unexpected heart skip

Thankful for neighbors who know Blue and me. That dog got loose from the backyard leash tonight. I didn’t know until the phone rang and I was asked, “Do you have a dog named Blue?” Thankfully, after a joy run described as, “he was running fast,” Blue went to Becca and her friend Steve when they called him. That alone is amazing, wonderful and rare without Blue bait in the form of a treat or pretty girl dog. Becca used Tilly’s leash to walk him the short distance home. Scared me. I didn’t know they had him when I hung up the phone. I shouted to the boys to help me catch him, grabbed his leash and went out the front door and saw them. Situation under control. *Relief* Crazy dog that is crashed out, conked, happily asleep dreaming doggy dreams now. Thankful it all happened before dark and he is OK and home. 

supermoon

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Dear La Lune,

There you are.
It’s been awhile.
You’ve been obscured
by cloud cover.
Caught a glimpse
a few nights ago.
Crescent shaped then.
Saw a half moon by day.
Leading up to tonight.
When you are full
and beaming bright.
It’s been awhile
since you made me smile.
Shining with your celestial light.

I fell asleep penning this poem to you.
Stretched out on the living room couch.
Moonlight shining in the window.
Eyes shut tight until 2am,
when I moved myself to bed.

You greeted me as a new day dawned.
The dog and I begin our walk.
You met us in the morning sky.
Honey hue of nighttime gone.
Darkness faded yet you remain.
Glowing white come daylight.
Until you disappear from sight.
I’ll look for you again this night
and admire your changing shape.
Waning now.

Love,
Janean

August 13, 2014

It is Valentine’s Day today. My boys each received a giant Hershey bar with a big red bow this morning. I was surprised they didn’t have chocolate for breakfast like on Easter morning. They could have, but they didn’t ask or just go for it sorta on the sly.
Instead of wearing red (I’m just not feeling bold like that) I chose my purple t-shirt with the hot pink sea turtles and the words “Aulani • Hawai’i.” We loved there. He and I. Our family of four cocooned together surrounded by Hawaiian island paradise. That was six months ago, at the beginning of August 2012, just three weeks before he died.
This morning my youngest son and I stood outdoors in quickly falling snow with Blue dog too. What began as micro flakes quickly changed to ginormous ones and was really coming down. This unexpected snowfall made me smile, as did the talking and laughing between us while while waiting for the bus. Sweet fifth grade boy has twenty eight valentines with nerd candy attached in his backpack, ready to give to his classmates at the party this afternoon. I’m preparing for a sugar buzz attack this evening, followed by a crash. He held his backpack over his head and asked me to go inside and get the umbrella to block the falling snow. I didn’t budge. Instead my hair turned white from snow accumulation because I’d left my hat inside. Enough landed there that I did blow dry it again once inside. Crazy winter.
I have a lunch date with my oldest son at his favorite restaurant to look forward to. Half day only at his school today. Parents Day in the lower grades. We’ll enjoy our afternoon time, just us two, before his brother gets off the bus returning home. He led me in a merry game of chase when I turned to give him a Happy Valentine’s Day hug before school. What a scene we made. Thirteen year old boy with the long legs staying just ahead, ten year old keeping pace beside me and Blue dog racing, not sure of the objective but not wanting to miss the merry go round of fun. I’ll get that hug. Later. The day is young. Good thing is, he “eluded me” by brushing his teeth before school at my reminder.
I’ll probably make a chocolate cake in my grandmother’s heart shaped cake pans. They are mine now, but they were hers first. If not today, sometime this weekend.
The dog is walked. The boys are at school. The house is quiet. The coffee is brewed. I started to reach for my blue “Oasis” mug. The one I glazed with the soothing colors of the Caribbean in early July while my children worked on 4-H projects alongside. Then I considered the earth tone mug in the unusual shape that I brought home from a summer art fair in 2011. That was longer ago than it sounds, considering all that has happened since. Instead, I chose the bright red heart mug today, on the day it is made for, Valentine’s Day. I bought two of these red heart mugs long ago, as Valentine’s Day gifts for my husband and I. Way back, before the children were born. I still have both of the mugs. Stupid earthly stuff. It stays behind with memories attached, both the good and the bad ones. So much to wade through.
Earlier this week on Monday, February 10, I wrote in an email to a girlfriend:
“Valentine’s Day won’t be as hard for me as our wedding anniversary on May 31. I always have considered Valentine’s Day “a Hallmark holiday” and still say showing your love isn’t about over the top extravagance on one *stupid* day you feel forced to make a gesture, but about the whole year of big, and mostly little things, that you do for one another. My 2¢. I’ll make sure to toast the day with chocolate and will spend it with my children, my two bestest Valentine’s, this year and every one. Hold each other close. Say, “Good morning, I love you” as the day begins and, “Good night, I love you” as the day ends. We got it right for the last month of our marriage, when all pride was finally shoved aside and we loved with our walls down. Beautifully. Fleetingly. It was good and all God. I told my oldest son yet again, on the drive to school today, “There were many miracles along the way, but the biggest one was the way God moved a stubborn man and a stubborn woman at the end of July.” It was all Him.”
I’m thankful for, and humbled by, the ocean of love and prayer that continues to surround my family of three people, one wild dog, and a cranky cat.
Now I’m on today. Valentine’s Day. All day. I’m finishing my last cup of coffee, a special blend sent across the ocean from Hawaii and looking forward to my lunch date. Later, I anticipate laughing later while watching Blue dog play outside on the long leash as I shovel snow, and then being tucked into home with my family tonight, with cake to follow soon. Lots of good stuff right there, in these quiet moments that no longer pass me by.
Aloha means, “hello,” “goodbye,” “I love you.” Feels right. Yes. That. Aloha. My subconscious knew, as I chose my souvenir t-shirt from our Hawaiian vacation to wear today, along with my sparkly heart love multicolor Venetian glass necklace, a gift from two GFF BFF friends, also from August 2012.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from me to you.
Love,
Janean

P.S. See?! I am trying. Getting there. Day by day. Grief is not for wimps…and this rambling post probably doesn’t make a lick o’sense. Oh well. I wrote it anyway. So there. Take that, Valentine’s Day! *sigh*

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

February 14, 2014

afternoon pastime

I just got caught daydreaming in the pen aisle of the office supply store while back to school shopping. It’s A Big Decision after all, with a lot of different types of pens to choose from. Either I really looked like I needed help, or the nice employee just wanted to tell me he liked my hula cat shirt with the front and back design, and chit chat about cats, dogs and pets for awhile. For now I’m calling it, “done enough” and heading home where my family, pets included, await. Aloha. =^.^=

August 15, 2013

  1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world – start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

    2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier – start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.

    3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.

    4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.

    5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.

    6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

    7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.

    8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.

    9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.

    10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

    11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.

    12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.

    14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.

    15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

    16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.

Sixteen Small Steps to Happiness (via asdfghjkllove)

I just emailed this post to my sister with the subject line, “I loved this and think you will too.” Best of all, I am already doing some of these things, making it feel less daunting to do a few more. ~Janean

I just woke up Snuggles, the sleeping cat, because I need to relocate her to her safe spot on the top floor of the house before picking Blue up from boarding in 10 minutes and counting. It’s been fun having her on the main floor with us again since our return yesterday. If only the fuzzballs could get along… Since they can’t, my cat relocation program will somewhat reduce the commotion once Blue walks in the door. Then we’ll all be home. =^.^=

August 13, 2013