Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shop Local

I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses, but sometimes it just seems easier to order what I need from the comfort of my home. I did just that on Tuesday when I ordered some presents from an online bookseller. It was slightly cheaper to buy them online and the ease of having them delivered to my door within 2 or 3 days was just too much to pass up.

What is it they say about the best laid plans? Well, it turns out that the books will not be delivered within 2 or 3 days, but instead they will be shipped in 2 1/2 weeks. Unfortunately, I need the books this Tuesday, so the multiple-week delay is unacceptable. Of course, when I contacted the bookseller, they told me that they cannot cancel the order, so I will have to send it back once it is shipped to me.

I remembered seeing these books at my local Paper Source shop, so this afternoon I walked out to the store. I was not optimistic as I needed six of the books, but The Paper Source had eight and one of the women working there was kind enough to go into the back and get me the extra copies I needed.  All in all, it took me 25 minutes to walk to the store, buy the books, and walk home. Plus, I had the pleasure of interacting with some lovely women working at The Paper Source. (That was much more enjoyable than the faceless online bookseller employee who I spoke to about canceling my order.)

Lesson learned again: Shop Local.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May with Claire

May has always held special place in my heart. I was born in May (have a margarita for me on Cinco de Mayo) and it is the month when true spring arrives in the upper midwest,

I've decided to make May my start of the new year. I love the sense of rebirth that feels like it is permeating my life. I am taking a class with May Flaum at Big Picture Classes entitled May with May in which she provides little bits of creative inspiration every day during May.

The painting pictured above is my creative product from today. I know, it looks like a second-grader painted it, but that is where I am in my learning process and the only way I'll get better is through practice. While taking the Get Your Paint On! class with Mati Rose McDonough and Lisa Congdon, the single biggest thing I learned is that it is okay to suck. I think it is okay to suck, but only if you aren't satisfied with that result.

During May, I intend of practicing my creativity. I apologize if some of it sucks, but hopefully it will all be a little bit better by the time June 1st rolls around.

The World We Live In

With the events of the past 24 hours, I find myself unable to share in the exultation that many Americans are feeling. I have been trying to find a voice to my thoughts and feelings, but was unable to do so until hearing these* words:

      I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Today, I remember those who lost their lives due to unspeakable evil and those who mourn them. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of his hand. And to those of you who have dedicated your lives to making my world a safer place, thank you.

*Although these words were initially attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr., that appears to have been incorrect. It doesn't really matter who said them, but thank you to whomever did.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011