Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blessings Abound

After several stressed out weeks this weekend was the most unexpected reprieve.

The weekend was kicked off with a huge surprise on Friday.  A friend had a buddy pass on Southwest that had to be used this weekend and gave it to me. (Michelle, I love you!)  I gifted them.  Sounds like such a bighearted generous gift.  In reality I knew I was giving myself a weekend of quiet.  It has been so long.  I cannot remember when I had blissful silence.  
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After several hectic hours rushing people to the airport I rewarded myself with the most delish Cinnabon Classic Roll.  I cannot think of a better expression of buttery dough and sticky frosting.  Thinking about it is making my mouth water.  I do realize that the calories in this one, who am i kidding I bought two, would be all I should have consumed for a week.  I do not regret one single second.  
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Saturday was a Star Wars marathon with the laptop perched on my lap.  There was a bonanza of writing.  Well I did slip into one tiny nap.

Saturday, going with my theme for the year of trying new things on my way to turning 36 I decided to go with a friend to Fellowship Christian.   For those of you who don't live locally, Fellowship is a massive church saddling between Dallas and Ft.Worth.  I was not too thrilled about going and doing something on my only day of the week that I was going to have to myself.  I told my friend that I would and so I did.
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Coming from Catholic/Quaker decent this was very different.  I know you are thinking that coming from Catholic/Quaker background is different...but that is a story for another post.  Differences that popped out at me.  For one thing, no callanetics.  We stood up a couple of times swaying to music, and prayed but quickly returned to our seats.  Up until today  I was pretty sure that the Catholics were the reigning royalty of putting on a show to get a message across.  Fellowship takes showmanship to a whole other level.  The fluid use of technology, drama and music strengthened the message.

The series was on Relationship, Passion and Marriage.  It felt like he was talking to me.  Scary when pastors do that.  I loved it.  Everyone was so nice, it was funny and I never knew what was going to pop out next.  There was one tiny incident.  Because of the huge numbers communion is passed down the aisles.  Not sure what to do with my wafer, and sip of holy juice.  I heard the guy say to hold on to it.  Not sure if he meant metaphorically I popped that bad boy in my mouth.  Then completely regretted it as I noticed that everyone else held onto theirs. There happen to be the most beautiful man sitting next to me.  So I had a quandary either chill with my juice and admit to having chopped down the stale cracker or fake it. I faked it, pretending to clutch a cracker I even popped the pretend one into my mouth before washing it down with the juice.  Pitiful. I know.  I just got so excited...I hadn't had dinner.  I really am a 12 year old at heart and panicked.

Along that same theme...of trying something new I wrote my first guest blog post.  I will keep you posted on when it finally runs.

Hope everyone has a great week!  If it gets too stressed just remember, a blessed reprieve is just around the corner. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Drunk on good deeds

Remember when you gave the most amazing gift?  
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The kind where you are high with the knowledge of how perfect it is for the owner.  
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It will be the moment that you let them know you see their soul.

Your high, contagious.  Connecting and celebrating wrapped in a bow.
Jar of Love

Infectious joy.  

Leave the sweetest  hangover of bliss.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Supa Stylish...

Even though I woke up and decided to roll with not washing my hair, and throw on my schlepy over sized sweater that is more boxy than good I still am styling.  Well, okay maybe it is more my beloved blog is styling.

This afternoon, perusing the blogs I follow (a favorite past time of mine) Literary Legs named me as one of her Blogs of Style.

Laura Page writes regularly on a on a cute fun blog where she focuses on honing her craft as a writer.  No wonder I love her! In keeping with the rules for accepting this award, here are seven random facts about my stylish self, and a list of five people I think should also receive this award.

1) I teach 7th graders Texas History (yes, it is a year long class) and teens how to drive...this should be a year long class.  Go ahead, say it.  "You are a Nation Builder?!?!"(The crowd gasp with wonder and aw.)   Daily I fear for my life and test the speed and agility of my guardian angel.  
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 2) When I travel long distances I feel it is absolutely necessary to keep a fresh bag of Cheetos in the car.  You never know when you will need the salty cheesy goodness crunching between your teethe in those moments of tiredness.  And you always have that added benefit of sucking the cheesy bits from your fingers after. Don't try to sneak one of those new spicy hot Cheetos in the car.  No one wants those, they nasty!
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3) I drive at least two hours everyday even if I am not on the schedule for drivers eduction.  I know, I need to move closer to the school district I work in, but those houses are pricey.  I mean real pricey.   
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4) When I drive someplace over an hour away I day dream.  They vary according to my day and mood.  The favorite is my future as a famous writer with a tall dark hansom husband (he is out there somewhere), with a house full of babies, and we are traveling the world.  So basically that I am Angeline Jolie married to my brown Brad Pitt...but taller. that is a good one.  
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5)  I prefer to be home alone in front of my computer than out to be anywhere else.  It is cozy.  I get to wear those torn up sweats, faded shirt, with my unwashed hair perched in a messy bun and create and peruse and play.  I love it all.  

6) I live in constant fear that some of my sister's insanity will take me.  I know intellectually that I am not her and she is the one that is sick, but it is still there.  
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7) I am pretty sure that as I am getting older my OCD is getting worse.  I wish it was one of those useful OCDs where you end up with a sparkling house or immaculately ironed clothes.  I always worry my car doors are unlocked.  I won't touch raw meat.  Completely useless.  

There is a huge list of blogs I adore...but I will keep it short.   
1. The Pioneer Women, by Rhee Drummond, blogs about family, food and photography.  She writes like she is talking to her sister and after reading it you feel like she is your sister. 

2. Joe Konrath writes A newbie's Guide to Publishing.He has done more in the past year to keep me inspired to write and perfect my work than any other.  I have watched his blog and his excitement grow with the growth of e-publishing and it is infectious.  
3. Shorty writes an inspiring blog, Yum & Yuk.  She finds the coolest quotes and inspiring pictures.  Blogging about her journey to run a marathon.  

4. Lauren Holgate, one of my original followers, has a beautiful blog, ladaisi.  I imagine that we would be close friends.  She picks the most enchanting photos originals and found treasures.  Here writing is supportive, spicy and enchanting.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


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The thoughts, memories, and wishing for it have filled me.

I have felt the heart thumping, stomach turning passions that flush the cheeks and leave you breathless. 
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I have felt it grow poisonous acidic to touch. 

Watching it let go, fading like the fog burned away from the sun.
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I once was too full to ask for another helping.  

Now I hunger for more but the shelves have been emptied.  

Their goods having turned foul from wait, putrid and bitter in my neglect.  

Where do I go?  
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Sunday, January 23, 2011


After working 60 hours this week I need to create. 

I have one day this week to get my life ready to tackle work next week and to get myself back.  Seems like a tall order.  

My feet are throbbing,  and back hurts but I am pretty sure my shadow can still dance. 

For seven days I got a glimpse, creating worlds in my mind full of intrigue and suspense stolen from the words of my favorite writers.

Today I sit with my steaming cup of coffee as my companion ready to tackle my words and shape them into a new world for others.

I work for that person working too much and in need of escape.

I work to inspire.  To give condolence.  To distract.  To be a friend for the lonely.

Today I write.

Friday, January 21, 2011 at last

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Randomly last week I proclaimed I would do 36 new things before turning 36.  I love how I get all bodacious sitting safely on my sofa with this laptop and old movies droning on in the background.  Looks like I have a busy 31 days ahead of me.  YIKES!!!

Having been feeling the pressure.  Yesterday I purposely did not bring the laptop home  Okay maybe I cheated a little on that one because I had to work the second job, teaching drivers ed, and knew I could go 2-3 hours without my pet before going to bed.  (So, draw a big fat line through number 30)

Mmm.  Will have to figure out a way to get at least 7 of those off the list.  Should be an interesting blogging weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Poe

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"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect " 

Today is the birthday of the master of horror, Edgar Allen Poe.  The pioneer of darkness slipped from this world a young man of  forty. It is amazing how young that seems the older I get. The inventor of mystery lived  hard. He lived a  life of loss, sadness, longing, passion and poverty.  (I fear I identify with him way too much.) The last few days of his life are shrouded in mystery.  Found by the editor acquaintance in Baltimore he was hospitalized and died of what we don't know.

Adding to the mysterious lore of Poe for the last 200 years a cloaked figure has come to his grave.  Leaving roses and cognac was a yearly tradition that has come to an end.  For the second year in a row the midnight visitor was no more.

I am pretty sure there is a story there...mmm.  

(Favorite Poe Poem Quote)

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
                               Only this, and nothing more."

To find more information on the life of Poe. 
To see the article that inspired this post. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do you need to be inspired?

If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you dream it, you can become it.

William Arthur Ward

As some of you know I have been working to get healthy.  It sucks!  I am still recovering from the chubby summer.  Through drinking all water and going to a balanced diet I have shed 12 pounds.

I love working out.  I hate going.  I hate getting over there. I hate working out till I break that first sweat then all is good.  The struggle is inspiration.  On a blog I follow, Yum Yuk, she posted this video as the reason she runs. After watching it I am thinking of running too.

Maybe you will agree. Let's go for a jog.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I had a dream

Not world equality.  Sadly world issues don't haunt my slumber.  This was instead me.  Don't be all shocked.

It was actually more about my beloved Grandmother.

Here she is with Grandpa and my Uncle.

We were in the living room.  All my family instantly know that means at my Grandmother's house, it was the central hub of the family.  She was different though, thin and physically fast.  She looked like she did here but older.

She came up to me and wrapped me up in the strongest sweetest hug.  It took all of me.  She was butterfly's wing above above five feet but strong.  So strong she could hug the breath out of you.  She wrapped up in the hug she whispered, "I love you."  I didn't answer back.  I was still in shock of her petite figure and that she, a women dead for two years was so stinking strong.

She pulled back, and caught me with her warm gaze knowing I needed to say it too. It was enough to bring me back, "Grandma, I love you." As the last of the words slipped out she and the dream melted away into my subconscious.  Waking me with its loss.

My Grandmother passed two years ago.  She took her last breath in that living room that was our central hub.  She waited for my sister and I to reach her side.  She let go when it was just her and I in the room. At that moment my mind was flooded with a single memory, I was back in the minivan she drove.  It was the one with the "Watch out for the Kangaroos bumper sticker." She and I were talking on the way to get her hair done.  I asked her if it was scary being in the room with someone you loved that had died.  She described the moment my Grandfather passed, "I've seen babies come in the world and that is beautiful but this was different.  It was one of the most beautiful moments I has witnessed."  I felt it, she was right.  I have thought back to that numerous times.  I never said goodbye before she passed. I couldn't.

Dreams are perfection.

I love you Grandma.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A winter poem..

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Been a bit sad that we missed our chance of a blizzard and instead got mud.  So am doing it virtually.

Mark Strand is perfect right now.

Lines for Winter
Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in the valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What new thing did you do today?

   Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Finds us farther than to-day.
Excerpt of A psalm of Life- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have learned that life does not stand still in anyway.  Sounds obvious, but you are either growing or losing.  Thank goodness the choice is ours. I have found that lasting growth comes from new experiences. They open up our lives changing us. (A smart man once told me that.)   

On my way running to my 36th year, I made of list of new and exciting things try and grow.

It is interesting the things we chose to do first...for me it is...(drum roll please) 

#9 Eat kale.  

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(The 'credits' link also has the history of Kale and the vitamin label.)

Some might not feel the enthusiasm that I do for this leafy green. The family sure didn't.  I don't know looks beautiful to me.  After perusing around a bit I have found the most healthy and the writer says "addictive"  recipe.  The blog even showed small children eating this delish veggie...what is not to love about that.

When buying kale it is not so easy to locate, tucked between the mustard greens and ginger root.  Odd I know.

The recipe said the kale had to be the store it was soaking wet. I am pretty sure they have had a hose on it all stinking day.  I went ahead and washed it again then obsessively dried it again and again.  The idea of having soggy kale made me upset.  Stupid OCD.

First batch was an utter disaster.  Was in there a few minutes past done and turned into a brown bitter nasty.  I  have to admit the idea of doing the next batch after the first disaster was tough.  Sucked it up and thought about my whole two bucks I invested in this list and decided to have another go.

Second batch success!  It is light crunchy and melts in your mouth leaving a clean green flavor, kind of like plain broccoli.  Way better then the first batch.  But not good enough to make again.

Can cross it off the list, and honestly say won't buy that again.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I love

I love a big hot cup of sweet bitter coffee on my drive to work.

I love teaching. Just walking up to the building I am excited about the day.

I love seeing a school with bits of snow that has been eaten away by little hands eager to throw it.

I love sitting in my classroom before the kids come in and thinking through my lessons.

I love getting emails from people I care about.

I love greeting sleepy faces with bed hair and pillow prints still fresh on their faces.

I love giggling through lunches with my friends.

I love teaching a lesson that the kids enjoy and get lost in the learning.

I love when the day is done, knowing I get to do it all again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This year I turn 36...*sigh*

It isn't that bad.  I keep telling myself that.  Nothing can be as bad as when I turned 30, or as I call it "The Great Depression of  2005."  That year was a blur of tears, snot, sleep and stress.  Not just the number killed the year but it was the not being where I wanted to be on "the list" of my life achievements.

I have calmed down on that a bit.  The mellowing of age or it could be blamed on acceptance.  This year I wanted to rush to this birthday with joy not sadness.  I saw on the blog yes and yes that she came up with a list of 30 new things she wanted to do for the year she turned 30.

So...with 44 days till I get another year under my belt I am taking the challenge.  I am giving myself the entire year, I do have a tendency to procrastinate the cushion might be needed.  ((Ya'll know I am loving this, I love my list.))

The List 36 New things: 
1. Read Gone with the Wind.
2. Roller skate (The family is not happy with this one...they are calculating the medical bills.  So supportive.)
3. Volunteer
4. Attend a cycle class.
5. Tell 3 people how important they are to me.
6. Write appreciation letters to my favorite writers
7. Blog every day..the longest I have made it is a month.
8. Ride the Dart rail
9. Make something with Kale  Jan 15th
10. Paint a masterpiece Feb 7th
11. Make a quilt
12. Refinish a piece of furniture
13. Run a 5k
14. Learn Calligraphy
15. Take the perfect photograph Nothing like a picture of a porch boiling. Feb 5th
16. Grow grass in the mud pit/backyard
17. Start a vegetable garden
18. Make a collard greens
19. Make stationary
20. Make a docu-drama
(Have been getting some great suggestions. Have to update my list.)
21. See the roller derby
22.  Eat something with dandelions
23. Try Vegemite
24.  Read a book that I wouldn't normally pick.
25.  Send out Christmas cards.  (Don't mock me...this has yet to be done by hand.  It will have to be put on a list to have any chance.)
26. Go on a wild adventure with a good friend. I think my first protest rally qualifies. March 12th,2011
27.  Get something tattooed or pierced...the family as attributed this to some kind of early mid-life crisis.  Who knows maybe they are right?  Or maybe I have put this off for a lifetime and finally have the guts?
28. Get hair highlights.  (Never done it...might be fun.)
29.  Do a home improvement by myself.  (Usually this is a huge group ordeal...this one will be tough.)
30. Holy Cow can't believe I am on number 30 already!!Sit an entire evening without having my laptop on my lap or sofa.  This is going to be really tough! You never know when you will be hit with the sudden urge to e-shop, Facebook, blog or write   January 20th
31. Go a full day with no sarcasm.  It may be the longest day of my life.
32. Shop at a thrift store. March 14th, 2011
33. Play basketball on a team
34.  knit a scarf
35. Beat a PS3 game.  I use to be a wonder on the Nintendo, but reached my peak with Mario brothers. thought I could make a come back on Guitar Hero but got a panic attack trying to play duel player.  I can do this.
36. Watch the entire Lord of the Rings series.  I usually fall asleep when this comes on, so I will have to load up on caffeine for this one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hide Out

Snoop dog has never been that brave.  

He loves a good table, the more boxed in the better.  The one sandwiched between the sofa and chair is his most favorite, he still feels like he is in the mix. Living on the fringe of socialization is the safest.  Sticks out his nose when we feels brave then pulls back with that feeling fades.  

What drove him here last night?  I picked up a sticky note.  He is terrified of paper, especially sticky notes.  He has never been hit by paper but fears it along with the long list of other things.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First North Texas Snow

The weathermen were worked into a tizzy all last week.  Humming on about the first great snow storm of 2011. 

 Maybe they are confused.  
Don't get me wrong, there were giant fat globs of the frozen stuff.  Mieko didn't like any of it, she is a West Texas dog and they don't do snow of any kind.  Plus, she is a bit prissy, doesn't like to get her feet wet.  Me neither- maybe I'm a bit prissy too. 

The snow hit the yard and the mud ate it all up.  I am sure others out there that are not as lucky to have their very own mud spa in the back yard, complete with sports equipment.  It is a shame.  But they may be lucky enough to get snow that seems to shy from falling here.  
All we get are puddles. They do provide for the filtered water that keeps our spa so moist.  Ya'll try not to be jealous, of our fine mud and we will not envy your snow.   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Heat of the winter

Half my pack of evil.

Normally I don't really mention my home life much on here, mainly just writing and pondering.  All writing and pondering has come to screeching halt of late...

The neighbor's dog is in heat. It isn't pretty at my house.

My normally sweet, sleepy little pack of four have lost their minds.

Machiavelli, super shiny, you can hardly notice the junk.  (Don't judge!  Remember I work two jobs and write...stuff stacks up sometimes.)

Machiavelli, king of the roost, has always had a bit of an edge to him.   Now he is busting through cages, and trying to lick through walls. Growls at any furry or well...any living creature that comes near him. He is a lot of dog to see angry. He has to be isolated from the other dogs for fear of their lives...well all our lives.

Raven, has a foot obsession.  I don't get it.

Raven, my little baby girl, has to be kept in a sad isolation for fear of her life. Some how she has the crazy notion that the humans in her life are to be her new wrestle partners since the boys are in lock down.

Snoop, the timid.  He looks rough and tumble but is more prone to wetting himself and hiding.

Snoop, the baby boy, is a shivering, howling mess.  Running around and tinkling on himself.

Mieko, the little.  Is half Pomeranian, Chihuahua and lion...well maybe the math is a little weak but you get the idea.

Then there is my mother's dog...who barely counts.  She hasn't noticed the neighbor because she is fixated on getting under the shed to get the random cat that has taken up residence.  The cat is not budging.  The cat looks anoid but is too lazy to go anywhere. Mieko is tenaciousness and is refusing to relent no matter how muddy she gets.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh the Jet Lag...

I am a teacher to the walking dead.

They filed into my classroom on Monday morning.  Not the same bright-eyed, hyped up, precious 12 year old babies that left.

New haircuts, clothes freshly cut free from tags- students sit in my room subdued.  Jet lag is rough, for every one.

Welcome to the new year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do Over...New Year Resolutions

I have a deep passion for list making.  New Years is my Christmas.  I know I am a sicko but nothing brings greater joy for me than sitting down and planning out my year.  I love the imagining of the life I could have at the end of the year.  In my imagination there is a test drive of what being successful at any of the goals will feel like, taste like, look like.  I take it all very serious.   There is research put into each goal.

Some people call them resolutions, that term seems too flimsy for me.  I like goal, it is sturdier. The news is flooded with the probability of failure for all of our resolutions.  If you believe you are a sucker!  A statistic will not determine your fate, unless you allow it to.  1 in 4 people will fail, it is not because it is impossible to achieve but there is a lack of commitment.  The failure is a great opportunity.  Study the situation and understand what it is that is holding you back.  Is it a desire to focus on something else completely or that the goal was too big a step and you need smaller one to get going.

For many years, writing a novel sat perched on my list.  There were many starts and writing myself into a corner.  The hardest thing was going back to those and finally cleaning up the failure.  It was messy, with all these goopie loose ends that didn't make any sense.  The only way to move forward was...well more list for me.  It might not work for you,  buy having the bigger goal then the steps to complete it work for me.  I had to decide that pretending to write was not going to get it done, it wasn't going to make me happy.  I had to understand that 1,000 words a day is not a labor, it is habit.  I had to give up perfect to be able to write.  I would write 400 words then drown in them.  Correcting, rehashing, and rewording it into nothingness. Letting that go gave me heaps of time to finish the goal that I had wished for for years.

This could be your year.  Let go of the things that are holding you back, and see what you can achieve this year!

So long...welcome the new

The last post was the panic of loss of all my writing.  The writing was recovered. Not in the polished form it left, but beaten up and still greatly loved.  Like a mother who came within inches of losing a child, I have been unable to leave it to write here.

I spent two days backing it up.  And have spent the last month trying to organize, dust off and polish and admire.  The stories grabbed at me again that I had put away.  I needed to see them, read them tweak them.

Since that last post, I have been on a rewriting binge.  I learned to take nothing for granted.  This story of mine is mine alone.