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Monthly Archives: September 2017

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Of Massages and Love Languages

I often carry bags full of books and notebooks.  I tend to sit with one foot tucked under the other leg or sit completely slouched over while reading.  My posture is not ideal.  My hips like to come out of alignment.  Soooo….getting massaged or chiropractically adjusted regularly keeps me out of pain.  

I say this because I had my first massage with a new masseur yesterday.  Whenever I am forced to find a new person for hair or massages or eyebrow waxing…I tend to pray the whole voyage there because a bad massage, haircut, or brow wax makes me a very sad Jill.  I am happy to report WOW!  This guy!  Dear God in Heaven…AH-MAY-ZING!

All that to say that while I was getting all my kinks and sore spots rubbed out I started thinking about the power of touch.  Depending upon the type and intention of the touch it can inspire/encourage or destroy someone.  

Random thoughts through my massage…

Yes.  This is my happy place.

Why do people hit each other?  Deal with your inner crap. Don’t inflict it on others.

I still remember being stunned when an ex-boyfriend backhanded me for calling him out on his bad behavior.

I remember being stunned again when another ex who saw what happened jumped in to protect me.

Everyone’s lives would be better if they had regular massages.

Kids need a certain number of hugs per day for survival and 12 hugs a day to grow.  I told my nephew this.  His response involved an eye roll and a compromise….”Can’t you just hug me once and count to 12?”

Ow.  Wow.  Didn’t realize there was a muscle there that required stretching. Dang!

I wish I were taller so I could still give my niece, Hally Jo, spinny hugs.  The last time I tried, her feet touched the ground and we biffed it spectacularly in front of people.  Not awesome.  We were both in dresses.  She told me a few weeks ago she missed my spinny hugs. My heart melted.  Love that girl.

I know my hair will be greasy and all over the place…but yes…please use pressure points on my head and neck.  Ahhh. Bliss

I miss being able to hug my nieces and nephews.  I miss my people.  I miss sitting next to my sister on her couch.  We both are touch and quality time people so we can just sit next to each other and talk or watch Hallmark movies for days and be at the utmost of contentment.

If I were independently wealthy I’d hire this guy to be my own personal masseur.  #dailymassages #goals

Ahhh…my fave part of a massage is when they massage between my elbows and wrists and hands.  

Hands. When is the last time someone held my hand? Ack. Too long.  

Touch and quality time.  Love languagues.  I think those were my top two.

Stop random thoughts here.  Carry on blog post in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Have you read about the 5 love languages?  It’s written by a Ph D wielding therapist named Gary Chapman.  The premise is that people give and receive love differently depending upon what they value most.  I bought the book ages ago and read it.  It wasn’t a perfect theory, but it did give me a heart check on how I love other people.

Since it had been a while, I retook the test.  Quality time is my biggest one.  Followed by touch.  Exactly what I remembered, just in backwards order.  You can take it here.

I love alone time.  I need more of it than most people I know.  When I am with people I prefer to be one on one or in small groups so that we can really talk or bond or what have you.  I alternate between being alone and being with my people one at at time.  When I can do this, it fills me up quick.  It’s how I best show that I love someone, by giving them my time and undivided attention.  But with my recent move, I cannot always do that. 

My second love language is touch.  I sat and thought a lot about this one during my massage and into today.  If I don’t know you, or don’t trust you and you touch me…it makes every part of my insides scream and crawl.  I do not like to be touched by people I don’t trust.  Not even a little bit.  On the reverse side, sitting with a kiddo in my lap reading a story, holding someone’s hand, sitting next to someone I love, hugs, and the like also fills my love tank.  Insert “My name is Olaf and I like warm hugs.” quote here.

I believe love is a verb not an emotion.

For the record I can also speak the other 3 languages…words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts.  I love to encourage, helping others, and give gifts I think people will really like.  I’m not always awesome at receiving encouragement, people doing things for me, and receiving gifts.  

Words… I love written words.  So I appreciate when people say thank you or that they appreciate me, or send a card telling me that.  And who doesn’t enjoy being told they are loved?

Gifts… I appreciate when someone buys me a random gift that shows they know me well and were thinking about me.  I’m not super big on forced gift giving on anniversaries, holidays, or even my birthday.  I’d much rather just be with the people doing something together.  That’s the best kind of gift to me.  

Acts of service…when I lived with other people I appreciated them picking up after themselves or helping me with yard work and cleaning.  Now I appreciate people who call me when they’re going to the store to see if I’d like to go.  I wait for those moments to buy heavy things.  Carrying multiple 12 packs of LaCroix home a half mile from the nearest store is serious exercise.  😉

Not sure if you’re interested in learning about love languages, but it helped me to pay attention and try to love people the way that they need to be loved.  I’m a big believer in love being a verb not an emotion.  So in that vein.  The next few Terrific Tuesdays will be about love languages.  

Would love to hear any input about what makes you feel loved or ways that you show other people you love them.  Comment away friends.  Comment away.

Point to ponder while you wander… Spinny hugs.  A spinny hug is akin to a secret handshake that started between Hally Jo and I when she was anti-hugs…somewhere around age 5.  I bend down and we give each other something akin to a bear hug. Then I stand tall at 5’2″ and pick her up.  Now the fun part…we spin as fast as I am able to rotate.  Giggles generally ensue here.  Hally Jo insisted that her cousin, Abbe, also about 5, be included in the spinny hug club.

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In Appreciation of the Dedication

I enjoy the privilege of appreciating the fruit of people’s hard work, dedication, passion, and training.

I’m continually inspired by artists, photographers, sculptures, writers, choreographers, dancers, directors, and all the other creators out there.

In that vein…this photo is breathtakingly beautiful to me. While Gene Kelly played Gene Kelly in every movie he ever acted in, his choreography and creativity blow me away every time.  What about Cyd Charisse?  What can you say when you look at her in this image but stunning!  To hold herself in that position takes incredible talent, and years of training.

Point to ponder while you wander…What is it that you are passionate about?

Maybe it’s the arts.

Maybe it’s engineering or innovating software or machinery. 

Maybe it’s education or politcs or medicine. 

Maybe it’s your kiddos and family.

Maybe it’s being a pastor or running an orphan home.

Wherever you passion lies…go for it with all you have! Be a driving force for good in your chosen field. Leave a legacy with your passion, dedication, and hard work.

Note: I always credit photographers and artists but the image above was posted on FB by Gene Kelly The Legacy without a photographer credit. It could be a still from Brigadoon or a photo. Either way I don’t know who to credit. Sorry.

Fun Fact Friday: Pulp Fiction

Before e-readers and audio books…

Before television…

Even before paperbacks and comic books…

There was PULP FICTION!

The Pulp…

Rough and untreated paper made from wood pulp, as opposed to the shiny and higher priced “glossy.” This low quality paper allowed for a cheaper publication cost, and therefore wider circulation of the magazines.

The Fiction….

A bevy of stories across all the genres written by a varied flock of writers. The writers would often use multiple pen names so they could have more than one story in a single magazine. They weren’t paid very well, so they would need to pump out as many stories as they could, as quickly as they could. 

The Pulp + The Fiction…

Pulp fiction refers to the cheaply printed magazines that invited, lured, and sometimes enticed the American public with colorful and sometimes lurid covers and the promise of adventure. Magazine stands from the late 1890s into the 1950s were filled with these “pulps.” But the high point in sales and popularity was definitely the 1920s – 1930s. Sources vary on the total sales but the most popular during this time could sell upwards of a million per issue!

The insides were without illustrations.

The edges were rough.

But the stories…ah the stories…

These stories provided readily available entertainment, adventure, or in some cases escape. 

Heroes rescuing damsels in distress from mustache twirling villains. 

Cowboys taming the wild wild west. 

Eerie science fiction and scary horror stories. 

Adventures in far off lands. 

Spicy romance and mysteries being solved by brilliant detectives.  

All this for about a dime an issue!

Reminds me of my Papa and his “2 cartoons and a movie for 12 cents” stories from his childhood…which happens to be towards the end of the popularity of the pulp magazines. He used to say, “Who knows? The shadow knows.” Cracked me up! But I found it that The Shadow was actually a popular pulp fiction character, as were Hopalong Cassidy, Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, and Zorro!

Point to ponder while you wander… “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

This blog is my small beginning.  Encouraging me to write at least a few days a week. But for some famous authors their small beginning was the pulp magazines. Don’t believe me? Check out a few of the many vastly underpaid pulp fiction writers who became household names:

Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, John Carter)

Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man Series)

Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)

Louis L’Amour (Hopalong Cassidy and a whole lot of other westerns)

Uptown Sinclair (The Jungle)

Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Advenures of Huckleberry Finn)

H.G. Wells (Time Machine, War of the Worlds)

Tennessee Williams (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar named Desire)

Selfie Saturday: Vinny V

Today’s artist….Vincent VanGogh, aka Vinny V!

Fun facts about Vinny V’s Selfies…

*There are 39 surviving self-portraits bainted by VanGogh.

*The lack of a model often inspired Vinny to paint a selfie.

*Vinny exchanged selfies and letters with fellow artists Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard.

*He used a mirror to help him paint his selfies.

*I’ve personally seen two of Vinny’s selfies.

The first is hanging in the Detroit Institute of Arts. It’s an oil on pasteboard, entitled, “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, Summer 1887″

The second can be found in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. This one is an oil on canvas entitled, “Self-Portrait, August 1889″. It is my favorite of Vinny’s selfies.

I love all the blues that make his eyes and ginger hair just pop! He seems confident in who he is, and what he is doing in this one. Maybe because 1889 was also the year he painted “Starry Night”, “Sunflowers”, and “Irises”. A very good year!

Bonus Selfie: There was one other self-portrait that is believed to have been destroyed during WWII. “Painter on his way to work: Vincent van Gogh on the road to Montmajour“.

Vinny painted it in August 1888. It was an oil painting on canvas, and was 48 × 44 cm.

Deep Thought Thursday: What Job is Really About

I’m currently studying the book of Job. Truthfully…it’s not my favorite.

What do you think the book of Job is about?

Most people, at least by the studies, commentaries, and posts I’ve found, believe Job is about why the righteous suffer.

I disagree. Wholeheartedly.

The book of Job is about relationship.

In the beginning, Job 1-3, Job knew of God. In the end, Job 38-42, Job KNEW God. That my friends is the point of Job’s story.

Are you going through hard times right now? Please save yourself the agony of the why that may never be answered (Job never found out why).

Instead focus on the who. Who is Jesus to you? Who do you want to be?

Use these hard times to grow and be a better person that you were before they happened.

I know it sucks. I’ve been there.

I’ve spent months battling a disease, having surgeries, and lying in a hospital bed. #notontodeath

I’ve lost a house, two cars, and had to depend on other people to help me financially. Literally living on less than $200 a month for over a year. Read more about how I felt going through it here. #pridekiller

I lost 3 of the most important people in the world to me in a 6 month time span. #deepdeepgrief

Sometimes seasons in your life just suck. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we suffer.

If you read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, many of them went through rough stuff too! BUT…just like with the 3 boys in the fiery furnace, they were not in it alone! And neither are you!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel…” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV

Point to ponder while you wander…

Life is not always easy, even if you are a believer!

BUT every season you go through can help you grow wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and closer to God.

Or you can choose to shrink into resentment, bitterness, and blame God.

The choice is yours.

History of the Selfie

My last visit to the National Gallery of Art I entered with an entire busload of Japanese tourists.

As we were moving through the galleries together I realized that this group of people were excellent selfie takers!

Now if you’ve been following along here for any length of time you know that where I start is usually not even close to where I end up. The journey on this particular day was how much effort selfies were before cellular phones.

In the present day…people with zero artistc ability can use selfie sticks & take as many shots as they need until they get a decent enough image to doctor with clever crops & fabulous filters.

But before that..

Cameras…

1. Set up the camera at the right height & angle. 2. Set the timer. 3. Then run like the wind to get in to the frame before the click. 4. Pray for a good shot.

But what about prior to cameras?

Seriously think about that!

To take a selfie…you had to have serious skills to draw, paint, or sculpt an image of yourself.

So I decided to do a new feature called #SelfieSaturday to celebrate how artists wished to present themselves to the world.

To kick it off…here is one of my own selfies. It’s a fave. It was taken several years ago while camping with friends.