Inspiration Tuesday

Inspiration Tuesday


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Inspiration Tuesday

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Inspiration Tuesday – Donate your hair!

I used to have really long hair, down to my butt.  I had long hair for years.  I always intended to donate it to Locks of Love, I just hated the thought of cutting 12″ off!  Until one day, I bit the bullet and did it.  12″ gone.

Then I did it again, about 3 years later:

Locks of Love donation

I was very proud of my donation.  I have really thick, healthy hair, and I hope they were able to make a fantastic wig for a kid out of it.  It makes me happy that I was able to do it not only once, but twice.  I received a little postcard to thank me for the donation, and I have it framed.  It hangs next to my college diploma at home (although both are currently in storage in the US).

So when I saw this story, it made my heart happy.  An 8 year old boy grew his hair out to donate it, putting up with bullies while he did it.  He’s awesome, and quite the inspiration!

What’s inspiring you this week?

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Inspiration Tuesday


The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen, available at

The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen, available at

I recently started reading The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen. I’m in Chapter 5 already (3 days in), so I would definitely say I’m enjoying it so far. I found it especially hard to put down last night, when the character of Chloe shows up. Chloe has a gift: whatever book she needs shows up when she needs it. As we’re introduced to her, she has kicked her boyfriend out for cheating on her, and the book that magically appears on her couch as she turns from the door is Finding Forgiveness. I’m waiting to see if she forgives the cheating bastard.

But it got me to thinking – Can you imagine?!

I mean, I love books, so I was instantly sucked into the idea that they can magically appear. Then I started wondering what would appear to me, right now? Probably Stop Making Excuses or some such title.

So, if books magically appeared for you whenever you needed them, what book would show up today?  What kind of inspiration do you need today?

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Inspiration Tuesday

I was once in a college math class with a six year old in pigtails. She wasn’t a child prodigy, though. She sat in the back of the class, coloring, quiet as a mouse, while her mother, a fellow student, took notes. At one point, as the professor was explaining some mathmatical function or another, the little girl started humming softly, then started singing. “Night fever, night fever, we know how to do it.”

The entire class froze, stifling laughter. The girl’s mother was mortified, and hurried to the back of the room to quiet her daughter. The professor looked at the woman, smiled, said, “It’s okay,” and carried on.

Other than that one little disruption, the little girl didn’t cause any trouble. She just sat quietly, occasionally humming. She got some coloring done, and her mom worked on her education.

I was reminded of this when I read this awesome story of a professor soothing the crying child of one of his students during class. I love that the professor not only allows but encourages women to get an education, even with a baby in tow.

What’s inspiring you this week?

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Inspiration Tuesday – Be naïve.

“What’s wrong with being naïve? Wasn’t Christopher Columbus naïve? Wasn’t Ghandi naïve? Weren’t the 1969 New York Jets naïve?”
Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss


I’m slowly working my way through this book, and I’ve been enjoying it.  He’s in Iceland now, and I find it interesting how a lot of his descriptions of the people there could easily apply to Finland.  He talks about how in Iceland, it’s okay to be naïve, “because you can always start over.”

What would you do if you could start over?  Or, have you ever started over, and how did it turn out?

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Inspiration Tuesday

My heart is happy today, and it’s because of Facebook.

Go figure.

You see, as many faults as FB might have, however much people may hate it, it does manage to do one thing.  It helps you keep up with people you would otherwise lose touch with.

There are those that will argue that if you like the person enough, you would keep up with them.  But, come on.  That’s simply not true.

Look, there are plenty of people on my Friends List that I am not truly friends with.  People I haven’t seen in over ten years, people I’ve never even met.  People I would walk past and not recognize.  Most of these people, though, I still like to see what’s going on in their lives.  They get engaged, married, have a baby.  They get a new job, take up running, lose 80 pounds.  They go back to school, or realize a dream they never knew they had.

And I get to share in that a little with them.

There’s the sad, too, the loss of a parent, or a beloved dog, a house fire, or an illness that has a lasting effect.  But I’m glad to know those things, too.  Because these are people’s lives, and they matter.

What it comes down to is this:  I love seeing the people I know happy.  A friend who is so blissfully married it’s disgusting.  A friend who just finished a half marathon, and by the way, looks *amazing* (seriously, did you drop 30 pounds?).  A friend (or four!!) who have adopted and have the happy family they’ve always wanted. And today, a friend who got engaged.

My heart is grinning.


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Inspiration Tuesday

For a couple of years now, I’ve had a particular project in mind.  A photo project.  Actually, a photo display project.

It all started with this movable painting wall from memoryradio.  I loved the idea of having a stack of paintings (or photos, in my case) and letting friends rearrange them at will.  I also liked the ability to have a ton of photos available, but not necessarily hanging.  I have so many photos I love, but I can’t hang them all.  This seemed the perfect solution.  Only hang a few, but cycle through them by making them easily interchangeable.

The first problem was, of course, that I wanted different sizes.  I had intended on mounting the photos on wood, but I knew I wanted different sizes.  The different sizes immediately limits the arrangement of photos.  You can’t change out a 5×7 with a 5×5!  I considered doing framed and matted pictures on a dedicated picture wall, but the size differences were still an issue.  I hunted through pinterest multiple times, pinning things I liked and didn’t like.  Some displays were simply not big enough.  I hated a lot of them.  I love the idea of using photo shelves – it made photos easily movable (and stackable!) and you could use all different sizes.  This is still likely how I will do a photo display once we move back to the US and settle down.  But it wasn’t something I could do in temporary housing in Finland.

Then one day I saw this mirror and light garland, and thought, why not do that with photos?  I went and bought a cheap white curtain rod.  We just happened to have two nails in our walls to hang the rod from, so we didn’t need to put more holes in the wall.  I would have liked to use ribbon, and will likely change to that in the future, but for now I’m just using some white string, five pieces hanging down at regular intervals.  Tiny little decorative clothespins hold the photos on the line.  I printed off a ton of photos, and started hanging at random.

And I love the end result!

Photo display


So, next time you’re over at my place, dig into our extra photos and feel free to rearrange or replace any you want based on what inspires you.  I want to see what photos you think should be hung!  🙂



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Inspiration Tuesday

Castle Ruins

Ruins, Erice Sicily


Before moving to Finland, I had never been out of the US (except Mexico and a Caribbean Cruise).  Despite that, or maybe because of it, I’ve always had a fascination with ruins, particularly castle ruins.  Imagining what the walls and floor and ceiling used to look like, who lived there, how they lived, touching a wall and wondering how many other people had touched that same spot over the last five or six or ten centuries, who they were, what thoughts were going through their head.

A former beau told me this story from his visit to Rome.  His tour guide took the group into this back alley, nothing special about it, no signs or markings or anything.  There was a well there.  She showed them this smooth spot on the well, had them run their hand over it.  “Feel how smooth it is, how it’s worn down?  That’s because people for centuries have been coming here for water, and that’s where they rested their hand while pulling up the bucket.”

I love that story.  It’s so remarkable in it’s normalness.

Your actions, even the smallest, most common ones, can reverberate through time, into the future.  They can connect you to a stranger, make them feel something.  Inspire them.

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Inspiration Tuesday: Nine in the Afternoon

I’ve always wondered if the Panic! At The Disco’s song “Nine in the Afternoon” was inspired by the Finnish summer.

9pm on a summer day in Finland.  Yes, really!

9pm on a summer day in Finland. Yes, really!

And for your listening/viewing pleasure:

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