Friday, March 29, 2013

In a Day

Quiet - She can be found clicking away on the big brown couch at any given time. She chooses games that I would've never chosen: Vocabulary quizzes and strategic art/building games. The Lord has given her talents he never gave to me. I love that about her.

Elbow Grease -  Cleaning out the pantry takes twice as long now that every event is made into a photo shoot. Which is kind of ironic, since a blogger is always taking photos of everything. But when you are trying to learn a new camera its ridiculous. I had to clean the flour and dust off those canisters too. They haven't been that shiny for a long, long, time.

Life Lessons - These sparkly shoes sat under the sofa for days. In my mind I decided to count how many would pass before someone (anyone) else would pick them up and put them away. It didn't work out so well for me. I soon realized that my silver shoe rage wasn't so much about teaching a lesson as it was proving a point: Why do I always have to be the one picking things up, or reminding someone else to do it? I selfishly kept bitterness in the deeps of my heart... until, with the cumbersome sound of my own whining voice, I realized I was a lot like that shoe-- sparkly on the outside... but smelly deep within. I snapped the picture as a reminder: Parenting is about training, not setting up traps to point out someone's failures.

Early Mornings - I get up pretty early...way before the sun or the roosters. There is something about being outside before dawn has broken, when the soft yellow lights of neighboring windows mix with the blues in the sky.

Laughter- Several times a week we crank up the music (kids choice) and spend thirty minutes cleaning up the casa. This means the chores are often mixed with lots of moonwalking and lip syncing. My part is to tell them to hurry up! and work more! play less! and generally act like I'm letting them get away with having fun while working. The truth is, their hard work is of huge help to me. But occasionally, when I'm in another room, and they think I don't know that they're lip syncing to Michael Jackson in the other room, I'm gathering evidence while they are unaware.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Born Dirty

Last weekend I ran in a race with friends old and new. 

When I signed up for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in early January I had envisioned running in warm, late March, temperatures--the perfect start to the spring. Reality wasn't as idyllic, dictating temperatures near freezing, with clouds that threatened rain.

 Born Dirty wasn't deterred; we were ready to face the course rain or shine! Heat or chill!

It was an especially fine day for me. I was "competing" in a race I never imagined I'd run, but I also had two worlds collide. The team this year included dear friends Elisa and Meg. 

Meg and I knew each other back-in-the-day when we both lived in Southern Arizona. We had grown up in the same church, and have been friends for over 20 years. She moved to NC four or five years ago. Every time we get together I can't believe how incredible it is that we live in the same city! I feel so blessed to have this dear friend back in my life. 

Elisa, my running partner (and living proof that God answers prayer), also ran in the race. When I moved to NC eight years ago, I prayed God would send me just one true friend. Within hours of arriving I met Elisa at a park, and we've been amigos ever since. I cannot express what her friendship has meant to me over the years. 

So to have both of these precious gals with me was the sweetest gift. 

AND, as if that wasn't enough... there were five MORE friends that have been sent along the way. Some of the other team mates are gals I've known over the years through homeschooling. The rest are friends I've come to meet at our new church, and hope to get to know better in the coming days. All are fun, amazing women.

Now, for the race itself... it was AWESOME! I did things that I never thought I would do... scaled walls, climbed ropes, ate mud... I would totally do it again! As a matter of fact, I've already got it on the calendar... March 23! Who's in?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Benediction: A Vocal Expression of Goodness

... losing an hour, but gaining much more... I get more accomplished in the darkness of morning than the darkness of night.

... the smell of The Mister's aftershave... long after he's left for work.

... the Little Amaryllis That Could

... wrinkles, I'm not gonna fight 'em.

... tulips : 30 for $10

... matching t-shirts, seven friends, one Mud Run, a really cool team name to monogram.

... robins lunching in the yard.

...a sunny weekend to prepare the garden.

...have i mentioned tulips?

...these, my benediction.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Spring in the Desert

While my friends and family were enjoying 70-80 degree weather back home in Southern Arizona, I created cacti in the snow.

Well, I wasn't actually in the snow, but we had three weekends in a row when the weather got wintery and the city shut down. That's what happens in the south. We see a few snowflakes on the horizon and we batten down the hatches. Truth be told, this doesn't trouble me. There is nothing I like more than being in my office with hot beverages, wool felt, and a wide open schedule on a cold and snowy day.

I had had these little cacti in mind before Christmas for my nieces. But I smashed my finger in early December pulling the ligament away from the bone, rendering my left hand useless for nearly two months. Unfortunately, it wasn't so bad I couldn't do dishes or fold laundry, but fine motor skills were completely out of question. So the sweet succulents were just an idea in my mind.

I always love the creative process, but there are always bits I don't love: tucking tails of left over yarn, cutting fabric, trimming string, etc. Not so with these little guys. They were enjoyable from start to finish.

On a completely unrelated matter, I may have mentioned once or twice that I have been the Cookie Manager for our large Girl Scout Troop. Thankfully I have two other amazing gals who have shared this Herculean task. The numbers are staggering: 68 girls, 11,416 packages, 34 booths, $39,956 worth of cookies. And we still have this weekend for sales, and next week for paperwork and close out. After that it's time to rest...

Or head into the office once again... I may need to sew me some desert.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Signs of Spring...

I feel like the corner was turned this week. Although its still cold, March brings the promise of sunny weather and pretty things. Suddenly, as if overnight when the calendar flipped, everything's decided to stretch and arise. Thank goodness for tulips and Camellia's. They sure make February manageable...

The Daffie's are happily in their glory now. Popping up in brilliant color when most the world still wears her brown. This year their yellow faces look especially nice in my new green vase. A dear friend gave me that vase for my fortieth birthday. The the short blue piece is also one of my favorites. When I was married nearly 18 years ago my friends threw a wedding shower for The Mister and I, those vases were filled with flowers at each table setting. Such good memories...

A few days ago I was in the garage looking through my gardening supplies trying to make a list of what I might need for the garden this year. I came across some bulbs that had been left in the rain last summer. I'd forgotten that I had threw them in a paper bag, hoping that they might dry out and sleep. When I found them last week, all but one were lifeless and empty. So I took the lone survivor, put some beach stones I collected in an old piece of glass, gave her some water and waited. I think she might be an Amaryllis. We shall see...

Last weekend, as I planted tiny seeds of oregano, basil, chive, and cilantro, Kona sat at my side and watched it rain. Already the basil is springing to life. Ah... soon all will be green. And I will have my hands in the warm and fragrant earth. It's gonna be good...