I’m pretty sure nobody notices but me…

The last picture I took of my two loves together.

It’s almost been a year. His clothes still hang in the laundry room and in his closet – untouched. His boots still sit by the kitchen door ready for him to slip on if need be. I still feel his presence behind me as I sit at my desk. I slowly turn to make sure he’s not sitting in his old blue recliner and this hasn’t just been a horrible dream and that months ago we really didn’t put that old recliner by the curb as trash. I go about my business in the house and sometimes I see him out of the corner of my eye.

I miss him.

His ashes still sit on the bookcase shelf instead of being scattered on the mountains in Mentone, Alabama where he wanted to rest.

Seems I can’t let go of him just yet.

And I’m pretty sure nobody notices but me.

Because life goes on whether we do or not. People still go to work and school and church. People still eat at fancy restaurants and buy new clothes and fall in love. People still have babies and go to amusement parks and scream and laugh so hard that tears roll down their cheeks.

While behind closed doors unworn clothes still hang in closets.

Unworn shoes still sit by doors.

Ashes remain unscattered.

And I’m pretty sure nobody notices but me.



He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother

There are very few people that I feel safe with. VERY few. Three have died. One divorced me. So that leaves even fewer than when I started out on this life journey.

One of them sat in the rocking chair next to where I sat on the sofa. My little brother.

He once asked me “Why have you never written in your blog about me?” He’s read how I wrote about our baby brother and others in my life. But never him. Just why is that?

Here’s the truth: I don’t remember too much from our childhood together. Like…next to nothing. I remember my little brother as a “presence” in my life. He’s always been there – I knew that much. But don’t remember the day to day living. That is scary to me. I don’t remember much at all.

This is what I do remember. He was the one always on the sidelines. The one always right on the outside of the circle. I can always see him out of the corner of my eye. Always there but not always in the midst of things.

I remember our Aunt Ivy rocking my little brother when he was about 6 months old. She raised her feet up and it scared him. He screamed for hours. I remember around the same time someone wrecked their car in a hole down the street where they were repairing a gas line. We were staying that night with our Aunt Ivy while Mom and Dad went out and the entire side of our street had to be evacuated because of this accident. I remember standing on the sidewalk. I was about 6 or so and was scared to death for our little crew standing out there afraid the whole block was going to explode and go up in smoke.

I don’t remember all the years we lived together. We went to church together for years every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night, yet I don’t remember a single one. I don’t remember us getting up every morning and getting ready for school. I don’t remember any of it. I look at old pictures and I know they happened. But I don’t remember the actual making of it.

But what I DO remember is HOW I felt around him.

Safe. Always safe.

Knowing he was right where I could reach out and touch him. Ever on the sidelines…but within my reach.

Feeling safe is such a big deal to me. And I think that is such a good life quality to have. When I die, I hope at least one person says about me “When I was with her, I always felt safe.” But it’s hard to be the safety net when you feel like the bottom is always just about to drop out. Truth is, you have to be able to save yourself before you will be able to save someone else. Something for me to think about…

But in the midst of it all, I still know that my little brother may be hundreds of miles away but is still only a phone call or a text away. On the sidelines but still within my reach.

Life Philosophy in 24 Words Taken From The Eagles

We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy.

~ The Eagles

“We may lose and we may win” There are no guarantees. We don’t know the outcome yet.

“though we will never be here again” This moment, this NOW will NEVER be here again. Looking back…these words really pack a wallop. So many times I’ve not liked where my life was, only to look back years later and realize what a good time it was. And I want to go back and do it all over again. But IN THAT MOMENT I didn’t realize how good my life was and that I would NEVER be there again.

“so open up, I’m climbin’ in” Oh yeah. Open up. I’m climbin’ in. Right where I am…in the middle of the mess…the chaos! Because what is happening will never be here again. And tomorrow I may look back and say “I wish I were back there again.”

“so take it easy” Lighten up. Be easy with life. Be easy with this now moment.

After I quiet the random thoughts swirling like little tornadoes in my mind and realize that this day will never come again, then I can begin to make something of this precious moment. Because…



My thoughts on this part of The Eagle’s famous song “Take It Easy” may have nothing to do with what they really meant. Just a little disclaimer…


This Blog Needs To Be ABOUT Something

And I need to do a Part Two to my It’s Time Part One.


I jump around willy-nilly and write about whatever hits me when it hits me. I have no rhyme or reason. I have no glue. Or should that be clue? Well, I don’t have a clue either. That is just one of my many imperfections. I’m wishy-washy.

It is well with my soul.

I am growing and learning.  Life is filled with such wonder. I am amazed. Everyday. I am amazed at life.

Here’s my problem according to the experts:  I don’t know what my niche is. Do I even have a niche? What is a niche anyway.

I am art journaling these days. This blog could be about my “creative” self. Been taking all kinds of classes. Learning that it’s ok if I’m messy and do stupid stuff and can’t draw worth beans. It’s ok…EVERYTHING is ok. That sweetheart, is music to my ears. Whatever I do…is how it’s supposed to be.

{patting me on the back}

My doctor told me last week that I HAD to lose weight and I HAD to start moving my body! Ok…this blog could be about my journey into health.

I am decluttering my home, life, brain, computer, office. That would be an awesome blog cause I am at the bottom. Starting at ground zero. Well minus zero really. It’s bad people. I am so messy and I have to keep everything because well…it’s mine. Except trash. No, that’s not true. I even keep what others would call trash to use in my Remains of the Day Journal. A class taught by Mary Ann Moss that is just the most wonderful class you will ever take.


Oh, I almost forgot I have a class starting December 15th with Mary Ann called Ticket To Venice.

MaryAnnMossI think I may be in way over my head on this one. I don’t know…I’m kind of nervous about this class.

This one thing I am doing is very important so take note:

I am trying to teach my family how to survive after I’m gone. You know, just in case. I do everything for them. My family has it made. I do too much. I don’t do enough. I love them so! Not that I don’t think they’d pick up and move on tomorrow if something should happen to me (and probably with a “thank God and Greyhound she’s gone” smile) but I want to know I’ve left everything in order. I want to make it easy. This blog could be about that. I could call it the “If I Should Die” Project or IISD for short.

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
~ Mary Oliver

I am taking this weekend to: either decide how to make this blog about something or start fresh somewhere else.

I’m also taking this weekend to get my coupons organized so I can start couponing. Another good blog idea!

And we have to decorate for Christmas this weekend.

AND it’s supposed to be pretty weather so I need to be working outside cleaning the patio.

There’s really so much this blog could be about. I just have to decide what I want to focus on. Actually, it all ties in together.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~ Annie Dillard

It’s all LIFE. It’s all about our days.

I’m closing up 2012 and opening up a bright new 2013 in a few days. I’ll be documenting this year. Like a mad scientist. Sniffing it out like a bloodhound. I’ll be taking names and kicking butt. I will be snatching minutes and putting them on paper so fast it will make your head spin. No moment will be safe from me. And why? you ask. I realized this morning that I couldn’t remember mornings with my son (he’s 30 years old, so it’s not like it was just yesterday). I don’t remember getting him off to school. I don’t remember what he did after school. I don’t remember cooking dinner for my family. I don’t remember helping my son get ready for bed.

These may be itsy bitsy things compared to the “big picture” but these things are a part of my life and I don’t remember them.

I’d like to say that I’ll be here everyday journaling about 2013 but I can’t promise and I do plan to discipline myself a bit better.

One day at a time, ya know.

It’s Time…Storing Up Treasures Part One

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  ~Matthew 6:19

Where my treasure is…there will my heart be also.

And where my heart is, THAT is where my attention lies. This makes perfect sense.

There is something stirring in my soul. I haven’t been able to pin it down until this morning. I am near tears as I write. It has been a succession of little happenings this morning.

First, I read Alison May’s Brocante Home post in which she speaks of her woes and I felt so small. Alison relates, “Today my little one is at home. It’s an odd day. One tinged with the mild resentment of the working Mummy…” I am a working Mummy filled and overflowing with resentment and for months and especially recently I have several times made the statement at work “I just really don’t want to be here”. And I meant it.

But I am very grateful for my job. I LOVE my job. I bless my job and all my very weird co-workers. I do want to be here. But I’d rather be at home with my family homeschooling Little Miss ASIJ. Fixing my house just so so in the early day hours when I have so much energy. I want Adventure. Magic. Awesome. And I want it the way I want it!

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a stay at home Mom. I envy those who are afforded the luxury of that dream. But my envy has become something of a heaviness lately that I just can’t seem to shake.  I’ve always had to work. (Except for 2 short years when I stayed home with Little Miss ASIJ. Those were the happiest days of my life.) I’ve always set my dream aside to make sure everybody else got what they wanted or needed. Yes, I’d like a little cheese with that whine. Oh waaah waaaah waaaah. Enough already.

And then the sentence of Alison’s that broke my heart “It has been a year and one day since my world fell apart.” Oh Alison, I am hugging you in my heart sweet lady. My life is SO good, how can I ever whine?

This morning in the truck on the way to work, I reminded myself of what I say to people all the time, “You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.”


Then a little while ago I saw a picture on another of my favorite places on the internet  (in)courage

I have so much stuff. I’m embarrassed and ashamed that I live with so much and some live with so little.

Now I know it’s time to get busy. It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to start changing ME so that I create a little butterfly effect which can and will ripple in places and in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine.

It’s time.

It’s time for me to create space in my home.

It’s time for me to create space in my heart.

So how can I tie all this together? How can I be exactly where I’m supposed to be but so NOT doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Gosh, can you see why I feel like such a failure? Sometimes I feel like such a fake. I know there’s a purpose to this life. I know there’s so much more I’m supposed to be doing. And yet I do nothing. One day just fades into the next.

It’s been going on for some time now…this stirring in my soul. I think I have been preparing, so I can’t really fault myself. Maybe I really am right where I’m supposed to be so that my heart and soul are ready.

For so long now I have been so confused about spiritual matters. The jury’s still out on that – I am letting God just work on my heart and see what develops. I’m not pushing it. But is it time that I finally let God heal up my broken heart and walk back into the life I grew up knowing and always loved until I let MANKIND mess it up for me? Is it time I finally say “enough is enough”? Maybe so.

Maybe this is part of the preparing. Part of the purifying.

Good grief it’s taken long enough.

Saturday Morning Joy

These are the days to remember. Each ordinary day. Even the most mundane routine laden day has some kind of JOY and WONDER in it! Sometimes we just have to dig a little to find it.

In August, I participated, ever so lightly, in Hanna Marcotti’s Joy Up.

Oh what a blessing Hannah is. Joy oozes from Hannah. Everything she writes is wondrous to me. Can you tell I love Hannah just a little bit? Now I am organizing all the precious emails from Hannah and starting over. Another month of Joy. Each day something new.

Actually I plan to live the rest of my life with Joy as my intention.

Love as my motivation.

Peace as my resting place.

I have used every excuse in the book not to follow my heart. I want to write…but find my words lacking. I don’t have a good enough camera for blogging – all I have is my cell phone camera. And on and on the excuses go. But I’m setting the excuses aside. I’m just letting go. Simple as that. Now on to finding JOY wherever my heart may lead. Just letting it happen. Treading lightly as I go.

My words aren’t lofty. I ramble, sometimes I don’t make sense. My pictures aren’t high quality (or really much quality at all.) And I am the most amateur of photographers.

But you get the idea – the wonder is still there!

Besides, is there even anyone here but me? I’m ok with me…so all is well.

Hannah and all the Joy Uppers comprise the tribe that I want to belong to. These women are beautiful. Gorgeous really. Words can’t describe how they’ve make me feel. Since their intention (and mine) has been JOY, then it’s ever so easy to find joy in their faces, in their smiles. in each and every word they write. They constantly uplift, encourage, whatever it takes to get you out of your slump and on to living life as it is meant to be lived. This miraculous, wonderous, joyous life


It’s so much easier to find Joy all around me now. Just this morning I basked in the wonder of the birds singing in my own backyard. A beautiful sound of nature right outside my door. Backyard Joy.

I found evidence of summer hanging on in my neighbor’s yard. Summer flowery Joy.

Fall is just around the corner. My absolute favorite season. Fall Joy.

Welcome to my home. My world. My JOY!

I Don’t Know How To Pray

I mean, I REALLY don’t know how to pray. I am intimidated before God.

I was a preacher’s wife for 10 years. I should know how to pray. If ever called on to pray out loud IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, I shut down even worse.  I start to shake, my eyelids start jumping uncontrollably, I start to sweat. I swear I almost faint.

When I tell people I will pray for them…I really do. Just not out loud. I pray silently to myself in my heart or in my head. Anywhere but out loud.

To help me learn to pray, I am writing down my prayers in a prayer journal and reading them OUTLOUD. But when I am alone. Outside on the patio. Just me and God. That should be good enough, shouldn’t it?

I’m only starting today so we’ll see how this goes.

And I was reminded this morning that I had a dream after asking God “How can I improve my memory and keep my mind young and active?” In the dream God had told me a good way to do this was to memorize scripture.

So my prayer journal will be my Prayer and Bible Memory Journal.

Why does something so simple seem so hard for me? Praying should come as natural to me as talking to my best friend.

Help me Father to learn to pray.

Changing My Thoughts ~ Changing My World

Or as Mr. ASIJ so aptly put it, “Get happy, or get kicked in the ass”.

Life is funny, you know. Or at least my life is. One minute I’m happy as can be, the next minute I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Last night I said to Mr. ASIJ, “I’m trying so hard to be happy, but I just can’t find it in me.”

Mr. ASIJ said to me, “You don’t try, you just BE.” What’s the secret here? How do I look inside and find happiness? Now I know that no one is 100% ecstatic all the time and I don’t expect that. But contentment, I would love to just be content. And at peace. At peace with my life and the people in my life.

So today I am reaching way down inside and bringing to mind all that I’ve learned the past few years.

1. Thoughts are things. The first thing that comes to mind is the very first thing Mr. ASIJ taught me 13 or so years ago, “Thoughts are things.” Thoughts are energy and take on a life of their own. And they attract “like” thoughts. Which results in expansion.

2. Don’t pay attention to things you don’t want in your reality.Only pay attention to beauty, peace, love, and everything you DESIRE in your life. I’ve been, for some time now, studying the teachings of Abraham-Hicks. This morning’s quote was “By paying attention to the way you feel, and then choosing thoughts that feel the very best, you are managing your own vibration, which means you are controlling your own point of attraction — which means you are creating your own reality. It’s such a wonderful thing to realize that you can create your own reality without sticking your nose in everybody else’s, and that the less attention you give to everybody else’s reality, the purer your vibration is going to be — and the more you are going to be pleased with what comes to you. — Abraham ` Excerpted from the workshop in Boca Raton, FL on Saturday, December 8th, 2001 #724

In other words, keep your nose out of everybody else’s business and focus on yourself. And all will be well.

3. Change your outlook. Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This can be very powerful. And a very important way to be able to survive in some of the circumstances that people find themselves in. I’ve often wondered how in the world did people manage to survive during The Holocaust. How do people survive in prison, especially if they are in prison for something they didn’t do. It happens all the time, but somehow, someway, they survive.

4. Breathe. Just stop and breathe. Sometimes that’s the best thing for change. Allow yourself to look around and see where you are…physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Breathe and accept. Wrap your arms around the person you’ve become.

5. Give yourself permission to change whatever needs to be changed, even if it means walking away. It’s hard to change our attitude when a person or place is beating us down.  I know…and walking away is sometimes the hardest thing to ever do. Be good to yourself and give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

6. And last, but not least…

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile