Day 168; Footnotes How Does Your Garden Grow, How Does Your Day Go?

I spent today just doing today. But today, made sure I didn’t get slack.

I enjoyed my coffee. I enjoyed reading. I enjoyed watching the hummingbird as they visited the feeders outside my windows. I learned a much safer way to prepare the food for them. I don’t recall whether it was here or over on my social media page. When I went the other day to prepare more nectar, I measured the water, poured it into an extra- large glass measuring cup- and heated the water for six minutes in the microwave. Then I poured the already measured sugar into the hot water and stirred well. Yes! No destroyed pots, no smoke filled house, no embarrassed but honest forgetful person.

I emptied what was left in the feeders outside, brought them in and cleaned them thoroughly.When the nectar was completely cooled, I filled the feeders and returned them to the hooks outside. And yes, I have wrapped the hooks with tape to prevent any birds from accidentally getting trapped. Since I did this I’ve had more birds visiting. One thing I noticed about the hummingbirds, the not so stray cats don’t pay them much attention.  Maybe they are too small or too fast to bother with. Either way they seem safe.

A friend has some wood for us but they need to borrow dad’s splitter. I asked dad if it would be okay because it is his and they will be hauling it to somewhere he doesn’t know. After getting permission I walked over and asked my nephew if he would check and make sure all the fluids were good. Then I let the people with the wood know everything was a go. They are supposed to arrive early in the morning to get it and take it with them. I’m wondering if they will need my help. Knowing me I might just get in the way, but I’ll ask.

At one point mom called and told me that two of the kittens were on her back porch if I wanted to come see them. I took photos through the door because I didn’t know if they would run. They didn’t, but they still were not going to allow me to take good photos of them. The little buggers are playful wigglers and really cute.They are eating on their own, but finding a home for them may not be easy. They are still half wild even if they aren’t afraid.

Terrible photos, adorable kittens. Looks to be all black but for one tiny spot on its chest.

The rest of my day, other than getting in just over 6000 steps, was spent cleaning and slicing up squash for my freezer. I also grated up a LOT of zucchini for bread. I’m thinking that after the bread is baked you should be able to freeze it right? If you freeze it, will it still taste as good once its thawed? I’ve never frozen any..or would it be better to freeze the zucchini in the proper proportions and just take it out when you want to bake bread? As it is, if I don’t go help split wood tomorrow I do believe I’ll be baking bread. I have the recipe that a dear friend sent me, though someone told me of a swap they did for one of the ingredients. I know I kept it, but that was a year ago so that recipe could be anywhere between here and Wonderland with the Mad Hatter serving it with their tea.

I really meant to go back down to my garden tonight, but I got sidetracked and before I realized it, the outside space was all nice and dark. So, I’ll check the garden in the morning to see if there is anything ready to be harvested. I am sooooo waiting on fresh garden tomatoes, as my mouth is watering for a good sandwich. Even though as a kid we would go grab a tomato fresh off the vine and eat them like apples.

My nephew made the comment that maybe it was his imagination, but it seemed that the produce out of his garden just tasted better. No, it isn’t your imagination. It really does. I took him a copy of the recipe for bread as he planted zucchini as well. I will admit to being a bit envious, as his garden is incredible. But, he does have a lot more room than I have and can plant more. He also has chickens providing a good, natural fertilizer. I would love to be able to plant a garden in my yard also, but my yard doesn’t get enough sunlight and I’m not cutting down my trees. So I will make do with what I’m allowed at my folk’s place and be happy. And I am, limited space may mean limited results, but it also means limited work.

All in all, it was a good day. Even as I continue to battle allergies, even as I was still feeling the residual effects from the dream, my dream about my husband. Not my son’s dream about Charlotte being nuked. Today was nice. I am happy. I am at peace. I am content.

Posted in animals, encouragement, faith, garden, healthy, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

June Seventeenth; Smiling, One More Step Toward Healing

If I dream every night, I generally do not remember. Usually when I do recall my dreams, it is because they were extraordinarily odd. I have heard, that when you dream of a deceased loved one, they are paying you a visit. I awoke from a dream this morning that had my late husband chewing me out over spending too much money. Sitting here thinking about it now, yes, that would have been my husband. He was always concerned over money.  I know I was unhappy with how much groceries cost yesterday, but then that’s nothing unusual. Groceries have gotten unreal expensive, but that dream.

 Its been a couple of years since I dreamed of him. That dream was brief and sweet. This morning’s dream was real. You would think that Heaven would have calmed him down, but maybe he knew that I would really believe it to be him, if he acted in the way I was accustomed. 

When I told my son about the dream, leaving out the part about people saying we’ve been visited, he told me that he could beat my dream. He had  dreamed that Charlotte was nuked. When I asked if we had been safe his response was a quick, “oh no.” Well, at least it was quick. Needless to say, I prefer my dream. I can recuperate from being lectured, one doesn’t generally recuperate from being obliterated by a nuclear bomb explosion. 

I have been able to control my spending on nearly everything but groceries. I go with a list. I stick nearly one hundred percent to that list. Yesterday there was nothing purchased that was not needed. Even the items that I had neglected to put on the list, like tissues, were needed. Now, there were a few things that are among the once in a while purchases, such as band aids or mouthwash. I also purchased freezer bags for the stuff coming from my garden. In my building I have canning jars just in case I get enough tomatoes. One can hope.

  Its funny though in a way. I have recently been missing my late husband. Even though the missing wasn’t that deep seated, painful grief, simply that ‘you’re not here feeling’, I felt it strongly. The dream, that the feelings still linger from, brought a smile. Because every single time he had gone with me to the store, even as he watched every single item go into the buggy, every single time the person at the register would tell us the total, he would exclaim the same thing, “What did you buy? The whole store?”

Yes, I do know that psychologist could give all manner of reasons such as my worry over money bringing on the dream. I prefer to think it was just his way of saying hello and that he is still looking out for us.

Thinking of things that bring a smile. It is no secret that I often feel uncomfortable being part of a jeep group that is mostly Wranglers and I don’t drive a Wrangler. When I went to purchase my Jeep, I really wanted a Wrangler. I nearly salivated as I passed them on the lot. How sweet would it be to have a vehicle such as that? To be able to take the top and doors off and enjoy the southern summer weather? But I had to be responsible. I had to acknowledge that since it was me and me alone that would be making the payments, not only on the vehicle but taxes and insurance, I had to be all grown up about it and choose a different vehicle. Now don’t get me wrong. I do love my Compass. Its a great vehicle, it gets me where I need to be and carries everything I need for it to carry. I do though, still often feel a bit out of place when I drive up in the Compass and see all of the Wranglers in a line.

Yesterday, someone in the group shared something they had found online about the Jeep family and that family meant ALL Jeeps no matter the type. That no matter the vehicle or reasons for purchasing that particular type, a Jeep is a Jeep and that makes them family.  So yes, I did smile and yes, it did make me feel better.

There are many times that it is difficult to smile. The past months and all that has been endured and continues around us, makes smiling nearly impossible. I think there are times, when we almost feel guilty when we do smile. Wondering, what right do we have to smile, to show any semblance of being happy when so much sadness is going on around us? I believe though, that for our own mental health, we do need to find those reasons to smile. To feel that bit of joy in our soul that offers those moments of hope.  And when we do, to not feel guilty, it is merely one more step toward healing.

One of the kittens from four years ago.
Posted in encouragement, faith, inspiration, memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 167; Footnotes of Calming The Storms

I was actually concerned over going out today. My allergies are showing out big time and that, I feared was going to be a potential problem. However, I needed groceries. The big box store might deliver way out here, but then, I’ve not placed one of those online orders for pick up either. They may be a wonderful thing, but for now, I still prefer in person shopping. I was going to have to get ready and go for those needed supplies.

So I medicated myself in the hopes of stopping the sniffling, sneezing, coughing that accompanies an all out allergy attack. I stuffed my purse with tissues and cough drops in the hopes they would not be needed. I got the two dogs inside, I grabbed my list and off I went.
I got to the big box store and parked my Jeep fairly close to the building. It really doesn’t matter how close I park, as long as it is on my favorite row and away from the cart corrals.  Going inside I helped a lady before me as she wrestled with a cart trying to free it from its entanglement with another cart. As she left, I pushed the other forward into the building with the vain hope of not spending too much.

 I stuck to my list with only two exceptions and those were for my son. Less than four dollars worth of items. One unusual moment, I was in line to check out when I remembered tissues. I relinquish my place in line and sally forth to find where they had hidden the tissues. Finally locating them, I returned to the front and took my new place in line only for my phone to start ringing. My son was calling, hoping he had called in time. He was wondering if I would bring him an energy drink. Yes. And thankfully the brand he wanted this time, was in a case just to my right. If I had not forgotten and then suddenly remembered the tissues, I would have been too far in the check out process to find what he wanted.

When the employee hit total, all my hopes of a low bill came crashing down around me. It really didn’t seem as if I had got that much. I trust this cashier so, yes, I got that much. The allergy pills I give Bella are eighteen dollars, it doesn’t take much like that for a bill to get high.
But I did make it through and out of the store without issues. I did sneeze a time or two, but no one gave me glares or looks of horror as if they suddenly realized there was a leper among them.

I worry that even though yes, this pandemic has not been easy. There have been way too many deaths, there are still too many who are ill and suffering the effects.I worry, that we have allowed fear too much control. We have heard all the commercials on television and radio, we have listened to strict guidelines and instructions and forgotten how to remain calm. I didn’t read the article, but I saw where yet another altercation in a store over wearing masks, caused an individual to get a gun and kill someone.

I don’t have answers to the pandemic. Part of me wonders though if in the madness of constant handwashing and sanitizers, we haven’t made it worse in some ways. Our body does need to face some bacteria in order for the antibodies in our body to work. Our bodies are incredible machines that usually work well, when well taken care of, and yes, I know that there are people who did take care of themselves who died.

My thoughts are ever evolving on this as I don’t believe there is any one definitive answer. Created in a lab? Conspiracy? Just another strain of the flu? A virus created in the wet markets? A virus mishandled that got majorly out of control? A virus that will be forever with us, just like the flu, just like colds, just like allergies? I can’t answer those questions so I keep researching, seeking truth as best as I am able.

We can treat it individually as we see best. Wear a mask or don’t. Wash your hands constantly, or not. Keep a distance from others, or gather together. Use vitamins, supplements, healthy foods, get outside in the sunlight and fresh air, sit inside in peace. Exercise your body and mind. Spend time taking care of all sides of your health, physical, mental, emotional, intellectual. The most important thing I think though, is to stay calm. Don’t allow it to make you afraid. Don’t allow the rules of a business to cause anger. Our emotions can be our worst enemy right now, if we allow them to be. This is not a this side that side, right or wrong event. It has many sides and many issues. We have to learn to act rationally, we have to learn to have faith and trust.

I see this as a storm. The thunder, lightening and winds, the pouring rain, are the shouts of anger and fear. The hiding inside, the staying away. There are still people getting very ill, this storm is not over. But we don’t have to make it worse. We can’t stop living, we can’t lose hope and faith. There is One who calms the storms, even the winds obey. Even the storms of life, such as illness, are under His control.

Personally, I have over the course of the recent past, come to better understand and accept this truth. Especially after losing my job that I thought was going to carry me to retirement. I learned that I had and was putting too much faith there. Now, I have learned better. I have learned contentment. My faith is in the One who calms the storms, all storms. My heart is at peace. Yes, I was concerned earlier. Not so much for me, because I know its allergies, but for those who yet fear. For those who may not yet, fully understand where peace comes from. Like the disciples on the boat in the storm, still learning of He who calms the storms. Of He, who even the winds and waves obey.

Posted in encouragement, faith, healthy, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

June Sixteenth; Source of Calm

 At the moment, things are calm. Bella is stretched out on the floor inside and Molly is outside guarding the perimeter of her domain. At times barking, or grumbling like a discontent geriatric when the neighbor’s kids come out to play. It isn’t the kids though that she is really making noise about, but the dogs that come outside with them. So far though there has been no repeat of dogs coming all the way down my drive to create chaos and rain havoc down upon us. So there is that.

That is one of the best things about this not working life, the calm. It is also one of the best things about living out here in a semi-rural area. Living off on this dirt road, just far enough away from the main road, I can hear the traffic, but it isn’t disturbing in its volume.

Back when I was working, we were constantly under pressure to get the product manufactured within a certain time frame. Most often that wasn’t a problem, there were times though. They would acquire this amazingly large order which was wonderful to see, until we were told how soon they had to have it delivered. If we couldn’t make that deadline, they didn’t want any of the product. Talk about pressure.
We would prepare on our end and watch for the materials to start arriving from all the processes before us. Often it was multiple colors which we hoped would appear in the order promised. This did not always happen which meant our preparations were incorrect and would need to be amended.

Common sense tells you that machines will only run so fast to produce a quality product. You may can speed them up a bit, but said quality is at risk of being compromised. That being the case, you make sure the machine is running efficiently. From all the parts working as they should and the machine operator on top of everything. I will say we had more good machine operators than not.
In the end, even under pressure, even when dealing with issues, mistakes, machine malfunctions, we managed to get the job done. But it was stressful and definitely not calm.

Just as when the neighbor’s dogs show up at the gate into my yard and stir up my two ladies, who lose any and all lady like manners in the insanity. And those training collars, oh they feel them, react to them, then ignore them as they charge the invading forces. Battling to get them inside the house is an operation that a navy seal would admire.

Just as, when my husband died, and I was left to face this life alone. I was looking at a mountain of bills and responsibilities. I kept making the same lists over and over because I would write them down, then forget where I put the paper. I was stressed, I was worried, I was afraid and I was grieving all at one time. There was no way that water was calm.

But, life really isn’t meant to be that way. We aren’t meant to fight, struggle and claw our way through the day, dreaming of calm. Dreaming and desiring peace. Yes, there will always be days that are more difficult, but they should not send us into a stress related reaction. Driving us to seek calm through chemical means. We should be able to face our challenges with an inner strength and peace. Using the knowledge we have of our job, our family, our neighbors, our life and our faith, to guide us through or even around, the approaching storms.

Looking at my life from my current perspective, I can see where I was brought out of a stress filled life, and placed in a much calm environment. I am here where I can heal my soul, while being here for my parents. I am here, in a calm place, where I can write out the words that fill my heart and seek to plant seeds of hope and calm in the heart of others. I believe, I was brought here purposely. And I am thankful,

I believe, that even as we face challenges and difficulties, we don’t face them alone. We do not face them without guidance or guidelines. Yes, I do know that there are those who take faith and words of faith and twist them to fit their agenda. That is something that has happened from the beginning of time and will continue to its end.

But I follow the command to love my brother. I may not like all my brother does, but I do love him. No matter our differences. In the loving, I will do as I am able to assist him. I will lift up and encourage them. I will acknowledge them as the human they are. I will offer what I can and seek to show them the still waters of calm, peace and rest. I seek to share the source of calm.

There is power in the storms, but there is more power in the One who calms them.
Posted in dogs, encouragement, faith, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 166; Footnotes of an Avalanche of Wrongs


I don’t want to complain because it isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever dealt with, but it is frustrating. The day time medicine is helping some, but I still feel as if I’m drowning. It isn’t supposed to make me sleepy, but it has. So now I’m dreaming that I’m drowning in my sleep while sitting in this chair attempting to write something that somewhat makes sense.

Bella has spent the biggest part of the day inside with me. I thought it was Molly that was making her want to stay inside, but I think instead there is a rogue bee that goes after Bella every time she is outside. I guess it payback for all the times she has tried to catch bees flying past. A couple of times Bella even stretched out on the dog bed we were given. The first time she stopped halfway on it and looked at me as if asking permission. When I told her to go ahead it was fine, she spent almost thirty minutes napping there.

I finally broke down and went outside to try and do some laps around my tiny circle. I did okay, until I ran out of tissues. I have to get this allergy mess under control as I have stuff coming up this weekend. Even though its allergies and I know its allergies, people are still nervous around anyone sniffling.

After I gave up on my walking I decided I would wander down and check my garden. There was a tomato plant that had fallen over and the cage simply would not hold the weight. I managed to reach a piece of ribbon I had tied to a stake and got it loose, while still holding a tomato cage that was wanting to fall back tot he ground. Tying the ribbon to the tomato cage and then the wire fencing around the garden did the trick. The branch of the tomato vine I thought I had broken and wrapped carefully to keep it together seems to be doing okay so far. I had a few cherry tomatoes but no large are ready yet. My sweet peppers aren’t ready either. And, there were two of those plants that I needed to prop up as they had fallen over.

My cucumber vines are covered in flowers, I’m hoping to have some cucumbers soon as I do love garden fresh cucumber.

But my squash. The squash that was so tiny the other day, had seemingly overnight grown ginormous. That and the zucchini. I picked all of that and then walked up to the house to find something to carry it home in. I really let it get too big, but I’m going to save it anyway. I’ve done that before and it was fine. Not as good as if you prepared it smaller, but its garden fresh, it’ll be fine.

But, thinking about it, those squash are like when we do something we shouldn’t.

Let’s say you are working somewhere and have access to the business money. You slip a dollar or two that isn’t yours, in your pocket. Maybe it makes you nervous, but its only a couple of dollars. Days or weeks later, instead of a dollar or two, its fifty. Later on, its a hundred. Quickly your small, bad deed, has grown. That hundred dollars bought you something nice and the owner hasn’t-won’t miss that small amount. Besides, you’ve covered your tracks well. You learned how on one of those crime shows on television. Only you are going to be smarter, you aren’t going to get caught.

Before you realize it, you’ve taken hundreds of dollars from the place you work. You come in one day to find out that an audit is taking place, and they had discovered the missing money. You have, been caught.

Or maybe, you’re a teenager and your hanging out with kids that you know your mother wouldn’t approve, but they offer you a beer. What’s one beer? Then you find that to be able to hang with the popular kids, you have to keep drinking and it becomes easier. Then one night on your way home, you have an automobile accident. Someone is injured badly. Someone may die. Because you had learned to like that drinking thing just a little too much.

Maybe, you’re married to a wonderful partner. They are the light of your life and your whole world. But there is this really nice, really friendly, really good looking, really what ever different, and you start talking. Then you talk some more, you meet after work for coffee, a meal. It slowly progresses, and the light of your world…finds out.

When you play with fire, you are going to get burned. There is no such things as a ‘little bit wrong’. Wrong, is wrong. A lie, is a lie. An avalanche starts out small, but as it moves ever faster down a mountainside, it gathers a lot of snow. So does a wrong.

My sweet Bella, ever patient while I write
Posted in encouragement, honesty, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

June fifteenth; Grateful, Peaceful, Content

I lost my job due to the pandemic….and I am grateful.

Did I hear a few gasps? A few surprised “What? Why?” Let me explain.

When I was working, we were at times going through periods of ten hour or more days, five days a week, sometimes having to pull hours on Saturday as well. Product that had to be gotten out within a certain time frame. I was rising to an ugly alarm clock sounding at just before  four in the morning and going until I collapsed in the bed at night. My time was fully consumed by work and household responsibilities. I was a walking zombie of a person. I would try to find time to spend with my son, I would make a couple of hours to spend with my mother on Sunday after lunch. But I was so beyond tired.

Then, I received a call I wasn’t expecting. I no longer had a job. I had been told I was essential on Thursday, on Friday I was told I was temporarily laid off, on Monday it was permanent. I was confused. I was shocked. I was lost. This job was all I knew. I had done this job for almost half my life. Cut adrift with no anchor, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I was told that when things picked up, I would be called back so I held onto that word.

I knew though that as I waited, I needed to stay busy. I was not one to just sit around. So I cleared my house and yard. I helped with my parent’s yard. Days, weeks, months passed and no call came. I finally realized that the call wasn’t going to come. I had to make a decision. I considered returning to work, but my mother freaked out. I then decided to go ahead and take early retirement.

There, is where the gratefulness comes in.

I have and continue to have time with my parents. When they call, I can simply walk next door to where they live and respond to needs. I can take mom where she needs or simply wants to go. I’m not fighting that tiredness like before. There is no hurry, no need to push, just walk and enjoy.

I have time to be with my now grown son. We sit and talk about nearly everything. He shares a lot of the things he deals with day to day or the things he finds online. He helps me with the things I can’t do on my own and he irritates the not so stray cats just because he can. And I wonder why they are still nervous, no, actually I don’t.

I have had time to write and to read. I have had time, energy and ability to create and work on this blog in a somewhat intelligent manner. I have books that teach and inspire me. I have time to rest.

I have time to enjoy my big back yard that blends in with the woods behind my home. I can sit and listen to the creatures of the woods and feel the peace they bring. I have a small store bought fire pit that I am once again ready to light and spend time sitting outside and just being.

I have found my balance. Somewhere along the way while working, I had set it aside and forgotten where. I had spent so much time trying to please others, I forgot me. I was neglecting, me. I had become such a yes person, that I don’t recall the last time I had told anyone no. I can do that now. But I can also say yes, without reservation when I know the reason is right.

I had spent so much time and energy working, that I had neglected myself, my family, my faith. I attended church, but the exhaustion made really fully being there difficult. Now I am fully involved and happier.

There is a lot I don’t have. There are limits now. But mostly, there is a grateful, peaceful, contentment now.

Posted in encouragement, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 165; Footnotes of Making That Difference

Tis the season…

Earlier today I looked down to see an ant walking across my desk. For some reason I simply watched it walk along until it disappeared . A few moments later, it came walking along again, following that same path. Ants drive me crazy when they come in the house, but its usually in the kitchen, not this room. The third time around I captured and relocated said ant to outside where it belonged. I am wondering though if that ant realized it was walking in circles?  Since I didn’t see any more, I figured it was the same ant every time.

I decided to give my sweet Bella a bath today. And yes, I did it in my bathtub, it has been scoured out. Bella, I’m pretty sure knew something was up. I was running water in the tub and wandering around collecting things. All out of the ordinary for me. When I had enough water in the tub, I called my son to help me get Bella. She had came when I called but was trying to turn and head for the hills, or in the very least under my desk.

My son managed to get her into the bathroom and then lifted her into the tub. This crazy dog who will allow you to spray her with the garden hose while she chases the water until she is saturated, was not happy. She was even less happy as I started gently pouring water over her back. She didn’t mind the actual washing part, but then the rinse cycle had her wanting out and me needing more arms. Of course my son had deserted me right after lifting Bella into the tub. I got her bathed, and was working on the drying part as the tub drained. Once I had her a little less soaked through, I let her out of the tub and out of the bathroom. She walked through the house shaking  but since I had dried her she really didn’t spread much liquid. She did come into this room to pout.I told my son not to allow her to get out, but of course he did. The very first thing she did, roll in the dirt.

First thing this morning while I was talking with mom, she mentioned that she had heard a tree limb fall and wondered if I knew where. I had no idea as I didn’t hear it, but I’d go out and look. When I finally did go outside, I went to help my son get his camper backed into place. While he did what ever it was he had to do first, I walked up to where I had my jeep parked. The limb that fell, had fallen about five feet from my Jeep. The limb was huge and had it hit the car would have done some damage.

I wonder, how often we, ourselves, walk in circles? We believe we are accomplishing something, we think we are getting somewhere, but in truth we are merely spinning our wheels going around and around. All the while nothing is getting done. We make plans, we scheme, we plot, we ponder and get nowhere. Maybe, we were trying to go in the wrong direction. Maybe we had taken a wrong turn. Maybe, we really weren’t sure where we needed to be going but kept walking anyway. Not stopping to seek guidance. Not stopping to clarify purpose. Not checking to see if we were working toward accomplishing our mission, or simply just walking in circles getting nothing done and getting nowhere fast.

I wonder, how many times, that we have cleaned ourselves up from past mistakes, washing away all the dirt and stains, only to turn around and roll around again in the same dust? Incorrect thoughts, wrong ideas, mistakes in judgement, missteps in work, relationships, life? Maybe once taking a wrong turn and getting involved in something that should have never been messed with, but even though you walked away, it drew you back.

I wonder, how many times we thought we were safe, only to see that near miss? When you witness something and you think, there but by the grace of God go I. And you wonder, why was it not you? And maybe, you think, since it isn’t/wasn’t me…maybe there is something I can do to help them, or someone like them. Maybe, I can be the difference some how, for someone. Maybe not the one you saw, but someone. There are plenty of places needing volunteers, and its the volunteers who make that difference.

Posted in animals, dogs, encouragement, faith, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Gifts From the Dragons

In some mythological accounts, dragons were hoarders of treasures. Some tales even going so far as to claim that dragons wore jewels as protective breast plates. Though since I cannot find any reference to this, it may have been a part of a fictional tale I once read. Here though, I am not walking through mythology and tales of Greek gods doing battle. Nor am I discussing the heroes of lore who saved young maidens or entire villages. Here, I am talking about a few of my own dragons battled.

A comment was made that I had been through a lot. To that, I would say yes…and no. It all depends on perspective. Once upon a time, I would have seen my dragons as monsters of great proportions. In retrospect, they were not nearly as large as thought at the time. And, they left gifts.

It is up to us individually how we see things. It is up to us, to see the size of our dragons and the battle it brings. Our thoughts, opinions, are our own and though not always agreed on by others, they are ours never the less. Sitting here now, looking backward, something I tend not to do as I am no longer there, I see things from a different perspective and insight. Looking from here, I see how small my dragons were compared to the battles I know others face. I see now, not from the perspective of my pain, but the pain and struggles of others which is much greater.

That in itself, is one of the gifts from those battles. A greater understanding and empathy.

When I battled being bullied and ridiculed, I gained the understanding of how that felt. I have been the one driven into hiding within oneself in the hopes of being ignored and left alone. I have heard the names, the lies, felt the blows both verbal and physical. When my own son faced it, I knew better what to say. Though a young son can’t fully believe a mother would and could understand–and I couldn’t fully–but enough to get him through the worst.

When I was living in an abusive marriage, suffering abuse from all directions and means. My goal was survival. Find a way to get through. Find escape then learn to live again. From this came more empathy, greater knowledge. I knew the signs. I knew the look, that meek, beaten down expression of submission. I knew what to a degree, to say.

Not a dragon, but it lights a dragon’s fire within, when you see another being abused. No matter who they are, their age, sex or anything else. No individual has any right to abuse another.

That cancer battle. Just one more dragon that made me not only a survivor, but a warrior. Bringing more knowledge of what a fight can be, and how to fight. How to prepare and protect your health. What you should do, and what you should stay away from. What makes one healthier or less healthy.

Losing my job and supposed financial security. Having to work on budgets and decisions on what I could, couldn’t should or shouldn’t do. Looking out toward a future and considering the coming struggle.

Becoming a widow. This, I believe, was the largest dragon of all. To hear the word of his death and then face all that was coming. Getting his body home from out of state. His celebration of life. Paying on that mountain of bills. Discovering how to live without him. Seeking how to overcome the loneliness of his not being here. Here, came some of the greatest treasures.

I found how strong I really am.

I found peace in being alone.

I have come to enjoy fully the quiet of the night, or the symphony of the night.

I have come to find that I really don’t need a lot.

I have come to find comfort in solitude.

I have come to find comfort in my faith. As my faith, through faith, prayer and reading of the Bible, has been and continues to be my greatest weapon against the dragons that still lift their head from time to time.

I have found, that I am not alone, I do fit in and I am accepted.

I have found, that each battle is an adventure that comes with a gift. We merely need to seek it out in the battle. One of the greatest and most precious of gifts, is the gift of life and living. No matter the scars we may carry from the battle. For the scars show we stood, we fought, and we persevered.

The way may look shadowed, but it is the light of our strength, that will shine and light the way.

Posted in encouragement, faith, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

June Fourteenth; Are You Brave Enough to Battle Dragons?

Are you brave?
Not the run into burning buildings, face an angry mob, or even jump from a perfectly good plane brave, but every day brave. The brave it takes to face every day with all you have and as the day ends, know you have faced your dragons and maybe didn’t defeat them, but you at least backed them down a bit.

Dragons? You may ask? There are no dragons in this day and age. Dragons are myth, made up by those who saw an every day animal and not knowing what it was, turned it into something monstrous. Komodo Dragon aside; (thank you wikipedia) while I have seen no evidence of any living, fire breathing, dragons, we do yet face dragons. Many of which have come into being in our current state and time.

Issues with our physical health. 

My dragon was breast cancer thirteen years ago. The actual battle of surgery and treatments took several months, the lingering effects of those treatments longer. But, in the end, I beat the dragon back and have so far remained healthy.
Others face longer battles. They may face a disease or accident that can be treated over a fairly set course of time, or it may be an ongoing life event. As long as it is faced, dealt with daily through what ever measures are needed, the dragon is being faced, handled and beaten back.

Issues with emotional health. 

When my husband died suddenly, everything in my life tilted and shifted to odd locations. My heart seemed to shatter into dust. I faced so many emotions at once that I wasn’t sure which one was predominate at any given time. Grieving takes time. It is a slow process that attempts to cover the world in that darkness of loss. It brings with it many other emotions, including a feeling of abandonment. Every emotions, a dragon in its own right. Each one different with different methods of attack. Each take a different weapon to face and overcome. Loneliness is the fire that consumes those who find themselves in a situation of solitude. The best weapon for me, was finding peace in the being alone. Finding my strength and peace in the quiet. Once you find your balance in being alone with yourself, you can move forward with more confidence in battling any dragon that may strike.

Issues with mental health. 

Kin to emotional, but  individual in their own right. They are the dragons that cause confusion, lack of confidence, maybe feeling separate from others. Dragons that speak to the mind creating a false truth, deception their fire, as they seek to torment and terrorize.

Issues with jobs and finances. 

Many were already struggling, battling every day to merely survive, feed, clothe and house themselves or family. Some working multiple jobs, scraping by as best they could. Then we were faced with a world wide nightmare. Jobs shut down, businesses closed, and people were left to wonder what now?Thankfully there have been groups and organizations who have stepped up, offering food and necessary items for those in need. It has helped in the battle, but the battle not nearly over. The needs are real, the struggle difficult, the dragons may back up a step, but they do not lie down in submission. They wait for the next moment of attack.

Issues in relationships. 

As with all the others, these dragons are varied in form and destructive ways. They cause issues between siblings, between children and parents or guardians, between partners. It can come in the form of bullying, of jealousy, of battling control.

In faith. 

Faith in this world is diverse, many believing differently and in their own way. What ever our belief, there are moments of doubt, of wandering, of wondering.

Obviously these are not all inclusive. We will face many dragons as we make this journey of life. We may see them coming, we may be blindsided by their appearance. The important thing, is that we keep fighting. We keep standing strong and against the dragons before us. That we believe we can win. That we seek out the weapons we need in our battle and use them wisely.

As long as we do that, and don’t surrender, we are brave. What ever dragons you battle, continue to fight, do not give up, I believe in you.

Posted in encouragement, faith, growth, healthy, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 164; Footnotes of Sight

I am having a love hate relationship with my contacts. I have to wear rigid contacts due to an eye condition, which has a name longer than I care to try to pronounce.

Several years ago I went to a new group of doctors for an eye exam. I had been told by the past few doctors I had been to that I had cataracts and that was causing my issues. I kept going to different doctors in the hopes that one would find out why none of the glasses I had purchased every helped.I finally found the right doctor who discovered the problem and it wasn’t cataracts. The thing was, glasses were never going to help, I needed to do something I had sworn I would never do, wear contacts. Not the disposable ones, but the rigid ones that feel as if you’ve driven a saber in your eye if you get them in incorrectly.

I’ve had these I’m wearing now for a couple of years. They are showing their age.

The doctor told me that I had to make sure and clean them carefully every night when I removed them, and every morning before I put them in my eyes. There is also a hydrogen solution that is supposed to bubble away anything on the contacts. I’ve been following instructions, and yet I’m still having issues.

Today, as I was driving home from church at times it was as if I were driving through a fog. I could see, but I had to concentrate and watch carefully.

Such is life. There are moments when even as we follow what we consider right and true, we run into problems. Worries, concerns, storms, the problems of life creating a fog of stress and fears that make it as if we were struggling through a fog bank. Difficult to see where we are going and what we may run into along the way.

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve struggled with various problems and emotions. As I worked to move forward fears and a low self esteem held me back. I have shelves of books purchased offering advice over fears, worries, loneliness, by various authors. Most but not all faith based.

Just as I am facing the understanding that I need new contacts to be able to see better, I also, over the course of time have realized that I needed a new, stronger outlook over my life. The one book I need to read the most is my Bible, there I find the information and instructions I have needed to help me move forward and past the fears. Through reading it and through prayer, my life has gotten better. I am moving forward and finding a peace that I haven’t felt in a long time. I am finding a feeling of being a part of life and not just an outsider looking in wistfully.  That particular fog, is fading away, and in its place a joy and gladness of life.

Posted in encouragement, faith, inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments