Penny Rene: January 2010 Archives

Dangerous Bird

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Some of you may remember these lovely Italian chairs that I recovered last summer for my kitchen. 

They turned out rather nice and I have received enough compliments on them to justify the cost and the sticky spray paint feeling that remained on my hands for days after. Unfortunately, the chairs should have come with a warning label that read : Children will break their kneecaps when this chair tips over from the slightest lean. 

August has already fallen twice from sitting in one of the chairs backwards. Another time I think she merely tilted her head at an angle and the chair tipped over with her in it. The whole chair and child come crashing down. Sadness everywhere. Most recently she came crashing down on a ceramic plate that was full of paint. We had been painting on the kitchen floor and the back of the chair broke the plate into many, many pieces. 

I'm not sure why this needs to be told to the blog-world except that now we are in need of very cheap, very sturdy, stylish chairs. I'm not sure IKEA is the answer since our previous chairs (also unstable) were from there, but I'm willing to listen.

Honey Doh List

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Photo 60.jpgThis is me this morning holding part of a scrap-booking kit my sister sent me. It's called 365 and the idea is - you guessed it - to take a photo a day for the entire year of 2010. The designer kit is supposed to take the guesswork out of the process. But, me, I like to take simple things and make them complicated. So, there I was Sunday making Mike use his professional designer eyes to put the cards in their slots. 

The scrapbook is just one of many projects I'm taking on this year. I figure I am bound to finish two out of the dozen or so I have mulling around in my head. In my "spare" time I plan to rebuild the US economy. Hey, why not? 

My mother sent this card to me a while back with that title. This is what it said:

Turn off your TV. 
Leave your house. Know your neighbors. Greet people.
Look up when you are walking. Sit on your stoop. 
Plant flowers. Use your library. 
Play together. 
Buy from local merchants. Share what you have. 
Help a lost dog. Take children to the park.
Garden together. 
Support neighborhood schools. 
Fix it even if you didn't break it. 
Have pot lucks. 
Honor elders. Pick up litter. 
Read storeis aloud. 
Dance in the street. 
Talk to the mail carrier. 
Listen to the birds. Put up a swing. 
Help carry something heavy. 
Barter for your goods. 
Start a tradition. Ask a question. 
Hire young people for odd jobs. 
Organize a block party. 
Bake extra and share. Ask for help when you need it. 
Open your shades. Sing together. Share your skills. Take back the night.
 Turn up the music. Turn down the music. 
Listen before you react to anger. 
Mediate a conflict. 
Seek to understand. 
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles. 
Know that no one is silent athough many are not heard. 
Work to change this. 
Every year I make a list of New Years Resolutions. Every year. Except this one.

What can I say? I'm not feeling that whole "fresh start" minty anticipation. While I see that many good things are going to happen in 2010, I am painfully aware that many of us are still digging out of our holes from 2009 - literally. Not that getting out of these holes won't be miraculous in itself, mind you. But it's a process, isn't it? A long, graceless process at times. 

What I feel about 2010 is this: Still me, better shoes. 
This morning I was holding Asher as he slept and I whispered "Not too fast. Take your time" because I'm nervous his childhood and August's are going by too fast for my taste. I often find myself so caught up in the daily details that when I stop to look at my kids they have changed from the last break we had. August is sassy and Asher is quite opinionated. When did that happen? Mike will turn 30 this year. Holy hell, somebody slow this thing down!

In my life, something has shifted. It's a good thing. "One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it's done." says Joan of Arc. Moral of the story: Slow down. S L O W  D O W N. Enjoy this. Enjoy the snow.; it won't last. Enjoy the house - it's home. Enjoy your kids -they will grow up. 

So, I guess if that's a resolution, I'll take it. Be present. Relax. Enjoy.

I hope the same for you.

One year ago:
 And now:


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Because 2010 can be better.  xoxo PRJ

Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care 
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.