Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ought to....

I ought to be doing the dishes.

Or cleaning my house.

Or doing the laundry.

Or doing push-ups.

Or playing with my dog (poor Barley).

But instead I am drinking a glass of wine and reading this blog, this story and this blog (Yes, it's true. I read about inspiring things rather than doing them.)

Le sigh.

At least I have pretty place-mats....

What is your cure for laziness?

Monday, January 30, 2012


A run can be quite restorative, can't it? All day I've been quite melancholy, with millions of thoughts swirling around in my brain. When I got home I was blue and the dog was antsy, and we decided that a run was in order.

So, Barley and I ran a mile to the dog park, she played for a little while, and then we ran back. We stopped at the little market in my neighborhood, and picked up a smoothie, a hunk of cheese, and a loaf of bread and then walked the rest of the way home.

Just as we were walking in the door as the sun was dipping down for the night, I realized what a change of mood that run gave me. More than just the physical exercise, I think it was the sense of community that I was missing. At 60 degrees, it seemed that everyone was out and about. People walking their dogs, going for a run, sitting on the front porch and waving to people walking by. I love my little community. We should all be so lucky to have sidewalks to walk down, neighbors to wave to, and a corner market to stop and buy a loaf of bread.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peaceful Sunday

On Sundays, we relax......

I enjoyed this article about family, love, and dying. It is not depressing, despite the topic.

Today I am listening to this interview with the late Irish poet John O'Donohue on On Being. If you don't have time for all of it, one of my favorite bits is from minutes 19-21:30. Though.... I really like all of it. I think I'll buy one of his books soon. It made me miss Ireland; made me want to go back. The landscape truly does get into your heart.

This is one of the best gifts I've ever received. Q&A a day: 365 questions, 5 years, 1,825 answers: 5-year journal

I love this journal - I carry it with me everywhere. The questions range from the serious to the silly, and I am really excited to see how my answers change over the years.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feeling Southern: Saturday

What a delicious Saturday (already, at 9:20am). When a day is entirely mine, I am always happy with what I might fill it with.

Barley is playing outside in the backyard - most likely digging holes that I will have to fill later. It is 42 degrees outside, though was much colder when I first woke up. I wrote in my journal for 30 minutes (which I am trying very hard to do every day). I am drinking coffee with cinnamon in it (my favorite morning treat) and listening to the Buena Vista Social Club station on Pandora. Besides adoring the music, I like this station because I can't understand the commercials (they are all in Spanish) or the music (also, as you can imagine, in Spanish), which makes a wonderful backdrop when you are reading a book. I am thankful that my college roommate Laura introduced me to BVSC, because their music makes you feel alive in your gut, much like really good bluegrass and anything by the lovely Etta James does.

The book, and my quite old journal (I have promised myself a pretty one after I finish this one, which was originally intended to be a Chemistry lab notebook).
I have just started Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (he wrote Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude). I haven't gotten very far in the book, but I am already drawn into it and will be sure to tell you if it is a good read or not.

Between the Cuban music and the Colombian book, I am feeling very Southern indeed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

favorite things: thursday night edition

It is important to fill our lives with things that give us pleasure. Not the things that ought to give us pleasure, but the things that actually do.

On this rainy Thursday, I've decided to indulge in two of my favorite things:

1. Clean sheets

Who has never witnessed the psychological warfare that clean sheets can wage on a melancholy day?

They are in the wash now. Happy sleeping to me!

2. Makers Mark

A couple of years ago, my good friend Laura introduced me to the wonders of Makers Mark. I'm not normally a liquor girl, but I love a good margarita and have always liked whiskey. However, I don't drink liquor straight (shot glasses make me shudder). At least, I never did until I learned the beauty of sipping a very nice whiskey on the rocks. Sipping is very much the operative word. I don't think drinking a glass of Makers would be very nice at all. And, I must be insistent that you buy a nice bottle of whiskey. Please don't buy the cheapest one and expect a lovely relaxing evening. Life is much too short to sip bad whiskey.

It  takes me an entire evening to consume one drink, and I like taking the tiniest of sips to savor every drop. {I used to do the same with Kraft Mac and Cheese when I was little - I would eat each noodle individually to savor the flavor. I guess my tastes have evolved somewhat, but I am happy to see that my technique is the same.}

And now I am off to enjoy some of my other favorite things: watching Downton Abbey, reading a book, wearing my yoga pants, petting Barley, and lighting all the candles in my house.

Happy Thursday!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

we like rainy days

It is raining today. We are going back and forth between the soft pitter patter of rain drops on the tin roof, to deafening rain, to thunderstorms that include the threat of tornadoes.

It is my favorite type of Saturday. No plans, no agenda, and a stack of books from the library.

Barley likes sitting on the porch, looking at the rain.

Until I start taking pictures of her, at which point she discovers...

....after leaving a trail of wet puppy prints on the floor...

...that watching the rain from inside is much much better.

Sweatpants, pot of coffee, snoozing puppy by my side. Hoping your Saturday is just as lovely.

Friday, January 20, 2012

turquoise: makes me happy

I start every morning by reading the tiny buddha essay of the day. The articles always seem to apply to my life (funny how that works, huh?), and they give me something to ponder during the day.

A few days ago, I read this article on mindfulness, slowing down, and breath. About halfway down was a suggestion that really struck me - using a color to remind yourself to breathe. 
Heavens, I love this book. Turquoise + Turkey + Cookbook = Yay!
Turquoise is my favorite color. It actually makes me happy - whenever I see it I smile. Never one to believe in 'favorite colors', I always took a pass when people asked me what mine was. But when I wear turquoise I feel good about myself, when I see turquoise I smile, when I buy things I try to make them turquoise.


And after reading this article, I think I'll start to look for it everywhere. Wear more turquoise clothes, buy more turquoise art, take more turquoise pictures.

It is true that color affects our mood - why have I never thought of using that to my advantage?

What color makes you happy?

Key West, 2012

Puerto Rico, 2008

Monday, January 2, 2012


Dear 2012,

I welcome you with open arms and a huge smile. I haven't made any resolutions this year, and even though I was planning on it, I don't think I intend to. I love resolutions and lists and fresh starts, but this year I am just going to run blindly forward as fast as I can and open myself up to whatever comes at me.

This year, I wore a party dress and heels for New Years Eve (of course, I later changed into jeans and flats and tucked my dress up to make it look like a shirt so that I could walk to Marietta Square - Ha!). I've never taken the time to get all dolled up for the new year before. How pleasing it was to paint my nails a sparkly gold just to usher you in. No one else saw that gold, but I knew it was there.

This year, I turn 30. How excited I am!!! And I really mean that. No, I don't want wrinkles. I don't want to say goodbye to my youth. But I am so so so excited for this next year, this next decade, this next 30 years. I thought I would be married with a few kids by this point in my life. I thought I would own my own house, not be renting and have a roommate. I won't lie - for a while that depressed me. But just look at what I have instead:
  • Two families (Tom's and mine) that I absolutely adore. 
  • A really killer job (at times I hate it, at others I pinch myself when I remember that I've got it). 
  • The ability to dream big (and dream big I surely do). 
  • Amazing friends.
  • A heart completely filled with love.
I don't think I could really ask for more. And yet, 2012 already holds so much in my mind. I have so much to look forward to.
  • Moving to DC.
  • Running a marathon with one amazing chica.
  • Celebrating the big 3-0 with a celebration so over the top we haven't quite decided on it yet (I am leaning towards a Trans Siberian Rail trip from Moscow through Mongolia and ending in Beijing).
  • Watching my baby sister get married, on the front lawn of the house that we all grew up in and that holds so many cherished memories.
My enthusiasm can perhaps feel too forced at times. I do try to turn the bad into the good. I do try to find happiness and inspiration in the smallest of moments. Some people find it all a bit too Pollyanna, and perhaps it is. But I know what sadness feels like. I know what it is to be constantly looking down, constantly feeling down. And I have vowed to never go there again. I try to string my bad days in between a long link of good ones. 

This, I believe, has been the biggest single accomplishment of my 20's. Realizing that happiness is a choice. And not a choice you make one time one day to last forever, but a choice you have to make every day and in every moment. I am grateful that I have learned this lesson. I am grateful that I don't have to be 23 again. I am grateful to be 29-almost-30. This spot right here is a fine place to be.

Well, 2012, here is my vow. My one resolution: I won't take you for granted or let you pass idly by. I promise to 'live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.'

I had to see this place..... Walden Pond, January 2008

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
To front only the essential facts of life.
And see if I could not learn what it had to teach
And not, when I came to die,
Discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau

I am thankful that I watched this movie at an impressionable age. One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies:

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