All posts by StephieLou

This is what happened when I aimed a colander toward the sun during today’s total eclipse across America.

Baby crescent moons!

I took this picture with my iPhone 7. Using my solar eclipse glasses as a shield for my phone lens, I was able to capture the eclipse as I saw it through my glasses.

Today was so cool.

I think I’m hooked on eclipses now.

Texas 2024. On my eclipse calendar now.

Stand Up

I’m having a hard time focusing today.  My first child leaves for college in two days.  My son turns 12 in two days.  And my President makes me want to crawl into a corner and cry.   But I can’t crawl into a corner.  Or say nothing.

To watch all those white men march with those torches and surround those brave Americans around a confederate statue chanting “Jews will not replace us” or “White lives matter”  makes me sad and sick to my core. How can this be?  How can our President not speak out against that?  How can he say both sides are to blame?  How can anybody?

I can’t say nothing.  I can’t crawl into a corner.  We know the history of Nazi Germany.  We know about the history of slavery and racism in America.

This president is dangerous.  He fosters hate.   Our stock market might be climbing and our unemployment rate may be at lower than it’s been in years, but he cannot bring our country together.  It’s not even in his plan.  He thrives on division. And it will get worse before it gets better.

There is a line in the sand.  To say nothing is a stand.   Racism and religious persecution has no place in America.   Now is the time to speak out.   If you want it to stop, then speak up.   Racism has been around long before Trump arrived, but he’s given a hall pass to haters.   It’s time to put them in detention and kick his ass out of office.

Our country was born when we stood up against tyranny.   People from all walks of life stood up and fought for our freedom.   When the South decided slavery was worth fighting and dying for, we fought again and won.   When Germany thought it should rule the world (not once, but twice), we rose.   When Martin Luther King Jr. led a movement that led to Civil Rights for all, we rose.

We must rise again.  Hate has no place in America.

Maybe now, I can help my daughter pack for college.

 

Finito Benito

Life is a Puzzle

Every summer, I complete a massive puzzle.  I break out the card table, dump the 1,000 pieces on top and begin the process of sorting and connecting.  In those moments, I am a puzzle zombie.   There’s only a certain amount of time I can dedicate to the hobby, but while I’m there, I’m nowhere else.   It’s just one of many reasons why I love summer.  I hate the ridiculous heat, but if it were not for summer, I’d be moving in a constant state of speed, rushing, rushing, rushing.  Heat slows things down.      And so I build it, piece by piece, enjoying the quiet of a hot afternoon or late night or morning.

I’ve come to learn a few things about life through this process.  In the beginning, the puzzle is hard.  You are not familiar with the big picture yet.  Over and over again, you must return your gaze to the puzzle box to understand where the piece you’re holding, belongs.  It can feel chaotic.  Frustrating.  So many pieces that fool you.

IMG_5770It’s easy to walk away after a few minutes of not finding one match.   You know when you’ve had too much.  So you take a break.   Breaks are necessary.   All muscles need rest and our brains are no exception.    We are no good when we overdo it.  You have to know when to walk away only so you can come back, ready to solve that puzzle.  Over time, the puzzle begins to take shape.

IMG_5769You must open your mind and see that each piece is unique and the one you are holding may not necessarily fit another in the way you expect.  Sometimes the piece connects upside down or sideways.   Or it’s yellow and it still connects to red.  Surprise!  You cannot believe you  know better or more than the puzzle.  You must follow its lead and open your mind to all of the possibilities of connections.   Kind of like life.  That magical moment always comes.   Suddenly the pieces fit, one by one.  You’re caught off guard because you didn’t see that piece fitting the other like the way it did.  Over and over again, this happens.

You have to keep trying new ways of seeing and doing things.   The moment you stop believing there is nothing more to learn is the moment you stop growing.   There are times when you have to step back and breathe in another avenue of happiness, but in the end, it comes down to keeping an open mind.

I think that’s where true happiness lies.  We cannot lasso and control life. It flows as long as we understand we are shaped by our ability to accept it isn’t supposed to go exactly as we planned.  As we do that, the puzzle begins to take shape.  The pieces become more and more familiar until you get to the point where you pick up a random piece and, without thinking too much about it, your hand naturally moved toward the exact spot it belongs.   It’s as if all of that dedication has begun to pay off.

IMG_5768

And that’s because you’ve earned it.  Your mind stopped trying to overthink, to make it work.  It’s a beautiful process.  And a good life lesson.  Slow down, recognize that there’s more than one way to see and do things and allow joy to spill into your space.

Forest Gump was right, but life isn’t just a box of chocolates, it’s a puzzle, too. 🙂

Hair of the Dog

He wears it well. 


 

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!

I was feeling a bit colorful yesterday when I saw this ice cream sundae coloring contest in Food Network magazine.


There’s been such a resurgence to the 70’s in the design world. You see it everywhere. Colors, textures and patterns exploding next to each other, macramé hangers holding long, unending trails of green.  Bamboo. 

That’s what inspires this sundae.  It’s a tribute to the summers I remember as a kid from the 70’s. The summers of color and joy and freedom.   Of being outside all day and at the drive-ins or front yard (capturing lightening bugs) at night.  


It was gritty, too. Food wasn’t so pretty or gourmet. It was hotdogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob. I’m happy for those memories. I hope to make them for my own children. Less Martha Stewart. more Janis Joplin.  OK a little easy on the Janis Joplin, but still.  

Supercalifragilisticexpedalidocious!   

Spilt Milk

No crying here.  My cream splattered when I was pouring it into my cup of tea.


Looks like a flower to me. 

This cloth must be stain resistant.  Good thing it’s on my dining room table!

Cream droplets!