Javajune's Blog

Someone once said… “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Stand-by for a moment while I lose my Zen

This pic was borrowed from myopera.com

Warning this may be hazardous to your zen!

Ready, set…..rant!  I hope you’re up for this because I really need a moment to go on and on about a few things that have been really messing up my mojo.

Okay let me start out by saying, I love the age of technology and all  the instant gratification it brings. I take full advantage of the convenience it offers but… yes, there is a but in there. I miss the human contact and sometimes need to ask questions or know that what has just transacted did the job or solved the problem.

It all started with all that automated crap which made me wonder- who is running the show? Then everything went digital and  leapt into cyber space- the rest is history. I admit that I love the ability to work from home and never have to venture out my door to shop, pay bills, google the answer to almost anything or be entertained for hours but… there’s my but again. There are times when I need a human voice so I can ask questions,  or a live person to just plain reassure me that everything is okay.

Just today I tried to pay my son’s college tuition bill and it was damn near impossible. They don’t except a debit card, they no longer take any credit cards except MasterCard and if you do use a MasterCard,  a 5% processing charge will be added to the bill. The payment must be done on-line- there’s not a live person to process payments via the telephone.

I could drive over two hours one way to pay the bill in person with a personal check (they don’t take cash) but there is a window of five days to do it in before incurring a penalty which doesn’t exactly fit into my schedule. This institution prefers to take their payments electronically from  financial institutions as in a Citibank student loan. Well, we did that and now that we’re many of thousands of dollars in debt we’re done with student loans, done, finished, no more.  How badly do they want my money,anyway? Obviously not bad enough to hire someone to process my payment or to inconvenience their schedule just a little.

But wait, I have a beef on a totally different subject as well- here goes…  Just a few hours ago I returned from a trip to Target, which by the way was one of my favorite stores until something happened to the shopping paradise where quality met with moderately low prices on almost everything you could ever need. 

When I entered the store I was greeted by a plethora of dollar store items from no doubt China, then, as I ventured to the women’s department that used to offer halfway cute apparel, I was stopped dead in my tracks by drab colors with no style what-so-ever and what looked to be very low quality. As I manuevered my cart through messy displays and on to the back of the store, I noticed that it was bombarded with  bulk items and off brands. Now I’m all for saving a buck but there’s a time and place for that kind of stock. Target, home of the shabby chic decor is now filled a lot of shabby that’s not so chic.

I do occasionally shop the dollar stores and pay a visit to the Big Lots chain but that doesn’t mean I want this kind of merchandise all the time, everywhere.

I’m willing to pay a little more for the items that call for quality. I want the choice to buy low, medium or high cost goods. I live in Michigan and yes I’ve been hit by the recession but that doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t pay a little more to get something a little nicer or a little more reliable from time to time.  

I’m feeling as though technology just keeps getting more and more expensive but our goods are  getting really cheap and disposable.  While many of our goods are lacking quality, the service industry is in dire need of an overhaul. I think our world is getting a little too big and a lot too impersonal. 

I want conveinence of speed with all the bells and whistles technology allows but why can’t it be delivered in a kinder,  gentler manor with a personal touch. I still need a little quality from time to time in a clean well merchandised store.

Perhaps I’m asking too much and maybe my expectations are a little over the moon but I don’t really think so. Am I the only one who feels lost in a sea of automated machinery and cyber drones? Does anyone else long for a little quality while perusing the isles of their favorite store?

Tell me what you think. Do you feel it… or am I just a little too hypersensitive?

Thanks for listening to my rants. Breathe deep and just chill…..

 I feel better after letting it fly, on-ward and up-ward we go.  Sorry but I warned you 😉

xo-jj

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January 11, 2010 Posted by | confessions, Hello Miss Manners, me, rants | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Christmas Box Mystery

The following is an except from the book “The Christmas Box Miracle”

Her husband glanced at the book, then said, “man you’ll buy anything.” She bought the book and they left the store.

About twenty minutes later the couple returned. The man approached me, holding my book out in front of him. “I need ten more copies,” he said. “There’s something really weird about your book,” he said in a hushed tone. “There’s something mystical about it.”

His wife came around the other side of my table. “do you believe in spiritual things?” she asked. “Like voices and promptings?”

“Yes, I said. That’s how the book came to me.” She glanced over at her husband. “We were in different parts of the house tonight when we both heard the voice that told us to come here and find you. I don’t know what this little Christmas book of yours is about, but whatever it is, we’re supposed to share it.”

The orignal story “The Christmas Box” by Paul Evans is one of my all time favorite books and a story I read each and every year just days before Christmas.  But for some strange reason every year it comes up missing. So every year I go grumbling to the book store and buy another copy. This year is no different. I can’t imagine what must be happening to the book year after year. Just this morning I looked high and low for my copy but no “Christmas Box” to be found. It’s a crazy mystery but one that has sent me to the book store three years in a row. So this Holiday season I will once again be paying a visit to our local book store in hopes that they have at least one copy left on the shelf.

You may think I’m crazy but believe me it’s that good. Go out and get this beautiful book for yourself or give it as a heart warming gift, just be sure to leave at least one copy for me. It will melt your heart I promise…

xo-jj

December 4, 2009 Posted by | confessions, me, secrets | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

This is my time-my moment

Light sparkles through dew drops as they gingerly cling to life,  a multitude of colors dance about in the damp air, as I vow to never let the beauty of nature get old and unappreciated. It’s so easy to just walk by, unaware because our focus is someplace else, the bills that are due next week, the car that needs new tires, dentist appointments that need to be made and the fact that the dog is over due for her shots. So much to think about and so little time to enjoy simple pleasures. We feel as though there is no time to indulge in a blissful moment, or notice a beautiful landscape, a kind gesture from a friend, or the belly laugh of a child.  But there is always time for things that feed the soul and allow our better side to emerge. There is always time….

I took this image  a few weeks ago but hadn’t taken the time to fully appreciate the rainbow of colors or the simple beauty of  reflection until now. I find myself so into the details or what’s coming next that I forget to just purely live in the beauty of a simple moment and breath in everything it has to offer.

I know this is hard for many right now because things are so difficult. But even in difficult times there is beauty, people with kind hearts, a red cardinal in the tree and Christmas lights twinkling throughout the neighborhood. At this very moment I am looking out my window at a small strand of lights wrapped around a tiny potted tree on my porch and I can hear the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer playing in the background. This is my time-my moment.

You can find this image and my story at Studiopink.

xo-jj

December 2, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, rants | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

and that’s the truth

All right, without further delay or procrastination here it is, the honest scrap about me.

This honor was bestowed upon me by my good friend the Seawitch.

1. I live in the same town where I was born- moved away once but came back. I always thought I would grow up to be famous and live in a big city.

2. I have been writing crazy little stories and poetry since I was 12 years old.

3. I am fiercely loyal and can become dangerous if you mess with my kids 😉

4. I had a stalker when I was 15. Thank God that’s over.

5. About 12 years ago I ran into a burning house and retrieved 3 kids and 2 dogs. I put them in my car/van and waited until their mother arrived home.

6. I’m a terrible speller, spell-check is my friend.

7. I have only finished reading about 6 books in my lifetime I get bored too easily.

8. In 10th grade my girlfriends and I hid in the locker room of the opposing football team at half time and never got caught. We didn’t see much but it was still worth the thrill.  he he

9. I had to stuff my bra for my best friends wedding because I missed my last fitting and well it didn’t fit. Thank heavens everything stayed put.

10. I believe helping others is the best way to help yourself!

That’s it, 10 things you don’t know about me. Have a great weekend!

xo-jj

October 16, 2009 Posted by | confessions, Hello Miss Manners, me | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Monday blues

not good enough

( I made this collage in a writing  journal a while back. It seemed fitting for today’s post)

I applied to a handful of companies where I could see myself working and now I’m waiting, mulling over and wondering what will be. I feel as though I’m in a sort of holding pattern, floating directly above all decisions, all destinations, just waiting for something to happen. I’m at a fork in the road with no clear direction. Here I sit waiting for a sign before I proceed down the road of life. A part of me says move on don’t wait for an answer and then another voice speaks up to say, be patient- take your time. How long should I wait for that tolerable job to come calling before I submit to another stint of cubicle incarceration. I just can’t see myself back in a desk job but if I’m too picky I may never snag that second job.  Hmmmm, a little help here.

I’m looking for the perfect job or maybe just a few words of wisdom….anyone?

xo-jj

October 12, 2009 Posted by | confessions, me, rants | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

a little off center

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I’m still a little off center but hope to be back to my old blogging self very soon and pay a visit to my fantastic blogging buddies out there..  I did manage to dress the porch in fall attire. The rich colors of pumpkin orange with a splash of gourd madness is the perfect fall pick-me-up.

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Did I mention how difficult it is to type this post while looking through the smudgey lenses of little tyke sunglasses. The demanding princess insists I wear them and every time I think it’s safe to take them off she twirls around with one hand on her hip, and a finger pointed in my face, saying “eyes”  I think she already has a mom eye in the back of her head. She’s not spoiled or anything -just too darn cute for her own good!

I hope to drop by your place soon- bear with me please.

xo-jj

September 18, 2009 Posted by | me, photography | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spellbound

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New tires crunched along the gravel path until her bike came to a stop in front of  the beautiful garden that Mr. Smith had professionally designed last spring. There is no way he’d notice a the missing flower or two should she decide to snip a few and how could he possibly deny a bouquet to the woman who had been his lover the year before. Just as she got up the nerve to lay down her bike and enter the wrought iron gate before her, a  loud rumble over-head forced her eyes to look up into the grey skies.  It wouldn’t be long before that thunder cloud unleashed and made it nearly impossible for her to make it back home.  She smiled the kind of tight-lipped grin that said she was up to something. Her leg swung over the bar and her feet maneuvered the peddles back to the paved road that lead to her home.  Her speed made it look as though she was determined to make it back before the storm but her mind was simply spell bound.

It’s a rainy Wednesday morning and I felt the itch to do a little story telling. I wish I could spend a little more time here with you today but life gets in the way sometimes. 

Take care,

xo-jj

Update…

Some days beg for a little eccentric charm and this crazy outfit is perfect.

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Wouldn’t you agree? Young and cute= looking  perfect in any outfit. He hee

August 26, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, saga | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A toad is never just a toad

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 A little tree toad (frog) waving his peace sign. He lives on my deck and sometimes sings me to sleep.

As I ready a suit case and line up my clothes in an effort to pack for an up-coming trip, I am once again struck by a bag of mixed emotions and uneasy thoughts. This always happens to me when I am about to take a trip. It’s silly really, all the what if’s get together and form this ugly mass that is menacing and gets in the way of me just letting go and simply enjoying my trip. I love to travel and dream of it every chance I get but for some reason I worry about crazy things like: what if I never get to come back home to the people and things I love, what if something awful happens while I’m gone, what if the dog gets lost, the house burns down, someone dies, my plane crashes and so on  and so forth.  I can’t take everyone and everything with me when I travel, so I take my worries and emmotional baggage instead. Just once I would like to let go and really enjoy the moment, the experience, the culture and my passion to explore without worries. When I close my eyes I see new places to explore, like unfamiliar city streets, trendy shops, I hear street cars, see mountains and smell a hint of sea spray behind my ear. A relaxing trip is just like a good meditation; it leaves you with a clear head and restored body.

Life is complicated and things are never quite as they seem. The way something appears on the surface is deceiving and there is so much more hidden beneath the surface. Taking a trip should be simple, you plan, pack and travel. If only it were just that simple. I’m still very excited about my trip and can’t wait to step foot off the plane in Oregon even though my feelings are complicated. I think worrying is a bad habit that’s hard to break.

It’s okay, this is just a process I go through, nothing to worry about. I’ll paint my dark canvas and then the sun will come out and melt the dark shadows into a haze of warm sparkly bliss. This process always reminds me of a verse from the song “Thick as a Brick” by Jethro Tull.

The Poet and the painter casting shadows on the water —
as the sun plays on the infantry returning from the sea.
The do-er and the thinker: no allowance for the other —
as the failing light illuminates the mercenaries creed.
The home fire burning: the kettle almost boiling —
but the master of the house is far away.
The horses stamping — their warm breath clouding
in the sharp and frosty morning of the day.
And the poet lifts his pen while the soldier sheaths his sword.

And the youngest of the family is moving with authority.
Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside.

I love that- it paints such a picture for me as I pack up all the needful things that will accompany me on my trip.

Good tune -Enjoy!

 

My words but a whisper….

xo-jj

August 10, 2009 Posted by | me, nasty habits, photography | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mother nature’s spell and a deep sleep

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Deep sleep leads to a fuzzy head and misty eyes that take time to focus in the morning. The cool nights have forced me into a deep slumber lately. This has been a strange summer for sure. The days are pleasant, no beautiful, with temps in the seventies, sometimes eighties and nights that dip down in the fifties. The morning is thick with a heavy dew and milky mist over the pond that melts away inch by inch. The days are dry and breezy and the nights are cool and moist. It has felt much more like fall than summer. For some reason the change of season always forces me to sleep very deeply, kind of like an animal preparing for hibernation. My mind and body have been fooled by mother nature’s unusual temperament this summer. She has cast quite a spell and it’s making me sleepy. Although I prefer a warm, borderline hot, summer full of sunny days and sultry nights this one hasn’t been bad, just different.

I’m not sure what this departure from the norm has meant or what the Earth is trying to say but something is up, I can feel it. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive and read more into a situation that needs to be there but then maybe not. Perhaps this is just a way of diverting our attention away from the state of the economy.  I am one who doesn’t really pay attention to every detail, I don’t listen to a lot of news nor do I read the paper but I have an all knowing kind of six sense that is usually quite accurate. I feel things in the air and watch the animals and plants respond to the Earth and this year feels so different, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s not.  The animals that usually keep to the woods in the summer have stayed close to the house and made themselves more visible than in the past five years we’ve lived here. I have to wonder what the coming winter will bring. I hope it will be unusually mild and short unlike this past winter that seemed to never end. For now I am going to enjoy the remainder of my summer, strange as it is.

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All this talk about mother nature reminded me of the other night around 11:00 pm when I walked out my front door and was greeted by a big fat racoon. He quickly grabbed onto a little flower pot and held it out like a beggar asking for money. I laughed and tried to shoo him away but he put down the pot and came closer. I wasn’t sure whether to back away or stand my ground. I started to get a little nervous when all of a sudden the feral Mamma cat I been feeding came to my rescue. She got between us, snarled and swiped her paw at his face. He turned and ran. That was two nights ago and I haven’t seen him since. I guess she does appreciate my hand-outs.  Animals are both strange and amazing sometimes.

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Well that’s quite enough rambling for one day. I have plenty of picture editing to do and my hair needs a make-over in the worst way.  Hey Deborah a week from today I will be flying over your house on my way to the coast-look up and wave.

Wishing you a dewey day filled with beautiful reflections.

xo-jj

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August 5, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, rants | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Unravelling and the real me

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So, I think I’ve mentioned a few times over the past eight weeks that I’ve embarked on a journey into myself. This journey set sail in an Unravelling  e-course that took a group of people through an exploration of their true selves  by a process of  photo-journaling their life. I jumped in with both feet, so to speak, as the first assignment was of my feet but some where along the way my enthusiasm wained just a bit. I’m not sure how much my perception of myself has changed over the past few weeks but I do think that my acceptance of the real me has improved just a bit.

I started out feeling somewhat strange about taking photographs of myself but got used to the idea as the weeks rolled on.  I soon realized that the pics I liked the most were the softer and maybe a little over exposed shots. I analysed that a bit and then concluded that this is exactly how I prefer to see life. A little soft and fuzzy, no rough edges, a view that allows me to ignore the parts that aren’t so pretty. Since hitting the big four- o, I have struggled with the thought of getting older and the reality that is settling into my face and body. I feel like a young girl trapped in a middle aged woman’s life.

Throughout my entire life I was the girl who wasn’t exceptionally smart-just average and not particularly talented in any one area- just okay at a few things but everyone just referred to me as that pretty girl, many never even knew my my name. I even had a boss tell the computer programming guy not to ask me any technical questions because I was just the pretty girl in the office- that boss was a woman. This used to infuriate me but now I seem to be scrambling to hold on to that pretty girl who is changing into a average woman- I never wanted to be average.  Pretty fades- so, I’m ready to move on to something deeper and more spectaculiar in my life. I want to be remembered for my accomplishments.

secret weapons

We struggle all our lives to be more than what we are and in the end I think we fail to appreciate our true talents or assets. These days it takes a little longer for me to accept the face I see in the mirror and I do have a few secret weapons but the whole beauty thing has gotten a bit expensive. It’s just not the same for men. Are they just naturally better looking or do we just except them the way they are? I think it’s the latter- sorry guys.

the face in the mirror

During the Unravelling e-course I’ve realized I’m not alone in my struggle to accept myself and that many of my classmates have far greater issues than I. It has been interesting to look at an image of a fellow classmate and view them one way until I read their perception of themselves and then this image takes on a whole different light. So I guess what I am saying is that the way you perceive and portray yourself greatly influences the way others see you.  Perhaps this means if I want to look like a  young beautiful woman that is fully capable and talented in many ways, I must first see those things in myself before they’ll become apparent to others. Does that make sense?

Unravelling to the end

I started out as that pretty little girl and then become that average woman I see in the mirror today.

I’m sad to see this class come to an end and don’t know how it will impact my life but I do think that everything we experience in life changes us just a little.

xo-jj

June 24, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, secrets | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments