RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #55 Five & Thrive

Ronovan’s
words for us this week are, “five and thrive.” If you like haiku, make sure to check out Ronovan’s blog!

I like to call this haiku, “My Nine to Five World.”

Thanks so much for visiting. I love seeing you all.

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“My Creative Room”

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Kat from Dandelion Fuzz asks:

“Do you have a special place you like to write? Do you need silence or do you prefer background noise? Where do you write? “

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As you can see from the picture above, I have a whole room dedicated for my writing and blogging.  I call this room “My Creative Room.”  This is where I go each day to compose my poetry, transcribe my dreams from the Swamp Fairy, and to share my thoughts on my blog.

Some days I play music, my favorite 80’s rock, classical, country, Pink Floyd, or any other tunes I can get my hands on.  I love music with chanting and some of my best writing is done while that is playing in the background.  I love all kinds of music and depending on my mood – you never know what I will be listening to.  Some days I have a candle with scented oil lit, and the fragrance wafts throughout my house.  Some days it is all hushed and quiet in my creative room.  I enjoy those days too.  All you can hear are my fingers at the keyboard, tapping those words out of my head and heart.

I have a huge recliner in the back corner of my creative room.  Sugar likes to take naps on that chair while the sunlight warms her aging dog-bones.

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I do like peace and quiet to write in.  If I am doing research for my book, I usually keep it quiet because I need to burn up numerous brain cells looking for information.  It just depends.  One thing I do know is that I can be creative because I have my own space to be creative in.  Do you find that you need a designated place to write too?

I worked as a bookkeeper for the largest law firm in Montana several years ago.  I did not have an office per se, I had a sectioned off area of a hallway to work in.  It drove me crazy.  I could not concentrate.  I had all kinds of tedious figures to work with for payroll, billing, etc. and here I was stuck where all the traffic was.  I really struggled with the working conditions.  Come to find out many years later, as an introvert that working situation was intolerable.  I had no idea just how productive and creative I could be until I got my own private place to work in.

I write better

(Image Credit: Lady London)

Many thanks to Kat for sponsoring such a great challenge, and many thanks to you for reading and letting me ramble on…

Thanks for stopping by today.  I look forward to seeing you again.

silverthreading signature

Have I Become Invisible?

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I recently read an article entitled, “5 Reasons to Enjoy Being an Old, Invisible Woman,” by Kristine Holmgren, dated November 17, 2014; featured on Next Avenue, a PBS website.

I got a good laugh at the title of the article and then it got me to thinking – hard. Just because I am an older woman with silver hair have I become invisible?

Sometimes people do look at me differently, like the guy in the pharmacy last week who told me he has no idea what color his wife’s hair really is. Why he said this I have no idea other than to draw reference to the color of my own hair. This had nothing to do with the prescription he was filling, so I am not sure how to take that – barb or compliment?

This author goes on to say that on her 50th birthday something earth shattering happened to her. She felt like she grew old and invisible. Suddenly, people ignored her and they quit responding to her. She even lost the attention of men! Holy crap that is serious!

However, Kristine Holmgren goes on to say that age has advantages while living in the shadows with an invisibility cloak draped around her shoulders. I tend to agree, because frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn what most people think of me anymore. I feel like Popeye, “I yam’s who I yam’s!”

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(Image Credit: Etsy)

These are my top five reasons why I enjoy being older:

1. People ask my advice now.

When I was younger, most people did not think I had enough experience at life to voice an opinion. Little did they know that I had already had enough excitement in my life while being married twice, raising five kids, and going to college in between all of the chaos life brings. Now that I am older everybody wants to know what I think. “The older I get, the less I know,” is usually my answer.

2. I now have the freedom to be myself and wear what I choose.

Young women today have unbelievable standards to live up to. Everyone judges each other on the way they raise their children, the clothes they wear, and how youthful they look.

On the television show, “Modern Family,” I had to chuckle at how the women are always beautiful, wearing full makeup, hair and nails done, all while they are cleaning their homes or cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. Hollywood is such a fantasy.  No wonder women have image issues.

In comparison, I am sitting here in my nightshirt and bathrobe drinking coffee and writing this blog post. No makeup, no fancy clothes. Judge me if you want, but I feel good. I am not out to impress anyone. My normal clothes in the summer are a tank top and shorts, while in the winter I wear yoga pants and a tank top, with maybe a sweater. Comfort becomes a priority when you get older. Embrace this and take advantage of it.

3. I can say what I think.

When I was younger I had to learn to get along in the working world. Most of the time, women tend to hold themselves back and not say what they think for fear of being judged. I know I did that. Part of this is because of male and female perceptions of women working that still tend to bog us down. It is better than it was when I was young, but those damaging perceptions still hang around today. Give yourselves a break. Husbands and wives have to work now to survive and raise their families. Don’t add any more pressure than what is already there.

So, as you can see I say what I think now that I am older. No longer do I get eye-daggers thrown at me. Instead, I find that most people respect my honesty and appreciate that I (tastefully) said what was on my mind. That is a great feeling. Try it.

4. I have not lost my “personal mojo.”

Unlike the author, Kristine Holmgren, I do not feel like I have lost the attention of the opposite sex or anyone for that matter. Our female aura is uniquely and personally ours. If you choose to portray yourself as an old woman – that will come through to others and that is how you will be viewed. I choose to be seen as a nice person with experience. It is not all about your looks. It is how you carry yourself and how you speak. I listen to other people too. Respect toward others is vital to how other people view you.

5. I spend my time doing the things I love.

I have a huge list of things that I love: Spending time with my husband, kids, and grand kids, blogging, reading, writing, gardening, crocheting, walking in nature, playing with my dogs, drinking tea, drinking wine, etc.

You get where I am going with this. The best part about getting older is finding the time to do all the things you wanted to do when you were younger, but instead put off because of all the other obligations you had in life.

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Embrace life. Look for the good in people and learn to be grateful for the little things. Do what makes you feel happy. Learn to find peace with becoming older. It is not as bad as it sounds.

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Thanks for visiting today.  I sure enjoyed seeing all of you!

Silver Threading

My Journey Into “Gentle Yoga”

As part of Blogging 101’s assignment for today, I am sharing a few links that I really love!

I recently read an article in “Prevention Magazine,” ( June 2014 edition, by Hillardi Dowdle) extolling the virtues of “Gentle Yoga.”  The article concentrated on Jillian Pransky, a New Jersey-based yogi.  What was completely amazing to me was the fact that scientific evidence now exists that 10 minutes a day of gentle yoga contributed to a significant weight loss for practitioners.  This was on top of all the other added benefits of doing yoga on a regular basis.  I was enthralled!

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(I found the above image on Pinterest but could not find a working website for the image.)

Here is the link to the article on Prevention.com

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(Image from Prevention.com)

Here is the link to Pransky’s Gentle Yoga video from Prevention.com

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According to Yogi Pransky, “One of the key aspects of making gentle yoga work for you is to close your eyes and set an intention for your practice.”  My intention is to get more flexible.  I walk about 2 miles a day and sometimes stiffness plagues me late in the day.  As a beginner, I want to do my 10 minutes of Gentle Yoga in the afternoon to help me relax in the evening.

I have decided that anything that helps me lose weight and feel relaxed each day is something I want to participate in. Today is the first day of my yoga challenge.  I committed myself to do this challenge back in May and life got in the way, so I am doing it again!

JOIN ME, for 10 minutes a day and try Gentle Yoga.  Then, comment on this post and let me know your progress and I will share mine.  Do something nice for yourself.

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Thanks for the wonderful visit.  I am so glad that you stopped by,

Silver Threading ❤

 

It’s All in the Name

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Today’s assignment in Blogging 101 is to let readers know what inspired your title and tagline on your blog.

My title and tagline is: Silver Threading – Join me in my journey into retirement, as I silver thread my way to look back, look forward, look around, and look within.

When it came time for me to add a name to my blog I immediately knew what I wanted to name it.  You see when I was in college a couple of years ago I took most of my classes online.  I took classes in Montana and in Arizona, and both colleges had discussion boards as part of the online class structure.

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My professors would post questions, usually in the form of an essay that we would answer on the discussion boards.  Part of our grade had to do with replies we made to other student’s comments.  These comments were called “threads.” To me,  “threading,” represents an open line of communication between myself and the readers of my blog.

The other aspect of my blog’s name, “silver” came to me in two ways.  I have silver hair, which  represents my wisdom.  In fact, I like my hair because it is a liberation of sorts for me to not have to prove myself anymore.  I am at the point in my life that I am finally comfortable with who I have become. I refuse to color my hair because I want the world to see the real me which I reveal through my writings.

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Silver Threading works as the title of my lifestyle blog because it is my journey into my retirement years. I have been fortunate, and I am grateful that I could retire this early.  However, for me that is not the end of my journey.  I feel there is still much to learn and experience.  My tagline suggests that as I discover more about myself and others; I will do that by looking back, looking forward, looking around and looking within.  Welcome to my blog!

Thanks for visiting with me.  I am happy to see you each time you visit!

Silver Threading

Fun Friday

It has been a difficult week for all of us, and I am on a personal campaign to make people laugh!  Please watch the following video, courtesy of Mrs. Brown’s Boys from the UK.  Humor truly is the best medicine!  **CAUTION**  This type of humor could be offensive to some.  Please watch responsibly 🙂

 

Sip Happens!

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(Image credit:  Pinterest, 8/13/14).

I could not stand it any longer.  I took the big step, the plunge, I dove right in!  I cleaned my house today!  I dusted, cleaned bathrooms, and mopped floors.  Lucky for me, my stupendous husband volunteered to vacuum.  That is huge.  With two Pomeranians, we always vacuum up enough fur to make another dog, even though we keep the girl’s fur short.  Sure enough, there was so much fur we could have created a small cat.

I would not say that I hate to clean, it’s not that.  It is more that I don’t want to waste time doing it anymore.  I want to do fun things, not clean.  Nevertheless, it is a necessary evil and the deed is done once again.

With all the bad news in the world today I sometimes find that a good house cleaning “cleans” my karma.  I feel wonderful after everything is all shiny and clean again.  My brain seems to work better too.  In fact, I recently re-arranged my creative room where I do all my writing.  Suddenly, I have had these bursts of brilliance that were not there earlier.  I am not going to question, instead I will just go with it.

In fact, my kids still tease me about how I used to re-arrange everything when I used to clean the house.  I do not have those tendencies anymore, but it sure served its purpose back when the kids were home.  I found more junk piled under beds, stuffed in closets, and poked in corners.  If they hid it, I found it!

My staunch Prussian upbringing meant that I too, had to be a clean freak like my Grandmother.  I remember her scrubbing the front steps to their home every weekend – all on her hands and knees.  Considering we recently power washed the front porch and sidewalk, along with the driveway I guess I inherited that cleaning gene.  I suppose I could have gotten a much worse gene like a wine drinking gene.  Oops!  Sip Happens!  I got that gene too!

Now that my chores are done I am headed out to the patio to enjoy the brewing thunderstorm.  As a reward, I think a glass of wine is in order.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Front Yard Re-do

Since last week, I have busy with our front yard re-do, or I guess I should say do-over.  We bought this house a little over a year ago and like any new homeowner, you like to make changes to make it your own.  I knew that a curb appeal Re-do is just what this house needed.  I am a “ZEN” kind of gal and think less is more.  I hate clutter outside and inside my home.  The front of our house was an overgrown jungle!  Wasps loved these bushes and dive bombed me each day I came out the front door.

The first picture is what the front section of our house looked like before the previous owner’s bushes were yanked out.  There were approximately 11 bushes in this one area!  On top of that, the pruning was time consuming and a pain.  The bushes were so crowded that they could not breathe in this hot, humid climate of Pensacola, Florida.  My solution… remove them!

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Before

We hired a tree removal company to yank all the bushes in the front yard and there were tons of them.  There are 6 separate planting areas in our front yard.  These two up close to the front door are the only ones I have partially completed so far.  As I complete each area I will share the transformation.  At the far left of the photo below where the rocks and border jut out – I am planting a Japanese Maple.  Hopefully that will be completed by this weekend.

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After

I love living in the Southern United States because of the selection of plants that you have available to plant in our area.  I planted 3 gardenia bushes in the back of this bed.  Gardenias have glorious white flowers that show up against the deep, rich emerald green of the leaves.  In fact, this morning I discovered my first gardenia bloom!  I wish I could insert how lovely the smell of gardenias are, however, there are limits to the capability of my blog, so this photo will have to suffice.

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My First Gardenia Bloom!

Gardenias are heat loving evergreen bushes that evoke images to me of southern verandas with comfy rocking chairs, while mint juleps are served in the shade.  Gardenias are also known as Cape Jasmine.  I found a fabulous website called, The National Gardening Association, at http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2135 who give you all the planting basics for gardenias.  I was careful to only plant 3 bushes on this side garden as gardenias do spread into brilliant green mounds most times, as high as they are wide.

The bushes at the front of the flower bed are called Liriope.  They are a ground cover that stays green throughout the winter.  In the summer, delicate purple flowers on a long stem grow from the center of the plant.  I have talked about these before in one of my past blogs, so I won’t cover them again.  I like the simplicity of Liriope and like the gardenias, it can stand the morning shade and late afternoon sun quite well.

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Before

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After

On the other side of the front door, the area is much smaller.  Just like the other side garden, this garden area was over planted.  There was an additional red bush at the far right corner I did not get in this picture, but in the bottom “after” shot I planted a Liriope where the red bush used to be.  The previous owners had 6 bushes in this area!  I planted only one gardenia in this area so that it has sufficient room to grow.  The gardenias look quite tiny right now, but in no time we will have beautiful green mounds filled with the sweet smelling gardenias that I love so much.

I planted Red Sensation Cordyline in the two cement urns on each side of the porch.  This plant is from New Zealand and can stand the hot afternoon sun that my front receives.  The leaves are almost a purple/brown shade even though it is said to be red.  The leaves give a nice tropical flair to any container.  The Proven Winners website at http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/cordyline/red-sensation-false-dracaena-cordyline-species will provide you with any additional information on growing this lush plant.

I have completed surrounding the other garden areas with paving blocks and hope to have trees delivered for planting soon in 3 of the other areas.  Our fantastic next door neighbor, has been helping me clean our sidewalk and driveway with his power washer.  In the South, because of the humidity and the amount of rainfall, our cement tends to get a mildewed appearance about it.  You can see the difference in the cement in the picture below.

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Amazing difference don’t you think.  So those days that you don’t see me on my blog, you know what I am doing.  Working on my front yard re-do!  I am off to enjoy a glass of iced tea!

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(Image found on Pintrest, 8/6/14)

Until next time,

~Colleen~

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved www.silverthreading.com

What a Week!

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It has been one of those weeks!  I am emotionally spent, worn out and ready to move on.  One thing I have noticed as I grow older is that all this upheaval is hard to recuperate from.  I know everyone has these days (weeks) where their best laid intentions tank and go right down the drain.  I try not to have many of them, but when I do – WHEW!  Anyway, I am usually struck dumb for about a day and then I can pick up and move forward again.

The first crisis this week was that my three grandchildren who where living here in Pensacola, Florida decided they wanted to stay in Texas with their father, instead of their mother, our daughter.  They have been visiting their Dad for the summer.  They are old enough to make these decisions on their own now, so one must honor their wishes.  I will miss all  three of them.  We always lived far apart before so this was a rare treat to have them so close.  It is all about what is best for the children in the end.  They grew up in Texas so I completely understand their desire to remain there.

As a result, our daughter will move back home and regroup her life for awhile.  There is nothing wrong with that decision, and I look forward to the time we will spend together.  I am just glad that we can be there to help her.  Everyone needs a leg up sometimes.  Divorce is hard no matter who goes through it.

We also heard from our oldest daughter and other two grandchildren this week.  She just returned from a tour in Okinawa and went back to Hill AFB, in Utah.  She works for the Air Force as a civilian employee and had the privilege of living on Okinawa for about a year and a half.  Her Thai mother has been living with her due to ill health.  This was the next upset – the Thai mother has gallbladder cancer.  She has excellent care so we must wait and see what happens next.  More hard times are ahead for the two oldest daughters who must cope with the issues of their aging mother.  I just ache for them.

Yesterday, the crew came and yanked out all the overgrown bushes in our front yard.  This included the two River Birch that had web worms infesting them.  I have worked for two days now, moving rocks and plants.  Tomorrow I will buy a few new bushes (something small and not 8 of them in one flower bed) and get them set so they have time to root before the colder temperatures creep in by November.  The contractor to put sprinklers in our yard will come and give us a bid this weekend.  He will be able to plant the two crepe myrtle trees and the two Japanese maples I want out front.  That will be a relief.

Our third oldest daughter (my eldest daughter) has her 36th birthday today.  I looked back and remembered the day she was born.  She is a beautiful and wise woman now.  I am proud to be her mother.  It seems like just yesterday she was born…

That was my week… highs, lows, ups, and downs.  It is what it is.  I simply pick up and move forward.  I think I will indulge in a couple glasses of wine this evening!  After all, I think I earned it.

Thanks for listening,

~Colleen~

Send on the JOY!

 

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I feel like I have finally arrived!  I love being retired and spending my time enjoying life.  I am sending positive vibes to mankind.  Enjoy your Saturday and spread the joy!

~Colleen~

(Image from Facebook, 7/25/14)