Tomato Talk

 

What did one tomato say to the other tomato?

tomatoes

Let’s catchup!

 

It has been 37 days since I last posted.  This was an unplanned hiatus that simply happened.  Each day as I woke up, I did not say to myself, “I am not going to write today.”  I just didn’t.  Oh, I had plenty of brainstorms and moments of inspiration (my notebook and my bathroom wall can attest).  Why the words were not written for the web, I do not know.  But…

Here I am!

the writing on the wall

the writing on the wall

Sometimes, a time of self-discovery is necessary.  Sometimes, debacles with family or with friends occur.  Sometimes, health or home issues must take the forefront to find a resolution.

Sometimes, the words must be written and anguished over and edited and rearranged, and after all the emotions and insights are put down on the paper or on the screen – the entire saga is deleted, stress is drained, and the world may be looked upon with fresh eyes.

Anne Lamott quote

Sometimes you need a break before you break.

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Here are some hints, goodies, and sneak peaks that I look forward to sharing with you in upcoming posts!

Advisory Warning – Waxing philosophic usually creates philosophic ear wax.

Beauty in a Bottle? – Gratitude and graceful aging

Commitments and Commitment – The business of busyness

Importance Issues – Sometimes you find that you are not as important in someone’s life as you thought you were.  Is that their fault for not recognizing your importance, or yours for ascribing/believing/considering yourself important?

Planning and Priorities – If you don’t determine what matters most, then what matters most tends to fall by the wayside.

Someone So Special – Are we sometimes too “smart” to be satisfied?

What Were My Words? – Your words are the only thing in life over which you have absolute control.

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[Well, of course they are in alphabetical order!  You know I have legitimately have OCD (meds and all), right?]

 

a touch of madness

These Three Things

a goal without a plan is just a wish

I have the wool pulled over the eyes of so many friends and acquaintances.  Many of them think I am such an organized person.  If only they knew…

Oops!  I guess now they do.

I do seem fairly organized, and this appearance is because I make use of many, many tricks to help me remember what I need to do, when I need to do it, what I need to do it, with whom I am doing it, and where it all is done.  I am most definitely a List Lady, and that helps tremendously.

I also employ a tactic that I call These Three Things.  Each evening as a part of my routine, I write down three things to be accomplished the next day.  I usually try to make sure they are not the ordinary and everyday tasks I do anyway, such as making the bed or fixing supper, although these can be perfectly acceptable for someone just getting started or if you know you will have a rough or difficult day ahead.

These are my These Three Things lists from four separate days.

These three things

Sometimes the items on my list are easy, such as a reminder of a meeting or a class that is not part of my usual schedule.  Sometimes, it is a more involved task, such as when I planned to rearrange my basement playroom/rec room.  That spanned several days and was rather intensive in both the planning and implementing stages.  That brings me to a very important point I want to make:

If you do not accomplish all three tasks, you have not failed!

Use this list as a tool, not as handcuffs.  Circumstances happen.  You can see that purging and putting away my shoes is on three out of the four samples above.  Sometimes it is because I didn’t get it done.  Sometimes (probably most of the time), it is a recurring situation.  Sometimes, it is because the task is something I know that I can easily get done.

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I leave you with wise words from Winnie-the-Pooh.

organizing

Being Beautiful

Recently, I have found myself tagged in posts on Facebook, encouraging me to post five photos of myself that make me feel beautiful.  I understand the sentiment behind the request to post and share with others.  Many women do not acknowledge themselves as being pretty, pleasing, or even acceptable to look upon, much less beautiful.

There is a big difference between looking beautiful and being beautiful.  Think about some beautiful people you know.  Just what is it that makes them beautiful?  Minus the makeup, what is left?

Let’s go at this another way.  Think about a peacock.  Most people will agree that they are beautiful birds, right?  Check out this peacock video.

Beautiful display on the outside, horrid noises from deep inside.  And sadly, I know people like that.  And, some of the most beautiful people I know aren’t much to look at if you are searching for Mr. or Ms. Universe.  What good is a lovely face without a lovely soul?

Pretty ≠ beautiful ≠ lovely

Let’s change this idea of what constitutes beauty and what makes us feel beautiful, shall we?

My Five Photos That Make Me Feel Beautiful

Beautiful Eyes

Tomi

…in order that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you (the) spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, having had the eyes of your heart enlightened, so that you might know what is the hope of His calling, what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power in us, the ones believing according to the working of the might of His strength…                            Ephesians 1:17-19

To me, this passage encourages me to use the vision and knowledge God has given me of His grace and how I can bless others with that grace.  I can see the hurting, I can see the needy, and I can see what I can do for them.  That is why my eyes are beautiful.

Beautiful Hands

skin

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17

I believe that what I do shows who I am.  Maybe not absolutely every little thing shows my belief, especially when my physical needs are overwhelming me, but overall, it is not difficult to see how I feel about taking care of God’s children and His creation.  I don’t wear my Christianity like a badge; I wear it like my skin. I want to always share His awesomeness in my actions.  That is why my hands are beautiful.

Beautiful Belly

Beautiful belly

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.  Proverbs 17:6

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.                               Psalm 127:3

 My belly is soft and sometimes saggy.  The skin is stretched and scarred.  This same belly that sometimes causes me dread and disgust is the same belly that was home, nourishment, comfort, and safety to four of my six children.  How can I deny the marks from the miracle of giving life?  That is why my belly is beautiful.

Beautiful Ears

Tomi and Sharla

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.                                 Proverbs 12:15

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and and understand.”                        Matthew 15:10

I have a 40% hearing loss in my right ear.  Due to multiple swimmer’s ear infections I had as a child, scar tissue on my eardrum, causing the tissue to not vibrate properly in response to sounds.  Unfortunately, some of my husband’s vocal tones fall into the sounds that I have difficulty hearing.  I have learned to tune out some of the distracting noises when he is talking, along with focusing on his face during discussions.  This is actually a good thing to practice with everyone.  By listening closely, avoiding distraction, and focusing on the speaker, I can sometimes hear what is not being said along with the spoken words.  How can I help someone without knowing their needs and feelings?  How can I understand unless I seek to understand?  Listening with love is life-giving.  That is why my ears are beautiful.

Beautiful Feet

Cruise vacation 2012 085

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?  As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Romans 10:14-15

Let’s face it:  I do not like feet.  Is there an opposite to a foot fetish?  If so, that is what I have.  Feet tend to be dirty, they look funny, and they smell.  But they are also pretty important.  If you don’t have feet, or even have only one foot, you have to adapt, using prosthesis or other devices to get around, or even just figure out a different way to move.  The most important movements we can make are toward sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.  This doesn’t require feet or even mobility in this day and age like it did in 50 B.C.  Feet are handy (ba-dump-ump-shkish) but faith is forever.  My feet remind me to take His message of salvation and share it wherever I go.  That is why my feet are beautiful.

Take Away

The most important lesson I would like you to remember is this:

lovely thoughts

 

🎼Me and My Fibro 🎶🎶🎶

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several months ago, I had a very strange reaction to the news.

I felt a huge wave of relief wash over me.

That seems odd, doesn’t it? You are diagnosed with a life-altering incurable health issue that no one really knows much about, and you are relieved? After years of fatigue and pain and health issues that didn’t respond to the treatments like they should have, at least now I had a documented reason for the way I was feeling.

And I wasn’t just relieved by the diagnosis. I wallowed in it.

Too tired to do the laundry? Well, I have fibro – what do you expect?
Too exhausted for intimacy? Have a little pity, it’s not my fault I have fibro.
Too sore to go to the gym? I have scientific proof backing my choice to not exercise.

Honestly, I do have many days where it is a sheer act of will to get to the kitchen for a cup of coffee after getting out of bed. I don’t like showers because they are too painful for me, so I take baths, which leave me wiped out for a bit. I try not to schedule anything in the mornings since I don’t really know how long it will take me to get moving.

But I was using my health (or lack thereof) to justify not even really living.

So, here is my new mantra: Live life to the fullest extent possible, without using a diagnosis to make excuses. Now, if I honestly cannot do an activity, I won’t. My point is to not simply let my multiple health conditions take over and take away my life.

image

Here are some ways you can help (whether it is me or another individual):

1. Please don’t tell me I don’t look sick. I try to not look sick. Don’t most people try not to look sick? Many people suffer from invisible illnesses and are battling something others may never see.
2. Don’t ask me if I am getting better. My issues are not curable (yet) and they will not just go away.
3. Do ask me how am I feeling or how I am getting along. If I need to share my need for help or prayer in an area of my life, this gives me the opening to ask without feeling like I am dumping on someone.
4. Understand that when I use the valet parking at church or some other location, yet I walk in without any limping or other issue, I am not just being lazy. I am taking advantage of a service that is provided that, although I may not need it when I arrive, I may definitely need the assistance when leaving.
5. Don’t be afraid to invite me to do things. If I absolutely cannot, I will let you know. I would rather be asked and have to turn it down than to never be included.
6. Don’t feel sorry for me. Everyone has their own battles they are fighting, and everyone needs to be understood and cared about. Ask me questions about my health issues. If I can, I am happy to share with you what I know.
7. I am still me, no matter what my body is doing. You can still be my friend, and that is the most important thing you can possibly do for me.

Resources for more information (my specific invisible illness issues)
Fibromyalgia http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
Rheumatoid Arthritis http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis
Migraine http://www.americanmigrainefoundation.org/about-migraine/
Irritable Bowel Syndrome http://www.aboutibs.org/
Glaucoma http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma
Chronic Depression http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm
Generalized Anxiety Disorder http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

Just Another Day…

imageSo, this is normal for me.

I pick up my empty coffee cup from the table and go to the kitchen to refill it. After putting sweetener in my cup, I open the trash to throw away my empty Splenda packets. I see the dishwasher is cracked open a bit and I start putting away the clean dishes. As I put away a clean coffee cup, I remember I was going to fix another coffee. I place the cup on the coffee maker stand and realize that I forgot to get the meat for supper out to thaw. I go to the garage to get the meat from the freezer and see that I forgot to shut the garage door when I came home, so I shut it. I come back in and put the meat in the microwave to thaw. I start to fill my coffee cup and I decide I should probably look up the recipe for shepherds pie instead of winging it. I get on Pinterest and waste fifteen minutes looking at popular posts. Then I find the recipe. I start cooking the beef in a skillet, and go to get a drink of coffee and find I still haven’t made a cup yet. So I finally make the coffee, turn around to take a drink, and see the dishwasher standing open with six clean glasses still in the top rack.

…and that was just about a half-hour of my day… Is it any wonder I don’t get anything done?

17 Easter Basket Fillers That Are Not Food!

Let’s face it.  Children today have waaaaay more sugar in their daily diets than is healthy. Here are some non-food fun items to replace the candy:

  1. Books.  Can you ever have too many books?  (Rhetorical question: of course, the answer is no.) Story of Jesus
  2. Sticker books.
  3. Bubbles.  I found these carrot-shaped bubble necklaces at Dollar Tree®.  Carrot bubbles
  4. Frisbees.
  5. Play-Doh®.  I found these at Target®.  Play Doh
  6. Jewelry
  7. Bouncy balls are always fun, whatever the size, shape, color, special characteristics.  These light up and bounce in crazy directions, from Dollar Tree®.  bouncy balls
  8. Kites.
  9. Silly putty or silly slime.  I found these at Target®.  silly slime
  10. Jump ropes.
  11. Small action figures from favorite cartoons or movies.  Paw Patrol is a favorite with my littles, from Dollar Tree®.  Paw patrol
  12. Socks.  I give socks whenever I can since they seem to frequently run away.  Put them in a fun Easter egg!  These socks and egg are from Dollar Tree®.  Easter egg socks
  13. Stuffed animals.  Stuffed bunny
  14. Fancy pencils, pens, or markers.
  15. Crayons can be found in different shapes, and are great when paired with a coloring book.
  16. Chalk.  In egg shapes, obviously.  Chalk
  17. Sunglasses, for the bright sunny spring days ahead.

 

Many, if not all, of these items can be found at dollar stores and in dollar bins, including the baskets.  Considering I have nine+ baskets to create, I need all of the help and ideas I can get!

Easter baskets

What do you put in your Easter baskets?