Sunday, July 31, 2011

NYC + Me

The City delivers. Talk to any tourist, local, and commuter alike. It's a place of stimulus, distraction, and surprise. You can walk in any direction, look up, down, forwards and backwards and find something of interest. Complete strangers spin fictional narratives in a blink of an eye. A promise, a desire, and a dream. It doesn't get much better than this.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leisure and Play

The word of the hour is relax. Nothing fancy, nothing planned, and nothing labored. Some friendly ping pong, a quick dip in the pool, and later, a chance to gather with feet propped up under the shade of a leafy tree. No one wants to be photographed either (I mean it Mom!). Suddenly, I am dazzled by the pleasures of family life. In those moments all the aggravations, tedium, worries and concerns fade away.

Friday, July 29, 2011

New ways in hopes of a better world

I'm doing lots of new things. I'm trying to set the record straight. Years of slights, injustices and pain. Well, I woke up one day and found a sword under my bed. It wasn't there to cause harm. It was there to remind me that I was worth protecting. Let's be candid here, I've taken my share of shit from others. I always thought- Walk away, let it go, move on. Find the high road and cling to it. (Which in principle, I still recommend). But, letting bullies hurt me, suffering their slings and arrows did something to me. Took something from me. That was something I didn't really understand. Little pieces of my well being dissolved and I was diminished in the end. Not to worry, I won't be breaking down any one's door in the middle of the night, I intend to take no prisoners. No need to load all your warheads. I know what it means to do the right thing. You know, grace under pressure. But all you bullies out there, even the ones draped in cashmere and pearls, I might not be nice anymore. You can count on that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The return to cool

The heat has broken, and with it my ability to think straight. Nothing like a week of soaring temperatures to put a certain demonic spin on things. My family managed in a weird daze of sulkiness and apathy. Going outside seemed its own kind of brutal punishment unless you were jumping in to the car, turning on the a.c. and dashing off to anywhere. The medication I took for my poison ivy had its own side effects as well of putting me in to an utter funk. Ah yes, fun fun fun.
Emerging on the other side- temperatures in the 80's! and as the rash left my system I pondered the sadness that engulfed me. Looking around, I realize the best way to proceed is to focus my purpose, make the world a better place and try to remember all the good that I know and have.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Too hot to handle

Okay, it's hot. Record hot. So hot that around here it seems like the pets, the kids and the walls are lost in space. Blank space. Going anywhere with deep air conditioning feels like a treat to be savored. Piles gather and papers feel limp to the touch. The flowers on the other hand are full of color and spreading their blooms. Tomatoes turn darker shades of red before my eyes.I have to love the sprinkler system that keeps the grass green and the easy contemplations while standing in the yard casting cold water on thirsty beds. I dream of cooler temperatures and dry air, piled up clouds and a return to purpose. Looking forward to the end of this week of steam and soaring temperatures. Truly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Trip- Part 2

From Buffalo, Sarah, Jacob and I made a quick hop to Chesterland, Ohio (only 3 hours, $75.00 worth of firecrackers and 1 movie!) to visit my friends Mary Beth, Kirk and their sons, assorted girlfriends, friends, relatives, et al. It was a lot of fun to hang out at their amazing country home complete with gardens, a barn equipped with a professional wood shop, sleeping loft, ping pong, pool table and stuffed game heads hung along the walls. In the back of their property, they have created a wonderful swimming hole, installed a huge trampoline and a recently added rustic stone fountain. Other sleeping accommodations are a tree house and a new, small sleep house in its final stages of completion. All their enterprise is inspiring, wonderful and true to them. A respite en pleir air- for sure.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Road Trip- First Stop

I took my print-outs from Map-Quest (after having the car checked out the day before by the mechanic), two of my children, rental dvd's from the library, and sufficient snacks, cash and plastic to embark on an adventure. First night out we stayed with my friend Kathy Moskal whom I hadn't seen in many years. Having her meet Jacob and Sarah was lovely- she got to see some of what has occupied me all this time. She lives in Buffalo now and has recently relocated to the house her grandfather built and where she was born. It was wonderful, bittersweet and meaningful to bring each other up to date and commiserate over some shared experiences from the past.

In the 80's and 90's she was co-owner of Hue hosiery and while working for the brand I got to create some memorable images of their designs for leg wear. So, a lot of history. I have only known her to be a big city girl, and thought this was an exciting new chapter for her. She has created a beautiful design studio in her home. I know she will do great things there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July (Around Here)

My husband is the recently elected president of our manor association and for years has been deeply involved in our local 4th of July festivities. There is an a.m. parade to the hot sunny field that lays between our two neighborhoods (Philips Manor and Sleepy Hollow Manor) where hot dogs and cold drinks, a cake contest, pony rides and field games go in full swing. He is always busy the week before gearing up for the event and then works tirelessly on the the 4th to ensure it all gets done. As the evening progresses, people gather at the local beach club and hang out until the fireworks go off. The club is situated on it's own spit of land and provides a very nice vantage point of the river and the Tappan Zee Bridge. In the course of an hour, you can see across the river to the distant fireworks going off in Nyack and Piermont, and then our village's begin when those end. I find myself taking a fair amount of pictures when I am there because the setting is so idyllic. Almost irresistible as subject matter, when you come down to it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Adored Creatures

There. I said it. Today I feel like I have three adorable creatures living with me. Along with my husband, the dog (Comet), the rabbit (Napoleon) and the snake (Fluffy). No, I'm referring to my children. Three more or less, on their way, quasi formed, young, almost adult like-ish, people. It's a gift to realize how much I care and can feel connected to these living things. I'm grateful while perpetually mystified (and not always in a good way) that motherhood and I chose each other.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation Update- Week 1

It's the end of the first week of vacation and I am experiencing the agita of observing two able bodied kids seemingly content to do absolutely nothing. (sidebar- Nora spent the week getting her lifeguard certificate at a pool in the city and now is allegedly exercising at the Y. She sleeps in as late as she can and then disappears until much later.) It drains me of my energy while the coaxing, ignoring and reminding have me destined for psychosis. This is always a hard transition for me and blissful for them. They do seem a little grumpy with the bordeom of no demands and so little stress, but a hammock, tv, itunes, netflix, or company of a friend seem to answer that. No one wants to do anything until 4 in the afternoon and by then I am at my wits' end. (It helps the sanity level to maintain a sunny disposition as much as humanly possible and always appear happy to see them. Who doesn't like that?)