Tuesday, March 04, 2008



I have come to realize that I do not have enough silence in my life. As a busy mama it's a small wonder that I even got to the place to contemplate the absence of silence in my life. Between all the 'Maaaaaama's" and the chatter of two small talkative children I have realized that I desperately need some silence built into my life.

All of my life I have thought that I was an extrovert....or on the extroverted side. I adore people and I really enjoy engaging with people one on one, but I am flat out exhausted by prolonged contact in a group setting. After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I am, indeed, introverted...just a verbal one. Additionally, I have to create the space for silence to fill my home.

I am intentionally just trying to be still during the kids' nap time. I am backing off of reading at my favorite message board, I am limiting my phone time, and turning off the TV. I want the peace and wisdom of a mystic. That probably won't happen to the droning sounds of Max & Ruby...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wow, it's almost like magic

I really messed up my arm last week. I had an appointment with a new chiropractor conveniently scheduled for the day after my pain started. I am totally amazed at the turn around in my body. I was nearly 100% better after my adjustment. I went back today and I am even better still. I am really grateful that I have such good health and that my body was so receptive to the chiropractic work.

In addition, I have learned so much about the value of heat in the context of traditional Chinese medicine and body work. I still really like ice for numbing areas that need really deep cross tissue massage work, but moist heat seems to be very effective in treating injuries.

I am so blessed to have a healthy body that does what it is supposed to do almost all of the time!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Warm soup on a cold day

There is nothing more comforting to me than a hot bowl of home made soup. Tonight's simple pleasure was tomato soup. Add a little marsala wine and it becomes extraordinary. It is cheap, filling, and a delight to warm a cold hungry belly.

Friday, February 22, 2008


We have made it through vacation week. Big Daddy J is home safe and sound on a cold snowy night after a busy week of work and school.

We are cozy-ing in for the night to fold laundry and eat chocolate lava cake. 15 years ago I might have thought that was lame and boring, but this ordinary comfort is part of wedded bliss.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Beauty of Flora

My Diva Child and Man Puppy are the two living things that have thrived under my care. Obviously, that is a very good thing, but I must admit I was somewhat nervous given my track record with plants.

I love the idea of house plants, yet I always end up killing them....either with too much attention and care, or with plain old neglect. I love the idea of watching something grow over time. I have always admired the people who have 35 year old plants that came from small clippings from their great grandmother's house plants.

Having two little ones, we aren't in a time of life or a space that really is right for a bunch of fussy house plants. Last year I bought a Christmas cactus on a whim because it was beautiful and healthy looking. It had several ripe buds all over it. At the very least, I rationalized; I can enjoy these flowers for a few weeks before I slowly kill the plant.

It turns out that Christmas cactus is the perfect plant for someone who tends to run hot and cold with the care. They like to be dried all the way out and then watered. My plant is right behind my sink. Every week or so when I am doing dishes I say to myself "oh crap that plant is really dry" and I give it a little shower in the sink.

Much to my surprise I saw a teeny tiny little pink bud about 3 weeks ago. I was thrilled that I might see a flower on my cactus. I hadn't killed it like I was sure I would! I found the perfect little house plant for me. Every day I would see a new bud on my plant; each day they grew fatter and longer until we had this:

Every morning when I walk into my kitchen and stand at my sink I enjoy the ostentatious flowers that proclaim, "I had a will to live! It may be February but I am beautiful and alive!"

The other part of my gratitude today is that I have finally been able to throw off the label of "Plant Killah". A Christmas cactus thrived under my loving care! It gives me hope that maybe one day we will have the pleasure of eating a ripe, warm, home grown tomato.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In All Things, Give Thanks

Today's gratitude post will be short. There is a whole lot that I can say, but to be completely honest, today's bit of gratitude is an act of discipline.

A lot of little things have added up to a really big nuisance of an arm injury. I am a massage therapist, I like to knit, I have cast iron skillets that I use for daily cooking, and I am doing all the daily mommying (and then some with my hubby's really busy work and school schedule). On top of that I curled myself into a ball while sleeping last night, curling my arms and wrists into my body. I woke up because of the pain at 5 am. I am not a morning person and only wake up if my kids are crying in the night.

I am really in a lot of pain here and I can hardly straighten my arm. I do have a chiropractic appointment with a new chiro, so I am really really really hoping that he can do something about this tomorrow.

In the mean time my awesome dad took mercy on me and brought lunch over for me and the kids, helped me get them to nap, and somehow created the mental space for me to pass out asleep on the couch. He walked out of the room, I curled up under the orange blanket, and when he came back in I was passed out for more than an hour.

I am so very thankful for my dad and the many ways he pitches in with my kiddos when I need him most.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kindred Spirits

Every now and again a person comes into your life and you just know that there is something innately present; an intertwining of souls from the first meeting. My sweet friend Rosalia is someone who transcends time, space, and distance.

I met Rosalia when I was 14 years old. She was the beloved piano teacher of a friend, and she had an opening for a new student. When I was 11 years old I begged my parents to get me a piano, I just had to play piano. I can remember being 4 years old and sitting in someone’s formal living room earnestly trying to make music. I was always drawn to it and desperately needed to learn how to play. My parents found a beautiful old piano that had long been forgotten in someone's farm house. It was only 50 bucks but didn't really play on a humid day. At any rate, I was beyond thrilled and set out to take piano lessons.

I will save you all from the horror stories of piano lessons pre-Rosalia. Suffice it to say, it wasn't good. I had a great ear, I disliked the short baby songs I was given to play, and I struggled with reading the music.

Going to Rose's house for piano lessons was like falling into a world where everything is safe, just, right, lovely, and beautiful. Think of any fairy tale where children wander through the harsh wood to stumble upon the cottage of a kindly old godmother who communes with fairies, woodland creatures, and flowers....with treats and treasures everywhere your eye would rest.

Being a teenager pretty much sucked for me. On the continuum of suckdom, my life was, in a universal sense, very good. But being a sensitive, artistic person, the teenage years were filled with a lot of loneliness, angst, and confusion. This is where my friendship with Rosalia really starts.

Rosalia inspired me with beauty. She encouraged me to play anything I wanted to play. My lesson was crafted around challenging pieces of music by Chopin, Debussy, List, Bach, Brahms, and more. I would sit on her piano bench at her antique baby grand piano with the windows open and the afternoon light pouring into the room. She would sit to my left and we would work.

She could always tell if something was bothering me and would always draw it out. There were a lot of tears cried on her piano bench, and I'm sure I was not the only one. Aside from tears there were joys, giggles, deep pride, happiness....and probably many life decisions.

Rosalia really got me at a time where I hardly understood myself. Because of our special relationship she was able to be totally honest in an unbiased way. She was the one who could see how much I needed to get out of my small town. She could see my desire to travel and strongly encouraged me to go for it. Because of her I went to Costa Rica after I graduated high school, and not to a traditional university path. I did go on to college, but the time I traveled was life altering in every way imaginable. Everyone in my life (minus Rose) had scripted me going to music school after high school. I thought that is what I wanted to do also. But with a little time and distance from it all, I got to know me and knew that it wasn't what I wanted. My parents are so great, but where would you rather your 18 year old daughter is; music school within a few hours drive of home or Central America?

My beautiful friend Rose created beauty and love despite chronic pain, heartache, and personal suffering. She is in such constant pain that she rarely sleeps. She is a dancer, athlete, musician, poet, gardener, mother, teacher...but her body has always caused her the kind of pain that makes most people just break and stop. I know that she has been broken many times. Each time, she picks up and chooses life and beauty.

She cries over the beauty of a sun set; she leaves me messages of playing a song on the piano that made her think of me. She talks to the birds, she introduces me to her flowers, and she speaks to a picture of me as a girl daily as she walks through her living room. She has made me beautiful books with quotes, poetry, recipes, and notes of love in her perfect cursive handwriting.

I don't know what I would have done had I not met my dearest Rosalia. I would have survived as people do, and I would have had a nice life. However, it would have been devoid of magic. I would not have developed as a musician in the way that I did under her loving care. I don't know that I would have had the courage to go to Latin America less than a month after graduating high school.

Rosalia, I treasure our friendship more than words can even express. You taught me how to really live life no matter what is going on around me. You gave me the gift of music...a place I can leave my anger, sorrow and joy when words won't cut it. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.