A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…

Leave a comment

Fashion Project and Nordstrom…

I continue to clean house. I fear that this next lap may take some determination as well as some doing. It’s the things that I am having problems parting with. I find it hard to part with things that I paid a bit of money for and never found the opportunity to use. While these frivolous purchase, and if I am perfectly honest quite a few of my purchases are on the frivolous side, have  reminded me to give greater consideration before I buy I am still having a harder time parting with them. I wish I had gotten some sort of use for them. Some I forced myself to use but with each moment I wondered why I wasted the money.

A few purchases have been on leather goods. I was in the habit of buying a new pocketbook (because that is what I call them ever since I was a little girl and I just don’t know how to stop) whenever I saw a great sale. And I have a lot more than I need. I stopped a few years ago, but the thing about some of these leather goods is that they don’t wear out, especially when you rotate with others. I’ve been thinking that they should go to other homes. I never had the room and I really don’t need to hold on to them anymore. But just giving something that cost a few hundred dollars is a little off-putting, even if it is for charity. I have been toying with this idea, Nordstrom has teamed up with Fashion Project, a charity which collects and sells designer items for various charitable organizations. There are a few criteria, one of which is that the retail value should be $50 or over and that it must be in nearly new or great condition, the items must also be included on their list of acceptable brands. As a reward should your donation meet the criteria they will send you a $40.00 Nordstrom Gift Card. So that is nice (mind you, you are sending them over $250.00 worth of your own valuables). All you do is sign up and request the mailer bags be sent to you. Then you mail in your stuff and hopefully get your gift card. If you are in doubt, you can talk or email the concierge.

I got my little box in the mail and thought I would post it, I think because I like when folks take time to try to send things through the mail in a nifty way. I am still trying to figure out what I should send so I can’t say how well the process goes. I also wonder if Canada is included, I was not too sure, but I believe that you have Nordies over there. Hmm…. 20140518-021906-8346583.jpg20140518-021906-8346354.jpg 20140518-021906-8346136.jpg


Wild Geese That Fly With The Moon on Their Wings….

…These are a few of my favorite things. A while back I heard the sweetest rendition of this song (My Favorite Things), which fittingly is one of my favorite things. Here is the album version that  kindly uploaded.

The song itself is a bit bittersweet. It reminds us that when we are having a difficult time that we need to remember the things we love. In that vein of thought I began reflecting on the things that I love, that I would call favorite. At first it took a bit of thinking, but once I began thinking about them they all came flooding in. The first idea was music. I love all sorts of music, but there is a special place in my heart for jazz. Maybe because it reminds me of my early childhood in New York or maybe because it is because of the relationship I have with it as an adult, I am not quite sure but I have an inkling that it has to do with both as well as other notes found throughout my experiences. I thought I would throw in the sublime Coltrane version, just for kicks. It’s thirteen minutes, but it is thirteen minutes listening to a gorgeous classic.

I’m sorry to have taken so long to finish this post, I had started this on July fourth, but have not had time to come back to it. I hope to be able to post more, it’s always an aspiration of mine, but sometimes time does not allow or I don’t have the will to do so. Many nights, when I think that I have completed all of the days, and nights for that matter, tasks I will release myself and crumple into my chair in hopes of keeping tyranny of exhaustion at bay so that I can enjoy the remainder of my evening. Sometimes I succeed, whilst other times I succumb and pass out for a nap. Most times the thought of writing passes through my head, but my fingers and mouse never seem to collaborate with the idea. But today was a good day, so here is to today.

I hope you are doing well, and will be stopping by to say hello…so HELLO!!!!


Rainbow In The Rearview Mirror…

Last week it was raining as I was coming back from getting some of life’s little essentials.  I took the back route, since it was about five and rush hour was starting to “coagulate” (rush hour can sometimes feel like you get trapped in this gel and are unable to move and would be made worse by the rain). My journey was filled with winding wooded paths and expensive homes. The sun playfully peeped through clouds and then shyly behind them. Every so often I’d pass through a brief stint of sprinkles. As I made my way home I looked up into my rear view mirror to see a rainbow. I thought to stop and take a picture, but there wasn’t a good place to pull over. It followed me all the way home as I periodically glanced up to see if it was still there. I was hoping that I would be able to see it all the way home, but that was sadly not the case as it left me a few blocks before I parked in my driveway.

Even though I was disappointed to not to be able to get the shot, I was happy to have it escort me most of the way home. This appreciation for that moment brought to me the thought of how many choices we make and the different paths that we could take. Since I’ve been making time for myself (a path in and of itself), and learning not to feel guilty about it, it feels like a lot of the things that I have been worried about have begun to right themselves. I started by doing one thing for myself, and then I found that I could schedule a bit more time for myself and for the activities I enjoyed doing incrementally. By taking better care of my   self Ialso feel a lot better and find myself thinking more optimistically. And some of the things that I felt had less control over started to become a better situation.

Normally I believe in maintaining a balance in your life, and that what you give is what you get.  But it felt like so many awful things were happening and I didn’t understand it, eventually I didn’t even question it. I was overwhelmed. It’s presence was stifling and as the problems piled up I began wallowing in them, it was an unnatural feeling and I didn’t know how to get out of it. Somehow I hadn’t realized how mean I was being to myself, and how there really wasn’t any need for it. When I made myself a priority in my life, instead of being so focused on the problem, I found it easier to manage the problem and send them packing.

Like a pendulum things just seemed to be swinging back  to a wonderful place. And even though I didn’t enjoy that unnatural state of ick, the experience does enhance the appreciation I have for the good that’s come my way. Maybe it’s like going through a rain storm and then having a rainbow in your rearview mirror. It’s going to rain in the morning and I wonder if I’ll see another rainbow. Either way I think it’s going to be a lovely day.


Ashes, Ashes We All Fall Down…

My friends, I have written, revised, rewritten, and completely changed the topic of this post over the past two weeks. The truth of the matter is that I am not sure what to write. Of course there is the option of the seemingly obligatory, I am not dead statement when one takes time away from their blog. But that specific compulsory statement makes me think of some sort of blogger graveyard. I think a lot of people blog for different reasons, some (and really it’s a lot) want to get some sort of recognition, while others may just want to write their thoughts like a public diary of sorts. I am not certain what my exact reason is, I think I just like the creative process and the people who I’ve met.

However, lately I just haven’t made it a priority to post, it’s not like it wasn’t on my mind, but it just got pushed to the back. In fact I started versions of this very post and was called away a few times, each time I attempted to resume my thoughts on the subject matter had shifted in some ways. I felt bad about not really posting, but at the same time, I didn’t feel like dialing it in. But as my friend Liz pointed out (and mind you this is me paraphrasing) that our blogs are not graded. This made me realize I had been generating unnecessary guilt and stress for my lack of blogging. Aren’t friends the best at telling you what you need to hear to make your heart feel a bit better.

This made me wonder why I hadn’t been posting. I think the overall malaise stems from a general burned out feeling. You know how life is, you have the things you have to do and from time-to-time those things tend to occupy most of your day if not all of your waking hours. I think from there I was stricken with low to lack of motivation. This motivation issue seems to developed systematically. At first I had things I wanted to do and thought to just put them on the list of things to do, which hence forth shall be called: “the list”. Then those things I wanted to do were juggled around till they found themselves on the bottom of the list. Considering time and money, a lot of them started to be moved off the list till there were none that occupied the list.  After they were removed from the list it then became laughable to conceive of these things I would like to do, because there were no allowances for them. After a while I forgot that there was such a thing as something I would like to do. What a sad turn of events.

Unfortunately, I think this happens more than we would like to admit in our grown-up lives. We just get so involved with our day-to-day lives and the things we don’t want to do, but have to do, that we neglect our dreams and passions. We become practical to a fault, and inevitably misery ensues. I found myself behaving and feeling uncharacteristic. More times than I care to remember, I was irritable, short of patience, and not feeling optimistic. There was a little grey storm cloud (whom I like to call Filbert) over my head.

I think another way of looking at it was that my lifestyle was out of balance. I didn’t have enough of the things that I loved in my life. Much to my chagrin I would never say that I was a person with a specific dream. I had flights of fancy, I’ve been determined and accomplished, and I’ve had things that I would like to do, but I am sorry to say that I don’t recall having a dream that I thought I would chase. Now all of this may be semantics, but I think there’s a bit of logic to it. I think for myself, I define a dream as something your heart truly desires therein which your actions then reveal themselves to follow/have purpose. Now to distinguish it from other goals further, I think there is an element of passion, you tend to invest all of yourself into this purpose, more than your other life choices.

After having said all this, I have begun to think that dreams are integral to your mental sanity. It’s almost as if it helps allows us to maintain a sanguine viewpoint on life. Maybe your love of your dream then becomes your drive/motivation. I also think these dreams are nourishment for your soul/inner self (or whatever you may call it). Having and chasing your dream may reinvigorate,  refresh and revitalize you. I have decided to draw up some dream plans (how overly organized of me, at least I didn’t phrase it as a dream scheme). My strategy is to list out all the dreams I can think of, and incorporate them into my life one at a time. Probably start with the small ones first, baby steps, right.

And so, if you’ve made it through this rambling post, one thank you, and two what do you think of dreams? Or, conversely (perhaps three), do you feel like the everyday minutia has eclipsed all the fun in your life?


The Little Things…

Maybe it’s because I spent so much time with kids or maybe it’s the idea of the seasons changing, but I’ve been having moments of reflections lately. Or maybe it’s all the little events that have made me feel a bit reflective. On such even goes back to when I took a small journey to buy a bulb for my headlight which I eventually managed to change it all by my weesome. Which in turn reminded me that last year I changed the windshield wipers. This made me think of how when under the hood I can tell you where some of my fluids go, how to change the battery, as well as a few other tidbits. All of these lessons were hard-earned, and each have changed the way I think about myself. This makes me quite happy.

This may not seem like a big deal to most, but for me these small triumphs show me how much I have grown as a person. The ugly truth is that as a little kid in elementary school I had this preconceived, and utterly inaccurate, idea of girl things. You know, the things girls do and the things that boys do. It was one of those erroneous notions that I had to work on, and for the most part a great many have banished, but I still find rears it’s ugly little bias from time-to-time in the most unexpected and inconvenient times. And when it does make an appearance it always surprises me, I then in turn make a conscientious effort to correct.

One such bias is automotive maintenance, I had never thought of it as something I should involve myself in. The firsts were always the hardest, going to a mechanic by myself for the first time was intimidating for a young woman. Going to get your car smogged, also kind of intimidating. But as you do it, you get used to it. You remember to bring a coffee and a book. The next step for me were small repairs which can be done at home. At first I had a knowledgeable person give me a hand. But I have learned to peer under the hood and use the owner’s manual as well as look it up online before hand. I’m still learning, but I feel a sense of accomplishment as well as lessening that feeling of helplessness when something needs fixing. I know I still have a long way to go, but I figure that I as long as I make that journey I will get there.

I thought to write this post weeks ago. Then began writing it last week, but was apprehensive to post it. I wondered if it was something I wanted to place in the public arena. It can come across as insignificant. But to me it’s also a personal thing,and perhaps has no place in public. But then I thought, why not. It’s just my pensive thoughts of how I, as an individual, have changed. I wonder if anyone else thinks back and sees how much they’ve changed.


Last Week…

My Dearest Friends,

Last week was a very unkind week. It was one I hope not to repeat. It made me feel sad, dejected and quite tired as it progressed and thus very few posts. I am hoping this week will improve, but I wonder. In fact I ended the week with many questions running through my head. All the questions, which are still unanswered, have me quite worried, not just for me, but for the future of all of us.

Even though I ended the week badly, I am trying to start the new week better. An experience is only a complete disaster if you do not take a lesson from it. After assessing all that went wrong, I felt a bit bleak. I wanted to remind myself of some positive thoughts. I started to think of what my relationship with education was and what it may evolve into. I came to the conclusion that with regard to education, I believe in a few critical ideas:

  1. That each person learns in their own way. But each way is no less valid, just as long as the concept to be learned is not lost. (Reminding myself to take a deep breath and have patience and practice acceptance)
  2. As long as the individual wants to learn they can be taught, it may just take more effort and more time. But as long as they want to learn and they don’t quit, it will happen. Isn’t this true for everything.
  3. Children are the same no matter what. Think of all those kids who get new toys on Christmas, only to play with the box. Little kids love games and stickers. They really are sweet little lights, you just have to treat them like that.
  4. Children are curious by nature, they want to learn, they want to please, and they want to be rewarded. I think that’s all part of human nature.
  5. Memorizing is not the same as understanding. Once you understand a concept, it is yours to use however you like. From your understanding comes creativity.

I personally operate all my teaching, training and mentoring in this way (be they a child or adult). I try not to criticize, and if I need to point something out I focus not on the person, but rather the thing that needs to be fixed. We all make mistakes, but it’s what we do after that is the most telling.

So right now I am gathering my thoughts and preparing my heart for another week. Actually the kids and I are getting into a groove. I think sometimes it’s the adults that get in the way of education. I trying not to impede their learning, and giving it my best effort to help facilitate their learning.

It’s a bit of a sigh sort of post, isn’t it? I hope I won’t have many posts that heave a sigh in the future.

Thank you for reading,



New Adventures…

Last year seemed to be a bit of a repose for me, which was what I needed even if I hadn’t realized it. Then at the end of the year I finally found a project I wanted to be a part of. It’s something that I had done a couple of years ago and really enjoyed. It’s a supplement teaching program. I am really excited about it, because while I never really expected to teach kids it turns out that it’s something that I truly enjoy. I also like the idea that this is something that will help my community.

However, I am worried about it. The idea of having a young little mind in your hands is always a concern to me, even for a short time period you want to do your best for them. Also kids, while I adore them, are foreign little creatures for me. Even as a child, I was normally around adults most of the times. I am sure I’m worrying for nothing, but a gal can’t help but fret a bit. What I was hoping for was a bit of advice from anyone with little ones. Anything you could think of would be great.

You know this song is now in my head….oh good gravy…if you listen you may find yourself singing it in your car. I warned  you…

Wish me luck my friends 🙂


We Shall Overcome…

“But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream Speech” August 28, 1963

Dear Friends,

Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today is dedicated a great Civil Right Activist, but more than that a great man. He was instrumental in uniting people who understood the need for equality. While he had every right to be angry for all the injustice he and other minorities had to face, his dignified words held peace. His words stirred the hearts of people then and are still relevant today, sadly we have made progress legally but economically there are still barriers.  There are still a selection of the population that harbors prejudice within their hearts (within varying degrees) and others who unfortunately act on it. I have heard horrible stories from friend who have gone through that era. But I have also heard recent stories as well as experienced first hand prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. On this day let us not only remember Dr. King and what he stood for, but let it remind us that there is much work which still needs to be done.

Bill Stevenson said that, “In America, the opposite of poverty is justice.” When I heard this a light went on, and I understood his point. These issues stay utmost in my thoughts, and I struggle to grasp what I need to do to contribute. Although little by little I have been finding my footing. With so much economic woes and civil  unrest, I wonder what constructively we must be doing. Any thoughts?

I leave you with Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech.”

Peace be with you my friends,




Lifestyle Project Management…

My dear Friends,

I’ve never really been a person to make New Years resolutions. My thinking is that if there is something that you want to achieve, you should go start to implement that change as soon as you can. But I can see the allure of making a few changes at the beginning of the year, making a fresh start if you will. So maybe you’ve got a few resolutions that you’ve made, and maybe those resolutions have already gone down the drain. Or perhaps you need to revise your strategy of change. If a new approach is in order you may want to try to view  it as a regimented lifestyle improvement plan.

Let me preface the following with a bit of my personal history, I have a Masters in Software Engineering. The focus of the degree is project management (initiating, planning and design, executing, monitoring and control, and closing) in a nutshell we look at software projects from beginning to completion as a life cycle. I think that this process, software development life cycle, can be translated to personal goals, so I am going to give it a try.

  1. Planning – the start of any undertaking is best served with good planning. Plans serve to give us direction and help us if we are ever to get lost. In software it depends on what school of development you want to adhere to, but I am going to lay out some general good practice planning ideas.
    1. Requirements engineering (my favorite part) looks at what you really want to achieve. Say you want to lose weight. You sit yourself down and write down that goal. As much as you can, make your goal measurable. Measurable goals allow you to see your progress. Within your end goal build in some smaller milestone goals, so if you are trying to lose weight, set an ideal body weight goal and set realistic weekly weigh-ins and monthly goals. But also consider why you want that goal, what you will be achieving when you accomplish that goal, and how achieving that goal my help other aspects of your life. This will help you stay focused as well as motivated. You will also want to consider your constraints, i.e. what do you have to work with, as well as what may be a pitfall for you. When you know what endangers your goal it can’t take you by surprise and you can plan for it. Some popular constraints for weight loss may seemingly be a lack of time and money. But really how cheap and easy can it be to throw together a Salad Niçoise or maybe throw something in a crock pot the night before and you have lunch. That gives you more time during lunch to relax and enjoy yourself.
    2. Now that you have an idea of what you want to achieve, why you want to do it, and what you need to avoid, you have are ready to move on to design. Designs can go through many versions, so don’t limit yourself, and also build in some flexibility. You may not reach your weekly weigh-in goals, but you did lose some weight. Let that difference be the tolerance, so a difference of plus or minus 5 lbs for example. Also build in allowances, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t completely deprive yourself of yummy foods. Maybe allow for a portion of desert once a week, or however often you feel is appropriate. Design the plan so that you can achieve your goal, be kind to yourself. You don’t want to feel like you are being mean to yourself, that sort of goal is just abusive.
  2. Implementation, testing and documentation – now that you have your plan it’s time to make it happen. Remember this change is for you, so if you need to change at any time, sit down and revisit the plan and make it work for you.
    1. Implementation – try to stick to your plan as much as possible. If you see that there are problems or that there are issues, examine those problems and determine what the best solutions are. For example if you have a friend who is an enabler, maybe it’s better to limit your time with them. When you’re just starting out it is good to limit time with people who reinforce the opposite of what we want to achieve, till we’re strong enough to resist on our own. This helps to break bad patterns.
    2. Testing – we engineers like to test things. We run a variety of tests, including validation (are we doing the right thing) and verification (are we doing it the right way). Periodically, ask yourself is what I am doing the right thing and am I doing it the right way. Translation, am I eating the right thing and am I eating the right portions and at the right time? We also test things to make sure that things work right and what could go wrong. Pretty much we want to see if we can break the thing (no, I’m serious, that’s what we test for). You may want to see what things are tempting or preventing you from eating right, like those darn office birthday cakes or treats. Also as you progress and your patterns have changed, some people may want to test old behaviors to see their reactions. But that’s a personal preference.
    3. Documenting – normally this is reserved for creating manuals. But in this case I want to reserve documentation as part of the monitor and control part of the process. Writing down your progress, taking notes of what helps and doesn’t help, as well as your findings during testing, all these things are great for understanding your own personal process. You can see your own patterns and the progress that you made, you begin to understand yourself and what you can accomplish. It’s a wonderful thing to behold.
  3. Deployment and Maintenance – also known as the rest of your life. All those other steps were just a way to change your lifestyle and hopefully get to know yourself better. It’s also amazing how wonderful you can feel when you realize your goal. Along the way you may see yourself change and making different choices. The critical aspect of completing the goal is how will you maintain it. What other changes do you need to institute in order to keep yourself at a healthy weight. Your lifestyle needs to support your goals in the now and thereafter.
I know this was long for a post, and I am somewhat pooped out now. As for myself, I think one of the things that dissuades me from writing posts is that my chosen topics a lot of times are way too long. I also tend to be thorough, so that doesn’t help matter. One of my goals for this blog is to write smaller posts and more frequently.


The Tao of Stillness…

Dear Friends,

The end of one year and the beginning of a new one gives us the opportunity to reflect on the year that has been. I think 2011 may have not been everyone’s favorite, I know that it was necessarily mine. But with each year, as with each day, there is something there for us to learn from the experience. And when I think of it, even though things did not go quite as planned they were exactly what I needed.  Which proves the point that sometimes we don’t know what we need, but life has a way of unexpectedly showing us. In this way you can either accept it and see it as a unique enlightening experience or rail against it. I have found if you do the later your efforts are ultimately futile as it accomplishes very little aside from sheer exhaustion and frustration.

I think the flow for me last year had a very quiet and subdued undertone, this is in stark contrast to my anxious nature as a child. Ever since I was a child I had a natural tendency to stress and worry about things, as I grew older I realized that all that stress and anguish were not helping me to accomplish my goals, they were in fact not healthy and to my detriment in every way. Now realizing this problem and actually taking the effective steps necessary can be two different animals. Sure I tried to not worry too much about things and that helped, but I was still running around like a chicken without a head. And when I was still the compunction to worry flooded back into my thoughts, because for some reason stillness gave me an uneasy feeling as if something was greatly amiss. This may be an American conditioning, because it seems like many other cultures don’t seem as bothered with it. It’s something that I’ve always sat in awe of.

Last year I took some time off, and it ended up being more than I had originally planned for but it gave me ample time to recuperate. I found time to lick my war wounds and heal, this was integral to moving past the past. I had found that I had allowed many of the ghosts of my past to imprison me and with this respite I feel that I have finally fashioned a key to release myself.

I found a great bit of my time was spent with my thoughts, rather than try to busy myself I realized it was better to embrace it. This took a great bit of effort as those little niggling ideas crept into my thoughts, you know the ones that tell gnaw at you with threats of uncertainty and panic. These little nigglers have only the power that you afford them, as they are all part of your imagination. Their ultimate power lies in the word should. Their end goal is to make you doubt yourself and your actions, to create within you and aura of unrest. I think this is something many, if not all, of us battle. Who among us does not question themselves and wonder “what if.” But the truth is that life is filled with questions and risks, there is as much risk to continue with status quo as there is to try something different. They’re just different types of rewards.

Having discarded the need for anxiety, as it has very little use, and quieted the whispers of self-doubt, I was left with quiet understanding. In this quiet understanding was stillness. There was something empowering about allowing myself to be still, I found that I had feared it for some unknown reason. Realizing that stillness was not something to fear provided a comfort and fortitude. I then realized that I could hear myself more clearly. I had spent so much time doing what I thought was expected of me, that I had neglected myself as a person.  Having been so mean to myself, I felt that it is now time to remedy what ails me and start a new chapter. I am very much looking forward to writing it.

I do hope you all have had a wonderful year and that your New Years was fantastic. More over I wish this year to be everything you hope for.

Cheers my friends,