So many stories to tell

On Thursday (Yes, the Thursday – Thanksgiving Day) I took a bunch of photos of the birds that had decided to visit. This particular shot begs for stories. Maybe because you can see through the door. Doors are always opening and closing, and I can’t think of any door anywhere that doesn’t have a story to tell. Through the sunroom door we see a variety of birds sharing a bath. The cardinals hold a special place in my heart, and there’s a story to be told that I’ll eventually hammer out for some audience somewhere.

You may notice that the coping (rock edging) on the pool is amiss. There’s a bird standing in a missing tile. 2 years ago we put in the pool (pool owners, like boat owners, all have stories to tell) and the coping is pitting. It seems this is a common problem with saltwater pools and although it was known at the time, the pool company did not put on the recommended sealer. 2 weeks ago the pool company began the process of replacing the coping. We’re having to pay for the stones, but the pool company is paying for all of the labor and for replacing the water. I’d love to say that we skillfully negotiated a deal where they paid for everything…but have you ever dealt with a pool company? It takes a special breed.

Today marks the last day of November. I’ve been diligent in my daily blogs, and I expect to remain a regular. The only difference will be that maybe, just maybe, I’ll skip the days when I don’t have anything to say. It will be interesting to see where things go from here. My heart is pounding with anticipation – I promised myself that my priority will now be the short stories and the novel that are begging for expression.

I’ve dusted off and refined a short story I wrote a few months ago. A morbid tale of an unbalanced mother. I’m ready to write another story. One of the two will be submitted to The Chronicle for their annual short story contest.

When I started this blog, it never occurred to me that I would immediately begin a daily exercise of putting my thoughts onto a train of coherent cars that moved along a track for others to follow. I’m not surprised that God has worked on me through this medium and taught me to trust Him, even here.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-9


What I did for my Thanksgiving Vacation

While my wonderful husband cooked, I spent hours (and hours) blogging. Mostly reading blogs rather than posting anything. It’s like unraveling a sweater. You pick up a thread and start tugging on it. Follow it where it takes you and eventually you have a color pile of yarn(s) but not much else to show for your efforts.

Also, I read some fiction:
I did some bird watching. We were on the phone with “M” when I realized the birds were having a fieldday in a waterlogged bucket/planter. There were cardinals, robins, blue jays, finches and more. “C” stopped by on Wednesday (she spent Thanksgiving with her girlfriend’s family in Del Rio), and we called “H” (who didn’t have turkey or any sort of big meal, but did watch football with her boyfriend and his family).
We finished the first puzzle and started on another. This was the first.
And of course, dinner hit the table and we feasted. My loving hubby fixed us a healthy array of herb turkey stuffed with apples/oranges, turkey sausage and pear dressing, garlic string beans, cranberry/orange compote and pumpkin pie for dessert. Yum! I give thanks!!!
And what’s Thanksgiving without advertisements for Black Friday? No, I didn’t go shopping, but my son and I played a quick game of “slug bug”.

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Anything special?

The Baddest Mommy Award, and by "bad" we mean "good"

One day not too long ago, a young and funny mommy found my blog (linked from the NaBloPoMo). She promised to return, and she was true to her word. Although her first visit brought her a charming tale of the fish, her next visit came on a day when guilt was being spread like butter on warm toast. I was riding my angst with the throttle wide open.

Rather than run away frightened, she’s honored me with:

And she means “bad” in a good way.

1. Pass it on to 5 other bad mommy bloggers. Bad is the new good, didn’t you know?
2. Link back to the award creator. (Click on the award and you’ll get to ExMi’s site)
3. Tell the recipients of your award just why you’re rewarding their badness!

Here are my favorite “bad mommy bloggers“:

1. Mama Bernard who writes on behalf of her princess. I love that you blog from your daughter’s perspective.

2. The Bloggess who contributes to Good Mom/Bad Mom. You make me laugh, and cause me to fondly remember the “young years”. Hang on to that spirit, girl!

3. TherExtras – not just a Mom to her own, but a Mom to many. She gives great advice.

4. And similarly, my friend with DownRightFaith who offers parenting tips, but even more importantly moral support for families with children who have special needs.

5. Maggie, Dammit! for keeping it real.

Honorable Mention. The Almost Royal who loves her niece as much as any mother could.

You have each lifted me up in many ways. Thank you!

Sanctuary, with thanksgiving

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Where 2 or 3 meet in my name…

I shall be there with them. Matthew 18:20

I’m breaking free from some relationships that have become unhealthy. I knew when I shared (with the people who love me) some of the details of the unhealthy interactions, I had to be prepared for the feedback to “Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.”

So, as part of my moving-on, turning-over-a-new-leaf, reinventing-of-myself, I’m taking a fresh look at all of my relationships. I’m pruning my vine of branches that aren’t productive, that are draining me of energy, leaving me malnourished. By trusting God, I am filled with joy and peace.

I haven’t exactly figured out the words I’ll use to disentangle myself. I’ll choose my words carefully, prayerfully. Since I seek God’s wisdom, I must obey. Above all, I must watch my tongue. I must NOT be tempted to validate my actions. I trust that I’m doing the right thing.

And, I put myself before you as a member of the body of Christ, and I ask you to meet me here, for where we are gathered, there He will be also. Although I’m walking away from relationships, I have found new relationships in the network of bloggers. Believers who nourish me and those who are hungry for the bread that satisfies. I pray for this community of faith.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14


A family that gunslings together, clings together?

To be precise, going to the firing range together may not qualify as gun slinging, and “clinging” is not necessarily the goal of a non-dysfunctional family, but…it’s good to have activities that can be enjoyed with minimum bickering. Taking turns firing weapons at non-threatening paper targets is something we have come to appreciate as a family activity. Wearing ear-plugs greatly cuts down on the bickering.

I firmly believe that common experiences establish a foundation that will get us through “the tough times”. Seeing Mom beaned by a discharged shell is certainly a tale to tell in the cafeteria. Son, I’m here for you.

Lesson learned during today’s practice: Fire the small caliber pistol (little holes) 1st. Large caliber (which masks the little holes) 2nd. Otherwise you can’t tell where the little holes ended up in the sea of big holes (technical terms: small caliber = .22, large caliber = .45)


Puzzles – reduce, reuse, recycle

Sometimes, like now, I’m faced with a situation that leaves me puzzled. Since “C” left home, “T” has wanted to maintain a relationship with her. Mostly she’s ignored his efforts – not surprising given she’s a freshman in college and he’s a freshman in high school. My concern – I don’t think she is a particularly good influence at this point in her life, but I think that is temporary. The current situation has been difficult enough, but now it seems he is being sneaky/cagey about his communication with her – to the point of deleting the entries from the call-log on his cell phone. Since her lying to us was the source of many conflicts, I consider his lying to us about talking to her more fodder for my concerns. 😦

Speaking of puzzles…. it’s puzzle-time! The winter holiday means it’s time to break out the jigsaw puzzles. This year we’ve picked up a couple of puzzles from Walter Wick, Co-creator of the “I Spy” books. In the absence of sunshine, outdoor activities, and other distractions, there’s nothing like zoning out and focusing in on the rhythm of finding and placing pieces together until the picture, no matter how random, is formed.

I wish I could methodically put together the pieces to clarify the picture of our family dynamics and to identify the hidden items.

While I ponder the meaning of life and other imponderables, I’ll rest assured that we’re being environmentally friendly. Our new puzzle claims to Reduce (contains 90% recycled materials and vegetable-based inks) Reuse (share this puzzle with a friend or donate to a local charity) Recycle (puzzle is 100% biodegradable – leave for curbside pickup).