My crisp and clean new web site is now LIVE! Feel free to take a quick swim around and let me know what you think.
tumblr: the original juniper disco
Come visit my new site at juniperdisco.com. I’d love to see you there!
I’m writing this from a warm armchair in Provincetown – two snuggly dogs curled up nearby, a mug of hot coffee in my hand – watching the blue jays outside my mother’s window. (Those blue jays are so pretty but, boy, are they mean.) I’ve already done several hours of work and I’m feeling pretty content. There’s a snow sky outside. I have nowhere to be today.
We’re on the precipice of our new life. The Mr. had a great first day at his new job yesterday. Stephen meets his new vet tomorrow. And we officially move at the end of next week.
I usually do an end of the year post or two listing my favorites followed by a separate “new year, new goals” post. Last year was a tangle of twists and turns and this coming year is filled with just as many changes so I only have it in me to share with you a few thoughts from where I sit today.
- It’s best to trust the timing of things – even when it seems like too much or you wonder why this didn’t happen last week when you had time. Somehow it all works out.
- The suburbs are not for us. We felt like we were neither here nor there and were just kind of marking time until the next thing. Our almost year in Hingham was much needed as an interim step in our move from the big city to our small, small town on the Cape. See timing above.
- Dogs, man. They make your life a million times better. And a million times more complicated. I never expected the worry and anxiety of being a fur mama, nor how happy I feel when he’s curled up in my lap.
- I like the quiet. The quiet is my favorite.
- The fewer people I interact with, the happier I am. Not a shocking revelation for an introvert, but an important one. I am still a recovering HR professional after all.
So 2015 … of course I have a giant list of all the things I want to do and there is a Pinterest board to go with it. There will be time enough to share all of that as we really start to build our lives here in Provincetown. For now, I’m only focused on this one theme:
Keep my eyes on my own paper.
There is so much noise out there and so many people on the interwebs to compare yourself to – people you’ve never even met who look all pretty and shiny, but could truly be awful or annoying people in real life, like an internet version of blue jays. I’m just going to work on my stuff this year. Maybe you should, too.
One of the things I’ve been working on for some time now (the idea came to me over two years ago!) is a new space with a new focus to share my thoughts. The new Juniper Disco is almost ready and, quite frankly, I’ll likely switch over before it is truly “ready.” Just like life. Rolling out a new site that coincides with the start of a new life seems right. And, again, see timing above.
I hope you’ll travel with me to my new site and I’ll let you know when and where that will be. For now, I think I’ll go outside and see if those blue jays dropped any of their feathers – I’ll keep them on my desk as a reminder for this year.
So I’ve been rather absent from this space the last few months. Let me explain. Life has gone something like this …
Put life on hold to prep for the re-opening of the museum. Plan out complicated wardrobe and transportation logistics for 16 opening events in 10 days. Curse moving to Hingham. Take Stephen to vet where he tests positive for heart worm. Freak out. Move to a Cambridge Airbnb for first half of opening events. The Mr. takes Stephen to get chest xrays and he tests positive again. Freak out. Finish out opening events. Collapse. Eat all the food the Mr. makes. Sit on the couch and stare into space. Stephen goes on antibiotics for a month. The Mr. gets awesomest job offer on the Cape. Freak out. Host the in-laws for Thanksgiving and travel to my sister’s for the holiday. Tell my bosses about the move and work out a general plan for work through June. Find a place to live on the Cape in less than a week. Finish Christmas shopping. Pack for the DR. Experience the bumpiest flight ever to Philly. Almost pee my pants. Enjoy 6 days in Punta Cana. Get a tan and forget about everything. Return home and thank my friend JR for watching my boo boo. Finish out work before winter break. Take Stephen to vet for first of three awful heart worm shots. Buy every chew toy ever made. Attempt to keep him still and cry every time I put him in his crate. Decorate for Christmas. Clean apt for guests. Finish wrapping presents. Plan out the holiday cheese board to end all cheese boards. Snuggle Stephen until his pain meds kick in. Start thinking about what to put in storage, what to give away, and what to pack. Freak out. Make a gratitude list.
- That my husband found a really awesome opportunity that he is going to love.
- That that opportunity takes us to the CAPE!
- That we somehow found an awesome place to live in Provincetown right around the corner from my mom and N. And that the place has a giant fireplace and deck. AND that it has grey shingles with white trim and a red door and blue hydrangeas and a crushed sea shell driveway.
- That we have the means to manage Stephen’s heart worm treatment and that I have the flexibility to take care of him for the the next 10 weeks of his painful treatment.
- That when he’s through it and able to resume activities, he’ll have the beach and a huge dog park to run around in. Plus the dog-friendliest town ever to welcome him back into the world.
- That I work for such awesome people that they immediately agreed to creating an even more flexible arrangement for the remainder of my time with them.
- That I got to be a part of such a big deal and with super awesome people. And only cried once during the whole thing.
- That we were able to take some time away and go to a really warm and sunny place.
- That most of my family will be here in a couple days and Stephen will be loved on even more.
- That one of my most deeply held dreams is becoming a reality – living every day of every season in my favorite place in the whole world (and that there are only 77 days until we return to my second favorite place, Jamaica!)
Happy holidays to all of you! May your own little whirlwind of a life be filled with joy, gratitude, furry faces that trust you no matter what, and really awesome pineapple drinks!
So you know how, on the Mr.’s birthday, I post photos I’ve taken of him over the course of the year from a specific angle? Well, it’s that time of year again! I have to admit I have been delinquent in capturing these moments (I blame that furry little Stephen who seems to be in every photo I take these days.) Happy Birthday, honey! Here’s to another year of adventure!
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Nantasket Beach, Hull, MA
Boston, MA (last look before we moved out)
Hingham Bathing Beach, Hingham, MA
Hewitt’s Cove, Hingham, MA (with Boston in the background)
Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, MA
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, MA
Nantasket Beach, Hull, MA
Oh, hello. Seems I haven’t been here in awhile. I guess most of you have moved on from summer and are eating all things pumpkin, jumping in leaves, and wearing sweaters. Not me. I’m in my usual post-summer full-blown tantrum mode – lots of huffing and puffing, stomping of feet, and bursting into tears. It’s taken me this long to muster up the energy to write this post about the glorious Summer of 2014. So here goes …
- We went to the Cape A LOT. I spent 54 days with my feet on Cape soil this summer! Yes, ma'am. 54!
- And I spent a week there in late July. We ate lobster and ice cream, went on our annual whale watch, walked the dogs on the beach, grilled meats and stuff, took a tour of the places Edward Hopper painted on the outer Cape, watched the neighborhood fox climb on cars and slink through the dahlias, drank cocktails by the pool, had our annual family bar hop (with awesome tshirts I designed), went to a drag show. You know, normal vacation stuff.
- I rescued sea life from 61 balloons I found on the beach. I slogged through the water, climbed dunes, and wrenched the insidious buggers from gross slimy seaweed. (I have a life goal of removing 300 balloons from the beach. Looks like I’ll hit that goal a lot quicker than I thought. PLEASE stop letting your balloons fly free. They kill the animals.)
- I also started a new collection after picking up so much trash on the beach in the mornings: fishing rope. It’s quite colorful and is safer in my collection jar than in the belly of a sea turtle.
- I finally finished a book I started way back in October! But other than that, not much reading was done.
- Social media kinda annoyed me this summer. Twitter was hit or miss, Facebook was, well, Facebook, and I didn’t want to spend my time pinning pretty pictures to Pinterest because I was outside taking my own pretty pictures. Instagram was my primary creative outlet. I posted 382 instas over the summer so if you really want to see what I did, head over here. (I also finished my 100 Happy Days project, took photos of my summer sandals – 19, a tiny fraction of my summer shoe collection – and started a hashtag for my beloved boo boo’s photos, #Stephenismydog.)
- Speaking of my dog, Stephen, that cutie is such a special little soul and I love watching how people react to him. He traveled back and forth to the Cape with me all summer and is now a seasoned, salty Cape Codder of a dog. He made friends with everyone he met! He’s quirky, that one. Sometimes he just lays down in the grass when we’re on walks. So I sit down next to him. Mostly he’s just so cute that I have to snuggle him, pinch his cheeks, and make embarrassing babbly noises at him. This summer was really the Summer of Stephen.
- After feeling I needed a healthy break, I took a two month break from manicures. Did you know I’ve had nail polish on my fingers for, oh, maybe a decade? They really needed to breathe and it took just about two months for them to get back to normal. Wow, right?
- Most days I wandered around, flitting here, flitting there. Napping. Walking, walking, walking with Stephen. And with Tipper. Napping more. Snacking, snacking, snacking. And snacking again. It was so unstructured that I am really, really glad I have those instagrams to remind me what our days were like. It was as close to a childhood summer as one can get as an adult, I think.
So perhaps you can see why I am having trouble letting go, switching into this season of shorter, crisper days. I did buy a whole bunch of pumpkin everything and I ordered a snuggly scarf. The fall candle is burning and, yeah, I like it.
But really the only thing that perked me up was a late breaking decision to go somewhere warm later this fall after all! So excuse me while I go learn the Spanish words of this song & figure out how to tie my new pareo that I bought during one of those awesome end of summer sales. We’ll talk about fall later.
- We went to the Cape A LOT. I spent 54 days with my feet on Cape soil this summer! Yes, ma'am. 54!
Hey, kids! Just stopping by to share some photos I found of my very first Carnival Week in Ptown from 1992! Mom and N had just moved to town and opened their store where I worked for that entire summer. Gosh, I miss those carefree days.
I’ll be drenched in glitter and sparkles for the majority of the week (with a quick 48 hour return to Boston in the middle.) Looking forward to recapturing some of that carefree spirit!
After my last post, I decided I would be enjoying “summer slowly” this year. Which meant I needed to seriously re-think and edit my annual summer list. You may read this and think it’s still kinda long, still kinda ambitious, but, believe me, you should have seen the original. Besides the things we do every year (like whale-watching, the PAAM garden tour, our annual family barhopping night, etc.), lounging at the pool, snuggling with Stephen, napping, and staring into space, here are the things I’d like to enjoy as I summer slowly.
walk both Tipper and Stephen on the beach together as much as possible (because "How many summers does a little dog have?“ – Mary Oliver)(Tally: 26.5 – .5 because I had to cart Stephen away when he wouldn’t stop barking at a kayak) take the Hopper Tour in Truro
- drink lots of sarsaparilla,
iced coffee, and Dark ‘N Stormy’s
- play bocce
- figure out how to put my hair into a messy top knot (how do you people do this?)
- enjoy summer dining on the Cape at: Sal’s Place,
Cafe Edwige, The Mews (it’s their 50th anniversary), Mac’s Ptown, The Red Inn (drinks on the deck with Stephen and the Mr. will do just fine), Crush Pad (food truck at Truro Vineyards), and the TWO new Jamaican places in Ptown (I hear there are dumplings!), One Love and Irie Eats
- take sailing lessons in Hingham Harbor
- re-watch every episode of Magnum, PI (I already started. There are 164 episodes!)
stock up on tomato jelly at Briar Lane Jams
- read, read, read (especially looking forward to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Watership Down, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; AND re-reading Harriet the Spy)
create a "beach-find” collage photo series
- take the summer ferry from Hingham to Grape and Georges Islands
- add plants and flowers to the lanai
- walk on the Old Colony Nature Pathway
- wear all my summer tunics
- take Stephen to Yappy Hour in the city
get a bottle of Twenty Boat Hand-crafted Spiced Rum at Truro Vineyards
- see Illumination Night in Hull
have my own summer-long documentary film festival(23 plus 5 shorts!)
- visit Martha’s Vineyard with the Mr.
- make some fun new summer recipes:
striped popsicles; ginger, grapefruit, and lemon sake cocktails; and fish taco bowls take Stephen to the tidal flats in Ptown have a beach bonfire
- finish my ABCs of Ptown photos (a project in progress for 3 years!)
- do a semi-regular Summer Slowly post (my new brainchild, sort of a mix of my former Random posts, my life updates, and my vacation diary from last year … stay tuned for the first post.)
Summer Lists from Years Past:
I found this draft of a post I wrote at the end of last summer. I had forgotten just how much I packed into the summer of 2013. Not sure why I never published it, but I am finding it to be a wonderful reminder to really enjoy the long, lazy days ahead of us. Summer is just about here, my friends!
This weekend was spectacular … at least according to my Twitter and Instagram feeds. I did not leave the house for three days. Three straight days. While that is not my record (winter break 2010, eight days), it is a pretty hefty chunk of time. Especially when the world is telling you to get out there and enjoy the weather.
This was the first weekend in twelve weeks that I was home. For three months (25% of a year!), I packed, unpacked, packed, unpacked, packed, unpacked. I raced to the dock, to the bus terminal, to the airport. I printed out tickets, maps, and schedules. I checked weather reports and packed everything from sweaters to swimsuits. I ran around like a crazy person during the week, managing a rather challenging workload at work and squeezing in all my usually executed on Saturday errands into the remaining hours. I went a month past my normal salon appointment to color my hair. (Gah!) I exhausted myself. All in the name of Summer-is-Super-Short-So-I-Have-To-Do-ALL-The-Things.
So this weekend, while I watched World War Z and Life of Pi, caught up on all my Masterpiece Mystery! and Broadchurch recordings, and continued on my quest to view the entire Friday Night Lights series, I felt guilty. All those “it’s perfect out there!” and “better enjoy this weather now!” comments were making me twitchy. How could I not go outside and enjoy those beautiful days? Winter is coming, people! I’ll never see the sun again! The end of days is nigh!
Here’s the thing about believing that right now is your only chance ever in your entire life to experience a beautiful day, to see the sun, to travel here or there, to enjoy yourself: odds are it’s probably not true. That hurry-up-and-pack-it-all-in approach is anchored to a belief in scarcity (or that panic you feel as you face down forty and think you will never, ever have fun again when you reach it.) And it will exhaust you if you let it. I totally bought into that YOLO life philosophy for years and, yeah, I pushed myself to do some pretty awesome things, which I do not regret.
But balance and peace are what I crave. A little activity, a little rest, and no drama. New rules around here, I’m scheduling in couch time as an important weekly activity.
Hope you’ll join me in balancing your own life. First, get your hair colored. Then, hop on your couch. We’ll see where it goes from there.
As I read my thoughts from last fall, I remembered how tired I felt when I wrote it. How much I just wanted to stop moving. Summer is time to s l o w d o w n . I’m now in the process of reviewing my summer list to make sure everything on there fits my idea of “summer slowly” and that I can make time for long evenings sitting on the lanai just staring at our neighbors doing the same, naps on the couch, walks with my Stephen at his smell everything pace, and lots of daydreaming. Give me some time to cut the fluff and get it just right before I share it with you here.
This is the reason I haven’t stopped by here in over a month …
Stephen Jameson “T-Rex” Mooney joined our family on March 31. Part dachsund, part spaniel. Master snuggler. Expert napper. Kissing bandit. Stealer of hearts – human and canine alike. We’ve been getting used to each other’s routines, quirks, and chew toy preferences. Our boy is quickly ruling our world and making everything about it awesome®. (Check out my Instagram feed since he adopted us).
We’ve been busy with other things, too:
- I’ve been mega binge-watching a bunch of shows: The Good Wife (I gave it up at the end of last season. Dumb.), Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black (which I’m not sure I actually like, but I am fascinated by the prison social structure depicted – YIKES!), and I just started rewatching Magnum, PI (love that Higgins!)
- We bought new furniture for the lanai (my name for our 7 x 4 balcony) and cannot wait for it to be warm enough to have our morning coffee out there every day. (And, more importantly, cocktails there at night.) Stephen loves sitting out there and looking out at the “action” on Wisteria Lane.
- My cousin posted a link to 100 Happy Days and I decided to give the project a try. My photos are on Instagram and, while I miss a day or three here and there, I am making steady progress towards a daily photo.
- I think I’ve finally gotten used to going to the Zombie House to drop off the trash.
- I read two completely different books that I LOVED and that made me cry, cry, cry! Stronger by Jeff Bauman – his life since the Boston Marathon bombings has been remarkable – and Mary Oliver’s latest poetry collection, Dog Days. She just gets us dog people.
- I saw Cher. My bestie summed up the experience best on his blog, The Sin Embargo. And I’ll just add: I think she was lipsynching and there were FAR less gays there than I expected. Mostly older drunk women. So confusing!
- My niece came to stay with us for school vacation week. She and Stephen became fast friends and she was so helpful taking care of him that week. We got in some girly stuff like shopping (makeup, makeup, and makeup) and getting our nails done.
- We also went to the Boston Marathon. Up until the night before, I wasn’t planning to go. And as we got closer and closer to Boylston Street, I started to feel nauseous. I was never entirely at ease while we were there but I was SO glad we had a chance to see the happy crowds, the elated (and exhausted) runners, and the human spirit at it’s best. Having my niece there helped me a lot.
- We booked next year’s Jamaica trip, but guess what?? … we’re going to Ocho Rios instead of Negril! The resort is on a private cove, built into the hills, and has lots of awesome lush tropical foliage. There are only 150 rooms, too, so I’m hoping for some peace and quiet time with the Mr.
- We ALSO booked a week in Playa del Carmen at an eco resort! They have MONKEYS – which you are not supposed to touch – but you can bet I’ll be smuggling fruit back and spreading it out on the balcony to lure them near. And, oh, I’ll grab one if I get the chance!
- Also, I’m totally loving the nautical and bohemian trends lately. Not only can I wear all my lobster gear but I can wear all my resort stuff. So, so happy about this.
- The Mr. and I had dinner at the newly opened Bostonia Public House. HIGHLY recommend a try if you are in the area. The lobster roll with avocado and bacon is yummy!
- I really miss living in Boston. But I also love living near the water, the peace and quiet here, and all the really freaking cute New England-y stuff around the South Shore. The other day I drove past an old converted barn with the door open, a flag flying outside, and a dog on a matching dog cushion sitting upright, perfectly centered in the doorway. Magazine-stuff, people!
- Our farmer’s market opened this past weekend and it’s right on the beach. I mean, come on!
- We also ate outside yesterday for the first time this season. Summer, let’s get a move on!!
I’m hoping now that we have our routine established (it’s Stephen’s morning nap time right now and he’s on the top of the couch behind me wrapped around my neck), I can find more time to drop in here. I still owe you my Jamaica photos and my video from last fall’s Dominican Republic trip. And I am really excited about summer – more and more boats are appearing here in Cabot Cove, seasonal places are opening, and we have confirmed that Stephen LOVES the beach! (Not sure if he can swim well, though. That T-Rex problem with his short legs and all.) In any case, Ptown, we’re ready for you!