Monthly Archives: June 2011

English is Tricky

While in school, English was one of my favorite subjects. I find words fascinating and beautiful. Words can create images in your mind. They can cause emotions to rise. They can excite your senses. They can bore you. Words are powerful. They have overthrown governments, spurred men into battle and began reformations. Very few people use English properly, mainly due to our dialects and local inflections. It seems that foreigners speak and use English so much better than we do. As a matter of fact, proper English can sound foreign.

I remember trying to teach my children rules about English and spelling. And what makes sense to a child, because you said it did, makes you realize how many exceptions there are to all the rules. To make a plural you add an “s” except in words like geese, mice and deer. Pronunciation isn’t easy either, as George Carlin pointed out: bomb, comb, and tomb which look like they should rhyme, but do not.

Here is a wonderful ABC song by Bare Naked Ladies that brings out the trickiness of pronunciation and silent letters.

American Idol – Happy Father’s Day

As always, I think there is a difference between a Father and a Dad. My father became more my Dad in my later teens. When I think about some of the special things that Dad’s do, it makes me smile. Dad is the one who chases away the monsters who live under your bed. Dad is the one who coaxes you up the ladder but holds his arms out reassuring you that he will catch you if you fall, while your Mom frets for your safety. Dad is our family and spiritual leader. Dad represents authority that is loving, gentle, strong and sturdy. Dad teaches us to take reasonable risks. Dad makes us believe in ourselves. Dad is the wonderful balance to our Mom. Mom is delicate, nurturing, safe. It is the influence of both parents that loan balance to our lives.

When Dad is in our life when we are young, we tend it idolize him. That is not altogether a bad thing, because of what Dad represents to us. When Dad provides for the family, we are free to play and learn, not worrying about where the next meal will come from. Dad and Mom help to insulate and protect us.

My father is gone now. He died five years ago this weekend. He had a difficult time saying “I love you” until his final weeks, then the words came easy. I love him deeply and miss him very much. Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads, past present and future.

I am attaching two video clips, A Real American Idol and The Box.

Being Still

I just finished a dining room painting project with the help from my family. The detail painting was my wonderful responsibility. I painted a wall mural using stencil and freehand. I took my time and was very careful. I want my family to be surrounded by beauty.

I find the detail painting most therapeutic. It is almost a form of meditation for me. I am inspired by the beauty of it all. I let God inspire me. Speaking of meditation, it is important to listen to that small voice inside you as you commune with your spirit. Psalms 46:10 NIV “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

We get busy with life. I realize that I get busy. There is work, family, hobbies, appointments, television, computers, facebook and more. It tires us out and sometimes leaves us with little time or inclination to appreciate the wonderful people and blessings in our life. That is why it is critical that we have to take time to disconnect from the world and connect with ourselves, our God, and think about what we are grateful for.

Being still is a good time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. If you are working through a challenge, then being still might be a wonderful time to listen to that little voice of reason. Ask God to continue to help you through your trial. What lesson are you to learn? What are you being lead to do?

Now being still does not mean obsessive worrying – that is not being still but rather being in a very agitated state. Being still is a connection with positive forces in your life. It can be a critical look at yourself but should be an encouraging look at where you want to be.  Being still also allows you to rejuvenate and rest. It is a chance to become refreshed. We can share our troubles with God for He has very broad shoulders and loves you. As the psalmist was inspired to write, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Rest in his loving embrace and be rejuvenated.

Age Is Not A Barrier

As birthdays come and go, I know that I am getting older. In my mind, I am not getting older but my body reminds me that I am not young anymore. But I keep my mind sharp with incredible conversations, reading, active learning and wonderful company. They say that you are only as old as you feel. Gosh, I hope not, sometimes I feel very old. I think you are only as old as your attitude of gratitude allows you to be. My body sometimes feels old but my mind makes me feel young.  I enjoy learning new things and get excited about new facts and subjects. I have been enjoying my time adding great detail and free-hand painting to stencils decorating our kitchen. My new project is in the dining room and I am taking my time to paint the detail portion.

With age can come medical problems, arthritis, mental waning and other issues that can interfere with quality of life. But even then, it doesn’t mean we have to stop living. Grandma Moses, who in her seventies, began her painting career after abandoning her previous career in embroidery because of arthritis. Other artist started their careers or found their success later in life as well, including Bill Trayer and Alfred Wallis.

Some find that their age allows for freedom to pursue their passions or discover their hidden talents. Dr. Ruth Westheimer became an icon of educating frank sexuality in her 50s. Julia Childs collaborated on her first French cookbook months before her 50th birthday. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not publisher first novel in the Little House series until her sixties.

New ventures aren’t unheard of either, Colonel Sanders began his franchise in his sixties. Socrates learned to play musical instruments at age 80. Ronald Reagan became governor of California when he was 61 and later went on to be the President of the United States.

A book I enjoyed reading many years ago, Watership Down by Richard Adams was his first novel and this award winning book was published in his fifties. Harriet Doerr published her award winning book Stones of Ibarra when she was 74.

This is just a few examples of people, who despite their age, went on to live their dreams, create new statements, start new hobbies and careers. Age is not a barrier not by itself. So whether you are 51 like me, 91, or 19, your age is just a number. Your spirit, love, compassion and drive are your tools.

Life can throw so much at us. No matter how grand or humble your beginning, no matter how bright or dark your days before have been, look for the wonderful possibilities that can and do await you. It is easy to look for negatives in the past and worry about misfortune in the future. But be reminded of this, although bad things can and will happen, many wonderful things can and will happen as well. My love goes with you, to all be well, take care and be safe.