A few years ago, I unearthed a travel journal from a month-long trip to Europe that I took in 2006. As I reviewed its pages, I was struck by just how many details of the trip I had completely forgotten. And if the memories of a once-in-a lifetime trip that was so impactful to me could fade away – how much of my day-to-day life is lost? Sensations, emotions, achievements, losses, experiences from the mundane to the exceptional, all transforming from that specific moment in time to become that day, that week, that year, that life…

As I get older and gain a better understanding of how fragile, how brief, and how precious life really is, it's become even more important to me to me experience it to its fullest and to try to retain all of those little moments that might otherwise get lost. It's with this idea that I started the process of recording these moments – a travel journal, of sorts.

A travel journal for life.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I am a firm believer that simply everyone must experience the joy of receiving a baked good decorated by me at some point in their lives.

 My skills are truly spectacular.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


·        Clean sheets
·        Clean bathroom
·        Clean hair
·        Clean underoos. 

I think we can all agree that we are (collectively) better off when certain things in our lives are clean.  But it had never before occurred to me to be concerned with the cleanliness of my aura.

I’m not fantastic at handling stress and most times when I’m under a great deal of pressure, it tends to physically manifest.  Colds, headaches, hair loss, muscle tension, etc.  The past couple of months being as they were, one can imagine, I haven’t been exceptionally delightful. Among other things, I developed an eye-twitch that lasted for three solid weeks.  My beautiful co-workers/friends took pity on me and out of the goodness of their hearts (or perhaps their will to shut me up about the damned incessant twitch) booked me a hot-stone massage.  (Ahhh, how I adore them.)

When I arrived for my massage, my masseuse seemed immediately concerned about me; my stress level was high and my aura was off, she informed me.  I nodded in agreement.

She asked if I minded if she performed some “aura-cleansing” during our session and I told her to knock herself out.  Which she very nearly did because as soon as I gave her the green light on the aura-cleanse from my comfy position underneath the blankets, she treated me to animated display of flailing hands. She spun around the room dramatically; “I’m just going to crack the door for a second to let all of the negative energy out of the room” she informed me as she whirled towards the door.  “K.” I squeaked out, wide-eyed and stifling giggles.  (I never knew you could give negative energy the bum’s rush like that.)

The remainder of the massage was a standard-issue procedure, peppered with the occasional flicking of hands close to, but not actually touching, my body.  Every time she did this, it triggered instant laughter that I had to repress because I was having a relaxing massage, after all.

After I was dressed and ready to head home, the masseuse came in with a glass of water.  She informed me that she did quite a bit of work on my aura.  “I noticed.” I said, nodding and taking a drink of water to try to stifle the laughter swelling in my throat.  She immediately brightened at my response and asked with excitement “then you can tell a difference?” “Mmmm” I said as I pressed my lips together and opened my eyes wide.  (This is the expression I make when a response is required of me but I either don’t know what to say or what I actually want to say is inappropriate.  Now you know.)  The masseuse, thankfully satisfied with my response, traced her hands around the outline of my head and shoulders and nodded “Well, your aura is in much better shape now than when you came in, that’s for sure.” I thanked her for her time and her aura-cleansing expertise and made a hasty exit to the street where I finally was able to let the laughter free.

Despite the pouring rain and the chill in the air, I indulged in my giggle-fit all the way to my car. That’s when it hit me… I haven’t laughed like that in quite some time.  And I had to wonder; was my laughter really because I’m a skeptic and I found the whole process ridiculous or might it be that giggling is the product of a clean aura?

Hmmm…  Something to consider. 

Perhaps my aura could use at least the occasional spring-clean.
Me and my sparkly new aura.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


One of my most favorite things in the world is getting presents in the mail.

Another one of my most favorite things in the world is my cousin Dori.

That she sends me presents in the mail is completely unrelated to why she is one of my most favorite things in the world.

But she is and she does.

Dori (aka: Spank Goodness) skates with the Cedar Rapids Roller Girls and tonight I came home to find a present from her - my very own CR Roller Girl T - with "Spank's" name and number on the back.  Wearing it to the gym tonight, I'm pretty certain that I felt a little bit of her bad-assedness rubbing off on me.

Thanks, Spanks!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Remember I said a giant rubber duck came to town?

Well, I've been more than a little caught up in the duck fever.  I love this giant yella-fella.

And whenever I hear the nay-sayers asking "why so much fuss over a duck?" and saying nasty things like "%@ck the duck", I scream "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  IT'S A GIANT FRIGGIN RUBBER DUCK.  AND IT IS FLOATING IN OUR RIVER...  IT'S FLIPPING ADORABLE AND YOU HAVE NO SOUL."

At least that's what I say in my head...  In reality, I just shrug my shoulders, go look at one of the hundred pictures I've taken of him and whisper "Don't worry, Ducky. I get it. It's whimsy."

O.k. - I don't really do that either but I DO have lots of pictures.

Wanna see some?

Sure you do.

Here's the duck from far away...
And here he is up-close-and-personal...
I always feel like... Somebody's watchin' meeeee.....
And anyone who says a giant duck is frivolous, obviously has not contemplated the duck to it's fullest extent!
The duck's last day in the 'Burgh was Sunday and we made it down to the shore for one last visit.  Fare-thee-well giant ducky...  I hope you bring as much happiness in your next city as you did to me here in Pittsburgh!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Well, here it is – officially WELL into fall… I’m even starting to hear rumors of snow (though I refuse to believe them).  I figure it’s about time for me to do a summer round-up post, since I didn’t post AT ALL - ALL SUMMER!

This summer and early fall were crazy-busy and full of set-backs and losses.  It seems we've been plagued by worry and sorrow in our house for quite a while.  And while worry and sorrow do truly suck, and I could probably do o.k. without them entirely, they do serve a very valuable purpose in life.  They remind us to not take what we have for granted, to love the people we have fiercely while we have them, and to treasure the good things and the happy times.

And this post is about just that – the good and the happy:

I got a veggie spiraler.
I spent several days eating nothing but spiraled veggies.  I also took pictures of said spiraled veggies and the entire process made me embarrassingly happy.

I went to California on a work trip.  I had one extra day to venture out and about.  I went to the beach, I went shopping, I had the MOST AMAZING guacamole ever (L) and I saw a mobile parrot station.  Not sure what a mobile parrot station is?  Take a gander (R).

When I was shopping in Cali, I bought some makeup at the Mac store which I applied and liked so much that I promptly took this picture of myself in flattering lighting and at a good angle and I think I shall use it as my profile picture for everything forever.

I saw some really pretty things this summer.
I saw a pretty giant glass sunflower at Phipps. (L)
I saw a pretty (Fake!  It's a sculpture!) cherry blossom tree downtown. (R)
 I saw a pretty penny-tiled floor during a gallery opening (doesn't say much for the show that I took pictures of the floor and not the art). (L)
And I saw a really pretty puppy who stole my heart so much I almost adopted her. (R)  But poor pretty puppy had so many issues - she was rescued from an animal hoarder - she needed extra-special help. (The happy part is that she's adorable and she found the help she needs!)

Robb came to town to help with a super-secret celebrity wedding.  He stayed at our house while he was working and he was cute.
And we drank pitchers of mimosas.
 Speaking of cute...
Guess who else was consistently adorable??
Except when she was busy being a soul-stealing ginger-cat.
I went on my first-ever group motorcycle ride.  There were over 100 bikers and it was such a gorgeous day! Add to  that - it was for a good cause (Fisher House) and I think we might have found one of my favorite days of the summer!

There was the day the giant rubber ducky came to town.
 And they closed down a bridge and the city had a huge party to welcome a giant rubber duck.  That was a good day too.

And then...
I went to see Muse.
With these gorgeous people.

I got to see the most-amazing Fiber Arts show.  These were two of my favorite pieces.  The one on the right still just pierces my soul when I look at the picture and remember seeing it in person.
I got to see a bridge be knit.

I felt the love and support of so many true and dear friends.

These two nuggets stole my heart again and again.

And I learned that the words on this fortune were oh-so very true.

Even with the worry and the sorrow...  There's so very, very much to be thankful for.