Archive for the ‘Humanity’ Category

Day 58: thankful.

In Family, Friends, God, Happiness, Health, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Mother, Parenting, Thoughts on July 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the following:

patience. and

loving what you have/what you are given.

It’s so easy for me, or you, or anyone, really, to get caught up in wanting things beyond what one has or is given. I have, and sometimes I throw myself a pity party about it, but the reality is that there is always someone who has it worse or is embedded within circumstances that are less fixable.

One of my best friend’s husband is dying of cancer. He only has a year to live, at best.

I think about her situation quite often, and it makes everything in my life seem so manageable despite the hardship that I face within my own circumstances. I am thankful this week that I have those that I care about close to me and healthy. I am thankful that there was and will be the laughter of little kids in my house–I’ve been missing that.

I’m so thankful–for the little things.


Day 57: it is possible.

In DIY, Faith, Home Decor, Humanity, Mother, Women, Work on July 17, 2012 at 5:55 am

To redo your room with barely any money.

This was before.


And now…


Please excuse the crap sitting on the bed. It’s actually not done–later on I’m going to tuft a backing for that headboard (it will cover it and be rounded at the top where the edge is). I really wish I had a wide angle lens, so I could see the whole room (cut off the nightstand and armoire and complete other wall) but I’m proud of myself for seeing this project through. It kept me busy, and I had fun learning what not to do when painting furniture!

Plus, these pillows–


The best idea ever because I do not sew. Just tie the thing into a square knot and pin it.

HOLSTEE JULY: If You Don’t Like Something…

In Blogging, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, Humor on July 9, 2012 at 2:28 am

So today’s cupcake is brought to you by my new favorite site that I found randomly on Pinterest.  This place literally teaches you how to decorate your home with junk…literally…you can make adorable things with toilet paper rolls.

I remember awhile back visiting my friend’s house and she had a BEAUTIFUL wreath on her wall that looked as if she had spent hundreds of dollars on it.  She goes, “Oh no, I’m poor, I’m paying back law school loans.  I’ve just learned how to make decorations out of trash.” What she had done is picked up some old sheet music at a thrift store, and rolled it, then glued it into a massive piece of wall art.  Pretty clever, my guess is that she had already found this site.

check it out. So, IF YOU DON’T LIKE SOMETHING, CHANGE IT. Plus now I figure I’ve found some viable crafts for grandma (see this post) I’m putting her to work!


HOLSTEE JULY: Going to Lunch With Grandma

In Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, Laughter, life, Thoughts on July 2, 2012 at 2:03 am

Hello HOLSTEE July, honestly, I should have just extended this thing throughout the entire year.


Today I took my grandma to lunch. She’s a very funny lady (although I don’t think she knows this herself).  We were talking a lot about what it’s like to, basically, sit on your ass and have nothing to do. Then with all sincerity she looked right at me and said that she is going to get some clay and start sculpting a statue of the dog. She said she’d do one of Ini too if I’d like it for my mantle.


A smile immediately spread across my face. As we grow older it’s amazing how much simpler life gets. Apparently so much so, you begin to think up things like casting household pets.

But really, as I dropped off grandma and begin to pull out of the driveway I was thinking a lot about my life.  I was thinking how busy I am and how sometimes I wish things were so much simpler than they are.  I was thinking about what it must be like to be old, eyesight fading, health declining, and to not be able to do the simple things that lead to all the complicated things that make life exciting and enjoyable. What would it be like not to be able to just jump in the car and go where you want to go? What would it be like not to be able to take a run because your joints disallow it? What would it be like not to be able to get your nails done because there is no one to take you?  It would suck.  So, I am so thankful for my youth and I am so thankful for being able to do the simple things that give me the opportunities to do all the rest–the messy, complicated, tiring rest.

On Tuesday, grandma and I are going to get her clay and paints so she can start her masterpiece of Smokey the dog (and possibly Ini).  I’m sure they’ll both appreciate the simple gesture.


In Beauty, Books, Fiction, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, life, literature, Men, Thoughts, Women, Writing on June 30, 2012 at 4:13 am

This book kind of pisses me off, kind of.  Anyway, you should read it, if not for anything else then at least for the controversy surrounding it.  I guess the guy James, who coincidentally reminded me of an alcoholic I once dated also named James, made up parts of the entire non-fiction memoir.  He got baited by Oprah (poor guy–not really).  And the funniest part of it all, after a heated law suit it was determined by the publisher that readers could get a full refund of the book by presenting their original receipt, and a ripped out page 165 (in some basement somewhere there’s a HUGE ripped out pile of Frey’s page 165s–or maybe he wanted them back personally), with a signed affidavit that they we’re essentially ‘scarred’ by the intentional misleading facts within the book.  If you did that, you are crazier than the author.

Like any good author though, Frey said that he did feel the facts within the book were ‘true’ for him because that’s how he felt or acted in his own mind, essentially he related his perceived persona versus factual experiences–coo koo AND brilliant (I bet his publisher thought up that one after consulting a literary theorist at Yale).

All of that said, there are parts of this novel that really resonated with me, I even shed a tear or two by the end (which I never would have imagined). Like this one,

If you understand that all things change constantly, there is nothing that you will hold on to, all things change….Trying to control the future is like trying to take the place of the Master Carpenter.  When you handle the Master Carpenter’s tools, chances are that you’ll cut your hand….Knowing other people is intelligence, knowing yourself is wisdom.  Mastering other people is strength, mastering yourself is power.  If you realize that what you have is enough, you are rich truly rich.  Stay in the center and embrace peace, simplicity, patience and compassion.

If you want to shrink something, you must first expand it.  If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.  If you want to take something, you must allow it to be given.  The soft will overcome the hard.  The slow will beat the fast.  Don’t tell people the way, just show them the results.

As James learns to embrace these principals, he begins to heal.  He’s an addict, I am not.  I’ve known addicts, though. One thing you learn from the novel, the most important thing I would argue, is that we all have a piece of addict within us.  Every. Single. One. Of. Us.


James meets a girl in rehab, Lilly, he loves her very much.  When she is scared or alone, he tells her, “Remember the word Ever.” Ever means always, he means to tell her that he will always love her but I think it means more than that too.  It references this earlier continuum of life, throughout life we must EVER open our souls to the people and things that are around us.  It is in this that the Million Little Pieces come together to make something whole–love.  Love is being whole.

Day 48: Tuna Fish Grows In A Garden

In Diet, Family, Humanity, Humor, Mother, Stories on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 am

THIS post, which is VERY funny, reminded me of a very familiar childhood story which I’d like to share at this interval.

One night, when I was about ten years old, my mother had made some very delicious hamburgers for dinner.  We all gathered around our much too large oak dining room table, much too large is actually an understatement, the thing had three leafs, I think, and was meant to sit like 15 people (we had 4 if we were lucky).  Anyway, so I sit down at this ginormous table, my sister about 6 feet away from me is plunked down too, and we begin to eat.  Now I am not one to keep my mouth shut, I am always noticing things/places/people and I do have a tendency to perpetuate debate.  I think as a child I would even instigate it at times to see what type of reaction I could get out of the adults around me–sometimes I think I was actually smarter than them and I used this knowledge to have a little fun.  So, I’m looking outside at the large pasture next door.  We of course did not live on a farm, but our neighbors did and had beef cattle they would randomly rotate between the front and back pasture.  On this given day, those beef cattle happened to be in the front pasture.  Looking at my burger, and then my little sister, I blurted out, “Guess what’s for dinner?” Then with a turn of my head, “That’s what’s for dinner, right there.”  It was one of those cynical moments, like the kid from the Christmas Story who nags on his Dad about his sexy leg lamp.  That was it, my sister set down her burger and she vowed herself a vegetarian henceforth–at the ripe ol’ age of 5.

But the story doesn’t end here, my Mother thought she was going through a dietary phase and it seriously concerned her that her McDonald’s Chicken McNugget child (this was probably the only thing she ate for the first 4 years of her life) was refusing anything animal/meat related.  So she did what every Mother probably would have done (except for me of course)–she lied.  She picked the one meat my sister hadn’t eaten in her short little life, tuna fish, and she concocted a story that it grew in a garden.

My sister was smart, just like me.  She marched to school the very next day, and she asked her kindergarten teacher if this was a truth or lie (apparently young children can easily identify meat products).  When she found out that indeed, tuna fish swims in the sea and does not grow roots in a garden amidst the tomato plants she was very angered.  She would not eat a single bite of anything my Mom cooked her for a solid 3-month, if not longer, period.  I can honestly remember sitting at that HUGE dining table (I still can’t figure out why my mom bought that thing) watching my sister “pick” through her food for any meat particles mixed in with other things.

Eventually my mother gave up, bought protein powder, and taught my sister how to eat tofu and applesauce.  To this day though, some fifteen years later my sis still hasn’t touched meat (with the exception of a few experiences involving “accidents” and vomit sessions).  And to this day, I am still blamed for it too.

My final word, at least I was honest.

Day 46: Atticus Hansen Earns His Wings

In Esteem, Fiction, God, Happiness, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, literature, Men, Teaching on May 28, 2012 at 2:01 am

I’ve always been a very intuitive person, especially when it comes to things that are near and dear to my heart.

I’d decided about a week ago that I am going to run Eppie’s Great Race in honor of sweet little Atticus Hansen whom I have mentioned on my blog a few times.  Here and here.

Well, today I set out on my daily run.  It was 6, plenty late enough for the massive heat wave to have died down, I was running within my range of miles, and I was making about average pace (for me).  But I kept looking down at my Atticus bracelet, I kept telling him to be strong, and I kept telling myself to run harder and faster than I had previously–for him.

I couldn’t do it, I got to about mile 2.5 and my body just was aching in pain (it normally isn’t like this).  I began to walk, and I thought about Atticus the entire 1 mile of it.

I got home thinking my lag was from a lack of calories, so I immediately loaded up on some tuna and broccoli and then I went straight to the computer.  I thought, he’s gone–and he was.  His sweet little soul returned to Heavenly Father today and as I stared at the picture of him that was posted, in his little baseball digs, I thought of little e and my immense love for him.  I can’t imagine the grief the Hansen family must be feeling this day, but I am thankful for the knowledge that Atti will now be serving a higher purpose and watching down on all of us in love.

I am also thankful to know that he will always be a strength to me.  It’s amazing how one little boy and a blog could touch my life so deeply.  Thank you Atticus.  Little e put it nicely this morning as we we’re leaving for the pool.  I asked him if he had his Atticus bracelet on, with wide eyes he looked up and said very matter-of-factly, “Yep, got Atticus right here!  He’s going to the pool with us today!”  Who knows, maybe he did.

If you’d like to help support childhood brain tumor research please follow this LINK.

Daily Cupcake: HOLSTEE MAY

In Happiness, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, life, Love, Men, Stories, Teaching, Thoughts, Travel, Women, Work, Writing on May 8, 2012 at 5:21 am

The My Life by Holstee SITE is launched and here is the web URL, check it out.

Lots of inspiring stories and perspectives AND I’m on there somewhere. 😉

We Are Able: Day 32

In Happiness, Humanity, life, Love on October 3, 2011 at 4:15 am

There are days when I think to myself, “What else could possibly go wrong?  How much harder could things be?” There have been several intervals in my life where this thinking served as a prominent interruption.  That’s just it, it interrupted everything.  If I really stop to contemplate it though–I let it.  We build our lives, and our characters, through our own actions and choices.  Unfortunately, extrinsic factors (i.e. divorce, breakups, loss) seem to govern our attitudes more than our own minds, at times.

Recently, while reading The Scarlet Letter, I began to think about this idea of choosing.  Hester makes a choice about her life within the novel.  She chooses to make the best of a situation, and beyond this, she not only makes the best of it for herself but also utilizes her circumstance to serve others.

The scarlet symbol adorned on her chest, [this letter] a symbol of her calling. Such helplessness was found in her–so much power to do, and power to sympathize, –that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification [adultress].  They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester, with a woman’s strength.

An example of an individual making the best of the worst and eventually transforming for the better because of her chosen attitude.

The effect of the symbol–or, rather, of the position in respect to society that was indicated by it–on the mind of Hester herself, was powerful and peculiar.

I am amazed by the power of choice in our lives, the power it has to liberate one from the constraints of an ‘interrupted’ life of happiness and joy.  We must choose to to allow life’s bumps to empower us, though.  Like Hester, we must free ourselves of hostility and irritation for in this, “Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will eventually be transformed to love.”

Day: 31

In Esteem, Faith, Happiness, Humanity, Mother, Thoughts, Women, Writing on September 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

give me the strength to accept the things that I cannot change

and the courage to change the things that I can.

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