Tuesday, August 31, 2010

summer round up

So, it's September 1st.

End of August. End of The August Break. End of summer.

Beginning of fall. Beginning of a new year. Beginning of the rest.

I feel like August was one big breath, one big inhale that opened my lungs and was followed by an exhaustive sigh that pushed all the bad air out and made room in my chest for fresh air to enter.

So now I have space. I'm ready for September to be full of fresh air. Lots and lots of fresh air. And October and November, too.

A round up of summer, so as not to forget:

I traveled up and down the East Coast.

dc pool
{In Washington, DC, swimming in Rachel's rooftop pool}

north carolina
{In North Carolina, relaxing on the beach}

{In Vermont, alongside rivers}

ct camping
{In Connecticut, camping in the hills}

maine coast
{In Maine, enjoying the coast}

I watched the many fields of corn grow:


I reveled in visits from faraway cousins:


I got reacquainted with my yoga mat:

yoga mat

I snapped up photos of the afternoon sun in a rare moment of solitude:

afternoon lightlight photography

I participated in the great summer happening of getting Mary's ears pierced:

new ears

I saw a fantastic concert:


I hung out by a lake and swam with fishies:

lake swimming

I broke out my sewing machine and made some new projects:

sewing projects

I read lots of good books and drank lots of good wine:

julia child

I (feel like I) spent a whole lot of time driving around in my car:


I picked raspberries (and tomatoes and green beans and lots of other produce, too):


I was visited by sisters at graduation parties:

visiting sisters

I celebrated birthdays:


And, apparently, I discovered an obsession for taking pictures of my food:


Ah, summer. I was never such a fan of your heat and bathing suits and bugs. But I'll miss you.

What does your summer round up look like?

31st of august, break

tree felledcan you spot it?heart cut

Have you ever noticed

that when you turn out a light

and are pitched into darkness in its absence

you become much more conscious of sounds?

Monday, August 30, 2010

30th of august, break

first day of schools

Mary's first day of fifth grade, this morning, with the neighbors.

Wasn't she just going into fourth grade?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

29th of august, break

almond milk

Making my own almond milk is one of my favorite things.

1 cup soaked almonds + 4 cups water + vanilla = natural milk (blended and strained, that is)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

28th of august, break

tomatoes on the windowsill

My mom always keeps her tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill.

Friday, August 27, 2010

27th of august, break

breezy tankaugust top

Some recent sewing-machine creations, from a thrifted men's XL button-down.

Someday, in the future, I'll have a sweet little apartment in a fun town, with lots of bright light and pillows and green plants and

I need comfort.

It'll have all my things in it, and there will be a space for my yoga mat and a reading chair and a sewing table and none of these things will be in sight of a television.

I'll have my own kitchen that will be stocked with fresh food that I enjoy. I'll make my own coffee in the morning as strong as I like and drink it, quietly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Guest posting over at Curls and Coffee today.

Click over!

26th of august, break

I can't stop listening to this song. And trying not to cry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

25th of august, break


Well, we had to do something with the endless amounts of tomatoes and cucumbers we've been growing.

24th of august, break

sunlight in the woods

I'm back to working at daycare, now. My legs ache from standing and my arms ache from child-holding and my head aches from the noise.

But, alas--an income.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

20th of august, break

camp ellissteph, beachflopsmaine lobstahgirlies

Just returning from a few peaceful days on the coast of Maine, time spent with a family who've adopted me as one of their own, with these words from Mary Oliver resounding in my heart.

But the lilies

are slippery and wild—they are
devoid of meaning, they are
simply doing,
from the deepest

spurs of their being,
what they are impelled to do
every summer.
And so, dear sorrow, are you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

17th of august, break

rag curls

When I was a little girl, I used to beg for rag curls at night, too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

16th of august, break

gloomy breakfast

This morning I woke up and promptly stepped right into a pile of mushy cat vomit.

Yeah, I know.

I hope this doesn't determine how the rest of my day goes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

12th of august, break

yoga in the morning

Yoga in the mornings is, quite possibly, absolute magic.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

beginning, slowly

My blog needs a break. Or rather, I need a break from it.

I've contemplated methods of accomplishing this: looking for guest bloggers, an extended silent absence, dropping the whole thing altogether. But I don't want to abandon this space, as difficult as I'm finding it to keep up. I began this blog when I feel that I began, when I started to awake to this new level of consciousness that I'm unfolding every day, now. This has become more than just a blog--it's become a facet of myself, an extension.

When I became too involved with what I should be writing about or who would be reading its words or whether or not I should share certain information, it became less of myself and more of a concern. And my life didn't, couldn't, wouldn't allow for any more concerns.

So I considered ditching it. And immediately I took it back and snatched it up and embraced it, guilty for abandoning it, if only in my thoughts. Since then, I've tried hard to make it for myself, a self-serving space I could use however I liked.

It's a weird thing, this blogging, no?

Nevertheless, I've still felt like I need a break from it. My energies are just in so many other places right now that my heart just hasn't been in my posts as much as I feel it should be.

As you might know, at the end of July I finished my service term with AmeriCorps. Not only was I facing looming unemployment, but I realized I was left with the extremely trying, difficult, intense task of processing this year on my own, at home. The after-school program and family resource center I had worked with had lost funding and was shut down after ten-plus years in service to the community, leaving my small team with the task of disengaging from the kids and families we had grown to love, not to mention layoffs of the only coworkers I had come to know. So, the last month and a half of my term I spent sitting at a desk in the nonprofit organization's corporate office, faking smiles for the CEO and trying to pretend like I enjoyed working in a cushy downtown office where everyone acted as if the less glamorous neighborhood I had relocated from didn't exist anymore (where I'd much rather have been). It was a difficult year.

Add to that my (slow) acclimation back to the real world after college and my recent major decision to turn down two amazing offers at UVM and UW, and I was in rough shape. And not many people around me understood this predicament I found myself in.

But you know what? Hmmm, how do I put this.........I'm better for it. In fact, I began to see that these were fantastic, good things for me.

You see, the past few months of my life have taken an entirely new direction, a 360 degree spin. I was sick and tired of surviving. My whole life I had been just surviving. I was mad. I was furious. I was sad that I had to be mad at all. I had had enough. Somewhere in there, I found enough courage and love for myself to reach a breaking point, and I let myself break. (Breaking is scary stuff.)

I decided that at some point, the cycle of abuse turns to yourself, and you can either choose to abuse yourself as well, or try practicing some self-care and step away. I tried just that. I left home and awoke to this whole new world that had existed the whole time, just under the surface, that I just hadn't been aware of through all the muck.

I don't care for abuse. I don't care for negative, draining, exhaustive energy. I don't care for lack of support. I don't care for direct crushing of morale. I don't care for any of it. At some point, I realized that my disdain for such things had reached a whole new level. I was waaay up here, and they were waaaay down there, and removing myself from these abusive situations has been my saving grace.

I'm still up here, and growing farther and farther higher to an entirely new level of consciousness, but they're still down there. In fact, that's been the hardest part about all this growing--realizing that you're growing away from so much that you've known.

Now, I'm still living at home. I've found ways to deal with that for now, though. I've been reading Rumi and Julia Child autobiographies and Sark and travel guides to Paris (you know, for dreaming up my someday-getaway). I've been writing in journals and recording every single truth I come to realize about my life. I've been listening to myself--really listening, and trying to be true to that voice. I'm forming new bonds and shying away gracefully from the old ones.

I'm unemployed, for now. To some unsupportive souls who know me, this is a horrible, terrible thing. But luckily for me, I can still afford to pay my student loan bills and I live with my parents and have no rent and I can embrace it. This might be my only chance to embrace it. In two weeks I'll be starting back up again with the old daycare I worked at in college (I know--I was ecstatic when I thought I was done there, but it really won't be so bad, I know it won't be, it's simply a step for now), and until then I'm practicing self-care and discovering new outlets and creating new truths. I'm trying to remind myself to have some compassion for meItalic, and go with the flow. (In fact, just the other night this notion of self-love was solidified for me: I dreamt that I came face-to-face with a seven-year-old version of myself, and we hugged and cried and it was the weirdest, but most satisfying dream-experience.) I want to go to the movies by myself and sit in libraries and read my camera's user manual and eat good cheese and practice yoga and revel in alarm clocks set early.

I don't know where I want to live. I don't know what kind of job I want to look for, or where to look for it. I don't know what I want to go back to school for. I don't know when I'll want to go back to school. But I'm not jumping to a place of "OhmygodIdon'tknowwhattodo" anymore, I'm simply living. I'm learning that this isn't a terrible thing, living. In fact, I'm rather enjoying it. Slowly.

Perhaps it would have been easier to write about all these things as they happened and prevented myself from getting too overwhelmed, ending in this huge voluminous post (kudos to you if you're still reading), but hey, I did try.

Therefore, back to my main point (can I remember what it was when I started writing this?), I'll be taking an August break. Susannah's great idea, that I found through Alfie, spoke to me--I'll be trying to post every day with just a photo or two, maybe some words, maybe no words, maybe a lot of words. Maybe this will make me want to post more often and get back into the swing of things, but until September, this will be put on hold. I need time. Hopefully you can relate and will still check back in for daily tidbits.

Until then, I wish you the happiest of Augusts and send you peaceful thoughts of summery relaxation! Thanks for listening, truly. My readers mean just as much to me as my writing here.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

in the garden

tomato plantsgreen beanstomatoes, cucumberstomatoes, cut

There's something magically satisfying about eating food straight out of your own bit of earth. Even if I didn't do any of the growing and sustaining.

homemade pizza

And then making pizza out of it, too!