I was feeling a bit lethargic these past couple of days. I’m not certain of the cause. It could be a combination of a few things. On Father’s Day, my son and daughter-in-law and I took some of Dean’s ashes to the Police Memorial and put them by the eternal blue light. It was more emotional than I was expecting. Well, I was expecting to feel some sadness but it still came over me rather quickly. We spent some time there. It was so peaceful and quiet and lovely. We looked at some of the big memorial displays put there by the South Bend Police, Mishawaka Police, St. Joseph County police, and the Indiana State Police and read the Policeman’s Prayer.
Then we went to a very small cemetery near where some relatives used to live. We put more ashes at the gravesite of Dean’s brother and sister who have passed away.
After that we went to get something to eat and then went to 3 small units in my community where there were some open houses. We saw one very tiny one bedroom unit that was very cute. Honestly, I think it would be too small for just me but it was very nice. The other two we visited were 3 bedroom units with a basement and upstairs. The stairways are very narrow and the current owners have been there for a long time. One has lived there for 18 years and the other one has lived there for 52 years! (There would be a lot of updating necessary to get those two units comfortable for a new owner, I think.) The community will be having Open Houses every 3rd Sunday through September so, hopefully, we can visit some others…just to see how they are decorated.
The weather has turned very hot and very humid this week. I finally had to turn on the Central Air because I couldn’t get cool. It has made it easier to sleep for both me and my cats! I will probably have to keep the Central Air on until next week when it is supposed to be less humid. My plants are growing slowly but they are still alive. I dug up the multi-colored rose bush and sent it back to the plant company. It never did grow. I’m hoping for either a replacement or a credit towards next year’s selection.
I had also ordered something for a gift but when it arrived, it was very small ~ not like the description. I wrote to the company to return it. They responded quickly and offered to me to choose another item up to $5 more than my original purchase. I have selected something and hope it turns out to be what I wanted.
I had very good news yesterday when my son informed me that he finally got the promotion he has been working towards for almost a year. He is now an official Dispatch Supervisor! I’m so happy for him. The money isn’t much over what he currently makes but he deserves the title since he has been doing the job for a very long time. Also, this may cut down on his recall (overtime) so he will have a little more time for himself and his wife.
I still don’t have the other remodeling work scheduled. The company is so busy that they haven’t been able to take a day or so to do my work. I guess it doesn’t really matter except I would like to have it done.
So since I was feeling less than enthused about doing anything constructive, I turned to SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach once again. Today’s essay is entitled CHOOSING TO BLOSSOM.
“…and the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin
“How much time, creative energy, and emotion do we expend resisting change because we assume growth must always be painful? Much personal growth is uncomfortable, especially learning to set boundaries in relationships. When we commit to nurturing our authentic selves, people close to us are going to start noticing that changes are taking place. This is the season when growth in the garden, which had been gradual, now accelerates. It’s that season for us as well, now that we are six months into the (year) journey towards Wholeness.”
“For it can be difficult to express your authentic needs by saying “Sorry, I can’t” when everybody assumes you can. But it’s worse to thwart the ascent of your authenticity. The day comes–maybe it is today–when “remaining tight in the bud” is more painful than blossoming! ”"Gardening is creative work, just as much as painting or writing a poem.”" the Victorian writer Hanna Rion tells us. ”"It is a personal expression of self, an individual conception of beauty.” Gardening is also a wonderful way to gently explore some of the personal growth issues raised by authenticity.”
“Can you find one perfect rosebud, either in your garden or at a store? Place it on your desk or night table. The Talmut tells us that “each blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers. “Grow, Grow, Grow!”
So I was thinking about that and realized that I have been working on my authentic self since my husband passed away. I’ve made myself go out to be with other people. I’ve tried to accept every invitation I have received. I’ve been working on making my home more comfortable for ME….I chosen things that I want around me for several months now. And, most recently, I have decided it is time to lose some weight. I haven’t gone into it in a huge way but I have ordered a food program and have been following it for almost 2 weeks now. I’ve lost about 4 lbs to date. There are a lot of veggies in the picture and I am getting tired of them but I have lost my cravings for sweets and cut way back on carbs too. I’m hopeful I can continue on this new way of eating and continue to lose some weight. I do need to exercise more and I expect I need to join a gym again just to make myself do the work.
In other areas, I am still watching Game of Thrones. I’m on the Second Season and loving it. I ordered the 5 books in the series and have them sitting on an end table just waiting for me to sit down and read them.
Speaking of reading, I haven’t done too much again this week. But I did read ~
I can say that I liked this book. It was enjoyable. It followed a common pattern of several women friends having some problems in their lives and rallying around each other to help. This book was a little tiny bit over-the-top for me. Each of the 4 women have a serious situation nearly at the same time. Every possible problem including infidelity, trauma in the marriage or relationship,mental breakdowns, children who get into trouble, serious illnesses and all the other problems most of us face at one time or another happen to these four women and their families. I felt there was also a tiny feeling of “preaching” to the reader on why these things happen and how to “fix them”. But if you want a quick read for a summer afternoon, this book will fit that need.
Here’s the book description…
Gerri can’t decide what’s more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair the damage. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it’s time to look carefully at herself. The journey for Gerri and her family is more than revealing—it’s transforming.
Andy doesn’t have a great track record with men, and she’s come to believe that for her a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth, ordinary contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.
Sonja’s lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he’s through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There’s no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.
Miraculously, it’s BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.
And another reader’s review…
What it’s all about…
Why…it’s about four friends and the lives they lead. These four just happen to live in the same neighborhood.
My thoughts after reading this book…
When we first meet these women they are up at 6 A.M. ish and power walking. However…soon everyone’s lives begin to change and even crumble. Andy finds out her husband is cheating, Gerri finds out her husband has cheated, Sonja falls apart because her husband doesn’t want to eat nut meatloaf any more and BJ enters the picture with a deep dark secret of her own.
Husbands are tossed out, someone gets committed, teen children get in trouble, secrets are revealed and some people fall in love…again…and this is all within the first few pages! Just teasing but there is a lot going on in this book! And you can sort of predict how this book will roll…dysfunction, angst, revealed secrets and a happy ending…sort of!
What I loved best and what I didn’t love best…
The characters are interesting and I loved their issues! It made the book fun and speedy to read! One of my fave characters is Bob…the Builder/Carpenter and Beau…his dog. Gerri…has been married the longest and is the most visible character in this book. Her complaints about sex and menopause were kind of annoying…she needed her gynecologist to tell her women had sex after fifty? Sheesh!
My ending thoughts for potential readers…
A fun light hearted book with both real and quirky over the top characters. Lots of issues are addressed…drugs, marital abuse, teen sex, homosexuality, fidelity and vegetarianism. Yes…I said vegetarianism!
Again…probably a great beach read…I think that this is the first book I have ever read by this author. I did enjoy it!
This is an easy beach read ~ perfect for the warm weather with a cool glass of something while you sit outside. Violet Turner has always wanted to open up a vintage boutique store. She has been saving clothing and other pieces of art and/or accessories for years. She finally finds a good location and then begins to meet an assortment of friends who walk through the shop door. As always, there are some minor problems in the way and each character has something they want to make better. In the end, it all comes together in a good way. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the clothing Violet treasured and the stories of how they came her way.
Here’s the book description….
A sparkling debut novel in the vein of The Friday Night Knitting Club, centered around a Midwestern vintage clothing shop and a group of women who eventually transform the store and each others’ lives.
At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s…
Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. Though she knows the personal history behind each precious item she sells, Violet refuses to acknowledge her own past. When she is faced with the possibility of losing the store, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952…
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won’t let her give up on her dreams.
Orange sari made from silk dupioni with gold paisley design, 1968…
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women’s friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.
And another reader’s review….
My ” in a nutshell” summary…
A vintage store and some ladies with issues…that’s the makeup of this book!
Violet loves old things…she finds them, collects them and sells them in her vintage shop.
Violet seems to also collect people…some good…some bad…she has a horrible ex husband, a lovely dog and a mismatched collection of friends. Basically she is happy in spite of being forced out of her lease, wanting a baby, and dealing with other issues in her life. There are other characters…April and Nimitri…each dealing with their own issues.
I loved that this book was so sweetly written. It’s a story of the lives of these women as they went through some major issues in their lives…infidelity, unwanted pregnancy, death, yearning for a baby, career issues and even more.
Perhaps this book was a just a little predictable…but that really didn’t bother me at all.
I found this to be a sweet, calming, delightful book to read. I loved getting to know these women and their issues. I loved learning about vintage clothes. I loved seeing how they dealt with their life changing issues!