PLEASE NOTE:
These are NOT my photos.  I could never take photos this good.
These are from one of the parents, at the school, who is an amazing artist.  And I am so grateful for his talents.

She's got spirit, yes she does. She's got spirit, how about you?

She’s got spirit, yes she does. She’s got spirit, how about you?

My beautiful baby girl.

My beautiful baby girl.

2015 - 2016 Cheer Team.

2015 – 2016 Cheer Team.

Doing what she loves to do.

Doing what she loves to do.

Getting to do this with one of her oldest and closest friends. Icing.

Getting to do this with one of her oldest and closest friends. Icing.

Being part of this group, she's found her niche.

Being part of this group, she’s found her niche.

When I was growing up there were no actual cheerleaders in my schools. Ever. We just didn’t have them. Not when I was in Jr. High, in Saudi because of the skimpiness of the outfits. Never would have been appropriate. Then at Willy we didn’t have them either, because every student was required to be on an actual sports team. Or find a suitable alternative, like volunteering at a local horse ranch; which was equally physically demanding. Ask me how I know. LoL

Thus for me all cheerleader-related knowledge was learned from TV and the movies. Not very realistic, to say the least. I held a notion that cheerleading was a cop-out for doing actual sports. That the girls who choose to do cheerleading were doing so, because they were not capable of the physical work of athletics. I was lead to believe that cheerleaders were ditzy. That was until Bronwyn came into my life – and as she grew up, desired to be a cheerleader.

I did all that I could to redirect her desires into more socially acceptable, actual sporting, real activities. I was fighting a force of nature. Needless to say, I did not win.

My youngest daughter was going to be a cheerleader. Period.

I thought that she would grow out of this along the way. Grow bored with it. Realize that it was just a fluffy alternative.

Nope.

Here we are and my baby girl is on the high school cheer-leading squad.

And here I am being taught that every believe I held about cheer-leading and the girls who choose this, was wrong. Dead wrong.

Cheer-leading is an actual sport. A very physically demanding sport. These girls are as much athletes as the boys and girls that they cheer for, out on the football team. I watch as my daughter limps into a warm shower each night after practice, to ease her sore muscles. She uses all of them. I witness her deftly apply an ace bandage to her left ankle, each day before a game-night, because of the extra strain it takes, when she lifts her childhood playmate, up and over her head.

Did I say that these girls were ditsy? Oh I apologize now. Watching my the expression on Bronwyn’s face, I know that her brain is working over-time, when she is holding Abby up in the air. Concentrating and adjusting her body, to accommodate her teammate’s body, so as not to allow any harm to come to her. Also, these girls are required to maintain a 3.0 or better, to even participate. That’s above the 2.5 for other athletes. Their coach’s rules, not the school’s. These are the smartest girls you’ll meet in the school.

She has found her niche, my Baby Girl. And I’m so proud to watch her jumping, yelling, and encouraging her schoolmates, in their endeavors. On and Off, of the field. She is blossoming into a very out-going young lady, and it is because of her love for cheer-leading.

She’s come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

She's come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

She’s come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

Very well actually. (*shocked*)  Even when I’m not trying to grow stuff.

I had planted some eggplant seeds, back when I planted all of the other seeds. Back when the peas, the beans, the squashes, the tomatoes, the cucumbers and broccoli, collards, celery, and lettuce all came up; the eggplants barely showed their sweet faces.  The few little seedlings that came up, I gave half of, to my Momma.  Her’s grew, tall and strong.  I even was blessed with some of her crop.  I enjoyed those 2 yummy fruits.  My plants hid under their neighbors.

She told me how she tended to her’s.  She thought that if I did the same things, then my plants would flourish.  She was trying to get more from her plants, but they had other plans. She gave them back to the earth a few weeks ago. I took time to pull out the dead plants, in my planter, as well.  Giving gratitude for the lessons, that I am capable of growing plants.

I found 2 wee eggplants, still shyly hiding in the undergrowth.  Along with a brand new  squash, that had decided to sprout up, from a previous fruit, I had not harvested. I told them that, they could stay as they wanted.  I didn’t expect them to grow.

I was wrong.

They Grew!!!!

They Grew!!!!

They grew big and full of leaves.  Momma told me that if I snipped off bits, here and there, that I could get some fruit from them.  I just left them alone.  I have never been very good at tending to the garden.  Then 1 day it gave me a beautiful sight.

Flowers!!!

Flowers!!!

Dozens of pretty lavender colored flowers.  I have been enjoying their beauty for a couple of weeks now.  Last week I saw this.

Eggplants!!!

Eggplants!!!

Yes.

Yes. I am the proud mommy of a dozen baby eggplants. They are so cute.  So happy looking there, on the plant.  Soooooooooooooo Purple. 🙂

Happy Eggplant.

Happy Eggplant.

I’m soaking up their happiness.

My pretty foot.

My pretty foot.

All the way around to my ankle.

All the way around to my ankle.

These were done by Daphne.

Yep. They were among her first attempts at even doing any sort of henna tattooing.

This all came about because of my sweet sister.

At the beginning of our Sisters Retreat Weekend, we are asked to stand up and announce to the Circle who we are, and what we bring to the community. Some women respond with, I’m a massage therapist. Others say, I’m really good at listening. I spoke of my own truths and talents. Daphne’s response was: I’m Daphne, and I’m not good at anything. I don’t have any talents.
😦

My sisters strove to change her mind on that. And Saturday morning one sister asked Daphne to put a mandala on her belly. She, like many of us, know about Daphne’s talent for free-handed drawings of mandalas. She brought some henna and told Daphne to decorate. So she did. After all, even Daphne knows not to speak back to one of her aunts. LoL

Beautiful henna - made even more so by the little boy inside.

Beautiful henna – made even more so by the little boy inside.

I am so grateful to her, and the others, who encouraged my child. To the ones who complimented her talents. To her for decorating my own foot and ankle. I feel so ubber pretty with my decorations. The only direction I gave her was to start at my big toe, and end around my ankle area. I think that she did an amazing job. I am looking forward to more of her talents being displayed upon my body.

At the end of the weekend, we are asked to give our thoughts on our experiences. Daphne said, “I’m grateful that I now know what my talent is.”

((*BIG MOMMA SIGH*))

My eldest has officially grown up, and moved out into the great big world, on her own. ((**Don’t get me started*)) She is transforming and changing into this amazing person that I am so lucky to have gotten to spend 18 years with. Its been hard coming into her room. Okay, took me 11 days to even open the door… but who’s counting.

Little by little, I have been spending more and more time in Rebecca’s room. Its been her room since she was one (1) year, and three (3) weeks old. Again, who’s counting. If it wasn’t her room, it was her and Daphne’s room. Or her, Daphne, and Bronwyn’s room. Then it was for a little bit just Bronwyn and Russell’s room, until she moved back in and we gave Russell his own room.

She’s not going to be a little girl, living in this room any more. So, I’m transforming her room into it’s next phase, too.

Let the transformation begin.

Let the transformation begin.

Oh yes... this is going to take 2 coats of primer.

Oh yes… this is going to take 2 coats of primer.

I can still see blue paint.... pffft!

I can still see blue paint…. pffft!

Lonely vs Alone

Lonely vs Alone

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

I have been in a room filled with people and felt lonely. There being no connection to a single one of them. Not eye-contact. Not physical touch. Not a kind word. Just buzzing that goes around and around and around… with all of it bouncing off of me, instead of penetrating my soul. Lonely.
With a room full of people that I like.
With those that I’m related too.
Even those that are supposed to love me.

I have been out in the middle of the world, without another human around and felt voluminous. Though there is not a soul in sight, I have felt full of other peoples’ presences. All of my senses filled with sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and touches… all of it permeating my spirit. Surrounded.
With a just another single soul.
With my family around me.
Even with people I’ve never even met before.

This seem like an improbability. A contradiction. An anomaly. How could I feel alone in a crowded room, yet feel so complete without another human around for miles? What is it about some people that seem to drag me down and make me feel as if I don’t exist in the world. Yet thinking of the right person will make me feel so alive and vibrant.

There must be a correlation between Orendas. When we meet those that are vibrating on the same level as our own, then that connection can occur. That feeling of oneness. That wholeness. That connectedness. Which then, in opposite reaction, when we meet those who are vibrating at a different level than our own, we feel Alone.

If we are to grow and become a better spiritual wholeness, then we must find ways of bridging this gap. So that none of us feel this loneliness. I wish that I could fix it. I can’t. I haven’t figured it out yet, myself.

I’m working on it.

I think that this year, I’m just going to let the photos speak for themselves. Although, I refuse to complain about getting older. It beats the alternative.

Aawwww... Even Google wished me a Happy Birthday.

Aawwww… Even Google wished me a Happy Birthday.

Birthday Breakfast with the Baby Girl - even though it cost her 23 laps.

Birthday Breakfast with the Baby Girl – even though it cost her 23 laps.

Took myself out for birthday lunch  -  I  let myself, pick the place and everything.  Sushi!

Took myself out for birthday lunch – I let myself, pick the place and everything. Sushi!

I got presents, and every thing.

I got presents, and every thing.

Fine.  Take my photo... let me get my glasses off, 1st.

Fine. Take my photo… let me get my glasses off, 1st.

Its been nearly 4 years since the house flooded. The Great Flood of 2011 resulted in all of our walls to be repainted. Which is great for some people. It took me 13 years to paint all of the walls in my home, at least once. There was a difference of opinion when it came to color schemes. The repair people told me that I only got to pick one (1) color for my home… not just one (1) color in each room. One (1) color for the whole. freaking. house. I got an off-white, that had a bit of pink tinge to it.

Since there was this fresh coat of paint on the walls, we never got around to painting anything, but the girls’ rooms. And well, the girls painted the girls’ rooms. Picking out the color and everything.

I figured that it was time to paint my walls something other than ‘off white’. I figured this was a good start. Hell, if I don’t like it – I can just paint over it, something else. There’s nobody around that I have to get to agree. 🙂

Finally making changes.

Finally making changes.

Best painting helper around.

Best painting helper around.

Love how this turned out!

Love how this turned out!

Even managed to make dinner.... yep, Mac-n-Cheese.

Even managed to make dinner…. yep, Mac-n-Cheese.