Tuesday, March 30, 2010


~ Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; ~
~ without rain, there would be no life. ~
-John Updike

it's been raining here for the past two days.
i'm ready for sun again.
but, when i think about all that rain brings,
then i'm happy for rain too.

happy spring.  stay dry.

Monday, March 29, 2010

winning the battle - week 3

another 3 pounds down. 

i'm a little in shock, but starting to get excited at how much weight i've already lost. 

i feel like i really can do this.  i can feel myself starting to let go of some cravings and habits, and starting to create new ones.  i'm glad i started this when i did, because in the midst of spring's changes and rebirth it feels easier somehow to be making changes right now than it did in january when i first set my goals.

i'm still running and enjoying it.  i feel stronger, greener, more alive.  yay!

a thought

image from: wickimedia.org

And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
--William Blake

Saturday, March 27, 2010

outside/inside spring

this is what the world looks like outside today in my neighborhood.

love spring!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
this is what my bathroom now looks like.

i took advantage of the cold day to stay warm
and do some work around my place.

i now have spring in my apartment.  yay!

i put up some vinyal art on my bathroom wall.
you can window shop here and here.

vinyl wall art is a lot of fun.
it lets you personalize a space without ruining the walls.
and when you're ready for a change,
it peels right off after being heated with a blow dryer.

slowly, but surely i'm making this place my own.

photos by me

Friday, March 26, 2010


It's not often in life, that a person gets a re-do.  Tonight I did.

For some of you who know me, this story might come as a complete surprise.  In highschool, I took an acting class as one of my art requirements.  One of our assignments was to prepare a lip synch routine and present it to the class.  I had recently watched My Fair Lady for the first time, and fallen in love with Eliza Doolittle and her Cockney accent.  So, I prepared my lip synch routine to her opening song, Wouldn't It Be Loverly.  I practiced in my bedroom in front of the mirror perfecting my moves, pulled together a great costume complete with a crushed hat and a basket of flowers.  I felt ready for the assignment.

The day of my performance arrived, and I froze.  I remember that I couldn't put on the costume and pretend to be Eliza Dolittle.  I just couldn't.  I didn't know why, but I was terrified to put myself out there like that.  I couldn't bring myself to do it.  I still had to do the assignment, so I found a less threatening way to complete it.  I borrowed a recording of Debbie Gibson's song Lost in Your Eyes, which was at the top of the charts that year, and I did my lip synch assignment to that song.  I stood there doing the 80s's sway and mouthed the words.  I didn't put myself out there, I just did the assignment. 

I remember looking at my grade, it was a C-, and thinking that it was exactly what I deserved.  I also knew that if I had done the routine I practiced, I would have aced the assignment.  I've been kicking myself ever since.  I think this also the point where I decided I had nothing to lose by putting myself out there as a performer.  I didn't want to have any more regrets.

Tonight, I got a re-do.  My church hosted a night of the arts with a broadway theme.  I was asked to come up with a number of some sort.  I was originally hoping to pull together a duet or a group number, but I wasn't able to due to my schedule.  So, last week I started thinking of ideas that I could do on my own.  One evening I was talking with my sister and asked her what she thought I should sing.  She told me to sing the Loverly song from My Fair Lady.

This evening, I bought some flowers and put them in a basket, got dressed up and actually sang Wouldn't It Be Loverly in front of a live audience.  No lip synching this time around.  All week long I had been telling myself that this was my chance to make up for my failure in highschool, that this was my chance to put myself out there as Eliza Dolittle, and that's exactly what I did.

I forgot myself for the most part.  I remembered all the words, improvised some dance moves and just had fun.  I did forget to acknowledge the applause from the audience at the end, but I felt like I had done okay.  I had a successful re-do.

Like I said in the beginning, it's not often that anyone gets a second chance, but when it happens you have to grab it, hold on to it and put yourself out there.  I am so thankful I did.

Me in my costume, singing away as Eliza.  Not a very Edwardian London costume, but the apron was just so darn cute, I couldn't not wear it.

Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

bloomin' daffs

i love daffodils.
they just shout spring to me.

image from wickimedia.org

i wrote this during the spring of 2006, my first spring in dc.
it still rings true.

This evening I was looking up through a lacy web of lightest pink petals at the deepening sky as it turned from grayish blue to deep indigo, when it dawned on me--Spring is here. It's really here.

Then there was a beautiful cherry tree in someone's yard, all decked out in white blossoms with deepest pink hearts in the center with fairy lights strung through the tree, lighting up the blossoms with a golden glow and giving the illusion of stars. It was magic! It took my breath away for a moment and reminded me of spring back home.

One really cold autumn Saturday, my father and I planted about two hundred daffodil bulbs in our fruit orchard. It was so cold.  My hands were numb and aching, but I was already envisioning the explosion of color that would happen when the snow started melting and the sun started warming the ground. Then I promptly forgot about all the hard work.

Spring was slow in arriving the next year. Just when we thought it might start warming up, the mercury would dip and several more inches of snow would appear overnight. One morning on my way to school, I noticed green poking up through a thin layer of snow that stuck stubbornly to the ground. I looked closer and noticed it wasn't grass, but the broader green leaves of spring's trumpet section.

A few days later, sunshine appeared under the fruit trees on the side of our hill. An explosion of yellow trumpeted the arrival of spring. For several weeks the flowers announced the arrival of spring, even during a freak snow flurry that dumped six inches of snow overnight. It was quite a sight to see bright yellow flowers poking up through the snow, confirming that indeed spring was still here.

So, forget the groundhog and forget the weatherman, who think they know it all. I know spring is here when the daffodils start to bloom. They are my springtime therapy. When I was homesick in England, the 'bloomin' daffs' warmed my heart and eased the distance by giving me a piece of home so far away.
In the words of Wordsworth:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffoldils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

"Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

"The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
 In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

"For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."
(The Daffodils, by William Wordsworth)

My heart thrills at the memory of daffodils at home in Paradise, in the Lake District of England, and now at the new memory of fairy lights twinkling in a beautiful cherry tree blossoming in DC--my new home.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
next week is the national cherry blossom festival in dc.
another sign that spring has sprung

image from wickimedia.org

winning the battle - week two

i lost 4 pounds this week.

i'm definitely not starving myself, so i was a bit shocked yesterday morning when i got on the scale and saw the change in the numbers.  i'm eating between 1200 to 1300 calories a day, and concentrating on eating the right number of servings of fruits and vegetables.

my zealousness in dieting last until sunday when i made four dozen cupcakes for work.  they were the promised prize for a contest we had at work.  of course, i had to test the cupcakes and the new frosting recipe i tried out as well.  i ended up eating three of those little buggers, and they were good too.

i also went running twice last week.  this is huge, because last year whenever i tried to run, my calves were in so much pain i just couldn't keep going.  this year, it's just the normal aches and pains.  i'm loving running again, and can't wait to get back in the groove.

not on the diet:
oh, and if you're looking for the best frosting recipe ever, then try this one here at pioneerwoman.com.  it's seriously good.  i even made my own version of this frosting by adding 3 tablespoons of hershey's special dark cacao and a teaspoon of cinnamon.  yummy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

real news - a year of giving

while reading the paper today, i stumbled across this surprising article
and i just had to share this bit a real news from our world.

image from here

reed sandridge, an unemployed d.c. man
is giving away $10 a day for one year.
he was inspired by the memory of his mother
who always looked for ways to help others,
and because he "was going nuts"
 after being laid off from his job with a non-profit.

he even started a blog: year of giving
to document each day his experience of giving away the $10.
i scanned through some of his entries and they are really fun.

what a great way to get your mind off your troubles
and focus outwards on serving others.
reed you are inspiring! thank you for your example.

just one more reason why i love living in dc.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

looking for love in the wrong place

I am ending my subscription to eHarmony.  After a year of receiving matches, I am done, fed up and just a little disheartened with the whole concept.

You've seen the ads promising a true match.  The promise of actual compatibility on so many levels, 29 nine levels to be exact, that you will actually feel as though you've actually known each other for so long before you actually meet.  And then follows the video montage of actual couples, showing just how actual and true their compatibility is and how grateful they are to have actually met through eHarmony which showed them in the first place just how compatible they actually are. 

Actually, I think I'll pass.

The first six months were free, the next six were not.  Paying money to find love just feels ridiculous to me and too much like selling myself short.  But I decided to give it a chance on a supposedly grown up dating web site.  I was open to the whole experience and hoping to meet men outside my circle of friends. 

Then I started receiving matches, most of whom lived in California, Utah, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona, a few of others lived in New York and Georgia, at least two from Alaska and less than a handful from Virginia or Maryland.  They all live so far away and I'm not a fan of long distance dating relationships.

The majority of potential matches never attempted communication or responded to my attempts for communication.  Those that did respond closed the match, by stating: "The physical distance between is too great."  Yep, I agree with that.  I don't want intense bursts of romance every two or three months when our travel budgets will allow.  I want every weekend between now and then, with a few extra days in between thrown in for good measure.

My favorite part of the eHarmony experience was when I received messages telling me to lower my standards to increase the likelihood of receiving even more matches.  I do not drink alcohol, and said so when asked in the compatilibility quiz.  When asked if alcohol consumption was something I would allow in my own partner I said no.  I'm not asking for the impossible or incredible, or even for something I'm not willining to do myself.  However, eHarmony kept insisting that I would receive more matches if I would change this requirement!  Uh, no I won't.  Thank you very much.

So, after a total of 177 matches, 141 of which either myself or they closed stating the physical distance between us was actually to great, 31 of which received some form or other of communication from myself or them, and 3 where no communication whatsoever was exchanged, I'm done.  I'm done.
eHarmony will be a non-event in my past.  I refuse to sell myself short in the quest for love.  I will be open to whomever comes way and doesn't set off the internal alarms.  I will continue to live my life and live it well.  I will laugh, cry, spend time with friends, spend time alone, be present, go for runs and walks, pray, cook, read, make music, dance on ocassion, enjoy the moment, travel, learn and hope.

I will be true to myself.

image from here

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

winning the battle - week one

week one has come and gone of the battle. 

thankfully, even though i was on vacation and didn't always stay true to the diet, i maintained and didn't gain any weight.  i worked out every day.  i took my food plan with me, but i was on vacation.

i planned to eat some real food.  south carolina is known for its barbecue and we found a really good place, we also found a really good place for mexican and went out for birthday dessert one night.  so, yeah, i didn't stay true to the diet while on vacation, but i'm okay with that.

i'm feeling pretty good about the first official week of the battle.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

i love the beach

i love the beach.

there is something deep in my heart which opens wide
and just says live here.
this happens every time i am near the ocean
and go for long walks on the beach.
i think i need to do this every day.

you might see some beach dream posts.
because, dreams just don't come true unless you write them down.
the gulls in the foamy surf.

the feeling of sand being dragged out from under my feet by the waves.

sea shells

beach as far as the eye can see...

foamy waves

me, getting my feet wet after a short run.

the view on pawley's island.
i could live here...

the view the other way on pawley's island.
really, truly live here.

the intercoastal waterway and swamp in between the coast and pawley's island.
i could so live here.

these are the women with whom i played this weekend.
we've been there for each other ever since
we were roommates in london almost ten years ago.
we are constantly amazed at how life turns out
and the adventures that come from simply living.
i love these amazing women
and am thankful they are my friends.

photos by me and sd

south of the border - something weird in sc

I-95 is not the most exciting interstate freeway in the world.
(understatement of the year, i know.)
once we got into north carolina, we started seeing signs for....

yes, you read them right.
it's just as tacky as the signs.

we had to stop and take photos with pedro

this other pedro

and this weird purple gorilla.

pretty much, it's tijuana, mexico on crack
and not in a good way.
what a welcome to an otherwise beautiful state.

top images from: southoftheborder.com
photos by sd

Friday, March 12, 2010

walking on the beach

walking on the beach
i heard
the crash of waves,
smothering the sound of traffic
on the other side of the
single sea grass covered sand dune
humans lived, worked and were preoccupied
from the beach where people are.

on the beach side of the sea grass covered sand dune
people stopped to watch waves
roll in.  the water
swelling up, up,
then the moment of hesitation before
the crest falls and curls,
foaming towards the beach.
the sound of water falling, colliding
on itself drowning out the non-beach sounds
and causing my body to sigh in relief and finally relax.

the sound of gulls screeching in the breeze.
the mist at the far end of the grey beach, leftovers
from yesterdays rain.
a dolphin, sleek and grey, its fin sliding in and out of the water,
seeming to keep pace with us as walked.
boys throwing a football, laughing.
girls squealing in the surf as waves crash over them.

a father and small boy carefully measuring the waves
before getting their toes wet.  the boy turning to grin up
at his dad and then gaining courage, charging out into
the incoming wave, only to be surprised and topple over.

an older couple meander barefoot
with their pants rolled up midcalf.
alternating between touching and
keeping within arms length, it's almost
as if
they are on a third or even tenth honeymoon.
they want to be together.
their heads come close in conversation.
they look out to where the waves are
and forget about time.

the smell of salt in the wind.
clouds racing along the sky, finally
breaking to allow
the sun
to warm our faces and tinge them with red.
the water packed sand firm beneath our feet
and broken shells littering our path
and marking the highwater point.

oh, what a morning we had on the beach.
i could almost forget that place on the other side
of the sea grass covered sand dune.

photos by me in myrtle beach, sc, usa

Thursday, March 11, 2010


today is a day when i can choose
who i want to be.
if i want to change or be the same,
full of experience or regret,
strong, happy, content or grateful.
today is full of possibility.

today i can stop and think, go for a walk.
today i can see the horizon ahead and where i want to be,
and turn around and look back on my path
to see where i am from.

today i am grateful for...
who love without judgement,
inspire, support
laugh, cry, hug
are there
push me to be better
hang out
have fun
talk and listen.

who make my life complete
teach me about faith and strength
being true
staying the course
frustrate the heck out of me
inspire me to the end
create joy and laughter

who loves me and i him.
lets me feel him in my life
who forgives and encourages
has a plan
answers prayers
changes my heart and mind
renews my spirit
gives me time
says no and yes
gives me adventure
has patience with me.

today i can
stop and listen
move and do
be quiet and plan
take action
sing and dance
read, laugh
smile, jump
sleep, read
watch, listen
write, share
think, choose
be content
do whatever i want
whenever i want.

today is my birth day,
and so
i celebrate my life
my choices
my being
my friends and family, my god.

today is the first day of the rest of my life.
today is a gift.

image from: ebibleteacher.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

winning the battle

i'm losing the battle with myself right now.

i've been struggling to find the motivation to lose weight and get my butt in gear for three months, and it's just not happening.  i lost a lot of weight when i was deployed and i've now gained it all back, plus a little more.  not good, not good at all.

so, i've now invested in a well known diet plan to get myself started.  i refuse to let money go to waste, so i'm hoping this will be the jump start i need to start the weight loss and change my eating habits.

my work out plan is off to a good start.  i'm logging miles for a trip to the mississippi river in a competition at work to see who can get there first.  it's only 900 miles, so it feels doable.  right?

fingers crossed.

i'm so going to win this battle!

image from: nedarc.org

Monday, March 1, 2010


spring is in the air.
i can see it in the bright blue sky,
in the sunlight that stays longer each evening,
in the melting mountains of snow,
and the green grass starting to raise up towards light and warmth.

big sigh of contentment.

image from here