Sunday, April 24, 2016

In My Dreams This Week

I've had some really insane dreams lately.

The other night I dreamed that my car had broken down and I somehow had gotten a man to help and was riding with the driver in his pickup truck down a back road with plowed fields on either side.

The man was older, gray, balding, and heavy set. Not long after we set off, police cars raced past us. This is unusual in any rural area. Then I look out the window and there is a man running down the field with a big gun. He is wearing all black.

The truck dissipates and we are running from the man as the police run in. He shoots at the driver-man but the big ol' guy keeps running without a scratch. I hardly heard the shot, so I decide the shooter has a silencer on his gun. Somehow this is scarier.

We end up in a sort of diner/bar. The gunman comes in and tries to blend in at the bar. He's really good at evading police, I guess.
The police come searching. I point at the man behind his back. When the officer calmly, but abruptly, approaches him, the gunman whips out his weapon and shoots. People dive to the floor. He escapes, police in hot pursuit. They close in. 

He runs behind a barn and I am scrambling to see if they get him, but also to stay out of range of his fire. The old man is still running with me. He's got some endurance! I assume they got the bad guy because I woke up.

                            *             *               *              *
The following night I tossed and turned and remembered many dreams every time I rolled over. However, by morning, I only remember one long dream sequence. 

I was in my classroom, with all my students and my two aides. (For those who don't know I work in a special needs classroom in a middle school.) We seem to be coming back from a lunch break of some sort. Everyone is at their desks and there is an air of expectation. I'm supposed to DO something, but these boxes of items I haven't seen all year appear before me, on my desk, on the tables.
Suddenly, I have to deal with them. I begin to sort one and my aide says something about going outside. "Yes, yes, go on outside," I agree. The class leaves, all but one. He hovers over my shoulder. "You are supposed to go with them!" Now I have to take him. I check the closest door, but they are not seen through the glass. I go to the next door around the corner. This next hallway transforms from my middle school to the high school I went to. They are all lined up waiting, one of my aides pushing the wheelchair and the other in line between students. "Well, push the light switch!" one of aides tells a student. He seems confused as to what light switch. I walk up and show him a switch that activates the door.(It wasn't a normal looking switch, it was yellow and round. This picture is close enough.)
We exit the building. Instead of seeing the parking lot, we now see rows of one-story brick apartments. As we pass them, two boys of middle school age appear and begin to entice my students to get out of line and play among the saplings. I tell them not to.
Then a white convertible appears, top down, to take us across the parking lot to the grassy area. (As if the wheelchair can get in there!!)

We ride to the yard and Senior class members appear and begin to set up carnival style games. There appears a baseball throwing game, a bowling game, and others.
One student sets up a table with popsicles on it. I go over to help him because the sun suddenly is too hot and the popsicles will melt. We move the table into the shade, but I suddenly realize I am topless. There is a huge crowd of people playing games now. My building principal stands tall in the crowd and I am grateful he doesn't see me. Where is my shirt!? I duck into a sort of wooden shed to look for something to clothe my top half with. I dig and dig in piles of stuff. I never seem to find anything, but the dream presses on.
Next, I am running out the back. I jump a low white picket fence and knock on the back door of a house.
A young couple are watching TV. I say, "I'm not gonna hurt you, but please can I call 911? I've been kidnapped!" Confused, they let me use their house phone (who has one of those anymore?!)
I must have called, because next I am waiting for the police while looking at their laptop. I find a YouTube video of myself speaking to Oprah on her show and I point. "See? I am famous. That's why I was kidnapped!" I am suddenly a black woman with a gorgeous head of fluffy hair.
Then I wake up.

I've never dreamed I changed race before. I've dreamed about school before, and being topless, and fleeing situations, even of gunmen as in the previous night's dream, but never have I changed races. That was very unique. Is it a sign of the times?

Dreams are all about emotions. What I felt more than what was going on is what is most significant. There was a sense of helplessness in each dream. I tried to interact, in many instances, with others in the dream. My role constantly changed as I felt new emotions. In both dreams, I woke up still looking for a hero, that moment when things were solved. I was close to an ending, but not quite.

I guess life feels like that a lot. We can't have a good ending because there is always something next on our agendas. We just hope that our schedules include good things.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Adult Coloring Books or Free Coloring Pages

Adult Coloring Books are all the rage now. Is it worth the money?
By far the most popular book out there.

If you like to color with your kids, or just because, or if you liked to color as a child, then you will probably enjoy coloring these. The pages are more difficult with intricate designs, not simple shapes as with children's coloring books, especially the younger ones. Some children's coloring books can be quite intricate, however! Adults might feel strange coloring cartoon characters, and you won't find any of those in books labeled adult coloring. You will find patterns, mandalas, animals, and plants.

You want to try before you buy? Feel like an entire book is an investment? There are plenty of free pages. FREE FREE   You can search for images and copy paste them to Word and print them out. Here are a few I tried.

You could also make your own with programs that allow you to take your photos and modify them with black and white outlines. photoshop    adobe photoshop elements 
Download fotosketcher 

Coloring provides benefits for kids.. AND adults (Huffpost) (LifeHack).

I know for me coloring provides some down time to relax and think. As an introvert, I need space and quiet time to get inside my head. Coloring doesn't help me work out all the problems. I am too focused on the logical elements of colors and creating to allow myself to completely imagine and discover solutions to problems as when in a dream-like state. It does lower my stress, by providing a relaxing tone. I can better think through problems afterwards. Coloring can take place while watching movies or shows, especially re-runs or movies you've seen before. You can pause to watch the best parts. Besides, it hurts your hand to color for a full 2 hours! Coloring to music may help relax you even more. We used to paint to music in my college art class, to encourage us to really listen and interpret what we heard onto the paper.

The best part for me is, coloring puts me in a 'zone' much like writing. It's the same fountain where stories come from. Sometimes coloring can evoke a story to appear.

Hiking in Turkey Run State Park

It's Spring Break! I really needed these 12 days off..

While many people head toward the beaches and overpay for hotel rooms unless they know someone who lives there, we stayed home. I decided that one of the days I would take my boys hiking through one of our many State Parks. Turkey Run  (pdf. file scroll down and tilt your head to the right to see map) has by far the best hiking trails. It also has a long suspension bridge and plenty of exciting terrain. I knew they would love it and it would be a LOT of exercise.

The plan was to take trail 6 to the cabin and trail 11 to the old church and then come back to the van for lunch. We did trail 6 and decided that was enough hiking before lunch.
Cabin is made of poplar wood.

Lunch break!

We next went to the Nature Center, Alex's favorite part. We digested our lunch and watched some critters through one-way glass, Alex explored the touch table, (mostly the feathers because I showed him how the breaks in the feather fronds can sometimes go back together with a soft touch), and the live snakes and snapping turtle in the exploration room. (I should have changed camera settings more often to get the best lighting.)

Then began the hike. At first, the almost 9 year old claimed to be afraid of heights, but after he realized part of the trail was higher than the suspension bridge, he wasn't afraid any more. We crossed the bridge and Max decided we were going to go on trail 3. He wanted to do the ladders as well. So we took off. Little did I realize this trail was all ravine at the bottom and walking in the creek, then all stairs at the top! I was happy that though my knee grew sore, very sore, I was able to make it the entire way without extreme pain.

The bridge is moving!

One of the smaller sets of stairs. So. Many. Stairs.

We climbed this waterfall.


Finally got to the top, but then there were stairs! 140 of them.

Wet sock. No fun.

Stairs are exhausting. Especially after the hike up the ravine and waterfall.

The ladders! 3 of them like this. We went down. We survived.



He kept laying on all the benches..wonder why?

Alex took this picture of the suspension bridge.

He took this one, too.
We were slightly muddy, sweaty, and tired when we finished our hike. We ended the day back in the Nature Center for a rest. Then I promised the boys some fun in the Game Room in the Inn. They enjoyed pinball, skee-ball, air hockey, and the motorcycle game. I let Alex buy a bag of shiny rocks for 3 dollars.

I slept really well!