in my backyard

sitting in the sunshine
a ladybug lands
upon my shoulder
hello little ladybug
I’m wearing green
Do I look like a tree?
my hair blows
in the cool breeze
mere moments pass
the ladybug flies away
a crow calls
from above the rooftops
doggone dog barks
a squirrel has been spotted
beyond the reach of his leash
time to drag the dog inside
don’t want to be bother
babies are napping
a woman is reading
two actually
myself and another
goodbye sunshine
goodbye ladybug
good riddance crow
hello library book
I’m going to read you
just a little bit longer
in my cozy love seat spot
missing celestial warmth

October 8, 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

Facebook “Friends”

It all started by reading a Facebook status that said, “Sometimes even the people you love need to be unfriended.” I simply wrote, “Thankful I’m still here.” A mutual friend commented, “Me, too, Janean. But, I have had to unfriend a couple for language too.” This is where I probably should have just liked her comment and let what instead happened next disappear like a puff of smoke. Instead, I wrote…
“I have my moments of “could have been a language violator.” I understand though. I figure “free to come and free to go” and am praying through the hurt of those who went from my own “friends list.” My true friends know where to find me. We’re programmed into one another’s phones and know the way to each other’s front door. We hug hello and goodbye and in between we talk, laugh and heart share. In person communique is better than online every time. I am thankful for the Godly examples of the many women I’ve met through church. I know what faithful prayer warriors they are and how mightily they prayed my family through a storm, while weathering storms of their own, often with gale force gusts, rated F4 and category 5. Online channels have their merits, for an initial meeting and keeping in touch, but in person is better because you can hug and read faces, which say more than most status updates ever could.”
Perhaps I said too much. Perhaps not enough. This whole topic of unfriending and blocking strikes a nerve that’s raw. There is hurt there. Life is about choices. “Free to go” should always be a viable option. Thankfully, it is. An older gentleman I worked with years ago often quoted this wisdom from his mother, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened.”
God sees the overview and knows what’s in our hearts. He knits us together with the people we need and He directs our paths. Watch out for the potholes, road blocks and pits. Sometimes these things we view as obstacles actually protect us, from the things we cannot see ahead. Other times they help us grow deeper roots of Faith to help us stand against the mighty winds. Trust God and He will see you through. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to forgive the sins of a fallen world. Grace. There is grace and forgiveness to cover our humanness. Praise God. Praise Him for the little things and the BIG ones. Praise Him in song, in words, sometimes spoken aloud, other times typed in an email, tweet, blog post, even on Facebook.
Facebook. Brings me full circle. Ugh. Stupid Facebook. Part of me wants to ditch Facebook World completely. I still may, but not quite yet. I’m thankful for the people I am connected to, whether we interact much, or not. I hop on and hop off, reading, “liking,” and commenting. Sometimes saying too much. I’m me. It’s how I’m made. Typing forums are dangerous for me because words have a way of pouring out. Honest words, from the heart. I’m not perfect, no where near, never have been, never will be, never was. I’m just a human woman, with the tendency to be a chatterbox. I try to follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

January 25, 2014

I have a “works” hair appointment today
a much needed, long overdue one
last time for color was early June
last cut was sometime mid-July
when life isn’t topsy turvy crazy I get it cut every month
and colored every other to economize
when I was about to leave for my appointment
I found my husband to say, “goodbye”
while my body language was sayin’, “I gotta go now, I don’t wanna be late”
so with a hug and a kiss he said, “Come back pretty.”
I replied, “I will.”
sittin’ under the dryer now
tryin’ to make good on that promise
mmmmm, thankful for this appointment time
hair therapy I call it
my brother’s wife is the hair artist
we have fun catchin’ up and gabbin’
while her hands fly about
I leave feelin’ lighter on the inside
and smilin’ on the outside
where the pretty shows

September 26, 2012

cat + dog = lavender

That cat is at it again
I swear she is the one that’s going to push me right over the edge
You know
The edge between sorta sane and completely off your rocker
I’ve been balance beaming along it for months now
She’s still mad about the dog
That sweet pup we brought home eight months ago
My goodness can she hold a grudge
She’s tried everything she can think of to express her displeasure
She’s growled, hissed, and scratched his cold, black, puppy nose with her menacing front claws
She tried a starvation diet too
I thwarted that one by opening a can of soft food that was too tantalizing for her to resist
She’s “gone” on the dirty laundry
…and more recently the bedroom floor
I don’t have time to deal with her antics and clean up her messes
But clean I do
Washing machine set on “sanitize” to neutralize that awful smell
Today I tried a new one
‘Cause I’m barely holding on
I mixed a potion of pleasing scent to spray upon the clean again bedroom carpet
The side of the box said 4 oz. water and 18 drops of lavender oil
I think I counted 21
Hope it deters her
Hope it gets her back in her box for “business”
After the potion mixing was done
I squeezed one more drop onto my index finger
And dabbed a drop of lavender oil behind my ears
It was chemo unhook day
That one’s tougher than tough
When the completed infusion hits hardest
I hugged my husband goodbye
Before carline at school
He said, “Mmmmmm, you smell nice.”
I smiled and replied, “It’s lavender.”
Drat that cat
Do I have to give her the credit?!
~ Janean

August 30, 2012