Monday, January 30, 2012

Where to Find a Cocktail party with Less Drunkenness and Better Small Talk

I had a strange experience on Friday evening.  It was about 6 p.m. and I walked into a Verizon store to snag a new cover for my phone--I'm not a Verizon customer, but I knew they had the case I needed for my lame pay-as-you-go phone that if anyone sees in my hand, I just tell them it's my daughter's so I don't get mocked.  Anyway, while I was waiting for them grab a case from the back room, I was amazed at the party-like atmosphere in the store.  

What were all these people doing here?  I moved into to eavesdrop on a couple standing near the counter.  A sales associate and this couple were discussing gigabytes.  Now I realize (to a small extent) that gigabytes matter and play a roll in our daily lives in every increasing ways, but really, on a Friday evening after work?  You got off at 5 and thought, "Hey, I think I'll head down to the Verizon store to talk with Melissa the sale associate about gigabytes!"  Really?

I moved onto the next person,  looking interested in the phone chargers on the wall.  This guy was excitedly discussing new phone apps with his sale associate.  Again, really?  On a Friday night?

Now, before we go much further, I realize that I was in that store on a Friday evening--but I was treating my task like what it was:  an errand.  I wanted to get in, get out, and get home.  I was blown away by the party like atmosphere--it felt like a cocktail party, but with less drunkenness and better small talk.

The whole "let's look at phones, discuss gigabytes and goo over phone apps!" confused me at first...but then, I wondered...

What would happen if grocery shopping were as pleasant, party-like and enjoyable as phone shopping?


Maybe those Verizon customers really knew how to find the joy on a Friday night.

What made you laugh today?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home is Where the Heart Is

courtesy of 
     I love my home.  My physical home yes, even with its lack of insulation and creaky floors, but it's the collection of people who live here that makes our home--well, home.  Home is anywhere where there's a tall drink of Mountain Man, Brace Face and Diastema.  There is nothing better than landing softly and safely at the end of a day in the embrace of our home.  We are our own best company.

Of course, extended family, by blood or friendship, are welcome too--to walk right in, crack a cold one (Diet Coke that is) and stay and chat for a while.  You know where the key is.

At home we are not only surrounded by the people we love, but the things we love best.  Books, sunlight, the comfy couch with our favorite fabric, colors that make our hearts sing, art, music---we try to live by the adage attributed to William Morris, "If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, here it is:  Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Home is also our refuge from the storm.  A refuge from the downright crazy that come-a-calling from time to time.  Here, we are lords and masters of all we survey.  We are not bound by societal rules like answering the door when someone knocks--that also goes for answering the phone.  We get to filter who and what comes into where our heart resides.

The physical state of our home affects us.  If it's orderly and clean, we are happy, orderly and clean.  Our home reflects the interior workings of our hearts and minds.  Of course, there's always that one drawer that needs some help, just as there's always the opportunity to fine tune our spirits on the journey here, but there's time, after all...there is time--and home is where we can work out the fine tuning of ourselves and love better and more fully.  Even if we live by ourselves, the impact of loving oneself will have the effect of ripples in a pond and the happiness we exude will roll out into the lives of others exponentially.

That is why home is important. 

Home can be a beautiful place.  Home can be a canvas where we can paint our sorrows and joys.  Home can be a safety net, a mental ward, a dance party, and a meditative retreat from the world outside.  We get to choose what it will be.  We get to create our homes.  If we aren't happy at home, then chances are, we aren't happy anywhere else.

How do you feel about your home?


Friday, January 13, 2012

Just Don't

Yesterday, I was able to run a few errands and hit in the grocery store.  While checking out, the cashier began making comments on what I was purchasing.  At first it was innocuous and even nice--things like, "Oh! I love almonds!" but then things took a dark turn.

In my cart was a book (50% off, by the way) about detoxing with whole foods.  You know, the perfect book for January of a new year.  The wee cashier said, "Mind if I take a look?" then thumbed through the book while 6 other people waited in line behind me.  Then she looked at me and said, "Do you think this will help?"

Now, I'm no beauty queen, and 40 is just around the corner, but seriously, little lady??   I stood there in the shadow of shock and awe, my mouth hanging open.  I uttered something like, "I'm kind of in a rush, would you mind?" and pointed to my almonds, and my book and I fled.

Perhaps she was curious.  Perhaps she needed to chat and didn't know how to start the conversation--and that's ok.  Because I realize that her question wasn't about me--it was about her--because people sometimes spew their crazy out there in the world and it's never about you or me, it's always about the spew-er.  So this gives me a little grace in how I reacted; but when life presents you with an opportunity to comment on other people's lives, choices or groceries, here's one phrase to remember, "Just don't."

Has anyone asked you any inappropriate questions lately?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Beautiful Things Thursday

Brace Face.  Old quilt.  Filling up with kisses.

Brace Face.  Brace Face sits in the car, postponing school drop off.  She tells me secrets that make me laugh.

Old quilt.  Nursing a headache, I snuggle under my Great-Grandmothers quilt made from my Great-Grandfather's old shirts.

Filling up with kisses.  Before little man gets out of the car at school, he leans in and says, "Fill me up with kisses, Mom."

What are your three beautiful things today? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Walking, Yoga, Stones, Balance and Freaking Out

I am a chronic freak-outer.  I'm not saying it's right, it just is.  I'm like Niagara Falls.  You can't stop me.  I'm a force of nature.  Over the edge and





                                                                                        down,   I go.

Sometimes it's over big stuff.  Sometimes it's not.  Just so we're clear:  To some, my freaking out could be considered someone else's "calm"--on the other hand, my freaking out could also be considered someone else's "crazy town."  What can I say?... It takes all kinds.

I've always been on the lookout for balance to my freak.  Walking is my daily drug of choice.  With the Decemberists/Indigo Girls/Adele and many others in my ears, I can walk away from the zombies of my life and put everything in order.

Yoga helps too, and writing small stones, and counting my blessings, and focusing on the positive, and meditation, and eating right, and being kind to strangers, and a million other things.
Which makes me wonder:  What if my freak out is just to bring me to balance?

After all, we've all got something that needs balancing.

How do you find your balance? 

Happy day one of the 21 day challenge to all my  Yoga buddies at the Social Workout!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three Beautiful Things Thursday: Artist Edition

Emily Carr, Albrecht Durer & Andy Goldsworthy.

Emily Carr:

Albrecht Durer:

Andy Goldsworthy:

What are your three beautiful things today?

Monday, January 2, 2012


This month, I am participating in  a River of Stones.  This is my third time around with writing small stones and I've chosen this cycle to write my small stones in a small book instead of online.  I like the flexibility of having no expectations this month.  But from time to time, I may throw one out there.  Here is today's:

Small Stone #2


there is,
i am,
it is.

What would you choose for your defining word this year?