Somebody Else's Picture...credit to them, whomever they may be.

Somebody Else's Picture...credit to them, whomever they may be.
How I feel after throwing a party...

Thanks for the visit!! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sigh...

I know, I've been absent. Sometimes that's just how life goes.

You think you're engaged and that all of those balls you are juggling are safely in the air, and then *poof* you realize something has dropped and rolled away in the interim, and there you are... juggling... while wistfully looking at that one lost ball that is rolling slowly away and then firmly sticking itself under the refrigerator, or the car, or the bed...or something...somewhere you cannot possibly get to it at the moment. That's how blogging has been over the past few weeks.

Well, for me, I've wiggled under the bed, retrieved the blogging ball, and tossed it back up in the air, hopefully it will stay there for awhile, and hopefully it won't knock somebody else out of their place...not interested in dropping any balls right now.

So, that said, what's the news? What's the happs? What's the goings on? Well, I'll toss out some bones for you Nosey Nellies who are curious...

In no particular order of occurrence or of preference:

I quit my job to become a Stay at Home Wife...a "homemaker" if you will, amongst other, more personal reasons. This was a HUGE, HUGE move for me. I have been in the workforce for over 20 years. I have been an executive professional in a variety of capacities, responsible for money, budgets, deadlines, performance and goals. I'm still getting acclimated and learning how to be the boss of me. It's strange that no one else owns my ass for anything. It's strange and a bit unnerving. Indentured servitude was what I knew and I liked it.

I feel like I've escaped from somewhere and that they are looking for me to drag me back. I dream about the places I've worked, the good and the bad. I dream about the people I've worked with, both the good and the bad. I wake up with a start, feeling like I'm suppose to be somewhere, and positive that I've missed something. It's a whole, new strange world.

I think I've ended one chapter, and am beginning another, but right now...I can't quite read the language and I'm not sure I'm on the right page where this new chapter is suppose to start. I've given up things I knew and had become comfortable with, in exchange for things that I cannot see yet. I don't know this landscape...I don't know the rules of this place. So, I'm working it out, day by day.

*****

I'm listening to Christmas music, Muse, Achtung Baby by U2, and Dawnseeker by Sleepthief

*****

My book club just finished it's fifth year. I can't believe we have kept this thing running for so long! We've had so many things happen, big life events, and small life events. Our membership has rotated around, but there has been a steady core of us that have kept with it. I'm happy for that. I've learned a lot of things about people. I've learned a lot about these women that have become dear to me, these friends of mine. I like having shared time with them, knowing them and their families, their dreams, their lives. It brings me joy to be a part of it.

My top 15 favorite books, in no particular order, that we have read through the years are:

1: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
2: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
3: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
4: The Book of Eleanor by Pamela Kaufman
5: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
6: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
7: The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker
8: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
9: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Wolf
10: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
11: Mrs. Mike by Benedict & Nancy Freedman
12: A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
13: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
14: The Island by Victoria Hislop
15: Dracula by Bran Stoker...I see this typo...but I'm leaving it...Bran Stoker...the vampire writer who needs some fiber...

*****

I've discovered a new television show. First, let me say, I don't watch TV...in that I don't set time aside where I have to be in front of the screen. I don't want TV to control me in any way...except the beginnings of American Idol for the horrific singing...but even then, if I have things to do, I do them. ANYWAY, I'm a CSI fan. Something about the minutiae of murder and the solving of the story, I am hooked. Well, I came across another show that has been on for quite sometimes, Criminal Minds. I've been enjoying episodes here and there. Getting roped in to a whole new series that revolves around deviant and anti social behavior, great, more murder.

*****

Which leads into my next bit...what's with all of the violence...and I mean the violence in real life?? I'm finding it to be the most offensive thing out there. In it's whole...violence is vile. I get how it happens, I understand all of the reasons people give for why they do it...but I just really don't care about any of those reasons at all. Stop with the pity party, stop with the whining.

Stop hitting. Stop shooting. Stop stealing. Stop raping. Stop abusing. Stop molesting. Stop manipulating. Stop yelling. Stop screaming. Stop lieing. Stop torturing. Stop kidnapping. Stop using. Stop hating. Stop controlling. In short...just stop.

So many people have this skewed sense of immediacy and of entitlement. You're not entitled to a lifestyle. You're not entitled to what someone else has earned. You're not entitled to relationships. You're not entitled to take whenever you want to take. No one owes you. Go earn what you want. Deal with your problems and your stresses without putting your hands on someone else to take something from them, whether it be dignity or blood.

If people just behaved, we'd all be better off. And if wishes were fishes we'd all have a fry.

*****

Speaking of entitlement...
Tiger Woods is a moron. He suffers from the "I-Have-Everything-And-Am-So-Unhappy" disease. Get a life...oh wait...yeah, you had one and then you jacked it up because you're a selfish a-hole. Woops...did I just type that out loud??

***

I've been working with some new (and some old) recipes. Here are some of the things I've tried lately:

Cranberry Salsa
Chicken Adobo
Chicken Paprikash
Paprika Hendl
Antipasti Platters
Baked Brie in Filo with Loganberries & Lemon Zest
Alho e Oleo...or Garlic & Oil (Olive) Pasta with Red Pepper and Parmesan
Pomegranate Ginger Punch
Feijoada Completa...and I MEAN completa...
Sauerbraten with Mashed Potatoes
Clam Chowder
Banana Cake with Frosting

Deliciousness is had at our home on a regular basis lately. One of the perks of time and being in my house during the day.

***

I saw New Moon.
I was Team Edward in the books.
I am still Team Edward in the books.
I am no longer Team Edward in the movies.
I am considering converting from Vampires to Werewolves...
I think Bella needs to chill with all of the sighing.

***

I recently celebrated my 17th Wedding Anniversary. Holy Cow.

***

Pie Night was a hit! We had a wonderful time and had a plethora of pies. We had: Banana Cream, Pecan, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Strawberry Rhubarb, Coconut Cream, Apple and 2 quiches...or is it quichi?... 1 Broccoli and Cheese and 1 Spinach and Chives. We also had little pulled pork and jalapeno cheese sandwich rolls hot from the oven (thank you Grace), this incredibly amazing lime and cilantro shrimp, mozzarella and spinach salad that my mom made and plenty of drinks and other munchies. It was fun to get together with the family and with friends to have our pre-Thanksgiving celebration! I realized that we have been doing this for 11 years now, wow, how time does fly!

I also really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year. I think it was because it wasn't at my house and I had almost zero prep to do. I really enjoy, nee love, entertaining, but the dynamic of enjoying the party is different when you are the hostess vs. being the guest. I really enjoyed being the guest.

My brother made a picture perfect turkey. Martha Stewart doesn't even compare and I'm totally serious about that...Even if it needed two more hours to cook because, unbeknownst to anyone, the joints were frozen solid, and dinner became an evening supper...but hey...our family is known...infamous even...for late night dinners so it was coup-de-la for blood kin, even if the in-laws were starving.

***

Well, that's it for now...we've had good times, good food, good books, good music and a good rant.

Peace Out Kids...tune in next time...same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Surviving Devastation and Turning it Into Spring

Image taken from http://therealsouthkorea.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/spring-in-busan-korea/

While I was still working as a Technical Writer for a small tech company down in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in the community chat it was brought to our attention that the sister-in-law of one of the founding members of the company was going to be on the Oprah Winfrey show.

I decided to check it out and followed the link. What I found touched my heart and broke it. What I found was a woman who had suffered a horrible small plane crash, with her husband. The pilot, a close friend, was killed. Her husband had to bang and rip their way out of the burning aircraft. He got out. She could not. He ran to the window and you can imagine the panic, the desperation and the fear. There was no other way, except the way that he had gone, which apparently was engulfed in flames. Somehow, she turned herself in the direction she need to go and she made it out. She rolled around on the ground putting out the flames. Burns covered over 80% of her body. She was put into a medically induced coma for multiple months so her body could heal. When she woke up, her children did not recognize her, her baby who had only been a few months old at the time of the accident, would not come to her. *She* didn't recognize her.

Her ordeal is not over. However she has walked a good portion of the beginning path in this new life. She has had up days and down days, sad days and glad days, mad days and joyful days, desperation and exaltation.

When I found the link to her blog, I spent a couple of hours, pouring over it--backwards--from most recent to the furthest back. I read her story by days and by moments. At times she made me smile and my heart leapt with her bravery, and her sense of humor. At times, her story and her frustration and heartache brought me to tears.

This woman is a woman of courage. A woman of fortitude. A woman of faith.

She is a woman whose life was catastrophically altered from the happy, beautiful path it had been on--changed into something new, and something different, but hopefully, and what is looking to be, a new, happy and beautiful path, just of a different kind.

Her story also speaks of the power of family; of commitment; of love; of marriage through sickness and through health; it speaks of the power of community and of loving and serving your fellow man. It speaks of seeing the things that are truly important, the things that are inside of a person--not the shallowness of clothes, of cars, of shopping, of physical appearance--not the shallowness of keeping up with the neighbors, or having the latest and greatest of whatever trend is floating about on the moment. There is beauty in the human soul--in the divine spirit that is in all of us, if we will only open our eyes to it, and people, all of these people that walk around us and inhabit this planet with us, are more than just a brain inside a physical vessel of flesh that talks and breathes and eats and does.

She does not know me. I do not know her. But she is a person that can touch you just the same, if you let her. I admire her for her perseverance, for putting her feet on the floor every morning, for her tears and for her love; I admire her for her faith and for her hope; I admire her for not losing her trust in God and in a bigger picture. I admire *Her*.

Her name is Stephanie Nielsen. If you are looking for somewhere that hope is, if you are looking for somewhere where love is, if you are looking for something uplifting or something that will help you to put life into perspective, her story, her perspective, may help you to find those things.


Here's to you Stephanie--may your recovery continue successfully--may your heart always grow--may your faith wax strong--and may you continue to touch the hearts of strangers and loved ones alike.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Double Time to Party!

Image taken from: belloyescakes.com

1,000+ Visitors

Wow!

So I've surpassed the 1,000th visitor--that's pretty exciting...especially since I began my true visitor count from "0."

I'm not sure who all of my interested parties are, well, I know who some of you are, but I think there are quite a few who happened on my site by chance. Thanks to all of you for the visit! I hope you've had some fun perusing around and checking things out. I know I've sure had a lot of fun putting it together.

The other big milestone I see is that I've had my blog for a whole year! October to October. Honestly that's amazing!

Happy Birthday Beautiful Distractions!
One GIANT year old!
Image Taken from: foodchannel.com

I have to admit that I haven't posted nearly as much as I expected to, but I'm hoping to get better at that. One thing though, I've loved keeping in closer touch with friends and family, I've enjoyed the new friends I've made, and I have loved reading and looking and exploring other blogs here on blogspot.

Thank you one and all...and I hope you stop by again soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is here at last...

My Photograph of the Mountains in Utah County, September 2009

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
-George Eliot-


October is my absolute most favorite month of the year. It is primo Fall -- the middle of Autumn and everything delightful before the weather changes and really turns into Winter. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, night comes on earlier, the cooling air smells like leaves, grasses, apples, hay and dirt and like it is actually clean. The geese and ducks fly away, away, away, in great masses over head. They stay over in the fields as they make their journey, and their honking and quacking wakes the morning skies.

Here in the mountains, everything changes very quickly. One day it's 98 degrees and the next it is delightfully cool and down in the 50's and 60's. Unfortunately it lasts for a very short period of time, which is really my only complaint.

"I want to tell you what hills are like in October
when colors gush down mountainsides
and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves,
I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame and joy,

How their love burns with flames consuming and terrible
until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering plain--

A glowing cauldron full of jewelled fire;
the emerald earth a dragon's eye
the poplars drenched with yellow light
and dogwoods blazing bloody red.
Traveling southward earth changes from gray rock to green velvet."
-Margaret Walker, October Journey-

Looking out my window at work, I have an amazing view of the mountains, and I've noticed the color pattern changing over the past couple of weeks. Reds and yellows have replaced the dusky greens and some of the browns. Today, the mountains are white capped from the snow they received yesterday. It rained in the valley but snowed up in the mountains. I'm o.k. with that. No snow down here just yet, but white, snowy, beauty at a higher elevation...I'm all for that!

Fall always reminds me of the excitement of change. Probably because after a fun summer it was time to go back to school. Time for learning and libraries, books and papers, sweaters and jackets, apples and popcorn, crisp walks outside, kicking crunchy leaves with booted feet, football games, new friends and if I was lucky, maybe some kissing and hugging from a new love interest. Of course, some of that is long gone in the past, being an old married lady these past 17 years...but a girl can remember and dream about what use to be.

"Well, it's a marvelous night for a Moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night's magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush."
-Van Morrison, Moondance-

All of my romances took place in the Fall--meaning that's when they kicked off. Every last one of them. No matter when they ended, they always kicked off with sweaters and falling leaves. Not sure how that worked out but it did. By October, love was always in full swing. Maybe that's why Fall weather always conjures twittering heartfelt emotions and I always look forward to it. What's not to love about love and leaves and sweaters and boots?...o.k. and maybe some hot chocolate too!

I remember the thrill of a new love! Sparkles in the eyes, coy looks and sidelong glances, secret smiles and contemplations, schemings and dreamings, secret hands held under the cover of an afghan hoping that no one noticed but not really caring in the end if they did. I remember well the kissing on the picnic table and the gentle groping and grasping and sighing by a glowing campfire, the smell of leaves and smoke, noses and cheeks nipped at by cool mountain air. Flushed cheeks, warm skin and dusky voices murmuring against swollen lips and against dewy napes of necks. I remember leaves in my hair and a little stick or two, from tumbling around on a blanket under an Autumn Moon. What is not to love and value and sweetly reminisce about love found and indulged and coaxed along in the magic of an Autumnal eve?

"All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken."
-Thomas Wolfe-

October is always magical for me. Mystical almost. I always have felt earthy and close to nature...feeling that Mother Nature is at her "homiest" during this time. I know, I know, all you crazy people who can't wait for Spring, and all the rejuvenation that comes with it...I get it...but Fall...that's when everything is quieting down, calming down, cooling off, resting, finally so much work is done, and now it's time for a chair by the fire. The bottling of fruits and vegetables has been done. Harvests have been reaped or are in the last stages of being gathered in. The garden has been plowed under, dirt turned and seeds are going to sleep. The cacophony has tempered and your ears are resting. The heat of the summer sun has diffused and the sun is lower in the sky, easier on the eyes. It's a great time for walks, and contemplating what has been and what will be moving forward.

I have always felt fully a woman during the autumn. Knowing of herself, of her mind, of her soul. I have always known that there is more than just the daily grind. The moving of cars and people, the flickering on and off of electric lights and plumbed water. In autumn, the soul sings out in its fullness, letting everything around it know that there is more than the mechanics of living, but that there is also light and vibrance and beauty, that there is music and magic and myth to be sought, and seen and found!

"On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels..."
-Charles Dickens-

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are you Pre-40?


Image taken from: pt-pt.colourlovers.com

...So...I was informed that apparently I have reached that most illustrious and life changing age of..."Pre-40".

Now you may ask, what is "Pre-40?" as I did...and I will tell you, as it was told to me...

"well, it's happening this next year...its like when you are 12. You are a pre- teen and you start getting treated like a teenager and not a child. You are pre- 40 this year... Yeah, so no purple hair... Your 40's will be even better than your 30's!... Stay off the liquor and you will be just fine. 40s are still young. 50 is the prime of life. You have 10 years till you hit your prime."

Hear jaw drop.
Hear it snap shut.
Hear all kinds of things running through brain...some of them being adult words.
Hear silence as I contemplate it all.
Hear gears in brain grinding and reason agreeing, but not really in the happy fashion.

Now this all came about because of the photo of 1 of 2 haircuts that I was considering. One was somewhat conservative and the other a little more on the wild side (read soft black with just a smidge of purple). I asked "Why are you stifling my purple?" and the reply was "Because you're a grown woman and you need to choose your rebellions carefully."

That's a pause that refreshes isn't it? I am a grown woman, and given the state of things in the world today, it's true--I do need to choose my rebellions carefully. Everything I do impacts others, and while selfish and self-centered thoughts are all good and well (or maybe not), they are just that--selfish and self-centered and not to be arbitrarily acted on. My personal belief is that I do have a responsibility to the people around me to be a good example in all things as much as possible. I know there are a lot of people that I influence and have an impact on...not because I think I'm so fabulous or anything like that...just that I do interact with a lot of different people during the course of my day-to-day existence. Old people, young people, children...everybody. The distraction of crazed hair won't build things forward nor will it help people to view me as a professional, with-it woman.

Well, in the end point taken. I do concede. I don't really want purple hair so much as the idea of it sometimes. I do like being a grown up and being taken seriously. I don't have any inward or outward need for rebellion, I've just always kind of liked purple in all its guises. And then, there always is Halloween if I really feel the need. And if we're being honest, and I am, I've always thought the mohawk was a snappy, edgy look, but I never did that either and won't be, ever, that I can see. It's o.k. to let all of that go. Let it float away down the river of Could-have-been-but-never-will-be.

But back to the Pre-40 bit...It's funny now, but I can say I was not pleased at the time...I mean Pre-40? I had never really looked at it this way. I've loved my 30's, and I was thrilled to leave my 20's behind, especially the later portion which was hard and full of tests and trials. But this Pre-40 business? This isn't a sexy title. This isn't something you think you want to grow up and be. When you're 25 you're not thinking "Hey! I can't wait until I'm 40 years old. Wow, that'll be some awesome times! Woo Hoo!" Yeah. That's not something I have ever thought.

So who said it? Yeah...it was Beloved when I sent him the photos asking his opinion. I can always depend on him to lay it out straight, even when he knows I won't be thrilled with what he might have to say. But that is one of the things that makes this whole marriage bit work. Honesty wrapped up in love and logic in times of counsel and discussion.

I wasn't *really* going to do it, but in the smallest sense I did actually consider it for the briefest of moments...but at least I have this memorable moment to add to the "Memorable Moments" file of marital bliss!

BTW...fortunately for him, this was through chat...so the pause that hits...he was able to duck out of a good thwack to the arm...That look a wife can give a husband when she is not pleased, that if her eyes were laser beams he just might be a pile of ash...yeah...he totally missed out on that.

So...To all of you other pre-40 year olds out there...Without purple hair, but definitely considering that the 40's may be better than the 30's...I raise my glass of Alka Seltzer to you...may you age as it pleases you...and may you do it gracefully and with moments of delight!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Storybooks & Fairies...Rivendell Take Me Away!

I came across something really interesting today...Storybook Homes. It is straight up my little happy alley.

Being a girl who has always loved that which is fantastical, imaginary and full of legend and myth...and being a girl who finds castles, manors, bungalows, gardens, hidden valleys and magically singing brooks and creeks to be of great appeal...and being a girl who has thought (and continues to think) that Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings really would be a fabulous place to live someday...the Storybook Homes from the 1920's & 30's are a delightful discovery and of intrinsic appeal.

http://storybookers.com/

I've always loved nooks and crannies, little hidden rooms under stairwells, hidden doorways and libraries which have secret passageways hidden behind the books. Books and stories that have any of these things in them, if reasonably well done will always pique my interest.

I would love to have a home with all of these things, not to mention a turret or tower and somewhere a spiral staircase. I would love a home with a beautiful, almost overgrown garden full of roses and other flowers and tweeting, twittering birds.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Late Night Musings...and Catch Up! Catch Up! Catch Up!!

O.k. seriously...I've tried to squeeze a post in here and there over the past few weeks, and I really mean *squeeze* it in, but I get done with loading photos and writings, and I get a SUPREMELY annoying error message. No doubt it has to do with typing something up in MS Word and then cutting and pasting it in here...but by the time it has all been said and done, frankly, I've been out of time...so sorry...no post for a couple of months now.

I know...SUPER SLACKER GIRL...but it's summertime and oh well.

So now, I'll play a little bit of catch-up over the next few days and post-a-plenty.

For now, though...since it's tres late and I've got a bunch of stuff to do tomorrow, I think I'm going to pop some photos in here with a brief commentary and then call it good for now.

So here we go...

One of my big events (which I had a huge post on...which you will see later once I get it straightened out) was a girls weekend getaway with my book club--The Late Night Bookies. We've been trying to take a quick vacation together for a couple of years now and it just hasn't ever worked out. This year though, we made it happen. We went up into the mountains into the forest and stayed in a cabin for a couple of days. When we got there, we found that two moose had taken up residence there at the cabin. They hung out with us for the weekend...we named them Moosifer and Mork. Here's a quick pic of our new friends.


O.k. and these are my girls...I'm the only one not in the pic because I was taking it. These women are amazing...every single one of them. What an amazing time we had. I am truly blessed to have the friends that I do. L-R: Kristin, Tiffany, Anna, Mary, Michelle & Melissa.



Between all of them we have such a plethora of creativity and talent.

Among all of us you'll find somewhere in there a business owner, single mom, student, business woman, homemaker, beautician, manager, customer servicing, finance, artist, seamstress, researcher, chef, retail experience, project manager, harlequin lover, music lover, bird collector, Asian art lover, Renaissance adorer, interior decorator, an environmentalist, a libertarian, a democrat, a republican, bi & tri-lingual speakers, painter, furniture refinisher, independent thinker, writer, baker, creator, singer, rubber stamp enthusiast, card maker, crafter, musicians with piano, harp, flute and guitar...and no doubt...Rock Band aficionados...

You'll find women with a varied ethnic background...all of them from immigrants at some point, some more recently than others...Native American, French, Scottish, Irish, German, English, Spanish, Mexican, Latvian, Russian, Swedish, French & Greek...

You'll find women who have overcome divorce, abandonment, broken hearts, death and betrayal and while hurt by it, have come out on the other side stronger for it.

You'll find thoughtfulness, love, service, friendship and compassion among every single one of them.

You'll find beauty and talent.

You'll find women who will touch your life for light and good. Women who concern themselves with the cares of the world and the people in it. Women who try through small acts and great to make the world a more kindly place.

You'll find women of light. Women of faith. Women of fortitude and strength. Women of conviction. Women with the hearts of giants.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stealing Sunshine...


Image taken from www.mombasainfo.com

One of my favorite blogs to visit is: http://mycastleinspain.blogspot.com/

I kid you not, this woman delights my heart! She is amazing...creative, thoughtful and bright. I've never met her, but I'm always excited to see what new things she has created, or new places she has visited. I admire her style and she lives with gusto--in color--in joy. I'm sure she is just like the rest of us and has her blue moments, her sadnesses and her disappointments...but she inspires me to create more...to live more...and to do so in fulness and not in mediocrity.

I strongly recommend her blog if you are looking for something different and new...something unique and exciting...but I digress through my commendations...

My point...and there was a point...LOL...was to share a poem, that I read on her blog a little while back. It is in French with an English translation. This comes from her site...but I had to share it on mine as well, because for me...it captures summertime and the joy that burbles through the clouds and the music that fills the air if we will but take a moment to stop--and to listen--to feel.

I love this poem in French...I love it in English.
It captures summer evenings--the smell of charcoal, fire, wood and meat...grass and water. Sunshine ebbing as eventide comes on and the way our noses follow the delightful scents of someone else's dinner...or if you are lucky...your own!

Les viandes grillent en plein vent, les sauces se composent
et la fumee remonte les chemins a vif et rejoint qui marchait.

A lors le Songeur aux joues sales
se tire
d'un vieux songe tout raye de violences, de ruses et d'eclats,
et orne de suers, vers l'odeur de la viande
il descend

comme un femme qui traine: ses toiles, tout son ligne
et ses cheveux defaits


Meats broil in the open air, sauces are brewing
and the smoke goes up the raw paths and overtakes someone walking.
Then the Dreamer with dirty cheeks
comes slowly out of
an old dream all streaked with violences, wiles and splendour,
and jeweled in sweat, toward the odour of meat
he descends
like a woman trailing: her linen, all her clothes, and her hanging hair.

(Translation by Louise Varese-she made such a super job of capturing and translating the exact tone of Saint-John perse, the English translation is as enjoyable as the original text)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

3 Horses...


My mother almost died on Friday night.

It was a sobering event.

Our family went up Ogden Canyon to go camping this last Friday night, for the weekend. My beloved and I were going to go but ended up not joining them as we were caught in a bad rainstorm and by the time it stopped, it was getting too late and too dark to go and to find our way up the mountain, so we stayed home.

My mother had to work Saturday morning, so she was just going to go up for a campfire dinner and some company and then come back down to her home to sleep so she could go in to work.

After going to bed, and sleeping for a time, we received a phone call. It was about 1:30 a.m. It was my mother telling me that she had been in an accident and that she was in the Emergency Room and could we come and get her. "Of course" I said, "What happened?" and she said "I hit three horses."....I paused...thinking that perhaps in the accident she had become disoriented and she really meant, 3 deer or 3 elk...but 3 horses?...so I said "3 Horses??" and she laughed a little and said "Yes. I will tell you about it when you get here." I spoke with the nurse who told me that she was doing just fine and that there was no need to panic or to rush.

We got up, got dressed and headed to the hospital.

Upon arrival, we found her in her room, on a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors and in a neck brace. I didn't see any broken skin or head wounds, which I was happy about, but she looked dazed and shocky. There were no casts or transfusions. They were waiting for the x-rays of her back and neck to come back to confirm that there were no fractures.

I asked her what happened and she told us that she had been driving down the canyon without incident. Not going very fast, watching for deer. It was about 11:30 p.m. or so when she suddenly saw 3 horses galloping straight towards her and then into her car. She said it was like time stood still and she realized several things at once...she saw them and how beautiful they were...their manes blowing out behind them...realizing in that same moment that "this was going to be a hit"...she braced herself as all at once they converged on her car...coming across the front end, across the hood and into the windshield, crushing it and up on to the roof of the car. She said she felt the sun visor touch her forehead and then it was over.

Fortunately for her, there were two ambulances coming down the canyon behind her. One a regular paramedic and the other a fire truck paramedic. Both stopping to give aide. The park rangers came and a Sheriff showed up. The horses were milling about the site of the accident...two of them, and the third had wandered off. A neighbor man came out to see what all of the noise was about and asked what happened. One of the paramedics, who had seen the accident happen, told him that there were three horses that had run straight into my mother's car. The old man said that those horses were always getting out of the paddock and running around.

Then they took her down the canyon and to the hospital and after a couple of hours she called us and there we were.

For my part, I couldn't believe that she had survived the accident. One horse will kill you, or cripple you or leave you in a coma, let alone what three could do. Coming through the windshield and crushing the roof...I didn't understand how she wasn't cut up or left with broken bones...but aside from being a bit bruised, sore and battered...she was just fine.

It was not my mother's time to go...and I am grateful to God for watching over her and keeping her free from harm...I am grateful that she is still here with us and that we have not been left behind as orphans. It was a sobering event...but one that has left me full of joy and gratitude...and this is a good thing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pain Marbled With Eternity...




I came across this poem that I wrote a couple of years back. I like it. It captures the darker side of my sad feelings, while also tipping my hat at my belief in eternity. It picks up on the melancholy that I will occasionally indulge in if the mood is right. I also think that pain and sorrow are the other side of the joy/happiness coin which we all experience and so my feelings are very human, very real.

I also think it captures that time is a mortal concept. That our life in this sphere--in this time--is very temporal, before it transitions into something new and different. That our probation here is limited, and then when it is over, by whatever means it may end, that we indeed move on to something else--and those that are left behind are left changed, but still moving forward and that we will be joined again in the next realm of our existence.

In contemplating beginnings and endings, how can the universe be so enormous and amazing, space so continuous, that we are an accident...or merely a blip in the eternities? Of course this is not my thought, because to me it is not rational and being merely a blip or an accident is a very human thought, one that is constrained by time and the science that we know of to this point. I also think it exhibits a limitation in thought capacity and existence.

As human beings, to think that we know everything there is to know is pure arrogance. In that way, we really are blips, though not insignificant ones. Juvenile--child like. Thinking back through the centuries, there was a time where the world was flat...or at least it was thought to be so...by scientists and scholars, by travelers and navigators. They were dead serious in their belief and in their proof. It was the limit of their knowledge at the time. We would scoff at it now. I mean, it is ridiculous to think the world is flat, when it is obviously round. But who will scoff at our science, our theories and our philosophies 100, 300, 500, 1000 years from now? Do we truly *know* so much?

I think that we have been before, are now and will be again. I am not a reincarnationist, because I do not think we come back here or that we come back as new people or creatures. I think it is an interesting concept, an interesting philosophy, however in my mind, we have already been here, in this time, in this season, in this era and that ends. I think we move on to our next place, our next task, our next place to learn, to grow, to love.

At any rate, just some miscellaneous musings on humans and the eternities.

Usually I make some note on what prompted the writing. Unfortunately, in this case I did not do so. It would be apropos, and has the sound of, reflections on my father who passed on into starlight and eternity some time ago. So I will consider it that and leave it as it is.

It is a deep sadness--dark with bolts of light
Pain marbled with eternity.

Nothing can change what is gone.
It is done. Over.

Not to be met with again until another time-
Another place-
Another dimension-
Away from this place and this time.

So for now, memories and feelings steeped in the sadness that is loss--
Shimmered in the melancholic joy of times past.

11-27-07

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ask Yourself...


"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth."
Ayn Rand

Being a fan of Ayn Rand since my relatively recent reading of Atlas Shrugged, I have looked for other ways to incorporate her into my life, for opportunities to learn more about her and her ideas...hence the quote.

I came across this quote some time ago (meaning weeks), and have decided that I do like it..very much so...indeed...definitely YES!

While I have a very definite and solid belief in God and in the hereafter, and all the things that this belief constitutes and builds within my own vision of life after death, I do believe that Ayn is correct. Life is not for waiting for...life is not for later. Life is for now...now...and again NOW!

Can we afford to wait for heaven...for joy...for life to begin with all of it's perfections that we assume we will have in the hereafter? I say no. I think our mortal existence is meant for experience, for joy, for laughter, for learning, for sadness, for growing, for moving and seeing and feeling. So often we get lost in our day to day, living our plodding lives allowing them to grind along...and it is a miss for everything that is out there to be seen and loved and learned.

Of course, we have our chores, our tasks and our responsibilities. In order to be a successful and happy adult there are many things that must be accomplished and taken care of and we are better for it. I do believe though that sometimes the joy gets lost in the shuffle, and that is a tragedy, particularly if it persists day after day, week after week, month after month and, often sadly, year after year.

While a joyful life, carefree and devoid of sadness and tragedy is an impossible myth, living life in joy and delight is not. We each choose how to react to the world and the people in it. I'm not saying that we should not ever be sad or angry or upset...by all means, those emotions are good and human and often cathartic when used properly...but I also think that we choose too often to be angry for longer than we need to be. We often choose to blame others instead of opting for changing ourselves, our circumstances or our surroundings. Action and change is always more difficult than complacency and the status quo. We often choose to be sad and not find a way to climb out of this bucket, wallowing in this dark shadow for much too long.

I think our emotions and the length of time that we experience them are largely based on choice and by choosing to smile, and to be happy, and to push through the disappointments, sadnesses and tragedies, that we find we are able to make a happy and joyful oasis for ourselves that can be truly a heaven for us.

There will always be someone out there who has more than we do...always someone more beautiful, someone smarter, someone cleverer, someone wealthier, someone with whatever material delight may be our fancy in the moment...and instead of coveting and desiring and pining for what we do not have...why not enjoy life as it stands, making it beautiful and full of the things we can reach for around us...even while still working hard to achieve some of these other material desires?

I am happy because I choose to be. I have had tragedy and I have known despair. I have been sad and heartbroken and thought that life would never be the same...and I was right in that...life was altered and not the same...life did change...with each experience it changes, but I learned, and continued onward, looking for light and joy. For myself, being a happy person by nature, I also chose to continue along that path...to find delight and to find joy and to make it part of my daily life.

I don't have all of the money I would like to have, I drive an older car, but it is paid for...I could use a larger home with more room for entertaining...but in the end...my money pays my bills and allows me to responsibly care for my family, my car gets me where I need to go and the gas mileage is great...my home is often crowded to bursting with friends and family all cooking and laughing and talking together crowding in around the table with too many chairs too close together, with babies and children running about squawking and laughing and crying and always underfoot--but we are together and we are sharing life and love and joy. When it is quiet and everyone is sleeping, I feel the peace and joy that comes from a happy home where even when annoyed or ornery or blue, everyone loves each other and tries most of the time to be kind (all the time is obviously an outstanding human goal...).

Life is for living...it is for grabbing with both hands...it is for kissing and crying...it is for working and for playing...it is for loving and laughing and shouting...it is for sunlight and shadows...it is for tragedy and soaring ecstasy...it is for delighting in and sharing in and holding each other up together. Life is for being. Life is for learning. Life is for growing. Life is for now.

So I conclude with..."Ask yourself"...ask yourself what you love, what you want most...where is your joy...where is your delight? Where is your heaven? Do you wait for it to come to you in a place and time that cannot be told...or do you choose to make it here...and now?

Monday, May 4, 2009

It is not only our right as members of the global human family to protest when our brothers and sisters are being treated brutally...

... but it is also our duty to do whatever we can to help them." The Dalai Lama

Sandy, Utah: Friend of Ours: Assaulted by the Police

On Saturday, there was a motorcycle/car accident near the home of f
riends of ours, in Sandy, Utah. Our friend, Andrew Mismash, tried to help the motorcyclist who was injured and bleeding.

At some point shortly thereafter he was assaulted on his own property by the police and arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest...all because he "talked back" to the police when they told him to shut up and butt out. He didn't assault the police...he didn't threaten them...he just stated his mind.

I didn't know that voicing your opinion was grounds for assault from those who are hired, yes hired, to "Serve and Protect". An assault on the citizenry, a good Samaritan no less, by those with weaponry on their hips...guns and night sticks as well as tasers...on your own property...in front of friends, family, your own children, and neighbors...all because you objected to the treatment that an accident victim was receiving.

My questions...exactly who is going to protect Andrew from an unjust arrest? Who is going to protect him from the police next time, when he disagrees with a ticket or some other matter of opinion with a member of the standing police authority? Who is going to protect him, when someone continues to steal tools out of his yard and his work truck? Who is he going to call, when he needs help? Who is he going to call, if this is who will attend him when he needs someone to "serve and protect" him and his family??

Be aware that there is strong language in the videos.

http://sandymanbeaten.wordpress.com/

By the Way...here is the Sandy City Police Departments Mission Statement:

**************************************************************************

The Sandy City Police Department's mission is to provide the highest quality of police service to citizens and visitors of Sandy City.

We will strive to ensure public peace by: preventing crime; detecting and arresting criminal offenders; protecting life, property and the rights of all persons; regulating and controlling traffic; maintaining police records and communications; providing animal services; and other responsibilities as indicated by statute, City ordinance, or Department directives.

**************************************************************************

I'm sure there are good policemen in Sandy City...there have to be. It's a good city, a good place to live, and there are a lot of really wonderful people there. But this was not displayed on this past Saturday in front of the Mismash home. This was not displayed in the throwdown that took place in the garden bed by the blooming trees following a car accident. This was not displayed in the complete lack of people skills that were displayed by the portly, gray haired cop who is shoving Andrew against his truck or by the other cops who were not stepping in to resolve the situation in a more tactful and peaceful manner.

I mean, is it true? Do cops really just look for opportunities to toss the citizens around whenever possible? Do they really only look to generate revenue, pilfering the pockets of any human crossing their boundaries by giving them tickets and pulling them over to harass them?

These are not things I want to believe, but honestly, I'm not seeing much different.

Here are some phone numbers if you need them:

Sandy City Police Department
10000 S. Centennial Parkway
Sandy, UT 84070

Tel: 801-568-7200
Fax: 801-568-7190
Police Administration: 801-568-7214
Press Information: 801-568-6086
Training Division: 801-568-7240

Maybe we should all call the Training Division and let them know that their Customer Servicing & Interacting With the Citizens training modules are just really not working very well and that they might want to implement some case samples and scenario training one-on-one sessions before siccing all of their new recruits out on the public...

I mean...it's just a thought...Don't throw me to the ground, shoving my face into the dirt and kick me in the kidneys over it or anything like that...I mean this is just a dialogue right?...

Maybe not so much as we think it would be or should be.
************************************************************************

ADDENDUM...Additional Details of the Story...

Update on the motorcyclist...the man wandered around stunned and injured, bleeding from around his eye socket (20 stitches) with the paper towels that Andrew had given him, while the cops took Andrew down and threatened to taser him. None of the police officers on site, took out their 1st aid gear and assisted the motorcyclist. Andrew was the only one who gave the injured man anything to block the bleeding, prior to being thrown around by the police.

Andrew was booked into the County jail, with assault on the three officers who were sitting on top of him, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He eventually ended up in the ER and can hardly walk due to all of the bruising and had boot prints on the back of his arms that matched the boot prints in the mud in the garden. He had a ringing headache due to being elbowed in the back of the head by one of the cops. At the ER he was told he had deep tissue bruising and that he needed to be very careful with his arms and keep an eye out for blood clots or anything unusual.

All of the cops said that he had gotten in the face of the truck driver that hit the motorcyclist...when in fact, all witnesses (and there were several) indicated that Andrew, in fact, had not gone anywhere near the truck driver (who was across the street), and was only in attendance to the motorcyclist who was injured.

When the first policemen arrived on scene, they did not attend to the injured man, but instead were talking to the truck driver. The motorcyclist asked the police for assistance. The cops told him to go sit down, and that "sh** happens" and to wait his turn. This is what Andrew disputed and said as much. The cops told him to shut up and stay out of it and came across the street towards him.

Andrew backed off, and started to walk away into his yard, at which point 2 cops grabbed him and shoved him up against his truck and started yelling at him. They let him go briefly, Andrew again walked away, that is when they took him down in the garden and pig-piled on him and proceeded to brutalize him.

And just as extra icing on this disaster of a cake...this was in front of the children...4 for Andrew and 5 for his brother, they (Andrew & his brother Sam, along with a few of the kids) had just brought dinner home...so 9 children in total...all crying inside, no doubt catching glimpses of the scuffle through the picture window. I'm sure this incident has helped to create love and trust between the children and the police...they won't be afraid to talk to a cop if they need help or anything else moving forward, do you think?

If you fight in front of children, you get domestic abuse charges leveled against you...what about the police? Again the exception?...Just a thought.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hermana de la Cruz...Cortesia del Senor Cubano




There is a blog I like to frequent: http://cubaninlondon.blogspot.com/

This man has such interesting things he reads and listens to, and insightful commentaries and ideas. I always come away appreciating something new...sometimes something I was already aware of, sometimes not, and that is part of the joy I have in the discovery.

In getting caught back up with my favorite blogs and all the happenings, I found that he had posted a poem by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz...and hence my reflections...

Some time back, and for several years, when working for a large Fortune 100 corporation, I was the leader of our women's organization. The purpose of which was to assist the women in the center with their special interests and needs, both professionally and personally. We had a variety of activities through the course of the year, some of them volunteering within the community, mentoring young women, education with domestic violence awareness and other key issues. Eventually we also incorporated a book club, a talent exhibit and other special presentations.

My point in sharing this, is that we also celebrated Women's History Month, which occurs in March, here in the U.S. During the course of the month we had guest speakers, often women from within the organization, sometimes leaders, sometimes not and on occasion women from outside the business from within the community. We also had special topics for displays throughout the building. On one particular occasion we were focusing on Women Through Time, who had been pioneers in their field of interest.

During the course of my research for my portion of the display, I came across a number of very interesting women, but one in particular by the name of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sor_de_La_Cruz

She was born in the mid-1600's in Colonial Mexico and was the bastard child of a nobleman, so you can imagine the life set before her...being illegitimate and a girl-child during a time when education and prosperity was not readily available by your works, but rather by bloodlines and position.

From the get-go she was exceptionally bright and self-taught. As a young child she taught herself Latin, followed by Greek logic. Eventually she was relocated to Mexico City and joined a convent and then one more, obviously becoming a nun.

She was very aware of her surroundings, of her class, her position, but also in the power of her own mind. She was exceptionally literate and wrote voluminous amounts of poetry and commentaries. She was constantly being evaluated, pondered upon and persecuted by the leadership and authority of the time.

For example, the following item taken from the article in Wikipedia:

"Due to corrupt popes during her time, her independent thinking alarmed and angered the oligarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, for it sawed away at the fundamental idea that women are to serve and not to think; they are to be unpaid or lowly adjuncts to princes of the Church and Spanish royalty."

Fortunately for her, despite the decries against her...

"...powerful representatives from the Spanish court were her mentors and she was widely read in Spain, being called "the Tenth Muse." She was lauded as the most prominent poet of the post-conquest American Continent. Her work was printed by the first printing press of the American Continent in Mexico City."

Just a small glimpse into the life and works of an incredible woman, who truly stood alone in so many ways during her time, and was buffeted by those around her in positions of power, yet stayed true to who she was inside...a learning, literate, bright and electric woman full of thoughts and ideas.

If you haven't been acquainted with her prior to this, you might take a few moments to view the Wikipedia link, or perhaps do your own research on her. She is worth your time, all these centuries later, because she is still a stellar example of independent womanhood.

Happy reading...and I'd be delighted to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ask Yourself...


"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth."
Ayn Rand

Being a fan of Ayn Rand since my relatively recent reading of Atlas Shrugged, I have looked for other ways to incorporate her into my life, for opportunities to learn more about her and her ideas...hence the quote.

I came across this quote some time ago (meaning weeks), and have decided that I do like it..very much so...indeed...definitely YES!

While I have a very definite and solid belief in God and in the hereafter, and all the things that this belief constitutes and builds within my own vision of life after death, I do believe that Ayn is correct. Life is not for waiting for...life is not for later. Life is for now...now...and again NOW!

Can we afford to wait for heaven...for joy...for life to begin with all of it's perfections that we assume we will have in the hereafter? I say no. I think our mortal existence is meant for experience, for joy, for laughter, for learning, for sadness, for growing, for moving and seeing and feeling. So often we get lost in our day to day, living our plodding lives allowing them to grind along...and it is a miss for everything that is out there to be seen and loved and learned.

Of course, we have our chores, our tasks and our responsibilities. In order to be a successful and happy adult there are many things that must be accomplished and taken care of and we are better for it. I do believe though that sometimes the joy gets lost in the shuffle, and that is a tragedy, particularly if it persists day after day, week after week, month after month and, often sadly, year after year.

While a joyful life, carefree and devoid of sadness and tragedy is an impossible myth, living life in joy and delight is not. We each choose how to react to the world and the people in it. I'm not saying that we should not ever be sad or angry or upset...by all means, those emotions are good and human and often cathartic when used properly...but I also think that we choose too often to be angry for longer than we need to be. We often choose to blame others instead of opting for changing ourselves, our circumstances or our surroundings. Action and change is always more difficult than complacency and the status quo. We often choose to be sad and not find a way to climb out of this bucket, wallowing in this dark shadow for much too long.

I think our emotions and the length of time that we experience them are largely based on choice and by choosing to smile, and to be happy, and to push through the disappointments, sadnesses and tragedies, that we find we are able to make a happy and joyful oasis for ourselves that can be truly a heaven for us.

There will always be someone out there who has more than we do...always someone more beautiful, someone smarter, someone cleverer, someone wealthier, someone with whatever material delight may be our fancy in the moment...and instead of coveting and desiring and pining for what we do not have...why not enjoy life as it stands, making it beautiful and full of the things we can reach for around us...even while still working hard to achieve some of these other material desires?

I am happy because I choose to be. I have had tragedy and I have known despair. I have been sad and heartbroken and thought that life would never be the same...and I was right in that...life was altered and not the same...life did change...with each experience it changes, but I learned, and continued onward, looking for light and joy. For myself, being a happy person by nature, I also chose to continue along that path...to find delight and to find joy and to make it part of my daily life.

I don't have all of the money I would like to have, I drive an older car, but it is paid for...I could use a larger home with more room for entertaining...but in the end...my money pays my bills and allows me to responsibly care for my family, my car gets me where I need to go and the gas mileage is great...my home is often crowded to bursting with friends and family all cooking and laughing and talking together crowding in around the table with too many chairs too close together, with babies and children running about squawking and laughing and crying and always underfoot--but we are together and we are sharing life and love and joy. When it is quiet and everyone is sleeping, I feel the peace and joy that comes from a happy home where even when annoyed or ornery or blue, everyone loves each other and tries most of the time to be kind (all the time is obviously an outstanding human goal...).

Life is for living...it is for grabbing with both hands...it is for kissing and crying...it is for working and for playing...it is for loving and laughing and shouting...it is for sunlight and shadows...it is for tragedy and soaring ecstasy...it is for delighting in and sharing in and holding each other up together. Life is for being. Life is for learning. Life is for growing. Life is for now.

So I conclude with..."Ask yourself"...ask yourself what you love, what you want most...where is your joy...where is your delight? Where is your heaven? Do you wait for it to come to you in a place and time that cannot be told...or do you choose to make it here...and now?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Succumbing to the Satisfaction of Kitsch...


Well...as many of you may know...I had previously committed myself to not reading the Twilight series...mostly through a series of not-go-great experiences along with my own resistance to diving in to Pop Culture whenever people tell me "You have to..." do whatever it is that they are raving about. I know, I know...probably a little arrogant...but whatever...at least I recognize it for what it is.

If I had come upon the books of my own volition, I probably would have read them much sooner, because they are pretty much up my alley, but they didn't and I didn't and when I was in the utter LUNACY that was the 4th book release, at the local Barnes & Noble...when all I was looking for was the 4th book in a Romance Novel Series about Magic and Dragons that are human and sexy...you know (LOL)...15-17 year-olds twitterpated over some book, along with the t-shirts for Team Edward and Team Jacob (my thoughts..."What...the...hell...???) not to mention the fact that I was almost run down on 2 separate occasions by manic mothers either dropping kids off or freaking out for a parking spot so they could get their copy...and almost having my car run into by a gaggle of girls dressed in strapless prom dresses over t-shirts, and two mini-vans with those same manic mothers in them...yeah...you could say it became an adamant point of pride not to give in to the mania.

But I digress...LOL

My point is that things finally quieted down...life returned to normal...and I felt that I might contemplate reading the series. Then...oh yes...then...I heard several scathing critiques of the books from a couple of different people who I do not deem to be trustworthy in recommendations for books, music or movies and I thought...well...if they hated it and don't recommend it...well...perhaps this bears looking into. LOL

So, for my birthday my husband bought me, by request, the hardback boxed set of all four books, with their accompanying limited edition cards...and I proceeded to DEVOUR all four books within one week's time...and the inner 17 year-old (I17YO) within me wept, and rejoiced and fell in love with every aspect of the books, but particularly with the concept of Edward the Brooding and Sensitive Vampire. The I17YO wished that these books had existed back in the day, when Wuthering Heights and the Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories were her staple for getting through any number of events. When dark, brooding, purple rain clouds, and deep green forests were the flavor of the day. When love was dramatic and all encompassing, when hearts broke so easily and emotions were wild, unchained and raw...when lyrics of favorite songs were exactly what you were feeling or going through...it's true...I recently read some old poetry that this 17 year-old wrote...and it is ripe with drama and emotion...and sometimes suspiciously...almost plagiaristically...close to the lyrics of favorite songs...LOL

I'll admit it... I LOVED the Twilight series. It's not Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, it's not Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, it's not Darwin's Origin of Species nor **gasp** Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra...but I don't think it was ever intended to be any of those things...thankfully...there are plenty of heavy handed things to read about the cosmos, life and the meaning of the universe and whether God really exists or not, that it is nice to leave those debates behind and lose yourself in the passion and memories of the moment. I enjoyed the complete and utter emotional ride that these books were. They were melodramatic, full of burgeoning feelings, insecurities, boundless joy and despair, growth and learning, pain, mistakes and good and bad...all things that you're dealing with when you're a young girl.

People complain that the books aren't "realistic"...seriously??? They are about vampires and humanity...last I checked there were no bats in the belfry...it is a work of fiction. I think mostly they have complained that there was no reality when it came to sex and the teenage population. My thoughts around that, yes, there is a lot of teenage sex, particularly in the world today, but I don't think all teenagers are doing it, and honestly, I think a lot of them approach it with trepidation and nervousness, and maybe some silent relief when it is not demanded of them. I think that is part of why these books were so popular. There was no push for advancing the physical relationship beyond what the character was ready for.

Don't you remember the rushing build up in your chest, when you thought you loved someone or at least were seriously "In-Like" with them? That every glancing touch, fingertips, brushing back of the hair, touch of the arm when joking, when all of those tiny, tiny things were monumental and meant for complete and utter evaluation on their meaning? When those things are so overwhelming, that it's nice not to have the immediate pursuit of the pounding of the flesh, quite figuratively putting the cart before the horse, taking place.

These books fit a very particular need that I didn't even realize was in there. I re-connected with someone that I use to be. I'm not that girl anymore, but I see signs of her here and there and know that she is still around, deep down in there. I love that girl that I use to be, she was young, fresh, funny, quirky, and so, so trusting and loving. She grabbed life with all her insecurities firmly wrapped around her and just jumped into it. Poor thing had no idea what was ahead...LOL...but that is life isn't it? Just taking that plunge and trying to swim the best you can.

Oh yeah...and BTW...definitely, definitely Team Edward...LOL

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain...

I wrote this up a couple of days back, but didn't get a chance to post it...so here it is...more postings forthcoming...

***************************************
The Commute Report…

Today’s commute was actually very enjoyable…despite the bad weather.

I ab-so-lute-ly love rain, I always have. How I ended up living in the high mountain desert, well, that’s a story for another day…

At any rate, I live in this place high up in the mountains, where it rains, but not much compared to some of the other places I’ve lived in the world, Brazil and the North Eastern U.S. So, any time it rains here, any day, it is a thing to be celebrated. Also, of course I’m happy that it is rain and not snow. For those of you who interact with me regularly, you know I’ve been whining and crying about the snow and how long the winter is lasting blah, blah, blah. What a whiner! LOL (Usually I don’t mind it, but I’m not kidding when I say it needs to get on its way like a month ago.)

Today, the clouds were so low, you couldn’t see the mountains, and with the wet spray surrounding every single car and truck, blurring all of the lines, made for an oddly buffered and soft gray drive, which somehow was delightful and not overly stressful.

Crafting Report…

I’ve started making jewelry again. I’ve tried my hand at it off and on through the years, but never too seriously. One of my passions is jewelry, I don’t have much of the more expensive stuff (though I do like it), but me and costume jewelry…we go way back. It is a long-standing and delightful relationship that has gone on for years, since I was a very small child. I have some older pieces, that are downright ratty, but I keep them tucked away because they remind me of a little person that has grown up and gone on to other things.

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with different looks. I do like artsy and eclectic so some of them get some funky colors mixed in together. I’m not looking at anything too avant garde, mostly just items that I would want to wear, which works out, because why would you make something you thought was awful? I need to take pictures of the new pieces, so I can start giving and selling them away. I think this is something I could be awesome at, because I do have an eye for it and I love doing it.

Additionally, I am re-learning how to crochet. I haven’t done it for years, and when I did do it, I was a novice, a noob, an unpracticed participator in the art of crochet. I really love it, but I need to sit down with a pro and really focus, doing certain things over and over again, so I get it and it sticks in my brain. I would like to finish of the granny square afghan I started way back whenever it was…dare I recollect the actual year?...oh…here it is…yeah…so this is an unfinished project from 1999…10 years apparently is the charm.

I also started back up with card-making/stamping. I’ve done a few items. My sister and I made baby shower invites for our SIL, and they turned out really great. My sister took a baby animal theme and I did underwater creatures. We stamped, be-ribboned and wrote everything out and sent them on their way. I was pleased with the result. I also made several additional cards. Several were stamped but one of them I did as a free-hand drawing and I LOVED it. My sister said I should replicate it but keep the original. We’ll see. I don’t know that I can currently part with the original I love it so much…LOL

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's the Story Morning Glory????

So I've been in absentia with the whole blogging thing of late.

Honestly, after being on a computer all day long, and in a car for a couple of hours, by the time I get home, the LAST place I want to be is sitting in yet another chair, in front of yet another computer...even though it is a truly fabulous set up.

But, I do miss the old times, that are not too far away in the relatively recent past. I miss getting up, making the hubster breakfast, getting started with my day and then grabbing some computer time while the laundry is going. I miss the online chats, the emails, the blogging and all of that. Browsing my friends, and sometimes their friends, and friends of friends, for all the interesting goings-on in the world and in life was actually one of my pleasures in life.

Now...not a lot of extraneous time. As it is, I'm up way too late to get up way too early to get on a snowy, wet road to get to work. Don't get me wrong, the money is nice...it's not a stellar rate but it's not bad and it does help to pay the bills and allow for an occasional handbag purchase.

That said...I decided to post a few of my favorite things, from the past couple of months.
******************************************************************************

She was sitting so nicely on the couch...I grabbed the camera and said, "Smile for me!" and this is what I got...a tipped over, non-smiling baby...who is usually very smiley.


With some girlfriends, we decided to get together and try out some cake decorating. It was fun...this is my cake that we used for my husband's birthday party the next day. I thought it turned out sparky and cute...if not overly professional looking.

This was at our house, after a family party. My brother is holding my sister's little boy. I'm loving the outfit my sister has on! :)

One of the killer views from my most recent place of employment.

And here is baby brother and baby sister. We had gone hiking up towards Ogden canyon. It was a beautiful day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Alice Down the Rabbit Hole...


Is how I have felt lately. Everything changed so quickly...not that it's bad...it's just change...and it was very quick at that.


I love the new job, but I miss my house. I don't get enough time here by far anymore, but given the way the world is rolling lately, I'm really happy to be employed again. Employed doing things I love doing, so it works out for me just the same.


Everyone worries about the commute when they hear that I'm working a little over an hour away from home. I don't worry about the commute. I've done long commutes for a number of years now, you get use to it. Time alone in your own brain is a wonderful thing and when I need it, my car is my personal stereo that I can burrow down into.


Like I said...I am enjoying the commute, the mornings are my absolute favorite. The traffic is usually extremely tolerable, 80 mph most of the way and the winter mountains are amazing, every day is different. Sometimes I can see Antelope Island from the freeway...some times the sun glitters off of the Great Salt Lake like billions of diamonds.


Sometimes the weather is so melancholic and the weighted purple clouds hang low on the black and white mountains and you can feel the mood of the storm getting ready to crash down on everything.


The other morning, I was in and out of sunlight and shadows...every time the sun broke through it was "God Sunshine"...you know...where you can actually see the rays differentiated like it is time for a Holy Hallelujah chorus. Then it would darken back up again, and snow snakes danced across the freeway, one after another, never ending.


When I drive, across three counties and through three valleys, and three distinctly separate mountain sets, the differences are obvious and stunning. I realized that I am surrounded by majesty no matter where I look. I mean--S U R R O U N D E D absolutely. I'm not sure how to properly capture my feelings about it. I love the forest, I love the ocean and I love the mountains. I feel sheltered here, I guess. This is the land of my adulthood. Forests and oceans were the lands of my childhood, and every time I reconnect with them it is like coming home...but here...this is where I became a woman, and that holds something for me too.


I have memories in all of the valleys I travel through everyday. And funny enough, every time I move into the next one during the course of my travels, my mind wanders through the memories that each of them hold. It's odd, everything that comes rushing back. Years in college, in a place that I rarely re-visist, but that I now travel to everyday. I work close enough to see the mountain that I use to live in the shadow of...and it always brings that aching melancholy...for a time, a place that you can never go back to. The most you have is memory, and sometimes that isn't good enough, even though it's all you have. It's where I met and fell in love with my husband, where life as a singleton changed to a married-one. Everything changed then...almost 18 years ago. It doesn't seem like it has been so long.


My middle valley, is the Salt Lake Valley, where we spent most of our married years...the bulk of them so far. It's where I worked so hard to learn and to become who I am today. I love it there and it is still one of my favorite places. I miss it, even though I am happy where I am right now...but I do miss it...every time I drive through it. It's where most of my close friends live, though there are a scattering of them elsewhere throughout the world.


And further north, where we live now...it's different here...beautiful...more peaceful and definitely less hectic, and I thought I had fully settled in, but as I reflect, I don't think that is quite the case just yet. I'm working it out though. I had hoped that I would have found close friends here, and I have made some good and solid fledgling friendships, but they have their lives that they are involved in and I'm coming in from outside, so that takes awhile to break through. There is a sense of singularity here, of loneliness or more aptly named, of aloneness--which is o.k. but it is different than what I had originally expected.


So there they are, my musings from my wanderings of late.


"She wandered and she wandered through the World of the Bright Shadow...til she came to the World of the Dark Shadow that is Earth, and she wandered there for a long time, scorched by the sun and beaten by the rain, till she came to a beautiful house where a king and a queen were standing together." Celtic Tales by Ella Young

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Son Mis Locuras...

Wow...quick post because I am sooooo tired of seeing that old post everytime I try to pop on here.

I'm back to work, Project Management and Training Development, which I LOVE.

I'm commuting a little over an hour each way, which doesn't leave a ton of time when I get home in the evening, mostly because I'm trying to be disciplined and get to bed a little earlier than usual...read: before midnight. It seems to be working part of the time.

I decided to read the Twilight series to see what all the hype was about...so far one book in and finished and it was pretty good. I enjoyed it. We'll see how the rest go.

I had an awesome book club last Friday night, we all went out to dinner at a trendy little ski bum restaurant and the food was phenomenal but the company even better. We read Wings of the Dove by Henry James. The book was o.k. We went back to one of our homes and watched the movie which was not my favorite, but the costuming and set design was amazing. Then we played Rock Band for the rest of the night...read: 4:30 a.m....which was incredibly fun.

Well, gotta run, can't be late...more posts later.

Peace out.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Understanding Father...and Finding My Place in the Universe...So Long and Thanks for All the Fish...


Lately I have been going through this huge "thing". I don't even know what to call it. It all stems from the lay off that I went through some months back. I'm o.k. I'm happy and cheerful and still myself, but nagging in the back of my brain is this constant thump as I try to figure out what direction I'm going to go in next. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take some time off, but I find I'm not really any closer to a solution than I was before. Oh sure, I've had lots of thoughts, lots of ideas but I am stymied by methodology and logistics on how to turn some of these ideas from ether into reality. I know I am frustrated and that has started to really irritate me.
.
The new words that have floated their way into my brain are "maybe you're going through a mid-life crisis..." Can I just say "What the hell???" Since when did I get old enough to get to "mid-life"?? Apparently that time is now. Double my age from this moment and I would be 76. That's just about as "middle-of-life" as you can get.
.
So, coming to terms with my own mortality and the fact, that truly, I will not be living forever and will die at some point just like all the other human beings on the planet, before and after me...I have started questioning purpose and evaluating my definitions...definitions of success, failure, love, friendship, good, evil, important, not-so-important, ridiculous not to mention my introspection into politics, government, religion and the universe and my place in it.

The questions I find myself pondering are as follows:

Where are you?
Where do you want to go?
What have you contributed to your world?
Have you maxed out your productivity as a human...since obviously you are having trouble taking the next step...because you are having a hard time identifying the next step?
Who are you really?
What do you need to get done in the next 25 years?
What do you want??? What do you want?????? What do you want???????
Ugh...

You get where this has been going. I'm working on a nice crop circle on this one.

All of these questions have had me retrospecting on the people that I admire in one way or another with one standing out in particular...my father.

As a point of reference for what I'm about to discuss, my father died when he was 53. I was 29. Through the years, he has never strayed far from my thoughts. I don't weep anymore. But I do think of him daily. There is always something remembered, or needing to be shared, but he is gone and there is no taking it back. Nothing can change it. By the time I see him again, all these moments will be past and the opportunity for counsel and sharing gone. I hope he can see me wherever he is. I hope he visits sometimes. I hope he knows that I still need him. I hope he knows I miss him everyday. I hope he knows that I will always love him.

So to my point...

I thought I understood him when he was in his 40's when I was in my 20's, but I find that is not quite the case at all. I thought I understood but was unsympathetic to the turmoil that I perceived him to be suffering under as he headed into his 40's. I thought it was ridiculous to have a "mid-life" crisis. I thought "Get on with it already. What are you hesitating for? You have everything, you are at your peak, why are you slowly letting it go?"

I watched him founder and struggle somewhat and I remember the watching. I was a girl burgeoning onto the scene of womanhood with my whole life ahead of me and I did not understand. I know that now.

I remember after he died, being in my early 30's and still not quite understanding, but found myself definitely lacking patience. I think my lack of patience stemmed from his not being there to share in the excitement of a career that I was finally starting to get a handle on that was going in interesting directions. I had all of these things I wanted to tell him and share with him. Ideas I wanted to bounce by him, and situations I wanted his counsel on how to resolve. There were several times I actually reached for the phone, only to grip my own fist at the last minute as I realized there was no phone number he was currently available at.

These feelings and thoughts always led me back to question why he had left his corporate career, moved the family across the country and started teaching English as a Second Language at a Junior College. Why he had chosen to alienate his family, or at least me, speaking for my own self. Why had he pushed me away when I had done nothing wrong and wanted nothing more than to please him? Why he had chosen to hit the bottle so hard that he was in a constant state of mild stupor. Was he dealing with feelings of failure even though he had been extraordinarily successful? Was it because he hadn't done the things that had mattered to him the most at some point during his youth and young adulthood? Was it because he couldn't find his direction, or because wishes merged with what felt like stark reality? How did he lose his path?
.
I have no answers, only speculations. I have questions that will go unaswered, and by the time I can ask them in person, the answers won't matter anymore because time and understanding will have surpassed them and moved into a different sphere. So, for now, in all of my humanity, I walk this path alone, figuring it out along the way as best I can.

What is it about mid-life that makes you doubt who you are and what you've become even though you've built things to be proud of and have been resplendent with confidence at any given point prior?...even though you've achieved things you would never have imagined during the follies of youth and the immaturity of young adulthood. Why do we grasp for youth when during our youth we knew nothing...and were just barely coming out of our cocoons to become the butterflies that fly free as adults?

In the end, after all of the reflection, the introspection, the questions, the doubts, the quandries, the comparisons...I find I have come out on the other end still knowing who I am.

I like who I have become through the years. I wouldn't necessarily choose to go through some of the trials and difficulties I've been through twice, but I also wouldn't turn away the things I've learned, and the ways that I have matured because of my experiences. I'm confident in myself and my skills, even though sometimes I do sell myself a bit short. I've worked hard and given my best. I've loved the people around me and tried to give them the best of me. I've tried to be a good friend, a loyal friend. I've tried to be a good daughter and to do right by my family and my heritage. I hope as my ancestors look down through the stars that they see me as good progeny.

I hope that I'm like the Phoenix from the Flame. I hope that this is a burning away of old things, and a rebirth into the second great phase of life. I choose to believe that this is the case. I know there is a lot left to learn and so much to give. My place in the universe is certain and I have a destiny that is my own to fulfill. I may be annoyed at the difficulty in cutting the brush back as I try to reveal my road...but with constant hacking with the machete...I should have it resolved before too much longer. I'm looking forward to seeing what lies behind the foliage, what is up beyond the bend in the road...what beautiful valley is waiting to be discovered...what mountain is waiting to be conquered.