Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

[Previous Suburban Farmgirl, October 2009 – October 2010]
You’ve heard the expression “if these walls could talk…” Well mine does – at least, the rectangle that’s covered by a bulletin board above my desk seems to have plenty to say.
It’s a mishmash of photos, postcards, kids’ artwork, buttons and other random bits that have caught my eye. I’ve always kept a board like that. As I tack things up over time, it becomes less cork and more mirror, a reflection of the gal sticking in all those pushpins.
Want to know what it told me today?

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A Hug in a Bowl

[Previous Suburban Farmgirl, October 2009 – October 2010]
Are you the granola type? No, I’m not probing about your wardrobe or your voter registration!
“Granola” seems to carry as many connotations as a bowl of it has ingredients – few of them having to do with breakfast. (Didn’t Birkenstocks and Berkeley politics cross your mind?)
I don’t know how the world’s best cereal became the icon of a lifestyle, because any of us can enjoy this hug in a bowl. The word, for me, conjures up wooden spoons, thick crockery, pure whole ingredients, and home — and when made from scratch, a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Even a non-Julia Child like me, an Aga wannabe with a suburban stovetop oven – can create a batch of homemade granola worth yumming over. And it’s easy. Come watch!

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More Zen in ’10!

[Previous Suburban Farmgirl, October 2009 – October 2010]
What makes you calllllllllllllllllllm? Do you have to sit very still and chant “ommmmmmmmm” to chill — or can you hustle about your busy day carrying a place of peace and serenity within you all the while?
Two recent discussions have reminded me how much our attitude influences our quality of life. Unlike circumstance and hard knocks – things you can’t always change — attitude is something we get to pick. It’s the place on the self-tuner where we choose to set our emotional dial. (Hmmm, will I pick wallow-on-the-floor-in-a-pity-party-for-one today? Or will I put my energy toward counting blessings and getting the laundry done?)
One of my recent attitude-bending conversations was with my sister-in-law, a woman who should know something about stress. Her six kids fall between ages 4 and 13 (all hers by birth, btw, and every single darn one of them entering this world between 10 and 11 pounds!). Her 80-something parents live in a wing my brother built onto their house for them.
Until shortly before he died last year, Laura (that’s her below) had my dad living in her house, too, in her former reading nook, a room she gave up so my brother could convert it into a main-floor bedroom for Dad. (Even more generously, she gave up her pantry so he could turn the space into a shower in the adjacent bathroom.) And did I mention the two dogs? Two cats? The garden? The part-time job as the church pianist? The nightly cooking for 10? Like I said, she knows from stress.

Anyway, Laura (who is as cheerful and calm as they come) told me her new motto is…

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