"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Truly Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Another reason to update my Grateful List.

My children are at the top of my list. I found myself in awe so much of the time watching them grow themselves into adults. I was sort of a guide but they had the instinct and stamina it took to be my children and to love me with my failings and what appeared to be mistakes. They always knew I loved them beyond description, accepted them unconditionally, accepted the role of single parent and always made the best of it. To hear them describe their childhoods, they thought I did a good job. Amen.

My friends are next on my list. I have a few over fifty year friends who still love me even knowing me through my stupid times. I have a dear friend for over 20 years who lives too far away but has been a life saver and sees me through rose colored glasses. And the close friends I have developed here in my new town over the last three years are awesome. What a blessing to be "just me" with them and be in a family of loving friends and never feel alone with my children so many miles away. Thanks for all my friends.

My blog friends are next on my list. I think I began blogging in 2005. Did I ever imagine that I would have the blessing of making friends online at that time? No. No idea at all. Through the blogging years we have shared sadness and joy, been there in ways we couldn't describe to a non-blogger, building stronger ties each year. Three blogging cheers for my loving and caring blogging buddies around the world!

I am grateful for the various people who have come in and out of my life. I learned lessons from so many people who have helped me on my journey of growth and healing and education and eye opening jolts. I hope I may be some part of other people's journeys and play some part in their healing and growth as well.

Of course, I am grateful to have a safe place to live, a loving cat Lola, comfortable furniture, a great computer, good food, books, music, and a low maintenance vehicle.  More importantly, I appreciate having good health, good eyes, good hearing, and a fairly decent mind.

Thanksgiving Day is being spent with my good friends at their home in the country, taking it easy and each of us doing what we want during the day. I made lasagna using strips of zucchini instead of pasta, and a pumpkin pie. This coming Saturday their children and grands will be all over their house and yard and it will be a fun and full family Thanksgiving gathering, with a traditional meal,  which I am blessed to be part of.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear family and friends. I hope your Grateful List is one that you reflect upon many times throughout this coming year. And may I be part of that list as well. Hugs to each of you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Community Supper

One of the first things I heard about when I moved to this town was the community supper. The Chamber of Commerce puts on a good feed once a year. Free to all in the area. My friends called me last night and said they were coming to get me for the supper.

One of the reasons I didn't go in the past was that the main dish was pancakes which I am sure are not gluten free, so why should I go to eat when I can't eat what they have. But one of my friends is also gluten free so she said she had made some biscuits for us so let's go and enjoy.

The auditorium was full of people when we arrived and the line moved quickly. They obviously had this thing down pat. Very organized. When we got near the food line I saw the largest griddle with a few men around it with spatulas in hand watching and turning the large pancakes, the size of a plate! Then there were roasters full of cooked sausages. My friend and I each were served sausages, three each, and moved down to water and juice. Coffee was delivered to the tables. The four of us met up with several other friends and joked and laughed and ate. I put syrup on my biscuits and enjoyed the evening.

One of the best parts about the affair was the band. The Community Band. I had not been to an event where they played, and was surprised at the number in the band. The stage was jam packed with all the people and their instruments. They played Christmas music and we were singing along and some of the Chamber helpers came over and sang with us. What fun! Another event I want to attend next year and the next and well, you get it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Living It Up

Since I have moved numerous times in my life, I have no idea what it would be like to persevere in one place, in one town or even one state. I enjoy listening to stories my friends tell here in this part of the country of growing up in this area. Dancing was a large part of their lives as teenagers. There are still some lovely dance halls all around this part of Nebraska. I have been to two of them, not to dance, but to observe.

One such time I watched men and women my age and much older dancing to a well known polka band and the place was packed. These people brought small ice chests with them and miniature fans to help cool down between dances. The thing that was imprinted on my memory of that day was seeing their faces light up when the music began and they walked out to the dance floor. They obviously love to dance! The energy level was awesome.

The other place I have watched dancing is at a well maintained ballroom in a town not far from here that is used for huge craft shows, sometimes garage sales, lots of weddings, and of course, dances. The two times I have been to dances, the band played oldies as well as some country western tunes. The dance floor is immense and the band only took one small break, because those people were there to dance, dance, dance. I was singing to the old songs and enjoying watching the dancers. The music was too loud to visit with my friends, but we didn't care, the band was really good, which was why we were all there.

To add to the enjoyment, some of my friends tell how they met their spouses right there in the ballroom, where they were standing, who they were with at the dance, how they were asked to dance by someone they did not know,  the beginning of a life journey of marriage and children and more dances. Pretty nostalgic, isn't it?  I really like that ballroom, and the memories of people living it up there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

More About The Great Post

This is the second in a series I am writing about a great post on the blog Weekend-Windup. The title of that post is Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind.

The second item in this great post is "Learn how to forgive and forget."

Most of us would say we forgive freely and often to those around us who wound us. I personally don't keep track of how many or how often, I know it healthier to forgive and move on.

I thought I was truly forgiving until I realized that I did not Forget the grievance.  I now realize that to truly forgive, I have to forget.  Holding on to things that hurt me must have given me something, must have been a comfort in a sick way. Was I remembering all the times I was the one to hurt someone? No. Too bad, so sad if I was the one doing the hurting.

So it must have been important to me to hold painful things close to my heart and coddle and maybe even exaggerate in the mental replays.

Being honest with myself did not come easily or quickly. But thank God I am finally peeking in the door of unpretentious truth, open and honest eye opening truth.

Learning to forget the wrongs done to me is resulting in a release of resentment which is a burden I no longer want to carry.

Next time you are reminded to "Forgive and Forget", don't forget to forget to truly forgive.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great Post

Over on the blog Weekend-Windup, I found a great post with a list I will be printing out and saving.

This should be a monthly reminder for our finite minds, at least, speaking for myself, I am constantly working on improving all aspects of my being, so this great list will be a help with my growth and learning.

The title of the post is Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind. That is something I am searching for each day:  Peace of Mind.

The first thing on the list is "Do not get into others' business, unless called for help." After years of work in Codependents Anonymous, I finally understand and appreciate this concept. I have to remind myself often when someone is sharing a problem with me, that unless they ask for advice, I am a good friend to listen and just "be there" for them, just as I want the same thing from them. If they want my expert advice, Ha, they will say so.

Even worse is unsolicited advice, when we see someone saying or doing something we think we should advise on because we are so knowledgeable. A good lesson in life has been to learn to mind my own business. And actually, it is a relief not to have to take care of everyone else. I listen to my grown children and sympathize and enjoy their own growth and success and disappointments, but it is not about me and not my business.

It is not cold, it is the opposite, it is loving and caring in a mature way to stay out of others' business.

I will be writing posts in the future about some of the other items on the list in this great post. Check out the blog Weekend-Windup. I'm glad I did.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Your Brain's Silent Killers

A good friend forwarded this link to me and I read the pages of the excerpt from the book "Grain Brain".

The information in the excerpt was not new to me, as I had already come to believe that the way the food is processed today is not like the food I ate as a child. After the modification, the flour a person purchases now is not like the flour we used 50 or 60 years ago.

Living gluten and wheat free has given me a new life. No longer in pain and no longer spending time at doctors and in the bathroom. I usually don't waste time wishing for something, but I often do wish I had known about my allergy to wheat, rye, barley while I was raising my children. It would have been amazing to be their mom and feeling as healthy and strong and pain free as I do now.

I have ordered the book "Grain Brain" from Amazon and will be sharing it with my friends after I read it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Needing Attention

Continuing with my observations of self improvement inspired by the post titled "Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind" on the blog Weekend-Windup, this post is about needing recognition.

In the blog Weekend-Windup, one item in the list is "Don't look for recognition always."

At a young age, I recognized that many people in my life would give to me, but with strings attached. So I decided that I wanted to grow up to be a person who would give with no expectations. The act of giving, whatever it is, is its own reward.

The funny thing is, that while striving to be anonymous, I was never the person who could walk into a room and blend in, something I always wanted. I would become the center of attention in one way or another. While carrying around my own sad stories, I was given the talent for bringing joy to others. I never met a stranger and related to each person I saw, whether I spoke with them or not.

Giving to others, of myself or some material thing, is a gift to me too. My way of thinking is that material things belong to all of us. Whoever needs it should have it. Holding onto "things" does nothing for me. Giving something away makes me happy. So giving is its own reward.

Learning to accept the attention from others in a gracious manner instead of dreading it has taught me that some recognition can be healthy because it one of the ways we relate to each other as humans. Needing the attention to be happy or feel accepted or part of the thing called life is not healthy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Two Months To Go

This past summer my son asked me to come visit him and his wife over Thanksgiving. I said yes. Then I talked with my close friend and she asked her husband if he would mind if she went with me, so we talked with my son and said I would be there for his birthday in January. This is a busy time of year around here, the last two months of the year are full of activities and get togethers and projects for me and my friends.

So, in two months my friend and I will be traveling to Honolulu for a visit with my son and daughter-in-law. I have been there a couple times but my friend has never been there and it has been at the top of her bucket list for forty years.

I haven't seen my son in person in 5 years. This is going to be great!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Watching The Kids' Faces

My life insurance policy entitles me to participate in a fraternal group. I just attended the annual state convention about an hour away, a one day meeting full of discussions and voting and eating.

Our local chapter does what we can in the community. Not just one town, but towns in the surrounding area. For Halloween we purchased two bicycles and invited the children to stop by the fire department and sign up for a giveaway while they pick up treats at the fire house. The volunteer fire department held a costume contest.

It is fun and rewarding to watch children appreciate winning a bike. These are not children who are given so much they hardly notice something new. The children in this area are being taught to appreciate and care for things to make them last. They know at a young age their parents work hard to provide for them.

The winners of the bikes this year know the joy of winning. It will be a lasting joy as they ride the bikes for the next several years. And I will enjoy knowing I was part of that. My job this year was to bring the juice boxes for their treats at the fire house. We all voted that the kids get plenty of candy, so we wanted them to have fruit juice from us. This is the kind of town that moms still make popcorn balls for trick or treat.

The younger winner caressed her new bicycle over and over and when asked if she wanted to trade it in for a different color she kept saying "I want THIS one".

I hope you all enjoyed Halloween as much as I did. Hugs to you all.
First Place Winner 
Bicycle Winners