Thankfulness

Sometimes things happen that overwhelm us and make us question our ability to keep on going. Making it through the rough patches, though, helps us to cherish and to be thankful when life brings little miracles and blessings our way.

Towards the end of 2020, I was dealing with the loss of my Mom in June, my youngest starting college and me moving into my family home. In November I found out my marriage was in essence over and there was nothing I could do to change that. I was completely blindsided and met with apathy and indifference from my “loving” husband. Being told that he had been unhappy for years despite the proof of the exact opposite in photos, notes, cards and gifts from our years together created a cognitive dissonance that was difficult to make sense of.

At that time, I started doing research trying to see if maybe there was some mental issue that went along with the physical maladies he suffered earlier in the year. Nothing made sense. The divorce went through and it was a few months after that that I “accidentally” found out about the other woman. Strangely, finding out that I had been cheated on as well as finding out about narcissistic personality disorder made it much easier to let go of things.

The experience caused me no small amount of heartache and no doubt some lingering trust issues. Going through that, however, made me stronger and made me evaluate what I want and deserve in a relationship.

It took me a few months and a bit of therapy to work through all of that and I was slow to dip my foot in the dating pool. 😉 I know myself and I knew that I wanted to be absolutely sure that I could trust the next person I gave my heart to. ❤️ I wanted someone who I could be myself with and who would accept me as I am and not require his “standards” to be met as a condition of receiving his love.

I have heard the phrase, “Not in my time, but in God’s time.” It wasn’t always easy to “Let go and let God”, but I did my best.

God will bring the right person into your life at the right time. Always believe that! If they are not there, God isn’t finished yet.

Shannon L. Adler

When I went on my first date with my honey, it was easy and relaxed and I wanted to see more of him. Still, I wasn’t ready to jump in right away. After a couple dates he told me that he was attracted to me and said that he would like to kiss me, but would wait until I was ready. He was a perfect gentleman and it wasn’t long until I was all in.

In a previous post, I talked about people who are givers and who naturally give of their time and talents when they see a need. It was such a blessing to find out that I was now with one of those givers. I was used to fending for myself, so having someone there to help with household emergencies or transportation for my girls was amazing.

This weekend as I was mowing the lawn and raking up the “lovely” 😉 apples that have blanketed my back yard, he tackled so many other projects for me.

When I finished mowing, I saw that he fixed the gate that had been broken by the sprinkler system installers last June. Being able to open and close it with ease rather than lifting and dragging it is wonderful! In addition, he assembled the table that now stands next to the hot tub so we can enjoy beverages while we are soaking our sore muscles away.💕 He then proceeded to the garage to install an organization system so the garage floor could be clutter free.

Finally, he installed organizers in the shed and made the inside look as amazing as the outside. It is perfectly organized and fits well with the shelves he previously assembled for me. It is clear that he loves me and wants to make my life better whenever and wherever he can. In return, I want to do the same for him. ❤️

As I was creating the little angel at the top of this post, I was thinking of how thankful I am to have such a thoughtful person to share life with. Life isn’t perfect. There are still plenty of challenges, but with the right person by your side, it is much easier to meet and overcome those challenges.

Thank you, God for bringing such a special person into my life. 💕

Love, ❤️ Beth

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Wordless Wednesday – Highland Cow

#Wordless Wednesday
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It’s Been Quite a Year!

As the sun sets on my 53rd year, I am looking at the year behind me. There have been tears, but there have been so many happy times. I am truly blessed to have wonderful family and friends and I look forward to what the coming year will bring. ❤️

This last year I met and later said farewell to my two lovely exchange students. A few days before my 53rd year started I met my sweetheart. He is amazing and has filled my life with love and laughter.

I have had some challenges, as we all do, but also some wonderful adventures. We had fun touring the beautiful Black Hills, hiking Crazy Horse for the Volksmarch and celebrating many birthdays, holidays and other celebrations.

I was able to do some traveling. I visited Miami with my honey and the British Isles on a cruise with my daughter. (More pictures to follow from that adventure!) I was also able to make a quick visit to Oregon to visit my amazing aunt and cousins.

There have been some changes to my home as well, much of it thanks to my handy honey! I have a new upstairs shower, a door sweep on my back door and a fairy tale shed in the backyard ❤️🥰❤️ He also helped me to choose the new hot tub that we can relax in at the end of the day. This past weekend he helped (actually HE did the majority of the heavy lifting) to carry two HUGE piles of branches to the yard waste section of the landfill.

Tomorrow, the 24th, both my sweetheart and I will be celebrating birthdays. His is the big 5-0 this year, while I am starting year 54. I am excited to see what the year ahead will bring for us.

Thank you to all of you who take the time to read. I am grateful for you and I hope that you find many reasons to celebrate through the year!

Love, Beth

Posted in accomplishment, adventure, Carpe Diem, Celebrate, Embrace Life, living life to the fullest, looking forward, love, relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Live and Give â¤ï¸ðŸ˜Šâ¤ï¸

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

James Dean
Take a tip from this sweet little bee and take time to smell the flowers.

I returned last week from an amazing 12 night British Isles cruise with my daughter. It has been in the planning stage for three years and finally happened. She graduated in 2020 and to celebrate, we planned a Baltic cruise. Then came COVID and her “normal” senior year, like all the 2020 graduates, was thrown into uncertainty and loss. She didn’t get a prom or a normal graduation and her celebration cruise was cancelled along with all other cruises.

We hoped in 2021 we would be able to make up for the cancelled one and rebooked the Baltic cruise, but alas, still no cruising allowed in the summer of 2021. Because of her schedule, the Baltic cruise didn’t work out in 2022, so we looked through the options and decided a British Isles cruise would be fun. It was amazing and I planned to write a post or two about the fabulous places we were able to see. I still plan to get to that, but for today, I have another thought.

While listening to the readings and gospel at Sunday Mass this weekend, the message really hit home. The gospel, Luke 12:13-21 talks about living for the life we will have after this life on earth. In his sermon, the priest said that what we give away and what we do for others will be returned to us in Heaven while the possessions we obtain will be lost to us when we are gone from this world. That thought has stayed with me through the week and I think will continue to do so. Several times already I have been motivated to act because of what the priest said. I do think that all that we do for others does come back to us, sometimes in this world, but especially in the next.

Here is the Gospel reading if you’d like to read it:

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Luke 12:13-21

I am no scholar, but what I get from this message is that we should be generous to those around us with both our time AND our treasure. These days, it is understandable that many are struggling to get by and aren’t able to give large monetary gifts. I happen to believe that the gift of a helping hand when a friend or neighbor needs it, an offer to babysit parents who need a break, an offer to pet sit for someone going out of town (my dog Romeo and I are the recipient of one such generous soul!) or an offer to run an errand for someone who is homebound are all ways for us to share.

I think sharing experiences is also to be valued. While it is not from the bible, I still love the following quote:

Nobody on their deathbed has ever said “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Arnold Zack

I think we need to extend ourselves the same generosity and to take the opportunities to enjoy life and to enjoy the beautiful world that God has given us. Working just to get the biggest house or the biggest car will certainly not make an impact on the lives of our loved ones like the gift of our time will. When we are gone, we will be remembered by the little acts of kindness and the time we spent with those we love.

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to spend this time making memories with Aurora. She will be gone to her semester abroad all too soon and while she doesn’t have room to take a great deal from home, the memories we made can go along with her without requiring even an inch of her luggage.

Taking advantage of a photo op with the Beatles in Liverpool!

I wish you a wonderful day or evening, depending upon when you read this. If you have the opportunity to help someone today, I encourage you to do it. Your reward will be great in Heaven (and you’ll feel good here on earth!!) 😉

Love, ❤️ Beth

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Anticipation

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anticipate

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of “anticipate” is as follows: to look forward to as certain EXPECT

“People prone to joyful anticipation, skilled at obtaining pleasure from looking forward and imagining future happy events, are especially likely to be optimistic and to experience intense emotions.”

~ Sonja Lyubomirsky
I am eagerly anticipating seeing these beautiful eyeliner lilies in full bloom!!

Having something to look forward to gives us a reason to keep going when the going gets rough. I love this time of year, especially in my yard. Every day, it seems, brings new buds and blooms. I love walking around the yard and discovering the latest flowers opening up or plants and shrubs with new leaves appearing. I think life is a lot like gardening. While it is important to enjoy the present moment, having plans for future days is equally necessary. Anticipating seeing my favorite artist in concert, a family get together, a much needed vacation or even just plans to see the latest blockbuster movie can boost my mood and can help me push through those sometimes long days at work trying to get the books to balance.

I’m looking forward to the future, and feeling grateful for the past.

Mike Rowe
My sticker arrived and looks so cute on my car. It makes me smile to think it may brighten the days of those who see it.!

My wish for you is that you always have something good to anticipate!

Love, ❤️ Beth

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Roses

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

The roses are celebrating the first day of summer!

Yesterday brought a downpour with so much rain for the grass and flowers that mowing was out of the question and postponed for at least a day. The roses appreciated the extra moisture and were looking splendid this morning. Even though I was running a few minutes late, I felt the need to “stop and smell the roses.” I have yet to plant a rosebush at the new/old house, but I am thankful for those my parents planted. Maybe next year I’ll add one or two to the mix.

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.

Dale Carnegie

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

   Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today

   Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,

   The higher he’s a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,

   And nearer he’s to setting.

from “To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick

Posted in Beautiful, Carpe Diem, Embrace Life, gardening | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Something Good 😊

This morning on the way to work, I happened to be behind a car that had a sticker on the window that said, “I hope something good happens to you today.” It made me smile and brightened my day. I resolved that I would find a similar sticker so that I can, hopefully, similarly brighten the day of anyone who happens to be behind me. When I saw the one above on Amazon that included the adorable smiley face, I quickly added it to my cart.

With so much divisiveness in the world today, seeing a sign like this gives me hope. The sign didn’t mention that it only applied to those with similar world views or similar political leanings, just to anyone who happens to see it.

Together we can change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.

Ron Hall

I have already had some good things happen today, but seeing the sticker reminded me to appreciate them. Today it will be 10 months since my first date with my sweetie, the sun is shining and it is a perfect 70 degree day with a respite from the severe storms we have had the last few days.

On Thursday it will be two years since my Mom passed and her headstone is finally in place at the cemetery and looking so good. Mom loved smiley faces and would have gotten quite a kick out of the smiles on the flowers. She would most definitely have wanted one of these stickers for her car as well!

To all those who are reading this right now, I hope something good happens to you today!

Love, ❤️ Beth

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Wordless Wednesday – Bleeding Heart â¤ï¸

A lovely lone bleeding heart ❤️
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All My Roads Have Led Me To….

Collin Raye – All My Roads

Looking back from
Where I stand tonight
I wouldn’t change
A thing about my life
Wrong turns I
Had to take back
In those crazy years
Could not have been mistakes
If they brought me here


Cause all my roads
Have led me to
This night, this love
I share with you
And though the road
Was never smooth
Life has made me someone who
Could be the right someone for you

I don’t regret
A single broken heart
That taught me what love is
And what it’s not
Someone must have planned
Our two paths would cross
I couldn’t see it then
But I was never lost
Cause all my roads…

Detours, dead ends,
Endless explorations
You were my only destination
Cause all my roads…

Just got back from seeing a movie all alone. The original plan was to see the new “Top Gun with my honey, but something came up, so I opted for the latest Downton Abbey. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had the entire theater all to myself, so I had no worries about people talking or using cell phones or sitting directly in front of me. 😉 Sometimes a diversion from the original plan can turn out better than we anticipate.

On the way home, the song by Collin Raye that I shared above came on my Spotify playlist. It started me pondering and led to some deep thoughts. 😉 Everything that I have been through has made me the person I am today. Even the bad experiences helped me to learn to deal with the difficult feelings and taught me to set boundaries and to disconnect from relationships that are not healthy for my spirit.

Part of my journey was to learn a bit more independence and to realize that even when I am not in a romantic relationship, I still have value and still love and am loved by many people.

I think ruminating on this and reveling in the relationship I am blessed to be in now has made me more willing to forgive those who have hurt me. Learning to overcome the hurt made me appreciate even more finding someone who would never intentionally hurt me.

I don’t have to forget, but I can forgive.

This last weekend while visiting my Mom’s grave and seeing the beautiful headstone that is finally in place, my sweetheart noted that our moms were born in the same year, mere days apart. This, coupled with the fact that he and I were born on the same date, but different years seems like it has to be more than coincidence. I believe there definitely was some divine intervention that brought us together. I like to think our moms met in Heaven and gave a few little nudges to each of us to ensure that we would meet. It makes me smile to think of them cheering when we “matched” and planned our first date. 😉❤️😉

While the road has definitely not been smooth, it has made me someone who can appreciate and cherish the special person that I am with now. ❤️

I couldn’t have predicted where this road would lead me. I feel like wherever it is leading, though, I am heading in the right direction. 😊

Posted in forgiveness, living life to the fullest, persevere, relationships | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Stand For Something

…even if it is standing up for yourself!

Haters never win. I just think that’s true about life, because negative energy always costs in the end.

Tom Hiddleston

Just a little reminder to all of us, including me, that it matters little what others say about us. Those that feel the need to criticize or condemn do so, I believe, from a place of jealousy and insecurity. The best thing for us to do is to ignore the haters. Often the very things they say about us reflect their own weaknesses. Their cruel comments and actions reflect more on them and show what sad, miserable people they are.

The best revenge is to enjoy all the good things in our lives and to put the haters and their opinions out of our minds. Let karma deal with them 😉

I hope you have a fabulous day!!

❤️ Beth

You can’t let someone else lower your self-esteem, because that’s what it is – self-esteem. You need to first love yourself before you have anybody else love you.

Winnie Harlow
Posted in adversity, Karma, Love Yourself | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

FOTD 5/25/22 – Ice Cream Tulip

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

My beautiful ice cream tulip 🌷

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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FOTD – May 19th – White Bleeding Heart

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Posted in Flower of the Day Challenge, Just Me, spring | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments