Collective memories Day 28

Today’s blog is a collection of memories that I hold like leaves pressed between the pages of a book. They are more beautiful with age, and yet as fragile as a leaf’s brittle edges after years of safe keeping until they flutter from a page onto this keyboard.
Here goes:
1. When I was about two or three years old I remember us standing, (you holding me), up against mom and dad’s bedroom window and I waved as they drove off for the evening. You set me down and I cried. Puddles of tears running down my little pink cheeks. “Rachel, you don’t need to shed big fat crocodile tears, they’ll be home in a few hours.” I think I was sad about them being gone, yes., but yet, I think I was more upset about not being included, haha. I hated being the little one who couldn’t do this or that because I was too young and too small. I felt left out. L.O.L., I know…hindsight is twenty-twenty as dad says!
2. When I was about four years old I discovered an active interest in science. I would pull earth worms up from underneath rocks in the garden, I collected them in mom’s old Tupperware containers.  I supplied them with grass and sandbox sand and I placed them in our clubhouse. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would forget about them and rediscover them days later, poor earth worms.  Secondly along these scientific lines, I would concoct fascinating experiments in the bathroom. My beaker was a Dixie cup, my stirring rod a q-tip, and my variables: water, toothpaste, baby powder and sometimes your bathroom items hidden inside of drawers beneath the sink. I’d stir, stir, and stir some more, and I’d wait to see how much powder I could get to slip below the surface, aha! Suddenly you would knock or rather, pound on the door, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE RACHEL? DID YOU FALL IN THE TOILET?!” Maybe that’s why the toilet would get clogged suddenly. Sorry dad….
3. We shared the coolest club house around. I must say. It was pretty fabulous! Inside it was decorated with my scribbles and later my love declarations with my first boy friend, awww young love….I think one of my favorite finds as a youngster in that clubhouse were the giant carpenter pencils we used to scribble on the walls. I hope that whoever bought the house from mom and dad in 1999 had children. I hope they enjoyed and or still enjoy that magical, imaginative, and fun play house dad built. Who knew that we’d be all grown up and still love that house, even more so now!
4. Three words: BOARDS ON DOORS
I’ll never forget when I was about eight and I tried to put the board on the front french double doors. I luckily balanced it correctly and did not take out the chandelier dangling from the tall ceilings height above said door. “Phew,” but let’s just say, I may or may not have accidentally dropped it through those two posts or pegs a time or two. The first time I tried to explain to a friend what it was, it was just too complicated for me to express. Upon further reflection now, I get it, I totally understand the boards on the doors. As a young kid, it seemed like, oh, ok that’s what we do, doesn’t your family board their doors? Haha. Well…you know, mom was ahead of her time. Early alarm system, talk about built-in security!
5. Mouse.
One word, super short, five letters, one syllable, and yet, it can summon up some of the most unprecedented responses from a human being. I shall never forget the shriek of fear echoing through the garage, into the house, and down the hallway. Remember how we kept the dog food in giant garbage can bins in the garage? Yeah…well…you encountered what was probably a shrew. I later met the same fowl in the garage area, only I found it’s number two sprinkled about in the vita bone cookie box and amongst the shelving around that area. I gotta say, “I’m not into mice.” Our poor neighbor Grandin had the privilege of removing said mouse once it became trapped on a sticky live trap. Dad was out-of-town, mom and I tried to be really responsible and take care of it with rubber gloves. Try as we might, we could not get past the rubber gloves and squealing sounds as we took steps closer toward it. I screeched, cried and laughed, and mom did as well. It was a mess to say the least, and dear Grandin swooped in with a laugh and a dust pan. What would we ever have done without him?
6. Now I know you say that you are not a runner. But hear this and you might retract your previous statement… 🙂
I believe I was age seven, you a young seventeen. I was playing on mom and dad’s bed with, “My Little Ponies.” I would make them gallop across the desert, i.e. carpeted area, and up the mountains, i.e. long hanging curtains that blocked out both the Anchorage frosty winter and kept in the heat. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of hair, jeans, and a long skid across the cul-de-sac. Yep, that blur was you my dear sister. I’ve never seen someone run as fast on ice as I saw that day. You ran so fast between the houses, up our street, across the circle, and into our driveway. I’m pretty sure that was probably one of the best cardio moments of your life. Why all this running other people are wondering?  I know you must be recalling at this present moment Debbie, the one word I have: moose.
Ok, now people, you need to understand that moose are not sweet, they are not friendly, and they are not our friends. They are wild animals that roam down from the mountains in search of food and unfortunately, they bed down in yards especially yards without fences. HOWEVER, they do occasionally cross over fences too, but that’s another story, never mind, anyway…. (Into the Woods reference…:) ) Needless to say, a gigantic bull moose was in the backyard of Mrs. Bell, our piano teacher’s yard. It stood up, you saw it above the snow bank, you fled, the rest is history. Thank heavens it had the sense enough to just ignore the small teenager that approached it. We had too many close calls with these mammals. There are countless stories we could share at a later date, right Debbie?!
Have a wonderful day! Enjoy the moose-less streets of H.K. but watch out for those mini-busses and fancy cars, crazy drivers in the land of H.K. roam quite free. I love you! xoxo.
Pretty tulips for you! It’s beginning to feel like spring time! 😉

“Three, two, one, action!” Day 27

When we were growing up, something we quite enjoyed as a family were our movie times. I thought I would dedicate today’s blog to a some random memories involving movies, enjoy! 🙂

Circa age three through seven I was in love with the Disney movie, “Alice In Wonderland.” Perhaps that is why I was draw to a three-quarter length sleeved shirt with Alice and Dinah on the blouse’s front and stripes on the sleeve for the Cheshire cat. Who knows really how our brains work. However, I do know this, when I suggested watching that with Declan at one point, you ranted about how I was so OBSESSED with that movie it was the only one that I would watch for years. Over and over again apparently… Funny though, I don’t really recall this. I KNOW!  It’s probably the only time I don’t recall a memory we have together that you have as well, unless, of course, I was too small to remember it. That being said, I do remember laying on mom and dad’s white miniature couch in their bedroom. Come to think of it, it was more like a love seat, but never the less, a comfortable one it was. I was ill with something or other and I can see that movie playing on the 40 inch screen.  I loved lounging and watching movies, singing and dancing along. Admitedly, I still do.  I used to perform these half cartwheels around mom and dad’s bed. A king size bed as a four-year old is quite exciting people. Fin, for that memory.

Circa age six, I zoom in, I can see the scene laid out before my eyes: Sleeping Beauty is blaring across the screen and I can hear your voice saying, “Do you want to try watching something new Rachel? What about this movie? I’ll let you watch it with me!” My response was prompt and high-pitched, “NOOOOOOOOO!” I don’t remember the title of the film you requested or suggested rather, but you were so annoyed with me. (Hahahahaha.) We had a long discussion about how the evil Maleficent was much scarier than the characters in this movie that you wanted to watch. You kept the discussion going and I think at one point I may have stated, “I don’t want to because, I don’t want to, and I like this movie because it’s not about Maleficent it’s about Aurorrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaa.” Endearing childhood moments. What was the name of that movie?

Cut to age eight or nine or so….here goes another blast from the past: I was interested in watching the movie, “My Girl.” We took in the flick together and I quite enjoyed it. I remember watching it with you, but I was very confused about one particular part. The scene that left me puzzled was this particular one: Lead girl comes rushing into the house and storms into the bathroom. She talks with her mom, (No wait, I think step mom who was not her favorite person in the world). She ranted as she answered the door and then promptly slammed the door in her friend’s face, a boy. She yelled, “Why don’t they get it? It’s so unfair, I can’t believe I have to deal with this…” or something like that. I really didn’t get it all perfectly, but you get the idea. What was this whole scene and moment about anyway? Why was it so important?

One word: Menstruation.  Ok three words: “Getting your period.”  CLEARLY I didn’t have any idea about bodily changes and what would take place in the future.  Debbie, I asked you about it and I keenly recall you saying this to me, “Ask me in two or three years and I’ll explain it to you.” Hahaha, I cracked myself up just then I as I typed those words, and Andy’s asking me, “What?” 🙂 Apparently I’m one of the only people he knows, who will be sitting quietly and start laughing aloud.  I am easily amused and I crack myself up. Isn’t this a skill that everyone posses? I think it’s quite normal.

Fall of 2014:  Lounging on your bed in Hong Kong and watching, “Roman Holiday,” together was one of my favorite H.K. memories. It was nice to just cozy up and chill out with a flick and a lovely starlet we admired. I shall leave you with a favorite quote of hers. Have a fabulous day, I love you!

Audrey Hepburn’s ideology and words: 

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

DSC01588A little giggle here with my attempt at fun hair and hair embellishments in this photograph. Amidst Declan’s, “Mad,” face at more selfies with Aunt Rachel. 🙂 It’s a hard knock life!

McLachlan Melodies Day 26

Excerpt of the Song Angel By Sarah McLachlan:

“In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It doesn’t make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees”

Today’s writing is a memory and a reflection from a present moment in time for this sisterly blog.

I had one of those days when I was ready to run into the wind screaming, or grab a big fluffy pillow and a glass of water as she says in the movie, “Thirteen going on Thirty.” I had, had enough in essence. I am very tolerant human being. When my patience are tried I can generally deep breathe my way through it. Sometimes I go to my happy place in my brain. Other times I will use my flogging tongue and whip a real good quip out if I feel it necessary. However, today, I breathed and then I flogged in the car. Thank you to my family for being such great listeners and supporters. Sometimes I am brought to tears and other times to the point where I have no words. That’s never a great place for me as a human being, however, I realize we will all have days like this, and that is ok.

As Miss Stacey said to Anne Shirely, “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.”

So, with this being said, what’s this blog’s title and opening stanza of a song all about? I was brought back to moments in the past when I have felt like this. I reflected and realized one things that has always brought me through it was, music.

Through melodies, through song, through verses being sung I have made my way through life and begun anew each day. Often times music is the sweetest and best release for people. I am not saying this to be clever because elements of Sarah McLachlan’s song have the concept of, “release,” in this particular song. I say this to be honest.

When I was about fourteen years old I began listening to Sarah’s music because of you Debbie. You introduced this wonderful female song writer into my life and I have loved her ever since. I can remember popping in my cassette tapes of her early albums and just turning the volume up and drowning out the stress of my adolescent day with her melodies. There is something  cathartic about releasing what has occurred in a day and using one’s voice to exert those feelings into existence.

Moving to Oregon in 1999 I discovered the vast plethora of music stores in the greater Portland metro area. I purchased a copy of the sheet music for, “Angel,” and learned, ever so slowly, how to tinker away the accompaniment for the piece.

In late August of 2007, we had the opportunity to attend the revival of Lilith Fair together. I had THE BEST time hanging out in the rain with you and Christine.  Sarah performed last, the wondrous head liner being saved until the end of course. However, the female artists leading up to her performance were especially spectacular. I absolutely adore Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Erika Badu, Cheryl Crow and Colbie Cailat. What’s not to love about that line up of musicians?! When Sarah stepped onstage at just past dusk. Her face filled the jumbo screen and I felt completely elated to see my musical idol before my very own eyes. Her ability to transcend emotion into a song is purely glorious.

So I sit here this evening, writing to you and thinking back on that positive moment in time. I feel calmer just typing away and allowing music to change the rhythm of my heart at this present moment in time. Life is made up of these little moments. The choices we make within these moments in time provide us with opportunities from which we can grow and learn as human beings.

I hope that today, in treatment, you can think of the words from one of your favorite songs and channel the peaceful emotion that Sarah’s words and music provide us. I love you! xoxo.


Beautiful sunset to visualize with song. 🙂

The music of the night Day 25

“Think of me, think of me fondly, when we said goodbye…”

Phantom of the Opera, by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Do you remember seeing this musical with me? I don’t even remember what year it was. Perhaps 2000, or 2001? It was on tour in Portland and you asked me if I would want to go see it with you.

Let me just take a pause for a moment to think about my response, “Ummmm, YES!”

For years we had listened the original Broadway cast album with Sarah Brightman, Crawford and Bartman. Over and over, and over again on road trips and to and from places around town. I loved singing and trying to embellish lyrics on the soprano songs. It was one of the musicals at the time that was taboo to sing at auditions or at recitals, “Too over done…tsk, tsk, who do you think you are? Sarah Brightman?”

Well I never listened to that. I ended up performing the role of Christine at a child’s birthday party in 2004. Yes, I said birthday party, that was correct. The parent was a bit indulgent shall we say. It was my first paying gig and I was absolutely thrilled. Someone has a home video floating around their shelves in Beaverton…not sure who or where. But the evidence exists. I wore my bridesmaid dress and earned a few hundred dollars to glide down the stair case and sing songs I loved. What’s not to love about that?!

Back to the memory. There I go digressing. Story of my life I’d say. 🙂  “The road less traveled…” Oh, whoops, there I go again.

I was absolutely thrilled to see the production with you that spring day. I can keenly recall mom and dad seeing it when I was about 9 or 10 in Anchorage, 1993 or 1994. Mom said I was a bit too young to see it because of the ‘scary’ elements in the production. I had heard about the chandelier falling and the whole mini-explosion bits here and there. I could not wait to see the spectacular with my own eyes. I can remember sitting in the Keller Auditorium with you, anxiously awaiting the beginning of the production. We flipped through the concert program and read through biographies for the performers and musicians.

The lights dimmed.

That faint chiming started and that melody that I can hear in my brain now, then the auction scene began. Finally the chandelier and that grand organ sound resounded. Chandelier glides upwards above the stage. Not over the audience yet, my heart still jumped into my hands, ok mom was right. 🙂

I don’t care what any one else thinks. I’m sorry, I think Sir Lloyd Webber did a spectacular job with his production. I absolutely adore the musical and am thrilled any time I hear the tunes. I know it’s rather faux pas or what not amongst the musical theatre community to be forthright with my accolades and taste. To each his own thought I say! I don’t know anyone personally that has written a musical that well done, performed THAT many times, and with such a resounding crowd pull for every show. Perhaps it is also the element of Paris that intrigued me ever so.

Having been lucky enough to spend time there, I can see why. It was a musical, architecturally enthralling, and culturally immersing city to experience. Perhaps one day we could share the experience together Debbie?! I would love to roam the streets of Paris with you and paint at the top of the Montmartre together. There is something to be said about being in Paris and enjoying what the city has to offer.

Thank you for the musical tapes, the musical production memories, and for sharing these glorious experiences with me. I can’t wait to see a musical with you again soon. I love you ever so!


This was a photo taken outside of the Keller, circa 2007-ish before enjoying, “Avenue Q.” Yet another musical you introduced into my life. 🙂

Visualize Day 24!

Brush in hand, gentle strokes, dip, wipe, repeat. The art of painting itself…


When painting I often find myself getting into a rhythm of sorts.  There is something cathartic about putting brush to paper or palette and letting go of expectations completely. I rediscovered painting with a dear friend and previous colleague. I saw her pictures of beautiful paintings via social media and I immediately became interested. I wanna do that! So we did!

When you visited last summer Debbie, I knew we had to go paint together. It was so much fun. And also funny. Looking back later upon my work I noticed how crooked certain things were and then I laughed at myself and thought, “There I go placing expectations upon my art, versus appreciating it for what I created.”

These reminders can be taken and applied into so many scenarios in life.

“There are no mistakes in art,” is what I like to tell students when they want a new paper, a new palette, a new this or that, when they experience the unconformability of creating visual art. I tell them how brave they can be if they push through and believe in their ability to create.

Our grandmother was a visual artist who blossomed later in life.

Perhaps if there was a fun term for inheriting art capabilities we could call ourselves that, Debbie. Such as, having a green thumb, or being ambidextrous or something or other. We both inherited visual capabilities and craftiness from mom and Grandma.

The idea of using one’s hands to create something from your imagination or an inspiration in life is essential to keep the spark of life alive. I love sitting down and even taking time to allow creativity to flow just for a few moments. Sometimes stopping your  to-do list in your brain, really being present in the moment in time can allow unexpected journeys to take place. I love when I stumble across an idea, or I draw a little sketch for a student. These are the moments to appreciate and celebrate. Small joys each day, help me to keep going and power through what can at times, be a daunting week or job filled hour.

Making time for this each day for art is essential. Even if it is appreciating a pretty picture on a calendar, or meme while scrolling a social media feed. Take time to look at art today and allow yourself to enjoy those subtle moments in time. We are Renaissance women aren’t we. Putting our arts together collectively to share and create. I love you big sister! xoxo

debbie and i painting

Library Day 23 or something like that… :)

How many of you know your library card number, or should I say numbers by heart? I DOOOOOOOOOOO! I know ALL THREE by heart. I say quite proudly to strangers, and I don’t know my driver’s license. Go figure?! Priorities in life= library visits.

I ran into a woman at the library about a month ago. I couldn’t place how I knew her in that brief moment of time. So I said, “Hi! Do you work for the Multnomah County libraries?” We had this little three minute conversation and then both went on our merry way. Later in the car the light bulb moment took place. “OOOOOOOOH!” THAT’s who she was! Long story short, she knew my sister, she was a librarian, and we had met at the Eric Kimmel talk recognizing Beverly Cleary’s work last summer. All of these little light bulbs went off too late though. She was in her car, and I in mine. I really had a strong desire to call Debbie at that moment and share my little story.

I had to be happy with emailing it later in the evening. But it wasn’t the same.

The funniest part of the encounter was my parting words with this woman, “I love the library, it’s like shopping, but for free!”

That pretty much sums it up for me.

I can shop for three of my favorite things: books=knowledge, music, and movies. Yes please!

Whenever I take my classroom students to the library which is unfortunately only every other week for, “check out time.” I help guide them through, “Book recommendations.” This is where I pick their brain about passions, interests, and which author they have yet to discover. We talk about good fit books and then I help them find a new genre along the way. I also encourage them to check out a non-fiction book each week. I’ve had some students take on the biography challenge this year, and branch into wild weather and now animal fact books for their research reports.

The library is my happy place and it always has been.

When I was super small we would visit our beloved Lusac Library in Anchorage about once a week. I loved walking into the children’s section, pulling my favorite books by familiar authors into a giant pile.  I loved laying down in the fun reclining chair circle and pretending to read all the picture books laid out beside me. When I later became a strong reader, I would go through periods of obsessively reading all of the books by a certain author. Here is where our tastes in literature part ways at times Debbie.

I was obsessed with all forms of narratives, historical fiction, biographies, and fictionalized human experiences. Anything science fiction, dystopian, or set in a far off land did not interest in me in any way. Unfortunately I was stubborn and didn’t branch too far from my literary tree of preference until later in life. However, with all this being said, our library beheld the keys to all of our literary desires.

I go to the library some weeks, two or three times. I am a fervent believer in the public access system and I encourage my students and families to support their local library every year. A favorite quote from a fifth grader, which was overheard by a colleague of mine, always brings a smile to my face.

“Hey man, I went to this place dude, and like, they GIVE you cd’s, movies, and books for free. For free man!” “Oh yeah? What place?” Student looks around, “The library, the library does!” 🙂

Let’s make a series of commercials for t.v. about the library, I’m ready to write a screen play and shoot it! Needless to say, I support all libraries and feel immediately at home in them. Thanks for sharing your library in H.K. Debbie! I love you! xoxo


This hangs in my classroom and it is a daily reminder for me and my students about the choices we make. Food for thought today. 🙂

December 12, 2006 Day 22 and counting!

My nephew’s birthday was and is still one of the most impactful days of my life. I had never before had a sibling give birth. I was beyond ecstatic to become an Auntie. Every moment I have the opportunity to share with him is a gift. I love him to pieces.


I fondly remember you telling me a secret all those years ago sister. You had told me that after visiting Europe, Doug and yourself were thinking about trying to have a baby. I was listening well you see. I knew….

Andy and I walked into mom and dad’s house that evening and I knew. I saw you sitting with Doug on the couch. You said, “We have some news that we want to share with all of you together. I’m pregnant!” Oooooooooh the elation I felt was something surreal. A BABY! I love babies!!!

Your pregnancy was not an easy one indeed. From the physical challenges you faced to our last remaining Grandfather passing away the Fall before his birth, it was a rough go indeed.  You held steady to the fact that the baby boy was healthy and growing strong. Feeling Declan’s little kicks was something else too. A moment to remember fondly for all these years. As the days of anticipation grew closer to December you and Doug prepped and prepped all that you could. I remember getting a call from you about being at the hospital, something was going on with how you were feeling that day … the moment of truth came when you couldn’t leave, you were admitted and induced for labor!

The running around commenced…

I ran over to your house and gathered things from your emergency bag, snuggled with Dulcie and met you both at the hospital that evening. I can still see you walking around a bit and that tight smile and I thought to myself, “It’s time to go…” Hours later, the phone rang again and he had arrived.

Andy and I drove to you three immediately.  Declan was only the second infant Andy had ever held. I think what struck me the most was seeing his tiny little face and body all swaddled up like a little glow-worm doll. His diapers were so small and delicate. It’s hard to imagine that he’s now nine years old.

Every curl, every cry, and every blast of laughter from your boy is a special gift to share. I love him ever so. He’s a riot and talker all rolled into one. His spirit and inquisitive nature is a demonstration of both your love and creativity throughout the years. He brings joy to so many people and gives love to others freely. Go give him a hug from me now please! I can’t wait to play monopoly, tell him jokes, and play this summer! He’s my favorite little guy to hang out with!! Have a wonderful day and channel his loving spirit in treatment. xoxo.


Obsessions of the 80’s and early 90’s through the present 2000’s because of you…. Day 21

Here is a list of inherited obsessions you originated and I carefully crafted after you:

(Well most of them that is! Thank you very much dear sister.)

  1. The color red, it looks good on both of us, what can I say?
  2. Lips: it started with that pink lip phone, continued onto any clothing, lipstick, purse, or shoe with a lip print. In fact I purchased lip blocked shoes in HK with you! haha!
  3. Hedgehogs: Now THIS is your obsession alone, but I indulge and purchase items for you of any hedgehog relate-ability.
  4. Dolphins: Another copy. “What your favorite animal Rachel?” “Dolphin!” “Why is that?” “Well….it’s my sister’s too!” (Insert giant grin here. 🙂 lol.) circa age 8-11.
  5. Red backpacks: I owned say, 3 of them, I think there is one buried in the closet some where. Shhh, don’t tell.
  6. Jeans: Me=bell bottoms, You=tapered leg, we both love jeans, what more can I say?!
  7. Socks: Mom started it. End scene.
  8. Drawing symbols after I sign my name on any letter to family or friend. I must insert the following: a heart, Star of David, music note, smiley face, flower, and sometimes a tear drop.
  9. Stickers: see previous blog if feeling confused.
  10. Judy Blume: Thank you mom!
  11. Laura Ingles Wilder: Thank you mom, x3!
  12. All of a Kind Family: Thank you mom, x4!
  13. Noel Streatfeild: T.Y.M.!x5!
  14. Swing dancing: copied beginning in 1998, took lessons for two years with friends at a Fred Astaire studio along with some tango and ballroom; then 1999, seeing you dance at the Crystal and Andy too, who knew?! 🙂
  15. Thai food: thank you, I like it very much now…. Not the first time in 1995, but what can I say, crocodile tears were real with those hot pepper flakes in that soup!
  16. Piano: TYM and Dad x6.
  17. Driving: That was all you in 2002, thank you for being EVER so patient and teaching me. I check all three mirrors EVERY time I switch lanes and back up, 2x’s.
  18. Portland: All you. ❤
  19. Sign Language: I ❤ you.
  20. Blue, turquoise, and anything boutique-y type of fabric.
  21. Saying, “Groovy!” When I really mean cool.
  22. Not saying,”Like, or sorry,” and paying close attention to when I slip back into previous language habits, thank you for this keen eye to detail.
  23. Learning how to use iPads, technology, and other varieties of this nature.
  24. Introducing me to the one and only, Sarah McLachlan.
  25. Seeing Savage Garden as my first concert in Seattle. Trying to win tickets to it while visiting you in Vancouver with Mom and Laurie and her kiddos. 🙂
  26. Learning how to navigate traffic on any given bridge and maintain speed. This goes along with #17. As well as knowing how to change: radio, cd, brake, gears, and air-conditioning without taking my eyes OFF of the road.
  27. Circumnavigating the world of resumes, cover letters, and interviews with practice and an editors eye.
  28. Being brave enough to start a blog, case in point.
  29. Airedales: all things airedales, all the time, and bringing Ari into my life in 1994. Eternally grateful for this and my furry faced best friend for 14 years.
  30. Anything sister related goes without saying: I love because of you!

The list could quite possibly continue on and on, however I felt that capping it was necessary for this occasion. Just know how grateful I am to you for sharing so many wonderful things over the years. I am eternally indebted to my big sister for sharing her loves in life and her love in general!  Have a stellar major day! xoxo.


Alef, Bet, Vet, Day 20

When you are a young child, who teaches you information? Who guides you along the way? Your parents, or guardians, yes, yes of course, well one would hope that they do. However, your siblings provide the examples.

Watch a child, any young baby, or toddler when they are amongst other people. They are fascinated by the alternative human beings beyond those in their small niche. They are most intrigued by other young people. They can distinguish between adult and child. Their stares and interest are paired with a hard wiring in the brain that encourages them to try to emulate the behavior they see. This is the learning process folks.

My guide was Debbie. Now I realize I have already touched on this subject a bit in previous blogs, but this topic of learning is different.

Debbie taught Hebrew classes at our synagogue in her late high school and early college years. I loved it. I can still see you walking down Temple Beth Shalom’s hallways with a giant Hebrew alphabet board and a bag of books slung over your shoulder. You sang the alef, bet, vet, with my kindergarten class, I’m not sure if you remember.

My teacher was Joy Grisan. I loved her. I felt special in her class and I enjoyed her story telling and art projects combined into one.  I can fondly recall the story of baby Moses in the reeds. We used pipe cleaners to fashion our tiny Moses baby and made itty-bitty baskets to hold him within.  I can see the tiny dixie cups filled with grape juice for snack time.  Our mom was the executive Hebrew School coordinator and long time volunteer for years.  Sunday school was a familiar affair.

Correct me if I’m wrong, I mean, I was little, but I think Joy took you under her wing and showed you some ideas, lessons, and helped you organize yourself as a traveling Hebrew teacher. I know that this was one of your part-time jobs in Bellingham during your first few years of college, or maybe it was all four years. Your days at Temple Beth Shalom helped shape your abilities as a teacher. Early classroom management, choral reading, and literacy skills were being fostered under your tutelage.

I used to sing the Alef, Bet, Vet, with you along with Debbie Friedman’s music. I loved those times in the van with you. Singing was always my favorite and still is. Go figure… 🙂


Sharing in this same experience of Jewish culture with life in Hong Kong was so important to me this past fall. I am grateful for the Shorashim experience we had together. I loved it. Every minute of sitting with you and Declan. I loved how he’d look up at me and see if I was singing along too. He was adorable. I loved sitting in services and being given the gift of a community experience to question the Torah and think together. This is one of the most important things, I believe about our culture. The ability to question and have a shared learning with other people. It all goes back to education, and the connectivity of all of this with music.

I love you Debbie! Have a Happy Monday of vacation. xoxo.


Socks, Day 19

Nineteen means almost a count down to 10!!!!

Who doesn’t love socks? I mean truly, they are the all time easy gift to give and receive!  It’s not a secret that I have quite an extensive collection and or obsession with socks. I realized this when I was in middle school. I was required to wear white socks for my choir uniform. I did not own plain white socks. We had fun rainbow colored socks, printed socks, argyle socks, tights, polka dotted socks, but not WHITE socks.

It all started when we began celebrating Valentines day. Instead of giving us chocolate and candy, our mom decided to begin a tradition of giving socks for fun holidays.

Right, Debbie?! 🙂

We both have a plethora to choose from a few years after the tradition began. When I visited her in H.K. I came bearing a gift with 2 pairs of socks for us!  Naturally, they were fun ones with a print and pattern. I arrived on Halloween and we wore multi-colored wigs with our multi-colored festive socks.

Stated in Valley Girl accent: “We, are so cool! I know, right?” 

There isn’t a time in my life when I don’t feel it not appropriate to wear crazy socks, leggings, and socks, or stockings and socks. I mean, life’s too short not to layer people. So layer it up! Be bold with your bad self and get your socks on!

Well, I have a secret…the trend is spreading. I swear we started it though. I walked into the dollar tree a couple of weeks ago, because THAT’S what you do when you are a teacher on the hunt for a sale of creative supplies.

And BAM, there was a whole rack of, wait for it….

wait for it….(to quote Barney Stinson, aka, best character on, “How I Met Your Mother.”)



It would have been funny if I spelled it wrong…hahahaha, oh wait, mainly in my head it was funny, or quite possibly had it been read aloud, or as a monologue. Oh, never mind.

But seriously, it’s catching. I give socks to people I love.

I gave all of my family socks for the holidays, I gave my husband what I THOUGHT were cool bike gear socks, he says robot, potato, potato-h. I even found fuzzy moose socks for mom. I gave my bff socks, I mean the list could tick on forever. If the cat would wear socks, she’d have socks too.

I think one of my favorite sock finds was ninga socks for my dear friend who is an amazing life ninga, I love her to pieces.

With all this being said…socks are great. BUT YOU, Debbie are greater. I love you! I love that you wear socks with your sandals, and I embrace the sock wearing, and do the same on occasion. We just can’t help it, we get cold, we’re from Alaska. You dress in layers to be prepared! Go hunt down some socks and have a fantabulous-errrrrrrrr-ific weekend! You deserve it! I love you!! 🙂

Photo on 2-12-15 at 10.32 PM