Thursday, September 23, 2010

100 Good Things to Save the Day

Today, when I knew that I had a tough day ahead of me, I started a list of 100 good things very early in the morning. It included the beautiful morning light coming in the windows, my lucky charm bracelet, snickerdoodles (a wonderful breakfast food!), pharmacists who are so generous with their time and knowledge, my new red suede journal . . . I got to #29 before I had to jump into my day. It was fun during the day to look for other things that would have gone on the list if I had my pen and journal handy. Even though the day had challenges, it was surrounded by an intentional hunt for good things and I am sure that if they had been written down, I might have topped 200! It made me happy to know that I had a purpose for the day, and it was a cheerful mission, indeed! Hooray for 100 good things, even if they didn't all get written down!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten Fun Things

I was talking to my friend Kathy yesterday and we were both in a Monday morning funk for various reasons. We know each other well, and in our brief conversation were able to lift each other's spirits quite a bit. But we had to cut the call short before we had a chance to really defunk ourselves completely, so I suggested that she do 10 fun things before the end of the day and report back to me. I of course figured out that the assignment would be beneficial for me, too! Here are some of the things from our funster reports.


1) I ate a Hostess Twinkie--for the first time in decades!
2) Enjoyed a very romantic comment my husband made (an extraordinarily lovely remark)
3) Stopped at a little park near home for a few minutes, just to look at clouds
4) Went for a walk (whoops! that WAS planned ahead) AND brought home a single red leaf, which I pressed.
5) Picked a couple tiny marigolds that are growing through the cracks in our carport
6) Stopped for a few minutes to listen to crickets


1) Got origami metallic paper to play with for framing
2) Tasted cheese samples at West Point Market slowly
3) Tried blueberry juice cocktail
4) Wrote in my journal for 2 pages of funky writing, then did the TURNAROUND list! hooray!
5) Talked to my dear friend Terry from Oklahoma
6) Made a collage with a Zentangle (see featuring torn and cut up origami metallic paper - what fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little Triumphs

This morning as I was waiting for my pants to come out of the dryer, I started tidying up the laundry room. I folded my daughter Maribeth's precious quilt from her childhood. We found it together and brought it home when she was about four or five years old. Maribeth got in bed right away and said, "Mom, let me pull the quilt up over me so it can make me beautiful!" I was stunned when she said that because Maribeth was an amazingly, magnificently, and splendidly beautiful child without any embellishments at all. I must admit, though, that the quilt was, and is, gorgeous -- mainly pastel fabric in geometric designs, a keepsake to treasure!

As I was wiping down the washer and dryer, cleaning out the stationary tub, and removing the cobwebs from the corners, I felt so happy to be participating in the rejuvenation of a room in our beloved home. It was a "little triumph" for me and a great way to begin the day. I started thinking of other small triumphs that have popped up in my life recently.

I recently reconnected with my precious rolltop desk that was left to me by my Mother. I dusted every nook and cranny and moved things around -- took some things off the top, added a couple of things. This is where I write in my journal now and I love sitting there and being surrounded by my "God jar" (where I put concerns, hope and dreams on little strips of paper), my Mary Engelbreit page-a-day calendar, amethyst formation, Kewpie doll, pens, and other sentimental odds and ends.

One of my friends at church has had a fantastic garden in plots right next to my Dad's gardens this summer. I watched in awe as her wondrous sunflowers started blooming in profusion. I even took lots of pictures. Imagine my delight when Laura told me she was going on vacation and I could pick as many as I wanted! I was in sunflower heaven as I gathered amazing sunflowers of all kinds to make two bouquets -- one to welcome my friend Sharron home from her trip to see her brother, and one for our living room. This really was a "big triumph" for me because I used to grow sunflowers in my yard, but for some reason, never cut them and brought them into the house!

We all have little and big triumphs in our lives. It is fun to recognize them as they are happening. Sometimes, we don't even realize how important some events are until they are in historical context! Have you had any triumphs lately?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Clothes - Thrifty and Happy

Last night I had a bit of extra time and wandered into a local thrift store -- what a treasure trove of delights! I went straight to the men's department to look for Hawaiian shirts. I would rather buy a Hawaiian shirt that has mysterious memories integrated into it, than a new one any day. My first find was a blue cotton shirt with palm trees all over it. But wait, it gets even better -- those palm trees have shadows of palm trees on them! The palm tree is one of my favorite trees ever! I know that when I am in a part of the country that has palm trees, I am going to have a really great time! My second find, which I am wearing right now, was a bright and friendly plaid shirt with a label that reads, "Escape the Ordinary". Then I found a navy Hawaiian shirt that has hot pink flowers all over -- irresistible. My last discovery was a beautiful green and tan flowered Hawaiian shirt in cotton that fit just perfectly. Off to the pants section for a pair of khaki pants and a pair of light blue pants -- both in brand names I already have in my closet and for which I paid full price. The total bill for my extravagant shopping spree? $11.68 -- Hooray!

I have always loved shopping in thrift stores. Of course, I donate to them, too. In these days of "green" thinking, it makes sense to recycle our clothes. I value my own clothes more and more as the years go by for the memories that they hold. I don't even mind paying a high price for something I know I will wear many times. I figure a price per wear factor. If I pay $50.00 for something and wear it 100 times, then it only costs me 50¢ per wear. But if I pay $20.00 for something and only wear it twice, then it costs $10.00 per wear. So, on occasion, I do love to have a little fun at a Chico's or a Coldwater Creek, but generally I laugh in the face of fashion -- which is another way of saying I haven't a clue! If I am ever in style, if only with an accessory, it is just an accident!

I saw a neighbor at a concert once, and she said, "I am wearing my friends!" Then she showed me different items of clothing and jewelry that belonged to her friends or were given to her by them so they could be "present" for the experience of Arlo Guthrie in concert. I wear different clothing and items that remind me of people I love -- a necklace from my sister Barbara, a ring of my mother's always and then supplement with other sentimental items frequently. I have a shawl that belonged to my sister, and whenever I wear it, I feel comfort and loving memories.

Whether we find our clothes in a thrift store or in a high end fashion boutique, they make a statement about who we are. I guess that people must be confused when they look at me, if they try to figure out who I am by my clothes, though! I mix my clothes -- old, new, thrift, bargain, sale, high end -- my goal is comfort and fun whenever possible. I have a dear friend who might be the very best dresser I know. She is a thrift store wizard! When I see her, I have to pause to check out whatever outfit she might have put together for that day. She doesn't just get ordinary clothes at thrift stores -- she mixes, matches, accessorizes, and discovers unusual uses for her fashion finds. Her artistic inclinations shine in the way she dresses. She is performance art in action!

I read an article a long time ago that said if you are thinking something nice about someone, you might as well say it, so I love to compliment people on their clothes. Sometimes they even give me interesting stories in response. The most miraculous thing that happened to me was when I was working at Borders Books and Music at the cash register. I complimented a man on his shirt and he complimented me on my Hawaiian shirt. I told him that I sort of collected them. He told me that he went to Hawaii on a regular basis and kept buying Hawaiian shirts that he never wore and would I like them? I tried to turn him down, but two hours later, he turned up with a huge bag stuffed with Hawaiian shirts! Wow and wowee! You can bet I think of him every time I wear one of them.

I end in gratitude for every piece of clothing I have ever been privileged to wear - from the clothes I wore home from the hospital when I was a baby to the thrift store outfit I am happily wearing today!