Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for August 2013

It’s Not A ‘Me’ Place. It’s An ‘Us’ Place.”

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I leave you on this last “real” summer Friday with this story about a Greek island where people live to at least 100 and you can go and just cure yourself of cancer.  Sounds pretty unbelievable . . . but its true.  I could see how its possible after reviewing the lifestyle (see and excerpt below).  One of the inhabitants was quoted saying that, “It’s not a ‘me’ place. It’s an ‘us’ place.”  Sounds so . . . comforting.

If you pay careful attention to the way Ikarians have lived their lives, it appears that a dozen subtly powerful, mutually enhancing and pervasive factors are at work. It’s easy to get enough rest if no one else wakes up early and the village goes dead during afternoon naptime. It helps that the cheapest, most accessible foods are also the most healthful — and that your ancestors have spent centuries developing ways to make them taste good. It’s hard to get through the day in Ikaria without walking up 20 hills. You’re not likely to ever feel the existential pain of not belonging or even the simple stress of arriving late. Your community makes sure you’ll always have something to eat, but peer pressure will get you to contribute something too. You’re going to grow a garden, because that’s what your parents did, and that’s what your neighbors are doing. You’re less likely to be a victim of crime because everyone at once is a busybody and feels as if he’s being watched. At day’s end, you’ll share a cup of the seasonal herbal tea with your neighbor because that’s what he’s serving. Several glasses of wine may follow the tea, but you’ll drink them in the company of good friends. On Sunday, you’ll attend church, and you’ll fast before Orthodox feast days. Even if you’re antisocial, you’ll never be entirely alone. Your neighbors will cajole you out of your house for the village festival to eat your portion of goat meat.

I’m off to an island myself this weekend . . . Jamestown (our typical summer weekend getaway).  I also think of it as an “us” place as I’ve only really been there with Mike.  He was lucky enough to grow up there and our child will be lucky enough to one day think of it as a home away from home.  It sounds completely opposite of Ikaria as everyone is up at the butt crack of dawn enjoying the calm ocean in the morning that is perfect for paddle boarding, or the tree-covered, hilly roads that are perfect for long bike rides or the winds that are always “just right” for sailing.  There is too much fun to be had to take any kind of day-snooze.  I don’t really see many gardens, but there is a farm stand on Saturday’s in the town square.  There really isn’t “cheap” food but there is damn good food like Slice of Heaven‘s breakfast burritos (that I MUST have at least one time during the weekend).  I never really talk to the neighbors but we do spend a lot of time with friends drinking wine (when not creating a child).

One of our friends sent this picture of Mike and I that he took a few weekends ago and forgot was on his phone.  When I look at it, it instantly calms me. 


I am wearing a bathing suit and cover up, don’t have my Blackberry in my hand . . . I have flip flops on my feet, my hair is out of my face and my skin is tanned from spending the day in the sun on a boat with friends . . . and with my favorite person in the world . . . who is always making me laugh. 

I may not live until 100, and that’s okay, as long as my life is filled with many moments such as this one.

Written by bevanddara

August 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Claudia’s Christmas Pickle

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I’m writing this through my tears, I just read your blog entry about becoming a mother.  I am so proud of how you have handled having “an alien” inside, and the thoughts of how your perfect life will change.   My life became perfect the day you were born.   (I’m POSITIVE that you and Mike will feel the same way.)

Now I’ll try to get my thoughts together so I can write about Claudia’s quilt.DSCN2639 DSCN2642

This is the back of the quilt.  The top picture shows fold line “wrinkles.” Thanks to the steamer you gave me, I didn’t have to wrestle a big (huge)piece of fabric to iron to remove the wrinkles!  I loaded the backing on my machine, and the steamer performed the magic you see in the second picture.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  (Claudia’s quilt came to me neatly pressed, but I always press out the fold lines.) DSCN2676

This was a quilt made by several of my Tuesday group and Dear Jane Kathy.   I love the colors and the pattern, but resisted the urge to make one.  The quilting showed up on the beautifully steamed back of the quilt.DSCN2678

And it was sooooo nice to be able to take pictures outside.  (No rain or thunderstorms today.)DSCN2680

I returned the quilt to Claudia’s home.  I was happy to see, and be kissed by Birdie.  She is such a little cutie.DSCN2682I am a longarm quilter and I love texture.

(PS. Soon  I will be able to gush about what a wonderful parent you are- I expect you to be perfect since that’s what I think about everything you do.)

Written by bevanddara

August 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

The One Month Countdown Is On

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One month until this little one is due . . .

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One month until I won’t have to call it “it” anymore . . . one month until I can kiss its little cheeks . . . and have its little fingers curl around mine.  One month until I see if it really resembles Mike as much as it does in this picture and one month until I see if  we will be buying a lot of pink . . . or a lot of blue.  One month until I get to see Mike hold his new best friend for life in his hands and shed tears of joy (I’m totally predicting the waterworks from him . . . and myself).  And importantly . . . one month until I can have a dirty martini and a sushi roll and sleep on my stomach and not pee every 15 seconds . . . and have everyone look at my eyes first rather than my stomach when they address me .

I never was one that desperately wanted a child . . . and sometimes I feel really guilty that it was so easy for us to expand our family.  Some of our friends have had the hardest times and so much heartache . . . it’s just really unfair.  In the beginning I felt so guilty and was so sick that I tried to ignore it . . . and brush it off. I also had a really tough time coming to terms that my perfect life that Mike and I have worked so hard for was going to be . . . different.  But here we are . . . weeks . . . possibly days away.

I have no clue what type of mother I’ll be.  I don’t know if I’ll be the good cop or the bad cop (my money is on the bad) . . . I don’t know if I’m going to be overbearing or relaxed . . . but I do know that I’m going to try my best and hopefully that will be good enough.

In this last month I am going to try to spend AT LEAST 30 minutes laying on the new hammock I bought for the Jamestown house . . . while watching the sailboats go by (and will be banking that moment for when I need to focus on something peaceful during labor).  I’m going to go see We are the Millers at the movie theater . . . because I know you can’t make it to the movies that often with a little one and I heard its hilarious.  I’m going to get my nails done at least twice (its pretty comical to watch me try to paint my own toenails at this point).  I’m going to finish the nursery . . . pack my bag . . . and make Mike finally agree on 2 boys names and 2 girls names that will be coming with us to the hospital.  I’m going to continue to work out every day because it makes me happy and less stressed.  I’m going to wrap up everything I possibly can at work so that I have less to worry about when I’m working from home.  I’m going to take a few loooonnnnngggg showers (just because I can) and am going to wear all of my maternity clothes at least one more time.  I’m going to enjoy the last few moments when I’m the person in our house that Mike loves the most. 🙂   I’m sure I’ll think of others . . . but that’s my list for now.

Jenna Wolfe wrote a blog post on about her birthing experience . . . she called it “soul-shaking”.  Maybe that’s another reason why its taken me so long to get really excited and fully accepting of this little person joining our life . . . how can you possibly predict your feelings . . . or imagine your life after . . . or prepare for . . . a “soul-shaking” event to happen that you’ve never experienced before?  I guess this month we shall see . . .

Written by bevanddara

August 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Baby D, Dara

Dream Backyard

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How amazing is Nicole Richie’s backyard?  I LOVE the teepee for her kids and twinkle light wall around the table.




In Domaine Home she described the space as “vintage-meets-industrial” and “relaxed and eclectic”.  I totally see it and love it.  Good job, Nicole. 


Maybe one day Mike will finally make me move from the city (kicking and screaming, of course) and I’ll be able to have a backyard just like this.

Written by bevanddara

August 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

The VMAs Weren’t The Only Exciting Thing Going On in Brooklyn This Weekend!

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Did you see any of the VMA’s last night.  I hardly did, but its pretty cool that they were in Brooklyn.  MTV got super lucky with the weather for the red carpet and outdoor concerts – it could not have been a more perfect night (weather-wise). 

I had a really great weekend . . . which started off with dinner and a show with Mikey on Friday night.


Saturday we got all of Baby Dierks’ furniture delivered and Dad installed some shelves, a ceiling fan and the blinds.  (Chet likes the crib – and the new carpet!)

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AND my girlies from home came for a visit!  We went out for a nice brunch in Dumbo and I drug them around Brooklyn. So great to see them and have some girl talk.

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Sunday included homemade blueberry pancakes and the New York Times (this is Mike’s plate BTW – I can hardly fit a pancake in my stomach at this point!).

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I also spent a few hours with Mike at the beach . . . it was heavenly.

Hope you had a nice weekend!  Sorry about the palm tree!

Written by bevanddara

August 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

Queen Palms -Three Ways (Flowers on Friday)

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 I visited Janice, who was visiting her friend Carolyn at Bonito Springs, Florida. This site greeted us on the deserted beach.  I love living in Florida.  We spent time on the beach, went to Naples for dinner, did some shopping.  Janice and Carolyn are HARD CORE knitters, although both were busy crocheting at night.

(Palm #1)


I stopped at a quilt shop called Quilt Lover’s Hangout in Fort Meyers on my drive home.  Great shop.  I was able to find two pieces of fabric  for which I’ve been searching.

I arrived home right before rain came down in buckets.  Unfortunately, I think there was also some other “weather” involved in the storm.  I discovered this on my garden tour later that evening.  

(Palm #2)


One of our palm trees on the ground, SNAPPED!!!!!! This is the first time I’ve seen the inside of a live palm tree.


This is the stump.  Neil and I think we had a little too much wind for this poor baby.


The tree was in the middle of the two queen palms near the pool. (Weird Florida-ism…there is a huge Philodendron on the front left of this garden island.  The small plant in front of the pool ladder is the same type of plant, bought at the same place, planted at the exact same time.  What a size difference!  The one the right receives 5 minutes more sun per day. Yes, it’s true, location, location, location.)


The third palm is actually many more than one…the above is the beginning of seeds growing on a queen palm tree.  The bees LOVE this stage of development. The squirrels also love the seeds at this stage.  They pull the strands off, and eat the seeds like corn on the cob. (Very frustrating to Eagle and Birdie since the squirrels are hanging out so far out of reach. ) Below the seeds are larger, eventually the size of a round lima bean.

(Palm #3)


This is the first time seeds from one of my palm trees have sprouted.  We usually have the palm trees trimmed and the seed pods removed before they get to this stage.  This summer, the seed pods grew faster than the branches turned brown, so the seeds had the opportunity to fall to the ground and sprout.  Unfortunately, this forest won’t be growing here.  


On a totally different plant topic, Judy and Mike gave me this bromeliad in the spring.  I didn’t expect it to bloom this year, but what a great surprise!

DSCN2660 DSCN2662

Have a good weekend.   (I expect to see progress on Baby Dierks’ bedroom.)

Written by bevanddara

August 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Fuzzy Rainbows

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I took this picture on my walk home from work yesterday.  It’s an art installation on the Williamsburg bridge – a rainbow made of tons of little yarn strands.  Pretty cool, right? 


It was hard to do it justice and get just the right perspective . . . so I was pleased to find other pictures on Instagram of the same installation. 

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Found this picture too . . . quintessential Williamsburg.


Written by bevanddara

August 22, 2013 at 11:14 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits