Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a joyful Christmas Day!  It's been a crazy, busy month.  I totally got over my guilt about not sending out cards... friends and family may never see another Christmas card from me... it's very freeing! Haha! Honestly, that's not very likely, because I love cards so much.  I've also enjoyed every card I've received, and the Christmas letters as well.

We got our tree up late last night, lights and two (yes... 2) ornaments.  It smells wonderful in here!  We had received a gift basket with a beautiful ham, a jar of spicy honey mustard, and a large block of sharp cheddar cheese, so that made a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, along with baked sweet potatoes, and side dishes.  It also made for some amazing sandwiches today!  Tonight I'm making Prime Rib and Crab Legs.  Doing it the easy way, per Schwans.  Will let you know if it was anywhere near restaurant quality.  ;)

It's been a wonderful year, and I'm looking forward to even more in 2014! Wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Countdown to Thanksgiving...

So much to do in the next couple of days, and my husband and I have been down with horrid colds!  He rarely gets sick, and now both of us are battling the coughing/runny nose/achy/tiredness, which is not a good thing.  We're subsisting on chicken soup, crackers, tea and juice, along with Alka-Seltzer Plus and cough drops.

He's been confining himself to the bedroom, and watching a lot of the history channel, when he's awake.  I've got the family room sofa, and have been watching a lot of old TV shows, movies, HGTV, etc.  I've missed the middle section of most of them.  I wake up in time to see the credits rolling by.  Haha!

I have been doing a lot of mental planning for the holidays.  What to bake, gifts to buy, cards to send.  I'm thinking of buying a new artificial tree this year. Last year we got a real one because our old artificial tree is so huge.  I want a tall, thin tree that doesn't take quite so much space.  I was going to buy one right after the holidays last year and take advantage of the sales, but the ones I liked had all sold out.  I may just have to buck up and pay the full price.

I know this is kind of a rambling post, but I'm blaming it on my cold meds!  I'll try to write something truly fascinating next time!  Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?  I can hear you laughing...  :)

Until next time, God bless you all!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quite the Day...

Well, we've had a bit of sunshine, a little snow, even more rain, plus a touch of hail, but I'm having a wonderful birthday in spite of the crazy weather!  The day is half over, and I'm still sitting around in my PJ's, relaxing.  My sons are both here.  They got me some fun gifts, a holiday favorite of ours, the Home Alone Blu-ray movies; Unnatural Creatures, a book of short shorties chosen by Neil Gaiman, including one of his own; and just for laughs, a Lord of the Rings Lego set, for the kid in me!  It really did make me laugh, and I'm going to put it together and display it near my Lord of the Rings movie collection!

Birthday Fun!
My husband cooked us all a delicious breakfast of fluffy scrambled eggs, bacon, and sourdough toast!  He's the best!  He got me a vintage Coronet magazine from the month I was born, and there's a great story in it by Billy Holiday about her life.  He also got me some favorite DVD's!  The original British Miss Marple series starring Margaret Rutherford; a Katharine Hepburn collection Morning Glory, Stage Door, The Philadelphia Story, and an all time favorite, Little Women; and finally, the Blu-ray Extended Edition of The Hobbit!  I'm movie rich, and I can see a lot of cozy, winter evenings ahead of us.  He's now in the kitchen preparing to bake a couple of birthday desserts.  One of them is definitely Gooseberry Pie!  I feel so fortunate to have my husband and sons at home with me on my birthday!  I am blessed!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ahhh, November...

Thanks to Louise, of Bumble Button, for sharing this image!
I love the month of November for so many reasons.  It's the last bit of autumn, the weather is brisk and wonderful!  It leads into my favorite family holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It also happens to be my birth month.  I never feel so alive as I do in November.  For me, it's a time of new beginnings.

Yesterday, I had a moment of self realization.  It was as if a veil had been removed from my eyes.  I remembered who I was.  It's really difficult to explain depression, especially when I didn't even know I was caught in it.  I've had moments of great joy, but somewhere inside there has been a disconnect.

When I was young, I longed to be a clown.  I even collected clowns.  When you're a clown, you can have a smile for the world, even when you're all broken up inside.  So, I was a "clown" many times, but a day came when I couldn't even pretend to smile for the world, or my family, or my friends.  It cost me, because some people can't bear to see pain in others. They much prefer the clown.  Those who truly love me have stayed in my life.  They are my great Oak trees!  Rooted deep, invested, and there for the long term.  I'm thankful for the great Oaks.  I'm thankful they continued to reach out, sometimes to lift me up by their words or just in their private prayers.  I have felt it, and I survived because of it.  I also survived because of my amazing husband and sons! They made my life worth living, even on the days when I couldn't stop saying "I can't... I just can't... I'm not strong enough..."

Friends help us through the stormy times...
(Thank you to Dawn, of The Feathered Nest, who shared this image.)
I've had other "breakthrough" days. Days when I felt like an overcomer, but it has always been tempered with a touch of doubt.  It's because I know life doesn't just bring joy, it brings sorrow, it brings illness, it brings pain. I've always relied on my faith to carry me through those times, and it surprised me to realize how far I'd fallen into the darkness of depression. I'm not even sure when it began, but I know it has clouded my perceptions for a good, long while.

Yesterday, I felt renewed. I stood in the middle of my home, which has been filled with so much "stuff" I'd saved, for what I do not know.  I knew I needed to do some clearing out and have actually been working on it, donating clothing, books, excess, but I didn't really see how bad it was, how it weighed me down.  I suddenly said, "I can!" and repeated it to myself as I began to open my curtains, and pull up the blinds.  This was both literally and mentally.  I let the sunlight in.  I looked out at the beautiful autumn colors, and I saw them, really saw them.  I felt the possibilities rather than the limitations, and I'm loving November!

© 02Nov2013 ajjahner

Monday, October 28, 2013

Where does the time go...

I intended to be writing every day, and the month just seemed to disappear.  I've been enjoying this beautiful October weather.  The colors have been spectacular, and we have enjoyed the perfect blend of warm days and cool nights.  Today the rains began and the temperatures are supposed to drop.  I'm holding out for a few more weeks of moderate weather though.

My mind has been on Christmas.  Yes, already!  I want to make it a little more special this year.  Take the time to make the gifts more personal, as well as do some baking and candy making.  I toyed briefly with the idea of homemade cards, but decided that was a little too much to take on.

Do you ever find you've lost touch with some close friends and even some members of your family?  I certainly have in the past few years.  There are a lot of reasons, many health related and many were just a desire to be alone with my thoughts.  I still enjoy being alone, but have found myself longing to connect with people again.  I've taken a few small steps in that direction, but plan to put even more effort into it.

I'd love to reconnect with some of my old friends.  If you're reading this, drop me a line, send an email, or leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing from you!  I'm ready to break out of my self-imposed shell.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October begins...

I don't have a lot to share today, but I'm trying to keep myself writing a bit every few days.  It gets so easy to just let it slide and before I realize it, months have passed without a single word being written.

I was happy to flip all my calendars to October this morning.  My box of autumnal decorations has been found, and I plan to pull some out this afternoon. I have a very pretty banner I won a few years back, during a blog giveaway.  It's one of my favorite things!  I always hang it across the top of a mirror in my entryway.

I'm listening to the old Inspector Morse TV series this morning.  There's something rather comfortable about it.  Maybe it's the accents, the locations, the classical music, or the slower pace of the show, I'm not sure... it just makes me happy!

I'm suddenly longing for a cup of coffee... maybe a mocha, so it's goodbye for today!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


My home is very quiet right now.  Paul is camping this weekend with a couple of friends, and the boys are back to their own activities, though they both came over last night to watch the BSU game with me.

Since yesterday, I've done 6 loads of laundry.  Partly because I found boxes with pillow cases, cold weather clothing, etc. I had been storing.  They weren't dirty, but you know how stuff gets musty smelling when it's been packed away for a while.  I was doing some sorting and cleaning, while the washer did it's job, then I got distracted by old photo albums!  I've been looking at the 1995 photos.  My boys turned 9 and 3 that year.  It's also when we moved into this home.  A lot has changed in those 18 years.  I had no idea how very fast the time would go by.

I love the quiet.  I enjoy it even more knowing it won't last long.  I've always been happy doing solitary activities, but I think I enjoy it most when I know someone is just down the hall, or at least nearby.  Well, I'd better take advantage of this quiet time and get some more projects completed.

Here are some Free Images I found a few years back, but I don't remember who provided them. They are titled Peter and Polly in Autumn.  I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gorgeous Day!

Brrrr, it's 46 outside this morning, and I'm loving it!  This feels like autumn!  I don't know about you, but we are heading into my favorite time of year.  Cold nights, crisp cool days, the changing of nature's colors, holidays to look forward to.  I love it!

Some favorite autumn memories involve leaves; the grand canopies of reds, golds, oranges, and browns; the sounds as the wind moved through them; as a child, tracing the shapes for school art projects or just for fun; the raking, then the jumping into the neat little mountains, and raking again; the smell of burning leaves once the mountains were deposited in our burn barrels.  Since I live in a subdivision burn barrels are not allowed, but I fully intend to "barbecue" a couple of leaves just for the ambiance.  So, while many of my friends grieve the passing of the hot, summer sun, I'm reveling in the pleasures of autumn!

I'll leave you with this image my husband captured last year...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Looking forward...

This is my oldest son's birthday.  It doesn't seem possible 27 years have passed since the day I first held him in my arms and looked at his sweet little face.  He was a blessing to us then and still is!  He brings so much joy and laughter into our lives!

I'm surprised it's been two months since my last post.  What a fun, busy summer it's been.  When I last posted, my family was on our way to the Oregon Coast.  It was amazing!  We were fortunate to grab the last room in Cannon Beach, with an ocean view.  Even with a very rainy first day, it was wonderful to sit with the sliding doors open and just enjoy the sight, and the sound, of the Pacific Ocean.

My list of goals for the summer didn't diminish as much as I'd hoped, but some were accomplished.  I continued to work on scanning photos and documents for my family tree.  I did quite a bit of summer reading, but did not make it through my entire list.  That's ok though.  I just moved them to my autumn/winter reading list!  I also did a bit of writing, though I could use more discipline in that area.

My husband and I finished the dining table we were working on, and I love the way it turned out.  We also repainted our main bathroom, though we still need to update the fixtures in there.  

The summer weight loss goals got sidelined due to a couple health "hiccups" and medication changes.  I continue to work with my doctors to find new ways to keep the MS at bay.  One day at a time.

I plan to get back to regular blogging since summer is winding down, sons are back at their studies, and I've missed the writing.  I'm looking forward to cooler, autumn days, and all they bring... holidays, family gatherings, change... 

© 12Sep2013 ajjahner

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Vacation

I've been very remiss about posting, but I've been having a wonderful summer.  Both sons are on break from college, I've been able to spend some time with both of them.  Right now, I'm posting from Harbick's Country Inn in Blue River, Oregon.  We arrived yesterday, and have had the most wonderful time!

The inn is located in a mountain setting of tall pines... cedars, lodgepole, and ponderosa  as well as birch trees and gorgeous greenery.  It's managed by my cousin and his wife, Kent and Robin Roberts, so it's been more than enjoying a beautiful inn and the surrounding area, it's been a time of reconnecting with family.  We've had fun sharing old memories and getting updated on what's going on in each others lives more recently.

My husband and my cousin were able to go on a white water rafting trip today, due to a last minute cancellation. They went with the T and T Rafting company, and it was an all afternoon event.  Even with the unusually high temperature of 100, they said the 42 degree river really took your breath away!  They had several stops along the river to swim, and were even provided with snacks at one of them.

My sons explored a bit of the area, including a walk down to the river, and they enjoyed their afternoon as well.  This is the first family vacation we'd been on in many years, and it's been wonderful!

I spent the day with Robin.  We visited several interesting places, including the school and the community food pantry where she works.  She not only oversees the provision of food to needy families, but provides backpacks and books to needy students, and aids families in many areas, including counseling.  We went to a walking trail and memorial she and Kent helped to create along the river.  Later, we sat in her lovely home, relaxing and sharing a lot of laughs!

Tomorrow we head for the coast for a couple of days.  I'm looking forward to cool ocean breezes, but I will be a little sad to say my goodbyes in the morning. It's been a blessing to be here!

I'll be back after we return home, until then...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lovely Sunday...

It's a lovely Sunday.  Paul skipped today's morning car event and spent the morning with me.  Such a nice surprise!  Yesterday, he won two Shari's pies at the car show/fundraiser for the Wounded Warriors, so we had pie for breakfast!  Yum!  There was a huge turnout, so some good money was raised for the Wounded Warriors!

I'm getting ready to sort through some old photos, and Paul is sanding and painting a couple of our dining chairs.  We still have two more chairs to pick up and recover, then we'll have a complete set for our new little table.

I've got the "easy listening" music channel on, and I'm being transported right back to my childhood home from about 1967... "Some Enchanted Evening" is playing.  It's a near-perfect afternoon.  Oh, and my first Moonflower bloomed!  Sheer happiness!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm still here...

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  Some health issues, busy with household projects, and just preoccupied with life.  We lost a beloved aunt about a week ago.  I never got to meet her in person, but we corresponded over the years.  She was such a sweet, caring person, and I'll miss hearing from her.

In other news...

I still haven't taken photos of my finished table, but I will probably wait til the chairs are done as well.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  It makes me want to get on with my other projects!

Our tiny garden is flourishing this year, and my gooseberry bushes are loaded!  I'm so happy.  It's the best they've ever looked.  Whether I need it or not, there is gooseberry pie in my near future!  There will also be cantaloupe, cucumbers, and two types of tomatoes.  I finally found seeds for moonflowers!  When I was a child, it was such a thrill to watch them bloom, right before my eyes, on a warm summer evening. They are growing really well, and I'm hoping they will bloom this summer, though they say it sometimes doesn't happen til the second year.

Since we added our little bird feeder, we've had a steady stream of feathered friends.  I haven't been able to capture any good photos as they're a bit "shy" and scatter when I come anywhere near the window.  We also have three male "suitors" for one female duck.  It began with a "happy couple" earlier in the spring, but no eggs anywhere to be seen.  First one extra male showed up, causing some minor marital disputes, then another arrived on the scene.  For the past couple of days, the female only shows up when the males are absent, to eat and sit in the shade of the maple tree.  She doesn't stay long.  Most of the time, there are three forlorn males sitting out there "chatting" with one another.

Well, I think I'll settle in and watch a good mystery.  Until next time...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Finding Treasures...

I've been going through boxes of stuff I've had in storage, and I've run across some treasures.  Cassette tapes with my grandmother and my mother singing, a recording of my oldest son's laughter at 6 months old, letters from friends that take me back in time, photographs I haven't seen in ages, and so much more.

My grandpa.  He loved God, his family, nature, and this world.
I also found a book of articles my grandfather published in our local paper.  I was almost 8 years old.  I'd been living with my grandparents since the spring of that year, 1964.  Grandpa was a pastor for most of his life, and it struck me how much some things have stayed the same.  With so much in the current headlines about the lies and deceit in all levels of our government; with so much violence;  with so much hatred; we remain a nation, a world, that needs mercy, compassion, and love.  My grandpa's words still seem relevant, and I wanted to share them with you, so here is a photo of the entire article, from October 1, 1964.

If you click on the article, it enlarges for easier reading.  Two clicks for the largest size.
My grandfather asks, "Have times actually changed, or is telling the truth a lost art today...  Still the masters of politics wage their wars, ever feeling they can bring a better tomorrow - promising more or less, as the situation demands."

He goes on to say, "We won't fight like this system, we wage a warfare against evil, sickness, poverty and hopelessness, with love.  A love that knows no evil of his neighbor and will not destroy him.  A deep passion for others, that never says 'It's your bed, you made it,' but instead takes of its own and gives to the need."

People have often commented about my "ability" to forgive, to love others.  I had great teachers, my grandfather being one of the greatest.  Compassion, forgiveness, and love can be learned, and definitely should be taught.  Some things have changed and improved, and for those that haven't, another thing I was taught is faith and hope.  I will never give up hoping and believing for a better world.

© 19May2013 ajjahner

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Special Birthday...

My youngest turned 21 years old today!  I don't know where the years went.  They just flew by!  Since he and his older brother both have college finals this week, we'll celebrate his big day next weekend.  We'll also celebrate Mother's Day at the same time.  Here are a couple of my favorite photos of him...
Our little engineer.  He loved Thomas the Train!

At the Boise River Festival with his brother.

At church camp with mom and dad.
At his college visit last year.

I'm so proud of him!  He has loved his first year at college, and has discovered more about where he wants to go with his education and his life.  I'm really looking forward to having him home for the summer and getting to spend more time with him and his brother!  It was a long, quiet winter at our house!

Wishing him a Very Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Busy days...

Busy days, but I wanted to share another blog link with you today.  This one really touched my heart.  Be sure to have a handkerchief on hand!  Go to:  Everything Beautiful and Good

Also, voting is open for the art challenge over at:  Mind Wide Open

Summer heat arrived this week, and right on cue, the AC quit working.  Thankfully, the AC people were able to get right over, and now there's a lovely chill in my house!

I'm working on a couple of projects, getting ready for a huge garage sale, and just enjoying the day!  Sorry my posts are so short, but I'm still around!  I hope you're all having a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gifts Worth Holding Onto...

I had to share this wonderful idea!  It's at Forever In First! (click on name link to go there)

Tammy created some precious keepsakes for her first graders to take home, but I thought this would also be a wonderful gift idea for a mom or a grandmother.

Check it out!  So sweet!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Art Challenge

Here is a fun art challenge, hosted by Gail over at Mind Wide Open.  She provides a basic image, you use it in any art form you choose.  Then, send a JPEG image of your completed project to her by May 9th!  Here's the link for all the information and the image:

Mind Wide Open Art Challenge

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's May Already!

I'm shocked I missed an entire month of blogging!  Life has had some ups and downs, and I've just been very busy.  I've been taking care of some health issues, working on my family tree, done a little bit of work on my book, and a lot of other stuff!  Too much for one post.

I'm getting ready to go on a trial run with a new MS medication, so I had a brain MRI today as a new "baseline" to refer back to.  It had been about 4 years since the last brain scan.  They alternate, so two years ago it was the spine.  I'm excited about this new medication.  It's not a cure, there isn't one yet, but it is supposed to slow down the progression.

Afterwards, my husband took me out for lunch, which we rarely do these days.  It was so nice to be out with him!  Then we went to a second hand furniture store that I like.  I found a gently used sofa and chair at a bargain price!  They'll be delivered in a couple days, and my old sofa will go back with them to be placed on consignment!  A few days ago, my sweet husband brought home a new TV.  It's got a much bigger screen, so I can actually see it, and even read words on it!  We were able to indulge in a little shopping due to the road widening behind our home.  We're losing a wide chunk of the easement at the back of our lot, so there is a small financial compensation.  I'm hoping there will be enough left for some new flooring or carpet too!  Have to wait and see on that!

Well, I will try to be back a little more often.  No promises though!  Spring has been beautiful, and I have several projects lined up!  Wishing all of you a beautiful week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

What I Know...

With so much turmoil and controversy in the news, and even divisions between friends and families over  issues, there are some things I know for sure...  What I know...

There is a God, and a heaven
There is a life after death
There was a man, named Jesus, the son of God
That same man was crucified for us
There is a book, the Bible, which is a divinely inspired work

Those are things I know to be true, and I believe them to my very core.  What I also know...

God is undefinable
He is infinite, and His ways are far beyond my perceptions
Heaven is a certainty, but it's scope and definition are not
It is beyond our greatest imaginations
And life after death is also a mystery
An awesome secret, which only completely unfolds when we enter that portal
between here... and there
We are all children of God, as Jesus was
We all have a higher calling, though we may not hear it,
or may refuse to hear
I am a recipient of a great sacrifice
but I'm often unwilling to make sacrifice
The Bible needs to be part of my spiritual life
It is a mixture of history, inspiration, song, prophecy
If not the greatest book ever written, which I personally believe
It is certainly one of the greatest, I think most would agree

When lines are divided between us over issues, it can bring out the worst in us.  What begins with a moral stance for religious belief, can become an ugly, immoral thing if handled inappropriately.  It can evolve into hatred and discrimination toward those who are different than us.  Angry words tossed out in moments of discussion or frustration.  For some, it escalates into physical violence toward others.  It can tear families, friendships, churches and even communities apart.

This cannot be what God intended.  A God I know to be a loving, Heavenly Father.

At least, that's what I believe.

It's what I know...

© 29MAR2013 ajjahner

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Thoughts...

It's my mom's birthday, and she certainly has been on my mind lately.  Last weekend, I went to an estate sale she would have loved.  So many antiques and treasures!  I couldn't resist bringing a few things home with me.  

Thinking of my mom still brings that catch in my throat, and the occasional tear, but mostly it just brings me joy!  I was so blessed to have her in my life for so many years.  She beat cancer in her 20's and stayed with us until 10 years ago!  No matter what life threw at her, she kept pushing forward with faith and joy!  She loved her home, and worked hard to make it just what she wanted it to be.  It was mostly furnished with second hand furniture and yard sale treasures, but once in a while she'd save up her tips, or her tax return, and buy something special, like the Country Charm stove you see in this photo.  She loved that little stove!

Oh mom, I miss you still!  That will never change.  Rarely a day goes by, that I don't have a question for you or a story I'd love to share.  For today, I will wrap myself in sweet memories and remember, how very blessed I am to have had a mom like you!

© 22MAR2013 ajjahner

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In honor of my Murphy ancestors, and any other Irish ancestor I may not have yet discovered!

Free Image compliments of The Graphics Fairy

Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fund Raising Art Auction for Sandy Hook Elementary

Go over to Paint Party Friday.  They are hosting a Sandy Hook Elementary fundraiser.  It's a "linky" party where you can bid on a piece, or pieces, of artwork.  Proceeds are paid to one of three Sandy Hook Charities, and you win a lovely piece of art for your home.  There are several I'd love to have.  Most are paintings, but there's an adorable Santa you just have to see!

Click on this photo, and go...

If you're not able to bid, maybe you could share the link with your readers.

If I don't "see" you here this weekend, I hope you have a beautiful one!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Voting Begins at Mind Wide Open

Gail, at Mind Wide Open, hosts a monthly art challenge.  She provides the image, and you create a piece of artwork using that image.  Once again, I've missed the participation deadline for the challenge.  The completed images are now posted and voting is open.  Go HERE to check out the artwork and to vote!

Friday, March 8, 2013

So Far, Very Good...

Well, my commitment to daily writing is beginning to pay off.  I've been making myself write, even if it's only a few lines every day.  That simple exercise opened up some writing ideas I'm now working on.  I'm keeping the details to myself, as I know this will be a long journey.  Also, the last couple of times I shared my writing ideas with friends, it led to a complete writer's block for me.  It's as if saying it out loud caused the thoughts to dissipate into thin air.

I don't know where this will ultimately take me.  The dream is publication, but I'm satisfied with just putting the metaphorical "pen to paper" or as is really the case, "fingers to keyboard"!

Have an awesome weekend, dear friends!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Making a Writing Commitment

I have been so undisciplined in my writing.  That does not work, if you have dreams of ever being published. I've written some short stories and poems, started a couple of books still waiting to be finished, and there's also this blog, which I've seriously neglected. Saturday, I decided I needed to make a daily writing commitment, so I started a memory journal.  Each day, I'm adding whatever memory happens to surface at that moment, in no particular order.  It's an exercise in writing, and I'm hoping this daily work will open up my mind and rid me of the writer's block I've had.

My head has always been filled with stories I've wanted to write and share.  Something always stops me.  For years I told myself I'd write when life was less busy, when the kids were in school, then when they were grown, when I felt better, when the moment was right, one "good reason" after another.  When I was young, it was insecurity about my abilities, or the worry that what I chose to write about would disappoint my family and friends.  I felt I should be writing faith-based material, when what I was seeing in my mind were these crazy stories.  I let myself be trapped by what I perceived to be others expectations.

I tested the water a few years ago with some poetry I considered "dipping my toes" into some of the things that haunt my thoughts.  There were a couple of "I love it" and "It was very dark, but good" but mostly there was silence.  I took the silence as a negative critique.  I allowed it to redirect me, and subsequently the writing eventually stopped.

When I looked into the mirror Saturday afternoon, at the older woman looking back at me, I realized I'd put my dreams on hold for too long.  I'm calling for my "muse" to come back.  I'm exploring the idea it is still not too late.  The writing exercises have begun, and we shall see where this leads.

Wishing you a beautiful day...

© 04MAR2013 ajjahner

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Those Ancestors!

The plan was to get out to the garage today, but I've been a bit under the weather, and it feels little too cold outside for me right now though it's supposed warm up later.  I also received a phone call, which led to looking up information on, which led to researching other family members, so I'm sitting here at the computer, still needing that first cup of coffee and some breakfast, and I'm not even dressed yet!

In my search for ancestors, I've discovered some answers but even more questions.  The problem is, the people who could have answered my questions have passed on.  It's ironic that several friends, who are searching for information on their families, are in the same situation.  I was interested in family history, when I was young, but not enough to really research or ask questions.  How I wish I'd started sooner.  It's still an adventure, it's just taking a lot longer to find the right connections.  I'm the type of person who loves puzzles, so it's fun for me.

Now I really must go get that cup of coffee!  Have a glorious weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tucked In...

I've been hibernating this week.  Just staying in, keeping cozy, and watching episodes of British mystery series including P. D. James: Death of an Expert Witness, George Gently, and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, interspersed with some light comedies.

It has been such crazy weather, but typical for this time of year in Idaho.  We had some gorgeous spring-like days, then back to snow and cold.  Perfect for staying tucked in at home, cozy and warm.  It does look like we'll be having a nice weekend, which may be a good time to work on cleaning out my garage.  It is going to be a huge project, so I'm going to have to tackle it a bit at a time.  Maybe I should take photos and document the process.  Who knows what treasures may be lurking in all those boxes?

Well, that's the news from my home.  Nothing too exciting.  I'll say good-night for now... a mystery is waiting to be enjoyed before my bedtime.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Too Late For Goodbye...

For Sunday Scribblings #355 - Immunity:

Did you ever have someone disappear from your life?  Someone you loved, you were never given the chance to say goodbye to?  Not a death.  They are just gone from your world, and nothing will ever bring them back or change what has happened.

There is an empty, hollow place in my heart today.  I can't really explain it.  It's too raw.  I wish I were immune to the pain.  Saying more might infringe on another's privacy, but I had to write my feelings down.  It's what I do.  I write.  When there's nothing else I write... and cry... and pray... then I write again.

It's too late for this, but

to your sweet face
your smile
the laugh that made me laugh
to everything you were to me
to everything I dreamed for you

I'll tuck you away
a memory of sweeter days
of hopes and dreams
for a life that could have been
should have been

Too late for goodbye...
and too soon for hello...

© 06FEB2013 ajjahner

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl today...

It's Super Bowl Sunday for us.  A little bittersweet, as I was reminded there would be no phone call with my father-in-law to discuss the game...

We have decided to honor his memory by gathering with our sons, and making the day as festive as possible.  I'm hoping Pete is allowed the "best seat in the stadium" for the big game!  There must be football in heaven... don't you agree?

We started the day with scrambled eggs, delicious wheat toast from a local bakery (Great Harvest), coffee, and Little Sizzlers (a family favorite my mother-in-law used to serve).  It's a departure from the healthy diet I've been on, but I'm limiting my quantity and adding lots of fruit and veg to the menu today.  Later we'll be making tacos, instead of our traditional pizza and wings.  I have fresh avocado and am going to make a healthier version of guacamole.  I'll dip celery sticks instead of my usual tortilla chips.  I'm still having some "fun" food, but still keeping the diet in mind.  It has paid off with a loss of 7 lbs. so far, and I'm feeling so much better!

Wishing each of you a joy-filled day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sunshine Today...

There's been sunshine this afternoon!  The day began with a winter storm, snow and strong winds, but all has settled now.  The mounds of white are starting to melt, though I doubt it will all disappear just yet.  I got out a couple days ago, and started bringing in the Christmas lights.  They stayed up way too long because of the freezing temperatures.  The ones along the roof-line are still there because they were frozen in place.  It's predicted to warm up to the low 40's by Friday, so they'll be coming down soon!

I have been in such a happy place.  Dreaming of spring and the projects I want to do.  This is the year to repaint several rooms inside my home.  I keep wavering on color.  Do I go bold or stay with neutrals?  I just can't decide.  I am leaning toward neutral beach tones, especially for our bedroom.  I love the coast, and I'd like to have a light, "beach cottage" feel without being too obviously "beachy"!  Lol!  I'm pretty sure I'll stay with white paint for the family room/kitchen/dining area.  It's much easier to get the color in the accessories, than risk making a color mistake in such a large area.  It's fun thinking about it.

I'm still battling the eye problems, so if any of you have noticed I'm not commenting on your blogs, it's because my computer time has to be very limited for now.  I'm believing this is for a short time!  I love visiting blogs, reading about your lives, and I hope to be back at it soon!

Stay warm, spring is just around the bend!

Art by Kate Greenaway, Free Image courtesy of Dover Publications.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mid-January Already...

This month is racing by.  I didn't make any official resolutions this year, but did start a diet and exercise plan.  I want to redecorate several rooms in my home.  I'd also hoped to do some writing every day.  I'm doing well on my health goals, but not so much on my redecorating or my writing.  Between the busyness of life, and fighting off a winter cold, I haven't gotten much done.

Do you ever have those moments when you are flooded with new and exciting ideas?  I have had so many stories racing through my head this week, I just need to sit down and start typing them out.  I spent a lot of years worrying about offending people with what I wanted to write about, so I just set it aside.  I wrote a church newsletter, did a little blogging, but I never got to the work I really wanted to do.

Some days, I've felt like I waited too long.  Today, I am inspired to try again, if for nothing other than my own satisfaction.  The people and places that live in my head seem to be begging to get out, so we will see...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Remembering Grandpa

Sending birthday greetings heavenwards, to my grandpa!  He was born 100 years ago today!  I'm sitting here on this snowy morning, sipping a cup of hot coffee, and reflecting on my years with my grandpa.  What a sweet, amazing man he was.  He made such a difference in my life.

I stayed with my grandparents off and on from the day I was born, then permanently when I was just 8 years old.  I'm not going to write a long story about him, just a few descriptive words...

  • grandpa, father
  • minister, man of tremendous faith, believed in the power of prayer
  • loved his family, proud of every new addition to it
  • loved me unconditionally 
  • looked for the best in people 
  • taught me to be generous
  • sang in his beautifully off-key voice with joy 
  • loved to laugh, and his laughter was contagious
  • loved nature, gardening, birds
  • always made time for people
  • dressed well, even when spending the day at home
  • had beautiful handwriting
  • loved words and learning
  • remembered your name...
I always expected grandpa would live well beyond his 100th birthday.  He loved life, and this beautiful world we live in.  He had a vision for a better, more peaceful world.  I still carry the same hope in my heart.  

Wishing each of you joy and hope.  

Wishing grandpa a very Happy Birthday.  I will always remember...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Bright New Year Has Begun...

Anybody still out there?  I've been absent for quite a while.  Life has been so busy, plus I forgot my blog password and didn't want to bother with whatever steps you take to restore it.  I finally found my little cheat-sheet this evening, so I'm back!

The holidays were wonderful.  My boys were both on break from school, so they were here much of the time.  We had some of our favorite holiday foods, watched movies, they played video games, relaxed and just enjoyed our time together!  

My sweet husband, who rarely gets sick, has been home with the flu for 5 days now, and is still not well though he is improving.  Nasty stuff!  He never gets the flu shot.  Has had no need to til now.  I'm really glad I got mine.  Even being around him 24/7, I only got very mild symptoms!  

I started on a Biggest Loser type challenge with a group of friends.  We weighed in last Saturday and photos were taken.  I had no idea how fat I was.  Lol!  Yes, I have a mirror, but I've been avoiding mirrors and cameras like they were life threatening.  The photos and the scale do not lie.  I'm fat!  I don't know why I'm laughing about it, but I refuse to cry.  I've revamped my diet, adding a lot more fruit and veg. and fewer carbs.  I've started an exercise plan that works for me, and I'm actually not hurting as much as before.  I am feeling some long-lost muscles though, and they're telling me a tale of severe neglect!  Short term goal is to lose 30 lbs by March 30th, our final weigh-in.  That's a nice, respectable amount which should be easy to accomplish.

As I'm typing, I'm listening to my new Bonnie Raitt CD, Slipstream!  Love it!  I am filled with excitement about the coming year and all it holds in store!  It's going to be amazing!