Thursday, March 29, 2012

thoughtful thursday: turn away from the world

“For instance, if a man ceases to take any concern in worldly matters, conceives a distaste for common pleasures, and appears sunk in depression, the doctor will say, “This is a case of melancholy, and requires such and such prescription. The physicist will say, “This is a dryness of the brain caused by hot weather and cannot be relieved till the air becomes moist.” The astrologer will attribute it to some particular conjunction or opposition of planets. “Thus far their wisdom reaches,” says the Koran. It does not occur to them that what has really happened is this: that the Almighty has a concern for the welfare of that man, and has therefore commanded His servants, the planets or the elements, to produce such a condition in him that he may turn away from the world to his Maker. The knowledge of this fact is a lustrous pearl from the ocean of inspirational knowledge, to which all other forms of knowledge are as islands in the sea.”
-The Alchemy of Happiness, Imam Al-Ghazali

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

goodbye, penny

my little fishie, penny, died last week. i had known for a few weeks that this was a possibility, and she had stopped eating. still it was hard to come home and find her suffering. i almost didn't have the heart to take care of her myself, and when i finally did she was already gone. i was so glad.

i very much enjoyed having penny with me. for the past year or so she made me laugh with her antics. it didn't matter if i fed her twice a day, she always acted like she was starving, jumping at the food pellets and crunching on them loudly. she would sometimes let me pet her, if i was very patient and waited for her to swim under my finger. she and i would talk regularly about how things were going and what she thought about josiah, the dog.

i was surprised that she lived with me as long as she did. bettas typically live about 15-18 months, so she definitely fulfilled her destiny. she is now helping to feed one of the rose bushes in the backyard. thank you, penny, for all the laughs and for keeping me company.

Monday, March 26, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* it's spring, spring, spring again the flowers are telling me.

* evening motorcycle rides are fun (especially when there is no traffic), followed by a dinner of pupusas eaten outside and it's almost perfect. thanks cc.

* running is good thing. it makes me happy.

* watching the hunger games movie. made me cry. excellent acting and storytelling, and true to the book.

* i love the carillion of the naval academy chapel. at noon it's a serenade of the navy hymn and at six a selection of evening hymns. beautiful.

* looking the evening sky over the past few weeks. it's been fun to watch the movement of the planets and stars leading up to this. so beautiful.

* i bought an avocado tree! i have wanted one ever since i lived in chile. one of the places i lived had one in the backyard. we would eat avocado with toasted fresh bread almost every night. seriously, there is nothing in this world like a tree-ripened avocado. so much more flavorful. heaven on earth.

* i love pulling weeds. any day with time outside in the garden is a good day.

* meaningful conversations with a great friend. thank you for the insights and reassurances that i'm on track. the reminders that god loves me were much needed.

* i love talking with my family. it was fun to talk with my nephews C & L about star wars. their favorite characters are (and this is in order) darth vader, obi wan kenobi, the one with the double edged light saber, young anakin skywalker, luke skywalker, and finally... yoda. great conversation with those two boys about how people can change and be good again. this made a great impression on nephew L. good, good stuff.

* this book made me smile. oh butterfly...

* counting down the days until my mom arrives! this wednesday...

Friday, March 23, 2012

the serendipity of a run

On my third run of the week this morning, which in and of itself is serendipity, I actually forgot I was running for a few minutes. It felt amazing to be in the zone and moving forward without it taking up all the space in my mind.

For you runners out there, you know how it is, the constant inner chatter about breathing steadily, landing just right on my feet, minding the people and dogs, how uneven the sidewalk is, how my feet feel like they're encased in concrete, and how if I moved any slower... It's enough to make a person stop altogether.

But this morning, all that went quiet. It was just me running, and it felt good.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* spring has sprung. my daffodil bulbs are really starting to poke up out of the ground now. they will probably be blooming when my mom comes. yay!

* the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. here's hoping they last until my mom gets here.

* you know that saying, "smile through your tears..." tying up loose ends can be painful. but the feeling afterwards when you know the right thing has happened is a good feeling, even if it's hard to do.

* a quiet birthday dinner celebration for a good friend. thanks for letting me come along and celebrate with you.

* i love the lovely ladies (you know who you are!). we meet up every few weeks at a restaurant, talk problems and share experiences. i'm really excited about our next challenge. i'm so much better for having met these two women. thank you!

* cleaning... spring cleaning to be exact is a wonderful thing. throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. (along with all the glorious pollen.)

* and the birthday celebrations continued with cake!
   - the matinee circus performance was a fun way to start the day on saturday. the clowns were actually entertaining--there was even a hipster clown.
   - cotton candy and a pink wig.
   - cake love is really, really, really good cake. yum!
   - a double, turned triple, birthday party to celebrate alongside two really great friends.
   - i suck at drumming on rock band.
this is my zombie-eating-cake face

three birthday kids really enjoying our cake!

* my roommate's birthday was celebrated over breakfast with a slice of leftover birthday party cake, and cupcakes. i serenaded her and we opened her present. it was a fun way to celebrate her!

* walking to eastern market during the marathon on saturday morning. so fun to watch the runners and cheer them on. next year...

* josiah is turning into a good running companion. he's starting to realize that if he keeps pace with me instead of going all over the place that he can last longer. bet'cha didn't know that i love this dog.

* in relief society at church, we, sisters, are preparing a musical number for easter sunday. it was so much fun to accompany our violinist and the sisters. i love music and our sisters!

* oh, and the absolute best part of the week: seeing a walking miracle come true. a friend, who had a second double lung transplant came home this weekend and was at church on sunday. miracles do happen. god hears and answers prayers. love, love, love.

Friday, March 16, 2012

a day off

i had the day off last friday. 
i spent it exploring a new museum and just generally enjoying the spring weather.

i would seriously love to have dinner with this man.
granted, i probably wouldn't understand much of what he would say, but...

bloomin' daffs and magnolias.... sigh.

the national building museum is beautiful.

the lego room... you can build your own building.

all in all, a very good way to spend the day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

thoughtful thursday: the best parts

           The little unremembered acts of kindness
                                                 and love are the best parts of a person's life.

                                                                      ~William Wordsworth

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

naked trees, ropes and harnesses

here's a glimpse of the birthday weekend fun on saturday morning.
an obstacle course, zip lining adventure through the naked trees of maryland.
it was great fun, and oh so very cold!

all harnessed up.
trying to keep my hands warm.

rope ladders... ugh.

the starting point

seriously, i'm not indiana jones...

really, really high up

grit my teeth and let go

uh, no i'm not walking across on that cargo net.

hey, indie where'd ya get that hat?

yet another bum shot...


it's about letting go.

free fallin'...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* it was the week leading up to my birthday. lots of cards arrived in the mail. birthday wishes were posted to my facebook page. it was soooo nice to feel the love. thank you.

* i caught a glimpse of healing, golden light this week. thank you.
   oh.... and my liver makes me laugh...

* a play by david mamet put on by spooky action theater. it was a great evening with a good friend at ben's chili bowl, an interesting play, and full moon gazing as we came out of the theater.

i love playing with settings on my camera phone.

* a day off spent touring the national building museum--amazing building. a movie and a stop by the library. perfectly relaxing.

* spring is in the air complete with lovely allergies.

* zip lining through the wild woods of maryland when it's freezing cold outside. s'mores for breakfast around a fire. getting caught on film swearing as i work up the nerve to jump and let go. laughing at a friend's reaction to falling off a ledge. me not jumping quite far enough and almost cracking my coccyx. (photos to follow.)

* a long bath. good music. clean sheets. comfy pjs. sleeping with the window cracked. cleaning my house. folding laundry. playing the piano. walking the dog. working from home. reading a book. cooking.

* josiah was gone all week because my roommate was traveling. he came home on saturday afternoon and was in the backyard when i got home. he totally started whining when i came in and didn't stop until i went outside to sit with him and cuddle. i love that darn dog.

* my fish penny is still alive. i've had her over a year now. she's doing well and still making me laugh.

* i love the different ways my family sings happy birthday to me. they all know i'm musically inclined, and they like to torture me. so their renditions are simply hilarious.
    * brother R1's family basically summoned all the chaos in the universe for their rendition, including a loooooong and artistic belch by nephew C.
    * brother J's little boy M, who is almost three, sang to me in the cutest voice ever and then said, "happy dirt-day tristine!"
    * my dad serenaded me as only my dad can. "your nickle's done...."
    * sister B and her two boys sang to me on the phone and on my answering machine. i can listen over and over again.
    * brother R2's family also sang to me, and little Miss L telling me she loves me, just melts my heart every time. nephew G asked if i had eaten any brains for my birthday and i told him no, because i was waiting until i could suck his, 'cause they're the best brains ever.
     * and my mom said, "happy birthday!" when i called to tell her i had purchased her plane ticket to come out for the cherry blossoms. best birthday present ever. (please keep my mom in your prayers--she needs to feel calm, strong and healthy, so she's not so nervous about traveling by herself. thanks!)

* my roommate brought home cheesecake factory lemon raspberry cream cheesecake and linda's fudge cake, and the cutest ever purple kate spade handbag. she played her birthday play list and lit candles for me, and we ate dessert together. it was fun birthday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

things that made me smile this week

it was a rough week, but there was plenty to smile about.

* a gorgeous spring-like day with birds singing, trees and flowers starting to bloom, sunshine and warmth all around. it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

* i recently bought this lovely jacket. it makes me smile whenever i wear it, and everywhere i go, i get the loveliest compliments on it. it's so much fun to wear.

* a friend and i took josiah out for a walk and watched him play at the dog park. he's so funny and the other dogs are fun to watch as well. some are so friendly and while others are so skittish. plus, it was nice to stand with my friend and chat as we watched the stars come out as the sun went down. venus and jupiter are so bright this time of year in the western sky.

* i worked from home one day because i was sick, and in between emails and phone calls on my dreaded blackberry, i also planned out my front garden for this year. i can't wait to get started. it's going to be an explosion of color.

* oh, and josiah is really great at warming up my feet too.

* an early birthday present from a friend, who knows and appreciates my love of star trek. yes, it's a star trek door chime with a motion sensor that sets off a klaxon. this will be great fun in the office! oh, and the hat fit him.

* on friday my roommate left close to midnight to drive up to new york because her baby sister was in labor and she was about to become an auntie again. this meant i got josiah all to myself this weekend. woohoo! while on a walk sunday morning, there was this cute little boy, probably about 18 months old, with blond hair, blue eyes and a brilliant smile who turned the corner in front of us, saw josiah and fell in love. he was soooo cute and excited to meet him. he wanted to pet josiah and instead of reaching out to pet his face, he knew just what to do. he walked over so that he was standing behind josiah's face, and reached out and tentatively touched him with his fingertips. he had the biggest smile on his face as he looked up at his dad. i loved that little kid.

* shakespeare is always fun, and the production of two gentleman of verona i saw on saturday night with some great friends was certainly entertaining.

* i watched this documentary on Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. it's the loveliest film about following your passion and being supported by family and colleagues. i laughed and cried. when i grow up, i want to be like elmo.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

thoughtful thursday: adventure

The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself "Oh now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.  -Thornton Wilder