My Friend iPad

You may recall that I got an iPad for Christmas.  What a sweetheart!  And so talented.  Here she is gardening:

Do you like her cute wool coat?  (It's actually an iPad sleeve, but she likes "coat" so we call it a coat.)  My sister and her fabulous daughter designed and made it.  You can learn all about it at my niece's blog.  

You should see iPad when it's time to go for a ride in the car.  She gets so excited.

She also loves to play with Scout.  But don't even start on tug-of-war.  You'll be there all day!

Here she is going for a walk.  This winter has been very mild, but she always insists on her "coat" when she goes outside.  (I think she's a little vain.)

When it is time for work, though, she's gets right to it.  

Although, frankly, all she really wants to do is watch Netflix.


Goddess of the Week: Epona

Pasadena Adjacent wants a pony, but I can only give her a goddess.  I give her the Celtic horse goddess Epona.

Epona is usually depicted as a woman riding a big white horse.

That's all I got.  The Celts were a preliterate people.  We only know what Irish monks decided to record later on, and they had a vested interest in erasing goddesses (and little g gods) from history.

But I think you can work with that, Pasadena Adjacent, because you are an artist and and a very creative person.  Also, you are a person with a social justice streak, and I think you can reclaim Epona and invent a whole backstory for her.

In honor of all things Irish, I say start with a limerick.  I'll start it for you.

There once was a goddess Epona.
Who rode on a pony named Jonah.
She turned into a mare, and said "What have you there?"
And that's__________________________.

Ok, PA, you finish it.  But everyone else can add suggestions too.  I'd hate to put too much pressure on just you.

Channel this goddess: When you want a horse, when horseback riding, when listening to "Rhiannon" by Stevie Nicks.  Rumor has it Epona was transmogrified into the tragic Welsh heroine Rhiannon.  Finally that song makes sense!

Need a goddess?  I got goddesses, and normally I know much more about them.  (Blast those Monks!  Although, apparently, they also saved western civilization, so I guess we have to cut them some slack.)  Anyway, to get your goddess, post a comment saying what you want one for.  Then check back in a week or two and see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  It's a way better gift than a toaster.  

PS: Pasadena Adjacent asked me to add the photo.  It is her deceased Nia, as is only fitting as Epona had a white horse too.
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"What have you done for color today?"

"What have you done for color today?" Henri Matisse once asked Rosamond Bernier, author of the new memoir Some of My Lives.

Here's what I did:

It's not Matisse, but it's straight from the rain-kissed garden.

So what have you done for color today? Discuss!

(PS: I am loving Some of My Lives. It is a very engaging look at a remarkable woman who hobnobbed with everyone from Matisse to Leonard Bernstein.  Plus she had a boozer monkey! There's a great interview with nine-five year old Bernier on NPR.  You can find it here.)


Goddess of the Week: Nike

English: A stone carving of the Goddess Nike a...
Image via Wikipedia
Heather needs a goddess of self confidence.  She needs the Greek goddess Nike.

Even Zeus needed Nike.  Once, Zeus and the Olympians had to battle the Titans.  The Titans released this crazy-scary monster named Typhon right on Mount Olympus.   The gods freaked out!  Almost all of them fled Mount Olympus in a panic and embarrassed themselves by showing up in Athens with really bad hair and slippers.

Only Zeus and Nike stayed to defend Mount Olympus and the power of the gods.  Zeus, of course, had his whole lightening bolt thing, but Typhon had been locked inside a mountain for, like, forever, and was really pissed.  And, as we all know, a pissed monster, is a psycho-dangerous monster.  It was bad.  One look from Typhon and Zeus's lightening bolts turned into My Little Pony plushies.  One terrifying roar from Typhon and Zeus fell backwards onto the ground.

Abandoned by his brothers and sisters, surrounded by strange pink and purple stuffed horses, Zeus lost confidence in himself and began to lose hope.  But Nike would not let him.  With the ferocity of a drill sargeant and the energy of a girl who believes enthusiasm alone can make one a pom pon girl, Nike cheered on Zeus.  "You are awesome!" She yelled.  "You are fricking Zeus-king-of-fricking-Mount-Olympus," she yelled.  She yelled so loudly that, finally, all Zeus could hear was Nike, and once that happened--once he'd drowned out Typhon and (in the words of Anne Lamott) the KFKD radio of his own mind--he was gold.  He destroyed Typhon, the gods came back, and no one ever again doubted that Zeus was where he belonged.

Nike reminds us that self confidence comes from within.  Turn off KFKD; listen to National Nike Radio instead.

Channel this goddess: when you've lost confidence in yourself, when obstacles seem insurmountable, when resisting the strange allure of My Little Pony.

Need a goddess: Post a comment explaining what you want one for and then check back in a week or two to see what I found.  It's fun!  It's free!  It's better than a poke in the eye!
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Disturbing Development

English: Cygnet at the Corbet Lough near Banbr...
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I was shaking water off of lettuce yesterday when the skin on the bottom of my arm began to flap.  I know it was flapping because it made a flapping sound!

Am committing self to regular regimen of lifting weights.  Am worried.  I have past, if fleeting, experience with such regimens.
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Get Your Joy On

the joy wheel
Image by Rakka via Flickr
Taking a page out of Lisa Napoli's Radio Shangri-La, for the last few months I've spent the end of each day thinking of three moments since that morning when I felt happy or content.  The results surprised me. In no particular order, here are the things that always gave me joy:

1.  Working with my students.  Hands down happy.  I should pay them.
2.  Quiet time in my backyard.  Whether digging in the dirt or just watching butterflies with my dog it is always rejuvenating.
3.  Finishing things.  Clearing that in box feels good.
4.  Writing something that makes me laugh.  It's the cubicle goose all over again.  My owning my life means doing something that will undoubtedly never make me money, but will always make me giggle.
5.  Hanging with my hubby.  He's a keeper so psych on you!
6.  Walking with a friend, especially one who makes me laugh.  Priceless.

What gets your joy on these days?  Do tell.
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Goddess of the Week: Inanna

Inanna/Ishtar depicted on the "Ishtar vas...
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Kristen needs a goddess for career stress and drama.  Don't we all!  My old, old, old boss used to step out of his office, make sure everyone was looking at him, literally tear our copy in half and fling it to the ground.  Talk about your drama dudes.  He was insane!

Don't worry Kristen, I have just the trick: Inanna, the Babylonian goddess of love, fertility and war.  She was the boss of heaven, and she couldn't even take a vacation without people trying to muscle in on her territory.  Once she went to visit her sister Ereshkigal in hell.  You think the TSA is a pain?  At each gate of hell she had to relinquish one item of clothing.  Finally, when she ran out of clothing, she had to relinquish her personality, her authority, even her soul!  Buck naked and a mere shell of a body (which is exactly how flying coach can make anyone feel), she finally got to hell and her sister killed her.

Drama, blah, blah, blah.  She finally worked it out and went home to discover that her own husband--Dumuzi--has moved right into her office.  He wasn't even mourning her death!  He was laughing over how he'd used the pension fund to buy himself a new corporate jet.  This during a recession when he'd totally cut healthcare benefits!

Inanna took one look at him and she was all, "You are out of here, dude!"  She totally canned his ass and made him take her place in hell.  The bastard!

Good news though, Inanna was able to reclaim her position. She sold the stupid jet.  Re-funded the pension and became an active advocate for a single-payer health care system.

Inanna reminds us that work (and vacations) can be hell.  When that happens, all you can do is hold on to the things that make you you.  Don't relinquish yourself.  Not for anyone!  Not for the TSA.  Definitely not for coach!  And absolutely not for difficult co-workers and unpleasant bosses.  You belong to you.  Become a guerrilla agent for yourself.  When I had the crazy boss, I installed a large plastic goose in my cubicle.  Tragically, that was my daring attempt to stick it to the man.  It wasn't much, but everyone thought that goose was pretty strange, and that made me feel rebellious.  You can't own me corporate America!  Not then!  Not now!  Not ever!  (Of course, that might mean more if corporate America actually wanted to own me.  Damn you corporate America!  Why don't you want me?)

Channel Inanna:  When dealing with job stress and drama, when co-workers are horning in on your position, when work just isn't what you want it to be.

Need a goddess?  I got goddesses!  Post a comment explaining what you want a goddess for.  Then check back in a week or two to see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  It's what all the cool people are doing.  Are you cool?

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Goddess of the Week: Hestia

"Hestia full of Blessings" Egypt, 6t...
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This goddess is for all of us.  It may be a new year, but, if you are like me, the distractions that keep you feeling scattered and piecemeal are old, old, old.  We need a goddess of focus.  We need Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth.

Thank you Sue Bender, author of Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish, for explaining that   the word Hestia means focus.  Hestia spent her time focusing on the hearth fire that burned eternally on Mount Olympus.  That's what you did with hearth fires: you kept them burning, if only just a few embers, because fires were a pain to start, and it was easier to keep what you had going than to begin from scratch.

I feel like I get more ADD every year.  Every bauble turns my head.  Every task takes forever to finish. I walk into rooms and I don't even know why I'm there.  It may be the curse of middle age, but I'm pretty sure that it has more to do with the fact that I so seldom think about what I'm doing.  I think about what I need to do or what I would rather do, but hardly ever about what I actually do.

Hestia reminds us that to keep the hearth alight you have to let go of distractions and simply focus.  Slow down.  Accept that sometimes you can do less, not more, and in this new year, accept yourself for the spark of light that you are.

Channel this goddess: when you are weighed down by distractions, when you feel pulled in a million directions.  Slow down: focus and shine.

Need a goddess?  I got goddesses!  Post a comment explaining what you want a goddess for and then check back in a few weeks to see what you got.  It's fun!  It's free!  It's the perfect way to commit to a New Year's resolution.

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