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I Love Snow!

ilovesnow

It’s snowing here and in my excitement, even though I didn’t have to get up early, I was up early.  Silly I know for me to not sleep in, because going out today is not a viable option, but the child-like wonder in watching snow fall has never left me.  So here I sit, coffee in hand and snuggled under a blanket in our warm home, watching the snow fall outside in what is being called a blizzard.  Ah, the benefits of being a Jersey Girl!

Especially when snow is falling at night, I am entranced by the wonder of each individual snowflake being unique, much like human beings.  Collectively they fall from the sky to pile up together, nestled on the ground, and then blown by the winds to be swept up again into drifts.

I love snow like I love people – I love their uniqueness, their quirky ways and their ability to bond together to form a cohesive snowball!  LOL  I know I’m being silly here, but I can’t help it.  I’m giddy today.  I just can’t help myself from smiling.  I don’t even care that it will take me a long time and much effort to clear a path, clean off our cars and get out after the storm has ceased.  But for now, the winds are blowing, the snow is falling and since we have no place to go – so as the song goes – Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I am feeling innately sated today and I’m counting my blessings.  We have homemade chicken soup all ready for lunch (and maybe even dinner?) if the mood suits us.  Plenty of snacks and some movies to enjoy watching together.  There’s no school and no work to attend today so we will just enjoy being together, safe and sound, watching the outside world be covered in a mantle of white lace.

Life is good friends.  Shine your heartlights.

Shine On!

xo

 

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Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

Home Is The Nest You Make Yourself

homeisthenest

I love the quote:  Home is where the heart is because it’s simple and direct.  Home is anywhere you find yourself comfortably surrounded by love.  Be it a hovel, an old drafty farmhouse, a small nest or a McMansion.  It’s home because your loved ones are with you.

It’s about being together and being able to be YOU with all of your goodness, your quirks and your insecurities, knowing you are loved for who you are.  Home is the comfort in being accepted for yourself.  Home is knowing you are safe in being vulnerable there.  Home is knowing there are arms to hold you in a strong hug with support and kindness, gentle kisses and soothing words.

There’s no place like home dear friends.  May you remember with gratitude the home and loved ones with whom you share your life.  No matter where you travel, near or far, may you always have a home filled with love and kindness.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Finding A Way To Pamper Myself

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What a lovely word to start a Sunday, don’t you think?  It’s a day of rest and a perfect time to pamper yourself.  How do you pamper yourself?

I had thought about taking a nice Epsom salt bath today, but that is not to be.  You see, I started smelling what I thought was a gas leak this morning when I went to take the garbage out.  It was intermittent so I wasn’t too concerned and because there’s a decaying animal smell as well (which I thought was my garbage, but it’s been confirmed that it’s not!), my smeller was off.

After talking with a good friend this morning, I decided to call the gas company just in case..  The kind man who came out told me that I was smelling propane and not gas.  Wow!  I guess my nose was right, but not completely specific.  The man found that the propane tank for the grill was leaking and turned it off and disconnected it for me.  I don’t use the grill so I had no idea.  While he was here, I asked him to come down to the basement just to check the gas line etc.  Surprisingly, he found 3 gas leaks.  I’m ever so grateful that the Universe and God were helping me by making the propane tank leak because otherwise I would have never known that the gas in the basement was leaking.

So he turned off the gas in the house and I called the landlords who said they would get someone over.  In the meantime, no hot water for me, no cooking on the stove and no grilling, not to mention, no laundry because I have a gas dryer.  And don’t you know it, I didn’t take the clothes out of the dryer last night and now they’re wrinkled!  Can you say, UGH??!!  I dislike ironing!

So how can I pamper myself today?  I guess a warm shower is out of the question, so I think I may just take a nap.  I know the gas is turned off so there’s no danger of me not waking up.  I think I’ll pamper myself with a nice long nap and now that I can’t cook dinner, I will have to order out!  Yippee!

I always have to find the good in any situation!  That’s the blessing of being a girl who views life with a glass 1/2 full!

I hope you take some time today to pamper yourself!

Shine On!

xo

via Daily Prompt: Pamper

During and After The Eclipse Experience

duringandaftertheeclipseexperience.PNG

Just before the eclipse was to begin, the cats remained awake, ears perked up, listening and watching the unseen.  I watched as their breath was steady, but ever so slightly quickened.  I wonder how they react to such a phenomena?  The quiet is amazing outside.  Stillness except for the whir of a car on our country road.  It’s as if we are all holding our breath for the big reveal – the darkness of the moon’s passing over the sun on a summer’s day.  In quiet anticipation, I await as I assume so many on our planet do at this moment.  Await the experience, even though I am not in the direct line of view where I live.  It is the experience of being outside with the world as darkness falls for a few precious moments and life is reset.

From inside our home, I see nothing different outside as I check my watch.  I still see the sunlight dappled on the ground, peeking through the leaves of the trees.  I know I have to look for the crescent-shaped shadows when it’s time.  I only hope I can get a photo or two to show you.  The eclipse is slated to begin at 1:20pm in my area, to peak at 2:45pm and to end at 4pm.  It is only 1pm and my limbs feel heavy suddenly.  Is it my imagination or is it a real feeling from the Universe?  Did you have any reactions as the eclipse time grew nearer?  I would love to hear how you spent the eclipse time?  I didn’t get glasses so I won’t be looking directly into the sun as I value my eyesight.

The winds have picked up.  I can see the leaves dancing on the limbs of the trees outside my window.  It feels like the anticipation before Christmas morning.  The sky grows dimmer.  It’s now 1:18pm.  It is silent except for the whispering of the wind through the trees.  Even the farmer across the street has stopped his tractor in the corn fields.  Outside it’s beginning to look like the darkening of the skies before a summer thunderstorm.  I’m not sure why I’m so riled up about the eclipse.  It feels like a giant present to the Universe for me to witness.  You know, like when you’ve bought the perfect gift for a loved one and they are about to open it and you just know they’re going to be so surprised and love it?

dandelioncloudsmoonandsun

I watch a car stop across the street.  A teenage boy gets out, puts on his solar eclipse glasses and looks up to the sky.  Since I don’t have glasses, I wonder what he sees if anything yet?  Is it too early to see a change?

Meanwhile, at the same time in Los Angeles, a friend sent this photo:

Crescent shadows on concrete

A friend in Los Angeles just sent this photo of the crescent-shaped shadows on concrete. Cool!

No need to wear sunglasses now.  Skies are darkening overhead slowly, but steadily.  I await hungrily in anticipation.  Do you?

2pm Cats meowing relentlessly.  Do they feel it?  Do you?  Do your pets?  What was their reactions, if any?  Outside the light is fading.  No sunshine to see.  No shadows on the ground.  Willow tree gently sways in the gentle breeze.  No birds are chirping.  No movement from any animals either.  Are they resting?  Do they think evening is here already?

2:23pm

Clouds have darkened the sky. Only a sliver of blue remains and the sun is covered by dark clouds.

Geese Flying By

Suddenly three geese burst forth honking on their way across the sky.

And then all grows eerily quiet.

The Eclipse!

Until the clouds part for the briefest of moments and voila! I capture the eclipse!

The Eclipse 2

And then again, two seconds later!

I guess my Universal gift was that I was able to photograph the eclipse because of the cloud cover.  However, I am dismayed that I never got a shot of the crescent-shaped shadows on the ground though.  Thank goodness my friend sent me a photo earlier in the day which I shared here.

It may have been the big reveal that wasn’t such a big reveal, but as you read through my two posts about my experiences, perhaps you’ll share yours.

What’s the big reveal to me?

I think it’s the unity in experience that counts.

Each person’s experience is one’s own,

even when it’s as universal as seeing an eclipse in the sky

over our planet Earth.

Shine On!

xo

 

Ants, Wasps and Mice, Oh My!

antswaspsandmiceohmy

Today’s Daily Prompt about PESTS fits my situation perfectly so I couldn’t resist!  I love Mother Nature’s creatures, but only when they are outside and not inside my home.  A few errant visitors are tolerable when I figure they could have gotten lost and wandered into my home for a short visit.  With the exception of mice, I’m not afraid of pests.  We have two cats, so we are used to things that go bump in the night. LOL

However, my new abode was sadly abandoned for a bit before the landlords entered the picture and fixed it up and then, I moved in.  I guess creatures big and small moved in when the humans moved out and it’s been a bit of a journey convincing them that the new human inhabitants are here to stay for awhile and their squatters rights have been removed.  Sadly I don’t speak mouse, ant or wasp languages so I had no way to convince them that they needed to move on.  To say it’s been frustrating and quite frankly, yucky is an understatement.

But time heals, even in pest situations and they are becoming less of a nuisance which is good for me.  No longer is my toothbrush covered in a hundred ants when I open the medicine cabinet nor is the Tupperware container filled with chocolate Lucky Charms alive with extra ant crunchies.  This is what I mean by yucky, don’t you agree?

The wasps seem to have moved away now as well which helps, but the mice, well, I think they are still hanging around unfortunately.  Sure, I’m a big fan of Minnie & Mickey Mouse, but not in my house!  Our cats are such divas that they wouldn’t know what to do if they came face to face with one.  Because they aren’t outside cats, I think they would be clueless since real mice don’t smell like the catnip mice-shaped toys that they play with at home.

It’s all a transition here – ups and downs like a roller coaster – but I can now start counting more ups than downs for which I’m grateful.  I do worry though that the mice are in the fireplace at night as the cats seem to gaze into the darkness often when it’s quiet.  So far, no mice have stepped on the glue paper which is a relief to me because honestly, if I awoke one morning to one stuck there flailing, I’m not sure I could deal with it!  YIKES!

Ok, enough about my pest situation!  I hope you have a pest free day yourselves and enjoy this lovely Saturday!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  Those of you who are wondering, this isn’t a photo of my actual home!

 

 

Smooth Seas

smoothsea

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sometimes we wonder why hard times fall on us.  We blame karma, bad luck, ourselves or others for the sad times.  We can’t understand why or how bad things happen to good people.  Have you ever felt this way?

I love the quote above as it makes sense to me.  Sadly I agree that in good seas, we don’t have to practice what we preach.  It is only when the storms arise that we must walk our talk and talk our walk or however that quote goes.  You know what I mean, don’t you?

During stormy seas, we realize who our true friends are and who we can count on.  Unexpected friendships can arise and we may even be surprised by who reaches out in kindness…and who doesn’t.   We may even finally realize who supports us and who doesn’t, as words without actions are simply words.

Kindness goes a long way, especially when you are hurting.  Being a warm, safe haven for someone is a precious gift, especially during stormy seas.  I want to thank those who have helped me over the years, the ones whose kindness never waned and whose support I felt even in my darkest hours.

Shine On!

xo