Yellow Paint and a First Dance

I don’t necessarily dislike the color yellow… My favorite color is forest green, followed by American red, then Kentucky blue. But today’s prompt is about “yellow”… so here goes.

A married couple’s first dance always gets a spot in the memory book. Most newlyweds have their first dance in front of an ice sculpture, wedding cake, or a beautifully decorated master table. A romantic setting for a perfect moment in time.

My husband and I went in a different direction. We had our first dance in front of a hand painted hotdog stand.

We danced to a live blues band, drank from mason jars, and ate hotdogs all night… Perhaps it wasn’t romantic, but it was perfect.

yellow hotdog

I want everything, I want nothing…

At approximately 4:30am she placed her head in the oven with the gas turned on high.  It had taken careful planning… She’d stuffed wet towels under all the doors so the carbon monoxide wouldn’t reach her sleeping children. Her timing was perfect; she knew the nurse wasn’t due till 9:00. 11 February 1963. Sylvia Plath was 30 years old when she committed suicide.

Sylvia Plath once wrote; “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”

I was recently asked the following question about Sylvia Plath’s quote; “which do you find more dangerous: wanting everything, or wanting nothing?”

I don’t know the answer. Although I’ve considered alternatives.

Everything– Hitler wanted everything. Poland. Europe. Imperialism. Annexation. War. So perhaps wanting everything is most dangerous?

Everything– Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everything to be equal for everyone. Peaceful. Desegregated. Educated. So perhaps wanting everything is good?

Nothing– If we all laid around wanting nothing all day then nothing would ever get done. If “want” is what makes us “do” then “wanting nothing” would make for a horrible world; no one would work, learn, eat, or even reproduce to preserve the human race. So perhaps wanting nothing is most dangerous?

Nothing– What about charity? When someone donates money anonymously or helps a cause and wants nothing in return. So perhaps wanting nothing is good?

I’m torn. There has to be at least something that everyone wants that prevents them from wanting nothing. Right? And if somebody who wants everything wants the right thing then wanting everything would be a good thing. But what if they wanted the wrong thing? (And who is qualified to say what the “right” and “wrong” everything is?)

Semantics. I want everything to get better. I want nothing to get worse.

So, what do you think… which is most dangerous: wanting everything, or wanting nothing?

Sylvia Plath


I’ve Waited 11 Months to Reveal This…

Are you ready for them? They are coming whether you are ready or not. In approximately 30 days they will start coming in droves. I’m talking about the overload of New Year’s Resolutions that are about to be posted by your friends and family on social networks.

On the third of January, 2014, I decided on my 2014 New Year’s Resolution. So, I did what everyone does… I got on Facebook and composed a status about it. But then I erased it. I decided that I would keep my resolution a secret. Later that day I wrote a blog titled “Why I’m Not Telling You My New Year’s Resolution”. In that blog I promised that I would hold myself accountable for my secret resolution, and that if I was “still faithful to my New Year’s Resolution in 11 months” that I would tell my followers what it was.

Well, the time here. And I’ve been faithful.

Achievement has required hours of yoga, hundreds of books, 74 blog posts, eggs for breakfast, fried pork chops for dinner, visits to old friends, world travel, and so much more…. But I’ve achieved my resolution; comprehensive self-improvement, focusing on my own happiness, taking a break and doing the things I love. A simple synopsis; putting myself first.

I’m a teacher. Sometimes, half way through a class, I prompt my students with the following statement, “raise your hand if you feel that you have worked as hard as you can today.” Raising a hand in reply to this prompt doesn’t mean that everything you’ve done has been perfect. It means that you’ve done your very best…

As I reflect on the last 11 months I feel that I deserve to raise my hand.

Resolution Prompt

The Walking Dead, Children and Fire Connect the Dots

As someone who has been a The Walking Dead fan from the beginning I love and appreciate all of the connections that the show has made recently.

In “Consumed” Carol and Daryl are traveling down the road into Atlanta, the same road that Rick traveled down on horseback in Episode 1, “Days Gone Bye”. It’s ironic that Rick was traveling down this road to look for his family, and now Carol and Daryl are traveling to look for Beth, a person that they view as family. It was also cool to see a tank in Atlanta, although I don’t think it was Rick’s from Episode 1.

Fire has connected a lot of dots recently.

It’s been said that Daryl and Merle’s mother died in a fire, yet Daryl has been surrounded by ‘helpful fire’ lately, all of which he has started. He therapeutically burnt down the moonshine house with Beth in “Still”, he burnt the walker bodies for Carol at the housing center, and burnt the legal pad and trash bin to use as a ‘walker distraction’ in “Consumed”. Daryl has found a way to overcome and grow in this world.

Speaking of ‘this world’… Carol’s comment that things get “burned away” in this type of world, and Daryl’s comments that “we ain’t ashes”… are both meaningful quotes that brought this full circle for me.

In “The Grove” Carol and Tyreese see the smoke from the moonshine house (that Daryl and Beth started), but they didn’t know that Daryl and Beth were so close. It was also cool to see the ‘burning walkers’ from the moonshine house walk up on Carol, Tyreese, Lizzie, and Mika.

Now, let’s focus on the bodies that Daryl was burning in “Consumed”. CHILDREN.

We haven’t seen significant walker children recently. For a while we had Penny, the Governor of Woodbury’s daughter. Before that was perhaps the most significant, Sophia, Carol’s daughter. In “Consumed” Carol and Daryl saw the walker children behind a door, which had to be a bitter moment for Carol (revisiting Sophia, Lizzie, and Mika). It was also significant that the children were seen in the temporary housing building that Carol and Sophia briefly visited to get a moment away from abusive Ed (a character that I definitely don’t miss).

In “The Grove” Lizzie asks Carol, “Do you think there’ll be kids at Terminus?” To which Carol replied, “If their parents kept them safe.” At this point I wanted to jump inside the TV and console Carol about the death of Sophia. Sad throwback. But a nice reminder.

We also learned on The Talking Dead that “Tom Sawyer”, the book that Carol had in her bag in “Consumed”, was given to Lizzie by Hershel. Another subtle connection to Carol’s past relationships and love for children.

There are still a lot of connections to be discussed; childhood abuse, red vehicles, cigarettes, the conspiracies go on and on…. and I’m sure there are many more to come. I can’t wait.

**Featured photo, me at Woodbury



Chinese Ribbons Make a Minimalist

There is no such thing as a free lunch, the glass is either half-empty or half-full, keep up with the Jonses’, the bigger the better… Embellished. Ornate. Lavish. Outlandish.

It seems that there is no room left for the minimalist in today’s society… But in the middle of Beijing, China; the most unlikely place– I found the perfect minimalist.
A middle-aged Asian women, a beautiful smile, dancing with a dazzling lime green ribbon.
We approached her. She stopped dancing. Offered us the ribbon. And we danced.
We forgot that we had walked miles that day, our achy backs and swollen feet drifted out of our minds.
When we finished dancing, happy and out of breath, we reached into our pockets to pay her (because everything costs something, right?) but she said “no”, smiled a sincere smile, took back the ribbon, and started dancing again.
She was a simple woman, in a park, letting people ribbon dance… for free.


Weekly Photo Prompt:: “This week, show us your minimalist photos.”

Why I Started Blogging: The Messy Truth Behind the Uncustomary Housewife

Why do people blog? Why did I start blogging? This is my 1 Year Anniversary with blogging. I’ve never revealed why I started, but today I’m ready to share.

Buddha sat down beneath a tree because he knew there was more to life. John Lennon wrote Imagine because he knew the world could do better.

My story is not like that of Buddha or Lennon. My motivation wasn’t beautiful. I didn’t start blogging to inspire. I started because my life hit a stalemate… A “WWI on the Western Front” style stalemate (history nerds will get it).

2013. I was a newlywed. I took a year off from teaching to be a housewife. At first it was amazing… It was all yoga, books, and long walks.

But it got old, fast. Yoga quickly stopped happening. Books turned into hours of NETFLIX. And as the days grew colder my walks grew shorter, and then stopped happening.

I woke up one cold November day and decided that I needed to get my life together. So I signed-up on WordPress and posted my first blog; Step One Get Your Life Together.

I blogged about my feelings, marriage, dog, house, fears, pictures, and any random thing that came to mind…. and things started getting better. I got back to taking care of myself; I read, did yoga, painted, walked, even started running some.

It was like I had bridged the gap between me and the rest of the world. I had built a bridge to get myself over the war trenches and stalemates…. Then something amazing happened, I joined the real world again, I started coaching Track and Field (sprinting and jumping) at Morehead State University (I had the pleasure of coaching some of the best young men I have ever met– people coach to change athlete’s lives, but sometimes they change ours).

In the summer of 2014 I decided to get back in the classroom, my real safe haven, I took a teaching job at Montgomery County High School. At MCHS I’ve met teachers that have made me fall in love with education again; I mean, these teachers really care about students, and they care about their co-workers.

People from over 100 countries have read my blog and communicate with me. Virtual co-bloggers from many places. Palestine. Nigeria. Germany. Cyprus. Haiti. Ghana. Jamaica. Slovakia. Peru. Hong Kong. Saudi Arabia. Kuwait. Nepal. Honduras. And so much more. It’s a window to the world.

Some of my posts are serious and personal, some are light-hearted and funny, some long, some short. This will be my 71st post on WordPress. Thank you to the people who have read, and will keep reading.

My husband just registered my official domain name as so, I’m official. Pretty exciting.

I blog about a lot of things. But I blog for one reason. It’s free therapy.

With Love, Uncustomary Housewife

Beijing Taxi Physics, A Refraction

Catching a Beijing Taxi, it’s a simple refraction.
An essential surface phenomenon.
A transmission medium.
I’m here, yet I need to be there.
A governance to the law of conservation.
Chinese energy and momentum.
It’s basic physics… Simple, right? Just like catching a Beijing Taxi.

Prompted by WordPress with “Refraction”