Still Rolling…With The Flow

img_1092Lessons. There have been so many these past few months. I know every moment has the potential to teach us something, and I love when a lesson quietly unfolds before my very eyes. Without effort. Without trumpets or flags. I especially love lessons that require no tissues.

The other day, my son and I went to the airport to meet his friend from out west. What an enjoyable early morning drive we had in. Thankfully, all deer stayed where they were and our timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. True alignment.

We stopped for breakfast on the way home. Tim’s breakfasts . A nice break with happy coffee drinkers all around us. I enjoy that calmness that starts at my shoulders and eases down my body when I get a fresh cup of Tim’s in my hand. Do you ever feel that too? Anyway, my son’s friend had extra coffee to finish, so brought it with him.”Does your car have cup holders back here?” he asked, since he’d been sitting in the back seat. In our eagerness to help him, we both started looking in the obvious-to-us places for a cup holder. Quietly, the young man felt across the back seat and said,”What about this?” He then flipped down an arm rest with 2 cup holders. I hadn’t taken notice of it before. Neither my son nor I saw it as we poked this and nudged that in our search.

Maybe it wasn’t a huge big deal, but to me was. My son’s friend is blind.

Woodpile Season

IMG_0535My little helpers are not here this year. Most of this wood has already be burned and another pile is waiting to be processed. I’ve been handling wood for two days and my body is shocked from all the movement. Shocked in a funny, good way. After a winter of books, snacks, tending chickens, internet, more snacks, and slow starts to the day, I’m now in Spring mode. Earlier mornings, fewer snacks, more activity and a page or two of a book before I fall into a delicious rest. Yes, the chickens are still being tended to too. They have this treat-thing going on now. Any suggestions for something other than black oil sunflower seeds? They get food scraps and have had more berries than I have this winter, so they are not hurtin’ for eats in any way.

My frugal lifestyle continues. My gym remains simple. A shovel in winter and a wood splitter in Spring. The arms seem to get the best workout but many, many other muscles, that I can’t even name, make their presence known by either aching and silently screaming as I move. Their protests makes me walk funny sometimes. Thank you body for serving me so well. The wood has warmed me , through handling it, about 3 times so far. The flies haven’t hit yet, and that’s what keeps me motivated to get as much done as soon as possible. Once they attack, the fun level of outdoor activities drops considerably.

The sun is out. I’m eager to begin this day. Isn’t it funny that with winter as far away as it can get, part of me is still dwelling there.

Happy Spring, Happy Easter

IMG_1365Are you as tickled as I am, that Spring has arrived? My heart truly fluttered when I glanced down my old to-do list. My enthusiasm has been refreshed over the winter months. The wood splitter has had an oil change and is ready to go. One building is cleaned out and tidied up. Thanks to Muffin, the garden is tilled.  A basket of seeds wait for the moon to get in place. My pet cemetery is thisclose to being finished. A simple, earthy place, where once treasured little bodies rest. Their missions were accomplished. Metal has been ordered for the hen house roof. { The girls and Biscuit have nice frothy white curtains now too} My happy place, also known as a ‘greenhouse’, has been cleaned out. When that roof got fixed ,we’d light candles, grab a coffee, and go out there to sit and chat. The uglier the weather, the cozier it was. When did we stop doing that…..

Today is Easter Sunday. I love Easter for more reasons than I can count.  It’s a sacred reminder of love. Kindness. Forgiveness. A fresh start. The chocolate is rather nice too.

The 25th

img_0082My heart and head crave this sunny place today .  It’s dreary outside . Grey . Foggy . Mud up to the chickens ankles , even though they haven’t left the hen house yet . I know this day can be whatever I choose to make it , and I plan to enjoy it as best I can . It’s been 4 years today since Greg made his transition . Feels like yesterday . I could easily lose myself in memories and make myself sick…but I choose not to . Instead , I’ll celebrate all the positives that found me , since my new situation began .

Help and love from family and friends has become my most prized possession . I mean that . I’ll never forget the many acts of kindness that pulled me through… and family and friends who continue to support me in one way or another . Thank you !

I’m still basking in the fun of working the way I want to . By releasing a seasonal job I gained the freedom to do exactly what I want for income . It took 3 years to get off the fence of indecision , and I’m so thankful I went with what my heart wanted .

I still cannot believe my shop became a manifestation . The building of it was such an enjoyable journey . Muffin coming into my life , supporting my dream , working on the building of it together …. The Universe does conspire in our favor . The touch of a higher power was obvious in all the details that steered my direction . Thank you Divine!

I’ve met new people . People who feel like they’ve always been part of my life . New treasures . I love and celebrate the unique-ness of each one . Timing has been directed by The Divine as well .

It feels like I have bloomed internally . I feel free . I know what I want . I’ve embraced the fact that we all have our own journey . Change is constant . Greg’s journey was right for him . The Divine makes no mistakes . I choose to accept what has been , and  to remain thankful for all the lessons that I’ve learned . On this grey day I choose to embrace all the wonderful gifts that have found me .

My heart remains open , always ,  to receive all the subtle signs and nudges from Greg . I know he’s  happy too .

Catching My Breath

What a day ! That sunshine is a tonic ! I need more of it so will head back outside in a few minutes . May the cupcake I inhaled and the coffee I enjoyed boost me with energy. So far I got my basics done inside . Gave Ruby a soak in epsom salts again this morning. She almost fell asleep in the tub and made no effort to fly away when I used my hair dryer to dry her feathers . Then I put vaseline on her legs . I think one leg/or foot , is still sore from the mink attack . I’m expecting great things from the epsom salts soak . I’m also observing Ruby’s behavior . Poor little girl acts like she has no friends on the playground . She acts lost . After the mink attack , I had to move the 3 remaining chickens in the porch . Ruby stayed all night because of her sore leg , but the other 2 went in the other hen house at dusk . Since then , one more made her transition , so there are only 2 left from that flock . I’m fighting the urge to keep Ruby inside with me. A chicken in the house ? Due to my cleanliness standards , it won’t happen , but I imagine it . The hen house had a good cleaning this morning . Gathered 6 eggs total , which is the most they’ve laid in awhile. It does feel good to have one flock , all in one hen house.

Yesterday afternoon I made white bread . A friend dropped in, which was a real treat , as always . I had a trip to Bridgewater to take Muffin’s sister to physio , in the morning . We ate at A&W , which was tasty . Now they have the number of calories posted beside each item on the menu . I skipped the fries , thanks to that added bit of info , but took one of June’s when she offered me some of hers . I believe I need more meals of raw carrots and hummus, and need to move around more .  Great idea ! Off I go….

 

Forward Thinking

img_1540Yes, now and then my mind wanders ahead to Spring. Earthy smelling dirt. Seed packets, bearing photos of perfection. Fresh breezes. Clothes flapping on the clothesline. Chickens scratching for bits of sweet green anything. Windows open. Floors scrubbed clean. Fresh baked bread aromatherapy. Even my daydreams fall under the heading of simple.

Isn’t it funny how we run ahead , looking for that perfect moment in time ? It’s a constant. I’ve noticed. Over and over again. When Spring comes… when I get my flight booked to B.C….when I get these buildings fixed up… when I get one more client to clean for…. when the beans are ready for a hodge podge. These past few days I’ve been preparing for a ‘guest’ who will be staying for months. I’m excited for a number of reasons, and want her room as cozy as I can possibly make it. For starters,  all my stuff has to come out of there. Weeding  things out that no longer serve me has been on my mental to-do list for … ever! Timing is everything. I’m in the mood too, so my efforts are flowing along nicely.  However, there was a ripple effect from all this cleaning that I wasn’t prepared for. The emotional part. Years of  so many memories that were tucked in boxes, on shelves, in drawers…..and some in my heart, slightly forgotten. I couldn’t believe how much it jarred me, to be face to face with the passing of years remembered in one way or another, in that one room. A onsie in the bottom drawer. Dryden is 5 and Elijah is 4.  Already!  A photo of Greg and me in front of our wonky Christmas tree, when he still was. I came across lots of photos. Letters from the girls from B.C.  So much water under the bridge since they left home. Music boxes. Clothes I’m happy to say ‘good bye’ to. Dust. A belt from Keji that got left behind. More photos , from a trip to Quebec, thanks to Keji. Beautiful greeting cards. The Mother’s Day ones make my eyes sting. Pennies and old coins. Gift bags. An old Brownie camera still in the box….obviously, capturing memories has been monumental for generations. I’m not original in any way, speed walking down memory lane. Everyone does it when nudged in the right way. For me, I’ve embraced it. I’m thankful and ready for the change coming in my life. I welcome the nudge to  decide right now,  what stays and what goes. I’ve given myself permission to release whatever I want to, and allow myself to hang onto items of comfort too. My puddle-y eyes recover quicker when I grab a kleenex and let go. I’m not even going to blame menopause. It’s just the way I’m glued together. Heart and eyes a wee bit too close.

I’m happy to say my weeding of things and  my welcoming of a boarder does not mean I have finally arrived at my destination.  I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to stop moving or trying new things or figuring out what else I want to experience.  I never want to arrive! I love not knowing what’s around the corner and I really love how The Universe keeps surprising me  with gifts I could never dream up for myself. From what I’ve observed, all I have to do is make room  for more.

 

 

Let It Go, Self.

img_0279Can you believe February is here already?  Some treasured Christmas cards still linger on the cabinet, while gumdrop cake tries to look hopeful in the cold porch. At this stage of the game, no one is going near that cake, let alone eat it. Christmas is truly over. I guess while hanging onto the love , peace and joy, I’ve also hung onto some of the material attachments that go with it.

When the sun comes up tomorrow, I am going to release that cake.

 

 

A Simple Thought

 

IMG_3020.JPGA friend visited this past week. He’s a special one. He’s diabetic, so only drinks a coffee when he’s here. No sugary anything. No stevia . Plain coffee watered down with 1% milk. What self control ! He does have a vehicle thing going on. Driving something different every time he visits. The common denominator is every vehicle looks  new, even if it’s 9 years old. Good eye,Al !

As anyone who knows me knows, I really enjoy people. I love having friends in for coffee and I love sharing my flavored teas too. I love having homemade anything to share. I love pulling the rocking chair from the living room to add comfort. I love pretty napkins to dribble wet spoons over. I love a fresh tablecloth with fold seams lined up just so. I love when birds visit the kitchen feeder, as we sit and chat. The universe seems so in order. Such alignment. I love how natural conversations can lead to deeper thoughts. The oh-that’s-how-that-happens, the what-do-you-thinks,  the how-do-you-do-its and the sometimes annoying can-you-help-me-withs. Isn’t it amazing how we all have such different journeys that bring us to this present moment, and how we all can still find common ground  in thought. Isn’t it interesting, how we have all experienced so many different situations, yet basically come to the same general conclusions. So many roads leading to the same destination. Such long journeys, so many decisions and choices …..that have led such interesting people to my kitchen. Do you ever consider, for more than a fleeting moment, ALL the details that have made this very moment possible?

Al is a manifestation of one of the ‘goals’ I listed , at the time of planning my shop. So is Linda. So are Janet and Larry. Of course, earning income was on my list. Being newly released from my seasonal job nudged me into churning the usual thoughts about money and work. What I’d now HAVE to do and gee, I’d better get a good worry going about ‘making ends meet’. I’ve never regretted releasing myself from my summer job commitment. I was more curious about how things would unfold in the shop AND if I’d reach that ‘goal’ of making good ripples. That was huge! Happy to announce I made some good ripples. I made some new friends and I’d have missed the joy of meeting Al, Linda and Janet and Larry, if my shop had not existed. We still keep in touch. Other beautiful magic happened too, with family and friends supporting my dream, even when I had wobbles. Getting back to Al though….we had such a nice visit. He was beaming because only hours before, he found out he can have 3 ‘treats’ a month. He’s been on  a strict diet to control his sugars and because of his self control, he’s lost over 12 lbs. Now he’s allowed to satisfy some of those food daydreams. On his way home, he was going to a place called Angie’s. He was going to order a steak, with mushrooms and gravy. Potato. Vegetables. I suggested some apple pie and ice cream too. Being the self controlled guy he is, a small serving perhaps. I was so excited for him! I’d love to have seen his face as he was being served.

Our conversation went in other directions too. Just before I went outside to give my opinion on his newest car, he shared a little thought he had. I think it’s so cute. …” To know how sweet your home may be, Go away, But keep the key.”  It’s time to get my embroidery cotton out, and a fresh towel.

A State of Mind

 Sunday I delivered my last snippets of Christmas.  About time! Two poor beat up apple pies , a towel that might need another washing by now, some molasses cookies that time might have improved-probably-not, a box of kleenex, some canned soup,  and a bear hug. ALL delivered! Sunday was the day after the storm and so cold. The sky seemed eager to make amends with a bright sun and blue cheeks. The breeze was more playful than mean. I walked over the road in that direction, with what felt like two steps forward and one back. The snow was slippery so I adjusted to my winter stride. Short, comfortable steps.

My days have held measurable amounts of time tending my chickens. When cold snaps happen, water has to be checked for freezing and I’m mindful of taking out food bits that hold some warmth. The new girls, Pearls and Rubies, do not like snow. It makes my stomach hurt when I think of my chickens out in cold buildings, while I’m inside beside a warm fire. At such times, I feel the new year.  No more holidays to  use as an excuse to avoid decision making, or use as a marker to delay anything. Focus self! Get on it! Right now I have what I consider good ideas,  on improving the circumstances of my flocks, for next winter. And you know what! NOW is the time to start getting organized or my story will resemble the one about the monkeys with the leaky roof.  It’s also time to remind myself of the ‘seeds’ I planted last fall within. When daylight shortened   I allowed myself to do more embroidery, reading and coloring. Thank you self. That fun time helped me get recharged  for the next season’s demands.  Since fall, I’ve gained a couple new clients to clean for. I’m starting to have visions for my shop. I could try to plan financially, but I choose to focus on enjoying the journey instead. It’s easy to make sound financial decisions when the money gets measurable. When it’s not measurable, it’s even easier.  No spending!

I’m excited about 2017.I feel prepared. I’ve climbed a few mountains. I’ve gone out on a limb or two. I’ve released. I’ve grasped. I’ve been a royal pain. I’ve been observant. I have treasures for family and friends  I have a handle on what serves me and what is best avoided. There have been lots of lessons and time will tell if I’ve remembered the valuable ones. For sure, no matter what the situation, hang on and keep climbing….. or keep walking, even if it’s short comfortable steps. That’s the secret !img_0083