Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Embracing Imperfection

Are you a perfectionist?   Do you make lists and get a little annoyed when you can't complete everything on those lists?  Do you suffer from do-overs because what you've done isn't quite good enough?  Or do you talk yourself into not starting something because you don't have time to finish it?  Or worse, you don't allow yourself to start something because "I can't do that"?

Over the summer, Leslie at Words of Me Project had a 31 Day Challenge to inspire creativity.  She issued prompts each day to help trigger some sleeping creativity in us.  I've watched as Leslie created all kinds of beautiful, artful things.  All the while telling myself, "I can't paint/create/do that".  You see, I let the perfectionist in me have the stronger voice.

I'm ready to change that reality.  A couple of weeks ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone with my big toe.  I pulled out the mod podge and covered a composition book with some pretty paper.  Not all that extreme, in fact the design is very low key.  But this little blank book will be placed in our Lactation Station (a.k.a. The Pump Room) at work for new mothers to journal if they so desire.  Idea inspired by The Milk Memos.  But I did something I wasn't used to doing. And it felt good.

And lately, I've been hopping around looking at blogs that show "how" to art journal.  And as much as I've told myself I can't do stuff like that, I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.  So I've gathered some acrylic paints that were on sale at Michael's and I'm going to get myself some paint brushes, grab my mod podge, embrace imperfection, and just do it.

I owe a big thanks to some of my fellow bloggers.  Thank you to Leslie, Cindi, and Leanne who toss inspiration my way.  And as I create, I will give you more links to those who inspire.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm Her Guest, I'm Her Guest

Side-by-Side, I'm With The Best

Today, I'm guest posting over at Leanne's place.  Whilst she and her family are enjoying their time in the Magic Kingdom with the Big Mouse Dude, she has entrusted some of her friends to fill the gap created by her absence!!

So my wish today is that you click on any of the links you see here to jump over and find out all about wishes.  And while you're there, check out some of Leanne's other posts.  You'll love her look at life!!!  And almost always walk away with a smile on your face!

Check out From Chaos Comes Happiness today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Skeletons In The Closet

Do you remember the children's song about the bones in your body being connected?  "The hand bone's connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone's connected to the arm bone..." and on it goes about "Dem Bones".  That's pretty much describes my hobbies.

It formally started when I was attending college.  I suppose the fact that I was in my 40's was one reason why this caught on with me.  We had to do a paper about our heritage.  So I pulled out the information my mother assembled years earlier (when I didn't care a wit about it) and wrote an essay about my parents and grandparents.  I think from that point on, I was hooked.  I became known in the family as the one who knew how everyone was connected.  Next thing I knew, I found myself looking for genealogy software.  I had to get this documented!!

When my mother passed, I was the one that got a lot of the "stuff".  My Dad's paystubs going back to 1957 when his take home pay each week averaged $140 and that had to feed seven people.  Old bank books and insurance payment books from my grandparents.  My great-uncle's eyeglasses and prayerbooks.   Hundreds of pictures of people, to whom I couldn't even guess on how I am related.  As I explore these documents, touching a bank book of a man who died 2 months after I was born, I tell myself, "I have to get this documented!!".  And so, my scrapbooking passion is fueled. 

Cardmaking?  That's an offshoot of scrapbooking...when you don't have time enough to complete a scrapbook page, finishing a card can give you that creative "relief" that you sometimes need when you feel like you're going to burst if you don't "DO" something.

My photography hobby?  Easy...I want to be sure that my life and our family history is documented.  I want to be sure that when my grandkids pick up pictures, it tells who is in the picture and what the story is behind that picture.  I want to be sure that the generations that I won't meet will know their past.  The best way is in pictures (with journaling). 

As for the title of this blog post, let me get to that little bit of "dirt".  In November 2003, a month after my dad's sister passed (she was the last of that generation), I received a call from a woman who had spoken with my brother and was advised to call me because "Peggy knows how everyone is connected in the family."   This woman proceeded to tell me that she was my cousin, who had been given up for adoption when another of my dad's sister's was 18 years old.  She had done her research and was willing to share it with me.  Obviously, I was skeptical.  There's no way this could be, I thought.  Nothing I'd seen up til then indicated anything like this happened.  I kept thinking about how it was only a month after the one woman who could possibly substantiate any of this was gone.  Coincidence??  A con??  

I took her number, told her I'd contact her "brother" and then we'd see where it went from there.  Calls were made, faxes were sent.  This was for real!!  When she walked into a party I was having in December, our jaws dropped.  She was the spitting image of my grandmother in this picture. 

There was no denying she was related.  Slowly, the other cousins added puzzle pieces that made this whole thing come together.

Since then, I've found other papers that spark more questions about all sorts of things in the family.  I may not have the answers, but the journey and the questions that surface are a lot of fun to contemplate!!

So, any FUN skeletons in YOUR closet??

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - Angels At Work

As I sit here thinking about what I want to say in today's post, I'm overwhelmed.  How do I say something unique to honor those who lost their lives nine years ago?  What I want to say has been said so many times, by so many people.  It feels trite.  But to not say it seems disrespectful. 

You see, I feel the way to honor each of those lives ended on 9/11/01 is to allow each of those angels the opportunity to create the peace in this world that we so desperately need. 

This may seem simplistic but if you don't mind, follow with me for a short journey.  Imagine you lost a loved one that day.  (I know this is not such a stretch of the imagination for many of you).  Think about the things you did, the fun you had, the way they made you feel when they walked into the room.  When you think of that, are you filled with peace or anger?  Chances are you feel the joy of that relationship.  You feel the peace in your life that your guardian angel would want for you.  You feel the peace that this world needs.

The news media these days certainly throws a lot at us to stir up anger.  Whether it's about building a mosque at Ground Zero, or burning Qurans in Florida, it seems they want to keep those fires burning.  Sometimes, the best way to extinguish those fires is to turn off the news. 

Today, I choose to honor those angels who are working double time to combat all the anger in our world.  Today, I choose to live a peaceful life.  Today, I choose to thank those whose lives were given involutarily so that they can be the angels that remind us that peace in our world starts with each of us individually.  Today, I choose joy and peace.  And today, as always, I will not forget.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tag, I'm It!!

Darn it...I've been tagged!!

Laura at The Adventures of Mr. CT and Me went and did this tag thing.  She's so new to the blogging community.  How in the hell did she get roped into that so quickly?  (I'll bet it was her sister, Leanne).  I'm not much of a fan of this tagging, but because she's a newbie, and because I'd love for you to stop by her place, I'm feeling the need to play along.  This is sort of like the emails you get from friends with 25 random questions that you have to answer and send to all your friends.  Just not a fan.  But here are my answers to Laura's questions. 

1. What is your all-time favorite movie (the one that you can watch over and over, when just hearing it in the back ground is enough to imagine exactly what is happening on the screen)?

I've got a lot of faves, but I think "Pretty Woman" would have to be my all-time fave. Actually I love almost every movie that Julia Roberts is in.

2. Tell me about one Halloween costume you remember wearing as a child.

Would you believe I can't think of even one?  As some of you know, Halloween has never been a holiday I've embraced.  Maybe there's a connection between not liking the day and not remembering a costume.  Last time I dressed was when my daughter was in 1st grade and I was room mother.  I was a witch!!  Go figure!

3. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I thought it was another piece of social media that I wanted to know about.  I was on medical leave from my job, set that as one of my goals whilst I was out. Can't say that what I write about is all that deep, but it means something to me.  And I'm delighted when it means something to someone else.

4. What makes you happy?

The first thing I think about when I need to have a dose of happy are my grandkids.  They absolutely energize me.  I read somewhere once that grandkids can actually change your hormone balance.  That certainly explains a lot.  Seeing my kids happy makes me happy.  Meeting up with my siblings makes me happy, as long as it's not too often (my brother, Terry, will get that).  ;)  And getting to the basics (not the everyday grind), knowing I will spend the rest of my life with my guy makes me very happy. 

5. If you were able to go back in time, where would you go and why?

I'd travel to Ireland, to see how and where my great-grandparents lived.  Went there once with my daughter to find the homestead, but I'm not sure we found it.  And that makes me sad.  I would love to just sit down with them to know about their life. 

6. What was the last thing you bought at the grocery store?

I'm so incredibly lucky to say that I rarely go to the grocery store.  My honey does most of the shopping.  I honestly can't remember the last time I was there. If I were to guess, I'd say I bought yogurt.  (Doesn't THAT sound healthy?!?!)

7. How do you take your coffee? (If you don’t drink coffee … wait, let me get a handle on that … YOU DON’T DRINK COFFEE??? Ok, if you don’t drink coffee, then what is your favorite beverage?)

My summer favorite has been Starbucks Caramel Frappuchino.  Then I moved to Caramel LIGHT Frappuchino (no whipped cream) but with a little extra caramel sauce.  My cold weather favorite might be Caramel Macchiato.  I guess I love caramel in my coffee.

8. Brag a little . . . tell me about a recent RAK (random act of kindness) that you took part in.

Here's my thoughts about RAK's.  You just do them but you don't talk about them. 

Well, that fulfills the "answer the questions" part of the tag.  But to be honest, I don't have anyone that I can now tag, because my blog friends have all been tagged by others.  So, I guess the tag stops here!! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Happy Dance

This is one of the best videos I've ever seen on youTube.  You can't help but want to get up and dance!!
Enjoy!! (Turn your speakers up!!)