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Happy Birthday, Hobbit

The Hobbit is 80 years old.  I’m not sure why that’s remarkable except that the books stand outside of time since they’re set in a fictional world.  (Well, fictional to YOU.  The Shire is totally real to ME.)  No calling cards or gas-guzzling cars or bell bottoms to place it in an era.  How many pieces of writing can say that?  That they feel as relevant and timely now as they did when they were written?

I am admittedly more in love with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have a soft, mushy spot in my heart for The Hobbit.  I remember taking out the tape recorder when my brother was little and recording him reading aloud from The Hobbit just because I thought it was an important thing to note.  A person’s first reading of The Hobbit.

Tolkien’s books are books I turn to when I am stressed, and maybe it is because of the reason the Atlantic author gives for why his books still important:

In a world today where nuclear doom—for which The Ring can be read as a metaphor—hangs over every country, where efforts to work for common good seem to crumble, and where inequality and hegemony seem likely to persist in perpetuity, perhaps those quaint values are more crucial now than ever.

Or maybe it’s because when the world looks its bleakest — when people look their bleakest — his books are a reminder that there is good out there and that you usually stumble upon it if you allow yourself to get mixed up with the world around you.

Happy birthday, Hobbit.

October 10, 2017   3 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 163: Lucky He’s Cute

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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Linus has a new irritating habit.  I line the bottom of his cage with newspaper and then cover the newspaper with his bedding.  It makes clean up a little easier.

A few days ago, he realized the newspaper was underneath and he started pushing the bedding aside with his nose and then tearing off long strips of paper and depositing them on the floor outside his cage.  If I tell him to stop, he gives me a look as if to say, “What?  You don’t like that?  The tearing noise or the mess on the carpet?  Which one?”

He really is my puppy.  He whines if I go to pick up the kids without him.  When we get to the school, he pops up at attention, eagerly waiting for them.

He’s lucky he’s cute.

Tell me about your cute pet.

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. Mali (No Kidding) 7. Empty Arms, Broken Heart 13. Cristy
2. Mali (A Separate Life) 8. Modern Gypsy 14. Middle Girl
3. Women On Television | Naba 9. Isabelle 15. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts)
4. Good Familes Do 10. Failing at Haiku 16. Turia
5. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 11. Journeywoman 17. Laughing IS Conceivable
6. Jess 12. Stephanie Travelcraft Journal)

October 9, 2017   16 Comments

I Talk to Myself

While I don’t talk about myself in third person, I do talk to myself, so it was a relief to read this article and learn that I’m kind of doing it right.  Because to talk to yourself, you need to enter that third-person space and use your own name to ask yourself a question.  So I do that.  To myself.  Just not in front of other people.

I am my own best therapist.  I mean, yes, I also suck as a conversation partner, constantly berating myself as myself.  (So I guess I’m missing out on the de-stressing side of things.)  But that’s not the point.  The point is me.  In a conversation.  With myself.

99% of the time I don’t speak the words aloud.  That’s the convenient part about having a conversation with yourself.  It can be private; communicated from one part of the brain to another with nothing escaping into the outside world.  You ask yourself a question.  And you answer the question.  And the only thing the other people in the room observe is a somewhat vacant expression on my face.

Though I never speak aloud in third person because that would annoy the crap out of me if it occurred on an on-going basis.  But in my head?  Totally okay.

Do you talk to yourself?

October 8, 2017   9 Comments

663rd Friday Blog Roundup

Once upon a time, maybe one or two remarkable newsworthy things happened in a week and Josh and I would text about them during the work day.  For instance, a news story would break, one of us got an alert about it, and we’d comment back and forth via text.  The evening news would be consumed with that news story.  Maybe it would even hold court as the front running news story for a few days.

We’ve mostly stopped texting each other about the news during the day.  We cannot keep up.  It feels like most of it is bad.  What is there even to say at this point that hasn’t been said or thought the day before or the day before that or the day before that?

I don’t know if the world feels more tumultuous and chaotic because it actually is or if I’m viewing it through a skewed lens.  But it feels awful.  The world just feels awful.

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Different Shores has a post about not writing as much about not having a child; that the subject has mentally moved to the back burner as more current thoughts crowd into place.  She explains: “Caring about my childless state has dropped right to the bottom of the list, faded into insignificance.”  It makes sense; I think of the things that occupied my thoughts at other times in life and all have faded or changed over time.

Inconceivable! has a post about their frozen embryos.  I love this line: “What – as the dust settles – we’re only now truly starting to account for in a meaningful way is how much the whole journey has taken out of us.”  And yet the decision twists and turns until she ultimately reaches a place of peace.

Non Sequitur Chica sums up eight years of anniversaries.  Infertility looms large, and she wonders how life will be different now that family building is behind them.  We’ll have to check in this time next year for another update.

Lastly, Look No Tubes has a pregnancy update, wondering about people who go to scans for fun.  What is it like to go to the sonographer with happy anticipation instead of a heart full of dread?  She writes, “Anyway, I’m still not feeling entirely relaxed about the pregnancy – I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point. But it does feel as if we’ve gotten over some hurdles today. Hopefully, eventually, I will unclench enough to be able to plan beyond my next scan.”  Congratulations on reaching that milestone.

The roundup to the Roundup: It all feels wrong.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between September 29th and October 6th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

October 6, 2017   5 Comments

What Will They Think of Me?

This is it. The last thought of four thoughts that came out of reading Elan Mastai’s All Our Wrong Todays. You can go backwards to the first thought or second thought or the third thought, even if you haven’t read the book because these thoughts aren’t tied to the text but rather float above the page. In other words, reading these posts will not ruin the book, and at the same time, they’re not (I think) confusing.

This is the final thought.

A few years ago, we took the kids to a reunion.  While we were there, we were talking with a friend who was meeting the twins for the first time, and he told them that we had been super cool back in our 20s.  The kids looked at him, dubiously.

I thought about that moment while I was reading Chapter 13, page 35:

When you’re young, you think of your parents with the simplest adjectives. As you get older, you add more adjectives and notice some of them contradict each other. He’s tall. He’s tall and strong. He’s tall and strong and smart. He’s tall and strong and smart but busy. He’s tall and strong and smart but busy and aloof and judgmental. She’s safe. She’s safe and kind. She’s safe and kind and caring. She’s safe and kind and caring but sad. She’s safe and kind and caring but sad and lonely and brittle. Maturity colonizes your adolescent mind, like an ultraviolet photograph of a vast cosmic nebula that turns out, on closer examination, to be a pointillist self-portrait.

I wonder sometimes how the kids will think of us down the road.  Clearly they will not consider us cool.  (Or, if they do consider us cool, it will be in retrospect and not in the moment.)  But what other adjectives will come together to form this nuanced version of what they observed from being the closest people to us?

I mean, we are observing them and describing them, but they will clearly do the same back to us, even if they’re not conscious of it.  While we marvel at them, I am fairly certain that we do not occupy the same mind space and energy in their brain.  That’s natural.  That’s the giving tree nature of this type of relationship.

There are plenty of people that we are close to, who know us in a very different way than our kids will ever know us.  But our kids live in this house.  They see our faults and foibles, or successes and strengths, up close.  So I wonder how that will translate into adjectives down the road.

Your thoughts?

October 4, 2017   6 Comments

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