good news

I wrote a post yesterday sharing “ten things about me”.

I have three things to share today: good news, a correction, and and a confirmation.

They are all wrapped up in one tiny bit of information…

My wonderful husband informed me last night that I will not be turning 60 on my birthday this week. I will be 59 and that proves that I am absolutely not good at math.

In any case, I am celebrating that I will be gaining another whole year of life due to my husband’s attention to detail (and practiced skill of keeping me on track).

Please do not feel the need to point out that I’ve not actually “gained” any time at all and that this is a wholly illogical point of view.

I’m at peace with my delusion.

Life is good.

Blessings on your Sunday!

10 things about me

Here are ten things you may or may not know about me…

  1. I am 59 years old and will be turning 60 later this month. I am a work in process and haven’t figured out much about how life works. I have gotten better about faking it though. I’m starting to worry that everybody is faking it and we should all be more honest about it.
  2. I have been married for 37 years (yesterday) to a very patient and understanding guy. Most days we are pretty happy. Some days, not so much. Overall, I consider getting married one of my best grown-up decisions. Our secret to a long marriage was deciding early on that that whoever left, took the kids. It’s kept us together so far.
  3. I have 4 kiddos ranging in age from 30 to 17 and one grandson who it 2 years old. He is going to become a big brother in a couple of months so I’ll soon be a “Nana” to two little boys.
  4. I am a mixed media artist who spent years becoming comfortable with saying “I am an artist” and am now trying to figure out what that means I am supposed to do. I’m working on just making stuff because it’s who I am and letting go of expectations.
  5. I raise earthworms. They live in a bin under my desk. Their favorite food is watermelon, but I’m just guessing because they are pretty quiet and don’t talk to me at all. They seem happy when I give them watermelon though. I don’t really know what an unhappy earthworm looks like so I’m really just making a lot of this up as I go.
  6. I studied Creative Writing and Fine Art at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. I have two Bachelor’s degrees and am 3 hours short of a third in history. I would have happily stayed in college forever. I was a natural student and can fake my way through almost any test or paper…except for math. I’m an idiot when it comes to math.
  7. I moved a lot when I was growing up. I’ve lived in Ohio, Alaska, Florida, Louisiana and every major city in Texas…also quite a few minor ones. I have no idea why we moved so much. My parents’ never chose to share that bit of wisdom with me. I’m sure I’ll forgive them some day. They had their own growing up to do and mistakes to make.
  8. As as result of moving so much as a kid, I’m not the most social creature on the planet. I can fake being an extrovert and have no trouble speaking in front of a group of people…familiar or strangers. One on one, I struggle and often have to “hibernate” to recover after a social event.
  9. I was working towards a calling as an ordained minister at one point in my life and have not been active in a church since that didn’t work out. I have some trouble with calling myself a “Christian” and prefer to consider myself a follower of Jesus. I’m quite spiritual, but don’t talk about it too much and am leery of organized religion.
  10. I have a lot of opinions…some of the quite strong, but overall consider myself to be pretty middle-of-the-road with slight deviations to the right and left depending on the topic. I try to think things through and examine both sides of an issue before making a decision and at this point in my life understand that very few things are clearly black and white…you have to wade through a lot of gray to figure out the truth. It is rare that I will ever embrace confrontation to make a point, but when it does happen it will involve a situation that affects me or my family personally.

I’m going to throw in one more – why I write this blog…

Honest answer; I’m not always sure.

I enjoy the process of stringing words together in an understandable and cohesive manner. It’s like a puzzle to find the right thoughts and words and assemble them to communicate with someone else. I enjoy it.

And sometimes, ideas write themselves in my head and I feel the need to type them out and share them. Every once in a while, someone responds back in a positive way and am glad that I took the time to share. More often, nobody seems to notice, but that’s okay. We don’t always get to know what we’ve accomplished or whether our life has deep meaning. Answering a spiritual calling or sharing what we are good at is the purpose of why we are here.

Affirmation is nice but never promised.

Nobody ever claimed we would get all the answers.

We find our own happiness within ourselves…and by sharing what we have with others.

Blessings on your day!

little things

My anxiety continues.

My usual coping mechanisms aren’t helping much.

…but over the weekend an email shows up.

A blogger that I follow posted a song.

I don’t know why she posted it. Maybe she just needed to hear it.

I didn’t know that I needed to hear it, but I’ve been listening to it any time I felt that I was “done with it all”.

It’s been like a little “pause” button for me…a little breathing space in the midst of it all…a centering moment reminding me that I’m not doing it all alone.

And it’s helped me to refocus on those around me instead of dwelling on my circumstances.

Maybe I can do a little something for someone around me.

God knows, there is certainly enough stress and anxiety swirling around..

We need to share little reminders that we aren’t alone.

A Step Back

Despite the seemingly optimistic and contemplative tone of yesterday’s post, I have to honestly let you know that the day was a complete stress-filled disaster.

The post itself took hours (off and on) to write and was a real struggle. I knew what I wanted to say, but the words were elusive and difficult to arrange in any sense of order. I’m still not sure that I got it right, but it is what it is and I (hopefully) got the point across. Or maybe not, and that’s okay.

Anxiety and depression are lifelong companions and sometimes we spend more time together that I’d like. I feel like today was the worst day I’ve had in months and months and that is something to be grateful for.

Yesterday, I woke up slightly anxious and ready to get everything in my life in order.

That would be a difficult accomplishment for just about anyone under any circumstances, but in my life right now, it’s an impossibility.

We started a kitchen redo in early spring. We are still waiting on one of the cabinets we ordered to come in. Said cabinet has arrived twice thus far. Once with doors instead of drawers and once assembled incorrectly so that when installed, you couldn’t actually open the bottom drawer. I’ve been patient(ish) because I understand that the world is operating under extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, much of my kitchen stuff is stacked on counter-tops and in boxes as we wait.

I’ve got one daughter partially moved out into her new cottage on our property.

I’ve got another daughter working at our house and storing some of her family’s belongings her while waiting for their new house to be completed. She has her kitchen cabinets.

My son is moving back in temporarily.

There is stuff everywhere stored in front of other stuff on top of even more stuff.

We’re putting in new flooring as soon as the kitchen is done. Flooring for the whole house is stacked under all the other stuff.

Oh yea, we still need to tile and paint the kitchen as soon as…the cabinet gets installed. The tile and paint are under everything else…somewhere.

I’ve been handling it all just fine until today, when it started feeling like some nightmarish Jenga game threatening to come down on top of me.

As the day progressed I got more and more anxious and functioned less and less.

Like the world around me appears to be doing, I just kept speeding up trying to catch up. The faster I went, the less I accomplished.

The less I accomplished, the more frustrated I got.

The more frustrated I got, the faster I tried to go.

No wonder I was having so much trouble writing yesterday’s post and struggling so hard to calm down and deal with my anxiety.

My actions were a complete contradiction of the message I was trying to convey.

If I had stopped or even slowed down enough to breathe and center myself, I would have been able to recognize the ridiculousness of the whole situation.

Maybe I could have even laughed at myself or cried some tears of release and saved myself…

I could have intentionally hit the pause button…maybe just realized that it was a good day to stop and not try so hard.

Old habits are difficult to break and easy to fall back on. Old patterns give a false sense of comfort. They don’t require as much effort or intention.

The pattern I got stuck in yesterday is a familiar one.

It’s like hopping on a carnival ride.

There’s excitement at first about how fast you are going (how much energy and motivation you have to get things accomplished).

But then you start to get tired of the ups and downs and you start feeling nauseous from the constant acceleration.

Then, you realize you have given up control over the ride. You can’t stop it or get off of it. It’s taken on a life of its own – a perpetual motion machine.

You start wondering if you could just jump off, but there’s the worry about the landing…

How I wish that I had taken a step back yesterday morning – and not gotten on the ride.

Yesterday’s story is written.

Today there is grace and a new beginning.


Blessings on your efforts today.

Essential Time

Earlier this year, I found myself with quite a lot of “free” time.

My family was busy doing “essential” work out in the world.

And I suddenly wasn’t doing much of anything. It was interesting and thought provoking to find that I wasn’t technically “essential”.

Distractions from the outside world slowed as the world hit the pause button.

There was no “going” or “doing” just to go or do. Errands had more purpose and were completed without dilly-dallying.

I’m not a social butterfly in the best of times, and now there was no social at all.

I started to realize how much of my time was spent in the coming and going and doing that made up my life and my days.

When it just stopped, I had time to reflect on how unintentional it all was.

I had been trying to live a more intentional life and never actually paused to examine how busy I was …trying to not be so busy.

It was reminiscent of a successful de-cluttering day when I got done and saw that all the storage bins and containers I had purchased to manage the stuff were actually a good portion of the stuff.

Trying so hard to be intentional was taking a lot of time and effort.

I gathered all those books that had been waiting on the shelf and began flipping through them: self-help, devotional, journaling, art inspiration…

I started journaling again using pens, paint, glue, magazine images and all the other supplies that had been patiently waiting for me to find time. Suddenly time had found me.

I realized that journaling makes me feel really happy and it brings me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.

I love the feeling of a scribbled and crumpled notebook under my hand…

the sensation of words flowing from my head onto the paper page…

the bulk of a journal filled to capacity with stapled in articles and taped-in images being placed on a shelf alongside a sketch book holding pages covered in collage and paint.

the gathering of thoughts, ideas, inspiration and snippets of things that are interesting and important to me.

I love the intentionality of it all.

Somehow, as the world speeds back up again, I need to remember this time and hold onto it.

I am grateful for it.

Showing Up

rinat-S1zsO5IjNNQ-unsplashOnce, I felt a call to ministry within an organized denomination of the Protestant church.

The calling felt right and I actively pursued it to the point of enrolling in seminary.

And then it didn’t happen.

And that now feels right…but it didn’t at the time.

In that time, I felt like a total, complete, absolute failure.

I had set out on a path and had not achieved my goal.  I was not successful.

I am learning to re-define what success and failure can be.

They are relative words.

I’ve come to realize that sometimes simply attempting something can be a successful achievement. Trying something on for size and realizing that it doesn’t “fit” might be the whole point.

I’ve had a lot of “jobs” so far in my life.  I’ve even had a number of “vocations”.  The difference, I believe, is whether you can easily walk away or not.

I don’t believe that I’ve been a total “success” or “failure” at any of the them.  Sometimes, I feel like I’ve simply shown up and struggled through.

I’m learning to be at peace with my efforts in life so far.  I always thought I’d accomplish something “great” or “significant”.

Maybe I still will or maybe I already have and don’t even know it.

Or maybe just showing up is enough.

I am loving and trying to live into this quote right now…

You are unique in your being, your substance, your abilities, and your relationships. And there is no one else on the face of the earth who can live your life and accomplish your good. Please, do not forget that. › life-is-too-short



clemens-van-lay-un1s8VOLRC0-unsplashToday some thoughts “wrote” themselves in my head and so I have decided to share them here.

I don’t know about tomorrow or the next day, but today I am here.

There are many reasons that I stopped writing. Some I understand. Some have not been fully articulated to my understanding yet. Perhaps it will all make sense some day.

This is my story for today:

A lifetime ago I was a member of a church.  It was one of the best times of my life.  We were small in number, but large in spirit.  We were a diverse group united by a shared belief.  I doubt that “shared” belief was really the same for all of us, but it was enough. We didn’t always all get along of course, but we maintained a functioning unity.

We were human. We screwed up and hurt each others’ feelings. We made mistakes. We said the wrong things sometimes. We didn’t always agree about stuff…sometimes big stuff. We tried.

We were a motley assortment.  Most of us were there because we couldn’t find any other church where we fit.  We had been hurt by the world and just wanted someplace to worship, to feel comfortable, to feel safe being who we were…where we were on our journey.

When changes beyond our control came into our church, it closed. We moved on in our lives. Some of us stayed close to each other.  The relationships that came out of that church were strong.

Somehow, the labels didn’t matter.  Conservative, liberal, gay, straight, other… anti-this, pro-that…

We formed our relationship based on our commonalities and let the differences be.

I miss that.

That group made it easier being “me” in this world.

I grew as a person in that church…and it allowed me to grow even more since.

In some ways, I’ve been afraid to write my thoughts here in today’s current state of being.

I’m tired of being afraid.

This is my space.

I’m going to write and continue to share my journey…

Our common journey  – if you care to join me.

We can focus on what we have in common and let the rest go.




Whatever I have…

I think I might have the flu.

I can’t sleep because I can’t breathe (insert whiny tone here).

All I want to do is sleep.

When I got out of bed a few minutes ago, I saw our furry visitor again.

I think we are sharing living quarters with a rat.

He is either living in my husband’s closet or under the dishwasher.

I’ve seen him dart out of both places.

It may not be a rat.

He is very, very fast.

It might be a vole.




Voles are small rodents that are relatives of lemmings and hamsters, but with a stouter body; a shorter, hairy tail; a slightly rounder head; smaller ears and eyes; and differently formed molars. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America and Australia. Wikipedia

Like I said, he is really, really fast so I couldn’t see any details about his head, much less his molars.
He might not actually be a he.  He could be a she.  Once again, too fast for that much detail.
I think I would prefer a he.  Less chance that one could become many.
I also think that I would prefer to be sharing a home (temporarily) with a vole rather than a rat.
Rat’s have a certain reputation.  They always play the villain in children’t movies.  You never see a vole cast as a bad guy.
It shouldn’t make a difference either way.  They are both rodents.
I’m not that embarrassed to have a critter move into the house.  We do live in the country and it’s been cold and wet outside and warm and dry inside.
We’ve also done a ton of yard clean-up over the last few weeks so we could have destroyed his or her home.
That doesn’t mean he shall be allowed to stay.
Just until I don’t have the flu or whatever I have.
And then whatever it is is leaving…