Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Things That Go Bump in the Night

I live in a pretty nice New England town. It's a very old town settled in 1667. A few years back, the town purchase an oasis of property to be used for open space. You can rent a plot in the community garden or hike some gorgeous trails and there are many plans in the works that will offer respite to our townspeople. There is a beautiful vacant house on the property - probably a few hundred years old - and some out buildings as well as fields and a pond.

There have been many times that I have worked in my plot in the community garden and been the only person on the property. I often wondered if the house was haunted! It's a really old house!!! Scared myself a few times just looking up into the vacant windows. The house will eventually be a meeting place and I believe the plan is to make this property a park-like haven. I have even caught wind of a dream of outdoor entertainment in the summer like concerts etc.

So yesterday after school, we took the kids on a 1.7 mile hike on one of the new trails on the property. It was great! Totally caught joy. Took a bit more than an hour because I stopped and took too many pictures and everyone really had a great time.

As we are ending the hike and crossing the field in the picture below, we all see someone moving around by the house near our vehicle that is pictured in the background of the photo. You often encounter townspeople on the property because that is where the community garden is located so people are always in and out of the garden as they tend their plots.

But I remember thinking it was kind of odd that I didn't see another vehicle, just a person. As I took the camera away from my eye after snapping that shot, I noticed what I thought was a young (long and lanky yearling) German Shepard moving around on that slab of concrete you see. (with the green tarp on it?) I saw the dog standing there and then flopping down on the slab and I recall thinking, "Oh crap, Daisy!" We had Daisy on a leash and I could envision her spotting the other dog and pulling the leash right out of Bob's hand and running for the shepard. But before I could shout my warning, I looked again at the dog and nothing was there. (Enter Twilight Zone music, please!) Ok, maybe that floater in my right eye is playing tricks on me! Mischief night a few days early???

Anyway - we got back to the van and I looked around curious to see who was gardening that afternoon and no one was around. So the kids are piling into the van and Bob is kind of acting a bit odd and hovering on the outside of the van. I decide to take a picture of the trail map and he follows me over to the sign kind of shadowing me. I was like, WTH?? What is he doing????" and he just has this look on his face.

So we get in the van and he turns the radio up loud and says, "Don't you think its weird that we all saw that person with the hooded jacket and they are no where to be found? And there was no car around?" Ummmm - maybe?

"What are you saying, Bob?" And bartender ears from the back yells, "Do you think it was a GHOST!!!!!" I kind of laughed at the ridiculousness of it and then my stomach dropped - as I thought about that dog that I didn't really see...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stolen Moments

So, I am stealing the idea for this blog post from my friend Karen's blog, called An Evening Stroll With Bailey and the Rebel.

Today, I went for an "Afternoon Ride with Brooke (my daughter) and My NEW Rebel". I thought Brooke would be miserable and complain the whole time but she totally got into it and was finding the photo ops for me! Which was very cool, BTW!

I'll try not to bore you completely! I don't have the "eye" like Karen does and which I have envied forever. But the joy? - so got that!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Law of Attraction

So I am very excited today! My friend, client and running partner Robin read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell and she was telling me that the author identifies three pivotal types of business people who can change the world. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened. She told me that while she was reading the book, she clearly saw me as a Connector. Now, I didn't read the book but the fact that she even included me as a "pivotal" type of business person was flattering in and of itself! (Although, I have a secret. My mission is and has been for years, to turn the world on to the amazing mind/body connection one gets from working out - one woman at a time. Shhhhhhhhhh...)

At any rate, she commented that it was interesting to her that I own a gym called The Fitness Connection. (I train women, almost exclusively. Up to 8 women at a time, 20-22 classes a week. Essentially I see about 70 women twice a week.) Robin expressed that I frequently connected people with sources and resources. Example: someone comes into class one morning and wants to know if anyone knows a good plumber - 5 plumber names are voiced. Another example: My gym has become a hotbed of book references! We are constantly talking books between sets. I keep a running list of book titles that people have told me they loved. While I am forever exchanging books with clients, I am actually considering starting a formal lending library in the gym. Same with recipes. We are always talking food! So recipes are emailed to me and I broadcast them to my clients or to those in the class that day who were expressly interested.

Anyway, not having read The Tipping Point, this is my understanding of what a connector is. As you can see, not only do my clients benefit, but so do I! And that finally brings me to why I am so excited today.

Remember how I was bitching commenting in my last blog post that I was very unhappy with the quality of the photos my camera was taking and I really wanted a Canon EOS? Well, the next morning, I was training a class and talking about my blog and I complained about my camera and how much I really wanted that allusive $800 Canon. But what were the chances that my husband was going to be buying me a $1000 Christmas gift!!!?? And then it happened.

Robin (the very one who read the book and who also happened to be on the hike with me and was featured in my last blog post) says, "Joey! I got a Canon EOS for Christmas 2 years ago." (I'm thinking, Yay, maybe she's offering to lend it to me!) She continued, "I took a photography class" GREAT, she can show me how to use the camera!!!! "I NEVER use it. I don't even know HOW to use it. Maybe we can barter for it." So I looked at her all dumb and then I realized what she was suggesting. She was offering to give me the camera in exchange for training! I then picked my teeth up off the floor was like, "HELL YEA!!!!!!"

So tell me. What are the chances of that happening!!!!??? I gotta tell ya - I'm thinking The Law of Attraction! I've been pining for this camera for months. As of late, I see a photo opp everywhere I go - every day of my life. I'm always thinking, "Great blog shot. I wish I had a better camera so this close up of a Morning Glory would come out clear and pure. Wow, those trees along the pond are just beautiful this fall. I gotta take a picture."

Are YOU getting the picture?????? And yes, for sure there was joy. Joy when I realized what was happening. Joy when I actually touched the camera. Joy when I took my first, pure, photo. Oh yea - I got joy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

True Colors

Went hiking today!! I'm so excited because it was an amazing fall day. And you all know how I feel about Fall! It was perfect.

So, I went with my running partners, Laurel and Robin. Now I use the term "running" very lightly these days because while they are still running partners (and they just finished their second half marathon together, 2 days ago), I on the other hand, have not run with them in weeks. We trained together for 10 weeks, I ran their first half marathon with them at the end of June and then they carried on and I fell by the wayside. Today, we reunited in the woods! And now I remember what I miss the most. THEM! Three hours of moving, views, food, photo ops and BLABBING!!!!
We hiked up to the "bluffs" which is a place I try to hike to every fall. I am on a life mission to catch the panaroma at perfect peak. Each year I go just a bit later in the season because it just seems like there are still too many green trees. It's the middle of the 3rd week in October, it is peak everywhere around me, but from this perspective, it's not quite. But I'm doing better. One of the problems is that my camera SUCKKKKKKKSSSSSS. If I only had that $700 Canon EOS (you know who you lucky owners are)...sigh. Sad to say - the first picture in this blog post is from my iphone and everything else is from my crappy Canon and I have to say - iphone wins! Sad but true...

Anyway, it was a great morning filled with girltalk like the old days when we ran 4 or 5 days a week together. It was kids, food, working out, food, work, food (are you getting the picture here???) and a lot of laughs. All good. At one point we were sitting on the highest peak with our FOOD (there's that word again) and I looked out over Long Island Sound and was compelled to say it. Let's catch the joy girls! Here's your chance. Isn't that a great shot? That's Long Island Sound from a good 10-15 miles away. Awesome!!!

We kept stopping at each "scenic overlook" and a few minutes later, a better one would be in our path. Hate this camera, people! The colors were so much better but hey, that's life. And you know what? This IS life. Sometimes it doesn't look as pretty as it really is because your lens is blurry from life's stresses and surprises and responsibilities. But if you truly look for those moments? Suddenly, the fog lifts and the true colors of your life are more brilliant - maybe for just a short time? But you have to look for them to see them.
I did that today. I deliberately set out to find some moments and I took no prisoners. Guess what I found? Hours instead of moments. The fog lifted and I was lit from within. Hmmmmm - I think I'm starting to get this...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I can not possibly let this day go by without sharing my Yankee joy. You may or may not know this, but I am a rabid Yankee fan as is my husband and my Michael and the little ones are total Yankee fans in training. I also share this passion with many friends. This is not to say that I do not have friends who are poor, desperate diehard Red Sox fans, because I do. But my Yankee friends KNOW joy!!!

Last night, I caught AMAZING joy. It's game 1 of the ALCS, Yankees down 5-1 against Texas, top of the 8th and BAM, we rock the house and take the game 6-5. Mariano Rivera? You are my hero and I love you.

The Yankees are the consummate professionals. They never panic and they NEVER give up. These are the lesson we want our children to learn in their game playing journey through their childhood and hopefully take with them onto their career paths. My hope is that, they too, recognize joy when it flies by. What better place to start then with my awesome NY Yankees!

Let's rock this series, my beloved boys of summer and move on to the Fall Classic. You have played 40 of the 105 World Series and won 27. I am ready, once again to catch some more Mr. November joy and number 28! GO YANKS!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great PUMPKIN!

You need to know this! Halloween JOY? Priceless! Now THAT'S a PUMPKIN!

Passionate Joy

How do you like the new addition to my face? It's a beauty, ain't it? Yea, that was a fun night last night! Nothing like a head-on collision with my gym floor (no pun intended!) Without going into the gory details, safe to say, spending the evening in the ER is not joyful. Nor is the anticipation of an ugly scar over my left eye doing it for me. Yea - not much joy in this disaster incident - you would think!

Well actualllllyyyyyy (you had to know that was coming!), I did catch some joy when all was stitched and done! You see, when my head connected with the floor last night, it scared the daylights out of me. No, I didn't lose consciousness, Mr. Cute ER Doctor. BUT - think Natasha Richardson! Remember her? The actress married to Liam Neeson who died from a head injury she sustained in a fall on the ski slopes? She's the one who declined medical help and died hours later because her brain swelled? Yea, HER! That was ALL that was running through my damaged? brain. So anyway, when my head hit the floor? The only thing I can imagine sounding WORSE than that smash, is if I was hearing my child's head hit a floor! It was bone jarring scary.

So what's the joy, you ask? The JOY, is that I am not laying in a hospital bed with a traumatic brain injury. The JOY, is that for all intents and purposes, I am completely fine, give or take a few stitches, scarring and some bruises. The JOY my friends, is that I am alive and whole and able to enJOY life. It is a beautiful fall day. I woke up this morning.My family is healthy, my friends are plentiful (as evidenced by the incredible number of calls, emails, jokes and texts I have received in the last 18 hours - YES funny friends, I don't need to buy a Frankenstein costume this year!), and that ER bill, for surely more than $2,000, is coming!!! And you know what? So WHAT! I woke up this morning - in my bed, listening to the sounds of my family, completely whole. Now THAT my friends - is JOY.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pure JOY

Not the greatest picture on earth but it doesn't need to be. The joy speaks for itself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Norman Rockwell Moment

As you may know, I live on a dirt road. The other afternoon, I pulled into my road and so happily saw my son walking Daisy in the scrub brush on the side of the road. I pulled up, opened the passenger side window and greeted him. Per usual, he gave me his big, angelic smile. After exchanging a few words, I pulled away towards our house and when I looked in my rear view mirror, my breath was taken away. As fast as they could, he and Daisy were galloping behind my car trying to catch me. It was an image from a Norman Rockwell cover. Wait - isn't that ME running after Daisy? You know - my dog who chews EVERYTHING and won't COME???!!! The joy I took from this image is indescribable and is imprinted in my mind forever. I love that kid...