@CLCatHCC @Astro_Wheels #NightOfDiscovery
We met NASA Astronaut, Colonel Douglas Wheelock last night at Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College. He’s the real deal. He gave the best talk about how ordinary people can do great things if they can overcome their fears to follow their dreams, by listening to the balcony people in their lives, not the basement people. He was nine when he first dreamed of being an astronaut. He thought his dreams were too big. Nope. He praised that one special teacher that made a difference in his life. He commanded the International Space Station for six months and told a hilarious story… The best part of the night for me, was at 8:00pm as the talk was ending, when my teenage boy leaned over and quietly said, “Thanks for dragging my butt here.” You’re welcome. I love you. Meeting an astronaut was exactly where we were supposed to be last night. Thankful for the wonderful fifth grade teacher next door when invited us yesterday morning.
She texted at 7:15am, “How are you? Chocolate night tonight! I think I’m going to meet the astronaut at Challenger Learning Center tonight.”
I replied, “The astronaut sounds amazing. What time?”
LB: “6? I will forward info to you… Unique experience, free”
Me: “Thank you. Intrigued. :)”
Meant to be. Then there was that phone conversation on the way there over the RAV speakers… My boys telling a friend they were being hijacked…or kidnapped or something… Yep. Mission accomplished.
February 8, 2014
“Night of Discovery” 10th anniversary event was Friday, February 7, 2014 at Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College
It all started by reading a Facebook status that said, “Sometimes even the people you love need to be unfriended.” I simply wrote, “Thankful I’m still here.” A mutual friend commented, “Me, too, Janean. But, I have had to unfriend a couple for language too.” This is where I probably should have just liked her comment and let what instead happened next disappear like a puff of smoke. Instead, I wrote…
“I have my moments of “could have been a language violator.” I understand though. I figure “free to come and free to go” and am praying through the hurt of those who went from my own “friends list.” My true friends know where to find me. We’re programmed into one another’s phones and know the way to each other’s front door. We hug hello and goodbye and in between we talk, laugh and heart share. In person communique is better than online every time. I am thankful for the Godly examples of the many women I’ve met through church. I know what faithful prayer warriors they are and how mightily they prayed my family through a storm, while weathering storms of their own, often with gale force gusts, rated F4 and category 5. Online channels have their merits, for an initial meeting and keeping in touch, but in person is better because you can hug and read faces, which say more than most status updates ever could.”
Perhaps I said too much. Perhaps not enough. This whole topic of unfriending and blocking strikes a nerve that’s raw. There is hurt there. Life is about choices. “Free to go” should always be a viable option. Thankfully, it is. An older gentleman I worked with years ago often quoted this wisdom from his mother, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened.”
God sees the overview and knows what’s in our hearts. He knits us together with the people we need and He directs our paths. Watch out for the potholes, road blocks and pits. Sometimes these things we view as obstacles actually protect us, from the things we cannot see ahead. Other times they help us grow deeper roots of Faith to help us stand against the mighty winds. Trust God and He will see you through. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to forgive the sins of a fallen world. Grace. There is grace and forgiveness to cover our humanness. Praise God. Praise Him for the little things and the BIG ones. Praise Him in song, in words, sometimes spoken aloud, other times typed in an email, tweet, blog post, even on Facebook.
Facebook. Brings me full circle. Ugh. Stupid Facebook. Part of me wants to ditch Facebook World completely. I still may, but not quite yet. I’m thankful for the people I am connected to, whether we interact much, or not. I hop on and hop off, reading, “liking,” and commenting. Sometimes saying too much. I’m me. It’s how I’m made. Typing forums are dangerous for me because words have a way of pouring out. Honest words, from the heart. I’m not perfect, no where near, never have been, never will be, never was. I’m just a human woman, with the tendency to be a chatterbox. I try to follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
January 25, 2014
I wrote that, “I’m logging off Facebook and going to my art table” caption an hour ago. I know because Facebook helpfully keeps track of that stuff. I went back to the Facebook post to get the caption quote right. WTH?! I can’t help it. It’s how I’m made. Accuracy matters, even if the task is whimsical like a red dragon post at Tumblr. While there, I admitted it, posting in comments, “I suck at this. I wrote emails and just blogged at Tumblr about this kickass red dragon post instead of losing my damn phone and walking to my art table. Now I need lunch first, then the dog will need to go out again. Just admitting it.” Honest. There it is. I can own that too.
January 16, 2014
12:42pm lunch time
“Logging off Facebook and walking to my art table now. It’s that badass kickass red dragon that did it. I’ve made red dragon art and black dragon art. Dragons are part of my imagery. Thank you. It was the picture, more than the words that got my attention and said, ‘THIS MEANS YOU!’”
Above is the comment I wrote in the thread underneath this dragon photo on Facebook. Of course, I didn’t do it IMMEDIATELY. Now lunch is next. Good thing is that Blue is snoozing. Tired dog today. Smiling at him conked out, dreaming peacefully. I swear, my dog sleeps like a cat!
The caption under the dragon photo, written by Sarah Prineas, read, “Jump-In January Dragon Week Day Four (16th)
Today’s Dragon: Getting serious…” There was more to her encouraging post. She made her Facebook page a place Creatives could gather, name their goals aloud and keep themselves accountable to follow through. Cool.
Today I delivered six pieces of my artwork for a three month show (and hope for a possible sale). While it is the first time these six pieces are being shown together, or in this venue, they are a few years “old.” All six were made in 2012. Three in July and three in September. It is now 2014 and time to make new, but first I have some begun and abandoned pieces of art to return to and complete. It is time. Today. Right after lunch.
Facing dragons one by one. You have to face them before you can slay them. I am a Dragon Slayer. It says so on my handmade business cards in invisible ink. I know it’s there. I can own it. I do.
January 16, 2014
Dragon image from: http://blackmarches.wikidot.com/red-dragon-king
-Blue gave up fussing about not being able to see his dog buddy Jake, and decided to just eat breakfast instead.
-8th grade boy was shocked, amazed and thrilled to find a new MythBusters on the DVR this morning. You see, it’s not just a new MythBusters, but A NEW STAR WARS MYTHBUSTERS!!!! Are you kidding me?! Pure awesome right there.
-Best of all, thanks to the folks at Discovery Channel, that TV show was the incentive my 5th grade boy needed to come out from under the layers of cozy covers where he was burrowed when I told him it was wake up time, a little after 7a.
Up, dressed, breakfast, backpacks with lunches packed…we just might make it.
The words above were posted in real time as my Facebook status. It is 8:24am as I post them here at Tumblr. I just walked through my front door, after delivering one boy curbside and waiting with the other until the bus arrived. It did. *whew* My breakfast time is next. Coffee. Taking my mom to the train station mid morning. I have a whisper of an idea for how I’m going to spend my day, but I’m not yet telling. Wednesday today. All day. Going to make it A Good One! First step is taking my winter coat off. I’m holding my phone with a turquoise knitted glove and typing with my thumb. I will. Letting the words flow ‘til then…
I purposely stayed out of my Online World yesterday. I wanted to enjoy the moment I was in. I did. There were many beautiful ones. Smiles. Hugs. Laughter. Presents. Discarded wrapping paper. Happy boys. Funny Blue stories. Pictures. Memories of Mike spoken aloud. Other memories held close inside. Not too many tears. May the joy and magic of Christmas live in your hearts all year. Christmas is all about the LOVE. Let’s carry more of that into the new year.
December 26, 2013
Your grandsons and their/our neighborhood friends did you proud.
Love Your Oldest Daughter,
(Who has made lots of tracks in freshly fallen snow, Blue and me. I wrote a mini blog about it last night and titled it, “paws and boots.”
December 14, 2013
This is a Facebook note I wrote in reply to my mother who was lamenting all the newly fallen snow on her block without any children playing in it. She is a retired elementary school teacher, first third grade, but she spent most of her time teaching kindergarten. The magic and beauty of a new snowfall isn’t lost on her. She still greets snow with verve, sparkly eyed enthusiasm and the most dazzling of smiles.
Whether or not we get a bunch of snow and ice tonight, I’m declaring us, “snowed in” for the weekend. Enjoying the first fire in the fireplace in a really long time. Stacked dry wood in the garage before the flurries hit. We have cheese, bacon, and chocolate…oh, all right, we have the more traditional bread, eggs and milk too. Home feels good. Today had lots of happy in it.
December 13, 2013
The beauty of NaNoWriMo is there is no teacher waiting to grade what you write at the end. You can let the words flow as they come to you and write anything you want to. Advice I’ve read says write, write, write and don’t edit as you go. It is about completing a 50,000 word count, not a poised and polished final result when midnight on November 30th rolls around. Just begin. Getting started is often the hardest part, then see it through. (Says the woman who started NaNoWriMo the past two Novembers and this year decided I did not need the added pressure. Though I have the beginnings saved and am determined to begin again and finish soon.)
I initially wrote these words of encouragement to a Facebook friend, then I held up the mirror and realized I needed them too. I should get back to my own NaNoWriMo dreams. It is time to stop dreaming and Do.
November 3, 2013
July 31, 2013
I have to do that
Say it aloud
Because now I’m on today
4-H judging at the fair
Living one day at a time
We have enough
We have each other
We are thankful, blessed and loved
We are buoyed by all your prayers
July 31, 2013