Category Archives: Unbosomings

Age…From My Vantage Point

God frequently uses my children to keep me humble.  Today however, on my forty-somethingish birthday, I am kept in my right place by a Mount Everest-sized pimple positioned right next to the most prominent wrinkle on my face.   

Something is just not right about a huge zit and a deep crevice taking up residence on the same face…especially my own!  How’s a girl suppose to “treat” this situation?  With makeup, I know, but do you you moisturize the wrinkle and risk exasperating the acne or do you treat the pimple  at the expense of drying out the aging skin?  Sheesh.  It makes me think of a time, not so long ago, when we were raising toddlers and teenagers under the same roof.

I will give no more thought, however, to the mountain next to the deep rift on my face because today is my birthday.  Today I will celebrate and be happy.  Today marks the day that I am officially closer to the age of fifty than I am to forty.  Weird.  Is this what forty-six feels like?  Looks like?  I would not have thought so, even a decade ago.  I guess I thought I would be much older by the time I reached this age. 

I remember my own mom at the age I am now.  She was only forty-four on my wedding day.  Perception is influenced by perspective.  On my wedding day, my mom was “middle-aged” and maybe “a bit fluffy”.  That was my perception twenty-five years ago.  (Sorry Mom, I’m sure your grandchildren are vindicating you this very day through their own view of yours truly.)  Today, I see that my mom was beautiful.  She really was.  I miss her, especially today.  It was really her “birth” day after all.  If my mom were still living, I’d take her to lunch to celebrate at a little tea room and I would tell her thank you for giving birth to me, for raising me, for praying by my bed at night and on the way to school in the mornings, and  for teaching me to believe in Jesus and answered prayers. 

My mom died young.  It has been only eight years and even then I didn’t realize how very young she really was.  My Mama was sixty years old when she met Jesus.  I’m a slow learner, but thanks be to God, at least I’m learning.  From where I sit today, I can see a bit more clearly.  Age is relative.  Age is beautiful.   

 Lord, give me perspective, Your perspective.  Today I turn forty-six.  I look forward to growing old, but for today, I shall celebrate my “youth”.  From this vantage point I really am still so very, very young. 

I even have a pimple to prove it!

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Giving In: The Trend Toward Healthy Eating

I’m a bit of a rebel.  I tend to shy away from the latest trends simply because I don’t want to go along with what everyone else says is “cool”.  I have my own mind and I don’t want to be told what to wear, eat, read, do…get the picture?  “Pride cometh before the fall.”  I know.  I pray about it daily, but that’s not my point.

I want to develop, for myself and my family, a more healthy way of eating.  There.  I said it.  I could easily rebel against “healthy” eating habits for the mere purpose of not buying into the latest craze, but this is something I really want to do.  I’ve always leaned toward a healthy-ish lifestyle…emphasis on the “ish”.  I enjoy sunshine and fresh air.  I’m ever so slightly athletic and am drawn to activity, or at least the idea of it.   I like veggies, all them, and have taught my children to enjoy them as well.  Hmm, what else is healthy-ish about me?  That just may be it.  Oh, I understand the value of H2O and raw veggies and I’ve read French Women Don’t get Fat.  That probably about sums up my healthy-ishness.  

The other, and  more prevalent, side of me loves to go to movies and eat buttered (Yes, I said it, buttered!) popcorn.  I can sit idle, whether on the porch or in front of the picture window, daydreaming for way too long.  Pasta with marinara  is yummy, but I may prefer it with cream sauce.  I consider chicken fried steak  with mashed potatoes and gravy a well-balanced meal, as long as there are green beans and dessert.  Sweet tea is a staple.  And I looove my coffee.  Do not come between us! 

As I read this, I realize that I’m quite possibly a split personality and may need therapy.  But for now, I’m just going to say that I think I’d like to make some changes toward more healthy eating.  Do not misunderstand.  I’m never (that’s a guarantee that God will make me) going  to turn completely away from all the wonderful things I love.  I just mean that I want our family to characteristically eat healthy food and enjoy it, while balancing that with some of the other things we’ve always enjoyed..      

It’s all about baby steps, for me, and I think I may already be a couple of steps into it.  So far, the steps I’ve taken are as follows. 

I started by creating the habit and routine of meal planning.  Jotting down the meals you plan to have over the course of the next week, or at least the next few days, and listing the ingredients that you’ll need for those meals is a relatively simple process if you stick with what you already know.  Once you get that down,  making simple changes gradually may seem less daunting.  This is what I’m thinking anyway.  I’m not there yet. 

Having veggies at every meal is the other baby step I’ve taken (or should I say “am taking”…still working on this one).  I’m loving sliced tomatoes on my plate.  I know that’s fruit, but I count them as a veggie.  Sometimes it’s a colorful salad.  Often it’s simply steamed veggies.  I think that my current favorite is a side of sliced avocado, tomato, and red onion.   

I’m not sure what the next baby step will be.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself and make some elaborate plan that I stick to as well as my New Year’s resolutions.  It’s just like me to dive in head first to something, get overwhelmed, lose momentum and give up.  I knew, when I was reading the post at Simple Mom today, that I couldn’t just go buy the E-book and get started.  I’m the crazy that would buy the “bargain”, bazillion gallons of coconut oil and then let it go bad on a shelf because I’m not sure what I was supposed to be using it for.  No, not yet.  For now, I’ll just keep up with what I’m doing and add in other changes naturally.  I’ll post them here, so I can see my progress, if there is any more progress.

Well, off to MarketStreet to get some veggies!  Happy steaming.

(It may seem that I’m all over the place with my posts, but it only seems that way because I am.  And I am because that’s the way my mind works.  This blog may take on a focus one day, but I doubt it.   I am still working on the house, slowly, but surely.)

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Spring…time to git ‘er done!

Photo by Bob Hiemstra for Real Simple

This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it…and get some spring cleaning and organizing accompolished all the while! 

I’ve been spending way more time than I should, lately, perusing some of my favorite nesting and organizing blogs, chasing after inspiration.  Inspiration and MOTIVATION.  I think I’m procrastinating again.  I freeze up sometimes.  I don’t know if it’s the dread of getting started or the fear of failure. 

Either way, it’s time for me to stop being “inspired” by everyone else’s ideas and progress and get my own self in gear! 

So here I go.  To keep myself accountable and maybe make my job a little more fun, I’ll post progress here…as time and energy and motivation permit (that’s my disclaimer in the event that I don’t “post”).    

I’ll have to be selective, as there are so, so many projects to choose from.  I’ll ask myself the following questions in dertermining which tasks to tackle first:  1) Will it simplify my day to day life?  2) Can I do it with little or no cost?  3) Will it make my home more functional?  4) Will it simply make me happy?

Here are a few areas in my home that need attention…

Above is a “pantry” shelf that is actually in the utility room and faces the doorway to the kitchen/dining/family room.  It can be a catch all because it’s purpose sort of evolves with the ebb and flow of life.  It needs to have a more defined purpose while keeping it’s flexibility. 

My closet…yikes!  This is several projects in one.  Baby steps!

The pile on this top shelf is some spring clothes that belong to my Little Miss.  They were at one time culled neatly in a box, which can no longer be seen since she decided to get a chair and go through it one warmish day this past winter.  Warm weather is here to stay and it’s time again to make the switch from sweaters and jeans to capris, shorts and T’s.

( I’ve been keeping the Little Miss’s clothes in my closet for a few years.  It started when she became a quick change artist at the age of two!  I moved all of her things to my closet and they have been here ever since.  It works for me.  I also keep her dirty clothes basket in here, so I have a better handle on what she has to wear and I can easily grab a small load of her laundry to throw in with mine.)

Also in my closet is this bag of stuff I quickly collected off of my desk below, in order to have a more decluttered work space.  “I’ll toss it in here, for now, and deal with it later.”  That’s been…umm…I’m not sure how long ago.  Most of it probably needs to be tossed, but I know of a couple of things I need to keep.  

This could be worse…but it could also be WAY better.  The top of that filing cabinet, that filing cabinet period, could really use some major attention! 

Books and laundry!  This is in our bedroom…next to that desk up there.  At 560 square feet, we refer to our bedroom as the “master living area”.  There are five steps to laundry; sort, wash, dry, FOLD and PUT AWAY…struggling with steps four and five.  Just do it!

Bathroom drawers… Question #1- “Will it simplify daily life?”  YES

And this…

Hair stuff!  I get just a little bit mad every time I open this drawer, which is everyday!  

Then there is the hallway…

Who wouldn’t love to have this much storage?  The problem is that it’s funky fifties type cabinets, deep and tall, lots of wasted space if not creatively used.  I’ve got to make better use of this space.  As it stands, however, the kids have made a “hide out” of that top shelf!  They have hung “art work” and the whole enchilada.    

  And just look at this hall movie closet/candle and seasonal stuff storage closet…

I’m beginning to get that “I think I’ll go to a movie or take a nap, now” feeling. 

There is my baking center and the rest of the kitchen.  And the utility room

I can’t even mention the garage!

I’m off to git ‘er done…not the garage, of course, but something, anything!

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Basketball Mom turned Ballet Mom…

 

…for today, anyway.   And, to be honest, I’m having a hard time settling in to the whole idea of it. 

The whole family, with the exception of myself and my littlest girl, left this morning.  They are travelling just two and a half hours down the road to see my college boy and his basketball team play.  I want to be there like nothing else!  

My big boy plays basketball at a small university over six hours away and his games are never nearby, except this one time a year, when they play at a town just two and a half hours away from ours.  There are two universities that they play in that same little city, so they get to be there for two nights.  

My son is just over two hours away and I can’t see him!  How crazy is that?  I am the type of person to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” but, I’ll be doggone, if I just couldn’t make it happen this time…not and keep my place as a mom in good standing with her seven year old ballerina. 

My boy’s first game was played on Thursday and I was going to be there “come hail or high water”, but not “come snow and ICE!”.  We had a winter storm, here in West Texas, and the roads got icy.  The Captain decided it wasn’t safe to travel.  He stayed at work and I was left at home to pout, cry, and throw fits.  I did throw a pretty good little tantrum in my head.  I thought it best to do it there, so that the kids wouldn’t think  they were privvy to do the same thing the next time they were as mad and disappointed as I was then.  

Oh, but I did cry and fight back tears off and on all afternoon.  It was such a let down.  I had been looking forward to it since the day that I had written it in my calendar back in August.  Blast.  To make matters worse, I knew that this was my only chance to go.  The rest of the family could go to the second game on Saturday, but not me.  My little miss has her Winter Ballet Performance Saturday evening. 

What’s a mother to do?  Who else can go sit in the audience and watch a dozen or two little ballerinas on a huge stage and actually see one over all the rest, if not that little ballerina’s mommy?  Who else will do her little bun and tuck her long sleeves under so that they are 3/4 length sleeves (because they never did get cut and hemmed), if not her mommy?  

I’ll be going to the ballet tonight.  There will be no yelling or cheering or anxiety because of  the too-close-for-comfort score board and no correcting the refs for not calling the foul.  There will be beautiful music and beautiful costumes and beautiful little girls all performing to their hearts content for their “fans”.  

I’ll take flowers to give to my little ballerina (only because a friend reminded me of the protocol this morning, thanks friend).  Hopefully, our little girl’s daddy and brother and sisters will roll back into town in time to slip in and see the performance.  

It would make her day to get those flowers from her daddy.

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$150 Hairdo!

Yes, that’s right, one hundred fifty dollar hair do!   
What do you think? 
 
I thought, “By golly, I better get a photo of this $150 hair do.”  Of course, I thought of this at the end of the day, after my “do” was tired and worn out and so was I, but I took a picture of myself anyway. 
 
First of all, even after a days wear, it looks better than it will ever look again.  I can’t ever do what they do and so, of course it will never again look the same. 
 
But the main reason I photographed my “do” was because it was a hundred and fifty bucks!!!  I just about passed out right there in the “beauty shop”!  Can you imagine what the look on my face must have been when they told me the price?  I was stunned, to say the least.  My immediate thought was, “Oh my, I don’t think I’ll take this hair do after all!”, but then it occurred to me that I wasn’t shopping.  I had to hand over a hundred and fifty bucks on the spot.  I gave the lady the remainder of my grocery money and went home. 
The Captain said, “Ooooh, I like your hair, it looks really good!”  And I said, “Thank you, it was a hundred and fifty bucks.”  And he said, “It doesn’t look THAT good!” and then he said, “That’s ridiculous!” as if this were MY fault!  Well, what’s a girl to do?  Preserve it in photos, don’t ya know! 
So here you have a couple of pics…ignore the ridiculous expression on my face and the fact that I need lipstick…
 Looks like $150 hair do…don’t ya think?  OK, maybe not, but it feels really fresh…for today, anyway!

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A Mother’s Work is Never Done…

This is my “Concordia Mom” mug.  

Sometimes it makes me smile.  Often it causes a little tug at my heart.  Occassionally, it brings on a slight wave of naseau.  Always, it takes me before the Lord in prayer! 

As mothers, we will never, ever be out of a job.  Never.  As long as I shall live, I will be drawn to go before the Almighty in prayer for my “babies”.  It can be quite a chore at times.  If I’m not focused directly on Jesus,  I can’t seem to finish a prayer before I find myself deep in “problem solving”.  It takes a very concentrated effort for me to pray for my kids sometimes.  Oh, but I am drawn to do so.  That is not to say that I always feel like it.  Sometimes it’s just plain tedious and I want to move on into my day.  I can pray as I go, of course, and I often do.  But that is not the same as being still before the Throne, interceding for those precious fruits of the womb…who can be such stinkers sometimes. 

I purchased this mug at my big boy’s school in August, when I left him there…all alone…without me…by himself….alone.

  I could have chosen the T-shirt for all to see (I am a proud momma, ya know), but when I saw the mug I knew I had to have it.  I love to have a cup of cream and sugar with a splash of coffee in it during my quiet time and I am picky about my mug.  It has to be large enough, but not too big.  It has to have a good handle that allows my whole hand to get a good grip on it.  I want no dinky little handles that require the pinky to stick up…those are fine for tea, not coffee.  Last, but not least, I want it to mean something…my mug can bring back a fond memory or reminder of a fun trip or maybe just cause me to reflect or ponder something I value.  Whatever.  I just like things to be quaint, by golly, especially if it’s too early to be up and I’m grouchy about it.  

This purple mug fit the bill on every count.  I didn’t anticipate the spiritual value it would hold for me.  I suspect  that it will remain my morning companion for the remainder of my boy’s college basketball years.  It reminds me that a mother’s work is never done.

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It’s a dog’s life

My family left early this morning.  I say early.  That’s relative.  To my girls, it’s early if it’s still dark out when you leave for basketball  practice.  To me, it’s early if it’s still dark out when your husband wakes you to kiss you goodbye, only 4 hours and 22 minutes after you last looked at the clock!  I closed my eyes and listened to the door shut harder than I thought it should have, picturing the Littles popping their eyes open wide.  Thankfully they slept through it.  Just as I was beginning to drift back to the Land of Nod, I heard the familiar jingling coming down the long hallway toward my room.  Gabby!  Tell me no.  Can the dumpster truck possibly be here already?  I don’t hear it, but I jump out bed and begin the race to the back door.  Our blue heeler is faster than lightning and can cut and turn on a dime.  I can not.  I hit the quirky fold-in-half door in the hallway that gets run into about twice a week.  Lucy, the Lab/Retriever mix, decides to check out the situation.  Gabby is at the back door.  “Don’t bark!  Please don’t bark!  I’m coming.  Ouch.  I’m coming!”  Too late…the peace and quite of our dark home is cracked open by the echo of the sharp, booming, blasts of big-dog barking.  Why, oh why, did we choose wood floors?  Big-dog barks indoors with wood floors…well, I just can’t explain it.  I finally got to the door, got it unlocked and opened in what seemed to be an eternity. 

Running on a treadmill, trying to get traction on the wood floors, the pair finally got out the door.   I saw nothing but a black blur as Gabby cut her way to the fort steps, with Lucy on her heels,  to take position on their lookout…and just in time!  It was here…the dumpster truck…loud and monstrous!  BARK, BARK, BARK! WOOF, WOOF!  RRR,WOO, WOO, WOOF! BARK, BARK!  And then they were done.  I just don’t understand this.  What in the world is so darned exciting about the dumpster truck?  You would think it was the Second Coming and you have to be on the fort or you get left behind.  It’s genuine panic the way they blaze a trail to that perch!  And the funny thing is, it’s the highlight of their week.  They came back to the door and Gabby whined, so I let them in. I’m left standing at the  door wondering what just happened.  I was snug as a bug in a rug one minute and the next, I’m standing erect on a cold hard floor with bare feet, heart pounding.  I turned to see that Gabby and Lucy had gone back to their beds and back to sleep.  I need my coffee…make it a double!

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