Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

The Google Art Project February 28, 2011

Filed under: aRt — dragonfly180 @ 1:45 pm
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Ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin? If you live in Podunk, Mississippi, or Backwoods, South Dakota, you probably figure you never will experience those museums filled with art from so many masters from over the centuries.


Google has created the Art Project, which is an interactive, online collection of some of the greatest art in the world. You can take a virtual tour through the Met or you can zoom in on Van Gogh’s “Starry Nights” to see details you wouldn’t even be able to see if you were lucky enough to stand in its presence in the actual museum. There is even a feature which lets you choose the pieces you most like to make your own personal “collection” that you can view and share with others. All you have to do now is click on the link below, kick off your shoes, sit back, and view the best art as it appears before your eyes.


Art Project, powered by Google.



Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 4:22 am
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Saturday night, my dreams were plagued with visions of death.  I’d wake up, go back to sleep, and the nightmares would pick right back up. I dreamed that my father died. The feeling of sorrow was agonizing. Then, I dreamed that I watched a school full of kids blow up, and I couldn’t stop it. By morning, my dreams became less freaky. I dreamed about Jamie, and I couldn’t really keep up with him. We weren’t together but we were. I didn’t want to get up for church, though, because seeing him in my dreams was actually pleasant, even if the dream was weird. When I was younger, I had terrible nightmares that would have me so terrified that I wouldn’t move from my bed but would only be able to scream out in terror. It seems that nightmares occur when I’m most stressed or worried. I was a very worried child during a troubled and difficult childhood. I remember having nightmares up until I finally finished college, but they occurred less frequently. Now, I almost never have them. So I guess that when I do, I’m ill-prepared for their frightfulness. I was filled with a dread all day as those nightmares teased the edges of my mind. When I laid down several hours ago, I wasn’t very sleepy, but I needed sleep to face a new Monday in the high school classroom. I tossed and turned, flipped and flopped. I tried every single sleeping position possible, I think. Still, I could not sleep. My mind wandered to my dreams from the night before. Were they keeping me awake subconsciously? Was I avoiding sleep to avoid the terror of my dreams? As I lay there, more and more awake now, I began to get the feeling that I was being watched. It creeps me out just to type that, because it sounds so crazy. But it wasn’t a scary kind of being watched feeling. I wasn’t really scared. I just kept opening my eyes, expecting someone to be there. Even now, I keep looking over my shoulder. It’s a weird feeling. Maybe it’s just paranoia from exhaustion. But then I started having the irrational feeling that something was wrong, that my insomnia had more significance than just an inability to shut my mind off. I got up to check Facebook to make sure nothing bad had been posted. I checked the weather, which was clear. I laid back down. I felt watched. So I got up. It’s 3:24 a.m. I can’t lay there anymore. I’ll call in before I lay there feeling uneasy all night. At least it feels halfway normal in the living room with the light on. I think part of my anxiety is that I got news that Jamie’s unit has made it to Afghanistan, but I still haven’t heard from him.


SparkPeople – Running Center February 23, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH,running — dragonfly180 @ 8:32 pm
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Thought I’d post a great beginners’ running source from one of my favorite websites, sparkpeople.com. At the running center, you can find beginners’ running plans, informational articles that beginners would find useful, a ‘map your run’ tool, running ‘spark teams’ for motivation and support, success stories, racing info, and even virtual races.

SparkPeople – Running Center.

If you are thinking about giving running a try, check out this link to find some very helpful info on getting started and staying motivated.


Three Days of Valentine’s Surprises! February 19, 2011

Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 12:19 pm
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I had a really awesome Valentine’s Day this year. I thought because Jamie was going to be gone that it was going to be very depressing and just an all-around yucky day. Sunday, I invited my mom and dad over for dinner. My dad ended up sick and couldn’t visit, but my mom and I had a good lunch and visit. Here’s the pretty flowers she brought me that I mentioned in a previous blog:

Then on Monday, I just ignored the fact that it was Valentine’s Day. By the time I got off work, I wasn’t even thinking about it being V Day. So I was really surprised to pull under my carport and see a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses and candy sitting by my side door. Jamie had called and ordered them for me and had them delivered. This is huge, because this is coming from the man who believes that buying flowers other than for a funeral is a total waste of money. *lol* We usually eat a nice supper together at a good restaurant and really focus on enjoying each other’s company on V Day. He really despises the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, but he wanted me to feel special since he couldn’t be here to make me feel special himself that day. Here’s what they looked like:

Tuesday, I got home and had an Amazon package under my carport. I’ve ordered stuff here and there over the past few weeks, so I wasn’t really surprised by the package. I got it in, and it was a pair of pink Everlast boxing gloves that are so so cute. Initially, I was mad about it, though, because I thought that Amazon had sent something from my wish list without me ordering it. Then, I found the note inside the box and realized that my best friend had gotten these for me for Valentine’s Day to make sure I had a good day. Isn’t that the sweetest?! And not only do they look super cute, but I don’t have to wrap my knuckles with moleskin to keep from beating up my knuckles like I do with my open-fingered bag gloves that I initially bought with my boxing bag.

This year, V Day was full of surprises that reaffirmed how much my family and friends care about me, and it was so touching. It’s not as though I didn’t already know that I was loved before this Valentine’s Day, but I sure felt an abundance of love this year from those closest to me.


Spring Grooming February 16, 2011

Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 8:23 pm
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After more snow than we’ve seen in Mississippi for years, we finally have some beautiful, spring-like weather this week. It’s been between 68 and 75 everyday. For people who are definitely not used to icy roads and slushy snow, this has been a very welcome weather-180.

But with warm weather comes some additional challenges for the females, because out come the sandals, Capri pants, skirts, dresses, and eventually the dreaded bikini. Most women get very relaxed during the winter months, because less skin that shows means less upkeep. We get used to taking the 8 minute shower or slathering on lotion only when the cold weather has parched our skin. When the weather warms up, we have to start shaving daily again and waxing areas we may leave less tended during the cold months. We now have to spend hours buffing, shaping, and painting toenails that haven’t seen the light of day in four months and pulling out the pumice stone and moisturizer to try to get rid of dry skin. Then, enter either the tanning bed or spray tan until warm enough weather for real sun rays. We have to spend 20-30 minutes putting on accelerator and laying under bulbs or we have to spend 20-30 spraying on skin tint (or rubbing in cream if you’re really brave!) and waiting on it to dry. With both the tanning bed and with spray tanning, we must now spend extra time moisturizing everything two to three times a day to maintain our faux golden glow.

Then when hot weather gets here, the real work hits. Not only do we have to do all of the above, but now we have the added pressure of being scrutinized in the most minimal of clothing – the itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny dreaded bikini. Oh, and all that waxing and/or shaving we’ve done? Well combine that with pool chemicals and sunburn, and now we’ll have to deal with bikini rash and maybe ingrown hairs, too! Man, it’s a lot of work. But year after year, we gals do these extra things to continue to participate in the social feminine customs of our culture as the temps rise. And every year, our own temps rise as we rush to find time for all this extra grooming.

I’m not really complaining. I actually feel more feminine in the warmer months and like to take extra time to feel girly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some hairy mammoth in the winter, but I definitely don’t spend as much time on grooming when I know I’ll be covered up most of the time. I was just thinking today about just how much time we women do put into it on a weekly basis when the weather starts getting nice. Time has definitely become a commodity for me these days, so I’m always a little apprehensive when I know my time is going to be consumed by yet something else. But I’ll get into my groove, and it won’t seem so time consuming once I get back used to all the extra grooming. I hear orange is the new hot color this summer, and since I know how horrible I look dressed in the color orange, I may just need to go find me a bottle of orange-shaded O.P.I. nail polish for these toes that are about to be freshly pedicured!


V Day February 13, 2011

Filed under: entertainment,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 8:26 pm
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Feeling a tad jealous this weekend as several of the army wives are either traveling to Ft. Lewis to see their husbands while they are on pass or who are impatiently awaiting flights coming in with their loved ones on them. Jamie is staying in Washington, and I am staying in Mississippi. We decided that this is the best decision for us for two reasons. First, we’ve already had the difficult goodbye and really don’t want to put ourselves through that again. Second, that $1000+ can be better used when he gets home. I’d rather take a trip somewhere together when he gets back and not have to end it in tears and a sick heart. I miss him and wish I could spend Valentine’s day with my husband, but we’ll have many more that we can make special.

He is out eating at a steakhouse with a couple of the other soldiers who decided to stay there. I’m really glad that he is able to get away from the barracks for a little while and enjoy himself. He went shopping at the mall and Wal-Mart today, too. We who are free to come and go as we please sometimes take for granted little things like a trip to Wal-Mart or eating a good supper with friends. Even if he can’t be home, I’m glad Jamie gets several days to relax and get away from being a soldier before going overseas.

After church, my mom came over, and we made lasagna and ate. My dad was supposed to come, but he has come down with a bad cold. My mom brought me two huge bouquets of flowers for Valentine’s day. They are so pretty and smell so good. We had a raspberry Jello pie for dessert and just enjoyed each others’ company. She and I went hiking at Little Mountain yesterday, and she couldn’t stop talking about what a pleasant day it was yesterday and how nice it was to get out and spend time together. I need to remember to make more time for her and Daddy.


Snow Days February 9, 2011

Filed under: raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 9:26 pm
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Snow days are so much fun. I really do love them. Why? Snow days force me to relax. On the weekends, I try to relax, but I always seem to fill up my weekends with plans, shopping, grading, bill writing, and church activities, and relaxation goes out the window. On a snow day when the roads are too treacherous to venture out, I’m forced to take it easy and just enjoy the day in the comfort and peace of my home. I took two “snow days” earlier this week, because I just felt like I needed some time off. I went back to work today, and before I could get out of my vehicle, another teacher had come over to inform me that we were getting out for a 60% day (12:15) for snow. Sure enough, it snowed all afternoon and evening, and school has been canceled tomorrow for a real snow day. It’s still coming down out there. The snow is so sparkly and quiet, a peaceful scene that I could enjoy more if it weren’t so cold outside! Yet I do see the beauty in it and can enjoy it just as it is. So now I get at least one more snow day this week. I plan on enjoying my day off instead of grumbling about the cold weather or make-up school days. I’m trying to ignore the mad parents who resent the schools for not babysitting their kids tomorrow in an effort to protect them from bus wrecks on icy roads and bridges. I’m overlooking those who can’t seem to ever be content with life as it is. It sometimes amazes me how some people refuse to see the blessings of the simpler things in life. I can. I’ll enjoy the silent snow falling outside. I’ll find happiness in playing in it tomorrow and maybe taking a leisurely hike through the woods. I’ll be content to relax at home by my warm fire and let work and the frenzy of daily life wait until another day.