Monday, February 27, 2012

When To Let Things Go

I am a champion on those who have no voice--after all I've got more voice than most humans on this planet-- it's the Greek in me.  

I will defend, advocate, stand up for, shake down, and even turn the other cheek while letting my feelings be made known.  I am an advocate for children, the homeless, and those who would rather remain silent.  One of the traits I admire most about Mountain Man is his ability to get fired up, then let it all go into the universe never to trouble him again.  You'd think he'd be more like William Wallace and all those kilt wearing, fight to the death Scotsmen of whence he comes, but no, he is peaceable to the soul.  He is what I consider "Christlike."

I, on the other hand, fit Christ's likeness in only one way--remember when he cleared out the temple and got all riled up about the money changers?  That's me.  I'm outraged when those who have no voice get trampled on.  In the words of Jewel, "Where there's a man who has no voice, there will I go singing."

I can't help myself.  World affairs make me passionate and the passion moves me to action.  What if I channel my inner Zen so much that I am moved to look at a problem and say, "That's interesting..." then merrily make my way down the road and don't give the issue a second thought?  What if by choosing to let things go I leave behind the gift that makes me, well, me?

I teach all the time that each of us were given personality traits, talents and uniqueness for a reason.  None of us are supposed to be the same.  In the great cosmic scope of things the Universe delights in great variety, in all its forms, and in the words of the Dalai Lama, "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."  There are as many roads to being human as there are humans.

I live in the smallest town in all of America.  At least that is the way it feels to me.  It is the smallest place I've ever lived and there are some wonderful things about living here--in many ways I adore it.  On the other hand, I find myself constantly surprised by the--shall we call it "familial"--(like an all knowing Aunt would speak to a niece) ways that people speak about, and to, one another.  Maybe the size of the town makes me more aware of it, but I believe there are small minds just about everywhere.

And by small minded, I mean those who are just plain mean.  So if you're reading this, and you live in this small town, and you are wondering if I'm writing about you: Take care, friend.  I'm not.  The mean ones don't read this blog, and anyway, they're too busy sharpening their daggers of witless malice on their whetstone of low self esteem.

Besides, I could try to channel my inner Mountain Man all the live long day, but in the end, who am I kidding?
I'll never back down.

When is it time to let things go?  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blog L.O.V.E

Besides loving to write my blog, I love to read other people's blogs even more.  Today, I'd like to share a few of my favorites with you!

Life on the Muskoka River is a blog by my friend, Cathy.  She is hilarious.  She makes me laugh in bed, but not because she's there with me, because I sometimes read her blog while in bed, which sounds creepy, but it's not really--it's just one of the benefits of owning a laptop.  Ok, that entire run on sentence was just weird.  But it's Friday night and I'm at home with the kids, my brain may not be working right.

I'd Like Cheese On My Entire Family Da cheese blarg is dark and funny and hilarious--wait, that's the same thing--well, it is really funny.  Oh, and there's art with humor too.

THXTHXTHX Leah's mother taught her to always wrote thank you notes.  This is her blog about writing a thank you note a day.  They will make you laugh, think and enjoy your life a little bit more.

This Too...  Melissa Sarno is a talented, articulate and thoughtful writer.  She's funny too, and she writes about life with authenticity; AND she is a gracious blogger who consistently comments on other people's posts even when the rest of creation apparently hasn't read a thing you've written, which makes her cooler than my own family, who doesn't read my blog at all, with the exception of my brother, Scott.  Man, it is late.  Annnnnyway, Melissa is fabulous, read her and enjoy.

Ordinary Courage  Need a lift?  Seeking balance?  Having a breakdown?  Want some authenticity?Check out Brene Brown.

Little Brown Pen  Paris eye candy.  The city.  In France.  Mmmmmm....Paris.

Tiny Buddah  Channeling your Zen?  Tiny Buddah will help.  Focus with Tiny Buddah and get your karma on.

Crystal's a Pistol  If you want to pee your pants with laughter and sometimes get serenaded to tunes from the Sound of Music and read about Smarmy gym guys who are rude and gross and learn about other odds and ends that will expand your mind while making your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly, then this is the blog for you.

Freshome Design blog.  The best of everything.  And it's fresh--and home--which are two things the world needs more of...except for....

IKEA Hackers, because I like IKEA and I like people who hack all things IKEA.  If you want to switch up your IKEA furniture or accessories, take a look and get out the power're gonna need it.

Well, I hope you found a new blog to enjoy.  Get reading!

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Apocalyptic Weaponry

I was recently told about a TV show all about people who prepare the end of the world.  They hoard food, fuel and apparently, weapons.

We don't watch a lot of TV around the Square Toothed/Mountain Man village--well, that's not really true, we watch a lot of Netflix, but it doesn't have commercials so in my little twisty way I don't really count that as "TV."  Justification much?

Annnnnyyway, this show got me thinking about our end of the world plan.  It goes something like this:  We see a big mushroom cloud and I yell, "Run toward the light!!!"

I actually think this is an inspired plan.

I have no desire to rush to a "bug-out" location, live off of boiled wheat and baking powder, or even use apocalyptic weaponry (which, just in case you are wondering, is a bow and arrow made of p.v.c pipe and duct tape) until society gets back on its feet.

Seriously, what are you preparing for, doomsday preppers?

Society, as we know it, will be gone.  Infrastructure will be non-existent.  Water supplies will be compromised, and rogue bands of hoodlums will roam the streets looting and creating a gang state.  Who wants to "survive" in that?  Running towards the mushroom cloud makes much more sense to me.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about preparing what I can in case of an emergency.  I've done the odd home fire drill and I have homeowner's insurance too.  Heck, I even have a three month's supply of toilet paper--because you never know when zombies might attack and make leaving the house to get more an impossibility.

However, it seems to me like all this preparing for the end of time does nothing but elevate worry and just suck the joy out of everyday living.  Moderation, ya know?

Anyway, I'm not really interested in apocalyptic weaponry...although, Mountain Man's ears perked right up at the mention of it.  I gave him the fire poker and told him to get to work.  The idea of building fire made his eyes shine with joy.  He was pacified.

So, to all you doomsdayers, when the end comes, I promise not to raid your food stores, or shoot you with Mountain Man's p.v.c bow and arrow, but don't come asking to borrow my toilet paper.

How prepared are you for the end of the world?   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three Beautiful Things Thursday

Painting 5th graders, Four Day Weekend, and The Winner Is...

Painting 5th Graders.  I spend a great deal of my time teaching art to kids, today I got to do a cool painting project with a groups of cool 5th graders.

Four Day Weekend.  Need I say more?

And the Winner is...I had a wee little blog giveaway this week and the winner is Mrs. Marcus (who posted on the book of face) about her wild and crazy dog, and his Valentine's Day escapade.  She claims it's a true story, but I have my doubts, however, my eight year old was convinced and since he got to choose the winner, she won!!!  Congrats, Mrs. Marcus!!

What are your three beautiful things today? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All I Got for Valentine's Day Was the Flu

It's true.  I've been flattened for 5 days.  I'm so tired, and all the lymph nodes in my neck are swollen.  I've been assured it's just a virus, so there's nothing to do but wait.  Unfortunately, all this time laying (lying? Give me a break, I'm sick) around in bed makes me think that all this goo in my body is really something more sinister.

Something like...the plague.  Or an alien virus.  I was recently in Portland, and you never know what you can pick up there.  Mountain Man even had a hot date planned for tonight, which I can't go on, because quite frankly, the thought of sitting upright for longer than 20 minutes makes me tired.

So, he's taking our daughter, Straight Face, with him instead.  Dinner, the theatre, then dessert.  I used to go on dates with my dad all the time.  He would take me to Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, Carol King, or the symphony, but never Shakespeare.  That was my domain alone.  Strange...anyway, Mountain Man is taking our darling babe out on the town to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Every Valentine's Day growing up my mom would have boxes of chocolate waiting on the dining room table for us when we woke up on V-Day morning.  The day evolved into presents for best girlfriends, then into (said in a cheesy faux French accent) "le celebration of luuuuv" when Mountain Man and I met.  He makes every day like Valentine's Day--and no, I'm not even drugged (right now.)  He really does.  He makes my heart flutter and I can't imagine shaking my wobbly bits in front of anyone else.

I can't say enough nice things about my Valentine.  The only drawback I can think of being married to him is that he's turned me into a Sci-Fi geek, and that for all my cross over, I can never talk him into watching the 6 hour BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.  Sometimes I'm all like "WHAT GIVES, tall drink of Mountain Man??!  I've born you two amazing little babies who are yummy from head to toe and you can't invest in  6 hours of Colin Firth???"

But his argument seems valid--for a Mountain Man, that is.  He claims there just aren't enough guns in it.  For this Liberal Feminist, that is just dumb, but I know I'll appreciate his guns and nature prowess when the Oceanic flight we take from Australia crash lands on a island somewhere in the Pacific and all we have to eat are roasted peanuts and sea water.  I'll appreciate those guns then--that, and the fact that watching all that Sci-Fi will have prepared me for the inevitable smoke monster, time dilation field, and crazy bug eyed man we will meet.  I doubt Pride & Prejudice will help me much then.

What was my point, again?  Oh yeah.  All I got for Valentine's Day was the flu, a great husband, a best friend and lots of love.

Happy Valentine's Day, Mountain Man!
Now go kill me a smoke monster!!

Down in Valentine's Day?  I love this idea.  We should all do it anyway. Here is another beautiful Valentine's day post too...

In fact, because I'm drugged, sick and feeling impetuous, I'm having a give away!  I've never done this before!!  How exciting!  (I see why people keep telling us to "Just say no!" Drugs make people do crazy send strangers framed art.)

Here's the deal:  Tell me how you shared some love with someone else today--maybe you left them a HUGE tip, smiled at a stranger, helped an old lady across the street--you get the idea.  Whoever shares some love the most creatively, will receive an original Virginia Peacock painting.  I blogged about Virginia, here.  Heck, I'll even frame it.

Leave me a comment with the way you shared some love with someone else on Valentine's Day, and if my 8 year old thinks your idea was the funniest, most creative or just the sweetest, you will win!  Keep it clean though, I don't want to hear about what happens with your Mountain Man/Woman in the dark of night.  Ew.  Seriously, just don't.

Come on people!  Impress us! You have until 11h59 Wednesday night to leave a comment with your best effort to share love.  I'll announce the winner on Thursday during Thursday's Three Beautiful Things.

How did you share some love today? 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Friends, and the Book of Face

First of all, "friends."  That is a strange word for most of the people I associate with on Facebook.  Don't get me wrong, I truly do have wonderful friends on Facebook--some from the past, and some more present in my everyday life and I feel blessed to reconnect with them. Some very joyful reunions have taken place over status updates--and I'm grateful.

On the other hand, some "friends" (I'll admit) I know nothing about.  Sometimes I can only associate them into a time period in my life by who our mutual friends are.  My brother has an interesting question he asks himself before confirming any friend: Would I lend them $5000? Needless to say, to those he has deleted, you wouldn't want to pay his interest rate anyway, and to the few who have made the cut: Wow. Well done. You are among the chosen.

Just as I'm fairly convinced that there are only 12 facial types in all the world, (seriously, my brother looks like Eddie Murphy even though there is no way they are related) I'm equally convinced there are 12 Facebook types in well, all of Facebook.

These are the 12 common Facebook types of friends I have:

1. My life is so busy I can hardly get anything done!  They sound like this, "I have so much to do! Little (insert child's name here) is (insert inane childhood activity here.) I wish I could get everything done, so I could spend more time with (child's name here) !!! Life is so stressful!"  I'd like to comment sometime and say, "Yes.  Life is busy.  Perhaps you should get off of Facebook and then maybe, just maybe, you would get more done."

2.  The complainer.  Their post reads something like, "I haven't had a good night's sleep in fourteen years.  I have the measles and the mumps, a gash and rash and purple bumps. I feel awful!  It's horrible to feel so sick.  I wish all of you would call/visit/shower your love and affection upon me until I get well..."  which will be never.

3.  The Pyramid seller.  You know who you are, you wonderful Mary Kay, Avon, Amway, Melaleuca, Advocare, Lean Cuisine, Bare Minerals sellers.  We love your entrepreneurial spirit-- but don't call me, I'll call you.

4.  The new Mother/Father.  "Here's our baby awake!  Here's our baby asleep!  Here's our baby rolling over!  Here's our baby crawling!  Here's our baby graduating from college!!"  To this Facebook type: Don't stop.  I love seeing your love for your babies--no matter their age.

5.  The Sports Fan.  To be honest, this is the most confusing Facebook type to someone like me, the non-sports fan.  Their status updates read like the commands of a career military officer, or a really mean au pair, "Kick!"  "Run!"  "Faster!"  "Touchdown!!!"  To them I say, "To whom are you speaking?  Don't boss me...I'm painting."     

6.  The Inspirationalist.  I love these Facebook-ers.  They are always ready with a transcendent quote, ("There's nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it!!!")  a calm breath of positive energy and a lot of exclamation points...and it's usually in the morning.

7.  The Stalker.  The stalker is by far the most dangerous Facebook participant.  They never comment, and they never post on Facebook, but they have no fear about approaching you in the store and asking you about whatever it was that you posted earlier in the week.  It's only on rare occasions that can I recall something I may have posted, so their ramblings about my life seem like the ranting of a crazy person who needs a 24 psych eval and a thorazine drip.

8.  The Political Soap-Boxer/ Pot Stir-er  Yes, you read that correctly.  They not only stand on their political soap boxes, but they often box on them too while stirring the pot--usually with people who disagree with their politics and who have no qualms about holding back about how they are right and you are wrong.  Left or right, the political soap boxer has no idea that the Stalker is excitedly watching the train wreck play out and coming back for more with every divisive remark.  (Insert heavy breathing here.

9.  The Status Update who takes the phrase 'Status Update' literally.
7:53 am:  "I'm taking kids to school, then off to the gym!"
8:05 am  "I'm at the gym!"
8:35 am  "I'm done at the gym, now off to the shower and then onto the PTA meeting!"
Friend, three words:  We.  Don't.  Care.

10.  Captain Obvious.  "I can't believe it's raining outside!"  Wow.  Thanks for the update.  It changed my life.

11.  The Funny One.  This is my personal favorite.  I have this one friend (whom I never even met in person) that is a friend of a friend from high school.  She makes me laugh so hard I look forward to every post and even steal them sometimes too.  Keep it up, Robyn.  Anyone who makes others laugh makes the world a better place.

12.  The Blogger.  You know them.  These are the people who only post when they've updated their blog.  Seriously, friend, self-promote much?

Well, those are my 12 Facebook type of friends.  Goodness, I hope no one is offended and deletes me.  Oh well, I probably wouldn't have lent you 5000K anyway.  I better run, I have to update my blog on Facebook...

What Facebook type are you?  Be honest now...:)

Monday, February 6, 2012

When to Move

You know you should move when:

You curse the corner where you live.
You are tired of waiting in line to use the bathroom where you are the owner.
You've seen a ghost in your house...and it wasn't friendly.
You dream of kitchen tile, bathroom tile and well, other tile.
You think about telling prospective buyers that your bathtub doesn't need resurfacing, it's just "shabby chic."
You finally realize that your house is 120 years old, and it's only getting older.
Your teenage daughter wants to have friends over and you can't figure out where to put them that wouldn't make them look like sardines in a can.
You have a party for said daughter and you move all your furniture into the garage, which isn't really a garage, but a shack held together with a great deal of hope and a gallon of paint.

You know you you should stay, when:

You look at all the books you collect and think, "There's no way I'm moving those again."
Your husband looks at all your books and says, "There's no way I'm moving those again."
Your friends look at all your books and say, "We will be out of town when ever you move, because there's no way we are moving all those books again."

What does it take for you to move...or not?