Posts Tagged ‘home’

Garden Spider Image Helen, named after the main character in a children’s book, makes picking cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in my garden a challenging experience. People with arachnophobia would avoid this task, since Helen, a large garden spider, has woven a three-foot by six-foot web around the plants. As I look at her work, I recall reading Be Nice To Spiders to my children several decades ago. The storyline revolves around Helen, a spider, who provides many useful services to a zoo. My quandary is what I should do with my new pest-guest and her giant web? Should I destroy it and relocate her or should I just leave her alone and let her do her job?

#1 – Time to Move On
Left undisturbed, Helen, the spider, moved on within two days of my discovering her. Perhaps it was the constant clicking of my camera shutter that annoyed her? How do most of us know when it’s time to move on in our lives? Marc and Angel Hack Life wrote an article titled 9 Reasons It’s Time to Move On that’s filled with insightful and motivating thoughts.

#2 – Chalk It Up!
DIY Chalkboard Projects Chalkboard paint projects are popping up everywhere, from walls to furniture to wine glasses. There’s no reason not to have fun with this product. Here are a few articles to rev up your creativity:

8 Easy Chalkboard Paint DIYs to Try
20 Ways to Use Chalkboard Paint
22 DIY Chalkboard Projects

#3 -Something to Smile About
Mona Lisa image Here’s a short and fun art history lesson by art historian Kathy Galitz. Watch this 3-minute video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she examines the meaning of smiles during different time periods. We can never learn enough about the world of art, can we?

#4 – Mom’s Recipes
Hand-Written Dutch Apple Cake Recipe I felt like I had discovered lost treasure, when I stumbled upon this flickr site. Someone named Phil scanned and shared all the recipes in his mother’s extensive recipe collection. When I look at the images of handwritten recipes on worn index cards and yellowed newspaper clippings, I appreciate the slice (pun intended) of history and nostalgia that they represent. Plus, I’ve found a few more recipes to try!

#5 – Catching Love
“The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.”
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Enjoy your weekend!

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Have you ever returned to your childhood hometown and gotten lost? I spent last week visiting my parents and as we headed out to run an errand my mom asked, “Do you want to drive?” I said I would if she wanted me to, but that I would need directions. After a nanosecond worth of thought, she replied, “That’s okay. It’ll be faster if I drive.” Although I grew up in the area, I haven’t lived there for over three decades. My familiar landmarks have changed and I’ve lived and worked in several different cities since I left home. Yet, somehow there’s an expectation that I should know my way around the area. The odd thing is that this expectation conflicts with the fact that my whole family knows I am directionally challenged.

Why am I directionally challenged? I’ve come to a few conclusions. The primary one is the whole notion of north, south, east, and west is an abstract concept to me, much like the atoms and molecules I studied in chemistry. Compass directions are not concrete concepts. Having grown up where the mountains are to the east and the ocean is to the west, I was completely disoriented when I married and moved to a place, where in the words of my husband, “If you are driving towards the mountains, then you are heading north and if you are driving towards the desert, then you are heading east and if you’ve reached Disneyland, then you’ve gone too far west.” Even better yet, he used to persuade me to use the sun as my directional guide by making statements like, “If it’s the later part of the day and the sun is on your right side, then you are heading south.” My reply to that was, “What if it’s the middle of the day and what if I’m driving at night? I don’t see how the sun or the mountains can help with directions if you are driving at night and can’t see anything!”

Another thought about being directionally challenged is that I have an unusually good memory and am a visual learner. Compass directions have no meaning to me, but landmarks do. Give me a physical landmark and it makes an imprint in my brain. Directions like “Go two blocks and make a left at the purple building with the yellow trim and the blue shutters make more sense to me than “Go two blocks and turn east.” Unless I’ve been to a place before, I have no visual map to retrieve in my head. But if I’ve been to a place before, it’s no problem finding my way back.

Being directionally challenged is not a flaw, it’s just a different type of operating system. Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right, You Can’t Go Home Again, of course, unless you know how to get there!

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