Saturday, December 6, 2008
Know what I found in the mail just now? It's a check! Know who signed it? Pat Stone. Know who he is? He's the guy I've been collecting rejection letters from for about a year now, and the editor of a magazine called GreenPrints: The Weeder's Digest. I made up my mind that I wouldn't give up until he finally bought one of my stories, and I didn't. Guess that means I've finally reached the mysterious place known as "hell-or-high-water." Know what? I kind of like it here!
P.S. Many thanks to wikihow for the above image.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
It is astounding how quickly a pet can take over/alter one's life. Take our son's dog Guinness, for instance. The minute she came into his life, he magically transformed from carefree college kid into responsible, loving parent. He is due to graduate in May, and has been attending job fairs and going on interviews. One reason he took a minor in German is that he has always loved traveling to foreign lands, and he hoped this might help him land a job that involved some time overseas. After we met Guinness and started falling in love with her, we began to tease about inheriting her some day, when he moves abroad. At first he just laughed at the idea, but not anymore! He's already eliminated several job prospects - jobs that he would have jumped at not long ago - simply because they involved too much time on the road, and what would he do with Guinness? When we reminded him that we would be happy to take over, he cried "No Way! She'd die of a broken heart if I left her!" She's not the only one, I suspect.
Monday, December 1, 2008
POLLY! See guys? I've been tellin' ya, it pays to comment often during a give-away! Polly, if you will just send your mailing address to becky (dot) lane (at) vownet (dot) net, I will get your goodies in the mail to you asap. I say "goodies" because, in addition to receiving a great book, Polly will be receiving some lovely soaps made by one of our local Bountiful Sprout producers!
Way back in '95 we were living in Midland, TX, and I had nabbed a sweet gig as a merchandiser for Recycled Paper Greetings. One store I called on every week was Hastings Records & Books. Prior to this, I was devoted to reading a steady stream of romance novels, and listened mostly to Top 40 hits. Fortunately, their music department manager had very eclectic tastes, and listening to whatever he was in the mood to play introduced me to a whole new world of music. Likewise with books. The information booth was directly behind me as I worked the card section, and I would eavesdrop on what people were asking about. When hundreds came in asking about one book in particular, I figured it was a must read, and that's how I discovered Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Like many women of my generation, I was raised to be a people-pleaser. I became so caught up in keeping teachers, bosses, parents, siblings, husband, children, friends, church and community happy, I somehow lost track of what it was that made me happy. "Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in our lives and - fruitlessly - search 'out there' for the answers. What's often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self." - Emily Hancock
Simple Abundance shows those of us who miss the woman we were meant to be, how to reconcile our deepest spiritual, authentic and creative longings with often overwhelming and conflicting commitments. It teaches us that our daily life can be an expression of our authentic self - the soul made visible. It is made up of tiny, thought provoking essays, one for each day of the year. Ban Breathnach believes that the first step towards quenching our thirst for "the good life" that we think others lead, is to acknowledge the good that already exists in our own lives and practice gratitude. From there she leads us through learning the arts of simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and eventually, joy. You will learn to utilize some wonderful tools such as a gratitude journal, an illustrated discovery journal, and a daily dialogue notebook (a form of journaling that I continue to this day, and which spurred my desire to write).
My favorite parts of the book were the lists of "Joyful Simplicities" that she included at the end of each month - wonderful suggestions for ways to delight in the season and open up to simple joys - lists which I have returned to over and over again. Along the path to discovering the woman I was meant to be, I was introduced to a world of other authentic women: Julia Cameron, Laurie Colwin, MFK Fisher, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Helen Nearing, Tasha Tudor, Isak Dinesen, Virginia Woolf, and many, many more. No longer would I be content to lose myself in silly stories of romance. Now I expect, demand, and get, much more than I ever dreamed possible.
If you have not ever read this book, you owe it to yourself to do it now. And if you have? Do it again. Congratulations Polly!