Tuesday, August 5, 2014

We Harvest. We Say Thanks. He's Got It Covered.

Sunday I harvested.

Plucking fat, juicy Nanking Cherries from the branches. Soaking in the sun. Thankful.

Remembering another time I was overcome with thankfulness. Almost two years ago to the day.

My hands repeated the same motions, pulling ripe cherries, dropping them in a bucket, the only difference; a beautiful 12 year old girl did the same beside me.  
We both waited.

We hoped.

We both knew.
It was really bad news we were waiting for.

We’d already heard the sirens; we’d already got the call about the red helicopter rushing her mother to the city.
We hoped, but we knew and so we plucked cherry after cherry and we waited.

I struggled for words. I wanted more than anything to tell her that bad things happen, but God still loves. I wanted her to know that God isn’t the creator of our tragedies. I knew in the coming days people would tell her it was meant to be. I knew they'd mean well, but I also knew they'd be wrong.  I wanted to set her straight. I wanted her to know that Jesus would weep with her and that He never, ever would intentionally hurt her. I hadn’t yet got around to these bigger lessons. I thought I had time. I was starting to panic – worried maybe I had failed her.
I’d missed the boat and now I badly wanted to quickly cram in the information.  How?

So I pondered, prayed, plucked cherries.
We waited.

We knew.
Then she spoke.

My girl.
She told me she would be okay.

She assured me.
She said it was okay because she had just learned at camp that God doesn’t make bad things happen. This is a bad world and sometimes bad things happen. She told me she knew God loved her and that He would help her through this. She told me they’d discussed it a lot and she knew she’d be okay.


Two years later I harvested by myself because she was at a sleepover. I remember. I remember how He provides. He’s got it all covered. I’m in the palm of His hand. You’re in the palm of His hand.
I’m overcome by His goodness, His love.

Sunday….I plucked cherries, dropped them in a bucket and I said thanks.


Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm Sleeping My Way To The Top

Sleep is important.
I believe it to my core. Just ask my best buddy, whom I bombard with texts – GO TO BED!

Sleep more! Read less! No me time is worth your tomorrow.
Oh I give her such a hard time – why has she been my friend for 20 years???

Everything gets better when you’re well rested.
Likewise everything is worse when you’re tired.

I know this. Still sometimes I need a reminder.
Tuesday night. After four full days and two nights of short, interrupted sleep I was exhausted to the point of feeling physically ill. It is rare I let myself get to that stage, but life happens.

What I marvel at is how quickly being tired ruins my memory.

The temperatures were hovering right around plus 30 (that’s Celsius) and watering my plants felt essential.
A few weeks ago we got some nasty hail that wreaked some havoc on my flower beds, knocking blooms and scattering Poplar Tree leaves and branches about. I haven’t yet taken the time to clean this mess up. In addition to that of course there are some weeds here and there and my bachelor buttons need to be staked badly. Oh yes and let’s not forget the back driveway weeds that seem to keep growing no matter what I do!

The sight of this work dismayed me.
My mind looped, “There is so much to do! It’s never ending! Why do I bother? This is pointless! I should give up! This yard is never going to be nice!”


I forgot.
I forgot that it isn’t perfect, but it’s far from horrible. I forgot the years that I was so overwhelmed with it I gave up long before the end of July. I forgot that last year I would have given anything to be standing watering as I hobbled around with a broken leg. I forgot that the list of jobs was a day, maybe two worth of modest work. I forgot that the fact I even have time to be dismayed by fallen leaves, weeds, and tall bachelor buttons means my life is so much less chaotic and overwhelming then it once was. I forgot that there was a time I had so many things that dismayed me I never even made it to worrying about my yard.

Then bring on Wednesday.
After a good night’s sleep.

I remembered. Oh thank God I remembered. Suddenly the same yard felt blessed. A sign of how wonderful life is.
See I’m sleeping my way to the top folks!

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm Okay. You're Okay. We're all Okay!!

So I make some big announcement of how much I’ve missed blogging and how I’m back and then don’t post or check other posts for months?? What’s with that?
I don’t even really know the answer because I certainly have not ran out of opinions – I guess I got out of the habit – I often think I need to write, but then I just don’t.

I could give a pile of updates – but I’m just going to dive back into my regular thing and trust the updates will make their way through my thoughts.
So what thought to jump off with – gremlins, shoulding on ourselves – yeah the typical Blessed So and So stuff….

I’ve read two of Brene Brown’s books Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. In that order.
So Daring Greatly I really, really liked right off the get go. I LOVED the whole idea of changing the goal. I’m all about motivation and intention. Why am I doing what I’m doing? What am I accomplishing?? Adding the intention “To Dare Greatly” or “Be Courageous” to my life is pretty cool and I like it a lot.

I also adored her whole bit about “being in the ring” – really immersing in life….
Yep it’s AMAZING that I liked this book, it’s one of the very few “buzz” books that I actually started and finished and felt there was a lot more valuable in it then gobbly goop. I’m not big on “buzz” anything….

So because I enjoyed that book I got the one she published before it – The Gifts of Imperfection.
I don’t believe I’m a perfectionist. I’m pretty good at embracing my imperfections and laughing with others as they delight in my shortcomings (in a good natured, loving way).

Of course I can beat myself up and feel unworthy. That happens to us all. However I was super blessed to have these two amazing parents – a father that truly believes I hung the moon and can do no wrong and a mother who is much more realistic, but always believed and encouraged me. So I really got a jump on the whole I’m worthy business.
Still those gremlins (as Brene calls them) can track us down no matter where we are. I read Brene’s book and I started out feeling pretty alright, when I closed the last page I was suddenly wrestling with a pile of questions. Am I perfectionist? Am I hustling for my worth? Does the fact that I like my house to be clean mean inside I’m an utter mess and all screwed up??? Why don’t I dance? Why do I sing really, really loud by myself or in church, but not anywhere else?? Oh no I’m all wrong! I need to lighten up! I need to be more fun! I’m too serious!  Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Then I stopped. I thought. I prayed.
So…………… I am a serious person. I’m not a dancer. It’s not that I’m pushing down some huge urge to dance and am worried about making a fool of myself I just don’t get the urge often. I mean I’ll bebop a bit here and there, but yeah full body – “Little Sis” style dancing it ain’t me. For real it’s just not me. I do love to sing, but I’m really, really, really bad – honestly this is not self-depreciation it’s fact. I do try and be considerate, it isn’t hustling for worthiness it’s just taking into account my loved ones enjoy songs too and they really don’t want my magpie style pipes drowning out the real music. So I sing by myself and in church - cause yeah that singing is for God and He doesn’t care that I cannot carry a tune in a bucket!!

I have a standard that I like my house and my yard. It’s for me. It truly is. I used to have other people’s standard’s in my head and I tried ever so diligently to clean to them and then I realized the stupidity in that and realized the only standard that matters is the four of us that live under our roof. I’d say my standard is the highest of the four of us and so I maintain that. It’s sort of crazy when I gave up trying to clean to someone else’s standard my house actually got cleaner. I’m not hustling, I’m happy.
After reading Brene’s book I examined how I felt as I puttered and cleaned in my kitchen after an impromptu roast chicken dinner with my folks. Yep I really wasn’t hustling. I was honest to goodness just joyful and content.

So here’s when it hit me. It’s the whole adage – straight haired gals want beautiful ringlets, curly cues want straight as an arrow locks. Serious people think they should lighten up. Lighter people think they should be more serious.
The gremlins will meet you wherever you are.

We do have natural tendencies and when we aren’t on track and we all fall off track more than once it’s likely going to match up with our natural tendencies. When I’m hiding and not dealing with life I’m going to work more, clean harder, and get buried in the efficiency of distractive doing.  While I have a dear, carefree friend who is likely to go out on the town, take a vacation when she shouldn’t, let franticness run rampant when she’s not doing well.
It looks different, but gremlins are gremlins.

I need to stop shoulding. I laugh a lot. I’m content and happy. I’m not super, duper goofy. I’m not a street dancer or singer. Conversations with me tend to naturally move toward heavier and deeper.

That’s Okay. I’m okay.
Sure sometimes I think what’s wrong with me why can’t I just giggle about a great looking Matthew Mcconaughey?? I admire his handsome looks, but I don’t get giddy.

I’m not dead so even though I’m head over heels in love with this amazing man who I think is soooo good looking and delicious.

I can see that this Matthew Maconaughey ain’t so bad either….

Still…even though I admire I can’t seem to spend much time idly chatting about him.
The truth is, we all have our own tool boxes and our own sweet spots; we need to settle in to who we are – get outta town ya nasty gremlins!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I've Missed You!!!

So my break lasted longer than I actually thought it would.
I miss you guys! I really do! I miss writing here. I have a billion thoughts and ideas floating around. A million conversations that I’ve had, thoughts in my head that I know need to bounce off my blog friends!  

I’m not putting pressure on myself to post at minimum three times a week like I did before, but I have a feeling I will be around a lot more than I have been the last bit.
As for the project Ma and I are working on – it’s slow going, I haven’t tossed it aside though – I hope she hasn’t either.

Even though I have a billion things I could write up – typical Blessed So and So thoughts I’m just going to make this an updating post – I don’t typically like to just throw out update posts – I mean really who cares, but it will give me a jumping off place as I get back in the blogging groove!

We have been fruitful as a family. Not exciting, but fruitful. Had some big sausage making days – once with deer meat and once with pork meat. Both batches turned out fantastic! We found some great pork at a great price so it makes a big difference! We mix our deer meat with pork for sausage.
We watched a bunch of basketball – both girls played this year so we spent a lot of time sitting in various gyms.

A committee I sit on put on the first of many events planned this year. The village I live in is turning 50 in 2014 so there are several celebrations planned. The first was a Winter Carnival and there were some glitches, but overall it was fairly well received. We are in the works of planning our next event - Canada Day and putting together a time capsule which is very exciting!!

My cousin celebrated her 40th birthday, we attended a surprise party for her and it was really nice. There is a bunch of history with that side of the family so it was such a blessing to just be able to hang out in their kitchen and chit chat.

Hubby helped two friends with taxidermy, teaching them the ropes. I swear Hubby’s garage is some sort of happy place vortex – everyone seems to enjoy themselves when they are in there. Or… maybe it has something to do with the amazing guy I married and not the place on the earth the garage sits! Hubby also did a paid taxidermy project, one of the few he ever does for pay and a small one for himself.
A super great charity that Hubby and I have helped with for quite some time had their big once a year fundraiser – a big curling tournament (Bonspiel) where the payout is in meat. It’s such a fun event. We only were able to help out two nights and missed the big Saturday which was a bit disappointing but Little Sis had basketball zones. The charity we help with is all about seeing that kids who can’t afford to play sports are given the opportunity. So it would be pretty bad if we missed our kid playing a sport as we helped other kids be able to play sports. The two nights we helped were a lot of fun though and we were able to see some old friends that we never get to see!!  
My boss retired. I was concerned – I’ve worked since I was 14 and I’ve NEVER had a bad boss – I was worried I was due. A co-worker ended up getting promoted and so far it’s been working out great. Happy dance!  

Hubby and I were super blessed to be able to attend a dinner put on by friend’s hunting club. We had such a great evening with great friends AND hubby got to meet Cody Robins – a BIG deal in the hunting world. He got is picture with the current muley world record. Also Hubby was pretty tickled and I was pretty proud – Cody Robins had heard of Hubby and another fellow literally chased us out to the parking lot to meet Hubby because he was so excited to be able to chat with him and had missed his opportunity. It was pretty darn cool!

We spent a weekend smoking salmon which was also fun and tasty!!

Easter went well, a smaller crowd then typical but delightful. Little Sis’s birthday was last week – she’s 14 so it isn’t a big production like when she was younger. Cake and coffee on Saturday and this weekend she’s having some friends over to hang out and do teenage girl things.
Soccer has also kicked into full gear for us. Hubby is coaching Little Sis again and is the field manager which means plenty of line painting for the next handful of weeks. He loves it though. This is Big Sis’s last year of soccer which feels strange. Also have nieces and a nephew playing so if you’re looking for me I’ll be watching soccer J!

Over Easter weekend we had a really GREAT supper with wonderful friends, Hubby helped them install a dishwasher and in exchange they gave us a hutch – I adore it!! It was so sweet of them. Again we are blessed!!
I actually got ALL of my spring cleaning done this year which is amazing. I’ve lived in my house for soon to be nine years and I have never actually finished spring cleaning. I have a bunch of seedlings popping up – in fact some are too big and I need to transplant them. Have a very good start on the yard and finally it is looking much more like spring then it once was – Woooo Hooo!!!

Oh I get to keep my job for another year – I’m a year to year contract so there is always the chance it won’t be renewed, but I signed on the dotted line yesterday so things are good there.
The other BIG exciting thing coming up in just over a week is Big Sis’s grad. It seemed so far away when she moved in and in all honesty there has been more than once I wondered if she’d still be living at home when this time came, but things are much better than they once were – it’s been a journey that’s for sure, but here we are…. Well almost anyway.

A community project Hubby and I have been picking away at with a group of really great guys is all coming to fruition tonight. It’s the big meeting that the project gets announced to the community. I sure hope it’s received well and all goes well.
Well that in a brief nut shell is what I’ve been up to for the last three months – like I said my desire is this update gets the ball rolling that I can get back to bombarding you all with my crazy thoughts!! I suppose I’m going to have to give some follow up updates – on grad, the community meeting and how the future 50th anniversary celebrations go. That’s okay I suppose some updates are okay. J

I sure hope this finds you all doing really, really well!!! It’s nice to be back!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maybe... A Break???

Well blogging buddies…..

I’m going to try taking a break from this blog for a bit….
We shall see how long that lasts I often get a burning desire to write and I can’t help myself and so in all honesty that could happen tomorrow, but I’m not going to make it a priority for the next while or maybe longer than the next while.

I tend to have a lot of irons in the fire and I came up with an idea and Ma and I would like to pursue this one and see where it goes. I am an idea gal, always scheming and not too often producing so enough is enough!!!
So if you don’t hear from me nothing is wrong, nothing at all and then if you do…. Well you do!

To my blogging friends – please e-mail me of facebook message me from time to time and I will still try and make time to read some blogs.
Gosh I do wonder how long this will last, I’ve been blogging a long time… longer than I’ve known Hubby and that seems like a lifetime ago. I tend to look at the world with the mindset of what I can blog about!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jamie's Crying AGAIN......

Sooooo – I’m emotional….

Like really emotional…..

My baby sister always said the sensitive guy off the movie Bedazzled starring Brendan Fraser – reminded her of me….
Below is a clip – it’s long so I get it if you don’t want to watch it, but if you’ve got time on your hands it gives you an idea…

The dumbest things make me cry.

So Saturday evening we had spent a really nice day hanging out in a gym watching Little Sis play basketball – her team got third and all in all it was a day full of contentment.   
Driving home I was admiring the sunset, thinking it was nice enough… I actually had a line of thinking something like – “Yeah God it’s nice, but I have to say I prefer your sunrises better.”

Literally less than five minutes later we crested a hill and were greeted by something very, very similar to this.
This picture was taken Saturday night in Calgary – we weren’t in Calgary, but it looked this amazing and more.
I started tearing up immediately it felt like I was having a conversation with God….like I had my thought and God said well I’ll show you amazing.
Hubby had a good laugh at my expense as he usually does!!!
Sometimes I marvel at how retarded I am….
I hope you all are having a great week so far!! Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What If I Lost My Marbles????

My grandmother spent the last years of her life in a nursing home. She was located in a unit specifically for those suffering from Alzheimers disease. It was a very nice facility and all individuals with behavior issues were in an entirely separate unit.
This meant that when visiting my grandma all of those surrounding her were pleasantly to extremely confused, but easy to be around. I always found it fascinating how you could catch glimmers of who they were when they were well. My grandma giggled a lot and her eyes danced with mischief. For a long time she batted her baby blues at all the men around her, shared dinners with them and laughed at their obvious, charming hilarity. She’d pour over magazines full of Elvis pictures in awe at what a dream boat he was.

Others sang constantly in languages I couldn’t understand. Another gal continually wrote columns and columns of numbers and she asked you to check her work. Another always smiled and was brimming full of extremely sweet compliments while occasionally venting about her son who’d been out all night and hadn’t bothered to call.

I do pray I live to be old and healthy and die quickly and quietly avoiding the whole run in the nursing home. If this wish doesn’t occur then I hope I’m not on the Alzheimers ward, I hope I still have my mind even if this body fails me. Sometimes I ponder that if I’m unlucky enough to follow in my grandmother’s footsteps what I will be like.
I think of what fills my mind consistently. Thoughts and habits that may end up permanently burned and lodged onto the grey matter ridges long after my brain has slowly started turning to rock.  I’m inclined to believe that I might be that little old lady wandering the halls trying to carry out my routine and schedule…..

I’m so very, very guided by my regular activities. I do much of the same thing week in and week out. I would be so easy and very, very boring to stalk.

I can see it now – Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Friday’s – towel day – bursting into the bathrooms changing towels and scrubbing toilets. Every other weekend clean the dishwasher, scale the coffee pot, oil the cutting boards. Every week wipe out the fridge and toss food that will soon be bad. The weekend closest to the 15th change the furnace filter. Every night prep coffee, sweep, touch up the bathroom. Wrap up the day with a candle lit bubble bath. Saturday mornings are for coffee and catching up on TV shows only I enjoy. So on and so forth – you get the idea!
Oh I think I may just drive the nurses mad – let’s pray for their sake I keep my wits about me!!!