One Day Down

I have designated January the month of the house reboot. I have chosen 9 days, each devoted to a room of the house, to purge, rearrange and clean, top to bottom.

Today was day one. I chose to tackle the kitchen out of necessity. The new stove cost me some drawer space, so the kitchen was a shambles anyway. Too. Much. Stuff. For one. Second I decided to be a bit more strategic about what occupies prime shelf and drawer space.

We shall celebrate progress. I knew this would be the hardest room to wrestle to simplicity, so I went with “eating the live toad” philosophy from the poster in my sister’s bedroom from long ago that advised: Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.

Kitchen is half done. We will revisit.

And I even managed to use my new oven in the midst of all the chaos. No-knead bread and roasted garlic chicken.

And that’s all I can manage today. Boring I know.



It’s not my color.

I made my own dress for my 8th grade graduation. Loved the fabric–a flowing, soft yellow and pink floral print and I was totally in love with the pattern for the dress. I worked hard on that dress–carefully, painstakingly. It was as perfect as I could make a dress. I couldn’t wait to wear it.

When I finally put it on, I was so disappointed. Something was off. Couldn’t put a finger on exactly what, though.

This was to become a theme throughout my life, but that’s another story.

Much later I came to learn it was likely because I can’t wear yellow. Or cream. Or brown with a yellow base. When I do, people inevitably ask me if I’m sick or tired.

So for a long time I thought I didn’t like yellow. But that was wrong, too. I love yellow, just not on me.

I Am Here

For now I am linking my posts to my photo challenge for the day,

Until I get on a roll.

I miss this. I really do. I have been writing for myself since September, but I’m ready to get started again for a broader audience. If they will have me.

We’ve been talking to Alexa. Surely we can do better. ūüôā

<<<<<<<<<“I am here.” Is the prompt:

It was a job getting here today. Went back and forth from car to house three times before I finally left my house. To arrive here. Where the berries are beautiful, and the birds are frantic about the sunflower seeds that are left.

Inside is warmth and fragrance and football and good food–hearty, healthy and simple. And most important, family. Family with wide open arms to graciously accept strangers as part of the family, even if the “temporary” family is deaf, legally blind and autistic.

I married into a special family. I wish I could adequately express how grateful I am.

Revival? Revival!

I need to get back in the habit. Boy howdy, do I need to. I couldn’t even remember how to sign in to write here!

Just under four months and counting till my next awesome adventure.

I did not write enough about the journey through Bulgaria and Greece. I have tons of pictures and lots of memories. But sometimes combining the two….Or recalling the details, vivid ones….There was hardly time.

I should have made the time.

The trip was exquisite in every way, except I didn’t capture it the way I wanted to.

So four months to establish a habit. To show up, to write it down, to notice those everyday miracles.

Because in four months, I will be cruising through Northern Europe–with an eye on Belgium and France afterward…..ten countries in all, I believe. I want to be fully present, in the moment, for all of it. The best way to do that? Share it.

There’s a lot to do in these four months, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Good Morning, Sofia!

Good Morning, Sofia!

It’s a new day.  A new hot day, apparently.  Bring it on!

Getting here wasn’t the easiest thing.  Getting up yesterday morning after just a few hours’ sleep wasn’t the easiest thing.  But the day was more than worth the push to put difficult beginnings behind. 

I feel much more ready for today.  Hopefully my mind will be a bit more willing to put words together for all of it in the coming days. A good night’s rest has already done a world of good. 

My Sofia Sisters, Old and New



Prairie_fence.JPGThere’s nothing quite like going somewhere else, or getting ready to go somewhere else, that makes you take a good long look at home.

I am looking forward to seeing sights and hearing sounds, and tasting things that I don’t normally. The other side of the coin is that to those I am going to visit, I live in a far-away and unusual place.

I am watching out my window as I type. ¬†There is a juvenile rabbit hopping along the fenceline in the yard next to ours filling up on an abundance of overgrown clover. ¬†A flock of sparrows keeps darting from a variety of perches in the chain link fence to the dirt pile under the elm tree. ¬†I wonder if locusts are digging out. There’s something delectable scurrying about down there.

Ah, there’s my pigeon buddy. ¬†I don’t think it can fly. ¬†For the past week, it has visited me in my garage, I have frightened it out from behind our air conditioner when I walked out the kitchen door, and right now it too is darting about around the dirt pile. ¬†It flaps every now and then, but not much and lists a little to its left. Oops, well….it just made it to the top of the chain link fence. ¬†Then came down to the ground again to feast on something. ¬†Wait, no. ¬†That’s a second one! ¬†The injured one is climbing up the tree trunk now. ¬†I might have to stop writing and watch to see what happens.

I hope in the next few days I can put together a digital photo album to showcase familiar parts of my surroundings that might be intriguing to those I meet.  My son was already sweet enough to put family pictures on a small digital key chain for me to take with me.  Now I need to learn how to say family, husband, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, niece in Bulgarian.  Should have done that a long time ago.  But I can say hello! And please and thank you and introduce myself. And count.  And gesture a lot.

Language. That’s a whole other adventure.

So will I get to do any of this in Bulgaria? ¬†Will there by time to watch birds or find rabbits or catch the smallest glimpse of everyday life, somebody else’s mundane that is strange and fascinating to me?

I certainly hope so. In the meantime, where did that pigeon go?


I am going to start my 55th year of life in a country in which I was not born. An adventure! Could the whole year be one?

I am getting bruised where I keep pinching myself.

I confess I have carried my passport around with me since the May storms. It was not going to get swept away in wind or water. I have a reoccurring nightmare in which I arrive at the airport for an amazing trip only to find I have left my passport at home, there is no time to go retrieve it, and I have to miss out on the trip.

It will not be a self-fulfilling prophesy!

Today I had a thrilling morning just looking for rocks. ¬†Since Bulgaria is the Land of Roses, what better gift could we find than Oklahoma rose rocks. ¬†Abe and Ashley went with me and in well under an hour we had a small box full to clean and sort, which I will do tomorrow. ¬†They won’t all go with me or I would have to leave my clothes behind. ¬†But some of them will make lovely gifts.

Ashley also went clothes shopping with me. ¬†It’s been forever since I earnestly shopped for clothing, but as I began packing I noticed how worn some of my things had become. ¬†I am not a clothes horse; they are something I put on to keep from being arrested. ¬†But today’s shopping trip was such fun and even better, I am down two pant sizes. ¬†Woot!

Very good start to the final week before I take off for Bulgaria.  Bulgaria.  My goodness.  Pinch!

I am sad to be missing my ASL Convention in Denton, but I trust I will hear the reports before I go.