Delightful Unexpected Flow…

My goodness, it has felt like one of the most flowing precious weeks here in this Little House in the Big Woods.

Last Sunday I wrote a blog about Unexpected Inspiration and started a daily practice of intending and paying attention to the unexpected things that happen in life.  (Life had become a little ho-hum and uninspired after this long winter.)  I started a little journal to record daily unexpected happenings and–

Immediately it felt like Life flowed again.  At times last week the energy felt downright joyous and delightful.  It felt wonderful!

At the same time, I paid attention to any underlying patterns which might derail the flowing.  Looked closely at fear (with its henchmen of distraction, boredom, anxiety, judgment, pressure, comparison) in the post “I’m scared,” said Goldilocks to the Three Bears which struck me as a completely strange and unexpected title.  I was so excited after writing this, you cannot imagine. It took two hours to calm down and breathe normally.

My gosh, what a rich and zinging week filled with lots of unexpected enthusiasm and serendipity.

May I share just a few?


Eating lunch outside under a tree

One fun unexpected activity I did–twice–this week involved bringing lunch outside.  Sat under a spruce or oak tree and munched while sitting on the earth, feeling the icy breeze (darn north wind!) whip through the woods.  The thoughts said the kitchen table would be more pleasant.  I ignored those thoughts because they beg for the expected way too often.



Laughing so hard

Today, whilst eating lunch, Barry photographed the episode for this blog.  As he leaned over to get the proper angle he said, “Just look normal; start eating.”

For some reason I found this unexpectedly hysterically funny and started laughing.  And laughing.  And laughing.

Whilst he looked on, bemused.

Very unexpected to suddenly be laughing so hard. Very hard to pull it together to continue the photo shoot.


Toilet repair fun

Of course not all unexpected things are fun.  At the end of the week we discovered an unexpected toilet leak.  We visited the local hardware and gathered up supplies, not always cheerfully.

We worked diligently for 45 minutes yesterday morning and I’m happy to report our toilet is no longer leaking!

On a similar not-so-fun unexpected note (faithfully recorded in the daily journal) I sat on my thumb yesterday morning.  Honestly, how does a person sit on her thumb?  It’s embarrassing to even type this.  It hurt like hell most of yesterday.  Thank goodness it’s recovered today.  Mostly.


Defending your Life

Speaking of unexpected,  my blogging friend Lori from Lori’s Lane and I started gabbing about fear and creativity on Friday.  She casually mentioned she loved the comedy Defending your Life, The First True Story of What Happens After You Die.

Continuing on the unexpected theme and feeling in the flow, I immediately rented the movie via the Kindle and watched.

Talk about laugh!

Honestly, I do not even like comedies that much.  But this tickled the funny bone greatly.  I laughed for two hours AND (this is even more unexpected) convinced Barry to watch it on Saturday.  So watched the movie twice in 24 hours!!

Without spoiling too much of the plot, it’s about a guy who dies and goes to Judgment City. There he learns he’s on trial–sort of–for how much fear derailed his life.

What a fun movie.  Thank you so much, Lori.


Creating homemade cards

Other unexpected journal entries — made homemade cards out of old calendars and a fancy leaf from a Boddhi tree under which Buddha got enlightened.  (Probably not the same tree.)

Yesterday attended a party at a red caboose in the woods!  Yes, we did.  With a lot of local people.  It was so fun and so out of our non-party-going box.  We sat around a bonfire with the cold North East wind a’blowing and ate great food  and I told two people about the unexpected inspiration.

And they even seemed interested…  🙂

Feel free to share your own unexpected happenings, please.


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2016, Unexpected and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Delightful Unexpected Flow…

  1. Elisa says:

    lol wheni try to think of them
    they are no longer unexpected so i can’t find them!
    i’ll look for that movie i do not have kindle
    wonder if anxiety, the gap between now and later is in it?!

  2. Love your cards, Kathy! I like to make gift tags out of Christmas cards. I can share an unexpected delight this past week. One of my daughters-in-law, who is fairly quiet and reserved, texted me several times last week. This is not the usual as I am the one who always started the communication in the past. I was delighted!

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, that must have felt wonderful. THAT is the kind of unexpected that, when we notice, has the power to rock our worlds!

      • Ruth Maki says:

        I love your repurposed cards too! Inspired me to think and actually DO some things I’ve been thinking of. 💖

        • Kathy says:

          Glad you like them, Ruth, and I would love to see what you create. I usually don’t like the THOUGHT of making the cards, but love the results. And since Mother’s Day is coming up… Do let me know what you choose to make.

  3. Kathy — I’m so glad that you’re my friend and that I’m in your sphere of influence! 🙂

  4. Has been so good to see you back blogging again!

  5. Robin says:

    This was a fun post, Kathy. Thank you for making me smile and laugh. 🙂 My past week was a balance of wonderful unexpected things and terrible unexpected things. Maybe it’s time I took my lunch outside and sat under a tree to eat it. 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Robin, I am so glad you enjoyed! I don’t think too many enjoyed my fear post. In fact, I don’t think many enjoyed it at all. Is it weird that a person could enjoy thinking about fear? By the way, I would love to join you beneath a tree. We could rejoice in the unexpected together!

  6. dawnkinster says:

    We’re on the road…driving to DC. Unexpectedly met a guy in the Maryland welcome center that looked exactly like a cousin of mine. Had a nice conversation with a stranger who seemed so familiar.

    • Kathy says:

      That is so fun when that kind of thing happens, Dawn. Wow, it’s such often a sweet feeling! My husband’s dental hygienist this past week knew all about a mountain named for his grandpa’s family. Another cool unexpected incident!

  7. sonali says:

    Oh dear Kathy! For a moment I felt like listening cherrfully to your laugh. How I wish I could hear you laugh, I remember your radio interview and your laughter there too. Well.. I’m happy more than ever to read from you. Thank you very much! The pictures are lovely. I wish you a pleasant spring/summer. Love & Hugs, Sonali 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hey, dear Sonali, it’s so good to hear from you. I DO like to laugh, and how cool to think you remember that radio interview where I was so scared and it turned out so wonderful. Glad you like the pics from our Little House in the Big Woods. Hugs back, my India friend

  8. john k. says:

    Surprise one. On Thursday, we were driving from heaven (aka L’Anse) to Illinois, when at the Baraga county line, we received a text telling us that the new parking lot at our condo was not completed on time and we needed to return to heaven.

    Surprise two. That evening while returning from dinner at Skipper’s we found some police action occurring at the house 2 doors South of us, with three different police departments participating. We do so hope that our local newspaper has some information in this week’s edition … enquiring minds do so want to know. (Nosey? Us? Never.) Ya, know I was told that toilets from Bianco’s never leak. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      John, I so appreciate hearing of your unexpected adventures! (Really? You are still thinking of L’Anse as heaven? lol!) As for that police action, you may or may not discover the cause. Depends on if it’s in a police report. As for toilets from Biancos…maybe that is our problem. We should have bought our throne there.

      • john k. says:

        When the alternative to L’Anse is a place where four Governors in my life have retired to federal prisons, where just being dead is no reason for not voting, where the news each Sunday night has a score card of shots fired / people wounded / people killed … yep, the opinionated village still looks closer to heaven than the alternative.

  9. Barb says:

    We just moved to a new hotel, and I sat out on the deck awhile in the sunshine. I decided it was too hot (not too cold like you!), but now I’m inside with the slider open and have myself bundled in a shawl. Maybe later one of these places will be “just right?” This morning, I got up early ready to walk and realized I didn’t have socks for my trail shoes. Bob had already left to bike up the Pacific Coast Highway and had the car keys, so I couldn’t get my socks from luggage stowed in the van. I went sockless and discovered why that isn’t a good thing. I unexpectedly started feeling hot spots on my feet before I returned from the walk. Sometimes, as you say, the unexpected doesn’t turn out so well.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yes–when the unexpected isn’t quite so pleasant. So sorry to hear about those hot spots. On the other hand, am smiling to think about your adventures in California. What a fun trip to give yourselves!

  10. Hmmm…you have made me ponder the fact that my life is all too predictable. I can’t come up with a single unexpected experience this week. I’m going to change that! Thanks, Kathy!

  11. sybil says:

    You have a lot to teach us about making the most of life.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Sybil, I have lots to learn, too! I love reading about your unexpected adventures, too. You are so often having fun, being goofy (in a good way) and making me laugh.

  12. sherrysescape says:

    I really like reading your posts, Kathy. And I like your pictures – especially of you sitting under the tree.

  13. Dang you had a good week of the unexpected. I wish I could laugh my a– off but alas there is nothing all that funny.

    So you had a piddling toilet leak. Well, I have a septic tank that is over-flowing, discovered today, which means the lateral lines will need to be done but, first I will need to get the tank pumped out. Money, money. Just when I think there is smooth sailing- there is the un-expected but gee whiz, I just can’t find anything funny about my money going poof again and again.

    That north wind must have made it to Texas during the night. It was cool here and the north wind blew all day. Maybe about 55- 60 degrees, just guessing. Of course, I realize that is a balmy temperature in your neck of the woods.

    • Kathy says:

      It was a darn good week, Yvonne. But I am very sorry to hear about your over-flowing septic tanks. We’ve had those as well and they are really shitty. (Sorry…) When I was a young’un first working at the school we had a cook in her 70’s who warned us. She said you think someday everything will finally fall in place and run smooth. She said–think again. It will never happen. Hope your challenges are few in the upcoming week.

      • You’re 100% correct about the shitty need for lateral lines. Umm, I am pissed. 🙂 Now the cook was right about things falling into place. It just never happens. It’s called “Murphy’s law or something along those lines. I prefer to think it’s just plain damn bad luck.

  14. Amy says:

    Thank you for the calendar-to-card idea! What did I notice today? After four hours with my friend Peter Cole, back from a half year or so with his partner (who researches the experiences of Syrian refugees) in Turkey, Ethiopia. Turin, Barcelona, Durban, Cape Town . . . noticed how much I am calmed by being able to be in his presence again and soak in his stories. And I notice that the icon he bought me from Ethiopia is not a triptych, but a two-sided diptych.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Amy, it’s always good to hear from you. Loved reading what soothed you during your week. You always have such great stories to tell about the varied people you meet in the world. I so often feel so enriched by the unexpected adventures you share.

  15. There is NOTHING like unexpected, uncontained laughter. N O T H I N G. Thanks to Barry for giving us a snapshot of you enjoying the unexpected laughter. Made me laugh with you.
    Yesterday my little 5-year-old grandson came over to play. And bake (he loves baking with me). He was halfway into mixing the cookie dough when he stopped the mixer, (Imagine him now, standing on the kitchen chair over the bowl atop the counter) with mixer in his hand and wide-serious eyes and asked me, “can we come alive again after we die?”
    That was unexpected.

    • Kathy says:

      So glad to pass on the joy of that unexpected laughter, Pam. And WOW! what an amazing question to come out of your adorable grandson. That is a keeper moment to record in your journal, or etch in your memory forever and ever. Did you ask him if he remembers being alive before? Some kids do unexpectedly share with adults stories of what happened “before I was borned”. Thanks for that story–I am sure I will read it again someday. 🙂

      • He actually told me he was alive one thousand years ago. But of course, to a 5-year-old, a year is several centuries!!!

        • Kathy says:

          This is the coolest, Pam. Isn’t it funny? A 5 year’s year could be several centuries, and an elder’s day could pass in several minutes. How time shifts as we age…

  16. jeffstroud says:

    Your joy and laughter is a contagious and unexpected flow enjoy it. I am glad you have been inspired once again to journal and blog. Your pages are always filled with words and thoughts that many of us have yet are unable to voice or even consider sharing about.
    Unexpectedly I become very emotional at unexpected things. I have been watch Ken Burn’s Jazz and yesterday I began watching National Parks throughout the viewing of these documentaries I have been flooded with joy at the creativeness of the men and women who became Jazz leaders who created a truly American music genera from their desire to be free of their oppression. Than with National Parks it is not just the beauty of the photographs and grand scale of it all but the awareness of them people who found the awesome spirit within those landscapes and conscious enough to preserve them from the movement forward of “civilization” !

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Jeff, thank you for sharing about what ignited your inspiration recently. It just seems so varied and sometimes random what catches fire inside us and sometimes even creates that emotional wellspring. It has been quite fun and intense blogging in April; now we’ll have to see if it continues in May. One day at a time, they say, and that may apply to blogging too. Many blessings.

  17. Lori says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Kathy. I can’t watch a movie unless it makes me laugh in some way. it was good to see you laughing under that tree. I have to laugh at least once a day, and if I don’t, I watch my favorite TV comedy to get a laugh before bed.

    I haven’t noticed the unexpected like you are doing, but in reading this post, I realized something unexpected happened today. Something not-so-good unexpected. My husband forgot to bring the check with him to pay the rent on the way to work. So, now I have find time between my other chores and writing to go take care of this chore. Sigh. Laundry will have to wait an hour. 😛

    Keep laughing …

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, I so appreciated our exchange last week and the flow that followed out of it. That movie is one to remember for years to come. A for those not-so-fun unexpected things…they certainly can be not-so-fun. I am wondering if there is another word beside “unexpected” that describes just the things we like? But we probably can’t have one without the other. Sunshine and rain, each with their own gifts and challenges.

      • Lori says:

        So true about each having its own gifts and challenges. My husband met me halfway for the rent check and we got to have lunch together. 😀

        • Kathy says:

          Ah ha! There you go…we never really know if something is “good” or “bad”, even though our thoughts want to label them that way. OK, maybe sometimes we know.

  18. Carol Ferenc says:

    I’m afraid my unexpected happenings are boring compared to yours, Kathy. I did plant a little hosta garden with a rock border ~ so unlike me since I’m terrible at gardening. But now I want to eat lunch under a tree! And make homemade cards from calendars! And watch Defending Your Life! And fix a toil . . . no, never mind. Anyway, I love this post, Kathy. So glad your new daily practice is yielding extraordinary results!

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I would count that little hosta garden–with a rock border–as something worthy of an unexpected post. Lately I am including anything that feels life affirming, out of the ordinary or interesting. Kind of expanding the journal a bit. P.S. What seems to be making the most difference is remembering to look for the unexpected each day. Without that, while I probably would be playing Spider Solitaire way too much again.

  19. Carol says:

    For a long time, I made my own cards using photos I’d taken – then my good printer died. My journaling has been derailed by preparation for our Girls’ Week at the coast, but perhaps I can start a digital journal while we’re here.

  20. Val says:

    So pleased to see you looking so radiantly happy, Kathy, and your new ‘thing’ is obviously working well for you.
    I’ve not yet sat on my thumb, but the other day I hit my head on a cupboard hinge – said cupboard was about 18″ from the ground (I was bending to reach for something in the back of it). Clumsy is as clumsy does… Oh well…
    As for ‘good unexpected’ – all the content of your posts are doing it for me, at the moment. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      It’s been a real interesting couple of weeks, Val, in so many ways. Owww about the cupboard hinge. That kind of “unexpected” usually does not feel good. Hopefully your head is doing better by now. My thumb, thankfully, only hurt for about a day. The sun is shining today and it’s getting warmer so everyone’s spirits seem to be lighter here in the northwoods. (Well, I can’t speak for everyone.)

  21. Debbie M. says:

    The best unexpected story belongs to my son who just bought a house. As they walked on the deck, they heard chirping. It sounded like an annoyed chipmunk. Nope… not that easy! Momma raccoon (not present at the time), made the enclosed dark area under the deck home to her 3 babies! My son has been trying to figure out a way to get momma and baby raccoons to leave on their own. Story to be continued!

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, now THAT is quite an unexpected story! I am wondering if the raccoons have left on their own yet. My friend, Jan, found skunks under her home a few years ago!! They eventually had to get a wildlife specialist remove them, if I recall correctly. Can you imagine the challenges of that?

      • Debbie M. says:

        We were disappointed to find out that the noise came from raccoons, not chipmunks. But in the same thought, we were thankful that they were not a skunk family! 🙂 The last I heard, the raccoons have moved on. My son has now blocked access to under the deck. Hopefully, problem solved and people and animals alike are happy with the new living arrangements!

  22. Bonnie says:

    Love the pictures of lunch under the tree, and your laughing. Really enjoyed this post. As for unexpected things this week, nadda…..but in my case, that is okay. Rainy and cool here, but hopefully it is the beginning of spring. May I say again that I am so glad you are back to blogging.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Bonnie, thank you very much. I really had fun blogging during the month of April, so we’ll see where it goes from here. Nothing unexpected happened, Bonnie? What about lunch under a tree tomorrow for you?

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