The Year of Meeting Lizards

Or how to slough off the past and be (more) fearless

Hint: One toe at a time. The tail will grow back.

In the past year, I have met more than a dozen lizards in different forms and phases of their lives. I have never encountered as many lizards as I have in the past 12 months. I wouldn’t have noted it if the first handful of lizard sightings were not intriguing. I am certain there are messages for me to learn from the lizards.

#1: Long, black, and semi-floating on a friend’s pool surface. High summer. Hot like today. I was on a mini-retreat to figure out what to do with my life and career post-pandemic and mid-freak out about my husband’s illness. Feet in the pool, journal in hand, sunscreen blocking the most pernicious sun rays, I leaped out when I saw what looked like a snake. Let’s say that it stopped my retreat’s calming focus and agitated me into a form of action. I still journaled my heart out and returned to the pool for a second day, but not with as much vim and vigor.

#2: One day later, I was walking with my husband around the block and noticed a small, grey dead lizard on the path leading to our home. Weird. I noted the doubling.

#3: A few days later, walking out to get the mail from our home, a short friendly lizard greets me at the door. Alive. It appeared to be speaking to me. It no longer seemed to be coincidental. There is symbolism here, attempting to bash me over the head. I did next what I love, researched lizard lore, and found that lizards represent dreams and shedding what doesn’t serve you any longer. Hmm. Food for thought.

#4-10: Lizards were everywhere, like the law of attraction; I would see them here or there by the porch, near the garage, or on my walk to the office. My family noticed them, too, and we discussed them like they were favorite pets during our dinnertime conversations. In the hustle and bustle of trying to run a middle school and get a proper diagnosis for my husband, I let the lizard messages slip away. And yet, I didn’t know what I know now; I was shedding my perceived reality for a new one.

#11: The bright orange lizard shocked me when it shimmied out of our garage almost a year later. I felt the sonic boom of a reminder. Had you shed all that you needed? Dual graduations of middle and high school sons appeared on the horizon. Daunted a bit but also excited about the move forward. The next phase holds new potential and opportunities for us– for me.

#12: One morning, almost one year after noticing the first lizard, I got out of the mini-SUV from the trip to and from college orientation and almost stepped on another dead lizard. I wondered if I had killed it when I backed into the spot. I knew I was reluctant, not wanting to loosen the next layer of skin, that of a parent giving over her child to adulthood.

#13: I give you a baker’s dozen in lizards. I am not sure it is the final lizard, but it is the one with the most meaning. In my new role as an advisor at school, two seventh graders rushed by me to save a very tiny baby lizard this week. They gently picked it up with their bare hands and carried it to a nearby flower bed to set it free. The students saved it from certain death: a new life, a new dream to be born.

I wonder, what messages or symbols have you read in the world?

10 Second Habits, daily draw, random thoughts

Summer’s End: Making Way for Change

creative thinking, daily draw, random thoughts

Third Time is the Charm! 


Our summer has been about adventures at home and locally. Swimming at friends’ or family’s homes, having (almost nightly) water balloon fights/competitions, playing (video) games at home and Dave and Buster’s – it has been a blast so far!

On one of the really hot, record busting, days last week, I decided I was going to try my hand at making popsicles with and for the kids.  Right.  Good fun. Check.  Low Cal (mostly). Check.  Ready, set, go!

The first batch (the orange ones above) tasted like mango smoothies.  Not terrible, but really not so popsicle-y.  My sons ate it out of duty (sigh).  We can’t have that.  I figured my problem was probably not following a recipe. Yep.  Well, my grandmother trained me to be creative in the kitchen.  This is a good thing when improvising with something you actually KNOW how to make.  This is not quite a good thing when you have never made it before.  So, round two I didn’t really use a true recipe and just poured root beer (my favorite popsicle flavor as a child) into the molds and froze them. The taste– excellent!  The presentation, not so much.  You kinda have to wait for the root beer to go flat.

What did I learn?  Use a recipe!  So round three (pictured on right above): Fudge popsicles from a recipe by Live Simply .  Excellent smooth results.  Presentation: Good. Flavor: Intense and very popsicle-y.  Success!  Next we plan to try a Dole Whip imitation popsicle recipe.  Can’t wait!

random thoughts

The Pleasures of Summer

Mocha Latte @ThePeachCafe

Starbuck’s “The Pink Drink”

Colors are part of the fabric of who I am. Ask anyone and they will tell you I have a plethora of special gel ink purple pens in assorted nib sizes, my office is painted a lux Caribbean blue, and I wear jewel tones as often as I can.   That said, I truly enjoy colorful drinks as well. These two images are from the beginning of my summer adventures.  The mocha did not disappoint, but the “pink drink”, alas, was far too sweet.

random thoughts

3 Moves, One Year

Life is good.  We have moved for the third time in one year.  Notice (exhibit A) the storage bin is empty.  The strong men (and one woman) moved heavy objects for several days, and on Sunday we drank a fancy mocha @ The Peach Cafe in our new hometown.  Tired, achy, and back to work, but all is well because we are home, and the wifi is working! 🙂

random thoughts

Summer Reading 2016– A year gone by


As I sit and write this I cannot really believe that we have been housesitting for a year.  It has been a journey, to say the least.  We have been comfortable here, and there were some difficult moments (like the cat dying on our watch!), but all in all it has taught us to live in the now, and make the best of (whatever) time you are given.  Each moment is an infinity.

And as time has passed, it is yet time again for the annual summer reading book list!  It is late in posting, but I have been voraciously reading since (before) summer began.  You can thank the musical Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda for that!  And as usual, my taste runs eclectic.  Some fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and work-related readings litter the floor. My kindle is full of all sorts of reads, and (of course) I am also reading the really readable Ron Chernow biography of Hamilton as well.  However, my ancient history roots still show since I (finally) bought Kara Cooney‘s The Woman Who Would Be King study of Hatshepsut.

Read on, my friends!  #readingsaveslives


Poetry, random thoughts

End of Summer 2014


The tunnel has led us to this place. The end of the summer road.  The journey completes itself and is poised to begin again.  I travel through the blackness of this hewn rock; I am still afraid of the blinding light.  Can I welcome in the new school year?  Does it not feel like a birthing again?  I am always surprised by how I forget this pain every year, and am furnished with new anxiety once again.

I want to thank Zion National Park for this authentic tunnel experience (like no other I have ever had).  The deep black tunnel carved in mountain stone…no reinforcements, no lights, and over a mile of dark without light. If you are claustrophobic at all, it will test your nerves.

At this time of year I am also refreshed by love, children, and perfect moments:


And how poetry reminds us to live in each moment, separately, aware of the present, the past, the fear, and the newness.  All is good, but terrifying…and so we bring our courage to this moment and breathe in fresh strength to accept everything again.  :::just breathe:::

And if you like, you can watch this too:

random thoughts

Summer 2014

Our children are exploring all kinds of things this summer from Archery to fencing to woodworking. Fun for everyone each day! Oh and let’s not forget about the World Cup too! Italy is out, but Colombia has a real chance. I’m rooting for The Netherlands in honor of a good friend. They look awesome this year! In any case, we are preparing for a road trip. My hope is to post frequently this summer!