Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Introspection Revised

I wrote an in depth post about what is bothering me these days, but felt a little uncomfortable with the knowledge that people other than those I'm close to might read it. I guess I'm just a little more private than I wish, and so I decided to revise it somewhat.

I've been concerned lately that I have no passion for anything. I read a book about a young artist who was driven by her need and desire to create and it made me jealous. I would love to be able to look forward to each day with excitement, knowing I was going to do what I loved. But, I'm in a place right now, where I feel no passion for anything.

When my children were babies, I was driven by my painting and was able to earn enough to buy Christmas presents several years. But the demand and the desire faded as they grew. Then I was passionate about children's activities at church. As they grew to middle and high school, I was very much into genealogy. For eight years I worked at the local library and had access to all the records, so it evolved into a passion. When we moved to Sheridan, that desire waned.

Since moving, I've tried to resurrect each of those to no avail. I enjoy painting, but it's almost a burden sometimes. I enjoy sewing sometimes, but the drive is just not there. Last Spring, I was passionate about gardening. It's hot now, and not much gardening to do. I was intrigued by the birds but they have dwindled in the heat. Researching my family history just seems like work. Is it because I'm basically lazy? So, I'm wondering what I'm supposed to be doing. What will define me?

I know God wants me to be passionate for Him. I do spend time with Him each day and try to stay in a prayerful attitude throughout the day. I begin and end each day talking with Him. But, I know there is more that He wants me to do, and I just keep searching for that. I want to think He will give me the desire, the drive, the passion for something. Until then, I wait, feeling a little lost.

I also desire to have a friend I can talk to about this sort of thing. Husbands are wonderful and will listen, but sometimes they just don't understand. And they are created to want to "fix" it. I'm thinking only God and I together can do that. I have always wanted to go back to the time when my mother was young. The wives would visit together, drinking coffee and talking with each other. These days, everyone is working to make ends meet. There are so few women who are blessed enough to stay at home, and I thank God every day for that privilege. Still, sometimes it can be a lonely place, and I've yet to find someone I am comfortable with, who enjoys my company as well. God will bring me someone eventually, or He will make it ok that He doesn't. I'm waiting for that day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I Did This Week

I haven't painted a mural for two or three years now, and I remember why. It's very demanding. I love the creation process, but by the middle of the job, I'm very ready to be finished. I've also discovered that even though regular craft paint is non-toxic and water based, I have developed a physical reaction to it. I've had a headache and stuffy nose the entire time I've been working on my latest commission. So, unless it's someone very special, or something I desperately want to do, I will decline most future requests.

I did two rooms for a former co-worker. I love her dearly and miss being with her. She has a little boy and this is what we painted for his room.

She also has a baby girl, and this is what we added for her.

I can tell I'm getting too old to be crawling around on the floor trying to paint details on a wall. My body is yelling at me. But, I'm glad I did it, and am reasonably pleased with the result.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Letter to My Dad

Dear Daddy,

It's been more than four years now since you left us. It feels like such a short time. I can barely attend church on Father's Day I still miss you so terribly. Fortunately today, the speaker didn't go in depth with a "Father's Day" theme, and I was able to persevere. I couldn’t sleep tonight and lay in the bed thinking about you. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep, until I’ve talked with you a while.

The only spanking I can remember ever getting from you, was when brother and I waded into the murky pond in the woods. I can imagine the fear that caused you to want to make good and sure we never did something like that ever again. How frightened you much have been for us. I believe it was that same year, that you took us to the first county fair we'd ever attended in Shreveport.

I remember the day you left for Vietnam. What a horrible day, as Mom burst into tears on the couch. I'll never forget her anguish at your leaving. But I also remember our elation the day we met you at the airport on your return. I ran to you first and held on for dear life. I was the only one who was allowed to go with Mom and your brother to pick you up. I never thought to ask why, but the memory is still vivid.

You always involved all your girls in sports as well as your son. Not only did you coach brother's teams for years, you encouraged us to be cheerleaders so we could be involved as a family. I can remember having to help brother practice in the front yard because there were no other boys to help. I can't say I was having a good time, but it didn't hurt me, did it?

You took me to the local grocery store when we first moved back to Rison, holding my hand and introducing me to everyone. You seemed so proud of me. You explained that it was just nerves, the night you escorted me across the field at Homecoming and I couldn't stop yawning. You walked me to my groom at my wedding and kissed me on my cheek.

You took it as "just another girl" when LeLe was born. After having four girls and only one boy of your own, it was hard to get too excited. You loved hearing her little voice calling you Papa. You were so proud of her being a majorette like her Mama. And she loved her Papa so much.

When J was born, you came directly to my bedroom and stood at the foot of my bed, while I finished feeding him. You couldn't wait to get your hands on your first grandson. The first boy in so very long. You attended just about every game he played whether it be T-ball, baseball, or football. You sat in the rain at his high school graduation.

Your favorite Christmas song was "The Little Drummer Boy" and one Christmas LeLe played that for you on the piano. You then read the Christmas story to all the grandchildren. What a witness you were.

You painstakingly created lovely things out of wood for us. You had creative hands, and I remember how beautiful they were before you had to work at the gas station. Then they were stained and your nails split and broken, as you worked so hard to provide for your large family. You and Mom worked tirelessly to provide for all our needs and most of our desires.

You battled the cancer for so long. Even as I stayed with you for long hours at the hospital, you held on to your dignity so well, that even in your pain and suffering you were always concerned with keeping yourself covered in my presense. You listened to me when I said it was time to go home. But rather than burden us with trying to care for you at home, you went on to be with the Heavenly Father. What a horrific day that was for us. But what an awesome thing for you! I wonder who was first to meet you?

You've come to me in dreams several times since then, to comfort me and let me know you are happy. You confirm there is a Heaven and we will see each other again before long.

You were loving and faithful to our mother for 48 years. Not many children have such a role model. You said my name like no one else. I can still hear your voice calling me by my name.
On the day I get to Heaven, I want your voice saying my name to be the first thing I hear.

Happy Father's Day.
I love you and I miss you.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Experimenting and Explaining

Ok, I'm trying to learn more about blog layouts. It is confusing to me and as I learn, you may see me disappear or look very strange. Please excuse and try again another day.

I sure wish I knew more about all this.....

Have a good day.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finally Feeling It

For the longest time, in my mind I had a million things I wanted to do. But for some reason, I just couldn't get motivated. Crafty things, maintenance things, homey things. And all of a sudden, after coming back from the lake, I have actually been busy doing them. I suppose part of the reason is that I'm giving my nephew and his bride-to-be a shower at my house, and it needs a little sprucing up. So, I've been making new decorative pillows for the sofas and pillow shams for the guest bedroom.

I have been repainting the front door, and the shutters on the front of the house. Believe me, I wish I hadn't waited until the scorching days of summer to start that project! I had no clue what the original color was, and just took a good guess. Low and behold, it was exactly the right color. I was amazed at myself.

I began scrubbing the back porch, in preparation to paint that as well, but I am beginning to think I won't finish that. It's one thing to stand in the heat and move a brush, and another entirely to get down on my knees and scrub-a-dub-dub. I have about half the deck cleaned, and I just don't think the rest will get it, unless we have a cool front come through something before the shower.

I also took a commission to paint a couple of murals for a former co-worker. She bought a new house, and wants murals in her children's rooms. I'm looking forward to beginning that one day next week.

For those of you who have followed the saga of Mom's health issues, we have learned she has stenosis, and some bulging disks in her lower back. So, she has an appointment with a spine/pain/neurologist at the end of the month. I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm a Camper?

The past week, I spent all but one day camping with my extended family, at Lake Ouachita. I've only been camping once before, and it was so long ago, that I was expecting LeLe at the time. SR and I slept in the back of our new El Camino then. It was not the most comfortable of situations, and I really didn't think I'd ever do it again. But, Brother from Chicago and his daughter, all three sisters and their families were going, so I wanted to be there too. We were camped at Mountain Harbor, about 25 minutes from Hot Springs.

I had a really good time all in all. I meant to take my camera, but had to make due with my phone cam. The weather was pretty good, not too hot, except the last day.
This was sunset one day. It was like a picture postcard, as they say. The water was warm and we were on a great spot. Must have been widely coveted, because periodically, folks would drive by to see if it was available. This day was a bit overcast and the sun finally peaked through.

Brother-in-law bought a SeaDoo for the kiddos and they all had a blast. Aunt B_Lines did not ride the SeaDoo. But she did float on a blow up raft frequently. We drove into Hot Springs for a little shopping and ate at Red Lobster. (My all time favorite restaurant.) We visited, and ate, and swam and the guys fished some. I slept in a tent and in the back of my Tucson. Believe it or not, the Tucson was pretty comfortable with an air mattress in the back.

It's amazing how much energy it takes to walk up and down the rocky camp area, and to go up and down the bank to the water. Not to mention the constant arm and foot paddling, not wanting to drift out to the middle of nowhere. So, I got lots of exercise without realizing it. I tried hard to maintain healthy eating habits and for the most part succeeded.

One evening, the weather began to look menacing.

The wind began to blow the tarps around and we scrambled to hold everything down. It got so bad at one point, that it lifted Sister#2 off the ground as she held onto one of the tarps trying to keep it from blowing away. A rope from one tarp caught my arm and I came away with a lovely bruise as a souvenir. We wound up having to rebuild the campsite.

My nephew, who is Autistic, was there for two days and he had a great time. It's been quite a while since I was able to play with a little one in the water, and I enjoyed it.

By Saturday afternoon, I was exhausted, and headed for the house. I'm getting old and weary I guess, because I wound up sleeping most of the day Sunday. I don't know if I will ever do the camping thing again, but I am very glad I went this time. It made me want to be close to the water so badly. I would even be happy with a kiddy pool in my back yard......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feeling My Age

I don't consider myself "old" unless you count the body aches. My brain still thinks I'm 35, but my body argues heartily. When I was much younger, if I gained a few pounds, I'd diet them off right away. Not so easy now. I've gained a few...well, a little more than a few, but not so many that I feel like a blimp. (Thank goodness) But, it's come to the point where I really need to shed a few. I don't want, nor do I intend to diet until I'm thin again, just enough to be able to wear clothes I've grown out of. And of course there is the whole feeling good thing to consider. My joints are rapidly becoming achy and stiff.

I've tried walking. It is the least detestable exercise I can think of. Trouble is, my low back pain suffers greatly and then the neuropathy sets in and I'm miserable. So, I'm searching for a low impact, fat burning, cardio dvd that won't kill me. I have never liked exercise, especially not calisthenics, so I am being very vigilant in my search. I know what I will and will not follow through on.

I've always had trouble losing weight. I'm not exactly sure why, but it could have something to do with my thyroid issues, and that I'm short short short with a very low metabolism. Diet pills don't work for me. They do not ease my appetite, only make my body more tired than normal.

I know the size aspect is not the most important thing right now. I need to strengthen my heart and work my muscles and joints. The weight loss will be an extra bonus. If I can figure out how to go about it. I'm counting fat grams and staying away from sugar, and when I find the exercise regime I will follow, I should be set.

I won't discuss the vanity issue except to say, we all deal with it to some degree. And losing weight would help my self image.