Life: Version 2.0

happiness is a simple life



My most un-favorite things (updated from previous list)

I was reviewing past blog posts and came upon this list from 2008 of my most un-favorite things (part one). I guess this is part two.

Being inspired by this post from Jen on the Edge, I decided to update the list to reflect my current sentiment. Items in green are 2010 additions.

  • More than 3 inches of snow (we have had 58 inches so far this winter). I used to love snow. This past December I had the nerve to complain about how here in Northern Virginia we never get “real” snow storms. Well, be careful what you wish for!
  • Mean, negative people. Really no reason for this. Ever.
  • Air travel, airports, airplanes. Air travel is so very stressful and unhealthy.
  • Big, honkin’ SUV’s. No better way to ‘flip the bird’ to the polar bears.
  • When the temperature is above 80 degrees farenheit. I prefer more moderate temperatures.
  • Pantyhose. ‘Nuff said
  • Flavored coffee. yuk.
  • Cigarettes/smoking. more yuk.
  • Aggressive drivers. Like mean people, there is really no reason for this. Ever.
  • Business suits. Even ‘back in the day’ when I was fly – I hated these.
  • Wegmans. It’s just too much – of everything.
  • Websites that are called portals. What the heck is a portal anyway?
  • McMansions. I am going to insult people with this one, I just know it. Including some of my friends!

Things I removed from the 2008 list (I don’t have a strong feeling either way):

  • wal-mart
  • websites that won’t let you leave
  • escargot

Things I love today

My latest obsessions – reminding me that sometimes it’s the little things that bring big enjoyment out of life.

1. dwell magazine. Having always been obsessed with magazines – this is my latest craze. Full of ideas on architecture and interior design, all with a ‘sustainability’ edge. This magazine keeps me focused on how I want to live.

2. Fage nonfat strained greek yogurt. This amazing product packs a powerful nutritious punch while making me feel like I am enjoying a sinful and decadent treat. It is thick enough to spread on anything (close to cream cheese), I also have been known to pretend that this is whipped cream. I eat it with everything – berries, nuts, even cocoa powder. Six ounces is only 90 calories, 0 fat, 7 carbs and 15 grams of protein! It is a bit pricey (compared to run-of-the-mill yogurt) at about $1.79 for a 6 oz container, but well worth it for the enjoyment it brings to my life!

3. J-41 shoes. I now own 3 pairs and absolutely love them. Focused on “lifes adventures” these shoes are lined with Jeep memory foam – yes folks, it’s the stuff they line actual jeeps with! The soles have a roadmap in them that represents lifes adventures. While all of that is very cool – they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I love the Journey, Troy, and Barcelona .

13 things about me

  1. I don’t watch much TV – in particular major networks. Well – it’s mainly crime dramas and reality shows that make me cringe.
  2. If possible, I don’t watch or the news – it’s depressing. I figure that I am online so much and will find out what I need to know eventually anyway.
  3. I live in the DC area and can’t stand politics. ‘nuf said.
  4. No, I do not like the movie “Dirty Dancing” – and never have.
  5. I don’t wear business suits (and never have)
  6. Baseball, Football, Basketball – you can have ’em. Give me soccer or xtreme sports any day.
  7. I didn’t have an average childhood. Born in Brooklyn but yanked out of the New York culture at an early age. I ended up living in the Caribbean until my 2nd year of college.
  8. I mostly listen to reggae music, underground hip-hop, and much of what my 16 year old listens to that makes me like to scream along. And no, I do not like most current R&B and I can’t stand DMB.
  9.  I aim to live in a small 1930’s bungalow style house with a small cottage garden so I can paint it crazy colors and drink iced tea with mint (perhaps with some special additives) and grow tomatoes in my backyard.
  10. I don’t think that school should ever get in the way of education
  11. Networking events are difficult for me – at best.
  12. I want to get a tattoo written in Elvish on my wrist
  13. My dream vacation consists of hiking the highlands of Scotland, visiting Middle-Earth in New Zealand, and taking a cruise to Alaska

This is a short list, mind you. But I think it begins to paint a clear picture.

more things to look forward to

John Adams series on HBO


Long walks in the woods

A visit from my sister

Planning my trip to Scotland

Weekend getaways

Reading books lined up in my queue: Persuasion, The Children of Hurin, John Adams

favorite things: part one

*This post inspired by my long-lost younger sister
  • spending time with my daughter in the woods searching for evidence of fairies and other magical beings
  • hiking in the woods and listening to how it sounds
  • thunderstorms, and the sound of rain
  • the smell of morning
  • Target
  • cooking during a snowstorm, listening to coltrane with the fireplace going and I am slowly sipping on a glorious glass of cabernet
  • the mountains
  • picnics at the vineyard
  • Autumn
  • (you are right Debbie!)
  • my new Canon digital SLR camera (especially when I can figure out how it works)
  • Charlottesville
  • Listening to my daughter sing when she thinks no one is listening
  • when my son shares his new music with me
  • planning future adventures
  • bungalow-style houses, like this one

List of things to look forward to in 2008 (version 1)

  • Personal overnight retreat in Middleburg with Marybeth to work on plans for the future
  • Annual Lord of the Rings Trilogy marathon at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
  • Birthday weekend trip with my best friend Dawn – vineyard tours, hikes in the Shenandoah, day at the spa, shopping, and staying at a B&B built in the early 1800’s.
  • Learning to use my new Canon Digital Rebel XT and taking amazing photos
  • Hiking more
  • The 2008 summer Olympics
  • Finding a cause to support with my time and skills
  • Weekly shopping at the farmers market starting in May
  • Taking long walks with Jasper
  • Electing a new President
  • Weekend adventures with my kids
  • Reading more
  • Growing a garden in my back yard
  • Watching my daughter play soccer, and my son skate

Things I wish you could have known

Dear mom –

I was thinking about you again and how so many things I experience these days remind me of you. Here are some things I think you would have appreciated:

1. My children. they are good-natured, sweet and insightful. All gifts that you gave me and I passed on to them.

2. Where I live. It’s beautiful in Virginia, you would have appreciated so much about this place. We went apple picking on a mountain last weekend. I wish you were here to enjoy it with us.

3. Seeing books by your favorite authors make it to the big screen, and done well: Tolkien, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Jane Austen – I wish we could have enjoyed these together.

4. Harry Potter. You would have absolutely loved Harry – somehow these books make me think of you.

5. Spending time together with me as an adult. I think I did pretty well overall, and you would be proud. I think you would have enjoyed spending time together with me now more than ever.

the short list

Here is a short list of things that I would like to have:

Harry Potter Box Set1. Harry Potter Box Set books 1-7

This is awesome. I cannot wait to get this. Perhaps santa will bring it?

2. Two beautiful Garden books:
In search of paradiseGardens in TimeIn Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World and Gardens in Time
3. These shoes Poetic License Shoesby Poetic License
Keen Hiking4. Keen Hybrid Hiking Shoes
Canon Digital Rebel XT5. Canon Digital Rebel XT camera

Thankful for Thirty: Day 4: Opportunities Unfold

I have been spending a lot of time focusing on my immediate goals and keeping the “debbie downers” of the world away from me. I have to tell you, it takes a lot of work to remain focused on the possibilities while “she” continuously tries to break in and vandalize my life. I have done enough of that on my own, thank you very much. Time to repair the damage. For the most part, I have kept her at bay, but more on that later.

Over the past few weeks,  I have put all of my focus and intent on my short term goals:

  • a super flexible schedule where I set my own hours so that I can be available for my children
  • the opportunity to innovate, be creative, and make a difference – and be wildly successful at it
  • continue to make good money (and more of it!)
  • not giving in (and settling for) working in a corporate, traditional environment
  • consistently move my body – get the exercise I need, at my own pace
  • have happy, healthy children
  • get closer to my true spirit

What is really interesting is that this is actually working! In the past 10 days, several new opportunities have unfolded in front of me. My belief that I can do all of these things is actually becoming reality. Now I have some important decisions to make – but the beauty of it is that I have options!

Also, I have been walking 3-4 miles each morning with my dog Jasper, where I medidate and pray about all of my intentions, and talk myself in to believing that I can do all of these things (and much more). I actually joined a yoga center too!

I am fighting off the disbelief that these good things could happen to me, along with the old fear factor – which by the way becomes even more intense when I find myself around a “Debbie Downer”. So I consciously decided to kick all of the “debbie downers” in my life to the curb. I know this will be an ongoing battle with the likes of her, but I will keep up the good fight. Here is my letter to all of the “debbie downers” of the world:

Dear Debbie Downer,

Get the hell out of my life.

Love, Susan

ps. stop drinkin’ so much haterade

This was supposed to be a thankful post, right? Actually it is –

I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities in front of me, the strength to get rid of negativity, and for all that I am about to be given.


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