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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

family Archives

moving toward light: opening up and letting go

Photographers have a term for when there’s not light to shoot a picture. It’s called ‘opening up': you increase the aperture — the hole through which you shoot the picture — to allow more light in. Otherwise, you get a dark […]

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this moment, this memory

There are moments that you recognise — even as they are happening — are perfect. You breathe as deeply as possible (especially if you’re a Buddhist!), because nothing lasts. And certainly not perfect moments. This is a picture of one […]

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the people my pets are

My animals are far better people than I am. And they’re certainly better Buddhists. They love me no matter my mood, whether I forgot to feed them, whether I feel like messing with them or petting them (sometimes I feel […]

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afterwards, the laundry

So here I am: excited, frightened, happy, sad. In other words? Life as usual, but on steroids. WE HAVE A NEW HOUSE! And it’s by my beloved grandson (and his parents)! On a half-acre lot, with beautiful trees, and a […]

jumping in

When we were trying to decide whether to have a second child — considering expen$e$, time, care needs — my beloved mother-in-law said something I’ve taken to heart in many other decisions: one takes all your time; two can’t do […]

in praise of fathers, or, Happy Birthday, Daddy

Today is my father’s birthday. He would be so old: 98. He’s been gone more than 20 years, and I still miss him. In my memory, this is how I always see him — beside the spotless blue&white Buick, tall […]

birthdays, FaceBook, and gifts of love

Today was my birthday. And it’s been one of my nicest yet. My family rolls their eyes when I say this, reminding me I always love my birthday. Which is true. But today was a bit different, even so. And […]

farmers’ market, family, and magic

Today was the FIRST DAY of Farmers Market! Always a kind of holiday for me: the return of a Saturday ritual. I get up, throw on clothes, hop in my car, and drive to midtown. I don’t worry about my […]

inside/outside: it’s that ageing thing, again

  When I was about the age of the picture, I asked my grandmother (who was probably 10 years older than I am now) how it felt to get old.  She laughed ruefully & shook her head. I look in the […]

the family you have, the family you choose

I am very lucky: I have a relatively large network of family. Three sisters, a brother-in-law who’s great, lots of nieces & nephews, even two aunts still living. I also have a large family-of-the-heart: BFFs, ersatz brothers, cousins, and just […]

quilts, teapots, and living day by day

As I often do when I’m worried or beset by whatever, I cleaned out a closet the other day. And rediscovered things I’d forgotten: a quilt my mother made me when I married; a quilt my sister quilted from a […]

chicken soup, roast beef and ginger scones

No, I didn’t make ginger scones to go w/ the roast beef. That would just be…odd. Obviously, none of the three go…together. That’s not the point, is it? I made the chicken soup yesterday. Since we didn’t have baking powder, […]

grieving in the real world

This is what grief looks like when you have a child — an everyday Saturday in the park, giving your not-quite-two-year-old exactly what he needs: sunlight and attention. Something that’s been in short supply these past few days. Grief when […]

Happy Birthday, Mom

When I count the many elements of my life for which I’m grateful, my mother-in-law (and father-in-law) are BIG. I recognise that many women don’t even like their mother-in-laws, much less love them like a 2nd mother. Not me. For […]

the fragrance of peaches

I wish I could send out, over the ethernet, the fragrance of the peach tea I made today. I wish there was a way to bottle the steam spiralling from the cup, comforting on a worrying day. Often when I […]

with a little help from friends

You know that saying ‘it takes a village’? Well, it does. For any endeavour worth remembering, it takes collaboration. Varied viewpoints, multiple hands, and a LOT of coordination. Witness my niece’s shower. While I reap the accolades of my niece’s showers, […]

the journey (taking the time)…

All week I’ve been on a journey. Well, you  might call it ‘preparing.’ But to me, it’s a journey towards Saturday. Begun (thank you, flu) a full week later than it should have started. Saturday is my niece’s shower, which […]

happy is as happy…thinks?

When I saw this FaceBook meme, it resonated for me like a crystal goblet in an opera. Darn near shattered, in fact. Seriously? This has been a very rough week. Dear friends battling unknown medical conditions, family with crises, and […]

the family tree

Last weekend was family central. There are times when family seems a chore (we all have those moments!), but this weekend could not have been smoother, or more fun. Everyone in town made it, to celebrate my 3rd sister, who […]

to everything, there is a season

  My DIL is packing for the trip early tomorow morning that will put her, my son, and my beloved grandson on a plane back ‘home’ to Blacksburg. The idyllic days I’ve spent tickling, hugging, feeding, holding, and inhaling my […]

taking joy in others’ joy (or, how did you escape acrophobia??)

Our younger son phoned home! Since he’s halfway around the world (literally — 14 hours ahead of us here), this reassures his mother, who — as he notes) worries… Please understand that I understand how pointless it is to worry about an intelligent, grown […]

three things (among many) I love about this season

1. Music One of the best things about the holiday season is the music. I have a Spotify Christmas music playlist of almost 500 songs. And there are even more on my iPad! So that would be the first totally […]

it doesn’t have to be perfect (the enemy of good)

  Last night’s dinner was brought to you by some obscure soup company. Canned clam chowder, w/ the addition of cracked pepper & white corn. YUM! Served w/ water crackers, & a side of tabbouleh I made a couple of days ago. What […]

the curse of the holiday meltdown

All the ornaments are on the tree. The newest riff on the family tabbouleh is chilling, waiting for us to taste-test it after the flavours meld. The three packages needing mailing — well, the ones that have arrived total three; […]

Christmas, Yule, Bodhi Day…trimming the family tree

This is a relatively undecorated tree, at least at my house. All it’s wearing is the equivalent of good foundation garments, in girl-speak: a zillion lights (2100, to be exact!), a spire, and crystal garland. And all last night I […]

getting in the holiday spirit

I spent this afternoon doing holiday things w/ my sister and my niece, her daughter. We went to the annual ‘Carols & Crumpets’ at our local garden centre, where there were all kinds of plants, crafts, and edible goodies to […]

day #20 of Thanksgiving month

 It’s an older picture, but still appropriate for today’s post. Because here’s my gratitude today: my grandson recognizes me! Before you think I’ve totally lost my marbles, let me explain. My grandson is only 18 months old next week. I […]

day of Thanksgiving lucky number 13: broccoli (and Aunt Bonnie)

I owe today to my Great-Aunt Bonnie. While she didn’t exactly teach me to cook, she certainly had a big part in teaching me to love food. I can’t remember a single meal she prepared (and there were many) that […]

month of Thanksgiving #5…the guest room

In my ongoing month’s effort to see the daily magic of my everyday life, I realised today that I overlook something pretty important: our guest room. It’s such a gift, this space for our friends & family to come & […]

gratitude’s month

I love autumn. Especially November, for some reason. Maybe it’s years of living where fall was an illusion in a textbook featuring an American family that didn’t really exist. In Thailand, we often swam on Christmas. November was no cooler. […]

looking for Hallowe’en

We bought my grandson’s first ‘real’ Hallowe’en costume this year — a teddy bear. At least, I thought it was a teddy bear. Except that my incredibly crafty son & DIL made it into a (wait for it…) EWOK! How cool […]

a happy birthday for my beloved

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that my beloved broke his ankle about 6 weeks ago. He was unable to walk these past weeks, since the accident and the surgery. Noooo load-bearing on that foot, the doc said. […]

buckwheat cornbread and learning

In my family, there are certain things you don’t eat w/out cornbread. It’s just not done. These would include: any kind of beans (but especially bean soup), almost any kind of soup (but especially chicken noodle or potato-based chowders), and […]

interconnection and the web (of support)

Can you say trimalleolar ankle fracture, three times, FAST? As I said the other day, it means all three bones in your ankle fractured. Broke, busted. And a big OUCH. My poor husband. Today his right ankle looks like the […]

my mother’s heart and #Ferguson

This is my wonderful family. These are my infinitely fallible and perfect sons, my perfect daughter-in-law (known in my writings as DIL), my beloved. And this is a story about empathy. Both of my sons look — to anyone outside […]

FB, letters, and other little things

I’m huge on writing, as you know if you’ve read almost any blog post of mine. What you might realise, however, is that I’m huge on letter-writing, as well. In fact, I actually bought a life-time membership to the Letter […]

what dreams can tell us

In my dream last night, my mother was– once again — as she was when she was ‘herself.’ For those of us who suffer the horrors of Alzheimer’s, this is no small feat. It was years after my  mother’s death […]

friendship, memory, and love

My mother-in-law has a friend! This may not sound like a big deal to many of you, but those of us w/ family in elder care KNOW it’s bigger than it may sound. Nursing homes — even good ones — […]

where memories live

This is the tag on my father’s blanket. The blanket he had long before I was born, probably bought before my mother reunited with him in the Phillipines, 13 months after they married. It’s a softly worn (once scratchy) wool, […]

wildflowers, watermelon, and summer negligence

This is part of what I did today. Certainly the better part. After an early morning — spent w/ a lawyer, not every my favourite thing to do — my sister called and needed help. She’d been left holding the […]

the fragrance of lilies

These are two of the lilies growing against a rather derelict fence at my son’s & DIL’s. Beautiful, pale yellow, with only a light lily fragrance. Not the heaviness that always seems to suffuse funerals. I love them, of course. […]

what you do comes back to you

Right after we married — literally a couple of days later — my husband & I left for his new job. In Algiers. Or Alger, as the French call it. My mother-in-law bore this with the fortitude of prairie pioneers, […]

when hot sweaty work is NOT a royal pain

This was my morning. My elder son & I wrangled over each individual magnolia branch, pretty much. See, I’m a tree person, and Nathan is a landscape person. He wants a useful and beautiful landscape for his home. I want […]

just add water: swimming with little fishes

I took my grandson swimming today. To a tiny inflatable pool off the side of the deck at the ‘kids’ house. We sat in the 85 degree air, in tepid water, liberally coated w/ SPF 50, and splashed. And splashed. […]

Happy Father’s Day

Fathers are odd creatures. At least the ones I know are — not any single mold, no real unifying characteristics. Some are very loving — nurturing, even — others are sometimes cranky. While yet others are newly fledged, and learning […]

birth day memories

Today I celebrate two births: my elder son’s and my  mother’s. Bittersweet, remembering how happy Mother was when Nathan was born on her birthday (the REAL Memorial Day, you know!). Family. What really matters. More than almost anything, to those […]

beginnings, birthdays, and teachers

Today my amazing, beautiful, beloved and perfect grandson has been here for a year. And I’ve been able to see him several times during that year. Each time, I’ve learned from him. HUGELY important lessons, like attention. Listening. Focus. Laughter. […]

my mother-in-law’s tablecloth

My whole family is nuts over housewares. Not just the women, either: my sons both asked for cast iron skillets. They also received teapots/ kettles/ and/or tea sets when they moved into apartments. When I went to my elder son’s […]

spring springing

Spring done sprung. At least at my house — witness dogwoods, Japanese maple, my mother’s azaleas. I am sooo ready. The azaleas, as noted, came from my mother’s home, before she moved in with my sister. They weren’t the colour […]

what a difference a day makes (and other ways I wish I was like my grandson)

My grandson burnt his hands Sunday. Not horribly, but badly enough that he cried inconsolably for hours. Today? He’s his usual sunny self: slapping the Cheerios on the highchair tray, pulling my hair, and laughing at nothing at all. Why […]

belated thank-yous

I love writing letters. REAL letters, on stationery, with a pen or rollerball, and the (futile) art of keeping my handwriting legible. Thank-you notes are my favourite. Unfortunately, sometimes I’m forgetful (well, actually I’m often forgetful!). And formal thank-yous — […]

viral moments and metaphors

Those oddly shaped, colourful objects are teethers. My grandson is teething. And (gross-out alert) he’s also blowing mucous in large quantities. Some is the result of teething — we had hoped it all was. But my aching bones, need for […]

sons, and daughters, and grandsons, and love

I’m one of those weird people who is happiest when giddy with loving folks. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, since I get considerable flak over it from family (are you high on happy pills??). But it’s true, if […]

friendship and the art of loving

As one of four sisters, I’m used to the envy that twins with love. At least when it comes to sisters. So it’s okay w/ me that I’m not the sister each of the other three loves the best. Because […]

30 Days of Love: in praise of a mother-in-law

Today’s prompt from 30 Days of Love is to think of someone courageous, someone who deserves recognition for his or her  actions, even his or her life. Not simply because it’s her birthday, but because she has been like a […]

30 Days of Love: family, race, and what we can do

As part of the 30 Days of Love project, I’m using many of the prompts offered on the  blog site for the posts here. This week focuses on family, among other things. Family and race and community, in general. I […]

ponytail memories and silver linings

As a young child, I had very long hair. I wore it either in braids, or in a ponytail; it did look quite a bit like the tail of a Shetland pony. Long, blond, and constantly in motion. I wasn’t […]

more drink metaphors

When’s the last time you gave yourself a present? Not something you ‘need,’ or even something you lust for (like a new pair of shoes, or a fountain pen, or…). Just a small treat. Not even edible, necesarily. This holiday, […]

Warning: Grinch alert

 So — you’ve been notified: I just hit my Grinch wall. I am heartily SICK of cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, and the whole shebang. I want to be on a beach SOMEWHERE WARM, w/out ice bending my beloved trees to […]

peppermint bark and merriment

Hi, my  name is Britton, and I L♥VE food. Well, I love good food. I’m not interested in crappy calories; only the best! And over the holidays? I’m in (as my Aunt Bonnie would say) hog heaven! Although they’d have […]

So, what colour is Santa? Or Jesus, for that matter? And why the HECK should this be on the news??

I tend to go off, as we all know. And a newscaster from Fox News (I won’t name her, but you can find the article here; she doesn’t deserve more publicity) just lit my fuse. Santa, she says, is white. […]

tea with Grandmother (and others)

Tea is a friendly drink. It doesn’t jazz you like coffee. I can have it in the afternoon, for instance, and still sleep that night. And if — like me — you’ve collected/ inherited/ been given tea wares for many […]

meatloaf and dishes and errands and family…

This kind of holiday doesn’t just happen… Nor does a big-ass tree, replete with crystal icicles, the last remnants of childhood ornaments, and a couple of true heirlooms. And the gifts beneath, wrapped in foil and French ribbon, sprinkled w/ […]

cancelled flights, family nights, and (eventually!) Thanksgiving

It all starts w/check-in. That’s the beginning of any air travel, right? But wait! For us, it began with ice all over the car. A LOT of ice. And an AWOL ice scraper. We should have known it was a […]

bad choices & (broken) beginner’s heart

There is a slice of meringue pie in the fridge. Calling to me. It may well speak some formerly unknown language that sounds now a bit like mother tongue. I shouldn’t eat it, but it’s not such a big deal. […]

family, socialism, and Thanksgiving conversations

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! And we’ll be having a LOT of family over for the big celebratory feast. As I’m sure many of you will. And if you’re like our family, not everyone is … well, in accord on lots […]

listening

I am learning to listen from my grandson. (And if my son his father tells you it’s ‘indulging him,’ disregard.) I am learning to pay attention to cues — both verbal and non-verbal. And remember: at a scant six months, […]

tea with plastic spoons…

Today I made my tea in a mug, on a cutting board, with a plastic spoon. Big deal, huh? Unless you know me, and know that almost every day I make tea in a pot, on a tray spread w/ one […]

meditation and sons and technology

I’m not very good at meditating. I get started, then something ‘comes up’ — life, usually — and I fall off the cushion. Soon months have gone by, and I’m not meditating. Sigh… But the point in meditation process is […]

All Hallows’ E’en

This is my dog, Pascal, wearing the devil horns my niece Sandra bought him. It’s appropriate — Pascal is rascal of the first order. But it’s a far cry from what I grew up thinking Hallowe’en meant. Sure it meant […]

in praise of grandparents

I L♥VE this letter from a grandfather to his gay-hating daughter. The idea that there is shame attached to gender makes me crazy. I can’t imagine disowning a child for anything, and something as fixed as gender identification?? If it […]

someone else’s road

I need to remember this. It’s easy to forget, as we move from middle age into elder-ing. That’s my term for what seems to be happening these past couple of years: nieces, nephews, former students, younger colleagues & friends — […]

Happy fish cake …

Today is my nephew’s birthday. We’re all going out to dinner. And although only a couple of us are involved in that decision, it’s taken HOURS. Which leads me to: Why are human beings so weird?? There were only TWO […]

home repairs, medication, and beginner’s heart…

When I visualise a beginner’s heart — at least my own — I see this picture. Because when your heart is open, sometimes it gets bumped. And as it grows — and you’re not aware, often that it has — […]

square sisters and common ground…

I have three sisters. People who know all of us well — a small number (we tend to overwhelm in large doses!) would say we’re not much alike. We would agree. But we also can give you countless examples of […]

a happy (normal?) childhood…

To paraphrase one of my favourite authors (Tom Robbins), “It’s never too late to have a normal childhood.” And I just realised — really! — that I did. When I was little, reading stories of normal American children, they lived […]

grown-up sons and baby boys –

When your own baby — never mind that he has two master’s degrees, is happily married, and moving all the way across the country — has a baby, it’s weird. Wonderful, but weird. Just sayin’. There’s a kind of disconnect: […]

The grandson is coming! or, adventures in family life –

Today my grandson comes to stay for a visit! And we’ll be together for … weeks! Oh — and my wonderful elder son, and his super-cool and wonderful wife, and Silas-the-wonder dog, and Rufus-the-cat-with-attitude. Because we are doing a caravan/move […]

tattooed women & liminal spaces ~

I ‘got inked’ with my younger son when I was in Portland last month. He asked, and I was charmed. I already have one tattoo — a small Chinese character for ‘ink,’ almost unnoticeable on my inside right ankle. This […]

wonder, and loving strangers (even mean ones??) ~

My grandson — one month old, today! — cries when I hold him. A LOT of the time. It’s embarrassing. Not to mention depressing. I do NOT have this grandmother thing down. Tonight my son & DIL are out to […]

changing job descriptions ~

Have you ever watched a new baby? Seriously observed one? Focused on the wide eyes drinking in light (pre-birth is a bit dark…), the mouth twitching towards milk, the tiny fingers curling around support. Like most things in my life, […]

baby love, and the perpetuation of the species ~

Buddhism has little to say (at least that I know of) about grandmothers. In fact, I can’t think of a religion that does. Why is that? Surely somewhere in human wisdom traditions, someone has considered grandmothers? Because it seems to […]

grand-nephews & grace ~

My grand-nephew is a hoot. Named for my younger son, little Noah is funny, drop-dead cute, and tons of fun. A great companion for a Friday adventure. So today, when he arrived w/ his grandmother — my younger sister — […]

MIL/ DIL/ beginner’s heart ~

So, Mother’s  Day I just leaned into, & enjoyed. Lived in the many blissful moments of family, food, and affection. My sister, my niece & her fiancé, my nephew and his girlfriend, my wonderful husband, and calls from both sons. […]

all my children ~

I adore kids. Especially babies, but really? I like any age. And I always have. Even when I told my mother I did NOT want to get married (who would?? ), I told her I wanted kids. “You can’t have […]

for Ione ~

Once upon a time, a brand-new mother moved half-way across the globe. She knew no one, and hadn’t a clue — although she had a lot of books — how to raise her baby boy.  Her husband was very busy […]

mothering ~

Today we sent a box to my wonderful daughter-in-law. And the grandson she’s carrying. (We included a bar of chocolate for my elder son… ) Inside the box were 2 blankets — one my mother-in-law made so many years ago […]

day 11 of National Poetry Month ~

I am a sister. Sometimes I feel like I should preface that statement as they do in AA: Hi. My name is Britton and I’ve been a sister for all but a scant three years of my life. I don’t […]

green grass, blue sky, sun like honey ~

Spring is about growth. It’s full of religious celebrations that predate paper: Passover, Easter, Holi, the Spring Equinox, Makha Bukha, Bahá’í New Year, and many more. For me, spring is also about children. It’s about egg hunts — a leftover […]

a case for poets ~

When you think of people who are useful, poets probably aren’t high on your list. After all, who needs poetry? (Well, I do, but that isn’t typical, I realise ) And yet, when there is sorrow, or great joy, or […]

re- framing/claiming my mother ~

My mother would be so happy: TWO pink things came in the mail for me. Although orange & red were her favourite colours (w/ lashings of turquoise), she loved for me to wear pink. When I was a little girl, […]

tea & girlfriends ~

In the kitchen, ginger scones remain on tray. A triple layered server still holds peppermint bark and chocolate biscuits. Various leftovers decorate the dining table. It’s the night after the annual Girlfriends Holiday Tea. I started this years ago — […]

material girls: or, how a nice Buddhist girl found happiness giving Christmas presents ~

I love presents. Getting them (of course!), but also buying them, wrapping them, giving them. I like French ribbon in loopy old-fashioned bows. And shiny foil paper. I like looking for tiny ornaments — feathers, vintage tags, a candy cane, […]

day 29 of a month of Thanksgiving: sons

This is my favourite picture of my two sons, whom I adore. And for whom I give thanks daily. They are grown men now, my two blond children, and will shake their heads at their mother posting a picture of […]

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: seatbelts and nieces ~

My youngest niece (I have a bouquet of wonderful nieces :)) walked away this morning from her mother’s totalled Honda. Anne was wearing her seatbelt. So this my BIG thank-you today: Anne and her seatbelt. Buddhism, as the Buddhist writer […]

day 23 of a month of Thanksgiving: just quiet, lazy peace ~

I did right at zilch today. I didn’t cook, or get ready, or clean, or entertain. I didn’t vacuum or change the sheets or do holiday cards. There were leftovers (cold pie for breakfast! whoohoo!), and all they required was […]

un-learning (when Buddhism & Unitarian Universalism conflate) ~

I don’t go to church much. When I do, I go to All Souls Unitarian Universalist, the largest UU church in the world. In Tulsa.  Tulsa. Today I went to see my nephew officially welcomed in to the congregation.  His […]

back to camp ~

A room of more than 40 women, aged 18 – 75. Or more. Talking, laughing loudly, yelling in delight over a good hand of cards… This is Camp Waluhili, and the Becoming an Outdoor Woman weekend workshop. There are well […]

ashes to ashes… we all fall down ~

Two friends who attend my church — or at least what I think of as ‘my’ church, despite not attending it w/ any degree of frequency! — lost their nephew today. Lost him in a pool of dark red blood […]

haircuts, attachment, & beginner’s heart ~

I got a haircut today. Adrian, my hair stylist, is a nice young woman whom I’ve pretty recently entrusted w/ my willful hair. So far, we’ve done well together, although sometimes it takes a while to get things straight between […]

**Happy Birthday, America** ~

I adore fireworks. And although Americans associate them w/ the Fourth, I grew up in places where fireworks might happen on any holiday. Where there are large Chinese communities, there are often fireworks. For seasonal festivals, for New Year’s, to […]

life dogs ~

I bought Mayuree as a puppy from a woman in Bangkok. She was a South African-bred Afghan hound, as sweet-tempered as honey. Her name meant ‘female peacock’ in Thai. But she was never much of a preener. Always more of […]

death & loss & grief & rites of passage ~

My cousin’s son died this past weekend. Killed instantly, with his best friend, in a tragic car accident. He was 25. A funeral is no celebration of life when the dead are young. Their lives cut short by the snick […]

crabby days & family miracles (of the small, beginning kind) ~

I woke up cranky today. My feet hurt, my joints ache, I should eat healthier. Middle age sucks. (And yes, I know I should consider the alternative…) I tried my usual remedies: a cup of tea, a sit on the […]

Girl Scouts, the ‘war on women,’ and a day in West Tulsa ~

I spent the morning recently w/ about 40 Girl Scouts, three Girl Scout staffers, and two C-level Girl Scout executives. It was wonderful. There was singing, there was visiting, there were gifts for the three of us presenting, and invites […]

my mother’s music, Mother’s Day, & Buddha nature ~

My  mother was incredibly beautiful, from as far back as I can remember. She was also unbelievably nice. And smart enough to have a top-secret clearance during WWII, as a secretary in the government. And funny. And a gifted gardener. […]

Happy New Year! (and a clean slate to you ~)

I love clean slates. I love a morning which is unencumbered by the mistakes of yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. The idea that it all begins now, today, this very moment… It’s intoxicating. Just the […]

a box full of belief ~

I believe in Santa. He laughs — he’s jolly and dresses in red and he brings presents and candy and joy. He brings presents to the deserving. Often, even when there seems no way for presents to arrive, Santa still comes […]

nieces … & beginner’s heart ~

The movies featuring family holidays are all disturbing, even when comedy is the intention: Thanksgiving stress, Christmas dysfunction, loud drunks and childhood grievances. So that’s all too often what we expect. And sometimes we don’t even realise it until it’s […]

beginner forgiveness ~

In my relatively happy life, I have had to learn to forgive. Fragile creature I am not, but people have still stabbed right through me — sometimes intentionally, sometimes w/out malice. And there were times I felt I could not […]

why would you disavow your happy life?

I love my car. And I love the few times I’ve been able to ride in it w/ my BFF. I’ve had it for 10 years this month, and I still love it. Strangers drive up next to me and […]

at the fair ~

You can see almost anything at the State Fair. Cakes that look like Chinese porcelain, fried butter (really), newborn lambs so wobbly they fall over, grown men carrying giant stuffed animals, Golden Driller bottles of beer… And more. Lots more. […]

Dan, the couple in the car beside me, and seeing with new eyes ~

On my way to pick up groceries for a family-full weekend, I pulled up to a stop light. As is my usual habit, I watched the people around me (I’m a die-hard people-watcher :)). In the car next to me […]

clean slate/ past ties ~

This is my current journal — nothing fancy (I’m being a bit stingy using the beautiful rose-pink Italian leather journal a former student gave me :)). Just a black Moleskine. I like the blank pages — they beckon to me. […]

weddings and dreams ~

Our family doctor’s son married in June. I wouldn’t know this, but he was talking weddings to my husband after our return from our son’s wedding. And what Dr. X said seemed rather sad, to me. Digression — are doctor/patient […]

gentle spirits ~

I grew up with batik, buying it, wearing it, loving it. I have pillows made from batik my mother bought in Thailand when I was a teenager. I might save them over books, in a fire :). They remind me […]

tea & happily ever after ~

I confess: I am indulged (there’s a reason this blog begins w/ a queen bee :)). My husband spoils me to the nth degree :). Today, for instance, I made reservations for my sister-in-law & I to have tea. You […]

falling on your butt & other vacation mishaps ~

I’m on vacation. And when I’m on vacation, I wear comfy shoes. Not that I wear killer stilettos at any time. But on vacation? I wear my favourite New Balance slip-ons. Because I can :). The other day we went […]

‘the rucksack of my æsthetic’ (whatever that is…)

This was my father’s rucksack in WWII. It was found in a barn a couple of years ago, in France. I have no idea how it got there, other than Daddy fought in France. Nor what was in it when […]

becoming an elder ~

I have grand-nieces. And a grand-nephew. They are, of course, amazing children. Funny, beautiful, smart and terribly entertaining (emphasis sometimes on the ‘terribly’ :)). Last weekend they came for tea. We sat down to the table, where plates of small […]

scarlet women (parrots) ~

The eclectus parrot has it right: you can easily tell males from females. Because the males are bright green and the females are scarlet. Yup — so different in appearance that folks used to think they were separate species. I’m […]

two years after ~

When I tell people — sometimes even close friends — that I miss my father-in-law at least as much as my own father, they react in two ways:  Some flat don’t believe me. Others want to know why, as if […]

Previous Posts

making friends with (at?) work
Because of the upcoming move, I've scaled back on many activities I love, including several non-profits. Friday, the head of one I particularly enjoy asked if ...

posted 5:49:17pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

temper temper
I'm probably going to get a LOT of pushback on this, but at least in my family, men have worse tempers than the rest of us. And they don't believe ...

posted 12:36:21pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

In Praise of Teachers Under Attack, reprised
I am so sick of anti-teacher ignorance that I could spit, as my Aunt Bonnie would have said. “It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.” No. No, no, ...

posted 1:52:52pm Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

moving toward light: opening up and letting go
Photographers have a term for when there's not light to shoot a picture. It's called 'opening up': you increase the aperture -- the hole through which ...

posted 1:42:11pm Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

dog days
The heat index lately has been in triple digits: 105º, 108º, even 118º! Hot, in other words. Coming from beach breezes, a pool, and a glorious beach, ...

posted 5:18:43pm Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

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