Monday, May 21, 2018

Dry Bones Dancing

38. When have you isolated yourself?
I isolated myself after I got fired back in 2009. I was embarrassed, ashamed, lonely, miserable. I felt lost and unsure of myself, unsure of who to trust or who to talk to. Unsure of what I wanted to do.
I felt isolated again after the Intervention we had in 2010. That was a hard time for him as well as for me. We lost all of our friends when he quit drinking.
It's  strange isn't it?  A man decides to get better and loses his friends.
I found comfort in Jesus and confided that to one of those ex friends and she stopped talking to me.

39. How much time do you spend with live human beings? With electronic devices?
I spend all day everyday with human beings. My husband and my son live here and the grandkids are here Monday thru Friday 7:45am-5:00pm.
I am rarely alone.
I use my laptop to post and read blogs and for Pinterest. Other than that I use my IPhone for Instagram, FB, music, etc. I check Instagram the most. I love seeing other peoples pictures and the captions or stories that they attach to them. By the end of the day my battery is at 40%.

39. * (yes 39 again. I found a typo in this book. Some editor wasn't doing their job)
      * When have you been happy?
Recently? I was happy when we were on vacation in Florida, but who's not happy at the ocean?
I'm happy when his truck pulls in the driveway at the end of the day.
I'm happy at the library.
I'm happy whenever I see the grandkids. I'm happy when it rains. I'm happy when my dog eats.
I was happy watching the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
I'm happy when I can spend time with my best friend.
I'm happy more than I'm sad.

40. When have you felt peaceful joy?
During a blizzard, when I know the people I love are safe and sound and snug in their own homes with plenty of food and no place to go. Then when night falls and it's freezing cold outside and the world has that quiet hush that happens after a deep snowfall, and everything feels peaceful and calm.

41. Who are the wise elders in your life? How often do you speak to them?
I don't have any wise elders that I consult with. My mother is still alive and lives 3 blocks over.
I talk to her a few times a week.

42. What do you see burning in your life?
At the moment, my muscles are burning because I weeded my gardens all day long on my knees.
My soul is burning, for what, I do not know. More Jesus, more prayer maybe.
I'm yearning and burning for friendships.
With the nicer weather I am burning some calories by walking every day.
At church this morning, the pastor asked the question-
"Is there something in your soul that is not at rest? Or has something sucked the life out of you?"
(See?? Coincidence! )
My answer is Yes. But I'm not sure what it is yet.
He then said that "Old dry bones can live again!"
And my first thought was the Lauren Diagle song Come Alive.

As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive

Fire, Ash, Burning, a Phoenix.

I have burned through all 42 questions for the chapter on Fire.
Next up is Earth.
35 questions that have nothing to do with the actual planet Earth.
Are you intrigued?

Thanks for ready,
Love, Lolly

Sunday, May 20, 2018


33. Do you feel connected to nature?
Yes. I feel it by way of the colors, and sounds and smells.
The Sunshine and the Moon glow. Water, Earth, and Air.
I also feel it when I think of the growth process of a seed. Plant a seed, it grows a fruit, you eat the fruit and replant the seed, and it grows another plant, which will bear more fruit. Who but God could have dreamed up something like that?
And I love animals. When animals trust you it means can see it in their eyes.  Animals trust me not to harm them.

34. Do you feel loved by nature?
Yes. By hearing birdsong through the open window, feeding the Squirrels, Hummingbirds and Finches at my feeders, flowers thriving in my newly weeded gardens, hearing YAHWEH in the sound of the ocean waves, the smell of plants and flowers, the feel of good loamy soil in my hands, 70 degree days, cloud patterns, soft pattering rain, the delicate lace pattern of a single snowflake, a soft breeze ruffling the leaves, cool green grass under my feet, the way lake water feels like silk, Autumn leaves, the unmistakable smell of rain, the vast number of different types of trees- for food or shelter or shade.

35. How do you feel connected to God, Spirit or the Divine?
By listening to praise and worship music. By puttering around in my garden, going to church, reading my daily devotionals. I suppose that would be how I stay connected to God.
How do I feel connected to God tho??? By coincidental happenings. Too many times to count. Too many times for it to NOT count, get it?  I feel and see Gods hand in everything. I don't understand how He can condone it or use it or let happen all of the awful things I see in this world. But I believe there is a better place, that we don't truly belong here, that this world is the place where we learn the lessons we're supposed to learn. I believe in heaven. I believe the body dies but the Soul goes on.

36. Who do you love? My family-
Art, Emily, Madelyn, Steven, Patrick, Fiona, Charlie, Delaney, Traci, my mom, Doreen, Vicki, Matt, Paul, Patrick, Cara, Melissa, McKenna, Ally, Parker, Brooks, Daniel, Jennie, Ellie, Jojo, Tommi, Robyn, Evan, Reese, Camden, Bryan, Amy, Billy, Adri, Mike, Adam, Kate, Trace, Jack, Robb, Stacy, Melodi, Patrick, Pammie, Stacey, Rhonda, Todd, Aunt Mar, Kelsyjane, Calliemae, Annabelle, Jordan.
Want I should list my second and third cousins too?

37. What do you love?
My husband, my kids, my grandkids
My favorite color- chocolate brown
Sleeping on soft sheets
Coffee with cream and sugar
Reading books
Worship and praise music
Everybody loves Raymond reruns
Andy Griffith reruns in black and white
Early Spring
Middle of Autumn
Dead of Winter
Rainy days
Riding our Harley
Crab Legs
Sweet Tea
The sight, sound and smell of the ocean
The scent of pine trees and Lemon Thyme and rain,
The smell of dirt, clean laundry, lavender and lilacs

(Seems like I should write a post about my favorite smells)

Six more questions to go.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Do you feel like I do?

28. Do you feel loved by your partner? Yes
Family? Yes
Friends? I don't have any friends. I have my best friend but she is also my sister-in-law so she falls under the category of family.
Associates? I don't have any associates.

29. When have you felt that you would never love again?
In high school when the boy I had a crush on, who didn't know I existed, started dating someone else.

30. When have you felt your heart overflowing with love?
The first time I laid eyes on every single one of my grandchildren right after they were born.

31. Do you know the people in your neighborhood?
The woman in the duplex to the left of us is single. She has 3 cats. Her name is Lauren and she is a personal trainer. The downstairs unit is empty.
The house to our right is also a duplex. A young family of Latinos lives up stairs-Dad, Mom and two small boys. There is a language barrier so I do not know their names. They keep to themselves.
The Latino "family" that lives downstairs in the two bedroom duplex also don't speak English. There are 8 adults and 4 children living there. Sometimes there are new faces...small children that go to school and then they are gone during the Summer and occasionally a teenager or two for the school year as well. I don't know any of their names.
(What the hell? is what I usually think to myself. I've been in that house and there ain't no way there is room for all of those "family" members to live comfortably. My guess is that they must be sleeping in the basement on cots or mattresses on the floor. The basement windows are covered in newsprint.)
They all seem nice enough but no one speaks english. Maybe the kids do. I don't know.
The woman across the street is 81, named Joann, and went to school with my mother. She and I talk gardening alot. She is a snow bird- meaning she lives here six months out of the year and in Arizona during the winter months.
The woman next to Joann, also across the street, is named Lisa and is renting that house til June 1st.
The family that lives behind us like to live large and throw parties during football season. They have an above ground swimming pool that looks questionable...the water is lime green. She works for a dentist and her name is Darlene. He works for the city road crew and his name is Terry. They have two grown children Kayla and TJ and the cutest little dog named Boo. She looks like a fox.

32. Do you have a community you feel connected to? Sort of. I like my church. I like the people that I know there. My entire family goes to church there. I feel comfortable there. Our Pastor grew up on a farm in Missouri and aside from the dumb ass farm jokes he's always making, he gives a pretty decent sermon.

Ten more questions to go in this series. Are you learning anything new about me? Should I do the next series of questions?
Lately it feels like I'm all alone here in Blogger land. 
Anybody still reading this blog?

Peter Frampton    Do you feel like we do-

Thanks for reading and listening!
Love, Lolly

Friday, May 18, 2018

Six more to add to the pyre

22. Do you perspire? Easily? With difficulty? Yes. Easily. Enough said.

23. Do you have any circulatory problems? No

24. How do you feel about being in the sun? Sunny weather? Cloudy weather?
I contradict myself here. I like it when it is sunny on a day when we are going to the beach.
I appreciated that it was sunny every single day in Florida but I hate it when it is hot and humid.
I hate the feeling of my brain cooking.
I cannot work outside in the heat.
It wrecks me.
On cloudy days I wish it was sunny.
And I love gray rainy days.

25.When have you dreamed of fire or explosions?
Back in high school I had a dream like this.
It was pitch black, night time, and I was in the middle of a village. There were grass huts all around me and all of them were on fire. It seemed like a war zone. (Think Rambo) Lots of chaos.
I could see the orange glow of the tracer rounds as they whizzed by me and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by and wading thru waist deep water. That's all I remember.

26. Do you like bitter or burnt things, like coffee or burnt toast?
OMG YES!! Love love love burnt toast, or burned popcorn, black as ash marshmallows, dark brown potato chips, the burned melted cheese on the pan from a pizza....need I go on?
Coffee is what flows through my veins. Gee...I wonder why I have anxiety and trouble sleeping?

27. What do you feel bitter about?
Two things.
One...He never went to AA. Not my business, I know, but it sort of IS my business too. I guess you could classify him as a dry drunk but he's nicer than a mean dry drunk. It does still piss me off a bit that I went to Al Anon and worked on my issues but he never got to the root of his own issues.
There are times in his life today when it is painfully obvious that he needs to go to an AA meeting, and it has nothing to do with his drinking.
There is a line in a Rhianna song that says-
Funny you're the broken one But I'm the only one who needed saving.
This is true for me.
I wished we could have both gotten well together, I wanted it so bad. I had great plans for us.
I learned to live with his decision, and truthfully it doesn't bother me all that much anymore.

Two...His mother has been the proverbial mother-in-law for the last 35 years.
Only there isn't any comedy in her actions. She is a horrible person who has lied and spread gossip about me. She has called me an old hag who should be grateful that her son married me. She accused me of causing my daughters death and told people that I had a drinking problem and that was the reason why the baby died. She attempted to dig up the baby at the cemetery.
She told us we were bad parents and that God would take the rest of our children.
She has told me to my face that she gave my husband money to go find hisself a whore because men need a lot of sex. She blamed me for his drinking problem. She has tried to set him up with other women. I am not kidding you.
The bitter part for me is feeling like my husband doesn't care to tell her to stop doing this to me, to stop saying these things about me.
He blames it on mental illness and while I believe that to be true, I still wish he would tell her off.

That's it for today,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, May 17, 2018

People are probably over-rated anyway

Quote on mental health: Sometimes, all you need is for someone just to be there, even if they can't solve your problems. Just knowing there is someone who cares can make all the difference.

16. How do you feel at parties?
Parties?!?! Good God. Aside from family parties ie: Thanksgiving, Christmas and the occasional birthday party, I (we) don't go to parties.  We don't get invited to any parties...well there was that retirement dinner last year for one of his coworkers.
It was pleasant, and the people were fun to be around. I (we) had a good time.
I'd like to do it again,
I'd like to go to a party that wasn't a family party but who has parties?
Family parties are loud, a tad bit stressful and very crowded. No one has a home big enough for all of us to fit comfortably.
There is a lot of standing involved, so we tend to keep them to a 2 hour minimum.
Do YOU go out to parties?

17. Have you heard any good jokes lately?
See question 18

18. How is your sex life?
See question 17

19. What do you do Wholeheartedly? Halfheartedly?
Wholeheartedly-Love my family. Love Jesus. Read books. Grocery shop and cook dinner. Yearn.
Halfheartedly-Clean house. Fold socks. Pull weeds out of the garden. Make friends. Journal.

20. Do you enjoy being with people? Honestly? No.
Immediate family ie: spouse, children, their spouses and grandchildren are not included in that.
And yet sometimes I feel like I am the loneliest person on this planet.
I mean who doesn't like to be with people?
But people aggravate me. They're in my way or too close to me in a grocery line. I hate the smell of too many people. I get claustrophobic in a crowded room. And if more than one person is coughing??
Geezaloo...I react like a germaphobe and I'm not, really I'm not. But it freaks me out if a lot of folks are coughing all of their germs into the air. I hate touching door knobs and anything in a public bathroom stall is off limits. Yikes. I guess I am a little bit of a germ freak, but not really.

21. How important is friendship to you?
I'd like to say very important. I have a best friend. She works. A lot. So much in fact that I only get to see her once every two months or so. No joke.  She also has grown kids and a husband and two grandsons that she likes to spend time with. I fear that I am at the very bottom of her to do list. I've told her that I need more time with her. I've told her that I feel lonely and that we need to find the time to get together. I suggested an hour, once a week, on an evening when she is not working.
Maybe meet at the bookstore or go to a local coffee house for decaf.
She said she'd try. And then she didn't. Or maybe she did try. I don't know. All I know is we still never find the time to get together in person. We used to talk on the phone for hours at a time but that doesn't happen anymore either. When I'm available she's not. When she's available, I'm not.
We did do a Bible study together earlier this year at her church.
I ended up disliking the study (of course I did) but spending 2 hours together every Thursday night for 6 weeks was wonderful. I miss her.
More than words can convey.

Image result for people will find the time to be with youPeople always make time for who or what is important to them. if you hear the word "busy" too often, read between the lines.

Image result for people will find the time to be with you

These questions are making me feel a bit like a nutjob.
Sheesh. Writing myself well is making me feel a little bit unwell.
Oh well,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

When Jeremiah was a bullfrog or Joy to the World

13. Does your work bring you joy?
It should. And it does most days. To see these two race each other to the door to see who can be the first one in and give me a hug is rather heartwarming.
It took me awhile to realize that they were only racing each other and neither one was actually trying to get to me first.
They are cute and adorable and awful. Like most kids.
When they leave at night I miss them.
When they come back in the morning, it feels like I haven't laid eyes on them in weeks.
But then there are days like yesterday when they were fighting about who got to use the toilet first. They both had to go and they were physically fighting with each other, she had a her fists wrapped around part of his shirt, him trying to get her off by swatting at her arms...both of them crying and screaming "I have to go!" at the same time.
We have one bathroom, I shouted!! What do you want me to do??
Or today when they were fighting over a game of pick up sticks when they should have been eating breakfast. The bickering and not listening caused a few pick up sticks to land in her plate of cut-up waffles and syrup.
There was much howling and crying and the kids were crying too. (hahaha)
But I hate to send my 8 year old grandson to school sad because I yelled at him for not listening to me. It's a weird form of grandma guilt.
They ask me- "Granny? Why do you yell so loud?"
sigh...I don't know why I yell so loud. I just do. But it helps to remind myself that I am not the only yeller. And it helps when I remind myself to reread The Vow.

My Vow to Soften
I’ve had enough of my hard edges.
I’m tired of straining my voice.
I’d like to loosen up and laugh a little more,
Be a positive rather than a negative.
I’d like to feel the upward curve of my lips.
I’d like to surrender control of things in which I have no control.
I’d like to let things unfold in their own time, in their own way.
I’d like to participate joyfully in this fleeting life.
I’d like to be softer
towards him,
towards her,
towards me.
I vow to listen to opinions – I don’t always have to be right.
I don’t always have to agree or have the last word.
I vow to hand over the hairbrush, the pile of laundry, the school project,
the task before us. “How would you do it?” I will ask.
I vow to step aside and respect a new approach.
Success might be difficult to see at first; I vow to keep looking.
I vow to be more accepting of quirks and mannerisms.
I vow to be more accepting of tastes and styles unlike my own.
I vow to remember he is in the process of becoming; she is in the process of finding her way.
And they are more apt to do it if I stop telling them how.
I vow to regard “weaknesses” as hidden strengths.
Inner gifts can be nurtured when I stop plotting ways to alter, change, and “improve”.
I vow to greet my family and myself with a loving smile, no matter what happened yesterday.
Grudge holding only hurts us all.
I vow to pause before correcting.
I shall take a moment to consider if the mistake even needs to mentioned at all.
I vow to stop nitpicking until it bleeds.
I vow to demand less and inquire more.
I vow to listen
and expand my thinking.
I vow to be a voice of encouragement in a demeaning world.
I vow to be a silver lining spotter in my family’s little world.
I vow to be softer today than I was yesterday—a softer voice, a softer posture, a softer touch, a softer thought, a softer timetable.
I vow to be softer towards the imperfect human being inside me and beside me.
By being softer, I can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more.
At last I will fully see.
I will see his colors.
I will see her colors.
I will see my colors
Perhaps for the very first time.
The colors might take my breath away
Bring me to tears
and offer long-awaited peace.
I shall soften in order to illuminate the colors of the soul.
I shall soften so the human being within me and beside me can shine.
© Rachel Macy Stafford 2016
14. Does your family life bring you joy?
 Can I take the 5th on this question? Because the true answer is Yes it does and No it doesn't. Maybe there is too much gray area that would best be kept to myself in order to protect the innocent. I don't mean to be cryptic or flippant. Everybody has little things that irritate them about other family members and my family is no exception to that rule. Let's just say that these days I am happy and grateful and filled with joy more often than not.
Joy to the fishys in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me.

15. When have you felt vulnerable and unprotected?
Lately? Not often. On occasion I feel a little bit vulnerable when I post certain things not knowing how it is coming across to my readers..."Good Lord, should I have typed that?? Should I have told them that?" 
Twenty five years ago during his active drinking I was vulnerable every single day. His choice of weaponry when he was bombed was never his fists. It was his words. Cruel, horrible things were said to me, things I've never told a single soul. He would apologize the next day, I'd forgive him after a week of the silent treatment and so the abuse would continue, unabated for nearly 28 years.
It took the death of my sister, which fractured my family, the death of my dog, the loss of my job and with that went the last shred of my courage and self respect.
I was grief stricken, depressed, adrift...not knowing what to do to save myself.
Jesus found me one day, saved me and led me to the Interventionist who would in time save us all.
The best thing that Intervention counselor ever said to me was this-
"Have you figured out yet that the intervention wasn't done for him? 
That is was done to save You?"

Psalm 18:16-24 The Message

But me he caught—reached all the way

    from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
    the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
    but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
    I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
 God made my life complete
    when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
    he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
    I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
    I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
    and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
    when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Joy to the world, indeed. Joy to MY world.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, May 14, 2018

Just let it be

Inspirational life quotes Positive Sayings Just Let it Be

11. When have you felt out of control?
Hmmmm.... I'm not sure. When the kids were small and I'd have PMS, I'd yell a lot. I felt angry and out of control then, but it passed as soon as the hormones fluctuated back again. But out of control??  I'm not too sure that I have ever been out of control.  I was too much of a control freak to feel out of control.

12. When have you tried to control others?
Ah. Now this question I can answer.
I'd try and control the children when they were small; wanting them to behave when out in public or to not act up in a restaurant.
I do the same now with the grand kids and feel guilty about it.
I didn't feel guilty when it was my owns kids, and I am reminded about this fact daily by my adult kids.
And let's see...probably from 1985 until 2010 I'd try to control his drinking.
Those were our bad years. 
We crashed and burned at the end of 2010 and that's when Al Anon and Jesus saved me by teaching me to Let go and let God.

Image result for let go or be dragged

Personally I like the saying Let go or be dragged.
Because isn't that the honest to God truth? Carrying around other peoples problems can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It gets so heavy at times and a body can find herself on her knees and not know what to do under all that weight.

 When life knocks you down on your knees remember you’re in the perfect position to pray.

Learning to let go of the stuff that is not meant for you to carry is a hard thing. But once you get it, you are much more likely to never pick back up that stuff that was never yours to be carried anyway.
Does that make any sense to you?

Image result for you were never meant to carry

And so all these years later I find myself trying to write my way off of this mountain that I thought I had to carry, all by myself, while being isolated and quiet.

Writing is healing. A way to process the thoughts that are on a circuit in my brain that only goes in one direction....round and round and round. These questions are helping me find a new direction.

I am writing myself well friends. One question at a time.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly