God's Colors


Earlier this Spring I was sitting in a Sunday morning church service listening to the pastor’s sermon. Several months removed, I do not recall the entire message but I do know that he began to discuss the wondrous colors of our planet and its creation.

Big K, to my left, had his Bible open and appeared to be listening. I know he listens because this one … overtly talkative … has been known to answer some of the pastor’s more rhetorical questions embarrassingly out loud for benefit of the entire congregation.

Little K, to my right, was doodling on a random sheet of paper. I was intrigued by my child’s drawing as it showcased an island, ocean waves and what appeared to be a pirate ship. Typical little boy subject matter. The rather interesting thing was that he had drawn a catapult on the ship and this catapult seemed to be launching a person (not a rock or a cannon ball … a person) from the ship toward the island. I could only imagine what was going on inside his mind. One thing was apparent. He definitely did not seem to be paying attention to the pastor. No worries. He’s eight. And then …

… in the midst of this color portion of the sermon came the following words:

“God loves color. Looking around, I think blue and green are probably His favorites …” (and then, more flippantly) “... but I guess you could make a pretty strong case for brown.” ~S.D., Pastor

Shortly after this statement I looked to my right and Little K had written in bold, capital letters across the top of his “man being catapulted from pirate ship to island” masterpiece: GOD LOVES BROWN!!!

Sponge. Absolute sponge. Soaking it all in and, apparently, cheering for the underdog color of brown.

Take heart, brown, Little K is on your side and God loves you!!!



“Beauty seen is never lost, God's colors all are fast.” ~John Greenleaf Whittier, American Writer

My Enchanted Place


“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~Elizabeth Lawrence



The continent of Africa is dotted with magnificent waterfalls. Most notably, of course, is
Victoria Falls. Which, I am ashamed to say I have never been to visit. Much less notable, but no less important in my life (and visited quite regularly), is the waterfall hidden in the valley near Brackenhurst Baptist International Conference Center. It has no official name so I hereby christen the site “Bracken Falls” as I think it needs some sort of moniker.

When driving to Brackenhurst from the capital city of Nairobi one ascends from five thousand feet above sea level to seven thousand five hundred feet along Limuru Road where the conference center lies tucked into the rolling highland hills. The entrance is marked by two square whitewashed columns but from there the road twists down a steep incline, slips around the pond in the valley and winds its way back up the opposing incline where Brackenhurst rests sprawled across the hilltop. The pond is simply a resting point for the stream which flows into it from one end of the valley and flows out … under the road … at the opposite end. It is this waterway that creates Bracken Falls farther downstream in the thick of the forest.

From my earliest school age memories I remember making weekly (often daily) pilgrimages to Bracken Falls. I would walk down the winding road that led into Brackenhurst and hang a sharp left onto the steep foot worn path that dropped through the forest and into the valley. Here the stream merely trickled. Part way back up the opposite valley wall I would turn right and maneuver across the forest floor parallel to the stream often pausing to pick up a stray porcupine quill. The sound of the waterfall revealed its existence before I plunged through a final obstacle of brush but it was always there … waiting for me. Small … falling only eight, maybe nine, feet. It was a refuge. I would take a book to read or a journal to write in while I sat. Sometimes I would just sit and listen to the falling water and the occasional overhead monkeys in the trees. I introduced many a new friend to what I felt was my own personal waterfall and there were times that it became more playground and less refuge, but I didn’t mind.

I wonder if my waterfall is still there or if civilization has crept down the valley and consumed it. I hope not. If it is still there I hope that its presence has been passed down by those of us who loved Bracken Falls so that more children have a place in the forest where they can go to sit, read or play in this secret garden … this enchanted place of childhood.

Keeping Tabs

My mother reads my blog. I'm quite sure my father only reads it when my mother stumbles across something exceptionally amusing or really, really, really disturbing to her and then she forces asks him to read what I've composed for that particular day. Still, I am convinced that the quote below accurately demonstrates exactly why my mother reads what I write. She is keeping tabs on me since I am not the best with daily communication.

"It's a funny thing when one's parents use one's blog posts to verify that one is still alive and healthy." ~
Music and Cats


Personally, I chalk my non-communicative behavior up to spending a number of years on the opposite side of the planet from the parental units and not being able to afford to call every day and when letters ... yes - letters ... those things that involve pen and paper ... took two weeks to travel from point A (USA) to point B (Kenya).

Two thumbs up to
Blogtations where I found the quote. Blogtations is one of the greatest sites in the grand blogsphere for finding great blogger quotes. If you haven't stopped by for a visit yet ... well, then - shame on you. There is a pretty awesome contest over there this week too. You should take a peek.

Monday Mosaic #10 - Poetry Written By Time

These sites I have yet to see in person. They are on my travel “to do” list. I am drawn to historical ruins like a moth to flame.

“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.” ~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son





Center: Giza
Clockwise from top left corner:
Stonehenge
Machu Pichu
Angkor Wat
Mesa Verde
Great Wall
Easter Island
Parthenon
Chichen Itza
Bolton Abbey
Petra
Skara Brae
Djemme

“History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley


Identity



“Identity is who you are. Image is how you are viewed by others. Both influence the choices that you make but identity offers much greater longer term rewards. Whenever possible, base your key life decisions on the person that you are.” ~http://www.reellifewisdom.com

Image. I get that. It makes sense. Image is easy.

Identity … (sigh) … Can you lose who you really are? Can it be stolen? No, I am not referring to identity theft: the crime of stealing someone’s name and assets. I am writing about me. There are days where I think I know exactly who I am and then … well, it would seem as though I wake up and look around and wonder why I am here and how I managed to get here. Who am I? I never thought I would be one to question who I am, but things change.

“The identity of one changes with how one perceives reality.” ~Vithu Jeyaloganathan

“Identity is such a crucial affair that one shouldn't rush into it.” ~David Quammen

Flames


I love the word art I can create over at Wordle. Words + Art ... two of my favorite things.

This particular piece is inspired by my poem "Flames" which can be found
here if you would like to read it.



"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable." ~Bruce Lee, Martial Arts Expert

Greatest Hits




Today I bring you a list of some of my own quotes ... a list of my so-called greatest hits (to date):

“Time marches on. Stupid phrase. True, but stupid. Whoever coined it should be shot for their inherent aptitude for blatantly stating the obvious.” ~
Being Banausic

“Good box springs make good neighbors.” ~
Good Box Springs Make Good Neighbors

“I need sunshine. I need warmth. I need the planet to feel like it is alive!” ~
75F and All is Well

“I hate to think that my entire social life resides within this box that is conveniently connected to the internet. Crap! It does.” ~
Only the Lonely

“There were a number of pseudo-celebrities staying at our hotel … you know them – those people that are in a ton of films, but always in the background … you know their faces, but you can’t think of their names. Pseudo-Celebrities.” ~
Boats, Boredom, Football & Psuedo-Celebrities

“No assembly required. No electronics. No playground equipment.
Just a small hill, two great trees, and … imagination.” ~
Perfect Playground

“And could somebody please . . . PLEASE . . . explain the nationwide infatuation with the nasty, chalky, candy hearts with all the sappy sayings??” ~
Oh Wretched Day Of Sappiness ...

“Saying the word “duh” does no one any favors …especially those attempting to endear themselves to the I.A.T.S.M.E.T.I.A.S (I Attempt To Sound More Educated Than I Am Society).” ~
Indeed!

“Oh! I do so wish I could walk in a place where the cacophony of nature filled my ears instead of the clatter of civilization.” ~
A Path That Wanted Walking

“I should be grateful that I am not stuck in an uninviting, dusty, generic cubicle box which, in turn, is located in a boring, drab and utterly average office building somewhere.” ~
Drudgery

“If I didn’t know better I would wonder who was slipping me some acid right before bed because if I try to describe many of my dreams to you … you would swear I was tripping on some illegal substance in order to bring such thoughts into my illusions. Hooray for my subconscious! It knows I do not like mediocrity.” ~
Kingdom of Dream and Shadows

“Knock. By all means – keep knocking. I am not Jesus. The door shall not be opened.” ~
Foggy, I Am

“I have this theory. When two people have loved each other as deeply as humanly possible there is an invisible rubber band (of sorts) that attaches itself to each participant of said love affair so that, in the event they are separated by circumstances, someday (as they move farther and farther apart) they will stretch the band to maximum capacity and it will snap them back (watch out for whiplash) into each others lives for some unidentifiable purpose.” ~
AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes (Part II)

“Can you say ‘Oedipus?’ Ewwwwww.” ~
AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes (Part II)

The following all come from the same post in which I babble on randomly about myself:
“Sarcasm oozes from my every pore in my body ... much like sweat.”

“I talk way too damn much. I know this about myself and yet ...”

“Maybe I needed more then a divorce. Maybe I needed an exorcism.”

“Coffee. I love it. Love. It. Bad coffee. I hate it. Hate. It. Bad coffee is better than no coffee.”

“I will be the first to tell you if you have spinach in your teeth or if your zipper is down or if you have hair hanging out of your nose and you will love me and appreciate me for it.”

“I am a shield maiden of Rohan. For that matter, I am Eowyn herself. You just don't know it yet.”

“Dear God ~ Please bring me a rich man who can fund all of my adventures. He still has to love me desperately though. I don't want a sugar daddy. Amen.”

“I love Drew Barrymore movies. I love Steven Spielberg movies. I absolutely detest the film E.T.”

“I don't see the glass as half empty. I don’t see it as half full. I see half a glass of water.”

“I want to fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch.”

“I have eaten beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, goat, rabbit (ugh), quail, buffalo, giraffe, crocodile, alligator, deer, gazelle, impala, zebra, wildebeest, flying ants, ostrich and I'm sure many others that are simply not coming to mind at the moment. I could never be a vegetarian.”
~
100 Factoids - Get to Know Me, You Will

"Imagine the wonderments we would likely behold if every human on earth embraced their own madness enough to shun the desire to be normal (mediocre, average, standard, common, routine) and actively pursued the metaphorical reaching for the stars. Miracles. We would witness miracles on Earth." ~
The Mad People

"Shoes. Important they are. Before you spend an entire day walking to and fro throughout the festivities of such an event ... make sure your shoes really are comfortable. Thinking they will be comfortable doesn't cut it. You have to KNOW!" ~
Riverfest!!

"Do you have any idea how difficult it is to send a text message or make a cell phone call when you are enveloped in a crowd of .... oh, I don't know ... 25,000 people or so and practically every single one of those individuals also has a cell phone and is trying to do the same thing you are trying to do .. simultaneously? Nigh impossible!" ~Riverfest!!

"If I refuse to touch the inbox that resides on my desk and it begins to resemble Mount Kilimanjaro … will my boss notice?" ~
Monday madness

"You KNOW that every person on the planet needs a big brass bowl full of carved and painted wood fruits and vegetables. You know they do. Everyone. Aren’t you jealous?" ~
Monday Mosaic #2-Karibuni!

"Riddle me this: Why does it seem that IGNORANCE is actually growing world wide with the speed and intensity of a deadly air born virus? It is a plague. How is this possible? Shouldn’t the growth in knowledge and education be reversing this trend? Am I a total loon for thinking that prejudice might one day become a thing of the past?" ~
Dark Frontier or New World?

"DREAMS and DESIRES: Are they not one in the same? Those things that we longingly desire inevitably find their way into our dreams and, very often, many things surface subconsciously in our dreams that we are astonished to discover we really do desire." ~
big B, Little b ... B-B-B

"I do not eat Kiwi. Why? Well, to be perfectly honest, Kiwi too closely resembles little hairy monkey balls. Yep. I said it. Little. Hairy. Monkey. Balls." ~
Quirky Quirks

"Did you know that alarm clocks are not made to withstand being thrown against a wall? Well, they aren’t. I have proof … in pieces." ~
Have You Slapped A Dead Poet Today?


Wanderlust Explained (sort of)


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~St. Augustine


I recently asked a random question of my parents regarding my first international airline adventure and how many segments there were to the trip. The difference in response from each parent is remarkable. My mother informed me that we flew through Germany … and we did, but there was so much more involved. My father answered the question as well and, since we are so much alike, was incredibly detailed and thorough as if he knew exactly what information I was looking to find. What resulted is a pretty simple explanation for why I love to travel. It is ingrained. I was introduced very, very early in life to travel and I have been globetrotting ever since.

Late December 1974. I was just over four months old and my family was returning to Kenya. This would be my first trip:

Fort Smith, Arkansas --> Kansas City, MO
We stopped here for a day or two to visit a church my father had pastored while in seminary.
Kansas City, MO --> Cleveland, OH
Another stop. This was the closest airport to my maternal grandfather in Pennsylvania who was getting remarried on Christmas Day.
Cleveland, OH --> New York City, NY
New York City, NY --> Paris, France

We spent an overnight with missionary friends that were located there in France.
Paris, France --> Frankfurt, Germany
Here we took the train to visit my aunt and uncle who were stationed in Germany with the military.
Frankfurt, Germany --> Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy --> Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

At this point we had reached New Years Eve and I spent my first new year on an airplane. Truly, this explains so much. We spent an overnight in Addis Ababa with more missionary friends before finally …
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia --> Nairobi, Kenya

I will question my wanderlust no more.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish Novelist

Name Tags



"They stick you with those names, those labels -- 'rebel' or whatever; whatever they like to use. Because they need a label; they need a name. They need something to put the price tag on the back of." ~Johnny Depp, American Actor

HELLO! MY NAME IS: Beth …”

How many of those stupid sticker name tags have you filled out in your lifetime? I don’t know how many I’ve worn, but I can tell you there have been plenty.

It would be great if it was acceptable to add qualifiers below our names. It wouldn’t matter if you were at a church retreat or a corporate merger meeting or even a major convention. Maybe we should wear them every day. Can you imagine? If there was no restriction on what you could write below your moniker what would you put? Your mood? Your title? Height? Weight? Boxers or Briefs? Single or Taken?

HELLO! MY NAME IS: Bob … C.E.O. I am the boss of your boss of your boss.”
Whew! At least now I know what he looks like since the corporate tree only has names and no pictures. Note to self: Act professional when Bob is around.

Interesting, huh? I think so. Life would be much more entertaining at the very least. For those of you who are conversationally challenged it would be easier to find something to talk about. Reading someone’s name tag could also warn you to not even bother with that individual on that particular day.

HELLO! MY NAME IS: Joyce … I am pissed at the world.”
Yep, I’m not talking to Joyce today.

Let’s take it a step further. What if your name tag automatically populated with the truth? Wow! That would be fun! How I wish this world had that type of brutal honesty!

HELLO! MY NAME IS: James … I’m hiding my wedding ring in my pocket.”
Great! Good to know! Go home to your wife.

HELLO! MY NAME IS: Hope … I’m in love with James.”
Well now! Girl – you need to go read his name tag today!”

What would you put on your name tag? Would you go ahead and report the truth? Would you be coy and secretive? Ambiguous? Daring? Crazy? Matter-of-fact?

HELLO, MY NAME IS: Beth … I am:
a believer in Christ.”
a single, working mother.”
bipolar.”
absolutely bored out of my mind.”
a compulsive writer.”
just like my father.”
melancholy.”
thinking about my kids.”
juggling a whole lot of crap right now.”
envious of my mother’s patience.”
fantasizing about traveling absolutely anywhere.”
cranky.”
desperately homesick.”
finished.”


"Names are an important key to what a society value. Anthropologists recognize names as 'one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.' What is not named in culture very likely goes unnoticed by the majority of its people. The converse is also true: people pay greater attention to things that have been given names." ~David S. Slawson, Author

Living a 'Daring' Life




Daring
[dar•ing] {dair-ing}
–noun
1. adventurous courage; boldness.
–adjective
2. bold or courageous; fearless or intrepid; adventurous.
~http://www.dictionary.com

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” ~Sir Cecil Beaton, English Photographer

Take a chance. You never know where it will take you.

“I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” ~Maya Angelou, American Poet

Dare to be different.

“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” ~Dale Carnegie, American Author

Go on. You know you want to make a difference.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Philosopher

Living a 'Confident' Life




Confidence
[con•fi•dence] {kon-fi-duhns}
–noun
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed.
2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
3. certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely.
~www.dictionary.com


“Do you want to know what's really beautiful? Confidence. Do you want to know what's really powerful? Persistence. Do you want to know what's really sexy? (Please, I know about sexy.) Not needing to be needed … And if still "they" don't notice your good looks, your strength, and your sashay... could you feel more sorry for them?” ~Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe


Confidence
Oppressed with sin and woe,
A burdened heart I bear,
Opposed by many a mighty foe;
But I will not despair.

With this polluted heart,
I dare to come to Thee,
Holy and mighty as Thou art,
For Thou wilt pardon me.

I feel that I am weak,
And prone to every sin;
But Thou who giv'st to those who seek,
Wilt give me strength within.

Far as this earth may be
From yonder starry skies;
Remoter still am I from Thee:
Yet Thou wilt not despise.

I need not fear my foes,
I deed not yield to care;
I need not sink beneath my woes,
For Thou wilt answer prayer.

In my Redeemer's name,
I give myself to Thee;
And, all unworthy as I am,
My God will cherish me.
~Anne Bronte

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” ~Anna Freud, Daughter of Sigmund Freud

Monday Mosaic #9 - I Like Green



Green. I like green. I also like a lot of other things. Here is a random sampling:





“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.” ~Chinese Proverb

1. Music
2. Globes
3. Tea
4. Coffee
5. Dew on a Spiderweb
6. Books
7. Bitter Lemon
8. Candles
9. Coloring
10. Forests
11. Waterfalls
12. Masks
13. Gems
14. Green Eyes
15. Peacock Feathers

“The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver, and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadows of his fluttering leaves.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Living a 'Beautiful' Life




Beautiful
[beau•ti•ful] {byoo-tuh-fuhl}
–adjective
1. having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
–noun
4. the concept of beauty (usually prec. by the).
5. (used with a plural verb) beautiful things or people collectively (usually prec. by the): the good and the beautiful.
6. the ideal of beauty (usually prec. by the): to strive to attain the beautiful.
–interjection
7. wonderful; fantastic: You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!
8. extraordinary; incredible: used ironically: Your car broke down in the middle of the freeway? Beautiful!

~www.dictionary.com

Beauty. It is all around. Look. Find it.


“He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough upon it where it had been left last night when the horses were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood, in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful.” ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities


Sunrise. Morning dew on a spider web. Exotic Fruits. Fog laced through a forest. Expressions of Love. Flowers. Children laughing. Shadows. Ocean waves crashing on a rocky shore. Rainbows. Honesty. Fruit salad. Glistening gems. Stars. Bollywood movies. Sharing. Bravery. Peanut butter and Jelly. Storytime. Confidence. Festivals. Time. Fall leaves. People. Color. Dripping icicles. Music in every manifestation. Honor. Twinkling fireflies. Cityscapes. Rain showers. Sleeping babies. Art. Kisses. Clouds. Learning. Broadway. Laundry blowing in the breeze. Wisdom. Street vendors. Notebooks. Goodbyes. National Geographic. Waterfalls. Books. Marmalade on toast. Smiles. Fresh strawberries. Generosity. The Northern Lights. Dancing. Balloons. Masqued balls. Christmas decorations. Islands. Lighthouses in the dark. The wind in the trees. Compliments. Long walks. Shakespeare. New car smell. Snowflakes. Handwritten letters. Herbs. Friendships. Sunset.

The fact that this list could go forever … that is beautiful.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may become necessary from time to time go give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." ~Miss Piggy, Muppet (Thank you to A.T. for the quote)

Tick Tock




Another second.
--tick tock--

Another minute.
--tick tock--

Another hour.
--tick tock--

Another day.
--tick tock--

Another week.
--tick tock--

Another month.
--tick tock--

Another year ... older.
--tick tock--

Just a few more hours to go.

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip." ~Unknown

Living An 'Accomplished' Life



Accomplished
[ac•com•plished] {uh-kom-plisht}
-adejective
1. completed; done; effected: an accomplished fact.
2. highly skilled; expert: an accomplished pianist.
3. having all the social graces, manners, and other attainments of polite society.

~www.dictionary.com


Society, past and present, places much emphasis on one being accomplished. An individual is expected to have some measure of success in one’s life in order to be considered a valuable human being. The problem with this concept is that accomplishments come in a wide variety of forms and success, in the eyes of varying subjects of society, is highly subjective.

One does not have to have a high paying salary and drive the most expensive car on the market to be accomplished.

“It is by what we ourselves have done, and not by what others have done for us, that we shall be remembered in after ages.” ~Francis Wayland, American Educator

Karen is a single mother raising an impeccably mannered three year old son while attending college and holding down a job. Accomplished.

Jordan spent much of his youth wandering and landed in prison for drug trafficking. Once back in society he changed his life. He is now a supervisor of his own crew and working for a company responsible for laying hundreds of miles of fiber-optic cable. Accomplished.

Ruth lives in a small hut made of mud and clay in a third world country. She has no children of her own, but has adopted three children orphaned by her sister who died of AIDS. She makes her living selling vegetables out of a small garden and raising a few chickens … but all the children are fed and she has kept them in school. Accomplished.

How do you define accomplishment?

“It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.” ~Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach

Holy Superhero Batman!!!

Proof of my ultimate geekdom: I *love* this site. Go here to create your own super hero. Here is my first. I say "first" because I will likely create a few (or multiple) more. Thanks to Caffeinated Librarian for the link. I know. I'm a geek. Ask me if I care!!!




"I think you just have to appreciate WHO YOU ARE and hopefully they can see what a superhero is about." ~Lucy Liu, Actress

Explosions & Ugly Knights



There I was … cruising down the interstate on a mere five mile stretch of highway in the midst of my fifteen mile commute between work and home. I was minding my own business. Driving the speed limit due to heavy rain and wet roads (Shock! I know!). Grooving to my iPod. Pondering what to make for dinner. BOOM! The words “flat tire” are so inadequate. Tire explosion. My tire exploded. Plain and Simple.

Great. Now what?

“I've always supported myself. I like the sense of knowing exactly where I stand financially, but there is a side of me that longs for a knight in shining armor.” ~Barbara Feldon, American Actress

I refuse to be totally helpless but, dang it, I could not find the jack in the stupid mini-van. A quick phone call to my father and I discovered the stupid thing hiding underneath the passenger seat. So, I was able to get the vehicle off the ground and was working on releasing the spare tire from bondage when the cavalry arrived: The Arkansas Highway Department.

Two gentlemen graciously completed the task of changing the tire on my vehicle and then followed me the remaining two miles to the interstate exit to make sure I was able to get off the freeway and to a tire center safely.

Chivalry is not dead … even if it falls within the job description.

So, here is a big SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to the Arkansas Highway Department and two of the ugliest knights in even uglier bright orange safety vests ever.

Bliss Beyond The Need For Approval



When you reach a personal goal … what do you do? Do you talk about it? Do you wait for people to notice? Do you take out a personal billboard on the highway as a blatant announcement to the rest of the planet? What?

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” ~Deepak Chopra, Indian Physician & Author

I have this friend of who I am quite proud. I really am. She set a goal and she met that goal. Because of her success she looks absolutely fantastic, but I am tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of seeing more and more and more pictures of her.

Am I jealous? Yes. However, my irritation is not rooted in jealousy. It stems from my friend’s apparent need to do everything within his/her power to boost his/her own ego. We have both struggled with self-esteem … one of us, perhaps, more than the other but we each deal with those struggles in very different ways. I do not go looking for praise. It would appear that my friend can not stop the seemingly endless fishing expedition for more and more and more and more compliments.

“You are not what you were born, but what you have it in yourself to be.” ~Kingdom of Heaven, Film (2005)

If my friend (who, I believe, is one of my soul mates) should read this … know that I love you and, yes, I am proud and happy for you. I am also troubled by where you seem to be searching for your self worth. You are so much more then a shell of physical appearance.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...” ~Elizabeth Gilbert: eat, pray, love

Monday Mosaic #8 – Infatuation


Okay, I admit. This is shallow. Still … look closer. While these men are definitely easy on the eyes it is the characters not the actors with whom I find myself inexplicably attracted. Most of these crushes originated through literature before the big screen. Disclaimer: I excluded the wonderful characters from The Lord of the Rings because I could make a single mosaic out of those guys … Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir, Faramir, Eomer … yeah, I’m in love with them all. Pitiful. I know.



1. Aaaaah! Erik (aka: The Phantom of the Opera). Okay, so I know that I’m SO not supposed to be infatuated with him … but I can’t help it. Occasionally I yell at the TV while watching the movie, “Don’t pick Raul! What are you thinking?” I know. The result never changes. I admit that I read the book by Gaston Leroux. Yes, there is a book that was the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. If you love the musical – don’t read the book. Trust me. Why? Well, to be honest, the book Raul is a whiny, bratty, blubbering, sniveling little twit. I was already in love with Erik but reading the book simply cemented Raul’s role as the ultimate pansy. Weak. He is weak. I don’t do weak men. Sorry.

2. Rick O’Connell. This would be the one character in the mosaic not based from literature. I watched the third installment of The Mummy series this weekend and, yes, I still love Rick O’Connell. "I am a stranger traveling from the West; it is I whom you seek." ~The Mummy Returns, Film (2001) - Yes. Yes, you are.

3. Well known fact: I read a lot of English Literature. Little known fact: Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series is my version of brain candy. Matthew McConnaughey playing Dirk Pitt on film was merely the icing on my cake although I pictured his hair a little bit blacker and his eyes a little bit greener … but overall, yeah – I’m not complaining.

4. Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: proof positive that I am, in fact, a hopeless romantic. I had a cat named Mr. Darcy once. My name is Elizabeth. I loved that feline.

5. Bond, James Bond. Yes, I have read many of the books. He may be a man-whore … but he’s BOND!!!!

6. Benedick! How can a girl resist? I am completely infatuated with his wit and his sarcasm. He is, by far, the most attractive male character penned by William Shakespeare. Romeo? Romeo, who?

7. Oh … c’mon … this is me we are talking about. You had to know that a comic book character was forthcoming. The Bruce Wayne/Batman character has always been my favorite super hero. Why? Think about it. The man has absolutely NO super powers whatsoever. He has his mind and a lot of cool gadgets but he is wonderfully human.

8. Robin Hood. What is there not to love about a guy who steals from the rich and gives to the poor … and has killer aim with a bow and arrow?

9. I wonder how many books/series I have that center around the legend that is King Arthur? I would have to count. I have a lot of them and I’ve read even more. He fascinates me.

I have brought you,
That our passions may fuse and merge
In your mind you've already succumbed to me,
Dropped all defenses,
Completely succumbed to me.
Now you are here with me
No second thoughts
You've decided
Decided.

Past the point of no return
No backward glances
Our games of make-believe are at an end.

Past all thought of “if” or “when”
No use resisting
Abandon thought and let the dream descend.

~Past the Point of No Return, The Phantom of the Opera

I have been accused ...


... of bearing some rather feline characteristics (my eyes), but this is ridiculous. I woke up with a 5 to 6 inch ugly, deep scratch down the back of my left shoulder blade. Either I managed to scratch myself during the night or, since I do not own a feline, I was attacked by a demon with brutally sharp fingernails while I slept.



“The cat lives alone, has no need of society, obeys only when she pleases, pretends to sleep that she may see more clearly, and scratches everything on which she can lay her paw.” ~Francois R. Chateaubriand, French Diplomat

Summer What???




Well, the full extent of my summer vacation will begin after work tomorrow … all four days of it. Yep, four WHOLE days. Is the dripping sarcasm coming through loud and clear? Summer vacation. What summer vacation? Four days is not a vacation. Such is the state of my life. I intend to enjoy my time off hanging with my little people … getting in a little swimming … and refusing to think about the office. Well then, that’s that.

“Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Dame Edith Wharton

Monday Mosaic #7 – Librophiliac

“Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, ‘What it will do with you?’ You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet

I am a librophiliac. I come by it naturally. My mother is a librarian and an overall lover of books and the written word. Thank you to
this site for the amazing photographs I have used along with many, many, many more. Take a look. It is wonderful. I would so adore going on a tour of the greatest libraries in the world.



1. Vatican Library, Vatican City, Italy
2. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto, Canada
3. Russian National Library, St. Petersburg, Russia
4. Queens College Library, Oxford, England
5. Old British Reading Room, British Museum, London, England
6. Melk Monastery Library, Melk, Austria
7. Herzog August Library, Welfenbuttel, Germany
8. George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
9. Cathedral Library, Kalocsa, Hungary
10. Chethams Library, Manchester, England
11. Casanatense Library, Rome, Italy
12. Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, France
13. Biblioteca Geral University of Combria, Portugal
14. Biblioteca de Bella Arti, Milan, Italy
15. Angelica Library, Rome, Italy
16. Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

“Book lovers will understand me, and they will know too that part of the pleasure of a library lies in its very existence.” ~Jan Morris, British Travel Writer


Sweet August



"Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear."

~ R. Combe Miller


It is August and in two weeks I shall be thirty-four. I am surrounded by the beauty of summertime. This month truly is “the fairest of the months” and I would share this opinion even if my birthday did not fall right in the middle of such a beautiful time of year. It is a shame that I no longer feel in me the vibrancy of August. I do not feel old. I am not old. I merely feel weary … worn out … tired. My halo of light appears to have burned out.

Have you ever encountered individuals from your past and meeting them, while enjoyable and often fun, brings feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness? I have had two such meeting in as many weeks. One: Someone who attended college with me and now works for a radio station in Little Rock. Two: A dear friend from childhood, high school and adulthood. Both women are stunningly beautiful. Both have varying degrees of success in their lives … and then there is me.

Me.

By next year may I feel as sweet as the month of August.
I want my song to sing itself.

"In summer, the song sings itself." ~William Carlos Williams

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