Saturday, June 30, 2007

groovy and me (sounds like a 60's sitcom)

Being in love means you can take lots of self photos in order to get both of you in the picture.

i'm a formal student once again

Here's a picture of one of my first classes at Naropa University and just some of the wonderful people I was blessed to study transpersonal counseling psychology with for three years out in Boulder. I love being a student. Part of it is the prospect of getting that piece of paper that shows I spent lots of money and time learning new things, but the biggest part is that of simply being a student. Whether it's sitting in a 200 seat lecture hall studying chemistry or sitting with 8 others on meditation cushions learning about diagnostic criteria, there is such comfort for me being in an academic setting that fosters a feeling of satisfaction. As I spend the next year deciding where to apply for my PhD ("piled higher and deeper" as a friend of mine dubs it)...and what specifically to study for it.....I have applied and been accepted to community college. Yes, friends (new and old), I am returning to school this fall to begin study in therapeutic massage at CCRI. This not only give me time to get to "in state" tuition status for other programs I am looking at (I've been nomadic for a few years), but it gets me in the classroom again. I feel like I have been going through withdrawal since May of 06 and look forward to taking one or two classes at a time. A bit of giddiness creeps into my belly when I think of it. :)

bike goddess

I did a 28-mile bike ride yesterday evening. It rocks being two blocks away from the trail head of a 14+ mile bike trail. It's the East Bay Bike Path, which has areas with water on both sides, spots with Spanish speaking guys fishing off bridges, neighborhoods that I will never afford to live in and packs of kids reminding you that "Jesus loves you!"... it is always an adventure. Other than the post-sunset gaggles of gnats pelting me in the face (good thing I had my safety goggles on), it was a great trek last night. Time to think and sing songs in my head while the lactic acid builds in my thighs; It's my idea of enjoyment. There was one point where bats were dancing in the air above my head. A perfect blend of exercise, nature and entertaining people. Who's with me for my next ride?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

today's joy

Some of the things that bring me joy today:

Thoughts of recent mini-vacations

Being godmother to this little cherub

Listening to the thunder

Watching the seeds sprout

Knowing I am loved

Loving others

Getting so riled up over societal injustices it motivates me to learn more and move forward

Dancing to bad music on the radio

Eating raspberry sorbet from the container on a hot afternoon

Being a shoulder to lean on and an ear to hear, even when I have no more than that to give

Receiving my acceptance letter to my next college

Having new art supplies and thinking of a few pieces to work on

Knitting a few rows of Greg's project

Thinking of the future

Living today

The quiet apartment with only the sounds of cars driving by

Knowing Greg will come home soon and the anticipation of falling asleep holding hands


um, yeah
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Sometimes I like to hold up yellow walls. I didn't paint the walls this color, but it works well with Greg's furniture. Part of me wants to make this apartment more "ours" but the thought always reminds me that we do not yet own a house. If we did change something, it would be like leaving a little bit of ourselves behind for the next tenant...and that feels curious to think that they might be imagining what we were like...The same thing I do with the choice of mustard yellow walls in two rooms, the New England "starving artist" picture left in the kitchen and the too-big-nails-used-as-picture-hooks left in the walls of every room.

I image he's a single guy in his mid-forties. Definitely not a RISD student. He works over at the I-way construction site; one of the few workers that commutes by foot. He had an old dog that his ex got in the breakup, simply because this place doesn't allow pets, and he misses that mutt. He would meet up with his old friend Jack for breakfast at the non-descript breakfast/lunch joint down the street and they'd talk about old girlfriends and chums from high school..... He calls his father in Florida twice a month, which used to be more frequent before dad started seeing Betty. Now they're off playing cards and drinking wine most afternoons. He has big dreams and a big heart, does volunteer work and is relatively content with his role in the world.

I wonder how he is doing in his new place.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


It is good to take a look around when you get to the summit to appreciate the reward of your effort, but it is just as important to look back and remember the path you took to get there. Yes, I mean this both literally and figuratively. Here I am enjoying the summit of a peak in the Berkshires and it was stunning. With views of Mt Greylock to the north and the Catskills to the southwest, it was quite a lovely reward. However, the bigger reward is in the hindsight. We took the most challenging trail up and there were segments where nine months ago I would not have been able to conquor physically, but we both did it....sweating, panting and in need of a bottle of water (why'd we leave those in the car?), but we did it.

Often, I don't give myself enough credit for what I can do. I overshadow my successes with thoughts of the goals I have not yet accomplished. It's good for me to keep looking forward and keep myself motivated, but sometimes, like today, you may even catch me being proud of myself.

I think I will head out now for a jog.....and I'll be satisfied with however long I actually judgement or thoughts of how much more I want to run next time out....and I will enjoy both the journey and the summit :)

Propagating in the kitchen

It's official. I've become proud mama to our little seedlings. Bedded in their tiny terracotta pots with blankets of soil, all of them sprung to life these past few weeks, revealing tiny leaves, blades and stems. How excited I am, to wake up in the morning or come home from work to see how the children have grown. Shy Oregano, with her tiny spouts, plays hide-and-seek in the soil each time that I water her, only to reveal her green cheeks hours later in her "here I am mommy!" sort of way. Tomato has had an impressive growth spurt this week, catching up in height to the Marigold girls who were early bloomers. Little Chive wakes up and says "good morning" with a stretch and a yawn daily. I truly appreciate how Daisy shows that she is a big girl by trying to grow so hard, but still retaining her innocence. Basil does not seem to be taking after his Great Aunt Bessy back in Denver at all, with her root rot and fly problem. Instead he's spreading around in the soil playfully and full of life. Soon, Garlic Chives should be arriving to join the family. Such little wonders they are.

These little propagations bring such pleasure and joy. Simply observing the ever changing life is grounding me in the present, the here and now, the only time we will ever exist. This is even more amazing if you knew my history of gardening....or my attempts at it, I should say. Amazing how the right state of mind affects the life around us, even if it is rooted in soil.

daddy long-legs

daddy long-legs
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
We saw this daddy long-legs on our mini vacation in Massachusetts. It was just chilling out above the water of the Natural Bridge.

It's amazing what we can find if we just take the time to look, taste, smell, touch and listen.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Chilling at the Super Suds

chilled feet
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I had quite a dichotomous, yet "here and now" moment this evening. My laundry was spinning around drying. I was reading "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior" while the television in the front was blaring the movie version of Dukes of Hazard. (Is this the cultural mecca that is East Providence? Mind you, I should not judge the boisterous laughter of the counter-girl mamma and the college boy doing his laundry, since I never did see that cinematic epic...maybe it is sidesplitting.) Then I started thinking about the words I was reading and, despite my typical intellectual snobbery (I'm working on that), I was able to simply observe. The jeans dancing around in the dryer, the individuals enjoying laughter, the buzzing fluorescent light above, nightfall outside and me, just existing, in the same soapy one more important than the other.

It was rather a nice moment...then, of course, it passed as counter-girl mamma reminded me that I needed to shake my tail feathers and get on out of there since her new boss is a bit of a hard-ass about them staying open even a minute past nine. And then my intellectual snobbery kicked back in. sigh. It was good while it lasted.

I long for days of yards and gardens

Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Repotting and planting new seeds in dollar store pots last night, I started thinking about a future house with the safe haven yard and garden. A retreat from the world to enjoy planting and sipping lemonade with fresh grown mint. Ah, Someday.

Digging my stubby-nailed fingers in the bags of potting soil I realize just how much I enjoy this. The act of gardening makes me feel as alive as the little flower and herb creatures sprout up green and willowy in their pots. Good thing I'm getting better at this. Those poor Gerberer Daisies never stood a chance those many years ago. And that green plant with it's sad little limp vine, I don't know how my mother was able to revive it, but that thing is kicking under her care. (wait...plants actually NEED sunlight???) But today is different. Perhaps it's my new found appreciation? It's such a simple pleasure, sowing tiny seeds, seeing the first sprouts rear their heads. It's one of the things that keep me grounded nowadays.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What's in a name?

I realize that the name I have chosen for my fledgling blog requires some explanation.

Throughout my life, I have been blessed with many incredible, compassionate and inspirational people, and my grandfather was one of of them. His gentle personality, quiet wisdom, amazing wealth of knowledge, abundance of courage and simple enjoyment of life was awe inspiring. He never said a bad word about anyone or complained, even when he was in discomfort at the end of his life. He was happy to tend to the yard and get dirt on his hands, or play with the grandkids and laugh. He taught through example. His heroism was evident in the true story of him helping pull others from the wreckage of a LIRR crash he himself was in or in him spending years working for the NYFD. He never looked for accolades. His enjoyment of nature and landscaping, and even his simple act of pointing out daddy long-legs that crawled by, sowed the seeds for my appreciation of the natural world. I could write a book about him, but I think you, dear reader, get the idea.

As for the silly name, you see, Dr. Schnookleheimer was the name that he called himself when he donned the small white plastic spectacles and stethoscope from my Mickey Mouse doctor's kit and made us laugh uncontrollably with his fake German accent and silly routine. I strive to follow his lead: learning all I can learn, grounding myself in the dirt, treating others with compassion and "donning those little white glasses" for a hefty dose of laughter.

So here I am, in a cyberland that my grandfather did not live to see. I hope to use this as a forum for simple expression. Writing, sharing stories of my life, presenting my dreams, showing some of my art...who knows? I am not sure what will manifest or be presented here, I plan to let it unfold each with each and every entry.

So, Dr Schnookleheimer: A name that conjures up laughter from my childhood, images of my grandfather and all that he taught me....perhaps it will keep me focused on the things that make life worth living.

Please feel free to join me in my journey, add your comments when you wish....and I'll point out the daddy long-legs for you.