Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Banana Juice!

#1 - My favorite part of early development is language. I was amazed when I visited a friend and saw her child for the first time follow a verbal instruction. (I think it was, "push hard" to get the stroller bar to close.) My niece has just begun reciting entire sentences. I wish I could remember the one I heard today, but it had at least five words. Recently (last week) I was impressed when she said, "No touching. It's mine."

#2 - How excited my niece was to make banana juice when her Dad got home. After "Daddy!" the next thing she said was "Bananas!" Her mother refused to make it for her, so she thinks only Daddy knows how. This is because it is considered unhealthy food in their household. Not unhealthy because of the ingredients (frozen bananas and milk) but rather because my niece drinks so much she then won't eat anything else :).

#3 - My niece is really into dancing right now and requested me to play the ukulele so she could dance to it. She really grooves to my two chords and making up a song on a ukulele, that is a precious quality in a human being.

#4 - Since I'm on a roll... She distracted/entertained me while I did lunges and other exercises. Although she did try to roll up my yoga mat (while I was laying on it) because she wanted me to dance with her.

#5 - We started doing something I called "belly bump". She likes to jump on the bed. I had her stand close in front of me while I stood on the floor, then I bumped her belly with mine and she bounced back and fell on the bed laughing. "More belly bump," she said.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sprinkles, Running, Cayenne

#1 - I got up 20 minutes before my alarm went off because I've been sleeping in a tent in back and it started to sprinkle (I didn't have a rain fly on). It was a refreshing and sweet wake-up and stopped as soon as I emerged. So I was up 20 minutes early and I did my lunges and other exercises to help my knee before it got hot. It felt like a good start to a week.

#2 - My niece got new (used) tennis shoes and I joked that she would be fast in them. It wasn't a joke. She has been running all evening. I guess the other shoes she's been wearing are either one size too large or one size too small. I'm not sure if that is what has inspired all the energy, but she ran a lot when I was outside with her and then when her Dad got home she wanted to run again and race him. I've never seen her run so much.

#3 - These are her first shoes that have laces that tie and she spent a long time concentrating and trying to figure this out.

#4 - I was asked to work extra hours today and I'm so grateful that this is rare and that I have a choice in the matter.

#5 - I saw a squirrel jump on a tree I planted two years ago and start gnawing on it. First of all I'm grateful to have seen it happen, what is the chance of that? Second of all I called the nursery to ask why this would occur. (The tree has been there two years and it is not winter). I also wanted to know how to prevent it. The woman didn't know why it occurred but suggested spraying it with cayenne pepper. I love this. I have a lot of cayenne pepper and it is certainly non-toxic, now I just have to get myself out there and do it.

These photos are from camping a few weeks ago. I think a camera can take us out of the present moment, but it can also pull one deeper in, as it did in this case with these lily pads.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

#1 - "There's No Place Like Home" - Based off the Wizard of Oz and about homelessness. Dorothy loses her home to flooding in Northern MN and goes in search of help. She first meets a homeless person with mental issues (scarecrow), then a hardened heart homeless teenager (tin man), then a scary man with a gun - turns out to be a squirt gun (lion). The whole thing was so well done, humorous many times while tackling a serious issue and also very touching. Go FRINGE!

#2 - I didn't think I would get to any shows at the Fringe festival this year. Instead of trying to cram it in I just let it go. Then today space opened and it easily flowed. I looked for something online at the 2:30pm time slot and decided on "There's No Place Like Home." I was debating between that and one other show but I clearly made the right choice.

#3 - Afterwards I went to hear Jasper Lepak at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. There is free music EVERY DAY at the Lake Harriet Bandshell over the summer, but as often happens I had not yet made it to many (in this case ANY this year). Jasper Lepak is someone I'd heard on KFAI's womenfolk radio show so it's nice to go hear someone I have more of an affinity to.

#4 - I finished this awesome book I saw on the shelf at the library. Minnesota State Parks: How to Get There, What to Do, Where to Do It by Anne Arthur. I'm really into state parks right now (hence these photos from a couple weeks ago). And this book is really well done and user-friendly. The author has some great tips for each location.

#5 - I'm also really into salad right now as I have yummi tomatoes, green pepper and cucumber from the garden. With some lettuce (from the farmer's market), avocado, cheese, and sesame dressing my sister-in-law brought back from Japan, I am reminded what salad should taste like and look forward to eating another one tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013


#1 - “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

Albert Einstein

This is the quote at the beginning of an audiobook I began today.  It reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my teenage cousin.  We were sleeping in a tent in the backyard.  Looking at the stars and the sky often leads to talk of bigger things.  We discussed whether we believed in UFO’s and alien life.  I said I didn’t know whether there has been such things on Earth.  However, I find it odd that they are often depicted as ugly or scary.  My thought is that if a species is more advanced than us technologically, they are most likely more advanced in kindness and beauty as well.

So I guess I'm leaning toward the friendly one.

#2 – “According to economist Jeffery Sachs, $100 billion, 1/7 of the annual military defense budget of the United States, could eradicate deep poverty within 10 years.”  Marianne Williamson

#3 – “Like any muscle faith grows stronger when it is used and weaker when it isn’t.”  Williamson I’m not exactly sure how to exercise faith, but I did make a decision to exercise gratitude when I began this project.  Last weekend I was visiting my aunt and she did this activity with me before bed.  As I explained it to her, that she couldn’t say she was grateful for the sunset unless she described the sunset so specifically that it wouldn’t be mistaken for any other, I realized what I great writing exercise these gratitudes are.  “I would like to work on my writing,” was the last thought on my mind when I began this process.  I’ve had people tell me, “That’s great you write everyday!” when I tell them, but I always shrug it off – a sentence or two for each when I write in my journal, I discounted the writing benefit.  But as I explained it to my aunt, I could see maybe they were right.

#4 – “Our internal abundance is ultimately the source of our external abundance.  Who we are, not just the services we provide, creates money.” - Williamson

#5 – I had a breakthrough moment in my mid-20's when I realized that money was not evil, money was energy.  However, I realized I still have a way to go when I heard this today, “If we have the idea that somehow it’s more pure to be poor, than that’s most probably when we’ll manifest.”  I'm not even sure where to begin with this statement, but it is quite clear to me that I have some work to do.

Quotes are all from The Law of Divine Compensation : [on work, money, and miracles] by Marianne Williamson