Monday, January 31, 2011

welcome, monday.

yes, thank goodness it's monday.

wha the wha? you inquire, incredulously.
who thanks anything it's monday?
have you gone kookoo for coco puffs, kristen?

nah. i just had a sucky sunday.
i woke up with my cranky pants on,
& no matter what i did, i could not change my pants.

it was just one of those days
where i was feeling put upon.
unappreciated. & tired of, done with
driving the train.
[even though i almost never let anyone else
even come into the engine room.]

indeed, i was rather the martyr.
& anything by merry.

the kids got the brunt of it,
as my sweet husband had to work all afternoon.
i'm not a yeller or anything like that,
but you're familiar with the axiom
if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?

that's our situation.

so even though the boy & girl seem to be over it today,
i'm mama non grata in my own little warped mind.

later, i will seek to assuage my self-imposed guilt by
saying sorry i was crabby,
saying thank you for your continuing love & patience, &
saying everyone's entitled to a crabby day,
even moms.

because beneath our superhero unitards,
we're really just human beings, too.

meanwhile, i came across this worthwhile
[under typical changeable-pants conditions]
article on

i had my "monday" a day early,
but if you're having your monday right on time,
maybe this will help.

regardless, happier week to us all!

7 Ways to Restart a Day
By Kathryn Matthews
O, The Oprah Magazine  |  January 15, 2006
 Comments (3)   |    Like This   |    Print
Restart your morning.
 You've just woken up, and you're on the wrong side of the bed. Is there any way to switch to the other side? Absolutely.

 As Soon as the Alarm Rings...
Spend your first 15 seconds awake planning something nice to do for yourself today. "This can really set you up in a good mood—even if it's just going by the farmers' market and getting fresh strawberries," says Alice Domar, PhD, author of Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Break Free from the Perfection Deception.

Get Up
The longer you lie there, the more you ruminate, the darker your outlook is likely to become, says Christine Padesky, PhD, co-author of Mind Over Mood. So get vertical and make a cup of coffee, take a shower, feed the cat...

...make that two glasses of water upon awakening, the time when our bodies are dehydrated, says Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, author of The Good Mood Diet. Dehydration causes fatigue, which affects your mood.

Move It
You already know the number one way of chasing away a bad mood: exercise. A workout at the gym sure helps. But even just a few minutes of movement—a fast walk, for example—raises energy and reduces tension, says mood expert Robert Thayer, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach, and author of Calm Energy.

When you're dogged by anxiety or the dread you woke up with, try to pinpoint what's causing it. Did someone say anything the day before? Do you have a meeting today you wish you didn't? Was it the dream you were having when the alarm went off? "If you can figure out why you're upset, that's halfway to feeling better," says Domar.

Be Kind and Thankful
This isn't exactly news, but generosity and gratitude are both big contributors to happiness, according to Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, who directs the Laboratory for the Study of Social Anxiety, Character Strengths, and Related Phenomena at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Do something nice for a stranger or friend and see if you don't feel better about yourself. Also, jot down three things that you're grateful for. It seems so simple, but counting your blessings just has a way of making you remember the sun is shining.

Laugh at Yourself
The best comedians point out the mundane aspects of life—relationship strife, a boring job, a closet full of too-tight clothes; they exaggerate those circumstances, and give us a perspective we can laugh about, says Mark Ridley, owner of the Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, Michigan. Look at your own life and try to appreciate the absurdity of what doesn't go exactly according to plan (the diets, the men, the buzz cut). Acknowledging how little control we actually have over what happens is sometimes a most freeing gift to yourself.

image source: happy worker.

Friday, January 28, 2011

friday fave five.

here's a handful of my favorite things,
circa 1.2011 . . .

1. the book of awakening by mark nepo.
full disclosure: i read that oprah reads this every morning to help guide her meditation, & figured, hey, if it's inspiring for lady o, then it's worth a try for me. not that i meditate - i'm not that enlightened quite yet. but nepo's daily entries are like little spiritual confections you can chew on throughout your day.
loving yourself is like feeding a clear bird that no one else can see. you must be still & offer your palmful of secrets like delicate seed. as she eats your secrets, no longer secret, she glows & you lighten, & her voice, which only you can hear, is your voice bereft of plans. & the light through her body will bathe you until you wonder why the gems in your palm were ever fisted.

2. paul mitchell lavender mint moisturizing shampoo.
i heart lavender [the essential scent, not the floral wannabes], & am a longtime paul mitchell product user. this pricey but pacifying combo of lavender, mint & tea tree is a yummy way to begin the day.

3. karen drucker.
this songwriter/singer/chanter can be too woowoo for me, but some of her songs hit just the right note. let it shine, the power of women & three little words are some of my faves.
life is good . . . let it go . . . 
play full out . . . yes, i can . . . 
tell me more . . . i am blessed . . . 
be here now . . . i love you.

4. thanks-a-lot girl scout cookies.
despite their new eco-packaging, these cookies are pure evil. i'm fairly sure they contain some sort of highly addictive substance, like magical pixie sprinkles or crack. whichever, i've already gone through two packages almost on my own, & am running the other way from darling girls with card tables in order to avoid the third time "charm." yeah, thanks a lot, girls.

5. my brand-new iphone!
my husband & i were still using our matching nokia flip phones [with some sense of shame, sure] until this week . . . mine was being held together with a rubberband following a christmas-time tile-floor collision, & his finally, thankfully, gave up the ghost, giving us our excuse to move into the cellular 21st century. just getting to know all the good stuff i can do with my new toy, but already loving it. words with friends, anyone?

so, what are a few of your favorite things nowadays? do share!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

finding kind.

my religion is kindness
my church is nature
my god is a feeling down deep inside
my job's to be conscious
my path is forgiveness
my religion is kindness
& i practice it every day.

~ lyrics by karen drucker ~

i spent much of my misspent youth
misspending time & energy toward
pursuing men i thought had the characteristics
i thought i desired in a lifelong mate.

smart. sexy. some swagger. maybe a little sardonicism.
able to retort to clever, entendre-laced banter in a single bound.
think bruce willis as david addison in "moonlighting."
[ooops . . . dating myself?
aw, go google it, whippersnappers.]

but i found my honey of a husband
once i finally figured out the one quality
i should have putting at the top of the list all along.


& my sweet man is utterly smart, sexy & way witty.
swagger? doesn't need it. sardonicism? nah, what for?
above all, he is kind.
to me. to our kids. to animals. to waiters. to homeless folks.
to everyone.
heck, he's even kind to republicans.
even republican in-laws.

& he has helped me realize how important
being a kind person really is.

so now we're working together
to raise kind children.

which brings me to the kind campaign,
originally introduced to me by my friend neva [thanks, neva],
who also has a daughter fresh to middle school.

the kind campaign is a documentary-turned-movement
based upon a powerful belief in kindness,
working to create awareness & healing of
the damaging & lasting impact of "girl-against-girl 'crime.'"

physical fighting,
power struggles,
gossip &
among girls.
& not just the proverbial "mean girls," but many girls.
not all girls, but many, many girls.

quoth documentarians & movement leaders
lauren parsekian & molly stroud,
"we aren't asking for everyone to become best friends;
that's simply unrealistic.
however, we are suggesting something very simple:
stop the competition,
stop the cattiness,
stop the hate,
& be kind."

you go, girls.
here's hoping our girls will follow.

image source: animal talk.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


a bright, cold late january tuesday.

i don't know for sure,
but if i had to hazard a guess,
i think just about now is when

the resolute hordes at the gym begin to thin,

the partyers among us figure just one more
cig or swig won't hurt,

the shopping sorts retrieve their charge cards
from the deep freeze for the boots
they can't stop thinking about [debt be damned], &

folks committed to spending more time
with family & friends remember
why they don't spend more time
with family & friends.

maybe the shininess of the new year
has dulled a tad for you, too?

let me humbly suggest some fellow bloggers
i'm finding fresh & inspirational lately ~

click through & renew!!

bits & pieces
this is the blog of celebrity scrapbooker [yes, virginia, there is such a creature] cathy zielske, but her posts are rarely about scrapbooking. cathy's a gifted designer & a talented writer, & she covers the ephemera of the everyday - from momming to weight loss to, yes, memory-capturing, plus a smattering of random sh*t - with authenticity & crack-me-up-on-a-regular-basis humour.
good post: move more eat less invitation to you.

how about orange
i stumbled upon how about orange when some other blogs i love referred it as a blog they love, so i figured if i love them & they love it, then i should love it, too, yes [dang - did i just do algebra?]? & even though i'm not much of a crafter/diy-er, this is another humourous-designer blog -which features creative tutorials, free downloads, useful resources & fun time-wasters - i've been digging.
good post: quiz...what's your design style?

a self-described "new home for the hearts of women," this is an online community of christian women i find more women-centric than heavy-duty christian. some posts are too god-y or organized-religionish for me, but many posts are simply - or deeply - spiritual, & often thought-provoking or perspective-changing.
good post: winter wonder.

the journey
renée trudeau is a personal friend, an amazing woman, a wellspring of inspiration & a guiding light in my life & the lives of many, many women worldwide. this is her blog, based upon the revolutionary concept of self-care for mothers, which she dove into in her awesome book, the mother's guide to self-renewal. renée's weekly posts are consistently effective reminders of the necessity of feeding of our bodies, minds, hearts & spirits.
good post: i love my body.

ordinary courage
this is the blog of brené brown, a texas mom, researcher, writer, speaker & activist who professionally studies & personally explores huge life stuff - like authenticity, courage, shame, fear, love, belonging & living with a whole heart. the fact that she can be a wonky scientist of some kind of woowoo subjects & still be a concrete, conversational & yes, witty [sensing a theme yet?] writer means her blog makes me think & reflect & laugh.
good post: contributions, criticisms & courage.

simple mom
simple mom [life hacks for home managers] is the brainchild of tsh oxenreider [not a typo], & it's the bomb. from intentional living to feeding your family to your marriage to taking care of yourself [& beyond], tsh & her cadre of contributors span the spectrum for us mom 2.0ers. & this bomb has exploded into several spinoff blogs, too, covering kids, bites, organic & homeschool.
good post: the truth no one admits about new year’s resolutions.

young house love
meet the petersiks, a darling young couple with a passion for home design & diy projects. i'm not a big fan of tv home-reno shows, yet i've become strangely addicted to the yhl blog. i just love their decor style, their writing style, the plethora of before/during/after photos & videos, & their budget-consciousness . . . john & sherry actually make me believe i can do home-improvement projects my own self. & their baby, clara, & chihuahua, burger, are darling little bonuses [bonusi?].
good post: glad that's out of the way.

so, whereabouts out in the blogosphere
do you wander for giggles, notions, etc.?

image source: fake ginger.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

thursday morning.

holiday hangover over.
ciao, christmas. see you next time around.

notes to self for next time around:
- no pie = no grandma histrionics over uncooperative crust.
- wrap early, wrap often. [just do it.]
- october: buy two battery-operated brookstone wreaths.
- world market, baby.
- talk over why you're not trimming the tree.
- snowball cookies & candied nuts.
- have a plan for in-between week with just kids.
- paperwhite bulbs, for sure.

*   *   *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
big blue cold front blowing through this morning.
grey, blustery. windchimes working it.

yummy candle lighted.
loads of laundry spinning.
bloggy catchup reading.
dreamy podcast listening.
office clearing.
intermittent girl scout cookies.

oh, & a surprise note from the little boy,
discovered first thing on the kitchen island:

[little boy] loves his mom! [heart]

finding the joy in the everyday.
love it. love him. love life.

so, what morsel of everyday life
are you savoring this morning?

image source: me + ikea + michael's + lisa leonard.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

tuesday morning.

ok, full disclosure:

i spent the morning,
this 18th morning of january,
packing up the ornaments
& taking down the tree.

& it is ok.

it is ok to let your lights linger.

it is ok to extend your holiday
so christmas is the pinnacle,
with a blizzard of activity before
& a gently drifting quietude after.
some mild overdoing prior to
& some severe underdoing following.

it is ok for your personal new year
to begin whenever you feel ready for it.

it is ok not to feel ready for another
epic ramp-up with just a week of down-time.

it is ok to take a break.

it is ok to rest.

it is ok to go slow.

no one, contrary to popular belief,
is scoring you on what day your
christmas-tree carcass hits the curb.

[however, i confess i feel relieved at
having to transfer our prelit plastic pine
only out to the garage this evening.]

it is ok - no, it is wonderful
to listen to yourself & to the universe
& move forward at your own pace,
the speed you need.

the speed you need
to feed your soul.

so, what speed do you need here & now?
& what speed are you at today?

image source: me + zilker xmas tree, 12.2010.

Friday, January 14, 2011

the case against civility.

by now, you know her name:
christina taylor green.

she was nine,
& she was murdered.

the youngest victim of
the madman who opened fire
on congresswoman gabrielle giffords
& the crowd who came to see her at a grocery store
in tuscon last saturday.

fourteen injured. six dead.

yesterday, christina was the first
to be buried.

a beautiful third-grader.
smart. creative. giving.
an animal lover.
a new member on her school's student council.
the only girl on her little league team
[second base].

& born on 9.11.01.

there is so, so much to grieve for here.

but what i can't get past is how
christina's first & last days in this world
were connected with national tragedies.

christina was chronicled in a book,
"faces of hope,"
which featured a baby from every state
born on 9.11.

now she has been eulogized
by the president, who said,
"i want america to be as good
as christina imagined it."

when we were attacked by others,
christina's birth was seen as
a symbol of hope for our country.

now we are attacking each other.
& i feel christina's death may be seen as
a symbol of danger -
a distress signal for our country.

a living, dying testament
to what we are becoming
because of how we are behaving.

it's no longer just a case of civility,
of please or thank you or don't interrupt,
of good manners. that sugar-coating -
by the media, the pundits, even my president -
is beginning to sicken me.

because what it is, is a spectrum of violence,
& it begins with fear.
& every word or name or phrase or dictate
or image that amplifies the fear or alludes to violence
inches us further & further along the spectrum . . .

until it ends with a little girl's casket.

the solution, i think, is as simple
& as difficult as the golden rule.

if we're loving each other
the way each of us longs to be loved,
treating each other the way
each of us deserves to be treated

- simply because we are here,
we are all americans,
all human beings,
all children of God -

there is no room for fear
& no reason or rationalization
great enough to justify violence.

christina taylor green
practiced it.
let her be our example
of how to do it right
& what happens when
we're doing it so very wrong.

image source: daily mail.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a walk on the wild side.

this past weekend,
just before the arctic blast,
the girl & i walked
the beautiful hike-&-bike trail
at lovely lady bird lake.

& our wildlife
[& canine]
sightings were so very
amazing & plentiful,
we kept count.

[&, naturally, i left my camera at home.

135 extremely happy dogs,
walking, trotting, running, sniffing & smiling.

dozens of double-crested cormorants,
fishing & roosting.

11 squirrels,
scampering, scavenging & swishing their bushy tails.

9 monk parakeets,
snacking on the ground & sitting on a wire.

4 swans,
a-swimming & a-nibbling goldfish crackers.

2 white herons,
one big, one little, hanging shoreside.

1 great blue heron,
awing & surveying his aquatic turf.

1 white cockatoo,
perching atop a walker's shoulder.

2 grateful girls sharing
1 splendid afternoon.
[oh - that was us!!]

i just love living in austin.

image source: hipstercrite.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



that's it.
that's my one little word for 2011.


i've been occasionally mulling it over,
& was just about to give up on the whole concept
for the year.

just skip it.

& just like that, tonight it emerged.
it came through, loud &, um,

like a bell.

like a countertop.

like a tall, cool glass of fresh water.

like a deep breath.

like an afternoon.

like an inbox.

like an intention.

so, what are you feeling clear about this 1.11.11?
or what are you wishing to be clear about?

image source: dream bora bora.

Friday, January 7, 2011

wishing you a fuzzy, funny friday.

& what better way to finish off the first week of
a new year of badassery
than a couple of top-quality kitty viddies
[i'm talking cat videos, folks]?

there is none, i tell you.
so here's the purr-fect pairing, just for you . . .

[& to the hard-core cat-video skeptics, i just want to say,
quit shaking your fist at the world for five minutes
& succumb to the cute-itude of the kitties.
it might just bring a smile to your pinched little face.]

first, for a guffaw:

last, for a plain awww:

happy happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

hello, 2011.

oh, for fun - it's the oh-one-one!!

i don't know what it is today.

maybe it's because it's bird day,
& i'm all about birds lately.

{especially loving snow & graham's
"tweets" design line, featured above.}

maybe it's because we've returned to our daily routine,
& i love me a solid routine.

{especially if it involves some "me" time.}

maybe it's because we're at the cusp of epiphany,
& i'm feeling ready for some wondrous aha! moments.

but whatever it is, i'm just now
feeling the new year.

feeling into it.
feeling up for it.
feeling the new-year love.

so . . .
hello, 2011.

hello, midweek.

hello, sunshine.

hello, physical & financial health.

hello, blogging & working abundance.

hello, scrapbooking & homemaking creativity.

hello, inspiration.

hello, flow.

hello, soar.

hello, blessings.

hello, imperfection.

hello, aha! moments.

hello, clarity.

hello, acceptance.

hello, gratitude.

hello, love.

hello, gorgeous.

hello, kind readers.

i'm so happy you're here. now. with me
for all the fun in the oh-one-one.

hello, new year.
bring it.

{p.s. somebody please remind me to re-read this post
when i'm all blue-valentiney come mid-february.}

image source: snow & graham.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

celebrate the everyday - january.

it's january, 2011. how will you celebrate being a woman?

january 5bird day
nest. sing. soar. inspire.

january 6epiphany
celebrate your humanness with an aha! moment.

january 10clean off your desk day
ooooo, i've already begun this one.

january 16nothing day
nuff said.

january 19full moon [wolf moon]
howl with your pack.

january 23national pie day
mmmmm. pie.

january 24national compliment day
give five today.

january 28fun at work day
yes, you can!

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: marie callender's.