Archive | December, 2010

Frienassance!

30 Dec

Part of the reason I like having a blog is because I’m not great at keeping in touch.  I don’t really like talking on the phone and never really know what to write in letters, even though I love sending them.  I’m pretty much an in-person kind of gal.  Having a blog allows me to share the happy little parts of my daily life with friends far and wide, but it’s still no substitute for face-to-face contact.

I have to most amazing group of friends from college.  I’m not exaggerating when I say each of them is brilliant, hilarious and doing totally impressive things.  Among our group we have lawyers, an urban planner, prison activists, civil servants, teachers, an ethical business woman, writers, singers, artists, and media producers.  Naturally, you’d think I’d be talking to these women every day- hearing about their lives, gathering insights, laughing.  But daily life gets in the way of the best intentions and so often the only time I get to really connect with them all is during New Year’s Eve, when we all gather in a designated location for a weekend of catching up, cocktails, dance parties, ukulele playing and epic relaxing.  We’ve been doing it for years now and I’m so grateful we’ve kept it up.
This year I’m so excited for it I decided to make a banner for the occasion, which we’ve deemed “Frienaissance,” as it’s an annual revival of our bond to one another.  For 2011 we will gather in Iowa City, where the banner will proudly hang for the weekend.  We’re just about to leave for the airport, and I’m oh so excited.  Happy New Year, y’all.

2010: A Year in Review

29 Dec

I’m pleased to present my second annual end of the year slideshow, featuring the fun and friends we’ve enjoyed throughout the year.  It’s great to go through a year of pictures and realize just how much freakin’ fun I’ve had.

I used iMovie to create this little buddy, but if you don’t want to spend time editing, you can make your own super simply at Pummelvision, a site that grabs pictures from your Facebook albums and creates a light speed slide show with music.

Open Road: So Much Goodness in Central Kentucky

28 Dec
When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.  Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.
I left the twenty-second section of the poem on Shawn’s parents’ Christmas tree, behind an ornament tag I saved from one of the gifts I opened on Christmas day.  I felt so lucky to be celebrating with such wonderful people and feel so loved and welcomed.  And that’s not even mentioning the amazing gifts I received from my mom, sister, aunt & uncle, mom’s best friend, godmother, Shawn, Shawn’s family and others.  I know the true spirit of Christmas isn’t about presents, but they certainly do make things fun.

I am larger, better than  I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness.

Here’s where the poem has been so far:

Open Road: The North and South are Mine in Cave City

28 Dec

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.  Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.


I left the twenty-first section of the poem in Cave City, Kentucky, where I travelled over the Christmas holiday to spend time with my sweetheart and his family.  I wrote the poem on a sticker I affixed to the back of a set of holiday dictionary drawings I gave to Shawn’s parents for Christmas last year.  This picture is one of hundreds of Christmas decorations they put up every year- from garlands to Santa statues to poinsettias dotting the corners of every room.  It’s a very festive place to spend one’s Christmas.

I inhale great draughts of space, the east and west are mine, and the north and south are mine.

Open Road: Pausing at Lookout Loop

28 Dec

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.  Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.

I left the twenty-first section of the poem at an overlook we stopped at on the way home.  Just as we were leaving Hot Springs, Shawn noticed a street called Lookout Loop and we pulled onto it and found ourselves at a private overlook kept up by some good samaritans who own the property and wanted to share their lovely view.  It’s always a little sad driving home after an amazing time with friends, so it was great to have a moment to stop and contemplate the wonderful time we’d all just had.

Listening to others, considering well what they say, pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating.  Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

Here’s where the poem’s been so far:

Open Road: Going Where I List at Broadwing Farms Cabins

27 Dec

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.  Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.

I left the twentieth section of the poem stuck to a tree on the Broadwing Farms Cabin property, where we set out for a little walk on Saturday morning.  Nothing like a brisk (OK, cold) walk after a big breakfast, knowing a cold beer and a hot tub await you when you return.

From this hour I ordain myself loosed of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute

Open Road: I Must Be Happy at the Rock Bottom Grill

27 Dec
When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.  Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.

I left the eighteenth section of the poem at the Rock Bottom Grill in Hot Springs, North Carolina during the third weekend of December, when a group of friends and I rented a couple of cabins for the weekend to celebrate the holidays and the birthday of yours truly.  This was my sixth trip to these cabins (I think) in the past two years- I really can’t get enough of them.  There’s nothing more relaxing and wonderful than natural spring-fed hot tubs, making huge delicious meals and sitting around drinking wine with your friends right up until you go to bed.  We stopped for dinner at the Rock Bottom Grill, a great little pub with good food and good beer.  Just as we were finishing up dinner, they started setting up a karaoke machine, so naturally we had to stay to sing a few tunes. I left the poem nestled in the lovely little tree they had set up in the front window.

I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me.  I think whoever I see must be happy.