Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paper Clips & Random Thoughts

One of the "advantages" of time off to recover is the opportunity to catch up on movies that I might not otherwise watch.  Gotta LOVE Netflix for this!!  One morning I watched a movie titled "Paper Clips". 

A short documentary, Paper Clips tells the story of a middle school in rural Tennessee who set out to better understand prejudice once they studied the Holocaust.  Primarily a non-diverse school (no Jews, no Hispanics and only a few black students), the students tried to grasp how enormous the loss of lives was.  When a student asked what six million looked like, the school set out to get a better understanding.  And their Paper Clip Project was born.  The film is only 83 minutes long but will stay with you for much longer.  I highly recommend this film!

I'm a photo person.  I love photos.  Taking them, looking at them, studying them.  I love when the picture really does tell the story.  Like in this one:  my grandson was so relaxed that he was stroking Grandpa's hair as Grandpa read the book.  Both are totally engrossed and comfortable.

Lately, I've seen photos posted in various places that tell a different story than the words that accompany them.  Have you ever noticed that?  Example:  A photo of brothers and sisters, standing next to each other about 3-4 inches apart, not touching each other.  What's going on there?  I can't imagine a picture of me and my siblings like that.  But I'm a touchy, feely kinda person!!

I've also thought a lot about snail mail lately.  Pre-internet and pre-email, we actually communicated via handwritten notes and letters.  And I can still resurrect the feelings I'd have when I received an unexpected envelope in the mail.  I think I'm going to start doing more of that.  Just randomly send out notes.  Feel free to email me your address if you'd like one!!!  Yeah, I'm thinking that'll be a feel good thing for me to do!  I hope I stay focused with that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunshine on my Shoulder

Happy Summer! 

I grabbed this video from Brene Brown's blog.  And because I recently found out one of my brothers will be undergoing radiation for a different form of cancer, and because I am a three time cancer survivor, and because I wanted "color" on my skin and manage to be sunburned way more than I should have during my teen years, I thought you should see this.  Please remember to use sunscreen!!

(If you are unable to view the video, you can go to YouTube to see it). 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Force Is Strong In This One

My daughter and her family went to Legoland today and made the evening news.  Little Ava is high fiving the Storm Trooper at the beginning of the segment. Cormick is the little Darth Vader putting a choker move on the news guy.     WATCH: Inside Legoland's Star Wars event

Ava high fiving a stormtrooper
Photography by Christine Buti

Trading weapons with a stormtrooper
Photography by Christine Buti

Boba Fett & Darth Vader
Photography by Christine Buti

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Sticks and stones may break my bones..."

There's a Swahili saying that goes: "It is not what name others call you that matters, but what name you respond to that truly determines who you are."

Have you ever done something you weren't proud of and told yourself how stupid you were?

Or allowed yourself to "believe" some nasty things your siblings told you about yourself?  (Remember the Smothers Brothers?  "Mom always loved you best.")

One of the tools you learn while going to Weight Watchers is positive self talk.  You can beat yourself up for eating what you knew you shouldn't, or you can tell yourself that you just gave yourself a nice treat and that you'll move on from that point. 

I've had a number of discussions with a number of friends lately about how others' words have such a profound, intimidating, lasting effect on us that it truly affects how we view happy occasions.  I've read quite a number of blogs lately that mention the effects on someone's life that cruel words can create.

My good friend, Leanne at From Chaos Comes Happiness ran this blog post on her birthday, talking about how she really didn't like celebrating her birthday.  All because of words spoken 15 years ago. 

More and more I am finding that what others say to me really doesn't matter.  But what I say to me does.  And my wish is that my dearest friends and I will use the positive self talk that we know about, to make sure we believe the good stuff, not the crazy comments of others. 

There are TONS of online classes that work at doing just that. 
Brave Girls Club 
Brave Girls Club


And there are many more.  In fact, I'd love to hear about the sites you visit to that give you the wind beneath your wings.  Because as they say in the old L'Oreal commercials, "I'm worth it".     

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011

The words are a re-post from last year!  He also taught me that  you don't mess with what works!!

You taught me that being Irish is a good thing and something to be proud of. 

You showed me that one cup of coffee before you start your day helps get you started a lot easier!

You taught me that sometimes NOT saying something is the best way to handle a situation.

You showed me how to get along with difficult people.

You taught me the value of a good joke.

You showed me how easy it was to start your day with a good attitude.

You taught me that saving money is just as important as earning money.

You showed me the pride in earning a living for your family, no matter the pay.

You taught me that people gravitate toward people who smile!!

Nobody could have asked for a better Dad.  I only wish my kids and grandkids had a chance to meet you in person.

To all you wonderfully involved fathers out there...
Have a fun-filled day!!

Happy Father's Day!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Snippets of Thoughts and Catching Up

Yes, I know it's been a while since I posted, and even longer since I came up with my own thoughts.  I can't tell you how many partially started posts I have sitting in my dashboard, but none end up seeing the light of day due to my "perfectionism" getting in the way.

So here are some snippets of what I've been up to lately --

I'm back at work after taking six weeks off after my kidney surgery.  It's a madhouse there, but that's to be expected at this time of year.  Gotta get those kids registered for classes in the fall!!  I am forever indebted to my replacement for those six weeks.  I promise, LS, I'll make it up to you!!!!

During my time off I played with some art journaling and painting.  Don't have a lot of confidence in what I do.  Maybe I need to take one of those online classes that will teach me to let myself go!!

I've got some things planted in the garden.  It's not complete, but this spring weather has just not cooperated enough now that I'm feeling up to planting things.  But thanks to my PG's help in turning over the garden, it's gonna be a beauty this year!!!

Now if I can just keep this little guy away from some of these new plants.  FYI: Blood meal seems to work!! Just don't overuse's high in nitrogen!

And just for my Texas Sisters, here's the cactus affectionately known as the HEW/HaneyBob cactus that gets pushed outdoors each summer.

As many of you may remember, my "word of the year" is SIMPLIFY.  I'm having a rough go of it so, sure enough, one day in my inbox comes and email with a note from the Universe via that gives me the simple words that will be my mantra.  This is paraphrased and it's what I wrote on my whiteboard:

Know what you want
and move toward it every day.

Pretty simple, right?  But isn't that how those who are most focused on their goals work?  And for some reason, it is a stress/anxiety reliever for me.  So that's my phrase of the day for the rest of this year!!

I'm heading to the Scrap Cellar this Saturday and I'm wiggle-butt excited about it.  Last time I was with the Scrap Chicks was the day before I found out about the kidney tumors, so we are in desperate need to get together. 

You may have noticed my new header.  It was decided that I needed a header that got me away from my computer and out into my garden.  My blog header creator extraordinaire, Scrap Chick, and BFF Leanne, over at From Chaos Comes Happiness, created this header with my PG doing his favorite yard thing.  (LOVE the smell of freshly mowed lawns, don't you??).  If you think your header needs a little personalization, Leanne's the one to contact!

At least for the next week or so, I'm soaking up the last few days of "voyeurism" while watching the not so little eaglets practice wing flapping at the Decorah eagles website.  They will probably fledge within a week and I can't tell you how grateful I am that I've had the opportunity to watch them grow from the time they were a couple weeks old.  What a fantastic project they've got going there! 

So that's what's happening in my little world.  I encourage you to stop by the links I've posted today.  There's some good stuff out there!!  And feel free to leave a comment (if Blogger will let you).  Would love to know you stopped by!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Believe...

Sometimes, when the words you are hoping to come to the front of your brain are just plain stubborn, it helps when you receive an email from a friend (okay, a Southern Sister) that says what's in your heart.  So thank you, PR, for sending this along.  Author is unknown at this point, but the words are right here, in my heart!!

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.  Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...
That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...
That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry, I have the right to be angry but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them,
and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.