Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let's start over, shall we?


I'm excited about life. I feel that, finally, after today, I can take a deep breath and move on. It hasn't been easy but I can thank many, many people for lending a helping hand. Everyone goes through heartache, everyone is lied to and cheated on. Everyone has felt lower than low. It's hard to understand why we are hurt by those who we thought cared about us. But it happens to everyone. I am no different, I suppose.

But life is about being brave and kind and true. It is about remembering that God made you to love not only yourself but others. We need to laugh and cherish those who are true. It's about forgiveness, too.

To those that hurt us, we must put aside the anger and hatred. We must forgive. And I do. I forgive but I can never forget. And we hope they learn, we hope they change. We'll pray for them and hope one day, they forgive themselves. We hope they can ask forgiveness also. Saying "I'm sorry" are two of the most important words. Ever.

I have so much to look forward to in life. And all that's really going to matter is those who I know are truly my friends. Those who have been there with me through thick and thin ... good times and bad. And together, we can conquer the world. Together, we're on top of it all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October


So it's finally October. It's most definitely my favorite month - by far. I love anything to do with autumn. I love the crisp, changing colors of the leaves, the smell of a burning bonfire, hoodies, pumpkins and warm, homemade soups.

Even though October has arrived in a rather ominous fashion, and I turn 25 in less than two days, I can't help but feel happy about it being here.

So, in dedication of my favorite month, here are some interesting facts about it.

Being the eighth month in the old Roman calendar (Roman year originally begin in March in honor of the God of War, Mars, which meant that, instead of being the 10th month, it was the eighth), October got its name from the Latin word 'Octo' meaning 'eight.' Even after January and February were added, October got to keep its name. Thank goodness.

If you're part of any of these cultures - German-Americans, Hispanics, Italian-Americans and Polish-Americans - feel free to celebrate the entire month! This one's for you guys.

The month of October is also dedicated to the devotion of the rosary in Roman Catholic countries, which began in the 19th century.

October became famously known as "Red October," due to the Russian October revolution of 1917 (although in the modern Gregorian calendar, the revolution started in November).

October is also called the 'yellow month' by the Slavs because of the fading leaves. To the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Winterfylleth because at the full moon of fylleth, winter was supposed to begin.

If you were born in October you undoubtedly know that your birth flower is the calendula and your birthstone is the opal. What you may not known is that opal symbolizes beauty and happiness. However, it also has a few super superstitious elements. It is said that the gem will crack if worn by anyone who was not born in September. I've actually heard stories about this. I've had plenty of opal necklaces and rings and I've never had any of mine crack. This is some pretty cool information if you're a fantasy nut like me. Opals are also thought to have the power to predict illness because it responds to heat. When your body temperature rises, it causes the opal to lose its shine - leaving it dull and lacking color.

The traditional birthstone for October, however, is tourmaline. It is commonly pink or green - thought it can be other colors as well. The tourmaline gem is said to protect the wearer. This is another cool aspect to the Halloween month.

Speaking of Halloween ... [the coolest holiday] has origins in the ancienc Celtic festival known as Samhain. The celebration occurred at the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year." The ancient Celts believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved and the dead became dangerous for the living by causing problems such as damaged crops or sickness. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks being worn at Halloween goes back to the Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or placate them. In Scotland, for instance, the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.

So maybe this October, you'll appreciate just how neat of a month it really is. Or maybe not. Either way, I had to share my unending love for it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She told me I'll just know...

When do you know you have found the right one? Well, my mom said, you just know. We were sitting on the driveway, washing fresh lettuce, beans and onions from the garden. But how? I persisted. She told me it wasn’t really something she could describe. She just knew it was different then anything she had ever felt and that she felt calm. And content. There was no wondering if that person would love you tomorrow. Because they would. There was no wondering if what they were saying to you were words used to please your ears or if it really came from their heart without pausing to run through the head. Because sometimes, your head gets in the way of what your heart knows you should do.

I think sometimes, we use our head as a way of shielding our heart from the inevitable amount of heartbreak we must all face one day. Have you ever felt the pain of a true broken heart? It is the only way we learn to love more fully and with even more strength than before. It is how we come to know who we are and what we are made of. We figure out what we cherish and what we look for. It gives us compassion and humbles us to our emotions.

I don’t believe heartache is completely useless – no matter how bad it hurts. It is what makes us appreciate every relationship we have in life. It is the small stepping-stones we take across the rushing waters we like to call life. We slip, we fall and pieces of us break many times. Each time we find the strength to get back up, to pull ourselves out of the rushing water and keep pushing forward.

But once you find that someone, that calm inlet away from the torrential tirade of water, you will find peace. You may think you have found it many times, only to have a flood wash away that calm.

It may be months or years until you find that everlasting contentment. Throughout life, you could have parted ways only to have God unexpectedly pull you back together. You may realize they found you during the most difficult part of your life and were there no matter what. They may be in front of you now, at this very moment, and you may not yet realize it. But, according to a very smart lady I know, eventually you’ll just know. Deep down, there will be no questions. And you will never have to wonder again.

Here's to finding contentment and never letting it go. 

Ashlee

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Glory of God


Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but up you the LORD shines, and over you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you; yours sons from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you. Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming praises of the LORD.
--Is 60: 1-6

*Photo by me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Paintings


I am a self-taught painter. That pretty much means I just do what I want. I've never taken any classes and I really have no idea what I'm doing. Sometimes that works to my advantage. Other times, it does not. 

This is a project I am working on. I really love trees. There will be a third one based in a sort of red color. I will update you all when all three are done. The yellow painting in this picture isn't all the way done yet.

So, comment if you want or ... if you could care less, then don't. 

Peace.

Monday, January 19, 2009

All I ever want is the music -- sweet music!

So just recently I have gotten into a few artists from the sixties and seventies. And of course I got on Youtube.com and looked these artists up to see if they're on--which of course, they are--and was amazed at several differences between today's music and back then.

First of all, it was much simpler--lyric-wise. It was a simpler time, I suppose. If you listen to the lyrics, they were focused on good people, good times and most importantly--good music. It was the type of music to just fill your entire soul up--from your head all the way down to your toes. That's not to say there are no artists today who do that because there certainly are. But even so, it's still different. I guess that's just hard to explain.

Second of all, it actually focused on--believe it or not, music. I know, crazy, huh? These artists actually played instruments. They didn't lip sync. They had pure, raw talent and they got up and just jammed out. It didn't seem to be for the music--I mean, did you really ever hear a song about bringing in the big bucks or buying women, clothes, cars, etc.?

Music I've recently been drawn into:

Melanie Safka -- Her voice is not only amazing but her lyrics are beautiful. She was just a peaceful flower child, reminding the world of simpler times.

Mama Cass Elliott -- Here's a deep, jazzy voice that just seems to make you melt into your own world.

Patsy Cline -- Again, another deep, almost jazzy voice. Just some feel good music that really enables you to unwind and relax.

Anyway whoever may read this, check these ladies out. I guarantee you won't regret it. 

With nose-wrinkling affection,

Ash

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monsters lead such interesting lives.

I was running down the street. It was dark out. Everything around me was eerily illuminated by the soft yellow light cast down from the street lamps above me. Shadows played on the cement and danced along the buildings.

Behind me I could hear the ragged breaths, the uneven steps. It was coming for me. 

I didn't even know what it was but it scared the hell out of me. 

And then I woke up. 

I blinked for several seconds while trying to grope frantically for the light. Just a dream, I reassured myself. No monsters. Nothing was coming for me. Just a dream. Calm down.

And then I laughed. Monsters are so silly. And then the thought occurred to me: What would it be like to be a monster? To take whatever shape frightens those around you most. To live in the shadows and slink around mysteriously. No one knows exactly what you are. But everyone knows who you are. You're a monster, for crying out loud.

I don't think every monster has to be evil. Think about Sulley and Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. It's just their job to be scary. In reality, they're big loveable teddy bears. Well, Sulley is anyway.

But who dreams of good monsters? Those two words don't exactly fit together, do they? 

Monsters are so silly. And gosh darn it, they lead such interesting lives. Don't you think?

Snow

The snow fell gently at first. It wasn't very windy. 

Then suddenly it was as if God, Himself, took a giant breath and let loose on the icy world below. Chaos reigned. Snowflakes twirled every which way, battered by the constant steam of air as though it were struggling to regain balance.

I watched in awe as the storm grew arms, which furiously wrapped themselves around a small man standing on a busy street corner, desperately clutching a worn hat to his head. The arms pulled him further into the flurry as the storm's hands clamped down. Then he was gone, lost in an endless shroud of white powder.

I drove on, my mind centered on the winter wonderland before me -- vaguely aware of my cell phone, buzzing incessantly next to me.