Monday, June 29, 2009

Seize the moments and seeing ourselves.....

Last night, Max came home from Chinese dinner with his father and gave me the above fortune. He really thought I would love it and of course I did! And then this morning, there was a motivational quote on my Igoogle page that referred to paying attention to each moment and how we use our energy in each moment. Since I've been home for the past few weeks, I find myself looking at the moments and seeing how fast a day goes. Am I using the moments wisely? Are there things I could be doing differently to achieve my desires? How much am I accomplishing as I juggle employment search, creativity, household chores and kid taxi? As I keep pushing on, I'm going to keep dedicating my moments for seeking my truth. Here are some things to ask:

Am I taking care of my body through exercise?
Am I taking care of my body through good nutrition?
Am I taking care of my spirit through quiet time and prayer?
Am I keeping up with my daily journal?
Am I setting my intentions for my desires?
Am I naming my gratitude?
Am I taking some risks to move out of my comfort zone?
What are the stories I'm telling about myself? Are they true? Do they serve me?

This weekend, I took some more self portraits. I haven't done this in a long time. There was a point when I took one daily for an entire year. I learned more about myself in that year than I could possible say. It's not about ego or getting attention from others. It's about seeing yourself in ways that you don't always acknowledge. We are often so hard on ourselves and we forget that we are vibrant and soft and sensual. I can't tell you how many times I make fun of myself because I think I'm still this skinny girl from my childhood with frizzy hair and a flat chest. Sometimes the old tapes play from my first marriage when I was given the message that I was not sexy or lovable. Nobody is going to come along with a magic wand and turn you in to the person you always wanted to be; you have to discover these things by yourself. What tapes are you still playing? When is the last time you took a picture of yourself?


Thursday, June 25, 2009


The scent of you lingers
Long after the morning coffee
And the dirty dishes have been cleaned
Stop the clock
Turn back the hands
The bright sparkling sunshine
Illuminates the sheets
Our legs intertwine
Morning eyes meet
A few more minutes
To linger

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday.....what do you wish to savour?

Another great Wishcasting Wednesday prompt! Just yesterday afternoon I was thinking about how busy and hectic life can be. Sometimes we forget that we are given the gift of just one moment, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. We go through our days fighting off stress at work, worries about future time and generally forgetting about living right in the moment. When I think about savouring, these are my wishes:

I would like to savor the feel of my husband's body curled near mine when we go to bed at night and wake up each morning. That's a gift and a blessing to have each other.

I would like to savour the moments when I feel deliciously creative; they don't always come easy.

I would like to savour the moments when I see my son with a genuine happy smile on his face; his happiness melts my heart.

I would like to savour each day that I'm here with my husband and children.

I would like to savour the feeling of pride and love when I see Breen's face as he crosses another finish line; it makes all the hours of training and early morning race starts worth every single minute.

I would like to savour the moments when I feel a close connection to God; that's a heartsong to me.

PS: Go on over here to check out today's apron :))))

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Morning

Off to the start of another new week. The weekend went by quickly. Check out a new apron over here.

On Saturday, we went to my cousin's house for a graduation party. I haven't seen this side of my family in years. As I grow older and my life is filled with activity, I realize how easy it is to get out of touch with people. My cousins have kids that are now teenagers; the last time I saw them they were little kids. I looked around and observed my cousins and my family. So many of us have the same mannerisms and similar looks. I never really noticed it until now. We are all connected in ways we don't even realize. Families are interesting indeed.

My cousins Sue and Diane (I have always wanted a sister.)

My brother John and some more cousins:

Breen and the kids on the trampoline:

Last night, I found a stack of old magazines in the basement. This is how I find some inspiration when I'm feeling uninspired. Visual images are so stimulating for me. Here is a photo of some altered clothing that I found in one of the magazines. Now I'm visualizing a new project involving my love of sewing, collage and re purposing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day, completion and some favorite photos

It's Father's Day and we've already had quite a busy weekend. I'm blessed to still have my father around and I'm blessed beyond words to have Breen as a step father to my children. I'd like to write more about that but quite honestly, the words escape me sometimes for the enormous amount of love and gratitude that fills my heart.

I've been thinking about completion this weekend. When I take a closer look at my patterns, I know that I tend to start things, get about 3/4 of the way through and then abandon the project. I'm a journal junkie. I love to write every day and I love paper. This month, I bought 2 new blank journals and started one already. The problem is that I already have a perfectly good journal that is half way filled and begging to be finished. Why is my brain wired this way? I look around at all the other endeavors: happy creations that need to go on-line, aprons that still need ties, a hand painted chair that still needs to be finished, a quilt that needs to be backed and sewn. Three reactions came to mind immediately:

1. Leaving things half finished drives me crazy
2. There is something centered around the idea of "fear of completion"
3. Am I being too hard on myself? Should I just let it go and go with the flow?

What would happen if, God willing, I actually focused on one project and made the decision to commit to finishing it entirely? I know I would be so proud of myself if I did. Is there something I fear in that? I'm going to be giving this some deeper attention as the month continues.

Here are some photos I took this weekend that make me smile.

A new journal page:

Big creative messes around the house:

Bento Box lunch:

Candid black and whites of Breen:

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Today finds me thinking about connecting. Breen reminded me yesterday of something that happened with our next door neighbor a few days ago. Our neighbors are a bit wacky and very often behave like inconsiderate fucktards. I've noticed that I've expended a considerable amount of energy lately complaining about them. I have this awareness that it raises my stress level when I create this drama. So, we were out on our front porch the other day spraying for ants. Our neighbor struck up a conversation with us about the ants. Breen gave him one word answers; I engaged him with the entire history of our ant problems. Later, knowing how I complain about them, I think Breen wondered why I engaged in any conversation with the neighbor at all. True, I tend to strike up conversations with just about anyone who walks by. I don't need to take in every stray cat off the street and perhaps I should use better judgement sometimes. I know I have this habit of being too nice and easy going at times. BUT....what is the harm in making small connections with other people, even if they annoy us? It takes so much energy to dislike someone and it feels so good to make even the smallest of connections.

As many of you know, my son has Aspergers. He's more of a challenge now that he turned 13. He spends lots of time in his room on his computer. Socializing and connecting with people is a nightmare for him. Admittedly, he's been getting on my nerves lately with his behavior. When I feel this way, I'm finding new ways to step away and recharge myself. When I get centered again, I know in my heart that every single human being on this planet desires to connect with someone and deserves to be loved. As Confucius said, "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." How can my son possibly know that I know how he feels? I've walked so many miles in those shoes where I thought that everything was ugly and that I was damaged. But ever so slowly, God finally came through and sent me on the path of beauty seeking. Life has been a gorgeous place ever since. Yesterday, I decided to get Max out of the house and have some connection time with him and hopefully help show him some beauty in the ordinary things. We rode our bikes on our favorite trail:

We took the time to literally smell the flowers and eat honeysuckle nectar:

The smile on his face melted my heart:

We stopped our bikes at Starbucks and nibbled on his favorite lemon cake:

We stopped and took pictures of one of his favorite train spots along the trail:

Yesterday, I helped my son connect with some joy and all it took was a bike and a piece of lemon pound cake. Does anyone else see the beauty in this?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


What a wonderful wishcasting prompt today! Play and laughter are so essential. I usually know that I'm off center when I stop playing and take life too seriously. Think about it. So much time spent worrying about tomorrow, next week, next year. Reality Check: we only have the moments that we live right now, so why not lighten up and have a little fun?

I'd like to:

Put on my wacky glasses and go to the supermarket. Perhaps I could set up a game in aisle 7 of produce bowling. A giant melon for the bowling ball; boxes of cereal for the pins. "CLEAN UP IN AISLE 7".....oh what fun!

Dance under the stars with Breen

Make a HUGE mess with my art supplies

Play in the kitchen by cooking up a big playful batch of cupcakes

Have a shopping cart race in a local parking lot

Ride our bikes in to the pool again

Set up my camping tent in the backyard and have a whole day to myself there with my journal, a stack of magazines, a big stack of fluffy pillows, favorite music, my favorite finger foods and cozy blankets.

Go over here and see what I've been playing with!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday...anatomy of a day

I seriously can't believe how fast a day rushes by! Today is a day that seems filled with a hodge podge of activity. An average day around here can look a lot like this:

Wake up. Drink coffee with Breen. Laundry. Get kitchen dirty. Work out. Come home. 25 minutes of meditation. Job search. Make some art. Job search. More laundry. Random cleaning. emails. Think about dinner. Think about life. Think about what it would be like if we won the lottery and lived in Montana 25 miles from civilization. Get my head out of my ass and realize house needs to be straightened up before husband comes home. Breen comes home. Dinner is made. Hang out. Roll our eyes at the kids. Fall in to bed. Lately I find myself wondering about the value of a woman. Inherently, we do all of those things mentioned above. I've been on both sides of the fence; I've stayed home as a mommy and I've gone to work every day. Men have always known what their roles are. Somewhere along the way, the role of housewife dwindled and lots of women took on careers; some by choice and some because they had to. We do so much.

Today, I took Max to visit his summer camp. Oh Joy. He wants to go there about as much as he wants to sandpaper a leopard's ass in a phone booth. I came home and made a kick ass batch of banana walnut chocolate chip cookies:

I made more mess in the kitchen:

and more mess in the Dining Room, which doubles as my studio during the day. Right now, I've got 3 projects going at once. Don't worry Breen...this will all be cleaned up by the time you get home... :)))))

Yesterday, my parent's brought Max home from a visit. I overheard my father say something to my mother about the amount of crap piled up around the house. I don't know if I was pissed or mortified. Part of me felt immediately guilty because I probably should be on top of the house better. But you know what? I've come to terms that being a pristine housekeeper is not important to me. I can try to do a little better but it will never be perfect. That's just fine with me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Morning...kicking in to gear again

Here it is Monday once again. We had a great weekend filled with activity. This week, both kids are officially finished with school. Let the summer begin! I'm not wishing for time to go by too fast but there is a big part of me that wants to know everything RIGHT NOW. This period of time is a huge learning lesson in trust and patience. If I could recommend a book for my blogging community to read, it would be The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. I picked it up again over the weekend. She has a 10 step "menu" plan for living a joyous life:

1. Nothing (the process of doing absolutely nothing for 15 minutes per day)
2. Truth (what are we telling ourselves about ourselves?)
3. Desire
4. Creativity
5. Risk
6. Treats
7. Play
8. Laughter
9. Connection
10. Feast

I'm up to the 2nd menu item. "Nothing" is fortunately easy for me since I've developed a nice daily ritual of a guided meditation that lasts for about 25 minutes. The concept of "nothing" is not about being lazy and unproductive; it's about finding the quiet time with no distractions so that you can hear the next steps for yourself. Seriously....we are all so conditioned to feel that we always have to be doing something. The process of doing absolutely nothing is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Of course, each "menu item" works with the rest of the menu items. You begin to incorporate a little of each in a daily ritual.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Here's my HOT husband dressed in drag for a friend's surprise birthday skit (I think he fills out my black yoga pants quite nicely):

Here we are after the skit:

Here's a reason why I almost always have my camera with me. These flower pots outside of Trader Joe's really give me some artistic inspiration:

I managed to find a few moments for relaxation :))

If you want to see a new APRON, go over here to have a peek!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A big JOY list

It's Sunday morning. I'm wishing that we could turn back the clock and make it Saturday morning again. I'm multi-tasking over at this end: sipping coffee, cleaning the house, web surfing and organizing art supplies. Last night, Kendall had a friend spend the night. I notice at certain points in time, when my daughter is on her home turf, she gets irritated and bitchy with her friends. I suppose this is normal but it makes me want to get 1 inch from her face and scream, "Do you know how blessed you are to have friends? To have parties to attend and friends that call?!!". All of this gets me thinking about blessings and gratitude and how important it is to stop throughout the day and remind yourself how good life is.

I've decided that this is the perfect summer to revisit some of my old books. We've got a bookcase in our Dining Room that houses about 1/3 of my books; the rest are in boxes in storage. What's the use in having books if you don't pick them up every now and then and actually browse them? Today's pick: The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. Here's an exercise from her book:

Finish each statement by listing 5 things that give you sensory pleasure:

I love the taste of:
1. vanilla
2. buttercream frosting
3. creamy mashed potatoes
4. roasted pepper with garlic from the grill
5. linguini with white clam sauce

I love the sight of:
1. my husband coming through the door at the end of the day
2. millions of stars at the lake
3. watching my son go back for seconds and thirds of a dinner I've prepared
4. bolts of gorgeous fabric
5. A big roaring fire

I love the feel of:
1. My hand in Breeen's
2. cool cotton sheets on a hot summer night
3. soft blankets
4. sand on my feet as I walk along the shore
5. a hot bubble bath

I love the smell of:
1. coffee beans
2. sweet things baking
3. honeysuckle
4. fresh cut grass
5. fresh cleaned laundry

I love the sound of:
1. "I love you"
2. wind chimes
3. a crackling fire
4. waves crashing at the beach
5. silence

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Quote to ponder: You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!

Yesterday's journal page:

I'm getting a slow start today. It's one of those days where I feel a little blah. I tossed and turned last night and I've got some things on my mind that are bothering me. I'm easing in to this transition of not working but sometimes, like today, the ground feels a little rocky and my footing is unsteady. I'm feeling a little insecure and I find myself questioning lots of things. In the past, I've weathered quite a few storms and look how far I've come. I have the ability to stand tall in the face of anything. And I have. I just need to keep reminding myself that magnificent things are waiting for me.

I've been creating something every day and that feels good. Today, however, I switched from journal pages to aprons. I've got to work on getting them finished and listed on Etsy. It's very challenging to photograph them without a dress form. Of course, while I'm creating, I'm also sending out resumes which is an interesting contrast. I've got two interviews set up for next week. One is for a law firm which I'm getting a weird read on. The other is for something really special but I don't want to elaborate until I talk more with them.

And so I plug away.......

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday...What do you wish for your body?

This week, Jamie asks us, "What do you wish for your body?".

When I was growing up, I was painfully thin. I only ever heard the messages that I was too skinny. I was flat chested forever and I had short, frizzy hair that my mother made me keep short because she said that I'd never be able to grow it long. Body image issues followed me around for years; even in to my adulthood. I finally started to "fill out" sometime in my early college years. After the birth of my first child, I got a gift of a day at the salon. My hair stylist had my hair...and hers was long! Ever since then, I've worn my hair long. Occasionally, the body image issues come back for a visit. It's taken me a long time but I am finally pretty comfortable with my body weight. I work out at the gym 3-4 times a week and I like to bike, hike and kayak. I have a scar that runs the entire length of my back due to a full spinal surgery when I was 16. I have two tattoos which I forget are there but sometimes regret.

At 44, I'm beginning to notice that my hair is changing texture and is harder to maintain and I wonder some days if I'm still holding on to it as a rebellious statement. I can't eat "anything I want" anymore without gaining a few pounds. So today, my wishes are:

To simply love my body and hair and all the changes that go with it as I get older.

To continue feeding my body good food and continue with the exercise.

To always honor my spirit and passionate nature

P.S: Go check out my new art over at The Painted House :))

Monday, June 8, 2009

Start of a new week

It's Monday morning. I'm starting my second week of being home. So much to do; so little time, really. As always, I'm amazed at how quickly a week passes. This is also my last week of having the house to myself. The solitude stops when Max and Kendall finish school for the year. Today, I find myself thinking about how I can really manage my time during the day. In the course of a regular day, I need to:

Job search
Keep the house picked up
Create art
Find time for meditation/quiet

And along with all of those things, I want to get a website started (or at the very least, get my Etsy store up and running again). Designing a website is something that I've been dragging my feet on since I have no idea where to start with it. But this is also a time for new explorations. I just need to take a few deep breaths and know that Rome was not built in a day.

We had a fabulous, relaxing weekend filled with biking, a football game and kayaking. I was sad to see it come to an end. Here are some photos:

Yesterday at the lake. Even Kendall got out and paddled ;)

Kendall's newly improved room, which my mother and I did on Friday. Needless to say, by the time Kendall came home on Sunday, she was a happy girl.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I don't usually post on the weekend but I have lots of free time to myself today. Kendall is with a friend, Max is at my parent's house and Breen is away in New Jersey for the day. It's been a long time since I had a Saturday to myself. There are so many things to do. Where to start?

Go to the gym
Sew (finish up aprons)
Make art
Take a long bike ride
Go to the Farmer's Market
Go to the grocery store
Check out some thrift stores for art finds

I made it through my first week of unemployment. It went quickly; I don't like it very much. My mind races ahead to worrying when I'll find something new and how long will it take. The bottom line is that this is a chance to look daily but also slow down a little and just be present with each day and the possibilities that it can bring. It just feels so challenging right now.

Yesterday, my mother and I totally redecorated Kendall's room and I can't wait until she finally makes it home sometime this weekend to see it. I hope she likes it as much as I do. It's amazing how you can totally change a look by simply moving the furniture around. Check out today's journal page here at the Painted House!

Friday, June 5, 2009


This week has simply flown by so quickly. One of the greatest things I've learned this week is the importance of establishing some daily rituals. Notice how I say "rituals" instead of "routines"? For me, the word "routine' conjures up images and feelings of doing something that feels tedious, overly repetitive and boring. The word "ritual" brings to my mind the feeling of doing something sacred, healthy and fulfilling for myself.

My mother is coming today to help me organize some rooms in the house. I'm grateful for this. My linen closet is a heaping mess of tangled sheets and towels. Kendall's room is completely sloppy and unorganized; I might play around with rearranging the furniture in her room. The list could go on and on. I know I can't get on top of everything in one day; it takes some time. But today is a good start.

Check out yesterday's journal page over HERE at The Painted House ;))

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday...creating up a storm

It's already Thursday and the week has simply been flying by! I've been creating up a storm over here. My Dining Room houses most of my art supplies and it looks like a bomb went off on the Dining Room table. But it's such a good thing, that I barely care.

The Universe and God have been very good to me. I've been connected with some living angels. My friend Loretta is an amazing seamstress and designer. She gives me boat loads of left over fabrics for quilting and aprons. She's a source of unlimited creative inspiration. Today, I'm meeting her for lunch and she's giving me her old color printer/scanner which I am going to set up in the corner of my studio Dining Room. My friend David is so well connected in the art field. He gives me boat loads of old furniture to lovingly hand paint. In fact, he's got a whole room in his warehouse for the furniture that he saves for me. My friend Wayne is a very gifted photographer and we are planning on a creative collaboration. Just this morning, Breen looked at my work and had a brain storm for an incredible idea for a new direction that I could take my art. With all of these creative and supportive forces in my life, why not go for it?!

Go here to see today's art work over at The Painted House.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday.....What do you wish for in June?

Today, Jamie asks us what we wish for June. For me, June marks the beginning of a very different transition for me. As of June 1, I was no longer employed. It's now three days in and I'm still trying to get my footing on this new adventure. There is something that feels so incredibly unsettling about not having a paycheck and not contributing to our house goals and such. Honestly, there are days that I completely trust that the Universe has something much better in store for me and there are days that I feel like a fish out of water. The challenge is three fold for me:

1. Resist the "safety zone" jobs that I've done in the past simply because it's what I know.

2. Pray, trust and listen patiently for the next pieces to fall in to place

3. See if my creativity could really somehow earn me a living

So today, I wish for the following things in June:

1. A period of rest and calmness as I acclimate to being home

2. An abundance of creative ideas

3. An established list of daily rituals which honor my mind, body and spirit

4. New connections and a renewed feeling of confidence as I set my intention to find a new way of earning a living that is different than I was doing before

Here's something fun: Go over HERE to see a new piece of my art ;))

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


You might say I have too much time on my hands and you might be right. This is day number 2 of being at home.

My day has looked something like this:

1. Get up, have tea with Breen, and send the kids off to school
2. Make green smoothie, get on floor and stretch
3. Walk outside to get bike out of garage and stumble in to drama at the wack job neighbor's house
4. Get car inspected in a very questionable neighborhood in Philadelphia
5. Come home. Take a bike ride
6. Send off resume to 5 job postings
7. Play with art materials for some new ideas...nothing is ideas died of loneliness a while ago
8. Try my hand at making Sushi (pictures below)
9. One phone interview which lasted for 1 hour with a woman who runs a music school and is a bit fearful of hiring me because I just got laid off from another music school which ultimately tanked.
10. Get sucked in to blogging.

Time feels suspended right now. When Breen gets home, I'm sure he'll wonder what I did all day. I'm sure there is a divine plan for me and there is a specific reason why I'm home chasing my tail in circles wondering when/where/how I will make my living next. This is uncomfortable for me. I like time to myself but all of this free time could start to make me a little nutty. Not having my own paycheck could make me certifiable.

The kids get home in about an hour and I sit here realizing that due to the list above, the house still needs to be picked up. Honestly....where does the time go??

Here is today's lunch. I finally found sushi rice at a reasonable price, so I decided to break in my sushi mat:

First you spread rice all over the Nori sheet. Flip it over and add jananese mayo, cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds.

Once it is rolled up, it's ready for another bath of sesame seeds

Slice it up, and look what I've got in my Bento box!