Breath of Fresh Air – White

I whacked my Dammit Doll on the counter so hard yesterday that I thought for sure it’s red-yarn tufted head would burst into a stream of its cotton-ball filling. The Poodle sat still as a statue nearby. I could feel his steely gaze, as if in judgement, as I let the moment of frustration wash over me.

“What’s got your knickers in a knot,” he’d say if only he could.

In a blink my outburst was over though it was followed by quiet tears.

I’m just so over all this man-child-in-my-basement drama.  Yet another time I’ve failed miserably to reach inside my son’s head and heart and get both headed in a better, healthier direction.

I’m thinking of his words as he walked out the door.  “Well if you want me to leave you should give me money.”

Talk to the hand son: Not going to happen.

I fix myself a cup of coffee and sweeten the moment with a cookie to soothe the ache in my heart. As I take a sip I realize that all the recent drama has clouded my head and heart with negativity and blue moods.

I look at my new kitchen…yes, NEW kitchen…and my spirit instantly brightens.

So, it’s been in the works for exactly a month. Our lives were in understandable chaos with a gutted kitchen and extremely limited means to create reasonably healthy meals.  Not to mention the constant presence of workers and The Poodle barking (A LOT!).   The inconvenience (and ear-splitting noise) of it all felt like years but in reality, the month has flown and we finally have a fully functional kitchen once again. With the exception of a few odds and ends that need finishing, we are absolutely thrilled with our breath-of-fresh-air new look.

Gratitude seems like a word over-used lately–in particular, without honest conviction– but honestly (and I know, kind readers, you all know it too), it’s a word that should be relevant every hour of the day.   Thankfully, I’ve become immensely better at practicing heartfelt gratitude especially when I find myself starting to wallow into a negative spiral of emotions.  Often, it’s just a long, deep breath that I need to get myself back to center.

And yes…sometimes it takes a prop….like my Dammit Doll.  Judge not until you try it: It really is a terrific stress-buster.

Inexplicably, my mind is a whirlwind of thoughts.  As I sit in my kitchen that has been transformed from darkness to a breath of fresh air, I’m filled with hope and a deep appreciation for every thing. From things large and small, happy and sad, the good, bad and the ugly, I’m grateful for everything that has colored my life so far.  Yes, It seems like such a cliché… but I am better for it all.

….Yes, even for the father that beat me and the ex-husband that stifled growth and joy because of fear and insecurity.

Holy Cow: It’s amazing what a white kitchen will do for you!




After: A breath of fresh air!

In this moment, feeling blissful…

It’s All Little Stuff

It’s been a difficult week.

With miles to go before it’s all done, I’m tired beyond belief from unpacking. Fatigue and soreness from hauling boxes up and down stairs along with finding so many things that need fixing has me struggling just a bit to find bliss in my new abode. We made this choice and we certainly own it….still, it will likely take time for me to fall head-over-heels with our new home. Scorpions aside, our middle-earth home (still unsold) was nearly perfect in every way. It was love at first sight: from the moment we moved into that house we sat back and relaxed (mostly), in awe of it all. Fear not….I’ve made progress on getting my head into a more contented place. Another room of boxes has been emptied. The guest room is shaping up satisfactorily. Once I made the bed and placed the crucifix that mom painted with flowers on it above the iron bed I was able to smile–even hum a tune– allowing acceptance over the new order of things to wash over me.

The Poodle sits in the doorway of the sunlit-filled room as I adjust pillows on the guest bed. With a final smoothing of the quilt I turn to him. “This will do, don’t you think? I say. His head tilts to one side.

The room just needs a good coat of paint….along with the rest of the house.

Ah….Yes, I know. Sigh.

My world, filled with worries and weariness, pales in comparison to the souls in Texas and Louisiana. As I watch the devastation unfold on T.V. and social media I can only imagine –as I sit with a roof over my head–the depth of despair these folks are experiencing as they live through the catastrophe of Harvey.

I struggle loving my new abode but oh I’m ever mindful that in the blink of a second this all could be gone! I curse that I cannot fit a cookie sheet into my Lilliputian-sized oven while in the same breath I heave a heavy sigh for lives –and homes–upended and lost to Harvey. Cracked floor tiles are inconsequential in the scheme of things as is the likelihood of yet another hefty expense because our dryer isn’t venting to the outside. Inhale, exhale. I fight the feeling of being completely overwhelmed yet again.

It’s all little stuff !

My stone Buddha, its features chiseled away by five years of weather as it sat in our Alabama back yard has a new home on our front doorstep. Lizards may not find refuge here as they did in middle-earth but it’s my hope all who come to visit will feel peace and love as they step through our door.

So, while it has been one frustrating thing after the other this week I count my blessings, great and small. I have a roof over my head and a new refrigerator to hold my food. Family and loving hugs are seventy steps from my back door and The Poodle is glued to my side. Better still, Rocket-man has safely made his way home again from his travels.

I have all that I need. But my heart is heavy for those who do not.