Breathtaking

I’ve been caring for it since March.

My philosophy while caring for flowers is: “You’re either gonna thrive or die.” I shower them with love, and a lot of them have been loved to death.

This one plant in particular is a Hibiscus, which is relatively easy to grow. When purchased, it wasn’t in bloom, but the picture on the tag showed what it was going to look like in bloom. Let me just go ahead and say, the photo didn’t do it justice. It has been a while since the purchase, so I had forgotten what color it was, but remembered it was unique, and one I haven’t seen before.

It would grow a bud and look like it was going to bloom, but the bud would fall to the ground. It would just drop off thanks to some type of insect eating it from the inside, but I just kept giving it the same treatment as everything else in the yard. Everyday I’d look at it and see buds, but wonder if it was going to bloom.

It was just a normal morning in the yard, hose in hand with my back to the Hibiscus. I was making my way around to it, when I saw one of the buds had opened into a bloom and gasped at the sight of it!

It was so much more than I imagined that it took my breath away. That’s the kind of life He has planned for us lovelies. Breathtaking.

Live a Life of Band-Aids

My new thing is wearing nice clothes when leaving the house, but let’s set the bar. I live in faded, blue jeans and t-shirts, so dressing up means nice jeans, a silk shirt and smart looking shoes. 😉

As mentioned in Feel the Music, my friend and I met for our monthly coffee/tea. I wanted to wear something nice and took time to choose my outfit the evening before. Some of my prettier shirts call for ironing and my people are important enough to use an iron if needed.

When we met, she appreciated my choice in clothing, but there was one small problem. I was wearing the wrong shoes. These shoes were one of my favorite ‘slip on and go’ pair of shoes. I remembered them being comfortable enough to walk in all day long, but it’d been a while since I’d worn them and they were crucifying my feet!

It was all I could do to get back home in them. It was odd how they were once so comfortable, but turned into shoes from the devil himself. Entering the house, I kicked them off with a sigh of relief. This made me wonder what else in my life looked comfortable, but capable of pain.

I sat on the edge of my bed to inspect my foot and a blister had formed above the instep. My daughter stood in the doorway inquiring what happened and I told her about the devilish shoes. She said, “You slap three band-aids on it and keep moving.” It didn’t call for three, but I did slap a band-aid on it to continue stepping through life.

Keep living life my darlin’. Stock up on band aides.

“God will take care of what you go through. You take care of how you go through it.”

Zig Ziglar

Feel the Music

I was driving to meet my friend for our monthly coffee/tea, and heard this song. It was released in 2004, so around 2006 I heard it playing all the time. My mind began flipping through images and they weren’t all pretty, but I could see how far our life has come.

In 2008, I created an email address called abetterlife08. It was a Yahoo account and I named it that to keep those words in front of me while I worked. I can barely remember what happened two days ago, but I still remember sitting in the corner of that home office opening a Yahoo account and naming it abetterlife08. I was 10 years sober and life was better, but I didn’t recognize the man I was married to. When I think about that part of my life long enough, I can feel the tension that home office held.

In 2013 I exited that life.

Standing here in this little lake house 8 years later, I’m overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace. Did it take 8 years Barb? No, I began seeing a better life the very first year, but it all began with believing there was one. Using that email address kept abetterlife at the forefront of my mind until the time was right to step into a better life.

Sunday at Noon

Some days I feel like my life is one big Zoom. It started out as part of my job, but now I love it.

I purchased a monthly Zoom account and Zoom with people all over the world. The free version gives you 45 minutes, but we kept running over using a full hour. At first I saw it as an investment in my Team, but we use the time to invest in one another. I’m so pumped once the call is over my daughter steers me away from the coffee bar.

I have a call each week with some part of my Zen Habits community. It made me wonder if I could do something similar here in WordPress. This year, community has been a large part of my heart and you are my community. By reading your Blogs I’m sensing some of you are tired and becoming weary in the well doing.

Sunday at Noon has been on my mind for a while now. I knew it was a Blog title because it was three words, but didn’t know the rest. Then I was checking my bank account and saw the Zoom charge and heard, Sunday at Noon. Starting in July, I’ll hold space via Zoom for whoever needs lifting up. Come and let me see your face, Sunday at Noon.

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.