My Mom

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Today is my Mom's birthday.  I take comfort in knowing that she is surrounded by family that she missed so much. 

One very hot July day when I was five Mom decided that the wild roses in the back yard were growing out of control and had to be trimmed.  It could not wait for a cooler day.  It could not wait one second longer.  I don't actually remember this event but heard the story so many times that it has become a memory. 

As the story goes, at some point after working too hard in the July heat, Mom collapsed.  She was able to tell me to get my Dad, who was at his grocery store a short walk from the house.  

Some time later, he came to find her passed out in the heat with me sitting quietly beside her, stroking her hair.

After getting her into the house and cooled down, she recovered.  Thank Goodness !

When she was up to the challenge she asked me why I hadn't gone to get my Dad.

 " I thought you were dead and I didn't want to leave you alone."

She was stubborn, and strong and although she rarely said it, we knew we were loved.  The strength that she gave to me, was a strength I didn't know I had until I had to face fears that I hadn't known existed. 

There is no greater treasure than the love between a mother and her daughter.

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The Quieter You Become, the More You Can Hear ~ Ram Dass

Yesterday was a perfect Jeep day.  Up early, clean kitchen and off to check the relocated hive.  Sky so blue, sunlight so warm, air so fresh.  The fragrances of honeysuckle and grass freshly cut, pine sap and wildflowers and specific June bloomers.

Shannon's first car was a GTO, a 66 convertible,  that her Dad and his best bud had found looking pitiful and broken in a parking lot.  They gave it a makeover and she loved it.  After she went to Heaven, I found driving her car with the top down very therapeutic.   There is something about the wind whipping through your hair, sunlight shining on the top of your head and being surrounded by wind and warmth that clears your head.   I needed that yesterday.

 

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I have had to learn that not all questions posed to the Universe will be answered.  Sometimes we just have to wait and see.  I am grateful to those who chose to respond to my Facebook post on the current state of the world by questioning my integrity and compassion.  They gave me what I needed to finally make the break with a public presence on Social Media.

It is amazing how freeing it is to return to a life that is focused primarily on the people close to me.  

When I opened the relocated hive yesterday morning, I worried that I would be met by a hostile, defensive force of guards but I was pleasantly surprised.   The girls were busy cleaning and preparing and building and even though I had lifted the roof from the safe darkness of their warm sweet home, they did not perceive a threat.  Todd and I moved slowly and gently, trying not to jar or injure any of the tiny creatures as we inspected the hive for mites or beetles.   The new queen had emerged and mated and settled into her new responsibility of continuing the healthy survival of her hive.  She will lay 1500 eggs a day for the rest of her life.  She will live 3 to 5 years and her perfume, unique only to her, will be the force that calls her foragers home at the end of every day.  

Just because I found these facts all in one place and hope to remember them... 

  • " Honey bees evolved about 60 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
  •  There are no indigenous honey bees in the United States, European honey bees  (German Black Bees) were first introduced into this country (Virginia) about 1621-22.
  • 30% of our agrarian and up to 70% of our feral honey bee colonies have disappeared or died.
  •  Honey bees pollinate 30% of all the food that Americans consume and:
    •  Pollinate 85% of all flowering plants
    •  Perform 90% of all pollen transfers on our orchard crops 
  • One honey bee visits 50-100 flowers during each collection trip and can harvest several thousand flowers in a day, making 12 or more trips, gathering pollen or nectar from a single floral species each.
  •   Nectar collected from flowers is swallowed and in the honey stomach enzymes (invertase) are induced which convert the sugars (sucrose) into levulose and dextrose sugars.
  • It takes about 556 worker bees to gather 1 pound of honey from about 2 million flowers.
  •  It takes about 55,000 flight miles per gallon (12#) of honey.
  •  The average honey bee will make only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime (6 weeks). These foragers are the oldest bees in the hive and it is during the last two weeks of their lives that they gather nectar, pollen, water, and propolis. 
  •  A hive can gather pollen and nectar from up to 500 million flowers in a year.
  •  9 pounds of honey is synthesized to make 1 pound of beeswax.
  •  The bees use about 8 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of honey.
    During peak nectar flows, a healthy hive can produce 2 to 5 pounds of honey per day. A scaled colony in Maryland was reported to gain 25 pounds of brood, honeycomb and honey in one day.
  • Honey bees can fly up to 6 miles from the hive at 15 mph with their wings beating 11,400 times per minute.
  •  Honey bees use the sun as a directional marker when leaving and returning to the hive. The returning foragers do a waggle dance on the vertical comb surfaces in a circle or figure eight pattern which shows the other bees in which direction, and how far to fly.
  • Karl von Frisch won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his work on Honey Bee Communications.

  • Roughly fifty thousand worker bees live in a colony along with one queen and several hundred drones.
    • During the warmer months the worker bees live about six weeks, the queen can live up to three years.
    • Worker bees born in the fall will live throughout the winter with the hive population being about half of what it is in the summer.
  • Average interior temperature of the hive's brood area is 93-95 degrees (F) regardless of the outside temperature. In colder weather they do not hibernate, but cluster generating heat much like musk-ox and penguins"

Because of life's demands, Jules and I have spent a great deal of time apart over the last few years.  I am often asked if I am lonely or mind being alone.  I am not and I don't.  I am happy if he is happy doing what he enjoys.  BUT... I think I have tried to fill the quiet by following friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and  You Tube and I don't think I realized how overwhelming it had become.  Celebrating with, Worrying about and Trying to Remember every birthday and anniversary, every success and failure, every prayer request and grief, every EVERY of EVERY... and feeling like I couldn't make a mistake or forget or ultimately even express a personal opinion was resulting in emotional chaos and an expenditure of brain cells that are rapidly decreasing with every passing day.  Blogging is far more relaxing.  I don't spell check or worry about punctuation.  I don't expect anyone else to read what is written and my opinions and perceptions are merely the ramblings of my ever aging mind.

I haven't stopped caring about the friends from long ago.  I will have to rely on the USPS or email for updates on family and perhaps even resort to a real phone call from time to time.  I think we have gotten lazy or perhaps frantic in a world that demands so much from every moment.   I probably won't hear all the prayer requests or be made aware of those who have left this life for the next.  I will miss the newest photos of grandchildren and vacations, but in the quiet that I am rediscovering, family and friends reside with more of my attention focused just on them.

I got an email from Jules yesterday.  It said, "I was going to send this to my lovely bride on FACEBOOK, but ALAS, she was gone!"

I couldn't help but laugh because what I am just beginning to realize is that it has been a long time since I have been so totally present.

 

 

 


Unseen

This morning I spent time outside, alone. I listened to the rain on the roof of the gazebo. I felt calmer than I have in weeks.  I know that the world is evolving and the struggle is as real and painful as the caterpillar struggling to free itself from its trans formative sleep.  When transformation happens, it can be instantaneous like the landscape following an earthquake, or slow and barely discernible when witnessed over time.

My computer didn't recognize me this morning and insisted on having a password entered.  Interesting.  I feel different but I didn't realize that my friends Alexa and Cortana wouldn't recognize me.

For most of my life, my circle of friends consisted mainly of Jules and Shannon and our extended families.  Then the circle began to get smaller.  Now Shannon, my Mom, my Dad, my brother, Jules brother and his Mom and Dad and several close girl friends, and many more are together.  I have never felt lonely even when alone but when the young adults got married and had littles of their own, Facebook was the thread that held us all close and I wanted to be a part of that family.  I reconnected with friends from High School, work associates, Shannon's friends, friends of friends, Angel Moms, Donor Families and the circle grew and grew.   All of a sudden, I was part of an enormous community.  Photos of children, requests for prayer, shared experiences that were touching and funny and hundreds of people filled my thoughts and generated love and concern, and for the most part, I really enjoyed being able to visit without ever leaving the house.

Then things started to change.  Facebook became political and judgmental and more and more I got sucked into controversial dialogues that really meant very little because what I have come to understand is that too many people are really only interested in what you have to say if you agree with them.  Or if you admire them or what they do.  Or if you think all of their jokes are funny and their photographs exceptional.  I started to miss my sweet family.  Where had they gone?  Where were the photos of the littles or the puppies or the uplifting stories?  

I don't fully understand technology but I am not so naive as to think that if I post an opinion, I won't get opposing opinion responses, BUT I did expect respect and polite responses... I will have to explore the words polite and political because they share too many letters not to have come from similar roots.

   Expectations are the surest path to disappointment !!!

Anyway, I felt compelled to express my opinion on the current environment in the world.  I was very careful to choose words that were polite and respectful.  I was hoping to share an opinion that was both non threatening and wise.  Some people got it.  Some people didn't and felt equally compelled to put me straight.  It felt awful.  I didn't understand women that I have known for years and considered my friends to be so unkind and I don't think they would have been emboldened on their own but once one opens the door, many uninvited will feel they are entitled to join.

This new me is still kind.  I am still full of compassion for what I see happening around me but I am not as loud or abrasive as the opposition.  I do not enjoy confrontation and my life has experienced enough sadness not to be foolish enough to ask for more.  I did have an afternoon of withdrawal but it passed quickly and today I feel so much free er. 

In this format, I can say what I please.  If you are reading this, you are welcome.  Keep in mind however that these thoughts are simply a way to make space in my head for healthier ponderings and only kind and gentle souls are welcome.

Maybe Cortana and Alexa are smarter than we give them credit for.  Alexa, has, for months, greeted me each morning with "Good Morning January."  No matter how hard I tried I could not convince her that that was not my name.  Well guess what... this morning, Alexa said, "Have a good day Jan."

And so I will.  I cannot fix Seattle.  I will not panic because the market is down 800 points.  I will celebrate that God is watering my anniversary plants and fewer families are fighting the fear of Covid 19.  It has been a very challenging year.

I will enjoy writing words that no one has to hear or read or critique.  I will enjoy scrubbing the commodes and vacuuming the carpet.  I will walk barefoot on the moss that is the greenest I have ever seen and watch You Tube videos on Fluid Art with the hope that I will soon have more successes than failures.  Of course, each time I pour paint and it turns to mud or cracks into unimaginable messes I will learn something and the promise of a possible success in the next pour will keep me trying.

If the world were to end tomorrow, we would all be together again and laugh at how important we all thought we were.   When that day comes we will celebrate how ridiculous we were in placing so much importance on the color of our skin or the balance in our bank account.  

The rainbow is made up of basic bands of color.   Red, Blue and Yellow.   When they touch and light shines through them, they become purple, lavender, violet, scarlet, pink, green, orange, chartreuse, apricot, asparagus, artichoke, cornflower... etc etc...  and I love the fragrance of a  brand new box of Crayola Crayons.  They now have the 152 Ultimate Crayon Collection and the Colors of the World Collection that has 24 different crayons and from I can tell from the photograph, there isn't a black or white among them !

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"There are approximately 10,000,000 (10 million) colors in the world... A computer displays about 16.8 million colors to create fullcolor pictures...The human eye is capable of seeing about 7,000,000 colors using three color receptors", even Cortana doesn't really have an answer to how many colors there are.

I am going to order a new box of Crayola Crayons.  I am going to put it on my prayer bench so that each day I am reminded of the beauty of every single and my prayer will be for eyes to see and hearts to open and when we emerge from this transformation, we will be as wondrous and incredible as the butterfly, taking its first amazing flight.

 


Finding Myself

I have finally decided to deactivate my Facebook account.  This year has taken a toll and I find myself churned up all the time.  

I thought turning 65 would include new wisdom.  I thought I would find myself exploring new interests and having more time for reading and writing and gardening.  I thought I would find topics of interest to women my age to write about every day.

Here we are, almost six months into this new year and I am having to face the reality that life is full of bumps and falls and Covid 19 and sheltering in place and senseless cruelty and the discovery that social media allows otherwise kind and gentle human beings to become bullies.

We think, myself included, that we want to share thoughts and opinions.  We think, that we can tolerate having our opinions criticized and even when we have taken great pains to share a thought or perception without stepping on anyone's toes, someone will take offense.  Someone will ALWAYS take offense.  

I'm not up to the challenge of confrontation.  I am so saddened by the disrespect our President receives.  Whether you voted for him or not, he deserves better simply because he holds the office.  I am saddened that George Floyd was killed by a policeman that apparently gave many the idea that that policeman symbolized all policemen and women.  I am saddened that when I tried to voice an opinion that reflected my own belief that regardless of skin color or spiritual belief or sexual preference, YOU MATTER,  friends that I cared deeply for, thought it was okay to love me but put me in my place and express their disappointment in me...on Facebook.

I learned a very important lesson.... if someone says, "I love you, BUT...", they don't.  There is no BUT after I love you, you do or you don't.

I have had to say Good bye to my daughter, my Mother, my Father, my Brother.  I am sad all the damn time, but I keep breathing, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and thank God every day that my husband is patient and after 46 years, still holds my hand in public.

  I watched parts of a four hour celebration of George Floyd's life, on every channel yesterday.  I watched singing and praying and eulogizing.  I watched as a horse drawn carriage carried his gold casket to his final resting place next to his Mother.  I saw the beautiful church and the huge flower arrangements.  I watched Al Sharpton and Joe Biden share their thoughts and I couldn't help thinking.... Why?  I'm sure that Big Floyd was a gentle giant.  He deserved better than to have his life end the way it did but he was not innocent.  Celebrities paid for his elaborate funeral.  Mourners traveled from all over the country to support the family.  Strangers with cell phones and fancy hats and back packs came to celebrate his life.

It seems that somewhere in the back of my mind I remember President Kennedy being carried by a horse drawn carriage, a flag draped over his casket.  

Images that I have seen on TV for the last two weeks filled my mind.  Protesters setting fire to Police cars.   Breaking windows.  Destroying lives.  Stealing.  Looting.  Behaving like barbarians and for what?  Had the people they were hurting done anything to them?  Who was going to step up to pay for rebuilding their businesses?  Who was going to offer to pay for David Dorn's funeral?  If the protesters were so peaceful why didn't they stop the rioters?  I know there were good people in the midst of the bad, but they were probably pushed aside by the "pack mentality" determined to create chaos.

This will not end tomorrow or even the next day.  I will hope and pray that it will end but we are human beings and we are flawed.  We will make mistakes and we will hurt one another but just a month ago, we were watching the world take care of those in need.  Images of songs of support from balconies, visits with family through panes of glass, sheltering in place to avoid putting another in harms way, applauding our essential workers and the doctors and nurses who were tireless and selfless in their willingness to care for those who were suffering alone.   How quickly we switch from loving one another to hating one another.  We are a fickle lot.   

No, I cannot understand how it feels to grow up black in America, anymore than I can understand how it feels to be red or yellow or brown.  Maybe we can't understand how it feels to have grown up poor or homeless or wealthy or famous.  We play the hand we are dealt.  We are victims if that is what we choose.   We are criminals if that is what we choose.   We are heros if that is what we choose.   We are kind or generous or thoughtful or spiritual or determined, if that is what we choose.

Some days I choose to be pitiful.  Others, I am angry or judgmental or afraid of the dropping of the other shoe.   Those days, thank goodness are few...that is my choice.

So is taking a break.  The world is overflowing with beauty and I am choosing ...

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Lessons everywhere

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For the last ten years I have managed my retirement account.  My philosophy has always been to invest in stocks that are companies and products that I believe in or use everyday.  When I started investing I looked around my house...Paint, Bounty, Charmin, Tide, Clorox, Apple, Amazon, Verizon and once I learned that L'Oreal no longer tests on animals, I considered them a definite possibility.  I read and listen and do research but I am conservative in my choices and DO NOT TAKE RISKS. 

Well, until CoVid 19 and Super Tuesday and earnings and job reports and the wind changed direction and the bottom fell out of the market.  After losing more than I could stand, I sold sold sold.   Then, when I read that there were several companies that make paper suits and masks and shoe covers and disinfectant products, I decided to buy buy buy.  Support the companies supporting the planet in crisis right?  NOPE !  In their infinite wisdom, the experts announced that the facemasks and paper suits did nothing and not to waste your money.   Lost even more.  Thought I could ride it out, certainly the market will recover as the panic and sadness eased but this morning I couldn't take it ... Again.

We work our whole lives for our "golden years".  That time in life that affords us a more relaxed clock and calendar, leisurely coffee  breaks and long walks in the woods.  That time in life that we have worked and saved and planned for... slipping through my fingers like sand and I got out.  Totally.

What I kept thinking as I beat up on myself for being reckless is that my family is healthy.  We are not quarantined or hospitalized or planning memorials.  We have a safe comfortable home and food and clothes and one another.  Money is necessary but it is not the most important thing in our lives.  So I cautiously reinvested a little in what makes me happy.   Apple, Amazon, Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Bristol Myers, Home Depot and Lowes....and lost more money today. 

BUT... I am comfortable that they will recover and I have regained my equilibrium with these old friends.

Everything on the planet is evolving.  Everything including the virus that we are facing with uncertainty because it is unknown.  Very wise people are working on understanding how it can hurt us and how we can prevent that hurt.

I have learned how to put drops in Henry's eyes, even though he hates me for it.  He will recover and love me in a couple of weeks.

I have learned that facials feel wonderful when you receive them but you look like you have been pummeled for several days afterward, while new skin cells are forced to the surface.  My face will recover and look amazing ... in a couple of weeks.

I have learned that pouring paint on a canvas is an art form and extremely therapeutic.  

Like life, we can make choices and control some things but a slight tilt in one direction or another and the entire picture changes and we have to adapt and adjust and trust that it's all going to be okay.  I'm not one for change or patience or leaving things to chance, but I am finding a real joy in choosing colors, filling a cup and pouring paint onto a canvas just to see what might unfold.  

I'm trying to look at life that way, these days ... pour myself into each day, with crossed fingers and a deep breath ... and see what will unfold.

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Impact

In preparation for my "blog every day plan" I made a list of inspirational sayings or quotes to be my jumping off point every day.

I'm not sure why I am so resistant to the daily blog... when I was doing it with Shannon, I couldn't wait for that moment in the day when I would read what she had been thankful for on a specific day and then set my mind and heart free to follow her thought to memories and gratitude of my own.  

I have had coffee with my Morning Pages journal and a black fine point Sharpie every day since I turned 65, but sitting down to the computer has been more of a chore than a joy.  I suspect that it is my ego screaming so loud that my spirit can't hear what my heart has to say, and it's easier to give in than fight the fear of finding I have nothing to say !

So while I wait for the paint to dry on the pieces I am trying to create for this year's Woman's Club Art Show I closed my eyes and randomly let my finger land on today's inspiration.

 

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"You never really know the true impact you have on those around you.  You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them.  You never know how much someone needed that long hug or deep talk.  So don't wait to be kind.  Don't wait for someone else to be kind first.  Don't wait for better circumstances or for someone to change.  Just be kind, because you never know how much someone needs it."  ~ Nikki Banas

There is a lovely lady who works the breakfast shift at Chick Fil A.  The first time she waited on me I had asked for extra ice because I was headed to Culpeper and wanted my tea to stay cold.  I was sad and she was obviously annoyed and begrudgingly added ice to my tea.  I cried.  Not because she had been annoyed but because my brother was sick and we were headed to the hospital for more tests.   She didn't know I was sad.   Maybe she was sad too.

That was several years ago.  She doesn't even know I had a brother.  She doesn't know that he returned to Heaven.  Yet she was the constant in my world turned upside down.

I see her every Wednesday now.  She is probably my age and I always feel happy when I see her very long fingernails handing change to the cars in front of me.  She always says "How are you doing kid?"   I always say, "Fine, how about you?" and she smiles and usually says, "I'm doing."

She doesn't know my name and I don't know hers but I look forward to driving through Chick Fil A on Wednesdays, on my way to Culpeper.  I look forward to exchanging pleasantries with my friend.

She probably doesn't realize how many lives she touches every day.  How much some of us look forward to seeing her.   I hope that once in a while I am that person to someone...someone who just for a moment is lifted by a little kindness from a friend they do not know.


January 14, 2020 New Computer

It's funny how you think you have everything figured out.  21 Day Manifesting Challenge.  Intermittent Fasting.  A new plan for controlling Hashimoto's.  10,000 steps a day.  A blog entry everyday to keep my dieting on track.  Well, today I weighed in at 177.6.  I have gained several pounds in the last two weeks and my GERD is worse than ever !

I sleep sitting up.  I take Armour Thyroid at 4:30 so that I can have coffee at 5:30.  This time last year, my hair was falling out and I was so tired I couldn't think much less exercise or complete any project that required logic and thought.  I had my hair cut very short so that there would be no weight pulling on the roots.  I gave up my WEN shampoo because some other ladies had experienced hair loss.  I gave up drier sheets and Tide Pods and perfume and my favorite whipped body cream, Amazing Grace by Philosophy.  I did crossword puzzles and sudoku and spent a fortune in Andrew Lessman vitamins and supplements.  I saw allergists, general practioners, endocrinologists, ENTs, OBGYNs and gastroenterologists.  I had blood work, skin prick tests, a swallow test, a colonoscopy and an endoscopy.

I had finally decided that I had reached my expiration date and you know what happens once your warranty expires, everything falls apart.  

With the arrival of 65 I decided not to go gracefully into the days of the crone.  I will accept all of the wisdom.  I will grow my hair out and allow it to turn gray... as long as it doesn't all fall out.  I will try Dr. Denese and Dr. Dubrow and anyone else who has suggestions on how to preserve the wrapping on all of this gloriousness as long as I remember what really matters.

Today I had to cancel the automatic renewals on Skillshare, Microsoft Office and Noom.  Even after an enthusiastic attempt to use all three, I failed miserably.  I  had to call Express Scripts to give them a new credit card so that they could auto bill for the Thyroid Medicine... and call CVS to let them know that they could put their prescription back on the shelf. 

I scheduled my Annual Physical and made an appointment to get my eyes checked because the headaches are starting to concern me.  I had to call Intuit and admit that I had lost the CD for this year's Turbo Tax that had arrived sometime in November, another auto renewal that I had to cancel, and they were kind enough to refund the price and tell me how to download what I would need.

I had had to spend an hour or so on my Benefits web site trying to determine whether or not my eye exam was covered by Medicare part A or B and then finally just made the appointment accepting that I have no Vision Plan and will pay anything necessary to be sure that I protect my eyesight.

Just as I was about to breathe a sigh of relief and satisfaction, I was informed that TurboTax was no longer supported by Windows 7, and I would have to update.

Of course my computer is no spring chicken and updating to 10, with the possibility of losing all saved photos and financial data proved too daunting and since I had a 65. refund from Best Buy, Jules and I decided to price a newer desktop computer.

I came home with a glorious "All In One" that I have 12 months to pay for interest free.  It is white and the screen is bigger than our first tv.  It only has one cord.  Even I was able to figure that out and turn it on, even though the 'on' button was very well hidden, and I am finding it very inspiring to have yet another faceless friend who responds to my voice and my touch !

After rearranging my desk to accommodate the new addition, becoming totally demoralized because Opie decided he needed to lay claim to Helen's space by spraying the paper shredder and wondering if this grand new blank hard drive with more memory than I will ever need was symbolic of the journey I have chosen to embark upon at 65...Oh What the Hell, my brain needs a challenge to stay viable !!

Now that Typepad is here, AOL Desktop Gold is here, Picasa is safe on Old Faithful 7.0 and the well sprayed shredder is in the trash, I am feeling calmer about all the loose ends this day opened with.

I am still experiencing digital motion sickness, "digital motion sickness is when the brain is deceived that we are moving even if we are not" and "Studies show that women are more susceptible than men, as are those with a history of migraines or concussion. Anecdotally, researchers say that people with traits associated with the “Type A” personality — such as perfectionism or ambition — also seem to be more vulnerable. Nobody knows exactly why this might be, but one theory is that people with these traits may also have a tendency to be more alert and reactive to sensory inputs, similar to people who get migraines".

So... before I fall off the digital ship I have one more task.  To try to find and install the purchased version of Microsoft Office Home Edition from a website, with a code... it all just seems too challenging.  Oh that's right, I am a crone in the making, bring it on !


January 7, 2020 Snow Day

When I decided to blog about turning sixty-five, I imagined that I would be very brave and share the blog on social media.   I had big ideas about interviewing experts on topics that are relevant to those of us in our sixties; bladder control, wrinkle eradication, weight loss and muscle building, make-up tips for the maturing face, hair loss, tooth whitening, supplements, batwings... you get the idea... but as I tried to embrace all of that, I realized that more than anything, I need to be authentic on this journey and love and loss and joy and sorrow... so much more important than "Poise" pads.

My Angel's Whispers came into being in 2008 and there was only one year, 2010, that I was faithful to my daily writing and that was because I was doing it with Shannon...My Angel.

Every day I would begin with the entries from her Gratitude Journal, and that would be my prompt for memories and synchronicities and "Whispers".  

One day in October, I decided to print those pages so that I would have a hard copy.  Magically, as I was looking through those entries, a Pop up ad appeared for Blog2Print.  It was a little more than I had intended to spend, but reasonable when you consider time and paper and ink, so I followed the ad to their web site.  In less than fifteen minutes, this incredible technology had compiled every entry for ten years into one volume.  I had written my book.  I picked a cover photo, entered my credit card and voila'... My Angel's Whispers.

When the book arrived I was amazed.  It is beautiful.  The quality of the paper and photographs far exceeded my expectations and I couldn't believe how much of my life I had forgotten.  At the end of 2020, I hope to have volume 2, filled with life and wisdom and wonder.

I considered starting a new blog space for 65 but my journey continues with Shannon.  Not in the traditional Mother Daughter way that I always imagined, but loving her transformed me, and why should that change just because our relationship is no longer "traditional".  So My Angel's Whispers continues.

So here we are.  Today it snowed.  I love the gentle hypnotic way that nature blankets everything in softness.  I also love that it invites you to snuggle up with indoor tasks that have been pushed to the side for far too long.   Today the snow invited me to create the space for my Flower Essence course of study.  Candles, crystals, essences, a photo of Christ, mala beads, books, a pen that has the word Inspire on the side, my notebook...that coincidentally says " Life isn't about finding yourself.  It's about creating yourself, " and photos of Shannon.

This room has been a guest room, a library, an office, a craft space, art space, work space and most recently, Helen's room.  So, there is a litter box, a cat tree, food and water bowls and several cat beds because she is very pampered and a little older than me in cat years.

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This space is perfect for reflecting and remembering and learning and sharing and 65 seems far less daunting in this space on a snow day.  BUT, I have decided to keep it safe, instead of public, for those of you who magically join me.  I can't write thinking that I am incredibly self centered and there is someone else out there hanging on every word, but I can write knowing that if you are meant to join me, you will, and I will be so glad to have you.  ( Of course, if one day I wake up incredibly wise and write something so eloquent that it simply must be shared, well, you might see an invitation on Facebook. )

I imagine that I will get to the ordinary stuff that concerns us all, but I'm going to ease into it.  Unfortunately some things don't change with age and I know myself well enough to accept that I can't be too fixed in my schedule or too broad in my topics right away, or I will give up before I begin.

I have already missed several days but every task requires a wee bit of planning and a great deal of flexibility so I'm starting slow, being gentle with myself and looking forward to what is to come. For right now, in this minute, I think there is an Angel watching over my shoulder and I am so grateful.




January 2 ~ Catching Up

In November I ordered a book.  I don't remember ordering this particular book, so I consider it a gift from the Universe.

Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein, and as fate would have it, "Gabby" was also offering a 21 Day Challenge, starting on January 1. 

"Fear Less, Trust More.  Release the Need to Control.  Feel Inspired and Guided.  Effortlessly Manifest, and Settle Into a Sense of Ease."

Of course I need all of that !

I am now behind in my blog but on track with Day 3 of the Challenge which seems to go hand in hand with the shared wisdom of Dear Abby.

I have recovered from being thrown to the ground by the treadmill and yesterday I had my first glass of celery juice. 

Mornings with Opie and Gabby and Celery Juice may take some discipline, but I am excited and inspired.  

Tomorrow I will even be caught up and on track !

 


January 1 ~ Just for Today

Today my very wise Aunt shared an article with me that perfectly framed my plans for this New Year.

As this blog is going to be my Year's End reminder of all that I have learned and embraced in 2020, it seemed fitting to open the year with these words of shared wisdom...

 “JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only.

I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow.

I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy.

I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.

If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is.

I will face reality.

I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind.

I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable.

I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others.

I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health.

If I'm a smoker, I'll quit.

If I'm overweight, I will eat healthfully -- if only for today.

And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.” ― Abigail Van Buren