What’s Your Goal?

16 08 2017

More than a few times in my life, I have had to find my way back to my path from some pretty deep weeds. The most effective way to do it is to stop and ask myself, “What’s your goal and is what you’re doing moving you closer to it or farther from it?” Sometimes, the answers comes quickly; other times, it takes a bit more effort, but it has always worked when I have answered myself honestly.

“What’s your goal and is what you’re doing moving you closer to it or farther from it?”

This train of thought left the station most recently as a response to the story of the snotty newlyweds who, instead of working to resolve a minor pricing issue with their (otherwise-fine) wedding photographer, elected to “ruin her career.” 

(BTW, here’s how that worked out for them.    http://time.com/4884613/couple-must-pay-wedding-photographer-one-million/)

The horrific events of the last few days have made me want to ask a whole lot of folks,  “What’s your goal?”

I refuse to believe that any sane fellow American’s goal – their true life’s purpose fulfilled goal – would be to hurt other people. 

I know the “answers”  that fit on protest signs or can be shouted while marching in formation would have us fear that; but I believe that (while the actions based on these are more dangerous) these “goals” are no deeper than “I want pizza for dinner.”  These are visceral, shallow reactions to stuff that hasn’t been sufficiently questioned by the very people who would tell you that they have the answers.  We can’t let this be our answer. We must find our way out of the weeds and back to the path of civil society.

What’s your goal?

Peace.

 

 





Grief and Gratitude

9 08 2017

When we lose a loved one, there is an enormous hole left in our hearts – in our lives – that we know will never be repaired.  What we don’t know until it happens in us is that, while the wound  is never healed, it does get filled up with the love and support of our families and friends and even people who were strangers before we were so grievously injured.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day we lost our dear daughter Jessica.  The pain of that loss will always be with us, but the kindnesses shown to us every day by all of you helps keep it manageable. It keeps the rest of our lives in perspective.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, especially today:

When we lost Jessie, we lost the person we loved the most in the world, but we did not lose the only person we loved, so we continue on. We celebrate her joyful (too short) life and we celebrate the life that we continue to live with the help, encouragement, and comfort of our friends.

Love one another.

Be kind, always. 

Don’t miss a thing life has to offer you.

Smile from your heart, like my Jessie did.

Peace.

 

With best cousin ever, Katy Little, when they were both little.

 

Happy. Up to no good. Happy.

March to your own drummer – Be your own drummer!

Ready to roll with Grandma – always.

Not spoiled, just loved!





Hey, Superman!

2 08 2017

I recently read a Facebook post by Adam Joseph, ABC6 ActionNews, Philly, https://www.facebook.com/6abcAdamJoseph/ where, in talking about pushing himself too hard in a training run, he said, “This evening was a reminder that I am not Superman, and I’m human . . .” 

It made me think, which we all know creates some issues, but I do it anyway, sometimes. 

The trouble with the Superman moniker is that, to quote famous fencer Inigo Montoya,

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I am here to tell you that you, my masterpieces of humanity friends, ARE Superwoman/Superman/Superperson – it’s all the same wonderfulness to me.  

Here are my Top Ten Qualifications of Superperson

10.       You are aware of the beauty around you every day.

9.         You are brave, especially in defense of your friends and family and those who can’t defend themselves.

8.         You are attentive to your health, mental and physical.

7.         You are smart.

6.         You are kind. 

5.         You are optimistic, finding some goodness in even the toughest of situations.

4.         You are faithful to your core beliefs.

3.         You are relentless in your support of your friends.

2.         You are honest, even when the truth is hard.

1.         You never give up on the people who love you, even when we feel like giving up on ourselves.

Not one of these criteria is dependent on the size of your bank account,  the spotlessness (or not) of your house, how many wrinkles you have, who you married (or divorced), your weight, your Alma Mater, or a whole list of other nonsense metrics that we use to browbeat ourselves with. 

It’s simple. You are Super because you live a happy life and you let that joy spill out into the lives of those who know and love you. Your delight in your world is so big that you can’t help sharing it.

That, my dears, is Super.

SuperPeople Sample:
Niece Elizabeth, Husband Ken, Nephew Jake, the Amazing Mad Mildred Mom, Niece Katy, Brother-in-law Eric, Nephew Ben.

 

 

 





I Want My Real TV

26 07 2017

It’s the time of year when I begin to crave the return of my favorite television shows: The Blacklist, Elementary, Sherlock (PLEASE, Mr. Gatiss, bring back Sherlock).  There’s only so much baseball to be watched and there’s nothing else interesting, so I thought, in the wake of Shark Week on Discovery – a channel I never watch – I might offer a few suggestions for revamping their lineup to appeal to a different crowd – still not me, but what the heck!

Here’s my Top Ten Reimagined Discovery Channel Series for Summer 2017

10. Deadliest Catch – Law & Order Edition 

A man has an affair, contracts STD, which he shares with wife, who kills him. Ghost of Johnnie Cochran gets her off, but she later serves time for trying to steal back her family’s china.    

 9.  Naked and Afraid 

A groping, er, gripping documentary about the TSA

 8.  Mythbusters

Cancelled due to the total buying of all bullshit by too many Americans

 7.  Man vs Wild vs Batman vs Superman vs Predator vs Kramer

 6.  Dirty Jobs: the United States Congress

 5.  Amish Mafia “Leave the gun. Take the Funnel Cake.”

 4.  Gold Rush

Top interior designer Midas McGilditall redecorates the West Wing

 3.  River Monsters

A behind the scenes look at the current White House staff

2.  Tweet-Storm Chasers

Starring anyone but Donald Trump

1.  Jump the Shark Week

Promoted as a race between a great white shark and a great white swimmer. Turns out to be an open water version of a time trial for  Phelps (the non-shark) with a computer generated (also a non)-shark, animated to approximate the swimming speed of a real shark.  Anyone want to see if there’s anything in Al Capone’s vault???





Privacy ≠ Anonymity

19 07 2017

We have surely surrendered our privacy to the ether by our wide-open-armed embrace of the always-connected, always-on, virtual omnipotence that is the Internet.

So what?

Someone recently remarked that “we’ve lost our anonymity because of the total breech of any semblance of privacy.”

I disagree.

Sure, our tastes, habits, and interests are available to anyone who cares to Google us (and the people who own/pay Google.)  That’s losing privacy, but I believe it actually deepens our anonymity.  We are public, but we are mass-public . No matter the volume of data collected by LarrySergeyZuckerBezos, those tech giants will never know me.  They don’t want to know me and that is the beauty of everyone having no privacy – there are just too many of us to appear as unique individuals to these massive entities. 

In the face of all this all-access age, we, as individuals, are increasingly anonymous in many ways. While a lot more people know our names and our shopping habits, fewer and fewer folks would be able to identify us face-to-face. Many would point to this as a negative change in our social fabric.

I disagree.

Technology has enabled me to be casually social with lots of peripherally interesting folks while curating my circle of true friends to a group whose company I truly enjoy, whose counsel I respect, and whose ethics reflect my own.

Thank you, Internet, for making my life an open book and loading the shelves with so many other open books that only the few truly interested in knowing who I am will bother to turn a page or two.

Dear Diary, you are now obsolete. Love, Paula





Summer Daze

12 07 2017

Folks, I gotta admit it; I am running on fumes, this week.  Nothing in the tank.

With that full disclosure, being totally transparent, coming forward with the evidence (which you’d deduce for yourselves anyway), I offer you a little light mid-summer Top Ten List.

Top Ten Reasons I Respect Craft Show Exhibitors (and why I don’t do craft shows!)

10.  They accept the uncertainty of income stream that being self-employed embodies.

9.    They are dedicated to following their true nature; they were born to create beauty and they do what it takes to make it happen.

8.   They are eternally optimistic, never doubting that their hard work will pay dividends – and they are willing to do the hard work.

7.  They put their souls on display in fold-up store fronts that fit into the backs of Chrysler minivans.

Carol Heisler’s “Before” photo.

6.  They answer the same dumb questions from non-buying gawkers every day of every weekend of show season and never bite anyone.

5.  They can sleep on any horizontal-ish surface available to them when traveling for shows.

4.  They can go for two days, three hours, and forty-two minutes without a bathroom break, if a show’s good.

3.  They are the “postmen” of the art world, braving wind, rain, sweltering heat, toe-numbing cold, and managing to engage people about their craft.

2.  They produce some of the most magnificent works of fine art and fine craft anyone could imagine.

1.  They are some of my very best friends.

Tomorrow, I will visit a few of my fantastic friends who’ll fill the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts http://arts-festival.com/artists  and the People’s Choice Festival  http://peopleschoicefestival.com/  and I am sure my soul will be as full as my wallet will be empty.  I give my arty friends all a Top Ten!

 

One more admission – I “borrowed” these photos from these wonderful women’s Facebook pages. Hoping that forgiveness will be granted, since I did not ask their permission.

Pam Cummings Pottery See her at Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. (Note the shopper wielding the umbrella.)

Carol Heisler’s “Not your grandmother’s” Quilts will be at Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. BTW, Carol’s managing all the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen shows this year. Check http://www.pacrafts.org for them!

Kalpana Lehman’s Fine Soaps She’ll be at People’s Choice Festival.

Art by Clare Miller She’ll be at People’s Choice Festival.

 





Art Camp Virgin           

5 07 2017

Today, I went to summer camp. 

 I am sixty-three years old and this was my first time.

Let me clarify a few things:

                I was allowed to go to camp when I was a kid; I did not WANT to go to camp, so I didn’t.

                I like to work alone in my studio.  I am not a “painting party” kind of girl.

                When I am invited to an event, my instinct is always to decline.

So, how did today happen?

A woman I know – let’s call her Connie (because that’s her name) – has seven of the most amazing grandchildren on the planet.  These kids range from three to nineteen years old and have wildly different personalities and interests.  They all, for some reason I don’t understand but am ever grateful however, like me, even calling me Aunt Paula.  I feel like I hit the jackpot!

Well, every Wednesday, Connie has all the grands at her house for art and craft day and I was invited to join them.  My usual reluctance to leave my house made a momentary appearance and then evaporated at the thought of seeing all those great kids.

So, I went.

We all had a wonderful time pouring specially mixed paints onto canvases and making them do cool and pretty things by attacking them with butane torches – it was high drama with laughs and oohs and aahs (and dirty fingers and stained clothes).  We enjoyed a spectacular grandkid-dy lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs and French fries, seasoned with many more laughs. When it was time for me to go, the hugs from those kids were like a tonic for my spirit.

I did not realize just how much my heart needed to be lifted until they did it.

Sometimes, other people see our needs more clearly than we do.  We call those people friends.  Thank you, my friends.  I do not take one moment of your affection for granted.  What a treasure. What a gift. Thank you.

By the youngest artist in the bunch. Pretty darned nice for a three-year-old (with some big kid help).