Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer School

The summer before my freshman year of high school, I attended summer school. Not just any summer school, the most awesome summer school my 14-year-old self could have imagined. Four weeks. Ten classes. All performing arts.

Funny, I don't really think of myself as a performing arts kinda girl. (I can't sing or dance and public speaking gives me the hives.) But 14-year-olds are more daring than most adults. And that daring spirit allowed me to have an amazing experience. Plus, Sheila and I took every class together, which automatically increased the fun factor.

I think summer is a perfect time for nourishing our creativity and trying something new. To that end, two e-courses have caught my attention:

BWS tips button

And, the Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab.

Anyone up for joining me in summer school?

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Teetering

Being in my grandmother’s presence, watching her teeter on the edge of death, reminds me what an opportunity it is to be alive. Yet even if we are breathing and eating and walking and talking, we have to choose to really live. We have to choose to allow ourselves to experience this life. And we have to choose how authentic our experience will be. I feel myself wanting to make deeper, truer choices.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rollercoaster

This week: crazy, wild, happy, sad, scary, funny, up and down.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Be Confident

John pointed out that in today’s Gospel reading (Mark 11: 11-26), Jesus was so cranky hungry he cursed a fig tree and it withered. This image of Christ made me laugh, but my favorite part was this:

Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.”

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moon & Stars

Driving home late tonight from visiting my grandma, I felt grateful for the moon and stars. Thank you, Lord, for lighting up the darkness.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dream Beautiful

My friend Nicole has a new tradition in her house. It is a delicious daily practice to dream beautiful. Read this and be inspired.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Downward

We’ve been enjoying a mild upswing in my grandmother’s health. And by upswing, I mean she hadn’t been getting dramatically worse. But today was worse. So we wait and see. And whisper “I love you” while she sleeps, just to make sure she knows. Even though we know she knows.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Bracing Myself

Last night I dreamt about scheduling conflicts.
Let’s just say June might possibly be the busiest month of my life.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fresh TV

Him: "My idea for a TV show -- 'In Plain Yogurt.'"
Me: "What would that be? A show about mix-ins."

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

No Passport Required

My brother was our tour guide today as my mom, John and I explored the wonders of three local markets: The Milk Pail Market, Lion Supermarket and Mitsuwa Marketplace. The first and the third were my favorites, but the second was definitely an experience. Grocery stores ~ the cheapest, quickest way to travel the world.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend

What am I going to do with you?
The possibilities are endless, although, they all involve laundry.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Go, Jessica!



This video is everywhere. If you haven’t seen it, you must. It was shot in December 2001, so I’m hoping for an update. Hey, Jessica, where are you now?

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not Last Night

Not last night but the night before, I tried to strangle John in my sleep. I have no memory of this. No memory of a violent dream. No idea why or how this would happen. John says he woke up and swatted my hand away from his throat, which I was gripping. I don’t remember. But I’m totally disturbed by this. Last night, I kept waking up to make sure I was keeping my hands to myself.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kitchen Challenge

Last night, I started a sentence and John finished it. It went like this:
Me: “So, one of the things I want to do with this cookbook is”
He: “actually make something from it.”

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Words that Comfort

In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” ~John 16:33

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Warning

Due to its addictive qualities, you may want to ban sweetened condensed milk from your home. Or, if you feel like living dangerously, you may want to try pouring it in your coffee, over berries, or mixed with plain yogurt. A friend told me today she makes cream of wheat with the stuff, and I can only imagine it tastes ridiculously good.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Exhausted

If you are so beyond your limits that the slightest provocation causes you to (a) burst into tears (b) snap off someone’s head or (c) do both, my best friend and I would say you have lost your ability to maintain. This highly unpleasant and often contagious condition is typically curable with sleep and isolation.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Unpredictable

I don’t know why my grandma loves game shows. I’ve been wondering if it is their unpredictability she enjoys. Today, with the help of a physical therapist, she sat up, dangled her feet over the side of her bed and did arm exercises. Of all the ways this week was going to end, not one of her doctors predicted that. She is still very sick, her future unclear. But I’m proud of the fighter that she is.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe In Awhile

The doctors are surprised my grandmother is alive. And so are we, happily. Not that her prognosis has changed much. It still could be days, maybe weeks. No one knows, which is fine. We want to keep this matter in God’s hands and trust his perfect timing.

But I do wonder how much my grandma instinctively knows about this situation. No one has told her she is dying, but she must know that she is sicker than she has ever been before.

Today my aunt said, “Mom, you are really tired. Would you like to go to sleep and visit with your brother and sisters now?”

Grandma replied, “Maybe in awhile. Get a game show on.”

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In The Hospital ...

It’s really hard to say how things are going, but these things, I don’t want to forget:

I said, “Grandma, I’m sorry, there are no game shows on TV. I’ll have to put on a talk show.” She replied, “I’m bored.”

Later, when we were leaving, she overheard me ask my grandfather where his cane was. When she realized he had misplaced it, she insisted (repeatedly) that we show it to her before heading home. “Don’t leave without showing me the cane,” she said.

At one point, she was awake enough to have a real visit with my grandfather. I’m glad I wasn’t in the room because the thought of it breaks my heart. John said my grandpa would say, “Honey, remember when we bought the house? Remember how exciting that was?” She squeezed his hand, and he said, “Oh, I love it when you do that.” And she did it again.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hard Day

Even though she is mostly asleep, my grandmother asks for game shows on TV. She wakes briefly and immediately wants to know my grandfather's latest blood reading. She is hard to understand, but it is clear she wants three pillows under her head and her glasses to see. She is comfortable, not in any pain. But the doctor told us today it is only a matter of days. Please keep us in your prayers. 

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Monday, May 10, 2010

One of My Many Post-It Reminders

This life is not for resting. It is for working and playing and finding joy. It is for making the most of every dream and doing our best to birth them into reality.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Answered Prayers

A little girl at our church suffered a severe head injury the week after Easter. It was unclear if she would survive, and you could feel the heartbreak of the entire parish when our priests asked us to pray. Everyone prayed and prayed and prayed. Today that little girl, released from the hospital this week, attended Mass with her family on Mother's Day. The joy was indescribable.    

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Changing My Mind

My little Beauty Experiment hasn’t been a total failure, but it hasn’t been a huge success. So I’m changing my mind and revamping my project. Details to follow.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Kindness Matters

“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” ~Henry James

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Teeth & Truth

My friend’s son recently lost his first tooth. Instead of excitement, the experience terrified him.

He kept saying, “There’s no more truth in the world. Nothing is true anymore.”

His dad wasn’t sure what he meant. But his mom said, “Isn’t it obvious? If his teeth are falling out of his head, what can he count on? What is true anymore?”

I saw that little boy tonight. It's been a month or so since he lost his tooth, and he is no longer afraid.

"Do you see my missing tooth?" he asked with a wide smile.

Sometimes the scariest experiences can become, over time, a cause for joy.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lost

I misplaced my inspiration. Let me know if you find it. 

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unpredictable

Oh, Life, you are exhilarating and exhausting. Sometimes at the same time.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday

It's not your fault, but your mornings get here way too fast.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Like a Hoover

 Last week, one of the characters on a TV show we watch said his day “sucked like a Hoover.”

John referenced the joke later in casual conversation, saying “that would suck like a Hoover.”

Confused, I asked, “Why were they making fun of people from Indiana?”

“Hoo-ver,” John said in slow motion. “Like the vacuum cleaner. Not Hoover, Indiana.”

I was thinking of Hoosiers.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

May is for Mothers

May is one of the loveliest months of the year. It is the month for mothers, which means it is also the month for grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and friends.

Every May, I am reminded of the beautiful, charming, funny, smart, talented women in my life. I think about my mom. But I also think about all the ways the women in my life mother each other.

The ways we go out of our way for each other. The ways we encourage and nurture each other.

For most of April, my beauty experiment felt stuck and stalled. I’m starting May by asking how can I be a better “mother” to myself.

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