Responsible is the New Sexy

Reading through facebook this morning and discovered this statement from The Art of Simple:
“I think I have now created a system that will work for me as I strive to create a life of intention that is rooted in my values, not just compulsions. I’m calling this personal project, “Responsible is the New Sexy.” Why I chose that name is a long story. Part quirky, part serious. The idea is to focus on one area of my life each month and make specific, but realistic progress in that area.” http://theartofsimple.net/wearing-a-watch-being-sexy-and-changing-habits/

ohmygoodness I love this! Responsible is the new sexy!!! LOVE IT! It’s what I’ve been thinking, but didn’t realize it–I’m trying to live a life of intention based on my values, being present in the moment, and here’s my new slogan!!! Thanks, The Art of Simple!!!

With warm wishes for your journey,
Nance

Sweet Gum Balls Are My Enemy.

Ok, so I broke my left foot by stepping on sweet gum balls from a sweet gum tree in a park.  With thousands of people around me. Seriously, thousands.

Hubby and I went on an official date on Friday for the first time in, jeepers, 4, 5 months. There’s a new food truck Friday event at a local park.  Well, new to us.  We were so excited to (a) go on a genuine date, (b) finally be experiencing the food truck rage in real life, not just watching it on tv, (c) be outside enjoying the gorgeous spring weather, (d) be surrounded by so many cool, hip people that were just there enjoying themselves, eating great food, drinking good beverages, and listening to fabulous music provided with no cover charge.  It was excellent.  HUGE queues at each food truck.  Hubby’s back was still achy from doing too much heavy lifting and yard work the previous weekend.  I kindly offered to go to the beverage tent to get us something to wet our whistles while he held our spot.  He asked if I was sure, since I’d be exposing myself to possible fragrances that had the potential to make my fragrance sensitivity rear it’s ugly head.  I was feeling brave and said sure, heading off with a smile and on a mission.

LOADS of sweet gum balls littered the uneven grounds of the park.  Remember that I said there were thousands of people there?  It was seriously challenging getting through the crowd, while keeping an eye on said gum balls and uneven ground.  I looked up to scope out the best way to the beverage tents.  Oooops—a small shallow channel, filled with those damn hard, rolly, pokey sweet gum balls missed my observation skills which I’ve honed over the years due to skinny ankles that like to get twisted as I walk. And in I stepped.  As my foot twisted with excruciating pain, I thought I heard some snaps or cracks.  But surely that was just the gum balls.  (nope.)

Here’s an amazing feat; I DIDN’T FALL!  Instead I grabbed the arm of a lovely young woman who looked at me with great shock.  I realized how hard I’d grabbed her, let go, and almost fell from the pain I was experiencing.  I apologized for grabbing her and she told me to “just hang on!  Just hang on until you don’t need me!!”  I KNOW this young woman has bruises in the shape of my fingers on her upper arm.  But she was more worried about me and was smiling and sending good juju as I grimaced in pain.  A young man was on the other side of me, asking if I’d broken my foot. “I don’t know yet,” I responded through clenched teeth.  “Can you step on it?” “I don’t know yet–let me work through the pain first.”  Some deep breathing, calming thoughts… yes, I could put weight on it, but not fully.  He offered his shoulder to hold on to.  He asked where I was going; my response was that I WAS going to get beverages, but now needed to head back to my husband.  I introduced myself, and he said his name was Tim.  His partner gazed at me as if, “Man, it happened again!”  Sorry, dude!  Sure glad Tim was there!

We headed to my hubby, who looked amazed that I was hobbling and hanging on to a muscular, handsome man’s shoulder.  I explained what happened and how Tim came to my rescue and how I just wanted to go home.  Nope, no hospital for me!  Surely I couldn’t walk on it if I’d broke it.  I sat on a bench where a man and his wife were taking a break between eating at different trucks.  He jumped up so I could put my foot up even though I said I didn’t need that much room.  They stayed with me almost the whole time it took Hubby to go to the other side of the park to get the car and then maneuver through the traffic and crowds to find me.  They seriously were trying to comfort me with stories and finding commonalities and other stuff to get my mind off the pain.  But a little voice in my head said I’d broken the bone extension off.  Nah.  Surely, I just sprained it.  But… Bone extension, you ask??

Three summers ago, I was headed out to the garage, excited to be taking our son to his first swim lesson of the year, to be followed by a poolside bbq at a friend’s house. I looked back over my shoulder into the kitchen to make sure I had gotten everything, misjudged the one and only step down to the cement garage floor, turned my foot sideways as I landed and heard the bone snap in my foot.  A-Go-Nee.  wowza pain.  Holy guacamole.  ER dr. said it was the cleanest break he’d ever seen, showing that I had really strong bones.  He couldn’t have CUT it that cleanly.  Yep, I’m from Wisconsin; land of the dairy cow.  I’m a certifiable cheesehead.  Made perfect sense.  Well, here’s the problem.  My strong bone healed beautifully.  However, it made too much bone.  I had an extension of bone sticking out the side of my foot like a little spur.  Had to get rid of some shoes that hit that spot and was told I could have it trimmed down if things became too painful.   Got on with life, always knowing immediately if a shoe would be work or not.  That’s the little tip I just had an inkling that I had broken off.  I couldn’t feel it through all of the swelling, but there was a LOT of swelling.

All weekend I had wrapped my foot, iced it, elevated it, didn’t do so good with resting it, and went to my podiatrist yesterday just to make sure I was ok.  I could walk on it.  BUT there it was on the x-ray, just a bit away from the bigger bone. Dr. wasn’t too concerned about that little piece of bone.  He’s worried about the tendon that attaches right at that point.  One of two major tendons in the foot.  Holy crappola.  I’m now wearing a boot cast, using two crutches, not allowed to walk on it, for three long weeks.  I’ll go back after those three weeks to see if there’s tendon damage, meaning surgery.  ohmygoodness.  Just because of stupid sweet gum balls.  Yep, I really hate sweet gum trees, even though they’re so pretty in the fall.  Their seeds suck.

The 11 questions from Lyra

This was pretty funny–I nominated Lyra at http://lyrallya.wordpress.com/ at almost the same time that she nominated me for the Liebster Award! Here are her questions and my answers:

1.What time is it where you’re at? 3:53 p.m., Sunday, May 4, 2014
2.What did you want to become when you were 6? – If you still remember… I don’t remember at age 6, but at age 11 I was sure I was going to be the wife of a farmer (?) while being an artist (not sure what type,) and running a “Boutique” filled with unusual things and clothes (!).
3.Describe your best friend in three words! Funny, caring, smart
4.What has been your biggest challenge in life so far? Learning how to live with most things that we take for granted fitting in the “unknown” category–my health, with the fragrance sensitivity, has really turned my world upside down and inside out–people don’t understand it, and often get offended if their scent gives me hives. I can’t work, so income was dramatically slashed; dealing with that. Hubby not sure where his next job will be (location in the world as well as the actual company) because the company he works for was underbid and oooops on May 23 he no longer has a job. Not of his doing, so trying to help him cope with the worries, fears, guilt has been challenging. With that, should we prep the house to put it up for sale? Or live like we’re staying (i.e. plant a veggie garden, paint a room the color I want or the color that will sell better…)
5.Are you happy? Surprisingly, most of the time. 🙂
6.Do you have allergies? YES!! achoo–it’s spring! (pollen), achooo–it’s fall (decomposing leaves,) chemically produced fragrances, nickel (in costume jewelry,) Neosporin, poison ivy, mold, dust, and more than I can remember!!!
7.What is your favorite dish? Depends on my mood–sushi, or lasagna, or grilled pork tenderloin, pie, cake, … I love variety!
8.You’re in an amusement park: what ride are you afraid of? One that twirls and spins–I’ll spew my guts!
9.Do you believe in love at first sight? No, but that passion/infatuation can grow into love. I definitely believe in like at first sight!
10.Describe your first kiss! ewwwwww. Lots of spit, big mouth, ew. Luckily, the second bloke KNEW how to kiss!!! 🙂
11.What is the first thing you think about when I say / write “Belgium”? Chocolate, IMMEDIATELY followed by Waffles!!

Fun questions, Lyra!!

I won the Liebster Award!!!

I humbly accept this award, given by my new friend, Sara at http://inthelifeofsarasandoval.wordpress.com/

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Awesome! Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them 🙂
Have fun!

11 Facts about Nance:

  1. She’s lived in WI, CA, IL, and MO
  2. She’s married to a wonderful man who sometimes drives her batty 😉
  3. She has an incredible son who also sometimes drives her batty
  4. She hopes to become known for her photography
  5. She loves teaching high school, but is afraid to due to her hyper-sensitivity to fragrance that students wear
  6. She’s really, really getting into non-GMO and organic food gardening
  7. She’s discovering the joys of making more things from scratch
  8. She’s learning the art of simplification and the thrill of purging her belongings
  9. She’s travelled to Ireland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Mexico, Canada, and many places in the U.S.
  10. If she could, she’d live in Ireland
  11. She has a funny laugh that is contagious. 😀

11 Questions From Sara are:
1. Where do you live? St. Louis, Missouri
2. Were you named after anyone? Ha–sort of, but not really.  My mom was SURE I was going to be a boy.  So I was supposed to be Timothy, coming home to a blue room, wearing a blue outfit.  No girl names in mind, just in case (this was pre-ultra-sound!!)  Nurses wouldn’t let my parents take me home until I had a name.  They needed to have my mom leave the hospital to go home and were pestering her for my name.  All she could think of was Nancy Sinatra, who she HATED!  But Nancy was a “nice name” so there I was.  Isn’t that grand?  Named after a famous person your mom couldn’t stand.  LOL!!!!  Your name meaning?  Grace of God
3. Do you have a talent? hmmmm.  Making people feel comfortable and successful when they feel nervous about something, photography, finding humor and/or good in most things/people, organizing and simplifying, cooking, traveling and having adventures, decorating with eclectic style (love mixing old and new, colors, textures,) helping children feel safe and learn stuff.
4. Favorite TV show: Dr. Who!!!! (I’m a new convert–I fought it for ages; now my son and I are hooked!)
5. Favorite music genre/band: It totally depends on my mood and what’s happening at that moment.  Classical, blues, jazz, rock, new age, punk, top hits, some rap, some country, instrumental, opera…  What else is left??  😀
6. Person you look up to & why: MAN–this is a tough one because I’m not sure I can choose just one.  After some thought (in fact I answered all of the other questions first!) I realized it’s my son because he’s so honest, smart, loving, funny, kind, and has a beautiful soul. He’s 13, is truly a gift from the Universe, and helps me stay real.  I never knew I could love someone as much as I love him. 
7. What is your biggest strength? Finding good in people/situations. Weakness? Being impatient–I want answers NOW, and am working on my patience.  It’s funny because most people have no idea I’m impatient–I keep it hidden most of the time!
8. What is something you regret doing?  Continuing at a job when my instincts told me it was time to move on.  Staying led me to my health issue that I’m living with now.
9. What is your biggest fear? Watching my husband or son die, especially if they are in pain. 
10. What is your biggest accomplishment? Staying optimistic and pulling others along with me!
11. Why is your reason for blogging? To help someone else, somehow.  Life experiences, ideas, perspectives…

Mercy–now I need to link 11 fellow bloggers! And the nominees are

And your questions are:

  1. Are you a mountain, desert or ocean person and why:
  2. Explain what flavor of ice cream would you be and why:
  3. What’s your favorite book/author?
  4. What kind of home do you live in? (condo, apt., 2 story house, loft, boathouse…)
  5. If you could change something in your home, what would it be?
  6. If you could eat just one thing for a week, what would it be?
  7. If you were a shoe, what would you be and why?
  8. What’s your favorite music?
  9. Describe a favorite childhood memory:
  10. What’s your biggest strength? Weakness?
  11. List an important goal you have:

Did I Inspire Myself?

I just re-read my “About” page.  I’m partaking in the Blogging 101 class through WordPress, and today’s assignment is to tell what inspired me from that page.  That seems ambiguous, almost. But here’s what I got out of it. It discusses the importance of recognizing that everyone has “moments” in their lives, and these moments are important in making us who we are, how we act, what we choose to be like. There’s also the part that we may not enjoy all of the moments, but those moments (parts) combine together to make us unique individuals. I guess that inspires me to appreciate my moments, good AND bad, while I try to be patient as I work through the bad ones. For years I’ve thought, as I’m going through something negative, what is it that I’m supposed to get from this. Reading the About page made me think that I also would be smart to think what I’m supposed to get out of GOOD moments.

Huh. Now that I think about it, there’s a bit of wisdom in that page–stuff that’s hard for me to remember. Like when I’m in the throes of something challenging, even stupidly challenging, that the situation is going to help me become more of me if I open my mind and heart to receive the knowledge. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything and this is probably when I need to open up more, to hear the universe’s message, to learn. Ha! I just gave myself some good advice!!

Recognizing That Your Moments Matter…

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How do YOU make your moments matter?  I’ve been reading articles and self-help guides that say that you need to be aware of your world, your goals, your dreams all the time in order to become successful with your gifts.  I just recently recognized that I can’t MAKE my moments matter, but they end up mattering because they were a moment in my life.  Overdoing, over-planning, almost obsessing on everything being important and useful.  I found it becomes overwhelming, a waste of energy and, ha!, a waste of moments.  They happen and do matter, with or without my assistance.  When I realized this, I became incredibly appreciative and grateful for the comprehension.  I’m still wondering where all of these moments are leading to, but I’m so very glad for the realization that I had.

This ah-ha moment arrived for me yesterday, as I was taking pictures in my yard.  The flowers and the leaves are coming out like I’ve never seen before.  We’ve had an unusually long, harsh winter for central Missouri, and the plants seem as though they’re also ecstatic that warmer weather is finally here.  I was shooting pictures from different angles, close-ups, and even got some wonderful semi-posed shots of my son.  This was amazing to me, as he’s been camera phobic for a few years.  He was such a ham when he was a wee guy–even telling me to take his picture when he finally had the words to use!  When he started school, he became camera shy.  As in wouldn’t ALLOW his picture to be taken easily.  When he was little, I made sure I did not have a camera in his face constantly, as I knew that was too intrusive for all of us.  Has this happened to you, where your child made an actual choice to not be photographic?  I’m not sure what transpired in his brain, but it sucked!  I’d been taking great pictures of him for years, providing a growth and adventure history for us to look at and enjoy. Then, NADA.  It was so challenging for me since I loved catching special moments in parenthood, childhood, life adventures… I started focusing on scenery and nature shots, but missed taking pictures of my “bouy” and my hubby.  Hubby had never really liked having his picture taken, but having a son helped him relax from that aversion since we loved looking at the results so much.  Once my son didn’t want his picture taken, neither did my husband!  It was such an odd lag in my photographs, and one that actually saddened me deeply. Now, my photography bug seems to be back in full force; maybe that’s what has made it ok for my guys to have their pictures taken again.

While I’ve been off work with my fragrance sensitivity, I’ve turned my energy back toward photography.  I recognized how alive I felt yesterday, for the first time in forever!  My yard became my inspiration.  My son is my inspiration.  The results of my photography are my inspiration.  Knowing that my moments happen with or without my assistance and realizing that my true job is to simply acknowledge them not only inspires me, but also removed a large burden of finding my life success.  What’s your inspiration for your creativity, your life-energy, your moments?  I’m so excited to feel this and truly hope you can/do too!

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance

Penny for my thoughts…

What was I thinking when I wanted to start writing a blog?  I’m not exactly sure, but several people had suggested that I start one because I might be able to emotionally support to someone else going through something similar or even something different, I might provide inspiration, it would be cathartic for me, it’s a story that should be told, it’s a way to try new products and maybe make money (!), I can feed my writing spirit, it’s something to “do,” and it sounded like a fun thing to try.  Can’t succeed if I don’t try, right?  My own, personal, main, real thought was I want to touch more people’s lives in a positive way.  It’s why I became a high school teacher at 43.  It’s why I’m more active at my church.  It’s why I connect with total strangers wherever I go.  It’s in me.  It’s a drive that I don’t understand, but am welcoming and understanding more and more.  I see this as a gift, and recognize the importance of sharing it with others.  This is a logical way of do just that. Not sure what all will happen, where this will take me, but I love seeing my thoughts written down, instead of rambling around in my brain.  Life is an adventure, and I’m striving to find the happiness in the journey.  So far, so good.

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance    

Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

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4.15.2014

As I looked at this glorious full moon this morning that I renamed The Blossom Moon (true name is the Rose Moon for it’s coloring,) I felt insignificant, yet so very real and whole.  Almost giddy!!  I’m here for a purpose, and am in the process of trying to figure out what it is and where I’m headed.  I’m taking a blogging “class” to learn how to be a better blogger, one whose messages reach those who need them, a person providing comfort, information, some humor, a connection to the greater things…  My purpose for this blog is to provide these things as well as give myself an outlet for myself as I bumble my way through life’s journey. 

I have a unique health issue in that I am super hyper-sensitive to some ingredients in many fragrances.  Guess what–artificial fragrance is everywhere in our world.  Air fresheners, cologne and perfumes, clothes detergents and softeners, shampoo, conditioners, deodorants, lotions, hair styling products, cleaning supplies, …  It’s almost everywhere.  The problem is that the doctors can’t narrow down the culprits and treat me for those allergens because there’re too many of them. 

I know I’m not the only one with this problem–yet when this reaction really hit my fully, I felt like I was alone.  Five doctors later, multiple medicines tried, finding alternate ways of doing things, missing many, many gatherings and events, and still it continues.  Friends and family have encouraged me to provide a resource to others, be the someone experiencing this real life challenge to perhaps give moral support or help others feel less isolated. I hope I do that, plus find ways of bringing me/us back to what is real and important. 

I thought about Blossom Moon, how many times she’s risen over this planet, how many times she’s been photographed and gazed upon with awe and respect and almost disbelief in her beauty.  It’s the first time I’ve noticed our moon with a pinkish tint.  How many other things have I simply looked upon, utilized, ignoring beauty in a different format?  It’s rather exhilarating to be recognizing some of my potential.  My life is based upon the thought  that the journey is to provide the happiness, not the destination being the provider of that.  The further I travel on this journey, the more I recognize how important it is to keep my eyes, heart and soul open to the energies of the Universe, finding the simple happiness that helps make my heart sing.

With warm wishes,

Nance