Friday, March 26, 2010

This Simple Woman's Day Book

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, March 26, 2010

Outside My Window... it has turned to night. The sun stays out longer now and the air has been quite warm, though today, evening brought a chill with it. New Hampshire is officially in Springtime, as the snow and ice have melted, buds have begun on the bravest of trees, and the ticks, bees, geese, and even one sly black fly have returned. Don't they know it's only March? Ripe time for a blizzard. But our pool house opened today and we have forgotten our mittens and shovels altogether.

I am thinking... how amazing it is that a song, a scent, or the words of a stranger can evoke the strongest heart pulls toward an old friend. Last night, I heard a Little Song by Sarah Jarosz that made me long in my heart for my friend Molly, whom I have not seen in years. Today, the scented oil at the massage therapist reminded me of Amy - and now that sweet smell is on my skin, continuing to bring me back to my dear sister-like friend. Some moments in life never fade on the inside, and we are blessed by the unexpected reminders.

I am thankful for... the wonderful women with whom I work - who are kind, generous, and able to laugh at themselves. Today at work we celebrated Social Workers' Month. In Hospice, this is a particularly hard job, not for the weak of heart. I used to know a woman who worked with Aids patients. I wondered how she could endure such pain and suffering on a daily basis. Now I know that it is in helping people through their most vulnerable, frightening, and fragile times that our hearts are strengthened to love more fully, listen more deeply, and relax into the ever-present changes of a life.

From the kitchen... Scott and I will soon be enjoying the L&A Sausage Quiche, which I made again last night. Delicious! Will make some blueberry muffins - good ol' 50 cent Jiffys are still the simplest and best in my opinion - and maybe a salad to accompany the eggy pie.

I am wearing... jammies, since I am a) off work, b) home, and c) ready to enjoy a relaxing weekend! It's movie night here at Snyderville tonight - we are deciding between a scary one (Sixth Sense), a silly one (Boat Trip), and an interesting one (The Real Dirt on Farmer John).

I am creating... new habits of relaxation and de-stressing my body. Each day I work on stretching, sleeping, and bringing down my crazy by deep breathing, meditating, reading on my lunch hour, or taking in the natural world around me.

I am going... to a moving party tomorrow. Sarge, my 84-yr old friend is finally moving out of the big family house and into some more affordable apartment housing. It will be a big relief for those of us who do his finances and help with his complicated old man life. But it will probably be hard for him to leave that old house. He loves his yard projects, his gardening, his "home improvement" ventures, and most of all, his independence. How will we convince him that living in an apartment does not mean he isn't independent? And he will be right downtown, able to do all the walking and visiting he loves, shopping in his daily haunts and running up his tab at Madeleine's. All good things. His wife died in that house, and he has put in 50 years of love, sweat, and toil. I hope tomorrow he will be buoyed by friendship and laughter, and not too sad.

And FOR TODAY, March 29, 2010

I am reading...
The Elegant Gathering of White Snows, by Kris Radish

This is an amazing book that tells the stories of eight women who decide one night to take off from their lives and begin walking through the night, and then many following days. They are on a pilgrimage of sorts to think about and evaluate their lives, sharing sorrows and unraveling the tales of how they experienced life. I don't know how to put it in graceful words, but this book is very powerful and moving. Each woman's life is part of the universal story of women everywhere. It is definitely worth reading. I have been enjoying it bit by bit on my lunch hours, falling into the prose and not wanting to stop reading.

I am hoping... I have so many hopes right now I don't know where to begin. But I am also thinking on a principle from Donna Q. about how the combination of our longings and self loathing thoughts form a constant circle of frustration. Our attachments to wants and "shoulds" bind rather than free us. But meanwhile, a few of my hopes are: that Sarge can accept and delight in his new life in the apartment; that Caralee can have a break from her cancer pain and suffering and enjoy the many last days of her life; that Lauren will find a close woman friend in Mexico to share her joys, thoughts, and burdens; that my grandmas will feel loved and well taken care of in Indiana and Minnesota; that Kenda's wedding plans will bring her joy and turn into a wonderful day she will love remembering; that Laurel's new job will be a blessing to her; that my father and Grandpa C. will know they are loved and remembered, wherever they are; and that Dad will send a special blessing to Mom for their anniversary this weekend.

I am hearing... the hum of the noisy but comforting refrigerator. It is time for bed and I am avoiding the start of a new and exhausting week. But I am grateful to not be experiencing The Sunday Night Dread, as I have been lucky enough to find a job I like.

Around the house... are piles of tasks waiting to be accomplished - laundry, financial papers, my new pine cone project (from beautiful branches I gathered on our walk at the Pine Barrens on Saturday), library books to return, movies to watch and return, Pete's birthday present to mail and Easter goodies to be stuffed in baskets...the list goes on and on...

One of my favorite things... is cooking for someone else. Tonight I enjoyed making an Aztec Casserole for a dear friend and nurse with whom I work. I bribed her with Mexican food so she'd work an extra on-call shift tomorrow. I happily prepared her meal tonight, while listening to traditional mariachi love songs and cooking up a storm. I also made homemade cornbread for the first time, and it was yummy! Scott and I thoroughly enjoyed our Mexican treats before K. gets the rest tomorrow. I love cooking for my husband too.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week... I did a lot of my errands and appointments last week. So this week I will spend time with Scott, work on finances and budgeting, clean up the house, and get ready for Easter with Mom on Saturday and Sunday. I bought the eggs to be colored and the goodies to fill Easter baskets, and gathered some special pine cone twigs for decorating. What am I, Martha Stewart? I also desperately need a haircut, so maybe I can make that happen this week. Do the world a favor, right??

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book. View other entries at Simple Woman's Day Book. Try writing one yourself! It makes a lovely snapshot of your life, as it is - perfect in all its beautiful imperfection - today.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Helped by the stranger

I like this quote, posted by Attitude of Gratitude:

"All of us are influenced by somebody. Not to be influenced is to remain an ignorant person. Most of us hinder our thinking, particularly around spiritual things, because of pride. We don't like change. We find it hard to accept attitudes and opinions that differ from our own. Pride keeps us deaf and often stupid. However, the daily program of a lived spirituality encourages a variety of opinions and attitudes. We can learn from different customs, lifestyles and religions. We can be helped in our understanding of life by the stranger." ~Fr Leo

Daily Dose from Shoeboxblog

All credits of hilarity go to Shoeboxblog

More New Academy Awards Categories

* Best Soundtrack Song by Gloomy Indie Band that nobody will ever hear from again
* Best Boy (What is that anyway?)
* Dog that most reminded everyone of that one dog, from that one movie with the dog
* Creepiest Creepy Kid
* Best Tolerance of Nicolas Cage
* Best telephone conversation when no one’s really on the line
* Best Boobs in 3-D
* Best Scene That makes you yell, “He would have so died from that!”
* Best Movie Poster that over promised laughter…by, like, a LOT
* Most Scientologistical

Even More New Academy Award Categories

* Most critically lauded film that you saw and were like “What?”
* Best Movie directed by Gary Marshall (never presented)
* Best Performance by a hot actress playing a frump
* Best application of Duane ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s body make-up
* The Ed Begley Jr. Award for most self-righteous Prius driver
* Most bullets fired by a single character
* The “Ooh! It’s Indie!” for most pretentious piece of yuppie-bait
* Best Craft Table Hummus
* Best Performance by restaurant background couple

For your reading enjoyment and visual enrichment

Just wanted to invite you to continue following the Rock, Water, and Light blog that I write, with my husband's incredible nature and art photography. I wrote a piece tonight on formative memories, life paths, and looking at the stars. If you're into stars and all.

Scott is also doing a year-long photographic exploration of Shaker Village, nearby in Canterbury, NH. His blog for this project is called Hands to Work, Hearts to God. The name is taken from a Shaker concept of living fully in the moment, with your heart dedicated to worship in all mundane tasks. Beautiful thought, really.

We want you to be part of our lives.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Ack! No More Applebee's Salad for Me...

Check out this article on the worst secret-calorie-bomb salads from your favorite eateries. I, for one, will miss the Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad. It was so good!