Welcome to a blog post wherein I hope to play a little catch-up on daily life as well as highlight some things that are really glowing hot and bright inside of me. I am so glad you checked in today, thank you! I always appreciate your presence here, your comments below and on social media or email, and your friendship. I promise to respond to everything and I promise to write more regularly in May. Lots happening at the Lazy W!
This past weekend we enjoyed a heavy dose of spectacular spring weather. Warm temperatures, abundant sunshine and dazzling blue skies, just a trace breeze. Perfect. We stayed outside as much as possible and accomplished several good, worthwhile tasks around the farm. After physically crossing off the line items on a paper list, I added that scrap of paper to our 2018 memories jar so we could savor it all again on New Year’s Eve. It was that satisfying.
We also tried to walk around the OKC Festival of the Arts but found it way too crowded for the level of relaxation we needed that particular day. Some days are for the public, some days are not. We stopped for a late lunch of Tex-Mex instead. Back at home, I carried a book I’m reading out to the south lawn near the new raised veggie beds, added several cushions to a reclining chair, and propped up my bare feet. Sublime. That day was our first motorcycle ride together for many months, too. We enjoyed all of it.
(I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale, finishing it up today or tomorrow, so we can start watching season two soon. Book review coming!)
Please enjoy the above random collection of necessities like a giant coffee mug, clean running socks, and a packet of sunflower seeds for growing, not eating.
Remembering the why of what we want, as my friend Brittany recently directed me to consider. I want sunshine and stillness and verdant surroundings. Inspiration and words. Sensual stuff. Bare skin, white as it is. Colors, textures, flavors. New things. Old things cleaned up. Assurances of love between those most precious to me, hope for the future of our little family. Time with our friends and a sense of real and lasting contribution. Art! So much art. Slowly prepared food that really feels good when you eat it. Conversation. Artful, interesting, thought-provoking conversation. Endorphins and sweat, soreness. Goals worth working for. A sense of calm and completion.
These are the things I chase each weekend, and as often as possible in the days in between. This past weekend was a win.
On Sunday evening we tried to take advantage of the perfect weather by driving a fun car to the city, but our idea was thwarted by mechanical difficulties. Add that to the list of things that need attention, but it’s no big deal.
We have settled into a pleasant tension between work and play. And between mental work and physical work, too, the latter of which being a welcome release for my husband. He values more and more the satisfaction of seeing his efforts made manifest visibly after a long week of phone calls, meetings, emails, and other stressful but not always clearly fruitful efforts. You know? Office dwellers can surely relate to this. And yes to the good feeling of doing any job thoroughly, slowly, and well. No rush, when possible.
The reason for our drive to the city Sunday evening was to join a handful of other married couples for a monthly “Small Group” dinner. We have been attending since around Christmastime, and we love it. It’s very casual. And very nourishing. Our friends Mickey and Kellie invited us to join the group, which is hosted by Gary and Stephani and includes two other wonderful couples. We are all from different backgrounds and ages, different church associations, and different marital histories. Just different people! I love it! The group is patchwork, yet somehow it feels designed.
We meet one Sunday each month for a meal which our very gracious hosts plan and to which we all contribute. (I now get so excited for Stephani’s Friday afternoon texts about what she’s serving that coming weekend! I love to host friends in our home, and I also love being a guest!)
Stephani always has a gorgeous and seasonal centerpiece on her dining room table (my favorite so far has to be Valentine’s Day). This month, capitalizing on the weather, we ate on their deck. The centerpiece was edible and just so good.
We eat great food, catch up on life, and trade prayer requests and testimonies about how God has been moving. This group of friends feels safe and warm. Smart and intuitive. Handsome and I have already shared with them pretty openly our family struggles of late, and we know that they pray for us in between our dinners. We certainly pray for them too, and we are becoming emotionally attached to their lives.
Side note: Kellie has ruined me for any kale salad that does not contain goat cheese and pickled mustard seeds.
We discuss Bible verses affectionately, not in a cold or authoritative way. We lift each other up, and everyone seems to leave feeling better than before, vessels filled and strong.
If the gathering could be a flavor or food of its own, it might be a warm-from-the-oven sour-apple tart with a firm shortbread crust and thinly sliced fruit, lots of cinnamon. The tart would be crowned with melting vanilla ice cream. Sweet and salty, warm and cool, flavorful and filling, substantial. Not a dessert that disappears too quickly. And the thing you look forward to eating slowly, on a special occasion. A dish you have plenty of to share with your loved ones, too, and you probably do not need a recipe to make it. Just time, a few supplies, and lots of love.
Like loaves and fishes, which happens to be what started a great conversation this past weekend. Storms brewing and unconditional trust like your eyes are closed on a rollercoaster and loving God for His character, not just the gifts He lavishes on us. But remembering His works, too. Reminding each other how good and faithful He is. Of His abundance.
This small cutie is Magdalene, our hosts’ miracle daughter and without a doubt the darling of Small Group. She and Handsome shared dry cheese, prosciutto, and flat crackers on the deck just before the wind kicked up to illustrate the stormy sea parable. She also offered him olives and tiny fist-scoops of guacamole, which he accepted then stealthily did not eat. Can we all pause to appreciate that a toddler has a wider range of tastes than my husband? Okay.
And her curls and eyes?? My goodness.
Lincoln, Klaussen’s brother I am sure you remember, came to the farm last night. Too much time had passed since our last Shepp slumber party, and we all are enjoying a really happy reunion. All of Tuesday so far has been spent alternating between several enthralling activities.
List #1, German Shepherd Brothers’ Daily Agenda:
- Cuddling each other
- Rough-housing with each other
- Seeing who can be closest to Mom/Lady (that’s what Lincoln calls me, he calls Handsome “Fella”)
- Chasing but not hurting the cats
- Running dangerously close to the horses
- Putting on a show involving fetch apparatus but not actually fetching anything
- Eating waffles and other treats
- Eschewing dog food in favor of said treats
- High-step prancing around the yard
- Sniffing the chickens
- Sitting on Mom’s/Lady’s feet while she types
- Jumping on the bed as it is being made
- Watering the gardens and peeing on all the blackberry vines (separate activities)
- Getting brushed outdoors
- Doing battle with the vacuum sweeper
- Smiling from head to tail
- More napping
- Welcoming Dad/Fella home with unbridled enthusiasm
- Aforementioned continued napping
- Waiting for treats based on the fragrance of dinner cooking for the parents
I hope Linc gets to stay several days. We love him so much.
My sourdough starter experiment continues (you can see most of these in Instagram stories). Last week I tried a new slicing-bread recipe that called for warm milk instead of water to activate the yeast, plus extra yeast, and the final product was indescribably soft with a tender crust. So good for mopping up runny egg yolks at breakfast.
Last night I mixed up some batter for overnight waffles and cooked them up early this morning. That was a success too! I am collecting all the recipes I’ve tried this past month and will write a blog post just about that soon. If you have a favorite use for sourdough starter, please send it my way! This is so much fun.
I have been dreaming heavily again. Last week I dreamed I was visiting a group of elderly men and women, a scene not unlike one from the movie Cocoon, and they were all so excited to be moving to the Dallas area. Dressed in floral shirts and visors, they were giddy with excitement to be leaving soon. I told them my Grandpa had just moved to Dallas and that I missed him so much. In the dream, I was crying inconsolably. This put a serious damper on the mood as one by one they considered who would miss them after they left town. I woke up sobbing.
Last night I had an unsettling but still encouraging (I choose to see it this way) dream about Jocelyn. I can barely articulate it. But I know that God is moving. The sensations are familiar. The dream had to do with readiness and surprise, with changes of location and the false appearance of things, especially social media.
Whew! So many feelings!
Today around lunchtime I kicked off the new month with 8-ish miles, mostly on trails. My hormones are dipping low today and the winds are crazy high, so it was a struggle but still refreshing. That’s how running sometimes is, and I love that! It feels great even when (especially when!) it’s hard.
I’m not sure yet how far I will run this month, as I have two fun trips on the calendar; but I was happy with how March and April fleshed out, all things considered. I am healthy and uninjured and very happy in my legs and belly and heart and mind, all the places that matter. I am at that place of feeling grateful for every mile and for all of my running friends and the inspiration and support they share. More on that soon!
Which brings me to List #2, Favorite Podcasts Lately, which I save for slow easy days like today:
- Run Eat Repeat
- I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hines
- Oprah Super Soul
- Run to the Top
- My Seven Chakras
By the way, today is the first day of a new month (doesn’t it feel like we have been waiting on May forever?), and the moon was recently full and those energies are so powerful, and my heart is brimming, spilling over really, with gratitude.
I have to sign off for now. Tomorrow just might be spent gardening with Jessica, which is obviously very exciting! She has grown a little since this gardening photo:
Sweet sleep. friends. I would love to know what blessings you’re counting tonight, what magic the full moon is delivering in your world.
“Despite knowing they won’t be here for long,
they still choose to live
their brightest lives.”