Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sick Days

I'm re-surfacing after 4 days of sleeping, lounging around the house, and generally being sick. It's been literally YEARS since I've been sick. It was a weird thing.

Time takes on an entirely new quality when you are sick. Hours stretch out before you with absolutely nothing to fill them. Sometimes you're lucky enough to doze off, sometimes unlucky enough to retire to the bathroom for an uncomfortably long time. But mostly, there is just a slowly ticking day of mild discomfort and mild boredom. It's been literally YEARS since I've been bored.

Bored time is good time, I've come to learn these past few days. Bored time is devoid of the ever-rushing, gotta-check-off-one-more-item-on-the-to-do-list, frantic, busyness that consumes my life. Bored time allows you to take a step back from the busyness and analyze it. Is the busyness actually getting me anywhere? Or just keeping me from being bored? Is boredom the preferable state?

I remember being 7 years old and out of school for 2 and a half weeks with the chicken pox. I remember that same frantic feeling that I was going to fall behind (stressed out at the age of 7!) Then again, I remember my teachers sending my new reading book home (my reading group had just finished book F and started book G!) along with a packet of work. I read then entire reading book in one week and whipped off the work packet in record time. I remember finding it actually quite easy, and not nearly as difficult as I seemed to find the work when I was as school.

I also remember baking cookies with my mom and after the pox dried up to the gross, scabby stage, she took me to a matinee to see The Rescuers as a get well treat. I remember those two weeks of second grade better than just about anything else in elementary school.

Similarly, over the past few days, I've been thinking about how things don't need to be nearly as difficult as they seem to be. Just like book G, neither work or life seemed too hard; not as hard as it has been.

Tomorrow I'm back to work, back to "slay the dragons" as my dad always says. The fever has broken, the nausea and headaches are gone. But I'm hoping that the bored-sick-detatched way of looking at things sticks around for a while

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WHAT I LEARNED TODAY:

If you breakfast choice is between a piece of peanut butter toast or the slightly questionable rice pudding, ALWAYS go with the toast. 

or anything that does not have the qualifier "questionable" in front of it.

Trust me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

WInter Wonderland Walk


Today I decided to do some exploring near home. I drove to a fire access road in the conservation land close by, threw on my boots, and headed out for a couple hours. The access road lead to some biking trails, to some hiking trails, to some small overgrown paths, and finally out into a little road that I had never seen before. I walked along a road near some farmland, enjoying the Christmas decorations, looking at the horses out in the fields, and wondering if I could find this road without first going through the woods!

There's just no bad time of the year to be outdoors!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Second Chances

SECOND CHANCE




So, we didn't all die yesterday in a fiery blast. That's good.

Which makes today the first day in "second-chance-at-life." 

What are you going to do with yours?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Solstice


HAPPY SOLSTICE!

This time of year, it seems like there are so many "beginnings". So many times to re-invent yourself, so many times to vow to be a better person, lead a better life, make a bigger difference. It starts for me with my birthday, which is in December, followed by solstice, Christmas, and then new years. The shortest day of the year seems to be the greatest of the transitions, to me.

I always try to take some time to reflect upon the past year on December 21st, maybe light a candle, do some journaling, drink some tea, and sit and reflect some more. Not a bad ritual to do weekly, on Sunday morning; but even more so on the shortest day of the year.

End-of-Days hype aside (though it was kind of fun to bring aluminum foil hats to my coworkers) 2012 really did feel like the end of an era to me. I did a lot of house cleaning, both literally and figuratively this year. I made some decisions, set some goals, wrote out some plans. And, of course, made my beloved lists. 

Now, I am sitting in anticipation. So many things I want to be doing RIGHT NOW. So many things I wish to begin. Yet so many things I still have to take care of before it's time to begin. 

On solstice, I sit here and drink my tea with my big plans for the future, my reflections of the recent past, and I try to enjoy the now on the shortest day of the year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas decorations




After school lets out, though, it's difficult to muster up Christmas cheer. You no longer have the end of the semester and the oh-so-wonderful vacation. And unless you happen to work IN a school, or maybe a florist shop, those seasonal changes just don't exist in the workplace.

Take, for instance, my job. From season to season, Christmas or not, I see an endless stream of patients and all their petty problems: "I can't walk!", "I can't sit up by myself!", "I can't get to the bathroom alone!", "Wooga wooga, wooga!" (that guy has receptive aphasia and is pissed that he can't talk). He's the most annoying of the entire annoying bunch. Jeez! How the heck am I supposed to generate an iota of Christmas cheer with this pack of characters monopolizing all my time?

The answer, my friends, is no further away than my drive home. See, on my drive home, I pass no fewer than 5 houses festooned with Christmas lights decorations. Christmas lights and decorations make me happy. And the more lights and decorations there are, the happier I am.

Sometimes I hear people throwing around insane expressions like "tasteful Christmas decorations." To that I say: "Bah, humbug!" Moderation has its time and its place. However, the time is not Christmastime. And the place is not a box of ornaments. Don't even think about trying to be "tasteful" when decorating for the holidays. Just keep putting stuff up wherever you can reach. How do you when you are done? Ask yourself: "Does it look like Christmas threw up all over my house?" If the answer is yes, then put up 2 or maybe 3 more glittery items. Then you are done. 

Another ridiculous notion: "White lights are so much classier than colored. Colored lights are tacky." I always respond in turn: "You are absolutely right. Thank goodness Clark Griswold used only white lights. Otherwise it would have looked tacky!"Other than his bland palette, though, Clark was definitely right on target.

I especially love those neighborhoods where every house on the block is overloaded with Christmas lights. You know those streets. Every town has one! The streets that look like ol' Griswold and Buddy the elf were hired as consultants. No matter how Grinchy you may be feeling, drive down one of these streets.I challenge you to do it and NOT smile. It's impossible! Because Christmas lights and decorations make people happy. 

Wooga, wooga, wooga.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bad Dates at Work

It's been a while since we've had a Tuesday's Bad Date. Probably because I've been a bit of a hermit when it comes to anything to do with dating.

This TBD selection illustrates that point very well.

A couple months ago, a new doc started at the place I work. We'll call him Dr. Tam. I'm not sure what Dr. Tam's specialty is; physiatry? Whatever. That's not really relevant to the story. What is relevant is that every day since he started, I have smashed into him in the hallway at least once.

I'm not sure why this is so. Probably because he walks really fast and doesn't always look where he is going. Add to that: I walk really fast and don't always look where I am going. Not a good combination. Oftentimes ends up in a *** smash! *** collision in the hallway.

The collisions usually happen outside the waiting area when we are both going to get our respective patients. But I have smashed into him outside the bathroom, in medical records, and in the cafeteria. I spilled his soup all over the place. Luckily, he had an extra lab jacket with "Dr. Lee Tam" (not his real name) emblazoned on the lapel.

"Why do I keep smashing into you?" I said after the soup incident.

He very wisely said "I don't know" before he scuttled off for his clean lab coat.

In the staff office, I started bemoaning my klutziness. "OMG! I smash into that guy every. single. day! Sometimes two or three times a day! What is wrong with me?"

About four co-workers stared fixedly at me.

"What?"

"Is he single?" one of them asked.

"I don't know."

"Well, is he wearing a wedding ring?"

"I don't know."

"You have to notice these things! If you smash into a guy, you should look to see if he is wearing a wedding ring! Didn't you read Cosmo in college?"

"Well, let's see. If I'm unobservant enough to collide with this guy every day, doesn't it stand to reason that I'm unobservant enough to NOT notice his fingers? Besides, this is not a movie. This is real life! In real life, you don't run into somebody every day and then spill soup all over him like you are being THROWN in his direction and it turns into a romantic relationship. In real life, he thinks I'm a spaz!"

Then something I said made me stop.

"OMG! What if the universe is literally THROWING me into this guy and I'm too unobservant to even notice? What if I'm so stupid that the universe upped the anti and made me spill soup on him!"

"See? That's what I'm talking about!" my friend said. "You have to check this guy out the next time you see him. He's not just a guy in a lab coat, he could be your future husband!"

Just then, another therapist walked into the staff room. "Who are you talking about?"

"Dr. Tam."

"Why? Who's future husband is he supposed to be?"

A slew of hands pointed in my direction.

She walked over and put her hand on my shoulder. "Sweetie, Dr. Tam is gay."

Typical.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Musings

Today has been one of those days. One of those days around holiday time when you just feel drained -- physically, emotionally, mentally. I feel used up.

I've been going through my days, doing the things I've set out to do: making my green smoothies, filling my water bottles and drinking them down, doing my best to get through all the things I need to do at work and leaving on time (whether I'm done or not), going to the gym, meditating before bed. I can't help feeling that I should be feeling BETTER. I should be feeling healthy and energized and unstoppable. Instead, I feel spent.

I feel like I move through my days like I'm moving through a to-do list. As much as I love lists, they are not a substitute for a life.

Is it the holidays that make me feel this way? The ebbing daylight? Or just the end of a rather trying year? I ponder these questions, hoping that if I can find an answer, then I can find a solution.

Hoping that 2012's musings will become 2013's muse.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Goals

December arrived cloudy and cold with the hint of snow in the air. Yes, I guess that's what December is all about.

 It's nice to have the first day of the month on the weekend, when you have as much time to do things right. I woke up, had some green tea, a green smoothie, and a big glass of water while I journaled. Then, I cleaned up in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, added a couple things to the ever-present donation bag, and went to the gym.

 I met my brother and sister in law at the mall for lunch and idea shopping for the kids (probably the biggest mistake of the day - going to the mall in December!) and met my best bud, J, for dinner and a movie at her place (second biggest mistake of the day, letting her Dad make the selection from Redbox. Bad movie!)

Couldn't ask for a better first day of the month.

And now, I get to set goals and make a list. Two of my greatest joys in life! (That's a rather sad truth)

November Goals:

1) Get all financial online accounts set into one spot. Done. It's nice to not have to keep clicking into different folders stored all over the place.

2) Have Xmas Shopping 3/4 done. I'm gonna say success on this one. I'm not certain if I'm half way or 2/4 done, but close enough! (Plus, I just free-cycled a trade with a friend for a gift tonite.)

3) 7 or more servings of veggies per day. Half credit. I'm really either ON or OFF. Either totally good with eating and then I swing to junk food junkie. Then totally healthy. Huh.

4) Begin training program for next big adventure. Check! Can't wait to unveil this one.

5) Pare down 4 more books. Done!

6) Plan craft activity for kids on Thanksgiving. Change of T-day plans...so no. Maybe for Xmas.

7) Clean out storage area: Half done.

8) Girls' nite out with J and Shell: Done! Shell is such a Twi-hard that we had to go see Twilight.

9) 1 new recipe a week: Done. Perhaps someday I'll actually comment on new recipes here!

10) Get car winterized: Fail. Not yet. Gotta make that appointment tomorrow.

And now onto December Goals:

1) Journal and Meditate Daily 

2) Green it up: green smoothie, green juice, and green tea daily

3) Exercise 31 times in 31 days

4) Make a kick ass vegan entree for the Xmas pot luck at work I'm thinking of roasted brussel sprouts and kale with cranberry. Not 100% sure yet, though

5) Replace my lunch plate for work My old one was swept up in a gust of wind and smashed on the ground. Which is weird, because it's plastic. But I've been bad and using styrofoam of late

6) Go in to see the Xmas lights in Boston and in New York!

7) Pare down 5 books from shelf

8) Decorate this little apartment like I had a visit from Elf!

9) 3 group runs (all bundled up!)

10) Take lots of pictures. And organize the ones I have on the computer. 

Today's Joy:
Hanging with my niece and nephews who are just about the cutest things in the universe!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Back in Black

Today I decided to start a new tradition. Instead of celebrating "Black Friday" with an insane shopping frenzy, I celebrated "Give Back Friday" with an insane giving frenzy. Instead of attacking my fellow shoppers, I attacked my closets, bookshelves, and that pesky under the bed storage container. Instead sitting amongst a pile of bags of new purchases, I am now sitting amongst a pile of bags ready to be taken to the Goodwill.


I'm inviting anyone and everyone to join me in this new tradition. (Since it's the inaugural year, we can do "Give Back Saturday" and try Friday next year!")

It's always seemed to me a silly thing to rush around trying to get as many material things as possible at the cheapest price just one day after sitting down with family and friends to celebrate being grateful. Is that all gratitude gets? One day? Immediately followed by activities specifically designed for us to focus on what we DON'T have? Not for me.

So I've taken the day back to focus on everything I already have. And what I have in such abundance that I can share with others. It makes for a much more satisfying Friday!

TODAY'S THANKS:
Gorgeous sunny weather!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two Things

While at work today, one of my co-workers commented: "I think everybody should have two things-- a label maker and a copy of Emily Post's Etiquette book."

Funny. I think everybody should have two things as well. But I think those two things are a good pair of fitness shoes and an upcoming adventure.

I'm planning a good one for 2013!

TODAY'S THANKS:
having plans and goals to work towards.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Weekend

This weekend was a fantastic weekend for playing with pumpkins!

On Saturday, I did this:




Yes, I went to a pumpkin drop. No better way to spend a sunny fall afternoon than watching pumpkins dropping from 140 feet up in the air. SPLAT!

What would possibly possess anybody to go to a pumpkin drop, you ask? The very best reason of all: charity.

Four years ago, my friend's mother grew a giant pumpkin from seeds she had received as a gift. It made a spectacular Halloween decoration, but then they had the dilemma of what to do with the 100 pound pumpkin before it rotted in the front yard.



"Hey, we should drop it off the roof" turned out to be the very best suggestion.

Fast forward 4 years and it has morphed into a very big event in a parking lot with a crane and a bulldozer to scoop up all the pumpkin pieces and a number of trucks to bring donated food to a local food bank.





In the end, over 200 pumpkins were smashed!


As well as one unfortunate bunny



SPLAT!!



And then on Sunday, I drank this:


Love me a pumpkin smoothie on a Sunday morning!



Yes, it was a fantastic weekend for playing with pumpkins!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Niece and Nephew Wisdom

It's been a while since I imparted the infinite wisdom of my nieces and nephews. But this is just too brilliant:

On Monday, there was a mock election at the elementary school where my niece and nephew go. When they got home, my brother and sister in law asked them who they voted for.

5 year old boy: "I voted for Obama"
7 year old girl: "Well, I voted for Mitt Romney"

Their parents said "Oh, no. We need a tie breaker here" So they called in the two year old and asked him who he wanted to be president. He thought for a moment:
"Superman!"

I think he may be on to something.

TODAY'S THANKS:
Reading under the covers all snuggly and warm.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

TODAY'S THANKS:
I am thankful that I don't work outside today! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Great American Ass

Tonight after work, I went to a party. We've been looking forward to this night since last summer when we were lucky enough to be party of a television show that was filming on Cape Cod.

Cape Able Adventures, the adaptive sports program that I have been volunteering with for the past three years was chosen to be featured on the show Great American Heroes with Trace Adkins on GAC. I was very impressed with the job they did representing the program and the variety of people who participate in the activities. Plus, Trace Adkins is just an all around nice guy.

As usual, any time I'm involved in something like this, it's always my ASS that gets camera time, never my face.

Tune in and look for my ass as well as a great program and two amazing guys (Trace and Cape Able Adventures founder, Craig Bautz). It'll be showing for the next 4 days on GAC.





TODAY'S THANKS:
I'm thankful for no more political ads and lots more uplifting TV.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I broke down and turned on my heat today. It's time.

TODAY'S THANKS:
I'm thankful that I have heat and that I am able to pay my heating bill, even though my electric heat necessitates being thrifty in other areas. I know I'm lucky for these things.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cold day

Today the temperature dropped. Suddenly, I was shivering as I walked out to my car, I was impatiently waiting for the engine to warm up so I could blast the hear, suddenly I was thinking I need to wear a warm jacket. I may have to turn on the heat!

I have electric heat so I try to hold out for as long as I can before opening that wallet suck.

I'm thinking of frigid turkey trots, frosty hikes in the woods, and walking along the frozen sand watching the waves crash.

And though I wasn't thinking of it, suddenly, the first few flakes of snow came fluttering down.

TODAY'S THANKS:
reading under the covers surrounded by pillows

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ice cream and duct tape on a fall day

Today was a perfect fall day. I picked up my niece after her soccer game and brought her and her friend out for ice cream and gave her a birthday present. (she just turned 11. and she's taller than me, which she berates me about as only an 11 year old can)

Many years ago, I was spending Christmas with some friends of mine, and one of them got every one of their male friends duct tape for a present. I berated him as only a drunk friend from the same hometown can that he pulled a great cop out. "Duct tape is the dumbest present I've ever heard of!"

Fast forward to November 2012: I gave my niece a bag full of duct tape for her 11th birthday. She's one of those kids who makes things out of duct tape. She makes flowers and wallets and cell phone cases and ipod covers and bags and clothes for her Monster High dolls. "Their outfits are inappropriate," she says. "I don't want them to get sent home from school because their skirts are too short." Then she makes them leopard print duct tape leggings. Now she has enough material to outfit the entire Monster High student body.

This afternoon, we all sat at a picnic table in the sun eating ice cream. At the next table was a girl, around 12 or 13, having an ice cream with her dad. She was wearing a medal around her neck from synchronized skating. I felt so happy just then, remembering the times when my dad would take me out for ice cream after I did well in gymnastics or scored a goal in soccer.

Every time, he would encourage me to get something I had never had before. Sometimes it would be fantastic. Sometimes, not so much. But always, it was a new experience. Something as simple as going out for an ice cream turned into a lesson in expanding my horizons and a little puzzle piece that would form a picture of the person I was to become. I hoped the girl a the next table  had a dad as great as mine.

My dad is out on storm duty right now, trying to get the power back up and running for people in Pennsylvania. He's still teaching me things.

My niece said she's going to make him something out of the duct tape.

TODAY'S THANKS
My Dad (of course)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Horror Movies

One of my favorite things in October is watching scary movies. When it gets close to Halloween, you can find me scouting the TV, looking for good scary movies. I always have to watch alot of bad ones before I actually find a good one.

I think the horror movie is a pretty hard endeavor. It's not like a romantic comedy, where even a really bad one is still going to be a crowd pleaser. Just plug in the formula, throw in a few laughs, end on a happy note and BOOM! Done. It's kind of like pizza. Even bad pizza is still pretty good. And everyone will still eat it.

Horror movies are more like souffl├ęs. Difficult to make, and even if it comes out perfectly, only a select few will like it. Me? I can be found smacking my chops and wiping whipped potato from the corners of my mouth! I love a good suspenseful thriller filled with unexpected twists. I love an old fashioned horror flick that'll make me jump out of my seat. I like a cleverly made monster movie that'll stay with me for days. I even like the anxious, jittery, wired feeling I sometimes get that leaves me unable to sleep.

Moster movies seem to have made a pretty big comeback in the past few years. The reigning king of the monsters, of course, is the vampire. Though zombies aren't far behind. Vampires always seem to be the slick, cool, sexy, mesmerizing ones. While zombies are, well, zombies.

Zombies come in two varieties: the slow moving, moaning, brain-eating type a la Night of the Living Dead and the jittery, fast moving, shrieking variety like in 28 Days Later.  (Both good movies, by the way) I like a good Zombie flick.

You don't see a lot of interest in mummies. Or swamp creatures. Frankenstein is middle of the pack, at best. I'd really like to see some adventurous director take these neglected creatures and do something new with them. Are you listening, John Carpenter,  Wes Craven, Clive Barker, JJ Abrams or M. Night Sham-a-lam-a-ding-dong? October comes every year!

Demons get alot of press, too, but I fail to see why. For a creature that's supposed to be so powerful, they don't seem to be able to do a whole lot. They always move into a house and skulk around the attic for a while, bewildering the mice or making a creepy clown doll stand up. Then, maybe, they'll venture downstairs and rattle a vase or make a shade fly up or maybe even - gasp - open a door! So what? I can open a door. I can open AND close a door while carrying my work bag, my gym bag, my lunch bag, my purse, a stack of letters to be mailed, my travel mug of tea and a green smoothie. I do it every morning. (okay, sometimes it takes me two trips) But still! Why would I possibly be afraid of something that can only open a door one, maybe two inches, WITHOUT carrying all that other shit?

Therein, I think, lies the reason behind the demon's ultimate goal of possession. Only when occupying the body of a human can it multi-task! And everybody knows that NOTHING gets done these days without a little multi-tasking going on.

If you ask me, if they really wanted to make an impact, demons would just scrap this whole possession business and concentrate on their one true strength: foreign languages. Ever notice that in possession movies, the hapless victim suddenly is fluent in German and Russian and Aramaic? That's what demons should be touting! They'd be bigger than Berlitz. Yet somehow, they fail capitalize on their strengths or learn from the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Quite disappointing coming from the monster equivalent of "president of the Latin club."

Which leads me to the mack daddy of all the horror movie creatures, Satan himself. He makes alot of appearances under many stage names: Damien, Lucifer, Beelebub, Dick Cheney. he's supposed to be the most evil entity in all the universe, but notice how he often just seems like an egomaniac? Hey, Devil, stop acting like a spoiled toddler who needs a nap! Why do you think its always about you, you, you? What he really deserves is a good time out. Maybe a nurturing mom-type to read the Little Golden Book series to him and give him some hot chocolate.

He does know where to find the good music, though. And he can throw one heck of a party! So, sure, int this case, I'll throw the conceited bastard a bone. Halloween can be all about him.

And candy.

And scary movies.

TODAY'S THANKS:
Being in good enough shape to do crazy obstacle course races :)


Friday, November 2, 2012

Goals

Oh, I'm so happy right now. Happy because I feel like the entire month is spread out before me with so many days in which to make green smoothies and use my juicer, to work out both inside and out, to walk on the beach in a warm hoodie, to hang with the family, drink tea and hot chocolate, to make list and check em off, to move forward, forward, forward.

I'm happy because I have electricity and hot water and a roof over my head. I have a good family with very little drama. I'm happy and I seem to have jumped into the thankful mindset with both feet.

I'm happy because it's goal time!

November:

I spent October weighing some options with an Oct 31st deadline to make a pretty big decision. I made it. So starting here and now, I have a bit of tidying up and foundation building to do.

1) Get all online financial accounts set into one spot.

2) Have Xmas shopping 3/4 done at end of month

3) 7 or more servings of veggies a day

4) Begin training program for next big adventure

5) Pare down 4 more books

6) Plan craft activity for kids on Thanksgiving

7) Clean out storage area over Mom & Dad's garage 

8) Girl's nite out with J and Shell

9) 1 new recipe a week

10) Get car winterized before the snow starts to fall

TODAY'S THANKS:
My co-workers. Sometimes work isn't great, but the people I work with always are.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November

What a wild, weird, and wonderful month October was! It came in with just perfect fall weather and left with Frankenstorm! We were quite lucky here in Mass....most of the really bad weather stayed to the south and pushed the warmer air up this way. So I was able to keep my "I'm not turning on the heat until November" rule. It's Nov 1st and still warm. I may make it until November 7th or so.

Plus, all of my friends and loved ones in New York and New Jersey are safe and sound, with nothing more to contend with than a few days of darkness. So overall, its good.

November is also the month for a nice little bloggie game called "Today's reason I'm Thankful" or Today's Thanks for short. You know, like Thanksgiving every single day in November.

But first:

October Goals:

1) High Intensity Training 31 Days: half credit, I guess. I did work out every day, but expecting to work out high intensity for 31 days in a row is not realistic. Not for my body, anyway. So it was a nice little experiment in listening to my body and planning workouts with a purpose.

2) Learn How to Use the New Computer: Again half credit. I'm still getting used to the new format. I finally crossed over to the other side and got an apple. I like it a lot, but there's definitely a learning curve when transitioning from a PC.

3)  Keep Up with the Mediating and Journaling: Success on this one. Journaling in the am, meditation in the pm. Nothing clears the head more. Except maybe running.

4) Plan a Kick Ass Halloween Costume: I was cat woman. Totally cool and totally comfortable. It rocked!

5) Do the Summer to Fall Clothing Exchange: Done. (sniffle sniffle)

6) Take a Big Load to the Thrift Store: Done. ANd I'm putting together another load for November.

7) Try Out Two New Recipes per Week: Half credit. I tried out about one per week. Most of em, I admit, are pretty straightforward and simple. Mostly veggie. And all pretty tasty.

8) Martha's Vineyard Century Ride: Fail. Boo! I ended up skipping this because we did not have enough participants to warrant the number of volunteers. Plus, I had to put the top on my jeep.

9) Go Hiking: twice. Love it.

10) Stop Neglecting the blog: not as regular as I would have wished, but getting there.

And now onto November

In addition to being the month of thanks, November also is the abound with pumpkins, squash, and apples. So many more new recipes are waiting to be made!

Let's bring it on!

TODAY'S THANKS:
Lovely sunny temperate day that makes fall seem (almost) as good as summer!






Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween



Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm Day

Today I got an unexpected surprise: a storm day. Let me clarify; the storm wasn't unexpected. I've heard of nothing but the impending "Frankenstorm Sandy" all weekend. I have my fridge filled with water bottles, my candles within easy reach, and my camping equipment (head lamp, lantern) pulled out of the storage closet. (I DON'T, however, have a lot of food, since Sunday is my regular day to shop and the grocery stores were like an episode of "Doomsday Preppers") It's fine. I got bread and peanut-butter, chips and hummus, apples, and almonds. I could live a couple weeks off that!

Anyway, as I said, I got an unexpected surprise. I don't have to go into work today! That is highly unusual, since I'm what they consider "essential personnel" at a rehab hospital. Plus, it's an official shelter for evacuation from low coastal homes. I got up extra early today to make sure I'd make it to work on time, considering I'd be driving slower. (Times like these I'm really happy to own a jeep)

But this morning, I got a call saying that they closed outpatient (obviously) and that I did't have to come in (but keep my cell phone handy, in case they needed to call me in). So now, I'm hanging out in my sweats, watching scary movies, drinking tea and getting caught up on things I've been letting slide lately (like blogging).

Oh, the gift of an entire day to do whatever I wish!

Stay safe in the storm everyone!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Top Transition

This weekend marked one of autumn's great turning points: the transition from the soft top to the hard top on the jeep. It always makes me a bit sad to change out the soft top. No more riding with the wind in my hair and the sun on my arms. (Though wind in my hair turned out to be quite a challenge this year.  After chopping all my hair off, I could no longer just pull it back in a braid. I ended up looking like a troll doll whenever I got to my destination!)

It's been a few weeks since I could take the top off, anyway. And it's been getting cold. So it was definitely time!

Changing out the top always turns out to be a many houred ordeal. I always take advantage of the window of no top at all to totally clean the jeep inside and out! Vacuum, clean the upholstery, wash the windows, clean the dashboard. Nothing makes my dad happier than cleaning the car (except maybe yard work) so it turns out to be a day to hang out with dad, too.

After taking the soft top off and hosing it off, I went to get the vacuum. The extension cord looked like something from one of those safety filmstrips they used to show us in elementary school. Remember those? With Jimminy Cricket?  

 Well, apparently, I didn't pay much attention to ol' Jimminy Cricket! Because I picked up a frayed extension cord with exposed wired and said "Is this thing safe to use?" My dad said "Yeah. Why wouldn't it be?" I said, "Well, it looks like it's seen better days" He replied: "I just used it last week and it was fine." So I wait "Okay" and plugged the unsafe Jimminy Cricket extension cord into the wall.

No sooner did I take my hand off the cord than I heard POOF! and sparks came flying out of the socket. The extension cord was ON FIRE with blue flames and sparks flying out.

"Oh, jeez!" I yelled and yanked it out of the wall. Luckily, it immediately stopped burning. (Though there was a giant black stain on the wall from the socket)

My dad and I looked at the melted extension cord and I said "Well, I guess we should throw that away!" He said "Yeah, it would seem so."

Then I said, "Hey Dad, aren't you an electrician?"

He replied: "Well, I thought I was, but apparently I'm losing my touch!"

The good news is, the hard top is securely on, the jeep is clean, and everyone is alive and well.

I think I'm gonna go review the safety videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Love and Music Under the Stars

A few weeks ago, I went to what was one of the highlights of my summer: the Jason Mraz concert. Nothing is better on a late summer night than live music under the stars! It was supposed to be a girl's night out with a bunch of folks from work, but things ended up going a little differently.

Lots of big family and personal issues kept three of my co-workers away. It ended up a smaller, cozier posse of J, Wheelie, and myself. The good news is that one of the truths I've learned in life proved itself, well, true. That being: if you have extra ticket to a concert, you can always unload them in the parking lot. (I think I really made somebody else's night!) Nothing is better on a late summer night than finding tickets to a sold out show under the stars!

Another unexpected perk of the night: a ticket upgrade! Since we had one person in the party in a wheelchair, we were upgraded to the handicapped section. Much closer to the stage than our lawn seats. (Of course, we were then under the pavilion and lost our view of the stars. Good trade off)

I have to confess, after this event, that I am a little bit in love with Jason Mraz. Not completely in love, mind you; that would be ridiculous. (I haven't actually met him) Just watched him perform on a stage and listened to him on my ipod while I run along the canal. So, a little bit in love.

And not just because I'm pretty sure I'm bigger than Jason Mraz. That doesn't happen very often when you are slightly under 5 feet tall! Oh, if I ever did meet him, we could play "Amazon Women on the Moon" together! I would be fantastic. (J vehemently disagreed with me, and said that he only looked small because the stage was far away. But we had that ticket upgrade! We were pretty close. So that wasn't it) So she was completely wrong. Or maybe just partially wrong. There's a good chance he's actually a little taller than me, but I'm pretty positive I weigh more than he does. Have you seen picture of him since he went vegan? He's teeny!

But, I digress. The point was my partial love for him was not because of his minuscule appearance. Rather, it was because I just like the way that guy thinks. I like the energy he puts out. And he just seems like a really good person.

Before that night, I have never been to a concert where the artist tells everyone to take a few deep cleansing breaths in the middle of the show and be grateful that we are all here together on this beautiful night. (nice) Or give a warning to parents who brought small children to the show that the next song or two have language that they might not want the kids to hear. ("It might be a nice time to visit our merchandise booths. There are seed packets there that the kids can have.") Or tell the audience to turn to the people they came with and give them a big hug. Then turn to somebody you didn't come with and give them a smile and introduce yourself. Then look at somebody a few rows away and make eye contact and send them some good vibes.  (seriously, how nice is this guy?)

So nice that somebody proposed to their girlfriend in the middle of "I'm Yours". Pause the song, spotlight on the couple, lots of cheering, and a round robin sing along of "Oh, no he didn't, oh yes she did!" Also nice. I'm pretty sure that happens at every one of his shows.

Before that night, I'd never been to a concert where the artist gave everybody an assignment as they left: "Take all the positive energy you felt here tonight and hang onto it. Then go out and share it with the world. If you come across somebody who looks like they are having a bad day or are feeling down, then do your best to lift them up. Give them a smile or a kind word or a helping hand. Give them a little bit of the energy we generated here tonight. Let's all go out and together make the world a better place."

Admit it, you're a little bit in love with him now, too.



Monday, October 1, 2012

October


Is it wrong for a self proclaimed summer lover to admit that October may be my favorite month? (Well, maybe a tie with August.) I love October! The sunny, mild days, the crisp nights, the yummy food! And Halloween! I have invitations to THREE seperate Halloween parties already! I'm welcoming October with open arms.

September Goals:

1) Clean Eating: I've been a bit disconnected on this. I keep getting what I want to do mixed up in my head. Like, is bacon "clean"? Is it too processed? Can I ingest Gu during a race? Did I fall off the wagon by eating a Cliff Block? Do I give myself a free day on my best friend's birthday? Is it better to go vegan than clean? Anyway....I'm doing better overall with my eating though I'm not sure if I succeeded at the goal.

2) P90X: Once again, not sure if picking this goal was realistic, in my best interest, or just something to put down as a goal. I've done this program in the past, and thought it was a good, well balanced exercise program. But sometimes I don't have 60 to 90 minutes for exercise a day. So I've seen using P90X as a general blueprint and supplementing with BodyRock (since I always have 12 minutes to exercise) and Crossfit/ Spartan WOD. So I'm getting back on track. I'll call it a success.

3) Journaling and Meditating Daily: Probably the best goal I've set for myself this year. I've gotten as much out of journaling and meditating as I've gotten out of running. And that's saying alot!

4) 4 more books from the bookshelf:  This month, I read The ArHit of Non-Conformity, 168 Hours, Never Good Enough, and The Shadow Effect.  A little heavy on the self-help stuff, but I am living in the healing hut, am I not?

5) Spartan Beast is complete. I am not dead.

6) Jason Mraz concert....check!

7) Wounded Warrior Weekend. It was great!

8) Solidify weekend in October to hang with Isabella. sort of. Kind of hard when your goals depend on somebody else.

9) Go to the beach as much as possible. check.

10) biking as much as possible. well...not so much.

OCTOBER GOALS:

1) High Intensity Training 31 Days.

2) Learn how to use my new computer (more on that later)

3) Continue with the Meditation and Journaling

4) Plan a kick ass Halloween costume.

5) Do the summer to fall clothing exchange

6) ANd take a big load to the thrift store

7) Try out 2 new recipes per week

8) Martha's Vineyard Century Ride without dying (without training?)

9) Go Hiking! It's that time of the year.

10) Stop neglecting this blog!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Today marks one year that I have been in the little yellow apartment by the beach. October 1st, 2011 was the bad move out. Oct 1st, 2011 was the good move in.

It's weird, that I still refer to here as "my new place." I've been here a year. It's not new anymore.

When I moved in, I had this idea that it would be a place of healing. And it was. It's just that healing takes a long time. And it's not always a linear process. It's more of a two steps forward, one step back process. With a few complete meltdowns thrown in for good measure.

But overall, I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago. Both in my home and in my head.

I was walking by the recently closed pool today, thinking about how good this place has been for me. How I wish I just had a few more weekends by the pool here. I don't think I will be here next year when the pool opens.

 I have a couple of possible plans for 2012...plan A and plan B...depending on how things pan out in the last three months of 2012. Whichever scenario plays out, it will mean some big changes, in my job, my home base, and my life pattern. It will mean some big changes in my blog presence, as well.

It'll be fun to determine if A or B makes more sense and then to start crack-a-lackin' on the game plan.

But for now, it's nice to call this place home.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn

Happy Fall, Everyone!

Yes, autumn officially began last weekend and right on cue, the weather turned a little cooler with a snap in the air. I always forget how much I like fall, because I'm usually too busy lamenting the passing of summer. But the warm days and crisp, cool nights are actally quite okay with me.

Fall always makes me want to go school shopping; get nice new accessories and supplies for a brand new year of learning. I no longer go to school, of course, so there is no need to go out and get supplies, but I think there is always a need to learn more.

I've been learning a lot about myself lately.

I've been more or less absent from blog posting for a while, just throwing out a random nugget every now and then, because I've spent quite a bit of time over the last year soul searching. Somewhere along the way, my dreams, like my need for school supplies, just disappeared. It's a bit deflating when your dreams disappear.

The best remedy that is to dream.

So I've been hanging out in my little yellow apartment daydreaming, but not posting. Daydreams are delicate. They often disintegrate, unable to survive the posting process. Better not to post at all.

But tonight, on this crisp autumn night, I decided that a post was in order.

I just thought that I would share that I'm in the market for some new accessories and supplies for a life of learning.

Life is good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paralympic Coverage

With all the political hoopla going on, the idea that America does everything better is getting thrown around a lot. And while I do think that there are some things we do better here, there are others for which we miss the mark. Quite a bit.

We do movies very well. Food, not so much. We have wonderful national parks. And the most obese population of any developed country. You get the point.

One thing we don't do well is our broadcasting of the Paralympics (or the Olympics, for that matter. What was with NBC's coverage? But that's a whole other topic) Every other nation in the world gets to see the competitions of our disabled athletes, but for some reason, US networks don't think the American public would be interested in watching.

But this year, for the first time, a small portion of the Paralympics will be broadcast on an NBC affiliate. I urge everyone to check out the Paralympic games this week on TV or on UTube.

Photo

Monday, September 3, 2012

September

Happy Labor Day!! After Labor Day, I always feel like I should be going back to school somehow. (Of course, it would be easier if I had a summer vacation, but those are long gone) Starting a big project, reading new books, changing the daily routine. Something.

September has always seemed to me the start of the new year, a much better time fo resolutions than January 1st. I've been on a self improvement kick this summer (though I fully admit that August I kind of fell off the bandwagon in lieu of a little beach and pool time!) which I wish to continue into the fall. I'm thinking of September as fall semester of the school of life!

Goals:

1) Restarting the Clean Eating Challenge (which I totally flopped in August) Barbeques, you know!

2) Exercise: I'm starting P90X.

3) Continuing journaling and meditating daily.

4) 4 more books from the bookshelf (IN the grand goal of downsizing, the books have proven to be the hardest and slowest to get rid of)

5) Complete the Spartan Beast without dying! (12 miles of hills and obstacles)

6) Girl's nite at Jason Mraz concert!

7) Camping, kayaking, running, biking, and fishing....all in one weekend (The Wounded Warrior Weekend)

8) Solidify weekend in October to hang with Isabella

9) Suck up as much beach time as possible before the cold weather sets in!

10) Get on the bike and train for the October century ride.

(maybe getting some Ben Gay and scheduling a massage session should be on this list!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Me, an Olympian

Last Sunday, I had my neices and nephews over to go for a swim. My 5 year old nephew walked in the door and came face to face with the peg rack where I hang the finisher's medals from the races I've completed this year. He immediately zoomed in on the Disney Marathon medal, as it is shaped like Mickey Mouse.

"What is THAT?" he asked in amazement.

"Oh, that is a finisher's medal from the Mickey Mouse Marathon" I told him.

"Did you win?" he asked.

"No, I didn't win," I laughed. "Everyone who finishes the race gets one."

"But it's a GOLD MEDAL!" he said. "Only the winner gets a gold medal. I saw it on the Olympics!"

"Oh, yeah. It is a gold color. But it's not a gold medal. I didn't win."

"Yes you did!" He was becoming very excited. "You run really fast! You won and got a gold medal!"

"Oh, um, ok. I really didn't...."

He called out to his sister: "Kiki! Auntie won a gold medal in the Olympics for the Mickey Mouse Marthon!"

The two of them started jumping around the house cheering and whooping.

I looked at my sister in law, bewildered at how this had snowballed so quickly.

"Forget it" she said. "They've decided you won a gold medal in the Olympics and there's no way to convince them otherwise. Just let them think that."

I'm rather touched that they think I'm so wonderful!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympics and Charity

I am thoroughly enjoying the Olympics this year, especially women's gymnastics! Right aroud now is when my family and friends from childhood say "Oh, remember when you competed in gymnastics?" Yeah, I do. The gymnastics I did looks like a completely different sport than the crazy shit they do now! I'm amazed and inspired.

Which got me thinking to another flash of inspiration I had a long time ago.

Quite some time ago, I read about a person who inherited a sum of money and decided to give it all away to charity. She started a blog and featured a new charity every day for a year. I thought that was just fantastic! And though I certainly could not afford to give to charity ever single day of the year, I started to research and pick and choose charities to support and blog about.

Then life got in the way.

But life is better now. And thanks to those amazing Olympic gymnasts, I am inspired again.


Today's charity is Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is an organization that donates prosthetic hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who suffer from medically caused hair loss. Diagnoses include alopecia areata, severe burns, skin disorders, and radiation treatments.

Donations to Locks of Love can be in the form of a monetary donation or a donation of hair. Hair must be 10 inches minimum and in a pony tail or braid. Dyed and layered hair is accepted, as well.

The cost of the wigs provided to the kids is quite high; oftentimes, hair donations that are not deemed to be quite what they are looking for are sold to offset the cost of making the wigs.

About a month ago, I sent a 16" braid to Locks of Love for my little contribution. Now I look like rock-n-roll Tinkerbell.

I think I got the better end of this deal!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Goals

And suddenly, it's August. Summer is simultaneously flying by and meandering at a leisurely pace. I guess that's what summer is all about.

July was a good month. 31 days ago I said that I finally felt like myself again thanks to the wonderful month of June and all June has to offer. Now, I'm happy to say that July ushered in even more good changes. I feel like in July, I have made a shift to a better version of myself. Life is good.

July Goals:

Spirit: Journal Daily: check! I've been doing a lot of journaling this summer, which I think goes hand in hand with all the positive changes I've been seing in myself.

Mind: Read 4 books from the bookhelf.  I read three. not bad

Body: 30 day ab challenge. didn't do all 30 days, but 24 of 30. Good workouts. Feeling tighter!
         Continue with Green Smoothies: Green smoothies and I took a sabatical this month. I just lost steam. But I do like em. I'll have to start that up again in August.
         Food Journaling: about half. I don't know why I always have a hard time with food journaling.

Work: continuing ed class: Done! The class wasn't exactly what I had expected, but it was good nonetheless
           no more than 45 hours per week: Happily, yes. I've mananged to cut back on my overworking tendencies.

Play: take neices and nephews to the beach: It rained on our beach day so we went mini-golfing instead
        One fun race event: I somehow made it to a couple concerts but no races this month.

Adventure: yoga retreat: Check! And double check! Really good weekend contributing to a nice shift in my outlook.             
                 One camping trip: fail. Tough trying to organize something around other people's schedule.


And onto August!

1) I'm jumping full force into the Clean Eating Challenge at Run to the Finish

2) Exercise daily...both cardio and either strength or yoga

3) Meditate daily

4) Put finishing touches on my teaching presentation for work

5) Falmouth Road Race! (have fun and run well)

6) Family Reunion! (I'm supposed to bring salad. Making home made clean dressings is my challenge)

 7) 4 books from book shelf!

8) Try out 5 or 6 new recipes

9) Go bike riding, roller blading, hiking, camping, swimming, and paddleboarding. (whew)

10) Get inspired with the Olympics and Paralympics in August!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Addictions

JULY'S ADDICTIONS


1) My Mizunos!
Got back into running again after being just barely on speaking terms. I feel like getting all old school and singing like Run DMC!

2) Body Rock
I've been lazy about planning workouts. Luckily, I found a site that does it for me!

3) Hair gel
I have never, never, never been a product girl. Then I chopped all my hair off and I need it. Schwierd!

4) The weather channel
No rain, put the top down. Rain, put the top up. No rain, put the top down. Rain, put the top up. Such is the life of a jeep girl!

5) The Olympics!
I love, looove, LOVE the Olympics! So inspiring. So amazing. So awesome!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

unexpected weekend

This past weekend, I went to a workshop at Kripalu Yoga Center in Stockbridge, MA. I had been to Kripalu once before, in the winter of 2010. Much different in the summer! I had planned on lots of running, swimming in the lake, and yoga-ing my little head off when not in the workshop. As it turned out, I got a good run in on Friday after arrival, but then the weekend saw thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. No swimming for me, and no running, either.

The workshop was put on by Gabby Bernstein, whose work I was familiar with from her books, Spirit Junky and Add More -ing to Your Life . Her work is similar to that of Wayne Dyer or Marianne Williamson, but a little younger, hipper, groovier; a little more casual. I've come to think of it a "spirituality light." So I figured it would be a totally chill, nice and relaxing weekend. I'd go, listen to some lectures, do some yoga, maybe meditate a little, and come home rested and relaxed.

As it turnes out, the groovy, hip, fashionista persona is a disguise. Nothing "light" about this chick! (except for her weight. She is tiny!)  I had a great weekend, but came home so completely emotionally drained that I can barely move!

In a good way.

More posts on that later. Until then, have a good week, all!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The wisdom of a 2 year old

This weekend, my 2 year old nephew taught me a lot about how I wish to be.

I was visiting with my brother and sister in law at their vacation cottage where they had spent the week. It was their last day and my brother was outside packing the car. My nephew was looking out the window at his dad. "Dada" he said, "Help Dada."

"You want to help Daddy?" I said.

"Ya" he said, "Help Dada."

I got a canvas tote and told him to pick up all the toys he saw and put them in the bag so we could give it to Daddy to put in the car. He lit up and proceeded to run around the house, grabbing every toy he could find. "Football" he said, "Shovel. Cookie Monster."

When the bag was full, we took it outside to his Dad. "Dada" he said, "I helped!" He was just exploding with joy when my brother picked him up and gave him a big kiss saying "Thanks, buddy. You are a big help."

I brought him back inside and he proceeded to go back through the house, looking for more toys he may have missed. After he had spent a very long time in the bedroom being VERY quiet, I went to check on him. That's when I saw that he had found the picture his 7 year old sister had painstakingly drawn the night before of "Super Dog". He also found the crayons. He had scribbled all over the picture in that way that only 2 year olds with crayons can do. He looked up when I came in. "I help Kiki!" he said.

I scooped him up and brought him into the living room. I went over to his sister and explained to her that her baby brother had tried to do a very nice thing for her and help her with her picture. She went to investigate. I was steeling myself for screams to erupt at any second. Instead, she emerged from the bedroom, shrugged, and said "I'll just draw a new one."

Then she went over to her brother and have him a hug. "Kiki" he said, "I helped!" He gave his sister a big kiss.

Oftentimes in life, we second guess ourselves, telling ourselves that our actions are not good enough. We beat ourselves up for not living up to the ideals in our heads. We compare ourselves to others (always falling short). We replay events in our heads, going over and over the thing we could have done differently.

How often do we congratulate ourselves for simply trying? For having good intensions? Or pure motives? How often do we focus on the actions themselves instead of the less than perfect results?

This weekend, in the actions of a 2 year old, I saw none of that insecurity. I saw pure motives: "I help!" without the slightest hesitation or inkling of self doubt. He never once thought that maybe his Dad or his sister didn't want his help. He wanted to help, and he did. Not once did he question the outcome of his help. He didn't agonize that he wasn't working fast enough or packing the bag tightly enough. He didn't consider that he may have "ruined" his sister's picture. His entire focus was on how he could help.

Of course, everyone gladly accepted his help. Why wouldn't they? He's adorable! He made everybody feel good. And when they praised him for helping, he accepted that praise openly and willingly. He didn't shrug it off saying "Oh, it was nothing" or belittle his efforts "I'm not good at art, but I tried." Instead, he accepted the hugs and kisses, smiled, and reciprocated with hugs and kisses of his own. Everyone was happy.

How beautiful would life be if we all lived life that way? If we decided to help somebody and just did, without all our hang-ups or false modesty. If we didn't go round and round with the "should I or shouldn't I?" or "Maybe he doesn't want my help, I don't want to upset him." If we did things for the sheer joy with clear honest motives without second guesses.

How wonderful would the world be if we openly accepted thank you's and praise without making excuses or putting ourselves down? If we stood proudly and owned our actions and accomplishments? Would we all be a little happier? A little less stressed?  I think we just might.

This weekend, I picked up my 2 year old nephew and gave him a big hug and a kiss on his head. I was thanking him, because he helped me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today's Inspiration


Dwell in Possibility --- Emily Dickenson

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things I've Learned

Ten Things I've Learned Recently:

1) There are about 25 different versions of that Gotye song. On a recent drive to New Jersey, I heard every last one of them. Repeatedly.


2) My hair is actually quite curly. I didn't really know that when it was down to my waist.

3) Plants need a lot more water than I ever thought. I'm slowly learning to be Garden Girl.


4) Many of the insects I called dragonflies are actually Damsel Flies.



5) Thirteen year old girls whine an awful lot. On my week off, I was going running with my neice and her friend who want to try out for field hockey in the fall. From their reaction, it was like I was electocuting their pets!


6) Ice cream on a summer day is one of life's greatest pleasures.

7) It's getting time to get a new computer. This thing runs ridiculously slow!

8) Savages is an extremely violent movie.


9) I have crazy dreams after watching violent movies.

10) I need to figure out the best way to deal with Jeep Hair with the new 'do!





Thursday, July 12, 2012

Perfect Summer Day

Every so often, there is a perfect day. A day when maybe your plans do not go as you had thought, but you later look back and say "I didn't even know I wanted to do that, but now I know that's EXACTLY what I wanted to do!" Today was one of those days.

I was supposed to go kayaking with a friend of mine. But he hurt himself earlier in the week and was unable to manage kayaking. We were supposed to meet here, where I live, but we decided I would go to his town to save him the drive. We were supposed to have a really active day.

Instead, we drove to a lake near his house and spent the day floating on rafts, looking at pictures in the clouds, seeing if the dragonflies would land on our toes, and drifting off both figuratively and literally.

We were supposed to go to a cafe and eat gourmet food while listening to a folk band. Instead, we ate hotdogs at a picnic table with his next door neighbors. And as we finished the day with ice cream and cake, I gave the Red Sox cap I had brought up for my friend to his next door neighbor who had just turned 7.

And as I was driving home, I thought of how lucky I was to experience this wonderful, perfect summer day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who I Am

Once again, it's Wednesday, time for the weekly writing assignment courtesy of Mamakat

This week, I chose to write a poem from a template. It was pretty fun! I'd recommend trying it for yourself!

I Am







I am curious and restless


I wonder where the sun is setting now


I hear the waves crashing


I see the snow capped mountain


I want to travel the world


I am restless and curious






I pretend I'm in another land, another time


I feel joy as I walk the foreign streets


I touch the cold marble facade of a church


I worry that it will never happen


I cry at my own insignificance


I am restless and curious






I understand that anything is possible


I say "The world is mine to explore"


I dream of living a gypsie life


I try to enjoy the adventure in my own home


I hope to call the world my home someday


I am I am curious and restless


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Strawberries

One of the nicest things about summer is all the fresh produce that is available at farmer's markets and roadside stands. I just can't get enough. This year, I have some container gardens, though the critters seem to be stealing much of my treasures. So I'm still scouting the farm stands whenever I go out.

This week, I picked up some delicious strawberries.

Strawberries are good no matter what, but they are especially tasty when prepared to maximize their sweetness and juiciness:

1) 1 pint of strawberries
2) 1 tablespoon honey
3) 1 tablespoons lemon juice

Slice the strawberries in quarters and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the honey and lemon juice and refrigerate. That's it!


I love eating these out of the fridge, nice and cold and sweet on a hot summer day.
(notice my awesome bowl that I bought in P-town after the Ragnar Relay)

Ah, life is good.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Week of Nothing

This week, I am on vacation. Unlike most vacations, I am doing nothing with my time off this week. I am not traveling halfway around the world to explore an exotic land I've never been to. I am not signing up for a weeklong outdoor fitness camp. I am not driving down the coast and visiting every lighthouse or bird sanctuary or Hard Rock Cafe along the way. I am not joining a group of volunteers to rescue sea turtles. I am doing nothing.

This is extremely out of character for me. Generally, I am wound up, going on all cylinders full blast at all times. I never do nothing.

This week, however, I am doing nothing. I am taking advantage of the pool at my apartment complex that I never have time to swim in. I am taking advantage of the beach one mile from my apartment that rarely have time to go to. I am spending time in the garden outside my house that I only dump water on in passing as I leave or come home from work. I am sitting in my Ikea chair that I bought because I love it and I don't sit in it enough.

This week, I am doing nothing. I'll see how that goes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pony- tales

TOP TEN WAYS YOU KNOW YOUR HAIR IS TOO LONG:

10)  You accidentally roll your hair up in the car window

9)  You don't know you've done this until you open the car door and almost rip your head off your neck.

8)  The hardest and most time consuming part of any triathlon is detangling your hair after the finish.

7)  Every time you roll over in bed, you practically smother yourself in your sleep.

6)  When you do a shoulder stand in yoga class, you pin yourself to the mat with your ponytail.

5)  Your monthly budget for conditioner is equal to the gross national income of a small third world country.

4)  French braiding your hair is interchangable with the P90-X  "Arms and Shoulders" DVD.

3)  You are regularly confused with Alanis Morissette and "Cousin It".

2)  You are seriously considering becoming a super hero whose only wepon is her braid.

1)  You cannot answer your cell phone without it getting stuck in your hair. (You may think that simply letting go of the phone will untangle it, but you'd be wrong. It would just dangle there, hitting you in the face like a tiny techno-hammer)

TOP THING TO DO WHEN YOUR HAIR IS TOO LONG:


Before



During



After


Some kid is gonna get one hell of a wig!