I Can’t Believe I Took That Quiz

I might need a hobby.

Or to pick up a broom or dust cloth.  Or remember that I have a whole long list of things that need to be done. (And I am pretty sure there’s a load of laundry waiting to be moved to the dryer as I type.)

But instead I just took one of those on-line quizzes. Don’t ask me why.  I don’t take every one I see posted.  But someone I think highly of posted this one, so I clicked through.

“What is Your Age Based on How You See Colors?”

Really?  Okay, sure.  Why not?

So I answered the ten questions about what color/colors I saw, and my age is:

87

Whaaaaa?

Here’s their reasoning:

You are drawn to things that speak to you on a much deeper level, rather than just focusing on the biggest, most colorful object in your immediate environment. 
For something to get your full attention, it needs to approach you on a much deeper level. Your emotions need to speak with your eyes and your environment. Without an emotional connection, you might as well be looking at a blank space.

That last line though.  Truth.

You mean not everyone has an emotional connection or reaction to whatever they are seeing or experiencing?

Say what now?

(Don’t we all remember how I stressed over the right shade of green for our temperature blanket?  I see colors!)

The 87 aside–yes, I’ve always known I was an old soul–once I figured out it wasn’t saying I had the vision of an 87 year old (or that my bifocals need updating), I started thinking about what this is saying. For something to stand out enough for me to notice it, I have to feel it.

Well, yeah.  Doesn’t everyone?

What do you think?  If you have a minute, take the test and let me know if you’re an old soul too.

If you need me, I’ll be sitting here looking at things that make me feel all the feelings.  Like brooms, laundry, and dirty dishes.

Love and light to all.

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Never Doubt the Power of the Moments

Another landmark moment.  Cooter finished reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” a couple of weeks ago.  Our deal is read it, and then you get to watch it.  He had to wait to watch the movie until his big sister Aub came home from college Friday afternoon.  He was ready to hit play the moment she walked through the door.  Thankfully, he did let me get supper served first.

They all loved it.  He got through the loss of his favorite character and handled it with strength and only a few tears welled up.  (Though he’d never admit it)  What’s funny is I had no idea that this was also a Harry Potter Marathon weekend on one of the TV channels.  So last night, I found myself sitting up alone, about to write.  I clicked through and saw that the very same movie had just started playing.

True Confession:  The Harry Potter movies are the same for me as Princess Diaries 2.  If they’re on, I’m watching.

So I worked a bit and listened to the movie in the background, pausing for my favorite parts.  Towards the end, Harry is very close to being completely taken over by evil forces in his mind and heart.  What saves him from that is a montage of flashback  memories–a photo of his parents, hugs from his best friend, sitting and laughing over next to nothing with his two closest friends–one by one the people he cared about came to mind, and he was able not only to fight against the evil but also to say (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I feel sorry for you.  You will never know what it is like to feel love.”

Bless.

All those moments.  The times we sit and just “be” with someone else–talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying, sitting quietly–all of those moments are stored up as an arsenal against all the hard and dark and broken times in our lives.

Store them well.  Make all the good memories.  Never question the worth of a kind word or a smile to a stranger.  Never doubt the good you do when you listen to the story of a young child or sing along to the radio with your friend.  Never feel that you are wasting time just sitting with a friend, each of you doing your own thing.  Never hesitate to share a laugh or encouragement or affection.

All of those things keep the light burning and in times of darkness will guide you home.

You matter.  Your words and laugh and all you are matter.  More than you can ever know.

Giving thanks for all the joyful memories I have tucked away and can pull back out when the storms approach.

Wishing you all the same.

Love to all.

Patronus

To produce a patronus which is a strong protective force, you must think of your happiest thoughts and memories. Lovely….. By frostnova [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not Today

On days when you say, more than once, “I can’t do this anymore” and consider putting an ad out there for an adult to come and take over because making one more decision does not sound like anything you are going to be doing this day, here is what I know is good:

*Children (young and grown) dancing to the Gummy Bear song.

*Walks in the finally not freezing cold weather.

*Stepping away from the things that are sapping your energy and time–if only for a few minutes.  Just walk away.  It’ll still be there.  That I can promise.

*Laughing over a parody watched with people you love.

*Chocolate.  Always.

*Cold coffee.  (Or you know, hot, if you prefer it that way)

*Watching Elton John singing karaoke to his own songs.  (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”  I.  Am. DONE.)

*Finishing up a major undertaking and giving yourself a high five.

*Knowing it’s almost bedtime and tomorrow is another day.  Another chance for things to right themselves.  Well, with a little help.  But yeah.  Mercies anew in the morning.

Here’s hoping that one of these things brings you a smile and brightens your day.  Or better yet, here’s hoping your day has been so brilliant that your spirits don’t need lifting. But here’s what I hope you take away from this tonight.

If you are having “a day,”  you are not alone.  You can hang with me.  And the rest of us for whom some days are hard.  We can help each other through it.  Or at least laugh a lot trying.  This journey isn’t meant to be done alone.

Love to all.

The One Thing They Never Told Me

On my out and abouts and errand running yesterday, I found myself in the Getting Place looking for a birthday present and picking up some things that we needed around the house.  I was walking past the endcaps in the baby section and I saw these.

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Adorable.  Right?

Yes.  They are too cute.  Robes.  For those little bitty babies with their little bitty toes and precious little smiles and coos.  Robes.

Don’t do it, people.

I can just about guarantee you that every Mama to be with that clicky gun thing in their hands, creating their gift registry for that very first baby shower–she’s clicking on THAT.  Yes, she has to have that little robe.

Oh me.

I remember (over twenty years ago) when Aub was a little bitty 3 week old baby.  We went and stayed with my folks for a few days.  One afternoon while we were there, Daddy noticed that she was still wearing the same thing I’d put on her after her bath the night before.  (One of those rare days when a wardrobe change was not necessary every three or four hours.  Ahem.)  He teased me and pointed out I used to change my baby dolls more often than I changed my live one.

Yessir.  And there’s a reason for that.

All those precious toes?  And fingers?  And hands and arms and feet and legs?
They wiggle.

All.  The. Time.

They make changing clothes and getting dressed after baths a very difficult undertaking.  It’s the epitome of “take two steps forward and twenty-five back…..” or something like that.

So why for the love of everything little and wiggly–why on earth would you want to add in one more change between bath and pajamas?

Trust me on this.  If you are a parent to be, go ahead and click the little clicky gun on the bathrobe.  Open the wrapped present, because people WILL buy it for you and not tell you the truth of it all, and oooh and ahh over it.  Wash it and hang it up in your little bathroom.  But please.  Do not pressure yourself to use it.  You will be functioning on little sleep, you will be so tired that bathing your little one and keeping that slippery little love above water will take all you have within you.  So use the hooded towel, the cute one with the duck face or name embroidered on it–use that to wrap up your little bundle of joy–no arms or legs tucked anywhere required.  Then go straight from A to Z.  Diaper and pajama that wee one and move on to the next thing.  Trust me.  The robe is cute, but making the effort to get it on–and then off again–and then into pajamas?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I share this only because I care.  And I wish someone had told me that.

Before the cute little yellow ducky robe that I just had to have.

Learn from my mistakes.  Pick your battles.  And trying to get your little wiggle worm dressed is only the beginning of those.  Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

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And y’all don’t even get me started on this one.  Just NO.  LET THEM BE BABIES FIRST.  PLEASE.

Love and laughter to all.

 

“Shells Are Not Manna From Heaven”

And speaking of television, I stumbled across a new show this season.  I say stumbled, but really it sort of jumped out and grabbed my attention.  I mean with Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, and William Devane, how could it do anything else?

It’s called “The Grinder.”  Rob Lowe’s (we also go way back) character is a TV star who plays an attorney on a show that has just ended.  He moves back home where his Dad and brother are both real-life lawyers.  It’s about family, about family dynamics, about feeling like you’re enough, and about a guy who thinks he’s got the law down because he played a lawyer on TV.  And it’s hilarious.

Maybe I’ve just been in the right mood when I was watching it, but the first two episodes have kept me in stitches.  It is either good or I’m just loving the throwback to all these stars from the waybackwhen.

One of my favorite lines (spoiler alert, y’all–sorry) occurred when the Grinder (on an episode of his TV show) replied to his partner who told him something was not possible, “But what if it was?”

Wow.  Any variation of this “yes, we can–think outside the box” attitude–Yes.

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The past week or so on my walks I have come across these snails.  So please forgive my ignorance here, but I grew up mostly with slugs, which are very similar to snails except they have no shell.  Add to that my meeting a hermit crab or two in my childhood and learning that they have to go looking for their shells, perhaps you can  give me some grace in my confusion on this matter.

I wondered, when I saw the first snail with its shell on the sidewalk, where on earth he or she had found said shell to inhabit.  We are NOWHERE near any kind of beach at all, so I spent a few minutes standing there thinking about this as Miss Sophie sniffed every blade of grass around.  Then I gently pushed the snail off into the grass so he or she wouldn’t die from the heat of the pavement.

It was tonight when I saw another one–my third, I think, in less than two weeks’ time–that I wondered if I wasn’t mistaken.  Could it be that snails don’t go househopping but somehow they come “with” their shells?  Surely not, but well…..

I was in the living room and Aub was switching out a load of clothes in the laundry room.  We had been talking about something we’d seen on TV or her clothes or something, when I thought about that snail.  I hollered so she would hear me.

“Hey, don’t snails have to find their own shells?  Or do they somehow make them?”

“What on earth?  Did you really just ask me that very random question?  What did you say?”

I asked again.  “Are snails able to make their own shells?”

“Well, yeah,” she said, laughing a little harder AT ME than I think the situation called for.  “It’s not like shells are manna from Heaven.”

And that is when I lost it.  Y’all.  For the love.  This girl cracks me up sometimes.

As I was trying to gather my composure, she walked through the kitchen singing, “It’s raining shells…..Hallelujah…..It’s raining shells…..”

Stop.  It.  Composure lost. Again.

So I’ve spent the evening reading up on snails, slugs, hermit crabs, and shells.  I am a learned person about all of these critters and things now.  Which is good.  And tomorrow in our little schoolroom, my littles will be too.  Because yes, snails do grow their own shells.

Because, as Aub says,  God is not raining down shells for all the little snails to find and move into.  And again she repeated, laughing, if it were possible, even harder, “Shells are not manna from Heaven, Mama.”

And that’s when I said to her the words–with the attitude–that are quickly becoming my new mantra, “But what if they were?”

Tonight I’m thankful for the gift of laughter and all the ways we find it–television shows, funny questions, silly conversations, shared stories…..and I’m thankful for the ones I get to share the laughter with. Before it was all over tonight all of us were dancing around, singing, “It’s raining shells…..”

I’m also thankful for the naysayers in the world.  They are the ones who say it can’t be done or it’s not possible or call out the dreamers on what they see as attainable.  With their shaking heads and furrowed brows, they are inspiring the ones who see the way, the ones who think outside of the box to go bigger, to work harder, and never to give up.

Most of all I’m grateful to have learned something new, as embarrassing as it is that I didn’t know this.  I now realize that the snails and their shells weren’t the puzzling miracles that I thought them to be, but you know what?  Those little slimy critters being able to grow their own no-kidding whirled mobile homes for themselves is a miracle too–a different sort of one, but a miracle nonetheless.  This world is amazing, isn’t it?

May life bring you laughter, teach you something you didn’t know, and show you a miracle or two along the way today.  And everyday.

Love to all.

I Can Rock Some Home Decor, and Other Fashion Faux Pas

Many days I am a walking billboard for “What Not to Wear.”

I know this.  I accept it.

The way I know this is because apparently I gave birth to a fashion expert.  She KNOWS what is fashionable and what looks good, and what DOESN’T.

And she loves me enough to tell me.  Each and every time.  Quickly.  Without hesitation.

And with, at times, extreme disgust.

Like today we were shopping at the GW Boutique where Cooter found a Halloween costume (already, yes, he’s only been talking about it for a month).  It’s just about hoodie weather here now (any day now, please), and I like to look and see what fantastic hoodies they might have.  It’s like a game.  A treasure hunt.

We were walking through the men’s section (you can find the best hoodies there), and I saw an Oxford shirt that reminded me of one I used to sleep in–it had belonged to one of Mess Cat’s old boyfriends and thus, she had passed it along to me. (Hand-me-downs for the win.) I wore that thing until it fell to pieces.  Literally.

When I pulled the shirt out to show Aub and see what she thought of it, she got “the” look on her face and said, “Why you want to go around looking like Bill Cosby?” referring to his unique tastes in clothes on the Cosby show.  Y’all remember the “Cosby sweaters?”

I laughed.  She was right.  But I still got the shirt.  It was on sale (hello!) and I think it will be comfortable to sleep in.  And it might just be fun to get “the look” from her every now and then.

So yes, I love my clothing bargains.  I found a cool website, ThredUp, which is an online clothing consignment store.  We found Aub several dresses at very good prices for her law internship.  One day on a whim I typed crocheted top or something like that in the search box, as I found myself in something of a bohemian style mood.

And I found this top.

My tablecloth top.  I love it so much.

                                                            One of my favorite tops. I love it so much.

I was in love.  The color, a light cream, and the crocheted details and the asymmetry of it.  LOVE.  Because, if you haven’t picked up on it before, I’m a bit wonky and asymmetrical myself.

I wore it last Sunday to Evening Prayer with jean capris and a coral colored tank underneath.  Most days I dress for myself.  I don’t mean that I dress myself (which I do) but, barring a glare from my girl, I wear what I enjoy.

And I really enjoy that top.

As we were setting up and milling about, talking and catching up before the service started, one of my friends came up and said, “Hey!  I made it tonight!”  I was so glad she did.  Her spirit is fun and sweet and calming, a really rare and welcome combination.  I smiled.  Then she continued, “And you are really rocking that tablecloth you are wearing, I have to tell ya.”

Y’all.

For the love.

I burst out laughing.  My friend totally caught me off guard.  But she was so right.  It did look like one of those doily type tablecloths from way back when.  And with the asymmetry making it rounded, if it hadn’t had a brand tag at the back of the neck, I might have thought it was the best repurposed sweater EVER.

Alas, though, it was just made that way.

My sweet sisterfriend immediately backpedaled because she’s sweet like that and started apologizing.  But I reassured her then and I am reassuring you now, girl, I love you.  Thank you for that belly-busting laugh.  The kind that erupts from you before you even know it’s happening.  I LOVE THOSE KINDS OF LAUGHS.  And I’m thankful when they happen and for the person who inspired them.

The thing about my daughter and my friend commenting on my fashion choices is this.  It doesn’t bother me that they had something less than flattering (I don’t know, could being compared to a tablecloth be considered flattering?  Mayhap)  to say about my clothing, because their commenting means they noticed.  Me.  They saw me, and they noticed what I had on.  It also means they care enough and are comfortable enough in our relationship to say what’s on their minds.  They aren’t being unkind pointing out my fashion faux pas–their sharing comes from love.

And that’s a gift to be sure.  To be known, to be loved anyway, and to be close enough that someone is comfortable sharing their truest thoughts.

A gift I am so thankful for.

Later last Sunday evening, the fact that I’ve been known to pick up one or ten crocheted or knitted afghans from the GW came up.  As we were talking, it was as though a lightbulb came on over my head.  “Y’all.  I have passed by a round blanket or two at the GW, simply because it didn’t really appeal to me.  But now, NOW, I know what I can do with one.  I’ll repurpose it and make one of these tops!”

Now that will be something worth talking about, don’t you think?

May we all have someone who loves us and loves us well and keeps us on our toes, with sharing ideas, opinions, and lots of laughter.  Because laughter really is the best.

Love to all.

The Word I Didn’t Want Him To Say, and Why He Said It

I got Cooter a book on engineers.  It’s a massive book, more detailed and much thicker than I thought it would be.  If his interest in engineering continues, it will grow with him.

http://www.amazon.com/Engineers-DK-Publishing/dp/1465435972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442285805&sr=8-1&keywords=DK+engineers

Which makes me very happy–I love getting my money’s worth.  So far, with him, we’ve only really gotten our money’s worth on the Star Wars and Harry Potter Lego character books.  He looks and reads through those almost daily.

We were having a lovely afternoon, sitting on the back porch with the windows open, soaking in the calmness of a day that teased us with the promise of fall’s impending arrival.  The sun, the clouds, the bluest sky, the trees still full of their green leaves.  The crew had spent much of the day reading.  Our Princess had picked up our recently acquired copy of Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White–one of my favorites from early on.  She was delighted and amazed at the turn of events in the first few chapters.  Her recounting of it had Cooter laughing, and I’m pretty sure I might find myself in a quandary when he finds a way to sneak her copy and read it.  Because really, those are two things that boy lives for–making his sister crazy with his sneaky ways…..and reading.

As we were enjoying the quiet of the afternoon and the unscheduled afternoon hours we had, Cooter piped up with a question, “Mama, what do you think is the dumbest invention ever made?”  I frowned. He knows I do NOT like that word.  At all.  I started to correct him, and he looked at me in all sincerity, “Mama, I don’t think there is another word that means the same thing as dumb, is there? Really?”

And in that moment, my brain froze and I couldn’t come up with a single one.  Not really.

He took my silence as permission to continue.  “So Mama, which one?”

I shook my head, maybe in the hopes of clearing the fog.  “I don’t know.  I heard the other day about a thing that you press on a banana and it cuts it into banana slices.  That’s pretty silly.  I mean, who can’t take a knife and cut a banana into slices pretty quickly?”

He stared at me.

“Really?  Ummm, what about children?” He looked at me with a stern and indignant expression.   “That way they don’t cut themselves?”

Oh yeah.  Right.  “Okay, well, I don’t know then.”

“Well, I do.  There was a guy a long time ago who put some rockets underneath a chair and then he sat down and told them to light the rockets and he tried to make the first…..rocket…..ship!”  By the last few words, he could hardly get them out, he was laughing so hard.  “I mean,” he breathed heavily, “who would do that?  Put themselves on a chair like that? With rockets? See, Mama, that’s just dumb.”

I still don’t like the word, y’all.  But yeah, I get his point.  For now, we’re compromising as long as he only calls actions and not people THAT.

He later read to me in great detail about this thing that happened in 1500 A.D.  This guy in China did the first recorded experiment in “manned rocketry.”  He was a Chinese government official, who attached 47 rockets to this chair.  Cooter delighted in informing that after all were lit and he took off, he nor the chair were ever seen again.  Cooter found this quite hilarious.

Anybody wanna bet the guy’s last words were, “Hey, y’all, watch this!”?

Ahem.

Some days I really, really love homeschooling.  I enjoy wacky conversations like these that are nowhere in the plans that lead us to even greater talks, like how words can hurt people, and we need to choose them wisely.  Be smart.  Like what that guy five hundred years should have been.  But no.  (Trust Cooter to find the wackiest story in a 360 page book almost as soon as he got it.)

I’m thankful for the quiet and for the laughter that fills it.  Both are good.  As are the interesting stories I hear from the things they’ve read.  Today had all of the best things–from E. B. White to engineers. From swans who can’t honk to rocketeers.

All the really good stuff.

And for a Monday, that will do just fine.

Love to all.