Friday, April 30, 2010

sunshine day

my apologies in advance for the song-stuck-in-your-headedness that will occur when you click on this link.  this just fits my mood today.  i smile when i recall my ten-year-old self and her friends working tirelessly in the backyard to perfectly replicate the moves and lyrics (from memory; in the pre-videorecorder era).  sappy for sure, but that's how i do these days.

i hope you have brilliant sun today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

sing, sing a new song

i don’t know if it’s due to spring or a life stage or a full moon or what, but quiet courage seems to be my friend lately. suddenly, i’m less concerned about how i will be perceived; not unconcerned, but more certain that what i authentically have to offer is good enough. risk is beckoning; whether i will approach it with a toe dip or a grand jeté or a freefall or a curious blend of all three is unclear. i feel a gentle pull in a different direction. and the direction feels more like process than accomplishment, more journey than destination, more about the dance than the curtain call. i’m so going there, wherever it is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

mosaic monday

i don't know what has gotten into me...i can't get enough of soft tones and (eek!) pastels!  so i'm just going to yield to the attraction and embrace this quieter, but no less powerful, version of beauty.  just like these lovely flickr artists did.

happy soft + pretty monday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

she said yes

to softness.
and hush.
and malleability.
and buoyancy.
and misty sunday mornings.

{actually, she said 'oui'; it sounded more like the tenderness in her heart.}

p.s. please excuse my little mess while i (as kenda says) embiggen things around here.  i'm feeling curiously bold in the midst of all the light-and-airy-ness.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

thank u kellys

to kelly rae for posting it and to kelly corrigan for saying it.

happy weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

how to have an amazing friday

  1. understand that it's friday (sometimes this is all it takes).
  2. drift off reading a fantastic story at 9:15 pm on thursday and sleep for a full eight hours.
  3. wear something colorful and maybe a little age-inappropriate.
  4. show up.
  5. be open to happy surprises and shifts of fate (even the scary kind).
  6. every hour on the hour, pause and acknowledge something or someone with gratitude.
  7. write down a word that represents your wildest dream, the dream that feels so far off and impossible that even writing the word is bizarre.
  8. stare at the word, art it up if you'd like. no wait, let's not make that optional: art it up.
  9. go there. see it. be it. now trace your steps backwards. not that impossible after all.
  10. have a treat. here are some ideas: a nap, a long lunch, a walk in spring's gorgeousness, a massage, a chat with an old friend...
  11. love this day. love this beautiful life.
happy, happy day friends.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

into the forest

primal and new. majestic and tender. our world is spectacular. happy earth week.
{crabtree falls, blue ridge mountains, virginia.}

Monday, April 19, 2010

on an ordinary sunday

once the paper is read and the coffee pot is empty, she contemplates the list of tasks she must complete before another work week begins. there are clothes to sort (keep/toss/donate), dogs to bathe, dirt to move, bills to pay, floors to mop, grass to mow. he looks at her and suggests, "let's go on an adventure." she feels that edge of anxiety move in because, of course, there has been no planning, no research, no agenda prepared.

they drive toward the west and disappear in the blue ridge mountains, under a nearly violet sky. they pass fields of yellow wildflowers and stop to meet a family of goats. she likes the feel of the white bristly top of their heads and the emergent growth of horn, warriors in training. they are noisy and pushy and funny and obstinate. she thinks goats get a bad rap and loves them all the more for it.

they climb to the origin of a magnificent waterfall and she wonders how many more hikes will there be in my life? she asks this type of question a lot lately: how many more dances? how many more opportunities to learn something new? to write that book? how many more summers can i dream of barcelona and paris and london and prague and allow something to come up that thwarts my journeys? she is passed on the right by an elf of a woman easily in her seventies, cheerfully plowing through with her rainbow wood walking stick and dreads. she smiles in admiration.

later that afternoon, they picnic on a paisley quilt spread out over a small clearing of grass that overlooks the valley below. she lies back to let the sun work its magic with heavy warmth and blurry color spots she can see through her closed lids. she wonders why there are no birds here. the stillness overcomes her. she opens her eyes to the majestic live oak flanked by dogwoods in full bloom. and just when she thinks that the absolute silence of the clearing is the most beautiful sound she has ever heard, the man she loves begins to read steinbeck aloud and takes the prize.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

in the garden

i love the enthusiasm i feel in the garden in the first warm days of spring. this year i owe my garden extra time and attention. in return, it provides a beautiful world separate from the realities of everyday life.

as with most things i do, my garden is a work in progress. so that i don't lose interest or money, i like to build it one day and one week and one year at a time. a few years ago, i decided to switch over from mostly established large shrubs and tress to perennials and lots of pots overflowing with annuals, that takes some testing and maintenance and is not inexpensive. the big projects are done: we've built a retaining wall and fence to allow more room for the dogs to romp and frolic.

ginormous boston ferns will always hang from the arbor. i swear they have their own little air conditioners attached.

we spend a lot of time out here (even in winter). mornings are by far the best. the dappled sunlight provided by the wee forest of trees is incredible during the day, but at night manmade lighting is crucial. there are landscape lights, uplights, two chandeliers, giant jars with beeswax candles and fairy lights on the arbor. it's truly magical. (now that i know how to shoot at night, i'll capture a photo of it this year.)

hands-down, it's my favorite place to be. and since it's 7:24 on sunday morning, i must excuse myself. there is a newspaper to be read and coffee to be savored as the sun makes its entrance through the trees.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


we all deserve it. happy weekend friends.

Friday, April 16, 2010

five senses friday*

  • the lovely vintage teal that results when a bright blue sky is tinted green with pollen.
  • green, purple, red, pink, green, yellow, white, lilac, green, green, green...this is my ninth virginia spring and the most brilliantly painted by far. if this is what a crazy winter produces, i'll gladly endure it year after year.
  • still loving mumford and sons. especially this line from after the storm: there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears; and love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. get over your hill and see what you'll find there with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
  • just mowed grass.
  • lollia wish. it's totally in line with this sweet feeling of grace i'm momentarily experiencing.
  • rich fragrant earth.
  • the power of the hose pistol.
  • avocado omelette.
  • the fairy/rainbow roll sushi combo.
*fsf is beautifully inspired by abby.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

halcyon days

halcyon. the word is minimally used i think because it defines a deep, but at the the same time light, sense of happy calm that is rarely achieved. open, clear, ready, harmonious. these feelings are filling up my space, seeping into defended confused areas like a silver liquid stain. fortifying and nurturing, soaking and opening seeds that were planted days, months, years ago.

it is good. and i'll take it for as long as it's here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

yes tulips

you are now officially in the club of oft photographed lovelies. you and peonies and cupcakes and clouds and sunflares and christmas lights and coffee mugs and books and feet and tiny little buddhas are the things i turn to when i need a shot of consistent beauty and wonder in a world of chaos.
happy monday tulips.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the one where i am a total dork

so we arrived late to the reading and stood in the back of the crowd. ms. lamott read from the podium to a mature, somewhat sedate audience. i had to resist the impulse to shout out, "hi anne!!!", waving enthusiastically like a preschooler greeting a friend on the playground. instead i graciously acclimated to the quiet studied dignity of the group.

i am here to report that her spoken words are just as powerful as the written: several times my heart swelled and tears glazed my eyes in recognition, in connection. my soul was saying yes, me too, thank you. on repeat.

after the reading and several very thoughtful questions from my new mature sedate studied friends (note to self: next time try to think of a question beforehand so you are not just grinning and nodding like a crazy person at the back of the room), we waited in line for a brief moment of face time. my brain went in overdrive formulating the perfect words to say to her to express my gratitude. i figured i had about ten seconds to get it out, this indebtedness i carry around because she made the choice again and again and again to write down her wildly flawed and spectacular life experiences and thoughts.

as i got closer to the front, camera ready and lines memorized, i watched her interact with people. she was warm and genuine as one can be meeting and connecting with a hundred people in under an hour. to me, she is authenticity personified.

when my turn came, my perfect lines deserted me like the false friends they tend to be. all i could do was grin an utterly thrilled, uncontainable chipmunk-cheeked, eye-crinkling smile. she told me she liked my sweater and that i looked like a cousin of hers. all i had was this: thank you.

then again, emphatically, thank you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


the little forest behind the house has her fancy pants on.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

it's official

{anne lamott week}

if you have a favorite quote, please share in comments. if you're anything like me, i can't turn a page in any of her books without highlighting or dogearing. there are so many beautifully resonate words to choose from. my absolute favorite are her words about grace {previously shared here}. a close second is this:

"i did the only thing i could think to do: plunge on and tell my truth."

Monday, April 5, 2010

today, grace

arrived wearing a ruffly frock the color of watermelon sorbet. she reached her flowering arm across the fence in an accidental handshake of friendship.

on her behalf, i accept that you will most probably never be the neighbor i wish for (like-minded, fun, smart with good boundaries). on her behalf, i forgive you for the nights you leave your dog tethered outside in the frigid cold. i forgive the monstrosity of a deck you built off of your second story that obliterates any notion of privacy for me. i forgive that you are done with your children right around 5pm and send them outdoors with their outdoor voices at the exact same time i am attempting to forget the world through sunshine, quiet, a good book and a glass of wine.

even though you did not offer this gift of grace to me, she has a way of knowing which way to grow. without your permission, she extended loveliness through the fence. and i accepted.

and with this grace, i am grateful that your children seem happy and healthy (although i must say that if you tether them outside in the frigid cold, i am obligated by law to intervene). and i am grateful for the inspiration your deck gave to plant the most stunning purple crepe myrtle that will one day provide a friendly blooming screen of separateness between us. and i open my heart to make room that your life is not required to consider mine but i will consider yours as precious and beautiful and flawed as mine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

i love you anne lamott

"if my heart were a garden, it would be in bloom with roses and wrinkly indian poppies and wild flowers. there would be two unmarked tracts of scorched earth, and scattered headstones covered with weeds and ivy and moss, a functioning compost pile, great tangles of blackberry bushes, and some piles of trash i've meant to haul away for years."

-anne lamott, grace (eventually)

p.s. i look forward to meeting you in person on thursday if i can get out of this effing court hearing.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


loving the hipstamatic. life in vintage blue green.

Friday, April 2, 2010

five senses friday*

  • so grateful to live in a city that continues to spend on brilliant public garden beds despite financial issues.
  • I dreamt last night that I had a remote control that put things and people on mute. sadly, it was one of the best dreams I have ever had. lately I feel so assaulted by volume.
  • it's in the eighties this week. sun kissed skin and inaugural lunch al fresco.
  • you know when the first raindrops touch warm pavement and that scent briefly rises? it happened this week. it's always the most pleasurable the first time it occurs in the year.
  • nothing new this week, but totally finding comfort in the old standbys: almond flavored coffee, greek yogurt, anchovies on my caesar salad.
have a beautiful weekend loves!
*fsf inspired by abby.