19 May 2015

Let Me Tell You This Right Now


This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is:

10 Things You Would Say If  You Gave a Commencement Address

I have always wanted to give a commencement address, since I think that most of them are full of expectations and cliches, and even though mine might be as well, at least mine would be short.  Let's face it, most of the students just want to walk across the stage and officially graduate, and most people in attendance want to see a particular person do just that.  So in spite of the fact that many speakers seem to think a long rambling speech is called for, it is not.  Even just "Congratulations" would do the trick, in my opinion.  And since tomorrow will be the 37th anniversary (!) of my graduation from college, it seemed a good time to add my two cents.

Anyway, here are the Golden Nuggets of Wisdom that I would impart.  ;-)

1.  Good for you, you made it.  Now don't waste it.

2.  Remember, after your first job, no one will care where you went to school.  I was asked about it at interviews for my first job because there wasn't a whole lot else to discuss.  But I can't think of the last time someone mentioned it.

3.  Related to that first job - don't expect it to be your dream job.  It is your job to prove that you deserve employment.

4.  Don't let anyone pressure you into a "5-year plan" personally or professionally.  I can guarantee you that none of us can predict the next five years with any accuracy.  When people ask me where I hope to be in the next five years, my answer is always "Still above ground."

5.  Make peace with the fact that no matter how much it may dismay you now, you *will* in some ways become your parents.

6.  Laugh daily.

7.  Remember to say "I love you" on a regular basis.

8.  Be kind to the world and people around you.  Volunteer to help.  Remember the saying: "If you want something done, ask a busy person.  The other has no time."

9.  Enjoy your life.  You only get one, and a lot of times it will suck, so make the most of the good parts.  Remember that the world owes you nothing, and you can choose how happy you will be, even when terrible things happen.

10. Remember that knowing how to think is more important than knowing everything.

***

I could add others, but like I said above, all commencement speeches should be short.  So anything else would have to said the next time I was asked to speak  somewhere ...

08 May 2015

Five Favorites for This Friday

I haven't felt inspired to write one of these posts for a while, mostly because the past few weeks have been so busy and often so annoying/frustrating that it was hard to step back and focus on the good.  But it's time to change that if at all possible.  So here are five of my favorite things from the past week.

1.  A long weekend in Rehoboth Beach.  My niece Amanda and her husband Pat invited us to stay with them last weekend at a house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that Pat's family shares.  We took Dug with us, and the weather was perfect, we had a wonderful time, and even though it was only four days, it felt like weeks away.  And it made up for missing Maryland Sheep & Wool this year. (Dug is still recovering from the whole weekend!)


2.  A helpful person in the radiology dept where I am supposed to have an MRI.  There was a mess-up with  my insurance (of course, right?), and not only did she work it all out, but she was kind, friendly, and went above and beyond.  I was so impressed, I sent an e-mail to her supervisor.  It's so great to get excellent customer service when so many places have none at all.

3.  A good haircut and color.  I had an appt this week to get a haircut and get my hair colored.  I knew the color would be good, since the person doing it has done a great job before.  But the haircut part has been 50-50.  This time it worked out well, so I was really pleased.  I may still try another place, because her haircutting is so hit-or-miss, but for now I'm happy with it.

4.  Inspiration to organize mindfully.  I have been reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (you know, just like a bazillion other people), and it has inspired me.  Granted, it also amuses me to know end, the way she expresses her methods and what she wants the reader to do, and I'll probably adapt it for my own circumstances (for instance, we don't have enough space to put every single thing of one type on the floor and work on sorting it), but it has made me want to be more mindful when I am organizing things.   It all makes sense, I think that most of us just don't give it that much thought.   My attempts will begin this weekend.

5.  Nice weather.  Spring has been here all week, and it feels great.  I just hope it lasts, and doesn't suddenly become summer.

How about you?  Has your week been a good one?  Whether it has or not, best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

30 April 2015

As April Comes to a Close

Until I saw some others' blogs today, I forgot that April is National Poetry Month.

When I was in school, poetry was pretty much something I dreaded.  I liked some poems well enough, but apparently missed the "real" point/message all of the time.  And some poems I just thought were plain old stupid.

Once I was in charge of reading things because I wanted to read them, and I didn't have to worry about reporting on them, I came across several poems and poets that I found I truly enjoyed.

Recently, I saw this poem, and fell in love with it.  Since there is still a little bit of time left in the month of April, I'm sharing it with all of you.  I hope you'll like it as much as I do.

Questions About Angels

BY BILLY COLLINS
Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

26 April 2015

Moving Right Along

Ugh.  Day 1 of colonoscopy prep.  I have to prep for two days, since apparently I have an abnormally long colon.  When I did this the last time, it took 5 separate tries before it was completed, and that was after a 3-day prep.  A new doctor told me that the prep has improved, and two days should be just fine.  Sigh.  So let's hope *that*  moves right along, if you know what I mean ...

But, on to more pleasant topics.  After my success with Rechargeable, I was ready to move right along and cast on something new.  As is often the case, socks were my first thought.  I pulled out a skein of Meow Collection Yarn, in the Orange  Tabby colorway, and set it on top of the tall cubbyhole piece of furniture that holds my yarn.  I wanted to decide if I was going to knit regular socks, or some actual pattern.

But at least for now, I'm not knitting socks.  Because the morning after I set out the skein of yarn, it looked like this.


When Koodles Attack!

Sigh again.  I did not have the fortitude to even begin to try and untangle this mess, so I set it aside and moved on.  But it took me a few days to decide.  Then I remembered a project I had been wanting to make for a long time, and pulled out the yarn (fortunately already wound), and printed the pattern.  We were heading to Brooklyn to visit my niece, her husband, their baby, and their pup.  So I chose a project bag, got all of the notions together, and decided it would be my travel work.

I've really been enjoying it, and though I am using size 3 needles, it's going more quickly than I expected.  Here's an in-progress picture for you.


I know, it looks weird.  But this is the beginning of the Multnomah Shawl, which I have wanted to make for years.  Then at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2012 (I think it was that year), I visited the Fiber Optics Yarn booth, and they had one knitted in this yarn, which is their Foot Notes yarn, colorway Blackbird Batik.  I was so taken with the sample, I HAD to get the same yarn to make it!

It's really lovely, and I am enjoying this knit very much.  Yes, I have some other projects that are currently languishing, but I want to keep my mojo going with things that are working well, so this will probably be my primary project, at least for the near future.

And ... maybe one day I can get to the Orange Tabby yarn ...

22 April 2015

Earth Day 2015


Because we don't think about future generations, 
they will never forget us
~Henrik Tikkanen

I hope Earth Day reminds us that this earth is the only one we have.  Behave accordingly.