In Which I Staycate & You Questionate

This week Zen-Den and I are taking a staycation.

We are planning on doing projects around the house [paint stair railings + bannister] and around the yard [replace perennials that didn’t survive the winter].  Plus we hope to go out to eat a few times… maybe go to the zoo… perhaps check-out the deals at an outlet mall… see a movie.

You know, do stuff.

So this week instead of writing about anything in particular, I thought that like Carol Burnett I’d turn up the house lights and take questions from the audience.  Then next week, on a subsequent post, I’ll answer your questions making sure to let the world know who asked me each question.

Deal?  Okay then, let’s get things started in here.

Just remember that the success or failure of my next post rests on you, my gentle readers.  I’m counting on you to questionate like a pro!  Please leave your questions in the comments below.  And thank you in advance for your kind attention to this matter.

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Updated late in the afternoon to include…

HEY! Look at this:

“Carol Burnett, who became famous for playing a variety of characters in sketch comedy routines on her namesake television show, was named the winner of the nation’s top humor prize on Tuesday.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said Burnett will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Oct. 20 in Washington. “

AND WHO POSTED ABOUT CAROL BURNETT TODAY BEFORE THIS PRIZE WAS ANNOUNCED?  Could it be me?  Why yes it was.  Is that a trippy coincidence or what?

[Source article here.]

Things I Love Thursday [Spring Edition]

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the geraniums, ‘ya know?

Lately, I’ve been feeling that I’m missing the simple things in my life.  That I’m focusing only on complex issues and confused people.  That I am way too much in my head and not enough in my heart.

And this behavior is bringing me down.

So, as an antidote to the complexities inherent in my modern life, I’ve decided that once per season I will do my version of a Things I Love Thursday post.  Here is my first edition.

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•  geraniums  •  faded denim  •  truthfulness  •  the sweet scent of the ash trees in bloom  •  tralfaz  •  home decor catalogues  •  income tax refunds  •  herbed chèvre  •  unexpected friendly emails from old friends  •  laughing  •  sauvignon blanc  •  gumption  •  randomness on my car radio  •  tetris  •  walking  •  the united states of tara  •  rhubarb  •  festina lente  •  no gloves, except gardening ones  •  gratitude  •  paper calendars with pretty images  •  sunshine  •    

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And you?  What are you loving right now?


Confounded By Group Photos

“Time can change me, But I can’t trace time.”

~ David Bowie

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A few months ago I was talking on the phone with a friend who happens to be in her eighties.  She is a delight– mentally with it + honest to a fault.  In other words, exactly who I want to be when I get to be an eightysomething.

In our conversation my friend mentioned that her granddaughter had emailed her some photos of herself with her friends.  The young women had gotten dressed up and gone out to brunch together somewhere pricey.  The photo of was of all of them in front of the restaurant.

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I asked my friend how her granddaughter looked in the photo and my friend said: “Cute, I guess.  All the girls look alike to me, so I can’t tell which one she is.  They all have long, stringy hair and carry huge purses.  I think that my granddaughter is one of them.”

As we talked a bit more about kids.these.days. I chuckled to myself about me humoring a delightful older woman who was clearly confused by the obvious.  I mean, how could she not know which girl was her granddaughter?  Really.

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A younger friend of mine, who is not on Twitter, has a high school daughter, who is on Twitter.  And as you know, I’m on Twitter.  So, every once in a while I check to see what my friend’s daughter is doing on Twitter.

What I have discovered is that this girl is a good kid.  She has pleasant friends, likes ice cream, doesn’t like schoolwork, likes sports, goes on dates.  Nothing scathing at all– unless you consider a few swear words once in a while to be trouble.  Which I don’t.

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One day last week I was glancing at the photos that my friend’s daughter had added to her Twitter feed and I saw a group shot of a bunch of teenage girls.  They were all wearing skinny jeans and white t-shirts and pumps with 4″ heels.  And I thought: “What a cute photo.  I wonder which one is my friend’s daughter?  They all look alike.”  

Then it hit me. *BAM*  I had just said exactly what my older friend said about her granddaughter and her friends.  And I realized that I had morphed into an old woman who couldn’t distinguish one child from another.  

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This means, of course, that now I must admit to my younger friend that I can’t recognize her daughter in the photo.  I can’t help but wonder if my friend will politely listen to me on the phone while chuckling to herself about humoring me, a delightful older woman who is clearly confused by the obvious.  I mean, I would understand where she was coming from… as I was in that same situation only a few short months ago.

Oh yeah.  Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

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Rambling Thoughts On A Spring Morning

DSCN0085Another wet morning here.  This Spring has been unusually rainy and not as warm as I’d like it to be.  In fact, I have yet to wear capris, let alone shorts.  Sandals, however, I have worn.  They look kind of snazzy with jeans, so there’s that.

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As you can imagine the rainy days have led to green, lush grass.  Our yard looks great.  The neighbors’ yards look great.  The grass-filled concrete divider islands in the grocery parking look great.  The side of the interstate looks great.

The whole world looks great… as long as you like this particular shade of green.  From my point of view this green is getting a little too close to Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald Green.  I don’t like Emerald Green, so you can see how, for me, this Spring is getting a little cloying.

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To set my heart right I’ve taken to checking our pots of pansies more often than need be.  The leaves are green, of course– but overall the pansies are a hodgepodge of purple and maroon and orange and blue.  These colors make me happier/mellower/calmer than all that in-your-face green.  I always feel more comfortable with variety than with sameness;  and I guess, now that I think about it, that principle holds true for me in nature– as well as in decorating and people.

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Well, that’s all I’ve got from here.  Waiting for the sun to shine so that I can get outside to work in the garden.  Wondering about where I should go to buy some new shorts.  Thinking that it’s a very good thing that today is Friday, because I. am. tired.

Have a groovy weekend everyone.  See you next week on the flip side.

Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance, Yet Again

First, I came upon Jessica Hische’s wonderful website, Thousand Under 90.  It asked me: “Are you a creative person that constantly submits to competitions but never gets in?”  Then it provided me with the opportunity to create an award for myself.

Here it is.  Isn’t it cute?

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 11.19.41 AM

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But then I read this insightful article, The Surprising Secret To Selling You, that told me that being awesome may not be as awesome as I think that it is.

“We have a bias — one that operates below our conscious awareness — leading us to prefer the potential for greatness over someone who has already achieved it.”

~ Heidi Grant Halvorson

This left me flummoxed.  Did I not just create an Awesome Award for myself so that I can feel like I am the best?  Was this not the best thing for me to do?  Is gaming the system with my self-created award, perhaps, counterproductive to me winning at the game, whatever it might be?

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I was, as usual, left with that familiar feeling of cognitive dissonance that has underscored most of my life.  You know the one.

“… the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs…. a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, [wherein] something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.”

~ Kendra Cherry

And I begin to wonder if the best change that I could make to reduce my cognitive dissonance might be to keep my Awesome Award secret between you and me, my gentle readers– while continuing to sell myself to the world as someone with potential.

I think that might be the best way to proceed.  As if my Awesome Award, like so many awards, doesn’t mean a thing.  😉