Hello January…

Hello January…

This week’s prompt for Think Write Thursday is to write a post called “Hello, January”. 

There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues. – Hal Borland

Winter has been iffy in my corner of the world with temperature swings from the 60’s one day to the 20’s the next. And, the rain – my back yard is one giant spongy mess.

However, I know that there is no avoiding the bitter cold that will soon be upon us. January is good at bring the cold – but, the one thing that January also brings is the slowly lengthening days. Each day there is just a bit more daylight than the day before, which is a very good thing!

I have not completely given up on growing things either, despite my Amaryllis failure – I have orchids that are blooming and then there are those Paperwhites… I am completely smitten with their ethereal blossoms balanced precariously on a slender stalk. There is hope blooming during the winter and it makes my mind turn to gardening!

That is right – garden planning will be happening this month. Where will we expand this year? What will we work on? What will we grow? It is perhaps the best time of all – the time when you can dream big! Mr. Borland is right seed catalogues simply are the best diversion for January and I am hoping my Baker Heirloom Seed Catalogue will be here sooner than later!

I am sorry Dear January if it feels like I am cheating on you by wishing it was May but garden planning is the best way to get through you!

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Joy in the Journey

Joy in the Journey

 “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk

I worked through 2016 with a focus on gratitude – and though it took some effort, I really feel like I am ending the year with a better understanding of gratitude. This includes gratitude in my everyday life. From the simplest things to the most complex – I feel like gratitude is part of my being now.

Which brings me to 2017 – where do I go from here. I have been contemplating several words to focus on in 2017 and my mind kept circling around joy and then when I got an email on Saturday from Churchmouse Yarn and Tea with the above quote – the word seemed to leap out of the email.

It is so true, gratitude does make me joyful.

It is not complicated, nor does it indicate that I am adopting a Pollyanna-like view of life – but really, a simple joy stemming from gratitude in all things – even the difficult things.

In 2017, I hope you will come along with me as I celebrate finding joy in the journey.

Happy New Year to all of you!

What are you doing New Year’s Eve

What are you doing New Year’s Eve

This week’s prompt for Think Write Thursday is to talk about New Year’s Eve. Do you love it or hate it? Do you yearn to go out on the town or would you rather stay home for a cozy night in? Big party? Small gathering of friends? Tell us how you want to spend New Year’s Eve and remember, it’s just words and you aren’t actually committing to anything so the sky is the limit!

Queue the music…

So many questions in here!! Do I love it or hate it? Well, I think the answer is this:

The younger me loved the party aspect of the event, and the now me appreciates the review of the year and anticipation of the year to come. The younger me loved to get dressed up and head out for a night of party, party, party! The now me appreciates staying home in quiet reflection for the evening. And, honestly – staying up until midnight? That hasn’t happened in years.

Somehow the wild days of my youth have been replaced with – well, an old person! LOL

But, if I could have any New Year’s Eve I want – this would be it:

The company will be stellar and the conversation stimulating if all of you are here! There will be games and so much laughter! There might even be some tears as we remember what 2016 was.

And, as we look forward to what 2017 might bring, we can raise our glasses in hopefulness and good cheer.

That would be how I would like to spend New Year’s Eve – with all of you! And, in the perfect world – the transporter would be a thing and I would have one! However, please know that on New Year’s Eve I will be raising my glass to all of you in friendship, love, and good cheer.

Happy New Year my friends – may this coming year bring peace and prosperity to all of us!

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Five…

Five…

plus 51…

That would be what I am today – starting my 56th journey around the sun.

…Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy. ~ Abhishek Bachchan

And, I thought a little montage of the much, much, much younger me would be  nice way to reminisce about this monumental event.

We start with this little girl in a laundry basket on my Nana’s porch – I think I was about 6 months old. And, although I do not remember this at all, my Nana’s house was a place that I spent a great deal of my life. My Aunt Jacque was in high school here.

My Nana always loved to tell the story of me sitting in the laundry basket. The best part of memories is hearing others tell them and even though you can’t remember – but somehow you feel like you remember it because you have heard it so many times. I still have the basket in this picture.

This family fills my mind with the best of memories. My Nana was my favorite person in all the world. And, seeing this photo with my grandpa (and his two sisters – Aunt Sylvia and Aunt Marion) from the days when he could still get outside on his own is the best. He had MS, but he taught me how to swing and so much more!

This was one of very few vacations we ever took as a family – Here are my sister and I going through the Soo Locks. I remember this photo being taken and really – could any girl be more stylish? Looking at it today, I think my mom must have had a Sophia Loren obsession!

Here are my sister and I at the house my dad and his dad built and this is the house we lived in the longest.

One good thing about having had so many birthday’s is that you have so many memories! And, that makes me feel happy and so blessed!

 

 

 

When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons…

The Think Write Thursday prompt for this week is to write about the ways I stay positive when it feels like everything is going wrong. What do I do to get through those times and stay focused on the good?

For me the answer is not to make lemonade out of the crisis/issue/problem. Some problems cannot be sweetened or made better no matter how hard you try.

My solution when there is an issue/crisis/problem is to focus on something else entirely. And, not in an ignore the issue/crisis/problem kind of way, but instead it is a way for me to not get mired down in the issue/crisis/problem.

I want to stay “out of the pit” and approach it with a better view. I won’t solve anything if I am drowning with the problem.

Now, that does not always equate to staying positive, but it does help me keep my focus.

The other thing that I find extremely helpful is that I do not believe that every problem needs to be solved or has a solution. Sometimes it can’t be – and maybe the solution is to have a different focus.

I try to focus inward (perhaps you might even call it internalizing!!) Or, I might journal about the problem or I might meditate about it or I might even laugh about it. But, what I don’t like to do is to talk about the problem or solicit advice regarding the problem. This is in part because I have a huge aversion to being told what to do nor do I want you to “solve it for me”. I really do want to muddle through it on my own and in my own time.

So, when the life gives you lemons, my advice is to take a deep breath and eat a Clementine or two!

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