Thursday, May 29, 2014

She sums it up so well...

"A mother fills, only to empty, and empty, and empty, 
which fills her full again —  
and isn’t this giving away the way to have it all?" 
-Anne Voskamp 

You can read it in context's really good.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

Rest in peace, Maya Angelou....

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did, 
but people will never forget how you made them feel."

I think she was so beautiful....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Remember when I told you there were some changes a comin' and then I fell off the face of the earth? Well, I'm finally getting around to sharing now.

So a while back I wrote a quick blog post and mentioned I'd made a "big decision".

Then I let life take over and fell off the blogosphere for a bit...possibly leaving some of you hangin'.

Sorry about that.

So, this "big decision" may not seem BIG to some of you at all. But to'll know just what I'm talking about.

A few weeks ago I turned 47. A few weeks before that I made steps toward conquering some fears. Then during our spring break I was faced with a situation that could have gone either way.

Ian and I had driven to Donner Lake to visit my aunt and uncle at their lake house. It was beautiful, as always. Cold. but clear and gorgeous. We decided to stay two nights, which was a great and glorious decision. You can't really get your "relax" on just staying one night.

We woke up on our last day there to beautiful, amazing, pure white snow. It was breathtaking. Not growing up in (or even near) snow, it was a gift. I loved it.

The forecast said it was going to stop around noon or so. So we thought we'd head home around then. But it wasn't showing signs of stopping at all. It just kept snowing. And snowing. But we really needed to start heading home.

After some self-talk I decided that I was going to drive home in the snow. Something I'd never done before. Something that, quite honestly, had me a little scared. But I talked to my uncle...a lot (Thanks, D, for the encouragement!) and after lots of tips and pointers about driving in the snow I put my big girl panties on and just decided to be brave. I made a deliberate decision and choice to NOT be afraid.

Was I still nervous? Well...hmmm...was I? Yeah...a little, I suppose. But not much. It was like once I decided to just dig in and "get 'er done" as they say, my confidence skyrocketed and I was ready to face the challenge that not even a day before could have had the power to cripple me in fear.

We packed up the car, threw a few snowballs, gave everyone hugs and kisses goodbye, got a few more last-minute pointers from Uncle D, and off we went.

Driving in the snow also meant using my 4-wheel drive...something I'd never done before. And I gotta say, I liked it. It was easier than I thought and gave me the control I needed to maneuver our car safely down the snowy highway. Like D. told me to, I drove as fast as the other cars, didn't get stuck behind big trucks and kept my cool.

Ian was a big help in keeping me calm, helping me keep an eye on the road (apparently I hug the right side of the lane) and other cars. He was cool as a cucumber, which led me to believe that I was doing an OK job. And my knuckles weren't even white.

So. You are probably saying, "Nice story, Michelle. But...uhhhh...what's this big decision you've been talking about?"

The big decision I made was this...I am no longer going to let fear stop me.

Will I face fearful situations? Yes. I will. But will they stop me from doing things? No. Not anymore.

And I'm not talking things like wrestling alligators. I'm talking about things that tons of people do all the time that I haven't been able to do because fear has stopped me. Things like hiking up something a little steeper than I'm comfortable with. Or paddling a kayak on my own. Or confidently climbing into a canoe. Or driving in snow.

No. Fear will no longer stop me. I have made the decision to face fear head on. I want to be brave. And do adventurous things. And you can't do that if you're a big scaredy cat.

So. No more. From here on out I am going to be brave...or, if need be, do it afraid.

Monday, May 26, 2014

scenes from the garden or how I spent a quiet morning out back.

I'm off today. And feeling a little under the weather since last night. Tummy trouble, if you must know. I'm bummed, but mostly because this very well could get in the way of my plan to visit our local, annual Memorial Day carnival for the sole purpose of getting myself a corn dog with extra mustard. I may have to make the sacrifice.

I spent some time in the garden this morning...deep watering the tomatoes and rosemary and enjoying the cool air while it lasts. In between moving the hose from here to there I snapped a few photos, of course. It appears as if we're going to have an abundance of zucchini. This is fine by me...fried zucchini cakes are in our near future!

I saw at least half a dozen ladybugs in the garden this morning without even looking for them...on the grapes, on the lavender, on the Japanese maple. It made me happy knowing they were eating up the bad bugs. And it also made me happy that they made their way to our garden on their own and not via a plastic tub sold at the checkout stand. 

The garden was quiet for a good while...I took advantage of it and sat watching the bees busily gathering nectar from the lavender. I tried to get some photos but they're all blurry...they don't say "busy as a bee" for nothing. They are on the go! I found myself feeling envious of whoever gets to benefit from the honey made from the pollen of my lavender. Why don't I have backyard bees (yet)?

As I sat on the back steps I was visited by a gigantic bumble bee who also evaded my lens...he was huge! And loud! And gorgeous for a big, black bug. I'm not a fan of big, black bugs...but I'll make an exception for him. He was pretty cute.

The peace and quiet ended when my rear neighbor decided to fire up a chain saw...or a weed whacker...or something loud. So I took that as my cue to come back in the house and take advantage of some quiet time here at the house to document my morning.

I'm alone for the next little I'll take it easy, write a blog post or two, and hope my stomach settles down enough to go get that corn dog later. Priorities, right?

Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday morning.

Truly my soul finds rest in God;

    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1-2

Today will be a day of rest. I am tired. I need to be home. I need to move slow. I need to do things around here. I need to make a nice, healthy dinner. I need to walk around the garden and see what's growing. I need to sign up for a summer class, and pay some bills. I need to be quiet. 

Yes. I need a day of rest. A day at home. From start to finish. 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

it's been a while...

I think about this place every day and wonder if any of you are still out there. Every day I click "New Post"...but every day, nothing comes out. There's stuff in there. A lot of stuff. But I guess there's not enough time? Or maybe none of the stuff has come to the surface yet?

Either's been quiet around here. Part of me feels bad about it....desiring to write every day, to share and think things out through the process of writing here. The other part of me realizes that it's life. Life gets busy. And distracting. And...mundane. There's nothing wrong with the mundane..that is life, I guess. But how many times can I write about washing dishes or doing laundry or cleaning my room, yet again? I mean, life is one big repetition...get up, get dressed, go to work, work all day, stop at the grocery store on the way home, run an errand, cook some dinner, wash more clothes, get the coffee ready for tomorrow, go to bed.

"What's to write about?", I think to myself.

Well...a lot, really. A lot happens in between all of that. A lot happens in my mind during all of that. It's just that sometimes it's hard to get it down "on paper".

On a positive note (not that that was really negative) is good. It's busy. It's productive. It's moving forward at a steady rate...and for that I am grateful.

The garden is thriving...lots of tomatoes and zucchini ripening in this heat we've been having this week. The chickens are doing well...even if their coop is filthy. I really need to get out there early tomorrow and remedy that.

The weather has weather is inching its way closer and closer. And while I don't like it, I am doing my best to embrace it. It's making the garden grow. So there's that. And I've come to a realization...I am OK with hot weather up to about 90 degrees. After that it's a bit much. But it's tolerable. Even 95 isn't too stifling. But when it starts hitting the triple digits is when the depression kicks in. Like a reverse SAD. Luckily, it's not always triple digits. And if it is..? There's always A/C.

Seth came home for a whirlwind visit last night...he was supposed to stay all day today and tonight then head out to Santa Cruz with friends tomorrow morning. But, plans changed and he headed out this morning. So we visited until midnight last night and over breakfast this morning and then off he went. I guess that's how it's going to be from here on out...and I'm OK with that. It's what he's supposed to do...grow up, do his thing, live his life...I won't hold him back. And I'll be grateful for the time I get with him.

So just now I made a phone call to my mom (Yes, in the middle of writing a post because I have ADD, I'm convinced) and we've decided to take a ride to a tile and granite place to put slabs on hold for her kitchen remodel. So that's my cue to hop in the shower (No, I haven't done that yet. Yes, I know it's after 11.) and get ready for an afternoon with my of my favorite people to spend time with.

I'll be back soon. That's a promise.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  
- Psalm 139:13-14

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day xo

Winter 2000
Happy Mother's Day to you...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

(my internet has been down...
in the process of getting a new service...
will catch up when I do!)