Feb 04 2012

First in a series of three.

The Maryland Food Co-op: waiting for me to drop in since 1975.

On Friday, I again found myself at College Park, Maryland, home of the University of Maryland Terrapins. At the same time, in finding the Terrapins’ home, I also returned to the home of my once and previous self. Having gone to undergraduate school in College Park in the early 1970s, it would be twenty years before I returned this  time as a wife of a USMC Marine who was attending on the GI bill. Little did I know then, that in another twenty years the kids who were running around in diapers with the “My Dad’s a Terp” t-shirts would be attending classes and I would be waiting for them in class, just like I had been twenty years before with my husband.

It seems many current students have no sense
of the stargate in the corner.

So where would I be expected to wait comfortably? Why in the Maryland Food Co-op in the Student union building with Fair Trade coffee and organic food, of course. And how would I entertain myself for two hours while I’m there? By reading a book I just received in the mail from a friend. I was looking forward to a pleasant repast, totally unaware that the Maryland Food Co-op is actually a Star-gate worm holing into an alternate dimension. I was totally unaware when I sat down with my coffee, tabouli and vegan burrito that the entrance was near where I would be sitting in the chair. It wasn’t until I heard a whisper from Kermit the Frog that I realized this visit to the Co-op would be unlike any other.

Kermit beckons from over the Free Trade coffee,
showing the way to the stargate behind me

Kermie and I go way back, but not as far back as Kermit and the University of Maryland. Jim Henson, the genius puppeteer behind Kermit and the rest of the Muppets, was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Henson was a Studio Arts Major when he took a puppetry course in Maryland’s Department of Home Economics, changing his life and the rest of the world as well. The same world sadly lost Henson at age 53 in 1990, and ever since, the University has remembered him with tributes large and small.

Jim Henson and his Kermit the Frog sit chatting in front
of the University of Maryland Student Union.

Tomorrow: Join me for Kermit’s stargate A Wrinkle in College Park

NaBloPoMo February 2012



Tags: , , , , ,

Filed under: Food,Processing — admin @ 6:37 pm Comments (0)
Nov 18 2010

With the holidays coming up,
it’s time to practice crowd control.

If you haven’t figured out how to descend on someone’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and if you have the barbarian hordes descending on your home, it’s time to realize your power to control the day and adjust the festivities to your own level of comfort. Setting boundaries and limits to what you will and will not do can help you feel less overwhelmed. Rhetorically speaking, taking a few stiff belts of your favorite beverage can help temper the anticipation of relatives arriving with their boatload of comments, complaints and “suggestions.” But, without resorting to intoxicants, some directed forethought and well placed lifelines to sanity will encourage you to feel like a model hostess, thereby resisting impulses to slip out the kitchen back door when no one is looking.

One may take solace in the fact that relatives are an age-old problem as shown by the vintage postcard displayed below. If you are dreading the onslaught this Thanksgiving, no reason to feel like you are The Lone Ranger. These post cards were mass produced by the thousands for the general public over a hundred years ago so you know you are not the first and, odds are, will not be the last.

An age old problem with a simple solution?

In-laws truly present a special set of obligations and a special set of problems. It is interesting that in life, because of blood relations, you are expected to interact with people on a continual basis that you would never seek out for a sustained friendship. I have stood talking to my relatives and inwardly thought, “You know, if I met you at a party, I would be so turned off by your pompous arrogance, that I would never speak with you again.” Just inwardly acknowledging that I have rejected them for friendship has helped me step back from saying something I might regret. I have risen to the occasion a little easier, with less inward stress, because this related individual has been deposed as “not worthy.”

Are overbearing relatives the ruination of your holidays?

When I read many of the self help guidelines for getting along with relatives on the Internet, such as “How to Get Along with Relatives” found here or “Family Parties: Getting Along with Relatives or Anyone Else” found at this site, I am reminded that it is important to remember I can’t change other people, I can only change myself. But, one thing these self-help sites don’t emphasize enough is when you take responsibility for maintaining your own self control and discipline, do not feel responsible for everyone’s behavior as well.

For instance, don’t beat yourself up emotionally because you could not, on the spot without any warning, find the right phrase to diffuse Aunt Harriet’s unneeded comments about Cousin Mitzie’s couch potato husband, Bob, who’s lost another job. Don’t take responsibility for lifting that lead balloon out of the air.  You’ve fixed the dinner, washed the crystal and polished the silver. You don’t also have to be a stand up comedienne “just in from Las Vegas” delivering the perfect one liner to make everyone happy again.

No! Just smile and pass the sweet potatoes.

If Aunt Harriet is going to bomb, let her. If Cousin Mitzie is offended, let her cover for Bob one more time, she’s used to it. The point is, as hostess, you don’t have to be a psychiatrist to the group for the dinner to go well. Save yourself the effort because odds are, no one will appreciate your “interfering” anyway. No one will think you said just the right thing anyway. And, if you shield yourself from getting hooked into the action, it will be easier to relax and enjoy the rest of the day and rest of the family.

So! Like I said, smile and pass the sweet potatoes.



And, if you need a reminder as to how involved family
relationships can become, here is a 1991 episode of
TV’s Roseanne with a family Thanksgiving get-together.

 

The Relationship Cure is highly recommended. If it
interests you, hover your mouse over this link:

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

“This is the best book on relationships I have ever read — a truly impressive tour-de-force. John Gottman has discovered the Rosetta Stone of relationships. He has decoded the subtle secrets contained in our moment-to-moment communications. By introducing the simple yet amazingly powerful concept of the “bid,” he provides a remarkable set of tools for relationship repair. By the middle of the second chapter you’re likely to say to yourself, “Oh, so that’s what’s happening in my relationship with my partner (or colleague, boss, or sister), and now I know what to do about it.”
— Daniel B. Wile, Ph.D.,author of After the Fight: Using Your Disagreements to Build a Stronger Relationship



Tags: , , , , , ,

Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 4:15 pm Comments (0)

Follow Us!


http://paper.li/SunbonSmart/1349239748

Recent Posts

Featured on BlogHer.com
Syndicated on BlogHer.com

Flash the badge

<div align="center"><a href="http://sunbonnetsmart.com" title="Sunbonnet Smart"><img src="http://sunbonnetsmart.com/wp-content/uploads/badge125.jpg" alt="Sunbonnet Smart" style="border:solid 1px black;" /></a></div>

Categories


About Me

www.flickr.com
sunbonnetsmart's items Go to sunbonnetsmart's photostream
I'm going to BlogHer '12
BlogHer '13
I'm Going to #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us
I'm Going to #BlogHer16 in Los Angeles!

Archives

NaBloPoMo November 2012