Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Life As The Mouse

Squeezed into the last open
table at Starbuck's on a busy
morning with one of my
exercise compadres, we
leaned in close to chat over
the din of other conversations,
laughter, the rustle of news-
papers and the swoosh of
the milk frothers, churning
out lattes and cappuccinos.

We'd just been to barre class,
{and survived!} reason enough
to celebrate, so we settled in
with our tea and started talking 
about everything, the way 
good friends always do.

Our conversation turned to
chores.  I mentioned that earlier
I had turned up the music, set 
the timer on the stove and 
zoomed through the house,
a white tornado in action,
picking things up and putting
them away until the timer 
went off.

Otherwise, I lamented, I get
distracted and veer off course
very, very easily.

If you give a mouse a cookie,
Margaret stated, nodding 
her head sympathetically.


If you give a mouse a cookie,
she repeated, a twinkle in her
soft hazel eyes.

I had a lightbulb moment the
second time she reeled off the
title to this much-loved children's

Published in 1985, If You Give
A Mouse A Cookie demonstrates
how one event leads to another,
which leads to many others, until
you aren't exactly sure how 
Mouse ends up where he does.
It's a frenetic ~ and hilarious 
~ romp.

My eyes lit up as I shook my
head in agreement. 

If you give a mouse a cookie...
If Suzanne takes the clean laundry
upstairs to put away.....

He's going to ask for a glass of milk.
She's going to see the unmade bed
in her daughter's room.

When you give him the milk.....
When she makes the bed.....

He'll probably ask you for a straw.
She'll notice the plant on the windowsill
needs watering.

When he's finished, he asks for
a napkin....
When she's finished, she spies
her daughter's sketch pad....

Then he'll want to look in the
mirror, to make sure he doesn't
have a milk mustache.
Then she'll sit on the bed, looking
at all the new sketches, until the bell
on the washing machine goes off.

When he looks in the mirror,
he'll notice his hair needs 
a trim....
When she hears the bell, it will
snap her back from the sketch
book and she'll notice the clock....

So he'll probably ask for a pair
of nail scissors.
So she'll grab the laundry basket,
still in the hall, and head to her
linen closet.

I am that mouse, bouncing from
one thing to the next, never going
straight from Point A to Point B.

Which is where the timer comes in.

When the timer is on, I am like a
race horse with blinders.  The finish
line is all the trappings of daily life ~

unsorted mail
piles of shoes and boots
permission slips
magazines and books
sweaters draped on chairs
scattered doggy toys
laundry drying on hangers

put away in their proper places.

No stopping, no distractions,

I wasn't always like this.  
When my kids were little and
home all day, I was about as
far from the mouse as it gets.
Always a body in motion, I
didn't let any grass grow under
my feet.  Things got done very

I'm not certain how I've
become the mouse.  Maybe
it's years of accumulated thoughts
and ideas jockeying for position
in my head alongside the more
mundane aspects of life.

Author Laura Numeroff has
written many other books with
this same scattered mouse
mentality ~

If You Give A Moose A Muffin
If You Give A Pig A Pancake
If You Give A Cat A Cupcake

And her latest,
If You Give A Dog A Donut....

They are all pretty darn cute.

Which is what I'll remind myself
the next time I am fluffing a 
pillow or shelving a book in a
room, wondering, 
Why was it
I came in here?

Please tell me I'm not the
only mouse.  Please, please.
Sit right here.
That's it.

I just opened a new box
of Girl Scout cookies, which
means we'll each need a frosty
glass of milk to go with them.

Hmmm, who knows 
this could lead?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter's Last Magic

The White Witch,
said Edmund, Who
is she?

She is a perfectly
terrible person, said
Lucy.  She calls herself
the Queen of Narnia,
though she has no 
right to be queen at all.....

And she has made a
magic so that it is always
winter in Narnia ~ 
always winter, but it
never gets to Christmas.

And she drives about
on a sledge, drawn by
reindeer, with her wand
in her hand and a crown
on her head.

Not know the Queen
of Narnia?  Ha!  You
shall know us better

~ White Witch

Who's done it?

What does it mean?

Is it more magic?

~ Susan

The Queen let another
drop fall from her bottle
on to the snow, and 
instantly there appeared
a round box, tied with
green silk ribbon....

I've felt for hours 
there was some
wonderful mystery
hanging over this

~ Lucy

Aslan? said Mr. Beaver.
Why, don't you know?
He's the King.  He's the
Lord of the whole wood....

I've come at last, said
he.  She has kept me 
out for a long time, but
I have got in, at last.
Aslan is on the move.
The Witch's magic is

~ Father Christmas

It means, said Aslan, 
that though the Witch
knew the Deep Magic,
there is a magic deeper
still, that she did not 

Once a king or
queen of Narnia,
always a king or
queen of Narnia.
May your wisdom
grace us until the
stars rain down 
from the heavens.

~ Aslan

May the rest
of your winter
be filled with
the Deep Magic.


All quotes from
C.S. Lewis,
The Chronicles of Narnia.

All photos from me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shaking It Up

Hello, sweet friends.
I hope that wherever
you are, mid-winter
{or summer} is treating
you right.

Here in my neck of the
woods, it has been the
second mildest winter
on record, beaten only
by the winter of 1930-31,
which must have been

On Monday I saw happy
people biking, jogging and
walking waggy-tailed dogs
on our local paved trail.

In mid-February.

In Minnesota!

We roll that way here.
All seasons are embraced
and we get out there and
just do it.   Give us a mild
winter and we trade our
skis and snowshoes for
more spring-like


One new exercise that 
has taken my little city by
storm is barre class.  In the
span of one month, two
barre studios opened just
blocks from each other.

A friend encouraged me
to give one of these classes
a try.  Fusing yoga, pilates,
core conditioning and
interval strength training
with light weights, this 
workout method also utilizes 
a ballet barre to create 
long, lean muscles.
Since I've been taking spin
classes regularly for over a
year, I felt that I was up to
the challenge of something

Wow, was I wrong.
Very, very, wrong.

As in, legs shaking, heart
pounding, barely able to
walk up or down stairs for
three days wrong.

Obviously, my muscles had
adapted to spinning.

It was time

Which made me wonder....

If my muscles could acclimate
to certain routines and need
shaking up, what about my

It is SO easy to become a
creature of habit.  To do the
same things, eat the same
things and make the same
choices, day in and day out.

I became determined to 
shake up my spirit as much as 
the barre classes were shaking 
up my muscles.

When faced with a choice,
I began selecting the one
different from what I would
normally choose.

Stand-by recipe or 
new recipe?

Shake it up!

Regular route home 
or the long way?

Shake it up!

New workout top ~
charcoal grey 
or minty green?

Shake it up!

I shared my quest to 
shake things up with my 
family and a close 
friend or two.

Soon, when faced with
their own daily decisions,
they would give me
nudge, chiming in with
the same refrain....

Shake it up!

Pink or yellow?  YOU choose!
It's actually a refreshing
way to deflect those mid-
season blahs and the only
requirement is an

Now, your
blog friend would
love to know how
you would.......

Shake it up!


PS: Last night Mother
Nature also decided to
shake things up, sending
three inches 
of snow : )