Sorry WordPress,

I’m taking my blog business to your competitor…

http://shannonhannon.blogspot.com/

I hate to say it, but Blogspot is so much easier to operate.

You know where to find me.

Shanhan

Just thought I would post a few pictures of my apartment and a couple random artsy projects I’ve been up to today…

The kitchen…including the amazing apple pie I made yesterday, and some Christmas garland…yep, it’s still up. We like to keep it festive in the ole apt.

Photobucket

The bathroom…

Photobucket

 The living room…

Photobucket 
My bedroom/ office…

Photobucket 
I got into pastels today…I like the birds but I’m regretting the background…
Photobucket

This was a sketch from an episode of Heroes that I decided to try and reproduce in watercolor, not quite the same but worthy effort…

Photobucket

I’m at a loss for words lately; where have they gone? Swirling around and around inside my head I suppose. In the meantime, I’ve been reading up a storm; books and poetry are just my cup of tea. Although, music will always be my favorite.

I Am in Need of Music

By Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

I just love my nephew Collin. He is the one of the most endearing boys you will ever meet.
Here are just three of the many reasons I love this boy SO MUCH!
1) He loves his red crocs, just like I love my red crocs!


is this not one of the coolest kids you have ever seen??

2) He loves harmonicas, I can’t even tell you how much I love harmonicas…any song with a harmonica is an instant favorite. I have one but still don’t quite understand how to play it..but boy do I love me some harmonica!

3) One day while I was at my brother’s house visiting and chatting in the kitchen, Collin walks over, stands quietly at the counter-top and out of the blue, coughs, a dry cough, a little ‘aheh, aheh’ if you will…followed by…”I think I’ve got the black lung Pop.” Oh my word, I just about died! My little nephew quoting Zoolander? Could he be any cooler?

For the past few months I’ve taken several little trips up to Seattle for the weekend or the week. Each time, as I rounded the I-5 bend, I would glimpse a small section of the city and instantly feel at home. I’ve always been completely enamored with Seattle and Bainbridge Island and laying my eyes on them after any length of absence is almost heavenly. I could just wrap my arms around Seattle and never let go. My love for Seattle became a little unhealthy; how am I supposed to adjust to Portland when I am missing Seattle? That has been the rhythm for the past few months, living in Portland but always thinking about Seattle.
Last week I drove up to Seattle for a quick weekend with high school friends, and after much anticipation for the weekend, I rounded the I-5 bend and my first glimpse of Seattle felt different. There was no sigh of relief, no heavenly greetings, just a casual hello. I was a little shocked to tell you the truth. This was the first time that my former city didn’t feel like my city. Seattle was no longer my home. Seattle is no longer my home, and it hasn’t been for a while, but this was the first time it actually felt that way. This must be what it means to let go…

It’s all rather funny to me. I tried to will myself to let go right away, trying to transition fast, nestle in and snuggle up to my new city, but it didn’t work out like that. Letting go isn’t easy and it most definitely doesn’t happen fast. Just like leaves on a tree, it takes a season for the colors to change and then fall; I’ve just watched the last leaf fall. And I am okay with that. I don’t feel sadness, just anticipation for what’s next. It’s been a gradual change process and Portland may not feel quite like a warm and cozy blanket yet, but I look forward to when it does.

I’m feeling the stress, perhaps for the first time since starting grad school. My procrastination has gotten the best of me and now this week is going to be REAL fun…heh. Phew…I’ve been to Seattle and back a couple times, seeing friends and fam, participating in many bridesmaid activities and finding little time for school, so I guess I deserve a little stress…
Here is how I choose to rewind in my current stressful state with music and mindless activities…I’ve done this several times and it’s still fun every time.
It’s like back in middle school when we played MASH during class over and over until we got the car we wanted and the husband we wanted etc, etc. Anyhoo, try it, I’m always interested in other people’s music and life soundtrack.

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend your cool…just type it in man!

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

Opening Credits: Home- Shawn McDonald

Waking Up: God put a smile on my face- Coldplay

First Day At School: Living in twilight- The Weepies

Falling In Love: Forever my friend-Ray LaMontagne

Losing Virginity: Everything’s right- Matt Wertz

Break Up Song: Top of the World- Patty Griffin

Prom: The past and pending- The Shins

Life: Until you are here- Tyrone Wells

Mental Break Down: Nowhere to be found- Sera Cahoone

Driving: Yesterday- The Beatles

Flashback: Joyful Girl- Ani Difranco

Getting Back Together: Sweeter than Me- Aaron Sprinkle

Wedding: One by one all day- The Shins

Birth of Child: Fever Dream- Iron and Wine

Final Battle: 16 Military Wives- The Decemberists

Death Scene: Cover what you can- Copeland

Funeral Song: The Golden Age- Beck

End Credits: Chicago- Sufjan Stevens

Good morning. I don’t know why I can’t seem to get to my school work right away even when I know I have so much to do today…I think I require a slow waking up process these days, at least one day a week.
It’s a simple moment but heavenly all the same.
I’m currently typing away while sitting in my cozy bed with sunshine pouring in through the blinds, sipping a cup of Ricoffy (instant coffee that we drank everyday in Malawi) and listening to the most beautiful acoustic music by Bon Iver, which my music sharing friend Keeler brought to my ears, I wish I knew how to post a song on here-but check out this song called “re: stacks” It’s so beautiful.

I broke out the Ricoffy this morning. Not because I have no other coffee, I have plenty of yummy gourmet fair trade beans, but out of my longing to be in Malawi again. I keep hearing of people going or returning to Malawi this summer and I’m so excited and thrilled for them to experience the beauty of relationship and the giving and receiving of love in that amazing country but the other part of me wants to go so bad that I can’t concentrate on being here, now. I just want to be there sooooo bad.

We did an interesting exercise/reflection in one of my classes yesterday. Our professor had us write down a person/place/thing that made us feel safe. I thought about it and was surprised that the two places that came to my mind were Rainbow Glacier Camp in Alaska and Malawi. We then wrote out a list of characteristics that make that place feel safe, of which, the list was endless. Here’s a glimpse:

Compassion. Love. Presence. Dialogue. Welcoming. Relaxed. Available. Belief. Listening. Joy. Laughter. Hope. Empathy. Warm. Community. Engaged. Beauty.

As the class shared their safe places, mine seemed to be in a category of its own. The others chose places like Grandma’s house, a garden, the dinner table, or a spouse of partner. I was one of the only people to choose a place that was far from home. This surprised me too, because I am such a homebody, and so tied to ‘my people’, my friends and family. It is strange to discover that my safe places are far from my home and my people, far from everyday life. It’s true though, Alaska and Malawi for me are like warm blankets. I feel like those places, my history with them and the people there; they know me. The point of the exercise was to point out qualities and characteristic that help people to feel safe and to take those qualities and manifest them in our practices and with our clients. Now I have all these thoughts, swirling about feeling safe, which I don’t have time to explore right now, but I hope that people feel safe with me.

Part of my internship and working with the kiddos in our social skills class involves helping kids learn how to problem solve, which often begins with empathy and labeling emotions for kids. This usually looks something like this

Bobby smacks Billy because Billy took Bobby’s toy.
Billy is furious.
This usually results in further hitting or crying, so before it goes there, I step in and say
“Bobby, look at Billy. Billy looks very mad. What happened?”
“I hit him.”
“What did you want?”
“I wanted my toy. He took my toy.”
“How could you get your toy without hitting Billy?”
“I could ask him for it…”
“Okay, let’s try that.”

And that, my friends, is the magic I perform each week. In all of this problem solving, I, myself have picked up some skills in labeling emotions, in others and in myself. All throughout class with the kiddos, I am constantly saying things like, “wow, you are really angry with me right now” or “you are saying you’re happy but your face makes me think you are sad”. Anyhoo, it’s stuck with me outside of class as well. I find myself, labeling my own emotions. This happens most often when I’m driving. Out of the blue some guy cuts me off on the freeway and here I go, “Ugh, I am so MAD right now!” or “I am so FRUSTRATED with all these other cars, get out of my way!” It’s usually just me in the car, telling myself how I feel. I’m not sure what I really get out of it, but at least I know what I’m feeling.

I was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night, and I noticed that Kate Winslet’s character does the same thing throughout the movie. For example, Jim Carey says, “Do you really think you can raise a kid?” she responds with some angry answer and adds on at the end, “I am really mad that you said that to me. I’m really hurt that you said that about me.” Maybe, I will work that in to my conversations. “I’m really mad that you cut me off in traffic just now. I’m really hurt that I could have DIED if I didn’t break in time…”

I was eating a salad for lunch outside today and dropped a piece of lettuce.
(Now the following must either show how much I want to use what I am learning all the time or how much of a weirdo I am.)
A minute later I watched two ants march all over it, probably wondering how to eat it or bring it back to the queen. Soon enough, they met in the middle and their little legs were everywhere, attacking each other. As I sat there eating the rest of my salad, I called out the play by play. “Wow, you both really want that piece of lettuce…It’s disappointing when you don’t get what you want. How could we solve this problem without kicking each other? Okay, you two aren’t ready to solve this problem. I’m going to take away this piece of lettuce now. I hope that I won’t have to do this next time. Maybe next time, we can work together and find a way for both of you to have some of this lettuce…”

“God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip.” –Amazing Grace

Drip. Drip. Drip.

I like that. Often when I get the courage or the faith to pray a big prayer, I expect or hope for great big things to happen, for lightning bolts and change. And it just doesn’t always pan out that way. It doesn’t mean God isn’t working because He most definitely is, but just not in the way, or more rightly put the timing that I would like.

Drizzle.

I find it funny that this word found its way into this quote; it’s the perfect word. Who really likes drizzle? Drizzle is a pain and I never really know how to deal with it. It mists my clothes and face so after some time, I am sufficiently soggy but it’s rarely enough for me to break out the umbrella. It’s just something we all put up with and endure.

So here I am, I have prayed some big prayers, and in the waiting is the drizzle. I’m okay with the gentle drizzle, because I know God will be faithful. I may get soaked and soggy, but deep down, He tells me everything will be okay.

I’m too tired to write an actual post, but here is my favorite quote that’s hitting home for me lately, not to mention it involves a tambourine 🙂

I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me to remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me.” -Oskar Schell