Friday, April 22, 2016

crafty crazy

Last weekend we were celebrating the 30th birthday of a dear son-in-law.
I know.
That might just make me feel a tad bit old.

During the evenings visiting I was chatting with someone who was surprised that in our "foot loose and fancy free" stage of life Jari and I aren't running off to do things on weekends.
(Is that just the longest worst written run on sentence you've ever read?!)

I talked about it with my dear hubby and spent some time thinking about it.

What brings us joy?

For some it is travel hither and yon. For others it is weekends of outdoor activities. For yet others it is fine dining and all that other good stuff.

I like and appreciate all of those things, but I don't need them.

What quiets me is this. Pure bedlam.

Have you ever seen such a disaster?! We live in our workspace so it all has to be cleaned up when the day(s) is done.

Creating for me is joy.

Learning how to use another tool and accomplish something is joy.

This stresses me out a wee bit. The pile (and this picture is at least a month old) of projects to redo has grown and grown and grown. In fact, it grew to the point where a threatening storm had us moving things to fill up hubby's man cave.

I look at it and I want to just call in sick to work. Just kidding. I can't do that.
I am seriously looking forward to a week of vacation the end of May.
Work 'til you drop kind of vacation.

A day spent with my hubby working side by side.
Now that. Is. Joy.

And some things just make you smile.
How can you not?

With all of that being said ....
I'm traveling this weekend.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2016

missing her

The birth of my first daughter should have been an indication of what was ahead.
She did not want to come into this world and, although I think it had a lot to do with the doctor and my lack of knowledge at the time, did it in her own way.
From a young age we sort of butted heads.
Sort of like her dad has done with some of his kids who are so much like him.
I'm sure I didn't realize it then.

Then came the teen years.
Oh my.
There were some serious trials that grew some very non brown hairs on my head.
She knows this.
I'm not spouting anything here that we haven't discussed on the patio.
At one point, I seriously wanted to pack her stuff and shove it out on the front step.
Maybe not even pack it.
Just throw it.

Her dad and I prayed, we cried, we sought advice.
And we lived through the experience.
So did she.

Then we left the place we were living and moved to, what seemed like, a million miles away.
She was left behind, having already reached adulthood and doing her own thing.
Her own thing that was so very different from our own.

Maybe in the space and time of that separation, we both changed.
Perhaps that allowed us time to appreciate each other for who we now were.
Because time and life does change us.
It changes our perspectives.
It changes the way we view others.
It changes the way we react to situations.

And then she moved to where we had moved.
Her dad helped her drive the long road trip and along the way, in a car where there were no other options, they found their place with each other.
One of the greatest blessings.
To find and appreciate each other as adults.

The past four years have been such a treasure to me.
We enjoy each other's company.
We see each other often.
Oh, we don't spend our time out lunching and shopping.
That isn't needed in our relationship, although it might be nice once in a while.
We spend some not so quiet moments filled with the noise of little people.
We spend moments sitting on the patio visiting about the difficult things in life.
We are able to share and cherish successes.
We are able to share heartaches and hurdles.
In my heart, we have become friends.

She spent two weeks out of town recently and I felt lost without her.
I kept waiting for her to come over.

And now she, and her family, have moved away.
Oh, I would be the last person to say "don't go" or "you can't leave us".
For I believe that when doors of opportunity are opened for us, it is for us to go through them and discover what waits on the other side.
A door has opened for them and they will go explore it.

Last weekend, the father/husband/grandfather took off driving
and the rest of the family left the middle of this past week.
They spent the last leg of this Arizona journey with us.

Oh, I will miss the little man with whom we are blessed to have a beautiful relationship.
I dare not even discuss not having him around on a weekly basis.
I am going to learn to love Skype or some equivalent.
(Even though it grates me to sit in one spot for too long.)

I am going to miss my daughter so very much.

I am going to miss my friend.

And then when I have a weeks vacation that allows me to hop in the car ... I am going to go explore the beautiful state of Missouri.

For opportunities are everywhere ... for all of us.

Monday, April 11, 2016

joy on the piano keys

A few times in my life I have written a wee bit of music. 
It was usually at times that were extremely stressful for me and allowed an escape from hurts of the heart and mind. 
I've played them here and there .. often at home.
Very often with my daughters on their various instruments.
I'm so very fortunate to share a love of music with all 3 of my girls.
So. Exquisitely. Fortunate.

(This particular photo collage has been evading me for the past several years. I can't believe I just found it!)

One piece was written to a poem and has been sung at nearly every Kuoppala family event for quite a while.

Over the years, Tia has been plunking piano keys. Sometimes in secret in her room on a keyboard when she was too self conscious to be heard by anyone else. Sometimes in the living room. Several years ago, she started plunking a song that has become hers. There are no notes other than those she has in her head .. so it is only she who can bring life to the piece.

I love when she sits at the piano and her fingers breath a life into notes that exist only in her heart. 

Her friends have heard this piece many times and one friend has said for a long time that she wants to walk down the aisle at her wedding to that piece that Tia created. 

Guess who got engaged recently?

But my dear daughter cannot play at the wedding as she is in the wedding. So this mama has the honor and privilege of playing this special piece of the heart.

I know how I wrote my own music. One painstaking note at a time transcribed to written form. It is one thing to do your own but someone else's??

One day I was contemplating how we were going to accomplish this and had the thought "there has to be an app for that!"
There is.
It doesn't give me all the notes but it does give me the melody and the rest we can work through together. She played ... the app recorded and analyzed ... it worked its magic .. and gave us a musical score. 

Being as there were wet eyes in the room last weekend when she played the song for friends and family of the bride ....

I might need a tissue holder in addition to a page turner/holder the day of the wedding.

Monday, April 4, 2016

april camping

In case you don't know ... we love the outdoors ..

So does Tia.
Although we certainly like our creature comforts, nature calls to our souls.

Friday afternoon relaxation with that never ending rug making of mine.

Followed by bocce ball until the light waned and we could no longer see.

 Saturday morning scented with the aroma of frying bacon.

Always a need to be fixing one ride or another.

Camping can be so incredibly labor intensive.

Wood must be moved from one place to another.
Always at the ready for the evenings bonfire.

No wool gathering allowed in these parts.

Cousins need a rest here and there.
A stop for refreshment so there is energy to play.

New friends may become old friends.
Age knows no boundaries here.
There were quite a few of us gathered on Saturday.
Many new friends to be made.

And, yes, if one is faint of heart in the dirt department ....
this probably wasn't the place to be.

Dirt or no dirt ... hot dog time is best!

So is a ride with mom & dad to the top of the world.

From where you can see forever ....

and ever ....

A weekend with some sister time ...
whether peeling 10 pounds of potatoes ...

enjoying a tree climb together ...

or working at bee keeping!

Refreshing moments of daytime pure delight ....

followed by sand angels by the bonfire of night.

I still feel like I'm breathing dirt.
My nostrils may be back to normal before the next trip which will be a little higher in elevation.

Less of these ...

maybe more of these in a shade of green ...

Happy Monday!
Welcome to April!