Saturday, September 29, 2007

My "Power" Color

Your Power Color Is Lime Green

At Your Highest:

You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary.

At Your Lowest:

You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in.

In Love:

You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated.

How You're Attractive:

Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room.

Your Eternal Question:

"What else do I need in my life?"

Friday, September 28, 2007

Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer

I. Am. Addicted.

Please rush out and buy this book so that you can read it with me.

Laini Taylor wrote it. I found out about her book through her blog, GrowWings. I am on chapter 4... will report back when I finish.

Power (Sunday Scribblings)

Feeling powerful and powerless simultaneously did not surprise me. So much of life follows the same course... sweet balanced by sour, joy intermingled with sorrow, etc. Having the youthful determination to make choices for myself, I sought out a midwife when I became pregnant at the age of 21 rather than follow the typical route of seeing an obstetrician. My mother had passed down the gift of researching options before making a decision to me and genes gave me the spirit of rebellion to not follow the accepted path unless it was a path I chose. As the end of my pregnancy drew near, I embraced with passion the idea of allowing my body to do what millions of women's bodies before me had done without putting man-made chemicals into my body to speed up the delivery or numb the God-given pain to feel my body birth my child. The pain of childbirth isn't the pain of death or the pain of hurt. It's the pain of life that awakens your soul and let's you know that you're really alive and a part of the rhythm of the universe and the never ending life cycle. During labor, I gave up control of my body and embraced the waves of contractions. Although I was powerless over my part in the process, I was powerful. Many hours passed. The love of my life held me throughout those hours and massaged areas that I'd normally blush to write about. We worked as one. As the light of dawn broke, I gave birth to my first son. I had the acute awareness that not only was a child born at that moment but also a mother, a father, a grandmother and an aunt.

DISCLAIMER: I do not want to minimize any woman's experience of the birth process with my own experience and fully support the right of a woman to choose her own path whether or not it includes modern medicine or by necessity ends with the inclusion of modern medicine.

If you'd like to read other stories of power, visit Sunday Scribblings

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Educational Choice and Happy Son's!

I am happy to live in my state... really. I am happy that I have every option of schooling my children that I can think of available to me. Entering a clean, well-designed and unpretentious facility yesterday with artwork hanging on the walls encompassing dance, music and art studios and then today walking into the academic and administration offices of the same school to register for the online academic classes was like walking into the wave of the future for public schools if our government allows it. Pennsylvania seems to be on the cutting edge for alternative public education. Last week, big E. auditioned for the performing arts section of a public online charter school in our state. This school is unlike any of the other charter schools in our state because it is a combination online classes and in person classes. Not only does it offer performing arts classes but it also offers a separate building and classes for "gifted" students and separate classes for students interested in becoming leaders. For the first time since 6th grade, my oldest son is excited about this school year. Today he picked his academic classes and could've opted to graduate this year since he needed so few classes but he opted to stay and graduate next year so that he could get two full years of study at the performing arts school and have the possibility of studying psychology online next year. How many highschool students do you know are excited about school and would opt to stay an extra year? He really is only a junior so he won't be older but even I was somewhat surprised by his decision. I think it's a wise and very mature decision because he will get the kind of classes at the performing arts center that would normally cost us thousands of dollars per year. He will be studying classical guitar, acting, art and creative writing at the performing arts center twice a week for 6 hours each day. On the other days, he will be doing online classes in zoology, botany, business accounting and sociology which are all subjects he has a genuine interest in. Next year, the only academic classes he will need to take are a full credit of English and Senior Projects which is required by PA and is more like an independent study. He'd like to learn violin so he may take that next year and will most likely take the directing course they offer for upperclassmen next year as well.

Ah, being around people who want to teach and students who want to learn makes me want to go back to school or assist at the school or something!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Regaining Divine Mojo and "The Artist's Way"...

In a continued effort to regain "divine mojo", I am reading and doing the activities recommended in the book, "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron. Her book and classes have helped many artists of varying media regain their creative spirit over the past 20 years according to her book. Fellow bloggers, Danae Sinclair and Jodi Cleghorn, are doing it with me. Would anyone else like to join us?
Here's a link to the book in case you'd like to look at the description or reviews. I think Amazon also lets you preview a chapter or part of a chapter...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fortune Cookie Fortune...

A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

Do you agree?

Writing... Sunday Scribblings!

Sometimes I think I am crazy... really. There is a constant stream of words pouring through my head at all times and when I take the time to listen I almost feel like I am spying on someone else's thoughts. Occasionally, I catch the words, phrases and ideas like the little dandelion fluffs that blow in the wind and commit them to paper or blog and pass them along with a wish that they'll inspire someone else or touch someone else's life. That's the writing process for me. If I try to sit down and write, nothing comes to me. Let me get into the car alone for longer than a few minutes and words and phrases literally tumble out of my brain and it's all I can do to remember them until later. I've seriously contemplated getting a voice recorder so that I can do a better job of catching them before they fall out and are never found again but everytime I am in a place that sells that type of thing, I don't remember that I want one.

Other times I write to let the pain or joy of the day out and allow others to soothe the wounds or rejoice with me. A diary just doesn't provide that kind of feedback and I share so much better in the written word than I do when spoken. I fumble through speaking how I feel yet writing how I feel comes naturally. This makes for difficult waters with a husband who is the exact opposite. The art of clear communication will always be a mystery between us, I think.

(For more Sunday Scribblings on writing please click in the link on the sidebar!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Regaining Divine Mojo...

Today was the day set aside to regain/gain some divine mojo as deemed by Megg from Sunday Scribblings. This morning I awoke planning to set aside the day to start making the space in our carriage house/barn deemed as mine, my own. This meant cleaning and going through boxes from our move eight years ago consisting of art school memorabilia and lots of negatives, photographs, and obsolete photography equipment. Throughout the day, I started to feel overwhelmed but I knew that today was divine mojo day and somehow that reminded me that I need to quiet those damned negative voices that normally keep me stagnant. I decided that rather than one day for divine mojo, I am going to dedicate the rest of this week to the project. I fully intend to write down all the negative things I tell myself, burn them up and release them to God to be replaced with positive energy and thoughts. Awhile ago the following verse from the Bible came to have new meaning for me,

"Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Before whenever I read this verse, I only heard the negative side of what it could mean... what I shouldn't be thinking about or watching on TV or listening to or whatever. Lately, though, it's taken on a deeper meaning for me... I think this verse means that we should focus on the positive things in life and ignore the negative voice in our head telling us that we aren't good enough, that there will never be enough time, that we are too old, etc. So, for me, finding divine mojo means taking this verse to heart.

Here's the outside of my future art and writing studio:

And, here's a photo of the inside of it before I started the day.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Stories of Adventure: Traveling Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pulling onto the Blue Ridge Parkway from I-85 North near Roanoke, Virginia was like a breath of fresh air. Few cars inhabited the small two lane highway with lined with tall green pines and foliage on either side. I felt like I was taking a trip back into the sixties when going for a drive on a Sunday afternoon was a legitimate form of entertainment. Me? I was taking the scenic route because I wanted a change of pace from the frantic driving experienced while being surrounded by multiple 18 wheelers and speeding vacationers. Every mile there seemed to be a scenic pullover created for travellers to stop and take notice of what appeared to be untouched mountains and woods transporting the viewer even further back in time. I continued to drive not taking the time to quite pullover and thinking to myself that taking the scenic route was a good idea and wondering why more people hadn't opted for this route. Sure, there was the occasionally scary part where small older looking bridges travailed deep gaps between mountain tops but they were few and far between. Around the bend drove a biker with his headlights on leaving me feeling confounded rather than recognizing the harbinger of what was to come. Moments later I found myself driving into a dense fog barely able to see a foot in front of me. The fog hugged the mountain like two lovers in a lingering final embrace unable to quite say goodbye. It was then that I realized I was going to do penitence for the thoughts I had earlier when deciding that the Appalachian mountains here in Viriginia were like hills compared to the ones in Vermont. No, no, no... these Appalachian mountains were merely monsters hiding behind lush green foliage unlike their Vermont counterparts. Ever so slowly, I inched along this desolate highway in tears wondering if I'd ever make it down off these mountains. Those small old bridges that before had only caused momentary fear now held sheer terror for me. Trying to hide these feelings from my children were impossible yet they didn't seem aware of the danger only that Mom was upset. Eventually, two cars who clearly held drivers far more familiar with the road than I started following me closely. I found one of the scenic lookouts to pullover in and did so in order to let them pass. I also took this small break to pray to God that the fog would lift and that I'd be able to exit this highway soon. Pulling out of the lot, I rounded yet another bend and felt the road making the slow descent to the mountain's base and as it did so the fog cleared and revealed an exit.
Yeah, I thanked God.

(I wish I had had my camera with me to show exactly how terrifying this hour of driving actually was but I didn't so these words will have to do)