Thanks for stopping by...
I'm not sure how you have happened upon my blog but I’m glad you did. I began blogging several years ago, although initially it was a private journal I kept just for myself. In time, however, I began to share my blog publicly, and now I have quite a few folks who check in with regularity. Perhaps you’ll become one of them!
So who am I? Well I have to tell you, I still haven’t quite figured that out. But I keep working on it. I just passed the half-century mark, and I'm hoping that I'll figure out just who I am someday soon. Maybe by the time I'm sixty?
I’ve had some...um...pretty incredible life experiences at both ends of the spectrum, and I share a lot here--maybe too much sometimes. But I’m having a good time, so what the heck. And the focus of my blog for the coming months will be recording the details of the trip of a lifetime (for me anywy): a thru-hike of the 2,187-mile Appalachian Trail. Check in and if my adventures intrigue you, stick around.
I hope you enjoy! I give you my regards and wish you…
Monday, July 28, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Yes, Pat and I have welcomed a new son-in-law into our lives, and as an added bonus, we are delighted to report that Rhiannon's (our?) new in-laws are beyond fantastic! We're in love with the entire Lambert family, and we look forward to many celebrations in the years to come!
Now hold onto your hats, folks, because in addition to welcoming Jason into the family, I am further pleased to announce that in December, we will be welcoming a new grandchild into the family. Jason and Rhiannon are expecting a son very shortly before Christmas. Our happiness is overflowing with the joy of these milestone events!
Thursday, June 19, 2014
|Ethan LOVED his blankie, made by his maternal grandmother "Nanny" Nancy Hayes.|
|Yes this is some incredibly BLUE toilet paper! Where does one get such toilet paper?|
I do not recall, but Ethan liked it!
I have fond recollections of piano recitals, Indian Guides, picnics, band recitals, campouts, family vacations....the list is long. During one family vacation I asked my kids to keep a journal so they could look back upon their experiences later. Here are a couple of his entries:
Friday, May 2, 2014
Mr. Tobias Porter Vanderwilt, I am so damned proud of you! You are a wonderful son and it has been a joy and a privilege to watch you grow from the beautiful baby you once were, to the handsome and promising young man you have become. You are a man I love, respect, admire, and cherish; and whose company I enjoy immensely! Your father and I have been so fortunate in you.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Recent circumstances make me feel I "should" give up hope in ever meeting my granddaughter. It is so tempting to play the victim in these circumstances and tell you how wrong I feel this is and why, but that is to no avail, so I choose not to adopt such a negative role. Instead I will take deep breaths and practice Acceptance, as I learned at Brookhaven, and try to move forward without dwelling on the "if only's..." and "should's." "Shoulds" and "If only's" only serve to torture us in the face of situations over which we have no control, bringing further anguish. I must accept the things I cannot change. Peyton has made her choice, for better or worse, and we must abide by it. She is Lyla's mother. But I must try not to give up hope entirely, even though it breaks my heart to cling to a hope I sometimes believe to be futile.
I must sow new gardens, literally and figuratively. "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow," said one of my all-time favorite actresses and one of the most beautiful women ever to walk the planet, Audrey Hepburn. For my literal garden, I went to a nursery yesterday and selected some of this year's plants: squash, straightneck and zucchini; bell peppers, California Wonder and Purple Beauty; cucumbers, Marketmore; tomatoes, Heirloom and Lemon Boy; mint: peppermint and grapefruit (sounded intriguing, supposedly makes a good herbal tea); and last and definitely least, okra. I don't like it but some in this household do, so I'll see how it goes. There are a few more plants I want to get: some big, beefy tomatoes such as Big Boy or similar, and some green beans. I feared I'd missed the ideal window of opportunity for planting a summer garden here in Central Texas (zone 8b), but when I went to the nursery yesterday I was assured that I still had time, so I'm giving it a shot. Summer gardening here can be brutal, with temperatures in the triple-digits, sometimes as high as 115. Often when it's too hot the plants won't set fruit, but I am choosing to be an optimist: I'll just plant my garden and hope for the best, for that is all I can do. (Well, I can help it along with weeding and fertilizing, but the rest is pretty much up to Mother Nature.)
As for my figurative garden, I must try to plant and maintain the seeds of hope, even when most everything seems futile. I will tend my garden as best I can with love, patience, kindness, and trust, even on the occasions when those things are not reciprocated. It is oh-so-hard sometimes, and I want to protect myself from further hurt by preemptively closing certain doors, but I know that is not the answer. I will try, against my better judgment, to remain hopeful, even though to take such an attitude leaves me extremely vulnerable to further hurt. The potential benefits far outweigh the risks, but my heart is so wounded after these past years that it is extremely tempting to build barriers against further wounds. But walls not only close off intruders, they close off friends and loved ones too, so I will try to remain as open to possibility as I can, even if I risk further hurt. I will simply take a deep breath and plunge forward, full speed ahead. I vow to remain "all in" on this journey called life.
I'm taking on a new challenge this weekend: my first half-marathon. This is one of my bucket-list items, and I look forward to it with a twinge of trepidation: I haven't trained quite as much as I should have, but damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! I fly to Nashville on Thursday morning, where I'll have the opportunity to spend time with a dear friend for several days, and she'll be there to cheer me on during the event, the Music City Marathon, which will take place on Saturday. She was going to run with me, but is unable to due to injury, but she'll still be my cheerleader. And I'll reward myself by going to Boot Country, purportedly the largest retailer of cowboy boots in the country. Otherwise, I really don't know much about Nashville, so if anyone has any advice about where to go or what to see or do, please leave a comment. And if any of my friends happen to be in the area, contact me! I'm there for several days; maybe we can get together!
Anyway, I'm likely off the computer for the next several days, so I wish you well and I'll update you upon my return. I'm off to work on accepting the things I cannot change for now...
Adieu. Happy Trails.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Even though all of those folks have grown, whether up or simply older, and we don't anticipate the Easter Bunny's arrival anymore, the important stuff remains: love, affection, devotion, and gratitude for these incredible people I call my own. But we DO still dye eggs, and in fact the family has devised a competition for next year: an Easter egg decorating contest. We can submit ONE store-bought chicken egg, decorated in ANY fashion we choose. Winner gets a dollar from each contestant plus bragging rights for an entire year. This should be interesting because ours is one of the wackiest families on the planet! These likely won't be "pretty" eggs in the conventional sense; rather they will be punny, robotic, ironic, unexpected, inappropriate, exceedingly clever, or any and all of the above and more. I look forward to it.
I hope you and yours enjoyed your Easter weekend as well. I hope it's been filled with all the good stuff: love, laughter, fun, affection, and maybe even a chocolate bunny or two.
Special THANK YOU to Wendy and Lauren for watching our pooches for us while we were gone!!!!!! You two are so thoughtful!
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
The words of inspiration I'd like to share today are quotes about happiness, both of which come from the Dalai Lama XIV:
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
“The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’ It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently. I appreciate your having already begun to help others.”
I'm not sure what I believe as far as a Higher Power, but I do believe in hope, and sometimes when I think of a Higher Power, it is precisely in that capacity: Hope. That's what I believe in without a shred of doubt. And I get much of that feeling of hope from my fellow man. I am inspired by mankind. Beyond that? I don't know, and that's okay too.
Hope your Easter is filled with the love of your friends and family. May your hearts be filled.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
I’ve learned a great deal more than that these past several months and I’ll share it with you piecemeal. But today is just a taste of how a change in attitude can help. Such a simple concept but amazingly powerful! And not so simple to put into practice, but hey---that's the key word: PRACTICE!
P.S. Happiness is the squirrel who taunted my dog and flirted with my camera during this morning's walk: