A true highlight of my day is when I have time to visit other blogs and enjoy the creativity of others. Tea Worthy, a favorite site of mine for awhile now, has outdone herself with a most excellent post.
A friend sent me a link to a YouTube video and I hesitated, like I always do, about whether I should watch it or not. I usually don't have a lot of time for "forwards", chain mail and that kind of stuff; I have even gotten pretty adept at letting others know not to fill my inbox with it. (with a really sweet voice and a "would you mind not sending me....")
But, this friend that sent me the link, knows me well. She knows me so well that she knew I needed to see this video.
Will you please watch it? I think you may need to see it too.
I realized, once I wiped my tears and blew my nose a few times, that I am blessed with many great friends! And, we have been through much.... weathering our lives together hand-in-hand.
We've seen each other through much of what the video shares regarding life's hard blows. We have seen diagnosis' and chemo and surgeries and parents' passing away and husbands who have walked out. We've cried on shoulders through failed pregnancy attempts, our teenagers disappointments and our own feelings of parental inadequacy and failure.
We've experienced sheer joy when we've each discovered that we are not the only one on the planet who's found egg on our face after an embarrassing moment. There have been lots of times filled with laughter and love and faith sharing and meal providing.
There have been a lot of prayers said on each other's behalf.
My friends.... I love you so very much! Thank you for allowing me to journey through life with you. ;)
I realized just how fast babies become young men as I snapped a photo of Theatre Dude. He was watching a movie at our place with Chickie-Girl as they celebrated their "5-month anniversary".
** Puppies Grow Up **
I realized that puppies grow up, too. Copernicus, the best gift ever from my hubby, is now a few weeks shy of turning 1. And, then Newton, an unbelievable, over-the-top, hugely generous gift from my hubby, is now turning five months old.
Puppies and babies sure grow up fast!
That's really crazy cuz I don't feel like I'm growing up fast at all. ;)
I kicked my legs over the side of the bed and gently rolled myself upright. I stretched and yawned and rolled my shoulders a bit to get all of my body parts to realize the day had begun.
I didn't hear myself breathing. As in, I didn't hear the breath sounds that have been so loud in my head this week. Sounds as though I was in a self-enclosed, sound amplifying tunnel, kind-of you can't hear anything else but the roar of your own breath kind of sounds.
And then, I quickly discovered, albeit a few missed notes and a little rough on the pitch, that I had a voice!
A real voice.
Not a squawker. Not a squealer. Not a rasper.
But, my own real voice emerged almost as fragile as a newborn chick gently making it's way out of the egg shell.
Unable to contain my enthusiasm, I near-sprinted to the coffee pot for my initial jolt of life juice.
I love reading others answers to memes but rarely do I jump in and keep it going. However, I really liked the one I spotted on Laura Jane's blog so I decided I wanted to join in. It would be cool if you choose to copy the meme on your own blog and, if you do, please let me know in the comment section. I want to read about you, too! ;)
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I Am: moody... unfortunately. There are so many emotions in my heart and thoughts in my head at any given moment that when they collide, like they often do, it sparks a new mood. I find myself wanting to be "steady" but realize the roller coaster in me doesn't see "steady" as an option. lol
I Want: friends...the more the merrier!I love interaction with others, and, well...I am a HIGH extrovert! ha I strive hard to be a good friend and hope that my legacy is that I have loved my friends well.
I Have: lots of thrift store clothes hanging in my closet amidst swanky department store purchases! ...an eclectic mix that reveals an inner desire to be thrifty and yet still enjoy nice things.
I Wish: others would embrace positive conflict resolution...I am drained easily when others in my life avoid hard conversations and the will to resolve conflict in relationships.
I Fear: letting others read my writing...Crazy...I know. Insecurity...I guess.
I Hear: myself breathe...this is abnormal! lol I just have a bit of a cold and everything is amplified in my head right now! ;)
I Search: for authenticity in others...I try hard to "be real" and find it cool to see others be vulnerable and be who they really are.
I Wonder: ...who I'll be in ten years.Will I be wiser? More loving? More active towards lessening the great needs of others in our world? Or, will I just be who I am now with a few more wrinkles?
I Regret: not being able to have more children...it would have been fun to have had a really large family. (all boys, of course! lol)
I Love: hearing, "Hey, Mom, listen to this one that I just wrote"as Theatre Dude grabs the acoustic guitar and starts to sing his latest creation. Which, by the way, is usually really good! I Dance: whenever I hear a groovy beat...even in the grocery store aisle! ha
I Sing: really good in the car...when I'm alone and can really belt out the tunes at the top of my lungs...and no one else is listening. ;) I Never: have forgotten... how lucky I am to have been born into the privileges of an American lifestyle.
I Rarely: go to the zoo ...even though I love animals and love the zoo.
I Cry: when I'm not included...If I feel rejected by a person or a group I'll usually cry a lot. ;( I Am Not Always: right...even though I think I am most of the time. lol
I’m Confused: when Mr. Smart Guy starts talking algorithms...cuz then I'm a goner!
I Need: a to-do list...I'm lost without one! I need to strategize, list out action items, prioritize them by need and available resources. Organization.....organization....organization! lol I Should: have a great day...it's off to a really nice start! ;)
As I try to recover from a nasty cold that is insisting it needs to take up residence within me, I have lost my voice. Or, what used to be known as my voice. What now emanates from my vocal cords is something more like an adolescent teens squeak and honk all at the same time...no matter the sound I'm actually trying to verbalize.
You know that I am a high extrovert and talker extraordinaire and, with that in mind, can you imagine the challenge of trying to keep quiet?!
So, in my silence (or sporadic squawking), I am trying to grow a little from this experience. I find myself ready to evaluate my thoughts before they leave my mouth and ask...
Do I really need to expend the amount of energy it will take to say this sentence because the thought is that profound?
Can I be creative without speaking and yet accomplish my communication goals? (um, and no, I'm not talking about using any fancy, vulgar, middle-finger waves or balled-up fists flying through the air kind of language either!)
Will the world crash on its axis if I don't say what I'm thinking ALL of the time? Ahh...now there's a thought to ponder. ;)
And, since I am thrust into listening and processing information without vocalizing an opinion, I think it might be the best time to watch Fox news. lol ;)
One of the benefits of my recent cross-country trek was the ability to submerse myself into a whole bag, teemed full of books from the library. As I brought out my belongings to the car for our initial loading, Mr. Smart Guy eyed my prized library bag and said, "Are you sure your going to read all those?" Of which I quickly answered, "uh-huh" and nodded my head up and down with full confidence. He chuckled a little and went about loading the car.
Then, usually every few 800 or 900 hundred miles, I would need to get to the bag so that I could exchange the book I had just finished with a new one from the goodie bag. What a glorious time of uninterrupted indulgence: mostly biographies, a little non-fiction in between and topped off with a smattering of a few fiction pieces.
But, there was one book that has stood out above the rest:
by Elise Blackwell.
It is a contemporary retelling of New Grub Street (George Gissing's classic satire of the literary marketplace written in the late 19th century). The story followed four main characters who were aspiring writers and revealed the delicate balance between artistic creativity and the criteria mandated for commercial sales.
One of the things I enjoyed most about her writing is the depth of emotion and Blackwell's ability to bring you into the writers' environment as though you were in each discussion, vision casting and career conflict with every character. I loved it!
It was low on page-filling dialogue, high on the ins and outs of writing and publishing and an easy read on the heart. I appreciated the lack of crass language and imagery.
The landscape is much more beautiful here than I was prepared for. The mountains loom on three sides of our new place and the San Francisco Bay beckons us to play in the city not too far away. The traffic lights are long here, there's almost 1 million people just in San Jose alone but we find ourselves enjoying stimulating, intellectual interaction with other Silicon Valley inhabitants.
It's not "home" yet. But...just wanted to welcome you here all the same. ;)
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As we left Arizona and began to make our way into Nevada, we discovered major congestion at the Hoover Dam. Those who were ahead of us were slowing down, or rather stopping, to get a good look at the dam and take pictures. We were really bummed that it was dark by the time we got to the dam itself and over to the Nevada side.
However, once on the other side, we headed for a 3 night rest in Las Vegas, NV. Crazy place to rest, don't you think? We stayed at the gorgeous Venetian Hotel which has replicated the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy and, having been to both, I was impressed with the architectural likeness. The creators of the hotel left no detail out and completed the setting with gondolas guided by operatic singers.
Then, the true reason we chose Las Vegas...a night to take in the Blue Man Group which "is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment".
We soaked it up and took in every hard rock beat of the performance. If you like rock with a lot of percussion, then the Blue Man Group is a must-see! Look at me in the picture...I even look wild-eyed and frenzied after the show! ;0
And, then came New Year's Eve! We intended to take in all of the activities that the city had to offer that night. We were ready to brave the crowds and noise and be a part of the whole scene! Sadly and unexpectedly, we fell asleep at 10:30pm.
There was so much to do and see at our hotel that we never left the building to go outside. The restaurants were fabulous, the room was exquisite and our bodies got the rest we needed. Leaving Las Vegas was sad but we found ourselves getting back into the car singing the old classic by Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again"!
The beauty of Texas and the variety of sights made driving across the massive state very enjoyable and quite entertaining. Some sights were expected: small working oil wells scattered across acres of flat and dry land, bulls with strong horns that curled upward from their faces as they grazed on sparse vegetation and the many roads that seemed to have no destination at all but collided with the horizon at some unknown point as they disappeared.
Other sights, however, were totally unexpected and took me by surprise: cotton fields blanketed in white waiting to be harvested and other fields that were just harvested with bales upon bales of bundled up white towers scattered the area, wind turbines that spun rapidly in a juxtaposed position of eco-friendliness against the more well-known oil rigs and the most beautiful wide open sky that seemed to span forever as it danced with different colors and shapes.
Tumbleweeds proved to be vicious as they made their way across the highway with veritable force from the non-stop wind. And, then....
In the end, Mr. Smart Guy had one of the thorns plucked out and we journeyed down the road without further incident. ;)
Just wanted to let you know that I am not posting our trek in real time and am lagging a few days behind our actual events. But, today, I wanted to wish you Happy New Year! I hope that 2009 is a year filled with hope, possibility and joy for you.
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Awakened in Gulfport, MS with jolts of excitement about the day's events, I bounded downstairs to meet my friend in the lobby. Starbucks in hand, we headed out to her salon for an impromptu quick trim on the new hairstyle. A snip here, a swoosh there....a nice little pick-me-up on the locks to get me through the trek and back home.
We grabbed some lunch together and giggled, laughed and unleashed lots of bottled up friendship fun and antics! ;) We headed back to her place to visit with the kids and the one and only Dell.
After a few moments of schnauzer-love with me, Dell decided that Mr. Smart Guy's lap was where he really wanted to be.
And then, sadly, it was time. Time to say goodbye once more. Time to get on the road and make the longer than anticipated drive to Houston, TX.
I am happily married to Mr. Smart Guy with whom I share 3 cool kids: Army Guy, Dan the Man and Theatre Dude. Our adorable black and silver Miniature Schnauzers, Copernicus and Newton, serve as our almost empty-nest babies and are lovingly referred to as "the boys".