Saturday, February 26, 2011

Left, Right, Left, Right...

Faintly, I hear the month of March approaching.  If you're absolutely still, you'll hear it too.  It's evident in the unremitting chant of marchers, "left, right, left, right..."

As I did with January and February, I'm using pages in my Live With Intention journal as the basis to create a personalized date book. 

I chose these two pages for my rantings, ravings and recordings during the month of March.  The lovely flower and the short and sweet saying came with the book.  I added the calendar and birthdays.

Renee Locks' pretty water color of a single flower is cheerful and instills in us the joy and promise of Spring which will officially arrive on the 20th.

Emily Dickinson's words work perfectly alongside the excitement that comes with Spring.  March brings with it hope and great expectations for each and every one of us.   
This month is special for two members of my family and three friends. 

I've known Chuck and Keith for a whole bunch of years.  Both live here in Beloit.  Keith is a retired police officer and Chuck retired from Beloit's paper making industry.

Tom is my oldest brother.  He lives in Troy, Michigan and holds a world record for the fastest small-block Camaro.

Lenore is a friend I've become acquainted with through my blog.  Her job takes her all over the world and she shares her adventures on her fun-filled blog.

Aunt Babe is one of my mother's two sisters.  She and my uncle enjoy my writing and encourage me to keep at it.  Auntie Babe is full of fun and laughter.

May we all rejoice in the thirty-one days before us when we turn another calendar page in 2011.  May I suggest that we progress through March with this concept:  Life is a wonderful challenge. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Delighting in Alice's Adventures

I've had this collector's edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for many, many years.  I'm quite sure I've never once read it or any edition of the book.  Crazy, huh?

Hearing about the recently released movie starring Johnny Depp, which is based on this classic adventure story written by Lewis Carroll, prompted me to pull my copy down from the shelf.  

A couple of nights ago, I began to read of Alice and her nonsensical adventure.  I'm totally thrilled with the story.  Right now, it's exactly the silly change I need from the books I normally read.

I'm impressed that the author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who used the pen-name Lewis Carroll, was an English mathematician.  Other books to his credit included A Syllabus of Plane Algebraic Geometry and The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry.  I'm amazed that Dodgson could go to such opposite extremes in his writing genres.    

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as a story told by the author to three little girls he had taken for a ride on the river Cherwell in 1862.  In 1865 he expanded the story into the book we all know.

I'm in love with the nonsense that fills page after page and I want it to last forever.  I'm taking my time and cherishing all the narrative, conversations and accompanying illustrations in the book. 

In the Publisher's Preface, The Easton Press writes, "But virtually all commentators have concluded that however absurd Alice's Adventures in Wonderland appears on the surface, what keeps the comedy alive for us today is the devastating sense lurking behind the nonsense."

If you need a break from your daily troubles, I highly recommend this book.  It would be such fun to write a story that goes along with little concern for the logical and countless unexpected surprises.  It must have been a delight for a mathematician to frolic in such silliness for a while.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Words of Aristotle, Bob Hope, Benjamin Disraeli and More

"Friendship is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."

"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it."
                                                                            --Bob Hope

"My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me."
                                                                            --Benjamin Disraeli

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
                                                                            --Carl W. Buechner

I appreciate all of the above but the one that speaks to me today is Carl W. Buechner's.

Now it's your turn.  Which quote stands out for you today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February's Reflective Moment

I turned the page in my Reflective Moments book on the first of this month.  During February, I have and will continue to look and think upon these words of Francis Thompson.

It's startling to be reminded that we and all things are so linked to each other that every single thing we do or don't do has an influence on a great number of other persons or things.

That inspires me once again to be conscious of what I say and do.  Being human, I'll often fail to say or do "the right thing" but I'll continue to strive to do the best I can.    

Besides my book of Reflective Moments, I'm enjoying this set of three lavender-filled, heart-shaped pillows.  They're in my reading/writing room where I spend my most precious hours.

Both the book and the homemade pillows came to me from my dear friend, Sarie.  I love being reminded of her and our friendship whenever I'm enjoying these treasures.

Do you have a special friend who's always there for you?     

Monday, February 7, 2011

What Do A Cell Phone, Root Canal Therapy and A Colonoscopy Have In Common?

I now have my own cell phone!  Believe it or not, this is my very first official cell phone.

I've used a TracFone in the past.  I carried one on my trip to Boston a couple of years ago and during the summer months when I take long bike rides, but now I'm officially on my husband and son's cell phone plan.  So far, I haven't used it much, but in case of emergency, I'm prepared and that's GOOD NEWS.

The MoviPrep pictured to the right isn't a tasty, over-sized drink sold in movie theaters to extremely thirsty patrons.  No, no, no, it's a liquid mixture prescribed for individuals who elect to undergo the less than joyful procedure known as a colonoscopy.  

My father had colon cancer so my doctor recommended that I should have a colonoscopy to test for any presence of cancer cells.  Fortunately, my test results revealed that all is well at least in that department and that's GOOD NEWS. 
I never imagined I'd need root canal therapy.  Guess what?  Last month, my endodontist had his first and I hope his last trip up and down the canals of my molar.

I shouldn't complain because the tooth barely bothered me at all previous to, during and after the procedure.  A slightly tender but fairly large bump on my gums above my upper left first molar was my only symptom.

I'll return to the endodontist on Tuesday for my second and final treatment.  Believe it or not, I have good news to share regarding my RCT as well.  Since the dental office where I'm employed refers patients to this group of endodontists (I personally make the telephone calls), I was given a discount, not a little discount or a medium-sized discount but a huge discount.  And that's GOOD NEWS.

I've had these subjects on my list of blogs to post.  Although, initially they seemed unrelated, I lumped them all together because my growing list was getting on my nerves.  That's when I realized each event had its own good news message.

And to think that it's often said that no news is good news!        

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Go Pack Go!!

I don't really get into football but since I live in Wisconsin and the Packers are playing in the Super Bowl, I have good reason to planning to cheer them on this afternoon.

I watched the Packers' last two games from start to finish.  That's quite an accomplishment for me. I'm normally bored out of my skull when sitting in front of the TV trying to be a sport, watching eternally long football games.  

I've applied myself to learning the game in recent years.  Presently, I can track the football during a game.  For years, I sat stupidly, staring cluelessly at the mass of helmets, uniforms and bodies.

Today I'm wearing green and gold.
Since I'm not a diehard Packer fan and haven't earned the right to wear their true colors, I'm humbly wearing shirts, pants and shoes in soft shades of gold and subtle tones of sage green.

In conclusion, I'm approaching the Super Bowl with strong convictions that the best team will win.  As an aspiring Wisconsin fan, I believe that's the Green Bay Packers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shaddy's Copycat Painting

Renee's painting
This lovely watercolor painting is one of many on the pages of my Living With Intention journal.  The artist is Renee Locks.
My painting
Renee's painting of the pretty blue flowers motivated me to put my own paints to work. 

Of course, my acrylic paints couldn't achieve exactly the same effect as the watercolors, but I'm happy with my version.

After I'd painted the flowers and the green leaves, I dipped my brush in water and attempted to duplicate the watercolor look by diluting the edges of the blue flower petals.

I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness and texture of the acrylic paper in my painting pad.  I'd wondered if I'd like painting on paper rather than acrylic board.  The paper held up well even when I used water on my brush.

The best part of my painting was the process.  I had fun.