"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Bruno's Birmingham Rollers

What is forgiveness?  How do you know when you have accomplished it?

The newest information from all the peacemakers of our time, is that forgiving yourself and others for mistakes and wrong doing, is the key to good health, happiness and wellbeing.

When some one breaks our heart, in whatever manner, whether in the traditional sense, as when they take our love and misuse it, or lie to us or steal from us, we are supposed to forgive them -- not for their good, but for our own.

beautiful painting

Nearly every day I read new evidence supporting the fact that holding a grudge, regardless of how justified we are in feeling the way we do, is detrimental to our bodies and our sense of wellbeing, that forgiving ourselves and others is the first step to healing our spirit and our bodies.

I am not arguing with this.  In fact, I know it's true.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I had a surprise recently.  The (Not so) Handyman knocked on my front door.

For those of you who are new to reading my blog, I hired this young man to fix the rotten floor in my bedroom about five months after my husband passed on. Handyman seemed like a nice young man.  He knew some people I know. A friend of mine knew his mother.  He gave me an estimate that I could live with so I hired him to do the work.

Bruno's Treehouse

Two months later, when I fired him, he had torn up more than he had fixed. The shoddy work he did in the kitchen/dining area (which he was doing because he let spray paint settle on my black and white tile floor then couldn't  get it off) was so bad, it took laying three floors and one full year before it was done right.

To this day, there are several places in my house that remind me of him every time I see them and I go back to those gut wrenching months that  he was working here -- and long after he was gone.

When he tore up my beautiful, welcoming home, my shelter in a storm, my peaceful corner of the world, he broke my heart -- at a time when I was more vulnerable than I had ever been before. He did a major number on my sense of wellbeing, and my ability to trust other people. When I think back over the two years after Ronnie died, the only thing I can remember in full detail is what the (Not So) Handyman did to my house.

So now, here he stands on my front porch.  I'm not thinking about much of anything but "What the hell is he doing here?"

purple clematis 2013
As it turned out, he'd come to see if he'd left some paint sprayer tips at my house -- nearly two years ago. They were his dad's expensive ones and he needs to find them -- now -- two years later?

I was cordial. "I don't know if you left them here or not, " I said.  I did not offer to let him look for them.

I could have said, "I'll give them to you if you'll give me the 400 square feet of underlayment and the 8 boxes of wood flooring that you stole from me," but since I don't have his dad's paint sprayer tips, I didn't. If he did leave them here, I threw them out or gave them to the next guys I hired to clean up his mess.

So back to the subject of forgiveness, how does one go about that?

Obviously, I am not going to forget what he did here.  I would never hire him to do anything for me again, nor would I recommend him to a friend -- or even a stranger.

By now I'm sure some of you are wondering why I think I should forgive him.

Well, because I know that holding onto the anger and resentment toward him is effecting my health.

lovely evening sky 2013
Everything else in my life is going great. I love where I am right now. Financially, I am ok.  I'm not mad at anyone except him.   I'm happy. I enjoy my job and the people I work with.  I have lots of new friends and some old friends. I've finally regained my "writing legs" and the third novel in the Kirkland Family Saga is moving forward again.  Ideas are flowing more smoothly than they have in several years.  My family is loving and supportive of me and each other. Life is good.  Everything is working out for me. All is well --- except that my feet hurt and recently, my knees.

I feel stove up, as the old timers use to say.

I have proven to myself on many occasions that I can improve the way I feel physically by changing the way I think, so when my knees started feeling swollen and stiff, I began a concerted effort to heal them by counting my blessings, paying attention to all the goodness in my life and looking for reasons to smile and laugh  -- and it's working. My knees feel much more normal now than they have in three weeks.

But my feet still hurt.

So I'm trying to figure out how to rid myself of this anger, this ongoing fury, resentment, insult and
S&H Green Stamps
loathing that I feel toward this young man.

I am well aware that time heals all wounds, but it's been nearly two years and if I let myself go there -- as I did above -- the fury is still very much alive and well.

After seeing him standing on my front porch, looking for his dad's tools that he lost two years ago, thinking about all the hell he must have been taking for losing the tools, and how much nerve it took for him to come back to my house and ask me for anything, after everything he did and everything I said to him when I fired him, I realized how sorry the whole situation was.

When I looked back at this from the perspective of all that I know about the Law of Attraction, I had a bit of an epiphany which feels like it may help solve my dilemma. I see, now, that there was no way, given that I felt lower than ever before in my entire life, at the time I hired him, that it could have turned out to be anything but a disaster. Looking at it from this perspective also tells me that if it hadn't been him, it would have been someone else equally as dastardly, so blaming him is pointless. In fact, the responsibility of all of it, is mine.  The attraction of the whole crappy situation came from my vibrational output.  The Universe matched me up with someone who's vibrations were as sad as my own.

In discussing this with myself, I wrote, "It happened, it's over, leave it behind and move on."

Hopefully, this feeling of relief is the beginning of forgiveness, the beginning of letting it go.

By the way, the pictures I chose for this post are just a few of the much loved and appreciated blessings in my life.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From Ugly to Sweet

It isn't very often that we get to watch the creative process from beginning to end as it unfolds for someone else.  We see it in our own projects,  but with creative endeavors of others, we may see the before and after, but we miss the middle.  We miss the details.

That is not the case with the "duct tape chair".

Several weeks ago, our friend Brandon Sparks was visiting and mentioned that he had covered a wallet in duct tape for his sister, Chelsea.  Deidre and I imagined a wallet covered in ugly silver duct tape, but Brandon said, "No!  It's the latest fad.  People are making all kinds of things out of it and it comes in bright colors and prints."

So we googled "duct tape" and saw evening gowns, evening wear for guys, purses and wallets and -- a chair.  We watched a young girl completely cover a chair in bright mis-matched strips of duct tape.  It was cool -- rather busy but a conversation piece for sure.

Deidre said, "I could cover that recliner out in the shop."
I said, "Go for it!"

The chair is one of two rocker recliners that I had bought from Ashley Furniture two years before Ronnie got sick.  After he was diagnosed, we noticed the "bonded leather" was beginning to peel.  To make a long story short, it got worse and after Ronnie passed away, I had them both moved out into his shop.  Eventually, my sort of son in law, Andy, hauled the worst one to the dump and we kept the better one.

from ugly ---


              It looked like this.

"So, what color would we put on it?" I asked.

"Red, white and blue for the Texas Rangers?"

"Wow!  That sounds great!"

We had already decided to eventually have a Texas Rangers theme in our evolving Lady Cave. Red, white and blue seemed perfect.

So we bought rolls and rolls of red, white and blue duct tape and the work began.

Deidre called me in to look at a picture of the Texas Rangers Logo on the computer.  "I think I can
do this for the back of the chair."

Official logo of the Texas Rangers

Notice the lacing on the baseball, all the little
points on the letters, and the blue as well as the white shadows on the big T.                                          

I had no idea HOW she would be able to accomplish this complicated logo, but she never ceases to amaze me, so I said, "Have at it. We don't have anything to lose.  It's a duct tape chair."

In anticipation of this project eventually being a"WOW!!", and writing a blog post about it,  I took pictures during the process.

On the official Texas Rangers' website, she found drawings of the logo available to be printed out for coloring books, so she performed "computer magic" (as far as I'm concerned, that's what it is), and printed it in quarters in order to get it large enough to look good on the back cushion of the chair.

What looks like ragged edges here is the lacing

All summer while she worked on the chair, we noticed the effects that the heat had on the duct tape when it was out on the patio so she brought it inside.  I slowly began to wonder where I would put it when it was finished, since the Lady Cave no longer seemed like a good idea.

--- to sweet --- side by side images

She finished it this past weekend, and we are both so pleased with it, we decided to keep it in the living room.  We had some rearranging to do.  She moved the 50 in. tv to the largest wall and relocated the cable outlet while I rearranged the pictures (art work).

We gave the chair the area in front of my big new windows, set a small table next to it and a pole lamp with a red shade.   It looks like it belongs!

We took pictures of it and posted them on the official Texas Rangers Twitter site, hoping our favorite Rangers baseball analysts, Buzz and Tom, with Fox Sports Southwest, will show the chair during a game.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks, Deidre! I love it! And I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll do with the floor in the Lady Cave!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Newest Horrible Awful Thing

my Sunflower
What is it about people that we can't wait to spread bad news? We get up early, turn on the tv, or pick up the newspaper and look for the worst of the most recent news, then we hurry to work or out to meet friends or family to tell everybody what we saw or what we read.  It's like we get some kind of Brownie Points from God for being the first too tell about the newest horrible awful thing.

I remember the first time I read that we create our own reality and that we do it with thought, it scared the fire out of me.  I wanted to believe that was just a bunch of garbage because I took a brief inventory of my most recent thought processes and realized that if it's true -- that we do create our own reality with thought, then I'm in deep shit.

But I kept on reading and learning and eventually I came across the reminder that everything is energy, that what we see with our eyes is an interpretation of vibration, what we hear is an interpretation of vibration.  Same with taste and touch and smell.  It is all vibrational interpretation that helps us navigate in our physical world.

Another tidbit of information I found very useful, is that we humans are very picky about what we wear, what we eat, what cars we drive -- but we aren't a bit picky about what we think about. I for one, before I started on my path to become a happier person, would watch a horror flick and go pretty deep into "what if that happened to me?  or to one of my kids?"

After discovering and accepting that I do create my own reality and that it is done with thought, I decided if I'm going to play a "what if" game, I'm going to play a positive "what if" game.  What if this good thing were to happen, what if that good thing were to happen? Wouldn't it be nice if this happened or that happened?

Recently, a friend was on the verge of telling me the newest horrible awful thing, (you can usually tell when it starts out with "OMG! Did you hear about ---  such and such.") so I cut him off with, "If this is awful, I don't want to hear it."  He was clearly set on telling it anyway, so I repeated myself. "If this is something awful, I don't want to hear it." Then he asked, "Well, don't you want to be informed?" and my answer? "No.  Not about stuff like that."

And this is one area where I have some work to do.  When I hear horrible awful things, my physical
being literally aches.  It takes a long while to rid myself of the images conjured up by those who want to make damn sure that I am aware of every single cruel, despicable aspect of the most current horrible awful thing.

I chose several years ago to stop watching the news.  I cancelled my newspaper subscription and I very seldom click on news links that pop up when I sign on to AOL to get my mail.

Seth and Bella playing at Donna Tate's house
Through reading and listening to a host of inspirational speakers and those who are far more enlightened than I am, I have decided to mind my own business.  And what is my business, you might ask?  It's the same as your's -- trying to find ways to bring joy into my life.

Breck Roscoe Gentry and Andy Pruett
I have enough, but as with everything that is fun and pleasant, I want more! So I look for things that make me smile and here are some of them:

hearing my two black and white dogs, one old, one young, romping around the yard with each other, playing, growling, occasionally barking,

early in the morning, hearing my grandson's little voice behind the closed bedroom door talking and visiting with his mama,

Having him sneak up behind me and hide, giggling the whole time,

seeing my 330 gallon water tote in place waiting to fill up the next time it rains,

looking out my beautiful new window and seeing the soft pink Cleome, the hot pink Bougainvillea and rose colored Princess Feathers blooming just outside, and knowing that because the Cleome are producing seed pods, I'll have them again next year,

listening to my waterfall and the symphony of the birds as the world wakes up to a brand new day, hearing my rooster, Gallo Cogburn announcing "Wake up, Ya'll!"

realizing that all my hard work is paying off, that Ronnie's shop is nearly cleared of the unidentifiable stuff, the junk he refused to throw away and the things that we won't ever use,

envisioning the Texas Rangers logo that Deidre is going to paint on the floor in our "Lady Cave".

seeing Deidre's Texas Rangers duct tape chair nearing completion,

One of Ronnie's treasures,
hand carved by prisoner, sold for 10 cents
watching the grass turn to vivid green everywhere after a good down pour,

finding a tiny piece of history that Ronnie tucked away somewhere and remembering what he told me about it when he acquired it,

being told by the framer for Arrowhead Roofing that the structure of my cedar patio cover, which Ronnie and his brother, Jerry, built is sound and that they will not charge me to rip off what they put on a few weeks ago and replace it with new cedar and new metal roofing.

new friends, Kelly and Shelby
knowing that the second wave of patio cover work is still being paid for through the insurance claim.

driving to Decatur to meet my son and his friends for dinner. Driving to Decatur to meet friends for lunch.

seeing old friends, seeing new friends, realizing how many friends I have.

going to work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and smelling the wonderful fragrance of the flowers mixed with my boss's Angel cologne.

having a stranger call to tell me how much she enjoyed reading Come Hell or High Water and The Hell About Stallions and that she's looking forward to the third book,

realizing how much my life has changed since Ronnie passed on, that I'm okay, that it is different but wonderful in so many ways.

Now why would I want to bring myself down from this high by thinking about the current most horrible awful thing?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How do I feel? How do you feel?

Seth petting Turtle Girl while she eats

Music and poetry have always had a big influence on me.  Many years ago, when I was a teenager, my heart was broken.  I felt -- I don't know how to describe how I felt, but it wasn't good.  It was during the mid 1960's. Simon and Garfunkle had released the song, "I am a Rock." I fixed the record player where it would play the song over and over again, and I fell asleep listening to it. When I woke up, I felt different.  I felt stronger emotionally and much less likely to get my feelings hurt.  In some ways, those words, "A rock feels no pain" served me well, but now I think they also put a damper on my ability to express excitement and joy.

I  worked on developing an outward show of excitement for a while, but it just felt  -- well, fake  -- like it was a struggle, like it was something I was forcing myself to do for the benefit of those around me, who often comment on my lack of enthusiasm when something great is going on.

It isn't that I don't feel joy or excitement, I just don't express it outwardly.  It does come out on its own though, in a genuine sense of pleasure when I greet family and friends, especially those I haven't seen for a while, when I see my children and grandchildren or pictures of them on Facebook or email. Cute animal pictures and videos of the wonderful things people can do always bring forth that feeling of wonder and joy. It comes out when I get a good hug from someone I love, not one of those half hearted limp arm obligatory exchanges that leaves neither participant feeling much of anything due to the encounter.
White moth

On a daily basis, most of us are up and down in our vibrational output, so we get a little bit of crappy stuff and mostly good stuff (if you stop to notice all the things in your life that you appreciate, you'll see I'm right).

As I understand it, we attract  a combination of stuff based on the vibrations we put out, so would I attract even more good stuff into my life if I were to be able to develop that outward show of excitement?

According to what I've read, the universe doesn't distinguish the difference in what we feel and what we imagine we are feeling, which is why daydreaming is important in the attraction of the things we  want. So if I imagine I'm excited, even if that vision feels false, what is my vibration?  Low or high? I don't know.

I can't even begin to conjure up a vision of me jumping up and down in excitement like the contestants on "The Price is Right" -- over anything!

The problem with this is that if Ronnie were to walk through the door right now, I'd say something like "Gee!  it's so good to see you! I'm glad you're back" I'd  hug him long and tight. I'd feel excited that he'd come back, but he would walk away, saying to himself. "She didn't seem very glad to see me."

It's happened before.  Of course he hadn't come back from the dead, but you get the point. He and I had numerous discussions about my lack of ability to show enthusiasm.  However, I didn't connect the song with this inability to show my joy, until I gained a better understanding of this vibrational world we live in and how our subconscious mind works. It never sleeps.  So while I was snoozing, the words to that song were lodging in my subconscious mind.

Pink Cleome and red Princess Feathers
So, I listen to music that makes me feel good, songs that have a positive message. Just before Ronnie passed on, my friend Peter Nielsen posted a link on Facebook to the video for the Abba song "Move On", which we used at the end of Ronnie's memorial service.  You can watch it here. The video shows video after video of children adults and old folks smiling and laughing, kissing and hugging each other, playing and dancing in the rain. The song is inspiring all by itself  with it's message that life is to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest and when tragedy strikes, we have to move on.

According to all that I've read about vibration, the more we can find to be happy about, the higher our vibration is and the more good things come to us, so when I feel down, I watch the video again.  It always lifts my spirits and puts me back in the higher vibration.

The more we watch sad videos of cruelty and neglect, war and it's atrocities, illness and tragic deaths, the lower our vibration goes and the more likely it becomes that some kind of low vibration stuff will enter our lives in one form or another.  There is a bit of information that apparently has never gained widespread acceptance and that is, we CAN NOT get sad enough to help those who are in bad situations. We can watch the videos all we want and announce to our Facebook community how much we agonized over it, but while we are doing that and even while we are typing it out, we are  in a very low vibration and the law of attraction isn't concerned with whether we want something awful to happen in our reality, it is only matching up vibrations.

I refuse to watch that low vibration stuff that comes my way on Facebook and further more, I remove it from my newsfeed.  I've begun blocking those who repeatedly post this stuff.

The more thought we give to something the bigger it gets, so why not give our attention to the stuff that makes us feel good?

Several years ago, I decided to try it for a month just to see if anything would change.  So I got a spiral notebook.  I wrote the date and time at the top of the page and I began with this affirmation :  "As I begin this day, my dominant intent is to feel good.  Nothing is more important or more essential to my wellbeing than that I feel good, so today, regardless of where I am, what I'm doing, who is with me or what is going on around me, I will look for things to be pleased about."  Right from the beginning, I realized I FELT better.  I felt more cheerful, more certain that even the worst times in my life will work out to at least an okay resolution.

Over the years, it has gotten steadily better.   I'm not talking about material things.  In that category, I'm pretty much in the same place I was twenty years ago, but I feel better, I feel stronger, I'm more energetic and happier than I have ever been before and THAT means more to me than all the money in the world.

Keep in mind that we all owe it to ourselves and our Creator to enjoy as much of this life as possible. So look for joy in everything you have to do.