Saturday, December 17, 2011

A different point of view

Normally, I'm cooking Marty something to eat right about now but tonight he called to say they are staying late so they don't have to work tomorrow.  I'm sorry he's staying late but glad he doesn't have to work tomorrow.  I"m not going to work either.  I about put myself in a coma last weekend trying to meet a deadline....I did by the way...not going to do that this weekend.  My poor house has been neglected for several weeks now, vacation, community projects and work all seem to come before housework--isn't that a surprise?!!
Marty's cousin and his wife stopped by for a quick visit as I was walking out the door going to work this morning. I stayed to chat a couple minutes, I didn't want to be rude, we rarely get company.  She mentioned the last time she was at our house, the basement was not finished.  The basement has been finished for nearly 3 years; isn't that sad, they live 15 minutes away from us.
I remember as a little girl all the family gatherings at my Grandma's house, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, all hanging out, eating and talking. I grew to love porch swings at that time in my life.  Grandma let me set with her and whomever was visiting with her; one of my favorite memories.  I knew most of my relatives by name at that time even though I was only 6 or 7.  But today, 50 years later, I would pass them on the street and not recognize any of them.
What happened to those times of family, those times of sharing meals, sharing news, sharing chores before heading home?  What happened to cause that bond to stretch so far that 15 minutes is too far away to drop by for a visit?
We're a big family, most of us have lived away from home for years at a time so perhaps that plays a part.  We become accustomed to doing things without family, being independent and self surviving. I am that person.  I can always do what needs to be done one way or another.  Rarely do I ask family to help me.  I'm the oldest, the wisest :), I'm the helper, the listener, the provider, the person who always rushes to help others, including family, but I don't call them in return.
My pastor said that's doing a disservice to myself and my family, both blood family and church family.  He said I am depriving those I care about an opportunity to be what God created them be, family, and do, have relationships.  I've thought about that comment a lot since I heard it that Sunday morning.  I never really looked at family in that way.
I read another little note of wisdom recently--- paraphrasing --- if you don't feel love, chances are pretty good you're not giving love. You may think you are but really examine it, what are your motivations, what's in your heart?  Is that me?  Do I do the helping and fixing because I believe that's what I'm supposed to do or is it because it's what I want to do?
No better time than now to make changes, right?  While I'm sewing, crafting and wrapping this weekend I'll be examining ME.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

She was worth the wait.

I certainly can't tell a little story about Parker without telling something about Vivianne.
 She's very special to me; I waited  22 years to get her!!

When Marty & I first started dating I learned that he was a dog person.  Nothing wrong with that, I had owned and loved dogs prior to meeting him but my secret heart really belonged to my cats.
I had recently moved back to the area and at that time did not have a cat.  Several months later, when we decided to move in together, the subject of pets came up.  "I will not have a cat in my house" is what I heard more than once.  I'm an easy going sort of gal, fairly or the man I had grown to love?  Some would choose cat but I chose man.  Man and I agree to get a puppy, our Kodi and I loved her more than I could have imagined possible.  We grew into a happy family and life was grand.
I had asked for one concession when we decided on Kodi, if things go well, in 6 months, we get a cat.   Well, that six months grew and grew some more, until it became 22 years.  A stroke of fate ended my wait.
A straggly ole stray cat showed up on our door step.  It was obvious he had once been a pet.  I was able to approach him and pick him up the first time we spotted him.  Marty has mellowed in our old age and did not try to chase him off with the gun or a firecracker.  I started putting food out, Raspy (the sound of his voice) seemed agreeable and gradually warmed up to both of us.  A couple of days later, we were schedule to leave on a short vacation, so we arranged to have someone put food out for him.  Marty said, "If he's still here when we get back, I guess we can keep him."   YEAH!!!
He was but this story does not have a happy ending.  We took Raspy to the vet for a physical and for the required shots.  The assistants told me later they suspected something was wrong when they first met Raspy and the blood work confirmed it.  Raspy had feline Aids among other things. Sad story shorter, the vet recommended we put him down, we did.  I was crushed!  It seemed impossible that I could become so attached in such a short amount of time, about 2 weeks. I truly mourned his loss and struggled with our decision.  Marty was amazing.  Even though he couldn't understand how I was feeling, he supported me and after about a week said, "When you're ready, let's adopt a cat."  YEAH, again!!
It took me a little time and many visits to our Humane Society's Catland but about 5 months later Vivianne joined our family.
What's amazing to me and I think unbelievable to Marty, he actually likes her!!  It's a miracle, Lord!  Thank you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Whew, where'd the time go?

Isn't this just the cutest dog dish you've ever seen??  I made it for my buddy Parker on a visit to my sister's house when she lived in Florida.  Can't remember the name of the place but it was a walk in shop, pick your project and make it.  They had the green ware ready, all kinds of things, cups, plates, platters, bowls, ashtrays, etc.  I painted and decorated it, they fired it and my sister mailed it home to me two weeks later.

This is my buddy Parker with his favorite, bestest bowl.  He had been eating out of an old stainless steel cooking pot, with the handle broken off.  He wasn't complaining about his tableware, as long as it had food in it twice a day, he was a happy guy.
As I was drying off the bowl the other day, I noticed the date on the bottom, 2003---8 almost 9 years ago!!  So much  has happened since then.  My sister & her husband moved to Tennessee, they got divorced and she moved home.  She met a nice guy and has remarried.  Her only child, Cayla, married her high school sweetheart in 2008 and six months ago today, she became a Grandma!!
I can't note as many "events" in my life since the bowl was born; it has just continued to be blessed.  I have not moved since 1987,  am married to the same guy, 22 years (yes, we lived together first) and I just celebrated 18 years at my job.  We only have furry kids; we lost Kodi at 13 in 2000 and found Parker later that year, he is 12 and Vivianne, our feline girl is 4.  No grand-kids, furry or otherwise, though my husband does have a son, so, maybe someday.
I am amazed by the travel of time it moves without you knowing it.  Marking that passage in some way is what brings it's movement into view.
As I look around and think about my family and life, I couldn't be happier.  There has been sadness but there has also been great joy.  I know there is more sadness ahead as we age, as my parents and siblings age but the joy of this moment is fulfilling and as I mentioned, I'm blessed and I thank the good Lord daily for what he has given me.
Being thankful for all the parts of life, even the not so pretty parts, helps us appreciate and recognize how lucky we are. Today the sun is shining, the ground is covered with snow, my nephew is celebrating his 11th birthday with cake and ice cream later this afternoon, how could it be any better?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm listening, I think.

I need to vent.  This could be a long drawn out story and a bit boring, so I'll try to hit the high spots and then I ask a question.
I don't have cell service where I live or where I work.  I have shared this information with my family and friends at least 1000 times.  OK, maybe it's less than 1000 times but I know I've shared it a lot, repeatedly.
A friend arranged  to meet me at 7A at a local restaurant to accept my check in exchange for some items in her possession. I'm up early, shower, dress, start to drive the 10 minutes to the arranged meeting spot.  Part way there, about the 7 minute mark, cell service becomes available; I turn on my cell phone.  I hear the little dings begin, glance at the phone and notice text messages are highlighted, I pull over.  Honest. I do; I'm not capable of reading, texting and driving!  There is a text message from her that says....."so sorry can't make it in the  morning, something has come up, yada, yada, yada.  I'll catch you later."
This message was sent at 7pm Friday evening to my cell phone.  Could someone please tell me why she did something so foolish?  I do have a land line and you know what, it works 99% of the time AND my friend, amazing as this may seem; my number is in the phone book.  You do remember what a phone book is, don't you?   VENTING done :)

Now the question---I'm just a bit mad as I find a place to turn my truck around and head back home. But I'm also a generally sunny person, so my shiny side says, OK, you're up, let's get something started when you get home, you've got a head start on the day.  After another mile or two, another thought pops into my head.  Is God trying to tell me or show me something that is some how related to what just happened?  How do we know if God is trying to tell you something?  Is the fact that the idea popped into your head in the first place proof enough and if it is, how can I figure out what He's trying to say?  I have rerun the morning through my head several times and can't come up an answer.

Today I'm still thinking about it.  I have come up with a couple little things that might relate but nothing that really says, "Pay attention".  Perhaps, some where down the road I'll find out, but in the mean time, please remember, I don't have cell service at my house!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Let's get started

Today I'm going to start my Christmas card making project.  Marty & I decided to give everyone, except the small fry, a gift card for Christmas this year.  Though I love, love receiving gift cards, they can be a rather blah gift to open, so I decided to spice them up a little with hand crafted cards.  I plan to make the card, insert the gift card and then wrap the card as the gift with a festive bow.  Maybe I'll make bows too, I love them on packages, but I don't want to overwhelm myself.  The day loses some of it's luster when I'm still wrapping at 3AM Christmas morning.  Christ's birth is the reason for the season and I want to welcome the celebration of that gift with a smile!

Some card making supplies to get me started

Creative is not my middle name nor is it any part of my name but I can follow directions well.  I saw a great example of a gift card holder card in the November 2010 issue of CardMaker Magazine, I'm going to use that as my start off template and evolve from there.  Given a good example, I am able to change it up and add a bit of myself to the end result.  I have lots of "this and that" laying around in my craft room, so I can embellish from my personal stash once I get going.  I'm excited to do this, I'm proud of myself for getting started today instead of waiting until December 23rd.  I have at least 15 cards to make (BIG family) and I'm sure the first card and probably the 2nd & 3rd cards won't make me happy, so I figure I'll be making 20 or 25 cards before I'm done.
Best wishes to all other crafters as you begin your quest to finish projects intended to be under, around or on the Christmas tree this month.  Rub your neck, stand up, stretch, bend over and go outside for a breath of fresh air........if all those thing fail to give a second wind............go to bed!!