Javajune's Blog

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

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

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

The Cupcake Shuffle

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What do you get when you cross a cupcake sprinkled with love

 

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and a sweet, adorable princess?

 

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The cupcake shuffle!

 

I thought I’d leave you with this little ditty and a happy ending to my cupcake story. How can you put a price on this kind of fun. Yes, I am the queen of justification 🙂

Have a great weekend!

xo-jj

June 12, 2009 Posted by | me, photography, saga | , , , , , | 7 Comments

The people of Michigan aren’t afraid despite what you may have heard.

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Look at this image and study the faces, see the pride and joy on each one of them and then just imagine you can taste the smoky flavor of barbecued ribs that’s floating thru the streets. This man calls himself the Latin Lover and he does hip-hop like I have never experienced  it before.

All we hear said about Michigan these days is that the economy is in the poop-er, unemployment may reach 20 percent and GM has called it quits.  Well, forget everything you’ve heard because this girl has something to say that may just change your mind. She took a little road trip to the Motor City this weekend and it taught her a thing or two about the great people of this state. This journey restored her faith in the spirit and resiliency of our people here in Michigan. We are alive and well in spirit and  talent and we aren’t giving up!

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Yeah, all the produce looked this good. It was a beautiful sight!

For years I have been saying that I wanted to visit the Eastern Market for a little fresh produce, blooming flowers and ethnic food. This market is right in the heart of Detroit and it’s not very well publicised throughout the state. I conned a few family members into taking the hour and a half trip to the city with me and I’m glad I did. I couldn’t believe what I saw, what I had been missing and how I felt when I left.  There was a lot of ethnic food ( we ate at the Taste of Ethiopia) and more beautiful produce under one roof than I had ever seen. The miles of gorgeous flowers were irresistible but they weren’t what inspired me most.

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This woman is Jackie Wilson’s daughter. He was a Detroit native who’s voice got him inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Her singing of “God Bless the Child who’s got his Own” shook me to my core.

I arrived at the market that morning not feeling particularly good or hopeful about Michigan and it’s future but what I experienced that day changed my mind forever. Although I live a short drive from the Motor City where Motown began and the car industry thrived,  I’m ashamed to say that I never really took the time to experience the talent and the energy that made Michigan, magic.  I was more concerned with the west side of the state with it’s trendy shops and the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan.

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This is Alfonse Lawrence AKA The Maker.  Alfonse played the inner city clubs starting at the age of 16 but took a job as a tool and die maker when disco moved in, hence his nickname “The Maker” but after 30 years in the trades he’s back and has just put out his first cd. He was tucked away on a back street making R & B music and it was wonderful. I bought his cd “Evidence of a Party” and enjoyed his soulful sound all the way home.

After milling around the endless rows of flowers and vegetables and other wares that artisans had to offer we made our way to the Motown Room to sit at the sidewalk cafe/bar for a spell. With a drink in hand and a comfy seat I experienced raw talent like I had never seen before. I am both amazed and proud of the people who call Detroit their home.  

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The singers performing were just people off the street that took to the microphone and rocked the crowd. As the music played people got up and moved to the sound without a care about who may be watching.  There were kids break- dancing and a woman in her eighties that grooved her heart out.

In this spot not one person was thinking about GM’s failures, the rising unemployment rate or the shrinking value of their home. There were more smiles per inch than I ever remember seeing in one place. The talent of these every day people who took to the microphone was unbelievable. Now I know why Motown is a legend and Detroit was and still should be a proud place to call home. The people weren’t afraid to be themselves and the support they received was both inspiring and  beautiful.  There was pride, individuality and talent that mingled with the smoke of freshly barbecued ribs that slowly wafted over the buildings and out of sight. 

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Are you hungry yet? You should be. The mesmerising smell of smoked meat invaded every one of my senses. 

I left there feeling as though I had seen the true Michigan and understood for the very first time the spirit and tenacity that made our state a great place to call home.

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 Here’s the princess grooving with great-grandma.

I hope you feel inspired to check out some great places and people in your state this summer. You might be surprised by what is just around the corner.

xo-jj

June 8, 2009 Posted by | confessions, me | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What I’m listening to today

I thought I would share with you the music that is playing in the background today.  Bliss is my fav group and the album Quiet letters is perfect. It is imported but I think you can get it on Amazon. Here are three of their best tunes. Enjoy!

The next tune “Kissing” has become quite popular and has been commercially released- it’s my fav. I have some awesome photography and someday I’d like to learn how to make my own video. Just another thing to add to the list of things that keep me from writing. I am an incredible procrastinator!

I’m listening to Bliss to inspire my writing but instead of finishing my book I’m sharing with you.

Nick Drake just took over my music player humming along with “Three Hours.”  Not getting too far with my writing a measly 300 or so words but the music is taking me places I couldn’t get to on my own. Next up is John Mayer with”Belief.”

I changed up the music to a little coldplay “Sparks”  I was listening to this song last night as I sat in a parking lot waiting for someone. I watched the people in the laundry mat folding their clothes. I watched them carefully crease and fold every piece.  The absence of their voices,  whirring washing machines and tumbling dryers forced me to focus on their facial expressions and inspired me to write the previous post. Yeah, I do things like that. My favorite song of Cold Play’s is of course “Clocks” no big surprise there

February 25, 2009 Posted by | me | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment