Thursday, April 29, 2010

Having Fun with Friends

I organize a monthly art day, everyone brain storms and I take notes on what they would like to do. We just plan a medium, all get together and bring what we have, share and have fun. Sometimes my boys participate, Phillip usually does, and sometimes they do not. Dallen enjoys art day but he has his own small table, and he will sit with a couple of his other friends and draw, pencil and paper, draw, working on technique, perfecting to his satisfaction etc.

This art day was a really neat day, we did balloon art. Used those bendable, balloon animal, balloons and a few hand pumps and went wild. I had some great pics so I thought I would share the fun and maybe inspire an art day of your own.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Lady

Well it's almost time to say good bye to Lady. Lady is our black lab, we adopted her when she was only 6 months old, when we first moved into our home here in North Carolina upon returning from Germany. Lady has just been the best dog ever. When the boys were little she would lay down and let them use her as a footstool, allowing them to reach things they were otherwise unable. She would snuggle up with them, love on them and allow them to love on here. She would chase any ball to the field and retrieve it as a true retriever would.

As she aged she slowed down a bit, and has never had a hatred of food, LOL. We had to start feeding her in a separate room when we added more dogs to our family, as she would eat her food and nudge other dogs out of the way and eat their food as well. Over the past 5 years she has slowed, not fetching anymore but still walking the field with us, accompanying us out to the chicken coop for those delicious bits of chick feed (and other not to be mentioned goodies). She has been a gem at the vets, as well as the kennel when we went on vacation and generally loved by all.

She has been with our family for 12 years. Our youngest, Phillip, has grown up with Lady, she is 12 1/2 now and he is 13. She is a true "man's best friend". But it is now her time to go, she is just all played out. Over the last week we have watched her decline. A few days ago she could no longer tolerate steps at all, so has been using our living room door to go out and in as there are no steps. She then stopped being able to get up by herself, so we would have to pick up her back end while she lifted the front. Last night she came inside and just lay down on the living room rug, not making the attempt to walk to the bedroom (where all our dogs sleep). So our oldest son Dallen slept in the living room with her, he said he did not want her to be alone at night, since she never has slept alone.

This morning she didn't want her food (very unusual for our food loving dog), she hasn't wanted any water, and she can't get up. She does not seem to be in any pain, just tired. So we take turns snuggling with her and patting her and she still lifts her head to lick your face. Her breathing is getting faster so I don't think she will be with us much longer, we are just enjoying each and every minute of these last days with her.

So even though it is her time right now, even though we new this day was coming as we watched her slow over the years, it is still sad....for all of us, yes even for Jackson who is not a dog lover. Makes me glad that a life philosophy I have, has been to grab each and every moment, just enjoy life as we go along, not to wait for tomorrow, enjoy today.

The first picture above is a picture of the boys when they were much younger, snuggling with Lady on our bed. Jackson has an 8X10 of this picture framed in his office, it is just such a precious picture. The next picture is from this morning, our oldest son Dallen snuggling with Lady on our living room floor.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Gentle Reminder

On our return from vacation this past Friday it was amazing to see how things had changed around our home. So many things are in bloom. It seems like we went from barely green to lush and blooming overnight. Well, it was almost a week (not overnight), but very quickly, inside and out. Jackson is having a little trouble with allergies, but otherwise it is such a lovely time.

Inside the house, my Christmas cactus is blooming. So beautiful...I have had this plant for a few years now, and this is the first time it is blooming, thanks in part to some nice worm tea shared from a friend :-) This plant is so special. My mom had a very large beautiful Christmas cactus in her kitchen, she gave a slip of it to my grandmother, and my grandmother started her own Christmas cactus. My mother than crossed over. So my grandmother still had that plant, started from my mother's. When my grandmother crossed over, my aunt took some of that plant for herself and also shipped some to me.

I didn't know if that little piece would survive. It was sent via the US postal service from Maine to North Carolina. It was in a wet towel but was still was a little beaten and wilted. I planted that little slip and loved it, hoping it would take. It just feels like a little piece of my mom. And it is beautiful. I am so grateful to have it blooming now. When I look at that plant I think of my mom and smile. That Christmas cactus in her kitchen gave her so much joy, I know this will do the same for our family. I guess when one memory moves on, it makes room for more.
And this is my straight out of the camera photo for this week. Originally I had thought it would be one from our vacation but that will have to wait until next Sunday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our Walk to the Park, SOOC

OK I am combining two of my favorite things, walking and enjoying the day with my boys, taking pictures. It was such a beautiful day, this week was FULL of beautiful days. So I suggested we take a walk to the McGalliard Falls Park. The boys were really excited, I think with winter being over we are just all eager to get out and ENJOY the sunshine. We walked by the creek to the waterfall, saw the frog eggs, just enjoyed watching the water, sitting in the sun, climbing on the rocks. And so I think for this week a few of the pics I took at the park are just right for the Straight Out of the Camera challenge. Here are a few from our adventure.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Letters That I'll Never Send

Dear Foolish Me,

I looked up the word foolish and just as I thought: "Lacking or exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgment; silly".
I am glad you are becoming more foolish as you get older. As a child you were the "good girl", always thoughtful, predictable, doing what you were told, finishing what you started, good grades, trustworthy, dependable....Now you are learning to see things through your children's eyes, running in the rain, walking on that log across the creek, dancing in the field watched by the chickens, still somewhat predictable but more free than you have ever been. Learning to mean what you say, and say what you mean, putting your needs right up there with your children's, husband's and friend's. Not taking on more than you WANT to do, and wanting to do everything you take on. Being foolish is a nice trait to have. Sometimes too much forethought and caution hold you back from experiencing everything life has to offer. But you are gaining a nice balance, good job...foolish me, thank you for making an appearance.

Minute Meditation

Oprah is having this Minute Meditation series on her web site, the premise, from what I am reading is that I am learning to relax, feel that peaceful feeling in just one minute and that each week we will learn new techniques so that we can get that same relaxed feeling in less than a minute.

Now I have been meditating for at least 6 days a week for quite a while now, sometimes just a few minutes and sometimes 45 min to an hour. I enjoy meditation. I am not sure how I feel about the minute meditation. On one hand I can see that it would be nice to be able to just breathe and relax, feel that feeling of deep meditation in just a minute. BUT is this a sign of our ever increasing pace. Have we as a society become so rushed that all we have is a minute while waiting in line at the grocery store or stop light. BUT maybe if we can capture those minutes maybe the days would be more peaceful and joyful. I don't know but maybe after the month-long course I will have a few answers. ;-)
Just for today.....

So today I tried the minute meditation. I found that it was hard for one minute to concentrate on my breathing when I was just waiting for that alarm to sound off. The point is to take one minute and only a minute so these sessions are supposed to be timed with a timer, had to find one on the internet...either that or do my meditating in the kitchen. But I generally don't like alarms. It has been years since I have woken up to an alarm. I really enjoy just going with the flow. Get up when my body is ready, or should I say when the dogs bodies are ready, meditate until I feel like stopping. So this alarm was really distracting, even though there was no sound whatsoever until the end of the minute, it was the anticipation of the alarm sound that was distracting. Will change the tone tomorrow to see if that makes any difference.

Now I am off to go outside in my swing chair to meditate in the nice warm sun!!! AHHHH