My Clan

Sometimes I can’t believe my luck. How the heck does lil ole me get to hang out regularly in the company of such incredibly cool and wonderful people?

This week at a HS soccer game (?), at a pho lunch, in a hip coffee house, in a (American) Canadian hockey pub, on an autumnal sun-streaked path…

When I first moved here, I longed to truly, honestly discover what I’ve been so blessed to find in every other stage of my life—my people. I’ll admit it took some time, but sure enough, here too, it happened.

Last night my brother and I shared hours of great conversation over lamb burgers and local brews. (Just the two of us hadn’t done that in so long, and I so enjoyed his company. I sure do like that guy:))

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Last weekend I got to hang with one of my best friend’s since I was five, tomorrow with one of my best since 7th grade and this weekend with my mom and dad…

My peeps are my everything, and I’ve sure got good peeps.

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Shake It Out

Ever have those days/weeks where you suddenly have enough presence to catch yourself with your jaw clenched, your brows furrowed, your shoulders hunched? Yeah.

Needed this.

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still…”~Barbara Kingsolver

(Also, this.)

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Sechelt Surprise

Few people are more surprised than me that I live in the Pacific Northwest. Some days I look around in amazement, barely able to retrace the winding path that brought me here to this green, damp land of friendly, easygoing people who thrive on all things local and outdoorsy and coffee-fueled and casual.

And I certainly never suspected I’d “vacation” so often in Canada—that I’d get to know North American border-crossing and ferry-travel protocol so well, that I’d be so familiar with the cadence and verbiage of the distinctive way our neighbors to the north speak, that I’d get to have interesting, educational conversations about totem poles and reservations and elementary schools that teach  youngsters the languages of their local tribes of American Indian (or First Nation) residents.

I mean, who knew Canada even HAD a Sunshine Coast? I sure didn’t. I do now, though, since that’s where I spent this past weekend  with three wonderful chicas.

All of this is a good reminder that we. just. never. know.
Things I’ve learned (and continue to learn): Stay open. Keep moving. See what evolves. Trust.

On a regular basis, I am awed by the beauty out here.

See below for Exhibits A, B, C, etc….

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{Photo taken this past weekend in Sechelt BC. See my post mañana for more:)}

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Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. ~Sonia Ricotti

A Day in the Life

*Disclaimer: I seem to be sickie and fighting some sort of infection this week, so my schedule is a bit more tame and home-based than usual. But I’d already agreed to play along, so I won’t break a promise….Here we go. Welcome to my life at present. Enjoy!

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Top o’ the morn! I wake up earlier than I would like and commence the bad habit of briefly checking my phone from bed (I really want to break this one). I try to go back to sleep for a wee bit but am not super successful…

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Brekkie time: cereal with blueberries, flaxseed & almond milk, tea, antibiotic

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Laptop o’clock: I putz around on the computer for awhile, catching up on emails, checking my favorite blogs (hello open-tab ADD) and finally settling in to commence some work. There’s a false alarm period during which I rush around thinking I’m going to 10 o’clock yoga (but then I change my mind and decide to attend the noon class after all).

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Java break: I’ve been on a tea kick for about the past week, but today I crave coffee. Cheers!

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Change of scene: The sun’s actually shining! So I move things to the balcony till yoga time…..Soundtrack of the morning: Live at KEXP Volume 7. Sidenote: I’ve spent way more time this morning taking pictures than I’d care to admit. It’s been fun anyway:)

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Finally, workout time: Me and my yoga mat march up the steep hill I know so well.

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Om: Welcome to my happy place.

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Temptation: Every time I leave yoga class, the heavenly aromas (and winding queue) from the wildly popular, unmarked Cuban sandwich shop across the way threaten to lure me in…Surprisingly, I’m WAY overdue a lunch there.

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Home sweet home: This is my ‘hood, complete with tree swings, wee cottage houses and camper vans. I think it’s adorable.

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The hills are alive: This is my street. It includes a mighty incline.

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Lunchtime: Back out to the balcony. I’d eat a wrap at every meal if I could. Today, it’s a wheat tortilla stuffed with turkey, TJ-bagged greens and avocado. (App=sea-salt rice chips with salsa; dessert=chunk of Theo’s chocolate. Mmm. I’m addicted.)

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Laundry day: I’m off on a weekend trip Friday (yippee!), so after showering, I decide I best  throw some wash in. There’s a laundry room on my floor, which is nice, but I often feel entirely too old to sill be scrounging for quarters on a regular basis….

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Speaking of...While the washer is going, I head to my 7-11 (AKA also my “bank”) to get a few more quarters, deposit a check and pick up cash for the weekend ahead. Hey, there’s my neighborly Thai restaurant truck gassing up out front! (A local character busts me for taking this photo and gives me a hard time, jokingly flexing his arms. Unfortunately, I’m too slow to capture him. It would’ve made for a great shot:))

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Gab session: While my clothes are drying, I phone chat with a friend. It’s nearly 4 o’clock. OOPS. Welcome to freelancing life….

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In need of air: I’m frustrated that I’ve spent most of the sunny afternoon indoors, so I hop in my very-pink elevator and head outside (snack inspired by an assignment I just completed moments earlier on apple picking).

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Water-bound: I repeat, I love my neighborhood.

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Strolling the canal….

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Office with a view: I pull out my laptop and do more writing.

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Waterside Wild: I put away my laptop and bring out my new read. I can’t wait to dig in.

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Buon appetito: A friend asks if I want to eat at this delicious burger joint in our hood. I’m very tempted to join him, but my head is still feeling muy wacko, so I decide another low-key night in instead is probably wise. Tonight it’s pasta leftovers.

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Fall is in the air: There’s a gorgeous Harvest Moon outside my window. Let the transitioning commence…

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Veg time: Somehow it’s 9, and I’m just now getting off my computer, having  gotten sucked into a bit more work and browsing who-knows-what. (Again, welcome to a freelancer’s kooky, inconsistent schedule.) I’m finishing the day with the dregs of a carton of ice cream (or soy cream, rather) and some DVDs that I need to return to the library stat. It’s been nice having this quiet downtime, but I’m really looking forward to reemerging back into the real world super soon…

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Confession: My attention span did not make it through the end of the movie, so I instead clean up a little, sip more tea, listen to part of a This American Life, hold a hot compress on my head/ear…

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Bedtime: I briefly start packing for my weekend trip and, finally, do a little journaling (I don’t do this every night, but I’m always thankful when I do). (DC) Washingtonians: Note my memento from home, a ganked Thai Tanic pen. It makes me exuberantly happy. Good night, y’all, thanks for spending the day with me!

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*This post was inspired in the part by the amazing Week In a Life series posted by the talented Rachel. Two friends and I decided to follow suit, doing our Day in the Life documentation on the same day in very different parts of the world (Amanda in Victoria BC and Emily in Kathmandu). It proved a really fun project, albeit quite the time-consuming one! But it definitely made me view my day (even a relatively dull one) with a renewed sense of attentiveness and purpose. Okay, who’s playing along next:)?

The Good News

Recently, the news fills entirely too quickly with dreadful headlines—fighting, flooding, gun-wielding violence. It’s terrible; it’s often disgusting. It’s too much. (This morning I shot out of bed after a series of nasty nightmares. No thank you.)

It’s time to focus on all the good. (Because, truly, there’s just so much.)

Here’s my link love for you this Tuesday morn:

+Last week at The Round, I discovered the incredible Naomi Wachira. If you ever get the chance to see this chica live, you should. She sings with beautiful, raw emotion that reverberates off the rafters, and her wide smile illuminates the whole room. Today she released a new video!

+Dog + elephant=BFFs. I mean, really, you guys.

+In light of my recent bizarre Gilmore Girls obsession (I blame my searing head/earache that’s had me grounded here), this link seems all too appropriate:)

+This commercial has been making the rounds, and I finally took the three minutes to watch it. It’s pretty amazing.

+My college friend Nicki has just completed a stunning thesis in which she put together a compilation of stories from self-advocates with Down Syndrome. Have a listen here. Wow.

See, the good does abound. Let’s celebrate that (and them).

Scenes of September

So far, September has been so-so. I mean, it’s been alright really, just nothing too notable—but I suppose after SUCH a stellar August, there was nowhere to land but a bit lower down. It’ll pick up again soon, I’m sure and, in the interim, I recognize that the downtime is important, too. Autumn is in the air around these parts. Everyone and everything seems to be in transition, perhaps somewhat reluctantly.

Still, though, there’ve been really good things. Here’s how parts of it have looked (in opposite chronological order, so think present—>past):

I’ve been sick (AKA now). And hibernating.

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I stopped by a Greek fest. Opa

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I heard awesome music (Mikey & Matty)

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….and even more awesome music (in a “round” that also featured a poet and two visual artists). Man, there’s just so much amazing talent in this world, isn’t there?

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I was feeling very out of sorts, so I went to the water.

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It helped. It always does.

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I received out-of-the-blue gifts from a few thoughtful friends. 

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I soaked up that fleeting brightness with a vengeance.

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I dreamt of one day owning one of these. (Actually, just a small sailboat will do for me, thanks.)

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…at a boat show with my fellow Pisces.

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I didn’t quite know what to do with myself on 9/11. So stopping by this little peace lady seemed an appropriate thing to do.

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The weather was really stunning (before it went really crap).

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I played office worker bee for the day. I do not miss the commute. But it was nice to be out amongst the hustle & bustle.

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