Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting It Together

Yes, I've been absent from the blogging world.  When I went back and read the last two entries so many months ago I knew I needed to take a break.  We lost our sweet Schnauzer, KD, early in September and it has taken me time.....time I needed to get past losing her.  She was the joy, the laughter, the light of my life.  I work now on counting my blessings that I had her in my life.  And, I feel like I'm finally getting it together.  Much has happened over that the past few months.

Both my DH and his mom have been in the hospital, one for back surgery and the other for respiratory complications.  They work each day to get better.  Both are limited on what they can do.  Prayers are welcome and thanks in advance if you are so inclined.

This past March we moved our church membership.  That is something I didn't think we would ever do but the situation presented itself and after much praying we felt it was a necessary move.  We are loving our new church home.

I continue to be a Weight Watcher leader.  I got called a coach one day and loved that name.  Yes, guess I am a coach.  I am currently leading (coaching) three meetings.  I have two traditional meetings and one "At Work".  I can't say enough good stuff about my members.....awesome folks and they are making me proud.

I've mentioned my twin friend, Peggy.  We met online about four years ago, maybe five by now.  We met face to face in Texas last Fall when she attended a wedding.   What a joy. The highlight of this year......she flew to Arkansas and we rode together to Camp Taz, the gathering of Weight Watcher buddies in Mississippi.  The time went by much too fast and I was taking her back to the airport before I knew what happened.  We are planning for me to fly to Ohio this Fall.  I'm so excited.

Another area that is getting busy is my beading.  While we were traveling in the motorhome  my friend Jeanne and I got into beading.  OK, we wanted a keepsake from a trip we took from Colorado to South Dakota and instead of buying a trinket we bought the various things we needed and we made bracelets. We had no clue what findings or crimp beads were.  That didn't stop us, we forged ahead.  We have a couple of very nice bracelets to remember that trip by.  Our beading efforts went in different directions.  I got into flamework, (torch, fire, danger, loved it) and then I found seed beads.  While we were park hosting in Colorado my friend Lori showed me how to work with seed beads.  That is another world.  I love working with seed beads, a zen like, tranquil thing and I get totally lost in it.  To keep from burning out in any one area I tend to do various beading projects.  I currently have jewelry in a local shop in our little town and I have orders coming in from folks.  I was asked just yesterday for as much as I can produce between now and this Fall/Christmas season.  Looks like I'm going to be pushing beads around and loving every minute of it.

I work every day to move forward, to be a decent person, to be Christ like in my behavior.  I count my blessings.  I have some of the best friends in the world, friends who truly love me.  I never, never take that for granted.

Yes, I'm getting it together.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

By Chance AKA Divine Intervention

I post on a forum with a group of Weight Watcher friends and one friend post quotes that always hit the nail.  Today it was about the chance meeting of a friend.

The quote today made me take note of how many things in my life have happened by chance.  I don't believe in coincidence, I do believe God leads us where we need to go, sometimes it's a great journey, sometimes very painful.  Either way God is teaching us, preparing us for something greater than we can imagine. I prefer Divine Intervention rather than "chance".

Ten years ago I walked into the animal clinic in my home town, I was there with my Mom's little dog, Bitsy.  In a conversation with the girl working the desk I learned she had a foster home for dogs.  I mentioned that I love Schnauzers.  Among the eight dogs she was fostering she had a Schnauzer named Smoochie.  She had no plans to let Smoochie go.  The conversation went on and she told me she knew how I took care of my Mom's dog.  She allowed us to adopt that sweet dog, our Baby Girl KD.  I've had pets before but I've never had one like her. I think that meeting, that conversation was part of a plan by a power greater than me.  I choose to believe God brought her to me so I would learn about unconditional love.  I learned a lot from KD. 

Dan and I both love the outdoors.  After we got KD we decided to go visit a state park cabin since we didn't yet own a camper.  We boarded KD.  That was the most miserable time without her.  We went home from that cabin trip and bought our first RV, just so we would never leave her behind again.  And, we didn't.   Do you see where this is going?  KD, RV, travel, see country, make some incredible friends....chance.....don't think so.  God is so good!!!!

Most of the RVing folks I know have some kind of an agenda for their RVing, maybe NASCARS, Civil War, famous routes, club rallies, you get the idea.  About the time we got into RVing I also got involved online with Weight Watchers community boards.  I decided it would be fun to meet up with some of the folks I got to know online.  Dan was all for it, he said just tell me where to turn.  He loved driving that rig.  Meet them we did.  Talk about strong, smart, loving, kind, beautiful women. They are my heart sisters. Chance..NO.

We talked in Sunday School this morning about how we sometimes plan our lives and yet we find ourselves somewhere besides where we thought we were going.  Ten years ago we thought it would be fun to go camping for a weekend.  Today we find ourselves where we thought we wouldn't be, but we are here for a reason.  We had planned to live many years on the road because we both love the outdoors and travel.  We got the opportunity to live that life but plans changed.  We have great memories, no regrets.

As time goes on we are understanding more about why we came home.  The saddest part of coming home has been losing KD.  My wonderful friends have pointed out to me that I need to remember the joy she brought me.  Ending the life on the road was a sad event as well but it was necessary.  We got to experience the unconditional love of a sweet, sweet Schnauzer and we got to experience life in a motor home seeing some of this great country. 

I'm grateful for the path I've traveled and I thank God everyday for where he has taken me.

No regrets.....No "what ifs". 

Chance....NO

Divine Intervention.....Yes!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bittersweet

Living life day to day in the stick and brick house has been a change from those days of breaking camp, traveling to a new location and setting up again.  Travel day was one of our favorite things about the lifestyle, the anticpation that goes with going to a new place or visiting a place we knew. We miss the tranquility of seeing the water, the wildlife, the quiet, catching up with friends, getting in some fishing, or just being.

All the years we were on the road our sweet Schnauzer, KD, was our traveling companion.  She got to see much of this country, whether it was from riding in my lap as we rode down the highway or sitting in the booth watching out the window while we were parked.  Words to describe KD would be funny, smart, loyal, stubborn, sneaky, above all the sweetest furkid ever. Her buddies included Mr. BoJangles, Jasmine, and Lucas...all Schnauzers.   KD passed away this past Sunday night.  She has left a huge void in our hearts.  I've been asked if we will get another pet.  KD's paw prints can't be filled.  She was one of a kind.  We need time.  We knew this was coming but had hoped for another year.  That wasn't to be.  We donated her toys and bedding to a shelter, she was after all, a rescue.  She was our "baby girl" and we are simply lost without her.  Her last gift to me was passing away in her sleep.  I did not have to make the decision I was so afraid I would have to make.  Rest in Peace "Baby Girl".



I've always heard there is a silver lining, not sure how that goes, but I know that God takes us through the storms.  Many years ago, I lost my twin sister.  Losing my twin sister and my pet have both been grief for which there aren't words to describe.   

The silver lining was.....is Peggy.  Four years ago we met online.  She, too, had lost her twin and she has lost her pet.  Through emails and phone calls we became friends, sharing a tragedy that only a person who has lost a twin can grasp.  We've worked our way to remembering the good times, the joy our twins brought us and those who knew them.  We had hopes of someday meeting face to face, didn't have any idea how or when that would happen.

A couple of months ago Peggy mentioned in an email that she and Michael would be flying to Austin, TX for a wedding.  I started asking questions, who, what, when, where.  Since Texas is a neighbor to Arkansas and I grew up going to Texas, I made plans to drive to Austin.  On Saturday, August 18th, we met face to face.  It was as if we had known each other our entire lives.  Peggy and Michael are two wonderful, precious friends whose friendship I cherish. Peggy and I both get questioning looks when talking about each other and being twinless twins.  We understand the gravity of that.  We are already making plans to get together again.  It may be next Spring but it will happen.  I'm looking forward to the day.


I've had my share of working through grief and heartache.  I know I need time, I also know we must embrace the pain if we are to get through it.  That is what we will be doing in the days, months, years, if that's what it takes. 

I know Sharon is keeping an eye on KD and Jack is watching out for Toby.  Oh, what fun they are having.

Bittersweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life In The Fast Lane

This journey of discovery just keeps getting better and better.  It seems like yesterday that we came home but that yesterday was eighteen months ago.  The best part, as I've said many times,  about the RVing fulltime lifestyle was the people we met, the friends we made.  I have some great memories and some great friends. (You know who you are and I miss you terribly)

Little did I know the direction my life would take after coming home.  I'm proof that there is life after fulltiming.  There is a saying that goes something like, when God closes a door he opens a window.  Well, he opened a huge window for me.

After coming home I've gotten involved in my home church.  One of the ministries I get to work in is the pantry.  I've transported food from the supplier to the church, stocked the shelves in our pantry, sacked groceries,  and the greatest joy is working the day we give the food out.  The whole experience is such a blessing.

Another area that opened up in my life is Weight Watchers.  I've been a member many years and after putting down the roots again I took advantage of the opportunity to become a Leader.  I trained many years ago to be a leader but I figured out something....I needed some life experiences to be an effective leader.  Fast forward and I now lead in two classes.  One class is a traditional class and the other is an "At Work".  The traditional is ongoing and the "At Work" is a ten week program.  As I write this we have five more weeks in the "At Work".  I am blessed with some of the greatest members ever.  They all inspire me.  From last March when the traditional class started until the years end they lost just over 800 pounds.  Yes, they inspire me!!!!

While we were fulltiming and park hosting in Ridgway Colorado one day Dan came in and told me I needed to go see what Lori  (gate attendant) was doing.  I asked what she was up to....Dan said I would have to go see.  My curiosity level on a scale of 1 to 10 runs about 25 so off I went.  Turns out she was making bracelets with tiny, tiny seed beads, a wire like needle and some beading thread.  I wondered how she could do that, let alone see what she was doing.  I had been making bracelets for a number of years but nothing like that.  She set about to teach me.  She had half a bracelet made while I was struggling with a half inch.  She was so patient.  Lori, thank you!! Again....fast forward....here I am making bracelets.  I even have some in a local shop and I continue to get orders.  It's mostly word of mouth advertising...doesn't hurt that when I take some in to the shop there's someone there who sees them and puts in an order.  These bracelets are made with Miyuki Delica glass beads, known for their precision and they work up beautifully.  I find the whole process of weaving these tiny glass beads to be a tranquil, zen like experience.  I get totally lost in it. 




I made this Lilly of the Valley for my friend Peggy and it was designed by my friend Sue Jensen.  Sue, thank you!!!   Check out her work at http://sujensjewelry.com/index.html




This last bracelet is not seed beads but it was fun to make, it felt fluid like to hold.


So, with church, Weight Watchers and my beading I don't have a lot of spare time.  Any time I do have is taken with running errands and trying to keep my home functioning.  Dan had his fifth back surgery about six weeks ago and is just now able to drive and is now walking without the cane.  His full recovery will take time.   The pain this time has been intense and he has worked diligently to follow his doc's instructions.  In time he will be alright.  I believe in the power of prayer, so please keep him and his recovery in your prayers.

Now I need to do my homework for my next class and finish another bracelet.



Couldn't resist....these three went to the shop.  Can you tell it's Razorback country?

Need to get back in the fast lane....lots to do.   Happy hands.....happy heart....happy me!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year Remembered

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone, much like the year 2011It has been a very interesting year.  It was our first full year back home since our rving days on the road.

This was the first time ever my mom n law had a picture made with Santa.  Here's the proof.  She had a great time.  Then we watched the local Christmas parade.



In the beginning of the year I started the process of getting a local Weight Watchers class organized in my hometown.  As of the class this morning the total weight loss from the start of the class last March they lost a total of 801 pounds.  I'm very proud of my class.

Throughout the year I got involved in helping with our church pantry.  I think everyone should volunteer to do something for the greater good.  I've read that real joy comes from being of service to others, getting outside ourselves.  I believe that is true.


One of the highlights of the year was seeing the River City Men's Chorus perform, not once but twice.  Why is this important?  My cousin Carl is a charter member.  In the beginning there were some thirty men, now there are sixty.  In November they and their spouses traveled to Italy where they performed at the Vatican.  Just days before they left for that adventure they performed the same concert in Little Rock.  My dear friend Ellie and I attended.  

This picture is the Chorus performing their annual Christmas concert in December just days after returning from Italy.


There have been many great memories made this year but I'm ready for the new year.  I told my class this morning that we can't change the past, the history, but we have a clean slate now with the new year.  It's up to us what we do with it.  We can write a new history, make new memories, set and meet new goals.  I don't make New Year's Resolutions because they are usually out the window by January 2nd.  I prefer goals with built in flexibility.  That's mangeable.

The new year is just hours away as I write this.  Some folks don't like change....I do.  I find it exciting, invigorating, refreshing, sometimes challenging and always interesting.

Welcome 2012. 

Happy New Year to all our dear friends.  May God bless you this new year.