From Sadness to Joy

Only two things are on my mind today. 4 years ago today, our heavenly Father brought home his daughter, my mother. She suffered years of pain, and finally was released. But He didn’t leave our family completely shattered. In what can only be His miraculous timing, as we lost one family member, another entered the world.

My niece’s baby girl, Autumn is 4 years old today. She has been, and will always be, a treasure, as all children are. She has brought much joy and laughter, happiness and love to everyone. This is not a day of sadness, no. This is a day for celebration!

These two events reminds us of God’s merciful love. He doesn’t abandon us in our grief, but is always wih us, giving us His Holy Spirit as our comfort and guide. When one life ends, another begins, and death is not the end. Our physical life ends, but then we walk through the gates to eternity, where there is forever life and love in God’s own presence.

I am reminded of the prayer of St. Francis, my patron saint:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

 

A few of my favorite things

I love fall!  It’s my favorite season.  It’s not scorching hot anymore, sweaters can come out of storage, pumpkin spice coffee comes back!  I may have said that before.  I’ll say it many times before the season ends. Like the song says, these are a few of my favorite things about autumn.

Hay rides

Walks through the park 

Crocheted scarves

Halloween decorations

Carving pumpkins

Stretching creative muscles to create awesome Halloween costumes

Pumpkin pie

Haunted houses

Hot apple cider

Watching my dog play in the leaves

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!

Scary movies in the dark

Scarier stories

Candy corn

There are so many more, but these really make the season special to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long time, no see!

My poor little abandoned blog is crying for attention.  There have been so many changes this past year.

In brief, another move, anxiety overload by chaos, boyfriend’s new job, our new apartment, my new job, another birthday, and pumpkin spice coffee is back!

I have to relearn how to do things here.  That will have to wait.  Rocky’s demanding a walk.

Letter to Santa, from a shelter dog

This hit me, right here 💔

Little Green Inn for Wayward Dogs

Dear Santa Claws,

Some people don’t believe in you, but I do, because last year you brought me a tube of tennis balls, some yummy treats, a new dog sweater, and a plush, fleecy blue sheep that goes “Baaa-aaa-aaa” when I squeeze and chew on him. I stayed awake a long time next to the fireplace on Christmas Eve, waiting for you to come down, but I never did see you. Just my human Mom and Dad putting some packages under the tree. Thank you for those nice gifts last year! You are pretty special if you can sneak in past me!

This year I only want one thing for me for Christmas, and I promise, promise, promise that I’ve been good. My human Mom and Dad and sister and brother need your help a lot more than I do. See, Santa, my Dad lost something that was important to…

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Memories of Dad

11024695_10202686097113768_7610016816874050343_nOriginally posted on my Facebook page back in January after I found out he had passed away. Saturday is his memorial, something I have been looking forward to, and dreading at the same time.

My dad was in my life when I was small, not so much in older years. But I have been remembering a lot about him, the good things. I am glad I wrote them down, things I had almost forgotten, they came up out of the blue one day. I am so sad he passed away before I could see him, but he will always be in my heart.

My dad was part Cherokee, part Dutch, if I have it right.

When I was very little, I remember him speaking to me in Dutch. His dad was from Holland, not sure where exactly. I used to laugh, thinking he was making up the words.

The time he showed me how to write our initials in dominoes. His was EAD, mine was CLD. He asked me what words it made, and I said they didn’t make any. He said, “Yes it does, it says ‘Closed Bread'”. I laughed so much, it was silly.

When I was about 4 or 5, he let me put a whole bag of rubber bands in his hair, making tiny little ponytails. I was so proud, I dressed him for work! The next morning, I saw he had taken them out.

When I broke my arm at age 7, I had to wear a cast for several weeks. In the summertime, couldn’t go swimming! When I got it off, Dad showed me how to move my arm, it was stiff and felt heavy after being in a cast. He used to pretend arm wrestle with me to encourage me to move it.

He showed me how to ride my bike without training wheels, and we had a gravel road still.

My favorite time spent with him was when I got to go to work with him. I don’t know if it was only once, or several times, can’t remember. I was 5 but not in school yet, having a September birthday. He was the janitor at the elementary school at the time. I was thrilled to get to be there, we went to his shop area, I asked him if it was his office. I got to sit on the stool and we ate lunch together. He had a little plug in burner that he made hot water on, and we had Cup O’ Soup. And I got to follow him around a little bit, then I went outside to play with the other kids on the swings. He pushed us on the swings, and I pointed out to everyone, “That’s MY Daddy!”

And of course, the one Christmas Eve when he met Santa at the door and said he just dropped off this package for me. It was this doll I had my heart set on for months. She had a plastic head but a cloth body, even her clothes were part of her body. She had a pullstring in back, and you pulled it and her head bobbed and she made a mechanical sounding gurgle, when you put her bottle in her mouth. I was impressed that my dad knew Santa so well, lol!

The last time I saw him was back in 92, my son wasn’t even born yet. I was 21, same age my son is now. It’s been a lifetime ago, 2 lifetimes. I will treasure these memories forever, they were the best times spent with him.

I love you Dad, I won’t ever forget you.

The First Night Apart

I missed you even before you left last night
Remembering how you looked
How you smelled
The sound of your laugh
The way your hands felt in mine
Strong and reassuring
And gentle

Even though I know this is our plan
And we won’t be apart forever
Streams of tears
Too heavy for my
Heart to hold
I miss you already

I love you, my rock, my best friend
My love
Don’t be too long away

Remember the reasons
We chose this course
And someday soon
Today’s sadness will
Be a distant memory
Giving way to a joyous day
When we are back in each others’ arms
Forever.

Catching Up

Lazy Saturday, seems the perfect time for some writing.  First, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc., etc.  I’ve been unable to post anything for a long time.  Life has a great way of interfering with plans sometimes.  It’s been a tough year already, dealing with life on life’s terms, as they say.  Depression, homelessness, hopelessness, and the death of a loved one, my dad, specifically.  He is the last of my parents, my grandparents are both gone, now my siblings and I are the older generation. 

The one good thing about all this is discovering a lot of family members I barely knew before.  Most of them, I haven’t seen since I was very little.  It will be a comfort to get to know them now. 

It isn’t all bad, I have wonderful and loving friends who have helped me and Chad get on our feet again.  He has been working hard, and we are able to make plans for a future together, possibly.  Maybe it’s a little premature, but the girl in me has been browsing wedding dresses and rings on Pinterest!  *hint, hint, Chad!*  17 year old me used to cut pics out of catalogs, this way is faster, less messy, and just as fun.  We have been together for two years now. 

Our little boy, that is, “dog,” to most people, turned a year old a few weeks ago.  I baked “pupcakes” that turned out to be awful!  When the dogs don’t even like it, that is humiliating!  It wasn’t until several days later, going over the recipes I found, and the one I scribbled down in the grocery store, that I realized I LEFT OUT THE BAKING POWDER!!!  It is crucial to follow directions, that is all I can say. 

My real little boy is a 21 year old man now, working hard, building a life for himself.  I am so proud of him, he is much stronger than I’ve ever been. 

So that is 2015 so far for me.  I’ll go back to Pinterest now, got my classic rock channel on Pandora playing hair band love ballads, hey, don’t judge me! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and for those of you braving the crowds on Black Friday, be safe.

Thanksgiving dinner will be at the Union Gospel Mission, they saved my life this year.  I was homeless, alone, scared, and had nearly lost my faith in God.  It has not been my favorite year, but it is part of my story now.  The staff and volunteers were wonderful, not harsh and judgemental.  They kept telling me that I would be ok and that I was in the right place.

I spent 3 months there, first with my guard up and not willing to open up to anyone.  Getting my dog certified by my doctor as a therapy dog was a huge step, having him made me feel safe, and gave me the courage to talk to people more.  I am still working on going out in public alone.  It wasn’t always this way, but it is reality now.  I am a work in progress, going from feeling like worthless garbage, to knowing that I am a good person, even though flawed.

There is a lot that could be better, but for what I do have, I am grateful.

Treasures at the Goodwill

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It is always a great day when I get to buy books!  Finding books I loved as a child is just as exciting as running into old friends, maybe even more.

 So the other day we walked over to the Goodwill store.  Chad and I went there to find luggage, and we found a nice roller suitcase, which was perfect for hauling all the books I found as well.  I never go anywhere, it seems, without leaving with an armload of books.  Thrift stores are wonderful places for that, you can find almost any type of book you can think of, and they are dirt cheap.  I can happily sift through the bins for hours, if Chad would let me.  He is such a good sport to be patient with me in that way.  (Hear that, babe?  Do I get more books for that?  Well, I can hope)

Among the treasures were a lot of picture books that I can share with my great niece the next time she comes over.  I don’t read them necessarily, she is just barely 2.  We sit together and look at the pictures, and she points excitedly to the scenes she likes.  So far, that seems to be puppies and food.  I am so proud!

Spending time with a toddler reminds me of when my son was that small.  Our “Ni-nite” reading times were some of my favorite moments in life.  It was just as wonderful as listening to my Grandma read endless repetitions of Goldielocks and the Three Bears to me.  She never once said she was too tired to read, she would even read it again and again on request.  My favorite part was tracing the steam from the bowls of porridge across both pages in the book.

My favorite treasure in this new bunch is an old copy of Good Housekeeping’s Cake Book, my Grandma used to have this one.  It always excites me to find old cookbooks, mostly because I love the old style of the photographs.  That, and I have never baked anything that didn’t come from a box.  The only other time I attempted to bake from scratch, the pitiful little cake could have been better used to prop open a door.  Maybe I will try it again with one of these.

I am here, now what?

What on earth possessed me to start a blog?  I do not yet know myself!  All I know is that I love to write, and usually my brain is overflowing with thoughts and ideas, storylines for all the books I have yet to write.  Until I attempt to put any of it on paper, then suddenly I seem stricken with amnesia.

So this will serve as part journal, part story brainstorming, part whatever other random thoughts enter my mind.  I just want to have fun and, maybe learn more about something I have done my whole life.

First, a little about me…I am 43 and don’t mind saying so.  I am the mother of the most awesome young man, lived in several states in the U.S., currently back in my home area of the Pacific Northwest.  My favorite things are coffee, music, writing, staring out the window trying to will inspiration to flow.  Also, I love spending time with the love of my life, who is my rock, my encouragement, my wonderful boyfriend who makes it possible for me to pursue my dreams.  We have our fur-baby Rocky who is soon to be 8 months old.  He is a Lhasa Apso/Chihuahua, or, as Chad calls him, a “Lhasa-huahua”.

I plan to go back to school soon, after a 24 year hiatus, and already nervous.  Just hitting the send button on the application made my heart jump in my throat.  I am excited anyway, I still have dreams of seeing my name in print, and smelling the pages of a book with my own name on it would be a dream come true.

Thanks for stopping by!