PICTURES TELL THE STORY

There are many who say that Climate Change is not an issue. Others seem to think the environment is expendable…it doesn’t matter what we destroy as long as we have fuel for our cars. Whether one believes it or not, mankind is wreaking havoc with the soil and with the air. We are destroying our home and the home of future generations.

Just take a look at the pictures on this site. http://zumfeed.com/life/1168-27-images-that-prove-that-we-are-in-danger-7-left-my-mouth-open.html

And after you look, tell me…IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?

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I’M LATE

Yesterday was Monday, October 12, and a national holiday. It felt like Sunday…I am late.

Yes, I am late…again… I don’t like being late. In the process of thinking about the fact that I am late, I realized that we are midway through October…Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here in a heartbeat. I have presents to make (my daughter wants me to knit her hat; I have some ideas for gifts from my sewing machine, too.)

I also have two pairs of socks started…each with one sock completed. My church group has been making ornaments to give away at a Christmas festival in town in December. Those ornaments are nowhere near complete and so I have those at home to finish off, too. I have stacks of fabric to sew up.

Plus I admin a few groups on Facebook, try to write a twice-weekly blog post (sometimes without success), am taking an online cooking class, participate in a community garden (we have two growing seasons here), and am involved in a couple of committees at church. How  did it reach this point? I am supposed to be retired, after all.

It reached this point because I said “yes” rather than “no.” It reached this point because I love everything I do and I love feeling just the slightest bit rushed. It’s that little rush of adrenaline, I suppose. What I don’t like is being late…

So, forgive me if I now see if my new laptop battery is a dud (like the one I received last week) and then go tend to two weeks worth of laundry and clean up the kitchen a bit. I’m late for laundry and cleaning, too…

What’s your take on being late? No judgments from me.

LIFE TOOK A DETOUR

Life has many twists and turns. I’ve been absent for a couple weeks because of those twists and turns. I am back now…but today’s post will be quite short.

One of my detours was taking my elderly cat to the vet last week because of odd behavior. After telling me to be prepared for the worst, the vet ran some tests and said that between kidney failure and cancer, it would be best to say goodbye…and so I did. My sweet “cat girl” and I snuggled while we awaited the test results and upon hearing them, snuggled a bit more as they prepared the injections. I held her through her final moments and cried at her passing.

“Cat girl” had been a part of my family for well over 18 years. My daughter named her Aya, but I gave her so many names over the course of the years, I don’t know that she knew what her name really was. She was a snuggler who thought my lap was the best place in the world. She loved lettuce and begged for it when I made a salad. We carried on conversations together, and I know beyond a doubt that she understood every word I said.

My house is empty now. Hubby doesn’t want more pets…it’s the first time in over 30 years that there has not been a fur baby in our family. Hopefully, some day he’ll relent and another animal will make its way into our home, our hearts, and our lives. In the meantime, I grieve for a precious bundle of fur who brightened my days in so many ways.

And I am grateful that we had 18 plus years together, loving each other.

In Memory

In Memory

FACING THE SQUIRRELS

Life has gotten rather squirrelly lately. Squirrelly? Is that really a word? I hear it used but am not sure whether it has two “Ls” or not…hopefully you understand.

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really don’t want to give squirrels a bad rap. I like them. I feed them peanuts. I enjoy their antics. I had one that visited my doorstep when we lived up north. Whenever he saw me, he flattened himself on the deck, so I named him “Pancake.” (He didn’t answer to the name, but that was his name just the same.) The squirrels also kept stealing all of the food from the bird feeders, so I finally gave up and fed the squirrels instead. They did seem to enjoy that. Of course, one day I also came home to a decapitated squirrel in my front yard; that was left for the hubby to take care of so we won’t discuss that anymore.

Squirrels are just a little bit crazy, though. You know how they dart out in front of you as you drive down the street? They stop, sit up on their haunches, look right at you, and seem to say, “Go ahead…HIT ME! I DARE YOU!” And if you are like me, you slam on your brakes, and then check to make sure you didn’t just have a heart attack. It’s scary. Killing animals isn’t my thing. The thing about squirrels is that you never know what they will do…run across the road; run half way, look at you, and run back the way they came; do the “Hit me!” routine; or speed completely across to the other side.

Well, my life has been like that lately. I have no idea what to expect, no idea what’s coming, and certainly no idea how to handle it when it comes. Thankfully, I am at peace with that. Even if it is crazy, I still wake up each morning with a new chance at a new day. Because the eye issues haven’t fully gone away, I’m avoiding the gym (don’t judge! It seems like every time I go, I wind up getting sick), so I’ve begun spending time each morning stretching (yoga type stretches) and using some of my Leslie Sansone “Walk at Home” DVDs. I’m spending time in prayer (if you don’t pray, try it!). I’m getting my calm on so when a squirrel jumps out at me like the one in Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation,” I’m prepared. I may not know exactly how to handle it, but that will come.

I imagine life is squirrelly for most of us. How do you handle your squirrels?

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

DARE TO REMEMBER

Can you remember

who you were

before the world

told you who

you should be?

I saw that quote, source unknown, on Facebook. It looked like the words had been cut out from a magazine and then glued on to a beautiful background of many colors. Perhaps it was the colors that attracted me first but then the words burned into my soul.

The world has told us so many things. When we’re young, we have a certain freedom of movement to express our joy or sorrow in life. We dance and twirl when we’re happy; we pout and have meltdowns when life hurts us. When we’re young, we say exactly what we’re thinking. We stop and collect leaves even though we’re running late for school. We play in puddles and make angels in the snow.

And then the world tells us … “Sit still.” “Be quiet.” “Hurry!” “No! Stop! You’ll get dirty!” And the world also tells us … “You aren’t good enough.” “You can’t do that.” “You aren’t brave enough…smart enough…good looking enough.” “You need to look or act or be like this other person.”

What has the world been telling you? What are the tapes running through your head? Who would you be if the world hadn’t told you differently?

Dare to remember, if just for a moment. Dance! Twirl! Sing! Jump in the puddle! Gather the leaves! Cry! Laugh! Learn about the subject someone told you were incapable of learning about.

Dare to remember the person you would be if the world hadn’t told you who you should be and start becoming the person you are supposed to be!

After all, the world is often wrong…

UNWRAPPED

I love opening packages! In fact, I can’t stand to see anything sit around unopened. My husband, on the other hand, can let something sit for days before he finally opens it.  (I probably become a bit of a nag about it, too…”aren’t you going to open ____?” “Later,” is usually the answer. Repeat this conversation several times.)

What is it about an unopened package that makes me this way? Most of the time, I know what’s in the box or envelope; after all, it’s something I’ve ordered. Recently I ordered some fabric and when I opened the box, I was finally able to actually touch the fabric and see close up how beautiful it was. Since I knew what was in the box, I’m sure it could just as easily have sat in my sewing room until I was ready to sew it up.

I think the issue is anticipation. I order the fabric or the book or the cd or some other item. I anticipate receiving it, holding it in my hands, experiencing it with another of my senses. When the package arrives, I want to be gratified by opening it and enjoying the contents immediately. (I won’t begin to explain my dilemma when it’s a surprise package or gift that I am unable to open until a designated time (my husband hides Christmas presents from me for that reason)…I drive myself to distraction.)

You knew an analogy was coming, right? Well, today, THIS DAY is a package, too. It’s delivered to my doorstep (my life) as soon as I wake up in the morning just as it’s delivered to yours each morning, too. Do we anticipate the day with as much enthusiasm as a box of fabric or a new book we’ve ordered? Do we hastily remove the wrapping so we can enjoy what’s inside the package? OR… do we wake up whining and complaining and then let the package of the new day just sit while we “stew” for a while?

A new gift of a new day every morning is a pretty astounding thing. I rather like the promise, the anticipation, of ripping off the wrapping and charging right in. Give me my cup of tea and I’m ready to go.

How are you with packages? What about the package of a new day that arrived on your doorstep this morning?

Gif courtesy of http://www.webweaver.nu

A GARDEN IS FOR GROWING…

My church started a community garden project this past spring. For the Houston area it was a wee bit late to be planting, but after getting my little plot put together, I planted anyway…from seed in most cases. A couple bargain tomato and pepper plants were found so I planted those, too.

Gardens take a lot of faith, a lot of perseverance, and a lot of tender loving care. After putting seeds in the ground, one must believe that those seeds are actually going to sprout…and sometimes the waiting for those little sprouts seems like an eternity. When the sprouts poke through the soil, it’s one of those every day miracles we sometimes miss.

Perseverance and tender loving care go hand in hand when caring for a garden. We had an inordinate amount of rain in the Houston area this past spring and now we have one dry hot day following another, usually triple digits on the thermometer. As the soil began drying out a bit after the rains, it was necessary to add some compost and pull weeds (and strange fungi!), plus try to fend off the fire ants and other pests with diatomaceous earth. And then, I needed to begin making an almost daily trek to the garden to provide water. I fussed over my tomatoes and beans and okra and talked to the honey dew, watermelon, and cucumber plants. I pruned the basil. I picked what needed to be picked and waited patiently for another day to pick other vegetables and fruits. Even with all my care, the beans and the peas didn’t make it. The tomatoes and peppers have not produced significantly. I see plenty of blooms on the honey dew, cucumber, and watermelon plants but there seems to be no fruit…yet. The okra has bugs of some sort…okra doesn’t get bugs…what gives? In spite of failures, unexpected weather, and pests, I keep tending to my garden.

This may seem like a very common platitude, but it rings true: Every relationship is a garden. You have to believe that if you plant the seeds and tend them that everything will grow and bear fruit. But there are storms in relationships…and there are droughts…and sometimes the pests come and try to ruin the relationship. The relationships that survive, though, are the ones that persist in spite of all of the elements that try to destroy. Relationships require faith…faith that what doesn’t look like it’s producing is really just germinating, that today’s downpours will give way to calmer weather, that if tended with care, something good will come. Relationships require persistence (perseverance) in tending to something that doesn’t look like it will survive. Relationships require tender loving care…the soft touch. We have to keep tending to the garden…

Sometimes in today’s cultural environment, we see relationships as expendable. If the relationship doesn’t bear fruit (i.e., meet our expectations) within our predetermined time frame, it’s relegated to the compost bin. As a result, marriages are failing, families are falling apart, and the promise that could have been does not survive.

And yet…even in compost bins, seeds begin to sprout…

Treat your relationships with care. Look at them as a long term investment in the garden of life. Have faith! Persist! Tend with Love! And watch for the fruit that will come…it will…and you will be glad for it!

What’s your garden like today?

Value in a Cracked Pot

The Japanese have an art form called kintsugi in which broken pottery is mended with a laquer which is dusted or mixed with precious metals like gold, silver, or platinum. The history of the piece is cherished, rather than discarded or disguised. There is a lesson for us here.

Tea_bowl_fixed_in_the_Kintsugi_method

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi Method. Image is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi and according to Google Images is Public Domain.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64: 8 “But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter. Your hands made us all.” (NIV) If He is indeed the potter, then He is also in the business of mending what is broken. Our lives are His pieces of pottery and, because we live in a fallen world, we get broken more often than we can count. What if He mends us with something more precious than gold, silver, or platinum? What if He is actually mending our brokenness with more of Himself?

Every broken shard of our lives is being put back together when we call upon our Creator. Each crack is filled with more of Him so that, in time, we will be more Him than we are ourselves. When we are viewed by others, they will see a history that is rich and profound and behold the glow of something brighter than gold.

It is in our broken pieces that we become even more valuable to the Kingdom. I like that.

What about you?

Here’s another writer’s insight that I think you might like, too…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-meade-dhl/golden-repair-of-the-crac_b_6356216.html

 

To See Again

I have a nasty eye infection. Prescription drops round two…and still very little improvement. There are no words for the annoyance…it’s difficult to read, to drive, to work on the computer, to do the little things of which life is comprised. Difficulty seeing has led me to do some thinking…

How many times do we pass by something because we choose not to see it? How many times do we miss the good “stuff” because we’re looking at the wrong “stuff”? How many times do we have an eye infection of the soul?

You’ve seen the viral videos…the man so engrossed in what’s on his phone that he misses meeting the love of his life or the woman looking so intently at her phone that she falls in the fountain. But what about me? What about you? What do we miss as we stare at our phones or computer screens or televisions? What incredible sights are we missing because we are looking out the wrong window?

I have watched as people take pictures of the Grand Canyon or the sunset off Waikiki Beach. In taking the picture they miss the actual experience. And I have been guilty of that…so busy trying to preserve what’s happening with a picture that I miss out on making a memory. Life is more than phones and cameras, more than computer screens and televisions, more than what the media feeds us.

Life is lived. There are no special eye drops for that eye infection of the soul. We just need to make a conscious choice. We need to step outside and begin to view the world again, to appreciate the flowers and the trees, to feel the air on our faces as we swing back and forth at the playground, to taste the food before us. We need to become mindful again, living in this moment, enjoying this moment, feeling the breath of life within us.

Choose wisely today.

How can you be more in touch with the world around you today?

A WORD (OR TWO) ABOUT THE FLU SHOT

First, a disclaimer. I am NOT a medical practitioner. The following is just my opinion, based on my experience. Please do your own research and do not perceive this as medical advice.

ABC News showed a big map last night and tonight highlighting all of the states where the flu has hit. I believe the newest number is 41 states. Part of the story on flu is to insist that people get a flu shot. I question the health of doing that.

I have received the flu vaccine a couple of times, but I choose not to any more. First of all, the shot has resulted in my being quite ill previously…and we’re not talking redness and pain at the site of the injection; we’re talking serious cases of bronchitis that took nearly a month to get under control. Secondly, the vaccine is laden with toxins, like formaldehyde, which I choose not to knowingly allow in to my body. And thirdly, the flu strain for which the vaccine is made is not necessarily the flu strain that hits in any given year.

Yes, some people should get the vaccine, especially people who eat the Standard American Diet; unhealthy lifestyles and lack of nutritious foods do not create a particularly strong immune system. Since I’ve been following a nutritarian lifestyle (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live), my immune system has strengthened and, I believe, can efficiently fight cold and flu viruses without having the vaccine. (That does not mean that I will not get the flu or catch a cold, but that my body can quickly take out the virus.)

For the record, I am not against vaccines. Some, like the polio vaccine, have put an end to a horrible disease. Having the pneumonia vaccine or the shingles vaccine really makes sense for the elderly. BUT….most vaccines last for several years before needing another vaccine or a booster or require only one vaccine period. The flu vaccine is EVERY YEAR. And those toxins it contains are EVERY YEAR. It seems to me a healthier long-term option might just be to eat from nature’s pharmacy…..fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds…..and get a stronger immune system.

Here’s some other info: http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/10/flu-vaccine-ingredients-as-lethal-as-ever-dont-risk-your-health-pass-on-the-flu-shot-2474096.html

What do you think of the flu vaccine? Did you, or are you, getting one this year?