Calming Inspiration

Image by Kent Mercurio

I needed this today. 


Fish out of Water

Image by Ryan McGinley

Have you seen his work? YOU NEED TO!

Yesterday we went ice-skating. I am thinking it may of been ten years since I skated last. And that might even be a generous estimate. We had some free passes and two out of my three are taking lessons, so we thought, “why not?”

But first of all, lets talk about my feet. They are awful. And I am not being insecure and wanting sympathy. They just, have many things not going for them. Maybe we could even include my legs on this. Because maybe they are part of the problem. At a very young age, my parents were fully aware there was something special about me. While many children would sit “indian-style”, I was sitting like a “W” or an “M”. I was pigeon-toed, flat-footed and ran with my knees knocking together. Once I remember some man running by me, stating, “I don’t know how you run like that.” But I just kept going. Really not knowing any different. I was always an athlete and I did well at most sports I competed in, despite my funny gait.

Then I began to swim competitively, year-round, and I finally felt at home. The water is a place where I am fast and no one really comments about much. When I was pregnant, I swam. Most of the time feeling like a graceful beluga. “Graceful” was not how I ever felt on land. Even when I was not pregnant. 

So ice skating. It’s on frozen water. So you’d think it would be OK. But those rental skates. So painful. My feet could not take them. I need special shoes for my special feet to run in. So imagine putting special feet in average rental skates. PAIN! My right foot, the bone on the inside of the foot. PAIN! I kept going. Because I don’t fuss about these things when my three-year-old is flailing around like a monkey on the ice. But I kept thinking, “I want it to melt! I want it to melt!” So I went to get a different size, since they don’t have 1/2 sizes, which, great! I am a size 9 1/2. So I get the 9. Still PAIN! How do those figure skaters do it? My foot is in PAIN! I am trying to be graceful and I go to the center of the rink to spin around with my kids. I pretend I am graceful, as I skate to Alicia Keys. MY husband is zooming around the rink, saying “Isn’t this fun?” I smile and nod. Thinking, I WANT THE ICE TO MELT.  I want the Zamboni to melt the ice! I keep watching the time, thinking it will end soon. Free skate will end soon!! 

It does. And I pull my hurt feet out of their torture chambers. I realize I love watching athletes in their element. I love to race and compete in mine. But I’d rather swim in icy waters than skate on ice. Any day.

The Day After

We have so much snow now. I remember writing in this post how it would be nice to have something on the ground to take pictures with. That winter is a hard season for photography. I think I am eating my words now. Two huge blizzards back to back. In five days we’ve had over 50 inches of snow dumped on us. It’s so much snow that even those who were lucky enough to have snow blowers, couldn’t cut through. Did I mention you can’t even buy a snow blower (we were really contemplating this one) or a shovel anywhere? Shelves in grocery stores, empty. Interstates shut down.

But the thing I love about the east coast is that there is always sun the next day. It’s bright and warm and lovely. After living in Iowa for many years, there were weeks we would never see the sun, even after storms. It was always so gray. So yesterday, while we took shifts shoveling, I made bread, soup and visited a friend, who’s husband is a meteorologist in Baltimore. I felt fortunate. I even bought some snowshoes. Because this snow isn’t going anywhere and there’s more forecasted for Monday. 


I think I found her stream when she was featured as a “Daily Click” through Shutter Sisters. And it’s not hard to see why I was easily smitten. Her photos are beautiful and light-filled. Two qualities I am easily attracted to. I think the fact she uses a Rolleiflex 2.8F for many of her pictures, makes me happy too. I find every time she posts a new photo, I favorite it. I think you should just go see for yourself. There is no way you can’t be inspired.

See what I mean?



1. macarons, 2. tiramisu, 3. August 30, 4. chocolate, banana and teff cupcakes, 5. Market, 6. summer harvest, 7. yes it’s summer, 8. Blue Tuesday., 9. .

I have long admired people who can take beautiful pictures of food. I wish I was able to photograph food. More so, the styling that goes with it. To me, it’s an art. One that I haven’t grasped. But I thought I would highlight some that have and make beautiful pictures with something as simple as a cookie.

Enjoy your weekend friends, and if you live in the path of a major snowstorm, hunker down, curl up with a blanket and good book and stay warm. And maybe eat some cookies, or cake and hot chocolate.


Whirly Thoughts

So Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania is a big thing. Punxsutawney Phil is a rock star. He doesn’t seem to mind the once-a-year craziness. In fact he seemed pretty mellow this morning. I think he enjoys the gentlemen in top hats. So it is beyond me why PETA wants a robotic groundhog instead of Phil. A 120-year tradition with a real, live, groundhog, out-the-door for a robotic counterpart. It just would not be the same. Kind of like this strangeness…not. even. close. (this was a CNN headline yesterday, people)

When I run in the morning, many times I see a red fox. He will sit on a hillside and watch me as I run by, or, run in front of me. Granted, I take different paths during the week. But they all seem to center around the same point. This has been going on for 7 months now. I wonder if it means anything.

I got my hair done on Saturday. I told my hairdresser about going out to eat one night with my husband to Pazo’s in Baltimore (seriously amazing). I told her they have tapas. She stopped and looked at me for a moment. And then said, “topless?!” I said, “tapas…like small meals, appetizers.” Relieved she said, “gosh, I was gonna say, I didn’t think you were that type of person.” 

I also called my parents, who live in the Palm Springs area, on Sunday afternoon. Now granted, it’s a 3-hour time difference, so I have to be aware of when I call, or else it could still be in the middle of night for them. So I called around noon our time. I called their home phone, which I never do, and was amused it took my mom seven rings to pick up the phone. Here was our conversation: 

Hello (sleepy tone)”

“Are you still asleep?!” (Don’t you love how I greet my mom?)

“Who’s this?”

“It’s your daughter, Jennifer!”

Um, you have the wrong number.”

“Omigosh…I am so sorry.”


I can’t tell you how many moments I’ve had like that. Another one included a man walking two dogs that resembled our neighbor friend. We were returning home from the dentist one night (it was dark) and we saw this man walking a golden lab and a smaller dog, which we thought was the chihuahua. So my husband thought it would be funny if I asked the guy, who we thought was our friend, if he would like some candy (with a not so innocent, evil voice). So it was only after I said the statement, did I realized the other dog was not a chihuahua, but a miniature dachshund. 

Yesterday, while swimming, after hearing my name, a man asked me if I was the assistant principal of that district’s middle school. I laughed.

It is amazing what happens when you wear your hair down. Especially when it’s big and curly. Children don’t know what to do after seeing you with it in a ponytail the last few months. They will stare and stare. Adults ask you if you got your haircut. It’s amazing what a little change like that does to people.

Quaker cannot make enough of this cereal. We just went through three boxes in two days. It is rare to find a cereal that everyone likes. But I wonder, do they make and sell, huge boxes of it?

If you haven’t yet, please check out this auction. I have two prints I am auctioning off (one is coming later) and I would really love if someone bids on them. It’s for a good cause and every single dime will go to Haiti.