Thursday, January 31, 2013

scents & sights

It was SO nice to have the sun come back today--the temperature also dropped and we said good-bye to that weird miasma that's been hangin' around for the past few days.   The worse things get at work, the more fiercely I dig for joys in the day and this week it has been all about the senses.

The day begins with fresh coffee and vanilla coconut creamer.  Then there's the loveliest almond soap to use--wish there were a scent option for the blog site!  Lavender face cream.  My personalized Aveda perfume.  Tangy onions & miso soup. On clear mornings, the moon hangs out as I rush down the stairs and the sunrise appears as I zip along the freeway.

This afternoon as I was out getting classroom supplies, I fortuitously stumbled into an early Valentine's of dark chocolate raspberry truffles.  And I have a miniature bottle of Johnson's baby lotion on my nightstand, to remind me of my sweet east coast nephew.

What's the best sensory bit of your day?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

joys of exercise

Don't know entirely why it's been such a chore to exercise lately--but it has been.  Figured I may as well find a bit of humor in this trend.

Monday, January 28, 2013

colour full

while trying to speak neutrally about things:  i.e.  Monday is not a 'bad' day, it's merely a day. Grey skies are not 'gloomy', they're just not sunny.  Slow drivers are not 'imbecilic morons', they're simply slower than I'd like to drive....sometimes one just needs a bit of verve.   And this lovely little salad is brightening my afternoon, as is a certain little boy who is currently learning how to eat!

And now I'm humming along with Alabama:  'sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth.  Gone, gone with the wind.  There ain't nobody lookin' back again.'

Sunday, January 27, 2013


by this lovely and quiet film about a retirement home for musicians.  Of course, I will go see anything full of British actors--especially ones with Dame Maggie Smith.

It was also a lovely and quiet weekend at home--no appointments nor obligations.  Went to my lovely Asian market and loaded up on fresh veg.  Roasted ginger and pumpkin for a delicious soup.  As the a/c is running anyway, I just pretended it was a winter's chill.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

points of pondering

These coincide with various conversations that I've been part of the past couple of weeks. While I am deeply grateful for a full-time job--with those benefits--sadly, it is one in which I count the hours until the weekend and/or the next time I am free from  it's walls.

So.  Spending much time with sussing out what the next chapter, for me, will be titled.  And if Rilke were nearby, I'd kick him in the shins with his wafty 'live your way into the answer'.  Feel as though that is what I've been doing for years.  But mayhaps, that is all it is.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inaugural poetry

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper --
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives --
to teach geometry, or ring up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind -- our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across cafe tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me -- in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

(Mapping the Unknown, Macy Chadwick)

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always -- home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country -- all of us --
facing the stars
hope -- a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it -- together.

 ~Poet Laureate, Richard Blanco

Thursday, January 24, 2013

silver shoed debut

Quite an auspicious day for the silver shoes first outing.  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was in town to promote her book My Beloved World.  It was a thrill to see/hear a Justice for the first time in my life.  Unfortunately, the zoom on my camera wasn't working--I actually was quite close for the size of the crowd--the book store was PACKED--both levels!  

It was a moving and inspiring speech--such insipid adjectives to describe her words and the humor with which she shared her story/struggles and how surreal this past week has been for her.  I watched her swear in the Vice President on Monday, saw her interview on The Daily Show last night and heard her announce that her book just hit #1 on the NYT Bestseller List tonight.  No wonder her head is spinning.

Have been dabbling with an art project all January.  I've read/seen other blogs and artists who choose a word that they use to shape their focus for each year and 'nourish' seemed to be the one that kept crossing my path for the past couple of months.  Am pleased with how this turned out--as I don't think of myself as a Visual Artist.  Think I'm going to scrounge for some scrap wood to build a frame for it.

After reading an interview with this local business owner (and the raves about the vegeburgers), decided to treat myself on the way to the book event.  May I just say YUM??!  Think I found the match to In/Out's french fries.  Uh-oh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Sometimes it's good to be the grown-up and decide that stirring a carton of raspberries into a brownie mix is the ideal, and perhaps even healthy, dinner.  

Monday, January 21, 2013


Dawn in Washington, D.C.--all kinds of metaphoric. 

Due to the excellent blackout curtains in my room, dawn came when I said it did.   A rather lovely thing--need more mornings like this.

However, I did wake in time to have a delicious breakfast of spinach empanandas and piles of fresh fruit supplied by the inn.  And I still had plenty of time to queue with all the senior citizens to wait for the park rangers (all carrying loaded guns) to open the doors/gates of the Alamo.

One of the staircases leading out of the inn.

The U.S. Post Office.

Often become queasy at sites such as these; all those ghosts and all that bloodshed.  When we visited Terezin, I became so ill that I had to exit the grounds and sit behind the bus for awhile.

So, I didn't linger inside, but wandered the garden areas and museum and resisted buying coonskin caps for all my nephews.

Thought this was extremely clever; the original wii!

Not sure what game is on the left and there was no guide/docent around to pester.

Love the huge oak trees in Texas.

Part of the original sluice for the grist mill.

 Another view of the knot of borders--as I sub-titled this.  

And after reading umpteen plaques, I now know why so many things in Austin are named Travis. And if you think I'm going to enlighten you, you are mistaken.

The research library on the property--to which the general public is denied access.

The corner which Bowie protected on his last day.

Got back to the hotel for check-out and was able to watch a bit of the Inauguration   It may be the British bloodline, but I do love pomp and ceremony.  And after all the bitter and nasty, it was a glorious respite to hear some choirs and some brass and see everyone dressed up and on their best behavior--going to church and the swearing-in and the luncheon together.  (and regardless of one's political leanings, I think we can all say that we have a beautiful First Family!!)

Everyone who knows me will be deeply impressed that I was able to hit this outlet and spend LESS than $20!  Thank you gift cards.

My 2013 Christmas ornament.  Although, this in NO way means that I cannot continue to travel through then next 11 months.

And it's been weeks, but I did find a penny this weekend.

Also hit the Bass Outlet and replaced my Seaside flats that were completely flapping and worn through.  Eager to see where this pair takes me.  It was a wonderful mini-break, but not really fond of San Antonio--filthy streets, filled with the mentally deranged and a general sense of decay and poverty.

My next scheme is a road trip through Tennessee--to visit a cousin on the way to Virginia.  But who knows how the map will unfold in the next few months?  I'm liking 2013 very much.