omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)
As a non-regular reminder, this journal is friend-locked. I also have a few filters even if you are already on my friends list. Some of these are opt-in. Specifically there is a spiritual one and a Krayzen/gaming one that I do not inflict on the people generally.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Today I was cleaning out some coolers for use this weekend, and as a result I had dumped a bunch of water on the blacktop of the driveway. I found myself paused to admire the beauty of it evaporating off. It wasn't that hot, even touching the blacktop, but it was warm enough especially spread thin on black surface in the sunshine.

It reminded me of when I was a kid and I would spend hours playing with snow on warm spring days. By placing it in different layers of snow thickness on pavement, you could post with how much it melted versus sublimated. I remember the delight and fascination vividly. Maybe such things don't completely change.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Given that I don't drive but love hiking/walking I have a good idea of what I can get to on my own. I am very glad to get more variety through joining [personal profile] majes most weekends, but here are some favorite public transport friendly options for others looking in the area. This was originally inspired by this link. So in no particular order:

I adore Castle Island. You can take the Red Line or take a bus from downtown crossing there:

The Fells is super close and has lots of variety. Depending on what end you want to do, you can take the 100 from Wellington or just take the Orange Line to Oakgrove.

I am particularly fond of the Emerald Necklace in the Fenway (Green Line). I often do the part near the MFA. For something with such an urban location, it is super accessible and beautiful when the weather is nice:

Jamaica Pond is lovely. It has a bunch of bus access, but you can also get there from the Green St stop on the Orange Line:

I am fond of the Mystic River Reservation as it is so close to my house. It is an easy walk from Wellington on Assembly Row Orange Line stops:

Beaver Brook Parkway in Belmont can be reached from the 73 from Harvard:

Minute Man National Park is accessible from the 76 out of Alewife. This is easy walking trail only, not hiking, but it is pretty and historic:

There is limited bus service that heads out to the Blue Hills from Ashmont, but it does not run on Sundays or afternoon on Saturdays. Still one of my favorite parks:

I have done this park and it is surprisingly nice for something so urban. It has an MBTA bus from Forest Hills Station (Orange Line), but I haven not taken it:

Of course the Esplanade is beautiful as well:

The river estuary in Quincy is accessible from the 202 out of Fields Corner (Red Ashmont Line):

For more water views in Quincy, you can also tke the 211 out of North Quincy (Red Braintree Line):

Out at the Chestnut Hills station on the Green D Line, there is also

Do you have other favorite public transport friendly hikes in the Boston area? I am interested in maintaining a collection of them and would love your suggestions.

Just Be

Mar. 16th, 2016 10:25 am
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
This. So much this.

Much love to all of those in my heart right now walking this journey.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
- so very, very tired
- frustration at a short term project I took on for the semester
+ tiny beautiful croci (as my Papa would say)
+ beautiful 75*F day with opportunity to walk out in it
- struggle with desire for self-care when it seems not productive enough and too costly in resources
+ an unexpected supportive voice reaffirming my ability and need to do self-care
- HR appt, where the process has been very long and frustrating
+ opportunity to use the labyrinth on campus, standing in the center in mountain pose until ready with the sun on my face
- tired appt about all the career, networking, and application stuff I need to be doing
- failed will throw on my way home, in which I just wandered Hmart in Central Square feeling direction less yet overwhelmed by the things I have to do
+ amused re-realization that I always end up wandering the aisles in art supply stores when I don't know how to deal with my life. Also art supply store.
+/- realizing I was feeling stressed and weird when looking at the calendar and trying to plan a minor adventure
+ local children having a lemonade stand
+ buying my groceries at local tiny grocer, bakery, etc on my walk home.
+ reaching 10k steps as I walked into the house
+ sitting on my deck and drinking lemonade and an apple turnover, watching the birds and thinking about my yard
+ dinner with Salvbard at Mexico Lindo
- frustration at how bad my hearing is in loud places
+/- realizing I was suppressing and minimizing my need to get away and have time (my major love language and recharger)
- stressing out people I care about
- sobbing in the car for an hour and a half as I processed and just ran out of spoons
+ gentle support and provided space to do that processing
+ crawling into bed at 9:30
- being woken up at midnight to fill out paperwork for Chiquita
+ supporting her for the state science fair (she and her partner won second prize for her school and are moving on to the next round)

Yesterday was a day torn between overwhelm and intense gratitude and awareness of the joys and kindness around me. With self-compassion I can recognize that there are elements of legacy low reserves at work there. Things are better and there is work on all sides to make it more so all the time though.
omly: peacock tail feather (peacock feather)
I noticed today that one of my neighborhood restaurants (Vinny T's) has the above slogan on its signage. I have no idea how long it has been there, but I don't remember noticing it before.

I find myself turning this over and over again with my fledgling business skills. On the one hand I want to make faces at it; it feels desperate or maybe like a passive aggressive adult figure. Maybe that last is intentional to allude to stereotypes of Italian maternal figures? On the other hand, it has a call to think local and in neighborly solidarity.

I have continued to think about it, so at least in that respect it is successful. Maybe for a low resource, small business a nuanced layered tag-line is ideal in that respect.

What are your thoughts?
omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)
Autumn is just about to begin, and I find I have been quiet for the summer. Mostly there was a lot of psyche recovery. It had been a hard year in many ways, and I am nervous about my last semester that I have just entered. So there was a lot of recharging and storing up spoons for the months to come. I wanted to share a few highlights though:

* slept a lot and recovered
* Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with my mom and Chiquita
* visited NB and the Bay of Fundy with [ profile] majes
* hiked Welsh Dickey with [ profile] curly_chick and company

* mural painting
* my birthday!
* mini vacation with [ profile] salvbard

* camping with [ profile] majes
* helped organize lovely birthday things for [ profile] curly_chick
* went to London and visited [ profile] jasra
* went to Virginia and visited [ profile] quietdeath
* refinanced the house

* helped host the Malden party
* professional conference
* started moving forward with a few personal opportunities
* informational interview in the manufacturing sector

* 25th anniversary IgNoble ceremony with Chiquita
* Mt Auburn cemetery with my mom
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I will be giving away approximately index card sized pieces of art. If you are interested in one in the future there are details on my craft blog post.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I am not one for resolutions, but I do like the idea of "begin as you mean to go on" for both the new year and all other beginnings.

As such I plan on doing some hiking on January 1st, since work obligingly gives it to me off. If you are interested in this as well let me know. I am happy to plan an excursion, as I am going either way.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Things continue to speed by. Last weekend we had the culmination of a lot of work leading up to [personal profile] majes and [personal profile] jasra's relationship shindig/reception. Similar to [personal profile] salvbard's and my one, they had gone to a Justice of the Peace first (which we were honored to witness). They reception was a simple ritual, gathered family and friends, with party after.

Before the wedding [personal profile] salvbard and I helped prep the two sites for the reception and party respectively. This meant some lovely gardening time as well as house prep. I also was able to help with some last minute costuming needs when [personal profile] majes' hat arrived with the wrong color band and things needed to be pressed.

Before the ritual each said a brief speech. [personal profile] jasra seemed very nervous as she started, but quickly found her groove as her words were full of love and truth and history, which are all mighty, strengthening things. [personal profile] majes' words were eloquent and relaxed in his love and comfort with the love and acceptance between them. In both cases I really felt the space they had both built for [personal profile] salvbard and I into both their lives and this celebration of their love for each other. This was both explicit acknowledgement in their words as well as the fact that it was important to them both to have is be visibly a part, when we would also have been OK being the quiet force that just made it happen for them if they preferred.

[personal profile] salvbard and I were asked to be part of the ritual in addition to helping with the event in general. He started the fire at the center of the labyrinth, and I had collected well wishes from guests, which I handed them to be read aloud. There were many lovely wishes, which is maybe to be expected from such an amazing community.

The party seemed to go well, although I retreated after making sure [personal profile] majes and [personal profile] jasra weren't going to get all caught up in hosting duties. [personal profile] salvbard also helped me make a fall sangria that [personal profile] jasra had found and was interested in. (I never actually had any or really much else to drink that evening. If you tried it let me know your thoughts. Make again?)

It was a lovely day, which I was glad to have been part of. So high time to record my recollections before I forget more.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So I hadn't written a whole lot about it, because I was going through a lot of stuff with my grandmother's decline and subsequent death at the time, but there was lots of awesome and thoughtful stuff surrounding my birthday.

The Friday before my birthday, I took the day off and wandered the city on my own. I spent a lot of time downtown, in particular in the Boston Commons. I did some drawing of the large fountain near Park Street Station and listened to young musicians. I lay on a blanket on the grass, enjoying the weather and the movement of people. I did some knitting and wandered down Newbury Street to get some birthday yarn. (Windsor Button I miss you!) In general it was a day devoted to whimsy and art, which a thing that needs to be indulged in periodically.

Then that evening [personal profile] majes as always is a fantastic companion for that sort of culinary adventure. Our waiter was adorable and easy to communicate what we were thinking of to get suggestions. Other highlights included a particularly well balanced beet salad with goat cheese (a favorite in general but this was particularly well done) and lemon poppy seed bread with lemon sorbet, basil meringue, and sour cherries. ([personal profile] regyt , the sour cherries made me think of you!) I don't even care for meringues in general, so I was surprised that they were really good. Lemony things are a favorite anyways, but still the whole thing was outstanding. Oh and apple-pie-in-a-glass! I have no idea anymore what I ended up getting as a desert wine, but it was phenomenal. That description makes it sound cloyingly sweet, which it was not at all. There were definite qualities of apple and spices that made it reminiscent of apple pie, with just enough sweetness to smooth things out and not be considered a dry wine. 

The day of my birthday was also a planned beach outing for R's birthday. When [personal profile] majes and I arrived early to the beach it was empty, and it is my favorite part of the day on the beach anyways. The quiet with mostly just the sounds of the water was restful, and I delighted in the reflections on the water. It was good that we had arrived early though, as the beach began to fill up long before the rest of the crew showed up. [ profile] ifuonlyknew arrived with R & T. T & J brought their kids. And G & A were there with the girls. There was a very good turn out, and I got to meet and talk at some length to several new people. (And hey if you know the username of anyone I saw that day, let me know!)

Also on my birthday proper the whole family (with the delightful Popple) went out for Thai at Sweet Ginger, which I wasn't familiar with in Somerville. Popple got the spiciest thing ever and tried to smoke out the entire restaurant. We were not to be deterred though, and opening the door helped the stressed HVAC system cope with the problem. (Love you Popple!) Not only was I appreciative of tasty Thai food, but also I appreciated everyone's consideration of the fact that I really like to financially support places in my home city. Then afterwards we headed to the movies, where we saw Monsters University with G with her girls as well. Fun!

I received thoughtful cards from [ profile] jasra and [ profile] ifuonlyknew.

And of course I got to go on a waterfall rappelling adventure with [ profile] salvbard.

There was lots of amazing experiences with people I care about, AND I got to turn a prime number.
omly: wave of water (water)
Last year my big adventure that I wanted to do for my birthday was to go whitewater rafting. And I loved the idea of continuing that trend with another adventure, although I had not specifically thought about it needing to be water related as well.

So last weekend [ profile] salvbard and I went waterfall rappelling with Northeast Mountaineering at Ripley Falls. Originally [ profile] crazybone has planned to go with us, but unfortunately they had such an unexpected response to their promotion that they filled very quickly. The date we were able to grab was sadly in conflict with one of shows the radio plays he was in.

Despite the disappointment that he was unable to join us, it was an amazing day. It is a lovely trip in general, although there was some frustration in finding the bunkhouse. (Apparently most GPS and even Google maps get very confused about their location. In the future a better location to look for is Storyland as they are just a minute down the road.

This adventure is classed as beginner, which I think was reasonable. There is a moderate hike in to the falls from the parking lot, which I was grateful for to warm up muscles that were stiff from sitting in the car for so long. 

We had three guides with us and 6 rappellers. They say that generally they only go up to 8 at a time unless it is one group altogether, to avoid people having to stand around as much. (Rappeling was done one at a time with another line for assisting if necessary.) One of the guides was fairly new (the intern) but she explained things really well. And one of the two guys in particular seemed very experiences. Waiting at the top of the falls we talked a lot about travel and the places he has been/hiked/climbed. His next trip was for a mountain near the Nepal/Tibet boarder.

I have never rappelled before, although [ profile] salvbard has. (He was correspondingly more graceful and had more control.) I was gratified though that I had decent endurance, and the hand and upper body strength I have acquired from pole dancing class was useful. There was one spot that was hard for everyone just because it was a slightly longer drop down than could be done in even a large step, but honestly once you got past that (it was near the beginning) it was very straightforward. I think even if you were not as active as I am though, you could absolutely do this as an experience. Level of strength and activity just makes it easier and with less soreness the next day(s).

Unfortunately my shoe-wear was not as good as I had hoped. I hadn't fully realized how bad my sandals (which are nominally waterproof) were once they got soaked. Specifically the Velcro on the back of the heel did not want to stay closed once it was really wet. So I was a little shaken after the first descent.

In the end though, I did do another run, which went a little more smoothly than the first. I think this was mostly due to a little bit of experience and knowing more what to expect, but they were done two slightly different ways. The first run was done with the assist line being done from the top, and the second (and third in [ profile] salvbard 's case) was from the bottom. As they were just ready to assist if needed, this was more of a difference simply because the ropes were threaded differently, and so the assist line was a little more out of your way on the later climb.

All and all, this was a really cool experience, and I was glad to have done it. Doing so with the waterfall in particular made it a little crazy and exciting. I would do it with a waterfall again, but I am glad that this was not a particularly difficult rappel, as the waterfall added interest enough. It did get me more interested in regular rappelling (and conversely climbing although we didn't do any) than I think I would have been otherwise though.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Generally I do not care for cut flowers. They make me sort of sad, but I appreciate the idea. Today I found a daisy blossom with a short stem lying in the middle of the sidewalk, and I did not want to leave it to wilt unappreciated and trampled. So I tucked it behind my ear and brought it to work with me.

Live flowers are like reminders of hope and promise of fruition to come. Cut flowers seem more like appreciating the good and beautiful things before they are gone. Both are important messages, but apparently we are going with the latter today.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Hey locals (and people of the community who have locals who would be willing to get these from me), my awesome sister provided me with several pairs of Vibram Fivefingers shoes. I have no idea the particular shoe styles as I admit they mostly look the same to my untrained eye. I have pairs available in size 42, 43 or 44 if anyone is interested. I am posting this elsewhere as well. Feel free to express interest even if it seems like someone else did first. I am happy to have contingency plans if they don't get picked up right away. I want these out of my kitchen.
omly: peacock tail feather (naiad)

We are well into the gardening preseason. Which is to say that I am hard at work with planning, but it is still too early to plant yet.

In terms of what is already in the ground:
Daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips are up but not budding yet. At least in my yard they have a few more weeks unless they are forced by unseasonably warm weather. None of the more delicate leafed perennials are out yet as it is too early. The garlic is unreasonably cheerful and thriving, and the chives are doing well.

I find my thoughts hanging on the fact that I want to get out and prune, which I could start to do anyways. Last year I wished I had more vigorously pruned back the roses, and that I could do sooner than later. The fruit trees are just starting to have close budded blossoms. The plum trees have to wait all the way past blooming to the first formation of leaves, but the other fruit trees can be a little earlier (but not yet).

The wisteria will need some loving chopping back but I am not sure when to start that. I should do some research.

Things i need to remember:
The asiatic lillies in the back yard need to be transplanted, as they are not getting quite enough sun and were spindly as a result of last year's move. The potato tower might be good to disassemble back to it's stage one state. I need to check the heather for any new growth this spring as I am not sure it survived our neighbors very thoughtful salting of the sidewalk. Tomatoes and peppers must move this year to give that bed a break. I should think about what would be good next in rotation there.

Any body interested in sharing?
I want to remulch the tiny corner bed with the lilacs and hosta. It is only like a 2.5' by 2.5' bed though, so I don't need a whole bag.

This year I would like to make some infrastructure changes to the altar garden, including adding a small flat shelf for offerings. I am not sure on whether the logistics of that will mean moving the wigeila or just trimming them back a bunch as they are overgrown from not doing so last year. And i need some good ideas for things to put on the top tier, which was empty last year.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Jan. 6th, 2013 04:42 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Something about winter always makes me want to create things. I am not talking about Giftmas presents, actually this feeling tends to kick in once the weather gets really cold which is generally too late for that. Something about the hibernating months just makes me want to be still with creative effort. It is a time to dream about what could be.

To that end, I have started doing the Illustration Friday prompts over on my craft blog. I feel super fortunate to have found a compatriot to join me in this venture and to help keep me accountable. If you have any interest in joining us, then the more the merrier. Please make sure to let me know where you post your art if you end up doing so, so that I can make sure I keep up with your posts.

I already posted my response to the first prompt of the year, so feel free to take a wander over if you feel so inclined.

The theme for this week is "edge" which is so deliciously full of potential. I feel like I copped out on this one a bit, but hey art!


Jan. 6th, 2013 04:42 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Something about winter always makes me want to create things. I am not talking about Giftmas presents, actually this feeling tends to kick in once the weather gets really cold which is generally too late for that. Something about the hibernating months just makes me want to be still with creative effort. It is a time to dream about what could be.

To that end, I have started doing the Illustration Friday prompts over on my craft blog. I feel super fortunate to have found a compatriot to join me in this venture and to help keep me accountable. If you have any interest in joining us, then the more the merrier. Please make sure to let me know where you post your art if you end up doing so, so that I can make sure I keep up with your posts.

I already posted my response to the first prompt of the year, so feel free to take a wander over if you feel so inclined.

The theme for this week is "edge" which is so deliciously full of potential. I feel like I copped out on this one a bit, but hey art!
omly: wave of water (water)
I have always sort of loved this meme:

Denver, CO
The Forks, ME
Berlin, MA
Boston, MA
Malden, MA
Mount Washington, MA
Plymouth, MA
Somerville, MA
Hudson, NY
Slippery Rock, PA
Austin, TX
Irving, TX
McKinney, TX

This year's list is a little longer than I remembered somehow, but I have lots of fond memories associated with each of these places. There was a bit more travel and adventure than many years and yet lots of places I felt safe and loved.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

So the paperwork came home last night for Chiquita's picture day at school. Apparently this year all pictures are being done in front of a green screen. So the default backgrounds this year are (classic) blue or "outdoors."

Bizarre! It makes me strangely nostalgic for the shooting star background. You know back in the day when there were a bunch of pull-shade-like backgrounds. Since it is all green screen anyways, shouldn't I also get the option to inflict my nostalgia on my child?

(No I wouldn't really. She is freaked out enough that the picture from this year will be on her high school ID for the next 4 years.)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Sunday lunch: beet and goat cheese arugula salad
Sunday: chicken drumsticks, rice, and farm share veggies
Monday: eggplant bolognese
Tuesday: ham steaks, colcannon, steamed carrots
Wednesday: minestrone soup
Thursday: - game -
Friday: - up to [ profile] salvbard and [ profile] jasra


omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

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