Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Leaves Me Wanting More, Farewell Jill

Have I said yet how much simpler spring is when you don't have a busy summer planned?  The past two summers have been full.....of good things....but full, nonetheless.  In 2010, we journeyed through our crazy kitchen renovation.  Oh, that was a summer of epic proportions in the stress and joy departments.  Wow.  Not sure that renovating during the school year would have been easier but to have the house pulled apart when everyone was home presented some interesting days and challenges.  In 2011 we completed our Maritime tour right smack at the beginning of the summer and from there on we were on the move for the entire summer, either travelling or working = no time at home.  At the end of those 2 summers, I found myself longing for my own back yard, feeling like I had been unfaithful to it and that I had missed out on something, even in the midst of making some incredible memories elsewhere.

This spring has had a nice pace.  Shift work cycles in oddly predictable fashion, and the past 5-6 years have had me working a bundle of shifts through the month of May.  This year, not so much. 

So, finally, time for yard work!  I mean, sufficient time for yard work.

Ah, I'm settling back into something that makes me tick, minus the stress of having to get things done within small time constraints.  Couple the time with nice weather (well, not this week) and a new corner of the yard that's opening up with some sweet spots, and I find myself wanting more of this gardening world that slipped through my fingers for the past few years.

We went to a couple of greenhouses on the weekend that we hadn't been to before - Obsessions at St. Louis and Garden of Dreams on the Candle Lake highway. 

Dangerous ground.  Dangerous, dangerous ground.

I want more.

Almost any greenhouse is a good greenhouse, in my books, but these 2 gems are lovely.  The plants are healthy and interesting and were almost overwhelming with the variety of choices.

I bought the basics of what I needed on the weekend but, um, I want more.  I'm almost disappointed that I found everything I needed that day.  I want another excuse to go back and browse and dream and buy and plant and watch the beauty develop.

Today marks the memorial service of a friend that passed away on Thursday, Jill.

We've known Ron and Jill for many years.  Music first brought us together.... a variety of music projects, really.  Jill and I were very similar - we both played the piano, sang alto, all those support roles that we happen to have that support other peoples' music project ideas.  We've been in their home, they've been in our home, we've done music in their church, they've done music in ours.  You know, that kind of stuff where there is mutuality and an understanding of worlds and perspectives, dreams, goals, joys, frustrations.

Life moved on, for both of us.  They moved to a new community to pastor a church and we lost face to face touch, but then I found Ron's blog and read it now and then and heard his voice in the virtual world, and saw her continued influence on his world and in their community.

Then I started my blog and she poked her head in here and we found that we shared a mutual love for cooking and serving others through food and that was very cool.  I loved seeing her remarks, under the alias of "Ron Baker" on Facebook, quietly marked .... Jill.

Her journey on earth ended somewhat unexpectedly on Thursday.  She had heart issues for most, if not all of her life.  I'm told that she lived on borrowed time for many years so we need to remember that she probably got more time than she expected.

But I'm feeling today that, in regards to time on earth with Jill in it, I want more.  I want a little bit more time.  I want to connect with her in a cooking chat just once more.  I want to hear her excited chatter and hear her giggle just one more time.  Her smile lit her entire face. 

I know that I do not mourn with the depth that her family and close friends mourn.  But I'm quietly sad over here in my corner of the world today, praying for her family and friends as they gather today to say good-bye.  There have been too many heart breaking good-byes around this community in the last little bit.  I'm sure there are many people who are left wanting more.  More time to watch the beauty develop through the life of someone precious.

Not sure how to end this post.  No recipe today, although maybe Jill would ask for one?  ;)

Live well.  Let us live each day well.  Pursue those things that make you tick.  Celebrate friendships where the love of mutual things draws you together.  Leave your mark on your world in your own sweet way and live well.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Simple Life

Thinking today of some simple things. 

Andrew has been away overnight on a Band Trip to Moose Jaw.  Why do dads of sons get asked to chaperone these trips and not the moms?  This is both justice and injustice at the same time.  It's justice when I don't really want to go in the first place and can nod at Dean and conclude that, being the dad, HE should probably go.  It's injustice when I'd like to go and don't get asked because I'm the mom.  However, I digress.  Neither one of us went this time and I realized far too late that I could have volunteered.  So, being the mature parent that I am, I had to resort to the occasional text to, well, um, check in on him.  Following a briefer than brief text exchange last night at bedtime, I realized this morning that I had to learn to speak his language (so to speak) when texting as, obviously, he only wants to give out limited information. 

Here is the verbose (NOT) exchange we had this morning:
Me:  Hey
A:  Sup
Me: Whatcha doin'?  (which really means "tell me every little thing that you've eaten, done, thought, experienced in the last 24 hours because I'm dying to know")
A:  At mall
Me:  Nice mall?
A:  Yeah
Me:  Seeing the tunnels later?
A: Yeah
Me:  You sure are chatty.  :)  What did you do for breakfast?
A:  Waffles
Me:  Nice.  At the hotel?
A:  Yeah
(obviously, this conversation is going nowhere, I've got to cut it off before he tells me he has to go....)
Me:  K, g2g (aren't I clever using that acronym???)
A:  Bye

Oh, he is a man of few words.  Simple
.....When he wants to be.....

Later this afternoon, I texted again (don't roll your eyes at me) to find out where he was on the road as I had a meeting to attend this evening, depending on the time he got home.  (I never made it to the meeting, he's not home yet).  Anyway....here's some more.....

Me: Tired?
A:  Nope
Me:  Good.  Looking forward to stories.
A:  Yeah I'll tell them to u right now


And he then proceeded to go into a lengthy diatribe on hotel rooms, museum experiences, concerts and the large amount of times they could order whatever they wanted at the restaurants, which included "quiznos six meat stack sand witch so delicious".

That boy.  Can never predict what he wants to talk about.  Or when he wants to talk.  Gotta be ready for those moments, right?

Ah, yes, simple things.  Chats with your growing son.

I've wrestled lately with some discouragement.  It's just not like me to wrestle something for as long as I have, but I couldn't get past some stuff.  Dean sat me down today and watched my tears slip down my cheeks and told me that, at the end of the day, even if all we have is just 'him and me', we'll be okay.    A simple reassurance, but rich enough to settle my soul.

And don't worry about me.  I'm okay.

.....insert wobbly grin here.....

Simple things.  Quiet reassurances.

Simple things.  Hard work.  I'm back in the yard and garden doing what also brings me peace - digging in the dirt.  How I wish my back was as strong as my passion for digging in the dirt!  There is something about getting on your hands and knees and fighting with stubborn dandelions and crab grass.  It's like life - you fight challenges one little dandelion at a time and soon the garden gets cleaned.  The simplicity of that truth is not wasted on me.

Simple things.  Hopeful anticipation.  We were away so much last summer that I really missed hanging out at home.  I missed going outside under the warmth of the sun and absorbing the sounds and smells of summer in my own yard with a good book and a cup of whatever or deciding to head to a lake for the afternoon or going out for a late night DQ run.  I plan to do that this year.  I have no wanderlust for this summer, beyond the couple of planned things already on the docket.  The pressure is off to plan and prepare.  The simplicity of that feels good.  And, LARGE HURRAH, we finally figured out a creative corner in the yard that will take minimal development to become the new hang out spot.  I`ve been looking for a spot in this yard for 14 years and we finally found it.  Sometimes you gotta live with the challenges until the right solutions show up.  Another simple truth.

And now, I`m simply tired, so I`ll leave you with one last thing.....a simple treat.

Rootbeer Float Popsicles

Open a can of rootbeer several hours in advance of the rest of your prep so that the rootbeer goes flat.  I opened mine in the morning and did the rest of the job in the evening.

Into a popsicle mold (mine had 8 spots) scoop small amounts of vanilla ice cream into each mold (Ì`d guess at approximately 2-3 tablespoons per mold).  Slowly pour the rootbeer into each mold.  The rootbeer mixes with the ice cream without any foam up.  Stick the popsicle sticks in to the mixture and freeze.

Yum-oh!  Ben and I made these last night and enjoyed a taste after school today.  If you love rootbeer floats, you`ll love this very simple treat. 

Next time, I`d like to make orange float ones, too.  Maybe grape ones too!  Cream soda?  Yes please.

Keep it simple, keep it real.  Take care.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I read something online the other day as I was getting ready for work.  I often turn to a list of devotional/inspirational blogs to read when I'm sitting at the island alone at 6 o'clock in the morning, getting ready for a long day ahead.  On this day, I read something that made me stop in my tracks, so to speak.

I thought about what I had read a lot throughout that day.  About how it applied so perfectly to me.  How I could relate to every.  single.  statement.

And then I thought about this little space that I draw your attention to, here on "Make Again", and I wondered if I've ever discouraged you with my mental meanderings.  I tend to come here often and describe the long list of things that I've done, things that I've attempted, all my "homemade" blah blah blah.

I guess, after reading the writing that I will quote in a sec, I want you to know that, yes, I have some homemaker triumphs. 

....and then I have some homemaker struggles, too, mostly surrounding the long list of things that I often carry plenty of guilt around in regards to things that I DON'T get done. 

I often feel that what I'm doing is never enough.  I can't get my act together to succeed at everything all at the same time. 

As wives and mothers, we juggle this huge pile of plates/expectations in our roles as moms, wives, friends, employees, volunteers and, well, I just never feel that I successfully manage everything.  If I'm cooking well, my house is dirty.  If my house is clean, I'm exhausted and grumpy.  If I'm doing a good job at work, I'm absent from home.  I spend time with my family, but then neglect my friends.  To quote my nephew, when he was 4 years old - "I CAN'T DO IT!"  I can't do it all, that is. 

So, when I read this the other morning, it brought a lump to my throat.  Seems I'm not the only one who has ever felt that what I do is "not enough".  I've tempered my personal frustrations with reminders to myself from this during these past couple of days.

Here it is:

Well, here's the deal{the real truth}:
You are enough.
You cook enough.
You work enough.
You clean enough.
You play with your kids enough.
You smile enough.
You bake enough.
You craft enough.
You volunteer enough.
Your car is enough.
You exercise enough. You exercise enough. Again---You exercise enough.
You are creative enough.
You care enough.
You car pool enough.
Your house is enough.
Your apartment is enough.
You attend children activities enough.
You walk the dog enough.
You eat healthy enough.
You drink water enough.
You organize enough.
You do laundry enough.
You are think enough.
You read to your kids enough.
You weed enough.
Your car is clean enough.
You read enough.
You write enough.
You paint enough.
You listen enough.
You are attractive enough.
You share enough.
You discipline enough.
You care enough.

You are beautiful.

Yeah, it's got me goin' again.  My eyes are leaking.

It's my prayer for YOU today, that you'll realize that "you ARE beautiful".  You're doing enough, in fact, you're probably doing too much. Stop striving.  Don't ever think you'll catch me watching you, measuring your actions with some imperceptible yardstick of "success". 

As Mother's Day brings herself around in a few days, I hope that you will find yourself at peace with your place in this world, whether you're a mother or not, simply as a woman.  I hope that there will be a place of inner rest for you, a sense of affirmation, a personal understanding that the long list of expectations that you find yourself under does not make YOU.

My heart to yours today. 

...And I think, for today, that's enough.