Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Blog: Violet Love Goode

My strong Irish roots mean I am stubborn and love to laugh. I always take my grandmothers advice. I love blueberries, beards, bald heads, getting lost, getting found, muddy happy dogs, photography, traveling, making stuff, growing things, crushes, recycling, waterfalls, the coast (oh yea - the coast!) I believe in the universe and doing nice things.
one Go where the wind blows you! Take it from me, a mountain loving (think green and lush) Oregon girl who let the wind blow her all the way to flat (think hot and dry) Kansas! You can’t make these sorts of dreams up. Oh the places you’ll go! Take the road less traveled, wait scratch that … take the road you would have never dreamed of traveling, plan on meeting many wonderful people along the way, and have fun when you least expect to.

two Find your joy and pursue it relentlessly. Do this daily! The endless list of annoying to-do's can wait- It WILL be there tomorrow. Your joys can be big or small, simple or complicated, quiet or loud … whatever you want; they are all yours! Love them and they will love you back. Nothing will provide you with more pleasure or help you skirt through the rough patches in life more than this one thing. When it finds you, embrace the gift fully and thank it for showing up. You may lose it sometimes, that’s okay - it’s not really lost - it’s there, right there…yep, you got it!

three Consider the worst when faced with an unkind person. Huh, wait, what? I know, it sounds crazy, right?! When your path crosses their path, always assume that this must be the worst day of their lives. Dramatic, perhaps; but maybe, just maybe they just lost a loved one, maybe their dog died, or maybe they live with someone who is mean to them. Its tough stuff to think about, but life is messy and some people really suffer. You just never know. Consider the worst, smile, and be double (or triple) kind. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part: Do NOT take it personally, absolutely never take it personally. 

© moemasters, thesethreethings, violetlovegoode 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

breaking all my own rules

Me before I got a laptop
one I am only one pasty white girl born and raised in the Midwest in the early 60's. My parents were direct descendants of 3rd generation Irish and German immigrants. They were the by-products of Old School Catholic indoctrination and values.  These values were passed along to me and I worry that some of the important stuff may not get passed along. You can choose to disagree with me because we live in America. That's cool. I wouldn't take ANY one single thing I say as gospel truth. This is the Internet, and it's your job to not believe anything you see here and disagree with it if you see fit.

My mom: Momo, Me & BZ
two My mother was a saint, and not a day goes by where I don't want to tell her something and hear her voice. She believed in the Camelot days of the Kennedy's and she bore a strong resemblance to Jackie. She had a tiny waist, a radiant smile and she was a Delta Gamma. Her perfect dark hair curled up at the ends and she wore an apron. She could cook meatloaf and twice-baked potatoes in high heels. She left us her recipes, written in her handwriting and they are among the most revered keepsakes of her love. She gave me the hope that people are, for the most part, good. She, dang-near, single-handedly taught me about forgiveness and survival and hope.


Momo 1 & Momo 2



She came from a solid working-class family in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. He father sold insurance for New York Life and her mother stayed at home and kept an immaculate and well-ordered home. They lived with-in walking distance of parents, aunts and uncles, dozens of cousins, the trolley tracks, the church and school, the doctor who made house calls (out the back door and across the alley) and the pub where Papa Leo could be found when it was dinner time. They played cards and sang in 5 part harmony for entertainment. Family meant everything and defined them. She was one of the five Connor sisters and each of her parents were from families that had, like 15 kids each. I'm talking about HUGE family gatherings that happened often.

JZ, The Lears: Record setting aviation flight
three My father did the best he could ever day. He was a professional success (I've been told that he was the world's very first aerospace editor.) He came from Jefferson City, Missouri and has a past that is either too tragic or too convoluted for me to remember. I know it wasn't pretty.  And, it's big enough to fill a good long blog or a short little book.
There will always remain the question of whether he did, or did not, have involvement with the CIA. He was brilliant and shifty.  He was out of the country often. I used to spend hours thumbing through his passport.

My father's family
He was born into a world of limitations and abuse that speak highly of his ability to survive. He was never perfect, but neither was anybody else, so it never really buried the needle on the weird-o-meter. He was blessed by being born into a world of strong and conscientious uncles and cousins. He taught me to write and edit with the best of them and his expectations both pushed me to be a better person and to become a girl who is prone to some wicked-bad self doubt.

Justin (JT) and Chelsea
four I got to help make two exceptionally gifted, thoughtful and conscientious children. They have proven that they are solid citizens and empathetic and accountable parents. They write letters by hand and they help strangers. They live life large and in meaningful ways. They're capable and kind. And they never fail to either make me crack up or get button-bustin' proud. They have given me grand babies, and I can only tell you that the love is exponential. I keep thinking my heart can't get any more full, and then it does. I don't get to see the babies often and I want to make their worlds easier than mine and my parents. And truthfully - they're still too young to get it, and I don't want to forget it before they'll get it. Nor do I want to bore 'em with it when we could be swimming or somethinng.

There. That's my street cred and history. I am thinking it will give you some insight into why I am here and doing this. Hope your winter rocks out loud, and let me know when you disagree with me OR if you would like to be a guest blogger. I love learning what other people think. And, for whatever reasons: People just keep sharing things and stories and laughs and tears with me ... and I think they are all pretty fantastic.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethree things


Monday, January 10, 2011

Guest Blog: Rachel H. Bailey

Rachel Haskins Bailey is a fellow post modern contemporary gypsy and a good friend. She always makes me smile and she has a phenomenal ability to spread love around.
one I'm not trying to get all down in the dumps, but sometimes? When you're really, really sad and feeling really, really hopeless? All you have to do is not die. If you can step back enough to tell yourself that and stick to it, then you're gonna be ok. Stop the racing thoughts, the sobbing, the desperation. You have one goal: Don't die. It may sound silly, but when you find yourself at a certain level of sad, you'll get it. And you'll vibe me thanks once you're through it. And you'll baby step your way back to ok. And you'll pass on this advice, because it actually works.

two Eat right. Cook a lot of beans and vegetables. Don't just push them around your plate and act like you ate them, really do it. They're delicious and so, so good for you. This is important. You don't need meat so much, eating something that once had a face...? Ew. The environment will thank you for doing the best you can.

three Smile at strangers. It makes more of a difference than you will ever realize. It makes their day, it makes them want to return the favor to others. Smiling is so easy, and makes such a difference. Please do it as much as possible. 

copyright 2011 thesethreethings rachelhaskinsbailey

Monday, January 3, 2011

happiness and peace

one Remember that all you have to do to be happy is decide to be happy. There will always be people who need to share their discontent and test your resolve. There will always be situations that test the limits of your good humor. You will always get to be fine if you decide that's what you want. That is what I want for you. This choice does not mean that you won't be unhappy or mad sometimes, but your own happiness is all you can control. So, control it - you are the boss of you.

two Learn how to be happy doing nothing. Being quiet and alone with yourself could be one of the best ways to find out what is going on in your heart and your head. This isn't as easy as it sounds and you may have to work at it. Find ways to marinate in silence without TV or music or video games. Learn how to shut down your brain and just breathe.

three Know that almost everybody does the best they can and almost nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks "I'm going to ruin some lives and destroy things today." To that end, it's kind-of your job to mind the people you surround yourself with. You will know, pretty quickly, if you've let someone on your island who is filled with anger and poison intentions. It's pretty unlikely that you will change that in anyone and the chances are great that you will get some of their malcontent on you, so learn to walk away and let it go.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

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I love raindrops on roses and whatnot, but even more than that I totally dig finding dollars in clothes I haven't worn in ages, live music, social networking and search engine optimization, research, freecycle.com, homemade beer, home grown stuff, writing, talking, laughing, green movements, debate, dialog, dumpster diving, time travel, time-out chairs, psychology, meals that last for hours, pranks, astral projection, meaningful lives, the kindness of strangers, trains, trucks and tractors, cowboys, horses, deer, eagles, random occurrences, modern tragedies, small appliances, good socks and sturdy shoes, shiny objects, painting, playing stringed instruments and singing harmony, pulling perfect feather pillows out of the freezer on hot and humid Kansas summer nights, rodeos and county fairs, brokers, organics and authenticity, my kids, their kids and my huge extended family. I am a hugger and I probably laugh AND talk way too much.