Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Five: Leftovers

Deb, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

... being thankful is a spiritual discipline. So I invite you to list five things, people, events or pets that you are truly thankful for this year.

BONUS: As spiritual careGIVERS we often forget to plan time to care for ourselves and we end up getting the dregs of our energies and self-care. What are you doing to make sure you aren’t getting the LEFTOVERS of your schedule for self care?

1. On Nov. 5, 2002 we adopted Ruby (sorry for the scary dog eye glare...) she was a great dog. Playful, always happy, very attune to my feelings, a joy and a delight.  She died a few weeks ago, suddenly, at the age of 13, leaving me bereft. I am so grateful that she found us and for the gift she was in our lives. 


2. Then we were found by this pup:

We named her Delilah (Lila). She is sweet pup - playful, yet calm. She's been a source of healing and love in our family. And, oddly enough I realized that we adopted her on Nov. 5, 2015 - thirteen years to the day that we got Ruby. Perhaps there is a "thin" place in that realm of after life where dogs go...?

3. Family: This year, my daughter, Jessica, and son in law, Keith were able to come up on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. As a result Jess and I were able to do a lot the Thanksgiving meal prep together, which was really fun. Keith and our son Peter did some bonding over computer stuff, and then helped Dan hang lights outside and bring up Christmas decorations. 

4. Traditions: We have created a family tradition of cutting down a live Christmas tree on Thanksgiving morning. Then, because Jess and Keith will drive home today we decorated it last night. (note the cat under the tree, her favorite spot)...



5. More traditions: We have had a family tradition of going to a movie on the day after Thanksgiving since Jess was 2 years old (25 years ago). That first year we saw "Little Mermaid." Every year since we've gone to a movie. Today we are going to see "Mockingjay part 2." 

I grew up in a family that was disconnected from one another and our extended family members, by virtue of distance and also our family emotional system - lots of cut-offs. As a result much of my life has been focused on creating traditions and building family and trying to sustain relationships. I am Thankful for the relationships I do have, for the family I have, and for our little traditions that build memories, anchor us in a history, and mark the passage of time. 

6. Bonus: taking care of myself is crucial. Generally I do this by exercising, eating well, practicing yoga and meditation, and getting regular chiropractic adjustments and massages. I carry a lot of stress in my body which has resulted in digestive issues and tight muscles. The self care I practice on a daily basis helps me manage both the stress and how it manifests physically and psychologically. 

On another note: we don't have many leftovers this year so we may have to order Chinese take-out tonight... :-) 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Five: Guilty Pleasures

Marie, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five meme, following the end of her favorite television show.

For today’s Friday Five, tell us about your guilty pleasures.
TV Show: I always end up with a love/hate response to television shows, even ones I have watched for years. I just hate the way the writers will build a completely ridiculous story line, especially when most of the time the story line is engaging. I watch Scandal, Good Wife, Madam Secretary, and Grey's Anatomy. I also really LOVE Call the Midwife, when it runs in the spring. 
Food: I'm not really big on any particular food. But I always need to have a good cup of coffee in the morning. When I developed acid reflux last year I had to change the kind of coffee I drink, no more high acid Mexican coffee, now I have to drink coffee grown in the Pacific or Indonesia (Sumatra, for example). Thankfully Sumatra is a really tasty roast.
Reading Material: I am thick into the "Outlander" series....I've tried to read another book in between my obsession with the series but I just can't. I am not sure why the story line is so compelling, it is kind of silly, but I am obsessed. 
Music: I use to listen to a lot of music, lately I don't. I do listen to podcasts, especially On Being.
Wildcard guilty pleasure: Yoga isn't really a guilty pleasure, but it is something I do on a regular basis that leaves me feeling so much better. I suppose something a little more decadent would be a really find glass of red wine or maybe some excellent Scottish Whiskey served "neat." 

Friday, November 06, 2015

Friday Five: Random!!

3dogmom over at the RevGals blog offers this Friday Five. I haven't played in a long while...
What is your “gotta go!” breakfast that you can grab and take with you in the morning when you’re in a rush? I don't usually grab a breakfast to go, I usually have a bowl of yogurt with a fresh banana and some granola or a bowl of steel oats for breakfast. But, if I really have to run I take a peanut butter sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. There was a time when I drove to work and then I usually stopped off for a Starbucks latte and a scone. But that was also the season in my life when I gained 22 pounds. :-) 

When was the last time you had a fun evening out, and what did you do? I haven't been out for fun in awhile. However, on a trip to Baltimore for refugee training we spent an evening on the top floor of LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services). It was a gorgeous night and from that floor we had a panoramic view of all of Baltimore, with an outdoor deck to enjoy the evening. I didn't know anyone there but I met some new colleagues and had a lovely night. 

Favorite poet or poem? Mary Oliver is my favorite poet and I love almost all of her poems. I also really like Billy Collins. Once I was lucky enough to go to a book signing event at a local university where I heard Billy Collins read his poems and he signed my book. Now, when I read his poems I can "hear" his voice, his cadence, his humor, in the words on the page. 

Who makes you laugh? My dogs. Crack me up. Last night we went to a shelter looking for a new dog. And one little puppy clearly chose us, it was hilarious. First we spent time with her sister, who I thought was the dog for us. She was a timid little thing, very docile, having been a stray. But she warmed up a little and we thought she was the dog for us. Then the shelter brought out her sister, who was thought to be even more docile. But this puppy came out walking and climbed right into my husbands lap and then went up to our other dog and sniffed her face and licked her. And that was that. She's now home with us. We've named her Delilah (or Lila, for short). 

Where do you like to go for some “time apart,” in the way that Jesus took time apart? I take long walks outside, but usually with my dogs. Walking is cathartic for me and prayerful. I also go to yoga, often walking to class. I am blessed to live in a town where walking most anyplace I want to go is very feasible and enjoyable. 

I will with God's help....uncomplicating the complicated

I was baptized when I was nine years old. I have vivid memories of the baptism itself, of being terrified, as I was fully immersed three ti...