Ok, so where have I been for the past 6 weeks? Well, for the two of you that were curious enough to hang in there and are reading this, I'm ok. Lots of changes that continue to overwhelm me. For one, I'm working. And when I'm not working I'm too tired and exhausted to do much of anything else. My job is very physical. I work at a Fry's Store (Kroger) in the kitchen department. I love the variety of work, making the time go by fast. I love the atmosphere. I don't love unloading a semi truck-load of heavy boxes and crates every night. Oh and yes, I work nights. And because I 'm a morning person and wake up before 5, and I don't get to bed now till after midnight, I'm going on very little sleep these days. Thus the lack of blog posts. Sleep deprivation has stolen much of my ability to concentrate and create interesting blog posts. And let's be honest, I don't have much of a life to blog about since starting work.
Anyway, enough of the negativity.
The weather here in Phoenix is simply gorgeous. We've been well below 100 for weeks. That usually doesn't happen till after Halloween. My cool morning walks with Koda are truly the highlight of my day. I cry out to God to give me strength to do the things that need to be done and to give me peace, joy and contentment. Oh and love. His love.
Yesterday I was talking to God about joy. If my circumstances never change, can I truly find joy again? Well, when I got on Facebook a couple hours later, my friend posted this. Oh and btw, she is battling cancer. And she is a mother to four young children. And she has joy!
I was thinking about joy this morning. It isn't necessarily present in those you think it should be. I have been surprised to see a real lack of it in the rich and the famous and I have observed a serious supply in the weak, even the suffering and those who live simply. It is a confusing emotion because in some people it isn't even present. Joy is a gift. One you must choose to unwrap, no one can do it for you. The amount you have is the amount you are willing to receive. It comes directly from God. It is the cure for anxiety, weakness and fear. It is what fills up the hole so those things can't enter. It heals us from pain, loss, need, sorrow, illness and even kills cancer. It comes at a price that some people think too expensive. A choice to let God make your choices. It comes with a hunger for God's Word and a relentless pursuit to fulfill His passions. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Wow, did I need to read that or what! So this morning on my walk with Koda, I chose to unwrap joy... to put on joy. To let joy heal my sadness... my fears. I will choose joy in the journey. And be thankful. No matter what God allows in my path.
Ok, so I can't post a blog post without photos. These are some recent photos of my husband Randy with our twin grandson's Nathan & Jonah. They are 17 months now and cute as bugs. So thankful for these little guys. They sure bring a lot of joy to our lives.
I am currently sitting in Superior Court of Arizona in downtown Phoenix ~ awaiting
jury duty selection. I will be here for 8 long hours. But no worries, I came prepared.
In fact, I resembled someone about to embark on a month-long cross-country back-packing trip. My bulging backpack got quite the looks going through security.
Just so you know, I have
never done this before. I have either been pregnant or nursing or no babysitter, or my group just never had to appear when I called the day before. And I’ve got
to be honest, I’ve been rather anxious about the whole ordeal. But now that I’m
here, I’m ok. I mean think about it, I have a whole day to journal,
blog, read, do whatever I want, and not feel guilty.
So, I’ll be posting random
thoughts throughout the day to keep me entertained, and hopefully you too.
I ate most of the lunch I
packed by 10am
I’m liking the private cubicles
for us laptop-ers
A friend on Facebook posted
about the new Pumpkin Spice M&Ms
I want them in the worst
I reorganized my sewing room
over the weekend
I downsized my wardrobe over
I feel pretty good about my weekend
Koda & I take walks every
morning at 5:30
Koda's our dog and she misses Tyler terribly
So do I :(
Dumb vending machine... I pushed the wrong numbers
and got a Baby Ruth instead of Peanut M&Ms
Ok, dumb me
Most everyone has left for lunch... but not me
I made a big pot of Ham & Split Peas soup last week
Perfect for our overcast, rainy weekend
I don't want to get picked for a trial
Cuz guess what? I'm starting a part-time job next week!
The (Fancy) Fry's @ Tatum & Shea hired me!
I will be working housewares- designing displays and end caps, ordering, stocking, inventory and customer service
SO excited to get started!
Hoping to work lots and lots of hours
We've been without a washing machine for the past 6 weeks
We were given one two weeks ago, though they weren't sure it worked
We replaced a few parts and it still wouldn't work
We're being given another one this week that works ~ yes!
My sons Shawn & Tyler are headed to the farm in Wisconsin!
And I just got a text saying they are almost there. So very thankful they made it safely!
I'm posting the most current photo of the farm that my niece recently posted on Facebook,
of her darling daughter Preslie playing on the swing set.
Oh the hours I spent swinging on that very swing set while growing up on the farm. Only back then the swings were made from slats of wood. Ouch.
Shawn & Tyler took off Saturday morning and drove from Phoenix to the farm in two days! The farm is 40 miles south of Eau Claire off I-94. That's almost 2000 miles in two days!
And thank God they made it. Or I should say, thank God Tyler's '98 Honda Civic made it!
They will be staying at my brother Ron & Deb's cabin...
... that overlooks the 350 acre farm.
When you click to enlarge the image you can see their 90' blue Harvester silo in the distance.
They will have all day Monday to hang out with their Uncle Gary. My brother will take them around to their favorite spots and they will have the best time making memories. Then Tyler will take Shawn to the airport in Minneapolis Tuesday morning, and head back to my sister Ginny's home in Eau Claire where he will get settled in their vintage Airstream out back, while looking for work and eventually a place of his own.
Thursday night we had a Farewell Family Dinner at Miranda & Aaron's home.
We affirmed Tyler by reminding him of his many strengths, and all that we love about him, and how much he means to us, and that he is such a good, good man. Then we prayed that God would show him every day that he is right where he should be... and that Tyler would let God lead him through chance opportunities, open doors, new friendships, the good times and not so good times... that Tyler's faith would grow.
I am so proud of him for stepping out in faith and becoming more independent,
but also becoming more dependent on God.
I will miss him terribly. But SO excited to see how his adventure unfolds.
Even though I was sobbing at this point, I managed to snap a few photos as he was pulling away Friday evening. He was spending the night with his brother so they could leave first thing Saturday morning. I was a complete mess, but so happy for the journey he was about to embark on.
No matter what happens ~ whether he is gone for the summer, or 2 years or 2 decades ~
he is forever a part of us. We're his family and we will support him in whatever he chooses to do with his life. We love you Tyler!
The very first Estate Sale I ever did was for my husband's Aunt Evelyn. We're talking many years ago. And this here old wicker laundry basket didn't sell, so I took it home. It's very large and very vintage and in very good condition. And while I could have gotten way more on eBay, I chose to post it on Craig's List and got $25.00. But here's the cool part, I sold it to the nicest gal. She had just moved here and was looking for treasures online. I was way more happy that she got it, than had I gotten more from some random bidder on eBay. That's what I love about Craig's List. I have yet to have a bad experience. In fact, every customer could easily become my new best friend. I am not even kidding.
I recently listed this Rock Tumbler for a friend and got $75.00. Again, a great experience.
And then just an hour ago I sold this king-size chenille bedspread to the nicest lady ever. Again, I could have easily doubled my money on eBay, but instead settled for $75.00 so I could meet the one who would love and cherish this gorgeous, fluffy cotton chenille bedspread. And what a dear precious lady.
And so far, I might have hugged everyone that has ever bought from me on Craig's List. ha!
I still have this cabinet/ cupboard (below) listed on Craig's List for $25.00. I bought it many years ago at the JC Penney Outlet Store here in Tempe, with plans to paint or stain. But I never did. But let me tell you, I have gotten years of use, functioning in more ways than you could imagine ~ telephone stand, storing phonebooks, electronic games, greeting cards and stationery, a message center and much, much more.
Ok, it all started when I went to Big Lots for english muffins and saw that they had Welch's grape juice on a clearance table for 25 cents each. For reals. Click the pic and see for yourself.
And then I found the can of Mulling Spices buried in the back of my pantry. Yes, it's at least three years old but who cares. Well, upon reading the directions, it says to add the spices to grape juice, simmer for 20 minutes and then strain through cheese cloth. You can either make it a hot drink or store in the frig for a summer iced drink...
I should probably begin this post by telling you that here in the desert southwest we don't have basements, nor do we dare store anything in our attics. Needless to say, our garages serve many purposes. One of which rarely includes storing a vehicle. I know. Doesn't make much sense does it. Especially when you realize that the most expensive thing we own is parked outside in the hot, blazing sun, while the total contents (of crap) parked inside our garage adds up to a sum total unworthy of such digs.
Nine years ago I did make room for our van just days before my son's wedding. My family from Wisconsin was coming and the thought of them getting inside a van that had been sitting out in the sun and most likely registering over 200 degrees, did not sit well with me. So I worked my butt off. Literally. But unfortunately short-lived, cuz soon after the wedding, the van ended back outside again.
Well, we are now a one-vehicle household. So that got me thinking that we really need to be better stewards of what we've been given. So for the past three days I've gone through every bin, bag and box... purging, sorting and reorganizing every nook 'n cranny. And yes, it was well over 100 degrees inside that garage. But I survived by drinking gallons of water. And another part of my incentive was to find things that our son Tyler might be needing in his upcoming move to Wisconsin.
But seriously, the best part of all ~ getting inside a van that doesn't take several miles to finally cool off enough so you don't think you're going to be the first person that actually melts to death. Best. Feeling. Ever.