Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Soul Searching Paths

The last six months have been full of events and issues in my life that are somewhat difficult to mentally wrap my brain around. Sometimes life can go along with minor ups and downs, other times it is hard to believe all life can throw at you.

Yesterday, my brother took his life. Mike was a man relentlessly struggling to find his way. Throughout his life, he would pull himself up by the bootstraps, reinvent himself if necessary, and carry on. It was an amazing ability he had. When something this tragic occurs, one can only surmise he felt he had no other choice. It was his way of taking control over something he felt he had no control over. It is difficult to fully understand the depths of his despair. I can only hope his pain and suffering have ceased, and he now finds the peace and happiness he has long searched for.

It is important for us all to find a path leading to peace inside. Whether dealing with unsurmountable problems or trying to understand what has been thrown your way. As we search for answers, we can seek the help and support of others, but we must ultimately look within.

Sending love and light to you dear brother,

Cloud trail photo courtesy of pfly under the Creative Commons License

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stuck In Your Own Story

What’s your story? You know, the one you constantly share with others, the one you play over and over in your head but do nothing about? Don’t know? Think about it…
  • Are you the person who repeatedly tells others about all that is wrong in your world?
  • Are you the person who always runs-on about your aches and pains?
  • Are you the person who continually blames others for your problems?
  • Are you the person who never follows through on making the needed changes in your life?
  • Are you that person?
If you answered yes to any one of those questions, GET OVER IT and move on! I know, I know, you have so many reasons why you can’t. That, my friend, is why you are stuck in your own story. So, today, right now, create a new one. And don’t try and tell me it’s not that simple. I’ve heard it before and you are wrong! I have been there, done that and reinvented aspects of my life more times than I can count. It is that simple and here’s what you need to do…

Believe in your own abilities,
Believe you can,

It is your choice, and with this choice you can change. Change may be hard, but don't let fear of change make you that person. Take control of your life today by starting here: Once upon a time...you can fill in the rest, just believe it.

Once upon a time photo courtesy of UNE Photos

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Protecting What’s Mine

Friday night around 7:30 p.m. my husband, Dennis, answered our front door. When he closed the door he said, “That guy is not looking for any Kimberly.” When the guy left in his truck, Dennis jumped in his jeep and followed this fellow to see what he was up to. Sure enough, he was driving around the neighborhood, stopping, making notes and stopping some more. Dennis made a few notes of his own and notified the sheriff.

The next morning, Dennis pulled up video from our newly installed outside camera system. This is what we saw: Prowler Guy backing into our driveway with his truck, sitting for a bit, opening truck door and sitting for a bit more, standing outside his truck awhile, walking over towards our shop and looking around, then he walked to the front of the house and knocked on our front door, as he leaves, he continues scanning everything he walks by from plants to garden gee-gaws. Now, I know we have a lovely yard, but what the heck are you planning Prowler Guy?

The neighborhood we live in is not a crime area, but in the last few years there have been more incidents of stolen mail as well as a few break-ins⎯thus the installation of our secure mailbox and a camera system. Yesterday, I grabbed my anger by the balls and did something about it. With thirty copies of Prowler Guy and his truck, I canvassed the neighborhood. No easy feat as this hillside has four dead ends and everyone has five or more acres. It turned out to be a rather interesting and amazing day. I met people in other cul-de-sacs I have never met before. We talked about the incident, we exchanged phone numbers and I heard various stories about this and that. Yesterday, this neighborhood became just a little bit smaller, while we close ranks and protect what is ours.

When the sheriff’s office opens tomorrow morning, they, too, will have a picture of Prowler Guy. My neighbors will be posting Prowler Guy’s picture on their front doors as if to say,
“We know what you look like, what you drive and your license number. Are you really sure you want to be in this neighborhood?"
 I know this was a wake-up call and we are snapping to attention. This is not something I intend to be fearful about, and I won’t take this lying down. Being proactive helps me maintain a sense of balance and allows me whatever control one can have in a situation like this. Done and done!

Good things come out of potentially bad things and I will not forget the day I met the entire neighborhood. Now when I head out for a run, I won’t just be waving at the people who live in the area, I will be waving at my new friends as we look out for one another.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Taking the Pressure Off

My Grandma Mary used to can various fruits, pickles and relishes. She would take out her pressure cooker and “put-up” these tasty treats for when the “good stuff” was no longer available fresh from the garden or orchard. As a kid, when she took the pressure-cooking beast out, it scared the ever-lovin’ daylights out of me. You see, Grandma always made sure she gave me instructions whenever we cooked, canned or baked together. The only thing is, I really didn’t care to hear about all the people canners had maimed or killed when they weren’t handled properly.

Grandma would load up the canner, add the required amount of water, insure the gasket seal was in place and crank down the lid locks. Then she moved it onto the heat of her cook stove⎯yes, I said cook stove as in wood and fire. As the water began to boil, steam would form inside the sealed canner, thus creating a sort of kitchen bomb, as she referred to it. Again, frightening! As steam would start to hiss and escape the vent in the lid, she would set a weighted indicator over the vent stem. Based on canning time and steam pressure readings, Grandma made small adjustments as necessary in order to keep the lid on, complete her canning and keep us all safe and sound. In her way, my grandma knew just how to take the pressure off.

We all need to take the pressure off from time to time. How we go about keeping the lid on before we create our own hissing bomb differs from person to person. For me, taking the pressure off can be as simple as getting the miscellany out of my brain by bringing some sense of organization to my life. This allows untroubled quiet in my head, as opposed to the voice that is constantly reminding me of all those things I am trying not to forget. How do I keep a handle on my pressure readings?
  • Sticky notes (this only works if you have a few, at one time I had those little stickies everywhere and thus reminded me of nothing but a sticky, colorful mess)
  • Daily/Monthly calendar reminders (on my computer, cell phone and the “old fashioned” method using a pencil on an actual printed calendar)
  • Files (I have files for recipes, traveling, health topics, receipts, gardening⎯you name it, and chances are I can put my fingers on it)
Doing these things seem so simple, but you have to take the time to do them in the first place. I am still surprised by the number of people I talk to who are trying to remember everything⎯only to forget something causing further pressure to rise. Taking the pressure off helps keep me focused and feeling like I have some measure of control in my life.

As I told my grandma years ago⎯you can show me all you want to about canning, but I am never having one of those bombs in my kitchen! Please note: I have never used a pressure cooker to this day. No hissing bomb here! I don’t like to do anything that may get me steamed somewhere along the way. So, get it off your brain and it will be a load off your mind. It's as simple as that.
What to do... photo courtesy of Nina Mathews

Monday, April 1, 2013

Have You Putzed Lately?

Putzing is what I enjoy the most⎯doing a little of this, that and whatever moves me by relinquishing the priorities of life for just a bit.

After a lovely week of warm days and garden time, I gradually felt spring fever creeping into my bones. Unlike weeks ago, when I was catching up from fall and winter in my yard, this week I found my garden priorities shared with a good amount of putzing as I wandered here and there.

While taking time to hold a tree frog in my hands, I decided putzing must be a priority in my life beyond spring fever as I move forward this year. If I hadn't been putzing, I would have missed the opportunity to see the frog let alone hold it. This is my choice and it is now one of my priorities as I give myself permission to putz.
  • Putzing allows me to slow down the frenzied pace of living
  • Putzing enables me to enjoy my garden, home and life more
  • Putzing gives me a sense of balance with the world around me
  • Putzing creates a space in my life
Who knows what you will do or where you'll end up when you give yourself permission to simply putz.
Free Loading Frog photo courtesy of tobyotter