Texas state of mind

Traveling this week across the state by car, I find myself in a Texas State of mind.

What is a “Texas state of mind”? For me, it’s marveling over the diversity of the state, the vastness, the beauty, the people.

Yesterday I drove from Houston to Waco for meetings, then continued on to Dallas for my meetings today. Waco is so laid back, and easy. Dallas is not.

For example, I was grabbing some dinner and a glass of wine at Pappadeaux last night when 2 young men sat down at the bar next to me. Both were not from Texas, but one was on his first visit. They struck up a friendly conversation with the pretty bartender, and the ‘seasoned’ Texas traveler made fun on the ‘new’ one’s pronunciation of some of the items on the menu.

The bartender asked them where they were from. Both replied ‘up north’.

That made me smile. When you ask a Texan where they are from, inevitably they say Texas, and then they will describe which part of Texas they are from. Even if we are outside of the US we are one of the only folks who claim our state first when we travel abroad. We aren’t just Americans. We are Texans.

I know many from Oklahoma who will proudly claim their home on the first question, I’ve even heard some Californians do the same, but not many. Most Californians, in my experience, say they are from the West Coast.

It took the bartender 3 questions to get the actual state that the boys from ‘up north’ were from. They were from Philadelphia, PA. The first time Texas Traveler laughed that it was as cold in Dallas as it was in Philly when he left. Texas is one of those places where it could be 90 one week, and have snow flurries the next. That’s true. Last week it was horribly hot. This week, well the Airport in Houston saw some frozen precipitation, the earliest recorded freezing rain since 1979.

Since I’m nostalgic about my home, and a little worried that with the number of people moving here daily changing our culture, I found this quote from John Steinbeck from his book Travels with Charlie.

A great reminder

Expectations are things that trip me up.

I’m not sure why I have fallen back into expectations, but I got a good kick in the pants and it’s time to get back to appreciation and gratitude.

Expectations put an unnecessary pressure to situations, and I have found that they also limit my ability to appreciate.

I’m starting off with a fresh perspective this morning.

I’m so grateful for the kick in the pants that woke me up from expectations and reminded me to appreciate the gifts in front of me.

Have you ever been grateful for a kick in the pants?

The soap continues

The soap has cured, it’s un-molded, and drying. I am very pleased.

A batch unscented, 1 lavender, 1 rosemary.

7 pounds of sudsy stuff that I can wrap up and gift.

Why soap? Well, when I spent 18 months unemployed, I needed something to do to be productive. Between working on our acreage, and getting the bees established, I really needed something to do to be creative.

I’m not a crafty person, but being creative with a purpose appeals to me. Like cooking, making things that makes someone happy, or hearing them ask “you made that?” It’s a good thing.

I also nerd out measuring everything by weight, mixing the lye and water, getting everything to compatible temperature. Then I use an immersion blender to whazz everything to trace, adding the essential oils, molding, keeping the soda ash from forming. Ooh! It’s fun.

Who doesn’t need soap? These are Lux Bars. Really luxurious, velvety, sumptuous lather from Shea butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Caster Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil.

Today, I’m grateful for things that come together well, and for a supply of a little bit of my care, time, and talent to wrap up and gift.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do you ignore?

We live in a very touchy society.

Being offended is an art form.

We are offended by the news, politics, food choices, traffic, smoking, vaping, perfume, noise, silence, comfort, hardships, weather, education, ignorance, pretense, sex, lack of sex, choices, forced opinions about choices, religion, science, fireworks, patriotism…..

So many people thinking that they know so much but ignore nothing because they are too busy being offended.

What would happen if we would just relax?

Is ignoring the silliness the best way of knowing what is good?

Tomorrow is Monday. Let’s just chill out.

(You know I Had To Do It!)

https://youtu.be/Q3_2entulkw

Not all is always well, but all is good.

I’m not trying to make sense, as I’m still trying to understand.

My husband and I have been together since late 1991. We know each other well, which makes our current situation odd.

We rarely fight each other. If we are fighting it is on the same side against others.

When we fight each other….

Image credit Getty Images.

When we fight each other, the earth quakes, as we rain down wrath that makes nature back up in awe. He might be a foot taller than me and 100 pounds heavier, but I’ve never backed down from him, nor will I.

What was odd about our recent altercation was his immediate humility, apology, and my immediate forgiveness, absolution, and appreciation.

I was hurt. His recent neglect, and lack of interest had culminated in an obvious display that I couldn’t tolerate. I put my foot down. He turned a paler shade or white…..apologized verbally, demonstrated the apology, and all was right….immediately. The moment he recognized the issue, and apologized the atmosphere completely changed and I was once again awed by the power of making peace.

All ego was cast aside, and I was the one humbled and moved by the power he held in his apology. It was a valiant and honorable demonstration of his love for me. But all the power remained with him.

It was amazing. But of course he had the power, because I was the one hurt, and only he could fix it. When he offered the remedy and I accepted I was putty in his hands.

It was an amazing and profound reminder of the power that humility holds, and the cementing effects of an apology on a relationship.

Never be afraid to apologize to those who really love you.

It was a profound lesson for me.

“There is always hope and power to those who can love, and apologize.” Quote being my own.

My gratitude Journey

(Image credit: Pinterest)

I hadn’t seen this quote before, but I just loved it.

Gratitude is Wine for the soul. I’m so glad that I started my journey, it has changed how I think about things so much.

Breathing


Breathing, something we take for granted.  Air in, air out.

One of the focuses of my recent practice is mindful breathing to either energize or calm the body.

Mine has needed calming.  The recovery from Harvey is Horrific.  People are still displaced, the clean up and reconstruction will take a long time.

In a City of 5 plus million people; 150,000 homes have flood damage.  There are two schools of thought on that number, the first is the devastation of the sheer number.  The second is the pragmatic view that the number, no matter how big, is exceedingly small compared to the entire population of Houston.

The traffic has been horrible as one of the major toll roads just re-opened this week.  

The euphoria of charity, help, and heroism has dissolved into traffic jams, short tempers, and the “we’re so done” attitude toward pulling out dry wall, carpet, and flooded debris.  Let’s not even talk about mold.  That’s a whole book in itself.

So today, let’s take a few minutes to breath slowly and deeply. In and out.  Be calm, and someone buy some bleach.

Quotes


What I find most interesting in life is the people that complain and rage exhibit the same behavior that they rage about.

If we get back to core values, and are true to ourselves we can walk with more integrity.

Is anything more humbling than truth?  When you get upset and want to complain….then you catch the words before they spill from your lips…..yea, I do that.  Maybe I should shut up.