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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

So, I read this blog by Sarah Smiles Awhile: Seven Things That Are Underrated (if you ask me)…. and am totally ready to create my own list.  The only problem is, I would have to steal at least 3 of hers.  Not creative on my part, but totally truthful. 

1. I agree that those limp handshakes by some women remind me of holding onto a dead fish (yes, I have done that–hold onto a dead fish, I mean).  No limp handshakes from me.  I despise them. 

2. And there is nothing better than sending or receiving a handwritten letter via snail mail.  It’s such a refreshing experience to open the mailbox and NOT find a bill, a piece of junk mail or catalog or that (currently) inevitable piece of political propaganda coming from one of several candidates for office.   I’m all for getting mail that makes me smile…awhile. 

3. And then, there’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (otherwise known as Triple D).  I watch and re-watch episodes and when visiting new areas of the country, I seek out places that have been featured.  Invariably, I enjoy myself.  So, thanks, Sarah Smiles – for the reminder and the inspiration.  Now, here’s my list (or the remainder of my list):

4.  The soft breath of my cat, curled up on the bed next to me, whiskers brushing my neck as I read a good book on a rainy afternoon. 

My little baby, Tang, snoozing away on a rainy day.

Nothing makes me feel more content.  I can’t imagine being more relaxed.

 5.  The joy of making something for someone else…with my own hands.  Either a crafty thing, a baked thing or a whole meal.  It’s such a pleasure to do for someone else, when they least expect it.  Not for a birthday or an anniversary or because they are celebrating a new job.  Just to celebrate that they ARE. 

6. Paying it forward.  Yes, a trendy thing, but it feels soooooooooo good.  To do something for a total stranger and just imagine the surprise when they receive whatever it is you’ve done for them.  And then not telling ANYONE you did it.  That is your secret.  Your joy.  No one else’s to weaken the gift you’ve given.  Because by telling someone, are you not seeking recognition?  Then it isn’t as powerful.  Doing something for someone in need and then telling no one is much more amazing.

7. A sad movie.  The cathartic release after crying over a sad movie.  It draws out all that pent-up emotion.  Enough said.

Thanks, Sarah Smiles.  You’ve given me a lot to think about. 

What are your Seven Things That Are Underrated?

“The best thing in life aren’t things.”~ John Ruskin

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Not that I can think of anyone who doesn’t.  Surprises are so much fun!  And today, as I opened my pending comments section of this blog, I was overjoyed to find that The Geezer had sent me one of those spectacularly joyful surprises…a compliment.  As I read the comment/compliment, I found myself smiling.  I had received a warm fuzzy through the blogosphere and it made my day.  Such a small amount of time that it took to send that message, but what a reaction!  I can only hope that someday I can return the favor.  You see, Geezer did for me exactly what I would do for him…he complimented my blog.  He and his lovely Sandy are my escape into the dog world.  Being a servant to two cats, I find that sometimes I long for the unconditional adoration and love of a dog.  (Me adoring and loving the dog, not the other way around.)  I guess my cats have trained me well.  I am on this earth to cater to my furballs. 

I digress.  Thank you to Geezer and to Sandy for the joy that I received today and I will gladly pass on the award (as soon as I have finished patting myself on the back).  As the recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award, I find myself puffing up with pride.  🙂  Now, on to the rules that come with the award:

They include: 

  1. Post a link back to the person who gave you the award (Done–see the hyperlink on Sandy’s name above),
  2. Share seven random things about yourself (oh, boy…now I have to think??),
  3. Award fifteen blogs you’ve discovered and like (do I have fifteen I visit?), and
  4. Drop them a note and tell them about it.  (That’s the best part!)

So, here are the blogs I love and would gladly award the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. http://antiquemommy.com
  2. http://drabblerouser.wordpress.com/
  3. http://www.slouchingmom.com/
  4. http://nerdyapplebottom.com/
  5. http://sandysays1.wordpress.com/
  6. http://www.mummy-time.com/
  7. http://www.wendyweekendgourmet.blogspot.com/
  8. http://motherrimmy.com/
  9. I choose to keep my list of award winners as exclusive as possible, so I’m stopping with these eight…my favorites.  However, I reserve the right to add others to the list as I feel the inclination. 

And now, here are seven random things about me:

  1. I love to cook, but hate doing dishes.
  2. Clean sheets on the bed and freshly shaved legs almost cause a sensory overload!
  3. My car makes me smile…I worked hard to get it and have wanted this particular make and model for so many years!  It’s a shame I waited this long to have this particular car. 
  4. I love walking in the rain…the smell of dust settling and the refreshing clean air afterwards is another sensory overload.  I stop and close my eyes and breathe deeply.  The earth has been refreshed!
  5. I collect ribbons.  Those lovely, wired ribbons that are for wrapping packages.  I visit Costco and drool over the great selection of wired ribbons. 
  6. I love roadtrips.  There is no vacation as relaxing as a roadtrip.  Stopping when you want, where you want and taking the time to visit those tiny towns no one has ever heard of to check out a little bakery, an “antique” store or a diner is like stepping into an alternate universe for a few hours. 
  7. I live in South Texas, but really am not overly fond of Tex-Mex or Mexican food.  My hubby says I’ll never get my Texas citizenship if I keep talking that way.

Geezer, Sandy, thank you both for stopping by and brightening my day.

“I feel like a tiny bird with a big song!” ~ Jerry Van Amerongen, Ballard Street, 08-18-05

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There are people in our past who made such a huge impact on us that we will never be the same after having met them or having an event take place that was precipitated by something they did or said.   Sometimes, these people cause what Oprah calls “Aha moments” or sometimes their actions created such an incredibly high point or low point for us that they stand out.  And sometimes it was just a feeling we had about that person or an emotion or idea that filled us up in an almost consuming way.  Every once in a while, I look back on the last 50 years and think about those people.  Each left a mark on me.  The earliest recollection of someone who had such an impact was my first grade teacher.  Sadly, I can’t remember her name, but even if I did, I wouldn’t have included it.  I was frightened of her.  She was one of those teachers who pushed and pushed students to excel.  I tried my hardest always and never felt good enough.  I did learn a lot from her, but at that young age, it was a little hard to cope with.  Maybe THAT is why I don’t remember her name.  And I did gain a certain determination to excel.  She also gave me a solid foundation in reading skills that have impacted my entire life.  I love to read. 

Another person who had such an impact was my fifth grade teacher, Miss Blumquist.  She, however, was very positive in her dealings with students.  She very carefully taught me to hold my hand, wrist, and pen in a mirror image of right-handed people when writing.  She didn’t want me to curve my wrist around or turn the paper sideways.  Most people don’t even realize I’m left-handed when they watch me write.  She cared deeply that her students were successful in so many ways, but the little things she did also helped us.  And I wanted to be just like her. It was then, in fifth grade, that I decided I wanted to be a teacher.  And I was.  I hope there is at least one student out there who feels like I made a positive difference in his or her life. 

In high school, I belonged to a youth group at church.  The man who lead the group was an officer in the Army, had a family of his own and his own life to lead.  But he gave so much time to the dozens and dozens of young people who belonged to that youth group.  He inspired us to be giving of our time and to care about others.  So, Col. Hammond is another person who touched my life…and I will never be the same.

While I was in college, I met so many people of different backgrounds.  Each one of those people had a hand in teaching me who I am.  I was lucky enough to have a professor who didn’t put up with my procrastinations, didn’t want to hear any excuses…he wanted me to be successful.  And not long before I graduated, he told me I reminded him of his daughter.  It explained a lot of why I felt he was always pushing me harder to be a better person and a better teacher.  I found myself doing the same thing to my students…wanting them to be successful.  No excuses. Thank you to Dr. Downing!

The man who killed my father also has had a huge impact on me, but in more subtle ways than the obviously enormous way that comes from losing a loved parent to a violent, uncalled-for death.  He taught me to stand up for my rights.  He taught me persistence.  He taught me that eventually good does win out.  He taught me to cherish every day, because we never know how long we have with those we love.  I will not list his name, because he doesn’t deserve to be publicized.  He deserved to die in prison for what he did.  And he finally died last year without receiving the parole he requested.  I never gave up fighting those requests.  And my persistence paid off.  Good won out.

My students changed my life.  Some in very positive ways and some in negative ways, but each one had an impact on who I became.  I do remember some more than others, but I taught approximately 1500 students while I was a teacher.  Mike, Shannon, Amy, Sally, Matt and Mike (the twins), Lisa, Tara, Shay and Laine…the list goes on and on.  They are special people.  I hope I taught them even half of what they taught me.

Friends through my life have taught me loyalty, understanding, the need to have friends even when one is married (a spouse cannot be everything to you, no matter how loving and caring he is).  My friends have been there for me when I needed a different perspective.   They have taught me that my creative side needs an outlet…And I need an outlet for fun with the girls.  My dear, sweet hubby doesn’t like to paint pottery, scrapbook or watch chick-flicks.  They do.  And I appreciate them for that and so many other things.  Without them, I would never be the same.

I look back on someone I knew in high school.  Missy Etheridge.  She was Missy back then.  Now she’s Melissa.  And she taught me to reach for my dreams.  Never give up.  And to be who I am.  No apologies.  No regrets.  And for all of that, I will never be the same.  Her music was her dream.  Like I dreamed of being a teacher.  She reached her goal and so did I.  And we both have lived our lives in the way we chose to.  I hope for her a fearless love.  I have mine in my wonderful Beau.         

“I Will Never Be The Same”

So you walked with me for a while
Bared your naked soul
And you told me of your plan
How you would never let them know
In the morning of the night
You cried a long lost child
And I tried oh I tried to hold you
But you were young
And you were wild

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

Secrets of your life
I never wanted for myself
But you guarded them like a lie
Placed upon the highest shelf
In the morning of the night
When I woke to find you gone
I knew your distant devil
Must be draggin’ you along

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

And you swore that you were bound for glory
And for wanting you had no shame
But I loved you
And then I lost you
And I will never be the same

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

~ Melissa Etheridge

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I’ve been thinking about a particular Easter when I was a little girl…

When I was young, my mother liked to make our Easter baskets more personal.  My brother and I didn’t get those store-bought, pre-packaged Easter baskets, even though we used to gaze at them with obvious desire.  Instead, my mother selected our favorite treats with great thought and spent time putting together personalized baskets for each of us.  She realized far more than we did that those other baskets were not what we would really like.  Every Easter was like that.  Wonderful Easter baskets with toys and treats. 

But the best Easter was the one I have been remembering lately.  My mother made me a stuffed frog.  My brother also got one.  She found the perfect green fabric for our frogs and yellow fabric for the belly side.  The frogs were filled with dried beans, so they were floppy and poseable and so much fun to play with.  The basket also had my favorite Brach’s malted milk ball eggs.  I still love those and each time I have one, I flash back to those days when the white coating used to make my lips white.  I would lick the outside of the egg and purposefully paint my lips.    

I’m not sure most kids remember what was in a pre-packaged Easter basket, but I will never forget my frog.  I can still feel the weight of the bean-bag frog, with the Ch-ch-ch-ch sound of the beans tapping against each other as I played.   Years later, I was still fascinated with frogs and had quite a collection.

My mother didn’t give us what we wanted at the time, but she gave us what we would remember…and cherish.  She understood far more than we did that memories were being made.  And love was being shown.    

“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” ~ Jill Churchill

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This is it! My teapot.

My Sunflower TeapotThis is my sunflower teapot!  It’s the one I mentioned in a previous post about my experience at a paint-your-own-pottery place.  It turned out better than I expected. (Sorry the picture is so grainy, but I took it with my cell phone.)

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