Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Key

In picking out the color for my inaugural pedicure of the season last night, I couldn't find my usual favorite shade of red - I'm Not Really a Waitress. Instead I chose a slightly orangier red named the Keys to my Karma. Clearly, part of the fun of trips to the nail salon for me is reading through the OPI bottles.

Today as I was contemplating how cute my cheery red toes looked poking out of my open-toed white flats, I had a moment to further reflect on the Keys to my Karma name. Sure, what goes around comes around, I get that. What I send out into the universe gets reflected back to me, got it. But, is there a sliding scale here? I don't think I am a bad person - I don't lie, steal, cheat or kill. I don't even illegally copy DVDs. I do, however, gossip and eat meat. I also occasionally hurry into my house when I don't feel like chatting with the neighbors. Are these offenses bad enough to result in a negative karmic reaction?

The last time I went to the nail salon, all I had to worry about was how clean the utensils were, not major philosophical questions. Things were much simpler when I wasn't really a waitress.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Six Months

About this time six months ago today, I was nervously and excitedly waiting to walk down the aisle. I should have eaten something (and maybe laid off that prosecco), so I wouldn't have had that unfortunate blood sugar crash later in the day. But should have, would have, could have. Other than eating breakfast or lunch, I wouldn't change a thing about our wedding day, overall it turned out to be a great day and the perfect wedding for us. Some parts of the day are kind of a blur, but I know I'll always remember the happiness we both felt that day. All of our wedding pictures feature me with a huge smile on my face and Chris looking thrilled. Several people said I was the happiest bride they had even seen. I was living the princess fairytale with the added bonus of getting to live with the prince for a lifetime. We both felt so blessed and lucky to have such a beautiful wedding and to be able to share our special day with our family and friends.

In the six months since we married, the leaves on the trees have finished changing color, fallen, made it through the winter, flowered and are now in brilliant green once again. Likewise, we've fallen into the comfortable rhythm and cycles of married life. Lazy weekend breakfasts, yard work, dinners at home with a bottle of wine. Waiting eagerly for Lost each week and cuddling on the couch. Talking each other down from work crises (okay, really, Chris talking me down). We're enjoying this marriage partnership.
Today we are celebrating with more of the same, really. A small cookout tonight, cleaning up the house and yard today. We did find an overlooked wedding present that somehow made it's way to the garage (thank you card is in the mail now!), so that was kind of fun. I'm also listening to the mix cd my brother made for the wedding, which is such a great mix. It must have pained him, but he included some of my favorites - Madonna, Jimmy Buffet and Jack Johnson. The songs bring back all the wedding day memories for me and it is a favorite of mine.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last night I finally made it back to the yoga mat. For one reason or another, I hadn't practiced in two or three weeks. I sorely missed it. Not just because I'm happier, calmer and have an overall better sense of well being when I maintain an active practice, but I was also just sore. These muscles need to stretch around these bones.

Lately I've come to realize just how important healthy bones are to a person, especially to women. Two weekends ago, my grandmother fell and broke - shattered, actually - her hip and her wrist. I saw her at the hospital after the surgery to help repair the breaks and immediately went home to take a calcium supplement.

I thought of this all last night as my yoga teacher was lecturing the class on the safety of headstand prep. Headstand, and all yoga inversions, are widely beneficial to the body, but they can also be dangerous, so it's important to work up to the pose. One of the benefits of headstand is that the pose strengthens the top part of the spine. While the teacher was introducing the pose, she mentioned she works with seniors and has seen an epidemic of hunched shoulders and curved necks due to osteoporosis of the spine. Then she said, most of that generation of women never got the chance to mindfully do weight bearing exercise to help stave off osteoporosis.

It was an aha moment for me...of course, my grandmothers at the age of 30 didn't spend a Wednesday evening enjoying a night of yoga. They had kids to tend to and a house to run. Sure, they got plenty of exercise working in the yard and maintaining a home, but I don't think they were pondering the benefits of headstand. I felt at once humbled and proud. I know in these bones of mine, how lucky I am that these women went before me. I now have the opportunity to practice yoga and maintain a home. So I can benefit both from their experience and from headstand.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A co-worker stopped by my desk today to ask a question about a good teacher gift for a friend of a friend. After some snide comments, I got down to suggesting some cool ideas of things to do in Columbus which can be gifted - cooking classes, bottling your own wine, a night in an recently renovated historic hotel. I hope whoever gets this gift enjoys it - I know I would. The co-worker then asked about the weather and the chance of his afternoon plans being dampened. I suggested he pull up the hour by hour predictor and take an umbrella just to be sure. He said thanks and since I always have all the answers (um, right), maybe I should put out a sign ala Lucy - the Dr. is in.

Lucy has long been my favorite Peanuts character. My co-worker isn't the first person to suggest I'm a little like Lucy. Maybe it's my love for the color blue and my dark hair, or maybe it's my way of solving problems, but I must admit there are some similarities. Just to be clear, and I don't know what you've heard, but I've never pulled a football out from under any neighborhood boys learning to kick. I'm more the kinder gentler version of Lucy. The pluckiness of Lucy, but with some of the little red haired girl thrown in for good measure. While some would call my Lucy tendencies bossy, I prefer to think of them as helpful. Okay, I can sometimes be bossy, but I'm working on that. But, like Lucy, I do think I have some pretty good ideas on solving life's little issues. So, consider me in. If you have ever have any questions I can help answer, just let me know. I won't even charge the 5 cents.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

His and Hers

We've been married for just shy of six months now and today for the first time we did something I'm pretty sure only married couples who love each other very much do. No, not that. We bought matching phones and signed up on the same phone plan. Seriously, the same phone except that mine is maroon and his is black. We thought there had to be some slight difference to discourage morning mix-ups.

In spite of the icky-degree of cuteness associated with it, the same phone actually makes sense. We can use the same charger which will make it easier for vacations and what not. Also, Chris is way more into techy stuff than I am. He's spent the afternoon enthralled with the buttons and settings. I took a picture of the pretty iris in the backyard, made that my wallpaper and got on with me day. Luckily for me, now whenever I have a question about how to do a phone related task, Chris will know the answer.

I understand this type behavior can be a slippery slope, so if you ever see us and Chris and I are wearing matching outfits, please intervene.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dealing With It

From reading many women's magazines over the years, I understand there are those of you out there who, when confronted with hormonal surges or one of life's curve balls, respond in healthy and positive ways. Evidently people exist who go for a run, call a friend, meditate or journal until you feel better. Let me say for the record, I am not one of you. I prefer to cry, take long naps, and eat breakfast foods all day. Preferably in that order. I can sometimes be cajoled into shopping or watching chick flicks, but I really would rather be doing the aforementioned activities. Let's just consider this a fair warning, shall we? And now, I believe I need to scramble more eggs and crawl under a blanket.

***In spite of wanting to do this, I got my butt out of bed before 7:30 this morning to go participate in the Race for the Cure. I can now see why those pesky and perky magazines suggest exercise as a great way of alleviating the blues. During the race (which I walked most of, running only very little), I felt great. There is also something uplifting about seeing 40,000 people joining together for a cause. There were bands along the route to pump up the runners and walkers and it was a beautiful morning to be out and get caught up in the spirit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Liberal Guilt

Today I had lunch with a friend from high school and somehow over our wraps and iced tea, the topic of liberal guilt of came up. We both have it. That's either to be expected from two highly educated white kids from an affluent suburb or an oddity. Our other classmates seem to be on one end of the spectrum or the other. As a whole, our graduating class was given a head start in the world. We all came from fairly well-off families and we each had a solid college-prep education. For me these opportunities also come with the feeling of needing to do more for the greater good. In some sense, I feel like because I was given this head start, I should help those who weren't as lucky in the gene pool lottery.

Sometimes this feeling manifests itself in healthy ways - volunteering, donating to worthy causes and being overall empathetic. But sometimes, I just feel silly liberal guilt which doesn't help anyone much. Case in point is the whole Prius thing. I only drive about 30 miles a day and a part of me feels I should leave the Prius, because they are in such demand, for someone who needs it more and drives further each day. In the grocery store, I occasionally feel guilty for not buying organic. And don't even get me started on the conflicted feelings I have when I ride the bus.

Recently, though, a catalog came in the mail which I was thrilled to see (after I made yet another mental note to go to one of those stop junk mail sites). The catalog was from Fair Indigo, and it is all fair trade cute clothing! I think I heard the angels rejoice when I also noticed the free shipping to new customers offer. So now shipping to me from Wisconsin (somewhat local, right) is a new wrap dress, darling peasant blouse and new sandals. And best of all, I don't have to worry about the child and or sweatshop labor that went into making these clothing items. Fashion without guilt, that works for me.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Growing up the little sister of two older brothers, I was subject to my fair share of teasing. The name that stuck for a good 25 years or so (and still occasion from my oldest brother), was the name Bill. Because it is a somewhat obscure reference to a TV movie from 1983, let me explain. Bill was a mentally disabled man played by Mickey Rooney. In pre-PC days, some teacher must have thought it a good learning experience for her students to watch. My brother and his friends, being in the 7th grade, missed the intended compassionate message and instead started calling anyone who did something "retarded" Bill. I was five and the name stuck. I was reminded by this yesterday when we all got a good laugh at the adopted child mother's day card (in my defense, there wasn't a label!).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Is it me or is Mother's Day really hyped up this year? Every advertisement I hear or see seems to be trying to induce some of type of guilt-based buying behavior on me. I heard Earth Day was big because Easter was so early, but Mother's Day is huge. I think the recession - er economic downturn - has made large businesses go into Mother's Day overdrive. I refuse to be sucked into the madness and do anything different than I normally do. Call me a bad daughter, but I usually stick to a card, a plant and some fun girly things you don't think to buy for yourself (face masks, pjs, pink flip-flops, lotions). I'm pretty sure my own mother is fine with this routine and I hope any recently added family members will be as well.

Typically I really enjoy picking out a cute and well-meaninged card for occasions, but this week's trip to Hallmark was an exception. Apologies to all you Mother's out there, but most of the cards were silly and insipid. And not even irreverent, just irrelevant. The woman next to me looking through cards kept giving me dirty looks because I couldn't help to make gagging noises at some of the cards. New rule for me and card buying - if it takes both sides of the inside of the card to get the message across it is ridiculously wordy and probably saccharine sweet. Gah. I finally got out of the store with four cards that didn't make me throw up in my mouth (although three of the four are not up to my usual card standards).

After all the drama at Hallmark, I got home to let Chris know he was responsible for mailing the cards to his mother and grandmother. I braved the card store to pick them out after all. Uh, yeah, they are still on the table. What's worse though, is upon signing the card I picked out for my mom, I realized I misread it at the store. It's really intended for an adopted person to give to his or her mother (it says I can't thank you for my DNA, but I can thank you for all the other things you have done for me)...oops. Well, my brothers always said I was actually found in a dumpster and not really related.

Regardless, I'm wishing all you mothers out there a special day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Picture This

It's become a cliché to say that a picture speaks a thousand words, but after visiting this exhibit at the Ohio Historical Society yesterday, I would say the adage is completely true. The exhibit is made up of Pulitzer winning photographs from the last 50 years. It's an intense visual journey through history.

Several things struck me about the exhibit. To begin with, these are 11x20 or larger prints of the photos. Usually when you see a great example of photojournalism, you see it on grainy newsprint and in a small box above the fold. The size of these photos really brought the emotion they were depicting to life. Pulitzer prize winning photos tend to show raw emotion, but are composed perfectly.

As you are walking through the exhibit, it's important to read the accompanying text as the words work together with the picture to put it in perspective. Without the text, it would sometimes be hard to understand the photo. Some of the images, though showed such heartbreak you didn't really need the complete story. Fear, pain and suffering is the same on the face of a starving child as it is on the face of a civil war embattled widow.
It's also interesting to see how the technology and the focus of the photos have changed in the last 50 years. The accompanying text for the early photos tells of photographers changing flash bulbs at just the right moment to get the shot. The text also told of photographer in the 70s and 80s, smuggling film out of war zones. The photos eventually switched from black and white to color and then some back to black and white as the format changed to digital. It also seemed the early images were more national in subject while the more recent are international. All are powerful.

Some of the images, such as the soldier being greeted by his family in the 70s and Babe Ruth's last game in the 50s, were familiar. A few of the images, such as the fireman carrying the baby out of the rubble of the Oklahoma City bombing in the 90s and the little Vietnamese girl with her clothes burned off in the 70s, were painfully identifiable. There were many pictures of war and famine. A lot of the images dealt with the civil rights movement, a lot more dealt with the Vietnam war and several of the images were of places and times most Americans wouldn't know about if the photographers wouldn't have traveled the world.

Many of the images and related text moved me to tears. The exhibit is laid out with a large reflecting room in the middle. It has couches and plenty of Kleenex and is mostly a visually devoid space. I skipped the reflecting room, but maybe shouldn't have because I did feel rather overwhelmed after walking the exhibit. We had only planned on being there for a little bit, but ended up staying for almost two hours. If you're local, it's worth the trip. If you're not local, don't be so quick to dismiss the photographs on the front page of a newspaper, as they could be telling an important story. I know I won't be so fast to dismiss the next piece of photojournalism I see.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In the Who Knew Catergory

I make it a point to learn a new thing each day. I do this so I am a more interesting person and so I won't develop Alzheimer's. On Sunday, I learned two things I wasn't quite ready for.

It began when Chris and I took a road trip to Delaware, Ohio. It's only about a 30 minute drive, but to me anything longer than 15 minutes is a road trip. So when we stopped for gas on the way, I made sure to stock up on water and lottery tickets. Wouldn't want to get dehydrated or bored during the trip, now would we? We were heading to Delaware because I wanted to test-drive a Prius. We'd been researching them online, but before I went any further, I wanted to see the colors in person and make sure the driver's seat has comfortable lumbar support. Yes, that is how I choose a car. Of course, there are Toyota dealers within the Columbus city limits, but not Toyota dealers who were offering a $50 gift card to Buca for test driving the Prius. So off to Delaware we went. And, yes, I see the hypocrisy of driving out of our way to test drive a hybrid car. If it makes you feel better, I planned some trips in the area (we'll get to that later).
Little did I know, the Prius is so popular since the recent increase in gas prices, that the dealer had no cars to look at or drive. Not a one. Not even a Hybrid Camry. Only plain old gas guzzling cars were on the lot. The salesman thought he had a used Prius we could see, but, no even that one had been sold earlier in the day. I knew the Prius was a popular little bugger, but I had no idea it was waiting list, can't keep the cars on the lot, popular. And, oh yeah, you usually can't pick your color (if you really want one, you get what they have) and you pay sticker price (or at some dealers a little more.)

So after not getting to test-drive the car, we backtracked to the Polaris area to go to The Great Indoors. The Polaris Fashion Place is only about 15 minutes from our house, but it is outside of 270 and so I very rarely go there. We were headed to the Great Indoors because a very nice person had given us a gift certificate from there for our wedding. We didn't need anything, but it was $50 not coming out of our checking account and we were there, so gosh darn it, that $50 would be spent. We looked at doormats, I drooled over the Le Creuset section, and then we pondered how much use we would actually get out of a margarita maker. As we were wandering around the store, wondering again why we aren't rich, we saw the huge selection of faucets. Then we remembered, oh yeah, we do need a faucet to go with the new granite counter tops coming later this month. But, seriously, why are faucets so expensive? I was dripping(!) with sticker shock. Needless to say our $50 gift card barely put a dent into the faucet purchase.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Raindrops on Tulips

Spring Sprouts

A weekend summer ritual for us is walking or biking up to the Clintonville Farmer's Market each week, stopping for Starbucks and picking up some goodies. It's a great way to start Saturday mornings and I simply love the idea of buying produce and other goods from local suppliers. After the long winter months without our local Market, I was so happy to welcome the tents back to High Street this morning.

As it's still early in the season, this week's Market featured sprouts and seedlings as well as a couple of early produce choices (greens and asparagus). I didn't know about the Sprout Sale last year, but this year I was really excited to take part. It is great to know where my seedlings came from and how they were produced. Also, I think the sale was a bargain - for about $30 we bought five different varieties of heirloom tomato plants, a sweet pepper seedling, basil and tarragon plants, a bag of organic fertilizer and my favorite purchase of the day: two hanging baskets of green beans (one is for my parent's house).

In other garden news: our lettuce is just about to the point where we should be thinning it out, there is one healthy volunteer fennel plant and I threw down a few more seeds to even out that row. The grape vine we are foster-parenting for our friends Jacqui and Brad is starting to come back nicely (would have felt bad if we would have offed that guy).

Thursday, May 1, 2008


For as much as I cried my way through 10th grade geometry, I've always loved shapes. Of all the shapes, the circle is my favorite. I like the perfection of them. The roundness and the gentle curves of an even 360 degrees. Circles often appear in our daily lives and I find comfort that, like a wedding band, there is no end and no beginning. Circles just are. There are many common idioms about circles: circle back, full circle, circular reasoning. Most of all I like circle the wagons. The phrase originates from the prairie days when wagon trains heading west would stop for the night. In a long, grueling crossing, often not knowing what the next day would bring, these overnights were probably a welcome break and a chance to relax, plan and enjoy the other traveler's company. The wagons would be arranged in a circle with livestock, women and children in the center. The wagons then formed a protective barrier around the core.

Consequently, I've taken this saying to mean to protect what is important while taking the time to figure out what comes next on the journey. This site has a different take on it, which I don't find half as endearing. And there goes the simile I had in mind for this post, huh, will just go take a walk now.