Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflection (w/Lennon udate)

re·flec·tion   (

1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.

2. an image; representation; counterpart.
3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
4. a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.

Here we are.
The last day of 2010.
365 consecutive days over.
A new batch busting at the seams to cut loose.
How was your year?
Did it treat you good?
Did you treat you good?
What did you learn?
What would you change?
What moments would you savor and live over and over?
What are your hopes and dreams for 2011?
Do you have a resolution?
... a word chosen?
This is a day to reflect.
To dream.
To choose.
To guide us into the new year.

May all your hopes and dreams
come true for you
this bright and beautiful new year.
May you learn, love and live life to the deepest and fullest.
May you be blessed
as you have blessed me
with friendship
and laughter.

Happy New Year to
Beautiful YOU!!!! 

Lennon Update: Brought him back to the vet this morning as he is almost four days with no food. They gave him a shot to stop the vomiting and injected fluids under his skin. Sent me home with more prescription cat food to keep trying and two shots that I am supposed to administer (gulp!). One this evening and one tomorrow morning. He is doing very well considering circumstances. Thank you for your continued prayers. Will keep you updated.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reverb - Gift

Reverb prompt:
Gift - This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?   I'm no good at picking favorites or the "most" something. Never have been. How can I pick one thing definitively over another? The kids try to play this game with me. "What's your favorite color?" The red of a rose, the white of the snow, the green of moss, the color of my children's eyes. One favorite? "What's your favorite food?" Depends on my mood. Depends if it's dinner, desert, who it's prepared by. And why pick one? There are so many moments in every day. So much good in the world. Why pick? I appreciate every gift I have received this year whether tangible and/or emotional. Every single one. I have had many a memorable moment and emotional high. I refuse to lessen any one over another. I am thankful for every breath I take, every friend I make. I refuse to play favorites.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lennon Update

Thanks much to all for your well wishes. Ends up mums are not liver or kidney toxic (in other words, they're not known to cause failure of either). Just really hard on the tummy and GI tract. He's had a lot of issues with his tummy since the beginning so I am praying that it heals properly. He has to be able to eat and drink or he will dehydrate, the organs will start to be affected, etc...
The vet had a shot to stop the vomiting. He finally kept down a tablespoon of special prescription soft food late this evening (first thing to stay down in well over 24 hrs.). He seems to be feeling better than this morning but is nowhere near acting like himself. The vet said it would take time and I need to watch for dehydration and lethargy. So far so good. Been keeping him warm and lots of cuddles. Last time he tossed his tummy there was no more blood. I'm hoping to wake up to a kitten again. He's acting like a 15 year old cat (like my other kitty fella).
Thank you all for your prayers, healing energy and well wishes. I just know it's been helping him. It sure has been helping me get through. I was so scared! Now I'm very hopeful. I really must share his life story some time soon.

Thank you, thank you, thank you again!!!!!

Reverb - Defining Moment

Defining Moment - Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.   This one sounds similar to a few previous reverb prompts. And how to pick just one moment or series when every moment affects. Perhaps I am just not in the mood to play along today. Instead I am going to ask for your prayers. My dear Lennon boy has eaten some chrysanthemum leaves and is very, very sick. Ends up they are very toxic to cats. The vet did not want to see him after hours last evening as he was still up and around and acting (mostly) like himself but he was throwing up bloody water. She said he probably has stomach irritation and that she would like to see him right away this morning. He curled up in a laundry basket of clean clothes in my room last night and I couldn't sleep. He just wasn't himself at all. He can't keep food down. He's not playing or running. His eyes say, "I don't feel good. Make it go away." His kitten playfulness gone. This morning I woke and went to the basket. He weakly lifted his head and gave me a little chirp. I started petting him and he purred. He won't get up. It's 2 1/2 hours until the vet opens. He finally got up. It's 1 1/2 hours until vet opens. He's acting a bit better but still unable to hold food down. They will draw blood. What else? I'm unsure. Please say a prayer for my Lennon boy. I said many as I fell asleep but it seems as if he needs more. Sincerest thanks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reverb - Achieve

Achieve - What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.   I want to achieve having a steady income that I produce from home doing something I am passionate about. It will make me feel more independent, more free of worries, more successful, more self-fulfilled. With all of the fore-mentioned, will come more happiness with self. I love the second part of this prompt. Makes me stop thinking and start acting NOW. Also allows me to see that rather than waiting for the outcome and achievement at a later date, I can create the feeling now which will help move my actions toward what I want to achieve. Why wait to achieve something to get the good feelings I want? Why not feel good while achieving?!!!
Actions and Thoughts
1. think about all I have achieved in life and how capable I am of achieving more
2. hug my kids, hug my kids, hug my kids!!!
3. go in my basement and create something
4. clear clutter
5. write in my journal
6. smile!
7. focus
8. meditate
9. read, read, read (books I have been waiting to absorb to learn skills I want to hone)
10. think positive

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ordinary Joy

Ordinary Joy - Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?   I have many joyful ordinary moments on a daily basis. Some of my favorite involve connecting with others. Just a few weeks back my kids and I were standing in the checkout at the grocery store. We were trying to figure out what the name of one of the characters was in Charlie Brown. The checkout girl joined in and we still couldn't agree on who everyone was and what the missing name was so we asked the bagger. It ended up a big exchange of figuring between my kids, myself, the checker and bagger. We still couldn't agree (when you have four kids you buy enough groceries to be at check out for a bit!). All of a sudden, the lady behind me in line sheepishly threw out the correct name. We were all soooo excited we were smiling and laughing and thanking her. She tried to avoid contact and smiled sheepishly as she turned sideways. The rest of us all seemed rather outgoing and not afraid of interaction while the lady with the proper answer seemed very timid and shy. BUT.... it must have been driving her nuts inside to listen to us when she had the answer all along. She finally burst and put the answer out there connecting with all of us. Shy or not, she connected and she was smiling. It was so much fun to talk to all of them. So much fun to pull that gentle soul out of hiding. I love meeting strangers in checkouts.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reverb - Soul Food

Reverb prompt:
Soul Food - What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?   So many foods to choose from! My birthday dinner, my special lunch date with fellow bloggers, the food my children and I grew in our garden or the dinner I lovingly prepared today out of fresh ingredients for our holiday gathering. All healthy, pure foods wonderfully prepared with special memories to accompany. I have consumed quite a bit of soul food this year nourishing body, mind and soul.

The kid's favorite produce to grow in the garden.
Mini melons.
They mature and ripen to a size small enough so they get their very own personal melons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb - Photo (a no go)

Reverb prompt:
Photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.   It's Christmas!!! As a gift to myself I am skipping today's prompt. Rarely are there photos take of me as I am always the one behind the camera and it sounds quite treacherous to me to search for photos today. Instead, I will take this opportunity to wish all of you the happiest of holiday seasons no matter how or what you celebrate! The new year is quickly approaching and I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your friendships, the memories, the connections made over the miles. I feel truly blessed to have shared in the lives of every one of you. Love and peace to all.

 Darling husband and I went to bed after midnight. Youngest son woke at 1a.m.!!!
He could not fall back asleep and came in waking us regularly
until he finally proceeded to get the whole house out to the tree.
All presents were opened by 6:30 a.m. Can you believe?!?!?!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reverb prompt:
Everything’s OK - What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?  I should probably go with the first moment that popped into my head. I am going to go back to my earlier post about our van trip to Colorado. When we arrived with a broken van that kept on breaking I felt miserable. Sad for the kids, mad at the van, guilty that my husband, cousin, uncle and son were spending days on end working on a vehicle, frustrated that our vacation fund was being spent on vehicle repairs. None of those negative feelings lasted more than a fleeting moment. Everyone came together and embraced the challenge. The kids were happy to visit with family and hang out at my aunt's house. The men bonded over the engine puzzling, telling stories and laughing. The women took care of the kids, the meals, the men, and the chatting. No one saw it as a burden. Everyone took it in stride. Just one of those things. We had down time after a long trip. With the money spent, we changed our itinerary from deep mountain travel with camping, shopping, tourism to a more relaxed itinerary of day trips to closer locations for free fishing, hiking, basking, site seeing. We had picnics, we told stories, we relaxed, we laughed. It was absolutely perfect! 
Knowing that when life hands this family lemons we have the ability come together wherever we are with whatever we have available and make vats of delicious, sweet, lemonade with a recipe full of laughter and love. That truly is the sweetest kind. 

How to incorporate it into the year ahead? Simple. The knowledge is there. Use it!

 top pic: bonding over blasted van
middle pic: fishing up Poudre Canyon
bottom pic: rock skipping contest in the Poudre

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reverb - Name

Reverb prompt:
New Name - Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?   Wow. Never thought I'd see this subject matter in reverb. Interesting. I have issues with my name. I don't like being called by it. Call it an identity crisis if you will. I was always told by my grandmother that my name was going to be Gertrude (which is a lie). Mom said she wanted to name me Mary after my aunt and grandma (three Marys? perhaps too much). So the story goes, my parents couldn't agree on a name so my dad finally settled it by saying flat out, "her name is gonna be Lynn". Not that it had meaning or was special or pretty, just to settle an argument. Then he walked. My brother used to torture me with my name repeating it over and over and over and over in condescending tone. He was a bully growing up. Add all that to the dysfunctional mayhem that was my life growing up and I tend to have some identity issues. I don't identify well with my younger self. I don't identify at all with my name. I hate it actually. My own husband knows not to call me by name and never does. A few friends do. Not often. Sometimes it grinds at me and I can't hear what the person is saying because once they say my name I get tripped up and can't stop feeling frustrated with the sound long enough to hear what follows. Sort of like having your name called out over the intercom at a store. Stops you in your tracks and makes you feel uncomfortable.
Darling Husband and I sometimes play the name game. We'll talk about changing our name to Rockefeller and dream of extravagance. Or we'll pick a name that sounds uber ridiculous and make up all sorts of crazy back stories to go with. I have thought long and hard about other names. If I could change my name, what would I want to change it to. Funny thing? I never found one to fit. I actually kinda like being somewhat nameless and anonymous. I think that's partially why I fell in love with the internet.
Names are strange to me. I'm not great at remembering them and don't often use them to address someone. Feels like a label to me. I'm getting more and more used to my name. I can introduce myself by name if necessary. I am practicing writing it in case I were ever to become a famous author or artist (however I found that I like writing my initials better than my name). If you meet me and ask what I like to be called, I'll tell you "whatever. you can call me Lynn, chickie poo, hey you, I'll answer to whatever". I'm casual like that.   ;)
What name do I love best? I love being called Mommy!!!!
To answer the question, I guess I better not use any other name than my own. I'm still on the path to accepting it. Why mess that up?

On a side note, if you ever run into me, how about calling me Friend? Yeah. I like the sound of that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reverb - Travel

Travel - How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?  This past year was a lousy travel year. We usually get one decent trip out of the year and a few smaller trips (local camping or water park). This past year we were only able to do one trip. It was our nearly annual trip to Colorado to visit relatives. The trip was a bomb!!!! Basically, we spent the first half of the trip doing this...
Our van slowly fell apart on the way out. When we reached our destination we did so with no air conditioning, no fans and a loud van. They fixed the first of the problems. We took it for a drive to see how she was sounding and the radiator blew. Spent the next day gathering parts and fixing the radiator, hoses & the likes to find out the U-joints were crap. Three days into our trip we still had a noisy vehicle, no money and tired guys. We decided to risk it and take a much deserved break in the mountains. 

No money left so we simply drove, hiked, fished. It rained and rained, boy 2 accidentally dropped a cactus in the lap of boy 3 and I had to find a pharmacy high up in the mountains to buy a tweezers to pull fine little prickers out of boy's butt and thighs. There were other minor hiccups to the trip as well but we were able to see the mountains, spend time with family and made it home in one piece. Oh. Except for the van. It's quite a miracle that we made it home. We were grinding so loud! Ends up the whole rear end of the van was out. We took it in to have it fixed. While it was in the parking lot waiting for the part, someone drove in and hit it. Like over $3000 damage hit it.

I also had a trip to Florida in the fall with darling husband. I had to cancel due to family crisis. Hubs went without me as it was for his work.

I do not have much travel under my belt and there are many places I would love to see. My dream location is Tuscany but I am aware it will be well after 2011. 

I would love to visit friends across the miles whom I've never met in person. I have dreamed of the west coast for seven years now. I want to see the ocean and I want my family with me. I would love to take a small RV and travel for a month (more if I could) stopping in little towns, taking in nature's splendor with hikes and swims, visiting farmers markets, flea markets, eating the local fare of wherever we plant our feet for the night. Before I start really dreaming and adding detail, I better get my butt to the store for some lottery tickets! Gotta run!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverb - Future Self

Reverb prompt:
Future Self - Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?   I'm going to answer this one very briefly simply because I work very hard at trying to live in the present moment. I've learned that you can't go back in time so why dwell. You can't control what is to come so why obsess. However, it is important to learn from your past and plan for your future so I will play along. Briefly.
To Future Self: Shift out of neutral and start moving now! There are great things waiting for you in the future so stop fearing and start living!!!!
To Past Self:  (said with a giant bear hug) I love you incredibly. You deserve good and it's coming your way. Trust that you are enough. You'll make it. You'll see. 

Totally off subject. I've been having problems taking photos for some time. The above shot was taken this past summer. Whether I use manual or auto, I think the shot is clear when I take it. Once it's on the computer, it looks out of focus. Is it my eyes? Is it my camera? Computer screen? It's not 100% of the time, but quite often.
What's the trouble with focus lately? Ha! That's funny. I just realized something after typing that out. 
I did some praying lately and asked for help.
Know what came to mind?
One word.
Hmmm.... Interesting....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reverb - Avoidance

Reverb prompt:
Beyond Avoidance - What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?   There were a lot of things I could have (don't like the word "should" here) done. Part of the reason for non-completion was ill use of time. Funny thing. We have already had this prompt only it was worded differently. Rather than wasting time (wink) I am going to guide you to the answer HERE
As to not shortchange you, I'm adding pictures of my husband's latest chainsaw carving for your visual pleasure! I'm also adding a picture of his fairy carving as I will be adding it to my Etsy shop very soon.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reverb - Healing

Reverb prompt:
Healing - What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?   As my faith grew, my healing grew. As I gain faith in my fellow human beings, so I gain faith in myself healing my heart. As I gain faith in myself, so I gain faith in my abilities and visions healing my mind. As I gain faith in my own heart, so I gain faith in my Higher Power, healing my soul. As I gain faith in my Higher Power, so I gain faith in life healing my ego. It is all connected like a chain. Every element connected to every other. The stronger each link, the stronger the chain. The chain grows in thickness as layers of faith and wisdom are laid on. As the chain grows, our strength grows. We need that strength to carry the weight of the chain. Are we ever really healed? Perhaps the healing is not complete until we have passed on. The weight of the lessons, the ego, the body thoughts, feelings and emotions are shed. The chain is dropped and we are left with weightlessness and peace. I am thankful for the strength I am gaining, the faith that is growing within me, and the healing process that is occurring. Some day I will be healed completely. For now, I am thankful for the strength to carry my chain. I hope to build it big and carry it far.

Unsure of whether what I was feeling at the time of writing this was coming across clearly, I read it to my husband. He had a hangup with the whole "chain" thing. He said chains are viewed as heavy, as burdens. That if I'm talking of growth and healing, it should make us lighter. I told him life is hard, lessons are hard, caring is hard. The people that go through life not caring, not growing, not loving gain chains as well but theirs are made with lead to represent heavy, dark burdens. Those who love, learn, care and grow have chains made of gold which are beautiful and valuable. Those with dead weight lead chains drag them around, weak and unhappy. Those with precious gold chains have gained the strength to carry them through life proud and strong.
I guess Darling Husband has a point, but I'm hoping what I wrote comes across the way I saw it in my mind's eye.

 (my birthday camping trip in Door County, WI - 2007)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reverb - Try

Reverb prompt:
Try - What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?   I tried to live out loud this year, but proceeded to only turn up the volume a few decibels. I tried to create more but allowed busyness to get in the way most of the time. I tried to harness my dreams but they just ran wilder with every throw of the lasso. I tried to become financially successful but the money tree never bloomed. I tried to keep positive about it all and for the most part succeeded. I tried to learn and grow on a daily basis and believe I did.  Next year I would like to try the same and more, but with a better success rate!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reverb - Lesson Learned

Reverb prompt:
Lesson Learned - What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?   I learned that I'm okay and I'm worth it. I will apply this lesson by trusting my instincts, purging my inner wisdom, spending alone time. I will delve deeper into self-expression and put myself out there raw and vulnerable trusting the powers that be to clothe me in acceptance and love. I will continue to accept myself for who I am and remind myself that I am enough.
There's something about age. It's as if our insides take the energy from our youthful vibrant shells and transform it into wisdom. Our outsides start to look worn and weathered while our insides start to illuminate brighter and brighter. Perhaps it was the tenth anniversary of my 29th birthday this year that has caused this ease of self. Whatever the cause, I accept the gift.

I spend a couple days a week watching a friend's toddler. She's an absolute doll! As I was watching her play yesterday, I thought "This is how I want to approach life." There she sat on the floor living in the present moment. She was observing, learning and striving to achieve. The task before her seemed simple. Put the right block in the right space. She did not grow frustrated. Her attempts were not perfect and the task was not completed yet she did not feel failure. She attempted, she learned, she enjoyed and she moved on. The best part? She sat in her little dress with legs spread wide, drool running down her face without a care in the world. Not an ounce of concern over what others might think. Now that's living!!!! It's amazing how much we can learn by observing children.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb - Friendship

Reverb prompt:
Friendship - How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?   My friendships close to home are steady and strong. I am blessed with good friends and love. They affect me positively every day. Having good friends is character building and heartwarming. The friendships made here in the good ol' blog-o-sphere have changed my perspective on the world. These friendships have taught me how much good is out there in the world. I have felt love and acceptance over the miles. I have had deep conversations and belly laughs. My world has expanded incredibly while simultaneously shrinking by bringing some amazing new friends into my heart. I have faith in the goodness of people again. There are beautiful, talented, loving, wise people out there. I'm so glad you are now also right here (puts hand over heart). You know who you are!!!! Thank you, Thank you, for entering my heart. It has grown many sizes bigger this year. Much love to you all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reverb - Imagine

Reverb prompt:
5 Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.  Ugh! I don't like this prompt at all! If reverb is about manifesting what's to come, I certainly don't want to sit here imagining myself losing my memory!!! And looking back at an entire year to grab the most important memories in five minutes? I refuse to put that kind of pressure on myself. An icky feeling prompt.
How about I take five minutes to gather up friends and family, put my arms around all of them and make a new memory. The memory of the love of those near and dear to me.  Then I can keep the rest of my year as well.   :)    Sorry. Broke the rules on this one!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reverb - Appreciate

Reverb prompt:
Appreciate - What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?   Looking back at all of the challenges and hard times of this past year, I would have to conclude that what I appreciate most is the strength of my marriage and therefore my family. We have had to deal with some major challenges, sometimes ugly and down to the nitty gritty but we always pulled through, together. Every challenge has posed a chance to learn, grow and come together which is what always happens in the end. Having a strong marriage sets a strong foundation for the family. I feel blessed to have a stable and loving environment to raise my children. My family is the most important facet of my life. On a daily basis I let my husband and children know how much they mean to me, how much I love them and how thankful I am to have such an amazing family. I am one lucky lady.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reverb - Action

Reverb prompt:
Action - When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?  Since I believe in the power of suggestion, if you think about something long enough and put enough energy toward it, it will come to fruition, I figured I would re-write my list of eleven. Rather than concentrate on how to rid my life of eleven negatives, I will flip the list. Find the opposite of the eleven and concentrate on bringing those words into my vocabulary. Positive affirmations. The eleven words I will be focusing on are...
Guilt - innocence
Pressure - ease, peace
Stress - relaxation
Mess - organization
Fear - courage
Doubt - faith
Pounds - health
Debt - abundance
Inaction - action
Perfectionism - acceptance
Worry - calmness

Speaking of action, that is now one of my words! My first action will be to keep this list where I can see it. A constant reminder to put these words to action in my life. 

Side Note:
This is the scene outside my patio door this morning.
Having trouble with blogger so I can't get it to show up bigger.
It is -25 below zero with the windchill.
They have canceled school.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb - Body Integration

Reverb prompt:
Body Integration - This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?   I was almost thinking this prompt does not relate to me. Being a victim of a condition causing chronic pain, there tends to be no cohesive to mind and body. My body and mind fight constantly as I deal with pain. Then it occurred to me. The Shower!!! I love taking showers. Sometimes when I get in the shower and crank it on HOT, with eyes closed, listening to the sound of the water cascading, feeling the heat penetrating my neck and shoulders, opening up my crown chakra, my body relaxes, the pain subsides, my mind sharpens. The words and thoughts flow. I feel whole. I feel relaxed. I feel free of worry, trouble and pain.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb - Things

Reverb prompt:
Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?     
1.Guilt - a useless emotion that was taught to me by my late grandmother (may her passing have cleansed her soul of a lifetime of Catholic guilt) I love you GW!
2. Pressure - a self-inflicting and useless reaction to the demands and expectations of others
3. Stress - yeah baby. this has been my mode of survival my whole life. it sucks and I abolish it from here on out!
4. Mess - clutter around me causes clutter in my head. four kids + husband = clutter (I need to work on this)
5. Fear - stems from my past - biggest thorn in my side - need to leave the fear where it was created (in the past)
6. Doubt - yup. my little sidekick. sorry dude. you've gotta go!
7. Pounds - shed the pounds, shed the self-criticism and frustration that goes with. in it's place will be confidence, accomplishment and self-belief that I'm worth the effort and deserve it.
8. Debt - holy crap. this is a doozy. Control gained here will help my marriage, my attitude toward money, and the security of my family
9. Inaction - I'm really good at plotting, planning, wishing, researching, thinking, talking. I need more doing. This goes hand in hand with #5, #3, #6, #7, #8, heck! It goes with all of them! Perhaps I should bump it up to #1
10. Perfectionism - Oy vay! Why do I expect so much of myself when I accept everyone else for who they are and logically know that none of us are perfect? The quirkiness and imperfection of others is what I find most endearing. It's what makes us who we are. It's what allows for growth. It's valuable beyond value. I have to accept imperfection for what it is. Perfect!
11. Worry - Yeah. Um.... this one is genetic. I will use nurture to fight nature. I will recognize this is an unhealthy part of my nature and nurture myself with the knowledge that it is damaging and to be done away with.

I will go about ridding myself of the nasty 11 by keeping this list close by and working at it one day at a time. Baby steps. I will be gentle with myself and chip away. Ridding my life of the nasty 11 will eliminate negative leaving room for positive.
 Wow. These are the things that came to my mind to get rid of. Pretty deep. Pretty bold. Pretty overachieving list. Now that I look at it, perhaps I could have chosen chocolate (oh hell no!) or maybe simple words like holey socks, dirty dishes and jeans that are too small. But that would have been letting myself off the hook. I am going to use this list for personal growth.
I think my word for 2010 (positivity) had an influence on this list. It seems as if I have focused on staying positive but overlooked getting rid of the negative at the same time! Would have been a lot easier to bring in positivity if I would have seen the usefulness of getting rid of the negative. Perhaps I should have had a game plan to go with my word! Or maybe I'm just a slow learner. It only took me a year to come to this realization!!!!

 the perfect storm 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb - Wisdom

Reverb prompt:
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?  Oy vay! That's a big question! I do believe the wisest decision I made this year was choosing the word "positivity" for my word of the year. I thought by focusing on positivity and all things positive, I would set into motion a tidal wave of positive energy, events and emotions that would swell over my life. Ends up my year threw a lot of challenges, heartache and disappointments at me. Positivity prevailed. Focusing on the positive allowed me to pause, recognize and appreciate the good. It simultaneously helped me to overcome the bad. To recover from negative emotions faster. To see the good where there was also bad. I have learned a lot this past year. Embracing the positive is a very wise decision.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.  ~Alphonse Karr

You must start with a positive attitude or you will surely end without one.  ~Carrie Latet

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Worship," The Conduct of Life, 1860

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.  ~Maori Proverb

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.  ~Art Linkletter

Why not learn to enjoy the little things - there are so many of them.  ~Author Unknown

(I love living surrounded by the creations of my children! Magical.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb - Party

Reverb prompt: 

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.  Hands down the social gathering that rocked my socks off this year was my birthday!!! I had a Pampered Chef party at my house a few weeks before my birthday and invited family, friends and neighbors. Unbeknown to me, some of the ladies (who didn't even know each other before the evening) got together and planned a surprise night out for my birthday! It was the first time anyone held a birthday celebration for me since I was a child (not including hubs, the kids and I hanging out and eating cake).
It was so much fun! Six ladies dining on the patio of a restaurant eating amazing local fare and drinking micro brew fresh from the tap. We chatted, ate, drank and then hiked up the road to the comedy club where we laughed and laughed and laughed!!! Oh how I love to laugh. It was a fun filled night and made me feel really special. I am so thankful for that evening.
Really wish I had pics but I was so busy livin' in the moment and enjoying the evening, I completely spaced it! Even with camera in hand! That's not such a bad thing though as I have the memories here (points at head) and feel them here (puts hand on heart).  :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb - Different

Reverb prompt:
December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.    Yikes!...and... Egad!  I'm having some kind of strange and negative reaction to this prompt. First I think... "I don't want to speak for others by saying what might light others about me" ...then "sheesh, if I say anything outloud, isn't that being somewhat of a braggard? What if someone judges me? Thinks what I chose was wrong? Thinks I'm a prude for writing something good about myself?"  ... then the real honesty hits. What I do differently? Not much. Those actions or traits that may seem different aren't all that different. I may feel alone in some of them, but there are always others.  I am a devoted at home mom and wife. So are lots of others. I have a strange sense of humor. There are others. I have red hair like a lot of others (although none I know personally).
Perhaps where I am most different is internally (which is probably not so different either, but due to the fact I cannot feel for others, I feel different). I am aware of others. I am an observer. I notice the old woman in the parking lot who struggles to load her car, I notice the child on the playground who is standing alone with his head down, I see the unbelievable beauty of the woman standing in front of me in the store checkout line.
When I see these things, my heart pulls and swells. I feel for them. I want to connect with them. I offer assistance and load the groceries. I walk over to the child and help him learn the skill of self-inclusion in playground games. I tell the woman how stunningly beautiful she is. Sometimes I hold back, unsure if I am being intrusive. Often times the pull is too much and as if to scratch an itch, I act upon my impulse to connect and touch the lives of others.
I find it hardest when there is negativity involved. Standing in line at the store listening to the complaints about the slowness of the clerk. Do I dare butt in and say "but a slow clerk allows us time to meet fellow shoppers" or offer a compliment on the discouraged woman's outfit to help shift her attitude. Usually, I avoid the negative as I am very affected by the energy of others. I have reached out with guidance, good words and help where I have been assaulted with negativity in return.
Perhaps I overstep. Perhaps I am cursed with a big mouth and no filter. But my heart is pure in these actions and I genuinely care, so I like to believe I am gifted with the ability to reach out to and truly care for others.
Again, not so different.
I guess the only thing different about me is the combination of all traits and characteristics that combine to make me unique and truly ME!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb - community

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?  How easy is this question? Why, I have discovered a wonderful sense of community right here on blogger! Wonderful, amazing, supportive, talented, loving, kind people. I am extremely thankful for that! In the new year, I would like to find a local art and/or environmental group to join. I was part of an environmental group for many years. I really miss the camaraderie. 

I took this picture years ago on a trip to Red Feathers, CO in the Rocky Mountains.
Something about walking through this tiny mountain community and seeing these hounds chillin' out in the back of a pickup truck made me smile.
I would join their pack!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joining Reverb

A number of blogs that I follow have joined Reverb
and they have me hooked.
It's 31 days of prompts to reflect on the year that has passed
and focus on what you wish for the year ahead.
I wasn't sure I wanted to join.
Time crunch being the main reason.
Especially since I am considerably behind!
After much consideration, I realized I need this.
For me!
Here's my attempt to catch up!

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?  The word I chose at the beginning of the year was positivity. Reflecting back I thought to myself, "There has been some positivity, but overall it was NOT a positive year." Then I thought further and realized that by working so hard at the beginning of the year to keep a positive outlook and attitude, it certainly served me through this challenging year. The word to describe this year is CHALLENGING. For next year, I thought about PEACE as it is one of the most important words to me. Something in me clicked and the word COMPASSION rose above peace. I thought that was rather fitting since you cannot have peace without compassion. For now, my word for the new year will be COMPASSION.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?  Too much of everything! I honestly was going to blame it on having four kids, a daycare child, lack of funds which causes me to do any odd anything to bring in some cash, but then I realized. I watch the news, I surf the web, I put others needs before my own, I procrastinate, I wallow, I fear, I ....   Yup. I guess I get in my own way. There is definitely room for improvement. Example? Reading my local paper online for news is not bad. Reading all the ridiculous, frustrating and negative comments people leave? Not productive. Quite the contrary.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).  The moment that first pops in my mind is the moment I was standing in the oncologist office with my (step)father and they used the words stage four and terminal. They also used descriptive words such as "prolong life", "keep you comfortable", "there will come a time". In the tiny room were two docs (his doc and the head doc), a long time family friend who is an RN at the hospital who was there for support and to interpret anything we might not understand, he and I. It was white and cold and sterile in the room. I was feeling so dehydrated and anxious before the doc came in I feared I would fall flat on my face. When the diagnosis came across the lips of the first doc, emotions washed through me so quickly they tangled and caught in my core leaving me numb. I instantly went into survival mode. "Stay strong, stay focused, stay present." My mind wandered and I removed myself from the situation. Stepping out of that hospital was like breathing fresh air for the first time. The ride home was surreal. I kept composed. I had to for him. There he was, sitting by my side. I felt alive, so very alive and I felt his aliveness and the fear of loss hung in the air, gripping what we have, what we don't want to lose.  This feeling of being alive was different than any other as it felt so fragile. The precious, fleeting life we are each given. It is hard not to feel fully alive when faced with loss of life. I felt painfully alive. That feeling of life was not so much filled with descriptive characteristics. At least not of the five senses. More a feeling from the heart and soul. A desperation to hang on to what we have in this life. I don't know if I'm describing this well at all. I don't care to relive it so I am writing quite surface. I have felt plenty alive in many good ways this year as well. This was just the moment that smacked me in the face. Hard.  

I am thankful every day that I am alive and I don't take life for granted. I am thankful for those I love and their life spent with me.

(p.s. none of the treatments were working throughout the year. they found him to be a match to a trial drug which he started taking. there is no cure, but the cancer has stopped growing. no moment taken for granted. every memory made a blessing. every day a reminder of just how precious life is.)

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?  Oh how terribly easy this is to answer! I simply watch my children. I watch how they interact with life. Full of curiosity, thirst for knowledge, how they innocently interact with the world. I feel their wonder and join them. (That makes me feel alive in a very, very good way!)

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?  Stuff. I let go of stuff this year. I have purged closets, the basement, files, boxes, bedrooms. Stuff overwhelms. I am not materialistic but I tend to be overly practical. "What if I decide to use that some day? What if that would be fun for the nephews to play with? That still has parts of good use. I could make money selling that." HOGWASH!!! Physical clutter causes me mental clutter and with six of us in the house, there's always clutter! I have been donating and throwing and recycling and purging and purging and purging. There will always be "stuff" but it will be manageable or it will be gone.  ;)

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?  The last thing I made (besides the omelet for my husband) was a crochet washcloth for my daughter. I have purchased a different color yarn for every family member so we would each have our own set of washcloths. Everyone picked their own yarn. I am teaching my two youngest how to crochet in the process. And yes!!!! I absolutely have to clear more time for my creativity. Part of the reason I don't create more is due to my harsh judgment of what I create. I don't create often because my inner critic can be quite the bitch! If she would just see that the more I create, the better I'll get, maybe she would back off and let me have some creative time so I can come up with some creations that are up to her par. Then again, she's about as critical as they come. Maybe I should just create whatever to spite her! Take that, inner critic bitch! tee hee! That felt good!
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