Wednesday, February 23, 2011

that's really super, supergirl

Day 06- Favorite Super Hero and Why

Again with the difficult challenges! So difficult I missed my Tuesday posting deadline and here it is Friday. Thank goodness for a Snow Day so I can catch up! I don't know much about super heroes except what I've learned from 8-year old He-Bug. He (and his uncle) are particularly into super heroes. My interest, however, never went beyond wanting Wonder Woman Underoos as a kid.

I have seen quite a few super hero movies in recent years and at the risk of showing my ignorance I will confess that I'm not sure whether its a chunk of kryptonite or a radioactive spider that causes problems. According to He-Bug, I just have my movies all mixed up.

I've been thinking about this topic and even took a poll among the super hero inclined to see what really makes a super hero...well, super. I also took a quiz. You now, one of those "Which Super Hero Are You" quizzes. I didn't like the results.

After much research I have formed this hypothesis: what makes super heroes super is that they are larger than life. They can do things no ordinary human can do. They stand on the side of righteousness and work for truth, justice and the American way, right? Hmmm. Yeah, I guess I don't really have a favorite SUPER hero.

However, I have developed a deep affinity for one real-life hero. This hero is frequently called into action. She is quick to respond and eager to serve. She never stops until all the work is done and, unfortunately, she does not have a really cute costume. She is more than super...she is real. She's got every block on her calendar full, she kisses boo boos with one hand while wiping spills with the other. She teaches math and spelling all while folding laundry and keeping the whites truly white. She does dishes and pays bills. She stays up all night making cupcakes for the school bake sale. Who is this creature of habit and glutton for busy-ness? Why of course, she's Human Doing.

I have a soft spot in my heart for a band few people have probably even heard of...XTC. This British band helped me make it through the 90's. Their music is good, their lyrics are thought-provoking. You know, two great tastes that taste great together! They have a song dedicated to a super hero and well, it's not really a very nice song. Essentially the author is telling Supergirl that she stinks as a real hero. She's fantastic at saving the universe but when it comes to caring about the people who love and admire her, she's a big FAIL. In essence, she's a fake. She works really hard doing stuff all the time but when it comes to nurturing relationships...she's no hero. She's a big fat zero.

This has always been one of my favorite songs. So when I started thinking about super heroes it immediately came to mind. Upon further reflection and digging deep into the lyrics, I see this song as a great warning. This is especially true of us mothers. We (I) become so absorbed in doing, that I rarely ever spend anytime just being. I am Human Doing.

This warning is especially time sensitive for me. My kids are past the "need me every single moment of their waking hours" stage and I see them hurdling closer and closer to the "won't give me the time of day" stage. I don't want to be so caught up in doing stuff that I wake up one morning and Mr. Bug says "yeah, that's really super, saved the universe but you forgot to watch our kids grow up."

So, there's my answer: Human Doing is my favorite hero because I so relate to her. But I'm going to try to learn a lesson or two from XTC's Supergirl.

til next time,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

living on the edge

A Picture of Somewhere I've Been

This was a particularly difficult challenge for me. I guess I am not very place oriented. Well, at least not a specific place or trip or vacation. I do feel a certain kinship with places that are in nature. I wouldn't call myself an outdoor person but I like to be in fresh air and sometimes that means just sitting in the back yard with my evening coffee (of course not this time of year!)

I have a thinking spot I visit when the weather allows. It's a secret place so I won't reveal the location (and I don't have a picture of it) but more impressive than the look of the place is the feeling it evokes in me. It's mostly quiet but there is a railroad nearby that sometimes intrudes on my solitude. There is small body of water and lots of trees and various woodland creatures. My favorite time to be there is when the weather is just beginning to get frosty. The leaves are still colorful and although I like being in the presence of nature I tend to stay in my car. Inside it's toasty warm and I have the windows down just enough to get a whiff of that autumn breeze. I am sometimes brought to tears when I think of the beauty and simplicity of nature. That the Creator had the foresight to make all these earthy tones and breathtaking colors. It puts a little tingle in my soul. I feel giddy and very loved when I am in my thinking spot.

However, there is another place that brings out some of these same feelings in me. It's a place that I have never been alone. I have only ever been to this place with Mr. Bug. We started going to this place before there was a Mr. or Mrs. in our relationship. I have seen it in different seasons each with its own unique look. Winter is perhaps the harshest time of year in this place. But also what some might call the most beautiful. It's as though time is standing still. I love how the ice is frozen in motion. A little eerie but somehow it’s also quite beautiful.

Then there's this view when the grass is green, the trees have leaves and the wind blows the waves towards the shore's edge. Who knew the city once known for its burning river had such a beautiful green space? This is Edgewater Park and we visit it whenever we get to Cleveland. There are usually groups of kids and grown ups flying kites...wind permitting. I am not talking about the 99 cent kite at the drugstore...I'm talking about the coolest box kites and hi-tech wind catching devices I have ever seen.

This place holds lots of memories for me and Mr. Bug. Before the He-Bug and She-Bug arrived we used to be the jetsetters. Making it to the nearest big city for a weekend jaunt whenever the whim struck. We never left the continent and actually only left the country once...but just long enough to drive through the tunnel to Windsor, Ontatrio. We started visiting this park in the mid '90's and I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've been there in the last 5 years. I have three favorite memories of this place. Nothing spectacular...just special moments that have stuck with me for the last 15 or so years.

Our first trip to Edgewater we walked along the rocky edge and set up shop just a little ways down from a Spanish-speaking family. We rolled up our pant legs but we were too far up to reach the water. We basked in the sun, held hands and enjoyed listening to our neighbors. I'm not sure where they were from but they were all fishing. And they were having a ball. They had a little radio playing music, picnic sandwiches and bottles of pop and I swear every member of the family from Great Uncle Pedro to the tiniest brown-skinned baby was there. I remember thinking there was no place like this in Columbus (where we lived at the time).

Another time (when my legs still worked...mostly) we climbed up a craggy rock formation that was covered in a spindly kind of brush. There was really no where to sit and be comfortable. We had brought a blanket but neither of us remembered to bring it from the car and we were too exhausted from the trip up to venture back down and up again. Should've known then that we were destined for out-of-shapeness! This spot was particularly secluded and I was really ticked when I realized we weren't going to be able to enjoy this spot for a little romantic interlude like in the know what I mean. The couple on the blanket rolls around in the dirt or grass or other nature spot. They look like they are having the time of their ahem, adult lives and you're thinking that CANNOT be comfortable. Yeah, trust me it isn't. And it's even worse without the blanket!

My third memory is from a warm, but not hot summer day when the breeze was blowing but not too hard. We were a little early for a hotel reservation so we were killing time. We headed to Edgewater and pulled into a spot that was on a grassy bluff overlooking the beach. We were a little jetlagged from our trip and decided to catch a few winks while we had the time. We both reclined our seats and started to snooze. I was not fully sleeping...just enjoying the hazy feeling of relaxation when something tickled my nose. I opened my eyes and found a a yellow leaf sitting on my chest. It had floated in on the breeze. Mr. Bug must not have been sleeping either. He looked over at me and said that must be a sign, a symbol of something special. I looked down at the beach while twirling the leaf in my hands. That's when I saw it...a wedding. On the beach! I felt like a spy peaking into their private moment. I'm sure they couldn't see us and we wouldn't hear them but we knew what was going on just by the looks of things...and it was something special. I still have that leaf in a little acrylic box stashed away with my other keepsakes.

From time to time I have wished to live on the coast and well, Cleveland is as close as this Ohio girl will ever get. There's a cool art deco house that peaks over the trees behind the park. I always thought it would be so cool to have that be able to watch the boats and waves, to enjoy the trees and greenery of be right on the edge.

Photo Credits: 1) Cleveland Daily Photo Blog, 2/18/07, 2) By Htarbor at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the rest is still unwritten

Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have

Well...just one? This will be a bit of a challenge. There are so many to choose from...all different shapes, sizes and colors! Hmmm...well, to get started let me fill you in on a little secret. Are you ready? It's a doozie and one you would never in a million years guess about me...okay, here goes:

I'm overweight.

I know, I're shocked!

Of course this is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about habits. Obviously, I've got some issues with the wrong habits where this topic is concerned. And let me say for the record that I wish it were a big, fat secret (pun intended). I wish I could hide the fact that I have a love affair with food that goes beyond all reason. I wish I could hide the fact that my body has been ravaged by time, injury and disease. I wish I really was telling you something you didn't know. This habit I wish I didn't have: ignoring the fact that I am struggling to live up to my potential.

And, as I mentioned before...there's more where that came from.

I also wish I didn't have such a raging temper and seething anger. The Apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Can I get an Amen?!? I am so caught up in doing what I don't want to do that I barely remember what it was that I actually WANTED to do in the first place! Human nature is a funny thing (thanks Adam and Eve for starting us down that slippery slope). I often try to reason with myself. I am not justifying my habit of quick temperedness, but rather trying to decide how in the heck did I get here when all I really wanted was to listen to, support, love, treasure, encourage and edify those around me. Maybe David Byrne and The Talking Heads were onto something with their song Once in a Lifetime. "Well...How did I get here?" and later, "My God, what have I done?" Yes, what have I done by unleashing this habit on those nearest and dearest to me?

I wish I had more time to spend purusing the depths of all my habits (bad or otherwise). But alas, time is not on my side. My wise blogging friend Ang reminded me that this process...this putting-it-all-out-there exposure should be first and for most for just one person: ME. A voyage of self-discovery if you will.

Answering these 30 Day Challenge questions has really forced me to take a step back and observe myself rather than just live in my own skin. It's not always easy and it's not always fun to be truthful. But it's just the beginning. And thanks to Natasha Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, and Wayne Rodriguez I'll leave you with these parting words:

No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

attached to another by feelings of affection

Author's Note: The Icemegeddon of 2011 konked out the internet for the day...hence my delay in posting on Tuesday as promised. So, without further delay...

These might be pictures of you...well, maybe if you're reading my blog and you happen to be one of the people pictured here. Then, yes, these are pictures of you. Otherwise, these are pictures of my friends. A rather ambiguous group. This "Pictures of Your Friends" challenge was a hard one for me. It was not specific as in "people who influenced you" or "friends who've seen you naked". There was no direction really...just pictures of your friends. There are so many people I want to include. I am very blessed in that I have always surrounded myself with people who have helped make me who I am. That doesn't always mean everyone I meet is a friend but it does mean I have learned to dicipher those who are keepers from those who are not.

I used to say I was a quality over quantity type person. But the truth is I have a great quantity of really great quality people in my life. Some I see more often than others and some have the privilege of being family as well as friends but in the end, they all have one thing in common. They are worth knowing. They are worth investing my time and energy into. They are sometimes nearby, sometimes far...but always close to my heart.

As She-Bug likes to say...this is my BFF #1. It cracks me up that she grades her BFF's by number. But I remember the mind of a second grader...and are we so far removed from all that? This is my sister, Stephanie. She's 4 years younger but we have been mistaken for twins at times. She is the first person I call in times of crisis and in times of bliss. She spoils my children rotten and she keeps me grounded...often protecting me from my worst enemy: myself.

This my beloved, Mr. Bug. We have known each other since the day he hand delivered a letter to me in response to my letter answering his personal ad. That was 1993. Wow...that seems like a loooooonnnggg time ago! I am very blessed to have this man in my life. He and I are NOT like peas and carrots...we are more like liverwurst and rutabegas. We're unconventional and almost always polar opposites. He tends to be the sensitive, caring big picture person. I am the cut-to-the-chase mired in the details person. God must have known we would need each other to exist in this world. We drive each other crazy and we would do anything for one another. Isn't that what successful marriage is all about?

This is me and my girls. Together with my sister (whose lovely manicured hands you see in the lower right) we are THE foursome. This is Kara and Lori. They are like family. Kara has been friends with my sister since they were sneaking around and lying about going to basketball games in high school. Kara is my sisters bestie. Lori has been friends with my sister since meeting her through a friend she worked with many moons ago. My sister is Godmother to Lori's son. It is no accident that both these women came into my life via my best friend. I love them like sisters.

This is my work family...err, uh friends. These are the people I spend most of my waking hours with. There are others not pictured...Ryan, Bud, Deedee, Sharon, Kymm...too many others to name. They really are like family. We all know each other's business which (for the most part) is a good thing. We encourge each other and bring out the best in each other. It was a pleasure to be part of the Graphics Team at DG for the last 6 years. And I owe a lot to these folks for giving me grace as I have made the transition to the sales department. They make my job easy. And they love Chipotle just as much as I do!

This is Kristy and Todd. We don't see each other much but they are two of my oldest and dearest friends. We have been friends since junior high/high school. We are like old socks...soft and comfortable...we just fit. We can pick up where we left off even if it's been six months or a year since we've physically seen each other. The advent of Facebook has made staying in touch easier but we still don't *see* each other much. And FB has put me in touch with folks I never thought I would talk to again. But still these two remain the people I look forward to seeing (with my eyes) and talking to (in person). They are pieces of my past that make occasional visits to my present. And they love sushi just as much as I do!

Is that all? No, I'm sure there are others I have forgotten to mention. I love that I can keep in touch with other high shool friends: Jeff W., Dawn V., Tom H., and old college friends: Chris T., Sara H., and Sandi F. Sometimes when I talk with these folks on FB it's like I'm right back there. I am 16 or 18 or 20 again. They keep me young these friends. No matter how often we chat nor how in depth we get I still get to call them friends...because after all, I am attached to them by feelings of affection.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

sneak a peak

There are a few little housekeeping issues I'd like to take care of here at Spinning My Plates.

I have decided in an effort to keep myself on task (and to avoid leaving my loyal readers hanging) I will commit to making a post every Tuesday. I am making no promises about what time on Tuesday but as always I will post a link on Facebook when the post is up. If you want to be sure there's a new post when you pop in, you should check in on Wednesdays :-)

And speaking of loyal readers...I hate to admit it but I need a little pat on the back every once in a while. I really appreciate all the comments I've been getting on Facebook but unless you comment I am not sure just who is out there reading my two cents on the world. If you are a regular reader or even if you are just checking things out once in awhile...would you do me the favor of becoming a follower? There's a handy dandy link located on the right side bar. That just let's me know who's out there...and that what I have to say actually means something to someone. You don't have to comment but at least I will know you're out there.

So, here's your sneak peak at this week's post: according to the 30 Day Challenge it's supposed to be Pictures of Your Friends. I'm thinking this might be a bit challenging for me. I'm not sure I have photos of everyone I want to list. But in any case, I will do my best.

More later,