Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Friends and Inspiration...From a Cellar

Ahhhhh..... I spent last Saturday in the cellar, and I feel refreshed, inspired and incredibly grateful for very talented friends!!  The cellar is what we have affectionately labeled my girlfriend's basement.  The formal name is "Scrapbook Cellar".  We try to meet there once every 4-6 weeks to scrap for the day, without having to pay the fees they want in all day scraps at stores (where you always spend more money).  The nice thing is we inspire and energize each other.  This time, I learned how to quickly scrapbook 30 random pictures.  It's like a lightbulb went off in my head!!  A real "duh" moment....why hadn't I thought of that sooner!!
Robert Louis Stevenson said "A friend is a present you give yourself."  I hope you have friends in your life who listen to you, advise you, inspire you, laugh with you, act as your cheerleaders when you aren't quite sure, and let you know they are there when you need them most. I'm so grateful that I do. (And grateful to certain spouses who do lunch runs!! - Thanks, CT).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Power of the Little Words

This week, there were a number of instances where I gave some heavy thought to the power that even little words have in our lives.  A girl I work with gave me a list or rather, MANIFESTO, of things that are just good for people to live by.  After I read the list (and there are some VERY good items that I'll likely blog about later), I started thinking about the word "manifesto".  I always felt the word was extremely strong, but that it had a negative connotation.  I don't know why but I'm sure it had something to do with what I learned when I was in school.  To be honest, I think I associated it with communism.  But it's not a negative word.  It's a public declaration of one's intentions, motives or views.  I LOVE the strength that I feel from this word. 
Here's another one...while watching the season premiere of "House" (one where I was a bit skeptical that they could show two hours of him in a psych ward but it was done to perfection), he uttered two words from the heart.  Two words that should be in everyone's vocabulary.  Two words that should only be used when coming from the heart, but at the same time be quickly on the lips.  Those two words...."I'm sorry".  Say it with meaning, folks.  I'm sorry.  There's no weakness there.  Not when it comes from the heart. 
And one more word that I always give thought to...one I've used here today.  This one is probably a bit more controversial.  The word is "should".  Somehow, I can't get away from the fact that the word "should" is judgmental.  I've had discussions with people about how it is often used to teach kids what is expected of them.  But isn't that a judgment call?  Seriously, we all have different thoughts on how we raise our kids, so telling our kids what they should or shouldn't do might be different from one family to the next.  Try to listen for how many times someone says the word "should" and really think about whether it is a judgment on their part.  It's no wonder you hear "why?" from the little ones when we tell them what they should do.
Okay, so enough of the food for thought.  I'm sorry, but I should be going.  I've got plenty of things on my to-do list today (just can't seem to fit the word manifesto in there!!). 
Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cherokee Wisdom

Got this in an email...thought it was profound. Let me know what you think.
One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil -- It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good -- it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."  (photo courtesy of http://animal.nationalgeographic.com)

Sending happy birthday wishes to my beautiful daughter, Christine!!  You have brightened my life more than I can express in words.  I thank God for the experience and honor of being your mother.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Thoughts

TGIF!! Not that I've had a particularly difficult week at work...to the contrary, it was a week that allowed me time to clean off the mounds of paper from my desk. But sometimes, don't you just want the weekend to get here? No, I don't have anything special brewing. I might just do what I did last Sunday; stay in my PJs and make cards all day. Or I might get out into the garden and pull out the weeds that were given a nice home this summer. I have nothing pressing, and I'm looking forward to that.
When I got home tonight, I walked in the backyard briefly. An absolutely pleasant surprise awaited me! My clematis was in full bloom! I can't even begin to describe the wonderful fragrance that comes from this vine. The first thing I thought of was that I needed to find a picture of it to post here. And I am very sorry that this isn't a scratch and sniff blog (I'm guessing that doesn't exist YET). Because I would certainly subscribe to it if it meant sharing this fragrance with each of you.
So, short of sharing that with you, I thought I'd share some random thoughts of the week.
  • Perennials are one of the best things Mother Nature ever came up with. Plant 'em once and they share their beauty every year.
  • There are good "geeks" in high school, and some of them are even popular.
  • Everyone can use a little "reinforcement" from the sisterhood once in a while. Sometimes it's enough to convince you to move forward with your dreams.
  • My daughter is a grown woman who is extremely capable of making very wise decisions.
  • The saying that "being a parent is a job that, when done well, gets you fired" is one that makes me both sad and joyful at the very same time.
  • Sometimes, I need caffeine. Well, maybe not NEED... but want. Sometimes I want caffeine.
  • You can do someone a favor by being straight up with them. Don't beat around the bush trying to gingerly say what you are saying. Sometimes it's the straight talk that makes things crystal clear.
  • Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones.
  • I couldn't ask to have fallen in love with a better man than the one I'm in love with.

I hope you all have a wonderful, sun-filled weekend. As for me... I've got two days in front of me to do whatever looks good at the moment!! I'll let you know later what that ends up being.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Touch-A-Truck Date

Today, I'm giddy with excitement. I have a date...with my 2-year-old grandson. We are going to the Touch-A-Truck event. Every year, the town he lives in hauls out their big trucks, tractors, fire trucks, etc. and let's the kids climb on/in them and enjoy them. Last year, just barely over a year old and walking only a few months, this little boy nearly ran to each of the trucks. Today, a year later, he can tell you the official name of a "bobcat" vehicle. For those uninformed among us, a bobcat is actually called a skid steer loader and if you have a conversation with Cormick, he WILL set you straight. We've already had a conversation this morning, with him telling me which vehicles he wanted to see (dump truck and bulldozer) and him asking me what I want to see (fire truck). And he's only 2 years old!!!! I am so blessed!!

Will post pics of this year's event when I'm back home later this afternoon!! See ya!!
Sunday, 9/13/09 - Okay... update on my "date" yesterday.... we had a ball!! On the way to the event, he revised his list of what he wanted to see... besides the dump truck and bulldozer, he added EXCAVATOR. Yes, he used that word... How many 2 year olds do you know who will say they want to see an excavator? I'd guess most adults don't know what one looks like, but he pointed one out to me on our way to the place. I'm so in awe of this kid!! And he was in awe exploring the trucks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/01 - Never Forget

We went to my grandson's sixth grade open house last night. The social studies teacher told us that today, the students would be discussing 9/11 events. She pointed out that these students were so young that many did not know the significance of the date. I looked at my grandson who was nodding his head. I felt like we had missed an opportunity with him. An opportunity to talk about how incredibly sad our nation was within minutes of the 9/11 attacks. An opportunity to tell him how people really do come together in the neediest times, without regard to differences in lifestyles or race or politics or economic well being. We were a nation that pulled together with one cause in mind. We were a nation UNITED.

My very first visit to New York was just a couple of years ago. I visited Ground Zero. I was in awe at how reverently quiet it was, surrounded by New York street and pedestrian traffic. It's almost as if you could feel the angels protecting the area. It was a feeling I will never forget.

God Bless America
And those who continue to protect us
Each and every day.
(Photo origination unknown)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jumping to Conclusions

Okay, so are we all just completely exhausted??? The exercise that so many have had lately jumping to conclusions should have most of us worn out. I'm going to try to be fair here. This may sound like it's a post about politics but bear with me, I've got a point to make.

Topic: President Obama's speech to students on Tuesday, September 8th. Facebook polls, emails to teachers, threats of keeping kids home for the day, comparisons to what Hitler did with youth, on and on and on. "Oh sure, the speech is changed now that conservatives have voiced their strong opinions." To which I say, well apparently Mr. Obama has listened. Instead of being upset that he's "changed" the speech, rejoice!! He's removed the topics you've been concerned about.

Here's the thing....like it or not, he is our president for the four year term he was elected to. And if you love this country like I do, if you agree that we live in the greatest nation of all, if you value the free speech that we are blessed with, you will teach your children that the office of the President of the United States deserves respect. And the person holding that office deserves to be heard. You will teach your children a whole lot more if you listen to the speech and discuss it with them. You will teach your children to be open-minded. Doesn't that just make sense? Sure makes a whole lot more sense than keeping your kids home from school!! (Photo courtesy of http://vitaeproject.ning.com)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bucket Lists

I haven't seen the movie "The Bucket List" yet, but I'm intrigued by the idea of having a bucket list. Whether it's called bucket list, dreams & aspirations, or a to-do list (not to be confused with a "honey-do" list), it seems to me that everyone needs to have something to look forward to, plan for, dream about. Isn't that part of being human?
This blog is one of the items on my bucket list. I'm having so much fun with it (although I'd love to see more comments!!!!). I will admit I suffer from writer's block sometimes. That, to me, is weird. Anyone who knows me knows that I rarely suffer from a lack of opinion on things. So I probably need to explore some things that inspire me.
A friend asked me the other day what was next for me, creatively. At first, I didn't have an answer. Then I realized (after adding up all the conversations I'd had with people that week) that my next journey will be to learn to take better photos. I have two great digital cameras and I just don't seem to take the kind of pictures that WOW me. After speaking with an incredibly talented photographer within the family, I'm now inspired to spend more time at this. I shall keep you posted on my journey, usually by posting pics I think are worthy!!
So that's the next item on my bucket list. What's on yours?? (Photo taken in my garden-2008)