Thursday, January 31, 2013

Now that's some wind!

Happy Thursday, friends. ☺

How's your weather today? We're experiencing some pretty heavy winds here in Western New York, but thankfully they're nothing like the ones shown in this short video taken last December in Tortosa, Spain:

I'd hate to be driving anywhere near that truck.

Whatever your weather, I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

"I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted, they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!"

~John Muir

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our World Tuesday

Today I'm once again linking up with Our World Tuesday, a meme that encourages bloggers to share images of their world. It's a great way to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of others! You can find out more about it here. Even if you don't participate, I encourage you to take a look at the intriguing pictures that bloggers from around the world share each week.

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This week I was inspired by fences. Do they keep others out—or us in?
"The wide world is all about you:
you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out."
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, January 28, 2013

Six things I love about Mondays

Image courtesy of Gesine Kuhlmann,
Happy Monday!

I admit that sometimes it's hard to drag myself out of bed on Monday mornings. After all, Monday means I'm back to waking up at 5:30, back to packing lunches, back to the daily routine/grind—all things that seem just a little too difficult to think about after a weekend off. However, there are also some things about Mondays that I absolutely love:

♥  The promise of a new beginning. Monday is all about second chances. ☺

♥  Storytime at the library. My daughter loves it, and I love having the opportunity to pick up some new books.

♥  A new episode of The Carrie Diaries. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows.

♥  Naptime. Because we're usually busy on the weekends, my daughter often misses her nap. Starting on Mondays, naptime is back, and that means time for me to write and get things done around the house.

♥  A new edition of Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry column. I look forward to this every week.

♥  On Wednesday, the temperature here is supposed to reach nearly 60 degrees. That's definitely something to look forward to!

Love them or hate them: How do you feel about Mondays?

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends!

Today I'm inspired by Edgar Müller, an artist who creates three-dimensional street paintings. According to his Web site (found here), Müller's paintings, which cover large public areas, challenge the perceptions of passersby, who become a part of the scenery he creates. The video below shows the making of one of his pieces of art and the reactions of the people who pass by the completed project. Enjoy!

Wishing you all an inspirational Sunday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Six-word Saturday

Wait. Am I a kid again?

This week's below-freezing temperatures sure made it feel that way. I've never been much of a fan of snow and cold. As a kid in Michigan, no matter how bundled up I was, I would still freeze my nose and toes and hands each morning as I waited for the school bus. When I graduated from high school, I was happy to leave those days of ice-cold bus-stop-waiting behind. Flash forward many years to the present, and here I am, freezing all over again each morning as I wait for the bus with my kindergarten son.
Life's funny, huh? ☺

Wishing you all a warm and cozy weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

Looking forward to the weekend? I am. I hope today's funnies will help get yours off to a good start. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Five things I learned yesterday

Image courtesy of Steve Woods,
"What did you learn today?"

I ask my son that question every day when he gets home from kindergarten, and since he's only five, he actually answers me—although I suspect that when he gets a little older, the always-popular "nothing" will be his go-to response. ☺

Yesterday, as he told me about all the things his teacher had taught him, I started to think about the things the day had taught me. Although my new knowledge might not be as exciting as my son's, I do learn a few things every day. Yesterday taught me that:

1. I don't have to give up on a recipe like this one just because I'm out of cream of mushroom soup. Instead, I can make my own. It's easy to do, and there's no worry about canned soup and BPA.

2. Sometimes it's just too cold outside to make the effort to go to the grocery store, even if I really, really want chocolate.

3. It's fun to discover animal tracks in the snow. (My kids taught me this one!)

4. It's heartbreaking to see a Facebook friend receive happy birthday messages from people who don't realize that she recently died.

5. The new season of Project Runway starts tonight! (I'm a little excited. Can you tell?)

What things have you learned recently?

Wishing you a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

~John Muir

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our World Tuesday

Today I'm once again linking up with Our World Tuesday, a meme that encourages bloggers to share images of their world. It's a great way to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of others! You can find out more about it here. Even if you don't participate, I encourage you to take a look at the intriguing pictures that bloggers from around the world share each week.

* * * * * * * * * *

I took this photo last week out on our front steps. What you see in the foreground is some twine that my husband had stretched from railing to railing in the hopes of keeping people from using the front door. (Long story!) I noticed that the twine had started to fray and thought that the shapes it was making as it did so were pretty, with all their arcs and lines. After I took the picture, I realized that I also liked the way the twine looked in relation to the apartment building across the street. It's such a simple thing—a piece of fraying twine—but I do believe that if we just look, we can often find beauty in unexpected places.

Wishing you a Tuesday filled with unanticipated beauty!

Monday, January 21, 2013

No matter how old you get...

you'll always be someone's child.

Aw, Mom. Not again!
Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero,
Case in point: I was walking through the parking lot of our local grocery store last week when I saw a woman who was probably in her late eighties or early nineties and a gentleman who was about twenty or thirty years younger. The man had just gotten out of the driver's seat of a car and had walked around to the front passenger door, where the woman was getting out. As they started to walk toward the store, the woman put her hand on the man's arm to stop him, then spit on her finger and starting scrubbing at something on the man's face. "Mom!" he screamed and shrugged her away. He met my eyes then, and his face turned red. I gave him a small smile, but I admit that inside I was laughing my head off. The poor guy...

The lesson? No matter how old their children get, mothers will always reserve the right to scrub their faces with spit.

Wishing you a happy—and spit-free—Monday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday!

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and today's inspiration is proof of that. This short film, directed by Ted Chung, is a beautiful example of storytelling without using words. I hope you enjoy it.

"Every day: so many opportunities to connect. What if you took just one?"

As always, wishing you an inspiring Sunday!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Six-word Saturday

Had much to do. Did nothing.
My six words make me sound lazier than I'd like them to, but it was just that kind of week—the kind where despite all my best intentions, I just couldn't get moving on either of my writing projects, even though I'm really excited about them. The desire was there but not the motivation. I'm crossing my fingers for a more productive writing weekend.
How about you? Did you accomplish the things you wanted to accomplish this week?
Wishing you a happy and productive weekend. ☺

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

It's time once again for this week's dose of funny. Enjoy—and have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Out of the mouths of babes

Two days ago, my three-year-old daughter and I were reading books on the couch. I was about halfway through our third book when she put her hand down on the middle of the page, turned to me, and said, "Um, can you pause that book?"

I smiled and said I could, but inside I was cracking up! You don't think this means she watches too many princess you? ☺

Wishing you a Thursday full of smiles.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our World Tuesday

Today I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday, a meme that encourages bloggers to share images of their world. It's a great way to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of others! You can find out more about it here. Even if you don't participate, I encourage you to take a look at the intriguing images being shared each week by bloggers around the world.

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Last Wednesday, this pile of snow was a prominent feature in our Western New York front yard:
My kids gathered icicles and planted them in this snowbank.
 I'm not sure why... ☺
Today's view—due to our recent 70-degree temperatures—is much different:

I'll admit that I don't mind the lack of snow, but my three-year-old daughter spent much of yesterday afternoon singing a song she'd made up and titled "Snow, Snow, Come back!" I can't say that I sang along, but it was fun to listen to her.
And I'm quite certain that one of these days, she'll get her wish.
Have a wonderful Tuesday—no matter what your weather!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh, Monday morning...

Seventy degrees yesterday, but today
it looks—and feels—like snow. Brr.
Happy Monday!

Are you ready for the week? I don't have any major plans for today. I'm taking my daughter to the library this morning, and then I hope to get some writing done during naptime. We'll see how that goes. If there's one thing I've learned since having kids, it's this: I'm not the one in control of my life. ☺

So what are your plans for the day? To paraphrase The Mamas & The Papas, I hope Monday is all you hope it will be! Have a great day!

Lyrics here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday!

Today's inspiration focuses on words—without speaking any. This abcNEWS video features people using writing to communicate the three-word message they most want to convey. Some of the words are meant to be lighthearted; others are more solemn. All of them are heartfelt.

What are your three words? These are mine:

Peace, Inspiration, Creativity to you all!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Six-word Saturday

Writing poetry as the sun rises.
 I can't think of a better way to start my day! I hope your morning was just the one you'd hoped for.

Wishing you a weekend of creativity. ☺


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

To those of you curious about the outcome of yesterday's post: I went to bed earlier last night—11:45 p.m. instead of my usual 12:30 or 1 a.m. I fell asleep pretty easily, but I still feel tired. I imagine it's going to take quite some time for me to make up such a big sleep deficit. The experiment continues...

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this week's funnies. I posted some signs, as usual, and also included two funny cat videos. What is it about cats that just makes them so funny? ☺

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Do you ever get the feeling...

I need a nap.
Image courtesy of Karen Andrews,
that something's gotta give?

Does this ever happen to you: You're really excited about something, like a project you're working on or a book you're reading or writing, so you stay up way, way past the time you know you should have gone to bed. And then the next night you do the same thing. And the next. And suddenly you find yourself staying up late every night, month after month, year after year, until you start falling asleep in your coffee and stumble bleary-eyed through every day?


Is it just me?

For the past several years, I've gotten an average of four or five hours of sleep a night. The thing is, I like my quiet time. A quiet house is my refuge. I get up early because I like being able to write when no one else is awake. I like sitting in silence as I enjoy my coffee and the beginning of a new day. I like the peace that comes before the storm of child-activity once the kids are awake and playing/fighting in the living room. And honestly, if I don't have some time to myself before the rest of the family gets up, I'm not a very nice person.

But getting up early is not really a problem in itself, is it? The problem is that I also enjoy having that "me time" at night, so I stay up too late after the kids go to bed—way too late...

So every day I get up early.

And every night I stay up too late.

And both of these things worked fine for a while—years, in fact. But then I discovered something shocking:

I'm getting older.

And these three things—getting up early, staying up late, and aging—don't really mix. Sadly, I'm not in college anymore. I no longer have the ability to pull all-nighters and still function as a human being the next day. This thought makes me sad...

So I need advice. How do you order your day so that you still have time for the things you enjoy and want to do? How do you get all the necessary stuff done and still find time for yourself—and for sleep?

I really need to know the answer.

But right now I just need a nap.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Look who's coming to dinner!
I found these two well-dressed rodents sitting on a kitchen chair, presumably waiting for a meal. I'm guessing my three-year-old invited them...
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our World Tuesday

Today I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday, a meme that encourages bloggers to share images of their world. It's a great way to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of others! You can find out more here. Even if you decide not to participate, I encourage you to take a look at the intriguing images being shared each week by bloggers around the world.
* * * * * * * * * *

This was my view on New Year's Day as I lay on the ground after showing my kids how to make snow angels. I remember thinking about how quiet the world seemed—how peaceful—and lyrics from John Lennon's "Imagine" kept going through my mind: "above us only sky." In light of all the recent events here in the United States and throughout the world, it was comforting to look at that sky. It unites us all.
One world, one sky.

Wishing you a peaceful Tuesday.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Remembering gratitude

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." ~Cynthia Ozick, writer

One of my goals this year is to be more grateful, so a few days ago the kids and I started a Gratitude Jar, an idea I first read about on my friend Fran's blog, Broken Cookies Don't Count. All that's needed is a jar—in our case, it's a clear plastic cookie jar with a frog on it—and slips of paper to write on. The idea is that each day family members will write down the things they're thankful for and then place those papers in the jar. Then on New Year's Eve, we'll empty the jar and read about all the good times and blessings we've enjoyed throughout the year.

To me, this jar is the perfect way to practice gratitude—and not just for the kids but for me as well.  Too often, I think, it's the bad or less happy parts of the day that stick in our minds: the fight we had with our spouse, the speeding ticket, the time we tripped and fell in front of a bunch of people we were trying to impress (ask me how I know this!). The memories of the small—and sometimes not so small—good things that happen each day are too often fleeting, at least in my experience. This jar will help us remember those moments.

And it will remind us just how much we've been blessed.

Wishing you all a Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends!

Before I get to this week's inspiration, I want to thank Tara from Tara Tyler Talks for my awesome new header! Tara created it for me out of the goodness of her heart, and I'm absolutely thrilled with the new life it gives to my blog!

Today's video features artist Max Zorn, who uses only brown packing tape and a scalpel to create amazing street art, which he then hangs on street lamps around Amsterdam. The video below shows the making of one of his most recent pieces, and you can check out his site to see other works he's created. They're all very impressive!

Zorn is now trying to spread street art around the world, and he's asking for help, at no cost to those who wish to get involved. If you're interested, you can check out this site, which tells you how you can help bring some of his art to your city.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Six-word Saturday

Elation: Clerk thought I was underage!
I rarely buy alcohol, but last night I stopped by a liquor store to pick up some wine. Unlike the local grocery stores, the liquor stores don't automatically card everyone who makes a purchase, and I was thrilled when the clerk asked me for my license! Last year I had a pretty big birthday, and I had assumed that I would never be carded again. The smile on my face when I walked out of the store was huge, and it lasted the rest of the night!

Wishing you all a weekend filled with unexpected happiness!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope these funny signs and videos help get this first weekend of 2013 off to a good start. Enjoy!

This next video is one of my favorites from Improv Everywhere, "a "New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places." I would love to get the opportunity to be involved with this group!

Have a great weekend!