Tag Archives: new year

Could I Have a Do-Over?

Well, this New Year started off a wee bit off-kilter for me. I came down with a cough and a little congestion right before the clock struck twelve. Great timing. Since I filled myself with immune builders it could have been a lot worse. Instead, it dragged slowly on and I shared it with my husband. A mild depression set in because I hate being sick. What a baby I am.

A week and one day later I am feeling really good. It’s funny, but a phone call to a dear friend about a dream I had, boosted my spirit immensely. I even reached out to someone I would like to get to know – this may seem like an easy thing for some of you but for me, a temptation to be a recluse has a strong pull on me. But I would be a lousy recluse. I like people.

So today I got inspired. I painted. The beauty of painting is that when you use two canvasses and create some pretty ugly stuff, you can paint over them. So I did. I usually do not name my paintings because I want the eye of the beholder to name them what they feel or see. But this first one I had to call “A Glimpse of Heaven”.

The other is left to the interpreter. Orange – I love the colour of orange.

As you look may you be touched with Hope. That is all I ask for as I create anything. May Heaven come down with the Hope you are looking and asking for.

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

The End of Another Year

I’m sitting here, typing, and listening to Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, in the middle of my country. You just can’t take the beach out of a Jersey Shore Girl.

While contemplating the beginning of another year I must reflect on the last year. There. Done. Now on with the new. We had our two granddaughters with us for two nights after Christmas. We always have a blast. We had plans to meet up with their dad at the church where he works and attend their service. Saturday night I told the girls to pick out what they wanted to wear to church and set them in a chair so they can put them on in the morning. Done.

I thought the outfit that the eight-year-old put on was a bit off, but she is creative and extremely confident in herself. When we arrived at the church and they ran into daddy’s arms, my son turned to me and said, “She is wearing pajama pants”. Gulp. No wonder the outfit looked off, well, it looked great for Walmart!  I love that girl.

We then deposited the girls in their Kids Group and we sat down to enjoy the service in the main sanctuary. This particular denomination was foreign to me but since our son has been working here we attend a service once in a while. I have to say it is so good to break your normal routine or preferences and see how “they” do it. A different perspective on the God we love and serve. Coming from the persuasion of Christianity that I do, we tend to think we are all that and more. I imagine most groups do. But there is more, much more out there that I thoroughly enjoy meeting. I’ve always loved diversity in many aspects, so meeting others that are not like me is enjoyable to me. I feel more balanced when I experience others and the way they think. There is so much out of my four walls to be experienced. These things will expand my horizons and help me accept and love others.

Accept and love others, those who do not think as we do or see as we do. So many of us voice our opinions in a way that states that our ways are the only right ways. Really? Our present word is so full of hate and fear right now that perhaps we should sit and evaluate our own beliefs and listen, really listen, to others and actually hear what they are saying. Aren’t we tired of reacting first?

For this New Year, I pray that I can be more grateful for what I have and that I could really listen to others and not judge or hate them because they are not exactly like me. I can only speak for me, but when I react to someone’s words or looks, I know that I am not hearing them. Whether it be my husband or kids or neighbours or “social media friends”. Well, just think of the arguments that will dissipate when we listen and hear rather than react. What a wonderful world this would be.

So I wish you the Happiest of New Years. May your life only get better.  cb

“Have It All” by Jason Mraz

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May it take no effort in you being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more, nothing less

May you know the meaning of the word “happiness”
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions through immeasurable wealth

May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes, shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine, oh
No matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen

Go go go, raise your glasses
Go go go, you can have it all

I toast you!

Here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it

(All)
Here’s to the good times we gonna have
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to you always making me laugh
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
(I want you to have it all)
I want you to have it all

Temporary

Here we are in a New Year, 2018, and things did not start out as they usually do in my life.

That can be good. But what usually happens is, my husband and I look into our future and talk and pray about what may be or what is in store for us.

This end of 2017 was different. First of all, we were in Edinburgh, Scotland. A dream trip. Three glorious weeks in a land that has been in our hearts for a very long time and three glorious weeks in the home and presence of our middle son and his wife – who just happen to live there for a season.

We did not get back to our home in the USA until the 8th of January. And we even came home with jet lag and a virus, so to bed we went.

By the time we recovered I felt that I needed to enter the New Year again. Can I have a do-over?

Now that I’m almost completely over this annoying sinus-type virus, I am beginning to reflect more on our trip and on this New Year. You see, three and a half years ago we moved to The Burg, a small mid-western town about an hour outside of Kansas City.

Rural. Farms all around us. Quiet. The town has a University smack dab in the middle of it. A USAF Base is just a few miles away. Plenty of activity, yet plenty of quiet. The best of both. And only a quick forty-five to sixty minute drive to “the city”.

We moved here temporarily while our other son and wife attended the University and we cared for our grand daughters while they were in class. A wonderful gift to be a part of their formative years. A bond with those girls that cannot be broken.

We rented this little house temporarily. It is small. It is neglected. It is challenging. It is a home.

Our son and daughter moved back to Kansas City and we decided to stay in this great little town. We have made precious, life-long friends and love the area. But the house. We really need to move to a better dwelling. We have goals and visions for the future and it does not include this little neglected building.

I have a friend who lives on an island. She sends me a text of encouraging words and prayers every day. She told me, just yesterday, when I told her of our need for a different house, “Not good. Always feeling transient.” She is praying for us.

Her statement,  “Not good. Always feeling transient”, took me into a reflective place. For three years I have felt transient. Knowing this house was temporary, yet never seeming to be moving on. It is not good. She is right. The definition of transient is this:

tran·sient
ˈtranSHənt,ˈtranzēənt
adjective
  1. 1.
    lasting only for a short time; impermanent.
    “a transient cold spell”
    synonyms: transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, ephemeral, impermanent, brief, short, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow;

    This explains a lot of my wandering in my head about where we will live. But as I wander over the last three years I always come back to this town. I just need to feel grounded, no longer transient, no longer temporary.

    I do hope this is the year to find that perfect dwelling. We’re not set on buying or renting or whatever. However it comes to us it just needs to be home. A solid, grounded home.

    He will not forget me and He will not leave me out of his plans for me and my desires on this earth.

    “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29 The Message

    My son and I with our matching University of Edinburgh tartan scarves in front of his flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can see Arthur’s Seat in the back ground.

    Enjoy!

    Cate B

Out With The Old…….

 

Here we are already five days into the New Year. I decided to take down the Christmas tree and all the decorations that go with that wonderful time of the year.

Sigh. I hesitated. If you read my post O Christmas Tree then you know that we cut down a fresh tree. A VERY fresh tree. I hadn’t watered it but once since we first got it (the day after Thanksgiving). Very few needles had dropped and it was still fresh with sap.

Sadly, I decided to strip it of it’s magical lights and simple, nostalgic ornaments and send it on it’s way. We decided to stick it in the backyard where the birds can enjoy it and who knows, maybe saplings will pop up. Maybe not, since I have no idea how they come about.

But as I sat there, thinking about taking it down, all the ornaments piled on the coffee table before me, I got to thinking (a dangerous past time I know ; ). I got to thinking about the other reason I was hesitating. You see, I have a lot of thinking and hoping stock in this New Year. The last two and a half years have been a somewhat temporary situation. Mostly with our housing. It’s been alright for the most part, but having a landlord who just loves to save money any way he can has proven to be quite uncomfortable in many ways.

We are ready. We are so ready to find a better dwelling place. I don’t need large, I just need slighter bigger. I don’t need a dishwasher, but I do need central air. Just to name a couple. As a matter of fact, I want simple.

So back to the hesitation of taking down the decorations. That whole act speaks to me about moving forward. And I’ll be honest here, I hate moving forward IF there will be no change. That sounds silly to some, even to me a little, because the very act of moving forward implies there will be change.

Here enters that awful player called irrational fear. I hate him. He’s a bad actor and a liar. I cannot let him convince me he is good in any way. So there! The fear of things not changing is daunting. BUT, I am intentionally choosing to ignore that limelight stealer!  I am moving forward! Tally-Ho! and all that goes with it!

And I know I am not alone in this. So many of my friends are anticipating change, for the good. Good changes in health, life, jobs, homes. The list can go on and on! My prayers are that we all get there. And that we surrender our fears and stress to the One who can take us all the way through, no matter what the path is like.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Goodbye 2016

How was 2016 for you?

I can’t complain. The political stuff that filled my Facebook newsfeed was quite annoying and tiring. I really just want happiness on my newsfeed……live puppies safe at home, as opposed to lost puppies or abused puppies. I want flowers and birds, as opposed to dead rainforests and killing the bees posts. I want images of people enjoying the life they’ve been given as opposed to dead or bloodied bodies in war torn nations or children crying in the streets.

I know I sound like I want to avoid all conflict. I don’t and I can’t. BUT I just don’t want it on my Facebook page. The hate is real. The wars are real. The lost kids and dogs are real. I can find those reports on the news. I know there is stink in this world.

But what I also know is that exposing myself constantly to negativity makes me sad, can bring on depression and hopelessness, and even poor health.

So why do we do it? Why complain about your health, etc., and keep on filling your eyes and mind with the negatives??

Just words for you to ponder.  It’s a New Year upon us, 2017. Do you want to change? I do. I’m trying and it is not easy. Not for anyone. It takes hard work and concentration and deliberate actions to change our thinking, our eating, our exercising. But the results of the hard work will be amazing!

Here are some wise words to repeat often that will help:

Philippians 4:8-9The Message (MSG)

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Isn’t that beautiful? That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this last day of the year.

Now here are some photos I grabbed on an intentional, refreshing drive yesterday. Enjoy! And may you have a prosperous and healthy New Year!

Cate B

Dusty Dreams

There are about nineteen days left in 2016. I never make New Year resolutions, but I do always look forward to what may be in store for us/me in the upcoming new year.

Ever an adventurer……

My future at this point is rather swelling with fear  anticipation. Last Thursday was the last day of my son’s semester at University and that marked the last day of me caring for my three year old grand daughter. I have watched her pretty much full-time for the last three years and her sister, now in kindergarten, since shortly after she was born.

I have mixed emotions. More on the side of taking the dreams off the proverbial shelf and dusting them, throwing away some, creating new ones, OR curling up on the couch and watching NETFLIX for a while……. a long while.

I do love changes. They actually wake me up and make me feel more alive. But know, Dear Reader, that I am extremely human (as opposed to being simply human ??) and I am terrified of what I am to do.

I see this change in life as another adjustment. As a loss in some ways. The girls are only just over an hour up the road. I have already FaceTimed them twice. But I shall let this minor grieving time have it’s way in me and I know that I will see my future, my new roads and dreams more clearly as the days go by and as I finish up a series in NETFLIX.

Have a Great Holiday Season!

Cate B

 

Sit Down For A Cuppa

Welcome New Year – 2016.  Welcome Friends.

Come and sit with me and let me pour you a cup of coffee.  I didn’t make a double chocolate chai pie with real whipped cream for you today……perhaps next time.

Today, I have lovely slices of homemade bread.  Warm.  With butter and/or some local Amish Blackberry Jam.  Help your self.  Eat as much as you want.

As we sit here together let’s chat. I want to tell you how excited I am over the arrival of a new year. I’ve made no resolutions, never do, but I have decided to make my own bread as opposed to buying well-preserved breads in the stores.

I have also decided to get busy.  As some of your know, I care for my grand girls five days a week while my son and his wife attend University.  I’ve done this for about two plus years.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it has been a sacrifice in many ways. But I see no greater gift that I could give than to be a part of raising these girls. They have taught me so much and my heart has grown in love.

This year, I decided to write more.  Even help my husband to write the books he needs to along with the one I need to finish. I need to play my ukulele more often – it brings me such joy.

There are other creative and practical things I need to do that will come out along the way.  One thing I know is that I need to do the things that were planted in my heart to do by my best Friend, Jesus.

You see, Life is short.  We’ve all heard that before. But we truly do not know our days. I’ve said goodbye to a dear friend just after Thanksgiving.  I see the news rattling off numbers of deaths in various world events.  All ages.  The anniversary of the loss of our dear daughter is coming up.  You can’t help but reflect on your own life.  The things I’ve put off and just refused to do.  The dreams that I have forgotten.

Here, have another slice of bread and a warm up your coffee……

You see, some dreams may change over the years or even be put on a shelf for a while. Some may be lost on the shelves or in a box in the attack or basement. How about we take them down and dust them off.  How about we search out those that were lost and thought forgotten.

Let’s take them and sit with our God and our friends who believe in us and look them over, shine them up, tweak them here and there and most of all…… Pursue them!   Yes.  Let’s do it.

And that is what my new year is looking like. Pursuit.  How about yours?  Those dreams and ideas are still there.  Those ideas for a business are still there.  Find friends who only encourage and love you enough to help you go forward. Find others who need your encouragement and help in finding and going for their dreams.

I’m cheering for you. Maybe next time I will make that chocolate chai pie for you.

Thanks for stopping by.  In case you want it, here is the bread recipe:

I mixed mine in a Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook.

Multi-Grain Bread

1 pkg. active dry yeast – or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup butter – cut up

1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

2 tsp. salt

2 cups boiling water

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup Cornmeal – 1 cup Oats

Enough Unbleached Flour to make a sticky dough – approx. 4 cups

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

In a smaller bowl I put the butter, sugar, molasses and salt with the boiling water.  Let butter melt and let it cool down so as not to be too hot for the yeast.  I test that by holding my finger in it for a few seconds – if I have to yank my finger out then it is too hot.

Add liquid to yeast along with the WW Flour, cornmeal and oats.  Then mix in White Flour and use that dough hook until all is incorporated.  A good 3-4 minutes of mixing is good.  If dough is too sticky – meaning you cannot pick it up in one ball – then slowly beat in more white flour until right consistency.

Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and form into any shapes you like.  Pace on greased baking sheet or greased loaf pans. I chose this:

1003243_10153131639452820_3797718183456318986_n I cut slices in them with kitchen shears.

Cover these with the cloth again and let rise for about 40-45 minutes.

Bake  in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 40-50 minutes.  Cool out of the pan and you better cut an end off while hot and smother it with butter and eat it!

12400506_10153131639472820_6126526402291979353_n

Enjoy!

Cate B