Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black and White in Eastern Kentucky


My smart, handsome, kind son made an important trip to Washington, D.C. over the weekend.  It all went so well that the trip was golden….or was  until he began his trip back to his college in Eastern Kentucky.  Somewhere along the road it turned to black and white. Real white, a little black.

It doesn’t really matter how many books I read to my three little black children about injustice and bigotry, hoping to steal them against a world they knew little of.  This mom is never truly prepared for the object of degradation to be one of her own.  And I pray that they never get used to it either.

In a perfect world, moms don’t have to tell their kids to just keep their mouths shut, to not question or challenge, to just stay quiet and keep peace if they are cornered.  But in a perfect world there would not be people ignorant enough to believe  that skin color gives them entitlement, or that bullying is enjoyable.

In a perfect world, my son would not have seen a police car in his rearview mirror and watch it following him for miles before finally turning on his lights.  In a perfect world, the officer might not have made him sit there on the side of the road for an eternity, just sitting there, only to return and give back his license and registration with no explanation as to  why he had been detained.  And when asked, “you were going a little fast, son”, would clearly not be an acceptable answer.  And when asked how fast, it would be inexcusable for that officer to admit to not having even clocked him.  

In a perfect world, no one would ever ever have the right or inclination to just make my son sweat for the pure pleasure of it, simply because they could.  In his wisdom, he didn’t say a word- just took his stuff back and followed the officer back onto the road with nothing but some time lost. 

I want his badge number!  I want to know why or how a  Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer has the authority to pull young black men over at whim for no offense.   But the truth is, my son drives that stretch often.   There is nothing to be gained and a lot to fear in making an issue of this.

My son is wayyyyyy nicer than I am, and probably forgave this man of his ignorance before he hit campus.  But I’m not quite there yet.  I just want to give my boy his golden day back.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Pugsley’s Mom

Today is the birthday of my friend Gayle.  These are some of the things I know about Gayle:

  • She has the tenderest of hearts. At the same time, she has a fierce love for her family, her friends, her beloved fur babies, for folks living with HIV/AIDS, and really, for anyone who cannot speak for themselves.  Do NOT mess with anyone that Gayle loves.
  • She is a proud resident of Staten Island, living a modest life in her home full of love and pets and extended family. At the same time, she has this big world of friends and friends who have become family all over the internet.  I’m proud to be included.
  • She is a poet and can bring comfort to the saddest of hearts. At the same time, I would NOT suggest you mess with her, her daughters, her dogs, her cats, her friends or really any dog. Or cat.  Or person who cannot speak for themselves. 
  • She drives a red car.  A perfect night for her might be a potluck with neighbors, a sleepover with her adult daughters, or piled up in bed listening to Dean Martin reading 3 newspapers with dogs and cats snuggled in all around her.

And we have never met.  Well, never met in person anyway.

I met Gayle on the AOL Pug Board 10 years ago when my first little pug Herbie was alive.  A finer group of folks you would never find.  And Gayle is the glue that has held us all together for many of these years.  Sadly, AOL has decided to take down all of their boards and today signals the end of an era.  Not to be dissuaded, we are piecing the old group back together on a group page on facebook.

I love any turn in life that makes friends of folks who we might never have met if not for one event or place or time.  And I love Gayle.  She’s on my list (along with Mother Theresa) of people I would most like to meet.  So grateful for all of my pug board friends, and tonight especially for Gayle!  Enjoy your day, my friend!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Late Link Love


Wanna do some Guerilla Goodness?  Kindness Girl is up to her magic again!

Nella turned two!!  Yay!  Her mama writes a sweet post.

And since we’re visiting with old friends, hop over for a little tour of Andy and Alicia’s house.

Check out this twist on cake…..

And for desert?  How about a cherry coke float cupcake?

Some very fun Valentine printables to be found right here!

What do you mean, not sent from my iPhone? What other way is there?  Ohhhhhhhhhh, cool!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh, the places I will never go!

The Places You'll Go --Theodore Geisel
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
who'll decide where to go.
~ Dr. Seuss

I think it’s a holdover from my childhood, but I am a devoted homebody. This has grown more pronounced as I age. I am always so curious about the people in my life who love love love to travel. I’m almost certain that if someone arrived on my doorstep right at this moment and offered me an expense paid trip to anywhere……I’d forfeit the prize. If, however, I could just wake up and be somewhere without ever having to plan and worry and prepare and travel to get there, and if I were assured a room and bath of my own, and preferably if my husband or one of my kids or sister or mother or best friends were with me……then I think I’d be quite happy about it.

So, where would I be happy to wake up (in my own room with my chosen traveling companion)?

India. And during Holi if I get to choose. Seattle or Portland- with money in my pocket to eat and shop in the little places I’ve read of for years. A cabin in one of those little camps on a lake in Minnesota in August.

Mohonk. But I definitely don’t want to get there, just want to wake up there!

Of course there would be the trip to Chicago with my best friend, a trip with my sister to about anywhere, a trip with DH back to where we went on our honeymoon, my friend’s lake house in Tennessee, the kitchen table of dear friends all over the country.

Where else would be lovely?

Truth is, just imagining it is fine by me, or better yet, hearing a first hand account from people who have been there. I love to read of travel and of faraway places….from the comfort of my own home where I sleep happily in my own bed every night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Link Love


Oh, the memories!!  I had not thought of this in years, but once I saw it, every cardboard detail came back to me.  And I had the peach colored corvette to park outside…

I wish I had a set of these over the years!

Love the idea.  Super love that stencil!

I have a friend or two who would probably love a banjo sweater.

This has come up recently in a couple of food blogs I frequent.  Gotta try it.

Lots of good reading to be had here, as I love to hear what word other folks have chosen for the year.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ah, yesterday

Fresh -- Naomi Shihab Nye
To move
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

This was yesterday for me! Grateful for a holiday from work, and a glorious long day of just being at home.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beloved Community

Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the ‘fight with fire’ method which you suggest is bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes, love—which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even for one’s enemies—is the solution to the race problem.
—Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957


Today was our annual Beloved Community breakfast which is our way of honoring the memory of Dr. King and his dream.  It’s a great time of just being family together, and of reflecting on peace. 

On the first Sunday after the US invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, and for every single Sunday until today we have lit a candle for peace and sung the World Peace Prayer.  Today that candle was extinguished in honor of the December 2011 withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  In its place we lit a number of candles for other wars, other conflicts, other injustices that we each shared, and we will continue to light our candle and sing each week. 

World Peace Prayer

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

Still all the angry cries, still all the angry guns, Still now your people die, earth's sons and daughters. Let Justice roll, let mercy pour down, come and teach us Your way of compassion.

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

So many lonely hearts, so many broken lives, longing for love to break into their darkness. Come, teach us love, come, teach us peace, come and teach us Your way of compassion.

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

Let justice ever roll, let mercy fill the earth, let us begin to grow into your people. We can be love, we can be peace, we can be Your way of compassion.

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this truly beloved community.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stuff I’m loving


So, I am really loving my Women’s Success Planner.  I had heard about it over at Plannerisms.  This post sold me.    I ordered the first quarter for 2012 so I would have it on hand when the new year started.  The folks there were kind enough to send me the last quarter of 2011 at no charge with my order so I had a chance to start using the system in November.  I love it.  Got the cool leather cover for Christmas.  I’ve always been sure that the only thing standing between me and great business and personal success was finding the right planner.  No excuses now! Look out!

On the rare occasions of late that I am able to sneak in a little nap, I have been enjoying a little rainbow therapy thanks to my daughter.  I love the big brilliant rainbow that splashes across my dark room, and it makes me smile!  My son spoiled me with a box full of Lush bath treats.  There are days when the thought of a Lush bubble bar is enough to pull me out of  bed to face the day.  I’m set!  And how nice it is to know that my daughter reads my blog!   She saw this post, and ordered me a morse code necklace that says “mom”!

So far, I haven’t found a thing at Trader Joe’s that hasn’t been wonderful, but some things quickly worked their way onto my weekly list of staples.  Like Powerberries!  I’m not even much of a dark chocolate person, but I love these and I love that a small handful of them is enough to totally satisfy me. 

And then there are these soy crackers!  Love them! Have to have some at my desk at work for an attack of the munchies!

Now, if only that Cinnamon Pear Cider weren’t just a seasonal product….

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Link Love

DSC_0274 copy-cs3-blog

I always wanted to get a Wii just so that DH and I could have a weekly bowling night. This may be closer to our price range…..

I adore Bakerella, and have even more love and respect for her when I look at her year and her amazing talent and spirit.

Lovin’ this tee and the tutorial that goes with it makes it look pretty easy!

I love them all, but the tiny necklace is my fav.

Clean Mama always has a plan. I can’t seem to link to the individual day, but the January 2nd post has a plan for the whole year. Lots of other great tips and printables on her site. Enjoy!

I made these tonight, minus the sprinkles and my colors were a bit lighter. Taking them to the coffee house tomorrow night.

I love doilies. Especially around Valentines time of year.

Another homemade kitchen island idea….

Monday, January 9, 2012

Memory fail…..already!

I missed my blogoversary!!  I guess, like wedding anniversaries, after the first couple they aren’t such a big deal.  

The day after I made my first post in 2009, I remember checking about 10 times just to be sure it was really there.  I somehow kept being, and still keep being surprised, at the audacity of it all!  That people all over the world tell their stories and their hopes and their likes and dislikes to just anyone who wants to read them?! And to think anyone might even want to read it?  It has been good therapy for me, and really that was all it has ever been about.

So, this year as in the past, I share again the poem that I shared in my first post because it is as beautiful to me today as then and it is like music to my heart. 

Sometimes -- Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you

New Year, New Word

It’s that time of year again- time to pick the word I want to live with for the coming year. I have enjoyed this tradition now for 4 years, and I try to be very thoughtful in the selection of my word, knowing well that choosing a word does not always guarantee that I Iive into it fully so much as that I am putting it out there. Today I hold up into the light Memory, my word I have chosen for 2012.

While I may say it jokingly, there is a little tinge of anxiety in my voice when I make light of my issues with memory as I grow older. I’ve taken it for granted for years, and I can still make it happen, but it takes a while to crank over and produce sometimes!

I would like to honor the great gift of memory and to savor it this year. I would like to be more intentional about making good memories, and about recording them in some way either by journaling or art or photos or storytelling. I want to be sure to tell my children stories that matter. I want to do things that help mine stay healthy. (No Soduku….) I want to hold dear what money can never buy. So, to 2012. The year of memory.

One small thing I am doing, having wanted to do it for several years and finally getting in gear, is writing in a five year memory book. Just one line a day and each year it should be fun and dear and clarifying to see what I was doing in previous years on the same day. I’m using this book, and got one for my son’s girlfriend who is about to graduate from college and head off into what will surely be 5 years of great change. I love its color and how it feels in my hand, and I love making that tiny investment into my memory at the end of each day. Several times I have picked it up around 8 to jot down something for the day and something in me says, “Wait! something else might happen yet!”

Sunday, January 8, 2012




The first thing I saw when I opened facebook this morning was a discussion about this billboard and the Georgia campaign against childhood obesity that it came from. 

The best thing I read was this response from Brene’ Brown, and not one thing I could say would say it as well.

"Shame is often the cause and NEVER the cure. This "anti-obesity" campaign will deeply hurt children. Kids may want to be spoken to directly, but they don't want to be reduced to their greatest struggle. None of us do. Heartbreaking." - Brené Brown

I have been  filled with such sadness all day  for this little girl, and wondered what adult in her life thought it was okay to make her the poster child for childhood obesity.  

There has been a good bit of public outcry over this campaign and I hope the folks in Georgia are re-considering this strategy.  Most of all I hope for that little girl that there is someone in her life who tells her how beautiful she is, how smart and fun she is, and how dearly she is loved.