Journaling Inspiration?

I sometimes have so much bottled up inside of me and so many simultaneous trains of thoughts that I have no idea where to begin when I want to journal.

I recently found a good website for inspiration. There are good suggestions here whether you journal in the traditional manner, or you journal for scrapbooking.  http://debbiehodge.com/2012/03/keep-a-5-year-journal-progress-to-date-and-prompts-for-april/

There are suggestions here for 365 days of the year.

New Site(at least to me for writing prompts)

I found a nice site with thought provoking questions to discuss or write about.

http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/question.html.

I particularly liked these two.

If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose, and how would you torment them?

I have an in-law that I am extremely angry with right now because she insists on messing with my kids and grandson. She happens to be rather ignorant on the subject of tattoos. She thinks they are the mark of the beast? If you know your history, then you know that there were Christians in the German concentration camps and they were tattooed against their will. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSbbamX7SoU

Why would God allow someone to have the mark of the beast placed on them against their will? She also happens to be a glutinous eater. I don’t care if someone is heavy, but some people can make you ill if you have to watch them eat. If I were going to torture this person, I would have them branded and then put a triple decker sandwich which no woman should have room enough in their stomach for, just out of her reach. I know I am a Bitch, when it comes to my family. It just doesn’t make much sense to mess with me, particularly, if I know where you live.

Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with? Least like?   Most: McGyver   Least: The Marquis De Sade and Adolf Hitler. Obviously, from my above comments, we would totally cancel out each other’s creativity.

Pranks and Nostalgia

I was getting some steak out of the freezer to thaw this evening and I suddenly remembered something my brother and I did when we were kids. I almost peed on myself trying not to laugh, because it was a late night trip to the freezer and everyone was asleep.

We used to go to this steak house with our parents. There was a half wall that separated the dining area from the area patrons walked through to make their orders. We, my brother and I always sat at the table that was up against that wall.

I am not sure who thought it up, but we used to dip steak fries in ketchup and drop them on the floor on the other side of that half wall.  Then when people went through there, we would say, “Watch out don’t step on that dead french fry!” Only we usually only got to the word “dead” before they were jumping around, trying to lift up their trays to see and backing up when they would see red on the floor.  Then we would say, “Oh, no. You killed it.”

When they finally realized that we had said french fry, they usually didn’t think it was as funny as we did. I don’t know why we never got into trouble.

Another time we were in a buffet style restaurant with one of my friends. She and my brother were on the opposite side on the table from me and there was a table with a bald man and his wife and some other people behind me. My friend and my brother started taking ice cubes and flinging them with their spoons. I kept giggling and trying to get them to quit. Then all of a sudden both of their mouths dropped open and they had that uh oh look of being busted on their faces.

I turned around to see if I could figure out what they were looking at. The bald man was reaching up and wiping off the top of his head. One of them had shot an ice cube and it had skidded across the top of his head.

Fortunately for us, we left shortly after that. I think they had been shooting for his head all along.

Got any good stories about trouble you caused as a kid?

Here are some good “Nostalgia”, quotes to help inspire you.

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.  ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson:  you find the present tense, but the past perfect!  ~Owens Lee Pomeroy

If you’re yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning.  ~Griff Niblack

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around.  ~Author Unknown

It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you’re absolutely certain there’s no chance of its coming back.  ~Bill Vaughn

The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.  ~Robertson Davies, A Voice from the Attic

[I]t becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia.  ~Ted Koppel

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.  ~Doug Larson

Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.  ~Will Rogers

Nostalgia is a seductive liar.  ~George Wildman Ball

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.  ~Franklin Pierce Adams

True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.  ~Florence King

I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.  ~Lou Reed

Who wants to live with one foot in hell just for the sake of nostalgia?  Our time is forever now!  ~Alice Childress

Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had….  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Prodigal Blogger Returns

I have been so caught up in my own drama the last quarter of the year that I haven’t been posting and blogging.  So, my prompt for myself is to think of ways to drag yourself into the new year.  I’m going to find some kind of craft to do for charity and get started on it. The best way to put aside your self absorption is to do something for someone else.  Find someway to help others and then journal about what you gain from it.

Times Past

I have been having a rough year!!! No, really!!  My daughter lost custody of our grandson  in December and that has been very hard on everyone in the family.  At the same time my Dad was fighting stomach cancer and then in the Spring, he died.

Since then, I have been taking care of my Mom, who in addtion to her poor health has been slowly losing what faculties she had.  Last week, she lost them all and had to be hospitalized to keep her from hurting herself or my family.

Needless to say, inspiration for scrapbooking or journaling has been impossible to find.  I haven’t been able to write about how I feel, because it is too awful to give words to.

I did manage to make one layout.  I was trying to remember better times and was thinking about how music has always been a big part of my life and how I express myself.  Then I started thinking about how the bands I listen to now are different than what they used to be.

The layout is about what all of my notebooks looked like in high school.  The next layout will be on what I listen to now and the fact that while I listen to new stuff, the old stuff is still in my CD collection and on my ipod.  I think that if any of your journaling is geared toward memoir, then you should include the things that interest you.

So, here is the layout and some quotes about nostalgia.

“Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”
Albert Camus

“True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories”

Florence King

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”

Peter De Vries

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.  ~George Eliot

Backward turn backward o time in your flight Make me a child again just for tonight…
Elizabeth Akers Allen

Nostalgia is recalling the fun without reliving the pain.
unknown

What My Notebooks Looked Like In High School

What My Notebooks Looked Like In High School

Journaling Prompts Again

Hospital stays.

I have been spending a lot of time in hospitals lately. My Dad recently passed away from esophagheal cancer. Then my Mom developed an ulcerated place on her foot. Three days after she came home, she fell and broke her shoulder. While she has been staying at my house, she developed infection in her kidneys and had to be rehospitalized. The day after she came home, my husband became ill and had to go to the ER.

Have you ever had something funny happen to you at the hospital? I have had several things happen. When I was a teenager, my Grandpa was in the cardiac ICU at Ohio State University Hospital. We lived in a suburb of Cincinnati and had to travel there on weekends to visit him. My Dad hated it when someone double parked. We had a small Mazda hatchback at the time. After driving around for a half an hour looking for a parking place, we passed by a spot where someone had double parked their car. Dad told me to get out and he was going to park. He squeezed the car into the tiny space left next to the other car. Then he climbed over the back seat and out the hatch, in order to get out. I never did figure out how those people got back into their car.

A while back Mom had a few trips to the ER due to her diabetes. On the first trip, they gave her too much insulin and her blood sugar level dropped so fast it almost killed her. On the second trip she was afraid they would repeat it and instead of saying that was the problem, she was being really hateful and contrary with the nurses. So, I told her that she needed to be careful what she said to them because they were the ones taking care of her and they might give her a shot with an air bubble in it if she wasn’t careful. I thought it was funny, but I’m not so sure Mom did.

About 3 years ago, I had a desk chair that broke and flipped me over backwards. I hurt my back pretty bad and had to go to the ER. While I was sitting in the hallway outside of radiology waiting on my turn to be x-rayed, there was another patient wheeled up to wait too. There are these grab bars all along the hallway in most hospitals. He tried to move his wheel chair over by grabbing one and pulling. It almost flipped him out in the floor instead. I tried to hide my smile, but he caught me anyway. So, to make him feel better, I told him don’t feel bad, I’m here because I flipped over backwards in my desk chair. He didn’t feel so bad then.

If you maintain a good sense of humor, even hospitals can cause funny situations.

What Makes You Feel Powerful

I recently read a journaling prompt which asked, “What makes you feel Powerful.”  I know that for some people having children makes them feel powerful because their children are completely under their control. Some people feel powerful in jobs positions which give them subordinate employees. I know for a fact that many school teachers and principals get a charge from their authority.

The thing that first made me feel powerful and in awe simultaneously was realizing that just by being in the same room with my husband could have an effect on him. I am not necessarily referring to sexual chemistry.  After we met we have never wanted to be apart.  We immediatly became halves of a whole and each other. I know that he feels the same way, because he has said so without my prompting.  It may be true that absense makes the heart grow stronger. We used to live 3 hours from each other.

I also remember that when I was in junior high school I realized that my words or my level of vocaublary gave me an edge over kids who had teased me mercilessly since kindergarden.  Suddenly I realized that with a well worded sentence that I could turn their insults back on them. I took particular satisfaction from insulting them in a way that they didn’t understand and it was even greater when they had to ask someone what I had just said and make fools of themselves. Truly the pen/word is mightiers than the sword. I also had to learn not to abuse the power.

What makes you feel powerful

Journaling Prompt-best practical joke or prank

I recently read a journaling prompt that asked me to write about my best practical joke or prank. This was a hard one to narrow down. I have so many.

When I was a teenager, I went barefooted a lot in the summer.  I lived in a mobile home community. Notice I said community, not trailer park The place I lived in was about 3 miles long and 2.5 wide.  We had streets and blocks and there was a neighborhood where only elderly retired people lived. We had to walk through it to go to the store and buy pop or candy, etc.  The blacktop got pretty hot and we would walk on the curbs to avoid it. If we lost our balance, we would step on peoples grass.  Some of these retired people were pretty hateful about it, and would yell and cuss us out for stepping momentarily on their grass.

So, we figured out how to turn off the electricity in their houses. We would turn it off and then hide in the dark and listen  to them stomp around and curse while they were trying to figure out why their electric went off.  In retrospect, I realize they might have broke a hip or something, but hey, they started it.

We had a barbecue one evening and after we finished eating, my friends and my younger brother’s friends were roasting marshmallows on those big 2 prong forks and some sticks.  There was a Vietnamese family that had moved in on the street over from us.  Someone got the bright idea to throw those flaming marshmallows at their house.  Everybody was laughing because the people were running around yelling in Vietnamese inside.  I went to see what everyone was doing and I still had one of those 2 prong forks in my hand. Someone tripped me and the thing went through the side of their mobile home up to the handle.  It was an awful noise going in and even worse when we pulled it out.  I have absolutely no idea why, but those people moved within the week.

There was another trick we used to do where we would hide and shine flash lights into people’s houses and watch them trying to figure out where they were coming from. Ordinarily, this was annoying but harmless.  We did it to our friend’s house one night and her dad kept going out the front door trying to catch us and then out the back door trying to catch us.  After awhile he quit.  We figured he had given up.  The next day, my friend told me that her dad had hurt his back real bad. We asked her how and she proceeded to tell us that he had ran out the back door trying to catch someone shining a flash light into their living room.  The dew had settled on the porch and he slid across the porch and down the steps.  We felt really bad about it. When you are pranking someone, it never occurs to you that something might go wrong.

Have you ever lived in a place where running electrical appliances interfered with phone or television reception? Well we randomly picked a number out of the phone book and called a lady and told her we were the phone company and that we would have men working on the lines in her area, and would she please not answer the phone for the next while, because it would be dangerous for our linemen.

Then as soon as she hung up, we got all set up in one room with an electric mixer. Then one of the guys went in the other room on the extension. We dialed her number again and let it ring for a half hour non stop.

The lady couldn’t stand it any more and answered the phone. When she did we turned on the mixer and caused the awful static noise on the line and the guy in the other room screamed and made noises like he was falling. Then we yelled at the woman and told her that we had asked her not to answer the phone and told her that she had just caused Bob to be electrocuted.  She got real upset and was appologizing and stammering saying that she had just listened to the phone ring for so long and she couldn’t stand it any more and she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

The longest lasting prank I was ever involved with involved my hair and a bald man.  A friend and neighbor was very bald. His nick name was Baldy, seriously.  That’s what his kids called him.  I had really long hair and wanted some bangs.  After I cut my hair, we were joking that I should give it to Baldy. Then it just kept building from there.  We typed up an official letter from the Bald Men of America association. It said that he had been nominated as a candidate and had won an award for being the best looking bald man in his state.

Then we took my hair and braided it and put a ribbon on the end and said it was the award.  We put it in a box and addressed it to him and put it in his mail box.  He blamed at one time or another over the next few months, almost everyone he knew.  He never did blame it on me, and apparently never noticed that the box had no postage, i.e., was never mailed and he never noticed that my hair had been cut.  As far as I know, he never did figure it out. It went on months.

I know I was a mean kid, but I bet you have some pranks of your own.  Besides, the Karma for bad kids, is having kids of their own who inherit their parents sense of humor.

I came by mine honestly.  My maternal Grandpa and his brothers used to stay in bed too long after their dad told them to get up. They were teenagers. Apparently one night he told them that if they didn’t get up when he called the next morning, he was going to take a belt to them.  The next morning, they put logs under their blankets and stood outside the second story window on a ladder and watched their dad beat the devil out of those logs.

My paternal Grandpa and some of his cousins used to get sprayed by skunks on purpose and then sit next to the pot belly stove in his one room school, so the teacher would have to send them home.  In his defense, he said some of the teachers they had were very abusive and mean to the younger kids, and he and some of the older boys decided they were going to stop one such man.  They hung him up by his pants off of the side of the school house. I’m pretty sure he was upside down.

Pets

PETS

My dog is getting pretty old, so I have been looking for inspiration for scrapping her photos.

A dog’s best friend is his human.
Please Mom, Can we Keep him? This one was pretty funny to me. When my brother and I were kids, we found a stray beagle pup that someone had dropped off. We went “here doggy, here doggy” all the way home and then told our mom that it followed us home, and asked to keep him. He was a member of our family for about ten years.
Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative. (Mordecai Siegal)
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. (Roger Caras)

Genealogy

If you are serious about genealogy, you will inevitable find a census record that is almost illegible. I have squinted at many of them. So, when I found this little poem I thought, “So true.”

Ocupsyshun – sencus taker

“I am a cencus takers for the city of Bufflow. Our City has groan very fast in resent years and now in 1865, it has become a hart and time consuming job to count all the peephill. There are not many that can do this werk, as it is nesessarie to have an ejucashun, wich a lot of pursons still do not have. Anuther atribeart needed for this job is good speling, for many of the pepill to be counted can hardle speek inglish, let alon spel there names!”

Genealogists

We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices.

Far out of that dark nowhere which is the time before we were born, men and women who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone went through fire and storm to break a path to the future.

We are part of the future they died for; they are part of the past that brought the future. What they did – the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told, the songs they sang, and, finally, the deaths they died – make up a part of our own experience.

We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week. It is a basic part of our heritage as human beings.

YOU
2 parents
4 grandparents
8 gr grandparents
16 gg grandparents
32 ggg grandparents
64 gggg grandparents
128 ggggg grandparents
256 gggggg grandparents
512 ggggggg grandparents
1,024 gggggggg grandparents
2,048 ggggggggg grandparents
4,096 gggggggggg grandparents
8,192 ggggggggggg grandparents
16,384 ggggggggggg grandparents
32,768 ggggggggggggg grandparents
65,536 gggggggggggggg grandparents
131,072 ggggggggggggggg grandparents
262,144 gggggggggggggggg grandparents
524,288 ggggggggggggggggg grandparents
1,048,576 gggggggggggggggggg grandparents
2,097,152 ggggggggggggggggggg grandparents
4,194,304 gggggggggggggggggggg grandparents
You have a lot of work to do.
* The genealogist, not wanting to lie about his ancestor but not wanting anyone to know the person was hanged, wrote, “Grandfather died during a public ceremony when the platform on which he was standing collapsed beneath him”.
* “In our family,” the little girl told her teacher, “everybody married relatives. My father married my mother, my uncle married my aunt, and just the other day I found out that my grandfather married my grandmother.”
* A modern mother is explaining to her little girl about pictures in the family photo album. “This is the geneticist with your surrogate mother and here’s your sperm donor and your father’s clone. This is me holding you when you were just a frozen embryo. The lady with the very troubled look on her face is your aunt, a genealogist.”
* Some men’s names appear in the paper only 3 times:
The first time they’re too young to read it,
The second time they’re too dazed to read it,
The last time they’re too dead to read it.

Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. (Joel 1:3)

They say you should give a child roots and wings. Here are your roots. Be proud that a tiny bit of each of these people has gone into making you the young woman you are today, and the woman you will become. Now spread your wings and soar.

Pictures are worth a thousand words – but only if you know the words.
(Don’t forget to journal)

Remember your history. To forget is to not belong. (Charlotte A. Black Elk)

Sooner or later a person learns to write thing down.
It’s the best way to capture things we are apt to forget.
The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink.

What is not written and recorded is soon forgotten. Just as our photographs need an acid-free environment to protect them, our words need a place to be stored. Our stories need a place to rest, to be treasured and safely contained. Our albums become our treasure chests that keep our pictures and words from the ravages of time, dust and decay. Words allow us to gather the pictures and meanings together and give them as gifts to those we love. (UM Jenifer P.)

Family Heirloom

(Jeannine Richardson)

For every picture you take a moment in time is remembered
A family’s heritage is its personal journey through history
Memories will fade making the written word priceless
In every family someone must take time to preserve its past
Looking at the past can strengthen who you are today
Yesterday is gone, but the memories are cherished through photos and journals.

Hours of enjoyment are held within the pages of the family scrapbook,
Everyone has pictures…everyone has a story to tell…
It’s not the jewels or china we would risk our lives for in a fire
Rich is the family who knows who they are…and where they came from
Learning to properly preserve photographs is not difficult
Old photographs lack the joy they could have when not preserved and labeled
Ordinary moments become special when captured on film
May we not put off any longer the task of preserving our heritage.