Going with it

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Tide pool, Crystal Cove State Park, December 2018

Sometimes, you need to just go with the flow.  Take it one day at a time.  Good with the bad, highs with the lows, just go with it.  The last month or so has been full of challenges and difficulties, but delightful moments have also popped up to warm me in the shadows.  I’m going to have a few days off from work at the end of the month that I hope will be a time to recharge and reset for the coming new year, but in the meantime, I’m trying to float along.  I’m just going with it.

Fir? Sure!

A few years ago I stumbled upon my very favorite holiday candle of all time, Frasier Fir by Thymes.  To me, it is just perfection.  Every year growing up we’d drive out to choose a Christmas tree and then decorate it as a family, the whole living room smelling like the holidays had arrived.  To this day, the scent of a fir tree makes me happy.

As an adult and as a musician, December gets very busy, so for years now I have opted for a faux tree to streamline or holiday decorating.  Scent is such a powerful thing, though, so I splurge on a new Frasier Fir candle every holiday season.  The glow of lights from the tree, the scent of fir needles, and a mug of tea while cozied up on the couch is about as close to perfect as I can ask for at this time of year.

fir candle  faux fur throw  whiteware mug

 

Fun things!

This week my mind is all over the place — Holidays soon!  Thanksgiving to clean up after!  Gifts to buy!  Here are a few fun things on my radar at the moment:

I’m in love with this faux fur coat — it’s beautiful cozy coats like this that make me wish for colder weather!

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This adorable interloper is causing havoc in Vancouver.  Are you Team Otter or Team Koi?

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Hooray for the Mars lander!  Handy (and amusing) explanation here.

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These are beautiful.

images via: ofakind.com, , Matthew Inman, Bornn enamelware

Thankful

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Kristina Akers, Pieces

On this odd in-between day between Thanksgiving with friends and Thanksgiving with family, I am simply grateful.  Grateful for good friends and warm hearts, for my loving family and sweet furry companions, and for my own little spark of optimism that helps me get through the days that seem too hard.  In my heart, I am taking a moment to be still and give thanks.

Wish list

Everyone I know seems to have their holiday shopping already underway, while I am still a bit dazed that Thanksgiving is already here.  While I haven’t started my gift shopping, I’ve at least started thinking about gifts for loved ones — and I have a few items on my mind I that would love, too!  Here’s a little peek of what I’m dreaming of finding under the tree, both fantastical dream splurges and more modest wish items alike.

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This lovely Doctors bag by Linjer looks like just the right size.  Clean, classic, easy.  Love it.

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Le Labo Rose 31 is a fragrance I discovered at their shop while wandering a bit in Seattle.  This woodsy, mysterious take on a traditional rose scent is addicting, and I think I’ll need a bottle once my carefully-rationed sample vial is finished.

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I fell hard for the Louis Vuitton Catogram Speedy as soon as I saw the launch of Grace Coddington’s collaboration.  The cat and dog illustrations are just too adorable for words.

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I’ve been intrigued by Nisolo for a while, and this stylish Chelsea boot seems like an ideal way to get to know this brand.  I really admire their ethical production practices.

 

While I was initially unsure I’d want or need an Apple watch, I’ve grown to really love mine.  It is so much more discreet to get notifications via a tap on the wrist rather than a buzzing phone on my desk.  The sleek new 40mm Series 4 and a pretty leather band are on my list, as I am sure it will wildly outstrip my Series 1 in functionality.

stoned_book_cover

I stumbled upon Stoned: Architects, Designers & Artists on the Rocks in a shop recently, and was smitten with the gorgeous photos in this tome.  One can never have enough books as far as I am concerned, especially when they are as beautiful as this.

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I’m as in love as ever with my Baleen earrings, and wear them all the time.  Their rose Herkimer studs are just the right sort of undone take on a traditional diamond stud, and I’d love to have these beauties in my rotation as well.

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And finally, I love starting each year fresh with a new calendar.  Rifle Paper Co.’s World Traveler calendar would be the perfect way to remember favorite trips as well as inspire (and maybe schedule) new ones.

 

What do you want to be?

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Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (2018). Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child — What do you want to be when you grow up?  As if growing up is finite.  As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

–Michelle Obama, Becoming

 

Thank you, Michelle, for this beautiful observation, and for reminding us of our infinite potential.  This Friday I am thinking about growing up, growing older, and what it means to “be” something when you grow up.  We are not our professions.  We are not only defined by the work we do.  And we are always evolving, changing, growing, becoming something new.  We are more than the sum of our parts.

Myself, I am striving to find a happy middle ground between becoming and being, moving forward vs. holding myself in the present moment.  But it is a real comfort to know that no matter where I am now or who I feel like I “am” at present, I always have the opportunity to become something else — to become something more.

 

When it is time

img_0002This past weekend was one of the hardest of my life.  We put our dog Oliver to sleep yesterday, my sweet boy.  He was 17 years old.  As much as I agonized over when, I know now it was the right time.  He always hated being picked up, but on Sunday morning he didn’t mind at all, just trusted us as I lifted him and sat him on my lap in the car.  Lots of pets and kisses.  It was quick and painless, and I think he knew he was loved and cared for, right up to the end.  I had tears running down my cheeks all morning, and we sobbed there in the room after.  Pulled it together enough to head home, and then I cried again at home as soon as I saw his empty bed.  I miss him, but I am at peace and I hope he is too. Peaceful and happy, and no longer a prisoner of his aging little body.

I didn’t realize quite how much medication had become Oliver’s new normal until I cleaned everything out this weekend.  Our pantry feels remarkably uncluttered in comparison.  The cat’s kibble is in the second food container, now that his reviled prescription kidney food is gone.  Likewise the kitchen floor feels oddly empty, with only one pair of dog dishes and the extra rug out of the center of the room. We’re going to be getting used to being a family of eight paws instead of twelve over the coming days and weeks.  It simultaneously feels like a sad emptiness and a weight lifted — not fussing over medication schedules and attempts at feeding him, not listening for any signs of distress or vomiting from him in the night.  I miss him already.  In the meantime, life winds on, and we hold our memories close.  Almost fifteen and half years of love.  Until we meet again, my bear, my dear sweet Oliver.

conditional retraction

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‘Sitting Woman with Legs Drawn Up’ by Egon Schiele (Narodni Galeri)

 

(for now) there is stillness amidst

what was once her maelstrom

whirling slowed into a lilting-soft song/dance

less frightened, more eager

no longer slamming her body against the walls

of an invisible cage

(for now) she is perhaps not sated, but quiescent

he has soothed the beast within

brought her light

velveted the darkness

into an appealing purple twilight

she has sheathed her claws

(for now) they do not reflect the cold moonlight

instead (for now) she allows his warmth

to thaw her edges

–Charla M. DelaCuadra