a measuring stick for my journey

Thursday, April 30, 2009

wow, the times they sure have changed

Wow, I'm not by any means a feminist, and I strongly agree that there are gender differences, but this 1950's era children's book is so offensive! For all those hard working women out there, especially in male-dominated fields...here's to you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

i think i might be nesting ?!?!

I have an overwhelming desire to buy art lately! I'm not sure if this qualifies as nesting (whatever that really means) or if it's just a result of our freshly painted, beautiful walls (so much green makes me oh so happy!)! However, I'm really into this gal! I love her textures and colors! Beautiful!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

and what luck, i'm married to one

Characteristics that define a real man, according to Esquire’s Tom Chiarella

A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him — woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things — a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds — engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him.

A man fantasizes that kung fu lives deep inside him somewhere. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. It doesn’t matter what his job is, because if a man doesn’t like his job, he gets a new one.

A man can speak to dogs. A man listens, and that’s how he argues. He crafts opinions. He can pound the table, take the floor. It’s not that he must. It’s that he can. A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.

A man owns up. That’s why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not.Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.

A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.

A man does not wither at the thought of dancing. But it is generally to be avoided. Style — a man has that. No matter how eccentric that style is, it is uncontrived. It’s a set of rules.

Maybe he never has, and maybe he never will, but a man figures he can knock someone, somewhere, on his bottom.

A man doesn’t point out that he did the dishes. A man knows how to ridicule. A man gets the door. Without thinking. He stops traffic when he must.

A man knows how to lose an afternoon. Playing Grand Theft Auto, driving aimlessly, shooting pool. He knows how to lose a month, also.

A man welcomes the coming of age. It frees him. It allows him to assume the upper hand and teaches him when to step aside.

He understands the basic mechanics of the planet. Or he can close one eye, look up at the sun, and tell you what time of day it is. Or where north is. He can tell you where you might find something to eat or where the fish run. He understands electricity or the internal-combustion engine, the mechanics of flight or how to figure a pitcher’s ERA.

A man does not know everything. He doesn’t try. He likes what other men know. A man knows his tools and how to use them — just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud, when to use galvanized nails. A miter saw, incidentally, is the kind that sits on a table, has a circular blade, and is used for cutting at precise angles. Very satisfying saw.

He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn’t winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off with an explanation. He doesn’t see himself lost in some great maw of humanity, some grand sweep. That’s the liberal thread; it’s why men won’t line up as liberals.

A man resists formulations, questions belief, embraces ambiguity without making a fetish out of it. A man revisits his beliefs. Continually. That’s why men won’t forever line up with conservatives, either.

A man is comfortable being alone. Loves being alone, actually. He sleeps. Or he stands watch. He interrupts trouble. This is the state policeman. This is the poet. Men, both of them.

A man watches. Sometimes he goes and sits at an auction knowing he won’t spend a dime, witnessing the temptation and the maneuvering of others. Sometimes he stands on the street corner watching stuff. This is not about quietude so much as collection. It is not about meditation so much as considering. A man refracts his vision and gains acuity. This serves him in every way. No one taught him this — to be quiet, to cipher, to watch. In this way, in these moments, the man is like a zoo animal: both captive and free. You cannot take your eyes off a man when he is like that. You shouldn’t. Who knows what he is thinking, who he is, or what he will do next.

From here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

more wedding pics

these keep trickling in...


Some lessons I've learned on this walk through life. Some thoughts to pass along....

-never gossip. Never listen to gossip. You may learn things about people that you wish you didn’t know.

-a quick vacuum makes a house look clean, even if you haven’t cleaned for two weeks

-plants add life and warmth to every room. And they clean the air.

-never substitute store bought baked goods for homemade.

-don’t put too much of your self-value in your job. It can be gone in an instant.

-have a disciplined work-out plan and stick to it. It’s invaluable.

- don’t have a television in your home. Think twice about the internet.

-do own records. Listen to them. Preferably to old tunes your folks used to play.

-learn the basics of cooking, then toss out your recipe books. Cooking should be an adventure.

-do garden and grow your own herbs. It’s frugal and enjoyable.

-spend time with your family. They are more like you than you may think. And they’re usually pretty awesome!

-you can be the biggest tomboy in the world and still enjoy the swish of a summer skirt.

-when the phone rings, and it’s a member of your family, never ignore the call. Even if you have guests, always answer when it’s a family member.

-learn to be self-sufficient: fix your own mechanical problems, discover the enjoyment of working with your hands, learn your way around electronics. Learn how to really use your computer.

-really love your friends. Enjoy them in the here and now. Don’t be scared to let go of them.

-never make excuses. Learn from your mistakes. Accept the responsibility for your actions.

-try new things. Take risks. Don’t be too cautious. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back .

-know how to really listen. Don’t interrupt. Don’t follow-up with your own story. Just listen.

-work hard. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you’ve put in a good day. But don’t let ambition be what drives you.

-be humble. But don’t fake it. Humility has to be real, or it just comes across as pride!

-every day is a new day. Don’t let yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s plans get in the way of the here and now.

-be generous. Be generous with yourself, your time, your belongings, and your money. That said, have boundaries.

-be tough. Don’t cry unless there is sever blood loss.

-walk or ride your bike whenever possible. It’s cheap, healthy and fun!

-dance when old country and western songs come on, even if you don’t know how!

-when you see a really great sunset, stop what you’re doing, pull over, or just leave the dishes and stand outside and enjoy it!

-be curious. A curious mind inspires learning and creativity in your life.

-don’t marry the man who will wine and dine you. Marry the man who will lay under early spring stars with you, hold you tight and not give a second thought to the neighbors or the duties of tomorrow. Marry a man who dreams.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter recap

D and I spent the Easter weekend with his family. We had fun visiting with his brother and sister-in-law and their two great kids! D's folks were the picture of hospitality!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Last April...

...D and I were camping in Utah

falling in love around campfires
under starry skies
in the desert heat

Can I go back for just a moment, please?

might as well have a sense of humor about it

when life hands you lemons...

The past three weeks have been really hard for me. I've been stretched and grown in all aspects of my life; personally, professionally, and in my faith.

I have a tendency to want to disappear during these times. Stay in, go for long runs alone, hide in myself. So if I'm not around, dear friends, it's only because I'm learning to make lemonade.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


sometimes what I need is big, choking mouthful of perspective...whether or not I completely agree with it...

Monday, April 13, 2009

a new week!

As the past several weeks have been rather endless, D and I have set a few healthy habit goals this week! I'm implementing a little Freakonomics here by going public with these goals, in order to shame ourselves into reaching them!

Item 1: Get up earlier and do yoga. We slept through this one this morning, but will make up for it tonight. Thank you, www.hulu.com, for all sorts of free programming, including yoga videos!

Item 2: Sit-up and push-ups everyday! We also have a large collection of hand weights at home, but that may be a goal for another week.

Item 3: Run everyday! This is more my goal than D's, but nothing beats a week of running, by Sunday I feel fabulous!

Item 4: Stay up until at least 10. I don't know about you, but as soon as it's dark, I'm ready for bed. I think I'm getting too much sleep (crazy I know!).

Item 5: Flax seeds daily! I'm convinced they're the new miracle food! :)

and a few things I'd like to get done: make homemade bread and paint the kitchen! We shall see, this week is already stacking up! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

failing and beginning again

Every time I try to take my life back into my own hands, God succinctly reminds me that my life is His. May I remember to go to Him first...

My prayer today.... (not mine, from here)

Sustain us, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit.
Give us an inquiring and discerning heart,
the courage to will and to persevere,
a spirit to know and to love you,
and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Type A, all the way

A group of friends and I sat around discussing Type A personalities a few evenings ago. Curiosity took me here and indeed I am one of the those evil As ;). See definitions are results below: (can't say I really agree with their assessment of Type A...at least for myself.)

About Type A and Type B Personality

According to scientific literature, Type A behavior is characterized by an intense and sustained drive to achieve goals and an eagerness to compete. Personalities categorized as Type A tend to have a persistent desire for external recognition and advancement. They are involved in various functions that bring about time restrictions. Such personalities have a tendency to speed up mental and physical tasks with extraordinary mental and physical alertness. These characteristics make for super-achievers and high-powered people.

Type A individuals can get a lot done and have the potential to really move ahead in the world. But there is a high price to pay. Certain components of such a personality can inhibit happiness and even threaten health. For example, the goals that Type A folks set are often poorly defined and therefore hard to achieve—a perfect recipe for misery.

Type A is also characterized by a general discontentedness and the impulse to be overly critical and demanding, even contemptuous of imperfection, in the self and others. This focus on negative aspects and the accompanying bursts of hostility and impatience result in guilt, remorse and anxiety.

Type A personalities are motivated by external sources (instead of by inner motivation), such as material reward and appreciation from others. Type A folks experience a constant sense of opposition, wariness, and apprehension--they are always ready for battle. And anyone can imagine how this constant (and very exhausting) existence would deplete reserves of contentment and happiness and disrupt personal equilibrium.

Although the literature is somewhat inconsistent because of problems with the conceptualization and definition of Type A behavior pattern, it has been linked to higher risks of cardiovascular diseases. The risks seemed to be reduced with intervention aimed at reducing Type A behavior. Indeed, those with a high Type A score would be happier and healthier if they were to file down the jagged edges of their personality. By learning how to control the negative behavior patterns while preserving their drive, Type A people can be successful without sacrificing their emotional well-being.

Type B behavior is usually defined as the absence of Type A behavior. Type B personalities are relaxed and have a laid-back attitude and posture. They are friendly, accepting, patient, at ease, and generally content. They are at peace with themselves and others. They show a general sense of harmony with people, events, and life circumstances. They tend to be trusting. They focus on the positive aspects of things, people and events. Type B folks are self-encouraging, have inner motivation, are stable and have a pleasant mood. They are interested in others and accept trivial mistakes. They have an accepting attitude about trivial mistakes and a problem-solving attitude about major mistakes. They are flexible and good team members. The Type B person is able to lead and be led.

Results of Your Type A Personality Test

Personality Type
Your score = 76 Your score

What does your score mean?

You seem to have a Type A personality. Type A personality is characterized by an exaggerated sense of time urgency, competitiveness, anger and hostility. People who share certain characteristics with you are often concerned with the acquisition of objects and generally dissatisfied with the world, including oneself. You don't know how and when to relax. People probably get tense around you, and they tend to feel threatened in your presence. Continuous stress and allowing unexpressed feelings to pile up are not good for your health. You should start learning how to relax, to let go, and enjoy life. Work on your communication skills. Try to take it easy and be lazy sometimes. It might be hard and it would take some effort, but you certainly know how to pick up a challenge.

more on moving

Last night, while sorting through more boxes, I stumbled across some old letters. Letters from old friends, old days, to another me. How many paths could our lives have taken? Is the end result the same?

Monday, April 6, 2009

i <3 bikes

What a fantastic idea! Click here for the scoop.

i love rainy night!

Our infatuation with sunshine is giving clouds a bad rap. As we long for endless summer days, the Cloud Appreciation Society (no joke) enjoys the here and now. What is the Cloud Appreciation Society you may ask? Click here and check out their manifesto below!

WE BELIEVE that clouds are unjustly maligned
and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.

We think that they are Nature’s poetry,

and the most egalitarian of her displays, since
everyone can have a fantastic view of them.


We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it.
Life would be dull if we had to look up at

cloudless monotony day after day.


We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the
atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of
a person’s countenance.


Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked.
They are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul.
Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save
on psychoanalysis bills.


And so we say to all who’ll listen:
Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and live life with your head in the clouds!


While gathering more of my belongs to move out of my parent's house I stumbled across a box of old journals. My journals are more than daily thoughts and activities. Within them I've taped concert tickets, old letters, quotations, articles, and poems. A few I found:

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

Henry David Thoreau

~Corinne Robinson

THERE'S a path that leads to Nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an inland island rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows,
And beneath the silver green
Of the birches' silent shadows
Where the early violets lean.

Other pathways lead to Somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Has no end and no beginning—
Just the beauty of the dell,
Just the wind-flowers and the lilies
Yellow-striped as adder's tongue,
Seem to satisfy my pathway
As it winds their scents among.

There I go to meet the Springtime,
When the meadow is aglow,
Marigolds amid the marshes,—
And the stream is still and slow.
There I find my fair oasis,
And with care-free feet I tread
For the pathway leads to Nowhere,
And the blue is overhead!

All the ways that lead to Somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the Struggling and the Striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger,
Joy and Beauty are its goal,—
On the path that leads to Nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Rough Country

Give me a landscape made of obstacles,
of steep hills and jutting glacial rock,
where the low-running streams are quick to flood
the grassy fields and bottomlands.
A place no engineers can master–where the roads
must twist like tendrils up the mountainside
on narrow cliffs where boulders block the way.
Where tall black trunks of lightning-scalded pine
push through the tangled woods to make a roost
for hawks and swarming crows.
And sharp inclines where twisting through the thorn-thick underbrush,
scratched and exhausted, one turns suddenly
to find an unexpected waterfall,
not half a mile from the nearest road,
a spot so hard to reach that no one comes–
a hiding place, a shrine for dragonflies
and nesting jays, a sign that there is still
one piece of property that won't be owned.

from The Gods of Winter
© 1991 Dana Gioia

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Summer Storm

We stood on the rented patio
While the party went on inside.
You knew the groom from college.
I was a friend of the bride.

We hugged the brownstone wall behind us
To keep our dress clothes dry
And watched the sudden summer storm
Floodlit against the sky.

The rain was like a waterfall
Of brilliant beaded light,
Cool and silent as the stars
The storm hid from the night.

To my surprise, you took my arm–
A gesture you didn't explain–
And we spoke in whispers, as if we two
Might imitate the rain.

Then suddenly the storm receded
As swiftly as it came.
The doors behind us opened up.
The hostess called your name.

I watched you merge into the group,
Aloof and yet polite.
We didn't speak another word
Except to say goodnight.

Why does that evening's memory
Return with this night's storm–
A party twenty years ago,
Its disappointments warm?

There are so many might have beens,
What ifs that won't stay buried,
Other cities, other jobs,
Strangers we might have married.

And memory insists on pining
For places it never went,
As if life would be happier
Just by being different.

from Interrogations at Noon
© 2001 Dana Gioia

It is another of the miraculous things about mankind that there is no pain nor passion that does not radiate to the ends of the earth. Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world. ~Saint-Exupery

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir

The Country Wife

She makes her way through the dark trees
Down to the lake to be alone.
Following their voices on the breeze,
She makes her way. Through the dark trees
The distant stars are all she sees.
They cannot light the way she's gone.
She makes her way through the dark trees
Down to the lake to be alone.

The night reflected on the lake,
The fire of stars changed into water.
She cannot see the winds that break
The night reflected on the lake
But knows they motion for her sake.
These are the choices they have brought her:
The night reflected on the lake,
The fire of stars changed into water.

from Daily Horoscope
© 1986 Dana Gioia

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
John Muir

pumpkin cranberry loaf

I've perfected my pumpkin cranberry bread recipe. I did start with a base recipe, however I've drastically reduced the amount of sugar and oil to "healthy up" this delicious dessert bread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin (more on using a whole pumpkin later)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (reduce to 1 tsp if you would like a less 'spicy' bread)
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
dash ground cloves (I dump so just use your best judgment)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice or lemonade (if you don't have this on hand, add any type of juice, or omit)
1 cup Craisins (if using fresh cranberries, I recommend adding another half cup sugar)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

(variances: 1 cup blueberries or raisins in place of cranberries. Just experiment, with this pumpkin base you can add essentially any type of whole fruit)

Mix ingredients. Butter two loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Friday, April 3, 2009

my hope

is that when you're days look like this:

your friends turn up with these:

thanks Han

Thursday, April 2, 2009

pure evil, thanks Oregon!

From Freakonomic's Blog in the NY Times:
Are Bicyclists Free Riders?
| Do bicyclists contribute their fair share to the transportation network? An Oregon lawmaker thinks not, and has proposed a law requiring cyclists to pay a $54 registration fee every two years. A Portland bike blog interviewed the lawmaker in question, who explained the proposal this way: “[B]ikes have used the roads in this state forever and have never contributed a penny. The only people that pay into the system are those people who buy motor vehicle licenses and registration fees.” Considering the enormous benefits of investments in bicycle infrastructure, can even a tax-hating bicyclist concede his point, at a registration cost of just over 7 cents a day?

see jane run

I love to run! I've been running consistently for 5 years and I'm more into it every day. I love how it awakens my body and refreshes my mind. There is nothing in the world like the feeling post-run.

Lately, though, I'm stuck. I've been running on the treadmill at the gym (not my favorite way to run, but necessary in the long Wyoming winters). However, D and I just dropped our gym membership for the (supposedly) warmer months, but I'm still not able to make myself run in town. My whole running life has been on trails and dirt roads. I've run alone, no eyes following me. I'm rebelling against the watchers, the pavement, the dirty air. So far, I've been unable to make myself go on my first outdoor run here. I realize that this obstacle is only in my mind, and I'm certain that once I get over the hurdle of "first" that I'll love it. It's just like switching from Coca-Cola Classic to Diet, and my taste buds just won't be satisfied.

Tonight may be the night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

true community

I can't say it better than M. Scott Peck...

The meaning of true community

Peck describes what he considers to be the most salient characteristics of a true community.

  • Inclusivity, commitment and consensus: Members accept and embrace each other, celebrating their individuality and transcending their differences. They commit themselves to the effort and the people involved. They make decisions and reconcile their differences through consensus.
  • Realism: Members bring together multiple perspectives to better understand the whole context of the situation. Decisions are more well-rounded and humble, rather than one-sided and arrogant.
  • Contemplation: Members examine themselves. They are individually and collectively self-aware of the world outside themselves, the world inside themselves, and the relationship between the two.
  • A safe place: Members allow others to share their vulnerability, heal themselves, and express who they truly are.
  • A laboratory for personal disarmament: Members experientially discover the rules for peacemaking and embrace its virtues. They feel and express compassion and respect for each other as fellow human beings.
  • A group that can fight gracefully: Members resolve conflicts with wisdom and grace. They listen and understand, respect each others' gifts, accept each others' limitations, celebrate their differences, bind each others’ wounds, and commit to a struggle together rather than against each other.
  • A group of all leaders: Members harness the “flow of leadership” to make decisions and set a course of action. It is the spirit of community itself that leads and not any single individual.
  • A spirit: The true spirit of community is the spirit of peace, love, wisdom and power. Members may view the source of this spirit as an outgrowth of the collective self or as the manifestation of a Higher Will.