The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fallen tree at Devil's Tower

In the quiet this morning while I was still half asleep I thought about the "stuff" with my mom.

It seemed to me to be like 
a tree that grew and grew and then fell down
and messed up the garden
just like the trees in the backest part of our back yard
it seemed to me that "forgiving" may be similar to how we chop up those great trees
my husband says he wants to build something from the fallen trees 
he says the wood is "curing"
(and if he does use the wood in time something special may come 
from the tree that a storm blew down)
I have seen fallen trees rotting in the woods on my walks with Sammy
I have poked them with sticks and seen insect infestations
and hollowed out shelters for small forest animals
last winter my husband used the chain saw to cut fire wood from the trunk of one of the trees
several times he built a fire on the root stump and every one enjoyed the heat outside during the cold
the fires inside were the best treats
I cleaned out the ashes several times and used them to nourish the yard
forgiveness may need to be like that
carved out of the great pain in small chunks
used to fuel warmth 
and maybe there will be pieces valuable enough to build something spectacular with
I always regret to see the waste of fallen trees left to rot

Monday, May 27, 2013

Jenni Horne Studios

I am probably too tired tonight to write, and certainly too tired to write about this, but, I think I will give it a shot anyway.

My brother specifically wanted me to come to Texas to help with getting our mother re-situated in her new place.  It's nice, one of those apartment towers specifically designed to house an elderly community.
I don't really think of her as elderly.  Maybe that is the first time I have put that word together with her in my mind.  She is actually a lot younger then I in my mind's eye.  I could probably count the times I've spent with her since I left home for college if I tried to.  I have intentionally limited my time with my mom.  She has been an incredibly poor guest in my home, decided not to like my husband early on, doesn't remember the names of my children well enough to inquire about them when we do talk on the phone.  I used to call her once a week.  Now I "visit" with her maybe once a month.  I listen to her.  That's what our relationship has evolved to.  I feel bad about it, but truth is, it suits us well enough.  She wasn't particularly fond of me when I lived in her home. And ... from early on I figured out that it must have been something wrong with me.  She did help me along to that conclusion by asking me almost constantly, "What is wrong with you."  It was a rhetorical question.  One that was followed up with a litany of every imaginable flaw.  I really thought I was a "bad" kid, a horrible little girl, an awful daughter, and like her, I wondered what she had ever done to deserve me ... because ... I thought she was perfect.
One of the really great things about being her daughter was I really tried to do my best at pretty much everything.  And, I did a wide variety of things rather then zeroing in on a group of interests.  I think I was always looking for something to excel at that might impress her. The only thing I remember consciously choosing to avoid learning how to do that I would have enjoyed trying was tennis.  Tennis was one of Mom's games and she discouraged me from attempting it saying that because I wasn't ambidextrous like her that I would basically suck at it (not her words, ladies certainly don't talk like that).  I probably would have played adequately well.  Later, by time I got to my mid-teens, I basically stopped trying to please her.  That's probably when I started tending to avoid her as much as possible.  She seemed to save up her "un-happy" to dump it on me.  I felt sorry for her by then, but I was angry with her too.  By then I had seen how other mothers parented, and I thought she might have done a bit better by me if she had wanted to.  Around that time I stopped wanting to be more like her and started wanted to be nothing like her.  Now ... forty years later, I think maybe I am finding some peace with our relationship as I accept that there will never really be peace between us.

Peace.  That is why my brother wanted me to come over to help.  I was pretty excited about it.  I thought it could be a time when my help would really be appreciated by Momma.  I really do rock all the homemaker organizational apps.  And, fact is, I learned all that from her.  My husband says I am practically terminally optimistic.  My brother likes that about me, but I think he sees the downside too.

Momma said she didn't want me telling her where to put her stuff.  I never would.  I really don't like to boss people around at all. He told me that before she did. He told me not to get my hopes up too much. He said he told her that she was really very lucky that DeAnn didn't tell her where she could put her stuff.  I never would.  She told me later, after we arrived in Texas.  I said, "Momma, you really don't need to fret about that at all.  I'm not sure who you think I am, but I'm not at all like that, and I never have been.  I'm just here to carry boxes up."  She was angry about that response, but I realized while I was there that no matter what I said it made her angry ... and if I said almost nothing, that made her angry, and if I moved away from provoking statements without responding at all, that made her really angry.  Tommy said he wanted me to spend one last time with her while he was also present.  That's why he wanted me to come over.  He knew from years and years and years of watching the same dynamics at play that I would try very hard to please her and she would be a stinker.  And that is how it went.  He said, "Now, for later, when she is gone, I will remind you of exactly how it went this time."  He said he doesn't want me spending one second after she is gone wondering what one little thing I might have done differently which would have then (miraculously) made the relationship work.  He said, "It is what it is and now it's time for all grown up you to let yourself off the hook with her."  He was nudging me in the ribs at church on Mother's Day.  She was especially hateful towards me before church ... and I put my sermon notes here to remember the day by.  I bet the preacher was wondering why I was stifling laughter during the sermon.  It was because my little brother kept on elbowing me for emphasis.  He thinks I'm going to have to find peace without her collaboration.

I'm busy searching my soul to make certain that I have really forgiven her.  (I am already certain that I love her and I see myself behaving honorably towards her.)  Forgiving ...  is taking some work. I would rather avoid thinking about it.  And, I'm really trying to celebrate the good things that I learned from being her daughter, and there are a lot of them.
I recently noticed that one of my "drivers" in life has been to not be anything like her...
That's what I was talking about the other day when I wrote spend your energy focusing on what you do want rather then what you don't want.  It's kinda a no-brainer!  Be headed towards something rather then away from something.

I think it's smart to know what you want and head towards that as best you can ... that's my advice to myself.

Memorial Day

for as far as the eye may see

Only the dead have seen the end of war."

"Life is eternal;
 and love is immortal; 
and death is only a horizon; 
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."
Rossiter W.Raymond

"The best road to progress is freedom's road." 
-John F. Kennedy

as seen earlier this morning when out and about
not my house, but I think it looks super cute all dressed up for Memorial Day
love the contrail because that airplane flew over this happening every where today

Downtown ... where Sammy and I walk.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A few Sunday night thankfuls

always a good place to be ...

a celebration ... and the cutest cake ever (erased name and number)
absolutely amazed that my girls can and do create this kind of special

hanging out with "thank you note writing" in the backyard
just a simple pleasure

Thursday, May 23, 2013

seen here

I am certain that there is a better way to say this, but I don't have time to think about it before I  type out this very fast note:

I think it may have saved me a lot, bunches and bunches, a ton, of every type of energy in my life had I known, or focused to learn, who/how/what (and all the others) I wanted, and wanted to be, rather then the other ... who not, how not, what not.

Spend your life on that.

Monday, May 20, 2013

side tables, I didn't resist

I am doing something that I can't remember ever doing before ... stacking up furniture projects!  Purchased these two tables (to use as end tables in our bedroom), yesterday.  I've been looking at them, and thinking about them for a month now.  Surprised they were both still available.  They are similar in size and color, very different in someways.  I think they are interesting together ... the bedside lamps will be an exact pair.
Table number one is sturdy, needs only a good sanding and a fresh finish, uh almost only...the top book matched veneer is popping loose at the middle seam and there is a wound about the size of my little finger which I will repair by turquoise inlay.
Table number two is just a bit wobbly.  All of her leg joints need to be re-worked.  After that I think a good wiping of Murphy's Oil Soap and a couple coats of tung oil and she will be good to go.

There is a chest of drawers, untouched thus far, waiting in the garage, and a little chair, practically completely restored, resting in the corner.  L is going to cut a new seat out of plywood and I will upholster and attach it over the cane bottom.  I also intent to replace one of the braces between the front legs with a dowel sheathed in copper tubing.  That chair is going to be pretty funky (hopefully in a good way).

Between my little job, and my regular home-maker type duties, I feel like I'm running a bit behind on things.  And I need a flight review pretty soon ... and someone wants me to work with them on their performance landings which I really want to do!  And those kitties need to go in for their first set of shots ... and this is the last week of school for my girls ... and the flowerbeds are looking pretty rough ... .  And I need a couple of days to just catch up on girl stuff (socializing).  Breakfast dishes for now though ... then off to work.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

~ Theodore Roosevelt

This quote with the Ted Talk given by Brené Brown (author of Daring Greatly)
with Rusty's talk to the graduating Seniors tonight ... he mentioned sky diving and Peter walking on water (and faltering ... and that the other guys on the boat watched, spectated)
with idea of fear/vulnerability, and with the idea of living who you really are.

"We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection." ~Brené Brown

I'm trying to think about being courageous/strong in general and in specific relationships as well. I've been hearing a lot of talks this past few days where the speaker referenced the Roosevelt quote.  It has captured my attention.  Well, and, it's been a favorite quote for some time now.  I'm thinking about vulnerability packaged with courage.

Today my brother sent a picture of the a woman who he was told was our grandmother, Daddy's mother.  It was the first time I had seen her.  Tommy said, "I found your nose, you got it from her."  I had the opportunity to sit with my niece, his daughter, recently.  I said to her, "You have the same nose as I do.  Thank you for helping me not be the only person I know with this nose." (Not that it's not a perfectly okay nose. I like it well enough.)  She laughed.  It is a little strange to observe similarities, connections, with people you don't really know well.  
Being back in Texas last week felt really good.  I think I have read, but not understood the idea of a sense of place.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

15 hours @ +/- 80 mph

Still in Texas, we'd already been driving for 6 hours when this was taken

Wild flowers were blooming everywhere we looked in Texas

The I20 route doesn't have much to see/do along the way.
Crossing the Mississippi is the highlight for me.
I remembered the boat ride along here.  Fun times.

Downtown Vicksburg, a Main Street community.
Someone has poured a bucket full of $$$ in to developing it very nicely
... I saw two tourists, a lot of street people, and not one cop.
Beautiful as it was, drove on.

Entering Alabama
Started the day in low OVC ... finished with little puff balls.

my little brother

Me (in my best "Polly Pruebred" voice)  "My Heros!"  Y'all are such rockstars!
Husband (matter-of-factly)  Your brother is the rockstar, all I am doing is handing him the bolts.
Brother (poking his head out and smiling at his brother-in-law) "If it'll make you feel any worse, just because it fit doesn't mean it was the right one."

They laughed.  I went inside to check the beer box.

This is a picture of my brother spending his vacation with my son's car up on jacks in his driveway because his garage was full of our mother's belongings which he had placed there because her new place wasn't ready on the day of the big move.  He really is that awesome.

Mom and the car are both back in their designated spots!  Mission accomplished!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Things I picked up from the ground today

perfect little bright red lady bug

found right there ... I thought it was a glass bead

2 cents worth would have been enough
... thinking about that today.
$.04 found in the middle of the street as I crossed to get in to my car.

Sermon notes made while visiting my brother's church:  Mother's Day, Honoring Mom"To honor "Mom" means:

  •  to love her unconditionally.
not subject to a condition
  • to extend grace and forgiveness as God has extended to you and me.
(You hurt me, but I still forgive you. God knows exactly how my heart has hurt ... Extend the grace that God extends to me ... Who am I to withhold forgiveness and grace?  If I want that, why wouldn't I extend it?) when you forgive you let go of the bitter...the bitter makes you miserable ... Punish/ dismiss/disown or, love them; don't love for what they do, love for who they are. 

  • to live in peace with Mom as much as I can.
Don't just pretend to love others (hear Mom)...that's fake. Really love them (v 10) genuine affection (v 11) never be lazy (in your relationships)... Work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you .. Pray that God will bless them, don't curse them ...  forgive them and hope they encounter GOD."

(Romans 12:17-19) "Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

Romans 12:9-21

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction,faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

sermon notes and the actual text the pastor pulled from found above ...