Category: Random Thoughts

My Lost October

I have always loved the fall time of the year.  Love every special thing it brings to our lives.

The colors, pumpkins, apples and apple recipes, cooler temperatures, getting out my favorite sweaters and scarves, going to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte or maybe a coffee and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin.

This October started with joy and excitement, but ended with overwhelming sadness and helplessness.

I have written and mention many times about my two cats…….

Squeeze Box, adopted at 3 years old, so sweet and just a beautiful, loving pet.

and “Kitten”, our older cat, seventeen years old.

IMG_0337[1]We brought “Kitten” home when she was just a kitten.  Petite, loving when she wanted, just such cute ways about her, smart, my son’s favorite.

IMG_0391[1]Our two females did not get along, so when one wanted out the front door, we had to bring the other in the back door. Crazy, but we made it work because we loved them.

“Kitten” wanted out on a beautiful early October evening, so “Squeeze” reluctantly was brought inside. “Kitten” stayed out all night, as she had done so many times over the years, but in the morning when I went to the door she was not there.  She was always there waiting to take her turn to come inside, knowing she would curl up at the bottom of our bed for the rest of the day.

I went to the door many times throughout the day and called her, walked around our yard, searching under bushes, under our back porch, checked with neighbors in case she might have been closed in one of their garages, but she was no where to be found.

We called local vets, and over the next week drove the streets of our neighborhood, and also to many shelters to see if she was turned in, not likely, since she did not go to strangers, but we tried everything.  Our “Kitten” was gone.

After a week or so had passed, realizing “Kitten” was not coming home, we started letting “Squeeze Box” go outside again.

She so loved just curling up under one of our large backyard trees, and staying there all day, or sleeping on one of the back porch chairs.  It was rare that she ever left her yard, her safe place, or so we thought.

After a few days of adjusting to caring for just one cat, I went to the backdoor to feed “Squeeze” and she was not there.  Walked around the house looking for her, but as with “Kitten”, she was no where to be found.

I panicked, surely she was not gone, I woke my husband, and we spent the entire day searching,  “Squeeze” was gone.

If you have ever had a pet you know the hurt, the sadness, the emptiness our family was going through.  Two loving, sweet, members of our small family were gone, without a trace.

We still do not know what really happened to them, but the best guess is unthinkable.

We have since discovered that our area is home to many coyotes, and cats seem to be there main target.  Coyotes can grab cats and carry them off, even back to their living areas, to be eaten.  It is so very hard for me to write this, and to think of what my beautiful pets might have gone through the last minutes of their lives.

This is now November, and we are finally moving on, even talk of another kitty for Christmas.

We miss them and their unconditional love, every single day.

I can hear my husband many evenings before coming up to bed, when he is securing our house for the night, locking the doors, turning on the front and back porch lights, still giving a call or two to each one of them.

Sure wish this was the beginning of October again!

Blessings and love to all of you!

 

 

 

 

“Our Red Wagon”

Many times I have talked about the large amount of magazines I have accumulated over the years.  Some are very old and it is hard for me to trash without going through each one to clip out articles of interest, recipes, DIY projects, etc.

Found this photo when searching through one on garden ideas.

The Red WagonInstead of focusing on the lovely variety of flowers, my mind immediately went to the red wagon and a memory from my past.

I was in high school when my parents divorced after years of hell, both for my mother and for me, my older sister, and younger brother.

The divorce left us without a home, which my father had lost to foreclosure, due to his spending and wasting money on alcohol and having a good time with others.  It also left us without any means of transportation.  This might seem like a small thing, but not having a car was a really big deal to teenagers, we had to rely on others for rides everywhere!

Even the smallest task of bringing food into our new apartment was a big deal.  In steps the red wagon, if we wanted to eat we had to walk blocks to our local grocery store pulling the red wagon behind us.

Mom made sure we all went along on these grocery trips.  As teenagers we felt somewhat humiliated pulling a child’s wagon filled with bags of food back to our new “home”.  Especially humiliating for me, the prissy child, caring to a fault what others thought of us.  I remember just praying that no one I knew saw us, saw our family parade with the red wagon.

We were poor, and after the divorce, I hoped things would get better for our family. The arguments were gone, horrible ones between my mother and father, but the hurt and sadness, especially for my mother, lingered for some time. Mom did her best to make this apartment a home, and eventually we settled into our new lives.

My sister saved us when she landed her first job and was able to buy a new car.

God never gives us anything we cannot handle, including pulling a red wagon.

Love to all of you today, with a special hug to my sister for that big black new car she brought home over 50 years ago.

Blessings.

 

 

My Cha Cha!

Found this cute pillow on one of my trips to Hobby Lobby.  It was very inexpensive at 50% off, so for $6.99 I could not resist.

IMG_0453[1]The pillow is so bright, and the word stenciled on the front made me realize that lately I have been forgetting to laugh, and to smile, and to be grateful, and so many others emotions.

For a week or two I have had such a dark cloud just hanging over this life of mine.

When I was a child, I remember my mom on the phone with one of her sisters responding, I am assuming to the question, “how are you”, saying “I just have “the blues” today”.

Maybe that is how to best describe my unhappy time…I just had “the blues”.

I overwhelmingly felt alone, unloved, and a terrible sadness in my heart with worry for my son and where he is in his life.

These feelings that took me to this dark place made me see that I needed more work on my faith and trust in God.

The fact is, I am loved, first and always by my Lord, and also by my family, all of them.

I may feel lonely, but I am never really alone, all I need to do is to whisper His name.

Finally, my son, he is grown now and I can no longer control his life.  Life has thrown all of us bad situations and he must live through his.  God is with him and I know in my heart has a plan for this decent, good, kind, and generous person.

As I have mentioned before, when I started on this journey of loving my life, I knew I would have setbacks.  I am just human and I will not beat myself up, just pick myself up!

Optimist:  Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha cha.   –   Robert Brault

So for now “the blues” are gone, and my $6.99 pillow on the back porch is a reminder of the two dark weeks of my life with no laughter, no joy, and the lack of trust in my Lord.

Please don’t forget to “laugh” today, to love today, and always remember you are never alone.

Blessings, and joyful thoughts to all of you!

 

 

Mom and Me!

When cleaning out one of my many closets that need attention, I ran across this photo of me and my dear, loving mom.

Me with DollI love this photo for so many reasons.

It was taken on my grandma’s porch, and I also know that the doll belonged to her.  She would keep the doll on a bed in one of her bedrooms.  The doll’s name was Nancy.

Wish I could ask the person who took the photo if they meant to include my mom, since she appears so far off to the side. I am so happy, one way or another, that they did, she looks so beautiful, and she is smiling, probably trying to get me to look at the camera.  Love her flowered dress, the type I remember her wearing so often, such a sweet print, wish I could remember the color.

Love the old mail box by the door, the flower pots and plants, watered and cared for by my grandma, I’m sure.  Do you all remember those metal porch chairs?

Oh my gosh, I love my little shoes, tied with perfect bows by my mom, and the little sundress I am wearing.

And on this Mother’s Day I wish I could be that little girl for just 5 minutes to tell my momma, “love you”, and to hold and hug her as tight as I could.

Thank God for all the photos I have, and love so much, of all those I love who are with me and those in heaven.

Blessings and love on this Mother’s Day.

So sweet, so easy!

Today I would like to share a really sweet, and oh so easy Mother’s Day gift idea.

Photo charms for bracelets or necklaces.

PHOTO CHARMSI made these for myself!  A photo of me and my husband smooching on our wedding day, over 45 years ago, and my dear son when he was so small.  Our favorite photo ever of him.

This one is of my dear mother, now in heaven.  Miss her so very much.  It was a photo taken on her last birthday.  She is blowing out the candles on her birthday cake!

Mom with charmsThere are so many charms that can also be added for a bit of extra sweetness.

Kid’s artwork, a meaningful quote or saying reduced to size, would also work great.

The next photo is one of a piece of old lace placed in a locket.  The lace was on my First Communion veil when I was a child.  My mom made the veil and at the time I was sad that I did not have a really fancy store bought one like so many of the other little girls.

I wanted to frame the lace to remind myself of how horrible I was not to realize I had the best veil, one made with my mother’s love in every tiny stitch.

LACEAll you need to make any of these is one quick trip to Michael’s.

They have a nice selection of charms and lockets that are so inexpensive. There are many bracelets and chains to choose from as well.

Charm AssortmentJust select your photos, reduce on your computer, and print.

Trace the photos to the size of your locket or charm and assemble.

That is it!

Help your kids make some for mom or grandma, they will love these as if they were made of real gold or silver.  Place them in a box with a ribbon and a handmade card or drawing.

Hope you all are working on your special mom’s gift for Sunday.

Happy Friday!

XO

 

 

Welcome May!

Welcome MayMay is one of my favorite months.  The weather is nearly perfect!

So many simple joyful things to do,

  • May 5th was “Cinco de Mayo”, I had lunch with a friend at a small Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood.  We ate outside. So much fun!  I made corn salsa to go along with the chicken quesadillas I made for my family for dinner.  Yummy!
  • “Mother’s Day” this year is May, 10th. We cannot forget our mothers, or those mothers in our lives who have difficult jobs raising children alone.  Celebrate all those mothers who have given you love and understanding. Moms love homemade gifts, help your kids make special gifts for grandma!
  • Go to garage sales, the weather is perfect and you might find a special item to recycle.
  • Visit your local nursery, the flowers are amazing.  An awesome place for photos.
  • Go to the park often, pack a lunch, or just take a book and enjoy!
  • Plan a trip to the zoo.  It is really a better trip when the weather is not so hot.  I still remember trips to the zoo when I was a child.  It was on one of these trips that I experienced my first “Oreo” cookie.  We would pack lunch and my aunt brought a bag.
  • Open your windows!  Let May inside!
  • Rearrange your furniture so your desk or favorite chair is by a window, one you can open!
  • Make a cup of coffee and go outside early in the morning, when everything is quiet.
  • Take a morning walk, not the fast paced exercise kind, but a slow enjoyable one.
  • Get out your sandals, or maybe go buy a new pair.
  • Dust off your grill, make potato salad, hot dogs, and burgers.
  • Plan for a “Memorial Day” gathering.
  • Clean off your outside furniture, get your porch or your peaceful spot outside ready for this wonderful weather month.
  • Treat yourself to a yummy shake or malt.  If you have a “Steak and Shake” near your home, shakes are 1/2 price from 2 to 5, they call it “Happy Hour”.

Just get outside when you can, play, be happy, laugh, be grateful!

I love this photo of my niece playing with her dog “Denali”, blowing bubbles for him to catch.

None of us are too old to “play”.

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Enjoy the “happies” in life!

Enjoy the month of May!

XO

 

 

 

 

My Little Part of the Earth!

One day last week was recognized everywhere as “Earth Day”.

Of course, most of the talk was related to global warming, but we all need to do our part, whatever that may be, to keep this earth clean and safe.

I walked around “my little part of the earth” with joy and peace on this glorious day God has given me.

What a beautiful day!

Blue skies, flowering trees, warm temperatures!

IMG_0419[1]

Have you ever just looked up, smelled the air, felt the sun, and whispered, oh wow?

“Kitty” was right with me this day.  She is so cute about following me around my yard, almost as if she thinks she is my protector, so sweet.

IMG_0391[1]Much clean up needed to get ready for the warm weather just ahead.

Weeding, raking old leaves that have accumulated under shrubs, planting, and cleaning up my little flower bed.  All I do gladly to keep “my little part of the earth” clean and beautiful.

IMG_0418[1]Oh my gosh, dandelions!

IMG_0420[1]In my old life of trying to keep up with everyone, before I realized the really important things in life, I thought folks who had dandelions were lazy, terrible people. I am so ashamed of how I would judge people on what they had, or did not have, or what they did, or did not do!

Having a home and a yard calls for time, work, and money.  Money some folks just do not have.  Now that I am not working, we struggle with home improvements due to lack of money. A gallon of paint can cost over $40, fertilizer and weed killer for a yard can be over $40, and even buying flowers for a few pots can be very expensive.  A lot of rearranging is done to our budget this time of the year.

It would be nice if some paint manufacturers started a program of giving back, donating paint, or offering discounts to poor folks, or senior citizens on fixed incomes.  Maybe they do!

It is so uplifting to see groups volunteer to paint, and fix up homes of the elderly.  Most want to stay in their homes, but are not able to do the work or afford the supplies needed.

We all see the quick signs of deterioration when repairs and maintenance is not kept up.  It must be heart breaking for the elderly to see this happen to their homes.

I know you all are doing what you can do to keep this creation of God the way it should be, it brings us all so much pleasure.

Thank Him for this gift when you say your prayers this night.

Blessings to all of you with love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Seasons

Monday was the first day of autumn!

Our weather the last few days has been absolutely spectacular!  So much sunshine,  temperatures around 75 degrees.  Perfect!

Knowing these days are numbered I walked around my yard thanking God for all the joy, and the many peaceful days I spent outside this summer.

My burlap flower bags laying across tree branches.  I will definitely do this again next spring.

Burlap Flower Bag with ImpatientsBurlap Flower Bag

Hours of joy potting and caring for plants at my planting work space my sweet son helped to fix up and recycle.

Potting Work TableRemember how it was in early spring?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust needed a little paint and some loving care!

How wonderful to see how all my plants have grown and thrived this year.

Potted Geranium

Most of all I will miss my “quiet place” as the weather turns and cold times arrive.

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Oh the joy of sitting out here, especially mid morning, feeling the sun, having my coffee, reading and praying.  No stress, just peaceful quiet time.

But there were signs of change as I walked.

The last daisy of the summer, holding on, all others withered and gone.

IMG_0240[1]Leaves beginning to change, falling here and there.

My son working hard chopping and stacking wood for the cold ahead.

My son stacking wood for winter!

As time and days pass, everything changes.

This life of mine has changed over the years, maybe because I am growing old, but how I regret all the days of my life I wasted.

Wanting more things, acceptance and approval of people, trying to be whatever someone else at the time, wanted me to be, only to turn and go!

It is easy to think that we are without in this life but I have learned, as I have mentioned before, the first step in finding happiness is appreciating all that you have right now. We all really do have so much and I am not talking about money!

These glorious days of being outside make loving life easy.

Good bye summer!

Love to all, and please don’t forget to love your life!

 

My Brother’s Birthday Card

Today, September 16th, is my brother’s birthday.

We have always exchanged cards on birthdays.  This year, just as it has been in previous years, I was so disappointed with the “Happy Birthday Brother” card selections.

They are all so “stuffy”, trees, streams of water, mountains, just nothing that has ever appealed to me for my brother.

I wanted something fun, with some “bling”, some color.

Finally I found a card I really liked, the front was bright, and full of cupcakes!

Denny's card

The only problem, the inside of the card was blank.

inside of card

So, I decided to make it “personal”.

Typed and printed out my own greeting that tied the cupcakes on the front to a really sweet memory of another birthday several years ago.

I added a photo, another personal touch, of my brother, sister, and myself as children.

Used photo corners to attach both to the card.

For a little more fun, I added a “party” hat to my brother’s head using “Pic Monkey“.  It really turned out so cute!

IComlete inside of card

Added a bit of glitter to the confetti on the card, and an extra comment to the photo.

Extra Comments on card

I really hope when I call my brother tonight, he is pleased.

This is just an idea for making cards, special, and as I said, “personal”.

When you put time into something like this, it makes the card itself a gift to the person you love.

Blessings to all, and especially to my dear sweet brother.

I love you Denny!

XO

 

Photo Fun Using Pic Monkey!

A couple of days ago I briefly mentioned my family going on a mini reunion trip to Brown County State Park.

When getting ready for the trip I wanted to do something special and fun!

Using family photos, some old, some recent, and pets too, I put together a “Concentration” card game.

To add a little silly to the photo cards I altered some with captions, hats, glasses, facial hair, and such.  They turned out really cute!

Family PhotosThere were about 14 sets of photos.  We placed them face down and just as the old game, turned over to make matches.

We all played the game, laughing at the sillies, and filling our eyes with tears from looking at others.

There really isn’t much these days offered with no cost attached, but I stumbled across an awesome site, www.picmonkey.com.

Using Pic Monkey is how I was able to add to my photos for the game.

Pic Monkey is a free photo editor with lots of offerings. You can crop, resize, sharpen, fix imperfections, put together collages, and so much more.  It is a treasure.

Ana, my 7 year old niece, also had us using the photo cards to play “Fish“, asking “do you have a Grandma in a hat”, or “do you have Squeeze Box the cat”.

Of course, the player with the most matches in the end is the winner in both games.

If you love photos, as I do, try Pic Monkey.  It’s free!

To end this post, I am going to share some photos from our mini reunion.

Love to all.

IMG_0101[1]Our two floor cabin, lots of room, with a full deck on the back.

IMG_0108[1]Pony rides and horse back trails were available.

IMG_0111[1]One of the shops in town.  Nashville, Indiana is a town right outside the state park with many different shops and restaurants.  We had lunch at a charming corner restaurant and bakery

IMG_0120[1]I loved this sweet shop, with a full flower garden on the side, and the old bike at the entrance.

IMG_0131[1]We visited an old cemetery playing something new to me, Geocaching!

“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

Fun!