Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Bit Part to Foster Peace and Joy

In this sure to be, (what's the word I'm looking for?) bizarrest? political season coming up, we can already see all kinds of ugliness (yes, that's the word I'm looking for) thrown around.  We see plenty of it already on Facebook.

I've decided I'm not going to play on that court. But I'm not walking away from Facebook because I do find some joy.  And I'll be sharing those joyful posts.  Whether it's pictures of my grandkids,
Little Miss as Anna (Frozen) 
Mr. C finds a frog in his back yard

or gratitude proclamations,


or songs that make you realize there's a lot of RIGHT in this world,

I'm going to stay positive.  I'm going to exude positive.

As I've said before, over and over (borrowed from tut.com)


And with some luck, this will spread and we'll bring more peace and joy to our world.  We need it right now.  And it's within each of us to make it happen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Keeping in Touch

Has this ever happened to you?  All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, a friend you haven't heard from in a while comes to mind.  It's not like you kept in constant contact with them, but every few years, you'd touch base.  

That happened this week.  So as I usually do, I did a Google search seeing if there's info on where she might be living.  And I found an obituary.  My heart sank!  Totally caught off guard.  And I'm sorry I didn't know sooner.  I'm sorry I didn't have an opportunity when her loved ones were grieving most, to tell them what she meant to me.  
   
Carolee Long Thomas - 1943-2013
A friend, a mentor, an angel.
You see, she's one of those people that have such an impact on someone's life that she's unforgettable. She recognized something in me when I worked with her at AT&T, then called me when there were openings at Verizon.  I honestly would not be where I am today had she not opened some doors for me.  And now she's gone  I have no regret about not telling her, because I did. She was my mentor and friend. She called me her angel.  I went back and found the last email exchange and cried my eyes out.  

So why am I telling you this?  Because I realized that I went through a silent time with friends where I didn't reach out, didn't answer emails.  I don't know why. I didn't journal at the time. I'm sure it was some sort of depression.  But I'm back. Reaching out is important to me. I'm hoping to blog more. I want to honor the friendship I had with Carolee to make sure I don't go into some lapse again.  And if that happens to you, reach out to someone.  Just one person who will protect you when you need it most, but will understand until you are ready to blossom again.  I'm just sorry I missed reaching out to her one last time!  
Rest in peace, my friend!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Do You Like To Read?


Do you make time to read?

I love to read, but I go in spurts where I make the time each day to read a little.  At the top of my stack right now is "Rising Strong" by Brené Brown.
Love her books, love her Ted Talks. I'm a fan. She's just so real...so AUTHENTIC!!

The last book I read (and HIGHLY recommend for my creative buddies and creative wannabes) was "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Another good one. By the end of the book, you'll be calling her "Liz" like she's an old friend.

My home is one with lots of books.  Sometimes, they are books I am not really all that interested in reading, but my PG sees them and asks me to pick them up for him.  Always with a promise to read them.  But he never gets around to it, saying he never has time.  I, on the other hand, try to make the time.  I find that I bounce between making art, meditation, and reading.  I'm still trying to find the mix that works where I get them all in, but that's still a work in progress.

But I've given a lot of thought as to why my PG has difficulty making time to sit and read.  Then I found this article by Jess Burnquist.  It nearly moved me to tears.  If you love or hate to read, it's a great article to check out and to help you understand those who don't like to read.

Tomorrow starts spring break!  I'm taking the entire week to get ready for gardening, do some reading, get back to meditation, and just address the things that I love.  Yeah, there will be some binge watching, too.  But I'm okay with that.  I can multitask when I binge watch.  Maybe I'll blog a little, too.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Resting "Whatever" Face

I just gotta chime in on this one.  Aren't we all a little tired of political correctness?  Aren't we tired of having to be concerned that a little sense of humor might offend someone?  Are we going to bend over to appease those who want to complain instead of see the humor in something?

I heard today that employees of Goodwill were upset when a company memo went out to advise the employees of the appropriate reactions and emotions to display with customers.  And the memo showed pictures of Kanye West with various emotions displayed.  Wait, it's easier to show you...

Courtesy of http://www.tmz.com/2015/12/10/goodwill-kanye-west-expressions/
Now many of you are aware that this is derived from the ever popular RBF, a.k.a., Resting Bitch Face."  C'mon, you all know at least one person who has an RBF.  You know the kind.  You are explaining something to them, and they look like they're upset with you, right?  But they're not pissed.  It's just their resting bitch face.

I fear we, as a society, are losing our sense of humor.  We are always hearing about some group of people who are offended about something.

Lighten up, People!!  Live and let live!  Enjoy this incredible world we live in and see the humor in things.  More often than not, others are not trying to piss you off!! So don't take it that way!

Happy New Year!  Make this a safe, prosperous, and humorous 2016.  Y'know, if you find the laughter, you'll find the love!!  And this world needs as much love as we give!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Meditation & the Monkey Mind

For the last couple of months, I have tried to be faithful in making time to meditate each day. It's not always easy, but it's important to me so I make it a priority.

I can't begin to tell you how often the conversations I've had go something like, "I've tried to meditate, but I can't make my mind stop." So, during this morning's meditation, my monkey mind (this is what I call my mind when it won't rest) decided to write a blog post.  It went something like this:
Deep breaths, in thru the nose, out thru the mouth, close eyes, listen to sounds around you, scan your body to notice how it's feeling, I think I need to write about how this can be difficult (monkey mind), breathe... breathe, I think I can title it (monkey mind) breathe...breathe.  I wonder how long it takes to get a doctorate degree, because the training can be that long to master this (monkey mind) breathe.  
You get the idea.  It's not always easy.  But I will tell you, it's so worth it.  I find I am calmer, less judgmental, happier. But I consider this a journey.
Miles Markey, son of Liz & Jason Markey
photo courtesy of Liz Markey
I use an app called Headspace.  Andy, the "guide" through these meditations has a very calming Brit accent and his voice makes it easy for me to start meditating. Plus, he's kinda cute! And the app is free to test drive it!

So let me quickly point out a few things I've learned about meditation, and hopefully you'll think about giving it a try.

  • It doesn't need to be 30 minutes.  It can honestly be as little as 5 minutes when you're in a hurry, but I would start with a 10 minute session.
  • You don't have to sit on the floor in a lotus position. You can sit in any chair.
  • Your mind will wander. A lot. Consider this training. You wouldn't expect to run a marathon if you haven't trained for it. Same thing here.
  • Many times, you start telling yourself that your mind is too busy to do it. But then you give yourself permission to have a monkey mind, it pays off when you stick with it.  Those often turn out to be my best meditations.
  • You can do it almost anywhere. Of course, it's better if the cat isn't trying to sit in your lap, or the dog isn't trying to lick your face but if it happens, you roll with it.  
All this is offered with a wish that your Christmas and New Year's celebrations bring you peace, in spite of all the chaos of the holidays. And whether or not you make resolutions, consider making peace and tranquility a high priority for 2016.  For each person who works at finding peace in their own lives, our world will be a little better for it.

Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

Six years ago, I gave my thoughts about Veterans Day here.  My three older brothers and my Dad all served our country by enlisting.  Our family saw all three branches of military service represented (Navy/Army/Air Force).  Here's one of my favorite pics of my Dad.  

 
It couldn't have been easy to make a decision to join a branch of the military, But I think many people feel the way I do, and as I did back in 2009.  I am so proud to say I am an American.  I am so honored to know that millions voluntarily step up to serve to protect us.  I'm so privileged to say, openly and from deep in my heart, 
GOD BLESS AMERICA - LAND THAT I LOVE

And call me dorky, but I feel strongly about our flag, as well.  So to my friend who doesn't want to be credited for this picture (you know who you are!), thanks for the awesome picture of our flag!

Whether or not you are working this day, please know that there are millions in our nation who are grateful for your service to our nation.
THANK YOU!



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Words...That's it ... Just Words

We have some of the best conversations at our lunch table.  One teacher walked by and said, "It's always so enjoyable to walk past your table and just get the snippets of what you guys might be talking about.  Always entertaining!"  That it is!

So this week, we talked about words. How there are just some words that drive you crazy.  Some words that you can just do without hearing for the rest of your life.  Some that just inspire, or make you feel giggly. Some words that are just plain fun.

Like spelunking. Doesn't that sound like fun?  "Hey boss, can I have a day off to go spelunking?"  Sounds like a great day off. Or how about doppleganger? 

But then there are words you cringe every time you hear them. One of my lunch buddies doesn't like the word phlegm.  Right?  Even the way it's spelled. Kinda makes you feel phelgmy just spelling it.  Or how about mucus? Ewwwww!  Another says she doesn't like the word bulbous.  I guess I can see that. Kinda makes you think of a big ol' nose, Karl Malden style.
Photo courtesy CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Here's one...cutlet  Not sure how that one made the "don't like" list, cuz I just think it's a cute word. Kinda petite-ish. But one of the girls doesn't like it.

A few years ago, I wrote another post about words.  These were not words that necessarily create pictures in your mind, but will definitely elicit some sort of feelings as you read the words.

All of this sure makes you think about the power of words, doesn't it?  About the times we say things that might be meant one way but are taken another?  About how you may say to a kid, "quit your crying" but all they hear is, "I don't want to hear what you have to say."  Or how there can be a national debate on whether certain lives matter or whether all lives matter.  Yep, words are powerful...and fun...and gross.  But definitely powerful.

Hope I gave you some powerful thought today.  Go out and make someone's day with a kind word!



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Back at it...once again...for the eleventeenth time

Once again, it's been 6 months since I've written anything here.  I can list a myriad of excuses, none of which are good enough.  But this week, I simply mentioned on Facebook that I need to start blogging again and it didn't take long for some of my fave peeps to chime in with agreement.  So here I am again...

I've signed up for a free course in the science of happiness that we heard about through my job. I think a number of us are taking it.  Week one was a bit tedious, but I have hope it will get much better. I signed up because I recently came to the realization that I was tired of being angry about things and that I was more fulfilled when I lived a happy life. Y'know... "If you can see it, you can be it."

I believe in the law of attraction.  Now, I have some friends who will roll their eyes at this, but that puts a smile on my face. I first got word of it when I watched "The Secret."  The message resonated with me.  This week, I received an email with this message:
You are an electromagnetic being emitting a frequency. Only those things that are on the same frequency as the one you are emitting can come into your experience. Every single person, event, and circumstance in your day is telling you what frequency you are on. If your day is not going well, stop and deliberately change your frequency. If your day is going swimmingly, keep doing what you are doing.
Sometimes, you need reminders to live with happiness in your life. Sometimes, you need someone to show you what life can be if you just face a challenge. At Costco this morning, I walked past a mom and her son who were standing in front of a tower of skeleton heads. He was desperately trying to convince her to get them and would not move from there. She told him she would not get them until he picked up the box (assuring him it was not heavy). Apparently, the little guy was terrified of the tower of heads, but still wanted them. When I walked past again, I heard her say it was silly to be afraid of plastic. So I stopped...and I watched out of the corner of eye. And he finally pulled the box out. And I cried. And I hope Mom saw the glory in what her son accomplished, because she said "it only took us 45 minutes to get to this!"  But I gotta tell ya...that little boy made MY day.

I am really, really going to try to write here more often.  I'm going to try to bring more happiness to this world.  Because I believe that so much of what is happening in our world today is because we are emitting that "what's wrong with the world" frequency, instead of "what's RIGHT with the world."

We've got a family party this weekend.  Celebrating all the new persons that have come into our family.  It's going to be a great time. And for those who won't be able to make it due to distance, I hope we get to Facetime with them.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Kevin!!

Today, we will celebrate my little brother's birthday.  Happy 55th, Kevin!

My little brother is mentally retarded.  I believe they labeled him as "severely mentally retarded" when he was a baby.  Whatever wiring mishap happened in his brain, he is also unable to speak using words. He makes sounds, very noisy, joyful sounds. And you will definitely know if he has missed you when he sees you.  He's a bit noisy that way, too.  And strong...so very strong.  He could knock you over with a hug.

When he was a baby, the seventh for my mom and dad, my mother knew within a couple of weeks that something wasn't right.  "He wasn't turning over like he should," is the one thing I remember her saying.  By the time he was diagnosed, the professionals predicted he would not live beyond age 30.  He was 5 or 6 when he first walked.
Pretty proud of himself!!

And we danced at my wedding...
He was 13 in this picture.
Kevin lives in a facility in Kankakee, IL  For his 50th, we celebrated at a local hotel, did it up big!! He was exhausted by the end of the party.
Kevin's 50th Birthday Party
I'd say baby brother is hanging in there pretty well!  Happy 55th, Kev!! Vuhvuhvuhvuhvuh!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Little Word for 2015

You may be familiar with Ali Edwards' One Little Word that was started back in 2007 and has grown exponentially in popularity. For the last two years, I did not choose a word since beginning this OLW journey in 2009.  Nothing showed up. Nothing spoke to me. And I just wasn't in the frame of mind to find one.

And 2014 was an odd year!  2014 brought lots of changes in my life. (I guess CHANGE would have been a good OLW, in retrospect). But those changes have made me realize what I want for 2015.

My word for 2015 is CREATE.  This time, the word chose me. 

According to Merriam Webster:   
cre·ate verb\krē-ˈāt\
: to make or produce (something) 
: to cause (something new) to exist
: to cause (a particular situation) to exist
: to produce (something new, such as a work of art) y using your talents and imagination

I want to create a healthy lifestyle, a garden that offers me that healthy lifestyle, a healthy home, simple living, art, abundance, open spaces,  laughter, joy, memories.  I want to write more. I intend to write more. That includes more blogging. And more pictures. 

I looked back at some of my old posts and it reminded me what I was involved with over the last couple of years. I really think so much of it lead me to this one little word, create!! And as I create in 2015, I intend to share.

It's funny, as I write the word intend, it makes me wonder how committed actions are behind that word. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Yoda:  "Do or Do Not.  There is no Try."  And I sometimes wonder whether the word "intend" is best friends with "try."  If that's the case, then I'm changing it to WILL. I WILL write more.  I WILL share more.

But as usual, I digress.

And what about you?  Do you have a word that will guide you, inspire you in the new year? I'd love to hear about it. Not only what your word is, but why that word!

I wish my visitors a peaceful, prosperous, safe, and successful 2015.  And I leave you with this:
art
jpg from http://yelenabosovik.com
(can't read the photographer's name)