Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mindfulness Monday: Witches and Water Slides


I think I was a witch in a past life. Or, maybe, my ancestors were Italian witches, practitioners of Stregheria, and it's been passed on through the generations to me. Or maybe the witchcraft comes from the English/Scotch-Irish side of me. I've always known I feel a connection to the earth and nature, but today I realized the depth of that connection.

While I was mowing the lawn, I got very emotional about moving. I don't feel particularly connected to my house, but every tree, rose bush, buckthorn, tiger lily and iris all have meaning to me. The flowers, bushes and trees (the ones that actually continue to grow) are my family's history. When we moved out here, there was nothing but prairie and cactus. Now, there's the rosebush (among others -- I love roses) that was my first ever Mother's Day present; the tree that we had the sandbox under when the boys were toddlers; the tiger lily I planted as a seed, and then kept trying to pull out because I thought it was a weed. It stubbornly refused to go away and now is a beautiful plant; the irises that came from my mom's house just up the hill. You get the idea.

Plus, the parts of Wyoming I'm going to miss are going to be the outdoor parts--the call of meadowlarks, the swaying grasses of the prairie, the smell of pine trees blowing in from the west, hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Eastern Nebraska is very different. I'm going to try to focus on making new mindful memories of the world around me, once I'm moved, and find the beauty in a new place. I need to remind myself to not be judgmental, but to allow myself to experience the differences with openness and curiosity.

And move as many plants with me as I can!

Water Slides

Saturday we had a going a way party for the boys at the newly renovated municipal pool. (I am happy to report that people actually attended, and fun was had by all.)

A little backstory is necessary before I continue the story. I am constantly telling my kids that they need to not let their fears get to them. They need to try new things, and try to overcome the things that scare them.

Typical parent stuff, right?

Keeping that in mind, I must admit that I am claustrophobic, and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. When I wrote those claustrophobia scenes in Finding Meara, they were from personal experience. It doesn't help that I have dreams I'm buried alive or stuck in little boxes (ie. coffins.) Earlier this year I needed an MRI and had a minor freak out in the tube when I sensed the closest part of the tube pass over my face on the way through so they could MRI my lower back.

Well, part of the renovations were two new water slides. Our side of the pool was supposed to utilize the blue slide. It sounded like fun, and I talked my youngest into going down the slide with me (for some reason I didn't feel I could just go by myself.) We got to the top, and I looked into the mouth of the slide, and saw a very dark, very small, very long tube and went, "Nope."

I tried to talk myself into it, but the fear overcame me and, since all the kids went before me and I had no one to try to impress, I told the lifeguard I had claustrophobia to save face and went back down the stairs.

Once I was back in the pool, I started to feel more and more awful. What kind of a parent was I, if I let the slide (aka my fear) win? I'd totally lost all credibility I'd had about teaching my kids how to deal with their fears. I told my husband what I'd done, and that I felt like I really needed to go try again. He agreed with me, and said he'd go with me. (Awww, isn't he a sweetie. He also teased me all the way there...)

At the top, I nervously talked non-stop to my husband, detailing to him my plan for how to actually go down the slide this time and not chicken out. As I approached the tube the second time, I utilized mindful awareness to turn off my amygdala (the emotional center of our brains) and noticed how blue the slide was and listened to the rushing sound the water made at the mouth of the slide. Then, before I could get afraid again, I jumped in the tube, closed my eyes and pushed off.

I can only imagine how silly I looked at the bottom of the slide. Because my eyes were closed, I wasn't sure I'd reached the end, and so sat there for a moment to see if I'd move any more. When I opened my eyes, I saw that the same lifeguard who had been at the top the time I'd ditched out was now at the bottom of the slide. I gave him a big smile, raised my hands triumphantly in the air and said, "I did it!"

He was nice enough to cheer for me.

What makes you emotional, lately?
Have you ever conquered a fear? Do you have any advice?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Funny Friday Photos: Cool Poodles

Oh, wait. Friday's here, already. Well, in some parts of the Earth, anyway. Technically, with me, it's still Thursday.

So, yeah. I missed last week's post entirely. My excuse is that I had a deadline to have my house ready for the stagers to come in and make it look fancy by Tuesday. I was killing myself (and my father, because my husband has been at his new job for the last two weeks) trying to meet the deadline, but then they switched it on me, anyway. That's how it goes around here, anymore. I keep telling myself that it will end eventually, I just have to make it through. Trying to keep a lot of positive self-talk going.

And have occasional, surprise melt-downs. Yesterday I went to ask a friend about a plumber and just started crying. I was like, "Wow." Usually I have some warning I'm going to lose it, but not yesterday!

My boys are done with school, and now all of my family will be in our new town, with the exception of me. Once my house is actually on the market, and I'm lonesome, I plan to finally get back to Through the Fairy Ring. One more chapter is all I have to write before I start the second pass. Don't give up on me!

Here's this week's photos!

Awww, However, if it was me, I wouldn't be hanging around taking pictures...

The fruit's in disguise...

Just a little creepy. Unless it's the first of an invasion...

So, the whole no makeup/no filter thing still annoys me.

You know what I thought of the instant I saw this picture?
Bradley Cooper playing Richie Dimaso in American Hustle.

If you've seen the show, you  know you've thought this before.

My favorite is the Richie Dimaso poodle. The similarity between the two makes me chuckle.

Which is your favorite?

How has your last two weeks gone?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Funny Friday Photos: Spy Dogs and Arm Rests

Yay for Friday!

Wait, actually, I wish I had a couple more days this week. Time is going way to fast for me to get my to do list done!

We took a break last weekend to see Avengers: Age of Ultron for Boy 2's birthday. I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't talk about what I liked about the movie, but I was happy we went. There was some great storytelling, and there's one new character that I just loved!

We had a tie last week between the Sid dog and the Ewok dog. Click here if you want to go see them.

So, here are some new photos!

I feel this way when I'm in a class talking about social work-y stuff and kids laugh. I feel like such nerd.

I'd give him whatever he wanted!

Or Ood-kitty

One pun!

I have a definite tie between spy-dog and arm rests.

Which is your favorite?
Have you seen Age of Ultron yet?


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