Roscoe

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Roscoe 

He sits with me. Always. I continue

to drink my coffee.

His mahogany eyes craving my attention.

Beckoning,

he requests just a minute of time. I begin another task. Yet, he lingers.

He lovingly

challenges me to a game,

as he plops his squeaky toy in my lap.

I throw it high.

He springs to action. Bolting. He lands back at my feet.

He begged for more. His gentle gaze

yearning.

My heart beats

blissfully

for this softhearted dog.

For the time being, we are

together.  The background fades.

I am present  with him.

The Antagonist

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The Antagonist
They followed him blindly in to the woods. Branches swayed in a seduction of unison.  The light between the trees was lynched, by his grandiosity and lies. Many continued without hesitation. He asked for a sacrifice of integrity, in exchange for boundless gains. The trees crowded around them until all he requested was placed on the altar.

The creature is walking freely, as the thicket suffocates his disciples.

 

Clock of Life: It’s Ticking

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Clock of Life: It’s Ticking

I continue to seek the innocence within my beating heart. I, fear my days are limited. Maturity has set in my bones.  Experiences have defined the blueprint within my face.  Time continues to steal my gleeful spirit.  Yet, the hope hidden within my heart pursues the Winsome of my youth.

 

Embracing My Inner Bison in the New Year

The American Bison are the official mammal of the United States of America (thanks to the National Bison Legacy Act). Their heritage is one entrenched in tragic beauty.  They are a prehistoric animal that have continued to roam our lands, for thousands of years. The American Bison ensnare its audience with a bold presence of strength and endurance.  These dignified beasts are the emblem of my New Year.

The American Bison have provided the Native American’s tribal lands with “fuel, clothing, food, tools, shelter, and spiritual value (US Dept of Interior, 2017).” Cows (female bison) often weigh 1,000 pounds and bulls (male bison) can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, with heights between 4-6 feet. A bison’s mood can be determined by the his or her tail. If the tail is pointing straight then stay even further back. Always maintain safe distances (a football field) from a bison. (US Dept of Interior, 2017)

The American Bison are powerful swimmers, fast runners (up to 35 mph), and have the ability to jump.  Their diets consist of leafy greens and weeds; they forge for 9-11 hours, per day. Their humps provide agility for their head to move snow when locating food.  Bison have a life span between 10-20 years. Bison “wallow” in dirt, meaning they roll around in dirt. Bison wallow to shed old fur and create a layer of protection from insects. Male bison also use wallowing to leave their scent behind, during mating season. (US Dept of Interior, 2017)

Life lessons from the American Bison

  1. Own your presence in this world. Stand firm and strong.
  2. Keep forging on. Swing that head, move those mounds of snow in front of you and forge the heck out of the day before you.
  3. Your hide may be torn and tattered; nonetheless it still is protecting you.
  4. Keep roaming over these amber waves of grain. Take help from others to maintain places of safe haven for your herd.
  5. A little dirt will not hurt you. It may protect you later in life and help you shed old skin.

With the dawn of a new year, I am choosing to live in a way that mimics that of the majestic American Bison. An emblem of my nation’s history. A noble beast that captured the heart of President Theodore Roosevelt, thus marking the first strides in conservation efforts of the American Bison. In this new year, I will forge and wallow, in ways I have never before.  Happy New Year!

Bibliography

US Department of Interior (12/2017). 15 Facts About Our National Mammal American Bison. Retrieved from https://www.doi.gov/blog/15-facts-about-our-national-mammal-american-bison

Disclaimer: This post is my personal thoughts, research, and experience. I am receiving no financial compensation for this blog post.

 

 

Arrange Those Flowers

Somedays

I am the flower.

somedays,

I am the rain. -Havana

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Flowers are my love language. The beauty of flowers have captivated my (wannabe) free-spirited heart for years. On days when I need an aesthetic pick me up, I run to the local store to purchase flowers for the office or home. Longingly, I sift through Instagram photos of flower arrangements with envy. Today, I decided to create my own flower arrangement. I am no expert on flowers and/or arranging them. I watched two videos on flower arranging and then just went for it.

My interest in flower arranging lead me to a local antique shop (Found Things, in Des Moines, Iowa).  There, I unearthed a pedestal bowl. I am going for the vintage-hipster look. Fun fact: I learned from the shop owner that this beautiful vessel was once used to hold lard. It is slightly tinted with a light brown hue around the basin.

In the Lord of the Rings movie, The Return of the King, Gandalf exclaimed, “Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste.”  Like Shadowfax, I made haste with those strips of tape; I used these cut strips to section off the bowl. There are numerous ways to create order when arranging flowers.  Often those versed in flower arranging encourage the usage of foam. The foam must be saturated fully in water; for larger centerpieces, use more foam. I did not use foam in this creation.

 

With the tape placed on the top of my vessel, I laid all the flowers across the table. Then, I placed each flower according to my liking.  After running out of flowers for my creation, I decided to get creative. I cut leaves off my house plants to fill in the gaps. I added eucalyptus for additional good smells. There is really no wrong or right.  Heck, I do not even know the types of flowers, I used. With fall being upon us, I used sunflowers, a decorative (sweet little, baby) kale, and a variety other “fall-looking” flowers.

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Favorite places to acquire flowers in Des Moines, Iowa:

  • Gateway Market
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Whole Foods
  • Trader Joe’s offers a variety of affordable flowers
  • My yard and/or house plants

In conclusion, there is a lesson learned from this flower arranging endeavor. This moment of enlightenment taught me to focus on treating myself (and surroundings) with gentle carefulness. I must focus on the beauty around me; harness it and arrange it in a way that uplifts and captivates. It was never  just about arranging flowers. These smalls moments are about creating a life that upholds beauty, creativity, and an never-ending desire to share joy with others. Inspiration starts from within.

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience. I am receiving no financial compensation or benefits from the listed stores, in this post. You should read up on flowering arranging. Apply what information you’ve learned when arranging flowers. The beauty is in the individualistic application to your works of art.

 

The Bad Mood That Started In 1980

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My family has this inside joke that we say about grouchy people. It goes like this, “we haven’t seen (fill in the person’s name) in a good mood since 1972.” However, upon much reflection, I have realized that my bad mood started around the day of my birth.

The idea of living a cheerful, positive approach is appealing. Unfortunately, this was not the disposition I received when my personality was being formed. Thank you, Creator; thank you parents (I am working on my ability to accept personal responsibility, for my grouchy self, at a later date). My mood has steadily improved over the years, especially with the introduction of coffee, in the daily routine and leaving those pesky teenage years in the dust.

While it can be argued that many factors impact one’s mood. According to Merriam -Webster’s Dictionary, mood is defined as, ”  a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion.”  Basically, my predominant emotion is despondency with a dash of melancholy, mixed with an unending flair for the dramatics. Or just plain grouchy, if you prefer the quick and dirty description of my emotional state.

I do not strive for an state of irritation and most days, I am in a decent mood. Irritability has long been a foundational component of my ability to move forward. I like to call a coping skill. Not your typical run of the mill,  traditional coping skill or one that is even encouraged, however, one that has awarded me the ability to sustain difficult days at work, difficult situations, etc… Even as I read & words written, I am thinking, that is some bull shit. Irritation and anger not only have stunted my relationships; it has impeded my ability to take responsibility for my actions, words, and thoughts. Ironically, my level of irritation coincides with my anxiety, as well. Irritation and anxiety are a partner made in the deep throws of emotion, some call it passion; I call it a heavy burden.

Today, I left work. Again, I felt tired, anxious, and pissed off. Now, to be honest, I have consistently complained about every job I have had. I drove home in silence, with thoughts of despair running freely in my mind.  I made dinner. The kids ate. The cat and dog were fed. I tried to shake this dark, tumultuous mood brewing. I wanted to pack my personal affects and drive away. Instead, I snuggled my dog and made a cup of tea. Slowly the noise within settled. I sat on my porch, ate a lemon muffin and listened to music.

The point is, I had a choice. One moment to take ownership of my time on this earth. I wish, I could tell you I just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail  or created the new Google.  There was no great battle of success. There was one simple moment that I purposely sought out an alternative to the story (or, mood). The essence is in these little victories.

Life lessons will always challenge those that seek refinement of the inner self. I am by no means an expert on this subject. The unfeigned me is unsure of how to fix the inner struggle with self. I am by no means an expert on fixing oneself. However. I leave you with 5 suggestions from my own experience with this thing called life.

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  1. Do something you enjoy. Today, I made delicious lemon muffins and tea
  2. Read the book: The Little Book of Hygee, Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking.
  3. Stop letting others decide your mood. Only you can control how you react and/or feel.
  4. Find a small way to live out one of your dreams.
  5. Go create that inviting space that gives you the ability to relax and enjoy life.

“With coffee, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wildish