Liberate Your Art Swap 2016

I was so thankful to participate in the Liberate Your Art Swap again this year.

Why? This swap encourages me to make art and share.  I am involved in many swaps and do a lot of artsy activities through online classes and through Art More Place in town. At Art More Place, I learned that anything creative is art and it has helped me accept my work-no matter what. I have learned because of the swaps, to take pictures of my art.  While I am my worse critic, by stepping away from my piece for a while, and then taking a photo-the piece takes on a while new look.

After taking pictures of my art, I collect those photos and other photos(usually nature-and definitely art) I love in a folder and order postcards.  Now I have art to share!

It is wonderful to see other people’s art and connect to people around the world.  I often visit their blogs and/or write to them.

As luck would have it, I am staying at a home far from my own watching some pups and do not have the cards with me!

I had the husband send me pics of the four he could find.  I will add them here and more information about the senders later.

I love the painting of the girl and the city.  I can relate to them both.  I love the Oregon postcard-we were in Washington several years ago but never made it to Oregon.  Lastly, the bird is great.  I am greatly attracted to birds and fascinated with them. I always am amazed how the postcards I get seem to be picked just for me!

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I actually don’t remember all the cards I sent-but this is a favorite.  This was actually the size of a playing card and created for the Inspirational Card Swap. I loved this little one so much I took a picture to save it forever.

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As I have participated in swaps, I have encouraged others to as well.  Many have found joy participating.  Maybe you should give it a try?  I am glad to help and/or answer questions  I admit it may seem scary at first but once you jump in-it’s wonderful!

Do something creative for yourself today!

Visit the Blog Hop and meet others that participated in this swap.

This video is great too!

Florida Blog Con 2015

I was invited by my friend Mychele to the Florida Blog Conference. I knew little about the conference but I know going anywhere with Mychele is fun. I’m writing in my mind constantly but it’s sometimes a struggle to get it down on paper. I have a blog that Mychele helped me set up and I want to blog more and I know I have a lot to learn. First thing I was impressed with was the organizer Bess Auer. I had an issue with my ticket and I emailed her and she took care of it immediately with kindness and a sense of humor. Also the price was so reasonable I couldn’t see any reason not to go! The topics all sounded interesting-so it was a go.

Mychele suggested we go VIP-pay a little more but we get to go to the Blue Man Event the night before. What a great show-we had a great time. We talked to the woman next to us and asked her what she blogged about.  She admitted she did not blog much but she loved this conference because she met the most interesting people.  Mychele and I instantly felt like we were at home. Our only regret is that we were not able to meet up with the Facebook group. That’s something we’d like to do better at next time.

The next morning we checked in as VIPs we got a special bag with cool stuff in it-I had no idea that would happen. Then we also had preferred seating wherever we went. Full Sail was a wonderful venue for this event-no worries about losing power with plug ins easily available.  The innovative un keynote was a blast-plugging in to our phones and following prompts.

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We were spoiled at this conference.  Water was available whenever we needed it.  The Florida Milk Council provided yogurt parfaits in the morning.  Later there was chocolate milk and cookies as well as adorable cow flash drives. 

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Tijuana Flats served a fantastic lunch-complete with pink wraps for breast cancer. Our VIP status provided us a shortcut to the lunch line.

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I love how interactive the conference was-right from the beginning with the interactive un keynote.  With Adam Avitable, we did quick edits and sent them with a tweet. Each speaker had lots of valuable information to share: tips and tricks, apps, and lessons learned.  The vendors were great as they were new to me and were generous with pictures and freebies. I love my new Mieroglyph bracelet with a verse I needed to hear,  “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

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Izea was generous with freebies as was the Better Business Bureau.

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I learned so much at the conference I am still digesting the information, but a few things I know for sure.

I plan to attend next year-I have been to many conferences and I have never been treated as well for such a reasonable cost.

My biggest takeaways?

Consistency, authenticity, and professionalism matter.  Hashtags make a difference and podcasting is something I need to start now! There is so much more…

Thank you to Bess Auer for organizing such an informative event. I wondered at first if I even had a a right to go but quick felt accepted and truly spoiled for the day!

I purposely did not read other recaps so mine would not be influenced…now I need to go see what everyone else said!

Phone Blogging?

Today my artsy friend Kim  did a blog post from her phone. What a great idea!  I am out and about a lot so if I could blog from my phone this would save me some time! It may not be useful for all posts but certainly for some.  So of course I had to do a test run.

The first picture below is inspired by my friend Mychele and by Kim. Mychele inspired me by bringing Derwent  Intense Blocks when we recently went to a conference together and I got to try them.  I have many art supplies and I love them all but these were particularly exciting to me . I love them and was able to finish this piece using them. Kim inspired/encouraged me because I’ve been struggling with wanting to do an art journal but not knowing how to start. Do I paint every day and then add words later do I do words and then paint.  Kim let me know there are really no rules that I could do what works for me. And then she shared a couple things that she did and it really made me want to jump in.

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This is a picture of the dining room today.  My friend came over on Tuesday and we painted together . I plan to work here a little more before I clean up.

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This is the piece I worked on. I have already changed a few things and have a few more changes in mind.

 

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And this is my view right now.

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Husband called to see if I had eaten yet-nope.  

Had I had taken my shower yet (he was concerned about the water pressure), nope.

Now that I have tried out this blogging by phone-I should move on.

Thanks for being part of my learning adventure.

Your Turn: Did someone recently inspire you to do something new? Please share!

 

 

 

Just Do It-Vision Boards, Habits and Making a Plan..

The phrase “Just Do It” is famous.  It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done.  Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.

I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done.  I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do.  Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.

At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year.  I chose Deliberate.  I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources.  I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources.  If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.

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I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me.  I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else.  So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree.  Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.

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Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin.  Now it is with me all the time.   I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!

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Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements.  When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them.  I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food.  My husband is  amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick.  She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter.  Then they are there every time she walks by.  If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her.  This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.

Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done.  It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too.  Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months.  Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first.  This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person.  Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice.  I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie.  I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it.  I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!

Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking.  When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day.  My friends though he was mean.  I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself.  A month into retirement, I was still not walking.  Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time.  I told her I need a plan to get walking.  Her response, “I walk three miles a day.  Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings.  Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.

Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next.  I also think backwards.  If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc.  This really helped.  I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!

Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows.  I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever.  Also I use television as my down time.  I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch.  I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep.  One thing I love though is where my desk/television are.  My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television.  I have a direct view.  Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time.  I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time.  Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.

Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money.  I have to get dressed etc, to go there.  More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive.  I now stack my days.  I choose days to not leave the house.  On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer.  Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway.  This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble.  Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!.  This plan works and has given me more time!

Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you.  I already mentioned The Bullet Journal.  I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors.  I have preordered every book she has written.  I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again).  After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it.  Come to find out-it’s about habits.  I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having.  It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits.  As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit.  I think you will find this book a great resource.

I could go on and on.  I do want to note a recurring theme.  I did not develop all these plans on my own.  It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you.  If I tell you mine, you can probably help me.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

I will still struggle at times and get off course.  I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!

Your turn:

What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.


What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!

God Bless you all in your endeavors.  I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.

Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap

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In this new life I have created since I retired form education, I have gotten involved in many artsy adventures.  I take many classes at Art More Place here in town.  I also participate in Lifebook and The Documented Life Project.  I have done many art card swaps through Facebook.

One of my most recent adventures was participating in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap.  To participate you create postcards of your art and then swap with people around the world.  First I had to think-what is “my art”?  Well…the host of the swap assured us it could be a photograph we took or a photograph of something we created.  You could also create postcards by painting them.

I decided to use some photographs of favorite pieces I had created and use photographs I loved.  I figured while I was ordering postcards I’d order a few extra.

I created a pinterest board to make it easy to remember this swap.

This was very exciting for me-postcards, with my stuff on them!  I’d been saying lately how I would like to get back to sending real mail instead of all this internet stuff-now I could!

Choosing my postcards and mailing them to the organizer was exciting enough.  It gets more exciting when you start getting postcards from all over the world.  Then I had several people on the Liberate Your Art site do side swaps with me as well.  Not only did I get beautiful postcards, learn to liberate my art, but I got to share stamps with a young stamp collector-I got her one from the United Kingdom and one from Australia.

Sadly, it appears this swap is only once a year. This little adventure has changed how I see my art and has given me ideas!  I have beautiful shots of the beach and my grandson and other nature shots-now I can do something within them instead of them sitting on my computer. I am about to order more postcards of my work and maybe I will start my own swap or see if others would like to continue.  I must say of all the things I have done, this was one of the least intensive yet greatly rewarding.  Can’t wait to do it again! The painting at the beginning of this post is a new one I made at Art More Place and will be included in my next swap!

Thank you Kat for helping me liberate my art!

Your turn! Think of something you have created (could be a photo)-it could be a cake, something you grew, something you created.  Post a picture of it in comments (copy/paste should work).  Also, entertain the thought of making postcards of pictures/things you love!

What’s New & Good?

What’s New & Good?

I never heard this phrase until I was in my Health Coaching class last year (more about that later).  We would meet monthly and after Kat greeted us, each person had to share what is new and good.  I like this so much-I would like to practice greeting my friends this way. So often we talk a lot and do not listen.  If we care about our friends-then knowing what is new and good is important.  I think it also allows the person you are asking to look for the good things in their life! I have seen a lot of sad things this month.Thinking about what is new and good helps me to remember that despite sadness, there are still many blessings.

Ok so I am hoping you will play with me on this. I’ll go first…

What’s New? 

Dec 2014 I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition-

I am now a certified health coach! I completed The Science & Art of Herbalism through Rosemary Gladstar in 2003 and immediately started created herbal products to help family/friends.  Then I got involved in essential oils and I was able to replace prescriptions (for allergies & diabetes) with essential oils. Marty thought the nutrition course would round things out.  I have always been interested in natural health and this made perfect sense. My year at IIN (the course is done online) is one of the most exciting things I have done and it has greatly impacted how we eat. I now am integrating the knowledge from all three of these endeavors to live our best life and help others do the same!

In December 2013 I decided to leave education after 20 years.

I cried.  I loved my job, my students, and the people I worked with.  I felt guilty-like I was deserting them. My husband encouraged me to leave because I could not stop myself from working harder and harder and he was concerned.  We were also working with essential oils at this point and he kept teasing me-“wouldn’t it be less stressful to stay home and visit and help people?” I realized a month after leaving just how stressed I was.  I love what I do now-I love helping people find new choices.  Having been powerless in my life-it is wonderful to help others feel empowered.

I have a new great nephew!

My niece Jennifer gave birth on March 3rd.  Her and her husband have built a wonderful life for themselves and I am excited for this new chapter in their life!

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Hello my name is Debra and I hope I am improving…

My friend Mychele and I threw this phrase back and forth one day while we admitted our weaknesses. One of mine was: My name is Debra and I am addicted to signing up for art classes.  I think Mychele said “My name is Mychele and I am addicted to art supplies”.  Through all the fun tho I realize I like this phrase. We are new everyday.  So what else is new? New goals, new blog, new friends, new adventures, new ways of eating, new behaviors…too many to mention.  What I do know though is that are no new year resolutions.  I just want to move in the direction of improving…

What’s Good

I have rediscovered my creative self. 

Those that know me know I have been doing different artistic/crafty things for years.  I have a room (Zander calls it the Glitter room) filled with great supplies I was not using.  I am glad to say I have found my artsy self again.  I found a great place to encourage me at Art More Place.  We have needed  a place like this in this area for years.  Sherri does a great job at finding talented people willing to share their knowledge and bringing them to Art More Place so we can play!  I have done mosaics, acrylic on canvas, jewelry (with soldering), creative photography, sewing, mixed media, and more. I love that I can go there and go home with a project and never invest in the materials to do it again if I do not want to.  I know when I create I am happy and I am so glad to be back in the mindset of finding joy through art and creativity.

Our Grandson is Amazing!!!

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OK our kids are too.  They are all doing well and that is all a parent can ask for.  My daughter says I was a good mom but honestly I was younger then and it seems a blur.  Now I am much more grown up and having a grandchild and doing things with him is wonderful.  Zander has none of my blood in his bloodline but we are alike.  We are both a little crazy, we both love paint and glitter, we love the beach, cooking, growing things, and making things for people.  Zander is very artistic and creative.  He told me next time he comes he wants to sew. Zander was born prematurely and we are thankful that he is doing so great as you just never know.  He lives with his wonderful mom and grandma (I am Mimi) in Orlando and he is in first grade. Our adventures are just beginning.

My nephew is getting married!

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Weddings are always exciting and his future bride is beyond beautiful inside and out! I am so excited to make jewelry for this special occasion!

I am busy-but I have time-

I have always been sad when I was working and felt I needed to be somewhere else-with a sick friend/family member, helping someone in crisis.  Life goes so fast.  Mind you I am busy but there is some flexibility with this new life.  I have been able to visit my friend Mychele more often, help others with projects, and get involved a bit more.

I sleep…

Yes this is good.  For years I would go to bed  after midnight and then be up at 5:15 to go to work. I have seen statistics about not sleeping and they are VERY scary. Even if I went to bed, I could not sleep.  When I got involved with doTERRA, my husband came up with an essential oil blend that took care of that and I slept like a baby. I still have to GO to bed though.  Happy to say that now I am usually in bed by 11:00PM and the alarm goes off at 7:00 to meet my partners for a walk.

I didn’t cry today-I lost a loved one this month-a cousin near and dear to my heart. Someone I wish I could have seen and learned from every day but she lived in Pensacola. I have seen friends lose loved ones recently, and friends have lost pets near and dear to their heart. I am a crier but today is the first day I have not since the end of February. I will just be thankful for that.

So now it is your turn.  What’s new and good?

Never too old to learn?

If you had asked me yesterday how well I can navigate through technical computer issues I would have said, “pretty well”.  I have used many programs, platforms, have done blogging, pinterest, and many other things on the computer requiring a bit of skill.  I find myself challenged though as I start my new blog here.  I have been fussing with headers and backgrounds, pixels, and formatting.  It has humbled me and made me wonder if I am too old to learn.

I am persistent though and when I have something in mind, I usually drive myself crazy until I figure it out.  Thank God for friends like Mychele Boardman that are there to help and encourage me along the way.

Once I figure it all out I will surely wonder why I was confused in the first place.

 

Back to school-Keep it Healthy

Originally published on blogger in August 2014

It’s back to school for everyone next week in Florida.  Along with adjusting to new schedules-everyone is at risk sharing germs with people they come into contact with. Getting sick is a big concern for teachers. I always preferred teaching lessons myself if at all possible.  I never knew who I would get for a sub. Sub plans took hours to write even though I had a template and then subs would tell me-they did not like the book or lesson so did something different.

 
Students getting ill is also a concern for parents and teachers.  Being a parent is hard already.  If a parent works outside the home they’re in a constant struggle trying to figure out if the child is well enough to go to school or if they need to stay home from work with them. Sometimes helping getting a child well is not too difficult but then they often get sick again due to exposure.
 
My last two years in school I believe I was healthier than normal because of my doTERRA. Yes I take the supplements and use lemon in my water daily and follow other keeping healthy habits but when I think of germs and defense I think specifically of On Guard Products. I wanted to prevent getting sick rather than having to deal with it at what always seemed the worst timing. I used the hand soap to wash my hands, used On Guard oil in my diffuser at home every night, and took the On Guard Beadlets or On Guard + Softgels. I also had a small plug in diffuser in my office.  As people came in my area-they would say “It smells good in here”.  I felt empowered knowing I had products I could use to keep me healthy.
 
doTERRA parents use diluted OnGuard in a roller bottle and have children put the blend on their feet as they go off to school and go to bed.  Children like applying it themselves.  What a great defense against germs!
 
As a doTERRA member I get all of these products wholesale and I can also earn points to get free products. I do not sell oils, rather I like to help educate people about their empowering properties and help them get the products wholesale if they are interested. I would be glad to give you some samples and see how these products can help you!
 April 16, 2015
Your Turn: What doTERRA products are your favorite for supporting good health! Reply below and be specific because other people may want to try your solution! I will be looking for replies and giving out a freebie first week in May!
 
Below are links to information that you may find interesting:
 
 
 
Visit our website and learn more

Universal-His Way

Originally posted on blogger 6/12/12

Today I picked up Zander from daycare and we went to Universal.  I knew we could only stay a short while because we had to get back to town for dinner and Vacation Bible School.  As an adult, when I go to a theme park I am always thinking about how I can get the most done in the short amount of time that I have. When Marty and I go we do the same, we do the most popular rides first, then gravitate towards the others and try to cram in as much as we can.

Well that is the adult way or at least my way- but Zander, as a kid, has a lot more on his mind when going to Universal. He’s almost four now and has his own ideas about what is fun!

First-the escalators and people movers.  Zander loves them.  Getting on and off is very exciting.  Then when you’re on it he just loves standing in one spot and enjoying the ride. I suggested on the people mover that we walk to go faster but no-he liked putting his arms out to keep me in one place better.

Next great thing to escalators and people movers- stone walls and metal railings.  They are great fun. He climbs on them, walks along them, and studies where they are connected.  One line was about twenty minutes long and the other two about thirty but he did not complain about the lines-he was too busy exploring.

Zander also loves music.  Most places in Seuss Landing have very catchy music.  He is always swaying or bopping to it.  Sometimes I do not even hear the music until I see him in time with it-then I hear it.

Zander is also good about recognizing distance.  He loves to say, ‘look how high we are’ or ‘we are going to go way up there’.  He will say many times, ‘we are getting so close’ even though we have only moved a foot.

He also believes in taking breaks.  I learned this walking to the car when he told me, ‘Mimi-I need a break’. So we did- an ice cream break.  He also picked a couple spots for photo shots.  He stopped and said ‘take a picture of me’-of course I obliged.

When it was time to go, we had a long walk to the car.  So we took turns.  I carried him a bit, and then he walked.  We were both exhausted and happy to see that people mover again.  This time I did not even suggest we walk- I just enjoyed the ride. We got to the car, got some fresh water and within five minutes, he was asleep. I had told Zander on the way to the car that I thought he and I should sleep on the way back home and let Thomas (stuffed cat in the car) drive.  He said no-he wanted me to.  Oh well.

I learned a lot letting him control the day a bit.  I thought cramming a lot in was the way to give him the best time-he had other ideas and his way was a lot more relaxing.

                   

 

April 16, 2015

Your Turn: What are your favorite activities with your children/grandchildren?

Why write?

Originally published on blogger 6/9/12

I was reading a new book on my kindle today.   One of my favorite bloggers did a compilation of her blogs.  Her book, Willa’s Journal: A Box of Stars is delightful because it is really makes you think about everyday ordinary things. In one of her posts, she says she writes-because she can-realizing that other people may or may not be interested in what she has to say. I always was.

This made me wonder why I write. Actually, there are so many reasons I may not get them all down.

I started keeping a journal before I was a teenager and still keep one today.  I am constantly jotting or recording stories I want to get done.  I have several tiny notebooks with notes, scraps of sentences, and many journals. My writings are mostly about my life and other amazing things.  I am a thinker and spend a lot of time thinking in my head about why things happened a certain way and how I could do it differently.  I also am amazed at the not so accidental timing and connections of things that happen in my life.  I learn from everything-good or bad and I am amazed at how intricate people and life are and how it all works together.  There’s a lot going on in my head….who knew? I think these words are what keep me up at night.

I write to…

Dump: Life is hard and painful and most of the time people don’t have time for your hurts because they are nursing their own.  I can dump every ugly piece and get it off my mind. I will not be judged or have to worry about my secret getting out.  Many times I have written things on paper that are-well; they are just too painful to say.  I will never be able to say them but at least I can write them.  I am entitled to my feelings and they need a voice.

Tell Someone Off: I have never done this in real life, only on paper.  It is not in my nature but some people need it! I do not like conflict but again, I am entitled to my feelings. Let’s face it-most of the time when you tell someone something they are not likely to listen.  It is not worth stirring things up.  Megan and I have been talking about things like this a lot lately.  It is hard to find a balance between having respect for yourself and just walking away from it.

Try and understand: Often by mulling over something that has happened and how I feel about it puts everything in place. I get a clearer sense of it. In the midst of events we often can only see what is right in front of us.

To Remember: There are so many stories from my life I do not want to forget.  There are people I don’t want to forget. I can see how people have been placed in my life at a specific time for a specific reason.  I consider many things that have happened in my life to be near miracles-there is no reason why it should have miraculously worked out as it did. I do not want to forget the wonder of it all. I tell my students-you and your life are important. Write it down.

To be amazed and thankful: Have you ever listed the things you yearn for the most? Have you ever written your prayers?  I have.  Then years later I am looking at old writings and I amazed at the prayers that have been answered and the absolute perfect timing.  Looking back it becomes so clear as to why things had to play out the way they did-pain and all.

To remember to pray: I care about people and so many people are hurting.  I am also very busy.  I like to write the names of people that have asked for prayer.  I keep it on my desk near my computer.  Usually in email or on Facebook people will ask for help.  I say I will pray and I need to write it so I will.  This also allows me to check back and see how people are doing.

To Heal: I tell anyone that will listen-writing saved my life more than once.  It helped me process things that I had stuffed.  It helped me dig out of things I was buried under and as much of a cliché as it is-I found myself and pulled myself out-one page at a time. Consider this-some of the most famous songs and poems were written when dealing with pain.

Last but not least, I write because practice makes perfect. Well, not really. For me writing is an extension of me and my mind as well as my emotions. As none of those are perfect, my writing is not either.  However, when I write consistently, my voice is truer.  I become braver and less critical. My vocabulary improves, becomes more embellished, and flows easily.

I wrote a book (the one that saved my life) and it is not yet published.  My dear friend/editor Robin asked me how I would feel if I did all the work of compiling it and then it never got published.  I told her I was ok with that because this was a huge part of my life and I liked having it put together.  Maybe one day I can share it with my daughter.

 

April 16, 2014

Your turn: Do you write? Why? Why not? What do you write in? When do you write and what do you write in?