Help Her! She Spoke French!

Bonjour et bienvenue. A few months ago I started learning French via the website Duolingo. Anyone close to me knows just how amusing this is. I have a history of bludgeoning the French language. I’ve dropped out of two French courses. Small children have made fun of me for my particularly bad pronunciation. I can never keep the conjugations for “avoir” (to have) and “etre” (to be) straight. My husband is from Quebec and speaks lovely French. When we were visiting Montreal, strangers would address him in French and then turn to me and speak in English, as if the words “Don’t even try” were stamped on my forehead. When people spoke French around me, I was sure they were making fun of me. And still, I’ve always wanted to learn French. On the outside, I laughed...

Shame On You**

A few months ago I read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and at one point she explains the difference between “shame” and “guilt.”  We feel guilt when we do something “bad,” which one can apologize for and move on. But we feel shame when we think we are bad. When we feel that as people we are not worthy, not enough. Brown says the shame armour begins to go on around the middle grades when we begin being shamed by others for who we are. We internalize it to mean: I shouldn’t be this way, if I am, I’m not enough. I’m too fat, too skinny, not cool enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough. The armour is new and awkward at first. As we grow into it, we get better at hiding. But even at 40, 50, 60 years old, our...

The Art of Uplift (aka – Be a Star Among Stars)

up*lift verb 1. to lift up; raise; elevate. 2. to improve socially, morally, or the like. 3. to exalt emotionally or spiritually. 4. to become uplifted. noun 5. an act of raising; elevation. 6. the process or work of improving, as socially, intellectually, or morally. 7. emotional or spiritual exaltation. For the past few months I’ve been thinking about the ideas of UP and DOWN in terms of language, emotion, and physicality. When we are UP we are high, exalted (“closer to the heavens”), floating, light, standing tall, open. We love looking up – – to the sky, birds, clouds, sun, moon, future. When feeling liberated, joyous, elated we throw our arms up. We want to “reach for the stars” not “dig ourselves”...

This Space for Rent

Moving Stats: two cuts six bruises a round of kidney stones two head/chest colds an ear infection one bookshelf dropped on head ~     ~     ~ Despite the physical ailments, the renters who flaked out on us TWO DAYS before we were to move, and the ferry schedule to get the Uhaul to the Sunshine Coast and back in one day, we have done it!   We have moved to a greener, slower, more remote location. And I already love it, even though it has been nothing but grey, and I am surrounded by unpacked boxes and unorganized kitchenware. I love the quiet growing of our surroundings. I love the nestiness of our new space. It is much smaller, alas, so the Den of Destiny is no more, but I have found a fabulous new cafe that opens early. I have decided it is my new office:...

The Drama of Packing Books and The Year of the Bookshelf

I’ve been told before that “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” If packing to move were compared to my general flight path in life, I’d have to agree. What takes my far more focused husband a few hours, will take me days as I flit around and get distracted, inspired, or pulled into a side-project. I started reading a fabulous book called THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. In her book she advises to do all your discarding first before any organizing, and to do it by one of five categories, rather than by room. She even suggests the order in which you discard (from “easiest to hardest”) starting with clothes. I loved that part. Giving away clothes that weren’t “bringing me...

Hellooooooo! Weekend Workout: We Got Talent

Wow. It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. I’ve been trying to get back to it, but life kept happening. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say the circumnavigation included a computer death, a back injury (unrelated to the computer death), 3 elementary school visits (also unrelated to the back injury), a flashmob, a haircut, completing my latest rewrite on a new novel (yay), a dream about a roller coaster for executives. And this: The back injury happened while falling into a pile of logs trying to retrieve this one for my garden: Okay, the part where I carried this by myself to the car may have exacerbated my back injury a bit. But lookie how cool my garden driftwood log is! And my free beach log only cost me $300...