Friday, July 30, 2010

what makes the muskrat guard his musk??

it takes courage
to grow up
& become
who you really are.

e.e. cummings

image source:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

cleanliness: next to ... ??

it seems to me my blog posts for july have been rather self-indulgent.
but, hey - it's a blog. self-indulgence is the nature of the beast, yes?

& july is my birthmonth, so i tend toward hyper-reflectiveness [oooo, shiny!],
pondering just where i am, how i am, who i am,
as another number clicks by.

but, before july is over, i'd like to offer a little insight
into a challenge all of us face at one time or another:


recently read a whole living article
about making peace with the daily drudge of cleaning.

some thought-provoking thoughts on
taking a different approach to
scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, folding laundry,
[these are a few of my unfavoritest things] etc.

"what if i were able to slow down & treat housework as if it mattered? i'm thinking of that zen proverb: 'before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.' the idea is that we should find meaning in ordinary tasks, because true clarity is fleeting enough - & when it's over, somebody still has to clean the crisper.

"'there is no meaning in chores. the expectation of meaning is what robs life of greater meaning. ... when we expect things to be more than they are, or when we value them as less than they are, that keeps us at arm's length from our own life,' [author karen maezen] miller says. 'when we're really present in every moment, even when we're vacuuming, we can begin to chip away at the feeling of inadequacy. and little by little, our lives are transformed. ... here's the magic soap,' she says. '
your own attention is what spiritualizes things. attention to the meal you cook, the clothes you wash. attention is love. and that's transformative.'

"i'll never love it, but i can say this: cleaning changes things.
so much in life is uncertain - you take vitamins & get sick, love people who disappoint you, pour your heart into a job & lose it at the end of the fiscal year. but if you take a rag to a piece of soap scum, it will go away. from that point of view - the pure continuum of cause & effect - cleaning stops seeming futile."

& begins to seem - dare i type it? - spiritual?

image source:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

superwoman. yes, i am.

for whenever you really need to hear
some good words, something positive.

'cause i am a superwoman.
yes, i am. yes, she is.
even when i'm a mess
i still put on a vest
with an s on my chest.
oh, yes.
i'm a superwoman.

yes, you are.

sing it, ms. alicia.

image source: democratic underground

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


today, i am feeling ...
frankly? fat. :p

today, i am thinking of ...
my best friend, who is dealing with a new diagnosis,
& my big girl, who is dealing with her natural compulsivity.

today, i am worried about ...
our road trip to NM.

today, i am loving ...
our surprise thunderstorm weather.

today, i am trusting ...
the mad men writers will reveal what's happening
with joan [& roger] sooner rather than later!

today, i am grateful for ...
the little smudgy pawprints of kitties
skidding down my windshield overnight.

today, i am inspired by ...
my blog-hers, especially ali, cathy, stacy, colleen & lisa.

today, i am spending my time ...
connecting with friends &
catching up with my computer.

today, i achieved ...
a clean house, river rafting reservations,
a homemade supper, a good billboard concept.

today, i saw ...
my little boy eating chicken spaghetti hilariously.

today, i smelled ...
my bath junkie essential lavender lotion. mmmm.

today, i tasted ...
a blue moon pale ale garnished with an orange slice.

today, i heard ...
"roam" by the b-52s.

today, i am ... me.
today, i am. :)

image source: @

what's your basket look like today??

by colleen wainwright,
the communicatrix.

Everyone has her basket.

And in that basket
are all the things
a body gets
in a lifetime:

The long legs
the natural grace

The way with words
or people
or numbers
or animals

The force field that makes money
or love
or ideas
or children
come to them first

The gene soup
that makes eyes blue
stomachs sturdy
loins fruitful
brains prodigious

Even the luck —
the ponies
the Kojak parking
the pair of pants on sale
or the person of their dreams available
at the exact moment
where need and want meet —
even that
is in the basket.

There will be days
when you look down at your basket and marvel
at the wonderful
things inside

And there will be days
when you cannot bring yourself to look
at all
or rather
where the only place you can look
is at the basket next to you
and with longing.

But every day
someone is looking at your basket
with longing

Every day
someone would trade baskets with yours
sight unseen

I have been
in all of those places
and mostly
I am grateful
for the grace
that forgave my foolishness

This is my basket
to carry
and uncover
layer by layer
day by day
year by year

And sometimes
story by story.

May your basket overflow
with beautiful things
of incomparable joy
and wonder

And when it does not
may you be visited
by the same grace that sat down beside me
to show me the beauty
and the joy
and the wonder
I could not see

Monday, July 26, 2010

day 15,703.

so i turned 43 a week ago today.

i spent the big day snorkeling & luau-ing
a la maui with my big sis.

nothing to whine about, for sure.

& i got tons of happy wishes
via cards, calls & facebook.

& my family had gifts waiting for me
the evening i got home.

yet i somehow feel like i
haven't really absorbed the occasion
just yet.

i think i'll put some time aside
during this chock-full week between travels
for me, myself & i to celebrate same.

meanwhile, i can comfort myself with the
following proven plusses of aging from
a found self magazine article:

- as women age, our appreciation of our friends & friendships grows greater [university of queensland study].

- as women age, we develop more solid, supportive social networks, which boost our confidence accordingly [psychology and aging report].

- as women age, we tend to regain our equilibrium more rapidly following upsetting news [national institute on aging findings].

good friends.

not much to whine about, for sure. :)

image source: me, ready to snorkel the molokini crater 7.19.2010

got summertime blues??

“the cure for anything is salt water —
sweat, tears, or the sea.”

isak dinesen

Saturday, July 24, 2010

na wahine.

got a nifty little gift book
during our aloha adventure.

na wahine [the women]:
hawaiian proverbs & inspirational quotes
celebrating women in hawaii

here's my favorite tidbit from it today:

nana no a ka 'ulu i paki kepau.
look for the gummy breadfruit.

[advice for a young woman:
look for a man who has substance, like gummy breadfruit,
it is a sign of maturity.]

a little background on breadfruit

the hawaiian ulu, or breadfruit (artocarpu altilis),
is a fast-growing tropical tree in the fig family,
which can grow to 80 feet tall.

the leaves are beautiful: large, deep green & deeply lobed.

the fruit is round & light green,
about the size of a honeydew melon,
& can weigh up to ten pounds.

milky, gummy sap begins to leak from the ripe fruit.

the fruit is starchy, & tastes a little like potato
or freshly baked bread when cooked,

thence the name breadfruit.

image source: colleeninhawaii @

re-entry to the mainland.

i've been home from hawai'i for three days.
i'm no longer confused, but still rather dazed.

i know, i know. i can't expect sympathy
upon my return from paradise,
no matter how jangly my jetlag is making me.

& i don't. i'm just sayin'
i've got those i-need-a-vacation-
following-my-vacation blues.

but what a wonderful excursion.
a week with my big sister



it was full.
it was exhausting.
it was fun fun fun.

we now return to our regularly scheduled program.

the office cleanup project.
the photo catch-up project.

& prepping for our weeklong family road trip vacation,
which begins a week from today [zoinks].

breathe in.
breathe out.

try to get organized &
keep moving forward
while my brain is still stuck in
hula time.

ah, hula time.

mahalo nui loa, hawai'i.
love you as much as ever.

now, off to reality.

image source: me, maui 2010.

Friday, July 9, 2010

thoughts of aloha.

thinking of hawai'i ...

where i'll be in five days.
where i'll celebrate my 43rd birthday in ten days.
where i'll be for a week with just my big sister,
in celebration of her upcoming milestone birthday.

plenty to do to prepare.
lists, lists, lists & lists.

& the discovery that the new u.s. poet laureate,
w.s. merwin, lives on a former pineapple plantation
atop a dormant volcano in maui.

here's a little something that seems appropos
from our hawaiian pulitzer-prize-winning poet laureate:

Something I’ve not done
is following me
I haven’t done it again and again
so it has many footsteps
like a drumstick that’s grown old and never been used
In late afternoon I hear it come closer
at times it climbs out of a sea
onto my shoulders
and I shrug it off
losing one more chance
Every morning
it’s drunk up part of my breath for the day
and knows which way
I’m going
and already it’s not done there
But once more I say I’ll lay hands on it
and add its footsteps to my heart
and its story to my regrets
and its silence to my compass

image source: me, kauai 2007.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

pretty young twang.

you should always give your love away
give your love away
i don't know why
maybe it just works that way
but you should always give your love away
give your love away

the skin will only come off if you shed it
happiness will only come in if you let it

catch twang twang shockaboom
friday 7.15 10p
@ austin's
continental club

image source:
ttsab fb pg
chorus lyrics for "always give your love away" by david garza

Friday, July 2, 2010

love after love.

in lieu of my monthly one little word posting,
i offer this lovely piece of poetry by derek walcott,
because this is how i want to be:

the time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. eat.
you will love again the stranger who was your self.
give wine. give bread. give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
sit. feast on your life.

image source: shabby chic @

Thursday, July 1, 2010

celebrate the everyday - july.

it's july, 2010. how will you celebrate being a woman?

july 3compliment your mirror day
how about "you're beautiful" [because you are!]?

july 7chocolate day
every day is chocolate day at our house!

july 13embrace your geekiness day
i've got a lot of fodder for this special day ...
but if you don't, then just embrace a geek!

july 17yellow pig day
this special day is the brainchild of a pair of princeton mathematicians ...
hey, didn't the geeks already get a day?

july 18national ice cream day
celebrate frozen dairy goodness ... gelato will do, too!

july 25 - full moon [the buck/thunder moon]
or maybe the independence moon? seems a little ameri-centric ...

july 30cheesecake day
i'm thinking chocolate cheesecake a la mode ... mmmmm.

remember, where there is connection, there is power.
where there is power, there is hope for change. for ourselves, & for our world.
we are all connected. we are all powerful.

until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.

image source: jpuangco @