Miracles in Marketing

Seems several days have passed since I last wrote. Well, I have been reading. In fact, I have read three books this week and am on my fourth one right now. I told you that I read “The Artist’s Way” and on Christmas day, I was on Amazon looking for more Julia Cameron books to purchase. I have already read several others she wrote, so I was searching for what else was available.

And, you know how when you’re doing online shopping and ‘similar’ items suddenly come into view? That happened. A booked popped up and the cover and name caught my attention. I normally get books on my Kindle app and sometimes they let you look in them before you buy them. One peek in, and I was intrigued. I bought it.

It was like three hundred thirty six pages and I read it in two days. It has exercises to do in each chapter, but I just kept reading, I liked it so much. It’s called, “Art and Soul” by Pam Grout. Upon finishing it, I read two more of her books and now I am reading, “The Course in Miracles Experiment A Starter Kit For Rewiring Your Mind (and Therefore the World}.

If you’ve known me for awhile, you may recall that I am a believer in miracles. I have several blog posts about miracles and I even started a social media group about miracles and motherhood. For me, miracles are where it’s at. But… look at this year! I mean, the pain, the suffering, the uncertainty, the chaos, the upside down-ness of just about everything, who in the world is even thinking about miracles???

Well, I am. The way I see it, miracles are all sizes and come in all forms. Like, just look at these two in my picture: a kitten and a guinea pig are besties. Super miracle! Or even books, for instance. Here I was looking for one specific thing, and more books, along the same lines, came into view. That’s pretty miraculous. Even if it is chalked up to marketing. Ha ha.

So, if you don’t hear from me for a few days, I’ll have my nose in a book. Or several!! Hope your holidays were great and if you celebrate New Years, hope you have a fabulous time! See you in 2021!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Some of my friends out there are going through some tough times. Please know I am thinking of you and sending lots of love and prayers.

Jess

Pool Art

We did something really huge and cool this year, we splurged! Even in chaos. Even in a year of unknown outcomes. We jumped, with both feet.

My husband has been wanting a pool for a looooooooong time. He was a lifeguard in high school and having a pool of his own, was just something he wanted. Little Bit LOVES to swim. I love water- the reflections off of it, the ability it has to cool something off or warm something up without even trying. This blog is full of posts about lakes, oceans, and rivers. For us, water is where it’s at.

So, we did it. In the midst of a pandemic, we ordered a pool!!! Because of the way of the world these days and limits in the supply chains, locally all of the above ground pools sold out, causing the inground pools to sell out, too. I’m told that there’s never been a run on pools like there has been this year. It was suggested that if we wanted one, we’d better order it early.

In June, we ordered our dream, inground, fiberglass pool with sandstone granite coating. Oh, and we were on a twelve week wait. Unheard of in this area. Ok, fine. We didn’t mind waiting. Later, that wait got extended six more weeks. Ok, no problem.

That put us at an October 29th install date. But, it rained continuously for an entire week. Like, mud everywhere kind of rain.

On November 4th, installation began. You guys, watching that pool come together was like in the “Top Five Most Amazing Things I Have Ever Seen” list. Our back yard was slanted. Not exactly a sledding hill, but raised enough that I didn’t like mowing back there. The transformation of the space to what it looks like now is unreal.

Watching that pool install crew was like watching artists. I told them that, too. Every day I sat out there watching a masterpiece come together. They were able to use dirt from our own land to build up the sides around the pool shell, increasing the elevation of the yard, aka, getting rid of the slant. How cool is that? (Seeing that all come together even made ME want to get creative! Hello bracelet making! Ha ha.)

It was a super amazing thing to witness. The short version is: dig partial hole, bring in the crane, truck the fiberglass pool from Tennessee where it’s made, the crane lifts the pool off the trailer and into the partial hole- spot on, the first attempt, huge miracle. Next, bring in lots of dirt, raise the yard, add the drain lines, put in the plumbing, set up the filter, pump, and accessories, spread gravel, bring in the cement trucks, pour cement.

I have never seen such grace, as watching all that. There is a rhythm to it. Definitely a team thing, but also each person is very gifted at what they do. Start to finish it took nine days. Art, in that little teeny time span. Simply amazing.

The pool was finished right before Thanksgiving and when my husband mentioned closing it down, I abruptly threw out a “Nooooooooo.” Ha ha. I didn’t want to see it covered up already.

So, we kept it going, until last week. Multiple days of twenty degrees and the thoughts of busted pipes, allowed me to let the pool ‘rest’ until spring and summer show back up. And, it turns out, covering a pool is a personal choice. You can or you don’t have to. This year we decided to leave it uncovered so we can admire the art, pool art!

PS The sandstone coating gives the water a beachy look, almost an emerald color, which is super fabulous because normally we go the ocean once or twice a year. Traveling got nixed this year because of state restrictions. So, I like to think that we brought the beach to us, minus the sand.

Thank you for reading, hope you have an amazing day!

Jesssss

Shoes

You guys!!!!! I bought the shoes!!! And, not just two pairs! Three!!! (If this makes no sense to you whatsoever, check out yesterday’s post.)

So, after I wrote yesterday, me and Little Bit (who is one inch taller than me, how does THAT happen?) set off on a shoe-finding-adventure. The first store had a couple I kind of liked, but the wrong sizes. The second store had absolutely nothing in my style. And, whoa, baby, in the third store, I struck it rich!!

I spied a pink pair of little tennis shoes. I don’t know if you know this, but I LOVE pink. Like, I have three pink rooms in my house kind of love. I tried them on. I LOVED them, Little Bit LOVED them. The box went into the start of a pile. A PILE. Like, for ME.

Now, I know what you may be thinking, “Geez lady, it’s just shoes, not anything very exciting.” But, to me, this is everything.

Under the pink shoes, wayyyyyy down on the bottom shelf, under something, was a black shoe. Immediately my interest was piqued. I picked it up. Oh my gosh, seriously? Can you instantly fall in love with a pair of shoes????? They were in my size, but the box, it was pretty battered up. It was taped back together and looked rather rough. I tried them on. Still concerned that maybe they were a return, I asked a sales person. Not a return. That box went into the pile.

Down the row we went. Ok, I LOVE flowers, wildflowers in particular- it’s a long story, I’ll tell you later. Suddenly, I saw them! These amazing embossed-with-flowers gems! I tried them on!! They are beautiful and are something I totally had in mind, before I walked in! Seriously? What are the chances that after striking out in two shoes stores, I would walk into the next one and in a single row, find my bestest color AND two others that made me want to jump up and down and clap my hands, IN MY SIZE?

Miracles, my friends. They show up, unannounced sometimes, and offer up a basket of “told you you could do this. Told you you were allowed and worthy and meant for really great things. Even great things like shoes.”

Life experiences can stumble all over us sometimes. They can bruise us up and pull the rug out from under our innate trueness and ability to honor our complete and total selves. I’m pretty sure I am not alone in this notion. For instance, there was a point in my life that I went through some pretty yucky things, like they happened TO me. Someone at that time told me I deserved those things. And, that stuck. For approximately thirty years…. believing I deserved horrible things was pretty darn heavy. The run off from that statement alone, presented ripples in my self confidence and self esteem for longer than I can even explain. It affected everything, even my ability to trust my own gut…

But, here’s the thing. We may believe what we believe until we don’t. Best I can tell, we are all healing from somethin’. Perhaps big, perhaps small. Probably not the same thing from the same time, but that’s a-ok. I figure, we are all in each other’s life for a reason. Whether we have been friends for years, are newly aquainted, or if you are brand new to this site. Being a work in progress can be a glorious, beautiful thing.

Which leads me back to yesterday’s post. Most of my life, I thought I was only deserving of one pair of shoes, even if they hurt my feet, and even if they were totally worn out. How flawed is that? No one deserves bad things or blisters, including me.

Thanks for being here! See you tomorrow!

PS I’ve never even owned shoes like these before!! Woo hoo!!!

Jesssss

The Best in Friends

For the past 2+ years, I have hosted a couple of online women’s groups. Friendship circles, actually. And, in those spaces, grace showed up and taught me how to navigate the somewhat tricky terrain of connection.

I’ll admit, I struggle with the whole idea of friendship in general. You know, that whole letting “my guard down, opening my heart, and truly letting people in” thing. It’s defInitely been hard for me.

You see, a million moons ago, around the high school time frame, I had a “best” friend. And, I mean “attached at the hip, did every-single-thing as a team, if one was faint in breath, the other one would pick up the breathing slack, type of friend. We celebrated together, cried together, lifted others up together, supported each other together, dreamed big together. We had tremendous life goals and were going to accomplish amazing things! Game plan? Check. Grand ideas? Check. Gonna rock the world? Double check.

It was all sooooo great, until it wasn’t and we didn’t. The friendship ended painfully and abruptly and with that, I think half of my heart fell out.

Eeks!! Wouldn’t it be easy to just sum it up to lessons of an impressionable youth? Just slap a “that happens sometimes” sticker on and move along. For me, though, the loss ran much deeper and stayed around for so many years.

Honestly, I haven’t had a “super gigantic, all inclusive, complete trust-filled, laugh “til you both wet your pants, open your heart ALL the way up, singular, best friend” since.

Scars do that, you know? Scars crust things over. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t completely give up, I tried again. If you’ve been through it, you may understand that draw, that craving, that quest almost to try to fill in that gaping hole. For me all of those things equaled the perfect pathway directly into settling. As in, settling for friends. Boy, has that been a bumpy trail.

The other day, I told you that I’ve been working through the book, “The Artist’s Way.” Basically, it is a tool to help unblock limited beliefs and things that can slam on the brakes to creativity. During my work, interestingly, I discovered that I have some kind of attachment to the word ‘one.’ Like, if I get one of something, I hang onto it for dear life. One pair of shoes, one towel, one purse, one pen, one way of doing things. I hang onto things until they are completely worn out, barely functioning, and actually, right now, in this moment, I’m wondering if it stems from that huge, heartbreaking friend loss all those years ago… Makes sense. Fear of something ending badly sure can sway the trajectory of things.

Call it life lessons or perhaps just some wisdom plus maturity, but my grand adventurous journey of finding and essentially replacing that one best friend has ceased. Instead, I have opened my heart space up to the notion that friendship isn’t a one size fits all venture and for me, maybe it never was.

In fact, an amazing soul sister I know recently shared something so cool with me! It was along the lines of: different people can make up whoever it is we need. So, in my thinking, one person could be the “laugh ‘til tears run-er.” Another could be the “talk openly to-er”. The next one is maybe a “sure, I’ll help you feed a family, let me go grab a meal-er.” And, another may be the “having something at your house, I’m going to show up-er.” And, another could be the “cry if you want, I understand-er.” And, a whole bunch of them all put together could be the “cheer-ers, celebrate-ers, let’s dream big-ers.”

Wow! What a cool concept!

So, wherever you are in your quest for best friendship, let’s honor that. If you have one fabulous bestie- bravo!! If you’re more like me and have an ever expanding **value pack** of friends- bravo!! Or, if you’re still on the quest to find best friends, bravo!! Keep trying!!

What a lesson! Who knew that some thing from so long ago could have such a hold? And, that maybe in my lifelong mission of trying to find the best of friends, I actually found the best IN friends.

P.S. I think today I may do something I’ve never done before!!! Go buy TWO pairs of shoes! ❤️

Thank you for reading, I hope you have an glorious day!