Tuesday, May 29, 2007

charged up with anticipation

My horoscope for today:

You are charged up with anticipation, as if you are on the edge of something big, yet you cannot quite grasp what it is now. You can't push your way into whatever is next, so it's better to prepare yourself by putting all your information in order. Fastidious mental housekeeping can insure your success over the weeks ahead.
Daily Horoscopes, Love Compatibility, Astrology Charts and More: Tarot.com
Cannot grasp what it is... Hmm, what could it be?!!! I think I know, but perhaps I don't grasp. And as far as pushing, as the big moment draws near, that may be exactly what it takes to get to this something big!

Monday, May 28, 2007

good weekend

Aaaahh... good weekend.

Not much more to say about it than that. We didn't do much of anything. John worked hard on Saturday getting everything wired up in the basement. And I got the laundry done in between helping him. So when we had tv and internet and crafting all set up by Saturday evening, what else is there to do but recreate the rest of the weekend? So that's what we did.

Very restful, but I could still go for a few more days of the same. :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007


Last night John and I attended a basic breathing class for childbirth. Many of the techniques they showed us were things I know how to do from practicing yoga. When I take a deep cleansing breath and let it go, I can do so for a very long count. And it's so slow, you really aren't going to see me taking in the air. So John kept telling me I wasn't breathing right... because he couldn't tell what was going on. Haha.

Another relaxation technique was visualization. The instructor provided a couple examples of being on a beach or a mountain and talked the class through the visualization. Then she gave the partners a chance to do a visualization for us. Let's just say, two people can have VERY different ideas on what is relaxing. I'm saying, he has a very different idea of what I find relaxing.

His first visualization had me at my scrappin' table cutting, pasting, coloring. Lol. "A" for effort, dear husband. While I enjoy crafting, I wouldn't exactly call it relaxing to think about for a meditation. I mean, would you visualize riding a roller coaster to ease pain, calm your brain, and steady your breathing?! Yeah, scrappin' is too exciting for a visualization.

His next visualization had me on a beach. Ok, this is better. He's talking about the sand... the sun... although, it's "beating down" rather than "gently warming my skin". So I'm on the beach. I'm adding the bits that he doesn't necessarily know about... I'm in my aunt's comfy sand chair at the edge of the breaking just close enough that sometimes the water rolls up under my chair. Then he brings in the seagulls. I hear the scratch of the needle going across the record in my head... SEAGULLS?! Seagulls are somehow NOT in my own personal visualization. I just half-smile and laugh to myself thinking, "we're going to need to talk before labor starts."

The funny thing is, he's been there for the majority of my most "zen moments", the things I would recall for visualizations. Here are the moments I am most likely to remember for a sense of peace and relaxation.

Top 5 zen moments:
Sitting on the balcony of our room at Peace Lodge in Costa Rica, on our honeymoon. We had a fire going inside. We'd just gotten out of the hot tub and were cuddled up in the big fluffy bath robes. We were sitting in the over sized rocking chairs watching and listening to the rain. Our balcony overlooked a deep valley covered by the rainforest.

Napping on rocks in the creek somewhere between Cranberry Glades and Snowshoe Mountain in WV. Dad, John, and I had just hiked about 9 miles on rugged terrain. We finished an hour before Mom was to pick us up. So we headed down by the creek to rest. We ended up each finding a rock large enough to lay down on. It was a beautiful fall day with a light breeze, comfortable in a t-shirt on the rock basking in the afternoon sun. And the sounds of the creek were just perfect, a light chatty babble. I don't think I fell asleep completely, it was too peaceful to waste the moment by sleeping. But looking back, it was one of the most relaxing moments I've ever had.

Lounging on the beach at Huntington State Park, SC. My favorite stateside vacation spot. Last summer, our first afternoon on the beach comes to mind. All the good elements of being on the beach... sun, sound of the waves, light breeze... but then it started to sprinkle rain. The sun was still shining and there were light rain drops falling on my skin. Very cozy in an odd sort of way.

Sitting on the back porch at the cabin in WV. It's incredibly dark. Dark like people who live in the city never know. The peepers start up their chorus as the sun goes down. They get louder and louder as the night gets darker. Sometimes an owl hoots in the distance. The stars come out just above the hills. But you can't see the hills anymore unless the moon is out. You know they're there though, hugging you close instilling a feeling of security.

Hiking at Canaan Valley in the fall. The leaves on the trees were just starting to change colors. The shorter vegetation like the rhododendrons had already turned bright red. These and the evergreens would brush up against you as you made your way through the path. The sound of the rain, the colors of the forest, the smell of the wet ground... what a great experience for a "moving meditation".

In our class, as the "contraction" came to an end and I did my cleansing breath... John's visualization morphed into something more sinister. I can't remember exactly what he said, but I think the seagull started pecking at me and I was developing a painful sunburn.

What are your top 5 zen moments?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Japanese dogwood

My Japanese dogwood has bloomed! It's a lovely tree. And it is COVERED in blooms. And when it's done blooming, later this summer... the seed pods are pretty cool, too.

But call me greedy... I'd rather have a traditional dogwood tree that blooms in April. I like knowing that spring is on the way as early as possible. So I get a little perturbed with this "dogwood" when it blooms so late.

But spring is definitely here. 89 degrees today. Just ask my ankles. :-)

Digital frame for photo by Christine Nash.

Monday, May 21, 2007

the tapper

So I hung up my finch feeder in the dead of winter. There I am... pregnant, trying to get the shepherd hook into the frozen ground. I'd go out in the bitter cold and fill it up with the best "Finch and Chips" money can buy. And what do I get? Some mean cardinals and chickadees.

Then... a finch shows up. One finch. And he's an idiot. He has been tapping at our front windows for two weeks now. I call him "the tapper". He just taps and taps... like he is mating with the reflection in the window or something. He's not even near the finch feeder. It hasn't seen any action in weeks even though it's still full of food.

Here he is... caught mid-tap:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

24 hours of flickr

Well, did you take your photo on May 5 for the 24 hours of flickr photo pool?! I posted this one:

Artistically speaking, not a great photo. But as far as photo memories go... I liked this photo the best of the bunch. Mom and I LOVED this greenhouse. They had the most beautiful selection of plants. And you know it feels good to be in a greenhouse early in the spring! So this photo shows her reaching in one direction and looking in another, which was how the whole plant selection process went that day! Oooh, look at this - Ah, but look over THERE!!

And... it's where we were and what we did on May 5. Check out the pool to see all the photos from that day around the world. Pretty cool stuff!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

new purse

So my lovely purse of last fall is just too small for a mom. Heck, it was too small for me as not-a-mom. (I was carrying an extra bag to work to hold my badge and iPod!) So for summer (and hopefully in to fall) I wanted a LARGE bag with a smaller inner bag that I could use when I just needed wallet, keys, phone.

So the hunt began. Now mind you, I'm cheap. If I think it's THE thing, I don't mind paying more. But if I think an item will only interest me for a season or two, I'm less willing to pay more. So this complicates the search... gotta find a bargain.

A few weeks ago at TJ Maxx, I found the perfect large bag. It was a good deal, but I couldn't find the matching accessories to go with it. This is a fairly new rule with me... Buy no purse that doesn't have a matching wallet. But I really liked the bag and I did some quick thinking on how I could make it even more hip and trendy by choosing accessories that coordinate rather than match. Plus, this was just the right size to hold my stuff for going to work daily... or if I needed to stash a change of baby clothes, a couple diapers, a bottle, and some wipes - it surely would. And so, the giant brown zebra stripe canvas bag and I went home together.

After some looking around the past few weeks, I finally made a decision on accessories. Tonight I found a wallet and a change purse in a lovely shade of green (and at the right price) at Kohls. The wallet will hold all the important stuff. The chang purse will hold just the necessities and fit in the wristlet I had in mind.

And now, the pièce de résistance... the wristlet. I saw it last weekend at the Fossil store at the mall. It stuck in my mind all week, so it must be love, right?! Really, if I wasn't so cheap, I would have totally raided the Fossil store for the whole ensemble. But for much less, I think I put together a pretty cute set.

Here it is...

I am loving the wristlet. The large baubles sold me on it. Seriously, they're the largest, most useless baubles I've ever seen on a purse! And it should hold the change purse, keys, sunglasses, and phone... just like I needed.

Check the baubles!

Oh, and I should mention that I'm totally going ot save the cute tag with a bird for scrappin'. And the shopping bag - it's cute too. The paper is a sturdy, textured print - quite lovely and good for scrappin'!

Now, I have to stay out of the Fossil store. I could eat that place alive. Bags, purses, jewelry, YUM!!! What vintage am I, indeed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

junkie monkey

Try this out...

Not sure how useful it is, but it's always fun to get a personality profile, right? And how about "Junkie Monkey" to describe me? I'd say that's fitting. :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

taste of dublin

Third day of a blog post in a row! I'm on a roll... look out world! Well what else am I going to do while I sit around with my pudgy ankles propped up?

Tonight we went to Taste of Dublin after work with our friends Jenny and Robert. Becka invited us since she was working the event. We love food. These are the same people we hit the fish fry circuit with during Lent. (Picture of John is from a fish fry... I was too busy eating tonight to take any photos.) Jenny is the co-founder of Fork. So of course we should attend Taste of Dublin together!

I have to say... we filled up a few times at the Hoggy's booth. Yummers... beef brisket and macaroni with cheese. Panera had several varieties of brownies. I'd like to recommend the brownie with the raspberry topping. But my favorite thing? The chocolate dipped strawberries from Edible Arrangements. Was it wrong to stand there and eat them as fast as they can refill the table?! And do you see a theme with me and the chocolate with fruit?! I could seriously have a straight diet of chocolate covered fruit.

So we are all about these "Taste" events now. Looks like Upper Arlington's is coming up in August, the 14th. Who's in?!

Oooh, you know what else I have almost forgotten about? It's May... time to start hitting the local markets on Saturday mornings. Yahoo! I love the market.

All this talk of food on the blog... anyone want to wager that I'll be blogging more about exercise in 6 months or so?! :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

baby time

It seems it's time for a baby update. I'll write about him while he's lodged sideways in my uterus and not moving too quickly to readjust - ow!

How far along: 32 weeks.
Last thing I craved: Chocolate dipped strawberry blizzard from Dairy Queen. (Ok, so it was the flavor of the month for February... but I just found out about it recently.)
Pounds gained so far: 24
Last time the baby moved: 5 minutes ago.
Latest annoying pregnancy symptom: According to my husband, snoring.
Progress on the nursery: 10%. I actually moved some stuff out of the closet last week! And the baby stuff from the shower went into the nursery (in a pile, but it's in there!)
What we're reading: New books from the shower and some yard sale finds.
What we're listening to: CSI Miami. I'm a great mom.

John and I are getting acclimated to baby stuff. As you can see, John has figured out how the piggy baby towel works. I got a baby gate at a yard sale for a dollar. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to figure out. Guess I'll have to apply myself to figuring it out!

I got a hot tip a week ago from the nail tech who did my pedicure. She was raving about Dreft detergent for baby's laundry. I hadn't even thought about special laundry detergent. So I bought a bottle of it to start washing up the new clothes as we put them away.

We ordered the crib back in March... should be getting the call soon that it's ready. Won't that be exciting?!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

not blogging leads to...

Not blogging often enough can lead to really random blog posts! I don't even know where to start, there is so much to tell. And for once, I even have a few photos to go with my words!

This weekend has been awesome. The weather was beautiful all weekend long. I took Friday off as a "psychological day". I needed a "me day" to just chill out. I went to a few yard sales and had an acupuncture appointment. I ate lunch outside at Panera and did a little shopping.

The past couple weeks I've been keeping a more strict to-do list. I have had so many projects and things to do lately (and so very little time to actually do anything). So I made a list about two weeks ago and started crossing things off as I did them. I gave myself Monday through Friday to get everything done... and really I only expected to finish 80% of the list. So with those expectations, I didn't feel so bad when few things were still on the list for the past week. So last week, same process... about 10-12 things on the list and it took me most of the week to get things done, but I did it.

So Friday afternoon I spent working on one of my list items... packing up my craft stuff that was stashed in the guest room so it could be moved to the basement. That little amount of work about wore me out! So on Saturday morning, while I went to a few more yard sales with a friend, John moved all the stuff to the basement AND cleaned the bathrooms. Woo-hoo! More tasks done and I didn't have to wear myself out with it.

Saturday evening we went to Cirque du Soleil's show, Corteo. My brother and I had gotten the tickets for my mom for Christmas, so we'd been looking forward to this for a while. I made reservations for dinner at Basi Italia. We sat on the patio... it was gorgeous. The food was amazing!! I love their small patio, it is so quaint. The food is very unique... all the dishes have so much subtle flavor. I admit... we fought over the brownie. It was swirled with cheesecake and had berries baked right into it. Yum, yum, yum.

The show was great. The second half after intermission wasn't as fantastic as the last show we saw (Varekai). It was still a good show. It's about a clown who dreams of his funeral procession and all his friends. He has flashbacks from his life in the dream. It's a very cool concept. The acrobatics were amazing, of course. The costumes beautiful... loved the music... a total experience, as you'd expect from a Cirque du Soleil show!

So today after church... with the house pretty much all cleaned up and no clutter around, I felt like I finally had a day to do whatever I wanted. Another gorgeous day... and somehow the only way I can think to get out and enjoy it was to clean my car. How nice will that be to get in a clean car to go to work in the morning?! (Never mind that I found out last week that I need new tires - in addition to the other maintenance I've been postponing.) But after cleaning the car I think John and I sat on the porch for at least 2 hours. Just taking in the sun and watching people go by. We chatted on the phone and with each other... just relaxed. I wish that we could be this relaxed on Sundays more often!

As for this week's to-do list, I'm hoping it's a short one. I can crank it out and maybe enjoy another nice weekend in a few days. Sound good?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

time to take photos again

This Saturday... 24 hours of Flickr. My challenge to you... take one photo and add it to the pool. You never know, could make you famous. Add a link to this post in the comments if you do post something.

I'll be snapping shots... have fun!