Tuesday, May 31, 2011

little house on the bay

Yes, a very productive weekend and morning.

Mowed the lawn with the new reel mower. It works awesome and so quiet. I started mowing the same time as the neighbor across the street with the same size lot. He was pushing a gas mower yet I finished mowing before him. Helps to not have to stop to fill the tank.

Did a mess-load of planting flowers and vegetables.

Put up chicken wire around the raised beds.

Moved some large rocks to line the beds flanking the front entry. Glad the previous owner has not picked up their wheelbarrow yet.

This morning:
Two loads of laundry including drying using the clothes line.

Did some more unpacking of stuff.

Cleaned the rabbits' cages and discovered the Beatrix (the new rescue rabbit) can jump over the dog pen.

Paid some bills.

And now I am off to work! Only three weeks left at this job, which is bittersweet. More on that later.
Happy spring!

Monday, May 30, 2011

unfinished business

I opened this "new post" window about an hour before I started writing. Appropriate, considering I am writing about unfinished business. Now, I'm not referring to things from the past with no closure. Those things I let go of with ease. What I am mean are the massive to do lists in my mind and trying to get to all the tasks. Inevitably the list continues to grow so I never seem to get to the end of it. I'm pondering on why it seems to take me a disproportionate amount of time completing things.

I jokingly ponder if I have developed ADD, but check my DSM-IV just in case.

I'm not good at staying on just one task for any length of time.

I get bored with mundane or routine tasks.

I want to jump in to all the creative projects and can never decide which I want to do first. This leads to a severe case of "project jumping" (starting lots of tasks and switching from one to another instead of giving my full attention to one and completing it).

Same thing with books. I'm inevitably in the middle of five books at once.

Being tired enhances lack of focus. My weeks of jury duty while working two jobs did not help. Luckily the trail is done and soon I will be working four days a week.

With the new house, there is so much more to do to make it feel and look as I want it to. I want to be completely done but there are a lot of time consuming tasks, I need to be more realistic with the outcome of this. Or I need to hire someone to help with the tasks I don't feel like tackling.

Sometimes tasks lead to minor setbacks. Sure a huge amount of the gardening was done yesterday, but now I am trying to quell the itch of mosquito bites (they must love the taste of Melissa basted in essential oils). Now, I am avoiding a few tasks I have to do outside. They can wait until I itch no more and wear a hazmat suit for protection.

I'll writer more at another time because the other side of unfinished business are internal changes. They deserve their own post. Plus, I am off to tackle yet another task. Which one? Not sure yet. We'll see when I get up from this chair. Now where did I put my hazmat suit?

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I forgot the arugula, but the dinner was good none-the-less.

i'm a hog

No really, I am! Well, not in the gluttonous sort of way. In the community sponsored agriculture (CSA) way. Yup, joined the H.O.G. (Hamlet Organic Garden).

I am overjoyed! This was the first week and it included head lettuce, arugula, radishes, oregano and thyme. Keeping it simple, I've enjoyed a crisp salad with homemade Italian dressing. Added some store bought organic grape tomatoes and soy chick'n for a delicious meal. Another head of lettuce for a side salad to some pasta with the remaining arugula wilted in with some garlic, sun dried tomato and olive oil is on the menu for this evening.

I love that we are getting new, fresh organic veggies every week. I hope to try new ones that I haven't cooked with before. It's a summer adventure, I tell you. I must admit I have never bought radishes before. I am surprised I had forgotten how tasty they were. Definitely going to include them on my shopping list in the future. Additionally, I like that the whole season is paid for in advance. This guarantees I will be getting my veggies in even on tightly budgeted weeks.

As for home gardening, I've already planted tomato, green beans, cucumber, mint and strawberries, and built two more raised beds for additional planting. Spaghetti squash seems to have planted itself from the compost. I'm excited to see how they do. Luckily, the deer are more attracted to the hastas and the chicken wire is keeping the neighborhood cats out of the garden.

Here's to healthy eating!

Friday, May 27, 2011

i'm a listasaurus

I have never owned a vehicle with a trunk
I love the metal clang clang clang of railroad crossing gates
I want to own a wellness center with retail space and a resource library
I have never had a cast for a broken bone
I started dying my hair at age 16
I appreciate all of my past relationships, even the ones that made me sad
I was engaged three times in my life
My favorite color is orange but I am very drawn to blues
I once considered joining the FBI
My top two weirdest first dates: one included going to a shooting range, the other was a thrash metal show followed by watching a meteor shower
I get mental blocks with names and titles
I'm digging this song right now:

and this one:

What was your name again?
I wonder where all the poets have gone
Experiencing music and art feeds my soul
When I'm tired, I eat
I believe that cereal is an ideal meal in a bowl with rice milk
I love the smell of a box of crayons
I am extremely tactile and can get fascinated and focused on the feel of a single texture for a long time
If I were you, I'd make a list too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

no contempt

No, I have not been arrested for contempt of court, but my brain has. I've been behaving myself best I can. I'm finding this jury duty thing rather boring. It is, however, helpful to view the lawyers as if it were in a bad sitcom. Prosecuting attorney is this attractive, young, very professional, no-nonsense lawyer and the defense is, well, kind of goofy. Professional... but goofy. This makes the whole thing much more entertaining. Of course, I am paying attention to the case (which I cannot discuss), but I need to find the entertainment factor as well.

Now, onto something (not) completely different:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

i'm number one, i'm number one, i'm number...

Not only have I been selected for jury duty, but I am juror number one. 

My name is
juror #1

So with the way my mind works, I started thinking of things I would love to do (if it weren't going to get me a contempt of court charge). Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section (I am still trying to caffeinate myself).

Announce the verdict in the character of Flo from the Progressive commercials
"We, the jury, find the defendant has "guilt and glitter"
"You're INNOCENT!!!! YYYYAY" *blow a party horn*

Present it in the voice of Sesame Street's Count
One, One juror says guilty haha ha ha
Two, two jurors say guilty haha ha ha

Have a #1 foam finger with me at all times

Put a smiley face and a letter grade on the written verdict

Grab the judges gavel and replace it with a children's squeaky hammer

Put a smiley face sticker on the judges gavel and remind her to "smile, the jury loves you"

Wear a party hat and an over-sized "birthday girl" button every day of the trail

Wear hockey gear and hang a sign that says "penalty box" in front of the juror seats

Listen to the trial with an old fashioned ear horn "so I don't miss anything"

If the judge allows note taking, start drawing a court artist rendition of the courtroom in crayon

Have guilty written on my eyelid and wink at the defendant

Wear the same outfit every day of the trial but in a progressively bigger size. When questioned, tell the judge "I got exposed to some experimental perfume from my husband's company"

I will gladly accept other ideas you may have, my creative little buggers, and welcome any gifts of foam fingers. Now off to The Duty!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

pow! right in the kisser

I sometimes say stupid things.
I like colorful things.
I adore colorful people.
I'm obsessed with the cuteness of my rescue pets.
I think cold wet dog noses are therapeutic when they precede a doggy kiss on your cheek. 
I have too many unfinished projects.
I consider myself and unfinished project.
I once stabbed my own foot with a pitchfork.
I learned that horsing about with someone who is holding lopping shears is a bad idea.
I love portobello mushrooms.
I am allergic to mushrooms.
I believe I am two inches taller than I really am.
I love the smell of citrus.
I am addicted to tomatoes and tomato products.
Books I cannot read are ones that bore me within the first three chapters.
I hate doing dishes.
I like doing laundry.
Sometimes my honesty holds me back.
My poker face is broken when peoples' actions are just plain illogical.
I haven't gotten punched in the face...well, except that one time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

words from a mini-shrink

I have learned some lessons both in life and in my practice. Here are just a few things to consider:

You may not be able to change a strong-willed, hormonal 12-year-old or a stubborn, angry adult, but you can change how you respond to them. You cannot control what another person does but you can control how you respond. Imagine someone throwing lit matches at you. Are you going to respond like paper and catch fire or are you going to respond like water and diffuse their attacks? The first way, (i.e. fighting back) will often lead to an escalation of anger with no productive resolution. The latter of the two, you respond to what they are throwing at you rationally, even if they are being irrational. There is more of a possibility of resolution this way. Incidentally, this often indirectly facilitates change in the other person.

When you argue back with a child, you have already lost. It takes a lot of patience and rational discussion to communicate effectively. When there is opposition from a child, give them two or three options (all of which are ones you'd be okay with them choosing) and let them make the decision. This gives them a sense of control (which lowers their frustration) while still getting results with which you would be satisfied seeing.

Self care, self care, self care. Life, even under the best circumstances, is stressful. You need to take care of yourself before you can fully take care of others.

Don't underestimate the power of breath. Slow steady breathing keeps the blood pressure down and the mind focused.

Be very concrete and clear with expectations and consequences when they are not met. This way there will be no question in the other person's mind as to what you want. No point in being vague or wishy-washy.

Acknowledge other peoples' feelings, even if you don't agree with them. "You look like you are really angry with me. Is this true?" (let them agree or disagree and tell you what is really going on with them.) We all want our feelings validated. Avoid that infamous statement "I know how you feel" because even if you believe you do, you only know it through your realm of experience. Their perception is uniquely their own.

Adolescents and teens are learning about themselves and testing the waters. Give them guidelines but let them figure things out for themselves. All of us need to travel our own path.

Adolescents very much experiencing a second terrible twos. This will pass with nurturing and LOTS of patience. Their brains are not developed fully. They don't have the cognitive ability to rationalize fully, instead they are being driven by emotions and hormones.

When all else fails, take a vacation by yourself to a remote tropical island to get away from it all and take a few deep breaths.

music wafts deftly through the crisp air

and it all feels so powerful to me right now.

this is lovely

the road not taken by robert frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

is judge wapner presiding?

Oh yes, I got summonsed for jury duty! Monday afternoon, I get to show up for jury duty selection. Wonder if I will get picked this time? The first time I was summonsed in New York, I was attending community college so I lugged my school books with me and did homework while I sat there for hours only to be told at the end, "Everyone who has not been selected, you are free to go. Thank you for your time." That day felt like a really long study hall.

My second jury notice in New York, well, I had already moved to Colorado. Obviously, I did not have to come in.

Third notice was to serve in Colorado and the notice stated it was even for for a major murder trail! Exciting! They said if you are over 70 miles from the court house, they would pay some nominal fee extra for mileage. I had just moved to Rhode Island and they were not willing to pay for 19000 miles in nominal mileage fees. Shucks.

This time they got me in the right state. For many years Suffolk County had a system where you got a number and you didn't have to come in unless your Friday call in included your juror number. This system is no more. Now they have four chunks of numbers and everyone has to show up. Friday call in now reveals which court and what time you need to be there. So it goes that Monday afternoon I will be going to the court house. To make my day enjoyable, I am going to meet up with my dearest friend for some brunch beforehand. I will have a couple of books with me to bide the time while sitting and waiting. Then I am going to catch up with a friend I haven't seen in many years. Should prove to be an interesting day.

Oh, and I'd settle for Judge Judy if Wapner isn't available. Did you know he dated Lana Turner in high school?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

taking time to smell the trees at 55mph

My way-too-long drive to my full time gig includes a stint on the Southern State Parkway which is a winding, tree-lined, three lane parkway that, when you aren't in a rush, is quite a lovely road (as far as parkways go). With the beautiful weather yesterday, my windows were opened allowing the fresh clean air to swirl around me. To my utter delight I kept getting periodic wafts of fragrant floral scent. Oh, those lovely white-bloomed trees are gently perfuming the air and I am adoring it. What a pleasant commuting experience that snapped me out of my "go to get to work" mindset and brought me back to the here and now. It's these moments, these little snippets of time, that remind me that life is good indeed.


If 12 = meeting then go to post

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

i should be getting ready for work...

...so to quell my guilt I am multitasking as I type. Just hope I don't get toothpaste into the keyboard. I felt the need to briefly revisit joy and let you all know I still feel that underlying pervasive joy beneath everything.

Underlying: as in lying or situated beneath, substratum, fundamental and basic

Pervasive: as in spreading throughout all parts

Joy: as in great happiness, pleasure, bliss, delight, ecstasy and elation

I don't know where this stemmed from but I am guessing this seed was planted long, long ago and it has been germinating for years. It has been blooming for a good ten years, growing stronger and more fragrant daily. This feeling is there during mundane tasks and celebratory moments alike. I feel this even in times of sorrow, grief, upset and anger.  

That joy is always there.
It is the joy of living and sharing in this human experience.
It is even in the joy of clean teeth and minty fresh breath!

It would bring me even more joy if you feel it too!

Om puppy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

hang up the f*@#ing phone because I drive a lexus

The other day I was irately screamed at by an angry red-raging-faced guy in a Lexus demanding for me to "HANG UP THE F*@#ING PHONE!!!!!" Now, before you get upset about the thought of me driving while talking illegally on my cellphone, let me tell you what happened.

The day was Friday around 5:15pm. I was driving my standard transmission car on a two-lane main road during the rush hour commute. My normal habit at red lights is to put my car in first gear to anticipate the upcoming green light. Well, it was Friday. I was tired. While sitting at a light in the right lane, I failed to put the car into first. The light turned green and I attempted to accelerate to no avail. The car barely budged. In my post-work head space, I looked down at my stick shift in confusion. When I realized it was in third gear I corrected my mistake and began to accelerate. Apparently, all of this took much to much time for Mr. Lexus, who was behind me, and his very important timeline. He pulled up next to me while I was gazing down to see what gear I was in and assumed I was on the phone, distracted from the fact that the light changed.

He began screaming and gesturing for me to hang up the f*@#ing phone. I just looked at him with a calm and rather blank confused stare, wondering why this guy is so incredibly angry.

First and most importantly, I was not on my cell phone.

Second, if you want to be upset that I took a moment to accelerate, at least scream "LEARN TO PUT THE CAR YOU HAVE DRIVEN SINCE 2005 INTO THE PROPER GEAR SO YOU CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF MY VERY IMPORTANT WAY!!!!" Then I would say, fair enough and touche' Mr. Lexus.

Third, if you really were that anxious to get to your very important destination, why are you wasting your time yelling three times at me before zipping dangerously in front of me from the left lane next to me to the right side entrance ramp you needed to get to?

Not that I don't get angry or annoyed myself, but this guys level of anger was way too intense even if I was on the phone. There must have been veins bulging in his forehead. This can not be good for his health. At least I am able to find the humor in it and, in some odd way, this event brightened my day (despite my concerns for the over population of overly stressed, type-a, Lexus driving angry men in the world).

Drive safely, I keep it in gear!

when you come from good people

I read this list and kept mental track what I do and what else I can start doing to make the world a slightly nicer place. More than halfway through and I realized that I really need to thank my parents for raising me right. They taught me so many things on this list by lesson and example.
A big THANK YOU mom and dad!

syringa, it's springa!

Every spring, no matter how lovely the weather becomes, I must wait for the nearest lilac bush to burst into color and share it's sweet scent before I declare that the season has indeed changed. Once I've filled my senses with all that lilacs have to offer, it is officially spring. I have always silently vowed to the Universe that when I own my first home, I would plant a lilac plant I can closely eye and eagerly await the first fragrant flowers to appear. To my complete delight, while on my way out the door to go to Mother's Day festivities, I looked to my right and saw it: some beautiful blooms bursting open in my own garden. Without pause, I made my way to the purple clusters and deeply inhaled the heavenly perfume. To my even greater joy, there are three lilac plants right there, ten feet from my kitchen door!
Yes, my dear ones, spring is officially here!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

see you at cheap johns!

Today, the first day at my new (second) job, triggers those familiar giddy feelings I had on the first day of school. New adventures, new teachers, new classmates and the excitement of going to Cheap Johns for brand spankin' new school supplies. The line stretched the length of the store but it was inevitably filled with fellow classmates to share first day stories with. Ah, heaven! Off to catch the school bus!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

new career?

I love the fact that the community college
in the next county

new adventure

Tomorrow I venture into the world of private practice and I am thrilled. This does require me to change my schedule at my full time gig, but it is all good. Joining a group private practice is going to be a good way of learning how it's done, plus I will be engaging in training of another therapeutic modality. I hold no expectations of this endeavor, just looking forward to the experience. You know when something just feels right? This is one of those things.

I wonder why psychiatrists are called "shrinks" and therapists aren't?