Staying busy with the garden - there is much that is ready to be harvested: zucchinis and squash, lots of cucumbers, peppers of all kinds and the herbs are going like crazy.
I've been sharing lots of the garden produce with my mom, who comes up with all kinds of delicious ways to use it all up. Pretty soon I will have tomatoes galore to share with her:
And I am super-excited about the fairytale eggplants - purple and white tear-drop shaped beauties!
My days have been filled with water aerobics, outings with my mom, dinners with hubby and mom, visits with friends and family, birthday celebrations and, unfortunately, a sick little mouse.
My little mouse, Penelope, is not doing very well. At the moment she is on antibiotics and steroids and even a painkiller. I will take her back to the vet in 10 days and we are hoping, hoping, HOPING that there will be improvement or we will need to make a decision. She is just turning a year old. I have never had female mice, only male mice, and I have never experienced illness in any of them. I know it sounds silly to take a mouse to the vet (my vet does not think so, thankfully), but we love our animals and treat them like family - even the tiniest ones. So we are sad here, but hopeful. We have had to separate Penelope and Prudence which is hard on both of them since they are siblings and have always been together. Hopefully, all will end well and this will just be a temporary separation.
Lots has changed around here. When the kids were littlies and I was consumed with the raising of them and the busy life of a young family, it felt like this time was light years away. I could not even conceive in my mind what it would actually look like. I also always believed that my children would always be around me, and so would their significant others as well as the grandchildren that we (Mark and I) planned on having. Yes, we planned on having them so we informed our kids that there will be grandbabies. =) Lots of them.
Today my hubs and I were at Mass and I was kind of just sitting there looking around before Mass began. There are all these young parents with small children, babes in arms and young teenagers. It hit me how different Mass has felt lately. I used to be half focused on the Mass and 1/2 focused on the children: making sure they keep their hands to themselves; keeping them from kicking the pew in front of them (have you ever sat in a pew in front a child who is rhythmically kicking the back of your seat - it can drive one into an occasion of sin). Making sure they were paying attention. I always asked questions afterwards to make certain they understood the homily and the readings. I was so earnest about and so focused on their spiritual education. There was always the bustle of getting ready, getting into the car, buckling everyone in, getting everyone out of the car, finding a pew and getting settled, and then the bustle of all of it in reverse when Mass was over.
Now, Mark and I get dressed and head to Mass without all the hustle and bustle of the past. I can actually concentrate on the Mass - I'm not responsible for anyone but me. It is liberating, but also a tad bit...sad. I miss those days of hectic, sometimes (most times) chaotic busyness. I wish I had appreciated them more while I was in the moment of them.
But isn't that almost always the case?
This is what this time looks like. It doesn't look like I thought it would - but then again, I really had no reference point.
I am in a process right now of "reinventing" myself. Sounds all woowoo, but the truth is, I think we are always in a process - wouldn't you agree?
My focus was always on little ones and now that all the littlies are big now, I still have the place in my heart that wants to keep focusing on the little ones. This will be part of where I go from here, I know that. It is just the figuring out how to move in that direction, and what exactly I want to do with my experience and knowledge, gifts and talents as I move into this new "phase" of life.
Exciting, exhilarating and a bit melancholy, too.
This afternoon we are cooking out. I am going to spend a few minutes checking on my fairytale egpplants.
I wanted to share this - it is a 7 minute video about the Gift of an Ordinary Day.