Thursday, June 30, 2011

new views for blogs.

growing weary of scrolling linearly through blogs??
well, sure. who isn't?

well, thank goodness for blogger's best-kept secret,
its dynamic viewing options.

seriously, this is pretty cool.
[even if you're not miley cyrus. which i'm not.]

you can view any site powered by blogger –
such as the one you're at right now –
five different ways: flipcard, mosaic [my fave],
sidebar, snapshot or timeslide.

click here to see skirting the issues in mosaic.
as you roll over the photos, the post titles will show;
click on a photo, & it expands to show the whole post.

see? pretty cool.

use the top right drop-down menu to change views.
use the left title drop-down menu to change blogs.

call up dynamic viewing options for any blog
by entering the regular url followed by /view.

special thanks to jessica jones' how about orange blog,
who let me in on all this pretty coolitude.

image source: blogger.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

three little words.

& now, a word of inspiration from thomas dexter jakes, sr.,
chief pastor of a 30,000-member dallas-based
non-denominational megachurch,
& wise guy:

there are people who can walk away from you.

& hear me when i tell you this:
when people can walk away from you, let them walk.
i don’t want you to try to talk another person
into staying with you, loving you, calling you,
caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. 

i mean hang up the phone.

when people can walk away from you, let them walk.
your destiny is never tied to anybody who left.

people leave you because they are not joined to you.
& if they are not joined to you, then you can’t make them stay.

let them go.

& it doesn’t mean they are a bad person.
it just means their part in the story is over.
& you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over,
so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.
you’ve got to know when it’s dead.

you’ve got to know when it’s over.
let me tell you something.
i’ve got the gift of good-bye. i believe in good-bye.
it’s not that i’m hateful; it’s that i’m faithful,
& i know whatever god means for me to have, he’ll give it to me.
& if it takes too much sweat, then i don’t need it.
stop begging people to stay.

let them go!!

if you are holding onto something that doesn’t belong to you
& was never intended for your life, then you need to
let it go!!

if you are holding onto past hurts and pains,
let it go!!

if someone can’t treat you right, love you back & see your worth,
let it go!!

if someone has angered you,
let it go!!

if you are holding onto some thoughts of evil & revenge,
let it go!!

if you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction,
let it go!!

if you are holding onto a job that no longer meets your needs or talents,
let it go!!

if you have a bad attitude,
let it go!!

if you keep judging others to make yourself feel better,
let it go!!

if you are stuck in the past & god is trying to move you forward,
let it go!!

if you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship,
let it go!!

if you keep trying to help someone who won’t try to help themselves,
let it go!!

if you are feeling depressed and stressed,
let it go!!

if there is a particular situation you are so used to handling yourself
& god is saying ‘take your hands off of it,’
then you need to
let it go!!

let the past be the past.
forget the former things.
god is doing a new thing.
let it go!!

get right or get left,
think about it, & then
let it go!!

so, what are you ready to let go of today?

image source: new times.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a couple of swell finds.

i always experience mixed feelings
when i come across a new website or blog
to love.

yay! online awesomeness!
boo. more methods of time-suckage.

nevertheless, i've recently discovered
a couple of swell sites i've just got to share with you.

& i accept no responsibility for your time-suckage.
you're on your own.

#1. life lift – the oprah blog.

this blog – not authored by ms. o herself,
but by several of her magnificent minions –
launched late may & is chock full o'
the good stuff – in its own words,
engaging news coverage, fresh inspiration &
the straight talk you've come to count on.

today, for example, life lift has posted
a thought for the day, a holiday recipe,
a book review, some ideas for something "fresh" to do,
a touching video of a graduating-sister-marine-brother reunion,
& yet another new website to love.

a couple of my favorite features of life lift
are mondays' the 35-second aha! moment
[my fave from last monday: a quote from
comedian louis c.k. in the season premiere of louie,
breaking down the rules of fairness for his daughter –
"the only time you look into your neighbor's bowl
is to make sure they have enough.
you don't look into your neighbor's bowl
to make sure you have as much as them."
& fridays' gratitudes
[because i love me a reminder to practice gratitude!].
i also came across the above amazing video
of floating lanterns over poland at life lift.

anyway, for the daily dose of fresh oprah you may be missing
since her talk-show exit, you might give life lift a go.

#2. pinterest.

this website is a huge time-suck . . . & i love it.
in fact, it's become my internet time-suck of choice.
[sorry, facebook. somebody's got to be the understudy.]

so, what is pinterest? again, in its own words,
a virtual pinboard –
a place where you can create collections of things you love
& "follow" collections created by people with great taste.

the best way to check it out is to try it out for yourself.
just go to pinterest & search –
"july fourth," or "baby gifts" or "quotes" or what-have-you –
& see what comes up.

if you like love, then megan's sortacrunchy blog features
a great beginner's guide to pinterest
definitely see what it's all about once you choose to become
in with the pin crowd.

as she sees it [& i agree], pinterest isn't
just another lovely float in a neverending parade of time-sucks;
it offers beauty, humor, useful information, unexpected connections
& above all, inspiration.

& who can't use more of all that stuff there?

image source: pinterest [of course!].

Monday, June 27, 2011


under the u.s. constitution,
discriminating against a person of color
is punishable by law.
discriminating against a woman

some americans have been trying to
fix this discrepancy for 88 years,
without success.

thank goodness, they're not done trying.

the equal rights amendment [e r a]
to the u.s. constitution
was originally written by american suffragette alice paul
& introduced in congress in 1923.

51 years later, in 1972, the e r a
was passed by both the u.s. house & senate
by a two-thirds vote.
it had a decade to become ratified
by two-thirds of the states [38].
it died in 1982, lacking only three more states' approval.

the amendment consists of 52 words,
with the key line being:

"equality of rights under the law
shall not be denied or abridged
by the united states or by any state
on account of sex."

that's the sentence that means
men & women will have equal rights under the law.

that's the sentence that will make the courts
treat gender discrimination with the same strict scrutiny they use to deal with racial discrimination.

who would have thought american women
were considered lesser citizens than black men??
of course, they got the right to vote first, too.

june 21st, u.s. senator robert menendez of new jersey
& u.s. representative carolyn maloney of new york
reintroduced the e r a,
now known as the women's equality amendment.

why? because as long a way as we've come,
over the past few decades,
as many glass ceilings as we've shattered,
as many positions of power we've proven we can excel at,
as many military members as we've sent into war,
women are still underpaid & underrepresented
here in the good ol' u s of a.

president obama – surrounded by strong, smart, capable
women & girls who also happen to be
the people he holds closest to his heart –
has put his full support behind passage of the w e a.

quoth my president:
"history shows that countries are more prosperous
& more peaceful when women are empowered."

& so, a week prior to the national holiday
celebrating the freedoms offered by our country,
i must ask in response to mr. president's observation:

why not america??

image source: banning+low.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

finding contentment in imperfection.

on friday, in petaluma, california,
at the 23rd annual sonoma-marin fair's
world's ugliest dog contest,
the $1,000 top prize went to
a 14yo female chinese-crested chihuahua mix
owned by terry schumacher of hanford, ca.

her name is yoda.
& ugly she is, yes.

but she reminded me of a phrase
i came across earlier this week
& just jotted down on a post-it:

finding contentment in imperfection.

yoda probably doesn't know she's ugly,
or if she does, then not how ugly,
& regardless, to her, it's just not important.

what matters to her is that
she has food,
she has a home,
she has a family,
& she has love.

& however flawed her body & face may be,
they have gotten her to the ripe old doggie age of
14 years = almost 100 in human years,

& have let her keep on
gobbling up bowlfuls of satisfying meatiness,
napping in her favorite sunshine-warmed spots,
snuffling in the aromas of life all around her,
& snuggling up cozily with her loved ones.

she is practically the picture of imperfection.
yet she is a dog, so contentment is hers.

go, yoda.
show the world how
contentment in imperfection is found,

image source: justin sullivan/getty images.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

self-compassion = key to success.

it's official:
research is proving that
being kind to yourself
may be the most important
life skill you can have.

according to livescience,
a new field of research suggests that
not only does self-compassion help develop
resilience, energy, creativity & courage,

but also that self-esteem – long believed to be
the magic spell for the confident child –
is actually associated with mental-health issues
like narcissism & emotional fragility.

so, what is self-compassion, exactly?

let's begin with compassion,
which – according to university of texas at austin
associate professor & author of the book
self-compassion, kristin neff –
is sensitivity to the suffering of self & others
& a commitment to do something about it.

self-compassion has three key elements:
1) mindfulness of your own thoughts & feelings;
2) a sense of common humanity; &
3) treating yourself kindly.

& the main difference between
self-compassion & self-esteem?

self-compassion is a way of relating to your self;
self-esteem is a measure of yourself against others.

it turns out, the secret to success
is the ability to fail
. . . successfully.

people with self-compassion aren't afraid of failing,
because they don't experience mental fallout from it.

so they understand & accept their own faults,
they're braver, &
they're better able to persevere.

so, how to instill your kids with self-compassion?
click here for five ways to foster it in your children.

image source: art = happy @

Thursday, June 23, 2011

hello, summer.

here in the heart of texas,
we've been having summer-equivalent
for quite a while now.

we hit 100 degrees for the first time may 25th,
& have hit it 15 more times since.

yeah, it's gonna be a scorcher.

& here on the blog,
i've been radio-silent
for a couple of weeks & counting.

why? same as it ever was . . .

settling into a shifting-weekly summertime schedule,
trying to guide the kids toward the next level,
housetraining & training-training a puppy,
organizing & beautifying our home,
dealing with some first-family sickness & associated stress.

& work
cranking through a couple of huge projects,
trying to keep them moving forward,
hoping to complete them by mid-july
so mama can have some summer time off.
oh, yeah – & get me some money, too.

juggling full plates nowadays
while wishing for the ocean.
the breeze. the sunshine. the salt. the sand.
mornings outside playing at the beach.
afternoons inside reading & napping.

sigh. maybe someday.

not sure it will be this summer.
too much up in the air to know for sure.

still, i say,
hello, summer.

hello, sunshine. hello, pool. hello, sno-cones.

hello, front porch & back patio.
hello, sunscreen & bugspray.

hello, camps & classes.
hello, teaching & learning.

hello, fresh food.
hello, weight watchers.
hello, money management.
hello, further beautification & organization.
hello, photo catchup.
hello, blogger.

hello, austin.
hello, dallas.
hello, canada.

hello, summer 2011,
summer of going along for the ride.
happy you're here.

image source: mingta photography @

Monday, June 6, 2011

summer system, 2011.

the day after the
last day of school,
2 p.m.

"this is the most boringest summer ever."

direct quote from the little boy.
mommy chokes down tears.

it happens every year,
yet i'm ever inexplicably unprepared for it.

i spend the merry month of may
twirling in the twister of
year-end this & appreciation that,
& by the time the final bell rings,
i'm fairly spent.

& i figure the kids must be, too.
done. exhausted. ready for some good, old-fashioned,
unstructured, unplanned free time.
a handful of days of whatever
before day camps begin.

& annually, i am wrong.
my kids want to do things, go places, spend money.
immediately & daily.

troubles with this:
lack of ideas, energy, time & money.

so, following two days of free-fallingfloating
summer vaycay,
chocked full o' way too much screen time,
i created a system. [golly, i love systems.]

craft sticks. sharpies. a cup.
& a list. [gee, i love lists.]

well, two lists:
things to do at home.
things to do away from home.

quiet coloring.
board game.
card game.
bike riding.
chalk drawing.
rock painting.
sunrise, sunset.
cloud watching.
nature photo scavenger hunt.
trampoline picnic.
trampoline sleepover.
story time.
yoga time.

morning movies.
duck feeding.
swan feeding.
turtle feeding.
wildflower center.
deep eddy.
central market.
whole foods.
hula hut/the oasis.

write each activity on a craft stick.
mark tips of craft sticks with blue dot for home, red dot for away.
every week, each kid chooses
3 blue dots [home activities] + 2 red dots [away activities].

if they're not crazy about a stick they choose,
then they can choose again up to two times,
but the third choice sticks, as it were.

this gives us a sort of fun to-do list for the week,
a way to keep mommy working,
a way to keep the kids breathing,
& an automatic response to the unavoidable refrain of summertime:

"this is the most boringest summer ever."

[disclaimer: naturally, only time will tell.
i'll let you know how it's working come mid-summer.

image source: one of my teacher-appreciation gifts, ca. 2011.