Sunday, May 30, 2010

Getting to the Bottom of Things

This weekend I'm tackling the cleaning of my "studio". It's actually been called a sundry of names including the bonus room, storage area, home office and upstairs family room, but treated as indignantly as "the catch all room." My goal is to completely empty the room and its adjoining storage closet of all boxes, bags and extra-items-in-case-we-might-need-them items. Then rearrange the furniture and create a studio for myself. My crafts include writing and photography and all associated tasks -- journals, cards, scrapbooks, colorful pens and papers....

Yes, the small TV will stay so I can catch up on news or become inspired by watching some shows. The office desk and computer will stay where I can look out the front window while I work, watching the tree boughs gently bend in the evening breeze. The bookcases with their family albums and videos will continue to stand guard over our family history.

But I can do without the boxes of clothes and toys and various other odds and ends that still need sorted through. I started this project awhile back, but you know how it goes. Armed with a bucket of Murphy's Wood Soap suds and a couple of trash bags, I've been able to condense 3-4 more boxes today and completely clear out the bookcases so they look and smell fresh and clean again.

My big find of the day helped my daughter -- it was her old backpack from Cambridge, England days with a wallet containing $90! She was thrilled with that find! And, no, I was nice and didn't play "finder's keepers, loser's weepers."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Move It, Move It

Summer is here -- the perfect time to devote to getting back into routines of eating healthier and exercising more. So I joined a gym today!

Ash had to have some tests at the hospital again so afterward we went out to breakfast in Carmel. We shared our dishes with one another -- an apple waffle, a cheese omelet -- she savored the potatoes, I passed on the whole wheat toast. Lovely brunch!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in the Monterey Bay!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Put Your Lips Together... say MMMMMM. Yesterday was the last day of speech therapy for a little five year old boy I have worked with for the past two years. He has apraxia and saying his speech sounds is a challenge for him. He is very sweet and a lot of fun, and his mom is so supportive. I will really miss them, but they are moving. So in good-bye they presented me with a pink gift bag. His mom warned me that "little boy" picked out one of the gifts entirely by himself. I peaked inside: a tube of bright red lipstick! What a kick! To his five year old eyes and after two years of hearing me say, "Watch my mouth," I guess a tube of Royal Red lipstick would be what he associates with me! The staff had great fun teasing me about being perceived as "lips". Also included in the gift bag were a My Little Pony ribbon and then Mom's choice -- a generous gift card to Target. Who can't find something to buy at Target?

The best gift of all was the beautiful thank you letter they wrote, talking about how much they appreciate what I've done for "little boy," the care I show to others, and so forth. We cried and hugged when they left. Sometimes work is hard. Unfortunately we have evolved into a society of complainers, and in special education we get more than our fair share of picky parents. I wish they would realize how hard we work, how conscientious we are about helping their children, how little we are acknowledged for all that we do right. A thank you note goes such a long way in keeping us going in a positive, productive manner to help their children.

Knowing I made a difference for even one child, one family, makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day in San Francisco

Mother's Day is such a nice holiday. My own mother deserved a day to be treated well, shown how much she was appreciated and loved, pampered a bit. I miss her. My sisters and I always call to wish each other a Happy Mother's Day. We know how hard the job of being a mother is and just want to acknowledge that in one another. My dad even wishes us a Happy Mother's Day.

This year Ash, Lys and I went up to San Francisco for the day.
It was windy all day, drizzling in the morning but sunnier in the afternoon. Those clouds were moving fast!

Our main ojbective was to start apartment hunting for when they move there this fall. We're glad we got an early start as it will take awhile to narrow down neighborhoods and convenience factors.
Alcatraz Island:We found a couple of apartment possibilities and then went up to Pier 39 whre the girls treated me to lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. They are great daughters and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Love this big poster of Santana in the cafe shop. A couple of years ago I went to a Santana concert with a friend. It was fantastic and his music is timeless.
If you want to hear a bit of Santana, push the pause button on the playlist on the right menu bar, then come back here and push play:

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Pier 39:
We were home in time to catch "The Amazing Race" which happened to culminate in San Francisco so it was fun to watch (though I was rooting for the cowboys who came in 2nd place).

It was a wonderful Mother's Day and I hope other moms were able to spend the day with their dear ones as well.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Artist's Way

A cozy bookstore tucked away on Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove changed how I look at creativity. It was there, shortly after moving to the Monterey Peninsula, that I discovered the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I still have the bookmark with a quote by poet Walt Whitman that the store clerk slid into the book as he handed it to me.

Morning pages still beckon to me daily -- for awhile. Then I give them up, only to return time and again. I can sense summer coming. My crazy school year where I work is wrapping up this month and I'll soon feel the leisurely pace of sitting on the deck in my bathrobe, no place to go, just living in the moment. My mind is already bending that way, urging me to pick up "The Artist's Way" and explore creativity again.

Maybe for my next "artist's date" I'll go back to that bookstore and poke around, have a croissant and a cup of cocoa, and take my journal along for the ride. Click here to take a peek at what awaits me:

The Works (formerly Bookworks)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Green is the color of my kitchen wall... the morning, when I rise. Not yet -- but it's coming! We started painting the kitchen this weekend -- soft white ceiling and trim and a pretty green called "celery bunch". The photo below is from the Behr paint website of a kitchen done in celery bunch. I have some art work ideas to create for the breakfast nook wall, but I'll show those after I try them out first.

Painting the ceiling required muscles in the neck and shoulders that I haven't used for a long time, leaving me with a stiff neck and slowing down my progress, so this project may take a few weekends. But just having the breakfast nook ceiling painted makes the room brighter and more cheerful already!