Monday, November 19, 2012

Normal November

Hello my very neglected blog!  I have not forgotten you, even though I have not paid much attention to you lately.  I could say life has not been exciting or inspirational but I would be lying.  Even everyday life can be exciting and inspirational, we just have to pay attention... maybe I haven't been paying enough attention.   Life doesn't come with a built in theme either, so maybe I'll just get started and hope a theme pops up somewhere along the line.  Can you tell I'm reaching here? 

 I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with my daughters recently.  There was that beer infused trip to Denver with Katie in October and last weekend I spent time in NYC with Rachel and Kelly, you can read all about it here.  We planned this trip well before Sandy "the super storm" and the ensuing snowstorm.  The city was alive and well, at least the parts we saw.  There was a two hour trip, usually only an hour, from the Newark airport to Kelly's apt. that might have been due to Sandy but I am not going to complain, I got there.  I hardly even noticed all the recycling piled up along the streets waiting for pickup either.  We had a great time together and did our best to walk all of the streets in NYC....or at least it felt like we did.  I am sure all of that walking countered all of the food we ate over the weekend....right?   New York City is a great city to eat your way through!

I could live on a street like this!

Maybe I could be the crazy holiday decorating lady on the street like this one!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Aside from my NYC adventure, life has been pretty normal.  Normal meaning a regular schedule of ESL classes with my British colleague who insists on teaching the Queen's English to Mexicans living in Texas (my son says I am living a Saturday Night Live skit in this class!  I totally agree.).  Rounding out normal life is lots of golf, church, dinners out with TJ, long walks with Sadie, watching college football, occasionally cooking a meal, blah, blah, blah...  I search to find inspiring topics to share on the blog but sometimes just having a regular life is inspiring enough.  Some people would pay good money to have a "normal" week or two!  November once again has proven to be one of my favorite months down here.  It has been amazingly perfect almost every day and I have done my best to spend countless hours outside enjoying the cool crisp air!  There is peace in having a routine, even if it only lasts for a couple of weeks.  I think the next month will be less than routine!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Passions (Boundless Enthusiasm)

As life would have it, I have been to several events lately in large convention centers.  You remember the Beer Fest  where I was surrounded by people who love beer, right?  There was a lot of beer loving going on in that convention center!  Last weekend I went to yet another beer fest (at least this one was outside) and the beer loving passion continued. 

This week I witnessed thousands of people exhibiting and enjoying a very different passion.  I went to the International Quilt Show in Houston.  I left with my mouth wide open in awe.  I am not a quilter and I do not play one on TV but I do know how to sew and I can appreciate the masterpieces at the quilt show.  I was surrounded by thousands of people who were/are passionate about quilting.  The atmosphere was a bit different than at the BeerFest!  The similarity was each's passion about a certain craft.  Yes, brewing beer is considered a craft. 

The much more subdued crowd at the quilt show

The quilt show was like going to a museum exhibit.  These quilts are works of art!  I went with my two very good Canadian friends who are true Scotia women!  They both quilt and could appreciate the quilts on a different level than I.  One of them even had a quilt, well... part of a quilt, in the show.  It was very exciting to find her quilt.  Hers was in the "group" quilt section, meaning each square was made by a different person and then the squares were sewn into a cohesive, beautiful, interesting quilt.

My friend and "her" quilt!  She is famous now!

One of my favorite "group" quilts, Balancing Act.  It explained how each rock was done by a different person and how life and group projects are a balancing act just like putting this quilt together.

The quilt that won Best in Show was amazing!  It was a patriotic quilt, very appropriate in this election year.  (Have you voted yet?  If not, don't forget to vote!)  We happened upon it when the quilter herself was talking about the quilt.  I could feel her passion and was actually choked up listening to her describe the quilt.  It was truly a work of art and most likely a labor of love.  She was passionate about her work.
The description of the winning quilt
Zoom in if you can! It is amazing!

After the quilt show I started thinking that each of these exhibits was a result of passion.  At each event I was surrounded by passionate people.  Passion can produce some interesting and amazing things.  What am I passionate about?  Is there anything I am passionate enough about to spend hours, days, weeks, months or years to do or produce?  I am still thinking.  I am envious of these people who have this deep passion inside them and enjoy something enough to dedicate a good percentage of their lives.  The rewards are apparently great.  Judge for yourself.

Look closely, there are a pair of hands quilted into the sky!
One of the winners
I took this one for my LG!
My Canadian friends had a great visit in Houston.  It was fun to let them see some of my life... away from the shore.  Their observations were interesting.  They frequently asked about public transportation....or the lack thereof.  Yes, there is no real public transportation in Houston and what little there is, is not used to a great extent.  Houston is just too spread out and it is just too damn hot for most of the year for public transportation to be effective.  We will all have to do a lot of adjusting for public transportation to be a reality here. 

Another conversation was initiated on Saturday when college football took the stage.  Talk about passion!  We are passionate about our college football.  Fanatical might be a more appropriate term.  I tried to explain tailgating and the passion that many of us have for our chosen teams.  They were amazed and probably baffled.  There is nothing like it in Canada, not even hockey.  We take sports and pre-sports partying to an extreme.  My husband witnessed one of the premier displays of this passion Saturday night with 93,000 other crazy fans at the LSU vs. Alabama game in Baton Rouge.  I cheered for my Tigers with passion that night at home but they came up short. 

What is your passion? 
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