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See you there! And let me know if you visit, okay?


Two more hours and I'm officially a former Dickinson College employee!!!

I have been having soooo much fun driving around in Toujour La Maxx - our new-to-us 2005 Malibu Maxx Lt that has so many bells and whistles I'll never be able to list them all. But suffice it to say it has one special feature that absolutely thrills me: the sound of the turn signal! It is the nicest, most perfect sound and reminds me of the sound of the turn signal in the car my grandparents had when I was but wee. Something about it just makes me smile. As do the heated leather seats and the sun roof and the moon roof and the 6 CD changer and the shelf in the back that becomes a tailgate table. Hot damn! We can tailgate in style now!!!

I've spent most of my time since we picked the car up on Saturday toodling around to various stores to get the this and thats I need to finish up the redo of Emily's old room...and the balance of my time I've spent puttering around in the room and the rest of the house.

Sooo...toodling and puttering. That's what I do now since I don't work at Dickinson anymore.

Toodle and putter. Putter and toodle.

Can't get much better than that!


Fireflies in Trees

My favorite amusement park ride of all time is the Peter Pan ride at Disney World. Well, to be absolutely truthful, it's the only amusment park ride I like. I'm deathly afraid of heights, but on this ride you really feel like you're flying but you're never more than 3 feet off the floor of the very dark building that houses the ride. It's all illusion -all the fun with none of the fear! Anyway, you look down on all the little lights of the little towns as you fly high above them - on your way to Never Never Land ccording to Peter; "...the second star on the right and straight on til morning!") and the illusion is so perfect it can take your breath away. I'd swear that Peter and the Boys were right there with me singing "we can fly, we can fly, we can fly!!!"

Tonight my garden is sparkling with fireflies - hundreds of them! - and I feel like I'm on the Peter Pan ride each time I venture out...indeed, it's really hard to come inside!

Magical, magical, magical!!!

It was a good day when Walt dreamed up the Peter Pan ride, alright.

But it was a perfect day when God dreamed up the firefly!



Last night was a bear. First time I've ever gone the whole night without sleeping. None. Nada. It just wasn't happening. At. All.

On the bright side, though, I did design and build (in my head) at least thirteen variations of radiator covers for each of the old radiators in our home. Developed a really cool hinge system for them, too, that I realized, about four hours into it, made absolutely no sense. So I moved on to turning the third floor front room (currently where Megan has stashed all her stuff - it was her room) into a wonderful office for Dean. Bright, clean, and crisply contemporary with furnishings from IKEA. I wondered what colors he would choose for the wall. Then I decided the little back room could be a meditation/yoga space for me. Because sometime during the looooooooong night I decided I really would like to have a space dedicated to that. But of course, being practical, I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw my sewing table in there, just in case I didn't feel like meditating sometimes. So much for an uncluttered, calm space. I scratched that idea and left my sewing table in my studio.

During the rest of the night, I painted and refinished the dining room table and slipcovered the sofas. I repainted the entry hall, the dining room, the music room and living room and the kitchen. Which reminded me I wanted to take the leaf out of the kitchen table and have it round again, creating more space in the kitchen. And why have four chairs in there when it's just the two of us for most of the time? So I took two to the basement. Whew. I decided on what type of carpet to look for to have installed on the front stairs that are currently bare and scare Jake since there's nothing for him to grab onto. And built a storage system for the second floor landing and designed my dream bookcases for either side of the fireplace in the music room. The same music room I had just repainted...

My little pea brain was busy, busy, busy!

I finally got up at 7:30 after Dean and Jake went downstairs and I realized sleep was a lost cause. As I poured a cup of coffee to try and jolt myself out of feeling uncomfortably fuzzy, it hit me: I bet the iced decaf coffee I had at Starbucks at 3:30 yesterday afternoon wasn't really decaf!

Ya think?!?!?!?!?



Perfect days:

1. I was all set to paint a room, but the garden called after I lingered over coffee on my terrace with the roses and birds. The next thing I knew it was time for dinner. I preheated the oven while I washed off the evidence of planting 10 azaleas, two butterfly bushes, and deadheading perennials in a tepid shower turned SPA with a shower puff filled with my all-time favorite Original Spring Green by Vitabath. Squeaky clean, I returned to the kitchen to pop a Five Cheese frozen pizza in the oven. Five minutes before it was done, I topped it with diced tomatoes and pecorino romano cheese and put it back in. When it came out, I sprinkled it with a handful of chopped fresh basil from the garden and declared it finito! Two slices, a white wine spritzer...aaah!. Jon Stewart and the Colbert shows on DVR and then to bed in my incredibly comfy Sleep Number bed beside the world's most kind and generous man...

2. Taking Jakie to puppy daycare and then stopping to surprise two dear friends as they start their day throwing in Dickinson's ceramic studio - and having them happy to see me! Getting to the room I ignored the day before - with the walls I had washed after scraping dustbunnies over the weekend. Embracing the Zen of Painting with the perfect shade of green; a whisper of lushness that is Laura Ashley's Pale Apple Green I by Valspar. What a joy to be wrapped in color I love. Dinner with the perfect man and the perfect chili (if I do say so myself!) and off to bed early.

So many Perfect Days lie ahead. And Dean assures me that spending time this way doesn't get old. How could it???

I am a happy girl!


Well, wonders never appears we will be adding a new member to our family! One with four wheels, an engine, and a name: Maxx!

Next Monday we will pick up a 2005 Malibu Maxx LT to take the place of my beloved Carly St. Cloud; our 1990 Taurus (white - hence the "St. Cloud") who breathed (gasped is more like it...) her last less than 200 miles after turning over 176,000 miles. I feel like I've reached the end of an era. We got that car when Emily was barely two and Meggie not yet five...and here they are all grown up and adults!

Maxx is Berry - a pretty, dark red metallic on the outside and sports beige leather inside. (Now ain't we gettin' all fancy-schmancy??? Whoo-ha!) He has all sorts of bells and whistles including a sun roof and a moon roof, and automatice this and thats all over the place. I will read the manual since I fear pushing something and finding myself ejected and flying through the air! Best of all he only has 16k miles, so I figure he's going to get me to the nursing home before he dies.

Let the race begin!


Meggie and I went to see the documentary Blindsight tonight at our little theatre downtown. I highly recommend it - especially if you've been wont to wallow in whining over dust on your newly painted walls. (Me to self: It's just DUST you idiot! And pretty insignificant dust in light of the movie, so GET OVER IT already!!! ) the end of the movie is this clip and I've been smiling ever since:

Doesn't that make you just want to sing along... at the top of your lungs???

I plan on singing that tomorrow while I scrape the walls of painted-over dust and then repaint. And, yes, I'm washing the walls after I scrape, just to be sure the Pale Apple I doesn't get messed up!



I'm soooo frustrated.

Spent all day painting Emily's room (or, rather, her old room!) using the paint we bought 6 years ago. A lovely shade of green even though it's a bit mintier than I recalled. (Dean said it was the shade used in 1940's hospitals and I was thinking 1950 dental offices...)

I even took it to the paint store where I bought it and had them shake it up again.

Looked great until I just looked at it a minute ago. With the overhead light/fan it looks fine, but when you turn that off and turn on a lamp on a side table, all these hairy little bumpy things show up ALL OVER the wall. Everywhere.

Best I can figure it was a perfect storm; old paint, too fluffy of roller perhaps, and having both the window a/c on high and the overhead fan on. I had vacuumed the baseboards and edges of the room, but maybe the walls were dusty, or what I missed on the floor got blown up on the paint and incorporated with the second coat. Who knows. All I know is that tomorrow I will have to use a straight edge and scrap all the walls, vacuum them AND the floor, go buy new paint, and paint the room all over again.

Maybe someone out there knew I really would have rather had the walls a more yellow-green than minty. Like Laura Ashley's Apple I at Lowe's.

So, it turns out that even though I'm frustrated, I'm grateful.

And besides...I'm retired! I have time to paint and repaint and repaint again if I want to!

But hopefully once more will do the trick. And Apple I should look just right...



I'm sitting here in my garden, surrounded by pink roses and lush green trees. My lavender has begun to bloom and I can just catch a faint whiff of what is to come. Is there anyone who can't be charmed by the scent of fresh lavender?

A bright pink tablecoth is on the round table and I'm shaded by the lime green and white umbrella (complete with tassels!) I bought on sale at Pier 1 several years ago. I'm listening to the water dropping from Pan's pipes into a shell-shaped basin and I can hear all sorts of birds who seem as happy as I to be enjoying this morning, this garden...this Eden. My coffee tastes especially good.

It's lovely to know I have nowhere to go, no one to see, nothing pressing to do. So very easy to stay in the moment in a place and time like this!

I think I'll just sit here a while and take it all in...

Hope you have a wonderfully peaceful morning, too!


Observation on the second day of not sitting behind a desk:

Not working is a lot of work!


Karen Anne does the happy dance!


This is the mermaid weathervane that sits atop Old West; the beautiful stone building on Dickinson College's campus that was designed by Latrobe - who also designed our nation's Capitol Building. She looks down on the campus - and a statue of Benjamin Rush, the founder of the college.

During my tenure at the college, I identified with the mermaid (both of us were happy enough to be there though neither of us seemed to fit in) and looked up at her every day as I walked to get a cup of coffee or go to a meeting. I always thought it sad that the college went with a generic logo when it could have developed something really exciting and unique with the mermaid. It could do worse than tap into a bit of the mermaid's magic and joy! (And it did!)

When it came time for me to leave, writing about her was easy:

Broken Symmetry

A kindred Fish out of Water,
she calls to me daily.
Swimming high above with outstretched arms,
she joyfully embraces both the blueness of the sky
and a world ripe with possibilities.
Her urgent beckoning mirrors my mood...

Where did she come from?
Why is she here?

She brazenly bares her breasts to a
ponderous Benjamin Rush
and flagrantly flips her tail
to ant-like mortals who ignore her lively dance.
Attentive only to the seriousness of solemn stone walls
that can smother souls as surely as they can seduce egos,
they pass silently but for whispers to themselves...

Where did she come from?
Why is she here?

I cast my eyes upward
and am caught in her gaze.
In the glimmer of that instant
I remember.
I return.

Catching the tide, my heart dances
with the cerulean sprays of deep ocean waves.
Just as it has danced since my beginning.

Only now
I now why.


Today is my last day of work at Dickinson college and I just completed my exit interview. Now all that's left to do is have a nice lunch with friends, turn in my keys, head for home, and allow the next chapter of my life to unfold. Whoo-hoo!!!

I was pleased to find this as my horoscope for the day:

You are entering a convergence zone and it's likely that separate threads of your life will quickly and easily be woven together. There really isn't much you need to do, for the integration should come naturally now. Still, you'll need to facilitate this positive change by keeping your awareness in the present moment.

Here's to completion! But, more especially, here's to the magic of the Present Moment!


Choose joy.

Choose joy.

Choose JOY!!!!