Sunday, November 30, 2014

Had a big yard sale and can I just say right at the get-go, props to Laurie! Woot! Woot!  She came over the day before and spent hours pricing stuff for me. A huge help. Florence and Jim brought their stuff over too and so did Tom. So, we made a little money and we had some laughs.
my STUFF - adios! 
Florence cashiers
Little by little, I am ridding myself of stuff (not to mention the junk of the previous owner of my house.) This is the first time in four years I have NO storage units. Yay! It feels good to let it go. 
And speaking of letting it go, it is not just the material stuff I am ridding myself of. Eckhart Tolle believes we hold on to pain far beyond its ability to serve us because it gives us a sense of identity. I've been replaying the past over and over again in my head, clinging to feelings of regret and victimization and bitterness as if the act of fixation somehow gives me power. Letting it go. 

Ajahn Chah says, There will never be a time when life is simple. There will always be time to practice accepting that. Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I spent yesterday, Thanksgiving, in the comfortable embrace of productivity and gratitude. Nothing like the zen of painting to allow one to dwell on all the blessings of this wonderful life. Lucky girl, me! Lucky because I still have both my parents and both my sisters and both my dogs in my life. Grateful for my 7 nieces and nephews and their lovely assorted spouses, and 9 grand-nephews and nieces and all of my friends who love and support me every single day. Back at you! Grateful that I am a white middle class woman living in America. For this gorgeous weather. And the list goes on and on ad infinitum.
So I painted my kitchen/dining room and porch Misty Daydream. Isn't that just the most perfect name? It is kind of an aqua color and could have been a touch lighter but it does give one the feeling of being surrounded by water.
 I also finished up the third window in my living room. I didn't have enough fabric for curtains on all the windows so I got a bamboo matchstick blind and sewed a band of the fabric across the top. I think it looks pretty good. Things are really coming together in my little house.
 I jetted down to Snapper's for some conch ceviche and a margarita at the end of my labors and snapped this photo of a guy with a parrot on his shoulder across the bar from me. The bird actually belonged to the man to his left but when the man sat down, the parrot walked over and up on to this guy's shoulder and looked him right in the eye like, Come here often, cowboy? 
This is my Thanksgiving feast on the stove. I steamed some real Mexican hand wrapped tamales, heated up some Cuban black beans and had myself a little store bought mini pumpkin pie. Now that's a meal to be thankful for! (Don't worry Mom, I had a salad too.) 

And oh yeah, I wasn't sad all day long. First Thanksgiving I can say that about in a long long time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sophie's in love . . .

. . . with Gino. Gino comes to work on my pool every day. He is a Vietnam Vet, covered in tattoos, has about three teeth, wears a belly shirt and a doo-rag and has a love for Bud Light. And for Sophie. They spend each and every day together and she doesn't come in the house until Gino leaves for the day.
It rained hard for two days this week so Gino didn't show up. Sophie was demented with grief. I had to force her to come inside out of the rain when she wanted to lie on a pile of sand and stare at the gate, willing Gino to appear. When Gino showed up yesterday she began shrieking with joy, jumping in circles until I could get the door open and she could rush into the arms of her beloved. I don't even want to think about what will happen when the pool is done and Gino is gone. I think I will have to share custody with him.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I wish . . .

I'm rather disgusted with Maine for voting down the ban on bear baiting and re-electing that goober.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Got my curtains done - all but the hemming. And I've got one set up. Turns out installing them was much more complicated than sewing them. Had to buy a special drill bit for my little drill and it took all the juice to drill one hole through the concrete and then back on the charger. Then the screw didn't fit in the hole - hole too big. So I put a toothpick in along side and it screwed down tight. Quite a task but also a nice feeling of satisfaction. Love my new curtains! Curtain rods by Ikea.
 That's my screened porch on the outside.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

So, I'm inside on this beautiful day, working on my living room curtains and I'm ironing and  thinking that I need to write down this affirmation:  I set myself free from the past and I forgive eveyrone who participated in it.  I've been taking a course in forgiveness, btw.
So I look around in the clutter of my guestroom/office which hasn't been completely unpacked yet and I find a pretty little journal my niece gave me a few years back and I flip it open to find an empty page and I find this phrase all alone on it's own page: Smile though your heart is aching  and it's in my handwriting and immediately I feel a stab of that pain and loss I felt when I wrote those words.  But then I just acknowledge it and I move on. Skip a page and write my affirmation.
I call that progress.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I told my mom last night I am sick and tired of living in clutter and chaos so I keep plugging away on purging the old stuff out of the house (the garage is now full) and moving my stuff in. Yesterday, I unpacked my dishes. Haven't seen them in four years and it was like seeing an old friend. Spent a couple of hours getting the dishes that came with the house packed up, cleaning gecko poop out of the cupboards and washing the mouse urine off of mine as they've been in storage in Maine. Felt good putting them away, clean and organized. Only have to do that about a trillion more times and I'll be moved in.
I did take time off to do a mini class with some of the Florida Keys Quilters where we made a chatelaine. Here is mine. I've got a bunch more pins but if I put them all on, I wouldn't be able to lift my head. It was a super simple pattern by Bernina and will hold scissors, chalk, pins, etc.
 Mary Lou, our Prez, brought her machine in to do our names. Here she is figuring out how big to make the letters for Lois. It was fun to take a break from moving and cleaning. I miss sewing!!!
Meanwhile back at home . . .
The girls are supervising the pool installation. It is now plumbed and the lights are in and we are waiting for the next inspection. And so it goes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday!

To my fabulous grand-nephew, Ben!
Ok, so Amazon says this is the most fave present for a 3-year-old boy so that is what I sent. It's called a Bilibo. Sarah says he likes it . . .  he doesn't look too thrilled though . . . Well, actually I would like to have one of these . . .  but then how would I get up off of it . . .    

Happy Birthday, Ben, my love!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

9 hours door to door. That's what it took me in Connie's monster truck yesterday to get up to Jensen Beach, load up and drive back to Key Largo and unload. Looked like the Beverly Hillbillies except without Granny in the back. My stuff from Maine had been delivered to my nephew's house and it was time to give them their garage back. 
The Beverly Hillbillies Cast
It was so great to see Nat and Sarah and the kids. Short but sweet. My camera is missing at the moment (what else is new?) but here are my beloved niece and nephews from a week or so ago. Never a dull moment at their house!
Took the truck back this morning and headed off for Our Lady of Perpetual Mimosas. The snowbirds are coming back and there was quite a crowd.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gotta give those episcopalians some credit

Seriously people, why shouldn't gay people have the right to be just as miserable as (some of) you are?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Full Moon Cleanse

Last night was the Full Moon. I dreamt my former husband told me he had a four-year-old child. Once I would have been tied up in knots and tears for days over a dream like that. Not so last night.
The Full Moon is the perfect time for releasing something that no longer serves you, or letting go of something that you no longer need in your life, an opportunity to let go of an aspect of yourself that you have outgrown.
So I celebrated the emergence of a new me by stepping out of an old way of being. I am making way for new magical opportunities to come to me!
Pretty good, right?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This first picture is of my friend, Gloria. She is in the cafeteria at Ikea. Gloria takes care of the dead bodies for me. It seems I am able to drop a book on a palmetto bug (aka Giant Roach) and crush it to death but I am unable to dispose of the body. Now that's a good friend. A Super Duper Good Friend!
So, we had such a good time at Ikea in Miami. I borrowed Connie's pick-up (thank you girlfriend!) and this is what I came home with. Two ginormous boxes and yes it was a challenge getting them from the truck into the living room but I was determined.
Took me all day but here is what I ended up with. And not one single screw was left over. I am quite satisfied with myself.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Turning the clocks back

The temperature was down in the 60's the last two mornings. Got to turn off the AC and wear long pants yesterday and put on the slippers that Lucia, Micah and Roman sent me for Christmas last year. So cute, right?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I am still in the throes of moving in but took an afternoon off this week to start working on some curtains for the living room. I found this wonderful bark cloth last summer on Ebay and bought 12 yards of it. Very vintage looking but it is relatively new.
I've put hidden tabs on the back which makes them slide nicely on the rod. I used an old sheet for the lining. Have to get my buddy, Tom, over to show me how to hang the rod on a concrete wall.
Yesterday, I went to the Florida Keys Quilters monthly meeting and it was so much fun to see everybody. Here are a couple of show and tells. The first was not taken at a good angle so if you can't tell, it is chickens and socks. Don't know why the socks but it is cute.
This next one was painted by Elaine. Do you know what it is? It is a barn quilt. Basically, a barn quilt is a large piece of wood that is painted to look like a quilt block (although she has four blocks here) and put up on your barn or these days, the side of your house. It dates back to about 300 years ago when German immigrants like the Amish and the Mennonites settled in Pennsylvania and began painting folk designs, including geometric patterns from quilt squares, on their barns. Many of the symbols used had a special meaning such as eternity, success, happiness, luck, etc. Apparently this has become quite popular again and Quilt trails have been developed in many states, where you get a map that guides the viewers to the various locations, with a picture of the square and a name or explanation of it's meaning. Cool, right? Well, our Prez, Mary Lou, thinks we might like to do some and I am going to do one for my new house. When I have one spare minute.
 Lastly, I wanted to show you this picture I took last night from my backyard. I felt depressed when I first got here. Told someone I couldn't look out of my house and see the sky or the water. Look how beautiful my view is afterall.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

So, it's hard to know what to write about my weekend with Oprah. I think I'm still processing . . . If I just had two words, I would say Life Changing. I came away with a few lessons that I trust will stay with me always. One biggie is about forgiveness and another is that Life is a gift and should be treated that way - not thrown away. I've spent the last few years since my husband left, hating him and what he did to us and feeling like I was just waiting out the rest of my life, frankly. Well, that is done now. The saying, Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die, pretty much described my state of mind but I just couldn't seem to shake it. All done. Consider it shaken. I forgive myself. I forgive everyone. I surrender. And that is what I will continue to work on and tell myself until it is the absolute truth. Here are some pictures:
The event took place in the American Airlines Arena and Museum Park next door, in Miami.
The view from the arena
This is what the stage looked like when I got there on Friday night. 
And this is what it looked like right before Oprah came on. All of a sudden the lights went down and everyone's wristband lit up. It was like thousands of stars appearing all of a sudden. The crowd went wild. Later on we found that the bands would change colors, usually when a new person came on stage. V. cool.
And this is what it looked like when Oprah was on stage. Here she is talking about a tree in her backyard. She is wearing a long yellow gown. As you can see I didn't have the VIP seats on the floor but I wasn't in the nosebleed section either.
Saturday was more casual. We got our workbooks on the way in to the arena and got to work with Oprah and then with Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell and Ivanla Vanzant. I'll tell you, I wasn't crying that day but my eyes were leaking the whole time, tears running down my face as I finally heard a lot of truths I hadn't wanted to face. 
Don't know that it was anything in particular that touched me so deeply - so many amazing insightful words from people I've admired for years - and the collective consciousness of the group in that arena had something to do with it. To start off Saturday, Deepak did a guided meditation. There were 13,000 people there and you could have heard a pin drop. Nobody even coughed. Gives me chills just thinking about it. 
Rob Bell puts Life in perspective
During lunch break, I took a walk over to Bayfront, another vibrant example of life in Miami.
Oprah closed the day with this poem by Derek Walcott.
Love After Love
The time will come 
when, with elation
you will greet your self arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookkshelf

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
When I left the arena and was driving toward the highway, my wristband turned pink and stayed on for a full minute.