Sunday, October 18, 2009

There is something about rain in the fall that triggers the coming of winter. The sky and the trees seem muted, not showing their best colors. I know that the rain is a good thing for the lawn, especially since we put the last of the fall seed down this week. And I also know that it is much better than the 10 inches of snow that blanketed some parts of Pennsylvania this past week. I am just tired and the rhythm of the rain and the grayness of the day add to list of reasons for napping. I don't have time to nap......there are so many projects that I want to attack around the house. The list is endless; or at least to me, the list feels endless.

I am so lucky today. I have ordered our groceries online so I don't have to get soaked running out to the Shaw's to get our weekly supply of food. I have a turkey defrosted and ready to put in the oven so the kitchen will be nice and toastly most of the afternoon. A stack of great books that I requested from the library are sitting on the coffee table just waiting to be cracked open. The phone is not ringing; there are no crisis that I know of that could take me away from this wonderful afternoon. And yet....I feel unsettled. I should be scrapping and washing the white paint on the porch so that I can give it a quick coat of paint before the winter. I need to get those unruly weeds handled and while I am at it, the perennials need to be trimmed back for winter also. Not to mention the trips to the mall and the card shop for birthday gifts for Katie and Justin that should happen today. My head is filled with so much stuff of what I should be doing, that I could in fact, ruin this wonderful day of rest.

I know I need to breathe....take in this moment. Savor this calm and peacefulness......let it be.

The list can least for a little while.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I consider Tuesdays a busy day because it begins busy. I need to realize that it doesn't stay that way. I really have plenty of time in a Tuesday for things that are good for me: writing, exercise, reading a good book, or cleaning the house. What I tend to do it let the busy time in the morning become the feeling of the day.

Most Tuesday I get up early to get ready for the day. Driving to a school about 20 minutes away to tutor for an hour. I get home and have about 45 minutes to then get ready for my yoga class....this is the one I teach. After yoga, I usually grab a tea and lunch with friends. In years past, I had another tutoring student to drive to but now I have some time to either stick in work from another job that I can do at home or I can actually read. Today when I get home, I think I will cut the lawn. It feels so good to see the yard neat ...or neater than it is now! After that, I have an early evening yoga class that I enjoy as a student.

So I realize that Tuesday is actually a very nice day with a wonderful degree of balance in it for me. Recognizing when things are going well is a practice and one that I need to remind myself to visit more often.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enjoying the moment of Fall

Chris and I traveled to Portsmouth to a cookout yesterday. As we drove east on 195, I noticed the shades of the leaves on the trees showing the beginnings of fall. It just seemed too early. Maybe the amount of cool, rainy days this summer and the lack of oppressive humidity (which I will not complain about) added to my body clock being off. I realize that it is time for a shift.

Fall is actually my favorite season of the year. I love the bright blue sky and the crisp autumn air. It my body, fall just feels right: not too hot or too cold. Being outside is enjoyable and coming in from an afternoon of raking to a hot pot of simmering soup is a part of the fall ritual. The smell of the air at night - dried leaves, dewy grass and the beginnings of frost excite me.

Getting back to my kitchen and trying some new recipes is usually a part of my fall routine. Apples baking, chili on the stovetop and a warm cup of tea can be a wonderful image of a fall afternoon. Enjoying the moments of fall and not viewing it as a precursor to winter is my goal for fall. Being right where I am supposed to be and not a step ahead or behind has helped me to appreciate all the seasons. There are so many gifts through all of it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How did my kitchen get that lived in look? This picture shows the pre-Easter brunch prep. Working the four jobs the past few its been months, my time in the kitchen and in the house shows. My lack of time shows. I have a lighter week this week with two of the four jobs off so getting time to bring my attention and some elbow grease to cleaning up my digs will feel great. We were able to power wash and paint the porch. I still need to paint part of porch to finish but having the floor and the stairs finished is a great start.

The thing that drives me crazy about doing these jobs is the steps of prep to get ready to do the job. Take the porch job as an example. before I could paint the porch, it needed to be cleaned off of the furniture, plants and stray cat bed/food area. It needed to be power washed and swept as the leaves from the trees seemed to have a magnetic attraction to the floor. As I painted the floor, I realized that I need to trim the hedges near the stairs so that I can paint the front columns. When I trim the main bush, I might as well, do the other hedges because I have the clippers out. (I can really get carried away with the clippers, as I newly learned with the power cool.) Realizing that the bushes needed trimming, I remembered that we needed to get some manure and top soil in the garden and on the bare spots on the lawn. Getting grass seed to those bare spots in another job that needs to be done. I will need to rough up the soil with the new garden tool so that the grass seed will take. Now, we can start thinking of some plants: herbs, tomatoes, and coleus for Chris. It is so easy to scatter when doing jobs because each individual job has many sub-jobs that need to happen before the job even gets started. No wonder I am tired!!

So back to the kitchen....... I notice that the kitchen is a good barometer to what is going on for me. If I am messy, the kitchen looks it. When I feel clear and focus, the kitchen is usually neat and clean. Now for the rest of the house!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Answers

There are times when this seems like a great place to get the answers to all life's questions....or all the questions I have about my life. The purpose, the plan, my sacred contracts....all that good stuff. This picture makes me think of that place....the place to go to sort out all sorts of life's questions. There is something so strong in being by the ocean.....the connection between this world and everything else. I love that sense of being part of something much bigger than the every day mundane. I get the truest sense of that type of connection by the ocean.

Being by the water has always been a part of my life. Thinking through the issues going on in my life probably started when I was a kid. I remember sitting in the rowboat at the beach and thinking about what was going in my life. Family issues were usually at the forefront of those times in the rowboat. Later, going to the "big beach" with the big waves was a great treat. I also found a great sense of peace at the big beach. Deciding on my career and where I would start this career was another problem that I took to the beach one summer. Walking on the breakwater and watching the ferry arrive in the Old Harbor of Block Island, I knew that I would begin my teaching career close to home and not in the Virgin Islands, as I had hoped. A few months later, I used my time by the ocean in St. Thomas to come to terms with going by home rather than stay in what I thought was an impossible situation. I guess I am glad that I had the opportunity but I do think that was so impacted by that turn of events in my life. Later my time at the beach was to again come to terms with the end of a love. For a long time, being at the beach brought up such sadness. The ocean symbolized all the times by the beaches in Bermuda and all the fun I shared. Being at the beaches here brought up a deep sadness and it also brought up a deeper healing. In my early thirties, having beach days with my godchildren brought that wonderful sense of playfulness back to the beach. I found that sense of fun again at the beach and I will always be grateful to my godchildren for that.

I enjoy the beach now, but in a different way. I have learned how to apply sunscreen more often and to be near the bathrooms. I have learned how to wear my reading glasses under my sunglasses. (This is something I won't do with the godchildren). I have also learned to enjoy the time at the beach and let it be. Even though this all sounds mundane, I still know that the beach is a sacred place for me. When I get to the beach and allow myself to get quiet and connect, I listen. Not just to the sounds of the seagulls, the foghorns or the rolling waves, I listen to that all-knowing, all- loving voice.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Block Island: The Return

Block Island.... a place of reflection. I had not been to Block Island in over 15 years, I think. Last week we had a combination field trip/working meeting on Block Island. It felt great to see that piece of my past. The roads looked so familiar, yet, I could not find the guest house that I stayed in with Dot years and years ago. It was right on the side street by the ferry dock and it should have been there....but it wasn't. Some of the familiar buildings were spruced up over the years and others were showing the effects of their years.

Having someone visiting Block Island for the first time made our trip even more special. I think at one point she must have been on overload with all our side stories of this little place. Even with all the chatter, there was space in the day to enjoy the quiet, the calm and the beauty of this wonderful place. I still felt I had time to reflect as I looked out over Mohegan's Bluff. The enormity of the ocean is a great stabilizer, putting all the little stuff in perspective. Watching the waves crash over the rocks was actually comforting. The blues and greens of the water invited oohhhs and aaahhs from the group. Most of all there was a connection to it all that made the day so wonderful.

We got to visit a farm on Block Island with some wonderful animals. Even the animals seemed to know that they were in some special place. I loved Jane, our boss, describe the animals arriving at the farm and running into the pasture as if returning home from a long trip. I can totally relate to how they must have felt...I think a part of me felt that way too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring is just around the corner

This could be wishful thinking or I could really be on to something here. In running around doing my errands to prepare for next week's trip to a conference, I am getting a wonderful scent in the air. The scent of spring......the snow is melting and the ground is receiving this wonderful nectar to loosen the soil and awaken the roots of our spring flowers. It looks pretty brown and frozen on the surface but deep down there is a whole lot of shakin' goin' on! I can almost see buds coming on the plants and trees that are in the sun. I know that I am rushing it but its been a really long winter!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Just Jack

Jack is my grand-god dog. Ok, so we have ways to define relationships that I find heart-warming and this grand-goddog is another example. Jack is my godchild,Jill's dog. Since we all live the in same house (it's a duplex), we are lucky enough to get to see alot of Jack. Jack is not really a bee, as he is seen in the photo. Jack is a Yorkie. Chris has renamed Jack, The Terrorist, because Jack thinks he is truly fearless when he starts to play. The sounds Jack makes while he is getting you to pull on his rope toy or his ball are ferocious sounding. Jack totally wants to be one of the big kids. He will run faster than the wind to get the ball before Ricky gets a chance to grab it. He also tries to play that he is dominant over Lucy, standing on the couch looking down at her with a clear expression on his face that he is the boss. Lucy and Ricky are lucky enough to have the wisdom of thier ages to help them deal with the wild young man. They set him straight gently and they do let him get the ball quite alot.
The best thing to see with Jack is to watch and see his excitment when his Jill comes home. He totally becomes unglued when she talks to him in a certain way. Jill can make her voice very high and wavering and Jack just goes spastic when he hears it. They did have a bit of a power struggle when Jack decided that he was no longer going to wear the designer outfits that Jill had in her closet for him. Jack protested by doing what the picture shows.....he would stay in one place on the floor and refuse to move. This not moving is highly unusual for Jack, he is always moving. So the outcome of the struggle ....well, you probably know what the outcome far the score is Jack 1 and Jill 0......