It Was A Really Good Day

Living it up at the Dallas Arboretum was the perfect thing to do on this sunny spring day. There were people everywhere taking photos. Little kids posed, cried, threw mulch and played in the fountains. A young father was trying to snap some semi-candid shots of his toddler on a step stool next to his pregnant wife, who was coaxing the big sister to be to give the baby a hug. The sweet little girl kissed and hugged her mommy’s belly while the poor dad was trying to capture the moment as people were walking through the shot.

He was very patient and polite.

I commented to my husband that I wished I could photograph the cute little kids running all over the place having so much fun. I saw an adorable little girl when we first arrived, wearing a headband with an enormous flower on it. She still had baby hair, but it was thick and black. She was walking around looking too cute and the look on her face was priceless. Of course in an instant the opportunity vanished. Plus asking permission and dealing with suspicious parents made it a no-go for me anyway. It would have been precious though. Several people did ask if I would take their pictures with their camera and I certainly obliged. I am always ready to lend a hand and possibly have a conversation with people I don’t know.

I need to get out more.

We saw a lovely debutante in a striking blue gown twirling around as a photographer took her photo. Her mom was smiling and coaching her movements. A woman passing by, wearing a hijab shouted ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! She motioned excitedly waving her arms in the air. The scene was quite interesting to me; the Muslim woman joining in the fun of this Hispanic family’s proud moment and offering encouragement to this young woman made me smile. It was very nice to witness that kind of sharing of a special cultural experience by people from different cultures.

Of course there were brides to be and little girls in spring dresses all over the place. Men, women, young and old, professionals with tripods and amateurs like me were trying to capture the essence of this glorious gift of a day. I shot around 400 pics. Including the photo above of a kind father and daughter, Marty and Sarah and their friend Manuella who allowed me to take their photo, here are some of the best.

(Thanks Maggie and Arthuro for the Muscle Milk! You were right, the cookies and cream ROCKS!)

The Creative Process

It’s very early Saturday morning and I am awake. This time not because I couldn’t sleep. I just woke up, rested, how about that! The light from the “filter needs cleaning” light on the air purifier created a weird shadow on the wall because of some clean laundry stacked on the dresser. (This is where the process began.) I lied there looking at it, thinking about my physical therapy exercises and the song from the JC Penney flash mob video started running through my head.

I decided to get up and – what else – blog around a bit. I was thinking about this week’s posts, about all of my posts really. I was thinking about a comment I made on a post entitled Did My Post Suck Today? There were eight hundred or so comments and Sweet Mother!, the blogger took the time to reply to mine. All of them actually.

(maybe I’ll just Google creative process and see what pops up) The house is quiet. motivation solitude…yeah, solitude.

Solitude: a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone

For the sad old earth must borrow its’ mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;

Grieve, and they turn and go;

They want full measure of all your pleasure,

But they do not need your woe.

Be Glad, and your friends are many;

Be sad, and you lose them all –

There are none to decline your nectared wine,

But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;

Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live.

But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.

People don’t want to hear bitching and whining. They’d rather hear something that makes them happy. laughter is better than pain – laugh through the pain – we experience greater joy after we endure pain…

oh I hear some birds in the fountain just outside the window and an airplane. Aircraft noise – jets – flight – air – fuel – oh and oil. Filters!

Filters are importantnecessary – essential for optimal performance. Oil, fuel and air filters prevent contaminants from causing damage to our vehicles. We have whole system of filters that function much the same way to keep our bodies working properly. Filters are used to remove harmful bacteria from the air and chemicals from water so it is safe to drink. Cold filtered beer…(beer? what does that have to do with anything? there are filters on cigarettes, that doesn’t keep them from being harmful, where am I going with this?)…Coffee filters keep the grounds contained…(oh I need coffee…I’ll just stop here and go make some.)

Okay where was I? This week’s post, no, I’m past that – wait – is that the correct use of past? Whatever…back to filters. When we manage to filter out the crap like, people who don’t ever follow any rules and over-bearing, snobby asses well-intentioned experts who know all the rules, we can prevent ourselves from getting bogged down clogged up side-tracked and focus on the discovery of something meaningful. Perseverance!

When we acknowledge that not everything in our lives is exactly the way we want it right at this moment and do not allow disappointment to grip us, limit us or prevent us from pursuing our goals – world travel, air travel, space travel, time travel, okay that one is out there a bit, but wouldn’t it be awesome? – we discover that forces believed to hold us down may in fact propel us upward. It’s all relative.

My second book is being conceived. With a small reserve of confidence and precious little feedback for Summoning The Strength, I am pressing onward. The feeling in my left hand is beginning to return, so it must be time to push the limits. This time though I will take care to use my head while I follow my heart. Without the all nighters and certainly with better understanding of my abilities, I am taking some time to travel, research and hopefully have some good stories to tell when I return. In the meantime, I may post. I may not. I haven’t decided. After all, we already know I cannot give it up cold turkey! I have no idea why this text is italicized. I cannot change it no matter what I do. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter. Peace.



There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,

Can circumvent or hinder or control

The firm resolve of a determined soul.

Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;

All things give way before it, soon or late.

What obstacle can stay the mighty force

Of the sea-seaking river in its course,

Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?

Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.

Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate

Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,

Whose slightest action or inaction serves

The one great aim. Why, even Death stands still,

And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Two nights in a row with no midnight serenade! Could it be the mockingbird got a tweet that his life was in danger if he kept up the shenanigans outside my window? Rested and ready to seize the day, I started the coffee and went out to get the paper. It was soaked from the early morning rain. I placed the soggy sack in the trash and decided to ignore the person letting their dog crap without bothering to pick it up. We have strict rules in our neighborhood about that. First, renters are not allowed to have pets. Second, if renters have pets, they’re supposed to pick up the crap. Did I say strict rules? I meant voluntary rules intended for those who care to follow the rules.

I’ve been staying close to home for a couple of days because the HOA manager said someone was coming out to repair a leak we discovered after the first spring rain a few weeks ago. I guess when they told us it was fixed the first time what they meant was it could keep leaking or get worse. Someone was supposed to show up again today, but I think he really meant he’d be here sometime this month, not this week.

My troubles are small, just minor crap, a leaky roof. I am not oblivious to the facts that I have plenty of frequent flyer miles to keep me supplied with magazines for months and that I have time to wait around for a repairman since all I have on my calendar right now is to read, write and hit refresh to see if anyone purchased my book or left a comment on my blog. Oh yeah, and to exercise. Life is good.

This post had a bit of an evolution over the course of the day. Skipping the morning paper gave me time to explore sites I had been saving for a rainy day. Turns out, there are some sites I just should not visit. For instance, sites where the grammar police make it their mission in life to point out how often I am so very wrong. The intent is good and no doubt those sites are meant for the likes of me, but I should not go there. After the impulse to write ‘I will not go there again’ one-hundred times passed, I resigned to limit myself to punctuation I am certain to be correct and avoid compound sentences. 

No Return Policy

The flash mob outside JCP in this video is beyond amazing. First, the dancers are people with regular body shapes. How great it is to see women with real curves dancing in public unashamed. Second, the music is freakin’ awesome and I absolutely LOVE the dub of Ellen’s voice saying, “My haters are my motivators.”

I was talking with a friend today at lunch and she was saying how she and I are so much alike because we turned negativity we encountered in our lives into positive energy to achieve the supreme unexpected. We are, after all, surprise achievers. Watch the video and see for yourself how choosing not to return hate for hate makes the world a better place. Honestly, this is the best policy.

Suburban Stormfront

Just having a little fun watching the storm roll in yesterday. It rained all through the night, and the thunder only disturbed my sleep briefly. I am about ready to kill a mockingbird though. Night after night it chirps, sings, warbles and whistles perched atop the arbor right outside our bedroom. Even in last night’s storm, with its fierce wind and pelting rain, the thing showed up right on schedule at 12:05 a.m. to give the performance of a lifetime until the sun came up this morning. I love birds, but this one is pressing his luck.

There are three eggs in a nest that some wrens built in a basket on the patio. It is great fun watching them work year after year gathering bits of this and that to build their nest. The first spring we were here, there was a storm that blew the basket right off the patio and onto the ground. We put it back in place after the storm and soon there were little chirps coming from the nest. Both the mother and father brought food to the chicks and we watched as one by one they made their way out to the edge of the basket and then to the top of our gas grill and finally to the edge of the patio. All the while their mother “encouraging” them. Loudly. I hope this year’s little family will provide such entertainment.

Not all of our activities around here are so EXTRA ordinary, so I promise if anything truly exciting does happen to be sure and let you know. Until then…I think it’s safe to say, “It’s spring!”