Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday Night Mindless Nuggets

I have never been so excited about receiving a free mini funnel. It fits in my purse. I’m ecstatic.

I haven't danced in forever. They're playing a Ricky Martin song. 4000 people in the room. I will practice chair dancing with my new friend Samantha.

New Purple Champs. Serving size - 3 to 4 per day. Had 7 while standing in line last night. Yummy. Two days of DHA. I feel so healthy.

Drew Brees. Enough said.

It’s pink. It tastes like lemonade. It’s Spark. And it’s pink. I only knocked over one lady and a small child, but I got my canister. Not really.

Karaoke bar on the walk back. Piano bar. Night clubs. I don’t miss them.

I miss my electric socks. See you soon my favorite fiery feet toasters.

Friday, June 25, 2010


For those who don’t know, I market nutrition and wellness products via a company called AdvoCare. I use them, they work, I feel better than ever, and so I share them. I am NOT a salesperson, so no worries. If you want to know about them, I’ll tell you. If you don’t mention them, then I won’t either.

Twice each year, AdvoCare has a huge training conference called Success School in Texas. Thus, I find myself in Texas today. I arrived at 9:00 am and the first session doesn’t begin until 7:37 pm (no, that time is not a typo…it’s a tactic).

I didn’t want to come on this trip. I truly wasn’t in the mood. I love the company. I love the products. I believe in the business model. However, my passion and motivation has become focused elsewhere and what once was a fiery desire to get people healthy is now a heap of smoldering ash. I still go through the motions. I still love helping people. I love seeing that sheepish grin when they succeed. However, I no longer feel the need to preach it and offer health advice with every other utterance out of my mouth.

So, after assaulting my tiny suitcase with scissors this morning when the zipper got stuck, I arrived at the airport rolling a half-empty suitcase big enough for a family of four, full of contempt for the coming weekend and arriving at the gate just as my row was called. I was at least able to crack a smile when I saw two awesome PCC people getting on the same plane.

My mood shifted considerably as we soared over the sleepy-eyed early risers on the ground. Despite the fact that I probably could have zonked out and drooled on the lovely elderly lady next to me, I chose to read a book some of us are studying at PCC, “
The Heart of the Artist,” by Rory Noland. I had my Bible on hand as well and for two and a half hours, I dove in.

Upon landing, I felt fed, inspired, and at peace. I’m now looking forward to the next couple of days. I truly believe that this trip was a gift from God. On a plane with over 100 people, I felt like I had some serious “alone time” with Him. I felt reaffirmed, once again, that the choices I’ve made over the last year were what He wanted for me. My motivational "dip" is by design. This trip was not a mistake. I may not be here to “nerd-out” over AdvoCare, but I’m here for a good reason. Can’t wait to see where this weekend leads. Thank you God for the fresh perspective!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Multicolored Mane - Day 7

Around Christmas time last year, Lenny brought an orchid home for me. It was beautiful. For the horticulturally-challenged, such as myself, I have to say this was the easiest plant I had ever taken care of. Give it three ice cubes once per week and it lives.

Notice I didn’t say it flourishes. It maintained its gorgeous purple flowers for over a month and then the petals fell off. Before I knew it, I had two bare stems and some hearty leaves sticking out of a pot. It was pretty ugly. Lenny was convinced I had murdered another plant. He kept telling me to throw it away. But I couldn’t. As hideous as it was, I had nurtured it and I was not about to give up on it. So, I kept icing it once per week.

A little over a month ago and all of a sudden, little acorn-sized buds started appearing again. Then they got bigger. Take a look at my orchid now…

I don’t understand my orchid’s growth pattern. But I found myself thinking about my orchid today as I reflected back on this week and this series. I started off describing my creativity as some annoying animal that could grow into something fierce. Perhaps. However, as I’ve moved through this week, I’m leaning more toward my orchid versus some animal. It’s alive and vibrant; then it loses its luster for a while.

I wanted to give up on myself earlier this week. After long days, lots of work, and oodles of thoughts tumbling through my mind, the last thing I wanted to do was turn it on again and try to create something late every night. However, giving up would have been failure for me. No matter how ridiculous my ideas or posts were, I couldn’t give up. I knew I could produce something worthwhile. Here’s what I got out of this week:
  • It takes time to create. Give yourself room to think, something to look at, tools to express your ideas and something valuable will come of it. It may not be exactly what you set out to accomplish, but that’s the beauty of letting the process work.
  • It is a process. In its simplest form, LAMSTAIH. Look-At-More-Stuff, Think-About-It-Harder. To take it further, you can look at stuff and think all day long, but if you don’t get thoughts and ideas out of your head, your brain will swallow them back up.
  • Never reject the wacky factor. My favorite part of this past week was spending time with my tree. The whole time I was doing that, I was thinking to myself, “You’re an idiot. It’s a tree.” Now, that tree has a history for me, it means more to me every time I see it, and through a series of thoughts and exercises, I arrived at some art for my office. Who’d have thought? That certainly wasn’t what I set out to accomplish. ( second favorite part of this week was writing a rap song. That's right, go ahead and laugh. It's way cool.)
  • You make the rules so don't quit if you falter. I skipped Day 6 for my own health (thus the reason there is no entry). I felt bad about it for 0.2 seconds. However, at 1:30 in the morning, I wasn’t about to make something up for the sake of having an entry. Today was better for it and I still feel good about this past week.

All in all, I’ve got office art, two new songs (my favorite is called Warrior), a list of projects I can continue to work on, and a sense that this was a good thing for me. Thank you for indulging my week-long journey into the abyss that is my mind. Poodles and lions and orchids, oh my! Let’s wrap this up with a goofy picture. I had to break out the lion at some point.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Multicolored Mane - Day 5

Wow, it's hard to believe it's already Day 5. Today happens to be Tuesday. That's right...I love Tuesdays! But they are busy days, so I'm sitting down very late, once again, to try and get creative (outside of the regular Tuesday meeting).

I spent all day today working on PCC services, team meetings, and upcoming events. So it seemed fitting tonight to think about household items that could potentially be used for set design. I looked around for a while and found this link. I am especially fond of the Plastic Water Bottle Jellyfish. Not that we need a jellyfish on our set; however, seeing everyday items used like this certainly makes you consider your personal items much more carefully.

So, I considered a couple of my own items. I am absolutely NOT an artist. However, here are some possibilities:

Magazine Art - somehow, I have too many magazines laying around my house. This is just an example using 4 magazines. Boring, doesn't seem incredibly creative, but imagine the possibilities if you had enough magazines to choose colors and truly create art? If you crumpled pages to create depth, you could make shapes on a solid background.

Grocery bag bow - again, not incredibly exciting, but I save grocery bags. How could they be tied together or manipulated to make shapes?

Just ideas. Glad to have at least a few today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Multicolored Mane - Day 4

Music. I love to look at the word and hear it spoken. I love to listen to it, make it, vocalize it, write it. Today, I did a little bit of all of that. Today was a good day. I don't like to post unfinished work, but hopefully I'll have at least one to share before the week's out.

For now, I'm off to spend some time with my Lenny. He's heading to Chicago in the morning and we'll cross paths briefly Thursday night before I head to Texas for a three-day conference. So the only thing I'll post tonight is a favorite. Love to hear it, play it, sing it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The mic will be on; we just need YOU...

Join us on June 26 at 7:00pm at PCC’s Powhatan campus for our first Summer Saturday Nights open mic night! Coffee-house setting, no pressure, just come share your talents! If you play an instrument, sing, have a band, read poetry, or would even like to display your art, this is for you!

•DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN MUSIC? WILL SOMEONE BE THERE TO ACCOMPANY ME? There will be someone to play keys; however, please let us know what you need accompaniment for in advance so we can prepare. You can also bring an accompanist of some sort if you'd like, or a track, or sing a cappella.

•WILL THERE BE AN AUDIENCE? Consider this like any other open mic night. There will be food, coffee, and everyone is welcome. It will be incredibly relaxed and a great opportunity to share your talents!

•WILL INSTRUMENTS BE AVAILABLE? SHOULD I BRING MY OWN? We'll have the piano, a drum kit and a basic acoustic guitar (without a pickup). Other than that, bring your own. The sound board will be on and we'll have DI's for guitarists if you don't bring an amp.

•CAN I SING WHATEVER I WANT? Sure! Any style, any genre - it doesn't have to be a "Christian" song. Make it something that you love!

Please contact Lindsay Harris with questions at It’s going to be an awesome Saturday night!

The Multicolored Mane - Day 3

I am learning to do what I said I would do. LAMSTAIH. Look-At-More-Stuff, Think-About-It-Harder. This afternoon, I was exhausted. We had an awesome morning of worship at PCC, I had lunch with my dad and my sister, and by 3:30pm, I wanted to crash.

However, I was determined to make some real progress on this project, so instead of curling up with the cat for a Sunday afternoon nap, I decided to think about what inspires me. Don't worry...I have not prepared another list. My immediate thought was the tree in my back yard. LAMSTAIH. I stepped outside with my camera, my crayons and some paper, and I went to work. Take a look at this magnificent thing that sits just outside my back door.

Here's what I learned about my tree today:

  • It's a Willow Oak. Some would call it a Pin Oak due to its leaves, but I believe that is incorrect.
  • It's over 100 years old. While the only true way to determine the age of a tree is to cut it down and count its rings, you can also get a rough estimate by measuring the circumference of the tree and doing some calculations based on a growth rate. So, what the heck. I did it. The exact number was 126, so for rounding purposes, I'll just say it's over 100.
I sat for over an hour, just studying and thinking about this tree. What has it seen? If it's truly over 100 years old, what was standing here in the early 1900s? Here sits this source of life, beauty, shelter; but has it ever caused pain? Branches fall. Some have already fallen in the year that we've lived here. How many different people in different stages of their lives have sat with this tree?

I decided to draw a tree. I'd say I drew my backyard tree, but I am not an artist and I'm not that talented. Mine looks more like a palm tree. Nevertheless, I created it today and I will not be ashamed (no laughing):

As I was looking at and thinking about this tree, it crossed my mind that this had absolutely nothing to do with any of the goals I listed yesterday. And then it came to me. There are so many beautiful things right within my grasp. Why not take pictures and see if I can create some art for my office? I was off and running. Here's one of my favorites from today. I am no photographer. However, my office will be very personal to me, so I just might hang this up. I'm on my way to meeting at least one of my goals. LAMSTAIH worked. Today was a good day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Multicolored Mane - Day 2

I want my blog to be fun to read. Right now, I’m finding this series incredibly annoying and that makes me sad. I already gag at the name of it (but I’m sticking with it). I was not thrilled with yesterday’s final entry. I had big plans for today, I was going to put time into this, but plans changed and time is running out. I’m sitting here, it’s late (for this old lady), I want to create, do something fabulous, be able to look back at this and say, yes! That project was a success right from the start. But my eyes are tired and I’m determined to get in bed at a decent hour tonight so I’ll be ready for worship tomorrow. That gives me about 15 minutes to do something.

My dad came to visit today. He loves to cook. He’d much rather have dinner at home than go out. So, I cooked him dinner. Steak, baked potatoes, grilled mushrooms and eggplant, and roasted asparagus. It was dang good. So I can say that I created dinner (Lenny manned the grill, so I must give him credit also). Not only that, but I’ve already prepped lunch for tomorrow: I marinated the honey mustard pork chops, washed the sweet potatoes, trimmed my spinach. It used to be a challenge for me to boil water. Now I feel like a kitchen guru. That makes me happy.

So, back to this series. I feel like I need some goals. That’s my “big” accomplishment for today: a list of goals that I will use to spur some serious creativity over the remaining five days:

  • What else could I name this series?
  • Items around the house(anybody’s house) that can be used for set design at PCC
  • My own personal logo
  • I want black & white art for my office – can I create it?
  • Can I write a song?
  • Can I draw my lion as a memory of this project?
  • My master bathroom is incredibly tiny and cluttered. Can I figure out a way to create more storage space using stuff I already own?

Not a terrible list, but enough with the lists. I’m excited to start tomorrow.

As goofy as it is, I’m including a creation here anyway. Pointless? Yes, for now. However, the following collage is a tribute to being circular, not square. These are a few circular things I found in my house.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Multicolored Mane - Day 1.0

Whew! Today was difficult. This IS an exercise in improving my creativity, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself for not feeling ecstatic about today. So, here goes...

On my trip to the store today, I tried to notice EVERYTHING. Here are my notes:
  1. Clouds. They're like art. They're like snowflakes. No two are the same.

  2. My car makes a wha-wha-wha sound - perhaps something wasn't attached right when I had my tires rotated yesterday?

  3. Tires are circles. There are so many circular things. Not-so-creative people are considered "square." I will try to remain circular.

  4. Do you know how many objects, signs, etc. you can find a cross in? Give it a try.

  5. A 4-way stop is an exercise in being polite. What a great way to practice patience.

  6. While unsuccessfully fishing a pen out from in between my seats and thinking of odd items I have in my purse that could help, I wondered, how many things have I "rigged" up in my life time. Hmmm. A quick one that came to mind for my musician friends...I've cut a Food Lion MVP card (key chain size) in half to make a guitar pick. Worked quite well.

  7. I love the smell of sweets baking. Other things I like the smell of: my cat (she always smells like peanut butter...creepy), new tires, new home, new car, permanent markers, Febreeze, roasted nuts, coffee, Carabbas.

  8. How can we use smell to stimulate ideas?

  9. Grocery shopping is almost the same as driving to the store, except there are 4-way stops everywhere you turn. I was thrilled with how patient and polite the shopper traffic was today.

  10. There are so many logos out there. If I had my own logo, what would I want it to look like? Hmmm...perhaps I will pursue this one later.

So, not sure that I accomplished anything today. However, I did look at lots of stuff. Did I think about it very hard? Well, I at least got the wheels turning.

The Multicolored Mane - Day 0.5

Every Tuesday, I am blessed to spend the morning with Beth Brawley Stoddard, Brian Hughes, Jackie Heberle, Lori Vaughn, and sometimes other folks, as we brainstorm, pull together PCC services, and make everything "click" for the week. I'm still awed by this process. Sometimes I'm able to contribute and sometimes I just observe as ideas are tossed on the table like puzzle pieces until we can make the right ones fit. When they fit, the entire team smiles, "gets it," and we’re off and running to make it happen. It’s awesome, amazing, and I LOVE TUESDAYS.

On Tuesdays, my creativity is unleashed. That sounds so powerful. Unleashed implies a roaring lion. Right now, my creativity is more like a yippy little poodle. My point is that, I feel liberated on Tuesdays. I LOVE embracing my right brain, throwing in some color, stepping outside the “lines” so to speak. I want so badly to vaporize my creative poodle and replace it with a fabulous lion with a beautiful, multicolored mane. (Hey, it’s my lion. It can be whatever color it wants to be.)

I think I can do that. I take that back…I KNOW I can do that. And I invite you on a short journey with me. Let me give you the background…

When I was getting my MBA, we were required to take a creativity course. Every week we saw, heard, experienced something different. We also had to keep a journal, but not just any journal. It had to be creative. It couldn’t be just words written about the day’s events. I jumped into this like my life depended on it. I left that course more convinced than ever that I am right-brained, I am creATIVE, I AM MEANT TO BE DOING SOMETHING OTHER THAN MATH, SCIENCE, BUSINESS, SOMEBODY LET ME OUT! Uh-em. Moving on.

This blog has been one of my attempts at tuning my creative engines. But I’ve let it slip over the last month. Inspired by this awesome blog series from Beth Brawley Stoddard, I’m starting a 7-day project today. The goal? To force me to keep my eyes open, be creative, LAMSTAIH.

That’s right, LAMSTAIH. Look-At-More-Stuff, Think-About-It-Harder. That’s from the class, not from me. It works. I don’t know what I’ll post here yet, but I’m calling it The Multicolored Mane. Why? Because it makes me smile and I love that picture in my head.

My posts this week could be incredibly wacky, make absolutely no sense at all, or perhaps inspire. I may cheat and pull in some stuff from my old journal, but always with a new twist. I may use all KINDS of mediums, from others’ blogs, to videos, to pictures, to random thoughts. So, look for the first one this evening. For now, I’m off to the grocery store.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a Week

It’s not over yet, but what a week. Lenny took some much needed vacation from work and has been off since last Friday. We spent last Friday through Monday visiting my grandmother, aunt & uncle, and three cousins at Myrtle Beach. A vacation trip masked as a visit to grandma? I think not.

We spent exactly one hour on the beach. We did play putt-putt, eat at a seafood buffet, and visit the outlets. However, the majority of our time was spent eating Granny’s home-cooking and just visiting with family. Oh how I have missed my Granny! Last time I saw my cousins, they were in high school. Now, the oldest has graduated from college, the next just started college, and the youngest just finished seventh grade, is almost 13 but looks 18, and is a whiz kid.

That was just our long weekend. Tuesday was our eighth anniversary. Simple, but incredibly sweet. We made the 7am PCC planning meeting, caught a rerun of Criminal Minds at home, worked a little, had lunch, caught a movie, had a late dinner and talked forever, and just enjoyed being together. We had a similar day today. Tomorrow, we might make a day trip to VA Beach.

My Lenny is the most important person in my life, my best friend. To spend so much time with him this week has been such a blessing. I’ll be baptized on Sunday. Lenny will stand with me as I publicly tell the world that Jesus is my Lord. Our lives have changed SO dramatically in the last year. And it’s all because of our precious God. My heart is swelling just thinking about it. WHAT A WEEK.