Simplify. Seems simple. It isn’t really…

What’s the big deal about simplifying your life and home?  Why is there an increasing interest in this?  Why is it so doggone hard?  Well, it’s not thaaaat bad.  Unless you live with other folks that aren’t on the same page as you, the same thought process, the same goals.

I’m at that stage in life where I want to start downsizing.  Have you seen all the shows and articles and web sites related to tiny housing?  When my hubby and I (we just had our 16th anniversary, by the way–woohoo!!!) first got married, I moved into his 680 square foot house.  Tiny.  We were there before tiny was cool!  I wasn’t sure how to combine our two households effectively and beautifully, but persevered.  By the time we hit our first anniversary, I loved our little house.  It was cozy. It was complete.  It was welcoming.  It was adorable.  But then we found out a wee one was on his way!  No place to put a crib, another dresser/changing table, toys, etc.  So we thought.  We moved into a house nearly twice the size–1200 square feet.  Whew.  Room to breathe.  We were no longer always together no matter what room we were in, including when one was in the bathroom.  (We had plenty of conversations through the door.)  But I found that it wasn’t as convenient when I had a question or needed something.  And there was always something that needed cleaning.  And we bought a lot more stuff, which required maintenance.  Or additional stuff.  But then we wanted to move to a better school district.

Next house–1,964 square feet, plus footage that’s not included.  We’re always hollering from one end of the house to the other, for stoopid things, like where is…, do you want…, when is…, are you ready?  Bothers me.  I don’t like that we yell, but what’s worse is not understanding what the other person said.  Then you have to get clarification, either by moving to where they are, or yelling, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”  “I DIDN’T HEAR YOU–WHAT??”  “SAY AGAIN??”  We usually don’t hang out in the same room either, which saddens me immensely.  This is something we’re working on as we slowly simplify and get back to what is important. We’ve got a finished basement, which isn’t part of that square footage because there isn’t an egress window (a window big enough to get out through if there’s an emergency.)  Enormous family room (which is hubby’s favorite room,) a guest bedroom, and a half bath with sink and toilet.  There are also two BIG spaces that are storage space.  You know what that means?  We’ve gotten more STUFF; it all needs weeding out.  Last week I went through a container looking for our wedding books and pictures.  Found a bunch of newspapers in there that had no purpose that I could see. Recycle!!  Felt so good!  Made me want to discard more.  But I didn’t as I had other things to clean, maintain, buy, plan for, plan around…

When I talk with hubby and son about moving, there’s always a disconnect.  They sure don’t want smaller.  But they don’t get frustrated when looking for something.  They just ask me.  I’ll find it if I don’t already know where the item is.  And they don’t clean, much.  Or do the little maintenance, much.  Staying home with my synthetic fragrance sensitivity, I have become the cleaning lady.  And fixer.  In fact, just this morning, my dearest hubby asked why the living room touch up paint was on the counter with spackle and a brush.  Well, hmmm.  There are touch-ups to do.  Ah.

Yes.  I want to down size.  I love cozy.  Hubby loves space.  Lots and lots of space.  My favorite room in the house is the smallest at 10′ by 10′.  He gets claustrophobic in there.  It’s wonderfully cozy with a comfy couch (guest bed,) open bookshelf, small desk, small printer cabinet, a skinny wire and basket chest, and a tiny wrought iron garden table by the couch to set your beverage on. Very cozy, but not crowded.

Here’s a funny–hubby wants a smaller yard, as he dislikes yard work.  And I want more garden space to grow our own food.  I’d love to have chickens and goats too.  (Not possible in our current neighborhood.  We can’t even put up a clothesline or basketball hoop!)  We’ve currently got two pear trees, two apple trees, and a concord grape arbor that the previous owners put in.  We’ve added two blueberry bushes and a good sized raised bed for vegetables.  All of this on 1/3 of an acre!  I see room for more raised beds, but my guys want to be able to throw the football or baseball around a few times a year. We have a HUGE park a few miles from here. Their very valid point is when the urge strikes, they don’t want to have to drive.  Ok.

My biggest challenge with simplification is the part about getting rid of the stuff.  It amazes me how things become valuable when I’m purging.  We’re gathering garage sale goodies together, and have a good amount.  But there could be more!!!  And the whole recycling thing is hard–do we REALLY need this?  Can’t I just take a picture?  Can’t we make a copy and put it in our cloud?  One friend tells me I should just do it.  But that’s a violation of their opinion, isn’t it?  Guilt prevails.  But so shall I.  I WILL prevail at simplifying our lives and home.  I do want to say that all three of us are getting better at making do with what we’ve got.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.   And upcycling by reusing something in a different way than what it was originally intended for.  Yep–getting there.  It certainly is a process, and we Know that happiness is the journey, not the destination.  So, as I go down memory lane with the items that have accumulated over the years, I send you

Warm wishes on Your journey!
Nance

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Fall, From My Viewpoint

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Fall.  What a glorious season.  Friends tell me this season makes them melancholy because it’s the “death” season.  ohmygoodness–what a beautiful way to go!  Stunning colors everywhere.  I sincerely think this was one of the most gorgeous falls I’ve witnessed.  I mean STUNNING.

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This lone leaf caught my eye and touched my soul.  It’s not very large, compared to most of the leaves, but my eye was caught by the intensity of the vivid coloring as it hid amongst the other leaves that hadn’t found their final burst of color before falling to carpet the ground.

Not only did they carpet the ground, but there was also a warm orange glow coming through the windows in the room next to this Sugar Maple.  Yes, a glorious fall…

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This angel is wonderfully precious, as it strokes a tiny bird with love and kindness, and is also incredibly special.  It was my mother’s day present from my preschool son, who recently turned 14.  He and I wandered through garden centers, looking for just the right little statue.  And here it is, ten years later, surrounded by the splendor of fall, still emanating the gentle spirit I see in my son.

Rather than feeling melancholy, I’m inspired to enjoy the season.  Time for sweaters, and stews and soups and snuggles in front of the fireplace… And don’t forget the baking!  Even though many of the trees are now bare, some trees are continuing to be colorful, and some, like my pear tree, still have green leaves.  This reminds me that things happen when they’re supposed to, not when we expect it.  I’ve still got the hyper-sensitivity to fragrance, still learning how to cope in this artificially scented world, and still don’t know what my “purpose” is now that I can’t teach high school.  Someday I’ll be privy to this information.  In the meantime, my job is to be open to the journey, enjoying the stunning beauty in this world.  And to remember that the moments matter.

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With warm wishes on your journey,

Nance

 

Canary in the Coal Mine??

Do you smell good?  Stay away, please.  This is so hard. I can’t be around most people who smell nice, can’t be in places that smell lovely, can’t use many products that are fragrant. I’m hyper-sensitive to chemically induced fragrances. That’s most of our world, ya know? Essential oil fragrances don’t seem to bother me–guess it’s because they’re “natural” and not man-made?? Man-made chemicals in general don’t agree with me. Why do I have to be the overly sensitive one? I LOVE fragrance. But it has the potential to literally kill me. People really have a hard time wrapping their brains around this. Now if this was a peanut allergy, everybody understands that one! Or shellfish. Or bees. But fragrance?? It’s mind-blowingly hard. Even the place I’m receiving my Zolair shot isn’t a fragrance free zone. This is THE asthma and allergy center in my area. They don’t make the employees refrain from using scented products. !!! I’ve gone there three times, and had an allergic reaction the first time and the last time, three weeks ago. OHMYGOODNESS. You’d think of anyplace I might go, this would be a safe environment. No. Several staff have told me it “can’t be expected of us to have to be scent free.” Yes, it can be expected, considering where they work. And yes, I know how expensive fragrance free products can be. That’s another thing thrown in my face by the employees. Nurses, receptionists. “Professionals.” I’m feeling really bitter about this. I’ve gone to FIVE different doctors trying to find a solution to this condition that is unusual, at least to the severity that I have. I finally find Dr. Welch, who is sure she can find a way to help my body cope with this sensitivity. Yay! Then the staff and facility are not safe for me. I have relatives who are in the health care industry and many friends in the health care industry. None of them wear fragrance, are allowed to use it at their work place, and honestly cannot understand how an ALLERGY and ASTHMA center allows it. Three weeks ago was the last time I went for my shot. I had to wait in the main waiting area, surrounded by good smelling folks, waited on by the softly fragrant receptionist, given the shot by a nurse who smelled exceptionally lovely, and OH SURPRISE, started having an allergic reaction. When I said something to the receptionist, who is fully aware of my condition, she said that I looked ok. Oh. OK. Then it’s not really happening. YES, IT WAS. She didn’t know what to do with me. They don’t have a safe area. And the signs posted to “please refrain from wearing fragrance” are on regular copy paper, in inconspicuous places. Big building, and I saw the two “signs” that the director of the center said were posted. They need to be big. Conspicuous. Bold lettering. In your face. Plus, Hello! The staff should not wear fragrance. And patients should be informed to please refrain from wearing fragrance to the best of their ability. They’re not told this, but the director thought that was a great idea to add that little sentence when patients get their appointment reminder call. I’m not the only one with fragrance issues. I know I’m not. I taught high school for the past ten years. I had students have asthma attacks due to the scents peers were wearing. I had to change seating arrangements for them. But I’m treated like such an inconvenience. Yeah. It is a huge inconvenience. Trust me. The medicine in itself is scary as the most common side effect is ANAPHYLAXIS. Really? I’m getting a shot of mouse hormones to avoid going into anaphylaxis from my hyper sensitivity to multiple chemicals, but I might go there with the shot?? ohmygoodness. I have to have an Epi-Pen near me for the rest of my life. In part, due to the Xolair, but also in case my body revolts against some nice scent. I can never let my guard down. That’s so tiring. I do seem to be building up somewhat of a resistance to the unknown chemicals; unknown because there are 1000’s of them. But, I still get burning sensations on my face and in my eyes sometimes when I’m in public. And for a full day after the shot, I’m wiped out as if I took allergy or flu medicine that makes you sleepy. That’s not so fun. And guess what?? That symptom/side effect has not been on the books before ME. Yes, I’ve added that possible side effect information for future Xolair recipients. A friend told me I’m like the canary in the coal mine, as in the canary dies if there’s toxic gases in the air. Her thought is that my role is to warn humankind that we’re getting too artificial. My sister didn’t like that analogy AT ALL. Her point? The canary dies to save the humans. I hope that’s not where this goes.

Let Go of the Dream and Find Something

I’ve written posts about losing something, and it’s been hard to understand and follow.  REALLY hard to write.  Yet, cathartic. Then today, Shannon Kaiser, life coach and vlogger (video blogger) shared in her post “Play with the World” how to know when to let go of “the” dream.

As a continuing part of my writing 101 assignments, I was encouraged to write a post about finding something. Today, I found the ability to let go of the dream of being the perfect high school teacher who impacts a majority of her students, guiding them, and mothering those who need mothering, and inspiring all.

I found out that I need to share my love of life with more people, without using me up and being in harm’s way.  The Universe has given me a kick in the ass to redirect my energy.  That was my moment that mattered this morning, the something I found.  How liberating!  I thank Ms. Kaiser for her honest vlog, and I thank the Universe for kick in the ass that I’ve been fighting and lamenting.  Now I need open up and find more…

With warm wishes on your journey,

Nance

A Loss Unexpected, Part II

In my previous post, “A Loss Unexpected, Part I,” I shared a growing sense of loss, that I need to figure out what’s been lost, and how to recreate myself to alleviate the losses.  I mentioned I’ve lost the hugely important ability to be easily social, and have lost the bubbly person, the one who always has a smile. She’s gone away and I want to find her again.  But wait–there’s more!

I didn’t sign my contract for next school year–I’m no longer employed.  It’s official.  Not only have a lost employment by choice, but I just lost my chosen profession, at my chosen high school.  This school is a challenging school to teach at because many of the students live lives I cannot even imagine, they don’t have parental support that they desperately need, and many come from severely low-income homes.  My class room provided a safe haven, I gave them unconditional love, and I impacted many young people’s lives in a positive way, creating a ripple effect of goodness and love.  Except for the few who chose to ruin the “nice” teacher.  Over the past ten years of teaching there, I honestly can’t tell you how many kids told me they came to school just so they could see me, visiting between classes if I didn’t teach them that day, coming back after their semester was over… just to see me and feel loved.  Loved just because they are who they are.  Honestly, they were my babies, waking me up at night as I’d worry about them, thinking about ways I could help.  They’d share life issues, learning problems, all sorts of challenges and frustrations with me… I was their school mom.  I’ve lost that feeling of usefulness.  I’m also a burden financially–I don’t have income, but cost money to “operate.”  That’s pretty heavy too.

I’ve also lost the luxury of being known as a hugger–I can’t hug most people anymore because of their clothes detergent, dryer sheets, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, deodorant, lotion, self-tanning product, perfume, or cologne.  And I am a hugger.  This is a huge loss in my life, not being able to hug people.  Those students I was talking about that would find me usually needed a hug too.  But now I can’t.  I see former students, as I live in the district I taught in, and we automatically and gleefully head towards each other to share a hug until I remember I can’t.  It’s always a shock.  Still.  Our world is overly perfumed with artificial scents.  Essential oils don’t seem to bother me a bit; it’s the fake ones, created in labs, and there are 1000’s of them, so I can’t be treated for just a few with allergy shots.

Friends and family are actually apprehensive to be around me because they worry if some new product they’re using will cause a reaction.  A dear friend asked if the gum she had in her car was ok, because it was artificially flavored.  That seemed fine–apparently food scents don’t hit me the same way as smell-good scents.  But to realize that people feel uneasy being around me is rather devastating.  I’m a people person, forced to be a semi-hermit. My mother in-law let me know that she bought some unscented shampoo for everyone coming to the family reunion to use.  Bless her heart.  Shampoo is actually low on my list of triggers.  If I’m in the vicinity after a shower was taken with a trigger shampoo, then yes, bad news.  But there are so many things in our world today!!  My vets office is almost too fragrant.  We’ll see how that goes today when I take the two pups for their shots. If it’s bad, they’ve already said they’ll bring the dogs out to me and I can wait in my car.  We had to change my son’s dentist because they wouldn’t stop using plug-in air fresheners.  Here’s something they didn’t apparently believe; if you’ve used it in the past week, and haven’t fully aired out the space, it’s probably still in the air and on the cushions and in the carpet, particles getting sent back into the air as people sit and walk, for me to have reactions with. I’m unable to go into fragrant stores, have to avoid aisles of, and sometimes the aisles next to, the detergents and scented cleaners and air fresheners. Think about this the next time you go into a store.

This challenge is almost unfathomable.  No wonder I’m feeling loss.  And fear and dread and constant apprehension.  Will it get better?

tbc

A Loss Unexpected, Part I

I’ve been feeling a growing sense of loss.  And sadness, fear, discouragement…  That’s SO not me!  I’m the sunshine in the crowd, the one with the life and energy, the sometimes irritatingly always-happy-person, the bubbly one.  Well, my bubble burst, so now I need to move forward.  To do that, I need to figure out where I lost that part of me, why I lost it, and what to recreate OR create to feel whole again.

My health issues have kept me mostly housebound for the past six months.  I have a hyper-sensitivity to unknown chemicals in fragrances due to being bombarded in three of the classes I taught in high school.  Just a few girls, but no one would come forward to say who was doing it, as there’s a great deal of bullying that goes on. According to the kids who shared their concern about it and wished they could help, they told me the perpetrators thought it was funny to watch me have an allergic reaction; huge itchy, burning, raised, red hives on my face, and eventually my eyes would burn, itch and start to swell.  They hoped I would have to miss school, because !!! everyone knows that when you have a sub, you don’t have to do anything and can’t be held responsible for learning anything.  Therefore, you don’t have any tests, and ultimately don’t have to take a final.  Wrong. Administration didn’t back me when I asked for support in November of last year, in a way that I thought would be effective.  I had asked if I could send a letter, (approved by the lead principal,) to my student’s parents about the seriousness of the situation with severe repercussions (which would have to be done by administration,) if additional fragrance misuse was done.  Also, I wanted to post signs in the hallway and in my classroom stating they were Fragrance Free Zones.  Admin’s response was that I needed to tell them which classes were doing this, and principals would come and “catch them.”  If I couldn’t catch them, how would they?  Doesn’t that make it even more of a game?  I’d already told them what class periods were doing this to me.  I never followed up with any more requests.  Why bother?  I posted signs myself.  But that made things worse.  It was now a deliberate assault that I was unable to prove.  But I’m experiencing the aftermath–the inability to be in most public places.

I haven’t taught since the middle of January.  I’ve been on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act,) so no paycheck, but at least I had health insurance.  The human resources department extended my FMLA  until the end of the year, because we’d hoped for miraculous results with the shots of Xolair.  It’s oh-my-goodness expensive, has to be given every four weeks, and is preventative, not curative.  No such luck.  As of this past Monday, I still have negative reactions to good smelling people.  An odd outcome is how often people take offense that I’m allergic to something they use that smells nice.  It’s not at all personal, yet people often act as if it is.  I know they didn’t do this to attack me.  But an offense is done toward them, unintentionally.  And if you knew me, that’s the last thing I want to have happen.  It hurts me that people don’t understand I’m not attacking them, but what makes them smell good is extremely dangerous for me, possibly deadly.  Not by choice. Trust me.  I’ve lost the freedom to go anywhere at any old time because there might be someone who smells good.  I have to decline parties/gatherings/functions where there might be people who smell nice.  Isn’t that insane??  I’ve lost the “me” who is social.  And I’m SOCIAL.  As in Butterfly.

There’s more that I’ve lost.  I can only think about this for a little while at a time because this is so huge, trying to figure out the new me.  At 53.  Hey, that rhymes.  tbc…

Twelve Years Old, and I Lived

…in a brand new split level home in northern Wisconsin, with my mom and dad.  That was the year, ironically, that my parents also split.  Huh, I never thought about that correlation before.  We’d lived in a duplex across the street and got to watch the house being built.  I was incredibly shocked when I found it was ours!  It seemed so huge.  You couldn’t just holler to somebody as there was too much separation between rooms and floors.

Lots of stairs in the house, with landings and a boxed corkscrew effect.  When you walked in the front door, you could either go up a few stairs to the living room that had a brick fireplace set on the diagonal, or go down a short flight of stairs to the garage entrance,  with another short staircase leading into the family room.  The family room had a fireplace directly below the one upstairs, so we thought this place was really something because we had TWO fireplaces, never having had even one before.  In the family room, we had a honkin’ big new picnic table that I helped my dad stain and paint, and it was the only movable furniture in this long room.  I wonder why? The three of us would have picnics down there when it was too hot and humid outside, as well as having picnics all winter long with a fire in the fireplace. There were also built in benches under the windows to sit on, but I didn’t like them as they were terribly boxy and straight, and not at all comfortable.  You know, I haven’t thought about how quirky and unique this house was until just now. Funny, looking back.

Also down in the lowest level was the utility/laundry room and my dad’s “bathroom” with the only shower in the house, all in one room.  The shower was cinderblock, cold, dark, and I hated it. But I hated baths more, so I’d go down there to shower anyway.  My mom still had a wringer washer she preferred using.  She had a regular washing machine too, but said the wringer washer got clothes so much cleaner.  I can’t tell you how many times my fingers got “wrung” as I helped with the laundry.  (Not by choice!!)  There were clotheslines down there too, for rainy laundry days or winter weather.  We had a fairly new dryer, but my mom preferred hanging things to dry.  I didn’t like it because of the stiffness of the dried clothing, bedding and towels.  Especially the towels.  ooooh and washcloths.  Not pleasant at all, even though we used fabric softener!

If you were up on the main level, you’d go up another small flight of stairs to the three bedrooms and main bath.  I LOVED my bedroom.  Peach walls, white sheers on the windows (three large windows, so there was a LOT of light,) with white shades for privacy and darkness.  The best part was the crazy shag carpeting.  Surprisingly colorful for my parents; dark orange (almost a rust color,) medium orange that was Halloween pumpkin-ish, and yellow orange, like butternut squash.  The amazing thing was that we found a bedspread with those exact colors.  It was meant to be, I swear!!!  I had white French provincial hand me down furniture that I never really liked from my next older sister, consisting of  a huge dresser, a headboard, and make-up table with a little chair.  Never understood why we had a  make-up table since my mom wouldn’t let us wear any.  ha!  There was also a wonderful and simple bookshelf my dad and I made out of cedar, painted a shiny white.  He tried to talk me out of the high gloss, but that was what I saw in my head.  I still have it, and my son treasures it because his Grampa and I made it together. Honestly, I’d forgotten how much I treasure it too.

The kitchen was full of new “avocado green” appliances. Even the hood over the stove and the first dishwasher we ever had.  We were living in style, we thought. But I’d have moved back to central Wisconsin in a  heartbeat. That was where we were still together, still a family.  But then I wouldn’t have my orange shag carpeting…

With warm wishes on your journey,

Nance

Three important songs? hmmmm

Ok–15 minutes on the stopwatch and I have to write about my 3 top songs and what makes them important for me.  No editing–aaaaaah!  My first song is James Taylor singing “whenever I see your smiling face” because that was the song my hubby chose for us when we were dating.  He said that was our song.  Really???  Then I listened, for the first time, to the emotion behind the words.  Hearing it on the stereo or if he plays the CD totally makes me teary because he knew.  He knew before I did.  He was happy with another person, and this song represented the joy in his heart.  ohmygoodness.  Top it all off, when we invited his parents over for dinner to tell them the “news,” that song came on the radio.  For real?  Yes, for real.  He just about exploded with happiness.  Aren’t I lucky?  ❤

Next song:  Macklemore–THRIFT SHOP!  ohmygawd–LOVE this song.  (Censored, please.)  LOVE IT>  sonny buoy and I were at a teen resale shop and this came on.  OHMYGOODNESS!!!!!!  We were dancing like we always do and singing along, and making the gestures that we felt were appropriate for certain words and it was one of the best times ever.  This was last year, so he was 12.  There was a young man looking in the aisle where we were, who couldn’t help but smile as he pretended he wasn’t watching us.  He didn’t dance, but ya know, he wasn’t that comfortable with an “old Lady” and her son dancing and singing and being totally happy.  hehehe  I bet we made an awesome impressions on him though!!!  🙂   

Third song of my eclectic collection is Bach-Canon in D.  My wedding song.  Second marriage, so I sure wasn’t gonna go with “here comes the bride”!!!!!!!!!!!  Every time I hear this, I stop what I’m doing, relive that beautiful moment, remembering the perfect dress that was on the clearance rack and NEEDED NO ALTERATIONS, the small gathering that we had in the wonderful stained glass foyer of a non-denominational church, and all of the love that was present in that small area.  Follow that with a reception that was so us–Hubby, being a chef, made all the incredible food at the super fantastic microbrewery where he was the exec. chef.  Our gift from them was their awesome bar for the evening AND all beverages, plus letting us get food for cost.  The owner told me at the end of the night that our wedding and reception was filled with the most love he’d ever experienced, even his wedding! I made the table decorations, floral arrangements with flowers from the floral market, and split my bouquet of white tulips (that I had wired the night before,) into two vases on the main table.  One went with my matron of honor and one went with me.  And the dynamite guitarist strumming in the back ground as we mingled and laughed and started our married life together. 

These  are my three songs.  Funny how I didn’t realize until just now that they’re all related to my family.  🙂   Annnnd the timer went off.  Perfect!!!  🙂

 

With warm regards on your life journey,

Nance

Ends and Beginnings, All Mixed Together

What I am writing today is based of free writing/unlocking the mind for 20 minutes.  I’m supposed to post even if it’s not done.  Just free write.  My head actually needs this.  There’s so much change going on in my immediate life.  Hubby started a new job today!  It’s his biggest one yet (senior executive chef for a huge hospital,) and he’s so excited about it. It’s really cool to watch this happening to him/us.  🙂

I went to lunch with my former co-workers as it was their last lunch out for the school year and I was asked to join them.  Bittersweet feelings–I feel like I was missed, yet haven’t had contact with them hardly at all during my 5 1/2 months away for my fragrance hyper-sensitivity.  They DID respect my sensitivity and were as fragrance free as possible so they could hug me.  And THAT was awesome.  Made me realize that this job is REALLY over. ohmygoodness.  This is so hard.  😦  Three others in the department are also leaving; one transferred to another school in the district, one got a promotion to administration and one is moving back to her hometown to teach there.  Out of 8, four are leaving.  That’s a lot of upheaval.  My immediate supervisory principal is retiring this year as well, so it’s going to be crazy-nuts next school year.  

This past Saturday, I attending a going away party for a family at my church that’s moving to Washington D.C.  In their household, the eldest daughter graduated high school, the other daughter finished middle school and starts high school in the fall, the dad turns 50 in a few days, the mom got the fabulous job in D.C., but has to uproot the family from the family homestead where she personally grew up and has always lived, leaving friends and family behind.  It was hard, because I was just getting to know them and their wonderful selves. But we’re assured we have a place to stay when we head to D.C.!! 

On Sunday, my minister, the only one I can call “mine” as an adult, gave his last sermon at our church because he and wife are moving from Missouri to Florida, so he can minister at another church.  This was a hard choice for him, but he feels like he’s taken the congregation as far as he can, and now wants to bring another congregation to their best levels. I thought ministers stayed until they retired or died, once they found a place that felt like home. I actually feel betrayed.  Happy for them, yet betrayed.  He’s WHY I’ve stayed at this church.  If there were guests in the pulpit, I seldom attended, because I like HIS sermons.  Not happy. This is hard too. 

I went to the doctor today about my broken foot, fearing that I’d get the news that I need surgery. Well… we don’t know and I have to wear my boot for another 3 weeks.  However, I can put more weight on it, in fact need to, to strengthen it.  CRAP.  It’s springtime, almost summer.  I have yard work and gardening and house projects that I wanted/needed to do before the hellish heat waves arrive.  Hubby and son are tired of being my minions.  Understandable, but I wish they actually knew how much I do NOT ask them to do!!  hahaha!! The news about the foot is ok, but sure isn’t what I was hoping for.  ah well.  The Universe has some sort of plan for me.

AHHHH–timer went off.  There’s still more in my head!  And I sure don’t feel like I made any profound statements.  lol 

Simple Pleasures + 100 Happy Days = Making lists

A recent blogging “assignment” I had was to write my blog as a list. That was something different; self brainstorming, no grammar worries, a different kind of writing. Not bloggish as we think of a blog, but a list. As I wrote on May 22nd, I also recently signed up to do the 100 Days of Happy, where I take a photo of something that made me happy during my day. Every day, for 100 days! That’s a lotta happy. A fellow blogger wrote a post about 50 simple pleasures in her life. http://lyrallya.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/50-simple-pleasures-of-life/#more-3401 All of a sudden, I’m seeing a theme going on in my world.

It seems like people are trying to find the good stuff, the stuff that makes us happy, the positive influences, figuring out what’s real and important to us individually as well as universally. This is really incredible! Those moments that matter so much, and help us be genuine and true to ourselves. Wow–it’s the reason why I’m focusing on this blog; it’s really a purpose for my life. I’ve been teased my entire life for being a Pollyanna, seeing through rose colored glasses, being too happy. That IS who I am, and I’ve tried to understand why people aren’t always comfortable with me being like that. Hope those folks get over it!!! And if they can’t, it’s a true shame.

So far in my 100 days of happy, I have seen the absolute joy and love in my dog’s eyes, Gracie Jane. Next, I was awed by a big urn of pansies with their petals turned towards the sun. It was followed by my other dog laying down on the other side of the urn. A moment later, my son came over to lay down next to Spencer and laid his head on him. My heart just about overflowed with the happiness I experienced in a matter of a moment.
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The next day, my son took pictures of the young apples on the trees in our yard for me. This was so I could see the progression since I can’t get out there myself with my foot in the big old “non” walking boot and crutches. I got so excited to realize that I’d be getting to make apple pies, apple bread, apple sauce, apple crisp, apple butter… and more, come fall! We thought we might have to move for my hubby’s job, but he was offered a great position locally. We get to stay and enjoy the food our little 1/3 acre lot will produce. WOOHOO happy!!
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Another food related moment of happy was when Hubby was making dinner last night of grilled Vidalia doused in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, perfectly grilled chicken and grilled sweet corn. Yep, my honey knows how to make some wonderfully tasty stuff.
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And today had several moments of happy for me; my hubby installing a new bunny proof (HA!) fence around the garden today, as well as going to lunch and sitting in the sun with a dear friend, finally getting out of the house!

This activity of acknowledging things that make me happy has really opened my eyes to the frequency of my happy moments. Once again, I feel so lucky, even with the fragrance and chemical sensitivities, the broken foot, leaving my teaching career of 10 years, and not knowing what the future has planned for me. Last night I was seriously freaking out due to the unknown. Tonight, I’m happy with my simple pleasures, and recognizing that even though it’s not what I had planned, everything will be good as long as I treasure the moments I’m given. Same goes for you, you know!!

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance