Of Yard Sales, Independence Day, and Thinking

One of the things I love about being a nurse is that occasionally, I get to schedule slightly more days off in a row than the usual two or three, which allows me time to take a short trip or have a nice relaxing break.  This year however, other than a trip to see family in South Dakota with my sister back in May, all the long breaks have turned out to be work breaks, filled with big projects to accomplish. 

This last break involved a garage/yard sale. I spent every free day for the past several weeks, going through the entire house from top to bottom, choosing what to get rid of.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I moved here.  For ten years, my stuff was spread between my apartment and storage lockers in two states.  Once I bought my house, it was finally all together in one spot.  It was simply too much stuff.  Now that there has been a good cleanout, there is still a lot of stuff, but the whole house feels lighter.  Such a great feeling!

The sale itself was lots of work.  How grateful I am to my daughter Jessie who spent many hours with me, going through boxes, closets, and shelves of stuff, and hauling it around in preparation.  Thanks also go to my DIL Becca who came and helped us on Sale Day!  The sale went well and at the end of the day, we had sold between ½ and ¾ of the stuff we put out!   There are still a few larger furniture items to put on consignment, but the bulk of it is gone and the leftovers have already been donated to the thrift shop. 

One of the things that I’ve dealt with for years is a huge fabric stash.  At one time, there were over 13 large plastic totes full of fabric.  I’m pleased to say that the larger yardage of my fabric stash now fits in one small cupboard and the fat quarters nearly all fit in a cubby shelf!  Nice and compact and within reason!

After the sale, it was time to celebrate Independence Day!  While I have much anxiety over the upcoming election, there is still so much to be thankful for in our country.  I am so grateful for the freedoms we have, including the freedom to voice our own beliefs and opinions. 

I pray for a viable candidate to arise, that can help us come together as a nation, a candidate who can help us find a compromise that works for the greater good instead of giving way to the absurd idea of “political correctness” that elevates the needs of the fringe over the needs of the majority.  I pray for a candidate who can bring us together instead of divide us with hatred.  I pray for a candidate with not only a strong political capability, but one who has an upright and moral foundation, who can help us to find our way forward without the need to resort to violence, to prejudice, to avarice, to hatred, to deceit and who can inspire our nation to turn away from such things.   I pray for the eyes of the people to be opened to the candidates we have already, to see them for who they really are and what the long term ramifications might be should either of them be elected.  Surely, there must be another choice.  Please Lord, let there be a better option. 


Our Independence Day was filled with family!  I loved having all the kids over, except for SIL David who unfortunately had to work.  So wonderful to have everyone here!

There were conversations and stories to share,

There was lots of good summertime food,

And (my favorite photo of the day!) even a short nap for the two Mama’s to be!  (I can’t wait to meet my two granddaughters who will be born in August & September!)

It was a lovely day and so good to be able to spend time with the family out on the patio! 

I haven’t picked up a needle and thread for two months now.  That’s been good too.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a change of focus.  I’ve been able to work on a couple of other projects that I wanted to complete this year, namely, our family cookbook.  I’ve been cooking and baking things in order to take photos for the cookbook ~ and that has been a good excuse to have people over for dinner from time to time! 

Lots of yummy things such as our homemade spicy guacamole…

My Mom’s Cherry Delight that she made every summer for the Fourth of July,
jars of lovely canned foods to enjoy throughout the year,

and bowls of yummy soup!

At this midpoint of the year, I find myself looking back as well as forward.  This has definitely been a year of introspection for me.  Of refocusing, of trying to figure out what comes next.  Things in my life took a turn in a direction that left me feeling out of sorts with my own life.   

I have struggled with so many things ~ losing my dear Mollie Kitter last October, and now dear Thomas Kitty is also showing signs of aging and the realization that all too soon, he also will be gone.  People will say that they are just cats, but they have been my constant companions, with me day and night, for the past 15 plus years. 
I'm grateful to have Kitzy Cat too, but she and I have never bonded the way I did with Mollie and Thomas.

Then there has been the challenge of keeping up my home and yard, both physically and financially.  And learning to do it all alone now that all the kids are grown and moved out into their own spaces. 

Learning to live with pain and a body that no longer works as well as I would like has been a huge challenge.  Adjusting to new limitations, the struggle to overcome, to heal, to find doctors willing and able to work with me to heal ~ it is all overwhelming at times.

I struggle also with the lack of face-to-face human interaction.  I have loved the connections that the internet brings, but the reality is that electronic communication also brings tremendous isolation.   How I miss having people to spend time with, the casual encounters as well as more formal interactions.   It has been well over 20 years since I divorced, but I think this has been the loneliest I’ve ever felt.

It has felt as though time has become scarce and I wonder how in the world I used to find the time to read a book or a magazine in years past, or found the time to just sit on the patio to enjoy the day.  Yet once upon a time, I read many books and magazines and found much time to simply be. 

I struggle with the long commute to and from work, the long shifts, and the inevitable administrative politics of being a nurse in a large metropolitan hospital where money is the object and patients are secondary and employees fall far down on the ladder of priorities.  I love what I do, but definitely feel unappreciated and taken for granted, and much of the time, as though I can do nothing right despite my best efforts.  The demands of meetings, extra shifts and being on call, eats into what little free time I have.  I can see my career as a nurse winding down, coming to an end, but I’m not sure what to fill it’s place with that can afford me a similar income for the time being.  I’d love to retire, but since my carefully invested retirement funds seem to be losing money these days instead of gaining, retirement appears to be light years away at the moment. 

So… much thinking, much pondering, and very much prayer.  I have a vision of the life I want, of projects that I want to immerse myself into, of artistic things that I wish to pursue, of books I want to write, of hikes and travels to take, of things I want to experience.   But I also know, that at times like this, it is time to turn those decisions over to God, to let him show the way, to let Him show me where he wants me and what he wants me to do next.  And sometimes, he says, “Just wait.” 

That’s where I am right now.  Just waiting.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Fear not, for I am with you,
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand
Isaiah 41:10


krayolakris said…
Great post, & it ends with my very favorite Bible verse. Have you ever wondered how many other women are facing these same issues with careers, time, finances, etc. I've long thought what a wonderful thing it would be if we could come together, buddy up, form a community, share resources...call it what you like. When we have invested time and hearts in our homes, but find that through divorce or otherwise we face tremendous challenges to maintain all the moving parts, lawns, gardens, etc. Thankless corporations provide salary & benefits but can yank them away with no warning. Women of the world...let's figure this out!
Lady Locust said…
First, wow you've been busy. It does feel so good to "edit" as I like to call it. Losing the weight of extra stuff is liberating. If you think of it like losing the weight of the stuff that is gone, it feels even better - I just lost 692 lbs! Amazing.
Also, sorry for the loss of your pootie-tats:) They (or any critter really) can be great company.
Then, that vision you have - hang on to that, keep it front of mind. It might change a little according to God's plan, but you'll find it no doubt.
Wishing you every blessing~

PS. Have you thought about home health nursing? I know when we were looking they were scarce.
Dear Lisa ~ Nice to read a post from you. It looks like you had a nice holiday with family, and your recipes for your family cookbook, look delicious.

Our pets are part of our family, and they are sorely missed when they are gone.

You and I are both doing some thinking along the same lines and the scripture you quoted is great! Thank you for sharing.

I pray that things will work out just fine for you.

Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady
Anonymous said…
It is hard to find a community that fulfills our needs and especially one that you can trust. After a very difficult job experience entwined with a very strong negative religious component I have retreated from the world to my home where I feel most safe. In looking for community I have turned to the internet and found some very good and renewing sites that have helped and continue to help very much. The following three have been helpful: (in)courage.me, a holy experience.com and counting my blessings.com. The books by Ann Voskamp from a holy experience are also good. I like counting my blessings as a theme is chosen for each month and the subject explored in depth. (in)courage is written by a variety of people and provides a good deal of encouragement.

Hope this helps.

I love your blog and have missed it. You do such beautiful needlework - delight to look at. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

May your day be filled with delight and peace.
Judy said…
My dear friend....

Sending love and prayers for your peace of mind.

I love yard sales but have been a really good girl for the past couple of years and tried to avoid them. We don't need anything and have no room for anything more so it's best to stay away. That's not to say I don't wishful think sometimes! I wish you blessings in your search for new meaning in your life - it will come in God's timing I'm sure.
Unknown said…
Lisa, thank you for sharing your struggle to figure out where you are in your life. This has been my year for change. I recently quit working at a job I liked but that just seemed to be at odds with where I was in my heart. I retired but still wonder if it was the right decision as I have few outside interests that involve other people. I may turn into one of those cat ladies. (Grin) You have a natural talent for teaching. I attended the CQI retreat in KC and still refer to the seam class information that you shared. Sandy Larson The joy is in the stitching.
Mary said…
Blessings to you too Lisa who has brought so much pleasure to so many of us. Thank you for sharing your innermost feelings. I share so many of your feelings, alone being just one and thank you for the best prayer in regards to this country and our political scene!!! Most of all I love all your work, your yard and family as well as your artistic creations. I am so thankful you take the time to write as often as you do, a true sacrifice with your busy schedule but God is pleased you share the talents he gave you and we are the grateful recipients!! Mary
Hi Lisa. I have followed you for a while, mostly because I admire your talent so much. Thank you for sharing it for all to admire. I think I may have never commented here. Even on the net I can be an introvert. This post compelled me for a few reasons to comment. My FIL (92) with cancer just spent 19 days in the hospital. His care is now under Hospice guidance. My experience with a week long hospital stay was about 10 years ago and I am shocked at how differently my hospital of choice is run. You may feel unappreciated by your hospital, but let me tell you that your service is so appreciated by the patients who receive your care. I will be 65 in just a few months and I am saddened by how my body has let me down compared to even 10 years ago. But finally I have time to pursue "hobbies" that I never could find time for. I admire you for finding time to stitch and paint even while you are still employed. Your garden is gorgeous.

Our world has changed so much. Young people do not find the politics of our generation to be relevant. I discus this often with my 21 year old grandson who lives with us. No, there will not be another candidate come forward for the coming election. There are two choices and you must choose whichever one you feel in your heart will help heal the divide our nation is experiencing...for our children and grandchildren. For me there is only one choice for that. One that inspires hope for the future.

If you believe in a Higher Power, and I know you do, trust that the answers will come to you. Usually when you least expect it.

No, our pets are "not just" a dog or cat or whatever animal we love. It's as hard to watch them age as it is to look in the mirror and see our own changes. They are a Blessing and in many ways soothe our souls.

Thank you, Lisa for blogging. It's better than FB!!

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