You Tube Tuesday

You Tube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.  Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be.  Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘You Tube Tuesday‘ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your You Tube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

EAT RIGHT CHALLENGE

I took the test and I’m taking the challenge.  How many of us could improve our health, well-being, and overall quality of life by eating better and taking care of ourselves So many of us are so concerned about our children, work, life, and trying to juggle a gazillion things that we neglect ourselves and our health!  Some of us have health challenges we have to manage and many of us don’t have any health issues (yet).  We can all learn something about getting on the right eating/nutrition track.  I encourage you to visit: EATRIGHTAMERICACHALLENGE.COM and enter this access code:  CERAFLBCA.  DO IT!!!!  If you’ve taken the challenge, post in the comment section below.  Americans are renowned for a lot of things and good health is not one of them! 

Check out What the World Eats from Time

Waiting. . .

Have you ever been worried about someone you love? Concerned for a legitimate reason? Yeah, most of us have been. Most of us know that once we get “news,” there’s waiting involved. . .and more waiting. . .and more waiting (some of us, at one point or other in our lives, have experienced “news” regarding ourselves).

It’s not fun–none of it is. So those of us who are not great at waiting get to practice patience when we’d rather be doing something else. . .like living without life’s shadow visibly lurking.

Those of you who are waiting, too, I’m here with you in spirit–connected by that reality of a global humanity. We will exercise our patience muscles and, in the meantime, pray.  We’ll try to appreciate each day for what it is. . .a gift (especially when we are surrounded by people we love and who love us).

If you are one of those individuals who blunders through life without much introspection or delving, it’s never too late to start (actually, if you wait too long, it may become too late). So while there’s still time, feel. . .think. . . go deep. . .ponder life. Appreciate what and who is good in your life. . .and be grateful.

Wet on Wet

 

past future present
jumbled sketches
like watercolors
blurred by rain
pelting the paper

life’s brushstrokes of
blue red yellow blended
muddied translucent
then dots of pure
pigment spotted

muted highlights that
create textured
perspective and scale
not without value
and positive space

 © Pamela Rossow

Monday Memories

Since my friend, Mary, over at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, started Monday Memory (which takes place the last Monday of the month), I thought it was the perfect day to reminisce (of course, it’s not the last Monday of the month but, hey, you should know me by now)

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my brother, mom, and dad, inhaling the Intercoastal with its pungent, sulphur smell that smacked my sinuses, stalking the brown water, dockside, hoping to see a silver eel streak by.

Memories that also involve the Atlantic Ocean which was just a short walk across A1A from their condo, the mysterious body of water that housed millions of varieties of life.  Whose beaches I lay upon under moonlight, motionless, transfixed, watching as the dark, shadowy sea turtles came ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. The buoyant salty waves that lapped at my soul. Tides which pulled life’s negativity, ugliness, harshness out to sea till they became little specks on the horizon.  

Just some of the magical powers of memory–like a small town revival with its hallelujahs and deception entangled under one tent.   Fortunately for me (and something most kids take for granted), I only experienced the Messiahs during childhood–the joys and carefree days which blurred into years that formed me like wet sand in the hands of a master sculptor. 

My being, my core, my inner child is grainy, sun streaked, and dampened by salt spray. My remembrances which I keep dusted and lovingly displayed in my heart are happy and messy. They leave sandy footprints behind as they traipse through the years to find me where I am now. They slip into my dreams and cover me in beach sunflowers. They resurrect my beloved Nonnie and Pop-Pop whose wrinkled hands stroke my sun bleached hair, whose dark, Italian eyes speak love, whose lips utter “mange” and “I love you.”

My memories are my buried treasure, coin upon golden coin, hidden from the surface, yet, shallow enough to dive for whenever life becomes overwhelming or hateful or unforgiving. They are my secret to survival. They are. . .and I am.

 

 

 

Magic Wands, Fairy Godmothers and the NAVY?

While on Facebook the other day, I stumbled across a friend’s Mother’s Day status. Kim is a hard-working, married grad student who is “temporarily” functioning as a single mom. I use the word “temporarily” because her husband, Steve, is serving in our Navy overseas in KuwaitHe is sweating in the sandbox, trying to stay out of sandstorms (sometimes driving through them), risking his life and missing his wife and child.  She is working as a grad assistant, studying for her own classes, is mom to their adorable little boy and misses her husband. Since she is “sharing” her hubby on behalf of our country, she is winging it solo until his return. What does this have to do with Mother’s Day (stop the impatience)? Come on, you should know me by now! I’m getting there!                                                                                                                         

Anyway, she and her son headed to Disney on Mother’s Day. Kim just finished up a semester and needed some time to unwind. What better place to relax than DISNEY? After a fun day in the Magic Kingdom, they headed back to the resort.  Once inside, Kim discovered some Disney magic right in her hotel room. Awaiting her was a Disney tote bag embroidered “Mommy” overflowing with goodies and snacks she and her son like. Nearby was The Box. The Box was nestled atop a magic wand (yes, it looked like the Fairy Godmother’s) and inside was a beautiful bracelet adorned with a heart. Romantic enough? Nope. Along with the tote, treats, bracelet and sparkling wand was a note. Not just any note. It was written in golden calligraphy and looked like a wedding invitation. It was a “A Magical Wish.” Part of it read:

Disney is known for fairy tales/ and making dreams come true/ For the Fairy Godmother in my life/ is someone I love. . .that’s you!/ You’ve inspired me to dream/You’ve encouraged me to grow/Your time spent with me means far more than you know.                                                                                                                    

Jealous? You shouldn’t be (kidding). Here is a deserving woman whose husband loves her so much that he planned and executed a surprise from another country in the middle of sandy somewhere! They’ve been married for long enough (six years) and were friends for long enough before marriage (sixteen years). Long enough for the “I love you’s” to wane, long enough to get so caught up in the daily grind that he could forget to appreciate her. But he doesn’t. It’s not magic. There’s no wand to wave to make relationships easy (especially being apart for lengthy time periods). There’s no Fairy Godmother to bring Steve home when she needs someone to hold her or he has had enough of 100 degree temperatures and needs some loving. They just make it work (and make it work well).  

So kudos, Kim and Steve. May you celebrate many, many more happy years together and may your son enjoy the stability of growing up in a loving home. Here’s to great marriages, friendships, inspiration and hope!

P.S. Steve, thank-you for your service!

Represent!

Words.  We know them and use them.  While some of us might have a better grasp on manipulating them, nearly all of us select language bites to express emotions or beliefs.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of words is:

1a : something that is said b plural (1) : talk, discourse

2a (1) : a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use 

Language and words are symbols.  They point to things beyond themselves.  They represent something (whatever it is we are attempting to convey).  Again, the Merriam Webster dictionary states that to represent means:

1.to bring clearly before the mind : present <a book which represents the character of early America>

2: to serve as a sign or symbol of <the flag represents our country> 

We, as humans, have the power to pick the words we want to utilize (we are kind of like super heroes with special powers).  In the selection process, the words we choose either authenticate feelings and ideologies or mask them (in the latter, subverting those neutral words into falsehoods). 

Today, how are we going to use words to represent what is real, true, authentic, right?  How are we going to use our language powers for good and not evil?  Most of us are aware of the damage and aftershocks that poorly chosen words affect.  Again, I ask, how are we going to authenticate ourselves and build up others by using the gift of language to communicate empathy, kindness, and love towards others?  What are we going to do to slam the door in the face of those words that harm others?  That 3, 2, 1. . .detonate leaving behind a wake of destruction?  We can do it (if our brains are functioning properly and we exhibit a fundamental capacity for language).  The question is, will we represent?

 

 

Lies (White, Gray, Black, Purple)

Okay, you all decide.  After visiting Charlie over at his blog and reading his post entitled Liar Liar Pants On Fire, I have a proposition for you (no, not that).  I will have a poll attached to this post.   Please take the extra 15 seconds to vote.  Thank-you.  Charlie’s post talked about lies.  .  .the white lies people tell when planning a surprise party, more lies when turning someone down who’s asked you out, etc.  The basic gist (if I am interpreting it correctly) is that everyone lies and this lying is sort of inevitable.  Of course, at the end of his post, he encourages us to think twice about the lying we sometimes engage in and to address the lies some of us tell ourselves because they can be damaging. 

I started thinking (yeah, watch out) that myself (along with my BFF’s) have little or no patience for lying (unless of course someone is throwing us a surprise party ;-)  ).  When it comes to relationships (romantic, platonic, whatever), I just don’t have the patience for lies whether little or big.  I’d rather skip the B.S. and get down to the nitty gritty.  If you like my eyes, say it and mean it.  If you don’t, there’s no need to lie and say you do.  Compliment me on something you are sincere about.  If there’s no chemistry, I’m going to tell you.  I won’t be cruel about it but I’m not going to lie.  If I get asked out by a sixty-plus year old man (yes, it’s happened), I’m not going to reply, “I already have a boyfriend” or “I’m busy” etc. I’m going to respond with, “I’m not interested” and mean it! 

I am realizing more and more that my dislike for lies and what I interpret as game playing stuffs me into a wee little container along with the few others who feel the same way.  But, hey!  I’m not in my teens anymore, I was married for nearly twelve years, and if I’m going to be in a relationship I want nothing less than complete honesty!  Am I being too honest in this post?  Maybe so, but you do know this is my blog :-).    If my beliefs cause me to check the “single” box for the rest of my life, so be it.  I will never settle for a man who lies (whether in the white, gray, black, purple areas) again.  I still think that a person (not gender specific) who lies to themselves and others about small issues exhibits a predisposition to lie about the big stuff, the important stuff (lying to oneself can be pretty bad).  Okay *stepping down off of soap box* I’m done.  But what do YOU think about lying?  Good sometimes?  Bad all the time?  Don’t really care?  Remember, the poll!