Lovin’ Amy

Journi received a pink teddy bear among her shower gifts before she was born.  Thru the course of the past year, the bear became a favorite along with a stuffed ape that was named April and it seemed only fitting to name the bear Amy.  Amy has gone everywhere with Journi, on trips and to the sitter, outside to play and down for naptime.  She has been washed countless times and is close to being potty trained these days.  As Journi has entered an age when she is pretending, Amy is her companion.  She practices dressing Amy, reading to Amy and giving Amy snacks.

Today when I came home, Journi was toting our momma kitty around, much to the irritation of the cat who finally wrestled her way free.  Journi thought this was hilarious and went looking for the cat again.  After some time, she came back with Amy in her arms.  She told me in her toddler voice that “Amy not momma kitty…Amy is just Amy.” At this she wrapped her arms around Amy, buried her nose in Amy’s neck with a sigh and rocked her back and forth.

“amy is just amy”… i would do well to remember this, that when i am feeling less than, because i think i am not open enough, or too emotional, not creative enough or too fat, not tech savvy enough or too messy of a housekeeper… that Pat is just Pat, and it is enough…

that there is unconditional love in the world, and you are enough…you are you, and that’s enough.

i feel…i believe…i know…i don’t know…

sometimes there are things that happen – out of our control – yet they happen.  And regardless of how miniscule the event looks to the outside world, something pivots in our personal universe, like tumblers sliding into place in a million dollar safe…you can almost feel the ground physically shift under your feet.

i had one of these yesterday…huge to me.

And today i find myself making a list of what i believe…sorting my spiritual beliefs into bushel baskets- this is in, that one is out…that one i am still unsure about.

What I believe.

  • I believe that there is a higher power, a spiritual force that is in charge of everything or at least conscious of everything on a spiritual level.
  • I believe that there is a life after death of some type- I believe this has to be for something, some purpose…
  • I believe that all humans and animals have souls- and that we recognize one another sometimes on a soul level, even if not on a conscious level.
  • I believe that souls can have multiple lives or body experiences- i don’t know that all do, but I feel that past lives, memories that don’t appear to be mine, and soul recognition are real things and the the life force that makes me alive stores information from other experiences before it came to reside in my body.
  • I believe that what you do can benefit you or harm you, directly but also in terms of what comes back to you.  Call it karma, but if you do good, I believe good will come to you.  What goes around comes around.
  • I believe if you look for the deeper meaning in things, in life, you will find it- and if you are shallow and look only for monetary gain and pleasure, you are missing out and will be disappointed in your life.
  • I believe in ‘positive energy’ and ‘negative energy’… i think that people share their energy with people and objects around them and that energy can negatively or positively affect circumstances.
  • I believe that if one looks, you can see this energy around someone- some call this an aura.  I just know that when someone is hiding something, is shifty and bad, I can feel it, or even see it in the space around that person- their space looks dirty, and it isn’t a physical hygiene thing, it has to do with their energy, I believe.
  • I believe that stress and worry can affect your physical health…that everything is connected, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

I know there is more, and as I continue to sort this all out, i will add to this list…

and i know what i have is not much…

i know that some people have elaborate spiritual belief systems…i am not there.

I feel like I am in my ‘decluttering’ phase of my spiritual life…weird, huh?



Happy New Year.

its early… i can never sleep very much the night before the first day of school.  I always faithfully set my alarm, just on the off chance that I will oversleep…heck, i haven’t overslept since college.  I am a habitual early riser, but the ‘first day of school’ worries always knock me a bit off center.  I have been in public education for almost 30 years, how can i still get nervous?  As a kid, i worried that no one would like me, that i wouldn’t have any friends…moving to junior high, i worried about getting lost…in senior high, i stressed over the right clothes, was my hair just right?  In college, i thought i might not know anyone…and here i am in high school again.  And none of those things are on my mind- i have friends, i know my way around, and I’m 50- I wear what i want.  So what is it?

I was at a well known chain store that starts with “W” last week.  As I headed past pharmacy, and hair care, I could see the cases of notebooks in the center of the aisle.  And while mothers were shoveling the dime notebooks into their carts, daughters were picking the ones with Justin Beiber.  Mothers were saying, “oh for goodness’ sake, pencils are pencils, i don’t think you need the ones with the ergonomic grip that light up at the end of each sentence!”  All thru the store there was an air of expectation…

A new school year… always a chance for a new start, new ideas, new decisions, new ways of doing things.

Maybe that’s it– a new year…will I do well? will i make this year the best it can be?  will my new ideas and decisions be worthwhile?

Maybe i am just nervous over the newness…

Well, time to get ready,to grab that last cup of coffee, to pack up my backpack…do you think the kids will like me?

home again…

i have been out of reach for a few weeks- my laptop’s battery and charger both died in the same 24 hour period and i was without a computer…omg. it was like being without my car, or away from home for an extended length of time.  I was kyping Michaela’s laptop when i could, but it felt awkward, like i was a guest in someone’s home, and I couldn’t relax, couldn’t write… thank god my charger came in the mail today, and I am home again on my Mac.

So i have been taking an online class this month, its called Emerge.  I registered for it months ago, when i realized i was turning 50 this year.  Its about navigating a transition in your creative life.  Every day there are assignments to do that challenge you.  One day there was one about breathing, another day there was one that assigned you the task to take 3 photos – one of something beautiful, one of something wild and one of something changing.  There is discussion with the other members of the class.  Amazing strong women…   Transition takes many forms.  There are those who are going thru a divorce, or an empty nest, a child being born, buying a home, starting a business, ending a business.

Today our assignment is LISTS.  We are to make 3 lists:

Obsessions and preoccupations:

  • books
  • old letters and postage,
  • handwriting,
  • fonts,
  • maps,
  • voyages,
  • beautiful handblown glass- clear with color running thru it,
  • beads,
  • layers and layers of things showing history,
  • time travel,
  • artifacts,
  • untold stories,
  • keys,
  • true love,
  • portholes,
  • old houses,
  • anything with a story

What I know:
i know how to

  • handle a crisis,
  • friend someone,
  • listen,
  • look thru someone,
  • make a master schedule,
  • throw a pot,
  • fire a kiln,
  • clean the fridge,
  • raise a child,
  • be flexible,
  • let go of someone,
  • make bread and chocolate chip cookies,
  • live on a $1 for a month,
  • change a fuel pump,
  • spin yarn from wool,
  • build a webpage

What I don’t know:
I don’t know how to

  • split firewood,
  • make it rain,
  • grow a garden,
  • eat less,
  • build a deck,
  • program a universal remote or hook up stereo speakers,
  • make cotton candy,
  • write a book,
  • put the ‘tab’ key-top back on my keyboard,
  • make you hurt less.

My lists surprised me… well, part of it- i knew my obsessions 🙂  But the ‘what i know’ and ‘what i don’t know’… those were interesting.  I felt that the things i didn’t know were inadequacies in me (even tho that I would say to someone else that these are ‘opportunities to learn’)

What are your lists? I would love to hear about them!



shoes with silver buckles

i have large feet…like really large feet…large feet for a woman, size 11.  I am nearly 6 feet tall, and have had large feet all of my life.  My father always told me i was “big enough to hunt bears with a switch”…not really a compliment to an adolescent girl.  One time in junior high school, I went to the shoe store with my mom, Brown’s shoe store in Mitchell.  Duane Kellinger was the clerk (very handsome guy in my day and i had a crush on him) and he told me that the only thing that they had that would fit my feet might be some boxes in the back room… i wasn’t sure i heard him right, i was horrified.  Through most of my adolescence I entertained all kinds of ways to shrink my feet.

Women who have a thousand pairs of shoes in their closet mystified me. I have never bought many pairs of shoes, very few actually…the bare minimum to get by. To sit in a shoe store and bare my extremely big feet to a salesman for his brutal comment was not my idea of fun.  I would slink into the shoe store, try to find something in a bargain place, so i don’t have to meet a salesman’s eyes, and quickly, head down, make my purchase and beeline out the door.

Last summer, when I was shopping for shoes for my daughter’s wedding, I realized that my feet were here to stay- and I could hate them for the remainder of my days, or i could embrace them.  I came to grips with the fact that I don’t have big feet because of any irresponsibility on my part, or a lack of self control.  They are not the result of running red lights, or lying too many times.  My feet say nothing about my character. Why should I be embarrassed or ashamed of them, just because they are not the size of many other women’s feet…i am not the size of other women.  I am not unhealthy, but I am big.  I am a strong woman, in body and soul, and in my life, I have carried many…i have carried my babies, i have carried family members through heart wrenching times, and I have carried many students and their loved ones.  I have been entrusted to carry the hearts, tears and secret stories of many… and that is why my feet had to be so large.

I bought four inch sexy heels for the wedding.

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