Who Decided This?

Life is hard.

I’m trying to eat healthier, and it’s not only expensive, it’s also confusing and hard.

Add in food allergies, and it’s pretty much impossible to do it right 100% of the time.

Still I’m trying.

So the other day I was going to fix me some roasted Brussels sprouts for lunch.  It’s the craziest thing, but I didn’t like the things when I was growing up.  Mama didn’t fix them often, probably because of how I (we?) acted when she cooked them.  But in recent months, I’ve discovered that I really don’t like them.  I LOVE THEM.  There are all kinds of things I could think of as possible reasons why, but I think it just boils down to–tastes change.  I don’t eat sweets very often at all anymore, and I have learned to like black coffee–something I never thought I could do.  I think the bitter, strong taste of the sprouts that used to turn my tastebuds off is now the very thing I like the most.

When I was putting some in my toaster oven on broil the other day, I wondered how many to fix.  I usually eat them with something else, but this was pretty much all I wanted.  Is there such a thing as too many Brussels sprouts?  Curious, I checked the bag they came in from the frozen foods department.  I ran my finger down the nutrition information.  Ummmmm, calories, protein, etc etc etc…..ahhhh, yes.  Serving size.  Five.

Wait. What?!  Five sprouts is a serving size?

In what world and for whom?

They aren’t even all uniform size, so that’s just misleading.

But seriously. Five?

I can eat these things like popcorn, y’all.  Five is not going to cut it.  That’s like an appetizer.

For a toddler.

But I mean, we do have to wonder, right?  Who decided that five sprouts is a good amount for one person to eat at any one meal?  Or that this size of that is perfect for one person?  Is there a room somewhere where folks sit around eating different portions and hit a thumbs up when the amount they intake is the “Baby Bear” just right amount to fill them without making them feel stuffed?

If so, I want to go there.

Because we need to talk.

How is one serving of this cereal one cup and one serving of that only one-half cup?

How is one slice of this kind of bread one serving, but it takes two slices of that loaf to get there?

And how in the world is five sprouts a serving and so is a big ol’ Whopper?

I need to know this, y’all.  Because I really don’t like feeling like I’m pigging out when I eat a dozen (give or take) Brussels sprouts.

I can’t handle the guilt.  And I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t.

Aren’t they like good for you or something?

Leastways that’s what Mama always said when she put them on my plate way back when.  (Like that’s ever been what convinced a child to eat something. “Okay, you don’t like it, but it’s good for you.”  “Good for me, you say?  Well, why didn’t you say so before?  Of course I’ll eat it.” Ahem.)

Tonight I’m thankful for the food we eat and the choices we have.  I’m thankful for the good information that is out there that can help us make wiser choices.  I really appreciate my changing taste buds that have me learning to love new foods even at my age. Most of all, I’m thankful that I have a mind, and I know when to throw out bad information and go with what I think is best.

Five?

I think not.

Wishing you all a healthy serving (whatever that looks like to you) of a food you never thought you’d love but do.

Love to all.

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That looks to be about a serving, right?

that door

you’ve seen enough of them slammed in your face
and those few that were slammed behind you
but this one
was different

you knew the possibilities that lay behind it
you knew the stories of what could be
and all the maybes and likelies

and still it was terrifying
because this one
this one

you were going to knock on
and wait

and you with your brave self
did
just
that

you knocked
and waited
and slowly the knob turned
and it opened
and there were the possibilities of all that you hoped for
dreamed of
wrote about

so beautiful with all the could be’s
that it took your breath away
scary and exciting and dizzying and amazing
much like looking over the side of the Tallulah Gorge
leaning in, but not too much, not just yet
taking time to adjust your vision
and find your balance
on the precipice of something so grand

a place where each step is measured carefully
climbing down to where everything,
all the precious little details
come into focus,
a place where beauty and dreams and hopes
all join together there in the place that few
dare to tread
the place that takes every ounce of courage
and letting go and trusting
and not looking down
to get to

you will get there
and when you do
don’t let the past make you look back at how far
you’ve come
instead take a moment or three
and make camp
right there
in the valley
of all you’ve hoped for

even if
it looks
nothing
like what you
imagined
it would

sometimes flowers
bloom in the
cracks
made by storms
long past

Tallulah_Gorge_(c,_1894)-_USGS_

Tallulah Gorge, circa 1894 Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7632628

Catching Sight of Him

Cooter is enjoying his drama program.  Each week he heads through that door and doesn’t look back.

Well not much anyway.  When he is on stage delivering his lines (yes, he’s already memorized them! what a relief), he will glance over and smile with this “nailed it, did you see that?” look on his face.  I smile and sometimes offer a thumbs up.  He’s in his element, and that is a joy to see.

They’ve progressed to the point in rehearsals that all of the children wait backstage for their scenes.  Once they begin, I don’t see him except on stage until it’s time to leave.

This week there were a group of parents waiting for their children near the front door close to the end of rehearsals.  Since I stick around the whole time, I had already walked over and signed him out.  I stood off to the side, waiting.  As the crowd of children headed our way from the back, I finally saw Cooter.  He was moving with purpose towards our direction, but his eyes were steadily searching…..for me.  Oh my heart.  And then that moment when I moved into his line of sight and he saw me…..

bless.

His eyes lit up and he smiled that smile, and his stride was a little more relaxed.  It warmed my heart and soul and made my life to see the expression on his face.

And then just like that, I was his age–or maybe a year or two younger–again.  I was on the playground right after school was dismissed, and I was carrying something that Mama had sent treats to school in.  I was looking for my someone to find me and take me home.  I can still remember that exact moment the crowd parted, and there he was, that handsome, smiling fella I called Daddy.  In that moment, I was relieved, safe, and home.

So it was a very precious thing, this moment that Cooter and I had, where I got a small taste of what that day was like from Daddy’s perspective.  He found me just as I found him.

March 23 is my Daddy’s birthday.  The day to make a cake, light it up with candles, sing, and have him blow out the candles.  It’s the day I give him way more than one card because there were always several that made me laugh and think of him.  It’s the day that we all try our best to make him feel loved and bigger than life.  Because he was.

This will be the fifth year we celebrate his day without him here to give me a pickle or two off of his cheeseburger pizza.  The fifth year I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time in the card section and perusing ideas of what to give him on Amazon.  The fifth year we don’t hear his laugh or watch the children trying to help him blow out the candles.

But it will still be special.

Tonight I’m thankful for the man who first looked for me and never gave up finding me, no matter how far away I wandered off.  I give thanks for every single year of his life that I got to spend with him, listening to his wisdom, sharing my ups and downs, and swapping stories.  I am especially thankful for that day that I was feeling so lost and there he was.  And I know that’s how it has always been–when I was the most lost, Daddy has always been there to help me find my way back.  And in a way, he still is.

Most of all, I am thankful for my little guy whom my Daddy named Cooter because he loved cars just like that mechanic on that TV show years ago.  Because I was loved and looked for, I can do that now.  Now I get to see what being found looks like from the other side.

And it is beautiful.

May you all have someone to look for and who looks for you.

Love to all.

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My sweet Daddy, at age 26, and me at 9 months old. The man who has always looked for and after me.  Love you, Daddy.  Thanks for everything.

 

 

the pen

If I could give you anything,
anything at all, it would be a pen.
One you wouldn’t lose, no matter how hard
you seemingly tried to do so.
I would give you a pen which wrote in any
color you imagined at the moment.
With this pen, with any words you put down on paper,
you would feel heard and understood
and not so alone–
with those words sitting there all lined
up in your favorite color du jour,
reflecting your very thoughts,
you soul would tell its story.

By writing it all down
with this pen
your heart would be glad and
your mind would be eased
and peace would come to you.

That peace that comes from finding another
who says, “me too”
and echoes what weighs on your very being,
baring itself and revealing
your own beauty to you,
shining back in your eyes
and you can’t help but love her
and you

and in that moment
you will be free
and soar above the wreckage that
tries to pull you
down

write your words
and know
you are
never
alone

and
you
are
loved

it is written
and so it is so

Italian_quill_and_ink

“Italian quill and ink” by Clementina – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

the petals on the ground

on this first day of spring
I remember vividly another beautiful spring day
walking beneath the towering cherry blossom trees
dressed up in their pink finery
so full that they blocked out most of the sky
that was a brilliant blue with only
a few of the fluffiest clouds

I held the hand of the girl who walked
and he carried on his shoulders
the girl who was quite new
in six short months she’d filled our hearts with joy
and our lives with stories

these two girls who were and are my world

the little one looked up at the blooms above her and laughed
that deep gurgly laugh of the very small ones
and to this day I wonder
if that is why she so loves the pink

this one born in the land of the rising sun
all those years ago
as she rode on her Daddy’s shoulders
smiling down at the one whose hand I held

and our feet landed on the petals on the ground
as step by step we made our way to this spring day
half a world away

Cherry_Blossom_(4524817941)

By THOR (Cherry Blossom) [CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

Eighty Percent Chance of Rain

This whole past week I have clicked on my Weather app or checked the weather website every day.  Several times a day.

And then some.

We had our family Easter hootenanny planned for today, and so the weather watching was part checking, part praying, and part trying to use sheer WILL to bring good weather into being.

The chances of rain for today have been as high as 80% and as low as 20% for a few short hours this week.  We were real worried about a rain out.

Rain and things like wienie roasts and egg hunts don’t exactly mix too well.

When the percentage dropped down to 20% by Tuesday evening, I could see that downward trend wiping the rain all the way off the map by Saturday.  I sent a celebratory message with a picture of the forecast to the Gracious one who was hosting the whole event.

Yep, called it a win way too early.  The percentage went way back up and then down and then back up.  It’s been a roller coaster this week.  Last night it was still looking really iffy.

Such that I waited until after 9 p.m. to make the potato salad.  You can’t freeze that stuff, y’all.

I woke up this morning, a day that, as of last night still had 45% chance of rain around lunch with the percentage getting higher by afternoon, and my room was brighter than I expected it to be.  I went to the windows, and the sky was blue with white puffy clouds and bright sunlight streamed down from above.

I felt like I was in an alternate universe or something.  This was TOTALLY UNEXPECTED and definitely not predicted.

And the whole day was just like that.

BEAUTIFUL.

Maybe it’s just me, and if you don’t do this, that’s okay–better than okay, it’s great.  That whole preparing for the worst, and then it turns out no worrying was necessary after all–

yeah.  Where.  I.  Live.

Today was such a gift, a gift wrapped up with a bow of sunshine and good people and hugs and laughter and great food and time together with folks who knew me when and know me now and have my bail money and I have theirs (looking at you, girl–love you) and children running around proving they can look and find things…..

I am thankful.

And it soothed the soul of this Eeyore spirit, who figured that yeah, rain, that sounded about right.  We’d have to change all the plans and “make do,” and then the worst didn’t happen.  In fact, the best did.

I’m not even sure what to do with that.  I’m still beaming, and my mind and heart are still reeling from the shock and surprise of sunshine today.  And all of the wonderful things.

Or maybe the reeling is from the pollen.  It is springtime in Georgia after all.

May your heart be surprised with something fabulous that you never expected today.

Love to all.

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a picture perfect day that no one could have predicted

 

pollen painting

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the rain came and washed away the pollen

or so we thought

until the wind nudged the leaves along the sidewalk a bit

disturbing them in their slumber where the rough storm had left them be

 

and there underneath was the brightest yellow

where all had collected and gathered

protected

beneath the leaves

as the storm passed

and the day began

 

a perfect painting of what once was

and would not be again