Monday, September 26, 2011

Sometimes....I just get tired.....

This post is written in the interest of keeping this blog real.

Friday was great.....Saturday was great....the weekend was absolutely fantastic....then I hit the wall Sunday morning.

Little aches, pains, and worries caught up with me and I just didn't feel like being nice to anyone.  Has that ever happened to you? The whole time it's happening, I'm thinking....Is this really me?  Am I really this grouchy? Why am I not thankful today? It takes so much effort to be nice, which in turn just makes me even more irritable and grumpy. What I usually do out of love and caring becomes such a heavy burden that I think I'm going to explode. Most of the time, I can shake these gloomy feelings off by cleaning house like a madwoman, but not this time...it just made me more unpleasant to be around.

I still have the cloud hanging over me today, so I'm going to complain and get it all out of my system so I can move on and practice my gratitude for the blessings that have been so plentiful in my life. When you're feeling sorry for yourself, it's impossible to be thankful.  I am ready to move on and quit focusing on the "me" and focus on "others". 

So here goes:

Sometimes I just get tired of.......

Doing laundry
          It never ends, and no matter what I seem to be wearing that day, it needs to be ironed or only half of it is clean.

Planning the menu
         Three times a day, everyday, with someone either not liking what I made or being so noncommital that it hurts my overly sensitive feelings.

Picking up
          From towels, to newspapers, to leaves that blow in the back door, socks on the floor, dust in the hall, things left in the cars, shoes to stumble over at the back door, pans that fall out of the unorganized pot cabinet, and the list could go on and on.....I beat myself up over this too. I think, "Have I not trained these people better than this?  Is this my job? How many times do I have to ask?  Am I the only one who sees these things?"  It's amazing how three people can walk over something and I'm the one who gets to pick it up. I'm just saying...the drudgery can get a bit overwhelming sometimes.

Maintenance:
          The drain in the bathtub clogging up every few weeks. I love this old house,but sometimes I just get tired of fixing the same things over and over.
          The dryer vent needs to be cleaned. When am I ever going to fit that in? Hopefully before the house burns down!
          Paperwork...forms for school, healthcare hoops to jump through, insurance papers to update, just to mention a few.
          Mending....this never gets done.  I actually like the mending part of things. I just never can find the time to fit it in and that in itself frustrates me beyond belief.

Okay, so now here's the solution....gratitude. I knew this all along....and I'm still feeling a bit grumpy....but it's beginning to lighten just a bit...and the more I remind myself of how blessed my life is, the better I feel.

I am THANKFUL for....

Laundry....clothes to wear, a washing machine and dryer to use, and a thankful family when they find out that just the right sweatshirt is clean, hanging on the line and ready to wear to school, or a shirt that is already pressed for work.

Menu Planning....the abundance to plan ahead, enough food to eat, enough to share with others

Picking Up....people to surround me with activity,to enjoy and love, and yes, pick up after them if it makes their day just a little bit easier.

Maintenance...this means I have a place to live, a school for my child to attend, healthcare for illnesses, and enough clothing to wear until the mending gets finished.

Sometimes it's just hard...and I get tired....I try to put a positive spin on everything most of the time...like Pollyanna and "The Glad Game".  This makes life so much easier to bear..to be thankful and pleasant...but sometimes life just wears me down and I just have to go through a grumpy few days to remember to count my blessings.

And one really big, final thing to be thankful for....a family who loves me and patiently waits for this mood to pass.

I feel better already :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Well Done!

Friday, I couldn't wait to get home so we could take off to the Bandy Creek Campground at Big South Fork National Recreation Area.  We were going to tent camp and watch Ben run in his very first 17.5 mile trail run on Saturday.  The whole trip down to Tennessee was a misty, gloomy drive and we hoped the sun would break through as we got closer to camp.  Five miles away it did just that.  We set up camp and fought with damp firewood but had a great relaxing night. The sky cleared for a beautiful, crisp, fall view into the star-filled night sky. It wasn't an hour until the fog fell over us like a thick blanket....

This morning we woke early to a CHILLY morning....I'm so thankful I brought my toboggan...I made a mental note to always bring my gloves when it's cold enough to wear a toboggan.  It ended up being about fifteen degrees colder than we expected.  We will definitely remember this for future trips.

A few months ago, Charles, a family friend, asked Ben if he would run in this race.  Ben agreed and proceeded with his super-busy sixteen year old life and the deadline loomed closer and closer.  Ben tried to fit in running and building up for this race, but the reality was, Ben knew he wasn't ready.  The farthest he had run was eight miles and that was almost four weeks ago.

Here they are before it started....

Waiting for the race to start.....
And they're off!

Into the mist....


Standing in the road....freezing! We headed back to the campsite and broke camp at a very leisurely pace and just enjoyed watching the sun come out and the fog burn off...


Three and a half hours later....sun shining....beautiful day!  Ben coming in....

Across the finish line....he barely looks tired! Amazing!!!!


Charles coming in.....smiling all the way :D He sent Ben on ahead of himself when a leg cramp slowed him down just before the finish.

Talking it over...


"Well done," said the Master to the Grasshopper.


Don't they look relieved?


Glad to be finished, Charles suffered a harsh leg cramp, but was very happy with Ben!
I think he's already planning the next one.


Both placed in their age category....

We stopped for a few pictures at the East Rim Overlook on the way home...




Just a fantastic day...I'll be planning another visit soon.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Autumn Daybook

FOR TODAY (Simple Woman's Daybook)

Outside my window...
Dense fog and darkness...a typical fall morning...

I am thinking...
Today needs to be much more productive than yesterday.

I am thankful...
For a cup of coffee in the morning, a filling breakfast, a beautiful day ahead

In the kitchen...
Tenderloin biscuits for breakfast and grilled fish for supper (I still have to figure out what will go with it)

I am wearing...
Summer capris and a light purple logo shirt for work.  I'm stretching the season on summer sandals as long as I can and the temperature will be high enough today to get by with it one more time before the chilly weather moves in tomorrow.

I am creating...Not anything specific...but there are so many things I have in mind...like decorating my screened porch and making new curtains for the kitchen. (Now that the trees have been trimmed, the sun is going to be brutal!)

I am going...
To work on getting my meal planning act together....I was doing great and have fallen off the wagon the past two weeks.  I've been to the store almost everyday....the pantry is stocked a little better now after a major summer clean out and now I have to plan our menus from it and only go to the store once a week.

I am wondering...
How the ladies who write these beautiful blogs do it!  I'm so thankful to have inspiration from others...but just can't imagine how they fit it all in.  Maybe it's because I'm over thinking things.....

I am reading...
Stacks of magazines that have piled up over the past few months...I don't receive a lot of magazines...mostly ones others have gifted to me.  I really enjoy some of these and just need to catch up (this would also help with the decorating the side porch...and decluttering!)

I'm waiting for ....
Quiet time to read "The Gift of the Sea" that I've ordered from Amazon.   I heard about it in this post. How I've missed this book all these years I just don't know.  It seems everyone I've asked about it has heard of it or read it.

I am hoping...
To keep making progress on some personal goals....baby steps every day :)

I am looking forward to...
The second half of "Margin and Living Gracefully" as mentioned in the above post.

I am hearing...
Quiet.  I love this time of year when the air conditioners stop running and in the early morning hours everyone is still sleeping.  I just love the quiet.

Around the house...
I need to figure out how to keep the bugs from eating my cabbage without using pesticides.  It's time to change from summer to winter bedding...too cold for summer but just a bit early for winter quilts.

I am pondering...
The future and how to make the most of the time I have RIGHT NOW! As a planner I'm always looking ahead and sometimes miss what is happening here and now....I want to cherish every moment.

One of my favorite things...
Sharing a cup of coffee or tea after work sitting in the glider in the back yard when the mosquitoes aren't attacking or on the side porch when they are.  I love this "down time".  I just seem to skip over it too often. After work today....that will be a priority.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I will be working on repainting our outdoor furniture before cold weather sets in. I need to paint the porch railing....but that may have to wait...we have outdoor plans for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to them.

I've temporarily given up on figuring out how to make a banner for my blog...but I'd like to write a post about "This Old House" that we live in....

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I know the lighting is horrible...but this is Ben learning how to drive our standard shift car.   John is next to him and I'm now "a back seat driver"!  I'm finding that I like it back there....a lot less to worry about. He's doing a great job, but I can't believe n two short months he will be out on his own. Letting go is both frightening and liberating.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ladies Night

It's not what you think.....it's this....The wonderful ladies on my street rallied around me three years ago when John was deployed to Iraq.  They knew I'd need some adult conversation and support while he was gone.


Once a month we meet with whatever leftovers, dips or sweets we can scrounge up around our houses and spend two or three hours together.  



The rules include...no one can work too hard to host it and every month we move to the next house in clockwise directions...if you can't host it your month...it doesn't matter, we will just get together whenever it works out.  A lot of times, it will be when our company leaves, the house is still relatively clean, and we have lots of leftovers.
Spontaneity is encouraged!


The idea to start was that if it was too hard, we would stop doing it.  Paper plates and napkins are not a bad thing.  It's worked out well. Three and a half years later we're still going strong. 


There have been dry spells with everyone being too busy...but Ladies Night is part of our street culture now and I just love it.  We gather to catch up on family, health and friends. Some ladies have moved in and some out...but that just adds to the excitement. 



(we let Ben in for a minute to help us with technology and picture viewing)


In the past month we've celebrated two birthdays....we don't always celebrate birthdays...but these were special:)
It has been really neat through the years to be a part of this group. We have young mothers, middle age mothers (like me), grandmothers, and widows. 

What we have in common varies, but we have built our community...

I'm so glad to be a part of this history.



When it gets into the autumn months, Evelyn usually makes chili.....YUM!.....I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big Happenings

Yesterday was a big day....after months of giant branches dropping out of our tree (on cars & roofs), the tree trimmers arrived yesterday. 
They worked on the two giant oak trees located withing thirty feet of our home.  
It was a delicate job and VERY expensive. For a while, it looked like rain would keep it from happening, but the rain held off and they were able to get started.

They were absolutely fantastic and so careful and conscientious.

In the morning of the first day.....

The arborist would swing from the branches while three on the ground worked to guide the branches gently to the ground. (I took this through the upstairs window)

Some branches were huge! Can you see them straining to keep if from hitting the garage?

Cutting it up....we now have a good supply of firewood.
And here's what it looked like last night....

Thinned out...but not topped...

Then this morning they worked on the other tree....before:
 After:
Wind can flow through them more safely now and we will have a priceless canopy as they fill out in the spring.  
The pictures don't do justice to the size of this project...and some of them are a little blurry....but if feels so good to have this looming, major project finished. 

Now I can paint the railing over the back porch this weekend.

And......I won't have as many leaves to deal with in the next few months!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Gift of Time

In the past, I wanted immediate results.  I was rather outspoken and often said things in reaction without taking time to reflect. Many unpleasant things can happen if I don't use time wisely.  So many hurt feelings come about when I don't take time. Through the years, I have learned such a valuable lesson on accepting how to use time to help me get through life.  I've learned to be more patient....more tolerant...more calm. 

It's not always that way...
I have complete over-reactions and hysterical responses ( anyone who knows me will attest to this)
...but not nearly as often.

Recent difficult events in my life have prompted me to ponder how to use this gift.

 On my best days....I use...

 Time to Adjust...to unpleasant things, to change, to unexpected events....


Time to Prepare...for challenges ahead


Time to Forgive... to mend broken relationships, to build stronger ones


Time to Learn...from others, about others, about myself


 Time to Mourn.....for those I love
Time to Heal ....through the Grace of God


Time to Reflect....on this wonderful life

Time to Rejoice....in the Lord and all that comes from Him.

Time is one of the most wonderful gifts I have been given on this Earth.
Learning to appreciate it and benefit from it is another.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Garden Plans

Here's the beginning.....
of a plan for our future garden. 

 I spent a little time on the screen porch last week developing a plan to incorporate some existing features of our yard and current garden into a beautiful and functioning homestead.

 See the sketch from Ginny at Small Things
I'm so thankful when people share what they have learned and designed with others.
Her garden is BEAUTIFUL!

 I have serious garden envy and have high hopes for designing and planning a garden that can provide fresh vegetables for most of the year.

A chicken coop is also on my wish list....along with a raised barrel system to collect rainwater for drought times, cold frames, and a compost system that involves more than just a pile in the back of the yard!

Plans can be inspiring and sometimes overwhelming if they are too hard to implement.  I want the plan to be something I can add to and change over time. I'd like for it to be a peaceful place with just as much emphasis on beauty as practicality.

 It's important for me to not get overwhelmed as I take on too many tasks. I know new projects require time....something that is often in short supply!

Of course, all of these dreams aren't going to happen overnight, but it's good to have a plan....

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Pleasant Evening

It seems that no matter where you live, it is so easy to take what you have around you for granted.  In an effort to SLOW DOWN and enjoy the life around me I took a walk with John Wednesday evening and I thought I'd share these everyday joys with you.....

A view from "The River Bridge" in town....

A bend in the river....

The cornfield on the other side.....(my picture)
John's picture...he's taller and could get the rows!
A neat country lane with sweet little mailboxes along the way.

This walk takes us out of town and into the country within a matter of minutes.  It delights the senses and brings a peaceful calm that I need so much in the middle of the week. Late summer insects, birds, country dogs barking and following along with us, gardens at the end of the season, corn ready to harvest, a breeze offering relief from the heat, the company of my sweet husband, I could go on and on.

Two and a half miles round trip and I felt ready to tackle the rest of the week.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming three day weekend and the joy of spending it in the garden and catching up on some tasks around the house. I hope to spend some time figuring out the banner for the top of this blog...it is challenging my technological skills! I have several posts to work on and I really want to spend some time on the screen porch sipping some ice tea! 
Have a great Weekend!