The Metaphysical Mini Donut

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Yesterday included my annual pilgrimage to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, otherwise known as the Minnesota State Fair.  For most, this is a venture into the exploits of gluttony; corn dogs, pork chops on sticks, buckets of chocolate chip cookies, and mini donuts washed down with all the milk you can drink for a buck.  For me, it is a metaphysical event; laced with spirits from the past and traditions not yet established.  Yes . . . and a temporary lapse into the exploits of gluttony.

I can sense my mother is within me when I start to hum the theme song from  State Fair.  It was our song on the drive from Fridley to the fairgrounds every year.

http://youtu.be/VSKa29E4T7o

Mom actually called in sick for me at school, just so we could go together when the crowds were lower.  We arrived before any attractions opened, and sometimes before the kitchens.  After eating breakfast at the Pancake House, which no longer exists, we would head straight to the Creative Arts Building.  If we timed it right, we would be among the first to enter.  There she strategically surveyed each and every piece of handiwork on display, critiquing the judges as much as the crafters.

This year I passed up the Creative Arts Building.  Experience has taught me that it no longer holds magic without the magician by my side.  But I smiled at the women waiting patiently outside the unopened doors early yesterday.

I ate breakfast sausage on a stick, followed by a double latte with sugar-free vanilla. Really?  Sugar free?  Was that a feeble attempt or force of habit?  I dipped the breakfast sausage corn dog in real, full-strength, high fructose-laden maple syrup.  Nutrition is a balancing act, after all.

I only walked another block before the tears came.  What set them off, I can no longer remember.  But they came, and I searched for a direction to face in order to hide my sudden display of grief.  This is an expected reaction, a tradition since my mother’s death; merciless in its timing, yet cleansing upon its arrival.

Giant slide, Minnesota State Fair, Falcon Heig...

Giant slide, Minnesota State Fair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My kids visited the fair with my mother and I a couple times.  Those years Mom always went twice, just so she could spend more time seeing the things she wanted to see.  When you have children in tow, there is a different perspective of the place.  Sailing down the big slide is something I hadn’t done since I was a child, and probably not again until I have grandchildren.  One year we saw piglets being born.  The kids and I had our own song we sang on the way to the fair.

http://youtu.be/9HFdQ9O8drA?t=1m45s

Bubba thought about coming with me.  Everyone thinks I’m crazy for going alone, but I prefer it.  My favorite parts are the talks and demonstrations.  Sometimes I can hardly make it from one to the next, weaving through the crowd from the Agriculture Building to the Progress Center in ten minutes flat.  If someone is with me, I won’t put them through that.

I learned a lot about pollinators and rain gardens yesterday.  I gained resources and education on things like systemic pesticides and edible landscaping.  I logged over 20,000 steps, necessitating a half hour break in my car with my shoes off and feet out the window.  I texted and Tweeted, took selfies and Instagrammed.  I’m just not one to let being by myself hinder my fun.

 

One of the things Mom used to do before we left the fair every year was to have a beer.  She would say that nothing tasted better than an ice cold beer on a hot day at the fair. And so I stopped in the Beer Garden before heading out.  I sat there, by all outside appearances alone, and drank to memories, to tradition, to sore feet, and to next year.

I do believe that nothing has ever tasted better.

Peace . . .


Lay no flowers where I die

It is not uncommon to see, as one travels, monuments of crosses and flowers where loved ones have met their death.  They stand as a solemn reminder to slow down, stay wary, and buckle up.  Perhaps placed there in hopes the dead were still near.  They are displays of love lost, shackled memories, grief.

 

English: Wild Flowers in the Rape Field, near ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all due respect to the dead and their grieving, when I am gone, please lay no flowers where I die.  I don’t want silk or plastic flowers, or cut flowers that die and only remind you that I, too, am dead.  Place flowers where I lived.  Scatter seeds along the bike trail, at the dog park.  Plant a perennial in your garden to remind you and make you smile.  Plant a tree that will outlive us all!

 

Throw seeds out a window and let them grow like Jack’s mother with their beanstalk in the clouds.  Instead of memorial pamphlets that get saved in a box or recycled at the curb, pass out seed packets.  Let the world grow after I cease to do so.

 

Please don’t remember the date of my death.  Remember the days I lived.  Remember the date I came into this world as a screaming, writhing newborn, desperate to clench life in my tiny fists.  Remember the things that brought meaning to me — laughter, beauty, kindness.

 

English: Cut Flowers - Eden Project Pretty sha...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

See me in the tiny things around you.  I’ll not be in the place that I died — the hospital bed, the roadside — I’ll be there inside you.  In the things that make you smile — a laughing baby, a bumblebee , the sun on your face.

 

And you’ll find me in your darkest hour.  When you need comfort, solitude, a hug, wait for me quietly.  I’ll be there as sure as those who left before me are there when I need them.

 

When you find these places, scatter seeds.  Plant them in remembrance, in honor, in joy, but never in sadness.

 

Peace . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

 

 

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Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.

 

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

  . . . and check out some of my favorite textures . . .

From my Canadian friend . . .
Texture found in Montreal | That Montreal Girl

Texture of human skin . . .
Photoworld 8-8-14 | ~~~ nur ein “Klick” ~~~ ein Kompendium

Texture of animal skin . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture | scottseyephotos

The soft texture of feathers . . .
Duck texture | Katharine Asals – Photography

A “jumble of textures” . . .
Textures-WP weekly photo challenge | Third Person Travel

Architectural textures  . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture Edinburgh | Chris Breebaart Photography / Whats in the picture?

Slimy texture  . . .
Texturize this! | The Seeker

Handmade texture . . .
MY CROCHET PROJECT for WPC: Texture | MY WALL

Texture in the cosmos . . .
Hard, rough, grey with holes | Alien Shores

Zooming in on texture . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge : Texture | Memories are made of this

 


What Happened to Dens?

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do real people have dens anymore?  The Brady Bunch had a den.  We had a den, but not until both my brothers stopped using that room as a bedroom.  We set up two chairs facing a t.v. placed in the corner.  Behind one of the chairs sat a desk which also faced the t.v.  Behind the desk was a clothes-closet-turned-storage.  I don’t remember what was in there.  Probably papers.  Back then people used to save a lot of papers and canceled checks.

The Brady’s den belonged to Mike, the man of the house.  I think our den belonged to my mother, who paid the bills at the desk and watched t.v. until way past my bedtime.  But my father also fell asleep watching baseball in there and after school it was my favorite place to sit and watch television while eating a snack of kippers and diet soda.  No . . . that’s not a typo.

There are lion’s dens and dens of iniquity.  Basically, I guess, dens are a place to find trouble.  Mike Brady was always scheming up something in his den, and Marcia once got in trouble for using Mike’s den without permission.  That begs the obvious question, what was Mike hiding in there that the kids couldn’t be in there unsupervised?  I always knew there was more to those Brady’s than reading magazines in bed.  By the way, Marcia was forgiven once Mike realized she was secreting away to write a nomination for Father of the Year.  Man, I’ll bet he felt like a cad.

What happened to the dens?  Did they turn into family rooms?  Home offices?  What rooms will we have in our homes of the future?  How does a room just disappear like we never really had a use for it?  Are rich people the only ones with dens and formal dining rooms anymore?

We have a room in the basement that we sort of re-modeled.  We put in new tile flooring, restored the baseboards, eliminated moisture, and painted.  Bubba has a really cool desk space with all his favorite things crowded around his computer.  I put some scrapbooking things in there and packed it so full I can’t even use it.  Some decisions need to be made . . . and I’m talking dumpster duty here.  But Bubba knows better than to touch my stuff, and I wouldn’t think of rearranging any of his shit.  Because as George Carlin taught us, all his stuff is shit and all my shit is stuff.

Now all this room needs is a name.  It’s not really a home office.  It isn’t a craft room.  Bubba sometimes calls it the Bat Cave.  I called it the Situation Room for a while.  I’m thinking it might qualify as a den.  After all, I’d be pretty pissed if Marcia messed around in there . . . even if she were crafting a letter of nomination for Mother of the Year.

On Friday morning, March 21, 2003, President G...

The White House Situation Room  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our Situation Room

Clearly, Bubba has the cooler space here.  At least he can get to his.

Peace . . .


Click HERE for Validation

I was sitting at coffee, eaves-dropping on the table next to me . . . . er, uh . . . I mean . . . minding my own business, when I hear the guy say,

“Nope!  Never had a vacation in 15 years!  Never had a reason to leave home.”

While I sipped my whipped chocolate java goodness, my mind wandered to places I visited years ago.  It’s been a long time since I ventured very far from Minnesota.  Funny how one year can turn into four, and the next thing you know, you’re sitting in a coffee shop telling your buddy you have no reason to leave the comfort of your home

Now, I’m not one to eaves drop.  Well . . . okay . . . I am, and you can read about that here.  But let me be very clear that the guy deserved my eaves-dropping for two reasons.

  1. He was very loud.
  2. While I was enjoying my first sip, he said, “Good morning, how are you?”  Not in a your-eyes-meet-and-its-just-a-polite-thing-to-do sort of way.  He said it in a “Hey, little lady” I-hadn’t-even-glanced-in-his-direction sort of way.  It was awkward.

So yeah, he’s just asking to be overheard . . . and judged.

When I zeroed back in on the conversation, he was telling his friend all about what the people around the world think of Americans.  “They don’t like us,” he said.

Now, this may be true or not.  We’ve all heard people say it.  I’ve also heard people talk about their travels and how nice everyone was to them.  But here’s the thing . . . on what experience was his statement based?

WB11 News At 10 - What's his name?

(Photo credit: NYCArthur)

Is he watching his favorite news channel?  Back in the day,  it didn’t run all day and night.  There was the 5:00 and the 10:00.  They lasted for an hour, and if you only wanted the weather, you knew when to tune in.  How long does it take to report the real stories in a factual manner?  Now we have channels with nothing but news 24/7 and they have to fill in the gaps with personal accounts packed with opinions.  With all these viewpoints being aired, they found it necessary to have not one, but several, different 24-hour news stations to cater to everyone’s perspective.  Presto!  You now have your world views validated every hour of the day without challenge.

English: Newspaper "gone to the Web."

Newspaper “gone to the Web.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fewer people than ever have the newspaper delivered to their door.  When I was a kid, almost every house on my block got the paper.  My parents sat down each day to catch up on current events.  They budgeted time in their morning routine because it was important to them.  Sure, some newspapers lean one way or another, but they only have that one issue a day to interest everyone, so they tend to offer a buffered perspective.

These days our information is digitally delivered on the internet.  And do you know what the internet recommends for you?  Links that it knows you will like based on what you clicked in the past.

 

@brockuniversity Social Media

@brockuniversity Social Media (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

It’s all just marketing.  You see, they need to tell us something we agree with.  Because the more people who subscribe, click, follow, like and retweet, the more money they make.  Unfortunately, we are all becoming convinced there is no other valid opinion but our own.

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”
— Frank A. Clark

It is sometimes difficult to listen to another point of view; to find out that we may have been wrong — to think we may have spent 15 years sitting in our living room watching t.v. instead of seeing the world.  No one wants to be wrong, but when we are always right, we stop evolving.

Bringing myself out of my thoughts and back to reality, my loud neighbor was now talking about gun control.  He was quoting Archie Bunker who was not only a fictional character, but one who failed to evolve forty years ago.  I couldn’t wait to go home and Google “Archie Bunker on gun control” to educate myself.

I must always stay open to the possibility that I am wrong.  There is a splendid gift in being given the truth.  We need only be open to receiving it.

Please don’t make the mistake of interpreting this post as a political one.  This is about pulling your head of the sand (or wherever you might have it) and seeing all that is around you.  Challenge that which you have always believed.  Listen consciously.  Speak carefully.  Grow deeply.

 

Peace . . .

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John LubbockThe Use Of Life

This photo was taken on a bike ride a few miles from my home.  When I saw this fine display of Queen Anne’s Lace, I had to stop and snap some shots.  Another name for it is Wild Carrot, and while edible, I understand it is not very tasty.  It is, however, an ancestor of the sweet roots we eat today.

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

 

  . . . and check out who else is loving’ summer . . .

Yosemite National Park . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge- Summer Lovin’ | My Trip This Year

Another gorgeous landscape . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | hold on

Bliss . . .
Summer Lovin’ | Just Be V

A peaceful summer morning . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | Last Train to QVille

Summer in Glacier National Park . . .
Glacier National Park – Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin | Travels and Trifles

“to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day” . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | Ohm Sweet Ohm

The life cycle of a dandelion  . . .
Life as a dandelion puff | Gabriel and Co

It’s a little crochet guy!!! . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | HKs Huck le Berry

And I complain about mowing MY lawn . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | jensinewall

When summer was endless . . .
In The Summertime Weekly Photo Challenge | farmerfarthing


Weekly Photo Challenge: Container

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Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.
Florida Scott-Maxwell

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

Be part of The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.

  . . . and check out the photos contained in these posts . . .

Sunlit container for thirst . . .
WPC: CONTAINERS | MY WALL

Colorful market containers . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers | DS Photography

Containers full of intense color . . .
Color Powder in Containers | asnappshot

A beautiful container garden in an unlikely place . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers | MythRider

What comes out oaf a container is not always the same as what goes in . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers | Dot knows! elleturner4

An unusual container for an unusual contents . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Container 2 | Judes Photography

Pretty cute  . . .
The bucket contains… | wingrish

An old container . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers | Jinan Daily Photo

Fun containers for a 6-yr. old boy . . .
6th Bday 2: Weekly Photo Challenge: CONTAINERS | The Adventures of Iñigo Boy

Beautiful copper brewing containers . . .
Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic 07-18-14 | Polit-onomics & Travel

 


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