Sunday, December 3, 2017

How are you doing?

It's amazing the difference a sincere pause makes.  Last week I was asked "how are you doing?" followed by a moment of silence.  I mumbled something about being fine and doing okay but as I've thought back I truly appreciate the sincerity and care behind the question.   As I laid in bed trying unsuccessfully to sleep I realized that I couldn't answer because I didn't know.  I've been going through the motions and things have been getting done, but none of it with purpose.  I'm not sleeping well, it seems like Neil sleeps better when I'm watching him and he needs his sleep. 

It feels a little like I'm walking through a haunted house, down a long hallway with spooky music where nothing is happening except you know that out of one of those doors something is going to jump out at you.  It's not the monsters that jump out that are the scariest, it's the long hallway with nothing but anticipation.  I've even put things that I am doing for me (or things that need to get done but that I enjoy and count as me time) as task status and I'm doing them without purpose which leads me to gaining nothing from the activities but a check mark.

I keep waiting for the current thing to be finished so that things can calm down and return to normal.  It started in elementary school when I wanted to be in high school.  Then I wanted to graduate and go away to college.  What about after I'm married?  When I have babies?  When the babies aren't babies?  When I go back to school?  When I get divorced?  I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  I explain it to the youth like in school.  You can't wait for the semester to finish and have finals behind you.  Then on Monday a new semester starts with new assignments, expectations and tasks.  As soon as one thing is finished another most certainly comes along.  I'm not going to push my peace back until trials and stress aren't around anymore, I'm going to find my peace now.  Purposefully.

I'm going to find time each Sunday to answer "how are you doing?" to myself with complete honesty--I refuse to get lost among the anxiety and stress. 

We finished-ish the Christmas tree today too, a box of special ornaments are MIA but I will venture into the garage tomorrow to look for them and our non-tree decorations.  Neil doesn't feel normal yet, but he felt up to helping us hang the balls and hunt for his Raiders ornament for a short time before bed.  I'm going to turn out all the lights and just be for a few minutes before I head to bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Season {30 Days of Gratitude}

Thanksgiving prep took my nice blogging streak away, but I love the holidays.  Turkey, ham, family, stuffing, PIE, Christmas music, beautiful lights, traditions, baking, more pie and more ham. The holiday spirit has hit me early this year, typically stress and chaos hides it until the last minute but this year it started with Thanksgiving prep.  

I understand from a been there, done that perspective that the holidays can be hard and seemingly more so for those who have smaller support systems.  Please know that my heart goes out to you and if you need a shoulder to cry on or a plate of cookies I'm here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Excess {30 Days of Gratitude}

***I will have to add the picture later, I forgot that blogger doesn’t like phone images***

I can be very tight budgeted when it comes to grocery shopping, mostly by need at various times. As I went grocery shopping today for Thanksgiving I am grateful that occasionally we are in a position to have excess.  I love Thanksgiving and this year I’m finding myself more in a holiday mood and hoping to continue an excess of traditions (I nearly didn’t have ham and turkey this year, until I realized how important it was to others)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunsets {30 Days of Gratitude}

Sunset is my favorite time of day, often on crazy hectic days it's the only time I remember to stop, breath, and appreciate my life.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Faith {30 Days of Gratitude}

What does faith have to do with bread?  Why when I had all of the prep for Thanksgiving did I spend today making sourdough?  See what the boules up above turned into?  They smell better than they look. (both are out of the oven now)

Last week I promised my primary kids bread like pioneers made so I woke Sheldon (my sourdough start) up and spent today in a kitchen covered with flour and watching for flour, water, and salt to work it's magic.  A few years ago for girls camp I starting thinking about the analogy of sour dough bread being like faith.  There are several ways to get your start, sometimes they are borrowed from other people, started on the kitchen window sill with flour and water and careful feeding, ordered off of the internet, "cheater" starter with potato water and yeast.  None of them are wrong, but just like faith it starts in many different ways.  Soul searching alone, born in traditions our parents teach, etc. but eventually faith and sour dough have to grow on their own and not rely on others.  The analogy goes on, but I have a disaster of a kitchen to clean up and it's getting late.

Is anyone interested in me sharing my sour dough technique once Thanksgiving has passed?  Either traditional sour dough boules or bread without any of the sour dough tang that simply uses sour dough starts to leaven the bread.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Books {30 Days of Gratitude}

I love books, book stores, and libraries.  The feel of turning pages and the smell of an old book is comforting to me like a warm blanket.  I can't think of anything that you can't learn from books, whether it's Facebook for Dummies (not kidding, we saw it) or being transported to a magical world full of muggles, flying cars, and good friends it's possible with books.  Go pick up an old favorite of whatever genre you like best and escape the chaos for a while.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Purple {30 Days of Gratitude}

Sorry this is getting posted late, I'm working on that tricky thing called life balance and I promised myself that I would get some chores done before I hopped online for writing or playing with pictures.  Good news is my tile, stove, and sink are all shiny clean.

Today I can't be grateful for anything if I'm not first grateful for purple.  Earlier this week I had a last minute idea to have friends, family, and whoever else wear purple for Neil's chemo today.  I didn't realize at the time that today was National Pancreatic Cancer day (I did know November is awareness month)  I made a post, made a few shirts for us and hoped for the best.  Neil said it best when he was looking at my Facebook page and said "so much purple"  It's a sea of color showing people who are pulling for us and we are definitely feeling very loved today.  Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Love {30 Days of Gratitude}

Love comes in many forms, but when it comes from someone who makes you feel complete, safe, and whole your entire world changes.  I'd heard from many people how much they liked Neil because of how happy I was.  I guess it mostly made sense, he does make me happy and completely content in ways that I had only heard about and didn't really believe existed.  It's one thing to feel it yourself, it is even better to see it in someone you love and care about.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Family {30 Days of Gratitude}

Photo Credit Jenelle Lacy 

I love this tribe of mine.  Ups, downs and sometimes it feels like we're in a snow globe that has been shaken up but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I don't have a picture of extended family so you'll have to imagine them in there too.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Flowers {30 Days of Gratitude}

I know there aren't many flowers there right now, but doing 30 days in November makes it hard to get pretty flower pictures in my yard.  I prefer my flowers growing in the ground instead of a vase, at least most of the time.  This fall weather has been amazing and I spent today out in the flower beds while Neil raked the lawn.  I had salvia, lavendar, beard tongue, and flax that did well this year that I am hoping will be back next year.  My corn flower did okay, so she might be back too but it's her first year and this fall it was a struggle.

When I'm in the garden with dirt in my fingernails my mind wanders letting me sort though problems and stresses.  The benefit of my garden therapy time is beautiful flowers that thrive in the sunshine.  It will be a long winter before I see the benefit of today's work but I know it's coming.  Along the back I have irises planted from Harmony, mini daffodils in a few clumps, a row of crocus along the front (2 different bags and I didn't mix them up so I probably won't love them), chionodoxa in 2 clumps in the front bed and 2 more along the fence line, regular daffodils at the end of the fence, and some hyacinth.  I will have to come up with summer/fall plants but for now I should be good through spring to early summer.  

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Drives {30 Days of Gratitude}

Sunday drives are never about where you are going, they are about the ride.  Google maps don't get involved because we don't care about the fastest or most direct route and time rarely matters (sometimes we have someone stopping by and then it matters)  Stopping to appreciate the landscape, wildlife, or perhaps the cows is of greater importance than the route we take.  It's easy to apply it to life as well when everything gets hurried, audited, caught up in numbers and statistics -- that's not what matters.  Did you stop to see the calf?  To talk to people? Did you realize your neighbor was having a rough day and needed a smile?  Did you hold the door open for a stranger pushing a stroller?  I believe when all is said and done it's not where you end up but things you did along the way that matter most.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Baking {30 Days of Gratitude}

I know that this could fit in either "hobbies" or "good food" but baking can almost be therapeutic for me.  Kneading bread dough, shaping, creaming butter and sugar.  It doesn't hurt that the end result is delicious.

This pie was a test run for Thanksgiving and the 'birthday cake' for my Mother-in-law.  My new pie plates are bigger than my old ones so I needed extra dough and extra filling so this ended up with a crumb topping and a shallow pie.

It wasn't necessarily the prettiest pie and Mary Berry would have been appalled at the bottom of my crust, but I have a few weeks to keep going.

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Planner {30 Days of Gratitude}

If I don't write it down in my planner there is a decent chance it may or may not ever get done.  I prefer a paper planner to a phone version by 100.  There is something that concretes my week by sitting down on Sunday with pens, washi tape, stickers, stamps and looking at what needs to be done and when that makes it seem more doable.  I've also been able to look back on dates when filling out paperwork for Neil, not to mention actually making it to everywhere we needed to that first week of chaos and fog.

Today I had made some fun Veteran's Day plans when I opened up my planner and re-remembered that I had a medical shift at the temple today.  I was disappointed in having to cancel my plans, but by the time I came home I realized that I was where I needed to be.