Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Valentine

One of the things that I love about my husband is that, after 10 Valentine's Days together, he still finds ways to surprise me. Now, I am not talking about, "Wow! He hid Michael Buble tickets under my breakfast plate" types of surprises. Those are rather few and far between since the kids entered the picture. I am talking about the ways in which he regularly unveils facets of his personality that I don't expect.

Here's my story:

A couple of years ago, in our old house, I was poking around the cabinet under the sink and found evidence of an intruder. I called my hubby at work and he said he would deal with it when he got home. I was a little confused when he didn't enter the door with a box of mouse poison or a trap, but instead put a small dab of peanut butter on the end of a stick and propped it up against a glass vase under the sink. A fairly simple trap, but no doubt complicated enough that a mouse wouldn't see it coming. Our little friend would be stuck in the vase and we could humanly set him free.

There you have it. My husband, the pacifist. I was touched that he didn't want to take any sort of pent-up aggression out on this poor little defenseless mouse. A lot of people might think it was nothing, but I think that day kick-started a lesson that I have been learning ever since: Kindness is rather undervalued sometimes.

Lately, I have also realized just how long my husband and I will (hopefully) be together. I'm figuring we've got a good (knock on wood) 50 years more to go. That's a lot of pleasant surprises.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One Page At A Time

I haven't always been the most confident in my artistic abilities. Growing up, I always labeled myself as "the academic one" and I relegated art and creating to others. Now, this is not without reason. The best self-portrait I can come up with is still a stick figure.

I am finding, however, that creation is a natural form of self-discovery. And since that's what I'm all about these days, I am finding new and cool ways to actualize.

I started out with memo boards. I am terribly frugal, so when I looked up some on the web to put in my kids' rooms, I was shocked at the sticker price. "I can make that!" I dutifully exclaimed. And I did. A nice little Mom-hobby, I figured.

Then came the cooking. One of the highest forms of artwork. In order to make an exquisite meal (not something that I often achieve), everything has to be timed right. And there are so many variations! You can choose cheap meat or fine. Fresh shallots or dried. Even just choosing a pre-made, frozen entree can open you up to new flavor combinations (I try to see the good in everything). And the gadgets! Those will keep you busy and usually lead to trying out new recipes. I sometimes covent the life of a pastry chef.

My new art is scrapbooking (yes, I called it an art). And it is certainly finding ways to fill up my days. The best thing of all--there is no WRONG way to do it! It is the ultimate confidence booster for supposed un-artists like me. Not to mention it's all about lines and balancing. Just the fresh, crisp cardstock is enough to get me going.

Point is, it's never too late to learn something new. The days are long, but the years are short. What else are you going to do with your time?