Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!



Hi All!

I may not get to my blog during the next few days, but I wanted to wish you all happy holidays!

May your homes be filled with happiness and love.

Sending you all good wishes and thanks for your friendship!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Addressing the Cards





My mom always sent out Christmas cards when I was little; for most years they featured her five girls.  It always took all of her spare time over the course of a week to get them all addressed.  Meanwhile, I watched out the window of our farmhouse for the little truck David the mailman drove to make its way down our road.   

Right after he left, I’d brave the snow and make my way out to the silver box on the wooden post stuck crookedly in the milk can.  I loved finding and opening those cards.  Even though our yard was covered with the real stuff, my favorites were those with scenes of glittery snow.  We strung a piece of red yard across one wall of our house and hung the cards there, adding to the growing art gallery each day.

I have carried on my mom’s tradition of sending cards each Christmas.  For years, they featured my children and charted their growth for relatives and friends.  I enjoy the process of sending the cards, writing notes, sealing the envelopes, feeling the stack in my hand as I walk to the mailbox to deposit them. 

While others have gone electronic, storing their addresses in the computer or on their phones, I still use an old fashioned Rolodex, the kind with the flippy cards that recline against each other like sleepy friends on a long road trip.  

I use my fingertips to gently awaken them one by one, the motion of my finger seeming to beckon each one to come toward me and bring whatever memory it carries.  Sometimes, they say little, others are more talkative, and some speak of a life I used to know, one that does not belong to me anymore.

The division of financial assets is a part of divorce.  It takes hours and reams of paperwork.  In the end though, it is done--down to the last cent.  The division of friends seems like it would be more nebulous, especially after thirty years.  However, when it happens, it happens in a chillingly predictable way.  In my case at least, the friends he came into the marriage with, went with him.  I thought I would always stay in touch with my in-laws, but, of course, they went with him too. 

As I flip through my Rolodex, I am amazed at the number of people in there I thought would be in my life forever, but now they are not.  For a minute, I think of them sitting at their desks, addressing Christmas cards.  Do they linger for just a second when they think about me?  Do they smile?  Frown? Have they scratched my name out?  Put me in an inactive file?  Deleted me completely?  Perhaps so.  Then why do I find it so hard to do the same?

A better question would be why I keep the cards of the dead: two friends and my mother-in-law.  I place my fingers around the cards, prepared to pluck them out, but I can’t do it just yet.  Their addresses belong to others now; their phone numbers have been dissolved, sent back into the busy sky of numbers that floats above us and yet….

Perhaps it is that little tap of memory each card gives me that I still need.  Perhaps it is the interspersing of all these people, those who are in my life and those who have moved on, that somehow gives me a fuller sense of the scope of my life.  For in with those names that cause me sorrow, are those names and addresses that give me a sense of warmth and also those that give my life a vibrant, forward motion.  I trace my children’s lives from home, to dorm, to apartments.   I add new names to the growing young families of my nieces and nephews.  I add more cards as my life and relationships expand in ways I never thought it would.

It seems fitting that this holiday, this season of faith, devotion, and miracles, garishness, glitter, gluttony, and, yes, sorrow comes to us just before the start of a new year.  

In the rush and chaos of the season, I am grateful for the simple act of sitting down with a pen, clean squares of envelopes, and a clean square of time in front of me.  

My Rolodex awaits.

I am ready. 

I begin to address the cards. 




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Observation Pit: Christmas Cards




Welcome to the Observation Pit in which Betty shares her salient observations, asks meaningful questions, and, yeah, lets her Freak Flag fly. 


Ah, it's good to be back in the pit, isn't it?  

Last time we discussed food and I found out that a shocking number of you have the same lunches every day.

You are indeed a magical group of people.

This time in the pit Betty discusses Christmas/holiday cards.  'Tis the season and all....

Do you send Christmas/holiday cards?

If you send cards, do you send more than you get?

My theory is that 95 percent of people send more than they receive.  Let's see what you have to say.

Thanks for joining me here in the Observation Pit.  Have a great day!




Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers and Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday!

Are you keeping busy these days?

I am!

Let's all stop and smell our computer screens/Monday Morning Flowers.



Ah...that was good.  Now please back away from your screens (and wipe them down if necessary.)


This weekend was our town's annual Christmas parade!  

The day was warm but windy.

I love this parade and Brian (CVNM) came up to watch it with me, making it even better!


Gotta love a California Christmas parade!  


I ALWAYS cheer for the marching bands, but especially all the band parents who help out!



The theme this year was "The Four Paws of Christmas" and centered around animal care/adoption.
Clifford was the Grand Marshall!


As always, Santa was the Grand Finale!  

After the parade was over, everyone gathered at the park for music and food.  

 I love traditions like this.  Don't you?



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stocking Madness


My friend Jim went on a wildlife tour and came home to report that the male elks he saw were “real jerks.”  Apparently, they can be selfish, sex-minded, self-centered, smelly creatures.  I joked with Jim that according to some of my female friends, there are some human males in the dating pool who can be the same way.

After talking to Jim, I immediately called Brian, that Certain Very Nice Man.  “Thanks for not being a male elk,” I said.  “You’re welcome,” he said without missing a beat.  

This is what I love about him.  I say wacky stuff all the time and it does not faze him one little bit. 

Months passed and I was obviously not thinking about this conversation when I was picking out new stockings for Christmas.  It was only when I got home and pulled out the stocking for Brian that I realized it had a big felt elk on it.  Ohhhhh…. For a few minutes I thought I could maybe live with the stocking, but then I knew I couldn’t.  I drove back to the store. 

“Is there anything wrong with the item?” the clerk asked.

Normal person’s response:  “No.”

Betty Response:  “It’s just that it’s got a male elk on it and apparently they are kind of jerks.  Well, that’s what my friend Jim says, and this is for my boyfriend and he is not a male elk at all.  In fact, he is the opposite of an elk.  He is really sweet and I’m afraid the elk will send the wrong message.  You know what I mean?”

Young employee, slightly stunned, “OK."

I went back to the racks of stockings and picked out a bear this time.  

Now, I know male bears may not exactly role models either, but this one looks like the state bear of California so I figure we can go with the whole native Californian theme. 



Hope you are having a good time preparing for your holiday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers!


Happy Monday!

I hope you don't mind some recycled flowers.

I have been down and out with a bad cold, but am hoping I get well soon since it's almost finals week.







Hope you are all doing well!  

As soon as things calm down a little, I will be baaaaaaccccccckkkkkk!


Being busy is better than being bored. Bored left a long time ago. Busy is always around for me.

--Tabitha Robin



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in Blogland!!!

I am so grateful for your friendship!




Hope you spend the day surrounded by good food and good friends!


Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

--William Arthur Ward

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers

Good Monday Morning, My People!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.





It's Monday!  

Time to start a new week and celebrate new beginnings.


"Dear old world," she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you."

--L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.




Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Observation Pit: Breakfast


Welcome to the Observation Pit in which Betty shares her salient observations, asks meaningful questions, and, yeah, lets her Freak Flag fly. 


How many of you eat basically the same thing for breakfast most every morning?

Please hold up your hands.  Ah, yes.  That's quite a few of you.

I do!   A banana, a big glass of green tea, and bite-size shredded wheat dipped in peanut butter is what keeps Betty happy, healthy, and sassy too.

Here's my question:  Wouldn't you go insane if you ate the same meal for dinner night after night?

Why does the same meal plan work for breakfast, but not for lunch or dinner?

I'll just sit right here in my pit and wait for your answers.





Friday, November 22, 2013

Lessons






For a long time I had a project in my Intermediate Composition class in which my students built kites.  After they built them in groups, they wrote essays telling someone how to make the same kite. 

It was a project to help them understand how to write the process essay.  My goal was to reinforce the necessity of having good organization, and specific, concrete details.  Well, that was script I had ready just in case any administrator asked why I had my whole class running across the quad with kites.  (After all, we had to make sure they worked.)

Mostly, though, it was just a fun project that I could do mid-year when confidence and motivation were flagging.  I have a wide variety of students and this gave them a chance to work together, to create something, and for some world-weary students to experience some fun for a day.

I divided the students into groups, and they planned what materials to bring to the next class sessions.  I gave general instructions, urging them to bring balsa wood for the cross sticks, suggesting materials they could bring in to make their kites successful.  

After a few semesters, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about kite construction and not afraid to spout off about it.  I readily told students what would work and what would not.

One semester, I had a student from Argentina named Luis who was in charge of bringing the materials for his group.  He did not speak very much English and apparently had not really understood what he was supposed to bring.  All he had was some string, a crumpled plastic bag from the grocery store, and some sad twigs he had picked up from under the tree.  

His group was distraught and came to me for help.  They were sure he had forgotten the assignment and had just thrown these things together.   I went to talk to Luis and he just nodded and smiled at me. 

His group was not happy and was getting a little stressed out.  I gave the group permission to borrow from other people in the class to make their own kite.  I talked to Luis and explained to him all the reasons why these materials would not work but he just went to a corner of the classroom and started his own project.

I felt a little bad, watching him cobble together his crippled little kite, but time was passing by quickly.  

Soon the groups had finished their kites.  There were some beautiful creations, decorated with bright colors, festooned with tissue paper and shiny streamers.  

I saw the students look at the kite Luis held. Some of them smirked a little.  I knew the kite wouldn’t fly but what could I do?

It was a gorgeous day, but there was not too much wind.  We tried flying the kites anyway.  I always love to see my students get excited about such simple things.  I have a very clear memory of one of my more gangster-type of students, arms full of tattoos,  holding up a kite in one hand, and his jeans with the other, a cigarette (unlit) in his mouth, as he ran in his giant black shoes, laughing all the way across the grass. 

The students released the kites, and ran with them, but none of them flew.  We decided the wind was probably not strong enough. Then, as you may have guessed, we all turned to see one kite high in the blue sky.  It was a kite made out of twigs and a crumpled grocery bag, and there at the end of the string was Luis, smiling.

The other students were amazed at how high the kite went, the way it hovered in the sky.  They asked him about it and he told them he had learned to make this type of kite as a child in Argentina.  They looked at him and then up at the kite with complete awe.


I think about Luis and the kite a lot.  This experience really changed my life.  I realized how rigid I was in my thinking, how smug I was about what I thought I knew, and how wrong I had been.

Now, when one of my students, friends, or my kids has an idea, I don’t discount it.  Instead I say, “Let’s try it!” 

What’s the worst thing that can happen? 

The world’s a big place.  

The sky is wide above us.

Even the most unlikely kites need a chance to fly.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Staying Put





Not too long ago. I was helping my friend K, get ready for a going-away party for her son who was going to Japan to teach for a year. As I hung lights in the tree, preparing for the party, I thought about the good times we have had in her backyard over the years. Our kids practically grew up together so from Pocahontas and Pokemon parties, to First Communion and graduation parties, we’ve covered them all. 

As night fell and the party went into its second hour, I stood beneath that tree and took in the whole scene before me.  I heard the laughter from the guests and saw their familiar faces, friends connected to us by both joy and tragedy.  I saw all the faces of the young adults, those kids we watched grow up, now just reaching adulthood, all so full of promise.  I stood there and felt the good solid weight of this life and all those years in this circle of friends, and I knew I was right where I belonged. 

Brian, that Certain Very Nice Man I date, asked me once if after I retire I would want to move some place new and different.  I immediately answered no.  “Sorry,” I said, feeling a bit stodgy and stick-in-the-mudish.  “But I really don’t see myself moving unless something pretty dramatic happens.” 


That night at the party, I suddenly saw my life as a Spirograph design.  Do you remember those sets of rings and geared disks?  You may have had one as a kid.  You pinned down the outer rings and then inserted a pen in one of the disks and made a design as you went around the ring.  By switching out circles, or switching holes, you could layer design upon design.

As I looked at the people at the party, and thought about all the history we share, I saw my life here as one beautiful pattern, one that would not have the depth nor the intricacy had I not made the choices I have made.  I am proud to provide "home base" for my kids.  I am happy knowing I'll still be here for many years.  I look forward to those parties at K's house someday in the future that, I'll just bet, include celebrating grandchildren.

I know the design of my life is not complete.  Oh no, not at all.  I have many more wheels to choose from, many more patterns to add.  

While there is adventure and romance in moving, there is also a beauty in staying put, in pinning your circle to a firm place, in choosing the colors of your design carefully, gracefully changing out the wheels when the time is right. 

I celebrate the opulent complexity of time spent in one place.


  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers!


Happy Monday!

Here are your flowers, you special people, you.







I've got jury duty today.  

I am taking a stack of grading to do and crossing my fingers that I get to sit and grade all day.  
Whooooo!  

Happy Birthday to Brian, that Certain Very Nice Man of Mine!

What are you all up to today?



Friday, November 15, 2013

The (In)activity On My Bed






I think we all have mental pictures of what our pets are doing during the day when we are at work. 

Me?  Well, I knew they slept some, but I also imagined the cats, Zelda and Mabel, stretching, walking around the house, cleaning themselves, staring out the window contemplating life, eventually conversing with one another about the benefits of a stretching pad vs. a fence for claw maintenance.  

I pictured Kia, my dog, playing with her toys, chewing her bones, and keeping vigil at the door for my triumphant return at the end of the day.

A few weeks ago, I had to stay home from work because of an elbow injury.  I wasn’t able to do much, so I went into the bedroom to relax in bed and I found all three of them there, clearly ready to start their weekday routine.   

This is what I found out about my pets during the day: 

They. 

Don’t. 

Move.




They were spread out, stretched out, and zonked out starting promptly at 8:00 a.m.  I had to physically move Zelda from the pillow to the other side of the bed and shove Mabel over so I could have a bit of space.  Kia had positioned herself sideways across the bed, so I had to work around her just to straighten out my legs.  When I finally got myself wedged in, I was amazed at their daytime devotion to complete and utter oblivion. 

They tolerated me, but just barely.  Any movement was regarded with irritation and undisguised aggravation from the cats.  I am a welcomed guest on the weekends and during the night time hours, but it was clear I was the interloper during working hours. 




At around 3:30, the time I normally get home, they managed to rouse themselves.  I was then put to work feeding them and taking Kia out for a walk, despite my very painful elbow injury. 

I actually love the fact that my pets have made my bed their campout zone.  As you may have guessed, I am crazy about each and every one of those critters.  The real trouble comes when it is time to change the sheets.  I assure them all that it will only take about five minutes and then they will be welcomed back.  It takes some convincing and some pulling on the sheets.  Sometimes the arm crane has to be employed, but they do get the message eventually.  



This picture was taken during one of our stand-offs.


Staying home gave me a new vision of what my pets do while I am away.  They zonk out.  They are devoutly dedicated to their rest.  The cats use their one or two hours of activity judiciously after I get home.  There are trips out to the food dish, and a bit of time spent on the patio taking in the afternoon sun.  Kia, my Rocket Girl, merely stores up energy that must be released when I get home, resulting in a trip to the dog park or a long walk.  

Ah yes, I guess I did have an incorrect vision of their daytime routine.  Staying home for two days showed me that.  I’ve readjusted my thinking. 

Good thing the vision I have for my sons is still a correct one.  They are both in college and so of course when I imagine them, they are sitting at their desks, studying all day and probably most evenings too.

Right?  



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Resilient Heart


After going through the pain of divorce, I was prepared to shut my heart away for awhile, to withdraw from the world of relationships that at that time seemed so murky and full of subterfuge.  

I had not seen divorce coming.  I felt pretty stupid.  Could I ever trust my judgment again?  

However, soon I found myself writing to and talking to a certain man who managed to open that closed door just enough to let me see that I could maybe, just maybe, risk it and take small steps in the direction of love again. 

I was lucky.  Brian was the friend of friends.  He and I had met over the years at parties where we had various conversations.  It was clear from the start that we both had a love of language.  We also had our own quirky ways of looking at life.  Our short conversations were always snappy, quick, and fun.  

He told me later that when he walked away from these encounters, his one thought was that my husband was the luckiest man on earth to have me as a mate. 

He is a decent man who understands the journey of healing is not a fast one.  He was patient with me and never pushed our relationship too quickly.  Divorce plays with your heart and your head.  It takes your self-esteem and throws it around like a Frisbee. He always gave me the room I needed to feel what I needed to feel.  He still does.

Best of all, he viewed me through a clear lens. 

So often in long-term, complicated relationships, one person sees the other through a lens scratched from the past, scarred by childhood, damaged from past injuries, so that even when one acts in an honest and true way, her motivations are questioned. 

I soon discovered that I had, in fact, lost touch with the person I wanted to be. I had started to view myself through the scratched lens of my spouse, and had started to believe that view. How refreshing it was to have all my actions unhampered by the past, by old hurts of which I had no part. I was free to be me—the real me.

And I had nothing to lose by being the real me. 

Divorce pretty much strips you down to nothing and you figure what the hell, I might as well be the person I want to be, the person I am supposed to be. I was tired of someone taking the play dough of my actions and pushing it through an extruder, contorting it into some shape that would justify a preconceived notion.  I knew if I stayed true to myself that would never happen again.

I read about a study done on people who regularly went to movies and ate popcorn.  Researchers gave them stale popcorn just before they went into the show.  After the movie, they asked the audience about the popcorn and the participants said it was fine, no different from the usual. 

They had become so accustomed to the same experience of eating popcorn at the movies, they did not even recognize when the popcorn was stale.

When Brian and I started dating, I started to taste fresh popcorn. Yowza!  Amazing! It had been a very long time since I had felt truly loved and appreciated just for being myself.  He reminded me that I was pretty, funny, and creative.  This is what I had been missing and I didn’t even know I had been missing it.  

I had been eating stale popcorn, accepting it, and thinking that was normal.

Perhaps it happens in all long-term relationships: appreciation is replaced by expectation; adventure is replaced by monotony.  (In fairness, I was serving up some major portions of stale popcorn as well.)  I know I won’t let it happen again.

My sister Kathleen once referred to me as someone who had a resilient heart.   At the time she said it, I didn’t see myself that way, but now I do. I am proud of the fact that I trusted the universe enough to try again and I recognize how extraordinarily fortunate I am to have found love again.

I realize what a wonderful life I have had, the great adventure I am living, and the incredible things that await.  I am so appreciative of it all.  I have a lot of happy memories of my marriage.  No matter how it ended, I know without a doubt that my husband loved me very much for the vast majority of those thirty years.  I have two incredible sons from that marriage who have blessed my life in so many ways.

And now, I have this new love, this new beginning.  

I have found a man who sees me for who I am and loves this big sparkling, mixed-up, sometimes confusing, happy Bundle of Betty. 

How lucky can a girl get?



Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers


 Happy Monday, Everyone!

Happy Veterans Day, USA!








How was your weekend?

Tell Betty all about it.


We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

         --Cynthia Ozick

Friday, November 8, 2013

Out and About With Betty


That man and I have a good time wherever we go.

This past weekend we went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.




I didn't take too many pictures, but I did play around with some reflections in a photography exhibit.



The museum is next to the La Brea Tar Pits.

We strolled over to see the sad sight of the concrete Mama Mastodon sinking into the pit, on her way to a painful, hideous death while the father and baby look on.








My Questions:
What wacky curator thought this nightmare-producing scenario was a good idea?

Is Disney somehow involved here? (Lots of dead mothers in Disney movies.)

Is it my imagination or does the father mastodon have an impassive look on his face?

Why isn't the father mastodon lifting a trunk to help?

Does the father mastodon have evening plans with the cute female mastodon across the pit?

Does he have disco dancing in mind for their first date?

Can a male mastodon dance properly with the baby mastodon waiting in the car (*insert your own trunk joke here) and with the hot tar of the pit in which his mate sank that afternoon upon his craggy toenails?

Am I perhaps overanalyzing this?

Did I perhaps quit therapy too soon?




Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'll Take Them All, Please


One thing I love about teaching on a college campus is coming across signs like this:




I was on my way to class, so I took Patience.  

It worked! 

Hope you have a happy day!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boo! Happy Halloween!


Kia and I will be handing out the goodies tonight!




I bought the good stuff this year, so I will be glad to get it out of the house.

I've been eating way too much of it!

Happy Halloween to you and yours!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers


Get Ready.  Get Set.  Go!  

Are you ready for the week?

Are you as enthusiastic about it as Kia is?


(OK, OK, she's waiting for me to throw the ball, not for the week to start.)



Here are some flowers just for you.  


Aren't you special?


I had such a great weekend with Brian. 

(Known up until now as a Certain Very Nice Man.)

We went horseback riding!


I am swamped with grading these days, but I miss my blogging and my blogging buddies, so I am going to make posting a priority again.

Hope you all have great weeks!


Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

--Stephen R. Covey

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers

Hello, Lovely People!

Life here has been busy, interesting, rich, and wonderful!

I hope to get around to your blogs more but I have about 90 paragraphs and 60 essays coming in this week.  

Yikes!

Hope you are all well and healthy!





Have great weeks!

Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.
--Theodore Roethke


A Special Happy Birthday to my Mama, who turns 91 today!!!



Thursday, October 3, 2013

That Little Voice




Whenever I start getting restless, grumpy, and overly picky about things, chances are I haven’t been getting my creative ya-ya’s out.  While I enjoy crafting and photography, nothing gets me back on track like writing.  I know this and yet sometimes I go far too long without doing it.  

The irony, of course, is that as a writing teacher I am surrounded by writing every day and I urge my students to create and explore their ideas. I make sure they have sufficient guidance and material about which to write. I look over draft after draft, deciphering the true intent of the piece and showing the writer how to prune, fertilize, and nurture his or her essay, all the while letting my own creativity go by the wayside as I carry out my duties.  

Don’t get me wrong; I love my job.  It’s the best one in the world, but in order to do it well, I have to remember to pull away on a regular basis and nurture my own talent too.

At this time in my life, it’s relatively easy to nudge myself back on track.  As soon as I recognize my own restlessness with life and dissatisfaction with small things, I impose a moratorium on grading and housework and give myself an hour or two to write and think things out on paper.  Though sometimes the process is painful and painstaking, I feel so much better afterwards and I know I am a better teacher/friend/person because of it.

When I was a young mother, I ached to write and create, but was so busy putting everyone else’s needs first.  I put my own need for creativity on the back burner time and time again.  As wives and mothers, we dedicate ourselves to others at the expense of our own needs and society pats us on our heads and tells us how absolutely full and fulfilling our lives are.  

However, we know that little voice inside of us cries out.  

We know, we know, there is more to us than just the roles we fill for others and yet we let the world drown that voice out time and time again.

Thank goodness my little voice didn’t die from all those years of neglect.  Believe me, it should be dead and gone. (There were times during those years when I was so torn, I wished it were gone, out of my life forever.)  Somehow, though, it survived.  It’s a stubborn little thing and even though it manifests itself in odd ways sometimes, it always welcomes me back graciously when I give it the attention it needs.

I think about my nieces and young friends who are in the midst of child-rearing, the hustle and bustle of jobs, and taking on the bulk of the responsibility of maintaining a household.  I want to tell them being creative, taking time for yourself, heeding that little voice within is neither self-centered nor selfish.  It’s crucial for you, your children, and your mate.  

Once you claim time for yourself and exercise your creativity in whatever way feeds your soul, you will be a better mother, a better wife, and a better person.  You will blossom when you spend on your ideas and creativity.  The small stuff goes away.  The meaningless irritations melt. By creating, and doing what YOU want to do, you take yourself to a higher plane and get some perspective.  You thrive and, thus, others around you do too. 

“Finding” this time does not work and neither will waiting for someone to grant it to you.   It is a rare spouse or child who will give you this time.  You must honor yourself enough to claim it for yourself.   Speak up and claim it. 

Ah, but won’t this cause conflict?  Oh yes, the three classic forms of conflict—person vs. person, person vs. environment, person vs. self—they are all involved here, aren’t they?  That will not change.  Those conflicts will always remain.   

Do the thing you need to do anyway.

Claim the time.  Claim the space.  You are worth it. 

God didn’t give you talent to watch it wither.  Nurture that deep need within you even if it means taking time away from what others deem more important.  You know what you need.  Listen to that voice.

For here is the harsh truth from Aunt Betty:  The years will pass. Your children will grow up and move into their own lives.  Sometimes, even spouses go away when we least expect it.  And there you are.  

There you are. 

You, and your voice.  

My wish for you is that you both be clear, bold, and strong.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Flowers!


Hi everybody!

Sorry I have been away from Blogland.

All is well. 

I've just been busy with school and life!








Hope you enjoy these flowers.

Have a wonderful week ahead!






Each day I learn more
Than I teach;
I learn that half knowledge of
Another's life
Leads to false judgement;
I learn that there is surprising kinship
In human nature;
I learn that it's a wise father who
Knows his own son;
I learn that what we expect we get;
I learn there's more good than evil in
This world;
That age is a question of spirit;
That youth is the best of life
No matter how numerous the years;
I learn how much there is to learn. 

-- by Virginia Church





Thursday, September 5, 2013

Juicing Madness





When Betty does things, she does them Big Time.  

Want to take a little evening stroll?  OK, let’s go five miles full tilt and then take just a little run up that hill.  

Got a yen to craft?  Decoupage, you say?  Well, OK!  I’ve got a gallon of Glitter Modge-Podge here. Let’s see what we can do with five hundred sheets of multi-colored tissue paper, the front door, and this collection of cat hair I keep right here in the cookie jar beside my bed.

Some tiny-minded people call Betty a crazed maniac. 

I prefer the term passionate enthusiast.

These tendencies to go into overdrive are built into my personality and always there, smoldering, ready to burst into flame given the right conditions and nothing sets them aflame like the lighter fluid of an audio visual aid.

Thus, after I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead about a man whose poor health habits and obesity were turned around by a regimen of juicing, naturally I had to go online, obsessively research juicers, buy a huge one and start juicing everything in sight.




(Did I have poor eating habits or was I obese, you ask?  Well, no….  Why did I need a big honking expensive juicer?  Why am I now spending all my spare time standing in the produce aisle grabbing up root vegetables and buying giant bags of organic carrots? Do you need to go back and read the first few paragraphs of this post?  Well, do you?)

I know, I know. Juicing takes away the valuable fiber of the vegetables, there is a lot of sugar in them there carrots and apples, the human body can’t absorb all those nutrients in a short amount of time. 

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.  Step back, non-believers!

In fact, Betty wrote this post while being high on her juicy, juice, juice concoction and there was very little interference from the buzzing in my ears or the narrowing of my optical field.

It’s so much fun to go to the market now and select fruits and vegetables based on how much juice they will produce and what color will come dripping out of the spout of the juicer.  Beets are my absolute favorite.  Yowza!  Purple!  Pretty!  (Clap!  Clap!)




Here are some of my other favorites:


Yellow Beets!!!  (Who knew?)


Rainbow Chard! 
(I SO want to have a baby girl now, just so I can name her Rainbow Chard!)

Here are the ingredients for my current Juice Madness specialty:
Carrots
Apples
Rainbow Chard
Spinach
Ginger Root
Purple Beets
Orange Beets
Celery

I like to juice just before I go to work, so on Sunday night I form a one-person factory-worker/mass-production/Henry Ford assembly line and bag up five Ziplocs full of veggies, so I can just grab and juice in the mornings. 




Yeah, Baby!

I have been experimenting with making crackers out of the pulp.

So far, not so good, but I'll keep you up-to-date!

Hope you all have a great day!