Monday, October 7, 2013

Having a bit of a ramble

Dear Blog,

Sigh, I know I have been in abstentia.  Life just does not allow me to control it.  I only pretend to exist behind the curtain and push the buttons.  I thought about breaking up with you permanently.  Some small part of me said, oh no it is not time to let you go.  How you tolerate the neglect I certainly don't understand. 

I have been experiencing overwhelm not in a bad way necessarily...suffering from a bit of post vacation blues.  I miss the ocean.  Specifically, I miss the Pacific Ocean!  The hubster and I took a road trip.  It was EPIC!  We traveled across our beautiful country, enjoyed about ninety percent of the Pacific coast and knocked out some important destinations such as Mt. Rainier.  Some of you are probably thinking here she goes again...I don't want to think of myself as being the person that holds you captive looking at 999 slides and talks about nothing but the EPIC trip.  It was so very meaningful on so many levels.  I am often asked what was the most beautiful or my favorite.  It was all good, really.  There may be a place or two we would not put on the next list.  There may have been a time or two where someone may have threatened to jump ship or car as the case may be and fly home.  And someone may have been overwhelmed by being in a car with an extrovert for that long.  We saw and did everything from the sacred, sublime to the ridiculous.  Many times, I absolutely knew I was standing on Hallowed Ground.  I had the image or thought of everyone and everything that led me to this beautiful country and becoming a citizen at the tender age of six.  I was meant to be here in this day and at this time I have no doubt.  I had glimpses of Heaven.  I imagine my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean was much the same as my first glimpse of a new country as a child open to all possibilities.  I am training my brain to continue to believe in unlimited possibilities. 

How in the world did it get to be October so soon?   I haven't been to the coast of anywhere since August.  I am needing a fix!  The granddarlings and I spent a few days alone at the beach before everyone else arrived.  I realized again just how much energy is required to keep up with a seven year old and an eight year old.  They are precious, sweet and loving and curious and busy!  I was happy to see the reinforcements.  My dear blog, I will have to tell you all about our pirate adventure and Wild Peg another would excite you to no end.  Arrrrrggggggghhhh. 

Let's see what else...oh yeah, yeah...we went on our first ever Porsche Club Road was awesome...imagine 40 sportscars tearing through the mountains.  I wasn't as terrified due to previous experience on the coastal highway at Big Sur and northwards.  It was a lovely trip with a beautiful destination and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Where were we...oh yeah, my absence...this weekend I spent time creating, connecting and sharing.  When you are with a group of women that allow you and each other to be your most authentic true self/selves...magical things happen!  There is a definite shift in your perspective (the theme was perception and connection)  So I still have a ton of warts and bumps...I am pretty self aware of where I fall short (I know it's hard for your to believe however it is true)  We have the same experiences until we look at them a new way and learn the lesson once and for all.  I think it was Einstein and I am paraphrasing (or screwing it up entirely) who said " Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results."  I did have many AHA moments.  The true test is putting what you learn into action...because although your perspective may alter or change...quite frequently a conflict arises when someone has a different perspective or the situation you spent time away from is rearing its ugly head upon return even if you are basking in the afterglow of amazing growth for yourself.  And then there is always the new $#!+ that rears its head.  Fun times.

I have truly missed talking to you and I hope you will forgive me and allow me time and space to come back more often.  Speaking of time and space...I do believe I have my word for 2014...I'll get back with you on that one.  I will probably put that special thought into action since I am such an awfully slow learner.  My word Mindfulness has bitten me on the arse more than once this year.  Silly girl thought it would be any easy one.  Hahhahahahahaha...there is no easy button.

Savoring the moments, living amidst the chaos and trying to keep my sense of humor! Lovingly, Connie
PS Please go hug someone, a part of making things beautiful...thank you and ttyl!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All Cry No Work

All Cry No Work comes from an Asian lady that used to own a restaurant we frequented often.  She ran that business with an iron fist, a loud voice and  mostly family.  She would literally scream orders to the got to the point that we began only getting take out.  One evening as I was waiting for boneless chicken or some such treat, a young lady came in just boo hooing...sobbing.  She apparently worked there and explained why she was crying.  It seems her brand new car was hit in a parking lot with nary a sign of the person that did the damage.   Did I mention it was her first BRAND NEW car?  Anyways, a few moments later after she had gone somewhere else in the establishment...the little  lady starts looking around and yellling to anyone within earshot...ALL CRY NO WORK!  When ever life slings lemons at me I try my level best to flip it to a positive.  My husband and I felt sorry for the young girl, however when either one of us would complain or fuss too of us would look at the other and say ALL CRY NO WORK!  It takes on a different meaning than what the little lady orignally meant...her employee was crying instead of working...for us though, we laugh about it and think yeah all that fussing and complaining is not working. 

I have been in abstentia, simply because life has been has thrown its usual twists and turns however I found myself ALL CRY NO WORK...I just didn't feel like writing about anything that I couldn't spin positive.  I miss my blog and I miss the camraderie of my fellow bloggers...I have lots of catching up to do!  Over at The Fifty Factor, my friend posted this interesting and fun getting to know you ABC thingy and I have decided to give it a go. 

Age :  Just had a month long celebration turning 54 requires

Bed Size:  Queen

Chore You Hate:  Mopping floors however I love sparkling floors what are you going to do?

Dogs :  Have always had one or more.  Currently have a rescue Chow/Lab mix with a quirky personality. His name is Duncan

Essential Start To My Day:  Prayer, meditation, a moment or two of watching and listening to the birds at the feeders

Favorite Color:  The entire BLUE family...anything sky or sea colored works for me

Gold or Silver:  Mostly silver...I do like it all

House or Apartment :  House

Instruments Played : Does the stereo count or a kazoo or wax paper over a comb...not the musical one in the family

Job Title:  Goddess of My Universe?  I do every office thing you can possibly think of for our family's business

Kids :  We have lots of children, their spouses and grandchildren

Live :  in a semi rural area near Columbia, South Carolina...although a Villa in Italy would be appreciated

Married :  Yes, 16 years of an interesting and wild ride...gosh I love that man! 

Never Again :  Can I get back to you on that one?  Road trips/vacations with unreasonable people...yes I do have to pee again!

Other Fun Fact :  I love to dance. I  particularly enjoy the tribal aspect sometimes included in NIA

Pet Peeve:  shouldn't that be plural?  I despise overly large trucks or SUVs trying their best to bully past me.

Quote   "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"  Mother Teresa

Righty or Lefty :  Right handed or is this a sneaky political question :)

Siblings:  Two younger brothers, one is deceased and tons of Sisters whom have nothing to do with birth or blood!

Time You Wake Up:  As late as I can get away really depends usually 6:30 ish

University Attended :  Midlands Technical College, also attended the University of Mrs., MOM and Hard Knocks and Montessori Institute of America

Veggies You Dislike:   Overcooked ones..yuck!  I can't think of one I don't like now that I know how to cook them.

What Makes You Run Late :  My memory and having to go to the bathroom after I am in the car and then leaving my keys in the bathroom and having to come back inside to retrieve them.

X-Rays: in airport security or just in general...afraid to see what might be in there!

Yum Food : Chocolate, french fries, macaroni and cheese (shouldn't this be plural as well?)

Zoo Animal Favorite:  I seem to have difficulty having one favorite of anything...Giraffes...I love to watch them move and sit down, rather elegant for such an unusual body type

So I am leaving ALL CRY NO WORK here and getting on with the business of enjoying those moments we are given!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Word of the Year Challenge

Six years ago I attended a couple of retreats led by Christine Kane.  I learned a LOT about myself and the power of words and thoughts.  Energy goes where Attention flows!  Christine mentioned the word of the year idea and I absolutely loved it.  I managed to get quite a few friends on board...we have been doing it instead of a resolution for several years now.  Quite simply you choose one word for the direction you wish to go in the New Year.  I have learned that the word you choose may bring up some old stuff that needs resolving!  So give very careful thought to what you choose!  In 2012, my word chose was exploration.  Exploration encompassed many, inner travel and being brave.

I struggled with a word for this thinking has been so scattered and I procrastinate on everything.  However, all the words that I was choosing all came back to one word....Mindfulness.
Mindfulness covers a multitude of areas...I have a BEAUTIFUL life and I want to SAVOR it!  I get caught up in the busies, the go, go, go of errands and responsibilities...much of that won't go away, however I get to choose the quality of what I am doing and I can slow down...smell the roses. 

My friends and I, we begin to question each other about our words slightly before Christmas...just to get the idea rolling.  My dear friend, Jayne wrote a great blog post last year about the word of the year and she re-posted it with a bit of an add on...I have also linked to Christine Kane, who was the source of the inspiration for me.  Christine has helped change the world and many people's lives for the better...finding their own best can click on the highlighted names and that will direct you to these very interesting, wonderful people!  Thanks Christine for the impact on my life!

So my challenge to you is this...toss those resolutions...choose one word...embrace it...let it unfold in your will NEVER make and break a New Year's Resolution again!  Let me know which word you choose (no pressure there)  Wishing each of you a New Year filled with joy, prosperity, love and all the wonderful blessings we all stand to receive if we are willing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kindness begins with Me!

Someone recently asked me, "What is your purpose in life"  There are so many ways you can answer this question.  Some days, my first thought would be, I dunno?  I have many roles in my life so the purpose varies depending on the role.
I recently taught a lesson on kindness.  I mentioned that I was waging a war on ingratitude and the lack of kind in the world.  I may fumble on the skirmishes or the small battles however for the most part I am victorious.  So many take the month of November to express gratitude each day...I think this is lovely...I make it a point to express gratitude for something EVERY day of the year.  I want to experience and share goodwill and kindness towards my fellow humans (and four legged non humans) ALL year not just in December.  Life is Good but not Easy...none of us knows what is in the person's heart standing in front or behind us in line, sitting next to us or cutting us off in traffic (where I might just occasionally lose my goodwill) Surely everyone has some good in them and is deserving of our consideration.   Each of us must stamp out the rampant rudeness we encounter by being part of the solution.  It is never easy to be kind when someone treats us poorly or unfairly.  As we hustle about our business getting busier and busier...Please let us take the time to be kind one to another.  I am not sharing anything "new" here and these only serve as a reminder to myself to be a better person tomorrow than I was today.  As the holidays are approaching know that I hold you in my thoughts and my heart as we all charge forth into the fray!  May it be a time of peace, joy, love and kindness!

"No act of Kindness however small is ever wasted" Aesop

"You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important"  The Help

"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses"

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Stephen Grellet

“Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most”  Ashleigh Brilliant

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   Leo Buscaglia

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"  Mother Teresa

I love Mother Teresa...she made a huge impact on the world...a humble, loving and faithful servant of God....

If you are looking for some teaching moments for your little ones or yourself or just some inspiration I have found Random Acts of Kindness Foundations website to be wonderful!  The site offers stories, ideas and free printables.  You can also like them on Facebook and a daily message or two will appear on your newsfeed...always worthwhile. I leave you with a children's song:

I want to be Kind to Everyone
For that is right you see
So I say to myself
Remember this...Kindess begins with Me!

 Peace, Love and Hugs Y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Compilation of Letters In Which I Have A WEE Bit of a RANT

WARNING:  DISCLAIMER:  We will resume normal sunny thoughts shortly!!!

During the last few days, weeks and months I have been presented with a few annoyances.  I did promise to write lovely letters, notes and cards.  I have done and will continue to do so.  Here are a few notes that will not be sent but do allow me to release a bit of steam to my captive audience...let the ranting begin...

Dear Dish Network,
It has come to my attention that you have discontinued a few channels I enjoy watching.  How can I possibly know how to defend myself during a zombie attack if I cannot watch "The Walking Dead"  This may be critical to my survival.  I will have to visit somebody with that channel and I am kinda sure they don't want me showing up in my pjs and robe.  Please for the survival of my family, restore the critical channels...thank you and bye.

Dear Lady in the Big Ole SUV,
Those giant white lines mean PEDESTRIAN CROSSING...Throwing up your arms and glaring at me doesn't make you right.  I was in the GIANT CROSSING first, get over it already!  My family would be mightily upset if you hurt me or we got into a brawl in the middle of the GIANT PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK!  Thank you, have a nice day...Watch Out for Pedestrians.

Dear Man in the Big Ole Truck,
I have a middle finger too...I try not to use it because it is rude.  I may be in a small car but I bet mine is faster than yours...
you can't bully me out of the way...I know I am not driving slow because I have a tendency towards speeding myself.  Oh yeah and merging traffic means move the heck over someone wants in to share the highway with you.  Sorry about your penis.

Dear I Am Always a Victim,
Get over yourself already and get a new story.  Everyone that has ever lived and will ever live will have  problems some of them downright tragic.   If you are creating your own personal drama...I don't do drama.  AND I have had my share of problems, tragedy and just plain life...I put a smile on and move FORWARD!

Dear You Only Call When You Need Something,
I am pretty sure if the only time you call is when you need something I am going to be an unwilling participant.  My phone number and address are in fact the can call and say "How are you"  or "Is there anything I can do for you" or how about "I was thinking of you today"   I mention this just in case no one ever taught you the give and take of friendship, family etc., etc. Oh yeah, see above when you are ranting about no offers of help!  Thank you I cannot help you right now because I am watching paint dry.

Dear Job Applicant,
I am fairly certain you are unemployed because you are rude, arrogant and belligerent.  You are not entitled to a job just because you have a) tons of education  b) loads of experience  c) all the credentials that ever were.  Use your manners when talking to the person who will decide whether you even get your foot in the door.  You may wish to consider a bureaucratic job where such characteristics may be valued.  Don't call us we will call you (NOT).

Dear Cell Phone User,
REALLY???  Please for all that is holy, put your phone down when backing out of a parking space.  I really do not want to hear your very personal drama or business while I am shopping or dining.  I really do not want to hear it when I am using the toilet in a public office building etc.  that is just gross! 

Dear Salesman/especially AFLAC,
Please do not stop by on a cold call...I will not be available for five minutes (your 5 and my 5 are completely different)  Three different salespeople in the same week will not make me change my mind it will make me more determined to shut the door permanently!  Get your AFLAC ducks in a row.  Thank you, bye, I will call you if I need anything.  P.S.  Don't hold your breath.

Dear Survey takers/telemarketers
The Answer is still NO!  I appreciate that you are working however if I say I am not interested you will not talk me into changing my mind.  This also applies to all the people calling about the copy machine...don't lie to me...go bother someone else. 

Dear Facebook
I have a love/hate relationship with you.  Sometimes you are a big train wreck...I am repulsed but cannot look away.  Face book users the political ranting and raving is not likely to change any one's opinion or reflect their decision at the polls.  Vote wisely and keep it to yourself! 

Dear Judgmental Person,
You may be at church every time the doors open however I am fairly certain that the Lord would not appreciate your preachy, judgmental, petty attitude (oops, that was me being judgmental nay truthful?)  Your opinion is/was not asked for nor valued.   Every single person is on a different path...your path may not be their path...their progress on that path will not be the same as your progress on the same and/or different path.  Stop it already!  AND I can say crap if I want to... your attitude reminds me of the tattle tellers in grade school....I'M TELLING ON YOU...jeez, grow up already.  When and if you get to may be surprised...

Whew, I feel much better...Back to our regularly scheduled programming of turning sour lemons into sweet lemonade!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear John

My dear friend Ruth Ann recently sent me this lovely card as a thank you note.  She and I share a love of similar artists, museums and other fun stuff.  On a recent facebook post Ruth-Ann mentioned that she loved receiving mail and did that make her a dinosaur.  No my friend, I, too love receiving cards, letters, notes and postcards.  It is such a pleasure to open the mailbox and find something special instead of the usual bills and junk mail! 

I participate in Postcrossing whereby I send and receive postcards from all over the world.  I recently sent a card with some fun stamps, stickers and a $1 bill to a young lady in the Ukraine...she responded by sending me several postcards, a Ukrainian bill and a lovely letter asking if I would like to be penfriends...well yes I think I will!

I also participate in Necessary Room's Gift of Jewels...several times a year cards are exchanged around the globe...given a random name you send and receive cards from and to a new friend!  It is such a wonderful experience.  I have maintained a blog/facebook friendship with former participants.  My latest Gift of Jewels was sent to Norway...I received a beautiful card and some beautiful postcards made from Sharon's photos.   She shares my love of heart shaped rocks and clouds.   Her letter to me was so very beautiful and YES, I will respond to her as well.

It has recently come to my attention that rather unconventional objects may be mailed as well...hmm...might I mention that excites me to no end!   Here are some ideas for that venture 13 ounces or less   

Because of all the Happy that has been in the post lately and because my friend Ruth-Ann adores mail...I am paying it forward...who knows it may be YOUR day for some HAPPY MAIL!!!  If you would like to be a victim oops I mean beneficiary of  a joyful surprise and I do not have your address....send me a little note and I will be happy to oblige!!!

Scatter some sunshine of your own...husbands usually enjoy love notes as do children even if they are grown, grandchildren...random strangers enjoy finding a sweet sentiment...go ahead pass a note I won't tell the teacher!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Treasures all Around

 Are you ever on the prowl for wonderful treasures...little trinkets...the mother lode.  Have you noticed that the Mother Lode is often right in front of your very eyes and yet you may be just a bit too busy to see it for what it is...

I love to discover rocks, shell fragments or pieces of wood that are in the form of a Heart...a little love from nature.  My darling husband now looks as well.  However, most of the time...the love from the Universe appears when we are not looking for it.  You can search and search for these tiny little symbols, look away for a moment and Ta Da, the magic appears when you least expect it!

The lens of a camera has opened my eyes to unlimited possibilities...every seemingly normal, ordinary person, place or thing becomes extraordinary when I have a camera in my hand.  Unlimited possibilities...I tell ya! 

I was given the grand tour during a first time visit to a friend's home.  She had so many lovely pieces of furniture and art...all with an interesting tidbit or story about the origin of the piece.  The piece she treasured most was this rocking chair...ordinary in appearance, perhaps outdated for the room as she stated " I know it doesn't go in here but I just can't part with was my first furniture purchase for $18.00 from Haverty's"  She then turned the chair over and the reason it was so highly valued was on the bottom.  The priceless crayon writing and drawings of her small son now a grown man and married.  Treasures of the heart.  I had a grandchild's fully formed hand print that I could not bear to wipe away from the hallway wall.  That hand print stayed there until we had the interior painted last year.  That hand print made me smile every time I walked through the hall.  It often saddens and gives me pause when plundering through an antique/junk/thrift store to find old photographs, albums, postcards, books and letters gathering dust.  The owners long much can we really hold the end we give up the tangible and all that we have left are the moments, the memories that we store in our hearts and minds.  Which, incidentally, by the way I am racking up as much as possible!!!

When my children were small we watched a program based on the novella "The Little Prince"  It remains one of my favorites and here is an excerpt that helps express my thoughts about "treasures":

“People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for...
They don't find it," I answered.
And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."
Of course," I answered.
And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince

Here's to wishing you many moments and memories to cherish...challenging you to find the extraordinary in the ordinary...the hidden treasures right under your nose and in front of your eyes...look for "them" and the magic will happen...I promise! 
This post is dedicated to some of my greatest treasures...friends and family and to those giving me a gentle nudge back to writing. you, mean it!