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Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 18

My Sunday Hello From NYC, 

Life has been moving right along here in New York City, sometimes at breakneck speed other times, the speed of a turtle BUT never at a standstill. I have been bus hopping, subway stopping, taxi hailing, to being chauffeured door to door this past week. Crazy beautiful, even glamorous is the best way to describe my life here. I am constantly in awe of my surroundings, peering at the reflection on the marbled walls, yes, that’s me, experiencing the grandeur of the city, stunned at how different life has become for me. From sitting at a teacher’s desk lesson planning to drinking in the stunning views from one of the finest entertainment venues in all of New York, Jazz at Lincoln Center-The Appel Room. Tucked into my seat at this venue, I had one of my New York moments. Sitting there, I was amazed by the dramatic 50’ft glass wall behind the stage. Through the glass view, was New York City’s greatest backdrop-Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, overlooking Columbus Circle and the traffic below. Undeniably alive, pulsating heart racing, symphonically in-tuned with the traffic below, tears stained cheeks of joy from these dream like moments, find me continually in a state of awe-my life here in New York City.

A heaviness fell on my heart this week amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, as I try to stay connected to all I know; reading FB posts hearing about the loss of loved ones, seeing pictures and feeling the physical distance from those I love, and not having the words to console, not even myself; viscerally realizing how important life is and how fragile it is all at once. I find myself reading the stories, some very personal, some humorous, glancing at the sayings that inspire others, pausing at the photos, and mostly loving the comfort this social network has given, through the changes, the sorrows, and the celebrations of life.

New York Fashion week has arrived in the city, where the style and spirits of the crowds gather around the runways abound, as the temperatures plunge. My style to say the least is devastatingly, time-staking painful to watch and to do. Layers upon layers before I finally sinch up the three little buttons on my coat, as I head out the door emerging into the coldest weather yet, that I have experienced since I have moved here. Uber, subway, taxi, walk…the choice to make, is the quickest way out of the cold, that’s for sure.

As I write, snuggled under down filled blankets, warm from the bitter arctic chill outdoors, exhaustion is setting in. With my hair astray, jammies on, eyelids drooping—Penelope and Moxie require my attention, nudging closer and closer, waiting for their chance for a treat and a potty break one last time before the lights go out. It has been a fun-filled day trying on clothes from a NYC designer at Madewell, walking into a fairy tale of couture gowns by Jacqueline de Ribes exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the pallet pleasing delights from the boulangerie, Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. Today's fun, this Valentine’s Day, has been a welcomed joy, even from the bitter cold.
At the museum exhibit today, a quote from Jacqueline de Ribes, inspired me;
“Glamorous people bring something to others. They are seductive, attractive—and it has nothing to do with frivolity. Glamour sticks to people. An object is not glamorous, but places where people go are glamorous. That's why New York is the glamour capital of the world.”

My life is rather glamorous at times, mainly due to living in the metropolis we call, New York City. Glamour can exude from anywhere, from anyone at any time, I believe when you follow your heart. Within the playful innovation and unbounded freedom of following your heart in life and work, like Jacqueline, there is a celebration of all who embrace their individuality and follow their creative vision, wherever it may lead, even if it takes you to New York City!

Love, hugs and doggie kisses,

Jane and Penelope


A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 17

Penelope and I have been on our own little venture today. We have finally landed at our last stop, Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Yummy diet of hot chocolate and doggie treats, haircut at Lily's on UES, visiting ol' friends and boss at Pier 1(I loved it!), shoe shopping and boot shine, with a new harness in hand, a stroll through Central Park, 2 buses later and a train ride yet to go...Miss Penelope has been oogled, sweet talked, petted, butt sniffed, carried and walked, now People watching for a welcomed reprieve before we get busy holiday shopping and then home. I love my girl!!!!

Love, Hugs, & Doggie Kisses,

Jane & Penelope

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A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 15

A quick Sunday Evening Hello from New York City...It's been 1 YEAR!!!

Went out and about today doing what I love to do here in New York, being amongst children’s books and those who love them too! When I read, “Little Elliot, Big City”, where the big city holds many new and challenging experiences, I felt so connected to this story and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Mike Curato, the author at his new book launch, “Little Elliot's, Big Family”. Rays of sunshine pours out of me each and every time I step into this realm, the writing world and that of children's books, that I can barely feel my feet moving on the ground.

It has been one whole year, YAY!!!, since I’ve moved here to Manhattan, being free to follow my inner longing, which is something I am doing just for me, a HUGE shift from where I used to be. Wow!! What a ride and some of the best moments ever…getting clarity about my career, building my new life, having fun getting to know different people, and mostly…building a community of friends. There is still so much change going on in my career and it sure does help to have some emotional support on FaceBook with all of you, and from my new friends here in the city.

Looking back on the year in amazement, and how all the turn of events keeps pushing me onward, is simply beautiful. From a day at Random House, Scholastic event, the Hamptons, Lindy's NYC Visit, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Meeting many children's authors, books festivals, film screenings, bee festivals, EB White Celebration, the "King and I", subways, buses, and taxi's, being on CBS Sunday Morning News at the Grolier Club, the fireworks, all of Penelope's adventures, Philharmonic in Central Park, summer movies on the pier, museums upon museums, Grand Central Station during the holidays, the Grand New York City Library, lake house in CT, and a new community of friends...BOY OH BOY!!!

I could never have dreamt this journey as well as it is going. Being in the city feels so natural, so easy, as if something bigger and grandeur is in play then just lil ‘ol me. I love it!

"What’s better than a cupcake? A friend to share it with! " ~MC
Thank you all!

Love, hugs and doggie kisses,
Jane and Penelope


A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 16

My Sunday Hello from NYC,

So magical, dazzling, instantaneous delightful my adventures have been, especially Christmas Time in New York City!

From my very first exciting moment seeing the yellow Macy's star balloons coming towards me in the Thanksgiving Day Parade a year ago, to this very moment, laying on my bed listening to Christmas Carols with good 'ol Penelope snuggled up against me, I have been in love with this city.

As a parent with my own children, I would observe this exciting time of year in the technicolor screen from my home in Arizona.

Back then, on Thanksgiving morning, I watched the parade eagerly waiting for Santa Claus to make his appearance, shouting across the house to the kids, "Hurry Santa is coming!" knowing that the holidays have officially began. A few days later, watching New York's most famous tree come aglow at Rockefeller Center while enjoying the wonderment of sparkles on our own tree. Oh, and many New Years' Eve's ushering in the New Year by counting down to "One!" as the colorful crystal ball dropped in Times Square. What a spectacle! Never did I imagine that one day I might be living in New York City and experience all this enchantment firsthand.
Here is a photo of me today, on my last stop before heading home to Miss Penelope, glancing out the windows 20 flights up, in an exquisite apartment amidst a lovely group of people, smiling, laughing, and celebrating the season. Touched. Touched by my life.

On my bedroom floor, I see out of the corner of my eye, a suitcase propped open awaiting to be packed for my Christmas trip home to Arizona to see my kids, loved ones, and friends. I wonder what it will feel like to be back? I keep telling Penelope that we have a big trip coming up, barely able to contain my excitement, as her ears perk up each and every time, which is probably 1/2 dozen times a day lately! I had a slight dose of what it might feel like when I faced time with my Chicago family,(Karen Saalman Barnett, Susan Allgood, Pat Saalman Schultz, Laura Saalman, Debra Saalman Belcher, Leenie Saalman Keyes, and Scott Saalman, my brother and sisters!) during their yearly Christmas Party yesterday. Tears rolled down my face, not able to contain the love I felt upon seeing all their faces, as I walked around, showing them my apartment, and Miss Penelope, yep, in her spot on my bed. Pure bliss! I imagine, I will be a blubbering fool, with pools and pools of tears from the joy upon seeing, touching, smelling, and loving on my kids in 4 days!

So Magical, dazzling….is life along with the joy and peace of the season here in the Big Apple.

Love, hugs, and doggie kisses,
Jane and Penelope