All Because of a Lamb

One of the first questions Jon asked Mike and I was how did we meet. I explained we met on an online dating site. I had been on five different sites in as many years while Mike had been on three or four. We met on Plenty of Fish. Mike and I emailed back and forth for about two weeks prior to exchanging phone numbers. Mike gave me his number first which forced me to decide whether or not I wanted to pursue things further. Honestly I hemmed and hawed for a day or so before gathering up the courage to text him. He hated texting and I hate talking on the phone. It was a little bit of an adjustment on both of our parts and I’m happy to say I gladly talk to Mike on the phone today while he has become a gold medalist in texting. 

Mike recently shared with me that what drew him to my profile was the fact I was holding a lamb. I admit I was sneaky and had my face kind of hidden in the background. He thought it was neat I was holding a lamb and that I was country. He has since told me he may have passed by my profile had it not been for the lamb. I was happy to see Mike had a dog in his profile. Mike did most of the pursuing and understood when I told him I could not meet him near where he lived for the first month of dating due to my work schedule. God bless him he met me every single time twice a week in the town I lived in at the time. I did not realize what a huge thing that was for him at the time. 

Mike is retired from the Air Force and for a long time did not interact much with others or leave his comfort zone. He likewise did not know I had to challenge myself to continue to be open and communicate. Over the past year and a half we have made tremendous strides in our life and together. If you had asked me 19 months ago if I would be living and loving someone I would tell you that you are crazy. I was happy alone and was going to stay that way. But something inside of me said keep trying you will find someone. And had you asked Mike is he would be traveling up and down the east coast and working with me on a farm job all the while interacting with others he probably would have laughed. But here we are planning a life together and continuing to support and challenge each other.

A Few More Photos 

A Wet & Windy Weekend

It was a rainy and windy weekend but it was still a good time to capture images on the farm. I love wandering the gardens and interacting with the animals. I hope the weather was ok where you are. Blessings to all.


Sunsets & Weight Lifted

 I felt a weight lift off of me tonight when I arrived to work. I’m not sure what it was but something in my universe definitely shifted. I’m excited again happy and smiling. I start a pet sitting job tomorrow until Sunday afternoon. I have free time next week for the first time in a long time. I have big plans to work around the house and finally finish unpacking. Mike wants to garden and clean out a shed. We are heading out Thursday to look at cars for Michael Twaits but he is still not cleared to drive yet so it is really only looking now. I had not known how the car accident would affect our relationship but it has really brought us closer. We were close before but now on another level I had not known existed. I am looking forward to writing this weekend and meeting my mom to go to the art museum where my photo is hanging for a couple of more weeks. Life is good even with its curve balls.

In the eye of the beholder 

It’s in the eye of the beholder an old saying, cliche and a truth. This morning I walked into the local bookstore. An older man very graciously held the door open for me and said go ahead young man. I felt my heart sink as I went back to my middle school days. Puberty hit me hard-I quickly grew taller than my classmates, my voice deepened and for a long time people who did not know me thought I was a male. I remember a substitute teacher calling on me to read a passage in a book. He said would the young man in the back read the next paragraph. And what followed was laughter by my classmates and two boys who quickly said she’s a girl. I wanted to hide under my desk and the teacher was embarrassed. I dealt with people mistaking me for a male until college. 

I have never been stereotypical feminine or what society says a woman should be. I have broad shoulders-I always had to special order horse show jackets because of this. I have a deeper voice than most women. I have been told I walk like a man and need to carry a purse rather than just the small wallet I have in a back pocket. I hated dolls and barbies as a child-books were my friends. I have been told I am a spitting image of my dad. I take pride in that. Dad always encouraged me to read and write. It is where I escaped and learned. For years I did not post photos of myself on Facebook. I am not a size 6-12. I am a plus size person and through much trials of life and learning to be happy by myself I found myself. I decided I was not going to settle for anyone or anything. 

I found myself sad for a moment this morning when the man mistook me for a man but quickly recovered. I often feel for the other person who then feels embarrassed that they thought I was a man. I believe that given the struggle with how people perceive me has made me more sensitive to others, more accepting of differences and made me a much more creative person than I may have been. Just as things are in the eyes of the beholder I enjoy bringing my perspective to others with writing and photography.

Sunsets, Gardens & Happiness

One thing strong storms bring is colorful sunsets both before the storm arrives and after they leave. The tropical storm named Hermine ended up bringing only strong winds for a day with little rain where we live. 

The gardens are winding down but some flowers are really exploding. I love the blooms of flowers even after they are past bloom. I find the beauty in their passing good for my soul. 

Meadow has been having some health issues but she is just about cured of them now. She really is a delight and a joy dog. She makes me laugh every day. 

Mike is still recovering from the accident. He has an additional three weeks of therapy on top of the four weeks he has completed. He is still not cleared by the doctor to drive yet but hopefully next month. I have been getting lots of podcasts listened to during Mike’s physical therapy and doctors appointments. I can now find my way to the hospital with my eyes closed unlike the night Mike had the accident and I googled how to get there. It has been a learning experience for both of us and thankfully brought us closer together rather than tear us apart. I wonder if helping to care for my dad during his hip replacement recovery many years ago taught me how to care for Mike when he really could not move his neck and back comfortably. I have found I learned a lot from dad that I had not realized until now. I know my dad would love Mike. I wish my dad could see how successful I am at my job at ups-having the respect of the drivers, loaders and management, how successful I am at pet sitting. My greatest sadness as Mike and I prepare for our wedding is that my dad will not be there nor will he know Mike. I look at my older sisters with envy that dad able to walk them down the aisle and watch with joy their weddings and birth of their children. 

However weddings are meant to be happy. Our wedding will be paid for well in advance of the date. It will be an inexpensive wedding and a unique one. I want it to reflect Mike and my relationship and our love without regard for tradition. We do not have a wedding planner other than myself. We are keeping it as stress free as possible. Much as we try to live our life. We both had baggage and demons to be rid of and with hard work both apart and together we found peace and happiness. 

Butterflies and a Bee

I had fun running around the garden at the farm photographing butterflies. I was excited to capture a hummingbird moth and a bee exiting a morning glory.

The Big Picture

The big picture is something I need to work on both in my personal life and professional life. Lately I have had to focus on the immediate picture due to outside influences and it was while grocery shopping with Mike on Friday that I realized I lost sight of the big picture. We had just come from his physical therapy appointment and he was feeling not the best but he wanted to grocery shop. We headed to the store and usually I push the cart while he grabs the items and keeps track of our running total. He needed the cart to steady himself a little and I found myself lost with having the control of the cart. Without realizing it at first I had grabbed the front of the cart and was still steering it while he pushed it. After two aisles of this I suddenly realized with horror what I was doing. Mike never said a word but I was mortified to find I was such a little control freak. I think a lot of it stems from being alone and fiercely independent for over twenty years. I apologized to Mike and told him I needed to work on that and the fact we are in this together on everything. It has been quite an adjustment for me to be in such a loving and giving relationship with Mike. I need to step back and see the whole picture and not just my picture. These photos of the moon last night with the dot of a jet in the sky as well as sunset tonight reminded me that I in fact control little but how I react to things. Mindfulness is a practice I forget in times of stress. I some homework to do.

Snapshots from the past two weeks

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