Wednesday, May 26, 2010

lilies of the valley, time lapsed

Lilies of the valley.

A small patch, at the side of the house near the driveway, with a single old lamp post smack in the center.

A patch big enough, for me.

April 7th to May 13th.* Their beginning to their peak. It always seemed as if they lasted only a day or two--in reality, I was too busy to ever appreciate them long enough to realize. A whole five weeks, they took to grow.

Taking photos every day, from the same exact places, made me stop. It made me pause.

I'm all about pausing.

The first set was taken from above, holding my camera out at arm's length before the lamp post, sending out hope to the universe that the lens was still focused and that it would capture the same spot as the day before. The second set is from the side, resting on the same spot on its rock wall border every time. Dogs came and went, as did the sun and the rain, and eventually the leaves filled the frame.

When Rachel moved to Washington, DC, I knew she'd miss things about Connecticut, like her lilies of the valley blooming in the springtime.

And I realized that recording this for her was just as fulfilling for me.

Click to view larger, because my margins don't hold them.

lilies of the valley, april-maylilies of the valley, april-may

It makes me wonder--what other things are moving along quickly that I'm failing to appreciate?

*You'll note the amount of photos in each set is neither the same nor corresponding to the 36 days that lapsed. I may have gotten lazy about taking a photo every single day. (Especially between photos four and five, oops.) But you get the idea.

Monday, May 24, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

dropletsstellahandmade placematskabobscorona, cornhere pugglesfireworksflash, dog

There were too many happenings to even have room for words, this weekend.

I hope yours was lovely, though.

It's almost summertime, for real, isn't it?

I hope warm breezes and suntans are in my near future.

this is exactly what my life looks like right now

With the map of Africa and everything.

Nojustkidding. Completely and utterly.

Rather, if that suitcase was taken overhead and opened and all its contents were shaken out and strewn about and then shook just a little more for extra messiness and good measure and maybe even stomped on a bit, my life would be better exemplified.

I try to laugh, to make the mess not seem so messy, to make it seem like I could pick it all up and put it back into the suitcase neatly and properly and easily--and sometimes the laughing works, but usually it just bounces around dully in my head, failing to take up the space of the other thoughts I wish it would.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

in a new light


Thank you, life.
For sometimes throwing in difficult situations
that, while difficult,
can force us to bring courage.

After situation upon situation,
I've finally realized that I have no other choice
than to have courage and make a change.
Thank you, life.

Friday, May 21, 2010

summer evening softball

play ballsummer evening sunexcitementcheering

This is what I remember about summer.

And this is what I'd like it to remain, please.

(Aren't ponytail softballers just so cute?)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a dry erase marker and a mirror

In college, during my senior year, my roommates and I moved into an apartment. We spoiled ourselves silly, those two semesters. Maybe we didn't buy food as often as is deemed healthy and appropriate, and maybe we didn't participate in expensive campus goings-on at the time, and maybe we stayed within a 10-mile radius of campus so as not to waste gas, but boy, did we have it made in that apartment.

We each had our own bedrooms, with these big-sliding-mirrored-closet-doors that were just fantastic. Now that I'm living at home again and I have to run into my sister's now-vacant bedroom every time I want to look into a full-length mirror, I'm pining for those mirrored doors.

Early that year, Stephanie had taken to doodling and writing little notes to us with markers on our mirrors to read when we'd wake up in the morning. She always made me smile with her notes. She'd written on her own closet mirror, too, decorating it and writing little notes to herself, even.

This girl is wise beyond her years.

One day I walked into her room to find a little reminder to herself scrawled on her mirror-door, right next to her bed.

You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved, it read.

At first I giggled. Of course you are. We all are.

But then I thought about it. Do we all know that? Really know that? Maybe that's why I was giggling--because I didn't truly believe it.

Stephanie's little love note to herself stuck with me. Every time I entered her room, I read it. Sometimes it would just pop into my head without me realizing it. I had it memorized. It became like a pattern in my brain.

At home now, I have it written on my mirror above my dresser. It says I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

It's on my desktop notepad on my computer screen too, and scribbled here and there throughout my planner. It comes as second nature now.

A few weeks ago, my aunt and little cousin were over for dinner. Later that night, I walked into my room to find eight-year-old Katie standing in front of my dresser, staring at the mirror. "I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved? What's that?"

But she wasn't giggling. She was intrigued. Her expression was completely serious. She really wanted to know why it was there and what it meant.

I explained the purpose of affirmations to her and why I liked that particular sentence. I could see her thinking about it, deciding if she thought I was crazy or funny or maybe even smart. She began to read it slowly.

"I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved. I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved. I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved! I AM A STRONG, BEAUTIFUL, INTELLIGENT WOMAN WHO DESERVES TO BE LOVED!" Her face could hardly contain her wonderment.

Then she ran to tell her mom her revelation. And my heart almost melted.

So, thanks Steph. I'm glad we had that overly-expensive apartment, and those unnecessarily-huge mirrored closet doors, and your wit about yourself to even think of doing something so extraordinary. A dry erase marker, and a mirror. That's all it took.

Monday, May 17, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

blanche, bedmarket basil plantclotheslineiced coffee, whipped creamgoing outgetting readyriding bootsi love horses' noseshorse, skychairs at margaritas

Kitty-snuggling, late night bar-drinking, going to the first farmers' market of the season, doing yoga in the backyard, hanging laundry on the clothesline, babysitting, attending a good friend's horse show (and getting to play the photographer), indulging in Mexican food, and scary movie-watching.

It all sounds lovely, right?

It really was, I suppose, but I'm struggling with every Monday picking out the "good" pictures and writing about everything in a fantastic light, even when it's not really so. Of course, my weekend was nice, but not as nice as these pictures and paragraph above show.

So really, my weekend involved:

getting camera-happy with my cats, hanging out with friends at a new bar, being sorely disappointed by the local farmers' market which contained absolutely no produce and only snooty craftspeople, doing yoga in the backyard until the lawnmower came too close and the noise was too loud and I had to move anyway, then doing yoga in my bedroom until I stretched into eagle pose and realized I have a bedroom the size of a closet and it won't even hold eagle pose, hanging laundry on the line happily but then having to take it down and put it in the dryer which I was trying to avoid in the first place because the lawn was being mowed and the cut grass would stick to it and dirty it, reluctantly babysitting and getting vomited on multiple times, watching a horse show and getting to have way too much fun as the photographer, eating way too much Mexican food and maybe even drinking sangria at lunch, and watching a scary movie and trying not to think about it as I came home alone to a dark house.

Do you see how I just did that?

Not a terrible weekend by any means--there are just some storm clouds that accompany the sun, now and then.

I'm gonna chalk it up to perspective and try to trick my mind into thinking my weekend was as beautiful as these photos.

Friday, May 14, 2010

i've just decided

This blog is too cluttered. Everywhere I look there are columns and squares and paragraphs and archives and links and buttons and pictures.

Too much, I say.

This is more like it. (You've not read her? Oh, get on it.)

So tell me--do you have any blog revamping techniques you'd be inclined to share with us?

I'm afraid I'm not very technically savvy.

As you can tell by my clutter.

**Update: Clutter is beginning to clear. We're getting there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

on the permeation of food

My bag of rice chips was just sitting next to my banana.

And now my rice chips taste and smell like banana.

I like bananas.

But not with my rice chips.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

flowers and rain

lilies of the valleylilies of the valleyfeet, in the rain

The lilies of the valley have finally peaked. Every year, I always feel like I miss them. Of course, they're beautiful and then gone in about 1.7 days, but I feel like I shouldn't be leaving their side for the entirety of those 1.7 days. You know?

They're like heaven on a stem. I wish you could smell these through the screen, really.

That's why this year I made sure to document their growth. In a little photo project I'll put up here soon. (Okay, so I guess "project" is too grand a word for what I really did, but it's still pretty amazing. You'll see.)

I took these pictures yesterday, when the skies were gray and it was sprinkling and I purposely went into work late on account of not being able to mentally get myself there. All I wanted was springtime and sunshine, hoping it would force my mood to shape up and ship out. Now today, it's all sunshine and fresh air (despite being chilly) and I wouldn't mind a little gloominess to just validate my feelings a little.

I think that's a pathological tendency I have. When it's sunny I feel obligated to be chipper and full of energy even when I'm not, but when it's rainy and gray I feel I have no other choice than to match my mood to the air, which I usually do.

It's like how I eat exorbitant amounts of food every time I watch The Biggest Loser. Pathological, I tell you.

I'm just going to go stare at some lilies of the valley and see if that helps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

movin on

Today is the 366th day of my post-college life. I graduated exactly one year ago.

I've just taken the "365" out of my header of "Fearlessly navigating my way through these 365 post-college days."

I suppose that's really over, then.

Monday, May 10, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

forget-me-not pathwindow blanche
baby blanchecarnations + giftssangriamother's day luncheonstrawberry rhubarb piestrawberry rhubarb piejack-in-the-pulpitdandelion wishes



Sunday, May 9, 2010

dear mommy

I hope someday I grow up to be like you.

Thanks very much.


Friday, May 7, 2010

the weekend, again

Does it feel like it was just the weekend a second ago? I never thought I'd be anything but delighted to see a weekend looming, but lately, I feel like every other day I'm saying, "It's Friday already?"

This weekend I plan on getting down to business and burying my nose in sewing projects. I've recently signed on to sell some pieces at a local farmer's market, so I have plenty of work to do before June surprises me.

Since, you know, the weekends have been in that habit.

Enjoy yours, won't you?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the top

It's like when you're spinning a top,
maybe the kind that has the marker on the tip and draws spirals,
(I think that's the only kind of top I've ever spun),

and you sit and watch it spin round
and round
and round,
and faster
and faster,

but then it begins to slow and wobble,
and you can almost hear it shouting,
wobble! wobble! wob-ble! louder and louder,

and you lean in closer to wait for that exact moment you're fearing,
and then all at once
it falls to its side in exhaustion,
sputtering once or twice,
until it completely stops,

and everyone sighs,
and shakes their heads, saying
too bad.

cupcake 21

parsnip cupcake

Totally made Cupcake 21 last night.

And it was totally delicious.

I knew there'd be a use for leftover parsnips, someday.

Monday, May 3, 2010

notes on bliss

Do you ever have that time or moment or second, even, that you look back on and think to yourself, Man, was I happy then or what? It's the strangest thing--there are particular moments I can recall where I remember being perfectly happy and content with life.

Like that time in high school. The boy that I thought I was smitten with asked me to go to the movies with him. I don't think I paid any attention to the movie, on account of being so excited that I was at any movie with this boy. I remember it was the day before Easter, and the thought of being with the boy I liked in a movie theater and the fact that the next day the house would be full of family and friends celebrating . . . . . well, it was a whole lot of happiness for my teenage-self to handle. I was fidget-in-my-seat-trying-to-contain-my-happiness sort of happy. I can distinctly remember thinking to myself, Man, am I happy right now or what?

And last night, as I lay in bed, reading a book beside my open bedroom window with Stella purring at my side, the scent of lilacs from the blossoms below drifted in with the chilly spring air and filled my room from top to bottom with their perfume-y scent.

Even though it doesn't always last, I felt deliriously happy, in that moment.

These are the things I want to write about, so that I'll not forget them.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a dapple of my weekend

spot a cat



rocky neck

birds of a feather

silly girls


I sat in a lawn chair at dusk and read a book.

I went to the beach for the first time this year.

I skipped the gym. Both days.

I reunited with old friends at a spectacular birthday party.

I drank margaritas.

I ate breakfast in the backyard.

I didn't sit at my computer for one minute.

I think this was the first weekend, in a very long time, that I can honestly say I really liked.

Please send more of these my way.