November 4 and thanks

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Thanks, everybody, for your kind words and interaction and teasing over my button collection of which I am quite proud Seriously, it has been fun getting back into the blogging thing. I never realize how much I miss it until I get back to it after a long break. Getting the words to flow is still like having teeth extracted, but hey…we are only four days in. It’s gotta get better, right?

Defying all expectations, the leaves have finally turned color here in Virginia. Serious colors, mind you. Like don’t-even-have-to-tweak-the-color-on-the-edit-button colors. And we have had the windows open. It’s that rare, in-between weather that is cold in the morning and comfy during the day, and as the sun goes down, you have to pull on a sweater. AKA…the best time of the year. Autumn in Virginia is like no other place. Sure, we live 18 miles out of DC, which makes my people say things like, “it’s not REALLY Virginia,” and “yeah, we are south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it’s not REALLY the south.” Y’all. As I sit here looking out over our deck, and see nothing but color and I hear all the birds singing, and smell all the fresh, outdoorsy smells of Fall, Washington, DC is a zillion miles away. And that, folks, is about as political as you will see me get here on This Girl.

So, it’s Sunday. Sunday has taken a turn for us the last few months. We get up earlier and enjoy some time with Mad Max, a walk, some breakfast. I don’t know about y’all, but Sunday with children was never a day of rest for us. Seemed like it was the perfect opportunity for Satan to get us all worked up, stressed out and hollering, just in time to grit our teeth, put on The Face, and stroll into church like we had it all together and everything was just peachy. And though our children are long grown, it has taken us this long to get out of that mindset and embrace the calm and loveliness that truly is the Sabbath. We have been going to church earlier and grabbing brunch and just enjoying the day before heading to the barn in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Then off for a bite to eat down in Clifton, or eggs on toast back at the house, the rest of the evening is full on chill. I mean, that is what it is supposed to be like, right? Some days, yeah, I do miss the Sunday soccer games, being on the go all day long, trying to squeeze some actual Worship in between games and school projects, no really, I do miss that at times. But this empty-nester slice of Heaven right now…it’s pretty good, too. And it’s all just in time for The Holiday Season. I kinda like this time of year where Summer ends, Halloween comes and go, and it is a full-on sprint to January 1. The best part is Family. The month of November is already jam pack full of weekend trips to see our people and our people making the trip here to see us and I can. not. wait. And seriously, if I start to complain even the slightest about any of it…call me out. Because this stuff right here…the hustle and bustle, the coming and going, the plotting and planning, the cooking and baking, the hugging and laughing, all of it…this is Life. And I’m thankful for it.

See Y’all tomorrow.

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Can’t we all just agree to disagree?

I think it is time I weighed in on a seriously controversial subject matter. We are being inundated with it on social media and main stream media as well as the obscure outlets. I know I have been drawn into some pretty heavy discussions over it. And while I try not to get pulled down to the depths of hysteria and, I’m shocked to admit, threats, I do have a very definite stand on the matter.

Of course I am talking about when it is politically correct to bring out the fall décor.

I know that you also, dear reader, have very strong opinions on the matter. No matter where you lie in the spectrum, I think it is something that we can talk about rationally and without any name calling. Let’s begin.

I absolutely have to start with hair. I have a very curly, tends-to-get-frizzy mop of hair. One hair consultant went as far as to say I could withstand 6 months of chemo and still have plenty of hair left on my head. Let’s pray it never comes to that. Now you are probably wondering what fall décor has to do with my hair. In a word: TONS. Call it the placebo effect, but when I am walking around my house with all of it’s bright, sunny, beachy decorations and summery candle scents in the air, my hair of course thinks it is still summer and frizziness ensues. But as soon as I start pulling out the dreamy deep yellows; calming burnt oranges, and deep red decorations, even my hair follicles relax.

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I don’t really see what an actual date or month has to do with the unofficial start of fall décor season. I know that some of you are bristling at that pronouncement but let’s try to look at this as mature adults. Fall is really just a state of mind. (As well as the state of hair I discussed above.) There is something wondrously  wonderful about fall. It heralds the resting of the trees. Leaves slowly turning from their bright summer green coverings to comfy, sweater-inducing yellows, oranges, and browns. Just thinking about them turning has my eyes drooping in comforting sleepiness. There is a stillness that can be heard and felt throughout the ‘Hood. The lawn mowers end their continuous ruining of my quiet time on the porch. The joyous screams of laughter from the children turn to deep, low mumblings of surliness that the first days of a new school year bring. The area traffic turns from bumper-to-bumper weekend traffic to the more normal 24/7 bumper-to-bumper traffic that encourages us to stay in our homes.

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I know, I know…some of you are sick of the Christmas decorations coming out in August at the Cracker Barrel, but honestly…is it really hurting anything? Why can’t we all just embrace Christmas year round? The presents! The food! The decorations! The softening of the heart! Did I mention the presents! It’s true. I was born a gift receiving loving girl. Over time, I realized that what I truly am is a gift giving loving girl. Yes. It is partly my choice. But I also feel that I was really meant to be a gift giver. It has taken me many years to transition over to it, but I think it is who I truly was born to be.

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So, let’s all just try to get on the same page, shall we? It’s okay to be an early fall embracer; it’s also okay to not be. Please just stop pushing your summer-loving, short-sleeved wearing, has to wear a pony-tail to keep the frizzies down, grilling every night agenda on those of us who just want to cover up, snuggle in, and sip our hot toddies all the live long day.

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Blessings.

 

Autumn.

November 1st fell on a Sunday this year. For someone who always thinks of Fall and the beginning of the Holiday Season as the true beginning of a New Year (like me) this was magical. Maybe it has to do with being raised Episcopalian and the liturgical year begins with Advent?

In any case, the leaves this year were, and really still are, incredible. And the weather, even with the rain (which we need) has been glorious.

For the record, I have yet to play a single Christmas song. I usually begin shopping and playing Christmas tunes in October. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Which reminds me: pretending just isn’t working for me these days. *nice segue, no?*

Doing things I don’t want to do and pretending that I do. I’m not talking about cleaning toilets and doing laundry. Although those of you who know me/have read my blog these last few years, know that I actually love doing laundry. But don’t tell My Man…for some reason (lack of clean undies maybe) he has taken over the laundry and honestly? I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve really struggled with writing lately. Still trying to find my voice. *insert snort nose laugh here*

I know my voice. I know who I am. I know how I am supposed to write. That whole pretending/fear thing kicks in right about now, however.

So I just stopped writing. I stopped writing here; I stopped writing to people; I stopped writing in my journal. And it has really impacted my attitude about everything and made me even a little more difficult to live with (imagine what that must be like for my people). I don’t have the release of unloading in my writing that I used to have. And, I have yet to get my bum off the sofa and really start getting back into the shape I want to/need to be in for My Girl’s wedding.

Side note: My Man has been Crushing. It. He looks incredibly gorgeous these days. He has dropped 25ish pounds and is really focusing at the gym. Seriously. I lucked out with this guy.

My fibromyalgia has been kicking my butt the last 6 months and I am just now starting to come out of the cycle of that. Even there, I feel like I pretend. Don’t get me wrong…the pain, the fatigue, the inability to function is REAL. The pretend part is…stress and fear contribute to that and I know I have no reason to stress; I have no reason to fear. So why do I? Why do any of us?

Sometime over the next week I will be putting up a book review. Page 1 of the introduction had me hooked. It is a must read if you are wanting to pump up or even just start your prayer life. Lord knows, I need to. See? Not pretending.

And to continue with the no pretending…getting back into writing is so stinkin’ hard, y’all. Just like working out again. Once I get back into it? I will be hooked. But for now…writing and getting out of the bed and to the gym just sucks.

I am sorry you have to suffer through the start up of me writing again, but I appreciate you hanging in there and for all of your encouraging comments and text messages and emails about it.

See you tomorrow for Day 3. But, first: drop me a comment about some of the areas in your life that you feel like you are a pretender.