Vacation

Vacation: A respite; rest

I have been in a rest period of writing. Resting meaning I haven’t been doing it. I have taken a respite from thinking about it, talking about it and doing it.

In so doing, I have found I miss it. I miss the feeling of putting in words my thoughts. Now, sometimes, they need to be unsaid or deleted. I can’t unsay them, but I can unwrite them.

I have returned to this vocation from a vacation and hopefully will find joy and enjoyment in doing it again.

Vacation is over and I am listening to the much needed rain pattering on my roof, enjoying it and knowing that in every life rain must fall. When it falls on the trees, grass and flowers something beautiful happens. They green up and get beautiful.

When rain falls in our lives, it sometimes feels bitter rather than better, but it washes away the unnecessary and lets us see the real. The beautiful in our lives. Sometimes we have to have a vacation and a storm to let us see what is important to us and see the path to that thing.

I learned that to get better at something, you have to do it. Not just once, but many, many times. The more words you put down the easier it is to put them down. You become less censorious it seems. You will still think it all stinks, but you will leave more standing and less in the delete column as time goes on. It is for me, anyway.

I make greeting cards and write the verses. I have found that the more I make the less likely I am to just toss it all to the side and declare it trash. I find it harder to throw away my cards than to delete my writing. I practice my words on throw away paper and don’t do my art until I am pretty sure what the words will be.

All of the words thus far are leading up to this: Please take the time to go through the storms, enjoy the vacation and come back ready to take up the path that is revealed.st

Advertisements

Hearing Aids, Part II

I have finally gotten my aids to full power or to goal as the lady said. I didn’t know that at each appointment to up the percentage would take me to new worlds of sound and sometimes wish I had taken them out or covered the mics in them. And then I would settle down and enjoy being able to hear my daughter talk to me from the other room without her shouting.

I love them. I love that I can understand what people are saying to me from across the table in the restaurant.

I can tell you that with hearing better comes the necessity of LISTENING better. When you aren’t sure what someone has said you either smile and nod or just tune in to someone next to you and don’t listen to the other person.

Now, you know someone is talking to you and you need to listen to what they are saying. I have read hundreds of words on being an attentive listener, and thought I was. Now, I know I might not have been.

I will try to listen better and be more attentive.

Hear is to be better listening.

Getting Help

As we grow older we need help in a lot of places.

Doing business, doing taxes, walking, seeing, hearing….

You get the idea. We all need of help all of our lives in on form or another, but growing older assures you will need physical help as well as learning to do new stuff.

Well, this week I entered into some help that has been apparent for a few years, but money and stubbornness held me back. This year my insurance kicked in with some help for the hearing aids.

I decided to stop being stubborn.

I picked them up today, they are basic, which means the technology is basic, it is however wonderful to me.

I remember getting my first pair of glasses when I was 14 and thinking I was just appeasing family and the doctor by submitting to them.

Well, when I sat in the office and put on the specs he asked if I didn’t see better. Well, I couldn’t tell, because I could see him just fine before and after the glasses.

Then I turned and looked out the front window of the office and across the street to see the trees. They were just fine.

He said now, continue looking across the street and take them off and put them on again.Image result for trees

Oh, my goodness. You mean you are supposed to see the LEAVES on the trees, not just a green mass at the top?

Well, that is exactly how I felt when she turned my aids on. I mean I could her rustle the paper across the room from me.

Really?

Yes, really. I could her footsteps. I don’t mean I am deaf, I’m not, I have mostly lost the top range of my hearing, so that the ends of words and the soft sounds of whispers are lost. Typical of growing older. Sometimes it can be a blessing, because that screaming child at the back of the church isn’t nearly as loud to me. But being able to hear it, is really a blessing.

This is my first day. I am wearing them a few hours a day for a while, but man oh man, is it nice. And I was a bit anxious as to how it would be. Then I decided that if God made the people who invented these things, and He did, then why shouldn’t I use them?

Until next time. Meanwhile, I will listening to the birds and the rain on the roof.

Winter in Southwest Missouri

For the past two or three years, we haven’t much of a winter. A bit of cold, snow that comes early in the morning and gone by noon, and some ice. Ice is my least favorite thing to try to endure, so mostly I don’t. God gave it to us, we are retired, we can just stay in until he takes it away.

This year in January winter came.January 14, 2018Now in my part of the world this usually quits with this amount, but this time the snow mounted up and the temperature bottomed out. We finished with 7 inches of snow and lows in the negative for most of the week. By the end of the week, the outlook had changed.sunshine and 60 Jan. 25, 2018.and today, January 25 it is 60 degrees and sunny. That’s the reason we love winter in the Ozarks.

Best Breakfast Ever

I was challenged by a writing prompt to talk of my best breakfast ever. I thought and thought, because breakfast really isn’t something I think about.

I have a great husband who does breakfast duty and cooks everything from eggs to french toast and chocolate chip pancakes and everything in between.

Right after this challenge was issued, I got sick and had to go on a clear liquid diet for three days and then soft diet for a week after.  This all happened the day before Thanksgiving and we had already invited friends over for the feast. It was all planned: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, gravy, hot rolls and pumpkin pie.

And I got: broth.

Oh, and water and ginger ale. Unfortunately, clear liquids did not include white wine.

I felt so much better on Thanksgiving day than I had the days before, that I was really okay with it.

Really.

It was my second day on the liquid diet and so I had one more day and could move to soft diet.

The third day passed and….Saturday morning I could EAT breakfast instead of drinking it.

What did I opt for my first real meal in three days?

MASHED POTATOES.

Smooth, silky mashed potatoes.

I dreamt about those potatoes for two nights. I could pass on the turkey and dressing. I could skip the rolls. But, oh those potatoes. They haunted me.

My first bite made me moan with pleasure. Who knew potatoes could taste that good?

They were everything I wanted them to be. They slid into my mouth with ease and just melted down my throat. They were warm, smooth and delicious.

Best breakfast ever.

Stellamander

My name is Stella and when I was growing up, in southern Missouri, it was Stella Marie. I still am, but when we moved to Minnesota after our wedding, I became a big girl and was called Stella. When asked about nicknames, I say Stella is it, but once upon a time I had another one.

When we lived in Menagha, a little town in Minnesota, we had a pastor with small children. His wife picked me up with the children in tow and we went to a ladies meeting in another town.

As we traveled we got to know each other through chit chat and talking with her daughter who was about 4 at the time.

On the way home, the mom said,” When we came to pick you up, my daughter asked if you were Stellamander. We had read a book before we left on salamanders and I think she put the two together.”

We both had a good laugh and the little girl giggled.

It had been a fun day and I had a new nickname.

Certainly beats Stellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllla!

7 Ways of Reigniting Passion

I have been away from my passion of writing for a while and am trying to get it back. In that search, I have come up with 7 ways to do that.

  1. Passion and fires have a lot in common. One of the ways to reignite a fire is to lay on some easily burned items. Strips of paper, old love letters, dried flowers. You get the idea. Well, to apply that to writing just write words. Words that come easily. Me, you, the sun. You get the picture. Do it for a while before moving on.
  2. On top of the dried flowers, put some kindling. Thin strips of wood or small branches are good. For your writing, put together sentences. You know: I love you. I love to write. The dog barks. Nothing too heavy. Keep it simple.
  3. You light the paper and get the kindling started. Writing wise, you string together a couple of sentences that belong together. Maybe make it a couple of strings of sentences.
  4. After the kindling is going well, you add a bigger piece of wood, maybe a small branch of very dry wood. In writing, move on to a paragraph of the sentences you have started on.
  5. You now have a pretty good fire, but you want to keep it going, so you add a little more kindling to keep the heavier piece of wood burning. In writing, to the sentences you add a few more words, or rearrange them to make a better sentence.
  6. Now that the kindling is burning nicely, add another piece of dry, good wood, maybe a little heavier, because now, you have a fire burning well. With your writing, take a look at what you have and maybe rearrange the order of the paragraph to make it make more sense. Or start a story with some of the words you have already written.
  7. You have your fire burning, so now all you do is occasionally add more wood to keep it going. With your writing, you just need to keep doing it. Make a goal of so many words a day, not only on what you are working on, but maybe take that goal and start another work while keeping the old fire burning.                                                There you have a good fire and a great way back to your writing passion.

Being Alone Together

 

 

Image result for alone together

 

 

When our children were little, being alone with my husband was a sought after time. We only had night time when they were asleep or nap time. He was not around much at nap time. Our only choice was night time.

When you get up at 5:30 am for work and to get the kids off to school, their sleep time was our sleep time.

If we had time for conversation it was that fifteen minutes between their falling asleep and our stumbling up stairs to crawl into bed for our own sleep time.

As they grew and their sleep time came more into sync with our sleep time, our alone time was after dinner while they did homework and played.

This alone time was shortened when we all watched a favorite t v show together. We could go out, and did, leaving the kids with baby sitters or alone as they aged.

The alone time at the house without going to a movie or out to eat was minimal.

Little did we know that when they were grown and with their own families, that our alone together time would lengthen to the point of at home all the time.

We are now retired, and it amazes me how much time we are alone together. Not a bad thing, just something I never thought about. I have always felt that when we are together we should be together.

If he was outside, I should be outside.

If he was inside, I should be inside. Now if that meant that what I wanted to do was put to the side to be together, that was what was done.

Well, we have been retired now over ten years.

I have come to the conclusion, that as long as we are available to each other for companionship or help in a project, we don’t need to be in the hip pocket of the other.

Now, this may seem a “duh” moment to those of you still with family around and jobs to go to, but it took me a long time to get there.

What I want you to know, is that I now relish the alone time we have and the ability we have to do things together whether it is making a pie or just sitting on the sofa together. I think this is what retiring should look like.

Goin’ On A Roadtrip

KODAK Digital Still Camera

My hubby has wanted to go to Yellowstone for as long as I have known him. So, this year our kids gave us the trip as an early anniversary present and we jumped at it. We planned it so we could go before the Memorial Day week-end, but with bad weather and a change in plans we wound up going on Memorial Day week-end.  We were coming into the park from California after a short visit with my brother.

We got into the area on Saturday of that week-end and decided to stay in Belgrade, Mt. It is about an hour from the park and about ten minutes from the headwaters of the MIssouri river, which is something we are interested in. The picture below is taken at the headwaters, which is really the convergence of the Gallaton and Madison rivers, rather than a stepping across point like the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca, Mn. It was great fishing, apparently, because there were several fishing. Since we were in Lewis and Clarke area, we went to the Lewis and Clarke state park, which was beautiful and enjoyable.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

After we finished this tour we went back for a nap and then on to Hylite park in Bozeman.  It has a gorgeous lake and some trails. We are not mountain climbers, but we can still do a trail or two. When we got to one spot in the park there was a sign, not a sign from above, but a sign. Well, it said falls and .7 miles. We walk about a mile and a quarter several times a week, so we’re up for this.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sure we were. We forgot. We were in the mountains, and if you have a falls they have to up to fall from something. We made it. With two rest stops and two trees to climb over. But it was worth it.

KODAK Digital Still Camera         Don’t you think? It was a beautiful falls.

This is the main attraction for us at Yellowstone: Old Faithful. She performed beautifully for us. They post the approximate times of Old Faithful going off. We got there about 15 minutes before the time. We got a great vantage point. There were lots of people a lot closer, but we didn’t get wet and we didn’t have to smell the sulphur. Just enjoyed the geyser.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

This was a bonus for us. It is Cascades falls in the park. They are lovely and they had a great platform to view it from.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

These are the highlights from Yellowstone. There will more roadtrip pictures later. We are planning a roadtrip to Minnesota later and I am sure there will be stories to tell and pictures to show. Thank you for stopping by.