Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Average of Five

A quote shared by my friend Beth inspired this post today: (check out her blog here)

“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
― Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek

Doesn’t that quote make you step back and think?

Think about who you work near and interact with the most.  Think about who challenges you, inspires you, motivates or aggravates you.  Think about family members, neighbors and friends.  Think about it all and then ask yourself this: Who’s on your Board of Directors? Is it time for a re-org?

..google.images.com..

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Life, Thoughts, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Frankie’s Fall Tour

Ola!

Approaching my 2-year-blogoversary next week (click here for my very first post!), I decided to, once again, feature our faithful furry friend, Frankie.  Frankie’s been featured here more than once and come to have his very own group of admirers.

Tuesday evening was windy and cool  – a typical fall mix of sun and shadows, gusts and more … and really, the perfect evening for a stroll with old dog.

I swear that dog has a clock: he stamps his paw and moans at lunchtime, he sits at the front door just before that big yellow thing drives by (school bus),  and he always, always waits in the same spot until I walk in .. half on the carpet, half on the kitchen floor.  And when I set my things down and reach to pet his fuzzy face, he wraps his paws around my wrists and loves me like no other.

He waited patiently as I laced up my runners and he twirled a few times when I put on my wind breaker.   Leaning down, I softly said the words he longed to hear: “Would you like to go for a walk?”    His happy smile and wagging tale told me the answer wasn’t just yes but I-can’t-believe-you-asked-me-and-of course-I’ll-accept-this-rose!

Come along with us, will ya?

1st stop, sniff at the neighbor’s house

Bum snags happen when you’re walkin’ like you mean it!

Almost home but these old hips need to rest a spell …

Squirrels schmirrels!

Total distance traveled: <1 mile.

Total # potty breaks: 18

Total # sniffs: 47

Total # tail wags: 354

Time with my aging pooch? Priceless

*~*~*~*

“I like dogs
Big dogs
Little dogs
Fat dogs
Doggy dogs
Old dogs
Puppy dogs
I like dogs
A dog that is barking over the hill
A dog that is dreaming very still
A dog that is running wherever he will
I like dogs.”
—Margaret Wise Brown (The Friendly Book {Big Little Golden Book}) 

Categories: Animals, Family, Home, Joy, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Laughter & tears

I came across that first photo tonight and laughed so hard it hurt. I know I’m overtired and stressed, and that I’m probably punchy to boot.  But then the cat photo surfaced and all you-know-what broke loose; you see, I’ve made the acquaintance of quite a few gnarly-toothed barn cats who looked like him and sounded far worse. So when the bum-in-the air elephant appeared next …  well that was it for me. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed again.  And it was good.

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Got a funny story or joke to share?  Please do (and please keep it P.G., thank you!)

*all Google images

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Intuitive Mothering

We don’t have to be the same to be lovable; Google.images.com

I always knew I wanted to be a mother.

I never imagined my life without a family and I certainly had lots of practice nurturing baby animals and babysitting on the farm.

Having said that,  I felt fate gave me boys: two hilarious, ridiculous and busy boys.   Why? Because even though I knew it would be fun to have a girl, I knew that I was far from a girlie-girl.  I mean, as a kid,  I lived out my days like Billy Jack, riding ponies and shooting cap guns, staging shows and cooking up adventures. I felt confident to handle two rumbly-tumbly boys; I wasn’t sure that I could manage a Barbie-playing girl.

But, in time, life brought me a daughter-in-law and, a later, a grand-daughter. Cool, the scales have shifted, I thought.  Secretly,  I envisioned all kinds of girlie escapades for us. I took my time getting to know her and making sure I wasn’t one of those mother-in-laws, overpowering or with-holding. I accepted her and her cute little boy and tried to let her know that if you love my boy that’s enough for me.

But, here’s what I didn’t anticipate:  I never expected that I’d mother her, too.  I mean, I knew she had a Mom and I’d heard enough to know that they weren’t as close as could be, but still, I hesitated … better tread softly here.

So, as it does, life moved along and I began to notice certain things: Like when she was expecting, it was me who organized a baby shower and it was our huge, crazy family that welcomed her.  When they got engaged, it was me & hubbs who booked the hall and paid the caterer and organized the guest list.  It was our house where she dressed and and it was me who helped her into the wedding dress; it was our yard where their pictures were taken in and our patio where the gifts were opened.  Them? They were … guests.  And when she related her struggles just talking with her,  I was the one who encouraged her to keep on trying.   You see, as a daughter of a wonderful mother, not having that relationship was as incomprehensible as not having …  air.

We talked a few days ago and I made it a point to tell her that, no matter what happens,  we hope she stays in our lives.  I tried to convince her that, despite her past experiences with them, it’s not in our hearts to trash, bash or discard her. Punctuated by her sobs were the words I’d never expected to hear, “I wish I could talk to her like I do to you.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Have you ever parented someone who wasn’t “yours?”

Categories: Faith, Family, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Anything can be

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child.

Listen to the don’ts.

Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.

Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
— Shel Silverstein

image from Pinterest.com

Categories: Faith, fear, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Rocking or Retreating

In the past, when stressed, I would have retreated.   I would have retreated, grabbed a bag of Lay’s and maybe even gotten on the phone with my cousin for a long-winded rant.

I’m stressed.

I can feel it in my stomach, I can see it in my eyes and I can sense it when I wake – there it waits, starting at me like the relative you’d rather not see at Christmastime.

This time, I didn’t retreat.  I rocked. As in rocked it out on my treadmill.  That’s right, peeps, last night I hit a new milestone – a 20 min run.  5 weeks ago this 49-year-old Grandmother couldn’t run 90 seconds; last night I ran almost 2 miles.   Huffing and puffing, sweating and soldiering, I ran.

I ran through my anxiety, my fears, my stress and my sadness.  I ran and I ran and I ran and when I was done, I felt better. Clearer.  Nothing was solved, for that’s beyond my control, but what was better was …me.

I rocked my babies in a chair like this .. google.images.com

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. – Anonymous

How do you cope with the stresses in your life? Have you found new methods of managing it?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, fear, Home, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Called to peace

It was with great sadness that we learned our boy and his wife are considering divorce.  I know there have been highs and lows and everything in-betweens, and that sometimes, sometimes relationships don’t work and the only solution is to step away.

As a woman and a mother who survived divorce, it is with the heaviest of hearts that I think about how things will move along.  I know about the stress, the uncertainty, and the loneliness.

There are children, two little ones, in the middle.  Yes, little guy is technically hers but still, it was our son who stepped in and fathered for the past four years.

He’s the one who taught him how to tie his shoes and build forts, to ride his bike without the training wheels and to not be afraid of thunder. And then there’s the wee one, baby MJ who came from this union. In her world, there has always been Mommy and Daddy and brother A.  I cannot tell you how much my heart breaks when I think about those two innocent bystanders watching wide-eyed as their world shifts.

google.images.com

These are the lessons I learned when I traversed the ugly world of divorce and these are the ones I hope to share with both him and her:

1. Kids always think that your divorce is their fault. If only they were tidier, went to bed on time, didn’t talk so much, you name it, kids will think they caused this.  What can you do?  Make sure they know how much they’re loved and that there’s nothing they could ever do to change how you feel about them.  You can’t do this by buying them stuff or just  showing up on occasion, you do this one way and one way only: spending T-I-M-E with them, listening, cuddling, laughing, playing, loving.

2. They will feel unsteady.  It’s important to keep their world small and constant – day care, friends, bed-time, snacks, routine, structure should stay the same as much as possible.  And they will need boundaries now more than ever. Why?  Because boundaries let them know someone cares enough to reel them in.

Hubbs was a child of divorce and one of the saddest stories he ever told me was the longing he felt as neighborhood kids were called in at suppertime .. because no one was home at his house, and no one called for him. The look on his face when he told that story, 30 some years later, haunts me.

Don’t fool yourself that you can just buy kids stuff they don’t need, cause they’ll see right through that:  they don’t want “quality time,” they want ALL of your time.

3. They will look to you for guidance.  Even when you’re scared, lonely or frustrated, (and you will be) you still must do what’s best for them.  Show them that you can get through this. When they see you getting through, they will, too. Let them know what to expect ahead of time and then do it: when you say you’re coming to get them at 6:00 be there early and not a minute later.   I missed one school party – one – as a single parent when my oldest boy was 5.   He doesn’t remember it but I’ve never forgotten it.

4.  Let them be kids.  They are not your counselors or your dates, they are kids and their shoulders are too little to carry your burdens. If you need support, and you will, join a support group and find other like-minded adults you can lean on.

5.  Never criticize or undermine the other parent.  Your children are half of you, but they are half of that other parent, too. Remember: when you attack the parent, you attack the child. Even though my ex gave me plenty to be frustrated over (no child support, frequently unemployed, never showed up for birthdays, holidays or most visitations), I had to bite my tongue and reassure my boy that he was loved and that we were going to have fun anyways.  When you call the other parent names, your children will take this to mean that part of them isn’t good, either.  What a terrible thing to do to a child!   As hard as someone makes it on you, you did love them enough once to create these little people: love the littlest ones enough to keep the snarkiness to yourself.

6. Two homes not a broken one.    Decide that your child is not coming from a broken home but instead, two homes.  Being sad and clingy when children leave for visitation does nothing but instill anxiety in them.  It is not their job to worry about you, it’s yours.  Grit your teeth, smile, hug them hard and let them go. And, on the flip side, make your new home as “homey” as you can. It doesn’t have to big, grand or luxurious. It just has to be home: familiar routine, toys and some space with you in it. Trust me on this.

7.  Both sides are right.  When I hear “You are wrong and I am right,” I know that somewhere in the middle lives the truth.

Maybe it’s better to separate; maybe then the bickering and the keeping-track will stop.

Maybe there will be peace.

“But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15

Have you lived through a child’s divorce?  How did you cope with the heartache?

Categories: Faith, Family, Grief, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 45 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...