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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

begin the begin

I took a break from a rather bazaar day to write a Thanksgiving email greeting, selected a photo to go with it, blind-copied hundreds of people who are on my mailing list and hit send; a message popped up to tell me that the email could not be sent because one address was no longer valid. Really? Which one? Was this a cell phone limitation or something with the carrier? I gazed at the phone exasperated and then just lost it realizing that because I had BCC’d recipients, I had no way of seeing who I had selected to receive the greeting. I would have to begin again. As I cursed for no real reason, a deep felt understanding that my agitation had nothing to do with an unsent email and everything to do with a few days of unexpected happenings silenced the rant. In the stillness, I decided not to start over on the same email path choosing instead to post my message here.

During this season of gratitude, be thankful and thoughtful
and may you find time for tranquil moments.

Happy Thanksgiving and…

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ps…several hours after I posted the above, I sent the following message to less than a hundred people whose email addresses I knew were correct -- “be thankful, be thoughtful, be tranquil…happy thanksgiving.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013



…until wednesday…

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

day break

One of the things I admire about the people who make up my team at work is their creative energy. Last week, each of us received a copy of the same page from a book along with a box of colored pencils. The directive was simple -- use words from that page to create a written piece and, if we were so moved, some art to go with it. I love a word challenge, dove right in. Maybe 30 minutes passed before all pencils rested and the sharing commenced. The first thing I noticed was how we each approached the task. I skimmed for words and phrases that jumped out, felt connected in energy and spirit; someone else zoned in on one word and the words that followed it throughout the text while another chose to read the entire narrative. Though seven distinctly different creations were plucked from that same page of words, I noted a connecting thread that linked the pieces, was pleased with the synergy that flows between us without uttering a word.

Now the art thing was a whole other matter; I struggled for a few minutes then let loose with abandon so whatever wanted to come forth could find its way to my paper. I was less impressed with my childish doodles than I was with...

electric jolt sensations
meticulously spiked in wild pink patterns
represented her journey.
images telling stories
evolving over time
realization that the butterfly is

Breaking from the workday for creative expression is quite a refreshing break. Try it and...

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

holiday best

I officially began my holiday season by meeting some of the best girls for lunch then the movie The Best Man Holiday. Listening to the music selected for the soundtrack reminded me that I forgot to share something I emailed to friends well before I went on vacation...Hey music lovers...OMG...mellow, a little sexy, serious laid back groove, sittin' in my office working and found myself zoned out, head boppin', swayin'... oh, oh, oh... yeah...get/download this one! George Duke has been part of my soundtrack for so many years. Though this CD is not new, it was to me when I happened on it. I eagerly snatched it up to add to my collection much like the way I snapped up a ticket for the movie several days before to ensure a seat in the theater opening weekend; it didn’t and as stated neither does the CD disappoint. Check them out, share with the best in your lives and as the holiday season gets underway…

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

sand in the hourglass

I say this often and it’s true…I just can't keep up with how quickly the days pass! Only a minute ago, or so it seems, I found myself traipsing barefoot in the wet sand along the Jersey shoreline in Cape May,

a second ago trekking through the smooth auburn sands of the Sahara (by the way, the shadow to the far right is me on my camel!).

Yesterday, I found myself moving swiftly along an urban street to escape the chill in the air as the forecast called for snow showers, no sand on any corner as time rushed by in the whirl of the wind. Yet, I still make it a point to slow down, taking long pauses to bask in Autumn glory while it lasts...

...because the sand continues to run down and in less than a quick glance, the leaves will be gone and there really will be snow on the ground (unless you live in places where the seasons are not so distinct), so...

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Sunday, November 10, 2013


Back in early September, I promised to share a goddess collage commissioned for auction for a fundraising event once said event was over. Sitting through an auction of my work was somewhat surreal; I ate breakfast without knowing what entered my mouth, chewing faster than my heart was beating as the auctioneer called for bids. I am pleased to note that the piece sold and will hang in the very center that commissioned me to create her. The Capitol Breast Care Center’s mission is to “provide culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health and wellness education guided by evidence-based practices to all women in the Washington, DC area, regardless of their ability to pay”. It was my honor to create a bold piece that represents the strength, courage and resilience of every and any woman. Without further ado, meet "sassy!"

Between "sassy!" and my return from an inspiring holiday abroad, my creative fire is burning so…

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

return to center

may the heart’s garden of awakening
bloom with hundreds of flowers.
- thich naht hanh

While working on a project, I came across the above quote; it brought me back to my morning mindfulness practice that I had gotten away from while on holiday in Maroc.

There is comfort in coming home.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

a time to remember

A month ago today, I celebrated my birthday in Morocco. Here’s what I wrote that day with a few edits to keep people mentioned anonymous…

Oct 3 - It is my birthday! On my morning walk around the property, I stopped in the gift shop and there they were ... the perfect princess slippers for this birthday girl! Scooped them up of course as my check-list includes the right pair of the local pointy-toed shoes to bring back.

When I boarded the bus, a group of gay couples we have come to adore led those on the bus at that time in singing to me; our tour guide Khalid later sang happy birthday in Arabic and at our lunch stop way up on the High Atlas Mountains, a most delicious cake arrived that I shared with the entire group who were thrilled to partake in such an unexpected treat (just can't figure out how that cake got up to where we were, but I know my BFF made it happen).

The road from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh unnerved me more times than I can count as we traveled along the highest road point in Morocco, the Tizi n'Tichka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains which is 6,860 feet above sea level. Though the views are spectacular, I held my breath and prayed as the bus navigated countless hairpin turns on the edges of cliffs that quite frankly scared the you know what out of me! Oh, and it was not a short ride. Each time we seemed to be heading down, up we climbed again...when would it be over is what I repeated as I just kept snapping pictures.

The biggest delight was the surprise evening at Amanjena Resort and Spa where the four of us were treated to a private spa experience followed by dinner outside under the night sky accompanied by a quartet of musicians. The resort was actually closed as they prepared for a group who had reserved the entire place for a four day 75th birthday celebration; somehow my BFF convinced Khalid to get us in, she was not going to deny me or any of us a visit to this wonderful place, we were just to close to miss out!

Place is exquisite! We were warmly greeted by several staff then walked the impressive property to the spa where we sat in a waiting area with a bowl of pink roses floating in a huge bowl of water at our feet. Mint tea and cookies were served before we were taken to a huge group steam room where each of us was scrubbed, hand bathed with black soap, rinsed with bowl after bowl of rosewater, reclined for a rest, slathered with mud then rinsed in fresh for each of us eucalyptus water before our attendants helped us into our robes and led us down a short flight of stairs lined with rose petals to recline. Next was a stop for water and sliced fruit... happy birthday was scripted in French in white chocolate on my glass plate and they gave me a spa candle as a gift. Then we were taken to a room for a massage where our giggling, chatty foursome was reduced to silence as each of us melted beneath the hands of our own skilled personal masseuse; it was hard to get off the table. We took a quick tool around the gift shop, then dinner under the stars where they practically feed you!

My birthday was just a dream that I won't soon forget and yes, I wore my princess slippers to Amanjena! Happy Birthday to me :)

PS - I am most fortunate to have the best best friend a girl could ask for. How did I get so lucky?

It truly was a memorable day and vacation and with this post, I will close out the Moroccan experience. Not sure what I will write about next, so…

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