Saying adios to 2008 -Embracing a New Year

Goodbye 2008!! Hello 2009 - i'm looking forward to your adventures, surprises, good times with friends and family, your vacations, your successes and failures, your days.  i'm eager for the fresh start, the clean slate, and the new growth.  my word for the new year is mindfulness - really there is nothing as important - i'm hoping it isn't too intense - part of me thinks it should be play or community.  but i'm feeling the pull of intention i'm liking the idea of discovering what comes into my life when it is full of mindfulness - right now i think that means when i am hungry i will eat, when i'm anxious i will walk, when i'm bored i will play in my studio, when i am over-whelmed i will talk and walk, when i'm with someone they will have my full attention, when i'm sad i will cry, when i'm happy i will laugh and i will share the joy and love!  i know what i'm seeking is right here - i just need to be mindful in each moment and that is my intent for 2009.


The Present

So this year has been full of good and bad times.  there have been many things to be grateful for and a few to grieve.  i read this poem and then read it again on misty's blog - i'm putting it here so i never forget 2008 and those who left us and boy do we miss them because they didn't just visit this world they made a mark - a deep one:

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measlepox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

-Mary Oliver 


a happy time was had by all - a few gifts, lots of love and laughs, christmas cheer all around


Merry Merry Everyone

It is Christmas morning - early morning and i'm doing the santa routine and drinking some H2O after lots of wine at dinner last night.  We had a fabulous lasagna dinner care of Vito and family. just too delicious to even describe - i imagine that in italy all of the pasta would be as tasty!  i'm so loving having my son home from college.  we did our shopping and then went for a nice stroll through the back bay in the afternoon - grey and cloudy weather but just perfect.  when he was young we used to walk around the island almost every night before dinner and this is when he would open up and the words and ideas would spill out.  yesterday was the same and it made my heart full - listening and remembering and loving our time together. on that note i'm off to catch some dream time and i'm wishing everyone a wonder-full christmas morning filled with laughter and love!


December Days

Is it just me or do the days of December fly by?!?  i've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all but i'm hanging in there.  i'm working on my first attempt at ATC cards to send to Bee Shay for the Artfest '09 trade - but it is going much slower than i anticipated.  i'm doing a lot of second guessing myself and as usual i have too many ideas with not enough skill yet to see the results i want.  frustrating but not unexpected.   i think that these pretties need to be used somewhere.......


December Views

I'm enjoying december views across the blogsphere - I've captured a few views of my own little world as of late.  I do love having the tree up with all of our ornaments.  The weather has been tempermental - first tons of rain, then tons of sunshine.  The snow on the mountains was just brilliant yesterday - blue skies, the ocean one way and the glorious white mountains the other.  My son is home on break from college life - the first thing he wants after getting off the airplane = Mexican food!  I know first hand how we take for granted the fabulous mexican cuisine we have access to like Taco Mesa - Yum!  I have been cooking up some holiday cookies - we have favorites that get baked each year but this year I wanted to try something new as well.  So far I have made these and these.  Both very tasty treats!  A little too tasty - for my hips ;)


Love and Lights

We had wonderful time with friends last night watching the newport boat parade and having a tasty meal - with lots of champagne of course!  shawnie is the ultimate hostess - she makes everyone feel at home and is just a loving soul.  she has her hands full with 3 children - 2 twin girls and 'b' a teenager - adorable littles!  she and her hubby own a beautiful resort in Mexico - i have only heard about the fabulousness - but i think everyone needs a fiesta and siesta at LaFonda.  shawnie has extremely good taste and her house is just decorated beautifully -it inspires me to do a bit more around here!  


Missing Her

My grams died on october 15 - i really miss her. we used to talk on the phone pretty much every day - i miss that - a lot.  she was my biggest fan and she always supported me in the most uplifting way.  she and my grandfather were active, intelligent, supportive, optimistic, loving and the list goes on.  it seems strange to continue my life without either of them  - i  think of them often.  my grams was a brilliant pianist - she could hear any music and then sit down and play it immediately.   we used to go out shopping at the mall and she would hear some pop songs and then come home and play them - duran duran, eurythmics, she was so good.  we went to the same college - UCI - and she was so proud of her accomplishment.  she was one of the first to graduate when UCI just began - she went back to get her music degree - because that was her passion and dream.  in her youth most girls were trained to be teachers, nurses and/or wives.  my grams pulled off a beautiful life - she was married to my grandfather for over 65 years, she raised two brilliant sons (seriously), she was generous, she loved her family and friends, she was talented, and boy is she missed.  i have tears now and i wish we could have another conversation and another and another.  there is still so much to say.


Looking Ahead

A list for 2009:

Creativity: camera, lessons, photo software, more blogging, focused vision, mixed media
Travel: visit 3 new places, museums in LA, Santa Barbara weekend on the beach
Correspondence: writing more, postcard mailing, sending photos to family & friends
Home Decor: bathtub redo, wall painting, music room, bulb planting

i look forward to a new year and a new set of goals and wishes to fill.  i'll have to look back at 2008's list to see what i jotted down and the desire vs the fulfillment.  i think i made a lot of progress in 2008 on the road to figuring out the next phase of my life.  little by little.....



Making a list checking it Twice

I tried - i really did.  i thought this should be a year where presents were not purchased (except for the kiddies) and we should all just play games, take photos, make ornaments, do something creative instead of open gifts we don't need.  i didn't get my way so now i'm making a list of all the family members and thinking hard about things they may desire.  i don't like giving just anything - i like it to be personal and meaningful and i like to know they are going to looooove it.  so here i am cruising the internet for ideas - the guys are the hardest.  the ladies would all be happy if anything (!) from anthropologie was under the tree.  did you see their ornaments page - so cool! my list is growing - anyone have a great cookie recipe - one they make every year during the holidays? Let's exchange!


Christmas is all around

It isn't quite christmas yet at our nest - i didn't get the boxes down.  i've started decorating our new nest in my minds eye - what i would like is a deep purple and silver theme.  i wonder what it would take to pull that off in one week's time?  hmmmm.  i've never been a home decorater, like some of my friends, at christmas.  i think what stopped me was being tight with money - i always take hand-me-downs from my mom, we make ornaments for the tree (i consider our years of homemade ornaments a journal of sorts - what happened, what year, what we were into at that time) and we always get a fresh tree, fresh wreaths, and fresh garlands - the smell is too good. But this year i'm dreaming in purple and silver.


Sunny Morning

Woke up early for a walk in the golden sunlight - have do something to snap out of this funk.  I know it was the right thing to do because guess what I found - my mail from yesterday - scattered across the grass of the neighbors 2 doors down.  What someone wants with my bills I don't know? Hopefully it won't be a problem down the road - just a random act of a prankster?  Tom wondered why there were catalogs in our fountain out front - I guess the person didn't want to do any christmas catalog shopping!  Anyway, the walk did me good in more ways than one - I felt better, I found my mail, and then I actually went into my studio and started a project.  The list is long but I'm trying to just take it slow and do something - anything that takes my mind somewhere else - somewhere peaceful and good and zoned out.




So the week has flown by - filled with work, eating, and sleeping.  the family has gone home, nic is back at school, and i'm just trying to do each day.  can you say funkadilla?  i need to make something happen here - i have a long list of things i want to do during this slower period at work - mandala making, christmas cards, camera research, photo class research, decorating my nest, getting the girls together, making dinner for friends.  all i wanna do is work, eat, sleep.  it just seems like i'm on autopilot and the grief is winning.  life is in the details and i can't seem to wrap my mind around them right now.  i did spoil myself with $800 worth of eileen fisher bedding - see that bedding - yeah it's all so fine and i can't wait to get my cozy self under those fabulous fabrics. so i guess that wraps up where my thinking and longing are right now - cozy bed, sleep, comfort, safety, nesting.