Friday, May 30, 2008

my new mindset

Life at our house gets divided into two main hunks of the year: The School Year and Recitals, and After Recitals. After Recitals (also known as Summer) is the part we're in now, and frankly, it's the part I live for the rest of the year. So here's my new mindset for the summer, and I swear it's working like a charm:
I AM ON VACATION FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS. I take a break each day to work at my job, but that does not in any way change the fact that I'm on vacation.
I could grumble about how nobody else in the family has the same schedule as me; how they're all off but I'm chained to the desk, blah blah poor me -- but I don't choose to see it that way.

I'm on vacation.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drawing Day

For those of you who are seeing the end of Every Day In May approaching, and say, "Darn! I want to draw and share some more!" - well, my friends, this is for you.
One day a year, the world stops to remember that joy we had when we first picked up a pencil and created our first piece of art - that's what Drawing Day is all about. The goal for Drawing Day is simple - to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art. 2008 is the first year of this initiative. Our goal is definitely a long-shot, but we're aiming for 1 million drawings worldwide. We have no precise measure to know if we reach this goal. If we come close we will all definitely know. Even if we reach 10% of our goal in the first year of this initiative, it will be a great achievement but we will continue aiming for the magic million.
I'm drawing. Are you with me?

♥ I have been so thrilled with everyone's work for this year's Every Day In May - from the simple sketch to incredibly complex paintings, they all are gorgeous, and worthy. Kudos to all who are putting out more art (and more good!) into the world.

back to nature

I have two brand-new posts up on Miomarmo, the super-fantastic environmental/lifestyle website started by me and my like-minded coworkers and friends:

♥ One about gardening and using recycled materials to help your plants get started.

♥ And one about identifying backyard birds with a great website tool.

♥ And if you haven't seen the post about Earth Day chalking in the park, for Petey's sake, go check it out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For a sunny day

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Five-Year-Old Captures Audience's Hearts at Piano Recital

(NJ, MAY 22) Miss Sophia N. fulfilled a dream of her father's last night, as she debuted at her first piano recital. The five-year-old preschooler played barefoot by her own request. She took her seat to lots of applause, wiggled around a little bit, and then wowed the audience with a stellar rendition of the traditional favorite, "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star."

She then jumped up off the bench in her excitement and had to be led back to the piano for her next piece, called "Penguin Blues." She reminded her father loudly, that although this was a duet, she wanted to do it all by herself. Counting to herself in a whisper that carried to the back of the room, she played with charm as she made sure she sat up straight in her best "piano" position, her two small hands placed carefully above the keyboard. She finished to tumultuous applause and cheers, including the shouts of her twin brother and sister in the front row. Her bow was deep and dramatic and drew laughs from the audience, which were replaced by sighs and more applause as her grandmother presented her with a bouquet of white carnations. Although her siblings retired for the night shortly after her performance, Miss N. stayed up for the entire recital, with her beloved Lambey cuddled in her lap. A splendid time was had by all and it will be a night that she and her family will remember fondly for years to come. (Audio and video of the performance will be available soon.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


(straight from my morning pages)

...I am a draw-er.

And I can be a messy drawer, or an empty drawer, or an open drawer - Usually I am an open, messy drawer, but I know where everything is even if nobody else does. And everyone else can see in it - I'm not hiding anything. Do I want a "perfect" drawer? No, and around me they don't stay that way for long. I just would like the drawer not to be slammed shut and stuck, with me standing in front of it, blocking it and pretending all is well.

Here's to open drawers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Right around Earth Day, I showed a little sneak peek of a project I've been working on at my day job, that is so dear to my heart. And now I can show it off: TA-DAH!

Miomarmo is a new site for basically everyone. I know, that sounds so corny, but it really is true. Basically, we're a group of friends and coworkers from varied backgrounds, each doing our take on saving the planet. I'll be writing about everything from teaching your kids about protecting the earth, to organic food, crafts from recycled materials, yoga, you name it. My coworker and her husband are building their own "green" house from the bottom up, and will be talking about everything from wind and solar power to the environmentally friendly paint they choose. If you're a pet owner, we're going have lots of posts on animal welfare. We have a life-long vegetarian writing about his choices. There will be posts on science and global issues. Of course we will be writing about how to green up your office, because we practice what we preach! And my boss (who at the start of my employment didn't even own a car and used to bike our newsletters to the post office by way of a little cart attached to the back) will be covering my ultimate favorite topic, how all the little changes you make can truly add up to make a positive difference in the world.

Right now it's a blog to start, but we will be adding to it - with fair trade products from around the world that help support the communities that create them, to original items designed by an artist you know and love (hint, hint, ahem.)

It's a site that's meant to inspire. To show how all of us - no matter what background we come from, or what our jobs are - can make a change in the world for the better. Because it's your world too.

Monday, May 12, 2008

In which I dream of a faucet

I haven't been posting much lately. It's not because I don't want to, or have no ideas, it's because I have so much inside that can't get out that I don't even know where to start. I never dreamed in January when I started doing Zen Habits that I would be rethinking everything I do, because the way I do things isn't working any more.

The other morning I had a semi-awake dream of a big faucet in my stomach. And I was turning the handle of the faucet and letting all the stress leak out. Call it detoxifying, destressing, whatever it is, the message was clear and simple. That stuff has to come out, and I can't keep it bottled up any more.

I have made a resolution to start morning pages again - I did it this morning, and boy, was it weird! Lots of random stuff, but as I can't unscrew the top of my head like The Man with Two Brains I have to settle for more conventional means. Normally that outlet would be painting, but that's been really slow to come lately. So... baby steps.

One of the other things that has been helping immensely has been doing yoga as much as possible - I would love for it to be every day, but when the kids climb on me and do combat yoga, I have to take my quiet time when I can get it. I average about 4 times a week, for an hour each time. I like to think I'm squeezing the stress out. This site is super-fantastically wonderful. I want to write them fan mail. While it's soothing to me and I feel I'm learning a lot, I am in no danger of getting this flexible.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

a letter

(I didn't write this, but wanted to share.)

My Daughter,

My precious one, I see and know the courage lying within your heart. It delights Me to use you and your special gifts in unique ways I have planned just for you. Don't compare yourself to others. My plan for you gives you freedom and ways to tell others about Me. My greatness is not destroyed by any inadequacies of My children. I have given you abilities and talents, and I will use each one in My best possible way. And I will empower you with courage. Know Me, My daughter. Trust Me. I know you intimately by name.

You represent Me! And I am pleased with you, My daughter, My princess. I know you sometimes fail. But I also know the desire of your heart is to show others your love for Me. Do not doubt My desire to have you represent Me - or your ability.

I am working in your life so that you will grow ever more able to be my ambassador in this place to which I have sent you. I give all My children courageous hearts. But some refuse to accept My courage as the foundation for all they do. Let Me be the courage you need to stand for Me.

Your Heavenly Father, the King

Monday, May 05, 2008


Work in progress.

Thursday, May 01, 2008