6 Simple Rules to live by: Be happy, be nice, be a leader, be organized, be a lifelong learner and be healthy.

6 Simple Rules to live by: Be happy, be nice, be a leader, be organized, be a lifelong learner and be healthy.
6 Simple Rules to live by: Be happy, be nice, be a leader, be organized, be a lifelong learner and be healthy.

Hi friends. Welcome back. New visitors welcome.

6 Simple Rules to live by: Be happy, be nice, be a leader, be organized, be a lifelong learner and be healthy.

I started out the new day with gusto thankful that I have been able to laugh.

It’s a nice thing.

I like to making changes slowly, one step and a time, then implementing them into my life—much like getting into a swimming pool. I’ve always liked to take my time.

For some reason, I feel full of hope, full of possibility. Life is good.

I thinking writing down goals in specific terms is important. I know that when I have a list in front of me I tend to get it done. That does not exclude the fact that I at time goes for long periods of time without lists and still life goes on, doesn’t it?

For the sake of adventure, I’m going to attempt to make sense out of my goals and write them down. Here they are in specific terms.

My goals are to

1. Obtain a healthy balance of body, mind and spirit.

2. Continue with my walks. Do yoga, stretching and bike rides on a regular basis.  I love how walking clears my head. The most difficult part is just getting out the door, but I’ve noticed how simple life is on a bike. There are no keys and no cell. You just get the bike and ride.

3. Spirit. I belive in the power of prayer. I’ve also been doing some really nice healing meditaitons I found online. I love the way it calms me. I usually google Guided Healing Meditations.

4. Mind. The only way I know how to keep my mind healthy is to focus. I focus by pushing my limits. I love a clean house and that keeps me busy going room to room.

I’m also working hard on my house. I’ve made a list of things I need to accomplish around here, being a strong animated restructured house and all, and I’m just tackling it. We’ve been here now for quite some time so most of the hard work is out of the way.

Still, I enjoy keeping it in order and that takes time and dedication.

Well, as always I thank you for visiting. I pray this post finds you lovely, lucky and in love.

Julie

 

 

Blogging ☆ Painting ☆ Comments ☆ Thoughts

Originally posted in 2012
Art Contest
That’s my picture on the right. I participated and won fifth in a local art contest.

Hi guys. How do you know when I’m going to post? I don’t even tell anyone on facebook when I post but I tell you my stats went up five times when I got back from my vacation.

How do you know? Isn’t that weird how people know when you write and then they come visit without me telling anyone? hmmm.

That’s a good thing! It means people actually are reading this.

Big news!

I participated in a town event. It was an art contest where you have to paint a picture. The way it works is you go in the morning with a blank piece of paper, pay the entrance fee, about $10, you get a coupon towards dinner.

Then you have until 3p to paint your picture, turn it in by 4p max and judging takes place at 5p. It was a nervous exciting day because I get scared to paint and be judged although I am learning to overcome those fears. It helped to have children in the garden with me as I painted and my ipod playing music.

What the mind can conceive the body can acheive.
There’s my painting.

Music rocks by the way. Amazing how it can transport you.

So, I’m painting in the garden, I finish the piece when three of my friends decide to write nice things about me. I tell you, they came in as rockstars because it was just what I needed at the moment where I literally was flipping out over colors.

I mean I have no idea what I’m doing painting. Especially a landscape.

Still, I did it. I framed the picture using a frame I had on the wall. I took it in and they put it up for display immediately with a number on it.

Then this guy walks over and starts taking pictures of it. I hid in the background on a chair. I ran into a friend too, thank goodness. I didn’t tell him I was competing whilst we were chatting.

The judges come by and confer. Then as they were putting up the nine awards out of 25 entries, they came right next to mine and attached a number nine on the painting to my left. Then these two ladies sifted through the numbers looking at my painting and looking back at their list, then they walked away.

I wanted to grab my painting and run out before anyone recognized me.

Then they came back and stuck a number five on it! I was thrilled. I won a bunch of stuff, that included a huge salame! ha ha ha. We are in Italy!  A salame. How classic.

Better light.
Better light.

The HANDS’ DOWN best part was as I took my painting to go home when a man nearby stops me and asks me if I was the author. I said yes.

Then he introduced himself as one of the judges and he said to me the magical words:

I thought this should have won first prize. I tried to convince the other judges. He said to me, The others are good work, what to expect in a contest, but your work had that something extra.

He called it a ‘hand’ in Italian, or mano. I think I get that from my mom. I am sure of it.

I came home and celebrated with family and friends. Great day. Yay me.

 

Meeting Intelligent People


Cappuccino? Yes, please!

I had a long talk with a friend of mine, Sofia. When I mean long, I mean about two hours over lunch. She inspired me unbelievably. We talked about politics, classes, teachers, we even joked. We talked about art and music. We helped each other out.

Here’s the catch. This girl was nine. That’s why I love youth. That’s why I believe in our future.

I mean it. I was stunned. I showed her one of my paintings on my cell phone and she said it rivaled Van Gogh. She says to me, you know, I like it because it isn’t all perfect and straight.

To make this world a better place.
To make this world a better place.

I asked her what her plans for life are. She has it pretty much figured out. First plan was to marry Justin Bieber. If that fails, she’s marrying rich. If that fails she says she’s going into politics.

I ask her why? She says because she wants to make the world a better place.

___________

Makes my overwhelmed state of life seem so silly. Why do grown ups mess everything up? We talked so long about education and the importance of learning. I taught her how to do her multiples of nine on her hands. I taught her what Chinese Math is by singing and learning by singing. I taught her how to count her seasons on her knuckles.

I admire her.

And she me, I believe. It’s friendship.

I notice how people’s friends all sort of look alike. I mean, my best girlfriends and I are almost equal in height, coloring, etc. Same with my husband’s, sister’s, children’s, etc.

What I think is special is when you cross those boundries and the old man and the
young child hold hands. How black meets white. How a homeless can talk with a rich person and share their experiences hoping to make this world a better place.

I’m praying for you. I am. ♡

I know I’m a dreamer. Aren’t we all to some extent? I just wish life were more simple. Too many problems to begin listing them. I am just thankful I have an outlet through writing, through walking, through painting, through participating, through helping and through friendships.

In the meantime, as always I hope post finds you lovely, lucky and in love.

Julie

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

Watching my two sons go off on their first day of school left me a mixed bag of emotions including being happy, sad, nostalgic, thoughtful, nervous, excited and a bit worried.

I spend a lot of time with kids in general and I get sort of attached.

That’s probably natural, right?

I wonder, however, where is the line between being and adult and a kid, a teacher or a parent and a friend.

My mom always said I was like a  mom to her. Ha ha ha. Yes, we are today very good friends. But crossing that line at times from being the parent or the teacher to being a friend is a very fine line, delicate too.

Perhaps what is best is to find a good balance and some days be friends when you are out having fun, say at a park or something, or other times, be the parent or teacher when it’s time to talk seriously.

It’s hard for me to fathom the school system now here in Italy as compared to what I’m used to in sunny southern California.

That’s why I love it. It’s SO different than the United States’ school system. God Bless America.

God bless the world for that matter.

The main difference is that here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

Did you read that?

Here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

I cannot WAIT until the ipod is diffused and my kids can stop hauling 20 pound backpacks full of text books back and forth. I’m exaggerating for literary purposes because the truth is that they only occasionally bring their books back and forth depending on if they have homework. I think the teacher keeps them on shelves. I cannot remember.

When I taught, the older kids in secondary school, jr. high, middle school and high school, the students had their backpacks, rucksack, on the floor near their desks and their pencil cases open on their desks. Except for the time the one girl whipped out her camera and thought it would be funny to post pictures on facebook. Still happens.

I’m off topic.

Topic.

What surprised me living here in Europe was to learn that my kindergarten through fifth grade teacher for my son was the SAME TWO TEACHERS from 8a to 4p every single day for five years.

Some parents like that. Obviously it depends on if you like your teachers or not. We liked ours. They have both changed this year after the first four years so my older son, who is 10, has two new teachers.

I don’t know about you but I’m fiercely protective over my children. I asked how school went. I heard that the teacher said the kids were grounded during break and had to do make up exercises for summer homework.

Say what?

That just about sent me to the Principal’s office. Okay, these are kids reporting but I do know from first hand experience that grounding kids during break is used as a punishment, but NOT ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Are they out of their minds?

Of course, it was only partially true. It was more like, a minute to review homework.

But I’m watching them like a hawk. I heard my son got reprimanded because he put his hand on the window to touch hands with his brother. WHAT? Again, my blood started to boil. I mean, reprimanding someone for brotherly love? But then I thought, okay, you or I weren’t there, we don’t know what happened, and perhaps it was disturbing the class or at an inappropriate moment.

No, it happened while waiting for lunch. Okay, I don’t like kids touching my windows either.

I need to take a serious step back however because I have to let my children go and live their own lives, at the same time trust that the teachers know what they are doing.

I know that the teachers have their work cut out for them, that teaching is one of the most difficult, challenging and rewarding jobs there is.

Unfortunately our educational system and national budget cuts have been effecting the school systems’ ability to thrive for years.

I did have a sweet moment however with my son this morning when he said he is worried about his new teacher being mean. I just said, Well, then you be nice. She probably needs it.

I asked him, You know how I get mad and angry sometimes? It’s only because I’m going through a rough time.

I asked him if he could try to see a little bit beyond just someone being mean and realize that perhaps she was that way because she had problems at home, or something. We don’t really know, do we, what problems someone is going through?

As my one friend, B says, don’t think it’s different out there for someone else. Everyone has their problems and worries.

Well, there you go. Off to a new start. Hope it is a good one. Sure of it. I plan on doing a list of goals. I’ve got a rough draft.

How about you. I’m so sorry. I went off on my life and schools. How have you been? Are your kids getting back to school? What do you think about parents and teachers being friends? What do you think about having one teacher for many years as opposed to having many teachers?

Thanks for dropping by. It’s nice to see you.

 

I’m painting pictures in the garden.

Follow your dreams. ॐ
Follow your dreams. ॐ Here I won at a local competition for this painting I entered : )

Hi friends. New visitors welcome.

I’ve been busy in my garden making more paintings. I love them. I found a program online that shows me what they will look like framed under various settings. I’m sharing only one today as I find it’s fairly time consuming.

The painting you see is the one that I entered the contest in in our local town. It was a funny day actually. The way it works is you have to stop by in the morning with a piece of paper, pay the entry fee, I think about $10, and the nice people put a stamp on the back showing it’s a new paper.

Then you have until 3.30 to turn in your finished piece.

The only problem I encountered was time. I had lunch plans that day with my family out of town. At 2p I said I had better get busy.

I flew into my garden, grabbed my paints and started painting. The blank canvas was TRULY overwhelming.

I loved what I painted however. It’s just Italy, porticoes, wine, a table, you know, a swimming pool street.

I won a prize and was honored. When I turned in my painting, it was still wet. I drove to the center of town holding my painting up to my car heater. I signed it right after I parked.

The only catch was I had to give it to the city hall. I’m happy to have done so. I hope you enjoy it.

You can see the link of the event here.


Julie

This is my idea for my flower painting give away. I’m going to make a little video when I get my hair decent, and show you four new paintings I made. Then you will just choose the one you like, leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner. That should work, right?

My favorite teacher

Mimi Weddell Blogger
Develop a love for learning. ♡

If we can all agree that we got here now today thanks to the support of friends and loved ones I think we can also agree that it is also thanks to people who have motivated us.

One of my favorite teachers whom I’m grateful to is a man named Mr. M. For some reason when I was going into high school I was told there was an experimental math class where ‘bright’ students were going to be experimented on. Like little hamsters. I still consider myself to be lucky that I was chosen to be in this class because the 24 of us had the honor of having the same students with the same teachers for the four years of high school.

Consistency, Relevancy and Going the Extra Mile.

Mr. M was a great teacher for so many reasons but mostly because he took the time to slowly explain everything from the start to the end. I always felt I could ask him at any time any question with out him getting angry. I loved the way he wrote on the blackboard because he had nice writing. He was consistent because he did things like draw squares around the answers. He also seemed to choose relevant homework.

Even though I had him for four years I remember one day when he asked who was interested in getting straight As – he was offering a Saturday workshop. Like most of my students they’d LOVE to have straight As but for various reasons their grades are all over the board. Most of them do follow what Mr. M called the Bell curve where he demonstrated that most students lie somewhere in the middle. I always wanted to be one of the students with the As. Maybe if I just did that little bit extra it would pay off.

Pay attention ~ here’s the key.

I attended his class and after doing various exercises and reading he got to the point of the argument. He said,

If

If

If

If you want to get straight As then all you have to do is develop a love for learning.

I was shocked. I was little bit disappointed because I thought he was going to give me the answers to that Friday’s test. I had to love learning?

Who loves learning? We only went to school because we had to. Love learning. That was the key. He was right. I don’t care how many times my mother could tell me about the starving children in Africa who didn’t have shoes or school it still didn’t make me want to study.

I don’t actually remember doing homework although I do remember it was assigned. I’m pretty certain I did it either during another class or before the class started. I’ll have to check with my classmates on that one.

I do agree that the key to learning is to develop a love for learning. I since have gone on to become a teacher. I found something even more important and that is the love of teaching. I truly love being in front of the kids and seeing them smile. I feel like it is an enormous privilege and honor to have this responsibility. I try to do my best with it.

One day I’m going to retire from teaching and just be an person with her family and garden. God willing. In the mean time, I’m going to love learning.