So Busy

Today is my 150th post.

It’s also the last day of May.

And, it’s Friday.

So, tomorrow will be my 151st post, the first day of June, and Saturday.

Is it possible I’ve written that many posts? Where did May go?? What happened to the week???

In other words, where has the time gone????

Wow!

Am I so busy that I push through each day without being thankful for it and the opportunities it brings me?

I hope not. But, I fear that may well be the case.

What inspiration did I receive yesterday while working in the garden?

  • dry ground is hard ground
  • hard ground is hard to work
  • chopped grass dies quickly in the hot sun
  • exposed roots = death
  • dirt clods can contain “treasures”
  • overworked muscles burn
  • exposed skin sunburns
  • a breeze is welcome, a wind is not
  • weeds can be tiny
  • it’s easiest to remove weeds when they are small
  • shallow roots = vulnerable plant
  • shallow breathing + physical labor = dizziness
  • the body can do far more than we realize
  • tired does not = exhausted
  • rest is as important as work
  • food tastes better when you’re hungry
  • one cannot tell what’s in the dirt by looking at the surface
  • a shovel full of dirt = a shovel full of dirt
  • dry dirt sustains no life – not even bugs/worms
  • wandering clouds are welcome on sunny days
  • a cup of cold water refreshes
  • a dirty cut becomes infected
  • you’re never too dirty (or smelly) to spend time with your granddaughter
  • if you work hard enough and long enough, you will get the job done
  • there’s great satisfaction in a job well done

The last day of May – wow.  We’ve gone through all of the Spring Winters and are moving toward the first day of Summer.  I can hardly believe the year is almost half gone.

But, when I look back to January 1 and see all that I’ve accomplished…all that’s occurred in the past 5 months I’m surprised it’s only May 31.

As I sit and type this, I have great satisfaction knowing the garden is completed – everything is planted. The addition of the 20×6 ft section is now planted with giant sunflowers, green beans and watermelons.  All I need to do now is sit back and wait for the rain the radar shows is heading our way soon.

Rain!?!? Oh, no!! I’m supposed to cut a neighbor’s yard today (they are out of town until Sunday). Is it too early to cut grass at 7 a.m.?  I’d better post this, put on my work shoes and pull out the mower.  The forecast shows rain probability until MONDAY – YIKES!!!

Am I so busy that I push through each day without being thankful for it and the opportunities it brings me? Probably so.

Yesterday as I left Mom’s house after working in the garden all day (except for when I was holding my granddaughter), she said, “I wish sometime you would come and spend all day with me and NOT work.”

I’d better schedule that in….

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Inspiration

Take a deep, cleansing breath. Hold it. Now, slowly release it.

Take another.  Hold it a little longer than before.  Slowly exhale.

Do it again.  Inhale.  Hold it.  Slowly exhale.

Did you feel your shoulder muscles relax? Did your mind respond to the increased oxygen level in your blood stream?  Do you feel more alert?

Inspiration does that for you.

Whether it’s breathing in new air or taking in new ideas, inspiration awakens us to new possibilities.

How often do you pause, take a deep cleansing breath and allow inspiration to fill you, heal you, propel you forward?

Where do you seek inspiration?

  • quiet walk
  • meditation
  • Scripture
  • online
  • pinterest
  • prayer
  • work
  • gardening
  • driving
  • exercise
  • hobbies
  • friends
  • books
  • family
  • nature
  • ?

We inspire so we don’t expire.

Once again, draw air deeply into your lungs – expand them as fully as possible.  Come on, you can take in a little more. No shallow inspiration allowed this time. We commonly use only a small portion of our lungs when we inspire – fill them deeply…expand them.

Hold it.

Now, exhale fully.

Did your fingertips tingle?

Imagine what inspiration does for your mind and your emotions.

Where will you seek inspiration today?

Me?  I’m heading outside to work in the garden.

My niece suggested I add beans and watermelons to our family garden – and mentioned Granddad sometimes planted giant sunflowers, too.  So, yesterday I added 6×20 feet to the garden. Today the soil will be prepared, rows created and (hopefully) before rain arrives seeds will be planted.

There will be ample time for inspiration – physical as well as mental – as I work my body, accomplish my task and open my mind to see, to hear, to understand…to be awakened by inspiration.

Out with the bad, in with the good.  Breathe deeply. Open yourself to possibilities. Relax. Draw in new thoughts, new ideas. Welcome the rejuvenation that inspiration brings.

Now, exhale…pass it on – go be an inspiration to someone else.

Telling Time

In Mom’s house there are 87+ clocks – alarm, wrist, wall, digital, atomic, pocket, coo coo, chiming, antique – you name it, she probably has it (with the exception of a Grandfather clock, but she does have her grandfather’s).

When the time changes twice a year – from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time and back again to Standard Time – time changes at Mom’s house, too.

When she and Dad were in better healthy, they changed the time on every clock in their house twice a year – at least the ones that kept time.  The clocks that didn’t keep time marked the last second they did and those of us familiar with where those clocks were knew not to count on them for telling time.

As the burden to change time grew heavier with age, they decided to change only those clocks they relied on and those that announced the time audibly with chimes or coo coos.

  • three in their bedroom (two alarm and one wall)
  • one in the spare bedroom
  • four in the kitchen
  • two in the bathroom
  • one in the half bath
  • five in the living room
  • two in the dining room (or was it three?)
  • one in the washroom
  • four in the den
  • their wristwatches
  • one in the car

That’s still a lot of clocks – and in the number above, I’ve not counted clocks on appliances, TVs, VCR/DVD players, etc.

And to those of us who visited only a couple of times a year, it could be confusing.  One tends to trust a clock to portray the correct time.  An hour off one way or the other can make life interesting – and frustrating. Add to that the fact that we were in a different time zone and our cell phones didn’t always change time as quickly as we needed them to…we didn’t know which clock to trust.

After Dad’s death last year, we moved near Mom a month or so before time fell back to Standard Time. Mom decided to change only those clocks that SHE depended on.

  • one in their bedroom
  • two in the kitchen
  • one in the bathroom
  • one in the living room
  • her wristwatch

The problem was, during the two months I had stayed with Mom after Dad’s death, and the month (or so) after our move here, I became dependent on several clocks that she apparently was NOT dependent upon.

Mom said the clocks she chose not to change reflect the correct time at some point during the year so it’s a simple task of remembering which show Standard Time and which show Daylight Savings Time.

Ha!

No longer moving between time zones, I came to trust my cell phone for time keeping and dismissed the guess-the-time game with clocks at her house.

Except for last week.

I was visiting Mom and it seemed time was moving slowly. The clock on the table beside me chimed and I dismissed the count – I’d ceased counting chimes months ago…too confusing trying to remember if this clock chimed true time or not.

The clock on the living room wall indicated 6 pm plus a few minutes. I commented to Mom that it was yet early and I was surprised…seemed I’d been there far longer than the time showed.

She asked which clock I was keeping time with and I pointed to the one on the wall – one I had become accustomed to using before time sprang forward. She, in turn, pointed to the small clock atop her TV.

It was after 7 pm and quickly moving toward half past.

A quick check of my cell phone revealed the joke was on me and that old habits die hard.

Did I change the time on the clock on the living room wall to reflect the current time?

No.

When time falls back to Standard in the Fall, it will keep the proper time until time changes again next Spring.  I’ll just remember to treat it like those that chime: ignore it and the time it offers me.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times and I’ll take your batteries out.

Into Darkness

Last night, Daughter took Hubby and me to see Star Trek into Darkness – the new Star Trek movie.

We three trekkies had seen the first remake of the original Star Trek and were eager to see the follow up.

It didn’t disappoint.

Though, I’ll admit seeing Spock embrace emotion leaves me a bit uneasy, it’s interesting to see how they take what was in the old series and turn it into something new.

How? They do so by tweaking a few decisions made early in the first movie.  These decision changes create a different story line, a different flow…different reality…different future.  Same characters, different outcome.

When I track back to my childhood…teen years…early adulthood, I see decisions made that launched me on this path.  And, I see decisions I could have made differently that would have produced quite a different story line for me…flow…reality…future.

That brings me to this – decisions I make now will influence the rest of my life and that of those around me.

I must remember to choose wisely with thought to where I wish to be in 5 years…10 years…20 years.

The future is before me.  Opportunity to change my path is now.

Memorial Day – Making It Personal

At the house next to Mom’s, in the ditch beside the road, a patch of brilliant red poppies stands watch.  I pass them every time I walk the short block to Mom’s house.

Their bright color draws my eyes and my attention.  I can hardly take my eyes from them as I approach. They possess me fully as I pass them, reaching deep within me to evoke memories and emotions long forgotten.

As a child, I remember seeing, on the way to church the Sunday before Memorial Day, men standing at stop signs and traffic lights holding buckets containing red paper poppies.  My dad ALWAYS stopped long enough to give a dollar and receive a red poppy.

I didn’t understand the significance, but I knew it was important to him.

By the time I became an adult, the tradition had waned and I remember purchasing the red poppy myself only a few times. Can’t buy what’s not available.

My dad served in WW2.  He died last June.

Several years ago, I called my dad and wished him “Happy Memorial Day” and thanked him for his service.  He thanked me and then told me Memorial Day wasn’t for remembering him. It was for remembering those who died in service to our country. He also said that Veteran’s Day was for remembering soldiers and sailors who lived to tell the stories of those who didn’t.

This year Memorial Day, for me, honors my dad and his service.  Not just his service in the support and protection of our nation, but our family as well.

It’s fitting that by the road just beyond my dad’s yard a stand of red poppies grows.

I love you, Daddy!  Thank you for your service! You were faithful to stand watch until eight bells.  I miss you!  Happy Memorial Day!

Note: The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. The practice of wearing of poppies takes its origin from the poem In Flanders Fields, written in 1915 by John McCrae. For information on how to obtain poppies for use on Memorial Day, contact a veterans service organization, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) or The American Legion, as a number of veterans organizations distribute poppies annually on Memorial Day. You can find veterans groups in the Veterans Service Organization link on VA’s Veterans Day web page. Veterans groups in your area can be found in your local phone book. Look in the yellow pages under “Veterans and Military Organizations” or a similar heading.

Housework App

Upon posting yesterday’s blog piece, WordPress popped up a little thingie to the left side of the page that congratulated me for posting my 144th and provided a little thought for my blogging journey.

The desire to write grows with writing. Desiderius Erasmus

Ah, if only the desire to clean house grew with cleaning!

Truly, I could sit and write all day, accomplishing nothing more than that of putting words on paper (or in virtual format) and recording thoughts, views, information….

The more I write, the more I want to write.  It’s as if my brain needs to download (or is it upload?) all this stuff within it so I can get on with life. Writing is for my brain what defragging and deleting cookies is for my computer.

Perhaps I should think of housework in the same light – defragging and deleting cookies in the house.

Hmmm…. When I look at housework in that light, I see a lot of fragmented, unused, out dated, out of place items. Yes, my house needs to be defragged. Wish there was an app for that.

And, are those cookie crumbs I see?  Oh, my…looks like I need to delete cookies, too!

Time to go offline, boot up the program titled “housework,” pull out the trash can, dust cloth, broom and vacuum…and upload, download or just plain offload some of this mess into the garbage can outside.

Dear Sophia

(Written yesterday)

May 24, 2013

Your daddy wrote the following on Facebook this morning about 5:30:  “And here…we…go.”

Early this morning, your mommy went to the hospital because her doctor had told her on Wednesday that at 5 a.m. you would begin your trip that would bring you here.

Of course, your trip here began a long time ago when Mommy and Daddy fell in love and got married. And, then a few months later they said, “Guess what? We are going to have a baby girl in May and her name is Sophia Marie!”

And, you know what?  They were right!

Nine months later here we are, sitting around the hospital anxiously and excitedly awaiting your arrival.

I have to admit, I wonder what you will look like.  Will you have your mom’s dark hair and eyes and tan easily?  Or will you favor your dad and possess his blue-green eyes and fair complexion?

I also wonder what you will be like.  Will you cry a lot like your daddy did and find it hard to sleep sometimes?  Or, will you be one to fall asleep quickly, making funny baby smiles as you dream baby dreams?

What will you like to do? Will you prefer mud pies over apple?  What will be your favorite food? Color? Animal?

Will you like me and find my house a safe refuge and fun-filled place?

Ah, Sophia, my mind cannot yet hold all the thoughts I want to think of you.

How can it?  I don’t yet know you. I don’t yet feel a connection to you…with you.  I’ve not been around you while you have been in your mommy’s tummy.  I’ve seen your picture on Facebook – you were so tiny and cute.  I’ve been with you three times and each time I wanted to place my hands on your mommy’s tummy and feel you move and whisper sweet words to you.  I’ve wanted to read books to you and let you hear my laughter.

I already love you – love you more than I ever thought possible. I cannot imagine the love I will have for you and the joy I will feel when I first see you.

I hope I am able to spend a lot of time with you, Sophia.  I hope you will want to spend time with me.

Would you believe I’ve not yet decided on a name for you to call me? Grandma seems so blah, you know? And, I don’t want to be a blah grandmother.

You have been on the way almost 2 hours now.  In another hour, PaPa and I will leave for the hospital.  We want to be there when your dad comes into the waiting room and announces that you are here!

I love you, Sophia. With all my heart.  And, I pray for your safe arrival and that God blesses you with a good, long and happy life. God has already blessed you with a wonderful, loving Mommy and Daddy who will take good care of you and teach you what you need to know.

I remember the day your daddy was born and how I felt when I first saw him.  I think that will be magnified 100x when I see you.

Safe trip, Sophia!  I will see you soon!

Love always,

Granmudder (or, Granmuddy, Mamala, MeMom, MawZ, Grandma…Granmomma…Na-Me….)

PS – You will be 7 months old when Christmas arrives!  WhooHoo!

—-

(Written today)  Sophia arrived about 2:20 yesterday afternoon. (Mommy and Daddy did well.)

  • weight – 7.11 lbs
  • length – 20 inches
  • hair – yes and it’s strawberry blond
  • eyes – green eyes
  • color – ruddy, deepening when she cries
  • fingers – 10 and long
  • toes – her dad says she has all of them
  • face – round and full, expressive
  • temperament – relaxed, calm, stirs when she has a need, hint of a temper
  • voice – mews like a kitten, wail is timorous and quivering, cry is a precious announcement of her presence
  • complete package – perfect

It was love at first sight for Hubby and me.  Hubby fell hard – smitten even before she was born. She will have him wrapped around her little finger in no time.

I understand now why grandparents go on and on about their grandchildren.  I was amazed to see how quickly my heart opened to Sophia and how strongly my love for her was the instant I saw her.

I would give my life for this baby – without thought, without hesitation, without regret.

Dear God, craft and create in me the grandmother Sophia needs me to be and empower me to be all and do all I should for and with her.  Be with Sophia. Bless her, protect her, provide for her every need…. Bless her parents and grant them wisdom for the days and years ahead. Empower them to love her and teach her – to grow her into a healthy, happy woman capable of engaging life with all she is, living fully in the present and leaning hard toward the future.  Bless her grandparents and aunts and uncle, her cousin and the multitude of friends as they love, care for and assist this young family.

New Title

Wednesday afternoon, a post was made on Facebook by our daughter-in-love which said Sophia would be born Friday.

Wednesday was her due date – and her OB/GYN appointment.

Her announcement of Sophia’s birth two days hence caused me to wonder if she (or, perhaps her doctor) is psychic. 😉

My guess, as I type this Thursday morning, is that the doctor decided to schedule Sophia’s appearance for Friday – convenient for Mom and for Doctor, and in Sophia’s best interest.

Hubby asked me yesterday how I feel about becoming a grandmother.  I shrugged my shoulders and told him I don’t really feel anything – yet.

Yet.

🙂

If all goes according to plan, by my next post, I will have a new title and my world will have flipped upside down.  And, I will have become one of those crazy women who carries a mini photo album in her large purse filled with pictures of her grandchild, toys, wipes and tissues – and the occasional Cheerio.

(Post Script) It’s Friday morning, 6:33. A quick check reveals a Facebook update posted an hour ago from Son stating “And here…we…go.”  Labor was to be induced at 5 a.m. I’m assuming the process has started and all is going well.  In a couple of hours, Hubby and I will head to the hospital to await the arrival of Sophia Marie.  Ask me how I feel right now.  🙂 There are no words to describe it.

Cotton Britches Winter

From childhood I knew of Spring “winters” – knew the names, what to watch for and how to designate which “winter” we were having here in Middle Tennessee. (Different locations experience it at different times – 400 miles South of here cranks things forward a month, maybe more, and squeezes them tighter together, time-wise.)

In my neighborhood, two Spring “winters” preceded the “official” winters – Tulip Magnolia Winter (mid to late February/early March) and Pear Winter (early to mid March).  Our next door neighbor had a beautiful Tulip tree – every year, while it was in full bloom, a hard freeze would turn the beautiful pink blossoms brown. You could count on it.  Across the street, lived a tall pear tree. If it came into bloom, I wore my heavy jacket to school without complaint.

Redbud Winter is the first official Spring “winter” recognized by the locals. It’s a hard cold snap that happens when Redbud trees bloom (late March, early April).

Within a few days, the weather returns to Spring-like temperatures for a couple of weeks and then bottoms out again when Dogwood trees bloom – Dogwood Winter (early to mid April).

Locust Winter follows Dogwood and often brings a late frost (late April to early May).

And, then Blackberry Winter arrives before Locust trees have shed their racemes, bringing the last chance of frost and alerting gardeners that it’s safe to plant okra (early to mid May).

Four official Spring “winters:”

  1. Redbud
  2. Dogwood
  3. Locust
  4. Blackberry

Yesterday, I learned there are five.

A local news weather prognosticator said the 80+ degree temperatures we’ve enjoyed the past few days will give way to cooler temperatures after the cold front moves through. By cooler temperatures he meant highs in the lower 70’s during the day and 50’s at night. He declared it “Cotton Britches Winter.”

I’d heard of Linsey Woolsey Winter. Folks in Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky know that’s when it’s time to pack away your winter clothes and pull out your summer (mid to late May)

Perhaps “Cotton Britches Winter” means we can put on our light weight cotton britches and pack away the wool ones. 😉 Or, perhaps it means we thought Blackberry Winter was the last cool snap and we got caught with our cotton britches down.

In any event, let’s not forget about Whippoorwill Winter (late May, early June). Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21.

Seven Days of Silence

A week has passed since my last post.

My intention, when I began posting this year, was to post daily for 365 days.  Just to see if I could, I suppose.

For some reason unknown to me, two weeks ago I felt the urge to write and to schedule posts ahead. By the time Friday morning arrived, I had 5 posts waiting in the wings…set to post on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

I was prepared should something transpire that would keep me from posting here for several days. That felt good and for some reason important. I patted myself on the back and debated how I would spend my morning writing time the next 5 days.

Saturday morning – I slept in.

Sunday morning – I planned to sleep a bit later than usual but was awakened by a phone call that would change my plans for the next 7 days.

Monday morning – An early rise allowed me time to get a little work under my belt before I left for the hospital to be with Mom, who was in MICU.  (Medical Intensive Care Unit)

Tuesday morning – Rising early gave me time to cut Mom’s grass before heading to MICU room 5906.

Wednesday morning – Morning began shortly after midnight on the 5th floor, room 5331, with the first of many interruptions and intrusions: beeps, alarms, voices, nurses, techs, up, down, in, out, lights on, footsteps, door opening and closing….

Thursday morning dawned when the tech flipped the light in the “ON” position at 4 a.m. to get Mom up to weigh her.  (That’s a tale for another post.)

As I lay on the cot at the foot of Mom’s bed, with the cover over my head to block the light, I felt quite empty knowing Thursday would be the first day in over 120 that I’d not posted here.

Oh, it wasn’t from lack of trying.  I had internet at the hospital – via ipad and laptop (Windows). I just couldn’t access my blog.  I could access WordPress and my stats – but not my Dashboard or my blog itself.  I couldn’t even bring Suzansays up to see what had posted. That gave me much GRRRRRRR.

And, I was frustrated to know that I had not been able to reach my goal of 365 consecutive days of posts.

But, life goes on.

Mom was dismissed from the hospital Saturday – a week after being admitted for a high fever – and as we move forward each day, I find myself tentatively settling back into what had become a normal routine for me.

Seven days of silence.

These silent days taught me much.

  • Anticipate
  • Be prepared
  • Communication is necessary
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Find your center
  • Get ready
  • Have a plan
  • I need you
  • Just chill
  • Keep focus
  • Love more
  • Maintain balance
  • No regrets
  • Opt in
  • Plan ahead
  • Quit complaining
  • Review often
  • Sleep is vital
  • Time is irrelevant
  • User-friendly = 🙂
  • Value family/friends
  • Words are important
  • Xyst time refreshes
  • You need me
  • Zealous nurses/techs save lives

In the coming days/posts, I plan to share some of the thoughts/happenings from those 7 days of silence.

But as we well know –

“The best laid schemes of mice and men go often awry”

Until the next post….

Or. as we say ’round these parts, “later gator!”