For our God is a consuming fire.

-Hebrews 12:29

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alternative Alphabet

What a weird, bassackwards week it's been. Perhaps you remember that my parents were in a terrible car accident about this time last year? Two days ago, the man who hit them and ran from the scene accepted a plea bargain and was put in jail. For his crime of "leaving the scene of a crash involving injuries", followed by crimes of "carrying a concealed firearm" this fine member of citizenry will receive four months jail time and two years probation.

My father's tenacity is the sole reason he's getting any jail time at all. The court was willing to bestow several previous pleas of mere probation. But my dad continued to attend hearing after hearing on my mom's behalf to convey the damage caused by the defendant while still on probation from previous crimes. Clearly probation was not acting as a successful deterent. Four months seems like so little punishment for a man who almost killed my mother and caused months of agony for all my family. It is not my place to pass judgment though; I am thankful a measure of justice was served. I'm also grateful for some closure for my parents.

Gratitude: it a first step to releasing anger. I've have some major anger issues with this guy. So, I've been trying an exercise while taking slightly longer, hotter showers during the cooler fall season. Based on a poster I'd seen advertised by Syracuse Cultural Workers, I've been reciting 26 reasons to be thankful; one for each letter of the alphabet. I love their idea that this alphabet is for the grown-ups too. Why not leverage the notion to help me focus on the many reasons I have to give thanks, instead of on any animosity I may have toward another? Here we go:

AblazeyDaisy's Alternative Ahimsa Alphabet
Action - taking some rather than talking makes change.
ass - I love me some hubby low octove grooves.
ats - my boyz who comfort me no matter the situation.
el Ray - my town, my community, so hip and beautiful.
Employment - as in gainfully so in these tough times.
riends - who support me & pray for my concerns.
randparents - I have three living!
ome - I love mine and those in it.
ndia - I have great respect for the yogic traditions of this country.
esus - My Lord & Saviour.
Kisses - I enjoy 'em both human and chocolate style.
Laughter - the best medicine and great for stomach muscles.
Music - the universal language that transcends words & makes emotion tangible.
Namesake - maiden name & all I've come from, married name & husband are gifts from God.
xygen - deep back rib breathing to chillax & center.
iano - my grandma gave me hers to play.
uest - life is an amazing journey w/ great ups along w/ its other-thans.
adical - the noun version, as in why be normal?
Simplicity - usually the best answers are the simplest.
Time - a good balm for what ails.
pright bass - my favorite instrument courtesy of the husband's passions.
erses - Bible quotes to heal: Philippians 4:6, Hebrews 12:28
Water - quenches thirst like nothing else & we've got clean H2O at our fingertips.
anadu - a place where nobody dared to go; a love that we came to know.
Yoga - I'm constantly growing & knowing thru this (& I'm keeping this poster choice as my own!)
Zero - # of days we have to go it alone. God neither leaves nor forsakes!

It is a successful tool to refocus. Thank you Lord for bringing my family back to health.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fried & in need of Fries

Today's work schedule (some by choice, some by force) had me eating my lunch at 4:15 pm. Back at my home office, we had some cut up veggies leftover from our weekend camping escapade, so I quickly threw those together into a salad. Mere salad, however, does not fill the depths of hunger brought on via a four-hour meal delay.

Unfortunately, besides the leftover veg, there wasn't much else in our fridgedaire. So, I found myself rifling through both pantries for some good grub. Nothing was fitting the bill. Back to the fridge I go to check again for any previously unseen food treasure that is cheese or potatoes (to make awesome french 'fries' baked in the oven). Yours may be different, but you know the type of family fave items that always go first after a grocery run. There was nary dairy nor tuber to be found.

Repeat pantry shuffling. 2nd pantry pilfering. Back to the fridge...standing in front of the open fridge door I began singing this made-up verse in old-timey country twang:

I wish I had potatoes in my friiiidge,
I'd make french fries & eat 'em all night looooong.
But there's nuthing here except some veggggg,
So I'm jest left here with this french fry sooooong.

Realizing I'd almost worn a circular groove in our kitchen floor doing laps between the pantries and fridge, with no can left unturned and no new food to speak of...I gave up the search. I asked the husband, "How many times do you think I can open this refridgerator door before I understand nothing new is going to appear?"

He responds, "Right? Where my magic fridge is?"

Where is my magic fridge indeed? I know you can relate.

Guess I better get with the changing times, and see that my veg sticks were the way to go in the first place. Hmmph. I might have to change my tune, literally.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beast Reality

I'm cleaned up, rested and sipping coffee that wasn't boiled outside. These are all signs that I'm back home, and our camping trip is over. This weekend the husband and I were back at Shakori Hills for the fall music festival. We had a great time and the weather held out for us, only raining the last night we were there. Eating fresh veggies and homemade hummus, J strumming bass at the campsite, taking in new bands, hooping to the live music...these things all equal my festival fun.

J also let me lead us through some asanas, so we could stretch the air mattress sleep kinks out of our system, and so I could practice a bit of my yoga teacher training intake. Have I mentioned that yoga practice outdoors is the absolute best? Maybe, but it's worth mentioning again. I think that we're going to institute a regular backyard-yoga practice! I am so thankful to be married to someone with similiar interests; it's a treat to share music, yoga and more with my main man. I love him extra for that special look of surprise caught upon exiting our publicly shared bathroom. Chatham county portables, I'm glad to leave you and your antibacterial hand sanitizer in NC.

As for the music, one band we enjoyed most this go-around was The Beast. They have a politically charged hip-hop sound with serious funk bass lines kicking the background. We've seen them at Shakori before, but this year they were playing at the headline stage. Picked up their CD pre-release (yes, old school cd purchases still abound in our household), and listened to it on the drive home. The group's original name was The Beast Reality, which leads me to my final focus for this entry.

An overarching theme to this festival is sustainability. Throughout the weekend, Shakori offers a sustainability, peace & justice discussion series with offerings on solar power, living low carbon, and local food production. The "Beast Reality" is that there is a lot of unfortunate nastiness going on in the world, and it can be easy to insolate yourself, isolate really; perhaps thinking that one person can not make a difference. Yes, one person can!

So many of our daily decisions can influence outcomes, not just for us singular, but for the greater US community. Our purchasing power influences the way massive corporations do business, our volunteer and church participation positively affects thousands in our local realms, even the simple act of actively listening to someone speak can help ease a burden. Thinking along these lines, how the small things we do each day can cumulatively create a changed existence is empowering! I love this picture of umbrellas decorated by festival goers. Placed together they are an art installation of ideas. One umbrella reads "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation". So true. If war is destruction, then creation would be its literal opposite. What decisions can I make today, tomorrow and onward to promote sustainability, to create positive change?

*spend more grocery dollars at local farmer's market
*reach out to neighbor whose husband is out of country for a month on business
*smile more
*practice yoga. it changes you on a cellular level!
*let go of anger. control what I can, and admit/submit what I can't.
small ex: for the person(s) who stole our camping stove this trip, a 10 year anniversary gift from my company - may it serve you as you need it to. I can be thankful that we have the means to acquire another, and be done with it. There. Belly boil no more. Coffee boil no more. I'm back home to the drip pot, no anger rot, and positive thought.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

La La Love the Library!

May I please share a true cheap thrill? A positively pleasant, won't woe your wallet, guaranteed glee? My neighborhood's library branch has a bi-annual book sale. Two weekends a year, they display months' of effort in collecting donations, classifying (loosely) inventory and rallying community. As an official "Friend of Duncan Library", I have the privilege of shopping one night early, before all the best finds are swept up.

In past book sales, I'd not yet held "Friend" status. I learned serendipitously that the last hours of the Saturday sale, the library is just eager to get rid of their stock. They have half price on top of sale price, and I've walked out with a literal box of books, videos and cds for $12.00! This year, I'm supporting the library more directly both as their "Friend" and by paying full sale price. Still a bargain: Hard backs $3.00, Large paperbacks, $2.00, Small paperbacks, videos and CDs $1.00.

I just walked off with an opening nights' steal for the paltry sum of $21.00 (see pic above). Cheap entertainment in shopping, and crazy R.O.I on the hours I'll invest reading and watching. I love you library. For you Alexandrians, the library sale continues for the public from Thursday - Saturday, October 1st - 3rd. Saturday also coincides with the annual Del Ray Art on the Avenue. This is one block from the Duncan library branch, and last year over 10,000 people attended. I bought some snazzy silver earrings - handcrafted at a song! Oh Del Ray, how I love you too.

Now I gots to go affix my self-designed book plates to the new acquisitions. Oh yes, that was on the AblazeyDaisy Dos list and I actually did it. Do they resemble say....a blog decor (if you can even see thru the craptastic blur of my camera)? How did that happen? It's called a design rut and I'm happily rooting around in it. Blog, Twitter, Bookplates - BOOYAH!