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!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinch me! Is it really spring?

Although the mornings are chilly I see signs of spring.

Days are getting longer, there are buds on the trees, the birds are getting loud, and the grass is getting green.

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I am so thankful for these signs and that feeling of a new beginning spring brings.

IMG_0342[1]I searched my garage for my forsythia wreath and cleaned off the winter dirt and dust that had accumulated on my front door.  Much better!

Today was 68 so for the first time this season I opened a window or two!  The air was so fresh and the sun shining in was so warm.

IMG_0337[1]“Kitten” loved the sun and spent most of her day just sitting on the bedroom window seat enjoying the beginnings of spring.

Spring is a time to freshen things up!  I remember my mom always doing what she called “spring cleaning”.  She would scrub and clean everything even the walls.  My mom loved a clean home.  We did not have money for much growing up, and mom could not afford new furniture and such, but she always took care of what we had.

I still remember how wonderful it felt to come home from school to a clean house and to my mom who was always there waiting for us.

Throw open the windows, air everything out, it’s spring!

Hope you all enjoy this “new beginning” season.

Blessings.

 

Day 31 – Finally!

Well, this is my last post on the 31 days of writing about “Loving My New Simple Life”.

Sorry it has taken so much time for me to complete, it has really been a difficult winter for me and my family.

I have tried in my crazy, silly, not perfect writings to be honest with all of you, and also with myself, as to why most of my life I was not loving the life that God gave to me.

Hope you could relate to some of the posts and maybe learn from my mess of a past life and want to change yours.

Over the past five years I have come a long way in realizing what real joy is all about.

Facing the horrible mistakes I made in my life, and why, was critical to becoming the person I wanted to be for the rest of my life.

I wanted to touch on as many areas that affected my life as possible.

  • Insecurity
  • Self worth
  • Pride
  • Lack of encouragement, as a child and as an adult
  • Trust
  • Importance of family
  • Recognizing real joys, the simple ones
  • Taking life for granted
  • Being grateful
  • Love of God and the importance of faith
  • Facing loss and heartbreak
  • Forgiveness
  • Letting go

Oh my, life is so good.  Please love yours, find real love and joy in what you have, and be grateful every single precious day.

Thank God.

Love to all of you.

 

 

 

Day 30 – Losing “Blackie”

She appeared one morning at my back door, abandoned by those she thought cared for her!

I will never understand caring for such a beautiful, sweet cat and then all of a sudden rejecting her, turning her away.  That’s what happen to “Blackie”.

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At first she was a bit fearful, keeping a safe distance, but as the days passed she started to trust me allowing me to love her.  I gave her a blanket to sleep on, and fresh water and food twice a day.

From that first morning, and as the days passed, she became my constant companion when I was working in my yard or sitting on my back porch reading and enjoying the day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0039[1]She did a cute thing of jumping up and down on my back door the moment she realized I was in the kitchen, letting me know she was hungry.

When I took her food out to her she would always wait before eating until I would pet her.  It was so cute and touching.  Her way of letting me know she trusted me and was grateful for the love I was giving her.

One morning several weeks ago, when I was in the kitchen making my coffee, I realized she was not at the door and not in her bed. I called for her but she did not come to me as she always would do.

After an hour or so I went out to look for her, and with tears and a very sad heart, I found her in our yard very close to our back porch, her home.

I don’t know what happened to her, but I do know that I miss her so very much, and oh how I miss the joy of just caring for her.

Caring for “Blackie” was a simple joy, one that life gives us, one we often take for granted until lost.

Have a blessed day.

Today, recognize and enjoy the simple, loving joys in your life.

 

Day 29 – Take Lots of Photos

I recently heard a commercial, right now I can’t recall the product, but in the spot the words, “take lots of photos, in 15 years you will be glad you did” were used.  How true!

Photos are really so much more important to me at my age and in my life right now, I love to frame and give them as gifts, old ones or new.  A framed photo, given with love as a gift, is really special.

Most of us have boxes or albums full of old photos, and I am no exception.  Pulling them out from time to time brings tears, laughter, and memories.  Recently I ran across a group of photos of a Halloween party we had with a group of old neighbors some years back.

Let me share some of those with all of you now.

Ellen an RichMarijettaJean and FrankShiela and BillWhat fun we all had that night, each photo was taken as we opened our front door, being surprised at each of the couple’s costumes.

In the first photo our old friend, the wacky guy with the beer, silly nose and glasses, is now in a nursing home suffering from very early Alzheimer’s disease.  He has not known his wife, or children for years.

The friar and the smiling angel…..our sweet angel passed away of a rare disease five or six years ago.

The Statue of Liberty and the baseball fan, were our very closest friends at the time, so many laughs and vacations together.  They moved away, divorced, and our dear Frank died of a heart attack in his late 40’s.

In the last photo, our loving priest, who lived in the next house down, was shoveling snow about 6 years ago and collapsed.  A horrible night for us, my son working to revive him while we all waited for the medics to arrive. So proud of my son that night.  Our dear priest could not be saved, he passed away before getting to the hospital.

Take lots of photos, you will be glad you did!

Miss all of them, and the memories we all created together.

Day 28 – When You’re “Young at Heart”

There is an old song from years ago that I have always loved, “Young at Heart”.

Frank Sinatra made the song famous but I love Michael Buble’s updated version.  I have attached the song below, if you have never heard it!

The song came to mind recently while I was waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy section of my local grocery store.

As I waited, two older women, carts in tow, started talking, and from their conversation I gathered they had gone to school together at some point in their lives.

I was struck at the difference in the two, one seemed filled with joy, smiling, laughing so many times during their conversation, and she had on really cute sneakers too!  The other one just the opposite, grumpy, negative, she just seemed so unhappy.

Granted I don’t know what is going on in their lives, or what hardships they are facing, financial, health, or maybe loneliness, but as an older woman myself, I want to always try to be “Young at Heart”.

There was a quote posted on a sign at our area amusement park, Coney Island, in Cincinnati, that I have always loved,

We do not stop playing because we grow old;

We grow old because we stop playing.

So true, don’t you think?

When we age there are many ways that can help us stay youthful:

  • Be physically active
  • Stay up with the world, especially “tech things”
  • Learn something new every single day
  • Get a regular hair cut and color
  • Develop a glass-half-full attitude
  • Change your style of dress and color
  • Be with younger people when you can
  • Sing and dance
  • Be positive
  • Dream
  • Smile, frowning instantly ages us
  • Love

I believe being “Young at Heart” is a way of life that is active, loving, a feeling of hope everyday, without the regrets of the past hanging over our heads, living life to it’s fullest, with a grateful heart, facing all that living brings.

Being “Young at Heart” is part of me and loving my life, I hope yours too!

 

 

Day 27 – Not “just” a Cup of Cocoa!

This winter we have had very little snow in our area, actually only one that called for the snow shovel.

First snowThe first one is always special for my little family,

When the snow falls and the cold comes, me and my son will always put in a request for my husband’s hot cocoa.

It is a simple recipe, just one of those very large Hershey bars, and milk.  hershey

That’s it, but it is yummy, with that Hershey bar chocolate taste.

Just melt the chocolate bar and add the milk, stirring until hot.

Don’t forget to top with marshmallows or whip cream.

 

 

I have shared my husband’s illness with all of you before, he has progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The disease is really hitting is legs and balance, and now I see issues with the use of his hands.  He has trouble holding utensils and drops his fork on a regular basis at the dinner table.

When we requested he make us “his” hot cocoa he hesitated, but did not want to disappoint us.   Taking his time he completed our request and seemed pleased that he could do that something we hold as a special winter treat.

cocoaI always want him to feel useful and needed in our daily lives.

What a special, “sweet” gift to us, a cup of hot cocoa made with love!

Doing difficult tasks with love really does help us all appreciate the simple joys we sometimes take for granted.

I am so very proud of the way he fights every single day not giving in to this devastating disease.

As I have mentioned before, my prayer is that if God has a reason not to cure him, please do not let him deteriorate more.

Love to all.

Day 26 – When Dreams Don’t Come True

I suppose I should have titled this post, “When Dreams Come True, But Don’t Last”.

This is the sweet sign which hung over the front door of a little shop I once owned, but in the long run was not meant to be.

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When I was working on my never ending garage cleaning one afternoon, I found my sign all wrapped up and stored in a safe place.

I am sad when thinking of my shop, it was really special, handmade items. country type furniture, collectibles, prints, pottery, candles, everything popular at the time.

My shop was in a tourist area, Waynesville, Ohio.

Waynesville is an antiques town, but shops like mine added the extra touch needed to appeal to all folks visiting.

I remember that first day, we had a line of customers waiting to pay.

So many compliments, and so many returning customers, who became new friends.

Of course, it was work, filling the store with new things was a must.  No one wants to visit a shop with nothing new!

I was fortunate enough to have some exclusive wholesale items, sold only at my shop, and some very talented loyal crafters as well.

But as life goes, this dear, sweet dream of mine ended when my husband’s sickness caused him not to be able to work on a consistent basis, generating the income we needed to live.

Eventually shop money had to be used for everyday living.

I held on as long as I could, but was digging myself a hole, with debt and stress.

The day came when I just had to let go.

I can’t bring myself to get rid of the sign, I know this dream of mine will never happen again, but I at least have the memories of what it was and what it could have been.

There is no bitterness in my heart and I do not feel like I failed.

Life just gives all of us these kinds of ups and downs, but life goes on and it is worth living.

Blessings to all.

Don’t give up on your dreams.

 

Day 25 – Memories

We live in an older neighborhood and we have many very large trees in our yard.  This time of year that means raking leaves, lots of leaves.

My son helped me this past weekend with this overwhelming chore!

Again, I thank God for him every single day!

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As we were raking, Jim stopped and said to me, “Mom, do you remember the day we spent with Grandma collecting leaves for my 5th grade school project”.

I do remember that beautiful fall Saturday morning when we picked my Mom up and headed to an absolutely beautiful icon in Cincinnati, Spring Grove Cemetery.

Cedar Lake

Serving as a living horticultural laboratory, Spring Grove’s Arboretum boasts a remarkable 1,200 species with over 1,000 labeled.  The labeling of the trees really helped Jimmy with identifying the leaves.

Autumn

Jimmy collected the leaves, mom secured each one, and I helped with the documenting.

His favorite find was the leaf from the Ginko tree.  He was sure not all the kids in his class would have a Ginko leaf!

We enjoyed a really spectacular day together, and we shared what is now a beautiful memory.

I was so pleased and touched that my now grown son remembered the day we spent with his loving Grandma.  It was special moment for us to share.

Making these kinds of memories with your loved ones are so important to living and loving life.  This memory didn’t require money or anything fancy, it was a simple day worth so much, especially all these years later.

Make joyful, loving memories with those in your life today.

Oh, Jimmy received an A+++ on the project and his teacher, Miss Berberich, said it was the best leaf project she had seen!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 24 – Forgiveness

One of the most important things I have learned and worked on over the past few years is forgiving and asking to be forgiven.

Forgiving someone who has hurt you is really a hard thing to do, but you must for your own peace and joy.

I can write about the time I jumped all over a sweet girl at the drive thru coffee line, waiting 12 minutes for a “quick” cup of coffee on my way to work, only to realize that I was wrong and apologized the next day.  This young dear person accepted my apology and eventually we established a friendship, but the example I want to write about is about my Mother.

Days before my loving Mother passed away from breast cancer, as I sat by her bedside alone with her at the time, with tears in her eyes, she whispered to me “forgive me, I am so sorry for…”.

Years ago she thought that I had done something really bad, but the truth was I had not.

I never thought again about the incident after it was sorted out, but obviously my Mom did and she wanted me to know before she passed that she was sorry.

It is so hard for me to write this without crying. This was something my Mom needed to tell me before she left this world.  I will never forget this moment with my Mom, and again as with many times in my life, in those last hours of her life before she lost consciousness, I learned from her.

Forgiving and asking for forgiveness is so important and something we all should learn to do in this life of ours.

Love and blessings.