Tuesday, July 31, 2018

silver linings ...

I've been focusing on the positives lately.

Today, my cell phone number was hijacked.  Not my phone.  My number.  I've had that number for four years and can't even begin to remember all the important things I have linked to it.

I got and made a few calls this morning without any problems, and the few hours of silence after that were not unusual.  Then the Hubs called me on the work number and asked why some guy named Mike was answering my phone.

Me: Ummm, you misdialed?
Hubs: Nope, hit the programmed number.  Even showed your name.
Me: No clue then, maybe Cricket hiccuped.

Two hours later, he calls the work number again.

Hubs: Now it says Verizon is locating that person.
Me: I don't have a Verizon phone.
Hubs: I know.
Me: Let me try to call you.

Call him back from the office phone.

Me: Won't let me make any calls to anyone.
Hubs: Great.  Well, this weekend we will have to get another phone activated for you.
Me: Nope.  I got this.  I'll call you back.

Make a call to my cell phone carrier.  Change my number.  Call him back from the new number.

So apart from the downside of having to remember everything my old number is linked to and updating things, the upside is this:   I don't have to dodge/mute/ignore/reject phone calls from people I don't want to talk to anymore.  I can give my new number to just the people I want to talk to.  The creep who stole my old number gets to be harassed now! 

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

the storm

This rotating celebration of words and the magic they make was begun to encourage creative writing. Each week a selection of prompts are posted, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What is created with those prompts is up to the writer and imagination: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or whatever they make the writer think of. Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage. This month Vest will be providing the prompts. [All of the prompt words are in bold italics.] 
     The rain on the roof sounded as if a giant had stood over the house and dumped a never-ending bucket of water out on it.  While it was a welcome sound after the horrible heat in the weeks prior, it was still a little unnerving at the amount of rain that was falling.  There had been a similar incident two months ago that by the time the rains had ended, several roads and bridges were washed out, isolating their small community.

     That storm had even been responsible for two deaths.  A driver who was unaware of the washed out bridge ahead had died during the storm when his car suddenly became airborne and had dropped into the raging flood waters below.  Another person standing in their yard taking video of the fast-moving water in what was normally a narrow creek was washed away into the bay when the bank he was standing on gave way.

     A dog left unattended in a yard was later found four miles away from the house when the rain-saturated ground created a gushing mudslide that swept the dog away.  Fortunately, it survived whereas the people previously mentioned had not.

     In the weeks following that early summer storm, there had been an increase of e.coli in the bay from raw sewage that had been swept into the water, and often there was a sour smell in the air as the bacteria began to surface.

     As road crews arrived to make repairs, the community churches came together to help those in need.  Repairing roofs and broken windows damaged by the heavy rains and winds, and cutting up fallen trees to be distributed as firewood to elders at the nearby reservation for the coming winter.

     Finally, the rains began to ease and the clouds pulled back to reveal an amazing sunset.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

like a river ...

This rotating celebration of words and the magic they make was begun to encourage creative writing. Each week a selection of prompts are posted, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What is created with those prompts is up to the writer and imagination: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or whatever they make the writer think of. Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage. This month Vest will be providing the prompts. [All of the prompt words are in bold italics.] 
     She looked at her reflection in the mirror and wondered how she had gotten so lost.  She remembered a time when she woke up every morning feeling excited for the day ahead.  Now she couldn't remember the last time she felt truly cheerful when she woke up.  What had happened that made sadness and discouragement wash over her like a flooding river?

     Later that day she paused at work, hearing children in the playground across the street from her office.  Carefree.  Happy.  How she envied them and the freedom they had.  Too young to know of the responsibilities and burdens that would one day wear them down.

     On Sunday she and her husband went to church as they always did, and as the worship team practiced the songs they would later play, she sat in a side room, alone and praying for guidance and peace.  Words escaped her, and at times she could only rock silently, wishing she understood what was happening to her.  She realized she had begun isolating herself long before she even realized she was doing it.

     Her husband sometimes brushed it off as being her age and in those moments she just wanted to plot his demise.  But perhaps it did having something to do with it.  She felt more responsible than she had when she was 20 or even 30 years younger.  The weight of those responsibilities was daunting some days.  Had she really been so carefree with her money once that if she fancied a ring, she simply bought it without thinking twice?  Now she rarely justified buying herself new clothes and it was only when her 15+-year-old bras finally lost their hooks that she admitted it was time to buy new ones.  But they had been expensive Victoria's Secret bras that at the time she hadn't thought twice about spending $50 or more on them.  At least she got her money's worth.

     A noise outside of the room she was sitting in brought her back to the present and reality.  Service was starting, and if she walked in late it to sit in the front row seats her husband made a point of sitting in it would be quite noticeable.  Not that she cared anymore what others thought of her, but she didn't want to seem disrespectful.  She already had an idea that her separation from the rest of the congregation before services began already gave many of them enough to talk about.  What was it her mother used to tell her?  "What others think of you is none of your business.  You just mind your own."

     The worship music began and she looked above the keyboardist's head at the lyrics being projected on the wall.  It had been a hard year so far and she often felt under spiritual attack because of their work with the churchBut leaving wasn't an option.  As much as she felt burdened now, she knew that life without her faith was even worse.  Maybe it was time she set new priorities.

Monday, July 16, 2018

between the pages ...

I wrapped up reading this book over the weekend and found it fascinating.

I've been a Christian for as long as I can remember, but there is still much I don't know or understand about some aspects of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.  I'm always looking for books that break it down in terms I can understand to continue my growth and expand my knowledge.

This book was such an eye-opener in so many ways and sets out ten simple practices that you can do to make a change in your life that will enrich every relationship and part of your life, especially your spiritual walk.

Even though I have been a Christian since childhood, my walk in faith sometimes falters as life's challenges arise.  This book will become a bedside read for those times when I'm feeling lost, and need a reminder that I am never alone.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

the observation ...

This rotating celebration of words and the magic they make was begun to encourage creative writing. Each week a selection of prompts are posted, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What is created with those prompts is up to the writer and imagination: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or whatever they make the writer think of. Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage. This month Vest will be providing the prompts. [All of the prompt words are in bold italics.] 
Image Source
She held her breath as she stepped out onto the glass observation skywalk high above the floor of the Grand Canyon.  Heights terrified her for reasons she didn't know and she had started her 50th year with a list of things she wanted to overcome.

While this was only the first thing on her list, it was her strongest fear, and she knew that if she could conquer it everything else would be easier.

They had been enjoying a combined celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary and her 45th birthday, dining at the best restaurant in town when he said the words that changed her life forever.

Divorce.  Another woman.  Happier without her.

It was almost more than her mind had the capacity to comprehend, and after five years of therapy, if she let her thoughts wander, she could still manufacture all sorts of negative projections upon herself.

Her therapist suggested making a list of things that she thought were holding her back from healing, and she had been embarrassed to see the length of the list.

"No wonder he left me." she had cried to her therapist.  "I'm nothing more than a timid little mouse!"

"Nonsense!" admonished the therapist.  "You simply haven't been given the opportunity to grow and flourish.  You were barely out of your teens when you were married, and immediately began a life of being a wife and mother.  You need to find your own identity, and that is what we are going to do.  This is your journey to nourish your soul.  Tell me something you've always wanted to do and we will make that your reward for reaching each goal of overcoming each of your fears."

"I've always wanted to be a florist.  To have my own business where I could create bouquets that spoke the language of the flowers.  Bouquets that had meaning and messages for the giver and the receiver."
Borage Image Source

Together they had worked on creating a puzzle board.  Each piece an image on one side of a fear, and on the other side the image of a beautiful flower that represented the opposite of the fear.  On the image of a skyscraper representing her fear of heights, she had put the image of a borage flower, the flower associated with courage.

As she faced and overcame each fear, she would turn the puzzle piece over until the new image was one of a garden of her strengths, not of her weaknesses.

The trip to the Grand Canyon with her son, daughter and her four grandchildren was her baptism by fire.  She hadn't told them why they were going, only that it was somewhere she had always dreamed of seeing.  When the subject of taking a whitewater river ride as part of their trip came up, she'd almost loudly protested, knowing that the next fear on her list was being in deep waters where she couldn't see the bottom.  But she had surprised even herself when she had agreed.
Hepatica Image Source

She could already imagine adding the delicate purple hepatica flowers for confidence to her bouquet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

products my ... cats love!

Yesterday, out of the blue, a free sample of Kalico Kush Katnip arrived from Meowijuana.
This is what Lucy did to the envelope after I removed the sample.
Previously we got a sample of their Chicken Bar with Catnip from my office neighbor, Heidi with Naturapetz.
Gracie LOVES it!  
Lucy doesn't know what to do with the little bits I give them, which is fine with Gracie because she scarfs hers and then eats Lucy's share.
Yesterday after Lucy demolished the envelope and some of the flakes I put on their scratch pad for them, she disappeared for a few hours.  I found her sleeping in one of their cat caves.
Chillin' like a villain.

They also have some treats for dogs, which I don't think Charlie would have a taste for because he's a teetotaler.  But Trooper, who was a beer snob like I used to be ... he'd have loved them.  He would turn his nose up at domestics but loved a good microbrew or import.
I miss him.
Charlie, we recently discovered, loves cold watermelon.  He's such a clown.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday ... late again

This rotating celebration of words and the magic they make was begun to encourage creative writing. Each week a selection of prompts are posted, which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What is created with those prompts is up to the writer and imagination: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or whatever they make the writer think of. Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage. This month Vest will be providing the prompts. [All of the prompt words are in bold italics.]  (Side note: I've been having issues with my laptop and missed participating in the last Wednesday of June.  I think I picked up a bug, and am hoping to have it all straightened out soon.  Rather than trying to go back and make my brain work overtime, I'm picking up again with July).
"I think we all face summer with a mixture of sadness."

Her comment was completely unexpected and for a moment I wasn't even sure if she was talking to me.  I'd never seen her before, and without even hearing her footsteps, she was suddenly standing beside me.

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, for some it can be seen as their middle years.  When they are old enough to know better, but still young enough to get away with it.  For others, it can be dreadful, when the warmth is just so overwhelming that there is no way to get comfortable.  I mean, you can only take off so many clothes in public before winding up in jail."

I chuckled at that.  "Go on."

"You can still sleep outside, though, without needing too much of a shelter.  If you are fortunate enough to be outside of the city lights, it can be almost heavenly to just lay in the grass and watch the Milky Way."

"Why would anyone find that sad?"

"Oh, they wouldn't.  Or at least they shouldn't.  It is just knowing that before long, the nights will become chilly again before we want them to.  These are the longest days of the year for a reason you know."

"What is that?"

"It gives us something to look forward to when winter comes.  It is the memories of these days that keeps us holding on for more."

She paused then, and for the first time looked straight at me.  Her eyes the color of glacier ice, with a dusting of glitter on her cheeks that looked almost like the sun on fresh snow.  I was caught off guard by her beauty, and embarrassed by my stare.  I looked away for a moment to gather my thoughts, and when I looked back again she was gone.

"Treasure these days," the wind whispered as it tussled my hair, "treasure these memories."