Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An extra day

Of all the things I could have done with an extra day, this is what I did instead:

drink coffee, talk to Christy on the phone ... twice, bathe kids, issue meds to Erin who is on day two of fever--and Lanie, whose mouth is sore from brackets on her front teeth, fix meals, fix popcorn ... twice, school with Lanie, text Lisa, send out e-mail thank you's, chat with an old high school friend about livin' and learnin', watch it rain, postpone a grocery run, cuddle a sick five year old, eat leftover potato soup (yumyumyummyyummyum!), do mazes, talk to Shane ... twice, and give thanks for dinner in the freezer (yay double batches of chicken penne pasta!).

Perhaps on the next leap day I will have a better plan. But honestly, being housebound with the people, watching it rain, doing stuff together was just what we needed.

Monday, February 27, 2012


to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding)
 to restore to life, vigor, or activity.

We've done some light renovations around here--ok, painting. Certainly not light, was the removal of the jungle underbrush. This weekend, we reviewed plans to reconfigure the front garden. Armed with gloves and shovel, I went out in winter weather, winds whipping, to dig up plants we wouldn't be keeping and to prep for tilling. March is coming fast.

The combination of a stuffy head and snow flurries changed my mind. Shane looked at me as I came back in. He stood in the school room, his least favorite room of the house. Ever since we saw this place, he has been determined to change it.

"Let's do the school room," I said.


"Yep," I said and started taking books off shelves. Because I know how days turn to weeks and months. March is coming fast, and the growing season poised at its heels. I went and got my goggles and dust mask kit. Shane laughed. And I felt so thankful.

We emptied the room, began taking down beams and walls and ceiling. It felt so good, the crowbar, the hammers, the ripping and pulling, the teamwork and camaraderie. We hauled out debris, shoveled and swept. We laughed about hard hats and garden designs and nicknames and many other things.

The room is gutted.

And he is my best friend.

One thousand gifts and still counting (2683-2692)

2683. mini daffodils gifted
2684. Reggie over for lunch
2685. drizzly days
2686. a red Sharpie
2687. new inscriptions
2688. his laughter returned
2689. the sound of a hammer against the beams
2690. a school room without walls
2691. the community of writers over at 66 Books
2692. safety goggles

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I read lightly of a tossing boat and the disciples’ concern, just a sentence or two. But I stop to play it in real-time–my own storm, my own fears, my own cries. Lord, don’t you care that I’m drowning?

I read His rebuke in the turbulence, “Silence! Be still!” And I’m standing on the deck with the disciples as He turns and speaks.
Writing today at 66 Books.

Monday, February 20, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2656-2682)

snow outlining branches in the woods
a bright red cardinal tucked among a bushy outcrop
chocolate heart cookies delivered
the teenage boy's smile he tried to hide when I handed him a Valentine
cards making their destinations in time

thoughts on times "between the rains"
a Valentine card for Erin's mommy--that's me!
joy in giving
remembering Gabriel and Claudia out loud
a thank you on my wall

a kind word
an old cat
love notes by email
heart trails down the steps
eager hands to give cards

thanks in a mailbox: brick and voice
singing harmony to Lanie's melody
multi-colored fingernails
a rake
and a spade

a mild enough day to weed
Friday night prayer drive
the swell in church--beginning to know others, their hugs and friendship 
the quiet and still for His ears only
the smell of onion grass

a tree for her to climb by herself
a day he didn't hate

Monday, February 13, 2012

A February day

Sometime a year ago, I stood on the front walkway of this property as they held an open house. Snow covered everything and I didn't find it all particularly pretty. I was by myself, with camera in hand. Our contract on the place had expired. Our house was still for sale with no prospects. I tried not to let these details get to me.

In the cold and white and empty, I spoke to the God of my heart where faith leaped in full color.

This weekend, walking in the whisper crunch of fresh snow. Erin in pink. Lanie too old for cold. My camera in hand, snapping picture and picture. It was as beautiful as I knew it could be. Erin rolled a snowball bigger and bigger, and in the still and quiet of a winter morning, I steeped warm in the abundance of wonderful life.

One thousand gifts and still counting (2634-2655)

grumpiness avoided
snow on trees limbs

heart glitter
love notes
monkey stickers
a sub on the blog
lemon water

Asiatic lilies 
a pink making snow angels
animal tracks in snow
hugs with friends
warm covers on a comfy bed

hot tea
her love of dance
giggles in church
fears shed
Valentines delivered from David and Anita

how they treat us like family, theirs
dinner around a big table
chocolate melting in a bowl
another year to prepare heart cookies, for new neighbors
my kids finding happiness in giving

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Our groundhog didn't stick his head out of the ground, despite the warming lure of spring-like temps. We went out for a winter picnic. We've done this before (in the before), layered in scarves and hats and heavy coats. But this time around, it was hard to believe it was winter. Short sleeves. Sunshine. I wanted to open windows. I didn't.

Winter picnic: basket with juice boxes, sandwiches, chips and fruit. Cloth napkins because they don't blow away in breezes. Tablecloth on a picnic table. Lots of outdoor play.

When the groundhog "in the know" determined six more weeks of winter, I wondered, "When was there ever not six more weeks of winter?"

Used this grace period to get a head-start on pulling weeds and raking the last of fall leaves.

This is what I woke to this morning. 

Sleeping in

Going to bed last night, late, I knew I had a post to write for 66 Books this morning. Accidentally overslept. Thankful for an email offer from a fellow writer to sub today. I took him up on it.

Light snow on the ground. Second cup of coffee in my hand. School work, piano, and a grocery run for today.

Monday, February 6, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2612-2633)

cuddles with a baby in monkey pajamas
a curly-headed boy and a box of crayons
making bread and giving it away
red carnations

a morning ride with Lanie
a visit with a bestie, both of us
the lesson learned (mine) over forgotten ballet slippers
chatting the morning away with a new friend
white chair rail

Tuesday after school play dates
this old house
crooked, twisty trees
cuddles by the fireplace

birds lined up on the power lines
deer tracks in snow
unexpected calling of my name in the grocery store
a hug with a friend
her warm smile

family meals around the table
love, here

Thursday, February 2, 2012

To be or not to be

Sometimes people sell you out. Sometimes it's by the very people you love.

Writing today at 66 Books.