Thought-Collage Thursday // A Bountiful Bunch of Dis-jointed Reflections

I don’t even know what that title means.

In the back yard yesterday 1

In the back yard yesterday

Except, I do have thoughts. That is why – this blog.  But sometimes life is careening with such force and speed, the thoughts, the observations and ideas – well, they just zoom on by and I can only retain the barest interpretation of them.

Such is this week.

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I get so romantic about the autumnal  season

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Also the back yard yesterday. No kidding – I got to see all these colors including that Colorado blue sky!

I go out in the cool breeze of night and watch the leaves drifting down and start composing silly poetry in my head like this:

When the breeze picks up and the leaves fall down

And the Jack ‘O Lanterns are scowling all around town…

There is actually much more, and maybe one day I’ll share it with the grandbebes, but I’m no poet. I know it.  ;) So for today, we’ll leave it here. Bet you’re wondering what was going to happen, aren’t you?

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Which leads me to this question: Would Dr. Seuss be able to find a publisher these days? I mean – he just made up words to make them rhyme.

See how random things just barrel through?

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The song of the month: Autumn Leaves {of course}

I love the song. I first loved the song, as a child, when I heard Roger Williams piano version (my Grandma gave me his album). To find it had actual words, not that many years ago, was a bonus. It was originally in French (1945), and all the greats have recorded it. Jo Stafford (one of my favs) was first, but then Edith Piaf (who did both an English and a French version), Diana Krall (she makes all songs amazing), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton – they all have recorded it. Eva Cassidy, too.

In the back yard yesterday malakai not wanting to pose

Kai did not want to model

And I have spent the entire month of October singing it and plunking around on the keyboard playing it. Rocky told me to come to his office and he’d play the guitar and mix my voice (read: tune me up and make me sound good) in his studio. But who has time for that? Neither he nor I.

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I get more wordy and gooey each autumn

I have been blogging since 2006, so you’d think by now I wouldn’t have a clue what all I have said. But I always do recall, each fall, that I get a little more, shall we say, descriptive, come autumn. I become quite melancholy and overcome with passion for the season.

i feel like

Proof:

  • I ponder autumn red, quote Marilyn Monroe and dissertate on being a woman in the autumn of her life. {{see here}}
  • In “Delicious Autumn,” I quote George Eliot and tumble head-over-heels into a sensory love affair with nostalgia – the sights, the smells, the tastes, the feels, the sounds of youth faded…while visiting my parents. Haha. {{see it here}}
  • I’ve often written about October being orange. But in looking back, I do also pay my respects to the reds of October. This one is an homage to red, to “a fully florid, cherry, sanguine scarlet.  A puce, a rufescent russet,  a bloody, blushing, gushing, infrared hot pink mixed with flaming chestnut and rubies and gleaming copper, all at once…shimmering and iridescent fuchsia, yet dense and heavy garnet, a ruby…bittersweet in both color and the evoking of raw autumn melancholy.” And etc! :)  {{see it here}}
  • Two years ago this very day, {{THIS}} was happening. The grandbebes and a little weather forecast.  I remember that light, those leaves…

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Oh, there are many more fall, autumn, October posts. Some November, too. And miles of words down roads of the romance of the season. But I’ll let this part go with those few examples.

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I voted.

Oh how I love getting to vote in the convenient  location of my home. And mailing it in…wait, did I remember to mail it? I will say that I wish I could change one of my amendment-issue votes because I researched a bit more later and I think I may have been…*w*r*o*n*g*!??

That is (1) highly unusual, and (2) growth for me…to think that I maybe/might have been/possibly was/super-small chance that I was ever-so-slightly wrong, but instead of demanding a fresh ballot, I’m just going with the flow. It is what it is. And really, in light of SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE VOTING WRONG ALL THE TIME, this one minor issue is of little consequence.  Just kidding…about other people’s votes. Maybe.

So now, if all the political ads would kindly remove themselves from my presence. Thank-you very much.

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Loved her book!

Oh, and I won’t tell you how I voted. No. You couldn’t guess if you tried because I am an independent. Do not try to fence me in!

BUT if she wants to hire me for her campaign, “Carly Fiorina for President!”  On women, 53% of voters: “We are not a special-interest, single-issue constituency. We are half the country.” up-project.org

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I was in the country the other day

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The burning bushes are on fire!

The cows were mooing and a tractor was motoring by. The smell of manure was in the air and a pretty gray cat with grass-green eyes came by to say hi {totally unaware that I am not a cat person, apparently}.  The sun was sweet and you could see miles of mountains from there. And even though life was happening all around and “town” was just 3 miles away, it was quiet. So quiet. I think I was made for the country.

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A {Country Baby} came to see me.

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Sawyer with Guini and Gemma

Two of them in fact, with their parents. Sawyer and Wryder were here visiting from Holyoke. That is country. The term Country Baby comes from one of my fav old movies, Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton. Do you remember that movie? I think that is a good movie to watch near the end of October.

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Arsenic and Old Lace

arsenic cary grant

And always-always-always try to view Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace near Halloween. Because. Cary Grant. He is hilarious in it and scary-good-looking!

It s such a great old black and white flick!

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I miss my mom over there in Hoosier-land.

me and mom oct 6

I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to tell you a million little details about my time in NW Indiana recently (in Chicago-land). It was so windy the last day there, but I held on to my mamala for dear life. In this photo I was thinking, “Oh I love her and I will miss her.” And I was so right. On both counts.

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Since the Cardinals did not make the World Series, we are for the Kansas City Royals.

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Got it? OK!

I love baseball. I miss my dad, too, because we watched a lot of baseball while I was there. But he can’t take seeing his teams lose, so we missed some great comebacks. Oh, pops.  ;) Cardinals forever, anyway!

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I threw caution to the wind and listed my Jeanie-green ornate, Baroque, Italianate, solid wood, custom-built green coffee table on Craigslist.

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I think I am changing my mind. Because, I mean – even the paint was custom-mixed for ME, to match a sliver of a piece of one of the grandbebe’s art pieces. I don’t know if I can let it go?

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A thought about relationships…

Tara brought me a bouquet of flowers just before my birthday, more than 2 weeks ago. It was a huge bouquet of purple lilies, hydrangea, lavender statice, various mums and Gerber daisies.  Stormie brought me a big mums-filled bouquet a couple of days later, as seen on the coffee table, above (those fall mums will go on forever!).

purple bouquet, day 17

At day 17, the purple bouquet from Tara – a third of its original size, yet still lovely.

I have never been one of those women who needs her husband to bring her flowers, though I enjoy the surprise of them, like anyone. I get joy from growing things in the ground.

But both of these bouquets made me so happy and are still bringing me a smiles, light, bright joyful remembrances of warm thoughts and pure love shown towards me.

And while a fresh bouquet is glorious, people often throw the whole thing away when a few of the buds begin to age or drop. But you miss something when you do that. There is still so much beauty there. Yes, the “fussier” parts of the bouquet are long gone. But in just the minute or so it takes me daily to tend to the arrangement, to remove drooping leaves or a dead-headed flower, then to snip the ends and add fresh water, in less than a minute, I have revived the bouquet. It looks a little different each time, some of the filler going away, but its beauty remains and I get to enjoy them much longer.

It is the same with the people we love and the relationships that mean something. Even if things are different now than they once were, a love or friendship worth having is worth tending regularly.

You could just let it go to waste, throwing away wilting expectations and brushing off the dust of disappointment. But you could also decide to spend just a few minutes tending and repairing, loving and caring. And in a very short time you might be made glad by the beauty of it again. Maybe it won’t look like what it once did, as busy and full, but that is OK, too, I think.

Love with all you’ve got while you can.

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There are so many leaves falling in this post, you may have to rake now.

I shall bring this to  close (I’m a preacher’s daughter and that’s what they all say), but of course, you NEED an autumn quote, yes? Then this, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.” Remember, I told you? October is the new January!

life starts again

Happy Autumn and Magical Thursday to you!

See? Too many words! I just cannot stop myself…

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My Big Guy has gone Double-Digits!

Oh, my sweet Hunter-man!

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www.eldeenannette.com

Ten years old! Ten. years. old! HAPPY {joyous-fun-laughing-adventureous-surprising-creative-loving} Birthday to you!!! {{Didn’t you just LOVE that surprise all-guy Risk party your sweet parents planned for you???}}

I have to tell you, I absolutely cannot fathom what life would be like without you. I can’t. You are my gentle-eyed, bold-and-strong, energetic, enthusiastic, diplomatic, affectionate, handsome and loving grand {really, truly, totally GRAND} boy. I thank God for you, I do!

When you arrived, I was madly zooming through life and over-working (as those of us who feel the need to prove ourselves often do) and you just fell like a star from heaven {three weeks early} to abruptly stop the madness and capture our full and complete attention and our hearts. lickety-split – just like that: BOOM! We were in love!

hunter as a little guy

You when you were just a “little guy…” oh, I’ve loved you a long time!

Know what I love about you? I love the way your eyes crinkle when you laugh and smile. I love your sense of humor. I love your beautiful smile. I melt from your hugs – especially when you suddenly realize you have been so busy talking to lots of people when you come in to my house and then you make a big deal of zooming over to give your Nonna a “proper greeting.” Oh, my goodness – yes – that does me in! I love the way you pray for me. I love that when my heart was breaking, you got on the arm of the chair and wrapped your arms around me and whispered words of comfort. I knew God was using you to touch me. Oh how strong you were that day.

I also love that you like my ideas and that you and I have so many things we want to create and do and movies we want to produce and projects we wish to try. We will never run out of things to enjoy together, will we, Hunter-Magoo?

Now, of course, since you are such a blessing to me, I want to bless you back. And it is my pleasure and honor to do so. For all the years you have left in life (and for all the words I can pour out over you before I am gone), these spoken blessings will be here, things I am speaking over you now – heard in heaven, covenant words on your life! They are yours to keep, to live, to enjoy to fulfill and to believe. If you ever get lost and wonder what your Nonna and the God of the Universe agreed on about you as you turned ten with so much life ahead, you can return here and find more pieces of your story and pick them up and run with them (Habakkuk 2.2).

hunter and his family

Happy Birthday to my second grandbebe (now more commonly known as my big guy), Hunter Douglas Powers. I bless you like this:

Oh wow – I just love you and I pray love in your life! I pray the love of God will surround you and work in you and through you and that His very love will be established in your heart and soul and that the perfection of this love will make you fearless in the face of the challenges in the world today. May you rise up mighty as a man of God – displaying His power and glory wherever you go. Be so permeated in the love of God that nothing can stop you, Hunter Magoo! L O V E – go get ‘em!

Your days – oh, may they be numerous and long, and healthy and productive. I bless your days from when they began. I do so bless the day you were born, a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. You just couldn’t seem to wait to arrive. :) And you have been on a life of adventure ever since. You have filled your days and nights with travel and missions work and school and learning (science experiments – your constant request) and playing with cousins and friends and interacting with family of all the generations and so much more. You know how to pack a day with good stuff. So I pray over you that all your days will be filled with good and godly things and that as you keep on honoring your parents like you do, it will go soooo well for you and you will enjoy a long (really great and abundant) life on the earth (Ephesians 6.2-3).

hunter and his brother

Taken by Aunt Stormie outside the candy shop.

You are such an honoring son and grandson. You are a loving cousin and friend and you are an incredible big brother to Kai. So, may you find honor and love and good friends and brothers wherever you go in life. May you be surrounded with the people you need to do what you were created to do and be what you were created to be (Psalm 139).

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  -Matthew 5.14-16

You are visible, Hunter. Your life is being observed. You are a city on a hill. You have an important place in the world for this day, this time, and this age. You cannot be hidden. So blaze bright, my grand-boy. Dazzle brilliantly and point the world to Jesus. This is why you were born.

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I also just want to bless you back for the way you bless me: you warm my heart with your kindness. You accept me as your ‘Nonni,’ and you affirm my place in your life, heart and soul. I bless you back with those things a thousand times over. You have my devotion, you have my respect and acceptance of you as an incredible boy created by God almighty (oh, He did such a good job creating you) and you will ever and always be in my heart. When I leave this earth, all that will change is that I will brag you up and bless you like crazy from the halls of heaven!

I agree with God for all He thinks about you and all the plans He has for you. I agree with Him and will do whatever He asks of me to make sure you are blessed, whole and holy! Oh yes!

You, my Hunter-boy, do give light to all in the house!

You and me, Christmas 2012.

hunter-and-nonna-christmas day

Happy Birthday and week and all the days. I celebrate you! {{LOVE! Nonna}}

Thought-Collage-Thursday // iWrite, iSing, iGarden, iCapture, iBuild, iPray, iLove

Each October, I assess. Or perhaps I could’ve written, iAssess. Ha. iPhone-6+-mania affected my brain, like the rest of the world.  :)

“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?” – Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) in You’ve Got Mail (1998), as written by Nora Ephron

Assessing what I do with my life, a list::

{*writing*}  …this blog, letters, journals, chalkboard birthday messages, pre-school curriculum, scriptures on cards I tuck in my bag, lists with checkmarks [checkmarks are wondrous], doodles while I talk on the phone, and assessments, like this silly thing…

And while I write my blogs for my friends and familia and my mom and because I need a place to put all my words, I am still surprised that I get more than 5 or 6 views a day. But wonder if I should start applying myself? And become a “real” blogger/writer?

site stats

 From the stats the day I started writing this post (I obviously don’t always stay focused).

“He did his best to find just the right words. And what he wrote was honest and true.” Ecclesiastes 12:10

I want to write what is honest and true.

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{*singing*} …martini music (if I could just choose a brand new fabulously successful career – it would be as a lounge singer, shhhh), oldies – mostly from the 70s, country songs are my secret hobby.  I love singing worship songs in the Presence, spontaneous family sing-alongs with my kids or my parents, I also hum a lot. I like karaoke (YES, Adam – our Willie Nelson night will happen),  leafing through old hymnals in times of trouble – singing those words and gaining great perspective. Being all emotional like Diane Keaton in And So it Goes…  :)

A short clip of Tara and I singing in their basement music room a couple of weeks back (she is the beautiful lead, of course). Her husband, Dave, on guitar. Captured via iPhone:

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{*gardening*} …vegetables, flowers, walking with God there – in the cool of the day, my hands in hot soil, sweat dripping down my brow, a red tomato with such complex and intense flavor it would not be possible to purchase it; praying for God to heal our land (the Bible begins in a garden, see Genesis, and ends in one, see Revelation); I grow things, tend them carefully…

birthday flowers from tara

“And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden to tend and guard and keep it.” Genesis 2.15

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{*capturing*} …photos of my family, my mom’s words as they are slipping by, videos of my grandbebes, babies as they are born (I’ve been a doula 4 times now!!!), history as it happens, memories as they are made. I collect moments for recording, feelings for posterity, I chronicle the faithfulness of God towards me and my people…

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My mom and my baby sister, above. My mom has me create little images like this with her thoughts so she can print them out and not forget them, below.

8 18 2014 mom quote8

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{*building*} …I have never been afraid to roll my sleeves up and get dirty working hard. I build altars, homes, people, ministries, businesses and ideas, multi-tiered cakes, Lego towers, big hair-dos on tiny grand-girls, confidence in young women who question their ability to be and do all God created them to be and do…

gemma and gavin cakesGemma’s ballerina cake, Gavin’s Harry Potter (Rice Krispie) cake, June 2014

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{*praying*} …what else can I do?…for my familia, the people who cross my path, good friends, for God’s favor, because God is so close, all my words are to Him, for Him, in Him, through Him…

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{*loving*} …I love Him because He first loved me (1 John 4.19); I love Dave in response to his selfless, passionate, devoted love for me; I love the family I came from, the one I helped create and the life I have been granted. Love is {actually} all around, as it has been noted, and it splashes on me in abundance. What can I do, but pass it on?

8 18 2014Four of the none grandbebes, and me with a heart full of love, August 2014

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True confessions:

I also waste time, doubt myself too much, over-analyze things, am too melancholy, struggle with depression, wish everyone would like me, get sidetracked easily, bite off more than I can chew and hold good people at arm’s length far too long.

But I am fiercely loyal, too, and zealously protective. I guard the people I love, discern evil, get righteously indignant at wrongs, kick Satan’s butt and love Jesus.

We are all many things, good and not so good. We are strong and redeemed in some areas and weaker and unsanctified in others. But when we see Jesus, we’ll finally be like Him. I have great hope for that incredible day – but it is not happening until the very end. So for now, this is who I am and what I do. A list.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” -1 John 3.2 NKJV

 Have you done a recent assessment? You haven’t? It’s time! Ready? GO!

On being a grand-mom {nonna}

Yesterday was Malakai day.

malakai day 1

Kai-Kai came to hang out with me. It intersected with my first day home in 17 days. And a more glorious Colorado day, I don’t think there could have been. Seriously – even a few puffy white clouds cannot dissipate the bluest of blue skies in Colorado. The sun was warm, the breeze was gentle and Kai was cuter than ever.

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Malakai Day 3

And I was thinking as my grand-boy and I were swinging and making pictures with chalk on the sidewalk, while we picnicked on a blanket in the cool green grass, as we climbed around on the play set and scooped up pebbles for throwing – I was thinking how amazing I am  as a Nonna.

Malakai Day lunch

Grilled chicken, peas, quinoa and blueberries for lunch. Animal crackers for dessert!

Yes. There. Can you believe I actually said that? Well, I did.

I am really a great Nonna.  :)

I am really good at this grand-mom thing, it turns out. But it isn’t of my doing. It is not because I am accomplishing anything or being especially productive or impressive at all.

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We enjoyed the neighbor’s beautiful autumn tree during our picnic

It’s mostly just because, I have realized, I just accept and receive the grandbebes for who they are. I enjoy them and embrace them and am in awe of them just as God has created them to be. I open my heart to all of it and feel giddy for the honor of getting to watch them and know them and see their lives unfold.

In short, I really do nothing other than enjoy them. I just sit around receiving everything they bring to life, the gift of them.

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Sandy-the-Dog wishes!

I am much better at being a Nonna than I was a mom.

As a mom, I doubted myself constantly. I was sure if I didn’t do every single thing right {I didn’t} my kids wouldn’t turn out {they did}. I was afraid it was all in my court: make sure they get good grades, are well-rounded, excel in athletics, become super citizens, are polite at all times, have the best of everything, never get hurt, {make me look good…true confessions}, and become who God wanted them to be. That last one – well, I was pretty sure God had a plan for them and if I didn’t work hard enough – I could totally mess up His deal.

“Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.”  Proverbs 22.6 NLT

And yes, of course, we have a part, as the above Proverb encourages us.  But somewhere along the way (when they were almost grown…it takes me awhile), I began to realize that more than my children were “mine,” they were His. More than any love I had for them, more than any protection or experience I could provide, He had more, so much more – that He had known them from before…(see Romans 8.29 and Ephesians 1.4). My “hard work” in raising the world’s 5 most amazing kids was mostly ineffective, at best, damaging to them at its worst.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you…” Jeremiah 1.5 NLT

I really did do my best, the best I knew to do with my children. But I over-parented a lot, I obsessed over things that didn’t matter sometimes. I erred towards discipline and creating righteous little children along the way when I should have laughed with them more, let some things slide and just plain enjoyed them. Too often I was set on molding them into godliness (at a level I could never even seem to achieve) as holy human beings to be admired instead of receiving them as the gifts of God He created them to be. And just loving them like the Father loves me, foibles and all. How does He love me?

  • God is mindful of me, always thinking of me (Psalm 8).
  • He created my inmost being and His works are wonderful (Psalm 139.13-14, the whole chapter, really).
  • God loves me with an ever-lasting love and draws me with loving-kindness. That is some deep love (Jeremiah 31.3).
  • He chose me and does not reject me (Isaiah 41.9).
  • I was actually made in His image (Genesis 1.27).
  • His thoughts toward me are countless-like the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139.17-18).
  • He rejoices over me with singing, just like I do over Him, but better! (Zephaniah 3.17)
  • He sees me as His treasured possession (Exodus 19.5).
  • He will never stop doing good to me (Jeremiah 32.40).
  • He is my greatest encourager, believing the best in me always (2 Thessalonians 2. 16-17).
  • God comforts me in all my troubles (2 Corinthians 1.3-4).
  • He comes in even closer to me when my heart is broken (Psalm 34.18).
  • I am precious in His sight (Isaiah 33.4).
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2.8).
  • We’re friends, God and I. He has called me His friend (John 15.15).
  • God delights in me (Psalm 150.4)
  • He carries me close to His heart, just like a shepherd carries a lamb (Isaiah 40.11).
  • He doesn’t count my sins against me, not keeping a ally of my failure (2 Corinthians 5.18-19).
  • He forgets my sins – as far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me. Awe-inspiring.
  • I didn’t choose Him. He so loved me, He chose me and appointed me to bear fruit that will last. I can ask Him anything, anything! He is my Father. (John 15.16)
  • Nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
  • He has always been my Father and He will always be my Father (Ephesians 3.14-15).

So that’s a good start on how to love our kids. And the grands.

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 Look at that little face. I think Kai was telling me, in this shot, “You’re doing pretty good as a Nonna.” As best I can, I’ll reflect the love of the Lord towards me back onto him. And I receive all he is, the gift of him. He knows.  He can tell…

This was in the kitchen upon my return:

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From the Kelley kids. They love their Nonna and their Nonna loves them. And I am really great at that!

Dear Gavin, Hunter, Guinivere, Gemma May, Averi-J, Amelie Belle, Malakai, Bailey-baby, Evangeline and baby-Faaland-to-be: You’re the reason I was born!  :)

 

Geese for Breakfast

NW Indiana in September.

“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”
– Aldo Leopold

#NWIndiana #SeptemberMorn 1

I’m visiting the parentals in Chicago-land. Keeping up with my mamala who can actually, truly, for real talk to the animals (and they talk back to her) is a hoot. This morning she insisted I snap a couple of pics of the morning sun while we were enjoying our coffee. I got this one.

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And this one.

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Of course she made over them, how I’d captured the changing leaves and the light just right. Even though all I did was point, then shoot. She gives me credit for capturing the beauty.  And she assures me I could become a high-paid photographer if I wanted to.

She believes in me. *sniff

#SeptemberMorn #NWIndiana geese and mom 1

Then she noticed, as we were gawking at the morning sun through her back door, about 60 or so geese out on her back lawn, just in from the woods, where the trees meet the grass (“the line” as she calls it). She grabbed her camera and out she went to take pictures of them.

#SeptemberMorn #NWIndiana geese and mom 2 #SeptemberMorn #NWIndiana geese and mom 3

So I grabbed mine and out I went to get pictures of her.

#SeptemberMorn #NWIndiana geese and mom 4 #SeptemberMOrn #NWIndiana geese and mom 5

She circled around and whistled in their language while their leader squawked back at her.

a #Septembermorn #nwindiana

She’d get too close and the geese elders would quack out some instructions and the whole congregation of them would move a ways.

b #septembermorn #nwindiana

My mom got a little too bold so they meandered to the front yard complaining the entire way.

geese talking #septembermorn #nwindiana

geese #septembermorn #nwindiana geese mom talks #septembermorn #nwidiana

They continued feeding. And feeding. And feeding.

geese bossy #septembermorn #nwindiana

And I was thinking, I’d sure like to see them fly away.  But the difference between my mom and I is that she’ll just go enjoy them and watch and wait. However, my coffee was inside getting cold. I tried to communicate to my mom with wild arm swinging from across the lawn: Let’s charge this bunch and watch ‘em fly!

 

The geese were not fans of my arm swinging and I think they even interpreted its’ meaning, as 2 or 3 of them started talking very badly about us loudly enough for us to hear. Shameless.

geese disdain

Finally the leader squeaked and squawked and barked some orders. The geese split into two perfectly orderly groups at the instruction.

september morn 1 september morn south geese

Except for two in the middle. They popped their heads up from their morning forage. “What? Are we leaving,” the first asked? “Im not sure,” the second answered as they both looked back and forth not sure what the big deal was.

what's happening

The two groups lined up like little soldiers and got very still, while the two stragglers waddled toward one group with befuddlement. They were facing opposite directions and once each of the birds was in place, the lead gave out the call and just like that – boom! They took off, one group heading north, one heading south.

But I knew the truth. They were meeting at the rendevouz point. What? Did they think I couldn’t hear their plans?

Anyway – soon enough they took off. Back to my coffee.   :)

take-off 1 take-off 2 take-off 3 take-off 4 take-off 5 take-off 6

Just being silly with my sweet mamala.

“It is warm behind the driftwood now, for the wind has gone with the geese. So would I–if I were the wind.”
-Aldo Leopold

take-off 7

 

“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”
?-Aldo Leopold

September is just one of the nicest months, isn’t it? I shall miss my sweet September morns.

Movies I have to see

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me // In theaters October 24, 2014

I love Glen Campbell, people. LOVE him. He is leaving us, one memory at a time, suffering the ravages of that awful thief: Alzheimer’s Disease. I missed his “Good-bye Tour,” but heard it was amazing. Now I’ll get to see it closer up than I could have. And it will be so amazing and it will make me sad.

The Judge // In theaters October 10, 2014

The cast, my friends – THE CAST! Story seems engaging and these actors, all together in one movie? MUST SEE!  {Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton, among others} 

And I can’t believe I am saying this: Left Behind // In theaters October 3, 2014

IF I can get my mom to go along (she has only been to one movie since she joined a church as a young girl in the 1950s and they told her movies were baaaaaaaad – but she misses them)!

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This one came out on September 5th. Anyone seen it? Should I? The Identical

It does have Ray Liotta and a RECORD PLAYER!

Let me know. What else should I see???

Thought-Collage Thursday // Everything is Beautiful

*Everything is beautiful in its own way
Like the starry summer night or a snow-covered winters day

nate dirks quote beauty

If beauty just fades away, are all attempts to rectify it just hopeless endeavors?

I am like, 5-minutes from this particular age I cannot believe I am approaching. Soon I’ll be closer to my 60s than my 40s and when the heck did that happen?

So, I look at my split ends and these lines that just appear like the crackled sands in the Arizona desert around my eyes. My teeth are shifting and my current face shape has morphed into a form completely foreign to me. My metabolism, once so responsive to my outlandish demands, has betrayed me thoroughly.

If I could figure out how to do this aging thing gracefully, I would. But what the heck does that even mean? Does it mean just to go with the flow? I’ve always been too obstinate for that, yet I have never  had the desire to focus al lot of time on my looks or to spend copious amounts of each day fixing all things falling – and I sure don’t have the energy to start now!

But of course I want to be considered beautiful. I mean…Sometime. Before I die.

I would love to have that exotic gorgeousness of a Sophia Loren, or the classic sophistication of a Helen Mirren or a grace-filled quality like Blythe Danner – a beauty that just gets better with age. Granted, they started out very beautiful, but unlike so many women who seem to be chasing youth with plumpers, fillers, surgeon’s knives and soft-focus, there are these certain women, in spite of all the signs of their age, who are only more warmly burnished, more lovely, a beauty radiating from somewhere deep inside. Yeah – that! Please!

I’ve always heard that beauty fades. And that is that. And in our culture, youth = beauty, generally speaking. And now I am careening recklessly in a whole new direction. So what does it mean? Is all lost?

marie stopes quote on pinterest

In a book club, we’re reading Staci Eldredge, Becoming Myself – Embracing God’s Dream of You

Is it any wonder, as I ponder the seemingly unavoidable fading, I keep coming across beauty quotes on Pinterest and thoughts about it in books I am reading?

becomingmyselfstacieldredge

Staci Eldredge tells the story of a day she had her hair done and it was a good hair day.  She looked in the mirror and knew she looked pretty. Then she put on a “nicer” pair of jeans for a meeting she had coming up, a red top and some earrings. She says in the book it wasn’t her usual look, but she loved it. She was feeling it. Her friend stopped by and told her, “You are inhabiting your beauty!”

She realized that she had worn the jeans before, she’d worn that top, she’d worn the earrings, but something in her spirit had relaxed and she was embracing herself, her own loveliness. She was inhabiting her beauty.

I like that because it really speaks of everything God believes about us – that we are created in His beautiful image. Our part is just to inhabit, embrace our beauty.

Quote found in Becoming Myself: “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” – St. Augustine

In another chapter, she speaks of her type-A, driven mom, who, at 71 discovered how to inhabit her beauty though being ravaged by cancer. “Beauty will come,” Staci encourages us! Her mom began to loosen control and became softer and gentler. Staci says that through it, as her mom actually thanked God for the unexpected diagnosis, calling it the most “awesome, rewarding, and glorious time God has ever given me,” in her mom’s final months, the beauty that was always there began to come forth in her.

What? you mean it’s just hiding in here somewhere?!?  :)

“The Grand Canyon has been carved by water over years beyond counting into one of the most beautiful displays of nature in the world. My face, too, is being etched. My soul is being carved. Forces are at work sculpting me – my life, my views and my beliefs – honing and shaping and changing me. The process is sometimes painful and sometimes unnoticed, but the effect? Oh for the grace to see the effect as beautiful. To be able to see our lives, our bodies, our faces, our souls sculpted by time, our choices and the hand of our relentless, fierce and loving God as beautiful displays.”  -Staci Eldredge, Becoming Myself – Embracing God’s Dream of You

roald dahl quote on pinterestRoald Dahl quote

 

Diane Keaton book:  Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty

dinaekeatonbook

I recently picked up a couple of books by film actress Diane Keaton. She is just fantastic! I love her talent and the subtle, quirky details she brings to the characters she plays. She also directs and produces and SINGS (best part of the recent And So it Goes) and lots of other things.

Stormie says that she and I are Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore in Because I said So, which I think is TOTALLY inaccurate, since I would never traipse about in spiked heels whilst carrying one of my cakes. But I digress.

I didn’t know Diane could write, but she can! And I LOVED these thoughts:

“These old-as-dirt days have one advantage: I’ve learned to see beauty where I never saw it before. But only because my expectations are more realistic. My favorite part of my body is my eyes…because of what they can see. When I was in my twenties and thirties, I wanted my appearance to be more interesting than the beauty that surrounded me. It was a fool’s folly.

On my fifteenth birthday my dad told me I was becoming   pretty young lady. My mom said I had a pretty smile. One of my teacher’s complimented me on my pretty new dress. I was old enough to understand that pretty was a poor cousin to beautiful. Pretty was the stuff of being friendly but not being friends. Pretty was the right dress…Pretty was Sandra Dee, easy and light. Pretty fades. Beautiful was Natalie Wood, deep like the ocean…Beautiful makes you come back for more. It makes you ask questions. It’s vast, unknowable and magnificent. That’s part of its power.

…there is no beauty without pain. Beauty flourishes on sorrow. It’s enriched by the knowledge that life is fleeting, sometimes cruel, and often ends without resolution. That’s what makes beauty deep.”

So, I’ve concluded – I don’t think beauty does fade.

Following my vast  ;)  research on beauty:

Beauty doesn’t fade. Beauty deepens. The first glimpse of a small green tomato on a vine thrills, but doesn’t compare to the complex, intoxicating flavor of the deep red glory of the fruit toward its end. That depth cannot be purchased at the grocery store. Or in a bottle.

Beauty doesn’t fade. Pretty fades.

Pretty gets dull, becomes passé, begins to sag and will fall to the ground despite the use of expensive fixatives.

But beauty, the real stuff of it – the part that began inside anyway and is waiting for the right moment to explode to the surface, dazzling and bright, knocking the wind from bystanders, that beauty – it deepens in time. It seeps into the broken places of our hearts and minds and covers scar tissue and heals our soul and calms our spirit and strengthens our bones.

Once it has erupted in magnificence, even after it has splashed on bystanders and returned like the ocean tide to its giver, there will be no lack. Because it will settle deeply.

Beauty doesn’t fade. It deepens. And if the sorrows of life that etch and wound and change us end up revealing the treasure within, then there is actually hope!

*And everybody’s beautiful in their own way.
Under God’s heaven, the world’s gonna find the way.

 *Lyrics: Everything is Beautiful by Ray Stevens (Ray Stevens and Jake Hess both won Grammy Awards singing it)

Celebrating September Love

Happy 11th Anniversary, Dave & Tara!

dp and tp

Our firstborn daughter married the man of her dreams 11 years and two fantastic sons ago.  They are still acting like newlyweds and spreading the love around! In fact, in two days, they’ll be putting on a concert, Decades, featuring love songs from the 1940s – right on up through the present.  Deets can be found at dtp.eventbrite.com. And there will be food.* 

A sample…

Happy Anniversary, Dave and Tara. Thank-you for the 2 outrageously cute grand-boys, the love you are living and all the joy yet to be! So lucky God gave you to us! How can we ever thank Him enough?

hunter and kai sept 14

Hunter and Malakai after the candy store (taken by Aunt Stormie)

Happy 8th Anniversary, Rocky & Jovan!

anniversary

Almost exactly one year ago, you lost so much in the floods that ravaged Colorado and you have been hard at work, tearing out, throwing away, cleaning up and re-building. And the number 8 in the Bible signifies new life, the old is passed away, new beginnings {all things are made new} and wow – that is SO right on for you two! God is just doing new-wonderful things in your life!

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The 3 little women with their beautiful mama

So glad Jovan started crushing on you when she was only 14, Rocky. So glad you fell for the woman she became. Thank-you for the three extraodinarily stunning little grand-girlies you have shared with us. So much life and love yet to experience and you’re doing it well!

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September is such a lovely month, isn’t it? Lovely and love-filled!

* The Comida Truck will be at the Decades Concert. So good food, too. Hope I see you there! :)

Happy Birthday, Tristan Kelley!

Happy Birthday to our first-ever son-in-law, {world-renowned drumming sensation}, the father of three of THE most amazing grandbebes in the world and handsome husband to our Stephanie!

tristan kelley dancing with his little girlHappy Birthday, Tristan. I love this photo (above). It’s one of my favorites ever of you (from Ryan and Tredessa’s wedding) because of what it says about who you are and how Guinivere is looking at you.

She is looking at her protector, her daddy, the first love of her life. She is looking at her place of safety and her guide in this journey, a man who will make sure she is cared for and fed, tucked in safely and has the freedom to live and love and make mistakes and learn.

It was a moment in time, a celebratory dance at a wedding, yes. But it was also a little girl who knows, really knows deep down, that she is seeing a man who is steady in his character, reliable in his love towards her and sacrificial in his living – making sure his family is covered.

She sees the one leading their dance and she sees a humble man whose strength is not loud and cocky, but whose giftings and abilities are exploding like fireworks, expanding, getting noticed and opening doors.  But in spite of his talents and notoriety, he will always be right there, close – twirling his little girl, loving his wife into deep beauty, fathering his children with dignity and respect.

That’s what I see when I look at that picture. I see what she sees.

tristankelleydotcom

www.tristankelley.com

And I also know, without looking at it, that you were a gift to our family and we still receive you as such. I know that you were the perfect man for Stephanie. I know that you are simply better than most of the men on the planet and your strength is rooted in love:: unshakeable, devoted, focused, whole and holy, and on-purpose love.

Thank-you for loving Stephanie like you do. Your love lights her up. Thank-you for having three children that simply thrill us and for trusting our time with them, our impact on their lives. Thank-you for accepting who we are and what we bring and honoring us there and for letting us be your “in-laws.” Because we know getting Stephanie was the goal, but **surprise** …she came with a bunch of us. Haha! And you have been a honoring son-in-love and we are so grateful. We are SO thankful you live close and loan us the grandbebes. Oh, how they have expanded out hearts! You GET POINTS for this! :)

Thanks to Cherie and Larry Kelley for the honor of getting to enjoy life and family with their son!

Larry & Cherie came for a visit this summer. It was so good to see them. Here they are with our mutual grands:

tristan's parents summer 2014

Thanks to Stephanie for marrying so well! We knew we raised her right! :)

tristan and family

Thanks to the many fans who love Tristan’s drumming for seeing a little of what we see!

You’ve proven to have good taste!

See the MY PLAYING part of his website {{HERE}} for lots more samples. Or check out http://instagram.com/tristankelley

tristan kelley instagram

And thanks be to God for creating Tristan Kelley in the first place.

Much elation*jubilation*happy-dancing*applause here! Let the festivities continue!

And so I’d like to write a blessing, a decree for you, over you. And here is how I pray heaven’s blessing on you:

That you’ll always have enough:: enough resources to live well and bless others, enough time to accomplish all the things that interest you, and enough courage to raise those three children in troubled times. And may those children be the strongest, healthiest and most thoughtful people ever, leaders who change the landscape and bring peace and joy.

I pray your clients and students will receive everything possible thing from you freely, and that you are enriched by them, too. I bless you with the knowledge you need to impart and for you to be re-filled and fulfilled with all the goodness you have poured out (in business, in teaching) coming back to you!

I pray your family increases in love and that you walk in peace and rest on every side, but that when hard times come, you’ll be fierce and unflappable and know that you are strong enough, courageous enough and worthy of the respect so many of us carry for you (but none more than your Creator).

I bless the day you were born and the celebration of it. And I bless all your days to come. May they be amazing in every possible way!

We are so thankful for you. We love you so much. Happy Birthday (a day late). We are celebrating and rejoicing and grateful we know you and get to say you’re one of ours!  {mom}

 

The other sister

Oh, Victoria. {see Huffington Post article here}

I cringe. I think I know what you were saying or trying to say. And I hope it’s what I think: that we are blessed when we worship and when we obey God. I think you were trying to communicate that all of God’s promises are yes and amen, and that in Him we live and move and have our being and that the things He has called us to do and be bless His heart and make us whole and holy and happy and fulfilled by the very holiness of them. I think {hope} you meant to say that He has given us His joy so that our joy may be complete.

I really don’t believe, like many of our “extended family” in the Household of Faith seem to, that you meant to diminish our Father in heaven, or to say that anything less than loving the LORD our God with all our strength in every way possible (spirit, soul and body) is the standard by which we live.

“So [Jesus] answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”  Luke 10.27 NKJV

You weren’t actually meaning to say that we shouldn’t do this, though, right? You just meant that  in so doing, all we were created to do and be brings godly contentment, yes? And that God loves to see us happy and blessed, like in Psalm 1? Right?

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Oh, my sister, dear Victoria. With a stage and audience so large, with our excitement at being able to speak to so many people, I bet a lot of us might have said something that wouldn’t hold theological water somewhere along the line. I’ve screwed up royally before. I just haven’t done it with 6 or 7 million viewers to catch me meandering with words.

I am choosing to believe the best of you because I really think Jesus would have us in a circle and be writing in the sand about now.

The mockery is inhumane. I’ve been misunderstood and it sucks. I have desperately needed understanding and been refused. So, though I cringed at the phrasing, I am not casting you out of the family. I am praying for you.

God bless you and keep you. And I pray He comforts you, too. And if there is correction to be done, just remember it is just a part of the narrative of your life, and not an indictment on your existence.

Hey, um, church? Dearest Household of Faith?

My dear, beloved familia~

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions…Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  Galatians 6 NIV

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe she is heading the wrong direction. Either way, the second half of Jesus’s command (from the commandments, people) was to love our neighbor. So how about, if you cannot stand to believe she is actually our sister in the Lord who needs some covering and support right now, you at least treat her like a neighbor and pray her up? Like you would want people to do for you?