Wednesday, December 2, 2009

After Dark

On nights, like tonight, when I work until closing time, I don't get home until about 1:00 a.m.

I come home to:
dirty dishes
unfinished chores
a hungry kitty
a sleeping husband
a puppy who eagerly laps my face

First, I tiptoe into the bedroom to kiss my sleeping husband right smack on the forehead, then the lips.

Next, I take the puppy outside to do what he needs to do.

Outside I:
soak up the silence
smile at the sparkling frost
bask in the light of the nearly full moon

After tucking the puppy into bed, I am still full of energy.

This early, early morning I:
put away dishes
washed dishes
folded all three loads of clean laundry
made husband's lunch
cleaned kitty's box

Lately, all my energy comes out to play after dark.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I need to leave for work in 14 minutes and I still haven't put make-up on, done the dishes, made the bed, or folded the two bags of clean laundry that I washed on Saturday afternoon.

Ever feel behind?

I have, however, worked on my memoir, researched for a paper I am working on, read NieNie and CJane, walked the dog, played ball with the dog, had dinner, talked to my mother-in-law, and updated my Amazon Christmas wish list.

Priorities, mine are ever changing and sometimes misplaced.

What about you?

On the Way

Seems another friend of mine has a baby on the way! The baby will arrive at the end of July 2010. Congrats, friend (you know who you are) <3 What a lucky baby to have you for a mom xoxo

So happy that my friend family is ever growing!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Left Alone

Laying in bed last night listening to the dishwasher run, I remembered the first time my mother left me alone.

I was eight years old. We were living in our third, and my favorite, house. My best friend was visiting and we were deeply entrenched in imaginative play. My mother needed to go to the farm down the street for vegetables. Ali and I asked to stay home. My mom wasn't sure about that. We promised everything would be fine and we would stay in the house. After much prodding, my mom relented. After all, she would only be gone 10 minutes or so. "The dryer is running so you may here some noises come from the basement. I'll be back in just a few minutes."

It wasn't long after she left that we heard noises. After a few more minutes we convinced ourselves that it didn't sound like the dryer. We decided someone must be in the basement or trying to get in the house.

Ali and I ran up to the third floor bathroom and hid in the tub. That is exactly where my mother found us whispering to each other when she returned mere minutes later. "I guess we need to wait a little longer until I leave you alone again." she laughed. "No, no, Mom. We're fine like we promised." I insisted.

I can't remember the next time she left me alone with no adult present in the house. Truthfully, I was probably 16.

Lying in bed in the dark I felt alone, floating, suspended in time, and 8 years old all over again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pink Ribbon

Back in September, Mr.B&B and I spent a day on the beach in Marblehead, MA while Pierce the puppy was having his surgery in Lynn, MA.

While we languished (see 1. 3. & 5.) on the rocks, wistfully daydreaming aloud my eyes wandered from rock to rock seeking treasure.

When I first saw it, I was sure it was painted. Upon further inspection, it was clearly all natural. A pink ribbon rock.

Side One:

Side Two:

I know it is no longer Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I had to share this natural phenomenon. Four ladies in my life have valiantly battled this disease. They are strong as rocks and natural phenomenons on the grandest scale. xoxo.


Y'all, I have a part-time job for the holiday season (hopefully longer).

I'll be working at the most lovely store.

Training is tonight from 5 to 11.

Check out my experiences here.

Biggity Back

I'm back. After months in my head, I am back.

I've found that I am more apt to spot the joy in the every day when I am blogging.

I need more joy.

I'm biggity back, back, back! (and I've missed you all)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fighting Fear

Yesterday I took the puppy for a 4.5 mile run/walk. With about a mile and a half to go I ran into road work and had to follow the detour sign. In front of me were a middle aged man and his West Highland White Terrier. As I went to run past, Pierce puppy stopped to play with the Westie.

I said hello and made small talk while the dogs played. The man was from England, but has lived here seven years. We talked about dogs, the Public Option, Europe's impending decline, and how Americans are "too trusting." As we were parting ways he yelled across the field, "You know, you better be careful, a man walking his dog could be a serial killer."

I paused for a moment letting that sink in. "Who says that?" was my internal dialogue.

He turned around and yelled over his shoulder, "I'm not, but you never know."

Pierce and I resumed running and I found myself running a little faster.

You must know, I was along a main road with lots of cars going by in a highly populated area. As safe as safe is going to get when you are running/walking a dog by yourself.

It bothered me that I temporarily ran a little faster, that I allowed the him to get to me, allowed fear to seep in.

I'm a trusting person. I believe that there is good in everyone. My instinct is to be courteous and friendly. I live life with an open heart.

For a moment, that fear-mongering man made me question all of that. I thought, "Maybe I am too naive... maybe I should be more guarded..."

Then my brain and heart connected and compromised. I won't be running on that side of the river for a few days, but I am also not going to let the Brit get the better of me, harden my heart... I will still be courteous and friendly and let Pierce stop to socialize with other pups and, if I am uncomfortable at any point, I'll resume our run with nothing but maybe a little wave good-bye.

I was afraid of a lot of things between the age of 10 and 19.

I know that living in fear is no life at all.

I'm taking the pup for a run right now along the banks of the river, over the bridge, past the willows, along the facades of the former mills, past Mr. and Mrs. Mallard (lucky duckies in Love)... Just like we do every day.

Are you fighting any fears today? How do you let go of them?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Every day, at least twice a day,I take the puppy for a run.

After a run - August 20, 2009

I won't go so far as to say that I love it...

but I am regaining shape, slowly losing some weight, and going further and faster. It also clears my mind and, after running, I am more productive for the remainder of the day. Yippee for running! Hip hip hooray!

Now the big question, how can something that is so good for me literally (physically) be so bad for me figuratively (emotionally)? (am I using literally and figuratively appropriately?...too many ly's)

Most agree, running from your emotions is bad. It can make you physically ill. If you run from your emotions for too long you may do or say something you can't take back. Eventually, the emotions you are running from will catch up to you.

Personally, I find it easier to run physically every day than to face my deepest emotions every day. Emotions are difficult and scary and usually require some type of action in order to achieve resolution. Usually, you have to say something to someone and risk their reaction. I value my relationships so much that this is often difficult. In the end, I recognize that facing your deepest, most difficult emotions is beneficial, but oh the journey...the long, long journey.

5 miles a day is easy for me physically.
How is five miles a day measured emotionally?
10 minutes of crying, 6 hugs, 15 minutes of introspection, and 1 blog post?

Let me know when you figure it out, literally.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Girl Time

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Alison. We had tea and talking at Starbucks. Talking was long over due. There was so much to say.

Then we took a short drive to the mall, a place I rarely visit. We went to Lush for hair care products. Bath and Body Works because I had a gift certificate. Victoria's Secret because she had a coupon for a free pair of panties and $10 of a purchase of $10 or more. Second Time Around, an awesome second hand store.

Inevitably, we spent most of our time (and money) at Anthropologie. We would both like to live in that store. Something about Anthro is so calming and inspiring. It is a visual and textural feast. Prancing around the dressing room in ridiculously amazing frocks bestowing compliment after compliment on each other was delightful. I bought a dress, a skirt, and a top. Alison, six months pregnant with her second son and absolutely radiant bought a top, too. We left so many things we really loved behind. I guess that means we will just have to go back again soon.

There is something so therapeutic about spending time with a girlfriend. Time falls away. Worries are eased. We feel free to be ourselves, without care for what those around us might think of our silly antics or intimate topics of conversation.

Alison, I am so grateful for your friendship and always here for you no matter... Thank you for Saturday!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Around (Water)Town

In the blue light of evening, the puppy and I took a stroll. There is a certain charm to our town. It speaks for itself...

Town Hall and its tree:

A bit of the library. See the lady in the window?:

Old Coca Cola sign:

By the river:

The Charles River

Bench and Flowers

Mills Turned Art Studios

Old art deco(?) facade of town pool


At CVS this morning an employee asked, "Need any help Ma'am?"

At Town Hall, a gentleman held the door for me, "Ma'am." he said as he nodded me by.

At the gas station where I waited for my car to be inspected, "Ma'am, you're all set." the boy not much younger than me proclaimed.

Do I look like a Ma'am to you?

Exhibit A:

Okay, so maybe the glasses are a little "Granny" and I do have some freckles. No wrinkles though and I think the hair is pretty sexy.

Exhibit B:

The corduroy blazer is a little "Ma'am ish", I guess, but the rest looks pretty young and fresh to me.

Exhibit C:

So you can assess my ma'am ish ness from another angle...

I actually looked up Ma'am, short for madam, which is by definition:
"a women of refinement." In my case, this is debatable.

"the mistress of a household" True.

"a woman in charge of a brothel"
My favorite definition. Though not true, it is possible that with the plunging neckline, shape defining jacket, wild hair, and cunning smile, one of the three thought it to be true.

Maybe, Ma'am is not such a bad way to be addressed after all. It doesn't necessarily mean I look old and at least it shows some respect.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Writer

Since I am not taking any classes this semester, I have a hard time answering when people ask, "What do you do?"

I keep house.

I care for my husband.

I read.

I raise a kitty and a puppy.

I jog.

Mostly, I write. Does that make me a writer?

Can I say, "I am a writer." without being a fraud, without feeling like a fraud?

I haven't published a book. I don't write regularly for anyone but myself. I don't get paid to write. Am I still a writer, just an as yet unrecognized talent?


Why does what we do matter so much socially? What kind of a question is, "What do you do?" I often want to answer,"I live." An unexpected answer to what I think is a semi-ridiculous question.

I am ultimately more interested in the who's and why's and how's than the where's and what's.

Maybe I am a writer after all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dr., Dr., Give Me The News

I consider myself a pretty healthy person. I am vegan. I jog/walk 5 or more miles a day. I (mostly) make things from scratch instead of buying processed foods. I go to therapy for mental health.

Pretty healthy, right?

A couple weeks ago I went to the eye doctor.
"Your eyes have stayed the same." she proclaimed.
"Really? This is the first time ever that my eyes haven't changed." I was giddy!
"Well, you are ol... I mean, at a certain point, around your age, it's normal."
Horrified, I was. Old? She stopped just short of saying I'm old? Wow.

A few days later, I was at my new OBGYN.
After the normal pleasantries, she said, "So, you are 28."
Then I heard a stranger with my voice say, "Yes." Like, it was normal. Automatic.
My mind questioned this stranger, "Really? You are 28? How, when did this happen?"
We talked about the possibility of difficulties and dangers of getting pregnant. That, with my health history and age, I should do it sooner rather than later, if it is something my husband and I want. It was then that my mind caught up with the stranger, and slowly accepted that "Wow, I am an adult and my age is ever advancing and with age comes physical changes even if my mind and heart are still 5 years young. I have some serious choices to make."

Sitting in bed with the diagnosis of Bronchitis that has come after two weeks of coughing non-stop, I've been sewing itty bitty things for itty bitty babies that my friends will be bringing into this world soon and feeling nothing but joy. Then I heard it, a faint whisper of hope, a baby's cry, "I'm coming. Just ask for me, pray for me and you could be my mom."

I may be getting older, but my life isn't over. In fact, I could still be immortalized by a child if I wish, if I chose, if I pray... and I may.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Unrequited Love

Pierce looks at Iris.

Iris looks at Pierce.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh, Baby!

It seems everyone around me is pregnant these days. Our upstairs neighbor is due in December. My darling Alison is having her second in January. My sweet friend, Irma, is due in February.

Melissa of "Everything I want to tell you..." is giving away a gorgeous maternity dress from Shabby Apple's Mama Apple collection.

I know that this is a dress any one of them would love to cover her growing curves with.

Enter here!


I am an optimist. I look for the good in every day. I strive for positivity.

Lately, I have struggled to stay optimistic, see the good, and stay positive.

So, I haven't blogged.

My blog is supposed to be a happy place, a positive space. Why infect it with my struggle? Why subject all of you to my darker places?

I believe there is good in everything, that is why. Maybe if I am honest with myself and with all of you, something good will come out of it.


I am three classes and a thesis away from earning my bachelor's degree. I don't know if I want to continue.

After a year in therapy, I stopped going at the beginning of August. I now realize I need it even if it feels like I am going nowhere or wandering in circles some of the time.

I am unsure about everything these days. At least a few tears fall every day.

Still, the optimist in me still gets me up and out of bed every morning with a "Keep trying and it will get better."


Friday, August 21, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Afternoon thought

My heart is full of cushy things and mixed up knots
of colorful strings
that tease and uncoil as I patiently toil
at growing and learning and living
with all this wonderful world is giving
to me and my heavenly heart.

August Review

In Maine, we visit with family and the puppy learns to swim.

At home, men come to repair the foundation.

The puppy gets sick and goes to the ER. I cook for him for more than a week.

There are lots of neglected chores to do.

One of them is a mountain of clothes to be ironed.

I clean out my closet and dresser and drop giveaways in the PlanetAid bin.

Many hours spent weeding gardens and the driveway.

Evenings watching Mr. B&B play softball.

Outings with friends new and old.

Immersed in my novel that is slowly coming together.

Now, I come up for air.

Open Letter to Nie

Last September I learned of Nie and shared her story with all of you.

This past weekend she posted an "after crash" photo of herself and met her goal of hiking the Y on the one year anniversary of the crash.

This is an open letter to Nie:

Dear Nie,
A little less than a year ago, I learned of you, of the crash, and spent my entire Sunday reading your blog from oldest entry to most recent. I fell in love. I kept thinking, "Please, God, this beautiful, pure, amazing, inspiring woman...this incredible wife and mother... she just has to live." I sent you, Mr. Nielson, CJane, and the children lucky pennies and whatever words I could muster up. At Halloween, I sent you a card, decorated my house, and dressed up in costume for the first time in years. A lover of summer, always sad to see it go, I suddenly saw the beauty and God's love in the bold, bursts of Fall colors and the heart-shaped crysanthymum bush which I took pictures of and sent to you. I thought about all of you every day and said many prayers like many people all across the world.

In May, I took my first trip to California (San Francisco) with my husband (I live in Massachusetts) with a layover in Salt Lake City. As we lifted off and I saw the mountains from the air, I couldn't stop staring. Breathtaking. I wondered if maybe that little town down there, tucked into the mountains, was Provo and I was seeing the Y from above without knowing it. I gave a little wave and whispered, "Hi, Stephanie!(and Christian, and Claire, Jane, Ollie, Nicholas, Courtney, Chup, Chief, Lucy, and the rest of your beautiful, amazing family)" I love living near the ocean, but I can now understand why you adore your mountains so.

Today I checked in on your blog for the first time in a couple of weeks and saw your sweet, beautiful face staring lovingly at Mr. Nielson. "She really is alive! Thank you, God! Thank you, thank you, thank you..." and more beautiful than ever, I say. Thank you, Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson, for your spirit, bravery, honesty, inspiration, and so much more. Congratulations on hiking the Y for the first time AC!!!!! I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

With love, admiration, and thanks,

P.S. I have had Lymphedema in my legs and feet since the age of 16. I know all about wearing Juzos. So fashionable ;-) I've learned that the lady makes the outfit <3

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Living and Dying

On July 30, 2008, my father's father died.

Yesterday, nearly a year later, I went to visit my father's mother as she lay dying. Grammy has been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for several years. Recently, she had a bout of Pneumonia and, it seems, never fully recovered. Currently, she is being kept as comfortable as possible while the inevitable takes it's course.

When I received the phone call yesterday, I struggled briefly with whether or not to go visit her. I wondered, might it be better if I remember her as she was? Also, I am a grandchild, not a child, might it not be my place? I decided to go, among other reasons, because not everyone has the opportunity to be with their loved ones at such a time.

Upon my arrival, things were not good. Grammy was in pain and her morphine shot was not ready. There were others in the room, but I stood at the end of the bed and rubbed her feet through the covers. When the nurse arrived, I left to make more space in the tiny room. A little while later, my father and I went in to sit by her. Soon after, my brother arrived and joined us. She was resting seemingly comfortably with her eyes closed. I readjusted the cool cloth on her forehead and ran a damp cloth over her face and neck. Her skin and hair were still soft and smooth as ever. I whispered to her a bit and kissed her on the cheek before I left.

Maybe it is "inappropriate" to share such intimate details, but death is a part of life that we rarely talk about and I think we should be more open about it.

Sitting by Grammy's bed, she looked so small and I tried to imagine her as a child. Though I know her as a grandparent, there is so little I know about her as a person. I remember her as matriarch, always at the center of family gatherings. Her laugh. The taste of her Lemon Meringue Pie. The woman who took our family in when we needed a place to stay and food in our bellies. Brooches, scarves, and aprons at the center of her wardrobe. Picking blueberries on 4th of July.

I know the story of how she met my grandfather. I know about her sister Katherine (died young of cancer) and her brother Joe (died in the War). I know that she spent her first years in Pepperell, Massachusetts. She didn't get her driver's license until she was in her forties. When her kids were grown and my grandfather retired, she started a daycare in her home for school teachers' children.

So many bits and pieces make up a life. For everything I know and can remember, I wish I knew more.

In high school, I had to interview an older member of my family and I chose Grammy. I want to go dig out that interview.

I wish I took the time to get to know her better. The woman lying in the bed. My grandmother.

She is still with us, but it is only a matter of days. She will remain with us, even when her breathing ceases and her heart muscle gives out. Her heart, her family, still beats strongly. That I know for sure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Past is Passed

I keep feeling like I should write about what happened in the past few weeks, but I am not sure where to begin. Is it really interesting or relevant any longer? Do any of you blog friends care that I walked the puppy a million times a day, visited with x & y & z friends, made new friends in the neighborhood?

If I do try and catch up, how do I decide what incidents to write about and what to leave out? What about all of the things that are happening to me presently?

So, I've decided the past is passed. In the spirit of Buzz Lightyear, "To the present and beyond!!!!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Willow by the Cleared Bank

I am fortunate enough to live just 15 or so minutes outside Boston, but still be surrounded by nature. Every day, on at least one of our many walks, the puppy and I take to the Charles River Reservation Walkway.

We pick one of the entrances along Pleasant Street, walk to Bridge Street, cross to the other side of the river, continue to Watertown Square, and loop back to exit the same way we entered.

The lookouts along the river are plentiful.

The dam, with its feathered occupants, is spectacular.

But the place that draws us back time and again is the Willow Tree by the cleared bank. We stand and watch the river rush over the Willow's roots. When the river is high with the rains the drooping branches of the Willow dance along its surface. In sun, our Willow provides a shaded respite. It is impossible for us to pass by without stopping.

I do not see sadness, only beauty and strength in the Weeping Willow. My first reaction is to smile. I believe it may have been misnamed.

The Willow is mysterious, resilient, and adaptable. It even grows, though considerably shorter, in the Artic Circle. The Osage Indian Tribe has a parable about the Willow.

Growing up, I spent much of my time in the woods and along the banks of the pond behind my house. As a child, I remember being asked time and time again if I might like to be a Botanist when I "grow up". It seems I am given to a curiosity towards and love and reverence for trees, flowers, and nature in general. This may sound strange, but do you have a favorite tree? If not, do you have a place like the Willow by the Cleared Bank, that moves you?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back to Blogging

Hi. My name is Alex and I am a Blog-Neglector. It has been 20 Days since I last blogged.

They say admitting it is the first step to recovery.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Despite my neglect, it seems Sandra at Worlds End Farm This and That has generously bestowed the Uber Amazing Blog Award upon me!

It is my pleasure to bestow it upon six others:
If you can't be good, be good at it
Rockstar Diaries
Marvelous Kiddo
Dear Baby: Everything I Want To Tell You
Heatherty Featherty
Trans-Atlantic Adventures in Learning


As for me, I have been busy with my writing. Serafina and Billy, the main characters, insist on telling their stories through me. Maybe I will share a snippet or two with all of you soon.

The puppy has turned my days into blurs of walking, writing and cleaning while he naps, training, and trips to the park. It is joyful, but has been all consuming.

I'm striving for balance and this blog post is a step in that direction.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week Gone By

I can not believe I have not found one single moment to sit down and blog in a whole week!

Sunday - Errands and Housework and Husband makes me birthday dinner one day early

Monday - I turn 28

Tuesday - A Blur

Wednesday - Two appointments

Thursday and Friday - Puppy's first rain days spent mostly inside playing puppy games

Saturday - Groceries, Dad's Day shopping, nearby park with puppy, help husband organize & catalogue comic book collection

And here we are, All! Happy Weekend and Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Recommended Reading

I have so many blog posts I want to write and not enough time to write them all.

Two other bloggers really got me thinking last week.

If you have a chance check out My Rights to Living a Life at Life or Something Like It. It is sure to get you thinking about how you are living your life and how you would like to be living your life. Basically, it leads to self examination of the soul.

Then there is Running Into the Waves at A New York City Life.
"These things that keep coming, these changes are transforming my life, even by just a tiny bit. They are creating paths for the moments that will be lived, the memories that will be created." How can you not want to read more?

All of you touch me every day, get my mind churning, expand my view of the world. A great Big Thank You and hugs and kisses to each and everyone of you! You are special and I feel special just knowing you virtually.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Four-Leaf Clover

Note: Apologies for not writing this yesterday. It was vet day and the pets got their inoculations which threw the whole day off.

On Wednesday, I found my first four-leaf clover. Who doesn't need a little luck?

It has dried over the past couple days, but it is still clearly a four leaf clover.

There has been a lot rolling around in my mind lately as far as what I really want and what my goals are and how I'll go about achieving them, and the like. When I found the four leaf clover I thought to myself, "The universe is trying to tell me something."

Four-leaf Clover Poem
by Ella Higginson

I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for HOPE, and one is for FAITH,
And one is for LOVE, you know,
And GOD put another in for LUCK --
If you search, you will find where they grow.

But you must have HOPE, and you must have FAITH,
You must LOVE and be strong -- and so --
If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck. I've been deeply in need of all of these lately.

It is also said that the leaves of the three-leaf Clover represent the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace.

I'm hoping for:
an end to my schooling
seeing my book come to fruition

I have faith that:
things will work themselves out
there is a greater plan for me
together, two people (or more) can work through anything

I love:
my husband
long walks no matter the weather
being in the moment
the journey

I am loved by:
my husband
my furry loves
myself (most of the time)

I am lucky because:
my optimism is strong
I am loved
I have overcome many obstacles
I am alive and growing

I know that, by God's Grace, all things are figured out in time, but a little luck along the way never hurts.

As Abra Moore sings:
See, I've been thinking it over
It's all just a little too much
You see I've got a four leaf clover
It's gotta bring a little luck

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life's Little Moments

Today I:

Wrote my husband an "I Love You More Than..." love note.

Saw a homeless man and wanted to help him, but he walked on by. Next time I'll have a set of clothes and a paper bag lunch at the ready.

Watched my car almost get hit by an elderly woman driving the largest car I have ever seen in my life. What a wave of relief when the impact did not come.

Sat with a purring cat in my lap for 20 minutes.

Got 20 minutes to myself which I spent reading The Birthdays by Heidi Pitlor. (Remember "Drop Everything And Read" in elementary school?)

Most amazing, I found my first ever four leaf clover which I'll write a whole post about tomorrow.

Sweet Dreams my Blogging Beauties <3

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Grosgrain is giving away a Marseilles Dress by Shabby Apple.

It is dreamy, sophisticated, comfy ("generously fit"), and has a fun full skirt!

Go enter today!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Drowning in Ideas

Not only am I a student, housewife, and dog & cat Mommy, but I am a writer. I have had small pieces published in a local paper, a car club magazine, and my college literary magazine. Not much, but it is something. I have yet to finish a couple of larger projects I am working on, but the ideas have been flowing and the writing has been flowing copiously the past few weeks.

Recently I went to the Newburyport Literary Festival. I heard DeLaune Michel and Ellen Meister speak together about their books which are primarily about the friendships between their characters. Both of them talked about the real life experiences that inspired some of the scenes in their books. I left there all abuzz with ideas.

A long time ago I had a friend. His name was Anthony. One wintery day when we were 7 or 8, he fell in the pond behind my house because he just insisted on pushing an iceberg with a stick and...kerplop! I laid on my belly in the snow with a rake in my hand. He grabbed the handle of the rake and I pulled him in. Then his feet got stuck in the mucky sidewall of the pond. I had to help him relax enough to slowly pull his boot out so I could pull him up and out. Then he went running home to him momma as fast as his frozen feet and legs could carry him. I've caught up with him a few times over the years. Last I knew he was doing special effects make-up for Nip Tuck.

After hearing DeLaune and Ellen speak, I knew I had to write a fictional story that spiraled out from this incident. Two friends and how this one incident effects their lives. What if the boy who is saved goes on to commit a heinous act? What if they come back together after many years? What if he is wildly successful and she is struggling? What if they end up all grown up and living in the same neighborhood with spouses and kids of their own?

And the ideas keep flowing, but they are one thing I don't mind drowning in. Ideas and...chocolate and... affection ;-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Don't Fence Me In

Sitting in the grass and clover of the park, I spied lovely yellow flowers growing between two fences.

I wanted to set them free. Whenever I see anything caged, I want to set it free.

I identified with the flowers. There have been many times in my life when I have felt trapped, stuck in other people's narrow definitions and ideas of success. Even now, I find myself struggling to break free, make my own way.

Slowly, over the course of a few moments, I realized that the flowers, too, were reaching for freedom. The fences limited their growth width-wise, but they were growing up, no limits imposed upon them.

They gave me hope and courage, those little yellow flowers. Whenever I feel boxed in I will look around and find another direction in which to grow. So simple, yet I had never really thought of it before.

What do you do, what helps you to find your way?

Listen to Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters sing "Don't Fence Me In" on YouTube.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How to Lose 25 Pounds... or more

I have been everything from a size 14 to a size zero. Now, I am about an 8/10. Every time I go to the Dr. her first comment is "lose weight" which I know is true, but annoys me nonetheless.

I eat healthy, whole grain, organic, vegan.

I am active.

I feel good.

Doesn't all of that count for something?

Anyway, I have a new diet and exercise plan:

We run around the park, literally, multiple times at least three times a day.

When we aren't at the park, we are playing inside.

During nap time, I do dishes, take a shower, fold laundry, make the bed, etc. Which means little time for snacks and just about enough time to fit in three square meals a day.

Sometimes I nap, too, when he naps, because getting up at 2:00a.m and 5:00a.m. for puppy potty breaks can catch up with a gal. Did you know sleeping burns more calories than sitting around reading a book or watching t.v.?

Oh, and Mr.B&B is helping, too. Tonight we went out for some together time without the pup. Our adventure included walking, frisbee, and swings.

That's that plan. I'll let you know how it works out. Do you have any predictions?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


All wackiest
dreams are following
them _____ and
petting every cool
white fluffy cloud and
mother's words about
Life is to follow your perfect

For more info, go here.


Feels like it will heal my sickness
Independence will clear
but fill my mind I see red
white and blue sounds
like clinking
flowing in the
air taste sweet...

For more info, go here.

"Night Sky"

For more info, go here.


... It taste like an energy drink, It feels like an exploding heart, It sounds like roaring crowd screaming your name, Victory Feels Amazing

For more info, go here.


Color of camouflage, green and black which represents the valuable people who put their fearless lives on the line to protect their cherish country,
Smells brave like a bald eagle coursing for its sufferer, the rattle snake in the midnight darkness,
Tastes like a curious child accepting the vast risk to discover what really is inside the closet,
Feels like a lion in action for marvelous glory preparing to locate and demolish its reinforced competition,
Sounds like Barack Obama forcing his way, using his effective knowledge to get to the _____ being the first African American who really represents the vigorous red, clover white, and the midnight blue

For more info, go here.

"New Life" by Sophia

For more info, go here.

"Bold" by Ari

For more info, go here.

"What I Saw" by Shayene

For more info, go here.

Poetry Prodigies

Across from my house is a middle school full of eager young minds. A couple of days ago, I learned that those eager young minds have some phenomenal teachers.

Lining the sidewalks outside of the school, there is student poetry written in chalk.

I think this is a brilliant idea. It builds student confidence in their work. It expands students' ideas of what school, classroom, and learning are. It challenges students to think about what art is. I just love the concept.

Of course, I took photos of this art installation. They will follow in posts of their own.

Kudos to the students and the teachers!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

Thanks to the new puppy, the Mr. and I have been spending our evenings outside. We sit in our rocking chairs on the porch with the pup on his blanket between us.

There is talking and reading and Nintendo DS playing.

Last night, after frolicking in the clovers, I spied a stunning sky. Had i only my eyes to rely on, I could have believed I was in a foreign land. It reminded me of the sunsets in "Out of Africa" with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
"Out of Africa"

Watertown, MA - June 1, 2009

The enchantment and the brilliance of the colors aren't capture-able even in a photo. It literally brought me to me knees and struck me dumb for a few moments.

A stark reminder to slow down and look around. There is always enchantment to be found.

Just look to the horizon.

You Cannes or You Can't

Bridgitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso at The Cannes Film Festival

The closest I have ever come to Cannes was in 12th grade. Every year my school had a "One Act Festival". All plays were student directed and acted. On a whim, I tried out and got the lead in "Happy Birthday, Girl" by Molly Ann Mullen. There was only one other person in the cast and he had never acted either. I memorized all my lines and got together with him as often as possible to practice, but he was less concerned with all of it than I.
Janette Scott with her luggage and wardrobe

Up on stage, I was going strong until about 10-15 minutes in when he forgot his lines. I tried to get him back on course to no avail. He threw out a line he knew from the final five minutes of the play and couldn't get off stage fast enough. When we got off stage, the student who directed it was furious and deemed it a "total disaster of massive proportions...I am so glad I didn't invite any college admissions officers to see it." I have not acted since.
Jayne Mansfield plays in a fountain

I do love movies, though. Especially old movies with Audrey Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, and the like. So, I was thrilled when I came upon this slide show of "The Golden Age of the Cannes Film Festival" in The Telegraph. All the pictures in this post are...
Simone Silva and Robert Mitchum

a sneak peek.

Monday, June 1, 2009

After the Rain

Last evening, the rain blew through...

...washed away the pollen...

...and gave way to rays...

and rays...

of sun.