Time Away

We’ve run away to our aunt’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a couple of days since we didn’t get to travel anywhere really this summer with my being very pregnant and then delivering. Even though we’re still responsible for our two children, it feels nice to step away from the daily routine and be around the water for a bit.

I’m hoping to have a couple of months of being able to get outside more, now that the baby is almost 4 weeks old. Last weekend, we sat with some family at their campsite at a state park for a few hours, and we’ve started taking walks around our neighborhood. It was really difficult being cooped up inside for several weeks, and I want to get to my favorite hiking trails at least once before they close up at the end of October.

Getting back to nature is one of the ways I draw inspiration for my creative work and heal myself, and I am so glad my son likes to walk the trails with me. I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to that as well.

Pratt’s Falls Visit

My family and I took a morning excursion yesterday to Pratt’s Falls, a local county park. This is one of my favorite places to escape to for a little bit, even if it’s just to spend 20 minutes by the falls. Not too far of a drive, and even though I had to work late last night because of it, I needed the time there.

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There was still snow around the falls and in the gorge itself, even though the weather has been warm.

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The trees are so beautiful. I love the way they intertwine.

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And because it is a former mill site, there is some old stonework at the top of the falls.

So now I’m rejuvenated and ready for two and a half weeks of absolute insanity at work. Then maybe I’ll head back here for rejuvenation again.

Spring has Sprung, Time to Get Outside!

I did my morning pages and began editing my graphic novel draft sitting on the front steps this morning for the second time this season. Coffee next to me, sun hitting me full on… it felt glorious. And I am resolving here and now to do that every morning that I possibly can.

I’ve spoken before about how important being near water is to me, but being outside in general is something that I never realized how much I needed until I grew up. It took moving to CA to really appreciate the greenness of the northeast. And since developing a homemade bug repellent last summer that I really like, I find myself happy meandering woodland trails and soaking in scenic sights.

We’ve discussed purchasing a seasonal NYS park pass this year. I want to try to get to our local state park almost weekly with my son, and we’ll pick different localish places to go on day trips. And the season pass is so reasonably priced.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point where I can wilderness camp for weeks at a time. I like my flush toilets and my warm/hot showers. But we’ll have to see.

I Didn’t See the Ocean Today – a poem

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I didn’t see the ocean today
Didn’t hear its roar
Didn’t taste its salt coating my lips
Didn’t feel the wet sand between my toes

I didn’t dance on its shores
Didn’t meditate at its edge
Didn’t sing with the gulls
Didn’t race the wind

I didn’t see the ocean today.
What a waste.

Copyright 2008, Kat Micari

I post this older poem on a cold, blustery day here in the northeast, where I begin to doubt I’ll ever see the thaw come. When I wrote the piece, I was in my last semester of grad school, buried in work, and even though we lived a mere three blocks from the ocean, I hadn’t been able to see it more than briefly from the car or city bus for months. The poem was a reminder to myself to reconnect with nature whenever possible, something that I still have a difficult time keeping in mind. Well, I’m better than I used to be, which is at least a small consolation.

And yes, there is quite a bit of trash and debris in that photo. Most people chose not to  swim in the waters near where I lived as it was too close to the harbor and off-shore oil refineries, but there was an awesome biking/walking trail and a huge expanse of sand that was cleaner the further you got from the actual shore.

Renewed and Refreshed

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On Saturday, I made the two hour trek with my 3 1/2 year old son to my aunt-in-law’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a clambake (the same cottage we stay at in our annual New Year artist/writer retreat). As soon as we got there and started in on our greetings, my son started saying “I want to go see the water! Go see the water?”, and I told him that we had to finish saying hello to people first. After the round of hellos were through, hand in hand, the two of us ran to the deck overlooking the water, wind in our faces, laughing and shrieking at the cold. Then we stood on the deck, watching the water, though I was torn between finding solace in the waves and just watching my son watch the water. Then he was off, running, me at his heels until he reached out his hand for me again, and we went to the neighbor’s deck, which sits lower to the water and he had explored this past 4th of July. And again, we both just watched the waves and felt the wind and grinned at each other. We bundled up later and spent more time by the water.

It was one of those absolutely perfect moments that life hands to you at times, that indelibly imprints in your mind and lets you replay it like a movie. I don’t talk a lot here about my son (beyond complaining about him keeping me up at night) or my views on motherhood, but it is such a profound joy to me. Every day that I get to spend watching him grow further into himself, every moment he slows me down and lets me see the world through his eyes, every time his sweet smile makes my heart feel so full that it should overflow but somehow it doesn’t, it gives everything else in my life such profound meaning.

It was worth having to stay up late Friday and Sunday night working to be able to do the trip, to go to the water’s edge and have this time with my son. All I could think as we ran to the water was Please don’t let him ever lose the joy of running full into the wind and loving the water. I hope he keeps it into adulthood as I have. As a seemingly inherited trait, there are far worse ones he could have.

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NY Times article on Climate Change

I don’t have a whole lot of time today to get into the why, but trust me, it’s important that you read this article on Climate Change: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/science/earth/climate.html

Biggest problem I have is that many wealthy nations (US included) have been tinkering with the language of the report, requesting changes. Now is the time to just lay out the facts on the table, with no sugar-coating and no agenda, and then come up with a real, actionable plan for the survival of the world and humanity. But no, it’s politics as usual for the moneymakers. Bah.

And if you still disagree with the findings of 99.5% of the scientific community and choose to believe that humanity ISN’T destroying the world, I have a song for you:

Science is Real

Edited to add that 99.5% is by no means a reliable statistical figure, but merely me exaggerating for effect. And for good measure, here is my last paragraph that I wrote in reply to a comment.

“Even if the climate change we’ve experienced thus far is a completely natural cycle, and our human impact is negligible, the argument for changing the way we operate as a country and a global society still stands, I think. Because if the coasts keeps getting slammed by storms, if further earthquakes and tsunamis are on the horizon, and if the ice caps keep melting, and if all this is happening while we’re losing more and more clean water to chemical spills and big corporations hording water for business purposes, and more people are going to be starving due to long dry spells, then these problems all still need to be addressed, regardless of whether it’s a natural disaster or one of our own making.”

Enjoying the View of Lake Ontario

The View

The whitecaps are stunning. They crest with amazing intensity, and it is difficult to tell the difference between the spray of the water and the snow whipped around by the wind. I think I was a mermaid in a past life. Or maybe an Atlantean priestess. I could watch water for hours.

I’ll post my reflective New Year post tomorrow. For now, it’s time to get to work. Happy New Year’s Eve! Be safe!

Springtime is (Nearly) Here…

Today, even as we brace ourselves for more snow, I am ready to welcome Spring.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had a personal awakening two weeks ago or if I’m sensing the transition in the Earth itself, but I am set to grow in the coming season.

I would like to have better ways to mark the transition of the seasons and the passing of time, but my one ritual I perform is swapping over perfume oils so that the scents I wear are reflective of how I feel about the season.  So I did that this weekend.  Back when I had a disposable income, I treated myself to sample packs of high quality oils and purchased several large bottles where they always throw in samples along with your purchase.  Over the years, I’ve weeded out and re-gifted what doesn’t smell great on me (I cannot wear patchouli except in very miniscule amounts in a few blends as it tends to fade to the scent of wet & moldy moss on my skin), but each of my seasonal collections has 20 to 25 different options, so those little samples are really lasting a long time.  This fall, I will finally need to purchase two or three full size bottles of a couple of favorite samples as they are now gone, if our financial situation improves by then (Maybe part of my birthday present in August?  Although I really want a beginner oil-painting set too.).

Anyway, spring scents!  My choices for spring tend to be light floral or citrus blends, gentle musks, or food-inspired blends that smell like yummy spring time desserts.  And here are the shops I get my oils from.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/  This is where the bulk of my collection comes from.  I actually lived in N. Hollywood for a year and was able to go to several of their open houses.  I love their themes.

The Misery/Love Company  http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMiseryLoveCo/sold?ref=shopinfo_sales_leftnav This is a personal friend of mine, and while her shop is currently on vacation, I really love her work.  Her perfumes are very food-based, which I adore.  Martha from “The Secret Garden” is an all-time favorite.

Woobie http://woobiebath.highwire.com/  I ordered the now discontinued “The Wizard of Oz” line from Woobie because it’s been my favorite movie since I was two years old and I chose a handful of other imps to try as well.  The Woobie scents were much more hit or miss on my skin, but I have several that I really like from them.

ZOMG Perfumes http://woobiebath.highwire.com/  I was gifted with a few Girl Genius scents from this site along with a couple other samples, and I hope to get more when I have some fun money again.  Girl Genius  http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/ is probably my favorite web comic out there.

Do you have any small ways you welcome in new seasons?  Let me know!

Autumn in Upstate

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The leaves have started changing here and I love it.  Autumn is my favorite season, and I could wax lyrical about it but I won’t.  Mainly because I just don’t have the time to do the season justice today.

But this season is one that leaves me feeling energized and ready to create and work hard.  I don’t know if it’s a throwback to ancestral gathering mode or because my birthday is at the end of August and I feel reborn each year or maybe even just Pavlovian programming due to years spent in school.  But the fall has always been time to learn, work hard, organize, and create with fervor.

That makes it very appropriate that I’ve begun this blog just a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward very much to what I can accomplish and how I can grow this fall, and I am very excited to share it with all of you.