words - the old fashioned way


As much as I love having the option to vlog it up, I will always go back to my one, true love: the written word. Each style has its own flair and personality, but for me, the written word is somehow more intimate and in the moment and is therefore my preferred method of blogging. But since writing is what I do by trade as a full time student, it's nice to have another way to be an active b/vlogger and stay connected.

So, now that my holiday bake-a-thon is over, I have a total sugar hangover and feel kinda yucky, both physically due to the sugar and mentally because I'm still procrastinating with my study efforts for tomorrow's exam. I'm just kinda hovering in this uncomfortable zone of uncertainty, while still denying the brevity of the situation.

After being in the kitchen all day, I craved some cold winter air in my lungs and decided to walk up to the liquor store to get some juice, ya know, as a study aide ;) So I bundled up and braced myself for the brisk, 3 block walk. As I opened the front door, I got hit with the most unusual sensation, kinda like taking a sip of soda that turns out to be milk. I was expecting to be met by a wave of cool, invigorating air, but was instead engulfed by an unusually balmy air mass. It felt like spring, and it smelled like sping, too. The air was pregnant with possibility, like the way it feels on that very first warm night when you can go without your winter jacket and you feel free, like the world is your oyster and anything can happen. Except it didn't feel that way at all. It was disorienting, especially as I walked (
completely bundled in winter wool) by row homes dressed in holiday lights and cheer.

Winter, especially "holiday winter" has its own sense of possibility, that, to me, goes hand-in-hand with cold weather, snow, icicles, the North Pole, etc. So tonight as I walked through the balmy air, I didnt know how to feel. It was like I couldn't embrace the holidays AND the balm; I had to choose one, and since I'm definitely in the holiday spirit, I pretended like it was chilly and kept my wool on, despite the sweat.

Happy holidays!

sweet denial



a request...


I feel the need to start every blog lately acknowledging the fact that I've been a horrible blogger... I'm sorry. For those who still check-in, I really appreciate it. It's not for lack of wanting to blog, it's just that times is tuff...

Today, for example, I'm once again workin' on a deadline. I have 3 ten-pagers due on Monday and Tuesday, and although I'll put in a solid 20 minutes or so, as soon as I have a paragraph done, my mind wanders and I find myself googling "head neck cancer stage four", or, "side effects of chemotherapy", or, "mortality rate stage four head neck cancer", or, "genetic disposition cancer".

I go back and forth in my mind, from feeling optimistic to feeling devastated, but no matter what my mindset, my faith is constant andI know that no matter what, we're all ok. This will be ok. We can handle this. It won't be easy; it will hurt; it does suck like a vaacuum, but... we're all ok.

For those that are familiar with my family, you know that we've had our share of accidents, illnesses and loses, but the one thing that has kept us together through it all is faith. Not neccesarily faith that our desired outcome will occur, because if that were true than sorrow would never exist, but faith that we'll have the strength to handle whatever comes our way. And so that's where we're at right now, especially in regards to my dad, who is undergoing a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment We are praying for two things specifically:
1. that my dad can handle this toxic "treatment"
2. that it works

So I write today to ask you to hop on board and with this prayer. No matter if you pray, meditate, engage in intentional thought, whatever... please take some time today to offer up some love and prayers for my dad, that he can handle the toxic chemo and that it works.

Thank you so much my dear friends...
much love to you

all done


A cademic yet absurd
L ong and laborious
L ate-night style with a dash of luck

D one, despite the distractions, delays, daydreams and dubs
O ut of my hands now
N ight is fading, better get some sleep
E mpty. Running on empty. Empty...



Like most of you, I spent last Tuesday night glued to my television, in a state of semi-paralysis due to a mixture of joyful anticipation and total fear. I knew deep in my heart that Obama would win, but I've come to be very skeptical of our electorate system, plus, I was fearful that the much-talked-about Bradley Effect might actually be an issue.

On one hand, I felt like Obama had it in the bag the moment the Maverick picked his co-maverick running
-mate, but on the other hand, Obama was a black man running for the highest office in a country where racism still runs deep and where the politics of fear often outweigh the politics of hope. The polls said one thing, but who knew what was truly in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. Would America buy into the fear that Barack Hussein Obama was an anti-American who pal'ed around with terrorists, or would they see the past the desperation of the fear-based McCain campaign and actually vote for an African American liberal (gasp!)

I didn't know. Or, I guess I did know, but I wasn't convinced until the fat lady sung. For most of you, that fattie was California, but for me, I nodded off soon after Obama won Ohio (love you Ohio!) and woke up to McCain giving his concession speech. McCain was my fat lady, and his song was music to my ears. As I opened my eyes and realized the reality of the situation, I freaked out. Initially the freak out was internal, but after a minute or two of mild shock and internal freak out, I ran into the bedroom and woke Jay up. "Hey, wake up, Obama won! Obama won!" Jay's eyes opened really wide, and like a child full of wonder, he said "He diiiid?" We shared a big hug and a "oh my goodness!" And then he fell back asleep.

Me? Oh no, sleep wouldn't come for many hours. I needed to jump and shout and hug more people; I needed to start processing this HUGE moment. So I ran out into the streets, pajamas and all, to celebrate with my neighbors. I ran out my front door and headed up the hill towards the Obama office on G'town Ave. Horns were honkin, strangers were huggin' in their jams and everyone was jumping and screaming for joy. I've never seen anything like it. At one point a bus pulled up to the corner, and the passengers clearly hadn't heard the news yet, as they looked pretty mellow, but as our screams of joy got their attention, one by one they started to scream for joy and we shared this amazing moment together. Then the light turned green and their celebration-on-wheels rolled on down the avenue. It was pretty surreal.

After 20 minutes of street-corner celebration, I came home and watched his victory speech. And then I layed in bed, wide awake, and prayed. First I gave thanks for this amazing moment in history, but then I prayed for the safety of the Obama family, and for wisdom, discernment and strength for Barack as he takes the messed-up reigns from GW. And then I prayed for us, the American people, that we can come together after this divisive two-year election and work together to keep creating "a more perfect union; an America we can all be proud of. If there's one thing the Obama campaign showed me, it's that the power belongs to the people, and that great things, seemingly impossible things, happen when everyone takes an active role in the fate of their country. The election may be over, but the real work begins now. Whether or not you supported Obama or agree with his views, I hope you can agree to disagree and roll up your sleeves... because America needs you!

Now for some photos...

This was taken at an Obama rally right down the street from my house in October. Although the photo doesn't show it well, Obama is on a stage just to the right of the American flag on the left side. There were between 15,000 - 20,000 people there, and it was amazing!

This is a mural (in North Philadelphia) of Jackie Robinson, another "first" in African American history. I took this on election day, on my way to school. I couldn't help but feel inspired by it.

Hundreds of these signs were posted all over the city on election day. I took pictures of them as I drove through many different neighborhoods. I wish I would have snatched one for my collection of Obama memorabelia ;)

Happy ObamaRama! I hope whatever your politics, you are enjoying this moment in American history!



It's been awhile, I know, but it's also been awhile since I've felt normal.

There's been so much going on, and even though I've wanted to blog about it, I've felt this enormous lump in my throat which has kept me quiet. You know that feeling? Like when you feel so much and have so much to say but don't know where to start, so you keep it all in. It builds up and becomes this proverbial lump in the throat, preventing you from saying anything. After time, it builds and builds until you feel like there is an inflating balloon in your throat, expanding down into your lungs and up into your mouth.

That's how I've been feeling. I just didn't know where to start. And even if i did know, I haven't had a spare moment to indulge in a blog. But I have a pocket of time this morning, and so I guess I'll start with my dad's lump in his throat.

That's right, my dad had a lump in his throat too, but it wasn't from feeling emotionally overwhelmed; it was the real deal, and it was big. About 10 years ago, he had a similar lump (ok, who am I kidding, it was a tumor) on the other side of his neck, which was benign and surgically removed. So when this one came onto the scene, we thought nothing of it, just another pesky benign tumor and another surgical removal. No big deal.

It's a long story, but the morning of his surgery at Johns Hopkins, which i had no intention of going to, I received a call from my mom. She informed me, in that fake calm voice where I could tell she had a major lump in her throat, that things were much more serious than we all had anticipated. The tumor was large, had grown all up into his facial nerve system, was malignant, the malignancy had spread into his lymph nodes and there were "hot spots" (potential cancer) in his lungs and chest. Mind you, I was at work when this call came in, and I was making my client a grilled cheese sandwich. That is A LOT of information to process while trying not to burn a grilled cheese sandwich.

One minute I'm making the sandwich and the next minute I find out that my dad has cancer which has spread through his body. Hmmm. My dad was in surgery, my mom was terrified and more importantly, she was alone. And that is a very dangerous combination, so I called Jay, had a quick cry, and drove down to Baltimore to be with my mom.

My dad was in surgery for over 10 hours that day. Now he is healing and preparing for the long road of chemotherapy and radiation ahead of him, and our family is trying to process what all of this means. The "C" word constantly reverberates through my mind, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, scaring the crap out of me.

In the beginning, I didn't know how to feel because my parents represent two opposing sides of the coping style spectrum. My mom, on one side of the spectrum, thinks way too much and goes into "worst case scenario" mode, full of anxiety and panic. My dad, on the other side of the spectrum, tends to downplay everything and is cool as a cucumber no matter what. I joke that if my dad were shot in the head, he would say, "it's ok, it's just a headache, nothing a tylenol can't fix". So in the beginning, my mom was in full anxiety mode, talking as if my dad were going to die, and then my dad was in full "everyting's irie" mode, acting as if chemo and radiation were regular errands on his weekend "to do" list, right in between grocery shopping and trips to Home Depot.

So I didn't know who to trust. Where on this spectrum was the reality of the situation? Well, my mom has calmed down and has been blessed with the deep peace of God, so now I'm feeling like, ok, this is just a little cancer, nothing a little chemo and radiation can't fix.

Some days I feel more like my mom, other days I feel like my dad, but most days I feel like a perfect 50/50 combo, which I am ;)
It is a big deal, he will suffer nasty side effects of the treatments, but he will be ok. At the end of the day, this is just another occurance in life that reminds me to be grateful for each moment, because we never know which moment will bring joy or sorrow. One moment you're making grilled cheese, and the next moment your dad has cancer. Life is anything but boring.

I can't say what tomorrow's moments will hold, all I know is that this moment is perfect, and I refuse to ruin this perfect moment in anticipation of tomorrow's moments.

Thank you for reading, and for caring. And thank you for waiting... My lump is gone!



It's that day again...

I don't know if it was a conscious decision or not, but all day I have buried myself in busyness. About 30 minutes ago, I stopped being busy and all sorts of feelings came bubbling up to the surface. If you've been a regular of my blog for at least a year, then you know what today is. If not, well, my big brother Steve died 11 years ago today. Unreal, but true.

So in the spirit of keeping him alive in spirit, here are some great memories of me & my brother Steve:

Steve, me, Scott

Classic summertime fun in the backyard

This is a picture of Steve and my little sister Katie. He was in the Navy when she was born and was so excited to come home and meet his new little bundle of sister! Note the age difference... my parents sure know how to space 'em out ;)

Classic summer roadtrips in the family truckster - Griswald style!

Steve & Katie - 2 peas in a pod

Our Family circa 1985 - note the wood panel walls and crazy red couch. Stylin'!

Our family portrait looks different these days; I'm married to Jay, Scott's married to Kimberly, Katie is no longer bald nor is she a newborn, in fact she just graduated college, Mom and Dad are older, wiser and grayer, and Steve is, well, Steve is eternally 29.

Stephen T. Carmody
11.28.67 - 9.27.97
Until we meet again, shine on brother!




I'm feelin' a little shy. Whenever I don't blog for a week I tend to feel shy and like I have to stand up in front of the class and introduce myself. So here I am, totally exposed and exhausted from this new and busy life I'm leading but wanting to say hi and check in with my cyber-peeps.

I'm very sleep-deprived these days, dehydrated, short-tempered, a little (or a lot) overwhelmed, and in the process of getting sick. But hey, I signed up for all of it and just like the little engine that could, I know I can make it! Not only can I make it; I can thrive!

So that's what's doin' with me, what about you? How are you feeling? Are you sleep deprived and dehydrated too? Or are you one of those sleep indulged, hydrated types who only work two days a week? If so, you need a slap-down! ooops, there goes my temper. Guess I better go to bed and get my daily "nap" in. lovins...

bitter with the sweet


I had a client who, when asked "how're you doing", would always smile and say, "I'm pretty good, ya know, you gotta take the bitter with the sweet". I recently had to part ways with this particular gentleman, but I find myself hearing his catch-phrase in my mind pretty frequently these days.

In a nutshell, I've been given some fantastic opportunities (the sweet), but they require a very hectic and intense lifestyle (the bitter) for the next 8-9 months. These opportunities are both highly concentrated in the area of social work, specifically the realms I am interested in (poverty and policy) and therefore I am fully committed and up for the challenges. BUT, I am also very interested in and committed to the pursuit of leisure and having a social life! But between school, my job, my internship at The Center for Social Policy & Community Development (opportunity #1) and my new job working for the Director of the Social Work (bachelor) program at Temple University (opportunity #2), I have no free time!

So that's where I'm at; I'm trying to balance the busyness with some down-time, and not just down-time but fun-time! It's hard though... so please bear with me as I try to navigate this new lifestyle. You all know how much I love to chill, yet these next few months will be anything but chill. Challenging, stimulating and exhausting -yes; chill? NO.

But, like my old client used to say, I just gotta smile, be grateful, and take the bitter with the sweet.

comic relief




The moon is nothing short of amazing.

I just went outside and sat on the porch and couldn't help but notice the overwhelming beauty of the full moon. I was born under a full moon and my mom's water broke as she was walking on the beach alongside the ocean, so I am a total lunar baby. As much as I love the sun, the moon makes me feel something that I can't quite put my finger on; something deep, all-encompassing and spiritual.

Tonight's moon is especially beautiful because it's a balmy summer night here in Philadelphia and the moon is bright, and that combo creates a spectacular aura around the moon that casts a magical glow on the neighborhood. I'm not much of a howler, but I feel a howl comin' on. Aa-uuuuuuuu!

I think tomorrow night is the official full moon, so if you get a chance, step outside, bask in the glow, and if you feel so inclined, join with me in a hearty howl ;)


intimacy & tension on the 23


As much as I dread the long bus ride home from school through the pot-hole laden streets of north philly, I kinda love it.

Class lets out around 8:20pm and I stand on an interesting corner that perfectly illustrates the dichotomy between the have's & the have-nots. On one corner stands the gateway to academia, full of promise and bright futures for all who enter. On the opposing corner stands a shoddy and run-down public housing complex, full of feral cats and litter. I wonder what it's like to live so close to a major university, yet so far away...

As I wait for the bus, I roll a token between my fingers and suss out the oncoming headlights to see if the bus is anywhere in the distance. Some nights I happen to meet the bus as it rolls up to the corner; some nights I wait, and wait, and wait. Every night, the bus is packed and I can hardly get on. Remember my blog about personal space? Personal space does not exist on the bus; only intimacy and tension exist on the bus, and I find it such an interesting combo.

People breathe, sneeze and cough all over one another; people step on, sit on and fall on one another; people stare at each other with suspicion, curiosity and malice, but most of all, and despite all of the above, people HELP one another. It's such a fascinating dynamic. It's like were all a group of strangers lurching through the city streets in a gigantic tin can, kind of suspicious and curious about each other, but as soon as someone needs help, we come together like a family on Thanksgiving.

If someone is trying to exit through the back door and the door won't open, we all yell "BACK DOOR" to the driver to alert her/him and help the rider exit safely. If someone is trying to get to the back of the bus to find their kids, we all yield. If someone sneezes, it usually lands on at least 5 other people, and those 5 people are the first ones to "bless" the sneezer. The other day a woman boarded the packed bus and in loud voice said, "Hello everyone, how's everyone doin'?" And everyone acknowledged her with a "just fine and y'self?" I love this kind of stuff; I love the dynamic of people shoved up against one another in an anonymous yet intimate setting. It can suck, don't get me wrong, but more often than not, something priceless happens that leaves me with a smile... then suspicion, then a smile, and so on...

Sunday = Funday


Today we went to a Mets Game at Shea Stadium in NY. My brother Scott, who lives in CT and is a Mets fan, had two extra tickets and offered them to Jay & I because it was a Mets v. Phillies game. So we made the trek up to New York and this is what we saw:

Shea Stadium's days are numbered... it will soon be nothing more than a memory, and a parking lot.

My brother Scott and his wife Kimberley
. He's a Mets fan; she's a Yankees fan. Opposites attract ;)

This was a beligerent Phillies fan provoking Mets fans and trying to start sh*t. A fight almost broke out and I couldn't help but photograpgh what I think is a ridiculous phenomenon: grown men acting like angst-ridden teenagers all in the name of a sports team. It's a game people!

We had excellent seats and I loved taking "up close & personal" photos of the players.

It was a gorgeous day - this was the only cloud in the sky.

Brooklyn Bridge in all its glory.

This is a man-made waterfall, one of four in the New York Harbour. They're part of a public art project and will be up until mid-October. It was pretty eye-catching during the day, and I imagine pretty amazing at night, as they become illuminated when the sun goes down. It was a neat to stumble upon it and then come home and realize that it wasn't just some random structure spilling water but a thoughtful artistic expression meant to provoke thought and rouse curiosity. It worked.

And finally, as we were driving over the Goethals Bridge, I leaned out the window and snapped this picture as the plane flew directly overhead. It's one of my favorites from the day.

So that is our day in a nutshell: some baseball, a roadtrip, time with family, bridges, art, airplanes and pictures. What more could a girl want?

to do - part duex


As you can tell from my "to do" list, I had some pretty lofty goals for today, and I am pleased to announce that I am making great strides to accomplish each task.

I have chilled.
I have chilled some more.
I went to the sto' for some 'sentials (went to the store for some essentials)
I, er, we have snuggled.
I have relaxed.
I have read.
I have blogged, twice now and the night is young.
I have chilled.
And a personal favorite, I have splashed around in the rain.

Now all I have to do is take it easy and chill. Wish me luck! I hope all of you are enjoying an equally relaxing and enjoyable Saturday. xoxo

to do...

yoga no go


Last night I had a yoga class at 6:15 in the middle of the city, at 16th & Walnut. The train schedule is, well, not as convenient as I'd like, and the bus takes forever (!), so I decided to hop in my car and leave 45 minutes early, even though it only takes me 15 minutes. I made great time; I whizzed straight down Lincoln Drive and opted to take Kelly Drive over the always-congested-even-at-3AM Schuylkill Expressway. I was feelin' good and was downtown in no time, but then everything came to an abrupt halt right around where the picturesque meandering Drives (Lincoln, Kelly, the Parkway) meet the grid, right around 19th & the Parkway.

Despite the mind-numbing stop & go pattern in the grid, I still had ample time to find a parking spot and get to class on-time... or so I thought. YUP! I had driven around for almost a half hour looking for a spot when I finally found one. By the time I parked, grabbed my stuff and locked my car, it was 6:15, and I had to run if I wanted to get into the class. But first I had to feed the meter, so I grabbed some quarters and as I went to put them in, I saw a flashing "NO PARKING" sign on the electronic display of the meter.


In that moment, pure frustration and anger boiled up from the depths of my being. The realization that I couldn't park there gave birth to two other equally frustrating realizations:

1. I'm gonna miss the class. By the time I get back in the car and find another spot, it will be too late to get into the class.

2. I can't just chalk it up to a "whoopsy daisy" moment and go home; I have to wait. My friend Signe is in that class and I'm her ride home. Sh*t.

So in the middle of an oppressively hot city, I sat on the hood of my even hotter car in my illegal space and weighed out my options. I knew I had to stay in the city until 7:30 because I was committed to Signe and I didn't want to leave her high & dry, so I thought, "ok self, I can either be here and be negative or I can be here and see the humor in the situation and just enjoy this unexpected snafu in my schedule". I chose the latter.

I got in my car and decided to find a real spot with a working meter and walk around until 7:30, but finding parking in the city is like finding glaciers in the Caribbean; it just isn't happening. Every spot I found turned out to be "out of order", seriously, I found three spots in a row, totally legal, where the meters were broken. Way to go PPA! Once I got over the frustration of missing the class, it was hysterical -- I felt like I was being punked. Finally, around 6:50 I found a REAL spot at 18th & Locust. I did a little window shopping, did a little people watching, and before I knew it, it was 7:40 and I went up to the yoga studio to find my friend.

All in all it was a night I won't soon forget. Despite the frustrations and missing the class (that I pre-paid for, by the way), it was a good opportunity for me to get out of my head (thinking about school, work, etc.) and just to be in the moment. After all, that's what yoga is all about ;)

goodbye summer


personal space

What's the story with people not respecting the boundries of personal space? Isn't there some unwritten, unspoken rule about not invading another person's buffer zone?

On the beach this summer, we encounter
ed one too many people creepin' up onto our space, to the point of utter ridiculousness! A few weeks ago, we were chillin' at the beach at Cape Henlopen park in Lewes, Delaware, when out of nowhere this family of 5 comes rollin' up right next to us and set up a canopy tent! First of all, a canopy tent? Are you kidding me... it's the beach, not a wedding. I could have reached my arm into their tent, grabbed a drink from their cooler and high-fived all 5 people - that's how close they were to us. It was ridiculous! So we moved over to maintain the appropriate buffer zone.

Then, this past week I was at the Philadelphia Museum of
Art and was taken aback by the lack of ettiquette displayed by my fellow museum-goers. I would be standing in front of a painting, admiring the work, when someone would stick their bulbous head in front of mine to get a closer look or to read the description. That, or they would stand way too close, right in my personal space zone. Just give me a foot or two people, jeez!

I swear, I think more and more people are becoming self-centered, to the point where they forget how much their actions affect other people. The next time someone invades my personal space, I think I'll move closer just to give the
m a taste of their own medicine.

puncture wound


I have this martian, er cat, named Cali, who sleeps on my pillow every night. Some nights she fits real snug around my head like a hat, with her front paws and back paws forming a virtual chin strap. This is especially lovely in the winter as she keeps me warm and cozy. Some nights she just opts for a pillow-share and we mutually agree to not get so cozy. This is especially nice during the summer because we can still be hang out like the girlfriends (boss/servant) that we are without the body heat factor. And on some nights, when she's feeling especially needy or bossy, she chooses to sleep on my head; not wrapped around like a hat but actually on top of my head. Did I mention she's a martian?

So last night was a pillow-share kind of night, or at least that's how it began. But then I woke up around 1:00 with a sharp pain just below my left
eye. I attempted to roll over and sit up, but I didn't get too far because I soon realized that something was attached to my face, no, something was inside my face. I lifted my arm to feel around for clues and there it was -- Cali's paw, and more specifically, Cali's single claw that we have affectionately nicknamed her "high heel" because of the way it click-clacks against the floors when she walks. Even when she's not walking, her "high heel" always tends to jut out and display itself:

So there I was, lying in bed with a cat on my head and a claw submerged in my face (just like the picture above except imagine my face instead of the pillow). Oh the joys of having pets... can't wait till we have kids ;) As soon as I realized the reality of the situation, I removed her claw and went into the bathroom to assess the damage: she had punctured the skin and I now have a tiny little wound directly under my left eyeball.

Who knew this sassy little fluff-ball would be capable of committing a facial puncture wound? I'm gonna have to rethink these sleeping arrangements -- oh wait, she's the boss, I'm merely the staff. Maybe that was her way of telling me that I'll be sleeping on the couch from now on ;)



Pet peeves are a funny thing, aren't they? The word "pet" seems to imply a small or minor annoyance, yet my pet peeves tend to frustrate the "H-E-double hockey sticks" out of me.

One such peeve is when people know exactly what they want but choose to communicate the want in a way that is steeped in ambiguity and confusion. It drives me nuts to be within earshot of a conversation where I can hear both parties complicating very simple messages and ultimately never really understanding each other. I want to jump in the middle and mediate the conversation.

For instance, I bear witness to this same ridiculous conversation every month, when I take "Harry" to the store. "Harry" likes to get 2 half-pound packages of the leanest ground meat possible, and he knows that the leanest meat he can get for this request is 85% lean. Rather than simply asking the butcher for 2 half-pound packages of 85% lean, this is what he says:

Butcher: Hi what can I get'cha?

"Harry": Yeah I'm lookin for... uh... what's your leanest ground meat, ya know, for like burgers and stuff?

Butcher: 97% lean

"Harry": I need to get 2 half-pound packages of that.

Butcher: Can't do it

"Harry": Oh c'mon, what do ya mean you can't do it, someone did it for me last month.

Butcher: No, we can't open and repackage the 97%; it comes already packaged and priced.

At this point "Harry" starts to fuss and make a scene, at which the butcher gets pissed off and defensive. "Harry" talks in circles and just repeats the request, and the butcher repeats the denial, but in a louder and more frustrated tone. The first time I witnessed this troubled exchange, I knew I had to intervene, so I jumped in:

Me: "Ok so we can't break up the 97%, what is the leanest meat that we can break up?

Butcher: 85%.

Me: Great, we'll take 2 half pound packages of 85%. Is that cool "Harry"?

"Harry": perfect.

And this happens every single time, without fail, except I've learned to intervene the moment the butcher asks "Harry" what he would like. But even so, it still drives me nuts to know that "Harry", left to his own devices, would continue to ask what the leanest meat was rather than what the leanest meat was that could be opened and repackaged to his specifications... nuts I tell ya, NUTS!

Just a little more clarity in conversations can save people so much time and aggravation, especially me ;)

August 24, 2002


I remember waking up to a rainstorm that morning and thinking, "crap".
I remember getting yelled at by the innkeeper for the amazing candlelit party we had the night before.

I remember losing my keys and feeling frantic.
I remember how the sun came out just in time for our outdoor ceremony.
I remember how the sky opened up just after our ceremony and flooded our reception.
I remember the speakers crackling and popping during our incredibly long first dance.
I remember that a plastic deer wound up on th
e dance floor.
I remember pulling 72 bobby pins out of my hair later that night.

But mostly, I remember the incredible amount of joy I felt in my heart to be marrying my best friend; a joy that continues to grow as the years pass by.

Happy Anniversary to my beloved Jay-bo!

Stew & Mody forevermore ~

In my shoes


Hello friends, welcome to my new blog!

The other night, I was tossing & turning and just couldn't find my way to sleep. I missed my window of tiredness and stayed up too late, so that by the time I went to bed, my mind was wide-awake and in GO mode. I was making to-do lists, planning future vacations, picking future baby names (no, I'm not preggers), thinking about how to create world peace, and thinking about my blog. Actually, I wasn't really thinking about my blog, it was more like a singular thought that flashed in my consciousness somewhere between vacation-planning and baby names.

What flashed in my mind was simply this: "time for a new blog, In my shoes", complete with a visual of what it would look like. Yep, that was it. I woke up Wednesday morning (after a 2.5 hour nap) and started putting the vision to reality. I could only go so far because of the generic templates on this site, but Jay-bird was able to design it as I envisioned it.

Voila! Here it is!

I have missed blogging very much and I'm excited for this fresh new space to continue what I started 2 1/2 years ago: a written expression of the experiences, thoughts, feelings and ramblings of a 28 year-old me; a written expression of life in my shoes. And so the story goes on, except now I'm 31 and I have more shoes ;)

Stay awhile... walk with me.