Clay

Yesterday, I was bound and determined to plant my Fall bulbs. Gorgeous day with sun, a nice breeze and cool temperatures. I started by trying to dig off the top layer of where I want my garden to be. That wasn’t happening so I grabbed by my tall bulb planter and started digging out holes. The first went quite well. The second, not so much and the third was a complete failure.

Why was I having so many issues? Well, the main reason is that our soil here is clay. When wet, it’s very sticky and solid. When dry, it’s like cement. My bulb planter is completely blocked with this solid mass of semi-wet clay. Nothing I had could force this out.

When I lived in OH, gardening was easy. You dug the dirt then planted bulbs, seeds or plants. Cover it all back up with more dirt and mulch and you were done besides weeding now and again. I keep forgetting that it’s not like that here. Every year, I dream of beautiful gardens and every year, I’m defeated by this clay. I’m just not strong enough to deal with it.

I refuse to be defeated this year. I have a dream and I’m going to make it a reality. Yesterday stirred up my Fibromyalgia so I’m taking a break till next week when I will have a new strategy to meet my goal. I’m going to have to invest in some tools to break up the clay and get bags of dirt to mix in with the current soil so the bulbs will stand a chance.

While I’m upset at my inability to deal with this right away, I’m reminded that most good things don’t come easily. Hard work and perseverance may pay off, but without a workable plan, it may not. I attacked this garden with vigor but no real plan. I do that with crafts, too. I jump right in and do things my own way. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Other times, I plan so much that I never actually get around to doing anything!

Balance is what I lack most of the time. So my challenge today is to work out a balance between what my body is still capable of doing and what I can’t do any longer. Then make my plans on how to go about things to get what I want. I want beautiful flowers so that’s my goal. The right tools should provide the balance so I just need to make sure I choose wisely. This is the formula for a productive life, also.

Hope you have a balanced and enjoyable day!

Change

It’s funny how some people instigate change and others resist. I’ve spent my entire adult life doing little things to change up my homes. I sew new curtains, move furniture around, add a plant or two or change up wall d├ęcor. No one ever knows what to expect when they come to my home because it’s rarely the same as it was. I go to other people’s homes and nothing ever changes except the addition of a knickknack or something small like that.

When I walked into my youngest daughter’s house this morning, all I could do was laugh. A few weeks ago, I caught her ripping up her living room carpet and she’d repainted the room. Today, she’s removing layers of paint in her kitchen in prep for painting it. I would say she’s the lucky (or unlucky!) recipient of my restless genes.

My oldest daughter has my wanderlust genes (youngest, too). We’re constantly planning our next trip. She’s taken me to places I’d never dreamed of going. Never thought I’d enjoy going to!

And that’s why I embrace change. Changes in my home, changes in environment, changes in my professional life. Now that I’m unable to have a professional life, I find other ways to shake things up in my life. I’m constantly trying new crafts and new things. I’ve completely changed my life since I got really sick the first time. I’ve had to reinvent myself many times over to adjust to the changes in my health. I tried to fight them for the longest time but now that I’ve come to the acceptance part of grief, I enjoy changes again.

Today, I challenge you to change something in your life. Remove something negative, add something positive. Accept that you are wonderful exactly as you are and remove the thoughts that you aren’t. Lift your head up and be proud of all you’ve done and all you will do.

I wish you a wonderful day!!!!

Grizzled

I was out walking in the yard yesterday morning and one of the pictures I took has been lingering in my mind since. Something about it but I didn’t realize what it was till I downloaded it this morning.

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There is one tree in the foreground with discoloration on it. The three in the background have lost or are in the process of losing their leaves, quite beautiful. It reminds me of myself and my daughters! The older I get, the more my freckles turn to age spots. The more wrinkles show up. The rougher my skin gets. I’m the tree in the foreground.

It’s so strange how the mind works. I didn’t take that photo with anything in my mind other than the format of it. It struck my fancy so I took the shot. But, my subconscious must have recognized something and that’s why it stayed on my mind.

Do I feel grizzled and old? Some days, I do. There are days I feel much older than I am. Other days, I can’t believe I’m as old as I am. When I walk past a mirror, I’m surprised by how old I look. At other times, I think “Well, I don’t look as old as I feel right now. That’s something.”

Looking at that photo this morning, I realized that no matter what my body turns into as I age, there is still beauty there. The older tree stood out in the photo as unique.

I hope that today, you’ll accept my challenge to find beauty in yourself. Sometimes that’s hard to do. We are so critical of ourselves and can’t see what others do. Try to see yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. Recognize that you are beautiful in so many ways. Physical beauty doesn’t always last and it’s not important (although every single person is beautiful on the outside, as well, though it’s hard to see it yourself). It’s the life inside that counts. That grizzled, discolored tree is still very beautiful and full of life. Being different than you used to be can be a good thing. Shake things up a little and encourage you to try new things.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Bulbs

Flower bulbs intrigue me. They start out so ugly and then something beautiful emerges. It takes patience to wait for that to happen and patience is not my strong point.

I’m contemplating whether I have the strength to dig and plant the fall bulbs I’ve gotten or if I should wait for a couple days. Busy day yesterday so I’m feeling that but it’s so nice outside, hate to waste the good weather.

My challenge today is patience. Patience to wait until I feel less pain before I do something that I know will increase it just by the actions involved. Patience to plant the bulbs correctly so they have a strong foundation to grow in. Patience to wait all winter to see if they’ve survived.

Patience is rewarded. I know it’s hard to deal with but calming myself down and doing things slower are always worth the extra time. Patience to accept that today is going to be a painful one but that tomorrow may be better. Patience to change my plans and adapt them to what I can do that particular day. I do this automatically now, most of the time. But some days, I need to remind myself that it’s ok to wait. I’m looking forward to the spring day when my bulbs are in bloom and I can say it was worth it.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

Happy November!

I don’t know why, but I’m taken by surprise when I see it’s Nov. Instantly, I’m preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas like it’s coming up tomorrow!

Every day is Thanksgiving for me. I never stop counting my blessings because every day I’m given is a gift. Sometimes, it’s hard to find things to be thankful for because things seem to just snowball and you find yourself freefalling with no end in sight.

My challenge to you is for this entire month. Stop your freefall. Even if it’s just for one moment, you can stop and think of one thing that’s good in your life. Doesn’t have to be a big thing-maybe just the sun shining or a memory of a better time. Once you think of one thing, maybe more will come to your mind and your freefall will be held in check for awhile. That gives you a chance to recoup your hope and joy in this life. That may provide you with the strength to face that fall again with renewed energy. I know it helps for me.

I wish you all a peaceful day!

Joy in the Morning

Waking up happy is one of the best feelings in the world. Before I even my eyes, I know it’s going to be a good day, no matter what happens. I’m a morning person so this is my natural state. I lie in bed and think about what I’ll do that day, anticipate my first cup of coffee, look around my house and know it’s all good.

For those of you who are not morning people, my challenge is for you today. Instead of fighting your alarm, set it an hour earlier. Actually get up when it first goes off. Get out of bed and let all your senses take over as you start your day. With that extra hour, you can relax over coffee, tea or breakfast. Read the news, email friends, start a diary… You’ll hear the birds waking up, also. You’ll see the sky lighten and if you’re lucky, see an awesome sunrise. If you’re used to sleeping in, these things are new and special.

In my case, when I open my blinds, I usually see the dogs outside and alert to my movements. If I step onto my porch, they’ll come running over for some love. The black lab mix goes up on her hind legs to hug like a person and our older dog just rolls over and looks at me with love filled eyes so I’ll rub her belly. I can see the kitten in my daughter’s kitchen window, also looking at me. Their older cat will sometimes join her but not often. Unconditional love everywhere.

I hope you’ll accept my challenge for tomorrow morning and see the world with new eyes. Maybe you’ll understand what I mean when I say I’m a morning person. Maybe you’ll become one, too! (or maybe not)

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Day Out

Every so often, I spend a day with my oldest daughter. Yesterday was one of those days.

I’m reminded how often we take such days for granted. When we were laughing to the point of tears, others were crying over loved ones lost in the synagogue attack.

I have no words today to express the love I have for all the members of my family. How much I appreciate and admire each and every one of them. What a big hole there would be in my life if anything ever happened to any. We may not see each other often, talk much or at all, but they’re stamped solidly on my heart forever.

Today my challenge is to remember those loved ones. The ones with us and the ones who have departed. Allow yourself to smile over the memories because they will live on. Tell your children and grandchildren your memories before they’re gone.

My sincere sympathies to anyone who has experienced a loss of a loved one. I wish you all peace and comfort today.