Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Life in Asheville keeps flying along. We spent the last week surviving 90-100 heat without AC, which can get a little tedious. It cooled off yesterday though and is 70 degrees and raining today. Whew!

Robin and I took a long weekend down to Charleston, SC the second week of June. We went down with Jeremy Noble (who is in Robin's class at Daoist Traditions--DT) and stayed at his mother's condo. He has lived in the area for the last 10 years. It was a great trip. On the way home however, I rear-ended a truck in front of me on the interstate...luckily in stop and go traffic! Long story short, we were temporarily stranded, got the car fixed and made it home safe and sound. Saving you all the details, this was the beginning of a process that ended with me buying a new (used) car last week! I bought a silver 2008 Toyota Prius and so far am really loving it. We are still getting to know one another, but I'm pretty sure her name is Sexy Sadie :)

I also took a short trip up to Yogaville a week and half later to visit my friends Hope and Elissa. I stayed with Hope and sort of flew under the radar as far as the Ashram goes, but it was really nice to revisit the place and the people for two days. It did not take long though for me to be itching to get back home to Asheville though, which I took as a good sign.

Our new roommate, Zach, has been great so far. He is kind and considerate and clean, what more can one hope for? Although, Robin and I both miss Caitlin's company at times, but she's off in South America right now so...

I'm still in the slow, and at times, emotionally/physically/mentally draining process of building my practice, but am, overall succeeding in the effort. I still LOVE my new office and finally have things hanging on the wall and everything in order.

I do still have plenty of moments in which I am questioning everything I am and everything I am doing in my life, but know it is all a journey. Today while I was on a morning walk, coming down a little hill, I had the thought that maybe the trick is to live a little more like my Prius drives for the best gas mileage--coasting on the downhills, remembering to ease up off the accelerator pedal, speeding up and braking less and instead trying to maintain a more consistent and flowing tempo...The thought made me chuckle a little at myself. Although, there is something in there about the path of least resistance...:)

Friday, May 18, 2012

May Flowers

What a fun month May is turning out to be!

To begin with, the weather has been f-a-bulous. Lots of sun combined with dynamic thunderstorms and temperatures in the 70s. I am still loving my new office and seem to be keeping busy (enough) in the money making department. Many days in the last several weeks I find myself very grateful that I don't work a traditional 40 hour work week (although my erratic work schedule does have it's drawbacks).

I have been playing golf on a semi-regular basis at the local municipal course and am enjoying reconnecting with a hobby I've let sit for a few years. In general life feels more social. The season of summer festivals has started here in AVL and it is impossible to go to everything. It is fun though. Being downtown, it is a little bit of a shock to transition back into tourist season mode, but I love all the people out and about.

Just yesterday Robin and I finished putting in a garden at the house that we are both excited about. It took us a little longer than we hoped to get the grass turned up and the soil tilled, but the hardest part is over. In addition to getting the garden ready, I've spent some time outdoors in the yard potting plants, weeding etc and am glad to be in a house instead of an apartment where I can do so. The only part I don't love is mowing the lawn...oh well though.

Our current roommate, Caitlin, will be moving out the end of this month. She is taking the summer off and traveling in South America. We will miss her, but are also excited for our new roommate Zach to move in. Caitlin will be back in AVL this fall so it's not a forever goodbye, which is good.

Robin is wrapping up her first year of acupuncture school and has comprehensive exams next week. I can hardly believe she's finished her first year, so I can't imagine how she feels. I really enjoy being close to her learning/growing practice and think the medicine she is learning is so powerful. In general, time seems so relative to me right now. Like, in two weeks, I'll be turning 28. What? College was 6 years ago...high school 10...I don't feel like I'm aging, why must the rest of the world insist that I am? :) Fun though.

Time to move on to the rest of my day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Oh, to be back with the world!

Heeelllloooo again World!!!

I am finally back to a blog writing space in my life. So many changes since my last post in October of 2011.

I am still in Asheville, NC making a go at life. I am doing massage full-time and just rented my own office starting this month. I'm very excited about the upgrade/shift to greater focus on my private practice and absolutely love the new space. I am still in the hard work process of growing my clientele (not sure this will ever end) and establishing myself, but it is all worth it. I am still working a few days a week at the Chiropractor's office near my house, which is a nice supplement.

Robin and I are still living together and loving it. She has been/is super busy with her second semester of school at Daoists Traditions getting her Masters in Chinese Medicine (a 4 year program that she will graduate from as a Licensed Acupuncturist).

My divorce was finalized in January of 2012. It was definitely a much needed final close to a good, if challenging, chapter of my life. I do feel like I am finally starting to be able to move on and blossom into the next phase and whatever it holds for me. Fun, fun!!

We were able to visit Driggs for a 10 day trip over Christmas which was a wonderful on many levels. It was the first time in three years that the whole family was together for Christmas.  I am thinking about coming back for another visit this summer, perhaps coinciding with my 10 year high school reunion. Ten years, crazy!!!

Robin and I took a week long trip to the Bay area over her spring break this March which was another enjoyable and well-needed get-away from Asheville (as much as we both love it here!)

Spring is in full swing here and it is all sorts of lovely and beautiful and inspiring. The only downside is how often we have already needed to mow our lawn.

Our three cats continue to bring love and joy into life. Buddy had a stay at the vet in January due to some pretty serious abscess injuries from outdoor cat fights. The upside of the whole event is that he was forced to stay inside for a couple of weeks and 1) make peace with using the litter box again and 2) finally bond with the new cat Max (who adores Buddy) and sort of rejoin the Hansen family ranks.

Max continues to be a quirky joy and it is so much fun to watch him grow up. I can't remember what it was like not having him!!

To spring!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The cat that is! Last week Robin and went and picked up the cutest little kitten ever! We were co-captains in the effort to adopt him and welcome him into the home, but we have since agreed that Max is, in fact, my new cat. He has been an (almost literal) ray of sunshine in my life the last 10 days. He is soooo loving and wants to be wherever I am, preferably on my lap or playing close by. I didn't realize how much I needed some constant, unconditional love and attention (not to mention a little purpose beyond trying to sort myself and my life out, which I am a little weary of).

The other cats of the household have not welcomed him so willingly, as was to be expected. Pickle spent the first week growling, moaning, and generally stating her various levels of upset vocally whenever she even heard him meow. She's already coming around though and I'm sure she and Max will be playing with one another soon. Buddy on the other hand...he at least hasn't terrorized the little one, but has pretty much decided to live outside. He'll come in and eat for a few minutes until he sees Max, or remembers that Max exists, and he can barely handle it. He'll stop mid-chew and beg at the door to be let out again. If you can't solve your problems, run from them....right??? It is starting to cool off here a fair bit though (much sooner than last year) and he is as picky about warm weather as I am, so will have to get over Max's presence if he wants to sleep inside.

Beyond the new kitten, life feels a little like a grey blur most of the time. Maybe particularly because it was literally grey and rainyish for about 10 days this month, which is unusual around here. Work is still, well, work--although I'm very grateful to have it. On top of having "it" most of my working hours have been massage hours (whether for myself or the chiropractors office) which is slightly monumental (although it would be nice if there were a few more hours...but, with time, I know that will happen). Besides work, I have, well, maybe resting? Sort of not expecting anything out of myself beyond what it takes to get through each day. I think this is healthy for me, at least for a little while. I feel exhausted in about every aspect of my life-mental, emotional, physical, spiritual...but then I remember my last, well 3 years, and forgive myself for feeling that way (at least a little bit). It has been a crazy ride through my mid-20s, maybe it is time to slow down and refuel a little, stop expecting myself to be superwoman in an effort to prove to myself (and the world?) that I know what I'm doing, and that I don't make mistakes. Really though, who ever does know? And, aren't mistakes what make us human? (Easier said than least by me). It's all a journey though.

In the meantime, my new companion Max is curling up right next to my heart and keeping me in the present moment--and also giving me plenty of "legitimate" opportunities to take cat naps with him!!

The fall winds are definitely blowing through Asheville. Any time now, the hills will break out in a symphony of color as "leaf season" descends upon the northwestern corner of NC. I'm almost ready for it, but just barely. Summer seemed so short, but that's time. It must speed up with age, or something. (Although this year in general has sort of melted away and slipped through the cracks, like an ice cube left on a picnic table out in the sun-just disappeared for the most part; I know, I know, it's not over yet :)).

Well, I think that's all for now.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! (well, can't you always really say that about life?)

So, it's almost September already and, although I'm not 100% sure how, I have managed to arrive here with it in (mostly) one piece. Thank heavens! The last few weeks have been full of a lot of remembering-what my life like was last August, or the August before, or the August before that. Each year has been so different! I must say, even though I do like variety, I'm ready for the swings to be a little less drastic than they have been the last few years.

So, the great change news is that I landed a new massage job that I'm really excited about. I'm working as an independent contractor at a Chiropractor's office literally a minute walk from my house. The practice has been there almost 20 years and I really like the staff and the doctor who works there. I'm getting paid a fair split for my work (especially for this area) and am still free to practice elsewhere. So far, it is going really well there and I am so grateful to have gotten the job! By far the most important change this makes in my life is that, by the middle of September I will be paying my bills primarily with massage work! Definitely a first. Does that mean I am officially a massage therapist then??

Another big change that effects me but really isn't mine, is that Robin started classes this week at Daoist Traditions where she will spend the next four years getting a Masters in Oriental Medicine and becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist. This means she is going to be super busy between work, full-time school, and studying. Maybe it's time for me to make a few more friends in the area...I'm so excited for her and am looking forward to being proxy to her learning, I'm sure I'll pick a few more things up!

I am still loving Asheville, particularly the climate. Summer was a little on the hot side, but we survived sans AC and now you can feel a hint of fall in the air with a nice breeze, days in the 80s nights in the's lovely. Plus, it will continue to be so for another 3 months! The house we moved into feels like home. The location is great (although we wish there were fewer speedy loud scooters zipping by), the space is great, the housemates are great. Overall a nice shift, although I do miss the pool from the condo quite a bit...but the trade-offs of moving have been well worth it. The cats continue to entertain constantly, they are both so goofy and quirky. We are happy to find that they are both terrified by (moving) cars and are very good at running the other direction when one is even thinking of getting close to them.

And life goes on...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Move

Well the month of May...and June...have flown by!! Robin and I moved into a new house in West Asheville the first of the month right after mom and dad came for a visit. We spent a few days with them in Charleston, SC at the beach, drove back on a Wednesday night, packed our entire house up on Thursday, rented a U-haul and moved everything Friday, then both went to work all day Saturday and Sunday. The ensuing weeks have been absolutely crazy, but I for one am really happy to be in the new place (even though I loved the old place too!). We moved in with a friend, Caitlin, who used to live with a mutual friend Robin and I met working at Mela. She is fabulous and it is actually really nice to be sharing space with her.

We are living in an actual house now that is newly remodeled, and so is very nice and new and clean. The owner bought it and renovated it with hopes to sell it but it has sat empty for too long and he decided to rent it instead. It is really wonderful to have a yard and a house feel; it is definitely different than living in a the condo. The best part though is the house's location. West Asheville has it's own small town, community feel with it's own collection of restaurants etc. Both Robin and I are working over here, which means we now walk to work and sometimes go several days without actually getting in the car to go anywhere. I LOVE it! The cats are having a little bit of a rough time adjusting, but are slowly coming around. We are (finally) almost settled in. There are pictures on the walls, no more boxes and we we just bought a few more rug for the floors today, which already makes it feel a tad cozier.

I am working at the garden 3 days a week and loving it, even if all I do some days is weed. I also have one regular shift as a receptionist at the acupuncture clinic and am starting to pick up some on massage clients, which is so good and I am increasingly enjoying practicing. Starting July 1 I will be renting about 15 hours a week in the space I used to have an office in, which I am excited about. Between there and the space in my house, I have a decent amount of availability without intruding too much on the home environment. Plus it is a 10 minute walk from where I live.

I spent last week back in Driggs visiting family and friends. Despite the (typical) mid-June rainy/cold weather, I had a wonderful visit. It was also nice to come home to Asheville after the visit. That is a pretty significant shift really, to refer to coming back to Asheville as coming home! All in all, things are going really well and I'm happy. I do not often know what to expect a week from now, but that is part of the beauty-working on the present moment!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Exclamation Mark

I started working last weekend at the Sunny Pointe Cafe's organic garden in West Asheville, via a reference from a friend I used to work with at Mela (who also works in the garden). It is so enjoyable. In three and a half days there I have already learned so much, I can only imagine how I'll feel after the whole season!
The garden manager is an excellent person to be working with, she is very knowledgeable and, for a lack of a better word, real. My first day working, one of the restaurant staff asked her if he would be able to pull a sucker off of a Dogwood tree in the garden and get it to grow at his house. Her response was, "First, don't call them suckers, it hurts their feelings! And yes, you can get a start off of the tree..." and proceeded to tell him how. She actually told me...or, more like gave me permission, to work slower yesterday. I have never had a job where I've been told to work less efficiently! She said something like, "When you're moving too fast, it stresses the plants out. They can feel your energy. You may think I'm crazy, but they can. Make sure you're grounded." I love it!!!

This month has been crazy, good, busy wonderful and full of constant changes and transitions. In all truth, my whole last year fits under this description, but this month is more than the normal. I think it may be something about the time of year, many of the people I know are having a busy-yet very fulfilling-month. It is incredible how much can happen in even one afternoon somedays. I am also doing a fair amount of reflecting on 1 year ago and how different my life looked then. It's crazy. I am so grateful for it all though!

My parents will be visiting in 10 days and Robin and I are greatly anticipating their visit. They will spend a few days here in Asheville with us, then the four of us are heading to Charleston, SC for a family beach vacation! Then Robin and I will come back on the 2nd or 3rd of June and pack up our house and move to West Asheville...and then summer is here somehow.

I have realized that this post has an inordinate amount of exclamation marks! I guess that is me trying to pass along the momentum life is carrying for me right now. At this moment, I sort of feel like I'm on top of a wave and have really no choice but to ride it into shore and hope it gets me all the way there. Exciting.

Well, that is all my fingers seem to want to type out right now. So ta-ta!