Filling Buckets

This week, we’ve all just been running on empty.  Full of the wrong things, maybe, as we try to just get through like we are driving to the gas station with the light on and praying the car doesn’t die.  Our tanks depleted, we’ve neglected laughter and “please” and “thank you” and just felt oh-so empty.

But starting last night, we began doing some things to fill ourselves back up.  A few years ago I read a book called “How Full Is Your Bucket” and it talks about how we can’t really do much for anyone if our buckets (our hearts) are feeling empty or worn out.  It mentions ways to fill out buckets, and ways we can help other people with their buckets as well.

It’s a great book.

The things we’ve done have been small ones, but they’ve helped a lot.  Maybe these ideas will help someone else who is running on empty and needs a little laughter, sunlight, or warmth.

I sat outside in the afternoon sun, feeling the breeze and enjoying the flowers we’ve planted.  A little Vitamin D can go a long way after a horrible long day.

We let our big boy Jack out so he could get some sun (and a good brush).  Hearing him purr and watching him hop-skip-jump to catch moths is a singular pleasure.


My G got the last 2 pudding cups out of the fridge for us, topped them with some whipped cream, and we had dessert.  Just us.

A coworker was having a rough week and her birthday is coming up – I got to be a part of making her day really special and memorable.  Buckets – filled!

More sun, more flowers – madly thriving purple iris are the last of our beds to bloom and they make an impression that lasts.


This post – I love this blogger and the way she writes so much.  Today’s post was just golden.  The lady in 18F had great advice for parents of teenagers.

An apology from my boss, to all of us, for a misunderstanding.  Do you realize how rare it is for bosses to apologize for, really, anything?

Quiet laughter, good food, Lego minifigures (even though I didn’t get the Queen)…  My bucket feelss a lot more ready to take on the world now.

What can you do to fill your bucket today?   Or fill someone else’s?





Thinking Thursday – What’s Your Good News?

I have some amazing, positive, upbeat, and giving friends. Today they seem to be flooding my Facebook feed with acts of kindness, generosity and strength. I have cried more than once, looking at these clips, and I thought I’d share some of them.

But first, today’s question:

What Is Your Good News Today?

Here are the stories that have had me so emotional today.

The Hug Lady

First, Fort Hood’s “Hug Lady,” Elizabeth Laird, received some happy mail when former President George W. Bush heard she was in poor health. He wrote it to encourage her, and to applaud how she has supported our Soldiers (and families) here.  I have met this lady myself and she has hugged my husband three times. The story about how the community is repaying her vast kindness just keeps getting better. The photo in this post also makes me smile because it reminds me that we once had a President who truly loved his troops (and had to make hard decisions), and that he has not forgotten us.  The video shows her joyful smile. 

No Boundaries


Then there is a story of Haben Girma, a deaf-blind woman who has graduated from Harvard Law School. My sister-in-law is blind, and she has done many activities similar to the ones in this story. She has also received her PhD in archaeology, which may seem like a “sighted” field.


As another reminder of kindness, my friend Chuck (himself a kind and giving person), posted this link about Kid Rock surprising “his biggest fan”. The joy in this kid’s face is palpable.


Chuck also posted about a high school football team manager who has autism, and his team’s sweet actions. I love how the opposing team celebrates, too.


One last one –


Thinking Thursday – What Is Your Good News?

Last week was pretty rough.  Two friends were told their jobs had been eliminated as of the beginning of 2016.  One friend was diagnosed with cancer, and is in the fight of her life.  My husband’s plans to prepare for life after the Army are getting threatened on a regular basis.

Oh, and Texas keeps trying to flood.

It’s been an exhausting time, and emotions are a little raw and tender right now.

We could all use some good news, don’t you think?

For that reason, my question today is:

What positive thing happened to you this week?

Any little thing.  Your cat snuggled with you (or did not get in a fight with other cats). Your kid gave you a hug, unasked-for.  The sun came out and it was a beautiful afternoon. You stole some of your kids’ Halloween candy and it was delicious.

What happy thing happened?

Little things like all 5 cats peacefully in one area - it counts.

Little things like all 5 cats peacefully in one area – it counts.           Yes I know it’s blurry – I had to act FAST.

Thinking Thursday: Let go, but of what?

Everything I have read over the last few days seems to suggest that I need to “let go, and let God.”  Blogs I’ve read, conversations I’ve had, experiences that we are going through.

Ideas that we have had for the future keep popping up where we were not looking – but then they are very scarce in the areas where we are actively seeking information.  One example of this is a fellowship that my G is slated to take part in this winter – that no one else had ever heard of.  Another example is a school program that will help him get a certification he needs – again, it was not a well known program.  Traditional job hunting techniques have resulted in a big goose egg.

A job I really, desperately, wanted – didn’t even result in an interview.

Obviously we are being carried, and also obviously we are being pointed in a certain direction. We just don’t know what that direction is yet.

Limbo sucks.  I am not good at waiting.

But the more we let go, and the more we just keep filling in the blanks as we are given surprising opportunities, the more good things are coming our way.

The more we let go, the more our cup overflows.

So my question for you tonight is –

What do you need to let go of?

What is holding you back, because you are holding on to it?  What is weighing you down, because you won’t jettison what was otherwise a seemingly great idea, or dream, or opportunity?  

“Let go, and let God” isn’t, word for word, in the Bible.  But David wrote that we are to cast our cares on God.  Psalm 55:22

In seeking more verses tonight, I found this blog from Guideposts- “Sometimes there’s a difference in what we want to give up and what we need to release.”

Is it that there is something in your life you should let go of?  Some control you need to cede?

A friend told me tonight that she’d have a hard time with our current situation, because limbo makes her anxious.  She likes to have control.  As an Army family, we have somewhat learned that our illusion of control is just that – an illusion.  Really, we are at the Army’s beck and call.

I learned to relinquish control over that part of our lives long ago – now, God is teaching me to let go of the rest of it.  Not sure what our jobs will be?  Let it go.  Not sure where we will even live?  Let it go.

Finish school.  Try for opportunities that land on our desks. Finish the Army.  And lean back, let go, and trust.

It would be easier if we could travel the way these two want to.

It would be easier if we could travel the way these two want to.

Thinking Thursday – What Gave You a Boost Today?

This has been a long, kind of sloggy week.  New schedules, new information, new routines and things to learn – my head is full, and I know my poor G and Little G are feeling overwhelmed.

There is SO much to keep track of when a new school year, or new term, or new endeavor begins!

My G has a year’s worth of retirement (and bureaucratic) information to learn, analyze, and plan through.

Little G has 7 brand new classes and teachers and course schedules to adjust to and remember – and please keep in mind how fast things change when you are a teenager.

I have two busy courses with presentations, papers, discussion posts, etc that are all due in 8 weeks’ time – while also trying to bump up this blog and look into future career choices.


But in the midst of busy, we find bits of bliss.

A friend shows you their beautiful gown for a ball, the phone rings with good news, your own fussy and fuzzy pet is relaxing calmly despite his age.  Today, I even received some valuable feedback and a wonderful kudo after I shared this blog with someone who knows what he’s doing.

So today’s question is this –

What gave you a boost today?

What made you happy?

What made you smile?

What gave you joy, or peace, or a lift?

I’d love to hear from you.

Grumpy Old Man

Doesn’t look a day over 112. (16X6)