The developmentally delayed amaryllis bulb that I described here in the 2nd entry under this goal, way back in January of 2010, finally has a flower bud sprouting. A month or two ago, when some new leaves sprouted after its winter resting period, I wondered to myself why I was even bothering to continue to water it. What a nice surprise to discover today – I’m so excited!
image via wikimedia commons
I found some sweet “Turkish Delights” (aka lokum) to help you celebrate both your day and your up-coming trip, and I hope that both turn out to be amazing! And may all your journeys during this new year of your life, whether you’re merely travelling the circumference of your own bedroom or circling the entire globe, help you to discover your true passions, to grow in courage, to practice taking good care of yourself to improve and maintain your health, to give and receive love, and to know inner peace whatever your outer circumstances may be.
Happy travels, and many happy returns!
image via wikimedia commons
“If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God’s power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”
- Ellis Peters
|Thu.||:||Y||:||1 – very slow going today…remember: CALM RESOLVE!|
Between more baking soda, and oven cleaner, and sandpaper, and a wire scrubbing pad, and lots of elbow grease, I managed to remove most of the stuff from the pan’s inside and get down to a mostly smooth and clean bare metal cooking surface.
Since then we’ve been using the pan, carefully, and it seems to have gotten back to normal. We never did bake the pan in the oven with an oil coating as recommended to season it, but I did read that just using the pan will help to season it, and that seems to be what has happened. I made a frittata for myself this morning for breakfast, and it didn’t stick at all. The inside is back to the normal black color, too. I think I’m going to mark this goal as “DONE” for now.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I took the pan off the burner after my frittata was finished, but I absent-mindedly left the gas flame on for awhile. At least I discovered it before anything was burned or too much gas was wasted, but that’s the 2nd time this week that I’ve done that. Maybe writing about it here will help me be more mindful next time.
Wishes for a day full of fun and peace for you and your family and friends, and a shower of birthday blessings on y’all. And I found a jubilation gardenia plant to add beauty and a sweet fragrance to your year of JUBILEE.
We share a kinship of learning to live in God’s exquisite, miraculous sufficiency through the post-divorce rebuilding process here on 43 Things. I’m glad you’re back here.
Happy Birthday, Doris, and Many Happy Returns!
Artist: Simon Kozhin; Watercolor: Connemara mountains, Ireland; image via wikimedia commons
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.
- from The Shield, a prayer attributed to St. Patrick
|DAY||:||Y/N||:||DONE (or excuses)|
|Tue.||:||Y||:||0 – sigh…promised a friend I would help her & it took more time than I bargained for. Truth be told though, I wasted the morning…|
|Wed.||:||Y||:||1 – same friend needed more help, although it was late in the day, & once again, I put off getting started in the morning…|
|Thu.||:||Y||:||2 – did get an earlier start, although again a project this pm took more time than I bargained for…|
|Fri.||:||Y||:||2 – no excuses...|
|Sat.||:||Y||:||2 – no excuses...|
I didn’t know it was National Procrastination Week (2nd week of March) until a friend told me about it this afternoon. She said that when she heard about it, she thought of me. She hoped I wouldn’t be offended. Sigh…
Disappointed probably describes what I feel, rather than offended. I have talked about my difficulties in sticking with my goals in the hopes of getting support, but I find that the first impulse of most friends is to want to come over and “help” me and make decisions for me.
This afternoon, checking out some links that came up via “National Procrastination Week”, I came across an article called Winning the War Against Procrastination”. It does seem like a war to me, in fact, in my case, it’s a quagmire. One section in the article really struck a chord with me. The section heading was “laziness or loneliness?”, and it gave the example of a woman who was trying to complete her dissertation, and who was helped by someone who phoned her every morning and “asked her questions such as, ‘Are you at your desk? What are you going to do next? What will you do when that’s finished?’”
Maybe I’ll talk to my friend and ask her if she provide this kind of help for me, or knows of someone else that could.
My friend sent some pictures of him today. Actually, the pictures are a couple weeks old, I think. He’s grown since then.
And, I’ll see Arnie again this weekend, since I’m petsitting for my friend.
I’m following the new web site instructions, and so far, so good. The new kitty is finally coming out of her safe place (a cardboard carton lying on its side in the tub) to eat in my presence. I put a bit of food in her little bowl, make the “food noise,” and then sit in a chair by the tub watching and talking and singing to her while she’s eating. We’ve repeated that a number of times over the past few days.
At least I’m guessing it’s a “her” – so far I haven’t got close enough to look. Lately she doesn’t run right back into her safe place after she eats. She usually sits for a little while and looks at me, and just in the last two days she’s been purring after she eats. I moved her food bowl just a little further away from her safe place today, and moved my chair just a little bit closer.
We’re taking it baby step by baby step.
I’m thinking of calling her Ashley, because of her grey fur. The last two grey/white kittens have been female, but even if she turns out to be a he, he can still be Ashley (as in “Gone With The Wind”).
...but just wild enough to feel like a real adventure. Yesterday, I discovered a new (to me) hiking trail tucked along a creek. It was a perfect day for hiking, too – bright and sunny and cool. The creek was low enough to cross safely and the trails were dry and not overgrown with kudzu. What a nice surprise!
Bradford pear trees are blooming here by the first weekend in March, as expected (image wikimedia commons).
“March is the month of expectation,
The things we do not know,
The Persons of Prognostication
Are coming now.
We try to sham becoming firmness,
But pompous joy
Betrays us, as his first betrothal
Betrays a boy.”
- Emily Dickinson, XLVIII
|Tue.||:||N||:||(On a whim I went for a hike)|
|Wed.||:||N||:||(I had 3 things on my calendar which I did, then ran out of energy)|
|Sat.||:||N||:||(a slow start, funerals & petsitting expanded to fill the day)|
This one is Arnie’s age (and possibly related – looks like him except s/he’s grey/white instead of orange/white), so s/he’s past the kitten stage and sort of at the teenage cat stage, and I’ve had him/her for almost a week now. I had to do some more research, and I’m trying the advice from this site, which recommends that I focus on these things while following her methods:
- One: Trust. I must show the cat that I can be trusted.
- Two: Goodness. I want the cat to learn that good things happen when I am around.
- Three: Pace: Too fast and the cat is nervous. Just right and the cat actually enjoys the process. There is no “too slow”.
She warns, “Although my end goal is to get close to the cat and be able to touch it, the more I focus on that the worse my results will be.”
Sigh…What was I thinking?
There’s an interesting series on Lent at Huffington Post, and I found this article by Fr. Richard Rohr to be particularly thought-provoking today. Here’s an excerpt:
A transformed self engenders life from within, pulls life from without, and channels life in outer directions—without “trying.” The essential religious question is always this: “You must get your WHO right!” Who is the subject here? Who is doing the acting, the loving, the motivating, the repenting? Is “little ol’ me” doing this or not doing this? All mature religion is somehow talking about finding your God self, your Christ self, your Buddha self, your Sufi dance. And when it happens, you know it was not a “change” after all, but a wondrous discovery and constant rediscovery of what was always true anyway….It is a dying of the self that we thought we were, but it is the only self that we knew until then. It will indeed be a “revolution of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23). Heart and body will soon follow. This is the real “try harder” that applies to Lent, and its ultimate irony is that it is not a trying at all, but an ultimate surrendering, dying, and foundational letting go. You will not do it yourself, but it will be done unto you (Luke 1:38) by the events of your life. Such deep allowing is the most humiliating, sacrificial, and daily kind of trying! Pep talks seldom get you there, but the suffering of life and love itself will always get you there. Lent is just magnified and intensified life.
I’ve also been rereading a book by Henri Nouwen for Lent. I thought I was going to also get up early for Lent and sacrifice sleep for some quiet time of reading and prayer, but the first day I got up way too early and was completely exhausted. I think I was being a bit too hard on myself, as I am wont to do at times.
image from wikimedia commons
Trivial Pursuit, category History:Sir James Milne Wilson
served as the 8th Premier of Tasmania; he is famous in the annals of Leap Year History
for both being born on Leap Day
(29 February 1812) AND
dying on Leap Day
(29 February 1880).
|Wed.||:||N||:||I did do the thing undone Mon. & Tue., at least for awhile|
This weekend past I had the opportunity to attend a handbell workshop that was held at a camp in the mountains. There were maybe a dozen handbell choirs practicing and then performing the same 5 pieces of music together in a sort of a “handbell orchestra”. However, most of the attendees, including all but one other person from my church, were experienced, intermediate or higher-level ringers who had already practiced the music selections prior to the workshop.
I tried to say “no thanks” at first, but when it came right down to it, the only thing keeping me from saying yes was my fear. Two other ringers from my “dumb-bell” group were going too, and one of the advanced ringers told me that several years ago they’d dragged her off to camp as a complete newbie with only 3 weeks of bell-ringing experience, and she had survived and learned from it. So off I went, along with my fears.
I’m really so grateful to have been given the opportunity to go, and grateful for the courage to say yes, in so many ways, and grateful to everyone involved, who were uniformly kind and helpful and encouraging. The weather went from tornado-like winds and rain on Friday, as we were preparing to leave; to calm gorgeous bright blue skies and sunshine on Sunday for the grand finale of our final performance and the ride home. And my moods went from an intitial mixture of anxiety and relief that we made it there through the storm; to fatigue and dark despair by Saturday evening, after hours of practice, feeling I was hopeless and completely incompetent; to laughing about it at dinner with the group who were all exhausted; to a new dawn of inspiration on Sunday morning. It was still really scary, but also exciting and actually enjoyable during the final rehearsal and performance. And I’m glad to be home, though I still have the music “ringing” in my brain, in a good way. :)
And now, back to reality…
I ate several of them tonight, and have leftovers for another day.
The redbud trees are blooming!
I didn’t do too well on this last week. Forgive myself and start again.
Note to self: Remember, CALM RESOLVE…
|Tue.||:||N||:||(I did the thing I didn’t do Monday and then some)|
|Sat.||:||-||:||(Surviving bell-ringing camp)|
My friend has out-of-town guests who love Thai food, and she also has a Thai friend who likes to cook. I haven’t eaten very much Thai food in my lifetime, so I was grateful for the opportunity to try something new.
We had a seafood soup with mussels and shrimp and fish and mushrooms and a light but VERY spicy hot broth to start. Then there was pad thai, and a beef and vegetable combination over rice. And for dessert we had banana fritters.
I have a recipe for pad thai that I’ve been thinking of trying for years, and now that I know what it’s supposed to taste like, I think I’ll try making it myself.
My friend had the carpets in her apartment cleaned several days ago. Why she decided to do that while her two houseguests were staying there I don’t know, but the place was in an uproar all morning, with furniture and other stuff moved from the floor to the sofas and beds and the apartment door open to allow the hose in for the carpet cleaning, and I’m sure there was plenty of noise and commotion all morning long. Most cats hate that, and Arnie is on the timid side to boot.
After the chaos settled down and the carpets got dry enough to put things back in the afternoon, Arnie was nowhere to be found. We searched everywhere in the apartment we could think to look, and searched outside, and made wanted posters and tacked them up around the building.
At some point I looked behind the stacked washer/dryer and discovered a hole in the wall that was put there months ago to provide access to the plumbing. My friend had asked the maintenance people to seal up the hole, and they told her that they had, but they didn’t tell her that they’d used a piece of plastic and blue painter’s tape, which I found on the floor behind the washer/dryer. I was able get in there to shine a flashlight into the hole, but I couldn’t see any signs of a kitty.
Arnie didn’t appear until the next morning, but that’s where he was, inside the wall. I was visiting last night, and Arnie appears to have completely recovered from his trauma. He was out and playing with several visitors in the apartment instead of hiding, which is great progress for him, and the hole is now properly sealed. Arnie was found, and the hole-in-the-wall gang of one is no more.
LOVE IS DIFFICULT…
“For one human being to love another—that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
AND YET LOVE GETS ME THROUGH THE WINTERS OF LIFE…
“When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.” – Phil the weatherman in Groundhog Day
AND, LOVE IS A SUPERB ANTIOXIDANT…
“Every thing there is but lovin’ leaves a rust on your old soul.” – Langston Hughes
Happy Valentine’s Day to Everyone!
image of Valentine’s Day Tree from wikimedia commons