Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Another Late Start

                                                     Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look
When hearts are of each other sure;
Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook,
The haunt of all affections pure.

Again, I woke up later than expected. This morning, I had a Women's Bible Study (Beth Moore) and of course, my homework only half completed. I still went, because you see, I have learned that none of these women are perfect. They probably didn't finish their homework, either. 

We belong to this huge Church in a very affluent area in the suburbs. Majority of the congregation are also affluent and I'm from the other side of the tracks. I think I'm the only one in my group who actually goes to work. Not that there is anything wrong with any of it. It's just that I've always felt different from the average woman. 

It seems that lately I have been getting up later and staying up longer. There's something about the Fall and Winter Season where we're not as active. Our bodies want to burrow. We want to stay in, snuggle up in our pajammies, drinking hot chocolate or hot tea. It's the lack of sun that does it. 

I did do some Christmas shopping, all by chance. You know how you see something in the store that would be perfect for a certain person in your life? So I was happy to be able to purchase some gifts ahead of time. I also bought my Christmas cards. Not many people bother with sending out cards anymore. Which is sad to me, because it is nice to receive things in the mail. To actually hold something in your hands from someone else. 

I am on the lookout for some comfortable lounge pants to wear around the house. Mentioning this to Emily, she did remind me about a Christmas plaid pair I owned a few years back that I never took off. I think she's exaggerating a little here. I didn't wear them to work, for heaven's sake! And I did wash them!

That was my morning before I left for work. The floor needed a scrubbing and a pot or two was left in the sink, but well, tomorrow's another day! And how was your day?

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Mundane Things

                                                       Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

When over the fair fame of friend or foe
The shadow of disgrace shall fall; instead
Of words to blame, or reproof of thus and so,
Let something good be said.
Forget not that no fellow-being yet
May fall so low but love may lift his head;
Even the cheek of shame with tears is wet
If something good be said.
--Author unknown.

I woke up late this morning, all intention of an early start gone out the window. I overslept, groggy and barely awake, I noticed the time on my phone stated a whole hour behind. Did the daylight savings change already happened last night? No, it couldn't have! Jumping out of bed, I hurriedly got dressed and headed out the door with a cup of coffee in my hand. I should have been at my mom's already.

I try to head out by her at least once a week either to take her shopping or do errands. Today was just a simple visit, working on her puzzle. There is always a meal ready for me no matter if it's breakfast time or not. Let's not forget a shopping bag full of cooked food ready by the door for me. 

My weekend wasn't anything particularly spectacular. In fact, not really much had happened, but a bunch of mundane chores. It's that time of the year where I prep. Once you  have owned a home, it's in you to do so even if you live in an apartment. I winterized my windows every year. I like warmth in the Winter, not drafts. And that's what I did this weekend. 

Same thing with my car. I filled my tires with the appropriate tire pressure and vacuumed inside. I recently bought new plastic mats so the inside looks pretty nifty. I also took her in to have the cabin air checked. For some reason, it has been going out on me. I did have a new filter changed a few weeks ago, but apparently they couldn't find anything wrong at first glance. Whenever I have someone take a look, the air is working perfectly. I did end up making an appointment to leave the car for a thorough check this coming weekend. Maybe, it will go out again at the opportune moment and they can finally figure out what is wrong. 

Would you know it that it's been working fine thus far? Now, I'm debating if I should leave it alone or not? I really don't want to be spending my day going back and forth on the bus for nothing. Maybe, I should wait until it goes out completely.
Right now, the car has been heating up a storm, nice and toasty. 

On the flip side. We have this huge store here that has a great selection of teas. An entire aisle on both sides has been designated for tea. I spent a delightful 30 minutes checking out the entire display. They have teas for every ailment known to men. Since I was there for the purpose of stocking up for our Winter stash, my basket was overflowing with herbal tea by the time I left the store. 

As you must have figured out, we are tea lovers. Emily alone has drank green tea since a little girl. Her body is so accustomed to green tea that if she misses her dosage for the day, she is totally in a bad mood! All out of sorts for sure. Winter time around here means plenty of tea is brewing throughout the day. I'm seriously thinking of growing my own mint in the Summer and drying the herb to make my own tea. 

That was my weekend. Nothing really spectacular happened, but the mundane chores. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Simply Nutrition

                                                     Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

 One holy Church, one army strong,
    One steadfast high intent,
  One working band, one harvest-song,
    One King omnipotent.

It was just an ordinary day, nothing special. I opened up my Facebook and saw a post from my nephew-in-law. In the last couple of years, they have become vegan. It didn't happen overnight, it was a slow progression of making healthy choices in their lives. Each new path took them on a journey of slowly eliminating certain food from their diet. It's all about nutrition. 

Three years later and now they are healthier than ever. His cholesterol went down, they both slimmed down and both participate in triathlons. It's funny, because he wasn't for it in  the beginning. Their oldest daughter was suffering multiple stomach aches and certain foods were the culprit. Her food lifestyle had to change and being a great mom, my niece included the entire family on their healthy journey. 

That decision changed everything, especially their love affair with food. It didn't happen overnight, but slowly as they figured out what was best for their family and their bodies. Nutrition isn't about counting calories and diets. It's about feeding our bodies what is good for it so we can benefit from the vitamins/nutrition they provide. 

Being curious, I went online to learn what vegans actually were eating. I knew they did not eat anything from the animal like eggs, milk or cheese. What I found surprising was that they eat a lot of nuts, dried fruits and grains. 

Now, we eat vegetarian meals around here, but I am always looking to improve in the healthy eating department. My goal has always been to eat less pasta and this seemed like a much better alternative. When we cleaned out our pantry, we stocked up on all kinds of nuts, dried fruit, beans and grains. There are vast amounts of different grains and beans so boredom wasn't about to happen here with recipes. 

Honestly, I don't miss pasta. I haven't had any for about two months. I'm nowhere close to being a vegan like my niece and her family, but I won't rule it out. Who knows where we will be in a few years? We're always improving in the nutrition department. We're learning and adapting as we go.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

No Revisiting Here

                                                             Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

The perfect poise that comes-from self-control,
The poetry of action, rhythmic, sweet--
The unvexed music of the body and soul
That the Greeks dreamed of, made at last complete.
Our stumbling lives attain not such a bliss;
Too often, while the air we vainly beat,
Love's perfect law of liberty we miss.
--Annie Matheson.

It was a hard day, a hard week. Everything fell apart from beginning to end. The weekend couldn't arrive fast enough to our liking. All we wanted to do is run home and have a good cry. Maybe even turn the weekend into a regular "woe is me" kind of party. Yeah, that sounded really good. A little sad music, a bottle of wine and a box of tissues.

The problem was that tears wouldn't come. God was having none of it. It was as if HE was saying that's the old you , not the new you. You don't need a bottle of wine, sad music or even some tissues. All you need is to be still and believe in me. 

When things fall apart, our first instinct is to run to what comforts us. In the past, it would have been those three things. We want to become numb and unfeeling any type of emotion. This way we won't hurt. We won't remember. We won't feel.  

I cannot remember the last time I had a good heart wrenching cry fest. I might have broken down in tears during worship time or in praise of Our Lord, but never because life became too difficult. There is a line that we have crossed in our growth that we cannot go backwards again. 

It seems that the more struggles we endure, the more we have come to be adept in handling them. I already know the pattern of a trial. It always seems to begin with a series of mishaps that occur in a domino effect. I can handle mishaps, it's the next thing that knocks us out. It's that hurtful, gut wrenching pain that leaves us reeling and overwhelmed by what direction we should take. That's the one that we struggle with and are afraid of experiencing.

It's this feeling of helplessness that brings us to our knees before Our Lord. That's when we begin to heal. Lord, I don't know what to do. All I can do is leave it with you. Help me. Lead me. We get up and become still. Let this trial run it's course. 

Terrible days and weeks are handled a little differently nowadays. We come home, take our shoes off and usually plop on our bed in exhaustion, thanking Jesus we made it through. When we are attacked spiritually, we spend a quiet and humbled day in solitude and meditation. We endure, because we know that this isn't permanent. We will overcome. Be still and know that I am God. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Wisconsin Trip

                                                                                Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                                               everyday is a journey.

Not so in haste, my heart
Have faith in God, and wait
Although he linger long
he never comes too late.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with my older brother, Ted and his family. I love going to Wisconsin, because the scenery calls out to my heart. Of course, there is the fact that he lives there, too. 

 As we pulled in, first thing I saw was the sweet RV! I just had to take some more pictures of this beauty. I have to tell you that in my heart, I secretly have made my choice of residence. 
One of the surprises my brother had in store for us was grocery shopping the Wisconsin Way! In the city, we go to grocery stores. In Wisconsin, you pull up to your neighboring farm, honor style.
Next two stops included an apple orchard and an organic vegetable farm. 
                  Just look at the size and color of the vegetables and the pumpkins!
My brother has a beautiful home and yard. All of which involves tons of work to maintain such beauty. 

                                                           Stunning views from every angle.

                                                         Front of the house views.
                                              Views of the back. My brother putting away the palm trees for the Winter.
                         Both grandmas relaxing and enjoying each other's company. 
                              Imagine looking outward at all of this every single day.
                Really enjoyed myself and especially the private tour of the neighborhood with my brother. Hope to do it again soon. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Restful Weekend

                                                                Everyday is a brand new day, 
                                                                  everyday is a journey. 

Our heaven must be within ourselves,
Our home and heaven the work of faith
And thro' this race of life which shelves
Downward to death.
While over all a dome must spread,
And love shall be that dome above;
And deep foundations must be laid,
And these are love.
--Christina Rossetti.

Another weekend has gone by, a restful one. A fulfilling one. The colder it becomes, the more I want to stay in and burrow. That's my new word-burrow. I want to burrow. I was so curious why I felt so attached to this word that I had to look it up.

Burrow - Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary


/ˈbɚroʊ/ plural burrows. Learner's definition of BURROW. : a hole or tunnel in the ground that an animal (such as a rabbit or fox) makes to live in or for safety

What surprised me here was the phrase for safety. Is my subconscious trying to say something? Maybe. I've considered our home to be a sanctuary and that definitely has to be safe. Emily and I are very particular on who we invite into our home. This is where we relax and let our hair down. This is our burrow.

I am particularly thankful whenever a quiet and restful weekend comes along. It seems that we have been running around visiting, meeting with our Ministries, making deliveries and participating in lectures/studies. As much as we love doing these activities, it's always nice to sit back and do things in a leisurely way. 

Emily has spent the entire weekend working, so I pretty much had the apartment to myself. Resting to me, means something entirely different than to others. I like to keep busy, but I do so in a very relaxed way. I spent my time, doing paperwork. I dealt with all these things with put off like making adjustments to our 401k or insurance, etc. I re-organized our files, wrote some stories, worked on my scripture writing and moved further along with my Bible study with Dr. Vernon McGee. 

I can't express enough how good I felt to be able to do all these things I so thoroughly enjoy. It made me reflect on the future when I will be able to do this on a regular basis. Oh, Lord, thank you so much for this peaceful weekend. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Planting The Seed

                                                                      Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                                      everyday is a journey. 

God will not seek thy race,
Nor will he ask thy birth;
Alone he will demand of thee,
What hast thou done on earth?

There have been many thoughts swirling around in my head. All of these having to do with planting spiritual seeds. You see, I've been rather remiss in regarding this subject. I don't go out preaching the Gospel to others. Like I said, it's been weighing heavily on my heart and I have began praying on how to go about it. 

I am not a preacher, making speeches of any kind just not my thing. I'd rather write about it. That I know I can do, but growing in being a Christian isn't about the easy, it's about extending ourselves. That's my mission, my goal. I want to plant seeds.

Lately, my mind has been on overtime, thinking of ways I can bring the Gospel to the people in my life. I've found myself passing out Bibles with inscriptions, literature, workbooks and various books from well known preachers as gifts. I have prayed each time I've done it. In my mind, I have these images of the recipients rolling their eyes as they open the packages. That Christian freak gave us a Bible!

Deep down inside, I know I cannot be thinking like that. I can't imagine their feelings, because I am not them. They could be searching for just that in their lives. The Lord placed these individuals upon my heart for a reason. And I shall continue. 

Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October Days

                                                                      Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                                      everyday is a journey.

 I sometimes feel the thread of life is slender,
  And soon with me the labor will be wrought;
  Then grows my heart to other hearts more tender.
    The time is short.

October began a little glum. As the Fall Season was becoming colder, the pressure of preparing for the upcoming months mounted on the severe. I have spent a very leisurely Summer sleeping in and avoiding certain tasks. It was glorious, but it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Sometimes, no matter how much we try, we just cannot get anything done. Take this morning, I got up very bright and early (6 a.m.) itching to get started. I had my bagel and coffee for breakfast, cleaned up a bit in the kitchen from the night before and headed downstairs with the laundry. When the washing machine finished, I discovered the dryer was full with one of my neighbors clothes. They never emptied the dryer from the night before. 

I sighed heavily. Knowing fully well who was responsible, I debated whether or not to go knocking on their door. Do I cause an incident with a difficult neighbor? Or just move on? I decided to wait. I waited and I waited, all hopes of having my laundry done this morning vanishing quickly. I would be lucky if I finished this one load. I ended up hanging the laundry to dry in the bathroom while I went to work. 

This month has been an irritating month with more disturbances than usual. Even my internet connections haven't been working all too well, maybe from all the storms? Same for cancellations with family and friends, as we all try to find some free time in our busyness. It really has been difficult. I don't really know why we all behave so badly at certain times. It's almost as if our bodies know it's the season for abruptness and rudeness. We've all been misbehaving, all of us.

These are the last days of nice weather before the blistery winds and bitter cold sets in. Although, rainy days have been here and that means swollen knees/joints. Here we go again. It's always at night when it's the worst. No, October hasn't been much fun. There is one good thing that has happened. 
                                            Yes, it came in the mail today and I literally cried. I know it may sound silly to most of you, but I feel relieved. I was dreading the upcoming Winter Season at work. The thought of having to walk 3/4 quarters around the building to park my vehicle in the ice and snow, filled my heart with despair. Thank you, Lord, for this simple pleasure. It shall make a huge difference by work. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Radiation 4

                                                                  Everyday is a brand new day, 
                                                                   everyday is a journey.

When on my aching, burdened heart
    My sins lie heavily,
  My pardon speak, new peace impart,
    In love remember me.

What does God want me to see? I asked myself this question ten years ago when I first was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I felt so deeply that God wanted me to see something here and I was so afraid of missing it. To this day, every treatment I endure, I ask myself this question. You see, I believe we have a lesson to learn through each of our struggles. If not a lesson, there is something here that God is saying to us. 

That's what happened last Summer to me while in radiation treatment. God was speaking to me and I didn't want to hear none of it. I wanted to dwell inside of myself in the "it's all about me" mode. I didn't want to see or hear about anyone else's pain. I wanted to wallow in mine. I fought Him and I lost. You see, the more we fight God, the harder our own lives become. 

That's why it's very important to take the time to be still in our trials and pay close attention to what is going on around us. If we're angry or emotional or even bitter, there is something weighing heavily on our hearts that we may need to work on. Don't resent it, but embrace it. Pain may hurt, but it also cleanses and we come out on the other side a lot stronger. We become adept with each new struggle at handling what is thrown at us. 

Going through treatment can be a very satisfying and a very cleansing spiritual journey into finding out who we were and who we are intended to become. So take a walk and admire the beauty, the serenity and the calmness of the world around us. Go ahead and sit on the bench, watching people as they go about their lives. You can learn so much just by being still. God is speaking so ask Him what it is He wants you to see. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Just A Reminder

                                                      Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. 

Within Thy circling arms we lie,
O God! in Thy infinity:
Our souls in quiet shall abide,
Beset with love on every side.

Recently, my Joey was in Western Illinois for work purposes and he took these pictures. As he showed them to me, my heart expanded. I asked him if I could borrow these for my blog. 
 You see, this is what I want to look at when I retire. I don't want the night lights, the skyscrapers or the multitude of vehicles on the road. Give me cornfields, long winding roads and God's beauty all around. 
 When I looked at these pictures, I was immediately reminded of my goal. That goal of where I wanted to be at in five years. This is Heaven on Earth. This is my sanctuary. 
 One could have two separate individuals drive past this scene and each one would have a different perspective on it. 

I am so grateful to my son for showing me these. I can become shortsighted and a little gloomy when a dream may seem so far away. So unreachable. So unreal. Don't stop dreaming, folks. Don't stop living the life that God has intended for you. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Simply No Exercise

                                                       Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. 

I am so glad! It is such rest to know
  That Thou hast ordered and appointed all,
  And wilt yet order and appoint my lot.
  For though so much I cannot understand,
  And would not choose, has been, and yet may be,
  Thou choosest, Thou performest, THOU, my Lord.
  This is enough for me.

It is a known fact how much I detest working out. If you know me, you know that. When I was a young woman, I had no problem working out. I even remember having done so on a daily basis when my children were toddlers. So what happened? 

Cancer happened, I gained weight and became old. I'm tired, folks. The idea of jumping around doing cardio or jogging outside is just not me. I am more concerned about doing some exercises to help my balance, my arthritis and my motor skills.

Remember the time when I decided to order from Netflix every exercise CD they had? I went on this workout mode where I would be forced to exercise. I think I had everything from kickboxing to belly dancing form of exercise. I hated every minute of it. Honestly, a lot of them I didn't even finish or didn't do at all.  

 I did learn from that experience what kind of form of exercise I wanted. More than anything, I want to do stretches. Every night before I go to sleep, I stretch in my bed and every morning I do the same. It feels good to do so. It feels good on my legs. I think this will help my arthritis. 

The whole point is to find something that works for us. Not all of us have to jump around military style to work our limbs. I am on my feet the entire eight hours at work and I definitely feel the difference when I'm at home for the day. I don't move around as much as if I'm at work. I do wish I had a walking partner for a couple of mornings or evenings a week. That would be awesome. 

I would be greatly interested what everyone is doing for exercise. Have a BLESSED day everyone. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

OH, Diamond

The poem above describes our Diamond. Everyday, Emily and I watch this cat of ours sleep in every position in every chair, couch or nook in the apartment. All the day long. She does nothing else. To her, life is fully happy, there are no worries. 

Someone asked me how Diamond is adjusting to the new place. Believe me, she has adjusted just fine. She's even lazier than before, as strange as that may sound. The only change is in her desire to go outside. We have no idea why. She never wanted to do so before and we would literally have to pull her along on her leash. Heaven forbid, should a human walk by or a car drive past, she would scurry under a bush, meowing loudly. 

When we were searching for an apartment, we found that pets of any kind were not accepted, especially the dog. The complex where we live has no such policy. Pets are welcomed. Almost every building has some sort of pet from cats to dogs. Lots of dogs. Everywhere. This cat wants to go outside among the dogs. Why?

She'll meow and meow, driving us crazy. At this point, we're almost grateful we never gotten the balcony. I believe she would have delved off it onto the grass. Emily's response? Let her try. She'll see what will happen. Go ahead, cat, make my day. 

We have bought her a cat scratching tree that almost reaches the ceiling, so she could look out the window. Does she use it? No! It stands by the living room window taking up space. Sometimes, I use it to hang damp bath towels on it. Oh well, it has some use. 

Her cat toys are scattered in every room as if a toddler lived there. Every night, as I walk to use the bathroom, I'm constantly tripping over some toy. Quite freaky, I tell you, since we never really know what exactly we stepped on. Emily has gotten used to my yelling out in pain, not even bothering to inquire if I'm alright. 

Once in a while, in a rare moment, we will see her racing from one end of the apartment to the next. I think she loves the fact it is on the long side where she can do that. Then she ends her track, by trying to run up the wall. Yes, I said it. She tries to climb the wall. You can hear her claws as they slide downward. We just roll our eyes, not even bothering to check on her. Yes, Diamond, you're exercising. 

So right now, she is curled up into a ball on my favorite chair that I never get to use. Walking past, please be quiet and do not disturb her. She needs all of her sleep and rest. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Daughter

                                                                    Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

She met the hosts of Sorrow with a look
  That altered not beneath the frown they wore,
  And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took,
  Meekly, her gentle rule, and frowned no more.
  Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
    And calmly broke in twain
    The fiery shafts of pain,
  And rent the nets of passion from her path.
  By that victorious hand despair was slain;
  With love she vanquished hate, and overcame
  Evil with good, in her great Master's name.

After having two boys, my third pregnancy resulted in a girl. She came into this world as a total surprise to me. My first sentence after the nurse told me it was a girl: A girl? What am I going to do with a girl?
She really hasn't changed physically that much in years.
Well, that girl grew up. She was a handful. According to my grandmother Bernice, she may look like her father, but the attitude is all me! Every time I spoke with grandma complaining about her antics of the day, she had the same answer. The apple never falls far from the tree. 
                                                     One of those rare moments where hugs are available.

Now she is a grown woman, fierce and strong. Who knew, I would have such a close relationship with this young lady. 
                                                                The color purple.  Her all time favorite color.

                                                                   One of my favorites.

She has always been different from everyone else. People love cake on their birthday, but not her. She blows out the candles on her pie!

                                                                           Funny girl.

The truth is that we have become more like roommates than mother/daughter relationship. I love the relationship we have grown into and cannot wait to see the future we will share. Happy birthday Emily.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

The Power Of Silence

                                                             Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                              everyday is a journey.

These stones that make the meadow brooklet murmur
Are the keys on which it plays.
O'er every shelving rock its touch grows firmer,
Resounding notes to raise.

There is so much power in silence. One can say so much without saying one word. A penetrating stare. The definition and stance of one's shoulders and body. Oh yes, one can say so much with silence!

There are times where I seek silence. I need silence to refresh my soul from the burdens of the week. I can feel that silence especially when I'm all alone at home. Sometimes, I can find it alarming. I've never really been alone before and I know the day will come when I will be. Will I be able to handle it? Will I embrace it? Only time will tell.

All this time I have been searching for peace and quiet, but what if I were to get it? Could I live without the various noise in our lives? Could I live all alone without someone to talk to at the drop of a hat?

I've had the opportunity these past few days to truly enjoy the Fall colors around us. The trees are such a vibrant display of reds, golds and browns. They scream serenity and I just want to bask and burrow around them. This world is so beautiful and some of us have no idea, because we refuse to see it. 

I think we have to age a little and live a little to understand such a beauty as this. I know I seek peace and quiet, but most of all, I'm searching for God's splendor. I want to sit among the trees, watching the creatures of the woods preparing for Winter. I want to sit among them, enjoying my conversations with my Lord. 

We are so busy, running around from place to place that we forget to enjoy the silence. There is so much power in the silence. So much we can learn from that silence. Just like Ruth Graham Lotz loves to say, God is speaking, are we listening?

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...