Friday, December 30, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Things I am loving and/or that impacted my life this year,

David Letterman 'Top Ten' style:

10. The Daily Love…need I say more? I love the name and I love the blog. The daily e-mails are insightful and uplifting, and offer great perspective. You should check it out.

9. Jason Mraz… A few years back I started reading his blog at a time in my life when I needed a big helping of positivity. The man never leads me astray- his posts are always awesome. I can’t wait for his new album.

8. Real mail and kazoos…I have just started messing around with watercolor pencils, and I have fallen in love with making my own cards. Which I write in- with my hand. And sometimes mail to someone special- with a stamp. Admit it- real mail is fun to get. I think so at least. The best thing I got in the mail this year? A kazoo. Really. Which leads me to #7…

7. Music…Man, I love music. Particularly when it is made with kazoos. Just kidding (or am I?)- but let me explain the music~mail~kazoo connection. I believe it was through the afore-mentioned Jason Mraz’s blog that I came across a great artist/band named Kris Orlowski. Now, in my house we love all things sting-ed, and I am always on the lookout for good string-ed music. So Kris Orlowski & The Passenger String Quartet’s ‘Freemont Abbey’ quickly became a house favorite. When Mr. Orlowski came out with another album, I ordered it straight away, and it came in the mail a few days later with a lovely note of thanks and a kazoo. We already loved the music- but my son was way impressed by the note and the kazoo. It was a great way to show him how rad it can be to support great music. The new cd- 'Warsaw'- sounds like the Pacific Northwest to me, and I miss my family up there so I love it. It is beautiful. And a little birdie sent me two more copies right before Christmas, so I gifted those to a few friends.

6. Beauregard Food Co…This local eatery has great food and great people. The owners and staff are way friendly, the food is always fresh and they buy local. I have spent many an evening relaxing with a good friend over a Cajun stir-fry, veggie pizza, or even just beignets. They have a bakery that makes the best cookie I have ever had- look for the ‘sweeties’. During crawfish season they have a seafood boil every Saturday night- it is definitely on my to-do list.

5. The Scripps Kelp Cam…Scripps is always near and dear to my heart. My son and I go to the aquarium every summer when we are in California, and it is one of our favorite things to do. (There are some killer tide pools at the bottom of the UCSD hill- just North of the Scripps Pier) They have a camera- the Kelp Cam- in their Kelp Forest and it is the most relaxing thing in the world. If I need a zen moment I just pull it up and watch the kelp sway. Ahhhh…

4. ''It Starts With Us'' and 'Love Bomb'…Every week I get an e-mail from each of these online projects with an assignment that will make someone’s day just a little bit brighter. The motto is ‘All it takes is 15 minutes a week to touch hearts and change lives’. Take a minute to check it out, and then sign up!

3. Tuck Everlasting… If I haven’t read the book my son is reading for school I like to check it out so we can talk about it.

~Reading to your kids and encouraging them to read is SO important~

I still read aloud to him every now and then (he is getting older but he still humors me). So now we read in tandem, and just recently we read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I don’t know how I never read it before- it is truly a beautiful story. What a great introduction to figurative language.

2. You…thanks for reading this.

And the number one thing that impacted my life in the biggest way in 2011- - -

drum roll please…

1. My kid... The Squid. He is the number one thing every year. He is on fire this year too- he was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, was recognized for making a difference in his community/school and got to have lunch with his principal, he is a math tutor at school and loves math, he is killing it on cello AND had a solo at his Christmas concert, he’s been recognized as a leader by his teachers, his grades are awesome and he is working hard…the list goes on and on. He makes me so proud. We have a bunch of new volunteer opportunities coming up in the next few months and I am really stoked about it. We make a great team.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Haiku Friday

I receive rad e-mails every day from cafe gratitude with a 'gratitude question of the day'- yesterday's question:
Donde te sientes inactiva?
Where are you feeling inactive?
I dig it- that is a great question to chew on. I don't know about you, but it hits home. I am a hotbed of inactivity right now, trying on a couple of different hats- trying to figure some things out in my life.
So- today's haiku is a gratitude blend- let's all think on about the areas of our lives where we want to be more active.
Today's subject: inactivity
daydreaming is great
when real life doesn't add up
but it's time to fly



Friday, November 18, 2011

Haiku Friday

The triumphant return of Haiku Friday...
Today's subject: inspiration
we strive and then go
paddling in the water
the thread of a haunt

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Stone's Throw...

I have always loved the image of taking my worries or regrets to the end of a pier and dropping them into the ocean, where they disappear, never to be seen again. I like it so much that I have made a practice of it. Those of you who know me know I venture to the sea as often as I can, but you might not know that I take a pocket full of stones with me. I am a reflective person- I like to learn from my mistakes, but it's not always as easy for me to forgive myself as it is for me to forgive others. So having a physical representation of letting go is something I have come to depend on, and what better to soothe your worries than the ebb and flow of the ocean?

This time as I head to the sea I won't be walking out on the pier though- I'll be heading right into the tide. I am heading to San Diego to do some volunteer work with the marine biologists of Cabrillo National Park on Point Loma. I had the opportunity to do it once before, the year I turned thirty, and it was the most cathartic and enriching experience- I couldn't have given myself a better birthday gift. The ocean has always been a part of my life- even in land locked AZ I can hear the sirens songs calling me back. I had serious aspirations of becoming a marine biologist so this is an unbelievable experience for me- and now my son has similar aspirations and can't wait to help with the tide-pool research (insert beaming-proud mama smile here).

Essentially my stint as a volunteer at Cabrillo is considered a volunteer vacation. What a wondrous concept, right? Going somewhere awesome on vacation and giving back to the community or environment all wrapped up together. It makes it easy to get to know some locals and can lead to some experiences you just wouldn't have as the average tourist. I wrote a travel essay about it- maybe someday I can get it published and share it with you... In the meantime, we were featured in a local San Diego paper, so if you want more info you can read about it here.
Being that I am from San Diego I don't consider myself a tourist (it's more like going home), but working with these people in Cabrillo has been a great way to get to know an amazing variety of people. I am shy though, so I am still working on making steadfast new friends, and I am EVER hopeful to find that cute biologist with a penchant for curly haired-book reading girls...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Big Thank You

I saw this on TV at the gym today and I think it is pretty awesome. I am a big fan of gratitude, and in a turn of the karmic circle I think it is pretty appropriate to support this DJ from Georgia in his campaign to collect handwritten 'Big Thank You' letters for the troops who will be overseas for Thanksgiving. (the karmic connection is that my first post ever was about Thank You peaches- get it- the DJ is in Georgia).

The specifics are pretty simple- they want one page, hand written letters of love and gratitude to send to the 400,000 troops are overseas and away from their families for Thanksgiving. So get the kids on board and spread the word - - lets help give some love to our troops.
Check out this website for more details and where to send your letters.