feeling prosperous - an exercise

I'm reading Julia Cameron's The Prosperous Heart. The assignment it to fill in the blank: I felt prosperous when _______. I felt prosperous when I was newly divorced living on Smith Street. Of course, I've never articulated that thought before. Upon moving in, I quickly began the old house's makeover. For wall paint, I chose pink and blue and it was a lovely, tasteful combination. The blue was called Mirage Blue and it was on... Read more →


2012 in review

In a nutshell, 2012 was one of the hardest years of my life. Gone are the days of children who adore me. Gone are the days of being on the same wavelength with Gordon regarding parenting. Gone are the days of loving to be home enjoying my haven, my castle. I write this in a brand new year and I feel great. I think 2013 is going to be an amazing year. But it's far... Read more →


valerie's manifesto

After lengthy meditation on the subject, I've created a manifesto, a conviction list, of sorts. The process was a clarifying one. I highly recommend it for one's own focus and grounding. I love it!! Read more →


god's purpose on the job

(I will now break all cardinal rules for the internet by talking about work. I have never done this before.) I' m having a hard time at work. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't environment. I strive to rise above the annoyances, abuse and negativity. Last week I failed utterly. Failure is tough when you take being an example seriously. I don't know how my work struggles will end. Sometimes I... Read more →


just for fun

my backyard in the morning, I adore it out here A few weeks ago I referenced Gretchen Rubin's, The Happiness Project, in which she challenged me to think about what is fun for me. And I did; I thought long and hard about the things I like to do, the things I look forward to, the things I make time for. In the process, I had an epiphany: it's okay to call the things I... Read more →


fun with blogging

(This picture is of Galilee.) I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's, The Happiness Project. Several days ago I read her chapter, "Be Serious about Play." She raised several questions that got me thinking about the fun in my life, challenging me to think about what I consider "fun." Early in the book she talked about, "Be Gretchen," admonishing her readers to be themselves. Relating to the chapter on fun, that translates to being myself and not claiming... Read more →


invisible beauty

My children are back in school and I am happy and gleeful. They are in new schools this year and so far it's been a wonderful experience. I drive them. I was spoiled as they have walked to school for the past three years. No more. I leave with them every morning at 8:15. But it's good for me. It jump starts my day and I've been very productive. This morning I read a quote... Read more →


randomness

Things I love about winter. 1) The snow illuminates the outdoors at night. I can see outside my window almost like a yard lamp is on. In the wee hours of the morning, I always notice how the light is reflected off the snow creating light for the middle-of-the-night bathroom visits . 2) I cook lots of soups, chilies, and homemade bread. They are easy, very hearty and so very soothing on a cold cold... Read more →


2007 goals

It's the time of year when anal retentive people like myself make lists and look at last year's list to affirm successes and justify failures. Quite a fun time of year; a time that requires thought processes that have been slumbering peacefully for roughly 365 days. The glass-half-empty people scoff at those of us who make lists. I will not be deterred. Lists are good! God makes list -- The Ten Commandments. I want to... Read more →


100 things i love

summer rain songbirds cotton dresses comfortable shoes living simple country kitchens hardwood floors willow furniture recycling junk into treasures knowing God is in control old stuff fresh flowers flea markets puppy breath a clean house a place for everything and everything in its place soft instrumental music Americana decor reading on cold evenings God's grace first big snowfall white chocolate brownie from Moxies quality bed sheets scented candles animals second-hand stores flannel pajamas quiet time... Read more →


teachers

School teachers are regularly coming in my stores buying things for their classrooms. I've marveled at their artistic creations, more specifically the artistic creations they take to their classroom. Yesterday while a lady was checking out, she was telling me in detail what she was going to do with her students with the purchase she was making. As she spoke my mind wandered back to many years ago when no one brought my creativity out... Read more →


thoughts from mother's day

(Mama and my cousin Kenneth, early 50's) Since Mother's Day, I've been meditating on mothers who influenced the way I approach mothering. It's been eye-opening. Have I never thought about this before? Of course my own mom influenced me the most. She had a no-nonsense approach to mothering. On Saturday mornings, she donned Daddy's brown leather belt around her neck and when she wore that particular accessory, we knew to walk the line. Mama intended... Read more →


my day in court

I had to go to court as a witness yesterday. It was a cultural experience. Never mind that the accused was pitiful and I didn't want to see her thrown in jail, (she got a $2800 fine and 36 months suspended license), the remarkable thing to me was the leftover old English tradition. To be quite honest, I wasn't just appalled, I was mildly offended. Maybe I should back up a little. Bear with me... Read more →


pictures

I'm in my living room as I write this. It's peaceful and quiet, very welcoming. This room, along with the kitchen, is the hub of the house. Many a pleasant memory was made here. Laughter, hugs, tears, nursing babies, bedtime stories, reading, and many prayers. On the piano are pictures of the most important people in the world to me. Gordon and I share a frame and then the children stretch out in framed splendor.... Read more →


the sea

"Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choice-less as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea." Anne Morrow Lindbergh I read that a few days ago and I've been thinking about it. Just as I can't tell the sea what sea shell to bring me, I can't tell the day what to give me. I can't dictate sunshine and a warm breeze. I can't demand... Read more →


resolves kept

I get irked by the pessimists who say there isn't any use in New Year's resolutions because no one keeps them anyway. It's true, truer than I like to admit, that many of my beginning-of-the-year goals don't get kept. I've never lost those last pesky 100 pounds, nor do I work out everyday. So yes, I don't keep them all, but I do keep some. 1986 - Before legislation dictated it, I began wearing a... Read more →


2005's blessings

January!, the time of year where we look back and think, "Wow, where did all the time go?" It's a reflective time and, hopefully, a time where we can see the hand of God in some of the circumstances and events of the previous year. Yesterday during community prayer at church, a lady prayed something like "Our God in heaven who dances and laughs over the good things in our lives." I don't remember her... Read more →


back after a break

On August 28 I had a hysterectomy. Seems the ole uterus had just played out. I've recuperated well and quite like life without a uterus. It served me well and gave my five babies nine months of cozy abode, but alas, the poor thing tuckered right out. Gordon and I make our way to Arkansas in a few short days to see my delightful Stephanie marry the love of her life, John Mark. I can... Read more →


age

I'm feeling older. I'm not complaining of aches, pains and memory loss, but I'm observing things about myself and my environment and what I notice clearly indicates that I'm aging. First I'm recognizing that I'm not as strong, I'm not as sharp, and I'm not as "on the ball" as I once was. There was a time when I was, quite possibly, the smartest person I knew. Those days are long gone. Now life is... Read more →


spring has sprung

(left to right, Hannah, Deborah, Rachael) It's been another fun "spring break" day. We started at IKEA, a huge store that makes WalMart look puny. We had lunch, the kids painted some clay pots, and then we enjoyed browsing through all the stuff we don't need. After IKEA we ended up in Edmonton's River Valley. It was soggy from the spring melt, yet fresh and outdoors, therefore a good place to be. We watched a... Read more →


a delightful morning alone

(Rachael and Lucy, 2004, Pembina River) My morning has been nothing short of delightful. I have basked in the quiet solitude. I just refilled my coffee mug (for the fourth time) and have enjoyed reading my Bible, praying, and writing a few letters. I wish I had more mornings just like this one. I cannot remember the last time I had the house to myself for this length of time. I lit a candle to... Read more →


field trip and such

(Deborah in kindergarten) Today is usually a work day for me, but I took the day off to attend Deborah's Easter party at school. She is so excited. For the first several months of school I didn't go on her field trips or attend her school parties because I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays which are Deborah's school days. Several weeks ago she expressed that she wanted me along for these things. Since then I've... Read more →


the simple life compromised

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Alberta. The bright sunshine magnifies the ice crystals in the air. We have about 18 inches of snow. It's clean and bright. Until this week, it seemed like spring was here. All the snow had melted and we were going outside without jackets. The birds were singing and every time I went walking I heard melt rushing into the grates in the streets. Oh the sounds of spring... Read more →