Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Picking and collecting shells, and counting to 15

We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary at the beginning of January. For two blissful days (the first without kids in 5 years) we enjoyed the beach and picked shells (my favorite activity of all).

Sanibel Island had been in the back of my mind for the past 20 years, I really don't know why I never made it there since it is only 3 and something hours away from Miami. I guess there is a time for everything under the sun, and you just have to patiently wait until the things you dream and want happen. Either that or really take all your energy (and money) to make it true. I guess the second one applies best here.

I am happiest walking down the beach, looking down for shells, looking up for birds and looking straight at the ocean. I could've just said looking, but it is so much more than looking. It is just being there at that very moment, soaking it all in.

I don't look for perfect shells, in fact I don't even know what I'm looking for, until I'm holding it in my hand, and I say "My God, how beautiful and perfect you are," and then I know it is coming home with me. The one on the lower bottom corner was my anniversary present.

The scallops above are common to the west Florida coast, and I'm in love with those colors and patterns.

I found these three "Fighting Conchs" in the space of an hour, and my husband still can't believe he didn't even find one. They were meant for me only and I'm much faster than you; I told him ;)

And tiny little shells are the best because…

…they fit perfectly in my glass jars. This is how I usually store my shells. From left to right: Clearwater (Florida), Taba (Egypt), Ijmuiden (Netherlands), and Cadaques (Spain).

I never bring more than what will fit in those jars, except of course this time. I went completely crazy and now I have a box full of shells and absolutely no idea where to put them.

Here I am, hoping that not another 15 years go by, until I can go back to Sanibel. That island was all I had dreamt it would be and then some more. But who knows really? Except, 15 years do go by faster than a heartbeat… that is all I really know!

Lots of love,
Giova

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Being faithful

faithful  (adj)  having faith; remaining true, constant or loyal

Health wise for me, last year was a strange one. Nothing major (thankful for that), but I kept getting one thing after another. Mostly digestive related, which is where I tend to internalize my feelings. I came to the conclusion (finally I heard the voice yelling at me), that I should start to meditate (again). It is one of my resolutions, and I hope I didn't jinx it by making it one.

I was introduced to the art of meditation when I was 14 years old, thanks to one of my mother's friends.  Unfortunately, I didn't quite understand it at that time and struggled with many aspects of it, for instance; I thought it was supposed to calm me and it didn't, and I was even more restless. So to make a long story short, the seed was planted at that time, but it would take me a while until I could properly understand it.

I think we all have issues, right?  I'm not getting into mine here (most are still painful, plus I'm not ready to share), but I do have a lot of them.  Meditation helps me in a way that no other thing does. It has been 5 years since the last time I sat to meditate, and I really need to find the balance of mind and body. Every little helps in my case, and it became quite clear why my illnesses happened and what I need to do about it.

Not that meditation has anything to do with religion, but I will just explain a bit because in my case I do find that they go together (meditation and buddhism that is).

I was raised catholic (btw), but since a very young age I became completely attracted to buddhism, which was a big NO in my house. I learned to pray the rosary with my grandmother (it is something I still do, occasionally), and my interest in buddhism never left me. It has been a "constant" in my life. I am not a buddhist btw (I do have dreams about it, but that will be for another post, someday). I do read a lot of books related to it because they help me, they give me tools I can work with, and I need a lot of those tools. A LOT!

I felt guilty many times. How can I possibly believe in God and Buddha at the same time? I actually do, and I don't question myself anymore. I am faithful to my beliefs, which are mine and only mine, and I've come to terms with all of them.  I've actually thought the same thing for the longest time; "Do whatever you have to do to become a better human, the road to get there is not the point." Isn't the point of this life to be better, or to at least try?

Since last week, with all that happened in Paris, I've been thinking quite a lot about religion and beliefs. Religion is not something I write about here or even discuss outside of my home, but it is something I've wanted to share for a while, just a tiny bit of what I'm made up of. I think the world would be a much nicer place if we all stopped judging each other's views. Every one has the right to believe in whatever they choose, and no one should think their point of view, religion, political inclination is better than others. That is just not the way. It is so simple, and yet so complicated. Why?

Anyway, without further delay I would like to inform you that I will be back soon, but not so soon. I will be trying to get my meditation act together.

I wish you all the very best,
Giova


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Birds and thoughts

Hello there! I hope all is well and you've had a wonderful start of the year. Even if I never do anything special for New Year's, there are always many thoughts in the back of my mind. Some sort of revision of the things that happened and the ones I still want to accomplish. 

Somehow the list of things I would like to do, always end up looking quite similar as the previous years. Hoping to do some of these:

- read more (this year I would like to start re-reading some old favorites)
- travel more (visit new places, there are so many)
- learn something new (like wheel pottery)
- take a workshop (I've signed up for this one, and I'm counting the days)
- exercise (this one never ends up happening, but I always write it down)
-start meditating (I really need to do this again, it has been 4 years since the last time)
- let go of some baggage (I do try this every year, but somehow there are still a lot of things I need to work on).

How does your list look like? Is there one thing or a bunch of things on it?? One thing in particular that you really want to make it happen? Mine will be, to find a new place to live!






As you can see by the pictures, I'm in love, fascinated and obsessed with birds. Ever since I got here they seem to be every where or at least I've been paying more attention. I've also been lucky enough to be holding my camera (phone btw) when they are passing through. How to be unaware? Not possible!

I still have one more week to go here, and it is for sure that I won't sit here before I leave. So I would like to take this chance to wish you a beautiful year ahead, full of love and filled with many exciting adventures.

Sending you lots of love,
Giova
P.S: Sorry for my absence, but the blog has been the last thing on my mind.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunny with a chance of ...

I knew it! Somehow deep inside, I knew I wasn't going to be able to write any posts. I've had intentions, but the reality always seems to be completely different from what I have in my mind.

First comes the jet lag, then the kids over excitement, followed by finding a computer that works (I don't travel with mine), then finding what I would like to say or show (which is the tricky part).

We are now slowly getting into a routine, which means going every morning to the pool followed by various activities which basically, mean not much, but enough.

Staring at palm trees and the always present blue skies (thank you Miami weather!! I think you are absolutely gorgeous, and I feel so blessed to be able to feel warm at this time of the year).

 Visiting colorful markets and wandering aimlessly throughout.

 Lounging at this time of the year? Pinch me please!

 Oh, the sunsets!! Everyday there is a new show. Free!

And of course some very yummy food, dairy is a major group right? Jaxon's is a favorite, and we don't miss the chance to go there. I did manage to finish this Rocky Road with marshmallow fluff and hot fudge. My absolute favorite!!

So far it has been very sunny with a chance of palm trees, sunsets, ice-creams, bookshops, toy stores, walks, and a movie with the husband (which I loved). That seems plenty to me, so far. If something else comes up, I'll be sure to pop in here, but I will just leave it at "I'm not sure."

I hope all is wonderful at your end and it has started to feel a lot like Christmas,
Giova

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Warm vs Cold, Blue vs Grey

How about it, what do you think?? I hear all the time, "I'm wishing for a white Christmas," but I don't really know whether they're stuck with that song in their heads or they really mean it. 

Me?  I didn't grow up with a "white Christmas," but I left where I was born more than 20 years ago, so I've had my share of all that white, very cold, freezing, numbness...

I love grey, it is actually one of my favorite colors (that is, for sweaters, shirts, etc...) and even gloomy days have their appeal… then not so much after you've had them without interruption for weeks.

Blue skies on the other hand brighten the soul, bring smiles to bitter faces, and make everything more hopeful.

I'm not trying to fight nature, it is what it is, really. But when you come up with really, really cheap tickets to a warm place, you proceed to buy them immediately! Even more if the place you're going to is where your mother lives and you haven't spent a Christmas with her in 9 years!

So that is that and this above is what my little one wishes everyday could be. He comes from school everyday and puts on his swimming trunks and thinks he will be able to go out like that… no way!

We leave tomorrow, and I'm hoping not to take any blogging breaks, but who knows, I always have something in my head and the outcome is something else entirely.

For now I'm finishing this book (which I'm loving), and hoping to start this other one soon. I'm also soooo very excited about this online course, I can't wait for it to start. Other than that, I have grand plans of staring into sunsets and walking on the beach. And you? Are you wishing for a white Christmas or not??

Have a lovely weekend, and hopefully see you back here on monday,
Giova

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mapology Guides

First of all sorry for last week's unintended interruption. Things like; too grey, broken computer, lack of energy etc.. assisted in the break.

But here I am with some very colorful news. My blogger friend Tina recently launched a very brilliant idea in the form of maps. I love maps!  I've been collecting them from my travels for awhile now.

These are not your typical maps  though, (the ones that take you to a specific destination), instead they will help you in very interesting pursuits. They will help you find for example; the right pet, the perfect gift, or that little thing that is bugging you.

The Mapology Guides consists of 3 maps (for now that is).  I'm pretty sure different ideas are brewing between the creators Tina (entrepreneur, designer, blogger) and Mike (designer, curator, artist book maker) right at this second.

The 3 maps (in a nut shell) are:

- Would like to Meet… - If you are looking for a pet and want the fun, educational and cute route to reach one, then this map is for you. So far here in this house were are still deciding between a parrot, lion, dog, or rabbit. Or maybe all of them? So many options, such little space! He is insisting on the lion though!


- Be Present Perfect - My favorite! I've found this one in particular so insightful and fun in the art of gift giving, a subject that has always interested me. Now I get to stand before this beautiful map/poster and read and laugh. Grass with snake in it anyone?? If you don't know what to give others this is perfect for you. If you do know what to give others but are stuck with the same ideas then this is for you as well. The map in itself is the perfect gift!


- What's bugging you? - Seriously, what is?? Me? The day is too short, not enough light to make what I want to make. This is a "problem solving map." With space to write what's bugging you and to help you with the best way to deal with "it" and maybe reach that happy place. 


I think these maps make great gifts, and the best part is now that Christmas is approaching you don't have to look any further. To top it all of, they have also come up with amazing postcards to accompany the maps.


Visit Mapoloy Guides for a closer look.

Wishing you a very lovely week ahead,
Giova

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Just a bunch of vegetable pictures

I just rescued my computer, it was having really bad spam issues, and it was not settling well with "him" and me. Right now I was doing a search on my posts, and found this one, and since it never got published, I'm gonna go ahead and do it now. I like these pictures, and I like the fact that the light is the complete opposite of what it is now. 

**some time in august (i think)
Apart from trying to do nothing, I have also been trying to learn to take pictures, which basically means exploring with my camera's manual setting and seeing what I get.

Many years ago  I managed to take many credits in photography, but they were mostly developing black and white or color film. I was fascinated back then with the process and mostly with the isolation aspect of it.

I loved seeing the magic of it, and every time I was mesmerized by the process. Needless to say there is no developing going on here, but lately I simply enjoy taking pictures of  the vegetables that get delivered weekly to me, and finding the ones that appeal to me.

I'm learning little by little what I like about the pictures I take, and how to take advantage of the light on certain days.

Sadly, whenever I'm very excited about a picture and I upload it to this blog, for some strange reason it becomes all grey and doesn't look how it originally appears on the screen.

Anyway, just wanted to share with you a little distraction of mine, and let's hope this blog doesn't become a vegetable pictures one.

Happy 2nd of December!! I'm craving panettone, and you?? I usually have a big piece the 1st of december but I couldn't yesterday!
All the best,
Giova

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