What? Who? Me?

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Kim, over at silentlyheardonce.wordpress.com, surprised me a week or so ago by presenting me with this very unexpected award. Kim writes lovely poetry, born of a passionate soul. She writes honestly and openly, sharing her thoughts without fear. Also, she supports her followers by consistently re-blogging their material. Her blog is one I enjoy on many occasion. Just do it. Go visit her, and tell her I said hello, please.

When I say I don’t feel worthy of accepting this award, it is not an act of self-deprecation, but truly a sense of genuine unworthiness. This is because, as of late, I have neither engaged in blogging, nor have I been diligent in reading very many blogs. Some of you will know my plate is a bit full right now, and some days I have just enough energy to smile and remind myself that God is Good. He is Good and His will is divine.

That said, I am astoundingly honored, Kim, so thank you!

From the creators of the award:

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!

You will find all of the info plus the Awards with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 stars upon them here

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An Effort Well Worth It

This morning I opened my inbox, and a post from “A Winsome Journey” was there to greet me. Maybe you know Jess? Like myself, she’s an animal lover, and not just your run-of-the-mill animal lover; I’m talking llamas, chickens, goats, lambs — you name it, she probably owns one. It’s a regular barnyard fiesta o’er yonder. Jess is very generous with her photos, capturing heart-melting shots and humorous expressions stamped across her furry family’s faces. This morning, however, the post was solely dedicated to her sweet dogs, Seamus, Finnegan, and Lexi. Go on over and have a read. It’s short and sure to brighten your day.

http://awinsomejourney.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/the-constant-factor/

So there I was reading her post, all misty-eyed, when I realized my own sweet furry baby, light of my life, sparkle in my eye, was sleeping not more than a couple feet from me, all coiled up like a teeny-tiny snail. And there was this instant rush to my heart; you know, like when you enter a drug-store and that overhead fan blasts you in the face with warm air — like that, but in a good way.

I must admit that, Continue reading

Beauty and Magic and Moments

Saturday Mornings mark a momentous occasion around here: relaxing.

I may work from home, but it’s a lot of work and little play. My Michael is up at 5 a.m. and most days doesn’t return till after 4 p.m. Then, after a hug, kiss, and quick 30 min catch-up, we both make our way respectively to the gym/living room for an hour or so of exercise. The evening draws to a close with shoveling sustenance into our droopy food-holes and catching a 60 minute show before lights out. Well, lights out for M, anyway. I, of course, cannot sleep without Words to quiet the chavish in my head.

This last Saturday, Michael and I partook in one of our favorite activities: finding new music to download. Good music — much like books and movies — is often hard to find, and . . . you have to sit idly through a lot of not-so-good music before you’re rewarded. Noisetrade is an awesome site you can download and sample music for free. FYI.

As we did this, Michael was at my desk, in front of the laptop, and I had perched on the end of our bed. Each time a new song began to play, Michael and I would involuntarily shift toward one another, eyes searching and seeking the other’s face, silently ascertaining how the other felt about the song. This went on for some time.

My angel-pup, Bella, had been fast asleep beneath the folded back layer of our bedspread, curled up with something mommy-scented to sweeten her puppy-dreams. At some point, though, she roused, realizing mommy was nearby and offering the creme de le creme of real-esate; with the subtly of a lightening strike, she bounded across the bed, crawled onto my lap, and wedged herself perfectly between my arms. And, as women often do, while holding small, vulnerable things in their arms, I began to rock from side to side. She was asleep within seconds, and I . . . drifted. The song playing at that point was something slow, but with a firm beat. It settled in the pulse of my heart, changing the rhythm ever so slightly. I let it carry me. Lull me. Take me out of our bedroom, and to a place petal-soft and buoyant and cerulean.

Unbeknownst to me, Michael — Psychologist by day, Photographer by weekend — had slipped a sly hand. Hearing something, or perhaps sensing a shift in energy, I opened a curious eye to find him capturing Bella and I. Our eyes met and he spoke inaudibly:

Don’t move,” his eyes said, plain as our soft gray sheets. I promptly closed my eyes and resumed rocking.

This is Michael’s capturing.

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A Wingless Bird

We are a people easily inspired.

Should we be in the mood for something to encourage or uplift, it seems we need not exert ourselves beyond the click of a button. Pictures, music, clothing, food — it’s all there for our immediate access. In youth, inspiration is somewhat of a capacious, ethereal thing; it changes and morphs as rapidly as we do. Chance encounters, unfortunate circumstances, a generous accolade, a supportive parent — these experiences mold, shape, and respectively define what we consider to be inspirational.

What I find exceptionally grand is how, such as a match beneath brush, inspiration can ignite us, propel us upward and onward, all toward something that was otherwise not thought possible or attainable. Haven’t we all seen how even the unlikeliest of candidates found his or or her way after being “inspired” by a person, place, moment or thing. Truth be told  – and this shall be expanded upon in the dedication of Awakening Foster Kelly — I am only a writer only because my husband called me one first. I was given the name Cara at birth, the name Olsen in marriage, and the name writer by someone who saw something in me I never would have seen myself. True story.

For the most part, however, as we grow older, our successes and failures begin to outline a future; our goals align, usually, with what we are capable of achieving. Depending on what gifts we do or do not possess, our innate predilections, and the resources available to us, we will pursue our goals with alacrity, so long as there is enough reason and justification to do so.

Now, of course, there are those dauntless sorts who see steep snowy peaks as welcome challenge and benighted fathomless depths as great adventure; I am not one of these amalgams, though I am very much inspired by you. Write a blogpost and bring back pictures, please. Thank you.

I was inspired by something — or rather, I should say someone – this morning. But before I introduce you to a man you might already know of, I thought I would leave you with a few pictures that I imagine many of you, being the impassioned, focused, dedicated people you are, will endorse with pleasure and agreeability. Hopefully.

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A Bella Feast

Don’t panic! Bella is safe and in one piece. Chihuahua makes terrible meat — too gamey.

:)

As you are likely aware, it’s Tuesday (or Wednesday), and normally I would have a Tutorial to show you. While I could probably drum up something quick or borrow one from the multitude of crafty people on WP or Pinterest, I thought maybe a little deviation might not be such a bad idea. I love to make things; there is no possibility of me not finding my way back to this labor of love. But, for now, my focused has shifted. It’s had to, lest I become a very fragmented individual. Do you struggle with that, too? Splitting yourself into so many slivers, that you wind up with a dozen things half-done? I am a multi-tasker by nature, so it feels pretty good to me knocking out many chores at once. For example, vacuuming while a load of laundry washes, running to these grocery that also happens to have an ATM inside, catching up with a friend on the phone while I put on my make-up. There are some things, however, that incur grave consequences should they not be given an appropriate amount of focused attention; say, watching T.V. while conducting brain surgery, or, if you’re a man, reaching for something while you heed nature’s call. In my early days, as a prominent brain-surgeon, I figured this out the hard way; messy business, botched brains. I have yet, however, to experience firsthand the trials of poor aim; only firsthand experience cleaning it up.

Instead of a Tutorial, I am offering you something that is never-ending her capacity for bringing me joy–Bella.

By now, it’s fairly clear that I am indisputably obsessed with my dog-ter. Yes, pardon the eponym but “pet” or “animal” just isn’t sufficient anymore. This is my baby — possibly the only baby I’ll ever have. She is the perfect blend of adorable and challenge. She lets me sleep, but occasionally I’ll wake in the dead of night to one of her reverse sneezes. Like any good mom, I rouse to her alarm, rushing into the bathroom to shove my fingers into her nostrils; yes, this is how you impede a reverse sneeze. Again, messy business, tis love.

You know how parents are always telling you “When it’s your own kid, the nuisances don’t bother you so much” ? I think a similar philosophy exists for animals. Have you even woken to your neighbors dog howling, sat there and watched someone else’s cat lick itself incessantly, or had a bird do its warm, gooey business right on your hand. Awful and terrible — enough to send you fleeing in the other direction.

There’s something about that animal belonging to you, though, that makes all the difference. Truly, I don’t mind. Bella loves me. I know she does. We communicate. Call it bizarre or lunacy, that’s fine by me, I embrace it all the way!

One of my favorite things to do is to give Bella accents and speak on her behalf. She is a Chihuahua, so sometimes this results in her sounding like the Chiquita banana lady, but usually it’s something soft and sweet or — just like her.

Here’s my baby, everyone, and enjoy the Bella feast. Happy Tuesday!

Peek-a-boo!

Posh Chihuahua.

Splat!

Bottoms up!

Sleeeeepy.

Nap time.

“I see you, mom.”

Here’s a short clip of my playful cutie: Bella plays