Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Portland Scenes

Attended the Blue Like Jazz movie preview today in Portland with my sister Susan and her family. I arrived about 40 minutes early, so it was a good time for a walk before the line twined around the block.

We sat up in the balcony and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Blue Like Jazz premieres April 13th in many cities across the US. Highly recommended!

Afterwards, I found Stumptown coffee shop for a lovely strong latte. Then home across the bridge.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Around the Cul-De-Sac

I typed in the title of this post, and then googled cul-de-sac on a whim. The original meaning made me giggle!
Cul-de-sac (literally "butt of bag" in Catalan) is an expression of Catalan origin, says Wikipedia.

This photo is called "Still Life of Murphy & Forsythia." Murphy could care less about what cul-de-sac means, he just wants to leap up and finish our walk.

We managed to take a walkabout between rain drops this afternoon. But our rain garden grew mighty full. Should I be watching for an invasion of bullfrogs?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Part of the wellness package I received for participating in the 28 day Walkabout included Dr. Weil's book, Spontaneous Happiness. One section of the book in particular caught my attention. In his chapter on emotional well-being, Weil speaks about the benefits of feeling and expressing gratitude. One concrete way we can start doing this more is by keeping a gratitude journal.

On his website, Dr. Weil refers to author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote: You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Then Weil goes on to remark, "I suspect Chesterton didn't do this automatically. He knew that, like forgiveness, gratitude can and should be cultivated through diligent practice."

What a concept! We can truly transform the way we perceive life through this daily practice.

On that note, a few of the things I'm grateful for today:

*Hundreds of muscles, joints and ligaments -- so I can skip, walk, bike (and crawl, if need be).
*My husband -- who is always supportive of my writing and volunteer time!
*Danielle, David & Emily, Anna -- you give me much joy.
*Poetry -- it speaks to feelings deeper than words.
*Green leaves and buds, the flowers just beginning to bloom here in the NW -- nature's art.
*God's love -- always startling & fresh.
*Strong black tea with milk -- mmmm.

What have you found to be grateful for today?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Join Me on a 30 Day Walkabout

I'm excited to let you know that I'll be participating as an Ambassador in the Walkabout 28-day Quest for Good Health! The campaign starts Monday, March 27th with a kickoff tea in New York. Fifty ambassadors chosen from all over the US will blog, tweet, and post updates about their experiences walking 30 minutes a day.

You know how we love to involve Murphy in whatever's going on in our household--so I thought he could model the official walkabout shirt I received in the welcome package, along with a boomerang, to add some Aussie flavor. Murphy'll accompany me on some walks, although probably only ten minutes or so. Now that he's almost fourteen years old, Murphy's slowing down. But fear not! He still tries to chase neighborhood squirrels, even if his back legs don't always move in sync.

So, if you're looking for a fitness challenge, join me this next month on the Walkabout. We could be virtual walking buddies! Let me know if you're interested by leaving a comment, and I'll link to your blog or site.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bologna 2012 is Almost Here

In 2008, I attended the Bologna Book Fair -- an eye-opening experience. Click on the links to find my posts about getting ready & the writers panel, as well as a few photos from Bologna 2008.

Bologna 2012 starts tomorrow! To whet people's appetites, Cynsations is running a series of interviews and posting them in the days before the fair opens. I got to interview Bruce Degen, an author/illustrator, and Susan Raab, a marketing consultant for children's books and products.

SCBWI hosts a booth at the fair and runs special talks and events the entire time. If you happen to be at the Book Fair, stop by. You'll find plenty of interesting people!