Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Answers to Australia Day quiz and what the hell do you do with kale?

I know, I know. I don't blog for almost a month and then you get two posts in (technically) one day. I am nothing if not inconsistent.

It's just that when I woke up this morning I checked the calendar Facebook and realized it was Australia Day. Which reminded me that last year I ran an Australia Day quiz because I wanted to see how the quiz feature in google docs worked. An then I never gave you the answers. Which reminded me I hadn't logged onto google docs in exactly a year.

So, while I'm trying to figure out how to get back into google docs, let me share something with you.

Yesterday I read a book on the health benefits of whole foods and was so inspired that I went directly to the grocery store to buy a bunch of leafy green vegetable matter. I came home with, among other things, a huge bunch of kale. Really huge. It takes up half a shelf in my refrigerator.

My fit of inspiration continued. I made carrot soup to freeze, then fed the kids broccoli and fruit for dinner. I ground flax seeds. I made a spinach salad for lunch today.  I put almond milk in my coffee. I am practically brimming with phytochemicals.

But back to the kale.  I realized I don't have the slightest idea what to do with it.

I open the fridge and look at it and it looks back at me. I close the door, but the next time I open it, the kale is still there.


Please, if you have any kale suggestions, share them with me. I'm losing the staring contest.

Anyway, back to the quiz.

According to the 72 of you who took the time: Melbourne rocks harder than Sydney, you're rich with ore, Armenia is not on your short list, I have the sexiest accent (thank you), and heads up, North Korea is coming south to party.

Oh, and I'm wearing this in my next photo shoot:

I'm rather relieved, to tell you the truth, as this came in a close second:

Do you have any idea how much kale I'd have to eat before I'd wear that in public?

So, seriously. what to I do with the kale?

It scares me...

Battening down the hatches

There is a card in the tarot deck called the Wheel of Fortune. I have always been intrigued by and a bit enamored with it.

It is the wheel of Fortuna, the goddess of Fate. Around and around it turns, bringing us new experiences, opportunities, beginnings and completions -- the rise and fall of our fortunes.

As she delivers to us the fruits of the seeds we have sown, for better or for worse, she teaches us that life is never static and the future is rarely predictable.

I haven't written here in almost three weeks. I've never, in the life of my blog, gone that long without posting.

I have never been very good at writing about the mundane or the trivial when there is something big standing just behind me. I want to turn around and look at the big thing and write about what I see.

Right now, there is something big standing right behind me. Only, I can't make out just what it is.

For one, there is movement on the legal front, finally. Though I've learned not to hold my breath. And for the moment I have to hold my pen.

But it's more than that.

Today I went through the pantry and threw out all the canned food that had expired. Last week I sorted piles of school papers and old bills, shredded a jillion credit card offers. I've been hauling boxes up from the basement and getting rid of stuff I've held onto for too long -- stuff I never needed to begin with.

Anything that's no longer useful -- that's outgrown, outdated, superfluous -- I want it gone. I want my life pared down to the essentials.

I feel like I'm preparing for something, but I don't know what.

There is a voice inside me that is saying: put your house in order, gather your children close, be ready.

That sounds ominous, I know. It doesn't feel ominous.  A little scary perhaps, the way the pause at the top of a roller coaster is scary, when you know the freefall is coming.

Blogging, stats, sponsors, social engagement... all of that has lots its pull for the time being. I'll come back to it, I'm sure, but for now I feel like I need to gather my energy back in and preserve it for the coming months.

One thing I do know is that I feel Fortuna's wheel turning. This sense of impending change is almost visceral. I don't know what's coming down the pike, but I'm buckling my seat belt so I'll be ready.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Can you tell which of these is worth $30 million?

I can always count on my friends to send me links to interesting stories. Today they did not disappoint.

The headline for the story is this: Colorado woman punches, rubs her buttocks against $30 million painting.

After reading the article, the burning question I was left with was, "$30 million? Seriously?"

Below are two paintings. One is the $30 million masterpiece from the Denver museum (or, as MSN puts it, 'the painting at the center of the alleged incident') and the other was done by a work colleague's 73-year-old mother-in-law, who was experimenting with a new technique.

Can you tell which is which?

Painting #1

Painting #2

Painting #3

I've included a link to the story below, but before you click on it, tell me in the comment section which one you think was valued at $30 million.

Do you know? Are you having trouble making a decision?

And while we're at it, which woman do you think is the perpetrator at the center of the alleged incident?

Woman #1

Woman #2

Um...okay. Never mind that one.

While the story was fairly thorough, I was left with several unanswered questions:

1. Whose job is it to determine the monetary value of damage caused by buttock rubbing? Is there credentialing for that?

2. Why didn't anyone tell me I was in the wrong line of work? Wish I'd read this news story before reading this. Shiznit.

3. And omg, how much would it hurt to get your throat tattooed?  Damn.

Okay, here's the link to the story. How'd you do?

Oh, and for the record. I love the painting hanging in my colleague's office. I smile every time I walk by and see it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where the heck have you been?

Today I opened my laptop for the first time in two weeks.

I intended to take several days away from blogging over the holiday, but once I disconnected I found it hard to get back online. I realized how good it felt just to rest and relax.

Mostly, I just played with the kids, who are on their winter break. As Glow would say, we got our craft on.

Pure joy.

We made snowflakes

We painted

and decoupaged (is that a word?)

I even picked up projects I'd put down years ago
(this is a small section of a large cross-stitch of an Amish farm)

But we didn't just craft. We did a jigsaw puzzle and put together Legos and took silly videos of the kitties. We went to Denver and loved on our family there, and they loved on us.

We played in the snow

and got some cool new hats

Here's what I realized. This past year and a half has been full of so much heavy stuff. Heavy realizations, heavy responsibilities, heavy emotions. And there's more ahead.

To spend a couple of weeks playing and immersing myself in activities that were simply joyful was such a welcome relief. Writing brings me joy, too, but sometimes blogging can feel like another responsibility. Maybe you can relate?

I noticed something else, too. The more I relaxed, the more my diet improved. I began craving healthy organic food. Perhaps I could finally hear what my body has been trying to tell me all along.

I began to meditate again, something I used to do often many years ago. I took salt baths and wrote in my journal. I cleaned out files and rearranged the furniture. I bought fresh flowers.

I made a vision board

I realized something else, too. 

I really missed you guys.

I'm wishing each of you a 2012 that is filled with everything your soul craves.


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