Monday, August 31, 2009

mosaic monday

number 21 on my list will likely not be accomplished this year. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to sit somewhere and gaze at the milky way. however, it will remain on the list until I'm able to check it off proper.

one of my favorite summer memories is a night hike in the mountains north of los angeles. my group reached the top of a peak and we were surrounded by stars so bright they cast shadows. we naturally and quietly separated because it just seemed this was an experience to behold as a solitary being. I laid down on a bed of pine needles and stared into heaven for what seemed like hours. it truly was one of the grandest moments of my life. I'd like to repeat it someday.

in the meantime, I am grateful to these flickr stargazers for capturing that magic.

happy monday friends.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

can't wait

I am in sweet anticipation of many things coming this autumn. seeing this is near the top of the list.

Friday, August 28, 2009

five senses friday

  • did you see it? that subtle shift of the light from summer bright to autumn demure? it's my absolute favorite atmospheric experience.


  • still grooving on summer's bounty of health and goodness: tomatoes and nectarines are my new best friends. I'm still training myself to (mostly) stick with locally-grown organic produce, cheese, meats and other products. lucky for me, our little 'burg has a great farmers market and a lovely little shop that specializes in this area.


  • some written words were meant to be spoken. one of my favorite storytellers is pat conroy. I'm reading his new book south of broad. I cozy up in bed at night and the story insists to be read aloud. the prose is lush. so much so that it compels me to use my voice as if reading a play. there is laughter, shouting, moments of quiet and the trembling hush of speaking aloud a tragic secret kept hidden for years. and it gives me the opportunity to practice my soft southern accent (which is quite lovely and different from the harsh variety so often heard around here).


  • I am loving all things honey-scented: this and all of these, especially the body cream. oh and this too. yum.


  • always included in my sensory-fest associated with all things autumn is the anticipation of wearing coats again. I needed a new (two sizes smaller!) peacoat and just purchased this one (in rust). its wool is soft and formidable at the same time. coats and scarves and hats leave me feeling protected and safe and I can't wait to go through my days sheltered away beneath their luscious armor.

here's to a beautiful weekend for us all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

standing still

paying attention.



taking it all in.

be back soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

happy saturday

luca is the misfit wildchild, his curiosity almost always leads him to trouble. he is often misunderstood. he is the most like me.

roxy is the golden girl. she manages to be silly and indignant at the same time.

and then there's my simon. he is so opposite from the terriers in character. he is stable, balanced, loyal, certain, protective. these beautiful creatures bring such happiness to my life, I can't imagine a life without them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

happy friday

tuesday and thursday nights you can find me in pilates class. I recently found myself back in the class after several years' hiatus. I really can't tell you why I stopped. I love it. there is something about the concentration and control and preciseness and discipline that makes me feel like a real dancer. my class is small and intimate, usually four or five students and a very mellow teacher who gives just the right vocal direction so you're not always having to see what she is doing to follow along.

the rest of the week I reap the benefits. movement is more certain and more graceful at the same time. I don't have to remind myself to keep my shoulders back and my head level. pilates leaves me with a stability to my presence, both physical and mental, that keeps me grounded, balanced, light and ready to leap through life.

happy friday loves!

(I've had a few crazy days and I hope to have time tonight and more this weekend to travel around the happy 'hood. see you then.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

happy thursday

nothing makes me happier than a free spirit.

they are not easy to find in my little 'burg. most days I find myself surrounded by those who dutifully followed the path that was set out for them without consultation or consideration to their dreams and desires. they grew up in their peaceful suburbs in an intact family unit, acquired a post-graduate degree and that weird thurston-howell-the-third accent from UVA, secured a financially rewarding career path, married and produced four children. not so bad, but underneath all that success, I always sense a disappointment, a longing, a "really? this is it?" feeling. occassionally there is evidence that those feelings are listened to and acted on by these individuals but most times they are ignored and replaced by indignant righteousness in a futile act of self-preservation. this saddens me and I try very hard to to be compassionate.

I am always telling my friend that just because you live in a small town doesn't mean you have to live a small life. we are working on having big expansive colorful unique lives. it's harder to do here but so far, it seems to be working. and little by little, we are seeing signs that we are not alone. here and there are glimpses of souls who walk the roads less travelled that intersect with our own.

that's the thing about free and kindred spirits: they are everywhere.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

happy wednesday

writing makes me happy. learning to write better makes me happy. not having enough time to write does not make me happy. this is what I'm faced with this morning. so I'll be back later to fill the space...

...I'm back with a free moment that I'd like to spend here with you all for happy week. I've been playing around with the concept of story in recent months. I love to read and listen to a good story; I've always wanted to tell a good story. throughout my life, I've had multiple characters and plots take up residence in my head and make themselves comfortable. I want to move them out to the world. but in a way that they maintain the magic that is theirs. I always hold back, partly because I feel a weird connection to them and have a strange desire to keep their confidences and partly because when I've started a storytelling endeavor in the past, it comes out different than I want. the story is there, it's the craft I need to work on.

earlier this summer, I received the best compliment ever. I was talking with a friend/colleague who is brilliant (not only in her heart and humor but in her smarts...the girl's getting a judgeship any day now!). I was blabbing along and she was staring at me with a weird look. I stopped talking and she said softly, "you speak like a novel." I was floored. I almost cried. no one has ever said anything like that to me before.

I am not one to take something that I felt so profoundly and dismiss it. so I want to see what's there; to see if I can nurture this thing, this energy, into something people might like to hear or read. I'm taking two storytelling workshops at squam and have been reading a few books here and there to create a bit of scaffolding in which to dabble.

I'm open to producing, but still feel protective about my stories, so I'm going to take this nice and slow. the process of learning and fine-tuning and spending more quality time with the beautiful, tragic and amazing lives in my head and heart is making me truly happy.

p.s. the art in the background is by the lovely sabrina ward harrison. it reads "more joy and metaphor" and "trust".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

happy tuesday

apparently looking back makes me just as happy as looking forward.

this video was filmed over two decades ago. that's me with the big white shirt, leggings, over-processed hair and black hat. it is such a capsule of my 80s youth. but there is more to the story. the dancefloor truly was and is one of my happiest places to be. the song: one of my all-time favorites. in the band are two amazingly talented men that I once loved (the singer and the elusive bass player in the back). it makes me happy to be able to look at this and see love and happiness rather than drama and bitterness. I love that girl.

Monday, August 17, 2009

happy monday

my sweet friends, happy week could not have arrived sooner! I am so excited to see and read about all the exquisiteness that brings joy to your lives. there's a blogroll on the sidebar to direct you all to your cohorts in this endeavor (please let me know in comments if I left someone out or if you'd like to play far as I'm concerned, it's never too late to play.)

if you're anything like me, mondays can be rough, so I decided to frontload the happiness here in a giant fireball of one of my favorite things: anticipation.

I have to say that I am an expert at anticipation. in fact, I do better at anticipation than the actual experience. when I am excited about an upcoming event: a trip, a class, a visit, a project, I tend to play the imagined experience over and over again in my head. each time the details become more and more clear, my senses become engaged, then my emotions. there is dialogue, an unexpected twist here and there, handsome strangers, intrigue. and the whole imagined thing ends nicely tucked in the file "good memories". quite often, once I'm in the middle of the real thing, I'm somewhat disappointed. as I've grown older, I find myself actually cancelling upcoming events because I've really already done it in my head. sometimes this is good and sometimes not.

nevertheless, I don't give up hope that reality will pony up. today, I have much to be happily anticipating:
  • autumn: I'm done with summer and ready for my favorite time of year.
  • squam: it's my first time and I haven't anticipated something like this for a long, long time.
  • U2: it will be my sixth time and while they never disappoint musically, the whole experience doesn't quite match the one in my head (I'll let you fill in the blanks here; hint: it involves a backstage pass...). and I am so happy to see that muse is the opening act. love.
  • during my clothing shopping hiatus, I saved some money (not an easy thing for me) and am looking to upgrade my camera to the canon 50d. the excitement I feel here is a bit mixed with some pressure that I will actually have to produce better photos.
  • mondo beyondo: I'm hoping this course helps me narrow the gap between what's in my head and what's happening in my life.

real or imagined, we have much to be grateful for. happy monday beauties. oh, and I'm posting an additional photo because my hair looks better in this one and cute hair makes me very happy indeed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

a sparkly saturday

my backyard is positively shimmering with green and late summer lushness.

I have a fat stack of new magazines and two new books. this is where you'll find me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

tiny memoir: odd duck

when I was seven, I went to disneyland with my girl scout troop. everyone wanted matching mickey ears. at the last minute, I got the donald duck hat with the giant squeaky orange duckbill. and I had them embroider a fake name on the back.  god i wish i had a copy of the group photo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

wicked happy

when I shot this photo, I was wicked happy: beer in hand, romping and revelling in a brief and fun stint in the land of youth, listening to the bright talent that is the sunshine and happiness band. (funny thing...a photo of the event ran in the local paper. there were sally and I, standing on a rising above the crowd of tattooed 20-year-old hipsters, me with my camera, sally with pager and cell at hip. we looked like proud parents. or chaperones. or security.)

here's the goods on happy week: starting monday, post a photo (yours or otherwise) and words on your blog about one thing (person, idea, thought, etc.) that makes you happy each day through saturday. if you'd like to be a part of the fantabulous network of happiness, leave a comment and let me know (if you already let me know earlier, I got you, but feel free to reiterate...). I'll post a blogroll on the sidebar so we can all romp and revel in some shared joy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

signs, messages, telegraphs from the universe

remember when I told you that in the midst of my weird funk, I started to see very clear unmistakable signs about direction? saturday's yes, yes, YES signs were one, here is another.

I impulsively purchased this book because it has a graphic multicolor spine and I thought it would look good on the bookcase (I know, I know, but that's just me...). seduced by its rainbow stripey goodness, I didn't even open it or read the back in the bookstore; just bought it.

some days ago, during what I affectionately call the "awakening", when I was desperate to purge all traces of twilight #4 from my psyche, I grabbed it and flipped open the cover.

oh god how I love a mandate.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the answer

{ the questions}

can I create the life I truly want?

am I ready?

am I afraid?

am I brave?

will I redefine?

will I reinvent?

will I share?

is it going to be the most amazing, slap-happy, rollercoaster-wild, awe-inspiring, what-just-happened-here, turn-it-upside-down ride ever?

care to join me?

(and one more question: do we think it's time for another happy week?)

we say yes to happy week! the week of august 17? six days of posting about the people, things (simple and grand), ideas, rituals, dreams that bring light and happiness to your life. get your cameras out. I'll do a blogroll on the side bar to share our little network of sunshine. let me know in comments if you'd like to play along.

Friday, August 7, 2009

five senses friday


I'm heading to richmond today for a free friday. above is my anthro shopping list (well, probably not the bag...jeez can I like a bag under $300?!). I'm also hoping to see lots and lots of things to spark my interest in taking a photo since I've been feeling way uninspired in this area lately.


one word: kuba-kuba. or is that two?


I am especially loving the feel of gripping a steering wheel and writing on paper with a pencil right now. but not at the same time.


craving the beach and all those lovely memories evoked by the scent of salt, sea, sand and suntan oil.


voices in my head (the good kind!) laying out the choices of paths ahead. I'm listening closely.

have sweet, sweet weekends my friends!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

thank you mr. hughes

for so many laughs, tears, lessons, words, moments. for iona and ducky and giving a generation a voice. for the music that fit perfectly. for the love.

Monday, August 3, 2009

mosaic monday

san francisco gate did fun sketches of sf neighborhood looks.

I love how clothes can convey our personalities, desires, status, moods. I would live in jeans, fitted tees, pointy pumps and huge handbag if I could (and I'm pretty darn close to doing it). I believe my "costume" tells the world that I'm interested in style, but want to be at ease in my space.

what's your uniform? what does it say about you?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

no effin' rosehip

for the last few weeks, I've been floating through some sort of nebulous psychic journey trying desperately to read my heart and mind and body. I still haven't figured it all out (do we really ever?), but am now more comfortable and patient with the ride than when it began. I am lucky to have a dear friend who is a very gifted therapist (free therapy!). she suggested that maybe I need to consider this a purely hormonal change and recommended a book to me. I should have known better; this author is one of oprah's favorites and, like dr. phil and rachel ray, I was almost certain would annoy the hell out of me.

I did resent this book even though I was very interested in the chemical information and the focus on how women in their forties and beyond are kind of forced to deal with their emotional past or just give up and be miserable. (I truly enjoy a do-or-die the way, I'm doing.) but the chapter on appearance really made my blood boil. first of all, the chapter title is "from rosebud to rosehip". I don't know about you, but I find this categorization demeaning for all women, "rosebuds" and "rosehips" alike. really, why not just compare "kittens" and "cougars"?
I feel a violent rejection of all movements that put me in a box. I've never considered myself a rosebud at any juncture of my life and I certainly am not happy with the label of rosehip that has been thrown on me. I understand the author is outlining all the possible physical outcomes of growing older but I no more fit the accepted definition of beauty now than when I was 24. and I am so happy about that. my look has more to do with characteristics such as a quirky smile, curious eyes and a wicked laugh. I am my own definition of female and I'm busy editing and rewriting that definition every single day.
why is it that experts have to make everyone of any particular stage, condition or development part of the same movement? when you reach a certain stage of life, you have to "do" that thing that those of that age do. you have to be and fit and jump on the bandwagon and follow the sheep in front of you. this is particularly frustrating for members of generation x, who have been forced to accept the archaic leftovers of the baby boomers their entire lives because that generation is so freakin' huge and powerful. I'm all about developmental psychology and even the use of archetypes to help us navigate our way, but can't individuals have truly authentic, unique and therefore beautiful lives (inside and out) and not be resigned to accepting inevitable changes as "less than..."? my instinct tells me that there is some generational unhappiness here and the mass market are those who prefer to suffer as part of a group (go team nearly-dead-flowers?!). the author is merely speaking to her audience, of which I am apparently not part.

I feel more beautiful now than when I was in my twenties. I'm certainly smarter, happier and more interesting. I resent being coaxed into a round hole. I will forever be a square peg. I refuse to shop at chicos for colorful, jaunty scarves to distract from my laugh lines. I earned every single one of those laugh lines and each represents loves, tears, friendships, questions, lessons and beliefs that make up my uniquely rosy life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

dear august: surprise me

I am open to change, growth, transformation. while I'll keep my fingers crossed that what's in store is wrapped in goodness and light and sweetness, I'm ready to accept whatever form it takes. just in case you need some hints, here's what I'm hoping for:
  • words and story and discipline
  • a taming of the restlessness
  • more dinners al fresco with kindred spirits
  • laughter and talk and connection
  • purpose, direction, drive

too much to ask? I'm ready to help. let's get on with it already.

love, me