Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Company You Keep

There is nothing like good food and good people.

Today i had luch with some friends ~ some good friends and some I don't know the best but enjoy them just the same. It was a great lunch full of laughs and good conversation. For those of you who know me you know i love to eat and talk!  So lunch was nice we talked and laughed and just relished each others company. The conversation was easy and positive and when it was all done i left happy and ready for the rest of the day.

I got to thinking about it and wondered why isn't every day like this? Why is it that sometimes i leave a meal with "friends" and feel like a mack truck has run me and a woodland animal over at the same time? So i decided that won't happen anymore and that starts with me. No longer will I sit back and entertain negativity or add my own salt to the stew. I think to be around good company you have to be good company ~ it goes along with the saying to have good friends you have to be one first. So i will try to be good company. It'll be tough ~ sometimes a mean juicy story tastes so good coming out. But the payoff isn't equal to the feeling you have when you know you've spent an hour uplifted. Now i know everyone has bad days ~ no one can be sunny all the time. But there is a difference between a cloudy day and a cloudy life. So i am planning to spend my time in the sun and hopefully can sun up the people around me as well.

Better Me Epiphany ~ Cherish whats good. Feed it, weed it, and cultivate the most joyous life possible and put everything that doesn't fit into that in the compost.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Saffron Kitchen ~ Review

I recently finished reading the book "The Saffron Kitchen" by Yasmin Crowther. It was a wonderfully written book about immigration in England, adjusting to a new culture, the lasting impact of decisions, and dealing with the past. Seems like a lot jammed into one book right? It is, but it felt effortlessly executed.

    The story follows two main characters a mother and daughter over around a 6 month period. The mother is from Iran and lives in England and the daughter, a school teacher, grew up in England in a hodgepodge mix of a household. There is an extremely traumatic event that sends the mother into a frenzy and back to Iran to deal with her past. The daughter follows her there and through it all they come to understand each other.

     I found the story to be heartwarming and frustrating all at the same time. A giant piece of the story is about the mother's secret past. She has kept it hidden from her family and it has tortured her for  years. We learn this story very slowly a piece at a time (which i love! I think it's essential to great story telling). But the thing is that in the end the mother's past rules her. She doesn't get over it or neccesarily learn from it... she rejoins it. A big thing for me is to not dwell in or on the past. It happened.. it's done. The main character couldn't do that in this story. She was stuck 30 years prior, regretting what happened and how she was treated. She went back to Iran, back to her old village, and back to a forgotten life. That is what i didn't like about this story.

  What I did like about this story and book was it's focus on family. We all have our own individualized view about what family is and how it should work, but this story was another great example of how there is no great model for family. They all work differently. The book shows us what life is like in a very rural Iran. There is a community set up that cares for the children communally. I liked that. Then we also get to see what a blended household with different cultures can be like. It was an eye opener but still gave me that warm home feeling.

   Our decisions have a shelf life. Another major theme throughout the book was dealing with past mistakes. The mother in this story made a mistake and 30 years later was still viewed in the same way. I thought that this was so powerful because many of us are held to these same standards. Sometimes we are punished for something we did and we literally are not that person anymore. It makes you think about everyday decisions and consequences more and it also made me think about if I'm doing the same to people in my life. We should applaud when people make steps forward and not remind them of who they were. That made me think of my brother and now i am working on trying to see him for the person he is now and not who he was when we were growing up. Even when we forget about the past and move forward we still have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but no one should be held in the cage of past mistakes

Overall i think it's a great read. The prose is beautiful and descriptive. It really is a trip to a foreign land without the ticket! I recomend it and hope you read it. It was interesting to see how women function in that society. I don't know how accurate it was but it was very convincing. The book also helped me understand a little better what it is like to assimilate and what a epic struggle that can be. It made me think about our own immigrants here and if they feel just as out of water as the main character in the book did. Well thats what I got from it you tell me what you did.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sickness with a side of paranoia please!

Well it has officially been a week since i have put anything on here. I have been sick! Tonsilitis strep throat comatose!  I am getting back into the swing of things now though!

Luckily i was at home visiting family when the evil throat monster attacked me. My Mom took wonderful care of me! I survived it.  It was very odd being there and depending on another person though. I am an adult... single.. and very used to being self sufficient. So it was very odd to be there and to be taken care of. I have conned myself into believing that a significant other isnt the central purpose in our lives. I have wonderful friends who i spend time with, lots to think and write about... all of that.... i don't need someone else. Not opposed to it but don't need it you know? All of that wonderful ideal and then i have to get sick... not ordinary sick but drool, can't get out of bed, passing through consciousness, can't talk kind of sick... and i needed someone. That is the pitfall for all of "I can do it myselfers" there will always come a time when you have to depend on someone else. So does this mean my theory of being all i need is useless? That i don't know. It's just out of my comfort zone.... but maybe i should change that. Maybe i should find a dependent relationship so someone can wipe my snot when i need it..... You tell me all you wonderful relationshipers ~ if you have great friends and are self sufficient.. do you really need someone to come home to?  Why?

Better Me Epiphany ~ Evaluate every concrete ideal you have... you may find some cracks

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tell Me What You See Challenge ~ Results

Alright Y'all I am admittedly very behind on getting this up. I am going to pull the holiday card as my excuse... It was the fourth! I was celebrating freedom....

The "Tell Me What You See Challenge" is a way for all of us to get our creative juices flowing. I post a picture like the one above and then we all write about what we think is going on there. It can be short, long, an observation, a poem, or a piece of fiction. The picture above is our picture for the week. I am excited to have had a good response! So we will get down to the nitty gritty and see the results.

First was my friend Brandi over HERE. She is going through a journey of weight loss on her blog! check her out.

This is what she had to say

“To me it looks like someone is taking time to stop and capture the busy lives of the people below him/her.”

Next Lunar Eclipse from the Soap Opera Experiment stopped by. She has a regular running Soap Opera through Blog!! It’s a fun blog to stop by and soak in a little drama!

Here is what she had to say

“It looks like someone is watching a lot of busy people, and probably hoping that the world will slow down.”

Next is Tansy. You can see her blog HERE. She has lots of pictures and lots to say! Stop by and check her out!

Here is what she had to say

“First of, I love this person's sneakers. I imagine that they're very brightly colored. I envision this person is sitting on a ledge with a bunch of friends just hanging out. The people below are insignificant. This person is just taking it all in. Looking out at all the hustle and bustle. Taking a step back from life. He or she might not be hanging out with friends. They might just be people watching. Creepy.. but entertaining.”

Lastly is me. Here is what I saw. It’s a conversation. I’ll let you decide who they are and what their intentions are.

“I can give you everything in this world if you give me everything in yours.”

“I know what you promised me… and what you say that you have done for me. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it right now.”

“Come over here. I want to show you something.”

“I really don’t like heights.”

“I just want to show you something. You see all those people down there?”


“They all have the same option as you do.”

“How can I have everything in this world and them too?

“You don’t know me very well yet.”

“I don’t know. It’s hard for me to just take you on your word on this. How do I know you are telling the truth?”

“You just have to trust me.”

“So how do I do it?”

“It requires a leap……”

So this is the Second installment of the "Tell Me What You See Challenge"! And I believe it was a success!! Thanks everyone for tuning in and sharing how you see this world around us!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I bought a house 2 years ago. It's beautiful small, two bedrooms, over a hundred years old and remodeled 6 years ago. I love it! When i bought it, it felt like something new but still had the feeling of history to it as well. I love used things becuase they are usually cheaper and because they hold a little bit of someone else's life in them. I love that thought and feeling.  The thing about owning something for yourself is that it is much less magical in practice than it is in conception. In reality owning something requires upkeep. My house for example -There is grass to be cut, drains to be unclogged, air conditioning to be fixed, floors to be mopped, termite men to hire, and we won't even start about the bills! It comes with the territory and it's worth it. Anything worth having is worth taking care of.

It is the same with our lives. I wrote yesterday about the themes of our lives and doing a daily assessment of what they are and changing them if you don't like them.  I think that is so important but it is only one of the many things that we must do as upkeep in our lives. We own our lives. We are responsible for what they become and how they are lived. So it takes work to keep them in tip top shape. Today i am literally cleaning up shop! Dishes, laundry, vaccuuming all that. It is a part of what i consider upkeep because my life will be a clean one ( even though i love to live in clutter where i know where everything is because everything is everywhere! ~ but it's not good...). But it goes further than that. I have to evaluate my relationships, my body, my job, my time, my spiritual walk, my exposure (to negativity, positivity, hate, lust ~ I'm talking about entertainment).. all of it. Anything unnoticed now will be hell to notice later. So my word of the day is upkeep. It sucks. It's laborious. It is neccessary to living the best way possible.

Better Me Epiphany ~ Take out the trash! I'm gonna spring clean my life on a regular basis! Out with the old and in with the new!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Identify Decide Conquer

The other day i heard some one say "it has become the theme of your life". This made me think for a second and i agree. Our lives have a theme and we decide them. For a while there it felt like my theme was crisis. I was jumping from one issue to the next ~ No money, no power, no friends, broken car, car accident, car break in... the list goes on and on. I remember stopping and saying enough is enough! I can't live like this anymore. I know that life events will always happen nothing will always (or ever!) go right, but our mentality about these events is what matters. I place a lot of importance on my words and my thoughts (notice the name of the blog!). I believe that we have the power to speak our existence out.. we have life and death in our mouths. Many of us have spoken out themes into our lives and we don't even realize it. Everyday and every minute we can change that.

I know people who spend every day wishing it was different. That is a theme. When you are totally dissatified with right now then you can't enjoy it. It's impossible to do so, so the result is negativity. Every moment every event is a disaster (in their minds). That is a ridiculous way to live, but it won't change until minds change. So the challenge today is to identify what your lifes' theme is. Is it joy, sadness, disaster, hatred, love, crisis (like mine was) or some sort of culmination? You can't change anything that you aren't aware of. So now we have all been given notice. It's a daily assessment that I believe can help us all to live our best lives. Themes can sprout up in hours if you run with them. So identify, decide, and conquer!

Better Me Epiphany ~ Life really is what you make it! I will daily assess my life's theme and adjust accordingly. The only thing that can keep me from living my best is me and my perception!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So excited!!!

My new Blogger friend V over HERE named as one of her blogs of the week ( somehow i missed it when it first happened, but I'm excited)!! Thats so awesome to me!! and thanks V! You guys should really check her out as well. She has a daily scripture and goes in depth on it! It's encouraging to see someone so committed to growing spiritually and helping us do the same!! Look her up I know you will get something out of it.

Better Me Epiphany ~ Soak in the good news when it comes!

Tell Me What You See Challenge ~ Reminder

, originally uploaded by Fagu.

Hey Y'all! It's the last day to be a part of the "Tell Me What You See Challenge". I hope to get a few more participants so we can all see the many different views! you can post in the comments section or email me at mark.deer02@gmail.com

To see what the challenge is about you can look HERE and HERE


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