Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things that make me happy today

  • Being stopped dead in my tracks by Erin's singing of "The Wizard and I" even though I've heard her sing this song a zillion times. The girl needs to star in a musical.
  • Hearing Brady's French teacher's pure joy about Brady's natural abilities to speak the French language, an extraordinary feat for an American, she claims.
  • Singing every word along with Pat Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" (which I didn't put on our family's iPod), while preparing lunch, as a shout-out against my illness. (Who knew, when I was a freshman in college and my girlfriends and I learned an aerobic dance routine to this song, in the basement of our dormitory, how much I'd appreciate it so many years later?)
  • Finishing my reread of Sorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, a story that is a cross between Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice, and has a romantic moment that rates right up there with P&P's romantic moment.
  • Erin, in the kitchen, bending my ear, telling all that she's learned about acting and moviemaking from the latest good interview she's found on the Internet.
  • How beautifully rich Erin's fuchsia-tipped roses, look against the black marble-like tile of our living room fireplace.
  • The glimpses of sunshine, which indicates that our latest bad, low pressure system has emptied its snow and rain-filled clouds and is heading out of town.
  • The odd thrill of not knowing which American Idol contestant is going home tonight, even though I know I'll be sad no matter who gets axed.
  • My husband's willingness to go the grocery store, after his long day at work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're not alone

A friend of mine recently gave me the name of a family who is in the midst of a journey not altogether different than ours. I quickly connected to them by e-mail. In the month we've been in touch, they've already given me a great deal of support and encouragement. The husband and wife write frequent posts on each of their own blogs, which are highly recommended reading for anyone who desires further glimpses of the joys and sorrows faced in the day to day life of those with difficult health problems.

Today's post by the mom/wife, Andrea, is particularly good. (Any post that quotes Charles Dickens gets points in my book.) We have these kinds of Charles Dickens days at our home, too. Things can get low as can be with much despair and pain, but an hour, or so, later we'll be able smile at the beauty of the sunset, then laugh, boo, and cheer together, in front of the TV, watching American Idol. We go to bed thankful.

We're hoping our families get to meet while we're in Arizona. The connection we've already established is a like a new spring garden. We look forward to to it blossoming while we all grow into better health.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photo of the Week (17)


Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Picture of the Week (16)


Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo of the Week (15)


Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

From my reading

No one ever finishes his life. Nothing is ever complete. Our souls are in the things we love and the ways we arrange them. Into the Tangle of the Friendship: A Memoir of the Things that Matter Most, by Beth Kephart

It's all connected in strange, mysterious ways, she guesses...the sprinklers, the M*A*S*H reruns, the tree frog, the dogs, even Mr. Henderson...all connected in ways they can't ever know, ways only she can sense, because on this dark, starry night she is there to hear them. She is there to listen. A Room on Lorelei Street, by Mary E. Pearson

...I'll be back in school soon. Or maybe not. Maybe I really will take the rest of the semester off. Might make me graduate late, might even set me back a whole year. So what? Years don't scare me anymore. Things Not Seen, by Andrew Clements

But these afflictions were mild compared to the awesome loneliness, and in the way of prisoners since the beginning of time he spent countless hours savoring the lost, now clarified sweetness of ordinary days. The people in his life seemed so precious to him - I love you all! he wanted to tell them, his parents, and siblings, the biology department secretaries, his affable though self-absorbed and deeply flawed professors. Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, by Ben Fountain

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Photo of the Week (14)

Miss Amazing

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

When I go visiting

I entered the blogging world sometime in 2005. Firstly, in encouraging the kids to blog. We'd had our good health zipped out of us and blogging seemed like a fun, creative output to challenge B and E until we could all get back to a normal daily routine. Secondly, in finding blogs that I liked to visit. By the beginning of 2006, each of the kids had created new blogs of their own, Miss Erin and mcsanimations. (They've since bumped up their blogging activity even more. Erin talks acting on Backstage Musings and takes a photo a day for Chromatic Aberration. Brady added a personal blog, Breakaway.)

This blog was facing desertion. But I'd found my way around the blogosphere, visiting several favorites every day and I realized that I wanted to join in the fun. This blog became mine, just me. I cannot remember it's original name.

I mostly started blogging as a reassurance to the three of us, that even though our world had turned upside down, it was still good. See the blessings. Be encouraged by pockets of joy and laughter, the generosity of others, help from our doctors, the successes given. I realized my family and friends needed this assurance, too, so I starting sharing my blog address.

When I first started blog hopping, I'll admit, I was mostly a lurker. I was kind of shy about pointing visitors to my blog and I spent what energy I had trying to write posts. But soon, I realized that I wanted to share in the conversations with these new friends, who were giving me so much but didn't even know I existed. These days I don't get around to writing as many posts, I'm busy conversing on others'. One of these days, I'll be in a place where I can do both.

A week or two ago, I was given the "zombie chicken award" (something about "excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse" along with a funny dance) by friend, Beth Kephart, an extraordinary author, poet, photographer who interviewed Miss Erin last year, when I finally "discovered" her. Her kind words have motivated me to introduce you to a few of the bloggers that make me smile with their writing and/or photos:

beth kephart books - Each of Beth's posts are gift-wrapped in beauty. Not only does her sincere kindness and amazing writing/photography talents inspire, but she consistently challenges me to see, feel, think, hear, and do life in a grab-hold-of-it way. Beth's authored close to a dozen books, and I don't intend to miss a one. Look for her newest, Nothing But Ghosts, this June.

Sarah Miller books
- Sarah is another blogger, author friend courtesy of Erin. Sarah doesn't just write historical fiction novels (Miss Spitfire and an upcoming, 2010, novel of the Romanovs), she lives and breathes them. She's a ferocious reader and it's hard to keep up with all the good books she recommends. Sarah has a quirky, snarky personality that invites you to laugh with and at her. How can you not love Sarah, (aka, The Book Fairy).

art and aioli - Okay, third one in a row of bloggers I've found through Miss Erin. Nicole shares her love to create in the kitchen, not just by giving us a photo and recipe, but the process, too. Throw in a sweet personality, some Southern California sunshine, along with a glimpses at mothering her young children while juggling a business (original designs on notecards/invitations/birthday cards) and you have a fun place to visit.

Keller's on the Prairie
- Laurie and her husband moved back to the Dakota prairie a couple of years ago, after a few decades of city living in Texas. They live outside the town we went to have my teeth straightened, my ears and throat checked, to shop for the family's monthly staples and all of our new jeans. Laurie watches the prairie sky, just like I use to and now am able to do again, thanks to her blog. Her witty writing makes me smile as much as her beautiful photography.

Learning to live with CFS - Sue writes about the journey of her and her two boys living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Sue's family, like mine, is a family of four who's husband, also like mine, is healthy and supportive. Sue writes and posts the nitty gritty, for which I've been appreciative because often I can and do not. Sue's daily struggles and mine, though different in many ways, ultimately are the same. It's been a great help to me to know that someone else "out there" knows and truly understands.

sandy cove trail - At sandy cove trail, cloudscome (Andromeda) shares her gorgeous photography, sometimes with a verse or comment, almost every day. I always try to stop by to satisfy my required daily beauty quotient. cloudscome faces health struggles, too, and I appreciate the joy that she consistently spreads, despite those challenges.

I have to say...One of the first blogs I started visiting, again thanks to Miss Erin, who found Randi's blog through her daughter, Polka Dotted Pickles. Randi blogs about life as a crafter/seamstress, homeschool mom, faithful wife, and Christian woman. She, also, takes beautiful photos. Hers is a popular blog that humbly documents her daily struggles and joys, in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Femina - My pastor's wife shares this blog with her two, young married daughters, and her young daughter-in-law. Never a dull moment here, these ladies share everything from recipes, to stories of stolen luggage in Rome, the antics of toddlers, favorite iTunes downloads, along with solid wisdom in parenting and homemaking.

magistramater - A friend introduced me to Carol's blog. Carol is the kind of homeschool mom that I used to try to be, only much smarter. I'm not sure if anyone can truly keep up with this lady, but it sure is fun trying (or watching, as is my case presently). Gracious and sweet, yearning to learn, and striving to make her life and her home a light from which others can flourish - that's Carol.

dreams of genevieve - I met Jenni while commenting at Femina. Jenni suffers some of the same health problems that I do. She's a young writer, editor, homemaker - wife to a drummer. dreams of genevieve recounts, in thanksgiving, the good things she's been given each day. From an article, to a movie, to her latest favorite tea or song, it's always nice to be able to go to her for pick-me-up ideas when I'm "stuck."

A professional photographer that not only takes photos of some of my favorite places, but also offers helpful shooting tips. Don't miss his recent post of where to catch sight of the elusive jackalope!

Well...I'm finding it hard to stop. Before I do, let me share a few of my favorite young people's blogs. These girls are class acts. Friends of Erin's, each of these talented bloggers are going places. It's a privilege to visit their blogs to tag along:

never jam today
book crumbs
the holly and the ivy
Fields of Gold