Tuesday, June 30, 2009

and then there is this

get it here.

seriously obsessed

cowgirl boots have never tugged at my heart before now.

maybe it's the spending hiatus that's getting to me.
channel your inner annie here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

mosaic monday

sixteen things I'm loving right now:
  1. girls with the guts to do pink hair;
  2. bubbles;
  3. airstream trailers, especially the bambi;
  4. carousels;
  5. mad prints (worn beautifully here by nic);
  6. bike riding;
  7. old movie houses;
  8. the tink of piano keys;
  9. rainbow sno-cones;
  10. picnics;
  11. lemonade stands;
  12. vintage cowgirl boots (or these that look vintage for a mere $1300.);
  13. the idea of a vintage motel (we all know the reality doesn't measure up);
  14. these chairs make me positively giddy;
  15. farmers markets;
  16. catching fireflies and promptly letting them free.

what's making you happy?

{please click here for flickr photographer credit.}

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I know, I know...I'm a wee bit behind on the movie viewing. if you're like me and haven't seen this one yet, I highly recommend it. family drama (and love), substance abuse, a weekend wedding to die for and a decidedly unprissy anne hathaway put this on my all-time favorites list.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

folie a deux

ten magical years.

Friday, June 26, 2009

a three hour tour

batteau on the james, the monacan trail, walton mountain, the blue ridge, rollercoaster whoopdi-doos just inside the albemarle county line, tigerlily-lined highway, one blue raspberry slurpee, monticello, montpelier, vineyards, road bike races, shenandoah valley, a thousand roadside fireworks stands, counties called madison...culpepper...facquier, so many farms with real red barns and silos, d.c. traffic a good hour outside the city, a girl selling wildflowers, bull run and other civil and revolutionary war battlefields of less fame, near-tornado-level-thunderstorms-turned-sunny-sky in the course of 15 minutes, carloads of families doing the american history vacation...

all in the three hour drive from my house to d.c.

I ♥ virginia.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

mosaic sunday

hi everyone! I'm leaving for the d.c. area today for the week. did I ever tell you that I'm part of a great team that teaches child abuse professionals to interview kids? we'll have a class of detectives, prosecutors and child protective social workers for the week. I love the program and I love the rest of the faculty, so I always look forward to these training weeks.

what I don't look forward to is the sense of secondary trauma I leave with at the end of the week. it's a solid 5 days of sexual abuse, violent crime and hurt kids. it can be a bit much (in the real job, you get it in bits and pieces, so there's plenty of recovery time). and part of my job is to keep the class interested and committed in doing this important but difficult work.

hence, the happy kid photos. I hope these smiles inoculate me this week and bring you a big dose of joy. the knowledge of what some people do to children's bodies and spirits can impact my psyche in a huge way. it's a delicate balance, to stay with the real material and be resilient to its effect. I will miss you all and will try to check in throughout the week.

{click here for flickr photo credits.}

p.s. click here to see the heart-wrenching video we start the week with (there are religious overtones, but the message is important). if you have the opportunity this week, make a child feel loved and protected.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

hey, it's summer!

I know this because:
  1. queen anne's lace is popping up everywhere! I love the design of this flower...modern and romantic at the same time.
  2. it's still light out at 9:30pm.
  3. the steamy air makes little girl curls in my hair.
  4. peaches!!!
  5. the otherwise hyper dogs laze about the house and yard. when I want to play, they turn their heavy eyes toward me and I swear I detect an eye roll and a "mom, you're harshing my mellow."
  6. everyone seems happier.

happy summer weekend!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

five senses friday


holding a dragonfly with a wounded wing, exhausted from his efforts to fly. he died shortly after this photo was shot. his death is a reminder of how life's beauty is brief and fleeting. see it. experience it and love it while you can.


peaches and organic locally-raised free-range chicken on the grill. oh my god, what have I been eating all these years that was called "chicken"?!


lots and lots of ideas.

lots and lots of encouragement. (thank you dear friends!)


the intoxicating scent of my backyard first thing in the morning and late in the evening. the humidity steams up the yard and the heat releases the scent of the jasmine, gardenia, honeysuckle, heliotrope, mint and an unknown vanilla-y bush that is really ugly but smells really pretty. the scents are almost overwhelming. almost.


even after thirteen years together, when he puts his arms around me at the end of the day, my knees get wobbly and I melt a little bit into his body. I love that.

happy weekend friends!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a little afraid of people

flowers, buddhas, dogs, clouds...now those I can handle. but a girl needs to grow, right? so I am taking a wee leap into the (somewhat) unknown to photograph actual people. those "not good enough" fears are surfacing. capturing a spirit is a gift that I'm not sure I have. but I guess there's no way to find out except to just do it. finding beautiful people like whitley to photograph improves the odds of success immensely. in the line-up: a newborn boy, a teen oozing personality and a 3-year old with ringlets like you won't believe.

wish me luck.

Monday, June 15, 2009

mosaic monday

I love these photos of beautiful girls with their cameras. each relationship between artist and instrument is captured perfectly. my favorite is cristina, bottom left corner. not only because I have serious camera envy, but because this photo was taken in 1995, to memorialize a point in personal history (before the flickr self-portrait-with-camera craze). it contains so much emotion.

I received my camera almost two years ago and she has become my constant companion. she's the best friend who helps me see my world for all it's beauty, large and small, grand and ordinary. she introduces me to people when I'm feeling friendly and lets me hide behind her when I'm introverted.

happy monday friends. don't forget your cameras.

and please pay tribute to the beauties above by clicking here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

indulgence + discipline

it really does cost more to live la vida local. but after three+ weeks of focusing the bulk of my spending locally, I believe it is so worth it. I feel like I'm actually preparing and eating real food. this may sound silly, but it I am amazed at how I had become accustomed to tasteless crap and fake plastic food. I feel fantastic. and not only about my body, but that I've contributed to my community and supported people who are producing high quality healthy food. my shopping basket above is filled with free-range organic chicken, goat cheese, gouda, nicoise olives, lavender honey (not shown) and the best freakin' antipasti in all the world from my newest favorite local haunt, the bedford avenue butcher shop.

on the flip side, the great closet transformation of 2009 has really opened my eyes to how much money I spend on clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, etc. etc. etc. so get this: I am hereby vowing to forgo purchasing these things for two months*. (baby steps, I know.) I have plenty. more than plenty. and I'm becoming aware that the process has become more about acquiring and having than a desire to dress stylishly. for the past five years, I have behaved like a greedy little magpie and I need to check it. I am prepared for symptoms of withdrawal and have asked ken to pull the anthro and j.crew catalogs from the mailbox to help me resist temptation. my friends, I am on fashion hiatus. now, off to sort more clothes...

*if, by chance, I run across the perfect green 3/4 sleeve bateau neck sweater and/or brown pointy-toed alligator pumps, I will purchase...these items are on my "always on the lookout" list and I know better than to pass them up if I find them.

oh, and teal mary-janes!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

good morning beautiful

this girl has never seen the likes of you before. I like you. I'll be back later with a little guy named tiny b who wants to sit on your perfect little seat.

and you! thank you for scenting the air this morning with your luscious honey goodness.

{p.s. it is not possible to run with a camera with any amount of efficiency.}

{update: tiny b and I walked over for his photo shoot on the mushroom....MOWED!}

Friday, June 12, 2009

five senses friday

I'm all about the senses this week. Sometimes I find myself not paying attention, not living in awareness, and that is my worst fear: to get to the end of life without really experiencing it. if you're an unraveling alumni, susannah has a class set for autumn centered around exploring the senses. I cannot WAIT!!! in preparation, I'm reading this book for the bazillionth time. it never gets old. in fact, I read it a new way each time. it's probably my all time favorite book. I'm inspired to pay close attention, to live my days noticing and celebrating sensual pleasures, both tiny and grand.

  • under the glow of the moroccan lantern, late dinners are lingered over and we speak softly and romantically.
  • I can't stop reading this list. so inspiring.


  • the sound of ken's voice as he reads lines in preparation for opening night (tonight!)...the rise and fall, the emotion, the sadness. he's such a contented person in real life and to hear him express a rich range of melancholy assures me that he is so talented.
  • the sound of my own voice as I was able to tell every single one of my staff during performance evaluations that they are doing an awesome job, that I am proud. I had to give no negative evaluations (a first in my three years as supervisor!). I am over the moon with pride for the work they do!


  • I love to sit outside at night. sometimes I light candles. as much as I appreciate their flickering light, my favorite part is when I blow them out. I love the smell of smoke and sulfur mingling in the heavy night air.


  • the lightness of summer's linen, cotton, tissue tees and silk make me realize how protected I feel in winter. I'm walking through my days with a slight anxiety of exposure. and it's okay.


  • the berries! my favorite fruit! I'm having them on everything: cereal, yogurt, salads. love.
I love abby's idea to record weekly sensual pleasures on fridays. how 'bout we make it a five senses summer? read the book, loves. you won't regret it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

five questions

oh how I love a curious girl! beautiful susannah (via lovely penny) posed five questions for blog readers. I had to sit on mine for a while and think. I'm curious about your answers to these questions, so think and post away and let us know in comments if you've published.

1. tell me three things you want to do before the year ends.

oh my gosh, I have got to get a handle on my "closet". I ran out of clothes/shoes/handbag room about three years ago and we cleared out a guest room and started storing them there. we've finally decided to officially make the room a closet. last weekend, I started the monumental task of sorting and hanging everything (on the 300 new perfect wooden hangers that I love, love, love!). as I was working, I realized that I have become quite the hoarder when it comes to clothes. at about one-third completion, the count is intriguing: 18 plain white tees, 12 pair of jeans, 31 graphic tees (!), 13 oversized handbags and 33 tops with assorted colorful paisley, polka-dot, floral, stripes, peacock feather, woodland creature (I kid you not!) prints. I haven't even got to the work clothes or shoes yet. the room will be painted soon with closet fixtures installed. I've hung a chandelier and want to make this the most funkiest girliest room that I never had (circa pretty in pink 1986).

and I want to take a photography class (already signed up for two) and spend a day at the fair.

2. do you wear a signature scent?

I have a tendency to dress by mood and I use scent the same way. I gravitate toward foody scents...almond, honey, clove, milk...and also anything smokey and woodsy. I love to mix scented oils to evoke a specific memory. for example, a blend of clove and jasmine takes me back to sultry summer nights of my youth when I would sneak out in the middle of the night and smoke clove cigarettes in the backyard. I would gaze up at the stars and wonder how my life would unfold. when I wear those scents today, I feel dreamy and slightly restless with possibility.

3. finish the sentence and expand on it: I couldn't live without...

of course I want to say love, my child, friendships, etc. but I have lived without these things for periods of time and survived. (I'm superstitious here and don't want to jinx anything, so I'm staying mute on the relationship-front.) I think it would be awful to live in poverty, but I've done that (briefly) too. it would be dreadful to live a life without curiosity or an appreciation of beautiful things. and I would be very sad if something happened to my camera. I really can't fathom how people don't have dogs, they are such loving little jesters. today, I'm fighting a cold, so my most immediate needs are yogi tea, a popsicle and my big comfy bed. I'm very grateful for what I have and those times when I didn't.

4. london, paris or rome?

london. summer 2010. (although I just took one of those silly facebook quizes which predicted I should live in paris.)

5. you have $100 to spend in one hour - what do you do/buy?

well, since it's 5:14 a.m., it will have to be this. not that I need any more printed tops, but this one would look perfect with little black capris and ballet flats, no? see?! I need a psychological! the alternative would have to be more wooden hangers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


these gorgeous wild berries are growing rampant in my yard. I don't know where they came from. I didn't plant them and they weren't here last year. I like them.

I started thinking about weeds and how I really prefer the weeds of virginia over the weeds of california. california beaches may have the virgin state beat, but california weeds are brown, hard, dry and dangerous. with names like goats head, fox tails, tumbleweeds and crab grass, west coast weeds are ugly and mean. weeds currently growing wild in my virginia yard: rose of sharon, scotch moss, wild berries and honeysuckle. they are all green and interesting.

remind me that I felt this way in august when they are taking over the garden.

Monday, June 8, 2009

mosaic monday

I find myself in the mood for a candy-colored life. how about you?

{candy karma is sweet and colorful; let's spread some.}

flickr creds here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

it's sunday

nothing new. except the flowers.

unlike this bee, I am lazy.
this is good.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

morning dork

I went for a run this morning. my neighborhood was bright and clean with the scent of wetness from yesterday's storm evaporating in the sun. this is why I live in virginia.

on the way back, I was a little high on endorphins and oxygen. I spied a turtle who just successfully crossed the road. he seemed so proud of himself for not being annihilated by a passing car, I swear he smiled at me. I smiled back with a cheerful greeting, "good morning mr. turtle!".

with earbuds in place, I was somewhat oblivious to my surroundings. within seconds a running group passed me from behind, barely containing their laughter. I'm still blushing.

happy weekend!

Friday, June 5, 2009

soul food

so yesterday, I escaped from my office at lunch. I try to get out most days, but usually it's with a coworker and we are just focused on food and talk. yesterday I ventured solo to meet our newest downtown friend, bittersweet.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here {wink}, but I love clothes. and handbags. and boots. and I love spending my time looking and touching and imagining them on my body. bittersweet has a mix of casual and funky that suits me perfectly.

I'm dreaming of bringing home these boots. I have a paisley dress that would make them so happy.

happy friday friends. go discover a local beauty.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

but dude, it's wednesday

I know, but I love rosie music's art so much, I couldn't wait until monday to post a mosaic. my favorite is the little band on wood. and there are t-shirts too!


yesterday I was on the phone with an e.r. doctor about a child abuse case. we recognized instantly from our voices that both of us came from other places and had somehow landed in this sleepy little southern town. I was thinking he was from somewhere in the vicinity of the west coast and then he said it: "dude, let me check." california. no doubt.

here's the funny thing: I was absolutely delighted! for the rest of the day! I have become so used to being called ma'am, sugar, honey, buttercup, or any other of the thousands of sticky sweet southern endearments. it was so refreshing to hear the mother tongue. I haven't been called dude (except by my daughter) in almost ten years.

happy wednesday friends.

Monday, June 1, 2009

i ♥ joon

thirty delicious days of painted toes, slowing down, lunch al fresco, barefoot evenings, metallic teal junebugs, art festivals, bike rides, picnics, shooting stars, fireflies, farm markets...

happy monday, junebugs. and happy june.