Saturday, November 3, 2007
I have joined the Nanowrimo this year (www.nanowrimo.org ) and so far I am on target. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. This breaks down to 1667 words at day. It definitely is going to be an interesting ride, just seeing if I can make it through 50000 words. My writing tends to be concise.....so thinking of a word count can make me crazy. My Master's thesis was only 41 pages....I said what I needed to say and that was it. I am having fun with this project and when I figure out how to do links on this blog, I 'll add them here.
On the home front, the kitchen remodel is up and running. I signed the contract with the "kitchen guy". I guess I should call him the kitchen and bathroom guy because both rooms are getting done. Yesterday, I got a call from the cabinet company to set up an approximate delivery date. Now it is real. My dining room has no furniture and part of the kitchen is in there....and has been in there for a couple of weeks....but the cabinet call made it real to me. Crazy..huh?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Discovering..... I guess I am in the slow group today thinking about Columbus and discovering America (or maybe not). Discoveries are so exciting, even the discoveries that we don't want to make. Discoveries get your heart racing and the sense of anticipation can be felt in the air. Living the life of an adventurer must be exciting because they are constantly expecting a new discovery. How many discoveries have I missed by going about my business??? Discovering the first tree to begin the beautiful buds of spring or the turn of its leaves in autuum. Discovering a new place to visit. Or more importantly, discovering new people to open our lives to....possibilities. Keeping my mind and heart open to discoveries and enjoying that process. This is a big leap from doing the major kitchen clean up and toss that I've been doing most of the weekend. I think while sifting through the items of everyday living that may bog me down, my mind was travelling to new lands. What did I discover as I tried to get the kitchen ready for Demo 101? That duct tape can hold a leaky faucet in place so the pipes do not sound like a fog horn every time the toilet is flushed or the washer begins a cycle. I do not need so much of the stuff that I have...old nail polish, cold medicine, extra pans, or 5 kinds of cleaner for the same job. I enjoy some of the utensils that my parents and grandparents used...it makes me feel connected to them while I cook in some strange way. I guess I made some discoveries of my own this weekend!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Yesterday was the eleventh anniversary of my mom's passing. I really don't like to mark the passing but I do love to remember her vibrancy in life. Her ability to laugh out loud and to connect with so many types of people. I do miss seeing my mom in the here and now but I do feel a connection to her in my life when I need her most. During her decline in health I was really rocked to my core. Fear was probably my biggest emotion that I tried to mask that fear by being super knowledgeable about her treatments. I constantly keep looking for more information and pushing for better solutions. I think that was good but I also think I spent a great deal of energy trying not to feel the emotion around all the possibilities. When your parent is sick and you grow into the role of care-taker, it is a great shift. My mom was such a wonderful care-giver throughout my life that it was very hard to measure up to her. We shared a similar sense of humor and that brought up much laughter during our years together. Even when the tension of regular mother-daughter passages arouse, we could usually enjoy a good laugh together. I know that I was blessed in being my mother's daughter.
Now I am heading off to the world of Yoga. Today's class is the beginning of our fall session in which we will share the yamas and the niyamas. Today's theme is the Yama of Ahimsa or living in non violence. Its such a wonderful way a being and this practice truly helped me turn this day around.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Today was a sad day. My favorite Clam Shack, Iggy's was closing so that major renovations can take place between now and March,2008. When I heard the news from my friend Dale, my immediate reaction was 'they can remodel, but they are keeping it a clam shack, right??' Dale's mom, Mal and I love going to the clam shack for a bowl of RI chowder and some clam cakes. There are times when we have to beg Dale and Chris to humor us and come along. They usually do because they want to eat. After hearing this news,we decided to meet at Iggy's for a "last lunch". Its' a good thing we didn't make it a "last supper" because they were running out of some items when we were there around 2pm. There was no bottled water and they had no salt packets. When the man in front of us asked for salt, they just gave him the cook's shaker and said this is all we have.....salt and go!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The other day, I made Pumpkin Scones with a recipe that was a copy cat from Starbucks. It felt great to smell the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg along with the crisp air that was filling the kitchen. As the scones cooled, we had unexpected company drop in and it was wonderful to have these fall treats to serve. The recipe is as follows:
Starbucks Pumpkin Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoon half-and-half
1 large egg6 tablespoons cold butterPlain
1 cup plus 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a large bowl.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg.
4. Cut butter into cubes then add to dry ingredients. Use a pastry knife or a fork to combine butter with dry ingredients. Continue mixing until no chunks of butter are visible. You can also use a food processor. Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is the texture of cornmeal or course sand.
5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza wheel to slice the dough through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.
6. Bake for 14-16 minutes on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. Scones should begin to turn light brown.
7. While scones cool, prepare plain glaze by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Mix until smooth.
8. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over each scone.
9. As that white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by combining ingredients in another medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.
Makes 6 scones.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
How do you spell RELIEF (from depression, anxiety or just the world when it's crazy)? D O G !! The beautiful boy in the top photo is Jameson, my grand dog. This is my first and oldest grand dog and he is such a wonderful boy. He has a gentle spirit which you can actually feel as he nuzzles into you for a hug. Jameson is my godchild's (Beth's ) dog and their bond is just incredible to see. From the first day that Jameson came home with Beth, they have been in sync with each other. It is a hoot to watch Beth and Jameson communicate with thier eyes ....it really is another language. When Jameson comes over and Beth runs out for an errand (usually to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee), Jameson quietly waits near the door that she exited from. During this time he is very social and loves pets and cuddles but he is multi-tasking because he always has a watchful eye for when Beth will be back. Beth has done such a wonderful job in training Jameson and caring for her boy. I love it when she calls from Vermont with a Jameson care question....all my years of worrying have paid off!! Jameson got attacked by another dog last week and when Beth called and told me about it, I was ready to jump in the car and check out our boy....but Beth handled that crisis well. One of the positive outcomes of that whole situation was that Beth said that I really didn't do a bad job when I shaved Molly (Molly will be the topic of tomorrow's post...get out the tissue!!). Jameson loves the water, balls (trying to be like Ricky the stud dog) and DD coffee. Actually Beth likes all of the above also...hmmmm...interesting. One of the funniest things to watch Jameson do is to quietly and gently crawl up onto the couch when he thinks no one is looking. I would say it is like a cat but I have a feeling he would not speak to me for a long time...it would take alot of peanut butter cookies to repair that damage. I think when Beth gets settled in her next career adventure, she will need to get Jameson his own couch (since she seems to hog his bed). We are so lucky to have a grand dog like Jameson.The gorgeous boy in the second photo is Newton, as in the Fig. Newton and Jameson have been friends forever. Well, maybe not close friends initially, because Newton is the older (and he thinks wiser) Golden. Newton looks so relaxed laying with Beth in the grass. Come to think of it, Beth looks pretty relaxed there too. Newton is also a wonderful boy. He came to visit us this summer when Beth was home for a bit and we just feel in love with him. If you can call a dog polite...then that would one way to describe this big boy.
I think these two Goldens are really Newfs in disguise!!!
Monday, August 20, 2007
One beautiful summer day two years ago, on the sixth hole, we hit off the tee. Janet and I had taken our turns and Sue was up at the tee. We are not serious golfers and when someone was up at the tee the other two people tended to talk quietly . For us, golf was also a social sport. Most of the time we apologized for not keeping track of our co members ball. However, on this hole, by some miracle of the golf gods, Janet and I had our eyes glued to the ball as Sue drove her ball right up the fairway onto the green and into the hole!!! A hole in one!!! We were totally amazed and Sue looked in shock!! At any minute I expected the skies to open and confetti and balloons to reign down upon this miraculous golfer. Once we finished our "hole in one" jig, which we made up on the spot, Sue needed to tell Bob, her husband. Luckily, I had my cell phone in my bag and even luckier, the cell phone worked that day! It was a moment of pure celebration and it felt wonderful to be a part of it.
Today we returned to Hole 6 at Firefly prepared.....we all brought a camera to have a memory of that wonderful moment two years ago. As we played the first few holes, Sue was not happy with her performance and I said, "Don't worry, your whole game will turn around at hole 6". The cameras came out and we took pictures of Sue on the tee and then she took her shot......and sure enough, it sailed right up onto the green. Although it wasn't a hole in one, it certainly was a great shot. Up at the pin, we got a few shots of Sue and each of us to bring us back to that special day.
This brings us to now. My plan was to learn how to upload photos to this lovely blog and today was definitely my day to try it. Unfortunately technical difficulties are in my way. Apparently the USB cord that came with the camera does not fit into the camera so it looks like a trip to the store and then I'll try again!! .....this is sounding like golf!!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Later this morning, my friend, Anne and I are going shopping and I should have another item checked off my to-do list! I really like to plan ahead with gift ideas but there are times when pulling through at the last minute feels great.
My next goal will be getting some photos on this blog.....yet another item on the check list! Checklists only feel good when you are checking things off.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
We went to a little birthday party for Othniel yesterday afternoon. Chris did not feel well so we needed to leave after about an hour. I felt very cheated......out of a good time that I wanted to have. Chris has alot of chest congestion and generally looks pretty pale and clammy...not a pretty sight. Nevertheless, I am having a pity party about this vacation going down the toilet. It was bad enough not really having any money to do something really good but now I feel stuck just waiting for Chris to brighten up....and why is it my job to put together the fun, figure out how to pay for it and generally do all the other stuff that needs to happen. I am thinking that we need to regroup.
I do know that I have to take responsibility for my happiness....and probably looking into joining the Peace Corps was more of a reaction to my pity party than a burning desire to do something wonderful with my life..or was it? Right after college, I planned to go to St. Thomas, USVI to teach and save the world. When that plan didn't work out, I settled into a life teaching in the public schools for the next 28 years. Commitment is definitely going to be an issue on any future endeavors. I definitely don't want to feel stuck into my work. I know that I am so good at 'making things work' regardless of whether it is truly a good fit for me that I have to stay aware of that inner voice of knowing....knowing my purpose and keeping that the focus, not making something work for the sake of ...whoever or whatever.
I hope this pity party passes...I feel like I've been stuck in it for a while and I want to scream. I also notice that I haven't been writing....anything. Could that be effecting this lovely mood of the blues that I've been in for a bit?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We haven't planned anything specific for next week and I am thinking we need to get some plans made or the week will go by and we really won't get a change from our usual, rutfilled rountines! I wish we could go away and really get a change of pace but that is not going to happen this year. I feel a list coming on with fun day activities that we could do and enjoy. Going to the beach in late afternoon, picnics, movies we want to see, concerts in the park, taking the boat from Providence to Newport and exploring...all things that will be good to plan and do. Home days for kitchen prep...maybe doing a bit more of the demolition and then some! Lots of packing away stuff. Do the fun stuff first and then demo stuff later.
Why am I packing all this in??? I need to change my thinking on the inner clock.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
My answer is I want a place to do all that....and more. So what is this blog and what is its purpose?
I guess I feel like there are more people like me.....in what is called mid-life and exploring life in a different way. This time is a strange combination of emotions and this is a place to sort some of what is happening out.
I feel like I have been putting my toe in the water of many different things but I am not sure if there is just one pool I want to dive into. It feels wonderful to have opportunities to do lots of different things. The challenges I face are more the mental roadblocks I put up in letting myself explore.
In some ways, all the little parts of my life are so scattered. Each part does provide a different energy. I am just not used to having this freedom of choice and the restraint I put on my choices can be upsetting. I am seeing some of the lessons that I needed to experience in my old job coming to new obstacles in my life today. Do I need to get these lessons?? The opportunities seem to happen no matter where I am so I guess that answers the big question.
Life at the oasis is sometimes not so easy!!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
On a more positive note, Beth came home for a few days and its been great to see her. Beth and her beautiful golden retriever, Jameson, are a match made in heaven and its great to see them together. Hanging out and finding silly things to laugh about are moments of incredible joy for me.
Another moment of joy happened when Jill's godchild finally arrived. Jill's friend had her baby girl and Jill was with her through it all. It is alittle bit of an out of body experience to hear Jill talk about the whole event and think that she is actually old enough to be living this part of her life.
So the title of Never Going Back relates to so many things. I need to take Joy in today.....
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I have a deeper appreciation for the Yoga teaching I am doing and how good that is for me and for my students. I also need to concentrate on opening myself to more students in my classes and know that what I offer them is important for them.
Life goes on for all of us!
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
In talking to the principal, it seems funny that my first day is already planned with a big intake. It felt good to think about program planning for a new student. It has been a while. My thought is to stay positive about this time and to stay centered...it will be a wonderful practice. It will also be great to be with the kids again and experience their wonderful energy. Right now I am not going to think about any negatives!!
My life feels so different now than it did two years ago. I appreciate my schedule and the pace of my life. I also realize that I am looking at new and different things to put into my life for fullness. I don't want to make any big committments so it has been a time of putting my toe in the water for some things and that feels right. As opportunities present themselves I need to go with the flow and be clear and positive about the direction I am moving.
Being in conflict is an uncomfortable place....especially when the conflict resides within. Sometimes it helps to just acknowledge the conflict and now that with time, it will resolve and the path will unfold.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friendships are so important all through our lives. Celebrating milestones and happy times is as important as being there when times are tough. So, if I feel that I can join in on the celebration later, I will go with my fuzzy head and have some laughs and wish my wonderful friend a very happy Birthday!!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
After the writing group, Pat and I got Kaitie from school. Kaitie is a freshman in high school. Watching dismissal from this school gave us a few laughs. Listening to kids walking by and talking on their cell phones, seeing the pack move by as a whole and ducking as the teenage drivers pulled out of the parking lot in cars that were definitely too nice and expensive for a sixteen or seventeen year old to be driving was a reality bite! On the drive home, the pack that was with Kaitie kept very busy in the back seat in what I assume was texting their friends and making plans for the day ahead.
By the time I got home the car was ready. I made the filling for Spinach Pies for Chris's dinner and let the dough rest (here is where a digital photo would be nice) while we picked up the car. I stopped by the studio to set up for my yoga class tonight. It was so great to be in the space...enjoying the quiet for a few minutes. I am looking forward to tonight's class for many reasons....the people are wonderful; what we are doing tonight will feel so good and it makes a wonderful ending to a day in the life!!
Monday, April 23, 2007
I began the day on a mission and now it feels like my mission was accomplished. I need to set other missions for myself...like learn to use my digital camera to post pictures here, and be able to get more familiar with this site. One mission at a time!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Also makes me wonder how that company is run if the customer service people need to bargain and negotiate with the tech people to do a service call. Survivor is more than a TV show and that saddens me.
Going through this day, it has been wonderfully quiet. I like the silence that the non-ringing phone brings. There were no interruptions when I did my morning writing, or cleaned up around the house. I even took a nap this afternoon and did not hear a ringing phone in the distance. Maybe I should call my customer service friend back and see if she can get my on the list for next Thursday!
Friday, April 20, 2007
It is finally a beautiful day in the Northeast. I am trying to decide how to best enjoy the spring sunshine. Many things call to me and I not sure which direction to move toward to squeeze the wonderful bits of sunshine from this day. Its nice to get the chores out of the way early and then look at doing something that will bring pure enjoyment.
What does bring me joy? Connecting with the people I love in my life. Making sure I get to hear from my godchildren and friends always lifts me up. Enjoying reading good books and learning new things also adds that spark to my life. Traveling to new places and experiencing life in other cultures has added so much to my life. Cooking and knitting help ground me to myself as does my yoga practice. This week I have not taught my two yoga classes because we are on vacation and I really miss the connection with my students and my practice of yoga in the class where I get to be the student. There is so much that brings me joy.
The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, the plants are reaching toward the sun...life is good.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Our discussion was partially work related and that felt very strange. There is definitely a duality....feeling connected yet disconnected. So many emotions wrapped around this position. I do feel like I am on a self- imposed oasis....a place of reflection and conscious thinking. It feels wonderful to have distance from the politics and craziness of a system but I also feel the absence of seeing people who I value on a daily basis. I guess I can't have it both ways!!
What to do on this self-imposed oasis? Time, space and place to be conscious and present. Writing is definitely on the list of activities....whether its pen to page or taping the keys, I need to let ideas flow and see where that takes me. Let the road be interesting and the lessons be gentle.