“May your heart be light and happy,
may your smile be big and wide,
and may your pockets always
have a coin or two inside!”
~ Irish Proverb
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Let us give thanks that ‘ol St. Paddy ran all the snakes out of Ireland and that, today, we have the chance to embrace our Irishness, even those who aren’t Irish. Erin Go Braugh! (or Éire go Brách as the translation tells me)
“Are you living your life afraid of what could go wrong or excited about what could go right? It’s a tiny shift that makes a big difference!” ~ Timber Hawkeye
On the eve of the Ides of March and the eve eve eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it fitting to post a photo of our mostly Irish friend in a shamrock tiara. Her eyes nearly match the emblem. The tag, however, was not optional. At least it was green. Happy early St. Patrick’s Day!
“Let us not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around us in awareness.” ~ James Thurber
It’s heartening to see the joy and hope new lives bring to a room. Just yesterday the girls (Annabell whom I call Apricot, and Lucy) were exposed – so to speak – to me and my camera. They weren’t quite as enthusiastic as the boys. In fact, they weren’t amused at all. On the other hand, Jackson AKA Cincinnati Red and Grier are becoming increasingly enthralled with the camera. This bodes well for future images I think, and it also means we’ll have a blast along the way. The girls may never warm to the camera. I’ll take my chances.
“Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.” ~ Walt Whitman
Day two of mini-vacation proved as perfect as the first. Though many shoppes were closed for the season there was plenty still open to peruse. And peruse we did. We happened into a used bookstore where I scored a beautiful leather-bound copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Over lunch of local brewed stout and smoked pulled pork BBQ, I opened the book to read the above quote. It spoke to me so deeply I gasped aloud. It was a day filled with splendid coffee, gorgeous weather, and dreams of the open road. Oh, and the Hobnob Restaurant is where we’ve eaten supper the last two nights. Perfect food in the most quaint atmosphere with a waitress headed to Grove, Oklahoma this weekend, home of Pam and Gary Thurman and Barbara Plested. I’m going to bed with a full and happy belly.
“Be happy. You never know how much time you have left.” ~ Unknown
For years Stacy’s been telling me about two things: Richard Mellencamp and Nashville, Indiana. She and her sisters used to go to Nashville every October to start their Christmas shopping. It’s very near Seymour where her mother grew up with Richard Mellencamp. I’ve been stressed the last few months, and Stacy invited me to go to Nashville for a mini vacation this week. Stacy has known Richard for several years, but she had never been to Seymour. On our way to Nashville today, we stopped off in Seymour to visit with Richard and his totally hilarious friend Kim Williams. Richard is exactly as Stacy described him: just about the sweetest man ever. A handshake wouldn’t do, he insisted on hugs. He took us to lunch, and then he and Kim drove us around Seymour showing us all the places where he and Stacy’s mom used to live and hang out. It was an extraordinary day in so many ways, and it’s always a blessing to be in the company of fine people. Richard Mellencamp is one such person.
“Never forget yesterday, but always live for today, because you never know what tomorrow can bring, or what it can take away.” ~ Tiny Buddha
Stacy, Annie, and I were invited to Susan and Catherine’s for brunch in their new house. PJs were optional, but as you can see, we all showed up in casual wear. What a treat it was to spend a few hours with these smart, witty, funny women. The C&S team cooked some truly remarkable vittles, too. Susan had warned us about Catherine’s homemade cinnamon rolls, but her description didn’t do them justice. They were ridiculously good. We laughed, we talked, we shared our love of grammar and gravy. It was as gorgeous around that breakfast table as the bright blue sky outside. I’m so grateful for their friendships.
“This week: Stop stressing over shitty people.” ~ Unknown
The lunch ladies had special treats today. Mama Heis (Elaine) was in town and wanted to have lunch with the lunch ladies. She drove by campus to pick up Crystal, Marie and I, and we met Stacy at Ramsey’s. We enjoyed a few laughs, lots of hugs, good talks, and we all walked out without having pie in solidarity with my diet. I love my lunch ladies, and we all love Mama Heis. A good time – and full bellies – was had by all.
“Don’t promise when you’re happy. Don’t reply when you’re angry and don’t decide when you’re sad.”
Can you believe it? Stacy Yelton ventured out with me to the grocery. I was on two missions: one for food, and the other for hats. The wee bit Irish lass in her wee hat cracks me up. I’ve laughed at this picture all day. Carol Hart’s birthday was yesterday, so it’s fitting that Stacy makes a return to the hat dance in her honor. She would be tickled. I know I am. Enjoy!
“Remember, most of your stress come from the way you respond, not the way life is.
Adjust your attitude and all that extra stress is gone.” ~ Unknown
Finally, I had time to put together that awesome turntable Stacy gave me last week. I moved the components, and speakers, hooked up the phono jack, then reached into the closet where I’d been hiding my vinyl for nearly a decade. I couldn’t see the labels, so I said to Stacy, “We’re listening to the first record I pull out.” It was Alison Moyet’s first solo record after Yaz, and one of my favorites. I turned the volume way past 11, gently set the needle down on the spinning disc, and goosebumps came up on my arms with the first note. I sang at the top of my lungs. Stacy watched me like I was insane. I started pulling all the records out of the closet, and soon she said, “How did I not know you had this much vinyl?” What I have is only a third of what I used to have. I moved so much after high school that I got rid of most of my collection. I’ve even managed to replace a lot of my favorites with CDs over the years because I didn’t have a turntable. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that spinning vinyl again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Stewart, Emmylou Harris, and Springsteen to spin…I’ll set aside a day later especially for the hair metal bands.
“Living with Compassion starts to change our experience in the world.” ~ David Bennett
Have you ever heard of Acutonics? Meet Leeza Gordon; rock jock, horse woman, Acutonic practitioner, my good friend, and Stacy Yelton’s very mostest BFF. I’ve known Leeza nigh-on twenty years, and I’d heard rumblings about her Acutonic practice, but it wasn’t until today that I found out what it really is. In short, Acutonics is The Entrainment Transformation Principle, that is, “A physics phenomenon of resonance… defined as the tendency for two oscillating bodies to lock into phase so that they vibrate in harmony. It is also defined as a synchronization of two or more rhythmic cycles. The principle of entrainment is universal, appearing in chemistry, pharmacology, biology, medicine, psychology, sociology, astronomy, architecture and more. The classic example shows individual pulsing heart muscle cells. When they are brought close together, they begin pulsing in synchrony. Another example of the entrainment effect is women who live in the same household often find that their menstrual cycles will coincide.” If you are a woman, and have lived with another woman (including your mother and sisters), then that last sentence will ring very true. I had first heard this theory decades ago when I read Music of the Spheres, wherein the cosmos (and by extension humans) is in resonance such that everything carries a tune, as it were, and that harmony is the perfect resonance; the divine. (It’s been years since I read the book, so understand that this is a very simplistic description of its deeper scholarly work). This theory isn’t new. Discovered in the 17th century, it’s only been in the last sixty years, give or take, that it has been used to tune a human, if you will. Leeza had been planning a visit to see Stacy, and when she learned that I was suffering from one of my two-day headaches, she asked to see me, tuning forks in hand. Tuning forks are precisely how Acutuning is performed. Forks of particular pitch are struck, then placed along meridian lines throughout the body; the same meridian lines as those followed by acupuncturists and acupressurists. In fact, acutoning is, to some degree, acupressure with a bonus. Leeza spent about an hour working on me, and I have to say that I was completely headache free for the first time in 48 hours when she was finished with me. Leeza has asked to see me again tomorrow, and I will oblige. Every body needs some harmony from a friend, and I will gladly accept Leeza’s tune any day.