Friday, July 29, 2011

this weekend

consider expressing your love in a letter.

  • betty lived in my childhood neighborhood and always let the neighborhood kids swim in her pool.  as an adult, i had a sudden memory of her pool and felt regret that i never thanked her (i saw myself shamelessly splashing about in the water and then eating her homemade ice cream and then running with her three-legged dog in her yard without regard to her).  i tracked down her full name and address and sent her a letter thanking her for her kindness.  she wrote back (i lived across the country at the time) with the most heart-felt expression of love and wrote in her shaky handwriting that i was the first who thanked her for generosity.  she said that seeing happy children was thanks enough, but it was wonderful to be officially recognized.  is there someone from your story with whom you could share your gratitude?

  • you know how good it feels when you get a little unexpected sticky note of sweetness?  it's easy to do it for someone you care about.  or leave anonymous notes in public for a stranger to discover like kindness girl does.

have a beautiful summer weekend friends!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

le chocolat

so here's a weird thing:  i don't prefer chocolate in the summer.  (i went for the basil.)

i do like bella's 52 photo project all year long.  it's yummy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

tiny memoir: letter to 14-year old me

(that's me in the middle)

first of all, can i just say that i admire you for smiling even though you were always in a state of growing out some hair experiment (bad perm, trying to lighten your dark hair with sun-in, "temporary" blue dye, etc.)?  your adventurous spirit is inspiring.

second, it makes me a bit sad when i see you here and know that you felt you were fat.  i think this was the one-meal-a-day of chicken broth and plain baked potato period.  thank you for eventually learning to love good food and treating your body with respect.

i love that you carry a trapper-keeper.  its presence here forecasts your talent for organization.  there will be many a binder in your future.

you have good friends who share a history with you.  you will swear to be best friends forever and sit up nights making grand plans to attend university together, have a double wedding and play tennis on the weekends after you have children.  what you do not know yet is that you will move on to different friends with different plans and another type of swearing.  you do not know that you will not see or speak to some of these friends for decades or longer.  and a few of them won't make it to university or their own weddings, let alone the tennis courts.  thank you for being loyal and listening and having a laugh with them.  thank you for seeing them and accepting them.  thank you for being their student and their teacher, for honoring each relationship for what it offered at the time.  and for knowing when to move on before the friendship was ruined.

your smile is engaging.  everybody says so.  you and i know that it hides secrets and hurt and deeds that you think are unforgivable.  or even worse, unremarkable.

i love that you went to a green high school with octagonal buildings.

a few bumpy decades lie ahead of you.  you will do some dangerous things.  you will become a mother much too early.  your heart will be broken not once, but twice.  you will become practiced with that smile.  you will learn not to trust.  and then slowly learn to trust again.

here's something remarkable:  one day you will look back and honor all the mistakes, misteps and misadventures.  turns out they make for a pretty interesting life.  i'm really happy you came through, not entirely unscathed but certainly unbroken.  strong.  and soft.

i can't think of anything to warn you about or advise against.  you will take risks and have a lot of fun and pay a price.  sometimes you will be too careful with your heart.  other times you will be too careless.  you will love people and then think they didn't deserve your love, but they did.  you will throw yourself into experiences with wild abandon, then quietly tiptoe away before the party is over.  you will read many good books and dance away many nights.  you will embarrass yourself time and time again with your wit and your loud mouth.  you will save an acquaintance from suicide but not know how to soothe a crying baby.  you will always be comforted by sitting with a dog.  each time you watch the sunset, your breath will catch in awe.

i can tell you to be authentic (and that you really don't like tennis), but the process of life...experience, editing, observation, reflection, awareness...will show you how.  i can tell you to be patient but this may be the thing you never learn.  i can tell you to love wide open, but you can't help this and do it even against your better judgement. 

you will really enjoy this journey to fullness. 

i'm really proud to know you.  to be you.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

picnic {№10}

picnic ten was also a (many-times-delayed-when-was-our-last-date?) date night.  we set out on the hottest day of the year to enjoy shakespeare under the stars at the foot of the blue ridge mountains.  endstation theatre gives an amazing festival each summer.  this night was twelfth night.

they encourage picnicking and much drinking of wine.

it began with soft green grass, a hint of breeze, talking and laughter floating from our blanket and the surrounding blankets, the sweet smokey scent from the tiki torches and a grand view of the blue ridge with the promise of a spectacular sunset.  picnic perfection, i'm telling you. 

and then this:

sudden loud claps of thunder and bolts of lightning followed by a downpour and the mad dash to the parking lot.

our very first picnic in the car was one of the best picnics ever.  the storm was long and the acting company was determined not to cancel the show.  so we waited.  and for the first time in a long time, the two of us had precious time to talk and laugh and share time together without distraction.  and there is just something incredibly romantic about the sound of rain pounding on the car roof, don't you think?  it was very intimate and both of us loved this quiet accidental moment of connection.

(recipe break) rainbow quinoa:  stir up cooked quinoa with purple cabbage, green onion, carrots, cilantro, pepitas, peaches, a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  it's my new summer stand-by.  good and pretty.

we took a little walk in the storm after dinner, another intimate moment as we only had one umbrella and had to share.  the rain slowed to a drizzle and the theatre company came to back to life, hurrying to ready the stage for performance.

the show must go on.  and so it did.  shakespeare, misty hills and a pink sunset followed by a crisp and beautiful starry sky.

Monday, July 18, 2011

tiny memoir: paletas de sandía y menta

little handcarts were pushed by mexican men down the hot streets of the california town where i grew up.  bells hung from the handle and heralded their arrival.  it was a super-low-tech version of the ice cream truck.  inside were mexican ice pops, or paletas, frozen bars of fruit, nuts and sometimes milk.  the la rosa man!  for fifty cents, i could choose one of my favorite flavors:  tamarind, coconut or watermelon.  and it would make me so very happy.  i have a very vivid sensory memory of sitting on a hot concrete curb with my bare feet in the gutter cooling off in a neighbor's sprinkler run-off enjoying the sweet stickiness of a la rosa bar.

paletas are not that available in the east, so i learned to make my own.  they are so simple.  nothing beats the heat like their icy goodness (awesome after a hot bikram class) and the sweet childhood memory that comes with each one is an added summer bonus for me.

for my version:  chop up about 1/4 of a large watermelon (you can leave in the seeds, but i'm not finding any watermelon lately with the black seeds, which look so pretty in the paleta) or about four cups of fruit.  mix together a half cup of water and a half cup of splenda or sugar; if using sugar, you'll need to heat it.  blend it up with a squeeze of lime juice.  i added a few leaves of mint to this batch.  pour into molds and freeze for two hours, insert sticks and freeze another two hours before yum time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

top ten

things i get stuck in:
  1. resistance (everything from doing laundry to going to yoga to dreaming big)
  2. doubt
  3. laziness
  4. the desire to isolate myself
  5. accumulating stuff (seriously, i have the potential to be a hoarder)
  6. judgement
  7. over-analyzing
  8. wanting things i can't afford or don't really need
  9. the effing injustice of it all! (i've never outgrown my idealistic youth and fighting the good fight can be exhausting.)
  10. rehashing events in my head ad nauseum ("omg, did i really say that?  embarrassing!")

Friday, July 15, 2011

holy moly

what a crazy week!  complete with clowns, bells and whistles, a dog and pony show and being bumped around a bit.  game over.

for the weekend, i'm keeping it simple:  making paletas (tamarind? watermelon? blackberry?), hunting for my next good read, yoga and lots and lots of quiet.

i hope yours is lovely and full of summer fun.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

one hundred things i love {41-50}

41.  thrift store glass
42.  super chewy candy:  big hunks, salt water taffy, maryjanes and the best peanut butter chews known to man
43.  the idea of having my own organic farm (i'm much too lazy for the reality)
44.  walking outside on a hot humid summer morning and being hit with the sultry scent of jasmine
45.  the discovery of a new favorite band whose music makes me feel, think, dance and sing out loud in my car
46.  my new ice cream maker
47.  the way babies say hi to everyone when they first learn how (why do we lose the courage to make friends with abandon?)
48.  do-nothing weekends
49.  having a wild imagination:  i can't think of anything more dreadful than the limits of concrete thinking
50.  that feeling of connection when someone really gets me

Saturday, July 9, 2011

yeah, what she said

"i'm not gonna sit around and waste my divine precious energy trying to explain and be ashamed of things you think are wrong with me."

-esperanza spalding

Thursday, July 7, 2011

so it's thursday

and i'm throwing up this image from my archive because i'm tired of looking at my blue-tongued mug.

and because i need a reminder to let love rule.

Monday, July 4, 2011

things i do that are weird

  • i must have a blue icee whenever i'm on a roadtrip.
  • that's not really the weird thing.  the weird thing is that i insist on taking a photo of my blue tongue every single time.  and totally crack myself up over the whole affair.  the collection of blue tongues would have made a very interesting travel collage and i'm sad i've deleted them.  note to self.
  • also, i'm greatly pleased at how my tongue totally goes with my sunglasses in this photo.
  • as i'm writing this, i realize that tongues are weird.
  • no really, think about it.  they are freakin' weird.
  • people think i'm reserved when they first meet me.  i must be quietly observing.
  • i get mad crushes on rockstars.  i still dream of being a big-time groupie.  (i've been a small-time groupie...not so rewarding.)
  • i am quietly rebellious.  take my short hair for instance.  i have great hair and it's fabulous when it's long, but i can't stand how culture dictates that women have to have long hair and how their husbands/boyfriends insist they can't cut their hair.  it's my tiny feminist protest. 
  • sometimes i'm not-so-quietly rebellious.
  • i think about random stuff in yoga and it makes me giggle uncontrollably, like when i was a little girl in church.  also, i can perseverate on something really stupid in yoga.  last week a partial memory from years ago flashed in my head:  a friend showing me a chopper in her garage.  it was a full-on-easy-rider-1970's-big-seat-in-back chopper.  this random memory engaged my mind for the good part of ten minutes.  so while my body was doing its best to execute standing bow pose, my brain was all, "why did she have a chopper?  where did she get it?  people don't ride choppers anymore...hey, standing bow pose is kinda chopper-esque in appearance...we are all choppers..."  then the aforementioned uncontrollable giggling.   it's humiliating. 
  • it's weird that every time i type the word weird, i type it "wierd" first.
  • now i can't stop looking at the word.  am i spelling this right?
  • i rename other people's dogs in my own head.  also, when i'm driving down the street and see a dog, i name it.  i have a huge file of really great dog names in my head.  you should consult me before you name your dog.
  • i put potato chips inside my tuna sandwiches and on top of my hotdogs.
  • i watch the biggest loser while lounging on the sofa with a giant bowl of buttered popcorn.
  • i've just realized that there is a need for a "things that i do that are weird, part two" post.  i'm kinda wierd. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

outfitting july

while i continue to explore who i am and who i will become, these are things i know about me that will probably never change:
  • sometimes i am really drawn to creams and taupes and wish these colors looked better on me
  • these rainbow stars are about as patriotic as i can get when it comes to clothes
  • i have really good observation skills, a combination of razor-sharp sensory perception and finely-tuned intuition, but my memory requires that i take notes
  • i like to wear boots in summer
  • i would wear jeans every single day if i could
  • feeling vanilla is not a bad's not always a mango-raspberry kind of day
  • i feel naked without sunglasses; i like being incognito

Saturday, July 2, 2011


i am all about me lately. 

it feels strange to write on my blog...clearly the most self-indulgent vehicle ever invented...that i'm taking some time to reflect on self.  i'm taking this month to explore, edit, redefine or affirm, adjust and share. 

bikram yoga has me feeling a bit like a blank canvas.  this is a really good thing.  my body has been able to release stale ideas, resentment, stress, shame and expectations.  i did not realize how much of these emotional toxins are stored in the physical body.  it feels a bit like a physical manifestation of true forgiveness.  it's not earth-shattering.  just clean.

i don't know what this exploration has in store.  this month my blog may be more of a personal journal than normal.  maybe more words, less photographs.  could be less personal, who knows?  sometimes my outward presentation is sheltering some deep work going on inside.  maybe today is the only day i will feel this way. 

what i know is that i'm paying attention.  grateful for awareness.  trying to hush the inner critic who's whispering that taking time to focus on self (and sharing it for pete's sake!) is quite indulgent and egocentric. 

yes, yes it is. 


(and soon as they open!)

thank you lovely annie for hosting this fantastic color week!