Health, Wellness & Enjoyment

Building more than I burn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh October, I’m not even through my first day of you and already you have me grabbing my ankles! I’m already at an emotional disadvantage because I told my better half that I needed October off to get my head on straight and now I find myself laid up with a sinus infection from hell AND my job has been further downsized to only one day a week. What the heck is happening here? How am I supposed to get through this seemingly never-ending downward spiral? Well, like the cockroach I am, I know deep down inside that I’ll be the last one standing. I’m stubbornly tenacious like that. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight now–instead of completely panicking–I’m trying to take the zen approach to these recent setbacks. The reality is that I need to build more bridges and burn less of them. I need to expand Sweet Pea’s Groceries, sew more Hazardous Materials, create more jewelry, and really put my shit out there. I think there’s been this internal assumption that no one wants what I offer. Crazy but true. I didn’t even realize it until last week when I meekly contacted a store owner to ask if she was interested in carrying my products and she was like of course I want your stuff, duh! This was a revelation for me. People want my stuff. Who would have thought?! Why aren’t I giving the people what they want? What’s my problem? This could be my full-time job if I only built the proper bridges. Uh Duh! (Is this what Oprah calls a lightbulb moment?) So October, that’s what you’re going to be about. I’m reaching out, not shrinking back. I’m silencing my mother’s voice which is on an ingrained continuous loop in my subconscious mind. Thirty-seven years of teaching me that failure is something to be feared. Thirty-seven years of teaching me that it’s better to never have tried than to have tried and failed. I can’t do it anymore. (And no, this is nothing against my mother in any way. I’m grateful that I have her. We all have fears and she’s certainly not the only person to have projected them onto his/her kids as a means of protecting them.) Oh October, you’re either going to be good for me or the death of me and I’m not giving up until I know for sure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also want to take the chance to express my gratitude for the bridges that are continuously being built by others that lead directly to me. I’m so lucky to meet people through this blog, my websites, through Etsy, and at tabling events who completely take my breath away. A perfect example is Lisa. She contacted me a few weeks ago through my Etsy shop because she wanted to learn more about my natural laundry soap. Come to find out, Lisa’s a single mother with end stage liver disease. I was completely blown away by her honesty, humor, and determination. Well, we’ve been trading information on insomnia cures, health insurance and soap making ever since. Let me tell you, she has the most amazing sense of humor. Her emails leave me rolling! She recently published her own website–www.checkinguout.wordpress.com–where she writes product reviews. Hopefully, she will write more about herself in the future because she’s such an inspiration. Knowing her, even briefly, has definitely helped put my life in perspective. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe above photos were taken of and from the Wurts bridge which extends over the Roundout Creek in Kingston. I absolutely love this bridge. Petunia and I try to walk it several times a week. Ironically, I read a passage from Anne Rice’s The Tale of the Body Thief last night that captures my sentiment (and it’s about New Orleans so it’s doubly apt):

It was an empty field close to the wharves, stretching beneath the giant pylons of the freeways which led to the high twin river bridges which I have always called, since the first moment I beheld them, the Dixie Gates. I must confess these bridges have been given some other, less charming name by the official world. But I pay very little attention to the official world. To me these bridges will alway be the Dixie Gates, and I never wait too long after returning home before I go to walk near them and admire them, with all their thousands of tiny twinkling lights. Understand they are not fine aesthetic creations such as the Brooklyn Bridge….They do not have the solemn grandeur of San Francisco’s Golden Gate. But they are bridges, nevertheless, and all bridges are beautiful and thought-provoking; and when they are fully illuminated as these bridges are, their many ribs and girders take on a grand mystique.

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A ripe weekend ahead

This weekend = me, you, and some large, tasty, juicy, ripe, delicious, scrumtrulecent tomatoes. Maybe we could wear matching tomato costumeTomato costumes and lose ourselves in the moment? Perhaps do some juggling? Let’s do it! I know you want to. The Saugerties Farmers Market is hosting their annual tomato taste-off. Awesome prizes will be given for the tastiest and heaviest. I can’t wait to see some of my beloved vendors get down and dirty trying to win this competition. Seriously, I can see Joe from Mangia Bene throwing down! Gosh, I envy that panel of judges. I want to win so bad but sadly I haven’t grown a single tomato this year. Next year, I’ll be a contender. Regardless, come visit me under my tent. I know I was sick last week so I promise to be there no matter what tragedies may befall me betwixt now and Saturday. Yup, I said betwixt. And I probably should refrain from tempting fate by talking tragedy. Oh well, tempt I shall. See you Saturday then? From 10 am to 2 pm. Oooh, I also have coupons for my coaching and reiki services to give away. $25/hour session. Not too shabby.

Travel

Glaciers have come to the Museum of the Earth

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A few weeks ago I visited the Museum of the Earth to check out their brand-spankin-new glacier and coral reef exhibits. These permanent exhibits have been a long time in the making so it was really nice to see them finally come to fruition. It all looks fantastic! Everyone did such a great job! See, wonderful things happen to a place when I quit working there. Hah!

That night, after seeing the new exhibit, I ran into my supervisor from my pre-museum job. I was over-the-moon to see her because I’ve always wondered how she’s doing, if she’s still working there, what hijinx the crew is up to, etc… She was miserable the last time I saw her and she’s way too wonderful of a person to not be 110% happy. She told me that I left at the perfect time because they downsized soon after and most of the department was cut. My timing has always been fairly good as far this stuff goes; I smell disaster and I usually get out quickly. The ironic part is that she’s now a happily self-employed grant-writer who helped the museum get the last bit of money they needed in order to build the new exhibits. Hah! Things really do have a way of circling back around, don’t they? So, if you find yourself in need of some grant money, I can point you in the right direction.

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The Saugerties Farmers Market opens this Saturday!

The Saugerties Farmers Market is back! Please join me and the rest of the awesome vendors for a gorgeous day full of yummy food and great music. Sweet Pea’s will be selling a wide variety of soaps, plus deodorant, shampoo, cleaning sprays and jewelry! And maybe some bug repellent–providing I can stop time long enough to make it.

Opening Day for the 2013 Summer Season of the Saugerties Farmers Market will be May 25th, 10 AM to 2 PM at 119 Main Street Saugerties, NY 12477. We will be offering Fresh and Local fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, honey, flowers, cheeses, breads and on-site dining. The Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting will be a 10 AM with local dignitaries attending. Music will be provided throughout the day by Passero, with a Chef’s demonstration, at 11 AM, presented by Jimmy Tamayo. Art Lab Children’s Art Space project- Glossy Paper Flowers.
For additional information call: 917-453-2082

Travel

A Central New York Hike: Chicago Bog

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Tuna and I are back in my hometown of Cortland, New York visiting my mother and friends before I head off for Yellowstone. Sometimes I wonder why in the heck my mother leaves the paradise of Siesta Key, Florida and returns to little ole Cortland but having Lime Hollow Nature Center in the backyard is as close to heaven as you can get. During our jaunt, every 20 minutes or so, a random person would appear from behind a tree and walk to some other spot in the forest. These aimless wanderers crossed my path several times with no acknowledgement of me whatsoever. Needless to say, I was a little creeped out until I saw a SUNY ESF van in the far parking lot. Then I put two-and-two together and realized those aimless zombies were just Stumpies from my alma mater. I bet if I didn’t enjoy taking photos so much, I would also be aimlessly wandering, never looking up to take it all in. You really do miss the big picture when you’re hyper-focused on finding one thing. I’m a herper so my gaze is trained downwards most of the time and I’m constantly having to remind myself to look up and enjoy nature in its entirety. Most of the photos are from the Chicago Bog area (Doughnut Pond to us local folk), which was my magical place when I was growing up. It’s so beautiful! I’m forever grateful to a college wetlands course that allowed me to venture out onto the sphagnum mat in the middle to take soil samples, eat cranberries, and learn the inner workings of the place I grew up so entranced by. Let me take this moment to express my gratitude to Peter and the rest of the employees and volunteers of the Lime Hollow Nature Center for performing top-notch trail maintenance and installing engaging and informative interpretive signs. The place is well kept and it warms my heart to know that the land will be respectfully preserved for future little Jaime’s to explore.

Making Crafty Magic

The Treehouse: A Post to Drool Over

I’m in the process of spring cleaning everything, including my computer files, and came across these pictures I totally spaced on sharing. Doh! I took these a few months ago when Kathy (the wonderful owner of The Treehouse) allowed me to work in her store for the day. I’ve never wanted to work somewhere so much in my life! Usually, I have the opposite problem. Amazingly enough, I walked out at the end of the day and didn’t purchase a single thing. I was super proud of myself because as soon as I walk into that place I usually lose all impulse control. Although some things have changed since I took these pictures, at least you can get an idea of how gorgeous the space is and how thoughtfully Kathy curates the store. If you see something that you just can’t live without or if you want to visit, click here for more info.

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Here are a few photos from The Treehouse’s 1st Anniversary Party & Artists’ Reception:

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Helen (as in Helen of Memphis) is talking to another talented artist. Click on this photo to see what Helen is all about. You can catch her working in the store on Wednesdays.

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Last but not least, this adorable creature is named Erin and she has a brand-spankin’ new store called The Modern Dream in Saugerties. Click on her picture to learn more.

 

Travel

A Hudson Valley Hike: Kaaterskill Falls

capture_02Well clearly WordPress hates me (or Kaaterskill Falls) today because this is about the twentieth time I’ve tried to post this. Ugh! Okay, deep breaths. I’m trying to get into shape for Yellowstone in a more body-friendly way than I have in years past. I’m trying to avoid the machines at the gym so hiking is a great option. I thought I would share some Hudson Valley hiking pictures to get you in the spirit of summer and encourage you to enjoy the outdoors. Here are some photos of Kaaterskill Falls. In the past, I’ve hiked the upper trails but I’ve never experienced the lower trail so Tuna and I figured what the heck. If you enjoy long, heavily forested hikes with easy parking, try upper Kaaterskill. The lower trail is relatively short–ending abruptly at the falls, the trail is rocky (which I enjoy), and the walk from the parking lot to the trail head is perilous. Overall, it was worth the jaunt just to see the falls and relax on the rocks. When you’re finished communing with nature, visit the nearby hamlets. Kaaterskill Falls is right between Palenville and Haines Falls on Route 23A. Palenville has the Circle W general store which makes the best sandwiches (try the Fernwood). And if you’re heading towards Haines Falls, keep driving to Tannersville and Hunter for some great shopping. The scenic drive in and of itself is worth it.

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The perfect Sunday

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Thanks to all my wonderful friends and customers for giving me one of the best days of my life yesterday at the Cayuga Nature Center’s Maple Festival. I haven’t felt such love in a long time. It was great being home, eating too much food, drinking too much great beer, holding babies and catching up with all of you! This needs to happen more than once a year.

A huge thanks goes out to:
● Matt for making sure the event runs smoothly every year. You did well my friend, you can relax now.
□ Kevin for being so darn sweet and for having a birthday at the exact same time so we have even more to celebrate.
♥ Alicia for giving me such a lovely handmade bag. I love it and I love you!
○ Nate and Elana for being such great company.
■ Leona, my angel…and the only person alive to witness my close call with a bandsaw.
⊙ Jeff, my future boss, you still are the nicest person I’ve ever known no matter how hard you try to provoke me.
¤ Maureen, my job could not have ended up in more capable hands. I admire your dedication.
♡ My extended family: Emily, Amy, Sara & Sofia. You complete me. I’m not joking.
* And I must give props to Brent, the brewmaster at Wagner Valley. You are trouble and you make a mighty fine brew….the perfect man!