Sunday, May 31, 2009


at the root of authenticity: tangible, genuine, unfiltered.
  • these strawberries~from the field to my lips in under 24 hours.
  • my monkey mind~throw it all out there to explore, sort, categorize, analyze, discard, embrace, reconsider, etc.
  • apologies~for subjecting you to the ramblings of my monkey mind; I should know better than to blog when under the influence of insomnia and multiple doses of caffeine.
  • sundays~an entire beautiful day before me. the air is clean from the rain, the sun is out, my camera is ready to take it all in.
  • relief~the last day of may. I just might need to take a short blogging break after 31 days of posting for nablopomo. but probably not.

I believe in authenticity (I think)

so I've been awake since around 3:30am...thunderstorms booming, dogs acting like fools, me lying there thinking about authenticity and whether or not it's something in which I truly believe. forgive me if this post rambles because I can't seem to get my thoughts structured around this concept. (this confusion is minor compared to the weeks my crazy self has been trying to decide if I actually believe in anything wholeheartedly. the answer, it turns out, is no. except if you want to call believing that everything is relative a belief.)

there is a lot of buzz about authenticity in the wide circle of creative bloggers--mostly addressing the issue of originality and its range from innocent inspiration to outright plagiarism. my interest here is directed more toward the people we are, the roles we play, originality of being. do we actually live true original lives or are we just becoming and pretending day by day?

I am fascinated by who people are, what moves or freezes them, the lineage and history that shape them. actually, I think I may be obsessed with this concept. I've met truly authentic people and can recognize them instantly. but to me, the actual definition of the concept of authenticity may be a wee bit more elusive.

take myself for example. I value being authentic. I recognize when I'm being it, but that is only because I've lived chunks of my life inauthentically. or were those inauthentic bits just part of the history that make me authentically me? (see, we could go round and round here.) I think about the diverse roles I've played in my life, complete with dialect, costumes, supporting casts; who I am now is a composite of those things, the good and the bad, the true and the played.

{I think I need to stop here and take a break. I'm rambling and don't know if I'm making any sense. let's see what bono has to say on the subject.}

once again, I feel I've taken something that really is so simple and overthought it and complicated the hell out of it. clearly there is a need here for me to refine my thoughts. but that's me. give me any topic and I'll turn it over and around and inside out and make it ugly and then make it pretty and then render it useless right before it's determined to be essential for survival.

I may need more time to examine this issue in this space. (examination: there's something I believe in.) I'm interested in your thoughts. I am authentically stuck.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

wild child

grow on, baby girl. you make my world beautiful and remind me to be a free spirit.

happy birthday. I love you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

five senses friday

hello friends. here's how my week shaped up, sensually speaking:

  • the first fireflies of the season. I love that there are only one or two out there, pioneers on the dating scene, lonely and signalling.
  • in my mind, I can see this rug in my dining room. I'm not sure what "price band W2" means, but I have a feeling it means I won't be seeing this rug in my dining room any time soon.
  • milky white gardenias the size of oranges.


  • the cicadas arrived on the plane with the fireflies for their summer visit.
  • and thunderstorms. huge, booming thunderstorms. the scary kind.
  • once in a while, I surprise myself and fall in love with some good old down home american music (re: my 2003 obsession with be good tanyas); blame sally is my new lazy-summer-beer-on-the-lawn fave.
  • the woody thunk as the mallet hits the croquet ball.


  • fresh asparagus so many ways!


  • baby soft skin after serious total-body exfoliation treatment. why can't it stay this way?
  • the humidity's back too...I love the feeling on my skin when I transition from sticky warmth to air conditioned cool.


have a beautiful weekend!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

la vida local, part deux

not that I needed another project.

she is one of my new babies. one of five heirloom tomato plants purchased for 75¢ each at the farm market who will make their summer home with the herbs on my south patio and hopefully keep my little family in luscious tomatoey goodness all season long.

have you read animal, vegetable, miracle? it has been sitting on my bookshelf for several months and I just picked it up last weekend. wow. I have read a lot of books about food and nutrition, but none have scared and saddened me (in a good propel me to action) as much as this one. I've been pretty loyal to local farm markets, but the vast majority of produce purchases over the span of my grocery shopping life have occurred at the supermarket. half-way through the book, I know I need to change that.

we are lucky to have a city farm market open six days a week all year round, so I will be visiting more than saturdays (and it's crazy I haven't done this's a short walk from my office and yet I was so stuck in habit that I arrived at 7am on the weekend instead!). we also purchased a share in our local farm co-op, which delivers the freshest, just-picked produce and eggs and meat from the surrounding mennonite farms to a drop-off point just down the street from my house once per week. I love this. I just wish they actually came in a horse and buggy.

and then there is this desire to grow some food myself. I've never journeyed into growing more than flowers and herbs. this little book (and the website) have me excited to see what I can do at home. with my trusty gardening assistant right by my side.

I was born and raised in california's great central valley, which supplies a good portion of the world's food. during my life, I witnessed the transition from family farm to this concept of agribusiness. I always thought it was a good thing...bigger farms=more food, right? I really had no idea how capitalism was screwing the food chain and our potential survival. read the book. you won't regret it.

are you supporting your local farms or do you grow it yourself?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

la vida local

when we first moved to this little southern city nearly eight years ago, we fell in love with the green hills and blue skies. there were cute little cafes and other local restaurants so we swore off the olive gardens of the world for local cuisine. sadly, the shopping scene was not so abundant. in the past eight years though, new shops have opened that beg me to spend some of my money locally. I still do most of my clothes/shoes/handbags and interiors shopping out of town or online. but since I don't want things to go back to the dismal state they were in eight years ago here, I've been trying to spend more money locally.

neighborhood shops like folk (like a baby anthropologie), culina and the farm basket make it easy for me. there are also great garden shops and even a little local hardware store a few blocks away (we still have to go to lowe's for the big stuff). but I'm still pulled to target and old navy for cheap stuff and to nordstrom and anthropologie (both out of town) for the really, really good loot. still, I'm doing a good bit to support my homies. go here and find out just what this could mean for your own town. that's what I'm shooting for in june: 3/50.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

daisies for you

to say thank you for your friendship. the love and creativity in this land of blog never ceases to amaze me. I love to visit your blogs and stay a while in your beautiful lives. I'm not the most prolific commenter, but know that I am there soaking up your words and images, having a laugh, being a friend and basking in your brilliant sunshine.
saturday was to be the date for this I believe. I kind of forgot about this little lovely project in all the flurry of posting every day (someone please kindly remind me next time I decide to do nablopomo!). anyway, can we move it to sunday? I have yet to produce any words, just a clumsy formulation of thoughts and I think I need another day to work on it.

let me know in comments if you'd like to play along. we'll be writing a post about a central idea, thing, event, person, etc. that holds our belief.

Monday, May 25, 2009

mosaic monday

after last week's daily riot of brilliant color, I find myself craving pale shelter. all weekend I have turned to flickr to gaze upon color bleached by the sun and faded by time and emotion.

thank you flickr faves, they're just beautiful.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


  • four-day weekends every weekend
  • to not notice all things wrong
  • and feel I need to fix them
  • or comment on them
  • to eat bread and pizza and tacos and not get fat
  • to live on a farm
  • and have a few of these

  • and sell goat cheese, herbs and wildflowers at the market on saturdays
  • but then, farmers never get four-day weekends
  • or vacations
  • and probably don't purchase a lot of handbags and shoes
  • okay, back to the wishlist
  • to spin stories that produce real laughter and tears
  • and capture images that do the same
  • that's it for today

Saturday, May 23, 2009

at the edge of summer

{ first of all, I have to say another wow! to color week. I had a blast! thank you all. christy, feel free to inspire me anytime!}

can you believe it's memorial day weekend already? culturally in the u.s., this place in time marks the beginning of the summer season. tell me what plans you have!

I'm hoping that my summer can be described in one word: lazy. plans for a trip to the u.k. are postponed to 2010, so there are no big journeys (which sadly always cause me more anxiety than's the whole planning thing). so you won't find me in an airport for the next few months. I'm staying close to home with plans to begin (and finish! dear god girl!) projects around the house and garden, take a photography class and a few cooking classes, wreck a journal, and hit the gym. other than that, it's all sunshine and reading and daydreaming and exploring. (oh yeah, and work.)

have a super weekend! I hope it's filled with play and picnics and much laughter.

Friday, May 22, 2009


it's interesting that I count purple as one of my favorite colors, but it is the most challenging for me to find in my life. I love this purple flower box at my favorite spot for lunch.

my favorite in the purple color range: fig (this is from last summer...isn't it just luscious?).

the punch of purple here is just what this yarn needs to keep it from looking too autumny (from the fibre festival last weekend).

what smells like cafe con leche, tastes like tostones and sounds like a happy neighborhood bodega? my favorite cuban cafe, kuba kuba.

wispy lavender blooms against the aged brick look so french.

this is me, smiling a big smile (my lips are painted plum, although they really don't look very plummy next to all the other purple). thank you everyone for participating, sharing, commenting, looking and loving color week. it really was a little daily voyage around our beautiful colorful world.
let's do it again very soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

punch drunk

balancing among the peonies for bench monday.

an electric red barn in the middle of nowhere.

a classic abandoned on the lawn for an afternoon nap.

mexican coca-cola is made with real cane sugar. american coca-cola is made with high fructose corn syrup (ew!). the difference is incredible. it's worth the hunt.

happy pinky-red day, you beautiful flowers you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

it's a sunshine day

yellow and orange always make me think of sunshine. orange tiny b is grateful for his time in the garden.

there are so many yellow flowers blooming here! these were positively stretching toward a sparkly sky.

I love this yellow window in an old train depot turned restaurant.

I was planning on making lemon cupcakes, but the lemons looked so pretty in their bowl, I couldn't bear to grate their peel and cut them up. so I took their picture. then I gave them a nest of colorful fiber to rest in and I loved how they looked like giant eggs in a rainbow nest.

taking photos is so much more diet-friendly than eating lemon cupcakes.

happy wednesday friends!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I ♥ green

I am blown away by all the color! I'll have some time later tonight to sit and swoon over all your greens. it's going to be a great tuesday.

I love it in spring when the garden shop is stock full, before all the plants and pots are picked over.

my green toes, courtesy of a friend who truly gets me. (please excuse the dodgey pedi...I was in a hurry that morning.)

this buddha sits in a nest of green.

green + mosaic = my favorite thing.
after work yesterday, I took the laptop out to the lawn. it was the perfect end to blue monday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

it's blue monday!

goodness, I've been spotting and loving a lot of blues these last few months, so I knew monday would not be a challenge (purple, I'm out for you!). folky metal stars aren't really my thing, but I absolutely love them on this painted blue wall at my favorite garden store.

apparently, blue pots are very popular, as this guy was left all alone in a field of terracotta.

blue on does that song go?

early blue girls at the farm market. everything seems early this year: peonies...blueberries....maybe I'm just late.

there's a reason they call them the blue ridge mountains. here's the view from the little town of bedford, virginia...just down the road from where I live. we spent saturday afternoon there browsing antique shops and eating a so-very-southern lunch of fried green tomatoes and sweet tea. gorgeous.

happy blue monday friends!
{for more color, see the color week sidebar and explore to your heart's desire.}

Sunday, May 17, 2009


one of the things I love about the birth of a baby (besides the obvious cute babiness!) is how we celebrate and want to protect the newness of life. I feel a desire to make the world a better place, bring a little peace to her space in it and help pave the way for her and all the other babies to have a life on this beautiful earth that is full of happiness, wonder and discovery.

I like that about babies.


color week starts tomorrow with blue monday! see wednesday's post for the schedule (but you all know how I feel about rules, so feel free to peacefully dissent and do your own color thing). there's still time to sign up if you'd like. there is so much color to see and capture and share, it just makes me smile a really big smile in anticipation. you can post your photos (or words) however you wish, either on your blog or flickr. if you don't have either, still join in, you'll be amazed how a teeny-tiny little assignment will focus your mind on beautiful color you may have missed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I haven't been much of a beach girl as an adult. because that's pretty much all I did all summer in my youth, my tastes for how to spend leisure time changed. but lately, I can't get the beach out of my head and I am longing for some serious sand time. accoutrement:
  • when I saw this green paisley bikini at old navy, plans were set in motion for a trip to the coast, any coast.
  • toes will be painted mermaid blue.
  • I have very salient scent memories of the beach, a huge part of that is bain de soleil orange gelee (I'll have to slather on real sunscreen underneath. spf 4? how do I not have skin cancer?).
  • I can't wait to sink into the sand on this mosaic towel.
  • and slip on these sunglasses.
  • the sandals. okay, let me tell you about the sandals because I'm feeling a bit guilty. normally, I would not spend this kind of money on a pair of sandals. but you see, I've been looking for green jewelled flat sandals, going on five years now. I saw them in a magazine yesterday, immediately went online and made them mine. I continue to justify the purchase as a reward for working two jobs from january to may. (and I plan on taking my lunch to work for the rest of the month.)
  • the sand pail is necessary for making of castles and collecting of shells.
  • music is also required. but I am leaving my iphone behind. a vintage transistor radio is all I need. another sweet sensory beach memory is hearing the mish-mash of music coming from each towel, intermingled with laughter and waves. one of my favorite sounds ever.
  • please come and join me! I'll be under the rainbow umbrella.

Friday, May 15, 2009

five senses friday

  • sweet brand new person: ms. bianca!
  • I spy color everywhere in preparation for color week (see wednesday's post and join us).
  • hello andrew mccarthy on this week's gossip girl (still the most handsome of the brat pack).


  • grills cranking up all over the hood.
  • the garden bursting with peonies and herbs.


  • a chocolate cupcake with a glass of ice cold milk.
  • chicken grilled on the fire with chimichurri.


  • that perfect moment when I turn off the light, plump my pillow and sink into sleep.


  • myself developing more of a potty mouth than normal and need to check it.
  • loving the accents on the #1 ladies detective agency.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

summer reads

I am already anticipating lazy afternoons getting lost in stories with the soft whir of the sprinkler as background music. here's what I'm looking forward to:

how about you?

{don't forget color week! see wednesday's post below.}

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

next week=color week

unpack these cameras and show us your colorful world! let me know in the comments if you want to participate and I'll do a blogroll on the sidebar for easy exploration of our fantastic everydayness. here's the lowdown:

monday: blues
tuesday: greens
wednesday: oranges & yellows
thursday: pinks & reds
friday: purples

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

on time and peonies

peonies seem to be everyone's favorite. they have all the characteristics of a flamboyant friend who visits once a year (bigger than life, brightly-colored, gone while we're still enjoying their company). we always anticipate the visit and delight in every single knock-your-socks-off second of it.

this year, they seem to have arrived early. I can relate and appreciate; I too am an early girl. ken and I we're just having a discussion the other day about telling time and analog clocks (we have the strangest discussions sitting outside at night!). it was part of a larger discussion about the digital generation (our students) and what we feel they are gaining and losing. anyhoo, I vividly recalled the moment as a child that I "got" the clock and learned to tell time. it was the very first sensation I had of control. I now had a tool that would help me have some control over my own life. I had the power to organize some chaos. that's huge. ever since then, I have been a time and schedule fanatic. I am almost always early and chronic lateness is one of my pet peeves.

what about you? is the clock your friend or foe?

I hope you have peonies exploding around you too.

{p.s. look closely at the flower, it has a friend holding on under the petal.}

Monday, May 11, 2009

mosaic monday

now this I believe in: what goes around comes around.

lately I am drawn to shapes of circles, dots and swirls (see last five posts). maybe subconsciously I am seeking to become less linear. who knows? what I do know is that sweet circles make me happy and I hope they make you happy too.

see here to give credit to our flickr friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

looking for goodness

I do my best to improve my spiritual disposition. often my efforts leave me frustrated and wondering what in the world is wrong with me. my left brain is a big, big brain and very powerful. most recently, I have been exploring the tenets of buddhism. I am very far from zen. the girl who is far from zen is exactly the girl who should take a good look and try to get closer to zen. so the past few months, I have been happy to have a look and think. I am currently reading the art of happiness, by his holiness the dalai lama (I know, it's buddha for lightweights).

and there it is, in the book's introduction. the belief that causes my skin to prickle and my brain to move into dissonance: all humans are basically good. I am outing myself here. I do not believe this. (on the flip-side, I also do not believe western religion's notion that we are all sinners.)

my husband thinks this misunderstanding of mine (he is one of those lucky souls who truly believes in the basic goodness of the human spirit) is due to the field I work in and that I am surrounded by pain, suffering, depression, and endless cycles of violence and personal irresponsibility. (I have even met children who scare me.) there may be some truth to this.

but consider that the opposite may also be true; that his holiness and other enlightened souls can carry this belief because of the people who surround them. I would imagine that the throngs of folk who seek the dalai lama, visit zen retreats and conferences and whatnot have already experienced some growth and that their hearts were open in the first place to goodness and light. it would make it easier to believe that all humans are good when the energy swirling around you is pure and magically oriented to growth.

is goodness an environmental concept? can we believe in pure good as long as we surround ourselves with it? I want to believe this. especially since it looks as if true happiness is out of my reach until I authentically grab on to at least a bit of this belief. this blog community that I am blessed to be a part of demonstrates that there are pockets of good. but are we, as seekers of goodness, in denial of the rest of the story? I am eager and open to hearing your thoughts. (momma zen, if you are here, please, please chime in with your wisdom and any reading you recommend.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

saturday morning memories

tanked up on sugar and mesmerized by this. {freaky!}

it's a wonder I made it to adolescence.
happy weekend sugarpuffs!

Friday, May 8, 2009

five senses friday

  • the sun finally peeking out after a week of rain. hi there, stranger!
  • I am all about dots lately...could it be I'm moving on from stripes?


  • laundry's done.
  • this is amazing. today is the last of the sample and I am sad.


  • my new favorite lunch combo: roasted artichoke soup with salad of microgreens and sweet balsamic.


  • clean virginia air filling my lungs.
  • those tiny deep muscles I forgot about that only yoga can find.


  • steady beat of raindrops on my plastic umbrella, punctuated by booming thunder and the crack of lightening.
  • this is what I'll be listening to all weekend. discovered here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

i haiku u

(cue spotlight.)

on grey rainy days
my polka dot umbrella
makes smiles like sunshine


(cue curtain.)

{thank you, thank you, thank you for your sweet support yesterday. I felt it and it feels good.}

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the rules of the game

when I shot this photo, I imagined a sweet little post about lazy saturday afternoons spent playing bocce in my bare feet. the thunderstorm of work this week has made that seem so very far away. therefore, (please bear with me) another vent.

I deal a lot with attorneys and other legal professionals at work in the child abuse field. I have deep regard for the law and the rights we are awarded in this nation. I have reverence for the system of law in place and I still get that heavy proud feeling when I enter a court of law. I value the rights of a family and privacy and parents to make decisions for their own children. until their children are hurt intentionally.

I wonder how the rules changed. is it where I live? are there remnants of good-old-boy law here? I am frustrated with those who feel their job is to take the truth, deconstruct and distort it and rebuild it into something that serves the purpose of their client. a man takes my observations (my reality) and turns it into something deceitful and construed for my own selfish purposes (although they can't really explain how I am personally being served by this other than my wicked desire to mess with other people's lives). is this what legal representation is meant to do? is it meant to protect rights or protect those who hurt children?

huge changes need to happen. I'm trying to decide if I am up for the fight.