Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photo Hunt #30 - Beautiful

The Photo Hunter theme this week is "Beautiful". I could have gone in so many different directions with this one, but as I was going through my recent photos, I came across this one, and it was pretty much decided for me.

I find few things as beautiful and breathtaking as when God paints a picture such as this one. Don't you think?

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're getting deep here

Disclaimer: I’m going to be honest here, because, you know what? This is my blog, my little piece of the interwebs, and if I can’t be honest here, then what’s the point?
Here's the thing, there are certain topics I very rarely ever blog about, because I know they can open the door to some strong feelings, and since this blog is my "safe place", I like to keep it peaceful. But, looking at it from another perspective, this is my safe place, so I can and should be able to talk about whatever it is that matters to me. And this...matters to me.

What is this I speak of? Well, we're getting into the deep waters of some amazing things that have happened in my life recently.

Most of these things you all already know about, I lost my job, switched careers completely, have re-connected with some old friends, and built some strong foundations with new ones. But the biggest change I’ve only alluded to in passing, and the thing is? It deserves more than just a passing reference.

So here it is.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I consider myself to be an extremely spiritual person, but that it pretty much stopped there, because I was very conflicted when it came to an actual “organized” religion. The reality is that in general I tend to have issues with most “conventional” things in society, because I always land square outside of that line of “normal”. So, it should come as no surprise that I would have my disagreements with religion.

That has not necessarily changed.

I’m a single woman in my 30’s, strong, independent, and confident in my status. I am a feminist. Not in the sense of the word that brings up thoughts of man hating and bra burning (trust me, nobody, but nobody wants to see me leave my house without a bra on); but in the “a woman has as much right as a man to: fill-in-the-blank” sense. I am a liberal for the most part, with very few conservative beliefs. I believe very strongly in the value of family, but also believe that conventional family values are outdated and traditional families are now few and far between, therefore I have no issue with loving families that don’t fit the “mold”. I support a woman’s right to have a right to choose…whether or not I agree with her choice making it none of my business. I also believe a lot of other things that may not entirely mesh with what everyone expects from someone who is about to say the following four words: I am a Christian.

Now, I’ll tell you what, it has taken me a long time to be able to say those words and not flinch. For whatever reason, we are conditioned to be proud to speak out about all the things we are and are not, except when it comes to our faith. On that topic, we know to be silent. Especially if we are Christian, and even more so if we happen to be “gasp” Catholic. And the truth is that until recently, I wasn’t particularly comfortable with my own faith to “own up” to it.

I knew what I believed, and that was simply good enough for me.

So what changed? Well…everything…and… nothing. It was a chain of events, kicked off by Candid Brother attending a retreat and finding his own way with faith, and then pushed along by my uncle, the “Spiritual Director”, inviting me to participate in a class of sorts, and fortified by the renewal of friendships, and the making of new friends, whose faith and love opened my eyes and heart to something I didn’t even really know I was missing. Then I volunteered to help out on a youth retreat, which spurred the youth outreach program my friends and I have taken charge of, and well…it all took on a life of its own.

The thing is, in terms of my feelings about organized religion, not too much has changed. I still have my issues, my doubts, my inability to just blindly accept. But the change that took place is this…I realized that just because I don’t believe in organized religion, that does not mean I don’t believe in the basic principles of the religion. My method of prayer for years has been at best abstract, at worst confused. I knew I believed in something, but because I was constantly battling within myself about how I disagreed with the man-made rules of the church and the outdated dictates and screwed up politics within the “organization”, I couldn’t allow myself to be specific about what it was that I believed in.

Thanks to a combination of things, including my incredible new friend The Disciple, in the last several months I’ve been able to take a step back from all those internal arguments and just be. When I stopped letting my brain do all my talking, thinking, rationalizing for me, I realized something huge. I have really strong beliefs, and they needed to be tended to.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. By simply just being, I’ve had the most amazing year. Everything has changed.

I’ve changed. I’m so much more at peace with myself, with everything around me. I’m also a lot more emotional, but I think that is because I see things so much more clearly now, that sometimes the emotional impact blows me away. When I was laid off from my job, instead of completely freaking out and falling into a deep depression (as I think many suspected would have happened to me), I simply took a breath and said “It’ll work out, I’m putting it in God’s hands”. And then I landed this amazing job, which has changed everything else in my life in such a positive way.

My friendships have changed, I’ve reconnected with some amazing folks from my past, and because of how at peace I am, I’ve strengthened my existing friendships, and even made new amazing friends. There has been one friendship that hasn’t fared as well, but I still have hopes of turning that one around. My constant positive state doesn’t seem to be sitting too well with a friend who is constantly negative recently, but hopefully we can get past it and come out all the better for it.

My priorities have changed. Volunteering with the teens has taken up just about all my free time this summer, I’m constantly exhausted, and don’t seem to have a whole lot of “me” time. I haven’t even gone shopping all that much lately (gasp). But you know what? I’m ridiculously happy. I love these kids, and spending time with them makes me feel younger and more energized. And they are such fantastic kids that they are giving me hope for this messed up world we live in. If the world is in their hands, then I know it’ll be okay. And this group has also given me an opportunity to re-connect with Lil’ K, which has been an amazing blessing, because due to her age, we were beginning to drift apart a little bit.

And my relationship with God has changed. This one is hard to put into words, but the best way I can describe it is this…for years God has been that elusive, unexplainable force, that I knew I believed in, but didn’t quite understand, and didn’t really have the guts to dig deep enough to try. Now…now he’s everything, the center of my everything. But with this refreshing realization that I don’t need to stop being the person I am for this relationship to be what it is. I can still obsess about shoes, enjoy chocolate martinis, and gossip with my girlfriends about how HOT Donnie Wahlberg is. (Yes he is, shut up). I don’t need to wear a high necked shirts, or stop swearing when I’m angry (not that I'm saying I should be doing it anyway). I don’t need to be “perfect” or “boring” to carry his message, and to believe it with all my heart.

What I’ve loved the most is that this group of misfits I call my friends all come in all shapes in sizes. We come with piercings, tattoos, emotional baggage and moments of road rage. We come with partying hard, drinking too much (definitely not talking about my old self here), not always going to church on Sunday. But WE COME. We show up and we believe.

Knowing that I can still be me, has also made it so much easier to not be ashamed to be honest about my faith. From wearing a t-shirt that has a religious message (yet oh so witty we are in our message), to openly having a conversation with Friendly (who is part of my group of friends) at work, about our activities, I no longer whisper my faith. I’m not shoving it down anyone’s throats…I know how long it took me to get to this point, and I know had anyone tried to force feed me, I would have run in the opposite direction. But I am just not hiding it either.

And then there’s this post. I think it takes an incredible amount of courage to be this open about faith in a public forum. I’m risking a lot. But I didn’t really have a choice…this post has been battling its way onto the page for months now. Just screaming to be let out. And after all, the name of this blog is Candid Karina. I’m being Candid. And I have faith that you’ll be okay with that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun Monday - Useless Trivia

The crew over at Mama Drama are hosting Fun Monday this week and they have assigned us a fun little ditty:

Remember way back in elementary school when you had to do a report on James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States and you told the class all about how he was shot after only four months in office? You also remember that he recovered after a week, but doctor's continued to probe at the healed wound causing complications and resulting in his death almost three months later? Okay, we all knew that about Garfield, but you also remember that James Garfield could write with both hands at one time and in different languages.!!! Why do you remember that? Maybe for you it wasn't James Garfield, but somewhere in your past education, you picked-up some little bit of useless information that you've never forgotten.

Well, I am sure that I'll think of a bunch more stuff right after I hit "publish", but this is the one that came right to mind. One of my favorite subjects in school was always English, and in 8th grade we read Huck Finn and learned a bit about Mark Twain in the process. For some reason, that entire time is pretty clear in my memory. I really enjoyed Huck Finn, and became a big fan of Mark Twain. But, this is the useless bit of trivia I never forgot. Mark Twain was born exactly two weeks after Halley's Comet made an appearance, and then died the day after it's next appearance. The comet only appears every 75 or 76 years and Twain even said in his autobiography:

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."- Mark Twain, a Biography

I don't know why, but that's always stuck with me as an interesting bit of trivia.

There you have it, that's mine. Go over to Mama Drama to learn some more fun stuff.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

I have, once again, let a whole week gone by without much blogging (uh, any?), but today is Candid Mama's birthday...a perfectly good reason to blog again.

That's mom and me, when she was just a young thing, with a young thing like me. How beautiful was she? She still is. My mother is more than just my mom, she is without question my best friend and I am so grateful to have her in my life.
Have a great Sunday everyone.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fun Monday - I Want to Know

This week's FunMonday is being hosted by the lovely and wonderful Lisa. And it's an easy one too:
What is one thing you would like to ask your readers? Come up with a question to pose to your visitors and throw it out there on Monday. As we’re all visiting each other’s Fun Monday posts we should answer the various questions we come across.
Easy right? So, here's my question to all of you: What is one book you have read that you would recommend everyone read? And why?
And since I can never follow rules, and I'm looking for help before I go drop 100's of dollars on a new phone, I'm doing a Part B to my question. I plan on getting a new phone soon, and am looking into either a Blackberry or some sort of Palm...anyone who has one of these types of phones, what should I get if I plan on attempting to mobile blog?
Happy Monday everyone, I'll be doing my rounds when I get home from work tonight.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Photo Hunt #29 - Colorful

The Photo Hunter theme for this week is "Colorful". I couldn't decide between two photos, so I decided to post them both.

Man made colors:
And God's Colors:
Happy Hunting everyone! As you read this, I'm off canoeing with a bunch of teens! Fun Fun Fun!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Power of Music

The power of music.

As I type this I’m listening to a greatest hits CD from NKOTB. That’s New Kids on the Block for the uninitiated. New Kids on the Block, who 15 years after disbanding have come together for the mother of all reunions. Obviously, if you read me, you know that I was a serious “Block-head” and this reunion has been the source of much nostalgia and laughter and joy for my friends and I. We are giddy 13 year olds all over again any time one of their new songs come on the radio. We realize how silly this all is, but the truth is, we don’t care.

For me personally, it’s an opportunity to bring back some of those sweet, innocent, naïve feelings of my youth. Back when daydreaming about Donnie Wahlberg meeting and falling in love with me wasn’t as unrealistic as it sounds now. Back when the sound of his voice on a song could send me into tizzy of swooning. Back when my bedroom walls were practically wallpapered with posters of the “5 hardest working guys in show business”, the boys from Boston. Back before my first real heart break, before work, before responsibilities, before reality hit.

But this post is not, believe it or not, about NKOTB. It’s about the music. Or more accurately, about the emotions behind the music. Listening to this CD I find myself with goosebumps as each new track begins, and a flood of memories rushing back to the surface. “Remember when…what about that time when we…and how about when they…” It’s about the feeling invoked somewhere so deep within that I can’t find the words to do them justice.

When I tell you that each and every time I hear their new song on the radio I can’t help but let out a girlish giggle, EACH AND EVERY TIME, I’m not explaining it well enough even then. For me, with NKOTB, it was a huge part of my adolescence, so it ties in with a large chunk of the time when my personality was being formed. These songs remind me of those times, remind me of those defining moments in my development.

Nostalgia is one hell of a thing, ain’t it? I wish I could bottle up the feel good feelings this music produces and sell it. I’d be a millionaire. But then, NKOTB are already doing that. With this CD they’ve “packaged up” nice and neatly, those feelings in thousands of former fans, and made it accessible once again. And are likely making millions all over again.

But it’s more than just the New Kids and their music. Music in general has a magic in it that goes beyond any explanation. Different people are moved by different art forms, for me, music has always been the ultimate. Not being musically inclined myself in any way, my involvement has always been limited as the spectator, the listener, but that does not make me any less avid of a lover of the art form. Maybe it makes me even more so, because I’m not limited with knowledge of how things are supposed to sound. For me, it’s not about the rules, it’s about the end result and how it reaches in my heart and holds on tight.

I could easily name you a song for each vital moment of my existence. The ups and the downs. The first time I fell in love, the first time I had my heart broken, the day I moved to a new country, the day one of my friends was killed, moving out on my own, feeling lost and alone, struggling to accept my place in the world, finding faith all over again. Each moment with its very own defining soundtrack.

To this day, the Bette Middler song, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, which was my 8th grade graduation song, can reduce me to tears instantly. As can “Friends” by Michael W. Smith, for more personal reasons, “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boys II Men, which played on the radio regularly when a very good friend passed away, and a slew of others. At the other end of the spectrum, are songs that always elevate my spirits, no matter what. Among them are “Celebration”, “Everything” by lifehouse and “Hotel California” by The Eagles, because of the memories it brings back of good times with girl friends in pool halls.

More than just the memories, however, for me music is also a sweet escape, a form of meditation. They say that to sing is to pray twice…to listen to music for me is to hear God speak. At times, just the right song will come on the radio and tell you everything you need to know. If I’m angry, I have a soundtrack of songs I can play to vent my anger, let it soak up in the drums and guitar riffs, and purge it at the top of my lungs. When sad, the right tracks can either lift my spirits, or allow the tears to flow freely, releasing the toxins and soothing the soul. And at this point in my life, when I’m in the midst of a spiritual renewal of sorts, music has been my constant companion, guiding, encouraging, clarifying…and just providing the background music that I need to survive.

I’ve said more than once that I don’t know if I could live without music in my life. I don’t really know that I could. I know I wouldn’t want to try.

So, as I sit back and enjoy my CD, and smile at the opening beats of every song, I wonder, what has music done for you? What songs bring back those indescribable feelings for you? Does that need to hear music consume you as it does me? Tell me, I want to know.

And in case you’re wondering? I still believe Donnie Wahlberg will meet and fall in love with me. Hey, it could happen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


That's right folks, it's that time again...the one day out of the year where us SouthPaws step up and say "WHAT ABOUT US?" You righties take us for granted, not even realizing how much harder we have to work at everything you simply have "handed" to you.

What things you ask? There's the obvious ones, such as writing (and getting ink all over our hand as we drag the ink behind). But then there is so much more...driving a manual car (go ahead, you try shifting with your left hand and tell us how easy it is), using a scissors, or my personal favorite, trying to sign one of those electronic credit card pads with a pen that is attached with an OH SO TINY cable, that doesn't reach all the way around for us lefties to use it...The difference between a righty and a lefty? The righties right now are trying to figure out what I mean, the lefties? Are going "I HATE THOSE THINGS".

But today is not a day for the negative thoughts, today we celebrate ourselves. The free spirits, the creatives, the individuals among us.

Me? I'm a lefty for sure, writing with my left hand, and certainly going to my left more naturally when doing daily tasks. However, I'm a bit ambidextrous, able to do a lot of things with both hands. It makes my life a whole lot easier than most lefties have it...I didn't really have a hard time learning to drive a stick, it came pretty naturally, and I've never needed a lefty computer mouse or lefty pair of scissors. But I still get the lovely ink stain on my hand from writing, and HATE those biased oven mitts.

A few facts for you:

Did you know that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa? Therefore, left handers are the only people in their right minds. (Yeah, I know, it's an oldie...but a goodie none-the-less).

Did you know Michelangelo, Mark Wahlberg, Drew Barrymore, Jason Bateman, Angelina Jolie, Mark Twain, Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Lee, Ted Koppel, Jimi Hendrix, AND Barack Obama are/were all lefties?

Did you know 4 of the 5 original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed?

Well now you do. And that means that now you are prepared to take the Left-Handers Quiz, listen to the Lefties Lament Song, and participate in all the other fun stuff over at the Left Hander's Club website.

But before you go over there, I challenge you righties to take some time today and see the world through a leftie's eyes...try to restrain the use of your right hand and see how the other half lives. Then come back and tell me what obstacles you faced. For the lefties? BE PROUD, and have a great Left Hander's Day 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun Monday - Paint Me a Picture

Here is today's Fun Monday assignement from our hostess at AOJ and The Lurchers:

Show me your favourite photograph and tell me why it's your favourite.It can be one you've taken yourself or one someone else has taken, a snapshot or a more professional image. Is there a story behind it? Do you love it for the memories it gives or just because it's pleasing to the eye?Show me and tell me!

Well, that sounds easy as pie, doesn't it? Yeah, except, if you read my Fun Monday post last week, or this post, than you'd know how I feel about the word "Favorite". If you didn't read that post (and why didn't you?), let me see if I can explain it to you succinctly. Let's see...favorites...ACK! I can't do it. I can't pick favorites.

But, you know what? Our lovely hostess said we could cheat, so...if she said we could, well then...

Still, I'll try not to go crazy, and I'll limit it to three of my favorite photos. I'm going to go with photos I've taken myself, because although this photography thing is new to me, I'm really thrilled with some shots I've taken in the last year or so. I've shared some of these previously here at Candid Karina, but they should be shared again.

This first I took on a trip to Mexico. We went horseback riding on the beach, and this was our instructor.

I can't tell you how much I love this photo. The camera I used to take it with is an old 35mm camera. I had a black and white film lying around for years, and decided to take it with me to Mexico. This moment presented itself, and I took the shot. I had no idea how it had come out until I developed the film upon my return. I love it. I love the wind in the trees, the sun glaring off the sand...and the sentiment of "solitude" yet peace that it evokes in me.

This next one is from a series of shots I took on the way home from work on day last November. I literally shot this one out of my car window while stopped at a red light.

And this final one might just be the best picture I've ever taken:

It has a "painting" feeling about it that I just love.

Okay, I are two more from that day:

There you go...I'll stop here. Please go visit our hostess, her photo is gorgeous, and she's got the lsit of all the other participants up as well. You must go see what they've all chosen.

Next week's Fun Monday is being hosted by Lisa, be sure to go and sign up!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Photo Hunt #28 - Dark

The Photo Hunter theme this week is "Dark". When I first saw the theme, I scratched my head for a bit...dark is a tough concept to catch on film. What would I post? I went into my archives for this one. I took this photo this past winter, and it's one my favorites that I've taken to date.

It's dark, but it's so much more too, isn't it?

Happy Hunting!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Fiver

My good buddy Frances has been doing this "Blog About 5 Things Week" and I've really enjoyed reading her posts. I didn't do a whole week, but I thought I would jump in and do a Friday, here you go:

Five things that have made me smile this week

1. Spending Sunday with my very best friends, my faith family.

2. Receiving a text from my old friend St. Louis, who I hadn't spoken to in a very long time. We've now been catching up and it is so good to have him back in my life, even if it is only through the world of texting.

3. Making dinner plans with my old college buddies, BFF and The Greek, who I will see on Saturday, and am really looking forward to immensely.

4. Making dinner plans with my great friend FireGirl, who I haven't seen in at least a year, and will be having dinner with tonight. I can't wait to see her.

5. Re-arranging my living room furniture. I'll have a full post about this one next week, but it looks great!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #58 - Shameless Self-Promotion

I haven't done a Thursday Thirteen in quite a long time, but then I haven't exactly been blogging as much as I used to either. Real life has sort of gotten in the way of blogging (imagine that?), but I have no complaints...real life has been great. Yet, this week I decided that I was going to attempt to blog daily, and so, I figured I'd take this chance to shamelessly self-promote some of my favorite posts that I have done in the last few weeks.
So, I give you my 13 recent posts I'd love for you to peruse:
1. Soul Sisters - In this one, just posted this week, I tell you about the girls in my life that are definitely invaluable to my every day.
2. All The Boys - The Soulmate - Since we're talking about soulmates, you should meet the one that was.
3. The ABC's of Me - just a little MeMe fun, but a way for you to get to know me just a little bit more.
4. All The Boys - The One That Never Was - Might as well give you another of my "All The Boys" tales.
5. Bacon Lollipops? - You have to read it to believe it.
6. Final Dance - A creative effort on my other blog, a new form of poetry, which I really enjoyed attempting.
7. This Kind of Love - yet another creative effort...there weren't that many in July, but I really felt the few I did take on.
8. Tale of Two Squirrels - Because I cracked myself up writing it.
9 - 13. So You Think You Can Dance - The recaps. Okay, I'm totally cheating here...see, the thing is, I haven't really posted enough lately to pick 13 posts you should read...but I have done weekly recaps of this wonderful I think you should read them all! So I'm just telling you to head on over to Cafe Karina and do some browsing.
Yeah, yeah, I know...I cheated. I'm having too much fun this summer to pay attention to rules...The only rule I'm adhering to now when I blog is to enjoy myself, and hopefully I can write something once in a while that'll make you smile.
So, that's it for me this Thursday...but I have a little something up my sleeve for tomorrow, so don't stray too far.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Tale of Two Squirrels

Minding my own business the other morning, getting ready for work when my little friend dropped by for a visit.

Well, hello there Mr. Squirrel, how are you this morning?

Well, I'm glad to see you too!
No, I haven't seen your wife, I'm sorry to say.

She was around here somewhere? No, I haven't let her in...did you check behind the chair?
Not there? Oh wait, is that her?
Mrs. Squirrel, how nice of you to drop by as well.

And off they went on their merry way, while I went back to getting ready for work...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Soul Sisters

Last week I gave you the story of The Soulmate. In that post, I mentioned that I believe we all have more than one, and that it doesn’t even have to necessarily be a romantic thing. But I didn’t elaborate. Today, I want to do just that.

See, here’s the thing, throughout my life I have had the opportunity to have all different types of relationships: family, friends, boyfriends, acquaintances and even enemies. And I do believe that every single one of these individuals (even the ones who made my life a living nightmare at times) came into my life for a very specific reason. I’ve always been a firm believer in the “everything happens for a reason” way of thinking, so it’s easy for me to accept these relationships for what they are…meant to be.

But through my life, there have been a select few kindred spirits for which I am and always will be eternally grateful. I am not talking here about those who matter most to me (my parents, my brother, etc.), I am speaking of individuals who have touched a part of my soul in a very specific, very intimate, very unique way. These people have left a lasting imprint that shapes the very core of who I am. Soul is, of course, one of these people. But there have been others. Most of these others have been women and soul sisters.

Among them, a little girl named Michaela, who became my bff my very first day of elementary school, and made me feel better about being away from mom for the very first time ever. See, as a child I had a serious case of separation anxiety. Seriously, my parents would go out to the movies and leave me with my grandma, who I loved dearly, and I would cry the entire time they were gone. So, when I started school, my first day was torture. I cried the whole day. And Michaela came to sit next to me and tell me it would be okay. I don’t remember much about that day (after all, I was what? Five years old?) but I actually have a very vivid memory of her coming to sit next to me, and somehow making me feel better. For whatever reason, the memory of that day is imprinted in my mind, and her presence in my life, which would last another five years, until I left Portugal, changed my very make-up. I, the little girl who couldn’t stand to be away from home, now relish being on my own, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. I believe she played a vital role in shaping that part of me, and I wonder what she’s doing now.

There have been others, with smaller impacts, but just as vital, throughout the years. And then there’s Lil’ K. When I met this shy, apprehensive 8 year old girl, I fell madly, deeply in love instantly. She was so scared of the big wide world, and yet, she took to me immediately. Grasping my hand tightly, she allowed me to lead her around our weekly visits to the mall, the movies, out to dinner. She instantly became a constant part of my life, and we fit together as only kindred spirits can. All these years later, I love her as if she were my own, and our bond is as strong as ever. We were meant to be and there is a connection that can only be explained…well, it can’t, to be honest, it just is. We are family, biology be damned.

And then, quite recently, I’ve been blessed to find another kindred soul in The Disciple. To be fair, I think the vibe The Disciple gives off, by her very nature, creates that feeling of kinship with just about anyone. She is just that person, the one everyone is immediately drawn to in a crowd. When she speaks, whether it be about her love of running, or about her faith, or about something as trivial as a pair of shoes, you can’t help but listen. Her energy is infectious, addictive, and awe inspiring. Those of us who know her personally, have no doubt how blessed we are. And for me personally, I just feel that unexplainable connection. We are alike in so many ways that it would be impossible for us to not be friends. Although younger than me, she has a way of bringing out in me my best qualities, and making me want to be a better person. But she also mirrors all the things I already do love about myself. I see them in her, and know I possess them too, know that is why we are so close, and realize there are no limits to what I can do, who I can be. But it’s not all about the seriousness. We can also be completely goofy and girly, and silly, and in those things too we have a lot in common. When recently complementing each other’s shoes, we realized we were wearing the same designer…you can only imagine the jubilance that followed that discovery for two self-professed shoe lovers. In some things, I view her as a younger version of myself. In others, she’s wise beyond even my years. But she’s my Soul Sister in every sense of the word, and once again, another individual placed in my life for a purpose.

I am blessed presently to be surrounded by an amazing group in my faith family. Along with The Disciple, I’ve got a whole slew of potential “soulmates”, of all ages, some members of my biological family, others I have known since I was a teenager, still others I’m just meeting for the first time. And then there are the teens themselves. A fantastic group of characters, each with their own gifts to offer the world and within that group, I’ve found Duckling. A 15 year old girl who again reminded me of a younger me, and has touched my heart in unexplainable ways. Every time I see her smiling face, I realize how real my connections are in this world, I am reminded how vital it is to each of us to reach out and love, without fear, without expectations, without doubt. Duckling, along with Lil' K, touches the part of me that has not yet had the chance to become a mother. These young girls bring out my maternal side, and allow me to not only give of myself, but to receive an incredible amount in return. So, in this, Duckling is yet another, younger Soul Sister.

The blessings keep coming, and with each of these individuals, I grow. So, yes, I do believe everyone has a soul mate. I believe we have many, and are blessed each and every time we come across one of them. I do still hope one day I’ll meet that one who will be all things to me…friend, lover, confidant and soul mate. But until he comes along, I’m not holding back, there’s a lot of soul to go around yet.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun Monday - Word To Your Mother...

This week's fun Monday is being hosted over at Mothers of Brothers and here is the Fun Monday Topic: Wordly Wise. She says:

Words are our building blocks, our stepping stones, and, for many of us, our salvation. We string them together so quickly at times, we often lose sight of how precious they are. So tell us about your favorite word… or if you can’t pick just one, tell us about a few. Are there certain words that feel good the way they roll of your tongue? Do some words make you feel smart? Or silly? Or happy? Which words do you find yourself selecting to put in your posts? Since this response could be a short one, feel free to poll your family and friends and include some of their favorite words as well. If you think a definition is required, please share one. Please keep the words rated G for all audiences. Any language is acceptable, but please provide a translation. And stick to real words as opposed to ones made up along the way. We then challenge everyone to visit the posts on Monday and try to use other bloggers’ favorite words in your blog next week. We can’t wait to expand our vocabulary!

When I read that, I couldn’t help but be a little excited about it. I LOVE words. Of course I love words, I am a writer. Without words…well, we’d have a whole lot of blank pages, wouldn’t we? So, without question, I would be participating in this FM and sharing with you some of my favorite words.

But wait…did somebody say favorite? As I explained in this post, I don’t do favorites very well. Ask me my favorite color, song, or food, and you’re bound to get a blank stare and a long “ummmm”. Or, you might get a list. A long one.
So, how was I then going to be able to narrow down all the words in the English language to just one (or a few) favorites? And even worse, she said “any language is acceptable”…I speak three! This was getting to be quite overwhelming. What was I to do? How was I to choose? Where would I begin? Before the hyperventilating kicked into full gear, I decided to take a deep breath, and just go for it. And then I started laughing, because the following memory popped into my mind.

The other day I was playing “Loaded Questions” with a group of friends. If you’ve never played this game before, I urge you to go out and get it right now…it’s a good time in a box. One of the questions was to name a word that made you laugh. Picking just one word proved near impossible for all the players involved, but we managed to do it. For me, it was instant…a word I probably hadn’t heard and/or thought of in a decade immediately popped into my mind. That word? Fahrvergnügen.

I’m not even entirely sure it’s a real word (truth is, I’m pretty sure it’s not), but it became a word, very much like the word Text has become a verb, or yada yada yada has become a part of our language. Pop culture has a way of doing that to our vocabulary. And I love that fake word. Go ahead, say it, I dare you to do it and not laugh. See…not possible.

So, maybe I would do this post with just funny words, it might make it easier to narrow down, right? I could give you words like “nincompoop”, “indubitable”, and “humorous”…great words one and all, and the type that make me smile every time I hear them.

But then I’m neglecting such an enormous amount of words I love. How about neglected words? You know, the ones we don’t use all that often, but when we do, we go “I love that word choice”…words such as: obscure, unscrupulous, peculiar, and deplorable. Seriously, how great are those words?

Then there are the pretty words: airy, lacy, shiny; words that immediately bring to mind feelings of girly things.

Or, how about the words I love because of their meaning? Words like Sale, shoes, sushi, chocolate? Or the ones with power behind them because of the emotions they elicit? Friends, family, God, faith.

And then there are the Portuguese words I can never get enough of: amor (love), Deus (God), minha mae, minha filha (my mom, my daughter, words I exchange jokingly with mom on the phone weekly), papo seco (my favorite kind of Portuguese bread).

Or, I could go with the words I use on a daily basis, over and over again. Lately, they are things like “text”, “blog” and “twitter”. But they’re also things such as “blessed”, “love” and “fun”.

How could I possibly just pick a few favorites then? I thought about it, and I decided that I won’t do it. I refuse, decline, reject, repudiate.

Maybe someone else followed the rules, go check out what their favorite words are here.
And before I forget, next week FM is being hosted over here. Make sure to go sign up!
OH, and do come back again tomorrow, won't you? I have a goal to post EVERY DAY this week...I haven't posted daily in quite a while, but I decided that just for this week I would do so, so...come back please...It's lonely lately here at Candid Karina's!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Photo Hunt #27 - Clouds

The Photo Hunter theme this week is "Clouds". I have so many different "cloud" photos, that I wasn't sure what I would post...but then last weekend I got these great shots of an oncoming storm...

Happy Hunting Everyone!