31 December 2012

So it is the close of another year and I have sorely neglected this blog.  Life has had a way of creating its own traffic and pulling me in directions, so many MANY directions, that I have sometimes found myself in places I never thought I'd be.  Several times I have attempted to creatively vent here, and each time it seems my mind has wandered.  These days I am engaged in a great deal of academic reading and writing and my creativity has simply had less of a license by which to present itself.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut

I am concluding my year ~ and beginning the next ~ by enjoying a bit of classic literature.  I have stacks of research awaiting my perusal but I am insisting that it wait, at least for a bit.  Then, despite my aversion to New Year's resolutions, I'll move forward with what I believe to be a meaningful dissertation.  I hope it will prove bold and contributory.  My doctoral advisor is excited by the prospects and has asked, "How courageous do you want to be?"   

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”  ~ Coco Chanel
It is the last day of the year and I have amused myself by revisiting some of my long ago posts.  Sometimes the words we 'say' come from a place of yesterday, and sometimes they come from a place we no longer recognize...  I recently discovered some comments from Mr. Neil Gaiman.  With all due respect, I know very little about him other than he produces graphic novels.  Still, I found this quote noteworthy and applicable to today's reflections.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Here's to 2013, to starting over, to making new mistakes...  

Be well.  ~S.

13 January 2012

Traveling Shoes

Yesterday it snowed.  I was at home, compliments of the school district's 'Voice of Snowdays' ~ which warned me in the wee hours of inclement weather.  The roads were clear fairly early and while transportation was no longer problematic, the windchill was something akin to a single degree.  Just a day before, the temperature was in the low 50s, and it will be so again by early next week.  Only in my neck of the Midwest!  The afternoon found me traveling to meet my best friend from high school, the one who has known me longest, the one who for years was the twin bound to me with an invisible thread.  She arrived by way of a turbulent plane ride from Bozeman, Montana.  I love this girl.  I always will...

I have been reminded of late that sometimes those we've loved the dearest never really go away, regardless of the miles between us.  At other times, those closest to us are the ones who are farthest away.  There are several personal stories attached to that sentiment, but for now I am thinking of another friend who is anticipating an unanticipated change of path:

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path. 
~Khalil Gibran

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ~Henry David Thoreau

The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. 
~John Dewey

Sometimes it is sweet, even humbling, to return to the yesterdays when things were simpler, less complicated.  Like in the days of teddy bears.  And too-big earphones.  With only the irritation of a flashbulb spotting your view.
xo, ~S.

09 January 2012

ab hinc

Two months is a long time to be gone.  I've missed this blog.  It has, at times, been difficult to stifle the urge to be creative here.  And then at other times, I've completely forgotten this outlet for days and weeks on end.  Even so, I have written more than ever before in these past four months.  My mind has been occupied and my pen rarely dormant, but academia held sway over my words. 

The holidays were here and gone and I hardly noticed.  Just weeks before Christmas, my beloved grandmother passed away.  We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me. ~Phyllis Theroux  It is surreal to think that I no longer have grandparents here on earth.  It is especially difficult to see the sadness in my mother's eyes.  For now, she is lost in a routine that no longer includes the need to tend to my grandmother's care.  
 Sometimes transitions can be so sad.

On another note, I recently met up with a dear pal.  There is nothing like an unexpected text, an invitation to come out from beneath the textbooks to enjoy a bit of camaraderie, to lighten the mood.  Somehow she knew I needed just that...an escape.  How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend. ~William Rotsler Sarah is genuine and kind.  Our connection has history.  It is one of the things I like about her.  All experience is an arch, to build upon. ~Henry B. Adams  As I reflect, I am reminded that sometimes It's luck that one thing works out and one doesn't, it's sort of happenstance. ~Richard Linklater Thank you, Sarah, for the laughter.  You always make it feel like a hug.

Sometimes transitions can be such blessings.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
~T.S. Eliot

xo, ~S.    

06 November 2011


It's been awhile since I've stopped by.  I reread a draft of an earlier post.  The tone of it made me laugh.  It was so me...at least the 'me' that is prone to irritability:

Dear Lady in the Green Clogs Sitting Next to Me in the Bookstore,

I am trying to study.  Others are attempting to read.  I am confident that none of us want to listen to the sitcom streaming loudly on your computer.  I would give you my earphones if I hadn't left them at home on the sofa.  You do have the option of exercising your volume button.

Sincerely, ~S.

Instead, I am going to channel my thoughts elsewhere (since I am hostage to this background noise).  Ugh.  Oh well, I suppose.

That mood has passed thank goodness, at least for now.  I have skipped studying these past two evenings and it has been an indulgence of great proportions.  Tomorrow I will begin a weekend of preparing a lengthy paper, but tonight?  Tonight, I am here.  My dear friend sent some kind words my way and motivated me to write. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~Mother Teresa  Thank you, Nat.

And alas, it is already Sunday and I have not yet begun my paper.  I attempted to reread excerpts from Harvard Business Review's 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  It was a bit difficult as my youngest child was over my shoulder, excitedly pointing out words that she is learning in kindergarten.  How precious is that?  She has been feeling a bit under the weather and it has been nice to feel her close and wanting her mom.  Now she is off with her sister, helping her to clean her room...and there is silence.  I am not sure if that is a good thing.  For sure, it is rarity.  *sigh*  Silence is more musical than any song. ~Christina Rossetti

Things that made me smile recently~

Three beautiful daughters.  I am blessed.
Lane, dressed for her teacher's wedding
Ally, top right, at her final soccer game of the season
McKenzie being silly, hating to pose (as always)

My little one playing 'mannequin' for nearly 30 minutes while her sisters shopped... I enjoyed watching the passersby look and laugh.
Beautiful scenery on my drive home across the river:
Gorgeous sunsets...
And a chill to my November days.  I love this time of year!

"How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow." 

-   Elsie N. Brady, Leaves

17 October 2011


It is a rainy October day, the thought-provocative kind that piques the senses.  Finally, finally a chill has kissed the air and I am happily settling into the season.  Today I drove across ribbons of an old highway, high into the hills and along the bluffs, following the river.  Lovely.   How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs  These are the vistas that find their way into books.  The scenery itself has a story to tell...

I am now sitting with a mug and a laptop, making an attempt to study.  My focus, though, is not on academia at the moment.  (Instead, I am thinking back over my happy day.)  I am at the bookstore [*sigh*] and my determination to stay seated and remain far from the stacks is waning.  I confess:  I am a bibliophile.  I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the sight of them on my shelves...  Most of all, I love the words.  Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth  With that, I must go for now.  A book (or two or three) is calling my name.  The polite response, as always, is to answer.  

Part Two:  

I perused a few books but refrained from making a purchase.  Self control is not my forte but this afternoon I managed to conjure a wee bit.  Later, I enjoyed some Chinese food with my daughter.  My fortune cookie summarized my life story:  "Be prepared to modify the plan."  The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.  ~William Arthur Ward

A storm is brewing and I'm off  to relax with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and listen to the rain.  I'm also going to make plans for this:
October.  Nice.  ~S.


14 October 2011


 Love, love, love...

And I love this too...a print that reminds me of my childhood, just a decade or two (or more) ago: 

 I cherish my childish loves--the memory of that warm little nest where my affections were fledged.
George Eliot, Theophrastus Such

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls
(Crack Bread) 

1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 

This weekend, this  recipe!  From morning till night, sounds drift from the kitchen, most of them familiar and comforting....On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it...  ~E.B.White (1899-1985)

The weekend is here and I am so, so happy.  This time, I have three whole days to catch up on laundry and chores, followed by time to read and write, and read and write some more.  Leadership Theory and Practice, Leadership Theory  and Practice Application, and Professional Seminar One...I am feeling the weight of so much coursework and yet I find it invigorating.  Somewhere in the midst of all this excitement, I am determined to enjoyed the crisp Autumn air and the laughter of my children. 

All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.  ~Thomas Wolfe  


04 October 2011

Young...at Heart

Children are the hands by which we take hold of Heaven.  ~Henry Ward Beecher   There is something that happens to me each and every weekday now, something that brings a smile to my heart.  My youngest child is a student at "my" school, the one at which I teach.  This means she is never far away, and always, always, she finds me to deliver a hug.  Her classmates then greet me...  "Hi, Lane's Mom," they say.  To them, I am not their potential future teacher.  I am simply "Lane's Mom."  That, most definitely, is good enough for me.  Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself... You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. ~Kahlil Gibran

*     *     *
A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.  ~Rachel Carson  

Fortunately, for some of us, this is untrue.  Rather,

Youth is a perpetual intoxication; it is a fever of the mind.  ~Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld  I know this is true.  How?  Two words:  Gerard Butler.  Uh huh.  I was perusing a favorite blogger's site, Lisa Leonard Designs, and here's what I found.  Yep.

And finally, this note to self.  
Read.  Repeat.  Believe.  

“When I say, 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman.” ~Joss Whedon

That's all.  For now.  xo, ~S.