My #mondayinspiration is a person who has left such a legacy in my heart
What happens when a “you” sized hole appears in the world?
I just found out the shocking news that a friend died this week. Suddenly, unexpectedly, in her sleep. She was active and healthy. She was warm and compassionate. She was thoughtful and caring. She was an advocate for human rights and actively taught others how to be as well.
My brain can’t get around the fact that she’s not here anymore. That the silly little gifts she used to give to everyone won’t ever happen again. That the words of encouragement cheering you along won’t appear anymore. That her calm presence that instilled confidence in others won’t fill this world anymore. It is hard to wrap your head around.
I understand that one day we all will die. That we will leave voids in the lives of others. But right now it doesn’t make sense at all. And all that exists is this “you” sized hole.
Death is such a hard process. Hug your people tightly, they are the flowers of our gardens.
It’s been almost three weeks since this boot was cut and three vertebrae’s were fractured.
Since a late night trip to the hospital for our close friend. And just over two weeks since she took up residence in our guest bedroom.
Healing takes time.
Isn’t that the truth for so much in our lives.
It actually lead me straight to the lyrics of the latest song we are working on.
“The only way through it, is through it.”
It’s been really nice having some girlfriend energy in the home. Having our nightly sessions of “Sex and the City” with a Saturday night Cosmo. Having long talks until the pain medication kicks in and the generosity of surprise Lasagna is dropped off.
All in all, while she goes through healing, i find myself healing as well- through conversations, quality time, and being a need in someone’s time of distress.
That shredded boot is still sitting on the farm, letting us all know that, soon, with time and healing, the woman who filled it will be back and kicking up her heels.
We attended the March for Reproductive Rights on Saturday at San Jose City Hall. We also attended the Black Lives Matter March this past year in addition to many more Marches together. We want to stand up for others, we want to stand up for ourselves. But more importantly, we want YOU to stand up for Social Justice, for Women’s Rights, for Racial Equality, for LGBTQ Rights, for all of these. To help, and not bury your head in the sand and say THIS does not affect me.
It has been too many years fighting for our rights! It has been too long pretending it doesn’t affect me! It has been too long without everyone standing up and saying “no more”! It is time to get through to everyone that thinks THIS discrimination, THIS restriction, THIS level of control won’t affect me, Because it does!
The more we stand for the things that matter and make our voices heard, the more we help the next generation speak up and protect their rights as well.
I love going to @corvusfarm. We try to take a trip out there at least once a week as it’s become a source of joy, fun, and we get to be helpers.
We had a great work day on Friday, but Sunday found us on the farm again. PG&E has been shutting off the power grid. A LOT. Farmers rely on electricity to keep everything running smoothly. So this was a big deal.
We don’t think too much about the water; turning on the faucet, or filling our water bottles before heading out the door, or showering at the end of (or the beginning of) the day.
When your farm relies on power to work the water pump, or to heat the brooders that are housing 6 day old ducks, it makes it a stressful struggle to help the animals survive.
So we found ourselves on the farm again and helped move water. And tried to be supportive.
Then I came home and showered. And counted my blessings that I am lucky enough to have clean running water.
Tuesday (Tomorrow) the 14th is the last day to vote on the Recall. Don’t forget to vote NO. Your vote will make a difference in the lives of all Californians
A little late on the Monday Inspiration as we’ve been in transition seasons with the girls and ourselves too.
The Same, but Different.
My two beautiful daughters visited with me. One the first week, and the other, the second week. I love it. I love seeing them, I love hugging them, I love cooking for them. It made me smile when I asked what they would like for dinner and they both said the same thing: Pasta with shrimp and snow peas, cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt, and chili pepper flakes under a bed of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Something I haven’t made in a while, but was a weekly favorite when they were growing up. So yummy.
It is such a simple recipe, yet they each requested me to cook it differently. One wanted less olive oil and one wanted the garlic removed before the shrimp went in. Of course, I complied. What wouldn’t I do for our girls?
Which leads me back to the beginning. They are the same, but different. They are both, just like me, but they are different from each other. I love both sides of that coin and revel in the similarities and celebrate their differences. Children are such a wonderful gift, a blessing to this momma heart. Hug all your babies, they grow up way too quickly.
Things don’t always turn out the way you planned. We write things down. We put it in the calendar. We go over it every which way in our heads. And sometimes, at the last minute, things change.
What do you do when everything is new? When you don’t know what will happen next? I’m watching my girls go through life changes now. Moving away and starting over, on their own. I wish I knew what to tell them, how to help them, how to hold their hands without holding them back.
I have always prided myself on being flexible, but I am still learning how to do it gracefully and strongly. And how to be there for my girls, even when they are far away from my arms.
Imagine fleeing a country to save yourself and your family from harm. Imagine competing with hundreds of others for a space on a flight to safety. Imagine doing all of that while you are nine months pregnant. Now imagine having that baby during the flight to safety, while the pilot changes the altitude of the flight to keep you and the baby safe. And imagine landing in a place where you won’t have to worry if you or your baby will be taken away, or killed.
There are so many tragedies in this world. And so many little miracles. One friend lost her mother this week. Another is sitting in the hospital hoping that her mother will recover from some awful surgery to remove the cancer in her body. Another is struggling with personal pain that needs surgery to heal it, but can’t afford to take time away from his work. We don’t always know what others are going through, good or bad.
I was on a walk tonight with my daughter and the full moon rose up, illuminating the street, and all seemed peaceful and beautiful. I hope this light helps you find safety, and love, and peace. I hope that whatever you are going through at this moment, gets easier. That you find a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, a peaceful thought to get you through the night.
My Monday Inspiration
Can we be motivated by doing nothing?
Well, this week, I am looking forward to finding out.
We’ve been so busy since the end of July. Moving people, traveling, get together a, farm work, releasing music….
This weekend, after being home and barely unpacking our bags, I ended with a marathon tennis match in the hot California Summer sun.
I lost :-(
But came home, showered off, then plopped my butt on the couch and put a movie on.
Funny enough, Doug and I chose a Marvel Movie, and I despise Marcel movies. But, we put on Black a widow and ate ice cream.
Surprisingly, I loved it. It’s wonderful to see a movie with strong female actors kicking ass and taking names.
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh play two sisters who eventually work together to save the world from a sinister bad guy using women to kill hence the title, Black Widow. They were wonderful together. Great storyline.
So does that count as being motivated by doing nothing? Or is it being motivated by badass women. Either way, The couch and I enjoyed it.
Will let you know if motivation by doing nothing will add to science discoveries
Had the Monday inspiration all set to go on Instagram and missed FB! So on a Wednesday, a couple days late! Same sentiment.
We have had very moving week (literally). Movie star sightings, moving kids out of their apartment, and moving our butts on the dance floor.
We are ending our week away visiting friends. They moved into a 55+ community, and I’m telling you, this is the place to be!!!!
• Club house
Bar & Grill bbq area that we totally utilized last night. Our friends wanted to introduce us to their friends and we stayed, eating, drinking and a little bit of dancing until the security car drove by. Lights out time! I’m telling you, the older you get, the more fun you have. Though I can’t wait to get home …. And find a 55+ community to go live in ;-)
I’m reading a book called the Four Winds. It is set in the Texas Dust Bowl during the Great Depression and explores the strength and determination of women in the most dire of circumstances.
The story begins with the mom as a little girl and details the story of the circumstances that make her the mom and woman she becomes, incorporating the beginnings of her daughter and what influences her life.
Times are hard. Harder than you would ever think you would be able to endure. The ones who step up are the helpers, willing to ensure and go through the same hell with them. Then there are the ones who exploit. The ones who have the means to help in big ways, but don’t.
The heroine in the novel doesn’t leave her home in the beginning. The family toughs it out until finally the very air they were breathing was slowly killing them. They set off to California in search of work, life, a home, a new start.
It made me think about my life and experiences - I pass by homeless camps along the highways and it makes me wonder about their lives. About what led them to this place. What was the final straw that led them out of their previous existence to this one living on the edges of society. How can we, as a society help? What is it that is needed to get someone back on their feet, back into a home, back into something more than survival? I don’t know the answers, but we sure have been talking about it more.
It’s amazing to me how much you can bring the teachings of a book to the real-life circumstances around you, and offer deep thoughts on our own existential lives.
My Monday Inspiration
Positive words mean so much. They’re encouraging, uplifting, and depending on who/where they come from, always encourage us to do our best. I’ve found they also ease the disappointments, and they make all the moments in between just a little bit sweeter.
Doug and I both play tennis. We’ve found the benefits of being part of a team is the energy of others. Sometimes we need to dig down deep to get us through a match and little bursts of “you got this”, “way to go” “whoo hoo” goes a long long way.
It’s been fun watching the Olympics. There are so many sports that I have never watched before; Fencing, Skateboarding, Whitewater kayaking…..WHITEWATER KAYAKING (I thought kayaking was already hard enough!) Along with my favorites of Gymnastics and Volleyball. I notice all the hand pumping, the hugs, the connections. This is what pulls us through and motivates. I find myself yelling and cheering from my comfy couch.
Some days you get to play and some days you get to cheer others on, but no matter what, the sentiment still stands- positive words over others lifts them up as well as the person giving them.
Way to go, team!!!
Been thinking a lot about perspective. It’s an interesting word because it puts things into context, helps unite understanding, and offers a different angle to view something. I noticed a new perspective quite a bit this week as my calendar is getting abnormally busy again.
It’s wonderful but I also had to take a moment and ask myself “why am I so tired?”
Remembering this past year, all I wanted was to make plans and have something to look forward to. ANYTHING! But we, like the rest of the whole world were hibernating for the health of ourselves and others. Now we’re busy again and I’m cherishing the moments of leisure for bike rides to the lake, playing tennis with others, adventuring to wineries where we can sit, talk, and just be together.
Doug and I went for a ride this week where we typically end up on a park bench on the far side of Vasona Park. Just the two of us. While we were talking, I looked up and saw his phone sitting on his bike with the most beautiful reflection mirroring off the glass. I stopped our conversation and took this picture.
Perspective - admiring the rainbows usually comes after rain, if 2020 was the rain, then this is the view of the beauty. And if we can’t sit and smell the roses, then at least we have the rainbows, wherever they appear. I’m glad we are busy, I’m grateful.
We both hope you get a chance to slow down and enjoy the moments of life, whether in busyness or idleness. Sometimes it takes a shift of perspective.
It’s been three years since I played-
- USTA (United States Tennis Association) tennis
-Three years since I have been on an organized team.
-Three years of playing this sport where my performance affects my partner and team.
Thankful I was lucky enough to be paired with a woman who has one of the most welcoming and warm smiles I’ve seen in my life.
To say I was nervous is an understatement, but realizing she was nervous as well, calmed my nerves - even if just slightly- our goal was to support one another and stay positive.
We needed to stay positive because we had missed hits, double faults, and errors. But communicating with someone who lifts you up, instead of tearing you down was a treasure. We talked through every point, encouraged one another, and made a game plan on where we were going to serve, how we were going to move and what our strategy was. We helped one another. And the errors became fewer.
We didn’t get down when we were behind. We didn’t get cocky when we were ahead. We remained supportive and positive throughout the whole match and I am entirely grateful to have had her by my side for my return to tennis. Kind people who stand in the gap for you are so needed.
Through friendship I’ve found a place of peace and respite in the simple form of a farm. Who knew.
Doug and I went to Corvus Farms this weekend to help out our dear friend Rob. Doug is a very skilled electrician and it’s also a joy to him when he can not only help serve others, but put on his electrician hat.
The drive there always snaps me out of whatever funk I’m in and the winding roads past Half Moon Bay, along the coast is so soothing. The ocean has always had a way of speaking to me. Doug - not so much, he spent too many years in Guam, but I love that he takes me out here regardless.
Rob has a myriad of animals and I’m always reminded when I come over that I don’t have work boots. I own sneakers, nor do I live on a farm to warrant boots.
But I’m finding us coming out here a lot more often and now the thought has become a need.
I helped organize a shipping container and collect eggs from the chickens, including the ones who I label “killer” chickens. And I’m fascinated by the different textures and colors. However, one thing you should know about chickens, they don’t really like you. You’re just a hand that feeds them, and if you drop an egg, well, that’s free game and their food. I felt very taken advantage of, being a city dweller and these chickens knowing that.
Well, needless to say, I now own work boots. And these chickens better know that I’m all business. Maybe we’ll just harass one another when I come back on the farm. They literally won’t recognize me.
I’m not sure if you all know, but Doug and I are avid tennis fans, junkies, players. It’s actually how we met. I played tennis over the weekend, and it just felt good to feel like I was in my element. There is just something about this sport. I mean science says it improves my critical thinking skills, alertness, and regulates my serotonin, and the science is not wrong. I feel better after playing (not to mention it was so beautiful outside, a tad hotter than I prefer, but the women I get to play and converse with puts such a big smile on my face as well. So add that to the science too)
After coming home, I had a conversation with someone I truly admire and found out she was just having one of those days that’s really hard to walk through. It got me thinking about how easy it is to forget that your experience isn’t someone else’s at the moment. It’s easy to forget the struggles that many people are enduring, does it mean your own good day is less than? No. But it’s a good reminder to share the good and the hard with others. To sit with people and listen, as well as appreciate the balance of both. I got me thinking about how easy it is to forget the ease of a beautiful day when you’re the one struggling.
If you are in a similar boat right now, I wish for you easy days to come. It reminds me not to take these days for granted. I am sending love and hugs your way. Always. I’m just a phone call or a coffee date away.
Sundays may be made for doing nothing, but I really did spend most of my weekend doing nothing except sitting in the backyard. I love this spot. It reminds me of my days growing up around the Adirondack Mountains, which is also the name of a wingback chair that you specifically see on beaches or resorts.
I don’t have one of the chairs, but I’m proud of my re-creation of the perfect vacation spot. It’s given me nostalgic memories to smile upon, summer has such a profound way of doing that to me anyways.
We’ve got so many birds chirping, there is dappled shade of this enormous tree we built the deck around , and just add an oversized cup of tea, and I’ve got my own slice of backyard heaven.
We do have the occasional gnat that likes to fly into our face, but thankfully no mosquitos using me for their jungle juice mixture.
I am so thankful for backyard speakers, for lazy afternoons and for finding lyrics out of thin air. Oh, I forgot to mention for having pretty journals to write said lyrics in….
Happy Day after the weekend!
My Monday Inspiration
( I can’t believe that it’s now been 7 months of these!)
Live music is back!
I joined a house concert group where artists are invited to perform in your backyard, then folks come and listen and all the money collected goes to the artist. It is a wonderful way to support musicians and keep music alive and well.
We went to our first house concert on Saturday night. To sit and listen. Be among people for the simple pleasure of sharing this moment with the musicians and letting them sing their heart songs to us.
I am so happy I signed up, looking forward to many more of these nights under the stars, sitting outside, listening to dueling guitars and smooth vocals occasionally interrupted by the sounds of a train going by. Truly wonderful
Even the late night walk back to our car had it’s own bit of magic. I do love walking in the dark, as long as Doug holds my hand.
One day late, but this weekend holds so many dear memories. My Monday (Tuesday) inspiration.
To me, the first day of summer officially starts on Memorial Day. When I was a kid, we knew it was summer when Memorial Day rolled around. I lived in upstate NY, near the Catskills, if you’ve seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel it’s practically the same- except they have nicer cabins than I remember. To give you more of a realistic view, picture Dirty Dancing, take it down a few notches, and you’ve got the best summers a kid could ask for. Everyone from NYC, the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn, got out of town for the summer months. And where I lived, in upstate, (or central NY, depending on where in NY you lived) a lot of folks from the city came to stay for those hot summer days and nights.
I lived just around the corner from Palamar Park, a bungalow colony, where families would rent cabins and kids would go to camp during the day, and run around till just past dark. Those were wonderful days. We started each morning by lining up by the flagpole for the pledge of allegiance and morning announcements. Then we were off with our groups doing arts and crafts, swimming or playing sports (my favorite was newcomb, sort of like volleyball but you had to catch the ball on every throw over the net)
Nights would be spent in the concession, where they would show movies or perform musicals or just hang out. And the official end of summer was Labor Day, when everyone would head back to the city and rejoin routine life. The cabins no longer with laughter and kids running around, The fields would be empty, no Camp Counselor to threaten parental involvement with our bad behavior, and worst of all, the pool would be empty, the place where friendships stuck together and the innocence of childhood stayed. Memorial Day was just the beginning of the best time, adventures, romance, endless summer days and nights. I get nostalgic every time this weekend comes, and I’m sure it holds dear memories for a lot of people.
My Monday Inspiration
Kindness. It comes in many forms.
I’ve come to realize that those in need don’t always ask for help. It’s hard, and sometimes you don’t know who to ask.
We have spent a long year trying to stay safe from a virus that we can’t see. We have been vaccinated against this invisible enemy, and have started to venture forth again. And we are beginning to feel safe.
But there are some around us who caught Covid. Who brought it home to their family and now, with everyone quarantined, can’t go to work. We feel safe, but some still are not. Although we can’t save everyone, there are some people whom we can reach out and try to make their lives a little easier. Make them feel like they are seen and supported to help their recovery time a little less stressful.
Doug was able to donate to a friend, whose entire family is at home sick with Covid. I worry about our friends and family who have not yet been vaccinated. I worry that something could happen to them. I guess I worry that something could happen to us as well. Maybe not from Covid, but from something.
We are a society that increasingly stands on two sides of a fence, blocking each side out. I hope we remember that we are people. We are Moms. Dads. Sisters. Brothers. Cousins. Friends. Neighbors. Being able to lend a hand feels good. It feels kind.
My Monday Inspiration:
Earlier in the week we had made plans to see some live music yesterday (Sunday) at a local winery. When I checked the website for details, I found that you had to RSVP for a seat. Doug and I didn't want a chair, we wanted to sit in the lawn (with our own chairs) and even those "seats" needed an RSVP.
As weekend adventurers - most of the time - we reverted to plan B: An Iris Garden, picnic lunch,and hanging out with good friends. SOLD.
Upon arrival, the garden looked ratty, the Irises were half dead and wilted, and I was kicking myself in the butt for not reading the details on the winery website. But, we were committed to the plan! We decided to start walking around and see what else there was to offer; Two picnic tables near the main house and a doable view.
Still a little less than impressed, with a basket of food in our hand, we kept walking up the hill.
Lo' and behold, the salt flats of San Francisco and the Dumbarton Bridge in perfect view. Stunning. Add the trotting horses coming over the hill and you could have mistaken the scenery for a Little House on The Prairie set.
We saw some tables and chairs. Got our picnic goods out - Wine, cheese, salami, crackers, pate, grapes and Ding Dongs. That's right, Ding Dongs. No Charcuterie lunch is complete without at least one childhood staple. They were originally brought as a joke, but the conversation sparked from them made us all reminiscent of when we were kids.
Add perfect weather, some Frank Sinatra and Big Band music, we created the perfect Sunday.
Even the older folks hanging around us loved listening to the tunes. (A little tribute to my dad, as he would have loved the picnic).
I'm glad our plans changed. I'm glad that we are able to shift from being let down, to finding beauty in all the small things.
We still plan on seeing live music soon. I'll get reservations. But this was such a welcomed surprise of a day.
My Monday Inspiration
Joy is contagious.
We performed at a friends party this past weekend.
After a year of quarantine, it feels weird to go to a party, let alone perform in public.
But when we walked in the door, we were met with hugs and smiles. I’ve never had to second guess an embrace, it felt weird, wrong even, but really, really right. While we’ve all been vaccinated, it’s completely safe to smother people again, but those habits of the past year have stuck around more than I thought.
After we were done performing, snapping blurry pictures, dancing, and remembering this moment, my daughter called.
I was laughing when I picked up the phone to say hello.
She must have sensed my joy as her voice sounded like it had smiled back. My daughter was feeling low, as a close friend had just moved away. But that’s the thing about joy, it’s contagious, it takes the low and says “everything is gonna be alright. And if it’s not, then one day it just might be.”
Happiness. Being with people you like, you respect, and who are filled with joy.
After being apart from friends for more than a year, going to a party seemed a bit overwhelming, but the warmth, the laughter, the friendship and the pure joy of the evening was balm for the soul. Energy is transferable. Even through a phone call.
My Monday Inspiration
It’s been weird living my life so transparently lately. I know we are posting quite a lot about what Doug and I have been doing this past year. Partly because we are so proud of what we have done, and partly to hold us accountable to growth. If you compare our first song with our latest song, there is worlds of growth. Sometimes I can fall into the trap of thinking that I shouldn’t have released our music while we were so green, but if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow.
It’s hard to share. Especially when it makes me feel vulnerable and it opens ourselves up to criticism. But with all that openness, we have been learning and growing. And to be able to say that we are learning and growing during this stage of our lives is pretty remarkable. So, yes, I am proud. And yes, I feel vulnerable. And yes, I will keep sharing, each stage along the way.
To those of you who have encouraged us, I truly, truly appreciate you. It helps us to keep growing, keep creating and it helps to build the reserves for those days when I fall back into the trap of negative thinking.
My Monday inspiration
A friend was living vicariously through me this past weekend. She asked me to “Send pictures, tell me what you love…”. The answer to that question was easy. I sent her this picture of Doug immediately.
I knew she wanted photos of the adventures we were having this past weekend; the beautiful ocean photos, the cool bookstores we stopped in, the bike rides we took. And I, being a tad snarky, sent her this photo. It was the immediate reaction to her question. The moment I was in.
This man. This moment. This is what I love.
If any of you know our story, April is a hard month. Getting through the anniversary of the death of Doug’s wife is rife with emotional landmines. I try to be supportive and present, but I also try to make plans afterwards to distract and bring us back together. Love isn’t easy. Love isn’t smooth sailing. Love isn’t only the good days. But sometimes love is just love. So, if you ask me to send what I love, you will probably get another picture of this man.
What would you send? And not what you would send every day, but what picture would you send in this moment? Post it in the comments, I would love to see it.
My Monday Inspiration
Water Balloon Fights and Laughter
I was out on a walk this weekend and came across both. What a wonderful sound to hear. One of my neighbors had some company, they were sitting in chairs in their front yard while the kids had a water balloon fight.
Yup, it was warm. In the 80’s. But the sound of children’s laughter was warming all on it’s own. It brought a smile to my face while I tried for my 10,000 steps.
We are slowly coming out of our caves. I am so grateful for the vaccination against Covid. I know that there are states and counties that the numbers are rising, but in our neighborhood, for the day, it felt healthy and happy.
I wish you health and happiness and time with those who love you. Oh, and water balloon fights with laughter
I’m too old for pigtails.
This is the second sunday in a row that I put my hair in pigtails, and while I was braiding my hair, I remembered something from when I was 17.
I was working as a waitress at Sunnycroft Dude Ranch. My weekend high school job that introduced me to my best friend and my first serious boyfriend (lovingly known as my Cowboy) The groups would show up on Friday and stay till Sunday, and we had our tables that we served breakfast lunch and dinner to. There was a woman at one of my tables who put her hair in pigtails, and I remember saying “Wow, she is WAY too old to be wearing pigtails”. Oh, the judgmental certainty of youth.
I am probably WAY too old to be wearing pigtails as well, but you know what? I am also old enough not to care.
Here’s to doing all the things you are too old to do,
and here’s to not caring.
My Monday Inspiration
We celebrated with eggrolls.
Thank you all so much for making us feel special. We held our second Facebook Live Event on Saturday Night, and we are both so happy with how it came out. It makes us feel connected to all of you and it makes us feel so blessed and supported.
We continue to tell our stories through songs, through posts, through videos and it can feel unimportant or like no one is listening. Then we get texts like, "We were so excited when you sang one more and then one more and again one more” or "Beautiful and thoughtful songs. Your love for each other is contagious.”, and it fills our hearts.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for reaching out to let us know you are there. It means more than you will ever know.
It truly doesn’t matter what we celebrate with, but it does matter that we took the time to celebrate.
All my life, I‘ve seen hugs in everything. Clouds, plants, the way tree branches weave together if you lay on your back and look up at them. Lately, I’m seeing them even more, like these rock formations.
To me, this looks like a mom’s hug and I’m soo ready to share more of those.
Also! I just received my second dose of the Covid Vaccine on Friday! Hooray!!
The first day was a day of celebration, a walk on the beach and lunch with my vaccine bubble.
The second day was a day in bed sleeping it off. I ran a slight fever and had some body aches and my arm hurt. And I slept, slept, turned a movie on and slept some more.
The third day I woke up clear and refreshed. Hooray again!!!!
But through it all, my goal has been the same. To hug. I miss hugs. Two more weeks and I can hug more than just Doug. Mind you, I love hugging Doug, but I miss hugging others. Sharing my appreciation in being near friends and loved ones.
Be careful when you are finally fully vaccinated, cause you are going to get hugged.
I have been collecting thimbles most of my life.
I love sewing. My mother wouldn’t let us touch her sewing machine until we took a home economics class in school. I instantly fell in love with those classes. My mom would take me on special trips to New York City to the Fabric district. We would be on the hunt for special fabrics, trims and little details that I could use to make my projects more fun, more “me”.
I loved those trips, and I still think fondly of some of those fabrics with a smile on my face.
To this day, I still love shopping for fabric, and will try and hustle my way on a side trip to the fabric district when we visit the city. (My family always knows where they can find me)
I mean, we all have our passions and I could literally spend hours looking through fabric just for the fun of it. The patterns, the colors, the feel, are all so inspiring. My little piece of heaven.
Recently, my friend was meandering through stores in Paso Robles and found this thimble (pictured). I revel in the thoughtfulness of others who keep my own passions in the forefront of their thoughts. She got it for me, and while I am secretly jealous of her wanderings, I’m equally thankful for her thinking of me. It’s truly the little things.
My Monday Inspiration.
No. Doug is not hurt. This is from a few years ago.
My daughter told me a story when she got back from her trip to Israel. A Rabbi told her to “Judge Favorably” and I think of that line often.
I think in this time of stress it is easy to get angry and short with others, but we don’t know what they are going through. It is not always advertised as easily as a cast is. Some hurts are not able to be seen.
So today, may we be more kind, more thoughtful, and don’t forget to “Judge Favorably”.
May you all have a wonderful Monday
Can’t live without em.
I have been hibernating for a year now, and the thing I find myself missing, more than anything, is women. Very specific women, mind you, but this can be pushed a bit to include women in general.
I miss the laughter. The conversations. The comfortable silences. The trips we would take together.
Tonight I am going to dinner with three girlfriends. We will be seated outdoors, spaced just a bit further apart than before. We won’t hug hello but we will greet each other with smiles, love and laughter. We will dream and plan for the day that we can once again travel together, hope together, just plain be together again. And I miss this all so much.
We are celebrating a birthday, then I realized it was international women’s day. And yes, we will be celebrating that we are women. That we need each other. That we can support each other in so many ways, and one of those ways is to just turn up. To be there for each other is so important.
My Monday Inspiration All of my photos lately have been getting lost in the details of nature. The green that is popping up everywhere. The flowers that are peeking out, or in full bloom now. The bees that are busy exploring this new environment. After a long period of isolation, it feels like things are in bloom again. And I love the moments I am able to get lost in nature. Saw this Spider web and had to take a second look. It’s dew draped on its silk web. It took me by surprise and also left me stunned. Nature, the seasons, the growth, newness, it’s a refreshing sight to a long season. Reveling in the simple and extraordinary lately, spider webs and all.
The Hills we Climb.
Occasionally, I don my mask, grab a friend and go for a walk.
I had surgery on my knee last year and it still isn’t 100%. I can’t play tennis the way that I used to. I can’t run very well. And I probably should be doing more physical therapy on my leg, but I stopped going to PT when lockdown started last year.
But I do work out at home, and again, I occasionally go for a walk with my friend.
We were walking and talking and suddenly she turned to me and said “You walked the whole hill without stopping”. It’s been a while. I always stopped partway up the hill to breathe, but that day, for the first time in a long while, I made it the whole way with out stopping.
It was such a needed reminder that
somedays the hills we climb, are just hills. And somedays you make it to the top without even thinking about it. Keep going my friends.
We have Valentine’s Day oranges.
I didn’t realize this, but Doug did.
When I moved in with Doug almost ten years ago, he had an orange tree. It never produced any oranges. He didn’t think that was unusual because for the ten plus years that he lived in the house, the orange tree didn't produce any fruit.
We realized the Azalea growing under the Orange tree was crowding it. So we moved it to another spot in the garden.
One year later, Doug and I were surprised that we had three oranges! We were so eager to taste the Oranges, we realized we may have plucked too soon since it was incredibly sour. This seemed to go on for a while as it was hit or miss on whether you would get a sweet orange or a sour orange.
One day Doug mentioned to me, "We have Valentine oranges." As he elaborated, he pointed out that every time we tried to eat from it too soon, it was sour. But once we gave it time to mature to its intended taste, it was some of the best oranges we had the pleasure of experiencing.
It makes me think a lot about timing. We as humans tend to get so eager for just about anything, that we jump too soon or try to get to the top of the mountain as fast as possible. From the outside it all looks desirable, but only when we seek patience, understanding, and waiting, it's in those moments that we grow and mature to be the best versions of ourselves.
There are always going to be obstacles in the way to getting to where you want to be. Did I mention that orange trees have very long and sharp thorns? Sometimes the thorn is worth the hurt, it's the only way we get to the good stuff. Even on Valentines Day.
Wanted to share something so close to my heart and a little activity this week if you’re feeling like self-baking.
Recipe to cope
a pint of love
a cup of hope
1/4 cup of trust
a tsp of tears
Mix these together while you desperately try to shake off your fear. Add friendships and fierce advocates, while you slowly rise. Toss in strength and mix gently while you are held together by those who love you.
Fear and baking.
It’s funny how stress, anxiety and fear can cause you to want to focus elsewhere. Anywhere else. Some pour their energy into exercise, some into new projects, and some into playing video games. But there is a woman I know who pours hers into baking. When the decisions you are making will decide if you live or die, if you can retain your self identity of being womanly or not. If others will react to what these changes will mean for you and your body.
This woman is my most favorite woman in the world, apart from my two girls of course.
I felt unsure to share this, but I’ve been in deep thought and wanted to share my hearts findings and the things that made it well up with feelings.
The last, the very last. So richly brightly dazzlingly yellow.
Wednesday was Holocaust Remembrance day. I visited the Holocaust Museum the last time I was in DC and the impression it made has stuck with me.
Occasionally, it comes back in full force. I was on a walk yesterday, and saw this bird in a tree. Yellow. Beautifully bright and oh so fragile. It reminded me of a poem that I learned when I was a child. And it brought tears to my eyes.
I try not to take my comfort for granted, but I do. I have a clean home. I have clean sheets and a soft bed to sleep in. I have clean running water that comes into my home. And I have a partner whom I adore, and get to share these comforts with every day. I am lucky. Butterflies live in my world.
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow. Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing against a white stone...
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here, Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here. The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the court. Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don't live in here, In the ghetto.
Pavel Friedmann 4.6.19
My Monday inspiration.
It all comes back to this. We’ve been vocal about not seeing our girls in a while, they didn’t come home for the holidays and that was hard for all of us. But this past weekend they came home. We hugged them, laughed with them, watched movies and just spent time together as one unit again. Though we have limited our interactions to outdoor activities,the moments together have been so wonderful. And so impactful. Our family. The ones I love the most in this world. Finding new memories to make and moments to cherish so that we have something to hold onto in between the absence.
Weekly Monday Inspiration -
Originally, this picture inspired me because of the moment it created. The musician played beautifully, and in a sea of Las Vegas chaos (we ended up there during the Nevada primaries), it was a moment of calm and focus. Many nurturing experiences involve music for me, it continues to nurture me still, even in all the craziness going on.
However, now it reminds me of our last vacation before Covid spent with our two beautiful daughters. We did not spend the holidays with our girls and miss them tremendously. It is hard to imagine being in close quarters again with thousands of people swarming all around. And this is a reminder to stop, and focus on the moments. Music can bring me there, it always does
So I skipped a year. Ok, maybe two years. Could be even three. I lose track.
I made a gratitude jar. Cut up little slips of paper, and when I was feeling grateful about something, anything, really, I wrote it down and put it in the jar. Then, on New Year’s Day, we would pull the pieces of paper out, one by one, and read them.
I love reading about those moments. “Family home for the holidays”, “calling in and checking on my girls and they are both doing well”, “I’m grateful for reminders of why I love Doug so much. He sees ME and loves all of me.” “For having a partner who loves my girls.” “For the need to cut more strips of paper”.
All of these moments add up and fill my heart. They are full of friends names, of silly little moments that brought a smile to my face and become an inspiration to continue the tradition.
First Monday Inspiration of the year
Here we are, at the start of a new year. This year is scarier than most. Many of the moments that occurred in years past have not been able to happen this year. No family holidays, no vegas girl trips, no last minute tennis parties. We may be sneaking into this year a little more quietly, but I have hope. And a gratitude jar waiting to be filled. Again.
There are many times in my life that I say the most horrible things to myself, but sometimes, there are days when you wrap yourself in your own hoodie. A hoodie born out of your own and others’ creativity, and you say,”Damn, I’m cute”. We compare ourselves to the perfection in others, and we fall short. Being kind and loving matters so much when the recipient is yourself. Today, I'm gonna love myself and squeeze myself all over in this hoodie.
Also, if you wanna squeeze yourself in comfort, this hoodie is over at https://buff.ly/3psw1AP
A little Monday Inspiration.
Getting ready for Christmas is bittersweet this year. I am not able to spend it with my two beautiful daughters. Right now, one of them has Covid-19, while the other is busily preparing to make their Christmas special, even though they can’t come home. I am blessed, knowing how well they take care of each other, knowing that they possess a strength born out of love, and knowing that, soon, I will be able to wrap my arms around them and squish the bejeezus out of them.
Love on your loved ones near and far this year!