Freedom


They were young men who answered the call, from small towns, cities and farms – they all put their lives on the line for our freedom. 

I am so very grateful on Memorial Day to pause and remember these heroes, and wouldn’t be here if a certain Sargent Duff didn’t make it back alive. 

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Moving on our dreams


                         homestead front   cat at front porch   homestead for sale

The homestead is sold, the stories are told, the memories we hold
of rocking the babies, teething and toddling, play groups, bike rides, tree forts, back yard camping, school events, downstairs Theater, parties and shared history…
with family and dear friends up the street, schools, church, swim club, YMCA all near by

Now the kids are off to their own adventures, and husband pushes onward
the dream of living near the beach is calling and we are moving on our dreams…

 

                             231 Beach Dr doe

Jane Austen, PhD in personalities

Jane Austen Fairfax-xmas-08-18

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often
used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to
our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
  -Jane Austen

Before modern personality assessments, there was Jane Austin. Her observations on the different behaviors and motivation are really perceptive.  The people that she creates, complete with history, preferences and values, make for some well rounded, unforgettable characters. She seems especially fond of exploring the difference between the task oriented and the heart oriented, between the practical and the romantic (idealist, adventure – not necessarily flowers and chocolate).

From Pride and Prejudice, I feel most akin to some Elizabeth and some Mary characteristics, I do love to read and discuss, and it must be for love and deeper values that everything is done, but I can be a party pooper and melancholic about issues/events that others enjoy.

What is your favorite Jane Austen book/movie?  To which character do you most relate?

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Yes, but…

There are people who listen and people who don’t, and then there are the folks who listen and say, “Yes, but…”.  I vote to kick them out of the listeners’ group. It feels like tires spinning on an icy road, there is no traction. You say something, and they don’t disagree, instead they slant the conversation by comparing what you said with something bigger, better or often, someone worse off.  An observant friend commented that even “No, but…” is a more engaging comment, at least they are tracking with you and have something to add.

In any case, you don’t feel listened to and it’s hard to return to the original point. Sometimes the slant is spoken casually, and sometimes with passion because there is hot spot in the topic for the listener.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if the listener would wave a flag?


BEWARE:

This topic = Fireworks!!


I’d like to suggest universal speaking and listening etiquette:

1. Speaker: states topic, opinion or idea without interruption, for up to 3 minutes. (I’ve read where most people can’t listen for more than 17 seconds without interrupting; well my family has broken that record, easily).
2. Listener: summarizes what is said before changing the topic or even asking a follow-up question.
3. Speaker: ‘thanks for listening’ – acknowledge the time/energy spent caring about your thoughts or feelings, this is a gift.

The greatest gift

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…  profoundly grateful for the gift of Love, God in human form – Jesus.  Also grateful for the second best Christmas gift ever, Baby Kloey.

by the Christmas Tree

Her first time parents are learning team work at 3:00am, swaddling like the pros and what all the different squeaks and noises mean.  Such a bundle of love, such a precious life that connects us all to new life.

Merry Christmas to each of you and all those dear to you!

Getting through – the 3 Minute Check In

The ASAP access of social media and instant messaging makes old fashion phone calls seem outdated.  Dialing up someone and waiting for it to ring, then having a conversation where you give attention to one person and what they have to say…  what a quaint notion.

phone

Are there any teenagers or young adults in your life? Try the 3 Minute Check In. My kids will pick up now that I have instituted this format.  There is often a reason for the call, but I have thought about it and have three minutes to check in with them as well, how are they – what’s up recently, and then my idea, request or question.

If you have older friends or relatives that still use the phone to stay in touch, it might be good to think of your own adaptation of the 3 Minute Check In.  If Aunt Martha reports on every physical ailment and condition of her and her neighbors, you might try the 10 Minute Check In.   Just the structure of the time frame might help to eliminate organize topics.

Whether it’s a land line, a hand held or the latest cell phone there is a place for the voice to voice conversations, especially when travelling, to help you feel connected.  Skype was a challenge for this tech resistant caller, until our daughter was studying abroad – then it was a magic portal into her international experience.  How do you best connect with your friends and loved ones?