Archive | September, 2012

Day 273: homemade brew, three cheers!

30 Sep

I once tried to convince Justin to open up a pub that showed movies – specifically comedies. I wanted him to call is Brew Ha Ha.

It seemed like a good idea.

Truth is, I have no idea how to brew. I don’t drink beer. I find it just as confusing as cheesecake.

The first time I met someone who made a homemade cheesecake I was stunned. I thought cheesecake was something one bought from big glass containers at The Cheesecake Factory — not something you actually created in your kitchen.

I felt that same sense of awe and wonder tonight when Ellen gave us all a sample of her homemade limoncello — aptly named Ellecillo!

It’s homemade, handmade, crafted in her kitchen over weeks this summer.

Amazing.

Of course I suggested she open up a Limoncello Stand. Makes total sense to me.

I suppose this is a sign that I should stick to crafting words together…
and leave the concoctions in the kitchen to the pros.

Speaking of the pros — check out my friend Phoebe’s upcoming cooking show on BBC AMERICA, Chef Race UK vs. US. It starts on Tuesday at 9PM EST!

And, dear Ellen, I am absolutely amazed at what comes out of your kitchen.

I’ve made progress, but someday, (soon) I will get completely over my fear of the stove. 

Clink! Clink!
Cheers to that.

Day 272: sh*t happens

29 Sep

The 7-month old, Brady, just pooped right on the floor. The 10-year old, Penny, pooped directly after, on the floor, right before my eyes.

Dear dogs.

If there was ever any doubt that we regress in old age, becoming needy, fragile, and otherwise dependent, it has all but disappeared.

It’s as if we become childlike again.

According to this article, there is a tribe of people in Rajasthan who celebrate death of old people with joy and exhilaration and mourn the birth of babies with great sorrow.

It’s completely the opposite of what we do.

But in so many ways it is so beautiful.

It makes me hope there will be someone, someday, to pick up my poop when I am old, feeble and totally dependent.  And that, someday, I will do the same for a little baby too.

It’s a good reminder to live fearless and with full abandon.

Because in the circle of life…
Shit happens. 

Day 271: f*ing friday :: farewell

28 Sep

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. In Year One, I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the words Freeway Fright.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Farewell.

As in, until we meet again. 

Today was my last day on Martha’s Vineyard for the season.

As I walked to the boat to board the ferry, the skies opened up and began to cry. It poured rain.

And then I looked down at the sidewalk and saw a heart shining up at me, reflecting light of the cloudy sky, formed in of the puddles on the street.

It felt like the final sign. A little reminder of love in the middle of the long goodbye to summer. Until we meet again.

It made me remember that song from college that we always sang:

Friends we are
And friends we’ll always be
We’ll meet again
Returning faithfully
Cottey friends
We’ll always be
Until the end of time

Farewell Summer. Goodbye Martha’s Vineyard. 
Until we meet again. 

Day 270: the incredible dog

27 Sep

I’m not sure what to say, other than this:  I think it’s time for Brady to be neutered.

He seems to have grown into his full teenager self, hormones bouncing off the walls and all. He is now the incredible humping dog. I’m sure it’s just nature but it’s embarrassingly awkward and must be pretty uncomfortable for the other dogs.

Except there is one dog that puts him in his place and a cease to all that humping. It’s Miss Penny.

The incredible Great Dane.

She is so sweet and amazing at ten years old. A force even in her feeble state.

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It makes me realize the value of age and aging. The incredible nature of wisdom and love.

And, of course, the age old rule to get out of the way of a bigger dog. Or leave a big dog alone. Or, the older they are the wiser they bark.

Yeah… something like that. 

Day 269: how do you say flat tire?

26 Sep

We packed up and drove off the island — well, onto a ferry and then off the island — today.

The steering wheel started to wobble. Then the car began to shake ferociously down the highway. Justin looked at me and said, “Did you get new tires yet?”

“No, I was waiting for us to get off the island.”

Just as we both agreed that we needed to find an exit to pull off the highway, we heard a loud, “thud!”

The left, rear tire.

As we bumped along the highway to the edge of the exit and pulled off to the side of the road, Justin asked me if I had a spare tire in my car.

“Ummmmm…..” was all I could answer. “I don’t know?”

Luckily, I did, and I even had a jack buried underneath ALL of our luggage, boxes and belongings stuffed in the trunk of the car (which we had to unpack on the side of the highway to get to the spare tire).

Later this afternoon, after spare tire was adhered to said car and we bumbled down the highway to a tire store, with all of our stuff in tow, we found out the most surprising news…

All four tires had been shot with a nail gun.

The tire center removed each tire and showed Justin exactly where they had been shot and pierced with the nails still intact. They were shocked it wasn’t all four tires that blew.

We were lucky it was just one tire.
We were lucky a nice man stopped to help us.
We were lucky it happened near a highway exit and in bright daylight.

All I could think was — I am so relieved I was not the only one in the car!

There were many things I was thankful for today.
Most especially, the angels looking over us.

I suppose even in the most unexpected circumstances there is no reason for fear. Because somehow, someway, it always works out.

And in so many other ways…
we are never alone.

Day 268: have a theme song? (REPRISE)

25 Sep

I had a profoundly wonderful conversation with a friend today that made me remember this blog post from last year. So, I opted to republish tonight because I think it is significant.

This one’s for you my dear…believe in yourself.
xo~Jamie

———————————————————–

On Day 149 I wrote about how I held on to this blog for one more day after seeing the movie Bridesmaids and it’s absolutely 80’s theme song Hold On by Wilson Phillips.

Later, Cheryl posted a fantabulous question:

My question to you is: if you had to pick ONE song as your THEME song, what would it be?’

Now, that’s a great question, especially during this year and through the course of The Promise 365.  So great, I am dedicating an entire blog post to it.  So, thank you Cheryl, from the bottom of my heart.

Here we go…

Before I share my theme song, I want to share what I think about theme songs ~ I believe in them.  I always have one.

I blame Whitney Houston.
If it weren’t for Whit, I wouldn’t have started my love affair with theme songs.

You see it all began at a 6th grade slumber party.

It occurred during a lip-sync competition in my friend’s living room.  My song was Greatest Love of All and I was stage ready, with hair brush in hand and collar turned up I stole the shag carpet living room stage with wood paneling backdrop.  I practically had the audience (five other 12 year-old girls) crying by the time I was done with that little number.

At least that’s what I remember.  I put my heart and soul into it.
And, yes, that may be right about the time I realized not everyone sings into their hair brush microphone in front of the bathroom mirror and bright vanity lights at night.

But, I won the lip-sync competition and was properly rewarded with a bag of Doritos and a movie we watched on a “VCR” ~ have I properly dated myself yet?

That was circa 1986, but it doesn’t stop there.

Zoom forward to 1991, a first kiss, a first fall for love and a first really bad choice in theme song.  Justin came into my life right about the time Paula Abdul came on the national scene.  Which explains why our first song will forever be remembered as Rush, Rush ~ one we couldn’t rush fast enough to regret (the song, not the first kiss!).

There was my high school senior song, Right Here, Right Now by Jesus Jones.  That was 1992 and it came into my life following my diagnosis of cancer and months of treatment followed by the hoopla of graduation, college acceptance, and a new frontier I was grateful to explore, leaving the IV’s, radiation and surgery behind.

(As a side note, the rest of my graduating class voted for Joker, by Steve Miller Band).

Five years later, after college and dating and break-ups and the craziness of trying to grow up, I celebrated my 5 year remission mark by renting out a bar and throwing a party in Washington D.C. with all my brand new co-workers who had known me for all of five minutes.  There’s nothing like meeting someone for the first time with an intro of:  “Hi, I’m Jamie. I had cancer, want to come to my remission party?”

It worked, the bar was packed.  I hired a band and they brought another band to open for them.  And they played my theme song.  What was it?  Alive.  It was the “I’m still alive” part that got me drunk, singing at the top of my lungs.  Hey, I was 22 years old.

A few years later I experienced the first deep loss of my life.

It was also the moment that I had my first encounter with a mystical force that is beyond words.  My mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.

On the night she died, I was over 1,000 miles away from her in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  In the middle of the night, I woke up and bolted straight up in bed.  I looked at the clock and stared with confusion until I fell back asleep.  I later found out that was the exact time of my mother’s death.  Shortly after her funeral this song found me, 1000 Miles by Vanessa Carlton.  In fact, it still finds me, at the most appropriate times.

There were many happy years with lots of happy songs, jobs, condos, marriage, until of course there wasn’t.  Disaster struck.

I left my home, my marriage and my life all in one night. 
That’s another story for another day, but my theme song got me through it.  Whenever Pink came on the radio belting out So What I turned up the volume and screamed from the top of my lungs.  I did that for two years until the divorce papers came through signed, sealed, and delivered.

And, that pretty much brings us full circle, which brings this little story back to Justin.

We reconnected on Facebook, of all places, fifteen years after that first kiss.  Well, you can’t blame us for “rushing” into anything.  You could say we took our time or maybe held our breathe, or a little of both.  Either way, Just Breathe by Pearl Jam played in our hearts and minds as we moved to a little island off Cape Cod to figure it all out.

And, now, to answer Cheryl’s question. 
My current theme song of 2011 for this Promise of 365 Days is….

Drum-roll please.

I could have chosen Raise Your Glass or Firework or so many more.  But here’s where I landed, for a year of focusing on my head, heart, body & soul:

Believe In Yourself by Brad.

Because, I believe you can do anything…
If you believe in yourself
.

I would love to hear some of your theme songs.
xo ~Jamie

Day 267: lovemore monday :: you never know who you might be sitting next to

24 Sep

As you know, I entered this year determined to be fearless. But, I don’t want more fear or less in my life.  I want more love.  So I made up a new word, lovemore!   That’s why Lovemore Mondays are here.

Today’s Lovemore Monday is a love story about a small world.

This weekend at a gathering of Women+Power at Omega in Rhinebeck, New York, in the middle of a gather of women the likes of Sally Field, Eve Ensler, Elizabeth Lesser, Majora CarterSister Joan ChittisterPat MitchellGail StraubManisha ThakorLoung Ung … and more. 

I sat down to lunch at a table full of women. The woman next to me began chatting and we engrossed in a lovely conversation.

She asked me where I grew up, to which I answered my usual quick, pass over, brush aside statement. “Oh, Idaho, out West.”

I do this because people on the East Coast have NO IDEA where Idaho is located. (HINT: it is not in the Midwest, we did not grow corn in my backyard, and it does not border Iowa).

She abruptly stopped me and said, “Wait, where did you grow up in Idaho?”

I looked shocked. Nobody EVER asks me WHERE I grew up in Idaho. Rightly so, since most can barely located it on the map.

“Twin Falls.”

She gave me a big smile back and then announced that she grew up two towns over in Wendell.

It turns out her brother was one of my doctors when I was sick with cancer.

I went to high school with her niece and we played on the basketball team together.

What are the chances of that?

It’s a good reminder that somehow, somewhere, no matter where you sit — on stage in the limelight, in the front row, or hiding out seemingly invisible in the very last row — we are all connected.

It’s a small world after all.
You never know who you might be sitting next to.

And, that’s why, on this Lovemore Monday…
I. Love. It.

Day 266: falling into the equinox

23 Sep

It occurs to me that today is a point of balance.

The fall equinox, the point at which the day and night are once again equal.

As I return from Omega Institute, and a weekend of Women+Power, I hear these words echo through my mind.

Balance.
Equality.
Unity.

And the words of another woman follow:

“Men and women need to come together, they need to meet in the middle.”

Those were the words of Anna Quindlen at my Smith College graduation. That was more than fifteen years ago, and Anna’s message on feminism stuck in my head like glue. I have never forgot that directive.

And, this weekend, from all the speakers and leaders and visionaries I heard the sound of another equinox, another balance forming.

It seems there is a calling to the world, a cry for action, a new vision forming that is bigger than us all.

It is a cry for help for some. A battle cry for others. And a good old fashioned painful gut wrenching cry for some.

But this time it felt different. I am left with the feeling that it is time for the magic to take hold. It is time for healing to happen. All around the world. For the world.

It seems we are in a new season. Might it be the point at which the day and night are once again equal?

To be fearless without instilling force. To do what is right and necessary. All around the world. For the world. 

Or, maybe, I was just dreaming.

This morning as I looked out on the forests, trees, and water sitting on the face of the earth and the grounds of Omega, it occurred to me that the natural order of things always knows what to do. 

A tree doesn’t contemplate where to grow.
It just grows.

Whether you are a masculine or feminine, here or there, near or far, it seems the natural thing, the next step, the necessary action is for all of us to grow.

Through every season.
Together.

Day 265: title ix is 40 years old, norah scored two goals today

22 Sep

Title IX is 40 years old. 

I remember when I first heard about something called Title IX. My father took me for a walk down our suburban neighborhood street with basketball in hand and tried to explain to my little ten-year-old heart that I could play basketball — in college — if I really wanted it.

It was a pep talk. It was a “You Can Do Anything” sort of pep talk. He wanted me to know that if I really, really wanted to pursue something I loved, it would be there waiting for me. Women could now play sports in college and be treated like athletes. I could grow up to be an athlete — if I wanted to. I had a choice.

Twenty eight year later, this morning, these words popped up on my cell phone:

“Norah got 2 goals this morning!”

Norah is six. Norah is Justin’s niece by blood and mine by bonds of the heart. Norah hunts bugs and plays soccer. In some ways she is more fearless than I. And, in other ways, she has had more opportunities in her young little life than my mother had in all her years.

Title IX is 40 years old. 

I. am. almost. 40. years. old.

In a way we have grown up together, this move+ment of women’s bodies.

I find it not ironic at all, that as I sat on the grounds of Omega this morning, waiting for the Women+Power program to begin, I literally sat on a MS. Magazine. The glossy was placed on all of our seats and right on the cover was a love note that said…

Thank You, 
Title IX

As I prepared to hear from women around the world about the state of women and power, from the depths of pain, suffering, violence and victimization to the inspiration of beauty, power, love and light in the seat of the consciousness movement that Omega stands for, my phone beeped. A text popped up on the screen.

“Norah got 2 goals this morning!”

In the middle of world-renowned scholars, visionary women leaders, and amazing doers, what I litereally held in my hand was a message that I can only describe as dreams coming true — for Norah and for all the women who stand behind Norah, her mother, her grandmother, even all the women of our past who never had a chance to lace up a pair of soccer shoes.

“Norah got 2 goals this morning!”

It is all the proof I need to know that our vision for women as women can change the world.

One goal at a time.
Go. Norah.

Day 264: f*ing friday :: freeway fright

21 Sep

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. In Year One, I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the words Funny Things

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Freeway Fright

As in, I think I’m going to throw up.

I just got out of a cab that swerved in and out of every single car between JFK and West 57th.

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My stomach is still turning from the tumultuous ride.

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But in New York, I am, and headed to OMEGA we soon will be!

The car ride made me think of all the things I am (still) afraid of…

  • Like the swerving in between cars and trucks and SUVs…
  • Like the ENORMOUS spider that crawled under Brady’s kennel yesterday…
  • Like making mistakes…

I am working on these big ones. And, I have made huge progress this year.

1) I calmly rolled down my window in the crazy cab ride and just let the wind hit my face (instead of gripping for dear life)

2) I calmly asked Justin to remove the spider instead of chasing after it with a death weapon (a.k.a. my shoe)

And…

3) I have to admire the way I handled last Friday’s F-up with our dinner reservation. Sure, I made a mistake, but it was nothing we couldn’t recover from. In fact, I think it made the whole night even better in it’s own f*ing way.

Here’s to being fearless… 
One step at a time. 

Have a great weekend!
xo~Jamie

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