Saturday, July 4, 2015

happy fourth!


Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day here in America. A day to honor our freedoms, our heritage, our heroes, the beauty of our land and our people. A day of tradition, of cherished memories, of family, of what it means to be a citizen of this grand nation. 

You know, it was so nice this morning to sit down to journal and meditate; enjoying a few quiet moments before all the hub-bub and feel-- if only a heart-felt wish-- a sense of unity throughout our diverse and vast country on this day. 

With the pervasive divisiveness, disagreement, hatred, turmoil, and strife, I said a quiet prayer, exhaled a deep breath of gratitude for a day that has the potential and hopeful intention for all of us to come together into a collective, united whole. Friends, neighbors, and families-- the family that is these United States of America-- joining hands together from sea to shining sea in understanding, peace, and good-will.

Remembering the Fourth of Julys of my past. The excitement of home town parades, wearing the red, white, and blue, hanging the flag on the front porch, picnics in a park with my family, firework booms filling the night sky... 

One of my favorite and most cherished days of the year.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

good times

Looking back on this week, I'm amazed at how much fun I had. How many happy and fun memories were made.

On Monday, I attended a concert with my dad. For his Father's Day gift, I had bought tickets for my parents to see his beloved Sergio Mendes (Brazilian jazz) who was in town playing at a local outdoor venue. As my mother was sick, my dad invited me to join him. I was beyond thrilled to spend time with my dad and so excited to experience the music, the "soundtrack" of my childhood.

I wrote about it in my journal:


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Oh-a-de-ah-a-oh-opa opa opa! Mais que nada"... Can't get this out of my mind. That concert was so fun. I haven't had so much fun in a long, long time. A delight. So fun to get up and dance at the end. I love to have fun. I need to have fun. I need to bring more fun into my life. It was nice being with my dad. Spending time together and making this memory together. I'll never forget it. I loved looking at him throughout the concert and seeing him on the verge of crying. The music and the memories of these 50 years of Sergio Mendes moving him so deeply. I think he enjoyed that I was enjoying it so much... Slowly, slowly walking and guiding Dad back to the car... Him saying over and over how it was the best Father's Day gift he's ever received...


We headed to Salt Lake on Thursday evening. One of Eliza's art entries in this spring's All-State High School Art Show was selected to be in a traveling high school exhibit that would be on display at this years Utah Arts Festival. It was really a special honor for her. 

We sought and found her drawing, enjoyed the little reception for these young artists in the city library, and walked around at the nearby festival. So inspiring to see all the unique and gifted artists with their work. I just love this sort of thing. 


Yesterday, Eliza, Isaac, and I and a few other extended family members drove down to my sister and brother-in-law's beautiful mountain cabin. This little get-a-way was just what we needed.

Exactly what I needed.




Saturday, June 28, 2015

I overlook the "kingdom". (referring to little Isaac first beholding the view from the cabin deck, exclaiming with wonder, "This is a kingdom!") This view as I sit here on the cabin deck. This beautiful summer morning. The birdsong is pleasant, the temperature perfect. Last night was so nourishing. (I remained at the cabin alone while the rest of the group attended an outdoor church pageant.) Alone in my solitude-- a gift-- washing the dinner dishes, sitting on the deck in meditation. Meditation as the sun slowly went down. Such stillness within me and without me. The peace I feel. Reading by lamplight and by the reflection of the setting sun. Falling asleep with my arms stretched overhead. Again to reading. Sleeping so deeply alone in that bed in pure darkness. Vivid dreams a little too real... I do feel so refreshed and it was nice to sleep later. I will prepare breakfast later. Now, I will relish this time to sit and write down my thoughts. Sitting up here and looking down on the land puts everything in a different perspective. So simple, so peaceful. The daily, individual dramas and problems seem so trivial when above all hovers peace, simplicity, and expansion. The wonder of God's perspective of the bigger picture as well as the small, individualized needs, desires, worries, longings, and joys in each of our souls. Underneath it all is stillness. The essence of life. I can find it and live it if I allow. I think that is why being in and surrounding myself in nature-- away from the distractions and noise of daily modern life is so very healing and grounding for me. I need this time for balance... I'm going to relish this day. Enjoy every minute of this time, make breakfast, take a walk, read, sit, meditate, play a game with Isaac, shower. This cabin holds so many good memories. What a gift it is for us. For so many others who have stayed here...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

a kitchen kind of day

“But the kitchen will not come into its own again until it ceases to be a status symbol and becomes again a workshop. It may be pastel. It may be ginghamed as to curtains and shining with copper like a picture in a woman's magazine. But you and I will know it chiefly by its fragrances and its clutter. At the back of the stove will sit a soup kettle, gently bubbling, one into which every day are popped leftover bones and vegetables to make stock for sauces or soup for the family. Carrots and leeks will sprawl on counters, greens in a basket. There will be something sweet-smelling twirling in a bowl and something savory baking in the oven. Cabinet doors will gape ajar and colored surfaces are likely to be littered with salt and pepper and flour and herbs and cheesecloth and pot holders and long-handled forks. It won't be neat. It won't even look efficient. but when you enter it you will feel the pulse of life throbbing from every corner. The heart of the home will have begun once again to beat.” 

~Phyllis McGinley



food
+
my kitchen
+
taking photos
+
taking photos of food in my kitchen

=

a recipe for a happy heart!


Friday, June 19, 2015

summer vision board... and other thoughts



Today's agenda:

:: wake up at 3:57 am.
:: back to dreamland and semi-awake tossing and turning until I force myself to get up, get dressed, call down to Eliza to come upstairs to take Lucy out, and finally head out for a run.
:: let the sprinkler water a dry spot in the front yard.
:: sit at the computer and check things out.
:: make some notes in my journal.
:: fix a big bowl of oatmeal with mashed banana and nectarine chunks. 
:: soak in a scented bath.
:: ready myself for the day, make my bed, tidy the bedroom.
::meditate for 20 minutes, kneel and pray.
:: run to the library and take home some goodies.
:: pick up Dad's Father's Day concert tickets (Sergio Mendes is coming to town! This Brazilian jazz so much a part of my childhood memories. I think he's really going to enjoy this gift.)
:: open the mailbox and see that the boy's wedding ties came. yay!
:: eat some of last night's leftovers (Himalayan Kitchen) brought home from Roy's 6oth surprise birthday party.
:: check email and smile big when I see Renee's sweet note. (thanks, Dear!)
:: pick up Jane and run her to Provo. 
:: need to clean the grody outside fridge-- work out a money making opportunity with Eliza. She's willing and I'm off the hook.
:: decide to pull out some old periodicals and make a summer vision board. Nice to do something creative and relaxing like this today. (winter and spring boards here and here.)
:: Isaac walks in and decides to join me. His turns out to be a "cookie" board thanks to the stash of Martha Stewart Living magazines in the bathroom. ("Boy, I'm sure hungry now, Mom!" he exclaims.)
:: off now to fold some laundry and think about dinner plans and preps.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. As always, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a bit of my world. 

Hoping all your summer visions and dreams come true, too! 
xo




Would you like a cookie?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

celebrating with jane



We had a fun time celebrating Jane's birthday today. I drove down to Provo after my run this morning and brought her home for a massage. Her special request. The last time I gave her one was before she left on her mission over two years ago. I absolutely loved being able to serve and connect with her this way. I think she really enjoyed that hour and a half on my table.   :)

Later, I made her a peanut butter pie. Gluten-free, vegan and everything. Really good and really rich. Easy as pie, too. (No baking required.) Here's the recipe if you're interested. 

We all gathered for dinner tonight at our favorite Indian restaurant. An elderly lady walked by our table wearing a Utah Valley Marathon t-shirt. (I saw the tail end of the runners coming down the canyon today when I went to pick up Jane. It was hard not to honk and cheer for all those people. Some struggling, some walking, some fireman running in all their gear, some old and some young. Wondering if I still have it in me to go for it again. Kind of feeling the itch.), and I stopped to congratulate her. She proudly told me it was her 95th marathon. (WOW!! My eyes got big as dollars by that point in the conversation.) An extra smile to say she took 2nd in the Senior division. She lives in North Dakota, but is a native of Turkey. What an inspiration.

Preston invited us to have dessert at his apartment club house. We sang the Happy Birthday song (English and Portuguese, of course.), she made a wish, and blew out her 2 +  2 candles. I always wonder what the kids wish for. In addition to the peanut butter pie, we also got to try some of Preston's out-of-this-world cherry pie he made as part of a special birthday dinner he prepared for Jane the night of her birthday. Perfect crust, and you would have never guessed it was gluten-free. I can't believe what a good cook he is.

A few games of ping-pong brought our celebration time to an end. I love it when we are all together having fun like this. Making happy memories like this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

currently



loving:: June roses

eating:: these nectarines are so sweet and succulent and beautiful.

smelling:: all during one hour's run this morning: swoony honeysuckle-bloom perfume. Fresh, clean laundry wafting through the air from a home's dryer vent. Someone must be having pancakes for breakfast.

smiling:: some smiling strangers' encouraging waves bring lingering smiles to my own face. 

listening::  Are You Strong Enough To Be My Man. Remembering how much I love this song when it came on the radio tonight on my little after-dinner drive. (I found such a charming little house to photograph. Oh, and that "golden hour" light made the shot even nicer, don't you think?)

thinking:: 12:30 late last night, a little worrisome and a little frightening with someone urgently banging on the front door. And me, usually such a light sleeper, not hearing and zonked out and Eliza still up and scared. A few minutes later calling me on her phone and we're wide awake now, and today still wondering if someone truly needed help or if it was just a prank. 

realizing and thanking:: that yes, I've still got it in me.

outing:: picking up Jane early from work this afternoon to meet with the reception venue people/florist and later, taste-testing possible gluten-free cake options. Tomorrow night we meet with the photographer. Every day it seems like there's some sort of wedding to-do, but things are slowly coming together and it's all going to turn out beautifully. I need to remind myself that these nows, these tasks, and these errands are all going to be the precious mother-daughter memories of tomorrow.

celebrating:: this beautiful daughter's 22nd birthday today. Re-reading this four year old blog post tonight expresses some of my tender feelings today.




Daughter, Teacher, Friend

A gift


The daughter 

dreamed of 
Her cries
quieted, soothed
by holding her bosom-close
With trepidation
I explore
I wonder
unwrap her
exposed
such long toes
just like her Father's
such long tapered fingers
not knowing
they were made
to one day 
pluck and press 
those strings 
so beautifully.
That cute little tilt of the head
high chair spaghetti faced squeals
a joy bringer.
Braids so tight
so watchful
so trusting
learning from all she sees
in me. 
Mother's little helper.

Now, today


the girl-child I once knew

blooming into
woman-daughter.
Needing me still
near
for closeness
for touch
for time
for talk
that won't change,
I see.
Relationship
slowly crystallizing into
mentor,
to friend.
Me to her
and now
her to me.




Happy Birthday, dear Jane.


Loving you always,


Mom