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Summer ’16 Continues

We’ve been at this Summer thing for about a month and a week. And thankfully it has felt less laborious as previous Summers. I have better self-esteem than I used to so I’m not rushing to see all the bad things about to befall me. These things will or won’t befall me but at least we can have a plan and some fun in the meantime.Emma and Fiona eating dogs on shalavee.com

Emma and Eamon on Shalavee.com

I’ve enjoyed the lazier feeling of the mornings. Children have played together quite nicely which, with their age difference, seems miraculous. Fiona screams about everything all the time anyway so I’m trying to just ignore her and let Eamon handle it.Fiona and Emma on the alligator on shalavee.com

The kitty cats got themselves a Summer cold aka upper respiratory infections. They have created a soundtrack of wet sneezes for a week as the first one is getting over hers and the second two are following. Luckily we humans have yet to suffer any colds or flues this year that were “bad”, knock on wood. I keep telling the children they can’t catch the kitty’s colds.stormy sky over Greektown leaving Baltimore on Shalavee.com

Summer firepit on Shalavee.com

And so very exciting, last week in between kitty sneezes, this black snake showed up in my second floor hallway. After placing several calls to men I knew who might come to save me, I went ahead and saved myself. Used the bin to trap him/her and then he/she was escorted outside to freedom.

Hey mr black snake on Shalavee.com Mark’s tomatoes are doing so well that he just had to fortify the cages yesterday with posts lest the monstrous plants knock themselves over in their sprawl. Fruit should be forthcoming within the month. I can’t wait for real tomatoes ! But I’ll have to.

painting with Unky John on Shalavee.com

Peanut gallery for the fireworks on Shalavee.com

Unky John and Fiona in the dingy on Shalavee.com

Goofballs of all sizes in Summer on Shalavee.com

Our holidays with our friends and family have been so satisfying. Happy to see and be with our loved ones. The children know that they’ve got lots of people who love them and I can’t think of a greater gift of knowledge to give them.

After our vacation to Ocean City, I got the obligatory sunburn but we’ve more visiting to do, a few more camps to attend, and a few more beach visits to sneak in. I have yet to eat a steamed Maryland blue crab so that needs remedying. Perhaps a crab feast again on my birthday! That’ll be the grand finale to the season. My big 50. fireworks over the creek on Shalavee.com

Hope your holidays, or winter days, are treating you well. That you are doing your best and letting go of the rest. And when you’ve caught up, you relax. That’s where I want to be.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

The City Girl

I barreled over the Chesapeake Bay on up the highway to my hometown city of Baltimore.

The Western Shore on shalavee.com

On the way to meet up with some old friends and journey up to see another friend now living in Pennsylvania. 

Howard Street in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

I sped through the city. The quickest way through the city to my friend’s house was right through the neighborhood that I grew up in, Waverly.

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

And I was thrilled to see that there was a new library there. So much beautiful light now. I got tears in my eyes.

Another hour plus driving and we were in New Oxford Pennsylvania visiting our friend Rose and her lovely kitchen shop.

And then feasting on green chile and psole stew at her house and toasting ourselves.

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

And then all too soon, I made the journey back. Through the city of my youth which doesn’t look itself at all these days. I’m glad.

The city I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

I Read What I Write and Discover Myself

I write to discover, and then I forget myself again. It’s been a really interesting journey discovering who I am and what I know. Then, like so much dust churned up, the ideas dissipate back into the computer files. The complexity of me is lost to myself, to others.

I envy my blog’s readers as they know me better than I often know myself. I find it equally interesting that many of my friends never read my blog. They must figure they’ll catch up with me when they see me. Or maybe they don’t want to know too much about me for fear they may not like me as much as they do now. Fiona and Me on shalavee.com

The me here on the blog is more “me-er” than in real life. A kind gentleman reader fussed recently that he felt bad for me always being so down on myself when I come across as such a confident person in person. I explained that with three posts on the blog weekly with subjects tending towards the wobbly, the picture of me is skewed and concentrated. But in this way, I can show that my humanity is here and so the reader can allow for their humanity too.

I never ever imagined that writing would lead me to such a wealth of self-knowledge and acceptance. A deeper understanding of self and the kindness of people in general has given me renewed faith in both myself and others which is exquisite as liquid hope. Opening up to others’ thoughts and worlds has given my brain sustenance and gifted me all sorts of friendships with all sorts of people including myself. And a boundless bounty of perspectives. Fiona's hair on shalavee.com

I made a passing comment in the beginning of the year that I wanted to read my writing daily. In that way, I could remember what I do and why it is I think others should really read it too. Because sometimes when I read my stuff, I think I rock. Hope you are enjoying at least this one post. There are 700 more posts hidden and awaiting my to read and recycle them. Acknowledging that I am a writer has been one of the greatest gifts to myself. And it’s gonna keep on giving until I keel over.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Dearest Friends

Some friendships start due to proximity and then are maintained with intention. This is the story of my Hon friends and me.

We all worked together at the Cafe Hon in Baltimore, Maryland 20 years ago. We try to get together at least once a year and remember those times, ourselves, and the people we knew. We catch up on each others lives, listen to shared tragedies, and congratulate each other on our big choices.

To make all of this happen today, we took a road trip to go see our friend Rose and her fabulous kitchen shop in New Oxford, Pennsylvania called Red Bud House which she co-owns with her husband John Lansing.John Lansing and his Redbud House shop on Shalavee.com

John And Rose Lansing and their Redbud House Shop on Shalavee.com

Sorry Rose, the only picture of you both!

Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

Terry at Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

Leslie and her new phone in Rose's shop n Shalavee.com

Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

A short drive up route 30, aka Lincoln’s Highway, and we arrived at her lovely little old brick house where we toasted Rose and our visit, and she fed us a yummy pork, corn, and green chile chowder. And, of course, cherry pie.Rose knows the way to hearts. Yes, of course through our bellies. So yummy ! Thank you Rose.

Rose's House on Shalavee.com

At Rose's house on Shalavee.com

At Rose's on Shalavee.com

Rose's cherry pie on Shalavee.com

These get-togethers are always so grounding. We remember another part of ourselves here. We laugh and reminisce. We compare aging body war notes. We give our condolences to one another. We are remembered by each other and now we are saying our goodbyes. Two of our group are moving away, one to Florida and the other to Oregon.

Thank you Rose, Terry, Martha, and Leslie, for your loyalty and love for me all of these years. You are dearhearts and I love you all.

(And PS it was nice to meet you Sharon and Robin!)

Leslie and her new phone in Rose's shop n Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Backyard Friends

Once upon a time, Stay at home moms communed over their backyard fences while hanging laundry out to dry. Their social needs to bond and chat were met because their days required them to be outside with their neighbors doing the very same chores. When the “automatic” washer and dryer arrived to make life easier, laundry became an inside task. And being inside meant a new era of isolation for the very people who needed community support.

Mt Vernon in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

Where once women were connected and substantiated over our fences in the sunlight with sheets dancing in the wind and children shrieking at our heels, now there’s a disconnect to our backyards and to ourselves.  Garden and card playing clubs and porch sitting gave way to soap operas and TV sitcom addictions. We’ve fallen out of touch with our natural need to bond with people in our community, the ones we are always a part of whether we know it or not. We’ve forgotten how to request support. We suspect it might be good for us to have community “if we could just find the time”. We are unaware that the smile from someone and human touch can heal us from so much pain and fear.

At the Walter's Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

Long disassociated from our fellow women folk, we surprised ourselves by embracing the internet and, stripped of all our pretenses, we delved into the online world of social media bearing our sorrows and struggles as we posted soulful paragraphs and square photographs. Suddenly a generation of turtle women is coming out of their shells. And we are connecting again with our global community albeit a sometimes faceless one as the rare selfie is all we have to go on to know what our new friends look like. What is truly amazing is that we already know each other even though we’ve never spoken.

My new Friend on Shalavee.com

I was buoyed this month when I came out of the box and met with fellow Mother and creative Leah, a contemporary who I have much in common with and met through Instagram. I needed to hear her voice as she gave words to the same struggles I’m experiencing and suddenly, those struggles were smaller. We are more empowered to create plans of action together when we hear the same worries and realities behind others’ stories and we can say, “I’ve been there. This is what I did”. We allow ourselves to move on then.

A tthe Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

A the Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

A tthe Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

My new friend and I met for the first time at the Walters Art Gallery in downtown Baltimore, the city where we both spent our teen and young adult years. And what a delight to talk creativity and artistic direction. We talked about motherhood, childhood, stumbling and rising again.

I have a new friend and renewed hope that where I’m headed, and the lovely women I am headed there with, are all my destiny.

Garden in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

 I like the view of my life’s possibilities standing out in my backyard, standing out in the world, standing with people I met through our new playground telling and listening to one another’s stories.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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