A little throwback for Thursday! Last week Our friend had a bout of inspiration - He wanted to make a meal from scratch and decided with Pastrami. Now, what New Yorker would say no to pastrami? So we threw a small dinner party with one of our closest couple friends, David and Darby.
David did not just stop with making pastrami, he made the Rye Bread, Mustard, and half sour pickles. I am not sure that anyone from California has ever tried half sour pickles because no one knew what I was talking about when I mentioned them, but a few minutes searching online led to @Brooklynfarmgirl.com ’s recipe. They are crunchy and wonderful- but be careful with the salt amount.
To top it off, he made a delicious Apple Pie!
David gave me a few small things to work on, so I made my mom’s coleslaw recipe. My FAVORITE. Every good New Yorker knows that a pastrami sandwich is always better with coleslaw slathered on top, the messier the better! I was also charged with the vanilla ice cream, but, sorry, I do not make ice cream. So a store bought tub had to suffice. The only thing missing was the cream soda, but ewwww, I hate cream soda. I’ll have to leave that to my dad’s generation.
All of the work paid off, but truly, the best part of it all, besides every yum and smile from the fabulous food, was the time we got to spend together.
Time with friends is a cherished pastime for both Doug and I. WE love our time with friends.
Honoring the songwriters.
I spent this past weekend in awe of some fabulous songwriters. First, there was Songwriter Series at @closlachancewinery (Clos La Chance Winery), where three gentlemen took turns sharing songs they had written for some famous country artists, most of which had made it into the top ten on the charts. It is fascinating listening to the stories of how the songs got written and who they collaborated with, and realizing that you know most of them.
I love that they featured the writers, it was truly an inspiring night.
In Palo Alto, Doug and I went to a house concert where three more musician/songwriters (Steve Seskin, Sinclair, and Mai Bloomfield) took turns in a round robin format sharing their own original songs. What was most impressive was how much they opened up about their very personal journeys. I'm always stressed in performances because I many times don't know what to talk about. These intimate moments made every song so much stronger. - I mean, not to mention what amazing musicians they were.
From the very first song that Steve started, Sinclair jumped in with some lead guitar, then Mai added some amazinging, and even emotional cello that mesmerized me.
She mentioned that they had never all played together before and I was blown away. This was fine musicianship.
As I was reflecting on my own song writing journey, I notice that I tend to struggle with phrasing. There is something that draws you in when a song is well phrased. Sinclair showed that in their song "Spades" the other night.
Doug and I are working on our second album which I am loving so far. I can’t wait to share it, However, part of the journey to becoming better songwriters is learning to phrase. Now it just comes down to listening, learning and putting in the hours. When we finally release this album, I hope to say that we succeeded.
Just over a week ago, I was walking down these seldom used railroad tracks in New Hampshire. I was making my way from the house we rented to my brother’s house. It wasn’t too far to walk, around three miles or so, but it is a tricky walk. The railroad ties are uneven and not easy to navigate on. The view up ahead is beautiful. We were walking through trees, sometimes near the lake, sometimes surrounded by thicket, but you couldn’t look ahead while you were walking. If you did, you would trip. It looked funny to hit every step. I was watching my daughter walk in front of me, or truly, I was just watching her feet because if I looked up I would have fallen flat on my ass. But watching her made me giggle.
So, I looked down. I looked down and saw tiny frogs hopping along with us. I looked down and saw beautiful caterpillars, I looked down and watched the rhythm of my shoes going from tread to tread. It’s a weird feeling, not looking ahead, but we got to our destination all the same.
When I do touristy things with Doug, I love to take pictures of what I see on the sidewalks. Sometimes chalk drawings, sometimes tile work, sometimes medallions dedicated to those that walked these paths before us. I’ll share some of my favorites soon. I love coming across these hidden gems. Hope you like em too.
It’s time to leave. The past couple of days have been rainy so we spent time indoors just to have a hot sunny day on the lake the next. Once again, we’re packing our bags and making our way across the country back home.
I am sad to go, and happy to head home again. Yes, the lake is my happy place, but it is not the lake alone that makes it so. It is the company, it is the pontoon captain (my brother) motoring us around the lake for the umpteenth time, it is the plates of cheese put together by the cheese master (my daughter) it is the ridiculously wonderful dinners cooked by the chef master (my sister in law) it is the quiet times on the porch or the dock reading a book, it is the sounds of the crickets and the tree frogs at night, it is the shooting stars that get us all excited and searching for more. It is this and so much more.
I love spending extended time with those I love, especially when it is unscheduled time. A luxury we can only slightly remember from our childhoods. I got nothing accomplished, (except for my ten minutes a day working on learning french), and loved it.
So, yes, I am sad to leave, but I am thankful for all the memories that I hopefully won’t forget as soon as the laundry starts.My weekly inspiration.
Did you ever have someone in your life that inspires you to say YES! I do. My Sister-in-law does that for me. I didn't know that I would be the lucky one when she joined our family.
On one occasion, we didn’t have enough money to pay for the drinks we had so we ordered another one and waited for my brother to show up .
We jumped into the lake together (which is a normal progression of how things go with us, cause I WILL take anyone up on that!) .
She has always inspired me to try new things, to be silly, and I love every minute of it. If you don’t have someone in your life like that yet, I hope you will someday. Love you to pieces, Marg
Happy Tuesday!My #morninginspiration Roses are beautiful. They come in many colors, but purple happens to be my favorite, which is why these roses live in my backyard. Roses love to be pruned and when you cut them, they grow back even stronger and more plentiful. The thorns are less to be desired, so if you mess with them too much, they might give you a jab or three. 😅 Why the rose? With all the destruction that the supreme court has thrown our way in the past few weeks, I have been thinking about resilience as well as fighting back, determined to grow stronger and more plentiful, while connecting with other women who think and feel like I do. I'm connecting with men who think and feel like I do as we build a community devoted to not being wiped away with the stroke of a justice’s pen. I naively believed that in order to be a Supreme Court Justice, you had to be impartial. You had to be logical. You had to adhere to precedent and change for the betterment of all. It’s strange what you learn when you grow up. I believe in justice. I believe in the right’s of others: To live, to love, and to make decisions for themselves.
My weekly inspiration.
Did you ever have someone in your life that inspires you to say YES! I do. My Sister-in-law does that for me. I didn't know that I would be the lucky one when she joined our family.
On one occasion, we didn’t have enough money to pay for the drinks we had so we ordered another one and waited for my brother to show up
We jumped into the lake together (which is a normal progression of how things go with us, cause I WILL take anyone up on that!) .
She has always inspired me to try new things, to be silly, and I love every minute of it. If you don’t have someone in your life like that yet, I hope you will someday. Love you to pieces, Marg
My #morninginspiration Roses are beautiful. They come in many colors, but purple happens to be my favorite, which is why these roses live in my backyard. Roses love to be pruned and when you cut them, they grow back even stronger and more plentiful. The thorns are less to be desired, so if you mess with them too much, they might give you a jab or three. 😅 Why the rose? With all the destruction that the supreme court has thrown our way in the past few weeks, I have been thinking about resilience as well as fighting back, determined to grow stronger and more plentiful, while connecting with other women who think and feel like I do. I'm connecting with men who think and feel like I do as we build a community devoted to not being wiped away with the stroke of a justice’s pen. I naively believed that in order to be a Supreme Court Justice, you had to be impartial. You had to be logical. You had to adhere to precedent and change for the betterment of all. It’s strange what you learn when you grow up. I believe in justice. I believe in the right’s of others: To live, to love, and to make decisions for themselves.
I shared a video of my best friend being surprised by his mother. It went viral 😅. So many people were moved by the genuine love and emotion of the visit and the comments were beautiful. After reading through them, there was a common theme of envy; not in the jealous way, but the video elicited an emotional response of reminiscence and fondness for their mothers, me included. My mom has been gone for a long time. I miss her all the time, but there are some days, when things are tough, when tears come easily, when emotions are raw, that I wish she were here to hug or just even a phone call away. At those times, I look back at this picture and remember how wonderful it was to hug her, and how close we were. Missing you like crazy today, mom. #motherhood #moms #candidmotherhood #mamalife #aintnohoodlikemotherhood
#ᴛʙᴛ I made a new friend, mostly because of our love of quilting and art. The conversations brought us round to free-motion quilting designs and I had to mention my love for Leah Day. I worked on a portrait quilt that actually took me ten years to finish. Of course I wasn’t working on it for ten years. Most of the time it sat in my closet waiting for me to pull it out again. But I came across Leah Day’s Website. She has free videos on her site that give you step by step instructions on how to free motion quilt hundreds of designs. It was absolutely the inspiration I needed to pull it out of storage and back on to the sewing machine. I sent the link to my new friend. She inspired me, so of course she would inspire someone else who loved fabric as much as I did. Yesterday she sent me a picture of a book she had on her shelf. Low and behold, it was Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Designs!!! Only she used it to inspire her art. And her artwork is simply beautiful. Looking forward to an arts and crafts play date together. #artsandcrafts #leahday
#mondayinspiration I had medical procedure because I did NOT want to be pregnant. I had a medical procedure because I DID want to be pregnant. And I had a medical procedure because one of the babies that I was carrying was not viable and would have lived in pain for a few short months if I carried to term. In each case, I consulted a medical professional to help me make the decision. Abortion is a word that we shroud in secrecy. And that secrecy adds shame where none should be. I have two wonderful daughters and I don’t exactly remember when I told them about my decisions but I do remember wondering if I should. Will this information make them think less of me. When I got married, I worried if this information would make my husband think less of me. The other day, my daughter posted something that resonated with me. It said something like, Women should not have to post about their personal experiences. It made me hesitate to share my story. Then I read about how this veil of shame comes with the silence and I wanted to tear that veil away. I have a relative who posted about abortions tearing the limbs from babies in order to remove them. I wonder. Have you ever known anyone who has had an abortion of a fully grown baby? 1 in 4 women have had an abortion in their lifetime. Most abortions occur when the size of the fetus is between 1/2 an inch and 2 inches. This fight against women’s medical procedures will not protect lives. It will put more lives at risk.
#mymondayinspiration My mother used to say that my heart was a well guarded secret. I didn’t show my vulnerabilities to many people except the people who knew me the best and knew that I truly wear my heart on my sleeve. Sometimes I struggle with emotions. Caring too much. Wanting to hide them away. But being a songwriter, those emotions are necessary because they bring out stories that need to be shared. Crossing my fingers that by Friday, my voice will be ready to record again, and the people in my life will help me channel my voice, words, and emotions into a performance that I can be proud of.
#mondayinspiration I promised Doug that after our week in NY, he could rest and I would spoil him. I didn’t realize that would mean he would get Covid and I would be taking care of him for a week. We had a wonderful week in NY visiting our daughter and spoiling me during my birthday week. So many wonderful meals, meeting all of her friends, shopping…… It truly was a magical week. But we came back with something we would have preferred not to. While Doug tested positive, I still have had all negative results, so we have been sleeping in separate rooms, hanging out watching different tvs, and not hugging. I think for both of us, that is the worst part of all. Not Hugging. We miss that intimacy. There is something so healing about touch.
My #mondayinspiration Walks and words. It’s amazing what fresh air can do for your creativity. I’m working on a new song that I’ve found I’m feeling stuck on. One song lyric. 📜 Sometimes lyrics come to your head immediately that are really good, but they don’t necessarily fit with where you want the song to go. The bummer is that one can tend to fixate on one phrase, or one idea, and it paralyzes the creative parts and so you get stuck. However, add a morning walk, mixed with a good friend, some laughter and you can find the direction you are looking for. Love my friends. For our awesome weekends away, our scrumptious dinners together and our quiet morning walks. Finding myself extra thankful.
The clouds are rolling in. Time to take down the backyard umbrellas, bring the cushions in, and batten down the hatches. The clouds are always so beautiful to see even if they are a harbinger of a storm to come. I count my blessings once again. I have a warm home, a fireplace to sit and read by, dinner on the table, a supportive man by my side and a song in my heart. Hmmm, "The clouds are rolling in” might be a good start to another song…. I’m sure that if it works out, it will wake me up at 4am and want to all be written down. I embrace it.
Learning new things can be a struggle. I have always loved to try new things, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. With each new endeavor you have to learn to trust yourself, as I have been taking vocal lessons for a few years now, I still haven’t learned to trust my voice. A few days ago, I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Doug and I are recording a song and our voice instructor put on her producer hat. The way she told me to let go, feel all of my emotions and sing, gave me the permission I didn't know I needed. I didn't need her permission to do the things she asked of me, I just had to be willing and allow myslf to do it. For two hours, I did just that. I gave myself permission to fail, the only way I was going to be able to succeed was to be comfortable with failing first. I can be hard on myself. But with every curse word I uttered, I felt more determined to succeed. I may not yet be where I hope to end up, but I am one step closer. And soon, when I finally release this version of my song, I hope you think so too. To new boundaries, much further away than the old ones. #mondayinspiration
WWS - Wine, Women, and Song (I made this up 🤣). I spent (4) days getting to know four wonderfully talented women at a singing retreat. The way I connected with these women can only be described as this: Picture a narrow galley kitchen with five women weaving in and out and not tripping over one another. The connection among other musical beings, singing, harmonizing, and creating magic, was an interactive experience I have never had before. I've never been on a trip where the connection was seamless, with everyone and in the long run, I think i'll keep these ladies treasured in my heart. On our daily walks to the ocean, we floated from person to person, sharing our life stories. During the workshops, we floated from voice to voice changing chords from major to minor, or in the words of Maggie, "I do wish I’d somehow captured the process of “tuning the chord." and especially the way we all looked at each other when we first could hear what Rocio (Vocal teacher) called “the click.” It was magical, it was a safe place. There was vulnerability in trying something new - in front of people- that you know you're going to get wrong before you ever get it right! These wonderful women gave us all a space to feel safe, and to fly. And gratefully, I hope I can hold onto these feelings until the next time. I wish it wasn't over, but i'm happy to be inspired and motivated. #mondayinspiration
#Mondayinspirations It has been six VERY LONG months, waiting to see these smiling faces. Way too long to wrap my arms around our beautiful girls, who have grown into the most beautiful women. We are all growing up and growing older. Their lives keep changing and we love hearing the stories of these changes from their experiences of blossoming friendships, happiness and heartbreaks. I could sit and listen to their stories for hours. Most of all, I love looking in their eyes and seeing love reflected back. I am cherishing the week we had together. One on one time is priceless, especially when you're discovering new things about the other as they grow and change. The laughter, silliness, playing games, making sure we were hugged and loved on before they went back to their homes. ❤️❤️ I am a lucky mom. Doug is a lucky Dad. We are a truly blessed family.
I’m scared of dogs. I have a few friends with dogs, but there are some breeds I won’t go near at all. Many of my friends have been generous to be empathtic to my fear. I have a friend who will put them out back when I stop by. It took me a while to not want to put an object between me and my other friends dog, but luckily, we are copasetic now. Which brings me to the point ❤️ This weekend we went to @corvusfarm, (we call it "The Farm") to visit the new farm dogs that our friend Rob just got. I had seen some photos that Rob posted about the papa, Levi. Levi was earnest, and possibly feeling a bit lost. He arrived with two of his babies; a gentle father because their rambunctious energy gives him something to focus on. I found myself wanting to meet Levi. He's a Spanish/Pyranean Mastiff cross and even though he isn’t full grown yet, he is still a big dog. I was a little intimidated, but as soon as I looked him in the eye, I was won over completely. The way he holds your attention with his gentle stare makes you feel like he's 100% present, and all he desires is your presence as well. I find this is good practice and such a gentle reminder; to be aware of others, honoring their presence and embracing the moments. Phones can wait, that email doesn't have to be responded to. Can’t wait to visit again #farmlife #farmdog #nomorefear #puppiesofinsta
#mondayinspiration Sometimes we spend so much time trying to be Superman that we forget to breathe, rest, or even ask others for help. Someone in our family is going through a rough time right now, and unfortunately we're not talking about the small stuff. We all have rough days, and while the "rough" can be the heater breaking, or the car won't start while you're running late to the next responsibility, what we're talking about is the survival part of the life. The breaking down part. 😢 I am so proud of this individual for reaching out and asking for help, for advice, for a way to feel just a little less overwhelmed, all while continuing to shoulder responsibilities 24/7. The lack of sleep could break anyone, and not having the luxury to break down and give up for a couple moments can take it's toll on just about anybody. We will do what we can to help, of course. To let them don a layer of clothing over their superman shirt. To hide away their super powers for just a little while. I don’t know if this will help in any way, but…. to everyone going through the hard, we see you! We see how hard it is, and we truly are so amazed and proud of you. Keep your head up.
Happy Valentine’s Day. My daughter asked me if Doug bought me flowers or if he got me anything at all for the holiday. The answer is no. There was no special dinner reservation, or present or flower delivery, but he did drive with me when I went to pick up the flowers that I had ordered. 🙂 Doug tells me he loves me every single day and in a way that I believe him, every, single, day. I don’t need these tokens on Valentine’s day. But I do like to celebrate it. It is a holiday that I don’t want to feel left out of, so, I invited one of my closest friends over with her two adult children and we made an occasion out of it. We popped open a bottle of champagne. I cooked my favorite appetizer, Coquilles St. Jacques, and she cooked her favorite dinner, Miso Black Cod from Nobu. And we had a wonderful evening with all of us saying that we wanted to do this again soon. Holidays aren’t always the way they pitch them on tv. And the pressure of living up to someone else’s vision can be tough. I have always loved to take out my mother’s red dishes. They make any occasion feel special. Find your own way to fill your soul on holidays and every day.
Monday moved to Tuesday inspiration! Working together to make an event happen is pretty fulfilling. We helped Corvus Farm & Ranch, @highwayonebrewing and the chef from Dream Inn on their collaboration for a Whole Hog BBQ on Saturday. 🐗 It was such an adventure, from •building the cinder block smoker •keeping the 🔥 going all night long, •injecting the whole hog with apple cider vinegar •drinking moonshine, •tasting four different specialized sauces for the day, •setting it all up outdoors and getting to know the chef from Highway 1 as we finalized the details, and to finally see the smiling faces of everyone who came out to enjoy the day was worth it! Exhausting and inspiring. We can’t wait to do it again!
Sometimes if you just look left, you see something you never noticed before. I have been taking morning walks recently with a friend. We walk and talk and breeze through the trail without really noticing much around us. It’s more about not walking into the dog, or getting around the leash before you trip. This morning, I looked left and there was this beautiful tree that looked like an octopus or a big spider with legs reaching out in a clearing. All sitting next to a stream. It was peaceful, pretty and I am glad that I stopped. Remember that life moves fast, if you don’t stop once in awhile you will miss everything around you. Happy Monday Inspiration.
Time with friends turns into some wonderful conversations. I am working on updating a song and I was struggling with some lyrics so I called on a friend to talk it over. It led to some really great in depth discussions about women, power, and the things that society tells us. The next day she sent me this quote….
“they convinced me
i only had a few good years left
before i was replaced by a girl younger than me
as though men yield power with age
but women grow into irrelevance
they can keep their lies
for i have just gotten started
i feel as though i just left the womb
my twenties are the warm-up
for what i'm really about to do
wait till you see me in my thirties
now that will be a proper introduction
to the nasty. wild. woman in me.
how can i leave before the party's started
rehearsals begin at forty
i ripen with age
i do not come with an expiration date
for the main event
curtains up at fifty
let's begin the show”
by Rupi Kaur
Look her up, she is amazing
Rainbows and Clouds.
With all the rain we have been getting in California lately, there are moments of sunshine that bring rainbows. Many friends have been posting these beautiful pictures, and it got me thinking. Which do we focus on? The clouds or the rainbows? Some friends live their lives under perpetual clouds. Would just a change of perspective help them see the rainbows or is this something that just exists? A life in the clouds?
I have been lucky throughout my life, and maybe that is why I always look at this as Rainbow Weather, rather than rainy weather. I used to kiss my kids goodnight and say dream of rainbows and unicorns.
I wish there was a magic spell that could change the paths of those living a life in dark clouds. Even to make them fluffy white clouds that they could relax in.
Here’s wishing you rainbows and unicorns for the New Year.
We hope you all had such a precious time with your loved ones, taking in the season and sharing love between one another. We had hoped this would be the year our family would be back in one another’s arms, but we made due with the beauty of the internet and zoomed with our girls; matching PJs and all. We are forever thankful for their health and our health this year and grateful for virtual Christmas although the real thing would have been wonderful.
We hope you’re ready to bring in the new year with expectation.
Lynn and Doug
Did you know it’s Christmas on Saturday?
It came so quick! For the past two weeks I’ve been in my sewing room creating gifts and stabbing my fingers to give a little more than generic things to people. I love working with my hands and being a help to others, and creating things. I think we can all admit that this Christmas season has us jolly, merry, and bright, and it’s also met with heartbreak that I’m sensitive to those who have lost loved ones during this time as well.
I cant wait for Christmas Day. To wake up, bake and sip hot cocoa and be together. I hope you all are having a wonderful season and looking forward to this week. . . Also, it’s Christmas Saturday!
I’m not a baker, but occasionally I will pretend, especially when it comes time for the holidays. I pull out the old family recipe for cream cheese cookies, dust off the cookie gun, get out my three baking sheets and attempt, once again, to bake. It seems like I am the keeper of the recipe for the family too, because inevitably I get a text from my sister, my daughter, my niece, that they too are ready to bake and of course can’t find the recipe. (Thank you to the Paprika app, for storing all of my recipes on my computer. I love it!!!)
Rebecca sent me a photo of her cookies and they look way, way better than my finished product. But then again, she always liked baking. I got through the whole process, tasted my cookies, then realized that I forgot to add the vanilla. Did I mention that I am not a baker?
I am sure that my mother did most of the baking, but for some reason, when I think of cream cheese cookies, I think of my dad. And now I think I know why my dad was in charge. That danged cookie gun makes my hand hurt. I got through two cookie sheets when I whined to Doug to come help out. He took over and finished the process. Hooray!
These may not have been my best batch of cookies, though I still like them, but it warms my heart to channel my parents during the holidays. Happy thoughts of those gone too soon.
This is a wonderful, happy, holiday table filled with those we love and there is one thing we all have in common: We are all missing somebody. My girls were not home for Thanksgiving, but will be sitting at this table come Christmas time. We all have family that we wish were celebrating with us, and it will be the same for a lot of folks this Christmas. My mom died almost 20 years ago and I miss her all the time. Holidays don’t usually make me sad about missing my mom. They help me remember her in different ways. I always use her red dishes for celebrations. Birthdays, holidays, special celebrations. I like to set the table in red, and pull out the candlesticks that lit her table. I feel her with me, and sharing in our joy and laughter.
Sometimes we forget how much we need it. It’s easy to get into the routine of planning, running errands, finalizing details, reconnecting with family and friends and CELEBRATING (especially with the holidays upon us, and extremely important). But sometimes we forget to plan time together with those closest to us; Our partners, husbands, wives, and our children. Quiet time. Nurturing time. Time to fill our cups before we drink from them again in celebration, in love and laughter.
Don’t forget to take the time you need with your closest loved ones as the holiday approaches.
Monday Inspiration on a Tuesday
We are so thankful for my friends. Their support and encouragement mean so much to is. Through the years of creativity and growth, trying and trying again, these two have been a constant support in our lives.
They not only share when they love something, but they share when they notice something is off. Their feedback is invaluable. Find friends that are willing to go into the unknown with you and light a torch for your feet. They are so invaluable and we are forever grateful
How can success look so small? Rob has worked for years to build up @corvusfarm it’s a wonder to see. I knew nothing about regenerative farming before, but watching the build up, the way he cares for the animals, the way the coops are moved to different sections of the farm to renew the soil, has been an education in the best way. It’s amazing to me that the result fit on a decorative plate served to us by a fabulous chef at @auberginecarmel Restaurant.
This truly was an enormous success, and I celebrate Rob’s results, at the same time that I celebrated his birthday. I am blessed to have a “brother” in this kind, hardworking, determined man.
Never think for one moment you are left behind because you got older and believed you couldn’t dream anymore. If Rob, Doug or I can be any testament to achieving in later years, then I firmly believe it for everyone. Those dreams are worth pursuing, no matter the years they’ve been dormant.
What happens when life flips over in an instant?
Things change so fast from one minute to the next. I personally watch it happen over and over again, especially in Doug and I’s life, but even before we were together.
But sudden changes have been happening to so many people I love.
I never want to share someone else’s experience or story, but many times we find our story in others' stories, and that’s what is so relatable to our own experiences.
Usually my instinct is to try and protect. One of our core values is safety. I want to make sure you are safe, protect you, hold onto you in a dark moment, and I’m realizing how much I want to make things easier for others in their life.
It’s okay to grab people and put them under a protective shield that will ward off pain and hurt right?
It makes me wonder how I felt in the moments that I was drowning in pain and change. How did I handle it? What type of help would have worked.
When I was in the depth of my sorrow I remember looking for connection.
I desperately needed support.
I desperately needed connection.
And I desperately needed safety, or at the very least, whatever safety I could muster up.
Does anyone else relate or feel this way? Do you have encouraging words to share to help others along in their story?
I can only say “be kind” so many times. We truly don’t know what others are going through, or when the next wave will come crashing down on us.
The newspapers were laid all out over the kitchen table. Purple stains covered it, with white seeds scattered all around. Pools of crimson liquid still waited to be absorbed by the black and white print.
We surrounded the table. My family, with our pomegranate stained fingers and smiles, continued to unfold more treasured seeds full of juice that we would pop in our mouths until they came out skinny and white to lay on the table with all the rest of the remains.
There was something magical about the mess. My father was always a neat freak, so when my grandfather would arrive with these magical fruits, that were always eaten with us all together at the kitchen table, it surprised me that the mess left behind was allowed and finally swallowed by all the newspaper till the table was once again bare and clean.
I planted something in my backyard to cover the fence not knowing that one day it would bear these magical fruits; Pomegranates. Now I sit here with my stained fingers and a red smile remembering my grandfather fondly and the sacred memories of childhood.
Any food out there have an sense memory tied to it? Would love to know.
My Monday inspiration on a Tuesday!
I’m reminded how important the act of Creating Space is.
Over this past weekend I went to the Tennis Congress in AZ, it’s a community of adult players and coaches who are passionate about learning and playing tennis. This was my 6th time attending, and Doug’s 5th time. (he only missed one when he had achilles surgery. A valid excuse, I suppose) I LOVE tennis. I started as an adult and slowly worked my way up the rating system. My knees aren’t as happy about all that tennis as I am, but I am learning to live with that.
My goal this year was to try to improve two shots: my serve and my volley. Two shots I use all the time. If I am going to be on the court with my knees, and it seems that is required, I might as well try to win the points quicker by improving. The movements that I needed to work on with the volley and with the serve are very different, but I found a common theme that actually works with every shot in my arsenal. Creating Space.
For the serve, I need to create more length and straightness to the arm that tosses the ball and the elbow of the arm that holds the racquet. For the volley, I need to create distance between my elbows, hands and body. In essence, forming a hoop with my arms as it keeps the action in front of my body and keeps my attention on what is coming.
This got me thinking about creating space for all of my other shots. I started thinking about creating space for my life and my love for my creativity. When I create the space with intention, my attempts increase; my opportunities and successes increase. I have a tendency to float from project to project. I love exercising my creativity, and when i find something to focus on, I notice that I create space to support that. Be it art, sewing, singing, writing, tennis, reading, spending time with friends etc.. when I create the space, I fill it with intention.
I noticed that when I get tired or distracted or rushed, that space disappears. It takes a bit more focus to keep it up. My hope is that I retain what I have learned this past weekend. That I Create Space. That I fill it with Magic, and who knows, maybe my knees will be happier.
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!