Tag Archives: family life

Peaceful Pause

So, there it was, enough of a pause in the rain and the horrendous winds to allow the sunshine to dry the grass. It finally felt like a northwestern spring day.

Yeay!

All I wanted was to throw some weeds to the hens, a flake of alfalfa to the steer, mow the lawns, add the clippings on the compost pile and toss it, feed and water Izzy’s newly potted plants and then put my feet up to enjoy the sunshine and a late morning latte.

Was that really so much to ask?

 

 

 

 

Evidently it was.

A distant neighbor’s peacock insisted upon announcing his presence from what sounded like our yard.

Every. Five. Minutes.

Peacock’s can be ornery in the spring, so dogs and I searched.

Even from high in the nearest neighbor’s tree a scant quarter-mile away,  for miles around he sounded like he was in our yard.

 

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Once we solved the mystery of the clandestine peacock, ChiuyTwo understood the need for some peace and quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

GoodGirl and SchnauzerOne however had other ideas:

Finally after cleaning their paws on my freshly washed jeans, they decided they needed to rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29, 39 (NIV)

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Hi-Brow Find

God blessed me with pleasing blonde hair. Okay, it’s actually strawberry-blonde-gone-silver. Fine, it’s gray in some light.
Cursed fluorescents.

Roo 1981

 

My  eyebrows however are less fetching. Not only are they not detectable outside strong sunlight, they’re also asymmetrical. Worse yet, summer colors, especially any shade of yellow drains all color from my skin.

Ah, vanity. My life has been a cosmetic adventure. How I wish I could regain the time spent penciling and brushing in combined color products that just aren’t right.

Erin introducing me to L’Oreal Stylist Plumper Brow Gel changed my world. Well, that and returning home.

A genuine magic wand

A genuine magic wand

The Back Story:  On my first night home I crashed hard on the sofa in the main house. I typically shower before retiring but on rare occasions I’m too tired. Waking that first morning I was amazed to find my brows entirely intact with the previous day’s makeup. Seriously, we sat in the truck for 12 hours stopping twice for fuel, etc.

Aware of the steady stream of people on the property and anxious to get the day’s hard labor behind me, I wiped a cleansing cloth around my face leaving brows perfectly intact. I was impressed how my yesterday’s face remained my secret until nearly noon when we took a break from unloading for lunch. And for me, bathing.

For the next week, as we hauled items and I rearranged my “cottage,” my aching feet hit the floor running and I practically passed out at night. I appreciated my unretouched brows in the morning. Truth be told, I quickly mastered the art of washing without removing the gel, making it last up to 36 hours. Fine; 56 hours so far. I know; gross. Cole leaves before I’m out and about and his help or customers rarely see me. My dirty little secret is secure.

Annnd then with the cooler weather Cole activated the heater in the paint shop. The extremely, incredibly, really loud blower motor is mounted on the wall that separates my headboard, pillows and wall from the fan. I learned that first cold night that it restarts every 30 – 90 minutes. All. Night. Long.

On the second cold night Cole had repaired the offending heater fan. I again crashed hard into bed again, brow gel and all. After sleeping soundly every night for weeks, imagine my disappointment seeing the mirror the next morning; one brow rubbed onto my pillow slip and the other in patchy disarray.

first-coffee

Even so, after soap and water, a brisk brush of the teeth, four swipes of the tiny gel brush, and a tie in my hair I’m out the door, soy latte breakfast and all.

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The mare, the cows and the calf are glad to see me just after dawn. I’m sure they’re impressed by my perfect eyebrows, not the hay, alfalfa and grain.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

Philippians 4:11, 12 (NLT)

 

Cartoon image courtesy Pinterest
L’Oreal Image courtesy Amazon

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Contentment

Mother’s Day for me is typically an emotional roller-coaster ride. Actually it’s usually a week or so of reflecting, the day itself and then a few days afterward to get over it.

That’s not surprising. I grew up in the aftermath of a metaphoric bomb detonation; divorce (when it wasn’t common) and then our custodial parent’s suicide. Over the following decades my siblings and I labored to locate all our fragments. For the most part we succeeded and we relentlessly continue gluing the pieces back together.

I’m not I’m unique in any of this. And not surprising either, my sons also grew up within a patchwork family (divorces). So with that I’m now reflecting on how well we all live.

The Boys and Erin 1981

Roo’s brood with Erin, 1981

This year was different for me. Over the years many artifacts from my past stayed safely with dear Erin. Among them was a box of photographs that had been thought lost and forgotten for nearly two decades. These were photos of my young sons, old friends, and me from 1978 through 1983. Wow. Right?

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What I especially appreciate today is the new perspective they gave me. When I mainly recall the struggles and hardships, sometimes thinking I’d been the worst mother ever, the photos clearly depict much exploring, happy learning and a lot of fun. While not financially rich, we are indeed wealthy.

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I admit now, I like to imagine happy reunions with my loved ones every year at least. Realistically, disbursed all across the country, with different school schedules and very demanding careers, that’s not likely to happen – yet.

Realistically my siblings and I did not inherit any property or financial stability. What’s more, we have little to pass on to our offspring. Presently I feel blessed to afford myself the luxury of coffee for lattes. But, our offspring have US.

Roo is looking for Iain -who took picture

Roo, nervously looking for Iain – who took the picture

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So, we’ve been geographically distant for Mother’s Days, birthdays and most other holidays. But we’ve adjusted to celebrating our family’s individuals in the moments we find time to Skype, text or actually talk with one another, hoping for actual reunions – soon.

The truth is the best of families have their distances and challenges. We humans are all flawed somehow. Still, like expertly cut diamonds, those flaws brilliantly display our dazzling, true colors.

I’m covered with prisms from my offspring each moment I recall the fun as well as the hardships and sacrifices we made as they were growing up. But now that I’m without any living parents, step-parents, or in-laws I’m happy for one celebratory day a year – preferably my birthday, but actually any day spent with my family works for me.

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Reality; the sooner we understand this world isn’t perfect, and neither are the people in it, the sooner we find contentment. Once we recognize our unrealistic expectations we become free to love people as they are without the disappointments over what we want them to be. Likewise, the sooner I learn text files don’t automatically save, and my day’s work isn’t lost when the battery drains (like today’s), the better.

When it comes to my truly amazing family, better than ever before, I realize my relationships with my loved ones are what they are – literally marvelous!

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Now as I lounge in a folding lawn chair, feet atop a vintage milk crate, sipping an iced latte, in front of the garage where most of my belongings await, I think, “Bless God, this is good enough for me.”

 

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NLT)

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