Category Archives: Just Stuff

What the INFP ?!?


I’m down with the MB, showing off my PT…”

As in Meyers Briggs Personality Traits, um, what were you thinking? Geez.

According to  INFPs ( typically display the following characteristics:

  • Is  naturally empathetic and compassionate
  • Is quietly and very idealistically watching everything
  • Is naturally skilled communicators drawn to new ideas
  • Is future oriented may struggle with in-the-moment practical thinking
  • Is looking for meaning in absolutely everything and everyone
  • Needs to believe they have contributed something to life
  • Is deeply concerned with harmony and maintaining harmony is critical
  • May appear at times to be aloof and cool, but still water run deep
  • Does not have great respect for rules and regulations per se
  • Is typically attracted to the abstract and symbolic
  • Usually very open minded with a classless approach to people/society

Are they saying we INFPs are classless as in class-less? Or non classy?  Unassigning class? 🙂   Whichever, this looks pretty good.

Oohhh, under stress we also are known for :

  • May bit off more than they can chew when under stress
  • Will become rigid and perfectionist, feel very inadequate and self-critical
  • May begin to take everything very personally and feel hurt  (don’t make me turn off the comments and disable my email)

My favorite summary was on Personality Page.  Bizarrely accurate. Made sense why we make each other nuts when we don’t understand the core of who someone is created to be.

Curious about your character traits that might describe you? Check out Personality for a free inventory. There seem to be 16 combinations, and it was fun to see how close the results were.

I was relieved to find out that INFPs make good writers. At least I am not passionate about the wrong field!

 What is your opinion about these tests, take a quiz and come back here to share the results.





Don’t Wait For Death To Celebrate Lives


1 Corinthians 15:55

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Yesterday marked the passing of my friend’s father.  He was a wonderful man, generous of heart . Ken Harrell not only loved his own family, but any human that needed a hand. He was that kind of man. I have been friends with his daughter for almost 30 years, and there was a time in my youth where he stepped in to fill a gap for me. All through my adult life when I went home to visit, he would eagerly round me in for a hug when our paths crossed.

I am heavy-hearted today, 2,066 miles away from my home roots. Unable to help my friend with the new reality of her grief. Unable to even attend the funeral. But I will pray, not for Ken…for he knew where he was going. I will pray for his family, left behind in the wake of his absence. That they will grow closer to the only true source of comfort in this life. Ken has sailed on, his path was set for Jesus.

I tell you this story to urge you not to wait to show people you love them.

The irony of death, to me, is the gathering of the departed’s loved ones.

Why, I muse with sorrow, do we often wait until death to celebrate someone’s life?

I would rather be together with my loved ones now, while I am alive to rejoice at our relationship. Come now, while I can hold you in my arms and laugh with you.

Life doesn’t always work out like we hope. Today, on a very serious note, I urge you to make that call. Book that ticket if you are at all able. Write that note. Celebrate life with the living, too often we postpone that joy. Looking at the impossibilities that seemingly block the way.

Love, as a verb, an action word. Not smooshed under the guise of good intention.

42nd and Columbus


Funny thing about being a writer: everywhere you go, you see story.  We look for connections.

I noticed a street sign driving, for example, that said 38th.  I just turned 42, so I drove on until I found my number.

42nd and Columbus. Hmm, what is the connection? A seeker of story looks for random tidbits of life and wonders about connections.

Whether there is one remains to be seen, but I’ll keep looking.

Columbus explored, I explore within the perimeter of the placeholding of 42 in my years.

I’ll stop, ponder, photograph and notice the world around me.  That in itself is enough. My story includes looking deeper. A common street sign produces uncommon reflection.

Audacious Notions & Those Without


Today I scrub potatoes, a plentiful staple in our home and my mind settles on the faces of those without.

And I wonder, why so many?

My body tenses and my pulse quickens as I think upon the face of an old man, riding a bicycle down the boulevard in our town. His clothes ragged, his beard white and full. The bike basket holding a dozen or so aluminum cans. I wonder who he is, and does anyone really see him. Is he cold and hungry?

Grabbing a knife I begin to slice the vegetables for tonight’s dinner of soup. Fresh potatoes and leeks and dill and butter and full stomachs. That is the beautiful part. The ugly spoiled sour reality is that I might hear complaints. “Yuck, it smells like onions.” “Ew, why’d you use that?”

My mood falters between gratitude and frustration. I don’t want to hear complaints. It isn’t just my family. Isn’t that a common refrain in the lands of plenty? Displeasure when anything but our favorites are served?

My stomach turns. Countless stories I have heard of the children reaching desperately to the foreigners, hoping for a crumb of food. I see their faces, even though the references come only through pictures. They are real. There is no need to go out of the country. Here, surrounded by abundance, many go hungry tonight. I see peripheral tents in the city. I feel cold in my house, and imagine how magnified the chill is for the homeless.

My eyes water as I sauté the leeks. I want to pretend that it is the odor, but that would be only partly true. The tears are for those that have not. I prepare to make bread, in a machine, with paltry effort. But first, I must throw out the rest of a moldy loaf, forgotten. And I know how many would fight for even a distasteful leftover. Trash to me, invaluable treasure to others.

I grab a snack size pack of M & M’s. Even there the truth assaults me. My handful of candy is labeled “fun” size. We even have food, unnecessary, delicious food, purely for a casual snack. And my heart shudders with wonder. Why should I have this treat? Why me?

My family has known difficulties if we choose to look at it that way. Many brought on by our own choices, others circumstantial.  Certainly we have had people feel sad for us that unfortunate situations seem to follow us. And that is the shard that finally pierces my heart and the truth oozes out.

I write about my troubles from a heated home. With fresh food cooking on my stove. With children relatively healthy. We have no “money” but our needs are abundantly met. We have gone without, but never without a roof. Without basic food. Without family and a support system if needed. What do I, we, really understand of living without?

And the truth oozes further out, staining my words with the reality. I care deeply. I have always wondered why we have, and others do not. I see suffering and feel helpless. What do I do? What can I do to make a difference?

I am ashamed to be so fortunate. Yet, this is not correct either. I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the rich young man who wanted to know how to enter heaven. He was told to give his wealth to the poor, and he walked away sad. Unable to let go of his earthy treasure.

Isn’t that me sometimes? I want to help. To fix.I am compassion.

I, in all truth, don’t want to give all I have. I don’t want to join the ranks of inestimable poverty to show people I care. Would that do any good?

I don’t know the next steps completely.

I do know God continues to open my eyes and develop my skill with words. I have known for decades the imprint of design that demands I speak for those who cannot. I want instant gratification. To fix all things now. Anything less feels inadequate.  I must remember that my job is to do what I can, when I can.

I need not be ashamed that I am cared for. My tension eases as I write. There is nothing wrong with “having” except lack of gratitude. Grumbling about what we “have not”, while our homes overflow with stuff. If we are blessed, are we humbly thanking God?

What can I do? I can tell you what I see.

Write, write and bleed out the words of pain in the world to make you notice. Somehow maybe we’ll both walk away inspired.  At least, aware.

I don’t want to think about this, and then go on my way, tucking myself into a cozy bed tonight while I forget those suffering around me. My last truth? I will. I can’t help it, yet.

I am human and part of a society that puts “self” first. Numero uno.

I will continue watching, listen, and learning. I know these things will ignite me.

These words are today’s action.

It won’t feed the man on the bike, the family in a tent, the multitudes in slums. My action might spur your action. If you listen to my words and are moved, but do not move, then I have failed.

Walk with me. Open your eyes. Care.

Finding Family History


I am captivated with my family genealogy. Thankfully, my Grandma has been working on this for many years making it easy for me to enjoy. I can take her labors and create, in my way, pages to honor these people I did not know. But I imagine them well. Tucking little snippets of history away, morsels of story to be pulled out and savored.

Do you know your story? Every thread of our lives weave together, back and forth, in and out. We participate but are often unable to see clearly. Stop and listen. See the beautiful tapestry of your life, and mark it down. It is a common refrain, as we wonder who would want to read about our normal day? Someone will, I promise you. Someday.

Treasures to me are the small things: a copy of my Grandpa’s navy paperwork and a paycheck stub, my husbands Grandma kept farm records that we have copies of, a picture of my Great grandfather shipped alone to Canada as a young boy, adoption papers telling me names of relatives I will never know, a picture of a many times-great uncle from the Civil war.

These things might have seemed commonplace in their original time, but remove them a few generations? They are now a pathway to people. My people. That matters to me. Entertain no concerns about blood lines, your story includes the people who played a part, undefined by such things as this.

What can you do today? Make some record of your days…mere paper in your hands will be a treasure to future generations. The treasure hunters of story. Guardians, to document that these faces- these people— lived. And it mattered.

I’ll share with you a few favorites for this year. These are my paternal Great-Grandparents. A copy of the marriage registry was available so I used that too. When the story seems unknown, dig deeper. Stacey Julian is who first inspired me to tie lives together, past and present. If you aren’t familiar with her, check out her work here. Then came Ali Edwards and my creative world was altered.

I finally documented the journey of my Great-Grandfather, and am sharing a layout of 4 generations of my “girls”.

31 Days Of Decorating With (Re) Purpose- Tutorial Mini Box Book


My friend Ebbie taught me about making mini “books” out of AOL boxes. Remember they used to come in the mail all the time with discs? See if you can’t rustle one up. I think any small box would do…

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