Get outta your head

I woke up this morning and before I realized that today was supposed to be different, I had the same “basic” thoughts I did in all the days before. There have been a few of my many, many mornings that I’ve jumped out of bed to music, doves and sunshine. But for the most part, I am grumpy….of course as life would have it, I married a man who wakes up throws the sheets aside and yells “it’s a new day, nothing has gone wrong yet”. A mild exaggeration there because remember, he wakes up next to me who is always on her first and last nerve.

Today is New Years Day….that day when everything begins anew. Today is the day that we are full of new hope for a new body, new health regime, new personality, new job, new relationships, new life. My question this morning is what happened overnight that makes us believe we have finally “fixed” the list of the things we do not like about our life….finally the miracle. For me, the list includes the very same things I have not liked about my life for the last 20, 30, 50 New Years mornings. The message is: We don’t have to make the seeming impossible changes in our life, we just have to change our thinking moment by moment. As a friend of mine reminded me recently…each new breath gives me the opportunity to change the way I think….the decisions I make….and the trajectory of my life.

Hindsight is 2020. I don’t have to make plans to change so that I’m magnificent with the perfect life and friends and body. I have that already. I just need to change the way I think….replacing displeasure and dislike with gratitude and love. The love for myself that I want to receive from everyone else. Nothing outside of myself really changes anything. What matters is how I think…right in this moment. Not with plans for the future or discomfort with the past. Stop right now and ask yourselves 5 things each do I hear, feel or see…this exercise brings us into the present moment….and then ask right here and right now is there anything wrong…right in this moment AM I OKAY!?

Happy New Year!

Opinions and perspectives

Just a few days after I assumed the geese were rounding up their belongings and moving on to where ever these geese winter, I wake this morning to…..

In a lesson in perspective this afternoon, I was up on the deck taking this video when the basement door opened and he strolled out to see what the commotion was. I yelled down and said, ya know after watching them sit in the water hour after hour, I actually have no desire to wade into the pond…..I know how much poo a few can leave on the trail per day. He totally flipped it for me…yes, but what about fish food and nutrients. Come to find out goose poo does contain nutrients but too much can actually cause a depletion of oxygen in the water. Who knew!

We see and interpret things from our own thoughts and stories we tell ourselves and assume that everyone sees and interprets the same way we do….but really, everyone perceives their world through the lens of their experiences and what they have been taught by others whether it be teachers, parents, books or life lessons. We absorb the information but interpretation is all on us.

Grateful for the sunshine, blue sky and warm weather and “my” geese.

Namaste

Cows

I have always loved cows….in fact, I have no idea how I could still be eating them but I can’t go there right now.

My grandma had Jersey cows for milking…I always thought they had adorable faces

Amongst my many collections of “things” that have come and gone was my cow collection which I finally parted with a few years ago….but I kept these which were always somewhere in my kitchen(s) as they are now.

The milk bottle in the middle is an Anderson Erickson milk bottle my dad had saved from the days when milk was delivered and deposited in a metal box by the front door.

But the MOST cherished bottles are these milk bottles that belonged to my dad and his dad when they ran a dairy in the late 1930’s or 40’s in Iowa. I also found sleeves of bottle caps used by them.

And then the cows sculpted by my dad

This trip down memory lane happened after a walk today. Christmas decorations!!!!!!! tis the season!

Happy Holidays!

A day in the life of 2020

I’ve joined a zoom Strength Builders class that meets on Monday and Thursday mornings. For the last two weeks, I’ve been walking with a slight bend at the waste. I believe this 1) is not natural for most women my age; and 2) this evidence that I accepted the invitation in the nick of time!

After class I opened the door and

He’s getting his exercise too and actually has also been walking with a slight bend. He’s been putting a ceiling in our downstairs family room.

It’s nearly completed….just a few pieces left on my end of the basement then he can begin the reorganization of his art studio. He thinks he can make it cat free….He’s such a dreamer!

While everyone else will be in their warm cars tonight driving through the many Christmas light venues around us, we are meeting the Missouri family at Powell Gardens and losing ourselves in the beauty and mystery of the decorated Christmas wonderland!

It’s really hard to believe the 2020 version of Christmas is a week away.

Sadly I think the geese are getting ready to leave the pond. They’ve all been sitting around on a thin layer of ice today…..I’ve been sending them messages to stay awhile longer…the rest of the week will be warmer

This reads more like a Dear Diary entry but that is where I am in my head…holding myself close, appreciating the friendships and the love and the beauty all around me.

namaste

No place for anything but gratitude on Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving this year was just one of those events in my life where I said, Yep…can’t do anything about it…just get through it. Poof…seems as soon as I released my attachment to what it should be, what it’s always been, and stopped ruminating…I began to find some peace, joy and gratitude!

Except for the young hen turkey instead of a Tom….and too much sage in the dressing and not really understanding how much less milk is needed for Yukon yellow mashed potatoes rather than russets, the food was excellent and the 5 ingredient corn casserole was the best one ever and I did not miss the green bean casserole AT ALL (possibly the first holiday in 64 years without it).

I went with a tongue in cheek comment from our youngest daughter that we could just zoom while we all ate our meals in our 3 little units….so we set the IPAD up on the table and everyone zoomed in for our meal…our family time clocks are all different but this way we get to enjoy each other 3 times in the day. he and I have saved dessert for the next daughter’s meal and then we will get dessert the second time for the second daughter’s meal. We did this recipe except put it in a graham cracker crust.

Easy peasy. And our two year old Rhoads rolls in the freezer didn’t rise appropriately for the occasion, I did find that the drawer under the oven was a great place for them to do their best. It gave me the idea that in the future this will be a perfect place to keep food warm as I prepare a meal.

So with gratitude, my friends, we hold you all in love and light as we hold each other up!

Namaste

Fill in the blank and cottage cheese

It hasn’t been that long ago…although definitely pre pandemic time….HE was telling a story about a dinner staple when he was growing up…his mother putting a canned peach slice on a plate topped with cottage cheese. I made the well known gesture of pointing to my throat meaning “gag me” because I was reliving the same memory. My mother often dressed the pineapple or pear slice up with a slice of banana along side the masterpiece with a maraschino cherry on top.

Many decades later, during this pandemic, I found a can of sliced pears in the pantry and just happened to have some AE brand cottage cheese in the fridge. I did it. What I tasted was my past….the comfort of my past…when I took my first spoonful I realized that if my past had a taste…this was it. I have never liked maraschino cherries…in fact, I have never understood why Restaurants find it necessary to top your huge ice cream delight with a little bitty cherry on top WITH A STEM attached.

Just one of those things I was thinking about while eating my bowl of pineapple chunks and cottage cheese on this rainy day…and because we are all sheltering in place and many of us alone today, this would be a good time to comment with what your past would taste like!

Namaste

Most tricks in a minute by a pig

That would be Joy who is proudly in the Guinness Book of World Records…

We have been away from our “Home Town” for nearly 6 years. It seems to be the perfect amount of time needed for me to forget about the things that irritated me about small town living; but, enough time that I can embrace what delighted me.

Since we have been gone, old buildings on the square have been refurbished, new traffic lights down the main drag and the movie theater has been updated. The new theater owners have a pig named Joy who lives her life on display in a store front next to the theater.

Under the heading, “you can’t make this stuff up”, Joy appears to have an idyllic life. She does tricks for gawkers passing on the square. I only stayed around for her twirling trick so I didn’t witness anything else she does…

It’s just a precious snapshot of small town life. We stood in sprinkles at 35 degrees to watch Joy and the hometown parade which brings Santa to town following the courthouse lighting and tour of the trees on display at the courthouse…which includes a massive 3 story tree.

Thanks for the memories Newton, Iowa.

Happy Holidays!

The thing about Birthdays

Welcome to my therapy session…With the exception of the boys-grand babies, every birthday that comes and goes, I feel a little lost….not because of everyone being a year older but birthday celebrations created by my mother are missing! I wish I could ask her why birthdays and holiday celebrations were so important to her and why she knocked herself out making everything special. Always a meal of favorite foods, a birthday cake and presents. When it came to him and the girls, I always felt she was stacking more work on me because I had to think and let her know, for each birthday, what I thought they would want the most! I, now, understand what that “burden” represented to me in our dysfunctional relationship! Was this the way she showed us love or was she playing out through us what she missed out on as a child because her mother died when she was still a child? As the matriarch of our family, have I dropped the ball? After my mother died and my girls moved around, I stopped feeling the need to make everyone’s birthday a national family holiday….does anyone else miss it? This is making me tear up and that’s how I know I must recognize the memories for what they are which is a destructive thought pattern of the past lubed up with feelings and emotions that are in the past. And the only reason they are bothering me today is because I’m not centered and I’m allowing these thoughts and emotions to appear as a reality now instead of living right here, right now…

I’m so thankful to my mentors….and it takes a chorus of them….to teach me….or perhaps learn with me…how to live our best life today…. This post all happened because I wished the husband Happy Birthday this morning! No celebration today because our Des Moines kids drove down yesterday to surprise him and we all did dinner together at his restaurant choice. It was fun! There was love! In my heart I realize that’s all that is important!

Until next time….

The Wonder on his face

We spent New Year’s Eve with JJJJ tonight. After a great meal, we played some games then turned on CNN to watch Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper bring in the New Year in New York. Jenny and Justin had talked to Jax about what we were going to watch and what it meant….conceptually, I don’t know what he understood…but watching his little face when the ball dropped brought me so much joy. It was The wonder on his face as he was mesmerized by what he was watching on TV and when we all said Happy New Year and the joy when his dad gave him a hug and held him while singing New York, New York and finally the hug he gave grandma and papa when we left….the hug reserved for only special times….wonder…“a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”

The experience filled me with love and hope for my grandchildren and for all of us in 2018!

Happy New Year!

One time he screwed up the pumpkin pie

…..and since then, his pies have been coveted by the family for the pumpkin pie holidays. It was simply the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. This year he added to the pie count with a butterscotch with meringue.

Delicious…and I’m not terribly embarrassed to say I ate one full size slice of each in one sitting.

We had the family for Christmas Eve Day Bunch and gift opening on Sunday and the second head cold of the month finally wore me down Sunday night so I didn’t go to the Brown/Faircloth/Callaghan Dinner on Christmas Day and while it just seems like a total bummer to be alone on Christmas, it was a little lonely with a slice of depressing, but doable. I ate brunch leftovers and watched movies for several hours. Remembering with gratitude all of the Christmases before helped me to remain positive seasoned with thankfulness!

Onward and Upward!

Until next time!