6 June, 2016  |   1 Comment

100 Graces, all caught up

I spent last week in North Carolina for training – it was gorgeous and the people were very, very nice. This means I have a grateful dump for you today.

Wait. That didn’t come out right.

What I mean to say is that I’ve posted all the rest of the #100graces to catch up. Now I can post one on Instagram every day going forward. I love you all.

34_good-wine

34/100

35_scotland

35/100

36_thinkthrice

36/100

37_sound-of-music

37/100

38_table

38/100

This year I’m researching creativity. From the artist side, the only important part is to keep working, every day. But a regular day for me at this time in my life doesn’t always give me a chance to work it out.  Sometimes, I get a big chunk of time and that’s how I force it through. Sometimes, I don’t have any time at all, no matter my priorities.

When creativity experts have day jobs, they’re a hell of a lot more believable.

39_chicken

39/100

44_relax

40/100

40_with-friendship

41/100

43_CORN

42/100

41_mega-feast

43/100

Mostly, the hardest part for me is feeling like I have something to say. That I have a point of view.

This is hard.
Because as a ladyperson, I’m trained to agree with whatever everyone else wants to do.

This is hard.
Because I’ve been argued down again and again so that forty years later, the agreeable is the only thing I know.

42_daily-bread

44/100

45_itworks

45/100

46_belly

46/100

48_burns

47/100

49_fuel

48/100

47_sunshine

49/100

Damn it. Oprah is right.
Taking time to be thankful,
to boil these blessings down into pithy sayings,
it HELPS.

I quit obsessing on the things I’ve screwed up.
I quit obsessing about all the people I have to argue with.
I quit obsessing about everything I’ve left undone.

(Yo ho ho.)

 

22 March, 2016  |   3 Comments

Crownberry Day

01_crownberry

Tuffenbee woke early. It was crownberry day – she would need the extra time.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee needed to get the berries on her head refreshed in a long process.

That’s how it was in Beepaland. For as long as anyone could remember, every egg-laying Beepa kept 15 crownberries on her head at all time.

02_tuffenbee

The berries had to be fresh.
The berries had to be placed just so.
The berries had to be in perfect condition.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee woke early to get to the salon. The salon was where the Pincerpaws replaced crownberries.

03_pincerpaws

Beepas didn’t have hands like the Pincerpaws. Beepas paid the Pincerpaws to replace their crownberries. It cost nearly two hundred dollars for fifteen berries!
Can you imagine?

Tuffenbee was trying to save her money for a vacation at the beach. She was saving four hundred dollars for a vacation just by herself.

Every six weeks, Tuffenbee walked to the berry salon. She put the five dollars she would have spent on the bus in a jar. She couldn’t wait to save enough money for that vacation.

05_money-jar

When she got to the salon, Tuffenbee paid $200 to the Pincerpaws, sat down on the log and prepared for several hours of boredom.

It’s not that replacing her crownberries hurt, it was just boring. Tuffenbee had a lot of things she’d rather be doing.

06_tuffenbee-salon

Tuffenbee just wanted to put her feet up and relax for the night. Being an egg-laying Beepa meant that sometimes, you needed some extra rest.

01_crownberry

Six weeks later Tuffenbee woke early.

in-jar

Tuffenbee put the five dollars she would have spent on the bus in a jar.

tuffenbee-rounds-corner

Tuffenbee walked to the berry salon.

After rounding her first corner, Tuffenbee came face to face with a group of Beepas. These were the kind of Beepas that didn’t have to get crownberries replaced every six weeks. These were the kind of Beepas that didn’t lay eggs every month.

beepa_assault

This group of Beepas yelled at Tuffenbee,

“HEY YOU, YOU! YOU SHOULD SMILE YOU KNOW,
YOU WOULD LOOK EVEN BETTER IF YOU SMILED!
SMILE!”

Before Tuffenbee knew what she was doing, she yelled back at the Beepas, “HEY YOU! YOU SHOULD STOP YELLING AT ME TO SMILE! MAYBE I DON’T WANT TO SMILE”

after-beepa

Tuffenbee felt so confused and scared, she ran for several blocks before she could sit down and take many big breaths to calm herself.

By the time she’d slowed her heart, she realized she’d missed her appointment.

tuffenbee-on-bench

In that moment she said to herself,

“Just wait a minute! Just because I lay the eggs doesn’t mean I have to get crownberries on my head. Who cares if my berries look like everyone else’s? I’m going to let them fall out on their own and see what happens. “

Tuffenbee went home, put her two-hundred dollars in a jar and felt happier than she had in years.

05_money-jar

Yes, it’s true, over the next six weeks, the berries rotted and fell off her head.  Tuffenbee worked hard to keep her head clean and berry-free.

Six weeks later, she put another two hundred dollars in a jar.

She laid her egg, put her feet up for the night and planned her vacation at the beach for next month.

04_tuffenbee-walks

10 February, 2016  |   Comment

Lenticular – This year, we’re celebrating a secular Lent

Baby Nora Lea, Valentine's Breakfast

Nora Lea and I loved doing Lent together last year. That is for sure a sentence I never thought I’d say. But, there we are.

This year for Secular Lent (Lenticular?), we decided we wanted to do two things with our Lent.

  1. Give up – stop the worst behavior coming between me and my best me.
  2. Make new – create a thing that is between me and my ideal, future me

So I’m giving up stuff — 40 bags of it. I’m better since meeting James, but I have clutter-y tendencies, especially with vintage stuff. I have old, broken down chairs, boxes, tables and knick knacks far beyond our space’s capacity for storage. I’ll end a weekend feeling like for the entirety of Sunday, I moved stuff from one place to another. And I’m ready to stop feeling that way.

White House Black Shutters has this marvelous 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge that I’m just going to join right in and that’s just fine with me.

[One of the worst habits that our 90’s popular culture instilled in me is a suspicion of joining groups — and it’s actively harming my professional development. UGH. JUST JOIN IN AND GROW ALREADY HJ! This year, I’m joining all kinds of groups just to spite my “I’m too good for groups” gut reaction. Any I should know about?]

And along with Nora Lea, I’ll be writing a poem every day. At the end, we’re excited to have a book of 80 poems! We’ll be posting some of our favorites as we go on.

She says she’s giving up Super Mario Bros — and we support her 100%.

The older I get, the more I see that there’s a time for things — and when you try to force it, you end up wasting effort. Just like there’s a right time for resting, for gathering, for celebrating, there’s the right time for us to give up what doesn’t work for us. For our family, this is that time.

When does it feel right to give things up?

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