Category Archives: Inspirations

When Nothing Strikes Me As Funny…

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Yesterday was a day completely lacking funny.  Sometimes that happens.  When it does, I start a project.

You might think that project ideas conceived during humorless days would be depressing works of un-inspiration…but not so!

Herb GardenHerb GardenHerb Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find hideous mugs and vases, rightfully discarded by their owners.  These can be repurposed into a precariously balanced (and super glued) stack of containers for planting herbs for the kitechen-garden.  If I could offer one piece of advice…don’t start gluing until you have a plan.  Also..don’t let super glue touch dirt and then your face…super glued dirt is very hard to wash off.  (as evidenced by my permanently muddy eyebrow, left nostril, and chin.

 

 

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No Time To Troll…

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Backpack Like You Mean It

Well folks, I just don’t have time to troll for inspiration today.  I’m on a mission.  In the next three days I will be finishing my book.  Done.  No more editing.  Send it to the printer, have a couple of celebratory drinks, done.  I have a meeting with the printer on Monday morning, at which time I will hand over my final manuscript.  A very talented artist named Sarah-Lee Terrat did the illustrations for my cover and text.  I thought I would share the cover today…

I am hoping to have Backpack Like You Mean It in Kindle and Nook format by the middle of April, and a soft cover version of the book by May first.  I will, of course, keep you all posted.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Platypus Milk Glands-Fodder For Date Night

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Remember the kid in your fifth grade class who gave his book report like he was telling a story about having met MC Hammer (which in those days, was cool)?  He acted like the giant squid he researched was his childhood hero, and they got a beer together while hanging out over the weekend.   You know the kid I mean.  He got so excited about things like dinosaurs, platypus milk glands, parasitic worms, and cuttlefish.  In fifth grade, you got sucked in by his enthusiasm.  Defying explanation, you were all of a sudden wishing your best friend was the giant squid, and maybe you felt a little jealous that someone else knew more than you.

I miss those days.  There was something so magical about sitting in a room, full of your friends, exchanging information.  It was rarely practical information.  I don’t think I’ll ever bump into a platypus and need to know where its milk glands are, but I love knowing about them.  If you’re rolling your eyes…I’m calling you out.  You’re going to google platypus milk glands after you’re done reading this.  You know you are.

I’m living with the kid in your fifth grade class.  The kid who sucks you in, and makes your jaw drop with his cuttlefish facts.  Last week, Nathan decided that he was going to give a book report about sperm whales.  At first, I was a little disappointed that he wanted to present his book report on our date night.  Listening to a sperm whale presentation at the bar of a pizza joint didn’t strike me as romantic, or particularly enjoyable.

Nathan spent his free time that week doing research.  On Friday evening he informed me that he wanted to make sure we were comfortable before he started his presentation.  I had no idea how long he planned on lecturing, so I agreed that we should probably order our food and drinks before he began.

And then, something magical happened.  He started telling me about how sperm whales are the largest mammal with teeth, the animal with the largest brain, the deepest divers, their clicking vocalization is the loudest sound made by any animal, they can communicate across entire oceans, and they can hold their breath for up to 90 minutes.  Did you know that sperm whales can dive to a depth of two miles?  That they feed primarily on giant squid?  Or that the annual consumption of marine life by sperm whales surpasses the annual consumption of seafood for the entire human race?   Males can grow to be sixty feet long.  Their heads can account for up to a third of their body length.  I could go on…but I don’t want to overwhelm you.

That night, Nathan reminded me how much I love learning.  As adults, I think we get caught up in a very specific pattern of learning.  Like – what our political parties are doing, what our finances are doing, what classes we need to get our masters degree, what software  we need for our jobs, what TV shows will entertain us.  We forget that knowing about the world, the amazing things that happen every day, is worth our time.  It helps our minds remain flexible and creative.  It makes us interesting and interested.

If your date nights are starting to bore you, I highly recommend pulling out the Britannica for inspiration.  Book reports are in.

For a sample of some sperm whale clicking, check the link below

http://www.dosits.org/audio/marinemammals/toothedwhales/spermwhale/

The Strenuous Life

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I’m going to step outside of my typical posting style and share something about one of my heroes:

Did you know that on October 14th, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin?  Instead of going to the hospital, T.R. went to the podium to give his speech.  He was running for a third term as a candidate in the Bull Moose party (a party he himself started when he could not win the Republican nomination).We could all learn a little something from Theodore Roosevelt.  As blood soaked through his white vest, he pulled his speech notes from his pocket and held them up to the crowd.  A hole had been ripped through the pages by the bullet meant for his heart.  The manuscript likely saved his life.
He waved the torn paper above his head and shouted, “It takes a lot more than that to kill a Bull Moose!”

That day he delivered an hour long speech – with a bullet lodged in his chest.
I wouldn’t call this behavior normal, but I can’t help but be impressed.

Teddy was a man who knew how to live.
I find his accomplishments inspiring.
I won’t list them because the list would be extensive, and you might not believe me.
He aspired to live what he called, ‘The Strenuous Life’.  Every day with vigor, integrity, and fearless conviction.

Theodore Roosevelt’s life serves as a great reminder that without struggle, without stepping from one’s comfort zone, without a code – a moral framework to guide our decisions, without failures – we are weak.

A reminder that what we do with our time on earth is entirely up to us.

The Man in the Arena

April 23, 1910 – Sorbonne, Paris
The famous quote from the speech
“Citizenship in a Republic”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”