Wednesday, August 31, 2022

August 31--Home = Peace

Peace--that was the other name for home.  --Kathleen Norris

    Thus ends the August focus on the theme of "home." While I am not feeling much in the way of inner peace right now, there is plenty of peace here at home. Work continues on our new deck. Barney is totally on his duty of guarding and protecting us. Fall, my favorite season, is approaching. 
The stairs are the remaining work...

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

August 30--Understanding?

Home is not where you live but where they understand you. 
--Christian Morgenstern

    My first reaction to reading this quote was a sarcastic snort. Truth be told, I don't think that being understood at home has ever been the case for me--not in childhood, not in adulthood. My adult niece even said to me once, "You always have been a little weird." I really don't care to go any further down that "rabbit hole." 
    Back to my jury duty adventure... I reported to the courthouse on Monday as ordered. It was a bust. I sat the whole day in the jury waiting room and was released at 4:00 pm without ever seeing a courtroom or being asked any questions. Oh, well, I did my duty. 

At the CSU Gardens

Monday, August 29, 2022

August 29--Shadows

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.  --John Ed Pearce

    I most certainly did want to leave, and I did. Given that my parents died so long ago (Mom in 1979, Dad in 2000), I don't feel much desire to get back there. I make occasional trips to see my remaining family, and I thoroughly enjoy those trips, but I won't be moving back to PA anytime soon. 

    I'm running these days full-speed into the "brick wall" of expectations or ideas not meeting reality. A couple examples: I love the IDEA of sleeping the night away, but here I am awake at 4:00 am with no hope of any more sleep. I love the IDEA of golf, but my skill level often disappoints me. There are other much more significant and troublesome examples that I won't go into. This is a recurring thing for me. I simply haven't figured out how to not have any expectations about anything.  
    Today I report to the 18th Judicial District for jury duty; maybe some interesting stories will follow from that.

Weed shadows on the Sunset Park sidewalk

Sunday, August 28, 2022

August 28--Tail-Wagging Joy

Maybe that's the best part of going away for a vacation--coming home again. 
--Madeleine L'Engle

    I grew up in the boondocks of Pennsylvania. My mother was a superior cook, but our diet was fairly "meat & potatoes" with lots of desserts (heaven for a budding food addict). It's comical to look back at the fact that Dad became furious if Mom served rice; sometimes I think she did it just to piss him off. (No need to wonder why I experienced a lot of stress around food and meal times!) Dad refused to fly, so Mom took me with her on international trips which introduced us to many new foods. I remember Mom and I discussing that when we got home, the first thing we wanted was a good ole American cheeseburger. 
    Having a dog has changed the "coming back home" dynamic. I miss Barney so much when I am away. I know he will be waiting at the door, tail wagging, ready for a lick fest to tell me how much he missed me. This is true whether I've been away 15 minutes or 15 days. With enthusiasm like that, who wouldn't be excited to return home?!?!?!!
    I love vacations, and I love coming back to the familiar comfort of home.

"Yippee! You're back!" 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

August 27--Boldly Go

Eden is that old-fashioned house
We dwell in every day
Without suspecting our abode
Until we drive away.  
--Emily Dickinson

    This is the Henri Nouwen meditation from August 25 titled "Writing Reveals What is Alive in Us":
Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us. The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves: “I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.” Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare to “give away” on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath these thoughts and gradually come in touch with our own riches.
     I wouldn't say that I always come in contact with "riches." I did some very painful, angry journal writing a couple days ago. It was stuff that needed to be freed. And, yes, my heart feels like it is carrying less. 
    So I keep writing...

A Kansas field of sunflowers along I70

Friday, August 26, 2022

August 26--Lighter

One's home is like a delicious piece of pie you order in a restaurant on a county road one cozy evening--the best piece of pie you have ever eaten in your life--and can never find again.  --Lemony Snicket

    Today I am offering some miscellaneous chuckles:

1. Bumper sticker I saw recently: The Universe is made up of neutrons, electrons, protons and morons. 
2. Dr. Tom Johnson: The 11th Commandment--Thou shalt lighten up.
3. Galileo Galilei: The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. 
4. In a story with examples of British humor... A woman had gone to bed and her boyfriend came home very drunk. He came into the bedroom and undressed and just stood there. She asked, "Are you coming to bed?" He said, "I'm sure you are quite lovely, but I have a girlfriend." And he spent the night sleeping on the floor. 
    Enjoy your Friday!
Tilly and Barney checking out
that strange little human (grandson Luca)

Thursday, August 25, 2022

August 25--Returning

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.  --Nelson Mandela

    I'm back in Wichita after meeting my newborn grandson. Home hasn't changed, but all I want at this point is to be in Colorado. Time with my family members out there is the most precious thing to me. Luca's new little life has already so altered me. 
    I'm cranky and sad and in need of soul-rinsing, so I'll write more another time. 

The mountain vista near Wellington, Colorado

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

August 24--Home Please

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.  --Maya Angelou

    Today we head home from Colorado. I have had the complete and utter joy of meeting grandson Luca and holding him a bunch. A crying baby is completely different for me as a grandmother--it is heart-wrenching, despite the fact that I know that is how babies communicate. We went on a dog walk with me pushing Luca in the stroller. He cried almost the whole time, and I nearly started crying, too. Little Luca is growing and wants to eat all the time. Mom and Dad are tired but ecstatic with their new family member.
    It is time for us to head homeward, so the new parents have some time to regroup before the other set of grandparents, and a great-granddad, arrive. Once home, I will begin to plot my next visit, knowing that even in a few short weeks, Luca will have changed dramatically. 
    Homeward bound,

Luca and Grammie

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

August 23--Gifts of Love

Home is wherever I'm with you.  --Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

    "Home" right now is Colorado, and the most excellent spot is holding grandson Luca. We had decided to wait until the parents invited us to visit, and they did so much earlier than we expected. We were joyfully blessed to meet Luca when he was just five days old. He's an adorable miracle! His mom and dad are quite chill and adapting to parenthood very easily. 
    I gave the new parents two gifts of significance (to me). One is pictured below. Legos were the favorite toy of our sons (and me), and I wanted to get Luca started early! Those are Duplos, the larger version of Legos for littler kids. The other gift was a comfy glider/recliner chair which has already been a godsend--think catching bits of sleep with a baby on your chest. 
    Home is LOVE, and I'm very much at home,
The Duplo Starter Set

Monday, August 22, 2022

August 22--Our Body Dwelling

We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us. 
--Winston Churchill

    I'm going with "dwelling" being each individual human body. We all have one. It is the place we live for a period of time on Earth. 
    Yesterday I met our grandson for the first time. In a mere nine months, two tiny cells expanded to create a perfect human body. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. And how does that happen? The mystery of it is profoundly overwhelming. Those two cells somehow know how to become brain, pancreas, toenails, all the different parts!
    Each of us was once that perfect baby. Then we probably let the world tell us otherwise. We "became" too fat, thin, tall, short, noisy, quiet, smart, stupid, on and on. Certainly we all, at some point, behave in ways that are not in our best interest, but that doesn't negate our innate perfection. I would also add that our DNA, its full functioning, is not even remotely understood. We deserve to give our bodies and ourselves way more credit than we routinely do.
    There is an excellent book that everyone with a body could benefit from reading: The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor. Another excellent practice is to smile at yourself in the mirror. 
    Happy to have a body,

Sunday, August 21, 2022

August 21--Real Comfort

Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  --Jane Austen

    It has been a busy week, what with the birth of a grandson and all. Today is Sunday, and it is a stay-at-home day for me. I'll walk Barney around the neighborhood. I decided I need a project to occupy my brain till I can get to Colorado and snuggle my grandbaby, so I may get that sewing project started. I haven't made an article of clothing in many years, so it will be fun to revive my skills and create something new. 
    I'm an introvert, so I'm especially fond of hanging in my woman cave watching baseball and basketball in their respective seasons. I am definitely not one who needs to be out and about a lot. I love the "real comfort" of home.  And, oh yes, there are the home-cooked meals--now that's comfort!
    But wait! Scrap those Sunday stay-at-home plans--I am driving to Colorado to meet our grandson!!!!

My husband's excellent Pad Thai,
one of the many great things to
come out of the pandemic lockdown

Saturday, August 20, 2022

August 20--The Best Decorations

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    We adopted our dog Barney just before the pandemic and lockdown hit. We went for almost a year with no one else in our house other than my husband, me and Barney. When our first guests arrived in 2021, Barney went nuts, it being his job to protect us and the house. He does calm down eventually; he's learning. But he takes his role very seriously. 
    Being way out here in Kansas, with our families in the St. Louis area, Ohio and Pennsylvania, we seldom get a family visit, but we do have many friends in the area. Living in Wichita for nearly 40 years has given us a blessed variety of folks to "ornament" our house, and I love it when friends and neighbors decide to stop by. 
    Lovin' life,
Barney at his "station"

Friday, August 19, 2022

August 19--Shine!

If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.  --Rumi

    The lumens in my heart soared as of three days ago with our grandson's birth. "Home" to me right now is getting to hold him as soon as possible. Alas, there are many details to be worked out: when the parents are OK with a visit, my schedule (extremely flexible), my husband's schedule (not so flexible), where to stay out there, with the complication of our dog, on and on. Finding my way home to the baby is complicated. I just have to trust that the Universe has my back and my team is working all this out.  
Terry Lake, northern Colorado

Thursday, August 18, 2022

August 18--More on Suffering

Home is an invention on which no one has yet improved.  --Ann Douglas

    I like this one! 
    I feel compelled to offer more on suffering, as that is this week's topic in Richard Rohr's "Daily Meditation." (See Aug 16 post for the first part on this topic.) Here are his words:
When we are inside of great love and great suffering, we have a much stronger possibility of surrendering our ego controls and opening ourselves to the whole field of life. In great suffering, things happen against our will—which is what makes it suffering. Over time, we can learn to give up our defended state, because we seemingly have no choice. The situation is what it is, although we will invariably cycle through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, resignation, and (hopefully) acceptance. The suffering might feel wrong, terminal, absurd, unjust, impossible, physically painful, or merely beyond our comfort zone. Can you see why we must have a proper attitude toward suffering? So many things, every day, leave us out of control—even if it is just a long stoplight. Remember, however, that if we do not transform our pain, we will surely transmit it to those around us and even to the next generation.

Suffering, of course, can lead us in either of two directions: (1) it can make us very bitter and cause us to shut down, or (2) it can make us wise, compassionate, and utterly open, because our hearts have been softened, or perhaps because we feel as though we have nothing more to lose. Suffering often takes us to the very edge of our inner resources where we “fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31), even when we aren’t sure we believe in God! We must all pray for the grace of this second path of softening and opening. My opinion is that this is the very meaning of the phrase “deliver us from evil” in the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer). In this statement, we aren’t asking to avoid suffering. It is as if we are praying, “When big trials come, God, hold on to me, and don’t let me turn bitter or blaming”—which is an evil that leads to so many other evils.
    I have a living example of bitterness and transmitting pain to those nearby in my older brother Ken. He has been my most powerful teacher in this lifetime, and for that I am grateful. I am also profoundly thankful for the wisdom of the 12-Step program enabling me to transform the suffering on an ongoing basis.

Senecio "Angel Wings" at CSU Gardens

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

August 17--FINALLY!!!!

You can go other places, all right--you can live on the other side of the world, but you can't ever leave home.  --Sue Monk Kidd

    I still refer to Pennsylvania as "home" even though I have not lived there in over 40 years. My Miller family back east is "home"--they are the folks who have known me the longest time (and still love me). Having lived in my current Kansas home for over 37 years, I would really have a hard time leaving it. My entire rich adult life has been lived within these walls. I love to travel, but I always look forward to being home. I occasionally ponder a move to Colorado to be closer to the kids, but Wichita is home, so those thoughts don't linger for long. 

Though I did not know for sure, when I went looking a couple days ago for an "It's a Girl!" graphic, my Self said, "You won't need that." Baby Luca was born around 4am on Tuesday, August 16, weighing in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces, 22" long. Luca's Dad reports blue eyes and light brown hair. Mom, Dad and Luca are doing great. Grammie is over-the-moon ecstatic and can barely wait to hold our new little one and love him up. My son said that he confirmed with several staff members at the hospital that Luca is the cutest baby that has ever been born. My husband said to me, "We're grandparents now. We just got older."
    Joy, joy, joy,

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

August 16--Considering Suffering

Wherever you are is my home--my only home.  --Charlotte Bronte

    Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, offers this simple definition of suffering: whenever we are not in control. As a life-long recovering control freak, this one blew me away. I tend to think of suffering as something more extreme, like lots of ongoing pain or a terminal illness. With this definition, it seems I have a huge opportunity for suffering because there is so much wherein I have no control. This also brings suffering into the mental/emotional realm, not just the physical. 
    Take, for instance, the birth of a grandchild. I recognize what seems like an eternity of WAITING as suffering--I've been "pins and needles" anxious most of this month, and it keeps building. It's a constant effort of deep breathing, refocusing and chanting my mantra "divine timing." I have no control whatsoever. 
    Mr. Rohr contends that it is suffering, and very little else, that causes us to change. His idea of suffering deserves additional pondering...

Happy bees at the CSU Gardens

Monday, August 15, 2022

August 15--Not Yet!!!

The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.  --Louisa May Alcott

A smile
A steaming cup of coffee
A completed puzzle
A clean house
Good health
A bright yellow dandelion flower
"I love you!" 
Doggie belly rub
Fresh Farmers' Market veggies
A home-cooked meal
Watching Cubs baseball

    Just a few humble things that make life lovely. 
    I am having an extraordinarily difficult time concentrating on writing--still no grandbaby (as of 6:30 am on August 15), and we are a week past the due date. My mantra is "divine timing!" The little one will come when he/she is good and ready. Grammie needs to chill, easier said than done!!!

Our happy humble home of 37+ years

Sunday, August 14, 2022

August 14--Moving Home

Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.  --Leigh Hunt

    With our offspring in Colorado and our first grandbaby on the way, my husband and I will be doing a lot of "home in motion." 
    Looking back over my life, I have truly been blessed to travel a lot with those I love. My mother took me to Paris and Rome, Scandinavia, Canary Islands, and Japan before she passed. There have been many lake trips with friends. I've organized and led retreats. My golfing/travel bud and I have been to Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the Pacific Northwest, and several other U.S. destinations. I'm doing a December Jamaica trip again this year, because I had so much fun there last winter with dear friends I love. Yes, the beach feels like "home" to me.
    Keep moving!
Somewhere in Canada

Saturday, August 13, 2022

August 13--Like It Or Not

Home is the place where, when
you have to go there, 
They have to take you in. 
--Robert Frost

    I think back to my college days when I would occasionally just go home. I may or may not have given notice. I expected my parents to be there and take me in. (I might add that they never went anywhere together.) That was home, nutty as it was. During my teenage years, I stayed overnight often with my brother and his wife to help her with their four small children. Even though my brother despised me his whole life, he took me in because he surely didn't want to help with his kids. That's yet another weird example of Frost's "home."
    There have been a few times when friends or family have refused to take me in. Sometimes it just doesn't fit the schedule or whatever. I get that. But I also know that I won't ask again, because it's not "home," not a place where "they have to take you in." For the most part, I have been blessed with many homes-away-from-home where friends and relatives have graciously welcomed me.
    I believe we each have a really good internal feeling of what "home" truly is. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

August 12--Ordinary Days

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.  --Thomas Moore 

    I've read a considerable amount on mindfulness and being present in the everyday acts of life. Those everyday activities ARE life. Yes, we have big events like births, marriages, deaths, vacations, new jobs, relocations, and such, but most days are fairly ordinary. I count on those "ordinary acts" like the morning cup of coffee, belly rubs for Barney, meals with my spouse, exercise, and an assortment of things I do each day to support my health (like flossing and taking vitamins). Enjoying the "ordinary" makes for contented days, which makes for a positive life flow. Those ordinary acts are certainly of great importance!
    Heading to the pool, 

Progress daily on the new deck

Thursday, August 11, 2022

August 11--Body Sense

Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest
Home-keeping hearts are the happiest
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care
To stay home is the best.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Well, "to stay home" is what I do the most, but, as the pandemic clearly showed us, there is also a need to wander away from home now and then. So I would vote for a suitable balance of home-away, maybe 80%-20% for me. 
    Let's talk about our body home. We all have one in order to exist here on Playground Earth. Often as a MELT/yoga teacher, students come to me after years of ignoring their bodies and thus becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the body's performance. I speak a lot about "body sense" being a very useful skill we develop over time.
    Here is some body-soul wisdom from Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue:
    Your mind can deceive you and put all kinds of barriers between you and your nature; but your body does not lie. Your body tells you, if you attend to it, how your life is and whether you are living from your soul or from the labyrinths of your negativity... The human body is the most complex, refined, and harmonious totality...
    Your body is, in essence, a crowd of different members who work in harmony to make your belonging in the world possible... The soul is not simply within the body, hidden somewhere within its recesses. The truth is rather the converse. Your body is in the soul, and the soul suffuses you completely.
    Try this--smile at yourself in the mirror today. 

Family fun, joy for the body and soul!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

August 10--Waiting by the Fireside

There is no place more delightful than one's own fireside.  --Cicero

    Having spent the past weekend away, sleeping in a hotel, not eating my usual foods, being out in the extreme heat for hours, I can certainly attest to Cicero's quote. Coming home to my very-happy-to-see-me dog and husband, it was such a relief to be in my own space with my peeps. 
    My niece and one of her twin sons have stopped by on a road trip from Arizona to Ohio. It was the first time any of my Miller family has come to our home in Kansas in decades. What a fun treat! 
    I am grateful for the golf trip and family visit because these are keeping me occupied while I await the arrival, any day now, of our grandbaby. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

August 9--Right, Not Perfect

Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.  --Helen Rowland

    Because perfectionism has been such a huge character defect for me, and it seems to be so pervasive in our culture, I offer these words of author Shauna Niequist about the difference between a false perfection and a lived presence:
Let’s talk for a minute about perfect. . . . Perfect is brittle and unyielding, plastic, distant, more image than flesh. Perfect calls to mind stiffness, silicone, an aggressive and unimaginative relentlessness. Perfect and the hunt for it will ruin our lives—that’s for certain.

I’ve missed so much of my actual, human, beautiful, not-beautiful life trying to force things into perfect. But these days I’m coming to see that perfect is safe, controlled, managed. I’m finding myself drawn to mess, to darkness, to things that are loved to the point of shabbiness, or just wildly imperfect in their own gorgeous way. . . .

And so, instead: present. If perfect is plastic, present is rich, loamy soil. . . .

Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairy tale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.

Present over perfect living is real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. Present over perfect living is the risky and revolutionary belief that the world God has created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms, and that it doesn’t need to be zhuzzed up and fancy in order to be wonderful.

Sink deeply into this world as it stands. Breathe in the smell of rain and the scuff of leaves as they scrape across driveways on windy nights. This is where life is, not in some imaginary, photo-shopped dreamland. Here. Now. You, just as you are. Me, just as I am. This world, just as it is. This is the good stuff. This is the best stuff there is. Perfect has nothing on truly, completely, wide-eyed, open-souled present. (From Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, 8/6/22)
    Be here now,

Monday, August 8, 2022

August 8--Our Mother Earth

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.  --Charles Dickens

    Today we look at home being our entire planet. 
    Watch this video titled "Down to Earth, The Astronauts' Perspective." 
    It is well worth the 30 minutes it takes, giving you an expanded appreciation of our magnificent earth home. It is quite cool to hear the awe, wonder, and love for Earth that the astronauts experience as they look down on our planet from the International Space Station. 
    Loving our Mother,

It is that thin blue line that keeps us 
alive and protected from the sun!

Never, no, never did nature say one thing and wisdom another. 
--Edmond Burke

Sunday, August 7, 2022

August 7--Let the Girls Be Free!!

Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its back-room, its dressing room.  --Harriet Beecher Stowe

    When my co-worker and I were doing our tax job, we used to look forward longingly to getting home after work so that we could lose the bras. Home is the place to fling off those suckers! Huge relief, to let the girls be free 😉😉
    If you can't be yourself at home, where can you? Raising two boys, and given the hereditary inclinations of the Hardin family (all boys for generations), there was a lot of burping and farting around our house. Geez, the sons are gone, and there is still plenty of burping and farting around our house, truth be told. 
    Isn't it wonderful to have a place where there is no need to be "on," to impress anyone, where you can just hang out, quirks, eccentricities and all? Do what you want, wear what you want (if anything), come and go as you please. 
    I'm in Tulsa now for a golf outing with one of my ladies' leagues, and writing this is making me really look forward to being back home!
Barney likes home.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

August 6--A Full Heart

Where we love is home--home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. 
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    While living in this home where I now sit, my husband and I were married, raised two sons, had careers, and did loads of work to maintain and improve the physical structure. Many adventures took us away, but our hearts were always in this home we love. 
    With our sons in Colorado, we have talked of moving to be closer to them. That's it, just talk. Neither my husband nor I want to face the daunting task of moving. So much of my heart is wrapped up in this place. There are large white pine trees in our yard--my dad mailed me the seedlings from Pennsylvania back in 1990. A lot of "blood, sweat and tears" have happened here--raising two kids, remember? The love within these walls and among the people who have lived here is profound and heart-blessing.
    Here is a recent Note from the Universe (Mike Dooley): "When you love who you are, you become much more lovable." I would also add: When you love where you are, you become much more lovable.
    Loving home,

Home sweet home at Christmas time,
reminding us that it will once again soon be cooler outside!!

Friday, August 5, 2022

August 5--What is "Home"?

Home is the nicest word there is.  --Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Agree! Where does the word "home" take you? I look around at the physical home I am sitting in, where I've lived over half my life. There is still a huge element of "home" for me in Pennsylvania, as that's where I was born and raised. My heart sings when I get to travel through my beautiful home state. There is also Home, where our souls hang out when we are not in physical form. I don't know much about that one, but I expect it's a pretty heavenly place!
    Are people "home"? Being with those we love, wherever, can feel like the comfort of home. I had supper with a dear friend recently. We don't see each other often, but when we do, it's an easy, chatty catch-up time that feels so good. 
    Then there are those activities that feel like "home," as in, I am at home in the water or in the garden or on the golf course. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have and enjoy a "home away from home." All of those favorite activities are taking place on our magnificent Earth home. 
    Clearly "home" is a very important word and inspiration for us humans. 
    At home, 

Our neighborhood park at sunrise

Thursday, August 4, 2022

August 4--A Peaceful Home

Peace and a well-built house cannot be bought too dearly.  --Danish Proverb

    I have spent more than half my life in Wichita in our present home of 37 years. I grew up in Pennsylvania, living in the same home from birth to leaving for college. There were assorted rental homes during college and early working life. Besides my home state back east, I've also lived in Washington DC, Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have enjoyed every home. 
    When we bought this house in 1985, I don't think either my husband or I thought we'd be here these many years later. It turned out that we liked the neighborhood, the neighbors, the school district, proximity to church, etc. so there was no incentive to move. I took on the task of turning a nothing-but-grass yard into a garden (and now forest). 
    Last spring, in less than two months, we replaced the air conditioner, furnace, dishwasher and hot water heater, so I'm thinking we're staying put for a while. My husband is currently undertaking the huge task of replacing our deck. 
    Peace reigns and we are truly blessed,

Our rock-solid well-built deck in process...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

August 3--NO!!!

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.  --Sarah Ban Breathnach

    YES!!! Wait, I mean NO!!! The NO votes won in our Kansas election by a stunning 58%. This is a loud vote for women, for freedom, and for safe abortion care. Way to go, Kansans! I am ecstatic!!!

Taking care of one's most intimate home

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

August 2--Expanding "Home"

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.  --Lin Yutang

    With home being the theme for the month of August in "Daily Gratitude," I'm going to look at both our actual physical home and hometown Wichita and maybe beyond. I love our home of 37 years, I love Wichita, and I love our magnificent mother Earth. 
    Isn't it wonderful to return home from traveling and sleep in your own bed with your favorite pillow? There's a relaxing "Aaahhhhh" to that. Trips are fun, and they can be relaxing, but they don't compare to the relief of being safely back home. I also love to take that favorite pillow with me, if space allows, carrying a favorite part of home with me. 
    One of the most awesome things in the Wichita area is our Sedgwick County Zoo. I earned a free pass from a recent blood donation, and I went there this past Sunday. I hadn't been there in a few years, and WOW, what changes! It is world-class. Folks in the area have been very generous in supporting its expansion. Animal habitats are much larger, along with creative ways to observe them. The vegetation is lush, both in the habitats and along the walking paths. 
    Loving home,

Some of the cool artwork 
at Sedgwick County Zoo

Monday, August 1, 2022

August 1--Home Protection

Love begins at home.  --Mother Teresa

    Tomorrow we vote in Kansas. Protect your freedom to make intimate family decisions at home without government interference...