Saturday, November 26, 2011

Season of Gratitude: Cheerleaders

Well, I don’t really mean that kind of cheerleader, but kind of.
(Alexis! Call me!!)

Joyce Landorf Heatherley calls them Balcony People. “They use their words to affirm and assure you of their love for you, their confidence in you, and their belief in you as a person of value.”

If recall the story in Joyce’s book Balcony People correctly, she describes a practice in ancient Rome (or Greece?) where sick people undergoing treatment were encouraged by beautiful girls shouting down from balconies.


Keep going! You can do it! I believe in you! You’re doing great!

Balcony People believe in you. Even better, they believe in the you that’s the best one. Sometimes that’s the one you don’t glimpse very often.

Balcony People perform miracles. When you see yourself reflected in their eyes, your reflection stands a little taller, is a little more polished, somehow more believable, and has it more together. They soothe you when you feel like you’re so far behind you’ll never catch up. When you see yourself through their eyes, you think “well, if they believe it, maybe I am pretty special!”

Today I’m grateful for my friends … my cheerleaders … my Balcony People :o)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Season of Gratitude: LieutenantDan

Let me introduce you to Lieutenant Dan.

He cooks! He grills!

He wears ranch shoes ...

He drives a truck ...

He practices Zero Minus One ...

He loves Texas ...

He loves his kids ...

He loves his dogs ...

He loves vacation ...

He loves America ...

He is super nice to foreigners and senior citizens (and he misses his Uncle Roy terribly) ...

He’s an MK (Missionary’s Kid) ...

He's an IT guy, but what he loves most is driving the tractor and working on the ranch ...

When he decides he’s going to do something, it’s as good as done ...

He's irreverant unconventional ...

This is his hero ...

Now that our children are approaching the age when they can begin thinking …. and I mean thinking--- no more! - about marriage, it scares me how much we thought we knew back in 1988, when actually, we didn’t know squat.

We’ve been married 23 years. That blows my mind.

In some ways it seems forever - in some ways it seems like we were driving away from the church just hours ago.

We’ve both changed ... and not changed. Who we are is different ... but the essence of us is the same.

The solitary thing that makes all the difference is that Lt.Dan and I both love the Prince of Peace. And when that's true, you know where the other person is trying to go. Even though you can't predict who someone will become ... you know their template for who they’re striving to be.

Every single day I’m thankful for Lt.Dan … he makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he’s still a great date. He's most definitely my best friend. And for me, he’ll always be the best man in the room.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Season of Gratitude: Getting Away and Sharing Dreams

Ah, weekend.

Don't rush off. Please don't go.

We've reached that place in the family timeline that everyone tells you will come but you don't believe it when you're up to your ears in diapers and toy strewn rooms: our kids are all over 10 and we have an 18 year old.

Do you know what this means???

We can leave them home and go on dates! We can even ... on occasion ... stay out ALL NIGHT !

It's awesome. Hold on. You'll make it, too :o) But don't rush ... it goes by so very fast. That 'blink and they're grown' thing? It's TRUE. But that's a post for another day.

As I was saying .... ALL NIGHT!

After 58 years of being Mommy ... okay, yes, that's collective. For affect.

Anyhoo, after 58 years of being Mommy, being away from the kids is like an out of body experience.

I checked in to the Marriott early. And had two lovely do-nothing hours of absolute quiet. I love hotels. There's nothing to clean. No projects to tackle. Like I said, out of body experience.

Me and the Mr. went to see Immortals at our favorite dinner-and-a-movie theater.

The movie was visually spectacular, and I enjoyed the Greek mythology revisited.

We slept late. Lingered over coffee. And I let the cat out of the bag about my blog. I was nervous. He was excited. Yay!

We went for a yummy breakfast at Paradise Bakery.

Then it was home for a work day at the JustB. We regularly lure our brother and sister-in-law to come out on weekends with promises of barbecue and such ... and then we make them work. Sometimes they bring the food and work. They're awesome. This time, though, lucky for them the tractor was out of diesel and all we could really do was move some lumber.

Because of the great lack of work to do at the JustB (ha!), we went to their property. It's nine minutes away. Far better than the 45 minutes to their city house that will be sold very soon please-oh-please so they can build a country house nine minutes away from us.

We sat on the gently sloping hill

and listened to the grass rustle

and watched the sky

and dreamed about about their dream-house.

Today, I'm thankful for weekends. The get-away with your sweetie kind. The share-your-dreams kind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Season of Gratitude: The Treeline

This is the JustB Treeline.

Cottonwood trees. Whispering leaves. Birdsong. Sunshine.

The quality of my video doesn't come close to doing it justice. But turn your sound on and click play ...

wish you were here to be thankful with me :o)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Season of Gratitude: Before and Afters

Our front porch is one of my favorite places in the world.

It’s great for sitting. Or sittin’ – depending on the mood.

Our dear friends Kathy and Billy gifted us with mad money Home Depot shopping cards as a house warming gift. They didn’t tell us we had to buy porch furniture, but we've spent such lovely times with them on their front porch, we couldn’t think of using their gift for anything else.

I love these rocking chairs.

They rock.

But my favorite chair comes from before. Before the black furniture. It sticks out like a sore thumb. You can see it up there in the first picture ... not playing well with others.

But I love it. You can pull out the foot rest and recline ala Cleopatra. Or adjust the back for a better view of the stars. It's the wrong color, but it’s awesome.

Alas, my husband hates this chair. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Did I mention that?

I’ve been inspired by ThriftyDecorChick and her can-do spray painting fun (no pun intended ;o). And I've been eyeing that spray paint that says it bonds to plastic ...

Plastic? Really? The paint won't shred off? Can you paint plastic and it look good??

The instructions on the paint can say to agonize over painting for a minimum of four months, and greatly fear that you are sacrificing your most favorite chair ever to a project doomed to fail. Spray paint and plastic? Are you CRAZY? I'm kidding. The instructions say to prepare the surface. Which I did, by swatting at it with an old dishrag. And licking my finger to rub off a coffee stain.

Then I got right down to painting. Because precision is definitely NOT my middle name. Neither is patience. Once I get over the fear, that is.

My husband taught me to spray in short bursts. Like “Psssst! Pssst! Pssst!” As opposed to “pssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssst!” as I was wont to do. When when you spray in short bursts and use even, smooth strokes, you are far less likely to get drips or globs. When I listen to my husband, things always turn out better. Don't ask me how I know that.

I thought the paint color was BLACK, but it is really grey. With little sparkly flecks. Like a car. Which is nice, because if my husband’s truck ever needs some body work, I can take care of it with my left over paint, applied in short "pssssst! psssst!" bursts.

I painted two coats, which only used up one can. It was EASY. And QUICK - 45 minutes or less from the time I made the first "psssst!" to when I was dragging it back to the front porch IN TRIUMPH! The spray paint covered extremely well - you wouldn't know it was a spray painted chair. Except maybe for the color, because would you really paint a lawn chair metallic shiney grey just like your husband's truck on purpose?

One of these days I’ll track down some plain black paint. But for now … whatever … my chair fits in better and is no longer in danger of being banished.

This is probably the lamest DIY before and after post EVER ... no, I did not transform a room from hospital sterile to sunny beach cottage using only items from Goodwill and Aunt Flo's attic. Yes, I spray painted a chair ... but if someone had told me that you really could paint a plastic lawn chair a completely different color and it would really look good ... it wouldn't have taken me so long to work up the courage to whip out the paint can. Even if it's not exactly the right color :o) If your plastic lawn chairs are looking drab or not fitting in, there is hope - just grab a can of spray paint that claims it bonds to plastic. It works!

Today I’m thankful for my favorite chair, transformed by a Before and After project. Ruby's thankful, too.

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick's November Before and After Party!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Season of Gratitude: Happy Hour

I remember being perplexed by Happy Hour as a kid. Were you not supposed to be happy except between the hours of 4pm and 7pm? And what exactly made “happy hour” happy”?

Tonight I met my husband and my brother&sister-in-law at Gordon Biersch for Happy Hour. Let me just tell you, it’s not drinks that compel me, it’s the garlic fries. They would make a vampire blow his diet. So it's the garlic fries. And the company, of course.

I'm a stay-at-home Mom, and we live in the country, so going into the city is a fun change of pace.

Did you ever watch the show "Dallas"? they were always going "into the city", dressing snazzy, driving their convertibles on freeways that strangely had no traffic ...

... anyway ...

Today I'm thankful for Happy Hour.

But not that kind of Happy Hour. I don't remember where I read about this concept - it's certainly not original to me. Anyway, the idea is to pre-determine moments in your day when you’ll be happy.

So in the morning, I tell myself, "I'll be happy today when I see the pumpkins on the front porch.”

Zing! happy.

or, "I'll be happy today when I see my morning glories (that survived the dogs ... and the horse ... and the hottest, driest summer in years)."

Zing! happy.

or, "I'll be happy today when company comes to the door."

Zing! happy.

Most of the time my list includes things like hearing my children laugh, or seeing my husband drive up in his truck, or hearing my dad come into the kitchen. I make a list in the morning, telling myself when I'll be happy and it sets up little pockets of happy all day long … happy hours, you see.

So, here’s to happy hour. I’m thankful for it today :o)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Season of Gratitude: Daily Walks

I decided on my birthday this year that this would be The Year of Gratitude.

I want to practice being grateful. Every day. With intent. I'm utterly convinced that considering what you have to be grateful for changes your outlook on life (thank you, Sarah Ban Breathnach). I have an abundance of good to be grateful for. Actually, I have an abundance of awesome. I want to be grateful for it ... I better get started :o)

Last year, one of my friends posted something she was thankful for every day from November 1st until Thanksgiving. When I tried it, I found that it made the season far more significant. Last year I used my facebook page to post my “thankfuls” ... this year I’ll use my blog … which will give me practice at blogging and a ready daily subject. Multi-tasking!

I’m thankful I have the time to take a walk most mornings. I’m most especially thankful I have a wonderful place to walk.

Welcome to the JustB ...

I love the dogs trotting along with me,

my favorite towering cottonwood,

seeing Sioux and her renegade friend from across the fence,

fields washed in sunshine,

cheery wild flowers,

peeks down into the creek,

and wildlife ... I'm so glad I didn't walk right into this:

Today, I’m thankful for the newly acquired habit of walking in the morning.

I walked four days a week for the past three weeks … it’s just a 20 minute quick-walk, but I am so grateful I can do it. I mean I'm thankful I can walk. I’m thankful for my beating heart, my breathing lungs, my pumping arms and my walking legs ... and that using them makes me feel good. Who’da thought?