Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesday

nice winter we are having this spring, eh?
i am so over this!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just Another Manic Monday

I wish it was Sunday ... that's my fun day!

 (quick if you are over 40  --- can you name that tune?)

I can't take credit for the originality of those words, but they couldn't ring truer for me --- especially today.  Yesterday (which just happened to be Sunday --- imagine that!) the Geek and I loaded everyone --- including Grandma --- into the family truckster after church and set out to satisfy a bit of wanderlust.  Despite the constant questioning in the beginning (where are we going? are we there yet? what do you mean wherever the road takes us? can we take a potty break?) we managed to make it a real "fun day" for our flock.

Do you ever do that? Or do you get ansty without a plan?  The Geek and I have never been big planners.  It's led to many an interesting discovery along the way.   On this trip, we ended up "discovering" a hundred year old inn in a town we been to too many times to count.  Not sure how we missed it before, but so glad we didn't yesterday.  The offer of an "Endless Chicken Dinner" drew us in --- having to care and feed a growing teenage boy makes these kind of offers hard to resist.

After a delicious meal and a plan to come back soon to try everything else on the menu, we piled back in the wagon for a bit more exploring.  The natives were starting to contemplate mutiny, so the  Geek steered the ship into a drive-thru and ordered ice cream cones for all.  Gotta love that guy!  With everyone in a near sugar coma, he turned the wheel and steered us home --- belly's full and wanderlust fed until the next adventure.

And now it's Monday.  Boo!

Manic is definitely a good word for today.  I promised to lead our 4H club's craft project for this month's meeting.  The meeting which just happens to be tonight.  Apparantly, I made the promise last September.  I was reminded of said promise with an friendly email this morning.  Yikes!
Do not panic Mama Hen! What 's that thing you are always blabbering to your chicks? "There are no mistakes blah, blah, blah --- only opportunities for creativity"? Well, get off the nest and get creative chickie! 
Thank you internet! I did a quick search on Pinterest for inspiration and glanced around the house for supplies on hand. (thank goodness for my "scrapbook supply collecting" addiction hobby!) I think I have come up with a decent little project --- at least that's what I am choosing to believe at this point.  I need to run into town for a few things, but I think I'm good.  If it turns out, I'll be sure to share pictures.  Oh phooey  ---- I'll share pics even if it's an epic fail:)

Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one's face.
James D. Finley

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Need to Create

Creativity takes courage.
Henri Matisse

Creativity is very important here on the farm. It is encouraged --- nurtured --- fostered. My refrigerator is full of artwork by all three of my future Rembrandts. The Munchkin, whose current passion is to become the next Vera Wang, carries a sketchbook with her wherever she goes so as to be on the ready whenever the next inspiration for fashion innovation should happen to strike. Boy Wonder spends countless hours designing copious amounts of future vehicles for the Big 3 on his laptop.  He is also an accomplished photographer and is currently plotting his first mystery novel. Even the Little Prince creates intricate vignettes with his farm animals --- acting out complex story lines that  --- for the most part --- only he understands.

The Geek and I try to make our home an environment that stimulates creative tendencies in our chicklets, but I often fail to nurture it in myself. This blog is a very important creative outlet for me.  Unfortunately, writing often falls prey to the time stealers of my day. Laundry, cooking, running errands --- these are all very important tasks. Life requires them, but life also requires the opportunity to create. Sadly, this is something I tend to push aside or forget on a personal level.  And when I forget my life suffers.  Heck, everyone suffers.  It's the ol' "if mama ain't happy" thing.

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.
Gilda Radner
Being creative, and how I do that, makes me who I am --- it gives me life. Each of my littles show it in their own unique way as well -- drawing, acting, photography.   For myself, writing is definitely my favorite creative expression. It has become such a part of me that when I don't do it  I am a major grum-pa-lum-pa-gus.  Just ask the Geek.

source: pinterest
be sure to check out aimee's art here --- she is my latest inspiration!

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a drawing class at a local art studio. My mom admonished me for adding one more thing to my “to-do list” and honestly, wasn’t it a little late in life to take up a new art form? Thankfully, I did not let her criticism allow the inner artist in me to be snuffed out. I don’t have delusions of being the next Van Gogh, but I am so much more at peace now that I am making it a point to make time for creativity in my own life. 

Creativity takes courage.
There is so much truth in those words! Courage to let go of the fears and doubts that hold you back. Courage to make your need for creative expression a priority. Courage to not let those around you dissuade you from letting you discover the creative genius you are. Courage to be the gloriously unique person God made you to be.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesday

I have a lot of post ideas swimming around inside my head today.  So much to share --- so little time to type.  I'll keep today's post short, but I do want to say I've had time to rethink the whole "name the post series" thingamajig and have decided it's not me.  I am not a "cookie cutter" kind of gal so having a "cookie cutter" format is soooooo not me.  One exception --- I will stick with my "A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesdays" because I just happen to like it and this is my "party" and I'll post what I wanna, right? 

As for the other blog series I had introduced? Meh, not so much.  I know I didn't really give them a chance.  But I know me and I know it just wasn't a good fit.  Before I knew it I'd be having Meltdown Mondays and Time-out Thursdays followed by Stressed out Saturdays and Silent Sundays --- actually I wouldn't have minded the Silent Sundays:)

So what's next for the spotted hen?  I promise lots of fresh stuff from here on out.  I will still post quotes and things I feel are "Too True" and I have no intention of stopping facing my fears and trying new things.  I just don't want to commit to the same format week in and week out.  That's just not me.

Honestly, I am still coming to grips with this whole "I am a writer" thing.  I want need to stop seeing it as something I do when I have the time because let's face it --- I never HAVE  the time!  I fully realize I need to MAKE the time and that's going to take some  alot of discipline on my part --- not always my strong suit.  This writing thing has become a part of who I am in this season of my life.  It would be a waste of the talent God has given me to not give myself the opportunity to grow and improve my craft.  I am always telling my kids not to waste what the Good Lord has given them --- it is past time for this ol' mama hen to take her own advice.
A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesday
meet bella --- one of the newest members of the flock

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesday

my sweet blue-eyed (not so much a baby anymore)  boy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Too True!" Tuesday - Words to Live By

“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”
Virginia Woolf

This quote pretty much speaks for itself, doesn't it? Bottom-line --- worrying about how others see us or think about us holds us back. More often than not, I suspect, this worry is completely unfounded and self-imposed.

I don't know about you, but I've let this kind of thinking keep me "prisoner" from time to time. I shudder to think about the opportunities I've let slip by because I worried what people would think. It isn't always easy, but I am doing my best to put those kind of limiting thoughts behind me. Don't get me wrong --- I'm not becoming selfish and placing my wants above all and forgetting about the needs of others others. I am just making the effort to not let negative self talk and doubt get in the way of fully experiencing the life God has blessed me with.

Eleanor Roosevelt really nailed it when she said:

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Too true!

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Fear Less" Friday

Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.
Betty Bender

In my never ending quest to become more regular in my blogging, I have come up with another awesome idea (humor me okay?)  I have some issues with the "f-word" --- I'm talking about fear here, folks.  I have made a some efforts to make my life "fear less".  To be honest, however, I have been kinda half-hazard about the whole thing.  I have decided it's time to step things up a notch.  To push that bad boy to the curb and face fear head on and stop letting it hold me back.  

So how am I thinking this will all play out?  Well, I am so glad you asked. 

Every week I will give myself a new challenge ... a new "mountain to climb" so to speak.  Some weeks this might be something as simple as reading a new book.   Sometime I may push the envelope a bit more and say --- try a new recipe. Or I may go all crazy and try something totally outside of my comfort zone like skydiving.  OK, maybe not skydiving, but I trust you get the idea.  The possibilities are endless dontcha think?  Then on Friday I will share my foolishness "fear less-ness" with you.

So how 'bout it? Care to join me?  Why not take a leap and maybe just discover something you can't live without along the way?  I dare you.  Heck, I double dog dare you :)  Just be sure to post what you've done in the comments section --- I want to be able to give you a virtual high five:)

Remember ...
A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.
John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Picture's Worth ♥ Wednesday

good to know i'm not the only one wondering

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Too True!" Tuesday - Words to Live By

It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
Sydney J. Harris

A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking.  Sometimes that leads to trouble, but in this case it has given me inspiration for this and future blog posts. (Thanks Pam!)  She made a comment (and this is not a direct quote because sadly my memory is no longer my best friend!) that it is amazing how people so often live their lives seeking approval from others.  So much effort is put into pleasing someone else, that we often fail to do what we really want. 

Her words really struck a chord with me.  I have invested a lot of time in seeking to make others like me.  I mean who doesn't want to be liked, right?  Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes  not.  Sometimes even though others were happy, I was miserable on the inside. 

When I agreed with my friend's observation, she commented that I seemed to not "suffer" from this "affliction."  She said I seemed to be comfortable with who I am and that I don't seem to let what people think (or might think) of me hold me back from being me.  Really?  I come across as self-confident  Huh.  Boy, I sure fooled her! Must be my exemplary acting skills :) 

Actually, there is some truth to her observation.  I have a "people pleasing gene" of cosmic proportions passed on to me by my dear sweet mama. I like to say I was "marinated in worry" so I didn't stand a chance.  However, by the grace of God I am in "recovery."  Hours of prayers answered and time spent in self-discovery have gotten me to the place I am today. I am comfortable with who I am (most days anyway).  There are days where I slip back into "people pleasing mode" and I pay the price.  I get worried.  I get self-conscious.  I get cranky.  I get stuck.  It's not a good place to be and it's not a place I stay for long. 

What about you? Are you a free spirit? Are you comfortable with the wonderful creature God has made you to be? Or have you let yourself get stuck? 

I have a huge collection of quotes I have gathered over the years about this subject. I am always telling my chicklets that it's good to share, and I have decided that would be true here as well.  I was thinking  that it would make a great blog post series.  I've decided to call it "Too True!" Tuesday - Words to Live By.  I will be posting a quote I feel is "too true" and if I am feeling motivated I'll write a bit more. Life gets in the way from time to time, but I hope to do this weekly so be sure to check back next Tuesday for more words to live by