Friday, January 30, 2009

A Day of Going Forward

Today is the one year anniversary of the day when I passed my Life in the UK test. I loved that day a year ago. I had made it over a hurdle and I was one step closer to settling here in England. I felt good about myself that day because I was going into a territory where I couldn’t ask a friend what it was like, and I began to relish the unknown.

This was a great step ahead for me on my path back from being so depressed after my mom passed. I had just sort of checked out on my own life before this. So preparing for this test was a great help in getting my mind going forward again. It was a baby step and it took a string of baby steps before I was able to look in the mirror and see me again.

I think that January 30th will always be a special day for me. It was a day when I got my confidence back. It was a day when I reached a goal. It was a day when I started to ask myself ‘what next’ again. And to evolve in life, I realized that growing is what I’m here on Earth to do. And that’s what makes life exciting for me :-)

This is a day of reflection for me. It's the day when I remember stepping back into life again with both feet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taking a Leap

Well, last night I finally took the Twitter leap to see if it's for me. It looks like fun so I figured that I would give it a try :-) I have random thoughts during the day that don't all fit into a traditional blog post, so this sounds like a neat way to stay in touch. If you'd like to check out what I'm up to, have a peek :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

On Patience

Just an update, we’ve gone three nights now without the honking of our car alarm I’m happy to report :-) I’m still not sleeping soundly as usual yet, because I’m expecting it to start all the noise again. I’m crossing my fingers that we’re in the clear. But I imagine it will float out of my mind the more days we go without incident. So it’s all good. I didn’t realize how much it had freaked me out the first time it happened. Anyway, that anxiety will pass and it’s onward and upward :-)

We should be seeing some action with our shower getting fixed tomorrow. Thank goodness. One of my dear bloggy friends said that I have the patience of Job in dealing with this :-) I tell you, my hubby and I have had our moments when we really have been ticked off by this whole ridiculous situation and we’ve let their office know it. We seem to always run into supreme red tape in dealing with things through them. I think it’s just that we have to go through a third party to get to our landlord, so there is a lot of dropping the ball. We know these people so well now ;-) It’s almost comical. LOL. Brit Boy and I always joke about us developing the patience of Job in dealing with these people, so I laughed when I read my bloggy friend’s comment :-) I’m just glad that our perseverance has seemingly paid off.

I thought about that word… ‘patience’ and how it has cropped up in our life together as well as individually. I think about how Brit Boy and I had to be really patient in waiting to be together, simply because we had been born an ocean apart. We spent lots of time apart and sometimes it felt like we were never going to see each other again. There were many, many, many partings at airports that make me shudder when I think about them. But loads and loads of patience got us through those times. When we have to go through a million hoops with our landlord it often reminds us of our life the past few years, as we’ve worked on being together. Sometimes we feel like we are in the perpetual hoops zone…lol. So I guess that I’ve got to the point in my life where I’m seeing all of this as a huge lesson in patience for me. I’ve rushed through so many things and emotions in my life in the past, so now I laugh when I see myself in action, a bit more mellowed out :-)

Of course sometimes I just say, “forget that”, and I let it rip. LOL. I guess I’m a work in progress…aren’t we all (wink). I think a balance between both is where I am now and that may be the best for me.

So I wondered about how others feel about this. Do you find yourself more patient now or less patient as you age? Do you find that a happy medium is best for you? Or do you say, to heck with patience? I’d love to hear what you have to say :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Honkless, Showered, and All Shawled Up

Hi everyone! :-) Well I have better news today. I told you yesterday about Brit Boy coming home a little early and we were going to check out the whole alarm thing, well he came home and we went outside and gave it a once over. We tinkered with things a bit and then decided to wait and see if our tinkering helped. Then we headed off to the store to pick up a few things so that we could avoid the Saturday crowds. I love Friday night shopping and Brit Boy does too :-)

So we were in the vegetable section when Brit Boy’s cell phone starts ringing. He answers and it was like the clouds just parted. The landlord FINALLY authorized the fixing of our shower. Whoopee!!!! :-) The property management lady said that the contractors should be contacting us in the next couple of days to set up a day to start their work. So after many, many calls by both of us, we finally got a result. I tell you, we were so excited that we almost broke into a bit of celebratory break dancing right there. LOL. Oh boy, to have a shower again that works!

After that, we just kind of skipped around the store and finished our bit of shopping. And as a bonus, when we went back to our car, the alarm wasn’t honking or anything…so it was a great afternoon, after living through the night before. :-)Sometimes the simple things just make your day.

And I’m happy to report, we actually had a full night’s sleep with no honking to interrupt us. It was wonderful. We were a bit sleep deprived, so the full night’s sleep was just what we needed. We were both a bit anxious after the night before and separately wondered if it would happen again, but we confided in each other this morning that fatigue had taken over both of us and we went right off to sleep. So maybe hopefully our tinkering has helped and we won’t have any more alarm problems. Fingers crossed :-)

In other news, I got a package this morning that I’ve been waiting for. I had to send off to get a lingerie bag to wash delicate things. I couldn’t find one anywhere in the stores, so I ordered one online and it cost next to nothing. I ordered it because I wanted to wash two nice scarves that I bought in London when we were there in December. They were the pashmina-esque scarves (the real ones are cashmere as you may know but mine are so not). They come in all of those vibrant, rich colors and are so warm. I only paid £8 for two. They’re perfect for the winter we have been having. They come in gorgeous solid colors and patterned styles. I opted for a blue one, which is my favorite color and a patterned burgundy one. I plan to also have them to double for just a nice shawl when it warms up. Here are a couple of photos of what they look like. I love the rich colors.

I figured that I would wash them in a lingerie bag so that I would save some wear and tear on them.

So today has been a much better day and hey, the sun is shining and the sky is blue…here’s to a good day to all :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things That Go Honk In The Night

Brit Boy and I were awakened twice in the early morning hours by the honking of our car alarm. Let me tell you, it was not a restful sleep at all, so we will both be zombies all day. It was hard to go back to sleep afterward each time because we would lie there wondering if it would happen again. This is not the first time this has happened. The first time was Saturday night. It happened in the middle of the night that time too and it really startled us. Coming out of a deep sleep with that blaring in your ears is a shock to the system in the middle of the night, let me tell you.

The first time it happened, our first thought was that someone was breaking into our car, and so we hopped up and looked out the window to see if anyone was running away. We didn’t see anyone. So we both got our shoes and jackets on and ran out quickly to stop all the noise so the whole street wouldn’t wake up. No sense in annoying the neighbors on top of everything else. As I ran out, I grabbed one of Brit Boy’s golf clubs just in case someone was waiting behind a bush or anything.

We didn’t see anyone, and Brit Boy stopped the alarm. The inside light was on, but all of the doors seemed to be closed. He did say that the ‘door ajar’ light was on, so who knows. It was all rather suspicious. When we came back inside, we waited a couple of minutes with the lights off to see if anyone came out of hiding after they thought we were back in bed, but there was no one. So we just took it as a fluke…an annoying fluke.

So last night, it started up again…twice. Our car is a used one and is not nearly as durable as our previous car which was destroyed when we were broadsided by a van and I got hurt. So we dearly miss our former car. Anyway, this one is okay, but it has its quirks that pop up from time to time. We are thankful to have a car…but we just wish it would calm down…our bank balance needs a break. It just seems that lately we have been having one thing after another happening.

By the way, today is a MONTH later and we are still waiting for our landlord to authorize getting our shower fixed. It is absolutely ridiculous. We have been having baths instead, but it’s time-consuming for everyday and then the water takes forever to come into the tub because the pipes are positively antiquated. The whole plumbing system just needs to be replaced, but oh well, such is the life of a renter :-)

Anyway, Brit Boy is going to come home a bit earlier today, so we are going to take a look at the car ourselves in the light of day. And then we’ll decide what to do about it. So wish us luck :-)

When we initially heard the alarm, we thought that it might be someone intent on stealing our car. Thankfully it wasn't. Still, I'm glad that the alarm was there to make us aware. Having a quality intruder alarm, whether it is in your car or in your house is the way to go!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Wonderful Day

Yesterday was truly amazing and will be a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life. To see all of the massive crowds there on the National Mall sharing this moment together was powerful. What a great day! :-)

Congratulations Mr President!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Today, as we all know, is Martin Luther King Jr Day and it is a day to remember this great American and to follow his example in serving our world and working towards the greater good of all. It is also a day to look into our own hearts.

Dr. King would have been 80 years old on January 15th, his actual birthday. I grew up in Georgia, east of Atlanta and his legacy was powerful in my life, through what I heard from my elders. And growing up a stone’s throw from Atlanta, King’s birthplace, I grew up aware of what he and many others did, so that I could live the life that I live today. When this day comes around each year, I think of Dr. King, but I also think of my parents and those who came before me. I know that I owe them a debt of gratitude. I try to be aware of how blessed I am. I’m glad that Dr. King lived and helped us see our common humanity.

It is amazing that this day comes on the eve of Barack Obama being inaugurated as our new president of the United States. This moment is powerful and I'm glad we all get to share this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Misty Morning in Wiltshire

We’ve been having lots of icy cold weather lately. We had hoar frost a couple of days over the weekend and it was so pretty to see. Of course my battery in my camera packed up, so I didn’t get any photos. We never really had hoar frost back in Georgia, so this was a treat to me. It was lovely to look at. It all finally melted on Sunday and Monday. Right now it’s really quite sunny outside, yet it’s still rather cold, but then from watching the news I see that it is a cold winter over most of the world right now, so we’re all in this together :-)

I did get some interesting quick photos from my trip out with the hubby yesterday. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was streaming through the misty clouds. It was just gorgeous and awe-inspiring. It was one of those moments when you're just glad that you’re there to see it and it makes you feel so alive. It made me feel connected to nature. Here are the photos:

I love it that these photos look as if they could have been taken in the morning or the evening. The light is strange, but so transcendent. It looked dark and bright at the same time. What a lovely way to see Wiltshire so early in the morning. I’m glad I could share this experience with everyone out there :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Catching Up and Saying Thanks

I wanted to finally get around to highlighting some awards that I have received over the past few weeks. I got a bit behind with the holidays, so I want to catch up now because I didn’t want to let the honors pass by unacknowledged. I want to thank all of those who have passed on awards to me. I treasure my bloggy friends so all of these are greatly appreciated :-)

The first award is the Blog Love Award, given to me by my great bloggy friend Ivanhoe, who is a lady like myself living away from her homeland. It’s a great read :-)

Next, I received the Your Blog is Fabulous Award from another great bloggy friend Jodi, who is a great friend to animals and everyone else. This is another great read :-)

The rules are to: Link to who gave the award to you; admit 5 addictions; and then pass the award on to 5 other blogs.

My addictions/obsessions:
#1 Coca-Cola
#2 Books
#3 Pretty Notebooks
#4 Fountain Pens
#5 Cheese

Now I am passing this one along to the following blogs, if they would like to participate…no pressure :-) My picks are:

Tahtimbo @ Everyday Living
Ivanhoe @ From Ohio With Love
Fitness Diva @ Confessions of a Fitness Diva
Jenn P @ The Peacock's Nesting Place
Regina @ Regina's Family Seasons

And my third award is from my bloggy friend Tahtimbo, who is a stay-at-home dad, and writes a blog that I so enjoy visiting because of the relaxed vibe. Another great read :-) He gave me the Friendship Award and this is so kind of him and it's great to call him my friend.

I would like to pass this one on to:
Jennifer @ Writing to Survive
Jewelry Rockstar

Thanks again to all of my blogging friends who passed these along to me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

We Got Snow!!!

We got some snow last night and it was still snowing this morning a bit, but now it's melting. Here are a couple of photos before the melt began. It was enough to be pretty without grinding things to a halt. It was wonderful to watch it snow last night with Brit Boy right next to me at the window. Ain't life grand :-)

Back on My Journey

I’ve been a bit absent from my blog the last few days. Brit Boy and I have been wallowing a bit more in the afterglow of the holidays before we go along with everyone else into the first full week of the new year :-) So we chilled out this weekend and didn’t go anywhere and it was just great. Saturday we slept in and we relished just sitting around watching movies and just letting the day happen.

Then on Sunday we woke up at about 8am and turned on the TV and started watching this show about people going into the second act of their lives and doing something they always wanted to do. It was great. We ended up watching about three hour-long episodes from bed with one trip downstairs to get green tea and we so enjoyed both…the tea and the show.

They were showing episodes all day. We were so enthralled that we couldn’t tear ourselves away. So while we were getting dressed, we recorded what we were missing. We were hooked :-) But it was good to be hooked on this.

When we were dressed and were sitting down to have lunch, we picked up with watching again. I guess that we were both so into it because we were open to what it was saying…that it’s never too late to do something different with your life.

Brit Boy and I are at a point in our lives where we have been out of school a couple of decades, so we have experienced life a bit. But the way we look at it, there is more experience, life, happiness and fulfillment out there to be had. So I think that we both were very receptive to this show and ready to receive the message. Most of the people on the programs were a decade or two decades older than us, but age was irrelevant in the end. You don’t lose your passions in life just because you have counted more birthdays. What struck me was the underlying theme in all of the episodes, which was to do what you want with your life now, while you have your life to live. Most of the people profiled on the show had long held dreams of pursuing something else, but had to make a living at something else in order to raise their families. Then their kids grew up and they decided it was time for them to take on the second acts in their lives. You could see the twinkle in their eyes along with a bit of anxiety, but it was the greatest thing to see people rediscover a part of themselves.

Seeing this show was so timely for me personally. I wrote in my end of year post that getting separated from Brit Boy twice while we were in London was a good thing for me. Well I feel like the London experiences and how I have been feeling lately and even this show have all converged at this moment to pull me out of this sleep I’ve been in somewhat for quite a while. Sometimes clarity comes in roundabout ways :-)

In a couple of months, I will have been in England for three years and it’s only now that I am really starting to take a real look around. To be truthful, it has been scary. When I moved here, I was doing a whole lot of things at one time. I’ve read since that there are certain life experiences that knock us for a loop even when they are good things. This article said that death of course shakes you up, but the list also included: leaving a job/changing careers, getting married, and moving to name a few. Well, when I came over here in March of 2006, I had done all of them at the same time. I left my job right before Christmas in 2005; eight days later my mom passed away; then I was still trying to be optimistic about getting married (I loved Brit Boy and wanted to marry him, but I was so sad about my mom. I just wanted to go to bed); and then I moved away from the familiarity of home across the Atlantic and I was not myself. Like I said, there were happy things in there, except for my mom’s passing. The good things were things that I wanted, but grief turned everything so upside down.

So I arrived here seriously diluted, but it was sink or swim, so I tried to swim. That didn’t work out so good. I had been here before many times, but visiting is nothing like living somewhere and the culture shock that is normal, just hit me full on as it mixed with everything else. It was too much to take, so I shut down a lot of who I was before. I got married and then I became a lady in waiting…waiting for what I didn’t know.

As I’ve written previously, it’s taken some time, but now I’m finding my groove again. A LOT has challenged me in the last few years and day by day, the Dori I knew before has reappeared, and a lot of that started with beginning to write this blog. And I’m so grateful to all of you that come here to read what I write. It has been so therapeutic to just show up here. I’m more of who I used to be, but there is also change in me…one of the beautiful by-products of living life. We grow :-)

Now that I am getting more connected with myself again, I’m asking myself lately…”So what do you want to do now Dori?” Well, I have a few ideas, but they aren’t in full focus yet. However, that show yesterday showed me that you should just go for it in life. So I think I will :-) It's so true what they is short. My favorite line out of “The Shawshank Redemption” is, we should…”get busy livin’ or get busy dying”.

So I’m back on my journey again and I hope to explore life more here on my blog in this brand new year.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that everyone is well and that this new year brings many blessings into your lives. Brit Boy and I spent New Year's Eve here at home with our chips and dips and drinks. We watched the fireworks in London on the television and then toasted in 2009.

This New Year's Day is calmer for me this time around. This is the first one where I have felt less turmoil. You see, my mom passed away on New Year's Day in 2006 and I thought that even though it is a customary day of new beginnings, that I would hate the day forever. On the first anniversary of her passing, it was so hard, but I made it through. Then last year, I started to turn a corner in many ways and it got a bit easier. Well, this year, I am just in a better place inside, so peace came when I wasn't noticing :-) So instead of mourning my mom last night when it turned over to midnight, I rejoiced in the fact that she loved life and she showed me how to live it. I thought about her in ways that I was unable to in all the time since she passed away. And that's okay...and as they say...time does heal and looking within has helped me too. I'm still going to have days when I will cry or even scream because I wish I could pick up the phone and call her when things get rough, and that's normal because I'm human. But today I feel like morning has come into my life a bit more again :-) I love you Mama!