remember

On this day every year, my heart hurts and there’s a perpetual lump in my throat. I wrote this 3 years ago today, thinking about how I would talk to my kids about 9/11, and they are now old enough to just begin to understand.

We lost almost 3000 lives that day. It’s disrespectful that some decry the remembrances and memorials as political, pro-nationalist propaganda. Today is personal, and should make us think about how we treat each other.

To paraphrase philosopher and poet, John Lennon: No countries, no religion, imagine all the people living life in peace.

when working stops working

NYCtwintowerswallcoo
I grew up in central New Jersey. For 27 years of my life, this was what I saw every time I went to New York City. Seeing the Twin Towers meant I was heading to a magical, inspiring, bohemian, invincible place of art, theater, architecture, street vendors, music, nightclubs, weirdos, sex, drugs, and roasted peanuts. It is impossible to erase this image and the feeling of anticipation from my memory.

I still look for the World Trade Center towers in the Manhattan skyline. Even though I know they’re gone, I can’t help it. I want them to still be there.

That day, I didn’t lose any loved ones, even though I have dozens of friends and family who could have been there. That day, I was at work in Boston, so I didn’t feel the dust from the towers on my skin or in my home. That day changed countless…

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new normal

My thoughts are all over the place after this week of utter insanity.

I think about the 7 Boston Marathons I’ve watched from the Crate and Barrel store on Boylston Street, where this year the windows were blown out by the blast a few buildings away. The attack happened at the time when the majority of runners were approaching the finish. Not the elite runners, but the everyday folks who run for personal reasons, in pursuit of a goal they may have never achieved before. These are our mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters, cousins, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, and friends. Unlike 9/11, there was no political or economic significance to the time or place. The marathon attack was at a community event, on runners and spectators just like you and me, and the only motive was to create fear, pain, and extreme suffering for this entire city and nation.

I think about this new reality we live in, and are raising our children in, where we are constantly aware of the possibility of an attack by evil people. Evil people aren’t just leaders of other countries with nuclear weapons, they are not just targeting people with money and power. Evil people are hurting our children, and it breaks my heart to think of how many children have been lost all too recently.

I think about what I’ve told my first-grader about this past week. “Some very bad people put bombs in Boston where people were watching the marathon. Yes, it is near where I used to work. Lots of people got hurt, but even more people were helping to rescue them.” And yesterday, “The police want us to stay home today because they are trying to catch the bad man who hurt so many people. It’s okay to be scared, but I will protect you, and we are safe here.”

I say it in a calm, almost matter-of-fact tone so he doesn’t get scared. A tone that tries to makes it seem normal. But I don’t want this to be his normal. I don’t want him to think that bombings and man-hunts and sirens and helicopters flying overhead and lock-downs are normal.

I want him to think that normal is having a picnic at Jamaica Pond, walking to the top of Peter’s Hill with his little brother and dog, meeting up with friends at the playground at Fallon Field, going to school that doesn’t have to close because of a “situation.” This particular situation is over, but, pardon my language, this shit is still fucked up.

I want him to think that normal is watching the runners cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day. Will we? I don’t know yet.

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i miss film cameras

I miss the days when you had to take your film out of the camera, and bring it to the developing place, wait a week, and go back to pick them up in order to even see your pictures. The anticipation of getting your pictures back from your vacation was almost as good as the trip itself. Back then, I always had prints of the pictures I took, hundreds of prints, so I was motivated to frame them, make albums, scrapbooks, send them to friends and family, all that good stuff.

Now, I take pictures constantly, but with my phone. And they stay in my phone. I try to upload (or is it download?) them onto my computer, or to a photo sharing service like Shutterfly or Picasa. But it takes a long time. Or at least, in my mind, it’s going to take a lot of effort, and so the pictures stay in my phone.

What I do love about digital pictures are these handy-dandy, pretty, and easy-to-order photo books! Once I get it together to get my photo files up-or-downloaded, it’s insanely simple to pick out ones to put in a hardcover bound book. Click click click, and you have an album.


So, 3 months later, I’ve finally ordered a photo book of my little guy’s 3-year-old birthday party. The cutest part is when he asks, “Can we read the Dash book again? No, the Little Kid Dash book, not the Baby Dash one.” So cute.

Someday, I will be organized enough to take pictures of my kids’ artwork and doodles and projects that I don’t have space to store. I will updownload them onto Shutterfly and order compact, color-coordinated, and chronological books. We can all dream, right?

martha’s calendar

Today is January 29, 2013. Martha Stewart suggests we “Organize tools and supplies in greenhouse workroom.”

Martha's Month, January Issue of Living

Thanks, Martha. I’ll get right on that.

tulpendag!

Years ago, I used to travel to Amsterdam once a year for work. It will always be one of my favorite cities in the world, and not at all for the coffeeshops. The cloudy, rainy weather gives one an appreciation for light and color like nothing else. If you don’t get Rembrandt, spend a week in Amsterdam. While you’re there, go to the Rijksmuseum and stare at Night Watch. I was blown away.

tulip fields

these colors are amazing!

Tulip season in the Netherlands has got to be the most colorful time of the year. National Tulip Day was first celebrated last year, to honor the start of tulip season. Dam Square is a vast, gray, cobblestone plain at the heart of the city. To see it filled with thousands of tulips must be a magical, breathtaking sight.

And they’re all free for the picking. Heavenly.

Tulpendag 2012, Dam Square, Amsterdam. Photo credit: Lianca Ruiter.

This blog has been horribly neglected since last fall. I’ve been busy launching my interior design business! It’s called ROI Design, interior design and organization for busy, growing families. I am trying to figure out — philosophically and technologically — how to marry my two blogs, because I’ve learned that I don’t “work to live” or “live to work.” Work and life are not and cannot be separated. My work is an extension and expression of my self as a mother, woman, wife, and artist. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy Tulip Day!

via Tulpendag! A Day of Free Tulips in Amsterdam | Garden Design.

remember

NYCtwintowerswallcoo
I grew up in central New Jersey. For 27 years of my life, this was what I saw every time I went to New York City. Seeing the Twin Towers meant I was heading to a magical, inspiring, bohemian, invincible place of art, theater, architecture, street vendors, music, nightclubs, weirdos, sex, drugs, and roasted peanuts. It is impossible to erase this image and the feeling of anticipation from my memory.

I still look for the World Trade Center towers in the Manhattan skyline. Even though I know they’re gone, I can’t help it. I want them to still be there.

That day, I didn’t lose any loved ones, even though I have dozens of friends and family who could have been there. That day, I was at work in Boston, so I didn’t feel the dust from the towers on my skin or in my home. That day changed countless lives forever. That day is a day I want my children to understand… someday.

How To Talk To Children About 9/11 from Child Mind Institute

oh my, it’s been a while

I’ve been busy, uninspired, procrastinating, stressed out, and just plain lazy. Reading begets writing, and I haven’t been.

Instead, I’ve been going to summer field trips, school concerts, kindergarten graduations, birthday parties, and parent meetings. I signed up for a CSA, found a drop-off class for D, registered H for summer camp, painted my stairway (finally!) and took first steps towards starting my own business. We bought a new car and still managed to scrape together H’s tuition for next year. I took the kids to NJ to see Papa and Gramma, and we hung out with friends at Sebago Lake in Maine.

Friday was my 38th birthday (though I just keep saying I’m 40 to get myself used to the idea by the time it happens). I’ve been home for a full year. It’s time to motivate. Just do it (thanks Nike). No excuses.

more to come…