Wandering Soul

I have moved more times than I have had birthdays, I don’t have a childhood home, and I didn’t grow up with the same kids all the way through graduation. I’ve had three elementary schools and two middle schools, one high school (thankfully) and I’ve transferred between colleges in different states twice…. I am a wanderer, and I’m okay with that.

Recently, I decided to go get my toes done as a fun “end of semester” treat for myself, and brought the hubby along (he’s grown quite accustomed to pedicures) The women who was doing my feet started to pick where my spot was and asked “is that dirt?” No I responded, glanced at my husband and saw that he was laughing to himself trying to contain his amusement.

After years of people making fun of the spot I have on the bottom of my foot, I now have a good story to tell people when they ask me about my “dirt spot.”

It’s not a huge ugly monstrous thing, it’s more like a beauty mark that just happens to be on the bottom of my foot, which I guess is odd to other people. I’ve always had it, so I don’t think it’s that weird or “funny.”

I explained to the women it’s been there my entire life and I reassured her I wash my feet on the regular. She began to tell me a story…

In Japan it is said that if you have a spot on the bottom of your feet it means you are a traveler, you’ve done a lot of walking. She preceded to ask me if this as true in my life, and when she glanced up she noticed my mouth was gaping open and I said “ Oh my god, yes!”

After 25 years of trying to figure myself out, I got an answer, from a women I didn’t even know. I am, a wanderer, a traveler, someone who doesn’t particularly have a home but has areas of the country I have inhabited. I’m not weird, it’s just how my life is and was, and I’ve continued the pattern into my adult years. This tale made he feel empowered like, “Yea, that’s me! Whoo hoo!”

It’s amazing the things you can learn from just simple conversations with people, it’s all about listening and being social. Where else would I have heard that story from? Think that’s one of life’s secrets, listening and getting to know “your neighbor.” You learn from the world, don’t be afraid to open up an ear and listen.

SO, if you have a rather large “dirt spot” on the bottom of your feet, that’s who you are or maybe, someone you may want to be! Never be afraid of change, it’s nice to be the new person every once in awhile!

It’s all about perspective

This past Friday I witnessed something pretty awesome, and I hope I can muster up the right words to describe such an impactful event, at least for me personally. I was given the best gift that morning and it shook my perspective up, like it had been sleeping for some time and needed a good wake up call… HELLO!

While doing my post cardio stretching I noticed a women, she was different and caught my attention. She had trouble speaking, her knees and ankles were bowed and she was sitting in a wheelchair. Yet, against all odds (it seemed) here she was smiling, telling jokes to her trainer and seemingly having a good time.

She was with a personal trainer and over by the free weights lifting and I couldn’t help but think “YOU GO GLEN COCCO YOU GO!”

Why is this so awesome? Well, hold on I’m getting there…

The trainer led her over to the treadmill (which was located directly behind me) and she began to pull herself up and out of her chair with minimal help from her trainer. She got onto the treadmill and…

With a smile that truly would touch your soul she exclaimed to the trainer, “I did it! *giggle* I told you I could!”

… she began to walk! Though it seemed pretty painful from MY perspective her determination never waivered.

Noticing I was being pretty rude considering I was gawking at her, I snapped back into my gym mode and continued to finish my stretching… finally I know I know.

I really couldn’t believe I had just witnessed such a proud moment for a complete stranger and was on the verge of tears just from witnessing it. Imagine how she felt!

It wasn’t some prestigious medal, the Stanley Cup or a Super Bowl ring. She simply met a goal, or proved herself wrong, or proved herself “right.” I don’t know, I couldn’t go up and ask her, though maybe I should’ve.

I wanted to thank her, for giving me something to think about, for putting a pep in my step, for shaking up my subconscious and putting things in perspective for me, reminding me how good life really is.

So moral of the story for me, maybe you too, plenty of people have it better off than you and you might get wrapped up in that, but plenty of others aren’t as lucky. Yet, some of those “unlucky” ones are having the best time in life.                                                                                                                It’s. All. About. Perspective.

 

15 Ways You Know You’re NOT From Texas

Considering I have only been a resident here in Texas for the last 5-6 months,I figured I could but together a list on how I know I’m not from here….

1. You realize cows, longhorns, and other wild animals, are easily your neighbors, especially when you’re driving on the highway.

2. You don’t understand why their BBQ is supposedly the best. 

3. You have no idea whats so great about a What-A-Burger.

4. You have no clue why “Austin is weird.”

5. Driving an hour to get to anywhere, is …. normal.

6. You don’t understand why it’s called “The Great Nation,” or why some try to convince you they fly the state flag higher than the American flag.

7. You realize “I got here as soon as I can,” is a catch phrase for anyone who wasn’t born in Texas but, has lived in Texas for a majority of their life. 

8. It’s 108 degrees outside, and you are the only one complaining how hot it is. Everyone else is glad summer is here and the “cold” weather has passed. 

9. On sunday morning you see families in their “Sunday best,” which include, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, big belt buckles and if you’re lucky you may even see a family that matches in all that PLUS plaid shirts, always tucked in. 

10. You have no idea what a “Cowboy Cadillac” is

11. The Cowboys are probably the most inconsistent team in the NFL league, but to Texans it’s “America’s Team,” or “God’s Team.”

12. You’ve never heard the word “Tex-Mex,”but it can be found in nearly every restaurant. 

13. You’re the only neighbor who doesn’t know anyone by their first names. 

14. You had no clue Texas Tech and Oklahoma had a huge college football rivalry, and that Texans hate people who come to Texas who are from Oklahoma.  

15. You finally figured out what “Don’t Mess With Texas,” was truly thought up for. 

Related links: In case you wanted to know more about “Real Texans” :]

http://youknowyoureatexanwhen.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Know-Youre-A-Texan-When/218457121540512

PS: I just remembered one thing, 9 times out of 10, it’s an armadillo…. never seen so many in my life! 

Natural Dye Garden

Hey guys, it’s been a little over a week since I’ve posted, schools been kicking my butt. Anyways, I figured I would share with you guys what I got to experience. It’s pretty neat if you think about the bigger picture. I like the idea that my school has, with being as “Green” as possible. I wrote this piece for my news writing class, not sure if it’s the best news article structure wise, but I think it’s readable, and hopefully it could inspire someone, somewhere else, to think about how you could go green. 

Personally I try to help out where I can, but I don’t think I’m the “greenest” person out there, I may not even contend with mediocre. I try! I try!

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As wooden tables were being covered with paper, red, orange and dark green dye were being mixed in mason jars, for attendees to experiment with. Art students from the College of Visual Arts and Design, were getting a rundown on the scheduled events.

Fiber students were getting prepared to kick off their first launch party for a Natural Dye Garden, located at Bain Hall at the intersection of Avenue C, and Highland Avenue. The launch took place at the site of the new garden on October 9, at 6 p.m.

 A better way to dye fabrics then using harmful manufactured dyes; by crushing up the plants petals, roots and stems to be boiled for dying purposes.

The garden will have an area dedicated to native Texas plants, as well as other durable plants, that are suitable for making homemade dye.

The launch event had several stations where guests were able to do some hands-on experimentation with natural dyes.

You could make a necklace out of yarn and paper; then dip your paper into the color of your choice, created from different plant matter.             

Another table had a bigger dye station set-up, where you could dip bigger pieces of cloth or other fabrics, into buckets filled with a blue dye.

The launch party also had a “how-to” station, where they showed you how to grind up the plant materials.

“The process is sort of like magic,” said Abby Sherrill, a fibers graduate student at the University of North Texas and, also one of the students who lead this project.

In February 2012, Sasha Duerr, a professor at the California College of Arts, guest lectured about using natural dyes; Duerr has her own natural dye garden in California. When she left, fiber students were inspired to create their own natural dye garden.

Morgan Kusler, a fibers under-grad at UNT, reached out to Lauren Helixon, head of the “We Mean Green Fund,” and Assistant Director at the Office of Sustainability.

The Office of Sustainability at UNT has a goal for our university, which includes our campus becoming a global leader in environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The Office of Sustainability is committed to funding projects that will encourage the use of “green standards” to improve our way of living, to create a sustainable environment for ourselves.

Every student at UNT funds “The We Mean Green Fund,” which every student pays 5 dollars a semester to, this was the fiber students’ best option.

They filled out their form online at the Office of Sustainability website and made several proposals in the Spring of 2012 through early Summer 2012, before the garden was approved from the “We Mean Green Fund” in Summer of 2012.

Lauren Helixon, told the crowd of about 40-50 people, “This project was a joy to work on and be apart of.”

With collaboration from the UNT Sustainability, UNT Facilities, the College of Visual Arts and Design, and Greenmeme, the Natural Dye Garden project was underway.

“Very exciting to see the collaboration between students, faculty, staff and the greater DFW area,” said Lesli Robertson, a senior lecturer on fibers, and the teacher sponsor for the project. “It’s a great work in progress and serves as a great place for the community,” Robertson added.

The garden will contain ancient dyes like, the Woad, which can make different shades of purple, Maddar, which is a variety of oranges, and Weld, that has hues of greens.

The garden may just pertain to students majoring in textile and fiber but they also want other students to enjoy the beauty of the garden.

“In fibers we love to share,” said Morgan Kusler, a fibers under-grad and, lead student on the garden project.

              The natural dye garden already has drawn attention from other departments and clubs around UNT like, biology, anthropology, and the Southern Seed Legacy.

“We’re figuring it out as we go along,” said Robertson. “We want it to go beyond just a garden, we want it to be a place for the community.”