Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday night grateful list

Oh lovely weekend, welcome. My arms have been wide open, waiting to welcome you, since at least Wednesday. Thanks for finally showing up!

It's been a wild and wooly week, as my mom used to say. Lots of unusual things popping up to be handled--nothing too unusual, but perhaps it was the volume? Buckets instead of cupfuls, or to have a happier metaphor: a giant rainbow cake of awesome "things that need to be handled." No cupcakes around here, oh no. Whopping layers of cake. Yum.

Meanwhile, the grateful. Such a glorious time of year around here. Long, long days, with lots of light to wake me early, and keep me awake on the other end too. Very grateful for the blinds we have in our bedroom that help keep the light out--this week it had to keep out that strawberry moon business too, from Monday night. Seth and I were out for a bit of exercise when the moon rose, and it was lovely to see it rise in that harvesty way that is mammoth and warm.

And early in the mornings too, when I'm out with the dogs and the chickens, I'm struck by how green and beautiful everything is. We haven't ramped back up the HOT weather yet, just lolling around in the low 80s. Very hammock weather. I walk past our hammock. That's about how hammocky my week was. (Insert wink emoji here.) (I really want to wake up one day in a post-emoji world, but then I think to myself, how on earth would I add an extra "touch" to my texts?! Amiright, Ma?!)

Having Seth home is such a gift. There's really no other word for it. Just knowing he's here, even when he's not in the room with us, makes me smile. He started his new job this week, as a WalMart cashier. I saw him in action tonight as I got a few supplies. He was intent on his scanning responsibilities, and I kept the proper Mom distance. There's a rule that family and friends have to avoid their relative worker, so I behaved, even though I was sort of tempted and if caught would have pulled out my ID--look, different last names, we're not related. You can see I thought through this a little bit. Such a silly mom. Such a silly, grateful mom.

Seth and I are on track to eat a record amount of watermelon this summer. If there isn't a watermelon currently cut up and being eaten, there are leftovers in the fridge, or another one on the counter ready to cut, or both. Of course it's a little early for truly local melons, but we have been enjoying some real gems who have taken a trip north to our bellies. The other food item we are quite ahead of the game on is pesto. The one thing I got planted early is basil, and it is beautiful, bushy and fragrant. I love keeping it trimmed of its blossoms, and having the lovely scent on my hands for awhile after. Happy summer days! So grateful for produce, especially the local farms.

For this week especially, my grateful list includes (but is not limited to!):

Sweet husband and his thoughtful ways.

Our haven of a home, where I can tuck away for a day of rest and come out the other side energized.

Friends who drive hours to come to town for lunch and a visit and a laugh. Who can cut through nonsense in zero time and get to the heart of whatever really needs discussing.

Our pups and their unconditional love. Nothing like the greeting those three give us all at the end of the day. Is it about food? Possibly--especially for General. But those border collies, boy do they embody the "love is love is love is love is love is love" philosophy.

Cold brew coffee. The perfect summer drink. Easy to make, oh-so-easy to drink.

Early morning energy.


Coworkers who put in extra when needed, without being asked. (It's the "without being asked" that's especially awesome.)

Berries. All. The. Berries.

Summer rain. The smell, the feel in the air, the lovely morning after.

Wishing you a joyful, restful weekend.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday night grateful list

 Well, I only skipped one week, so that's not soooo bad, right? The groove might take a bit, but it will come back. Just saying so helps solidify that notion.

This Friday night is cool and rainy, and I'm tucked up and away, ready for a little hibernation. I have a quote somewhere that I calligraphied back in the day: There are years that ask questions and years that answer them. I have no idea who said that. I just now thought that about this week--could the same sentiment apply? Hard to say; weeks go by in a flash, whereas years... nevermind, years go by in flashes too.

Occasionally, though, there is this:

I crack myself up. I am more of a lady than THAT, right? Hmmm. Don't answer.

Seth got a summer job! I know, right?! He's going to be a cashier at the local WalMart. Before you get all opinionated about the evils of Walmart, let me tell you about ours. I mean, it's WalMart, but. The local management is the kind that supports local nonprofits. The employees are excellent volunteers for nonprofit events in the community. Also, they hire people (elderly, differently abled) that might not have a shot at working elsewhere. So I'm not as inclined to diss the WalMart. We're just excited that a) he's gainfully employed and b) he's gainfully employed. Gives a kid a sense of purpose to have somewhere to go when they get up in the morning, right?

I have a feeling this experience will make Seth get a little more interested in internships during the rest of his college summers, which of course I think is a great idea too. It's just hard to do that when you have only one year of college under your belt. So we'll be grateful for this summer and the joy of having him home.

Oddly, I'm grateful for the coolness of the last couple of weeks, after the brief but impactful heat blast. I like the increased cloud action, and not having to water the heck out of everything morning and night. One funny side effect, though--I was looking at mail order catalogs and tossing them into recycling and saw something about "Summer Sale" and thought, really, that doesn't seem right, isn't summer over? No, silly, it hasn't even begun. I'm all mixed around in my seasons right now--feels like it could be either spring or fall, but definitely not summer. I suppose some weather-nik would point out to me that it's officially not summer until Tuesday. Yep. I get that.

I have eaten three figs off my fig trees already this season. Right before the brief heat blast, I moved one small tree that I had overwintered in the kitchen out onto the back porch. There were at least a dozen figs on the tree, and the sudden heat caused three of them to ripen within 48 hours. Cracked me up. They were teeeeny tiny, but they were very yummy and I may have gobbled them up. I am looking forward to the other figs ripening at a more leisurely pace.

Have you ever had a time when you were really grateful to just be you? I know there are people who, so I hear, pine to be someone or something else, other than what they are. I don't know how unusual it is to say I am really, really happy to be me. Grateful, even. All those placards of  "you are enough" have always struck me as a little odd. Of course you are, dear one. How could it be any other way?

I have had some moments of despair this week, feeling very much like all the talk of love winning over hate is really just a load of nonsense, because obviously hate is winning. Just look around. And then I breathe a bit and read wise words and say my prayers and breathe some more. And I go out into the world, which is all any of us can do, and try to make things better in the small little circle of influence I have. Because really, that's all you can do, right?

I am so grateful for people who lift others up and encourage.

I am grateful for mornings. Both the weekday mornings when I'm ready to go conquer the to-do list, and weekend mornings, when I am ready to roll over for a bit more of a snooze.

I am grateful for books, for the plethora of new ideas being generated by creative minds and put down in words. (Didn't reading that last phrase make you want to start singing, "How wonderful life is, when you're in the world?") I have so many good books I want to read, listen to, enjoy.

I am grateful for summer flavors--every year I welcome the fresh tastes of the season with such enthusiasm, you'd think I'd never eaten fresh, homemade pesto or asparagus or rhubarb before. It is such a treat to live in such a rich agricultural area.

I am grateful for family.

I am grateful for the pauses that remind me to look around and notice the little things that bring me joy.

I am grateful for the beauty in nature. Every week there's a new "favorite" blooming in the yard. The apricot tree is full of fruit ready to ripen. Green is everywhere.

I am grateful for sleep, and for quality shades in our bedroom so that the early morning summer light can't get in!

I'm grateful for a day of rest to bring back a little pep in my step. That's what weekends do best--re-pep!

I'm grateful for Amazon Prime. I know, aren't we all? 

A little something from Seth for the grateful list:

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday night grateful moment

A little shocking to come over here and realize it's been more than a year since my last post. Shocking, and then not. Time passes so quickly, *that's* the shocking thing. I never really get used to how quickly the days, weeks, months roll by. I haven't meant to be so absent, but the fullness of life (kind of an understatement) has had my brain in other places for large chunks of time. I'm not going to make some proclamation (see this post, and this post, sigh) about the future, but it has been on my mind for some time to come back to the blog and post more regularly.

Tonight I am looking out our bedroom slider and watching a beautiful summer sunset reflect on the mountains, while close by (I could probably hear cheers if I opened up the sliding door, but it's quite warm) the local high school is graduating a fresh crop of seniors. I am nostalgic for what was just taking place for Seth just a short blip of a year ago, and so grateful for the year he's at at PLU. What a true blessing it is to know that your kid is content in their journey. I know that "content" is a fluid state, but for now, we'll take it and appreciate having him home for the summer.

I went looking for Seth grad photos, you know, to really wallow in a little nostalgia. I love this one of him and his buddy Noble. Such fine young men. So proud of them both.

And then I saw this doozy of a grad photo from (cough) 30 (cough) years ago. That is one wild blast from the past, seeing the four of us looking so youthful and sprite-like. I'm grateful for this family that launched me out into the world, and provided such a good foundation.

I do appreciate the memory jogs from the Facebook memories that pop up on occasion and remind me of what I waas doing or saying five or six years ago. (I am also very aware of how horrid those memories can be for people who have had to endure a tragic life event., however. I am sure I would feel differently if I had to see some pictures just ta-da into my feed.) Anyway, where I'm going with this: Apparently the spring of 2010 was really cold--lots of memory posts about soup and boots and rain and rugging up in the cool temps. This year we had a really early warm spell  (fruit trees blooming! everything budding!), then cooled off for many weeks. Just as I was thinking, "well, at least my friends won't have to host graduation parties in 100-degree weather," up popped the temps again. I've been grateful for the cool weather, but the fact that the rain and wind has often fallen on the weekend has brought us to a rather jungle state in the yard.

National Doughnut Day today. Who knew? I clued in last evening and thus popped by the premier doughnut joint this morning on my way in to work and got a few for the co-workers. I may have mentioned my love for apple fritters a time or ten before; there's something quite compelling about a Friday + doughnut combination.

I saw this funny dog pic just this week and really, really related. Replace the bagel with my apple fritter. 

This week I am most grateful
for laughter, even on the stressful days
for joy in the flowers and fruits in the yard
for love
for green fields, green trees, green hills, green everything!
for roadtrips
for family
for pups and chickens
for cleared off desks and answered emails
for egg salad
for the smell of summer in Walla Walla--dust and onions and alfalfa
for age, and the understanding that comes from having walked a mile or two on this earth
for another week of progress towards goals
for friendship
for my morning routines, which set up the whole day so well
for my guys. Always and always, my guys.

Glad to be back in this familiar space. I wish you the best of weekends.


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