keep your peepers open!

keep your peepers open!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


How dry I am and I don’t mean that I’m not drinking! How is it that when wet sleet, hail and snow falls, the air is so arid? My skin is scalier than a snake and yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night with a scalp so dry, it begged me to get up right then and give it a hot oil treatment. As I negotiated with my head, inside it was a recollection of my Grandmother putting olive oil into a bottle of regular lotion well before it was a premixed product (bet what she mixed up had more of the real thing than what is currently for sale). I used to think it odd that she did that and hadn’t thought about it since I was a kid having her ashy legs slathered with what I thought was way too greasy stuff. But of course she was on to something that with reformulation and the right packaging...

During the winter months, I find myself wandering from the beauty aisle over to those with condiments and other food stuffs to pick up supplies to make my own beauty maintenance products. Mayonnaise and raw eggs for a great hair conditioner; olive oil straight-up with a light touch for my face, a little heavier combined, yes with regular lotion for my body and warmed up for my scalp -- some Sundays, I’m downright munch-able if you have a hankering for a sandwich. But I like being able to go in the kitchen to figure out what I can create from delicious things in the fridge or cabinet to assist with the beauty ritual. It’s actually a fun creative outlet on a cold day when I don’t really want to leave the house because I’m out of conditioner. I would like to be more inventive, mix up more of the raw and sometimes unconventional ingredients used to make beauty products that I’ve read about in magazines however I’m a little timid. I followed the directions found on one page that suggested putting apple cider vinegar in shampoo to turn it into a clarifier that would cleanse the scalp. What it didn’t say was NOT if you color your hair. As my tresses turned from a perfect ash blonde to a scary what the hell orange, I headed out for a conventional mix to fix my mess!

Next weekend is my pamper weekend which I desperately need after a wicked in oh so many ways January but today is going to be a mini-spa day w fixin’s from the kitchen. I’m ready to get beautilicious baby so…

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Buddha 

When I came across this quote in a spiritual magazine, my soul stirred. Though I had never read, hence was in no way familiar with the above quotation, the words I composed for my holiday message (as we step forward, let us embrace our past as we live each day in the present with a careful, mindful eye on the future) turned out to be a variation on Buddha’s passage. Smiling, I closed my eyes and heard the words, “Despite the detours, you’re getting it.” Ahhhhhhhh….how sweet is affirmation.

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Being sick for more than a week and a half has kept me confined to the house for the most part, and like the invisible germs I caught I was forced to catch some unseen feelings that had been hovering around trying to tell me something when I was well. But with blurred vision and heavy eyelids it was more difficult to grasp them. Just when they appeared in touchable focus, poof they were gone. As I coughed up snippets of messages, my eyes watered with undefined tears that couldn't be wiped. In each tissue used to wipe my nose, I looked for clarity to signal that perhaps I was closer to knowing wellness. My exhausted body wrestled to be well as it dealt with fragments of feverish images, waking me to push the healing beads of gentle understanding from my head.

Whenever I am down for the count, a lesson is under the covers. Physically I was hurting, that was obvious but what wasn’t so clear and what I needed to deal with was emotionally I had been numb and just didn’t know it. Oxygen deprived on both levels, I was and had been unable to breathe. Choking, I threw off months of smothering pillows that covered my face to take in much needed air.

Anything we love including ourselves needs oxygen to grow, creativity needs oxygen to thrive. It was no wonder I couldn’t produce at the table when I sat down the first week of the breath wasn’t breathing life into me, it was sustaining others. That was the first revelation. The words like, live and life kept appearing in my thoughts so I jotted them down one day while I was coherent. And as I lay in bed it came to me…just one additional letter in each word keeps it from being a lie. That took on several meanings all of which made sense that need not be stated here. Suffice it to say that it was a reminder to live life like I mean it, to live the life that I like no apologies, and to stop telling myself untruths to make things okay when deep down I know they aren’t. And that was the second.

As I made notes yesterday for today’s blog, skating was on TV (love skating!). I paused to take in three performers dressed in funny not quite like clown costumes, a huge white kite (love kites!) hovering above them, it and they gliding gracefully over and above the ice, light and carefree. I feel like that this morning, graceful, enlightened, free, lovin’ me and feeling better. I’m craving fresh air and coupled with a salubrious perspective on managing me and everything around me, it’s time to thrive. You too, so get going and…

keep your peepers

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are a couple of places in the District that do triple duty when it comes to one stop satisfaction for my passions; translated that means they satiate me with art, jewelry and comfort each and every time I cross their thresholds. I love creative use of a space, when the four or more walls of a room easily morph from store, to gallery, to a respite that invites me to come spend some time. If you either live in/around or are visiting Washington, stop by Maruka Gallery & Boutique, corner of 9th & N Streets NW. Currently, they are presenting the works of Haitian artist E. Martineau -


And before I sign off, there is a fourth thrill associated with both of the places I referenced -- they are owned by women who always welcome me to sit a spell. Trust me, they never have to convince me to stay, sending me off with lots of peace wrapped around my soul, a buoyed spirit, and more often than not, a little trinket tucked in my bag.

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 16, 2011

sick sucks

…and boy does it…sick has kept me undercover literally and figuratively for the last few days...only up to suck down some herbal tea, two spoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice and raw honey maybe with a hit of bourbon and to say see you Wednesday…until then…

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

i hear a symphony

My sister sent me Lighthead, a book of poems by Terrance Hayes. As I read the back jacket it mentioned that he found inspiration for some of his pieces in pecha kucha, a Japanese presentation format according to the cover. I had not heard of this before and upon reading each of his works written in this style was not able to really decipher what it was (not like haiku that I knew). I found myself trying to sound it out out loud. As the two words rolled off my tongue it felt fun, sounded a little like cha-cha but I knew it probably had nothing to do with scraping and shuffling across a floor in four beats.

I am quite intrigued when I stumble onto the unfamiliar and immensely smug about the fact that I can quickly school myself with a quick Google search. The proper pronunciation for this form of expression is 'peh-CHAK-cha' (one note more than the cha-cha, so close but not even) and what it is is an interesting way for several individuals to show their creative work (20 slides for 20 seconds each). However the fact that completely captivated me was its translation; pecha kucha means chatter or the sound of conversation. Musicality was back in the mix. I immediately thought about being in the midst of a crowded room as a symphony of voices swell into an undecipherable conversation that is far from cacophonous to my ear, traveled back to Egypt to situate myself amongst the melodic chatter of folks speaking words that needed no translation to find a connection with at the soul level. 

I enjoy hearing people talk, particularly when they have an accent, but am finding more and more pleasure in not being actively involved in the conversation, i.e., moving my mouth. Moving it doesn't always mean we are making a contribution to the dialog; there is so much to be heard and seen when we stop our flow. Active observation can reveal new and intriguing perceptions about not only our friends and colleagues but can also provide new and intriguing insight into ones own self. Active zoning (not to be confused with eavesdropping) in a space all a buzz with chit chat is sheer fascination! My goodness the things one learns when able to identify then concentrate on one bar of the symphony not for the spy factor but for what can be found in a few beats of affection, discord, exclamation, proclamation, encouragement, warning...the songs just go on and on so...

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Though I have been away from NYC for a few months over 10 years, I’m still not used to the fact that restaurants and clubs close so early here in the District. Last call for drinks beyond over, my cab ride at 2:00AM the other morning was a breeze. No traffic through the stillness of the city streets as just about everyone slept allowed me to have a spirited conversation with a driver who seemed more relaxed than drivers during the day. And though we were engrossed in serious dialog, all the while I was absorbing the quiet of my creative voice speaking to me about what I was working on this week which led me to the table to ponder the pieces of paper, leaves, twigs, photographs scattered about. Still unresolved, I went to bed and awoke to my perfect snowfall.

Great big fluffy flakes falling fast on a stilled morning inspire me. I stepped onto the balcony, happy to be still as they whispered in my ear.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

eat & drink

 On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve I gorged on the sumptuous treats of Loïs Mailou Jones and Elisabetta Gut at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  New Year’s morning, I drank in an enormous black sheet metal sculpture by Alexander Calder on the grounds of the National Gallery, a relatively new fixture on the property that had caught my eye weeks before.  In previous blogs I've mentioned that I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions but I am resolute in taking the first week of the year off to get back in touch with myself. Touching base with my own creative voice was high on my list of priorities for this week around. As I sat down to begin work on a piece for submission to a show about Mother Earth an indescribable something coursed through my body. Hands, fingers, and eyes returned to an inherent coordinated rhythm that made me tear up just a bit; my creative spirit that works at the table had been waiting for so many months to be heard.
Walking among the amazing work of other artists was delicious eye candy, served as the nurturing nudge needed to leave me fully satiated, primed…and oh how sweet it is.

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 2, 2011


satoday one©

it’s saturday, it’s new years day
I leapt for joy went on my way
in search of what today would bring
I walked for miles to drink it in
like champagne on my tongue I grinned
at simply nothing (like a delightful sin).
it felt so marvelous you know
to skip and bounce with a mischievous glow
and with every step I was aware
of the glorious weather fine and fair
and just how grand life’s been and is
I acknowledged all the hers and his
whose paths crossed mine along the banks
I paused a moment to give thanks
for health and wellness, love and strength
and all that I’m so grateful for
especially life (it’s never been a bore)
and now that it’s two thousand eleven
declare three sixty five of heaven
to do and be, inspire and live
to share and grow, prosper and give.

and when each twenty four is done
let's clap with glee… more fun to come! 

Another decade is in front of us, the lessons and moments both joy and sorrowful rest in the decade that is now behind us. As we step forward, let us embrace our past as we live each day in the present with a careful, mindful eye on the future. Happy New Year!

keep your peepers open! ®