Saturday, May 30, 2009

Craig's List Lust

I was perusing Craig's List Boston for the perfect piece of laundry area furniture, when I found these:

Five, painted and reupholstered, antique Chippendale chairs. $550 for 5.

Nice to dream a little dream once in awhile!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For the Birds

Two days of wet weather have brought the worms and bugs to the surface of the earth. The birds are chirping, singing, and flocking.
All day, bird song.
You can't step outside without seeing at least 6 birds with fat worms and other bounty stuffed in their beaks.
I feel like a fairytale princess.

I thought I thought I felt like Cinderella, but I wasn't sure. So, I Google searched.

This amazing painting is Cinderella and the Birds by Scott Gustafson

I also found a sweet song by Birds of Wales on YouTube called Cinderella (has nothing on you).

I wasn't convinced it was Cinderella I was thinking of. So, I searched Snow White. Turns out she also had bird friends.

Snow White on the balcony by Jim Salvati via Sanders Art Studio

So did Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty Singing with the Birds by Jim Salvati via Sanders Art Studio

Since all princesses seem to have bird friends, I guess I must be a Princess. Princess of the Birds with Stuffed Beaks.
Someone want to paint or sing about me?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy Board

The whiteboard, cork board, combo above my desk is busy. I've been staring at it a lot the past couple days because the office is where the puppy resides for now. Hope you don't mind, but I am going to spend this post organizing it.

First, Alison's number needs to be put it my cell phone...


Second, I went to the WAM! conference in May. It is about time I erase the dates from the board...


Third, when Mr. B&B was on the phone with his mom the other day talking about a yard sale she is going to have, I made a note on the board of a newspaper she could advertise in. The info has been passed on. I can erase it...


Forth, a couple weeks ago a title and idea for a children's book came to mind. I jotted on the board. I should rewrite it neatly in now clear space...


Next, a note about cost of having man who did our blinds put curtains on front and back door and window in our shower. I made an appointment with him and he never showed. I called him and he never called back. We did the shower window ourselves. I should erase and replace with, "Get rods and curtains for doors"...


Scrawled in the tiny left margin are names:
Salvia, Scillia, Sage, Willow, Blossom, Zinnia
I like flower names.
Often they make good names for non-flower items and individuals.
I've recorded them here which means I can erase them from the board.

The rest is important:
What I need to do to graduate from school.
Motivational quotes.
A photo of a favorite author and his wife torn from a magazine.
A small article titled "Mastering Time Management" given to me by my mother.
A spare key
A 2008 First Night Boston button.
Einstein's "Three Rules of Work".

I wonder what all of this stuff says about me.
What would I think if I saw this board in a stranger's house?
Who is this person?
Would I like him/her more or less based on the board?
Would I be able to tell if the board belonged to a male or female?

Basically, would/do I like myself?

I'm not sure, but I do know that right now my self would really like to sleep.

Good night and sweet dreams!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One for the Ages

Mr. B&B and I hung out with a variety of different people on different occasions this weekend. In every group, the topic of age and aging came up. I never really think about my age. I just keep blazing my own trail.

Saturday night we joined Mr. B&B's extended family at a dinner celebrating his sister's 21st birthday. Of course, we all spoke vaguely about our 21st birthday parties and joked about how long ago they were. Then people got around to talking about when Melissa was born and how long they have all been married and "Where did the time go?" I wanted to scream, "Instead of moaning about the past, think about how you want to spend the rest of your time on this planet!" Eternal optimist, glass half full girl, I am.

Sunday afternoon and evening, we went to a party in Mr. B&B's hometown. It was actually thrown by two people I went to middle and high school with. Oddly enough, the best man at our wedding worked with the guy I know from school. Mr. B&B knew a lot more people at the party a lot better than I did. Inevitably, I was hanging out with our best man for most of the party. At the end of the night he and I were filled with randomness and got to talking about ex's. I told him I admire how friendly he is with one of his ex's after all of the messiness at the end of their relationship. He replied, "We were just 19 year old kids. It was ten years ago. We've gotten over it." That hit me head on. If he was 19 ten years ago, I was 18 ten years ago. I suddenly felt what the people at Melissa's birthday party must have felt. Yeah, those people I wanted to yell at. So, I yelled at myself.

When I turned 25, my younger and only brother called and said, "You're almost 30." What is this anxiety we attach to numbers? Why do we give them so much power over our lives? Maybe I feel a bit more freedom from them because I have done things unconventionally, on my own time table. Just try and make the most of every day, I say. Some days we have more to give than others, but give it all you got, whatever it is you've got to give.

Sunday evening, I talked to a long time friend of the family, in part to wish him and his wife Sherrie(my matron of honor), a happy 23rd wedding anniversary. I was the flower girl in their wedding and I wore a magnificent black and white dress with a gigantic twirly hoop skirt which I l-o-v-e loved. Joe said, "I've known you all your life, kid. I'm gettin' old." I have no words to say how grateful I am to still have people in my life who have known me since conception and are not blood relations. It's outstanding.

Monday, Keith and Alison brought Alexander to our house and we all munched on food and played on the playground. Keith and Alison are expecting another baby (or babies) in January. I remember when they found out they were pregnant with Alexander. I hope that Brad and I get to be Alexander and his siblings "Joe and Sherrie".

We're born. We grow. The cycle continues. Age after Age after Age.

To life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pierce is Home

We brought the puppy home this afternoon! He is sleeping peacefully in his crate. I don't want this blog to turn into "all doggy all the time" blog. To prevent this, I have created a blog for Pierce (we changed Derby's name). Since he is named after "The Captain and The Truth Paullllllllllllllllllllllll Piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeerrce" of the Boston Celtics, his blog is called The Captain and the Truth.

Visit him here for daily posts.

Our New Addition

Yesterday, when adopting Neyland fell through, Mr. and I decided not to give up. We saw online that Save a Dog in Sudbury had some adorable terrier mix pups and they just so happened to be having a meet and greet event from 1 to 3.

When we got there Shirley greeted us and sent us out to see the 10 week old pups. We visited with Dozer, Derby and Ridley. It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Dozer was too exhuberant; Ridley was too shy; Derby was just right. The adoption is pending. If all goes well with our references, we will bring Derby home on Tuesday.

Thanks for your positive thoughts! xoxo

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Praying for a Puppy Miracle

Yesterday at 4:30p.m.I sent in a puppy adoption application for Neyland.

He is a 12 week old beagle mix puppy.

At 7:30 I got a phone call from Vickie, the head of Rescue Angels. She said she had been waiting for the perfect application for Neyland, and we were it. She and I talked for 30 minutes or so. I told her that because my husband has not had a dog before, we would like to meet Neyland before bringing him home. She told me to meet her at Woof & Whimsy this morning between 11 and 1. I said we would be there first thing. She said she would bring all of the papers down for us to sign. I said that would be perfect.

At 11 this morning we walked in and instantly fell in love. After cuddling Neyland for 10 minutes, we said "O.K. bring on the paper work." Vicki then informed us that there had been a mix up and that there was one other couple who had applied before us and was coming down to meet Neyland today. After meeting them, she would reassess and give us a call by tomorrow either way.

So, we are waiting and we can't stop thinking about him. He belongs with us. We just feel it in our hearts.

I know this isn't totally major in the big scheme of things, but it is major to us. If you could, please keep us in your thoughts and send good vibes our way we'd be forever grateful.

Many thanks! We will keep you posted. xoxo.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I have read three leisure books in the past week and I am pretty excited about it.

First, I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This memoir was a New York Times Bestseller and tells the story of the Jeannette's life with her siblings and vagabond parents. It was simultaneously inspirationally moving and strangely horrifying. Though it is Jeannette's truth, at times it reads like fiction which helped this reader to feel just far enough removed, at times, to be able to look at things objectively and gain some understanding of people one might not be able to feel for otherwise. Achingly beautiful and stunningly real.

Second, I read The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond. I picked this up at Habitat Books in Sausalito because I wanted something that took place in San Francisco and was written by a San Francisco author. The owner, Sharon, was incredibly helpful, friendly and even sent me home with a list of a few other good San Francisco area writers. I was not disappointed by this work of fiction narrated by a soon-to-be step-mom who loses her step-daughter-to-be one foggy morning on Ocean Beach. You are with Abby every step of the way just hoping and praying that she is able to find Emma and put the life she was about to have back together. A truly excellent and haunting book.

Finally, after two fairly heavy reads, I picked up 3 Willows: the sisterhood grows, a YA novel by Ann Brashares who also wrote The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Last Summer (of You and Me). As a fan of The Sisterhood series, I wasn't sure I would enjoy this "sisterhood part deux", but I was pleasantly surprise. Brashares tackles serious issues facing teen girls today and she handles them in a delicate way. Parents separating. Not getting exactly what you want. Making the most of all opportunities. Starting to date. Eating disorders. Loneliness. Cliques. Changing friendships. Alcoholism. Death of a sibling. All of these subjects and more are addressed. I think it would be an excellent book for mothers to read and discuss with their daughters in order to open a dialogue about these sometimes touchy subjects.

The Trifecta. My To-Be-Read shelve will be empty sooner rather than later.

Have you read any good books lately? I'd love suggestions!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swing to Work


Swings on BART trains.

Yet another reason to love San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cause for Celebration

You know you're growing up when... you need a cause for celebration. When you're little, EVERYTHING is worth celebrating even if you just do it with mud pies, pretend tea, and 15 of your closest stuffed animal friends. O.K., I know I am still young (28 next month) and that my inner child is very much alive, but I am feeling a bit more grown up these days thanks to my younger siblings.

On Sunday, my younger brother graduated from Clark University with honors. I am so proud of him and excited about what the future holds for him. On the other hand...

I talked to him while he grew in Mom's belly. I gave him "horsey rides" on my back. I met him at his bus stop after school every day. We watched Howard The Duck, Ghostbusters I and II, Karate Kid, and Gremlins over and over again. I was his biggest fan at his basketball games from the time he was 5 through high school.

How can this be happening? How can it be that he is grown and ready to face the world?

Part of me wants us to be giggling in the sandbox or playing piano together. If he is grown that means I am six years more grown and that just astonishes me.

A few graduation pics:

Then there is the matter of my Sister-in-Law turning 21 today. Happy Birthday, Melissa! Last night she got to our place at 11:20. At 11:55 we walked over to an asian restaurant a block away from our house for her first legal drink. At midnight, the bartender presented the birthday girl with a free Scorpion Bowl. I had a few sips of that and a Cape Codder. As we were paying the bill at 12:55, we were all given a shot. We all protested, but ended up giving in because they were already mixed and being poured into light up shot glasses. I haven't downed a shot in years! Melissa had a good time though. When we got home and Mr. B&B was in bed because he had work this morning, Melissa and I went and played on the playground next door and chit chatted before bed. We also drank lots of water and munched on crackers and corn chips. Really fun times.

She's 21! I still can't believe it. When Mr. and I started dating, she was 13 with braces and ponytails.

When Mr. B&B headed off to work this morning, Melissa and I had vanilla ice cream with strawberries, blueberries and banana for breakfast.

They may be older. I may be older. But having ice cream for breakfast? That never gets old. Plus, it reminds us that every day is a cause for celebration.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Little Blog of Mine

...I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

"Pondering Place"
was featured on Eye on Blogs, a blog by Brittney Gilbert for CBS Five in California's Bay Area. You can see it here.

Thank you, Brittney!

To learn more about Brittney, check her out on TangoBaby's "other blog" I Live Here: SF.

Breath of Fresh Air

I imagined there must be part of our country that remained unspoiled, but I'd never seen it. Then I did.

On the second leg of our trip to San Francisco, I looked down on Utah and Nevada from above. For the entire bit-more-than-an-hour flight from Salt Lake City to San Francisco I stared.

Now you can stare, too.

Pondering Place

I don't even know where to begin with our San Francisco trip. All I can say is that I have not stopped thinking about, daydreaming about San Francisco since we left. Sitting in my window seat in the plane on the tarmac delayed for more than 20 minutes I boldly proclaimed to Mr. B&B that this was a sign that San Francisco didn't want me to go, San Francisco wanted me to stay FOREVER.

I have always lived in Massachusetts, except for a brief six month stint in Rhode Island. I have always been proud of my "Hearty New Englander" status, but I've also always had a tendency to want to roam, a wanderlust, a sense that I might belong somewhere else. Somewhere else somethings and someones may be waiting for me.

We moved a lot when I was little. My husband and I have lived in three different places in the last five years. In total, I have moved 13 times in 28 years. Might this have something to do with my wanderlust?

As a child, my family rarely went on vacations. We spent lots of time on Massachusetts beaches. We traveled further very few times. Block Island when I was 4. Florida with Grandma and Poppa when I was 5. Bermuda for Thanksgiving when I was 6. Florida with Grandma and Poppa again when I was 13.

As a senior in high school, I took my first vacation without my family. It was a foreign language department trip to Italy and Greece. Driving up and down mountains, hopping from one Greek Island to another, wandering the cobblestoned piazzas of Rome, for the first time I fully felt that maybe where I was born was not where I belonged, not where I was meant to live. I returned to the U.S. and declared that I would be retiring to the Greek Islands, a Greek Island, I just wasn't sure which one yet. On our honeymoon 8 years later, my husband and I fell in love with Santorini and vowed to return there "some day" in the vague and distant future.

Walking the hills of San Francisco, looking out into the bay, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the mountain,

and fifteen minutes and a winding drive up and down a mountain later

dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean at Muir Beach

I felt a sense of belonging.

I loved it. All of it.

The hills.

The cable cars.

The homeless man who gave us directions and then said, "May I ask you something? I mean no disrespect, but I am 46 and homeless and... I mean no disrespect, but is there anything you can spare?" You bet we gave him all our coins.

Golden Gate Park with its botanical gardens, Japanese tea garden, art museum, Academy of Arts and Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, and all the wonders we have yet to discover.

Barking sea lions under a setting sun.

Two story carousels.

Ballparks that serve veggie burgers.

Haight Ashebury with its street kids, vintage shops, & free records on the sidewalk.

Murals on buildings.

Oh, and that glorious bridge with Muir Beach only 15 minutes beyond and Sonoma only a half hour further away.

How do we know where we belong?

Because we were born there?

Because our family is there?

Because we have always lived there?

or because we feel a longing, a pull, a connection, an unfamiliar pitter patter in our hearts, and are consumed by this place as we feel it consume us?

All I know is that if it weren't for my husband and my kitty, instead of sitting on that plane I would have quietly risen from my seat, politely asked the stewardess to lower the stairs, and walked across the tarmac sure there was a place for me in this strangely familiar city.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back in Massachusetts

I returned from the west coast at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Friday was errands and cleaning and laundry.

Saturday was in-law's yard sale and friend's graduation party.

Today my brother graduates from Clark University.

Tomorrow, my loves, I will spend lots of time posting on this here blog.

I've missed you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Energetic, Brainy, and Beautiful

Hi all! I'm Irma. Quick words to describe me so I can go on to the rest of the post, I'm a watcher, a viola player, a non-addicted coffee drinker, a barefoot runner, and happy wife.

Wonderful Brainy and Beautiful asked me to write in her absence, about anything I wanted. I thought about writing about *her* but she does that best. The most prominent word that comes to my mind when i think of her is "energy" and I thought that I would write about that.

A picture I took of Energy

There are so many different meanings and interpretations of the word energy! what does it mean to you?

To a scientist, energy is " a scalar physical quantity that describes the amount of work that can be performed by a force." (from our favorite wikipedia).
To a relativist (a la einstein) e=mc2
To an alternative medicine practitioner, energy is what one finds in a living body, the imbalance of which causes pain or disease.
To an environmentalist, energy is a finite recourse that we need to conserve.
To a psychologist, energy is a mindset that people use to get things done.
and the list can go on and on.

It's one of those words that means itself, difficult to define without using the word "energy"

To me, energy is paramount to happiness. All of these definitions mean that I don't lay on a couch all day and do nothing (in a state of non-happiness without necessarily being un-happy). I see Brainy and Beautiful as a "do-er" - someone who has a lovely mixture of dreams and the energy to go try them out.

My advice?
Test your energy levels every now and again by doing something you're not sure you'll like spontaneously. You'll be surprised.
Avoid things that leave you drained every time.
And lastly, like my grandmother says: "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today, except laundry. That can always wait"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Would the real Brainy and Beautiful please stand up?

When Brainy and Beautiful asked me to be a guest blogger here, I immediately felt honored. And then overwhelmed and then anxious that I would somehow not quite live up to the task. I relaxed a bit and/or got distracted by a nasty spring time cold. So many things come to mind when I think of Brainy and Beautiful and the amazing friendship that has spanned more than half our lives. I could write about the time we tried to make macaroni and cheese together and it was a disaster. I could write about her famous "yo stripes outfit", or a quiet weekend in Vermont to celebrate her birthday.

The cold is draining more of my energy and I can't tell those stories with all the colorful details right now, so I decided to search through my personal archives. Here is a poem that I wrote a few years ago, but it sounds like the way I was feeling yesterday and earlier today:

fever-induced confused frenzy
blankets on
windows open
happy cynical sad
moods blur by
clean the house
blow the nose
wince with pain
rest sleep rest read
shower, tea, rest, read
guilt, fatigue
tug at me
try to exercise
to break the fever
half a bout of clarity
struggle for breath
sleep rest read rest

The wonderful and talented Brainy and Beautiful will be back later this week. You are welcome to find out more about me by reading about my experiences in the workplace at my blog: A day in the life of a K1 teacher

Friday, May 8, 2009

Taking My Heart to San Francisco

Early Sunday Morning, Mr. B&B and I leave for San Francisco. We will return on Thursday night at 11:00.

Since I have been so busy with school all week, I need to spend tomorrow cleaning and packing. This is my last post until next Thursday.

Never fear! Two of my dear real life friends have agreed to blog in my absence. Keep an eye out for Tanya and Irma. Please show them a little love for me. I have told them all about how great this blogging thing is and I am sure you all will encourage them :-)

Take care my dears! I will come back and post all about my travels and maybe meeting this super woman and this lovely. There'll be pictures, too! xoxo I'll miss you!

Giveaway at Metropolitan Mama!

Blog friends, many of you are mama's and all of you have mama's. So, I suggest you all go over to Metropolitan Mama and enter her Mother's Day Giveaway of Toshiba Portege laptop and ST laptop bag which are valued in total at $1,800! You can enter up to a lucky 7 times!

One way to enter is to comment on her post. This was my comment:
This is an amazingly generous giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity! For 28 years my mother has been my greatest teacher. Now she teaches a room full of second graders every day. She is an amazing mom and teacher, but she is also a gifted writer. With her youngest child graduating from college this year, her mom duties will be significantly reduced. She is also nearing retirement which will give her more time to do the things she loves, writing included. Every week, on the computer she shares with my father, she writes a column for her local newspaper which can be seen here. If I could give her this laptop and bag, she could write anywhere and it would be of great encouragement to her, a show of support. After all of the encouragement and support that she has shown me and so many others over the years, she more than deserves this. Again, thanks for the opportunity and Happy Mother’s Day to you!

And Happy Mother's Day to all of you mama's and to your mama's for raising such amazing kids who've become my blog friends!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I AM...

Earlier this week darling Julie of Just Jules invited me to take part in her latest project/giveaway. She asked me to bring my friends and encourage them to participate, too. Consider yourselves invited!

I thought of so many answers to what I am. Eccentric, unique, authentic, original, one-of-a-kind, creative, learning, changing, growing, a work in progress, a child at heart.

Somehow I settled on this:

Evolving - developing; gaining through experience

I feel like I have been so many different versions of myself in 27 years and 10 months and 21 days. Every day I wake up and am different in some way. There is always this feeling that I don't know yet who I will ultimately be, but that is the joy and surprise and fascinating journey of being alive. The prospect of tomorrow is what keeps me going today. The anticipation and depth of possibilities are what it means to be alive. I am grateful for the experience of living. For me, to live is to evolve.

I am tired and I have much academic writing to do before I sleep. Thanks for the diversion, Julie! I look forward to seeing others responses on your blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flores de Mayo

Cinco Photos taken on Cinco De Mayo, un dia de lluvia.

Janet Hill

Just wanted to say, I can not remember where I heard about her or how I happened upon her blog, but I am loving Janet Hill's art work these days. The above image is everything I was as a little girl and, really, who I am today. Check out Ms. Hill's blog and her Etsy Shop.

This brightened my rainy day:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Crunch Time

So, my last day of school is Wednesday and I am crazy with end of semester work. I probably won't be back to blogging until Thursday or Friday.

In the meantime, you are invited to check out one of my final projects:
A Nature Journal

Have a wonderful week and I will catch up with you all on Thursday!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Visting Puppies

This is the only photo I got in the hour we were there and... it is blurry. Why hold a camera when you can hold a 10 week old puppy? With our up coming trip and the check engine light coming on in my car again, we haven't made any decisions yet, but we sure spent a lot of time cuddling the tri-colored (black, white, and brown) female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pup.


The Itch

I never thought I'd say this, but my husband is on steroids. It's not what you think.

Last weekend Mr. B&B decided he would volunteer to help clean up the Charles River. He picked up trash and pulled rugs and 6 foot pipes off the banks. During this adventure, he apparently brushed up against a seemingly innocent, foliage free vine and he has been paying for it ever since.

Poison Ivy? Poison Oak? Poison Sumac? Who knows. All we know is his arms and legs are covered in itchy, pink blotches of all shapes and sizes.

So, the doctor put him on steroids until this coming Thursday. We aren't sure it is working. Any home remedy suggestions?

Until this subsides, I am sleeping on the couch with the kitty. No itchies for us.

Poor adventurous, do-gooder Mr. B&B.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Playing Catch Up

So, I've been away a few days due to end of semester work and Teen Voices internship stuff. I'm overwhelmed. I'm tired. I am totally feeling the pollen attack that is spring in New England.

I can't wait to get on the plane to San Francisco. May 10th can't come soon enough.

Today my dear friend Irma came over. We cleaned my kitchen, made Amish Friendship Bread, ate the bread and drank some tea, and took a walk to and from the post office.
We literally stopped and smelled the flowers on the trees. It was refreshing. How I love girl time.

Hope you all had a Happy Friday!