Saturday, February 28, 2009

In Which I Ruminate...

As some of you know, we are dealing with Mark's mom's moderate to severe Alzheimer's Disease. She refuses to see a doctor, won't take so much as an aspirin, and considers herself to be healthy "pioneer stock". Mark's dad is doing the best he can and has taken over the cooking and such, but she's really way too much for him to have to look after. They are in their early 80s and he has health issues of his own. She's bad enough that she's preventing him from seeking the care he needs as well. Anyway, without going into all the gory details, it is time for her to be cared for in a facility and we are starting Monday with getting her evaluated and placed.

Soooo, in Mark's communications with his sister about all this, he was presented with the story of how he came to be a part of their family.

Mark's mom has always told conflicting stories about the adoption of their children. He was never really sure where he or his sister came from or the reason his parents couldn't have children of their own. His sister told him yesterday that his birth mother is a relative of a woman his parents knew socially here in our hometown. She claims to have seen this woman once and says there is a very strong resemblance. My mom, Mark and I have, on rare occasion, seen a young man(maybe 8-12 years younger than Mark) who could be his twin. Same hair color, facial structure, body frame, eye color. Mark knows the friends of his parents, he even saw the husband in Walmart last week. He has never, to his knowledge, seen the woman who might be his birth mother. We don't know the situation that caused her to give him up for adoption. Maybe she was a young adult, unmarried and pregnant for the first time, or maybe she was older, divorced and unable to take the responsibility for another child. It wouldn't be hard to find out these things without actually contacting this family, but it would be nice to hear the true story from someone who knows. It is SO unfair that the adults(when he was born) are the keepers of the knowledge. Even now, as an adult, he is, possibly forever, in the dark about his blood lineage while "everybody else" knows his history.

Does Mark want to know her story? We've talked about it and I think he does but not right now. He has an enormous volume of work with his new business and the goings on with his parents so it might be a while before he's able to focus on this part of his life. I hope he chooses to approach the family about finding his birth mother. There are medical issues he's dealing with that are adult onset, things we might need to know for the sake of our children.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with his mom and dad. Its going to be stressful for everyone involved rest assured.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A weekend day around the casa...

First we enjoyed the comings and goings at the bird feeder.

Then we enjoyed the company of our youngest three kitties.

(Tallulah, 7 months)

(Gypsy, 16 months)

(Jasper, 16 months)

Later, the girls helped out with the garage clean-up. Ryan helped too but I didn't get a picture of him.

Finally, I looked through our glass door at the afternoon sun. Can't wait to get it sanded, painted and installed!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Abundance Is....

(First I'd like to thank everyone who commented on my deliberate living post. What you all wrote was inspirational and has given me more to think about. I'm absolutely at peace with dancing to my own music, using my microwave, and sleeping in dyed sheets.*G*)


Abundance is...

Having enough to give away and never miss it.

We filled the whole Suburban today with stuff for charity and gave a nice dresser to a needy family. We aren't finished, not by a long shot, but we were cleaning first, sorting out second. There are more weekends coming up.

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2.

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.~G.K. Chesterton

Abundance is...

Perfect weather, rain or shine.

The past two weekends were spent raking, moving, hauling, lifting, digging, bagging, and so forth. We got our entire front and back yards done! This Saturday we awoke to chilly, windy drizzle and it was just perfect because we had nothing to do outside(no yardwork). Ryan had to be at his job just before noon so we all got ready and dropped him off. We headed to Lowe's for some shelf holders and Jake's for guinea pig and dog bedding. The girls were hungry and decided on Taco Bell. Just as we were waiting for the light to change for us to turn onto that road, Mark had the brilliant idea that we needed something a bit more substantial so we headed for our favorite Tex-Mex dive. It was exactly what we needed on a gray day, very comforting and relaxing.

Today we had no plans to work in the garage but it happened. The weather, once again, was just perfect. Not too cold, not windy, sunny and mild. We didn't get hot on the west side of the house nor did we get cold fingers(except the girls when they washed some box lids). Now after hours of hard work, our garage is clean and organized with (almost)everything in its place.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin

There's nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway. ~Mark Burnett

Abundance is...

Experiencing one of the Earth's most powerful and awesome events and not being hurt or scared.

We had an earthquake early this morning! Actually, what we think is that it was an aftershock from one that happened north of Oklahoma City at 3:43am(Did You Feel It?"). Mark and I were awakened at 4:45 by a series of vibrations like idling in a diesel truck but there was no noise(our bedroom doors did shake a bit). The dogs had actually got me alert a few seconds before so I felt them before Mark. The shakes woke him up. It was unnerving but we really didn't think "earthquake" until we'd got up and around later in the day.

Which would you rather have, a bursting planet or an earthquake here and there? ~John Joseph Lynch

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. ~Frederick Douglass

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deliberate Living....

A new friend of mine said something that gave me pause. She said she needed to start living more deliberately. Hmmmm. As with all philosophies, some followers are rather militant, taking it to the very far extreme. Many, however, like my friends Cheryl, Kel, and Anet (and others of course) are just wading in and doing what their hearts tell them. Baby steps for me. I'm not sure I am ready to commit to any certain "thing" yet. It might be that I do as these women are doing and deliberately change the foods I serve to my family but it quite likely won't be exactly what they are doing. Maybe I'll work at reducing my plastics like Kel has done.

There are things we have that we cannot give up, like our swimming pool. Sure chlorine isn't the healthiest thing to be swimming in but does the exercise we're getting count against that at all? We can't afford to switch over to a salt water filter but I can research alternatives and possibly switch to a less toxic treatment or determine when the best times for swimming would be. There are other things out there that seem to be hype(or at the very least, overly dramatized) as well. I won't be giving up my microwave, sticking my feet in a detox machine, or exchanging our current bedding for organic, unbleached, undyed sheets. I have no room for a garden, nor do I have the inclination to dig in the dirt so that's out for me too. What I do know is that the phrase I heard at park day, "live more deliberately" struck a cord in me and I want to investigate further. How about you?

Here are more websites about living deliberately...

Deliberate Living: Slowing Down & Simplifying

Living Deliberately(a discussion group)

Monday, February 16, 2009


For Christmas, my mom gave me a book of affirmations called The Art of Abundance, a Simple Guide to Discovering Life's Treasures, by Candy Paull. I've just now had time to start reading it and found three wonderful quotes right away that spoke to me. They have a common theme not just about abundance, but about where it is truly found...

One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure, in the common, the near at hand- to see that heaven lies above us here in this world. ~ John Burroughs

One of the most important -and neglected- elements in the beginnings of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendor that is all around us in the creatures of God. ~ Thomas Merton

In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth. ~ Milton

Abundance, for me, means enjoying the goings-on in our very front yard. That this Spring-like weather is tricking my daffodils into blooming is only part of it! I've got 17 flowers in my little "daffy patch". I also love the beautiful moss carpet that's shooting up new growth like velvet underfoot. If it wasn't 45 degrees at the moment I'd be out there closer to it. My dad bought a bird feeder for the girls and I after we returned from North Carolina. The birds have finally figured out how to eat from it and we've been enjoying them for about a month now. Sunday morning as I took Puppy-girl out for her potty break, there were 4 robins swooping and darting from the back yard oak to the front yard pines and all manner of other birds hopping and twittering in the sun. This morning there was a squirrel on the porch, teasing the cats as it stuffed its face full of sunflower seeds.

Abundance also means cooking the spaghetti squash that was languishing on the counter and anticipating the eating of said squash as if it were the finest meal in the world. For the record, I sprinkled it with ground sage, a tiny pinch of dried thyme, salt, and liberal amounts of garlic, oh, and a spoonful of smart balance margarine! It was a comfort food much like mac and cheese without the guilt! We won't be doing a "real" grocery shop until Thursday which means I'll have to make do with what we've got in the cupboard til then. A "pantry challenge". Mark just arrived with guinea pig food and hay, potatoes, and bread. We've got rice, pasta, beans, spices, chicken breasts, tortillas, dairy products, sausage, peppers, onions, fresh and frozen veggies, canned tomatoes(and beans, etc, etc.), and more, so technically we could probably eat for another 10 days or so. Having such a bounty is not just abundance but also peace and provision.

I hope you all find similar things to appreciate within the ordinary(and it is SO not, once you take time to observe) this day and this week!! Children seem to enjoy abundance naturally so I take a lot of cues from this chicka. She found the first anole of the season yesterday!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Well, just when I thought the bad stuff was over, it wasn't. But, it is now. The perpetrator of the lies, rumors, and innuendo has been found out and whatever she says will no longer be believed. Of course this has come to an end that wasn't what I had envisioned, so if you are a praying person, say one for all involved. I woke up this morning and my first thought was nothing to do with this, that hasn't happened in weeks! I've got such a peace finally, its overwhelming and soooo freeing!!

So, on that HAPPY note, I will post some "lovely" songs for a "lovely" day. We don't celebrate Valentine's Day really. Mark and I are not sentimental beings unless there is a deep personal meaning behind something. V-day doesn't have that for us, although we did get "officially" engaged on February 12th(he bought me a ring the previous November and I made him take it back because it was too big-what was I THINKIN'!!!). However, we love love and don't mind celebrating that at all!!!

Ryan had his first "official" date last night, we drove them to dinner and a movie. He's had casual "friends who are girls" and even "girls of interest" but not a true "girlfriend" before. This is the first one he's let us meet. She's really cute and has a sweet, outgoing personality(and she's smart!!). She's coming over this afternoon with a friend and we're going to grill steaks and shrimp. Now I'd better extract my booty from this chair and go help with the yard work!!

And, OMG!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Or actually "Recovered"... from a lot of really bad junk going around... physical, emotional, and spiritual. Let me just say it has been a BAD, very BAD, ugly, nasty winter and a HUMONGOUS TIME WASTER!!!! However, it is over for my part and I'm better for it all around.

Now for some new music I've come across and just LOVE! This first woman, Stephanie deBruijn is AMAZING!!

The Greencards are wonderful too... this video reminds me of my youth and my kids at the same time.

And the SteelDrivers... with one of my favorite songs ever.

Two more of my favorites.