Oh, You’ve Got To Have Friends

I found this photo when I was going through some boxes of stuff that I’ve dragged around with me for years.  I’ve been in an organizing mood of late.  Most of the stuff in the boxes was of no value, but this photo– well, it’s a classic.  Worthy of note.

It’s a photograph of my third grade class.  I’m the girl in the middle of the front row holding my hands behind my back.  With long blonde hair.  Sporting a lovely pair of cat eye spectacles.  Tres chic!

Looking at this photo I have no idea why I’m not wearing a cute little plaid dress like the other girls.  I had lots of them, but for some reason I’m standing there in a shapeless jumper.  My mother worked when I was a kid, so maybe this was the only outfit that was clean that day for me to wear.  That could be it.  Or maybe I forgot that it was photo day and put the jumper on instead of something cute.  That’s probably more like it.

I have good memories of third grade.  Mrs. Bosh, our teacher, was enthusiastic and fun. The kids in my class were silly and goofy and friendly.  I remember adoring arithmetic & science, and that we did the coolest art projects.  I remember despising spelling tests, while thoroughly enjoying music class.

I also remember receiving my first Nancy Drew book that year.  It was a birthday present from the girl on the end of the front row nearest to the teacher.  I still have the book in fact.

But what I remember the most about third grade is that we played lots of games on the playground– and we included everyone.  No cliques.  No clubs.  No snobs.  That’s what was coming our way in fourth grade.

Of course, we didn’t know that yet when this photo was taken.  We were still just a bunch of happy kids.  Friends.  Wearing our best clothes and smiling for the camera.

A Suburban Moral Dilemma

As I sit here typing this post I’m watching our neighbor’s sprinkler system water their lawn.  Putting aside the fact that it is midday and the sun is at its hottest while the sprinkler system waters their lawn, I’ve found myself in a bit of a moral dilemma.  The sort of dilemma that an observant, kind-hearted person, such as myself, could only find herself in.

Here’s the deal.  We don’t have an automated lawn watering system.  I am our watering system– complete with hoses, oscillating sprinklers, and a decidedly lethargic approach to lawn care.  I water when the spirit moves me and in a random pattern when I get around to it.

Our neighbors, on the other hand, have a perfectly positioned, professionally maintained sprinkler system that evenly and consistently waters their grass.  Or at least that’s what the neighbors, who are never here at midday, think is happening.

The reality is that the men who positioned the sprinkler heads have sent the water shooting into a tree and a wall, which is causing the water to bounce back into small portions of our lawn instead of evenly watering the neighbor’s lawn.

Now the angelic [do good] part of my being is saying that I really should go over to the neighbor’s house and tell them that their sprinkler system is amiss… that their professionals have made a mistake or two when positioning the sprinkler heads.

But the devilish [lazy butt] part of my being is shouting “yes! less lawn for me to water” and resists making the effort to tell the neighbors what’s really going on with their lawn… figuring that it is up to them to monitor their own property.

So there you have it, my gentle readers.  A moral dilemma.  In a non-friendly suburb.  Noted by me because I pay attention.

What say ‘ye?  Do I tell them, or not?

I’ve Been Sorted And So Can You

I was googling some Shakespeare quotes when I noticed the word: “Enneagram.”  Immediately, from the cobwebby corners of my mind, I remembered sitting in a regional staff meeting 20 years ago. We were being forced to happily taking a tediously long marvelously in-depth psychological test to decide which one of The Nine Enneagram Archetypes we might be.

We had a new boss and this was her way of getting to know us.

Curious as ever (and as a tribute to one of the more unique bosses I ever worked with), I clicked on the link where I found this simple little test: The Quick Enneagram Sorting Test.  So I took it.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Especially after I figured out that there were only two questions (three-parts each) to answer.

The results of my test told me that there was an 80% chance that I was one of the following three archetypes.

I agree with the results in theory.  I would add that I think that I behave differently in different contexts.  Everyone does.  Which means that I’m probably a mix of all three archetypes– in different proportions– at all times– depending on where I am standing on the earth.

Type Three: The Achiever The Success-Oriented, Efficient Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
Type Five: The Investigator The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
Type Seven: The Enthusiast The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

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I invite you to take the test and get sorted, too.  See what it says about you.  And if you feel like it, you can share your results below in comments or on your blog.  We’d love to know who you really are.  

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Rambling Thoughts From A Sleepless Night

~ I rarely have insomnia, but last night I did not sleep.  Too hot and humid outside.  Too noisy and AC-y inside.  I just couldn’t get comfy, so… 

•  I got up and surfed the internet until the battery in my notebook died– which was 2.25 hours.  I decided to go back to many of the new-to-me blogs where I’ve left comments over the past few months.  It takes quite a bit of focus and prayer for me to reach out to strangers and leave them a comment.  I know that comments are a good way of making friends in the blogosphere and I want to have more bloggy friends.  So I take a deep breath, write something sincere, and push “publish.”

It’s not easy for me, but I do it.

Checking back to see how well-received my comments were, I discovered that 40% of the new-to-me bloggers responded back to me – yeah!  40% of the new-to-me bloggers said nothing – hmm?  And 20% of the new-to-me bloggers didn’t even allow my comment to show up on their blogs – ouch!

•  After the battery went dead in my notebook I just wandered around the inside of the house in the dark, looking out the windows at nature and moonlight and total stillness.  I like doing this because it centers me in the moment, encourages me to look within.  I used to always get up early to do this, but fell out of the habit at some point.

While I was moseying around I got thinking about my health.  I’ve just finished a battery of annual tests and am quite healthy, thank you very much.  The only issue is that my cholesterol is a bit high.

Just something more to be aware of, I guess.

As I don’t know of anyone who eats meat who doesn’t have slightly elevated cholesterol, I’m rather “whatever” about this fact.  I figure that some small changes in my diet and a bit more exercise will fix this issue.  I avoid pharmaceuticals at all costs, so I will take on the challenge of making myself better all by myself.  No pills for me, says the doctor’s daughter.

•  Around 5:30 a.m. I decided it was time to make a pot of coffee and get on with the day.  After the elixir of life brewed, I poured myself a large mug of it and went outside to sit on the deck.  Morning was just starting to grace the sky with streaky, pink clouds and yellowish bursts of weak sunlight.  There were bats flying around everywhere– and birds chirping about something of [presumably] birdy importance.

I like our deck because it looks into the forest prime evil primeval
that leads to the ravine behind our house.  But this morning I was a bit wistful as I looked at the natural mess that is back there.  In a couple of weeks, we will have a new backyard.

Change is good.  And inevitable when you live on a hillside.

The backyard project will put in place a poured concrete landscaping wall.  Then about 28 tons of dirt will be hauled in to level off some of the land.  After that, the landscapers will plant lots of bushes in a visually pleasing, manicured way– which will transform our backyard into a more useable, but decidedly less rustic, place to be.

~ I’ve got nothing more to add to this post.  Morning is here and I’m ready to get on with my day.  I kind of wonder how productive I’ll be today, but figure that I’ll give it my best shot.  Some days “good enough” is the new “perfect.”

Our Weekend

Fun.  Lots of newness.  Much happy.

√  Set up our new computer, an iMac.  My first new desktop computer in 8 years.  Rather spiffy.

√  Got together on Saturday with some out-of-town friends who were here for the day.  Lots of laughs and our first visit to the oldest farmers market in the area.  Rather amazing.

√  “Created” a new cocktail.  Sweet tea + bourbon + a spring of mint.  Rather refreshing.

√  Put finishing touches on the paint job in the un-bedroom.  Means that after 3 years we are officially finished with repainting the entire inside of this house– and can reclaim our weekends.  Rather wonderful.

√  Changed my blog template to this more up-to-date one that you’re now seeing.  Rather dashing.

√  Started reading two amazing memoirs.  One with an artistic/scientific bent, the other with a celebrity/humanitarian bent.  Can’t decide which one to finish first so I keep switching back and forth between them.  Rather compelling. 

√  Decided to tidy up my twitter feed by deleting most of my tweets.  Have adopted a “less is more” approach regarding my future tweeting.  Rather liberating.

So how was your weekend?  Care to share?

Regarding Personal Style

I met a friend for dinner.  She arrived rocking the 1970s style trend that’s so popular now.  She looked perfectly at ease in that era’s clothes;  but then I realized that she always looks perfectly at ease no matter what she’s wearing.  So I asked her: “how do you always know what to wear to look good all the time?”

I figured that her answer would be about fashion magazines, long shopping trips to the mall and personal shoppers.

But instead, she seemed dumbfounded by my question.  And her answer made me laugh.  As she looked down to see what she had on, she told me that she had no idea what she was wearing.  She said that she just bought whatever was in the stores when she walked in– or online when she got around to shopping for clothes and accessories.

No planning.  No stress.  No external manifestation of deeper inner meaning. Just whatever.  “I’m too busy to keep up with fashion,” she told me.  “Do I have a style?”

I assured her that she did, and explained it to her.  She thought about what I’d said, agreed with me, and then asked me: “How do you know about all this?  Where are you getting this from?”

My answer was easy: “I read blogs.”  Blogs written by women with professional backgrounds in fashion who work as stylists.  Woman who are active amateurs with a passion for fashion.  Woman who dress well and like to share what they’ve figured out along the way.  All sorts of women.  All ages of women.  All kinds of styles.

Naturally, she wanted to know specifically what I was reading, so I told her.

When I got home I realized that a list of personal style/fashion bloggers would make a good and useful addition to my “Wonderful Blogs To Read” tab.  [Look up– white letters in the black line– kind of middle to right-ish– the one at the end.  Yep, that’s it.]  So I added a section to my blog roll that lets you, my gentle readers, know my current fav blogs.

Check it out, why don’t you?  You know you want to look good.  🙂  [Please note: fashion blogs on my blogroll deleted 10.11.  No longer interested in them.  Learned enough, I guess.]