Well, that was quite a run. And now?

Happy Secretariat’s Birthday (48 years ago Big Red was born)!

Watch this and tell me you don’t get chills: Secretariat’s Belmont Victory.

I’m celebrating with a bit of reflection on the past few weeks while sitting here in crazy cat-lady fleecy PJs, sitting in the big leather chair, fireplace on, surrounded by cats, sipping tea….and not a box in direct eyesight.  It’s good.

My, what a study in contrast this week to last.

From a rapid-fire finale of major seismic events the week of March 19th, to the dramatic down-shift to this week of just… being here and figuring out what that actually means.  I’d actually started a post about the flurry of last week’s big events, but it felt more like a diary entry than anything really reflective and honestly, I was so exhausted by all of it, I didn’t have the oomph to make it vaguely interesting.   Oh heck, “for the record”  here’s a recap (I can’t help myself). Over the course of 5 super-intense days we made our way through the movers packing up the house, our awesome 21st anniversary dinner at KOMI, saying goodbye to 301 S Henry, bidding fond farewell to our good run in DC, and then the close on our sale, the drive with the kitties and the arrival of the movers.  Phew! Special highlights in the midst of it all included a wonderful weekend staying at the lovely  home of Julia & Kevin in Dupont Circle  – such a treat, and lunching on yummy subs from Roma’s with Alyssa & Adam here in the new kitchen while the movers unloaded the trucks (two!) and flowers arrived from my dear dad.  Photos below!

So, once we got through the big excitement of the movers on Tuesday, I shifted into the immediate post-move flurry (because I do love me some good flurry!).   The backdrop for my busy week was a house full of boxes,  cats captive in the bedroom with our awesome painting crew back at it (Bergan, Rodrigo & Jorge – they are now family).   I was pretty much totally over-whelmed and in denial about the box situation, other than putting my bed (not on the floor anymore!) together so I just stayed moving – my favorite escape.  I had a fun, full day on Wednesday meeting my friend Joanne for coffee, running errands and going to yoga, really liking that 6pm class with Jocelyn “flow and let go” (Yoga Mandali) followed by a good stint at  Uncommon Grounds  (and the super yummy tumeric latte) has been a regular refuge.  Thursday I had a reason to shower – something I’m doing very rarely during this “in between” phase – to get ready for the “Brighter Future Gala” for Shelters of Saratoga at LongFellows.  It was fun to go to someone else’s big fundraiser and to not know anyone (or have any responsibilities).   I enjoyed perusing the silent auction and meeting Gail and her husband Russ, as Gail had done my volunteer screening interview for Shelters of Saratoga.  I also met a nice guy, Larry, who is an active volunteer with the Franklin Community Center which sounds like another terrific organization that I might explore volunteering for.   I bid on a couple things, won two, and thoroughly enjoyed my evening “out and about” (plus a fabulous sunset).   Then, on Friday after a good solid morning of MAVA (TechBUZZ Feedback calls) I ventured out toward Battenkill to give blood, trying to make the most of these unstructured days (try being the operative word here).  While I somewhat miraculously passed the iron test, and made my way through the transfer from VA to NY Red Cross records, I totally failed on the actual GIVING part… bummer.  For my efforts I rocked two major bandages, one on each arm, plus a monster bruise on my right arm… and, sadly, not a drop donated.  Next time!   I consoled myself with a much overdue pedicure & a couple slices of ‘za from D’Andreas.

Just thinking through that big week wore me out (again), so I’m signing off for now, and will finish my ruminating in the AM.  Good night!

First friends for lunch – on moving day! (Adam & Alyssa)
Thanks Padre!
Alberto and crew from WGM – did an awesome job!
Carrot & ginger soup at Uncommon Grounds – yum.

2 people, 2 cats, 2 cars, 2 houses, 2 states… and 21 years!

Well, here I am… the advance team, reporting live from the Spa.  Sipping a yummy tumeric latte at Uncommon Grounds and soaking in the comfy vibe of this great haunt – and the Springsteen soundtrack is a lovely touch (The River).

It’s T-minus 2 til our last night in our home sweet home in Alexandria on Friday and I’m starting to feel the slow, subtle shift in the gravity from the life we’re leaving to the one we’re starting. It’s sort of like the first little buds on the redbud… scarcely perceptible when you look close, but when you look from afar, there’s a distinctly pink glow that you sort of wonder if you’re imagining, but then….hopefully, you blink, and the blossoms are there.

I really am going to try to have a “lesson” or “theme” in mind when I post (and I guess that paragraph above counts for this time), but sometimes I think I’m just going to ramble about what I’ve been doing.  Stand by – this is one of those. Sorry!

Our last weekend at Casa Weir del Sur was just amazing – a spectacular parade of Exploit ! and Explore! (Photos below)

  • Our last fish & peppery broth at Hong Kong Palace on Friday,
  • Bobby and I doing all our pre-party provisioning in harmony,
  • Peaceful afternoon of enjoying the house,
  • Awesome Dream Team coming over early for Cremant and a good dose of Magpie bossy-betty to help me get ready for the party people. (Exploit!)
  • The soiree was so much fun. I’m so grateful to the wonderful flock of friends who shared their Saturday night with us to send us off in celebratory style – and extra thankful that our fabulous Hoos kindly won the ACC tourney so that all my Wahoos took home happy memories of our shindig. (Exploit!)
  • Absolutely loved having Diane and Will stay overnight… such fun to wake up for our final Sunday with my beloved sister in the house. (Exploit!)
  • Sunny Sunday AM on the sofa visiting with them and thanking Chef Bobby making breakfast sammies – just perfect.(Exploit!)
  • Then came the melancholy… but a good, quiet kind.  Just a big wave of “this is it, we’ve run our course here, it’s been wonderful, we’ve not taken it for granted, we’ve loved the bejesus out of this home and now it’s time to say goodbye”.  It was a quiet sad, and I just decided to sit with it… attached to my couch like a barnacle soaking in every last drop.  I’m not tired of it, but I know we’ve loved it as much as we could.
  • So as not to let the blues win, my dear Anne & Kendra came over for a “cremant in lieu of yoga” – such a treat! (Exploit!)
  • A lovely “a bientot” dinner with Julia and Kevin at  Convivial in Shaw… positively delightful company, conversation and super yummy food. (Explore + Exploit!)
  • One “last-ish” Monday at MAVA (in the office anyways, for a while). Totally treasured my drive to work along the GW parkway, and found myself a little teary as I said goodbye to the gang…but that was nice too. (Exploit!)
  • And then (just when you can’t bear another bullet point) I had the great fun of greeting Doodles & Paul after their big night on the town at the 9:30 club. Much fun hanging with them til 1am on a schoolnight, and waking up knowing they’d been our last houseguests.
  • Tuesday morning gave me a chance for a flurry of favorite Old Town scenes before heading to the airport for my flight to NY.
  • When I return on Friday the house will be in its early phases of upheaval with our movers in full prep & pack mode.   I am planning to resume my barnacle position on Friday night – boxes be damned – to soak up the last few minutes, for real.

So, after that extended exploit/explore farewell tour… I was positively thrilled to find that my mood was nothing short of giddy when I landed  here at the Albany airport. I just found it perfect that my plane was the first to land since they’d closed the airport (??!) and where the crazy white out weather was described by our pilot as “snowing sideways”.  It just all made me laugh – and feel super prepared with my new Joan of Arctic boots in my suitcase!

While the cab from the airport was a marathon due to traffic and sticky snow, I  had the most delightful conversation with Khyber – my driver.  Born in Afghanistan, moved to India when he was 3, and then to Albany when he was a teenager. He’s now 26 and  hopes to travel to Morocco soon. I got all kinds of great tips from him, including the names of 2 indian restaurants and 1 turkish one – plus he got me home safe & sound and I was so  happy to have left the Berry ‘Bu at home in her barn.

And best of all, walking in the door at Casa Weir del Norte last night it just felt a little bit more like my house… baby steps.  It was pretty and peaceful (and still a teeny bit light) which was nice. The driveway was perfectly clear thanks to Scott – my hero. It was awesome to see the progress of our painters and perhaps best of all to know that my great neighbors (met last week) – Frank and Brian – would see all the lights on and know I was back.  That probably made the biggest difference from last week to this week.

I decided to go hang out at Uncommon Grounds for the evening, which was perfect – and prevented the “poor me in an empty house with no friends” feeling from sneaking in. So far, so good!  I stayed up late talking to my mom & then made my way up to the Tuft & Needle.

Notably darker in the AM now with Daylight Saving Time in effect making it more than a little harder to rise & shine and head out for the winter walk… so I skipped it, made some coffee and got down to business while awaiting the painting crew – Jorge arrived at 7:30 (and yes, of course I spoke spanish with him- you KNOW I can’t help myself!). I launched into a couple power hours of phone calls & address changing… then took a wonderful break to catch up with Meg, before more calls & to dos, and a nice chat with my Auntie Sue.  Ran interference between my painter and my home inspector about a suspiciously damp ceiling… and then when I’d had enough sitting on this wooden stool… I bundled up to take my fab new boots for a spin around the ‘hood – and a first stop in the Five Points Deli (where the woman gave me a very hairy eyeball about my purchase – apparently frowning upon buying a 6 pack of Stella and a bottle opener at 3:30 on a Wednesday). As if!

My treat for the day was to head into town for my first yoga class of this new chapter at Yoga Mandali – and it was lovely. Pics below.  Followed up with the aforementioned tumeric latte, and then headed home for a “just like the old days” dinner of mac & cheese + a beer.

It was a good day – I felt like I had a purpose up here, and I like to think the list of “firsts” will slowly but surely start to grow, and one day surpass the long list of “lasts”.   So fitting to start this new chapter exactly as we start celebrate our 21st year of Maven & Magpie marriage… might be time to check the numerology around 22. Hopeful it will be an auspcious one for the Maven, the Magpie, the Mookie & the Maggie too!

Thanks for listening!

DeBerry Juice, Maggie & the Redbud!
These two… so cute! Who needs yoga? (sometimes)
Lucky me – last houseguest: Doodles – love in AOT!
Love that clown at Misha’s
Love those Fibre Space sheep.
Casa Weir del Sur
“Welcome to sunny Albany.. who am I kidding, it’s snowing sideways” – the pilot
Scott is my hero – look at the driveway! #gratitude
My new fave… the tumeric latte, hold the espresso.
Good morning… maybe I’ll stay in and have coffee.
Maybe just a little stir-crazy after a day in the house & on the phone.
Who needs ruby slippers.?.. I clicked my heels and I landed here!
First trip to Five Points – with fabulous bag from TAG
Yoga Mandali.. my new yoga home. I love these windows.
And look who’s here to greet me – Ganesh del Norte!
In some ways this view is not so different from Pure Prana at the corner of Patrick & King… just a little snowier!

Cat’s out of the bag – no turning back!

It’s countdown time – no denying it.  The emotional roller-coaster is reaching max velocity, chock-full of amazing moments with friends & favorite places… and an increasing frequency of spontaneous tears.

Shared this on Facebook on Saturday:

  Farewell S. Henry.. we loved it here!

There it is – the motto for which we’ve moved!
There she is – basking in the sun.

It’s been a big year in the Weir household. Last Spring we decided to leap headlong into a new adventure – turning our dream into reality, with a move to our happiest place – Saratoga Springs, NY. ? The journey has been a rollercoaster and one we’ve not wanted to jinx until it really had run its course. With heartfelt thanks to all who have supported us along the way – the new chapter has now begun. We’re on our way! Please come see us – soon – at The Spa! ??

And then today, Julia sent this lovely note with an MAVA update to our community:

“Kim Weir, who has been both friend and face of MAVA to so many of our members, has big news as well. Having been such an integral part of the MAVA team – and my dear and trusted colleague now for many years – Kim is relocating this month with her husband to Saratoga Springs, NY, their favorite “horsey” town. While we plan to keep Kim involved with us in a new, more virtual role for as long as possible, I know you join me in expressing the gratitude I feel for all of the energy, passion, and dedication she has brought to MAVA and our cause for her time with us. We wish her all the very best in this new and exciting chapter.”

Hard to put all the feels into words tonight – my last Monday here in Alexandria, last day in the office (at least for a while), last drive to work along the GW Parkway (took a great video that I can’t post here.. drat!), and an incredibly bounty of good wishes from our friends far & near as they have heard the news and celebrate the adventure we’re embarking upon.

So grateful.

More to come, but for tonight.. just soaking it in.

We’re really rolling now!

That wind was not kidding around!

Here I sit  on a snowy Wednesday night in our new kitchen in Saratoga, super thankful that our home’s previous owners left these chairs (my only furniture beyond the Tuft and Needle bed-in-a-box) – thinking, “whew, what a lot of ground we’ve covered since the flowers-on-stage moment at TechBUZZ last week!

While there are a whole flurry of fun highlights to share since my last post on Saturday (see below – in photos), I have been trying to think about the bigger lessons I’m meant to learn from all this amazing activity of the past few days. It’s really like the clog has cleared… and, wow, the pace has picked up dramatically.  I guess that’s how it happens, you push, push, and push, and then it all just “gives way”.  As for a lesson, I did feel my first glimmer of proof that decision-making is like so many things, easier when practiced often.  That muscle seems to be getting some serious reps of late, from the purchase of the new Berry ‘Bu (see fun new red car below) to the selection of carpet for the bedrooms, it’s fun to flex this one and see the results – deciding can be fun!

Another observation is simply how nice it is to be just fully focused on one thing – albeit a multi-faceted thing – but one in which all the subtasks are all related to one larger objective. In my case, the new house/the new life.   The juggling and the spinning of many disparate and unrelated plates, and trying to manage all the communication around each, is just no fun – and not particular efficient or effective (more on those two words one day…).  Having dedicated two full days to “the project” it’s been just amazing how much I’ve been able to accomplish – and I think one “secret ingredient” is that you can get in a groove of calls, emails and lists if they are all around one theme, because each item sort of reinforces the other. Talking to one person makes you think of other things related and helpful.  Ah focus – what a wonderful, alien and amazing thing you are.

Hoping to apply this magic wand to a MAVA project tomorrow on my first official “snow day” up here – 12 inches expected tonight!

So before I sign off – the highlight reel. A myriad of major & marvelous moments over the past few days.  Grateful for each and every one!

Beautiful Book Club Celebration – XXOO
Savoring a Sunday session with Ganesh
Sunrise over the Potomac on a Big Day!
Sunrise at Waterfront Park on Monday AM – beginning of a big day!


A Timely Message on a First Day of the New Chapter – doorway in Old Town
Closing one door – goodbye to the Trusty KIA, sniff!
Welcoming the Berry ‘Bu to the family!
She needs to know we take alot of selfies…
Waking up in the new house – sunrise over the trees
Guessing this is pretty much the new norm.
Good morning house!
Sun rising over the backstretch – morning walk, with Megerly (by phone)
There she is – basking in the sun.
First friend across the transom… welcome Kathy O!
Day 2… a little snowier!
If I don’t walk when it snows, I won’t walk much!
Union Ave in the snow!
Hooray! Everybody, meet marvelous Joanne – my amazing real estate agent and new friend!!
The ‘bu in the barn. Heading out to try those made snow skillz.
She’s so pretty…’bu butt.
There it is – the motto for which we’ve moved!
Settling in for a cozy night while the big snow falls…
We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Flowers, Friends & a Fierce Wind – a lovely finish

Another Big Week!

Perhaps best shared in photos (below) and a few reflections…above all I am feeling so much better, lighter, super-energized and excited to really & truly dive in to all that lies ahead. With March roaring in like a lion, I am feeling like the universe is pushing us forward with a huge burst of energy, into this next phase. Here we go!

My big takeaway from all the wonderful not-goodbye-but-farewell-for-now moments over the past week  is the sense of relief and peace with the quiet closure they have brought me.  I’m grateful that the terrible loss that gripped me that weekend that we accepted the offer on our house has not returned (yet). While I suspect that feeling will be back with the packing & finality if our  last days in Old Town on the horizon, but perhaps not for a few more weeks, and most of all this week was free from drama & anguish. Yay!

It was just really good to close some doors and finish some things that have taken a huge amount of energy to manage.  I have been trying so hard to close the doors gently & gracefully, while holding back tumultuous waves of emotion broiling just below the surface.  On this breezy Saturday, the image in my head is of a pilot of a big 747 landing at Dulles on a clear, sunny and super windy day – trying to keep the descent smooth as the passengers look out the windows at the pretty, peaceful scenery on a seemingly perfect day, but knowing it takes a huge amount of strength, grit, focus and a bit of luck to stick the landing. What a great feeling when those wheels kiss the ground in a solid & safe & soft “thump”.  That’s me.

I am just so glad that month of wind-down is behind me knowing I did my best.  I surely could’ve managed many things better, and I know there will be more rough patches ahead, but in the land of 80/20, we’re now into the 80% of our/my energy going into making, building and creating the new chapter and (hopefully) 20% on closing out this one.

My thanks to so many for making this past week so special –

* Starting with Julia!  Such a good friend, partner, supporter and colleague.  I know how hard this whole long journey as been for her and she’s been nothing but kind, supportive and infinitely patient. I am so fortunate to have her in my life.

* The marvelous MAVA team – Bennett, Jason, Dan and Brija... love these peeps. So grateful for their contributions to our TechBUZZ event this week, and their support for me throughout the craziness of these past months. And for the lovely flowers & fabulous photos, memories I’ll cherish always.

* My beloved “Boss”, Paul Grossman, from my wonderful days at the VEDP. So kind to take me to lunch this week, amidst the crazy, and share his support and encouragement for this adventure we’re leaping into. What a treat!

* Special work friends Jim K, Nancy and Chris for joining in the decadent & yummy celebratory lunch at Bombay Club – what a wonderful way to finish the big week.

* Awesome Dr. Ana – acupuncture, eastern medicine, grounding guidance and insights into the power of a clear postulate. The best Happy Hour in town… cherishing a few last Fridays at the Blue House.

* Ending with Julia, for 7 intense, rewarding, challenging and amazing years of pulling rabbits out of hats and making meaningful connections among a really great community of people.   I’ve cherished our time together, I’ve learned alot, I’ve grown stronger, and I’m so excited about what the future holds for us beyond these MAVA days.

A few of the week’s highlights in photos –

TechBUZZ Spring 2018
Fabs Flowers from UrbanStems – Flower Selfie with CEO Ajay Kori
The Team – love this photo! (Julia, Bennett, Brija, Jason & Chris)
You know I gotta have my Team Selfie! XO
The Bombay Club Lunch Bunch – Bennett, Jim, Julia, Nancy, Jason & Chris. Such fun!
A few snaps from the desk, not my quite my last day.. but still the end of an era.
My plants loved this nook.
Soaking in these gorgeous scenes around DC as fully as I can. Soft spot always for TJ.
Beautiful Dr. Ana – her support, guidance & wisdom have contributed so much to my health & approach to this journey. Grateful for her!