Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I have kept a journal since my pre teen years. Back then, they were called diaries. I think the one sure way to get a young girl to stop writing in her diary, is to read it! It is a violation of privacy, kills any hope of trust that may have been formed between the writer and the perpetrator. This exact thing happened to me when I was just thirteen years old. I wrote about a boy from the roller-skating rink I crushed on, he kissed me, his hand ever so slightly trying to cop a feel of my size a cup boob! Come on, I was thirteen! Well much to my embarrassment, my older brother and my mom, found my diary and read it!

Needless to say, I didn’t write in a journal for many years after that, for fear of someone finding it and reading my deepest thoughts, wishes and disappointments. My journal became my therapy, and there was nothing that would stop me from writing my thoughts down.

Over the years, I have become lazy and have not written in my journal consistently. There have been times my journal has been my memory, and this has been invaluable to me. Like the day, I took my trusted journals to a cafe, spent a whole day re reading my life’s story. I laughed, I cried, I got mad! Most of all, I learned. I learned that in those pages, I put my worst fears, I wrote the ugly truth of my feelings, and I put all my trust in the pages of each and every journal. In my journal, words are not filtered, they are raw, true, and tell me exactly how I felt, when my memory has failed me.

Yes there are times when I don’t want to write a journal entry, write a blog post, and certainly there are times when I don’t want to talk about things. These are the times I need to give myself permission to just sit down and write. I have to tell myself that the housework can wait, the laundry can go without being done this instant, and yes it is okay to sit in the coffee shop for three hours, two lattes later, and maybe a snack!

This is the sunset from my writing spot at camp!

There are few things I ever allow myself to do that are a complete act of self indulgence, but writing is the most essential one of all!
I often tell myself that I am documenting my life, my family memories, my mistakes forever recorded for my daughter to learn by. I imagine her, when I am gone, reading through my journals and learning all the things about me that perhaps she didn’t know. I wonder, will she learn from my mistakes? Will she pause in her own life and question her own decisions? I don’t quite imagine it to be a scene out of “Bridges of Madison County”, but it will be my life. She will read about me from my perspective, and my one hope is that she finds perhaps my complexity is one of the greatest things about me!
I tell myself that I will write when I want to, even if it means staying up late, letting my daughter watch a movie when perhaps she could be doing something more constructive. I will tell myself it is okay to waste the day away in cafe writing whatever I want to write. You know what? I tell myself these things, and sometimes, I actually listen.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Beautiful Spring Days

I just love, love, love, unexpected beautiful spring days!

When I woke up this morning, I quickly recognized that half the week is nearly over, and I have not been feeling my regular self. I was happy it was an earlier yoga day and the sun was going to be shining! I was happy and delighted that this would be a day of sunshine with a multitude of things to do, yet nothing that needed to be done! Well okay, I did get an order for 24 cards to be done that day, but I knew I could fit it in if the inspiration came to me!

So it was a beautiful day with yoga, and gardening....

Some worm catching....

I don't know why she always has to wear my stuff, but she does!

And of course, with my girl, the water and the balloons always come out. I swear, give the girl a bucket of water, or a hose, or even a few cups of water, and girlfriend could keep herself busy for a long, long time!

The weeds were pulled, half of the garden turned, dinner started, as Dave would say, "the prettiest skewers I ever made!" No picture though. I did get some pictures of the animals on this lovely day....

Later though, Harvey would sneak out the front door, make a mad dash across the street, veer towards the traffic half a block away, get scared shit less, and run back home to hide under the Adirondack chair. He would then be dragged out by his tail, mud stuck to his paws, and thrown in the house. He is now grounded. Bad Harvey!

And now, I will end my afternoon, my favorite way, listening to the girls laughing, having a glass of wine and reading a book.

Oh thank heaven for lovely spring days! Enjoy yours!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I am curious to know people, do you journal? Do you write down words in a favorite notebook you have, or a journal that you picked up with a pretty cover, one made out of funky paper, an inspirational quote?

I am curious to know! I wholeheartedly believe in the power of writing down your feelings, your thoughts, your goals and your memories. I know it is not for everyone, I get that. I know people who can go on and on about the benefits of running, of eating fish 3 times a week, tanning beds. It doesn’t mean that it’s for me, but I find what they have to say interesting none the less. We all have, hopefully, something we partake in, that helps us feel better, heals our pain, and acts as our therapy.

For me, a few things do that: gardening, working with paper, and writing. I have kept most of my journals, and I can say I honestly wish I kept them all. There was the occasional one that got burned, ripped up, or something equally dramatic. I was a teenager, so I am not expected to even understand myself why I did that right! Every couple of years, and sometimes more frequently, I will take a whole day, and go through my old journals. I did this before I made my decision to get divorced, and yes, it seems to be something I do when I am about to make a big life decision. It amazes me how I can write the same complaints in my journal, sometimes for years, without ever doing anything to change that particular complaint into a better outcome. I think the reason is this; when we have a frustration, a hurt, a challenge, we can tell ourselves anything we want to hear. We can say it over and over and over in our head, to justify, convincing ourselves, to feel better. And the circle goes on and on, never ending. However, when you write it down, the truth, absolute truth, without worry of spelling errors, worry of someone else to judge, something happens; we are honest with ourselves. We are so honest that it can be frightening, it can be inspirational, and it can be exactly what we need to see the truth! Right there in front of us.

If you have never written in a journal, I would love to be your encouragement to give it a try. Don`t let it replace anything you do, but let it be something that you give yourself. Let your journal, be a voice clear of judgement, full of truth, and the friend that you need when maybe you feel alone. Try it. Hide it if you have to; keep it with you all the time, just like your phone!

I have another reason for being moved to write about journals today. I received an e mail, from a woman I know, someone who is becoming a friend. She buys custom journals from me for her company, and puts together some wonderful gift packages. This is the e mail she sent to me....

I just wanted to let you know that one of your journals made a bunch of women happy, the givers, the receiver and also the people that witnessed.

A lady lost her husband a few months ago. Now she has been diagnosed with cancer. Your journal was given as part of a “Cheer” package. My customer LOVED the package I put together for her and I know that everyone that sees the package will love it also. I can imagine the lady carrying the journal with her during all her hospital visits. Because it is so beautiful and she will feel the need to be close to something pretty.

Thanks for what you do!!

It made me happy to get that e mail, proud that someone loved something I made, appreciation that someone took the time to let me know.

I know that one day, when I am writing my own book, I will pull out those journals for some creative inspiration, and for the memories I have chosen to forget, or the ones that are a little fuzzy and require a little bit of focus.

So, I journal, but do tell, what is it that you do that helps you to cope and be sane in a world that at times can rip the rug from under your feet.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The One Left Behind

I have a set of blue Adirondack chairs in my front yard. They are connected together with a table in the center, and they sit under a large tree, partly shaded. They face outward, and I can see my daughter’s school. When she is half way up the street, I can see her coming home. I like this first glimpse of her, when she doesn’t know I’m looking!

Today, I take my glass of water with me, and I go sit down a bit early. I am playing over in my mind, a conversation I need to have with her, one of those, “tough” conversation. You know the kind you have as a parent, in the hopes that your kid is listening and will get the “message” to what you are saying. They are not always easy, sometimes the result is a blank stare, sometimes I get an eye roll, sometimes I get that look that just says “wow, you have no idea what you’re talking about!”

When she comes into the yard, as always, she says “hi mom!”, and I ask her how her day was. I often get the same answer “ok, same old thing.” We chit chat, the way we usually do after school, snippets of information offered, half answers to questions that I expect a full answer to. At age twelve, I guess I take what I can get!

I ask her how things are going with her friends, and I tell myself that this is a good way to open up to my concern. She has been hanging out with a group of kids from school, and this is a fairly new occurrence. My worry is that she will ignore another friend, “ditch” someone in the midst of her excitement of new found friendships. I think it may already have happened, so I ask her. I ask her about this friend of hers, a new girl. Have you talked to her, have you phoned her back, have you invited her to play? I ask her all of the usual questions.

I am momentarily disappointed with her response. The words that I hear coming out of her mouth, do not match the girl I know. I am sad, that she is repeating to me, the reasons that another friend would have given, a reason that that they constructed for their behavior. I ask her to look at me, in the eyes, and I remind her of a time last year when she would ask the “girls” if she could play with them, and one would say no. I reminded her about the day at lunch, when a friend she was sitting with got up and left her to go sit at the table with the other group of kids, and how sad she was that day when she got home. I reminded her of these things and more, in hopes that she would understand, and remember what it felt like to be the one left behind.