On the same day I could drive either south or west and head to the beach and get some sun.  Or  I could drive an hour east and spend the day in the desert in Palm Springs.  I digress, I was talking about the cold wintry snows.  I heard from some of my friends back in Missouri that it is snowing – finally.  Even though I really love looking at the snow for beauty’s sake, I’d like to show you the good, the bad and the ugly of living in the Ozarks – according to me.  By the way, springtime in the Ozarks is absolutely beautiful.

THE GOOD – BEAUTIFUL GREEN OZARKS

Our backyard

The front

View from our front porch

THE BAD – again, according to me

The backyard

The front of our house

and

THE UGLY – THE ICE STORMS!

The fallen trees

It looked like a war zone.

Eight days without power during the ice storm was not my idea of gracious living.

We are spending our first winter here in Arizona, it’s a chilly 60 something degrees right now.

What can I say, I’m a happy girl today.

Home Safe and Almost Sound


Finally home and back to normal – at least what I call normal.

First of all, we had a great time in California visiting family and relatives, notwithstanding the miserable head cold and sinus infection I was battling, and still am a little.  We stayed so busy that I just didn’t find the time to blog and to keep up with all the blogs I follow.  I didn’t know how much I would miss keeping up with my “friends.”

All in all, during our time in California we went to three Christmas parties, a play on New Year’s eve (It’s a Wonderful Life), several dinners out with friends and family, at least three “game” nights, a few lunches, mini trips, oh my I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Even little Sugar and Meeka were kept quite busy while staying with our granddogs, Luke, Goldie and Biscuit affectionately known as “Bizzy” because she is always in to something.  In fact, this will show you what I mean.

Here she is “bizzy” with a green pen. Look at her little paws all green.

Here she is after playing in the backyard.

Anyway, I believe out trip to California was a success.

I was so sick when we got home, it took me days to take down “Christmas” which I didn’t bother to do before we left.  

Enough of that.  Today is a new day and I’m feeling much better.  The new year has begun and as before – I know this year will be even better than the last, which I think might be hard to beat.  I always think that, and then I’m always surprised at how great life is.  I know it’s a matter of my attitude though.  I am in charge of making my life just as great as I want it to be.  

Don’t get me wrong, crappy stuff still happens, I still get in bad moods or angry at Hubby.  I just don’t stay there as long as I used to.  I don’t dwell on the crappy stuff.  At my age, I have certainly learned that it comes and goes and I don’t have any control over that.  What I do have control over is how I react to it or how I handle it.   I also choose to look at life through the eyes of my heart.  It makes for a beautiful world.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I an always making goals to feel better about myself.  Right now I’m working on accepting others and not judging.  To be honest, I’ve been working on it for awhile.  I thought I had the “non-judgment” thing down pat.  Wrong wrong wrong.  I’ve been judging all of those I see “judging.”  I have found myself getting angry and upset that everyone isn’t as non-judgmental as I am!!!  What a laugh, right?  Who do I think I am???  Talk about getting hit upside the head with a giant board!  Sometimes I crack myself up.  Oh well, it’s the journey, right?

I also have some other things lined up that I’m excited about.  I have another sewing lesson scheduled and I’m going to make a quilted wall hanging.  I’d really like to make one for each season and just use one or the other all year long.  I’m going to try to get better at cake decorating.  I don’t see that happening without going to more classes, but I haven’t set them up yet.  I’m also going to check back with the local elementary school and see if they are still considering me as a volunteer.  I think that would be so much fun.  Most importantly, I’m open to whatever might come my way.  I’m sure there is something I haven’t thought of doing.  Ah, the adventure of it all.  

I think I’ll just quit here and go have some fun catching up on all my blog buddies.  

I hope you all have a very happy, prosperous and blessed New Year. 

A Fantastic Life

Here is what happens when I take the time to have an easy day.  I find wonderful old pictures.

These are my grandparents – my dad’s parents.  This was taken on their wedding day in Glasglow, Scotland in 1908

My grandmother was 18 years old. I don’t know my grandfather’s age. I do know that he was in the British Military. I know they were both born in Ireland, were married in Scotland and lived in England when my father was born.

Check out my grandfather in his uniform.  What a handsome man.  I can see a strong resemblance between him and my nephew.

 

My father was one of four boys born to James and Dorothy Dynes. He was born in 1912. His brothers were born in 1908, 1910, and 1914. When my father was 3 years old, grandma and her four boys made the trek from Liverpool, England to Canada.  Her husband was still serving.  She must have been a very strong women to make this trip alone. After all, this was a mere three years after the Titanic sank, on the very same route.

My grandfather died by drowning when my father was 10 years old. Life was very difficult for Grandma with four little ones to care for. Because she was unable to financially care for all four boys, she made the difficult decision to send two of her boys (my father and one of my uncles) to a nearby orphanage. She would visit as often as possible. Here is a picture of her with the two boys on one of her visits. My father is the older on the left.

Eventually the boys were able to move back home, then made another trek – from Montreal, Canada to Los Angeles, California.

My father lived a very happy and abundant life. He passed away 10 years ago at age 90. I couldn’t begin to tell you all the many life lessons he taught me, but I know that my belief that –  life is always good, no matter what might be showing up at the time – surely came from him.

29 Gifts in 29 Days

Have you read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker?

I found this book in November of 2009 when our minister gave a talk about it.  Since November is gratitude month, this is my third year in which I use this book as a guide to give 29 gifts in 29 days.

Cami Walker  was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis one month after she married.  Her life was turned upside down, she couldn’t work, she was in pain and tremendously exhausted.  Life as she knew it was over.  She said she spent quite some time feeling sorry for herself and hating life.

 Now this is very significant to me because I was in a similar place at one point in my life.  I did not have a MS, but I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia one month after my wedding.  The pain was impossible to deal with.  I had to retire five years later and my life as I knew it was over.  On top of that, I had severe back problems, had surgery and had a very bad outcome.  I won’t go into all the problems I had, but suffice it to say, I could understand what Cami had been going through.

Back to Cami, by a dear friend told her to stop the whining and then wrote her a prescription.  The Rx said to give 29 gifts in 29 days.  They could be anything to anyone.  It did not necessarily have to be gifts that cost money or were even tangible.  They could be a phone call to an old friend, a thank you note, picking up someone’s dry cleaning or letting a stranger go ahead of her in line – you get the picture.  The gifts had to be mindful and from the heart – and given joyously and freely.

You need to read the book to see how it completely changed Cami’s life – but I can tell you that doing this has changed my life too. Even though this is my third year of mindfully giving 29 gifts in 29 days, I have adopted an attitude of giving on a regular basis.  It’s amazing that I have gotten back so much more than I could ever give.  It has changed my life in tremendous ways.  I now see the abundance of all good things in my life and not just lack, which had been my only focus.

November is not only the month for giving thanks but also for simply giving.  My gift to you is sharing Cami’s book. Enjoy her and check out her Website at 29gifts.org – I promise you huge wonderful changes just by simply reading this book.

Remembering that Life is Always Good and I’m in-joy-in my life.

Blissfully in-joying my GAP

Okay, I know it’s been a really long time. More about that later, the main thing is I WANT TO BLOG!!!

Lately I’ve been thinking about the journey, or more specifically, my journey. You know, the gap between where I am now and where I want to be. In the past, the gap was HUGE!!! I was nowhere close to where I wanted to be or how I wanted to live my life.

Now I hardly notice a gap. I find that quite intriguing. I know the importance of having goals, big ones and small ones. I know without them I don’t function well. I’ve always had to have something to look forward to. I call those my little goals – plans for out in the future that surely will be accomplished without much effort besides just being able to wait for them.

As for the big goals, well I guess I’ve been making them and reaching them too. Since I’ve last posted, we’ve sold our house (and received a profit!!), moved across country to Arizona, decorated our new house, joined a new church, and have made new friends.

Because I practice living in the “NOW” and out of the “HOW,” I’ve hardly noticed setting goals and achieving them. I’m wondering, could it be because I’m blissfully in-joying my GAP? (It used to be such a painful place to dwell, always waiting, worrying, wondering.) Am I enjoying the journey? Could this really be happening to me?

Could it be because I’ve chosen happiness, peace, friendship and love as my constant companions?

Gratitude in the Midst of C%*P!

I’ve been living with an attitude of gratitude for some time now. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Maybe because it’s November and so close to Thanksgiving, or maybe because I belong to this wonderful community on line called Grace in Small Things, where we write at least five small things each day that we are grateful for. Then at church Sunday, the message was on gratitude. It’s really true, what you concertrate on does become bigger and seemingly all around you in every area of your life. At least it does in mine.

I know how easy it is to be grateful for something wonderful that’s happening in my life, but what I’ve been concentrating on lately is to actually be grateful in the midst of crap! Or at least when it appears that life is not showing up the way I want it to show up.

First of all, I must say that my life is very far from crap. My life is really good and it just keeps getting better. But let’s face it, we live in this human world and things can’t always go the way we necessarily want them to. If that were the case, we would have sold our house six months ago and we’d be in our new home and closer to our family. If that were the case I’d be about 20 pounds lighter. If that were the case, I’d have tons and tons of energy each and every day. If that were the case, we’d have a huge savings account. If that were the case, oh heck, I could go on and on. But you get the picture.

So, what does gratitude mean to me. I have learned that gratitude is a powerful spiritual tool. It causes all good things to increase. It is an expansive feeling. Being grateful just feels good in and of itself. When I’m in gratitude, I can feel myself rise above any negative feeling. It turns sadness into joy, fear into love, and powerlessness into courage and wholeness. I’ve decided it’s a pretty good place to reside.

So, how to maintain that level of being grateful of all things in the midst of crap. For me, I first have to remember that there is a deeper reality than what might be appearing. I have to remember that daily apprearances are subject to change and probably will. I have to remember that Life is always giving us exacty what we need at any given time. Maybe what is showing up doesn’t really feel like a gift, but I need to remember that I can probably learn some sort of lesson out of the situation. I also remember that I need to trust, trust in the midst of crap.

The other day I had a situation happen that really caught me off guard. Somebody said something to me that really upset me. I could rationalize that what they said didn’t really have to effect me. I could see that it really said more about them than me. But for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept playing it over and over in my mind. I was thinking of all the imaginary things I could have said back, it just went on and on. Finally, I decided to just be grateful for the situation and see where that took me. After awhile, several things occurred to me, not the least of which was the fact that I came to this great realization – if this is the biggest thing that is upsetting me right now, I really must be enjoying a wonderful life. I had to recognized that my life is basically drama-free and I love it! Gratitude begets gratitude! I must say that I’m truly grateful for seeing that. I am always spouting off about living my bliss and how “at peace” I am. But this realization brought it smack dab in front of me.

Granted, this wasn’t a “big” thing. I’ve had “big, bad” things happen to me, but interesting enough, not since I’ve been practicing gratitude as a way of life. Or at least, things that happen don’t feel so big – and that’s a real blessing in itself.

So, Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ll be grateful on that day, just as I am every day. Grateful for my faith, my experiences, the divine wisdom that is always here (if I remember to seek it) and the my spritual journey with all that entails. I will remember that things are just the way they are supposed to be. I’ll be grateful for that.

My Electronic Stimulator

I’m wrestling with my electronic stimulator today. I always have difficulty charging it. I’m sitting in a very still, non-movable position in order for this to work.

Let me give you some background on this. About 4 years ago I had back surgery. I guess it cured my achy back, but I couldn’t tell because it left me in more pain than I’ve ever known before. That’s saying a lot since the fibromyalgia was so bad in the past that I was in a wheelchair because I could no longer walk. I even had to go on disability. Needless to say, I know about pain.

I told my doctor that I now had pain starting from my bee-hind all the way down my leg. They thought it was muscle pain and I spent quite a lot of time in physical therapy and the pool. All this was to no avail. They were completely treating the wrong thing. I spent 4 and a half months in my recliner chair, basically crying and in pain. It never let up.

Two things happened, I heard a little voice telling me to call Dr. Brooks who is a pain specialist that I had used with good fortune in the past. The other little voice told me not to give up (even though I already pretty much had).

I found my church, Christ Church Unity, and I saw Dr. Brooks. My favorite doctor of all time asked me why I hadn’t come to him sooner. Who knows. Within a few minutes he knew exactly that it was nerve damage and gave me an injection into that nerve and I was well!!!!

That injection lasted over a year. Had a couple of more which lasted for several months and finally the day came when I was told that I needed an electronic stimulator for pain.

After much thought, I agreed. This is where a very interesting part of the story comes in. You see, I couldn’t sit up in a bed for more than 30 seconds before the pain would start. After my surgery I found myself sitting up in bed with no pain. BUT, the electronic stimulator had not yet been turned on! I told my surgeon that whatever he did worked because I no longer had any pain. He advised me that it was certainly impossible because he inserted the stimulator far away from where my pain originated, that he hadn’t even gone near that area. No matter, I no longer had pain and didn’t really need the stimulator.

My doctor advised me that I needed to keep the stimulator charged because there would certainly come a day that I would need it.

Let me tell you the horrors of charging this stimulator. I CAN’T DO IT! It is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I just can’t find the right place to hold the charger and when I do, I just barely breathe and it stops working.

Needless to say, I gave up on it and the battery ran completely out. Several months later, they called to see how I was doing. I explained that I still had no pain and that I wasn’t using it. Oh my gosh, you would have thought I committed a felony. So off I went to the office to have it charged by the experts. I was told to keep it charged once a week.

After two weeks of messing around with this thing, I gave up.

This brings us to today. I still do not have any pain on the right side, which is where it was before, but I’m starting to have the same pain on the left side. I saw my favorite doctor and he told me to use the stimulator. Uh-oh, I let the battery run out. So here I sit, in a very difficult position, doing what is known as a trickle charge and trying to get the darn thing working again. I’m wondering if I will keep it charged this time.

Catching Up

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged! It’s autumn now, the summer just seemed to fly by.

Let’s play catch up –

1. House is still for sale, only one looker so far. It’s so beautiful here, I’m having a hard time believing that someone hasn’t just snatched up this place.
2. Still walking. In fact, I joined the Y and have been loving the water aerobics and the stationary bike. I’ve been walking outdoors with my pups everyday, but I think when it gets too cold here, I will start using the treadmill at the Y. One good thing that has happened since I last blogged is that I’ve lost 20 of the 40 pounds I had gained. Yippee for me!
3. Hubby had his lap-band surgery and has lost over 50 pounds so far. Yippee for him!
4. Just got back from another vacation to California a couple of days ago. This was a much shorter trip than the last one. We went for a family wedding, which was awesome.

Making a commitment to myself to start blogging at least once a week. This is an exciting time of the year. Holiday recipes, crafts, spending time with family and friends, staying all warm and cozy, ah… I just love it. This will be a fun time to share ideas and thoughts with everyone.

I receive the most informative newsletter. It is from Better Homes and Gardens. It is called 100 Days of Holidays. This will be my third year. It starts sometime in September (but you can start whenever you want) and it goes to New Year’s Day I believe. Each day it arrives in my e-mail. There are recipes, crafts, gift ideas, decoration ideas, and the like. I recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of things. You can find it here.

In-joy your bliss!