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Giving thanks for - drugs. Seriously. I am trying to get my back to cooperate with me. I believe it is muscle spasms that are causing the pain and weakness, so I’m treating it as such. Ice, heat, TENS unit, rest, Motrin, muscle relaxers… you name it and I’m trying it. I’m not bouncing back as quickly as I used to. And if I hear it’s because I’m getting older one more time I might lose my cool. :-)

I’m also very thankful for my mastermind group. Our bi-weekly meetup was switched up a bit because we lost our babysitter to renovation work being done at her home. They did meet for what was basically a play date for all the little boys. I just wasn’t up for that and chose to stay home and rest my back more. But Saturday, we met for our monthly Gab-n-Nibble at our favorite local coffee shop. We all needed that time together so much!

I’m thankful for online groups, too. I sure wish I could meet some of the folks in person that I am getting to know online.

I’m thankful for Facebook tools, but sure wish there were better alternatives…

Outside my window - The sun is up - and is forecast to shine today. The temperatures for the week look promising. There is a lot to do out in that yard, but the back has to heal more before I attempt any of it. We did prune the peach and apple trees yesterday. One small step for us, and giant leap for the fruit we hope the trees will bear this year.

Clothing myself in - comfy pants, t-shirt, light cardigan, because the mornings are still chilly in our basement, and tennis shoes. I think wearing my shoes will only help the healing of my back.

Home front - I hope to produce an extensive list of “could-dos” later today and this week. Somewhat of a resource to go to when we find we have some pockets of time and need an idea for any project we might be able to tackle in a short amount of time. The only way anything is going to get done around here is to take advantage of those pockets of time. How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time. Rachel and I walked around the yard yesterday and she patiently listened to me as I listed things that need to go on that list. Another perusal of the inside and outside of the house will help produce a rather long list…

On the menu - I actually did get the menu done last night before sitting down to relax. Maid Rites are on the list for tonight. We have two birthdays this week, but probably no gatherings to celebrate them. This makes me sad. We are moving into phases that allow for more people to gather and the restrictions on local businesses are being eased. It would be altogether too easy to forget that we are still in the throes of a pandemic. We do hope to resume family gatherings soon.

Pondering - how to make the very best of this season, and I don't just mean Spring. I mean this new season of life. I don't know whether or not we've made the full transition, maybe you never fully transition, I don't know. But after a discussion with friends and kids the other day, I am becoming more aware that I have been letting opportunities to love on our family fall through the cracks. I hope to take some time to really dig into ideas about how I can love and serve my people well. We are moving out of a season of burnout, and I'm feeling the urge to resume or initiate some great ideas. Perhaps this would be a great time for a personal inventory. A time to consider what is working, what is not, what would I like to do, what do I not want to do, how we can make the most of our time together.

Listening - I noticed a playlist on my Starbucks app the other day when we were placing an order for pick up. I listened to the first few songs and I liked it enough to add it to my library. The mornings are precious to me in part because of the silence. I do miss listening to music while I work in the house. But with John working at home - in the living room - and my mom watching television so much of the time there really is no good way for me to listen to music while I work. This is a problem. I need a solution. Let me think on this…

Reading - I finished The Artist Way and hope to move right on into the next book in the series, Walking in This World. After so many years with false starts in The Artist Way, finishing it was such a gift. Truly, I do think it did some things in me that I will benefit from far more than I anticipated. I have chosen books and assigned them each a day of the week to be read. I have found that I get more reading done if I can be okay with brief reading times in the morning. I am also okay with having several books going at the same time. Variety. Right now I have the following stacked and ready to read: A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman; The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger; The Church of Small Things by Melanie Shankle; and Atomic Habits by James Clear. Quite a combination, right?

We also decided to start a “book club” in our Real Sisterhood group. I think the first book might be Little Women… I’m not sure how I feel about this. I wonder if I’ll even be able to get past the first chapter… I hope that this will motivate me to read more, watch less, and broaden my horizons in regards to genres. I prefer fluff sometimes. I don’t recall any heavy reading to be honest. It will be interesting … check back with me later, please.

I have also discovered a couple new blogs that I am really enjoying: Cresting the Hill and Happy Go Stucky

Watching - We finished Outlander until the next seasons come out. Mom enjoyed the series quite a lot. We fast forwarded through all the sex scenes, and there are a lot of them. Like a lot - a lot. Consider yourself forewarned.

Making - I find that I have difficulty resisting the urge to buy fabric whenever I go to the places where fabric is sold. This could be a problem folks. I buy it because it’s beautiful without any idea what I will make from it. I want to sew, I really, really do. I think my first step is finding the place for cutting. The quilting room is now pretty congested with the monster long arm machine. I have so much to make: aprons, casserole covers, quilts, runners, dresses for little girls, ponchos, bags, all the things.

And meals. I want to make some meals to take to some folks. Rather than just sell the Traveling Pans sets - I want to launch some. I have a daughter who is about to deliver her second child, a baby girl, and I want to make and take meals for her and her family. My son is always happy to take food off our hands. And another daughter who would just welcome the blessing of a meal. So there are people who I can make meals for, no doubt.

Oh, and the Bunco Kits! I still hope to make the Bunco kits for the market on May 1st.

Loving the moments - With my husband alone. We don’t get nearly enough of them. One of my first challenges is to initiate more activities that get us out of the house and enjoying things we love, and finding new things we enjoy.

Planning for the week ahead - I worked on my calendar/planner last night. Every time I opened it up the past week, I just got so frustrated. I can’t decide between a full-on bullet journal or turn my planner into somewhat of a hybrid bullet journal. I heard the words, keep it simple, in my head last night, so I just sat down and started on it. I think I made some progress and it will help me stay on track in some ways. Mom asked what I was working on and I told her my planner. I explained I wanted a planner that did the work for me instead of just telling me what I had to do. LOL. Doesn’t work that way.

I am keeping my planning at minimum because I could get the call at any moment that it is time to go to the hospital to help usher our newest grand baby into the world. That has priority this week. Then there is a dental appointment and those two birthdays. Oh, and apparently I need to come up with a plan for Easter Baskets…. That’s another story for another day.

Naming what matters - This right here. This home, this family, this life. This is where my time, attention, and energy matters most. Considering each member of our family and what needs they have that I might be able to contribute to in healthy, appropriate ways. That’s what matters.

Words worth sharing - “Trust the Process” This was a series of teachings at our church recently. I find that this is a good and true thing in many areas of our life: faith, sobriety, finances, growing things, weight loss and healing, relationships.

Something to remember - I want to remember how John and his family have come together so much for Chris and Heidi as they have walked this hard, hard journey. They have spent so many hours together in House Party and on long phone conversations. We all hope we will be able to spend time in real life together once Chris is out of the six month period of isolation. I hear there are plans in the works for a family reunion. This is the stuff memories are made of.

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