Is there anyone else out there who experiences tremendous fear when things start falling perfectly into place? When life starts shoveling greatness into your lap, do you start to worry? I do.
They say that when you're happy you enjoy the music but when you're sad you understand the lyrics. Since this month has been filled with all the emotions I'm capable of, I've been closely connected with my radio. Here's a little taste of the music in my heart lately...
A multi-level reminder
Because life was gracious enough to move me forward
Because I still got it
And finally, because I'm better off now than I was a month ago.
Is there an excuse for owning a website and not blogging on it for three months? No.
But there is a reason. And this time, it's not Twitter.
I consider myself a creative person in general. Always have been. When I’m not doing something, I’m usually thinking about what I’m going to do or make next. Even when I’m supposed to be focused on a movie or driving.
But, sometimes when I want to be writing, I can’t think of what to say. Or rather, what to write about. It’s like, my head is
buzzing with thoughts and words. So much so that I can’t see through them well enough to find a direction for them. It’s very frustrating and makes me cranky.
So, thanks to Twitter and the wonderful writers I’ve “met”there, I’ve discovered this magical online tool that gives brand new “writer’s prompts” every time you click the button. Wow. Now I want to push the button all the time to make up for all the times I wanted to write and couldn’t find my way.
I pushed it today.
It said, “Write a letter to your father.”
And I said, “That’s below the belt, button. Try again.”
Then the page could not be displayed. So I refreshed, desperate for a different prompt.
It said, “Write a letter to your father.”
Makes me wonder if this “writer’s prompt” thing is worth it. Is it better to have a hornet’s nest in your head, or your heart?
People say I look just like my dad. Apparently he and I are very similar in many ways. But I don’t want to write to him. Maybe because we are so much the same and writing to him is facing the things I don’t like about myself, in someone else.
So instead, here’s a letter to all dad’s who have daughters, young or not-so-young.
Please be there. Your daughter needs you all the time.
Don’t say you didn’t call because you didn’t want to bother her. Don’t come up with any excuses at all. If you don’t call,
you will never be completely forgiven.
You are not expected to be perfect. It is expected that you will do and say the wrong thing from time to time
and your daughter will cry because she’s hurt. At this point, you (as the most important man in her life) will find that you have incredible healing powers that you didn’t know you had. This is partly because she wants to feel better and not be mad at
However, if you go all the way and break her heart, there is nothing you (or anyone else) can do to heal her. Her heart will be broken forever.
She will manage. She will move on, and she may even remain a dutiful daughter to you for the rest of her days, but the break is still there. She may try to recover the relationship, she may not.Those who take the time and care to explore her heart will find it. It can’t be undone.
You can avoid this by doing one simple thing. All you have to do is pay attention. Keep an eye on her. Ask her how her day was, either in person, or on the phone. If there is someone keeping you from her, fight. She will know.
P.S. If I offended you, I’m sorry. These are my opinions based on personal experience and many years studying Psychology.
John and I didn’t really date.
We just decided to be together, and that was it. I spent the night once, then spent one more night in my apartment in
town, then moved in.
You can imagine our neighbor’s surprise when I met her on our road early one morning and told her I was living here now.
It went like this:
Me: (rolling down my car window) "Hi! Are you Tammy?"
Tammy: (shivering and walking her dog) "Yeah, are you Adrianne?"
Me: "Yeah! I've heard so much about you, I'm so happy to meet you now! I'm just on my way to work."
~~~Some more small talk~~~
Tammy: "So... where do you live?"
Me: "Oh! I live here!"
Tammy: "Here? Like here in Alto?"
Me: "No. Like, here. Up the hill. With John."
John had told me that I really needed to meet the neighbors, but it was November and we all were very busy with the holiday season and getting used to our new relationship. Then it was December and he was back on the boat and I was wrapping things up at the apartment and unpacking in my new home.
Then it was January…
I didn’t meet Tammy again until we were well into the Spring, though I had spoken with her husband, Larry, several times on the road (he is a fellow gardener and more experienced with our brand of horrible soil out here) and made friends with her two sons thanks to their already comfortable relationship with John and his daughter.
It was John’s daughter’s birthday party (in May) when I realized that the woman living right next door was someone I wanted and seriously needed as my friend. She was the life of the party with her many bottles of fun-flavored Vodka, but more importantly than that, she had done a child’s birthday party before and I had not. She helped me clean up after. And she didn’t judge me when she realized I was in over my head.
She hasn’t judged me yet.
She’s my shopping partner, my confidant, and the only person in a 50-mile radius that truly gets my sense of humor.
I don’t mind when she sees my house at its dirtiest, that’s how much I like her.
I get mad at myself sometimes for the time that went by when I didn’t know Tammy yet but I could have. If you don’t know your neighbor, you should invite him/her over for coffee some time. I hope you have a neighbor like mine.
You can’t have mine though. Sorry.
I love being outside. I love sunshine, clouds, rain, and snow. I love the barren gray of the trees in winter, the first buds of spring, the green, green, green of summer and the way the leaves blend into the sunset in fall. I love the smells, even the offensive ones near the chicken coop, of the world outside.
I love rock-climbing in the Jeep with friends and laying in my tent with the top open and the company of a good book.
I don’t mind bugs, except for slugs. I don’t mind encounters with the unexpected, even a chilly night outdoors with no supplies. I don’t mind there being dirt on everything.
There are only a few things I do mind about the outdoors: snakes, mud, and when tree sap gets stuck in my hair.
SO… it’s really muddy outside right now. (All that pretty snow melted.) I’ve had to wear John’s mud boots every time I wanted to walk anywhere other than the rock walk I made in front of the door, and in those boots I’ve actually been sinking in the mud at least an inch with every step. Stacking firewood has been a nightmare.
SO… I’ve been inside more than I like. BUT… with all this inside time has come some good quality movie time. So much so that I’m quoting my favorite films in conversation with friends.
My favorite movie quotes:
The Princess Bride – Vizzini: “Faster!” Fezzik: “I thought I was going faster.” Vizzini: “You were supposed to be this colossus. You were this great legendary thing. And yet, he gains!” Fezzik: “Well, I’m carrying three people, and he got only himself.” Vizzini: “I do not accept excuses. I’m just going to have to find myself a new giant, that’s all.” Fezzik: “Don’t say that, Vizzini. Please?”
The Stepford Wives – Joanna: “Wait, you work out dressed like this?” Claire: “Well of course! Whatever we do, we always want to look our very best. I mean, why, imagine if our husbands saw us in worn, dark, urban sweat clothes with stringy hair and almost no make-up.”
Pride and Prejudice – Lizzie: “But I give you leave to like him. You’ve liked many a stupider person. Now, you’re a
great deal too apt to like people in general, you know. All the world is good and agreeable in your eyes.”
Casablanca – All the lines.
Practical Magic – Sally: “and if he doesn’t exist… I’ll never die of a broken heart.”
Aunt Frances: “Oh dear. Well. A little mugwort will fix that right up.” Aunt Jet: “I think a brownie for breakfast would fix you right up.” (This part reminds me of my mom and myself. I was brought up to believe that most things can be cured by either a brownie or leftover garlic bread and taking your socks off.)
Random, Silly Old Lady: “Go arrest her! Their niece owns a shop where they cook up a special placenta. And they’s why the aunt’s don’t age. I tell you, they just don’t age.” Officer Hallet: “She’s selling placenta?” Random, Silly Old Lady: “A placenta bar.”
Forrest Gump – All the lines. I can actually sit down and watch Forrest Gump every time. I liked John more when I realized that he reminded me of Lt. Dan.
Also, I’ve been destroying my kitchen every single day by making lots and lots of soap and lotion.
I’m one of those heinously annoying people who can’t sit through a movie unless I’m completely captivated for every single moment of the show. I get very bored and wander around the house or yard looking for something else to do, but then I always come back and sit down for a little while because I feel guilty for… everything. Those 6 movies I mentioned earlier however, don’t really count as simple entertainment in my mind anymore. There is something in each that claimed my heart and therefore was escalated to the place reserved for friends I like to talk to regularly. Translated: I put these movies on and continue neurotically through my constant activity and then claim to have “watched” them. I do it all the time.
What I meant when I said I was getting some good quality movie time earlier, is that I put on these old stand-by’s and then practically do squats for all the up and down on the couch I do. And I’ve had to do different stretches to work out the kinks in my back because of all the actual sitting one does indoors.
I bet we got about a foot and a half of snow. It melted and we had mud for 3 days. More snow is coming tomorrow.
Snow is cool.
Mud is not.
I see a lot of time spent on the upside-down machine in my near future.
There were about 95 people in my graduating class. In my town, it seems like high school is everything. It’s where you make the friends you’ll have for the rest of your life, and where most folks find their future spouse. (Or at least the person they will procreate with.) And, like most schools, we had our fair share of cliques. I hung out with the same group of girls
every single day for years and years, but I can say without a second thought that there wasn’t one person in my class that I genuinely disliked. Well, I take that back. There was this one boy, Donnie something, who was outrageously rude and self-important. I didn’t like him, but all in all, SGHS class of 2002 was a pretty good group.
That being said, I never had an issue with being either “cool” or “uncool” until now. My mom keeps reminding me that I’m almost 30, so I realize this is the wrong time of my life to be worried about it, but the difference is this: back in the day, we
didn’t have Twitter. Or Facebook. Twitter is the big one though. On Facebook I’m “friends” with people I already know. The
folks from the class of ’02, family, and the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Like my neighbor, Tammy. She’s probably my favorite.
On Twitter, I virtually connect with people I don’t know. The only info I have on these people are what they post online. I read their posts, their profiles, and I follow the links to their blogs. And I’m a combination of flattered, and embarrassed, when I look at the people that are following me and I see really amazing people who are doing really amazing things with their lives. And there are really cool folks on there who I admire because they express themselves really well and make you want to be their friend because they just rock.
I started jumping up and down in my kitchen when I picked up my phone and before my eyes the notification said this:
The Next Martha is now following you. I love her. She’s funny and I’ve been following her since I first began tweeting. That notification was like getting a little note from heaven letting me know that I have found success. I’m sitting at the table designated for cool kids on Twitter. The Next Martha doesn’t just follow everyone who follows her, you
understand. Now, if I could get Ree Drummond or Elizabeth Banks to follow me, I wouldn’t just be sitting at the table.
I just assume that at that point I will be running the school.
I have a theory about the holiday season. Technically, Christmas is a Cristian holiday, but we as a society have found a way to make the end of the year a time of giving for everyone. We Christians like to have everyone on the same page, safe to say.
And to me, it's no consequence the way the holidays are arranged.
First, Halloween. October 31st was my Great-Grandma's birthday, and in my family we do birthdays big. Even though she's been gone a while, I still remember and celebrate her on that day. She was a prankster, and Halloween is a holiday meant for fun. Carving fun and scary faces into pumpkins, dressing up, eating enormous amounts of sugar, and yes, playing tricks on unsuspecting people for fun.
What a great way to kick off the time of year that brings dark days and a cold wind. The tone for the season is set.
Next up, Thanksgiving.
Gather the family for the traditions everyone loves, fix a huge meal, and partake in communal napping on Grandma's couch. We consciously, even verbally, give thanks for the things that otherwise may go unnoticed the rest of the year. We catch up with family members we haven't seen in a while. We lend a hand in the community.
It seems before Thanksgiving is even over, Christmas begins. Some of us have been mentally planning (budgeting, gifting, grocery stocking, decorating, checklisting) for weeks before the Christmas season "officially" starts. That's how important it is to us. My neighbor Tammy has been overloaded mentally all month. My Christmas wish is that she wins a fantastic vacation for one that begins as soon as Christmas is over. For Christians, the build up is about the birth of our savior. For society (including Christians), it's about gifts, decorations, food, and family. That is a lot to get on one plate.
Add in the red Salvation Army buckets around town, the Secret Santa's, the convenient ways to donate to the less fortunate that seem more important now that any other time of year, and you have yourself a season of giving.
So. In order, we have FUN (Halloween), THANKS GIVING (Thanksgiving), and LOVE (Christmas).
Followed closely by NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS.
After the holiday season, who doesn't want to be a better person? It's almost like it's meant to be. All those holidays attached to deeply personal memories, traditions, heart strings, and family, and then we get a fresh new start with the turn of the calendar.
No matter what your heart is full of by the time Christmas comes, you are ready for that second chance come January 1. You want the hope that you owe yourself when you sit down to make your resolutions. You deserve the opportunity to realize your potential again after everything you've given these last couple of months.
So dream big. Now's your chance. Make those changes big and small. Be a part of the solution, in your own life and in the world.
Most of all, what I wish for you, is that you will BE INSPIRED. And when inspiration finds you, EMBRACE IT.
Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year.
I'm trying to make lye.
What I've learned is this: things are never as easy as they seem.
Go watch some YouTube videos about lye making and it will seem like the easiest thing in the world to do. Believe me when I tell you, it is not.
The photo above was taken weeks ago, and the "situation" hasn't changed.
I put rocks in the bottom of the glass container to help act as a filter. I put straw above the rocks to REALLY filter the wood ash. I compacted the straw as instructed.
I carefully poured in cooled hardwood ash from my fireplace onto the compressed straw. I packed it tightly. So far, I've followed the instructions to a "T", and only one step remains. Slowly pour boiling rainwater over the compacted ashes.
The ashed bubbled, like the instructions said they wood. This was thrilling. Chemical reactions usually are, and apart from being thrilled, I was also encouraged. This was going to work! I updated my facebook status so that the world would know I was finding success.
The first bit of "lye" started dripping onto the rocks and collecting in the bottom of the glass container. I proudly drained it off, marveling at how easy this was. Congratulating myself for cutting out a major soap-making expense. I had made something out of nothing. Amazing.
The next and final step was all that was left. Test the lye. Obviously, I had followed the directions, so this was just a formality. Nothing to worry about. In went the duck feather. I stood by in raptures awaiting the certain disintegration of the feather. But, the feather floated. Technically, the directions HAD called for a chicken feather. Fine. Put on the mud boots and hike up to the chicken coop to fetch a chicken feather. Apparently duck feathers are immune to lye.
The chicken feather floated. I dunked it under the surface of the supposedly caustic liquid, just to give it the best chance I could.
Since that day two weeks ago, I've drained what is supposed to be lye water several times, boiled it, and poured it back over the used, and newer, ashes in the container.
So far, no feather has succumbed to the test.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I intend to find out and report back.
All day long I thought today was Wednesday.
This was a very severe miscalculation, with serious consequences.
John, my love, gets home on Thursday. His job takes him away from home for 28 days at a time, and I usually make a huge deal out of his homecomings.
We’re talking fancy supper, pristine house, lingerie… and this is the
occasion I’ve been preparing for.
Since I thought said homecoming was tomorrow (if today were Wednesday), I’ve been making bread dough, cinnamon roll dough, pulled a ham out of the freezer…
Because I thought yesterday was Tuesday, and I cleaned the house thoroughly enough to put Martha to shame.
Yes, I have been unaware of the current date for two whole days. It’s possible that I thought Sunday was, in fact, Monday.
I’m getting confused again. What is today? Today is only Tuesday? Then I probably thought Monday was Sunday.
Arranging an elaborate two-person party like this takes careful planning. Let’s be honest here, I don’t keep my house this immaculate every single day. Come on, I make soap. And paper. That’s messy stuff.
It takes two solid days to turn a regular, lived-in home into a spotless one.
Then there’s the baking. I usually bake a loaf of homemade bread, (the epitome of time consuming) and I need 24 hours to thaw whatever incredible cut of meat I excitedly purchased a week in advance.
This time, it’s the aforementioned ham.
There is dog bathing involved. I trim our poodle. We’re all happy to see John and everyone wants to look their best. This was going to take place tonight; obviously, it will have to wait until tomorrow. If everyone bathed tonight, they would
be filthy again when “daddy” pulled into the drive. We can’t have that.
While I’m on the topic, I’ve been using my self-tanning lotion one day too long. I’m going to have to really re-work my tanning strategy so that I don’t look orange against my hot pink nightie. I filed my nails while dough rose this morning… pointless. They’ll have to be redone.
I scrubbed my oven in high heels today for some last-minute leg toning and for practice’s sake.
I’m so discombobulated that I’m not sure how I’m going to dO tomorrow. I’ll have to re-clean things, replace the bed sheets (AGAIN), refresh the carpets, bathe the dogs, and remember to not cook the ham. I hope I wake up with the full understanding that it is WEDNESDAY.
I just don’t even know what to do about my tan and my nails.
Good heavens. Where is my planner?