Ready for a reset

Ready for a reset

Everyone needs a reset day. A refresh. Whatever it takes to take care of the body, mind, and spirit. The summer has been full and fast and lately I’ve felt a bit …crowded inside. As if there wasn’t enough room for everything contained within. A weariness. Sometimes I forget to take time to reset and let go.

I left early this morning with my go bag stocked and found myself following the tiny voice inside (that had lately been screaming) wherever it wanted to go. Like a homing pidgeon I pulled In to a spot at the beach, changed between two car doors (my own in case you’re thinking to yourself, “now I know this woman and there is absolutely no guarantee she didn’t strip with strangers…”) and landed on soft sand by 1pm.

I dropped everything and walked straight into the ocean until the waves covered me and stayed like that for a while before climbing into a low chair near the dunes, leaning all the way back, closing my eyes, surrounded by deafening sea and a beautiful breeze.

Even very dark and cold clouds bearing thick rain drops and rumbles of thunder couldn’t pull me away. I let the storm pass right over me, face up to the sky (fingers crossed because I did spot a bolt or two) until the beach was pretty much abandoned.

Now I’m sitting in my car (having stripped and changed again between my car doors) looking out at the little bits of late day sun trying to break through the clouds and sprinkles and I know its time to head home. I feel lighter inside. My skin smells nice like salt and rain and coconut. I’m ready to go.

#HitTheResetButton
#Selfcare
#MyLifeInWords

Making every moment count

Making every moment count

So many amazing sights and experiences, packed into so many moments big and small. After a whirlwind first day in NYC we let ourselves sleep in and set off on day two for Battery Park, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

I don’t care how dopey I sound, I was moved and so filled with the hugeness of it all. People coming from every corner or the world, piling onto boats, bouncing across roiling water, grey heavy skies, lightning arcing across hot muggy air. How did they survive their journeys? Pulling around and seeing that beautiful statue was a moment I won’t forget.

Ellis Island was so striking to me. We wandered around soaking everything in, tucked into a desk and scrolled through the database to find my family and touch their names, the dates they arrived on this very Island, and have it sink in that THIS, this place was where they first stayed while they waited to be welcomed in.

We left the ferry to soft rain, deciding we could walk a bit to say money on a ride. They skies opened wide and we found ourselves soaked to the bone, waking through crazy sideways rain for an hour before deciding some things were costlier than others and ordered a cab. Thank God too! It was another almost hour to the tiny apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan where we have been renting a room!

Thankfully we both packed a lot of extra underwear and shoes so dried, and fortified with food we headed to the theatre district that same evening at the invitation of a dear friend who was able to reserve standing room tickets for Lucy and me to see my first ever broadway show…”Hamilton”!

It was incredible. I don’t recall more than a few moments passing between the curtain rising and the curtain falling. I haven’t stoped grinning and dancing and delighting for more than a breath. After the show (which was UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!) Lisa has us leave the theatre, go around the side the stage door to meet up with our friend Rob, where a very serious man stood with a clipboard that had our names on it. He let us inside backstage where Lisa gave us the full tour, and introduced us to some of the cast.

We stayed out late talking treason, and laughing over wine and beer, and found our way back to our beds around 2am.

Today we slept IN. Really really IN. We took the subway into Madison Square Park where we lunched, shopped for the birthday girl, bought fresh fruit from a street vendor, and a bottle of cheap red wine from a small shop and headed back to the apartment on the metro to rest.

We refused to slack and miss anything so we rallied in fine style for the evening to see Rob and friends in an improv comedy show. More beer, more wine, more talk of treason and more laughter.

Tomorrow is our last day. We booked our bus tickets for afternoon so we’ll still have time to take one last bus tour and see the Met before heading home.

It’s been an amazing, empowering and incredible experience. Already making plans for the next adventure. Blessed.

#TheNextBigAdventureAwaits

#OvercommingAnxiety

#GirlTime

#MakeEveryMomentCount

Girl power

Girl power

I’ve never done anything like this It’s really wide of my comfort zone so I’m kind of crazy proud of myself tonight. NYC…can’t believe I made it past crushing anxiety and panic.

Caleb was so sweet to me. He hugged me and said “it was really smart of future “you” to have Lucy getting off a bus in NYC, because if she wasn’t, if she was just flying home? Present “you” would have totally bailed by now on this trip.” And he’s right. I’d have canceled by Sunday.

It’s so agonizing to have that panic start to slowly build. It’s insidious, and paralyzing but I DID IT. I actually got on a bus and got myself here for the first time ever. I found my way to where Lucy was (we arrived in different locations at different times!) ate slices of pizza served by the most delightfully colorful woman, and found our way to the tiny apartment we are renting a room in.

Had a delightful late lunch of thick cheesecake slices and iced tea with one of the most kickass women I am proud to call a friend where we talked treason and hatched plans before walking her back to the theater she works at.

We walked through Times Square, the Theatre district, SoHo, a dizzying array of candy shops and makeup stores, before entering Central Park where we walked for hours , past the zoo, the Shakespeare gardens, and so many beautiful sights! Came out of the park right in front of the museum of natural history and flopped on a bench to wait for a cab.

Cold showers, long drinks of water, laying side by side on a shared bed, cooled by fans beside my favorite girl in the entire world. And it’s just day one of our awesome adventure.

#NYCadventure

#girltime

#myfavoritegirl

#beingbrave

When everything goes sideways

When everything goes sideways

I feel like my home is really a big boat with a hole we can never find, taking on more water than we can bail with our buckets. We stand hip deep in it, bailing and laughing with just a tinge of hysteria to our voices. Thankfully we both swim ok, and always liked the water.

I had already added extra shifts to prep for fall tuition installments for two of our five, when my oven breathed its last breath two weeks ago. Nothing to be alarmed over, no foul play or anything like that. The poor thing just died of extreme old age. And extreme over use. I site the aforementioned five offspring fed lovingly and copiously over the years.

As fate would have it my grandmother’s hand me down refrigerator died last night. Mostly thawed meat and vegetables weepingly announced its passing this morning. I personally think it died of a broken heart. The oven and fridge lived together in my kitchen for ages and could often be seen winking (doors not fully closed, thank you very much aforementioned offspring) at each other from across the tiny island.

Don’t even ask about my washer and dryer. One has consumption (it consumes socks one at a time), and the other says it’s tummy hurts and can it please stay home today. The answer to that question is “NO”. No one takes a day off of laundry in a family this large so suck it up buttercup and wash the damn load.

So now I’m a slave to graveyard shifts and cruising online sites on breaks for used appliances. Unfortunately there is no category on the site for “used tuition”. I know. I looked. Used every related search engine phrase I could think of from “free bags of cash” to “broke-ass mom”. Not one single hit. Still, I soldier on.

#GrillingEverythingInSight

#AppliancesDieInThrees

#closertocrazy

#mylifeinwords

#wheneverythinggoessideways

All of us

Father’s day. Everyone is here with us in this moment. We have more blessings than we ever imagined possible, more days in the sun than days in the rain. From that first one, waiting expectantly for David to join us on the outside, through four more babies sleep deprived punch drunk blind leading the blind totally by the seat of our pants make it all up as we go along hope for the best try not to break them child rearing years, to this very moment. Whatever chance and fate and dumb luck it was in the universe that brought you into my life, I forever whisper thank you for making me a mom, and for being the most wonderful father of five. Happiest Father’s Day yet. ❤️

Twenty dollars meant for tomato plants, A skinny little fleamarket bunny missing patches of fur, and what happens when I am left alone with a choice to makeup

Twenty dollars meant for tomato plants, a skinny little flea market bunny missing patches of fur, and what happens when I’m left alone with a choice to make.

I have a soft heart. It’s probably also accurate to say I have a soft mind given my track record for debatable choices and equally debatable sanity.

Three years ago I stood at a table covered with plants, one of dozens and dozens stretched across a dirt lot and filled with chachkis, second hand items,odds and ends, and homemade crafts.

An old woman sat on a folding chair in a small portable pen with rabbits for sale around her feet. They were adorable. I just couldn’t resist moving a few steps closer to get a peek.

The thing that caught my eye was this very small, very skinny baby bunny hiding under her chair. He was much smaller than the other bunnies and missing so many patches of fur from being picked on by his heartier siblings.

I asked if I could hold him and she scooped the wee thing out from under her seat and handed him to me. I could feel his ribs. I don’t think it took me more than a second to fall in love with that poor creature and asked how much to buy him.

My husband just shook his head when he turned up with the car to load the tomato plants, only to find me standing with absolutely no tomato plants, and cuddling a very scared bunny under my chin.

I named him Buttercup because he was a buttery sweet thing. He wouldn’t eat at first. He just huddled in a corner of a Rubbermaid tote in the corner of my kitchen, looking sad and sleepy.

I nudged him and tried to coax him to drink but he stayed tucked and shaking. I worried over him and didn’t want him to be alone so I placed our three little ducklings in with him.

They quacked and bothered him with their curious plodding, and splashing around his food and water. Little by little he made his way over to his food and started nibbling. Every time the duckings tried to get to the food, he nibbled faster. There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to urge an underfed bunny to get hopping and eat!

It was amazing to see that wee thing start to strengthen and fatten. His fur grew back soft and silky. He grew bold hopping around our kitchen finding new edges of books to chew on and baskets to devour.

He’s three years old this month. His belly is nice and round and fat. He has a lovely double chin, long droopy ears that sweep the floor, a gentle heart and is definitely the best thing I ever bought for my garden.

Less of me

Less than me

I have been hushed too much for being me. Though I was raised to be true to myself I hushed myself to keep secrets, to smooth moods, to stabilize situations that felt too tumultuous, to hold together things that seemed to turn to water in my fingers.

I pressed my knuckles against my lips without even realizing I was doing it. I covered my mouth with my hand when I felt anxious and never noticed.

“It’s better for everyone. Keep the big picture in mind. It’ll blow over faster, there will be less of a mess. Better just you than everyone else. Find the bright side.”

Hushed by peers for speaking up, for speaking out, for being different. Hushed by other women who require specific social tiers.

“Don’t make waves, definitely hold your thoughts, and dress a little more conventionally. Earn your place at the table, on the sidelines, in break-room cliques, work functions, school events.”

Hushed by men for wanting to be seen by them as truly human, as more than a pretty, smiling doll to be taken out and played with, and then tossed into corners until I was wanted again. A head filled with thoughts and a heart burning wild, I am more, so much more.

“Don’t overwhelm men with your emotions so much and things will go better. Just be a little less…you know, ‘you’. “

Less of me.

Be less of me and things will go better and I’ll be more palatable to others.

Less of me.

Less of you.

Relationship-lite.

But I won’t be hushed. I won’t be less. My silences helped on needed levels inside long ago, but strangled me far more than it was worth.

So I will bend, and I will grow, and I will learn and I will adapt but I will not be less and I will not be hushed anymore.