happy, happy in the new year

the zone.

i. am. in it.

realizing that my life’s work and loves have lead me to this moment, and i am so full of happiness and so thankful for those that have conspired to help me learn so many lessons about how to live. really and truly.

i’ve spent the past few weeks really focussed on squam stuff, but i was able to have an amazing new years weekend with bryan roaming around the island and puttering around the house. it was perfect.

my ever present instagram habit got some play and my photo above was featured on the instagram blog as part of their weekend hashtag project #cornered. the image was taken down in kinnakeet…a cute, little, old, truly authentic, beach-country neighborhood {that’s a lot of adjectives!} on the island to the south of us. it was the first time i had ever played along with the hashtag project and super fun to get a mention. especially since there were nearly 900 photos in the pool!

all that fresh air had us asleep long before midnight new years eve and we awoke to enjoy a gorgeous new years day where we filmed this little video for the squam site on juicing! i have to say, it was way more fun than i thought…i felt comfortable in front of the camera and then i got to do the editing — a skill and art i have always wanted to learn.

when we were all done shooting video, we shot oysters – well really we steamed them, though i prefer them raw.

and they were so good. one of the benefits of living here in the winter…

over at squam central we have giveaways going on all over the place. so if you’d like one of these gorgeous squam teacups – head on over and visit some of our friends’ blogs here:
Susannah Conway – for “m is for magic” (oh and her unravelling the year ahead workbook is really, really lovely and helpful! download it and do it…)
SouleMama – for “q is for quiet”
Maya Donenfeld – for “a is for art”
(and another coming on Friday 6 January!)

also today at the squam blog we launched our super fun Double Dog Dare…so that is something to check out if you need a little nudge or support in the intention/resolution department. i have been DDD’d to move my body every day for at least an hour. yes. an hour. every. day. oy. what time is it? i do have to say i really thrive on these bite-sized self-improvement projects…and the social accountability of it all keeps me honest.

and today is my mom’s birthday…happy birthday! talk about feeling gratitude for your life…

you know when you feel like you are in flow…like the pieces are all falling into place? that’s where i am right now. i am trying to capture this feeling, write it down, express it, photograph it — anything to help me remember it when things get dark and shadowy again. because they do. if there is any lesson i’ve learned it is this…but for now, it is nothing but love & light, baby!

almost home…

flight delayed…and we’ll be sleeping at the airport when i could be swimming in this water…

but it’s a fair trade for the week i just had:

no internet

no phone

no tv

just the turquoise sea, the breeze and…

eating coconut that fell in the yard and was carved open with a swiss army knife

aruba arriba cocktails

a bit of yoga on the deck


salty skin




j’amigo rent-a-cars

bonding with new friends

adventures to undisclosed locations

& snorkeling…

it was truly epic (thanks helen & dimitri!)

& honestly, it’s the most relaxed i’ve felt in years…


puppy love & stripes…

cute right?

post-earl play…

ice cream!

so, all is well down here. for us, earl was more bark than bite, and we are very lucky that was the case. it’s fall now. cooler, crisper, sharper… i still haven’t gotten over the feeling that september is supposed to be the start of something new, and i miss shopping for school supplies and making my mark in fresh new notebooks. bittersweet…the end of summer, isn’t it?

(oh and fall – please don’t tell summer – but you’re actually my favorite).

outer bands on the outer banks…

surfing yesterday

a reminder of how fragile we are here

sunrise this morning

nothing too dramatic, just the outer bands of hurricane earl passing overhead with their distinct north and westward spin…

locals here are playing a small game of russian roulette, surfers surfing amazing blue-green warm water tubes, kite-boarders pumping up their kites next to al roker. all essentially procrastinating about doing what needs to be done in case of a worst case scenario and as is the nature of island escapists, hoping for the best. worst case? landfall of a powerful, intense, category 4 hurricane at about 2am (during high tide of course). if earl makes landfall at this strength, it is certain to be one of the top 10 most intense hurricanes of all time, causing catastrophic damage with a significant storm surge. and as it passes the sound water will rush back to flood us from the west side too.

best case, a sideways glance and a rainy, popcorn-filled, movie watching day with some good friends and good, solid gusts for thrills.

so i have a full pantry, 5 rented DVDs, some trashy magazines, a to-do list that includes picking up all the potential projectiles from the yard and carport (things like flowerpots and garden tools), and a list of the valuables to pack in the car…the photos, journals, hard drives, and art. irreplaceable. a tragedy to lose…the rest of it, you have to be prepared to set free.

and that’s the lesson…what’s important? a truism just brought to the forefront because we’re being asked to choose.

the view from here part deux…

…one of the oldest cottages in nags head…(you can rent it & it’s pet-friendly!)

…i so love the spiral…

…perhaps i was a dog in a past life because i love this hydrant…

…red roses exploding with life…


call it process. call it inspiration. call it procrastinating. but this bike ride is what i did this morning instead of working on my art project.

oh yes she is…

elizabeth is on her way here…right now. as in she is at the airport. oh yes she is!

squam by the sea planning and general other-worldly girliness will abound from my humble abode here at the beach. the boy-man is travelling so we have the house all to ourselves…and i’m thinking that wine and cheese and pajamas and uppercase magazine drool-fests will be in order. not to mention massage, shirodhara treatments, and um, YOGA, dune walks, oh and all that work stuff too. can you call it work when it is so much fun?

& isn’t she pretty…

(photo by thea coughlin)


i’m beginning to think…

i’m beginning to think i should move to seattle or the pacific northwest since these rainy days make me feel giddy.

or maybe it’s these boots! hee-hee!


giddiness aside, i actually donned them to go venture into the wild nor’easater blowing its way across the little sandbar we call home. lots of flooding, marooned vehicles, impassable roads, ocean sand two-three blocks away from the beach, and houses on the verge of being taken by the sea. the studio, thankfully, is high and dry, though some lower-lying neighbors aren’t so fortunate. it makes you realize how just 2-3 feet in elevation can really make a difference. for our luck, i am thankful and my heart goes out to those that are struggling with losses this morning.

one of the best things about living in a small community is the way people come out to help each other when there’s a real need. living in this fragile environment, that need arises more that we’d like to see. but thankfully we’re there for each other…

yesterday, i got to see a beautiful great blue heron wading across the lake that was previously my road. i’m not sure she was going to find any fish there but she seemed optimistic about it. more likely, she knows something i don’t.


full moon fever…

when we were still living in dc, i had begun to notice a pattern amongst our close friends. though we spent a lot of time together all the time…some of the best would be nights when, for one reason or another, we all happened to be in town back from our globe-trotting, and we all happened to be in sync. our energies up, all eager to gather together at one home or another and enjoy wine and food, laughter and conversation. maybe even an impromptu dance party. invariably i began to notice that these “best of times” were nights that were completely unplanned, totally unscripted, and with a full moon or a seasonal equinox or solstice. being the most blatant “hippie” of our gang, they would always tease me about it when i pointed out what to me was so obvious… this tribal gathering was of a lunar inspiration.

last night it happened again…and really for one of the first time’s here in the outer banks. a random gathering, where most of the pieces fell into place… some of the old favorites were present and some new favorites appeared. as the night wore on and the moon began to rise over the trees, that familiar energy crept into my consciousness. we talked music and photography, we laughed a lot, told old stories, and made new ones. it felt like coming home to me. and i’m so happy the tribe is growing and i’m so happy to have caught a bit of that full moon fever.