Miracles and Gratitude Day 7

Gratitude:

  • having a whole Saturday with my dad
  • going to garage sales with my dad
  • getting a hug from my dad

Yesterday, Saturday, my son and I spent the day with my dad. We went to garage sales, out to eat, saw a Memorial for veterans, and went to a quilt show in a small town.

It was fun going to garage sales with my dad. I love watching him shop and get bargains. I got a few things for my art and my craft booth. I have a craft show on October 8th.

Dad didn’t go into the quilt show, but I wanted to see what it was about. My goodness, it was amazing!!!!! So many gorgeous quilts made by people in this area.

Next to the Memorial Building is the Veterans Memorial.

the Memorial Building in Rock Port Missouri
looking up at this gorgeous building
quilt show in Rock Port, Missouri
a quilt at the quilt show in Rock Port, Missouri
quilt show in Rock Port, Missouri
Rock Port, Missouri quilt show
Veterans Memorial Rock Port, Missouri, next to the Memorial Building
Veterans Memorial Rock Port, Missouri

Miracle Photos:

lunch out with my dad

yum! fajitas I had out to eat with my dad

This beautiful wood trim:

wood trim on an old building
I saw with my dad

Those may not seem like miracles, but they are to me. Doing anything with my dad, after losing my momma, is a gift that feels like a miracle.

Hope you have a nice Sunday.

Jessica

Miracles and Gratitude Day 6

Gratitude:

  • seeing my dad
  • doing an Iowa puzzle with my dad
  • hanging out with my dad

Miracle Photos:

garden areas my momma loved

our garden gate
our old pump
a butterfly lantern
pinecones

Puzzle time!

Iowa puzzle we’re working on

This morning we are off on some yard sale adventures. Today, there’s a highway 136 yard sale across a part of Nebraska called the Trail of Treasures. My parent’s house is near the starting town, so we may go.

Hope you have a great Saturday.

Jessica

On Giving

Yesterday, while traveling to my parent’s house, we stopped in a town to do a little shopping.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I spotted a van with a couple of people standing by it. A closer glance revealed that it was a mom and dad and two kids.

My attention was immediately drawn to a sign the dad was holding. I couldn’t read it all, but past experiences seeing signs told me they may have been needing help of some sort.

After we came out of the store and got in our truck, I got a good look at their sign. They were traveling and needed some help with gas, food, and a motel. I found myself opening my wallet….

My momma was a giver. Her heart was bigger than the size of the word generosity itself.

She’d buy overly priced popcorn and baked goods that kid’s clubs were selling. She donated items, gave food to families, gave money where it was needed. She gave.

In her 75 years on this planet, she helped many. Not just people, but animals, too. I can’t even begin to tell you how many sweet, random dogs made their way to our house.

Not a bunch at once, but one here and there. She kept them and they’d become part of the family. One time, several kittens showed up on the back step during the winter.

She nursed them all back to health and kept them until they went on their merry way.

I think watching her give to and help others all my life, rubbed off. I’ve always been a giver, but recently, since losing her, I’ve really had the urge to give.

A couple of weeks ago, about sunset, I went to the grocery store in a town 25 miles from home. When I parked, I saw a KITTEN at the edge of the parking lot by the weeds.

It was alone, no other cats in sight. Strange, I thought. Kittens are usually together. It was black with white feet and about half the size of our kittens.

When I came out, I saw it again. My heart ached. I went to the Dairy Queen next door and ordered some rotisserie chicken. After it cooled, I tore it into tiny bites, and took it to where I saw the kitten.

The kitten wasn’t there, but I put it on the ground, called “here kitty kitty” and got back in my truck. A minute passed and it saw the chicken. Full belly that night.

I went to the same grocery store last week. I was praying that the kitten wouldn’t be there and that it had found a home. Heart crushed again, it was still in the same spot.

I came out of the store all ready to go back to Dairy Queen for more chicken, but I didn’t see the kitten anywhere. Maybe someone took it home? Where was it? I was torn about what to do.

I left.

While driving home, I began thinking about that kitten. What if it stepped down into the weeds and I just didn’t see it? What if it was hungry? Should I turn around?

I actually pulled over and thought about if I should go back. That may sound extreme for some kitten in a parking lot, but that’s what we do, you know?

Compassion just shows up where and when it’s needed. Kitten or human or anything else, hungry is hungry.

It was dark and I ultimately, I decided to wait. Logic started kicking in. The kitten had survived a week. I had also talked to a store employee at the checkout who said he had been trying to get the kitten to come to him.

I went on home.

Back to the store parking lot yesterday. I found $10 in my wallet, pulled up near the van and stuck my arm out the window. The mom came over offering all kinds of thank you’s.

I pulled away with tears in my eyes.

My momma was a giver. So am I. No wonder I miss her so much.

Thank you for reading.

Jessica

a card in a Mindful set
a pretty birdhouse
flowers at my parent’s house
a sweet birdhouse
Rose of Sharon

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

*** all writing and photos are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Day 5

Gratitude:

  • that I had an extra $10 to hand out my truck window to a family with a sign that said they needed help

My momma was a giver. I didn’t even realize it until after I lost her, but I bet I get part of my giving spirit from her.

  • we made it to Iowa to see my niece run cross country track
  • that for about 5 minutes after we arrive at my dad’s, my momma’s animals think I’m her

I think my voice sounds like hers. When I start talking to them, for a split second, I think they think I am her. Which is very sweet. She LOVED them and they loved her! I know they miss her SO much.

Miracle photos:

I’ll have to catch my photos up tomorrow. I’ve been driving all day.

Miracles:

  • Seeing my dad!

I haven’t seen him since the first week of August! I was so homesick!!!

  • being home, my parent’s home

Thank you for reading.

Jessica

© 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing is by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 4

Gratitude:

  • sleeping in

Rarely do I sleep in. Today, I slept until 8:45 a.m.

  • nice hotels

We arrived at the hotel a bit ago. Tomorrow morning, we’ll finish the other half of the 8 hour drive to my dad’s.

  • improved bowling score!!!

I’ve been practicing my bowling stance and steps in my driveway. Last night at team league, I got a 90, 88, and 91!

You should’ve seen me jumping up and down when I saw that 90! So excited! A couple weeks ago, I got a 49! Big gains!

Miracle photos:

  • I’ve been having a lot of headaches lately. I think part of it is tied to my really old pillow. I splurged on a handmade wool pillow with the wool from Iowa. It came this morning. I hope it helps.
new handmade wool pillow I got
  • Oh my gosh, you guys. Last night at bowling, I had the coolest miracle happen to me! Someone asked ME if I wanted to be a substitute for a women’s league team. M-E. I get the lowest score every week and I GOT ASKED!! Confidence boost or what?!
my highest score yet at that bowling alley

What about your gratitudes and miracles? Have anything you’d like to share?

I’m posting late. Just got to the hotel a bit ago.

Thanks for reading.

Jessica

© Copyright 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

Miracles and Gratitude Day 3

Gratitude:

  1. being on a bowling team
  2. a really great bowling alley to bowl at
  3. a scenic drive to the bowling alley- 110 miles round trip

My dad, who lives 8 hours from me, has bowled on Thursday league nights for over 40 years. Love that! My husband has bowled leagues for 9 years. This is my first league. I am really enjoying it.

Miracle photos:

Miracle number 1:

Having a bowling team to give gifts to! Aren’t these cool? I ordered these from Etsy for our team and my husband’s men’s team.

team bowling towels I ordered

Miracle number 2:

I bought new bowling shoes for me, but they’re too tight. So, I was renting shoes. One of the bowlers brought me these shoes from home! How kind! They fit and worked really well!

a bowling shoe gift I got

How about you? Seeing any miracles you’d like to share? What 3 things are you grateful for today?

We’re leaving for the bowling alley in about half an hour. Time to have go some fun!

Thank you for reading!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Day 2

Gratitude:

  1. I am absolutely, totally, and completely grateful for my dad!!!!!

He and mom were married 55 years when she passed in March 2022. I’m just SO thankful that I still have my dad. My boy and I are going to see him on Thursday. He lives 8 hours from us.

2. Washer and dryer

Can you imagine having to wash clothes in a creek every single day???

3. Leftovers

My husband made shrimp stir fry on the grill yesterday, so no cooking for me today!

Miracles:

Eyesight that sees color!

a glorious yellow
a sweet purple

I walked 22 more driveway laps this morning and went back out in the pasture. The yellows and purples are so pretty right now.

Please join in, if you’d like. I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for and what miracles are showing up for you.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Jessica

P.S. I’ve only gotten a few chigger bites so far! Woo hoo!

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Day One

Gratitude:

  1. my long driveway

My neighbor walks 30 miles on her driveway. I decided to start walking, too. I just walked 22 laps on mine.

2. 10 acres

Having 10 acres allows me the freedom to sing as loud as I want to Fleetwood Mac and 10,000 Maniacs songs while walking those 22 laps. Ha ha!

3. Taking a chigger risk.

We have a huge back pasture. There’s wildflowers everywhere. Last time I came out here was in June and I got chigger bites soooooo bad. Itch city. Today’s the first day I’ve been back out here.

I’m standing out here right now. It’s rumored that someone my husband knows is going to come brush hog (mow) this pasture in a few weeks.

At first, I freaked out! What about the deer? My husband assured me that there will still be plenty of places for them to eat and bed down.

When I just turned to walk the fence row, I saw a deer run the opposite way. I apologized to her for intruding in on her space on such a lovely day.

There’s a soul lifting breeze out here. Bugs are singing. Leaves are blowing. There goes a monarch butterfly.

Miracle photos:

  1. Millie
Millie

Millie is a true miracle. She was born on my front porch in August 2021. She was the last kitten born and she wasn’t breathing. I tried rubbing her, warming her up, etc to see if she’d get a breath. Nothing.

I ran inside to get the phone to search ‘kitten cpr” and when I got back to the porch, she had started breathing. Yay!!! Sweet thing.

2. Art Supplies

art I made this morning

Art supplies are pretty miraculous. With some glue and things, some really cool stuff can be made.

Thank you for being here! Feel free to comment with your first day gratitude and/ or miracles you’ve seen.

Jessica

© copyright 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

*** all photographs are mine

Noticing Miracles and Gratitude Challenge

It’s my 7 year blog anniversary, so I’ve been looking through older posts. Man, I’ve got some cool stuff on this blog!

Lots and lots of beautiful nature photos and pictures of places we’ve gone to. We have been to some amazing places.

Two posts in particular caught my eye. One is on noticing miracles and the other is about a gratitude experiment I did once.

I used to do a lot of writing about miracles and lately I’ve had my blinders on a bit in the noticing them part. Grief clouds up many things, it seems.

If you’re in loss/grief, you’ll probably understand.

I decided I’m going to do a completely-made-up-by-me, 22 day Noticing Miracles and Gratitude Challenge based off of those 2 posts.

  1. https://unmeasuredjourneys.com/2019/06/16/a-grateful-brain/
  2. https://unmeasuredjourneys.com/2018/08/08/river/

Why 22 days? It’s my favorite number and it sounds more doable than 30 days. Ha ha.

The premise of The Grateful Brain was something I’d read about how noticing 3 things that we’re grateful for a day for 21 days can help the brain.

Daily, I hope to:

  • list 3 things I’m grateful for
  • post 2 ‘noticing miracle’ pictures per day

My momma LOVED my photos. At the hospital even, she introduced me to the nurse, by saying I am a photographer.

I loved that so much. Sometimes I forget that taking pictures is one of the things that I was born to do.

Feel free to join me in this challenge. A notebook for ‘gratefuls’ and a phone camera will work just fine.

The miracle photos are whatever you feel is a miracle. Maybe it’s your dog, or something you see on a walk, or the clouds, or leaves changing, or a craft you made.

Whatever feels like a miracle to you.

I’m starting today.

Thanks for reading.

Jessica

my momma commented on
my miracle post in 2018

© Copyright 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are mine

Keep on Writing

A WordPress notification popped up just now. Apparently, it’s my 7 year anniversary on this blog. Whoa, that seems a bit unreal. 7 years?

Back then, I was one of those, “Blog?? Oh no, not me! I’m NEVER going to have a blog! No sir! Ugh uh. Hard pass.”

A sudden week’s worth of hospital days/ mystery illness changed that. In the midst of night time hours, while my family slept, I started this blog.

I was sooooooo nervous. I’d spent a lifetime doing what I love doing- writing and taking photographs, but put them out into the world? Umm, no.

My mom was not onboard. She couldn’t really get her mind around what a blog was or why in the world I thought I needed one. It reminds me of the movie, “Julie and Julia” where Julie’s mom has the same sort of reactions.

I carried forward anyway and mom became one of my top readers. She signed up for email alerts. She got notified and read all my posts.

It didn’t seem to take long for her to understand my sudden urge to blog. She stepped right up and into this blogging adventure.

She stood by me when I had zero WP follows and stuck with me when I had 100.

She’d comment on my posts, a few words here and there about what she learned or liked.

Heck, she’d even welcome me back after I had long dry spells in writing. And, I have had some looooooong dry spells!!!

I

Miss

That

Last week I considered quitting this blog.

Seriously.

I have been so absolutely torn about HOW to write about loss, carry forward with other writing, and circle back to loss if I need to. It is absolutely exhausting trying to figure out how to write right now.

Being totally open, to a bit vulnerable, then switching to regular stuff, only to need to write more vulnerable stuff?

Eeks.

It’s like a teeter totter that’s lost it’s balance.

“Forget it,” I thought. “This is too hard. No wonder people don’t write about this! I’m quitting!!!!!”

But, teeter totters don’t get up and walk off the playground, so neither will I.

When I started this blog all those years ago, I did it on the premise that if I could help one person, I’d keep on writing.

ONE person. That’s a pretty darn good reason to write.

And, you know what?

I didn’t see this until RIGHT this second, but dang, maybe that one person, for today anyway, is me.

Here’s to 7 more years!!!

Thank you for reading.

Jessica

zinnia we planted in memory of my momma

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

*** all writing and photo are mine

Rookie Bowler

I rarely write two posts in one day, but this is itching to come out.

Last night at bowling, it went great. My stance was solid. My gutter balls improved. My scored increased. And not once, did I feel like crying.

It just felt better all the way around. Am I pro? Heck no. Does that matter? Absolutely not.

I wrote a post this morning about finding my way. What I realized all the sudden, is that we all are, finding our way.

For a week, I’ve been practicing my bowling stance and steps in hopes that I would somehow skip ‘beginning bowler’ and just be a ‘great bowler.’

That’s fine. But, I see now that there’s a place for the beginner and in the middle-r, too. Same with grief. Some may be in the beginning, some, like me, may be in the middle.

The cool thing about that? There’s room for everyone, wherever we are.

I realized something else. If I was somehow an instantly awesome bowler in one week’s time, I would really miss out on some really amazing stuff.

We are bowling at a new to us bowling alley and don’t know anyone. Everyone there is really good at bowling. I am essentially the rookie. I get last place every week.

But, you know what? Almost everyone in that place has offered me kind words and bowling advice. Heck, last night, someone even brought some bowling shoes from home and gave them to me.

I’m learning. They’re teaching. And that rookie thing? It’s just an ice breaker. If I walked into a new place and was an excellent bowler, there’d probably still be stuff to talk about, but people like to help people, you know?

Same here, on this blog. I write about loss, you extend your hands.

Pretty cool.

Thank you.

Jessica

a flower in my field

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photo is mine

Finding My Way

For weeks, I’ve been standing in an imaginary knee deep scenario, stuck. My knees aren’t really stuck, but my writing is.

My post about the fair was preceded the exact same morning with three hours of writing. The post I was working on contained the subjects of “I don’t know how to this!!! I don’t know how to write about loss one day and normal stuff the next.”

Those words did not flow out easily. I yanked and pulled and made them come out. They were about:

  • what it’s like to talk about loss and crying and missing someone, then not knowing how to change the subject
  • what it feels like to be stuck in not knowing how to be a carefree type of writer that now feels strapped to loss one minute then wanting to share about travel the next
  • about being a good writer like my great grandma, while at the same time, not knowing how to carry forward in this blog and feeling a bit vulnerable because I’ve shared a lot and don’t know how to continue writing

I did not hit ‘publish’ on that post. Instead, I hit the backspace button and erased every single word. Immediately afterwards, I wrote the post about the fair and sent it off into the world.

Why did I back the other post out?

It just didn’t feel right.

I couldn’t get the words to match what I wanted to say.

Bottom line: I’m trying to find my way in my writing. I am finding my way through loss. I just need to find my way somehow in both.

Thank you for reading. You’ve been so great in offering support during all this. I appreciate it so very, very much.

❤️ Jessica

zinnia planted in remembrance
Squealer-I couldn’t find her last night,
but she found her way home

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are mine