Archive for July, 2011

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Wow! What a day!

Yesterday I walked to the school I worked at, to do a few finishing touches on my summer job. It took almost an hour to walk there. I arrived there around 9:30am, and came home about 10:30pm … there were more finishing touches than I had realized. It was a fabulously productive day, and heck … I’m getting paid by the hour, so how bad can it be?

My sweet boss lady and I laughed, and cried and figured out all of the world’s problems … plus we got a butt load of work completed.

Then, today I had to work at home … a very different work.

We (by we I mean a great guy who we hired) are building a beautiful brick patio. And we ran out of bricks (I thought we were sure to have enough … so much for my advanced math skills). Fortunately our ‘great guy’ is away on vacation this week, so we had some time to collect more.

So, onto the websites to buy and sell goods, and, sure enough we found a man with almost seven hundred red, zigzag bricks, that were just the right price (cheap).

Hubby booked a rental truck that could hold so many more than our van, and at 9am this morning we left the house to pick them up.

Hubby, our 11 year old son, and myself piled into the truck, with our directions to the sellers home. The traffic was insane as we drove out of the ‘burbs’ and into the ‘urbs’.

We arrived at our destination, and met the delightful seller. He was a man who had immigrated to Canada in his early twenties. He spoke with an accent that told that he had left his motherland when he was too old to lose it. He was kind (he helped us load the bricks in the truck), and offered a deal (with hubby asking for one). And, once we were ready to leave, his delightful wife came out with a tray of glasses and a pitcher of water for our refreshment.

We did need to make two trips, as hubby was concerned about the possible effect of the added weight on the truck.

When we were heading home, for the second time, I was certain that it was midnight, and not mid afternoon. My eyelids were so heavy that I lost the battle a few times, and lost consciousness for untold amounts of time.

So, we came home, and hubby had a hot bath drawn for me … NOT! There was a truckload of red zigzag bricks to unload, so that the rental truck could be returned. I was so not into the unloading this time … the rarely used muscles that I had been pounding all morning were cry out for mercy, and I am sure that I was hearing them threaten strike!

I had also had enough with ‘the guys’ by this point in the day … if I had a dime for every time one of them passed gas … (and denied it) …

But the load did get unloaded. We even sat down to a warm, home cooked dinner … thanks to my handy dandy slow cooker, and whatever it was that motivated me to get something cooking early on in the day.

Then the guys were off to football, and I got to enjoy peace and quiet (once I was able to usher our eldest daughter off to an event). But, since I was already dirty, I figured I would head back outside to build my new gate.

And that is what I did. I had purchased the kit weeks before, and finally got at it. It was really simple. I just needed 2X4’s, cut to the size of gate I desired, and them attach them to the metal corners from the kit (and that was easy). My gate didn’t get finished, as I need to head to the hardware store to purchase slats for the gate … but oh how good it felt to build something.

I know that the saying “all work and no play make … someone … a dull guy/girl” has truth to it, as balance is such a very important factor in our healthy lives. But the last two days of work (one at a desk … I am sure that by hour number five my butt had actually become flat … and the other loading and unloading bricks … every fiber of my being aches) have breathed a terrific breath of satisfaction into my weary body.

Maybe we are made for work … and for variety?


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Finally, after ten months of school, and then spending June and July working at a second job, I am able to really enjoy my garden!

Yesterday I spent the day in the garden. I was pruning, and mowing, and trimming, and watering, and weeding, and feeding. It was glorious! I got filthy dirty (I do not even seem to be able to water my flowers without getting dirty), and used muscles that ached the next day (heck, they ached as they were being used), and not one minute of it seemed like work.

Truly my day was all about recreation.

As I was out in the fresh air, and sunshine (oh, and how we have waited for sunshine in this area … unlike most of North America which has been hot and dry), I enjoyed only the noises of the birds, the squirrels and my neighbors little grandchildren. I attained great satisfaction, for jobs finally caught up on, and great head space at just being quiet for the better part of a day.

It is so thrilling to see the evidence of my blood, sweat and tears in the garden. I love to watch the contents of bulbs and tuber emerge from the soil. I love to watch a rose bud open slowly, day by day, and then produce it’s visual beauty and delightful scent, that can reduce stress in one whiff. I love to see each year the new growth of the boxwoods I had planted, simply by slicing off a branch of a larger one, and sticking it into the earth. I love to watch the lilies grow taller and taller each day, trying to guess which color they are, until finally they open up to reveal the beauty within. And oh, how I love to see the springtime buds on the grapevine, emerge into tendrils that reach far from where they began, to be followed by the minute clusters of ‘baby grapes’ that, like a newborn baby, grow bigger every day of summer, until they are finally mature, and ready to be tasted.

I love my garden!

But, I don’t love everything about my garden. There are irritants and pests there too. Like dandelions! I have been on a mission for two summers now, to rid my back garden of the weed. When I have the time, and have my trusty week puller thingy in hand, I am like a can of raid on ants! And, my persistence is working (if you ever drive by, you will know that I have not transferred this persistence to my front garden).

Then there is the slug … evil personified! Not only do they love to eat the lovely green leaves on my flowers, but if I come in contact with their slime, it is like some kind of gel crazy glue. It won’t come off easily, and sticks to everything in it’s path … even my ever-curious beast won’t go near them. Of course they do provide great entertainment when i get out my salt shaker!

And then there are aphids … who are on a constant mission to ruin my deeply loved rose plants. Every spring I will be marveling at how beautiful the fresh new leaves on my roses look, and then, there they are. Those tiny little green buggers … nibbling away at my fresh leaves like a teenage boy at an all you can eat buffet. Truly they give me reason after reason to love ladybugs … who think aphids are just the most marvelous treat … hum, note to self : go purchase ladybugs today.

My garden is where I am Mother Nature, and my goal is to protect everything I love within my garden … it is truly a place where I am a mother hen figure. But, I am sadly not able to protect my green ‘babies’ all of the time.

It is really my place in this world of understanding the beauty of our creation, of understanding the complexities of surviving and thriving, of understanding how evil and destruction can come our way due to no action of our own, and understanding how very much we the created are loved by the Creator.

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Halfway …

As of last week, I am halfway!

Halfway to what, you ask?

It could be halfway to school starting … oh no, not the dreaded ‘s‘ word!

It could be halfway, as in middle aged … no way baby, this chick is going for 100!

It could be halfway to paying off our mortgage … in the immortal words of Cinderella, “a dream is a wish your heart makes …”

It could be halfway to vacation destination (Cannon Beach? New Brunswick?) … nope … sadly still slogging away!

It is none of these.

Last week I reached the halfway mark of my weight loss goal … thirty pounds down, and thirty more to go. Hurray, all that hard work, saying ‘no’ when I really wanted to say ‘yes’ to my favorite treats. All those miles of walking. All those celery sticks and salad. All those times I had nothing, when what I desired most was cheesecake.

Hey, it’s time for cheesecake, to celebrate! Actually, even though it is only 8am, as I am writing this, I could really go for a slice of cheesecake right now … the variety really doesn’t matter. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water (and my pants feel tighter … sigh, I have reached the point of weight loss that my own brain becomes my enemy … aka, my accountability conscience).

This weight loss stuff is quite the journey … really more like a slow motion video than a journey. Back in January I began this process (no, this was not a New Years Resolution, it was more of a response to the fact that my hubby was dropping pounds like my beast drops poo! So I figured I better keep up with his fine example … it might have also been in response to that ‘sweety’ at church who said, “so have you been finding all that weight your husband has been losing?” … deep breaths … deep breaths … deep breaths! But, I digress).

Somehow, unlike other weight loss phases of my life (oh yes, I’ve been this size before … heck I have been anywhere from a size eight to a size twenty-four over the past twenty years), this time I have not gotten all depressed when I go through those ‘plateau’ phases. And I don’t even feel tempted to stop eating well … I guess it is because, this time I have finally got it through my thick skull that it took all these years to pack on the pounds and ounces, and it will probably take years to take them all off again … and then it will take the rest of my life (decades) to keep it off.

And really that is the biggest battle in this exercise (pun intended) of weight loss, but really in battling any bad habit. The need to realize that, although we live in a ‘microwave’ society, where we can access what we want, and when we want it (from hamburgers to movies to education to money from a cash machine) there are some things that take time to access, to achieve.

In this time that we are living, cash is quick and easy to access … and debt, along with that!

Sex is quick and easy to access … and loving, meaningful relationships are not.

Food is quick and easy to access … and our belts constantly need readjusting.

The things that are truly good for us, are not quickly accessed, and the habits that are bad for us, take immense strategy, commitment and determination to overcome.

And so I will continue plodding along on this quest to, not just a smaller pant size, but to a healthier me. I also know that although it only took six and a half months to loose the first thirty, it will probably take another year (or more) to take off the next thirty. And that’s okay, because I have learned that things that are good, are worth taking the time to achieve.

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“… a Writer …”

“I didn’t know you were a writer.”

Those six words were the sweetest I had heard all day …

For those of you out there in blog-readerville, I realize that compared with the the writings of C.S. Lewis, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Charles Dickens, I am a pre-beginner in the school of writing. I also realize (and my high school English teacher would agree) that I have the grammar skills of a pygmy! But who gives a rip … someone called me a … writer … (I think I hear violins!).

I don’t think that there is a new title I more desire, at this stage of my life, than that of writer. I am already a child of God. I get to be called ‘mom’. Hubby calls me many things (ditto ‘sweetie’ 😉 ), and with that came daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt. I was born a daughter, soon after was followed by sister. I was always my grandmother’s favorite (only) granddaughter, and with that came niece and cousin. I am also Special Ed. Assistant, employee, friend and slave to the beasty.

But, to be called ‘writer’ … oh, how that does my heart good (I said that with a African American, Southern drawl in case you couldn’t hear it 😉 ).

I have this secret (okay, not so secret … my hubby and kids would tell you that I just do not shut up about this) goal of being ‘discovered’ by Oprah … now, don’t you all … y’all go and snicker when you read this! This is my dream, people! And I figure if anyone knows anything about seeking out an impossible dream, with passion, it is Oprah Winfrey … besides, she’s also got a staff, and the connections to put me on the New York Times Best-Seller List. And that is my, now not so secret, goal. I have, if not the gift of writing, the gift of dreaming. Dreaming and writing … they go hand in hand.

When I awake each morning, I cannot wait to sit and write. When I go to bed at night, I close my eyes and force myself to not think about what I might write about in the morning, for fear it will keep me up ’til the wee hours of the morning planning and plotting my words. Since I started daily writing, four months ago, it has become my daily activity that symbolizes the wind beneath my wings. It gets me up in the morning, it gets me through my day (no matter how butt-ugly it might be), it helps me persevere, it helps me keep my sanity close to intact …

… i t  b r e a t h e s  l i f e  i n t o  m e.

Through daily writing I have felt the presence of my Creator more acutely than just reading the Bible and praying. It is as though He is writing with me (maybe not all the time … my cheeky, Devil’s advocate, pushing the limits type of personality are certainly not always very Godly), and, often I start writing with one direction in mind, and it is as though someone else moves my thoughts and words in a very different, very much better direction.

I feel like when I write, it is therapy, it is passion, it is my voice, and I feel as though it is a team effort. The team being all those who cross my path each day, from my loves to my students, to my friends, to strangers who pass my way, to the God who taps out on the keyboard through my eager fingertips.

And, if Oprah never does ‘discover’ me, if she never reads a word I write, if I never pick up my ringing phone to hear “Carole, this is Oprah Winfrey,” that is okay too. Because I write, not FOR Oprah, not for my friends and family, not even for me …

I write, because, once I got started nothing within me would allow me to stop. And, if that, more than my pygmy grammar and pre-beginner writing skills makes me a writer, than I am free to be called a writer 🙂

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Well here it is … Mammo Day … and it is definitely NOT a ‘holi-day’.

I leave home with a few minutes to spare, so that I will have lots of time to find parking (if you knew where I lived, and how … quaint the hospital, you might be laying on the floor laughing). When I get my sorry butt into the hospital, and then get lost, before finding out where I was supposed to be.

As I followed the signs to ‘the clinic’, I was certain that everyone who I passed knew … that they knew where I was going, and what would happen there, and that they were whispering to others as I walked passed saying “she’s going for THAT appointment (because SHE is over forty!).” It was a very humbling walk down the hallway!

I reached ‘the clinic’ and opened the huge, enormous, heavy, squeaky (and any other adjectives that make you feel a sense of foreboding). The room I walked in to was pink … no, not just pink, Pepto Bismol pink … I cannot say that the color made me feel more at ease, honestly it made me feel rather nauseous!

The lady at the desk was all business … “health care card … fill out the top sheet … keep the bottom sheet.” I obeyed all of her commands (I cannot for the life of me remember the questions on the form … hum … something about age of first menstruation, any relatives with breast cancer, and a question that made me feel young … something about menopause 🙂 NOT ME), and returned her clipboard … I think it might have been special to her! That still provided ample ‘worry time’ as I awaited my turn (hum, is this what a man waiting to be called in to have a vasectomy feels like?).

Then, the instruction that brought me back to thoughts of the guillotine … “now step through that door, remove your bra, and put your blouse back on.” Sigh, this was the moment of door #1 (the change room), or door #2 (the exit) … and I grudgingly walked through door #1 … more pink (blech).

The change room reminded me of a retail clothing store … four ‘closets’, each with a curtain for a door, and a low shelf in each brimming with magazines. I followed ‘pink lady’ #1’s instructions … and waited … and waited. And listened … there was a screening being done on another lady … I could hear some of the instructions … ‘lay your purse on the chair’, ‘come over here’ and then the instructions mimicked the teacher’s voice from Charlie Brown comics.

But, I figured that since I could hear voices (even if they were mumblings), I could also hear shrieks, screams and cries! So, I developed my escape plan … if I heard cries, I was out of there (even if it meant racing down the halls of the hospital without a bra on under my blouse … I am sure that has happened in a hospital before). So, I flipped through my copy of People magazine, with my ears on alert for distress … nothing. Then, mere moments later, out came the patient … that was IT?

As she descended to her change room, I said, “so, you survived?” And she said, “yes I did … it is not enjoyable, but it is not so horrible either.” But before I could pelt her with more questions, THE DOOR (to the torture chamber) opened.

And I heard my name, spoken softly, and gently … but it didn’t quite feel ‘safe’ coming from ‘pink lady’ #2’s lips.

I was laying my purse on the chair, before she even started instructing me (I was hoping that if she thought I was a ‘keener’ maybe she would excuse me from this test).

There it was … the Mammo device/machine (aka, the instrument of mass torture and potential destruction). Except that it didn’t look so awful. My eyes were scanning it all over for the ice cold, metal paddles … there were none.

And the Mammo technician, her name wasn’t even Ingrid or Helga! And she was soft spoken, and rather nice.

And, it lasted, maybe seven minutes … tops.

And, it really was not so bad. I felt no pain (and I am a pain wimp … I was the sort of pregnant woman who made statements like, “I am in love with the epidural doctor”). I mean none. Oh, it was a teeny bit uncomfortable, but that lasted seconds.

In no time, I was sent back to my closet to re-dress, and leave. And really, the appointment was so quick, so painless that I felt no reason to even stop and ‘reward’ myself with a coffee drink.

According to http://www.worldwidebreastcancer.com (check out the ’12 Signs of Breast Cancer’) the main cause of death in women with cancer. In 2010 about one and a half million people, worldwide, were told they had breast cancer.

And ladies, touch your tatas! Learn how to do a self exam (ask your doctor, check out the web). Women, this is important! If we do not take care of ‘the girls’ who else will?

Did you know that early detection of breast cancer can mean cure rates of about 90%?

It is worth it ladies … for your family, for your friends, for yourself and the fulfillment of your life’s purpose. So, don’t shy away from this appointment.

Now to wait for the results …

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I really do not mind having birthdays. I do not even mind the number of birthdays that I have had. Heck, I am not even that upset about my mid-life body (it wasn’t that great in my twenties, and I am more physically active now, so it’s actually on an upward trend … which is humerus, since most of my body parts are on a downward trend …).

What I am not excited about is the invasion of medical tests on my body just because it is over forty!

All of a sudden, my optometrist checks for things like cataracts, and the need for bifocals. My dentist is on the search for recessing gums. And, when I went for that annual ‘woman’ appointment (which I last had done … hum, five years ago), the delightful, cheery, youthful nurse (grrr!) says, “oh, you are forty-two … did you know that women over forty are recommended to have a mammogram every two years?’ Now, how would I know that, I’m only thirty-nine, with three years experience?

So today, like an inmate on death row, heading to the guillotine, I will go to my very first mammogram …

When I got the appointment, I told my hubby that I was going to blog about it, and he said, “you’re not?” And his shocked, astounded, unbelieving question cinched it 😉 (oh, the life of the woman who likes to shock her husband), so, here is the fruit of his amazement!

So, as I have been planning and preparing (mentally) for this appointment, I have been having flashbacks (not hot flashes … that is still to come … and when they do, I will probably blog about them) and nightmares.

The flashbacks have been to those mass emails about mammograms … that are ‘supposed’ to be funny. Come to think of it, they were funny … when I was too young to need to have one! Now their ‘humorous’ messages, make me feel sick to my stomach. Stories of having your ‘girls’ moved and molded like silly putty, between two cold, hard paddles of metal. Moving my ‘twin peeks’  into positions and for lengths of time that God Almighty NEVER intended them to be. I am feeling palpitations of Nascar speeds in my heart just thinking about it! What if, like my mom used to say about making funny faces behind people’s backs, that my bodacious tatas get so squeezed and twisted that they stay that way forever! What if my ‘hi beams’ become ‘low beams’?

Then there’s the nightmares … they are pretty much the same as the flashbacks, but at night, and more sweating is involved (and hubby is not involved in the sweating, other than him dialing 911, because he thinks I am having a heart attack, or seizure or that I’ve lost it … mentally … which, I have to say, I think maybe I am).

But, I am woman … and I will ‘suck it up’ because that is what we women do.

This, although unpleasant, is something that provides detection that women in years past would have, and did, die for.

So ladies (and sensitive male readers, who really do want to know what a woman thinks about the realities of her life), check back tomorrow, for the continuing saga of Mammo-What?

This must be done, and it could be worse …

I could be a man going to an appointment for a ‘digital’ check-up!

Mammo What Part 2 The Main Squeeze

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I am sitting at my computer, at 7:27am, anticipating a busy, busy day.

Presently I am doing home visits for a school that is hosting a large group of International students from Korea. When I visit a home, I am there to ensure that is is a safe environment, I ask questions, request a criminal record check, and answer any questions that the prospective host family has. All in all, the visits each one takes about one hour.

Today, I have eight visits scheduled, from 9am-7:30pm … it is going to be a busy day!

But, I have decided to ‘journal’ my way through this busy day … looking for wonder at every visit, and at every little break available in the day. I am hoping that, by seeking wonder in my day, it might not just be busy for me, but also a blessing.

So, here it goes …

8:40am – I am driving to my first home visit (the one that had to be re-scheduled because the family slept in last week, when I was supposed to visit), and drive past a restored older church, surrounded with blooming pink roses and deep purple lavender … ahhhhh! My day begins, not only with a shot of caffeine, but also with a glimpse of beautiful serenity!

10:00am – Then I head to a ‘wifi hotspot’ to update our work document, and make more calls for more home visits … no one answered their phones (grrr!) … except for a little girl (will the message get to her mom? THAT is the question), who was so friendly and polite, and cheerful … she made me smile … wonderful!

10:55am – Next appointment of the day … I noticed a ‘Thomas the Train’ towel blowing on the clothesline (I love clotheslines … not to use them, just the way their presence takes me back to the ‘good ol’ days’ of taking the best smelling clothes off the line … not my undies, of course … I was always completely humiliated that my mom would hang my undies for all of our neighbors to see! But, I digress …). Noticing the Thomas towel opened up the family I had to visit with a light-hearted conversation about that delightful train and his friends. I love it when I am provided with something to start a casual conversation when I enter a home … it makes my visit so much more casual, more friendly (like a home with a clothesline).

11:55 – I arrive at the swimming pool my daughter is coaching at with enough time to relieve my busting bladder … ahhhh! Seriously, is there anything else on planet earth that feels as good? Enough said!

12:40pm – My 1pm appointment is willing to allow me to come a bit early … that gives me more margin to my day … that, is a gift!

1:45pm – My 2pm appointment is willing to allow me to come early too … seriously, you have no idea how exciting this is for me! And, as we chatted, we discovered that she grew up at the church I attend, and that she currently goes to a church where many people I, or my kids attend … when connections happen, I can see people physically relax in my presence. And, to top this all off, this lady was an amazing decorator … I felt like my sense of creative wonder was fed to the brim! I even complimented her decorating skills enough that she showed me her entire house … I was so impressed that I told her if they ever sell to give me a call before calling a realtor, and I would buy the house, and everything in it! Only others who love decor (and have no time in their days to do anything about it) will understand how significant this is!

3:11pm – I am sitting in a coffee shop, drinking my Americano (I predict another ‘busting bladder’ moment in an hour or two), and working on this post … a delightful pause (and opportunity to re-charge my techno-baby’s battery) in the middle of my day … only four more visits to go! Where is my energy coming from? I am having fun today!

4:00pm – Appointment number five … and a family I know, but have not had much contact with for a few years. What a rough few years this lady and her family have had! Truly she had experienced crises after crises after crises … a modern day Job example. And yet, she was listing as many blessings as she was curses … what strength, what courage I was privileged to be exposed to. It made me wonder, what if I were in her shoes …

5:00pm – A delightful, fun-loving, highly experienced International student host. This lady (I am guessing she is heading toward sixty), knows what she is doing, when it comes to hosting. When she welcomed me into her home, she introduced me to the two ladies from Japan (who had just arrived), and her hubby, and her neighbor (of Chinese descent) who had come over to make dinner for them all. Her home is a multicultural society all under one roof, all the time … even at Christmas, they host International students … and do it, because they love what they learn from others, and from what they can share …

6:00pm – Another appointment, and I am getting really tired. But, the family of mom, son and daughter were so friendly and the children so polite. Their home was not spotless, but was clean. Their home was not a decorators model home. But, their home was so evidently full of love … and I loved being there.

7:30pm – Last appointment of the day (Hallelujah chorus playing in my head). I was greeted at the door by the mom of a peer of my daughters … greeted by a warm hug, and a genuine ‘welcome in, it is so good to see you’ from a Canadianized accent from Kenya. There is something just warm and wonderfilled to be greeted by a hug and an accent.

9:00pm – Home sweet home! Hugs, kisses, and catch up on each of our days. This is the life!

Busyness didn’t have to mean a day of dread. What a wonderfilled day of blessing … I wonder how much better every day would be if I were to be purposeful in looking for wonder in my day?

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It was unexpected that I would awaken on Sunday morning with a migraine. I used to have those most dreaded headaches  W  A  Y  back in my early thirties. But, as I headed closer and closer to forty (like a freight train out of control, barreling down the tracks) they gradually dissipated, and disappeared.

I always felt very fortunate that I was never sick to my stomach, or needed to go to the hospital for stronger relief. I simply would take Ibuprofen, and go to bed, to sleep it off (of course my kids were ten years younger then, so it was not so easy to just go to bed).

So, when I awoke on Sunday morning, with a mental to do list, I was floored … almost literally! As the radio alarm went off, and my brain kicked into wake up mode, I knew it would not be easy to open my eyes.

I staggered as far as the back door in our kitchen, to let the beast out to do her morning thing, praying all the while that a squirrel wouldn’t divert her attention, and force me to maintain my vertical position for any longer than necessary. Thankfully she returned to the confines of our home, and I returned to the confines of my room, where the Ibuprofen is stored! Once an ample quantity was swallowed, I crawled back into bed, and told hubby I would be a no-show at church, and he would need to inform our lunch guests that they were uninvited (but I would reschedule).

Then, I rolled over, and slept … and slept … and slept … until 9:52am … that never  happens!

When I awoke, the migraine had been down-graded to a headache. So, I popped more Ibuprofen, and headed to the next best cure of a morning headache … coffee! Although it was physically painful to hear the beans being ground, the first whiff of it’s delightful scent made the pounding subside, all on it’s own!

As the sun was shining, and the birds were singing, I took my cup of brew to the back deck, where I could put my feet up, and close my eyes (funny how I headed to the light with a headache, but if you lived where I do, and were experiencing the ‘non-summer’ which was preceded by the ‘non-spring’ you would understand that, in this context, sunshine can always be enjoyed … but, I digress).

Soon after getting into position, out came daughter number one, followed by daughter number two, followed by only son. And it was good. We talked, we laughed, and not a form of technology was in sight! I needed this even more than I had needed the Ibuprofen and the coffee.

It amazes me how, when you need it most, and are not wise enough to acknowledge it, rest is provided … just usually not in the way we would like, or could plan. But when we need it, when every fiber of our being cries out for it, our bodies make it happen.

June is a busy month, but July is heaven, for those of us who go to, or work at a school. I usually find that the first week of summer break is family hibernation week. No one really seeks out socializing, we just cocoon at home … together. And I love it (what can I say, I am a natural at cocooning).

But, this year I am working through July, and, when I am home, I am still working … sending emails, making phone calls. So, our first week off together, was not … together, at all. One hot evening (I think there was only one or two last week), as they all hopped in the pool, I was still returning emails, and making calls, despite their invites and pleading to join them.

By the end of last week (Saturday night, to be exact) I was complaining bitterly to hubby that I was feeling a heap of ‘momma guilt’ for not spending time with our kids (other than bellowing out orders … consider this confession time …). He was not so sympathetic … seriously, men just do not get women (and this is news to me and you? I don’t think so!)! And made some comment about how our kids are not suffering for attention (which is true, but what he didn’t ‘get’ was that I was suffering … for time with my kids … he does usually get it when it is he, who I am suffering to spend time with … just sayin’).

So, Sunday morning, I got my hearts desire … just in a not so desirable way. My body said ‘STOP’ … and I did, because I had no choice. And, as I sat out on our deck, steaming coffee in hand, my heart swelled with thankfulness for the provision of time … unplanned, unscripted … not contrived by a human mind, but handed to me, to us, by a heavenly Father who hears the cries of my heart.

“O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!”

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world


looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

Theology is a conversation, and you're invited.

Sealed in Christ

Sixth Seal Ministries

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Giving a unique view and input on information to help individuals establish a concrete perspective on terms, words, topics and the world around them.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Raise Them Up

Parenting with Purpose


encouraging space to think deeply