Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012


I used to read all of the time.  Mostly required reading while at my University but still.

The last few years I haven't read more than a couple of books in total.  I've wanted to read more of course, but it has been tricky with all that has gone on in my life.  I regret not making it more of a priority.  I thought perhaps I was no longer the "reading type" and that maybe it was a lost art, something I wasn't really into anymore.

But just lately, I have taken a few things out from the library and found my enjoyment for cracking open a good book is still very much alive and well.  On nights when Violet is away, it has been a real comfort to open a book and get lost inside the pages.

I was actually most inspired to start reading again due to influence by my beautiful friend Michelle.  We worked together for years at the library and she has her own special blog seen HEREI certainly won't be able to review like she does, but I aspire to read a fraction of what she does, it is inspiring to me.

The first book I read, The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke was a quick, emotional read.  I don't know how highly I recommend it because I didn't feel like it was exceptional or anything.  It was hollow and at times, contrived.  But then at other times, endearing.

It is about a young man named William who up until meeting the quirky yet beautiful Sarah, doesn't have a care in the world.  He gets along with his actor good looks and promiscuous ways but is stopped dead in his tracks when he uninhibitedly falls in love.  Sarah does not return the affection, she is not ready for such a love, leaving William to fall apart when she ends the affair.  His journey into the expiration of the relationship is what holds the juiciest and most interesting part of this book.  Anyone that has suffered a broken heart will commiserate with William and feel relief as he moves beyond the pain.

The book I am currently reading, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, is a book I have read previously.  It is very good.  I don't normally read supernatural fiction like this but in this particular instance, I recommend it highly.  The writing is fantastic, I find myself hanging on Rice's every word.  I've tried to read other series like this one, including the Twilight or Potter series, but I find them juvenile.  I cannot remain interested.  Either the subject matter or the writing (or both) make me feel like I should be watching the movie instead of reading the book.

I am anxious to read the next in the series, Lasher!.  The Witching Hour and Lasher are about WITCHES! and scandal and deep family secrets! Oh yes.  And I love every page slathered in that naughty stuff.  The vampire series by Rice, are also very good and worth the time to read.  I think Anne Rice is a wonderful storyteller.



I hadn't seen Violet in three whole days so last night when we reunited, I gave her a very very special present.  A gift that took about a million years to find... something that was basically non-gettable.

But I got it!

And she was so ecstatic.

Ok, so now I NEED to keep gift giving at a stand-still until Christmas... for reals.  She has too much as it is! 

I say she is only young once though and to make her feel happy and excited, means so much.

This is her anticipation face... I told her there was a gift "hiding" somewhere close.

Yes the gift is in there... and it's a good one!

YES! The blue square kitty!!

But only a small fraction of her kitty collection.

Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012


Yesterday Violet's Daddy took her to the Museum of Science in Boston

Violet has a week away from school before Kindergarten begins and she is spending this time with him and my 'rents.

He is very lucky he has this paid time off with her!  I am more than jealous as one can imagine.  I would give anything to have a few days with her to myself.  I miss her very much (but I definitely do not mind these stress/school free mornings).

Violet with one of the only four complete Triceratops in the world!

My little butterfly in the butterfly exhibit.

Some Random Thoughts:

1. Words I never EVER thought I would utter: "I wish I had a glue gun".  Ha.  Craft planning for my sister's baby shower is proving to be very interesting.  Interesting as in, my crafts will probably look like this:

2. Thanks to my Mom, I've been introduced to a brand new yoga studio in my town, opening soon.  I am anxious to check the place out.  Their prices are the best I've seen.

3. I've concluded that commuting to work sucks.  And this is why: (1) Gas. (2) Road Kill. (3) Terrible motorists.  Seriously, do people see other aholes driving poorly and decide it looks fun?  (4) From #3: Fear of Death in Firey Crash. (5) Too much time on the road and not enough time at home/with Violet.  (6) The radio is soooo bad and the only non-pop, good station is gone now.

4. I have started to look at other living arrangements for me and V-ster.  No, not because I love the fun times associated with moving (sigh) but because my apartment gives me the yuckies - big time.  The kitchen sink and fridge leak.  There is mold *everywhere*.  A skunk has taken up residence in the bush behind my back door.  My neighbors do not like to give me enough room to park in my designated spot.  There are two distinct kind of flies reproducing in my kitchen and bathroom at an alarming rate.  My bathroom smells like death or river water or both.  And my landlords could give a hoot about any of it.

5. I was reading on Kris Carr's site as I often do, for inspiration and guiding words.  I found this article and would like to share some points I thought go along nicely with the work I've been doing with John Kim's Transparency:

From Maria Mooney's Article: Great Expectations, Great Disappointments?

Most of us have expectations. They are created and designed to help us attain peace of mind by predicting how the near or far future will unfold. They also help us make sense out of a world that is so often quite frightening and uncertain. When our expectations are fulfilled, we feel pleasantly surprised or satisfied; but when they aren’t, we often emerge bitterly disappointed and possibly traumatized because we have attached emotions to neutral outcomes.

I used to wake up every morning expecting to be healed, and morning after morning, my condition remained the same or worsened. It wasn’t until I surrendered to “what is” that I let go of expectation and subsequently disappointment, sadness and frustration. Your expectations, be they realistic or unrealistic, are the only causes of your disappointments and become the fertile grounds for which letdowns can and will flourish.

Concerning relationships and expectations, it is important to understand that certain people have limitations, whether they be mental, emotional, spiritual or physical, and that setting unrealistic expectations of others will end in nothing but bitterness, resentment, blame, feelings of letdown and even hatred. Understanding the limitations of others will allow us to circumvent disappointment by not setting unrealistic expectations that these individuals, even on their best days (perhaps, even in this lifetime), will not be able to meet.

A tip for avoiding the disappointments of unmet expectations and the judgment and resentment that often accompany them is to always approach each individual in your life as if you are meeting him or her for the first time. This will allow you to enter each situation without being clouded by the disappointments of the unmet expectations of the past. Avoiding the traps of expectations will allow you to have healthier relationships with others and ultimately with yourself.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what you wish could happen, focus on what you do have. Stop living in the past or future and start focusing on the present moment. Have gratitude for the abundance in your life, and if you can’t find anything to be grateful for, look harder. For most of us, we are accustomed to a culture of deficit, of wanting more. What if you have everything you already need? What if you stopped longing for more, more, more, and started seeing the blessings in your life? Not only will you be happier and more at peace, but you will also attract more abundance to you.

I found some pieces of this article touched home for me.  This weekend I had a run-in with a family member, a very important one, where I felt ashamed and helpless.  He made it clear to me just how disappointed and shamed he remains in my life choices.  I know damn well that I am not to blame for some the difficultly he has with his sisters (in which he regards me as a major reason for that difficulty) but yes, I of course take some of the blame.  I shamed him.  I know this.  But he had issues before I ever came on the scene.  I cannot take on all of this.  I cannot accept that I am the reason he has problems communicating with his own family.   I will not own that.

Senin, 27 Agustus 2012


As I described in another post recently, I have been re-reading John Kim's Transparency.

He describes a guide to a better life/state of thought in three steps:
1. Transparency: basically being MYSELF in the all ways, always.
2. Stance: Holding true to my beliefs/goals/uniqueness.


3. Container: my safe space where growth happens.

I am now ready to talk about Container.

Container is...
Creating a safe place for change and growth.  It is where I can be transparent and hold my stance.
There are six basic self-care needs in my life: emotional, spiritual, sexual, financial, physical and intellectual.
Meeting these needs (and in the planning and process of trying to meet them) creates life structure.

I must create a SELF CARE PLAN that will incorporate all of my needs for healthy growth:

Emotional Needs
1. Finding *help* -- an outlet like self help literature or therapy.
2. Bonding with others, sharing my story. Being a friend and having friends.
3. Saying NO.
4. Letting go of negative feelings, beings and situations.
5. Being less intense (tough on myself) when it comes to my daughter.

Physical Needs
2. Better sleep.
3. More walking, less sitting at work.
4. Diet control.
5. Health Insurance!

1. No church right now (yikes!) but definitely an exploration into a spiritual practice of sorts.
2. Thankfulness.
3. Forgiveness of myself and others.
4. Awe of nature.
5. Intentions.

1. Ugh. I can't ignore this but I certainly don't want to discuss it in a public forum.  I will say that I feel as though the needs for this are all-set because quite frankly, I am not needy.

1. Reading more.
2. Hobbies.
3. Training Manuals.
4. The specifics of whole foods cooking, (I want to know what I am doing in my kitchen).
5. Blogs (instead of Pinterest!).

1. Job change/upgrade/realignment.
2. Student Loan Management!
3. Grocery list Management.
4. Savings.
5. Less dependence on others, more streamlining.

AND FINALLY what I will DO NOW to help begin my self care plan:

1. Emotional: Look for therapy options that I can actually afford.
2. Physical: Start walking.
3. Spiritual: Upon waking, practice thankfulness and daily intention.
4. Sexual: I'm good.
5. Financial: Start putting money back into my savings with each paycheck.



Crabs! And she apparently kissed them too!
Photo courtesy of MFH.

Jumat, 24 Agustus 2012



This great list found on none other than.... Pinterest!

I seriously love everything on this list too.  Leaf piles - apple pies - Halloween - pumpkin spice coffee!! All of it can and should be done.  Every year the fall seems to get better and better now that Violet is getting older.  Her advancing maturity makes her more engaged and engaging. 

I love the fall season, I mean, who doesn't right?  I am looking forward to sooooo many things:

My sister is having her baby in November!!  I don't care what I am doing the day she starts to pop.  I will be in the hospital when that little man is born!  I can't wait to meet him.  New baby awesomeness is on the way.

Apple picking.

Pumpkin pickin'.

I want to take Violet to a kiddie haunted house this year.  She will LOVE it.

I want to *help* create her Halloween costume too... if possible.  Crafty I am not (which is fine by me 'cause crafty = crazy) so I will need help (hello Mom!) but I am ready for the challenge.

The FAIRS!  I love love love the local farm fairs.  Animal lovies - country crafts - naughty fair food - oh my!

Just being outside - the crisp, fragrant air and crunchy leaves and warm days/cool nights.  It is the best time to be out in the world.


Mama Carrot and Baby Carrot.  Love them :)

Kamis, 23 Agustus 2012


Grommie the GP.
Photo courtesy of MFH.


We went out to dinner last night with my mum and sister to discuss the specifics of my lil' sister's upcoming baby shower. 

The food was pretty yummy and the company was very nice.

S and V and S's hunky BF, M.  Take one.

Take Two: Perfect!

Me and my ol' lady. ;)

Grammy and V-pod.

Selasa, 21 Agustus 2012


Last night I was speaking with my Mom about the trouble I've been experiencing for months in regard to Violet's schooling.  I told her how much Violet does not like to go to school.  I expressed my sadness.  I described the begging, tears, the emotional torture of it all, the way we both feel about it.

My Mom simply agreed that it is indeed a tough situation. 

And that was that.  The conversation went in a new direction.

I think most folks, related or not, would probably react the same.  Not because they don't care about us or about me.  And not because they should react in any other way.  To the outside world, this situation is normal.  It has happened before and will happen again.  Some little kids don't like school.  Such is life.

That is fine.  But for me, right now, in this little life of mine, I find that the situation is not okay with me.  I am done crying, feeling like shit day-after-day and hoping for some kind of change or resolution.  I don't want to deal anymore.  Maybe it frames me as weak or emotional.  So be it.  No one has to live my life but me.

Maybe things will turn around for Violet and I.  Maybe she will suddenly and miraculously like school.  I highly doubt it but you never know.  I DO know though, that I am not going to put myself through this turmoil anymore in *hopes* of change.

I am trying to do something about it, every single day that I can.  I won't stop until something changes.  And man, do I worry that another change in our life will be as disastrous as the last.  It doesn't matter, I have to keep trying because I really believe one of these days I have to get it right.

I have but barely a clue about what I want to do with my life and what is right or wrong for me BUT this is one thing that I am sure of... I do not want this work/Violet school routine any more.  I am SO beyond done, I was done months ago.

I have found that I can take care of myself now.  It isn't all that fun really, being broke ass poor and stressed out all the time.  But it can be done.  The only time I feel particularly proud is when I buy nominal junk that someone might otherwise give me hard time about: like buying expensive coffee.  I think to myself upon purchase, "Ha! Yes I just bought that overpriced coffee drink all by myself and no one can do a damn thing about it.  I rule!"  Paying my utility bills and such gives me no such feelings though.  Now that I know I can actually pay for myself to live, I feel pretty confident that I can do many things, including find a more suitable work/school arrangement for me and my girl.

Photo above: Clouds by Georgia O'Keefe

Senin, 20 Agustus 2012


Photo by the one and only, S. Gray.
(Thank you for sharing!)


This weekend was super low-key.  Violet was away most of the time and I missed her dearly.

I ate HORRIBLY.  Like the worst in a long long time.  I have been stuffing my emotional hole rather than trying to deal with my junk.  Today is a new day though, I move on.

On Saturday to keep busy and stay grounded, I volunteered for my local kitty shelter, Animal Allies.  We raised $160.00 during a donation rally.  I am admittedly not the best "sales lady" but I was glad to help with the physical end of things.  I was supported by two very special volunteers, Rose and Shannon.  They loved talking about their own kitties (8 between the two of them!) and were very nice to work alongside.

Speaking of kitties... Moe, the foster kitty at home with me right now, is not any happier since the last I checked-in. He still hides, occasionally howls and is generally very grumpy. I honestly do not know how much longer I will foster him. It seems futile at this point. But I keep him in the hopes that he will "turn a corner" and come out of his shell some. I wish he wasn't such a grump though, I want to love him.

Here is the table I worked at on Saturday:

The Motto: Buy a t-shirt and support our Kitties!

And little "Moebert" as Violet calls him:

In the usual spot: Hiding in closet behind laundry basket. Damn you, Moe!

In addition to my volunteership duty, I FINALLY retrieved the free photo of Violet taken some many weeks ago.  We had been shopping with my Mom at a department store when someone from the photography studio asked if Violet would pose for a free photograph.  We let Violet choose the pose she liked the most and the studio developed it.

It came out super cute:

Violet chose this particular pose because of the crown. Aww. My Princess.

When Violet did return yesterday, we had some fun times. We even did something from our summer fun list!

We went to Derry's Don Ball park with a splashpad (in a town close to our own).  We had been there before with friends and had a nice time.  The town itself, kind of gross, but a very nice park with lots of cool play structures that I will definitely bring her to again next summer.

Later afternoon we played ponies and went for a quick scoot around the 'hood.


Jumat, 17 Agustus 2012


Yesterday was amazing.

I got permission to bring Violet to work with me so that she could attend a work picnic.

It was a really great work day, my best ever.

Rabu, 15 Agustus 2012



I am rereading Transparency by John Kim - otherwise known as: The Angry Therapist.

This time I am taking notes.  I want it to sink deep.

My sister K is reading his work too now.  I turned her onto it and I think she likes the writing as much as I do.

"Self help in a shot glass" is what Mr. Kim offers.  I like his style a lot.  No sap, no frills.

His method for clearer thinking and therefore, better quality of life is divided into three parts:
1. Transparency
2. Stance
3. Container

I am ready to talk about the first two.

Transparency is...
Finding my voice, being the truest version of myself, all the time.
Fighting my false self.
Living in how I feel instead of how I think - getting out of my own head, breaking the negative thought broken record.
Focusing on the here and now. Be present. Take in life before live takes me in.  Use my senses.
Not seeking approval.
Going with my gut.
Enjoying the process, good or bad (not just living for the future).
Letting go of things and situations, no more ownership.
Opening up and sharing my story.  Bonding.

Ways to live my truth in every moment:
1. Be myself at work. Speak up, be creative and have fun.
2. Relax around Violet and let us just BE.
3. Engage even when I feel shy in social situations.
4. Let my off-beat style, messy hair and crazy diet shine.
5. Willingly go out of my comfort zone.

Times when I will live outside my own head:
1. In the car.
2. While cooking.
3. When I feel sad or hopeless or alone.
4. When I hear or see something I cannot control.
5. After a disagreement.

Ways I will live in healthy time:
1. Singing in my car (always do!).
2. Dance with Violet more often (do that too).
3. Get outside, go running, be brave when I am alone outside.
4. Being more social.
5. Reach out and engage with someone that I love and miss.

The things in my life that I don't own and will gladly return now:
1. Other people's anger.
2. Other people's expectations (My Father's most importantly).
3. The bad parts of my childhood.
4. Failed romances.
5. Lost chances.

What have I learned from this list that I am returning:
1. That I need to let so many things go so I can move on.
2. Some people have too much influence on how I feel about myself.
3. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to relationships.
4. I have far too much regret for things left unfinished.
5. I have a heavy heart but a good one.  I make mistakes but I am still worthy of happiness.

Stance is...
What defines my character.
My "non-negotiables".
The understanding that work does not define who I am.
Taking back what I've lost - unlocking my code.
Being aware of my bright spots and stretching them.
Retraining my brain to be aware of the little things.
Being heard.

Non Negotiables:
1. My time with Violet.
2. How I feel about her.  How I love her.  How I raise her.  She will always come first.
3. My love for animals.
4. My diet.
5. My quest for a healthy life.

The things I wish to take back in my life:
1. Yoga!
2. My dreams of going back to school.
3. My own bedtime.
4. My free time.
5. Going out with friends more often.  Making plans.

My bright spots:
1. Owen kitty.
2. Violet bug (well duh!).
3. My loving family.
4. Being outside, smelling the beauteous air, feeling the warm sun.
5. The invigorative stretch of a yoga routine.

NEXT up is Container, the last piece of the puzzle.  To be continued...


Violet's current obsession/collection are Squaredy Cats!

Should we be worried that she pretty much gets whatever she asks for?  You think?  Well she is an only child and we love her so.  Indulging in a few things that she loves won't hurt - yeah, until she is a teenager!  Yikes.  My dad spoiled the bejesus out of me when I was her age and to be honest, it made me love him even more (and did NOT turn me into a brat).  Anyways, most of the things we collect for her are super cute.  Especially these little plush kitties.  See below:

She has two more not pictured here. 

Selasa, 14 Agustus 2012


Workin' Girl's Lunch:

Corn Salad with Avocado.

I made this in a flash last night.  It is so tasty and so easy to throw together. 

I used 3 cobs of corn, lime juice of three limes, about 8 cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, a tblspn olive oil, half of a celery stick and 2 tblspns green onion.

I had Violet, so I needed to prepare a lunch quickly so as to maximize time with her before bedtime.  And most of the ingredients are staples in my kitchen anyway.  The only item bought specifically was the corn.  It has been an especially sweet and delicious corn crop this year, I can't imagine eating it cooked and smothered in butter/salt anymore.  Fresh and raw is so much better.

After I made our lunches and after we played for a while last night, I put our beds together to have a kind of "slumber party" of sorts.  She has been waking up a lot from nightmares lately, so I have been thinking of ways to comfort her at night.  I do not like the idea of bringing my big girl into my bed -- it is just weird!  And immature.  Although, she does snuggle with me in the mornings sometimes or after a particularly bad dream but I do not encourage that kind of thing often (for her sake).

She fell asleep smiling and holding my hand.  It made my heart melt.  Putting our beds together - although mine was way lower than her's - was a great way to make her feel good, safe and special.

In General...

1. School drop-off continues to SUCK.  I don't wanna do it, she doesn't wanna do it.  It is always going to be a struggle until I can figure out a way to change our schedule.  It is my mission!

2. I have been feeling kind of bad about myself lately because I let things get to me.  There are some bad people in my life right now.  I need to let it all GO and set myself free.  Life is too short and I am too important.

3. Speaking of letting the little things go, I need to wash my hands of my weekend diet.  I ate horribly this past weekend.  I totally let myself eat junk - like candy and breakfast tarts - in the name of laziness.  I brought good choices with me but I ignored them.  Its not a huge deal that I slipped in some regular food but that I cannot get back on track now.  It is Tuesday, time to get back in the game and not keep eating junk.


Girl's Weekend 2012!

Yes this past weekend was my much anticipated girl's only weekend with my mum and sisters.  Only one sister was missing and she got a free pass (baby and hubby duty) but otherwise, the whole gang was there.  Our plan was to spend two days in the mountains of New Hampshire... camping.

We had planned this some time back so the weather was not known then, obviously.

We all made the trek up north only to find out the weather was going to be very poor.  My little sis' J and my Mom set-up the site IN THE POURING RAIN (and J is six months pregnant!) only to have to take it down when we decided "to hell with this rain!" and jumped ship big time.  We drove another 2+ hours to my sister S's place on the seacoast.  We just wanted to be dry and warm and comfortable.  Twenty minutes standing outside in that rain, deciding whether to stay in the tent or go home was all I needed to know that leaving the camp behind was for the best. 

We spent most of the weekend relaxing and having a nice time.  No hiking or outdoor specific activities but we still made the most of it.  Violet had a great time.  She loves my sisters so much and especially loves their dogs too (all four of them).

Here are some photos and a video of our weekend fun:

Friday night at S's.  NOT CAMPING!

Violet and S watching a little Spongebob before bedtime.

Saturday morning breakfast with K.

Yes I brought along the My Little Pony game to tourture them all. :)

Violet and Ollie.

Violet and J when we went out to lunch... My Mom's clown car seen here.

Aww she had fun despite the change in plans.

My Mom and S when she took us all out to lunch.  Thanks Mom!!

Shopping IS hard work, obviously.

Violet loves Auntie S. (Pretending to sleep doesn't work, believe me.)


YES! Dancing Machines!  I have the embarassing video to follow.

Auntie S had video games and Miss V was very happy about it.