Monday, October 24, 2011

from a grandbaby perspective

My name is Evelyn Mae. I am a grandbaby to whom all this great advice is directed. I have limitations because I'm, like, way short. But I see stuff. You guys need to chill and stare deeply into this. Bring your A-Game or call in sick.
one I am in charge here. If you ever forget that, try to go for a midnight taco run and then remember that it's a felony to leave a sleeping, teeny weeny, perfect, baby in a crib. Yea. I know. It's harsh, but I am kinda going to call all the shots from now on. Well, not like forever, but for a long long unspeakably long time. It will work out great for all of us so long as you remember that one thing. I could go on, ad nauseum, about what all this entails, how many compromises you will have to make, the blood, the sweat... the tears.... but: Life is short, I know you don't want to actually have to hear me tell you these things.

two If you feed me three, maybe four, pounds of fresh organic tomatoes when I am on a seriously bad-ass road trip, you will have to help me clean up. Dude. I am a baby. You cannot plead ignorance and you cannot feed my weakness  for vegetables. Seriously. You are fifty and I am not yet two. You do the math, think about the acid in tomatoes and give my mom a call. She was not a happy navigator.

three I know that you have to have some fingerprints on my spirit before all is said and done. This is what you grown-ups do as evolved mammals. I'm good with that. You need to own it. Engage. Teach me to sit up straight, make eye contact, use my manners, dumptster dive, pass algebra, read a book, feed the homeless and manage. Expect something of me. Cope. Help me cope. It's going to take every single one of you. Yea. Even you. You didn't even know that you mattered, but it's nutty what matters to a baby.  I count on you to think happy thoughts and keep your shit together. (I am allowed to talk like that on Momo's Porch of Immunity. She said so. The grown-ups can't hear it.)

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings evelyn mae

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Change, change, change.

The dawn of another autumn in New England has guest blogger Eric Klein contemplating change in all it's incarnations. He's got some credibility on the topic as the photo he supplied of himself dating from the early 70's clearly demonstrates.

one While prevailing wisdom suggests that highly successful people embrace change, one thing is certain. Survivors learn to cope with it. One secret to adapting to change is to understand that change tends to act as an equalizer, lifting some people from hard times, while simultaneously knocking some people from their pedestals. Coping with the teeter-totter rhythms of change helps keep us humble and reminds us to enjoy the good times.

two Don't underestimate the power of the seemingly lowly penny, nickel and dime. Alone they seem insignificant, but heap a whole pile of them together, and they can do some amazing things! Get a clean bucket, a few coffee cans or even an old fashioned piggy bank and start tossing spare change in it. Do this each day for a few months (no withdrawals!) and you'll be surprised how much it adds up to. It may not be enough to buy a pony, but it might be enough to get you the skateboard or MP3 player that will make you the envy of the neighborhood. All the cool kids will want to sit with you at lunch.

three Try not to fall in love with one particular set of clothes to the exclusion of all others. While it is totally normal to have a favorite, (trust me, I had a pair of blue parachute pants that I wore until the thread disintegrated) it can be off-putting to others to see you in the same outfit all the time. Besides, your favorite clothes will start to get funky after a while if you don't launder them regularly. Change clothes daily (and yes, that does include socks and underwear) and mix and match items for variety. Don't be afraid to experiment with your style a little. A little change can be fun!

copyright 2011 thesethreethings, moemasters, ericklein

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When I Was a Kid, We Didn't even Have facebook.

If my parents were still alive, they would have both so totally been facebook people. The tech-support with my father might have very well killed me, but my mom would have dug this place. The changes that are happening now on the book of the face are shaking things up like plates shifting underfoot and these are the three things I would tell my parents if they were here...

one Facebook is changing and I'm sorry it's upset your delicate balance. Change is good if you don't protest too much.  facebook is an evolving medium. It is a commercial enterprise and is fed by our innate need for human connection. We are NEVER going to be charged a fee to hang there because advertisers are smart people who throw fistfuls of cash at facebook every single day believing that roughly 800 million of us meet up there. They don't have to charge us, we are consumers.

Annnnnnnd, Right.Here is where we suck it up and lean into the change. We sound like our ancestors sitting around the old Victrola when they were talking about those newfangled radio things. Seriously. Change is way cooler than the alternatives. We are movers and shakers and stuff happens here on earth. We can always choose to not play or stay or whatever. Facebook is going to change because it's a fluid, not a solid. And, we are the bosses of us. Stuff changes, we have to learn new skills, we grow complacent and then stuff changes again. It's life.

two Your online well-being is so completely, totally and wholly in your own hands that it's nutty. Every thing you do online is something that you could be held accountable for. Even if you think you have deleted and erased and deactivated and disabled: Somebody can find whatever they want if they are so inclined and smart enough. Lots of people are smart enough now, so you either have to be super-duper-smart or stay away. Do not drop this ball, Baby. Smarten up about your digital resources. I trust you and that great big ol'brain of yours.

It's also a really good idea to never ever share anything digitally that you wouldn't be comfortable sharing with the world. Remember that in sharing it with the world, you open yourself up to thievery (or mockery.) People can steal your stuff and call it their own (if you're good enough and careless,) just as quickly as they will find your flaws. Survival of the fittest stuff just like Darwin, but digital.

three Any time you click on "allow an application" to have access to your information you are saying that it's okay to harvest your story. For real: Be Careful. Some of the people who build and sell these apps are making huge pantloads of money. It is their job to gather information about you, package that and sell it. It's just the nature of the beast and you either allow it or not. 

At the end of the day: Don't be giving it all away. That stuff (your information and your story) is way more your stuff than your actual stuff. Physical stuff can be replaced (usually) but this digital universe plays a mean pinball. Trust few and play smart, Baby. I know you can do this.

copyright thesethreethings 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Diana's Three Things

My friend, Diana, is a middle aged woman who still has a 17-year old, bell-bottomed hippie-girl inside her. She talks into a microphone for a living and she has a smile that will make you tell her anything. She snuggles pugs for chillaxation and her kitchen counter has magical properties..

one Don’t ever despair of meeting your soulmate (if you haven’t already).  Although I can’t promise that it will happen, I can tell you that you might meet the love of your life at age 40, 50 or 60.  You are never too old to fall head over heels in love.  The other side of that coin is, you don’t have to have a soulmate to be complete.  If it never happens, life can still be terrific.

two Never pass up an opportunity to visit a zoo.  Getting up close and personal with flamingos, penguins, hippos, elephants and zebras can put a smile on your face, smooth out those stress wrinkles on your forehead, and amaze you.  The gorgeous patterns on giraffes, the incredible sleekness of tigers, and the antics of chimpanzees never fail to give me a sense of awe, and a renewed appreciation of the animal kingdom.

three If you sleep well every night, be grateful.  Sleep is one of those things you don’t think about too much, until it eludes you.  Good sleep at night makes a huge difference in your days …. how you feel, how you work, how you interact with others, and how you have fun.  Too many nights of tossing and turning can cause a quiet despair to form in your soul.  So, if you’re a good sleeper….lucky you!  (And don’t take it for granted).

copyright 2011 thesethreethings moemasters Dianamarkleyguidas

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not Dead Yet: Your Three Things

I threatened to dig a shallow grave for this little project recently and have met with just enough resistance to decide to wait it out. I'm going to see what happens if I ride in the back seat and let you drive the car. Kinda, sorta - I'll be like a back-seat GPS who's pushy and has just a smidge of control. You get to provide the content and I get to be a cheerleader.

I have received a handful of great blog submissions and am now able to get back to regularly scheduled programming. Three things, three minutes, once a week. You know the drill. You know you've got three things in you - Here's your chance to get 'em out. Please do one of these. Heck, do five. I love it when you guys do this.

What follows are the three things I need from you to take your three ideas and format them to my liking:

one Please give me a good picture, that you like, of yourself. The bigger, the better - but I can do pretty much anything with anything. It just gets all arty when what I receive is too small or not sharp. I love the old baby shots of you, too. Just send me a good head shot to: moemasters@hotmail.com

two A brief introduction or bio or something funny that I can use as a cutline under your photograph. Some little way of saying "Howdy!" to the people who read this and haven't yet met you in person.

three Your Three Things. I can clean copy up and won't let you walk around with your skirt tucked in your pantyhose all day, so don't worry about the technical stuff. Just send me three things. If they just happen to come to me all perfect and ready to run, then know I am so hugging you. Hugging. You. And, as always: Grateful.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Final Three

one Your expectations could very well jack up the quality of your life. Expect nothing out of people and situations. What ever happens will be what happens. This applies to every single little thing. Expectations breed disappointment, almost every time.

two Almost without exception, when people you really love die: You will make some historically awful choices. Just know this much going in and maybe you can avoid some of the life-altering consequences that come from making any important decisions when you are ill-equipped to do so. If you are lucky enough to have a partner, or a sibling or a friend who loves you - you will have a little wiggle room. But, plan on being alone and strong and not making any choices bigger than what to put on the memorial card.

three Never stop learning stuff. If you suddenly wake up one day and realize that you haven't stretched your brain in a long time - it's time to learn something new. Never stop that business. Ever. Learn to speak Russian or play guitar or totally kick butt in Scrabble. But, learn something that you don't already know, and make it kind of difficult.

Thanks for being such stellar grandbabies, I promise I'll stop telling you stuff now, I trust your instincts enough to know that what I haven't shared - you will figure out. You are golden and stellar and will never even be capable of disappointing me. You are incredible and I love you. xoxo momo

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Sunday, July 3, 2011

dogs, boats & everything

one Know that I didn't write these rules, they just are what they are. You will be judged by the company you keep. If you lay down with dogs you probably will wake up with fleas (especially when you're laying down with dogs whose owners don't subscribe to flea treatments.) Should you ever find yourself wondering what you're doing hanging out with people who do things that constantly embarrass you, you probably need to re-evaluate. It may always be more comfortable to hang with people who have no expectations (of themselves and you) but it's a lot more rewarding to hang with those who make you try to be a better a person. I'd do that instead.

two Try not to buy big ol' expensive toys that exceed your skill set. If, for instance, you think you need a motor boat - you'd best learn how to start and stop it before you put it in the water. There is great responsibility attached to the privilege of ownership. In the case of owning a boat: You'll also need some rope, extra life jackets, buoys, a fire extinguisher and a whole bunch of other stuff too. These big ol' toys require pretty constant cash infusions and a whole pantload of common sense. Boats also require gasoline, lots and lots of gasoline. Just know that the bigger and more expensive the toys: The more you'll be required to put into 'em. It just makes you look silly when you have big expensive toys and you don't know how to use them properly.

three There may come a day when you think you know everything, not about everything, necessarily, but about something. It's going to be hard, but you need to remember that you probably don't know everything and are probably not qualified to be the end-all resource on what ever topic it is that you think you know every single thing about. Hedge your bets, baby. Leave room for there to be addendums or additions to what you are pontificating about. You may know a lot, but you probably don't know everything. And, this is not an indictment, it's just fact. You are still brilliant, baby, and way above average.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Friday, June 24, 2011

three totally unrelated things

one If it should ever come to pass, which it very well might, that you have to eat at a McDonald's ~ First: Please accept my apology for being any part of a food source that could degrade epicurean bliss so monumentally, and Second: Do NOT eat the chicken McNuggets. Order a cheeseburger with ONLY mustard and onions. They have to special make them and they don’t have any time in a warming tray. They are both safer, and tastier. (And, quite honestly: Cleaner. Pickles can fall out on your face if you don’t bite ‘em just right and ketchup is extra-gross while staining worse and faster than anything on the planet beside plant fertilizer.) I’ve also learned that one of those cheeseburgers can last for up to 9 hours in a purse. I don’t really do load-bearing tests on the time anymore because once I had a bad run-in with a Hardee’s turnpike hamburger. I probably wouldn’t stretch it much past eight hours though, just to be on the safe side.

Bonus Round! You can also order fries with no salt (if you have the time, patience and people watching proclivities) and they have to make those special too. They do a mass salting on the fries as soon as they come outta the fryer. McDonald’s French fries only have a shelf life of about 6 minutes anyways, so no real love lost. Just salt your own fries if you choose to go down that road.

two Don’t climb into bed with filthy feet. I know you played hard all day... but. Really? Baby? You’re going to roll that way? Huh uh. Not on my watch. Those could be 900 count Egyptian cotton sheets. I could have painstakingly bleached them and hung them on the line to dry. God only knows what you’ve tracked in here. You don’t have to take a whole bath, but you do have to wash your feet before you sleep on my good sheets. You are always more than welcome to sleep on the porch, there’s a blanket in the milk box.

three Don’t tease the dog. Yea. Really and please. Just don’t do it. All dogs are just about the same and they get turbo happy about anything food or attention related. But, ultimately – it’s all about the food.  An example of this would be you holding out a hot dog and then snatching it away just when the dog thought he was going to get a bite. Do not do anything like this and learn to avoid the near temptation of this. Dogs bite people who make them mad, that’s why they came with those awesomely ferocious teeth and jaws that open all the way back to their ears. Please do not tease the dog.

Copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Saturday, June 18, 2011

calming down and historic scabs

one Telling people to "Calm Down" when they are just clearly all worked up is the WRONG thing to do. I don't know why, I only know for sure that you ought to find something else to say in these instances. If you are, like, all hanging out with somebody who you know gets twitchy at the drop of a hat, don't be telling them to calm down. For real, Baby. There is another way that does not involve you using the words "Calm Down!" Pay attention to your loves and your words - know who is twitchy and who is not. Mind what you say.

two Don't tell anybody what you used to do. Like, all the time. Don't say, "Oh yea, I used to be the girl who brought Gandhi coffee..." just don't do it. It does not matter who you used to be or what you used to do (unless you are on a job interview. If that's the case: None of this applies.) The only thing that matters is who you are here ... now... with me in this moment. For real Baby. We have all been some places and done some things. If somebody cares enough about you, they will unearth this history on their own. Be.Here.Now. For real.

three Don't pick at that scab. For real. I know it itches and makes you wince when you bend that part of your body, but seriously baby: Do not pick at that scab... This is a universal truth about letting sleeping dogs lie, or lay or stay laid down... or something. But, if you've got some old scab that's just driving you crazy: Walk away from it or make yourself get distracted and that sensation will pass. Don't pick.


copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

crabbiness, thieves and throw-downs

one There are going to be days where you are just crabby. There could well be no one good reason for it, or it could be a cumulative effort from a million small things that you didn't even notice. But, know that there will be days where you won't be sunshine and unicorns. It just happens. It also makes you appreciate the days when you're inexplicably happy WAAAAY more.

two Don't make it easy for the bad guys. At the end of the day, when you're all done riding your bike around the neighborhood, put it away in the garage or wherever it belongs. If you leave it out front, it could get jacked way too easily. And, when you grow up, don't leave your keys in the ignition of your unlocked car. Someday it will get stolen. On the Internet: Protect yourself. Just be as smart about it as you can be ~ think it through. Just don't make it any easier for the bad guys than it already is. They're crafty and apparently have a lot of time on their hands to think up new and clever ways to upset your applecart.

three People who love each other will have disagreements. The greater the love, the greater the pain and the bigger the throw-downs. There could be slamming, stomping, swearing and tears. Probably. Maybe. That doesn't mean that it's time for you to bail. Learn to fight* fair and don't sucker-punch the people you love (and who love you) most. Get over it and iron out all the wrinkles as soon as you can. Anything worth having is worth fighting for.** And, conversely: If you find yourself on the front porch of a fight but you don't really want to burn the calories on it: It's probably not worth it to you and you need to cut ties and walk away.

*Fighting should never ever involve physical contact. I'm talking about disagreements here. IF anybody ever hits you or bites or kicks you: RUN AWAY, little baby. 

**I say these things like I know or have tested the theories. I have personally never experienced any degree of success in this arena, but I know people who've been together for 20-30 years, and I've seen how they roll.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

passwords, moms and commerce

one Put all your passwords and logons in one place, on your computer. And, put them in your wallet too. Or something. I just spent an hour trying to remember who I was and how I got here. Write this stuff down. For real. That was a ridiculous hour of my life that I'll never get back.

two Call your mother*. If you have one, call her. By the time you are able to read this, it will probably be just as appropriate to text, PM, email or post on your mother's wall, as well. There is a fine line that separates creepy mom-dependence from love ~ so walk it carefully. Her job was to teach you to fly just as much as it is your job to leave the nest. And you still probably need to drop into her orbit from time to time.

three Be Local. Buy local and go to the stores that your neighbors own and buy the goods that come from the people you know. Spend your hard-earned dollars in places where you know the merchants. I know it would just be easier to go to Walmart, but you don't have to. Your neighbors have almost everything you need and they are just as hungry as you are. They will gladly trade you goods and services for money. Keep your money in the neighborhood, y'know? 


* "Mother" in this case does not necessarily mean your mom, but is rather a generic kind of term for whoever has provided maternal nurturing and made sacrifices on your behalf to ensure that you didn't grow up to be feral, thoughtless and embarrassing.
copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

speaking, stuff and sinks

one Learn to stop speaking. Do not over-sell. If you pay attention, you can see the very moment that somebody gets it. You don't always have to have the last word. Quit selling sometimes. Have faith in the fact that every once in a while you really will have the best idea ever and you won't need to dress it up in it's Sunday Best to get others to agree.

two Know that everything could be gone in a heart beat. Look around: All of this that you see could just as easily vanish as not. So, please, try not to hinge your well-being on the things that surround you. They are all transitory. One good flood, tornado, earthquake, fire or hurricane and they are all gone. All Gone. Like, permanently. I know it sounds trite, baby ~ but all that really matters is the people you are able to surround yourself with and the love you are lucky enough to give and receive.


three If your sink starts to smelling funky for unknown reasons (it's not really a mystery, there's probably some funk in the trap) just get your Arm & Hammer baking soda out and shake a couple poofs into the offensive area and follow it up with a slug of vinegar. It can be any kind of vinegar, but not too much of it. It will foam up like a volcano (which is, admittedly, extremely cool) and wash the smell away for a minute or two. You will eventually need to get under there and take that trap out, but this should buy you some time.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Sunday, May 15, 2011

honor, discretion and skepticism

one Be skeptical. To be skeptical means that you don't take just everything at face value. Not everybody is telling the truth all the time and some things aren't really what they seem. We all only have this one filter through which to see stuff and we all see different stuff. Just know that if you really want to believe something or trust in someone ~ You need to be grounded in respect for the process. Do your research, don't compromise and never forget that anything can be Photoshopped in and digitally enhanced. Where a picture used to be worth a thousand words, it is now worth about $399.

two Be discreet. You could very well be one of those people to whom complete strangers will walk up and share their most intimate secrets. They will tell you incredible stories full of rich details. These stories will be sensational; they'll make you laugh and cry and laugh till you cry. Sometimes, they'll keep you up at night. You don't need to be sharing what you hear with anybody else. It's an unwieldy power ... this thing that makes us hear stories. Just because you know it doesn't mean you have to share it. (Unless it's especially brutal and could be changed by the telling.) Discretion is the better part of valor.

three Be honorable. Do the right thing. For real. I know I've said it to you here before, but I haven't specifically said this: Be True and Strong. Yes, with capital letters. Do what you say you're going to do and don't do what you say won't. Respect your elders, don't cuss or spit or chew gum in public or talk on your cell phone while you're waiting on somebody. Clean your plate and eat what you're given. Pick up your clothes and help out whenever you can. Make eye contact, smile from your heart and have a good handshake (or handshake/hug combination.) Learn to write legibly and honor your commitments. Think happy thoughts (as much as is possible.) Don't take advantage of people or situations, and know, little baby, that if you don't play nice and I'm up in heaven (when you are an old, old person ... like 30 or 35) - I'll see every little thing you do. I know you know what I'm talking about here. Baby, be good.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

Sunday, May 8, 2011

honesty, boot straps and that tone


one Say what you mean and mean what you say. If there is someone whom you can just barely stand to be around, find a kind way to permanently excuse yourself from spending time in their company. You shouldn’t have to be a jerk about it, but the longer you allow a relationship to grow, the harder it is going to be to extract yourself from it gracefully.

two No matter how cool and good and thoughtful you may think you are: There are still going to be people who won’t like you. They’re pretty easy to spot, and it falls to you to walk away and avoid the absolutely rancid taste of that drama. Get over it. They may have even liked you in the beginning, or you may have had one really great night where all the stars lined up right and you were with the perfect blend of friends. And, there are still going to be people who don’t like you. It’s just life. Pull yourself up by the boot straps and don’t look back

three If I ever hear you take that tone with your mom or dad, I will gladly be the Momo who steps up with my moderately scary Momo-voice and throws down some old-school discipline that will make your hair curl. And, don’t think I won’t. Understand this much: As I write this you are my perfect grandbabies and I can hardly even imagine you being anything less than perfect. I've just gotten to meet some monstrously ill-behaved, dangerously mean kids. While their parents are responsible for failing to step-up to the parenting plate, I know they haven't been the only grown-ups those babies were exposed to. You know what the right thing to do is. Just do it.

copyright 2011 moemasters thesethreethings

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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, freecycle.com, 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.