Sunday, May 30, 2010

Think about it - No mind readers

pertama Learn how to ask for help. Do not expect anybody to read your mind. Everybody else in the world has a big ol life going on and you are not the center of all of it. There will come a time when you need help: Do not be too proud (or stupid) to ask for it. Conversely: If you ask for too much help too often you become a leech and an emotional soul-sucker. Walk this line thoughtfully.

kedua Mind your mouth. Just because you are capable of thinking it doesn't mean that you ought to say it out loud. Seriously. Humor me here. I've heard some really smart people say some really stupid things. Just practice using your speaking governor. Think things through for just a minute before you speak.

ketiga Some things require an actual whole night's sleep to process and figure out. These are typically the bigger (bordering on life-changing serious freaking stuff) ~ things that make people say, "hhhmmmm.... let me sleep on that and I'll get back to you." Not enough can be said about a good solid slumber to help you see things more clearly... in a different light. Don't EVER let someone (salesmen, mates, children) talk you into anything if you have even a smidge of doubt. 
On this one, you don't have to trust me, you have to trust your instincts.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Friday, May 28, 2010

Acquiescence, hot water and siblings

ONE Learn about the birds and insects and rodents and reptiles, and mammals that share your piece of ground with you. You all are here to learn to hang out together and be helpful. I tried to grow a good stand of Clematis for almost 15 years, but the bunnies loved it. They made me cry. 
Acquiesce, figure out what everybody needs and don't be thinking you can change the nature order. Do the best you can to protect what matters to you, but don't be using poisons and nefarious means.

TWO Learn to love the value of a good long hot shower or a sleepy soak in a hot tub of water. That whole cleanliness and Godliness thing is born of humans innate need to be able to tolerate funk and close proximity.

THREE Don't hurt your siblings. They are the only people on the whole planet who know your whole story. If you have brothers or sisters - treat them well. Check in from time to time and see what matters to them.

Copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sunrise, Disagreements & Towels

gyntaf Stay up all night and watch the sunrise as often as you can. Watch the moon set and the sun come off the horizon while the birds all wake up and go crazy. If you're doing it right, you'll find out what it smells like when the night mist burns off the land. There is nothing else in the world like it.

ail Know that people have fights and cross words and disagreements sometimes. This is just a part of life that has to exist for all the really great parts to happen. Learn how to fight fair and do not EVER hit anyone. Ever. There is NO excuse EVER for hitting people.

trydydd If your towels get all rank from sitting in the washer too long - use vinegar to get that smell out. There are few things as icky as drying your face and getting a big ol snout full of set-in towel mold. Vinegar. Trust me.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Play an instrument, type a letter and snuggle up

pierwszy Learn how to play an instrument if you have any chance to do so. (Because I'm optimistic that your parents will come here first, I'm thinking they will sign you up before you are too big to wrestle.)
I know I always say this, but trust me: Do your lessons - sing your scales. Pay attention to your posture and put your hands where they are supposed to be. Practice for at least half an hour every day.

drugi Learn how to type. Fast. Learn it fast, and then type fast. I doubt you kids will still call it "typing" by the time you're old enough to read. Whatever. You can pound out some serious text on this machine, really turbo-fast - if you just apply yourself. This may be a moot point by the time you are old enough to read, but if not: Wood Shed on this one. Get good.
trzeci Snuggle up with someone, anytime you have the chance. Snuggling makes you feel better. Nuzzle and snuggle whenever possible.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gracious hosts and fresh flowers

prima Be a gracious host. Anticipate your guest's needs to whatever extent you are able. Share your toys and juice. Keep a home where people feel welcome. It will probably involve tidiness, warmth and the absence of horrific smells.
secondario Don't pick other people's flowers. It's not nice. If you think you need some flowers - then learn how to grow them, but don't take the neighbor's.

terzo If you borrow something (anything) from somebody - be prepared to buy a completely brand new one if something goes wrong. Try to avoid borrowing tools and cars and electronics because you may not have enough money to buy new ones. IF you do have to borrow a car: Return it with a full tank of gas after you've cleaned it up. This is Universal Action Language that means: Thanks for letting me borrow your car. 

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coffee grinds, egg shells and BB guns

an chéad Treat other people how you'd like to be treated. Nobody is any cooler than anybody else and kindness works a whole lot better than crankiness. Do not exclude people and do learn how to make them feel welcome. 

an dara Don't put coffee grounds or egg shells down the garbage disposal if you have one. Papa Z always said you couldn't put melon rinds in there either, but Momo strongly disagreed. And, if you have a compost heap (which you should) you won't need to put anything down there because it will all be recycled into your garden.

 an tríú Do not shoot BB guns in the house. This is just a roundly bad idea. 
And, no - I can't tell you why I know.
Just don't do it.
Trust me. 

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cheap shoes, true love and pets

első Do not wear cheap (and/or ridiculously uncomfortable) shoes. Those feet you're walking on are the only ones you're going to get. Bad shoes can jack up your back, knees and hips (not to mention your good humor.) Good shoes may cost too much, but I promise you'll be glad you have them. Go Barefoot when possible.

második If you love someone (really love someone) make sure they know it. Hearing "I love you" is a pretty cool thing, but you'd best be prepared to prove it. Be clever and thoughtful - learn to know the people you love well enough to make their time here more rich. Don't ever say "I love you" unless you really mean it and don't say it because you feel like you should. If you've chosen to say it, be sure and show it.

harmadik If you think you must have an animal: Take care of it - for real. I had the recent misfortune of knowing a woman who complained endlessly about the 2 small dogs caged behind her house (through wicked hot Kansas summers AND sub-freezing winters.) They hadn't even been out on a walk (mush less, petted) for close to three years. Her kids promised that they would take care of them - therefore, she will not. 
She is why we have the ASPCA. Taking care of a pet requires thinking outside yourself. 
I know you didn't ask, but I have to tell you: I don't think I'd hang with people who are capable of hurting animals. 
That is totally uncool on about every level.
Think about it.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Monday, May 17, 2010


dès que  Please don't pound around the house. Do not stomp like nobody can hear you. Papa Z (whom I have only not mentioned till now because I didn't want to point fingers. He is your great grandfather) would come all the way unhinged if he could hear someone walk across a room. Learn to walk like a Native American Indian. Move slowly (unless there's a fire) and softly. Think about the impact your body has upon the world beneath your feet.

deux fois  Since Papa Z is already part of the equation today, I will share his "Four Square" rule. 
Papa Z contended that NO ONE (Ever. In the history of time) needed more than 4 squares of toilet paper to get the job done.
And, honestly, having been to places (Mexico) where they don't even have toilet paper everywhere, and when they do - the used paper goes in a trash can instead of getting flushed.
Yep. Used. In a trash can. Right by the toilet. It's some nasty stuff.
I can only tell you: Not everybody in the world can afford toilet paper OR has the plumbing systems in place to handle it. So - I have to support the Papa Z Four Square Rule.
Please don't slam your door. 
In fact, IF you slam that door, ONE more time, I'm going to take it off it's hinges. 
Don't doubt me, because I will do it
My uncle Larry took a door off it's hinges because my cousin Debi had the audacity to doubt him. He didn't say a word through the whole disassembly. She didn't have a door for months. 
There is a time and a place for door slamming, but save it for after you are married. Some things are worth waiting for.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Sunday, May 16, 2010


első  Don't pee in the pool. You can pee in the river, pond, stream, creek and ocean - but please, for real:
Don't pee in the pool.
második  Keep your sunscreen on. Help your parents remember this when you are still too young to do it for yourself, and then never forget it when you are old enough.
harmadik  Learn how to swim and don't be afraid of the water. You will be glad you did, swimming is awesome.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shake it off

FIRST  Shake it off. I think this holds true in just about every conceivable way. If you smack your head on a low-hanging branch and it knocks you just a little silly for a minute and you see stars: Shake it off. If you see a spider and it gives you the eebie jeebies: Shake it off. If you read something or see something that you wished you'd never seen: Shake it off. Sometimes this may require actually standing up and shaking it off. Other times, you may just need to dance. The body has a need to shake it off.

SECOND  If you must roll your eyes, don't get caught. Translate: Don't let me see you rolling your eyes at me.
THIRD  If someone you really love (not your mother) - tells you that what you're wearing isn't your "best look," change clothes and don't wear that anymore. It doesn't matter if you love it - whoever told you that had no dog in that race and just loves you enough to mention it. It wasn't easy.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Three for Thursday

ensimmäinen  Seize the moment. Carpe Diem, for absolute real. Be in the moment that you are in because you are obviously in it and that can't be undone. So, you might as well enjoy it. It really is delicious and will never happen again, no matter how much you wish it would. Learn to love every minute for the gift that it is.

другі IF a person older than you walks in the room, and you're sitting in the only available chair: Get up. Don't make them ask. It's a sign of respect and it'll make you look cool.
第三 Even if you don't want to, you are going to have to learn to eat green stuff. Eat lots of other colors of food too, but just eat lots of green. Just about anything green will do  - Green, fresh and local if you can get it. Consider this your first installment of the "I Will Too Tell You What To Eat" series.

I wouldn't mention it if I didn't really think it mattered.

copyright thesethreethings 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Bonus Round: Three Cliche's De-Mystified

primero Dumber than a box of rocks (or a bucket of hammers) Also applies: If dumb were dirt, he'd be about an acre. In the course of a life time you will, inevitably meet someone who just doesn't have the sense to come in out of the rain and couldn't find their butt with both hands. For every single magnificently smart person, there is an stunningly clueless person. There is also everything in between. Set your expectations accordingly.
segundo Beauty is in the eye of the beholder only because nobody but you can know what you like. Try not to be judgmental about what other people like - they don't see (or hear or taste or feel) exactly what you do. Be kind.
tercio Measure twice, cut once. This applies to fabric and wood as much as anything I've dealt with. You can throw away some gigantic bank in a heartbeat by cutting a piece too short. The more expensive the material is that you are working with, the greater the chances are that something could go wrong. It seems to be exponential. Don't cut corners and think you're saving yourself time. Ever. Just measure twice and cut once. If you're, like, really tired or not well-fed - measure three times.

Sleeping on the Porch

first Sleep outside on the porch if it's ever a safe option. We had a great porch once on Oakland - we practically lived out there. In fact, most of the block lived there. Porches are incredible places to hang. If you can stay up too late there and fall asleep, I would.
second Cry if it will make you feel better. Cry if you feel like crying. Do both of these things within reason and don't ever take smack from anyone who screams "I NEVER cry!" The fact that they never cry is a much greater reflection of them, not you. Don't be a cry-baby about it, but don't think people don't cry either, because they do.
They also fart.
third You don't need a cell phone until you're old enough to call in to work. You have parents and they should know where you are and what you're doing - that's their job. I don't care if all your friends have one. You don't need it. When you get a job and can pay for it yourself: Dive in. Until then, try telepathy or use your friend's phone.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fair is a Good Friend who will tell you if you're sportin' a Bad Haircut.

një Life is not fair. It never has been and never will be, so buck up. If this is part of your foundation going in, you should be fine. There are always going to be Wild Cards and fireballs lobbed at your castle right after you got the vegetables put in. Just expect the unexpected, do the right things and know that it is not always going to be fair. Hedge your bets and stand up straight.
dy Make friends, have friends and then play with your friends. It's important to have friends and to learn how to be a friend. Friends make our time here a lot more fun and safe. Being alone is a good thing too, but make sure you've got some solid simpaticos in your corner.
tre Do not cut your hair all by yourself in a dimly-lit bathroom. Nothing good will come of it and you'll have to explain yourself the next time you see a professional hair person or leave the house and go anywhere in public. Let this urge pass and you'll thank me.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

penmanship, wealth, good shoes

1 Write. Write with a pen on paper. If you don't have a pen, find a pencil or something. If you don't have paper - do NOT write on your shoes or jeans, find a napkin. But, engage in the act of writing, not typing. Learn how to write things legibly on paper. Practice your penmanship, even if you're a boy. It's important. Have a decent signature and write Thank You notes by hand every single time you think you ought to. If you even think you ought to - you ought to. Always send your grandmother notes in the mail. You don't even have to have a reason. She will write you back and it always rocks out LOUD to get stuff from the mailbox.
2 Don't get all twisted about your fiscal health. You have to have money to survive, but wealth is something you build in your heart.  Make a living because you have to and know that the real value is in how you spend your moments - what you do and say and think... Who you choose to hang with. Don't be getting all cocky because you have a whole lot of money - it could mean nothing in an instant. Choose to sleep well, in the last slow hours of morning, instead. Money really can't buy you love.
3 Don't wear your good shoes in the garden. Seriously. Not even accidentally. Not even if you're just going to grab that one weed. We call them "Your Good Shoes" for a reason.
Sometimes I still do this and it makes me frown. If you are wearing your good shoes, don't even look at the garden.

copyright thesethreethings 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

stuff & digits & wasps

uno Take care of your stuff. Cars, computers, clothes, bicycles and everything else that you probably like to use and possibly treasure - they don't grow on trees. My mom said this at least twice a day when we were kids. But, for real. If you've gone to the trouble of owning it (or begging for it and getting your parents to buy it) then at least have the decency to take care of it.
dos Mind your digits. If you're working with any kind of power tools (from lawn mowers and chain saws to sanders and drills) pay attention to where your body ends and the tool begins. Be careful. I have seen some nasty, nasty things resulting from people not minding their digits. (And, no - there are no links to pictures of nasty, nasty things. You are clever, I know you know what I'm talking about.)
tres If you get stung by a wasp: Find somebody with a cigarette or some chewing tobacco (I realize that this may actually be impossible to do by the time you're old enough to read this.) Stick a little wad of tobacco in  your mouth and get it all spitty (quick. like a bunny!) and then slap it on the sting. Hold this wad of nastiness on the painful bump for as long as you can stand it. There is something in the plant that sucks the venom from your body. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Then There Were These Three

egy Don't ever play the "He Said, She Said" game. Nobody can win at that one and it makes you look bad. There are now, and have always been, exactly three sides to every single story: Yours, Theirs and The Truth. The earlier in your life that you learn this, the easier it will be. Just choose to not engage, it's disarming and I promise you'll know if you need to pick a different path. It will all work out fine.
két Learn how to always keep a good collection of "tools" in your arsenal. I have almost always had a good pocket knife, a band-aid and some duct tape within arm's reach. The longer you go about having a big life, the more you'll be able to refine your tools, so pay attention to what you always seem to need. I knew a guy who always had bread ties, and that came in handy.

három Speak slowly. I can only tell you this from a lifetime of being mostly unable to. I talk fast and it drives people crazy. Old people with sketchy ears - they just quit listening because it's too frustrating. Learn how to articulate and pronounce your words and then enunciate and don't go too fast. Do your part to stamp out muttering and say it like you mean it.


Who you is?

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I love raindrops on roses and whatnot, but even more than that I totally dig finding dollars in clothes I haven't worn in ages, live music, social networking and search engine optimization, research,, homemade beer, home grown stuff, writing, talking, laughing, green movements, debate, dialog, dumpster diving, time travel, time-out chairs, psychology, meals that last for hours, pranks, astral projection, meaningful lives, the kindness of strangers, trains, trucks and tractors, cowboys, horses, deer, eagles, random occurrences, modern tragedies, small appliances, good socks and sturdy shoes, shiny objects, painting, playing stringed instruments and singing harmony, pulling perfect feather pillows out of the freezer on hot and humid Kansas summer nights, rodeos and county fairs, brokers, organics and authenticity, my kids, their kids and my huge extended family. I am a hugger and I probably laugh AND talk way too much.