Thursday, October 28, 2010

October

October has been busy and filled with 2 new jobs, work to do at home, family events, and doctors appointments because...

I am carrying our first Brainy and Beautiful Baby :-)

This is an honor and a blessing.

Baby is due at the beginning of April.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two New Jobs

Yes, I have not one but two new jobs.

I am now working at a small local pet supply store 2 days a week.  The store strives to provide quality pet supplies at affordable prices.  It is five minutes away and Pierce the Puppy gets to come to work with me.

3 days a week, I assist a pet physical therapist who has a very busy practice.  She does pet physical therapy on land and in the pool.  Some dogs come just to use the pool, to get more comfortable in the water, and/or for really good low-impact exercise.  The facility is also five minutes from home which allows me to go home at lunch time and take Pierce out. 

I love the commute, the fact that I now work for local businesses, the set schedule (Fridays and Sundays off), the steady income, and working with animals.

Feeling really thankful <3

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot - Snippets

It's hot.  Really hot.  Maybe even hotter than last week in Bermuda, but in Bermuda there was the ocean to dip into.  Anyhow, it is hot.

Strawberry ice cream, frozen fruit, central air, cold showers...  All work well for a quick cool down.

BUT...

In the 95 degree heat, I can't bring myself to run. It is even too hot by 7 a.m. and still too hot at 7 p.m.  Sure, I take quick walks around the block with the pup a few times a day, but it is just not the same. 

I've always been a summer person, but I find myself really looking forward to the fall.

____________________

Had an interview and got a new job this morning to add to my current part-time job.  It is a job with a local business that I really believe in.  Training on Friday and start next Tuesday.

_______________________

This afternoon was spent with a friend and her baby girl.  Mmmmmm.... babies.  Mmmmmm.... girl talk.  

Dare I say, better than strawberry ice cream :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bermuda

So, the August Break... yeah, I kinda let that fall by the wayside... BUT

LOOK!

  It's Bermuda!














Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 11

Lawrence of Arabia


When I was little, my mom washed my hair in the sink.  She would run her fingers down a strand of my hair and it would squeak.  "Squeaky clean! All done!"  Then she or my father would put a towel turban on my head "just like Lawrence of Arabia."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Off to Maine!

In the morning I head to Maine!  I will be "unplugged" until Friday night when I return home.  When I get back I'll catch up on Days 5 and 6 of The August Break.

I'm driving up there to the wilds of Maine.  It's a three hour drive and I will be all by myself.  Not even a puppy to keep me company.  Adventurous for me, but needed.

See you all Friday!

P.S. Day 4 Photo Post removed at request of newborn's parents

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 2

Party Clean-up and Recovery

A Few Words

O.K. I know it is August Break which means keeping the words to a minimum, but just a few things happened at the end of July that I must write about, quick quick.

July 28 - Heart and Peter Frampton at BOA Pavillion.  AMAZING!

Peter Frampton

 
Heart

Heart

July 29 - My best friend gives birth to Madison Grace.  AMAZING! 
Congrats Mama and Papa and sweet baby <3 
Looking forward to meeting the little one!

Day 1 (Belated)

So, yesterday was Day One of The August Break which just happened to coincide with the 30th Birthday Surprise Party for my husband.  By 8:30 (an hour after all had left and most of the clean-up had been done) I was just too exhausted to post.

The party was at our house.  So, in order to get my husband out so his family could come in and prepare the surprise, Pierce and I took the birthday man in to the city.

 Pierce waiting for the Subway Train

I didn't take any party photos (other people did), but here is a quick photo I snapped before we went to bed.

Exhausted Birthday Man with remnants of surprise party

Great way to begin August and The August Break!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Joyful July

It has been a Joyful July!

I finished up Unravelling: Ways of Seeing Myself with Susannah Conway.  I am still reeling from that amazingness.

I launched my new project, Relay Mail.  I have put 25 pieces of Relay Mail out into the world so far and will continue to.  If you are interested in participating, please email me at relaymailproject@gmail.com and provide your snail mail address or email address and I will make and send you a piece.

My husband will turn 30 on Saturday.  This is momentous and mind-boggling for him.  I have been planning many festivities for the upcoming weekend.  Finally, I feel like it is all coming together.  Details to follow, as he reads my blog.

To top off this Joyful July, my best friend will be a mom any day now!  She and I have been friends since we were 12.  Her husband and my husband have known each other since kindergarten.  I am so so so excited to meet the little bit baby girl and so so so over-the-moon for her parents!!!!! 

July...Joyful, isn't it?

P.S. August brings The August Break.  There is also a link/button in my sidebar.  Join us, won't you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The 10K

No real deep, meaningful words yet.  It was humid and hot.  I ran the whole thing, no stopping.  Even ran by the water stations with my hand out for the water.  Finished in 1 hour and 16 minutes. Amazing.  For now, the photos (all taken by my husband).  Insights will follow at a later time.

Friday, July 2, 2010

1 Going Down, 29 to Go

This weekend is jam packed with fun!

Today I visited with my best friend who has a baby coming soon.

Tomorrow, bike riding with husband.

SUNDAY, I RUN A 10K! That will knock one item of the 30 before 30 List :-)
I promise a full report with pictures on Monday.

Monday, I have to work part of the day, but will be sharing time between the husband and getting together with "the girls."

Happy 4th of July weekend!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The upstairs neighbors went on vacation and left a weed-filled garden for us to care for. 

Yesterday I toiled in the 90 degree heat for two hours to achieve a weed-free, fully-mulched garden.



Weeding was challenging for me emotionally. 
"Please release your life-energy back into the earth."
I kept inwardly praying to and for these little plants who grew against the odds.
O.K. I am officially a freak, but I still love myself..

It truly bothered me, though.
I really identify with weeds.
Weeds are actually quite beautiful if you take a moment to appreciate them.


I was also reminded of a poem I read in high school that really resonated with me, and still does:

Identity
by Julio Noboa Polanco

Let them be as flowers,
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,
clinging on cliffs, like an eagle
wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.

To have broken through the surface of stone,
to live, to feel exposed to the madness
of the vast, eternal sky.
To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,
carrying my soul, my seed,
beyond the mountains of time or into the abyss of the bizarre.

I'd rather be unseen, and if
then shunned by everyone,
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
where they're praised, handled, and plucked
by greedy, human hands.

I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
than of sweet, fragrant lilac.
If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.
 
 

weed-free garden top view, funny how some of the plants could be mistaken for weeds


 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No T.V. Experiment

About a month/month and a half ago I gave up t.v.*

For me, t.v. has always been an easy escape.  I could turn it on and zone out.  Suddenly, though, I realized that I was missing my life.  It was just flying by day after day and I was ignoring it, I was a bit numb to it.

Why watch other people do things when I could actually be doing things myself?

So, I started doing more.  Painting.  Writing. Reading (Ava Gardner: "Love Is Nothing"). Running.  Taking photos (Kodak EasyShare MX1063).  Riding my bike.  More... Just everything I love.

It has made a huge difference.

Then I found another distraction.

The internet. 

I love checking in on blogs, flickr, taking my e-course, jotting  messages on Facebook...  I need to use the internet for research while I am writing.

How do I balance my fun use and my work? 

I think I need a timer, a little alarm that goes off after an hour of being sucked in link after link.  A little alert back to the world around me. "Hey, Alex, wake up to your life!"

It is really wonderful that in eliminating one distraction, one way of disengaging from what is really important, I am becoming more aware of other ways that I do that.

I am determined to eliminate them or at least monitor my use of them, one by one.

P.S. *full disclosure: my husband does watch t.v.  So, we watch sports or whatever other programs he has on in the evening.  More and more, I find myself picking up a book or my journal or a sketchpad while he has the t.v. on instead of mindlessly following the t.v.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Excerpts from a letter

to my 11 year old self:

"...you have the weight of the world on your little being.  ...  You are going to struggle for some semblance of normalcy...to somehow hold everything steady in the precarious balance. ... Making it up as you go along and your ability to adapt easily to change and new environments, dynamics, and situations will serve you well always."

"...you are holding back lots of  feelings and questions that you are desperate to express...you'll do this for many years to come...when you finally release it pain will come, but the release will be beautiful and healing for you...It is not your fault, you know, any of it."

"You think that you have to do things in order to EARN LOVE.  ... You are born of love, created of God's love, deserving of love because you ARE LOVE.  YOU ARE LOVE.  Love is not a commodity to be bought and traded.  LOVE IS and It is all around you."

"When things are difficult.  When you are out in the world on your own flailing around trying to find the right place to land,
REMEMBER.
Remember the strength and fortitude you have inside after all you've endured.
Remember the good things that have come from the bad.  Some of your best traits were developed and strengthened through the struggle.
Remember all of the things that you wanted to do but were unable to due to responsibilities, circumstances and lack of money.  Make a list.  Make time. Do them.
Remember who you were from birth to 10.5.  Love her.  Hold on to the 5 year old inside you.. She holds the truth, the key to your purpose here on earth."

"Remember to forgive yourself.  It's not your fault."

Monday, June 21, 2010

21 or 22 on island from Make Way for Ducklings


Found this photo today.  My husband took it of me and I had forgotten all about it and about this day.  On our way to our Valentines lunch at Pho Pasteur on Newbury Street (no longer there), we were walking through the Public Garden.  It was February and the pond where the Swanboats float in the summer, was frozen.  In an act of spontaneity, we "ice skated" in our shoes and slipped and slid to the island in the middle where it is said Mr. and Mrs. Mallard nested with their babies.  It was just beautiful and fun and freeing.  I look so easy and breezy.  Even in my hat, I look pretty and peaceful.  Just love this photo and had to share.

Final 7

Go out to do every day errands dressed to the nines, gown & all

Learn how to do a cartwheel, even if you only do one

Row a canoe on the Charles River

Participate in a health study

Apply for writer's retreat/conference/residency

Take an Adult Intermediate Swim Class

Learn more about being a messenger of light

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More of the List

Go to Sedona, Arizona ( a spiritual center, vortexes)

Become a parent

Play piano again (even just a little electronic piano)

Have piece of my art displayed somewhere

Make pasta from scratch

Speak in front of a sizable crowd of people

Learn bookbinding

Get Pierce trained as a therapy dog and start volunteering with him


8 more added to the list... 7 more to be added later...  I never thought making the list would take such time for me.

29

I turned 29 on the 15th,  Another year gone by.  A year filled with so much growth.  For the first year in a very long time, maybe ever, I truly look back and see and feel a wonderful change, a transformation that is still in the process of occurring...we're all works in progress.

The past year was all about inner, emotional growth and overcoming the past.

Feeling more self aware and more stable in myself, I feel prepared to take action this year, to come outside of myself and show the world what I have to offer.

Lists help me to stay on the right track. So,...

30 Things to Do Before I am 30:
See one book length writing project through to completion

Get Relay Mail out of my mind and into the world  (DONE! 7/8/10)

Plant seeds in edging around backyard parking

Begin a paper journal again

Do one painting a month

Rent a table at a craft fair and sell some of the beautiful things I have made

Run a road race of any length (DONE! 10K on 7/4/10)

Volunteer at local food pantry or get involved with St. Ann Society

Take road trip (maybe to the Outer Banks?)

Contact Mrs. DeLorenzo and/or Ms. Pepin and/or Miss. Sullivan.  Teachers who changed me.

Watch AFI's Top 10 titles (just need to see Citizen Kane and Casablanca)

Audition for local play

Be an extra in a movie or commercial

Weekend Getaway by myself

Send short piece of writing to magazines to be considered for publication


Well, that is 15 of 30.... a start.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Piling Up

Lately, I have been putting a lot of energy into making sure everyone else gets what they need.  If I am available, I do whatever people have asked for. 

Sitting amidst the mess of my house on Monday, I surveyed the damage.  Piles of laundry.  Piles of art supplies.  Piles of dishes.  Piles of puppy toys.  Piles of boxes of husband's stuff.  Piles of journals and books.

While I was out and about taking care of everyone else because I was "available", my life had begun to pile up around me threatening to topple over and bury me. 

I began to think about the feelings that have been piling up inside me as well and all of the things that I would like to do that I am "too busy" to do.

I realized that when people ask something of me, I don't want to lie and say I have plans when I don't.  If the "only" thing I have to do is hang around cleaning the house and painting or writing, why not help someone out?  Because, it piles up.  My feelings and my possessions and the list of things that need doing in my life, pile up.

Next time someone asks something of me I am going to think more deeply before saying yes.  If the image that comes into my brain is a paintbrush in my hand, a book and a cup of lemonade and my rocking chair, a full sink of dishes... my answer will be:

"I'm sorry.  I can't because I have plans." 

Even if my plans are cleaning the house or a date with a good book, they are still plans.  Though caring for others is important, I need to remember to extend that to myself more often, engage in more self care.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gaining Confidence

I have been away for so long!!!!  I have been sucked into my new Unravelling E-Course with Susannah Conway (yippee! :-D) and I have worked every day since my last post (Ack!!!).

The e-course has me facing lots of fears and acting more boldly which is already boosting my confidence as Week Two begins.  I can only imagine where I will be by the time Week 8, our final week, concludes!  Boggling!  I highly recommend this course to EVERYONE!

Running is a real outlet for me and I have talked about it many times here.  Last week, I realized that I only go running with the dog.  I never go alone.  Why?  Well,  I was afraid.  What might happen to me if I went alone?  What if I am only able to run because the dog is a motivator, keeps me moving forward?  What if I went running and found that I gave up on myself and just started walking?  Could I really do it alone?


Turns out that I can do it alone and be motivated, strong, and safe.

Do something that scares you this week.  You might just surprise yourself.

Take it from me, the confidence boost you will give yourself will be amazing, intoxicating!

<3 xoxo <3

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Written on the Wall


 First Video Blog (vlog) taken late yesterday afternoon. View it here!