Friday, April 30, 2010

A Real Howlabaloo

The quiet pastoral area where we live wasn’t so quiet last night. Every dog in the neighborhood, and from the sound of it, there’s at least 36, had a full moon party last night. It seems unfair that those rascals can now sleep all day and the rest of us have to pretend we’re rested. I must give our dogs credit- they knew what was good for them and didn't participate. However...

In other countryside news, Annie (the black lab) had another encounter with the chickens last evening. The chickens are free-range and spend every afternoon out of the pen. Since Annie's rampage when the chicks were small, our dogs have lived peacefully with the chickens. We have 2 roosters and trust me, you don’t have to train them to have cock fights, that’s what they do. They were getting into it and Annie just couldn’t resist the temptation to jump into the fray and she had one of the roosters in her mouth when Jim came riding to the rescue on his tractor. He’d been mowing, and the tractor patrol put the petal to the metal and separated rooster and lab. They both survived. Now I know why roosters have a whole bunch of feathers- it’s protection.Somber local news is that the man who I think of as the patriarch of our neighborhood died yesterday. He had a stroke and moved to the best neighborhood of all, but his many children & grandchildren, who all live around here, will miss him a lot. We are expecting at least a dozen people at our house tomorrow for a cook-out and “family fun day” and the funeral is during that time. We’ve decided that he would rather us celebrate family and love and look out for his widow on a daily basis than cancel everything to wear black for him. I hope that’s the right decision. I truly want to show my respect to the family. Any thoughts?

Hope you experience fullness & joy in your life this weekend. I saw this photo yesterday and it made me smile and reminded me of one of my sister’s sayings, “whatever blows your skirt up.” I think that’s supposed to mean “whatever makes you happy”.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feeling Prickly?

I’d say from this photo that Addison is uncomfortable sitting in the grass. Easy for me to laugh, until I started thinking of things that make me uncomfortable.
The first few that come to mind for me are:
  • Doing Taxes
  • Confrontation
  • Cell Phones Ringing in an Inappropriate Place (God forbid it’s mine!)
  • Going to the dentist
Enough said. What makes you feel prickly?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Soul Survivors

One of my very best friends is a cancer survivor. She bears the wounds of war with humor and fortitude; the life and death battle changed her in remarkable ways. She has more patience, more joy in the small things, more compassion and more generosity than before her illness. I treasure time spent with her as some of that always rubs off on me.

She wouldn’t have chosen the path of medical treatments that were as life-threatening as the disease she fought. She wouldn’t have chosen the high cost – physically, financially, emotionally – she experienced as she battled to live. But as she fought, her spirit grew strong and she pressed through to a victory that is sweet indeed. She wouldn’t have chosen that path but as she emerged from the darkness, I’m sure she wouldn’t willingly give up what she gained for the chance to erase that journey.

Some call it survivor’s joy; the zest for living that comes from a near-death experience. My question today is, what’s it going to take for each of us to appreciate every day, live fully in the moment and as James Dean said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow”?

There’s a sense of urgency in the way these soul survivors live, though it’s not a stressful urgency. It’s more a sense of not being willing to delay any of the important things in life; an ability to discern what’s truly essential for a life well lived. It’s designing a life of no regrets, which means being quick to forgive and slow to become angry. It’s participating by doing the best you can with what you’ve got instead of whining that others have more.

For soul survivors, playing it safe is no longer a viable option. It’s time to push the limits and throw off restraint. You can be authentic and real and if there are those who would judge and disapprove, such is life.

I choose a survivor’s attitude & joy today. Each of us have no doubt survived innumerable tests and battles. May we drink deeply from the cup of courage and step out into a new freedom. Today’s the Day!

* I've been writing for business and this piece was born out of someone telling me that I need to "bury the urgency" when I speak and teach. Can't do it. Don't want to either. If you want to encourage me today, consider subscribing to my Life Notes. (I'll be giving away a book next week to one new subscriber! This is weekly updates from my training business, LifePoint.) This is a shameless plug, but I know you well enough to ask! Have an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waves of Memories

This past weekend, we had a reunion of the Bosom, Bottom, Buddy Club; a childhood club consisting of my sister and our first cousins, daughters of my mom's identical twin. In case you don't click through to read more, I'll just say that we've always considered ourselves half-sisters because our mom's are so very much alike. (As well as the fact we spent all summer, every summer, playing at LouLou's beach house together.)

We began our weekend with a visit to the wonderful house that holds waves of memories for us and were amazed that it not only looks very much the same but even has that beloved smell of old wood and salt spray.
This was the 5 of us then:
This is now:
I'll go ahead and admit that the really great photo of that my sister took of all of us (with a timed shot like this one where she has to RUN to get in it) is in the editing stage because I'm being persnicketty. I wore a knit top that I won't wear again for photos... in the best shot, it appeared I had a tire around my middle. Of course, this was a distortion of the camera and couldn't have been the way I REALLY looked, could it? Oh mercy.... My self-esteem is better than my body but my sister is under orders to do something to correct her camera lens. HAHAHA.

The old beach house is on Cinco Bayou, where the waves are always gentle. We actually stayed on the gulf in a marvelous house. We ate and laughed and talked until we were blue in the face. We questioned why we had never done this before and someone said, "this is the first time all of our kids are out of the house..." Ahh - that does make a difference.
The best part of all was being with this band of sisters who love each other unconditionally and have done so our entire lives. We're connected. We can be real with one another and trust that we'll get called out (with love and laughter) if we're off-base. To spend 3 days with 5 women and not experience even 1 moment of discomfort is a rare gift. After all... everything begins and ends with family.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Whoppyjawed, out-of-kilter, off-balance; that’s what I’ve been. My desk chair is to blame.

About 2 weeks ago, my right hip started hurting, so much so that I couldn’t sleep comfortably. I couldn’t understand what was happening. It restricted my exercise and was altogether troublesome.

Then a week ago, Builderman sat down in my desk chair and said, “this chair is the cause of your pain! Get rid of it!” Huh? Well, it’s whoppyjawed. A couple of months ago, it made a funny noise, some metal fell out of the bottom of it and it took a funny tilt. Honestly, I didn’t even notice it, but obviously my hip did. After just a week of working in a chair that’s straight, my hip is almost completely better.

The moral of this story: The little things can make a big difference, especially over time. Lesson learned, apply as needed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cake Fail & Other Confessions

I cook alot (one byproduct of living 25 miles from town) and I've shared a recipe here and there on this blog. I'm not sure if you want the one I renamed Tombé cake. That's French for fallen cake. It used to be called Texas Paradise Cake but every single time I make it, it falls. Builderman loves it anyway and requested it for his birthday this weekend. I added an extra tsp. of baking soda and figured with the magical skills of my new Kitchenmaster, surely it would come out alright. Here's my Tombé cake.The funny thing is he and our son think it's the most wonderful stuff and there's just a small glob left. It's not a piece, it's a glob.

Speaking of failure - doesn't it make you like someone better when you know they're not perfect? People that appear to have it all together all the time annoy me. I mean really.

So here's to my Tombé cake. And other failures too numerous to list on a Monday morning.

When you come to God with your mistakes, He doesn't rub it in, He rubs it out!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Joy. Pure Joy.

I could call this post "Wordless Monday" since words can't express how thankful I am.

This weekend was a very special time with family. My heart is so full.

Get the picture??