Love and Light

Today is her birthday and she turned 21.

She’s not here though. She’s in England.

It’s an odd feeling for both of us. We were texting the other night about her turning 21, and she said, “I wish I were five.” Well, my darling. I remember five, and wondered if I’d do anything different? Then she said, “We have a beautiful life.”

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Here she is at 5 years old.

She is the reason I started this Blog.

Just because I’m  taking a break from Blogging, doesn’t mean I cannot celebrate this day with you. The meaningful work-To serve the people I care about by writing another chapter. Let’s write more chapters.

One of my favorite pictures of us was right after we moved into our first home together. It was a tiny house situated on 40 acres of land. I kept her hook baited, while she fished from the pier. That pier is where I stood with God every morning before dawn. That was also the house that taught us how to kill scorpions.

We were walking to the truck, and you grabbed me for a selfie. We weren’t wearing any makeup, and I had forgotten to use eye drops that morning, but it was a moment. Even blurry-eyed, we have that ‘deep in your heart’ happiness. Our life felt groundless, as the only thing we knew we had was God, and He has us.

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March 2014

We’ve had chickens, kittens, dogs, and a baby duck live with us. You think it’s normal to hang a disco ball in an old oak tree. When we decided to move, I had to leave it there because it was infested with ants, but you bought a new one for here.

The light from the disco ball dances across the kitchen table where you sit, but today even though your chair is empty, the light is still there. Our life is made of love and light.

I’m here to wish you a spectacular birthday! It’s a new chapter and you’re holding the pen. Touch it to the paper my darling, and make it what you want. Feel and see the love and light.

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On My Own

My daughter is out of town this week.

I’m trying to take care of myself without her. She’s in charge of protein shakes, and I’m coffee. This morning I had to make the protein shake by using the Ninja, on my own.

The Ninja blender is the best blender I’ve ever used. You could drop in an iceberg, and it would emulsify it. I nearly sliced my finger off the first time I cleaned it, so it’s had my respect ever since!

But, I did it. I began my day with protein, and then moved onto Chemex. She’ll be proud.

My daughter reads instructions. I’m a dedicated instruction reader when it comes to putting things together, and how to properly use machinery, but somewhere along life’s journey I stopped.

When my daughter is here she makes the shake, and I clean the blender, but I know better than to get anywhere near it’s blades.

I thought I was so smart squirting dish-washing liquid in, filling it with warm water, and turning it back on, like making a shake, but with bubbles.

After it runs for a while, simply rinse it, take it apart, and let it dry.

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My daughter said, “Yes ma’am. That’s how you’re supposed to clean it. I read it in the instructions.”

I need to go back to reading the instructions. 😀

Moment For One

We’ve enjoyed cool mornings this week in Texas.

The front door is open so the screen door is being enjoyed. As I look around the house, I see things that need to be done. The floor is so dirty thanks to the doggos, but that dirt is not going anywhere without my assistance, so it can wait.

I chose the Chemex for this morning’s coffee enjoyment. I just love how it’s called, ‘a vessel of coffee’. The café cups were sitting at eye level on the top part of the coffee bar. I plucked one down and poured myself a moment.

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I can have a moment all by myself.

And to be perfectly honest, it’s what I prefer nowadays. I haven’t met a man I’m willing to share my life with. My life is so quiet, you could call it serene. That doesn’t seem to be the norm these days, with lives being dictated by technology.

I don’t even know where my phone is at the moment.

The café cups came as a set of two that I use with my darling daughter, but she’s not going to be here forever, nor would I want her to be. She will eventually live her life to the fullest without me everyday, so who will use the second café cup?

I’m depending on God to show me this time.

Until then, I’m content in my moment for one.

That is Enough

I was thinking about her comment while making the morning Chemex. It was in response to this meme I posted for SC Lourie.

She was having a hard time being a single Mom, but what stuck with me the most was, “I feel like I fail my children everyday.”

I want her to know, that’s so far from the truth my darling.

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I wasn’t paying attention to the pour of the Chemex. The boiling water hit the grounds too fast, and they slid down the filter in spots. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s what distraction does.

It was no big deal. I resolved to drink it, and if it bothered me too much, I’d make another one, because that’s what I do. Start over as many times necessary until satisfied with the end result.

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The Re-do

The only failure is not trying again.

Just show up, and keep trying your best. Start over as many times needed, and you won’t feel beaten. Kids watch what we do, but they don’t grade our performance. They don’t expect perfection from us, but I think we do. You woke up to a new day, and sometimes my darling, even that is enough.

The Water Bottle

She drove to the store to pick up a few things. I had written ‘Hydrangeas’ on the list, but she spotted daffodils and instinctively knew which to buy.

Daffodils are displayed on the table.

I have this thing about pretty water.

When I see a pretty bottle of water, I purchase a couple. One for her room, even though she’s not normally here, and the other one rests on my bedside table.

I call it my ‘weekend’ water bottle.

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Today, as my daughter was leaving for the store I said, “If you see any pretty water bottles at the store, grab us a couple.”

When she returned home, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the water bottles she had chosen. I think she outdid mine.

But, you know? I can’t help but feel like something really good happened here. She knows what a pretty water bottle is, and she knows what to look for.

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This shade of emerald green sparkles from across the room as the light hits it.

She’s on her way to a beautiful, adult life my darling. Even with the water bottle.

Best Thing Ever

Earlier today, my daughter and I were talking about our little book of ‘Never Agains‘. Then she flipped the conversation around and began talking about the best thing ever. Like, the ginormous bag of cotton balls we purchased, just because it’s the biggest bag we’ve ever seen. (pillow size) We can always use cotton balls.

A couple of weeks ago, we were out shopping, and came across a Valentine’s Day display. It was in the kitchen area of the store, and my daughter fell in love with a little whisk. She’s uses her favorite whisk so often, we were questioning how much longer it would last.

I scooped up the whisk from the Valentine’s display as we continued walking through the store. I didn’t look at the price.

When we arrived at the self-checkout, we scanned it and stared in disbelief at the register display. The whisk cost $1.00.

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Today, we flipped the book of ‘Never Again’s’ over and began writing ‘Always Again’s’, from the back of the book. This little book now has two covers. One is ‘Never’s’ and the other side is ‘Always’.  I’m curious to see where they meet.

The bag of cotton balls, and this whisk are written in the ‘Always Again’ side. As you can see, the hearts stamped on the handle are fading from use. It’s been loved.

Tonight I believe our little book, and what we’ve written in it, is the best thing ever.

Trust Your Crazy

I do some crazy looking stuff.

Like molding butter to fit the butter dish.

Yes, I have a Pioneer Woman Butter Dish, and it’s a little wide for one stick of butter to fill, so I buy a slab of butter. Let it get room temperature, and mold it with my hands to fit the dish. It’s crazy, I know! It takes a bit to get all of the butter off my hands, but it’s worth it.

When I left my marriage, everyone I knew gave me a look, or told me, ‘That’s crazy!” Well, we see how that turned out. I’ve had the most fulfilling years of my life to date. When people heard I moved to a tiny house on 40 acres, with my teenage daughter in tow, it sounded crazy, but there again… Best experience ever!

I have friends who own local shoppes that I love to visit when time permits. It’s a no rush type thing, where we catch up, as I look around. I saw this sign a couple of weeks ago, and it made me smile. I told myself, “Barb. Like, you really need one more sign.” So, I left the shoppe without it, but couldn’t forget about it.

I told myself I’d go back the following weekend, and if it was still there, I’d buy it. Well…

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It makes me smile every time I see it.

Sitting here on this dreary, rainy day, looking back over the last several years, it’s been crazy. It would seem some of the best paths are. That first step is always scary, and some may call it crazy, but from where I sit, it’s an extraordinary life.

I’ll continue to trust my crazy.

The Fire Pit

To step outside and smell a fireplace going or a wood pile being burned. It’s a cozy smell this time of year.

In the post, Be at Home it was mentioned our house doesn’t have a fireplace, so I bought an electric one. That’s a wonderful option for inside, but it doesn’t have that real fire smell.

It was time to fix that.

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I had visions of sitting around a fire pit with my daughter. Her boyfriend lives in England, but he’s coming here for Christmas. I could see them sitting there in quiet moments of togetherness. Maybe a neighbor would be taking a walk and stop to get warm. The possibilities are endless.

I walked outside and took the lid off the pit.

My daughter came out and helped build the fire. We grabbed our cups of tea and part of my vision came to fruition. We sat by the fire and solved all the worlds problems. We discussed Christmas presents for her boyfriend and for one another. Some of the time we talked and some we just sat.

It’s important to be able to just sit in each other’s company. To enjoy the moment for what it is.

A neighbor walked over to say ‘hello’ and gave an inquisitive glance at the blazing fire. Maybe it’s odd to build one midday. When it was time for my daughter to get ready for her evening plans, she paused and said, “Today was so nice.”

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It was a moment.

I’m covered in ash and smell like smoke.

Stepping outside to make sure the fire was out in the pit, I smelled that familiar smell. This time my darling, I knew where it originated. The fire was out but the memories were still aflame. They began today around the fire pit.

It’s Been Fun

A little role reversal occurs as they get older. My daughter said, “I want you to eat this weekend and that doesn’t mean only coffee.” 🙂

This morning, my daughter and I were laughing at some of our moments over the past six years. She has quotes from me stored in her phone. What’s even worse is she also has videos. Both are hilarious, but that’s been our life. 

We laugh so hard we cry!

Today, I was looking at my memories on Facebook. The pictures from 2013-2015 were so blurry. It was the beginning of our life alone together and I didn’t know then what I know now. Life was blurry and so were my pictures.

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It’s crazy what we went through while living in that house, but that’s what we were laughing about this morning. We’ve learned and don’t want to go through any of that again.

A life with no regrets can look and sound rather crazy, but it’s been worth it.

When we stopped laughing, I asked her, “Are you going to be able to use any of this?” She was happy we were referring to the past and said, “Nope, but it’s been fun.”

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No regrets.

Weekends Are Sacred

My weekend begins at 5:01 on Friday’s. That is when my phone shuts down until Monday.

I have two jobs as a Virtual Assistant and one is on the weekends, but I’ve had that job for 7 years. It began as my way of staying home with my daughter and making a living after leaving my marriage. It’s been reliable in that sense, but I had to set boundaries.

My first thought this morning was, “Life is not hard. Life is what we make it.” I woke up tired. It’s been a busy few weeks. It was ever so pleasing to know it’s Friday.

My daughter walks by my room and tells me, “I love your bedroom.”

I catch her standing in the doorway staring at it. Since the redo beginning with Under the Bed, it has the feeling of a retreat. When you work from home, you need a room like that. When I walk into my room, I leave work behind.

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I’m sitting in the middle of my bed and here’s what my bedside table reveals.

Two out of three Hydrangea blooms that have been with me all week. A small Voluspa candle, because I couldn’t decide what scent I liked best to buy a big one. A large Voluspa candle is a commitment. My favorite ink pen and a water bottle for the weekend.

Someone asked me what I was doing this weekend and I said, “As little as possible.”

My weekends are sacred.