Archive | March, 2014

Calling All Travelers/Vacationistas!

17 Mar

I’m writing this blog post, because I am hoping that the blogging world (and beyond) can help my Love and I decide where to go on vacation this year.  I’m asking for two different categories, the first is where we should go this year, 2014.  This vacation spot needs to be in the United States.

The second category is more versatile.  I’d like suggestions from everyone on the best places to go, and the most awesome things to see, in the entire world.  Mind you, we’re not world travelers, so safety should be a concern, but if you’ve been somewhere and seen something amazing, I want to know about it.

In short, I’m looking for places that are both exciting (stuff to do) as well as beautiful and/or historic.

Please help, and share, and comment with your experiences.  And don’t assume that because it’s world-renown, that I’ve already thought of it!  Short of Vegas, NYC, and London, I have no clue where might be great places to visit.

Current US destinations under consideration are:

Vegas

New York City

San Diego OR San Francisco (or both?)

Current International Destinations are:

?

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Ode to Spring (and Art)

17 Mar
Example of my Springtime artwork. (Prints for sale! *wink*)

Example of my Springtime artwork. (Prints for sale! *wink*)

SPRING

I feel you near

the air fairly vibrates

with anticipation.

Mother’s raiments

wait impatiently to unfurl

in celebration.

White blankets fade

deferring to your preference

for emerald and pastels.

Old man weakens,

a kinder sovereign takes charge,

giving birth to change. Continue reading

Namaste – So Much More Than A Greeting

12 Mar
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:An_Oberoi_Hotel_employee_doing_Namaste,_New_Delhi.jpg

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:An_Oberoi_Hotel_employee_doing_Namaste,_New_Delhi.jpg

I openly share my ignorance when I admit that up until very recently, I thought ‘Namaste’ was simply the Indian way to say ‘Hello’.  I was raised in a Christian household, and have had little to no exposure to other religions or cultures outside of what I’ve seen on television or perhaps clicked past on-line, and didn’t put forth much effort into remedying my ignorance.  To be completely open about it, I still don’t do much to proactively investigate other religions or cultures past their relation to something I’m thinking about or researching, but I do learn little tidbits here and there.

I recently learned that ‘Namaste’ and the pressed hand gesture/slight bow combination in Hinduism literally means ‘I bow to the divine in you’.  This wouldn’t have meant much to me a few weeks ago, but I’ve been watching a series of interviews on YouTube recently featuring Sister Shivani where she speaks often about the importance of remembering that everyone is a soul, and began pure and good.  I know not everyone even believes in the existence of a ‘soul’, but regardless of your beliefs, you can’t deny that we are all human, we were born innocent and pure, and are the way we are as a result of the things we have been taught or experienced in the time since we were born.

I could be totally off the mark since Hinduism isn’t my forte, but I imagine that the practice was created as a reminder to the person giving the greeting that everyone else carries a spark of the divine within them, and to treat them accordingly.  Even if I’m way off the mark, I think it’s a good concept.  Continue reading

Does The Clock Control Your Compassion?

12 Mar

ClockIf you’ve followed me for a while, or paged through my posts, you may or may not have noticed the fact that I almost never reblog posts from other people’s pages (I believe I may have reblogged one post out of nearly 100).  Part of this is because I strongly feel that my blog should consist of my own work, not just be a showcase for other people’s writing.  Another reason is that if a post has enough of an impact on me that I consider reblogging it, then I usually have plenty of commentary about it.  My preferred method of sharing the work of others that provokes a response from me is by writing about it, and linking to it.  I ran across one such post today on a blog I greatly enjoy reading, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, entitled Lessons on Waiting and Being Delayed.

Often, we get so caught up in our daily lives and to-do lists that we forget that other people are more than just obstacles we must navigate around.  We have become numb to the pain and suffering of our fellow man, and our ability to empathize has atrophied to the point that it is only engaged by those who occupy our immediate circle of friends and family, and those rare moments when we’re unable to turn our heads from the abject suffering on our television screens. Continue reading

Inspiring Teen Refuses To Let Her Dreams Go Up In Smoke

11 Mar
Joy Graves, in her firefighting gear.

Joy Graves, in her firefighting gear.

The girl beneath the helmet...

The girl beneath the helmet…

When you ask most young girls what they want to be when they grow up, you might expect to hear things like “An actress”, “A Veterinarian”, maybe even “The President”.  If you ask Joy Graves, a 19-year-old from a small, rural county outside Williamsburg, Virginia what she wants to be when she grows up, you just might be surprised when you hear the answer.

At 5’2″, her petite frame appears more suited to pom poms than a fire hose, but the young Ms. Graves is a testament to the old adage ‘Never judge a book by its cover’, because her dream is to become Continue reading

Great Expectations -or- Your Secret Fantasies Revealed

9 Mar
Are they?

Is it?

Today I ran across this ‘meme’, and it applies to some things I’ve been contemplating lately.  I saved it and was about to post it to my Facebook page, when I had to pause and rethink its message. Are expectations really the root of all heartache?  After a few moments of serious thought, I had to conclude that although the sentiment seems sound on the surface, it is incorrect.  I don’t believe that expectations are the problem.

I believe it is important for us to hold expectations; of ourselves as well as those around us.  It’s been proven that higher expectations net higher results than low or no expectations.  When expectations come as a representation of faith in the potential of people or situations, I believe they are an entirely positive thing.  The problems begin to arise when we allow ourselves to forget that the expectations we hold are nothing more than fantasies we have woven about the future, in order to predict what will make us happy. Continue reading

The Wrong Way To Get Rights

4 Mar

Disclaimer: This is somewhat of a ‘stream of consciousness’ post.  I haven’t weighed every sentence to make sure it’s ‘PC’.  I jump from point to point.  If you feel like my comments are offensive, I’m sorry you took them that way, because that’s not my intent, but remember that offense is subjective, so before you just assume I’m an ass, remember we most likely come from entirely different perspectives – any offense is based in ignorance, not intent.  You are welcome to post opposing views or share with me why you feel something I intended as a positive was actually a negative -I’m very open-minded- but rudeness will not be tolerated.

When I first watched this video, I was irritated.  I had many thoughts similar to several of the objections in the comments [of the video].  I WASN’T LISTENING.  I was too busy reacting to listen and GET the point.  I was so busy focusing on what she was doing that I didn’t think was right, I was unable to hear the message.  Which was her first message.  If you’re thinking of how YOU feel about what someone is saying or doing, or how you want to respond, YOU ARE NOT LISTENING, and if you can’t at least listen, you’ll never get it enough to make a change, in yourself or anyone else.

The blonde with the eyebrow ring wasn’t listening either, because she was so busy thinking about how her suffering was being ‘belittled’.  She missed the point that if you can reach a place where you are able to wrap your head around THIS issue (racism), applying it to every other area where discrimination occurs (not only racism, because that is only one small drop in the ocean of discrimination that humanity pours out on one another) will come naturally, of its own accord.

The video did not show whether the teacher made a point to ALL of the students that the color of skin is only one discrimination.  Sexual orientation, religion, gender, age, nationality, even political leanings, ANY time that you judge a person on any basis other than who they are, instead of what they are, you are no different than the ‘racists’ the teacher refers to here.  If any of those students, whether they wore a green collar or not, walked out of that room without the understanding that the exercise was so much larger than ‘understanding what it’s like not to be white’, then they missed the scope of the exercise.

I honestly don’t think anyone got the true point of that exercise, because not ONE student in the ‘brown eyed section’ stood up and asked the teacher to stop.  Not one person in the ‘brown eyed section’ took a stand when the girl that walked out was visibly upset.  Continue reading

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