A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Simple Things.

I've been working on another post, but it sucks.

So I'll just share this.

Three years ago someone directed me to a writing program that set in motion a journey into transformation.  It's been an emotional, spiritual and physical adventure, and the main tools have been the books that come, one at a time, when I need them.  What I mean is that when I finish one, I'm usually left asking, "Well, what about...?"  or "Hmmmm... what if...?" kinds of questions.  And usually within a couple of days, someone will recommend a book they are reading that I will pick up and - whoa - it will answer those questions.  Three years, about a book a month.

The latest have been from a bag given to me by, amazingly, my clogging teacher who, it turns out, is way ahead of me on this path.  Night before last I was reading one of the books and the author kept referring to his previous book.  Turns out the one I was reading was number two in a series of three.  "Well, I want to read the first one."

Now, our library has a little, used bookstore in the facility.  Mind, our community is VERY conservative, and the book I wanted is kind of "out-there-woo-woo" stuff so it would not have occurred to me to think, "Why, I bet I can buy this at the library store."  Not in a million years.  But I was headed into town for groceries, and the library is near my favorite strawberry stand which was on my to-do list, so I decided to stop in at the bookstore and see if they had anything of interest for me.  As it turned out, they DID have the book I wanted (the ONLY one of its genre; someday I may stop being thrilled and surprised when this kind of synchronicity occurs), but before I found myself on that aisle, I had headed for my usual hangout in the self-help section.

And, for a buck, I picked up a treasure.

Someone told me once he was ready to write a "message to the world" book. (I wonder if he ever did?)  That's what this seems like.  I'm a fan of Jim Brickman's music, but as I read this, I'm becoming a fan of the man.  So far it's full of common sense wisdom delivered with a delightful sense of humor.  A nice treat.

I have several Brickman albums.  I love his "Simple Gifts" arrangement, and often set my alarm to "Harvest" (a gentle way to wake up in the morning.)  But "Simple Things" is my favorite of his vocals.

[LOL.  Just watched this and the lyrics are off.  Maybe should be one of those joke things?  Tears come to DRY, not drown.  There are a thousand CHIMING (not charming) church bells.  If I can find another version, I'll replace this.  Or, just close your eyes and listen.  :)]

Let's just dance.
Teach my soul to take this chance.

Yes, please.

In other news, I'm enjoying my spring break.  It's just so - I dunno - SPRING around here.  I decided to break the week into two types of activities.  I alternate days.  The Cause activities are to move life forward.  Today I delivered 20 cans of old paint to the PaintCare center (Dunn-Edwards), which cleared two shelves in the garage and meant I could FINALLY move the last of the storage unit boxes out of the kitchen.

Haven't seen this for months.  In fact, now that I think of it, I moved out of the storage unit in March of last year, so it's been buried and inaccessible for over a year.  Yikes.

A few weeks ago our water filtering system stopped working well enough to be any good, so we've been using the emergency water.  We needed to move it around anyway, so that's OK, but it was a hassle.  When I went for the water, I asked the owner of the water store (from whom we buy our filter replacements) what would cause the water to dribble out after flowing for several weeks.  Believe it or not, the solution was to get a bicycle pump and pump air into the holding tank.  Of course, as part of our purging over the last two years, my son had sold our only bicycle pump at a garage sale.  facebook to the rescue.  He put out a plea for a pump, and old friend happened to be visiting his mom around the corner and within 30 minutes the system was working fine again.

My Soul activities are just for me.  Gardening, stitching, reading, writing, socializing. Restoration.  Relaxation.  I've left my alarm to go off at the usual time, then just read in bed for a couple of hours and THAT is a luxury I could get used to.  Once I'm up and about on My Soul days, I'm out in the garden.  Know what the test of a True Gardener is?  We LOVE to pull weeds, and I've been at it with gusto.  I find the BEST surprises when I'm pulling weeds.  Here is today's.

Can you see them?  No?  Let me get a little closer.

Yes?  No?  Closer?

Not a great picture, but right in the middle is one of the TWO Monarch butterfly caterpillars I found on this milkweed.  First of the season.  Kind of early.  I saw a Monarch fly through  a week or so ago, but haven't even checked for eggs because it's so early.  Guess they're getting a headstart.

Other garden discoveries:

I just happened to come to this part of the courtyard garden from a different angle and liked the way the plants are coming together in the sunshine.  The Santa Barbara Daisy is taking over the fountain, as usual.  It's my hyperactive child of the garden.  Pink Salvia, milkweed and verbena bonariensis for the butterflies.  You can't really see them but there's a collection of chiffon variety poppies under that light that look healthy.  In the background the viburnum is leafing out and getting ready to put on its annual show of snowballs.

Geum are my current garden favorites.  This is one of two geum 'Totally Tangerine' doing its takeover thing.  I don't mind.  It was covering some gerbera daisies that had to be moved, though.  Now I have a new geum called 'Mai-Tai' that I have to find a space for.  It's hard because some of these things are tiny.  I have one in the fairy garden in bloom now that it only six inches across.  And others, like this one, get huge.  The plant in the front yard is about three feet across and almost two feet high, taller when it's covered with flowers.  And you can't really tell which is going to be tiny and which huge until you plant them and let them grow for a year.  And if you've picked the wrong spot, you've got a problem.

First sweet pea of the season.

My lilac "Declaration" is covered with blooms.  I wasn't sure it would even grow here, but this is its third year (or is it four?) and each year I get more flowers.

Believe it or not, I was nearly dancing in giddiness when I saw this.  Yeah, I know it looks like a dirty pond, which it was.  I had just scooped out a year's accumulation of fallen leaves, string moss and some trash that had blown in, so it was still murky.  Then I pulled out the large pot of Mrs. Perry D. Slocum, a lotus that I had bought last year.  I wasn't sure it would winter over, but when I pulled the pot, I found it full of healthy tubers and roots and - TAH DAH - new leaves.  Hard to see, I know, but I zeroed right in on them and squealed.  (Well, inside, anyway.  60-something women and squealing... well not a pretty sound.)

Going to have to head out to pick up dinner (it's Mexican food night - yum) but wanted to share the stitchery I"m working on.   It's a teeny thing and a challenge for my eyes, but it's getting there.  Hoping to have it done within a day or two.

And there.  My first post sucked because it was another whiney thing, and I'm not really feeling so whiney.  Grateful for this break.  Re-connected with cousins I hadn't seen in over twenty years on Easter.  And because I didn't have to work today was able to accept an invitation for drinks with my clogging teacher.  We went to the local Brendan's and lucked into an evening with James Delahunty (wish I had a video but all I can find are tapes of him with Paul Starling, which would be OK since my son was the drummer for the performances but James is just doing background, but what we heard was solo and...  never mind).  It was fun.  We ended up getting a sandwich and talking for a couple of hours before dragging out.  No alcohol, just tired from dancing and late hours.

Not to complain, but the usual outcome of spring break for me is an intense longing for summer break.

Soon enough.

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