Monday, December 16, 2013


Think Kit Day 16: Ah-ha! 

Wow, this was hard. I couldn't think of anything - until I looked at my Christmas tree. I remembered that I "discover" my tree ornaments every year. Unwrapping them always evokes so many emotions. Here are some of my favorites...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I've cheated on this one

Think Kit Day ??? (I've lost count): What makes you laugh out loud?

This. Because I love irony. It always makes me laugh. Always. And then sometimes I cry. But not this time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

gimme a break

Think Kit Day 11: Try something new!

I traveled Tuesday and Wednesday, arriving home early this morning around 1:00. I was sleepy when I arrived at work today. My job is a little like a Grand Prix - many twists and turns, braking and accelerating, bumping into things, putting out engine fires, and going full speed for about 11 hours a day. I usually eat my lunch at my desk and then go home to let my pup, Frances, out for a few minutes. I tell myself this is a great way to take a break, but usually I'm racing home and back to work so I'm not late for a 1:00 meeting. Honestly, I've been feeling a little unbalanced lately. Today's prompt gave me an excuse to try something new. 

Today I went home, made myself a salad and sat in this chair in the sun with this dog...

I tried to really taste my food. I thought about the hands that helped bring the food to my bowl and I felt connected and grateful.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

habit forming

Think Kit Day 10: What habits did you start this year that you would like to continue? 

I've been a vegetarian for 16 years, and have often thought about going vegan. I've seen Forks Over Knives, know about the China Study and am aware of the adverse effects eating animal protein have on my health. But when I thought about it, the idea of switching seemed daunting. Would I get enough protein? What would I have for dinner? What about pizza? Also, I would miss cheese.

Somewhere I heard about the book VBS (Vegan Before Six) written by the food journalist, Mark Bittman. What a great idea! I could eat vegan for breakfast and lunch and vegetarian for dinner. And that was the beginning. So far I'm averaging probably 6 days a week eating vegan during the day. Some weeks I can go all week, some I just can't resist the homemade goodies someone has brought into work that surely have milk or eggs in them. Because I'm vegan before six I am now visualizing what total vegan might look like. Who knows? Maybe I'll get there!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Surprise! I can't think of a catchy, original
title for this blog post.

Think Kit Day 9: What completely surprised you this year?

Embarrassingly, I was completely surprised at how great Paul McCartney was in concert. Of course he would be.

And Time for Three + ISO + Plastic Musik blew me away by playing A-Ha's Take On Me. It was perfect.

Other things that surprised me:
  • What is up with the Starks in the Game of Thrones? They remind me of the Kennedys. Well, in a violent, medieval way. 
  • And the Walking Dead? Can you believe he [vague spoiler free reference] is dead? That was the most interesting part about the show!
  • Matthew in Downton Abbey? You can't tell me you weren't surprised by that. And a little angry.
  • I can't believe our government. Seriously. I'm embarrassed at the behavior of our leaders.
  • Every Thanksgiving we hold hands while each one of us tells what we are thankful for. This year my dad cried, he couldn't even talk, which said so much. My mom was very sick this year - gratefully she is fine, it was a hard year for all of us. My dad's crying was sweet, and it really surprised me. 
  • My dog, Frances, has a injured spinal cord and her back legs don't work perfectly. She walks like a drunken sailor and most times has to be "helped" to go the bathroom. I have to carry her up the stairs in my apartment, because she can't climb them. She pees on me frequently when I pick her up. It surprises me every time. 
  • Again, I had another year of new friends, old friends, love, music, family, happiness, growth. I am so surprised that this happens year after year. Blessed I am.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I make my bed most days

Think Kit Day 8: What did you make this year?

Well this one ought to be easy. I don't make many "things". I'd love to, but I don't take the time to do it. And if I start making something I don't always finish it. Like this:

I love this, but I don't work for the boss I was going to give it to - so I have no motivation to finish. 

I have a Pinterest board full of things I'd like to make. And one full of things I'd like to make for dinner

I do make my bed most days, however. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

eyes wide open

Think Kit Day 7: What do you want your ______ to look like?

Almost every Saturday for the last 16 years I've spent 90 minutes with 80-100 of my most favorite people in the world. And I listen (well, I try). It's a truly powerful, humbling, sometimes irritating and most always inspiring experience. Most Saturdays I hear something that I can get behind - that's why I keep showing up. Today someone remarked that they tend to look at life through shit colored glasses. Shit colored glasses! Brilliant.

That started me thinking about my own "glasses".

I'd like my glasses to look like reality colored glasses more often. Sure, I wear them consistently when I'm looking at your life (so I imagine) - but when I'm looking at my life I tend to drag out the colored glasses. I'm going to put my colored glasses in the back of my underwear drawer and keep my reality colored glasses with me at all times.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

sacred ground

Think Kit Day Five: Interview someone asking "What were your favorite and most defining moments of the last year?"

I'd like to introduce you to my friend Jacque. We met many years ago and became fast friends. Despite our physical separation of over 1,000 miles, we remain sisters.

Here are Jacque's favorite and most defining moments in the last year...
  1. I began taking online courses to become a nurse practitioner through Georgetown University. This was supposed to create direction in my life. Instead it taught me about my own limitations and lack of self discipline. I am not doing well as a masters candidate. I have reached a level in my life that I really have to work at to succeed. The rest of life gets in the way - parenting, work etc. I wish I could be just be a college student again.
  2. I sent my first born to start his junior year in college - soon he will make his own decisions, applying what he has learned. I must have done something right.
  3. My youngest son made the honor roll. This is especially sweet because he has struggled with a learning disability. He can now point to his accomplishments.
  4. I was living with my life partner and then he had to move -  and realizing that he is still my life partner. This process was long and hard - it sent me to places that my faith, family or friends couldn't reach. I have learned to be alone and slowly am learning how to be happy again.
  5. Instead of hiring out the work to build an earth friendly temazcal, I did much of the work myself. The work is difficult and very physical. I am amazed at myself and my body. I enjoyed working alone.
  6. Spirit provided me with the opportunity to hold space in quiet acceptance, receive compassion from others, and rejuvenate.
  7. I took a trip to Belize with my boys. I saw the future of their relationship and found happiness in watching.
  8. I held a temazcalli [sweat lodge] for my birthday. Attendees brought memories of a deceased love one and shared their grief. I include this because my lesson from spirit this year was about grief, depression, loss, loneliness and despair. And that even those times can be woven with faith, loyalty, love, connection and happiness.
"Did these moments change you?"
I am simply who I have always been. These events let me see what my being is made of. The small parts, the ethers, the walls. It let me touch strengths I did not know existed and showed me weakness I had avoided looking at. I still have my faith, but it gave me a raw, honest look at my being. I like what I saw.

[Tlazocomatli Sister. Much love to you.]

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Think Kit Day Four: ...or just share a little learned wisdom.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face into the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. 
- Mary Jean Irion

Are you listening? Today is the day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

my life in 200k miles

Think Kit Day Three: Lifeline! Share a photo that you haven't shown anyone and talk about it.

Yep, that's right. My 2006 Honda Civic has [more than] 200,000 miles on it. I took this while speeding up I-69 on the way to see my son at BSU. I snapped this because I thought it would be good on FB - but I started thinking about that 200K miles and how my life had changed and decided it was too sacred for FB. 

Ok I just need to tell you. I LOVE MY CAR. It's more home to me than my apartment. It is a symbol of my freedom. It doesn't just get me where I want to go. When I decide to face my fears and get out there & do something, it transports me. My kid used it to take his gf to prom. On long drives, I learned how to play the bones in my car. I sing at the top of my lungs - alone and with everyone else who comes along for the ride (can you feel the joy?) I cry, I dance, I laugh, I create, I DO in my car.

I love you girl (yes, my car is a girl).

Oh and Frances likes her too.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Think Kit Day Two: Take a poll and share the results!

Question: Introvert Or Extrovert? Whichever you are provide one suggestion for the other group that would make you feel more comfortable.

Extrovert - 7
Extrovert with Social Anxiety - 1
Borderline Extrovert - 1
Both Introvert and Extrovert - 4
Introvert - 6
Pervert - 1

What the Extroverts want us to know:

Be open about your comfort level with groups, especially size
Just because we thrive on social interaction doesn't mean we don't enjoy small groups
I'm not trying to upset you, I just want to include you
I want to share my joy with you
I cannot keep a secret 
In social situations buddy up with one of us - it will take the pressure off you
Whatever, I'm happy!

What the Introverts want us to know:

Keep it down
Don't take it personally if I want to be alone or decline your invitation
And don't stop inviting me
I'm not ignoring you - I'm processing internally
I like you; I want to be alone

Other advice:

Embrace diversity and be yourself
Always wear a condom

I learned a bunch! I'm going to go hide under the covers now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

leaving home

Think Kit Day One: The Year In Pictures.

I spent many days away from home and out of town this year. I'm realizing that I'm kind of a nomad...

Make the little ball go up!

My mom had surgery for colon cancer in January and started a tour of different medical facilities, hospital beds and rehabs. My tour was a little easier, always starting north on I-69 and ending in Ann Arbor or Midland, MI. Seven months later and 30 lbs. lighter my mom was well enough to stay home. My last road trip to Michigan was 2 days ago for our annual Thanksgiving gathering. I'm so thankful my mom is healthy!

I love live music and I traveled all over this year to see it...Tennessee, Denver, Chicago, Bloomington. One of my favorites was Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo - such a humble and classy man. I've never been to a concert where the frontman talks and EVERYONE listens - all 80,000 of us, you could have heard a pin drop. I heard myself say out loud "He has a great butt" and then realized he's as old as my dad.

The obligatory Bonnaroo What Stage sunset with alien/monster balloon photo. 

I'm a big Phish fan of late. This year I caught 4 shows. Now if you know about Phish fans - you know that 4 shows only is an embarrassment. But I'm doing my best. So much fun! 

Second night, Phish, Northerly Island
My son, Clay and I traveled to Ireland last spring. It was our first trip to Europe. It was so amazing. We drove all over and stayed in people's houses. Ireland is the home of the original roundabout - and they go clockwise. These little blue arrows were my best friend. I imagined them saying "This lane sweetie. It's ok, we are here to help."

Helpful Irish Arrows

There are a lot of sheep in Ireland. There are no fences, so they just roam. The funny thing is, you can't get enough photos of them. We talked about this many times, and vowed to take no more - which didn't work. 

You, yes, YOU. I'm looking at you!

One of my favorite trips this year was to Portland, OR to the World Domination Summit. It's a really cool weekend of networking and speakers talking about how to live your dream. I saw speakers like Tess Vigeland, Darren Rowse, Gretchen Rubin & Chase Jarvis among others. Awesome heart and soul people living their idea of an extraordinary life despite their fears. 

While in Portland, many Portlandiers stopped me and asked what the "World Domination Summit" was about. Was it political? Was it an S&M conference? Are we really trying to take over the world? It was a hoot. 

The past year was so filled with so many wonderful experiences that evoked feelings of fear, connection, joy, freedom, gratitude & love. I plan to leave home again this year!