Implementing an Idea…

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to write.  I have always loved the idea of putting thoughts together to somehow have an impact on another’s life.  I don’t know if I have ever succeeded in doing so, but, as you know, it has not stopped me.

As we were leaving Japan to return to living in the states, I had an idea for a book.  Obviously, that has not happened.    The book was to be a devotional of the lessons I had learned from the people in my life.  I have tried a few times to start it and each time, I reread what I had written and either tore it up (before computers) and threw it away, or, I have hit the delete button and it disappeared.

After my last post, I realized that lately I have had a theme in several of my posts that talk about people in my life and what they have meant to me.  I have suggested that you tell those you love, or who are in your life how important they are to you.    As I finished my last post, it occurred to me that this might be the time for me to at least blog about the lessons and truths I have learned along the way with those precious people who have been in my life.  So, I am going to begin sharing some things from people who have been placed in my life.  This will be my (hopefully) gift to those close to me.

So, my blog will be my observations, lessons, and love I have gathered along the way.  Life is fleeting, and I want to take the time to share my love.  That is, of course, unless something really exciting happens and I have to write about that!

Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate your visit.  Cathi (DAF)


And time marches on….

It’s been two months since I last wrote on my blog.  Truthfully, it doesn’t seem like it has been that long, and I had to check my stats to actually prove to myself that it has been.

Two months, eight weeks, sixty some days, more hours than I care to figure out.  It is time and it has passed by.

In this time I have spent time with friends.  Had meals out with friends.  Cleaned my house several times.  Done a ton of laundry (well, not really, it just seems that way).  Ironed for several hours (which I really do not mind).   I have gone on a women’s retreat at the beach.  I have written and taught a Bible Study.  I have made holiday plans for both Thanksgiving, and Christmas and New Year’s.   I have even addressed most of my Christmas cards and started to plan our neighborhood party.

Time passes.  Seasons fly by.  Our area has been hit with two tornadoes.  The green leaves have changed to bright colors and have started to fade and fall all over.  The last of our tomatoes have been brought indoors and we watch them wondering if they will ripen any more.

The holly berries have appeared and the camellia’s are budding, waiting for the holidays to come so they can start to bloom.  Soon the birds will perch on the holly trees ridding them of the bright red berries.

And time marches on.  Seasons continue to pass.  The sky gets dark earlier and the cold sets in then.  It is the beginning of winter and I am happy for that.  I have started to decorate for Christmas already.  I have never done this this early before and have found myself enjoying it more than I imagined.  Somehow, it brings a sense of settling in.  A sense of preparation for Christmas.  A feeling of not rushing to do it all and trying to grasp the joy of it all.  A feeling of looking forward to not only the gift giving, surge of activity, but of actually thinking of what Christmas is.   I can look at the angels and think of the host of angels that appeared over that manger.  I can look at the trees that are up and decorated and think of the people who will gather around them and be grateful and so thankful for them.

Yes, time is marching on and there is a peace to all of it.  Thanks for stopping by.  I do appreciate it.  Cathi (DAF)


I haven’t been on my blog much the past few weeks, but, I have been writing.  I have spent the past couple of months writing, thinking and preparing for a Bible Study that I have shared with a wonderful group of ladies at my church.  It is always an honor to speak and this time was no different.

What I have really thought about these past few weeks is words.  How we say things is as important as what we say. Wording is so very important, isn’t it?

I know I have failed miserably in the past to put thoughts into words and also writing before actually thinking things through.  But, I suppose we are all guilty of saying things to others before thinking of how they may come out and how they may sound to the other person.

We truly do not know what is going on inside another person.  We do not know the pain or anguish or stress they may be carrying, yet are not showing it to the outside world.  How we respond in words can make a person’s day or ruin it.

Several times this past year I have spoken without thinking.  I know it has caused pain, but, even after apologizing, the pain, for me, was still there.  Words can damage a heart if spoken in haste or without thought.  So, for the past few weeks, I have been cautious as to how I am wording conversations.

This experience has revealed several things to me.  First, the adage, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, should be tattooed in my eyelids so that  I can always see them.  Secondly, don’t expect forgiveness to come easily if you have harmed someone with your words.  I am the type of person who can flare up, but within an hour, I am sorry, and have recognized that I have been wrong.  I have learned not everyone is like me.  Thirdly, lack of words is worse than an abundance of words.  It is a very fine line and I am learning, unfortunately, how to be a tight rope walker.

I have thought in the past that a blog is where you can write things you may be feeling and with that you can release emotions that may not be an easy part of yourself to reveal.  I am rethinking that.  A part of my Bible Study has been to encourage women to be themselves and to not hide behind masks that are so much a part of being a human being, especially a woman.  We tend to hide and only reveal our strength, our firmness, and not allow our fragile side to come out.   Sometimes, in writing words, we reveal a soft side and it can be poked and bruised easily.

I am hoping that through these past few weeks, I have learned much about words and wording and coming out behind masks.    I have always loved words, and putting them together.  I have always loved being able to have a few close friends that I can share spoken words with.  My love of words is still a very present part of me, and I look forward to learning more about how and what to write.    Cathi (DAF)

It’s a New Year…

Yes, it’s the third day of this new year.  No, I haven’t been celebrating for the past four days.   I am just now getting around to reading blog entries and deciding to write.

I have read blogs talking of new starts, new hope, blank slates.  All of them poignant and encouraging.  To be honest, this year, I haven’t done my usual inventory of the past year and I haven’t thought about this new year.  As cynical as it sounds, my thoughts have been wondering what all will happen this year.

Each year I have tried to look ahead.  I try to plan things I would like to do.  I don’t call them resolutions because I know by February I will have forgotten what I resolved to do.  I just like to make mental plans of what I could do during the year.

Except this year.  I haven’t a clue as to what this year holds.   I know whatever happens, with the grace of God, I will get through it.  The grace of God is what has gotten me through several years.  It is only by His grace, His care and His love that I am where I am.

A year ago today, if someone were to have told me that my hubby was going to be laid up throughout the summer and I would have to do the things I had to do this summer, I would have run screaming through our woods hoping to get lost and never found.  I would not have had the courage to go through this year.    I would have quit.  I wouldn’t have gone forward.

That’s the thing about not knowing the future.  We may not have the courage to proceed if we know what is in store for us.

So, as this year starts, I am sitting here wondering what this year will be like.  I wonder what I will be like this year.  I wonder what changes will happen.  How they will affect me.

Last night I made popcorn.  Not a remarkable event.  But, it was the first time I had made popcorn without our puppy underfoot.  As usual, I dropped some popcorn pieces as I was pouring it into the bowls.  I looked down and realized that for the first time in 16 years I had to pick that popcorn up.  There was no Shugo to scarf it down and beg for more.

This is just one example of how things have changed this past year.  Last year the thought of losing Shugo was a possibility, but by the end of the year, it was reality.

I am grateful for my faith in our Creator.  For, without that faith, that assurance of His care and protection of me, I could not face a new year that is unknown.  I know this is a different tone than my usual post, but, this is what is on my heart.  I face this new year, now, 362 days left in it.  I know I will write about it, cry over it, fight it, enjoy it and this time next year, Lord willing, I will look back and once more know who it was who actually got me through it.  Thank you Lord, in advance.     Happy New Year.

Season’s Greetings…

As this year draws to a close, I realize I have not been as consistent in writing this year.  A goal for 2017?  Be more so.

The one thing I have been consistent in, though, is my deep appreciation for those who read my blog and those I read.  To the writers of other blogs, thank you for your words.  They have made me laugh, made me cry, encouraged me and challenged me.  They have given me comfort when you knew nothing of what I was going through.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you a joyous Christmas.  May this holiday season be filled with love from those you hold dearly.  May this season be filled with laughter, unexpected and bringing tears of joy to your eyes.  Most of all, may this season bring a deep and lasting peace to you.

Thank you for being in my life.  Because of you all, my life is fuller.    Merry Christmas.

Where my mind has taken me….

But, first…. a preface!  Last night one of my dear cousins wrote me and asked how I was doing.  She does this often, and I do miss her and wish we could somehow travel back in time and get to spend more time together. But, I digress…. in the middle of the message, she encouraged me to not give up my blog.    I haven’t written in weeks.  I do have a reason.  I have had this cold/bronchitis/sinus  stuff that lingers and lingers and lingers.  I have taken cold medicine and my mind has been more than hazy.    So, this morning, in my haziness, I forgot to take my cold medicine and amazingly enough… my mind is clear!  And a post came to mind.  So, even though I sound like I am hacking up a lung, I do have something I want to write….

When we were in the process of buying our home, we had a house inspection done.  The inspector gave us a book (literally), and reassured us that this book was much smaller than almost every other home he inspected.  This helped us greatly in deciding to proceed with the purchase of the home.

One of the things in this book, was the notification that all of the appliances were original to the house.  The inspector told us that the next five years would find us repairing and/or replacing these appliances.

That was okay with us, we like new things and we decided to buy them as they went out.  We bought a refrigerator which I love, and we have been watching to see which would be next.  Our microwave will occasionally turn on by itself for a minute.  We laugh at this, and say it must be a Revolutionary ghost soldier.  He hasn’t been around in months as the microwave has only turned on when we press the buttons.

Last week, though, I finished loading the dishwasher, put the little soap thingy in it and went to close the door.  The door would not latch.  I pulled out the shelves and rearranged everything.  Tried again.  No latching.  I looked at the latch and tried to figure it out.  No success!   I sigh, walk into the living room and tell hubby.  He gets up.  He closes the door.  It doesn’t latch.  He slams the door.  Still doesn’t latch.  He pulls out the shelves, rearranges things.  Still nothing.  I hear him looking at latch.  Still nothing.  He comes in and says,  “I don’t know what to tell you.”   He sighs and I say, “It’s okay, I can wash them.”

I love my dishwasher.  I have only had a dishwasher since we moved to South Carolina.  We have been married almost 42 years.  We have lived in South Carolina for 7 years.  That’s a lot of time of washing dishes.

I fill up my dish pan.  I start to empty the dishwasher and I look up.  Although I have lived here for a year and half, it occurs to me that I do not have a window to look out of while doing dishes.   In San Diego I could look out the window while doing dishes and have an incredible view.  I could see the Pacific Ocean, the Coronado Bay Bridge, and Point Loma.  I could watch the sunset.  I could see a view that some people will never see.  It was an incredible view to have.  I never took it for granted.  I was always in awe of the view.    I did not expect to be transported back to that old kitchen of mine while doing dishes here.

As I continued to wash the dishes I thought of other kitchens I had.  I thought of our first kitchen.  How, I stared at a wall while doing dishes.  It didn’t matter though, because I was doing our dishes after fixing him a meal.  I remembered how excited I was to have a kitchen that belonged to us.  I smiled to myself.  I wasn’t expecting to take a journey in my mind.  I was not expecting to have such wonderful memories while washing the dishes.

It took almost a half hour to get the dishwasher empty, to wash the dishes and dry them and put them away.  But, it was a wonderful respite for me.    As I folded the dish towels and closed the cupboards, I leaned down, lifted the door to the dishwasher and click!  It latched!

I just started laughing.  Grateful that we didn’t have to replace our dishwasher so close to Thanksgiving, but, also, grateful for the memories that flooded my mind so unexpectedly.

It’s the little things that happen in life that amaze me the most.    Thanks for stopping by today.  Cathi (DAF)


Yesterday I was in a funk.  Big funk.  I was tired and weary.  I spent most of the day chiding myself for feeling that way and yet, I could not get out of it.

Finally, late last night I went to my blog.  I figured that I could possibly write, but knew that if I attempted anything , it would come out wrong.

I have a dear friend who, when we are in that frame of mind, say to one another, “Step away from the computer”.   We have both, on several occasions go online and written something that we regret as soon as we hit the enter key.  I did not want to make that mistake yesterday.

The next best thing is to read.  So, I went to my reader section on my blog and got caught up with others in the blogging community.

I am grateful for being able to read other blogs.  It does help me.  I read blogs from all over and it gives me a glimpse into lives of others.  Soon, the focus goes off of me and onto others.  That is a good thing.

This morning I have had the pleasure to chat with two of the bloggers I read.  One is in London and the other New York City.  These women bless me so very much, and I am grateful for them.  They encourage me to break out of my funk just by their words and their conversations.

It does help to refocus your thoughts.  I can have a tendency to withdraw and just keep myself alone.  We are people who need to be with other people, we need to touch lives and allow ourselves to be touched.

What helps you to get out of funk?  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Cathi (DAF)


Written Words…….

I love opening up the reader section of my blog.  I scroll down the list of blogs I follow.  I click on each one, reading.  In between the first few words, I find it is like sharing my coffee with them.  It is like visiting with each person.  Laughing with them, crying with them, listening to them.  Each blog, different.  Each writer, unique. These people are different from the people I read on Facebook.   The people on Facebook are family, close friends.  I see them and have opinions at times.  There are running commentaries on things I see on Facebook.   Facebook people are those who I can just walk into their homes, pour my coffee and continue conversations.  Normal, familiar and expected. The people on my blog are friends.  Friends never met in person.  Friends who are as dear as those on Facebook, but also very different.  Bits and pieces of lives that have intersected mine.  A group of people who I could pass on a street and never realize that I know a bit more about them through their words. My blogging friends urge me in ways that others can’t.  They understand me through words that I write, since, they too struggle to sometimes fill a page, or at other times write things that they don’t think good enough.   I am grateful for my blogging buddies.  They inspire me to write more, to hone this craft that I want to have. This morning I have read a variety of things.  Poems that show personal ideas and ideals.  A love story, that crosses generations and is still poignant today.  Political views thatmade me laugh and go ‘huh’ at the same time. Today, I am grateful for written words.  They illuminate, inspire and challenge.  This has all reminded me of Psalm  119:105 By your words I can see where I’m going;  they throw a beam of light on my dark path. (the Message) Each word can encourage someone, can inspire someone, can lead someone to truth.  When I read, I try to see what the person really wants to say and I hope I can be smart enough to see and to listen.  Thank you to all of my blogging buddies for your words.  They make up several parts of my  day and I truly am thankful for you.   DAF

P.S.  This is the 300th post I have written, not much of an accomplishment to some I have read, but to me, it is amazing…. never thought I could get this far.  Thanks again for your support.  DAF

Coming out from the Cobwebs….

When 2014 started, hubby and I both felt like this was going to be a year of change.  January was the month and it was a new year.  Fresh year.  Things were hard for us, but somehow 2014 dawned with a ray of bright hope.  We were encouraged and determined to see what great changes came this year.

This has been a year of change.  Good change, but change can be difficult.   Change is tiring.  Change can have you clinging to throne of Heaven praying for the year to be over.

Good things have happened this year.  Answers to things I have prayed for for years have come to completion.

And yes, there is a ‘but’  in that last statement.

But…  (see, told you!)  this year has been a year of strain.  Physical and emotional strain.

I came to a point in late July where my brain could not coherently sort it all out.   I could not think about writing.  I could no longer try to be positive in writing about things around me.   I was tired.

Tired from a summer of seeing my childhood flash before my eyes in a constant flash-back scenario.  Dealing with memories that I had forgotten decades ago and was glad to have them put away.

Weariness is an odd thing.  You aren’t depressed.  You aren’t angry.  You aren’t a whole list of things.  You are just weary.  The sky is blue and the clouds are gorgeous, but somehow the blue is a bit duller and the nuances of the clouds do not elicit the joy they usually do.

I had not expected this by-product of a year of change.  I thought I would go forth with vigor and excitement.  I saw myself flitting from one change to the other, gaining energy and endurance with each thing crossed of our list of ‘to do’s’ .

Last week hubby and I talked to one another.  We agreed we have been couch slugs since we returned home in late July.   We have continued to do things, but we have been slugs.  We have had our meals on the couch and had indulged in ice cream cones daily.   We made the decision that this would change.  We were going to rejoin the ranks of living.   We have.  We still have our ice cream cones, but not daily.  We have rediscovered our kitchen table and the fun of actually talking to one another while eating a meal.  I have completed several projects this week.

And, so , now I have come up from the cobwebs and read some of my favorite bloggers.  I have missed the joy I receive when reading these talented people’s writing.  I think, I am finally home from a long summer away.  It feels good.

Now, on to the next change that is coming soon.  A new granddaughter, a little lady to keep little man company.  A cousin for my little man.  She has already given us fits and starts and scares and with life.  She has already made a statement of what her personality will be, determined.  We should be able to meet her maybe next month, but hopefully she will be good and not come until she is supposed to in November.

So, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you haven’t forgotten me….  DAF

Hi Ho, Hi Ho…

Fourteen years ago this past October 31st, I left my job.  I was the executive assistant to the director of a not for profit organization in San Diego.  I left to have free time, to write, to paint and to travel with hubby.

I loved this.  I loved having free time and being able to carry out some of these things.  I am obviously writing now, consistently, I have painted a few pictures, and I had a season of cross-country road trips with my dear friend.  Life has been filled with blessings, laughter and joy.

All good things come to an end, though.  I have written several times that I would need to return to the work force.  As of last night, I have returned.  I start my new job on Monday morning.

Part of the crazy weeks I have had since returning home has been the process of getting this job.  I heard about the possibility of this job right before leaving for my week with Little Man.  I applied, sent my resume, and wrote my cover letter.  I actually did not expect to hear anything else.  I figured that I had at least accomplished this and it was a milestone for me.

Upon returning, I heard back from this company.  Early this week I had a phone interview with someone from the corporate office.  I managed to be relaxed and comfortable on the phone.  I amazed myself.  I had also prayed hard about this phone call.  The Lord is faithful.

From the phone conversation came an appointment for an first interview with the person whom I would be working for.  The 45 minute interview went well.  Again, after much prayer, I was comfortable.  I have come to an age where I am myself.  Gone are the days of fretting about how others think of me.  What you see is what you get.  If you don’t like me, oh well…

From that conversation came another appointment for a third interview.  This happened yesterday afternoon.  Again, lots of prayer before heading into the room with two other people.  I talked about myself (which is what they wanted to happen) for about thirty minutes.  I answered their questions.  I left the interview exhausted.

I am introvert.  This week has been tiring.  But, last night I heard from the woman who is my boss.  She is a delightful person, full of enthusiasm.  She asked me to come work for her.  I start at 8 a.m.  the day after tomorrow.

I am looking forward to this new challenge.  I hope I can keep up with her.  I keep thinking that I am like one of those rusty old pumps you see in movies and pictures.  The kind that is well-built, but needs a bit of priming.

So, off to work I go…  I will continue to blog and write, I just won’t be doing it lazily while sitting and enjoying my second or third cup of tea in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you think of it, say a prayer for me that these old rusty work joints of mine get loosened up.  DAF