Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Yellow Brick Road, part I

While everyone is posting about New Year's Eve, I thought I would post something ordinary, well as ordinary as my signs come.

I recently had a "Wizard of Oz" experience. Come, walk with me.
I journeyed to a magical land of country roads and no street lights.  Instead of a Land of Oz, I was searching for my friend's Christmas lights display. (He programs them to music; he is one of those people.) To be honest with you, it was an excuse to see the Great And Powerful Oz himself.  Amidst all the flashing, blinking, and twinkling lights, I made my way to the front door and knocked.  Rather timidly.

"Who dares disturb the Great And Powerful Oz?" An unseen voice boomed. Well, actually they said rather gruffly, "Who is it?"  When I replied who I was, the voice gruffly spoke again, "What do you want?"  I wanted to drop off a gift and see the Great And Powerful Oz in hopes of charming my way into his heart.  But I only mentioned the first part.

The gruffness was dropped after I peaked behind the curtain--er, garage.  It was all a case of mistaken identity. The voice, who happened to be the Father of Oz, thought I was one of his neices.  He apologized and had a good laugh with me about it.  Turns out Oz wasn't home. 

But what proceeded was light and wonderful conversation with two of the nicest people I have ever met.  They seemed to greatly enjoy me.  Who wouldn't enjoy the company of a girl with an affinity for pesky dogs and an eye for adventure? Step one down,  charming the parents!

Back to my journey. So what was I looking for?  Even though I have been likening myself to Dorothy, I wasn't looking for a way home.  (Besides, my overly romantic heart believes I had just found it.) No, I find I am in need of courage to ask for what I want and believe I deserve it; a heart that shines with possibilities for all to see; a brain to know when to stop deluding myself.

Wait a minute, doesn't the Wizard of Oz have a happy ending?!

Hopefully this spin-off will, too. To be continued...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Signs to learn from Mo, part III

You know those days? Those days where you have to make the decision, is the glass half full, or half empty?

Mo showed me today that sometimes, the decision isn't yours.
Like when your roommate forgets she is in the middle of changing your water, for example.

The glass--er, tank-- IS half empty. You have reached your proverbial ceiling. You shall not pass.

Someone up there--er, out there-- has it in for you.

Sometimes it is intentional, sometimes it is benign neglect.

Mo offered several options for coping with a forced half-empty situation. You can always take a nap. You can hide in the foliage. You can blow bubbles until someone notices you.

But that's not what Mo did. He kept swimming upward. He never stopped testing his limits.

Swim to the top, because one day that ceiling will not be there. Be ready to soar--er, swim-- beyond.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Sign Of Hard Work

After another long day of working with the circus, I looked at my friend who was painting faces.  She had an accidental paint mustache with stained hands and colorful freckles. I started to say, "You have a little something-" and she stopped me. "I know."

It is a sign of working hard, getting your hands-er, face- dirty.  Just ask pro-ball players, mothers of small children, animal trainers, chefs, and new to the list, circus workers.  A sign of perseverance against all odds, it may seem. And a sign of working hard.

I went to hand my friend a baby wipe.  Instead of accepting the baby wipe, with a mighty flourish she grabbed the bottle of glitter and spritzed her face.  "It...[glitter] just like deodorant," she proceeded to inform me while comically sparkling her shirt and armpits. "It can only make things better."

I laughed.  I knew what she meant.  So when you are working hard and you get a little dirty, you know people will stare.  So you might as well give them something to look at, to really be caught off guard with.  Maybe it is the tribal marking that resulted from the exquisite finger painting masterpiece your child made you. Or maybe it is the blue ribbon to go with your chocolate stained apron.  Or maybe it is glitter to go with your misplaced face paint.  Wear them as well earned badges of honor.  Wear them with deodorant. Wear them with confidence and succulent smiles. Because if they are going to stare, they might as well have something to look at, and you might as well be worth looking at!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sign You Need to Sleep.

Today was incredible, purely on possibilities alone.  Adding in the rest, it was astronomical.  And as I write that, shooting stars go by in my mind.

Wishes, signs, wishes for signs.

I wanted to write something really profound about how life and love is a marathon.  Or that I was enchanted. Depth, gravity, fortune cookies. They were all there.

But the best I could come up:

You are greater than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried or quesadilla form.

That is pretty big in my book.  And you stole my words. 

That's a sign I need sleep right, an absence of adequate words?  Maybe, just maybe this is a continued sign of love.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Sign for the Inspiring

This one is for the inspiring people. The persevering despite all odds.  The strong. The fierce. The quietly brilliant.

The blogs that get me through the day.

The signs that I love to see and seek to find.

The people I wish I could be like.

The words you say, that I soak in like sun rays.
Copyright El. Seattle WA
The hero is the one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light. -Felix Adler

Thank you for being a hero.
Thank you for being a saint.
Thank you for being a light, and showing me what it means to shine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 (Wrong) Ways to Make Potatoes

There are 12 wrong ways to make mashed potatoes.

1.  Forget to boil the potatoes.  Stare intensely at them in the mixer until you can figure out why they are not "mashing."

2. Boil them in a soup maker. It boils water in 90 seconds, so it should boil potatoes rapidly, right? Wrong.

3. Put the milk, butter, etc into the mixer before you put the potatoes in (wait for it...)

4. Dump the potatoes into the mess and plug in the mixer without checking to see if it is "off" first. Yes, potatoes can launch like rockets in case you were wondering.

5. Add more butter. The potatoes look fantastic at this point, more smashed and wounded than mashed. Butter will help right? No.....

6. Add flour to even the consistency. With a little baking soda, I bet I could have had some tasty potato biscuits.


Okay, so those are only 6 wrong ways to make mashed potatoes. It felt like 12 wrong ways. And it was a sign for me.  Sometimes I think I know what I am doing (see, POTATOES!) and jump right into a disaster waiting to happen. The psychological allure of boarding the Titanic. Or watching a thriller.

These are learning experiences.  These can be signs to others, should I share them.

Sometimes I know I don't know what I am doing. But the confidence of knowing that I don't know makes up for it.  A strange certainty in the unknown possibilities if you may.

Sometimes I don't know when to quit. Like step one. Or step four even.  Perseverance is admiral though, right?  Either way, thank God for family who ate my nonmashed potatoes with a smile.