Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stepping Out of the Gunk and how we carved our jack-o-lantern this year

 If I'm really honest, yesterday was a frustrating day in many ways.
We were on edge actually.
But nothing bad had happened,
so we just needed a few attitude adjustments along the way, because attitudes and actions matter around our household.
Usually we carve pumpkins early in October.
For many years, we have carved three pumpkins.
Each one with a face of their choosing.
This is the first time in a long time we have only carved one.
She knew exactly how she wanted it to look.
It was bedtime.
Our days run late and long.
As we pulled slimy gunk from the inside of the pumpkin,
we acknowledged the frustration we were feeling,
and we talked about keeping "gunk" out of our lives.
We talked about kindness vs. rudeness.
We talked about saying please and thank you
as a gracious means of expressing thoughtfulness
and not as a premise to make a demand.
We talked about friendships
and how important it is to be kind and loving to everyone.
We talked about including those who may be more difficult to enjoy.
And we talked about standing up for others
 when our peers try to pull us in a different direction.
We talked about practical ways of doing this each day,
even when the ones closest to us don't approve.
Then at 10:00 p.m. a friend stopped by needing help,
and we had a chance to put into practice,
the things we had just been discussing as we carved and pulled that slimy and yucky "gunk".
Recently, they had said hurtful and rude and unkind things to us, but we needed to be loving and helpful and so that's what we did.
Isn't is interesting how that happens?
I don't want to sound all pompous and proud...
and look at what I've done...
that's not the purpose of what I'm saying...
I'm expressing how we were immediately needed to prove we meant what we were saying...
when we were pulling "gumk"...
and wiping slime...
and saying we needed to get rid of "gunk" and slime in our lives...
it IS interesting how that happens...
we were happy to help...
and I was thrilled to see my daughter pitch in and help too...
as though we'd never been hurt.
When we were finished and ready to take it to the porch she said,
"Before you carve it,
 it's just called a pumpkin,
 but once it's carved,
you call it a jack-o-lantern."
Yes, removing the "gunk" produces a forever change.
So we set a goal and said,
"Today, just for today, this is how I am going to be."
And guess what?
Tomorrow will be another "today". 
Another chance to "be" without gunk.
The light still shines.
I'm challenged each day to remove the "gunk".

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wacky Flailing Arms Windsock Man

 He asked me if I would make him a costume that looked like this.
Well...sort of like this. 
The inside of the costume isn't finished in this photo.
"What is this called," I wondered? 
The ladies at the fabric store asked me what I was making when I bought 6 yards of neon green crepe fabric.
I had no idea what to call it.
So I described it and they knew!
Then I received this text from my son:
"So I may or may not have just won the individual category..."
Which if I wanted to be really practical, made me think that he didn't know if he won, but there was a 50/50 chance.
But if I wanted to be edgy and "on trend" I realized that he had just won first place!
Wacky flailing arms windsock man won first in the individual category!!
Who knew?
Not me!
I didn't realize that there was a contest involved at the Candy Festival.
So there you go.
It's just another day in the life of one who sews random costumes, and purses and wedding dresses and frazzled towel edges.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Silver Bridge and other thoughts

 While delivering a survey drawing to a customer, in the country Northeast of our town, I came to this one lane bridge.
There was a beautiful old bridge in Mountainburg, near the school I attended, first through twelfth grade, that we called Silver Bridge.

So much water and time and memories have passed under the beams of the old Silver Bridge.
This bridge reminded me of it, and I stopped the car and stared.
There were no other cars in sight, so I simply sat and looked at the structure spanning the creek.
 It guided people only one way, coming or going, you had to take turns. 
The brass plate on one of the entry support beams said a bridge was originally erected here, in 1867, I believe.
Ah, the life that these creek waters have carried.
And the stories that have crossed this bridge, keep me wondering about the passage of time and life and the people who are born to each era. 
 When I tried to take a photo, the beams on the bridge obstructed my view.
So I crossed the bridge, turned around and came back. 
 I leaned out the window and captured this beautiful sight. 
And I thought about my perspective and attitude.
I've thought a lot about fulfilling my calling and my purpose for living.
I've thought a lot about why I have been born to this time.
How am I supposed to use my abilities for a greater good?
What difference can I make?
Each minute?
I could have let the beams of the bridge block my view and mar my vision.
I only needed to take action and turn the car around and go a different direction, to gain better perspective.
As each day passes, I realize more and more how my attitude is really about the only thing over which I have control. 
Is your attitude ever conflicted?
Does it seem to try to go both ways, good and bad,
 on the "one way bridge" of your emotions?
My attitude "drives" so many other actions of my life.
Sometimes I just have to turn around and get a different perspective.
Change directions.
Change plans.
Change actions.

Because sometimes, we have to choose a good attitude.

And sometimes we have to act our way into feeling a good attitude. 
It doesn't always just happen.

Do you think attitudes can be controlled...your own, I mean?
Can you change your attitude?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Smile It Makes Your Face Look Better!

A couple of evenings ago, frost was predicted, so I moved the ferns from the yard to the porch. 
 Maybe I can enjoy them a few days longer.
Fall wind is blowing the seeds from the maple trees.
They spiral downward like an out of control helicopter.
I haven't swept them away.
I sat on the porch and took a photo of the carriage house in the fall, knowing the leaves could drop overnight
 and the flowers wilt with the singe of cold.
The flowers are showing signs of chill and soon the beds will be replaced with winter's frost.
The concept of fall is so lovely.
Carved pumpkins.
Hot cider.
October colors.
Chilly air.
I'm fighting the melancholy that sets in, knowing winter is on its way.
I will not complain.
I will smile.
It makes my face look better!
Are you loving this fall weather?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Harvest Moon

Saturday evening the county roads, winding between fields of dry corn, fell behind us as we drove East into town. 
The harvest moon rising over the tree tops was a beautiful sight.
In fact, it was breath taking!
If only I had a way to truly capture the drama of the trees silhouetted against the shadows of the sky illuminated by the moon.
It was so brilliant and dimensional, it felt as though I could reach out the car window and touch it.
For a few seconds the beauty of it seemed suspended in time as it 
appeared to rise above the trees and the horizon.
I suppose it was suspended in time really.
I thought of you.
I wanted a way to show you this miraculous beauty.
If you could have been there, you would have been amazed too.
And you could have heard my daughter and I "ooo and aaah",
and scramble to take this photo in an attempt to capture the memory.
Have you seen a brilliant moon rise these past several evenings?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Not Just Another Colts Fan

an exceptional Colts fan!
The Indianapolis Colts pulled off a win against our very own
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
But yeah, you already knew that!
We didn't paint our faces blue, but we sure were rootin' for the Colts.
And Peyton, bless his heart, had to play for the Broncos.
So so very sad.
Poor Peyton.

Are you an Indianapolis Colts fan?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spread Some Cheer...if you are able!

 The strawberries have fallen dormant, and they are ready to hunker down to brave the blast of winter.
The corn is dry and harvest has ended in this field. 
However, I found beauty and cheer in the pink and purple morning glories that spiraled up through this past summer's growth.
Rise and Shine!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Community Bonfires and Warmth

I was determined that we would have at least ONE bonfire in October. 
I looked at everything that has to be done in October and I knew that Saturday might be the only night.
So, Saturday night, we finally accomplished a real live burning bonfire!
After a very rushed day of
 finishing surveying jobs,
 meeting with realtors,
 having the privilege of  helping with an It Works Global event,
  cleaning the dentist office,
attending a birthday party
 and donating bags to Goodwill,
 then we rushed through Walmart at break neck speed to gather "fixins" for chili dogs and smores!
By 8:30 Saturday night the fire was glowing
 and warm.
 I kept exclaiming how fun it was
 because I needed it to be meaningful and fun.
I needed us to have a memorable moment after the hectic.
We needed warmth.
We needed to reminisce.
As I threw more sticks onto the fire, I thought about Ancient times?
Ancient times?
Yeah, I did.
I've read about "community wells",
 where people went to get water
and visit
 and probably help each other
and encourage each other.
Water is necessary for living.
But so is heat
and fire
 and warmth.
However, I've never read about "community bonfires".
Community Bonfire:
A place where people would go to relight their kindling
 and take a small box of smouldering embers home to light the home fire.
Maybe I've had my head in the sand.
I've just never read those stories.
I know that fire and heat and warmth are necessary for life.
I should probably read about the history of fire.
And then I thought about myself.
Do I glow?
Do I radiate the warmth of joy...
of peace...
of happiness?
Or am I so caught up in my hectic Saturdays and Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays and other days
that I don't spread warmth
or cheer
or encouragement?
I am determined to live a life of meaningful "warmth" for others.
It takes intention,
and purpose.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Who Else Is Gonna Do This...

and this...
and this...
and this...
and this?
It's a dog's life.
I guess somebody's gotta live it!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oh The Questions

"Mom, why isn't zero and one, prime or composite?"
So we discussed zero and one and prime and composite off and on all day.
Sort of - kind of
discussed it...
a tiny bit.
At the end of the day,
I said, "So have I satisfactorily answered your question?"
"Mom, you haven't answered anything!"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mugs and Mugs of Piping Hot Cider!

I was watching darkness fall.
I was chilly.
I needed a jacket.
I was drinking hot cider on the porch.
I wanted to drink mugs and mugs of piping hot cider.
I thought the cider was so yummy.
I don't want Summer to end.
I realize it ended anyway!
I think Summer should listen to me.
I decided that Summer didn't listen and now it is Fall.
I wanted to capture the chilly evening.
 I wanted to embrace it.
 I wanted it to hold on a bit longer.
I don't want to lose the evenings on the porch.
I took a photo with my phone.
I saw steam rise from my mug of piping hot cider.
I wondered if the steam was captured in the photo.
I was excited to see that it was.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Solid Reminder From A Fireplace Mantle and A Faux Fire

Many times in the Fall of the year as the leaves began to turn,
 I remember my daddy stopping the car along the side of the dusty gravel road that led toward home.
Taking his pocket knife from his pocket, he would slice off a small branch of  leaves that he thought were particularly colorful and take them home to give my mother. 
 It seemed the star shaped Sweet Gum leaves were most vibrant.  I remember Mother acting so pleased and placing the branch of leaves in a vase of water and then sitting the vase in a prominent place to enjoy for several days.  
As Fall approached we would cut truck loads of wood for the fireplace that heated our home. 
We would save our paper chicken feed sacks and fill them full of small pieces of kindling wood to start a fire.
 As a child, I thought kindling was actually pronounced kinnillin.
 I guess it was actually pronounced that way around our house!
  It was important to have it on hand when the first chilly evening arrived.
Those days are seared in my mind.
 I wonder if I look back longingly or fondly or both? 
 we just switch the thermostat from Cool to Heat. 
 I don't know if that is better. 
 I will admit, in the moment,  it is easier in some ways.
   And because the old chimney in our home has yet to be restored, I keep jars of candles lit behind the fireplace grate. 
 It isn't safe to light a fire with real "kinnillin" and real tree wood, but it feels and looks cozy with the jars of lit candles, at least. 
There are so many wonderfully decorated mantles on pinterest and other decor sites. 
 I wanted my mantle to look all grown up and gorgeous too.  However, when I put the leaves in the white vase,
and thought of the life and love my parents shared for so many years,
 the hard times, the scary times, the good times and laughter,
 then I just stopped and left the leaves.
  My mantle doesn't need to be all grown up and gorgeous and festive and fancy.
  It just needs to remind ME of the important things that I need to be reminded of right now.

And the faux fire made with candles...I will keep them burning.
 Yes, I will keep the home fires burning.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Had YOU In Mind! What's up with a coffee truck?

We did our best to work it out.
Round trip took seven hours. 
He asked me if I was ok just stopping for 15 minutes to get him
and then turning around and starting right back home. 
"Well yeah, of course." I said. 
"I came to get you, not hang out here."
He's thoughtful like that!
It was important to him to come home this weekend.
he brought things for me to fix like broken watches and such.
Actually a broken watch.
Just ONE little watch.
When we pulled in the drive at 2 AM (this morning) he handed it to me
and said he hoped I could fix it.
It was a touching mother/son moment,
to feel so needed.
I will add that to my resume:
 Watch repairer.
As I drove to get him, I amused myself for a while trying to get a photo of this coffee truck I was following.
Yes, I am easily amused.

I sent the photo to my husband. 
We were laughing.
I guess we are both easily amused.
Who hauls brewed coffee?
(I'm pretty sure, it was hauling fuel...for cars)
Then my brain twisted in consternation...
well, who hauls fresh milk?
fuel truck, coffee truck, milk truck
Coffee lovers~this is for you!
Brewed or not,
this "coffee truck" photo is for you.
Brought to you, compliments of the seven hour round trip
 and my silliness!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beauty From Start to Finish

 Why do mornings have to be so rushed?
  Even the sun rises quickly. 
 I never want to miss the beauty.
The day sped by.
The rain came.
Still a sunset in the rain is beautiful!
From sunrise to sunset,
 I hope you find beauty in your day,