Yoga Not

I should be at yoga.

That is what is on the calendar for today, in a very tightly scheduled three weeks but I kind of just…didn’t go.

Most Sunday mornings I find it refreshing but today the quiet of my little house was what I needed most.

So here I am, melted into the peace.

This week marks a year since my ex-husband stalked me (a protective order really is just a piece of paper) and I feel illogically successful that it passed without a repeat appearance. Or maybe it’s just relief.

Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

I am making a huge job change and this is my last week in my old position. I know I chose well because the morning after deciding I woke up feeling like the weight of the world was off my shoulders.

In spite of that certainty, goodbyes are hard and I am very sad to leave a this great group of nurses. They have been my work family constant in the last five years and are smart, funny and dedicated. We will keep in touch, but still…it will be different.

Today is Palm Sunday which for some reason has always been a favorite of mine. Not sure why because in the liturgy the story of the triumphal procession into Jerusalem spins rapidly into the events leading up to Good Friday. Kind of gloom and doom, actually.

But maybe I like it because I know the end of the story…Easter is coming.

Spring. Hope. Peeps.

My new job will give me more time for writing, painting, music, exercise. More time to spend with my kids (human and furry). Just. More. Time.

What a gift.

For this I am grateful beyond words so I think I will celebrate by taking Gandalf for a long walk, then head over to church.

After that Sarah and I are going to the opera to see Aida. Live opera is on my bucket list and I really don’t know what to expect. Will I be Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? (I wish I had that dress!) Or just “meh”?

I am glad I took the time to be home this morning. It was just what I needed to re-charge.

Don’t be afraid to opt-out of your schedule of shoulds.

You are worth it.

Enjoy the First Day of Spring from Google and me.

https://www.google.com

 

 

 

The Old Year (2014 edition)

2015 has dawned bright, clear and cold (a balmy minus 9 degrees). Snow covers the ground and yaktrax are in order when I take Gandalf out for walks, which are quite short in these temperatures. Pippin declines to go at all when it is below zero.

My long holiday season started in August, at the three year mark of being out on my own, and a lightness of being I hadn’t known in I-don’t-know-how-long settled around me. The fog of the last several years has lifted and I feel….I don’t even know how to describe this…..safe and content and alive and…..at home.   And unspeakably grateful.

For the holidays this year my kids and I planned a vacation as Christmas; giving each other experiences instead of things to dust, and December found us traveling on the east coast. We raised our traditional toast of “Well, here we are!” at Becco’s in Manhattan and logged almost thirty seven FitBit miles in NYC and DC. Afterwards, making photo albums with Apple and Shutterfly for Michael and Rebecca was such a hoot that I am making one for myself. The best part was watching Rebecca open hers….it looked like a store-bought book and *surprise* there she was inside! coming home                                      And my boys were glad when I came home.

IMG_2081Solstice found me at a house concert by “Les Harpistes D’un Certain Age” for good music and food and friends, then home to Gandalf and Pippin and my fireplace; an evening too wonderful for words.

Christmas Eve followed soon after and Gandalf and I spent it at Rebecca’s with Twinkle in her traditional spot….under the bed. Santa delivered treats to her stocking and Christmas was saved again. We headed to Sarah, Jared and Michael’s house for Christmas night where I gave my electric train set to Michael. In between building an “epic” track system (which incorporated a Star Wars base) we looked at his photo book and talked about our trip; he is becoming a good traveler. Rebecca is a kitten harlot and their new kitties Smudge and Spooky were the beneficiaries of her devotion as well as a source of almost constant entertainment for all of us. Sarah reports they were practically comatose for twelve hours after we left.

Solstice intentions were not forgotten and the time seems right to set a major writing one that has been bumping around in my head the last two years.

2013: I intend to publish my book this year.

2014: I intend to get this new book version down on paper. I only got parts of it down on paper but I did find an illustrator!

2015: Press on with writing. My book, and……blogging, with the intent of reducing my hours at work to build my writing career. I think this is the year to do it. There. I said it out loud. *Takes deep breath*  Whew.

 

2013: I intend to continue doing anonymous good turns; “pay it forward”.

2014: Keep it up. I must confess, this is a guilty pleasure. The most fun I had was having my snow removal guy plow 18″ of snow out of my neighbor’s driveway while they were out of town. They arrived home in the middle of a bitter cold night and didn’t have to shovel to get into their garage. (Cue the warm, fuzzy feeling. Delicious).

2015: Keep it up. 

 

2013: I intend to practice my music at least 3 days a week.

2014: Play music as often and long as possible. I started violin/fiddle eleven months ago and have loved it; maybe in another year everyone else will too. I play bodhran and sing with my group and we put on some fun performances last year; our circle of musician friends is getting wider and we even made enough money to pay for gas to gigs. That is progress!

2015: Can’t wait to see what music this year brings! 

My new little intention for 2015: Become more physically fit. I have been working out more consistently for a few months and the other day I actually caught a glimpse of my left deltoid when the light was just right. Woot Woot!

I have been writing this post on and off all day and it’s now dark. Gandalf and Pippin are sleeping at my feet and the first day of 2015 is in the books; time for me to hit the sack, too. To quote my friend Beryl: “So far, so good.”

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‘Night!

Winter Solstice 2013

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“Well. Here we are!”

This has become my traditional toast and since Gandalf and Pippin can’t hold a wine glass I hear an imaginary *clink* as we salute this night. Christmas lights are bright, my fireplace is toasty and this year Loreena McKennitt has joined my Winter Solstice music companions Jennifer Cutting and the Windham Hill Artists. The critters have dozed off next to me and life is good.

Solstice music

Solstice music

This morning Rebecca and I went to the city and ran a 5K in the falling snow with other batty people. It was a fundraiser so it was good for our hearts on many levels!

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Yes, those are fishnet stockings

The costumes made us laugh and my favorite was The Lamp from “A Christmas Story”. This was Rebecca’s first run since tweaking her knee at karate a few weeks ago and then re-injuring it when she had a seizure. All is well; meds are adjusted, physical therapy attended and as we trucked along she kept saying “It feels SO good to run again!”. We are often the caboose; it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Upright and moving is what counts!

We delivered presents to Sarah, Jared and Michael and made it back before the roads iced up. I got Rebecca snuggled into her apartment and I arrived home tired and happy; a romp in the snow with Gandalf and then I was in for the night.

And what has become of the intentions set last Solstice?

I intend to publish my book this year. I would love to say that it is available on Amazon but, alas, this is not so; the sails have been adjusted more times than I care to remember and what has floated in on the tides of life is that I will write it differently. The exercise of writing this blog (and reading others’) has made me realize time and marination are still essential and even though I have come to this later in my life the process can’t be hurried.

2014: I intend to get this new book version down on paper. 

I intend to continue doing anonymous good turns; “pay it forward”. This is easy and fun. Part of me still thinks I am/need to be invisible. That is a long story not worth going into here, and anonymity suits me.

2014: Keep it up. 

I intend to practice my music at least 3 days a week. This has refashioned itself the most of the three intentions; I am a percussionist but I think I might have a melody instrument in me somewhere. Mountain dulcimer? Violin? Work and life being what they are, some days I only have ten minutes to spend practicing; how was it that when I was a kid thirty minutes at the piano was so bloody never-ending? Oh, wait….it was because I had no talent for it and I would gladly have gnawed my fingers off if it would have gotten me out of lessons.

But music practice on my own terms is….exquisite! 

2014: Play music as often and long as possible.

If I did nothing more than attempt to fulfill these intentions I would be completely occupied. Weaving them into the everyday is part of the challenge and if I just had a Carson and a Mrs. Patmore I am reasonably sure I could take the world by storm!

The night has worn on and tomorrow is Fourth Advent; soon it will be Christmas. To my family, friends and followers I raise a glass of the finest red I could find on sale.

Well. Here we are!

 *clink*

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Home of the Free…Because of the Brave

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

 

It’s the 4th of July!

I love this holiday; it is so uniquely…….American. Well, duh, you say, of course it is. How could it be anything else? It’s US, as in “us” and United States.

I love this country; Congress not so much but this is not a political forum so I will leave it at that. Are we perfect? Far from it, and while it really skews thinking to judge the decisions of the past with the consciousness of the present, here we also have the tools to better the future.Home

I think that every American should go to Philadelphia and stand in Independence Hall, preferably on a hot summer day when the air conditioning is turned off and listen to the Park Ranger explain what happened there. If you can’t do that, rent John Adams. It is not an action-packed-chase-scene kind of production and if you watch nothing else of it, the scenes of the signing are a must. This was epic; it is epic.

Live so as to honor the vision, the service, the price paid for this country. Wave the flag, eat hotdogs, and celebrate! If I was good at Photoshop here I would insert a pic of Mt Rushmore with smiling faces, but I’m not, so you will just have to imagine.  🙂

Happy 4th!

PEEPS!

Wishing all my “peeps” Happy Easter and greetings of the season!

It really doesn’t matter to me if you are some version of Christian (or other mainstream religion), Pagan, Wiccan or profess no religion at all; thank you for reading my posts and know I wish that “goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life”.

Act with integrity, remember to breathe and try to be the kind of human your dog thinks you are.

We all know there is plenty of badness out there; so be safe, be strong, be a force for good.

And eat Peeps!

I prefer mine fresh, and only at Easter. How do you like yours? Fresh, aged or not at all?

The Christmas Sock Part 2

Damn.

The expectant sock hung there, visible proof that the mental pat on the back earlier that day was prematurely delivered. Santa is supposed to know whose socks are where. After all, Twinkle was home at her apartment so why shouldn’t her sock be there, too? Never mind that we hadn’t done it that way in previous years; whatever Rebecca‘s reasoning,Twinkle’s new sock at her own apartment had seemed like a good idea at the time.

At this point my mind was paddling madly trying to stay afloat in the face of incontrovertible evidence that we had a SantaFAIL on our hands.

“Ummm, well……Santa…..came to my house first……and……he knew you were there and he only saw your sock…..that must be why he put the cat treats for Twinkle in your sock! He knew you would give them to her and he didn’t think he needed to stop at your place.”

“But they were the wrong kind. She only eats salmon flavor”. Rebecca’s thinking is so concrete she has this ability to point out the obvious. Keeps me grounded, it does.

“Ummm, yes…..perhaps the elf got confused about which treats went to which cat.”  When in doubt, blame the elf.

There was some acceptance of this reasoning but I saw a flicker of disappointment in her eyes as we moved on to making plans for the next couple of days and when Rebecca would return to my house.  I could have let this whole episode go; my explanations all seemed plausible enough and we could start over next year but this was just not a satisfying end to an otherwise Great Christmas. How could this elf redeem herself?

When I was younger I lived in Europe for a time and Christmas was celebrated for the full twelve days. Trolls and elves ruled the season and gifts were given throughout. There was the answer……Christmas is a season, not a day! Salmon treats, a festive gift bag (half price by now!) and the appropriate note from Santa were prepared. When the kids were little Santa used to leave them notes thanking them for the snacks on Christmas Eve so a letter would not be unusual. Rebecca would be over later that day; where to leave this second offering? It needed to be somewhere quite obvious and I needed to be nowhere near when she found it. I filled the bag, slipped in the note from Santa, hung it on the front door and left to run errands.

Returning a couple of hours later I found the gift bag and its contents laid out on the kitchen counter. Rebecca was beaming. When I had left the house I mentally checked off the SantaFail as “handled” and had been so busy I had actually forgotten about it. This is good because it made it possible for me to be totally surprised at this scene in my kitchen. This same trait also enables me to hide my own Easter eggs, genuinely laugh at jokes being told for the umpteenth time and to be otherwise easily entertained. I consider it a strength.

Rebecca handed me the note; “I haven’t gotten a letter from Santa for a long time! He has nice handwriting. I can’t read cursive”. I read the note to her and she grinned. She got into her back pack and produced Twinkle’s new Christmas sock. “This needs to stay at your house for Christmas next year!”

Elf: 1, SantaFail: 0