I hate using the word 'busy' so I won't. I'm not. Just a bit preoccupied with the stuff of life, likely like everyone else. We've actually got some big things going on around here, but they won't be revealed for another month. Changes in the wind.
So what I will say we're up to:
Still working away at getting healthy on the inside, and sleeker on the outside. Still showing up at the gym three times a week, unexcited but doing it anyway. I had my bloodwork done yesterday, and from there drove immediately to McDonalds and ordered a sausage mcmuffin. Breakfast never tastes as good as after you've fasted, and McDonalds tastes pretty great after a three month breakup. Throwing away my hash browns made me proud of myself the whole live long day. I'll meet with the doctor next week to find out if my blood is happy or not. I'm not a big taker of prescriptions so if there's notable improvement at all, I'll ask for another three months to keep improving. I also have a tendency to be stubborn - I hate being told what to do - (doesn't everyone?), so we'll see. I'm not a fan of prescriptions for life.
Keeping it real, if the doctor tells me, next week, that my numbers are greatly improved, I will quite possibly drive back to McDonalds and order a large french fry and sit in my car and eat every single one slowly. If he tells me things haven't improved I might well do the same.
The painters were here most of this past week, and we so appreciated all their work. We were also so very happy when they packed up their tools and went away for good. We've still got a layer of fine grittiness on much of the upstairs, but I'm chipping away at it.
We've got littles coming later today to spend some time with us, while their Daddy and Mama go away on a Valentine's date. For years our son was my valentine, and the girls were their Dad's, so Valentine's has always been minimal for us - a good steak, perhaps a soak in the outdoors hot tub with a non-breakable glass of merlot, then some DVR TV. We'll do that Sunday evening. And hurray, the painter guy liked all things technology so he unpacked our new 60" TV that had been sitting in the box for two weeks, and installed it for us. I like technology that works, not necessarily the journey to getting it to work.
I just finished listening to Snowflower and the Secret Fan, on audio, for next week's book club. I'd read it five years ago and had forgotten much of it. I also read the library copy of Jen Hatmaker's newest book, 'For the Love'. It was good enough I sent copies to both of our daughters. Very encouraging, freeing words for women. I'm going, with my DIL, to hear her speak in early March. She's a firecracker so that should be fun. I checked out, again from the library (because I spent six months allowance on a surprise for our two girls while we're on our cruise so I have no book allowance money!) Bettyville. A fellow book club member told me about it. I had to request it. It's a new write, but at the very first page I was hooked. The author's writing is compelling, real, fresh and the story resonates with me as he is dealing with his 90 year old mother who is still trying to live at her home alone, but suffering from being 90 and dementia. The author is George Hodgman. I whipped through several chapters last night.
I'm heading out on a cruise with my two daughters two weeks from today. I picked up a used copy of Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and plan to take that along to read. I like taking a paperback, when I travel, that I can leave behind. I lent my copy to my sister when she was with me in Idaho last summer, and she read it, lent it out, then sent it back to me with high recommendations.
I also decided to not attend the Bible studies our church was putting on; rather I ordered Love God Greatly's study on Prayer. For under $11 I got the journal, then bought a spiral notebook and have been enjoying starting my mornings with it. I send out prayer requests every week, to our three kids' families, and want to do a better job of being faithful and fervent to what they send back to me. I think this study will help bring that about.
Other than that, and our secret reveal coming up, we're not up to much. It's February in Texas and we haven't really had a winter yet. I'm okay with that. After spending most of my life in places where winter was cold and grey and hung on for dear life until sometime in April, I find snow overrated. I'm just praying now it doesn't do what it did last year - freak out the last two weeks of February and cover us with snow and ice and miserableness.
I was talking to a daughter yesterday, re-remembering when we lived in southwestern Pennsylvania for 15 years and winter paid no attention to the calendar hanging on my fridge. March 21 meant nothing. Still I circled it, highlighted it, hoped for it. When it came, I'd go out in my yard, and dig around in the snow that was surely still on the ground. I'd dig with the toe of my shoe, looking for green shoots of promise poking their heads up from the cold, wet ground. And sure enough they were there - the hostas, the day lilies, the daffodils. There were no tulips as they'd been munched up by the deer long ago, but signs of spring were there in the ground. I just had to dig for them.
Right now I'm seeing birds at the feeder outside my living room window; when I walk Miss Lily the trees' tiniest branches have tips that look fluffed up and ready to burst forth. I even spied a lizard at the edge of the pool last week, and told him he might be a little premature in coming out from under that rock where he'd spent winter.
Today I'm praying for those of you out there who are in a place, physically or emotionally, where you're seeing nothing but crunchy, frozen ground covered up in snow, with no visible sign of spring. So you go outside and dig with the toe of your boot; even if it means going to the park and poking about. I'll pray for you - inside out - to have a sense that the promise of spring is indeed just around the corner. In the meantime read Jen Hatmaker's book - it'll cheer you, empower you, free you, and give you something to hang onto until those daffodils poke their heads through.