Thursday, January 31, 2013

Social Media and Macbeth

If you haven't read Macbeth, this won't be as meaningful, but you get the idea.    

My 11th grade Honors British Lit kids are so smart and witty that I knew they could do this assignment.  I asked them to retell Acts I and II of Shakespeare's Macbeth in a series of tweets.  I just had no idea they would be this funny.  I love my job.

@weirdsisterz:  About to tell Macbeth his future.  #upontheheath

@KingDuncan:  Loving Macbeth right now.  #scotlandwon  #newthaneofcawdor

@Macbeth:  Thane of Cawdor?  Maybe King?   #Duncangavemeahug #feelin'thelove #ifthecrownfits

@Banquo:  2nd best.  Always forgotten.  #crying.

@LadyMac:  Just got mail, LOL.  #luckyme  #futurequeen  #hostesswithmostess

@Malcolm:  Meet the new prince of Cumberland!  #yolo

@Macbeth:  Up to no good.  #sleepwith1eyeopen  #comin4you

@Macbeth:  Hallucinating.  #bloodydagger #trippy

@LadyMac:  Happy wife equals a happy life.  #gettin'tipsy  #yolo  #bye-duncan

@Macbeth:  The deed is done.  #paranoid  #knocking

@Ross:  Saw horses eating eachother.  #WTF

@porter:  Hungover.  #welcometohell  #stilldrunk  #gohardorgohome

@Macduff:  Who killed the king?  #thisisawkward

Monday, January 21, 2013

Maine winter and a KEEN boot review

We are right in the thick of our Maine winter.  Some days it wears me down and I can't believe that it will ever, ever, ever be green and lush and alive and comfortable outside again.  Other days I love the sparkly, pretty snow-covered trees, and the cold air actually feels good for my lungs and psyche.  The above photo was taken at 6:45 am after an early-morning swim, and I swear that the winter sky always rewards me for getting up on those cold mornings. 

Like good Mainers, we have learned to bundle up and get out there as much as possible during our winters.

Skyler and our friend Kenai ready to hit Union Street Hill. 

At the start of winter, KEEN sent us these boots for Skyler to review.  They are AWESOME.

They are awesome because they are, quite simply:  WARM, CUTE, and COMFORTABLE.  I love the bungee lace system that makes them easy to get on and off, and I love that they have worn really well.  Skyler has put these to the test, wearing them every day to and from school, on the playground, on the sledding hill, and trudging through the snow.  Not once has she complained about cold toes.

Here are Skyler's after significant use:

We highly recommend these boots, we love all things KEEN, and we are thrilled to be able to review shoes for this company.

I've been getting out in the cold too, getting in as many outdoor runs as I can.  Tonight I squeezed in a few miles before dark.  It was one of those nights I could have run forever, even though it was 15 degrees.  I've committed to the Race the Runways Half Marathon in April which will keep me running all winter. 

Thank you, KEEN and happy winter, everyone. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

a lesson in abundance.

"It is better to travel well than to arrive." --Buddha

Sometimes even going an hour away for the weekend feels far enough away.  This weekend for Tim's birthday we went one hour east to stand by the ocean, as I often need to do, and feel the openness of it, and smell the salt air, and be away together, and to wander aimlessly without schedule or specific plan, and to sleep away from home.  Coastal Maine in January is totally quiet.
 Because I didn't grow up in Maine, it still thrills me to live within reach of the ocean and to walk on the beach no matter the season.  

 We planned to snowshoe on MDI but there wasn't enough snow on the trails, so instead we walked through Bar Harbor and up into the last section of the MDI half marathon.  It was as beautiful and hushed as it looks in these photos.  I felt far from home and totally at peace.  

 For dinner we ate tapas at Cleonice, four shared plates and good beers, and ended with Caramel Flan with two spoons.  We had a late dinner, and lingered until the place was near empty. 

We have both wanted to go to a Zen center for a guided meditation practice, and we had decided to check one out this weekend.  Surry, Maine is the home of this beautiful place, the Morgan Bay Zendo.  We found it and hiked the half mile into the woods.

Ironically, the posted meditation from 9-11 on Sundays didn't happen, well at least, no one came, not a Nirvana seeker nor a Zen master, and it left us to walk around totally alone in this sacred place.

Tim shoveled off the porch in a gesture of "leave things better than how you found them," and then we sat for twenty minutes of silence, and hiked out.  Now that we know this little gem is tucked in the woods, we'll be back.  Maybe more people come after the icy grip of winter has left.

In the meantime, we decided that was our lesson in Buddhism, to find the Zen Center empty of a teacher, because the teacher is within ourselves?  Right?  Get it?  We get it.  We truly just felt grateful and happy.

And it was kind of the theme of our whole weekend, a non meditation,  deserted beaches, and quiet restaurants, and yet: So. Much. Abundance. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

FulFILL your Year Giveaway WINNERS (plural)

Great news.

My friend Kelly, life coach at Perched to Fly,  was so inspired by all of your awesome comments and ways in which you want to improve yourselves in 2013, that she is giving away TWO spots in the e-course, plus a surprise for one reader. 

The winners for the free entry into the FulFILL your Year e-course are...

You are going to love Kelly's course.

Furthermore, the comment left by "Triciar" really spoke to Kelly, as it touches on something she cares deeply about and understands.

Tricia, Kelly knows she can help you, so she is going to give you one month free of her e-coaching, which is one-on-one support and encouragement, all via email conversations.  So awesome.

Anyone else interested can read more about Kelly's e-coaching here, and if you sign up sometime in the month of January, you can get 50% off. 

Congrats, Ms. Watts and Heather and Triciar.  Contact me at emiliemanhart (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll put you in touch with Kelly. 

Everyone else, sign up on your own for Fulfill your Year e-course, get in touch with Kelly through her website, or just keep on dreaming big for 2013. 

Happy FRIDAY!  My weekend is looking seriously good from here: women's college basketball, snowshoeing, a hot tub, Sam Adams, Mediterranean food, and meditation at a Zen Center in Surry, Maine.   

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

three things.

Hey y'all.  Just a few things I wanted to tell you.

In case you missed it yesterday, read up on the giveaway for the Fulfill your Year e-course with the amazing Kelly Dahl.  We are accepting comments to enter the giveaway until Friday at noon. 

1.  I turned on the comment moderation tool on the blog, which means only that I approve the comment before it's published.  I did this because my association with a certain local celebrity has increased the traffic to the blog by quite a bit.  (And I thought it was me that you loved).  I noticed that when some of you are commenting you must think that something went wrong because you are sending the comment several times.  No worries... it just sometimes takes me an hour or so before I get the email and then it will show up.  I love your comments so keep them coming. 

2.  I figured out my life!  I mean, I know what I want to train for in 2013!  It came to me in a flash this weekend and I called my friend Suzanne immediately as if it were an emergency and I needed to know right that second if she was on board so we could train together.  I want to train for a Century Ride (100 mile bike ride) and complete it this summer.   Suzanne said YES!  I thought the century ride is a perfect solution because I'm not feeling pulled to marathon-ing right now, but I want something that is big and a little intimidating and most importantly, will define my quads. And it means I get hours on the road with my girl Suz.  Win win win. (You think you share a lot when you are running with someone?  Try biking 50 miles side by side.  We covered every single topic.)

We are thinking of doing the Maine Lobster 100 mile Ride in July.  Anyone done this one before?

And so, dear family, I would like cool new bike jerseys for my birthday, because we know looking cute while training for something is 75% of the battle.  

3.  The Clean Food Challenge (CFC) is a week-long cleanse I have done and blogged about several times.  It is a week drinking a gallon of water a day and eating only whole foods, no meat, no dairy, no gluten, no soy, no sugar, no alcohol, no processed anything.   Remember, it gives you clean sweat and makes you feel sparkly?  It really does. 

I am going to work on creating a section of the blog (a tab at the top) that includes all the instructions and blog posts about the CFC so that if any of you want to access it at any point you can do so more easily.  I will also host a CFC challenge in February if anyone wants to join.   Get your juicers ready. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fulfill your Year (a giveaway)

I am happily back into the swing of the winter life and the school routine.  I actually look forward to going back to work and getting a little balance after Christmas, sometimes also known as the explosion of chaos and stuff and high-calorie foods.  I want to clean, simplify, and refocus on goals, to start living out all my good intentions.

I feel inspired to roll up my sleeves and get work done, and by work, I mean teaching and responding to student papers and getting midterm exams ready, and I also mean writing, and blogging, and organizing my recipes, and doing a cleanse, and signing up for some races, and just generally taking good care of myself. 

Right now the kids are asleep, I have potato-leek soup on the stove which will feed me for the next several days, and the house is quiet and clean.  I feel kind of amazing tonight, happy and open to big things. 

January is the time of year that we all feel invigorated to start anew, and I know someone who can help you actually get your year off to the amazing start you are hoping for. 

My life-long friend Kelly Dahl, my partner in crime at Sparrow Magazine, is a life coach and a total kick-ass smart and strong woman who will inspire you to focus your energies in the right direction.  She is the queen of suggesting ways to live better, not by changing everything, or even changing much at all, but just shifting your perspective to a more bright, positive and grateful place of being. 

Kelly has gifted a One Mom in Maine reader with a free entry into her e-course, a $35 value. 

In Kelly's new e-course, she will help you set your course.  She will coach you to deeply and mindfully create a clear vision of a truly fulīŦlling year. You know you want to do this.   What if you could do this alongside women you can trust and share your hopes, dreams and fears with? What if you can make 2013 your best year yet?

FulFILL Your Year is here to give you all that and more.

FulFILL Your Year is a 4 week e-course presented by Kelly Dahl . From January 14th - February 8th, Kelly will lead you through journal prompts, videos and creative exercises designed to help you uncover what you want out of the new year, an then guide you in how to make it all happen. It is all delivered straight to your email inbox with a whole lot of love. There is also a private Facebook group to help you connect with the other women in the course.

FulFILL Your Year  will lead you to a better understanding of you so that you feel more joyful, more loving and more capable to do all that you know you can do. 

To enter the contest for your chance to win an entry into Kelly's e-course, simply leave a comment here on the blog that tells us one thing you are hoping to accomplish this year, whether it be a specific goal for a new challenge or just a gentle shift in attitude. 

Contest closes on Friday at noon and the winner will be announced Friday afternoon.  If you are not chosen as the winner, you can still register for her e-course before it begins next Monday.  Good luck!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

what's in a year: 2012

2012 had many layers and, well, opportunities for growth.  Hard stuff and good stuff.  I opened a folder yesterday where all my photos are backed up and looked at the entire year in thumbnail-sized images.  The overall impression of this sea of glimpses into my year was sunshine, so it made me think again about the line: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."  

For the past few years, I have created year-end recaps of all of my races and training.  This year, my training was a little different.  My running was solid through the marathon training and then into training for the half-iron triathlon.  I biked more and swam more, and then everything slowed a bit when I moved out.  

My running totals have been around 800 miles annually for the past few years, and this year I only ran 673 miles, but I did bike 703 miles and swim 47 miles, so I guess that is where my extra running time went.    

I feel like I've reached a new place in regards to fitness:  I don't need a training plan or a race on the calendar to keep me motivated.  I still run or do some kind of workout every day that I don't have the kids, and I crave exercise in a way that always replenishes my desire to exercise.   I'm certain I will run some half-marathons and probably do the Pumpkinman Tri again in September, but I'm not feeling like my usual race-crazed self.  

I'm reflective and hopeful as I move forward into 2013.  I have a lot to be grateful for, especially the people who have surrounded me with love and have buoyed me up along the way.

Here are my favorite moments from the year.  

I won a freaking trip to Sayulita, Mexico to learn to surf.  Did that seriously happen?  
Yes it did, in April:

 During my week with Las Olas, I did a lot of yoga, learned to surf, sat on the beach, ate a lot of fish tacos, lounged around in a bathrobe, and met and connected with a group of strong, awesome women including Jessie and Jaime, now life-long friends.

I also ran the Sugarloaf Marathon in May on a hot, hot day, but still smiled the whole way.

 SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS!  (Dear God.  6 months from now we'll be back there)
our favorite summer place:  Schoodic Lake.

Ange and Beckett in Schoodic.
Sand Beach.

Contra dancing at the American Folk Festival

lunch on the dock at Moxie Lake.

Reed passed his deep water swim test on the FOURTH TRY!

Suzanne and I biked many many miles at ungodly early ours.  Here we our in the willy-wacks at 5 am. 
swimming in Thoreau's Walden Pond. 

summer picnic at Wonderland. 
my mom, who continues to amaze me with the strength of her love and support for me and my kids. 

In 2012, Reed learned to ride a bike without training wheels

 And learned to fish. 


 And Skyler changed from little-girl to big-girl.

at her first piano recital
I settled into a new home.

and completed my first Half-Iron Triathlon, all with the support of my friend Susan who went south with me for the race weekend. 

My whole family spent a week on Moosehead Lake:

and I got to ride my bike with my sister. 
This fall, I met Tim, danced for marriage equality, and made a 
rainbow cake when we won YES on ONE.  

and took a much-needed trip to San Francisco to hang with my big brother. 

And then... Happy New Year. 

 Cheers to a 2013 with more sunshine and good stuff, and a little less hard stuff.