Sunday, October 11, 2015

Seasons of Life

Autumn has arrived! 

Does it seem to you that it happens suddenly? Incrementally AND suddenly? 
You get into your car and start to drive and all at once you're in the midst of vibrant ruby reds and deep orange bursts of color? 

That's my experience every year and I always have the same Steve Jobs reaction: 
"Wow,Wow,Wow!" 

When Fall makes her appearance on the East Coast, there is no mistaking her.

 She creates a Cinderella entrance and after living in Virginia for 33 years, her beauty still takes my breath away. 


She brings crisp, prepare-something-pumpkin-kind-of-weather. (and let me get my scarf on first..) I want something warm in my mug and develop a desire to participate in random acts of pastry.


I wish she would stay longer..but like Cinderella she has a curfew. A set exit strategy and she seems in a bit of a hurry to leave!

In her rush, Cinderella left a shoe behind. Fall leaves the party half naked! And makes a mess while she's at it! Dropping her leaves everywhere like a woman trying to decide what to wear and before she knows it - the entire contents of her closet is scattered all over her bed. 

Or so I've heard...

Then someone (hopefully one of the much younger people living in my home) will have to pick up after her. 

Raking up whatever is leftover from her Haute Couture Fall Collection...

Then it's haste la vista, baby! Make room for Old Man Winter and his famous work of art titled: Whiteout. 

He's a no frills kind-of guy and if he's not too grumpy he might let us keep our electricity..

Fall also graciously hosts my granddaughters birthday! You can clearly see how old she is:) 



She learned this for her big day! 

"How old are you, Penny?" And up pops her two bunny ear fingers..

"I'm two!" 

Aw....I'm loving this season of life with grandchildren. We learn a lot from each other! Like a recent lesson learned with Penny in the grocery store. We we standing in line and she was very intently looking up at me and sort of flapping her mouth open and shut and performing an awkward chewing motion. It was a cross between a snapping turtle and a cow chewing cud. 

It was bazaar looking and I was trying to figure out what the heck she was doing (and if I needed to call 911...) and then I realized she was mimicking me....chewing my gum. 

I no longer chew gum...

Humbling lessons learned in a check out line from a (bunny fingers up!) two year old:)

When Aidan was a toddler he would tiptoe into my bedroom early in the morning and climb into bed and make the sign for "book" which meant he wanted me to tell him a story. 


For some reason, Aidan liked to touch my face when I read. Over time he would touch a certain spot on my face with one finger. 

I'd like to say it was a freckle. 

Freckle is a cute word. 

But alas, it is an age spot. 

Not a very cute word. 

It's about as cute as the word 

"Incontinence" 

So, I decided to call it my ..

"Not Freckle" 

My Not Freckle is below my left eye, and there his finger would rest as I read or told a story.

I'm a cud chewing spotted cow..

You have no idea about these sorts of things until you have grandchildren!

For many reasons my Not Freckle holds sweet memories for me and if I had the chance to have it lasered off, I wouldn't take it. 

I might for those other members of Not Freckles family who are definitely age spots and not cute at all. Squatters who have no permission to be on my personal property!

One of the precious things I love about my grandchildren are their laughs. 

Honestly, if I could bottle them up I'd have some kind of miracle cure, for sure. 

Maybe even the fountain of youth in a cream!

But I'd put it nowhere near my Not Freckle!

Not Freckle feels like Home.

"Children's children are a crown to the aged" ~ Proverbs 17: 6

Amen. 
















Sunday, September 6, 2015

Be Honey

I just spent seven days in a hospital. 

Not as the patient.

My brightly colored bracelet read “Patient Care”

AKA:  “Wife”

This bracelet allowed me to sleep in the patients room, have my parking validated and drink as much ginger ale as I liked - until I could recite the alphabet in burps. 

(In a hospital, entertainment is up to you….) 

I could sleep in two chairs pushed to gather, the window bench or, if lucky, (and an order got issued) a cot. 

If you see a cot roll into the room, you might feel as though you have just won the lottery, burst into tears and wonder how in the world Publisher’s Clearing House found you in the hospital!

But, after one night, I decided I preferred the window seat. 

It had a window. 

A window in a hospital room is important. It reminds you that this is a pause in life. Your real world awaits...

In a hospital, nothing is more true than this adage: 

“You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

YOU DO NOT, under ANY circumstance, want to annoy your nurse. 

DO NOT ANNOY YOUR NURSE!

Bruce Lee said “Be Water

I say..”Be Honey” 

I noticed, in my seven day stay, there were three types of nurses:

The Excellent

The Good

The Bad

1)The Excellent Nurses rise like cream and you usually find them in the the ICU where it’s literally a matter of life and death. We had three excellent nurses in the ICU. They might as well have been doctors - excellent in their care and knowledge. Thoughtful, caring people who said things like “guests are not allowed to sleep in the ICU rooms, but if you fall asleep in that chair…I won’t wake you." 

2) There are many Good Nurses. Most people who have a calling into nursing are caring, good people. Good Nurses are also happy people! In seven days, there’s time to get a peek  into a life. I noticed that the happy nurses, as much as they love their work, have more going on then their hospital jobs. It's not their only source of fulfillment. They salsa dance…

3) The Bad Nurses steal your iphone charger. 
But, you’ve been warned. 
“Do not leave your valuables in your room unattended." 
But honestly, with all the losses that can occur  in a hospital…I'll take an iphone charger. 
Thankyouverymuch.

And, Your  welcome…..

Random hospital observations

All the doctors looked about 18. 

 How did I possibly arrive at my age without earning my medical degree?…..

Alas, it’s too late for me. No one wants a doctor who can’t remember where they parked at Krogers..

But, it’s never too late for crochet!

About as close as I'll get to stitching anything…

2) It’s OK to walk around in your PJ’s. We’re all Wal*Mart People in a hospital…

3) If a hospital volunteer sees you sitting alone in the dinning area - they might strike up a conversation! Like the friendly 86 year old man who asked how I was. He told me he was just glad to be above the grass as opposed to being under, and that before his work at the hospital, his career was in hospitality.
He said in his field, the term “86” had a certain meaning. 
“Out” 
“Off the list” 
He said he hoped to make it through his 86th year with out being kicked off “THE LIST”
He said he enjoyed life, work and people. 
He said he was slowing down a bit - and that it took him and hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes. :) 

“Laughter is as a medicine”~ 

I started to wonder if I knew any 86 year old women I could introduce to this kind, humours gentleman. 

And by “any other women”…I meant my mother. 

I would love to sit across from him at my Thanksgiving table. 

He and his conversation were what I was thankful for that day.

One tends to count their blessings in a hospital..

I think of him often.

I pray he stays on “The List” for a long, long time. 

The Good Nurses encourage walking. 

Lots of walking. 

Walking around in little circles allows you to peek into other patients rooms and wonder if they still have their iphone chargers…..

By day six, we ask if we would be allowed to walk in circles outside. 

We wanted to see and feel that big yellow circle in the sky. 

We're granted permission from our favorite Good Salsa Dancing Nurse. 

She unplugs the heart monitor my “patient” is tethered to. 

It feels like this: 



It turns out my “patient” wants to breakout.

He wants to get into the car and drive to Mc Donald’s for “good coffee."

(Never mind the very fine coffee station serving freshly brewed organic coffee, mocha’s, or any other skillfully prepared barista concoctions you can thing of right in the hospital dining area…)

My patient is the Marty Crane of "Can't a man just get a plain cuppa Joe around here?"

We do it. 


Faces are changed to protect the guilty.




I look down at my bracelet. 

This is not good “Paitent Care”

This is just NOT good patient care. 

I look over at his bracelets which say things like “Fall Risk”

I am 56 years old, and forgot to get my medical degree. 

I am a Bad Nurse. 

My crochet skills amount to the friendship bracelet  level….

By the time we are officially discharged from the hospital, we had three separate breakouts.

The first one was ridiculously frightening and guilt inducing.

The second time got a little easier. 

By the third, we were a regular Bonnie and Clyde. 

The third escape included an actual sit down meal at the lovely Oakhurst Cafe and Inn. 


Poached eggs in a wine reduction shakti mushroom sauce over asparagus anyone? 

Highly recommended on your next breakout.

(and no one seemed to mind a few wires sticking out of a t-shirt over pajama bottoms…)

When we got back from that outing, Salsa Dancing Nurse comments that we were gone for three hours and that must have been quite a walk!

“Three hours? Really? It didn’t feel that long - we better take a nap!….”

Be honey….

No one wants to be in the hospital. Unless it's floor 8 where the babies are welcomed into the world. 

The rest of us are sitting, crocheting in the family rooms waiting for a 6 1/2 surgery to be over and hear the doctor call your name and say it all went well. 

It's why there are so many touches of beauty around the place. 

A baby grand piano in the lobby. 

Beautiful art, pottery, fresh flowers in tall vases and sculptures on display. 


We need to wrap ourselves in beauty in the face of sickness and possible death. 

There's always pie. 

Thank you dinning people for the pie. 

When I look back at my seven day stay there, (and because I chose to focus on the positive)

I think a lot of people there were.... 

Being honey. 

And, I'm truly thankful for the good, sweet people who chose honey over vinegar. 

















Friday, August 7, 2015

A Brief Blogging Intermission.

  This is a brief blogging intermission. For a little self-improvement.


It's exhausting trying to be a better human...

I'm on Day Three of the recent challenge I accepted from a speaker in one of my favorite podcasts.

The host always ends his podcast by asking his guests the same question:

"Given everything you know - not just in your realm of research but in your life experience - what top three things would you share with our listeners who want to perform better at whatever it is they do in life?"

This is the icing on the Podcast Cake for me.

This particular guests' number one was "Gratitude" she expounded on incorporating that into our lives.

I can' t even remember the second one..so that obviously didn't make much of an impact on me. (maybe I had my fingers in my ears singing "la-la-la-"- that's my go to position when I don't like what I'm hearing)

Her third one was a challenge.

I love a challenge.

She suggested we take a 24 hour period - and not complain about ANYTHING and to  recognize a complaint before we allowed it to exit through our pie hole.

I thought: "Well, I could do THAT! I'm not really much of a complainer!"

I actually thought that....

My first test came on Day One at 8:30 in the morning when I arrived for my dermatologist appointment.

Receptionist: "I'm sorry Ms. Thomas. I know you were told today, but your appointment is actually tomorrow. We have a new system, we are all trying to get used to it."

Me: "Oh"

Me: "So I get to come back....tomorrow.....at 8:30.....for my dermatologist appointment?"

Receptionist: "Yes"

Me: "Joy"

Like I said, I hate  love a challenge..

Researchers say that Day Three is hard when trying to break a habit or incorporate a new habit into our lives.  It's hump day.

Day Three for me on any diet I've ever been on could result in a carb related crime.

Hand over the croissant and no one gets hurt...

Day three for the smoker trying to quit, suddenly remembers that pack of cigarettes he hid..just for a time such as this - Day Three.

Most of my complaining takes place in my thoughts. They normally don't spill out of my mouth. Nevertheless, this is still an important challenge for me.

It's made me aware of the little things I find annoying.

Like other humans.

And can we talk about God's irritating sense of humor?

Firstly..opposites attract. So we marry them..

God smiles.

We have children and assume they will all love each other, love others and never need a lawyer before they are old enough to pay for one themselves.  After all, aren't our parenting skills stellar?

God giggles (but covers His mouth so as not to be rude....)

We enter the work force and know for certain that there is no I in TEAM! and we are all in this together so we'll obviously get along famously!

A laugh escapes through His fingers..

And as a Christian, there's always CHURCH! Our very people! Where we turn to the person sitting next to us (as our pastors often suggest) and "admonish one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and a spiritual song" I mean, what can go wrong in a church?

We're talking a full out belly laugh from the Big Guy now. Rolling laughter like thunder..tears falling like rain.

But, it's all for a purpose.

We need family.

We need community.

We need to learn humility and grace.

Grace: Simple elegance.

As well as the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.

I can't picture Mother Teresa complaining too much.

I thought about being a nun. But that was mostly due to a television show I was watching at the time where a nun (with a very aerodynamic habit) flew over rooftops!

Even at that young age I decided that probably wasn't too likely but I liked the idea of flying  so I decide I would be an airline stewardess. (that's what we called them in the olden days- now they are Flight Attendants:)

But that was mostly because I wanted to wear boots like this:

This was of concern to my mom.  She tried to discourage my idea by saying "Kelli, they are a little like a waitress in the sky"

Well..that backfired!

"Waitresses in the SKY!! Groovy! :)

I think at that point I started to worry my mom a bit. Before that  carrier path, I aspired to be an Ironing Lady!

What could possibly be better than ironing clothes all day?

This challenge/exercise is a peek into myself.

I'm hyper aware of my thoughts.

I've become hyper aware of my flaws.

In spite of that, I'm also aware that I can control what I think and how I chose to react in a situation or to a person.

I can better recognize my own inner self-critic and tell it to be nice.

I'm going to add this to three other practices I keep.

1) In the morning asking myself two questions: (suggested questions, but any two will do)

"God, what do you want me to know?"

"God, what do you want me to do?"

2) At night- finding three things to be thankful for. (pertaining to that day.)

3) When getting a new planner- flipping the months open and stabbing a day with a marker. On those days, as the year progresses, I do a random act of kindness in word or deed.

I like how she suggested that we take the challenge in 24 hour periods.

We are asleep for part of it so......:)

On my "off" days I'll just go to bed, with ice cream or chocolate.

So far, on this Day Three...I'm edging over the hump.

Want to take the challenge with me?

It's refreshing...and exhausting:)

Not that I'm complaining or anything...










Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On Being Human

Coming to the beach always makes me feel a little more human.

Vacations are like that, aren't they?

What IS this feeling anyway? (oh yeah...relaxation..)

The ocean has it's own smell and sound. It's easy to feel like you're outside your life a bit.

I take long walks on the beach. I unpack my mind.

I wonder why (in my real life) I don't take more early morning walks...

Probably has something to do with "early" and "walk"

I talk to the God of the universe on these walks - my source of power..the sower of my dreams..

Feet in the sand, sun on my face, sound of the waves rolling in my ears...

"Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!

    God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea."

I'm amazed at how many shells look like little hearts. I notice this with every trip I make to the beach. I look for it-a love note..
This trip I found a little kitty cat. She's been my constant companion on my walks. I tuck her into the side of my bathing suit bottom and off we go! (I'd rather walk a dog..but she appeared to me as a cat..so what are you gunna do?)

 I like it when she winks at me.. Meow..


 With all the recent shark attacks (one at this very beach) we are all amazed at how many people are out in the ocean, neck deep. 

DON'T THE KNOW THERE  ARE  SHARKS OUT THERE?!

The five of us sit in a row in our beach chairs looking out for any signs of shark fins. (those of us who remembered to bring our glasses...) We discuss what we'd do in that kind of emergency. There's one nurse among us..we all look her way as if to say "It's all on you, babe" 

She's a good human. She'd do it. Whatever it takes..she'd do it. 

We have an HR Human..she would make sure everyone felt heard.
And if everyone started talking at once, we have a First Grade Teacher Human who could put her finger to her lips and quiet everyone down. (in the count of three.....)
An Accountant Human -highly trained to avoid errors and skilled in quality control. She could keep an eye on said nurse, sitting to the left of me..the one in which our pretend shark victim's entire life depends!
I never really realized how important MY skill set would be in a situation like this! As a Professional Bow-tire-er-on-er....I, of course, would tie the tourniquet. And, make it look beautiful....:) 

My thoughts on this trip seem to be wrapped around...our human condition. Everyone need to feel valued, appreciated and feel we have an important role to play. (like the five of us -superhero lifesavers!)  But, what if our piece of the puzzle doesn't easily slide in to the big picture of things? Edges all sharp and poky...different from the rest.  What if we're a misfit? How does a person like that ever relate..or feel human? 

These thoughts and more coming to "On Being Human..Part 2" , in a Bloggestshpere near you..

In the meantime, a nap sounds good:) 

I'm only human....

*Beachlife*





Sunday, May 10, 2015

Penny Diaries


When I was growing up in California, we had a neighborhood store called Hicky's. They sold candy pieces for a penny ~ also known as Penny Candy. We'd search under sofa cushions, pilfer through junk drawers and any wallets that were just hanging around:) - gather up as many pennies as we could find and hop on our bikes and get a bagful! We kept our dentists' busy. 

Penny Candy was always a sweet treat!

This weekend I had sweet treat. Penny Ruth! I don't get to see her as often as I would like, so it's important to make all the minutes count. There's something said about pleasures being spread throughout the earth in stray gifts waiting to be claimed by whomever shall find...I found many this weekend. 

I forgot how cute a one and half year old is in footie jammies:) 


After our little snack, it was time to clean up. We talked about how a woman's work is never done!......scrub scrub scrub..and sang songs like: "I like hugs, I like kisses, but what I love is help with the dishes" :) 


.Ah... the importance of grooming. While putting on our make up, we used our british accents. 

Rollers out = time to go to Gilles! (but you would be just as welcomed at Gilles with rollers in your hair.......)
She's holding that extra cream in her mouth for me..the table was getting a little crowed...

It was time to go home and relax. (Time to do nothing...then rest afterwards:) Aidan was tired from his big day so we decided to put in a movie. One of them watched it...


Today is Mother's Day, so out walked Penny with my gift. 
It looks more like her's than mine...but believe me, that See's Candy was coming to me if I had to wrestle her for it. 

What a sweet day. Penny Candy and all...:)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Woman Years



Hellooo 56! 

56. That's getting up there...in Woman Years.

56. I have to practice saying it.

Just like the year, when a new comes along in January. 

 56, in 2015....

Yesterday, FB reminded me it was my birthday. 

"Kelli Thomas's 56th Birthday
tomorrow"

Well, now I know! 

What else do I know? On each birthday, I like to reflect on what I've learned through the year. 

 This wisdom of age and grace of the years....

Sometimes, I just want confirmation that what I've learned/believe to be true..its actually true!

"The soul rejoices in hearing what it already knows" 

I also like learning about the absurd. Like new made up words. Words which, when used enough, actually become "real" words. Words hoping to find their mysterious destiny on a page in the dictionary! Like the Velveteen Rabbit..Real.  (i.e., tweet, Google as a verb, Lol)  It just so happens that "we the people" can change the language. 

I'm keeping track of these words. Not real yet..just hanging around trying to become useful.

Hangry. This is when you  are cranky or angry because you are hungry. 
(can I get a witness?) 

Multi-slacking. (not a wise thing to do while at work...) 

Adorkable. I find our new puppy pretty adorkable when he runs down my hallway - big ears flapping and paws growing faster than his little stick legs and balance can adjust to. He ends up looking like the little boy trying to run in his fathers' dress shoes. Adorkable. 

Defriend made its way into the dictionary. I don't think I defended anyone this year. I love my adorkable friends! And if I did, it was probably because I was hangry. 

Woman Years...

I see them in decades. The victory is to slip out of them gracefully, without leaving claw marks. And why would we want to go back? Those years are spent. One of the most valuable questions I ask myself is: "Kelli, did you do your best?" 

Yes, I did my best. Even in the dark times. 

Women often do their best, deepest, most genuine growing in the dark times. Like the "I-did-not-know-this-about-myself-before-truth." Like the most shinning clear and resolute truths. We grow beautiful in that. Like a Moon flower...

In the decade of a woman's 20's, she'd be wise to learn to:

 Carry your most central, essential childhood friends with you. The one's you did all the crazy, stupid, fun, sweet, brave, self destructive things together. After all, you helped raise each other.

Dear Sweet 20 Year Old, please know the difference between love...and a restraining order. 

Dear Sweet 20 Year Old, you will probably start a family in this decade. This is when your life will end...and begin again. Another, "I-did-not-know-this-about-myself-before-moment" And it's not something you can be told. You have to experience it for your self - the moment your heart explodes into the most authentic love you will ever feel.

Woman Years..

The 30's can be a blur. But, energy abounds!  Hang in there..

Woman Years..

The 40's. The 40's are great for a woman. We find resilience, faith, strength, and nerve. 

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you truly are"- EE Cummings. 

The 50's:

We grow wise with age. We've earned the right to believe what we want to believe. 

I believe the studies that say coffee is a superfood! Just the facts, baby:

"Coffee contains lots of antioxidants (it's the biggest source of antioxidants in an average Western diet!) that help the body fight chemicals called “free radicals.” As a result, coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Type II Diabetes, and Heart Disease."

See! If I combine this superfood with another super-activity like a crossword puzzle while sitting at my favorite coffee shop, it puts a positive spin on "multi-slacking."

Did you know that too much exercise can be bad for you? Yep! (So says my favorite study!) I didn't even cry when my daughter sold the elliptical. It was a little sad after all those years of sharing a room together...but honestly, I did all the work in that relationship...

When the waitress brought bread to our ladies night table, one of my girlfriends said "A recent study showed that women with a little extra padding live longer."
We choose wise friends...with good timing...
Pass the butter....

Women my age become more deliberate about the one short life we have. 

"We pray to God, but keep rowing to the shore."

We are here to build a house, and furnish it with the love we gather up. 

It's 4am. I am packing and gathering up my things. I have a flight to catch. It seems when you feed your friends growing, hungry, preadolescent children, they remember..and invite you to their weddings;) I love weddings! Especially the I do's, witnessing a house being built, furnished- and being apart of the love gathered together. 

  What a wonderful thing to be doing on this 56th birthday in the midst of  Woman Year, 2015

I see cake in my future:)



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Special Ride

Families with special needs children are riding along a bumpy road. We reach for the GPS because we often feel quite lost. It’s just that..we’re not so sure of our destination or whether to take the “fastest route” or the “shortest route” just please don't take us in those weird little circles.

 Personally, I’d like to avoid too many twist and turns. Little voice coming down from the heavens, I want to “avoid dirt roads” - this ride is messy enough. Please “avoid toll roads.” Toll roads are just too taxing….

Is that a lot to expect from a GPS? Surely there’s a Special app for that…

 We’d love a comforting, knowing voice to announce the next road to take and how close we are to the next available rest stop. We’re tired! 

We often feel like we’re are traveling alone - that’s why we pick up strangers along the way. 


Meet Jackson Gillman.


Also known as the Stand-Up Chameleon!

Once a stranger and now fellow traveler on this ride with our Special One. He gave Aidan his first smile of the day as he sang silly songs and used Aidan's body as an instrument. Tapping on his fingers, playing his ribcage, knocking on his knees. He used Aidan's hands to tell a story using each finger as a member of a family who ended up living in Aidan's heart. 

This was music therapy at its storytelling best. What a wonderful human being. I'm so glad we crossed paths. 

 Complete strangers put air in our tires. Gas us up, so to speak. Anne Lamott says "laughter is carbonated holiness" and I would agree:) 

 This road is hard, but it makes us soft.

The view from this windshield makes us look at life a little differently.

We are forced to slow down, speed up, miss a few exits. 

I could flood a road with my tears when I think about the things Aidan misses.

Sports, school, birthday parties, a voice. A normal meal. Playgrounds.Walking across a room. 

But the emergency vehicles arrive just in time. 
They repair the damage caused by grief.
The Life Support Team. 
You know who you are. 

 We roll on...

A lesson is learned with each lap around this track.
Like the race car driver attacking the complexities of the turns.
It's about focus and occasionally requires lightning speed reflexes to stay upright and clarity on how to make wise decisions.

Sometimes we're able to experience a victory lap. 


If you do too..give yourselves a round of applause!

Receive your metal!

This metal of Endurability...

We are not having much victory with this hospital stay. Aidan is not tolerating being in ketosis. He's not keeping anything down and is sleeping the day away. The pit crew has had a meeting and we are on to plan B. 




We're Realists.
Expecting miracles...

Amen, and so it is. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mr. Mouse

I


Let me tell you about Mr. Mouse
He lives in the hollows of my house

He never bothers to use the door
Just slides right through the cracks in the floor.

These are the things I'd like to know
About my furry friend below.

Does he have a favorite little nook?
Does he sit in his chair and read a book?
Does he drink hot chocolate from a mug?
Does he really have a cat skin rug?

Does he shop from my cupboards late at night?
Wonder if I should leave on the light?

I'd like to have him up for tea!
Stuff him full of tasty cheese!

And once I knew him really well
I'd take him to school for show and tell!
















Saturday, February 7, 2015

Simply Irrestible


My friends know about my on again off again relationship with Kate, the girl who knows every intimate detail about me - including my credit card number.

We have the common relationship problems, mostly swirling about money. We dance around the issue, she at the primary lead.

I keep a little envelope with her name on it (ala Dave Ramsey) and try to make the occasional  investment into our relationship.

I want to be ready when she reaches out to me via email. And sometimes I get the occasional text. This is how I know our relationship is progressing in a serious manner. She's got my number.

With attached images so provocative one must proceed with caution. Open at your own peril!
(Especially if there isn't really an envelope with her name on it...)

Sometimes Kate moves a little fast. She plays a game called "Flash Sale." Limited items for a limited time. It's rapid fire decision making.

How limited are these quantities, Kate? No time to ask!

But she knows I'm not that kind of girl. I like to take my time. I need to look at every photo listed for the item- every angle. I need to zoom. I need to see how it looks on the model. I need to get my tape measure out and get a visual on how large that bag actually is! (Not that....well, you know..)

Lately, she and I have encountered another relationship pitfall.

Communication

Take this beautiful bag, for instance.



The color for this bag is listed as "Clock Tower and Black."

Are you kidding me, Kate? Even in a box of 64, I never came across the color Clock Tower. Is this grayish? Because I would really prefer it to have tan tones. I can't really tell and clock tower isn't ringing any bells. (so to speak..)

I hate to go behind Kate's back, and I realize trust is an essential element in any relationship..but, I must. I Google: "Is Clock Tower a color?"

And to tell you the truth, I'm still not sure. I did find a fancy pants paint line by Marston & Langinger that mentioned the name.

 I guess you learn something new everyday! And isn't that the sign of a healthy relationship?

We'll work though this, like we always do.

I'm just going to have to forgive my Kate for using her designer names for something that could simply be described as tan or grey.

 She can't help herself...she's an artist, a designer type. But, I knew that going in.

And as Robert Palmer often reminds me:

"She's simply irresistible."




Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Book Review - A Life Review

So, here's my new book.



 Not reading the last page of a new book first- isn't listed as one of my 2015 New Year resolutions, so  I know how the story ends....or in this case, begins.

According to my new decluttering Guru, this book will change my tidying tendencies..forever!

 Some of the testimonies listed are as follows:

"After your course, I quit my job and launched my own business doing something I had dreamed of doing ever since I was a child."

Wow, she decluttered her home...and her head at the same time.

"Your course taught me to see what I really need and what I don't. So I got a divorce. Now I feel much happier."

Hm..nothing like throwing the baby (daddy) out with the bathwater. Wonder if I'll be looking at Homeless Cat any differently...

"I finally succeeded in losing ten pounds"

I'm not sure how that could happen - but....OK!

My Japanese sista tells me that tidying my house will have positive affects in all areas of my life, including work and family - with "unexpected results." (o0h-la-la)

I read a good chunk of the book until it was time for me to go to work.

I felt the need to tidy.

I tidied the office supplies.

I tidied the store binder.

I put fresh contact paper on the bulletin board and tidied the tacts.

I tidied.

Maybe this is an example of the "unexpected results" of which she speaks.
 I'll just start to tidy, where ever I am.

Visions of myself in the doctors's office - tiding the magazines and the tongue depressors.

Even now sitting in this coffee shop I have a strong desire to tidy. There's a man sitting across from me who looks like he could use some help.....
But, better not get carried away in the magic of it all. I'm new to this. I should finish the book first...

Her approach contradicts conventional wisdom when it comes to decluttering and organizing. She refers to storage experts as "hoarders."

We don't need to store (hoard) we need to "discard."

There's a physical aspect to her approach. She wants her readers and clients to touch the items- to examine what you own.

Selection criterion: Does it spark joy?  That is the question..

She states that the process can take up to six months.

Well I guess so, if you are picking up every item and talking to it.

Like the conversation I had with these little shoes:





"Little pink shoes..you spark joy in me! I love to see your feminine shape ready and waiting in my closet. Um..we need to talk. We're just not a fit. It's not shoe, it's me! When we go stepp'n out - it never ends well. You're just a little constricting. I need my...space. A little wiggle room, please. You may have exaggerated your size. Are you sure you are really a 6 1/2? Because, you feel a little more like a 5. I'm going to have to let you go..set you free! Send you out to find your true soulmate! (so to speak..)

Well, that wasn't so hard! One item down! Just 259385038 more to go..

I tend to choose books with the hope that they will inspire me. Let's face it. Our surroundings affect us. Beauty and flow, matter. I'm not sure if I buy into all of her tiding philosophies but if "cutter symbolizes unfinished business and impedes forward progress" I'm going to have a few more conversations...with my "stuff."

(And the word tidy is now officially in my vocabulary.)

After breaking up with a few more of my items, I took a different kind of break to check my email.
My mom and I seem to be on the same wavelength, only she's talking about decluttering...forever.

Her email is a request for what she would like done with her things. Who should get what, and why.

I send a one-line email as a reply.

"I don't want you to die."

But, I get it. She's preparing.  Even with my own decluttering efforts, the thought crosses my mind  that I don't really want my children to have a lot of "stuff" to deal with when my time comes. I'd like them to find only the things that "sparked joy" in me ~ to come across things that mattered to me. Not a lot of ridiculous clutter.

I admire my mom for being proactive. She's taking charge and keeping up with the details of her life-and her death. I haven't always been like that- but then I had a dream that both haunts and speaks to me until this day.

In the dream:
I was a young mom of three. For some reason I was alone. I was in charge of three little people. Each night a lightbulb would go out. I'd say to myself "I'm so busy, so tired...I'll get to that later" Another night, another light out- until one night we sat there in total darkness. So dark, we couldn't see each others faces. My life was so undone and I was so unorganized I couldn't find a candle, or a match or even a flashlight. And, it was entirely my fault.

That dream changed the way I operated. Being afraid of the dark had a new and profound meaning. I stopped putting things off. I did my part to keep the darkness away.

My mom's a believer. She believes heaven awaits her -and if heaven is the next step:

" O Death, where is your victory?  O Grave where is your sting?"~ 1 Corinthians 15:55

"Out of the darkness, and into his marvelous light"~ 1 Peter 2:9

I often have dreams about things that are current with what's going on in my life. When Aidan sees a plane in the sky, he does his "please please please!" thing..and I say "would you like to take a plane ride!? So, I've been trying to figure something out.  A few months ago, I had this dream:

In the dream:
We are about to board. It's all so exciting! Big, ear to ear smiles all around. Aidan takes the window seat. (of course:) We buckle up! Ready for take off. Giddy with laughter! Then the scene changes. Aidan and I are in a place so beautiful we can't stop talking about what we are seeing! That's when I realize..Aidan has speech. I say "Aidan! Your talking! He nonchalantly says "yeah..I know" We burst into laughter. We're taking it all in...everything is just so beautiful! I'm wondering how we got there? The last thing I remember is taking off in the plane. It must have crashed.  "Aidan, we're in heaven! More laughter! We were not worried about a thing. Not worried about the people we left behind..just somehow knowing they'd be there soon. We'd check things out for them first:)

Well, I believe Marie Kondo's book on decluttering and organizing really has had some "unexpected result." It's tidied up some thoughts in my life. I think I'll keep her book..because it "sparks joy' in me:)

I give it two (clean) thumbs up!