Sunday, October 23, 2016

a part of history

i was a part of the original test team for this program back in 2000!
what an amazing thing to see it in action!

Friday, October 7, 2016

random thoughts...

i'm thinking of becoming one of those gps voices, but instead of just telling where to turn and recalculating, i'd say things like ...
"oh, and about a half mile ahead is a really beautiful keystone bridge that was build in 1896. you'll want to slow down so you can safely stop to take pictures of it instead of doing a u-turn a mile up the road, or catching a glimpse of it as you speed by and saying that word your mother doesn't like to hear." 
"i just saw thermal imaging of a doe and her fawn a mile up the road. if you slow down now, you will be able to quietly stop right where they are next to the highway and take pictures of them." 
"there are some amazingly beautiful flowers three quarters of a mile ahead so slow down now to stop and take pictures of them so you won't have to do a u-turn and backtrack."
"two miles up the road is a co-op gallery with creations from local artists that you will really want to stop and see because they have some incredible work, and you will really like the fused glass earrings they are selling!"
i can just imagine the savings in gas, and the amount of time i would have because i won't be doing a u-turn and going back to catch a photo opportunity or something else. as smart as they are making computers these days, why couldn't they create a real-time gps that would tell you more than just where to go?

see me here? be glad you aren't seeing all of the picture. when will clothing designers start designing clothes with vertical stripes that are slimming?!?!?!? this sweater is the only one in my possession with horizontal stripes, and after i saw how it made me look in this picture, it is doubtful i will ever wear it again. it is a common sense designing concept. hello!?!?!?! designers ~ PAY ATTENTION!! vertical stripes! they draw the eyes to think vertical. like, thinner?!?! what do we have to do? go on strike and not wear horizontal stripes? i'm ready!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

the hole in my heart ...

i can't believe it has been four months when it still hurts like it was yesterday 
i picture you sitting like this, ears listening for the sound of my voice, and watching for me from one side of the Rainbow Bridge 
oh, how i wish i could see you again, and feel the weight of you leaning into me
your cold nose pushing into my hand to rub the smart bump on the top of your head
to hear your tail thumping on the bed when i reach over and massage your back when you are having a bad dream

i miss you so much 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

things i learned in august ...

how to tell a ripe pear from a not ripe pear

there can be grace and forgiveness in families

sometimes you just have to do what you can do, and let go of the rest of it

people who contemplate killing a cat by a hit in the head with a shovel should experience it for themselves first

unexplored roads are opportunities for new sights to see

a rooster's self-esteem is not to be questioned.

my peace and serenity can be found at the beach. every.single.time.
sometimes, there is nothing more important than dropping everything for a hug

i write better with zombie movies playing in the background

life is precious, no matter how small or how brief. treasure it.

our impact in this life has far reaching ripples of effect that you may never know about. don't miss an opportunity to be kind, to speak love, and to uplift and empower someone ~ even yourself. you are more important than you think in the life of someone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

morning coffee

i am awake, more than i realize
change has been coming, and i feel as if i am on the edge of it
my toes hanging over, and i bend to see what is next
balancing on the ledge of what is to see what will be
i wave my arms like they were wings and i was about to leap
from the security of the nest and fly,
but i'm only trying to keep my balance

we balance our lives at times
juggling between what we want and what we have
sometimes forced to settle into the now
created by the yesterday
and afraid of the tomorrow

i'm impatient for the morning coffee
the smell of roasted hazelnuts
making my mouth water
i go back and forth to the coffee maker
pouring each little bit in my cup as it brews

i think sometimes that is how i face life
mouth watering
taking in little bits at a time

at times i want what i had
more than i want what i have
and i'm speaking of strictly material things
as if my life was perfect when i had them
i think of things and wonder where i packed them
not believing i would have sold/given/left "that"

but i did
i did because somewhere along the times
of past changes, they became part of who i was
which was a person i no longer wanted to be

i hid my imperfections, my fears and loneliness
in those things i had, pretending life was perfect
my life was perfect because i had things

today i can say that my life isn't perfect
and that those things never made it perfect
and if given a choice between
perfect and not perfect
i would choose not perfect

because it is in those not perfect moments
of a not perfect life with not perfect things
and not perfect people
i found the truth, i found grace
i found forgiveness, i found love
i found peace

Sunday, August 7, 2016

once upon a time ...

i've been participating
this week in a [writing
challenge] and in the 
process have been 
bouncing between here
and [there] as the topics
varied. i've also been
working through some 
self-discovery devotionals,
one of which told us to
write our wildest goal,
our biggest dream,
and seal it in a bottle
tossed in the sea, to
let fate ~ God~  carry
it where it needed to be
to make it a reality. i messaged a
friend who flies frequently to places
across the sea and asked if she would 
drop my bottle in the Rhine River or another
river or sea in Europe. but not wanting to wait for
me to find a small bottle, or wait for her next trip
i'm writing this story in a bottle and setting it adrift in the
electronic sea. this is my biggest dream, my wildest goal, and my story.
once upon a time, there was a young girl who wanted nothing more than
to have a large house that she could fill with unwanted dogs and cats and
children like herself. children that felt unloved, unwanted, and alone. 
children who could never make friends because they were always the new kid
at school, or because of the braces on their legs, or the thick bifocal glasses they
wore, or the red hair and freckles they had. children who just wanted to belong
somewhere, anywhere, that they didn't stand out or feel different. like the "island 
of lost toys," she wanted to have a house where everyone was welcomed, and everyone
felt loved. so she created a life for herself where all that was possible, and all that she
wanted would come true. she worked hard to learn all that she could to make her wildest goal
come true. she went to school and learned how to listen, and as she grew, she realized that 
she had a very special talent, one that was very rare. she began to understand how it was
that she sometimes knew things about people. not in a psychic-read-your-mind kind of way,
but emotionally she could sense and feel what someone was feeling. it gave her more 
compassion and understanding when she met people. but in time, being an empath began
to take a toll on her. she was overwhelmed with emotions that weren't always her own, and
it exhausted her. she began to feel physical pain because she had forgotten the first rule in
flying was to put your own oxygen mask on first. so she stepped back from her life and 
broke connections with people that were draining her spirit. she moved away to a place
where she knew no one and had no connections. where she could refocus her attention on
her dreams and goals. she had never stopped wanting a large house where she could take in 
unwanted dogs and cats, and other animals. so she wrote her business thesis into her first fiction 
novel. a dream of restoring an abandoned business center and large grocery store into an
indoor dog daycare center, with all of the smaller stores each becoming connected by the dog
theme. each time she passed a large shopping center with a grocery store anchor she envisioned
the "what ifs" of how she would remodel it. each time she passed a large house for sale, she
looked at it with eyes of possibilities. she had hoped her books would do well, perhaps not on 
a bestseller list, but maybe picked up as a lifetime movie of the week. she wanted them to at least
provide an income that would make her life and dreams sustainable. she began to have dreams
of what she knew would become her next book. a book about isolation, and feeling unwanted,
alone and unloved. she knew that book would turn those feelings around for the readers who
might share the same feelings and that in writing her book, she would finally realize that she
had always been wanted, and was never alone or unloved. that there was One who was always
there, who always kept His promises. she knew that if she could write that book, the readers would
also come to realize that they had always been wanted, loved, and never alone.  so she sat down one
night and wrote her deepest desires, her wildest goals, and her biggest dreams and put them in a 
bottle. she carried the bottle to a river of hope and put it in the waters that gave life and love. she
also carried those deepest desires, wildest goals, and biggest dreams deep in her heart, which
she gave to the One who had loved her before time began, and who had given her life and hope.
she set her heart adrift in that river of hope, and in the waters that gave life and love. she set herself free.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

what i learned in july ...

i started doing this list with emily p freeman, who last did it in may, and not since due to travel to italy, summer family and quiet times.  i hope that she starts doing it again because i always like to learn, and especially from someone whose books i have read and learned from.
things i learned in july

  1. no matter the cost, sometimes you just have to splurge on fresh cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries from the grocery store because if you are going to splurge on something, it should be something good for you ... and because the deer like to eat the ones growing in the garden.
  2. taking a different way home doesn't mean that you are lost, it means that you are an adventurer exploring new roads.
  3. when you do not have any cameras in the car, you will see a doe and her still freckled fawn. when you have a camera, you will never see her again.  it is known as the photographer's murphy's law.
  4. if you have three beautiful sunny days, and put laundry out on the line the fourth day, even when there are no clouds in the sky, it will rain. this weather anomaly is also known to happen when you wash your car or have a perfect hair day without an umbrella. (and the sun will come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun) (now see if you can get THAT song out of your head!)
  5. there are no jobs that are "beneath" you when you don't have a job and need one. because even when you take an entry level cashier position, and you have an MBA there will be things you can learn ... about yourself and others.
  6. there really are some things that are better left unsaid. when listening to someone talk, focus on their words to really hear what they are saying, not just how they are sounding. before you respond, think how you would feel if someone said the words you are about to say to you. if you wouldn't appreciate it, chances are the person you are listening to wouldn't either.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

words for wednesday ...

The Tortoise Trainer by Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910)
he had realized as a young boy how soothing it was to just stop what he was doing in the middle of the day and watch the tortoises. their slow, deliberate movements made him slow down and think about the things that were important. as he got older, and his life more hectic and chaotic, the lesson of the tortoises stayed with him. his students thought that his passion for tortoises was one of his eccentric tendencies, but they, in turn, learned how the observation of them calmed them before exams. tortoises don't do anything rash, they think about their movements and choices because it takes so much effort to move with the weight of their shells. that pause before decisions makes them more likely to make the right decision rather than one based on emotions.
Osman often found himself talking over decisions with the tortoises, as if they could understand what he was saying, or even speak themselves. but he found that when he voiced his thoughts to them, often beginning a conversation with "I was just wondering if you could solve a little argument?"and the pros and cons of any decision he had to make, he would make better choices. he attributed it to the wisdom of the tortoises, but deep inside he knew that just stopping to think allowed him to make wiser choices.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

forced to reconsider ...

Alfred Stevens "Cat"
the box had arrived the week before, but her sorrow was so deep, the fog of grief tiptoeing into her heart like little cat's feet, that she couldn't bring herself to open it. seeing his handwriting on the label brought back the memories of the times they had shared together ... times they would never share again. 
finally, she had walked in the garden that he had planted for her, and when she saw that he had planted her favorite blue pansies in the shape of a heart, she knew it was time.  
he had sent the box his last morning, enclosing a note telling her how much he loved and cherished her, and that he couldn't wait to see again. he told her that the gift enclosed reminded him of her. small but fierce. independent but holding a part of his heart that made him realize how much he needed her.  he had found it in a little shop, and the old Chinese woman who had sold it to him told him that it was the year of the tiger and an auspicious gift for his fiancĂ©e who had been born in a tiger year and under the water sign. 
of course, he hadn't believed in any of that, being a Christian missionary, but he knew of her fondness for cats. he told her he would be arriving back in San Francisco in a month's time and that since he would soon need to return to the church he was planting, he asked if she would marry him sooner than they had planned because he never wanted to be that far away from her again.
the telegram had arrived two days after he had sent the box, telling her of the fever that had taken hold of him and robbed her of the life they had planned together.
his body had been buried in China, almost immediately after he had died.  so strong was the fear of the fever, that the ship's captain with whom he had arranged his passage back to her had refused to allow the plain box casket that carried his body on board.
as she held the blue pansy close to her heart, and his last letter to her fell to the floor amidst her tears, she knew that the life she had imagined was still possible and that she would continue his work in China. 

i've been reading"The One Year Book of Hope Devotional" by Nancy Guthrie. it is "daily readings to give you hope when life has let you down." her story is a heartbreaking one of back-to-back deaths of two babies from a rare disorder called Zellweg Syndrome. reading her words, and the strength and faith she has had humbles me, and while my own losses are nothing compared to hers, it does not minimize mine. they are exactly the same, but completely different.
in her book, it was the following passage that made me connect with this picture, and with my own life story ... [see Losing Your Life pg 100-101]
"He has given you the gift of being forced to reconsider the very purpose of your life.  Those who are sailing through a comfortable life at this point have not yet been forced to carefully consider their lives and surrender their dreams.  but because you have been shaken to the core, you see clearly that if you cling to your own plans and desires, you will never discover the freedom and joy found in losing your life for Jesus."