Pictures with my Phone, New Phone Comes Today, Learning to Accept the Aging Process…

Yesterday, I said I was going to start wandering around with my camera as a way to add play into my life. I’m at work most of the time and don’t usually have my camera with me. Yesterday, while at a clean, I saw two things that made me wish I did have my camera with me. How did I handle that? I used my phone camera instead. The photos tend not to be the best quality but it is better than nothing. Here are the two photos I took with my phone:

Baby Cow

Baby Cow

I glanced out the kitchen window of the unit I was cleaning and saw this cutie. I love baby animals, which I know is not unique. This little one, as you can see, is a chocolate copy of its momma. He is quite adventurous, too. Momma wandered off while he tried to figure out how to get to the grass on the other side of the barbed wire. He tried from various spots and when he was satisfied that he just couldn’t get there, playfully ran to catch up to mom, only to get distracted by other things. So cute!

Sun to Storm

Sun to Storm

It is definitely Spring here. It can be beautifully sunny and then, seemingly in minutes, turn ominously dark and then rain for all its worth. I had just returned the key for the unit I just finished up with, turned around and saw this. I love the transitions of the clouds.

I ordered a new phone from T-mobile about a week ago and it should be here today. I bought the ZTE ZMAX. The camera is a better camera on this phone than the one I’ve been using, but not by much. The ZMAX phone has an 8 megapixel camera and my current phone, the LG Optimus L90, I want to say has a 5 megapixel camera. The screen on the ZMAX is a full inch bigger than the one on my current phone, which will be nice.

I think…no, I know…its time for me to look into reading glasses. I’ve known this for a while but have been unwilling to acknowledge this completely. I made the font larger on my phone but, well, not everything has that option. Aging can be such a bitch. The upside is that they now make bifocal contacts…woot! Since my prescription is up in June, I am going to have to look into getting those, or, at least, trying a pair out and seeing how well they work for me. I am horrible at keeping track of glasses.

Well, its 8 o’clock. I should get going to work. It’s a light day and the sooner I get it done the sooner I can come back home. Yeah, I’ve been a bit of a home body, lately. Who knew that would happen? When I was younger, you couldn’t get me to stay home for anything. Oh well…another part of getting older and growing up.

Have a wonderful day, Everyone!!

Honoring My Creative Side, Adding Play Back into My Life…

Why is it that when I get more than enough sleep I wake up grumpy? Ugh…I hate that. I would think it would be the other way, I’d wake up feeling great, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this morning and I’ve experienced this same thing before. Maybe one night of more than enough sleep isn’t enough. Or maybe its too much. I don’t know. I just feel really grrr this morning and I’m not liking it at all.

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a long time. I posted a pic on The Lens of My Camera for this past Friday’s Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post. The topic is Fresh. As I was getting ready to make my coffee yesterday morning, I noticed my coffee grinder, full of beans, and thought “well, that’s fresh” and clicked a less than perfect photo with my phone.

I have to admit that even this small act of creativity has sparked that side in me, again. This is a great thing. I have been feeling so uncreative, which is not a good thing for me, I have come to find. I do so much better when I nurture and honor my creative side.

I’ve also realized that I tend to drop my creative side first when I start to get too overwhelmed by life. I don’t think this is a good thing. In my head, I think I should be tapping into my creative side even more when I’m overwhelmed. It would probably help me deal with the perceived chaos a bit better.

I listened to Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection again yesterday. I’ll probably listen to it again today. There really are some great things to hear and incorporate into my life. One thing that really stood out for me yesterday is the need for play, which seems to be something I have stopped doing and hadn’t really noticed. Ok. I’ve noticed. I just hadn’t thought of it in the same way Brene Brown describes it.

Play. Singing, dancing, laughing, being goofy, no plan of the next actions. Just being yourself and having fun with it. Enticing joy to come be a part of you. Or walking into joy without reservation, without fear, with nothing more than the light of your soul to guide you with complete abandon.

I write this and feel my soul long for this state of being. I’m always so focused on what has to be done next, what needs to be taken care of, how I’m going to make this or that happen, left foot, right foot, repeat. This is acting from a place of fear and shame, according to The Gifts of Imperfection. I’m vigilantly striving for perfection at all times. Or at least it feels like all times. I’m not saying I succeed at this perfection thing, because I am aware that is not the case.

I’ve become uncomfortable with anyone else being in charge of making sure things get done or happen. I’ve tried letting that go but always find myself taking it back. I get things done. I know how they are going to happen. There has been so much uncertainty in my life for so many years now that having just that much control over things helps reduce my stress level. Ok. It seems like it does but I am coming to realize that it just makes the stress something more mine. Weird, I know, and I don’t completely understand it, but I know I need to change it, somehow.

So, I have a goal to achieve, now. I want to add play back into my life. I really don’t know what that looks like or how I am going to make that happen, but I’m starting with my camera. It might take me a minute to get back in the habit, but I am going to try to make at least one submission to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge each week. This, of course, means I have to step out of the rut I’m in so I can make the time to wander with my camera. I can do this. I’m going to do this. I love me and its time I really showed myself this.

Bored, Discontent, Feeling Stuck…

I’m tired this morning. I shouldn’t be. I know I had plenty of sleep. Something woke me around 3:15 and it took me almost an hour to get back to sleep, again. I’m sure this is what has me feeling so tired. I haven’t had that happen in a really long time. I had forgotten how disrupting it can be.

Its back to work today. The clean I have isn’t too bad so it shouldn’t take all day long, and I’m grateful for that. I really just want to go back to bed. Yeah, I’m whining.

I write a gratitude list every morning before writing here, but I think I may need to up the ante a bit. I can feel to total discontent starting to creep in and I don’t like it. Maybe I’ll do a Focusing on the Positive series, again, but use photos instead. I’m not sure what that would look like but I need to do something to start changing the foul mood that wants to take hold. I really enjoyed doing the last Focusing on the Positive series, and it helped my mood significantly.

This week is packed. I have one day off this week. I guess I shouldn’t complain about that since I have had three days off two weeks in a row. I’m supposed to go stay the night at my best friend’s house at the end of the week. Her family is going out-of-town for about a week and we are going to watch movies and just hang out. We haven’t done that since I can’t remember when. It will be nice to get out of here for a minute. I believe it will improve my mood a bit, also. I miss her a lot.

I really need to do something about the state of my world. I don’t do much more than work, garden a little bit, and sleep, it seems. I don’t really go anywhere, do much in the just for fun category, get my brain and soul moving in the same direction in exploration of the new.

Ok. This apparently isn’t working out so well this morning. I’m going to stop stretching for something, anything, to write about. I hope everyone has a great day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

 

Time Off Day 3, A Surprise from Lance, What I’m Listening to Now, and Runaway Update…

Today is day three of time off from work. It has been a really great two days so far and I foresee today being just as relaxing. I love when my days off are in a row instead of broken up. They are definitely more restorative this way.

So, what have I accomplished with my free time? Not a whole lot, and part of me feels that I may have been just wasting the time because I could. I have no feelings of guilt over this lack of accomplishment. In fact, I am congratulating myself for taking the time to take care of me.

It hasn’t been completely unproductive. I went and had my hair cut. It had been way too long and the ends were looking pretty gnarly. Now, I can run my fingers through my hair without the sometimes comical snagging of the fingers and brushing it is not a test of wills between my hair and the brush. Like I said, it had been way too long.

I also transplanted my Mammoth Sunflowers. No, not into the ground. We have a few nights forecasted to be in the upper 30’s and I don’t have the area I am planning on planting them prepared yet. It’s hard to be motivated to take up the shovel and rake knowing my shoulders and hands are going to be protesting every forward movement of the garden. In my mind, I believe renting a rototiller or cultivator will make this easier, though I know the stress this will put on these body parts, as well. Different movements so different effects. However I decide to get it done, I shall before my Mammoths need to be in the ground.

I also picked up some wooden skewers to use as stakes for my Mammoths. They are all flopsie mopsie, which will eventually bend their tender stems, causing them to die off. Staking them is part of the plan for today.

Lance surprised me with coming home last night. I was in the yard tossing the dogs’ slobber balls around when he came driving through the grass. It actually took me a minute to realize it was Lance driving through the lawn. (We have a gate and I have the clicker. Lance had to pull in through the air strip). It was definitely a great surprise and I am happy to have him home. My Truman had gone with Lance and was just as excited to be home as I was to have him back home. He ignored the other three dogs and came straight for his mom. I love my Tru-Dog.

I am downloading a new book (new to me at least) by Brene Brown. It is called The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I have been trying to just listen to the discs in the Jeep but have come to realize that I don’t really spend that much time in the Jeep.

One of the things Brene has talked about in the book so far has been when she went through her mid-life crisis/breakdown. She likes to call it her Spiritual Awakening instead, because she believes that is really what it is. Brene says it’s the time in one’s life when they finally come to terms with who they actually are instead of holding on to who it is they believe they are supposed to be. It can be quite to process letting go of those old, self-imposed expectations of one’s self.

But, I haven’t even made it through the first disc, yet. I can’t really give you the whole jist of it. I really enjoyed her Men, Women, and Worthiness so I am certain I will enjoy this one.

I think I have come to realize that I may be going through this whole mid-life crisis/breakdown/spiritual awakening thing. I have been listening to a bunch of self-help type audiobooks over the last few or more months. The need to understand myself better has definitely been a driving force in some of this, along with the ability to download these audiobooks for free, giving me the freedom to listen to whatever strikes my fancy. Apparently, lately, my fancy has been self-help and spiritual knowledge/understanding. Whatever the reason, it is where I’m at.

I finally talked with my stepdaughter’s mom yesterday. She hasn’t heard from the girls, but, apparently, the girls are staying at K’s boyfriend’s place, somewhere in Renton. K is only 16 years old. The police told her there is really nothing they or we can do because F will just take off again if she doesn’t want to be at home. Unfortunately, home is changing for their mom. I guess the girls were doing drugs in the parking lot and this caused them to get kicked out of their apartment. It’s all a huge mess.

I’m grateful I never had to go through this with my own children. I really believed I would because of the way I was as a teen. Karma and all that. This is not to say that we didn’t go through our own challenges but they seemed so manageable in comparison. No running away, no drugs, no fights at school.

Well, the day is almost half over so I had better get going with the things I want to accomplish today. It’s a small list but some of it is time-consuming. Back to work tomorrow!

First Day of Spring and The National Runaway Safeline…

Spring starts today in 6 hours, 55 minutes, and 45 seconds! I was hoping I would wake up to the sun today but it is overcast and looks like rain. That’s ok. It is Spring and rain is just part of the package. All of the seeds and plants need a nice long drink of water to get themselves up and going. My tulips did start to bloom yesterday, though they never did look fully open. I am going to have to go out and see what they look like today.

In honor of Spring, I have started another round of seeds. The plants I have going are doing ok, though I have lost all of my borage and lavender. I am beginning to think it is the well water that is the problem. I may need to start boiling water for them or getting water at the store. I don’t know how I’ll remedy this situation once everything is planted in the ground but I have time to figure it out. A friend said I can have the water tested for free. I wish there was a home testing kit for that. I know the water is high in iron because any water that sits in a container leaves a red-ish residue behind, though the color of the water is clear. Maybe an inline filter will resolve the matter.

Still no word from my stepdaughter. I am a bit more worried now. I really believed she would be home the first night, or yesterday morning, but she wasn’t and her mom still hasn’t heard from her. It’s really hard to not let the memories of my own experiences with running away at a very young at factor in to my thoughts about my stepdaughter running away. She isn’t me and my story is my story. This is the first time I have wished I was still somehow connected to that world. I think it would make it where I would know how to find her, but that may just be what I’m telling myself because I feel so helpless.

 

I hopped on the National Runaway Safeline website last night. Did you know that a runaway kid can get a free ride home through this organization and Greyhound Buslines? I had no idea. The site also offers a bunch of materials that you can download, advice for parents of a runaway, resources for runaways, such as someone they can talk to by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929), and resources for parents of a missing child or runaway child. One of the resources is an organization called the Polly Klaas Foundation (800-587-4357) that will help make and distribute posters of missing children. Operation Lookout (1-800-LOOKOUT) has a 24-hour hotline, provides service and legal referrals, and works with local authorities in the search of the missing child.

Yes, looking through this website was an attempt to make me feel a bit less helpless with helping to find my stepdaughter and get her home, safe. I’m not sure I feel any  more empowered than I did before, though. Her mom and I don’t talk so I have no idea what she has or has not done. The reception where Lance is at is not great so my stepdaughter’s mom and Lance haven’t really talked much about everything. Most of what has been exchanged by them has been texts and the info has been as minimal as it gets ( “Have you heard anything?” “No”). This frustrates me beyond belief. I told Lance to text me my stepdaughter’s mom’s phone number so I can call her and possibly get more information than he has gotten. Plus, I can let her know about the resources on the National Runaway Safeline website. If this is all I can do to help, then at least it is something.

Spring and Tulips, Asking for Prayers…

Spring starts tomorrow!! I’m so excited! I know it is just one day past today, just another day, in all reality, but the fact that it is marked with the yearly milestone of the beginning of Spring makes it so much more than just a day for me. Its like finally reaching the checkpoint in a game, knowing you will never have to attempt to reach it, again. Yes, I know I’ll be right here again next year, but it doesn’t change the feeling. The door to warmer weather, blooming flowers, new plant growth, leaves on the trees, and more sunshine will be pushed open wide tomorrow, at least on the calendar. For me, that is something to celebrate.

 

Purple Tulips Ready for Spring

Purple Tulips Ready for Spring

I have three purple tulips just ready to bloom. One of them looks like it might actually bloom today. I have to admit that part of me doesn’t want it to open until tomorrow. In my head, this scenario works out perfectly as a way of cementing the fact that Spring is here, there is no turning back, it is a time for new beginnings, and the tulips are welcoming back the sun.

Yesterday was my stepdaughter’s birthday. She turned 13 years old. The teen years have begun for her and she started them off in a purely rebellious teenager way. She ran away from home with her older sister.

I debated on whether or not to write about this. I’ve come to the decision that putting it out there on the internet for others to see will only add to the number of people sending out the energy for her to be ok and to come home. If nothing else, I am sending it out to the Universe in a much bigger way than just the wishing of myself.

My step-daughter has been making some not great choices lately, I have found out. I’m sure her sister is a main component to these poor choices. She has always been able to get my step-daughter to do things that she may not have chosen to do by herself. Using their names would make writing about this much easier, but I’m not going to do that. It doesn’t feel right to do so. For now, I will use F for my step-daughter and K for her sister.

K has always had power over F. She lives with her dad and I think that makes F just wants to please her sister since they don’t live together. A type of bonding, I believe. From what I can tell from the outside, K has always been jealous of F because F lives with their mom. From what Lance has told me, K has always been somewhat of a troubled child. I don’t have the whole story, and I guess it doesn’t really matter at this point. F has followed her sister into a potentially bad situation.

The girls have also started smoking pot. This sort of floors me, in a way, when it comes to F. She has been around 12-step programs most of her life, sat in the meetings, has even participated in helping to put on events. She knows about addiction and has parents that have walked that road and are open about the perils of it. I guess this is where the whole being 13 and still believing she wears a cape of invincibility comes in. I am praying that she comes home and is ok.

I have to admit that F running away brings back a whole mess of memories and emotions for me. I can remember being her age. I was already running and gunning by then and had already created the messy rut that creates from repeated use. I wasn’t lost, completely, yet, but I didn’t really think I needed an out or that the choices I was making then would have lasting effects way beyond then. I thought I was…well, I don’t know what I was really think then. That it was fun, that I had everything under control, there was no problem with it, and I was experiencing life. I was clueless, though I know no one could have told me that and made me believe it. The more anyone tried to get me to stop, the more I ran toward it. After a while, it just becomes the way it is.

I guess that is part of what worries me about F running away, besides the potential for it to end up with her hurt or worse. I would hate to see this kid walk the path I did, in her own way, and end up making choices that change her life forever. Or worse. It’s the ‘or worse’ part that I’m having the hardest time accepting. I don’t want that to be a possibility and am refusing to look at it in an attempt to take it out of the equation. It terrifies me.

I’m hoping that we find out today that she is back home and ok. I’m hoping that this does not become a pattern with her. I’m hoping she realizes that using drugs, any drugs, is not a good plan. I’m hoping this is a one-time event that doesn’t leave scars.

Now, I’m asking anyone that reads this to please, please, please send out prayers/energy toward her, and her sister, for protection and a safe return home for both girls. It seems like such an insignificant thing to do, but it is all there is that can be done at this point, and I believe in the power of many to aid in the protection of two.

The Daily Post, Daily Prompts: Seasonal Scents

Ok. I have been having a hard time writing lately. More accurately, I’ve had a hard time finding something to write about. My posts have been less than entertaining and I’m sure they are a bore because I find them boring. How does one attempt to fix this? Head over the The Daily Post’s Daily Prompts and keep trying another prompt until you find something that sparks your interest. At least, that is what I have done. Here we go…

Seasonal Scents

Smell is such a powerful thing. It can take you to any place and time, bring tears or joy or feelings of nostalgia in an instant, recall a forgotten memory. The light scent of lemons always reminds me of trips in the car with my parents when I was a kid (my mom always bought lemon drops). The scent of lemons also makes me think of warm, sunny summer days as a kid, when summer meant exploring, playing, just being in the moment and enjoying the feel of the sun on my face.

Fresh cut grass reminds me of Spring. It always amazes me how wonderful that smell is at the beginning of the season and, by the end of it, has lost its appeal. It’s not that the scent becomes gross to me, because it doesn’t. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass, but by the time summer has rolled around (mid summer some years), it no longer is waking up the hibernating bear in me.

Those first cuts, though…heaven. My whole system wakes up and takes notice. Joy and serenity pour through my system in a moment and memories of Springs and Summers past stream through the recesses of my mind, bringing a smile to my face in an instant. I feel powerful. Life seems more centered, less stressful, and the feeling that anything is possible, nothing bad can happen, the darkness has finally ended, settles in with a deep sigh of relief. The weight of the world goes away, if even just for a little bit.

Most of the memories that come to me with the scent of fresh-cut grass are from my childhood. I believe that is because that is when life seemed so simple, less overwhelming, uncomplicated by the responsibilities of being an adult. Time wasn’t a factor.

As an adult, the smell of fresh-cut grass immediately brings to mind thoughts of gardens, seedlings, flowers. If I haven’t already planned out what I am growing that year, my mind begins to swirl with images of flowers and herbs and vegetables, where I will plant what, how it will all look when everything is at its peak of growing, catching scents of this flower or that herb in the air. Even the image of bees going from plant to plant are present in this image. This, too, brings a smile to my face, and evokes all of the same feelings as the childhood memories.

As I sit here writing this, the images and feelings I’m trying to describe wash through me, reminding me that these moments are but a heartbeat away. I’m smiling with the memories. It is no wonder Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons.

 

Mystery Peppers, Seedling Transplants, Procrastination…

I am feeling so much better than I did yesterday. Yesterday, I woke up and every muscle in my body was screaming. This tapered off a bit as the day progressed, though my right thigh and hip never stopped aching. I really felt like I had possibly done something to myself I couldn’t remember for it to be hurting as bad as it was. It felt like I had done squats all day the day before, which, of course, I hadn’t. The only squats I do are unintentional and just part of the movements of cleaning.

I transplanted my hot peppers, yesterday. I would love to tell you what kind of peppers I have growing, but the seeds came in a packet marked “Hot Pepper Blend” and the seeds weren’t separated into different sub-packets, so I will have to wait until they are bigger to begin to decipher which peppers sprouted. The mix contains Anaheim, Ancho, Long Slim Red Cayenne, Jalapeno M (no idea what the M stands for), and Hungarian Wax.

Not knowing which peppers I have sort of adds a little something to the growing process. Its long-term waiting for the surprise. I think this is one of the few areas I actually have some patience in.

I also transplanted the 4 remaining borage seedlings that survived having Mr. Brucie lay on them. I have a couple more growing in my daughter’s fifth wheel, but that is only 6 borage. I am going to end up planting more borage seeds since it is such a great bee attractant. There are other seeds I am going to be re-planting, as well.

After work, today, I plan on transplanting my Mammoth Sunflowers into other pots. I know I said I was going to try to wait to transplant them until I could put the into the ground but they are not going to make it that far, I believe. They are looking a bit crowded and a little unhappy about it.

My daughter is coming home tonight. She will head back up to Redmond on Thursday. It will be great seeing her. I really miss her, though I know she was unhappy here. Everything seems to be falling into place for her since she moved, which is great. It just couldn’t seem to happen here for her, for whatever reason.

I’m sitting here trying to think of something else to write. I really am not looking forward to the stair master of cleaning the buildings at the condo complex. I know procrastinating isn’t going to make them go away, but here I sit procrastinating anyway. Enough. I’m putting on my big girl panties and heading to work. I hope everyone has a most wonderful day!!!

Another Warm Morning, Sunflower Progress, Lance is Home, and Cernunnos…

Another warm-ish morning!! It’s not quite as warm as the 55 degrees it was yesterday morning, but I’ll take the 46 degrees it is right now. I’m not freezing as I write and that is a beautiful thing. NOAA is no longer forecasting a night in the upper 30’s, which I’m happy to see. Come on Spring!! You got this!!

My Mammoth, Velvet Queen, and Autumn Beauty sunflowers are still doing well with their overnight stays outside. It looks like I’ll be able to transplant them into the ground in about a week or so, though I’m grateful they are still under cover now. It is raining buckets out there this morning and I have the feeling that some of the tender stems would get broken by these large rain drops.

Lance came home last night. He is home for the next 4 days and then will head back up to the build. Lance and the friend he has been working with went for a hike after getting done yesterday and got to get back to just being friends, which allowed them to talk and settle things. He is feeling much better about things, which is good. Things should go much smoother when he heads back up. I’ve put away my shield and battle-axe.

Work begins, again, today. I had three, glorious, very relaxing, restorative days off. I’m still not anxious to get back to it, but it is what it is for now. I’m finding it hard to figure out my next step while I am enmeshed in my current position. I’ll figure it out, though.

Cernunnos

Cernunnos

Cernunnos is being very demanding about attention this morning. He has walked across my keyboard, head bumped my face a few times, and done whatever he can to stop my hands from touching the keyboard so they can pet him. I, now, have hair on my face, clusters of hair around my computer, and stuck in my robe. He is shedding, obviously.  The fact that it is raining means he started out wet when I began petting him, causing the hair to stick to my hands. I love that cat.

I guess I don’t really have a lot to write about this morning. I think part of me is still in bed. Another part is already out the door to get this clean done so I can come home, again. It’s hard to be present when my mind is wandering off in different directions. Maybe I’ll try writing, again, later today. I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Spring is only 5 days, 8 hours, and 20 minutes away!!