Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ebb and Flow

It's true, ya know. You'll never know the impression that you'll leave on someone. You'll never know what, when, how, or why they think of you. And that's OK. You don't need to know.

Over the past couple of weeks, I was lucky enough to have several people come back into my life. Lucky enough to find out that each remembered and thought of me in a positive manner. During this time, another person has made a step further from my life, as others surely will as well. This ebb and flow of people and relationships is part of what makes life interesting.

It strikes me that people enter and exit our lives at just the right times...and for a purpose. We don't always know what at the time. Sometimes we look back and can see, sometimes not.

It reminds me of the saying, "To the world, you may be one person. But to one person, you may be the world." Now, I'm not saying that I'm the world...but it's important to understand that the impressions we make on others can be great and long-lasting. For this, we must be gentle with others and with ourselves, else we be remembered less favorably.

When we succeed, reunions can be marvelous things!


beef stew, veggies, and an apple
mmm, chicken broth with many many veggies!


steak strips, veggies, and an Asian pear
veggies mixed with one of my diet delicious!


lasagne entree (YUCK!) with veggies
BBQ chicken with veggies and fruit


big giant salad
Thai curry entree with veggies


beef stroganoff, oranges, and veggies
enchiladas and veggies


cheese ravioli, veggies and fruit


BBQ Chicken, veggies, mango
steamed, not tempura'd...
yellowtail hamachi and salmon roll with avocado and cucumber
OK, I cheated on my diet...


mushroom rissotto, veggies, and fruit


Thai curry entree with veggies and berries
Big salad!


steak strips, veggies and berries
savory chicken with veggies and pineapple


steak strips, veggies and watermelon
turkey chili, cauliflower, and delicata squash


savory chicken, mixed veggies, and mango
BBQ Chicken, cucumbers, grapes, and apple slices


beef stroganoff, butternut squash and mixed veggies
savory chicken sauteed with veggies and pineapple

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Growth in Vermont

I find growth and change and hope and guidance in many places. This weekend I attended a spiritual retreat in Vermont, my 9th year attending. Our group of women ranged in age from 41 to over 70, we come from many walks of life. Some of these women I've known for years, others I just met this weekend. Many of these women have been attending this retreat far longer than me, for others it was their first time. What we all have in common is the goal of being women of grace, dignity, and honor. We all strive to be useful in our lives. We prop each other up, help each other along and generally trudge the road of happy destiny together.

Throughout our weekend, we have many group meetings, shared meals, private conversations, laughs, and tears. We leave time for private reflection, a walk in the woods, or a quick shopping trip in the next town over. Mostly, though, what we have is sisterhood...a family bond that is the family-of-choice sort.

From these women, I received some insightful feedback over the weekend. They shared with me how they had watched me grow over these past nine years, observed how I am living today, and suggested ways to further improve upon the life that I have. While I already saw in myself some of the things they observed, some I did not. Regardless of the observations they made, they delivered them gently, respectfully, and with love. They offered possible solutions to blockages I put in my own way. I asked them to hold me accountable for the growth I hope to continue and foster. I asked for their help.

At the end of our time together, one woman shared the following reading, which I was able to find online here:

This image, by Jen Delyth, can be found at 

I Hare have been the clever one,
up to my tricks, always a winner,
fooling man and beast – but not now,
not you, pretty lady, holy one.
You untwist my deviousness.
I huddle at your feet 
in your garments’ folds, 
and am simple hare, fool hare, hunted hare.
I have doubled and doubled,
am spent, blown, not a trick left
to baffle pursuers.
A leap of despair 
has brought me to you.

Like the hare, I seek the shelter of these women. I seek their protection. I seek their guidance, their advice. I seek neither to trick, nor to deceive, nor to run any longer. I seek to be left bare and to be in their care, under their tutelage, allowed to grow, to make mistakes, but mostly to become the woman I seek to be.



Honestly, I can't be bothered to go back and load all the missing I'll start with meals when I returned home.

Thai veggie curry, mixed veggies, and cauliflower
cheese ravioli and cauliflower

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Being an Adult

I'm ecstatic to share that I've heard and seen so many pieces of good news lately...engagements, births, foster placements/adoptions, marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, travels...all kinds of good stuff. All the good stuff about being an adult.

Unfortunately, being an adult also comes with some not so great stuff. Stuff like mis-communication, difficult conversations, hurt feelings, confusion, learning that taking a hard long look in the mirror doesn't always reveal the person we aspire to be, and vulnerabilities that we wish weren't exposed. Yeah, the weekend is getting off to a banner, but necessary start.

It's never pleasant when we realize that we did or said something that negatively impacts another. Especially when the other person is someone who we care about and don't want to hurt. What's worse is when we realize that the feedback that was given has been given before by others. That this is a behavioral pattern that I should have been aware of.

Because I don't want to hurt this person, because I care for this person, I want to modify the behaviors that I didn't realize were hurtful. Unfortunately, this information is still so new to me that I find myself being defensive, angry even. I certainly wish that I had been made aware sooner and that this news had been given to me in a different, gentler way. The important piece is that I now have it...and there is value in having received it in a way that I found hurtful and unpleasantly surprising.

Right now, I'm in a place of thinking that modifying my behavior to fit the needs of another is tantamount to censorship, not being truthful to who I am, that the other person should be less sensitive. I also know that I need to quickly move past this feeling. Feelings aren't facts, and this is not the attitude of the person I aspire to be. It's times like this that I need to fall back on some readings that have guided me and helped me find serenity and happiness.

"...And acceptance is the answer to all
my problems today...Unless I accept life completely
on life's terms, I can not be happy. I need to concentrate
not so much on what needs to be changed in the 
world as on what needs to be changed in me 
and in my attitudes"

"...grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven..."

And those of you who know me, certainly know that I am not a religious person...but the prayer from which the second reading comes embodies the values I seek to live. I am far from perfect in that quest, as evidenced by recent experience. I have much work to do. Today, I seek to change my attitudes and behaviors.

No photos today...just a processing of thoughts and an attempt to re-frame my feelings so that I can learn and grow from my experience.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nothing's wrong

Hmmm, what to write about today...I wish I had some grand inspirational topic, but I'm not feeling so hot today. Yeah, physically, I feel fine. Mentally and emotionally, I'm a wreck. It sucks. Everything is going well, nothing's wrong. In fact, things are wonderful. So what's going on?

I want to blame hormones. That would be convenient. Unfortunately, that's not it. No, this is me, my personality, my wants, my desires, my fears. I'm not getting what I want and I don't feel in control. Ahhh, there it is. I'm powerless. Time to let go...Recognize that I can't always get what I want. Make a choice to either be satisfied with what I have, or just let go. Trust that I'll get what I need.

Can I do that? Can I trust that I'll get what I need? It's not always easy. But 'not easy' is what I do best. Give me a challenge and I'll rise to meet it. Not only will I rise to meet it, but I'll slaughter it! That's right. So, then, how to get out of this funk? I'll start by finding my gratitude. I'll get rest. I'll get exercise. I'll spend time with Ella. I'll look forward to the fun trips that are in my near future. I'll get out of my own way by doing service for others...

For tonight, I'll focus on gratitude and rest. Rest and gratitude.


berries, yogurt, and mango with chilis
 salad with falafel
chicken stir fry with rice


Labor Day feast of burgers, grain salad, and veggie salad


pizza and salad


savory chicken, mixed veggies, berries
Mmmm, Thai Curry with cauliflower, red pepper, and pineapple

cheese ravioli, mixed veggies, peach
creole chicken, carrots, pineapple, snow peas, and zuccini

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Right Question?

Someone I've known only a short while made an observation about me recently. It was neither good nor bad, not positive or negative. It just was. Normally, this wouldn't be worth writing about. But when he said it, I gasped slightly and couldn't breathe for a moment. His observation, something I had never considered before, resonated so acutely, felt so true, that it took my breath. It's been almost a week and I'm still a little off-center when I think about what he suggested.

He suggested that in a certain area of my life, that he thinks I'm bored functioning within the commonly accepted paradigm. He said that perhaps I'm still searching in this area because of that. What is disturbingly strange is that I've been questioning how to reconcile my recent behavior with my longer term desires in this area and have been coming up way to reconcile the two and little desire or incentive to change my behaviors. My question was, how do I change my behavior so that it's line with getting what I want?

I now wonder if I'm asking the right question. What if I don't really want what I think I want? If that's the case, what do I want? I want fulfillment in all areas of my life. But what does that fulfillment look like? Does it look like they always told me it would? Or rather, is it something different? Something less mainstream?

I definitely like the idea of what he felt like it fit. So I asked a friend what her thoughts were. Lo and behold, she agreed with him. Not only did she agree, but she's thought this about me for some time now and was waiting for me to get there on my own. Huh.

If this is right, and I'm not saying that it is, but if it's really explains so much. It helps to explain why, when I thought I had what I wanted, that it somehow wasn't enough. That I still felt like something was missing. I always knew that I was the one with this issue...I just didn't know what that issue was. Whenever it came up, I was left wondering what was wrong with me. I never had an answer. Just an empty feeling.

This is definitely something that I've been exploring from one angle without realizing that I may find a different benefit, a different answer. I guess it's time to continue exploring, but with an altered focus.


savory chicken, mixed veggies and berries
chicken and veggie stir fry with rice


pasta fagioli, corn, berries


egg, avocado, dijon mustard, green things on ciabatta from flour. YUM!
 vegan chocolate cake and fruit
 carrots, pasta and pork
Mmm, pizza


cheese ravioli, corn, fiesta blend veggies

Monday, August 25, 2014

Marking time

I'm reminded tonight of how quickly time passes. Granted, it seems to pass faster when you're looking back than when you're in the middle or looking forward. Yet, even so, it passes much too quickly.

We mark time in our lives in many different the places we live, family events, friends that we have, pets who share our lives, fashions, vacations, jobs, or by any other defining points in our lives. Some are more pleasant to recall than others, but all significant to us. All these times, phases, places, events help to shape mold us into who we are, who we will become.

In the past year alone, I achieved many goals. Some I had worked towards for only a couple of months, another for almost 20 years. Most were somewhere in between. This past year will stand out as a good one.

Five years ago this week, I was walking into the first classes of my MBA program. I was scared, I doubted myself. I walked through fear and doubt on a journey that has helped to grow my self-confidence, my resume, and my circle of friends who I consider to be my family. I could never have imagined how much richer my life would be because of it. Funny how it seems like only yesterday.

If I think back ten years, I remember a time when I wasn't happy, when I didn't know how to get out of the dark place I was in mentally and emotionally. Five years to transform my life from a dark and lonely place to being able to start an MBA program, it seems like a blink.

Forget five and ten years...let's talk 20 years...I was still in college and I can't imagine how I've doubled my age since then, lived an entire extra lifetime. I don't wish to go back, I wouldn't change a thing, but I barely recognize the girl who I was. I have glimpses of her sometimes. When fear comes into my day, or moments of pure joy...that abandon, that bravado, that know-it-all confidence she had. It was something to behold!

I go back even further and know that I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm wealthy beyond belief. Many people who were in my life then are still here today. Family and friends alike. Those relationships have grown and changed and deepened. I'm one of the lucky ones. Those relationships are still there. The people "who knew me when." For them, for family, for old friends, for new and newer friends, for everyone who makes my time worth marking, I am grateful. You make me wealthy, you are my fortune.


Mmm, veggie pakora and cucumber salad
Tikka assortment
mmmm, chicken madras curry

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Is it laziness or rest? Is it rest or is it fear? Is it procrastination? Avoidance? Ugh.

There's something that I've been actively (and stressfully) avoiding. I started dealing with it today. There's follow up to be done, but I started dealing with it. I'm not certain how I feel about it though. Scared, apprehensive...anxious, vaguely Definitely off.

But that's how fear works, isn't it? It's the great unknown, a perceived danger. OK, sometimes the danger is real. But in this instance, trust me, I'm in no real danger. I'm feeling threatened, but it won't actually harm me. The avoidance would ultimately prove worse than the meeting this head-on. So why the fear? That's an excellent question.

Instead of that, let's focus on the achievement of ending the procrastination. Rather, let's celebrate it! Let's celebrate ignoring fear and marching forward. Let's celebrate being afraid and moving forward anyway! After all, isn't that what makes us unstoppable?


Normally, I love frozen pizza...this is fromWegmans. Not loving this frozen pizza.



more pizza...Regina's!


southwest chicken salad from B Good...mmm veggies...gonna poop tomorrow!