More Like Him

Dogs are fabulous creatures, but what makes me smile more often is our cat. His name is Chomby, even though the Vet has him listed as Chungus. When using voice text on my phone, it records his name as Giambi. My daughter and I laughed and call him Giambi sometimes for the heck of it.

This week I watched him everyday just to see if he does this every morning, and he does. As soon as I let him out of his house, he goes straight to the window. This is before food, water, or even the potty box. I found his posture so intriguing and snapped this picture for you. It’s like he can’t wait to see what all is happening in the new day.

Giambi/Chomby

This week, I’ve seen myself doing something similar as Chombs. As soon as I wake up I find a window to look out of, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be outside. Yes, it’s hot, and humid, but I’m not willing to let that stop me. The sweet spot outside is found early in the morning. The flowers I planted in March and April aren’t going to care for themselves.

This morning, I noticed the flowers planted in the Vintage Flower cart looked sad. They weren’t getting enough water, or if they were, it was draining right through. I pulled them out and planted them in the shade. The flower cart was empty again. I’ve tried placing it in various places all over the yard, but this time I stood still and waited for the answer to come.

I spotted a bare patch of ground where the birdseed is poured every morning, so I rolled the flower cart there. Immediately I knew the birds would use it as a perch while taking turns eating the seed scattered below. For now, it serves a purpose empty, but we have a purpose to fulfill and empty won’t cut it. We can tap into what we know will fill us back up.

Seeing our cat faceplanted to a window reminds me to be excited for a new day. Let’s strive to be more like him.

These Two Chairs

We have thought about buying a couch for as long as we’ve lived here.

I spent time cleaning over the weekend, and then did some rearranging of the den. As I was moving furniture around, I remembered the couch sitting here the first time we saw this house. It sat right underneath the window sill, and ran the length of the wall. Three years later, we still haven’t bought a couch. 😂

Sitting at the coffee table this morning, I looked across the table at her chair. It was empty. She is out, living her life, which I want her to do. She called and was excited about new tires for her Jeep. Her father took her tire shopping, and I sat and listened as she described every detail. That’s my girl excited about tires!

The main reason we haven’t bought a couch is these two chairs. They were designed and made around 15 years ago, for a formal living room which you can read about here. They are extra wide and the cushions are stuffed with down, so you can curl up and never leave. If we get a couch, they will have to go into storage, because neither of us can part with them.

These two chairs have held us up during every ‘love of my life’ breakup. They are wide enough to hold a box of tissues and a blanket. The fabric is formal, so I looked into having them recovered, and because they are so well made, the estimate started at $800 per chair. New fabric is not in their future.

Nowadays, her chair is empty more often than not, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through the years, the one place we always go to be seen and supported is these two chairs.

Before and After

There’s a chapter in my book about a pillow. The chapter is referencing how things fit into our life at just the right time, and this particular chapter reflects on yearly increments. A year is a long enough time span where changes are easily seen, but what about the month to month changes, or better yet, the daily ones?

I’ve heard, “The moment between before and after is called truth.” I took a photo of the pillow for the book and just came across it on my desktop. It revealed how much my life has changed in two months time. You know me, anything less than a year is considered brisk. Here’s a glimpse into my before and after.

Taken March 28, 2021.

Looking at this picture today, I find it interesting that I plopped the new pillow in this weathered and worn wooden chair for it’s photo shoot. My intention has always been to paint this chair, but haven’t been able to decide on a color. Even though this chair is well made, it’s not very comfortable to sit in for any length of time.

I envisioned the front porch having comfy chairs, that invite you to sit for as long as the moment requires. Like curling up in your favorite chair in the den, I wanted a similar feel for the front porch. Barb went on a mission to find two outdoor chairs at a reasonable price. Life offers a series of clues that assist in making quick decisions. When I found these chairs there were only two of them sitting on the showroom floor.

Taken May 15, 2021.

I used this photo a couple of posts ago in To Be Seen, but that pillow has taught me a lot since then. The pillow is made for outdoors, but doesn’t sit well in rain. It rained the entire month of May, and storms hit fast. I forgot the pillow was sitting outside, so it got rained on. When I stepped outside to retrieve it, the yarn that makes up the wheels on the vehicle had bled, and it looked like the wheels were crying.

I washed it and it looks better, but I can still see faint signs of it being left outside in the storm. Sometimes we have to sit through some rain, and our wheels may feel like crying, but afterwards we will see a difference in before and after.

All that Peace

It’s easy to give away pieces of ourselves to everyone around us, but we need to keep some of that peace for ourselves. We love our people, but I’ve heard we need to treat ourselves like someone we love.

This meme by SC Lourie is sitting on my desktop wanting to be shared. I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder and printed it out to view regularly.

SC Lourie/Butterflies and Pebbles

It’s a give and take, and I do better at giving than receiving. I love people and it brings me joy to give away my smiles, my laughter, and pretty soon some hugs, but it’s also a responsibility to give that all back to me. Otherwise, I won’t have anything to give and that would be a sad day Inbarbsworld.

To have all that peace, I do peaceful things, like going for walks. Just a stroll around the neighborhood, and taking some deep breaths does wonders. My coffee intake has gone from sipping the magical brew throughout the day to drinking a couple of cups. I light candles to enhance the atmosphere of the day. The one I have burning right now is a frosted pine scent and smells like Christmas.

To keep all that peace it’s best to not let anyone take it. People aren’t allowed to walk into my life and take my peace (family included). Be kind to yourself my darling, and take a moment for yourself to gather up all that peace.

Feel The Music

I heard this song last Sunday, and began composing a post after publishing To Be Seen. Unfortunately, I’ve been messing with it every day this week up until the final moment of it’s scheduled publish.

I shared this song with my daughter and told her it’s up next for Feel the Music. It didn’t take her but a moment of listening it to recognize the voice singing is Pink. My favorite part of the song is how she lays down her sword to dive into the pain. I don’t do that nearly often enough, but look forward to the day my sword can retire.

My daughter is my biggest fan, and I’m hers. She is my first like on a post and knows beforehand when one is going to be published. This one was scheduled for 10:00 am, but I haven’t heard from her this morning, so I’ll wait. We always show up for one another, but the timing of our lives doesn’t always align. The timing is not as important as the doing.

If she were here she’d say, ‘Stop rewriting the post!”, but maybe that’s okay. If nothing else she sees that you can rewrite your story down to the very last minute. I do know at some point to stop typing and kick it into cyberspace.

That’s all I know so far.

To Be Seen

“It’s better to be seen than viewed”, said the cashier at the gas station. That phrase has stuck with me for almost a year. We were just making small talk, and then those words fell out of his mouth as I headed toward the door.

The people who walk through our lives are important, and we need to pay attention to who steps in and what they say because most have a message.

When we first moved here, there weren’t many people walking this neighborhood. There was the occasional runner, or someone would zoom by on a bicycle, but no one just strolling the streets. A year ago I began a simple habit of walking to the end of the street as a friendly presence in the neighborhood. I’ve met a good many neighbors and been doing this for long enough now, when they see me coming they stop and talk.

The time or day doesn’t matter so much as the doing.

This is not considered exercise. I literally step outside in whatever I’m wearing and stroll the nearby streets. My daughter got tickled at me one day when I walked out the door and forgot to leave my glasses at home. I was wrapped up in my favorite cardigan and my glasses were still sitting atop my head as we strolled, but it didn’t bother me because I want to be seen for who I am.

A writer.

To be a writer, you need to release your words. To be a good neighbor, you need to keep them.

An excerpt from the book.

I enjoyed all of your fun comments on my previous post Embracing the New. Here’s a couple of photos I shared in my Fearless community taken with my new phone. I wanted to capture the tiny detail of the yellow flower blooming, and it did that, but it also but picked up every vein in the leaves. I love how the pot sitting below is blurry like it’s not supposed to be the focus.

Focused on the details.
The bigger picture.

We do not see our size. We do not view ourselves with accuracy. We are far larger, far more marvelous, far more deeply and consistently creative than we recognize or know.

Pg. 48 of ‘A Right to Write’, by Julia Cameron.

Here’s to showing up in true form and allowing ourselves to be seen. Much love-Barb.

Embracing the New

I got a new phone. This may not seem earthshattering to you, but for me it’s a bold move. The phone I had was perfectly alright, and it’s served me well for years. My favorite part of that phone was the camera because it took pretty pictures, or so I thought.

The day I bought this new phone I wasn’t looking for a phone. I was online paying my internet bill, and saw an advertisement that might be helpful in my workplace. I called to ask a few questions about their phone service and the customer service rep told me about it. Before I realized it, she was asking about my phone, and offering up better options. Honestly, she had my attention with two words. Samsung Galaxy. Her name is Tamika, and she said, “Ms. Holmes. I’m not leaving until we find you a phone you’ll love.” She was true to her word, and spent 45 minutes going over every Galaxy option. She wanted to know what’s most important to me in a phone, and I told her, “The camera to capture moments.”

Two days later, the phone arrived.

It looked huge compared to the phone I was using, but it also looked thin and sleek. It didn’t seem to have many apps, but I didn’t know at first to swipe the screen up instead of to the left. It has five cameras instead on one, but I just wanted to point and shoot, so at first I thought maybe I made a mistake getting something so new and technologically savvy. I guess they are called a ‘smart phone’ for a reason, but I didn’t want it to be smarter than me. That’s when I pulled up YouTube and watched a few tutorials on how to use the phone before making a decision.

As the years flow by, it’s best to stay in that flow. Of course we long for the simple life of our youth, but when technology is involved, it’s not all that simple, but there’s good news! We can learn. To keep an open mind and heart in this day and age, and never stop learning. Don’t be afraid of new my darling. Find a YouTuber to show you how to use it.

Here’s a photo taken with my old phone.
Here’s one minute later taken with the new phone.

It was a cloudy day, so there was no sunlight, but look at the difference! You can count every stitch of the bedspread in the second photo. Utilizing the limited amount of natural light, I found it interesting that it picked up every shadow. The old phone sorta whitewashed everything. Which photo speaks to you?

Embracing the new involves letting go of something old. I know people who miss the flip phone, but those phone were made for phone calls, which was how we stay connected back in the day. Technology is here to make life easier, but it looks hard to use. It’s really not when we’re willing to learn. My daughter says it looks like an iPhone, how dare she. 🙂

Thanks to Tamika educating me, it’s a keeper because I do love my new phone.

The Scattered Words

My Fearless community adds value to my life. On our Team call, I recommended the Morning Pages to a Team member, because I used to do them and saw value in them. Then I asked myself, “Why did you stop writing them Barb?”

My Fearless Team member ran with the idea, and has 3 weeks under his belt. He’s doing so well with it, he inspired me to start writing them again. The main reason I stopped was out of frustration. I couldn’t complete the 3 pages of longhand Julia recommends, but then I heard her voice say, ‘Grab three pieces of paper.’

I’d been using a notebook to write the morning pages, and it was uncomfortable to write in. It was bulky and larger than a regular piece of notebook paper. Eyeing the stack of notebook paper from my daughter’s school stash, I grabbed three pieces of paper and laid them on the table. As I began to write I felt my hand glide across the page and noticed it was resting flat on the table, not elevated by the thickness of the notebook. After completing page one, I went on to page two and then three!

Morning pages are to be written first thing in the morning, and it’s different than Blogging. These are thoughts not fully formed in the mind and feel scattered. Pen to paper helps pull them together and smooth them out. They are not to be shared with anyone, so you can say whatever you darn well please. I do this before anything else, even coffee, so there’s a commitment.

As soon as your eyes open you’ll need:

Three pieces of paper.

Your favorite writing utensil.

Staring out a window helps gather thoughts.

What better place to scatter words than onto an empty page? Be happy and well loved. ~Barb

The Grand Finale

This title has been sitting in my draft folder since last October. I wasn’t sure what it was for then, but today it seems appropriate.

Being dated late October, I’m guessing it was about fall and the grand finale of the flowers bloom. This year I had some flower beds created in the front yard, so I can witness even more bloom. The front porch has quickly become one of my favorite places to be.

I’ve decided to take some time away from Blogging and enjoy the journey. There is a book or two that long to be written and my creative side wants to be let off the leash. Julia Cameron writes in The Sound of Paper, “We are too busy living a life, to have a life worth living.” It’s time to enjoy the here and now, but this site will remain in my absence. I didn’t want to leave you wondering.

Here’s the grand finale of memes. My darling, I hope that whatever you choose to do with this one beautiful life, you go all in.