Saturday, August 06, 2011

This Post is a BookMark in My Life

::Funny face. Maria shopping on Main Street. July 30::

The bookmark is in place to remind me that I should manage my time with greater care, and I ought to have business cards, because apparently all peoples in the whole wide Blogosphere have business cards.

There is so much to share!
Family time
Family time
Deer, fireflies, giant marshmallows
BlogHer 2011
Gratitude, and facing fears...

As a result of skipping all the big things on the to do list, I am (officially) in deep, deep trouble. But it was worth it. Maybe. Oh, dear.

Happy Birthday Eli!

I just wanted to take a quick moment to say "hello," to share a a funny face, to say thank you.

Another full day ahead. I better take my vitamins, and a shower.


Friday, August 05, 2011

BlogHer 2011*

Alternate title I ♥ Social Media

*Update: I went! I survived! I grew (emotionally?) And I wrote a guide for first timers!

Sitting in my pajamas, the house still quiet. I reflect on my destiny, my purpose, and the laundry. What should I do?  Who am I? Do I have clean underwear?

What is really on my mind is this: Should I go to the BlogHer Conference? I could only go one day. Today. I would have to find a safe house for the children, and also neglect vacation laundry etc...

Naturally I took this straight to FB, where all of our questions have answers!

Natalie's Status: the $150 question: should I go to Blogher? Today. In San Diego.

Rebekah: YES! Did I win ? ;)

Natalie: The cheese?

Rebekah: No, the $150? :D

Natalie: no wait... I get it.

Rebekah: AHAHAHA! Lolz, it's early... your brain is working at about the same speed as mine. ♥ love you

Natalie: that's how much admission is to the HUGEmongous blogging conference today...

Rebekah: OOOOH, why not? It's an investment. That and you're awesome and you should circulate your awesomeness

Natalie: "working" might be an exaggeration in my case

Rebekah: Tee Hee! I'm going back to bed, maybe I'll sleep even, go to the conference! See you tomorrow!

Natalie: but... but... but there will be beautiful people there, and all my chones are dirty, and I am afraid of seeing everything I am *not*
... whaaaaa!

Rebekah: Hold the phone! You're BEAUTIFUL, you can buy yourself some clean chones to feel extra sassy. Just see everything, don't worry about what you are or aren't. No crying, getta a cuppa and go out the door and shine like I know you do.

Natalie: You do win. ((((hugs))))... oops, I got a little moko on your shoulder, sorry, thank you... sniff

Anna Banana: plz go and take photos, then blog about BlogHer, you know you want to. I wd go with you, but don't like the $150 admission.

Natalie: what's to like? I was going to pretend my Time check covers it, but I already pretended it (partly) covered the cost of my camera... that's too much pretending for one little photo assignment...

The best part about taking our questions to FB, is that in addition to getting answers, you also get unsolicited affection and bolstering. Affection and bolstering = Bonus. But I still don't have clean clothes. And my slow typing has made the prospect of going even more daunting, because it is getting late.


I wonder if there are any conferences on slow typing, procrastination, or social anxiety.

8:12 am Update: I started laundry.
Searched for my Chickenblogger-ComicCon ensemble. Failed.
Put on my Dress.
Searched for my Chickenblogger-ComicCon ensemble. Failed.
Put on my shoes.
Searched for my Chickenblogger-ComicCon ensemble. Failed.
Checked FB, got more affection and bolstering. Smiled.
Brushed Maria's hair, got her dressed, fed her toast and jelly, with the butter very melted so you can't see it.
Checked email, suppressed urge to cry, because I lost a Chcikenblog follower. Questioned my point in struggling to go to an expensive conference about blogging, where I would possibly have fun, but also learn fifty ways that I am not doing it right, when I can stay home and figure that out for free.
Suppressed urge to cry, because I can't always get what I want, but I have more elaborate, self-deprecating rationals for why I am entitled to cry.
Realized I have no "business" cards, or laptop, or phone-blog apps, or swag, or marketing gimmick to promote Chickenblog.
Realized Geoff is amazing for offering to bring Maria to work. All day. Even during his 5 pm meeting.
Gave up. Cried. Blogged.

8:50 am Update: Geoff says, "If you don't go, I'll be really, really sad."
Then he kept repeating, "Go, go."
And I cried some more, because I already changed into my khakis and honey badger shirt, and I can't bear the thought of squeezing back into my I feel pretty dress. Also because I know that I really should be here tackling the list.

Won't it be great if I go, just as I am, and actually learn something, and the world doesn't stop spinning, and I come home wiser, and imbued* with something special?

9:07 am Update: He's going to have to make me go. What business do me and honey badger have at a conference for the real bloggers?

::WOW... Word of the Week: Imbue means : to permeate or influence as if by dyeing. Also: to get your nickel's worth at a big, fancy conference.

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
:: Idea from Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, August 01, 2011

For One Hundred Years or More

We were invited to a birthday party. Our neighbor, and newest friend, turned one hundred years old. Meet Irma. She touched our hearts and faith with her warmth and generous affection.

I cannot speak for Irma, but for myself. I am blessed and honored for all the beautiful and loving people I know, and in Irma's eyes, in the sweet remarks she made, I was reminded of how dear my friends and family are to me, and of how precious and miraculous life is... how it is meant to be lived as fully and joyfully as possible. I do not ever want to pass up an opportunity to celebrate... everyone, and everything! Our greatest and smallest milestones and accomplishments should be sung about, and toasted. We should gather together often, in ease, with smiles.

I think of how we celebrated our Grandmother's birthday, when Eunice turned eighty years old, and the wisdom and love she shares with us. It makes me deeply thankful and excited that in a few days we will be celebrating her eighty-ninth birthday! It makes me think of all the times we have paused to reflect on our triumphs and successes, and how there is never a regret when we make the time to share each others' company, and make merry.

I am still learning. I hope to always be learning. Some lessons are ingrained, instilled, a part of me. Some lessons are new, or simply need a refresher... a reminder of their value and meaning.

I've learned to try new things, meet new people, to be open to friendships.
I have learned that love grows, and there is always room for one more.

I have learned that we will grow old, but we do not have to grow-up. There is no final destination, or ultimate finishing line... not in life. I used to wonder when I would know I was an adult, or a grown-up, or had arrived, but I have figured out that this life is moving, not fixed. I will be young and old, silly and wise, smarter, and not... it's about adapting, changing, exploring, enjoying, sharing... moving with the journey, not checking the watch and fixating on a destination.

Cookies will always taste good. Flowers will always be beautiful. Friends will always be welcome. Time passes and experience teaches, but some things never change. I hope I always remember that cookies, dresses, flowers, friends, parties, and anticipation are good, and always will be.

I have learned to try and find balance. A little bit is best. A little more might be better, but a whole lot is not necessarily so good. Play, and rest. Order, and chaos. Quiet, and resounding. Here, I need help, to be reminded. That's fine too. I am learning to be a work in progress.

I have learned that anything good, is even better when shared.

I want to live a long time. I have more dreams, more plans, more wishes. I want to be more daring, and I want to be as comfortable about being less daring. I want to live my long life fulfilling my ideals, answering to my needs and interests. I want to serve others too, to give, to touch. Balance... again. Finding the nerve to exceed my own vision of what I can do, and exerting the nerve to say, "no thank you, that's not for me."

Irma rode her single speed bicycle from New York to California, eighty years ago! This is amazing, and inspiring... the stories she has to share could fill books.

I have learned that each of us has stories that could fill books. I have learned that people will surprise you, in a good way, sooner or later. I have found unexpected kindness. I have found other stuff too, but we have all have our shortcomings. Perfect people don't exist, and those that aim for a kind of perfection are missing some vital qualities.

I have learned it is better to join the dance, even when you do not know the steps.

I've learned to try new things. New hats. New colors. New flavors. New tunes.

I know how it feels to be embarrassed. It passes. It is not fatal. I know what it's like to taste a disagreeable thing, or hear a discordant note... those are just fuel for a good story. I know if I am respectful of others, and myself, the discomforts are manageable.

And when something does not fit, pass it on. Let it go. Move forward. Try again. Never give up. Never surrender!

Look for happiness. Expect it, but don't wait for it to present itself to you. Happiness is active, it is about engagement, it wants to be sought after, found, nurtured. I've learned to be a participant in the happiness I seek. There is no other way. Boredom happens when I am too lazy or dull to recognize opportunity, to make light. And another thing, happiness is simple... it is not wealth, it is not grand schemes, it is not elaborate extravaganzas. I find happiness where there is respect, love, curiosity, intelligence, imagination, in stillness, and in merrymaking.

I have learned that the world is very big, and very small. I have learned that life is full of contradictory notions, false steps, circumstances, struggles, conflicts. The world is very big, and the world is very small. I don't know what this means. I have learned it is okay to not have all the answers. I do hope I live long enough to learn more though.

We toasted Irma, and she toasted us. It was not her years alone that made us feel blessed in her presence. She exudes warmth and grace. Pictures of her, in her youth, were as light and exuberant as she is today.

Everyone was invited to celebrate her life. We could hear the band from our home, the good feelings spread so far, so deeply, that I carry them still. What a gift she shared with us.

I want to learn more. I want to celebrate more. And, some things... some things I want to unlearn. I have bad habits and weaknesses, things which I would be grateful to lose, but mostly I want to unlearn fear and doubt. Nothing does me less good than my fears and doubts.

I would like to live to be one hundred years old, to see great-grandchildren, be surrounded by friends, laugh and reflect on a lifetime of happinesses and lessons learned, to believe that I will have accomplished inspiring things... but I think I must learn to live today, this moment, as fully as possible. However many years are left of my life, I hope to be as kind, to smile as broadly, and speak as gratefully today as Irma did on her one-hundredth birthday.

Irma and Maria were fast friends, kindred spirits... no time at all seems to separate these two souls.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dum Thumbs

Depending on my iPhone for posting and tending to bloggness is proving to be a bit challenging. It is impressive how much can be accomplished, but it is slower, less familiar, and far less convenient.

Yesterday my thumbs really blew it: they were aiming for "publish" and they hit "delete.".

Judy in Kentucky, I lost your birthday
wish comment for Max. Sorry.

When I started blogging I never imagined it would become such a big part of my thoughts, so keenly pressing to my sense of responsibility. Readers' interest, keeping current, including things near and dear to me... it matters to me more than I... well, actually I do care to admit.

Darn thumbs.

In other news: I love Wisconsin, my cousin at the Bird House, Atwood Street Fair, Paul's guacamole, my new pie pan, and Your comments and feedback. Chcikenblog ( no matter how I spell it, is better with friends) so thank you, friends. And forgive my thumbs.