Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I’ve been tip toeing through grace. I am in awe of grace. I am inspired by grace. Degas was inspired by it too I think – the movement of women from ballerinas to laundresses. What makes someone graceful? When I think of real grace I suppose I think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, or Grace Kelly – hmm, I should refer to her by her proper title: Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, - now that is graceful!

I have often thought of myself as something like a bull in a china shop. Tromping not so carefully through life. I laugh too loud. I definitely am not afraid to use all manner of four letter words with no concern of whose company I am in. I am usually guilty of talking too much. I sometimes catch myself just as my foot is going into my mouth – but not always. I succumb to the whims of fashion trends to often and you will not find me in a perfect and timeless little black dress, although perhaps after a few more months on Jenny Craig I can swing that.

I asked a dear friend of mine, a minister, if we ever reach a state of permanent grace, a place where we handle all cards that are dealt to us gracefully. Is grace just reserved for the few that are born with perfect hair or size six feet? Is it dolled out in extra servings for the likes of Jackie O. and Her Serene Highness? My friend told me that grace could be found in your recovery time. She told me that we all freak out from time to time, we all go to the zoo some day. Grace can be found in the time and manner in which you recover. I like that. I like that I can be graceful and that I can condition to become more graceful.

But grace can not be suffering in silence. You cannot just keep twirling Swan Lake in your little pink satin toe shoes whilst your toes are bleeding. There must be a reckoning – a little “Come to Jesus” meeting, as an old boss of mine used to say. You have to spread it out on a table and inspect what is not working and get it – own it - and move on. Only the brave can do this, the strong and the well conditioned.

As I step into the gracefulness of my life I am reminded of a quote by Oprah Winfrey, when musing about all of her life lessons that have required graceful acrobatics she said, “Some days I wake up and I say God don’t teach me nothin today!”

As I trip the light fantastic across the room, perhaps a new title for me: Her Graceful Highness Princess Kim of California…

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Still love this CD...

Driving home from my fun outing today, I listened to my Madeline Peyroux "Carless Love" CD. I am telling you it is like listening to Billy Holiday reincarnated with a smidgen of Bessie Smith - I love it. If you like what my Son refers to as "Chick Music" then you should have her CD's in your collection. Happy New Week to you all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I wish it were Sunday cause that’s my fun day…

OMG I am running around this week like crazy and it is only Thursday! Between taking the train to and from work, weighing in at Jenny Craig – yes I called Jenny, and volunteering at the high school to sell refreshments during intermission at the play every night, I am beat!

Like the exhausted lady in this photo piece, I need a pint and a lie-in. But since I am eating only Jenny food I won’t be getting the beer and I won’t be lying around either. The Jenny food is not bad, there is just so very little of it. It is a lot like eating airline food in those cute little kits – anyone can lose weight like that.

I gained a fair amount of extra weight when I was in the shop everyday. My shop was very small and my activity was limited and if business was slow I would eat some of the wonderful chocolate that we carried. Notice I say carried – past tense. Yep, you guessed it; I ate a lot of it. We sold Chocolate raindrops in black French wire umbrellas, chocolate butterflies, chocolate roses and pansies. We had chocolate Christmas trees and there were a lot left over that I had to put on sale after the holidays. When I came home from work at night Matt or the kids would ask how my day had gone and my reply was standard, "I ate a tree!"

So now I atone for eating all the chocolate Christmas trees and running next door to have a Black and Tan at the pub when ever the mood struck – sometimes they would send them over so I did not have to close the shop (naughty, naughty!). I am making up for all the exercise I did not do because I was so busy working and eating chocolate!

It seems a little late in life to be attempting to learn what a real portion size is but I am an eager pupil. I think losing weight is sort of like quitting smoking. If you have tried to quit and were not successful then you would not give up on trying. You just try again – maybe later – maybe a different approach. It is later for me. In fact it is as late as it gets. I will let you know how I am doing from time to time as I plan on losing a good amount of weight. I am not really thinking of this as something I get off of like a diet. I usually try to rush through everything but this time I think I will not obsess and just see what the process holds for me. I am sure there is some nifty little gift in here somewhere for me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

"We never laughed like that"...

I don’t have many pictures of my Mother. This one is a favorite of mine. It is originally only 3 inches tall and about 2 ½ inches wide and for years I could not make out what was really going on in the photo. One night when I was going through pictures with my Mom she came upon it and stared at it for a while. She tossed it aside and said, “We never laughed like that”. Years later after she had passed I had the few remaining pictures of her enlarged. When I opened the envelope for the first time I could see that she was with her family, the girls are holding tiny puppies that are snuggling into their necks tickling them and making them laugh. My Mother is the bobbed little girl sitting on her father’s lap.

I am happy to say that I don’t look back on my childhood with that same type of feeling. We laughed a lot in our home. There were six kids and my mother was an executive in the real estate industry. She was extremely busy. I don’t know how she did it. It was not common for women to work like that in those days. She always tried to make a little extra time for me. We shared a lot of time talking while she was cooking. Some of my favorite memories of her are the nights before Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve when she made pies. The best rainy Saturday afternoons I have ever spent were those watching spooky movies with Mom and splurging on fudge. She had a weakness for fudge and could whip up a perfect batch at a moments notice.

I don’t have much of anything that belonged to my mother, just a plastic powder compact – nothing fancy. But oh - when you open that compact…that is the scent of my mother. I keep it in my memory box with other photos and things from a long time ago.

I have been thinking a lot this week…what sort of things am I leaving behind for my kids? I am not sure how to say this without sounding shallow, but here goes… I want them to have something nicer. My Mother was worth so much more than a drug store compact. The idea that the simple things left behind might someday be the very token that someone holds onto is interesting. I am sure when my mother purchased that compact at the five and dime she did not know that 32 years later her daughter would still have it and cherish it. A friend of mine has a collection of beautiful tiny bowls that belonged to her mother. “These are ketchup and mustard dishes, a little joy for a pickle or a pepper”, she told me. She said that her mother would never put condiments on to the table in the ordinary jars they came in – everything was served in little vintage china or crystal dishes.

I think these little personality glimpses are what we are holding on to. I am also holding on to the scent of my mother, no matter how it is packaged.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Moving On

I have just started reading Moving On by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Click here to buy it online. I love her stuff. I have only read Simple Abundance and it changed my life. If you have not read it - you must! I am not sure if this is the book I should be reading now with all of my plans of getting to know myself a little better - I think this book is more about creating your "Home of Belonging". Oh well, it just spoke to me on my last trip to the book store so I took it home. "Trans", Nina says it is a Latin root word for carry. This book talks a lot about Transitions. I am in a transition right now and by my last post you could say I am in the process of transporting myself on a little expedition of the soul. Surely my home is part of a soulful transformation too, after all my home is my heart and my heart is my home.