Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday...

Kind of have no one purpose for today's blog, but have several things want to "chat" about.

First, one of my blog readers informed me that none of the terrarium pictures got sent with the email alert some of you receive.  It made me wonder if you get any of my pictures.  Please let me know if you are getting the pictures- it makes the message more meaningful to have pictures- I think.

In regard to terrarium- my plants are dying- and worse I fear are my mother's.  My mom is in the process of moving her office so hard to get ahold of so I'll check in with the life of her plants this weekend.  My soon to be brother in-law is visiting tomorrow and I'm hoping he will be able to shed some life on what I did wrong with the  terrarium- otherwise it is back to the drawing board or else just go with a open air terrarium. 

Random "chat" number 2- Today I came upon a blog that initially had me so interested and excited about its content.  It is called Planner Perfect- Here is the writer's scoop on her idea from her blog:

Planner Perfect is a planner that I have created to harness a life that desires to aspire. Forget everything you think of when you think of a traditional planner with all of its "to-do" lists and space for our endless tasks that consume our lives. What about a planner that is set up to create a life where life doesn't pass you by? That actually is there, waiting with blank pages for a more abundant life scripted by a creative author? One of the fundamental differences between task managers and Planner Perfect is this: Planner Perfect is a place where you can be creative and goal oriented about your life. It is set up to inspire you to dream and project what you want your life to look like tomorrow, a month from now, to a year or two in advance. Examples of such goals include: your emotional and physical health, what you want your days to look like, your holidays, wardrobe, weekly menus and most importantly, goals for your dreams. The beauty of the planner is the feeling you get that comes from being in control over your own life versus the feeling of being out of control and led by all the daily tasks of life. It's your life! Make it the way you want as though you are writing a book. Scaling down your life because a busy life is no life at all... and on those blank pages of your planner, is where you write what you want your life to look like and the steps you need to take to get you there.

 My mother is the inspiration for this planner. Her planner was a plain ordinary notebook; what was scripted inside is what made the notebook and her life amazing. I have always emulated her with her planning but I took it a step further and transformed her notebook into Planner Perfect in a way that any woman can use with ease. My e-book pages are written to help you assemble your very own Planner Perfect, or if you decide to purchase through Planner Perfect, to help you use your new planner to the fullest. I hope to give you the feeling through inspiration and example, that I am right there with you guiding you very step of the way. I hope that you enjoy your new planner to the fullest and find it to be simply… Planner Perfect!
Sincerely,
Jenny Penton
 
The wording in red is what really sold me on the planner idea.  However, when I really started looking into it I found her Planner was for sale for $50, and it is a planner (large 3 ring binder with whole year of calendar, goals/dreams pages, and daily pages).  However, this isn't really applicable to me because I would need something portable to be with me both at work and home and no way I'm lugging that thing around.  So she has a smaller version for $40.  Again I started thinking maybe I could just make my own planner and make it small enough to fit in small purse.  So this is on my "to do" list for the next week.  I'll let you know how it turns out. If some of you readers already have a great idea about the above and it won't cost me $50 let me know.
 
Random "chat" 3-  Siri Hustvedt recently wrote an essay in Allure (free subscription not my type of mag) May 2011 called "Dreaming in the Dark".  The author talks about how her style came from watching film heroines- Katharine Hepburn (one of my all time favorites) so I read the essay and found some great lines which I think some of you will see yourselves in as I have seen myself...
We enter characters in novels, too, and imagine ourselves in their stories and in whatever costumes they may have on during their adventures, and it is possible for us because we do not have to look at ourselves while we are doing it.  When we are invisible to ourselves, every transformation is possible.  Movies give visual form to our myriad waking dreams.  The marvelous people on the screen (or book) take the place of the mirror for a while, and we see ourselves in them.
 
Random "chat" 4- the following is "On Being Mom" by Anna Quindlen one of my book club friends gave it to me back in 2006, actually May 22, 2006 to be exact and I keep it in my nightstand next to my bed as a reminder to what "being a mom" is to me and also a reality check.  Hope you find it as truthful and realistic as I do.
 
On Being Mom by Anna Quindlen
If not for the photographs, I might have a hard time believing they ever existed. The pensive infant with the swipe of dark bangs and the blackbutton eyes of a Raggedy Andy doll. The placid baby with the yellow ringlets and the high piping voice. The sturdy toddler with the lower lip that curled into an apostrophe above her chin. ALL MY BABIES are gone now.
I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete.

Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations — what they taught me was that they couldn’t really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.

Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton’s wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk,too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald’s drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons.

What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I’m not sure what worked and what didn’t, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I’d done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts.
It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

After reading this again today it makes me think maybe I should read this everyday and really look at life in a different way.  Life is too short, maybe one of these days what I read will sink in and I will do what I read. 

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