Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hidden Talent

This oil painting was done by my co-worker's daughter last weekend. She has never painted before and decided to give it a try.  When my co-worker showed it to me, I had the same reaction as everyone else.  Wow, talk about some hidden talent!

Chrissy is in her early 20's and according to her mom, has never shown any interest in drawing or painting until recently when she and her mom started playing a game called "Draw Something" on their phones.  The app gives you a word and you draw it and then send it to the other person for them to guess what the word is.  Chrissy's mom has been showing us the awesome and creative drawings Chrissy sends her.

According to a recent article online, the company that made "Draw Something" just sold for $180 million dollars. Wouldn't you just love to be the person who came up with that idea?  Do you suppose that person had some hidden talent? I think so.

This all got me to thinking about hidden talents.  I am of the belief that every person has some kind of hidden talent. Mine is remembering names and numbers. I'm much better at names than digits. I have a technique I learned a long time ago and it has never rarely failed me. I suppose it's hardly a talent, maybe more of a gift.

Do you have a hidden talent?  What is it?

love, susan

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where Do Butterflies Go?

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.   
                              ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

This butterfly had an antenna missing or we would not have had a chance to really examine his beauty. The place where we  camped was filled with amazing butterflies and beautiful moths. They would arrive in the morning and flitter around until early afternoon, leaving us to ask where do butterflies go?
When we arrived at the Tucannon River campsite, I was careful to leave all my expectations at home. We had never been there before, however, we have been a lot of places and camped in some areas that are truly hidden treasures. It wouldn't be fair to make comparisons.

What I always discover while camping is that if I sit quietly, 
happiness does really find me.  
One of my very good friends made a comment at camp that might possibly be the most profound thing I've heard in a long time.  I was telling her the one thing I dislike about camping is the cooking.  I try to think of things that I can make ahead and simply reheat at camp. She agreed with me that the worst part is the cleanup but she added, "yeah, but if you just do a little cleanup here and there, it's not so bad".   

She's so right. 

So, I have all this stuff to put away from camping.  I guess I'll go do a little bit.  :-)

Hope you had a happy weekend wherever you are.

love, susan

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, JP

Happy birthday to my son!  He's 28 today!

My son is a very private person so I won't embarrass him with too much information here but can I just tell you that he is the most wonderful, loving, and kind human being I've ever known. I'm not just saying that because I'm his mother.  Really, he is.

I love this photo I shot when he and Amanda came to visit us at Thanksgiving 2 years ago. They had a short break from school and we were so thrilled they chose to spend it with us.

They arrived on Thanksgiving day and I had dinner ready shortly after they arrived. The next morning, my son got up and made us his famous french toast. Later, he fried turkey in the leftover bacon grease to make some awesome sandwiches. You gotta love a man who can cook! He got his love of cooking from his Grandma Smith.  She would be so proud of him.

Although we have been miles apart for a while now, we manage to see each other at least once a year. I'm a lucky mom!

love, susan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sue, Don't Forget to Check the Oil

<-----------  That's my dad!  

One of my weekly prompts suggested sharing a lesson learned from my dad that still sticks with me to this day. Wow, it's hard to think of just one. I decided to try to write a little today and see what bubbles up.

Check the oil!

My dad was a heavy duty mechanic. He worked on cars and diesel engines most of his life; that is, when he wasn't logging trees. He did other things but what I remember about him the most from those days is that he usually had a wrench in his hand, grease under his fingernails and always torn-up hands.

When I was younger, dad often had me come out to the garage and help hold something in place while he tightened a bolt, or sometimes he'd have me step on the brake when he was replacing a tail-light. He taught me how to drive a stick shift, 4x4 pickup truck. This came in very handy when I caught the eye of my first husband. I'll always remember that husband's eyes lighting up when I told him I drove my dad's Ford F150.  "And, I know how to check my own oil." A real selling point for a future ex-wife, I'm sure.  I digress .... sorry.

Oh yeah.  My dad taught me how to cuss properly, too. That's important when one is really super mad and needs to get their point across.  I never took to throwing tools across the garage floor but I can see now how useful that is for pent up frustration. Nobody ever got hurt but we knew how to scatter when things weren't going exactly as planned in the garage. Sometimes dad would let out a word when he thought my sister and I were not around.  We tried not to let him know we heard. He would actually be embarrassed when he realized we could hear him.  Oh, fudge. I do have a potty mouth but I can't really blame him for that.

We had a Honda 125 motorcycle when I was in high school and my dad taught me how to ride it. It's the one and only reason I had the courage to get on a motorcycle again in my mid 40's. When I got on that motorcycle in the endorsement class, it was as if it was yesterday that my dad had taught me how to shift gears.  Motorcycling this late in life has been a treasured gift that I've never thanked him for.  I should do that.

Dad loved to dance.  He was a great dancer and of all the things I think I've learned from him, to just let go and have fun on the dance floor is among my favorites. I still have a lot to learn about that but I'm working on it.  I'm not a great dancer but I do think of him every time I hit the dance floor and truly wish I could dance with him just one more time. He hasn't really been in the mood to dance for a while now. Vertigo has taken up residence in him and it's not fun.  I never thanked him for giving me that gift.  I should do that.

My dad taught me gazillions of things but I never really thought about much until the last year or two. Seems time is catching up to both of us and it's past time for me to tell him how much all those lessons have meant to me.  I'd better get a card made and slip it in the mail tomorrow.

What's the favorite lesson you learned from your dad or some father-figure in your life?  Tell me!

love, susan

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 2012 To-Do List

Dang, already 5 days into June! It always feels like I'm hanging onto the very tail-end of a runaway train in the summer.  I am inspired to write about ten things that are on my calendar for June:

Camping: We had camping on our May calendar but circumstances and weather made us postpone it twice. Hoping to squeeze it in somewhere in June.

Concert in the Park: Our little town does an 8-week series called Live @ 5 on Thursdays after work. I have been trying to catch up with a friend for a visit and we promised we'd sit together at the next concert. That's a two-for-one to-do!

Farmer's Market: I have Fridays off so I want to visit the Friday Farmer's Market in my little town. It's a little market with big heart, music and wonderful vendors.

Volleyball in the Park: A few dozen friends get together at 1:00pm on Sundays in Columbia Park to play volleyball for 3 hours. I don't play but love to sit and visit with everyone. The outdoors is my church!

Photography class: The photo club is offering another free class next weekend. I'm going and two good friends are joining me!

Friend's brunch: We're having friends over next Sunday to meet our new dog. They don't know it yet, but I'm gonna make a little brunch.  Fun times!

Day-trip motorcycle ride: I don't know where we're going yet but weather permitting we'll do a long day ride somewhere this month.

Dance in Wapato: There is an event in Wapato, which is near Yakima, that includes a dance. It's on my calendar! Should be big fun!

Sit a little in my lounge chair: I do love to sit in my back yard lounge chair and watch the grass grow sometimes and catch a few rays.

Plant another rose bush: I planted two rose bushes last year. One made it and is blooming now. Must replace the one that died.

What are you doing in June?

love, susan

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I'm Expecting!

Gene picked up Ms. Abbie on Thursday for a trial run at our house. She is a 5 year old, Border Collie with a sharp drive to chase frisbees and balls. 

Her first day with us was awkward and painful as we watched our other dog, Missy, melt in disappointment that we'd brought another bitch into the house. It wasn't at all the reaction I was expecting.

I'm always expecting.  Expecting that things will go my way. Expecting other people to read my mind. Expecting our new adoptee will come in and be playful with Missy.

When Abbie didn't rise to my expectation, I was ready to take her back to the shelter the next day. It was hard to see Missy get all mopey and bowled over by this hard-driven canine.  I was ready to give up until an unexpected visit from our kind neighbors. They have 2 rescue dogs and each of them has different personalities. They were encouraging and said we should really give everybody a chance to adjust.  That made sense to me.  So we slept on it.

This morning I woke up with a different attitude. I completely, 100% abandoned my expectations of this dog.

What I realized throughout today is that Abbie is just who she is. She has a great need to have people who will take time from their day to throw the frisbee and ball as least a couple hundred times.  What a joy!

I see her now through a different pair of glasses. And, Missy is adjusting. It's all going to be just fine.

What were you expecting when you saw the title of this post?
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...