Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Contemplative thoughts, fall beauty, deep breaths in the late afternoon

My gorgeous late afternoon view after I raked the front yard and then sat on the ground in the backyard thinking and breathing in the fresh fall air. Friday October 23, 2015

There is quiet beauty somewhere near you. If it's hard to find, close your eyes and imagine some. Look at art, listen to music. Breathe a little more deeply, a little more slowly, and you'll be better for yourself and for those around you.

From Sandra Dodd's Just Add Light and Stir email list:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Do you feel safe expressing your ridiculous side?

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. -Agatha Christie, author (15 Sep 1890-1976)

First thought that came to my mind when I read that quote:
Why might a person realize how much you love the other person? Because they are sharing themselves and being vulnerable.

More thoughts: When a person acts ridiculous (in a silly way), to me it feels like you get a sense of their true playful nature. If they are willing to share that with be playful with you, then they are sort of trusting you in a sense. In addition, it's almost an invitation to be playful or silly or ridiculous back. And guess what? That is FUN!!

It creates a bond of trust when you feel comfortable sharing that part of yourself. And THAT feels good to be able to be able to be yourself, express yourself, and to still be accepted.

When that first person is silly with you, it's like they are saying, "Hey there! I trust you enough to be able to show you my silly side! Join me!! I want to have fun with you!"

The sad side: Some people roll their eyes or make a put down and that may make the silly person feel less apt to share that side of themselves with others. It can be discouraging and the silly person may feel ashamed. (Of course that is only a problem for the expressive person IF they let the bastards get them down. They could instead feel sorry for the person who is too uptight uncomfortable to have fun or to take risks!)

Invitation to share your playful side:
Well....writing all of this now makes me think of a silly thing Kanoa and I did yesterday. We put on a wig and took silly pictures. I'll share that here...and if anyone reading this ever wants to post a silly picture of themselves, please do! That would be fun to share!

Monday, March 23, 2015

My First Boston Tea Party Swing Dance Conference

I went to my first Boston Tea Party Swing
Dance Conference - so fun!!

There was a Jack and Jill contest where you get randomly paired with another dancer and dance three dances. I started learning West Coast Swing since January, but decided to give it a go. I placed "alternate" which means that if one of the people who got called back didn't show up, I would take their place. The young people whom I take WCS classes with on Thursday evenings placed in the finals!! Awesome!!

Dance 1 was my best. I had danced a bit with Craig in a workshop and he moved at just the right pace for me....he focused on basic moves that I could keep up with. I think it looked good.

Dance 2 I stunk at. My partner had awesome moves and gave cues fine. However, I need to learn how to better understand how to respond to the cues and learn more movements and styling and have all that feel natural. I wish I had been able to keep up. Knowing this will motivate me to keep working on it. The more partner dancing I can do, the more steps I learn and practice, the better I'll get because it will feel natural and I'll understand how to respond to the cues.

Dance 3 - I Love One More Night by Maroon 5, but didn't move well enough to it.

I'm so grateful for my friend's wife who taped the dances!

And I'm so lucky to have a sweet and generous husband who makes it possible for me to do the things I love the most! And for my kiddos who support me as they know how much I love to dance! :D

And for my friend Eileen whom I got to visit and share the experience with! 

Got there on Friday afternoon, bought Comfort suede dancing shoes, took 4 hour long workshops, had a brief rest, my roomate (another unschooling mom) arrived and we chatted for a couple hours. Then danced from midnight till 6am. No kidding!

Saturday - Up at 11:40am ish, took part in the Newcomer Jack and Jill contest. Attended a couple of workshops. Rested. Watched various crossover dances (Lindy and WCS). Danced again midnight till 6am. I especially loved it when I felt a dance went when I could keep up with the moves or was able to dance with someone more advanced who could lead me through new steps and movements - that was awesome!! Though I am a newbie, I did ask people of all levels to dance if I wasn't asked. My goal was practice and fun!

Sunday - Up at 10am (woke up feeling sleepy, but not tired enough to go back to sleep). Got things packed in the car to go home. Took 3 awesome workshops - loved all of them! Watched finals, did some social dancing and headed home at 6:30pm. 

Now I want to go to the Gold Room even more! There is a lesson and then social dancing every Monday night in Portland. Hmmmm....will need to adjust my schedule and see if there is a way to do least in the warmer weather and after Jim's busy season. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sawyer Fredericks on The Voice!!

We sat around the tv last night to watch Sawyer Fredericks, whose family are our camp neighbors when we go to the WeShine Unschooling Conference. Sawyer is 15 and has a soulful, powerful voice that beckons you to listen (with your mouth dropped open!).

He was on The Voice last night!!!  I told Katie about it and she sat with her host family on the Big Island of Hawaii to watch! They too thought his performance was awesome!  

All week we were trying to guess who he picked to be his coach. So glad he picked Pharrell, because Happy was one of the songs sang at last year's unschooling conference! And Pharrell was the one who said, "This is your destiny...and it's really about what you want to do.." which is so unschooly and such a perfect fit!! Sawyer said on the show that one of the reasons he chose Pharrell was because he "...talks about originality and allowing you to go your own way. I think that really goes with my style". Cool! Sheesh....not only cool, PERFECT!!!

If you'd like to check out Sawyer's Website, visit or check out his page on facebook


Adding this on 3/23/15 - Christina Aguilera praises Sawyer saying, "There's no teaching what you do!"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Inspirational emails from TUT - A Note From The Universe

Here is a little daily inspirational email that I look forward to each day. It's from TUT - A Note From the Universe.

Each day, I can read something helpful into it depending on how I interpret it and relate it to my thoughts and what is going on in my life currently. I think this example is a perfect one to encourage writers to begin, even if they still feel in the darkness. (Though it could apply to any number of different things, I thought of it as to do with writing because that is one of the things I'm thinking about right now.)
If, Laurie, while sitting in the darkness, you changed your mind and decided you wanted to sit in the light, would your first few steps be in the darkness or in the light?


The Universe

And this too was in the bottom of the email - love it!

Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®

© ®

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

Makana (age 9 1/2) plans her first visit to the 4th grade

Makana is going to visit the Camden Hills Elementary School tomorrow (4th grade) to see if she might like it. She was supposed to check it out last Tuesday, but school was canceled due to a snowstorm. 

Though I support her and help her find out about what she is curious and interested in - and will do so for her current interest in school, I hope she likes homeschooling better. 

As a homeschooler, Makana can do all the art she wants to and currently spends a lot of time drawing and painting and creating. When we arranged for the school visit, we asked if it was possible for her to attend on a day when they have art. On Tuesday's, the kids have a whole hour of art and therefore her visit is arranged for a Tuesday. I do hope they have school tomorrow and it's not another snow day as she is excited to try it.

This will be a whole new experience for her in many ways. I said that if she does like it (and before she'd enroll..if she even wanted to), to check out the homeschool coop in Belfast....because she might like that better. Or maybe she will be satisfied with all the things she already does now.

Makana is saying yes to so many new things lately. We've been to open gym*, swimming, signed up for a homeschool art museum trip, found an art teacher to do a homeschool art class which begins next week*, bought new art supplies on sale, checked out the local kids chorus (was not for her), arranged for her to visit the school for a day, and she said she would like to try skiing. Plus there are free art lessons in Rockland on Tuesday afternoons. She may try those too.  Oh!  And she joined the book club at the library as well and loved it. She wishes it met more than once a month as she loved it so much! When it isn't snowing, we've gone to writing club. On our own we enjoy making up stories and jotting down book ideas. Some of her latest ideas are a Doctor Who alphabet book or one similar to Shel Silverstein's "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only," and a book about a cat and dog, and another she wrote with Kanoa. And dancing together (see video below). Busy busy....  Plus time to get into Pretty Little Liars!  We both love it and are in season 2.  (* = those activities I organized)

Because she is so into art, we've been reading many different books on artists, especially before bed. While organizing her room and bookshelves, we found some old art books that she loved - esp one on Picasso. 

Makana is also interested in history and when we were going through the books, we found a book on Betsy Ross - one short one I read aloud and another in a series that Katie used to love. She is currently reading the one from the series and chose to take that book with her as her reading book for tomorrow. 

In the organizing process, she discovered the Who Am I? books where you try to guess who the famous person or character is based on the hints provided. One of the people in the guess book was Betsy Ross! Love it when those connections happen. :)

Makana isn't told to read any specific books - she has a large variety of them on our bookshelves and through our library from which to choose. She wasn't asked to read a prescribed number of questions in the Who Am I? book. She likes doing the quizzes because they are fun to try to figure out. When she is interested in something, it is because of her own curiosity and her own desire to find out more. That desire is natural in people, but can get stamped out (or partially stamped out) when the agenda of another person or an institution insists that there is a better way to learn or even a specific way to learn.

I just helped her organize for tomorrow. We need to be there at 8:15am (she usually sleeps till between 10:30 and 11:45am, so this will be an early rising day). I have paperwork to fill out. She's supposed to take a snack, boots and snowpants (because she must go outside for recess for at least five minutes I think...but she doesn't have snowpants that fit well right now, though she said she would be fine without them), sneakers, and a book to read (maybe there is some free time or downtime?). I added paper, pen and a pencil to the list. The 4th grade in that school switches teachers and classrooms, though in 5th grade they go back to not switching.     

I hope she enjoys her experience, but prefers to continue homeschooling.