Author: Michele LaFollette

Creativity

Inspiration!

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Dear Reader:

 

I woke up feeling lazy today! Thank goodness Andy Warhol wasn’t lazy. He left a wealth of whimsical, extravagant, bold art for the world to judge. His work has always both delighted and inspired me, but today I particularly appreciated his words of wisdom because I needed a kick in the lululemon workout (lounge) pants! As you know from my About Me page and previous posts, from the pink shed. com is my first foray into social media. WordPress provides me with the tools I need to monitor my readership and it can be tempting to linger on the  STATS Page focusing on my numbers, rather than writing, reading or researching.  It is also so much easier to ask my technology consultant to make a change or improvement rather than to learn to do it myself.

I write because it’s fun to play with words and it’s also a great challenge.  As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  My heroines have always been writers: Joan Didion, Louisa May Alcott, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Madeleine L’Engle. I am not a woman with that depth of talent, but I have stories to tell, friends to introduce, opinions that insist upon being heard and, just now, I have the time!  I will continue writing and working to boost my readership and improve my technical expertise!

Thank you for being one of my first readers! Please continue sending me your comments and ideas.

Sincerely,

Michele

Politics

Don’t Be a Grouch!

Kermit the Frog:  “Hi ho there. This is Kermit the Frog and I’m here to find out why Oscar the Grouch likes public television.”

Oscar the Grouch:  “I don’t like public television!”

Dear Reader:

I’m no grouch! I love public radio and television. There is so much to love, but today I’m thinking of Sesame Street. It was part of my daughter’s childhood; we watched together. She loved Elmo and I often appreciated the guest stars. I remember the day  Liam Neeson appeared alongside the Count. The beloved vampire puppet films him counting to 20. Neeson counts so brilliantly that it causes a rainstorm! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDJe8IP8A0

Have you heard that the President’s proposed budget calls for large cuts in a variety of domestic programs — including, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be cut to zero under the proposal. We  could lose access to educational programs for children, emergency communication services, local programming  and reliable news.

CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, “There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s education and informational programming and services.” She called public media “one of America’s best investments,” costing “approximately $1.35 per citizen per year.”

Today I signed a petition urging Congress to continue essential funding for our stations at protectmypublicmedia.org and I hope you’ll join me.

 

Michele

Creativity, Family, Friends and Neighbors

Maui Time

Movie Star, Maui, big sunglasses, travelDear Reader:

While there is no bad time to go to Maui, my husband and I have discovered a truly good time to visit the island. Last year, a couple of days after Thanksgiving , we loaded the suitcases with books and magazines, threw in our suits and shorts and escaped the holiday rush.

We walked every day along the beach paths and in the sand. We slept in late and began each day with a mimosa. We didn’t rent a car. We didn’t watch the news.We enjoyed sudden bursts of tropical rain. We sang along to “Frosty the Snowman” in the hotel lobby as we enjoyed Kalua pork sandwiches and mai tais. There is something particularly satisfying about having nothing to do for a whole week, especially in the month of December. (Our daughter was appalled: we had not only gone without her, but we were there while she was taking finals. We sent pineapples and chocolate covered macadamia nuts to her and her five roommates!)

My reading list for the week was diverse, and heavy! I have simply not made friends with readers, and so I hauled my heavy load from lobby to pool and back again throughout the week. I began with the book my sister-in-law had recommended: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I am not a person who has to be convinced of the power of non-fiction. But, even I was struck by how moved I felt at the stories of those who lost their lives in such dramatic fashion in 1915. I followed that book up with something lighter:  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I knew I had to read the book when I heard  that it was a novel by a blogger and that the central character was a 59-year-old curmudgeon. My husband is not yet 59, but in three years he will be a 59 year old curmudgeon. The book was charming, as is my husband. For my third book, I read Delia Ephron’s: Sister Mother Husband Dog : (etc) . I’ve always admired the work of the Ephron sisters and I enjoyed the mix of autobiographical essays that had me alternatively chuckling and near tears…a true representation of life. The last book I read  Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho was an inspiration. I read it once; then I read it again while taking notes; then I read it again because it was fun. I felt energized, afraid, motivated, excited! After tossing around the idea of a blog for several months, I suddenly knew that I was going to become a blogger. Joy had convinced me!

On our last morning, as I packed up my large tote with my books, my husband called for the bellman. He arrived shortly after and looked at me and said, “You look like a movie star…or, maybe a writer.”

His comment seemed to me to be a good omen. Clearly, I do not look like a movie star! But, yes, I’m a writer. I must be. I look like one!

Aloha,

Michele

* Note to those who want to look like a writer or movie star: Throw on a pair of jeans and a black tee, top with a long cardigan, drape a colorful scarf around your neck, carry a large tote filled with a computer and books, and WEAR A MARVELOUS PAIR OF SUNGLASSES!

Inspirational Women, Politics

A Non-Traditional Blessing

Dear Reader:

My dear friend, Beth Bordelon, was one of millions of people who marched on January 21 , 2017. She introduced me to this Benedictine blessing written by Sister Ruth Fox in 1985. I found it beautiful and particularly relevant at this time in our country. I have a copy hanging on a wall in my pink shed.

BethMarch

A Non-Traditional Blessing

May God bless you with discontent with easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live from deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, abuse, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and  peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort  them and to change their pain to joy.

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

If you have the courage to accept these blessings, then God will also bless you with:

happiness—because you will know that you have made life better for others

inner peace—because you will have worked to secure an outer peace for others

laughter—because your heart will be light

faithful friends—because they will recognize your worth as a person.

These blessings are yours—not for the asking, but for the giving—from One who wants to be your companion, our God, who lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.

Wishing you happiness, peace, laughter and friends,

Michele

The Color Pink

“The” Pink Dress

Dear Reader:

I  vividly remember the dress that got away, maybe in the same way that some women remember the man who got away. I can see it and almost feel it…soft pink, perfect pink angora/cashmere blend, long sleeves, mock turtleneck with a hemline just above the knee.

My mother had taken me to run errands after school one day. I was about 10 years old. We were racing through Gottschalk’s, a local department store,  in pursuit of a crock-pot when I came to an abrupt stop in front of a child-sized mannequin.

“Oh, mom,” I exclaimed.

“Oh, no!” was the quick reply.

My mother was not born with a love of pink or fashion, and I’m quite sure that the dress would have been out of the budget, anyway. But, to mom’s credit, she remembered the shade of pink I had admired and a couple of weeks later sat down at her sewing machine to make me a short, polyester skirt that I wore with a pink, cotton turtleneck in an attempt to re-create my dream look.

Since then, I’ve purchased many pink dresses, bags, scarves and shoes; most of them are gone and forgotten. Yet, nearly 50 years later I still remember that dress… so maybe it didn’t get away after all!

Sincerely,

Michele

P.S. The first day of Spring is a nice day to shop for the perfect pink dress!