I spent three days with my adult children.  I have two sons and a daughter.  We all live in different states so it was a very special experience to be all together again.  It sounds all fluffy and nice doesn’t it?  It was nice and special, but not so fluffy.

My children can have conversations about most anything.  I’m all for that because I am usually the subject of their laughter.  This particular weekend, for some reason, focused on the need to share the habits of our bowels.  I told you it wasn’t so fluffy.

One son has shared that his bm habits have graduated to becoming events that no longer require toilet paper, they now have been upgraded to a new level that requires wipes.  While he used the lavatory, we heard sounds that have never been uttered in this world and when the realization came that he did not have enough wipes, we heard him loudly call his wife to handle this emergency situation.  The rest of us couldn’t stop laughing as he finally emerged with a smile on his face and sweat pouring from his brow.

As we all ate breakfast around the center island of the kitchen, we were laughing and having a good old time.  At that point my other son stood in the middle of the hallway.  There is a bathroom at each end of the house.  As he looked , he noticed that the one bathroom door was shut.  I saw him rubbing his stomach as he asked if anyone was in the other bathroom.  He announced that time was running out and he needed to get to a bathroom.  I quickly checked  the other bathroom and ushered one of my granddaughters out.  I stood in the hallway and shouted his name, waving him along like I was waving traffic at an intersection.  Whew, he made it just in time.

The next morning, my daughter, three granddaughters and I wanted to watch the sun rise over the mountains.  We got up early and made our way in the dark to the mountain.  We arrived at our destination, a calm, peaceful area on the side of the mountain and stood outside my daughter’s car awaiting the arrival of our maginificent friend.  As we stood there, my stomach started making sounds.  I turned to my daughter and said, “oh no, it’s happening.”  She knew exactly what I meant.  I have had this issue for a very long time and she has been with me while shopping in stores so she knows what I mean.  I said that I needed to sit down and maybe that would settle things.  Well, it didn’t.  As I pondered what to do next, I came up with a plan.  We noticed that back behind the trees there were two tractors parked, the kind used for cutting the grass.  They were well hidden.  My daughter suggested that I walk over there and take care of business but I told her that if I walked, it would make things happen before I got to my destination.  She decided to back her car up to get me there.  Now, I had more decisions to make and I had to make them quickly.  Toilet paper was not handy so I had to improvise using other sanitary items that were in my purse.  I grabbed them along with a pocket knife that my daughter gave me.  I looked at her like a deer in the headlights because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with this knife.  She told me three different times but I didn’t understand and she got frustrated with me.  I just grabbed the knife and my other tools for this emergency debacle I was in.  I headed in.  I had a mission to complete.  Getting there just in time, I completed the first part of my task quite easily as it had a mind of its own.  The second part of the plan came together as I had hoped, using the formentioned tools.  There was one problem, I didn’t have enough items to complete the project.  I had to think fast.  I had to think on my feet, literally.  I looked down at my feet and made the decision to sacrifice a sock.  Oh yes I did.  Now, I still had this pocket knife with me and I didn’t dare tell my daughter that I didn’t need it because she said it was a survival tool and I should use it as such.  Proudly, I dug up the ground with that knife so that I could cover any evidence that I had been there.  I emerged victoriously as my daughter and granddaughters laughed until they cried.  I joined them and we peacefully watched the sun rise over the mountain.  Mission accomplished.

As much as these three days were so special for us to gather as a family, the stories and carrying on  will live forever in us.  And we will amuse ourselves at the memories and the subject of the memories for a lifetime.  Of course, with my family, no subject is off limits as you can see.  Sometimes we are not so prim and proper and we share things that can fall under the category of “too much information”.  But it’s all in fun.  It’s all part of the game of life.  It’s okay to laugh at the things nobody ever talks about, out loud that is.

P.S.  My daughter later told me that the knife was to cut off my undergarments if necessary.


A Moment in Time

This past weekend we said goodbye to my former mother-in-law of 15 years.  She was a good woman; kind, generous and a little quirky.  Her independence however, tipped the richter scale.  This woman single handedly raised her son alone.  She worked as a nurse and made her way through life on her own terms.

She was a people person to the 10th degree.  She never sat alone for breakfast.  She would make her way to the local diner and created her very own version of the breakfast club.  After some time, their group became quite large and breakfast was spread out for a few extra hours.

She worked very hard and at times she took on two jobs.  She had her regular shift of nursing and on the side she worked for a nursing agency, travelling to people’s homes who were unable to get to the doctor , doing blood draws and collections.  She did what she had to do and then some.  She saved her money and planned trips around the world.

Working until retirement wasn’t enough for her.  She liked getting out there with other people so she took a job at a local Walmart.  She loved that job and she loved those people she worked with.

As I stated before, she was my former mother-in-law.  But, she was more than that.  She was the grandmother of my children.  The woman who always made special traditions for my kids.  She impacted their lives until , well, she still does, even after she passed away.

We gathered for her funeral on Saturday.  My children are grown and came together along with their children and I was included ,along with her son.  We celebrated her life as we came together for 3 glorious days of fun, nature, laughter and tears.  And, while her son and I are no longer married , for three days we were a family again.  The perfect send off for a woman that lived and breathed “family”.  She was right there with us as we enjoyed each other in her kitchen, gathered together around the center island eating massive amounts of food which could only make her proud.  We went for long walks in the woods as a family.  We laughed and enjoyed each other.

A moment in time that we may never see again.  And, for that moment, we were one unit.  The joy in my heart of being together with my children and grandchildren is a gift brought to me, courtesy of my former mother-in-law.  In the end, it doesn’t matter that she was my former anything, or that my former husband was involved with us this weekend.  In the end, we were a cohesive family enjoying our differences and celebrating a life well lived.


In Sickness and In Health

I’m tired today.  My body is aching and I haven’t felt well recently.  I go through these stages at different times.  I have illnesses but truly I am a healthy soul.  The body is going to do things we don’t want it to do.  It’s going to break down at some point because it is just a temporary housing for our soul.

Although, I am sick according to doctors, I am a healthy being, true and perfect as I was created.  The source of my light and life abide within me.  How could I be less than perfect?

So, today is an off day for my body.  Even though we have emotions and moods it doesn’t mean that we are not well.  Today I can choose to be sick in body and spirit or I can accept that my body is sick, but my spirit is “A” okay.

It’s easy to have a tendency to just give up the day to sadness and self pity because I am not feeling well,  but the truth of the matter is we are all really doing fine.  When we don’t feel well, we have to take time to breathe and hear the voice of God within.  We do this because it can keep us from identifying with our illness.  We are not our illness.  We are not a disease.  At these times we can stop and peel back some layers so that we can see more clearly who we are.  It may take some practice because we have to quiet our minds from the noise of our thoughts.

I have always referred to myself as a searcher.  I grew up as a practicing Catholic and them moved on to a Mennonite church for a while.  After that, I was familiarized with the Native American way.  I’ve always wanted to learn more spiritually.  I’ve wanted to connect with others in a more Christian way.  As I have journeyed on this path, I’ve picked up so many lessons.  I have learned to not identify with my circumstances and the results have been amazing.

My body has a disease called multiple sclerosis and when I first was diagnosed with it, I fell apart.  I was a mess physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I say spiritually because I was not in tune with God as the source of my being.  I knew God but didn’t realize he exists in me.  Physically, I let it get the best of me and wallowed in the sadness and grief that had been given to me.  When I think about it now I almost have to laugh to think that I am so special that a disease was “given” to me.  Given by who?

I do not believe that illness is given to anybody.  Life happens and it’s nobody’s fault.  I can’t blame God because I got MS.  He didn’t give it to me.  We live in a world with a lot of people.  There’s disease, illness, sadness, grief, loneliness and sorrow.  But, nobody gave any of that to me or to you.  It’s just part of being human.

I am human and my body is susceptible to any number of things going wrong.  There’s a lot going on in there;  cells and veins and moving things like lungs and air and hearts and pumping.  Germs get picked up and bodies react a certain way.  No, I am not special.  Every person has all of this going on.

I don’t want to wallow in sickness when I have the most prodigious spirit residing in this capsule I call a body.

The thing that makes me special and every single other being in this world is the Holy Spirit that is our source and our light.  How could we be anything other than amazing when the very thing that gives us life and light is at the core of our being?

I’m going to rest my body today and work with it.  I don’t have to be sad or in a miserable mood because it’s an off day.  It’s really not an off day.  It’s just a day and My spirit is still here, teaching me and allowing me to breathe with this particular body and when it is time to release this body, I will still be alive as the same perfect being as I was created.

Enchanting Tapestry

It’s happening.  The magic is happening.  I woke up this morning and stepped outside to feel a cool breeze hit my face and I knew I was stepping into the magical place that I have longed for.

Something has entered my soul and refreshed my spirit.  It seems to have happened overnight.  It wasn’t here yesterday and just like that, it has appeared.  There’s a sense of energy and vitality that comes with it, a letting go and new beginning all at the same time.  I’ve waited for nine months for this miracle to occur and now it has presented itself.

The birth of a new season, in my opinion, the most special of them all.  Bright colors are blazing a trail along the tree line.  As I drive through the mountains I notice trees  that have been kissed by the sun and have burst into glowing beauty.

In this magical hour, there is beauty in letting go.  The trees are willing participants as they share their glory with us and allow their leaves to transform into precious jewels as they move on their journey to another place; a place where they will now become the fertilizer for growth into another astonishing masterpiece.  The ceaseless pattern of life is shared by all living things.

The artistry that nature is sharing can never be duplicated because it is alive and unique, as each  soul has it’s own singularity.  The signature of life only passes through in this manner on one occasion.   The individuality of nature’s journey, including humans, is inestimable.

I celebrate this precious day and the changing of the season.  I feel the fire in my spirit as I welcome this new array of beauty into my being.



About comfort zones

This Blog was written by a fellow blogger Cristian Mihai. I found it to be very interesting and worth a share to all of my followers. I hope you enjoy

Cristian Mihai

Unclean. I was thinking about this word. How do you unclean a room? Yeah, you could be throwing dirt around, but it wouldn’t make much sense…

How do you unclean a room?

Maybe… it’s because you postpone cleaning it?

This is the strangest yet best metaphor I can use to describe a comfort zone, and why it’s such a bad thing. Trust me, I am a master of comfort zones. Professional procrastinator. Olympic Netflix Marathoner.

I used to watch so many episodes from a tv series, so many movies, listen to music, until I could get anxious just watching them. I couldn’t stand still. It felt as if I was wasting my life, wishing it away by never having the guts to do what I wanted to do. Imagine what happened when I found myself in front of another human being…

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Pissing Contest

My puppy, Shadow, is a 6 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback.  He’s a good dog even though it’s been somewhat of a challenge for me starting over with a new baby.  Training is going very well.  He walks great on the leash, he’s fine with people and other dogs, and he’s been potty trained for months.  It sounds like it was easy but this dog has a stubborn streak like no other animal I’ve had in my life.  Truly, at the age of 57, it’s been a very difficult road for me to train him.

Yesterday morning I took him for a nice long walk because he’s been stuck in the house for two days due to heavy rain.  As a puppy, they get all this pent up energy and it has to be released.  The preferred method for him to release it is through a walk  rather than by chewing up the house.  Even after an hour long walk in the neighborhood he still didn’t seem quite tired out, so we played in our back yard and he ran around like crazy with the wind in his hair.  I have to mention that I ran around with him too so I get credit for releasing my energy,  much to my dismay.

Feeling quite satisfied that I had fulfilled all his basic needs such as, food, water, potty time, exercise and play, I continued about my day.  I was in the kitchen preparing baked apples in the crockpot and chatting with my step-daughter.  Then the most unimaginable thing happened.

I felt something on my leg and I glanced down to realize with disbelief and horror that Shadow had lifted his leg and peed on me.  I might mention that this dog has never lifted his leg to pee.  He still squats like a girl.  But, NO, he has decided to take a monumental step in his development and lift his leg to pee directly onto my leg.  He chooses me, the alpha person in his life.

At first, it didn’t register in my mind what was happening.  I have never witnessed such an outlandish act in my life.  I’ve never even heard of anyone describing such a scene but there it was right in my kitchen, with no shame from him whatsoever.  Going ballistic is the only way I can describe what happened next.  I have new hardwood floors in my house so it was easy to grab him by the collar and drag his sorry ass out the door.  As I am sliding him across the floor I am sure the neighbors could hear me shouting “What did you do?” , “Bad Dog, Bad Dog”.  When my voice reaches  high octaves there usually isn’t anybody that can be spared.  The words flying out of my mouth as I cleaned up the floor, “I knew I shouldn’t have cancelled his neutering appointment.  Never mind, I’ll do it myself.” were spewing forth.   Fire was oozing out of my ears.  My step-daughter was laughing at my reaction because I am sure she never witnessed this implausable act before either.

After I somewhat calmed down, I called my boyfriend to tell him what our precious puppy just did.  He was not quite giving me the reaction that I thought was appropriate.  He was surprised but didn’t get crazy like I did.  I could only imagine how he would have felt if the dog peed on his leg.  Once again I am screeching my dismay over the phone to him and here is what he had to say on the subject.  “Well, you know what has to be done now don’t you?” I replied, “What do you mean?”.  He proceeded to tell me that dogs are territorial and with his new found hormones it is natural for them to urinate as a way of claiming their territory.  He went on to say, “The only option now is for me to get the dog when I come home and show him that you don’t belong to him rather, you belong to me, so I will have to pee on your leg too.”  Then he began convulsing in laughter as I began to shriek to the heavens until there was nothing left to do but join in the laughter with him.

I was so upset with the dog that I had to google what this behavior meant.  When my boyfriend got home, he told me that he and his co-worker were laughing so much that they had to google it.  The result is that unaltered dogs will urinate to claim their territory and as a puppy his hormones are kicking in and I had the honor of being the first victim of Shadow lifting his leg to pee.

Honor or not, I stated clearly both to Shadow and to Bill that I am an independent woman and I belong to no one.  Once again, though, I am reminded not to take life too seriously.  When the day was done and the story recounted many times, there was nothing left to do but laugh.  The memory created brought a smile to many people yesterday and I am sure it will continue on for some time.  After my strong and appropriate reaction I was able to see the hilarity in it all.  I am Blessed to be able to laugh at my own self once again.

Gratitude is Alive and Well

Each year we set aside a month of gratitude centered around the American Holiday of Thanksgiving.  One month seems to be the trend of being thankful.  So, what happens before and after that designated month?

If I were an alien watching how humans operate I would find this practice absurd.  Humans go about their daily living by getting on the hamster wheel of life.  They wake up each morning, some exercise, eat breakfast and go to work.  Some come home from work, eat dinner, sit down and watch television until it’s time for bed and they get up the next day and do it again.  All the while, complaining about traffic, insufficient funds and stupid people at the mall.

I, the alien, would be so confused as I observed the constant murmerings of these humans.   Imagine for a moment what it would look like if all of our words were spewing outward into space at a constant hectic pace just flying into the alien brain, hitting it like a forceful ball of fire.  With the constant onslaught of contrasting words the befuddlement would make my head bounce back and forth like a rubber ball.  The general feeling would be described as pure bleakness.

For eleven months out of the year the words flying out would look something like this;

  • too hot
  • too cold
  • rainy, yuck
  • traffic sucks
  • people are mean
  • politicians are all corrupt
  • my mother hates me
  • my house is too small
  • I don’t like pizza
  • my legs hurt
  • I’m fat
  • I’m ugly
  • I’m not good enough

The list just goes on and on for every single subject one could imagine.

All of a sudden there is a 30 day period where different kinds of words and thoughts enter the alien brain from the stream of incessant blabbering of the humans.  These words seem softer, kinder and the subject matter is mostly about a new word; Gratitude.  There is a very different feeling from the bleakness brought on by all the other words.  The feeling washing over is more peace-loving and tranquil.  The alien wonders why the change and what is this gratitude business about.

Gratitude is a state of Mind.  It is the feeling of thankfulness for all of the blessings in one’s life.  Why is it only dominantly felt for one month out of the year?

As my journey of life moves along, as a human of course, I realize that more and more people are able to feel gratitude on a daily basis. The world is changing and despite what you hear in the news, and all of the complaining going on out there, more and more people are grateful for all the little treasures in their lives.

The truth is, it is not all that bleak in our world.  There is so much love and gratitude moving around.  Sometimes we get overwhelmed and feel that all of humanity is lost.  But rest assured it is not.  I have seen natural disasters decimate towns and cities and before you know it, people from everywhere travel to help everyone in need. When someone passes away, the community gathers together and visit the grieving family while bearing gifts of food and comfort.  When a car accident happens there are always good samaritans that stop to help complete strangers.   It happens over and over again.  People are good and they want to help each other.  There is much gratitude and love to be spread around.

I feel that it is safe to say that the words spewing out into space are not overwhelmingly negative and the positive words are flowing outward throughout the entire year. There are times that we as humans can get caught up in the whirlwind of negativity and feel that nothing is ever good enough.  But love is at the core of our being and it does prevail.

Even though we set aside a month to focus on gratitude, there is gratitude in the air every single day of the year and most humans have the capacity to feel it.  Sometimes layers have to be peeled back to get to the core of a hurt human but there in the center is where the source of God lies and that source is pure love.

Meanwhile, as we enter the season of gratitude let’s try to remember to do our gratitudes each and every day of the year.  There is so much wonder, love and excitement to share with each other.  Gratitude is alive and well.