Life, better known as blah, blah, blah · Memories

What is Home?

Growing up, when my father moved us from California to Washington, I thought the world had ended. Moving was nothing new, we did that here and there, but we never went too far from the last location.

Washington welcomed me with chicken pox and food poisoning. Thankfully, not at the same time. Besides that, Washington felt like a glove that didn’t fit (Dear O.J….). And, it was a completely different environment. As a child when it rained in California, we had recess inside. In Washington they let you play in the rain?! They had never heard of such a thing as “canceling recess.” In California, fire and earthquake drills meant you sat outside on the grass for nearly an hour. Washington had you out and back in under ten minutes. (You didn’t have time to look for four leaf clovers!!)

As an adult, moving to Arizona felt like the closest thing to coming home as I could get.

It had been too many years to count when I finally went “home” at the beginning of this year. But once I got California, something odd happened. It didn’t feel any different than any other place to me, it didn’t feel like I went home. What had happened?

I visited my mom’s home (since my parents divorced) from my childhood and also visited her grave site. Those moments were magical. Yet, the second I left that location I was a fish out of water. I visited the beach, and although dearly missed, it didn’t feel the same. Maybe because I was no longer the same.

I know for some home is a feeling, not necessarily a place. I agree.

Funny thing is, I’ve come to understand a different home. A place I never thought I would consider home. I also grew to learn that home is a feeling you can have when you are with a person. And that, is the best home anyone can get ever have.

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Life, better known as blah, blah, blah · Memories

The Parachute

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The other day, I drove past a group of school children playing parachute. It took everything I had not to pull over, run across the field and beg them to let me play. Okay, so while I wanted to, I also didn’t want the cops called on me for chasing up to a bunch of kids.

In school I was not liked, as in I was not a welcomed friend. I was an outcast, for whatever reason, I don’t remember. Maybe it was my clothes, or my personality, I cannot say now, or then.

When it came to group activities in school I was always the last picked. At times other kids were even instructed to pick me. Talk about embarrassing. So going P.E. was my ultimate fear, and not because of the uniforms.

It must have been about 4th or 5th grade when I was introduced to the parachute game. When Mr. Clark pulled the parachute out of the multicolored bag I was in full wonderment of what would happen next.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about let me explain. The parachute was gigantic to a eight year old, especially one as short as me. It had handles all around it, enough for everyone, so no one was left out, including me. Everyone had to work together and there was zero room to exclude anyone, everyone was equal because they had to be. The parachute games only worked if everyone participated.

Every time the parachute came out, we played the same games, and I loved a routine. Mr. Clark would throw a bunch of Nerf balls on top and we all had to shake up and down in unison to get them to fly as high as they would go. Then Mr. Clark would call your name and another student and you had to run and switch places. We would also lift it up and then get under it, sitting on our handle as the center stayed up in the air and the colors filtered all around.

Yet, my most favorite was when you got to lay in the the middle, on your back, and all the kids would lower it up and down as the colors appeared to explode around you like a sky full of stars.

So, driving past these kids and that big, colorful parachute caused me to smile. I hoped that any kids feeling like I did were able to fit in, even if only for thirty minutes.

Good Eats · Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

When You Have a Garden

If someone was to ask a younger me, would I ever garden, I would surely have said yes. But a garden of flowers, most likely.

And flower gardens I did have, even a simple pot on an apartment balcony. A home with hydrangeas, small, and barely blooming when the moving truck came. A new state, homes with nothing but backyard dirt. And a home with failed attempts at all desert plants. Oh flower gardens were in my plans. Yet, a garden of vegetables and fruits, no.

I believed that was something unobtainable. Something that needed skill and planning. Something, that required lots of land and a coffee table full of how to books (okay, so I have two books, no coffee table).

So, how I ever stumbled upon the gardens I now have, and wanting more, remains a mystery.

I have a 4×4 box and a 10×5 box, which I find myself walking around at least five times a day. As though I’m wandering acres on some farm in Texas. Veggies don’t grow that fast, but the way I snoop around the dirt you would think something new has grown every few hours.

Turns out when you have a garden germinating, you can and do lose yourself in it. It’s like watching a baby sleep, just wondering when it will wake.

There is peace among the dirt. Green sprouts appear as though Thomas Kinkade painted them. And when you get to taste what has grown it’s a rainbow of joy.

I just need more boxes now….

Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

Home Again & The Whole Truth – movies

There are few movies I find interesting these days. Okay, these last few years. Okay…this last century.

So, when I find one I grab hold, take it in like waves rolling onto the dry sand.

I never saw a preview for Home Again, but as a Reese Witherspoon fan I could not really say no. Yet, because of so many boring can’t finish them movies, I figured this would be the same.
WRONG! 

Now this movie is not for everyone. There is zero story arc. Okay, maybe 10% arc, but it doesn’t matter, because Home Again feels almost like a Hollywood classic. A mix between Hanging Up/It’s Complicated and a Doris Day flick. (The fancy chic California house set didn’t hurt much either.) The movie is cute, funny, hopeful, and cozy.

Movie number two, The Whole Truth. First, just get past Renee Zellweger, it’s her. But my-o-my you can’t tell a bit. So much plastic surgery she could be hiding Barney under there.
This movie was gripping. You think you know, but damn, you don’t. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I promise you will he hooked. 

Appreciation Monday · Life, better known as blah, blah, blah · Spotlight on Writing

Going into 2018 

Writers have a tough job. Not only do they need to create an original story, but they have to sell it too. If that is your end goal it will most often come with rejections. A lot! 
It’s similar to going to work and being told you suck at your job, but we are going to keep you on, someday you’ll get it right. Talk about walking back to your desk with your head hanging down.

Okay, now you have managed to sell your manuscript. Guess what?! When your book comes out you are judged too. Through sales and reviews. 

Thus, writing takes strength to believe in yourself, and your work. And, for most, it comes with stress and anxiety, even depression at times. But this year I’m making it great, and pushing past that. 

Now, I’m not into making new year’s goals, as I’ve mentioned over the years on my blog. But, I am into pondering. Hmm, maybe I should write a book about pondering. I’m rather an expert at this point. I look at 2017 and take what I didn’t handle well and focus on how I can lessen or all together prevent those choices. This includes my writing.

I hope, whether you have goals or pondering”s” that you make the best out of each day, week, and month. That you make yourself happy, and thus others around you will be happy too. 

Life, better known as blah, blah, blah · Memories

Best Christmas Present Ever

Recently I overheard someone ask another what their favorite Christmas present was. It got me thinking, what was mine?

I thought, a rather long time.

Turns out I remember more about other things, than what the gifts were.

I thought some more and it finally came to me.

My favorite gift was not from a person at all, but from mother nature.

My father had moved us from sunny southern California to rainy cold Washington. I was beyond upset, having gotten not only food positioning the first day at my new school, but also chicken pox. So, I was pretty sure nothing good was ever going to come from Washington.

Christmas morning 1991 came and I woke, to the first time ever…to snow! And it was still snowing…ON CHRISTMAS MORNING! I mean a ton of snow had fallen over night, but it had yet to stop.

My father insisted that I open one present before I ran outside. It was a disposable camera.

Thank you all for your visits to my blog through out 2017. I hope my posts have inspired, informed, taught, and provided a smile. I will be on blog hiatus for the rest of December, returning with a new look come January (as I do every year). I wish y’all a wonderful Christmas and a bright New Year. Write to you in 2018.

3 Things I Learned This Week · Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

Favorite Things 2017

It’s that time of year when I share my favorite things I have discovered this year.

1. JOSIE MARAN Argan Oil face cream SPF 47. I recommend shopping around for the best deal, saves you a bunch of money.

2. Essential oils – I love these and use them daily/nightly. I’m partial to YL, as I’ve tried others and not had the same results.

3. Plant based diet – Every week I see more news on how great this lifestyle is, and I can agree a million times. Find what works for you. I have cheat days, but I feel better and sleep better when I have a plant based diet day.

4. Community programs for free – your community should put on free workshops or low cost workshops. I attended one this summer about gardening (free) specialized to my area. I walked away with knowledge, a goodie bag and they even provided snacks!

5. Heirloom tomatoes – what can I say, I’m behind, but I tried them for the first time this year! I used to think why does anyone want to buy a tomato that looks all messed up?? But wow, the taste is amazing. Especially since most tomatoes I was buying, even organic, were tasteless and didn’t ripen properly. Bonus, I’ve been very successful at growing new plants from their scraps!!

6. Macadamia oil hair – I’ve tried several brands and find them all to be about the same. Worked better than the coconut oil treatments I was using.