Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter is...

Easter is...over. Yes, I know.
But I wanted to tell you about a blog post that I read where the writer asked this as an open ended question-  Easter is...
And us readers were to fill in the blank as we saw fit.
I probably should have said Easter is... The Resurrection.
That Easter is...all about Jesus and praise and worship and the Triune God.
And going to Church because you should. And He is Risen..He is risen indeed.

But I'll be honest here.
The first response that went through my mind was Easter is...Ham.
And colored eggs. And potato salad. And going to Church because I want to.
And a family party afterwards where eight small kids, all under the age of seven, hunted for plastic filled Easter eggs in a backyard.
Green grass outside and blossoms on all of the trees.
Tulips and daffodils flaunting their colors.
Gaily decorated baskets full of candy and small trinkets.
A new dress in pastel colors.
Easter is... Spring and warmer weather and everything being new and renewed.
It's lighter in the morning when we wake up and it stays light a lot longer in the evening.
It's the lime color of newly grown plants and buds on trees.
It's wispy white clouds in the sky and more Robins in my yard than I can count.
It's rain for days on end then it's a sunny day that makes a body feel more alive than before.
Easter is doing yard work and cleaning out the flower beds still strewn with last years dead leaves.
It's Hostas that come out of the ground the color of plums then watching as they turn into a lovely shade of emerald green.
It's Lily of the Valley and Lilacs bushes in full bloom and the smell is a heady mixture of pure joy.
It's open windows and fresh air and turning the thermostat way way down.
It's life or rather it's new life.
It's the Earth and us winter weary humans coming back to life.
It's warming and rising and watching nature unfold in her beautiful, colorful, brilliance.
It's the easing of darkness and shadows and cold.
Easter is... family and warmth and light and love and Jesus.

Here's hoping that you and yours and a wonderful Easter spent with loved ones.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly






Thursday, April 6, 2017

Currently I'm...

Journal Prompts:

I am doing another type of writing exercise on my blog today. I like the prompts with some of these lists that I find on Pinterest. They give me a bit of structure, which I appear to need and also it gives me a bit of a push to keep on writing.

CURRENTLY I'M...

  1. Reading- Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver.
  2. Playing- Thomas trains with the grand kids.
  3. Watching- Some sort of cartoon on Netflix (I'm not actually watching this but the kids are).
  4. Trying-  To not drink so much coffee.
  5. Cooking- Shrimp and Asparagus for dinner tonite.
  6. Eating- Two pieces of toast as I type this.
  7. Drinking- My third cup of coffee.   *see #4
  8. Calling- My sister later to see if she is feeling better. She has a wicked bad head cold.
  9. Texting - My son to ask about his cat who has lived with us for a year and was picked up last night by my son and brought to his house to live from now on. I loved him. I'm sad to see him go.
  10. Pinning- Journal prompts.     
  11. Tweeting- Nothing. I am not on Twitter.
  12. Crafting- Easy Easter crafts for the grand kids to make.
  13. Scrapping- Nothing. I don't scrap book either.
  14. Doing- The last load of laundry for today
  15. Going- To Kohl's tomorrow to look for a shirt to wear for Easter.
  16. Loving- The sunshine I see today. It has rained 8 out of the last 14 days.
  17. Hating- That allergy season has started up again already.
  18. Discovering- That I miss having my son's cat in the house. I love the very presence of a feline
  19. Enjoying- The very last piece of cake from my son's birthday.
  20. Thinking- DJT has two squirrels and a yo-yo that take up most of his brain cavity. What an incompetent nincompoop.
  21. Feeling- Grateful for a good nights sleep last night. I've had insomnia off and on for the last week and it's starting to make me a bit cranky.
  22. Hoping (for)- My grandaughter to go potty today. I gave her some cheese last week and it bound her up something fierce. I feel terrible for giving it to her. She is miserable.
  23. Listening (to)- Birdsong outside my bedroom window.
  24. Celebrating- Last week we celebrated my son's 28th birthday. My daughters 30th birthday is next weekend and then the week after that we will be celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary
  25. Smelling- Pine trees and woodsmoke on a quick Harley ride we took last Sunday.
  26. Thanking- God that our little dog seems to be getting better after her latest bout of Colitis.
  27. Considering- Getting my eyebrows done. I've never had them done before. Maybe it's time.
  28. Finishing- This post which has taken me much longer to finish than I thought it would.
  29. Starting- To see plants sprouting in my gardens. HELLOOO Spring! It can't come soon enough this year. As much as I like the cooler weather of Winter, Spring makes me feel so incredibly alive!
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly









Thursday, March 23, 2017

An offal good time

OK...here's the poop...er..I mean scoop
I've had a gut ache for about a week along with quite a few visits to the bathroom. And it scared me.
I cut out dairy and I quit drinking wine and coffee and stopped tossing back Advil like it's candy.
But the stomach ache still remained.
So I scheduled a colonoscopy for myself for next week.
I am over the age of 50 and I am past due for this test, but yikes.
I don't wanna go!!!

Monday we had to take our Chihuahua to the vet. She refused to move or walk. Turns out she had some sort of back injury, so they gave her a laser treatment, a little bit of a massage and decompression therapy and gave us some Rimadyl  to give her for pain.  (Google Rimadyl and watch how many horror stories show up)
She was ok that first night. Even the second night she seemed a little slow but nothing serious. On Wednesday morning she refused to eat. Within the hour she had bloody poop and was lethargic.
I called the vet who said to bring her in...of course. They said she had developed colitis most likely due to the stress of the back injury and the resulting vet visit. So they gave her a shot of penicillin and gave us 2 more meds to give her for the colitis.
Cha-ching!! $320 later we felt we were on the road to recovery. Until today.
Today I found bloody urine on her pee pad.
And that's when I lost my shit.
Meaning I flipped my lid.
My gullet started roiling, I started sweating, I could feel my nerves like a rocket taking off into outer space. I became short tempered and scared and just plain out of my mind in a panic.
This time I Googled the words Rimadyl and bloody urine.
That's when I found out that a toxic reaction to this pain medication is loss of appetite, bloody poop, lethargic, blood in the urine, etc, etc, etc.
And dogs were dying from this pain medication! Dying from liver failure, kidney failure, overdose, and the list goes on and on.
It seemed very little could be done to save the animals once their symptoms became severe.
Well, MY DOG had 5 of these symptoms and that scared the absolute hell outta me!
So I called the vet...again... and said that we now had bloody urine and was given an appointment for 4:20 today.
At THIS appointment, yes, the third one in 4 days, they put a syringe into her bladder to draw out the urine so they could culture it. But the urine came out clean. No infection. No blood.
...What the hell?...
The vet said "There is no blood in this urine. None. The blood on that pee pad did not come from this dog. Are there any other animals in the house?"
My sons cat, I replied. And her head snapped up. "A cat? You have a cat? A male cat?"
Yes. But he seems fine.
"Get the cat checked out" she said. So I called my son and told him to make an appointment for his cat Jackson and Jackson has an appointment for tomorrow.
So. Now we wait and see what happens at that appointment.
I want to believe that it's the cat and not my dog but right now my cute little dog is still very lethargic. She ate dinner but laid right back down afterwards.
Truth be told, I am still rather nervous about her.
I'll keep you updated.

My beautiful 4 year old granddaughter shat herself (in her perfect little disney princess underwear) 4 times yesterday and once today.

Would you believe me if I told you that it has been a really shitty week????

I don't even know how to say thanks for reading but,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

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?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Playlist shuffle


Feb. 22nd
Put your music on shuffle and post the first ten songs-

1.   Brother by Needtobreathe

2.   Every little prison by Matt Maher

3.   God with us by MercyMe

4.   No matter what by Kerrie Roberts

5.   Come to the river by The Rhett Walker band

6.   Something good can work by two Door Cinema Club

7.   Revelation Song by Kari Jobe

8.   Cornerstone by Hillsong Live

9.   Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

10. Up to the mountain by Patty Griffin

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Catching up



Feb. 19th- Discuss your first love
His name was Robert and we were in 1st grade together. He sat in the desk directly in front of me and I remember one day getting out of my seat and kneeling down behind him and kissing him squarely between his bony shoulder blades. That's it. That's all I can remember. Oh! He had brown hair and he was wearing a white turtle neck that day.
Other first loves were the boy in junior high who did not know I existed, and the 2 boys I dated in high school. The first one cheated on me with an ugly girl...(true fact! no bitterness here) after he enlisted in the Army. Honestly? I thought him and I would end up married.
The other one was fine, a regular person, until the day that I wanted to break up with him (I don't remember why...I was a senior in high school) and he just sorta lost his mind and went postal crazy and tore up and broke everything in his room. His mom called me at my house and told me to run and hide. I never saw him after that. And I didn't ask. His anger and behavior had scared me.


Feb. 20th- Post about three celebrity crushes ....Uh......nope. None.
Well...maybe George Clooney.

Feb. 21st- What three lessons do you want your children to learn from you?
Since my kids are already grown and gone, I'll post about what I hope they learned from me.

1. Compassion for those less fortunate. We take so much for granted. Running water, clean sheets, grocery stores, 2 cars in the driveway, good schools, non-violent neighborhoods. and more...so much more.
2. Love is a Verb. Love is easy. Love is Hard. Love will break your heart. Love will heal it again.
3. It's never too late to find yourself through Jesus. I was 47 when I finally found Him. Actually He found me. I hope and pray that my kids find Him someday and let Him into their lives. I know when it happened to me it felt like I was losing my mind but I also never felt more normal in my whole life. He saved me. And I'm so grateful. I want them to know the love of Christ.
This is my life verse Titus 3:37  The Message

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Saturday, February 18, 2017

30 facts about me

Feb. 18th

Post 30 Facts about yourself

  1. My eyes are green
  2. I hate tomatoes but I do eat ketchup and tomato soup
  3. I wear a size 5 and 1/2 shoe
  4. I drink way too much coffee
  5. I have 4 grandchildren
  6. I. AM. ALWAYS. WARM!!! and I am sick of it too
  7. My favorite baby animal is a Polar Bear
  8. Creamy peanut butter never the crunchy one
  9. I love burnt toast. I burn it on purpose
  10. I love to dance. Wine helps me in this endeavor
  11. My kitchen sink is always clean and spotless before I go to bed
  12. My favorite color is Chocolate brown
  13. I love to eat cake (which could be one of the reasons why I don't weigh 105 anymore)
  14. I have never been in a fist fight
  15. No tattoos but if I did, I'd get 1 for my sister & 1 for my daughter 
  16. Small talk is my undoing
  17. I could grocery shop every single day even though my cupboards are full
  18. You cannot spin me around or I am dizzy for the rest of the day. No joking
  19. I have never tried snow skiing 
  20. I am not dressed unless my shoes are on and tied
  21. I prefer the beach over the mountains
  22. My favorite dinner is beer and Pizza
  23. My favorite number is 23
  24. I read books like it's my job
  25. I have always always always hated The Beatles
  26. No spicy foods-ever. It burns my tongue and then I'm miserable
  27. Favorite day of the week? It's a toss up between Monday and Friday
  28. I am allergic to egg yolks and penicillin
  29. Jesus answers most of my prayers
  30. I had to Google ideas for this prompt because I got stuck at 15 and couldn't think of more

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Friday, February 17, 2017

What's Missing

Feb. 17th

Just in case you are following along with my 30 Day Writing Challenge, you might notice that I am a bit off.
I missed posting the February 16th prompt because I hadn't yet finished the bullet-point post from February 15th.
The prompt for today February 17th, is Post about your zodiac sign and whether or not it fits you but since I don't follow along with zodiac signs or meanings or personalities, I figured I would post the prompt for February 16th today instead. There. Good. Everybody follow that? Glad I got that all cleared up so there wouldn't be any confusion....haha
SO!
Without further ado...

Feb 16th
Something that you miss

I miss my dog. Still. Even after 3 months I miss him terribly. Sometimes the tears just leak out of my eyes when I think about him. I'd love to smell him just one more time or let him kiss my nose or snuggle next to me on the couch or hear the pitter patter of his dime sized paws on the hardwood floors. I referred to him as Mom's Boy, and he sure was that. This mom misses her boy.

I miss my sister. She died in 2008 after a brief but fatal disease. It was Blastomycosis of the brain. You won't find much information on that disease. Even the doctors at Rush/St. Luke's hospital in downtown Chicago had a tough time diagnosing her.
She was the keeper of my secrets. She was an amazing cook and had impeccable decorating sense.
She was the sister I could call on the phone and talk to for hours and I never got a chance to tell her good bye. One day she was talking but by that same evening she was in a coma. Did you know that I drove her to the hospital that day? She had such a headache. The potholes in the road caused her to groan out loud. She threw up before we even got into the hospital, right there in the ER doorway. I figured it was a brain tumor. She might have had a chance if it had been a tumor. Within two weeks of that day she was in a vegetative state and had been transferred to Rush/St Luke's where they finally diagnosed her condition. Her illness and rapid decline wrecked our family in more ways than one. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally...what we thought was a close knit family ended up imploding on itself and we've never fully recovered from that trauma of her illness and her passing.  She was 48 years old. I miss her voice, I miss her laugh.
I miss her.

I miss being 105 pounds. I do. I know weight isn't supposed to matter but it does sometimes to me. I don't do anything about it but complain so...uh...whatever.

I miss being out in the working world sometimes too. I miss having that paycheck. I miss that sense of accomplishment that I got from a job well done. I miss the camaraderie of co-workers.

I miss the snow. We are in a snow drought here in Illinois and it has been 60 days since we've had any measurable snow fall. I didn't even know that snow drought was a thing. You learn something new every day.

I miss kindness in the world. I'm not sure how the tides changed but it scares me how angry everybody has become.  How do we fix it? By being kind ourselves.



Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Diary of a mad housewife


Feb. 15th

Bullet-point your whole day
  • Woke up at 6:00am
  • Watched the weather on TV (feels like 15 degrees right now and a high of 35 today)
  • Made the bed
  • Showered and brushed my teeth
  • Got dressed, felt too hot, changed my shirt
  • Dried my hair
  • Gathered laundry and started the first load
  • Folded the dry load that was in the dryer that I had forgot about
  • Walked the dog
  • Made my first cup of coffee at 7:00am
  • Lit my morning candle (Candles represent God's presence among us, and reminds me of Christ's presence which brings light into the world)
  • Read my morning devotionals
  • Talked with my BFF on the phone for 10 minutes (she just put her dog down yesterday)
  • Started typing this post at 7:30am
  • Welcomed the grand kids in the front door at 8:00
  • Fed them breakfast
  • Combed their hair and supervised teeth brushing
  • Jackets and hats on (this gets a bullet point simply because it is a battle. Every. Day.)
  • Drove my grandson to school at 8:35am
  • Drove back home
  • Added more to this bullet-point post
  • Made a second cup of coffee at 9:00am
  • Put all the heads back on my granddaughters little headless dolls per her request
  • 9:30am...time for Bubble Guppies and Umizoomi (her favorite cartoons)
  • Checked FB and read blogs and looked for that quote about candle light at the top of the page
  • Played Princess's with my granddaughter
  • Lunch at noon
  • Made my third cup of coffee for the day at 1:00pm
  • Loaded dishwasher with breakfast and lunch dishes
  • Wiped down kitchen counters
  • What's for dinner?? Crap! Forgot to defrost anything....
  • Search cupboards and pantry for something for dinner
  • Cleaned the cat box and took out the trash
  • Checked MSNBC on line to see what is happening in Washington DC
  • Got sucked in to the online vortex and wasted an hour of my time
  • Added more items to this bullet-point post
  • Picked up my grandson from school at 2:00pm today
  • Picked up a prescription at Target and spent $58.00 on a new lunchbox for my grandson (actually, the lunch box was $7.99 but I NEVER get out of Target without spending $50 bucks on what I have no idea!)
  •  Fixed an after school (after Target) snack for the grand kids-Cookies and milk
  • Turned on Sponge Bob Squarepants for the kids so I could finish my book in peace
  • Started dinner at 4:45   Sauteed Chicken breasts, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn
  • Ate dinner at 5:30
  • Loaded the dishwasher with dinner dishes
  • Daughter picked up the kids at 6:20
  • Poured a glass of wine
  • Watched re-runs of Andy Griffith and Everybody Loves Raymond til 8:30
  • Fed the cat, locked the doors, turned off lights
  • Off  to bed and asleep by 9:00

       Ta-Da! 
       Hard to keep up with me, I know.   I am livin' the life!
       Truthfully? I wouldn't change a thing.

      Thanks for reading,
       Love, Lolly



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Movie madness

Feb. 14th

Post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching

These are the movies that popped into my head first thing.
I should've checked the DVD cabinet to see if there were more.

In no particular order-

* Moonstruck
* The Four Seasons
* My Cousin Vinnie
* Ever After
* My Big Fat Greek Wedding
* The Blindside
* Mr. & Mrs. Smith
* It's a Wonderful Life

They're all about love and they all have a happy ending. Corny, right?

Happy Valentine's Day Dear Readers!
Love, Lolly

Monday, February 13, 2017

Excitation


Feb.13

What are you excited about?

Spring!!!
Sunny days,
white puffy clouds,
clear blue skies,
red breasted Robins and
Robin's Egg blue colored eggs nestled in a nest,
New Life,
leaves budding on the trees,
blooming purple Lilacs,
the heady smell of freshly turned earth,
replanting my flower garden with tender new plants,
Yellow Daffodils,
the smell of rain,
finding green Hosta shoots pushing up through the soil,
pink Tulips,
the sound of birds singing in the trees,
open windows and fresh air,
cooler weather but not freezing,
brown grass turning spring green,
violets in the yard,
only needing a light sweater- no more heavy winter coats,
Harley rides with the breeze blowing in our hair,
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter morning,
Chocolate Bunny's and marshmallow Peeps,
Spring coming in like a Lion and going out like a Lamb,
April showers bring May flowers,
Rebirth and regrowth and remembrance.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Be with Me in My Unfolding

By: Ted Loder

It is spring, Lord.
And the land is coming up green again,
Unfolding
Outside my well-drawn boundaries
And urgent schedules.
And there is the mystery
And the smile of it.
The willows are dripping honey color into the rivers,
And the mother birds are busy in manger nests,
And I am learning again
That "for everything there is a season
And a time for every matter under heaven."
O Lord, you have sketched the lines of spring.
Be with me in my unfolding.
It is spring, Lord,
And my blood runs warm with the song of the sap,
Longing
For a beauty I would become.
And there is the mystery
And the smile of it.
The buds are swelling on the bush,
The sun is beginning to coax the color
From where it's been curled against the cold,
The air is sweet to the nostrils;
Even the city seems to be rubbing its eyes
From a long sleep;
And there is a promise in the season
I know no name for
Except life.
O Lord, you have sketched the lines of spring.
Be with me in my longing.
It is spring, Lord,
And something stirs in me,
Reaching, stretching
Groping for words,
Peeking through my defenses,
Beckoning in my laughter,
Riding on past my fears,
Pulsing in my music.
And there is the mystery
And the smile of it.
Be with me in my reaching
So I will touch or be touched,
This time,
By a grace, a warmth, a light,
To unfold my life to a new beginning,
A fresh budding,
A spring within as well as around me.
O Lord, you have sketched the lines of spring.
Be with me in my reaching.






Sunday, February 12, 2017

More than 5 blessings

Feb. 12th

Write about 5 blessings in your life

1. My husband of 34 years
2. My 3 grown children and their spouses-Emily & Patrick, Maddie & Matt, Steven & Amanda
3. My 4 grandchildren-Patrick, Fiona, Charlie, Delaney
4. My 2 sisters-Vicki and Dori
5. My best friend-Traci

I'm thankful and grateful for each and everyone one of them.
For the joy they give me, for the years of happiness
along with the years that there were tears and heartache.
They know me, they accept me, they love me.
And I them.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What if

Feb. 11th

Something you always think "What If"... about

Good Lord! but isn't this prompt going to open up a can of worms!
I could "What If" myself into a mental institution.
As a person who lives with anxiety- "What If" is my daily mantra.

My daughter was 10 minutes late picking up the grandkids.
What if she has been in a car accident?
My grandson is sometimes the last kid to come out of school at the end of the day and I wait in dread.
What if he doesn't come out? Where is he? Is he sick, injured, stuffed in a locker, missing?
Neither of my girls can physically have any more children.
What if, heaven forbid, one of the grandkids dies? How will we all bare that kind of loss?
What if that colonoscopy comes back with bad news?
What if a tornado obliterates our home?
What if the airplane my son is on crashes?
What if I accidentally left that candle burning?
What if I can't remember my passwords?
What if my wallet gets stolen?
What if I can't find my phone?

And on and on it goes.
Isn't it silly? Isn't it awful? Isn't it a huge waste of my time and energy?
Yes! to all of the above.
And yet...isn't it strange for me to say I am afraid and filled with anxiety and in the next breath tell you about my God and how I love Him and trust Him? About how I believe that He cares for me, and that He shows me His grace, His mercy, His love, His forgiveness, His redemption, His comfort?
Where is my faith? Where does it go when the anxiety starts? Why do I not open up my clenched hands more often and give it all up to Jesus?
"What if" I did that from now on?
"What If" indeed.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, February 10, 2017

Was that strong enough

Feb. 10th

Write about something for which you feel strongly

I feel strongly that DJT is an idiot, a patsy, a puppet, a narcissist, a danger, a clown, a fool.
He promised to drain the swamp and give Washington D.C. -ie: the government, back to the people and yet he has filled his cabinet with nothing but rich, white (Ben Carson being the exception), privileged, older men and women, and his immediate family as his trusted advisors.
He signs his executive orders with a flourish, like a 3 year old who has just learned to write his name.
I feel strongly that he is out of touch with the majority of the American people.
His inability to use the English language drives me crazy...bigly.
I detest everything he stands for- division, fear mongering, his me first and screw them attitude.
I find it suspect that his wife and son don't live with him in the White House.
I truly don't understand why people support him.
It makes me wonder if someone has been giving me crazy pills or perhaps there has been a poisonous gas leak somewhere and we have all been exposed to its brain melting substance. What the hell is going on??
I dare not voice my opinion on Facebook or Instagram for fear of a personal  backlash against me by people who are my family and close friends.
And about those family members and friends...Isn't it amazing what this election has done to people who supposedly love and care about one another?
My oldest friend who I have known since junior high school (1975) is a raging, spittle flying, pro DJT supporter. Her Facebook posts are barely civil to those of us who are opposed him.
(I've not engaged with her on FB because she is soooo angry... telling the Clinton supporters to "Get over it! You lost, STOP WHINING!   'Merica loves DJT!!")
Or one of my best girlfriends I used to work with 8 years ago, who I loved as a sister- she was funny and loving and cared about everything and everybody- was thrilled that DJT won because now this nation will see some positive changes. Positive changes? Did DJT promise that? I never heard him say anything that was positive. I never heard him actually say ANYTHING but gobbley gook.
He speaks in a dialect I call double speak. He talks but there is no substance. He doesn't answer the questions correctly and the really hard questions are deflected. He usually ends up talking about how smart and great and loved he is.
His veiled threats against other countries regarding oil and walls and Muslim bans truly scare the crap outta me. So do his Twitter rants which make him seem quite unstable.
A lot of his followers use the term Snowflake as a derogatory slur. My God!
Do they even know what that term refers to?? I am horrified at the insensitivity of people!
It's maddening to me. It makes me wonder why they can't see what I see or hear what I hear.
I've been forcing myself to shut off social media, to not engage in anything political, to not even read anything political for my own peace of mind. My empathetic heart can only take so much negativity.
This post is the only place online where I have voiced my opinion.
And for the record, dear readers, this post wasn't hard for me to write at all.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly





Thursday, February 9, 2017

Words of wisdom

Feb.9th
Post some words of wisdom that speak to you


Q: Why do you cry so often?
A: For the same reason I laugh so often...because I'm paying attention 
~ Glennon Doyle Melton


Ring the bells...that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen


We need only reach out to discover that God reaches back. We are led a step at a time even when we feel we are alone. Sometimes God talks to us through people. Sometimes God reaches us through circumstances or coincidence. God has a million ways to reach out to us, and when we are open to it, we begin to sense the touch of God coming to us from all directions~ Julia Cameron


I have faith that God will show you the answer. But you have to understand that sometimes it takes a while to be able to recognize what God wants you to do. That's how it often is. God's voice is usually nothing more than a whisper, and you have to listen very carefully to hear it. But other times, in those rarest of moments, the answer is obvious and rings as loud as a church bell.

~Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song



Hello Friend!
I’m thinking of you this morning, wherever you are, and of the difference you’re making.
You might think it’s small.
You might think no one really sees.
You might think you should do something bigger, better, more spiritual
But lean in and listen close…
The best gift you can offer this world is you
And that’s what you’re doing–
just putting messy, glorious, imperfect, made-new you out there. 
In your home, your family, your office, your community, your world. 
We’d miss you if you weren’t there. It just wouldn’t be the same. And no one could take your place. 
So keep it up, my friend. Keep giving and loving and living right where you are. 
It matters more than you know, more than you see. 
{And you do too.}
xoxo—Holley Gerth


Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sharing the struggle

Feb. 8th
Share something you struggle with

Yesterday it was hard to think of 10 songs that I am loving right now.
Today's prompt  wasn't as much of a challenge....sigh

 We lost all of our couple friends after my husband stopped drinking. While they all continued going to bars or getting together for drinks at each other houses, we stayed home by ourselves. It was one of those occasions where you realize who your true friends are. It appears now that we didn't have any true friends. Not one of them has called or inquired about his welfare or mine for that matter. I found new friends in Alanon but he wanted nothing to do with those people. He went to AA for 2 weeks and then never again. I tell you that because he still wears that chip on his shoulder. He is still sober, he is still "dry" and I thank GOD for that every day, but he never "got" the program and I think that would have gone a long way towards him, us, finding new friends. It would be lovely to find new friends to go out to dinner with or to play card games at each others houses or to go on vacation with. We do do all of those things with our grown kids and my sister and her husband and we've gone out once with my husbands boss and his wife (that story is here). My day is spent around small kids and I crave adult companionship but again, I struggle with that small talk thingy and it feels painful and strange to meet new people. I cannot tell you how many times I have said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I blurt out things that are nobody's business or things that are awkward or stupid. It embarrasses me and them. I chastise myself all the time..."Why do you SAY those things?"
Last year I tried making a friend with one of my grandsons friends mother. She was considerably younger than me but that was not a problem. The problem was that she had 4 children under the age of 5 and one time she made mention to me that they would have as many children as the Lord gave them. I gaped at her for a second and then said-
 " Ha! We had 4 kids under the age of 5 at one time and I learned that the Good Lord wouldn't mind if I told my husband  NO! or to Get off of me just this once."
She hasn't spoken to me since then. Not one word. In fact I see her avoiding me at school now. Maybe I should start telling people that I have Tourette's syndrome.

It seems silly to say that I struggle with loneliness but I do.
I have so many other things to be grateful for that it feels wrong somehow to complain about not having friends.  What's that old saying... If you want to make a friend, be a friend?
It seems I've forgotten how to find and make friends in the real world.

I don't mean to sound pathetic. I'm really ok with it most days. There are just some days where it feels like I struggle with the loneliness.





Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Music saving my soul

Feb. 7th
List 10 songs that you're loving right now

First of all...10 songs?!? Ten??? I could think of 3 quite easily but ten was a bit harder.
Especially since the question was 10 songs I'm loving right now.
Some of these songs are older, some of these aren't or have never been mainstream.
With the exception of song #1, most are from christian radio but don't let that put you off.
Give a listen and see if any of them resonate with you.
So here are my 10 songs in no particular order of preference-



1. Hand Clap by Fitz and The Tantrums
    I love this one because my 3 year old grandaughter and I dance and clap to it whenever it comes         on. She laughs and tries to sing along. "Play it again Granny" she says. And I do.)

2. Bloodrush by Brooke Fraser




















3. Gravity by Jenn Johnson














4. Brother by Need to Breathe




5. Chain Breaker by  Zach Williams







6. Dry Bones by Lauren Daigle
















7. If we're honest by Francessca Battistelli












8. Eyes to the sky by Joseph






9. No longer slaves by Jonathan Davis and Melissa Helser











10. It is well by Kristine DiMarco and Bethel Music

















Thanks for reading AND listening,
Love, Lolly



Monday, February 6, 2017

Winning my heart

Feb. 6th
List 5 ways to win your heart

1. Be Truthful
2. Be Tender
3. Be Compassionate of others
4. Be Funny/Have a good sense of humor
5. Be Grace filled


Sunday, February 5, 2017

5 places

Feb. 5
List five places you want to visit

1. Italy
 I want to taste real Italian food made in Italy and not "Italian" food made at The Olive Garden chain of restaurants. I'd like to try the cheese and wine and bread. I want to see Rome and the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps. I want to see tiny villages with cobblestone streets. I've seen an episode of the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond where the entire family went to Italy and the scenery they showed was beautiful, stunning. I googled it and found out it was the town of Anguillara. It's a small fishing village on lake Bracciano, a 45 minute drive NW of Rome. I want to go there. Maybe the Island of Capri...pictures I've seen of that are stunning also.

2. Ireland
I'd like to see the green rolling hills, the craggy shoreline, fieldstone walls and lambs in the countryside. I want to eat in small Irish pubs and maybe drink a pint (but not Guinness) and listen to the fiddle music.  I'd like to slowly make my way through the churches with the stained glass windows.

3. Maine
Another coastal rocky shoreline with pine trees and cabins hidden in the woods. I want to visit Portland, Bar Harbor and Camden..the towns that have the best pictures of trees in the fall. And Acadia National Park, spectacular sunsets, Lighthouses, Lobster and fresh crab cakes.

4. The Pacific Northwest
  I want to see the rainy, foggy, misty green forests,  I want to make my way north to Canada to see Birdie somewhere near Vancouver, I want to see Haystack Rock and that bridge in Oregon called Multnomah Falls.  

5. The Holy Land
 I want to walk where Jesus walked. The sea of Galilee, the town of Bethlehem the river Jordan. It's better in my mind because in reality there are military people everywhere and they've reduced most of the holy sights to tourist traps. And it's crowded.  Our Pastor went 2 years ago and showed us pictures and told us what it was like. My question to our Pastor was how did it smell. I imagined it was a pungent odor with all of the heat and crush of people wedged into tiny spaces. He said Yes sometimes the smell of humanity was a bit much. His favorite spot was the sea of Galilee. I'd like to sit there for a bit and soak it all in.

Maybe someday...
As always Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Saturday, February 4, 2017

On being Inspired

February 4th
Write about someone who inspires you

I'm a terrible writer.
I am.
I sound whiny and self centered even to my own ears.
I go back and read some of my older stuff and I cringe.
"Good Lord Lolly..what were you thinking?"
I doubt myself, I chastise myself, I second guess myself.
Then I hit the Publish  key anyway.
And do you know why? Emily Freeman that's why.
She's kind and gentle and caring.
At least in her writings she is.
I've never met her in real life.
But she inspires me in so many ways.
Her honesty, her way with words, and her deep love for Jesus really speak to me.
She gives me permission to be myself simply by showing me how to follow Jesus more closely.
This post?? Made me almost want to weep.
It's like she knows me.
Her words resonate deep into my soul like a healing balm.
Her posts make me feel included and less alone.
Yes, I know that it seems strange for me to feel included and less alone while writing on a computer miles and miles away from another living soul but it works for me.

My blog has brought me closer to you dear readers too.
Sometimes it's You who make me feel included and less alone.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Friday, February 3, 2017

Pet Peeves

I'm gonna skip day 2's prompt for now mainly because I can't think of anything.
(Feb. 2nd-Write about something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot)
(uh...well, I forgot so...blaming that on this menopause brain of mine)

SO, without further ado....

Day 3-  My top 3 Pet Peeves

1. Arriving late
    I am never late. Or rather I am not the one that causes me, him, us to be late. Ever.
 I would rather arrive early and I am always ready on time or even before. Someone else is never ready early and is always running late and it causes friction. It feels passive/aggressive to me when a body is late to every single event whether it is a wedding or dinner out with friends or going to church. It's taken me the better part of 35 years to not get aggravated at him for ALWAYS BEING LATE and in turn making me late. But it's not just him. It's both of my daughters, and my sister, and my best friend that are chronically late. You'd think I'd be used to it by now but sadly that is not the case. Lately here though I've been trying to find a God moment in their lateness. While I used to fidget and tap my foot and huff and sigh with my coat on and my purse on my shoulder now I am looking around and asking God what does he want me to see or hear or experience whilst I am waiting. Sometimes it's the simple fact of gazing out the window at the birds at the feeder or sitting quietly while petting the dog without the sighing and fretting. It forces me to calm down and take a deep breath and just Be. Still. Calm. Silent.(without the seething)


2. Malicious Gossip
    Don't we all know a person who does this? And isn't it awful and toxic to be around them? It hurts me to hear other people spread rumors and lies about another. What I usually find is that the person spreading or retelling the gossip is exactly like the person they are vilifying. I am a coward though. I clam up and don't defend them or respond in any way. I will try and change the subject but I freeze up when it comes to confrontation so I don't or won't engage in conflict with the gossiper. It feels like I am guilty by association, I know.
I like to use this quote I found when it comes to gossip and or forwarding questionable news.





3. Extrapolating
    I want people to tell it like it is. Plain and simple and straight forward. It irritates me when I hear people retell a story with added adjectives and adverbs to make the story bigger, better, badder.
I think they tell it different because they want the attention of telling a great story, and why that irritates me I have no idea.  I feel cranky and judgmental when I know they have added to the story for dramatic effect. As if the true version of the story wasn't worthy of being told unless there is/was a huge hoopla added.

And there you have. More scintillating reading I am sure. But I do like the discipline of the writing.

As always, Thanks so much for reading my blog.

Love, Lolly



    


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Better late than never

February 2nd
So much for starting my new 30 day writing challenge on time.
It's already day two and I didn't finish day one's prompt.
Not only did I not finish it, I couldn't finish it.
I couldn't find 10 things that make me really happy.
I found 8 things. But not the required 10.
I wracked my brain trying to come up with stuff.
After a while it all started to sound silly and fake and forced.
I found myself wanting to write down anything, just to get to that number 10.
I thought to myself -
"Are you really this unhappy? You can't even find 10 things that make you really happy?"
And that voice in my head started to feel like shame.
Because to tell you the truth I don't feel unhappy. I feel lonely sometimes.
I feel stressed and worried sometimes. But I don't feel like I am unhappy.
But I'll tell you something else...
My attempt at some misguided idea of perfection at finding all ten things
WAS making me unhappy.
For shitssake! Why was I driving myself crazy trying to find all 10??
Who gives a damn if I can only list 6 or 7 or 8??
I had to remind myself that this is a writing challenge, not a contest that I would win.
I still find myself struggling with writers block...still can't find reasons to post much.
For what it's worth though? I think it will help me in the long run if I push through this block.
So here's my list of 8 things that make me really happy-

1. The colors of sunrise- blue. white, gray, orange, yellow, peach, pink, red, lavender, lilac.
2. Riding our Harley- the sights, the sounds, the smells. Two weeks ago on a Saturday it was 55 degrees here in Illinois so him and I took the Harley out for a quick spin. It was glorious.
3. Grandchildren-beautiful, cute, horrid, smelly, wonderful, tiny humans with unconditional love.
4. Monday mornings- a brand new week with endless possibilities.
5. Friday evenings- the chance to unwind from that endless week of possibilities. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do.
6. Reading-  I rate reading right up there with breathing, eating and sleeping. I need it in order to survive. It saves me daily.
7. Spring planting- Love the smell of dirt. Love putting in new plants and watching them thrive.
8. Pinterest- My favorite boards are my color boards. I used to feel guilty for wasting my time pinning pictures but I realize that I use these images as self care. These images make me feel good. Or really happy as the case may be.

So there you have it. Scintillating reading, yes??

Thanks for reading friends,
Love, Lolly