via Watermelon.com

The Wonders of this Week

Hello Friends,

This week I am:

Writing

I am writing more chapters for my novel. I have some time while on this trip and it feels good to focus on the writing.

Reading

Lunch in Paris

Lunch-in-Paris2

This is a complete escape and fantasy for me. A fun book full of recipes and romantic memories of life and love in Paris. Perfect.

Listening

To this.

via OregonLive

via OregonLive

I went to the Sarah McLachlan concert at Edgefield almost a week ago. My daughter, Chloe, took me there and we had a great time. It was odd though. It was a bit underwhelming. No opening band. No announcing her move to the stage. She just walked out with her band, in her mom jeans. I kid you not. And she just started playing. She started with one of her new songs that I was not familiar with being that it was from her brand new album, so it took me a minute to realize that it was her. The show was okay, but I wanted the passionate, angst filled, torch singer not the content mom. It was nice to hear her old and new stuff, but the old stuff really plays to her vocal strengths where the new stuff felt flat and lifeless. The setting was fantastic. The company, lovely. The venue, familiar. The performer, lackluster.

Thinking

There is a young man, my son’s age, who lives in our old home town and he is struggling, mightily. He is a smart young man with a ton of great ideas and skills. His home life is completely awful. I really want him to be able to move in with us to finish school but I know he can’t just get in the car and come home with us, not without written consent from his parents. So I am thinking about how to make this happen.

Wanting

A dear friend of mine and I have been fantasizing/planning a trip to Barcelona this fall. Oh, how I want to go. So badly. Barcelona Baby!!

via Watermelon.com

via Watermelon.com

Watching

The tide. We are staying in a friend’s cabin in Pacific City on the Oregon coast and our cabin is on an inlet connecting to a river so we get to watch the tide go in and out. We have seen so much wildlife. Deer walk within ten feet of us when we sit out in the back garden overlooking the river. Cranes land nearby. Herons search for fish. Schools of fish flip and splash in front of us.

Needing

A little more heart in my life. Anyone else find themselves toughening up around the edges sometimes? Yeah, I do. So, I am incorporating more self-care (namely sleep and books for now) into my life. How do you bring a little more heart into your life?

Loving

How our fireplace turned out. It was all brick with a huge built in OAK mantle. It was monstrous, but now the brick is whitewashed and all the wood is a soft gray. I will post before and after photographs soon.

Eating

Lots of clam chowder and fish and chips. Living in northern California, inland quite a bit means we don’t often get to enjoy those most Oregonian of seafood choices. So we are stocking up on rainy days, mist, cold winds, clam chowder, and dory caught fish and chips.

Drinking

A lot of red wine…

I attribute this format to  Blue Bird Baby Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring.  Go check it out.

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine and love.

Love,
S

The Wonders of This Week 17/52

Hello Friends,

This week I am:

Writing

More chapters for my novel. I struggle with some of it because it is somewhat memoiresque, but then other sections just flow. I can feel like such a writing klutz sometimes. Anyone else?

Reading

This amazing book.

nesting-place

I read it through and now I am reading it a section at a time. Such a great tool for inspiration. I am beginning the task of making our family room a place I enjoy being. I am so excited about how it will look when I am done.

Listening

Smile with me. This one feels good…

Thinking

About painting this woodwork and fireplace. The Nester and others graciously gave me some wonderful advice and I am ready to tackle this thing! A creamy French Linen White. It will be beautiful! The whole room will be redone and I will post pics when it is complete.

my current family room

my current family room

Wanting

Things to stay as they are, but they won’t. Things change and I need to trust that they will still be good. Believe in the good.

Watching

This lovely young girl grow up. It is such a privilege to be her mother. I love her to the moon and back. By the way, this picture is her Mother’s Day present to me. Really. She smiled and didn’t hide her face this time. I told her that this is all I wanted. Thank you Fiona…

Me and my girl...

Me and my girl…

 Looking forward to

The hubs and I are going to Palm Springs next week for a little trip. Four nights away. Just the two of us. I cannot wait. He is attending a conference so I will sit by the pool and write. A getaway. Yay!

Wearing

These new beauties. These are really comfortable. That little heel helps a ton.  They are kind of stylish too.  At least I think so…

Unisa Lola Sandal

Unisa Lola Sandal

Eating

Okay, let me just start by saying that these were so good! If I had any left over I would eat it now and people it is 6am! The perfect combination of crunch, moist, spicy, and delicious yumminess. Rebecca at Foodie with Family is the most brilliant cook, ever. Her recipes are my go to all the time. The recipes are not crazy complicated. Instead they are matter of fact, in your face, family pleasing, budget conscious delights.

via Foodie with Family

via Foodie with Family

Drinking

This bubbly is delicious. I was introduced to it at a Sunday lunch at my step-aunt’s house. (Is there such a thing as a step-aunt?) It was a proper Italian afternoon lunch with a bit of Prosecco to start with the appetizers. Then we moved on to a lovely Barbera with lunch. Lunch was salad, torta, gnocchi with two sauces and of course, focaccia. Completely divine. But the real takeaway was this delicious sparkler. If you come across it, buy it!

via Apricot Hill

via Apricot Hill

I attribute this format to  Blue Bird Baby Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring.  Go check it out.

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine and love.

Love,
S

Secret Alphabet

Hello Friends,

So, a long time ago I lived in an air shaft of an old brewery in the Mission district in San Francisco. I listened to punk rock and had black hair. I gave myself a tattoo (still regretting that particularly lame decision…) and in general, had a completely irresponsible experience, but a glorious one too while I figured out who I was. At least at the time…

There was this song by my favorite band called X and they were amazing. Are you with me? Anyway, they played a cover of an old Doors song you may remember. Soul Kitchen. In the song Jim Morrison refers to speaking in secret alphabets. Well, we took this rather literally (Hell, that is how I got the tattoo. I made the mistake of watching The Decline of Western Civilization which  showcased how to give yourself a tattoo.) and started writing our own secret alphabets. We wrote secret alphabets of things we didn’t like, things we loved, things we wanted, boys we had crushes on… I think you get the idea.

Basically it goes like this.

Things that I love about my life

A – Apples, Adoration, Artichokes,

B – Bumble Bees, Balloons, Ballet

C – Chocolate of course, Cuckoo Clocks, Coffee with cream, Crème Caramel, Champagne

D – Desire, Devotion, Daisies

E – Elephant babies, Excellence

F – Feathers, Frolicking, Fierce Loyalty

G – Going fast, Goals

H – Holy Places, Happiness

I – Ice Cream

J – Jets, as in being a jet setter

K – Knitting,

L – Love, Love, Love

M – Mothers, Monster Cookies, Music

N – Nutella on Croissants

O – Opulence

P – Poetry, Pearls, Presents

Q – Quilts of all kinds

R – Roses, Rainbows, Ranunculus, Reading

S – Snuggling

T – Tea in a proper cup

U – Undulating wheat on a windy day

V – Vows, Veils, Venice

W – Watching Waves

X – The band of course…

Y – Yonder places

Z – Zyrtec (it cures what ails my family, particularly during these months)

So, that is how you create a Secret Alphabet. Let me know what you come up with when you write yours!

Love,

S

Stealing
2014-02-16 15.30.09

We Hunker Down With Demons Who Keep Our Feet Cobbled…

Hello Friends,

She worried all the time. Worries about what might be. What could be. What if. What had she tossed away? What had she kept? Had she chosen the right husband? Had she moved to the right state? Did she choose the right vocation? Did she do everything right? Was she failing her children? Was she failing herself? She worried and worried.

And it did her no good.

Worry is just that. Worry. It doesn’t fix, solve, repair, build, or complete anything. It just takes away from what we have in our hearts and heads. When we worry we prolong the projected pain that we think will be there in front of us. We try to work through some of that projected pain by worrying, as if that will lessen the impact, the real pain, that may come with the worry coming true. But come on… We all know this is complete nonsense. As a recent Disney heroine says, “Let it go.”

No good comes from worry.

None at all.

What do you worry about?

I worry all the time about my writing. Will I ever write as much as I need to get better? Will I ever write something that I might submit for publishing? Will I ever write something worth publishing? What if no one wants to publish my work? What if my work is total crap? What if I am the only one who doesn’t notice it is complete and total crap?

Yeah, okay. Well then. Does it help me in any way? No. It robs me of my joy and open heart. It makes it harder for me to sit down and write anything. For my worries have taken control. They are captaining the ship that is me. I am now on the Worry Course headed to Worry Island, and for what? Nothing. Only more delays. Only more procrastination; more putting off what I am called to do, no matter what it is.

When we put our energy into worrying we create a place free from promise and potential. We hunker down with demons who keep our feet cobbled. We can’t go far now for we are buried in our own self-fulfilling worry chained at the feet to some old story about not being deserving or good enough.

What is it in this one great life that you really want? What are you afraid of taking on for fear of failure? What is it that you choose not to do because you worry you are not smart enough, strong enough, talented enough, enough…?

What ever that is. Whatever that is that you really want in your life, just grab it! You can take a tiny step. A little step. A shift even, leading you closer to that first step. This is your life; make it what you want it to be.

I have never been a big believer in the power of positive thinking, but I am a believer in “worry will hamper your style.” Worry will rob you of what really matters to you for you will be too busy worrying to notice that your train has come and it is time to board, settle into that lounge car and bang something out with confidence, determination, and an open heart. Today is a writing day. Tomorrow will be a writing day too.

Don’t miss your train.

Love,
S

W is for Wild Geese

Hello Friends,
I spent a bit of time in a deep depression years ago. I struggled to find my way out of it and in the getting out of it. In the rising above it. In the acceptance of it and the surrender to it, I discovered poetry all over again. Through the words of someone else I was able to find my way again. The poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is the poem that sheltered me and let me know that I could do this. From the very first line, I knew I had found a place for my diminishing sorrow and my growing hope.

Love,
S