Sunday, October 17, 2010

Attention, please.

I'm definitely one of those people who finds treasure in other people's junk.
Not in any kind of junk.
Just the special kinds. And personally, I think a lot of things are special.

My mum can attest to this adorable character trait of mine. She loves it that I have boxes of treasures sitting on her storage room shelves 10 years after moving out. Some, we have even fondly labeled "memorabilia." Isn't that a beautiful name?

Anyways, all of that is background on why I really really was tickled pink by a conversation I had today. It was with a woman who has a soft spot for something in life that few people would appreciate in the same way. And personally, I think it's neat.

She collects rocks.

For her birthday, her kids bring her rocks. Not store-bought ones. Not polished ones. Not matching ones. They pick them up off of the ground and they give them to her. Her kids are in their late twenties.

Isn't that neat?

What I love about that is this: She chose to fall in love with rocks because they speak to her when someone gives them to her, or when she finds one she really likes. She's not drawn to expensive things. She loves the thoughtfulness it takes to walk down a path and say, "Wow, I think ________ would really appreciate this rock. I should bring it to her."

I actually think that what happens with this lady and the rocks is so wonderful.

Think about how much thoughtful attention it takes to discover what that thing is for someone that just hits them in the right way. Or to discover that for yourself, even. A lot of people are great at keying in on that with things you buy, and I'm certainly not against that (please keep buying me things if you are one of those people), but hear me out.

How cool would it be if we showered our loved ones with free, but attention-requiring gifts just because it hits them in that special way? And p.s. if you can't find something for free, garage sales are pretty close to free and are very similar to hunting for something special in the chaos of nature.

Man. This idea totally rocks.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oprah & Oreos.

I'm curious about some of the little things that help you to focus.

In particular, my journey of late is the journey towards focusing on homework. Not all the time, mind you. Don't start thinkin' I'm a geek, because I'm not. I'm very cool.

Anyways, after embracing full-time school the past couple of years, I am often up to my neck in homework. And the reason I'm often up to my neck in homework is because I don't always just do it. I always get it done... but you know... when I choose to.

So here's the thing. A secret, if you will.
I actually kind of like doing homework.
When I get into it.

So here's the other thing. Not a secret.
It takes me forever to get there.

Here's a few things that I've been trying lately to get me "in the mood."

a) Tidy up like 10 little things around the house before you start... but be careful that it doesn't become cleaning.
b) Chew gum... when I'm at home, I just want to snack... mmm, oreos... so keep the mouth/teeth occupied.
c) When your spouse/roommate/parent/sibling is washing the dishes... hit the books. There's something about somebody working in the other room that is motivating. Perhaps it's just that you realize the lesser of two evils... we'll never know.
d) Turn off the TV.... tough one. I tried to write a paper on reading strategies while semi-listening to Oprah. I don't think my teacher wanted to hear about strategies for reading the emails that say your husband cheated on you with 7 other women because he... was basically an idiot. Nope, that doesn't help me. But thanks for your perspective, Oprah.
e) Close down your internet browser... while it's fun to look up a recipe that suddenly popped into your head ... that's a creek that it's hard to paddle back from. Should you still have a paddle at that point.

Hit me with your suggestions. If that's all I've come up with so far, it looks like I have a semi-tidy house, cavities, a husband with dish-pan hands, a dull silence, and a lame supper....

And, potentially, a pile of homework up to my clavicle.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


October 6, 1979.

I wasn't alive then, but that was a day that has forever changed my future. It brought me the man that I now share a last name with... and basically all my earthly possessions.

On his birthday, a tribute to the little things I appreciate about Ryan:

- He is kind. Yeah, we have our moments where we're upset with each other and I don't think so, but Ry is kind. He doesn't hold things against people, and is aware of people who need someone to talk to. He notices the poor and needy, be that outward or inward.
- He doesn't hold a grudge. We argue (see above), but he gets over everything quickly and doesn't hold on to it.
- He always wants to get better at things.
- He appreciates my humor. I know this because he reads my little comments and chuckles. I like that.
- He is low maintenance. He doesn't put a lot of value in things that really don't matter, that are here today and gone tomorrow.
- He eats anything I make.
- He really cares about family. His. Mine. And our family of two.
- He grows a wicked beard.

Here's to 31.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Bahamian Bee.

Today I am thankful.
For quite a few things - little things - that contributed to a satisfying day.

Context: I had to write an exam for a distance ed course in downtown Vancouver. No, I won't go as far as beeing thankful for the exam, I really did not like it. But, here's what I am thankful for:

- My wonderful husband drove me there, so I didn't have to go by myself at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.
- My wonderful husband driving me there meant I could study (a very little) in the car.
- The exam center had a bathroom. I could not have made it through the exam without that. Beecause I drank a tea first.
- The directions for where to go for the exam were clearly posted. I appreciate that. I hate beeing a bit stressed about something, then also having to stress about how to get to that something. Thankful.
- Even though I knew almost none of the short answers... I did know the essay questions!
- Mostly, I am very thankful to bee done. Done. (How many of us don't love that feeling of finishing something you've been kind of dreading?)

But the day continued to bring little things to bee thankful for:

- I found shoes. I've been needing shoes, and I found some, so I'm thankful. The bottoms are made from car tires. Kinda neat, eh? Yeah. I mean, I'm thankful they aren't made from a wasp nest or something.
- Ryan had his iPod with him, so he could play games while I tried shoes on. I'm thankful beecause an over-shopped husband could bee a grumpy husband. In general, I'm sure, not just mine. (Thank-you Apple).
- We got to use an Entertainment Book coupon for lunch. 2 for 1. Always thankful for a bargain.
- I'm thankful for a big thing. Well, she's not big, but I'm just saying she's more important than a little thing. She's my favorite sister (ha, just kidding Jules). Lydia. An amazing sister and friend, who turned 27 today.
- I'm thankful for sand in my shoes... A Bahamian phrase I love. But today, it's actually sand. In my flip-flops. The remnants of a beach nap in the October sunshine.
- McDonald's coffee. Post-beach-nap, on the way back to the slow-moving highway. Only $1.39 for very satisfying coffee. You should try it if you haven't. (And every May I think it is, they give it away for free. You will bee very thankful).

So. Some of you avid grammar appreciators have observed my misuse of the word bee. But uh-uh, it's not a misuse.
Today I use bee in honor of a very good friend of mine who I taught with in the Bahamas. Melissa. She taught Grade 1. On the corner of her board she had a tiny picture of a bee with 2 words beeside it: be thankful.
I often think of that, and of her thankful attitude. Consider this my bibliography at the end of my essay, admitting that the idea of beeing thankful is not original. But it's a gooder.

p.s. oh, oh... also, thankful that the f.f.'s are now 99% contained in the bee.bee.'s! (banana bowls)