Butterflies and Roses

Because of you, I have…

“Butterflies and Roses”

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.

Dragonflies, rainbows
bring tears to my eyes,

Of both joy and sorrow,
of hellos and goodbyes.

The moment you left us
many hearts broke.

But loving kindness
was the story you wrote.

So I’ll treasure these gifts
and remember your smile.

And the warmth of your love,
I’ll carry each mile.

I miss you beyond measure
as everyone does,

But you left us your legacy
of compassion and love.

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.



Written in honor of Michelle 🦋
November 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Chelle. ♥️

February 1, 1962

Thank you for being here.

Andi

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes

All the people closest to me know that I do not like change. When I see an actor who I haven’t seen in awhile, I get sad at how much they’ve aged. When I drive past the house where I grew up and see all the changes made to it and how mature all the trees are in my yard and in the neighborhood, I get homesick. As my kids grow up and get married and move out of my house, my heart hurts. I want my mom here. And my best friend. That is the hardest change of all…death.

I can’t help it. There are just some things I don’t want to change. Ever. But, realistically, all those I listed are out of my control. I have no authority or power to change any of them. And I am finally realizing that fighting change, arguing with change, despising change only causes me more grief. I’m in my 50’s and finally getting a grip on this whole concept.

On the flip side, are the things that we can change, and we shouldn’t be afraid to make them. Granted, I still fear change of any sort, but I’ve undoubtedly had to make changes throughout my life. Good and bad. This doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with decisions I’ve made, or like Lot’s wife, turned back to see what I’ve left behind.

2019 was a very good year for me in many ways. I found my inner happiness. I did things on my own and basically, grew up a bit. Things that were BIG in my eyes. And in doing so, I learned so much about myself. Then I made some good, positive changes.

And yes, change can absolutely be good. An example is that I recently changed jobs. It was a great move for me. It’s not 100% what I need financially but the rewards are priceless. My personal growth this past year has been due partly to my new job.

Maybe in our late teens, early twenties, we have this view of how our life will be. We plan it all out. School. Job. Marriage. Family. Cute, little cottage home on Sycamore Street. But once we actually get into life, it doesn’t go as well as we envisioned. But that can be okay too. We can accept it, then make it good by adjusting our mindset, and making necessary changes.

A friend of mine is remodeling an older home. He walked into the project with ideas. But as he started tearing into it, he’d make a change here or there. His friends would stop by and make suggestions that he never thought of but really liked. So he made more changes. And, although, he’s remodeling the same house, it won’t look anything like he thought it would when he started the project. But that doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it’s going to be even better than he initially dreamed.

Such is life. Don’t be afraid to step out and make changes from the original plan. Listen to good, sound advice from others periodically, too. Weigh their suggestions, and run with it…if it’s good, positive advice. Change doesn’t need to be on the naughty list.

Life should be colorful. It’s like painting a canvas and adding splashes of color wherever you need it, but also where you desire. It’s your painting. Your canvas. Your life. Make it colorful by adding changes here and there. It may not look anything like like you planned out at the beginning, but it could be even better than you dreamed.

Embrace change. Make life colorful.

Thank you for stopping by!
The coffee is always on. ♥️

Andi

Stress

S – steals
T – time
R – relationships
E – energy
S – self-worth
S – spirit

Stress.

We are all too familiar with it. It is in every corner of our life. Once you clean out one corner, you turn around and there is another stressor staring at you, face to face. Many times, there are more than one stressor when you feel you are at your weakest.

Stress in today’s world is much different than in past generations. The advancement of technology has brought along with it a whole new, extensive set of problems. In a day when technology was designed to alleviate stress and make our lives easier…well..it just hasn’t. True, there are great advancements in the medical and science realms to keep us healthier and safer, but as far as in our personal lives, technology hasn’t been all that grand. This is my observation and opinion.

I have enjoyed the reconnecting of friends and family on social media. But I also admit to spending an overwhelming about of time on it anticipating likes and follows, cute emojis, friend requests, connections to the outside world…the list goes on and on. Texting is another issue that has gotten out of hand. Precious time wasted when I should be loving on my family here at home, going out for a walk, taking my dog for a car ride, reading, writing, working on my household “to do” list, or visiting a friend in person. All of these get placed on the back-burner. And no one pays attention to the back-burner.

Stress comes in many forms, not only from our use or misuse of technology. However you want to look at it. We have bills, children, aging parents, special needs, PTSD, illness, death, marriages, divorce, decisions, schedules, deadlines, work, travel. The list is endless. All of these add stress to our lives. Truth is we cannot avoid any of them. They are a part of life today.

Stress affects each one of differently. Some become emotional eaters while others lose weight. Many toss and turn all night. Sweet people become bitter and react verbally with salty, mean words. Some turn to alcohol or drugs as “coping” measures. Others become quiet and hibernate within the recesses of their mind. Some become cutters. Then there are many, just too many, who feel there is no longer hope and no other way to escape the pain associated with stress, so sadly, they opt to take their own life.

Stress steals our time, our relationships, our energy, our self-worth, and our spirit. And most of what we worry about, and all the scenarios we create in our mind that “could” happen, never do. A week from now, a month, five years, or 20, we won’t even remember what stole this particular day from us. But it did. It stole a kiss from our significant other. It stole playtime with our toddler, or a hug from an elderly neighbor. It stole a phone call that should have been made. It stole our best performance at work. It robbed us of time with God. It stole our gratitude. And it broke our spirit. It was relentless of what it took from us or how much debris it left in its path. It took and took and took.

But we allowed it.

I allowed it.

As hard as that is to swallow, it is truth. I had to accept it. How we react to stress is key to survival. We alone are responsible for our reactions, and our actions. That’s not to say we can’t depend on others or on God. I do not believe that we were designed to live independent from each other. We need people in our life even if we feel we are better off alone. It’s an awesome way to obtain balance and solutions. We draw from each other’s strengths. That is the beauty of humankind. There is a wealth of goodness in relationships. I believe this.

I would hate to see the actual percentage of time I have wasted on worry and the crazy scenarios I created in my mind in the middle of the night. I spent a lot of time being angry, sad, anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. It took away quality time with the people I love most on this earth. And I know I hurt them by being short or sharp-tongued at times. Precious time I lost forever which can never be returned.

You are not alone in your feelings of stress. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your social status is, how much, or how little, money you have, or how many cars are in your garage. No one is above the anguish of stress. Know that you are not alone, there are answers, and many, many others who are struggling the same as you. Use this time to make yourself stronger and more assertive. No matter what you are going through, or have gone through, lift someone else up. Turn your focus and your energy to helping others. That is very healing in itself.

Pray for strength. Pray for vision. Pray for others who are experiencing what you are going through for you know their pain. And I will pray for you.

Stress. We cannot avoid it so let’s accept it and learn how handle it wisely. Help each other. Listen to what someone is “not” saying. Be a good friend.

If you, or someone you know, is in a place of desparation, please know there is help out there. I am enclosing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.

1-800-273-8255.

Because someone needs you here.

I am grateful for your visit.
Thanks for sharing a cup with me today.

Andi


A special thanks to my friend, MH, who suggested I consider this topic.

Listen to Your Kids , LL #402

My Christmas Angel

Christmas, long ago

The living room was a huge mess when Kayla and I headed out for our evening together. I figured I’d finish the Christmas decorating on Sunday afternoon. You see, I always took charge of all of holiday decorating myself. I was on a mission. A 3-4 day mission. I was tough. Tougher than I should have been. I admit that now. The older kids knew the “look” when they put a snowman, a bell, or a bow in a place that I did not designate for that particular decoration. I guess I’m just too much of a perfectionist at times. To a fault, maybe. But, ohhhhh, the pure joy on their faces when the decorating was complete. To see those precious faces light up was my reward. To this day, they say I made their Christmases magical. That’s all I wanted.

But right before Kayla and I left, I saw stockings hanging off the rail in the loft above the living room and a little girl, of 10, racing around like she consumed a pot of coffee. Without yelling at her to stop, I simply placed my hand on my forehead from the instant migraine I received at the thought of all the work I was going to have to do tomorrow, and walked out the door.

When we returned later that night, I noticed from the driveway, snowflakes hanging from the living room curtains. It was dark then so with the Christmas tree lights and the dangling snowflakes, the front window made our home look cozy. And inviting. I actually thought it was sweet of her to remember those and my Grinch heart softened….just a little.

When I walked into the living room, all I could do was stand there in awe at the beautiful sight before me. Mattea put the star on the tree and even though it had fallen over, it made the tree complete. She placed snowmen perfectly all around the room. Garland and red bows decorated the rail along the loft overlooking the living room. Decorations here and there. All strategically placed. But the most amazing of all was the fireplace. Garland was strung from one light to the other on the stone of the fireplace. Big red bows were attached to each light. I had never in our eleven years at that home ever thought of adding garland and bows to the fireplace, and it was…perfect! She was beaming with pride and so very happy to see my happiness at what she had accomplished all on her own. I told Mattea how very proud I was of her and how tremendously happy she made me.

As I reflect back to those earlier years, I wonder how much joy I stole from my older kids by not allowing them to help me. That thought kind of made my heart hurt.

Never underestimate your children and the capabilities of those young, beautifully designed, minds and bodies. Enclosed within their tiny heart is the purest desire to please. That’s where they find joy, as well. Let’s not stifle that. I humbly acknowledge that this little one taught me a lesson. Life Lesson # 402.

December 2, 2012
Edited January 29, 2020

I will drink my coffee this morning and reflect on the preciousness of children. Be grateful for every moment with them because they grow up just too fast.

Thank you for visiting me this morning.
The coffee is still hot if you‘d like to sit awhile. There’s always much to talk about. ♥️

Andi

The Bicycle

For many years now I have been intrigued with a particular rusty old bike. This bike is always in the same place. It is never ridden. The snow drifts rise up around it in the winter and the scorching sun beats down on it in the summer. Through the winds and rain, sleet and hail, it remains in that one spot. Never moving. Always quiet. And I wonder.

I wonder what the story is surrounding that old bike. It appears to be white in color. I cannot really see all the details from the road. I can’t even tell if it is a man’s or woman’s bike. I will tell you that it is in a huge parking lot of a factory and chained to a light pole. It’s not located in the front of the lot but more off to the side. My mind races with stories of this mysterious bicycle as I pass by each day.

Sometimes, many times, I have thought of going to the office of that factory to see if they can tell me the history of the bike. I will drive by and check if the gate is open. When I do see the gate is open I end up talking myself out of going in. Do I really want to know what happened to the owner? And why they left it? I’m not sure.

Maybe someone just didn’t want it anymore. But then why is it still there?
Maybe someone didn’t make it out of the factory able to ride again. Ever.
Or maybe the owner left with someone else leaving their past far behind chained to a light pole.

But I believe in my heart that it was left there on purpose as a reminder or a memorial of someone special. Someone who meant something to those people in that factory. The factory has changed some over the last few years. It was renamed and I don’t know if the manufacturing changed as well. But someone rode that bike there. And someone else knows its story.

As I passed by tonight, I started thinking about someone’s memory of that bike and then my thoughts turned to my own memories. I have thousands that I treasure. Many that are painful. And some I don’t share with anyone. In a way, they resemble that old bike. They are chained to my heart like that bike is chained to the light pole. And no one disturbs them.

I am assuming we all have memories that are chained quietly to our hearts like the bike is chained. They remain there throughout the changing weather in our lives…joy, pain, sadness, and love. I know there are some memories that you probably prefer to forget. But hopefully, there are many more that you want close enough to tap into every now and then. Every memory, though, serves a purpose. A lesson or a blessing. Be thankful for that. All of them helped to make you who you are today.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on tonight about a mysterious old bike.

I hope your day was good and that you enjoyed coffee with me tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.

Andi

Update on June 15, 2020
I added these photos which were taken on my way home from work. It is still there and definitely a men’s white bike.

Selfishness

I believe selfishness is the underlying factor to every “sin” in this world. I think if we dissected every act that is contrary to good, we’d find selfishness as the root. Out of selfishness stems greed, lack of self-control, pride, impatience, arrogance, etc.

But it isn’t always the other person who is selfish. I found myself to be selfish as recently as today. My selfishness, in turn, caused another grief and frustration. Someone I definitely never wanted to hurt or cause even the slightest of ill feeling toward me. I can say I’m sorry all I want but I cannot take back how I made that person feel. All I can do is apologize and not allow selfishness to rule my person again. This old dog can still learn new tricks. That’s only because I want to. (And because I was hit in the head again.) I don’t want my fossilized footprints embedded negatively upon anyone’s heart.

Examine your motive behind the act. Is the underlying reason stemming from selfishness? If so, approach from a different angle. Figure out a truer and better way to accomplish whatever it is that needs to be done. Had I sat down and discussed the issue at hand instead of whining and complaining, hurt feelings would have been nonexistent.

Think before speaking. Even when you are tired. Or hungry. There really is no excuse except for…well…selfishness.

Thank you for coming by again today.
The coffee is still on.

Andi

Embrace the Beauty

Cataract Falls (lower)
-high water-
June 24, 2018

I apologize for the glitches to my blog. It is frustrating me but I will get this figured out. Thanks for your patience and for being here. It means so much just knowing that you came here on purpose. I am grateful.

I will not get into politics. Please consider this a safe haven from our nation’s current events. But I will say that our country is a mess. We are so greatly divided and that is quite disturbing because we are the greatest nation of all. Our land is diverse with deserts and mountains, prairie, forests, and beaches. It would take more than a lifetime to travel every backroad to find the magical places not included on scenic tours. Our people are as diverse and as beautiful as the landscape. We come from all over the world. We are a combination of many people from many lands. That makes our country even more wonderful.

I urge you to embrace the beauty of our land. I encourage you to see as much of it as you can. Make a positive impact in our great country by doing good in your corner of it. Be kind. Be understanding as we all have a story, a history, a reality. Realize, too, that each of us is far from perfect. Listen to each other. Think before speaking. Don’t feed hatred and it’s ugliness. Be the kinder person.

Those are my thoughts for this day.

Thanks for being here.
The coffee is always on.

Andi

My Second Post

I promise I won’t number each post. I just didn’t know what to title this as it’s pretty much a continuation of my first post.

Getting this blog to go public was causing me great frustration. I am not sure what I did to correct it. But it finally posted not too long ago. The frustration continued from yesterday into today. That means I didn’t sleep well last night. I needed to work again today so I was frustrated all night about not being able to sleep because of my frustration of not getting this blog online. That…..was a total waste of energy. PATIENCE. Everything has a way of working itself out, one way or another.

So here I am and very happy to be here. I hope you find enjoyment out of this blog. A couple of coworkers asked me today why I started a blog. I told them I just have to write. I don’t have another answer other than it’s easier for me to communicate by writing than by talking. I have this desire to help others as well. Hopefully, my thoughts will interest you. Or at least, give you something to think about. We all have our own perspective on things. It’s not necessarily right or wrong. Just different ways of seeing the same thing. I never really understood that concept until the last few years. Seems like everything I’ve learned has been dumped into the last few years.

Remember to be thankful always. Even on the though days. Today, I am thankful I didn’t throw my computer out the window. My blog posted. 🙂

Andi