Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saying NO!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I've been completely disconnected from every living thing besides the dear ones I live with for 4 straight days.

We emerged from the cave house, eyes squinting at the bright orb in the sky uttering, "My eyes!  My eyes!" and "Why is it SO bright!!?"  We sequestered ourselves away to live off nothing but pie and watch the extended versions of  "Lord of the Rings" over the holiday break.

I almost died (no really, I'm not just being a drama queen) the first time I watched it in the theater, being relatively new to the world of fantasy at the time.  I vaguely remember taking a nap during the final movie, waking briefly, disappointed to find that they hadn't thrown that stupid ring in the volcano yet.

Anyway, with the carcass of Tom Turkey now in the rubbish bin, the Christmas season is in full swing!  We, at that Square Tooth/Mountain Man clan, are doing something a little different to celebrate the season.

We are just saying no.

No to all the commercialism.
No Black Friday, 'no' to the material crap that gives temporary satisfaction, but ends up broken or forgotten.
No to gifts that don't mean anything.  'No' to lines, 'no' to shopping, 'no' to stuff.

No, no, NO!!!
We've had enough.

And it's not that stuff doesn't help us along the journey (because my inner uni-brow would run my life without my tweezers) but the incessant barrage of 'stuff' being thrown at me at every turn is just making me tired.  So, we're going Amish--minus the hats and Harrison Ford, which is kind of unfortunate, as long as we're speaking frankly here...
 
Instead, this holiday season we are celebrating creativity, giving, family, friends, traditions, music, laughter, cookies(--c'mon, there must be cookies) and joy.  Every time we put something back on the shelf, we reclaim a piece of our souls and find the true meaning in the season.

Wish us luck.

Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition?  Share it with the Square Tooth/Mountain Man clan, and help us just say 'no' and say 'yes' to joy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vampires, Werewolves and Valium: The Follow-Up

Last night, I went to see that movie with the vampire, the werewolf, and the human.  You know the one I'm talking about.  In case you didn't read  my previous post, you can catch up here.

Like I said, at the whims of my pregnant friend, Rocky-Babe Boa, myself, Sassy Britches and Mrs. Marcus headed out the town to satisfy the latent need for vampire/werewolf media in our lives.  As we sat down, the first thing I noticed was how loud it was.  We were surrounded by 300 twittering (not that kind of twittering, well, maybe it was) teenagers.

As the saga unfolded and (bless her heart) the toothy mouth breather (I told you I notice people's teeth right off) girl walked down the aisle, Mrs. Marcus said something that made me laugh and then I couldn't stop.  I was finally able to control my laughing with thoughts of the blessed Matt Damon, which can pretty much solve any personal problem I might have, including, (but not limited to) being chased by a black-ops subsection of the CIA, solving uber-difficult math equations, or changing one's own destiny by sheer force of will.

Anyway, my laughter began again in earnest when the group behind me said, "Man, she looks like #@%!"  To which I wanted to reply, "Yes, dear heart, that's what happens when one gets pregnant with a vampire human hybrid."  Unfortunately, as I'm not a vampire, werewolf or even human expert, so I didn't feel qualified to have a heart to heart right then, not to mention that the petite Mrs. Marcus was clutching me with all her mighty strength, so I really didn't feel compelled to school these youngsters on the gravity of performing a c-section on a mouth breather in one's own home.  

In spite of the drama in the saga, the best part of the evening came as we left the theater. As we walked with the due-at-any-moment Rocky-Babe-Boa, we passed a group of teenagers who's eyes grew wide with worry and fear as they saw this very pregnant woman walking nearby.  They stared, and then pointed, no doubt worried that a baby vampire might emerge at any moment.  I caught their eyes, and then said, pointing to her pregnant belly,

"DON'T WORRY!  SHE'S NOT CARRYING A VAMPIRE!!!"

Yes, it was a good night at the movies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vampires, Werewolves and Valium

In just a few short minutes, I will find myself in a movie theater watching the saga of a certain vampire, human and werewolf transpire.  I'm going to enjoy the company of my best girlfriends, one of whom is due with her newest baby bun at any moment.

I find it best to bend the the whims of the pregnant, therefore, I'm going.  I'm also dragging my friend Mrs. Marcus who may or may not scream, "FIRE!!!" as the credits start just so she can leave.

(Quoting here,) "We're not really going to that STUPID movie, are we??"
"Yes, Mrs. Marcus, we are, and we are going for Rocky-Babe-Boa who will beat us up with her superhuman pregnant mama strength if we even hint that we don't want to see it.  So we will suck it up."

To be perfectly honest, I slept through the first movie, can't remember if I saw the second one, and I know that before number three I took a Valium (not for recreation, because I'd just had surgery or something,)  and therefore three stands out in my memory as the best movie ever made.  Trust me, if you've ever taken a couple Valium, you know what I'm talking about.  That same day I also told my doctor a story that ended with me saying, "At least I didn't get shot!!"

You can see why I would have thought Eclipse was the best movie ever.
So, if you are tucked in for the night, don't be jealous that I get to watch Kristin Stewart mouth breathe for the next two hours.

Now...

....where did I put that Valium??


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Difference Between a Good Artist and a Great One

There is a woman in my town who paints incredibly beautiful paintings that mirror the beauty of her own soul.  When she has a fair amount of paintings, she peddles them from buyer to buyer in local restaurants in our downtown area.  As I loathe cooking and because I firmly feel that the best way for our economy to recover is to support business, I've taken it upon myself to "do my part" and eat out as often as possible.

I run into Virginia about once a month.  She confidently approaches each table and asks if anyone is interested in purchasing her art.  She is turned down more often than not, but the rejection doesn't seem to phase her, she simply moves on to the next person.

You see, Virginia has down syndrome.  Her paintings only cost $5.00.  For a literal steal, people are given the opportunity to purchase a little slice of heaven and then hang it on their wall.  I don't know of many artists who would charge so little for their work, yet Virginia creates and shares and brings beauty to others, when they are willing to receive it.

We proudly own several Virginia Peacock originals.  We display them on a wall just by our main entrance. It is my privilege to experience their wonder and beauty several times a day, and I am reminded of a poem by the Sufi Master, Hafiz, which says,
The
Difference
Between a good artist
And a great one 

Is:

The novice
Will often lay down his tool
Or brush

Then pick up an invisible club
On the mind's table

And helplessly smash the easels and 
Jade.

Whereas the vintage man
No longer hurts himself or anyone

And keeps on
Sculpting

Light.


What brought you joy today?

  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

When the loud mouth, square toothed girl says too much...

People...
* Laugh.
* Get angry.
* Think I'm stupid.
* Give me strange looks.
* Roll their eyes.
* Think, "Here she goes again!"
* Agree.

I have no idea why some of us were born with big mouths and lots of opinions and why some of us are quiet and wise and never say a thing.  There are times when I wish I was the wise person who didn't say anything, but then I think, "Where's the fun in that?"

Are you a person who says too much?  Too little?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Words from a Soldier

Taken from the Pocatello Tribune, date and author unknown, but the speaker was my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel  Lloyd E. Haight.
In a forceful address at the memorial services honoring the  World War II veterans of Pocatello Thursday morning at the high school auditorium, Lloyd E. Haight outlined the obligations to the war dead in protecting and assisting their widows and children, and those still living who have suffered so greatly because of the war.
He said, "As individuals, we must be vigilant to protect and assist our veterans.  To those who feel that the man or woman who served his country in uniform, and was not injured, was repaid by the training he received or the travel he accomplished at government expense, we can truthfully say that even he suffered in a manner which money cannot compensate for.  Separated from his family he has come back to a disrupted home and to a job where he no longer feels that he is "one of the gang."  He has lost something tangible.
We who share the future must redouble our efforts to prevent another world conflict.  We hope to have peace without force.
Two generations of American men and women now lie buried on foreign soil, a testament to our overwhelming, burning desire for peace.  We, their comrades in arms, solemnly pledge ourselves to protect and sustain the republic for which they died.  We recognize our responsibility to make America a better place in which to live and to make her an exemplary nation before the world.  This we cannot do if we proceed with greed, dishonesty and unreality, but only if we make freedom, justice and responsibility our watchwords."
I often wonder how my right winged grandfather would have responded to his liberal feminist Mormon housewife, (sometimes pacifist, but not when people mess with my kids) grand-daughter.  I don't know the answer to that question as he passed away before we could get into a discussion about our world views.

But I will say this, even while wishing that there was no place for war in this beautiful world,  I am grateful for the many personal sacrifices he made as he served the country in which he lived.  He was a man of conviction, and I love his words and will claim them as my own today and ask for his forgiveness as I tweek them a little bit to serve my own purpose:
"I recognize my responsibility to make the world in which I live a better place.  This I cannot do if I proceed with greed, dishonesty, and unreality, but only if I make freedom, love and responsibility my watchwords."  
Thank you to all the veterans of nations who stand behind the convictions of their hearts. My hope is someday we can all embrace the words above and that you may lay down the heavy load you carry and return to your families.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Ladies of the Cemetery

I've always like cemeteries.  My mom used to take us on picnics to one in the town where I grew up.  I've always thought of them as happy resting places.  This morning, I took some pictures of the ladies of the cemetery in Smallville.. I hope you enjoy their peacefulness.
















Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thing I could do with an extra hour

With the even of that blissful extra hour we received last night, I was making a mental list of things I could do with an extra hour...

*  paint my poor, neglected, summer-is-over toenails.

*  catch up on Grey's Anatomy

*  make freezer meals so dinner time won't make me cringe

*  return phone calls  who are we kidding...it's not gonna happen.

*  dust, mop, unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom and do a load of laundry

*  fight the hordes of zombies just outside my door

*  do yoga

*  say a prayer

*  watch an episode of Being Human

*  learn how to be human

*  sleep in

Guess which one I did?

What did you do with your extra hour today?