Friday, January 3, 2014

green springs park

A few days ago I went with my dad and uncle to this lovely little spot in Deltona, Florida.  The spring was unknown to many people until it was turned into a public park several years ago.  Local Native American tribes such as the Mayaca and Seminole considered it to be a sacred place because they thought the sulfur waters had healing properties.  An early health spa, billed as a "hotel for invalids", was built in 1841 nearby attracting tourists looking for some rejuvenating R&R.  By the late 1800s, the land had become part of Frederick deBary's estate and he entertained his guests here.  In recent history, the spot had been overlooked, but now it is available to the public as a beautiful sanctuary.  If you are ever in the area, stop by for some peaceful inspiration.  It's a nice reminder that beauty can be found everywhere - sometimes, where you least expect it.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

the Florida lifestyle

2013 was quite a year for me in a variety of ways - some good, some bad.  When I think about it, though, it seems to have been a year in which I spent a lot of time chasing the sun.

I've been in Florida in February, June-August, and now December, and each time, I went out of my way to try to get some Vitamin D.

There is a lot of press every summer about "safe sun", and I wonder sometimes if I am doing irreparable harm by hitting the beach or pool at every opportunity.  I read a quote once from a celebrity, asking how the sun could really be so bad for us, when it sustains life and is so important to our existence.  I tend to take that vantage point, and hope that I won't find myself in a bad cancerous spot because of it.

But I digress.  This winter has been unseasonably warm for Florida.  When I go back up north, I am quickly going to realize that I had nothing whatsoever to complain about.  This goes absolutely in the "first world problems" category, but I can't help being disappointed that it has been so warm and yet so overcast.  The sun and the beach have come to take on a healing role in my life somehow.  Whether or not it's all in my head is irrelevant.  If I can spend a day in the sun, I am convinced I will feel better, and usually I do.  Yesterday and the day before I drove hundreds of miles up and down 95 in a failed attempt at finding a sunny beach.  I love driving and I got to see some people who are important to me, so I am glad I did it.  And it was great to sit on the beach and swim in the ocean (until I backed into a jellyfish right after yelling out "eat my shorts, winter!" and promptly exited the water).  I can't remember many winters where I've been able to do that.  Still, I can't help clinging to the sun like I've been deprived.  It's a symbol of so much for me, and I'm still trying to figure out what it all means.

Right now I am sitting on my mom's lovely porch watching the rain.  Wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  I should embrace the warmth and how beautiful the rain looks and sounds and how green and vibrant everything is.  Still, the fear of returning to "winter" before I'm ready makes me think that one more beach day will help me to better handle the next few months of cold.  Just a few more hours in the sun, and maybe I'll feel better.

"for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea"
-e.e. cummings

Saturday, December 21, 2013

country roads take me home

Greetings from somewhere in Pennsylvania where every town ends with "-burg".

I haven't posted in a while because life and work were exhausting.  I am looking forward to spending some quality time in Florida for the holidays and banking some vitamin D.

It is a mild weather day for the east coast, and I found it very enjoyable to watch the snow disappear as we traveled further and further south.

Road trips are far from perfect, but for me it is such a liberating feeling to be on the road and know that with four wheels and a highway or two and some patience, you can get somewhere so different from your current location!

Cheers from the road.  Safe travels to everyone who is hitting the highway this season!

Friday, November 29, 2013


I'm going to be better about blogging.  
In the meantime, here is what my instagram feed has looked like recently:

This sign in a Boston apartment building made me chuckle.

I bought this in Portsmouth - I'm a sucker for packaging.  It's cute, but I'm not totally sure how I feel about it yet.  I burned two sticks, and it made my apartment smell like church.  I guess I'm on the fence about incense in general.

Lonely seagull at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

Kevin looks ticked about the cold.  We are both Floridians at heart.  I love this little goof!

I bought my first menorah.  I'm not Jewish, but I was excited about Thanksgivukkah, and about the beeswax candles.  The menorah is by Legacy, and the candles are Rite Lite.  I hope I don't offend anyone with my excited adoption of this holiday that is not a part of my cultural heritage.  I have the best intentions.

I also was craving latkes something nuts, so I bought two boxes of these at Whole Foods and brought a plate to Thanksgiving with some applesauce.  Not the same as from scratch, but they were still yummy!

I know I take a lot of pictures of yogi tea.  But I thought this one was special. 

Well, it's 4:35 in Boston which means that it is already dark outside.  I'm going to light my menorah, catch up on some blogs, bake some pizzelles, and cook up some craft projects.  Black Friday a.k.a. Hermit Day has been a success in my little world.  I haven't said a word aloud all day.

Sometimes that's what we "ambiverts" need the most.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Just Let Me Lie Down

I can't remember the last time my techie, attention deficit self finished a book!  To commemorate this occasion, and keep a record that will hopefully keep me reading more regularly, I thought I would write a little blurb about it.  The irony of doing a voluntary book report while thousands of bummed elementary schoolers are writing compulsory ones is not lost on me.

Just Let Me Lie Down is a nonfiction work by Kristin van Ogtrop, editor of Real Simple magazine.  It is written as a dictionary, with A-Z terms about being a working mom.  I like the layout of the book, even though a a single gal in a very different industry, not a lot of her experiences were relateable.  It was still a fun read, just like I Feel Bad About My Neck was a fun read - about a woman living a different life, but one you enjoy reading about nonetheless.  A lot of Kristin's "terms" are very clever, well thought-out, and universal.

The book gets my stamp of approval, or I wouldn't have finished it.  And this means basically nothing.  And I'm going to stop now, because this is starting to get tricky, like a book report.

On to my next bookshelf conquest.  What have you read lately?  Are you glad you did?  Can my short attention span handle it?

Saturday, November 23, 2013


It's been a rough month or two for a variety of reasons.  Some are personal, some are health-related, some are season-related.  I decided to file blogging under the Bambi adage "If you can't say anything nice, don't say nuthin' at all."

But I am sitting in a Portsmouth, NH coffee shop right now drinking the most delicious and magical Irish cream flavored hot mocha, and I can feel myself coming back to life.

I started reading and working through The Artist's Way workbook by Julia Cameron.  There are two main activities that she encourages - one is "morning pages", where you wake up and write down three pages of stream-of-consciousness grumpy morning jargon to clear your head.  The other is "artist's dates", where you do something fun and creative just for you (at least once a week) - to nourish your soul.  I went to an opera last night thinking it could count as an artist's date, but it ended up feeling more like work.

But here I am, in a different state, refusing to let myself do any work for a little while.  I have a delicious coffee, am surrounded by a bunch of rosy-cheeked New England hipsters with plaid and knits and winter boots, and I have 1772 blog posts in my Bloglovin feed.  I just had a visit to my very favorite chiropractor who is helping me heal after I took a fall down the stairs last month that probably should have broken many things but somehow did not.  I'm settling in for a relaxing Saturday afternoon, and reawakening my dusty, dormant creativity.

Happy weekend, friends.