High expectations

Today I started wrapping Christmas presents and realized that I am missing one important one! Oh woe! I order things early and stash them in several empty drawers in my bedroom. When I took them all out one for my son is missing.

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Since I don’t buy lots of gifts I don’t understand how this one could have walked away but things have been so crazy here that I may have misplaced it. Please St. Christopher (although dethroned) help me find my gift.

This is just one of the stresses that happen to us during the Christmas Season. Most of us push ourselves too hard and our expectations outreach our reality. I know that there are things I just can’t do but I keep wanting to do them.

The only baking I have done is dog treats!?? Now you know who comes first around here. I would like to bake some cookies if I can finish the wrapping and searching for the one who is lost.crash and tillie

 

Christmas will be what it is in spite of all the energy and stress I put into it. It is so hard to turn loose of what was and accept what is. Somehow I will manage to do that and all will be well.

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The angels flapped their wings

Have you heard about angels? In one of his fantasy books C.S. Lewis implies that they move to fast for us to perceive them. They are only visible when they slow down.

I am not sure about wanting to actually encounter an angel. I have an idea that they are pretty impressive to see. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible almost every time they appear the first words they speak are “FEAR NOT!” That should give us an idea of what they are like.

One of my favorite stories about angels was told my Madeleine L’Engle at a conference I attended. It is such a sweet story that I decided to share it here.

angel-protecting-sleeping-child-in-bed

 

There was a religious school in a neighborhood. Many of the children there had families who experienced fighting, yelling and sometimes abuse in the home. One little boy was always falling asleep in school so one of the nuns asked him if he was able to sleep at night at home. He admitted that there was usually lots of yelling and the he was frequently frightened and pulled the covers over his head to try and disappear. 

The teacher told him not to worry. That night she would send four angels to stand at each corner of his bed to keep him safe. The next morning she asked him if the night went well at home. He told her that he was not frightened at all…the angels were there but could she cut down the number of them? The flapping of their wings was keeping him awake.

This is such a wonderful story and an example of the power of belief.

A great place to meet

Our knitting group meets on Tuesdays. The place we meet is so nice. The friendship Coffee Company. There are couches and comfortable chairs in addition to the regular dining tables. If we can we try to get the couch. Sometimes the group is just two or three and sometimes more.

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The atmosphere in the cafe is such that it seems to encourage people to talk to one another. It is not unusual for us to meet new people almost every week. Reaching out to strangers we find so many with lots in common with us. The conversations and interesting and stimulating.

friendship coffee

It is a wonderful thing to have a place where people feel so comfortable that they can converse with those around them and meet new people.

Clean out those mental closets

clean-out-your-closet-Wayne-L.-Misner-quote

Sometimes while thinking about our life we can see the places where we went off the track. It can be quite disturbing. Often we don’t want to open the doors of those closets where we have stored our missteps. The truth is that is how we learn. Looking back we can usually see very clearly how we stumbled off the path. The good news is we can also see how we got back on it.

Don’t be afraid to throw open the doors of your mental closets, sweep out the dirt, and leave it clean. Each day of life is an opportunity to learn something new. Take advantage of it.

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A sad outcome

The days have been dark, rainy and cold. Not fun for me. I am sun oriented. Tomorrow should be better. Last night I went out to a party for the first time since surgery. What I learned was it was too soon. It is so hard to remember that we do need time to heal. I am so used to being constantly on the go that I don’t seem to be able to stop.

It was a good lesson and I will be more careful. Christmas is a busy time and one that makes it hard to slow down.

good but sad choice

We also had a dreadful experience this morning. We heard our two bassets outside barking and howling frantically. When we checked that were facing a raccoon. Raccoons are not out in the daytime here and to have one not only out but challenging our dogs was a bad omen. My husband and I went out. I corralled the dogs and he approached the coon who did not run away. Also very unusual. It was very obvious that the coon was very sick. Couldn’t walk well, was disoriented and shaking as if with some sort of palsy.

The population of raccoons around us has had a problem with rabies and distemper. The raccoon was in distress and I suspect from his behavior it was distemper. He was going to die …and soon. He was at risk for encountering other neighborhood dogs who would also be at risk so my husband took the best outcome and shot him. We both felt so bad but it was best for everyone. We both hate killing anything and have both been sad about it but there was little choice. He would have died in pain and fear.

We are both animal lovers and want the best for any animal. We have near us a sanctuary for local wildlife. My husband spoke with them and they said what was done was best. It helps but we still feel bad.

Thanksgiving

Happy-Thanksgiving-from-The-Big-Easy

Tomorrow is a day to give thanks for all the blessings of this life. I have many to be grateful for but the most important is my family. My husband, my three children, their spouses, my grandchildren and now two great grandchildren. They are well, either in school, college or gainfully employed. What more could anyone want?

Years of life bringing joys and challenges. Each a time to learn and grow. I am grateful and blessed.

gartitude

I hope that each of you who celebrate this day have a joyful and thankful day.

Preparing for surgery with new focus

The events of the last few weeks have been stressful but organized. I am to have surgery on Friday to remove the other half of my thyroid. It is pressing on my trachea. The Dr. visits and pre-surgery were especially good with pleasant, wonderful, caring people and greatly efficient. The whole process has gone exceedingly smooth. It was moved from Tuesday Dec. 3 to this Friday as the Dr. decided to work that day. Now just to get it done and headed back to my ??normal?? self. The surgery itself it not difficult we just don’t want to find any unexpected problems.

consistency (1)

As part of my journey I have worked hard on finding new ways to reduce anxiety in my life and some of it is paying off. My consistency with prayer, meditation and focus on each day has really improved. That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been moments but nothing like before I started this journey.

Consistency and a determination to live more fully and joyfully are making a difference. I may succeed in conquering it before I shuffle off the planet. The lesson learned it that no matter how many times spent backsliding getting up and going on it what matters. Each day is progress….maybe not so visible but it is there.

candle hands

If you pray keep me in your prayers and if not send good thoughts my way.

De-cluttering

This was a productive day. I spent it removing clutter. I don’t do well with lots of clutter in my house but I let it get out of hand and today it was time for it to go! I read something a long time ago about a way to get stuff back in the right place. what I used to do was get something from one room and take it to where it belonged. This took me on a journey from room to room. Not a very efficient way to work.

The suggestion was to take a large container like a basket and in one room pick up everything that doesn’t belong. You then move from room to room putting things away and picking up the things that need to go. It prevents you wasting time. It really works.

I didn’t get everything but I made a really good start. More to tackle tomorrow. My house will be back to ??normal??

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When the clutter is decreased it helps my mind also de-clutter and feel more calm.

Living in Panama

I ran across this quote recently and it brought up some memories.

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.   

L. M. Montgomery

ft gulick
This looks like our house. It is a duplex.

For a while we lived in Panama. It was June there all year round. The only changes were the difference between the we season and the dry season. There was very little difference in temperature. We lived in military housing that was built many years ago of concrete. The buildings were raised up on concrete posts so that the main floor was on the second floor. I am assuming they did this to get it away from the many creatures that lived there. There was a maid’s room on the ground floor. ( didn’t have a full time maid) and underneath the house is where we hung our clothes to dry. (I’m sure no one remembers doing that) During the rainy season the clothes didn’t dry for days so that is when we first bought a dryer.

The houses had louvered windows and screens. Most of the people who lived there put plastic over the windows, heavy draperies and installed window air conditioners. That worked pretty well. The only problem was that since the wall were concrete you couldn’t hang pictures except with stick-on picture hangers. (not the good ones we have today) The power went out frequently and if it was out for long the walls began to sweat and all the pictures fell off the walls.

I will write some more about this adventure later but I do want to say that I grew tired of wearing the same clothes all year around. I am afraid I like at least some semblance of season change.

Whatever

hourglassThe sun is shining beautifully outside but in here it is raining on me. For the last several months things have been breaking or going wrong around here but it hasn’t stopped yet. I feel as if I am in the bottom of an hourglass just waiting for the sand to cover me. None of the things have been major but they are piling up.

We had a leak on our property and our water bill was enormous. I dropped and broke the glass on my Kindle. It still works so I will see if it can be fixed. I caught the back edge of my car on a bike rack and that has to be fixed. (again no major damage…just aggravating)  My printer quit so I have to get another one. Somehow it is time for this to stop.

On the plus side my grandson, wife and great grandson are coming for Thanksgiving. We are so excited about that. We always have to take the bad with the good.

In spite of all of this the sun is shining and life goes on. I realize that perspective is everything. If our expectations are that everything will always go well we are in for a big shock. I think that is why we can be so disappointed. Our expectations are so far off from reality. It is how I choose to live each day not what happens. Many of the things that have gone wrong will be funny when they are in the past.

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Choose to roll with whatever happens. It makes us happier.