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Weeding My Garden

This weekend was a glump of happy life happenings. It was a Mother’s Day weekend of wonderful gifts. My cooking hiatus started Thursday so carry out food it was for three nights in a row. Usually this would bother me. Not this weekend.

Caitlin and Fiona on Shalavee.comOur surrogate daughter Caitlin visited Friday and she and everyone else but me and Fiona went to see a local high school production. Instead, Fiona and I watched Follow That Bird, the Big Bird movie from the 80’s. Sweet. And then came Saturday, the day I’d been patiently awaiting. My gardening relief crew showed up as planned. The Uber Weeder on Shalavee.com

My garden story is a story of overwhelm and give up. But it was also a story I hated telling. So I asked for help from two women who I knew would bring it on strong. The uber-weeder and the disciplinarian/transplanter. I am so cheered and encouraged by their presence in my life and my garden. Hope has returned. And these are the thoughts that bubbled up for me on life and gardening. Ajuga takes over on Shalavee.com

Everyone’s got a life garden they are tending. The original garden plan is created in the family you grow up with but sometimes the major focal plants are just not what you want or need in your garden in your adult life. One person’s rose is another’s thorny weed. And so it’s up to you to decide which dreams and efforts are worth keeping and making the effort for and which need to be summarily yanked from that bed and tossed ceremoniously over the precipice. The Boobis Garden

Sometimes in my garden I’ll continue to coddle plants that needed the boot long ago. I’m a laissez faire gardener. Sometimes I make so much effort only to have half the garden get nuked by two freakish years of spring frost. Sometimes, we don’t want to make the effort unless we know it’s the perfect height and color plant in the perfect micro-climate in the perfect soil and light. Perfection is also a garden killer. And a life thwarter. Nothing grows if it’s not planted.New plants to kill on Shalavee.comBut most of the time you are taking a gamble on every single choice you make in the garden and your life. Once you expect the unexpected, you can start to hedge your bets. You’ll make good friends with people who have gardens and who have the sort life they can advise you on creating. You get medieval on the weeds and the negative influences in your life. And you keep your eye on the prize, your hands in the dirt, and you keep on digging, goaling, and doing. Awaiting my garden help on Shalavee.com

My garden is nothing like I’d like it to be. And yet, I am beginning to see my garden and my life not as a product but as a process. A learning process. Not as a destination but an adventure. My perception of how things are going is the only control that I have. The quality of my garden is both mine to make and to choose to then see. So I begin again. Enjoying the small moments, seeking some bigger ones to take root. And not trying to overachieve while I still have a wee Fiona ensconced in my soul and my time. All in good time.

(The story of my lovely mother’s day weekend will be another upcoming post. Talk atcha then.)

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.

A Fond Farewell

I saw my dear friend Janet. She looked tired, older, sad. Where there is always a light shining from her, it was dark. I asked how she’d been and she told me she’d lost her dear friend and companion Toby. And I said, “I’m so sorry”, I hadn’t known. I would have shown up, sent a card.

Toby was her furry four-legged friend. He was her daily purpose, her constant companion after her children had flown from the nest. And he had been suffering from a cancer that eventually caused a suffering which she was compassionate enough to alleviate him from.

The veterinarians thanked me when I put my cat Butthead to sleep. He was drowning inside his own lungs from congestive heart failure which is what my father-in-law lost his battle with last May a year after Butthead. Miss Janet said she wished she could have been able to ease her own Mother’s suffering so long ago when she’d asked her to.

We stood there and contemplated why we were incapable to make those compassionate decisions when our loved ones are suffering. Either incapable of coming to terms with saying a final farewell to our dear pets to make a compassionate decision or having laws which will not permit us to euthanize human beings when they ask. We wish there were other ways, other choices besides the ones we are given. Because each of us will face these decisions. We’ll be confused and angry when we must. But we must.

I think, why would anyone get another pet after each and every one of our inevitable losses? But I know how incredible a pet’s selfless unconditional love feels. How almost unworthy we feel to have it bestowed upon us. Such bottomless trust, it makes us super-beings. And we recommit to this again and again knowing that, what we receive in the short time we are allowed to love them, is a whisper of infinity and transcendence and peace. That which we then gift back to them with our compassion at their life’s ending.

For the many broken hearts from lost loved ones I have learned of recently, I grieve for your loss too. And I know you are better for knowing them. There will never be another Toby, who liked very much to root through my purse in search of gum to steal, but there will be other lovers and friends to know. And I know Toby would approve.

Cherish the Darkening Days

The darkening days draw us in. Into groups around fires with food and laughter,

we are reminded on one holiday and then another throughout the Winter that we have meaning.

Fiona and Joyce on shalavee.com

We are loved as human beings and sisters and daughters and Mothers.

Eamion and Fiona at Grammy's on Shalavee.com

As we gather with our families and our friends and we count with them the purposes and connections we have in our lives, we are inwardly focused on our basic needs. Mary Beth and Robert for dinner on shalavee.com

Those of community and hope and love.

Eamon and Caitlin on shalavee.com

And when you add pie and gravy to all of this, it is as close as one can get to heaven without buying a ticket.

Remember those you have lost and cherish the ones remaining even harder.

Happy Thanksgiving Lovely People!!!

Blog Suicide

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this because I’m going somewhere different with it today. A thoughtful and somewhat sad place but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started blogging with truly no clue about blogging. I did it because someone I knew said I should. I’d never really even read a blog. And I just began. What’s followed is a lot of blood, sweat , and tantrums.

I have stayed the course though and am glad I did because of the growth I have experienced both as a writer and as a human being who needed to prove my worth and the value of human connection. But you don’t get to enjoy the lessons unless you go the distance.

This can be a very solitary practice. So many sources of input vying for your attention that I feel lucky if anyone reads my blog. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment either. Those that can do. Purposes of entertainment are personal to everyone. And I can remember being reluctant to comment once too.

I have been online now long enough to see some of my fellow bloggers discontinue their blogging. One gal got a full-time job. Two just sort of stopped publishing posts and show up to “like” something every once in a while. But the one that upset me the most was a gal who I almost met this past Summer at the Blog U conference. She committed blog suicide.

I was just about to write a piece on how upset I was about her abrupt disappearance when Robin Williams took his life. And the death of this wonderful and beloved man seemed too tragic to even use the word suicide in any other context. But I do feel a kind of concern for this gal’s welfare and here’s why.

There’s a community here online and when you connect with people, they’re just like the people you know from your everyday life. Like your mail carrier or your bus driver. They make you happy when they chat with you. But then what if you heard them start to say that you were so pretty and that they could never consider themselves pretty. Or that you were smart and they just knew they were dumb. And then one day they were missing from their job permanently.

This gal praised me and I was so flattered but I felt that shift into implosion. Suggestions of unhappiness and unworthiness and anxiety. And then wham, she was missing. She had deleted her blog address and all of her social media outlets. I wanted to scream out, why? One of ours was gone. Many of us new bloggers have felt that wavering doubt of that first year of blogging. I understand low self-esteem so well. I comprehend comparing myself to other bloggers and writers (and designers) and feeling crappy about me. And I guess I am reminded again of how I love doing this and how tenuous our bonds with others really are.

So Jean, if you are still reading my blog, know that I heard your distress and felt absolutely powerless to help you. I did notice you go missing. I am not a more talented a blogger or writer or mother than you are. I hope that you and your children are well and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And that if you ever needed an ear or anything I have to give you, I am still here. Imprisoned in this box but also out in the world contributing my soul and gathering happiness anyway I can.

Sincerely,

Shalagh

Gifts of Spirit and Five Good Things

Some months, that gratitude basket is empty and some, my basket is overflowing. Maybe some of my thankfulness is relief from getting through my October’s gauntlet of events alive. But the gratefulness keeps rolling in. Grief comes too but it’s easier to handle when your heart’s got spare mirth.

In honor of all my recent gifts of spirit, I’m doing a five things list to start the week off. It wraps up my random events and thoughts like making the most fabulous stew from my life thought leftovers.Jeanne and Me on Shalavee.com

  • On Saturday, I got to meet Jeanne. I began to follow her blog, Bees Knees Bungalow like three years ago after I began my blog. She is a garage sale guru who repaints and style her vintage finds so nicely. And I immediately knew, we were kindred spirits. She happened to be in Baltimore for a cruise with her mother throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Such a wonderful thing to meet up with a friend whom you’ve never met. And how amazing a gift to meet her and solidify the bond of our kindred spirits. Happy Birthday Lovely.

fall tray and bottle on Shalavee.com

  • Mark had a few employees over as an appreciation party on the same day. The fact that he’s been keeping his business going and it’s clientele is increasing is encouraging. He’s very good at what he does. His success is our success. He’s at that 3 year mark for On Your Mark Lighting. That’s the point when you decide whether to keep going or not.

cards for friends from Shalavee.com

  • I finished painting Fiona’s room. No excuses, no prisoners. And now I get to actually decorate it! And since I’ve promised myself to create everyday, all those projects I will share with you soon. I am looking forward to them.

fall foliage in the rain on Shalavee.com

  • My children are alive and so am I. Eamon got through his pneumonia and Fiona didn’t get it. And the husband took himself to a doctor in a timely fashion to get treated when his cold became instant infection. On my return drive from an appointment in Baltimore on Thursday in torrential downpours, I had a few scary hydroplaning moments on a major highway. This was the kind of trip where you are suddenly living in the moment until you make it home alive. I was never so happy to see my home and my un-napped daughter.

art in the kitchen on Shalavee.com

  • My husband stepped up for me on a couple of occasions this week. He watched Fiona and I was able to do what I needed to do. And he discovered that he can take and handle her anywhere, even keep both children relatively happy simultaneously, and he got a chance to earn his own Daddy badge for himself. Competency can only be earned by practice. We both needed to allow for that.

I am busy thinking a lot about what I am doing right and what I’d like to change. And I ‘m so very happy to know that I have your company dear reader. You get the first dish always.

Let the Good times Roll, Let them wash your rock and roll hair. Let the Good times Roll.” -The Cars-

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