Monday, November 28, 2011

Mom vs Mom

I have never had the pleasure of being a stay @ home mother. From the very moment my son was born, even though I was married, the entire responsibility fell on me. When I became a single parent, it was full fledge work till you drop.

I had the schedule that millions of single parents all over the world have of rising extra early to get both yourself & your child ready for work/day care; dropping off your child and making it to work on time. Then at the end of the day, you had that schedule in reverse, only once you got home, there was dinner, dishes, laundry, homework, baths, & some type of rushed quality time.

I use to use my vacation days just to stay home. Not go on a trip, not to do anything but be home when my son came home. Or, to take the day running errands while everyone was at work, then pick my son up casually and have dinner ready when he got home. I sacrificed years of vacation trips just to stay home with my child.

And for good Lord's sake, don't let me even start on snow days or school closing days - the mad scramble to hurry & squeeze your child into a morning slot when they're on after school only was like trying to get into the White House, uninvited. Uggghh...

I told a friend this morning, my mother (who was a stay @ home mom) always said this: "if everybody would live within their means, they could be stay at home mothers, but they have to live in this type of house, in this type of place, their child has to have every whim they can dream up & the parents struggle to give it to them, the kids have to attend this type of school, they have to have this type of clothes, the parents have to have this kinda car & that kinda truck – so yes, everybody in the house DOES have to work because they let their wants lead their needs.”

Of course she said this years ago before the world went to hell in said hand basket & employment fell off the face of the earth. And I am supposing this counts for married women and/or men who have each other as back-up, but us single women, there is no staying home, unless you work from home.

But Son & I survived. When after school care costs became too much, I had to teach Son to let himself in the house after school. Then I had to sit @ work for the next 2 hours & wonder exactly WHAT was he doing at home alone? I've come home to empty cookie jars, entire 6-packs of pop being gone, keys broke off in the lock, etc, etc., etc.

Cheers to both types of moms, but if I had a chance, I'd still rather be a stay @ home mom.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I truly believe that
  • you can't change the past
  • you cannot go back and undo what was once done
  • you cannot go back & pull years back into line
  • there are no do overs
  • there are only start-overs
  • that beauty lies all around us
  • that you have to allow yourself to see it
  • that if you've come from a bad experience & made it through to the other side
  • that you have to live each new day in appreciation & glory
  • that if you hold onto the past, that is where you will stay
  • that if you refuse to grow into the future, the future will go on without you
  • that if you don't want to try anything new, you will become old
  • that if you don't ever trust, you will never be free
  • that if you don't love yourself, you will never be able to love another
  • that if you allow words to define you
  • unless they are positive words - you will become them
  • that if you don't investigate your inner self & be fully present in each moment of your life
  • that you are merely waiting to die
LinkPictures by: me :-)
Written with mom in mind
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: "Investigate"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quiet Signs Friday

"Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment." ~ Morihei Ueshiba

This is my submission today to the "398' project. This beauty is in front of the main branch of our local library. It's titled "Enlightenment." Fittingly so, eh? :-) Happy Friday, all. Chill out & bask in the memory of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thankful & blessed

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

In all of my Thanksgiving hostess obsessing, the evening turned out to be very lovely. As usual, it was a lot of fret for no reason. Don't you hate when you clean your ass off - taking extra care on the bathroom & nobody ever uses it?!?! (LOL!)

My guest list was diminished greatly, so I ended up with only two guests. One sister was out of state; the other wanted to relax @ her beautiful home -her first Thanksgiving in her new house; one brother had the flu; one brother ate with his lady friend, & the other brother ate w/his lady friend & her mother.

So that left mom and her gentleman friend. I'm so glad I didn't prepare as much as I thought I would have to.

It came out to be just enough with plenty for left overs. Maybe try some turkey soup? Mmm..

Even though mom ate less than a bird & pushed her food around her plate....

.... and her gentleman friend nearly ate all of the pecan pie...

... I was glad to thankfully share what I had. Son said the entire meal was "awesome!"

Then "D" had to go into work in the evening, so that left me blissfully alone basking the glow of having shared & being blessed. I put on jazz, & enjoyed the lingering scents of dinner, the pumpkin spice candles, the Fall leaves I scattered about, then thanked God for a sweet Thanksgiving, indeed.

Always thankful :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Compassionate Acts

"What this world needs is a new kind of army - the army of the kind. " ~Cleveland Amory

Have you ever met anyone in your life who is so filled with compassion & concern for the well-being of others that it just blows you away? I am proud to say that I am blessedly fortunate to know such a person.

Her name is Se'Lah. In knowing her, I have learned to inhale, exhale, forgive, let go, be still, be calm, to touch the waters, to take the focus off myself, reach out, reach in, let go of the fear of death, and understand the meaning of the word 'impermanence." She has taught me to value myself, that I am beautiful, worthy, talented & deserve nothing but the best. Oh - and that there is truly only One. Love.

Helluva woman, isn't she? Now, again, Se'Lah is focusing on others. In particular, those who are battling (or have battled) that spooky disease called c-a-n-c-e-r. This word has frightened me for years! At the age of 12, I watched my grandmother deteriorate in front of my very eyes & leave this earth due to cancer. So won't you join "Se'Lah's Angels" by doing a simple random act of kindness for these precious folks who have been visited by this ilness?

Please click on the button @ the right and see how simple it is. You will be SO, SO happy that you did. And the person on the receiving end will treasure your thoughts & prayers more than you could imagine.

One love.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eat Pray Love

"We should give meaning to life, not wait for life to give us meaning." ~ Anonymous

I finally sat down & watched Eat Pray Love last nite, and boy was I moved. I'm still reflecting on it this morning:
  • I admired the way she prayed for guidance about her being unhappy in her marriage and had the strength to end it, even though she & her husband were still in love. She felt she needed more in spite of it, and had the courage to let it go
  • I admired the way she stepped way out of her comfort zone by traveling to an unfamiliar place
  • I admired the way she shed layers and appreciated the customs of those she was around and made those her family
  • I admired her concern for others in the way she asked her friends to not shower her w/material birthday gifts, but make a donation to those who were in distress in the country where she learned to pray (which equaled $18,000.00)
  • I ADORED the tiny little wise man who taught her how to open her heart & how she kept returning to him
  • I admired her friendship with the American man @ the ashram who also opened, forgave himself & returned to America to face his demons
  • I loved her 'quiet place' in Bali where she was faced with raw, true, open matters of the heart
  • I loved the Brazilian man whom she finally trusted to love, even though they were both afraid to love & were trying to protect their hearts
I believe I just admired the whole pattern of the movie; letting go, opening up & living your true life. It made me wonder what's 'out there' for me if I would jump of the cliff of faith & allow God to truly give me the life he wants for me. I know it has to be what God would want because the message was 'freeing.' I don't think I realize what a box I've created for myself. As I absorbed the movie, I felt various parts of me screaming out to be free.

Screaming out for me to give meaning to my life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A "Little" Novel

This falls right in line w/my love for 'little' books. I have enough 'little' inspirational books to open my own little store.

So imagine how I collapsed when I saw this at the library. It's called a "Playaway." How cool is it, really? Since I've been addicted to audio book driving to/fro to work, I might as well listen to a book while I do dishes & other exciting shit like that.

I haven't been able to focus enough to read a book in a while now. I keep checking them out - I still haven't touched the FOUR I bought from the book club. Am I part of the 'rushed' world where 1 of my favorite past times gets inched out in favor of the electronic?

Is this another part of 'inching out' books in favor of the Kindle's, Nooks & eBooks?
Sigh... it's looking that way.

But anyway, isn't this nice how you just plug in your own headphones & off to storyland? They even supply the AAA battery for you.

I got a different one, too, in case I breezed through this one. I'll keep you posted.

"Happy listening," indeed :-)

Soulful Surroundings

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul Ernest Dimnet

I took these pictures back in August during a self-imposed photo walk. it was a BEE-U-T-FUL evening for it. The church is the fantastic St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. We have quite a few very historical, ornate churches in the City. Hmm.... I think I just sparked a photo project... (wheels turning). The carvings & details amaze me.

Otherwise, I got a few more things for Thanksgiving dinner. So much smarter than waiting till the last minute. I feel a little self-conscious when I 'entertain' @ my house - I'm always seeing what's 'wrong' with my place as opposed to just enjoying inviting folks over.

At the last minute, I also decided to send out Thanksgiving cards. I usually don't do that, but buying one for a friend lead to buying one for all. Just as I finished a batch, the mailman came, so I was able to get those right out the door.

I'm truly thinking of sending a random card to my neighbor whom I haven't spoken to in nearly three years. She is an old crab (LOL!), but I don't like not being neighborly. You know, that whole 'love they neighbor" thing....

Pictures by: me :-<>

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Quiet Signs" Friday

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. - Amir”

Happy Quiet Friday, friends. Have safe, warm, blessed, peaceful, restful weekends filled with love :-)

Pictures by: me ;->

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

11/15/11 "398" Photo submission

Good morning & Good Thankful Thursday. To think, this time next week, we'll be up to our necks in delicious food, surrounded by loved ones & blessings!! Time is flying by so quickly, I can barely keep up!!

Today's thanks: I don't have a list or anything, but I am thankful for the overall joy I am feeling today. I don't know why I am feeling like this, but I'm glad I do. I feel happy in my heart, mindful of others, friendly, and kind. It could be that instead of getting online with my coffee this morning, I chose to have meditation in the Word.

It clearly is the way to start the day. :-) See ya next time & stay thankful & blessed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Think quick

The day was getting away from me & I didn't have anything to submit to the "398" photo challenge in my county. But at the last minute, I thought of this little spot that I drive past every day. I left work early so I could catch the daylight since it now gets dark at "after work '0 thirty." (it amazes me that I wanted to leave for that reason - the light. Hmm.... & also, Son had basketball practice & he needed dinner first).

I already have another thought of what to shoot for submission tomorrow. I love how this challenge makes my brain work constantly. I am forced to think ahead as the rules are: use only photos taken THEE day of submission.

The world is a photo! :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Good Life

This is karma; I was having this very thought all day today, and here it is.

Since today I was blessed with:
  • waking to good coffee, then having super early energy
  • making pancakes & bacon (the official weekend breakfast)
  • thoroughly having the dreaded bathroom cleaned by 10:15 a.M.
  • and the kitchen, by 11:30
  • and 1/2 the laundry by 1:00
  • spending a couple of hours w/mom & sis, Paulette (SURPRISE!!) hitting up the craft & junk stores
  • "D" working 11 hours today leaving me blissfully alone
  • finding "Pumpkin Spice" incense
  • cooking a damn fine pork roast w/garden rosemary, tiny onions & balsamic vinegar
  • listening to LOUD hours of Pandora radio w/the football game on "mute"
  • having a heart-to-heart talk w/my son, the peaceful angel, on the shitty subject of "bullying" (mama hairs' raising!!! Grrr.....)
  • grabbing the camera & appreciating the sunset
... I can say Life Is Good!

Pictures by: me :-)
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: "life is good."

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Quiet Signs" Friday (with words)

Happy Friday, all! It's getting really chilly here in our corner of the world, but the weatherman promised next week, we'll have a couple of days of 60 degree weather. With the weather change, and now the time change, it really makes me want to stay inside and bake.

I made this creation out of the 'red leaf & berry' bush outside the door here @ the office. Creative, no? I call it "leaf love." :-)

The bug you see here followed me inside; don't know where he came from, but he landed on my desk. I had to take a pic of him resting before I shooed him away (... okay, truthfully, I smashed him. I tried 'shooing' but he was resisting so.... sorry, bug lovers!)

This is the how the skies look at about 6:00 a.m. since the time change. I love watching the sky how the sun battles for space, but the clouds usually win.

And lastly, the church photo is of St. George's Serbian Orthodox Church. I've entered the "398 - 11/11/11 thru 12/12/12" photo contest to submit a photo per day. Only photos can be submitted that were shot the same day. Dammit!!, cause I have a ton from the past couple of months that I would've loved to use, but rules are rules. After I submitted, the website sent me a big thank you - I was the "first person to get the contest rolling!!"

Yay, me! Happy Friday. Safe, warm, blessed weekends to all of you :-)

Pictures by: me :-}

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good afternoon - another day to be thankful. Things I'm giving thanks for:
  • Thursday lunches w/mom. Who gets a chance to laugh for sixty minutes in the middle of the day, then get a hug from your mom?
  • For God working out a financial situation in his own way; in his own time. A lesson in trusting in my faith that I need to constantly practice.
  • My 10-year old great nephew in Florida telling me the cards I send him "makes him teary!" (lol! he's quite mature for 10 years)
  • The four weeks of vacation I now have after 10 years of service here @ work. I'm wanting to really make my dream of visiting the Coastal Islands of George a dream come true. Plan, save, DO!
  • That my boss was able to laugh & come closer to closure on the anniversary of her son's death (yes - it has been a year since my buddy, Patrick, died. Time flies, wounds heal, memories stay embedded in our hears forever)
  • The excitement my 2 dogs display when I as much as walk in the room. Now THAT's some real, true love. Thanks, boys :-)
  • That I made the decision to put my self-worth above a matter of the heart (yay, me!)
  • And lastly, I'm thankful I have my camera so I can continue to share the beauty around me with everyone!
And that's all I have for now off the top of my head. Have a good evening and stay thankful, always!

Pictures by me (taken in the last 2 weeks) :-}

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Uncelebrated Day

Good Sunday, all. Peace & blessings.

Yesterday was Son's 24th birthday. Like all birthdays prior to this, there was no celebration. With his autism, any type of attention focused on him is all for naught. His shyness won't allow the "happy birthday" song to be sung.

He never asks for anything but the necessities. I've tried over the years to make his day special, but there is no participation from him. I offer to go the movies, out to dinner - all to no avail. So Friday night when it hit me that Saturday would be his birthday, I felt kinda empty. I didn't have anything prepared or planned because, well, he simply doesn't want that.

He is unable to read, so cards are fruitless. He got one card that his co-workers made for him. I, myself, am the one who insisted that he at least let it stand on his dresser for the day. This morning, it was in his trashcan. When I asked why, he said 'because it's over now."

So, now he's a year older, hopefully a litter wiser, while he walks into an adulthood that he is totally unaware of with me as his "link" to the world (the counselors say). It makes me a little sad that such a wonderful person goes uncelebrated, but I guess in perspective, it's really not a big deal.

If it isn't a big deal for him, than I can't make it a big deal for myself. Happy Birthday, Son.


Best News of the Day

Hey, folks. Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!! My heart was so overjoyed @ this news...