_________ January 08, 2016 __________

A Very Full Day

I’m having spending issues.

My BFF found another paint studio – much closer to both of us, and with fairly decent pictures.  And they have Saturday classes, which work better for her.  The one we both like is a lighthouse picture, but it’s THIS weekend.  So it looks like I’ll be painting with BFF this weekend.   I have no doubt that we’ll have a wonderful time, and it’s a great picture and at a place that sounds like it has fun, *yummy* drinks. … (← thought I could say it, but GAG!!)  Can’t stand the word ‘yummy.’  I just traumatized myself.

The problem is… I feel uncomfortable spending on myself.  In fact, I’ve been having some serious guilt issues, ever since Hanukkah over how *spoiled* I’m becoming.  I don’t want that.  That’s not a good way to live – it will only lead to trouble.  It started when I got not only FOUR cottages but a TREE for gifts.  That in itself is too much, but now I’m… I’m doing too much for myself.  It was bad enough, going lap swimming away from the family once a week.  But now I’m lap swimming, AND tap dancing, AND doing paint class, and going to scrapbooking night… that’s TEN nights out of 31 this month that I’m gone for *ME*.  That’s… not even right.  I’m not where I should be.  It’s BAD, and I hate it.  Not sure what to do.  I tried to talk to my guy about it, but he just shrugged and said, “It’s good.  You need more.”  NO.  I DON’T.  He… doesn’t apparently understand.  And I don’t know how to make him understand, either.  :/

As to the chart I shared with you, yesterday… I unthinkingly gave you WAY too much with way too little explanation.  I just saw it as being about how there’s a tug-of-war on Israel and it’s spirituality/beliefs, holy places, teachings… Christianity wants to replace them and take it all.  They hop on the balance, shouldering in and tipping the scale from harmony to trouble… all in the name of ‘goodness’ and ‘mercy’ and ‘love’.  Then there’s Islam, that wants to wipe OUT Judaism and take what they believe they rightfully deserve, as the seed of Ishmael (vs. Isaac).  They are bombing the hell out of and calling for the decimation of Israel, in the name of ‘jihad’ and ‘hate’ and ‘retribution’.  It’s part of how Israel exists – Christianity protects (for their own purposes) while Islam attacks (for their own purposes)… and Israel isn’t usurped or destroyed because of the opposing sides balancing things out.  I don’t know – I see multiple levels… physical, territorial, idealistic, spiritual… lots of different layers, here.

Yesterday!  We hiked at Wittenbach – did two loops, over uneven terrain, along a stream, at one point.  It was beautiful.  I should post pictures for you.  I was mostly watching for owls.  I’d just read this blog post: http://plantsamazeme.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-owl-in-my-woods.html and I wondered if there are more owls than we know of, and we just don’t see them.  Then I realized I’d *NEVER* see one, with my ineffectual little human eyes, so I prayed and asked for a glimpse of wildlife before the end of our walk.  I was still thinking owls, when this HUGE white-tail deer jumped out on the trail, not 25 feet in front of us!  I’ve seen deer before many times, but this one was just enormous.  I swear, I’ve never seen such a large one before!  (Naturally my camera was off and in my pocket and I had my gloves back on… dang it!)  But it was STUNNING to the kids and I!  Have I mentioned that I’m blessed?  I really, really am.  Getting to be spoiled.  It’s starting to make me uncomfortable… when even Ha’Shem is so good to me!

Our day got severely messed up, before the hike, though.  We started out in Moline – their library has THE most DVDs of any other branch (except maybe KDL Cascade).  And as we were pulling into the [long] drive to the library… there was a gray Honda van pulling out.  I tensed and asked, “Is that my mom?”  And as we were driving in and they were driving out, we passed, and… “Yup,” Lydia said. “Only Grams wears sunglasses that ugly.”  (She does, too.  Don’t ask.)  So we were watching to see if the van stopped, or turned around at the road… we were kind of on tinterhooks.  But she went away.

NoTe:  My sister wasn’t in the front seat.  But my mom doesn’t go *anywhere* without my sister/her kids, so that means my sister is STILL riding in the back with her girls.  They’re TEN and ELEVEN, now… I don’t think that’s necessary.  But I teased Brian later about how my mom has all her kids in the back.  😉

We got what we needed FAST, in case they came back, and Lydia said they’d turned right, so I figured they were headed to GR, and we went left, headed to Dorr to return some things.  Pulling in the drive, we saw the gray van parked there.  My mom LOVES Dorr library because they have the best free coffee.  (And tons of BBC films on DVD.  Which… is why I haven’t commented on your BBC recommendations.  I’m kind of biased against the BBC because of my mom.)  So we pulled in one end of the drive, out the other end, and hurried to KDL Byron library (where Lydia wanted to get ‘Maze Runner’, the book).  We went FAST there, too – because my mom makes a library circuit, and KDL Byron would be next on the way to town.  It’s best to make sure we DON’T cross paths, and just leave happily, in the end.  That may seem surreal, but that’s how it is.

I was gonna take the kids to lunch at Taco Bell on 68th, but the last time we accidentally ran into my mom was at (you guessed it) 68th Taco Bell, so I took them to Gaines Township, instead.  It was fine – we had this really tall table, and got out our sketch pads, and had the whole restaurant to ourselves to do our artwork.  (This week it was wanted posters for Boudicca – the warrior woman who led an army against the Roman in Ancient Britain).   The lady at the counter was so bored, she came over and admired our artwork.  It’s not easy making a wanted poster!!!

And we went to see about the loom, but it was ten bucks MORE in the store than on-line, so forget that!  I just ordered it on-line, later, and took off to Lowell to the hike.  It was a good walk – we had a nice time.  Owen found a bottle cap for his collection, Aaron got white and red pine samples off the ground, and Ethan found a really long branch downed that he liked.  I got pictures, so I was happy.  There was this tree… it was fallen, but entirely covered in small mushrooms, and they looked like oyster shells – ringed and colorful and just COVERING it.  It was amazing.

Home for pizza, popcorn, and a movie.
The end of a perfect day.

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