Five Things at the End of June

Every once in a while, I borrow my friend Lauren’s five things format to catch up with you and myself.

When I find I’m in a lonely woeful rut, I prescribe myself more creativity and community. Making and chatting makes everything a little more shiny and hopeful. And that’s exactly what I needed a good dose of after my rough start for Summer. #Payitforward15 from

I happened on a Pay It Forward 2015 Project on Instagram and was folded into their generosity receiving a gift at the beginning of this week. So I am then turning around and sending five back out. Cause that is spreading the love to the world in a small, creative, and generous way. Love it.

I gathered my brains back up off the ground from the Summer’s Stutter Start and made a few adjustments to my thoughts and attitudes and did a round-up at the therapy appointment. Takeaways include my need to be my friend more than my parent. And I questioned how can I punish myself for not doing those things I have yet to even define?

Sunset on the dock at The Bridges Restaurant on

Me and Pegeen at the Bridges Restaurant on

Sunset on the dock on

  • I got to spend a dockside sunset watching evening last Friday with an old friend who moved a half hour away. And had lunch with another dear gal friend today. Be a friend and you’ll have one.

Daddy and Fiona at Jimmys on

Fiona at the Bridgeville playground on

  • We play-grounded and spent family time in our backyard enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend and week beginning. And, being a good friend to me, I finally went back and watched the final episode of the 3rd season of the Walking Dead and the first episode of the 4th season. Ah I have missed everyone. But mostly myself.

Eamon and Fiona at Jimmys on

Mark and Eamon playing guitar on

  • My precocious children are well and thriving this week. Eamon wanted to mess around on the guitar and is now practicing the Star Wars theme on the piano after we watched the 229th Maryland National Guard Army Band play this and many other marvelous theme songs on the Courthouse Green. Sue and fiona on the Green on

Fiona worked the laps in the crowd. This is the same two-year old who’s moving into ten word sentences and beginning to say the “I DO IT” phrase. Sigh. I’m thinking big girl bed and potty training are sooner than later.

Today we’re off to the beach for the first time this year so expect cute Fiona beach pictures!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer’s Stutter Start

I truly had no expectations for the start of Summer. I was having a rough time anyway and didn’t want to predict it getting any rougher. But it still did. The same day that school let out, the two-year old got sick. And the next day, my husband had a tire blow out on the major highway. I then found out I’d allowed the children’s insurance to lapse and there I was in the strike zone again.

Worst of all, being underneath a sick and tantruming toddler for the next 7 days meant there was just no room for me. sick girl is still cute on

I like having time and space to myself to create and feel productive and whole. In the absence of that, I feel ‘less than’, angry, and hopeless. Fed up and exhausted from the perpetual waking up of the child and the sudden relentlessness of my life, I felt shameful moments of rage and desperation and behaved in a ridiculously dramatic way to show to my husband that I in fact couldn’t handle all of this as well as he thinks I can.

I then explained that my mommy brain thinks I have to be watchful of the children 24/7. This consciousness ensures they’re kept alive but wears me out and could he please know that I do this and step in and say he’s got them for a while even without me asking? He may or may not have heard this but it was me saying something out loud. I need to hear myself say that I’m allowed a break.Rocking chair hug on

My constant irritation by everything was exactly the opposite of the feelings of bliss and ease I’d had with my family on several weekends in the month before. What’s the difference I wondered ?

And as each day played out and eventually her health was restored, the insurance was renewed, the car was being repaired, and Mark’s work evened out, I began to feel better. And watching moments of tenderness between my children filled me with the gratitude I was missing. And I knew the spell had passed.

And then I knew what the difference had been.

Faith in my life. Faith in myself.


My family on

When I thought about what really tweaked me during those really hard days, it was the belief that it would always be bad. My anxiety was climbing as I was silently predicting a future that would have me dealing with this stress perpetually. And I’d always be handling it alone. These wrong thoughts are called cognitive distortions. They are lies that we tell ourselves and then, when we feel the feelings of sadness, desperation, or depression, we say that the thoughts must be facts then because the feelings make them feel real. But they don’t. The distorted thoughts are the cause of the yucky feelings.

What I tell myself I believe.

I had myself believing I would always be alone, never have the help or support I would need, and that mothering a daughter would be the hell everyone has ever warned me about. But the truth is that phases ebb and flow. Bad spells come and go. Kids get sick and better. My support system was on vacation that week but they would return again.Siblings on

What’s most important is that my kids don’t get the idea that I doubt my abilities to parent them. I spend quality time with them and they know that they’re loved. The sickness behavior screws it all up for a week and then it’s as if it never happened. And no, mothering doesn’t have to be the only thing that ever defines my worth. But I better get hopping on stuff that invests my talents for me and my hope into the future. So when the next tantrum and the next bad spell happens, I know I’ve invested in my goals and my getaways and my hope for my future. And that I’m not alone. That I’ve got my back too.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


Jane Said

We “met” during an online blogging course given by Holly Becker of Decor8.  I think I have a sixth sense for fellow Virgos and her familiar passion for creating, cooking, and mothering felt like home. Mostly, she’s honest and sweet and I am always excited to see what the next step she’s taking with her blog. Because she’s fearless and very impressive.

Meet Jane Gilheaney Barry, blogger and creator at That Curious Love of Green and Momma living in County Leitrim in North West Ireland. I am always impressed and inspired by her. For her tenacity to write a book in the wee hours of a winter with little ones in the house. And to pick up painting and driving within the same year. We are both proud late bloomers and have embraced so many of the same growth and creative concepts within the same time period.  We both had no idea what blogging would gift to us. One of those gifts was connections with other bloggers around the world. Back when I was pregnant, we even Skyped once without sound. She was charming as heck in that long distance live silent movie moment. As her then 2-year-old fished into her purse she typed, “oh was that my new lipstick. Oh well.” But that I could have heard that fabulous accent too.

Peruse her site and you’ll find her very honest and open. From her journey of creative self-discovery to her love of cooking, country, family, and farming, she’s a delight to know, or stalk. And her pictures of her beautiful daughters and house are candid and charming too.

Recently, in this post she wrote called Even More Books,  Jane responded to a comment by a woman named Melissa with the kindest most enthusiastic and truthful response to a stranger that I was moved to share this on my blog. This is what we do as human beings, lift one another up with our experiences. I may not see what I do for others but I saw this and felt lucky to have done so.

Dear Melissa,

I’m what you might call ‘truly artistic’ and it took me 39 years to really get started. I’d say I was the same as you, writing and drawing as a child and so on. I truly believe everyone is creative and some uber so. From what you describe you’re in the ‘uber’ camp, no doubt in my mind. For years the most creative thing I did was cooking too, and before that dressing, the days when I had a bit of cash. And all times I felt these things you feel and I knew I wanted to write, to paint but I just did not know HOW to do it.
That idea, ‘if you are creative you will create no matter what,’ is not as clear-cut as it seems. In one sense you already ‘are’ creating no matter what, the cooking, the searching, in your ideas and the way you think I’ll bet. But it’s not enough and you know that, like I knew that. My problem was I had no frame of reference for these things. I just did not know HOW to write or paint, where to start.
My best decision was starting the blog, that leap was the trigger I needed. Once I began I felt I had to blog at least once a week. I wondered what I’d ever find to write about but quickly found once I sat down the words came!

Then the terror of sharing, of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, oh the fear! But then that got easier. Then I noticed a style start to emerge, who knew! Each new discovery, each step took me further, to wider reading on the subject, to greater immersion in art in general, the list goes on.Jane in her library on the curious love of green from

Then the big one, the idea for the book and I knew now to trust it, to just go where it lead. When I started, terror! I froze, the seeming impossiblity, the sheer scale of it. Melissa, I forced myself. A strict rule of, at first 300 words a day, eventually up to 1000, in other words commitment, work. Then, the magic really started. I won’t go into it here as this is already so long I’ll just say as I’ve said here many times before, that writing the novel, trusting that process was what made me brave enough to start painting with the month-long daily PUBLIC challenge. The difference was this time I knew what to do, just start, commit, keep going. I refused to miss even one single day and the experience was out of this world, life changing.
Now I’ve definitely gone on enough about myself but my point is that NOW I will create no matter what. If I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing or still writing, only in head. I will find a way to write every day and do. This is because I ‘started’ committed, built a habit, felt the magic and then boom, obsession!
You have to find a way to make space for your creativity in your life, this is HARD for an adult! As Ken Robinson said,

‘Creativity is like many natural resources, buried deep.’

But once you start to take it seriously and give it time and space in your day you will find yourself in that place where you will create no matter what and it will help with the stresses too.
If you would like to send me something via email …(you are) welcome. One last thing. I think a lot of the time we are so concerned about not being good enough, we think we should be great from the start and of course we hope we have this potential, that’s natural. The sad thing is it stops people just out of the gate. This happened me hundreds of times, if only I’d had the knowledge to put all those hundreds together!

Now I hope and fully intend to be a great writer, of course, I’m thinking if I write every day for the next, oh five years without fail I will get there.
So you have started! That is wonderful! Most people never do. Keep going! Build a wall of positive thinking around you, blast every negative thought that you can’t or you’re not good enough with this thought ‘But I’m doing it,’ or, another favourite of mine,

‘Every negative thought is a lie’

I use that one a lot.
Finally, I really mean finally this time! There is another reward, that is you become enchanted with the process, not the goal. It is the work you will love. The joy really is in the journey. I sincerely hope this helps, write any time , I would love to hear how it all goes, I’m excited for you! You’re in such an exciting place.

Love Jane xox

Of course, I was brave and made sure I said Bravo to all of this. Because when something hits home, you should shout “Yeah!” And then the lovely woman to whom she wrote responded. And I quickly grabbed that and put it here. I certainly hope she doesn’t mind but I feel as if I witnessed a lovely gift exchange and I wanted to share.

Jane, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with such caring thought and kindness. I continue to be amazed by you! Shalagh is so right, I am indeed lucky to have found you Jane. I am inspired by your multi talent and also your kindness. Wow, I needed to hear those words, they resonate with me at a very deep level. You’ve definitely given me something to think about. I appreciate the invitation to write to you so much, it means a lot, more than I can adequately express in words.

<3 Thank you.

If you like my creativity, positivity, and wonder, you’ll love Jane as well. I suggest you visit her Facebook page where she has developed a great following and is endlessly posting lovely pictures and thoughts and encourages people to share their creativity on Fridays. She really is an incredible inspiration. And I am flattered to be considered a friend.

More posts from That Curious Love of Green that make me marvel

The Artists Way – A Book Review

Feed Four for One Week 45.40 Euros

Chapter 1 of My Book – Read it Now


And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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