Posted in Miss Sassypants, Word Wonder

Daily Prompt: Carve

via Daily Prompt: Carve

The teacher asked, “Where are your hearing aids? Did you bring them today?”

The elementary school student hopped up pretending she forgot them, “Oh! Just a minute!” She skipped to the closet to check her lime green backpack with her hand over her mouth, muffling a giggle.

Returning to her seat with her turquoise hearing aids with tye-dyed ear molds in her little hand, she signed, “They’re broken. The latch for the battery won’t close.” The student pretended to be disappointed, but the adults in the room weren’t buyin’ it.

As her Sign Language Interpreter watched the conversation, she thought to herself, “I bet she’d like to carve out a hole in the wall and drop them in. She really dislikes those things.”

Posted in Ponderings

Playing the Telephone Game with a Deaf Child

Have you ever watched a group of people play the Telephone Game during a professional development conference? It’s a great ice-breaker game and can be pretty comical as you watch the expressions on the people’s faces, knowing the message is getting muddled and people are perplexed by what they’re hearing. At the end, the last person announces the outlandish message they received and everyone is cracking up laughing.

Well, let’s put a spin on this game and add a Deaf person to the group of mostly people who can hear with only a couple of people who can sign. Imagine a group of children sitting on the carpet at an After School Program. There’s one student who is deaf and assigned a Sign Language Interpreter. The teacher starts out the game by whispering a message into the first kid’s ear. He smiles and leans over to his friend to pass it on. That kid giggles, cups her hand against the side of her mouth and whispers into the next kid’s ear and it goes on and on. The boy who’s deaf is watching the new game play out. Do you wonder what he’s thinking? Maybe he’s trying to figure out why these strange people are so amused? His interpreter keeps positioning himself near each “whisperer” and signing what he hears. The deaf student is watching him sign but sees how each of the kids play the game. Now, it’s his turn. The interpreter signs what the last kid spoke into the deaf boy’s ear. How does the boy respond? He leans over to the next kid, cups his hand like the other kids and pretends to tell her a secret the same way everyone else did. And what happens? The deaf boy starts laughing and the child who can hear laughs too but there’s clearly a different kind of communication breakdown. His Sign Language Interpreter smiles, shaking his head and tells him, “C’mon, silly. SIGN!” And, he does so that whatever transformed message was given to the kid before him, could be passed to the next through the interpreter who whispers the message like the other kids. It’s an interesting perspective, isn’t it?

Posted in Word Wonder

Brilliant

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/brilliant/

It was brilliant the way God would speak to her when she would write.  In her thought life, her thoughts could be moving in so many different directions, starting and stopping before coming to a conclusion. When she sat down to write, her thoughts were fluid and purposeful, on point and peaceful. She felt God heal her through the process of writing.  Sometimes she encountered His presence. Other times she would complete a piece and wonder where the ideas had manifested from.  There was no other way she could have uncovered the things she spoke of in her writing if she was just having a conversation with another person.  And writing about her experiences somehow made her life seem so much more interesting. The more she wrote, the more she started to actually see herself and her life through the lens of a book. One where she really liked the main character, could really identify with her, wanted to be her closest friend and glean some wisdom from her. There was no rivalry, tension or misunderstanding. Just love and acceptance. It was as if writing had a way of helping her to see herself more clearly while also understanding God more clearly. Books have that unexplained power to transform the mundane things into something so much more interesting.

Tapping into God’s presence as she wrote was really the most brilliant thing of all.  Like a gushing of light bursting through her lungs and heart, shining and vibrating in a way that also made her stop and feel how close He was. It was food for her soul.

 

 

Posted in Word Wonder

Funnel

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/

So, I read that the word “funnel” is my daily prompt for today.  I am not feeling an ounce of inspiration from this particular word. What should I do?

I think, I’ll refer to the online dictionary and thesaurus.  Hmmm…funnel is a verb that means direct down a path. Other words for funnel are channel, filter, pour, siphon. Waiting for the ideas to funnel in.  So, could I say, can someone funnel some entertainment over to my 2 bedroom apartment?  Maybe knock on my door dressed up in shockingly silly costumes bringing dessert I can eat, telling me hilarious stories or fun adventures you’ve had. Or maybe funnel me to a glorious vacation spot where I can go parasailing or ziplining or just go somewhere sunny.  Somewhere other than my living room or kitchen where I do the same kinds of things over and over again.

Funnel.  Does anyone feel like eating a funnel cake now? Yum.

Thank you, Daily Post. 😉

Posted in The Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge

Growth: My prayer for us for 2018

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/growth-2/

My prayer for us is taken from Ephesians 3: 15-21.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen us with power through his Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And I pray that you & I, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know tIMG_1245his love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”  And, Lord, I also pray specifically for people, who like myself right now,  feel overcome by loneliness. It’s getting dark, my daughter is enjoying time to herself in her room. It’s just me & my computer.  I pray for all single parents and single people out there who spend a lot of time thinking of ways to fill in the empty spaces.  I pray that you will put it on the hearts of their church friends to reach out and spend time with them. I pray that more people will realize how important it is to live this life together so that none of us become convinced that we are walking this faith walk alone. In lonely times, I pray that you will grow our ability to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for us and that we are truly loved by our sisters and brothers in Christ. I pray that though we may be out of sight, we are not out of mind. May this be an amazing year of growth for us all as our faith grows stronger and as we grow in ways to show love & support to one another. I also pray, Lord, that you will continue to show me ways I can demonstrate your love. Amen.

 

 

 

Posted in Book & Movie Reviews

Book Review: The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

TheSilverStarTitle:  The Silver Star

Author: Jeannette Walls

Genre:  Fiction/Biographical, Fiction/General, Fictional/Literary

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 288

SYNOPSIS

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls’ gripping new novel that “transports us with her powerful storytelling…She contemplates the extraordinary bravery needed to confront real-life demons in a world where the hardest thing to do may be to not run away” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations.

An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Liz is whip-smart—an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.

Jeannette Walls has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love each other and the world, despite its flaws and injustices.

REVIEW

The very first two sentences of this book read, “My sister saved my life when I was just a baby. Here’s what happened.” After just reading two sentences, I knew I would be spending a long, wonderful day on the couch reading because I wanted to know what life was like for these two sisters.  When an author has the ability to grab your attention immediately, you know you are in for an intriguing story.

The book The Silver Star is a story about two sisters who grow up bouncing from place to place on the whims of their artistic, impulsive mother who’s in the habit of running from her problems.  By the young ages of 12 and 15, the girls have never experienced staying in one place for very long.  Their mother goes from being so happy she has stars in her eyes to so hopeless she needs to go off on her own to find herself while the girls are left to fend for themselves.  Liz and Jean, also known as Bean by her older sister, have very astute survival skills and have mostly taken on the role of the adult.  They know that they can’t depend on their mother to take care of them so they learn to take care of each other. The sisters truly find amazing ways to thrive after injustices have come their way. In the end, it’s a story of triumph and justice as bad people in their lives reap what they sow and an unreliable parent learns to stop running and be there for her children even when it’s painful to stay.

The Silver Star is the first book I’ve read by Jeannette Walls and it was a great read.  I won’t forget this story or the same theme that is portrayed in all of her books according to the previews I’ve read for Half Broke Horses and The Glass Castle: A Memoir.  The reoccurring theme comes from Jeannette Walls upbringing where she and her siblings had to essentially depend on each other instead of the adults in their lives.  They were forced to be the adults because of traumas that happened to their parents in which they never healed from.  It moves me how strong and wise her characters grow to be after so much adversity just as Jeannette Walls and her siblings learned to do.

She begins this book with the perfect quote by Oscar Wilde, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

I rate this book 5/5.

Posted in Palpating Poetry

Raised Body Art

Circling, scaly, dark pink plaquesThinkDrawing

 Dry enigma

Itchy rash?

              ??what is that??

Raised body art or unwelcomed stain

Can’t wash it off

Can’t make it go                   away

Radiating silently

Fading  ever-so reluctantly

Taking cover  or  healing

No-one can really be sure

But    I    live     completely    and     even      rest easy

I know

Who my redeemer is

 

 

Posted in Word Wonder

Treat

via Daily Prompt: Treat

Tonight, I decided to treat myself to a glass of Chardonnay from South Eastern Australia.  I bought the bottle at a wine tasting party a couple of months ago.  This shows how seldom I drink.  It’s been sitting pretty on my kitchen counter patiently waiting for opening day.

Besides drinking chardonnay after work, I did something else I don’t usually do.  I took out a sketch pad & a needle drawing pen & started drawing.  Having a little drink, drawing and listening to Christian music by Lauren Daigle, Selah and Danny Gokey was so relaxing… Why haven’t I done this sooner?  I used to love drawing as a kid, even as a teenager and then I stopped.  The last time I drew something was with my  nephews and we had a blast.  We had one of those drawing books that teaches you how to draw cartoon characters.  My older nephew and I learned how to draw a cartoon image of a shark. I think I drew a bumble bee, too.. I know.. You’re thinking, “A bumble bee? How hard can that be?” She was a quite the detailed bumble bee. She almost looked like she was straight out of The Bee Movie. She helped me to hone those drawing skills again. And my youngest nephew drew a pretty good-looking fish with a lot of character and color.

Looking back on that day, I remember feeling like a kid again wanting to relive that joy I felt sitting down at the kitchen table drawing and being completely focused on getting it exactly right. Not thinking about anything else but making my picture perfect and taking a peek at the kids drawing skills, too. It’s so great to have things to do that calm our minds like that. I love the time I get to spend with them creating cool things.

Every once and awhile, we need to remember to change things up a bit and try doing something again that we used to spend hours doing before we turned into hard-working money makers.. It feels good to treat yourself with another way to unwind & enjoy this life.

How’d you treat yourself today?

 

Posted in Mom Life, Photo Inspiration

Having Fun And Staying Active In The Winter Months

 

IMG_1388 (1)

Every year, during the winter season, I feel that pull to start staying indoors more and go out less.  Especially when the short days of winter begin.  Most of us are effected by it.  Right around 5 o’clock, it’s so dark outside my body feels like it’s almost time for bed and it shocks me that all I want to do is put on pajamas and curl up on the couch. I’m typically a pretty active person. All summer long and into the fall, I’m out and about either working or taking my daughter on fun excursions and in search of new adventures.  Suddenly it begins getting dark at 4 and my body physiologically feels the difference.  It’s kind of an amazing phenomenon when you think about it. So what do you do when you feel this way? Do you succumb to the overwhelming urge to just lay down and do nothing?  Do you force yourself to do a few odds and ends around the house and then lay down to relax? Maybe you do that in the beginning and then decide you have to fight this slothful feeling and find ways to energize yourself despite the lack of sunlight.

This year, the time change really seemed to hit me worse than other years.  I was really feeling unmotivated by the time I got home from work.  I decided to leave things where they were instead of making the place immaculate.  I started liking the way it looked to leave my projects out with balls of lacing thread lined up on my bookshelf in varying colors, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, pencils and crochet hooks popping out the tops of the thread like it was a pin cushion. My handwritten snowflake and earring patterns could be found stuffed underneath.  All of our scrapbooking supplies with a Shutterfly envelope stuffed full of pictures sat stacked on top of a small table near the couch. I’d leave the dishes in the sink for a couple days or put off getting to all of the mail at once.  These weren’t things I’d do as much before the time change, but I realized I just needed to ease into the season and rest more than usual until I got used to it.  I’ve talked to other people about the effects of the time change and a lot of people have said they feel more tired than previous years. Maybe we’re getting old?

Now, that I’ve had time to adjust, I’ve been finding more exciting ways to get out to do new things and make fun memories with my daughter, family & friends.  Before Christmas, we made plans to go to NYC with a close friend and explore the city during Christmas time.  Occasionally, I work out there and I love walking back to Grand Central Station at night after work.  I have a new appreciation for Christmas window displays at Macy’s and just how beautifully decorated everything is. I love the Christmas lights, the wreaths and walking through Bryant Park at night to watch the ice skaters and to just take in the view of happy people enjoying themselves. For all those reasons, I decided this year that I wanted to wander around and share these special things with people I loved. It was cold out and somehow that made it even more fun. We went to Saks Fifth Avenue, saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral all decorated for Christmas–it was the first time seeing that for each of us, we accidentally walked passed Trump Towers–not realizing until we saw a female police officer dressed in full riot gear with a huge gun almost the same height as her.  We milled around the inside of the Rockefeller Center, not knowing NBC records the news & the Today Show there or that it was built like a mall with lots of interesting stores and places to eat.  Really, we saw and did so much while we were there and it was all a blast.  Even stopping at a Starbucks to get coffee and a lemonade for my daughter was so much more fun to do than in upstate NY because it was different than our everyday routines.  Really, going out to try different things or to share things you love with people who are important to you breathes more life into your soul. So, what else have I gone out to do that may help you to think of things that you can do to get more into that happy frame of mind?

Exercise, especially running or cardio strength training, helps me to get a little spunk back.  I started tracking my runs with an app called Runtopia last July.  Again, since the dark days of winter started, I’ve been feeling less desire to workout.  Yesterday, I was feeling apprehensive and I knew I needed to get back on my treadmill to pound out the stress. Part of what got me on that treadmill was remembering the endorphin release when I run and part of it was that I thought it would be really cool to do one last run for 2017 and record it with Runtopia.  Let me tell you, it helped me to feel so much better. God knows what we need and He gave us exercise to keep us healthy mentally & physically.  Did you know that exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant? And it’s free… I read this meme posted on Instagram and I said to myself, “Amen! That is so true!”

Something else that helps is starting new traditions that you love so much you would rather do them than sit on the couch. Particularly, something that challenges you in a way that you enjoy because you have fun, you impress yourself with your ability to do it and it comes with a great reward that is healthy for your mind, body and soul.  Last, New Year’s Day, my daughter and I bundled ourselves up to go hiking up a mountain that was mostly vertical.  This year, we made a tradition out of it and went back again to start our year out with an adventure. Wow, we forgot how breathless this climb would be!  We invited someone special to come with us this time and we got the cardio endurance work out of the year.  This time we went with ice cleats on our boots and made it to the top much faster.  The view, the feat and the fact that we made it to the top was so uplifting.  We were all smiling despite our sore legs.  And we learned some great things from that hike like how to work as a team, to look out for each other in order to keep each other safe, outdoor survival skills, how to have fun in the cold and to be prepared for anything.  Traditions like this build great relationships and give us more things we can look forward to doing as a family.  They make great memories and definitely help me to stay active in the winter.  If you want to chase away the winter blues and start laughing more again, I encourage you to try out some of these ideas.