Monday, November 29, 2010


Today I have been finding myself searching high and low for the little bits of happiness that get sprinkled throughout a day. It's a monday, and not just any monday, but the one right after a long weekend. It's also the monday that I quit my sneeze-watching job so I can sit in some office from now on. It is also the monday that the house cleaner is shooting death stares at me because I won't take the (sneezing/ coughing/ ear-pulling/ teething/ drool-oozing/ booger-oozing/ feverish/ crying) baby out for a walk while she is here. So you see, I'm having a difficult time spotting those sprinkles of joy today among all the muck. But it seems that while today may not be sprinkled with joy, the days to come might be, and the dreams of what's to come is what's keepin' me truckin'.

Like I said, today was the day I finally gave notice at my nanny job that I am leaving. And I really didn't think I would be so sad! It is hard for me to disappoint people, and when I told the family that I was leaving, all the mother could say was "this is my husbands worst nightmare; he's been so afraid you were going to quit." And oh that made me feel so bad! Not to mention, I am going to miss that little sneeze-faced baby so much. There is a whole lot of muck in it today, but I know once I plow through it all I will be in sprinkle heaven (hopefully). My plan is to check something off on my Anything List. The something that I can realistically focus on right now is "Brooklyn Loft" because the move will be easy and will allow me to keep working on my masters at the school I am at now. Great. Now that I have picked a something, I am searching for all the sprinkles I can to put into it. I've scoured the internet for brokers and apartments in the neighborhoods I am interested in. I have made checklists and written down phone numbers to call. And while I've discovered that my dream neighborhood is not for those with thin wallets, I think if I accept that I have to downsize my expectations (give up the dream of a two bedroom and wake up to the reality of a teeny-tiny studio) I can still afford to live there. I have even ventured onto the Ikea website and have found a lovely selection of couches, even ones that will match my 1970's mint condition armchair that I envision being the focal-point of my itsy-bitsy living space. Sprinkles among the muck. 

the 1970's-mint-condition-armchair. and no, the cute pooch did not come with the salvo find. 

Now about that office job. It's not my dream. It's not a classroom, and it has nothing to do with children. It is head of human resources, it comes with a big fat paycheck (from a sneezeweed view anyway), and it is just for now. I think part of this whole growing up thing that we're all trying to do, is realizing that sometimes you can't have it all right from the get go. Sometimes you need to take the not-so-dream-job so that you can find happiness in other places. One happy something at a time. So I chose Brooklyn, and the HR office. 

Yesterday I was looking through a bunch of old papers and journals from college and high school. I found an application for a college scholarship that I had written on why I want to be a teacher. I'll admit, it was not my most stellar writing, but it was heartfelt and it was real. I talked about the importance of giving back, and how teaching is the ultimate reward. I discussed how every student deserves an equitable education, and how I want to be the one to provide it for them. And after reading it I realized all over again, that despite the HR job with the pretty pay check, I can't wait to teach. So when I move into that office, and settle into the job that I am lucky to have been offered, the first thing I am going to do is frame that admission paragraph and prop it up on my desk. A constant reminder of where I am headed after the not-so-dream-job; a sprinkle in the muck of the office. 

Aside from the Brooklyn loft, there are other sprinkles that I can see in my future. I will get to pick up ballet again. When there is a day that no one is home, I turn up the stereo and pirouette across the living room, I chasse back and forth across the wooden floor. I pass de bourree and pas de chat until I can't decipher one motion from the next, until my whole body is gliding effortlessly around while my mind drifts off into a faraway place. Ballet for me is meditation, it is therapy for my mind and body, and the long days of watching the little sneeze-baby has forced me to give it up for the past six months. It has been the longest span of time I have gone without sliding on my tights and ballet shoes since I was six years old, and my whole soul is yearning to hear someone speak those beautiful French terms so my feet can reply with just the right steps. Thinking about getting back to ballet isn't just a few sprinkles- it is the cherry on top. 

And while I sit here and dream about my loft and Ikea, my office and the framed application paragraph, my 1970's mint condition arm chair and my ballet shoes, I am still trying to find the sprinkles in this day. While that is all to come in my not so distant future, today is where the muck is. Saying goodbye to the sneeze-baby, staring ahead into the long week after a holiday weekend, waiting for the house cleaner to leave- it's all today's muck. So I make my focus smaller. I can't have my loft today, but I can look forward to going home tonight and curling up on the 1970's-mint-condition-armchair with my pup and a good book. I can't pick up ballet for another month or so, but I can turn up the stereo and glide around with ease until then. I can't put the admissions paragraph on my desk for another few weeks, but I can stop at the store on my way home to buy the frame. And while I can't make this week go by any faster, I can look forward to a movie night with a friend and a haircut that are scheduled within it. And for right now? Little sneeze-baby is fast asleep and the house cleaner just left. A little more sprinkle, a little less muck. 

The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today))
- clementines
- round-trip tickets

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank You, Thank You

Again it happened; a whole week has slid by without a sneeze-thought about it. A whole week of normal, a whole week of the in's and and out's of everyday, a whole week of exactly what I can expect from a week. And then I woke up this morning to an entirely different, wonderful type of day.

Thanksgiving, for me, is the best type of beginning there is. it's the beginning of a string of tradition and love and celebration. It's the start of a season that is seasoned with excuses to put on pretty dresses and sip sparking drinks in the evening with friends. It is the beginning of months spent inside toasty homes, escaping cold nights, creating the warmest of memories. It is as if someone decided that we all need excuse after excuse to celebrate to get us through these bitter months; and what better reasons to celebrate than Thanksgiving, winter solstice, Hanukah, Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years Day, and everyones favorite Hallmark holiday- Valentine's Day, among others.

Thanksgiving though, is the real kick off. There are no presents, no clinking of glasses at the stroke of midnight, and certainly no effort to display your love through things bought from glowing store windows. Thanksgiving is about family, it is about love and celebration. Thanksgiving is about sweet potato topped with melted marshmallow and playing cards around the dining room table. Thanksgiving is about telling stories about when the kids were younger, it's about sharing what is happening in the hustle and bustle of life right now, and it's about baking apple pie to indulge in all the while. While Christmas is nostalgic, and New Year's Eve is magical, Thanksgiving is the celebration there solely to remind you of all the love you are surrounded by. The love that is put into the turkey and its trimmings, the love in the laughter that fills the room, and the love in your aunt elbowing you in the side so you can peek at her cards. It is the holiday that puts the whirlwind of these warm-winter months into perspective. It is the day that says "yes, yes this is all yours and you love it" and you whisper back "thank you, thank you" a hundred times because you know it will all be over too soon. And when this day does come to an end, when the parade is over and the table has been cleared, when children start to fuss about too full bellies and Christmas movies take over every channel, and when we all retreat back into our own glowing homes, it's the dinner table laughter still ringing in your ears that reminds you to mutter one more "thank you, thank you" before you drift back into the bustle of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is the mother of all of the holidays. It's the one that reminds you how to sit and what fork to use, it's the one that reminds you how to hug and thank and appreciate. Thanksgiving is the holiday that reminds you it's not about what you have on the table, but who is sitting around it. It's the day that reminds you celebration is about just that: celebrating; no frills, no tinsel and countdowns, just celebration. So as we pack away the leftovers into the fridge and bundle up to shop and string lights on the house, remember to step back and mutter a "thank you, thank you" now and then for all the wonderful reasons we have to celebrate this time of year.

Thank You, Thank You ((or what's fueling the fire today))
- unexpected guests
- knowing all of the words in a movie
- pies in the oven
- buzzers
- uncles
- having no empty chairs


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Daily Sneeze Tease

The Daily Sneeze (or what's fueling the fire today)
-Strangers chatting during rush hour.
-Holding space. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hello Normal. Come Stay a While.

When I logged on to Blogger today, I didn't expect to see that it  has been a whole week since I last posted!    An entire week has gone by and I haven't had anything happen that made me think "oh! I should blog about this!" This week was unusually normal, particularly mellow. It was the kind of normal that can be nagging and comforting all at the same time.

Normal is such a tricky fellow. Some days when nothing seems to be going your way, all you want is for Normal to slip in and take over. Other times, after Normal has been hanging around for a while eating all of your food and hunkering down on your couch, all you want is for Excitement to storm in and rial things up a bit. But lately for me, Normal has just kind of been there, lurking in the corner bothering no one. Normal has included dinner with friends, Broadway shows on friday nights (Next to Normal, ironically enough) and snuggling in bed with my pup by 10 pm. And while I would love to drone on about the pros and cons of normal life, I'll keep this one short and leave you with a little list of normal happenings and a little bit of sneeze:

-If you like to read my blog, go pick up All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden by Robert Fulghum. He writes the way I would if I were a a fortysomething minister in the eighties. It's really a sneeze-dream of a book. Trust me.

-Next to Normal was fan-tas-tic. And if you're in NY and can see it, please do! It closes mid-January, tickets would make a lovely holiday gift. Just sayin'.

-If you would like to kill a few brain cells with guilt filled entertainment, watch Millionaire Matchmaker. It's awful and fantastic and addictive. And also how I spent a big part of my weekend.

The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today...))
-breezy November days.
-flower looms (oh I am in love with flower looms).
-and the products of flower looms...

please excuse the terrible cell-phone-photo-quality, and the sleepy baby face. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Twenty-Two Candles, and No Birthday Song

"A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave."
~Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert (said by her friend, Richard)

I can think of at least seven other things I should be doing right now, at 11:30 at night, that aren't writing on Sneezeweed. I should be diving into the pile of dirty laundry in the corner so I will have something to wear in the morning. I should be working on my midterm, due tomorrow. I should be sending e-mails for my internship. I should be cleaning out my overflowing closet. I should be writing a paper on culture. I should be booking a New Years vacation. I should be sleeping. I should not be sitting here pouring my heart out on Sneezeweed, blogging for the second time today. But this is serious. I can assure you that there will be no uplifting ending, no dreamy metaphoric moral, no sigh of relief and comfort at the end of this post. Today was a hard day. 

November 10th is almost over, and I still haven't talked to the one person who has been on my mind all day. It is her twenty-second birthday, she blew out twenty-two candles just a few hours ago, I am sure of it. And if you would have told me a year ago that I wouldn't be celebrating with her today I surely wouldn't have believed you. For anyone to understand why this is so devastating, you would have had to have known us. We were two peas in one pod, one mind in two bodies, two souls twisted into one perfect pair. We were best friends from the time we were small children; the only two who chose to knot friendship bracelets under the slide instead of playing soccer in the field at recess (although I am sure I finished hers for her, when she got too impatient, while she tossed rocks at the shiny underside of the slide). As we got older we were literally inseparable. We shared locker combinations and crushes, lunches and secrets, jokes and families. Where one went the other joined, arm in arm, always. We had a deep and almost frightening connection. If one was upset, the other would know from miles away. One could give a look, a mere glance across the room, and the other would know her exact thought. When we talked it only took one word to tell entire stories. Others were envious of our friendship, and we could understand exactly why. It was the best kind of friendship anyone could have growing up. A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, a trusting and loyal friend through unpredictable adolescents. I don't know how else to describe what our friendship was like. I am certain that there are no words that can truly sum it up, but Richard comes close; looking at her was like looking in a mirror. She was me, and I was her- perfect reflections of one another. 

I wish I could pinpoint what happened in the past couple of years. We were in college, living separate lives, and we naturally became less dependent on one another. It was fine. We were still as close as ever for a long time. We just needed one another a little less. But as time went on and we each started to fly off in our own directions we began to confide less and bicker more, and eventually barely talked at all. In the past year we really grew apart. I'm sure we could both point fingers and blame it on this and that, but it really doesn't matter. The fact is that today is her Birthday, and for the first time in over a decade I wasn't the first one to sing to her. I didn't buy her a present, and I didn't plan a night out to celebrate. And let me tell you, it hurt more than I ever thought it would. 

Today I felt like I was mourning a death, and I guess in a way I was. Today was the first time that I really, truly realized that I have lost the best friend I ever had. Until today I tucked her away in the corner of my mind labeled "distant friend." I am starting to realize that having distance implies that you know where the other is. And as I look around, I don't have the slightest clue what direction she is in. She is not distant, she has been lost. And like many people who have lost someone they love, I came home today and turned to old photos with remnants of scotch tape on the back, old notes scratched on college ruled notebook paper, and even back to the pages of those old literary magazines to try to grasp a bit of what we had. I had remembered that in our first year on the magazine another writer had surprised us by publishing our poems on friendship side by side. I flipped through all of the magazines until I found the one that had my name scribed on the page adjacent to hers, and I read the two poems through tear-filled eyes. Now I am not certain if the writer who placed them realized what the poems were really about when she decided to surprise us; I did not cry because of how beautiful the poems are, or because our names look so lovely on adjacent pages. I cried because both of our poems are about losing a friend. And so I sobbed. I sobbed because it was as if we knew, even then, that this could be our fate. I sobbed because it was as if we were prepared for the days when birthdays would go unrecognized and silence would fall between us. I sobbed because all I wanted to do in that moment was to call her up and say "look! we knew each-other so well, that we even knew it couldn't last!" I felt like a child who had their most treasured stuffie taken away, right before bedtime; and the only way was to cry herself to sleep and hope that it was returned in the morning. 

Richard says that it would be too painful for a soul mate to stay in your life forever, and there isn't a single doubt in my mind that she is a soul mate. She was my first soul mate; from the time we exchanged friendship bracelets under the slide until today, her twenty-second birthday. And maybe he is right. Maybe soul mates must come and go, leaving room for the magical moment when the next one will appear; but even still I would give up my most treasured stuffie if it meant that I could have our friendship back for the long haul. I can't help but think that there is still some remnant of our deep and almost frightening connection though; my urge to flip open the literary magazine, to the place where I knew I would find our adjacent names, came only a day after I wrote about how my poetry-writing-sneeze-self knows best. And do you know what I found on my side of the spine? seventeen little words, at the end of my poem, that provided the only small bit of comfort today:

when true friends drift apart,
they are held together internally,
by the simple beat of the heart. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Little Bit of Show and Tell

This might be one of the most beautiful articles I have come across. Ever. Check it out.

and also...

The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today))
- waving.
- holiday tunes.
- the smell of morning coffee.
- wabi-sabi.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

... Either way You Will be Surprised.

When I was a teenager I wrote for my high schools literary magazine. It was titled Epiphany, and ever since seeing the word on the cover of the first issue I contributed to, I realized that all of my writing was exactly that: one small epiphany at a time. While now my best writing is done in the form of this personal narrative that I show here on my blog, in high school I was a poet. And when I look back and read from my old poetry notebooks, spines broken, colored pencil doodles, cross-outs and misspellings, I can't help but be proud of the old wise soul I have always been. Sometimes I think that re-reading all of those old poems will give me more insight into my life than any conversation with a friend, any night spent burying my face in a pillow, or even any afternoon pouring my heart out here on Smelling the Sneezeweed. The sneeze version of me always knew best.

There is one poem that rang out in my head over and over this past weekend. It is a poem where I complied little tid bits of life advice that I thought were important to live by. One reads "either choose to plan things out or go on a whim, either way you will be surprised." And well isn't that just the truth. My friend and I had tickets to Fridays Post Secret event in Connecticut. I have been looking forward to seeing Frank speak for weeks. When I went to work that morning I gently tucked the tickets inside of the latest Post Secret book (that I hoped to get signed) and packed it away in my bag. I went to work, failed at getting out early, hopped on the next train, and raced the forty minutes to my friends house so we could make the ferry to Connecticut. Well, the combination of missing the early train, the train I was on running twenty-minutes late, and rush hour traffic caused us to pull into the ferry terminal thirty-minutes after the ship had set sail. I was devastated. We had a plan, how could we be late? So we made phone calls, listened to busy signals, wined to friends, and then gave up. We weren't going to see Frank, I wasn't going to get my book signed, and those two tickets were going to stay right where they were, tucked away.

What happened next was possibly the best surprise we could have come up with. We were sitting in the ferry terminal and decided to make the best of the evening. We were in the center of a little port town, surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, and bars; so we decided to have a date night. And let me tell you, two friends having an unexpected date night is a fantastic surprise. We went to dinner at a cramped greek restaurant where we shared a salad, gnashed on pitas, and savored chicken gyros. We wandered into a little bookstore where we giggled over children's books and bought novels that we agreed to swap in a few weeks. We went to a sweet bakery where we spilt a cupcake, sipped coffee, and listened to live soulful music. Finally we headed over to a local bar where we drank pumpkin ale and flirted with the hunky bartender. By the end of the night I had practically forgotten about the two Post Secret tickets still sitting snug in my bag.

When I got home that night I was tired, but swirling on a high from my unexpected fantastic evening. No, I didn't get to see Frank. And no, I have no idea when he will pop up in the North East again. But am I sad about the way my night turned out? No way! I had a fantastic time. I found a new band that I can't get enough of, I have a new hidden spot to go to with a hunky bartender, and I have more memories from hopping around that harbor town than I likely would have gotten from a boat ride and a theater. And I have to tell you, I don't think I would have thought my night was so fantastic had I not read those sneeze words just days earlier.

It's true; "either choose to plan things out or go on a whim, either way you will be surprised." And what a pleasant surprise of an evening it was..

The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today))
-friends around round tables.
-snow in November.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Daily Sneeze Tease

Today, it will just be the Daily Sneeze.. and by today, I mean Friday because even thought the clock says 1:00am, I'm still in Friday.

The Daily Sneeze (or what's fueling the fire today)
-six year olds skyping (cross-continentally)
-red sneakers on the subway
-old fashioned microphones held by soulful singers in coffee shops
-when plans change... for the better
-and oh yes, this:

that's right. a rainbow cookie cupcake. fantastic. 

((go ahead, tell me what's fueling your fire))

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fuel the Fire

I have a confession to make. Smelling the Sneezeweed is supposed to be a space where I make a regular effort to acknowledge all of the beauty I see in the world. It is supposed to be a place where I come to share my happiness and my love for life even when I have no clue where life is taking me. Smelling the Sneezeweed is a place where I envision myself writing with the same fire and passion that I have always written with, and using that fire to spread the happiness to others that are walking in the same moccasins that I am walking in. But like I said, I have a confession to make.

I started to look back at my recent posts and I realized- they are fireless. They just sound like I sat down to my computer and felt compelled to write something. anything. And well, it really began to upset me because I realized that this firelessness was not just a part of my writing, but it is a huge part of my life right now. I realize that finding the happiness and the beauty in my day to day world is really difficult for me now. I feel like the little things that make each day bright are getting littler, and I am getting buried deeper and deeper into this state of "fire-free."

There are a whole slew of things in my life that are suffocating that fire. Pillowcase on top of pillowcase of suffocation. From my hectic schedule to my claustrophobic home, I know what the pillowcases are. But instead of having all of you read on and on about what is putting out my fire, let me just tell about the epiphany of a moment I had today.

My bear is back in my life, and well, he sure is after that lovely picnic I had set up in the woods. It is amazing to me how the person who makes you feel that happiest you have ever felt and the person who makes you feel the worst you have ever felt can inhabit the same body. But he does, and lately the high of the happiest is coming down. And it is coming down hard. Today I was driving to my class that is about an hour away from my home and I was texting the bear (only at stoplights, and yes entirely illegally in NY). I spent the last few days in a total funk because of him circling my lovely checkerboard blanket, and I was ready to do my best to either invite him to stay for some lunch or shoo him off when it hit me. I mean, it really hit me. CRASH. I was rear ended at full speed by another car. My phone flew off my lap and into the back seat. The faceplate of my stereo went flying off and I clenched my eyes so tight  I thought they may never peel open again. When I did finally pry back my lids and peel my hands off the steering wheel I glanced in my mirror to see the other cars hood completely smashed in with smoke pouring out. There was a man reaching in the back seat and pulling out his baby twins; they were four years old and screaming in sheer terror. I climbed out of my car, nervous to look at the damage, and was glad to see that it was minimal. If you want a good bumper, drive a jeep. The other man was apologetic, and nervous. A man from a pizzeria across the street came running out offering to help, offering to take the children inside where it was safe and dry and warm, even though the man kindly declined. The children calmed down and his wife showed up. But after three long hours of phone calls and police reports in the rain, the ordeal ended with the man in the other car being arrested.


Suddenly my bear didn't matter, and my dented bumper didn't matter, and my suffocating house didn't matter, and my hectic schedule didn't matter. All I could think about were those two four year olds. Those two little sneezes being told that their daddy wasn't going to come home with them. My mom pulled up in her car, because yes I am 22 and I still called my mom to come be with me, and she came rushing over but my mind was still on those two sweet little faces. My fire started to burn a little brighter. Not because this was a happy, beautiful moment, it was anything but, but because I realized that maybe I'm looking for that happiness in the wrong places.

 I am looking for happiness and beauty in my bear. I am looking for happiness and beauty in my suffocating home. I am looking for happiness and beauty in my hectic schedule. I am looking for it in all of the places where it simply doesn't exist right now. I haven't been looking for it in the golden trees, or in the faces of the children where I intern. I haven't been looking for happiness and beauty in the smiling clerk at the coffee shop or in the crisp wind that blows outside my window. I haven't been looking for happiness and beauty in the world around me, I've only been looking for it within my own little fireplace.

In a moment of ultimate sadness, two small children unable to understand why their daddy wasn't going to come home tonight, I saw beauty in the face of that man who works in the pizzeria. I saw beauty in a stranger reaching out to help, offering the warmth of the pizza shop and warmth of the soul to those sweet little faces. I saw that in their oblivion, those two small children had shed their fear of the ordeal and found happiness and contentment in inspecting the broken pieces of plastic from the car that landed on the sidewalk. Happiness and beauty can show up in the most unexpected places, the places we are least likely to look.

As I drove home, those sneeze faces embedded in my mind, suddenly texting my bear was the last thing I was thinking about. I couldn't wait to get back to my snug home and my busy schedule. And while I still don't feel like I am as happy as I can be, I am starting to figure out what places are not the right ones to look for those snippets of beauty and happiness. I still think it is important to explore the beauty in my own fireplace, but I am coming to understand that sometimes you need to fuel the fire with a crisp log and crumpled paper from the outside.

And so, the newest part of Sneezeweed:

The Daily Sneeze (or what's fueling the fire today)
-kind pizza men offering all sorts of warmth.
-plastic on the sidewalk.

((go on, tell me what's fueling your fire))

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let the Magic Spill

There is always a lingering magical feeling in the few days after a holiday. It's a bit subdued, mellow, maybe even somber-but it is there and it is fantastic. Halloween is up there on my list of favorite things, right there with walking barefoot in the grass and driving with the windows open on sunshine days. Halloween gives everyone the chance to be a child. We get to play dress up, be whoever we want, and walk around the streets begging for candy. It is a chance to take photos with life-size bananas, Marilyn Monroe, and giant gorillas. On Halloween children and adults are given a chance to blur the lines, even the playing field, become one another, and for a sneezeweed getting to be an adult and a child all at the same time is the ultimate dream.

I have always loved to play pretend and dress up. When  I was a little child I had a room full of toys, but often needed nothing more than a blanket draped over my back and the green carpet throughout my house to entertain me (the horse) for hours. As I got older I gave up on crawling around on the floor but certainly did not give up pretending. I have notebooks from my preteen years filled with magazine clippings of houses, jewelry, clothes, and yes, even boys that I would pretend were all mine. Even now, there are times when I will come out of the shower and instead of throwing on a pair of sweat pants before bed, I will slide into my nicest dress and a pair of heels just to pretend for a moment that I have some grand place to be that night. Any excuse to put on a crown and pearls and pink lipstick is an absolute sneezedream.  That being said, you can probably understand why I am so in love with Halloween.

Thanks Mike, for the pic

This year, like many others, I spent Halloween in my little mountain town where the celebration is more than a holiday or tradition-it's a feeling, a sensation, a spirit that fills the streets. There are parades, haunted houses, jack-o-lantern competitions,  and hundreds of people roaming in the most elaborate and creative costumes you'll ever see. Halloween in the mountain town is pure magic, and I can't imagine any other place I would want to spend the day.

Everyone gets all wrapped up in the magic of Halloween. October is one giant heap of anticipation that builds up to the one day where each one of us gets to release a little bit of our inner child. But it is what comes after the holiday, when we turn our calendars and shift our minds to turkeys and family dinners, that makes me fill up with quiet delight. The holiday lingers and we get the chance to carry a bit of it's magic into the next day with us. For me, the magic that spilled into November pooled itself all over my day. When I arrived to work, I was greeted by the sweetest baby in pumpkin and ghost clad jammies...

Seeing the little buddha belly all Halloweened up on the first of November brought a smile to my face, a little spill of magic on my heart. There was of course the jack-o-lanterns still lovely and lit up on the dining-room table and, if nothing else, the giant heap of candy on the kitchen counter should be evidence enough of the day after magic. But of course, the sneezeweed loved waking up to the hot pink nail polish sparkling on my post-halloween nails.

Did I feel silly handing my train ticket to the conductor, surrounded by grown men in their business suits, with my hot pink nails? Yes. Did my cheeks rosy up when my boss commented on how she only wears clear polish? Yes. Did I think about chipping it off every time I looked down at it all day? Yes. But while the post-grad, pre-professional me can't stand the sight of hot pink in November, the sneezeweed me is reveling in it and I still can't bring myself to take a cotton ball to it. Halloween is the ultimate sneezeweed holiday. I intend on making this magic last for as long as I can, until the hot-pink polish chips off.