Thursday, December 5, 2013

Getting Crafty

I'm an artsy fartsy gal. I really enjoy opportunities to create things that enhance the lives of those I love and the environment we share. To me well made homemade is special. It's easy to walk into a store, pick up an item and pay for it. It's not so easy to dedicate time and talent to make things. Of course there are some things that one simply can't make that enhance life. The iPad I'm using to write and post this blog is a store bought goodie. I can also appreciate such things as one who uses them regularly.

Today I finished three of four homemade projects. I made twelve snowmen ornaments from tea lights, six "faux" marshmallow snowmen ornaments, and two jingle bell garlands. The fourth project is a gift so I won't post what it is as its intended recipient sometimes reads this blog. It's fulfilling to design, start, work on and complete projects. For this reason I don't typically start long projects so I can be sure to complete the work I start. I don't like finding unfinished projects that have been sitting in drawers forever. I do have an afghan in the works, but it's one that uses scrap yarn so it is a work in progress.

I really enjoy homemade gifts, I also love getting art from friends and family. I have pictures painted and drawn by my grandchildren, my niece and close friends. I love seeing them hang on my fridge, my walls and in scrapbooks. It's like having a very personal art gallery. When I'm alone for long stretches of time, I can look at the art in my home and warm memories can fill the void that solitude can bring.

I know people who turn their noses up on homemade things. I'm not sure I will ever understand why, but they do. Not everyone can draw, crochet, knit, or create something from nothing. I could knit if I were so inclined, but choose not to as I have too many irons in my fires already. I have a friend who is very gifted with knitting. A gift from her is very special to me. I've known her so long that I knew her before she could knit. I've watched her go from novice to master of her art. She makes socks and lace! Both require skill to complete. She fills her spare time creating patterns for other knitters! That is mastery. That is the art of crafting.

I have more projects waiting in the wings, but for now I'm crafting a blog about crafting. Writing is very satisfying to me. To be able to take words and create mental images and feelings is powerful. To even reach and entertain an audience of one is wondrous. It's time to get in gear and get crafty.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 18, 2013

Something Old, Something New...

I've been remarried 18 days and life is as weird as it could be. I keep looking for something familiar with little to no success. Talking to a good friend (also a widow) who has been remarried for two years I'm fast learning that familiar is not to be had. It's all about making new traditions and wearing "new shoes". She keeps using analogies like, "leaving the familiar comforts of the sunny beach, and heading out to deep waters". I'm not a fan of swimming to start with, so the idea of leaving the safety of the beach to tread water in the deep sea makes my throat tighten. Now mind you, I love my new husband and I did ask God for someone different from my late husband, but does he have to be SO different?

I foolishly thought we would meld together seamlessly and easily. After all we are experienced at marriage. Between the two of us we have 68 years of experience. What a cruel trick assumption has played on the newly remarried bride I have become.

We are both accustomed to doing things certain ways. We are both VERY accustomed to doing things certain ways and having spouses that did things certain ways. How odd that we must learn new ways of doing things, and relearn the art of choosing battles and compromises.

The 34 years of marriage experience I went into this adventure with has eased many aspects of my new life. I already knew I would have to compromise, it's part of marriage. I already knew that some things just aren't worth fighting over to begin with. The difficult part in all of this preparation is that my new husband has totally different ideas of what is vital and what is superfluous. I'm quiet a great deal these days. I don't want to be drawn into arguments, I do want to learn all I can from observation of my husband. No matter how much one knows about a person going into a marriage, the final "I do" changes its participants.

Life is short and I know it just a little too well to begin with. Losing my husband to sudden death from a coronary changed my outlook. For this reason I'm not looking at my destination so much, but at how to enjoy the journey. The journey has lots of pot holes, detours and rough places, but I'm not traveling it alone any more. I loved being married the first time. Why else would I have ever considered a second go at it? I have someone to give to. I have someone to share things with. I have someone to blame. Yes, we blame our spouses as a protective mechanism. "I can't do this or that. My husband will be home and he has plans". He is my instant out.  I have someone to hold and to be held by. I have a man who loves to talk and to share similar likes. He also has things he enjoys that are completely foreign. I'm back in school as far as learning to work with someone new. I thought I'd be in junior high (at the very least). It seems I'm back in kindergarten.

I've just barely begun this adventure. I didn't have anything traditional at my civil wedding service. Thankfully the woman Justice of the Peace was a believer and she invoked God and even had us say the Lord's Prayer at our nuptials. I guess I'll be looking for something borrowed and something blue to finish out my very unconventional marriage. Perhaps I'll skip that as well, wouldn't want to be too predictable!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rest, Recuperation and Play, Oh My!

Life can get hectic if you let it. The world screams, "Make more money" and we follow its lead. The bible tells us that "money answers everything", but it isn't THE answer to everything. If I don't have peace what good is all the money in the world? The Lord asked us "What should it profit a man should he gain the whole world and what shall a man exchange for his soul?" That says a bunch to me. The pressure may be onto have more and more, but I push back equally hard. I want the will of God in my life more than anything. I appreciate that I have what I need to do what He asks me, but if I had to choose between Him and "mammon" as the old English translators called it, I pray I would choose Him.

Today I have scheduled free play. I chose to go to the gym and get on the treadmill, but while there I read a favorite study course on divine faith. I had high aspirations of how long I would work out, but knew when I had walked only a mile and a half it was time to quit. I decided in my car that my next destination would be Barnes & Noble for breakfast, a chai latte (soy) and some relaxing reading about art. As soon as I sat down my writing side kicked in and I decided it was high time to blog. So here I am.

I've been a widow for going on 23 months. My life is changed in a bunch of ways, but there are familiar things that have remained the same. I am still a writer. I am still an artist. I am still a mother. I am still a grandmother. I am still getting over the death of my husband of 34 years. I have a new person in my life and he and I are enjoying each other's company as we recover from the mutual deaths of our spouses.

I've started painting again. I have finished five canvases and have several more sketched and ready to paint. Tomorrow I hope to work on four small canvases I'm working on. It's a new aspect of art and I'm in "learning mode" as I am painting something specific to my ministry call. It's different, but it's a lot of fun. God is doing a new thing in my life and I'm working to hear His voice once again for this new work.

I'm a girl that enjoys lots of different things. My signature style is classic eclectic. I love vintage, I love retro, I love fru fru, I love traditional, but not too traditional. So all of these things in me are speaking, wanting to "get out". I'm holding them back and letting God open the gate. Today it's writing and art, but I just got a text request for ministry so when I'm done with my "me" day I'll go back to my ministry self. Normally on this blog I'm incognito. Today I'm letting it out that my true heart is ministry or loving those who need the real love of God in their lives. I have a huge heart (thanks to God) and there is enough love for whoever He brings along my path.

Praying for you who read this to be brave enough to take a day for yourself and get your tank refueled. God wants you to rest. He has said, "I give rest to my beloved" and you are one of His beloved if you want to be.


(Written two months ago)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Days and Counting

It's been a while since I've posted here. I'd love to forget the fact that I'm a widow, but though it may submerge deep in my subconscious mind the reality of it is never that far away. It's funny what can trigger the memories. Tonight it was a little book about healing that I picked up out of my library. Oddly enough the book was a gift a friend had given me to give to someone else. Why it never got to that person escapes me. I guess I will see to it that it reaches its intended destination. The woman who gave it has also gone onto heaven. It was the memory of her death that triggered my memory of my husband's passing. She was one of our supporters, and a woman I spent a great deal of time with. She had very little in the way of material wealth, but she was the most generous woman I have ever met. She suffered from COPD, was pretty much home bound, but she believed in healing. She had been healed of lung cancer! She was on oxygen 24/7, but she passed out books on healing to anyone and everyone that she met who might need healing. She was precious to me. She loved me and she loved my husband.

I had a sort of flashback of memories about this dear woman as I read the little note she had scrawled in the front of the little book. I remembered praying with her when her son had been accused of a crime he truly had not committed. I remember praying for him when he was put in prison. He was angry, and understandably so. While in prison, he came to know the Lord. His mother and I prayed relentlessly for him and rejoiced when he found peace for his soul. We also rejoiced when he was released after doing his time.

Over and over my husband and I had interacted with this sweet woman. She was also a trial to my love walk. Her lack of oxygen to the brain and then subsequent overload of oxygen could make her aggressive and demanding. It didn't matter, we loved her and did our best to serve her.

All of the memories I have of her are intertwined with memories I have of my late husband. He was always there either helping her or encouraging me when I was headed to help her. He was so much more patient with people than I. My emotions flooded my mind and the tears began to flood my eyes. In five days he will have been gone two years. I still am amazed that he is gone. I never imagined myself as a widow. I refused to let those thoughts ever have a place in my imagination.

One of the things I've discovered since he passed is that I never know what will trigger memories. Things that seem so unrelated will have a tie to them. If I get quiet and really think about it I can eventually see the connection. There is no way to prevent it, I simply have to get through it. I'm thankful for God's word and glad I spend enough time in it to have comforting verses come up in my mind during the tsunamis of emotions that sometimes overtake me. In five days I'm likely to be a mess as the thought of his death still hurts. Thirty four years is a long time to be with someone. I miss him. I probably always will.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 20, 2013

Writer's Block; Love

Ok, it's been a while since I've posted, but I have a really good reason. What is that reason you ask? I'm in love, have been in love and plan to stay there. Though I've written less than I have in ages I've started painting again and my music has begun to flow again. I've picked up my keyboard and played my accordion more times in the past four months than I have in years. You may be wondering (or may not) why my writing has slowed and my artsy side has flourished. I think it's because when you pen things about a new love in your life folks tend to scrutinize and judge. I doubt they mean to, but they do. They cast judgments on you, your new significant other and make "bets" on how long the relationship will last. Phooey. At the same time being an artistic person I need creative release of all the joy bubbling in my soul. My spirit soars as my new love draws closer to things I love and shares all that he holds dear.

I've decided to do less divulging and more living and enjoying this new experience, new relationship. I've already had many judgments issued by well meaning friends. I've never been in this place before so as a cautious person I proceed slowly and with my eyes pretty open. Ok, so there are times when love is completely and totally blind. I am fully aware of that fact, and for this reason I counsel with women older than myself. I do NOT ask for advice from those who have ALL the answers. There are many who seem to have ALL the answers for you, but their own lives are total messes. No thanks.

I'm onto bigger and better things. I have refilled my painting supplies and am making time for music and composing. I'm studying art books to refresh my memory of perspective and composition. These are things I do when separated from my new love. My spiritual side is being stretched. New relationships force one to produce the fruits of the spirit. One needs all of these fruits for the new life that is growing from the new connection. Adjustments will have to be made, but compromise of ones moral and spiritual self is a complete "no no" in my estimation. I can be patient without putting up with sinful practices. I can kind without becoming a doormat. I can promote my new love, again without becoming less than I am.

This new phase in my life is exhilarating, and yet there are challenges. I've laid the relationship down in the Father's hand only to have Him hand it back to me strengthened and renewed. Where I have been weak, He has under girded and helped me. Where I have been blind He has supplied elder women with compassion and wisdom to clean my love colored glasses.

I wouldn't miss this new budding romance for all the tea in China or barbecue in Texas! I am learning to shut off the critics and receive instruction from those who have already walked my path. I may have a writer's block, but it's one of my own choosing. I never put on paper what I don't want the whole world to know anyway.

Rejoice with me in my web silence knowing I'm in a good place. I was in a very sad and dark place at the death of my husband of 34 years. God has provided love that fills in places in my life that have never been filled before. I look forward to many more years of writing about where this new path leads. I hope you'll join me on the journey.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's life Jim, but not as we know it...

The title of this blog gives away my age. I remember watching the original series Star Trek when and as it happened. I also remember watching in reruns. I still love it. Yesterday I watched a rerun of "The Big Bang Theory" where Sheldon is given a "mint in box" toy transporter from the original series. During a dream his tiny Spock character talks to him and acts as his conscience. First he convinces him to play with the toy, after all is was designed for play so logically it should be played with. So Sheldon plays with it. Then while playing with it he breaks it. He then swaps his broken toy for his friend Leonard's "mint in box" transporter. Again tiny Spock acts as his conscience. I think it would be nice to have a tiny Spock for my conscience UNTIL he goes against my grain. It's hard enough to have one's own soul to deal with, let alone someone who in the fantasy world is capable of making purely logical decisions. Logic doesn't always work for me. There are time when I act led of my flesh. Those Rolos, Reese's peanut butter cups and Pepsis sure talk to my flesh. Then there are times when I'm very focused on God and I can respond to the Spirit and tell my logic and flesh to take a back seat. At any rate, today when I should be balancing checkbooks statements I'm taking time to write in my long forgotten blogs. Why? Because a blogger I follow mentioned that he hadn't written in his for a week. It's been a whole lot longer for me.

I'm busy these days with the business of love. I have a very special man in my life these days. We spend every moment we can together. Whether we're eating out, working in the garden or on our mutual homes, we're together. It's funny how you don't want to do regular things when you have someone you love to do other things.

I love writing so being that he is headed out of town for a couple of days, I'd much rather write here than balance checkbooks. For now I'm doing my passion rather than my have tos. I know that my next job will be to turn my office computer on and add months of checks that haven't yet made their way into my Quicken program. Then who knows what I'll do. My motivation is down for work because my beloved is gone. I better get busy in spite of the low motivation. He'll be back before I know it.

Was just thinking of the benefit of having a tiny Spock. When I don't like the outcome of his tiny advice I can blame him! I'm sure I'll do what's right for today, but just in case I may have to go shopping on Amazon and see if I can buy my own tiny Spock.