Sunday, April 18, 2010

Inspired mornings...

Coffee in hand, I settle into my big, comfy sofa in the sunroom.  From this vantage point, I'm able to see the birds at our feeders, the daily coming-to-life of the trees in spring bloom, black cows dotting the landscape and green...our pastures, too, are coming to life.

I find this spot most mornings; and here I am inspired by my surroundings.  A story comes to mind, an idea for another decorating project, I'm reminded of a note I need to pen...I get inspired!

Yesterday, I spent some time with my drawing pad in hand, pencil at the ready.  I worked on my landscaping plan for our new entry way into the recently added mudroom. What colors will compliment?  Shade loving plants are a must...hostas, bleeding hearts, and coral bells are just a few of the plants that will find a home in that spot.  I want it to be very inviting and soothing.  Just a casual walk-way into my home that is void of lots of 'lotsa'...a delightful 'welcome' to my home.

As I started my plan, I quickly realized that it would become a bigger project, because, just like a home remodeling can't just stop at one redo and call it good.  The one redo makes the other rooms look a bit outdated, tired, lackluster.  So, my landscape design continued around to the south side of my home.  The walnut trees will need to come down;  they'll make great planters or a spot for birdhouses.  I'll have to study the growth of the trees and see how that could work.

The southside of the house, with the walnut trees down, will be a great spot for a butterfly and bird attracting garden.  Do I go with a 'cottage' look?  I love wildflowers, too.  Maybe a little of both.  A definate must...a birdbath or two...or three.

Well, I can't stop there.  If I do, the whole east side of the house will look bare not complete.  I can continue the southside landscaping plan here, too.  Not to stop there, it'll have to continue around to the front of the porch and wrap on around to the north side of the mudroom addition...another shade loving garden here, too.

As I sit here with my inspiring thoughts, I'm reminded that none of it will get done while I'm sitting here...dreaming, drawing and not doing.  So, it's off I go.  First things first...I have to mow. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

What does it mean to be a grandmother?

I love every inch of her!  From her head to her sweet toes; to her teeny, tiny and delicate fingernails.  She's beautiful, she's sweet, she's a very happy little girl.  She makes my heart swell with happiness and so much love!  She inspires me to be BETTER!

Overnight, she went from a 'needing' baby to a toddler...what is that one moment when they take that step and feel confident enough to take another and then another...soon, she'll be running!  Then, before we know it, she'll be walking down the graduation from high school, college...marriage.  I know, I know...there's so much life in between, but having been through raising three children of my own, I look back, and it seems like it was just yesterday, they were 'needing' babies, then in school, then graduating...

As I was driving home last evening, listening to Dahlilia, a woman was requesting a song for what it's like to be a grandmother.  To Dahlilia's knowledge, there wasn't one.  It got me to thinking; what would this song say?  What is it about being a grandmother that seems so different from being a mother? How do I feel about being a grandmother?  How do you feel about it...what words would you use to describe it?  Are you inspired to be better?  

One thing that happened upon becoming a grandmother, is it put into perspective how it felt to my mom, my ex-mother-in-law, my mother-in-law, my grandmother and my great.  The 'silly' (my perception) things they did or the things they said, that kind of made me mad, I find I do and I understand completely.  I say to Makenna, "how's grammy's girl?"  A similar sentiment was said to my oldest daughter, Courtney, "How's grandma's dolly" and it would put me in a tail, I understand the love, the pride, the intense feelings behind those words.  It has more to do with the love for this little being, than it does 'ownership'.  I understand now!  Oh, how I understand!

I'm also reminded of all the things from my childhood that are now special thoughts, special memories; I find I want to replicate that for my little granddaughter.  Tea parties, aunts and uncles and cousins all around...all the time.  I want her to know her Great grandma and have the same close relationship with he,r that I had with my grandma Grace.  I want to plant a garden with her and see her expressions at seeing it come to life. Camping and picnics, fishing at the pond.  Making dolls with flowers and making flowers with tissue.  Letting her concoct in the kitchen.  I want to share it all with her, and with each new day or time spent with her, I'm reminded of something new.  I'm inspired to be better.

To see the world through her eyes,- is a reawakening in me.  To see a bug and watch it crawl along.  Will she be as thrilled with doing that as her daddy was?  I want to teach her to read, and to enjoy the small things in life.  I want to sew little girl outfits again.  I enjoy seeing her little face change.  More hair and another tooth change her whole look each time I see her.  To hear her giggle...I especially love to hear her giggle.  Her eyes light up, she's just plain silly! Makenna does this little thing...she shrugs her shoulders and it's so darn cute.  She also scrunches her face up, seeming to say, "I'm cute" and she is.  She watches our every move...she's quick, she's alert...well, you know, she's just plain brilliant...there it is, I said it and I've written it. 

The toy aisles...I've always hated the toy aisles...not so much anymore.  I look at Barbie dolls and baby dolls.  Will she be a far,  she kinda is.  But, I find I want to buy her farm animals and barns, too.  Play-doh, and sidewalk chalk...or, just a plain old limestone rock would do.  Then again, I'm reminded of pots and pans to clang around on.  Dandelions under the chin and Mother Goose stories.  I sing her the songs my children's grandmother's sang them.  "You are my sunshine", "Bushel and a Peck".  Finger games:  Fly away Jack, itsy bitsy spider, and more.  I want her to know the songs and stories of Jesus.  She needs to know these things, I think...I know!  I want to make sure she knows these things.  I'm inspired to be better.

To snuggle and cuddle.  To have her reach around my neck and pull me close in a hug...oh~my~gosh!  An overwhelming sense of love can take over my heart...sometimes I want to cry, I love her so much that it hurts my heart.  

Each and every day, many moments in my day, I think of Grammie's Girl and I miss her.  I want to see her.  I want to be all I can be for her and to her.  I want to be a better person, I want to be a better mom,  I want to be more alive and in the moment.  Makenna inspires me to BE all these things.  I love her!

Friday, April 9, 2010

70 years old...what a life!

In February, my mom turned 70 years old.  A life that has seen so much, done so many things, mastered the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows.  A life that has been well-lived.  She is successful.  She is an inspiration!

I'd like to tell you about my mom, a woman who raised two daughters on her own.  That will be her legacy...we are her legacy...her grandchildren and now a great-grandchild, are her legacy.  A life well-lived.  Not without adversity.  Not without hardships.  Not without struggles.  Those are the things life is made of.  But, more importantly, a life well-lived. 

A life with great childhood memories.  A life with loving family.  A life of putting herself through 38.  Raising two daughters alone.  A life filled with fun and laughter.  A life filled with joy. 

When I think about all the things my mom has accomplished, I can't help but be inspired by her.  She is independent, strong, funny, dependable!  She is her grandchildren's greatest ally.  She is her families greatest ally.  To know her...I don't know if I completely do.  But, she is an inspiration. 

She loves whole-heartedly.  She defends to a fault.  "You can say anything about me, but don't say it about those I love"  She's a cheerleader, she's a fighter, she's a good hugger.  A cooker, a gardener, she loves to fish.  She loves her grandchildren!!!  To be loved by her, you're loved unconditionally...really.  She's helped nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters.  She's helped grandchildren and daughters. 

My mom retired a few years ago and it's been a real delight to see her enjoy this time in her life.  I was concerned.  Wondered what she'd do with her time.  But, she's pleasantly surprised me.  She's sat with a neighbor's mother who has alzhiemers.  She's went and helped get her to bed when the husband was at home with her.  She most recently volunteered at the city planting their flowers...who knew?  She helps elderly neighbors...more elderly than her.  She's active and continues to be active...she's my inspiration!

I'm blessed with a mother like her.  A fighter, tenacious, my greatest cheerleader.  I thank God for her.  All of her...the things that drive me crazy (look out kids, I am my mother after all) the things that make me laugh and shake my head, I appreciate her and I am in indebted to her.  She is my greatest cheerleader and I am one of her greatest legacies.  I'm proud of that. 

This is a tribute to my mom, Barbara Ann Cort.  My Inspiration.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Springtime Sights and Sounds

From a distance, I can hear the growl of a caterpillar moving dirt. The farmer, our neighbor, is terracing his field...a little conservation practice going into effect.

Outside my window, birdsong floods the air. It's so light and airy, a pleasant sound for the senses. Baby cows beller, teeny tiny sheep frolic and play.

In the early morning, just before dawn, the birds wake me from my slumber. What a great way to be awakened. Slowly, but surely, the sounds invade my mind. One eye opens, then the other. The birdsong is drowned out by my other senses. Then I concentrate and listen more intently. I crack my window to hear it more clearly. I love it.

Somewhere else, in the distance, I hear the whir of tires on pavement, as people travel to work. I'm sure their radios are up and there minds are on the day at hand. Did they hear the birds when they made their way to their car? Did they take in the sights and sounds of the early morning dawn...springtime sounds?

Springtime earlier rain greened up the lawn. Lawn mowers are in driveways being prepared for their duty...surely to be used sooner, rather than later.

Soon, tractors with planters, grasshopper-like vehicles will be trolling down the road, one farm field to the other, readying the fields for a crop that will soon be prolific in the countryside.

Fresh mown hay...I love the scent, will be rolled into bundles. Small squares will dot the horizon. A group of young men will be seen throwing the small bales onto a haywagon. Strong, hot and sweaty.

Springtime sights and sounds will give way to tall stalks of corn, stubby bean bushes and then, before we know it...fall harvest. A whole new world will awaken the senses again.

I love the sights and sounds of spring. Faith, hope and new beginnings.  I'm Inspired...oh, to be an inspiration!