Friday, July 31, 2009

It's always sunny in Philadelphia!

Colored Glass and Silhouettes, Isaiah Zagar's Magic Garden, Philadelphia, 29 April 2006
I know this isn't true for everyone, but in my experiences, in my mind, and in my memory...this is certainly how Philadelphia feels.  During my time there I met so many incredible individuals, studied with wonderful teachers, spent time with my dear friend Caitlin, and did good things for my soul.  

As days blend together and time passes, I love having old journals to look back on and occasions that make a day a day stand out.  How else would I remember that last year on this day I had mac and cheese for breakfast and did my longest bakasana ever?  

It is hard for me to believe that I moved to Portland, where it is always sunny in my heart, a year ago today.  I remember packing up in Philadelphia, the summer heat sweltering, and taking a cab from my place in Rittenhouse to Old City for my last day of yoga teacher training.  I also remember that I packed all the stuff I needed for a month in one single carry-on suitcase.  Impressive, no?  

This marks the one year anniversary of the day Mae and I built a barcalounger and ottoman out of yoga blocks, which wasn't all that comfortable...but was fun to make.

  Breathe Deeply

I remember the cab ride to the airport. I had a phone interview with company for which I now work while sitting in the airport terminal.  I wasn't nervous, just myself.  It doesn’t seem like something I would do—quitting my job, moving to Philly, and then on to Maine without a job, but all is well and worked out.  When it is right, it’s just right.

The day after I arrived in Portland, was the Beach to Beacon 10k, and here I am on it’s eve once again. We've been running, but this one feels like it might be a tough one.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and O tomorrow morning!  

Happy weekend!

Photo credits: u2rob and CreativeDC

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crafting...it's the thought that counts


My co-worker, Jeanne, is a super talent crafter.  Each week lots of ladies at work wear her awesome wrap skirts.  I decided to make her some "handmade by..." tags to pin onto her work. I was so excited when I picked them up at the printer today.  I got back to work and had a freak out that I'd added an extra letter in her last name (it's a long one!).  I looked in our company directory and phew...no extra letter. Ah, but I did put the E and the L in the wrong order.  Dang!

She's so funny.  She took one look at them and said she'd use them anyway (as her name is so long no one would ever know)...or she'll just put them on the things she makes for me.  

One other special blog reader has a little gift heading their way soon (sans typos).  Will it be you?  Keep an eye on your mailbox to find out!

Speaking of crafting...last night I finished up part 2 of Emily's shower gift.  Since I can't show it to you yet, I will show you what is left...on my craft room/office floor.  Yikes!
This got me thinking.  Imagine if a bunch of people all had the same exact craft room (same supplies, tools, materials, etc), assignment and time limit.  Wouldn't it be cool to see all the various versions of what they came up with.  It would be like Project Runway without the trips to Mood and no Heidi Klum (sorry Tobi).  Who's in?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Right now I'm loving...

Raining Umbrellas
  • walking to work without an umbrella!
  • the smell of the first sweet peas to blossom in our garden
  • summer Fridays (we get 4 this summer)--I've got two back-to-back
  • my most recent Ebay purchase--an amazing outfit for $11.99! 
  • my on the walk to work phone calls
  • Seasons 1, 2, and 3 of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"---hello upcoming plane ride!
  • a homemade gift I'm working on for a friend (more photos upon completion)
  • that Jill and Jerz are officially married...woot-wooot!
  • watching O chase the cat out of our backyard...and down the driveway
  • the fact that I get to meet Emily's sister and mom this weekend
  • that by 9:30 (ish) on Saturday I'll be done running the Beach to Beacon and off to the island for fun times with the ladies
  • that I just used Apple's Photo Booth to check and see if I had anything in my teeth-cheeese!
  • paragraph four of this recent blog post by The Quail Feed
  • that O's hair today looks like "Mr. Opportunity" from that car commercial
  • the new blogs I found this week that are inspiring, funny, and beautiful (more on this)
  • the Nivea soap Kristen carried home for me from Germany
  • The smell of coffee roasting (which smells like burnt toast/burnt popcorn) on my walk to work and the smell of hops from a local brewery (which smells like Maypo oatmeal from my childhood) on the walk home
Today's blog is dedicated to my friend Matt Fox, who is in day two of the Massachusetts Bar Exam. Here we are on a ferry last fall heading to Easthampton--when the "Driver...Hampton's" joke was new and fresh and when "Cabin Ten" first came into being.  
Good luck buddy! Onward...and upward!

Umbrella Photo credit: fuluk

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the farmer's market


O and I hit up the Deering Oak's Farmers Market on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day and the market was hopping.  I find that when I go on Saturday or Wednesday in Monument Square that I often leave empty handed.  I love just looking around and taking it all in, but get overwhelmed by the options.  However, when it it berry season there is no question about what to buy.  Ooh and when they have black cherry tomatoes and corn...I'm all over it!  Maybe I'm more of a late summer season gal?

Anyways, last year I bought a bunch of quarts of blueberries (the teensy tiny kind).  At the time it felt like I'd overbought.  I planned to freeze them and use them throughout the winter, but they were gone within a month.  This year I am going to buy enough to freeze and REALLY have for the winter.

Here are a few photos I snapped at the market.  




Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wallpaper out!

On Sunday O and I were toying with the idea of removing the ugly wallpaper from our third floor bathroom.  A friend suggested we try peeling a small piece off to see if we needed to get a steamer or chemicals for removal.  We went up to do the test and fifteen minutes later we had this...
It had been poorly attached, which meant it was easy to peel off.  One trip to the hardware store and I started cleaning the walls and filling in any holes.  It was so humid here yesterday that we needed to let everything sit overnight.  

Next step sanding, priming and we're ready for some paint!  I'm excited to pick the color and indecisive when it comes to stuff like this.  I'm leaning towards this:


This makes me want to work on lots of home projects, but I am constantly reminded of how a simple idea is really a huge project and how non-existent my carpentry skills are!  We updated our big project wishlist last night.  Where to begin?!  

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do boys do this kind of stuff when they get together, too?

When the ladies get together on Chebeague it is chock full of our signature drink, yummy food, yard exercises/calisthenics (seen above...not even kidding), playing salad bowl/celebrity, making up games, and time outside. Even when everyone (boys and girls) are all on Chebeague, we somehow manage to resemble a 7th grade dance...without the awkward music, teenstaches, and dancing.  Actually, that might not be true...there is always silly dancing, music from various iPods, and the dudes likely don't shave.  Anyways...we do group things, but then somehow in our downtime the ladies all end up on the front porch or around the kitchen table and the guys find their way to the deck or onto lawn where they hit golf balls into the cove.  

Lauren (third in the exercise line in the picture above) just unearthed her camera from last summer and sent these pictures along.  While I love getting photos from friends right after an event, there was something really nice about getting these pictures way after the fact.  Not that I didn't get it then, but looking back on these photos is a reminder of just how lucky we all are...to have each other, to be together, and to get to be a part of Jay and Em's island life.  

I am beyond excited that in just one week the girls are back out on the island for Em's bachelorette party!  

Thursday, July 23, 2009

100 pages and counting...


Jumps du Sud !
Woo-hoooo! I reached my goal of 100 pages with my story, with a few days to spare and many more things I want to write about.  I hope to do some major revisions in the coming weeks.  I'm excited to share what I have thus far with some first readers, likely in the fall.

I'm always looking for good names for my characters and funny/quirky stories to build off of.  I love hearing about about actual things that have happened to real people.  Things that you couldn't possible make up because they are just that good and odd and amazing.  So, if you have any great ones...I'm all ears.  

I owe big thanks to Sven's mom who made sure the whole thing was double spaced! Grazie Skirt Lady!

Flickr Photo Credit: Loutseu

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happiness and the root of happiness...

I simply adore Andy Goldsworthy's work--the use of nature, color, light, time, and how you might just stumble upon his magnificent creations while out for a walk in the woods or by the sea.  O bought me a copy of Rivers and Tides a few years ago and I loved it! 

The image above was exactly what I was looking for when thinking about the topic of this morning's post: loving kindness. In one of my favorite guided loving kindness meditations by Pema Chodron she uses the phrase:

May you know happiness and the root of happiness

As she guides through the meditation she the listener to offer this up to someone that you love, someone that is a challenge for you, and someone that you feel neutral about.

Sometimes when I'm running I try to do a loving kindness meditation with each of the people I pass on the path--hoping they can somehow feel my energetic offering.  With each person I pass, I silently send out wishes for them to know happiness and the root of happiness.  Oh, but these are the neutral people.  It is so easy for me send out loving kindness to neutral people and to those I love, but to send loving kindness to a person I struggle with or even hate sometimes doesn't sit well.  That's why I like the phrase above--happiness...and the root of happiness.  I can wish that for anyone...maybe the love will come later!

Ah, but for now I simply hope that you, one of my blog readers, may know happiness and the root of happiness...always!   
Image © Andy Goldsworthy

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Miss Rumphius


If you haven't read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, you must...especially if you live (or dream of living) by the sea.  It is so perfect in it's every page.  This book has been a favorite of mine for many years.  I have two copies.  On the inside of the older copy is a note from my aunt and uncle who gave me the book when I was just a kid.  It makes me wonder just how many times I've read this book in my life thus far.

I love the part just after she hurts her back getting off of a camel.  It reads:
"Well, I have certainly seen faraway places. Maybe it is time to find my place by the sea. "
And it was, and she did.

I simply adore the story, how time moves, her beautiful and intricate illustrations, and her insistence that we all must do something to make the world more beautiful.  It gets me thinking about what my something could be.  I'll have to keep brainstorming some big and beautiful ideas.

What about you?  What is your something that will help make this place more beautiful than you found it?  

Monday, July 20, 2009

A great Maine weekend

This weekend was chock full of the way life should be: good food, time at the beach (Jani I had to use this sheet because I was missing you so much), 
amazing parking finds, watching Jedd eat ice cream, free entry to the state parks with our license plate, 
live music by the water (twice), frozen watermelon, new pretties for the fridge, 
hanging out in the backyard, seeing a car boat that you steer like a car (Em you must get this for your wedding getaway car/boat),
a quick house clean, watching a few episodes of This American Life, time with Em and Stew, and seeing people you love do epic things.
What about you? How was your weekend?

Jules!


Meet Jules.  She is my parents' dog.  They've been married for 36 years (today) and in that time they've had lots of dogs.  There was Bo, one that I'm forgetting, Pickles, Josh, Zoe, Shy and now Jules.  I have a feeling she's their favorite. 
Dad thinks Jules looks like she belongs in Egypt in this picture and not on the coast of Maine.

Man, Jules is one lucky dog.  She spends her days by the sea, ambling along the estate where my father is the caretaker.  She isn't chained up and she gets to be with/near my dad all day...everyday.
She's always on the hunt for squirrels and bumblebees.


Here she is heading across the street to my dad's greenhouse.  Just another day for her and a good day at that.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Friday, July 17, 2009

2 Fresh Threads...

Introducing 2 Fresh Threads!

Today two friends, who've been working so hard over the past few months, debut their business at the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine.  It has been amazing to see all the bolts of fabric and yards of terry cloth transform into the most beautiful aprons, oven mitts, coasters, bibs, changing pads, onesies and more.  These two have a way with patterns and colors!
If you are at the festival, please take a peek at their booth (number 44, located on the NYA lawn).  You'll love it...I promise!

Check out their website and this great post from emilie inc. about the two threads.

A special shout out to Andrew and Trent, the husbands behind 2 Fresh Threads, who let their homes become sewing rooms, ironed for hours, cooked the threads many a dinner, and supported these two amazing ladies.  

Good luck Christina and Tracy!  I hope there is something left for me to buy by the time I get there.

Images courtesy of Kari Herer Photography (don't even get me started about this mega-talented lady).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Word of the day

O's family has a small bowl on their kitchen counter filled with a bunch of different words.  I found some in a small shop in Brookline Village and scooped them up about a year ago.  Now we have the words in a small turquoise bowl on a ledge above our sink.  We both try to remember to pick one each day.  We prop our word up near the bowl or else we tend to forget what word we picked.

My word for today is openness.  I try to think of my word throughout the day, but I often forget.  I especially love taking my word into action while doing yoga (exploration, grace, presence, expansiveness, risk, tenderness, clarity, etc.).

Today I'll be leading two yoga classes: my Thursday yoga at work and "old man yoga" this evening with Jedd and O.  I'll allow my word to find it's way into their practice and their day, too.

If you had a word for today, what would it be?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Genius!

Today's post is a simple one.  Don't you wish you'd invented this and don't you want one (or six)?  

A few years ago, O and I saw an exhibit at the ICA in Boston called Design Life Now, which featured innovative and emerging ideas in fashion, technology, furniture, media, products, etc. This key ring would have had a place in that show.

As someone who is constantly looking for her keys, I somehow believe that if I had the key shown above that I'd never be looking again.  A girl can dream!

image from Amron Experimental 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The second half of Sunday/sundae

I arrived home in Portland around noon.  O picked me up from the airport and it was so nice to come home to a beautiful summer day in Maine--there have been so few at this point.  In the afternoon I met up with one of the greatest kids I used to work with at SWS for lunch, who was in town for the weekend.  We ate, caught up, and walked through some trails and along the water.  We parted ways with a big hug in front of Standard Baking Company, with the smell of baguettes in the air.  
Baguettes Tradition
This was so fitting, as she is like the human form of this bakery's bread: organic, simple, tall and skinny, and something that instantly makes your day better.  This girl has an amazing mind, with a strong sense of adventure, facial expressions that tell the story and is bound for such great things.  I hope we will keep in touch for many (many!) years to come as she bops all over the world.

After parting ways, I walked across the street to the Porthole for Reggae Sunday.  We spent the afternoon in the sun on their deck by the sea, listening to tunes and people watching.  

Oh...and no Sunday would be complete without a visit to Flatbread for lemonade, salad, pizza, comfy couches, laughter with buds, and of course a brownie sundae.  
The second half of my Sunday was held within a 100 yard radius.  Great friends, warm sun, full bellies, and a chat with a lobster.  
It looks like I'm lecturing him, but it's quite the opposite.  We're working on a sweet idea (more on that later...).

Baguette photo courtesy of daveleb and lobster photo courtesy of my man

Monday, July 13, 2009

DC Recap...


I'm back from my trip to DC and during my visit I got to see so many wonderful friends.  There were a lot of babies, dogs, and hugs.  Getting to reconnect with my two closest friends from Study Abroad was so wonderful.  It was easier to leave knowing they'll be visiting Portland in October.  O and I will have to do some baby proofing before they arrive.  
I also got to see our oldest family friends.  My parents met Billy and Laurie in Exeter, Maine in the late 1970s.  My brother and I grew up with their 4 kids.  Even when they moved to DC, we stayed in close contact with trips to DC and summers in Maine.

On Saturday night I got to be with Billy, Laurie, their 4 children, son-in-law, and 4 grandkids. Here are their two newest...

Lucy
and Emma
They are the kind of people I can just pick right back up with--no matter how long it's been since I've seen them.  There were about 17 different moments during the night when I was overwhelmed, almost to the point of tears.  To see my best childhood friend with a perfect little daughter--eyes so big and brown.  To see "little" Billy and Joey all grown up, with hipster mustaches.  To see Cassie and Kevin handle their three adorable kiddos with ease and humor. To see Billy and Laurie talk about their plans for their house on "the hill".  It filled me with so much love and happiness.  

This trip left me thinking about growing up, the passage of time, life changes, and a deep sense of gratitude.  Today I head back to work after a week away, which is always hard...but there are so many good things on the horizon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A visit to the District of Columbia

This was the last time I was in DC, October of 2006.  

That was mile 4 of the Marine Corps Marathon.  I was cruising.  In fairness, I should probably show you how I looked when I arrived at mile 22, after hitting the wall 2 miles before.  Here I am when I saw Caitlin with just 4.2 miles to go...sobbing.

This visit has been a whole lot less painful and while I may have been in better shape then, this visit allowed me to see just how much has changed.  When I was down in 2006, Beth was just a year into her doctorate and now she is in her last year.  Jackie and Brian had just bought a condo and gotten a puppy.  Now they are married, their puppy is a fully grown dog and they have an 9 month old bambino.  

Meet Brody...
This guy has stolen my heart!  He's so happy and has the softest skin.  He is an adorable blend of his mom and dad.  A day full of adventure awaits, but first a quick nap!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Round Pond Parade

I spent the 4th with my family and O's family in Round Pond, which hosts one of the funniest parades I've ever been to.  It has no marching bands or requirements as far as I can tell. Anyone can be in the parade.  The floats/groups ranged from: a dude in a purple metallic pickup truck with his riding lawnmower in the back and his lady nestled right up next to him to a restaurant throwing warm donut holes to spectators.

Some of my aunts and my grandmother came up for the weekend to see the parade (seen here with my mom on the left).

There were two older ladies in the parade that I loved...

Lady Liberty
And a lady in a bathtub that was made into a patriotic sailboat

This crew of Tacky Tourists does something every year.  This year was a choreographed dance routine with folding lawn chairs (imagine Stomp, but trashier).

This little guy was part of the "Maine: Where the Wild Things Are" float.  

When an old turquoise Ford Mustang started overheating in the parade, my dad and O's dad both helped push it along.  This was their first time, and hopefully not last time, in the parade!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lobster bake!

Here are a few pictures from this past weekend.  There were moments of sun and moments of non-sun.  The crew was in good spirits for the lobsterbake.  

Step One: Dig a hole.

Step Two: Make a fire and spread the coals

Step Three: Add seaweed, corn, potatoes, chicken, kielbasa for Emily, and lobster.  Cover with canvas and then sand and wait for a few hours.  Use time to take photos of sherbet colored friends.

Step Four: Set up the tents.

Step Five: Shovel off the sand, pull back the canvas and voila!  


Step Six: Carry it all up to the table.  

Step Seven: Get crackin'!


Best enjoyed with a semi-wet, salty, sandy, and sleepy dog at your feet.  Seen below doing what retrievers do best!
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