Homeless Man – Great Sense of Humor

The other night, I went to catch the train. A snow storm was on the way, so I was walking as fast as possible to get home before it hit. I was trekking along at a good pace and day dreaming, when I found myself behind a slow walking homeless man.

He was smoking a cigarette, that is what first caught my attention, and taking up the entire sidewalk. I admit, I was irritated by the smell of smoke and became doubly irritated when I was trying to pass him, but he was not allowing it.

Determined to keep my fast pace, as I tried to pass on his left, I politely said, “Excuse me, Sir.” As I said this, his left eye caught sight of me AND…

He cheerfully said, “A very Happy New Year to YOU!”

To which I replied, “And a Happy New Year to YOU too.”

He was so cheery, I had to smile at his greeting. At that point, we were walking side by side. I didn’t think it would be polite to speed past him. So, I kept pace with him.

He then said in a commanding tone of voice…

“This snow storm is coming, you know we ALL want to stay home tomorrow. I’m preparing my speech for my Boss when I call in sick in the morning.

I am going to tell him I can’t come in, because I have LEAKY BOOTS. Yes, my boots are leaking everywhere. There is so much water coming out of my “leaky boots” that it is impossible to come into work. My boots will be leaking and squeaking everywhere. I need to spend the day finding new boots.”

He caught me off guard with this funny story. I was laughing uncontrollably. LEAKY BOOTS, now that was a new one! I imagined his Manager thinking, “LEAKING BOOTS? Do I give him a free day or tell him to stuff his leaking boots with newspaper and get the heck into work!?”

He was thrilled that I found humor in his thought process. I truly could not stop laughing, a combination of his story, but the sound of his voice was so convincing that “leaky boots” were a major problem.

THEN, he laughed and said, “Creative writing classes come in handy.”

As a writer, his comment about “creative writing classes” made me laugh even harder. Of course, writers are always trying to be creative, and he sure hit the mark!

Parting ways at the train stop, I thanked him for giving me such a good belly laugh!

He smiled and said, “My pleasure, a good evening to you young lady.”

He got an additional 1000 brownie points for referring to me as a “young lady!”

Book Review: Big Miracles by Joanna Garzilli… jewelry in Florence, Italy

78369de7-95b5-49a6-b8e6-ddbc79271ef3A few days ago I was at the bookstore. It’s my favorite place to be besides browsing jewelry shop windows in Italy. When my children were young, if we were in Florence, of course, I would have to look at the jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio. My younger daughter would tell me, “Mama, promise, no looking in the windows, we are going for gelato.”

This is funny, because if any of you have been to Florence and have walked across the Ponte Vecchio, you KNOW it is IMPOSSIBLE to walk across the bridge and not look at jewelry. All the shops sell jewelry. The bridge is glittering in white, yellow and rose gold!

I would kid her that she was half Italian, jewelry was in her DNA. One day, I might be telling her not to look in the windows. As she gave me a scowl, I would give a grin and say, “I promise, I will do my BEST to walk in the middle of the road.” See photo, I did a zig zagging walk across the bridge. Can you picture it?  Look in one window to the right, have her pull me to the center, then go to the left, look in one window, have her pull me to the center! It was most amusing.

43a807e3-0894-4785-9fce-bc9248d95e75Guess what – NOW, she is at the age where she sends me photos of jewelry she likes. I KNEW this would happen!

Back to the bookstore. As it is a new year, there was a table full of motivational / spiritual types of books. Browsing through them, I found this book about “Big Miracles,” by Joanna Garzilli.

It’s a book about connecting with your Spirit. One thing she brought up, which I had never heard of, was experiencing the “dark night of the soul.” She talks about when she experienced this period and soon after met her husband. She explains that “the dark night of the soul,” is when we are going through a period of hopelessness/despair, it’s not depression, we are low, but somehow we know we must rid ourselves of negativity, so we can move toward happiness. She spoke about uncontrollable crying and illness that wouldn’t go away. She realized later that her soul was releasing the part of her that felt unlovable, because shortly after this she met her future husband.

She has some interesting insights. I think with each book we read, we gain a little more knowledge that helps us in self discovery, focusing on our vision and destiny in life. Some years we are right on target, other years it is slow moving and then suddenly it seems our hard work pays off and we are catapulted into the happiness and success we have been focusing on.

Life, it’s not easy, but if we focus on the goal — WE GET THERE!

Textiles: Indigo, Japan to Indiana

3c665b69-ddc6-4b1c-9250-889d338d5fb2When I was in grade school, my parents would travel around the world for three months at a time. They left my twin brother and I at home. When they came back there was big excitement. Their luggage smelled like world travels and my mother had gifts for us. From Japan, she had chopsticks (of course), a pin cushion for sewing, a pearl ring and the big surprise was a kimono. Keep in mind, in the 70s, unless you traveled around the world, you would not find these special items.

I fell in love with the color indigo when my mother gave me this special kimono from Japan. My mother loved kimonos. The kimono was a lovely white / indigo pattern with a bright pink sash. For those of you who might not know, indigo is a color between primary blue and violet. It’s a very majestic color.

A few years ago, I went to the Seattle Asian Art Museum for the “Mood Indigo” exhibit and learned that a man, Rowland Ricketts, had an Indigo farm in Indiana. He had a beautiful exhibit at the museum. It was in one room, he had textiles hanging in a tall circular direction (see here), so we would have to walk in a circle viewing the shades of indigo. Brilliant idea to add the plants around the room that produce the indigo color. He wanted us to connect the fact that the blue dye comes from plants.

This was such a surprise, because I am from Indiana, not a lot goes on in Indiana. We do have farm lands with sweet corn, cabbage, sunflowers, etc., but I would never have thought a farm for indigo. This was interesting! Oh, HOLD ON, Mike Pence our Vice President is from Indiana. Forgot about politics. Otherwise, just corn.

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Indigo plant

Ricketts’s story is that in 1996, he apprenticed in Japan for 2 years to learn the art and process producing the indigo dye color. He was looking for a job that would bring meaning to his life, creating indigo dye was it. The process is a long and laborous one, because the dye comes from a plant, which needs to be grown, dried and fermented. He met his wife, Chimani, while they apprenticed together. They make a good team, he does the farming side of the business and Chimani weaves the yarn into fabrics.

Ricketts is an Associate Professor in the School of Art, Architecture & Design at Indiana University.

Clearly, I am excited that with so many art forms dying out that Ricketts has brought the Japanese textile art of indigo to our home state of Indiana!

Happy New Year 2019: If one wish could be granted…

I’m excited to start a new year. Each year, we all wonder what lies ahead of us. Would be great if we had a crystal ball to give us direction, but we don’t.

Which made me think, as we set our goals for 2019….

What if we had ONE WISH that could be granted each year, WHAT would that be?

I’m thinking about that. What is the BIG accomplishment, miracle or surprise that I would like to happen this year. Right now, I feel like I am sitting by the ocean and the water is so vast, I can’t see any islands in site AND that is what I need, to be able to see at least “one island,” and then I will know my direction.

So, I am OFF to contemplate my BIG WISH!

AND YOU… What is YOUR big wish?  Say it out loud, write it on a paper, or just think of it.  We ALL have different ways of putting out to the Universe what we would like. Do what works for you, but DO IT and let’s see what happens!

I’m back… Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!

Shoe HospitalHello Fellow Bloggers… I’m back. I didn’t know I was going to take a break. One week of missed blogging lead to the next week and the next week. Suddenly, I realized, “Wow, I haven’t written a blog post in a while.”

Yesterday, I was walking down the street and saw this funny store sign. THEN I thought, “Hey, I need to start blogging again.”

My grandparents/parents would “never” buy new shoes. ALWAYS fix the ones you have. So, when I saw this shop’s sign, I got a good chuckle! As a chore, my father would give us his shoes to shine. We were taught to use saddle soap, then polish, buff/brush to an amazing shine. I have to say, I was a pretty good shoe shine girl!

UPS is on fire right now. Not literary, but the news is talking about the UPS process of packaging and deliveries for Christmas… that is an “intense” process. We really need to pat them on the back, even better have a surprise Starbucks card ready to give to the next stressed out UPS employee who delivers our package!

Ho! Ho! Ho!