Thursday, March 16, 2017

Either/Or

I found this journal prompt.
Interview

















When I started to think about the questions I found I couldn't actually answer them. It was too hard for me to choose Either/Or, because on occasion, or depending on the mood I'm in, I like both of the answers.

Tea or Coffee?   Two cups of Coffee in the morning with 1 sugar and a large splash of cream, and then two more cups in the afternoon for a pick me up....
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
OR a Starbuck's Cinnamon Dolce Latte..mmmmmmm.... rarely.

I drink hot Tea only when I am sick or under the weather.
I'm trying to give up drinking so much coffee, so for the last week I've been drinking hot green tea with lemon. It's also supposed to help with a body's metabolism...haha...we'll see about that.
Iced Tea is one of my favorite drinks too, but it's more of a summer thing for me.

Matte or Glossy?  Pffftttt....who cares. NEXT!

Sweet or Salty?  Salty all the way. While I might eat cake (and more than one piece) on the rare occasion of a birthday, I much prefer my salty snacks such as homemade popcorn, peanuts, cashews, chips, cheese and crackers....yum!

TV or Radio?  I watch very little TV. Mostly reruns of Andy Griffith or episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. I watch the morning news for the weather only. If I watch it any longer than that my day is ruined. Call me an ostrich if you want to but I must preserve my own sanity. The daily news hurts me.
The radio in the car is usually on for the grandkids. They like the popular tunes and sing along. It's adorable. I listen to music on my IPOD on my Iphone. The radio is only on in my house when I'm doing a lot of cooking in the kitchen. The Christen radio station KLOVE in case you were wondering.

Morning or Evening? Again this is both. In my younger years I never thought I would ever be a morning person. But I am. Or rather I have grown in to one. I like getting up and anticipating the day. I look forward to my morning devotionals and my prayer time along with my coffee (or for now, tea). I love watching the sunrise through the trees. I like listening to and watching the world outside my window as it is waking up. In the Springtime listening to morning birdsong is one of my favorite things.
But evening?? Ahhhh. The end of the day is lovely too. Sunset has to be my very favorite thing. I love watching the twilight colors, especially as they change with the seasons. Sometimes in Winter it is pink or lavender or gray or midnight blue. In Summer I've seen plum and orange and pink and peach all run together at the end of the day too. It stuns me how one can see colors like these and not think God put them there for our pleasure. I like the shutting down of the days activities, the anticipation of a good dinner and relaxing and then heading off to bed for a good nights sleep. I think I could go to bed at 6:00 every night and be perfectly happy doing it. I sound old. When did I get old?

Pencil or Pen? Pen. Black medium point pens. I hate the way pencils sound on paper. The scritching sound gives me the chills.

Introvert or Extrovert?   I.N.T.R.O.V.E.R.T.

Mountain or Beach?  I like the idea of the mountains...Pine trees, snow capped peaks, cool shade and solitude, lush forests, deer and other wild life, living in a secluded cabin, maybe a lake nearby. Sandy soil and the smell of the earth.
But no. The beach it is for me. The smell of the salt air, the sound of the ocean as it whispers Yahweh to me, the feel of the waves pulling against my ankles, and lapping against the shore, the white hot sand that gets stuck to everything, condos on the beach, fresh seafood just down the street, flip flops, the sound of seagulls, motorboats and fishing, watching dolphins, hunting for seashells, I could go on and on. This is heaven on earth to me.

Spontaneous or Structured? Structured works better for me mostly because I like to be prepared for the day. I don't like surprises or major upsets to my day. But there is something to be said for being spontaneous, right? A last minute invitation to lunch or to the movies can be a wonderful thing.
Or if (when is more likely) the weatherman is wrong and the day turns out better than expected and we can squeeze in a quick bike ride with the grandkids or an impromptu trip to our local beach/water park is something I don't mind.

Neat or Messy?  Mostly neat. Or picked up at least. Is my kitchen floor clean and shiny right this minute?? No. But it wouldn't prevent me from opening the door if a friend dropped by. My sinks are always clean and shiny. And my bed is always made. I do at least one load of laundry every day too. So I guess that qualifies as neat.

Town or Country? Well...I live in a town and we have a lot of open country in this town. So I have to wonder does the author of this prompt mean The Big City or The Boondocks? We live an hour away from Chicago. Yes! That Chicago. And I am deathly afraid of going into that city. So many shootings and robberies and gangs. (Yes, I do occasionally see and hear the news)  I know there are nice places in the city and a lot of people live there but it is not for me. So am I a country person then? I'm not so sure of that either. I like knowing that a grocery store or my doctor or my kids and grandkids are less than 5 minutes away. I like the convenience of living in a small town where there are city snowplows, fast food restaurants, and department stores, and getting to our local hospitals is only a twenty minute drive. Good Lord! I sound really old now. Restaurants and Dr.'s and hospitals close by?? What am I, 80??

Eat in or Take-out?  When I've got the time I love to cook. I like our old tried and true favorites but I also like finding a new recipe and shopping for all of the ingredients and trying something new.  Friday night is usually our date night so we do Take-Out. Sometimes we go out to our favorite Rib joint but mostly by Friday night him and I are just done. Wiped out. It's been a long week and we just want to veg out on the couch. We usually order Thai food or Chinese. He's not a fan of Pizza which would be my own personal choice every Friday night. We haven't always been able to order out. In our past we lived paycheck to paycheck, what with 3 kids and house and car payments. Eating out or Take-Out used to be a treat, something we only did for special occasions.
Now it's kind of nice knowing that I don't have to cook every Friday night.


Well, that's it for this prompt.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lessons learned the hard way


From Feb.24th
Write about a lesson you've learned the hard way

Read this first, please, and then come back and read the rest.

I was trying to find things for my 7 year old grandson to eat that wouldn't hurt his sore throat or rather food that would feel more soothing on his sore throat.
Vanilla ice cream, Popsicles, mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup, maybe scrambled eggs.
I wanted to get him settled down on the couch with his breakfast and cartoons so Grandpa, who was also home sick, wouldn't have too much to do while I made a quick trip to the grocery store.
"What about applesauce?" I asked him.
YES! he replied. Ok good, great. I've got applesauce.
Except I didn't. Not the kind he liked. What I had was pear flavored applesauce. It mostly tasted like regular applesauce, to me anyway.  I can fool him, I thought, but he's gonna notice the color difference, so I figured if I put it in a red dish he wouldn't be able to see the opaque green color.
Here's how it went down-
ME: Here ya go Sweetie, want granny to feed it to you?
HIM: No, I can do it myself...why is it in that red bowl?
ME: I thought it would be nice to eat it out of this cute lil bowl
HIM: Wait...why is it that color?
ME: What color? It just looks different because of the red bowl. Here, try a bite.
HIM: he tries a bite....It tastes funny granny.
ME: No it doesn't.
HIM: Yes it does. And it's green.
ME: It tastes the same as regular applesauce!
HIM: No it doesn't. Can't I have regular applesauce?
ME: Try another bite. You'll like it!
HIM: No! I don't like green applesauce.
ME: Won't you please try it again? Please?
HIM: Noooooo.
ME: (I stare at him, sigh really big, and then say...) You make me sad.
      then I grabbed the red bowl of green colored pear flavored applesauce and left the room, went to the kitchen and chucked it in the sink...bowl, spoon, everything splattering in the sink and heaved out another big sigh.  I took it personally and I don't have any idea why.
I gave myself a few seconds to cool down then headed back to the living room.
When I walked in he was sitting at their little tikes table with his head down and he was sobbing.
"What're ya crying about", I asked non too gently still peeved about that stupid fucking applesauce.
*
*
*
He lifted his head and quietly sobbed out these 5 words-

I FEEL SHAMED OF MYSELF
He could hardly look at me as he uttered those words about hisself. I could see him trying to hide his face in his arms while he continued to cry out his hurt and shame. Over applesauce.

And just like that I broke.
I started to cry myself and I dropped to my knees next to him and grabbed his little face and said-
"Oh sweetie, you don't have to feel shame cuz you didn't want to eat that applesauce. Granny is so very sorry that she made you feel bad about that. Granny was wrong to do that to you."
 I hugged him as tight as I could, whispering the whole time that I was soooo sorry.

It took him a few minutes to get hold of himself and I hugged him while he, while we, finished letting our tears fall.
I mopped both of our faces, gave him a kiss and an orange popsicle and told him I was going to the store to buy him REAL applesauce.

I cried all the way to the store. What kind of a monster am I ?? Why did I do that to him?
Grandmothers are supposed to be sweet and kind and loving.
What the hell was wrong with me??
I found I wanted to hide my own face so I too didn't have to see my own shame filled flaws.

Once inside the store I found myself putting cookies and cereal and chocolate bars and mac&cheese and lots of applesauce in my cart. His favorite juice boxes, and pudding cups and hot dogs...all his favorite foods. As if buying him food was going to make up for the damage I had inflicted upon him.

 Today I found that story that I referenced above on a blog that I follow.
And it just about did me in.
I don't want to break that beautiful boys spirit. I don't want to be the one who takes away his shine.
The author states this at the end of her story-

The following vow is something I wish I’d made a few years ago—but perhaps it’s right on time for you. Perhaps it’s right on time for us all; I can’t help but believe our world could use a little softening right now.
Perhaps, in time, we’ll be able to look at ourselves and each other and say, 
“I love you just the way you are,” the way God loves us.
Perhaps instead of witnessing pain and condemnation in public and private places, we will see love and compassion in action.
Let it begin with us.

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 positive rather than negative.
I’d like to feel the upward curve of my lips.
I’d like to surrender control of things over 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
toward him,
toward her,
toward me.
Thus, this begins the process of my softening.
And this is my vow:
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 me. “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, mannerisms, and differences.
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 unripened 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.
I vow to pause before correcting.
I shall take a moment to consider if the mistake even needs to be mentioned at all.
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.
By being softer, I can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more.
At last I will fully see his colors, her colors, and my own.
Perhaps it will be for the very first time.
The colors might take my breath away,
bring me to tears,
or 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.



Yes, please, dear God. Let it begin with me.
Only Love Today.
Today and every day.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March came in like a lion

It's been a long and eventful couple of days. 
(Of course it has...do I post when things are going smoothly?)
On Sunday our 5 month old granddaughter got christened at church. It was a beautiful ceremony and she was perfect through the whole thing. We all gathered afterwards for lunch and cake and a good time was had by all. 
By that night our 7 year old grandson had a fever and my 21 year old nephew was vomiting. 
My husband started to get sick on Sunday night too, with a fever, sore throat and fatigue.
Took my grandson to the Dr. on Monday. He has strep throat. 
And now so does my husband.
My sister needed an emergency root canal Monday morning as well.
My mother developed a fever and chills on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday afternoon my 3 year old granddaughter developed a high fever, stuffy nose and earaches.
Tuesday night my son-in-law went home from work early, feeling like he had been hit by a train.
Tomorrow I take my 3 year old granddaughter to the Dr.
It's like a green fog has enveloped our family and we're succumbing to it one by one.
I am afraid to breathe around these people.
My husband missed 3 days of work and my grandson has missed 4 days of school so far.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
So far, knock on wood, I have no symptoms. 
By the grace of God, I hope I don't.
These people are seriously ill.
Even the dog seems like she doesn't feel well.

Bad storms and tornadoes also blew through on Tuesday night.
Needless to say my anxiety is threw the roof and off the charts.
Storms, tornadoes, sickness, fever, worry and anxiety are a volatile combination.

While typing this my granddaughter had to pee. She likes to go potty by herself.  
I followed after a bit to make sure she didn't need any help.
As I called out to her thru the bathroom door "Do you need any help?"
She replied with-
"No thanks. I'm just wiping the pee off the floor."
.........uh........"What?!"
Upon opening the door I did indeed find her on the floor wiping up pee with a single square of toilet paper. 
She handed it to me, dripping wet and said...."Sorry, I missed the potty Granny".

I missed posting the last prompt from my 30 days of writing challenge.
I couldn't think of 5 things. It felt like I got writer's block. The harder I tried to think of funny things, the less things I found to be funny.
Maybe that's just due to my circumstances here lately.
Oh well....

Feb. 28th
Post five things that make you laugh out loud-

1. My sister
2. My best friend
3. The TV show Everybody Loves Raymond-all eight seasons
4. Funny things my grandchildren say
5. ???????

Thanks for reading along as I posted for 30 days.
Truthfully, I'm glad it's over. I felt more pressure to perform than I should have.
I am glad that I challenged myself but if it's ok with you, I'm going to go back to posting the way I normally do.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fifty , fat and happy


Feb. 27th

Conversely, write about something that's kicking ass right now

*The word conversely is an adverb that means "the opposite" or "on the other hand." It is often used to introduce an idea that is different from one stated before.

Obesity in America
The average American woman is a size 16. And yet the media makes us women feel bad about ourselves if we're not a size 2 or 4 or 6.
What I really hate about that is the apparent dishonesty. The women on those glossy magazine pages don't eat like normal people do. They must starve themselves in order to maintain that thinness. As we age our metabolism slows down and hormones really take a toll on our bodies.

Conversely, not all 54 year old women need to diet and exercise. Some women this age accept themselves as they are and feel free to continue doing life as they have always done it. I'd "like" to exercise and watch what I eat but I'd also like to say screw it! I'm 50-ish, sorta fat and fabulous!







 Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Improvements


Feb. 26th
Write about an area in your life that you'd like to improve

I'd like to begin doing Yoga.
I even bought myself a yoga mat...uh...2 months ago. The wrapper is still on it.
I joined an online group where you watch the yoga instructor on YouTube.
So far I've just watched her, I haven't done any of the movements.
What am I waiting for? I don't know. I sort of feel embarrassed about doing the moves.
I really need to work on my core, and my legs too.
But I am so out of shape and it seems like it'll all be too much, so I don't do anything.
I think you would call that self sabotage.

I'd like to start making better food choices too.
I just bought a bigger pair of jeans and I thought to myself-
"That's it!! No more eating sugar and crap and large portions!"
So, no more sugar, and I'm going to decrease my calories and my carb load.
This morning I started my day by drinking coffee without any sugar in it and it wasn't too bad.
Also, I told my husband we really do need to start watching our food portions.
We go to our favorite restaurant and we get soup AND salad AND an entree that includes BBQ ribs AND a potato AND a veggie (usually steamed broccoli- you know, so I can feel like I am eating healthy) AND two glasses of wine for me, 2 diet cokes for him.
On occasion we have even stopped off for ice cream on our way home.
Good Lord! What do you suppose the caloric intake is on all of that???
Don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Here's a video I thought went well with today's post.


Wish me luck dear readers,
Namaste
Love, Lolly






The 11th Image


Feb. 25th
Think of any word. Search it on Google Images. Write something inspired by the 11th image

Tree

Image result for giant tree


Write something inspiring?? Isn't the picture itself inspiring enough? It feels very zen-like, almost soothing in a way. It appears to be a quiet place, a very peaceful place, undisturbed by man. I love the sunburst peaking through at the top and I love that green color in the branches of the tree too. I like the play of light coming through from the other trees in the background...it seems etheral in a way...extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.
I wonder what it would smell like in that place...piney, loamy, earthy? What sounds would I hear? Would it be cool or humid? Would I feel at peace or would I feel nervous and isolated?

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A letter to my pastor

Feb. 23, 2017
A letter to someone, anyone

Dear Pastor Erik,

           I'm writing this letter to say thank you and to let you know that I am going to miss you terribly. Your preaching had a huge impact on me and my life and I wanted to thank you in person but I couldn't do it. I knew I would burst in to tears if I talked to you face to face. Part of me feared that I would throw myself around your ankles, grab on and beg you not to go. I am not good at small talk and I knew I would stumble over my words and gush about how much I love you thereby making both of us uncomfortable. 
The way you conducted yourself, the subject matter you choose, the stories you told, the Bible passages that you referenced and explained, the sermons you gave have all left their mark on me. I specifically remember one sermon where you stood up there on the pulpit with both of your arms outstretched to the side while simultaneously explaining to the congregation the true posture of Jesus.
It made me weep. I've never cried in church before, and if I'm being honest, in the past I could barely stay awake in church.  Our oldest pastor was a bit of a droner, as you may well know, and I wasn't the only parishioner who could've nodded off before you and Pastor Larry arrived.
Pastor Erik, through your sermons, you explained Jesus and his teachings in a way that awakened in me a desire to know more about Him, to perhaps be a bit more like Him. You prompted this stodgy old congregation of Lutheran Missouri Synod believers into closing our eyes and raising our hands and taught us to openly praise Him in His house. For me, you made church something more than rote.
You told us to tell our stories, that the truth in telling our stories is what was going to heal us and bring us closer to Jesus.
You, my friend, are a true follower of Jesus. You are the epitome of an apostle and you showed me how a true apostle should act.
Thank you for teaching me that Jesus can be found not only in the Bible but that He is alive, right here in our everyday lives. And if we will only open up our eyes and hearts, we will see Him through our tears and in our pain, in our family and friends, in nature and yes, even in our stories.
I wish you and your family nothing but the best as you travel to California and your new lives.
I am sorry to see you go. You will be sorely missed at Immanuel.

My life verses- Psalm 18:16-24  and  Titus 3:3-7

Gods Blessings to you Sir,
Sincerely,



Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

P.S. Should I send this to him? Or is it a bit over the top?