Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Secrets: March 29, 2009

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment. The following three secrets on Frank's blog "tickled" me today:

I haven't done something like this in a long, long time. But when I did, I found it hilarious, too. Completely benign fun with just a hint of audio terrorism.

I've had naughty thoughts about conductors I've watched from the audience and those that have conducted my singing. There's something about live music and the man in control of it all that is purely sexy.

Awwwww! Like I said. There's something about live music and the man in control of it all that is purely sexy.


Frank posted this e-mail today, too:

Hi Frank,

I've been reading postsecret for a long time now and I've always wondered, is your real name Frank? It just seems too good! You're someone who asks people to be honest with themselves and share that on a postcard and your name is Frank. I think it's either a brilliant pseudonym or a very cool coincidence. I'm sure you get asked that all the time, but I was just wondering.

[Thanks for your kind message. Yes, my real name is Frank.]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What'd You Say?

This was my very favorite line from President Obama's news conference last night.

How refreshing! A president that wants to be fully informed and have a reasoned argument or decision before opening his mouth! And then when he does open his mouth, he is articulate.

I've been waiting eight years for this.

If you didn't watch the news conference last night, the question posed had to do with why our president didn't exhibit immediate outrage last week when it was learned that the execs over at AIG were still going to get big bonuses even though tax-payers are keeping the company afloat after the execs' poor judgment got the company into a financial free fall.

Many in the public eye (especially those with a camera or microphone) were blowing a cork before understanding why and how it happened. Our president wanted the whole story first. He's an attorney. He wanted the legal facts before speaking. He wanted to know what could be done and what was out of his hands. So he waited before expressing his outrage.

I like the answer. Anyone can express outrage. But those who work through the problem can help find a solution. It's awfully hard to come up with options when one is in the middle of stomping and roaring.

President Obama's example is one we could all take to heart. Let's try to know what we're talking about before we speak.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pushing Through the Sadness

I need this today. I need a mother today. Mine is gone. My husband's mother doesn't fill the bill. My grandma has been gone a long, long time.

But I need a mom today.

So I guess I have to go inside and pull the mother out of me. My daughters say I'm a good one. They say they can talk to me about anything ... which is pretty good coming from girls in their mid-teens and twenties. Maybe it's time to talk to myself.

Or to listen to myself.

I feel a lethargy and sadness today. It's been really hard to shake. I do OK for about a half hour, then sink into it again.

So it's time to take August's advice. It's time to "get up from there and be the glorious girl you are!"

Because I don't feel glorious today.

So I need to talk myself into persisting in love, and going forward anyway.


Julie and I watched the movie version of The Secret Life of Bees when she was home on Spring Break. Unfortunately, our viewing time kept getting interrupted during prime moments, so we were denied some of the emotional continuity of the film.

It's a shame. Because the movie was good ... and I cried my eyes out when I read the book.


[And yes, I see that some of the quotation marks are out of place in the graphic, but I don't feel like taking the time to fix it. Imperfect is good enough today. The meaning still comes through.]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Live Life Now

Recently, on Facebook, this thread followed in the wake of a friend's status. It tickled me so much that I thought it deserved a shot as Today's Phrase:

Friend 1: Live life now. So random, so short, so sad.

Friend 2: and then so unexpectedly, spontaneously happy sometimes too. Wishing you a random moment of silliness.

Friend 3: Well said

Friend 4: Allen Watts (the Zen Dude from the sixties) describes an very magical exercise:

Stand up, hands on hips and laugh.
I know that it isn't funny, nor a joke to laugh about, just laugh (like in theater class).
Yep, that's it, do it for ten minutes: laugh as hard as you can, full breaths: guffaw! bend at the hips to get those last puffs of laughter out!

Do that every day and you will get an "A".

Friend 5: Sort of the spiritual version of "The Hokey Pokey."

Friend 4: That's what it's all about

Sunday Secrets: March 22, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

Great news for me! Frank will be bringing a Post Secret Event to the University of Idaho (where my daughter goes to school). So cool. I hope to go. So the first secret here is from the UofI event page on Facebook. The other two secrets were posted on Frank's blog this morning.

If I believed that 'everyone' was this polarized and reactionary, I'd be worried, too. Thank goodness, not everyone is. There are still rational thinkers and speakers in my circle of contacts.

The thing about antidepressants is that they are not the cure to the depression. They can certainly be a good early step. After feeling so down for so long, the medication can seem to make you feel emotionless. In my experience, they help you up from that low place. But that's just the start. The pills can't make you happy. That's where your own hard work comes into play. The meds help with the first few steps, then counseling, determination, gratitude, and the doggedness of putting one foot in front of the other will help a person climb the rest of the way out of the hole. If you're expecting meds to do the whole job, you have very unreasonable expectations.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

Oh, good. There's hope for me yet.


My daughter is home during her college Spring Break. We're having a great time tormenting each other. So I may not post often this week.

Gather Ye Rosebuds ...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Secrets: March 15, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

The first two secrets were on Frank's blog today. The last is an older secrets I never posted before.

That is so nice. But ...
I hope it doesn't freak her out!

This sounds familiar ...

I try to lie to Dale this way ...
but the darn clock is too close to his line of vision.
:: sigh ::

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Inspiring Artists

I keep tabs of quite a number of blogs whose authors inspire me daily. When I find posts that are particularly energizing, I share them here or on one of the stitching lists that I participate in.

Below you'll find links to eight blogs that are particular favorites. I hope you'll stop by and soak in some of the creative juices that flow from their pages. They just might become your favorite blogs, too!

XS Friends Award

Carolyn was kind enough to pass this award on to me recently. Blogging and Yahoo! Grouping (is that a word?) have put me in touch with many excellent stitchers from whom I've learned plenty and gathered a lot of inspiration.

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon's of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. Choose eight friends to share this with.

So here are my picks ... more than just cross-stitch enthusiasts:
Emily from The Floss Box
Mary from Mary's Tales
Pam from Kitty and Me
Jenny from Allsorts
sosser from bricolagelife
Allie from Allie's in Stitches
JCasa from JC Handmade
Kathryn from Kathryn in NZ

Thank you, gals, for continually inspiring me to expand my creativity and friendship!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Music

As I mentioned yesterday, it's been months since I picked up my guitar and sang.

Perhaps part of the reason for my hiatus is that over these last months, I have been searching for "the truth of what I am."

Now that I'm honing in a bit, maybe I'll express it in my music once again. It would be good to write a song again!

I wonder what it will say this time?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


For the first time in months, I pulled out my guitar and music, and sang.

It felt pretty darn good.

The songs I concentrated on were some that I've written over the last 35 years. All are based on my spiritual beliefs. I pulled them out, looking for common threads and recalling the circumstances that initiated the writing.

Singing through my compositions ... getting my fingers to form the proper chords on my guitar ... gave me a firm sense of how the Spirit has been working in my life for years.

While writing in my journal yesterday morning, a poem I wrote back in 1987 came to mind. A friend of mine set the words to music.

Spirit Song

Spirit God, Spirit Dove
Flutter down, release your love

Spirit Quiet, Spirit Peace
Soothe my heart, teach me release

Spirit Fire, Spirit Flame
Burn in my my spirit name

Spirit Wind, Spirit Breeze
Blow in me; set me free.

Margaret M. Davaz

Giveaway #1 Results

Congratulations, Spundle!

You're the winner of the cross-stitch sampler.

I'll be in touch with you privately to get your mailing address.

More giveaways to come soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Want More Fun?

I'm am both hopeful and cynical
About 80% hopeful to 20% cynical
(I blame the cynical all on my college English professor)
But I have fun anyway.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Giveaway #1

One of my goals for this year is to simplify my life.

In the spirit of simplification, I've decided to give away some items I no longer need. Many will go to local charity thrift shops. Some will be given away on Freecycle.

However, the needlework pieces I no longer need, but still have affection for, ought to go to my needlework friends and blog readers, don't you think?

This first giveaway will be for continental US only (sorry to all my international friends!) It's a printed cross-stitch sampler that was in my mother's collection. The size is 8" x 10"

If you'd like to have a chance of winning this giveaway, leave a comment on THIS post. Only one comment per person, please. I'll pick a winner on Thursday, March 12.

[Click on images for a close-up view].

Macro Monday / Happy Dance: Embroidered Towel

Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.

Holly & Mistletoe Towel

Gather some lovely shades of Christmas

And a gridded design

Stitch ... stitch ... stitch

Before long, you have a border

And a nice fingertip towel to use in the next winter holidays

Pattern: Holly and Mistletoe
Pattern book: Christmas Cross Stitch Designs for Towels
Designer: Sam Hawkins
Publisher: American School of Needlework
Copyright: 1987

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Give It Up

This forgiveness thing is still hard for me.
But I'm getting there.
I have to remember that my happy ending didn't stop with the end of my childhood.
My happy ending is yet to come ...
I'm living the charmed life now.

Sunday Secrets: March 08, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

The first secret was on Frank's blog today. The rest are older secrets I never posted before.

I learned to cook a few things from my grandma. But some recipes are lost to me ... like homemade pasta, gnocchi, and her version of stuffed zucchini. I loved watching her work in the kitchen because she loved to cook, and it showed.

I suppose most families have secrets they hide from the world at large. In my family of origin, one of the secrets was rage. I was not saved from it. I learned it too well. And the fear that results from living with it. Thankfully, I no longer live with rage ... within my home or withing myself.

Me too. I think it still does. I'll find it in my 50s.

Ashamed? Not so much. But on bad days I don't trust my own judgments. Thankfully, these days are fewer and more far between. Months can go by between bad spurts. Part of the reason I'm a full-time homemaker is due to the fear that I won't be able to manage my moods in the workplace. That fear is abating. Perhaps I can get a job again.

Thank you, Sweetheart!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Part of the circle of life, yes?
Each is appreciate because of the other.

The darkness can be difficult, but the stars are so beautiful.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't Cross Me!

This one just cracks me up.

But I get the sentiment. If it has taken me as long as my 51 years to learn the hard lessons I've learned, to Hades to those that throw up roadblocks now!

It's like when a little kid is doing his thing and some bigger kid comes along and tries to make the little one do what HE wants. The little kid stands up as tall as he can, puts his hands on his hips, lifts his chin and shouts, "You're not the boss of me!"

I've done the hard work. I've learned what I've learned. I'm setting the course for my own life. Who is ANYone to think they know how to run my life better than I know myself?

Can't you just see me fuming with my little fist waving in the air?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fly Like an Eagle

One of the most difficult life lessons for me is learning to trust myself, learning to trust my own judgment rather than relying on rules, regulations, mores, commandments and laws to govern my actions. I generally live on the straight and narrow ... but now in my 50s, I feel the need to meander a bit, to be less than constrained, to show a little rebellion, even.

As I raised my girls, I gave them little tasks to do that would help them develop this ability to trust themselves. Little things like, paying their own library fines or setting up their own doctor appointments. I'd first show them how it's done, or give them some words to use to get started. Then I'd have them do the task on their own, me standing in the background to help them if they got stuck. Teaching them to do some of these tasks helped them learn that they are capable, they have what it takes to get through life.

I believe I spent concentrated effort teaching them these skills because I'm not so sure I had them when I left my parents' home. Now, even though in my mind I know I can do what needs to be done to live, the fragile emotional me still feels like a kid that can't quite see over the top of the counter. I feel like I'm just not quite big enough, not quite confident enough, to get along in the world.

Practice, of course, helps my confidence grow. My sweet husband once said to me in exasperation, "Hon, don't you know you're more capable than you think you are?" ... and I realized my answer was "No."

Dr. Phil once told one of his TV show guests, an overbearing mother, that she needed to allow her child to try to do things on her own ... she needed to trust that her child had the ability to figure things out along the way. My husband calls it fighting your way out of a paper bag.

It's embodying the knowledge that if life doesn't go strictly by the book, I have the internal fortitude to figure out the detours.

I like the image the above quotation leaves in my mind. The branch breaks, the perch falls out from underfoot, but the bird need not fall with the branch. I can be like the eagle ... open my wings, catch the wind, and soar.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First a Stream, Now a Road

Today's Phrase was lifted from one of my favorite blogs, Lisa's Chaos. Lisa ... Lisa takes the most detailed, textured, exquisite macro photos! She constantly inspires me.

She recently celebrated her fourth year as a blogger, and talked a bit about the journey. The above quotation is from February 24, 2009 where she shared about her journey through cancer. Being on a journey that centers on the quest for my purpose in life, I appreciate dipping into the lives of others that seek a similar path.

What I appreciate about Lisa is the way she pays attention to the details. I like that. My dad used to always say, "The devil's in the details." To me, that means that as good as the overall vision of a project might be, the thing won't get done if you don't pay attention to the details.

Being a very detail-oriented person, I find that I often get very self-critical if some of the details of my projects are off kilter. So when my "project" is my quest for my purpose in life, I tend to get really hard on myself when I think I'm messing up those details.

My sweet husband, a man who dwells in the big picture, often reminds me to take a step back and get some distance vision. Yesterday, he encouraged me to refrain from making my usual long To Do List, and to focus instead on three tasks. Then, when those tasks were done, to take real satisfaction in doing them. This is in direct opposition to my usual method of taking the long list, doing more than half of it, and then kicking myself for the the things that didn't get crossed off.

So, yesterday I had only three goals:
  1. Get an early start to my day, but just putz through the regular chores.
  2. Eat a slab-o-meat for lunch to replenish my iron (I've been feeling a bit run down).
  3. Go through the box of my mom's needlework projects that has been sitting in my studio since she died over a decade ago and figure out what to do the old projects.
The first was easy. I got an early start. The housework slid easily into place.

The second was simple, too, except that it involved grocery shopping. But once I got started, the shopping and putting groceries away was a smooth ride. And I managed to cook the slab-o-meat just right. Boy, was it tasty!

The last task was ... emotionally draining. But I approached it with a sense of purpose and determination. Once the sorting began, I was in my element. I like making order out of chaos. Once I could examine each of her embroideries as a 'project' (something she did to keep her hands busy) instead of as an 'emotional connection' (a potential family heirloom), the decisions on what to do with the pieces became much easier.

It took about two-and-a-half hours to get to the bottom of the box. I threw some away. Gave some to a charity. Kept a few to finish up that can be used to make items for my charity group, and decided that I'll share a few with my blog readers. So over the next weeks, I plan to have some give-aways.

By the end of the day, I was able to take satisfaction in a day well lived.

I've had enough bumpy roads on my journey of the last year-and-a-half to last me a while. Yesterday was a smooth stretch. I'd like to ride along here for a while.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Bit o' Inspiration

Check out this YouTube video:

It's called ART

Music video for Tanya Davis' song Art by Andrea Dorfman

How to Live

I am learning to do the first
And I'm figuring out how to do the second.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Which Austen Heroine are You?

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Macro Monday - Mailbox

Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.

You've Got Mail

Old Man Winter refuses to take off his coat!
He's still got ice covering most of the lawns and fields.
Leave a mailbox open, he'll cover that, too.
And add a patina of rust to every metal surface.

Open the box? No mail.

I'm ready for a change!

Ahhhhh! This will do!

Swimming Along

Louise is a friend of my from way back in elementary school days. We attended high school together too. Then lost track of each other. Recently, we bumped into each other again on Facebook, and have been enjoying getting reacquainted. It turns out we're both Flybabies now!

Not too long ago, this quotation was noted on Louise's status line. It tickled me, so I stole it to use here.

There certainly are days like this. Swimming upstream. Pushing against the current to make your way to the place where you can go get your job done. Fighting the elements. Working single-mindedly toward your goal.

Of course, as Louise's husband pointed out, once the salmon get there, they die.

So, we won't take the metaphor that far for ourselves, eh? I'd rather get there and feel a sense of accomplishment than get there and croak.

All of this is well and good, and indeed, some days one must put for that amount of energy and determination. But it's not how I'm approaching today. In fact, my own phrase today might be more like, "Some days are for flopping on the beach and soaking in the sun."

If only the weather here would cooperate. No. We still have fields of ice. And I'm tired of it.

So another former-high-school-now-Facebook-friend and I decided to declare our own holiday:

North American Homemaker's Day!

For those of us that earn no regular paycheck, yet still work all day caring for home and hearth and children and others in need, we declare that it's our turn to have a day to ourselves. We can do whatever we want ... or do nothing (my choice today) ... and do it guilt free.

I already convinced a friend in Mexico to join us. Any Canadians want to get in on this? We deserve this break!

Don't we?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Margaret wants ...

I'm not exactly sure how this game is supposed to be played, but I saw it on Maureen's blog and surmised it's something like this:
Type your name and a verb into Google and write down ten of the search results you find.
So I typed in "Margaret wants" and found these fun answers in Google Pictures:
  1. Margaret wants to join the band.
  2. All Margaret wants is a comet-spotting badge for her Brownie uniform.
  3. It's years later and Margaret wants to reconnect with Tom.
  4. IT JUST TASTES SO GOOD WHEN IT HITS YOUR LIPS...Margaret wants some...
  5. Margaret wants to go by Maggie.
  6. Young Margaret wants nothing more.
  7. Margaret wants to marry off six kids.
  8. Margaret wants to be big, Zoltar.
  9. All Margaret wants is to be fashionable and have sex without the invisible aliens draining her partners' brain juice. But sometimes life isn't that simple.
  10. Margaret wants to leave!

Oh, and just in case you missed it ...

There's one more thing Mary Margaret wants to make sure you know. Latitude and longitude lines are imaginary!

Sunday Secrets: March 01, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

These four secrets tickled my fancy.
[Ooooo. I LOVE to have my fancy tickled!]

I don't. I just play!

Oh, yes! I have an imaginary twin named Mandy.
Maggie ... and Mandy! :)

My best friends live thousands of mils away, too.
Boo hoo.

Late Bloomers, Unite!