Saturday, May 28, 2016

First Shakespeare of the Season! #idahoshakespeare #traditions

Another great season opener by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival with my "culture and arts" buddy and great friend!

Busted water heaters! #deadwaterheater

My water heater went out today!! When my shower went cold this morning I just went to work and decided to deal with it later. About 12 hours later I discovered the water in my laundry room. Which I then cleaned up after I realized that it would not evaporate and would begin to smell if I ignored it and left it alone. I asked for help from my neighbor. I called my dad.
The point is that, however ridiculous it sounds, I have to say that I get a very deep sense of satisfaction when I get to take care of grown-up stuff like water heaters and sprinklers and landscaping. 

When I got divorced I finally lived alone, it soon became apparent that I didn't know how to take care of myself at all. I could get to work and home, but I didn't cook or clean or do the yard or the laundry or water the grass or know who to call when appliances went down.

So these days when I get these opportunities to take care of myself and my stuff I may grumble and complain but underneath all that is gratitude that I know how to do more life today than ever before. 
More before
After - it doesn't look it, but it's dry...-er

Check out the date - 1991! It lasted 25 years!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Moms & Mixers #lovemymom #lovemykitchenaid

My mom gave me a beautiful pink Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas.

Which I used for the first time tonight.

See, I sort of had this beef with my mother. She, in my opinion, was too generous. She paid too much attention to my every want and need. She sends me care packages quarterly (well, really in line with most major holidays) full of fun soaps and decorative lights to hang on my porch and socks and Irish stuff and anything she thinks I might possibly enjoy.

She's always been like this, but for most of my life I've been cynical and bitter and so angry with her for, well, for not being perfect. And for not realizing how wonderful she is. It is infuriating to hear her talk about herself. She can't see a fraction of the wonderfulness that is inside of her. And I wanted her to show her love for me differently, overlooking the many ways she shows her love for me already.

In the last few years, though, I've come to love and accept her exactly the way she is. I noticed that when I call home and have a problem, she is the one that always says, "Joy, we just want you to be happy. I know you are going to do what you want, just make sure it's what you want to do." She frequently tells me, "You just need to relax." and "You're too busy". She may have been saying this stuff to me all along, but I have suddenly realized that I love hearing it. From her.

And so the mixer brought all of this to a head in December, and as I debated keeping it or selling it or returning it, it made at least two full rounds inside the house to inside the car and back.

Then I went to Oklahoma City to see my cousin graduate from college and met my parents there. My mom and I went out to dinner without my dad one night, and we had the best time. I didn't try to change my mom or give her tips on how to handle her life and I didn't try to pretend that I was fine. I shared with her exactly what was going on in my life--all of it--and we talked so long my dad texted to find out where we were!

A few days after I returned the mixer moved from the living room to the kitchen where it sat in the shadow of my previous mixer. Then tonight a friend came over and instead of hiking the hill to listen to the Paul Simon concert we ate dinner over great conversation and suggested making cookies to eat while we watched Save the Last Dance (I'd never seen it before--give me a break!). My friend suggested that we take the mixer on its maiden voyage.

You know, I used to not want to keep the mixer because every time I used it I'd think of my mother.

In the end I decided to keep it because every time I use it I will think of my mother.
Not even out of the box yet!
First batch ever!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A New personal record! #gettingbetter #gettingfaster

Today I ran the Famous Idaho Potato Half-Marathon with a couple of girlfriends and I DID BETTER

The weather was beautiful; no rain.

I got to start my day with some awesome ladies.

I'm getting faster! Apparently my trainer knows what he's talking about!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

One month 'till Germany!! #EuropehereIcome #MAET

Exactly one month to go until I land in Berlin to begin my 3rd and final MAET (Master's of Arts in Educational Technology through Michigan State University) year in Galway, Ireland!  I'll spend a week in Germany (getting to visit a friend there!), then over a month in Ireland and on to the UK.

Once life gets good, it's so easy to take it for granted. While I whine about my "problems", here in my house in a safe neighborhood in a beautiful city where I am part of a thriving community, it still takes a huge adventure like traveling overseas more or less by myself to really shake up my perspective and make me so grateful for the life I have!

I am also super grateful for Rick Steves (he just arrived yesterday)!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Idaho Episcopal Foundation's Bishop's Banquet! #episcopalidaho #bishopsbanquet

I spent a splendid evening with fellow Episcopalians at the Idaho Episcopal Foundation's Bishop's Banquet! Wonderful company, new friends, reunited with old ones and an inspiring speaker!

And lots of selfies.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Being with my mom on Mother's Day! #lovemymom

It's been probably 6 or more years since I was actually WITH my mom on Mother's Day!  We weren't in Austin or Boise, but Oklahoma City for my cousin's graduation.