Finding myself in my junk


Today I am finally making time to unpack some things that have been put away for so long that I have forgotten what all I have. It just an hour I was able to clean off  and reorganize a large metal shelf, and go through a few totes. I was lucky enough to find many things that just need washing up and donating, and bunch of derelict things that just needed to be thrown away. Good thing tomorrow is garbage day.

I also found a few things that took me down a strange memory lane. These are things I have hung on to solely for sentimental reasons. I have always said that I will find something to do with these objects, but I never really do. Now that I am really cleaning out, I really do need to find a place for these things in my home that is worthy of them.

First is a group of really old, really soft pillow cases, which have been embroidered on. I am not sure who did the embroidery, but I know that it was by my Grandmother, her sister the famous Aunty B., or their mother, Great Grandma L. img_3434.jpgI have always thought that to use them would be the best thing to go, but I can’t bring myself to use them for fear that they will wear away and the stitching  will come out causing these beautiful pieces of antique handwork to be destroyed.

I find it appalling that I have left them in a tote, or some other such container, for so many years. Having dug through Pinterest, I think I have found a solution. It seems I am not alone in my wish to find a use for these without harming them. Many people are hanging them up as artwork, and I think I will so the same. My spare room will be the perfect place to hang them up until I have access to my Older Son’s room. He is looking to move in with friends, and I’ll miss him but it’s long past time for him to move on with his life.

Speaking of Older Son, I found pieces of a baby blanket I was making for when I was pregnant with him. It was the first time I attempted a corner granny square pattern, and IMG_3436didn’t do a very good job at it. Those pieces have been in a zippered plastic bag for longer than he has been alive, and he is now 24. After he was born,  I just all of a sudden hated the colors, and so it went into the bag unfinished.

Now I look at it and wonder if these can be salvaged. It occurs to me that perhaps I could make a shawl out of them just to wear around the house. Or, I could finish the actual blanket and keep it for when Older Son may have his own kids.  I’ll need to block the pieces so they aren’t so misshapen, and hopefully I can make something usable out of them. It should make a quick winter project. I may just have to say goodbye to these crooked little shapes, and move on. More to come on that.

I wonder what else I will find in the next hour of rummaging through my very voluminous pile of dust collecting things stashed in my basement? It will be an adventure for sure. I know I am guaranteed to find more of what I call “pots of poison”, which are things that belonged to my ex husband, but I will just gather those up and send them to his house when Older Son goes to visit. Easy enough to get rid of, and so I should stop referring to them as poison, which mostly will kill a person.

Here’s hoping you find treasures in your homes that make you smile, and feel nostalgia for times and people who are no longer around, and not so much stuff that brings back bad memories. Either way, it’s just stuff and stuff that brings bad memories can be disposed of in many ways. Blessings all!

 

A New Goal – Something to Hang on to


Happy New Year!

A little late in my New Year’s greeting, I know. However, it’s been one heck of a busy time for this little sparrow. Really, the whole of 2014 was a year on the run. I’m generally not given to making resolutions or predictions for the new year, but for 2015 I will make a giant exception and make a goal. A large one.bullshit

Why? Because I’m fed up. Cooked. Tired. Exhausted. Ready to move on. And five billion different other reasons I won’t bore you with.

In 2014, I mostly had good success at both of my jobs, though I ran like a fool trying to get to them both. In December, I took on working extra hours at the Big Red Box Store, so I was working 7 days a week somewhere. In October I was promoted at the Cube Farm, but I was gifted with the news that my Ex was also promoted to the same department. While he and I keep it professional at work, it’s still very wearing and stressful to have to trade emails and attend daily meetings with him. On top of that, the leadership for this job was pretty absent, and the training was horrific. Suffice it to say I’ve been pretty miserable at the Cube Farm these last few months.

So, I applied for a new job with a new company and was accepted. I took a bit of a pay cut, but they pay better for benefits so it will balance out. My last day at the Cube Farm was Friday, after working there for 15+ years, and I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I start my new job on Tuesday (more about that in a future post), and I feel like I am running full speed ahead into my future, giggling like a kid playing in the sunshine.

This is an item I can check off of my bucket list – New Job. Mission accomplished!

Previously, I didn’t really make goals for the new year, because my overriding goal every day was just to make sure I was surviving and getting the kids what they needed until they were launched into their own lives. After Younger Son graduated from high school and left home for the military, I felt kind of adrift without any daily reason to get out of bed. I’ve pulled myself back together now, and have had one thought in my mind that won’t go away:

I want to move away.

Yep, that’s right. It’s time for me to pick my nest up and move it to a happier, nicer place. Minot has been a good home to me and my family, but it’s really gone down hill. Not only is it expensive to live here, but the crime has become awful. I’m looking to decelerate, and be closer to my brother and his family. This will mean moving away from the vast majority of my friends, but that’s what email, phone and Facebook are for. I can’t wait to see my little albatross of a fixer-upper house and find a nice apartment to dwell in. No maintenance, and no extra expenses. No shoveling snow or worry that my sidewalk is too icy for the mail man. I want to decelerate in my life so I can stop and smell the roses, and that means moving myself into a position where there is less to worry about.

The good news is that this job I took has offices in Grand Forks, and there will be potential to transfer! I can transfer with the Big Red Box Store too. I feel like I’ve taken the first baby step into my future by accepting this new job.

Here’s the better news: My Flirt wants to go with me! Moving to Grand Forks means he will be that much closer to family and friends as well. We will be kind of in the middle of everyone, which is a good thing.

Moving away has become the new thing I hang on to every day. It’s the thing that motivates me, and helps me get my priorities straight. I’ve got a long road between here and there, but I’ll make it.

Here’s to hoping that you have a lovely and prosperous 2015, and that you can decelerate (or accelerate) to a speed of life that makes you happy. Happy New Year!

Success…finally!


It’s amazing what a little success can do for a person’s attitude. empty-bulb-and-exclamation-mark

I’ve just started a new job at the Cube Farm, and it’s been like nothing else I’ve ever done. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, it’s been so overwhelming that it’s a little like trying to take a sip out of an open fire hydrant. Today, though, I had a giant light bulb in by head flicker to life. I think I am finally getting some of this stuff, and it feels good.

It was a nice offset to some crappy news I got from my new lawyer at the end of the day. I won’t go into the details right now, but suffice it to say that my ex husband is up to no good again, which gives me no end of heartburn and causes my B.S.-O-Meter to ping in the red zone.

I felt kind of cranky while working my 2nd job tonight thinking about some of the crappy things I have to deal with, especially my ex. Then I got to work with two really great young ladies, one of which I’ve just decided to adopt. If I were to have a daughter, I’d want one just like her. Her mom left their family, so she doesn’t have a good mother figure around. We have good talks and I know she helps me. I only hope that I am as good a help to her. It’s kind of great that she gives me a big hug every time I walk into the store. Today I sure did need it.

Older Son had the day off and was fabulous and cleaned up in the kitchen today. It’s nice to have him to come home to. Our schedules don’t match up very well, but I usually get to see him at the end of the day. We had a nice time on Friday, going out to lunch, and to a movie, on a rare day off together. We saw the 3rd Hunger Games movie: Mockingjay. It was really good, and I recommend it highly.

So, I had a nice end to my evening. You can’t get away from the bull shit in life, but it sure is nice when you have so much good happening around you to tip the scales to the positive side of things. It’s a great thing to have so many blessings.

Here’s hoping you all had a great end to your evening, no matter what other crappy stuff life is dishing out. Blessings all!

Unpacking some stuff


Hi all…long time no blog!

I’m not sure where the last six months went, but they sure did go by in a blur, with nary a post from this little sparrow. My apologies to all for leaving you hanging. It seems that I have not only been tremendously busy, but have also struggled with some wicked writers block.

Sometimes it’s not just about feeling blocked up…I’ve been struggling with some emotions I just wasn’t quite sure what to do with, how to categorize, or how to think about them. When it came time to days when I did feel like writing, it wasn’t always the most positive things to talk about and I needed some time to try to figure out what was really going on in my head.

What’s gone on here at Sparrow’s nest during all of that time? A lot, and yet nothing. It’s been a quiet summer. I did just a little fishing, a little riding on the motorcycle with my Flirt, and spent some excellent quality time with my kids and my friends. I spent a whole lot of time trying to help Older Son get a real job, which was finally accomplished. I worked more than I should have at my two jobs, but it was a good Summer. The Fall season is proving a bit more hectic, and challenging though, which is a whole other post-full of stuff to talk about.

Something that’s come out of the woodwork lately is friends who are experiencing divorce. It started with one, and then another, and then another. The unraveling of someone’s life, especially a dear friend, is heartbreaking.  Having your life rearranged by divorce is such a traumatic injury to recover from, and it’s very hard to describe to someone how to go about trying to put it back together. In an overly simplistic analogy, it’s like unraveling a blanket you have been crocheting or knitting. When you’ve been working away a project like that for a long time, and then discover that there’s a defect, you have to unravel it and start again. Sometimes others unravel it for you. Either way, whoever is responsible for the unraveling,  your hard work has been pulled out, has become misshapen 006and now you have to begin again. There you sit with kinked up, unraveled yarn in piles around you, the warmth and comfort of a blanket you’ve been working on so diligently is now gone, and it takes effort to figure out where the next stitch goes…starting up again is slow going, but with careful consideration and thoughtfulness, it can be done. The end product won’t be the same as what you anticipated, but will be every bit as functional and lovely…maybe more so. Well, anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

You see, I think feeling like I’m becoming unraveled has been a large part of my problem these last few months. One of the big reasons I had such a hard time writing was that I am now having to unpack things from being divorced I didn’t want to deal with before. Four years later, I have people asking me for advice on how to survive the process, and I feel quite a bit like a fraud. As it happens, I am still on that road, and haven’t reached anything close to the end.

I discovered just last night that I am not done on this journey of recovery. What made me realize this was Parents Night at Younger Son’s last home football game. Ever. He’s a Senior this year, and the parents of Seniors get recognized for all of the time, effort, money and hardship that goes into supporting a child in the local football program (which my Ex really hasn’t had to experience. Ouch…did I just say that out loud?). As such, I was required to stand with my Ex on the field, and step forward when our names were called on Younger’s behalf.  Until that moment, I didn’t realize how much I haven’t progressed or evolved. I have a very difficult time speaking to my Ex, and don’t care much for looking him in the eye, even though I haven’t done him wrong at all. He will try to engage me in trite small talk for the sake of appearances, but I have a difficult time responding with more than a word or two. During the time I endured spending on the field with him,  I realized that I still carry around a giant open wound that hasn’t healed. I’m not sure how to reduce said injury, but I think that acknowledging it gets me going in the right direction. More on that later.

Something else that has plagued me a bit is the discovery that I have been experiencing early menopause. That’s right…this old lady has hit that time of life at the ripe old age of almost 45. The rough part about that is how I am feeling quite maudlin and weepy all the time. Hormone imbalance, coupled with anticipatory empty nest syndrome, is quite a ride, but I keep telling myself to not borrow trouble that hasn’t manifested. My worry-wort self has been pretty active, and it’s time to shut that down and just live for today the best I can.

light-beamOne of the best things I can do for myself is to get back on the blogging bandwagon. I do so much better when I write, as I make myself find something positive to write about. Time to get my Pollyanna on, and get back in the groove. I’m ready to get out of the rut I’ve been in, and exude some positivity and sunshine.

Here’s hoping that you can see to get out of the ruts you fall into, and that you can find the sunshine behind the clouds. Keep looking up…the clouds move out of the way sooner or later.

Blessings all!

What do you do when you get raked over the coals?


I experienced what it’s like to be put on “the stand” in a courtroom this week. It was pretty excruciating, and it’s not something I ever want to do again. This was not my choice, and I am very sure that my ex-husband isn’t done with me, whatever the outcome.

I learned some very, very awful things; things that are so horrific I won’t even think about sharing them here. I’m sad and disappointed that he hates me so much that he went to the lengths he did to make me out to be the bad guy, and to blame me for the things he did. I want him to take responsibility for his own actions, rather than shoving it off on me.

What do you do when someone rakes you over the coals, mercilessly?

Well, having had a long, draining, emotional day…I did what a lot of girls might do. I came home and had a good cry and got it out of my system.

I spent the last day going over my own questioning and testimony, and have so much more I wish I had said. I really need time to think about everything before I make a reply…shooting from the hip is not my best mode of communication.  My attorney said I did well, but of course I am going to second guess everything. I don’t feel good about this. If I were to win this case that he has brought against me, I still won’t feel good about it.

After having been raked over the coals like that, what’s the thing I really need to do?

I need to forgive him.

Yeah..I know. You, my Faithful Readers, are probably wondering what I’ve been snorting. Forgiveness?! Why ever for?

Well, the first thing I learned, really learned, about forgiving is that is it something you do for yourself, and not necessarily for the individual you are forgiving. It’s a letting go of the poison I’ve been carrying around in my belly for years. To not forgive is to let it eat away at my soul. Life is too short for that, and I have better things to do.

Now, mind, I did say forgive… I didn’t say forget. I know better than that, and I’ll have to watch my back.

Here’s hoping that you all are able to forgive others who do terrible things to you, so you can move forward with your life and be happy regardless of the ugly things you might have had to endure. It’s very difficult to do, but it’s worth it.

Confessions of a Sunday morning slug


Another Sunday morning has arrived, and it seems like I was just here. The weeks have gone by so quickly, and I am finding myself trying to put on the breaks and make this lovely Sunday morning last a little while longer.

Enter cup of coffee #3. That’s right…I’m being a slug.  I do have quite a few things I need to do today, as they didn’t get done at any other time this week, but I just don’t feel like doing anything.

I’ve reached a sort of breaking point where I get stubborn about things that need to be done, which I don’t want to do.  Usually, I can get the lead out and get things going, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to breathe. The old bod is giving me the high sign that enough is enough, and I should just lay low.  I know I won’t for long, but it sure is tempting to just crawl into bed and close my eyes.

I think our culture has developed a bad habit of not having a season of rest. It’s probably not the same for all people and the jobs they have, but my job knows no quiet time. It’s busy all year round, and there is only busy and busier. Right now it’s the busiest I’ve known in a long time, at my happy little Cube Farm. I am lucky that it’s not been so busy at the Red Big Box store…I was gifted with getting a surprise day off yesterday as they are cutting hours.

Given that, you’d think that I would have had a chance to rest up and get some stuff done. Not so. There’s SO much going on that I just haven’t had as many nooks and crannies available to cram in things the way I normally would. Add on top of that the fact that September and October are always furiously busy times of the year anyway, plus trying to prepare for a trial this coming Friday, and life gets really interesting.

Yesterday morning I attended a deposition, which was an interesting experience. While I was not questioned, I got the opportunity to witness how my ex-husband’s lawyer operates, and I got to watch my lawyer in action. Even though I am in the middle of the situation, I have to say that this is an interesting process. Sometimes I try to stand outside myself a little just to really try to observe the process objectively…and mostly fail to be objective. Still, as much as this has been a terribly painful ordeal, I am morbidly fascinated by it. My attorney says I should go to law school. I think I’ll leave that to her and just keep my perch high up on the observer’s tree.

Speaking of perches, I saw three crows perched together the other day, which I took for a good omen. Yes, I do believe in omens, just like I believe in gut feelings. And, I like crows. Many people take them for being bad luck, but I like to have them around.

Last night I got to spend time with my Flirt, his sister and her husband. We went on a double date to the local casino and met their cousin. She was delightful. I played the penny slots, and we played several games of darts and pool.  We had a lovely time, and when we came home, I got to curl up with my sweetie and go to sleep. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you have when you go to sleep with your sweetheart’s arm wrapped around you. I slept well for the first time in two weeks.

Given that I watched my ex-husband’s deposed witness inadvertently poke holes in his case,  have had a good night’s sleep, and have consumed three cups of coffee, I have no good excuse not to get up and get something done. Time for a shower, some laundry, housework, and then go out to get my unruly hair cut. It promises to be a good day.

Sometimes just taking a few moments to think about the little blessings I come across makes all the difference. Having got those down on digital paper this morning, I feel better prepared to kick it down and get my day started. I keep telling myself I am only limited by what I am willing to imagine I can do, and today is no exception. In short, the sky is my limit, and there are no low hanging clouds today. Best get on with it!

Here’s hoping your sky is wide open with potential and possibility, and that your imagination runs wild with it. Brightest Autumn blessings to you all…

Gardening grinds down the sharp edges of anger


Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about how gardening is good for dealing with depression. Today I found another good use for the act of gardening: grinding down anger.

Today I got some really disturbing news from my lawyer. I won’t go into all the messy little details, but suffice it to say that my ex husband is even more depraved and mean-spirited than I had earlier been given to understand. What I found out was so hurtful and made me so angry I just wanted to scream. But I didn’t…and I didn’t cry either. The man isn’t worth his salt, and he sure isn’t worth the salt in my tears.

In stead, I looked around for something to channel all of my negative feelings into. When I looked out my dining room window, I was reminded that I still had the rest of my garden to dig up, and I’ve got seeds to plant. Given that I was going to be out in my yard, I decided that perhaps a trip to my local garden center wouldn’t be such a bad idea, either. I spent probably more than I should have, but for the most part, I purchased plants that will either come back next year, or reseed themselves easily.

For a long time, I’ve really avoided buying flowers because I wanted to focus my resources towards setting up my little plot of land as a haven of permaculture. I want pretty much everything that grows here to be able to come back every year and provide some kind of fruit or berry that I can feed my family. Something I didn’t take into consideration was that permaculture does require flowering plants to attract bees and other beneficial insects as part of the plan. Well, today, I invested in just that. Flowers. I did buy a couple of herb plants, but the majority were just lovely pretty things that will make my landscape look nicer and make me smile when I come home at the end of the day.

What I brought home were miniature daisies, johnny jump ups, pansies, day lilies, ferns, wooly thyme, oregano, and dill seed. I spent all day finishing up digging up the garden to get the weeds out, and I planted flowers until I was finally tired. The following pictures show the beginnings of what will be a frilly, colorful garden by the time Midsummer hits.

The daisies, pansies and johnny jump ups will make a nice cover for my slow-growing blueberry shrubs, as I planted them in the holes of the cinder blocks lining the blue berry garden.

Just a quick note here about the pink flamingo. It’s one of my favorite things in my whole yard, even though it’s rickety and the paint is peeling. It was made to be plant stand, and I think I’m going to fix it up and find a nice thing to put in it instead of my water bottle!

I have quite a lot of rock bed surrounding my house, and I decided that today was time to liven it up a little bit. I found these fabulous little ferns that should spread out and get little white button flowers on them. I also put in a Stella D’Oro Daylily, which will look fabulous once it gets established. They get really bushy and are prolific bloomers.

The long and the short of this post, is that I finally found something that wears off the jagged edges of my anger. Good hard work out side, where I can build something permanent and worth while, takes that anger and uses it as a generator for the greater good. It morphs from something cutting and destructive into something that paves the way for nicer things. Now my task is to keep the momentum going and get the inside of my house done too!