Monday, November 29, 2010

Murder in the dark...

A couple of shots from a 1920's murder mystery party we attended this past weekend in Southern California. Needless to say, the outfits were to die for...

Man oh man am I crossing my fingers that Santa will bring me a new camera this year! Oh world of beautiful photos with perfect lighting... I am coming to you soon!

Things that open

During one of my 5th grade drawing assignments last week I asked a fifth grade girl to draw "Things that open". She smiled and at the end of the class she turned this into me with a proud look on her face saying, "Look at how many things I thought of!"

I can tell you about  a million reasons why I love this drawing. The thin lines, the negative space, and the way in which she stacked everything together as if she was making a grocery list (just to name a few). But, most of all , it makes me think about all of the things that are opening up in my life, here and now. Scary things, big things, happy things, exciting things, and most of all very quiet wonderful things. And although the scary stuff often feels like the biggest...this drawing helps me see the wonderful a little more clear.

Nothing like a 5th grader drawing kitchen appliances to help you with life's biggest questions.

Am I taking my job too seriously?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Morning thanks

There are a lot of things that I am grateful for this year, a million really. But in the end there is one constant that I am so happy that I have. And this wonderful blogger put it into better words than I ever could...

Dear Mornings

My mornings have just been it for me this fall. My walks, my meditations, my quiet classroom before the children stampede in, dog and boyfriend hugs, oats with almond butter,  and of course hot coffee in the french press. They are just really good. And allow me the quietness to be thankful for everything else I have.

This morning, I wish I had time to write you all a thank you note. For everything that makes me smile and feel warm inside. But just so you know, I'm feeling really warm these days. There is just a lot of love in the air.

So...Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks, for all the giving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fantasying frigid...

There is something about this time of year that makes me ache for snow. The smell of it, the taste of it, and the desire to put on every wool sweater on I own, wrap myself in a blanket, and drink hot earl gray tea. The anticipation of winter is upon me. I'm ready for it. Bring it on.

Oh wait, it was a high of 74 in Nashville today. Hmmm...not exactly what I was aiming for.

I know, "cry me a river" you're saying. Having to deal with lovely weather in the middle of November is not awful at all. The heat bill is low and taking the dog outside to pee at 8pm is pretty lovely. But still, if it was snowing I would make these pear and ginger scones, wrap myself in this sweater, and drink any of these cups by a hot fire. And even though I have a long winter a head of me with a lot of cold nights, shivering mornings, and break the bank heat bills... I kinda want to transport myself back to Oregon right now. Where a 40% chance of  snow is forecasted all day tomorrow.

Soon I'll be reporting from Southern California for a very non-snowy Thanksgiving vacation. Where are you during this thankful time of the year? Oh and guess what? I am thankful for YOU.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Billy Collins

This is the beginning. 
Almost anything can happen. 
This is where you find 
the creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land, 
the first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page. 
Think of an egg, the letter A, 
a woman ironing on a bare stage as the heavy curtain rises. 
This is the very beginning. 
The first-person narrator introduces himself, 
tells us about his lineage. 
The mezzo-soprano stands in the wings. 
Here the climbers are studying a map 
or pulling on their long woolen socks. 
This is early on, years before the Ark, dawn. 
The profile of an animal is being smeared 
on the wall of a cave, 
and you have not yet learned to crawl. 
This is the opening, the gambit, 
a pawn moving forward an inch. 
This is your first night with her, your first night without her. 
This is the first part 
where the wheels begin to turn, 
where the elevator begins its ascent, 
before the doors lurch apart. 
This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated,
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore.
Cities have sprouted up along the rivers
teeming with people at cross-purposes –
a million schemes, a million wild looks.
Disappointment unsolders his knapsack
here and pitches his ragged tent.
This is the sticky part where the plot congeals,
where the action suddenly reverses
or swerves off in an outrageous direction.
Here the narrator devotes a long paragraph
to why Miriam does not want Edward's child.
Someone hides a letter under a pillow.
Here the aria rises to a pitch,
a song of betrayal, salted with revenge.
And the climbing party is stuck on a ledge
halfway up the mountain.
This is the bridge, the painful modulation.
This is the thick of things.
So much is crowded into the middle –
the guitars of Spain, piles of ripe avocados,
Russian uniforms, noisy parties,
lakeside kisses, arguments heard through a wall
too much to name, too much to think about.
And this is the end,
the car running out of road,
the river losing its name in an ocean,
the long nose of the photographed horse
touching the white electronic line.
This is the colophon, the last elephant in the parade,
the empty wheelchair, and pigeons floating down in the evening.
Here the stage is littered with bodies,
the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
and the climbers are in their graves.
It is me hitting the period
and you closing the book.
It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen
and St. Clement with an anchor around his neck.
This is the final bit
thinning away to nothing.
This is the end, according to Aristotle,
what we have all been waiting for,
what everything comes down to,
the destination we cannot help imagining,
a streak of light in the sky,
a hat on a peg, and outside the cabin, falling leaves.

Tonight I get to be in the same room as the man that wrote this poem. The last time that happened I was a senior in college in a poetry class. He walked in and stole the room with his smile, laugher, and overall presence of being. When he read his poems, tears flooded my eyes...not knowing that someone so real and familiar could write words that connected so deeply with myself.

Tonight will be different. My scarf and jeans will be replaced with a ball gown and heels. But I hope I get to cry the same way, because even though everything in my life has changed...I really don't feel all that different.

Monday, November 8, 2010


An incredible trip to New England this weekend brought me back to my roots in a way that I desperately needed. The cold and wet weather kept us from my favorite beach but spurred an afternoon of puddle jumping, hot cider, and joyful love that could not be replicated. During an evening of soup making we laughed and played like little children. Artists, writers, cooks, and storytellers. It was invigorating to be a part of this group of people again. Although a large portion of my heart is sad that I am no longer surrounded by this love, it is so good to know that even after being gone for 3 years...none of it has vanished. 

To warm ourselves from the wet fall weather we made soup, a project led by my dear friend and fabulous chef Skye Bonney (who knew that buttercup squash was SO much better than butternut!). The soup simmered as we listened to music and laughed. And of course...we danced.

This, followed by a day in Boston with more women that I adore (pictures from the city, the food, and those faces of sunshine soon to come) pieced together a perfect visit to a place I will forever call my second home. Thanks to all who made it so special. I am warm with all of the love I got- officially ready for winter.