Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reverb 10: day 30

December 30 Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

Tangible AND emotional! The most wonderful gift I could have received this year came from Randy!
I was totally surprised which just made it even more special! I was thinking IF he proposed, it would be around Christmas! But he proposed on October 29th! Plus, he picked the ring out all by himself and it is just perfect for me! I told him I would marry him even without a ring but I am sure glad he chose this one.

Now, the most fun I had giving gifts was at Christmas and it was the gifts I picked for my two beautiful granddaughters. I started out at Ross Dress for Less. I found two small floral trunks there. Then I found some old hats that I had. One I had worn to church in Jamaica and the other I had gotten at an auction because I decorated my beauty shop with hats. 

After that, I made a trip to a couple of Enid's thrift stores. I found play dresses - I particularly looked for dresses that would swoosh! I found lots of necklaces and 8 pair of clip on earrings! Plus each one got a purse! I had so much fun finding dress up clothes for those two cute girls!

Josie in her gorgeous hat!
Josie all dressed up!
Ava on Christmas morning trying on her jewelry and purse! 

I enjoy getting gifts. 
I really enjoy giving gifts! 
I love giving Christmas gifts, 
birthday gifts 
"nothing special, I just love you" gifts!

Reverb 10: day 29

December 29 Prompt: Defining moment - describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.


Decided to try 

Met Randy.

That's it. This defining moment has changed the course of my life. 

Reverb 10: Day 28

December 28 Prompt: Achieve. Whats the thing you most want to achieve this year? How do you imagine you'll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then - brainstorm 10 things you can do or 10 new thoughts you can think in order to experience that feeling today.
 Take the stuff from this house -

What I will achieve this year is to combine two households. Of course I won't be doing this alone so it doesn't seem that daunting. Yet. Once it is completed, I will feel free, happy, complete, and more, much much more. 

 Combine it with the stuff in our house!

Planning a wedding is usually foremost in a bride's mind. I'm not at all worried about the wedding. It will be simple and FUN! but the combining two households.... Now that's another matter!

I'm a pro at moving. I've moved 17 times since I left home at the age of 18. One of those moves was overseas. Then back again. I can pack and sort and move with the best of them.  It's the "combining" - not just stuff but two lifetimes. Two families. That is the daunting task for me.

Randy tells the story of how great his mom always treated him and his brother. When she passed away a few years ago, she still had on her dresser a popsicle stick jewelry box he had made as a child. When I think of this story, and what it meant to him as an adult to see that box still there, still being used, it makes me sad that I've moved so often and each time have gotten rid of so many things. I am glad I've had the opportunity to live in so many different places, but sad I didn't hold onto a few more sentimental pieces. 

That story from Randy is what echos through my mind as I have been sorting and throwing away things and donating to community care.

Moving on with today's prompt. There are easily ten things for me to do in the next year. I believe I have ten new thoughts a day on how to achieve this task. But none of them can be completed today however, many can be started today.

  1. be calm
  2. sort items, clothes, stuff
  3. throw away all that isn't needed, useful, or sentimental
  4. give away to my kids, my grandkids and community care
  5. pack, pack, pack
  6. then unpack
  7. sort again! I know I will take too much
  8. find places for everything in  our home
  9. then give more away
  10. MERGE!!!
I want to achieve the merging of two families. Of all the things accumulated in  these two families. I don't want to take too much, neither do I want to take too little. I don't want to look back in a few years and be sorry that I got rid of something that I now want. I'm praying for wisdom. - daily. - hourly! And I'm so very thankful that Randy understands how I feel and is more than encouraging to "bring it all"! What a wonderful man! hmmm, I wonder if he actually knows how many books I have??  :)
- actually I'm just kidding. He knows and I am getting rid of books that I won't reread or that don't mean anything to me!! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 27

December 27 Prompt: Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. what was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

One moment? WOW. I have had a year filled with moments that filled my heart with joy. So, where to begin!
Of course the first moment was when I  first met Randy and he sent me an incredible email. It said: 


2nd grade joke...

Question: What happened to the frog who broke down on the highway?

Answer: He got Toad away.

I get all my best stuff from second graders. First graders are cute but they're just not funny.


Tell me, who wouldn't fall in love with a guy that would send me this email!!  I've told him all along that when I read this email was the moment I fell in love! The year just got better from there.

I've had so many memorable - ordinary times this year. With Randy, with my kids, with my grand kids, with my friends.  For me, ordinary is the best. I don't need to be entertained , wined and dined. I just need to spend time with those I love and we don't have to be doing a thing - just being together. 

One of my favorite things I discovered with Randy this year is  "Botanica, the Wichita Gardens." I know I've mentioned these gardens before but I really did thoroughly enjoy them. -  Each time we went. 

Admiring flowers and plants - one of the most ordinary past times we have - yet because of their individuality and beauty - they become extraordinary. 

I experienced ordinary joy as I walked through this year!


Reverb 10: Day 26

December 26 Prompt: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth and touched your soul?

I like to eat. - And I like many different things but food doesn't "touch my soul"!

I did eat at Ghengis Grill in Wichita for the first time this year and as far as great places to eat - it's one of my favorites.

I also have some comfort foods. I was raised on a wheat farm so naturally "farm meals" have become some of my comfort foods. - Fried chicken, Mashed potatoes and gravy. I don't fix fried chicken anymore but it is still one of the best meals!  Can't have wheat harvest without roast beef cooked with vegetables - and of course - brown gravy! Growing up my Mom always fixed roast with potatoes, onion, and carrots. As an adult I also add fresh mushrooms and fresh green beans.   Also as an adult I've learned to fix pork chops just like a roast but also add chunks of cabbage with the vegetables. - Unless I'm fixing the pork chops with Mushroom Soup gravy and white rice!

Biscuits and chipped beef gravy makes a great comfort food!! Do you see a theme here?  I like any food that will get the gravy to my mouth!! I am and always have been a gravy fan!!

The kids always liked home made mac and cheese. Jonathan and Jack like salmon patties with their mac and cheese!

In Jamaica, my favorite meal was jerk chicken with rice and peas! or just the rice and peas alone. Probably my all time favorite meal.

While living alone I've been eating a lot of Special K with berries and oatmeal! It's easy and I like it!

So, for a food that touches my soul, not one I can think of. 
But Good Food! 
Not hard for me to find that!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb 10: day 25

December 25 Prompt: Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

This prompt was a hard one for me because I do not like to have pictures taken of me. This one may not speak a thousand words, and it's not the best picture ever taken of me but the reason I like it for this prompt is because it sums up my 2010.

First of all, I've spent many hours in my car going back and forth to Wichita, to Enid, to Omaha once and to meet The Smith's to get Jack. I've gone to Weatherford to admire Jonathan's office and his house. I've gone to Kingfisher numerous times for a half way hamburger with my friend Dianne.

The main reason I like this picture is because it is me. My hair is usually messy. I wear make up but it's obvious this is the end of the day. But it's the look of contentment that makes this my pick of the year. I have weathered the storm and am enjoying the calm.

I always dislike pictures of myself. I think I look fat in them... I never look the way I picture myself in my mind! Jonathan and I have a favorite Friends episode. The friends are watching a video made in high school - when Monica was fat. Chandler says "WOW, Monica."  Monica answers "The camera puts 10 pounds on you."  Chandler's response is "How many cameras are on you?"  This is the way I feel when I have a picture taken.
I always feel as if there are many many cameras putting the weight on me.

I'm trying to accept the fact that I'm "plump" as Holly said once. I'm not in my 20's anymore! - but more than the weight or wrinkles or any other thing, I am happy with the contentment.

I used to tell my girls, when they reached junior high, if you're not beautiful on the inside, it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside. The last couple of years I've worked hard to be kind. That is a part of the contentment in the picture.

I took the picture myself on my way home from Wichita one time. No special occasion just loving my life and the people in it.

I'm content.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reverb 10: day 24

December 24 Prompt: Everything's OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead

I feel as if I'm repeating myself on so many of these blogs.

Well, I began the year knowing I was going to be okay. I had survived the last few years, I knew I would be okay.

Meeting Randy just confirmed my belief that all would be well. Having the opportunity to spend time with each of my kids this year also confirmed my belief that I would not only survive the bad parts but be tremendously blessed in all that was to come.

When you've been struggling with living life and the struggles are removed you just have a feeling of things being good. Of your life improving. There is a lot to the old saying - no where to go but up. I had reached that point. God brought me through and blessed me beyond what I deserve.

This Christmas has really been the very best Christmas season I've had in years. I have Randy to thank for this. I have my children, their spouses and my grandkids to thank for this. - and I have myself. I'm so glad I made it through these trying times with dignity and grace. I'm so glad that I was willing to step outside of my comfort zone and try  the online dating thing. I'm especially glad that I've encouraged my kids to be loving and forgiving to those who have hurt them.

Everything is going to be okay. I have a wonderful relationship with God that exceeds all other relationships. I have a unbelievable fiance who loves me. I have the best kids in the world. The best kids-in-law... and I can't even begin to say how wonderful my grandkids are.

Everything is better than okay...
It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...
(just getting ready for Mary Poppins in February!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reverb 10: day 23

December 23 Prompt: New name. Let's meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

I played "pretend" a lot as a kid. I acted out books and pretended to be many people. As an adult I've had a great life. I've had the opportunity to live many different places and make wonderful friends. I've had a few bad things happen in my life but I've always known who I was - even when I was struggling with self confidence issues - I still knew who I was and what I was about.

Other than pretending as a child, I don't think I've ever really wanted to be anyone else. I like my life, I like myself. I'm "comfortable" with my own problems and am not prepared to take on someone else's name or identity which would also add their problems.  I cannot think of anyone I would want to be. - Not even for a day...

For some reason I get called Barbara a lot. I must look like a Barbara. As a teen I babysat for a little girl named Brenda. So she, her sister and brother called me by my middle name, Kaye, to keep from getting confused with two of us having the same name. 

So, other than actually changing my name this year to Cohorn :)
I will always introduce myself as Brenda.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reverb 10: day 22

December 22 Prompt: Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How &/or where would you like to travel next year?

February I traveled to Wichita and met Randy for the first time.

March Jonathan and I traveled to Omaha to visit Gerry, Heather and Ava.
Heather and I went to see the play "The Color Purple."  
We also made a trip to the zoo. Love the Omaha Zoo!
Ava at the zoo.

May I went just over the Colorado border and met Holly, David and Jack.
Jack got to come home with me for 2 wonderful months!!
We got to celebrate his birthday in June with Tim, Shelley, Riley and Josie!
Jack's 14th birthday!

July I went back to Colorado border and returned Jack to his Mom and Dad.
I was also able to go to Branson on vacation. The show's were wonderful.
The food was great.
The best part of the trip was how relaxing and restful it was.
First vacation I've taken in years!
I've spent the year putting miles on my little Toyota by driving back and forth to Wichita! 
Better than any trip I've ever taken!!

I've gotten to spend time with each of my children this year. 
I enjoy traveling. I also enjoy being at home.
So either way I'm happy!

Next year? well, honeymoon!
and a summer vacation.
I think we will honeymoon in Branson.
I think we will vacation in Galveston. 
I am going to Omaha in February. Heather and I have tickets to Mary Poppins!
I also want to visit my Colorado kids.
And I am very fortunate to have Tim and family in Enid and Jonathan in Weatherford!

It doesn't really matter where you go - as long as you're with people you love.
I enjoy them coming to me as much as going to them!!
Love my family.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverb 10: 21

December 21 Prompt: Future Self. Imagine yourself 5 years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?  Bonus: write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?

     I would say "Live 2011 to the fullest. Enjoy planning your wedding. Enjoy your friends around your hometown before you move from them. Enjoy going through everything you own, recalling memories as you pack. - the good and the bad. Learn from them. Embrace your new life. Take every moment you have with Randy and savor it. Make him happy and let him know how much you love him everyday.  Love on your kids and your grandkids. Count it a great privilege adding new people to your family."

Bonus: Ten years ago - the next 10 years will not be what you expect. Handle everything to the best of your ability.  Conduct yourself with dignity and grace.  Be kind and patient. Learn from from all that comes your way and move forward. Act and react in a way that lets others see Jesus in you. Continue to give thanks to the Lord in all things. Realize that no matter how much you pray, no matter how hard you try, some things can't be helped. They will still happen. Live these 10 years with no guilt, with no regrets.

Reverb 10: day 20

My Oklahoma Home in Winter

December 20 Prompt: Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from trying? Will you do it?

     I have a few business matters to complete before Randy and I marry.  There are others involved and I have avoided the "final decision" since it will involve more than me making it.  I'm not scared, worried, unsure or busy, just hate to step out of my comfort zone and take on a role other than the one I've filled all my life. But - it's gotta be done!
Yes, I will do it.   YUK.
I love my comfort zone.
I have it for a reason...
(so I won't be uncomfortable)

Reverb: day 19

December 19th prompt: Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip by drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

     My healing has been ongoing. By the beginning of 2010 I felt as if I was well on the way to good mental and emotional health.
     All that was left was my physical health. I was given the wonderful gift of a Y membership from Randy and I am working on "healing" - improving my physical health. I'm eating healthier and working out.
     - I have a way to go on the weight thing but doing better on healthy eating and exercising.
     I also take more time to relax and enjoy my life. Trying to remove stress and handling the stress that can't be removed in a more productive way.
  My emotional well being and mental health are good.
My relationship with God is better than ever. 
My children and grandchildren bring me joy.
Having Randy in my life has been more than healing,
it has added contentment to my life.

For 2011, I want to continue with exercise, eating better and enjoying my life.


Reverb 10: day 18

December 18 Prompt: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? what happened when you did/didn't go for it?

My Plans for the new year have been set into motion. My plan is to pack, pack  and then do some more packing!! Get married, go on a honeymoon and then merge two households!

I'm almost 58. Randy is 63. We have LOTs n LOTs of  stuff between us! He has a house that's full. I have a house that's full. My 2011 will be spent trying to be wise in what to keep and what to get rid of.

2010 was filled with lots of new things I tried! Can't think of anything I "wanted" to do - and didn't! Probably the 1st time I have been able to say that in my entire life!

 This was the first picture I took. 
The Damn Cat (Jonathan's cat!) was coming toward me to get a neck scratch!
Didn't even notice him until after I took the picture!!

Reverb 10: day 17

Having my calendar at hand helps me recall my year!!

Reverb December 17th:  Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

      I'm very surprised to learn that I am fun. I am funny and I can be interesting.  I had spent so many years unhappy, discontented, and I didn't have much self worth. - I'm a Christian and I know better but had never "verbalized" these feelings so didn't really understand I felt this way until I started coming out of this devastating funk.
     Now, I have fun. I like to make others laugh. I enjoy being around others. I enjoy having discussions without feeling "stupid" for thinking the way I do. Having discussions without everything being turned into a huge debate that I'm not prepared for. Believe it or not - everyone does not have to have a personal opinion about everything! Which is a very nice discovery. Then the things I actually have an opinion on really matters.

     So - the lesson I've learned is a very important one -
Everyone is special. I am special.
Everyone has something to offer. I have something to offer.
So, be kind to everyone and enjoy being you!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb 10: day 16

My book club. Great friends.

December 16th Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

In 2009 I was able to reconnect with many old friends. This meant so much to me and really helped me deal with being single. I found the old me in renewing those relationships.

In 2010 I continued the relationships that were good. We all know that sometimes we get too busy and it seems our friends - especially those that live far away are the relationships that suffer through our busyness.

I don't think there has been one friendship this year that changed my perspective on the world. However, maintaining friendships with old friends has helped me change my perspective on me. I had allowed myself to be pulled away from so many of my good friends from the past. So becoming reacquainted helped me make a conscience decision to maintain these friendships. Work a little harder at finding time to get together. I will admit that technology has helped me keep in touch. I love texting my friend from high school. I enjoy keeping up with friends on facebook. I enjoy meeting a good friend half way between her house and mine for what we call a "half way hamburger." We try to do this at least once a month.

Realizing that I NEED these girlfriends in my life has changed my perspective. I need to be able to have some "girl" talk. I need to hear the perspective of a good Christian friend.
Meeting Randy has made me very happy and very content with my life.
Having friends just adds the smile.  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reverb 10: day 15

December 15 Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in 5 minutes. Capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Meeting Randy.
Introducing Randy to my family.
Meeting his family.
The Color Purple with Heather.
Discovering Ponca City with Randy.
Jonathan finishing college, getting a job and visiting him at his house!
Jack coming for an extended visit.
Discovering The Wichita Botanical Gardens with Randy.
Riley and Jo spending the night and making a purse with Jo.
Falling in love and becoming engaged.
Tuesday night dinners at the farm with my Dad and Mom.
Finding a new church home.

My year has been filled with  Randy, my parents, and my kids and my grandkids. I wouldn't want to forget a single moment.

Every hug from Randy, kids, grandkids, my mom and dad is worth saving in my memory bank to withdraw when I'm short on hugs - or kisses. :)

I have been truly blessed in 2010.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reverb 10: day 14

December 14: Appreciate. What is the one thing you have come to appreciate over the last year? How do you express gratitude for it.

Have you ever seen a picture as relaxing as this one with my grandson, Riley? He is so calm and peaceful.

I have appreciated calmness this year. A calm lifestyle, a calmness in my soul. I was ready for time of quiet, a time of calm and I have had it this year. 

I've always lived a relatively simple lifestyle. When we first moved into the house I now live in it was a work in progress. The first 8 months we lived there, we didn't have running water so now when I get into a bathtub of hot water I always say "Thank you God for hot water." I love clean sheets, so when I change my sheets and get into bed I always say "Thank you God for clean sheets." It's the small things that make me very happy, very content.

I've never liked conflict. I like peace. My personality is phlegmatic and if you've studied personalities at all you know just how serious phlegmatics are about having peace in their lives. So when I have a peaceful calm life, I'm the happiest. 

2010 has been a very nice calm year for me. God has blessed me greatly - hot water, clean sheets and with a peace that passes all understanding and I am content with my life. The peace that God has given me is within my soul whether there is conflict in my surroundings or not. This has been a great blessing. Knowing that my life can be calm and peaceful when all around me may be chaotic and out of control.

Reverb 10: day 13

December 13: Action. When it comes to aspirations its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

I read an article years ago in Reader's Digest. It was about priorities and having time in your life for what's important. The main message of this article was that we only have time in our lives for three priorities. Anything over that is too much and makes us too busy. If you have a family, that's one priority. If you're active in your church that's another priority.  If exercise is a part of your life, that's a priority.  Any clubs? Another priority.  Hobbies are a priority. A career - a priority. 

I have kept this article in the back of my mind for years and when life begins getting to hectic, I try to look at what I'm doing and try to scale back to my three main priorities.  Also, priorities change with age, with families,  so I've learned to be flexible!  What I learned from this article is that for me to have a life that is easy for me to be comfortable with, I must make sure I don't try to cram too much into it. I don't want to get too busy doing "things" that I can't enjoy what I really want or need to be enjoying.

I've also learned in my 57 years that I must find time to be quiet. I like quietness. I don't have to be pondering important matters. I don't have to be thinking up new ideas. For me to be most content I need quiet. Time to enjoy being alive without noise, music or voices. Just quiet.

So for action this year, I have spent my time building a new relationship, in my job and the third priority fluctuates between many things. I sew, I read, I love spending time with my family and my wonderful grandkids, exercise became a part of my life this year.  I have learned not to get so involved in one activity that I can't enjoy other activities.

So, my ideas take the form of creations in sewing, in what books to read, in things to do with family, and as for one spectacular idea for me to run with - it didn't happen in 2010. However, we are coming up to a new year. For me, many new beginnings. Maybe a spectacular idea will be born and carried out in 2011!

PS I realize that I'm really stretching the "idea" behind some of the prompts in Reverb 10.. I just write about what pops into my mind when I read the prompt! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb 10: day 12

Prompt: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

When I read this prompt, I thought, "you gotta be kidding me". What makes it worse is my friend Debra will write a narrative that flows with poetic words and helps you imagine a body dancing very gracefully.... :) 

I found this definition of "body integration":
"Body Integration, is a diagnostic and treatment method whereby the body is seen as a living, biological computer with numerous, complicated functions and an unfathomable data bank"

All I have to say is this: I'm 57 years old. I've had 4 babies. I'm overweight and tired most of the time! So last March with the encouragement of Randy and a wonderful gift from him, I became a member of Enid's YMCA. I spent the next 5 months going 3 times a week. Since then it's been hit or miss. However, I plan on getting through this season and in January I'm back to 3 times a week. I never felt better than when I was going 3 times a week. Although I didn't lose a lot of weight, I toned up considerably and just felt good. Not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

So - my living, biological, computer  will be rebooted come the first week of January. I promise!! :)

(and there is NO way I'm posting a picture of me working out - besides, I don't have one! )

Reverb 10: day 11

 (This is just a picture - not something I need to get rid of !!)

December 11: Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? 

Eleven things??? This seems like alot! Let's see........

  1. The most obvious for me right now is STUFF. We will be merging 2 households this year and much STUFF is going to have to go. (I could make this prompt really easy and just start listing items from my house that I need to get rid of before April, but I don't think that would really be fair.....) I will get rid of this by having a couple of garage sales...
  2. The fear of Randy getting tired of me. I've had 2 relationships in my life.. The first one was in high school and lasted 3 years and he got tired of dating me. - he was going to college and moved on from his "high school relationship". Then after dating several guys, I met my future husband and we married. After 38 years, he "fell in love" with someone else. So I really have to pray for me to  "trust" the relationship God has given me with  Randy. I know that he's not either of those other guys.... I will get rid of this fear by prayer. Plus Randy is very patient with me.
  3. Some pounds... I would like to lose 20 lbs.  I can do this by picking up my schedule at the Y. Eating smarter.
  4. Jonathan's cat! I don't really want to "lose" him - I'm just ready for Jonathan to get him. And he is going to at Christmas!!
  5. My utter hate of conflict. No matter where I live, no matter who I'm living with, as long as God leaves me on this earth I will at times have conflict. I need to suck it up and deal with it...
  6. My fear of public speaking. I mean, I do it, but I always get so nervous beforehand. I wish I could be calm and remember all that I want to say. This I'm assuming will only go away the more I do it.
  7. Some of my books... No, this doesn't fall under "stuff" because to me they are more than stuff. However, I will be the first to admit I have tooooo many....  Hospice? Garage sale?
  8. I'm ready to leave my job behind. This isn't in a bad way! I love my job, I love the administration I work with. They are some of the most Godly men I've ever worked with - and in a public school!! :) but I know once I've left my job, I'm that much closer to being in Wichita with Randy. YAY!!
  9. I've collected many antiques over the years. What can't be used at my new home with Randy, will be offered to my kids. What they don't want will be sold. - or given to other family members.
  10. All these old vehicles on my property.... Need to get someone to haul them off.
  11. I have enjoyed being single for the last 2 years. However, I am so excited to leave that behind and marry Randy.

Reverb 10: Day 10

Taken in Branson, Missouri

December 10: What was the wisest decision you made this year and how did it play out.

This is an interesting prompt. When I found out the December of 2008 that I was going to be divorced, I made many decisions - beginning that month. So all through 2009, it was one new thing after another. I had already gone through the 5 stages of grief by then. I had been dealing with this chaotic relationship for several years and the last 3 before the divorce were the years I experienced the stages of grief. So I began 2010 with a new resolution of becoming content with my life. The turmoil was gone, the conflict was gone, the distrust and everything else that goes with a relationship gone bad was gone.

So I began 2010 knowing that I didn't want to grow old alone. Knowing that when/if I met someone to love, I wanted someone with a personal faith similar to mine, someone laid back, someone with humility, someone without arrogance. I wanted someone that enjoys the things I enjoy. I would prefer someone without a temper. I wanted a compatible companion.

I know this type of man is out there because 2 of my sisters-in-law are married to men like the one I've described here. I put my order :) before God. - After all, I reasoned, He knows so much better than me what I need. I had dated 4 men. - Everyone of them very nice. - But I knew none of them were what I was really yearning for in my heart. So I gave up.

One Sunday evening, I decided to try one last time. My brother-in-law talked me into going to Within 2 days I read the profile of a man that interested me. I don't even remember now what it was in the profile that caught my attention but I sent him a message. He responded. What hooked me on this guy was in one of our early emails he told me a joke that a second grader had told him. - he impressed me.

All that said - we are now planning a wedding for April.

The wisest decision I've ever made was hitting on this guy!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb 10: day 9

Day 9: Party: What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010?

I'm not a party girl!! However I had the opportunity to attend 2 wonderful weddings in 2010. The son of a very dear friend was married. I had such a good time at the wedding and reception. This is a picture of my friend Linda dancing with her son - the groom! Got to visit with friends from Glenn Park Christian Church where my family  used to minister. The reception was catered by Hog Wild and had a great DJ. The food was delicious, the dancing was fun to watch - I only did the twist for a minute!  :) Had a glass of Champagne with the toast.  Everyone looked beautiful - especially the bride and of course my friend Linda looked gorgeous. Everyone  seemed to have had a great time!

Randy and I at the Rubottom reception.

 Randy and I at Dale and Annie's wedding.

The other wedding we went to was so different from the Rubottom wedding but just as fun! You can tell I had been in the Oklahoma wind and humidity for this wedding! Dale and Annie got married by a lake in a little chapel and had a pot luck dinner. In lieu of gifts, they requested that the guests bring food for a pot luck! Some ate outside, some inside the chapel. It was fun. Everyone was casual and the visiting was just like a church pot luck! Everyone was comfortable in their casual attire and Annie was  a beautiful bride.

I had such a good time at both events. -
but even if I wouldn't have had such a good time - 
who cares if you are with a great date!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb 10: day 8

December 8: Beautifully different.  Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up.

I'm not sure I'm different but I do like to see people happy. I like for them to laugh. So I have a tendency to try to be funny. I want to make people happy. I want to be encouraging and uplifting.  A couple of years ago I read a quote by unknown - have you noticed how much unknown has been quoted??? SHE must be an amazing woman! Anyway, the quote: "be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Ever since I read this, I've tried to live by it. I try to be kind, caring and funny.... Sometimes I fail, but I always try. I'm not sure this makes me beautiful, but hearing laughter makes me laugh and laughing makes me happy. Happiness makes me joyful and joy makes me content! I LOVE MY LIFE!!!!

Reverb 10: Day 7

December 7: Community - Where have you discovered community online or otherwise?

"In sociology, the concept of community has led to significant debate, and sociologists are yet to reach agreement on a definition of the term. There were ninety-four discrete definitions of the term by the mid-1950s.[1] Traditionally a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household. The word can also refer to the national community or global community........... a broad term for fellowship or organized society.[2Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location." from Wikipedia

Community. I live in a small rural community. It is one where people step up to the plate in times of distress or trouble. I cannot even begin to explain  how this community stepped up and supported me with encouragement throughout 2010. It's unbelievable. I was fortunate to witness their collective support this past week when my boss became ill and spent time in the hospital.

Two separate experiences completely - yet unconditional support from our community.

Community. I have attended The Book Club for 11 years. We have been through so much together. My situation throughout my divorce was very uncomfortable for some of them but I never felt unloved or unappreciated. The laughter and discussions we have shared is precious and irreplaceable.

Community. Facebook, a social network, provided me with an outlet during times I felt isolated. I have been able to reconnect with old friends and as I've said many times, "Facebook saved my life."  You and I both know that facebook didn't actually save my life but the relationships with the people I have connected with on facebook - saved my life.

Community. In 2010 I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet, get to know and fall in love with Randy. He is not in himself a community but he introduced me to Cross Road Fellowship Church.
I had not attended a specific church since my church closed in 2009. When I started attending Cross Road with Randy, I felt at home. I attended a Sunday School Class and that is where I have felt most comfortable. As is often the case, a smaller group makes one feel at home. I have enjoyed this community. They have a theme that caught my attention and still is interesting to me - Life at Cross Road. LIFE: Living Intentionally For Eternity. Liked it when I first heard it - still like it.

My future in Community? My 2011 holds so many opportunities that I can't even begin to imagine what type of community God will bring my way. And if I've learned one thing in 2010 - I've learned not to limit God by stating what I think He will accomplish in my life!!

Reverb 10: day 6

December 6: Make - what was the last thing you made?

I've found since dating :) I haven't had time to sew! or to read much!  but in July when Riley and Josie were at my house, Josie (the beautiful girl in the picture) asked me if I would make her a purse. Ok - this is a girl after my heart! A PURSE!!!!! As I've said before I'll go barefooted as long as I can get a new purse!!!

I let her go through all of my fabric. She picked out fabric for 4 or 5 purses! She has an eye for what goes together and an eye for embellishments. She may embellish more than I would but she is very good and she's only 8! When I asked what she wanted the purse to look like, she went to a website for young girls and found a "cartoon" purse she liked and we made a pattern. Then I started cutting out and putting this "Josie Creation" together.

About an hour and a half into the project she asked me if we could play a game. I explained we can play a game or we can make a purse. She said, "Well, I had no idea it would take you so long to make a purse!!" Loved it! Not only lessons on putting fabric together, picking our embellishments and pattern making but also a lesson on how long it actually takes to create beautiful things!

So here is our finished project:

It's hard to see but there is a "shoe button" on the camo fabric and on the flap is a button shaped like glasses! She did great on the whole project!

Reverb 10: day 5

December 5: Let go. What or whom did you let go of this year?

I'm sure all of you think I will be talking about marriage or something like that!! However, I'm not! :)

I'm going to talk about my youngest child! My baby! I really haven't thought about Jonathan as a baby for years. And in some ways I let go of him in 2005 when he left for college. But the final "letting go" came this fall. After graduation, he became a true independent adult, got a job and moved into his own place. This was the true letting go for me.

Jonathan was my "surprise" baby. You can ask his brother and sisters - he really was a very good baby. I used to joke and say "God knew He had pushed me as far as I could go and He gave me a perfect baby." That was no exaggeration. He really was good. He was good from birth and continues to be a great man. - There were a couple of times in high school I lost sleep over this child... Well, only once, but he stood up like a man and did what he needed to do to make things right. I was very proud of him. I am very proud of him.

So, this fall, I let go. I no longer pay his car insurance. That's really the only financial responsibility I had concerning Jonathan during college. Everything else, tuition, food, board, spending money, everything else, he took responsibility for. Now he's an adult. Standing on his own. I'm proud of him. I'm excited for him - he has his whole life ahead of him, a promising future.

I'm also a little sad.

Reverb 10: day 4

I am so far behind. I knew I would get behind, I just had no idea it would be this soon. I want to post pictures with my posts, but am either on the wrong computer or don't have my camera memory card with me....

Dec 4: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder this year?

I always think wonder comes from looking at things - at life -  through a child's eyes. Once you've reached your 50's and life gets in the way, it's sometimes hard to look at life with the wonder of a child. My 2010 has been a year of new things, new lifestyle, new relationships, old relationships renewed, a new relationship with God.

For several years my only conversation with God has been "Why" "What can I do to change this situation" - conversations of that sort.  Romans 8:26  "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."  My version of this in my prayers was "God, help. I don't even know what to say. Help." For more than 3 years everything I said to God consisted of these words or no words - just groanings.

Then January 1, 2010. A new day, a new week, a new month, a new year. My philosophy is that God created our cycles of days, weeks, months, years so we can continuously be provided with "new beginnings". So here I was on the first day of a new year. A very new beginning.  A new year after years of dismal living, depression, helplessness. I decided at that point that 2010 would be my opportunity to pull myself up by my boot straps :) and move on with a better life, a better outlook - more importantly, a better relationship with my God.

I began looking at my spirituality with a sense of wonder. I was amazed at what God had for me. I also realized during this time of renewed relationship, how very wrong I had been over the years about spirituality, about God, about relationship with Him. I had spent so many years trying to be spiritual. Saying the right words that made me sound spiritual - oh, I know all the right words - praying "spiritual" prayers.. Oh how wrong I was. I began building my relationship with God as a child would. No special words, just my words. No looking at others with pity - because they didn't quite "fit" the spiritual mold. Trying to be kind to everyone about everything because everyone has their own struggles.

God has revealed Himself to me in a new way (not that He changed but I did). Nothing out of the ordinary, just regular love from Him to me and from me to Him. Just the everyday stuff - not the over the top, flashy stuff. Just like an old friend returning after a long trip. Comforting, familiar, forgiving and unconditional love.

My whole year has been filled with this sense of wonder because when you let God work on your attitude, it touches every single aspect of your life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb 10: day 3

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year.

One moment? From February 21 until now, my moment has been falling in love with Randy and realizing what a wonderful relationship we have together. I had no idea I would fall in love, I would have been content with great companionship however God had another plan in mind. He blessed me above and beyond all I could have ever imagined. From the very beginning our relationship has been guided by God and I am forever thankful to Him for this guidance.

One of my favorite places to go to with Randy is Botanica - The Wichita Gardens. We've been there several times in several seasons and it has been through these trips that I've learned I don't have a favorite flower - I LOVE them all. Walking through the gardens with Randy, stopping to smell, to admire the different artwork of God is one of my favorite things.

Being in this new relationship everything seems brighter, clearer and more vivid.

Now, all I need to figure out is how to combine 2 households. HELP!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 2

     I've never taken the time to write much. I read. I write down quotes, lists, reviews on books I've read but I've just not written much. But this year, actually the last few months I've had so many thoughts about embarking on this new life that I've often thought of starting another blog. But, there again, I just haven't taken the time. I usually can't imagine that anyone would want to read what I have to write. Now I'm beginning to understand that I don't need to write for anyone else to read but I do need to write to chronicle the feelings and thoughts that I have for me. Just for me. When I think back over my life I wonder if I've ever done much for me. How sad is that to reach 57 (almost 58) and not have done much for myself... I'm learning. I'm changing. As I told Randy not too long ago, I'm enjoying being a little selfish. I'm enjoying doing things because I want to do them.

So the biggest hindrance I have for writing is myself. And can I do anything about it? You bet I can...

Reverb 10, Day 1

My friend Debra and her daughters are participating in reverb 10 for December.
I decided I would join them in this project, even though it's not about reviewing books! 

"Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead."

For day 1: Describe the year 2010 in one word.
     My word for 2010 is New. I started January having been divorced for 6 months. Everything that came my way this year has been a new experience. After having been married for 37 years this was my first full year of being single again and making many new decisions. The first one I made that has really changed my life was that I realized I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. I had always said "If I'm ever single again, I will never remarry." I quickly learned that had been a rash statement and one made with absolutely NO experience in that particular situation. 

I also discovered many - MANY others make these same rash statements often..... but that's another story for another day!

I took my brother-in-law's advice and decided to try the online dating thing. Believe me when I say that was a NEW experience! After dates with 4 men, I decided being alone wasn't so bad  :)  and I quit. Then one Sunday evening I thought, I'm going to try this one last time... and within the week I met Randy. That was a new relationship that has given me  a new understanding of what a wonderful, blessed, and fabulous relationship should be. - and could be.

The dating life - new and scary. Making decisions on my own - new. Deciding to remarry - new.  Making plans to join 2 households - new. My 2010 has been a year of ups and downs, lots of fears, lots of new understanding of  friend's discomfort with a divorcee.... That was a hard thing to learn - but valuable. 

Most importantly, a NEW understanding of my relationship with God. An interesting year, altogether.

My word for 2011: