Monday, April 29, 2013

Language Acquisition

#1 - The flexibility of 3 year olds. I couldn't find a hat to shield my friend's three year old from the sun, so I suggested he wear his swim trunks on his head (which I did find). He was fine with it, it worked and it looked a little bit like a chef hat (only cuter).

#2 - Speaking of hats, my niece was fascinated with two of hers today, putting one on, then the other, then pulling one over her face, then another. I love how she is content with the simplest things. For example, she really enjoys bus schedules. She opens them, closes them, examines them...

#3 - Some people get excited by first steps, I get excited by language. It is fun to watch what my niece understands. Today I told her to take off her shoes and she did, and as I sang a song with guitar I made a verse about the flower on her shirt and she looked at it, everyday she has more and more language.

#4 - Another example of this is she is starting to string two words together. Previously when she saw me she'd say, "Tammy," Just recently she said, "Hi, Tammy." Tonight I said, "One, Two hats." And she repeated, "Two hats."

#5 - YES! My niece's favorite word for quite a while has been, "No!" I thought maybe it was her personality, and it may be. However, maybe yes was just a harder word because she is saying it often now and I heard it today more than no.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Colored Pencils

#1 - "I'm never doing this again." This is the thought that I had while trying a new type of exercise class today - Barre. Regardless of how I felt in that moment, I am grateful to try a new type of exercise to motivate me and to keep things interesting.

#2 - The teacher of the class was a former teacher at my yoga studio. I was happy to see her back for a guest appearance, and even happier when the end of class came and I remembered that she gives everybody a foot rub while we lay in savasana.

#3 - I've been making phone calls on Sundays for a while now to gather support to legalize marriage for same-sex couples in MN. Last week I got bored in the end of my shift. Today I brought my journal and colored pencils so I could doodle while calling. The first two hours I was fine and just knowing I had the pencils if I needed them, made me not need them. The last half hour I needed them, and they made me able to not wish time would go faster.

#4 - When you arrive to volunteer they have a training time for people. I just jump on the phones now since I don't need it. At one point while people were role playing phone calls with each other, the trainer came over to me and asked if I had been listening to her and/or had any advice (she had demonstrated a pretend phone call). I was taken aback and didn't know why she was asking me. Then she said, "You have a great phone voice, I would totally talk to you."

#5 - Today I did have a "great phone voice" in that many of my calls were successful. I got a bunch of people to contact their legislator, and on a personal level, I didn't feel drained afterwards. Last week I just felt spent and needed a hug (or multiple hugs) at the end of my shift. It is somewhat a self-fulfilling prophecy I imagine. I felt energized today, so more people responded to that energy and agreed to make calls, which in turn kept me energized. When you are in the positive loop it works great, when you aren't...that is the mystery of life, what to do?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Think It Is Cause I Was Willing

I woke up today with absolutely zero plans, sometimes this is a beautiful thing, today it did not feel that way.  I knew I was not going to be content with reading a book or taking time to play the guitar.  I knew this before I got out of bed, and I think the act, the single act, that saved my day was that I was willing.  I told life/God/the universe/whatever that I was flow with whatever my day might be.

One plan came to me of something to do, but it did not materialize.  I sat with that a bit and then decided to clean a little.  Which got me on a roll, the whole, "A body that is in motion tends to stay in motion," so then the shower needed cleaning and I decided to give a through scrubbing to the shower mat which really needed cleaning.  As I was doing this somewhat unpleasant task my niece came in and (#1) wanted to join.  So I got her another brush.  Before you know it she wanted to take off her shoes and really participate.

Then I have three shoes whose soles need glueing.  Two of them are ski boots and I wanted to fix them before putting them away for the summer.  I read the shoe goop instructions, the first step was to prepare the surface, clean the dirt etc away, which I did (#2) and left it to dry.

Then I have this little bag, about the size of a long wallet with a strap that is perfect for slinging over my shoulder when I am biking in the summer when I don't have pockets for keys etc.  There is a hole in the back of it I have used it so much.  I've been on the look-out for something like it at the thrift store, but I never see anything.  Today I cut a square from an old t-shirt and sewed it on the inside of the bag so the hole is covered (#3).

Then I was going to glue the shoes outside (vapors not good to breathe on Shoe Goop I guess) but I read further in the instructions and it said to use in 50-90 degrees and it will not be that warm today.  So I guess that one will have to wait, but I felt so good after just completing (or in one case starting) a few things that I'd meant to do for a long time that I could now be content reading and playing the guitar.

So I made a video of my newest song which is still in progress and the impulse to do this wasn't scary at all this time (#4). Yes it is a video and it took a long time to upload, but it seems to be a photo here. Oh well, I think the file is too large and I don't care enough to try and figure out how to fix this.

#5 - Okay it is almost 5pm and now, once again, I'm not sure what to do with the rest of my day. But I will turn on Prairie Home Companion and be willing for what will be to be.

Friday, April 5, 2013

If You Want Flowers, You Need Showers

#1 - As I walked home on what some people would call a dismal grey day, I realized I don't think I have ever heard my father, brother, mother or now sister-in-law complain about the weather!  How blessed I am.  I often focus on the people I hear complaining around me, instead of realizing the all the places where the complaint is absent.  My father gets excited sometimes, "A big storm's coming!"  My sister-in-law will sometimes say as a fact, "It's cold," but no complaints.

#2 - Actually my brother is the opposite he embraces and participates in all types of weather.  He is really mentally (and therefore physically I guess) tough.  In that way, definitely tougher than me.

#3- Instead of my regular every other week cleaning exchange with my local yoga studio I've been doing an eco-exchange - researching ways to green the operation.  So far I found out how we can (and will) buy renewable energy in the quantity used by the studio and how to switch to someone who washes the towels using environmentally friendly soap (and bleach only when necessary). 

#4 -My niece has started doing countdowns like her Dad and I do.  She doesn't know the numbers, but in a dramatic voices she said a sound (and I think she actually did five of them) and then jumped.

#5 - I've gone tango dancing with my sister-in-law a handful of times.  (She is really good.)  I never have the right shoes though.  When I go to the thrift store I'll glance around and today I found some.  They are not REAL tango shoes with tall skinny heals, but they have a little heal and when you are dancing tango you are supposed to be on your toes, so maybe it will help.   Or maybe at least it will motivate me to try again.