Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zee End!

That was the title of my last post for this past year's A to Z challenge (written at the end of -- ahem -- October), and methinks it will become an annual tradition.

It just seems fitting.

This year's challenge didn't feel so much like a challenge, at least not in the struggle and effort sense. Overall it went by smoothly, peacefully, effortlessly and harmoniously. I enjoyed pondering posts, waiting for a word to pop to mind associated with the day's letter and, much like my other writing, listening and watching within for the path the ideas and words would take as they formed themselves. At that point, my job is simply (or not so simply, depending on the project) to help the process along as scribe, midwife, editor and watcher of wonder.

I've also enjoyed the daily habit of writing at least something and look forward to continuing it with this blog. As I've heard other writers say, the act of engaging in one form of writing provides inspiration for other works. So, as I've been blogging, the many books that have been dancing around in my head for quite some time have indeed started forming themselves more substantively and pushing with the urgency to be expressed. It's like a faucet that, once opened, enables a steady flow to come forth from the wellspring.

All that said, I'm very happy to share this:

Thanks so much for following along during the past month, and for your supportive comments. I look forward to engaging with you for a long time to come. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


If I were a yodeler, I'd definitely be doing it right now. Tomorrow is the last day of the A to Z blog challenge, and it's wonderful to have it be almost complete. It also feels rather unreal that it's been nearly a month since we started.

The cleaning out progress also makes me rather feel like yodeling. Lots still to accomplish, but I moved my plan to vacate out a week. That helps. A lot.

What makes you feel like yodeling? :)

Monday, April 28, 2014


I don't know if you've checked the dictionary lately, but the number of words that start with the letter X are quite limited. Xanadu is the only one that kept coming to mind for today's post. And by that I mean this part of Merriam-Webster's definition: "an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place."

Right now, my Xanadu is in a silver Airstream Interstate parked in a glorious wood -- which, of course, the munchkin and I arrived at by taking a road less traveled by.

The literature references were quite unexpected. :)

What and where is your Xanadu?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Glorious Days

My new favorite word seems to be glorious. 

It's been my go-to adjective to describe the beautiful sunny weather we are having more frequently.

It's been an apt way to express the wonderfully free-feeling days I've been experiencing of late. 

It's been the thought that runs through my mind as my car now shifts normally after seeming like it was having significant transmission issues.

It's what popped out my mouth with a breathy quality when asked about how my massage was with the new therapist at my chiropractor's office.

And more. So much to be grateful for and appreciative of. Mucho, mucho.

What's glorious in your world?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wild and Wooly Saturday

Not really. It's actually been a rather quiet and restful day. But I felt like adding a bit of irony to the blog, and I figured a little alliteration can make almost any title more interesting.

After having such a productive day yesterday -- getting a quite long list of things done -- I needed to recoup today. A mama reminder that I did enough work yesterday for two days, so a rest was probably in order, was true and timely.

So, I'm winding down here, looking forward to tomorrow, and mentally plotting my next steps in the packing and moving process. With each box packed, and each carload taken to the storage unit, I feel freer and freer. Simply amazing.

How's your weekend going?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Very Productive Day

Things are moving along here. Got several items checked off my to-do list, and got the stuff-into-storage process under way today. (Does that usage of "under way" sound familiar?) ;)

Productivity feels good, particularly when it's helping move me toward a long-desired goal. 

What kind of productivity are you happy to have under your belt on this beautiful Friday?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Under Way

I've been having a rather funny conversation today with my very-like-me mama about being a fussbudget. She has her own versions of that, and I have mine. Not surprisingly, there's some overlap. 

The fussbudget quality often expresses itself when I'm editing, or reading something. I love the nuances of word usage -- and I love it even more when words are used correctly. For example, did you know that "under way" is almost always two words? True dat. As the AP Stylebook explains, it's one word when it appears before a noun and it's acting as an adjective relating to things nautical: An underway boat.

So there you have it -- my editing tip for the day, and a description for the state of the moving process in these here parts.

What's under way in your world today?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Totally Stoked

The excitement is building. The more that gets done, the freer I feel and the closer the goal seems. 

One week. Totally stoked is a good way to describe it. :)

How's your week going so far?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Still Moving

With eight days left to go, my mantra has become Don't think. Just do. 

Off to do. Enjoy your day!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Somewhat surprisingly, I went to church yesterday. I haven't been in quite a while, partly because it's been a number of years since I've felt like I've had a real church home. 

Sitting my butt on a cushy, padded pew in a beautiful old church listening to a masterful message, it definitely felt like I had come home. 

The sense of renewal today is palpable, no doubt from that experience as well as the continued progress with packing boxes, keeping moving and clearing things out. With nine days left until vacate day, there's still a tremendous amount to do. The overwhelm threatens to do its thing moment to moment, but it's kept at bay by putting one foot in front of the other. 

Again and again. :)

How is the start to your week going?

Saturday, April 19, 2014


No boxes got packed today, but after a few loads of laundry, many hours of cleaning and some grocery shopping, I've reached my work quotient for the day. Tomorrow will be a significant packing and preparing-items-for-Goodwill day. 

Those will be new Easter activities for me. If you celebrate Easter, how are you planning to spend it?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Progress, Not Perfection

A friend calls herself a recovering perfectionist. I suppose I could consider myself one, too, though I did make the switch in my mind some years ago to striving for excellence rather than perfection. At the time, I'd come to see that the latter is a prescription for stress, exhaustion and general unhappiness, while the former maintains a high standard but allows for much more sanity in daily life. But old habits do occasionally die hard, and it's no secret that we women are harder on ourselves than anyone else could be.

These days, I find tremendous freedom and self-gentleness in continually refocusing my attention on the amount of progress I've made toward something, rather than how much still needs to be done -- or how I could have done it (whatever it is) better.

Progress. It's a wonderful thing. :) 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Out of the three options that came to mind for O posts today, this was the first. In the spirit of initial instincts, I'm going with expressing opinions.

There's a common expression about opinions and how everyone has one and all that. (If you're familiar with it, you know what I'm talking about. If you're not, I'm not gonna repeat it.) :)

When it comes right down to it, I tend toward believing that the expression actually expresses a good bit of wisdom. I'll put it a little more diplomatically with a brief story.

Last year a friend was sharing about a challenging situation in her life. It involved the kind of decision that would be impactful -- life-changing, even -- not only for her, but also for her loved ones. I listened and, I feel, more importantly, I refrained from offering an opinion, even when she asked what I thought. My response was, "It doesn't matter what I think." 

It really didn't matter. Such an important decision could only be her own. Furthermore, what did matter in that moment was that I was willing to be present, to listen and to love her as she engaged in such a weighty process. 

I find myself offering an opinion to folks every once in a while, particularly when I'm tired or when my usual filters are down. Ordinarily I try very hard not to do that, and instead to listen and ask relevant questions that may help provide clarity or insight during a decision-making process. In my experience, it's amazing to see how very powerful the acts of being present, listening and asking questions are, and what little value the act of expressing an opinion really has.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Never Woulda Thunkit

During my first full winter in Maine, several years ago, we got a good bit of snow on April 1. That was quite a wonder to me.

Well, imagine my surprise when I opened the blinds this morning and saw this scene outside my bedroom window.

Morning greeting (please excuse the window glare)
At first, nothing seemed amiss to my sleepy mind, because I had woken up to such a sight many times this winter. Snow, that is. 

However, it's April 16 -- and all that snow was not there yesterday. Granted, we still had some small, stubborn piles of the white-turned-dirty-black stuff that had been piled up by the snow plow. But that blanket of it was certainly not there.

Furthermore, haven't I been writing about how spring has sprung here???

Needless to say, once my sleepy mind woke up a bit, I realized that it had indeed snowed overnight as a friend said it might. Yesterday my landlord took the winter shovel and bin of melting salt off my deck to put into storage, and we were talking about how we hoped that report of snow was wrong and we'd get rain instead.

Thankfully there's not much of the powdery stuff, and it is melting quickly. I just find it all quite humorous. And, like most Mainers, the thought in my mind is enough already!

Here are a couple more photos of the white stuff, for your viewing pleasure.

View directly out the door

Alas, there's one last snow sweeping to be done this season

What unexpected thing happened in your world today?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mo' Taxes

Simply put, I'm in the thick of it.

Overall, the process is going a bit more smoothly than expected. But it's gotta get done, so I better get back to it.

For my fellow Americans, I hope your tax season has gone a bit more smoothly than expected, too. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Leaning Tree and a Lovely Hike

What a lovely surprise it was this morning to get an email from a friend with an invitation to go on a hike. I jumped at the opportunity and worked on getting ready to go.

As I took the munchkin for a walk before leaving, I also pondered what to write about today for the letter L. Right in front of me was what I call the leaning tree. It's my favorite tree on the five-acre property where I live. I sometimes think of the leaning tower of Pisa when I look at it and feel like I have my little own version of it right here in Maine.

The leaning tree, gracing the right side
of the photo

Some of the first hopeful shoots of the year --
at the base of the leaning tree

The hike was fabulous. The sun was shining, and the day offered a temp in the area of 60 degrees. I ended up wearing a winter vest, which was not really needed while hiking but it was definitely appreciated at the windy summit. (I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, because although it was officially called the summit, it was just my kind to attain -- meaning getting there wasn't excessively challenging. It was only a mile or so of a doable incline along a forested path, with the only real challenge being navigating the mud from the snow melt.)

Here's the view from the top, which certainly doesn't do the summit experience justice.

Hope you're having a great Monday!  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday ... Blues?

Today is technically a day to take a break from blogging during the A to Z challenge, but I'd miss hanging out with y'all if I didn't write something. So, I'll share that it's rainy and somewhat gray here in Maine, giving off a just-chill-out-and-rest vibe.

Alas, there is much to do, including taxes (which, yes, I'm doing at the last minute -- but that likely wouldn't be a surprise to you if you read my JIT post from the other day) and packing (which, surprisingly, I would much rather be doing than taxes).

I'm about to get busy continuing with tax preparation while holding pleasant thoughts of some good, restful breaks throughout the day. We'll see how it goes.

How are you spending your Sunday?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kickin' Spring!

Spring has finally arrived in Maine, and it is glorious! The sun is shining, the temp is about 60 degrees and the air smells like someone sprayed that unmistakable spring scent everywhere. I've got the windows and French doors open to create a luxurious cross-breeze -- and I'm wearing a fleece jacket and my Wicked Good LL Bean slippers to be able to enjoy it fully.

Spring is a welcome event to just about everyone, for a variety of wondrous reasons. But for those of us who live in colder climates where winter can last a good bit after spring has officially arrived, coming out of winter hibernation is an event to celebrate indeed.

That, combined with the progress I'm making in terms of preparation for the upcoming move and the calendar rapidly counting down the days toward it, contributes to the feelings of happiness, excitement and anticipation that I just can't seem to shake these days.

What is spring heralding in your neck of the woods?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Just in Time

Like many writers, I'm pretty deadline oriented. That's why, more and more, I find myself writing posts for the A to Z challenge as the clock ticks toward midnight, even though the content has been gestating since I woke up and started thinking about whatever letter happened to be on tap for the day.

That just-in-time quality plays out in interesting ways. Often I'll feel that I really should be doing this or that, based on whatever my mind has determined is the appropriate order of priority, but I'll feel an internal impetus to do something else -- or I'll simply drag my feet about getting said appropriate thing done and engage in some self-chastisement for procrastinating. Again.

Then an awareness comes along in one form or another that makes it clear why I didn't go ahead and do that seemingly appropriate thing when I thought I should. Or I won't discover any sort of why, but after putting off a task for a good bit I'll just go ahead and get it done, without fanfare and rather effortlessly. And yet again it becomes clear that there is an order to things that is not always apparent to my thinking mind, that what appears to be procrastination on my part is sometimes part of a divine delay and that divine timing is always right on time.

Particularly when it involves a deadline.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Internal Impetuses

Around these parts, being a native of the state is an important distinction. As I described in a previous post, if you weren't actually born in the state, you're from away -- even if you've been around since a young age and spent your growing up years here. So, during common getting-to-know-you conversations, a question often arises about whether or not "native" status applies.

When it becomes clear that I'm from away, it's rather inevitable that I'll be asked what brought me here. I usually answer with some form of the response, "I have a strong internal guidance system that tells me where to go, when to go, etc." 

That is true. For the past 12 years or so, I have been honing the ability to tune in to what that internal guidance system is trying to tell me. Whether you call it spirit, the Self, the universe, the quantum field, creator or some other name, there is a part of all of us that is infinitely wise and knows the path ahead even when we can't see it. And that part is ready and willing to help guide us, step by step, to our desires if we are willing to get quiet, tune in and listen.

And, of course, to then heed the guidance. That takes courage, but in my experience it is soooo worth it. While challenges still arise in various forms, life flows much more easily, peacefully and harmoniously when I take the steps I am guided to take. Conversely, things feel much harder, more painful, and full of struggle and effort when I don't listen and respond accordingly.

What is your internal impetus sharing with you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Home: What It Means

As I think I mentioned in a previous blog post from a ways back, before settling in my current apartment nearly four years ago, I had moved 14 times in 17 years.

No typos or exaggeration there.

Some of the moves were from coast to coast, or region to region. Others were in state due to a variety of reasons, from a separation during my marriage in the Northeast to mold in my home in the Southeast. About halfway through that time period, I started to wonder what the heck was going on. My brain went on overdrive asking all sorts of questions, like What's wrong with me? Why can't I just settle down? Will I ever find a place where I can just be happy? 

It was through wrangling with those questions, and really getting to know myself well as the birthdays began to tick along through the 30s, that I started to accept the clear fact that I am a natural nomad. If I stay in one place for too long -- say a couple of years -- I get restless and want to move on, no matter how much I might enjoy that place or how much of a sense of community has been established.

The nomadic part of me was rather a surprise, once acknowledged, because my family had not been that way. I spent half my growing up years in one house and the other half in another, and my parents kept the latter for a dozen years or so after I graduated college. That house was always what I referred to as "home." But my own home as an adult was much more elusive. I came to realize how much truth is reflected in the phrase "Home is where the heart is." My version of that became "Home is wherever I am with my four-legged kids."

Now I know that home exists inside myself. External environment is certainly very important; I need a peaceful, quiet place to just be when I am inside four walls, and a four-legged companion is also necessary. But no four walls constitute home anymore. I am looking forward to acquiring a lovely house on wheels that will enable the munchkin and I to enjoy a good number of creature comforts as we explore new places, spend time with those we love and forge new relationships. And hopefully do a lot of picture taking and writing along the way.

What does home mean to you?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gettin' Goin'

Despite the raring-to-go feeling in my brain, I've had a hard time getting the body to respond in kind. The past three days I've been lying low to help the creeping crud that wants to get a full-blown foothold stay below the radar. That's been necessary, because part of the M.O. of said creeping crud is to kick one's butt and demand rest.

So, I've been taking it easy while feeling the deadline to the end of the month ticking down. It will all get done, as it always does. I'm just hoping it will come together as peacefully, harmoniously and relatively effortlessly as possible.

What's happening in your world?

Monday, April 7, 2014


As the cleaning up and out process continues, I'm coming across pieces of paper with things I've handwritten on them over the years. Sometimes the content is an outline of my dreams and aspirations, or what my perfect day looks like. Other pages have bits of inspiration or loving, direct messages that I've downloaded (as I like to call it) from that there power greater than myself. 

What I've noticed is how very consistent -- even repetitive -- the messages are. In the day-to-day aspect of being quite human, I often fall back into the forgetting until another message comes along to gently remind me.

One of the reasons I'm feeling such excitement and sheer happiness as this move unfolds is that I'm experiencing those dreams and aspirations, so long held, finally coming to fruition. And that feels like freedom to me. There's certainly a wonderful sense of freedom in circumstances, like the ability to pick up and move at will -- particularly because I don't have children or a spouse to consider. But more than that, the joy and the freedom that accompanies the manifestation of long-sought desires and intentions is an exquisite experience unlike any other.

These are just a couple of ways freedom is showing up for me right now. What does freedom look -- and feel -- like to you?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Day of Rest

For the A to Z blog challenge, Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest. But I find myself so excited -- still -- about the blog writing and everything else going on that it's hard to contain myself.

I mean that quite literally. After the burst of inspiration and energy to pack yesterday, I woke up this morning raring to go. At least part of me was. The flow is still there, inviting me to step in and continue to allow it to carry me forward. But today, the flesh is weak. I can feel my physical body needing rest, and some suspicious sniffles and congestion creeping in. They're the kind of advance warning system my body provides when I've been overdoing it. I've learned to heed the call for downtime, because when I don't the body will force rest through a larger bit of yuck and muck via head or chest congestion of one sort or another.

I don't need the 2x4s to get my attention anymore, so I'm forcing myself to take it easy so that I can get back at it all tomorrow. Yeeehaaaa! :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I'm starting to feel realllllly excited. But I have to say that I've also done wore myself out.

After an earlyish online appointment this morning, I felt the urge to pack. As of 11:11 p.m., I had gotten a good number of boxes filled and sealed up and several bags ready to go to Goodwill, and I had done a significant amount of what I call puttering throughout the day getting various things done. 

It's all been productive, useful and directly related to this shifting of gears, and I am very happy at the progress. I'm working on focusing on that and not all that remains to be done. The latter is a prescription for overwhelm, and I'd like to avoid that particular feeling during this glorious process.

I'm finding a lot of clarity as things move along. This evening I came across some decor-type things that I had enjoyed at one time, and I still find relatively pleasing. But there's no doubt in my mind that it's time to release them to someone for whom they fit right now. The items that will go into storage are the ones that I know I'll enjoy rediscovering when I open the just-packed boxes at some point in the future. Anything that I feel so-so about or represents what I'm willing to let go of is slated for release.

A big chunk of clarity arrived late yesterday afternoon in the form of a definitive mental game plan about the way forward and specific next steps. That felt wonderful and no doubt fueled the impetus to pack and get busy today. 

Glorious indeed. Happy weekend to you.  

Friday, April 4, 2014


I find it interesting how the decision-making process works. Recent case in point: I spent a good bit of time sitting with the decision to give notice about moving out of my apartment. I considered the timing, weighed the practicality of the stay-versus-go options, and wrastled (spelling intended) with the fear and uncertainty that came up about making such a change.

Once I made a go-forward decision and gave notice, I got one of those perfectly timed universal confirmations and affirmations. I've come to recognize them as such. The next day, I got an email and a call about an interview for a potential temp-to-hire job through a placement agency. This was the third time the agency had sent my resume to a client during the past 10 months or so, but the first time I had gotten word of an interview. And it took a couple of weeks to hear back.

I took note of the fact that I didn't hear about the interview last week, while I was still in full-blown decision-making mode -- or even the day before I gave notice, or the day of. Instead, the notification came the day after. When something like that happens, I feel as if the universe is saying, post-decision, "Are you sure you don't want this? Because you could have it." Perhaps an even more gentle way of looking at it is the universe saying, "If you really want to stay, here is a way."

What I had to ask myself was this: Which decision gives more life? I know where the stay-and-take-the-job path leads. It may seem safer and more certain temporarily, but it usually results in greater restlessness and the desire to move on in short order. The other path, which requires a good-sized leap of faith into the unknown, can be much more fruitful. It's scarier at first, but very rich with possibilities. Indeed, it's the stuff that the fulfillment of dreams is made of.

So, I leap. And I do it with joy and anticipation in my heart and spirit.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cleaning Up, and Out

It feels like Day One of the cleaning up and out process, though in reality that has already been under way. I've started with small things over the past week -- getting the dishes washed and put away, cleaning the bathroom, pulling clothes out of the closet and placing them in bags to go to Goodwill. With a deadline of the end of the month to vacate, I've got to move forward steadily and consistently every day to accomplish the task at hand.

I'm aware of the symbology inherent in all of this. For years I have been simplifying my lifestyle, releasing more and more physical things with every geographical move. The blessing at the end of the process each time has been experiencing another layer of freedom, and the ability to breathe a little deeper -- at least until I was ready for the next round of releasing. After spending time within yet another set of four walls, inevitably I'd find myself sitting with similar issues of feeling overwhelmed, unable to get a handle on organizing all the stuff, and wondering when the happy and the joy of life could get started in earnest.

It hit me about six months ago how reflective the circumstances of my external environment were of my internal environment. That may seem like a "Well, duh!" kind of statement, but sometimes the things we have the hardest time seeing what may, quite literally, be right in front of us. More importantly, I realized what was being reflected from the inside on the outside. After becoming aware that something is there, it is not necessarily immediately apparent what it's all about.

Ya gotta love those aha moments when things become clear. That's when real change, or movement or progress starts to happen. I find it to be intriguing and, overall, pretty fabulous.   

So, I'm off to tackle parts of external environment and make some more of that lovely progress. Happy day to you. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I've missed it.

It's interesting how the energy to write -- or not to write -- ebbs and flows. It definitely ebbed in relation to this blog in November, and a couple of weeks ago it started to flow again. I felt strongly drawn back here, like an inevitable calling. And then voila: I find that it's time for the A to Z Challenge again. 

One reason I love blogging is that it so accurately reflects life. As a blogger, I get to share everything I feel comfortable with about my own journey -- from the joys to the messiness along the way. Readers get to see it all. In some ways, it feels more intriguing than fiction. When there's a willingness on both sides to genuinely engage, it seems to me that the shorter, more personal and very real nature of a blog allows for a rather unique kind of connection. 

Not that there are always readers. I find myself talking to you, the reader, but not being attached to whether there's anyone there to receive the words. That, I suppose, is what writing for the love of it feels like.

Speaking of messiness, I was proud of myself for writing 26 blog posts last year in the spirit of the A to Z Challenge. Granted, it took seven months, but it got done. I didn't make it through NaNoWriMo as I had hoped, either. I did write more for a book than I ever have, making it to about 15,000 words. The goal was 50,000. Perhaps the successful effort in this year's April blogging challenge will carry over and provide a boost for November to finish the novel-writing challenge.

That's my intention. We'll see how it actually plays out in this trippy adventure we're all on.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A New Beginning

Today is shaping up to be chock full of meaning.

It is absolutely a new beginning. First order of business: It's time for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Hard to believe that nearly a full year has gone by since I heard about this cool endeavor from Lynne and her Winnie Views blog. But, sure enough, when I checked Lynne's site this morning, I saw that she has signed on for the challenge again. This year -- particularly given that I am officially participating -- I intend to get the challenge completed in the allotted time frame.


The second piece of the new beginning is that I gave notice to my landlords today that I'll be leaving my small, well-loved home of nearly four years. I have been itching to move on for about a couple of years now, but have found that a mixture of timing, circumstances, and reluctance to leave what is known and familiar has kept me here. Now, though, it's become abundantly clear that it's time to change things up and go visiting. My hope is that a recreational vehicle is in my near future so I can get that part of the "trippy" under way. Time will definitely tell.

I'm also fond of this date because it is the anniversary of a beloved four-legged being coming into my life. At the time, Elmo was a four-month-old pit bull brought home rather impulsively by my former husband. I hadn't wanted to add another pet to our mix; life seemed full enough with the dog and cat we already had. But when I got home from work that day, I was first greeted at the bottom of the stairs by our rather large adult dog. Following him was Elmo, thumping down the stairs with his too-big paws to say hello. My resolve to not want him melted at the adorable way he maneuvered the stairs in what looked like his first-ever attempt. In that moment he took up a place in my heart that he will always hold. His departure from this world nine years later -- far too suddenly -- happened just three days before the munchkin's entrance. If ever I wonder if I am loved and cared for by a force greater than myself, all I have to do is look at Clifford and know that it is true. A trio of days after losing Elmo, there was an unexpected answer to the deep sadness in the form of a mouse-sized week-old puppy that was placed into my hand. Even though he didn't come home with me for another six weeks, the thought of Clifford was a positive, hope-full aspect of life until he did.

Anyhoo, good things are happening. And it certainly feels good.