Friday, July 30, 2010

Tornado Dreams


Tracking a storm with my niece Amy at her house in West Texas

I dream about never having another Tornado Dream....Yep, to all those who know me I had another one last night. I have had tornado dreams for as long as I can remember. It is always the same thing in the dream. I am trying to get to the basement or some place safe and the others around me won't come with me. They stand around and watch the tornado coming towards us or just ignore me all together as I cry and scream at them to get to safety..they won't Listen To Me!!! Yeah, makes for a great nights sleep.

Most of my tornado dreams take place at my sister Carla's house. I don't know why that is exactly. Part of me thinks it might be because they don't have a basement. But actually, Nobody has a basement in West Texas and I REALLY don't get that. Well nobody except for my niece Andi - and I love her for that - but now she has forsaken me and is selling her house.... It is the only place I feel safe when I am home during tornado season. But I do think that my other niece Amy is quite generous towards me (actually her wonderful husband). They are putting an addition onto their house and he is adding a special safety room and they tell me it was with me in mind...

There are many reasons why I believe that these dreams have plagued my life. Although obviously I don't remember it at all but in 1970, the year I was born, was the year of Lubbock's big tornado. My family lived in Lubbock at the time and I heard stories of it my whole life. Also, I can still picture the floral scrapbook that held the newspaper clippings from the horrific event. Another reason is that in West Texas during tornado season there was Always that little picture of a tornado down in the corner of the screen. So, when we came home and my parents weren't home my brother and I had to read the scrolling bar to see if our county was in harms way and if it was take precautionary measures. Which meant taking a mattress off of a bed and leaning it up against a wall in the hallway and sitting under it until the danger had past. Let's just say my brother RARELY took any of it seriously and couldn't care less that his little sister was hyperventilating while shaking in the middle of the hallway screaming at him to help her pull the mattress in there with her. One of the more vivid memories I had was when one of my older brothers still lived at home. The weather was terrible and we had the mattress in the hallway. My brother Neil and I were huddled together and my brother Gary insisted on standing outside and watching the tornado. I will never forget watching my mom scream for him to come in. I could see her face as she screamed for him and yet I couldn't hear her because of the quite noise...It was one of the scariest moments I can remember from when I was a child.

You would think that moving up North and away from Tornado Alley would have calmed my fears and then those scary dreams would fade. Actually they got progressively worse. I believe mainly because of the fact that our first home here was a 1976 mobile home....Mobile Home + Tornado = DISASTER!!! That's all I ever heard growing up so anytime in the middle of the night when the wind and rain were bad I was a nervous wreck. There were WAY to many nights when my poor husband spent entire nights with his young bride frantically begging him to take her and our children to the safety of his parents home down the road. VERY few times did he give in which caused for more turmoil... For many of those years in my calmer moments I did try to rationalize the fact that I no longer lived in Tornado Alley and the reality of a tornado coming anywhere close to us were really very slim. But that is no longer true. In fact the small town down the road from us was hit extremely hard a few years ago. Also it seems like there are more and more sightings all over the state.

In 1991 my sweet husband built me a strong house with a comfy basement (that I have slept in many stormy nights while he refuses to leave our bed and sleeps soundly upstairs..) Mainly my struggle as I get older is about my children and Rob. If they are all home during the storm I am usually better but if they aren't then my anxiety gets really bad. I am coping but it is nights like last night that bring it all to a head again. That fear!!

I know people try to figure out what dreams mean and stuff and I have wondered about all this myself....honestly the only thing I can figure out is that if it isn't just that I am SCARED to death of a tornado taking out my house then it could be that it really ticks me off when people don't listen to me when I tell them what to do....

Well my dream for you is peaceful sleep...

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a completed journal....


Only a very few of my journals...


I dream of completing a journal...

My name is Linda Wanless and I have a journal collecting addiction. I LOVE a new journal. Even sitting here thinking about journals gets me giddy. I know I am a little off but if you haven't figured that out by now then you have a few problems of your own. If journaling has never even crossed your mind then you really have no idea what goes through the mind of an addict like me.

First there is the selection of the journal. This is the first sign that I have an addiction. I have honestly tried to walk into Barnes and Noble and leave without visiting the journal section. But it is like a shopaholic not visiting the clearance section of Dooney and Bourke...impossible! I nonchalantly walk over to browse and I feel like a kid in a candy shop. The massive selection of colors, textures, sizes and the smell of leather...oh, my... I begin to pick them up one by one envisioning that this time it will be different. If only I could find the perfect journal than I am sure that I would fill it from beginning to end. It has to have just enough color to keep me interested for a long period of time but not to much that I get nauseous when I look at it. It has to have the correct binding - will it lay flat or be able to bend around so I can hold it comfortably in my hands? Is the weight good? Is it too bulky or to small? Does it need to able to fit easily inside my purse or on my bedside table?

Then there are the things that the layperson might think are nonessential but are of utter importance...What pen will I use? Black, blue or a colored pen, ball point or felt tip or maybe even markers so that I can use different colors for the mood I am in? Does the pen fade through the page onto the other side? If I choose one certain pen will I always have it handy because I KNOW in my head that if I don't I will discontinue writing in it because the ink won't match. What FONT will I use...Now quit laughing at me....I'm serious. Should I use cursive or print...large or small....go with how I feel that day? Is the journal the way I like it or do I need to add embellishments - ribbon, words, something to make it Perfect? How often will I journal...once a day, once a week or when the urge hits me?

And then the most important step...what should I journal about? Should it be stories about my life growing up? (for that all important day when I am begged to write an autobiography..) Or maybe ideas for books or articles. A journal of vacations we have taken. Conversations to my kids telling them about their days so they can read them when they are older. The gratitude journal following Oprah's example - 5 things that I am thankful for today. There is the typical journaling about my day to day life. A journal of my prayers to God and how he answers them. A journal of my hopes and dreams. There are so many choices......And yet out of that list above I have started them all and so many more but sadly I admit that I have completed very few.

As you have read this you probably understand that I set myself up for disappointment when it comes to journaling. I put alot of pressure on that little book. And as I am writing I realize so much of this thought process happened when I started my blog. I have just transferred those irrational OCD feelings over to the cyber world. But I have truly been working on the idea of Not Being Perfect... Of just being me.. If I want to change my layout every week than I can or if I choose to use a different font next month then the world is not going to crumble around me.
This form of journaling has been so freeing for me. I don't know that I have ever been more real with an audience about my fears and faults. It has allowed me to feel more authentic than I have for most of my life. And I do this not just for the entertainment for all of you (although I can't lie - your encouragement and comments have stroked my ego and pushed me to continue) But it has allowed me to verbalize some of the imperfections that I hold inside that make me feel inadequate. They may seem tiny and insignificant to others but in my own head they all add up and weigh me down. Satan has way too much power over our thoughts when we allow them to float around inside our minds - but when we release those thoughts then much of the power is gone. So the more I can free them the lighter I feel. And in the process I get to give you all a few moments of humor.

So today my dream is for you to find something to feel lighter about - free yourself of something that is really insignificant in the scope of eternity. Decide if it is an area you want to improve on, let go of or just be content to be the way you are.

Have a blessed day friends!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

biking the hills of Richland County


This is the hill that Lisa and I dream of conquering....

This is sort of a mixture of a dream and working on my 1-11-11 goal. I dream of riding my bike up the hill where Hwy A and Hwy Z meet. That means "riding" not "walking with my bike beside me".

I have taken up biking as cross training for my race (which is still yet to be determined - I still REALLY want a Mickey Mouse medal but I think I will have to be content with a Donald Duck..) Anyway, I have kind of enjoyed biking, which is really funny. Growing up, if I thought that I hated running, I despised riding a bike. In fact the only time I ever remember being on a bike was at my grandparents in Kingsland, Tx. Me and my brother found this cool bike with a banana seat and it was painted like a flag. We would push it up to the top of the hill and coast down. That is my only memory of bicycling when I was a child.

Although,I do have some funny memories of bicycling after Rob and I were married. Atleast I think they are funny... For our honeymoon Rob and I went to Mackinac Island. It is a beautiful island that is full of history and beauty and the unique think is they have no cars of any kind. So the only transportation is either bicycles or horse and buggy. Well we thought it would be romantic to rent a tandem bicycle to ride around the island to see the sights. Rob was in the front and I was in the back with the camera. Well Rob had this opinion that if I am playing photographer I am not doing my job as a peddler...The last straw for him was when we were going up a steep hill and he kept saying that I wasn't pedaling. When in fact I was trying - honest I was. But the madder he got the funnier I thought it was and I couldn't quit laughing which makes it hard to concentrate on pedaling. By the time we made it to the top of the hill Rob was about to puke and didn't think I was at all funny. So as he stood over the bike talking himself out of loosing his lunch I had to snap a photo...That was the Last time we ever rented a tandem bike and we have been married 22 years...coincidence - I think not....

What brings this to mind is that now that I live in Richland County we are completely surrounded by hills. So taking up biking is no small endeavor for a girl from West Texas where the only hills are in the cotton rows. It is so flat that when Rob was in the Air Force his base was 30 min away and from my house I could see his water tower....FLAT I say!!! My sister-n-law Lisa (who is also from West Texas) and I have made a pact to conquer these hills together. Today we did 10 miles. At the half way point I understood Rob's nauseous feeling 22 years ago. I got to a point and I had to get off or I would surely die. I looked back from where I had been and the slope seemed to go on forever, which I was proud of but when I looked up to the top at where Lisa stood waiting for me on her bike I honestly couldn't decide if I wanted to puke or cry. I have run these hills but biking them is whole different experience.

We set a goal to make it up one certain hill without stopping. At this point I am a little skeptical but always up for a challenge. I will keep you updated but don't look for that post to soon.

Well my dream for you today is that when you are in the middle of a hill in your life, you neither puke nor cry but reach down and find the strength to reach the top. Have a wonderful day all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

better manager of my time....


Time, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

I dream about being a better manager of my time. I am so easily distracted. I start out my day with great intentions. I make lists and goals and really believe that I am capable of accomplishing everything on my list. Not only that I believe that I will have extra time to sit in my comfy chair with a good book and a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade.

And then the reality of my day.... I look at my list and think well before I start I'll go ahead and exercise in case it gets too hot. So when I get done with that I think to myself well I really should just go ahead and get my shower so that is out of the way. While I am in my closet getting my clothes I start to look around and think I should collect all the empty hangers and take them to the laundry room. As I do that I realize alot of the clothes in there should go to good will. So I start taking them off the hanger and putting them in a pile. Then I go into the kitchen to get a garbage bag to put them in and I see the dishwasher needs emptied and reloaded. Well, I'll go ahead and get that done so the dishes can get washing. Well, I might as well get the counters cleaned because a clean kitchen will give me incentive to get the rest of my stuff done. I go to put some stuff in the fridge and decide that it would be a good idea to put something in the crock-pot for supper. I have to get something out of the freezer and defrost it because nothing is thawed. By the time veggies are cut up and the crock-pot is full I look at the clock and see that it's lunch time and I am exhausted. So I pull some stuff out of the fridge for lunch and go downstairs to eat lunch and watch mindless TV for a bit. Well - an hour later I think that it is about time to finally get to my list which involves doing bookwork in the office. So I go in the office and see that my desk is a mess. Of course I think that if I clean up my desk first than I will be able to work better. So, I set out clearing and filing papers. As I open the insurance folders I see that alot of that stuff is out of date. So I figure I might as well get those reorganized. Well, of course since I am at the desk I will just check my Facebook for a minute. Well of course that wastes another hour. I decide to go ahead and get a load of laundry put in while I am working in the office. I go in there and SOMEONE had left a load in the washer since who knows when - I sniff and then gag a little - and then rewash it. I open the dryer and there are clothes in there so I take them in the living room to fold them "real quick". I turn on the TV and see that Oprah is on. As the show is over the phone rings and Rob tells me he is on his way home and needs a ride somewhere. I remember the hangers and go upstairs. I look around and there are dishes everywhere on the counter from making supper and my lunch. I go into my closet and remember the good will clothes all over the floor as well as 3 dozen hangers. I grab the hangers and go to take them downstairs and see my lunch dishes and the unfolded laundry. I step into the office to turn off the lights and see the floor and desk covered in open / unorganized folders everywhere. So I shut all the doors and go back up stairs. Throw the dishes in the sink and push the pile of clothes in the back of my closet. Rob walks in the door and as we go to leave he asks me what I did today... I see my list sitting on the kitchen counter - with not one thing crossed off.....as I go to give him answer all I can say is...oh I just worked around the house....maybe tomorrow I'll work on that list...

Monday, July 26, 2010

fresh veggie pasta



I dream of cooking with vegetables straight from my garden. This weekend we had a family reunion that included a potluck. I found a recipe for a pasta that I had been wanting to make and realized that most everything I needed was in my garden.

I had so much fun taking my basket outside and filling it with summer squash, broccoli, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Along with one of my favorite herbs - basil.
Although the recipe claims 10 minute prep time it ended up being 1.5 hours before all was complete. For the vegetables themselves you cut, season and roast them for 40 minutes. Then I decided to put some chicken in mine so that took some time as well as for the pasta. At the end you make a sauce of a little real butter, fresh Parmesan and fresh basil melted in a pan and stirred into the pasta, veggies and chicken.

The result was scrumptious and tasted like summer!! In reality there is such a small window of time for these kinds of meals. Most of our suppers throughout the summer consist of very little meat (unless we do it on the grill) along with sweet corn and steamed veggies...

Our garden is alot of work and sadly this year it is not the best we have had. Our tomatoes have gotten late blight because of all the rain and humidity. So it looks like our big canning extravaganza of tomato products (salsa, stewed tomatoes and tomato soup) will come from some of our Amish friends. (which really doesn't hurt my feelings) They have acres and acres of produce that they grow for Organic Valley(which is about 25 minutes from us). When it comes time to ship their vegetables any that aren't perfect get set aside. So when Rob works up there they send him home with boxes and boxes of fresh veggies of all kinds.

Today I plan to pick greens and possibly do some canning this evening if I get enough. I don't mind it so much really - it is just time consuming but so worth it in the middle of winter.

Well, have a wonderful day and I dream that you can enjoy the vibrant taste of fresh veggies today!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

electronic free world

I dream of an electronic free world. I realize that this sounds pretty hypocritical seeing as how I am sitting here typing on my laptop computer but there are so many times that I truly feel that electronics have taken over our lives. We have come to depend on them so much that when things aren't working smoothly it feels like our life is falling apart. How crazy is that?

This spring we turned our TV off. Well I should say we turned our dish off. So now all we get are a few channels from our antenna. We laugh and say we get 2.5 channels. We get ABC and CBS and the we get Fox but only sometimes. We do get a few other ones but we don't really count them. I realize those shows were probably classics in their day but I just can't get into them. We do just fine without the TV most of the time but I find myself struggling without my Tivo more than anything - Just wrong!!!

Another thing about electronics that has bothered me is our cell phones. First of all I don't know how much higher up on a hill we need to be to get service but we don't get any up here. Well unless you stand in one spot on one leg and your arm up in the air... I feel like I am reliving the days of using a clothes hanger and tin foil to get reception of one of our 3 whole channels of TV when I was a kid. And then about a month ago Rob's phone just quit and so I had to go get him another one. Rob does not do well with change -at all!! I always say if Rob could still have his bag phone he would be content. But since they change styles all the time and they make them so cheap he has to get familiar with new ones. That does not make him happy. Well he finally got use to that one and then yesterday it was raining hard all day and he had it sitting in the cup holder of his excavator while he was working. He didn't notice that the cup holder was filling with water. He tried to use it and the speaker part didn't work. When he told me I panicked! I had intended on putting the insurance on it but I had 30 days and I wanted to make sure he liked it first. I had totally forgot to go back in and put it on. Long story short - I had to re buy him the exact same phone yesterday...not a good day.....:-(

And then there is our whole computer life. The drama over whose computer in the house is having the most problems. My hard drive just went out on my laptop but luckily the computer guy was able to save All my photos by moving them over one by one (and I have ALOT!!!) My desktop has this pop up thing right now that tells me I have to "insert the disk so I can continue..." I don't have a CLUE what disk it is talking about. And then there is our Internet. Right now I am grounded from downloading anything until August 4...I guess with the kids being home this summer we have been on the Internet to much and we hit our cap on usage...how Frustrating. That is one of the joys of living in the country - there are not alot of choices in providers. And the other fun thing about our Internet is that when there is a storm it goes off. Right now it starting to storm so I am hoping I get to Upload this before I loose my Internet once again. Yesterday during the storm Becca and I actually took our computers to town and sat in Culvers so we could have Internet. We looker around and there were quite a few other people in there with computers as well. I looked at Becca and said..."they must have WildBlue too.."

Yesterday when I took Rob his new phone to him (after I had put insurance on it...)He thanked me and said he felt like he had lost his right arm without it. Becca and I did a Spanky and Our Gang look at each other. I knew right then and there that the world had gone to hell in a hand basket...(I never understood that term but it seemed to fit here...) The day that my husband admitted that he was lost without an electrical device I knew that we were all doomed. He doesn't watch TV, doesn't know how to turn on a computer and fought cell phones every step of the way...And yet here we are.

Satan is sneaky...All these things seem harmless really. And yet we become more and more dependent on them. They are supposedly meant to make our lives simpler and better. And yet the amount of time I spend complaining about these things is ridiculous....Now that I have expressed this does it mean I am ready to give them up and dive in to my husbands dream of "being Amish" (see earlier blog..) Not so much.. But I do realize it and I truly want to get a handle on things. I want to Rule it and not let it Rule me.....

Well friends....have a wonderful day and an event less electronics day....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

1-11-11 Goal (rainy day workout)





So today I got up at 5:30 to go outside for my run because we were suppose to get storms all day long. As I walked outside I realized I was too late. After whining and complaining for awhile I decided to go do the treadmill.

My exercise studio is in the garage…LOL…(I like to call it that). I have a treadmill that I have had for about 6 years, an electrical stationary bike that none of the readings work and it won’t change speeds so I don’t use it but it makes me feel like I’m at a gym. I do have a nice weight machine that is tucked into the corner. It’s huge and impossible to move so now that it is there it isn’t going anywhere. I think that gives Becca some comfort knowing that when she goes off to college her room won’t get turned into an exercise room.

I head out there and get on the treadmill, not excited at all. Realize that maybe if I open the garage doors then I will feel like I am running outside. Get off and do that. Back on. I watch Pup stare at me for a long time and I can only assume that he is wondering why we are up at this crazy hour and what the heck am I doing on this machine. Keep running. I get fed up with looking at the dirt on my treadmill so I have to go get a washcloth to clean it off and then I might as well clean my other stuff while I am at it (even the bike…lol…- that’s the OCD in me) Back to running. Pup then starts carrying around one of those little bug catcher things that the Orkin man puts out. I have to get off and take it away from him. I finally get into a pretty good rhythm and start to enjoy myself. I watch Pup chase a frog around and enjoy the sound of the rain pouring down.

I finally get done with 1 mile (yep-that’s it –sorry if I disappointed you) and I am completely drenched. I thought to myself that I might as well have run in the rain. I did a half a mile cool down and decided to do some weights.

The weights felt good and then I tried to do some lunges across the garage and then I did something not to smart. I tried hopping across the floor. The first jump and my right knee screamed at me. I have had lots of problems with it so I promised it that I wouldn’t try that move again.

Although I will admit I really fought hard this morning against exercising at all. I didn’t want to do anything. It was a great day to curl up in bed with a good book. I realize that I didn’t do as much as I wished I had but I did something. I know I dream of being a runner by 1-11-11 but my first step is to run…maybe it won’t be fast or beautiful or long but I have to start somewhere.

Dream on everyone and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a blank page......




I dream of a blank page....wow, there were like a dozen different meanings for that statement that just went through my head.

I dream of a blank page as a writer. The freedom to create from scratch the words and colors that go through my mind. The excitement of following along with the page anticipating, just as the reader, where each word will lead me. The enjoyment of sharing the stories inside of me in a way that allows my reader to feel emotion - joy, sadness and encouragement.

I dream of a blank page as a decorator. When I was in high school if you asked me what career I wanted "when I grew up" I would have confidently answered - an interior decorator. LOL!! I was just looking through a photo album with a picture of my room when I was a teenager. It had blue wallpaper covered in white daisies - small daisies on 3 walls and the focal wall with Large ones. My bed had a quilt that my grandmother made me that has since been put away because it is so worn through that I fear that one more night's sleep with it and it will fall apart in my hands. But my favorite part of my room was a winding white wrought iron plant stand that displayed all my stuffed animals...funny memories. I was so proud of my room. I think I must have rearranged it every month. I am really not much different now. I love looking at the potential of a room and dreaming of the placement of furniture, colors and artwork... Although I didn't follow my career goal that I had dreamed about then I believe my love of decorating has served me well. I love my home and it makes me feel joy and peace and I think that is what a home should offer it's occupants.

I dream of a blank page as a gardener. Now don't get me wrong because I do love a fresh tomato from the garden, but I love the day that we plant it maybe even a little more. The way the soil looks right after it has been tilled. How it just falls through your fingers and smells of spring. I love the even, precise rows when you stand back after the planting is done. The way the garden is as weed free as it will be until the following spring. I love dreaming of the harvest that it will bring. I don't know if my husband has caught on yet but I don't know if I am so much a gardener as it is the decorator inside of me that enjoyes the whole gardening life. LOL! That and the photographer side of me. I can't wait to get my canning done so I can display all the jars and photograph them...well either way my family benefits so I will just keep doing things the way we are.

I dream of a blank page with relationships. There is an excitement about meeting a new friend and learning random things about their lives. And the excitement that comes with the anticipation of spending time together. The peace that they are judging you on what they know about you at that moment and not by the history books of your life that are sitting on a shelf in your head waiting for someone to pull one out and smack you with it. But at the same time it is beautiful to have a blank page with old relationships. One of the best parts of ADD is that I have the ability to move on to something else rather quickly. Also I am blessed with a very bad memory at times which works well in some situations (but not so good in others). Recently I went through a difficult time with a friend that I have had since I was a little girl. I had been hurt for months and the longer I kept it inside the more it was consuming me and seperating our friendship. Finally one day we decided to talk. She was amazing! The first thing she said was that she wanted to listen and hear my words. She wanted things to be better and so even though she knew it would be difficult to hear what I had to say it was more difficult knowing that I was hurting and there was a way that she could help me feel whole again. As I spoke about the situations where I had felt hurt and frustrated she just listened without defending or getting angry. She assured me that although it was not her intention to hurt me she gave me confirmation that she understood why I would feel that way. I take blame for not speaking up at the time things happened. I don't know if I decieve myself into thinking that I don't want to hurt them and so I just try to stuff it down or if I am just afraid of conflict. What I do know is that after our talk our relationship is even stronger today. And like I said the benefit of having a bad memory, along with the help from God, is that I have forgiven her I honestly can't remember details on any of those things that were dividing us. I probably could if I tried really hard but I stop myself the moment I start to go there. I am ready to move forward. I am so very grateful for humility, for forgiveness and for friendships.

Today I dream for you a blank page....maybe it's the ability to be creative...maybe it is a blank page to make a To Do list...or maybe it is to offer someone a blank page in a relationship or be open to receive one....

Dream on....and have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a runner by 1-11-11 (Day 1)

Okay - I can't believe that I am putting stuff like this out there because then there is a WHOLE lot of pressure to follow through. But this morning I was out for a run and I tried to decide how to keep myself motivated to run. I have tried to decide if it to sign up for the Mickey Mouse Marathon in January or Maybe a half marathon in October or even our local Symon's Fun Run (5K) in August.

I am so new at getting back into the running world that I really don't want to overwhelm myself yet. But I thought that if I wrote about my journey on my blog then it would encourage me to atleast keep moving.

Between 2006 and 2007 I ran 3 half marathons and many other races. But it is crazy how fast your body can revert back to it's old ways. So as I was out for my run this morning I started to get frustrated with myself. Mainly because my average minute per mile on my 3 mile run was 15.5 minutes. Not that even at my peak I was very fast but I just felt like I was literally at the bottom of a mountain looking up at how high I had to climb just to get to the point that I could honestly consider myself a runner again.

So that is why I have decided I am not making these journal entries about a specific event. My desire is to be able to confidently say I am a runner (okay a runner by very loose standards though...just to get that clear...)

My goal is to journal about my runs and workouts and non runs and fighting with myself about not wanting to workout. It won't be an everyday post but just when I feel like I need to get something out there that I don't want to forget.

So although this isn't my typical kind of posts it is most definately a dream.

So I encourage you to find something to dream about. What would you like to accomplish by 1-11-11. That is 175 Days!! Decide on a dream and let me know what it is...If you want the accountability I will even do a special post on my wall of everyone's dreams...

Well - dream on.....and have a great day

friends forever.....


Holding Hands, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

This morning I woke up dreaming about growing old with my darling husband. We always wake up to the radio so you have no idea what you are going to hear. We have just learned not to set it for 5:20am because that is when Phil insists on playing a Polka for all the farmers in the barns(???) Everytime it comes on we are both like wet cats trying to get to the radio to shut it off. No one should have to hear that so early in the morning.

This morning it was one of our favorite songs that we have loved for years but it ALWAYS makes me cry and this morning was no exception. It is about this couple that are so in love and when they are apart they always ask..."where've you been - I looked for you forever and a day - where've you been - I'm just not myself when your away..." The last part is that they are both in a nursing home but in different places. She has lost her memory and doesn't recognize anyone. They wheel him into to her room and she reaches for him and as he strokes her air she says..."where've you been - I looked for you forever and a day - where've you been - I'm just not myself when your away..." ...I just tear up thinking about it now.

As we listened to the song I scooted over and Rob held me in his arms and just stroked my hair. I know him well enough that I know he had tears in his eyes too. I love these words because I have heard them so many times throughout our marriage. It's not because he doesn't want me to do other things. Just last night I went with some girlfriends to dinner and a movie and he Loves that I do those things. But for instance if I am up late at night in another room he will say..."Linda...are you coming to bed soon???" He always tells me that he can't sleep good unless I am next to him...aaahhh...so sweet.

I enjoy dreaming about getting older with Rob - traveling, playing with the grandkids, sitting in rocking chairs in his cabin on the hill watching sunsets.... But I don't like the part of when I think about loosing him or him loosing me. I know it's funny but I think I worry about him loosing me more. Not because he isn't capable of cooking for his self and stuff like that. But because I know I am his best friend. I know that he loves me more deeply than I thought it was possible for any man to love his wife. I love him just as much and we argue over who loves each other the most. But I think it's because I love him so much I don't want him to hurt that much...It honestly breaks my heart to even think about it...

We try not to think about it, about a life without each other. It just doesn't seem possible. We have been together for over 23 years and I love him more and more everyday. I think that we are very blessed. Not because we of what we have but because we know what we have. It breaks my heart when couples look at the negatives in their spouses. A friend of mine used the phrase "He is NOT my enemy.." I love that! When Rob does something that makes me upset it is not because he is my enemy. He is a gift from God. And how should I treat a gift that GOD has given to me. Satan is my enemy and one of his biggest projects to destroy are marriages.

So my dream for each of you today is to look at your spouse as a gift not as your enemy. Treat them as a best friend - and if they aren't your best friend work at making that happen....Have a blessed day All!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

dreaming of tomatillos


Tomatillo, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

I dream of Tomatillos.....yep that I do.

Every year when we plant our garden I am excited to plant my tomatillo plants. But you can't get them around here...(imagine that...) So when it is gardening time I have to make a trip to Madison. I go to the same nursery every year and they haven't failed me yet.

This year my sister was here from Texas and she went with me to pick them up. I forget how blessed we are here to have the kind of vegetation in Wisconsin that we do. It is easy to walk into a nursery or greenhouse around here and walk out with enough vegetable plants to feed a family of 10 for a year. Everything is beautiful. This year I had to stop my husband at 25 tomato plants because for 2 years in a row he was sure he needed 50!!! Anyone who has ever had a tomato plant knows how insane that was. This was along with his 100 potato plants and everything else in his garden. Have I mentioned he is an overachiever? LOL!

Right now my tomatillos are just coming on. They are so fun to watch grow. The papery shell comes first and then the fruit begins to form inside. Finally as it gets larger and larger it bursts through. The tasted is hard to describe...all I can think of is Fresh...To me it is the perfect taste of summer. This year I plan on canning some Salsa Verde which is basically a green enchilada sauce. I haven't done this yet so I'm excited to see how it turns out.

Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Ingredients:

4 Fresh ears of corn
1/2 pound Tomatillos --papery skin removed and quartered
1 large Sweet red pepper --quartered seeded
1 Jalapeno pepper --seeded finely diced
1 clove Garlic --finely chopped
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons White wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly-ground black pepper

Directions:

Prepare the grill. Peel back the corn husk, remove the silk, enclose the corn once again and grill the corn for 4 to 6 minutes over a hot flame. While the corn is roasting, add the tomatillos and red pepper to the grill and quickly char their exterior. Remove everything from the grill and allow to cool. When cool peel back the husk and, using a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from the cob. Discard the cob. Cut the red pepper into a julienne and combine the corn, tomatillo, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro in a bowl. To the bowl, add the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and allow to marinate for several hours before serving.

If I don't want to do them on the grill I just use a pan to brown things in a little olive oil. It works just as well.

Well if you haven't ever tried tomatillos maybe this will make you want to experiment with them. Otherwise one of these days I want to have a salsa party where everyone brings their favorite salsas....Yummy!! You are all invited!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

dreaming of great feet....


Sandy Feet, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.



I figured since it is the weekend I would keep things on the light side. And I guess I have been thinking about this dream because of how hot it has been and my desire to live in sandals. I dream of.... great feet...Well, actually to more precise - Great toenails..Yep I said it. WOW! That was very freeing to just put it out there like that.

I got Momma's love of writing and the ability to try any kind of crafting project at least once. I got her love of cooking and the ability to belly laugh at most every situation. But the one thing I got from Momma that has consumed my life and I'll gladly admit I am not very grateful for would be my toenails.

This is the scoop. My large toenails are pretty normal I would suppose but it is the remaining ones that have been the topic of many comical conversations. They are basically tiny little dots. The only positive thing I can come up with about my toenails is that they do save me money on nail polish and pedicures (that only happened once with my sister and that had to be one of the funniest events of my entire life..I'm still waiting to see us on some hidden camera show - maybe someday I will blog about that....)

I think it was possibly after I was married that I willingly wore sandals. I was sure that everyone around me noticed my deformed toenails. I was sure that people laughed and pointed at the girl with the abnormal feet. I would say that it really hasn't been that many years since I have embraced my Unique extremities. Since I have been able to joke about how funny looking they are and become truly okay with who I am.

I am not defined by my feet (I hope) or my hips or heaven forbid..my belly. I would hope that when people see me they can see beyond the imperfections and see Me. I suppose I could go all deep at this point but ya know what........The fact is I have itty bitty toenails and until they come up with Lee press on toenails or some kind of toenail transplant it is the way it will always be....

...so if you see me out and I am wearing sandals and I see you glance at my toenails for a quick peak I will be gladly give you a good look so you can have a good laugh. Because if nothing else I will know you are a fan of my blog....:-) Have a great week all!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Free To Be Me

I dream of being free to be me. This is one of favorite running songs mainly because it energizes me and gives me hope. The words are so inspiring....

Free To Be Me....by Francesca Battistelli

At 20 years of age I'm still looking for a dream
The wars already waged for my destiny
But you've already wond the battle
And you've got great plans for me
Though I can't always see...

Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me

When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out
See my life would turn out right, and I'd make it here somehow
But things don't always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt, oh...

Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me
And you're free to be you

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I've got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I've got all You seek, oh
And it's easy to believe
Even though

Oh, I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me
And you're free to be you

I think we have all felt like this. Felt that we had to fit what someone else expected of us. We want others to like us - to accept us. So we try to make ourselves into what their mold is. We try to be them and to do it perfectly. In the process the pieces fall apart. We don't fit. The result is that we are unhappy and frustrated. When we finally figure out that following God's plan for us allows us to be free then we have a new energy and excitement for life.

I love how she says - But on your shoulders I can see. I picture being in a crowd and trying to find your way and all you see is are the bodies next to you. So you assume they know the way. So of course you follow them. But when you are on someones shoulders you can see the big picture. You can see the goal. You can see the reason you came. At that point the frustration is gone and you can Enjoy the Show....I just Love it.

So today my dream for you...Climb up on His shoulders and let Him guide you. Be free to be you and of course....Enjoy the Show!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

MMMmmm - Mini Dream


MMMmmmmmmmmm, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

I so dream that Panera's Caramel Chocolate Chunk Frappuchino wasn't 600 calories and 22 grams of Fat.

a not so normal day in the life of a nature photographer....



Yesterday made me question the idea of being a nature photographer. I was planning on going for a run but I changed my mind and grabbed my camera to go for a hike through the trails. Actually it wasn't quite as simple as that. First, a trip back to get a backpack with supplies - my other lense, water bottles, trail mix for me and treats for pup. Off again and realize I was already getting eaten by mosquitos - so home again, spray myself and decide to leave Pup home, he already looked exhausted.

The sun was bright but it was overhead which is awesome for light in the woods. First some photos of berries which are Everywhere right now. It is truly wonderful but berries cause me so much guilt. I should be doing something with the tons that are out there. I always look forward to them coming and then have a few handfulls, take some pictures and then I am sad when they are gone.



Next I head into the woods. In one spot I found about 8 different kinds of mushrooms. I think they are the most amazing and beautiful things. But photographing mushrooms is quite a dirty job. I have to get right down there and try not to think about what I am laying on or what might be crawling on me. I love looking for ones that God puts in just the perfect lighting for me. I feel like when I am doing nature photography I talk to God the whole time. Thanking him or asking him to show me something. He hasn't dissapointed me yet...:-)





Next I head to a spot that Rob and I had been to last week on the 4 wheeler. I had to go up this really steep part and through weeds (that as I looked down were complete nettles and some other vicious looking plant...but I was already this far...)So, I got to where I wanted to be. You see for the past 6 months or so Rob and D have been talking about this Grouse that they kept seeing - it was just crazy!! (I come to find out that statement may be truer than I thought) Dustin found her first. One day he was riding his 4 wheeler on a track that he had built. He said that this Grouse came and followed him the whole way around the track. It continued every time he went out there. And a few weeks ago Rob was out for a ride when we got a sudden downpour. As he sat under some bushes she came up and sat beside him. So the other day we went out and sure enough she came to meet us. She just walked around but never close enough to really touch.

So as I was getting closer I began to call for her and finally I just sat down with my water and trail mix to see if she showed up. And sure enough I here her walking through the trees. As she comes out of the brush I as tickled pink. I grab my camera and started snapping photos. But she evidently had not taken many modeling classes. If you have ever watched a bird's head it is moving ALL the time. So 95% of my photos were great of the body with this fuzzy head. I tried sharing my trail mix and talking to her but she had no interest. As I sat there at eye level watching her circle me I started to get a little worried - okay, I'll admit it - ALOT worried. This bird was staring me down. My heart started racing. What happened if she attacked? I KNEW I should have packed my cell phone. I was scared what might happen to me. I may have been young but I had seen Attack Of The Birds!!!!!!!!! Finally I got up so she atleast wouldn't peck my eyes out (you do remember about my Vivid Imagination don't you - sometimes it doesn't bode well for me..) I took a few more photos, grabbed my stuff and told her "fine, I'll leave you alone..." I headed up the hill and I turn and look - she wouldn't quit following me. So finally I looked at her and shouted.."I'll just go home are you Happy??" So, instead of finishing the shoot that I wanted to do I went the back way and headed home...So, yes - I got ran out of my own woods by a Stupid Bird.



I sat there in the yard pouring water on all my cuts on my legs and cleaning my knees of all the dirt. I began to wonder if going into the woods alone is really a smart thing to do. I mean - you know all those coyotes that I hear howling every night? Well they have to be somewhere around there. And if it is possible to have a crazy Grouse it is surely possible to have a crazy Coyote... I think I might just have to stick to photographing colored licorice unless Rob is home...Oh well, all in the day in the life of Me...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

the next stage......


I dream of reliving a day just like this one....

All my life my dream was to be a wife and a mom. The only
time I ever dreamed of college was how I would decorate my dorm room..LOL!
But as I became a mom that is when life began to move at lightning speed. It's filled with looking for the next stage. --- I can't wait until they can sit up, stand, walk, get out of diapers (this ones okay to get through quick though so it doesn't really count..LOL) go to kindergarten, to middle school, high school, GET THEIR LICENSE, graduate and then College and then married and have me some grandbabies. But in the midst of each of these steps it is a mixture of sadness and joy.

As hard as the middle of the night feedings were there are sweet memories. Watching their little mouths as they ate and stretched their tiny bodies. Oh and the smell of baby lotion. The memory of standing outside the door with tears, listening to Dustin crying inside on his first day of preschool as my heart broke for him. I remember how Becca use to get irritated with her little brother for bothering her and yet she was always teaching him, hugging on him and making sure he was doing things right (some - mainly Dustin - call it being bossy and it really hasn't changed alot - except maybe a little less hugging). And the memory of sitting through endless dance and gymnastics classes and watching Becca fall asleep from exhaustion on the way home.

Right now we are in the midst of D being in Behind the Wheel. Talk about a mixture of emotions! I am so ready for him to be able to get himself where he needs to go but I also realize that has soon as that happens we loose a big chunk of our conversation time. Some of our best talks are just he and I in the car...I am sooo going to miss that. I am going to miss how he confides in me. I love that he Dreams as big as I do. Of being the lead guitarist of a famous band - of running machinary alongside his dad - of being a band teacher - of rebuilding his dad's firebird - of raising his family in the house that he has grown up in.

And then there is the reality that I now face - in a little over a month my baby girl goes off to college. I have such a mixture of emotions right now. I am so beyond proud of her. She is an amazing young woman. Words can't even describe her. I am excited for her to go and pursue her dream of photography. And this morning I walked in her room and she scooted over for me to cuddle with her. She began to talk 90 miles an hour about how she and her roommate are decorating their room...(she Is My kid!!) And yet more and more I just watch her...I just want to remember the way she talks to me in her silly Indian accent, the way she can repeat word for word every Disney movie, the way she knows when I need a hug and knows how to spoil me. Just like last night - I had a rough day and as I walk into the bathroom she had candles lit and my tub filled with bubbles. Now I do realize we will still have a relationship. I know that, I do! I know that it will just be different and just like every stage I am excited for what is ahead. But at the same time I have to mourn what I am loosing.

If I could have one more day I really don't know what I would do with them. I think the first thing that I would want is to hear their little feet with their footy pj's coming down the hall ready to jump in bed with us...I would just watch them a little closer and hug them a little longer and then I would tell that young mom to enjoy the little moments and not rush them and I would also let her know a secret....that she's doing a good job...she has amazing kids...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

a full cup.......







Today I dream of a full cup...sigh..One of my favorite sayings is that you can only give out of your overflow. If we don't intentionally ensure that we are getting the things that we need to make ourselves healthy, happy, inspired, spiritually fed, loved and challenged then we really can't effectively give to those around us. As a Christian that makes me feel very uneasy. At some point in my life I was taught to give my best to those around me and be content with what I have left.

Ever since I first heard this saying I have replayed it over and over in my mind. I truly have to work at it but it has made my life much less complex. When I find myself overwhelmed by my calendar or phone calls or those around me I have to stop and take a good look at how I have been taking care of myself. Maybe I need a run. Maybe a little time with a good book sitting in a bubble bath. Maybe I need some quality time with God. Maybe I need a date with my husband. Maybe I just need a good cry.

Once you figure out what your body and mind are needing and meet those needs you begin to feel FULL. And what's better than that is to fill yourself to the point of overflowing. Because then when you are asked to be on yet another committee or get a phone call from your son at school telling you he forgot his track clothes and needs them in 10 min then you don't automatically have to go in a pit. You can actually do those things with peace and joy and a giving spirit.

When we fail to live our lives this way we find ourselves surrounded by chaos and feelings of constant anxiety. Basically we have poured out everything we have to all those around us. You soon find out that there are those that aren't content with what you have already given but they take a straw to pull out the last drop and then lick the rim.... And then what is left for you?

I know this is the hardest for woman. We are created to be givers, nurturers and healers. We want those around us to be happy. But I know that personally I am a much better friend, mother and wife when my cup is full.

A funny thought occurred to me one day when I was thinking about this subject. This is very much a visual for me when I find myself stressed... When you are seated in an airplane and they give you the precautionary talk about what to do when the cabin looses pressure do you recall the steps if you are seated by a young person? As the masks are lowered you are to first put the mask on yourself and then the person beside you....You are no help to the person in the next seat if you are unconscious.

So today look at your cup ... I pray that it runneth over!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rob has a dream...Really??.......


Last night Rob took me out onto the hill where we sat so that I could get a photo before the sun went down. It was in the middle of supper. We raced up the hill and I took 2 photos and my battery died....He just shook his head....<3



I have the most wonderful husband Ever but we do go through difficulties...(i know shocker, huh? Well, unless you have sat at the supper table or been on a car ride with us..lol..) Honestly one of the points of contention is about dreaming and setting goals. As you are well aware of, I Love to have Dreams and set Goals and make Lists about Everything. So you can imagine my frustration when, years ago,the 2 of us are lying on a blanket looking up at the sky and I ask my dearly beloved what kind of things he dreams about. He then gives me his reply..."I don't have dreams" .."Ummm excuse me - maybe you don't understand what I mean...What are your goals for the future?" - and again I am stunned when he replies with "Linda, I have no Goals."..Gasp.... We must be talking in different language and well, in fact we are. Rob has never understood my life as a dreamer. Sometimes he looks at me with blank stares and I know he hears nothing more that the language of Charlie Brown's teacher. And yet he has always let me dream as big as I wanted. He lets me talk and show him charts and magazine cutouts. He then basically kisses me and pats me on the head and tells me that he loves me then goes about his life.

But I can't say that I respect his stance as much....I mean a life without hopes and dreams? - I can't fathom...So, I go about trying to coax him into being a dreamer. I think if I bring it up in different situations or show different ways of looking at it then he will allow his mind to drift and see endless possibilities for his life....His response..."Linda - my dream is to get the next job and my goal is to get it done"....(pretty cut and dry)

Well, on Sunday evening he and I went for a 4 wheeler ride. We ended up on a hill on the other side of our property. Although we live on a hill now we are set in the woods and you can't see the landscape for most of the year. Yet on this hill we sat there on the 4 wheeler looking out for miles at the beauty of the tops of green trees and cornfields. We could see the next ridge with it's corn silos and barns. So, Rob started talking about how he would love to build a cabin up there. With a covered porch so he could sit in his rocking chair and watch the storms come in and enjoy the sunsets. He knows that in the backyard is the best fence row for finding morel mushrooms...(oops did I put that in print...yikes..). I watched him talk about it and then I sat completely still for fear that if I moved it would break the moment. And then finally I spoke...."see, you do dream....sigh..." So, we sat there for quite awhile thinking and planning knowing full well at the reality that it may not happen but enjoying it just the same. (For me it's probably not happening because it would would be a cabin with an outhouse and no internet....calm down...I'm just kidding - a little..)

There is a funny side note to all of this...as we sat there on our 4 wheeler looking out on the valley and dreaming about building there we both laughed. Almost 13 years ago we sat on a 4 wheeler in about the exact place I am sitting at this moment. The snow was falling and as this West Texas girl looked out over the beautiful scene through the barren trees I asked if there was any way possible to build a house on this hill. He looked around and said he thought it could happen. And so my sweet husband went about making yet another one of my dreams a reality. And this is where I have to say that although Rob may not be a dreamer he has pretty much benefitted off of mine. I tell him that without my dreams we would still be living in a 1971 mobile home and driving a brown AMC spirit!! LOL!! We balance each other perfectly. I am a dreamer but he is a follow thougher....Man I love that guy!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

a happy run.....

****photo to come***

Yesterday was my absolute dream run and believe me it wasn't because I had my best time ever. Although I did shave a whole 3 seconds off of my goal time on my second mile...:-)

First of all it was great that the rain stopped for awhile so that I could even go. It felt so good to be out there again. The trees were green and the sky was so blue and it smelled just heavenly. My IPOD was fully charged (which is a miracle in itself) and I found myself just smiling as I looked around. As I got down the road I see my father in law on the tractor and I wave over to him and he gives me one of those Big Arm Waves...I smile again. I keep running (using the term Very loosely) and as I get to my first turn I see my sister n law and niece riding towards me on their bicycles..(Lisa is my sister n law but she has also been my friend since we were little. She stood up in our wedding in Texas in 1988 with Rob's brother. Long story short - they just celebrated 13 years of marriage on Saturday and live 2.5 miles from us...) and I smile again. So I run on and pass the King Farm which ALWAYS makes me smile. It is an old barn with no house but the people that own it come and mow every weekend. When I go by I almost always stop at the spring out in front. You can lay on your belly on a rock and reach down and get fresh water that has come right from the Earth not 5 seconds before...aahhh....So as I was running toward home a neighbor (who has been Rob's friend since they were young and was actually stationed in Lubbock where I grew up) passed and leaned out the window cheering for me and clapping like I was running a marathon...smile again...

Then as I pass my in laws house my husband pulls out of their drive in his big red diesel truck and and stops to give me a kiss...smile again...but then after all of this my favorite part happened. As I was getting close to the stream that crosses in front of our land I see my 18 year old daughter with a group of friends. They were carrying buckets (more like cups, totes and a pink plastic purse) across to an area that was previously dirt and making it into mud. I had to stop and see what they were doing. They all started using it like war paint and then laying in it and squeezing it between their fingers. They laughed and laughed and said they felt like little kids...I grabbed one of their camera's and snapped some photos...LOL!! So, as I left towards home I honestly could not stop smiling Huge....then Rob pulled up beside me as I ran the rest of the way he drove and cheered me on....

I can't imagine ever having such a perfect 3 mile run...and I love that it had nothing to with time but about enjoying the world around me. I realize that I am absolutely blessed that God has given me a running path like he has....:-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

driving without fear.......


Photo of our 2009 trip to Hawaii




I dream of being able to drive without the fear that something terrible is going to happen. Lately it seems as though every time I turn around there is another terrible car accident and someone was seriously hurt or even killed. In fact just as I started this post I walked into the other room for a minute and on the radio was a story about another terrible accident involving a truck but I couldn't even bring myself to listen to the details.

Just a couple of weeks ago there was an accident involving 4 young girls (2 local). It was a senseless accident and 3 were killed and 1 was seriously injured. Although I didn't really know the girls we are very close to the man who first arrived on the accident...Just Heartbreaking!! The fact that that scene is in his mind breaks my heart and my prayers are with him as much as for the families that are hurting. Just as for the sister of a good friend who was in an accident yesterday when a young girl came across the center line and although she had only minor injuries after rolling her van the young girl was killed.

The list goes on and on of people that I know are hurting. Most of the time I am fine while I'm driving but there are times I pray that God would put angels around my vehicle and protect me and please don't let me accidentally hurt anyone else. That happened to a good friend of ours. Late one night coming home from a family reunion. He has no idea what happened but was positive he hadn't fell asleep but the next thing he knew he had crossed the center line and hit a woman and she was killed. I will never pass that spot again without saying a prayer for peace for him. I just can't imagine the pain he goes through.

What brings this to my mind today is because of a drive home last night. My husband and I had went to Iowa for a birthday party. We crossed the river and when we turned a car came right upon us and turned as well. The roads are terribly curvy and there was no place for him to pass so he stayed right tight to us. Finally he passed and we saw he was pulling a boat and he was going very fast. We were about to make a right turn anyway and be done with him. As we put on our blinker we moved in the turning lane he was in the left one (no blinker)we turned and he made a quick right turn as well. So now he was behind us again. So, instead of messing with him I went a few blocks and just pulled to the right to let him pass so we could just be on our way. He then was out of sight until we crested a hill and he was in a parking lot as if to pull out in the road. As we approached he had his window down with his hand out and pulled out as if he was going to pull out in front of us (insanity!!) As I hit my breaks he backed off and then screamed something. As we passed he quickly pulled out and headed a different direction...CRAZY!

This is the kind of things that scare me. There are irresponsible Morons that should not be behind a wheel. There are young people that think that they are invincible and don't understand the consequences for their actions. Then there are good hearted people that a split second changes so many people's lives.

I know that the Bible says that we aren't to worry but I do. I worry that that will be me (on either side - because either one would be horrific). I worry that it would be my husband, my daughter or now my son who has just gotten his permit. I believe that the older we get the more we realize the fragility and briefness of this life. That we want to hang on to as much of it as we can. I feel like I find myself almost breathing in my surroundings and the small moments of time I don't want to forget. I feel like if I stop and stare longer or breath deeper or hold tighter than it will become a part of me.

I realize that todays blog isn't the most uplifting and hopefully I will bring you some humor throughout the week. But I just think of all those families this morning that this is their daily struggle - how to function in the midst of this kind of tragedy. So with that I would say...My dream for them is to feel a little less hurt today...to feel a little more peace...and that they would feel the loving arms of their heavenly father wrapped around them....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I dream of having my whole family close....


Trip to McDonald's with Asher and D...


I dream of having my family close to me. I dream of meeting up with my sisters for a lunch date. I dream of watching dance recitals and tumbling meets of my great nieces. I dream of graduation parties. I dream of playing with my great nieces and nephews I haven't even met. I dream of meeting my niece at the airport when she comes back from Afghanistan. I dream of hugging a sister that is hurting and letting her know she is loved. I dream of being silly with my brother and telling stories of our lives growing up.

But this I know is only a dream or atlest to the extent that I wish it could be. I have a very large family. There are 10 of us and I am the baby. Momma always said we were like the Lucielle Ball movie - Yours, Mine and Ours..LOL!! We are scattered all over now that we are grown. Although I am in Wisconsin I grew up in Texas. So whenever I get a chance to go home I take it. And this last year has been Wonderful.
This week my niece and her husband and their little boy came to visit us. So that means within the last year I have been connected to my family 6 times. 3 times flying there and 3 times various ones coming here to visit us. I LOVE IT! But I am always left with sadness. For this visit I will miss the kisses and the "hee haw" and the "aaww maan" from such a sweet boy....sigh...I am so blessed to atleast have had a brief time to watch him before he changes once again and to give him a chance to know his cousins and his Aunt Neenda...:-)

Even though I get to visit my hometown I still have family all over that I don't get to see. So many changing lives that are important to me that I am missing. I try not to feel guilty. I know all of our lives are busy and full and I know they realize that as well. But if nothing else my dream would be that they all feel the Love that I truly have for each of them!! That they would never doubt each of their importance in my life.

I Love my life here and I wouldn't change living so far away. This is where God has asked me to be and I am content with that. And I realize that a move there would only make me long for my life here. A friend use to say the homesickness that we feel will not be found in this world. There will be a day that each of us will go Home and this feeling of being lost and discontent will be gone. And my prayer is that all those that I long for here on Earth will be with me in our Heavenly Home.....sigh....Yep, that is my Ultimate Dream!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My daughters lifelong dream.....



B is off to college soon and she has allowed me to share with you one of the biggest dreams she has had for years about this step. On Tuesday she purchased her Very Own...wait for it...wait for it........CLOTHES HANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, you read that right.

I am not kidding when I say she has discussed this for YEEAARRSS!! She has just a little bit of my OCD problem....cough cough...(this is the girl that all she asks is for the whole world to be mowed so she will sleep better..LOL) You see I have all white hangers for all of us but this has bothered her for some time. For one thing white is boring but the biggest thing is that they are all different shades of white....hhmmm...

So the other day she called me from Walmart and said that she had just cashed a baby sitting check and was going to finally buy her hangers. She has looked at them everywhere and could never decide what color or style she wanted...(yep, few people know that hangers have different styles...but evidently they do). Well, a boy from school happened to be walking by while we were on the phone and I heard her asking his opinion. So I told her it was about time she made a decision without me so I let her and her friend do this one solo.

Well, funny thing is I forgot all about it until last night. Everyone else had gone to bed and she says..."So, mom I got my hangers"...SMILE..So I said.."Oookaaay - and...?"..."Well, I got a few more than I had planned...you see I was worried that at somepoint I am going to move out of my dorm and have an apartment and then I am going to get married and have a house. So, I knew that if I didn't get all my hangers at the same time that I would never be able to find this exact shade of blue and they wouldn't all match and that would drive me insane!!"

So, my 18 year old girl that is moving into a dorm that has a closet the size of a shoebox bought 100 hangers!! I did ask her what if she had a bigger family and needed more hangers and she explained that each of the members of her family was going to have their own color of hangers to make putting away laundry easier. Now isn't this the kind of thing that is on every kid's mind as they are ready to leave home and head off to a big city to live for the first time in their life....

I can't tell you how often I say this but....She Cracks Me Up!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

closer to Amish than I had hoped.....

Today I am dreaming that I was not grounded from my internet....Yep!!! The last few days my internet has been so slow and when I called today to find out what was up they explained that I went over my usage for the month....:-(

So what this means is they are penalizing my for the next month...I don't get it either!! I even upgraded my plan and yet it won't kick in until the beginning of August. So, this month I have to be very careful on my usage so I don't go over again or it will take longer for it to start over in August.

I tried explaining to them that I have a blog now and people are depending on my. That I finally found something that I was sticking to. All my whinning was in vain.

So do you remember in one of my blogs I said that one of my goals was to go a week without electronics? I am closer than I hoped to be. Right now we have no dish - so we have 2.5 channels to watch on TV. Even though we live on top of a hill we get no cell service at our house. And now limited internet....

Rob's dream has always been to be Amish. He would rather us never have TV again and he doesn't know how to turn on the computer. He lives in the garden and gets up before the sun rises (and would be happy if the rest of his family did as well..) ...I just told him that I refuse to wear a dress and a bonnet!!!

FUN at the Wanless Home!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

dreaming of the way things use to be....




I think this might be my hardest post yet but here goes....

I dream of things being the way the use to be. Not because it was easier but because I felt whole. So soon after life makes a big change it takes time to readjust and I am just really not enjoying this adjustment stage. I go from being on the edge of tears to ready to jump into life. I am trying to figure out how loosing someone is suppose to get easier. I realize that death is a part of life but I am not sure how to cope with this. To know they are there living, laughing, hurting, growing and changing. And then to know that I have no part of it sometimes tears me apart.

When you are a little girl you dream of finding that one true girlfriend that is like the one in the movies. The one that completes you. The one that will be with you when your old. The one that knows all your secrets and knows how to finish your thoughts. But you aren't taught how to deal with life when you get that and it turns away...when their life changes and you aren't welcome to join in. You aren't taught how to hold your head up and let them go and live a new life.

The only poem I ever memorized was by Robert Frost when I was just a teenager...

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Lately I feel like that teenage girl that sat on my bed writing that poem on the cover of my English book. I feel like life can be so childish. Wondering at what point do we all finally Grow Up!! I go right back into that shell of a girl wondering maybe if I would have changed, tried more, done more....and then I realize....people change...people move away...move on...move out of our lives. And we are left to....adjust....I go from being Angry to being Sad. From being Happy for them to feeling Abandoned. I know that the teenage girl who read that poem believed that when she grew up that stuff like this didn't happen anymore. That adults didn't behave like this. That someday she and her friends would be mature and make insightful decisions. That things would "stay golden"...She was very misled....

I guess today is just one of those days of feeling sorry for myself and trying to deal with a change in identity - for me...I tried to decide how to use my blog without having this chunk of my life involved but it is to much a part of who I am right now to leave it out. Because right now so many of my dreams revolve around this part of my life....I dream of being truly happy, of the pain going away of not being on the edge of tears. I dream of starting new friendships with the kind of depth that I know is possible. I dream of embracing a world that is constantly changing and being okay to change within myself...I dream of being the kind of woman that teenage girl knew was possible to exist...authentic, caring, selfless, courages and loving........

I dream of the endless possibilities that lie ahead because of the place that God has me in at this moment....

Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dreaming of Goofy.....


(someday I hope to have a picture like this...)

In 2006 I ran my first half marathon and then in 2007 I ran 2 more as well as several 5K, 10K and other races. The fall of 2007 I decided to go back to college and so ended my running career. I LOVED running while I was doing it and I really miss everything that goes with it - especially the Medals!! From my very first run I had my mind set on another race - The Ultimate Medal (well atleast for me). The Goofy Medal....sigh....I have been dreaming about that medal for years.

The only way to earn a Goofy Medal is to be completely insane. The race is run at Disneyworld. On Saturday you run a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) through Magic Kingdom and Epcot. When you finish you receive a Donald Duck Medal. The next day they have the Full Marathon (26.2 miles). It is run through all 4 parks. In this race you receive a Mickey Mouse Medal. To receive the Goofy medal you have to run both - back to back. Yep - in one weekend you run a total of 39.3 miles - thus the word Goofy!!

Well, this dream has surfaced again while my niece and her family have been here visiting me. She ran my first Half Marathon with me and she didn't quit, even though she is a teacher and has recently adopted a little boy. She ran her first Full Marathon in Dallas this year. Well, this crazy girl has now signed up for the Goofy in January...She is my new Hero!!

Even the thought of running a Full seems crazy to me. But if you were ever to do it Disneyworld would be the place. How awesome would it be to be on mile 22, ready to puke and not be able to feel your feet (except the knowledge of how the outer sides feel like ground beef) but to look over and Prince Charming was cheering you on?....sigh....At that point all you really want from Prince Charming is some Vasaline to rub under your armpits so the chaffing will finally cease...

I'm wondering if a Donald would make me happy? - Would I get home and see Donald everyday and think WHY OH WHY....Why couldn't I have been good enough to have Mickey staring back at me?? I mean Mickey has the Ears.... Now a Mickey would be Incredible!! But that means I have 6 months, actually 183 days...Could I train for a Full Marathon in that amount of time. Sometimes I think my dreams are just crazy. Do I set myself up for disappointment? Hmmm, Well maybe I should just send my own Prince Charming to Sam's to load up on Vasaline just in case.......

Saturday, July 3, 2010

a slob with a bad case of OCD.....



I dream of being organized...I mean really and truly organized. I can't tell you how often I hear people comment on how organized I am and yet if they only knew. I have this funny thought that goes through my head very often. I always try to figure out the purpose of God creating me to be such a slob with a terrible case of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Whenever I get ready to do a good cleaning I tell the kids, "Okay, everybody get in here and get your stuff picked up. This place is a mess." And yet when we take a look around....hhmmm...yep most everything is my stuff....aaarrgghh..I am known for dropping my clothes on the floor and leaving the cereal out (which Really irritates my daughter) bringing my stuff in from the car and just dropping it. I am a self proclaimed slob who LOVES a clean house. Not just an averagely clean house....oh no...a behind the stove cleaning, baseboard scrubbing clean house. Yeah...I Know...EXHAUSTING!!

There is this running dialogue that takes place inside my head. If I died today and someone came to my house what would they find? So...I clean. I often wonder if it is the people pleaser inside of me. Even after I die I don't want anyone to have to do the work I should have taken care of.

When I do bookwork I am very aware of the disaster I create. I begin by having everything organized with my cup of tea and some nice music going and a plan to be better this time. And yet part way in I look around and my piles have morphed into a tower of chaos and I have 20 different file folders opened and if someone walked in they would grab me and run for a tornado shelter. This is the kind of thing that frustrates me. My OCD girl is always on the verge of an ulcer because of having to sit by and watch this slob destroy things that she knows she is going to have to go behind and put back together.

What is a person to do? It is pretty much who I am and I don't know how I will ever change my patterns. My family has learned to except my idiosyncrasies and they love me all the same.

Friday, July 2, 2010

99 things to do before I die...

1. Start own blog *
2. Slept under the stars *
3. Take cooking class
4. Visited Hawaii *
5. Watched a meteor shower/northern lights *
6. Rode in a hot air balloon
7. Been to Disneyworld and Disneyland *
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis *
10. Spoke in front of a large audience
11. Bungee jumped *
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm *
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch *
15. Went on a mission trip *
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables *
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train *
21. Riden in a small plane
22. Hitch hiked
23. Been to Alaska
24. Built a snow fort *
25. Read a classic book *
26. Gone skinny dipping *
27. Run a Marathon/Half Marathon *
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset from a mountaintop *
31. Went a week without electronics
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community *
36. Learn a whole song in sign lanuguage
37. Gone on vacation in a convertable
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Looked at the stars on a mountaintop in Hawaii *
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant... *
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight *
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling *
52. Kissed in the rain *
53. Played in the mud *
54. Gone to a drive-in theater *
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business *
58. Taken a yoga class
59. Visited Germany
60. Served at a soup kitchen *
61. Ridden the largest roller coaster in USA
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason *
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma *
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Seen a volcano *
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy *
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar *
72. Pieced a quilt *
73. Stood in Times Square *
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Do something Crazy *
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Had a speeding ticket *
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car *
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper *
85. Read the entire Bible *
86. Visited the White House
87. Visit Australia
88. Had the chickenpox *
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one *
94. Had a baby *
95. Seen the Alamo in person *
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit *
98. Owned a cell phone *
99. Backpack over the Alps

my little birdies....

Yesterday I discussed with my kids my desire to give them new nicknames. B is now Birdie and D is Vulture Baby. Allow me to explain...

About 2 weeks ago I was walking by a small tree and noticed a birds nest that had three beautiful blue Robin eggs inside. I made a mental note that I really wanted to get back there soon to take photos of the eggs. A few days past and I grabbed my camera and set out to the woods again. As I peeked in I was surprised to see that one of the eggs had hatched. Well, if you have ever seen a brand new baby Robin you will understand my desire NOT to take the photo. Baby Robins are not that cute when they are first born.....(Let me just say this is not the reason for the renicknaming of my children just in case you are starting to get concerned, they were adorable babies....)

So a few days later I thought maybe I would try to get pictures of the 3 baby birds in the nest. As I looked into the nest there was only one bird and no eggs. It made me sad to think of the poor Robin mother. The mother that was making terrible noises above me and swooping down trying to get me away from her remaining baby. I looked at the baby bird and decided it still needed to "ripen" a bit. It was mainly beak with a few crazy feathers - not really photo material. I thought I would come back in a few days.

That night as I lay in bed I was thinking about that little bird. About how I looked in that nest and his beak was WIDE open. Just waiting for his mom to come feed him. For his mom to give him Everything he was in need of. I was thinking that that is how our children are when they are born. Totally dependant on us.....And then - I began to think....now wait a minute this is still how my kids look....hhhmm....So as I was explaining it to B I said she is still like that little bird - she needs things but she doesn't make much noise. She may not always say she appreciates it but I know she gets what she needs and is usually satisfied. But then I was telling D I thought he was more of a Vulture Baby...I don't even know what they are like but that was as grand as my head could think. He laughed and said that sadly to say I was pretty right. He constantly is Needing something from me. He doesn't have a license yet so he needs a ride here and then picked up from there. He needs money for a new guitar pedal or he makes that cute face and asks me for some kind of airsoft gun supplies that he plays with his friends. He needs 4 pizza's and mountain dew to take to Band Practice with the guys. As I dropped him off at band practice yesterday he hollard to me "I'll call you to pick me up when we are done..." I looked at him and threw my head back and opening my mouth huge - he got the picture...

In case you were wondering why the picture above is not my personal photo. Well, there was a sad ending to the baby Robin story. Yesterday morning I thought that I would go take a picture of the bushy little baby bird. When I peaked into the nest.....No Bird.... I know that is like the Worst way to end a blog post huh?? But hey kids - that is Life - get use to it!! Have a great day!!