annual traditions

the tree decorating pictures are lost to me, and it is not a wonder. my brain is not functioning properly. a nasty cold has taken over since returning from disney. and so i stayed home the night everyone gathered at deacon dave's for the annual tradition of walking through deacon dave's. 
beginning in october, his helpers cover his front yard with several hundred thousand lights. he opens it to all, and many many people attend. 
thanks to sarah and nico for the pictures. merry everything :)

 photos below: nico

season's spirit

the season started slowly, and really, despite me. with the help of good friends, meeting in lovely places and doing good things, the spirit arrived quietly but with purpose. my need to avoid the commercial expectations is overridden and, i must say...the spirit has arrived. friends and family help!
 with martha, for a chai at my favorite cafe: cafe 4 @ neighborhood church 
 a 2 story Christmas tree adorned in jute, nests, and succulents. so beautiful.
 with my mom, decorating the naval museum :)
 and the drive to and from, because *someone* wasn't comfortable driving that far. good thing i can drive a 6-speed! haha
then our girl and her studio had their dress rehearsal for the d*sney parade in the local downtown parade. so fun (but cold!)
it took me a while just to take in this gorgeous tree in the lobby of our stay at the CAGrand in D*sney. so so lovely in this inspired environment. photo credit: sarah h.
 next stop: backstage for dress rehearsal. no costumes allowed in the park! thank goodness for starbucks on main street now.
 what i had made for the jazz director...(her first ears!)
 the view (with thumper) while waiting. no pictures allowed backstage...
after 3 hours of waiting among throngs of people...

 our dancers fly by within seconds.
780 dancers participated in this year's parade.
only 66 attended the next day's d*sney dance class.
16 were from our studio.
pictures: stills from ipad video

 we forgot to get a family picture. oh. my. but we did get one of my cousin and i. so fun to be with her on this trip. 
i would not be who i am today without her.
a few last views of the magic kingd*m...
fantasmic from the pier
photo: sarah h.

 view from the train of small world. photo: sarah h.

and home again.  photos: sarah h.

to the gutting of a bathroom and the slow rebuilding. 
we are fortunate to have an alternate during this process.
nothing puts us into the spirit as a bathroom rebuild. :)

friends and family

with yet one more dinner still to attend, the holiday has been a fortunate one with several opportunities to gather for giving thanks. once again i am thankful for my family, both biological and circumstantial, that gives us ample reason to celebrate. thanks, friends! photo by steve

3 generations of food

this year we did something a bit differently for the feasting. 3 generations of women from our family came together to share recipes and enjoy companionship, learning and delicious rewards. grilled vegetable salad, one-pot spaghetti, and blueberry cobbler. so fun! i hope we do it again.  love these women, cousin, mother and grandmother.
(that's the headboard i'm working on in the background.)

giving thanks

thankful? profoundly. recently i accomplished a physical feat unachievable just a few months ago...sweeping the patio - pain free. glory be, i can see my way out of this tunnel and it's looking bright and hopeful for the first time in too long. feeling grateful for health and improved wellness.



 once upon a time three girls grew into three women. they entered the world and made their marks upon it, each in her own way.

 years flew by, children grew, the sun rose and set and the tides receded with the ebb and flow of time

 the three women took charge of their lives in their own way and made their way in the world on their own terms

 time, faith, and wisdom brought them back to their core and into the greater unknown

 love, humor, and desire kept them together
 into a greater unknown: metamorphosis, like a free butterfly, migrating, returning, to friendship, to family.

adventure calling

turn off your room's light. open this full screen. turn up the volume. absorb. 
what beauty from patience, vision, tenacity. 
2 months. 
32 states. 
i do not know him, only of him as an artist. today's inspiration. :)

adventure calling


early hikes with my friend cosby sometimes look like this. the rising sun is positively glorious from up here, but this cell phone is as satisfying to use as a camera, as a shovel for icing a cake. instead, i will focus on being thankful that there are wide open spaces just around the corner from home to set us free.

drive on

"How are you doing since retiring? We miss you."

Truth is, I miss you too. I miss ME, I miss IT.  I miss all that I've known, and still wrapping my brain around it.

What if you had to stop doing what you loved? What if it ended, cold turkey, before you could blink or consider? Months on end.  Take it away, take away your loves. Take them away when you least expect it. How do feel? How do you respond? How do you THINK you'd respond? And do you accept it? It's hard to imagine, probably. And likely, it's probably hard to understand.

How am I? I am on the roller coaster of denial, anger, frustration, optimism, frequent but lessening pain, redirecting, relearning, physical strengthening, and focusing on long-term health and wellness, considering options. Repeat all that about three times and that's a typical day in my world, at this moment. It feels topsy-turvy, trying to reorient while all the every day normal things of life drive on. Drive on, we must.

I'm in the in-between, that's how I am. It'll get better, and I'll figure this out. 

one more of b*rthday girl

i have no words to say how much i love this. her other side. :) she cannot believe i reposted this, i'm sure. how could i not?? 

photo: maddyj

50th, elevated

hooray for quiet friends who enjoy restful celebrations in special spaces within special places. good conversations include pauses for reflection and consideration. 
fountains and marble, gilding and silver, baroque and modern art pieces in the elevated yet comforting surrounds of the legion at land's end. wide open spaces with cocoon warmth, kind service, lovely patio lunch and a bacon enriched tailgate party. :) 
so good. happy 50th, friend b. love.

birthday girl


peaks and valleys, highs and lows. some days are most excellent, others feel like a slow, uphill journey. i wasn't ready to stop working. i wasn't ready for discomfort on a daily basis. having my journey recharted without my permission was not part of the plan.  i know it is just a moment and the moment will pass, but i miss it, the things i took for granted like brushing my hair, pruning flowers, mixing and stirring with the dominant hand, and snapping shots with a heavy dslr. the classes i want are waitlisted. i'm already halfway through the textbooks anyway. the forward movement feels like reverse. i'm trying to remain patient. this is the time i have to give myself to other causes like volunteering, and that is good, but this "in between" is a lot harder than anticipated.