May 01, 2016

Bobbi Brown's Make-Up Tips



I don't know about all of you but I am enjoying the pop of color that make-up gives me- more the older I grow. I've noticed how much more vibrant my 94-year-old mom looks with a bit of blush on her cheeks and some lipstick. Once again, she is my inspiration. I tell her this all the time but she doesn't believe it.

I want to start a list (and frame it) of the things I want to remember to do, and not do, when I am an old woman. At the top of the list is something else my mom has inspired me with- that losing our memory is hard (and confusing) but to just try and go with the flow with it.

 She has also told me that when trying to remember the word for something, to rub my left thumb and forefinger together.

I swear it works.

April 26, 2016

Trust the Process


Last weekend's full moon
 
Wherever we are-

Whether we're in a quandary, and unsure about taking a next step, or feeling sadness or emotional pain- it's important to feel what we're feeling. 

To not try and push away the uncomfortableness or force it down with food and booze 

or attempt to get on top of it and stamp it out, like burning embers. 

Embrace hard emotions as this will help us move through them and let them go, instead of allowing them to fester

or even grow. 

Always trust the process. 

Trust our intuition. 

We are all in the process of healing, somewhere. 

It is, what it is, to be a human.


April 17, 2016

April 11, 2016

In Ourselves


Amidst the craziness of this mixed-up world, I find this quote empowering.

Amidst the craziness of my own life, I am finding peace and solace by reading more lately and being on the web less. I've also found it by journaling, which I haven't done much of for years.

Journaling helps me to crystallize my thoughts and is also a great tool for reflecting back on them.

Journaling feels like truth serum. It is a great support for our intentions.

As my mom loses her memory, I can see that I might really like to have my journals to read, in the years ahead.

Or even now- Gosh, isn't it so hard sometimes to remember what we thought?

I am reading a lovely book called Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. It tells the story of two couples, who meet each other during the Great Depression when they are young, and follows their lives for many many years.

Stegner's writing is like poetry, like butter.

Also this week, I came across this great article again on lasting relationships. It explains that healthy ones come down to basic traits. After 32 years of being in the ebb and flow with Mr. Fix-It, I totally agree.

Have a nice week my friends,
xo

March 31, 2016

After All



From the icky leftovers in the fridge,

to the aging plant that is never going to make a comeback

to the things we do over and over again hoping to achieve a different result

to the people who drain us

to the thing we've thought or said, so many times, but that gets us no where...

edit life frequently and ruthlessly.

And then

start

anew.


March 26, 2016

Libido As a Life Force

I came across this great video of Kim Anami, who is a holistic sex and relationship coach. She basically shares that whether it is self-love that we are enjoying, or love with someone else, it's all good and can carry us far into old age.

Amen for this.

Seriously, is there really anything more fun to do?

She also believes that creative energy and sexual energy are very similar, which I've heard before. She doesn't say so here but from my tantra studies both energies are housed in our our 2nd chakra (a few inches below the belly button).

If you press firmly here you will find it and notice a nice sensation. Sometimes I let it lull me to sleep.

She also speaks about creating vaginal muscles strong enough to pop-out a ping pong ball! She calls this vaginal kung-fu :-)

This, dear readers of mine, I am curious to read-up on.

Anyway, yesterday during a day off, I went for a run and listened to her "Spice Up: Libido As a Life Force" video and was thoroughly entertained, as I imagine you will be as well perhaps. So if you're heading out for a walk, or a run, or folding laundry, take it along with you- it's a quick 26 minutes.



March 25, 2016

7 Simple Ways


Yee-haw! The bullshit work is done, my neck issue is so much better and it's back to doing what I like to do again. This week's post from Marc and Angel was titled "16 Simple Ways to Love Yourself Again". They have solid advice about getting over our humps, expanding outside our comfort zone and finding self-love. I don't always have time to read them but I will say this- they are always good when I do. 

*  Start telling ourselves what we love about ourselves.

*  Start being one with what is.

*  Start focusing less on winning the approval of others.

*  Start distancing ourselves from those who bring us down ( this is huge).

* Start forgiving our past selves.

* Start making the changes we know we need to make ( another big one).

* Start embracing the mistakes we haven’t even made yet...


For more insight on these click here


And have yourself a merry little Christmas....I mean Easter :-)

I'm hosting and it's time to get the ball rolling. 
xo


March 12, 2016

Just Like Mama Told Us



It's been a wingdinger of a few weeks with too many moving parts going all at once. Clearly not enough alone time and self-care for me.

I hate it when I don't have time to put my feet up to read or even write!

I pulled into the grocery store parking lot the other day, desperate to fill my empty kitchen pantry with food. Before I got out of the car though I glanced in the rear view mirror, took a breather and decided to take an inventory of everything that was making life so hectic, and me, such an emotional WITCH.

It tempted me to write on the back of my grocery list another list of all the extra things that have been going on. For instance, we replaced a very old rickety window in our kitchen that I've been looking out of for years ( like 25...) while I do dishes but couldn't open because of all the lead paint chips in it. Amen for this- but the chaos from having to move everything out of the kitchen because of the lead dust and put it back?

Omg.

Meanwhile, both kids came home for visits in the middle of it, which I love of course but was hard timing. In addition, we are refinancing the house and doing the endless paper chase that goes with it....I've had multiple dental visits for my mom and chiropractic visits for myself...I'm working on the college financial aid app and the f'ing taxes (excuse me)....Mr. Fix-It hosted a business dinner here this week.....and I've been dealing with a pinched nerve in my neck from a poorly executed, overly zealous, yoga move and have had some vertigo...which is really weird and scary.....

....And this list doesn't even include my regular job and other minutia in life.....

Gosh it feels good to vent.

I know we all have crazy times like this and you'll be able to relate.

I appreciate you listening and allowing me to lay on your therapist couch :-)

My chiropractor has been encouraging me to keep my chin up ( and not look down at my phone) and general good posture, which as the video above relays, is the foundation for good health.

Especially as we age.

So don't forget to walk with your head held high and stick your boobs out my friends :-)

February 29, 2016

Lines of Beauty



I was riffling through my bedside table the other day and came across the above quote, by Seth Godin. I had scribbled it down on a small, jagged strip of paper and stuck in there god knows how long ago. It has already inspired me this morning to email someone about an issue that had gone astray. Kind of hard to do but I feel so much better now.

Also this week I found in the notes on my phone the Buddhist saying, "In life we cannot escape pain but we can learn to let it go." Another very good quote.

I like having a blog partly because it gives me a place to jot down all these random reminders to myself ( if and when I ever have the time to read back over them that is...)

Sometimes I worry that blogs will become extinct and then what will I do? Writing has become such a good, therapeutic thing in my life.

Chances are that someday this will happen, which is a sad thought for me. Any long time bloggers out there can perhaps relate.

I also like this blog because it always keeps me thinking and conscious about what is happening around me and inside of me. It reminds me to be grateful and it really does help me to be accepting of and celebrate the aging process.

The other day, after having 5 days in the sun,  I looked down at the tops of my hands and thought how much older they suddenly looked. I thought to myself, "Wow my hands are really getting old!"

But my next observation was how cool they looked and how neat the aging process is. When I remembered to see and appreciate- the organicness and the art form that aging truly is.

And of course, how lucky we all are to be able to grow old.

Once again, thanks for listening, dear readers of mine.
xo

February 23, 2016

The Common Thread That Runs Between Us




Mr. Fix-It and I got away to water and sun this past week and cut the engine on life, with a much needed break in Punta Cana.

Almost every morning we did some yoga out at the end of a dock under an open-air thatched roof. It's been years since I've done much yoga and I was grateful to tap into it again, especially with him.

The story of our 32-year-union is of course a long one. In the mix of it all, there have times when we've each yearned to share a deeper place with one another. I think this is very common in a long marriage, especially one with a quest for new discovery, emotional connectedness and growth.

So when life's tread mill stopped this past week and all that there was to do was be together, it allowed me to celebrate, more than ever, how well we can let the walls down and melt into one another.

On our journey home I remember thinking that if the plane went down, I would be at peace, because I have experienced a deep, deep love with this man.

Also this week, I'm grooving on this Goal of Yoga quote:



February 13, 2016

February 07, 2016

Getting Back On The Horse

My mama turned 94 recently.

We celebrated here with all of her Boston relatives (of which there were 6) and my sister who came from afar. My first born made her this beautiful floral wreath to wear and we enjoyed some of her favorite foods, which included scallops and cupcakes. But mostly importantly, butter pecan ice cream.

As you can see, purple is her favorite color :-)

My mama is a marvel. Even as the lights start to flicker and her memory fades, she remains mostly optimistic. Going to painting lessons, playing senior volleyball (the rule is that you can't get out of your seat...) listening to music, lectures and enjoying friends and food, as she always has.

The most inspirational thing for me about her lately is watching her get back up on the horse, after having a hard day.

This, and that she still knows how, to find happiness for herself.

January 30, 2016

Living As We Can





I've begun seeing a Chinese acupuncturist for a UTI that I haven't been able to shake since last April.


I haven't been in pain- my urine just doesn't smell right. I've tried many things including two different types of antibiotics, reducing sugar and lots of remedies off the shelf at Whole Foods.

It was time to take the holistic health route, instead of more antibiotics.

The first thing the acupuncturist did was ask me many, many questions about my health and lifestyle and requested that I eliminate alcohol and sugar altogether.  

WHAT? No more glass of wine at night- the one that I've been having, like clockwork, since I was 28?

I should have seen this coming.

It's now been 5.5 days without and I am missing alcohol and sugar less and less. I feel like I am focusing better. Not so ADD'ish.

I am enjoying observing the changes within myself.

BUT I miss my bits of dark chocolate happiness throughout the day, as well as cutting the engine at night with a glass of wine.

She has suggested room temp water with lemon wedges instead, especially the rind.

The other thing that she requested is that I am asleep by 11PM every night as the body starts repair itself soon after this.

We really are aligned with the moon and the sun.

She also said I need to slow down,and have more time for healing, and for myself.

This is much needed I know.

I am being challenged by the 11PM bedtime (as usual) and slowing myself down.

Baby steps.

Trying to be more mindful, which is easier without the wine.

All around, already feeling a little better I think.

xo

January 28, 2016

Empathy



It's been a few weeks where I've kind of felt like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me a little bit. With a couple of things that have been going on.

I've felt sadness, anger, anxiety and not like the usual me.

I've even had the odd thought that I need to read Lines of Beauty and better ground myself!

I've needed to take my own advice or someone else's.

The good news is that I feel things shifting as of late and I'm in a much better place.

One thought that came to me, from my friend Cindy, is that we have to go through the darkness to see the light.

Which I think is totally true.

So while I've been moving through it, I've been making a point to do a few other things:

* Stop worrying about the things that I can't control.

* Trust the process.

* Continue to listen to my heart and allow myself to feel and express what I'm feeling.

* Stay well with exercise, whole food and sleep.

*Look for the silver lining.

* Be present and patient and keep working things through.


Feel free to add any of your own words of wisdom, dear readers of mine.

xo,
Louise


*Many thanks to Carolyn for sending in another great video from Brene Brown.

January 21, 2016

Conflicting Commitments

The biggest commitment you must keep is the commitment you keep to yourself. 
~Neale Donald Walsch

Thank you to Brenda Stanton, from Claim Your Worth for this week's thoughts on commitments:

Our heart’s desires are the things that we’re too embarrassed or afraid to tell anyone about – so it's no wonder we worry about that question of Who Do You Think You Are? It’s a question that has a dual connotation – because:
1) We hear it internally from that inner critical voice and

2) We fear hearing it from other people, especially people who are closest to us – and who we fear losing or making feel uncomfortable if we want to change and transform into a better version of ourselves.

I read recently that one of the top 6 fears that people have against succeeding in their lives/work is the fear they have of losing love.

How true that fear is - because most of the time we don’t realize that we’re not stepping out because we don’t to make others feel uncomfortable around us.
Maybe it’s our parents who we don’t want to out-succeed. Or maybe it’s an older sibling, or maybe it’s even our spouse - who, for whatever reason, hasn’t claimed their success.

This is the stuff that doesn’t get talked about much. And maybe it doesn’t get talked about much because most people aren’t aware of what they’re not aware of. 

Most of the time the hold backs we face are things that we aren't even aware of. And when we aren't aware we can't change it - especially if we're more committed to something else than what we say we want. 

For example, say we have a Big Vision – we know what we want, we know why we want it, we have the images glued to our vision board, we can see it, feel it and almost taste it, yet it continues to elude us.

What gives?

An underlying commitment. See, we're always committed to something – but most of the time we don’t realize that we're more committed to something very different than what we say we want. 

For example, if we say we want to step-out and claim our vision, we want to shine, we want to write, teach, speak, sing, get in shape, whatever – yet we aren’t taking the necessary action to manifest that vision and it continues to elude us – I can only guess that we’re hovering over an underlying commitment.

Maybe we’re more committed to staying comfortable, not being seen, and making other people in our life feel more comfortable around us – so we won’t be criticized and we can keep love - hmm - something to think about huh?

Deep stuff but critical stuff if we really want to get into action. Once we can dig up the beliefs, bring them into the light, things transform, we transform, and that vision begins to come closer and closer.
You know we’re here for a higher purpose – and others just need to accept that – including us! To delve into this a bit deeper, check-out the Worthy Work here.

January 09, 2016

Homeland Security

Al fresco in the country. Photo by Caroline J. Fernandes
The last few weeks I've been posting to you from Madeira Island, Portugal where we spent the holidays in the homeland with Mr. Fix-It's entire family.

My father-in-law is from Madeira and 18 of us flew together to visit him and his Madeiran wife, who live out in the country. It was a long anticipated, epic event, to say the least.

20 people + 4 cars = staying in 3 locations on a very twisty-turny volcanic island....

...you can imagine how each day was an logistical exercise in patience. It all worked out however and was a great celebration together.

After the first week, because of the complexities of traveling with 20 relatives, I realized that I had had very few conversations of substance with anyone but myself! This changed however as we conquered the jet lag, the barking dogs, clucking chickens and settled into a groove with each other.

The bulk of us stayed at this spacious, awesome villa in the city for only $17 a night per person. This coupled with delicious $1.75 bottles of  Portuguese wine, and many rounds of card games, wove us tightly together in a way that we had never experienced before. I so love this family that I married into.

Described as "The Pearl of the Atlantic," Madeira was recently nominated by the National Geographic Channel as the best island destination in the world and it is understandable why.

I've posted about Madeira before here and here if you would like to see more photos and learn more about her majesty.


January 01, 2016

What I Wouldn't Give



Happy New Year dear readers of mine.

I thought this video is a good way to usher in the new year. A  reminder to slow down especially and enjoy the moment.

 I have a few things I'm hoping for in 2016 but at the very tippy-top for sure is that Donald Trump doesn't become out next president....


Omg PLEASE.

I've had a whirlwind couple of weeks but more about this in the new year!

All my best,
Louise

December 24, 2015

Feliz Natal


Funchal, Madeira, family church
From here 
to you ~

Wishing you all
a very Merry Christmas.

Xo,

Louise

December 18, 2015

A Quickie :-)

Running with the wind these days as I'm sure most of you are as well.

Just want to drop-in with this gorgeous photo and share that although I didn't beat my arch nemesis in the swim meet, I did swim the fastest that I have since my younger years by a bit. This leaves me in a very comfy, cozy, 3rd place nationally for my age group (age 50-54) in the 50 meter freestyle.

It was my last swim race in this age group.

How times flies.

Kudos to my fast as lightening opponent, who swam her best race as well, just 6/10 of a second off the world record.

She beat me by almost 2 seconds, which in a sprint is a huge amount.

Holy shit, you should have seen her.

Built like a brick house.
 
19 days with very little sugar and my UTI isn't any better... but I am going to stay the course, recently adding in a probiotic and omega 3s as well.

Time to see a naturopathic doctor I think. 

Happy, healthy whatever you are doing this week.

xo

December 12, 2015

In The Throes



God I love this quote. Every time I remember it it sets me at ease, especially this time of year when so many of us are in the throes of the holiday season.

I race tomorrow so this has to be quick. A quick post and a quick race.

There is that perfectionism again.
 
But truthfully, there isn't anything like sprinting 50 meters of freestyle for me. The energy outlay. The life energy. Life force. Blowing all my physical gaskets at once. When I can stay on top of my fear it can be a very powerful thing. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I imagine that some of you can relate to being an athlete but perhaps mastering fear is something everyone can relate to or at least the struggle of it.

I leave you with this dear readers of mine.

xo

December 05, 2015

Doing it Differently

The other day I came across this list in things that I've saved. It's a pretty interesting list actually.

The happiness points that ring particularly true for me right now are #1, #2,  #3, #8 and #12. Although at different points in life others have been in the top five or probably will be at some point.

Also this week- I've gone cold turkey on eating sugar in hopes of alleviating an antibiotic resistant low-grade bladder infection that I've been struggling with. This isn't a huge deal because I've been pretty careful about my sugar intake as the years have gone on, but on the other hand, I LOVE my little squares of chocolate and tollhouse cookies and really miss my little friends.

Only another chocolate addict will understand what I am talking about. Or perhaps a former smoker, drinker or pot head etc.

It's only the end of day 6 so I will keep you posted :-(

Also this week I am beginning to prepare mentally to swim against my arch nemesis who is coming to Boston for the New England Championships next weekend ( see point #10). We've never raced head-to-head but I guess it's time, which is either thrilling or as scary as hell, depending on the day....

Have a good week everyone!

xo

November 26, 2015

When The Walls Come Down


I like this collage I made a few years back so much that I'm recycling it again.

This year, as always, I am grateful for many things but I think the thing at the tippy-top is my mom who will be 94 in January. As some of you know, for the last 3 years she has lived close-by, instead of almost 500 miles away. This of course has brought responsibility into my life but it has also brought a wonderful intimacy with her that was hard to have for so many years because I was either being a ratty teenager, or because of the long distance between us, or because I was sleep deprived and busy having my own family. Or because when we saw each other it was frequently at a large family gathering and our relationship got diluted.

Or maybe because we just didn't quite know how to do it.

I guess what I want to say it that I am grateful for our relationship. Sometimes I see us as this ball of yarn where, like an onion, the layers are slowly unraveling and being made into something anew- as our intimacy unfolds and we reach to know and love each other, even more.

But at the same time we are a ball of yarn that is winding larger and firmer- from the life experience that we are sharing about aging, and vulnerability and what it is to be a human being.

As I write this brings tears to my eyes.

Many years ago I made up a simple little grace to say at dinner with Mr- Fix-It and the kids that better represented what I personally wanted to say each night then other prayers that I've heard.

It goes like this:

Let us be thankful for all that we have.

For our health

And our home

But especially, for each other.

Each day is a blessing.

Amen


Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers of  mine.

xo,
Louise

November 21, 2015

From Paris with Love



I've no business being on here as I haven't even begun to make-ready for hosting Thanksgiving...

Doesn't the web take the cake for all procrastinating?

This week I've watched a fair amount of TV, whilst knitting away, which is unusual for me (and kind of nice). Except if I wasn't careful, too much of it covered the terrible, devastating Paris terror attacks.

In the midst of it all, however, I saw this little nugget of a Parisian father trying to quell the fears of his little boy.

If you haven't seen it already, it's really lovely.

Thank you to Econesting and Carin for the video.

XO


November 14, 2015

How Very Short the Endless Days Will Run


A Watsu Pool

Inside you know 
Inside you understand
Inside you know what’s yours to finally set right
And i suggest
And i suggest to you
And i suggest this is the best part of your life
This is a song
Comes from the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
This is a song
With a request of you
To see how very short the endless days will run
And when they’re gone
And when the dark descends
We’d give anything for one more hour of life
May i suggest
This is best part of your life

~Susan Werner (of Red Molly) 


I am fresh off a women's empowerment/tantra weekend where I joined 17 like-minded souls for a few days of discussion, energy work, healing and celebrating. We also had a chance to spend time in a body-temperature watsu pool, which I loved.

I had heard (and felt) that creative and sexual energy are connected but now that I have a better understanding of the 7 chakras, I know it for sure.

I have to hunker back down the rabbit hole and begin work on another knitwear design project but I wanted to post first and include the very beautiful song, May I Suggest, (below) from the retreat.

I hope you all have a nice weekend,
xo