Monday, August 25, 2014

34:52 {Ishpeming}

When you finally go back to your old hometown,
you find it wasn't the old home you missed
but your childhood.
-Sam Ewing

Dear Sam-

I disagree with you on this quote.  I didn't have a particularly terrible childhood, I was however bullied and subsequently faced a number of years of depression.  I think of myself as a fortunate one.  One who was able to overcome depression, albeit, at times with the help of pharmaceuticals, but mostly with the help of 'talk therapy'.  So no, I do not miss my childhood.  I am much wiser and happier now than I ever was as a child.

Now, onto my hometown.  I grew up in Ishpeming, Michigan.  While my parents and a couple siblings still reside in Ishpeming, I have no specific connection other than that.  It was a fine place to grow up.

Ishpeming is situated in the Upper Peninsula.  Now, the Upper Peninsula is something that I often miss.  There is a saying that goes something like this, "all good things have roots in the U.P.".  While I cannot for the life of me remember where I heard that, I will take it.  In the U.P. you can find peace and solace from the busyness of life.  Surrounded by water and woods, there may not be a more beautiful place to be.  Finland, as in the country, rivals this.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

{clovers galore}

As I stood here looking out the kitchen window,

I spotted a pentagon looking back at me.
To investigate I went,
what I found was clovers galore.

Seven fives and...

eleven fours.

Friday, August 22, 2014

{Moon Sand}

Friday afternoon fun...

I told my nephews they could have a stay at home day with Auntie today, instead of going to day care.  Our morning activity of choice was Moon Sand.  It was super easy to make and provided them with nearly an hour of uninterrupted play.  This is what it takes....

1- container large enough to hold...
8 cups of flour

you will also need 1 cup of baby oil

Mix them together

And you get "Moon Sand" or "Cloud dough" as some call it.

These were just a few of the utensils they used.
While "Moon Sand" is available to purchase at most stores such as Target, it was a fraction of the cost to make and the kids loved mixed it together.  I suppose if you wanted you could add a few drops of food coloring to make it colored.  I split the batch into three different containers so that each child had their own to play with.  

***Be prepared for a mess.  If you do not like messes, I would not recommend this activity for you (I still would for your kids though). 

Monday, August 18, 2014

33:52 {people, purses, a red dress, and God}

Motivational Monday

Your talent is God's gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift back to God.
-Leo Buscaglia

My talent is people or perhaps it is approachable-ness, but then again maybe neither is.  Two weeks ago I was in TJ Maxx and I was approached by a short old lady who went on to tell me how angry she was with herself because goll-darn-it she didn't buy the purse she saw the last time she was there and now it's gone.  She further explained that she convinced herself she didn't need a purse and she really didn't like the purse because it had a long strap on it.  And being a short lady with a purse with long straps meant that it hung down around her knees.  Although she decided she didn't really like the purse apparently she really wanted it, and it made her angry that she didn't purchase it when she initially saw it.

This is just one example of the many stories I could tell of different people approaching me to tell me basically nothing, or sometimes to give a compliment, or to share their bad news.  A month before the short old lady with the purse, I was in the same store and was approached by a women of middle age, who came in the store to seek me out.  She approached me quite awkwardly, looking me up and down and once again and the proclaimed, "I watched you walk in.  I have to tell you the dress and outfit you are wearing is quite beautiful."  I said thanks and went on my way.  Part of that outfit is shown in the picture below, the red dress.  While I had a scarf and my hair down quite differently that day, the dress is the same.

I consider people a talent, although I'm not quite sure it is.  You see, I can also be aloof and standoffish.  This happens when I am assessing others' behaviors or frankly when I don't want to be social.  I'm not always entirely sure how this gift gives back to God but at times I have walked away from situations as described above (only more personal information was shared) believing that I at least provided unbiased listening and no response to someone in need.  As isn't always the situation that sometimes we just want to vent without repercussions and/or judgement?  Who better to do that to than a complete stranger?

The red dress which prompted a stranger to follow me into TJ Maxx
and just for fun, here's a dragonfly that has nothing to do with this post.

go see what her gifts are...

Monday, August 11, 2014

32:52 {remember when}

Motivational Monday

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. 
-Pioneer Girls Leaders Handbook

My sister Lori is famous for starting phrases out with "Remember when..."  which usually ends up in a hardy laugh.  I spent the weekend with her in San Marcos, Texas for our sister Jodi's graduation.  There were plenty of times we were laughing.  If you're ever in a funk Lori is almost sure to bring you out of it.  Here's to finger glasses, Lori, and the phrase "You're even funny at [insert time]".  Not only is Lori a sister but she is a friend- who sometimes won't let me forget.

My sister Lori

She's even funny at 10:25 p.m. (inside joke)
 Lori and I, along with our parents, went to celebrate Jodi's graduation.

We went to her graduation: Jodi P Lampi, PhD.

For those who care to know, Jodi is the first PhD in Development Education to graduate from Texas State San Marcos, and also the first PhD in Developmental Education in the United States of America.  So proud of you Jods!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{four-leaves: luck or science?}

There is a lot of superstition associated with finding, keeping, and/or the giving of a four-leaf clover.  It is said by some that finding a four-leaf clover is a chance of 1 in 10,000 and even greater for a five leaf clover; 1 to 1,000,000.

I've found both multiple times in my life.  So, being a realist that I am, I feel finding clovers is more of a science than chance.

A fiver and a four
Then again, according to my mother I was an en-caul birth which is fewer than 1 in 80,000 and those born en caul are said to be lucky, amongst other things.  So, maybe it is chance...

or perhaps it is just looking for the square or pentagon instead of a triangle in a clover patch.

Do you see the square?
I did not pick these clovers today.  I left them there to see if others would find them.

31:52 {friends}

Late-Motivational Monday

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.
-Ed Cunningham

I had a number of people in mind that I would photograph for this quote and unfortunately they do not live close to me or were unavailable for a shoot.  When in the company of these listening friends, coffee is generally involved.  So a cup of coffee stood in for the shoot in honor of all my friends.

Within each visit--Friends: 2; Coffee consumed: maybe 4 cups; Friendship: immeasurable.
I took this photo using a DIFF filter which basically is a special effects filter.  I'm not entirely sure I like the grainy effects.  Regardless, I'll offer this challenge today, call/email a friend you haven't seen/talked to in a while, or someone you've been thinking about.  Then comment below on how you felt after the visit.  I've been trying to think of a good word that describes a visit to a friend whether you are listening or talking, but have been unable to come up with that one or one to two words.