It’s Time for Weekend Coffee!

I’m so glad you could make it this morning.  I’ve been looking forward to this time we share together all week.  I’m telling you, our weekend coffee is the highlight of my week. If we were sitting down together today, I would break out the Thomas coffee I’ve just purchased.  I’ve been so excited to share this with you.

You see, my dear friends and neighbors are from St. Louis.  I have lots of family there, too.  I love St. Louis with all my heart.  My daughter will be heading there for university in the fall, so she likes it there as well.  Anyway, I digress.  Thomas coffee is an amazing find.  When my friend, Tracey, ran a doughnut shop, the only coffee she served or would serve was Thomas coffee.  I have to tell you, I tried it once and I was hooked.  I think I’ll go make us a cup instead of just telling you about it.  It’s something you won’t believe until I tell you, but there is no bitter aftertaste.  I can’t wait for that first cup. I’m sure you’ll like it, too. You’ll see. I just wish we had something sweet to go with it.

In other news this week, my middle daughter graduated from high school last Sunday. It couldn’t have been a nicer day.  The weather was perfect and the ceremony was beautiful all along with a Catholic Mass.  We are Catholic and she graduated from a Catholic school so what better send off into the vast, new world than with a Mass.  Our pictures turned out very well, too.  I would have liked some more, like one of my dad and brother with the graduate, but that didn’t happen.  We all went out to eat lunch afterwards which was delicious and the best part was that we were all together.  Such a joy. Of course, after lunch was over, we came home, rested a bit, then she took off to attend various parties for the rest of the day.  Ah, youth!

All the kids are out of school so summer vacation has officially begun.  It’s nice not having to wake them up in the mornings and make sure the boy is ready for school.  The girls are independent, so we just hear them getting ready and off they go around 7:15 every morning.  Next year we won’t have a driver for either of the ones left at home, so we will be back on full-time taxi duty.  I will miss that, but it’s only a year until we have yet another licensed driver in the house.  Hubs and I have been spoiled over the last 4 years always having a teenager to run errands and such.

My Kindness challenge is going well so far.  I’ve just finished week 3.  This week, we focused on being, thinking and saying kind things.  This is a tough one, but I’m starting to get better.  It’s not to say that I’m an ogre or some other terrible monster.  I do have a temper, however, so it’s twice as important for me to remain calm, gentle and kind during those times.  I’m a work in progress.

Being a more gentle person is not as hard as it sounds and I’ve found that it helps my relationships. I have found over the last 3 weeks that my marriage is much more infused with love and patience.  Hubs is changing too.  I can tell he is more engaged with me than he was, and our marriage shows that. Our marriage is the focus like it should be in our life, the rest is secondary.  I love this man with my whole heart, unconditionally.  I think he’s seeing a change in me, too.  I hope he is.

Well, I hate to guzzle and to, but it’s time to get the boy up and moving.  He has a baseball game in a little over an hour.  I thought it would be raining, but it isn’t raining yet.  This little apple of my eye, my not-so-little baby boy, my sweet future who is too big to fit in the bed between Hubs and I is growing up too fast.  Soon enough, he’ll be wanting the car keys too.

Revolution of Kindness Week #3

What a week to be kind.  It sure came in handy.  I have to still remind myself that life is so much better when I’m kinder, softer and more gentle with my words and actions, but overall, it’s getting easier.  I am so grateful for joining this action to kindness and I truly believe that it is helping me in so many ways.  Not only do I see a change in the way I am, but I notice all the little things around me.  I notice the kind gestures, the kind words.

At work, I will see some grumpiness, but I remember that kindness is often the best way to turn it around.  I have yet to be grumpy in my new job.  I really enjoy what I’m doing.  I enjoy the people that I’m working with.  I actually did see a situation where someone was so upset by a sporting event that his whole attitude was that of grumble, grumble in the morning.  We were chatting about the game that occurred the night before.  I was upset by it too, and for the same reason, the outcome.  It ended our season.  The beauty of the situation was in our conversation.  As we were talking about it, I infused kind words for both teams.  I spoke kindly and didn’t enter into the “talking smack” about the other team because what good would it do?  It changes nothing.  Our jobs aren’t in any way affected by the outcome of the game.  Our relationships are intact with those we love.  The game is just that, a game.  This is not my usual reaction on such a big game, but this time, thanks to the gift of kindness, it turned his attitude around and it helped me too.

At home, the gift of kindness has been helping exponentially.  I can’t say I always do the best at speaking softly and being kind, but then again, I have teenagers.  Let’s get real.  Sometimes soft and gentle doesn’t get them moving.  Sometimes, nothing will move them, except perhaps fire under their backsides! Even then, I feel the reaction may be a bit slow.  Overall however, I would say that the kindness revolution is going great.  I see how my marriage and my relationship with my kids is much improving.  I have a long way to go, but I will get there in time.

I can’t wait for the next challenge.  I keep adding the challenges as they come and work at them each day.  Although some days are more successful than others, I’m getting there.  As I always say, I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  I am a work in progress.  I encourage you all to join us in this Kindness Revolution and change your lrevofkindness.jpg

Kindness link to join the Revolution:  https://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com/kindness-challenge/2016-weekly-links/

A Fork of Something Special

With a forkful of salad in my mouth, I mull over this word prompt.  What a fascinating prompt to be given.  A fork can be different things but the first one that comes to mind is the one you use to shovel food into your mouth.  Perhaps that’s because it’s suppertime here and I’m starving.  Hubs is the grill master this evening and we are anticipating his famous burgers.  They are truly delightful.  Well, just about everyone loves them, with the exception of 2 of my daughters.  You see, he mixes just the right amount of dry red wine and soy sauce into the ground chuck.  I’m not even sure if he puts anything else in them, but the taste after searing them well on the the grill is, for lack of a better term, amazing.
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A fork also brings to mind thoughts of long ago and the Little Mermaid.  Do you remember the bit where she found a fork and thought we humans used them to brush our hair?  She called them dingle hoppers.  What a name.  Very clever girl with her treasures.  My ex-husband and his old college roommate used to sing songs from the Little Mermaid.  They knew every word.  What a great time it was to sit in between the two songbirds in a small pickup truck while they serenaded me with those songs.  That was a very long time ago.  I wonder if he still remembers the words?  I’ll have to tell my girls to have him sing those songs to them.  I think they’d get a great laugh out of it.

We have to be true to word “fork” and not forget the definition of “fork”.

Simple Definition of fork

  • : a small tool with two or more pointed parts (called prongs or tines) used for picking up and eating food

  • : a garden tool with two or more prongs used for lifting and digging soil

  • : a place where something (such as a road or river) divides into two parts

Source: Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary
Given the last meaning of “fork”, one often thinks of the forks in the road, metaphorically anyway, that their lives have gone.  I have always been one to choose the path less traveled.  I never choose the fork of least resistance.  I couldn’t tell you why I am the way I am, but I do seem to enjoy getting there the hard way.  At least I tell myself that I enjoy doing things the hard way.  I don’t really.  I suppose I try to convince myself just because I’ve learned to enjoy this route.  This fork in life has always provided some great views into the lives of people I would otherwise have never had the fortune to meet.  Each of them has made an impact on my life.  For that, my friends, I am grateful.
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Yes, there are always easy ways and hard ways to accomplish your goals and it all begins with which way you choose to go at that fork in the road.  Sometimes, the path may appear to be covered with gold and gems, but that may only be the outside.  Sometimes choosing the path with briars and thorns will result in a fairy tale ending with far more riches than meets the eye.  Be careful which fork you choose.  Your life depends on it.

Today’s Stressor

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This is exactly how I feel! Stressed beyond stressed! We have an appraisal guy coming today. That was totally unexpected, for one thing. I am so not impressed! We have 2 hours to get this house in order and it’s far from it! HELP! CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!

I hate the unexpected things in life, especially when it comes to my house. We are firm believers in actually living in our house so, our home would never grace the pages of any Home and Garden magazine. I do try, but with my kids and those from the neighborhood always here, it just isn’t happening.

Lord help me to get this together today, somehow! Just had to share this briefly. This is my biggest pet peeve but unless I get mean, there is no rest for the already weary.

Blessings, my friends,
Deirdre

I Am Who I Am

Ever wonder why your life is the way it is?  I know I sure have.  I wonder what would it be like if I had made different choices.  What if I hadn’t been given up for adoption.  What if I had married my husband the first time around, or if I had stayed married to my first husband.  Wow, my life would be so different.

Life is a series of happenings.  When my parents made the choice to adopt me, they said no to one other baby before me.  I could have had other parents altogether.  Instead, my parents decided that I was their baby girl.  They came to pick me up from the hospital when I was just 5 days old and I have been their daughter from that day forward. I had a happy childhood with summer holidays to Ireland, mostly, but also to California, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin.  I had trips to Florida and St. Louis and Chicago. I had piano lessons and tennis lessons.  Most importantly, I had a family that loved me.  They taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and to never give up.

I dated my husband back in high school.  We dated for a very long time.  Boy, was he a cutie.  Jet black hair, hazel eyes and the longest eyelashes you can imagine.  We dated all the way through high school and half way through college.  Then I dumped him.  Yes, I broke his heart.  He never really got over the fact that I did that, but somehow, after some time had passed, we rekindled our friendship and just remained friends for many years. I married someone else.

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When I had my first child, she was perfect.  I couldn’t wait till she got here and she was in no hurry to make her grand appearance.  She was nearly 3 weeks late.  My life had changed forever.  I was in awe of her perfect little body, her fingers, toes and sweet chubby cheeks.  Not only did my body change, she changed my whole world, forever.  She was followed by two more beautiful girls.  What a perfect family, until the divorce.

Getting divorced was a huge life change for me, as well as my girls.  We were starting over by moving back to my hometown and leaving the place where I had called home for 13.5 years.  We left both good and bad memories behind.  I had to create a new home for us, a new place of belonging without their dad.  That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but alas, I did what I thought was best under the circumstances.

Once things were settled down, I asked my high school sweetheart a very important question.  We had stayed in touch.  He had watched the girls grow up.  We were in the parking lot at Walmart, just the two of us.  We had met for lunch as usual, but unlike other times, I hadn’t brought the girls with me.  I told him that he had to promise first, not to laugh at me.  I asked him my question.  I asked, “Would you ever, possibly, ever remotely, consider, possibly, dating me again?” He laughed.  I couldn’t believe that he laughed, but he did.  He said yes, but the reason he laughed was because he couldn’t believe I had to ask him that.  Well, of course I did.

Shockingly enough, after knowing this man for most of my life, I married him.  We dated this time for only a few months.  He is my soulmate.  The second time around marriage works.  We even added a bouncing baby boy to our crew a year after our marriage.  I married the one who sticks with me through thick and thin and we’ve seen it all in the last 10 years.  I can’t tell you what I would do without my husband in my life.  I don’t even want to think about it.

This is my story. It is how I came to be where I am today.  It’s how I grew up to be the one I am now.  I am a lucky woman and even though my life hasn’t always gone as I planned it, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday  post.  We do this every week and you could join us too!  The sentence to finish this week, was “I grew up to be the one I am now…” hosted by Kristi and the sentence thinker-upper, Upasna Sethi of Life Through my Bioscope.  Visit and have fun checking out what we do each week and join in the fun!

Countless Blessings

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We are all given something which we can be grateful for.  For me, well, I have many.  I feel very blessed.  I have had a wonderful life so far.  I won’t say that it’s been a bed of roses, but I’m choosing not to dwell on the negatives in my past because it doesn’t do anyone any good.  It certainly won’t do me any good to think about those things that caused me pain or stress.  I have learned over the last six months, in particular, that I must be grateful for the many blessings that have bestowed on my family and on me.

I grew up with two parents that loved me very much.  I was adopted by strict, Roman Catholic parents from Ireland but they knew how to laugh and have a good time all the same.  My big brother was always there for me. In 1st or 2nd grade, in the good old days, I knew 3+2 but not 2+3 and my brother, who is 6 years older than me, let me ride piggyback on him until I got it!  How many older brothers do you know that would do that!

My brother always let me come into his room to listen to his room and dance.  He didn’t mind if I sang to the music either.  He would take me to the movies and I would pretend that I was his age.  We went for ice cream at our favorite ice cream shoppe.  It was amazing to have an older brother who loved his little sister so much.  I am so glad he still loves me!

My parents adopted me, so another blessing.  Raising someone else’s baby when you know nothing about the back round must be a little scary, but mom said that as soon as she saw me, I was hers.  How many countless blessings I have had just because I was their child.

Now, I’m all grown up.  Since growing up, I now have a family that I love with all my heart of my very own.  Such countless blessings I have been given. I have 4 wonderful kids, and a husband who loves me and would do anything for me.  I can’t repay my husband for all of the wonderful things he does for me, and I can’t tell him enough how grateful I am either!  We don’t have a perfect marriage, but who does.  I still wouldn’t trade him for any other man in world.

Yes, I have been given so many countless blessings in my life and tonight, I wanted to share just these few.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my memories.  What blessings have you been given in life?

End of the Road

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My St. Louis Blues lost their battle tonight for the Stanley Cup.  They were so close.  If you’ve visited before, you know I’m a die-hard fan.  I love my Blues.  I’m saddened by the way they played the last two games, but on this occasion, I will say San Jose just played harder.  San Jose was hungrier to become the Western Conference Champs and into the Stanley Cup Finals.

My friend, T and I always watch the games together.  Tonight, we just both had the feeling that it might end in the favor of the San Jose Sharks and unfortunately, our gut feeling was correct.  You see, I always go with my gut instincts about things. It is rarely wrong.

As we sat watching this game, as so many others, T made the same comment as she has on other occasions during this series.  Our Blues were playing the Sharks game instead of the other way around.  We really didn’t score many goals this last series at all.  Vladimir Tarasenko, one of the best goal scorers in the league, had not made a goal going into this game and this was the 6th game.  That, in and of itself, is unusual.  Our players, usually dictate the pace of the game and you can tell early on what kind of game it will be, but these last few games, well, let’s just say it’s been rough.

The players lacked energy from a viewers standpoint.  It seemed that the Sharks dictated not only the pace but the majority of puck possession as well.  Brian Elliott started out in goal again tonight which I thought would possibly bring some energy back after missing last game, but after the score was 2-0 and the Blues were looking lethargic on the ice, I thought for sure they would switch goaltenders and put Jake Allen in.  Perhaps if they had, the outcome would have been different, perhaps not.  One will never know.

In the 3rd period, the Blues were down 3-0.  Yes, my soul was singing laments of sheer sadness.  Finally, my Blues showed some signs of life.  They somehow scored 2 goals in the last 8 minutes but it was too late.  The Sharks had already scored another goal and late in the 3rd, when the score was 4-2 with 2 minutes left, they scored again making the final score 5-2.

I will not forget this season for a long time.  I am proud of my Blues.  They did so well and came so far.  They are such a bunch of great men.  Special shout out to Robbie Fabbri, the young 20 year old who made his mark in the NHL in his rookie year.  He will be around for a long time to come and hopefully he’ll stay with our team.  I love my Blues.  I love St. Louis.

Now, it’s on to baseball and tennis!  French Open is on.  I better start watching.  And how about the recent horse racing events?  No triple crown this year.  Can’t wait though until next hockey season.  At least I can still watch my son play this summer. The problem is, he’s only 9.  It’s a far cry from the NHL, but it’ll have to do.  I can dream of hockey sticks, ice and pucks though.  Nothing will keep me from that.

Learning to Be Enough

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Many of us who are creative have issues with being hard on ourselves.  I know I am.  I often think, “why would anyone ever want to read my work or look at my painting.” It’s a similar story in life.  I often times question whether I’m good enough and I’ve written about this before.  The thing is, I’m learning to accept that I am absolutely good enough.  I am more than good enough.  Wow, that’s even hard for me to say, much less write.

Many creative people suffer from self worth issues. It’s just one of those things we stress over. You see, in my case, I have always worried about pleasing people. I want the world to be happy. I want to make each person I come in contact with to be happier because of me, or something I’ve done. I hope this makes sense to you. I just hate disappointing anyone. The very thought of being a disappointment causes anxiety.

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I have struggled with being enough for many reasons my whole life.  I always have considered myself not enough.  When I was young, I wanted so badly to be like my big brother.  He was so smart, so good at school and tennis.  In my mind, he had everything that pleased my parents.  I felt like I never filled their expectations of what I should be.  I was just above average in school, I didn’t feel very smart and I was just okay at tennis.  What I excelled in was music.  My brother played piano as well, but did not have the talent that I did.  He can not sing like I can.

Now, I realize that it’s okay to have different talents.  I also realize that I made up this idea in my head that I wasn’t good enough.  Sure, my parents wanted and expected me to excel, but my mom always said, “just always do the very best you can and we will be happy.”  My dad, on the other hand, was a man of very few words.  I guess I wanted him to tell me that he was proud of me.  He finally did when I became a nurse.  I was over the moon with happiness.  I finally felt like I had his approval and felt his joy for something I had accomplished.  It felt so good!

If only that was the only time I felt like I was enough all the time, I wouldn’t question my strengths.  I wouldn’t question whether my writing was good enough to be read by others.  I wouldn’t ask if someone would actually like the butterfly or flower picture I worked so hard to create.  I wouldn’t mind playing piano in public places anymore, even though I’m rusty and I would actually offer to sing the solos in choir at church.  But I don’t.  I know that I may be enough, but to imagine myself as actually good?  Well, that’s where it gets difficult.  I just continue to work on believing that I’m good enough and pray that someday, I’ll move up my scale to a good.  I know too many people that are far more talented than I could ever hope to become.

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But what happens now?  I keep plodding along and marching to my own drummer hoping someday, I’ll have the accompaniment to go along with that drumbeat.  I still battle the self-doubt and self-worth issues, but I’m working on those every day.  I have to because it is me, and only me that can change how I view myself and my world.  I try speaking to myself kindly and thinking kindly as well as doing kind things for others.  What I have learned so far, is that we are our own worst critics.  We are hardest on ourselves.  It’s something that we need to all work on  Step back, look at yourself and try to imagine yourself as others see you.  I guarantee, they see someone who isn’t as bad as you do.

 

 

Grains of Kindness

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We are all individuals. That being said, it takes each one of us to make the world a better place. In this Revolution of Kindness I want to focus on how each of us is like a grain of sand. Yes, a grain of sand.

You wouldn’t go to the beach if there were only a few grains of sand because it wouldn’t be a beach, right? It takes many grains to make up the entire beach. Well, bearing that in mind, we are like that. We encompass many views, each unique and different. We may look similar and act similarly, but if we look at each person, as with each grain of sand, you can see the vast differences.

It takes more than one view point to make a country work. No one person or viewpoint is inherently right just like there isn’t one individual that is wrong 100% of the time on every little thing. That is why we have a government made up of different individuals who are supposed to be there to do the work of those they represent. It doesn’t always work that way, but in theory it should. Ah, but I digress.

As we are simply grains of sand, alone we can accomplish a little bit, but together we can do so much. Think about a bag of sand. They use sandbags to make barriers to hold back flood waters. It’s very effective! It also takes more than one person to accomplish this task efficiently.  If one person shows kindness towards another, it pays off by making both of them happier. The second person is more than likely going to perform a kind gesture for someone else. This can and will grow if kindness is allowed to bloom.

We are the grains of sand that could make the world a much kinder place. We need kindness in our lives. First we must let the grain of Kindness grow within our hearts, then we can plant that grain in other hearts by performing random acts of kindness and using kind words. Let’s let the grains multiply to see what kind of world we can create. I know I would like to live in a world where we are more concerned with the welfare of others and less caught up in the small battles within our own hearts. What about you? Will you journey with me to a kinder world?

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Liebster Award!

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Thank you so very much to Shaz  for nominating me for the Liebster Award. What a blessing to be thought so much of by such an incredible author!  If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do it!  I am so honored by this award and hope that it will bring other readers to visit my blog as well as I venture further into sharing more short stories as well as my other daily musings with you.

11 Things about me.

  1. I’m first generation Irish in the US.
  2. I love to travel, but don’t get to do as much as I used to.
  3. I have 3 dogs, Duncan, Eleanor Rigby and Gizmo.
  4. I’m married to my high school sweetheart.
  5. I can play the piano, flute and a little bit on the guitar.
  6. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander  series is my favorite book series of all time.
  7. I love Indian food.
  8. I love to paint, but I’m not very good at it.
  9. I love my coffee in the morning and a scoop of ice cream at night.
  10. I love the beach but live in the Midwest.
  11. My husband is my best friend.

Now to answer the 11 questions posed to me.

  1. My overall life goal is to be the best wife and mother I can be while writing a novel.
  2. The one thing that brightens up my really bad day is my husband.  He has a way of making things better when all the world just seems to be wrong.
  3. I caught the traveling bug when I was a very little girl.  We would travel to Ireland to visit family.  Mom always said I was a “very good little traveler”.
  4. I can’t travel without my wallet with my driver’s license in it.  I’m practical if nothing else!
  5. The worst thing that ever happened to me on a trip was when I was a child.  We landed in Dublin, Ireland but our luggage went to Dublin, Georgia.  I had no clean underwear and I had had an accident.  I was very small.
  6. Traveling to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for an Indian wedding.  My husband was a groomsman.  I had a blast and our son was just 4 months old.  The food, the partying, the people, the culture.  So much fun!
  7. Uh-oh, there is no question 7.
  8. I think most places I’ve been to are the way I imagined them being except Malibu, California.  I went there when I was younger and we stayed in a dumpy motel.  We had to go buy towels for the beach. We went to the beach on an overcast day, but as I am an optimist, we made the best of a strange situation.  We were only there overnight then headed up the coast again.
  9. When I’m away from home, I routinely sleep even less.  I am up in the wee hours of the morning, even earlier than at home.  I just have to immerse myself in my surroundings.
  10. I usually miss my bed, my pillows and my animals the most when we aren’t at home.
  11. If I could do anything to make this world a bit better, I would simply teach people how to see the cup as half full. I would teach them to see kindness and be kinder to each other.  If the world was kinder, our world would be a much better place to live.

Now, here are my 11 questions!

  1. What is your favorite thing to do on a summer’s day?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What makes you continue to blog?
  4. What is your favorite genre of music?  Do you listen to it when you write or do you like silence when you write?
  5. Where is the place you’ve traveled to that you’ve enjoyed the most and why?
  6. If you could do anything in life where money was no object, what would it be?
  7. If you had to give up reading or writing, which would you give up?
  8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  9. What is your favorite meal?
  10. What can you not leave the house without in the morning?
  11. What country do you live in and have you ever traveled outside of it?’

I do hope you enjoy these questions.  I’m just winging it this morning.

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award.

1) Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2) Make a blog post telling 11 facts about you
3) Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you
4) Prepare 11 questions for those you will nominate.
5) Nominate 11 new bloggers (those who have less than 200 followers) by commenting in one of their blog posts.

Thank you again to Shaz at www.surescribbles.wordpress.com for nominating me! And congratulations to my nominees!  You guys rock!

And the nominees are:

  1. Carvings on a Deskcarvingsonadesk.com
  2. https://daysdescending.wordpress.com/
  3. WIVESREPUBLICwivesrepublic.wordpress.com
  4. Reality Through Fictionscratchesandscribbles.com
  5. https://paulcarlos.org/
  6. There Must Be Wordstheremustbewords.wordpress.com
  7. Dreamer’s Paradisedreamdisorder.wordpress.com
  8. https://supercrunchblog.wordpress.com/
  9. Raised on the Radioraisedontheradio.com
  10. Crumpets and Bollocks by Michelle Grewecrumpetsandbollocks.com
  11. talesabouttails.wordpress.com