The scene is referring to a bed-bound woman who is being cared for by her neighbors. But the woman is never happy with her level of free care; never satisfied, never pleased. And she’s certainly never grateful of the others who are taking the time out of their lives to care for her. She has come to expect this care, and then still proceeds to complain about it. At some point in the film the people vent their frustrations about her (while still never giving up on her)... They declare and come to a vocal realization about her ongoing complaints and extreme levels of ungratefulness. They call her “cantankerous.”
They realize the most simple of facts… When they are offering her one thing, she wants the complete opposite. Almost as if out of spite. The woman is never able to be satisfied in any way whatsoever.
If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend viewing it. I’ve watched this film repetitively throughout my youth and I’m pretty near confident I have most of the lines memorized. I would say the film is basically about Pollyanna’s affect on those around her… With Pollyanna being introduced to a new home, a completely new way of life, and with that new life, a whole bunch of new people brought into her world.
And she plays ‘The Glad Game’ with all of them. Always finding something to be happy about, no matter the circumstance.
Without giving any spoilers for those who haven’t seen and may be inclined to watch… valuable life lessons are learned throughout the film, especially when things don’t go one's way.
And sometimes that’s just how life really is.
You expect a certain something, but you are thrown a certain something else completely.
Life is about how you handle those things you are thrown.
If you live your life fully and completely and are truly happy, you may understand that life is not about your wants and desires and dreams that haven’t been fulfilled and might never be… life is really about how you react to your certainties, your abilities, your strengths, and your weaknesses.
Life is sorta just like the saying goes…
Life is 10% reality, and 90% your reaction to that reality.
Please re-read that previous sentence. Soak it in. You can do whatever you want in life, merely by your reactions. Your reactions become your reality. With that key - you can unlock the potential to your complete happiness. So if you don’t have the reality you want, react to your reality, and that reaction will become your new reality. Life is your reaction, life is your perspective. PERSPECTIVE. MATTERS.
You can continually sit and complain and wait, and wait, and wait for LIFE to arrive at your doorstep. OR, you can go out there and catch life along the way and enjoy the journey you are on.
I’ll give you a simple and silly example. My hair has never cooperated with me - like, ever. My hair is the stuff of jokes, of classic Florida memes. My hair is the hair in the YouTube joke videos of Florida Woman stepping outside her air-conditioned vehicle, and two seconds later her hair is completely puffed out... along with her sunglasses being fogged up, and she can’t see a thing. It doesn’t matter if I had a salon style blow-dry treatment worth hundreds of dollars or more. When my hair hits that Florida humidity, it turns into its own living creature. Completely wild and untamable.
My hair is the Velociraptor in the first Jurassic Park who eats alive the Newman character from Seinfeld.
And usually, I just roll with it. I go with the flow. I have become really used to it. My hair doesn’t do what I want it to do... Ok…. Whatever… Sigh… And then I throw it in a ponytail and go on with my day.
And keep in mind that yes, I’ve tried all kinds of products and spent a ton of money on all kinds of tools and strategies and types of shampoos, etc. It doesn’t matter, my hair does what IT wants, not what I want.
But I don’t throw a fit. I work around IT.
I buy beautiful and colorful and fun barrettes to help attempt to calm it down. I buy fun and cheapo colored rubber bands to hold it all together, and I go through a million of them, as my hair is also so thick it breaks rubber bands way too frequently.
And so, well over a year ago now while visiting up in Illinois, I was getting my hair cut and styled buy my favorite hair stylist in all of the entire world. Her name is Faith. And she is a living, breathing example of exactly that - FAITH.
If you’re having a bad day… go see Faith. If you want someone to talk to, or listen to, just go see Faith. She’s like a frosted Christmas sugar cookie from a bakery, alive and breathing. You can’t see Faith and NOT have your day brightened in some way. Plus, you’ll have an absolutely gorgeous head of hair when you leave her station.
Faith is a Pollyanna to me. You just can’t go see her and not be glad afterward. She is a living version of Pollyanna’s Glad Game.
And I value Faith’s opinion greatly. Not only is she an absolutely wonderful human being, Faith is the only one on Earth who can work miracles on my hair. I leave her station refreshed, and with hair set for a night on the town - even if I’m only going out for some good ol’ Chicago style pizza afterward.
And the last time I saw Faith, which was much too long ago I might add, I was contemplating all of these above thoughts. I could sit in her chair, with my jaw dropped, watching her in the mirror fix up my hair to perfection. Mesmerized. I’m always in awe of what she is able to do with my wild hair.
I knew as I watched her doing it that I could never replicate it myself. Awestruck, I asked her what brand of straightening product she recommends for at-home use. At the time she mentioned BabylissPro. I had never heard of it, but kept the name in the back of my mind.
Later on, after my visit up in Illinois was complete, and I was back home down in the hot and very humid Sunshine State, I was thinking about BabylissPro, as I gazed upon my completely humidified and wild head of hair in the mirror. I did some research about straighteners, and quality straighteners, and I found the product online at Ulta.
Coincidentally, I had just previously signed up for Ulta’s awesome rewards program. So I researched which one I wanted. I decided that my hair needed the BabylissPro Nano Titanium Ionic Straightening Iron with the ceramic heater and the 1 ¾ inch thick titanium plate. The cost came to a whopping $139.95, before tax and shipping.
With new knowledge of the high price, instead of splurging on yet another hair care purchase, and not even knowing if it would do anything to help or if I was going to be wasting some real legit money, I decided to save up for the straightener with my Ulta Rewards.
I then bought all our soaps and lotions and makeup and shower gels and lip balms, etc. etc. etc. for well over a year. At some point I obtained the coveted Platinum status, and then started earning 1.25 points for every dollar spent.
Every time I needed a skin care product and was at the grocery store, I instead told myself I would order it on Ulta to get the points. Every month we got a box from Ulta in the mail. Every month I earned points. I saved my points and I saved my points. And I finally redeemed 2,100 points just a few weeks ago, ecstatic. My very own BabylissPro was finally on its way to my front door.
Ulta is very, very slow - religiously slow - with their deliveries. I waited and waited for my product to arrive. When it finally got here I couldn't wait to try it out. And I had just washed my hair when it arrived at our door; a full head of long, wet, ridiculous hair. I decided to wait for my hair to be fully dry to try out my BabylissPro for the first time. I patiently waited until the following morning, and then finally, I plugged in for it’s trial run.
First, I used a bottle of dry shampoo on my hair, sprayed it on in bursts, brushed it out, and waited a bit. I repeated that process. I turned on the product for the first time, and rested it on top of my Vera Bradley heat-resistant sleeve I was going to use to store it in. I clipped my hair into sections using some very ancient hair clips that came with an old hair dryer from years ago. I had no idea how to test if my new Baby was hot or not. The box stated that it can reach up to 450 degrees. Well, that sounded pretty hot to me!
It was set for 300 degrees when I plugged it in. I decided to leave it at that temperature for my first use. I envisioned in all of my clumsiness burning off my hair that I have been patiently growing long for a few years now, and starting a fire on top of my head. 300 degrees sounded plenty hot for a test drive.
I was so scared to touch it. I picked it up and touched the heat pad it was resting on to test if it felt hot. I started straightening. And - It worked! Instantly! Well, not instantly, but it started to work right away.
And, Yes! I actually tamed my wild, humid, Florida hair. It was worth all the money in the world. I was so satisfied with the product that I honestly would have paid even more, knowing how well my hair turned out. I felt it was the “fanciest” my hair ever looked by my own handiwork.
And it only took AN HOUR! Ha. No joke. It took me one whole freaking hour and I still could have worked much, much longer on it. I would say I could have spent at least another half hour on it to just maybe get it even near perfect. As you can see from the photo, it was definitely not perfect, but it was so shockingly improved, that I didn’t recognize my own hair. Around fifty minutes into the process I thought to myself…
Wow…. And I haven’t even burned myself yet!
Gosh... I’m so proud of myself… of this miraculous skill and talent I have for straightening my own hair! [Crediting only myself completely in my own mind, and not the expensive and very high quality product, but of course.]
And… of course... that’s right when I burned myself. I grabbed the plate the wrong way for a mere millisecond… And I screamed bloody murder!
300 degrees of heat, smooshed into my pointer finger… I dropped my BabylissPro in agony. I screamed again!
It was at this point I finally decided it might be best to stop straightening for the day. After an hour of hard work, and completely dripping with sweat, I finally decided I probably should just give it a rest. I knew I could keep straightening and straightening - maybe for another hour? How long would it take to fully straighten this wild hair? But after I burned my finger I knew I finally had enough for the day.
And I was absolutely thrilled!!! I honestly didn't expect it to look even half as good as it did. I expected NOTHING. I expected the same wild hair.
But I had the patience to try. I had the patience to wait over a year and earn up the product through reward points. I had the patience to stand in the bathroom mirror for an hour and work on it. I was very pleased with the outcome...
And then I went outside.
Into the Florida air.
And that was the end - of the perfect hair.
Florida heat, and extremely high coastal winds off the shore that day, blew all my hard work into oblivion; and almost immediately. Much as I had expected. A rubber band and ponytail were very much needed later that day. I didn’t care though. And I would do it again.
I am very pleased with the product. I highly recommend it. Yes, I’ve had many types of straighteners in the past, and no, none of them have done this well of a job. Mind you, all the former products I owned were very inexpensive, drug-store type products, costing well under $20.00; or found collecting dust from some random bottom shelf in the shampoo aisle at the grocery store. My BabylissPro was definitely the best, and most high-quality straightener I ever purchased.
I am looking forward to straightening my hair again, very soon. Actually, I need to remind myself that I can do this to my hair every single day if I really wanted to - now that I have my very own BabylissPro! But who wants to spend an hour in front of the mirror? For that? Every day? When there are so many other things I could be doing? No thank you. I’m so glad I own it, I envision using it a lot. But definitely not on the regular.
For now, and today, It’s the usual ponytail for me. It’s a head of hair that’s not cooperating with me in any way whatsoever. A head of hair that has its own mind, and is stubborn as heck, and wants the complete opposite of what I want it to do.
My hair is the CANTANKEROUS neighbor in Pollyanna.
When my hair decides to be curly, I’m trying to straighten it. When I’m trying to curl it, my hair wants to be flat and boring. When I want a thin head of hair, my hair puffs out trying to reach the ends of the Earth... As if it’s been ZAPPED into an electrical socket.
Faith has told me that she sees many clients who would die for my curly, thick hair. Ha! OMG - I think. Who would want this?! I want the absolute opposite of what I’ve been given.
If the hair is naturally straight, they want it curled, if the hair is curled, they want it straightened. Cantankerous, folks!
The people in Pollyanna’s new world are dealt some serious blows. Life knocks them for a loop. In their own small town kind of way, there is drama, sadness, and of course, much happiness. But their lives in the film are merely how they react to what has happened to them. Aunt Polly, who, never been married, no children of her own, no husband or current love in her life, is dealt an orphan child arriving on her doorstep. Pollyanna. To come live with her. How will she raise a child? How will she react to Pollyanna? How will Pollyanna react to her? And the ripple effect of other people throughout the film that have change brought to them because of Pollyanna’s introduction into their lives.
Change happens. Whether we want it or not. It’s coming. There’s no stopping it.
Change is life.
Faith is life.
And Faith is a good thing to have.
If you don’t have a Faith in your life, go out and get one. Maybe Faith will be in the form of your hair stylist. Maybe Faith will be a frosted green and red sprinkled Christmas sugar cookie you pick up at the bakery. Maybe you will make your own Faith. Any way you get it, grab ahold of your Faith, and go.
Whether you want them to or not, the wheels are turning. Nothing stays the same.
How will you react to that change is the biggest question of all?
Life IS change. My hair IS my hair. How I handle it is how I look, and how I appear, and is who I am. I can be all fancy and have a professional style blowout every day, spending hours in front of the mirror, and there's nothing wrong with that! But it’s usually just not for me. Most of the time, I throw my hair into a ponytail, and get out there, and live my life.
Life is your TIME. Life is your REACTION. LIfe is your PERCEPTION. Now get out there, grab a rubber band and put your hair up if you need to… and LIVE. ~
7/8/2019 0 Comments
#2) 3 Wows Plus 1 Piece of Magic I Experienced At Jacksonville, Florida’s Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
A few years back when friends found out I was moving to Florida, specifically to the greater Jacksonville area, it was immediately suggested to me that I visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Finally, after a few years of living here, I made it there. With soooo many positive reviews online (it was actually very hard to find anything negative said AT ALL) and many recommendations from others to go for a visit, I can definitely see why people love and rave about the place.
It’s always quite an experience to visit an art museum. A visit to such a place can take you out of your familiarity and possibly your comfort zone as well, and place you inside so many varied and different hearts, minds, and personalities - simply by seeing and fully experiencing the immersion of art on canvas. Visiting an art museum can open up or awaken your soul to the variations of the human experience. I would definitely say there is a bit of magic going on there - but don’t forget you need to be open to receive that magic and let it come over you and let it change you.
You visit an art museum to see the art on the walls. So gazing at all the varied art on canvas and sculptures can go without saying here. See it. Do it. Immerse yourself in it. And see ALL the art, and take your time as well. What I really want to detail here today are some of the things at the Cummer that go beyond the art on canvas. Specifically: 3 major Wows I experienced while at the Cummer, plus a single piece of pure magic.
And as I mentioned above about art, I don’t see how going to an art museum, or any museum really, can be nothing but a positive, educational experience. But maybe I’m biased because I’m an artist and I paint on canvas every day of my life. So really it was hard for me to find anything about the Cummer I didn’t like. And I actually only found one single comment online even remotely negative about the Cummer, and that is that they need more seating - that they are very short on seating around the building. This commenter said they were an older individual and that walking around with hardly a place to stop and rest for a bit was too much for them. I’m 38, and by no means elderly, but I COULD NOT AGREE MORE with this review.
Why? Why? Why are there never enough seats in public places??? I LOVVVE me a good bench. There were a nice assortment and variety of seats and seating locations outside in the Gardens, but good luck finding a seat (and I mean a RELAXING seat) inside the building with all the art. Sure, there was the traditional chair and/or single bench in the center of an exhibit room, but that is by all accounts not a place for relaxation, or a place to chill for a bit. It’s simply a chair to sit in while contemplating the beauty of the art before you. But it’s not a place to grab a sip of water, take a few calls or texts, or post your latest Instagram shot. Plus, who wants to be selfish and hog the bench for a rest while so many other people are coming and going and may want to sit for a bit as well?
Really the only seating inside the museum itself where you could catch your breath was at the Cafe, which meant buying something to eat or drink in order to sit down. This was absolutely more than fine with me and the hubby because we planned this Cafe into our day and knew we wanted to eat lunch there to get the entire Cummer Museum experience. But there were definitely people who wanted to sit in the chairs of the cafe and not order anything. And with the quite obvious ‘PLEASE WAIT HERE TO BE SEATED’ sign as you approach the Cafe, it was clear we couldn’t just walk up to a chair and sit. So yes, there is a definite lack of seating at the Cummer. And really the only strange and awkward aspect of the entire museum was the location itself of the Cafe.
The Museum is set up as a series of exhibit rooms, with doors that open and close into a main hallway of the museum. This main hallway is what I would call the artery of the museum and is the main corridor for all traffic coming and going. This hallway takes you up and down the entire length of the museum and all exhibit entry and exits, plus restrooms and gift shop... however, this hallway is where the Cafe is as well. And I’m not saying the Cafe has an entrance off the main hallway - I’m telling you the Cafe is IN the hallway. Like, the Cafe is the hallway, and the hallway is the Cafe. It seemed like the Cafe was a complete and total afterthought to the Museum. Which was somewhat of a disappointment to me. As soon as I saw it I thought THIS is the Cafe?! I was expecting at least a tiny bit more from a museum that charges $10.00 a person to enter. There was no ambiance, no set mood or theme going on or even attempted to go for, and no decor whatsoever. The Cafe is literally tables and chairs set up inside this main hallway of the museum. So everyone coming and going (and going in and out of the main bathroom as well) has to pass by these chairs and the drink station. It was a bit of a bizarre set up.... but I’m telling you right now I would definitely go back. Which brings me to my first WOW of the day.
Wow #1 - The Cummer Cafe
This Cafe rocks! I know, I know, you’re saying what in the heck? She just mentioned how awkward and strange the Cafe is set up, and yes, all of that is so true. But the Cafe was also very, very enjoyable, and I absolutely loved my delicious and flavor-filled lunch. It’s so, so true that good food can make up for bad atmosphere. And while like I said, there was no real decor to the Cafe, there was a vase of fresh flowers on the table we were seated at. Adorable. I so love fresh flowers on a table, it brings immediate joy and delight into any day.
I sat down and ordered an iced tea. Well, when iced tea is served to me in a mason jar, I’ll be happy for the rest of the day. Add a delicious and delicately fruity taste to the cold, refreshing tea, and I declare it the best tea I ever drank in my life any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And this tea was just that and more. I ordered the breakfast quiche as my dish, which was served with a light and fresh seasonal greens with strawberry salad including a vinaigrette dressing on the side. Wow. I so thoroughly enjoyed my meal that I wanted the chef to come home with me and make this meal for me every day for lunch for the rest of my life. Hence the wow factor here. Loved the Cummer Cafe, yes, would go again.
After we ate and received the check, I overheard a woman at the next table order an iced latte. The server asked her if she would like whipped cream on top. She said yes. I love hearing people talk of coffees and creams. Well we were stuffed from the delicious lunch and passed on drinks and desserts. As we were paying our check the iced latte walked past us, and my jaw dropped. Wow, whipped cream will always do that for me. That drink looked so gosh darn amazing and refreshing, I know exactly what I’m ordering when I go back, no need to even give me a menu. Actually, I’m quite sure that whipped cream drink is going to haunt me in my dreams every night until I get it.
Wow #2 - The Gardens
There’s a reason it’s called The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. & Gardens was not an afterthought. The Gardens at the Cummer deserve their own Wow and you should include time during your visit there for sure. I thought ahead and tried to time my visit around the afternoon Florida summer thunderstorms, so we experienced the gardens before visiting the special Impressionism exhibit later into our afternoon. Walking out back of the main museum building to the Gardens grants you a breathtakingly scenic view of the St. Johns River. So with the flowing river water as a backdrop, and flowers, trees, quaint little pathways and vines, trellis’ and canopy’s and quaint seating, and let’s not forget ponds and fountains, the Gardens are certain to impress. I was right in my element walking around all the natural Floridian beauty before me, so many future scenes I dreamt of painting from that single experience. Visit this Garden... and soak all of it in to take home with you.
Wow #3 - The Live Oak
As you enter the Gardens outside, you cannot help but see the beauty and majesty of the Cummer Live Oak Tree. A miracle that Hurricane Irma didn’t take this tree, this Live Oak should require its own visit just to IT if you are visiting or live in Jacksonville. I’ve never seen a tree quite like it. It was a tree out of a fairy tale book. Spanning the top of the gardens and its various branches winding down to the lowest levels of the gardens reaching out toward the river bank, this tree definitely has a personality and life of its own. This tree owns the place. This tree is the boss.
I immediately thought of Disney’s classic film ‘Pollyanna’ when my eyes first gazed upon this Live Oak. Trees are and really can be gifts from God to this Earth. Breathing life into anyone who is willing to accept the gift. In the film, Pollyanna’s friend Jimmy Bean (played by Kevin Cochoran - otherwise known as Moochie if you are a classic Disney film fan), always wants to climb trees with Pollyanna, and she basically is like, now why would I ever want to do that?... not understanding the appeal). Well, Mocchie says, God put them there so I could climb them. Simple as that - matter of fact. I have always loved that part of the film for some reason and apply it to many aspects of my life. And while there are clearly represented signs everywhere at the Cummer Gardens informing you NOT to climb the tree, and rightfully so considering its age, history, and safety issues, if Moochie was around to see this tree today, I’m not sure if there would be anyone who could stop him from climbing it. After all, isn’t that why God put it there?
While the food, fun, and fabulousness of the Cummer was an ideal Saturday outing I highly recommend, and be sure to catch all of my three wow’s mentioned above, there was one more piece of magic both hubby and I didn’t expect but were blessed with.
1 Piece of Magic
As were were looking out at the beauty of the St. Johns River while standing at the edge of the Gardens and watching all the boats go by, I quickly saw a flicker off the water out of the corner of my eye. I focused my eyes on the area, not too far in front of me at all, and watched. Only about a second later I saw it again. A dolphin jumped right out and back into the water. He seemed to say hello to us watching him. I gasped, shocked, never, ever, ever sick nor tired of seeing a dolphin out on nature. I wondered to myself - why was he here? Right here. At the banks of the River. We watched and followed him with our eyes for a long time.... he seemed to be all alone in the water. Just him jumping to and fro.
We continued watching him swim farther and father from our sight, still jumping, until we couldn’t see him anymore. I hoped and prayed he wasn’t lonely, afraid, or injured - although he seemed just fine from my quick gaze. He was well on his merry way, exploring the Floridian waters, many adventures ahead of him. Something in the back of my head made me think he was there because God put him there. At that place at that moment in time. He was meant to be there, for reasons the heavens above and him alone to know his purpose in life. But because I’d like to think God put him there, I was able to say hello to him that hot summer day before he went on his way. ~
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