Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fragment From Fall

In my poetry class last Fall I wrote a somewhat "oh la la" poem which most everyone seemed to find funny coming from sweet ol' me. Cleaning up some papers today, I came across this poem on a stray piece of paper. A poem I never did share in class, I share with you:

I want to kiss you just to know what it feels like.
Two free spirits united.
Speak your words into my mouth so I might roll them around on my tongue.
Save your best lines and brand them on my lips so I might savor them slowly.
Leave trails on my flesh with your fingertips,
top to bottom reminiscent of Chinese characters on rice paper.
Just once might be enough.

Bird on Bough

"The earth is just too big, too beautiful:
I like it small, through a window, catching
the light at day's end. I prefer poems
haiku-size; a pair of binoculars
through which I see one bluebird at a time,
the pink bib at its throat, the lacquered claws
curled upon an apple bough with the fruit
just setting on, a green miniscule globe
in whose meat I can taste Adam and Eve,
the whole sad history of our human grief."
First Stanza of Julia Alvarez's poem Small Portions from The Woman I Kept to Myself

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kitty in the Window

She often looks fierce, but I think this is a smile

Authors are My Rockstars

Forgive the lighting in some of these. No flash photography was allowed.

John Peede and Julia Alvarez

DeLaune Michel and Ellen Meister

DeLaune Michel

Blurry, Far Away, Dark - Anita Shreve and Elinor Lipman

Saturday, 5:43 a.m., Newburyport

Pretty Clouds

Pure Me

Newburyport Literary Festival


On Friday, my friend since we were 12, Tanya, and I went to Newburyport for the literary festival.

We stayed at Essex Street Inn.

After check in, I was a bit of a crazy person trying to kind of plan out the sessions we'd be going to the next day. When my nuttiness subsided, we walked around town and along the water reveling in the sunshine and temps in the 80's. We also picked up some books at Jabberwocky.

Friday night we went to the opening ceremony where Julia Alvarez was interviewed by Jon Peede. I love her and have read nearly everything she has ever published. I wanted to ask her about going from writing poetry, which in many ways is all about brevity, to writing novels which demand just the opposite. There was limited time for questions though, and I put my hand up too late. Then dinner at The Uppercrust where Andre Dubus III and his family sat down to eat at the table next to us. We did not bother them.

Then we went back to the room where we read, giggled, and talked ourselves to sleep. No different than being 12 except... We called our husbands to say good night.


Saturday morning as we were leaving breakfast, Julia Alvarez and her husband we're sitting down to eat. Wow!

Tanya headed to see Julia Glass and Joan Wickersham while I went to see DeLaune Michel and Ellen Meister.

We then met up outside The Firehouse to go see Cheryl Richardson. She was incredible! Just so real, genuine, authentic. She had the lighting guy dim the spotlight he had on her and bring up the house lights so we could all see each other. She asked us to shout out our reason for being there, what questions we were looking to have answered. Several people shouted things out or raised their hands to speak. I asked about having a bunch of ideas, how do you pare them down? How do you know when you have a good one? Later, when she got to a point where she could pull her answer to my question into the conversation, she remembered I had asked it and looked straight at me. I just couldn't believe with all the people who asked things, she remembered exactly who asked what question and where they were sitting and spoke right to them. The man sitting next to me asked a question just as time was expiring. She helped him get to the answer by asking him questions. Then she asked, is that helpful? With a catch in his voice he said, "Yes." Even before his answer, I knew he was near tears. Cheryl has the power to move and to motivate.

Next Tanya and I were off to lunch at Andaman Thai which was empty but for us and Ellen Meister! I asked her what she was reading (Elinor Lipman) and then left her to her lunch. Tanya and I chatted about the sessions we went to separately, Cheryl Richardson, books, writing, etc. over Tofu Triangles, Yellow Curry (her), and Massaman Curry (me). By the time we paid the bill, it was just after 1:00. We tried to see Anita Shreve at Jabberwocky, but it was packed. We decided to see her at 3:00 instead when she was scheduled to speak with Elinor Lipman at The Firehouse about having your book turned into a movie.

It was really hot out. We went to the inn where our car was parked, changed our clothes in the parking lot somewhat discretely, and window shopped. Among the fascinating items we encountered: Invisible Underwear. We felt the sample on the cover of the box and wondered how on earth it stays on the body.

2:00 brought Young Adult Poetry Slam. Performers were between the ages of 13 and 24. They were amazing! One of the performers was gutsy enough to sing her poem!!!! I was also please to see that three of the seven performers were male. As much as I love Teen Voices and all of the poetry performances the girls put on, it was nice to be at an event where males were welcome and to hear what the boys had to say in their poetry.

After round one of two, we ducked out to get over to The Firehouse for Anita Shreve and Elinor Lipman. After their talk on "From Fiction to Film", I met Anita and she signed her most recent book, Testimony, even personalizing it for my grandmother who I intend to send it to. After what must have been a very long day for her, I appreciated it immensely.

The closing ceremony wasn't until 6:30. We decided to get sorbet and head out.

Great weekend! Great Festival!

403 Forbidden

That is what is says when I click on the links to the blogs I love. WHY? My computer? Google? Blogger?

I don't know, but I am sure am sad... and determined!

Forbidden? Please... I must know.

UPDATE: Blogger is over being difficult. Must just have been having a bad day. Maybe just giving me a hard time for being away so long. Blogger, I am sorry and I will never go away for more than 2 days at a time without giving you advanced warning. PLEASE NEVER FORBID ME AGAIN! Love, Alex <3

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary.

We had breakfast together and talked about what we were doing two years ago.
When Mr. B&B got home, we ate dinner together and talked about our marriage.

Then we made brownies.
While the brownies baked, we watched our wedding video.
We ate brownies.
We called people who were in our wedding.
Then bed where we talked ourselves to sleep.

Simple, but special.

Monday, April 20, 2009

On this day...

two years ago, I was at my parent's house watching my mom whirl around in a cleaning frenzy, answering phone calls from friends and family and florist, firming up final details. Around 4:30, I slid on my green slip dress, tugged my blue shrug over my shoulders, and headed to the church for the rehearsal on the eve of our wedding.

I still can't believe it has been two years.

This morning as Mr. B&B and I stepped out on the porch he sighed and said, "Two years ago today I was playing golf with my dad..." Then he slipped his arm around my waist and we kind of stood there for a minute, quiet, taking in the warming spring day, being in the moment.

Then off to work he went. We do, after all, have bills to pay and not everyone accepts love as payment. <3

After two years, I wonder:

Am I living up to his expectations as a person? as a wife?

How have I changed in the past two years? For the good? For the worse?

I think often spouses forget to ask each other these deep down questions, voice these deep down worries. I think maybe our marriages would be better if we did.

One of the things about marriage people forget to tell you?
A good marriage is hard work.

Recently I spoke with two dear friends living on opposite sides of the marriage spectrum. "Friend A" is facing struggles. "Friend B" is working to proactively prevent struggles. I love them both dearly. They are both amazing women. They both have husbands who have never been anything but nice to me. Both had beautiful, joyous weddings. Friend A has been married two and a half years. Friend B, near double that. Both friends are the same age.

I talked to A a couple of weeks ago. I asked her how she and her husband were doing. "We're a mess!", she exclaimed. In her words they are "living separate lives under the same roof" in spite of her ongoing efforts to improve the situation which she recognizes she can not do without his cooperation. Eventually, I point blanked asked her, "Do you think you are getting to a point where you will give up on the marriage?" She surprised me with her answer, "I did not get married to see what it was like or try it out for a little while. I got married because I want to spend my life with him and there are ups and downs and I am not giving up on him or on us." She said it with such conviction and I was stunned and proud of her.

Since it seems their biggest struggle is with communication and spending time with each other, I suggested something Friend B had just told me about.

B and her husband recently went to a marriage retreat. I asked if they were having challenges. B said they are doing just fine, but it never hurts to do things that are geared toward strengthening your marriage. They saw the retreat as an opportunity to really connect with each other while learning from some long married marriage masters. After the retreat, B told me about this wonderful, fairly simple, free-if-you-want-it-to-be exercise for improving their marriage.

Materials needed:
eight different colors of construction paper
2 pairs of scissors
receptacle for construction paper strips (ex. butter tub, sock, hat, candy dish...)

The exercise:
1. Each person picks four pieces of paper. 1 color for spring, 1 for summer, 1 for fall, 1 for winter.
2. Separate from each other, write down activities that you would like to do with your spouse for fun during each season and write on appropriately colored paper. Anything from "a walk around the block holding hands" to "wander around the art museum".
3. Keep the things you have written down secret from your spouse.
4. roll up strips of paper word side in and put in receptacle
5. once a week, pull a strip out of the receptacle and do whatever the strip of paper says is the activity for you to do together that day. If it is her turn this week, it is his turn next week and you keep alternating.

Result: You will spend some amount of time together each week and will probably talk with each other more which makes for a better partnership.

Wow, that was harder to describe than I thought and I am still not sure if I am describing it correctly.

This weekend, Mr. B&B and I decided to pick two different colors of paper.
Me: Pink
Him: Orange
I wrote down ten things I would like to do with him.
He wrote down ten things he would like to do with me.
If we make it 20 weeks, we will fill out more strips and keep going.
I am so excited for the surprise fun that is in store for us!!!!!

It seems the key is communication.

As we, The B&B's, head into our second year of marriage, do you have any advice for us?

P.S. The fun post comes tomorrow with wedding pics galore :-)

Marvelous Moms

Mother's Day is coming up on May 10th. For a chance to win one of 11 amazing gifts for mom, go to The Meanest Mom's blog here and comment.

Mr. B&B and I will be in San Francisco this Mother's Day. Oops...
We both have great moms, though. We wouldn't be here or have each other if it weren't for them. We will celebrate when we get back.

I have lots of moms in my life.

My mom who gave up her teaching career to be a stay-at-home mom and then bravely, eagerly, and successfully returned to said career 16 years later.

My mom-in-law who raised her son to be the man of my dreams and has always made me feel a part of the family.

My Grandma who was one of the few working moms of her time, the first female supervisor at a very large well-known company, and began her college degree at the age of forty and finished it four years later despite having to work full-time all the way through.

My Grammy who, after raising her six children, ran an in-home day care. She and my grandfather also, without judgment, welcomed their children back to their home when they were grown with families of their own, but hit hard times and needed a place to live.

My friend Alison, the first of my friends to have a baby. She is an amazing mother to Alexander. She has shown me how fun motherhood can be.

My best friend's little sister, single mom to Landon. She works full-time, has earned her associates degree, and will be working toward her bachelor's degree at a well-known college in Boston come Fall. Her sister is very proud of her and I think she is remarkable.

There are all kinds of moms out there and all are worth celebrating.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday Night with the B&B's

Soccer and swings in the park next door.

Dinner of baked pasta mixed with sauce, peas, broccoli, carrots and vegan mozzarella.

Cotton Candy Clouds.

Driving with the sunroof open singing "Love is a Battle Field" a capella.

Trip to Lizzy's for ice cream.




Meandering around More Than Words.

Driving with the sunroof open while laughing lots.

Stars in the clear sky.

They are there even though you can't see them in the picture. Trust me.

PJ's and a movie on the couch at home with the kitty.

Just right!

Friday, April 17, 2009


All week I have been craving a Coffee Tofutti Ice Cream cone with sprinkles from Lizzy's.

For the record, where I come from Sprinkles are always multi-colored while Jimmies are chocolate sprinkles.

Anywho, I wasn;t craving cupcakes until I saw this post from Miss Jane. You have until Monday to enter her Give Away of a three Cupcake Kit from Saint Cupcakes, a Portland based bakery which ships Cupcake Kits all over the country.

Yummy! So many flavors of cake! So many flavors of frosting! So many flavors of sprinkles! So much fun to be had when they arrive!

Fill one of their vegan cupcake options with coffee Tofutti and I am a happy, happy girl.

Beck, Jer, and Ethan

This week was Button Week on CJane. Today she highlighted her in-laws, Beck and Jer who have a biological son Ethan and are in the process of trying to adopt.

After reading their story on CJane and visiting their blog, I could not help falling in love with them. Their button is now in my sidebar.

If you are considering adoption
or know someone considering adoption
or know someone who knows someone who is considering adoption,
please consider sharing Beck and Jer's story, blog, and agency profile with them.

I don't know them personally, but if I, God forbid, was ever in the midst of making a decision about my unborn child who I knew I was not in a position to properly care for I believe I would be so glad to find Beck and Jer.

Shabby Blogs

Check out the new background, new sidebar button, and new "blinkie"! They are all courtesy of Shabby Blogs. Fancy and FREE!

Yes, F-R-double E, FREE!

They offer background for 2 column and three column blogs, blinkies, buttons, tag sets, and headers.

Thanks to Heatherty Featherty for bringing Shabby Blogs to my attention.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Winston the Wonder Dog

Mr. B&B and I have been further discussing getting a puppy.
In earlier discussions I had been specific about wanting a Shih Tzu.
Mr. B&B has never had a dog, but he likes cats. I thought a small dog would appeal.

Sunday morning he informed me that he has come to the conclusion that he isn't opposed to getting a dog, but he thinks he would prefer a breed that looks more like a dog. So, we looked at the website of a breeder my family knows. She breeds Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

(Via thriftyfun.com)

Of the three, Mr. B&B likes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the most. We are going to visit the 13 week and 8 week old Cavaliers on Sunday. We are just visiting, but not yet taking one home with us. We will visit, discuss, and get back to the breeder.

In doing my research on the breed, I met Winston on YouTube. He is amazing! He can even back up!

"Check Engine"

Last Wednesday I sent a big check to the bank to pay off my car loan.

Not long after, the "Check Engine" light went on in my car.

We checked the gas cap, cleaned the air filter, and went to AutoZone to have the computer codes read.

We finally gave in and brought it to a shop a block away from us. They told us that they could not diagnose the problem because there are aftermarket parts on my car (performance suspension and exhaust) that they were not willing to touch because they do not have the expertise. They went on to inform us that they did find an unrelated problem. My left rear brakes were no longer working and had not been for some time and the rear right brakes were near to giving in, too.

I felt incredibly negligent. I mean, I drive my car rarely and go very easy on it. I never heard any squeaking or felt anything amiss when braking. How could this be?

We told them to go ahead and fix the brakes. Roters, pads, and calipers. Lots of time. Lots of money.

Now, without explanation, the check engine light is no longer on. Let's hope it remains this way.

Wouldn't it be nice if people came with "Check Engine" lights? We would all be a lot more healthy physically and mentally.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Train Man

To the tall, blond, blue-eyed, 20-something man on the red-line to Alewife at approximately 5:30 this evening...

Thank you.

Thank you for looking me in the eye and offering me the one empty seat in the car before claiming it for your own.

It may have been because I looked exhausted and old.

It may have been because I was carrying a bag, a clutch, and my raincoat.

It may have been because I was in high heeled boots.

I like to think it was because I looked adorable today in knee-length black shorts, gold ruffled top, and fitted denim jacket with my wavy hair cascading down my shoulders.

Whatever the reason, thank you. You restored my faith in humanity and plain old made my day.

Dynamic Duo

By Wendy Whitacre - Blue Lily

I have been a fan of Wendy, the one woman show at Blue Lily, for some time now. She just announced that her husband will now be working with her.

By Tyler Whitacre - Blue Lily

How cool is that?!?!?!

I wonder if Mr. B&B and I could ever do that, work so closely day after day... I think we would both have to work harder on our patience... which we should probably do anyway...me especially...

Do you think you could work with your husband? Do you? I am fascinated.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing more incredible work from the dynamic duo of Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Mom

had this to say about Easter:

"It was fun watching you cook, just like a 'big girl'--LOL! It's still so hard for me to remember you're a grownup."

Just for reference, I will be 28 in a little more than two months.


The above is our joint Easter goodie bag from Mr. B&B's parents. Yes, I broke into the Peeps and all their sugary gooey outrageousness already.

We had a very relaxed, grown-up Easter this year. We got to my parent's house early. I prepared vegan pancakes which hubby and dad ate and tofu scramble which people just looked at curiously. The dog tried the tofu, but spit it out after licking the yummy peanut sauce off of it. Then my dad made omelets and bacon for my brother and husband. We hung around and talked current and life events. Mom and I put together Easter baskets. I sliced vegis for dipping and fruit for fruit salad. We all ate some more. Mid-afternoon brought pork tenderloin, potato salad, fruit salad, and macaroni salad for the omnivores and more tofu scramble for me. Very low-key.

Around 5:00 we drove 15 minutes to husband's childhood home to visit with his mom and dad. We spread out on the couch, chatted, and watched the Masters golf tournament.

At home, we wasted no time putting on pj's and heading to bed.

Today Iris the kitty has claimed my chocolate scented bunny for her very own.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Singing in the Rain

Last night Mr. B&B and I walked to the asian fusion restaurant two blocks away from our house for dinner. It was raining. I brought my Oilily umbrella.

As we chitter chattered under the umbrella, we passed an 8 or 10 year old boy sitting on his front stoop. He started singing, "under my umbrella, ella, ella eh eh eh..."
I joined in. Impromptu and too fun. He made my day.

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Jenny Han of Longstockings is having a contest on her personal blog. Write a Haiku about summer for one entry. Spread news of the contest on your blog for another entry. Prize: An advance copy of her latest Young Adult Fiction book "The Summer I Turned Pretty"

My haiku:
Sun on bare shoulders
Lush green grass tickles bare feet
How I love summer

Check it out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nature Poets

Yesterday we read poetry to each other in class.

Emerson. Frost. Whitman. Sarton. Oliver. Booth. Wagoner. Mora. Silko. Harjo.

Today I'll share one with you:

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
-David Wagoner

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Splish Splash

via treehugger.com

I'm taking a shower and heading to my 4:00 class. I'll try to have as much fun as this little one.

Yes, I was a-splishing and a-splashing
I was a-splishing and a-splashing
I was a-moving and a-grooving...

-Bobby Darin

Best to Believe

Confession: I skipped Teen Voices Thursday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I was feeling overwhelmed. There were also some things on my mind regarding Teen Voices that I wasn't sure how or if I should express to the editor. Even though I know avoidance is bad, I retreated anyway. Don't worry, I am working it out in therapy! :-)

Anyway, yesterday the editor and I met for coffee near the office. She is a really great person, easy to talk to, and firm, but understanding. I was anxious because facing things I have been avoiding is a major change in behavior for me. I was not afraid or anxious about the editor, but about the change, even though I know it is for the better.

While I sat at the table waiting for the editor to get her coffee, I heard Nat King Cole crooning "Smile" over the Starbucks sound system. I smiled. Anxiety washed away. I believe the universe knew just what I needed to hear and spoke through Nat.

Everything went well with the editor. My role is more defined. I know where I fit. I have been assigned specific work. We also determined an end date for my internship. She's done the same with my fellow interns. With this structure in place, things are already getting much better. After coffee, we went to the office where I completed post-production for the online magazine and began editing my interview with Liz Funk which will be in the May online magazine. I left at 5:30 as per the new rules.

I have learned it is best to believe. Believe that if you are honest with people about your concerns and needs, they will respond positively or, at the very least, be willing to come to a compromise. Believe in yourself and your value and your ability enough to speak up. Believe in the power of the universe, even in the form of Nat King Cole's voice.

Believe what you need to believe to get yourself through the day and a day at a time it will get better.

Bye, bye blues.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The dog equivalent of an icecream cone with sprinkles.


So, once upon a time I started a blog. Then I started reading other people's blogs. First I met this radiant lovely, Melissa, of Stay Forever Sunday. Next, independent of meeting Melissa, I met this incredible talent and dandy of a lady, Julie of Tangobaby.

When Julie sought subjects for her I Live Here: SF project, I instantly thought of Melissa. They were both interested in working together. I virtually introduced them via email.

Here are the MAGICAL results of their connection:
M&J on Tangobaby
M&J on I Live Here:SF
M&J on Stay Forever Sunday, twice
M&J plus B on Stay Forever Sunday

I dare you not to smile!

Beauty in Imperfection

I have to admit, I have been feeling a little bit down the past couple weeks. I've been struggling to keep up with just about everything which only exacerbates the blues. Usually I turn to writing to find my way out. Not until now have I been able to reveal this imperfection of mine to all of you. Trust me, there are many other imperfections where that came from. I am perfectly imperfect!

In spite of the blues, I am the eternal optimist, the seeker of the silver lining, the lady looking for the lesson to be learned. So, where is the beauty in the blues?

There is beauty in feeling, in being able to feel. Finding my way through the feelings is a gift.

There is beauty in recognition. Being able to identify my feelings and accept them instead of dismissing, ignoring, or avoiding them is a huge step.

There is beauty in vulnerability. Talking about this, seeking support from my husband and dearest friends, and letting them help me takes courage.

There is beauty in knowing I am imperfect. We all are. It is what makes us human. It is what makes us each uniquely who we are.

Inspired to celebrate your "imperfections"? Visit Marvelous Kiddo where Leigh is giving away a Beauty in Imperfection ring by Barbara Polinsky. Enter to win here!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Elder Relations

My Grandma had her birthday yesterday. I was at the library doing school work all day. By the time I got home and settled it was after 9:00 P.M. That was not the time to call Grandma who was certainly asleep by then.

Before entering the library today, I called Gram. We had a long conversation about her birthday, various family members, school, and how we think about each other often, but rarely get to see each other or even just talk on the phone.

I remember my mother talking to her grandma every Saturday night after 4:30 Mass. My mother always said she wished she had started doing that a long time ago. They would chat for 30 minutes or so and catch up on recent happenings before saying "Talk to you next week!" To have that connection is so important, I think. I know it benefited my mother and my great-grandmother.

Yesterday I wrote about aging and included a bit about our youth obsessed society. Not only is there an obsession with looking young, there is also a tendency to ignore the elderly. We hide them away in nursing homes or a "55+ community" (Note: I do NOT consider 55 elderly) and visit them only if we are related to them and even then only sometimes and sometimes not at all.

Then there is the fact that people are living longer, fuller, healthier lives. Magazine covers pronounce "50 is the new 40!" We also have major medical advances happening all the time which prolong life. You can receive retirement benefits at 65, but often people keep working partly because they want to, partly because they have to, partly because they have so many years ahead, at least 20 or 25 and often 30 or more!

My mom is a few months away from 56 and my father is a few months into 66. They both work, walk the dog, go out to dinner, and are involved in civic organizations. They are very much a part of society. My father's grandparents didn't live to be much older than he is now. My father's father passed away last summer. My father's mother, at the age of 86, is suffering with Alzheimer's, but still alive and responsive in her own way. My mother's grandparents lived into their 70's and 80's. My mother's father is 80, and her mother 76 and they show no signs of slowing down. History coupled with medical advances indicates that my parent's will be around a very long time.

So, why are we as a society not paying more attention to or showing more respect for the older generation?

Gram and I will be talking again this time next week. Maybe I'll ask her.

Father-in-Law Turns 60

Some photos of the table set-up. No people photos as I am protecting the innocent.

Guest of Honor's Place Setting complete with "60" eyewear and pin.

Length of the table

Guest place setting. The favor was Jawbreakers & Gobstoppers, the birthday boy's fav.

Menu cover.

Peanuts, snack mix, and flavored olive oil for bread dipping.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #156 - Aging

Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus

My father-in-law turned 60 years old yesterday. We surprised him by gathering a small group of family and friends at Kirkbrae Country Club where he and my mother-in-law have dinner every Friday night. It was a lot of fun and I'll post some pictures soon.

Sitting at the table last night with a group of people age 19 to 81 really got my mind churning. There was lots of wisdom whirring around the table. There was lots of advice being sought and dispensed. There were lots of people just being people. Age disappeared. Age didn't seem to matter. Age was being celebrated and all were celebrated no matter their age.

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I answered without a thought, "now." - David Grayson

I believe in living in the moment. If you can not find happiness, something positive, in the present moment, you will surely age before your time.

I am not saying this is easy or that I achieve this all the time, but it is something to strive for, something to always attempt to put into practice. Eventually it becomes automatic, I am finding.

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.
- Victor Hugo

My grandmothers are very different, but equally amazing women. Looking into their faces, it is impossible not to grin, too see their victories, their lives in the lines. They're simply adorable in every way. Adorable: to give homage or worship to someone or something.

My maternal grandmother is the one who has most shown me that "unspeakable dawn in happy old age" with her many travels, endless curiosity, and incurable laughter. She has had her share of medical and other issues, but she keeps going and she makes the most of every day. I still have trouble believing she is so near to 80.

My grandmother-in-law has also shown me the dawn. For her 80th birthday, she took her 2 sons and their spouses on a two week trip to Paris and Rome. Soon she'll be 81 and shows no signs of stopping.

The other day Mr. B&B and I were driving. We stopped to let an elderly couple cross the street. They were walking arm in arm, close together. We looked at each other and smiled. "Yes, Love, we will stroll the sidewalks when we are adorable old people, too." said my husband. "Amen." said my heart.

"Miranda: Whatever happened to aging gracefully? Carrie: It got old.”
- Sex and the City

Our culture's obsession with youth boggles my mind. Tens of billions of dollars per year are spent on cosmetic surgery in the United States alone. A Google search for "anti-aging products" yields 7,460,000 results. Women starve themselves to the point of looking pre-pubescent, even skeletal. It is dangerous.

Give me wrinkles and gray hair and experiences I'll never forget. Give me growth, creativity, and fan the flames of the spirit of my five year old self burning bright inside me. Give me a life well lived. Let me savor every moment while it lasts.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Budding Blooms

It's Spring!

Rain has been abundant! As Mr. B&B said last night, "April showers..." and I replied "Bring May flowers!"

When I was little I used to think rain brought boats... You know... the Mayflower...? I was a little confused, but I have lived in Massachusetts all my life and we often went to Plymouth to see the Mayflower so my thought process wasn't completely daft. And rain and the ocean and...

So, anyway, speaking of May flowers, the beginning of them are making their debut in our front garden.

The birds outside my window have been serenading me all day, too.

It is truly Spring. A new beginning.