Saturday, July 30, 2011

Atlanta High Museum of Art

At work, there are only 3 of us: the boss, the massage therapist, and me. If I'm working, the boss is off and vice versa. The massage therapist (Patty) works her own schedule, so both me and the boss have days we share with Patty. All of us are pretty good friends too, so at Christmas, we like to give some token of our friendship to each other. This year, Patty wanted to "give me a break"....and it was a PERFECT gift! She and I planned to take a trip into Atlanta, just the two of us, and visit the High Museum of Art. I've never been there, or to anything like that. I was looking forward to it. We planned a day, and I got sick on that day- REAL sick, so we canceled.

Well here it is July, and Patty is dealing with fiercely emotional situations and so am I. Both of us are experiencing stresses that put us into tears, and we SO needed a break. She and I decided....let's have Christmas in July! Today was our day. Oh wow how we needed it!

I went to her house and jumped in her car. Together we rode to Atlanta and chatted all the way. That alone was great fun, but then we arrived there in Mid-Town. The buildings were fascinating to me! Everything was shiny! Look at this building that is directly in front of us. It is so shiny that it is reflecting the building you see just to our left. Isn't that cool?

So we go inside the museum and there are HUGE wide open rooms with art hung on the walls. I have to admit,...very little of it impressed me. I decided that I am no fan of watercolor paintings, at least some watercolor paintings. They just don't look enough different from what my kids hang on the fridge to make me think they are extraordinary.There was an African artist I liked though. He had a display with piano keys.....he filled a room full of them! It was just the keys....and a key is more than just the part you press with your fingers. It actually is hammer-like and all wooden. So there were lots and lots of piano keys on the floor with a head in the middle of it, if the person was drowning in a sea of musical keys. That was cool. We found a display of cut glass....they were really pretty too. There were several statues and some vases and pottery,...have a look at some of what we saw:

Look at this lady. Doesn't she look cranky? She must be thinking "You couldn't wait and paint my portrait AFTER I finished fixing my hair?" What makes this even more outlandish is that she is a French Huguenot in SC during the 1700s.....which means she COULD be related to me :S

Oh and they had some neat looking furniture. Patty and I both liked this gigantic mirror.
It was all interesting and I learned a little...but honestly, I was MORE fascinated with the architecture around me. See the ceiling of the building we were in?

And look at this awesome tree outside in the courtyard. See that building right there next to it that looks like a cartoon shape superimposed on to the photo? Nope,..not that at all. That building is actually there! Crazy, huh?

But this is probably the neatest one. It's a bust of a man with a basketball. See how tall it is by comparing it to the flagpole next to it.
You should see it close up. Look what it's made from!

It was a really neat trip. I got a picture of the Fox Theater, and I got a picture of a black guy with a white mohawk crossing the street, and I took a picture of a "dolphin on the square" and a trolley type vehicle splashing across mud puddles...lots of neat stuff. I ate a panini for lunch and had a MOST AWESOME lemonade drink with it. Best of all, I didn't have to do a single thing. I didn't have to worry about anything and I could laugh all I wanted to. We smiled a lot, we made fun of some of the artwork, we jay-walked once.... it was such a wonderful day.

Thank you Patty! Merry Christmas to all, and to all,....a good night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Penny's Worth

I think I'm approaching menopause. I can't say for certain, but there are little signs occasionally that make me think "maybe".... So what that means for this post is that I've done a lot of thinking lately. My emotions are more up and down than any roller coaster and trying to sort it all out is quite the chore. Sometimes sharing a penny's worth provides a moment of breathing room, so here goes:

My Morgan loves Selena Gomez. He says he would be glad to marry her. I have to admit that she's a cute little girl and her singing voice is quite appealing. The things that makes her "ok" in my book is that she dresses modestly, she only sings music with positive messages in the lyrics and her Hollywood personality is that of a decent kid enjoying her life but not trashing it. That makes her a far better role model or example to kids than Miley Cyrus or some others.

Still, Selena Gomez is a young girl and her music is pointed mostly at young people. It's pop music and I just don't listen to as much of that as I did when I was a kid. What I'm saying here is that she's cute and sings well but she's not in my normal genre. When the kids are watching tv and she's on the show, I don't jump to turn it off because I have learned to trust her musical quality and message. Yesterday, she was on a tv show called So Random. I don't really enjoy that show, but the kids do and I just let it go. They had a special guest star there to perform: Selena Gomez. I walked through the room, hearing it but not particularly LISTENING to it....when all the sudden the lyrics hit me hard in the head...

Who says, who says you're not perfect
Who says you're not worth it

Who says you're the only one that's hurting

Trust me that's the price of beauty
Who says you're not pretty
Who says you're not beautiful, who says?

Who says you're not star potential

Who says you're not presidential
Who says you can't be in movies

Listen to me, listen to me

Who says you don't pass the test

Who says you can't be the best

Who said, who said?

Would you tell me who said that, yeah

Who said

Who says, who says you're not perfect

Who says you're not worth it
Who says you're the only one that's hurting

Trust me that's the price of beauty

Who says you're not pretty

Who says you're not beautiful, who says?

Those lyrics stopped me right in my tracks and it was like someone was saying them TO ME specifically. I felt kind of stunned by them for several hours. This morning I woke up still thinking about those words. As I drove in to work, I glanced over at the grass growing along the side of the road. Whoever heard of imperfect grass blades? Nobody says grass is imperfect. If you pick 2 blades of grass, they are grass....perfectly grasslike, just as green as it should be, as slender or wide as it should be, as tender as it should be,....who says "oh this grass blade isn't pretty, it isn't perfect,".... that just sounds ridiculous doesn't it?

Why do I think of myself as any different than those blades of grass? Who says I'm not pretty? Nobody has ever come up to my face and said to me "Marianna, you are not pretty." Maybe they are idiots and THOUGHT those words, but nobody has been bold enough to say that to me. So as far as I know, nobody says I'm not pretty. Who is going to tell me I'm not perfect? I'm a human, which means I'm designed with weaknesses and charged with the task of overcoming those I can and successfully being Marianna in spite of those I can't. Who is going to tell me I am not doing just exactly that? And have you seen how dramatic I can be? Tell me that's not star potential! Who says I'm not good enough to be me? I'm the perfect person to be me. You can't possibly be better at being me than I am,.... so where did I come up with the notion that I'm not good enough?

While pondering that, I opened up my blog. At the top of the screen is a button that says "Next Blog" and for some reason, I clicked it. Someone's blog came up on the screen called "Life is Good at Gracy Farms", but what caught my attention was the very brief blog post she had at the top of her blog. Let me paste it here...

"My visiting teaching companion shared a beautiful message yesterday. As part of her message, she shared the below quote. I really loved it and wanted to share it with you.

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. -Margaret D. Nadauld

Reading things like this helps me remember what I know is true. A rededication to be the kind of woman I hope to become someday. "

Wow.... kind of tied together the song, my thoughts, and a reminder from a little higher source. I may not be famous, or rich, or a beauty queen....I may not be you, I may not be someone else,...but I am ME, and I DO strive towards things that will make me a woman of God. I'm not so bad, in fact,....I'm pretty worthwhile!

And you are too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Progress

Mondays are my paydays. They are always hard days because I don't get to work as much as my expenses need me to. Most of my checks get poured out on bills leaving us scraping by on a few dollars for a week till the next tiny check comes in. We manage, but the Cosmic Thumb is also successful.

Anyway, today was a little different than normal Mondays. Today, I got paid for an extra day of work last week. This week, Tommy gets paid also. That allowed me to cover minor things for now and take the family to the Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville. It was a hard day (anything with much physical activity these days is a hard day for me), but it was a successful day. We started at Sears and Manti got a pair of dress pants. He also got an appreciation for the cost of clothing. [I hope that means he'll take good care of them!] He also got a good leather belt and a pair of nice leather shoes. He was so proud to be walking around making his own purchases. He went off on his own looking for a few things (which happened more because he wanted to keep shopping and today was a day Tommy had to use a walking cane to get around) but he only shopped while we were together. Some RUDE RUDE RUDE Indian woman (from India, not a Native American) at an Orange Julius kiosk insulted me and my little boys. I wanted to hit her so badly. Instead I paid her $15 for drinks for all of our family (which we ended up throwing away they were so bad) and allowing Tommy to express his distaste for her. I was slightly embarrassed, but ONLY slightly.

We came back to Carrollton and I had to pick up a prescription from Publix, which was the perfect excuse to go over to Target and get a cherry icee. It might be childish, but when I feel bad, there are 2 things that I like to do that help me feel better: 1-buy myself a new shirt, 2-get myself a cherry icee. So today I got a cherry icee AND I got some nachos...I was special for a minute. While in Target, Manti got all the socks he needed and his second leather belt. He looked for pajamas, but did you know that sort of thing is SEASONAL??? Raincoats are too and won't be stocked around here until SEPTEMBER! Craziness! The rainy season in Georgia is NOW...not in the fall...looney people!

Next, we headed over to Walmart to pick up 2 more prescriptions. While there, we got groceries and Manti got a shoe shine kit. I don't know if he picked up anything else while there, but he tends to price things and think for a while before getting stuff, so maybe that's all he actually got...I think it is.

What progress, right? He still has several things to go and some of it we just can't find here. We've discovered there are some things that he'll just have to purchase once he gets to NM.

He's been sorting his things in his room, and he got the word today that Mesa intends to take over his room and VERY THOROUGHLY clean it out when he leaves. So he has motivation to get in there and pack his things securely. I guess next he'll pick up some rubbermaid buckets HAHA!

So there is a progress report! We plan to go out on another excursion Wednesday. Of course, while we're there, I think we're going to go back to the mall. There is the COOLEST store there called EarthBound. They had some of the most awesome cultural items! There were African things, Japanese things, and some stuff was purely "earthly" as in wooden bowls carved from Fir Tree roots and incense and some singing bowls WHICH I WANT!!!!!! It's such an awesome store. I let Morgan get a puzzle... it's actually a house, and if you take it apart, the puzzle pieces are furniture for the house like a table and chairs. It's complicated to put it back together and you literally have to think about each piece to make it work. There were other puzzles like this that I want to get the boys too- an Eiffel Tower, a soccer ball on a pedestal, a beer mug with foaming drink on top... seriously neat toys!

Anyway, more to come, and more progress expected before the end of the week. Till then,...


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Super Morgan

Morgan has always had an imagination that has only been rivaled by his sister, Mesa. Mesa developed imaginary friends that she virtually lived with day in and day out. Morgan has been a storyteller. Little does he know what a valuable gift that will be to him one day....or how much it endears him to people now. With that in mind,...let me tell you about Twilight Camp.

Twilight Camp is Cub Scout summer camp, just takes place in the "twilight hours" instead of during the day. Manti went to Day Camp-- see the difference? Just time of day. Anyway, Morgan has had difficulty with certain areas of education, and because he is a tender-hearted person, I can't stand the thoughts of someone hurting his feelings. So my remedy has been to be volunteer at the camp as his den leader. The fact that I love scouting probably more than any of my boys doesn't come into that at all....really! So Morgan loves camp and I mean HE LOVES CAMP! These kids do gobs of games and arts/crafts and sports. They even throw in some education, but the kids hardly ever realize that. They achieve goals from their scout books and earn awards by doing so. They learn life lessons too, like teamwork and responsibility and positive thinking. And NOBODY demonstrates THOSE things better than my Morgan. I'm not exaggerating one little bit!

This year, we arrived at camp and got registered. I was assigned 9 boys to be responsible for. I quickly inform them that one of the rules of camp is the buddy system, so everybody needs a buddy and one buddy group will have to have 3 in it. Would you believe it, these kids remembered Morgan from last year and 6 of them asked for Morgan to be their buddy! Poor Morgan didn't know what to do! I helped him a bit and told him it was ok to choose anybody, because choosing a buddy didn't mean you were picking only one person to be friends with. It meant you were choosing one person who would drop everything and go with you when you needed someone to take you to the bathroom or first aid or run an errand. Morgan chose a boy from our of the older ones. I was really surprised, but also glad. The other boys paired up, and the 2 that didn't choose him simply didn't know him, but were choosing him by the end of the week for odd errands they needed help with. That's my dependable and always willing to help little boy!

Morgan with his buddy.

Day one, we played flag football. Morgan is not sports-minded so much, but he wants to do every little thing asked of him. So he jumped right in and tried his best. It's still not "his thing", but he made effort to learn and I saw quick progress for him.

Day two was wrist rockets. My boy beat his target all up! I was so proud! Day three we got to do BB guns. That's the favorite for most boys, but every one of my boys gave Morgan "props" for being an excellent shot. Take a look at his target! Where'd the center go? He shot it out!

Day four was archery day, and all these little boys were bragging about how awesome they were---- until Morgan landed bullseye after bullseye. He grouped several right into the same hole too. THATS my super-Morgan! And to top it all off, he patted each boy on the back and never bragged that he out-shot any of them. Tell me I don't have a great kid!

Notice his big brother was even proud of him and left his station to come support Morgan.

And just look at the joy in his face! He is the ONLY kid who never begged to carry the den flag or the spirit stick when we won it. He always let others go first and he stepped out of the way so every boy had a chance to do whatever he wanted....and not one of them ever thanked him for that. He never noticed that either. He just gladly gave them space.

One of the days, the boys had to write letters to a friend and a family member. Morgan chose to write to his Granny and to one of the boys in our group. Funny thing is, two boys in our group chose to write Morgan! I must have good kids because some of the boys chose to write to Manti and a couple wrote to Mesa! Yes,....I'm bragging.

I had a good group of boys who participated and didn't give me TOO much grief during the hottest days of the year. As good as they were, nobody else was a Super-Morgan!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Isn't He Lovely?

Morgan strikes me as having "middle child syndrome"... so sometimes we try to include him in things we're doing, even when they don't really seem like activities meant for him.

Case in point: