Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

GIVE is full of items that one can give.
THANKS is full of people I am thankful for.

Monday, November 22, 2010


new wreath I made for the holidays

How do you welcome people?  How do you make people feel welcome?

taken with iphone

The above photo is of this poster that hangs outside the play therapy room at the Appalachian Play Therapy Center at Lindsey Wilson College.  It is hung low at the child's level.

Sure, at holiday time we do lots to welcome people into our homes: special invitations, decorations, and food.  But what about the everyday kind of day?  A smile, a warm hello, a personalized greeting to show you care.  My shy, reserved self sometimes just wants to go hide away from people and read a novel; yet, it's those genuinely thoughtful, welcoming people to whom I feel attracted rather than repelled even on days when I'd rather be left alone.

As a play therapist, I pay particular attention to how I welcome new child clients.  I am a stranger to them.  I am careful about entering their physical space.  I bend down to their level, smile, say "hi," and tell them my name.  I am unhurried and patient, waiting for the child to warm up to me.

The playroom itself is so welcoming with its colorful toys and materials at the child's level.  How could a child not want to enter this room and experience this special time with me?  I am all too aware that it is a privilege to spend time with the child in this way.

How do you welcome others through the physical environment, your body language, and your words?
How will you welcome others this holiday season?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Playful Weekend List

This morning as I ate my eggs and toast made by my darling hubby (DH), I was thinking of all the things I need to do this weekend and feeling a bit of dread. So in the spirit of artsyville's whimsical lists and Alisa Burke's beautiful sketches, I decided to create this list for the rest of my weekend only feeling partially guilty that my DH was cleaning the kitchen while I made it.

Please keep in mind that this is the first time I have attempted such a project. The finished product is definitely not as beautiful as artsville and Alisa's. Silly me. I know not to compare my work with others. It's one of the cardinal rules of creativity. But knowing that I would put the list on my blog and share with others, I am compelled to say that. Oh well.

Back to that dread: the first four items on my list involve some sort of play. And yet, I'm not sure if it's the sure amount of time I know these items will take me, but I'm not feeling that playful. I'm reminded of Stuart Brown explaining in his book, Play, that even play can involve work as I mentioned in this previous post. So I knew I needed a quick attitude change. I am forever wanting to do more art and be creative (for the sheer fun of it) so I put aside the look-at-all-the-things-I-need-to-do-this-weekend attitude and got to work playing by making the list. 

More specifics about each of the items on the list:
1. I loved Eat, Pray, Love the first time time I read it thanks to my Pilates instructor Pamela. (These days I'd rather refer to her as my friend Pamela knowing that I rarely have take the opportunity to attend her class on Mondays at the Y.) I have been suggesting the book for FORM (Fellowship Of the Red-hot Mamas), a group of ladies from my church who gather once a month to eat yummy desserts, chat, pray for others, and discuss a book. Well, be careful what you wish for. We've been reading it the past 3 months and I've been behind the whole time. I think I can post what FORM stands for. It hasn't been a secret for years. The funny thing is that in some ways I have enjoyed the book even more the second time around. Probably because I'm in a different place than I was 3 years ago when I first read it.

M & M, April 2006

2. We've had beautiful 70s-degree weather here in Kentucky this week. Today might very well be the last of this warm weather so I ought to take advantage of it. I absolutely love, love tulips. And as much as I enjoy the season of fall, my favorite time of year is definitely spring. Having spring flowers in my yard makes me insanely happy, not to mention my favorite place to take pictures of my kids is on Easter in front of those very same flowers.

3. Patti Digh's latest book is Creative is a Verb. I highly recommend all things Patti. Enough said.

4. We are a 3 computer family, 4 if you count the ipad, 5 if you count my laptop from work and 6 if you count my DH's work laptop. And there's only 4 of us. What's wrong with this picture? Miles has inherited my husband's old desktop computer. He's even set up his own "office." While I've been writing this blogpost, they've been buying and setting up a computer desk for his very own. Miles is insanely happy.

**I'll add pics of Miles's office later.**

5. My students write reflection papers over Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood in my Lifespan Development class at LWC. While I'm definitely not pleased with the actually grading of the papers, I do enjoy reading them. I particularly feel it is a privilege to read this Adolescence set, because many of the students share some very trying and inspirational stories in them.

6. Due to my strange work schedule that allows either my DH or myself to be home to greet Miles and Meredith at the bus each day, I often have to do work on weekends. Those Lifespan students are looking forward to dreading their scores. Oh look, I'm back to dread.

Meredith is away for most of the weekend for the first time ever at a church youth group event. That's a whole 'nother story. My baby is growing up.

What's on your list? Post in the comments below or post a link with your own blogpost.

Time get to those tulips.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have you...

Have you played with a child today?

Here's a place to find bendable smile men.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Empty Bowls Project

Many came on a cold and sunny November afternoon.
With soup, bread, drink, and dessert to feed us
In beautiful handmade bowls from a potter's hands.
Because too many are hungry
Who happen to even be in our own community.
What wonderful things can happen
When we all work together.
Each doing our small part.

the man in the middle is the potter who made most of the bowls
homemade vegetable beef, pinto bean, potato, & chicken & rice soup
homemade bread
a family affair for us Cranes
working together
the old and the young
To learn more: the Empty Bowls Project

Friday, November 5, 2010

About those buttons

I'm sure you've noticed the buttons on the left side of this blog. (It's like flair for your blog.) They are some of the blogs I read on a regular basis: artists, photographers, authors--all around creative people. Most of these women are a tribe of really great friends who call themselves the Lovebombers. I encourage you to check them out if you haven't already. They inspire me.

Mondo Beyondo: An on-line class about dreaming BIG by
Andrea Scher
Jen Lemen

Shutter Sisters

Katherine Center

Brene Brown

Karen Walrond

Rachelle Mee-Chapman
The Small is Beautiful Manifesto

Mati Rose

Kelly Rae Roberts

Mindy Tsongas