October 31, 2010

Instead

Saturday was supposed to be spent cleaning out a "storage" room downstairs to make it into the spare room it was intended to be.  I had promises from The Hubs to help out, and a couple girlfriends were primed and ready to come and join the clean sweep fray.

Instead, I spent much of my day at Urgent Care for The Hubs who has an ear infection.

Saturday night was supposed to be spent scrapbooking while watching Halloween-themed movies, all by myself in a rare occurrence of having the house to myself.  The Hubs and the kids were going to see Saw in 3D at the movie theater. Not my cup of tea, thank you very much.

Instead, I ended up sitting in bed, watching TV and falling asleep early.

Sunday morning was the "rain date" to clean out said room.  The Hubs was in pain early on, so I put dose #3 of the medicated ear drops in his infected ear around 7am.  He got up and went to work (also something he was supposed to do Saturday morning) around 11am.  Unmotivated, I did not go downstairs to clean the room.

Instead, I decided to tackle the bedroom, which is enormously cluttered. 

The Hubs texts me later that he's sick and coming home.  He arrives home and it looks like he's got Bells Palsy!  He refuses to go back to Urgent Care but decides it's best if he does not use the medicated ear drops anymore.  Now I'm worried... but defer to how he is feeling.  I push him to go again, later in the day.

Instead, he decides he wants to see our family doctor in the morning.

The Girl and I get part-way through one section of the bedroom.  She has to leave.  I figure I could finish this one part and then she and I can finish tackling it again next weekend.

Instead, I started watching the remake of Psycho (with Vince Vaughn) on Cinemax.

I was going to respond to some emails and catch up on my class lessons and prompts in True Stories.

Instead, I'm writing this blog post and going to bed.

How was your weekend?

October 30, 2010

Just Proud


My Girl doesn't often bring her homework to our house so I can look at it.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  So, now that she's in high school, I didn't expect any different.  But she did this weekend.  She kept asking me if I was going to look at her class binders, so I could see how she's "rockin'" in her classes. 

So, after dinner tonight, we sat down and I started browsing through her work.  Again, she never brings her stuff over, typically leaving it all with her bio-mom.  So, I spent a great deal of time reading and commenting.  About half-way through she said to me, "My mom just looks at it quickly, then gets distracted and says, "good job" and then sets it aside."  I wasn't intending to "compete" with how her mom looks at her work; I really was interested... but I felt both good (that I was taking the time) and bad (that her bio-mom doesn't).  

We talked about classes that are tough (social studies) and some that are "easy" (english/language arts) and I was shocked when I saw some of the stories and poems she had read this year (she hates reading).  Her written stories and poems were awesome and I told her how talented she was.  Of course, like most people, she doesn't think she is.  She got up to refill both of our waters and I was just overflowing... I said, "I'm SO proud of you."  She didn't look at me, but there was a slight pause, and then a quiet "thank you". 

You know, I'm not sure her bio-mom has ever said that to her.

But I can't better describe the feeling I had in my heart that moment, as we talked through her other classes, pointing out some things that she needs to remember in each subject because she will use them now, and briefly landing on college topics.

I am so glad that even though she's in the throes of her teen years, that we are having such good moments... such good pieces of our relationship.  It's so nice after the last 5 or so years that have been so rocky between us. 

And I really am just so proud of her.

October 27, 2010

Tears, tears, tears...

I'm a cryer. Or is it crier? Well, regardless of the proper spelling, I cry at the drop of a hat.  I try to suck it back in, and actually have gotten really adept at keeping tears from falling.  But sometimes, it just happens.  I cry when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm angry, when I'm frustrated, and when I'm tired.  I cry for no reason.  I cry when others cry.  I cry when I read sad plotlines in a fictional book!  I've also been known to cry at a really good Hallmark commercial.  Yes... I'm that bad.  But before you think I'm a walking wet tissue, please know that I am not crying ALL of the time.  But it's weird things that can set me off.

And, of course, I cry at movies...

Movie scenes that make me cry... every time... no matter how many times I have seen it:

BEACHES:



Oh, boy... the last half hour is killer!

A WALK TO REMEMBER



No way can I get to the end of this movie without heart wrenching tears.

TITANIC



Okay, I know a lot of people who lose it when Jack sinks ... but what really gets me is the very end when Old Rose is laying in bed (dead?) and the camera pans across all of the photos... and you just realize how very much she lived up to her promise to Jack and even though she married and had kids... she had Jack in her heart the entire time.  It gets me *right there* that she lived all of that without her first true love (only true love?). 

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME



This was a disturbing movie for me on so many levels.  To begin with, I watched it soon after losing my mother to cancer.  Suffice it to say that I have watched it only once.  I started crying about 20 minutes into it and couldn't stop.  I had to finally excuse myself from the room.  I did make myself watch the ending later, but I honestly have yet to watch it again. 

DEAD POETS SOCIETY



Yes, I tear up at Neil's suicide, but what really chokes me up is the O Captain, My Captain display at the end.  *sob*  Oh, and I just figured out this year that Neil is now Wilson from House when I did a "whatever happened to him" web search.  Doh!

DIRTY DANCING



Okay, I did mention I can cry at anything, right?  Okay, one scene in this movie makes me cry EVERY time.  The scene when Baby confronts her dad and says, "but if you love me, you have to love all of me" and they're both choking back tears.  Kills me!  Most Dad/daughter moments do.  I had to stop dancing with my own dad on my wedding night because I didn't want to start bawling!

There are so, so many more, but I will spare you and not continue on ad nauseum.  I cry at book plots too.  Even obvious "fluff" books like romance smut!  Try to explain that when you're on a bus or in your office on break... "why are you crying??"  *sniff* "it's just a really good book!"  *wipes eyes*  I won't even mention the looks and comments I get when one of my own family surprises me during a teary moment in a book!

All this to just beg of you, please, someone out there... tell me I'm not alone?

October 26, 2010

Motivated... Still Need Your Help...

Thank you one and all!
...for your input on my clutter issues.  You all have wonderful points and ideas... I suppose the largest part of the challenge just lies on me and getting myself to DO it.

My goals:
  • Every evening take care of 5 "things" (as in tasks that I avoid, some that contribute to the clutter - like going through mail, etc.) that need to be done every day (I'm taking your number 5, Melissa) BEFORE I sit down and relax (a biggie here, thanks Christina)...AND... I will work at clearing out some clutter (read on)...
  • Liberty - I looked at that Ikea bookcase and love it... sadly, it isn't in my budget at this point in time... however, I have a bookcase I want to use but it's covered with STUFF (a collection, actually, that I'd like to photograph and then get rid of) so clearing the current bookcase is at the top of my list.
  • Cheri - another book you've recommended to add to my list, for sure, and great tips at trying to get through those things I hold onto out of sentimentality instead of functionality or aesthetics.  This is a big challenge!
  • Sian and chksngr (Felecia) - I totally need to put things away immediately.  I'm such a dumper.  Would the pile nazi like to visit me to whip me into shape?  I won't even make you say all the pleases.  :)  I will start with putting away my SHOES.  I kick them off and toss them in a corner, but now I will try to remember to put them in the closet.  That and mail, which piles up quickly.
  • To all of you who said "little bits at a time" can you please come back and remind me?  That's a big part of why I don't start, because I feel it's too big of a task or I won't have time to finish it before my next committment.  Chant with (or to) me... 15 minutes... 15 minutes... 15 minutes...
  • Deb and Mel... I think rewards are KEY.  I have to get used to saying "15 minutes of this, then I can ... blog, email, etc..." 
  • Jo, what's that 20/20 thing you mentioned?
  • And a very important last goal:  Sundays are "off".  I can have a whole day where I can do whatever I want without thinking or feeling guilty about the clutter.  I can, if I want, but if I choose not to, that's okay.
I think I need to plan a whole day to really knock some spaces out and feel major progress... maybe, perhaps I can find a friend (Christina) who will come visit and help?  A friend (Christina) who is local (Christina) and mentioned something about bribes with food "or something" (Christina).  Hmmmm... anyone out there know someone (Christina) who I could ask?

In the meantime, help keep me on task... someone please suggest a cute name for this little project (Kai's Clutter Clean-Up?  Something more forceful?)... and then I'll give updates on every blog post on my progress... if I don't you can all jump on line and shout for me to stay accountable.  What do you think?  Help me out... what can we name this lovely project of mine?

The posts for True Stories - A Shimelle Lane Class - will be coming, I promise... just running a bit behind and haven't technically started class yet.  Good thing there aren't any deadlines! 

October 25, 2010

Requesting Your Help...

This is a photo from an earlier post. It was my scrappin' area from a year or so ago.  It's also a beautiful portrait of my cat named Mouse. 

Here is another photo of my old scrappin' area, before I moved downstairs:




Now, I show you these photos not to remind you of what my scrappin' space used to look like.  Nor did I include this link to remind you what my new scrappin' space looks like.

The reason why I'm showing you this is because I am overwhelmed, overrun and overpowered by clutter.  Not just in my scrapping area.  In fact, I must admit I've been doing pretty well at keeping that particular clutter at bay.  Not perfect, mind you, but pretty well.

My problem is... I have clutter everywhere.  I can't seem to get a hold of it.  I need HELP!  Can you... will you... help me?

Here are my "issues" with clutter:
  • I work 2 jobs and have a few extracurricular activities so most weekdays I am gone for 12 hours or more.
  • On weekends, I occasionally work Saturdays but other than that if we don't have company over it's spent being lazy (because I've done so much over the week).
  • Tables are my weak spot.  I just drop things on tables and it stays there.  I detest this about myself because I love a clean table top with just a nice little centerpiece.  That is "never" in my house unless company is coming...
  • Floors are another weak spot, especially in my bedroom.  Things get dropped on the floor (e.g. shopping bags, shoes, books, etc.) and they stay there.  Forever.
  • I don't believe myself to be a hoarder, because I do throw away "crap" ... as in garbage... but... I have a hard time throwing away anything that someone else has given to me, even if it is useless.  For example, my "kiss me I'm 40" pin that has a light flashing in it.  Hello?  What should I do with that?  Or... old knick knacks that were my mothers.  I don't want them, but because she is gone, I feel I need to keep them.  For what?
  • Crafting stuff that is a) not in my scrapbooking room but should be, or b) not scrapbooking related, but crafty related and I have no place to put it (i.e. my quilting and sewing).
  • When I am home, I prefer sitting on my laptop wandering the internet, emailing, blogging and other fun computer-related festivities to cleaning house...
I have more issues, but those are the biggest.  So, I'm asking you, all of my favorite online blogging friends... HELP ME!  Keeping my particular issues in mind, PLEASE leave a comment and tell me your tricks and tips to keeping the clutter from overwhelming you.  How do you do it?  What works?  What doesn't work?  PLEASE share with me.  I need you....

October 23, 2010

A Whirlwind Hopscotch Visit



A "me" fact:

I have four sisters. 

Another "me" fact:

I am the "baby" of the family.  In fact, the next person older than me is older by seven years.  Some distance there.  The eldest of the family is older than me by... 12 years?  I think that's right.

That eldest sister is a whirlwind, I tell ya.  She travels quite a bit for her (own) business and for the first time, it brought her into my town.  Well, near enough for a visit.   She arrived in town last night, around 11pm.  We stayed up and shared some wine, and a good deal of conversation, and she saw my scrapbooking for the first time (other than gifts I have sent).  We didn't go to bed until 2am, despite both of our needing to be up by seven the next morning.

Our conversations are like hopscotch.  We jump from topic to topic, sometimes skipping over a thought, but always picking up the dropped pebble and hopping back to it.  She left at 9am, and I went my merry way to work a little later.  Her last seminar ended at 4:30pm so I drove out to where she was and we shared dinner, more wonderful conversation and laughs until 7pm.  We took this picture of her and the gorgeous autumn sunset ( the picture doesn't do it nearly enough justice - stupid phone camera) just before she hopped in her car and began the trip home (an almost-7 hour trip, I think).



She wasn't even in town for 24 hours and yet, we had some of the best conversations I can remember that we have ever had.  It was a whirlwind hopscotch visit... as it always seems to be with her...but it was an absolute precious memory in the making!

October 22, 2010

Purpose




This month's emotion at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out is Purpose.  This is something I struggle with... I have never felt I had a purpose or I have never understood what my purpose was in life.  It is something I think on often... and it is still something I do not have an answer to.

Because of this, I've not attempted any of the challenges over at SFTIO yet.  But as I was browsing the inspiration page, I came across this quote:

You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back. Clement Stone

I underlined the word "choose". 

I very much believe in the environment's effect on who you are.  I am just beginning to understand that there is choice in what environment you are living in.  Thus, this is one of my new favorite quotes and currently so very applicable in my life.

How about you?  How do you feel about your purpose?

October 21, 2010

Should NEVER Happen!

This was a scene that happened to me today that I cannot get out of my head and I'm completely distressed about:

I'm at a friend's house and her dogs are barking.  She looks out of the window and says, "OMG!  Look!" and we see an adult doe walking across the street in front of my car and onto her yard.  "A deer is in my yard!"  We walk over to her garage door and open it and walk out only to see the deer turn (prior to this we were looking at it head on) and see that there is an arrow sticking out of its side and its side is completely covered in blood.  We both stare and my friend starts saying, "OMG" over and over again... as we walk out it runs (as best as it could, it really wasn't moving well) down her street, which is a cul de sac.  We're freaking out and we see blood droppings all over her yard, the sidewalk and  the street.  This doe was hurt pretty badly. It disappears under some trees near one of the houses. 

Get this... my friend called animal control, her city police, the neighboring city police and the Sheriff... She got hung up on.  She got passed around to different parties, only to be given the original number she dialed.  The Sheriff's office?  Closed at 4pm.  It was 5:30.  NO ONE could help her.

What do you do?  What do you do when there is a wild animal that is mortally wounded? 

Part of me is so very angry.  What if it was some *$%!@# kid just screwing around with his bow and arrow?  She lives in a very residential neighborhood... no reason any hunting should have been going on nearby.  What if this kid for shits and grins decides to play around and actuall shoots a deer... but doesn't kill it.  Of course it's going to run.  And that kid is probably gloating up a storm.  Oh... man, oh, man... if it was a kid playing around and I found out, I can't tell you what I might do to him/her!  All I can hope for is my belief that what goes around, comes around.  It'll be comin' round for that kid!

Part of me is hopeful.  I hope it was a hunter who shot it.  I hope it was an honorable hunter who will track it, and take care of it.  I'm not a hunter... I never will be...I don't like it...and I won't eat what is hunted...but I get why people hunt.  Not only are there way too many deer around for anyone's safety (or theirs), but many people... including people in my extended family... only make it through the winter with the bounty of venison that they hunted.  It's a source of valuable meat.  I get it.  I know that those in my family who hunt have followed a wounded deer for miles to take care of it.  I am hopeful that if it was a hunter who shot this deer that he was honorable and tracked it and took care of her. 

Part of me is so very sad. She had to have suffered something fierce. That should never happen. No animal (or human) should suffer like that.   My heart wrenches every time I remember that scene from my friend's garage.

I hope she is at peace now and not hurting anymore. 

Sorry... I just had to get that out.  *deep breath* 

Yes, I hope she is at peace and not hurting anymore.

October 20, 2010

Ode to Mr. Opossum

Opossum 2
Photo by Cody Pope

We thought you were a kitty
Hiding alongside the house
As you minded your own business
Hunting up a snake or mouse.

The dogs would run to your corner,
Barking and yapping up a storm
They were only trying to tell us
You were not in a kitty’s form!

Yesterday, we thought a stuffed toy
Was thrown in the midst of our yard
Canine interest was so strong,
Getting them back inside was so hard!

Hubs found me to share the news
“The dogs were out playing, digging a hole,
And when I looked more closely,
They’d gotten a mole!”

“A mole? Are you sure?” I asked.
“It has a long tail; it’s the size of a small cat!”
“That’s not a mole, they’re tiny,” I said,
“Good golly, I hope that it isn’t a rat!”

He described you further
And I suddenly understood
You were a young Opossum
My dogs were mistaking as food.

He rolled you into a plastic bag
And put it with the garbage by the street
But moments later when I left,
The bag was empty; you’d beat feet!

You are so talented
Playing dead, still as a stone
Still we are surprised to find you
Living so close to our home.

What called you here,
To our suburbia lands?
The garbage strewn about next door?
Or our recycled cans?

Oh, Mr. Opossum, I’m begging you now
Would you please just go away?
You keep my dogs a’yappin’
When I want to hit the hay!




October 18, 2010

Participant or Spectator?

When I was involved in the theatre, improvisational projects interested me a great deal.  They are so challenging and SO much fun.  Then I found Improv Everywhere (although they seem to be primarily in NY).  I love this concept so I frequently visit this site just to see what shenanigans (whoops, there's The Hubs' word again) they are up to.  It's linked at the side of my blog if you'd like to visit.

For today, I shall leave you with:





Sometimes I don't know which I'd rather be... a participant or a spectator. I think either would make my day!

October 17, 2010

20 Questions

The uber-talented Nancy always has gorgeous layouts, projects and other fun things on her blog.  A couple of days ago, she revisited a 20 Questions post that she originally posted a year ago.  That's another thing I like about Nancy... she revisits things to see how things have changed... how she has grown.

I thought this would be a good Sunday post to do... so here goes - 20 Questions...(or really, 20 things... some are questions, some aren't)...

1. Show us the inside of something cute.


This is the inside of a friendship book a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago…



I think it’s cute.

2. What’s the last home cooking you had?

If you don't count the eggs I cooked this morning, the Hubs made his yummy homemade chicken fried rice for The Girl's birthday yesterday.

3. What do you miss?

Living near a lake!



4. What makes you laugh often?

Oh, my... this was a bigger toughie than it should have been. I love to laugh but I can't think of one thing that makes me laugh often.  I guess I need to change that.  If I had to say anything, it would be a friend of mine who has such a sarcastic sense of humor - I see her about twice a week and every time I laugh.  So, Laura... Laura makes me laugh right now.

5. What’s your favorite word?

At the moment it's shenanigans.  It's a private joke between The Hubs and me.  If he knew I put that out here, he'd be yelling, "Hey!  That's MY word!"  Heh.  Him and his shenanigans!

6. What are you trying to quit?

I am working very hard to quit an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  It's one of the toughest undertakings I have ever attempted.  I'm bad at it... but I'm hoping the fact that I keep trying will win out in the end, despite my current lack of "ability" to be healthy...

7. What’s your favorite commercial right now?

Oh good golly... I don't pay attention to commercials much... that's when I'm writing blog posts and responding to emails! 

8. Whose style do you dig?

Anyone who can put together an outfit and accessories and make it "theirs".  I'm just such a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl... I don't have a style, so I dig anyone who does.

9. Link to a great blog you’ve discovered lately

I don't really look around at blogs to find new ones, but if you look over to the right of of this blog, you can see some of the ones I frequently visit and read... maybe you'll discover a new blog from me!

10. What’s the last craft you made?

For a class I taught to fourteen 10-year olds at the store, I made an accordian mini-book out of a plain ol' manilla file folder.  I haven't been very crafty lately.

11. A photo of the last happy mail you got.

Okay, this made me very happy when I got it in the mail a couple of days ago.  But if I share it with you, you have to promise to keep it a secret... it's a top-top-secret... because it is SFTIO's next month's kit.  No one, but the SFTIO team has seen it yet.  But here...  I'll give you a sneak peek... but you have to keep it a SECRET!  Promise?  Okay... here you go....







Sorry... one of you looked like you crossed your fingers when you were making that promise.  I guess I just don't trust you as much as I'd like... but if you want to see it, visit the site in a couple of weeks! 

It'll make you happy too!


12. Something you’ve gotten lately?

I just got the Tim Holtz paper rosette die, y'know cuz he's my man and all...




And because I don't own a Sizzix or his new Vagabond, I had to get extended cutting plates for my Cuttlebug:



I tell ya... best purchase I've made in a LONG time!  So much fun!

13. What are you looking forward to?

The day when my house will clean itself.  Realistically?  I'm starting to look forward to Christmas, actually.  I'm not really sure why, but I am.  It'll fly here, I'm certain.

14. Post a recent snapshot of yourself.

Taken yesterday at glo-golf:



I admit, not my best side.  LOL!

15. Recent favorite movie?

The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.  I can watch it over and over and over!  It makes me laugh!  I should have put this up there in question #4.

16. Something you’re working on right now?

Me, myself and I.  I am my biggest project at the moment.  It's all I have time for outside of my jobs.

17. If a movie were made about you, who would play you?

Another toughie... how do I judge this?  By someone I love or by someone who I think is short and looks sort-of like me?  Hmmmm.... I'd say Janeane Garofolo or Ellen Page or Reese Witherspoon.

18. What gives you goosebumps?

Anything having to do with a father/daughter... father/daughter dances at a wedding... Hallmark commercials between a father and a daughter...  things like that.  Dunno why.

19. Share a new obsession.

Taking photos.  It's technically not a "new" obsession, but having a new Nikon D5000 with two lenses gives me lots of opportunity to play.  My pets being the most willing subjects and as the sky pulls my eyes to it ever so often... here are a few shots in my back yard this past weekend of my dogs and the sky.



Sunflare!



My puppy in motion!  Notice his fuzz is back.


He still won't ever look at the camera, even with my ultra zoom lens on!


She wanted to join the boys outside ...
she's begging me through the door.  Poor baby!


20. What’s the meaning of your life?

To discover Me... and find the strength and bravery to Be Me. 
 
How about you?  Let's hear your answers - link me back to your blog if you do this... I'd love to read 'em!

October 16, 2010

Belated Birthday Brilliance



The Girl celebrated her 15th birthday last week. She decided she’d rather spend it with her boyfriend at an amusement park rather than with us. Imagine that! So, we waited and celebrated today. Birthdays in our house are typically all about wishes… within reason, of course. And, you pretty much get what you wish for. Within reason, of course.


Today we all did something we’ve never done before as a family… or even singly. We went miniature golfing, glow-in-the-dark style. It was really pretty cool.



Unfortunately, I didn’t want to take my big momma camera so I went to my old Nikon as a backup. Uh, a charged battery would have been helpful. So I went to The Boy and asked to borrow his camera. Apparently, not charging batteries runs in the family. So then I thought, I’ll use my phone’s camera. Whoops! My phone battery is more dead than the camera batteries combined.



Where was my scrapbooker’s head? I certainly didn’t prepare for this family adventure very well.



So, I took both almost-dead cameras and my old one was the winner. It took one picture every time I turned it on, before it would shut down again on “exhausted battery”. Sadly, it apparently didn’t like the glow-in-the-dark aspect of what it was shooting because my photos are quite blurry.  That'll teach me not to use my good camera!



Even so, it’s quite the psychedelic effect, no?



We had fun, despite a rowdy little-kids birthday party following us through the course. We also wished it was a bit bigger, with more choices, but regardless, it was fun. I got two holes in one! Go me!




The birthday girl also got her choice of dinner (Dad’s famous homemade chicken fried rice) and birthday dessert:



She is the oddest teenage girl… she doesn’t like things like cake or cookies. Candy is “it” for her… and mostly sour candy at that. Her only favorite “chocolate” is Reese’s peanut butter cups, which is what I stuck the candles in – one peanut butter cup per year of her life. The giant drink in the middle is a coke slushie. Another favorite of hers. Hey, one thing I can say about not baking a cake is that there won’t be a half of a cake (or more) sitting around calling my name! Those peanut butter cups… they’ll be gone before lunch tomorrow. I guarantee it.



We finished out the special day with a showing of Alice in Wonderland. Of course, after this post, you KNOW I was going to get that movie, right?

Happy belated birthday Girl… we love you!

October 14, 2010

Brave Girl...

A little bird told me...


Some of you may already know of The Brave Girls Club.  In my quest to really know and BE me, I stumbled across this "club" when someone at SFTIO posted about it.  If you sign up for their newsletter, they send these "brave girl messages" every day during the work-week.

Some of them I haven't opened yet.

Some of them I have read and they just didn't apply to me.

And some of them are like a hammer hitting the daggone nail on the head!

Tonight's email:

Dear Beloved Girl,


Great frustration, hurt and anxiety can come from trying to get our worth and our acceptance from other people or from anything that is outside of our own selves and our own deepest truths.
This is huge for me... I have spent so many years looking for outside reassurances and acceptance...

Many of us want love more than anything in the world. We want love and we want acceptance...we want to be understood. Frustration comes when we do not accept the fact that we simply can not MAKE others love us, or accept us, or even understand us. This is why it is so important to first learn how to love ourselves....

OMG, there's the nail... and the hammer hitting it. 


When we can get in tune with our deepest truths....the truths that only come from listening to the very force that created us and placed this knowing inside of us.....we can find peace whenever we need it. When we do the work necessary to learn who we really are in spite of who the world may tell us we are....we can find the love and acceptance we so need...whether we have other people in our lives or not. We simply do not NEED to have constant reassurance from others....because there is a voice of knowing inside of us...a voice that comes from the only place that truly KNOWS who we are and what we are capable of.
This is where I think I am... working to get in tune with me and learn who I really am.  Again... nail... hammer... hitting...


Be o.k. with YOU, beautiful friend. Be o.k. with the moments of aloneness that come, and that sometimes stay. Be o.k. with sometimes feeling that no one understands or that no one is giving you exactly what you need.....because the only WHOLENESS of spirit that will come is from your own self and your own deepest truth. Be o.k. with this....this is where you will find peace. You can give your SELF love and acceptance, through listening to your deepest truths that come from your Creator. It will be real, true and authentic. And it will be enough.
And this is what I'm working toward.


It really will. It will be enough.

You are so very very loved.

xoxo
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October 13, 2010

Craving!


I'm not one for candied apples.  I don't like the red candy around the apple... it sticks in my teeth and not really all that flavorful, to me.  I never was fond of caramel apples, either.  Not that I had many... it wasn't a treat we had around, that I remember, when I was growing up.  Besides, you can't tell what kind of mushy apple is beneath that caramel, which can ruin the entire experience.

One day my eldest brought home a gourmet caramel apple... and I was HOOKED!  Caramel and chocolate so thick the apple seems to be size of a pea?  And the apple was crisp and tart to counteract all that sweet?  A deadly, yet happy, treat!

We split one that day, and it was more than enough.  One of these apples... really... a single wedge would be enough of a "treat".  This is truly a decadent dessert that you can just about convince yourself it is a "healthy choice" because it has an apple at it's core.  Hahahah.

Anyway... I've had a craving for one.  They "come out of hiding" about this time of year but so far I've only seen caramel-and-nut covered apples... little ones.  Mass-produced. 

SO not interested.

But if I see a gourmet version around, watch out!  Because I don't know if I can keep a rein on my craving... Yum!

October 12, 2010

Ray of Sunshine...



I just spent a wonderful two + hours with a friend of mine who moved away about a year ago to accept a job in the same company, but a different state.  She went west and now lives in Colorado... but recently (as in a week ago) got married and was in town on a temporary basis waiting to go on her honeymoon.

I email her and chat with her in meetings or via brief phone calls, but before she moved, we chatted nearly every day. I have never met anyone with such a positive, can-do, WILL-do, everything  you want is going to happen attitude.  You would think that a person like that would get aggravating to be around, but I have to say... it isn't.  Really, don't get me wrong, she totally has her moments of darkness, of depression, of wondering "why" or "why me" and has spent a great deal of time sharing frustrations and venting to and with me. She is an everyday "normal" person... not one of those caricaturistic optimistic cheerleaders.   But just her aura has that "lightness" to it.   Even when she's complaining, she's smiling.

I can't explain it... but those couple of hours with her was a breath of fresh air.  She vented about the frustrations of her imperfectly perfect wedding, family tensions and other situations, but we laughed and ate and chatted and her light just exuded from her.

By the time we hugged goodbye, I felt I had a ray of sunshine warming me from the inside.  She really just has that effect on me.  I didn't realize how much I have missed that in my every-work-day life... but it was nice to be warmed by her aura for these few moments.  I really needed it!

October 11, 2010

Dredges!

Random fact about me. I rarely drink the dredges of a beverage.

What does this mean? It means that most everything I drink, with one or two exceptions, there will always be a swallow or two left at the bottom of the glass, can, bottle or whatever container from which I’m drinking.

Case in point: Tea. I love my tea. I love iced tea. I love hot tea. My iced tea has to be black tea, unsweetened and unflavored. My hot tea has to be sweet… really sweet… and can be plain or flavored and I’ll drink black, herbal, green or rooibos tea.

Here is my tea cup from a few days ago. Dredges are there.



Here’s my tea from this morning. Yep, still a couple of swallows.



I do this with soda pop, various alcoholic beverages, juice and milk. If I ever visit and don't drink the last few sips of the beverage you serve me, please don't be offended.   I just don’t like the dredges!

The only beverage I consistently don’t? Water. I’ll drain every drop of decent tasting (I am a water snob) water from a cup with no problems.

Why is that?

I think it’s called… Quirky.

October 10, 2010

Walkin'...


Spent the whole day at work... another scrappy garage sale.  When I was done, it was such a beautiful day, I convinced myself to go for a walk.

Yes, I had to convince myself.  Actually, I had made a promise earlier to go... but as time wore on, my Laziness Factor kept growing, and growing, and growing until all I wanted to do was go home to tackle the amazing amount of stuff that needed to be done.  But, as I left, I just drove to the park, and got out and started putting one foot in front of the other.



At first I was going to walk and enjoy the sights and sounds, but then... since I was so very tired, I decided to put my earbuds in and listen to some music.  Music always has a way to keep me going, and often, if the right song is playing, I move to that beat. So, put some good beats on and the walk is over before you know it.



Besides, it was pretty busy there with more than a few kids hootin' and hollerin'.  I guess they love to hear their screeches echo in the woods. 

However, I did pause now and again to capture some sights, and thought I'd share them here with you.  The colors were so pretty... I hope my phone camera picked them up, but of course, everything looks better when you're experiencing it first hand.



About two-thirds through my walk there was a small obstruction... poor tree fell across the path.  It must have been there a while, though, because the parts over the path were starting to decompose.  This is the same path I've walked many times before - well, you would know because you went with me once remember? -  but I guess I haven't been back in a while.  Stupid summer heat.  :)


Despite the lazy pull... I'm so glad I went.  It was a nice interlude in an otherwise busy day...

October 8, 2010

Changing Issues



Everyone has their “issues”. They have their opinions, beliefs, wishes, questions, frustrations, dreams, hopes, and habits. All of these can conflict with someone else’s “issues” and any given moment. I have spent much of my life avoiding that specific conflict. I didn’t want to argue, debate or even differ from someone else’s “issue”; I’d rather have a peaceful, serene moment and move on.

You know what happens, though? The peace and serenity are only external in the moment, not within me. I walk away from the moment with suppressed opinions, beliefs, wishes, questions, frustrations, dreams, hopes, and habits. In fact, avoiding this conflict has become a habit. It is so hard to change things when you are not aware you are (and shouldn’t be) or are not (and should be) doing them.

I’m going to give you two teeny examples of my much larger issue.

I had a long-term relationship with a guy who was a book-fiend, just like me. Before I met him, I pretty much man-handled my books. I would leave them open, face down, so as to quickly mark a page when I had to leave it suddenly. I also dog-eared corners. Sometimes I would mark up pages or passages with a pen so as to remember something later that was important to me in the moment. When I met Jack* he had distinct issues when it came to books. Allow me to share issue #1 regarding avoiding conflict:

1 – If he bought a new book, he had to be the first one to open it and read it. Even if he wasn’t ready to read it right away, it was his book, so he got “first dibs” on reading it.

2 – When reading a book, you held it with two hands and kept it as closed as possible while still having it open just-enough to read the text. This was to prevent creasing the spine.

3 - Creasing the spine is BAD.

4 – When stopping in the middle of reading, always mark your spot with a proper bookmark. Never, ever set it face down. This creases the seam. See number 3.

5 – Never ever eat or drink while reading a book, especially not chips with residue such as cheese doodles or Doritos.

6 – When borrowing a book from Jack, you had to return it in 2 weeks or less (even the public library lends for longer time periods!)

So, I dated Jack for a substantial amount of time, and therefore, ingrained many… no, all… of these habits into my reading practices.

Issue #2: When someone gifts you with an item with usability (not a tchotchke or picture or whatnot), don’t use it. Keep it as pristine as possible, because it was a gift and therefore precious and not to be destroyed with use. Therefore, I have many items in my life that could actually be used, but I don’t because I don’t want to “ruin” it. They become sentimental over time, and then I can’t even give it away or sell it because someone gifted it to me.

You can imagine the clutter my life has.

But it’s all in pristine condition!

Lately, I have realized that a good book is one that looks and feels well-loved. It has creases not only in its spine, but often in its cover or even the occasional page. I might have stains from the chips I couldn’t resist eating at that climactic moment (like popcorn with a movie). Perhaps you even read it while eating a dinner alone and your sloppy Joe got a little sloppy. Jack can have his pristine library… but I want a good, well-loved book to read!

The coaster pictured at the beginning of this post is the result of my changing issue #2. A friend gave me this coaster and I thought it was an excellent sentiment and perfect for my life. So, as it was a gift, I set it on my desk, but never set a drink on it. Over time, I started thinking what I could do with the coaster… frame it? Scrapbook it? Pin it to a bulletin board? Anything except using it for what it was intended… a coaster. Then, one day out of the blue, I set my cup of tea on it.



It splattered a little. Now my coaster has a lovely tea stain over the sentiment. I have used it for my tea ever since.

How appropriate. Because I no longer want that issue of feeling I need to keep everything pristine. To really enjoy and appreciate a gift, one must use it. And because of its use, it may eventually look a little well-worn but really, doesn’t that just show how appreciated the gift was in the first place?

I can’t say I’ve “fixed” these quirky thoughts/beliefs… but I’m moving forward… I’m slowly but surely changing some of my issues.

*Name changed to protect the quirky

October 5, 2010

Something Weird I Love...


Pencils.

For some reason, I'm totally re-enamored of writing with a pencil.  Did you know that pencils are "permanent"?  The graphite won't fade... but the reason why pencil writing or drawings seem to fade is because the paper wears away over time.  But my pencil either has to be a very specific brand of mechanical pencils or I need a #2 natural-wood pencil and I have to sharpen it frequently.  I do not like writing with a dull tip.  Which is probably why I gravitate toward mechanical ones more often than not.  Although, if I'm not careful, those pencils can quickly turn into a weapon as I'm heavy-handed which can cause pieces of lead to break off at random and fly off in unexpected directions. 

I love that a pencil glides across the paper and never skips, like some of my pens are prone to doing.  I love that a pencil, while permanent (see above) can also be erased and not permanent.  Ya gotta have a good eraser, too, by the way.  I love how when pencil runs out of lead, you just sharpen it to get more, unlike a pen which you have to either refill or throw away.  When the pencil is out of lead, you're out of pencil.  I love the grey-brown color of the pencil too.  It's also pretty cool that you can write very precisely with a sharp tip, or have a bit of 'fuzzy' with a duller point.

I had a boyfriend once who only ever wrote in pencil.  He said he didn't like anything to be permanent.  I guess that was foreshadowing, eh?

I'm totally in love with my pencils right now.  Thank you for indulging me and letting me share my weird love of the moment.

October 4, 2010

Punkin' Pair

On Friday, before I left for my trip home, the company where I work had a staff appreciation picnic.  I was happily drafted to take photos.  While I can't share most of them, because they have images of the individuals we support, I wanted to share this photo:



One of the activities we had for staff and those we provide supports to was a table where you could decorate your own little pumpkin.  After spending several hours taking photos, I finally sat down and created my own little punkin.  My friend and co-worker and supervisor (all one person) also made one and we thought they made a cute couple.

Hers is on the left. Mine is on the right.  What a punkin pair!

October 3, 2010

It Was a HeluvaGood Trip!

**

I took a quick trip "home" this weekend.  "Home" as in the place where I grew up. Apple country, as I have previously mentioned.

While I was home less than 40 hours, it was a really, really good trip.  Nice to get away, all by myself.  I get to think a lot... and sing a lot... on the 6 1/2 hour drive each way.  I got to visit with more family than I expected and a friend from school. Walked around the festival and looked at all kinds of crafts.  You know ... the kind where you like something, then look at the price... then walk away saying, "I can MAKE that!"  But you never do.  Bought some food-stuff.  Went to my sister's house on the lake... saw a really pretty pastel sunset over the water. 



Had a great dinner out and brought home some family-homemade wine.  I bought apples... lots of apples. I was disappointed in one basket... a kind I'd never had before and I wasn't happy with them. The Boy seems pleased to have a whole basket of apples to eat all by himself.  More apples of a different kind have been stored in the fridge... hopefully some of them will last until Thanksgiving so we can have apple pie. In the meantime, I'll be making applesauce and apple bread.



It was a really good trip for such a short visit. 

** for those of you who read my blog who have never heard of HeluvaGood (the truck pictured at the top), they make the best french onion dip in the world (IMO).  They are slowly making their way out of New York state.  I grew up on their dips and cheese.  It was fun to see the truck driving down to Ohio... where these products have become available in the past couple of years... it seemed the perfect way to "speak" to my trip.  It was heluvagood for sure! 

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