Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet History

The history HERstory of my daughter's birthday celebration is one I especially like to reflect on every single year. I have already chronicled it in length in the past. Here is the story if you care to take a peek. My Baby Girl's Birthday Story

This year I listened very careful to Scarlett's list of birthday wishes. I think last year when she turned 3, she finally had an understanding what was happening. She's been fairly obsessed with her birthday for a year now. She understands that we take the day to fully appreciate and shower as much love and attention on you as possible. She's has been in anticipation for her special day since the last one wrapped up. Truth be told so have I. I think after reading the detailed blog on her dramatic entrance into the world you probably understand why. It's her birthday, but it's also my.... didn't die day. I just love channeling a little extra gratitude into the atmosphere.

For about 4 months, Scarlett has been adamant that I hand craft her a heart shaped cake. I'm am a baker but, I do cookies and cupcakes. They may taste good, but they aren't necessarily that pretty. I have had all of my kids request a homemade cake at one point or another. A heart shaped cake just seemed as if it had the potential to go very wrong, very quickly. Thus, this venture was making me quite nervous. No one in my household is known for holding their tongue. I'm not overly proud, but a "wow you sure made a mess of this cake" would have surely been injurious to my feelings!

I remember when I was young, my mother who has always been an avid baker, used to make heart shaped cakes during valentine's day. I called her and solicited her expertise in my attempt to fulfill my little darling's request. "Oh sure, I still have those heart shaped pans that I used to make cakes with when you were little was her response. She then went on to tell me that they were her mother's pans. My grandmother was without a doubt one of the finest bakers in the area. I cannot even find words to express the sense of emotion I felt at this point. If you follow my blog at all. It's pretty obvious that I find meaning and symbolism in EVERYTHING.

The fact that my girl was obsessing over what I was discovering was more of a family tradition then just a cake was huge to me. You see, my grandma used these pans to channel her passion for baking and spreading love to her family and friends. When my parents were dating. The first cake my mom ever baked for my dad was baked in these pans. And now, the first birthday cake that my daughter was really hopeful to have was going to be crafted... in these pans.
I have to be honest. As happy as I was to give this an attempt. I was very worried that my lack of craftiness was going to yield a less than desirable product. I knew I could make it taste good. My worry was about whether or not I could make it LOOK good.
My girl and I went to the store and I let her pick out all of the decorations she wanted to go on top. I thought seriously of having her help make it. She loves to cook, more so than I. I think she will be making the family meals in a few short years. If the cake didn't turn out well, at least it was because a 4 year old made it.
I decided against it. I wanted to see the expression on her face when she saw it for the first time. I wanted this to be a present to her and not a project for us. There was history and tradition attached to these pans. The mantle had been passed to me. It was my turn to do my best to commit an act of love that I would pass on to someone special. We will have our time to make one together. But this gift was specifically for her. So I decided to go it alone.
I think this picture says it all. Sure my local bakery puts me to shame when it comes to crafting a beautiful artistic culinary delight. But, clearly what I presented to my darling daughter was acceptable. For that I was relieved and thankful. What a heart warming feeling I received at her response.
My entire family went on to tell me, this was the absolute best cake I have ever baked. Every last one of them said those words to me. I think it was the tradition, the history, and LOVE that made it taste better...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Broken but Beautiful

You were injured but not unto death
Teetering on mortality's edge, you cling to life
Your traumatic past is at times evident
Next to death is stagnation, so you continue to grow

As you flourish, your beauty takes precedence
All things will eventually reconcile
Your defects will never fully disappear

But, the beauty that is within will surface and shine 
One day you will realize
Even though I've been broken, I am still beautiful

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

These Feelings of Mine

I want to feel like this flower looks
Beautiful and full of life
Colorful, soft, and delicate
A source of inspiration and admiration for those cross my path

Instead I feel like this old man in the tree
Rooted in vulnerability, as passersby stare
Interesting perhaps, or even intriguing
Scarred by storms and outside forces

I'll just be myself 

Complicated, emotional, sentimental
Colorful, full of life, a source of inspiration
Rooted in vulnerability, intriguing, scarred

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stormy Sunset

The sun setting behind storm clouds.

On this particular evening, tumultuous sporadic storm clouds crowded the evening horizon. As they migrated west toward the sun, their darkness was illuminated with the final rays of day's light. This beautiful symbolic display, made me feel a sense of peace for my loves whom have taken ethereal residence in that sky...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Waiting for My Roses

I am experiencing an uncomfortable level of stress right now. I keep reminding myself, stress and fear are a part of growing process. It's natural to fear the unknown. Turning back and giving up are not an option for me when I believe I am on the correct path.

What is in a goal? A measure of discomfort, plus a measure tenacity. Add to that equal measures of preparation, perseverance, and hard work. Finally, add a double portion of faith. All of these ingredients are necessary.

Perspective makes a difference in maintaining motivation for our goals. Look at this picture. What do you see? I could focus on the rain, or the thorns. But, I see a limb that will be in full bloom with roses very soon.

Mean People {Senryu}

My chronic frustration over rudeness and unnecessary unkindness continues. This time it was triggered by a woman who generally portrays herself as a "God fearing" open hearted person, who's always inviting others to her local congregation to find happiness and fulfillment. I came across her laughing at another person's mean post about a very troubled person who recently passed away. It was just a shock to see her participate in such a mean conversation.

Theoretically I understand that there are all kinds of people in the world. Some people are kind and some are not. But her blatant hypocrisy just left a bad taste in my mouth. At this point, I just need to acknowledge that I am sensitive. Perhaps I am even overly sensitive. I may well need to develop a thicker skin. But I refuse to reject the premise that sympathy and empathy are what separate people from animals. I just don't see myself deciding to care less. As self righteous as my position sounds, please don't think I am in anyway looking down on anyone else. My list of faults is much longer than my list of virtues. But when it comes to loving kindness, I've mastered that.

I decided to write what I thought was a haiku about mean people. I posted it on a site where I publish many of my poems. A very nice expert while praising my effort, was kind enough to point out that this was senryu and not haiku. It is currently receiving positive feedback. It's such a basic childlike lesson. I think that is what stands out most in my mind. This is what you would say to a child. But it's a lesson that we adults may need reminded of also. At any rate, I hope you find it relatable:

Mean People

They insult others
A new approach should be used
Just try to act nice

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012

This video speaks for itself I don't want to add or take anything away from it.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Trading War Stories

You see this scar?
I was riding my bike, and dang near broke these two fingers.
Look at this scar right here.
I fell one day when I was skating, and took the skin off to the white meat.
Oh my goodness this scar right here.
A massive hemorrhage almost killed my baby and I!
It looks like she was removed with a hacksaw.
And then there's this one.
Look deep in my eyes...closer...deeper.
This one time I fell in love and.....