"May we be diligent and true,
dedicated to the right
and like the stalwart lighthouse stand
a beacon in the darkest night."
-Becky Jennings, The Lighthouse


Refreshing the artistic eye...

My love for Death Cab For Cutie just grew because of this video...

I love it because I do this everyday.
Everyday I have a goal to find something.  Beautiful.
Occasionally it's the socially acceptable form of beauty.  
But usually it's something odd, 
like a flower growing out of cracking foundation
or a streetlamp at night
or wind picking up a bit of trash and swirling it weightlessly through the breeze.
You can read more about the concept here.


[29] & [30] wrapping it up...

Day 29:  Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.

Hmm, I can't think of one particular item at the moment.  Body, mind, spirit. I hope to experience a change in each of those areas. Continually. Because being stagnant in life is boring. And dangerous.


Day 30:  A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.


Dear Self,
You are awesome.
And not as...
as you think.
And I love you.
Just as you are.
The End.


[28] knocked up...

Day 28:  What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Welp, say it was me that ended up preggo. I'm pretty sure I would be ecstatic. I would probably eventually have a little mourning session over the loss of our life as a couple, but it wouldn't last.

For us, it was important to establish a life before kids. You would think after 14-years we would have had enough of each other, but I'm just now getting really comfortable with the thought of starting a family. I've enjoyed life before kids, I will enjoy life with kids, and I will enjoy life after the kids move away. The point is that no matter what life sends my way...I'll be joyful.


[27] the best things scare us...

Day 27:  What’s the best thing going for you right now?

Well, my husband's company filed for bankruptcy a several weeks ago. The first question was what chapter was filed. And the next thought was okay he's still working until he's not...and we'll deal with it. And it's looking more and more like soon enough he will not be working.

But rather than letting fear take hold we are trusting our faith. Worst case. Best case. Whatever happens there is a purpose and we'll learn something powerful. 

I'll be honest there was a week spent in worry and fear and doubt. And then one day I felt completely at peace. Because of all the Goliaths I've faced, he's sort of not all that scary anymore. I may doubt myself for a bit, but then it's all...bring it dude with the pituitary problem!

Call me crazy. But this unknown. The excitement. The IBS. I just know in my heart something wonderful is awaiting us on the other side. 


[26] to give up (but not really)...

Day 26:  Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Life all together, no. Never. The closest I ever came was craving escape. Just leaving everything and everyone behind. I had gone through an incredibly tough time - sorting through my past and realizing what made me and shaped me was not necessarily a good thing, but I was strong enough to take the bad and make it good.  

Unfortunately in order to turn it around, I had to leave some relationships behind. But it was the ones that were pulling me down, and I was not strong enough to pull myself up while attached to those relationships. And unless you have experienced it yourself, I think it's impossible to understand.

And it was that very lack of understanding that made me want to flee. Because I didn't know how to put into words what I was feeling. Because for someone that has never experienced that level of pain and hurt and collapse there are. No words.

But once I worked through my own grief and mourning, I found my words again. Too often fingers were pointed my way. I got the whole "I'm praying for her" routine. Because obviously working through my past and cutting unhealthy relationships means I'm Hell bound. 

But how many people can one person finger before realizing that finger is pointing in the opposite direction? I don't know. I do know, slowly but surly, the cracks are being revealed. Eventually there will be no choice, but I wonder at what cost. And that is the exact reason I took the steps I have. The pain, though great, is far less than what it would have been had it been allowed to fester. Mmm, that's a tasty description...but not really. 


Where in I adore Home Goods...

It all started out innocently enough.
The hubby bought me flowers for Valentines Day.
Then...he bought himself a new television.
(dude! we feel so modern now)

And new furniture just gets me in the mood to rearrange and buy new stuff.
Lucky for me a Home Goods is not far away.
There is one within a 5-mile radius of my office and house...
at least when it finally opens.
(pulling out the angry eyes)
Dear Retail Leasing Agent,
The notice is appreciated,
BUT 6-months and still not open...
your "coming soon" sign is kah-illing me!
Little funky storage box.  Check!

Swanky new pillow. (that doesn't photograph well) Check!

 Crazy-rad textured vase. Check!

Now the only thing left...
  • a new area rug (how bad-to-the-bone is this one)
  •  new curtains - because the skank ones have got to go
  • and finally purchasing some frames to hang our travel photos
  • oh, and finding a space saving solution for our DVD collection!


[25] 30-years, smite-free...

Day 25:  The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

Because I'm not dead. I've never had a near-death experience. Except that one time in California, I peered over a 150-foot...no, 500-foot...no, more like a 5-mile drop-off into the Pacific Ocean and my life flashed before my eyes. Yes, my life flashed and all I could think was toss the camera to Fred because god-forbid the camera goes with me!  So maybe I was 4 ft from the edge, but in my eyes that was a mere millimeter. 

I'm here because God wants me here.  I'll let you know when he smites me, but so far I've been smite-free.  Thanks man, appreciated that.  Really.


[24] ode to the mix tape...

Day 24:  Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

This seems a little silly.  How about a list of songs that will make a Ke$ha fan's head spin when they realize what actual music sounds like: 

In no particular order...

The Beatles "Let It Be"

Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Radiohead "Fake Plastic Trees"

The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony"

The Black Keys "The Go Getter "  
...actually just do yourself a favor and get the {Brothers} album.  This thing is my work soundtrack.  People come into my office, hear it, and just start grooving - it's that kind of album.

Company of Thieves "Oscar Wilde"

John Lennon "Imagine"

Joshua Radin "These Photographs"


[23] the American flunky...

Day 23:  Something you wish you had done in your life.

Okay, so I have some real regrets. I wish I could always remember to show my love for...humanity. 

Like when we met a sweet German couple at the Grand Canyon that offered to take our picture. The man told us his camera battery died. It didn't even occur to me to take their picture and e-mail the photo...until were a mile down the road. 

Ugh, I will forever hate that. I was so distracted by the wet rocks and fear of heights and the rainbow, yeah - see it gets worse. When two Germans fly all the way to the states -and- on their last day see a {rainbow} at the Grand Canyon -and- their camera battery dies -and- I totally, utterly, completely failed as an American. 

I wish I had taken their picture.  I wish I could go back and redo that 10-minutes of my life all over again!


[22] the bad haircut...

Day 22:  Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

No regrets. Right?

Except that one time when I was maybe eight years old and my hair got tangled in a curling iron. So bad it had to be cut. The rest of my hair was shoulder length...the cut was made just above my ear lobe.  Luckily, I guess, it was in the front. And rather than hacking off all my hair, I just went with it. It was the 80s, right? Totally okay to have one side of your hair 4-5" shorter than the rest. I was so punk rock.

But I was eight. I can't recall caring all that much. It grew fairly quickly. But for 3-months of my life I had a 1/4 mullet...so, I really wish I hadn't played with the curling iron.


[21] the stupid one...

Day 21:  (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Should this even be dignified with an answer.

First, I would never get into that kind of argument with a friend. Second...say Hell froze over and there was a fight. OMG,  I would be there - no question. In whatever capacity needed, I would be available. Stupid question.

[20] last dance with mary jane...

Day 20:  Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol.  I think it's silly you can fight for our country at 18, but cannot drink until 21.  And let's face it, when kids go away to college they have access to alcohol.  I myself waited until it was legal, but I'm well aware of my minority status.

Drugs.  I guess marijuana is the only one I find pointless to be considered illegal. Let's face it there a more potent, dangerous and addictive drugs that can be obtained "legally" by prescription. I've just never heard of a death caused marijuana overdose. The smoked out morons that call the cops on themselves, yes.  Death, no.

The argument seems to be that it's a gateway drug.  But apparently so is Robitussin and cans of whipped cream...if someone wants to get high, they will find a way. Why not make available a legal high with restrictions.  Age, proof...potency, etc.

No, I don't partake myself.  I just see a HUGE difference between meth-heads, crack-heads, and Bob Marley fans.


[19] religics...

Day 19:  What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Religion. Everyone should have one.  And own it.  Whatever it is, believe it.  And then don’t be so concerned with what everyone else believes.  If we were robots, then we would all do-think-believe in the same thing.  But we are not. 

Politics. I am a political centrist that leans ever so slightly to the left. And I find it ever-so annoying that I can find a comprise between the political left and right, but our politicians cannot. 


[18] the bride wore a rainbow...

Day 18:  Your views on gay marriage.

Ugh! Okay, well yes I think it’s perfectly fine.  Argue all the religious points you will, but I can’t help but think that if we were to have a gay son or daughter I would want them to experience everything life has to offer.  Love is love.  And you cannot argue the goodness and delight and joy that love brings. And if sanctity of marriage is your mumbo-jumbo, fine call it something else, but I’m afraid said sanctity was lost long ago.  Even before Henry XIII.

Ultimately I don’t understand society’s constant need to ostracize a certain group. Native Americans, slaves, Italian immigrants, Irish immigrants, Japanese-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Blacks, Hispanics, Gays…bi-racial couples.  At one point they have all been held in lower regard, for no particular reason.  It’s pretty much ridiculous.


[17] about a book...

Day 17:  A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

Okay, I'm about to go [there].  It was one of Oprah's books, "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.  Don't judge. We all learn in very different and unique ways.

It is a very deep, dense read. Though the book itself didn't necessarily change my views - it's not meant for that. It did change my level of awareness.  I can feel how an environment affects my mood. I hear the words I speak.  I try to avoid speaking unconsciously.  Okay, that doesn't always happen...but I am very aware when it does.  That's certainly something.

In many ways, I feel more at peace.  And {wait for it} centered.  Yeah, I said it.  I'm a little embarrassed for myself. But it's a blessing to feel emotionally...balanced.


[16] don't need 'em...

Day 16:  Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Skinny jeans. Pajama jeans. Neon colored clothing. That church that protests funerals.  The musical talents of Ke$ha.


[15] honor thy internets...

Day 15:  Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

My guess would be the internets.  Can’t say I’ve tried going without it, but when our servers are down at the office I have no clue how to get anything done.  I literally sit at my desk and think wow, people used to type memos...print them...and then {hand} deliver to an actual inbox that sat on a person's desk. Whoa!

It’s how I communicate, get news, shop, bank…need I continue?


[14] the thing about heroes...

Day 14:  A hero that has let you down.

I don’t have heroes.  There are people that I admire, but I really don’t put anyone on a pedestal.  I guess that probably came from growing up in church.  In my mind pastors were on a pedestal, until I realized a few of them didn’t belong within 1,000-feet of that pedestal.  Pastors are human...I am human. We all make mistakes.

Instead my admiration goes to the people that made a difference and paved the way for the future generations.  It’s the Alice Paul’s and Billy Jean King’s of the world.  Or those take something mundane and spin it into something that has never been seen like the Z-boys or Salvador Dali.   Or those incredibly creative minds that envision the world in a completely odd and fascinating way like Roald Dahl or Tim Burton. 


[13] the songs without the dance...

Day 13:  A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days.

I have very specific songs.  A few years ago it was Frou Frou’s – Let Go.  I would get in my car and just drive with that song playing on repeat.  And most recently The Beatles – Let It Be.  Sense a theme?

The only difference between the two is that Let It Be seems to find me.  When I pray and seek direction, I'll hear it in the car on a random radio station I rarely listen -or- the soundtrack to a movie -or- most recently I flipped to the Kennedy Center Honors for Paul McCartney right as (shut-up) Mavis Staple started singing.  Correction: I believe what she did is called 'sangin'.

A little Beatles trivia: This song came from a dream that Paul McCartney had around the time the Beatles were about to break up.  In the dream, his mother {Mary} who died when he was a teenager came to him and said, "let it be."

With everything that went on around the holidays, I needed that reminder. I believe we all get to a place where we stress and mull and think and over think and rethink.  Then we reach the edge of the cliff, and it's fall 834.7 feet or slow down and find another way across.  And usually it's the long walk back down the mountain that we find the answers.  Damn those mountains.


The one where the week disappears...

Today was the first day I managed to get out of the house
...in F-O-U-R days!
It's still icy in some spots, but I managed.

F-O-U-R days ago this was a welcome sight...
By the next morning, the bowl was covered.  Eight inches of snow bliss.

Until this started to happen...
Eight inches of uh-oh!

After day-1 the fun was gone.  The snow had compacted into ice.
And my clumsy self was stuck inside for fear of obtaining a stair-shaped bruise.
And that is when the nature photography begun.

Red Stuff

Action Shots

 And funny stuff...

And finally today there was a BLUE sky!

And sun!
We can finally get out of our neighborhood.
After nearly a week, life returns to normal tomorrow.
I may be a little bit sad.