One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Writing: Places and Distractions


This is the chair where ideas stumble from my overcrowded brain and land on the white-page screen of my MacBook. I discovered the surest way I would get them to make the trip was if I forced myself to settle into this spot for writing and not leave until writing happened.



Sure, staring happens here too. And reading. And rereading. Deleting. Deciding. Sometimes only a couple of sentences survive the brain-to-screen express. Sometimes the topic changes trains mid-journey. Such as now, though writing about my writing habits, my brain reminds me of the following grocery-store scene from a few hours ago:

_____A two or three-year-old girl sitting in the shopping cart in line ahead of me says to her mother, in an uh-oh-look-out tone: “I think I’m getting distracted.” Her mother asks what is distracting her. “I think I’m getting distracted by those piƱatas.” I look over my shoulder and see dozens of the colorful candy holders hanging above the bread aisle. The girl focuses on one in particular and tells it: “Hi unicorn. I’ll be getting you for my birthday.”_____

If only I could share this in her own precocious little voice.

So anyway, here I sit writing. I slouch. I put my feet on the stool. I turn this way, that way. My laptop starts burning my lap. I yawn. My fingers rest on the keys. I look at the keys and think about cleaning them. I need to clean the floor too. The neighbor kids are outside yelling to their dog. This chair is cozy. I could take a nap here. NO. STOP. This is WRITING time. Ooh! The ice cream truck is going by— 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To Dad, Because I Love You

Dad,

That's right, it's YOUR day today!

Thank you for being the best elementary school teacher in the WORLD because we could read in closets, dig holes in the field, play with legos and computers as part of LEARNING, take field trips, and listen to Paul Harvey at lunch time.

Thank you for fostering a love of ham radio, computers, and electronics in my husband when he was your student because that meant you would have LOTS IN COMMON and you would really like him when it came to the day when he would ask you for permission to marry me!

Thank you for filling our house with music and passing a few musical genes on to your kids. I'm happy that you continue to share your musical gift with the community and that you have a lot of fun doing it.

Thank you for reading five or ten books at a time, loving bookstores and libraries, and sharing a love of reading with your children and grandchild.

Thank you for buying me the complete set of Winnie-the-Pooh books for my 4th birthday and for The Secret Garden—my imagination was born through those stories.

Thank you for telling us bedtime stories about Freddy and Mr. Poppins and your version of Daniel and the Lion's Den. I think you should tell me a few of those again so we can write them down.

Thank you for taking us camping—at the beach, in the woods—and for being a teacher so you would often have SUMMERS OFF to take your family on all these trips!

Thank you for marrying a pretty AWESOME girl who would help you raise such WONDERFUL daughters! (Tough, I know, to live in a house full of opinionated females!).

Thank you for your forgiveness when this opinionated female got into lengthy DEBATES with you.

Thank you for accompanying me to England—my first flight anywhere—and then later to Arkansas to show me around where you spent your childhood. These trips I will never forget.

Thank you for taking the sign language class with me and supplying me with books to help me learn more.

Thank you for playing games with your family, even getting in to character when we had to guess MARILYN MONROE! Have we ever laughed harder?!

Thank you for supporting my studies and helping me through college—your alma mater. Especially thank you for showing me what it means to think for myself, ask questions, use logic and reason, study, and want to learn more. And thank you for teaching me to never EXPECT a handout but be willing to OFFER my hand out to someone in need.

Dad, you don't play golf, play video games, drink coffee or beer, watch much sports, fish, hunt, eat meat, bowl, recline in a Lazyboy, partake in fine wines, or wear ties or cufflinks, and I have to say that I LOVE YOU FOR ALL THIS! There is no TYPICAL gift for a guy like you because you are a ONE-OF-A-KIND father.  So there is no point at all shopping for a Father's Day gift for you!!!!!  OK, honestly I wasn't trying to get out of it. How about for my birthday this week you come over and we'll go out to dinner? Hmm, we'll have Mom pay!

I love you Dad! Happy Father's Day!







Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eeyore, Pollyanna, and the Glad Game

My sister called me Eeyore when I was younger—OK she still calls me Eeyore occasionally. I don't feel like a gloomy donkey, but maybe I can be a bit blue at times. (And I did get bounced by a certain Tigger sister, very frequently as a child). Maybe I can focus on everything that goes wrong, or could go wrong. Maybe I don't often jump in with both feet but test it first with a toe. Maybe I'm too logical, practical, and frugal. Maybe I don't have a wide circle of friends. Whatever.

Truthfully, I wish I could be more like Pollyanna.


Some persistently perky people just make you want to punch them, but not Pollyanna. She brightens everyone she meets, eventually. You know the story by Eleanor Porter, made famous by Disney and actress Hayley Mills. (And if you are thinking, Yeah I DO want to punch her! just don't forget to attend your anger management class this week).

Pollyanna had a rough life but didn't go around Woe is me. She practiced the Glad Game. Essentially she tried to find the positive in everything, even when life was crummy. And everyone fell in love with her. She put others before herself and did so cheerfully.

Dictionary.reference.com has the word Pollyanna as a noun: "an excessively or blindly optimistic person." Blind optimism could get a person in trouble. And Pollyanna did crack a little. She yelled at Mrs. Snow and she almost lost all her gladness when she got hurt—just proof that she was human. But she recovered her sense of joy because so many people believed in her and what she stood for and they were there to build her up again.

Sigh, Pollyanna I am not, but I hope I've got many of those good traits. Rather than sit around stewing over who I won't be I'll try to focus on what I can give. And I'll spend some time looking for my tail; it's missing again.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Juice Update

Luke and I survived our week of green juice and fruit smoothies—mostly thanks to the fruit smoothies—but even though we eat solid foods once again we want to keep experimenting with squeezing the heck out of vegetables. Why? you ask. We did lose weight on the juice fast, and Luke swears he slept better and had more energy. Plus, plants such as kale and spinach are still pretty hard to chew and swallow but mix their juice in with a bunch of other flavors and it's not so bad. Nutrients here we come!

Today's batch of green, thanks to the "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" recipe:



I forgot to take the photo until I had already juiced most of the ingredients. Here we see kale and spinach.





The lovely pulp!



Frothy goodness!





Tomorrow I shall make the V28.








Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Fun Activity #5973: Creating Nose Stickers

Supplies: Young, green, still sticky tree seeds, (aka 'helicopters' when fully formed and dry)





Step 1: Take one 'wing' and peel back the seed end



Step 2: While outside with your friends call out to the people passing by on the sidewalk:

"Would you like a nose sticker?"

Step 3: Laugh until you can't speak as you watch your neighbor put one on


What do you think? Do I look like an angry rhino?



(Credit and special thanks to the daycare kids next door for the idea and the laugh.) 



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trade You Some Green Juice for Your PB&J Sandwich!!


My grandpa loved fresh garden veggies, especially ones that grew from his own backyard plot. I, a finicky eater as a child, only cared for a few, and because my mother didn't like the green ones I rarely had to eat those. But even more unappealing than eating veggies was drinking their juice. I remember the juicer on my grandparents' kitchen counter and the orange drizzle that came out of it with a fresh supply of carrot juice. I don't remember tasting it, maybe I did, but I do remember thinking that it was nothing I ever wanted to ingest.

Now that I'm a more sophisticated eater—I occasionally eat broccoli and peas—I'm still a little turned off by the veggie juice idea. I love green salads and salsas, have no trouble eating fruit most days of the week, and sometimes try out ethnic foods, but the juice still has this negative medicinal-health-nut-old-person connotation. 

What a surprise, then, that my lunches for the past five days have been a—mostly green—rainbow concoction of vegetable juice! (No, that wasn't me in the elementary school cafeteria trying to make trades with my students—my juice for their Lunchables). OK, I willingly started this juicing plan with Luke. His mom has convinced many family members to make these diet changes—for a time. We're told that energy will increase, weight will fall away, and aches and pains will diminish. Can't complain there.

So we're trying one week, but not juice only. We enjoy our fruit smoothies in the morning and currently they still have yogurt and almond milk in them. I do want to go at least a week without the dairy, but I think I'll ease in to this no eating situation. 

The week is nearly to an end and here is what we know so far: we are hungry. Oh, and we are hungry. 



The green juice: table art





Luke getting ready for his first taste





See, he likes it!! (He did say that he could barely choke it down, but I think he was just making a joke.)