August Writing Prompts – The 2nd of August

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Michelle at Putting My Feet In The Dirt has wonderful prompts for each day of August. Today’s prompt is delights and deliciousness.

 

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Fandango’s  Dog Days of August where today’s word is blog.   Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is pizzazz. 

I envy people who are multi-talented. (Not envy in a bad way.) There are many bloggers who are much more than just amazingly great writers who delight us daily with their pizzazz and talents. There are bloggers with great knowledge about flowers, music, photography, cooking, and all sorts of info beyond my reach. I can, and do, spend many hours reading blogs that enlighten me and make me feel connected to the authors.

After reading about and listening to music on blogs I am often uplifted out of a funk, into joy and happiness. I adore finding new (to me) artists. As I listen to my iPod in my car, Sirius at home, and CDs when I can, I rarely hear anything from the last decade or more. Blogs have expanded my music range.

When I see all the wonderful photography, I can’t wait to feel safe enough to take my camera to a camera store to get it fixed. I have my phone of course, but it’s not the same.

When bloggers share their flowers and gardens, I am able to enter their world and enjoy it with them. Knowing that they can see and feel the gifts of nature, makes me also enjoy my little gardening spots.

When I see and read about the great foods, bloggers make it makes me want to share in the deliciousness of the cuisine. This shelter in place has meant I am making more meals than ever. I am often prompted to try something new because of a spark initiated by a blogger. On the hot days we are having now the simpler the better. I am back to sandwiches for lunches and that is OK with me.

Blogging is such a positive community with much to learn and enjoy. I am so glad I am a member of this tribe.

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JusJoJan – Goals And Intentions for Jan. 5 – A Day Late

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Faye Therborne gifted Linda with this prompt. It is fitting and welcome this time of year. As suggested, I went and read Faye’s post. It was lovely. I am always eager to find new blogs to read. 

I do not write resolutions. I haven’t done so in many years. I do like to set intentions as an ongoing system of growth. I start new things all the time, not just in January.  I re-evaluate what is and is not working for me.

Linda talks about procrastination. I am a genius at procrastinating. I can make up dozens of reasons why I should or should not do something that I planned on doing. It is not that I do nothing, I just do things while skipping others.

I realized recently that I am on intention overload. I intend on doing my daily meditation, my journaling, my gratitude list, my writing, my blogging, my prayers, my search for new programs, my search for ways to reduce stress, my ways to reduce pain,  my personal growth, my Judaic spiritual growth, my meal planning, my exercising, my grounding, my cleaning, my sewing, my decluttering, my Udemy classes, my reading, my commitment to sending snail mail, my need for better relationships, etc., etc.

I want to do everything. I want to continue to grow in so many areas. I have more emails daily than any normal person can read and digest. I often hesitate to delete some that I know will give me a needed push in one area or another.

So, after the grandkids left today, I went through the 288 new emails added since two days ago. I sorted some necessary ones into folders. I deleted any that asked me to buy something. I perused ones that had meaning. I enjoyed ones that led me places of knowledge.

I am working on making better choices with my time. I need to be much more selective. I do love it when something unexpected speaks to me. Tonight, it was a newsletter from Rabbi Jill Zimmerman. Multiple parts of her blog were awe inspiring. Her entire newsletter is here. 

What I needed to see and hear today was her guided meditation on self-compassion. Instead of saving the post I allowed myself to not procrastinate and just enjoy the wonderful guided meditation.

She wrote:

Lovingkindness (chesed) Meditation for self-compassion & healing. Chesed is the Hebrew word for lovingkindness. The “high priests” in Jewish tradition bless the community with well-being. In this meditation, we bless ourselves, we receive and give blessings: May I feel safe, May I feel content, May I feel strong, May I feel worthy.

Lovingkindness (Chesed) Practice For Self by Rabbi Jill Zimmerman

I am grateful for the multitude of options before me.

Check the following link to see what the JusJoJan is all about.  https://lindaghill.com/2020/01/05/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-5th-2020/

 

 

Practicing Gratitude – Last Night of Hanukkah – A Day of 10 on My Joy Scale

I am responsible for my own happiness. I am responsible to find joy in the face of sadness. I am responsible for stretching my comfort zone. I am now realizing how much I need to review my options in order to find peace. When someone wants to make you join in their anger and sadness you need to evaluate whether or not that is a decision that is good for you. I don’t want to accept anyone else’s foul mood.

I have been in a great deal of pain lately. I am doing what I can to lower my pain levels. I know that I need to jump on any opportunity to expand my world when the pain subsides. I contacted my daughter this morning to see if she is feeling better. She told me she was. I did a quick analysis of my pain levels to decide if I felt I could make the long drive to her house by myself.

I am not a freeway driver. It is a 1 on my level of joy. However, seeing my grandkids is a 10 on my joy scale. I knew the joy in sharing family time was more important than my discomfort in freeway time.  I drove to get a few last gift cards I wanted to add to the homemade presents I made the kids.

I bought them each a new pillow. Then I made them personalized pillowcases and a throw pillow to match. I also made them a rice filled neck warmer bag and a bowl cozy. Each child had a specific theme or color scheme that I felt appropriate for them. I purchased a new bath towel for each of them. I added different Zs to further personalize their gifts. I realize these are far more practical than fun gifts. I wanted to make memories for this Hanukkah, and this is how I decided to do so.

I added candy canes, a box of special treats, a See’s lollipop, two gift cards, and a small item for each child. I still remember what it is like to be a kid. Whatever they may have felt about my choices, they respectfully thanked me and started consuming the candy ASAP. The older ones started discussing what they might purchase. I will take the day as a win. I am grateful for their presence in my life. I love all my grandchildren dearly.

My daughter and I looked over the task she still has to unpack her garage. She is feeling overwhelmed. It is difficult to downsize your home. I pointed out how much she has accomplished and offered a few suggestions as to how to complete the task. She seemed a little less stressed after our discussion.

I left her house in the hopes of making it home before dark. My night vision is not the best and safety is very important to me. Thank goodness for Google maps. I made it home with a few minutes to spare before total darkness. I was able to light my Hanukkah candles. I am grateful for an exhausting love filled day.

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From my daughter tonight, “I asked Zakai if he liked his “practical handmade gifts” and he said what does practical mean…I said things you can use but may not have asked for….he said oh no….these are great gifts and I would totally ask for them! 😄❤️ He said he especially loves how you made his towel! Now we are heading out to the store so he can use his bowl cozy for ice cream!”

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I have so much to be grateful for. I will not allow others to take away my joy.

Practicing Gratitude – SoCS – Dress

 

 

Linda Hill’s stream of consciousness makes my Saturday blog different than my norm. 

We have a new badge iven to us by Quaint Revival.    I have not been following Linda long enough to know that she had a contest to find a new badge. This picture, like the past, is lovely and peaceful.                 

 

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dress.” Use it any way you want.  Have fun!

As is my usual goal I attempt to join my blog topic with her parameters.

Two things immediately popped in to my head on this topic. One was my physical address. And the other was the blue velvet dress I wore to the winter formal in high school. 

I have been thinking a great deal about working toward my dream of a new address. I have only lived in two houses in my adult life. My first home address was when I was 20 years old. I was married with two children. It was a 900 square foot “starter” home. We lived there for 12 years. The address meant not just home ownership, but safety to me. My home address meant that I was providing for my children.  It was freeing in many ways. Not renting an apartment meant I had made it. Everyone else be damned. I was living the dream. My house, my rules, my life and no one could take that away from me.

The second home, where I currently reside, has been my address for thirty-three years.  I have lived here through a divorce, alone time, and remarriage. I have had this address for most of my teaching carreer. It has been both a safe haven and a place of complete chaos. It is filled with memories and my heart. It has been filled with material things that I have been releasing for quite some time. I began my retirement at this address. It has lived through remodeling of its structure as well as the remodeling of my spirit. Now, I am seeking a new address. Hopefully it will be close to the beach.   

The other dress that had a great deal of meaning to me was a blue velvet floor length evening gown. My junior year of high school I was invited to the winter formal from my then fiance. I was so thin, nothing fit in the few stores nearby. (What a memory) Money was also an issue as I was responsible for paying for all my own clothing. I had limited funds from working at Mickey D’s. A friend’s mom graciously offered to make me a dress for free if I bought the fabric. I went on a hunt for the perfect pattern, fabric, and notions.I found some lovely blue velvet material on clearance at a discount store. The feel of it made me swoon. After multiple fittings to keep taking in the dress, I had the perfect formal. I had never owned such a glorious extravagance. I literally cried when we went to the dance and I was not the “poor” kid with less than everyone else. 

The dress lived on to give me even more pleasure. I wore it on Christmas a year later when my then husband and I went to his parents house. I was eight months pregnant and the dress was forgiving enough to still wear. My gown was the the most beautiful thing I ever owned and I was grateful to wear it again. I was overdressed for the gathering and I didn’t care. 

The dress lived on for another year. The next December my baby girl was almost a year old. I wanted to have pictures taken of her first Christmas. I splurged and went to Sears for what I considered “professional” pictures. I am pretty sure the multiple print package was less than ten dollars, and it was a huge splurge for me. I cut up my blue velvet dress and made an adorable outfit for my baby. Some of the fabric was used to make a teddy bear for my daughter for Christmas. I remember working with velvet was not easy.

I was so very happy the dress had multiple lives.  Somewhere I have pictures of the three occasions. Wow, I am grateful for the tears of joy that blue velvet dress gave me.

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Check out the rules here. Then check the comments to read all the other SoCS posts for today.

Practicing Gratitude -Dreams, Dreams, Dreams – October 25

For the last few days the topic of dreams has been on my mind. Dreams from my sleep and dreams from my heart and dreams from my past have all been spinning in my brain. The topic of dreams has been presenting itself in many forms. Today Maryann , a wonderful woman I follow, had her Friday Facebook Live, talk about doing what you need to do to reach your dreams. I felt like she was talking directly to me.

I have been thinking about dreams I have had in my life. I peeked in the heart of my inner child to see to see what her dreams were. I looked at the simple concrete things that I thought would bring happiness to me. Many things did bring me peace. Many were as fleeting as butterfly on a windy day.   

My four-year-old self dreamed of living in a place without violence. I have that now. It has been present for more of my life than not. I am grateful for a calm house.   

When I was in elementary school, I dreamed of owning two pairs of shoes that fit. Later, I had dreams of owning shoes that matched clothes. I felt I had reached my dreams when I was going to college and I owned five pairs of shoes. My reality now is that I own just two pairs of special shoes that are good for my plantar fasciitis.  I am grateful that they enable me to walk without pain.   

When I was in high school I dreamed of going to college. I would be the first in the family to start college as my older brother went in to the army after high school. After graduatung early at seventeen, I started classes at the local junior college. It was a long winding path through marriage, two children, and responsibilities of a very young mother, but I finally made it. Even though I was the third to finish, it did not take away from my joy at reaching my dream. I was grateful because I knew I would always be able to take care of myself and my daughters no matter what. I realized that was the bigger dream.   

I always dreamed of owning a house. When my second daughter was 3 months old, we purchased a referbished repo with 900 square feet. I felt life couldn’t get much better. I was so grateful to be in my own home at twenty years old. I knew I reached a dream that many others also wanted. It didn’t matter the size or location at the time. It just mattered that I was living one of my dreams.   

I dreamed of teaching since I was in second grade. School meant safety and consistency. I was an aide in elementary school and in high school. I tutored whenever I could.  I worked as a teacher in a private school while I finished my credential program. All the while, I knew I was working toward my dream. When I accepted my first public school position I was walking on air. I was so grateful to be able to have the career I had worked for, for so long.  I was grateful for 35 years that I enjoyed going to work each day. (Sans the days with political crap I had to deal with.) I lived the dream I wanted for so much of my life.   

I can’t say I dreamed of retirement. I wanted it. I worked for it. I was eager to be able to experience free time. I was grateful when I reached the gold ring. I had plans for ways to spend my days. I prepared for hours and hours of activities to do that I enjoy.   

Then came the Seasons of Surrender retreat. We were each asked to share a dream we had. The first thought that came to me was to live at the beach. The very next thought was much stronger. It was the fact that I could never afford a place at the beach.  At the retreat, we did some exercises on identifying our dreams and finding paths to reach them. It was like a shot of reality as I asked myself why do I think I can never reach my dreams? Why do I think I don’t deserve to reach my dreams? Can I really catch the golden ring? 

The wonderful activity we did was to have the participants come up with ways to make the dream come true. I was in awe of how many ideas I had never thought of. I was grateful for feeling there actually might be a possibility of reaching my dream. Unlike other dreams I have had, I did not believe this one was possible. I am opening up heart to the possibility of reaching this dream of dreams.

I am grateful that I have a dream to work toward. Tomorrow after visiting the grandkids, we are taking a trip to the beach. We are going on an expedition. I want to dip my toes in the sea of possibility, literally and figuratively. 

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