Friday, April 30, 2010

Art Therapy

Recently, my sister-in-law, Melissa, has been coming over for dinner and conversations and energy healing and soul searching and the like... basically, love.

Next month, Melissa graduates from college with a degree in Art Therapy and all kinds of awesome concentrations and minors.  Last Thursday, we did a little art therapy together.  Her basic advice was to just put the chosen art tool to the paper and see what flows out.  "There is no 'wrong' way."

I found it amazingly freeing and felt deeply relaxed and clear when we were done.  I have a sense that the art that comes out of it isn't the point of the exercise... getting the feelings out is ..., but I'll share anyhow.

Several times since, I have had moments where I feel the need to put colored pencil to paper and have taken a moment to do so and felt so much better for it. 

Give it a try!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Me Tonight

Good Night! Sleep Tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite! (that is a "my mom"ism)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Off to Work

Looking the part...?

Curl Up

Today is one in a string of chilly, rainy days we've had since Sunday.

It seems to be getting to us at our house.

The animals have showed me that sometimes you just have to...

curl up and...

hang tight.

Kitty Today

I think she loves me.

Holding Hands


Laundry and Little Bits

Sweet Face

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our 1st Baby

Iris, our cat, is our first baby.  When we finally got our first place, just the two of us, we decided that we would get a furry love to share the place.  We went to a local humane society to visit the cats.  We entered a play area to visit with one cat, but another jumped on my legs.  Then she jumped on Brad's legs, startling him, causing him to sit in a chair where she promptly inserted herself onto his lap.  When we told the volunteers that she would be coming home with us, they repeatedly asked if we were sure because Iris had basically been deemed "unadoptable".  She had been with them for over a year, longer than any other animal they had at that time, and they imagined she would be with them forever.  Not so.  She would be with us forever.

Forever.  When we adopted Iris she was estimated to be 8ish. So, we knew she was older, but we knew she still had a lot of great years left in her.  We had no illusions about mortality, but she'd already wormed her way into our hearts so quickly that we knew she would always have a place in them, always be immortalized there.  She will.

Over the past nine months,  Iris (now 13ish)has kept up her appetite, but lost significant weight.  On Sunday, we found her straining to eliminate.  We called the vet.  Yesterday the vet came.  Iris is anemic and, though she is still drinking like she always has, she is dehydrated.  After struggling to find a vein, the vet took blood to test for kidney disease, thyroid issues, diabetes, etc.  Upon physical examination, the vet found what she believes to be a large irregular tumor growing on Iris' bladder.  Most likely, Iris has bladder cancer (rare in cats).  While we wait for test results and an appointment with the ultrasonographer, we are giving Iris 1/4 of a pill every day to reduce inflammation and feeding her copious amounts of protein, even letting her lick chunks of butter off our fingers.  It seems that whatever she will eat, we must feed her because the cancer is hungry so when she eats, the cancer is fed first and the reason she is so skinny is because she has been living off fat stores and muscle, etc.  So, we feed her and love her and cuddle her and spoil her even more than we already have been and we cherish every day even more.  Iris will be gone soon, but forever in our hearts.

We have talked about what measures we are willing to take in the coming months, once we get the diagnosis.  They will be minimal.  We don't want her to be in pain.  We don't want to keep her here just for us.  Painful though it will be, we are prepared to let her go.  At first, part of me was o.k. with giving her pills every day and keeping her comfortable until the time comes.  After holding her and forcing a pill down her throat this morning, I changed my mind.  I don't want her to go through that every morning with multiple pills.  I don't want to be the lady who tortures her every day just to keep her here.  It is better to let her go.

We are waiting for the results of the blood test.  We are waiting to confirm the tumor by ultrasound.  We are working through acceptance of the fact that it is time to let our first baby go.

 Christmas 2009

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

I just needed to say it all out loud.  I am glad to have this safe space in which to say it.  It is real.  Saying it, writing it, makes it more real.  It's just another step in letting it sink in and accepting it.
God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try. - Mother Theresa

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings, 
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love, 
With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard,  15
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green, 
A sprig, with its flower, I break.  - Walt Whitman, When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd  

The Purple Lilacs are Plentiful and Positively Perfect, but I am looking forward to the White Lilacs blooming, too.

The Map of Love

I recently finished reading Ahdaf Souief's novel The Map of Love.  It was fascinating.  I savored it slowly.  The novel follows three generations of a family living in Egypt.  It bounces back and forth between the early 1900's when Egypt was under British Occupation and 1997.  Souief was able to concoct an intoxicating blend of history, love, intrigue, scandal, family, and politics.  I was constantly reminded how interwoven all of these concepts are in all of our lives and how little actually changes with time.

Tending Your Garden

Six days ago, I was walking the dog in the late afternoon.  I had just finished a long shift at the store and was on my 8th straight day of working.  I was looking forward to having the next day off.  The walk was the first step toward winding down.

When I walk with the dog, I bring a trash bag to collect litter along the way.  May be a little weird? Well, it's my small contribution to the world.  Anyway, I saw a piece of paper on the ground.  Something made me pick it up and put it in my coat pocket instead of in the trash bag.

When I got home, I unfolded the tattered sheet of paper:

"How to create a thriving garden"

The sheet went on to list proverbs from the bible and ways to care for yourself and others spiritually, emotionally...  Ways to build a happy and abundant life for you and those you love...

"Prov 14:1 A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
I am still thinking on this one.  It struck a cord with me and I find myself mulling it over in my mind regularly.

How do I build my house?  With love, with care, by valuing it and everything and everyone in it... What might I be doing currently that might be tearing my house down?  What could I avoid or do in the future to preserve it?  House doesn't only have to mean house.  A house is a structure.  So, house could mean many structures in my life.  This whole idea of building my house could be applied to other things.  My friends and family are my support structure.  My body is the structure that houses my soul.  My soul is the structure that brings life to my body.  My mind is the structure that propels me forward with new ideas and ways of growing.  All of these structures are connected to make the whole of my life.  So, I continue to mull it over.

Help - heart of humility and teachability
This also stood out to me.  HumilityHumbleTeachabilityTeachAbility.  Teach Ability.

"Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
"When you take care of yourselves, you can take care of others."
"We are called to lay down our lives for our families, but we must also have a life that we can lay down."

I have been working like a mad woman.  In the past two weeks, I have had 1 day off.

One Day Off.

I am grateful for the blessings of financial abundance and the opportunity to continue to grow and potentially advance at a company that I really like with a team of people that I really like, admire and can learn a lot from.

It leaves little time for tending my garden, though.  I feel that I need to work on bringing things back into balance.  A set schedule might help... or 2 days off per week... or 1 day off per week... or some sort of check-in with my manager...  This is all attainable, but I have to ask for it.  I have to decide what I need and ask for it.  That would be a big step toward better tending all patches of my garden.

Decide what you need and ask for it.

As someone who finds herself tending to others needs often and is usually more than happy to do so, identifying my needs and asking for them to be met is challenging.  Though challenging, I am recognizing more and more that it is necessary.

Tend your garden and it will thrive.  It's all within you, within your power.  Isn't that a beautiful thing, a beautiful gift? A knowledge you can carry with you, inside you, and draw strength from. That is something to be thankful for.

P.S.  I found myself thinking of this post while writing the above.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't have time for words today.  Hope this puppy makes your day!

You will remember

Pablo Neruda

You will remember that leaping stream
where sweet aromas rose and trembled,
and sometimes a bird, wearing water
and slowness, its winter feathers.
You will remember those gifts from the earth:
indelible scents, gold clay,
weeds in the thicket and crazy roots,
magical thorns like swords.
You'll remember the bouquet you picked,
shadows and silent water,
bouquet like a foam-covered stone.
That time was like never, and like always.
So we go there, where nothing is waiting;
we find everything waiting there.
"Here I came to the very edge where nothing at all needs saying...and every day on the balcony of the sea, wings open, fire is born, and everything is blue again like morning."
Pablo Neruda

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Working through the weekend

I am off to work in two minutes!  Just wanted to say hello and happy weekend to all of you <3  I am working THROUGH the weekend, so have some extra fun for me!

I know these guys will:

Christmas 2009

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

...seemed like an empty dream, but its rolling forward...

Play Ball!

My husband won tickets to last night's Red Sox game from his company.  We have been to many a Red Sox game during our 9 years and going strong relationship, but we have never sat in the State Street Pavilion section of the ballpark.

Walking up the ramps to the Pavilion, I gasped at the gorgeous views of the city.

Once in the seats, we really enjoyed the unique perspective from which we were able to watch the game.

 You can still see part of the opening day paint behind home plate.

The City and Citgo behind The Monster.

We were flanked by the new Cumberland Farms sign on the right...

and the Press Box (with Championship Pennants) on the left.

Later in the game, around the 5th or 6th inning, one of husband's co-workers let us know there were a couple seats open next to him in the third row of the Pavilion seats.

We headed down and I took a few more shots:
 John Lester

"Opening Day", home plate, Ump, and Ortiz

Happy Husband

All in all an excellent night, even though the Sox lost.  I'm so grateful for the experience.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Running Season Re-Deux

Last year, when Pierce the puppy came to live with us, I started running and I came to love it. May through at least November, we ran at least twice a day.

Then winter came, cold and snowy and slippery.  We enjoyed the delights of Winter, but I was not delighted by winter running. So, we walked, tumbled in the snow, made people and puppy snow angels, and the like.

Now Spring has returned and we have just returned from our first run of the season.

Me after our run

Pierce after our run

Last year I felt as if I was running from something.  This year I feel as if I am running toward something wonderfully unknown and yet somehow divine. I am so looking forward to accepting it gratefully moment by moment.

Healing and Growing

This tree stretches from the banks of the Charles River to the far reaches of the sky.  It is powerful, strong, and silently speaks volumes to me.  Last year, my tree was the willow.  This year this tree is my wonder.  I can't stop staring at it. The loops and stunning shapes of the branches are intoxicating,  The different thickness of each of the branches, all at different stages of growth, but all working together for the greater growth of the tree are miraculous.  Most interesting to me, what I most often find myself reflecting on, are the knots in the smaller branches.  The knots are a break, a difficulty in the branch, but the branch moves through it and keeps growing, always in a different direction, but still the same branch. Fascinating.  Inspiring.  Worth meditating on.

Nature has a lot to teach us if we are willing to look, to pay attention, to truly see beyond the tangible.

Over the past few months I have been doing a lot of healing and growing.  I've been reflecting, getting in touch with my spirit.  Finding out things about myself that I had forgotten, but part of me always knew.  This is just the beginning for me, but I am confident it will take me in  many different directions that will ultimately lead me to the source.  All of us are always healing and growing and exploring different avenues that lead to growth and more healing.  I think that is what life is all about.  I believe that every experience is valid and will ultimately lead to greater good, greater growth, greater healing for everyone.

This tree has so much to teach me.  I'm listening.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Risen Today

To those who celebrate, I wish a beautiful, peaceful day of reflection and renewed hope.

A place of reflection for me this morning was found here.

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 3, 2010