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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Harriet of Fire's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 18th, 2010
1:26 pm
Flowers, Poverty and Dignity

                I had a good stretch there for a couple of months where I had my tax refund, a Christmas gift/Birthday gift/estate bonus and I had already got my credit card payment down pretty low.  So I could buy things I needed and allocate money for projects that needed starting.  The projects are still going, but now I’ve again reached the point where I have to be very careful in order to maintain the within-my-means standard I’d like to hold myself to.  It felt good go just buy the stuff I needed.  And as I was looking at the plants at the hardware store, I liked that I could buy the first installment of what I needed.  But then I saw the potential expense of outfitting my yard in flowers and a great big wall rose up in front of me.  A great big wall of, you can’t afford that yet. 

                So I’m returning to the land of finding free stuff and thinking about how, really, this is a better approach.  I don’t really know what I’m doing with this landscaping stuff.  But like I said before, I have ideas and I’m interested in doing it badly and learning.  Although, really, if there’s pretty stuff growing, how bad can it be?  Also, as someone who is also interested in cultivating new levels of current friendships, this gives me the opportunity to go and dig with friends in their yards, or hang out with them after I’ve done the work.  As I see it, the more meaningful interaction, the better.  This is also more sustainable – it makes sense to take things already growing somewhere nearby and move them to somewhere else to go forth and multiply, rather than buying something that was shipped here. 

                It’s a good reminder, too, that the images of poverty we see on TV are desperate in order to play on our emotions.  But no matter what someone’s standard of living is, they have things they’re fussy about.  They want their things to be pretty and they want to take good care of their things.  Maybe even more so.  They are not them, they are us.  I’ve got a pretty good amount of privilege, but I am learning to care more about my things, love them more and make better decisions about what things I need and want because I am struggling to live within my means while I figure out the best way to authentically increase my means.  My vision is usually to make my small home comfortable and when I stop needing materials and labor and stuff for my home above and beyond consumables, that’s when the fun really begins!  That’s when I get to do more for the other people I care about.  This process is fun, but I can’t wait to do more.

There will end up being a mixture of scavenged and bought plants I’m sure.  Because I don’t feel as much creativity when I limit my options to one or the other.  I’d like to stick to plants native to Indiana if possible.  And if anyone wants to join me digging in the dirt, company is welcome!


Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
4:42 pm
Making my own choices

                I grew up a Unitarian Universalist. Being a fairly liberal do-your-own-thing kind of religious community, I did not learn an extraordinary amount of guilt through religious doctrine. I had my own internal sense of guilt and some of it may have come from my parents, but as I look back it seems that much of it was unnecessary. I had a healthy (I thought) fear of authority and I followed the rules, mostly, if I knew what they were. If I knowingly broke them I had a particular feeling of discomfort in my gut. 

                I have been living alone in my own house for about two years now and I am beginning to think about how I want things, the rules I want to follow. Most people have rules imposed upon them. You have your parent-imposed, religion-imposed, roommate-imposed, landlord-imposed, government-imposed…imposed, imposed, imposed. But how many people really think about the rules they follow or not?

                So why are guilt and fear such important factors in decision making? Power struggles? A belief that we can’t make good decisions based on our value systems? Ok, I’ll grant you that some people can’t make good decisions based on their value systems. But extremists and those who would harm others excluded, really, if we’re honest with ourselves about our own actions and responsibilities, more people would make revolutionary decisions that make the world a better place. 

                I think entitlement is also a pretty major player. How do we decide whether we’re entitled to something? Am I deserving of something just because I’m white? Because I grew up middle class? Because I’m a woman? Does someone else deserve special treatment because they or their ancestors have been treated badly in the past? I don’t think it’s really ok to keep a running log to justify one’s actions. I did this and that, so I deserve the prize of getting away with something. I think the important things in making decisions are agreements and values. Simple. Direct. Flexible. I also think it is generally important to go out of one’s way to help people that need it, based on what you can do and what helps you learn about your fellow man. 

                There are several contradictory ideas in this statement I think. They’re about different trains of thought though, so I’ll leave it up for argument/discussion. An example of getting something done badly as a starting point!


Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
2:09 pm
A Commitment to Doing things badly

                I think I have finally done it. I have accepted my perfectionism and recognized how it keeps me from accomplishing great things over time. The commitment to skate the hardest or fastest or swim the farthest I have to date is a daunting one. If I did yoga every morning I would feel so much better every day.  But I know I just won’t do it. I have committed to doing things badly. As a retired rollergirl, it feels good to skate four times a week with my skating buddy, but it is a relief to say no to the extras (speed practice in Indy, marathon training, that extra game of chase the bunny). 

I wanted to add variety and maintain consistency, so I returned to swimming, but only once a week. I commit to a minimum of 20 pool lengths as slowly and badly as I like. Sometimes I go fast. Sometimes I take breaks. Whatever.  You're in the pool.  Good job!

I wanted to add regular stretching, so I started attending a yoga sampler for 30 minutes at lunch once a week. No expectations of taking the practice home to do in the mornings. No self-admonition when I hang out in a relaxation pose while the rest increase the intensity. Just show up once a week. That I can do.

I’m considering writing. You may point out that I’m writing right now. True. I’m writing briefly and badly. Or maybe I’m writing well. But the point is, I’m not trying to write well. I’m prepared to write badly in order to learn if I like writing. I’m prepared to exercise badly to see if it feels good. I’m prepared to cook badly to learn what I really like. I’m prepared to do some half-ass cleaning in my house so that at some point, I’ll get on a roll and maybe it will feel clean regularly. I’m prepared to do a crappy job landscaping my yard so when I make changes next year, it will be closer to what I want. 

The added benefit of the commitment to doing things badly is I have energy to do the really important things well. Commitments I have made to others. Learning my next career step. Safety. There are some standards you do not mess with. But I have found that the expectation of doing something perfectly makes me do it badly or not at all, whereas the intention to do something badly gets me started, and then I am usually pleased with the quality of the result.


Monday, April 20th, 2009
8:35 am
Give until it feels good

http://homewardboundindiana.org/profile/Harrietoffire

Hi all,

Life is plugging away and I'm beginning to be caught up from my long hiatus of bone healing.  This saturday was a walk to help the homeless and prevent homelessness.  Details are behind the link.  I forgot to get this out in advance so I want to see if in the next few days I can raise some monies for the fine folks at all the organizations associated with this walk.

Thanks!
Kelly/Harriet
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
7:44 am
broken
specifically collarbone.

sucks.

nuff said
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
6:06 pm
Snow Day!
"I want to go sledding!" the little girl squealed. 

Read more...Collapse )
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
9:33 pm
Reflection and introspection
There are some thoughts in my head that seem to be congealing into something articulable and complete.  This seems to be a good place to write those down.

Over the last couple years i have been doing some reflection and personal work with the help of mind and body health professionals.  The main concerns they have seem to be centered around how I handle stress, or don't.  Similar to how I used to be unable to feel how tightly clenched my right foot was, I couldn't tell when I was stressed.  Until I broke down, that is.  I thought it was normal to have the big dramatic sob-fest that resulted in catharsis and often action.  There is usually some kind of trigger that is the preeminent "problem" I am focusing on.  And I need to sort through all the other stuff to figure out what the main problem of the month is.  Yes, the timing usually coincides with regular hormonal cycles, or power surges as it were (no, not hot flashes yet).  I think this timing causes me to feel whatever I'm feeling a bit out of proportion to the actual problem, but that doesn't necessarily diminish the value or importance of the problem. 

Since September, I've focused much more on my food intake and how that affects my mood.  This has raised my level of awareness significantly.  I actually notice when I'm beginning to feel stress and can change how I eat accordingly if that's necessary.  I also know that if I've gone without some kind of hard physical activity that is simple (i.e. meditative) I have more built up stress.  It's been suggested multiple times that I put some routines in place to build up my emotional reserves, so that when I become depleted I don't become completely depleted and so I have means to refill my stores.  It's also important that I have more ways to do this by myself.  I know for a fact that it is very easy to keep my emotional reserves full when I am in a satisfyingly affectionate relationship.  Unfortunately, most of these have been short and so my opportunity to play with this has been limited.  There is nothing quite like the deep validation and relaxation that can come from the close physical presence of another person and the touch that keeps my baby monkey alive in this low-touch society.  It's like the difference between self massage and body work done by a professional.  I just can't get as deep alone.  It's those hugs that just make your whole body go - Aaahhh....  (Arguably... I'm sure there are meditational practices that would come close, but I don't have that kind of discipline yet.)

So:
awareness of stressors
- Good, room for improvement
methods to release stress - needs improvement  (because what if the pool's closed, the trail is wet or I've just had foot surgery?  or I'm sick?  Need a few options that are independent of environmental factors and physical ability.  Is there a way to approximate full body cardio without stressing out a sore foot?)
methods to add to emotional stores (i.e. still be able to handle shit when it gets hard) - Fair.  I think napping and distraction by friends are the most commonly used now. 

In the words of my chiropractor - I'm still a time bomb, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and constantly in fight or flight.  So I'll be enlisting more consistent professional help to figure out some core things so I see them coming and am prepared to deal with them. 

What brought all this on?  Dealing with surgery, money, class registration challenges, chores, PMS, having ambitions...in essence being a grownup and being alone...is all very stressful.  I have wonderful friends who take good care of me, but I still have just me and my thoughts at night and it's not the same as having a partner in life who can hold you up when you're down, and needs you to do the same when it's their turn.

But you know what else?  I scored a TIARA tonight on freecycle.  And this will be added to my arsenal of magical objects that give me the super powers to do it all, be a badass, and look amazing doing it.  Or you know, just dance around my living room in a tiara.  Because I can.


Friday, December 19th, 2008
3:01 pm
46% RAWK, 55% HAIR, 22% INTENSITY, 38% Wholesomeness and 11% EVIL!
I don't usually do this, but a friend of mine made this quiz.  And I have just enough of a friendcrush on him to jump on his bandwagon...

...that didn't come out right.  ; D

I think it turned out pretty accurate!  Go try it  www.helloquizzy.com/tests/what-kind-of-80s-metal-are-you  And be sure to rate it high!  If you really like playing these fun games take his competition's quiz and rate it low!  http://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/the-ultimate-sixteen-candles-quiz

For the record, I scored 100% on this one.  I admit, I'm a sucker for the cheezy 80s movies w/ Molly!


Your result for What Kind of 80s Metal Are You?...

Pop Metal

46% RAWK, 55% HAIR, 22% INTENSITY, 38% Wholesomeness and 11% EVIL!

All the fun, all the hair, half the calories, you are “Pop Metal”. While you definitely like to have a good time, and sometimes get a little bit naughty, as a music form you are mostly harmless. Instead of breakneck drumming and ugly distorted guitars, you prefer easily singable melodies with lots of emphasis on tongue-in-cheek lyrics and lookin good. In the end, it’s about having a good time and partying backstage! (oh, and the music).


 


Bands include:


Bon Jovi


Poison


Def Leppard


Take What Kind of 80s Metal Are You?
at HelloQuizzy

Monday, November 24th, 2008
9:07 pm
2:09 pm
29 things
This list is inspired by the 43 things site.  But I've done this for a few years around my birthday to correspond with my age.  So I'll start early and list 29.  Feel free to chip in and help me with any of these.

1. Apply to the Kelley full time MBA program
2. Find a sweetheart
3. Make my house hospitable for me and others
4. Become debt free (not counting the house)
5. CONFIDENTIAL 
6. Check my tires every month
7. Figure out what color my parachute is
8. Visit Sera in CO
9. Visit Christy and Colin in VA
10. Take a vacation for myself
11. Knit a blanket (or learn how to crochet and crochet one)
12. Landscape my yard
13. Install hammock posts
14. Clean out my car (and maintain it)
15. Score some sponsorships for BHRG
16. Complete one of two Derby photo projects
17. Fix my toe
18. Backwards crossovers!
19. Skate 50 miles on the trail
20. Learn to make a sugar free, low carb cheesecake
21. Ride bikes with my Dad
22. Buy a dining room table (small round one with fold down sides)
23. Divide all my income 50/10/10/10/10/10
24. Fund my Kelley MBA program!
25. Surprise some friends
26. Breathe intentionally every night before bed
27. Journal every night before bed
28. Buy CASHFLOW
29. Insulate my attic
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
4:06 pm
Believe me, someone feels this way about you.


I got a really great compliment lately.  It hit me at my core.  And it did a good job at shattering some of my old belief patterns.  Thanks MP.  Really, really, thanks.
10:48 am
Campaign for real Beauty

I'm interested in transforming society and ridding it of the crap we're fed our whole lives about who we're supposed to be, how we're supposed to be and how we're supposed to look. Dove is doing an awesome campaign, partnering with the Girl Scouts and I'm really impressed. I want to do more. And I want to learn about where you see beauty in your world. http://www.dove.us/#/us_landing.aspx/

Also, where have you seen action taken to thwart the notion that beauty fads are important?

Don't get me wrong, I like pretty things and looking healthy and professional. But I don't believe that commercials should drive what that means.

What do you think?


ps.  have you seen the Campaign for real booty?  http://bigderbygirls.blogspot.com/
Thursday, October 9th, 2008
11:49 am
psychosomatic symptoms...difficult to endure...
No I haven't developed a cold yet.  But in the last month or so at least four of my friends and associates have gotten engaged.  I'm just sayin' ...it can wear on a girl if she thinks about it too much!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLnCS-E7a-s
Monday, October 6th, 2008
9:15 am
Weekend of happy and tired....the drums will see you through.
LOTUS.  WAS.  AMAZING.
 
As usual. 

The whole weekend was thoroughly enriching.  I am thoroughly exhausted.  Not only did I have Lotus and all it's accompanying festivities, but I worked at a leather coat store in Nashville, IN, I had Derby practice, and a date.  I am in serious danger of coming home with a leather coat before this temporary job is over!  So I was on my feet much of Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, including selling, working Lotus and dancing at Lotus.  I sold a few coats and learned some things about selling and selling on commission.  I almost lost it and then pulled myself together, at which I am particularly impressed.  I got tossed around at practice, fell apart due to exhaustion and recovered.  And then I got stood up.  Technically, I received a cancellation message.  But I was still annoyed, and I would have been annoyed even if I had seen the message before I showed up.  But that was a really great meal and I needed it.  Margarita special, portobella spinach salad and greek sampler at Trojan Horse.  All kinds of yum.  I spent everything I made Sunday on that meal.  But it was worth it. 
 
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
11:32 am
For my political junkie friends

Tuesday 5:30 Emergency economic meeting

Congressman Baron Hill

Urgent Economic Meeting with Citizens

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Bloomington City Hall Atrium

401 N. Morton St.

Friday, September 19th, 2008
11:59 am
stupid food...
My own laziness and finances and whatnot have caused me to slip up on consistently making some yummy green smoothies and I feel the difference.  I was markedly alert the week or two I was drinking them in the morning.  A new month is coming though! With a new budget!  And tonight I have time to clean up my kitchen and start over.  good times.

Also, after I got a whole bunch of nuts and seeds to keep in my car for snacks I find out that due to the instability of the oils, they really should be kept refridgerated.  shoot.  Now I've got some rancid nuts and seeds.  They might not be that bad, as it was only a little while I had them left in my car.  But I'm ready for new stuff.  I guess the car snacks are going to have to be dried fruit and something else. 
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
12:19 pm
This isn't my idea.  But damn it's a good one.  I often don't see how my tiny contribution can make a difference.  But I have a feeling this kind of thing could really piss some people off - and maybe send an important message. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Friends, This is such a brilliant and productive idea, I'm sending it
widely. I hope you'll join me in doing this.

a brilliant idea for $10, or even $5

Instead of (in addition to?) us all sending around more emails about how
horrible she is, let's all make a donation to Planned Parenthood.
In Sarah Palin's name.
       And here's the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her
       name, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has
       been made in her honor. Here's the link to the Planned
       Parenthood
website:

https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor

       You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send
       the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card. I suggest you use the
address
       for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

       McCain for President
       1235 S. Clark Street
       1st Floor
       Arlington , VA 22202


PS make sure you use that link above or choose the pulldown of Donate--Honorary
or Memorial Donations, not the regular "Donate Online"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Until men can be legally forced to donate
blood, a kidney, or part of their liver
in order to save a life....
Women should still have the right to choose
what happens to our bodies, too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
9:44 am
Sept 2, 2008-Sept 2, 2010
Two years.

I know that days drag, weeks, months and years fly.  But oh my goddess.  I am committing to a two year process of diet and lifestyle change.  At the end of those two years of course, I'll have new habits and won't ever be able to go back to the drugs of sugar and simple carbohydrates.  Otherwise I may have to start the process all over again. 

One day at a time.

Hello my name is Kelly and I'm addicted to sugar.

I'll miss you old friend.  But you're bringing me down, and I just can't keep you in my life anymore.

Current Mood: worried
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
10:13 am
hard to get
A frequently heard story about how couples got together seems to be:
Boy meets girl
Boy asks girl out
Girl says no
repeat
repeat
repeat
Girl finally says yes. 

I don't usually do this.  I feel like the girl needs to stick to her guns.  When I say no, I mean no.  But it's something to consider.  The current pattern, if it is indeed a pattern, doesn't seem to be getting me where I want to go.
Sunday, August 31st, 2008
10:11 pm
Are you redefining the code?
I'm reading a book about the code by which society teaches women to live.  It is bringing up some interesting questions.  I'm reading it while spending an inordinate amount of time by myself this weekend.  This also brings up many questions.  I'm noticing how often I want to hang out with friends or get in contact with someone with whom I'd like to cultivate a real relationship.  I'm intimidated by the great stretches of time available to me and noticing how I put off doing things that are both productive and small time commitments.  I think I go on these jags of doing the small productive things and I get a bunch done in an hour or so.  And then I want my reward.  Call the boyfriend.  But oops, there isn't one.  I call the friends too.  And these are happy things -the friends and the times spent with them.  But sometimes, like a craving for mom's potato salad or Lennie's Turkey Tortilla salad, the need is for a certain kind of close relationship.  At the last wedding where the family gathered and the cousins got to chat a bit there was talk of being happy to be single.  I thought this, but didn't quite have the clarity to express it:  I'm happy.  I'm single.  I'm not happy TO BE single.  It's down to two cousins who have never been married and/or are not in a long-term committed relationship.  One seems to be the kind of guy who could be happy as a batchelor for the rest of his life.  The other is me.  I also kind of wonder what people think of the cousin who was married and divorced.  Is there an expectation that she get married again?  Or is it "oh, she's been there and done that."  She most certainly deserves wedded bliss if that's what she wants.  

Or maybe no one's really paying that close of attention.  That would actually be pretty cool.  Everyone be responsible for their own happiness and take joy in the pleasant surprises shared by the others.  That seems pretty unlikely, as there are gossips and busybodies in every family to varying degrees.  I actually think that is a good thing too.  They can remind us that we do want to be part of each other's lives.  Hopefully we're all strong enough to do it in our own way that is not actually invasive for others!

i don't really want to get any more rambly than I already have.  So here are some of the questions coming up from reading the book:
So I'd like to have children and a partner.  I've been thinking of this in terms of the family tree and the importance of family to me.  I've got the "up" side of the tree in pretty good shape and have actually become more intentional about my attention there.  But I feel like the furniture and dishware in Beauty and the Beast - unused bits of me are feeling rusty and lazy and icky because of it.  So do I have a fundamental need to have children, and is that need part of the code (Nurture others) or is it something I really want specifically.  I could probably get a lot of the nurturing need met by babysitting for my friends and having a "little sister or brother."

Spending time by myself, slacking off, sleeping in, taking naps...I feel a smidgen guilty for these things.  Is it because I'm worried that I'm doing them in excess or is it that I don't think I deserve this time to myself?

I'm not done with the book or the long weekend.  So more is likely to come of this.  It might be a bunch of rambling bullshit, but there you go.  That's what journals are for.  Mine seems to shift between blog and journal.  Can we make up a new word for that?  Welcome to my Live Blournal?

: D
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