Come on in and let's have a quick coffee...Let's keep it cyber today though. I have a cold (ugh) and don't want to pass anything on.
Each year I do an annual 'summing up' of the year behind me. Personal changes, family changes, family dramas and traumas. And then, when the reflection is over, I look hard at the year ahead and where I hope to be at the end of it. It is a daunting thing some years and this one...well it just really didn't bear reviewing. I mean who can forget a family drama such as ours or the health scare or the birth of a littlest girl to our littlest girl? Who can forget all the worries that turned out to be nothings and all the suspicions that turned out worst than one would think? Enough. This year shall be done and I've had enough of it. I'm ready to do the part where I look ahead and just turn away from the year. Not that's it all been horrible/awful/sorrowful. There have been far, far more things that made us grateful, but the drama and trauma part were unusually dramatic/traumatic this year, that's all.
Speaking of the front porch, there's another 'dog house' on the front porch now. It's a garbage can on it's side and it works great for Blossom. I cannot deny it's inconvenient to have pet housing on the front porch of all places. Ideally I'd have them all set up in the kennel but at present the front porch offers a bit more shelter than the kennel does. John keeps suggesting getting a shed of sorts and making it a dog house, which is not a bad idea but not in the budget at present.
Oh you must meet Blossom! She's really very sweet and has shown so much joy in being a country dog. She and Maddie have interacted some, mostly in playing chase. Maddie seems a bit puzzled that this little dog can run so hard and so fast and so enthusiastically on her short little legs. I've watched Maddie gear down when they are playing chase rather than run Blossom over.
Bess had quite a hard time at first giving Blossom up. But it took nothing more than seeing how happy Blossom is here to realize that she was doing some thing really beneficial for Blossom herself. Bess told me as she left this week, "She's like a whole different dog."
When I left home to do errands this week, Maddie ran downhill behind the car, across the yard and into the woods and Blossom followed. I worried a bit about that but said "No, let it go. All shall be well." And of course, when I came home, there she was, having followed Maddie back up hill (and no doubt through the woods to get here). Misu has taken up with Blossom to the extent that the two of them may be found on the front porch nearly all of the time, but Maddie does interact with Blossom and doesn't seem to resent her. I expect over time we shall see the two dogs more connected, because both are very affectionate with people and with cats.
Blossom does take her role as dog here seriously as she proved today when the Fed Ex truck rolled into the yard. The little beagle who is about the size of Misu (with a few added pounds) literally challenged the Fed Ex man not to stop off that truck! Well...Now there's a dog.
Speaking of November, do you realize the holidays are very nearly upon us? For us that plays out as Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas. Katie often refers to our annual family holiday time (never on any specific holiday date, just whenever we can all arrange a day to get together) as Happy ThankChanukahMas. And that about sums it up.
John and I will enjoy quiet celebrations (also not on the days of) but we look forward to our annual visit with the children here. It shall be a smaller gathering this year with Sam, Bess and Josh and Katie, Matt and Taylor. I hope this year to manage a full overnight visit so that though we may share the day with others who long to see them, we can have the evening just among ourselves. I very much enjoy the intimacy of a family group and here of late I've had absolutely none of it on holidays nor visits.
I'd planned to not post much of anything this week but downtime with this cold has been necessary. I find housework in very small doses of most necessary things is about all I can handle. I know I am unwell when I don't even care to read for more than ten minutes. My push through moment yesterday was the determination after reading a few minutes of the entries of the past year that I just didn't want to review it. So I emptied my home notebook of all the pages except those meant for November. I've dozed and slept and coughed and groaned and read and pinned. I've done much of nothing thus far for November except get a partial plan for a Christmas table setting. I'm still thinking about what I'd like for Thanksgiving tables.
So there are those things to plan for in the week or two ahead, and the small bit of shopping we shall be doing is really nothing at all. We made up our minds a couple of years ago that we'd settle on gift cards for the families and only gift to each other.
I am always saying I cried over something and the truth is I guess I do cry often enough. Not every day and not every week but usually a few times a month. Granny told me long ago that it was just a release of pressure to shed a few tears and I confess that generally I do feel a bit more cheery if I squeeze out a few tears and let go of a few worries in the process. I had such a moment middle of this week. Truth told, I was over tired and you know those little gnats of worry begin to pester you something fierce when you're tired. I had a cloud of little worries buzzing away in my head. A medical bill that we couldn't quite figure out how to stretch to pay, the need of a few items, grocery list that was tweaked to nothing and still put me over my limit (not budget but cash limit). John's labs came back and I understand just enough of them to be concerned but not understanding enough to know how concerned I should be. (Here's where I should take a hint. The doctor reviewed them and he's not called us in...) John has had a time with allergies this autumn, too and now a deep chesty cold. Then there are other little pesky gnats of worries. On and on it went and when John sat down after lunch Wednesday afternoon and closed his eyes after confessing he was worn, frustrated, and blue, it was all just too much. I can handle only one of us feeling blue or pestered at one time. The truth is, when John is feeling blue, I tend to feel that things are as bad as all those little buzzing gnats make me feel they are. Even if we happen to be worrying about different things!
Well, what I really needed was a good old fashioned heart to heart and cuddle. And bless John's heart, he is a great comforter. He owned his worries, and heard mine and then he suggested we had two choices: Trust God or tell Him He wasn't doing the job to our satisfaction and we'd handle them ourselves. Well I know better than that, don't you? There is nothing I can do that would be better than God's way!
It made me realize that for all the little gnats flying about in my head, I'd missed the beautiful butterflies of blessings. We 'found' half that large medical bill was soon made up with the extra half payments in our account, courtesy of a three pay day August (it always takes a few weeks to catch up), and the credit card bill I fretted over I soon realized was more than 2/3 paid because I'd set aside money for it already. Other worries were soon replaced with the remembrance of blessings over all. True John was still not well and the thing plaguing him is one of those things that God must sort out for us , but blessed we are and blessed we shall be!
I could also clearly see where I'd gone wrong. I missed Bible study or was distracted during it several mornings. I really ought to have taken that time but didn't. That was mistake number 1. Here we come back to my journal. When I journal routinely, I do not succumb to 'feelings' half as often. That's because I tend to work things out best on paper. Well this week I simply didn't have a moment to sit down and really write things out, so tensions grew. Mistake number 3 was not having much needed face to face interaction with John. Even in our small home we tend to sort of get lost in our own worlds. John has his football and political debates, I lean towards blogs and books. Sometimes in tuning out the roar of the crowd and the shouts, I tune him out as well, and he does tune me out as most men tune out women, even if they aren't the nagging sort of women. Oh I can well point to the mistakes I made this past week.
But all is well, or at least as well as it can be and that's something.
Now I know this is short and sweet but it's about all I can do at present. I'll try to check in again this week when I feel less unwell and more like company.