Friday, May 24, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~May 22, 2013

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Wednesday, May 22-24, 2013
Outside my window...I can see the bay near Laura and Robert's house.  They have a triple sliding glass door out to their deck and just beyond...the beautiful sea.  They have the most inspiring place to write and I have been dying to get on this computer.  We have been so busy but today is a stay at home day.  Yay!  It is early afternoon here and the sky is gray with some fog in the distance.  It has been very welcomed after yesterday which was sweltering.  The heat here is rough.  So much humidity and it makes me feel a little sick, not being use to it at all.  One thing about the island is it is always windy and that accounts for some of the very unpredictable weather.  I should have brought more warm clothes but I have been getting by with a hooded, cardie sweatshirt on colder days and my coat when it got really cold as we were traveling.

I am thankful for..this wonderful month of travel, sightseeing and work.  We have had a phenomenal time.  I think a few things have made it very different than other trips we have taken.  Length of time with many different venues and purposes made a difference.  We have traveled for more than a month on other occasions but they have been focused on a major holiday, or a European/family time or just sightseeing.  I think the thing that made this time unique was a lot of time with just each other and then also getting to see family.  Our time of exploring the east coast was just perfect.  We loved the things we saw and learned about all the places we went.  The things that made it most special were our times with our kids and then our days we spent learning about our ancestors and the time we were able to do research and walk where they walked and lived.  That was inspirational and spiritual as well.  It has been a nice blend of pleasure and purpose.  There has been the perfect amount of time for relaxation and reflection.  I don't think my b/p has been this low in years.
From the learning room.  As we have studied and learned about the stories of the individual pilgrims and their courageous and difficult lives, we have realized like never before how subjective history really is.  We will not ever know all of the truth about them until we meet them face to face.  The "facts" vary some between authoritative museums, etc. but the essence of who they were and why they came have enough of a common thread to paint a most interesting  picture.  It just reminds me of how important it is once write our own histories.  I want someone's subjective opinions about my life to come from what I wrote not what someone else wrote about me. 
I am reading...William Bradford's Pilmoth Plantation~this is considered to be the first American History book ever written.  Jim and I are reading it aloud together and it is excellent so far.  Tomorrow we are taking a trip to Mystic, Connecticut together so will continue on with Governor Bradford's account of why the Loyalists from England and the English Separatists from Holland came here on the Mayflower  It is about their heroic voyage and about the settlement they created when they arrived.  It is a fascinating story.

From the kitchen..Jim has something brewing every minute.  Honestly, he is such a nurturer and a "feeder' as Jen calls him.  We are so lucky!  The kids love to see him coming.  I have thrown in my two cents worth by helping Laura redecorate her master bedroom and sitting room and bath while here.  We did the bulk of putting it together this morning and it looks so fresh and pretty.  Of course it was preceded with a lot of fun shopping to gather the goods and we still have more things that we need. She has selected some really cool colors by using an art piece we found featuring, lavender, darker purple, a grayish blue, some turquoise, tan and gray.  It is a stylish, youthful floral piece and not stuffy at all.  It is very pretty and soothing and a perfect compliment to a coastal environment without being beachy.

I am missing..time to blog along the way about this vacation but it just hasn't been happening.  I will do several posts about our adventures after we get home.  But it is never quite the same as in the here and now.  The biggest problem has been getting photos on the right equipment to have access to them from Laura's desktop computer.  I still do not find the tablet adequate for blogging so it looks like I am going to have to get a Mac laptop sooner than later. But we do have lots of fab photos of this trip so that will be my incentive once we get home.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...the thing that has been going through my mind as we have traveled is just how beautiful the majority of America really is.  As we have passed through city after city, town after town I have felt a sense of peace that the Lord is still over all and that His presence rests upon the goodness in all of these places.  I am thinking once again how the media has truly skewed our thinking about how this country is going to the dogs and it has robbed us of our peace.   Yes, there are some really bad people and situations but there is so much goodness and righteousness too.

It has reminded me of when our Church leaders have expressed that we should be of good cheer, look for the good and stay close to the Lord.  The Lord will not forsake the righteous.  My faith in that has been reaffirmed on this trip.  Travel affords us a tremendous opportunity to step out of our tiny world and see beyond our borders of the little triangle we live in of home, school, work and the grocery store.  We truly feel blessed to have had this opportunity this month of broadening our conceptions and changing our paradigms.   The consequence is we feel more peace.

I am hearing..birds chirping randomly to one another outside and classical music from the kitchen.  And I am imagining that if we were just a little closer to the water I could hear the waves.  Soon the house will contain the boys...home from school and the endless happy chatter of kids and all that entails.  Cannot wait to see them and hear about their day.

One of my guilty pleasures...our children.  Honestly, it is hard to get enough of being with them.  I love that we have this opportunity to realize how precious this time is because we don't have it whenever we want.  Absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder.  That is the silver lining of living apart.  Every time is a special occasion.

Pet Peeves..rushing.  I hate rushing.  I enjoy savoring, reflecting and being in the moment more and more as I grow older and learn how to do it.  It makes me appreciate this time in our lives so much!

I am quoting...Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat Pray Love:  I love a quote that requires me to look up a word.  "Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever."  Love that.  This quote just reminds me of the perfect definition of the romantic, modern woman.  Do we all not seek this from time to time...or pretty much all of the time?

If I could change one thing it would be...that my legs did not give me so much trouble.  I want to do so many things but sometimes the spirit is willing but the body is weak.  I wish I could disassociate myself from the pain that inevitably comes after too much walking and standing,  One thing that helps though is every morning when I wake up I am fine.  So at least the problem is not accumulative.  Sometimes it feels like if you could just get some WD-40 in the right places all would be well. Still I am not complaining, it could be tons worse.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Safe Haven.  Laura and I got to go on a overnight get away at the beginning of the week,  Maybe that is why I liked this movie.  It was just to two of us in our hotel room enjoying the movie.  No distractions...just us!

I am curious distorted time can be when you are traveling.  It seems like we have been gone from home for months.  Once we get home and back into our routine it flies by in a flash.  I think this is a good insight for us on how to slow our lives down.  Getting out of Dodge seems to do the trick.  ;-)
Plans for the rest of the week...tonight my friend, Caroline, is coming here while visiting her own daughter in Connecticut.  She sells doTerra essential oils and will be here for a lesson on their use for Laura and some friends.  How fun to be able to see her here!  Tomorrow a day trip to Mystic, CT with James.  It is like stepping into a postcard.  The most charming little place you'd ever want to visit, Thursday night attending Spencer's Sport Banquet at his school, Friday more work on the master bedroom, Saturday through Monday enjoying family activities and maybe some boat races in Newport.  Robert will be returning to the house after a ten day course in VA, so we will have some quality time as a family, celebrate his birthday and Memorial Day with a picnic here on the deck and Sunday we'll go to church.  Believe it or not...we are flying home on Wednesday but only for a day and then taking off for Utah for our granddaughter, Chloe's baptism.  We'll stay a few days and then home for awhile.  Whew!

One of my favorite things...that we have been able to go to three events at the boys' school and we still have one left.  Ross is in a play and we get to go and see the dress rehearsal on Tuesday before we leave on Wednesday.  Last night at the Sports Banquet Spencer received The Ultimate Spirit Award.  This is a new award and Spencer is the first recipient.  He helped his coach with la crosse, soccer and basketball and managed the teams all of this school year.  The coach was very positive in his words about Spence and we were glowing grandparents!  He was so cute racing to the front of the auditorium to receive his award at breakneck speed, grinning from ear to ear! Oh, and he is still in his full leg cast so that racing was on crutches.

One thing that made me so happy this week..being here for Grandparents' Day at the school! Getting Laura and Robert's master bedroom, bath and sitting room all redecorated.  We just hung the last piece of art a little while ago.  Grampa has been very helpful hanging curtain rods, mirror, paintings and other things and keeping everyone fed.  I love working with the two of them on any decorating project.  The rooms look so pretty and peaceful and fresh.  Robert will be so surprised when he stumbles in from Virginia tonight after finishing his ten day class for work.

The most surprising thing this week...we got two beautiful chairs for the decorating project at half price and they are perfect.

A photo I am sharing this week...our dream house in Connecticut.  This is the most beautiful privately owned home we have seen in 13 states.  We have seen hundreds of homes and this is the grand prize winner.  Laura and I loved every aspects of this home...we are guilty of coveting it, we admit it! 

As we drove by we saw a couple near the driveway so we passed by slowly and then returned after we thought they had gone so as not to get people in the photo.  We came back and didn't see them so turned around and took some photos.  As we drove on we saw them again on the other side of the property and we realized immediately it was their house.  They waved and yelled out "thank you" to us.  They knew we loved it and they were pleased.  Fun!

          Until we all return...happy day to you!
❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day To Every Woman!

We are in Rhode Island and spending the day with our beautiful daughter, Laura, and her family.  What a joyful time to be with them.  At the end of our trip we are going to Utah to see the rest of the grandkids and our own kids.  What more could any mom hope for than precious time with each of them?  Life is good, really really good.

Here is my Pinterest Board Collection for Mother's Day~ I hope you will enjoy it.  Have a wonderful day, think of your mothers and those that went before them, your own children if you have them and then just think of all the lovely children in your life, no matter what your circumstance, and know that you have  touched many lives for good with your sweet, nurturing, God-given nature as a woman....mother or not.  You are loved by God and many others!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Doin' The Charleston

The Battery
Google Images

You know you are getting older when you travel!  Honestly, we have spent more time in the last two days sayin..."Where is my ...fill in the blanks?"  You get into your daily routines where things like your tooth brush are always in the same place at home.  You can mindlessly go through the routines of the day with barely a thought of what you are doing, giving more time to concentrate on other things.  Hum, don't try that when you are traveling.  Everything requires thoughtful, purposeful actions and a great, attentive memory.  It has been a hoot, even if a scary one.

The other challenging thing for me is trying to figure out the devices that let me send this out to you.  Regular camera, iPhone cameras, iPad, iCloud, Wifi connections in various places and states and hotspots.  There are cords for this, that, and the other thing.  The plethora of cords are everywhere for phones, iPad, iPods, GP, camera.  And to really get on my last nerve, you cannot use the same chargers interchangeably or in the car for the various devices so double trouble.  It is mind-boggling.  If I didn't absolutely love electronics and writing I'd throw up my hands and forget it.  But I am determined to learn it or die trying!  Believe me when I say the technology and mechanics of all of it do not come easily to me.  Jim is so much more intuitive about it all than I am! But I am the software person and he is the hardware person so we muddle along in our yin/yang sort of way.  But I digress....

Gosh though, we are having a great time here in the South!  Charleston is everything we pictured it to be and more.  Charming is the first word that comes to mind.  Even though there is a tourist feel, it is not the cheap touristy is classy tourism.   The natives have some exceptionally authentic things to make it all very interesting and cohesive.  There is a sense of a homogeneous quality to it all.  They have captured what once was and defined it in a very captivating way.  Because the tourist industry is a huge draw here, they have played their cards well.  The various factions of tourism are competitive and seem to excel in selling Charleston.  This is a partnership between smart-minded people and wonderful resources because it is a beautiful, historic and fascinating place on its own.  They haven't had to over produce things just to entertain the traveler.  It is all here and all they have had to do is manage it well and they have.

Charleston, unlike many other cities, has been into recycling for hundreds of years.  Instead of tearing down the old and worn out,  they have restored, renovated and retrofitted to  preserve most of the old buildings.  And they have continually re-purposed them to keep up with the times while preserving their cherished history in the process.  When you see things like this, you realize more and more about how important history is to the strengthening of not only individuals and families, but entire communities.  There is a sense here that they belong to something much bigger that this generation.  Their past greatly influences how native Charlestonians view themselves. They are aware of their heritage and they celebrate it.

Charleston has more historical sites than any other city in the country.  Today we visited The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and walked where our patriots walked and fought the British in the Revolutionary War.  The very meadows of the Plantation that are now so gloriously green and serene, where once occupied but 8,000 soldiers from Great Britain trying to defend the crown.  It was not meant to be.

We have many of our own photos coming
 once I figure it out!

If you ever come here and want to take a fun city tour by minibus, we highly recommend the "Doin' The Charleston" company.  Marvin was our tour guide.  They have lovely buses with great information and wonderful stories.  They even use a video and music to blend the past and present in one very well orchestrated presentation with a multimedia flare.  The  music from this region of the country really tops of the tour.

You've heard Utah referred to the state with a church on every corner?  Charleston rivals!

For a community of under 130,000 residences you get a lot of bang for your buck in Charleston.  And coming from California I can say they do not try to gouge their visitors.  San Francisco~repent! Can be $$$!  And that is the only negative thing I'll ever record here on this blog about our beloved San Francisco! 

Charleston has parking everywhere and at a buck an hour. The various sites are reasonably priced or free and the food and lodging are not sky high.   They they have carefully reviewed their demographics and they respect those over 50 as much as the precious heritage they have preserved through the ages.   Here a lot of things are FREE!  An example is their free bus service downtown.

Here are some things we have noticed about the people of Charleston. I think the most surprising is we have not noticed many charming southern accents!  Charleston seems to be quite metropolitan with residents from all over.   I was hoping for a few more y'alls and drawls....but no.  Is it possible that media and time are changing regional accents to "Hollywood?"

Regardless, most people have been extremely friendly, chatty and relaxed.  People do not seem angry in general.  This is something that surprises us whenever we encounter it. The south is particularly friendly and cordial and polite and hospitable.  No one is rushing.  They just don't. 

Another surprising thing has been the delightful weather.  It has been intermittently raining some but is still delightful.    A little humid but not at all uncomfortable.  It is the perfect time of year to visit South Carolina because it is not hot.  We enjoyed both days a lot.

Well you may be wondering why I am spending time in our room writing.  Well, Jim is out at Patriotic Point going through three big ships.  Humm, bet you aren't wondering anymore are you?  We are good companions for travel because we do most of it together but when one wants to do something special and the other not so much..we do it that way.  A little absence makes the heart grow fonder too.  I am eagerly awaiting his return.  Tonight we are going out to dinner someplace.  Last night we ate in our room while we got better organized and we were still so full from a late lunch of "She Crab Soup"  (don't ask what makes it different than "He Crab Soup") and a pulled pork sandwich made with honey mustard salad dressing that we shared.  The food here is R I C H.  I bet that does not surprise you.  We ate salads in our room to try to absorb the creamy, creamy everything we had eaten at lunch.

Today we had Alligator Dogs for lunch (not really!) ...but that is a story for next time when I share what we did at The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  Hopefully by then we will have this photo thing figured out!

  The Palmetto Palm Tree 
The state tree.

Take care all y'all!
  Bonnie and Jim