Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oldies but goodies

Some great photos I found while perusing through old files...

Scott snowshoeing in Franconia Notch, 2007 - isn't he handsome?
(taken by me)

Dad and me coming down the beach, heading to the wedding, 2003
(taken by Steven Johnson)

I loves my Daddy.
(taken by Steven Johnson)

Me and Laurel at Profile Falls, NH, 2007
(taken by Scott Snyder)

Matthew as a baby, curling up in Tip's bed! 2005
(taken by me or Scott)

Scott and me, just after our wedding ceremony on Ogunquit Beach.
(taken by Steven Johnson)

Ally in the Lupine, Sugarhill, NH 2007
(taken by Scott)

Allison & Scott coming down the aisle as a happy married couple, 2003.
(taken by Steven Johnson)

Me and Scott, kayaking at Grape Island, 2005.
With Tip's ears in the front corner!
(taken by Laurel?)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

for Lauren and Happy, Happy Birthday, Girl!

40 Things That are Great About Being 40!

(for Lauren on her 40th bday, July 26)

(photo by Scott Snyder)

1. No more dreading turning 40!

2. You still have more than 50 years to go.

3. No more school photos.

4. You can wear skirted bathing suits with no shame!

5. You won’t get carded for a glass of wine.

6. You can cry if you want to.

7. You know lots of things already.

8. You can braid your chin hairs into a warm, comforting winter scarf.

9. No more standardized testing!

10. You never have to worry about what brand of jeans you are wearing.

11. You can go grey or stay red - or try a whole new hair color!

12. Skeevy men will probably stop hitting on you.

13. New, older skeevy men will start hitting on you.

14. That whole “find your purpose when you’re 33” pressure is off.

15. Your best sex is still ahead of you (so they say).

16. You can gracefully call wrinkles “laugh lines.”

17. There’s no need to spend time tanning.

18. Shave. Don’t shave. Whatever.

19. You can start a new career and get scholarships for moms over 40!

20. You can have your cake and eat it too. (But you will probably have to make it yourself.)

21. You can blame tummy bulge on middle age.

22. You can blame your husband’s bad behavior on middle age (not that he would ever).

23. You can pretty much blame anything you want on middle age!

24. You can vote - whoop de do!

25. If you haven’t smoked by now, there’s no point in starting - good for you!

26. You can watch your children grow up while you still have the energy to enjoy them.

27. When your kids go to college, you’ll still be young enough to travel the world!

28. No one can tell you you’re being immature. It’s your right now.

29. Behold and embrace those laugh lines - you earned ‘em!

30. You can write a really long list of your accomplishments.

31. You can remember things from the 80’s which are now considered “from yesteryear.”

32. You can pull outfits out of your closet that your kids will wear to oldies costume parties.

33. You can say things like, “Back in the day.”

34. It is perfectly valid to start using that, “Uphill both ways” story with pride.

35. You am who you am and it’s high time to accept and love YOU.

36. You can feather your hair and wear high heels with skinny jeans because hey, you’re worth it! (And you waited so long that it’s now back in style.)

37. You have a family that loves you and gives your life meaning.

38. You’re not 50.

39. You can start your memoirs.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Great things I did on my summer "vacation"...

...and it's not even half over yet!

1) Went on a 3,008-mile road trip with Scott to visit friends, family, grandkids, and an old college buddy.

2) Had dinner in Andover with Kel.

3) Talked on the phone regularly with Robin in Canada.

4) Helped Laurel and Conrado (and Bumbers) move into their first new home!

5) Went surfing with Scottie and Mattie in Hull at the wonderful (and missed) Nantasket Beach...followed up by dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant, Punjab Cafe in Quincy.

6) Went kayaking on a beautiful mountain lake with Barb and Ted.

7) Planted flowers on Dad's pretend grave for Father's Day and introduced Scott to the Concord Beef & Seafood store. (And later, the quirky, strange and delicious Gas Lighter Restaurant, which has a Ms. Pac Man machine!!!...I am in heaven.)

8) Hiked up to the Canterbury Water Tower with Izzy and Tammy.

9) Doggie-sat for Dufus, our favorite canine neighbor.

10) Went to Beech Hill Farm (to visit our favorite goats and their new goat-lings, donkey, and ice cream barn), and to Dimond Hill Farm for incredibly fresh and delicious produce.

11) Started going weekly to the Concord Farmers' Market, and sometimes the Art Market and other local farm stands.

12) Went to the wonderful hidden treasure, the Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden.

13) Took photographic adventures with Scott, including Merrill Pond and Bear Brook State Park, to name a few.

14) Saw the hysterical musical, "A Year with Frog and Toad," and yes, I said Frog and Toad.

15) Had a great Fourth of July with Mom, Laurel and family, and Scott, including swimming at the pool AND Lake Winnisquam, and fireworks in downtown Laconia.

16) Swam in the Merrimack River with Mom and Scott on a lazy hot afternoon.

17) Went to warm and inviting gatherings with White Mountain Sangha.

18) Enjoyed backyard-neighbor barbecues and fellowshipping.


20) Just enjoyed a wonderful and too-fast weekend at Grape Island in Maine with Laurel & Co. and Laurel's family, including old summertime friends and Conrado's sister Shanti (whom we just love).

What am I missing? I'm sure I'll remember some other fun soon.

I am blessed and grateful.

~ Ally

(photo by Scott Snyder)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

EPL: To know this world and God

I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert's wonderful book, "Eat, Pray, Love." Every day, I feel inspired to write after reading some of her book. But the problem is, I am stuck in the middle of my workday and lunch is over and there ain't no way I can be blogging in this job! So I will spend a few posts giving you the highlights of her words which affect me. Today, I'd like to share this word image:

(excerpt from ch. 8, in which she asks a ninth-generation Balinese medicine man in Indonesia for the desires of her heart)

"...'what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God.'

Ketut said he could answer my question with a picture. He showed me a sketch he'd drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart.

'To find the balance you want,' Ketut spoke through his translator, 'this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.'"