sung by bees

focus on the honey not the sting…


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Antisocial media.

We all have those friends on Facebook that constantly complain about Facebook. The ones that insist they are leaving “I’m gonna jump! I’m outta here” yet they are still there. Shutting down for a week because they “need a break”. The fact that people need a break tells you something about how jacked up it is even using it.
I’m old. I used to be on Myspace. Hell I am so old when I was in high school there wasn’t even any internet. I remember right after college our friend spent two grand on a home computer raving about how he will be connected to the world. I told him he wasted his money as all he ever played was Doom. Hey you sit and stare at your computer we are gonna go see a band and be social. Weirdo.
Now everyone sits and stares at their computers. We are all weirdos.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. Anything I need to know I can find online. Anything I want to buy I can find online. I can write this and you can read it because of the internet. Pretty groovy. This morning I looked up recipes for zucchini, as that’s starting to become abundant in my garden, and stumbled upon info about a gardener certification class from the local college.
Along with the quest for knowledge however there is also a quest for connection. I think that was the initial draw of the Myspace and Facebook websites. Contact with others. However i think it does just the opposite. It’s giving us just enough interaction to acknowledge each other but takes away the desire to talk, to hang out, to socialize. I see that person every day is what we think. There is a picture of them! I miss people less because there they are.
But they really aren’t.
I thought when we moved having Facebook would keep me connected to my friends. It doesn’t. Hell I just found out people I thought we were friends with were coming all the way to our town and driving right past where we live to get to their vacation spot. They never thought to say “hey let’s meet up” it’s only been three years since we have seen them. We see each other online so it’s like we never left I guess. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Our state is a tourist mecca after all.
A dear dear friend came to visit recently. I was so excited to see her in person. I thought we had kept in contact via Facebook and knew what was up with her and her life and happiness. Not. Even. Close.
Then I look over my Facebook page and realize it’s I post a picture and people comment. Other people post a picture I say “haha” or “great picture” and that’s as about as deep as it goes.
Sometimes when people really want to talk I get a message. It’s like you gotta leave the public bubble to say what you really think and then dive back into surfing for photos to thumbs up or comment on. Well I have email and text, and a phone so I don’t need messenger.
Then there are the trolls, the troublemakers, the spelling nazis, the ‘preaching to the choir’ types. When you have to defend your beliefs or call out an asshole on the internet you are wasting your life.
I had actually declared a type of radio silence on my Facebook for a couple weeks. I came back to keep checking to see if my friend had her baby. Then got sucked in again to the time waster. Oddly enough she lost said baby and heartbreakingly posted a pic of him that the hospital took. My heart broke for her but seeing his beautiful little face on there just unsettled me.
How do I continue to post about my dinner, my garden, my kid, or my dogs? Seems trivial.
There is nothing left on Facebook I need to see. No news I need that I can’t get elsewhere. My love of photos is filled on Instagram where strangers post art and life imitating it.
I am done.
Have you ever tried to delete your Facebook page? It’s not easy . For some the actual action is tough. It’s an addiction. What I am saying is it’s really hard to delete your page. You can deactivate it but ITS STILL THERE. They know 95% of the people will come back. All you have to do is log back in. It’s like you never left.
Deleting it is a series of hoops to jump thru. It’s possible. They just don’t make it easy.
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders why that is.
Ponder that.

Now log off
And go outside and play.

Peace
Teri


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Even dictionary has more than one definition.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how we define ourselves. So often we latch on to the one thing we think makes us who we are. Our preferred or perhaps even dreaded title that somehow defines us. I am not sure where this habit began. Perhaps it’s just part of the human condition. I am guessing hundreds of years ago a king was a king and few saw beyond that.
What got me questioning the practice was the realization is that often unexpectedly that definition or title can be taken from us. If all you consider yourself is “mom” who are you when your kids are grown? If you are a professional fighter what happens if injuries or age force you to retire?
Is the act of “finding oneself” merely an attempt to find and affix one’s one definition onto oneself? (Say that ten times fast!)
You are a chef? Is that all you do?
A runner? Do you ever walk?
I’m not a huge Jillian Michaels fan but I love this quote “You are not fat. You have fat. You also have fingernails but you are not fingernails.” We are more than a title. We are more than our biggest passion.
Here are some of my titles and things I label myself:
Mom
Artist
Gardener
Craftsman
Massage therapist
Writer
Chef
Bookworm
Student
Activist
Teacher
I could just keep going. The biggest title is “mom”. Many of us are moms by definition. What does that mean exactly? I teach my child, I clean up after him (and the teenagers), I take him out to explore, to play, to garden. We interact with animals, with strangers, with retail businesses and all the folks that staff them. We volunteer, we work, we cook together, we read.
But my title is “mom” which has many definitions. I know women that have children and can be called mom that don’t do what I do. They do the mom thing completely differently. How then do I define myself simply as that when the title itself has many variations? People do it. I am “just a mom”.

I like the saying “we are not humans trying to be spiritual beings, we are spiritual beings trying to be human”.

A year ago my dear friend died in a motorcycle crash. She was an advocate for pitbull rescue and rehabilitation. She was a pinup model as well and a huge supporter of the local music scene. So many people have latched on to those things about her. She was so much more than that. It was a very public side of her, yes, but it wasn’t all she was. Part if my grieving process is to be pissed off by that. Yeah, those things were super cool but she had so much more to her.

When my uncle died I was sitting listening to the preacher dude do the eulogy and this is the gist of what was said about a man that lived to be 65 years old: “he was a hard worker”. That’s it. Nothing about his love of fishing, his grin whenever my mom brought over pie, no favorite activities. Nothing. He was a hard worker. Well goody.
Maybe he needed more labels because there was certainly more to him than that. Part if me tho thinks his label was so simple because he didn’t fill low his passion.
You shouldn’t be defined but just one thing. You shouldn’t focus your energy on just one path.
Find what makes you happy and do it.
Don’t be it.
The path you follow isn’t you it’s just the path.
Make it a good one.
Don’t be a definition.
Just be.

Peace
Teri


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Sad.

This will be brief.
No matter how many shitty things that happen in your day.
No matter how hard you think you have it….
someone else is hurting worse.
Count your blessings.
Hug the ones you love.
Give thanks.

My heart hurts for a friend today and for the life that never got to begin.
Rest in peace little dude.

Peace
Teri


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‘Merica

For the first time in three years we get to have fireworks on Independence Day. Generally I am not too much into holiday stuff but I enjoy the pyro part of Fourth of July. This is the first year we have been In colorado with out a fire ban due to drought. Tho I highly suggest you don’t flick a cigarette on my lawn it’s dead and crispy (ooooh where is my letter from the HOA??).
Anyway, the last few city fireworks displays ended up happening in October instead of July. It’s kinda fun to be bundled in hoodies kicking back in fall and having fireworks but sometimes you just want tradition.
When I lived in KC we used to trek out to Leavenworth to the military base and watch their huge display every Independence Day. It was fun…well except that year it was windy and the fireworks were exploding way to close to the ground and raining fiery paper on the crowd. THAT year is was not much fun but it WAS super exciting! At home we loaded up on Roman Candles, bottle rockets and everything that exploded or made colors as it shot into the air. I fully admit too that every year I had to buy the chickens that shot out fireball eggs and the little rolling tanks that usually just caught on fire. I live those stupid things.
So hearing the display was on for this year made me happy. The teenager and hubby are both excited to shoot off stuff at home.,well, there were…until I called to find out the local regulations.
Yes they are ok this year. Yay!
But…
Nothing that leaves the ground
Nothing that makes ANY noise
No explosions

Cones, sparklers, and snakes are ok. Cones, sparklers, and snakes are NOT fireworks.
So if you have always wanted to run a fireworks stand don’t set up shop in colorado…you won’t make any money.
You can tell which folks here are not “native” to Colorado. We are the folks standing dismayed in the fireworks tent. Yes, we bought some nonfirework fireworks. But it seems kinda blah. Traditions change I guess. Our preschooler hasn’t really seen fireworks (he fell asleep before the city display last October) so anything is better than nothing. The prices were thru the roof too so I am kinda glad there wasn’t an abundance of selection.

Little guy enjoyed the big city display and we had more fun with sparklers than expected to. All and all it was a fun day.

Sparklers!

Sparklers!

Happy birthday America. I hope you enjoyed blowing up your small part if it!

image

Peace
Teri


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You are a winner, asshole.

Yesterday we drove up to Keystone, Colorado for the Strider Bike races. If you have never seen one they are balance bikes with no pedals for little kids to learn to ride. It’s pretty cool they can ride a bike as soon as they learn to walk. The novelty of it of course lead to little toddler races. I had seen pictures online of the races and thought it would be fun. I honestly didn’t expect parents to take it all seriously. I should have known better.

I have never understood the sideline screaming parents. It’s a game. I was always under the impression that sports were supposed to be fun. No, it’s about winning. It starts earlier and earlier now too. There are sports for kids starting at age two and considering how many tournaments people we know go too for soccer for their preschoolers it’s some serious business.

So we got to River Run Village and there were already a good number of kids there. Our little guy rode his bike for a minute and grinned to see so many people his size all on bikes. Kids were checking each other out and one kid in that lovely brat tone asked our son if his Nitro Circus Strider bike was even a REAL Strider bike. Our kid had no idea what the other kid was talking about and just said hi. After a couple of minutes our little dude discovered the giant Connect Four game and decided to play that. Registration started at 9AM and races were at ten so he a good thirty minutes to play.
We watched as the other kids rode their bikes in the open space. Three kids instantly stood out. We will call them Orange Bike, Green Bike, and Yellow Bike. Super aggressive kids who were tearing thru the crowd on their bikes not caring who they crashed into. Imagine hyper kids on wheels and that was them. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, this was a bike event after all, but they were little jerks. Orange Bike crashed into a stroller with a newborn in it and didn’t even say oops or sorry or anything. He just shouted and took off again. Yellow Bike was racing around with Green Bike and cut him off on purpose to make him crash. When Green Bike hit the payment Yellow mocked him and laughed. His joy was short lived however because as he was looking back laughing he lost control and wiped out. As he cried the first thing that popped into my head was “Karma is a bitch”. Yellow Bike is bawling on the pavement and no parent is coming over to him. Some random mom close by picked him up all the while everyone is looking around for his mom. She was in Starbucks having coffee.
After playing Connect Four our kiddo got back on his bike and we took him over for a practice run on the little race course. On the way we met some nice kids and petted a fluffy dog. We also got to hear Green Bike’s dad giving him a pep talk “you can beat these LOSERS. You hear me?! You are FAST you can win this”. So after a couple practice runs (where our kiddo discovered his new favorite thing…ramps…like father like son haha) it was time for the actual race.
We lined him up with the other three kids in his heat for two and three year olds and guess who was next to him….Green Bike. So as the guy starting the race was telling the kids to get ready Green Bike’s dad was there, um, “cheering” him on “number one. You gotta win this. Let’s go! ” in that drill sergeant man tone. Wheeeee. Meanwhile I am holding my kids bike by the back wheel because all he wants to do is get back to those ramps. I don’t even think he noticed the other three kids were there. Ready, set….go!

Future NitroCircus stuntman haha... His shirt says "training wheels are for babies"

Future NitroCircus stuntman haha… His shirt says “training wheels are for babies”

They all took off. My kiddo was in the back as he wasn’t in a win win win mindset. He was pure joy headed up and over each ramp. He kinda paused at the top of each one like he was taking it all in. The crowd cheered all the kids on on the sideline screamer parents out voiced them all. GO gO Goooo!
Our guy came in fourth and was ready to go again. All he knew was that was super fun.
As there were several more heats and he didn’t place to race again we took him to get a snack. After all the races were over the winners got medals and everyone got ribbons and a lollipop. Every kid was more interested in the lollipop than the ribbons or the medals.
Sideline screamer parents of the “losers” were super disappointed and the winners (which included Green and Orange Bike) were all over it with excitement instantly on their smart phones posting about the win.
Funny the unwatched children, the wild rude little jerks all had the sideline screamer parents. I was happy that a couple of race medal winners had the “here for fun” parents.
The sideline screamers are those disengaged parents like we see at the park. They are only seem interested in their kids if the are winning something. It’s not enough that the kid is discovering the wonder of the world they have to break a record or find a dinosaur. Something worthy. It’s not enough to have fun. You have to WIN.

Competition isn’t a bad thing. Team sports can help you learn to work in harmony with others. However it has really moved away from that. When you are already teaching your three year old that people fall into two categories, winners and losers and that you don’t want to be a LOSER, you are teaching them to be an asshole. There is no empathy in that mindset. There is little joy. I would rather my kiddo discover something than win.

Now excuse me while I go find some wood to build him a little ramp.

Peace,
Teri


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It’s like a movie.

I think one of the dumbest things I have ever uttered was “that sunset looks just like a picture”. In my own defense I was meaning that it looked like something you would see in a landscape calendar it was so perfect. It was a good example of how we have come to view reality.
I am a photo junkie. I take pictures constantly. I think that’s why I love Instagram it’s like a haven for ADD photo addicts. My feed is all dogs, kids, food, doodles, and plants. Maybe it’s because I have issues with short term memory, but I am addicted to having a tangible image of moments. My friend tells me it’s because I have an artists brain and think in images….I just think she is an enabler as she is a picture junkie too.
I don’t even have a good camera. I use my phone and my iPad and many many memory cards (as well as all the trees I murder to print photos)…. And frames. My god I have so many picture frames. That’s a whole other post…

So seeing the world as pictures instead of reality I blame on modern technology. Not even super modern. My generation grew up with TV and the dawn of video games. I am so old I played Pong. It’s so old school not even hipsters wanna play it. Now video games are just interactive cinema. The internet is an international ‘open on the table’ scrapbook. We are flooded with images so much so that I don’t know if people even see the real world much anymore.

I think that’s why I garden. It’s a reconnection to what is real. Your focus is small and close to the ground. You have to pay attention to what plants and bugs are doing how the soil feels. Weeds take over if you don’t focus on the here and now….but when I am done I take a picture.

What sent me on this wandering post was a text from my 15 year old son. He is role playing as a volunteer for the sheriffs department. Today is a training day for officers…. a live shooter scenario. My teen and a whole bunch of volunteers are the victims and witnesses. Parts where they wait around or reset the scene are boring but the rest he is enjoying. He is really into theatre so it’s like being on set for a film.

I cannot imagine being a parent getting texts from a student if this was REALLY happening...but knowing it's fake is cool. Training is important if it ever comes up they will save lives because of it.

I cannot imagine being a parent getting texts from a student if this was REALLY happening…but knowing it’s fake is cool. Training is important if it ever comes up they will save lives because of it.

I almost didn’t let him go. Part of me worried about this desensitizing him to possible violence or freak him out having such things acted out in front of him….His whole generation has grown up with violence. Maybe every generation does. But now it’s mental pictures that everyone shares. The media glorifies violence…if it bleeds it leads. We are very conscious of what’s on the TV because we have a two year old ( so please don’t ask me if I have seen the latest episode of ANY show…I am watching Curious George reruns thanks) but my teens play video games at friends houses or on their devices, watch movies, read weird books and comics and frequent news and social media sites online. It’s out there.
Rational me won out and I dropped him off stupid early in the morning to get rolling. Its 12 hours of community service and his school requires a lot of volunteer hours for graduation (how cool is that!!?!) so he might as well get on it. Turns out he is having a pretty good time. Plus he said it’s cool to watch the officers do stuff. The are all “badass” he says.

I hope he still has his “wound” when I pick him up so I can take a picture.

Peace
Teri


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Flippin’ the bird.

Birds have dominated my day today. It wasn’t intentional but it has somehow become a running theme. I’m ok with that.
What I am not ok with is the fact that my Boston Terrier killed one of the cool wrens that live in the birdhouse on our deck. The babies have grown up and left but I still called him an asshole for murdering a bird and leaving it’s mate to sit in the tree calling for it over and over. Hopefully there is a large wren dating network and he or she will find a new love soon.
I guess I am partly to blame as the whole backyard was full of birds because the feeders have been empty for two days. It was kinda like the Hitchcock film with all these birds lined up staring at the house. You’d think with it being summer they could find food out in that giant field by the house but I guess not. Needless to say I got them seed this afternoon. I had birds on each feeder seconds after filling them. They were watching me haha.
Birds are also what’s for dinner. Chicken to be exact. Part of me is amused that I feed little birds while smoking a big one. Lucky y’all are small!
When my dad was a kid his folks owned a meat market on the south side of Chicago. Once they got a shipment of Cornish game hens by mistake. They sold out fast. Due to their high cost my grandfather got an idea to catch “city chickens” and sell those as game hens. Let’s just say the doves in my neighborhood should be thankful I am not that crazy….or that hungry. I’ll just stick to my organic regular farm variety chicken.
I smoke my cut up skinless chicken for 2 or 3 hours them toss it in the crockpot on low with a bit of BBQ sauce for 4 or more hours. Stupid easy and very tasty. If you have bacon you can wrap each piece of meat in bacon before you smoke it. I tend to just do that if it’s boneless to keep it for getting too dry but either way the crockpot and sauce balances it out.
So we got dead birds, hungry birds ,smoking birds let’s talk about the big one for today…flipping the bird. A couple weeks ago I posted a goofy pic of my toddler flipping the bird on Instagram. It was in fun and he was making a super silly face. Our friends and followers thought it was funny and it got made into an anti Monday meme.

My mother was taken aback by the picture (you think she would know my humor by now) and I got a couple nasty emails from people, one which arrived today,that basic read like this… Oh my god does he know what that means? That is a horrible thing to teach a child! What if he does that at school???. Look, he’s two and a half. He prefers to say “peace out” and flash the V for peace or give ya a thumbs up. Everyone that knows him knows he is the sweetest soul ever…flipping the bird is so funny because it is so out of character for him. People are too easily offended by things that don’t matter and ignore issues that really could use more energy directed toward them.

It’s all good it fit the theme today which was totally for the birds.

Peace out
Teri

Quick side note… ” for the birds” has a couple possible origins. One is that is a shortened version of ” this shit is for the birds” coming from birds rooting thru poo for seed… Another is it’s trivial worthless like crumbs we waste that go to the birds…another was a military thing where they did drills not for amusement of the men and only seen by birds…

 

update…. I cleaned out the birdhouse and the same day the wrens moved back in. So there must be a great wren dating network because it’s a pair and they are rebuilding the nest.

Not the greatest pic but it's a happy one

Not the greatest pic but it’s a happy one

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