Stuffsoup – a little blog with a lot of "stuff"


Posted in pop psych by stuffsoup on November 9, 2011

I was at book club last night. I didn’t read the book. I adore, appreciate, and admire the women. That is really why I went. But, I want to read the book too.

I used to read the book. Every book. I got into 3 book clubs at one point (admittedly, that got a bit tougher to keep up with). I’ve discovered that as I’ve stopped making time to read, writing has gotten more difficult too.

I want that to stop now. I want to read again. I want to write again. And, so I shall. I guess it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you do. Now where did I put my copy of Mr. Brown Can Moo?


Locks of Love, here we come

Posted in pop psych by stuffsoup on March 23, 2011

Many years ago, I wanted to give my hair to Locks of Love. I really liked the idea of being able to do something that felt important. What I remember though is that they had a minimum diameter and my hair is thin, really thin. I guess the official term is “fine”. But, whatever you call it, I was never going to be able to grow my hair to a diameter of one inch. (Frightening isn’t it. I can hear my thick-haired friends laughing now.)

Yet suddenly, it seemed, Locks of Love was on my radar again; a gal I know donated hair, a friend’s kid had leukemia, multiple friends were battling cancer themselves, and another gal I know was planning to donate. I ended up checking the regulations again and… no diameter requirement! I’m in. They now also take colored or dyed hair as long as bleach hasn’t been used since bleach apparently causes problems.

I suppose I could have just gone to get my hair cut, but it seemed too good a thing not to share if I could and things started falling into place. I found two other girls who were willing to donate which seemed to me a good start for an “event”. I was at Spalon Montage for a Blog Pantry event and when I told the salon manager that we’d like to find a sponsor salon she said, “Let’s do it!”. Love that!

So, after some iterations, the date and time have been set — next Monday, March 28 at 10:00 am! Spalon Montage said that they would be able to handle up to 7 people pretty easily, so if anyone else has at least 10 inches of hair to cut and would like to get a sassy, new, short cut from a great salon, let me know soon! I’ll see if we can get you in too. It really is a great cause.

I’m glad I will finally be able to do this and I’m glad to have partners in this, Clara and Celia. I am also so grateful to Allison at Spalon! (If anyone can get her some more good press for being so enthusiastically willing to do this, please let me know about that too!)

Love Spalon Montage, I’m sure I’ll love the new ‘do, and I love that a kid might have a chance to feel a bit better!

Forward, charge

Posted in pop psych by stuffsoup on February 17, 2011

A year ago or so, I met the keynote speaker at a Parent Fair in the town where I live. She is a life coach and motivational speaker. When I spoke with her after her talk, there was something that she ended up asking me that has never let me be… “What are your chargers?”

“Chargers”, she explained, were things that charge you up… you know, make you happy or content or energized. They could be as simple as a warm cup of coffee (not a charger of mine, though it could be for some) or as complicated as a walk on the beach (now we’re talking! though definitely complicated if you live in Minnesota and it’s February). When she asked, I had no response for her which was a bit disturbing… had I really forgotten what charges me?

Well, last week I was certainly reminded of a few “chargers”. I was invited to the Alexander Ramsey House in St. Paul to offer my opinion as a research panelist. I was paid for my time and even treated to dinner. I hardly know where to start, there were so many chargers… It feels great to be paid well for my time, it feels great to be asked for my opinion, I love brainstorming, I love to meet new people, I love new experiences (I hadn’t been to the Alexander Ramsey House before), I love being a part of something fun.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in thinking this was great fun. One of the other participants said to me conspiratorially, “Can you believe they are paying us for this?” I smiled and agreed that it was pretty great. There were about 10 of us ranging from a young gal who said her hobby was “partying” to an older, retired gentleman who discussed his favorite hobby, “historical research”. I guess I was considered part of a demographic somewhere between them.

Another charger from that event is along the lines of trying new things, I love trying new food and the food certainly did not disappoint. They catered it in from Forepaugh’s Restaurant which is right across the street. Just listening to Chef Don Gonzalez describe what he had prepared was a culinary treat, but eating it… well, all I can say is really more of an exhale (or a chant)… mmmm.

I look forward to going back as this is a 2-part research. They are taking our suggestions and refining them to see what might work. Then, they plan to get more feedback from us. So, watch for new offerings at the Alexander Ramsey House which is, on its own, a pretty cool historical place, by the way.

And, think about the things that charge you? Have you done any of them recently?

Thank you for bein’ a friend

Posted in pop psych by stuffsoup on February 5, 2011

Multiple times within the last week, people have thanked me for saying hello to them. Sometimes it takes multiple occurrences for me to notice something, but this seemed striking and interesting to me from the beginning.

Are we so lost in our own worlds with mp3 players, cell phones, or even just the thoughts or worries in our heads that we would actually thank someone for pulling us back for just a moment? Or, is it, as a friend of mine confessed, that we don’t acknowledge each other because our hair or our clothes or our weight just isn’t right that day and that ends up making us feel isolated and it is a relief if someone reaches out first?

My facebook phrase (whatever that means exactly) is one that’s origin I don’t remember, but still feels true to me… “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.” So, no matter your hair or clothes or weight or whatever, sometimes the nicest thing you can do is just say hi. Someone may actually thank you for it and you might feel great for having made a nice connection too.