Grab the umbrella

Have you ever experienced times in your life where everything seemed a little off? You think the circumstance will come and go, and you’ll soon find yourself back on track, but sometimes life has other plans. Recently, I went through an extended period where one thing after another happened. Things beyond my control that needed both attention and action, and just when one problem was solved, two or three others appeared…..ARGH.

It made me stop, think, and question what are the lessons I am suppose to learn? None of the issues seemed related, other than I was the common denominator. Some challenges were so random that I couldn’t begin to guess. I was just about to my breaking point when somehow the latest crisis managed to work itself out. However, right after, two more things hit! I felt the issues were almost mocking me, and I had to laugh…..because if I didn’t, I’d surely cry.

In the midst of chaos, I kept hearing my authentic, heart-centered voice tell me to trust and believe that things would work out. Don’t stress or worry…..yeah, those two words aren’t even close to my top ten to avoid……HA! But, I kept the faith, praying and asking for guidance. Every problem or challenge I faced, came and went. Each one was here for it’s intended season, to build my faith and trust that things are as they should be, and that the universe had my back.

It’s hard to believe those words when you are rooted in frustration, heartache or crisis. By being gentle with and trusting yourself, things will be better on the other side. I am not saying it’s easy, it’s just a part of life’s lessons. So, when the next rainy season imagehappens, I’ll throw on my galoshes, rain gear, and grab the umbrella. It’s in the stormy times I’m learning to trust.

xoxox……Sheryl

 

 

Spring has sprung

Ahhh….spring, I love this time of year. It’s filled with the promise of new life, as many shades of green replace the dreary brown of winter’s end. It makes me feel excited at the thought of warmer days ahead. I notice the chartreuse buds appear on the branches, and the first peek of the grass green stems breaking through the earth, that will soon become spring flowers.image

With this year’s Easter holiday falling in the first week of spring, my daughter has been home for school break, and I thought I’d ask her favorite memories of this time of year. Without hesitation she said, “I loved the Easter egg hunts on the farm.” So many fond memories filled my thoughts. Each year, three or four dozen eggs were hidden and scattered throughout the yard. The colorful eggs were filled with small treasures, candy and coins. Both my children would run from tree to and tree and bush to bush, hoping to find the brightly colored gems, then spreading their bounty across the ground, while beaming from ear to ear.

Another favorite time was the birth of our spring lambs. The soft and wobbly new born lambs would capture our hearts. They would run, jump and play while their moms fed. Each year there would always imagebe one or two lambs that would need to be bottle fed. What a wonderful learning experience that was for my children.

I have to agree, my daughter’s favorite memories have to be some of my top memories when they were younger as well. Along with childhood memories of my own, like getting a new Easter dress and hat each year for church, or running through the house looking for hidden Easter baskets. One year, I searched high and low for my basket and never found it. After a few days it slipped my memory, until July, when my Dad pulled it out of a hat box in his closet. Everyone had forgotten the basket was still hidden, needless to say….the contents were no longer edible.

I enjoy looking back on earlier times, but since spring has sprung again this year, I am going to enjoy experiencing new memories of another season. What are your favorite memories of spring?

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

 

Geese gone wild

It’s that time of year again when Canadian geese start their yearly mating rituals. These protected birds seem to be plentiful in the Midwest as they flock to fresh water. The company I work for has a small, man-made lake on the property that is home to many geese….. it’s egg laying time again, and they’re back.

Normally, there aren’t any real issues, other than the geese taking their time crossing the drive…….oh, and having to watch where you step. People usually come and go without any trouble, however, during mating season they become overly aggressive and down right intimidating. Everyone dreads the possibility of confrontation on a daily basis.

The geese fight for prime nesting real estate, and unfortunately several of these areas are near in proximity to the building doors, both front and back. Early in the season, before spots are occupied there is a great deal of honking, flapping and squawking, over which pair will take ownership. During this time, if a human gets in the middle of the battle, chaos ensues.

We have a term known in my building as being “swooped”…..everyone dreads it will happen to them. I have been swooped on three separate occasions, thankfully, all not in the same season. The male goose will sit in strategic locations, specifically on the roof and over the door. If he feels you are a threat to the nest, the swooping begins.

The first time I was “swooped”, before I ever knew it existed, I was headed to my car, I heard a loud whooshing noise that was getting closer, and louder. As I turn around, this angry goose, with what seemed like a 6 foot wing span, was headed right for my head. I barely had time to react as I ducked just in time……WHAT THE!

Another “swooping” happened coming from a different building, and as luck would have it a pair was on the sidewalk where I had to pass. Being a farmgirl, it was no big deal, until I spotted a third goose honking and sqwacking from the roof. Before I had the chance again to react, I was in the middle of a love triangle, as the two males fought over the female. Several people witnessed the whole ordeal, which I still haven’t lived down.

Last year, a pair made a nest in a planter right outside  a nearby window and we were able to watch as the mama sat on her eggs while her mate stood watch over the nest. We were lucky to watch during hatching.image

These creatures mate for life and fiercely protect their young. Even though they usually won’t bother people, beware during mating season and geese gone wild.

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xoxox…..Sheryl

 

 

Dinner for two

Because of busy schedules, I am often making dinner for one, however, I love when my son and I randomly share a free night. When this happens we often find ourselves in the kitchen, cooking a meal together.

I am not really sure how it all began, but years earlier he would come home hungry, and couldn’t wait for dinner to be ready. He would impatiently stand next to me willing the meal to be done, which clearly made the process quicker……not. His impatience morphed into helping chop or stir, and eventually into complete meal preparation together.

Nowadays if nothing has been planned, I’ll throw out ideas around the food already in the house or we may touch base on his way home. He oftened asks if I need him to pick anything up at the grocery store. I love that he is willing to get whatever I need. It’s funny, he always over buys, which I tease him about…..recently, I asked if he would pick up a couple gallons of water and he brought home eight! He is always prepared with abundant supplies and is willing to share with anyone. I adore this boy.

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We work together preparing the meal side by side, and each seems to know what needs to be done next, like a well oiled machine. We often talk of how we prepared something in the past that worked or lessons learned.

As the meal is ready we serve ourselves and head into the dining room, where we share the heartfelt meal we’ve prepared together. The best meals are those that end in getting caught up from our busy schedules. As I was writing this post, as luck would have it, we would dine together. We made do with what we had in the fridge…..a red pepper, pancetta and sautéed onion omelet with fresh sliced avocado. Andrew commented it was the best omelet he ever ate, although it wasn’t fancy, it was made with love.

As life continues to happen, it’s only a matter of time before my son will have a place of his own, and we won’t have as many opportunities to prepare a meal together. Until then, whenever I get the chance to enjoy dinner for two, I will make the most of our precious time. Now…… if I could just get that boy to help with the dishes!

Bon appetite!

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

The color purple

From the time my daughter was little into young adulthood, she has always disliked the color purple. So much so, if I ever bought her clothing that had the slightest spec of purple, back to the store it went.

When she was researching colleges she refused to look at any place that had purple as a school spirit color, even if it fit all other requirements in her selecting criteria. People used to laugh in disbelief when I told them. She had said, “Mom, there is NO WAY I would wear purple for four years, especially playing soccer, I would be forced to wear it,”…..ARGH!

She also claimed to have a serious adversion to cheerleaders, yep, you heard it right…..cheerleaders. WHAT? At one point, prior to high school, I suggesred that she try out for the squad during soccer’s off season, since I had fun as a “Sparkette”  (Pom, Pom squad) in high school and Pom, Pom squad and cheerleader in college. She was having nothing to do with it, and “Mom, how could you EVER ask a soccer player to be a cheerleader?” She was an athlete that couldn’t be bothered by the cheerleading drama that went on in her circle of friends, specifically one girl.

She finally settled on her college choice, and happily the colors were red and black, and she headed off in mid-summer to preseason training. She was assigned a big sister on her soccer team, and low and behold….purple was this girl’s favorite color. They had to buy little things throughout the season in support of one another, and she reluctantly asked me to pick up a bunch of purple items…HA!

Once preseason was over, the rest of the students moved on campus. She had never met her roommate but was praying they would like each other and “Dear Lord, please let her bedding and room decor not be purple!” Well….guess what……her cheerleading roommate’s favorite color was purple! I had to laugh when she told me. I mentioned to her earlier this would probably happen…..mama was right….insert big cheesey smile. Despite the purple bedding, pillows and knick-knacks, I am happy to report they became great friends even though her roommate unexpectedly left school the summer before their junior year, and because of timing, Hannah was assigned a new roommate.

Life teaches us many lessons, in Hannah’s case it was tolerance and understanding. She had preconceived notions based on one girl’s behavior and wrongly put that on any other girl that decided to be a cheerleader. As for the color purple, she’s still not crazy about it, but has come to accept it….haha.  The good Lord was making sure Hannah got her fill of imagepurple and cheerleaders, and she learned things aren’t always as they seem. The saying goes…..never judge a book by it’s cover; I am thankful my daughter learned the same valuable lesson.

By having to confront what she didn’t like, it gave her the opportunity to see the other side. It taught her not to judge the person by their actions, choices, or the color purple. I love when things come full circle.

xoxox…..Sheryl

ps….her second roommate’s favorite color is purple and she is also a cheerleader…..so much irony here, I am laughing out loud as I write this post. Happily, they turned out to be great friends too!