Monday, March 29, 2010

Taxes Are Done

Now I can really begin the plans for spending half of October here:

"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I am going is what inspires me to travel it."
Rosalia de Castro

Sunday, March 28, 2010

First JoeBQ of 2010----Lessons Learned

  • No matter how prepared I am by charging camera batteries and having said camera within easy reach, I still forget to take pictures...hence the grill photo from the day after.
  • Running out at 9:00 am in search of extra plates can lead to really good deals at the thrift store.
  • A group comprised of family, friends from work and friends from other aspects of life can make for a great time. I am still amazed at how well everyone can get along.
  • Forgetting about BBQ Tempeh and burning it does make it taste better.
  • I can have a JoeBQ without having a drink and it can be fun.
  • I never remember how much work these are until I am in the midst of prepping four pounds of Brussels Sprouts.
  • CT can come up with numerous excuses for not making it out to the Joe BQ, but I really know it was all the vegan food that really freaked her out. I'm just kidding CT...next time.
  • I LOVE having friends over to my house for great food and great conversation. Everyone who came enriches my life in one way or another and I hope they had a great time.
  • I need to do these more often. They feed my soul with joy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Flower, A Smile, A Beautiful Day

"Earth laughs in flowers"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."
-John Ruskin
"Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed."
-Walt Whitman

Thursday, March 18, 2010

February Ice Storm

This ice storm made life miserable for thousands of people, but it did make for some really beautiful scenery. It is a whole lot easier to appreciate on a sunny, 60 degree day like today, though. Here’s hoping we don’t have another storm like this until next winter…






Monday, March 15, 2010

Regain Control

I have begun to realize that most people’s drug of choice is fear, whether they want it to be or not. Fear runs our lives. We make choices about our future, about our present, about what we are going to do, about what pleases us, about who we are going to commit to, about who we are going to talk to, about how we are going live our lives based on fear. We fear being lonely. We fear rejection. We fear being ostracized. We fear failure.

What do we really have to be afraid of? Everyone fails from time to time. Everyone is rejected from time to time (yes, even those doing the rejecting are also rejected from time to time). We should be afraid of not trying, not doing something new, not talking to someone we may find attractive, not grasping hold of what makes us happy, not taking risks, not dreaming big enough, not rocking the boat. We should be afraid of apathy.

Do something, anything to get past this fear. If you can’t speak to strangers, then force yourself to start. If you are afraid of failure, then force yourself to take a chance on something. Start going after what you want, what you need and what is going to make you happy. Grab hold and run with it. To steal a term from poker, go all in. Will you always get what you want? Not a chance. But the more times you try, the more times you will get what you want. Who knows, that stranger may be your soul-mate. The risk you take may just lead to the start of an amazing life. Rocking the boat may lead you to an even bigger and better boat.

Don’t be content with the status quo. Do something to raise the bar, to make things better. Do anything to have some fun with life. Become the person who consciously makes choices and truly decides how you are going to live. Stop allowing fear to make the choices for you. Stop giving fear control of your life. Stop letting fear have any say in your decisions. It’s time to give fear the boot. Start today. Seriously, what do you have to lose?

"Always do what you are afriad to do." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Perfect Start To A Day


Salutation to the Dawn
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every
Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Live Life With Passion

Live the way you want others to live. Lead by example. Honestly answer any question asked. Don't sugarcoat things. Treat people like you want to be treated. Shit happens, people make mistakes, people are sometimes cruel, people don't always want to open their minds. Let them work it out in their own way and in their own time. This doesn't mean that you can't nudge, but being yourself and doing what you feel is right and doing it unabashedly is what will truly change people's minds. Talk about why you are what you are without degrading them for being different. Let them know that you have also done stupid things, that you used to lash out and treat people like shit, that you used to suffer from road rage, that you used to be a big jackass about all kinds of things. None of us are perfect and we will never be perfect. The best that we can do is to live life causing the least amount of harm and suffering to EVERY living creature, including humans.

Question everything. Question authority. Question what you are being force fed. Question everything you see or hear. Question everything you think. Question the beliefs you hold the most dear. Question your parents, your friends, your spouses, the rules, the norms, the laws, the beliefs, the Deities, the philosophies, the great thinkers, the insane, the politicians, the holy men and women, the roots of everything, the basis of your life, the things you do every day. Question everything. This is the only way that we will reach a point where we can feel that we have really made a difference and are living the life we are supposed to live. If you meet someone you think has it figured out and is a great teacher, question what they have figured out, why you think that and what they teach. Their truth may not be your truth. Figure it out for yourself.

Live life. Do what you can to make this place a little bit better. Help other people and animals out. Do something nice each day. Help your neighbors, especially the ones you despise. Do something out of the ordinary. Smile. Speak nicely to people, especially when they have done something so colossally stupid you are unsure how they could even do it. Lend a helping hand, especially when you do not have the time or the energy to do it. Go above and beyond but do it because it is the right thing to do, not because it will make you look better or will make you feel better about yourself. Be humble but confident. Be original. Be unapologetic because you are doing what is right. Be yourself and let your true self shine through. Don't hide behind the false faces and fa├žades that you have become so good at putting up. If you march to the beat of your own drummer, then continue to march that way. We all have our own drummers anxiously awaiting the opportunity to beat the drum how we want and not how society has said it should be beat. Most of us will never experience what we are capable of because we are so damn busy trying to conform to the norms of our jobs, our friends, out political affiliations, our labels, our groups or our society. We may have some of the same beliefs, but we are not the same and we should not be clones of each other. Don't drink the Kool-Aid and buy into everything hook, line and sinker. If you are a follower, then know that you don't think for yourself and you are nothing more than an automaton.

Just do something today. Help another creature, decide to question what you are doing, feel something different or do something in a way you have never done it before. Read a book and then question everything you have read. Take a walk and just soak it all in. Lay around with your dogs or cats and just feel the love they have for you. Meet a friend at the bar and have deep conversations about life over pints. Sit around by yourself and wonder why we are here and what you should do next. Figure out the solution to something that has been bothering you. Do something, anything and leave the zombie world behind. Help make this world a better place for all the creatures we share it with. Question all you just read. Question everything.