Category Archives: Conversations

Weekend Arabic

My very-nearly-husband and I are practicing Arabic for our upcoming honeymoon to El Jadida, Morocco… more on that weekend jaunt soon! We both speak French relatively well and although that might just be enough to help us get around, we thought perhaps learning some basic Arabic would be smart. I want to be able to say “please” and “thank you” after all! It’s surprisingly easy to pick up and I highly recommend grabbing a CD for the car or just to have around the house. We practice a little every day and try to quiz each other. It’s a ton of fun!

Here’s a great site for learning basic Arabic… 

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Funereal Weekend

Last weekend my grandfather died. This weekend was about coping, and here are the two things that are helping me get through:

Remembrance… I remember the satisfaction my grandfather got from spreading honey from his own beehive on a piece of toast. I remember how he approached the challenge of a good crossword puzzle. I remember all the things he taught me, like how to take care of a vegetable garden and how to understand the punch lines in the Sunday comics. I remember the way he commanded respect from everyone around him. I remember his wit and his charm. I remember the way he told the same stories over and over, and how they never got old.

Forgiveness… Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” As far as I can tell, when a loved one passes you have a choice to make; you can choose to hang on to unfinished (and often unforgiven) business, or you can forgive them and yourself if necessary, and move on knowing that everyone did the best they could with the cards they were dealt. Sometimes the greatest challenge is helping those around you to forgive as well.

Earning My Thanksgiving Pie This Weekend

This morning for the first time ever I am running a 5K race to benefit a local hospital. Since it is my first time running in any type of race since elementary school field day, and since I hate running, I have been finding all sorts of reasons to be unsettled about this event:

  1. I am incredibly nervous!
  2. I don’t have “professional” running attire.
  3. My iPod has been telling me I have been finishing the 5K practice runs in the park in roughly 40 minutes, and yesterday I ran on a treadmill with the iPod and realized it’s not calibrated or something so I’ve really only been preparing for 2 miles!
  4. It’s really cold out!
  5. I just want to sleep in…

Then I realized this morning I should shut my mouth, stretch my legs and do my best because there are people out there who physically can’t run and I am one lucky gal to be able to participate today. Today I am thankful for:

  1. The ability to run.
  2. A nice warm, Subaru to take me to the race and back home.
  3. My future sister-in-law, whose spirit and energy have pushed me to do this with her, and who inspired me by running her first half marathon.
  4. A local hospital that is working hard to care for the community, and for our hearts.
  5. A fabulous Thanksgiving dinner waiting for me at the finish line!

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Madeleine Albright

Support Your Lady Friends Every Weekend

Gatsby Weekend

Today I read The Great Gatsby in its entirety, in anticipation of a Gatsby date night tonight. I read it in high school with my favorite teacher of all time, and today’s rain was a perfectly romantic setting to curl up and breeze through the classic once again, more than ten years later.

I was reminded of the scene in Jim Carrey’s Man on the Moon, wherein Andy Kaufman reads the whole book to a particularly rowdy college audience. In the movie it’s meant to be a punishment because he is unhappy with the college students who have flocked to see his goofy impressions of Taxi‘s Latka. I think it’s far from a punishment, however, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending a Saturday in this manner. I highly recommend it!

High expectations of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation this evening… have you seen it yet? What did you think?

Psychometry and a Test of My Open-Mindedness

Lately I have been feeling the stressors in my life taking control of pretty much everything, from the way I drive my car to the way I go grocery shopping. I’m so annoyed all the time and my fuse is extremely short.

So in addition to the Vitamin B complex my doctor recommended, I decided to give guided meditation a try. I found a couple of places in the area that do guided meditation and last Friday night I went to Venture Inward to see how it works. I brought a friend who I thought could also benefit from a little decompression.

Of course we came dressed in yoga type clothing because we pictured a sort of simplistic studio where a dozen or so people would find a spot to lay on the floor while someone “guided” us through meditation. Instead it was a small, thin-carpeted room with about 15 chairs arranged in a circle and an eclectic collection of items ranging from crystals, to notepads, to a bucket of pretzels on a table in the center of the circle and a large dog wandering around. The other attendees, which included both men and women of ages ranging from 25 to about 85, were dressed in casual jeans rather than yoga clothing.

At this point my friend and I were both a little uncomfortable because nothing was as we expected it. Giving her ample opportunity to “escape”, she reassured me that she was okay to proceed and we simply followed suit.

The guided meditation was only a small “warm up” portion of the session, and the leader of the group informed us that we would be doing an exercise in psychometry. At the time I did not know what that was, and I decided to myself that should it involve touching any of these other strangers in sort sort of free spirit massage circle, I was going to high-tail it out of there. After she explained, however, that it involved sharing a piece of jewelry or a “token” of sorts for one of the other patrons to attempt to read, I thought maybe this was an experience I would enjoy.

Chain and Heart ShapeShe passed around a bucket and each person put a piece of jewelry or something small… for some it was a key or a stone. The the bucket came around again and this time we were asked to pick a random piece and to hold it for awhile, jotting down any impressions we got from it. One by one each person shared their impressions and gave recommendations to the anonymous individual to whom it belonged, many of the readings being extremely accurate. My friend and I did our best to jump in and give our impressions too, which may or may not have been too insightful for our first go around.

My reading was done by a man who also practices reiki at the center, and he happened to be sitting right next to me in the circle. His thoughts and impressions made a lot of sense to me and I suddenly had a deep appreciation for the people in the room, and for their willingness to do something so rare and, for many of them, outside of their comfort zone.

We left feeling rejuvenated and extremely proud of the experience. Anyone have any similar experiences?

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I recently took a version of this test as part of a leadership class I am in this year. The results were not surprising, but I WAS surprised by how helpful the information was with regard to my own personal relationships! I recommend this to any couple that has spats due to being “polar opposites”. There is a reason you got together and there are methods to taming the madness! (I’m an ENFJ by the way.)

Why Women Like Craft Shows

When I was a kid I used to think craft fairs were boring (except for the food). It might have been because I didn’t have money of my own to spend.

As I’ve gotten older the prospect of spending my weekend inspecting every single booth at every single local craft show has become more and more appealing… this year I even mapped out my crafting plan and marked my calendar with all the local shows!

I like going to craft shows by myself. I want to take as long as I want and to wander in any direction that strikes my fancy. I want to talk to strangers who have the same fascination for little handmade art pieces. I love watching artists at work; artists who have mastered their craft and put a lot of their time, energy and passion into their goods.

So gentlemen, if your lady is itching to go shopping and she tries to drag you along, my advice to you is to reassure her that she will have more fun without you and BE HONEST about not having any interest in it. If you go along just to try to make her happy, you are BOTH going to be miserable. Allow her the time and freedom to enjoy this activity all by herself and I guarantee your sex life will improve. We love crafts.

“Our lives are not our own, we are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

-Cloud Atlas

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