26 January 2013

26/365: To Market, To Market

Philbert the pig enjoys a backslapping good time with a new friend. Reading Terminal Market, Phila., PA
Yesterday I took time out to see family and spent much of the day with my beloved aunt Nancy and her husband, John. We ended up at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, which I first visited in 1984, and I am so happy to see that it is just as vibrant as ever. I went there almost weekly for the six years I lived in Philly and as often as I could after leaving for graduate school, and I visit every chance I get to return to the city. This market makes Whole Foods look like, well, the shamelessly overpriced, self-righteousness-inspiring, fake-green enterprise that it is... sorry to offend anyone who shops or works there, but seeing the Amish families bringing their foods to Reading Terminal for a quarter the price of Whole Foods, and knowing exactly where this food comes from and who raised it, affirms my belief in truly local markets run by the people who actually raise the foods they offer us.

That said, I will miss this place when I fly back to New Mexico today... and I will renew my commitment to buy locally wherever I am, whenever I can.

I'm linking up this week with The Studio Sublime's Focus on Life series; please visit the other participants' pages for some really beautiful art in various media.

25 January 2013

25/365: According to What?

Bowls of Pearls by Ai Weiwei, Hirshhorn Museum/Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
After training, a treat, a quick stop in Washington, DC, to see the sights (gently dusted with snow) and stop in two of the Smithsonian museums. This photo is from Ai Weiwei's exhibit at the Hirshhorn, "According to What?" If I get time later I'll put up more photos from the trip. I'll be so happy to get home, though I am also happy to have had some great experiences here.

24 January 2013

24/365: Repurposeful

Mural in paint and repurposed water bottles, Monarch Academy, Baltimore, MD
This week I've been learning about how to do education the way it should be done, if we really care about kids enough to understand how they learn and live best. All my training this month, in fact, has been about working most effectively with kids, which really means learning about how they experience the world and how we can help them make their way through the world. If this means setting aside the worksheets and charts and mastering paint and scissors and glue guns and glitter instead, I'm all in.

23 January 2013

23/365: Awaken

Out of bed, Baltimore, MD

Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. (Lawrence Durrell)

22 January 2013

22/365: Sunrise, Again

Hotel window sunrise, Baltimore, MD
Sunrise, sunrise
Looks like morning in your eyes...
(Norah Jones)

The travel marathon continues; I'm now on the last, longest leg - for this month, at least. It's all been great so far, and staying at a real hotel always makes me feel rejuvenated... could have something to do with not having to worry about pesky things like dirty dishes and Riley's chewing sprees and keeping the pipes from freezing when the temperature falls below 10F. (Of course, New Mexico has warmed up, and the bitter cold followed me east...). Here, I wake up, get ready, go, come back, work out (yay for hotel fitness centers!), soak in the hot tub, and plant myself on the sofa or bed to... let's see... oh, catch up on processing my 365 project photos! And go to bed early to read and drift away... Next time I have to travel (next month, in fact) and start getting nervous, I'll remember this...

21 January 2013

21/365: Big Picture

Rocky Mountains from 35,000 feet or so, Colorado
Travel day, this time by air - I hate flying, except that I love being way up in the sky and seeing all those amazing patterns and formations and textures formed as earth, water, and air interact in geologic time. What looks rock-solid up close is revealed to be constantly shifting from afar, and immensity becomes pattern, and unscalable becomes comprehensible.

20 January 2013

20/365: A New View

View from a courtyard, Corrales, NM
This weekend's training in play therapy gave me excellent theoretical grounding and practical skills in what I consider the best and usually the only truly effective way to work therapeutically with kids. It also affirmed what I've been doing so far, mostly winging it with help from books, DVDs, and consultation with other play therapists. I was surprised to learn that most therapists and psychologists, when asked directly, say they don't really want to work with kids. I suspect it's because kids don't usually talk openly or logically or coherently, at least not to relative strangers peppering them with prying questions, leaving us left-brainer adults at a loss and, I'll admit to this if no one else will, feeling kind of dumb for not knowing what to say or what to do when faced with kids who can't or won't talk about what's going on with them.

The key: communicate with kids in their "language," whether verbal or nonverbal, and be open to viewing things from new, unexpected perspectives. Watch them play to learn their language. Accept them for who, what, and where they are - if they sense that, you already have a good connection to build on.

19 January 2013

19/365: Towards Daylight

Sunrise, Hwy 60 west of Socorro, NM
I've seen more sunrises in the past 4 months than I probably did in the previous 4 years, and they are indeed worth the early rising. This morning I awoke extra-early to get to Albuquerque in time for a weekend of play therapy training; I could have stayed up there overnight but wanted to be with the kids as long as possible before hitting the road. Even without the beautiful sunrise, that would have been worth the early rising. Of course, as the sun rose I had to play this song by my new favorite bluesman:

Driving towards the daylight
Running from the midnight
Trying to find my way home...
(Joe Bonamassa)

Sometimes, to find the way "home" we must first head out into the wilderness, imagined or real...

18 January 2013

18/365: Outside

Testing the ice, near Magdalena, NM
My travel schedule is harder on the kids than it is on me, so I took Friday off to spend the whole day with them before taking off for two more trainings, one over the weekend and one next week. With the weather finally warming up, a walk on the property got us all out of the house and into the fresh air again. Laz went straight for the pond to see if the ice was still there (it was), and Lucy seemed to watch him carefully and actually nudged him a few times when he got close to the pond's edge. Best. Dog. Ever. As you can see in the upper right side of the image, Riley wanted to play, too...

17 January 2013

17/365: Domestic New Year

Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a person can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of set rules and set tasks. (G. K. Chesterton)

15 January 2013

15/365: Interlude

Drago in the sun, near Magdalena, NM
I took the morning off to take the kids for flu shots, and since getting a shot always sucks I then took them to breakfast before dropping them off at school. Since I had an extra hour before having to head to work, I took a short walk on the property and soon had company, always welcome and especially if it's equine. Drago is one of my favorite of Doc's horses; I haven't ridden him, I just enjoy him walking beside me and occasionally nudging me for treats. This was such a welcome break from the week's busy routine that I might have to do it again soon, once the weather warms up a bit.

12 January 2013

12/365: Winding Road

Detail of patio at Southwestern College, Santa Fe, NM

“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order... the continuous thread of revelation.” (Eudora Welty)

11 January 2013

11/365: Outside World

Mural, Southwestern College, Santa Fe, NM, Jan. 2013
Finally, some photos of the outside world, thanks to a trip to Santa Fe for the first of four clinical seminars in infant mental health. This newish, multidisciplinary field weaves together family therapy, neuroscience, and even some anthropology to understand and explain how infants develop and learn, always in the context of their human relationships. Working with babies seems, to me, like a joy and a privilege, and helping families and communities address emotional and behavioral problems early on can have a huge impact down the road. And as much as I love the comforts of home, I did need a change of scenery, some novelty to reawaken the imagination.

10 January 2013

10/365: Insistent

"No, you will not move; I am comfortable now."
Might as well round out the pet parade here; I didn't have much choice since I didn't want to stray far from bed this evening (Thursdays are 10-hour workdays) and Max wasn't about to yield his warm spot 3 inches from my face.

Weekend rambling might bring more photos from a broader range of experiences... maybe. And I might even use my real camera for a change. Dang, winter makes me lazy.

08 January 2013

8/365: "You sleeping again?"

Rocky investigates why his food bowl is empty
You may notice a theme to my 365 project photos so far: at home with family and (animal) friends. It is too cold outside (for me) to hike or garden or "appreciate nature," so I am focusing on home... and waiting for spring. That is all for today.

07 January 2013

7/365: Therapy Dog

Lucy has been my steadfast companion for almost a decade now, and she always seems to know when I need extra loving. She came into my room this evening, lay her head on the bed next to me, and looked so soulfully at me that I could have sworn she was telling me, just rest, you need it. Indeed I do; an old back/shoulder injury has been flaring lately and the pain is intense, even waking me up sometimes. Having Lucy beside me is the best medicine... she always gives, never complains, but I know she has pretty bad arthritis in her legs these days, so I comfort her whenever I can, too.

06 January 2013

6/365: Twelfth Day of Christmas

Interior of an old snow globe
So it is time to put the Santa snow globe and all the rest of the holiday things away, put the tree outside (it's a live one that I'll probably plant in the front yard come springtime), take down the lights... maybe tomorrow. Weekends are too short to rest *and* clean house. Winter weekends are, anyway.

04 January 2013

4/365: Game Night

Tonight we had an impromptu game night; Maggie beat me soundly at Earthopoly (the Millenials' version of Monopoly) and did the math to prove it. Smarty pants. :-)

03 January 2013

3/365: Shell Game

Maggie plays endlessly with whatever toys are at hand; this game she called Acorn Shuffle. She played it like the shell game, shuffling the acorns under her hands, and I did just as poorly as I would do at the shell game. Girl has quick hands.

02 January 2013

2/365: Cyborg Boy

Last year's 365 (366) project lasted little more than a month, but this year I have an iPhone and can shoot and post much more easily. The photo quality won't be as high (though I am hoping Digital Photography School's e-book, iPhone Photography, will help), but the odds are better that I will actually shoot and post daily. Can't hurt to try.

01 January 2013

1/365: Friends

Maggie gives Goliath a New Year's hug
Happy New Year! We took the dogs out to run today and found the horses and Goliath digging into fresh bales of hay. Even with all that hay at their feet, they nudge us for treats, which I always forget to bring. If we lived out there, that wouldn't be a problem, nor would getting in some riding time. So one wish is for Dad to finally get his house built so there's a homestead out there. I don't mind living in town for a few more years, though I'm already dreaming of my own home out there, too...