Friday Fun Day

In no particular order:

  • Woke up chilly.  I love that feeling!  Gets my blood pumping and an eager outlook to my morning.
  • Scored an impressive victory in a game I’m playing on the iPad.
  • Took a walk to the local library’s Book Sale and got five (FIVE) books for seven (SEVEN!) dollars.
  • Almost finished another Christmas gift, it will be off the needles today and then I start something new.  Yay, stash-diving and pattern-matching!
  • I will be the only one home for dinner tonight.  I get to make whatever I want and I control the TV!
  • There will be wine consumed, too.
  • Messing around with illustrations and kind of liking how they look.  Maybe I’ll share someday.

In the meantime ~

It's almost hockey time!  Yay!

It’s almost hockey time! Yay!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s My Time

Oh, yes, it is.

This weather we’re experiencing now in New Jersey is DA BOMB.  It is crystal clear blue skies, big white fluffy clouds, clean-smelling air, and temperatures that quicken the blood and put roses in your cheeks.  Who could NOT love this weather?  Seriously, I do not understand sun-worshippers in the slightest.

I don’t get putting on a bathing suit, first of all.  It is a latex material (read: rubber bands) that doesn’t glide onto your body like normal clothes: it has to be pulled and tugged and jerked and readjusted a hundred times just to cover all the bits it’s supposed to cover.  By then, you’re already dripping wet with sweat from the exertion of it all, but now there’s the schlepping of all the things needed at the beach:

  • Cover up to cover the bathing suit that just cost you 35 minutes of your life to put on;
  • Sandals or flip-flops to negotiate over the long trek of hot sand, and really, how effective are those things at either walking or keeping your feet from the blazing temperatures of Hot.Sand;
  • Lotion to either keep you looking a normal shade of skin or an oil that will leave you looking like a well-basted Thanksgiving turkey;
  • Sunglasses which only marginally cut down on the squinting required;
  • Towels of every shape and size, to encompass the sitting, the wrapping of wet hair, the drying of wet bodies, the one to keep dry to brush off sandy feet before getting in the car and invariably gets wet anyway;
  • Snacks and/or lunch: must include sandwiches because it’s tradition but shouldn’t be because no matter how well you wrap them they’re going to get sand in them (and why shouldn’t they since sand is in their name), fruit which nobody will want because it’s drippy and juicy and messy and where do I put the pit or the core?  (Of course, these problems are solved by bringing frozen grapes, but let’s face it, you’re the only one who’s going to eat them.)  The drippy and messy argument kind of gets forgotten when there’s ice cream available, isn’t that funny;
  • Money to purchase said ice-cream;
  • Something to DO; how can anyone just sit there and do nothing and sweat while doing it?  So how a bout a magazine, which is rendered useless because of the glare from the sun; playing cards which will get sand and water on them; knitting, which adds some interesting texture to the yarn when a piece of seaweed accidentally ends up entwined in the mix; a book which is less glare-y than a magazine but still ends up damp, sandy, and induces naps;
  • Beach toys, like buckets and shovels and blow-up balls, flotation devices, those skimming things that look like baby surfboards, and for the really adventurous, a kite;
  • Spare bucket or bag to put the fifty-seven seashells you’re bound to bring home.

What do I do at this time of year, and what equipment do I need?

  • My legs to walk among the fall flowers and leaves;
  • My camera (or phone) to records a particularly stunning example of such;
  • Comfortable clothes;
  • That’s pretty much it.

Hands down, this is my time of year.  Here it is, Monday, and I’ve already done two loads of laundry and put dinner in the crockpot (pork shoulder with cranberry chutney, if you’re interested) and haven’t broken a sweat.  I’m not even breathing hard.

Yeah, this is TOTALLY my time.  Enjoy!

 

Woo Hoo!

Woo Hoo!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Well, All it Took Was Food

It’s amazing to me how the brain works and how it affects the rest of the body, including the emotions.  It’s been a bit of a wobbly week and that neighborhood didn’t feel right to me.  I was lucky enough to make plans with a friend to meet for a glass of wine, and after spilling out tons of words and feelings and thoughts and “I know, right?” and a plate of perfectly seasoned and crispy sweet potato crinkle-cut fries, I was feeling a whole lot better about Things.

Yesterday we went fishing, and brought our cooler of sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, water, and seltzer, but I never took a bite: too seasick!  I haven’t been seasick since I was eight years old, so this was quite the “whoa” neighborhood.  Interestingly, there was no nausea and no chumming for the fishies; it was full-body trembling, dizzy, and an inability to stand (which is already challenging on a boat).  So I ended up napping and all the food was brought home untasted.  But as a sign of true love, Hubby made pancakes for dinner, half plain and half blueberry and it was the perfect “bring me back to the normal neighborhood” prescription.

This morning I met my breakfast buddy at our usual place, and had my bacon, tomato, and cheddar omelet with rye toast and many cups of hot tea.  More spilling of words, more sharing and laughing and planning and commiserating and by the time it was all over, I had a restored spring in my step and a happy outlook.  Once again, my neighborhood had come back and all it took was food.

I’ve been reading a couple of blogs and I’m wondering what makes me want to read ALL the archives of some, and barely want to skim others, and I think it’s because of the tone.  If it’s funny or upbeat I think I’ve found a new friend, somebody I want to be around often.  If it’s constantly a complaining place, I don’t want to stick around.  The ones who share something personal that bring up remembrances of my own feelings make me want to learn how others think.  How do other brains process the feelings I can’t?  How do others stay so happy all the time in the midst of strife?  Where does that talent for stringing words together come from?  How can I be more like them and less like me?

And today I answered myself: There’s already a them.  Just be a you.  Maybe throw some food in, too.

 

 

 

 

Come to mama.

Come to mama.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Warning: Soul-searching Ahead

Apparently I’m lost because I’m trying to find myself lately.  There is a lot of daydreaming serious thinking happening here and I’m not used to that; usually I just read or play games or knit, but now everything is kind of tinged with a “…maybe I should try….” or a “…I could try this, I suppose…” and it’s happening more and more.  Am I going through another kind of puberty God forbid?

As a musician and teacher, I played several instruments fairly well.  Now I have absolutely zero interest in picking up an instrument, so what does that make me?  Most real musicians would never let their skills fade, so does that mean I was a sham?  I loved teaching, but I was lonely because the music department was two people, and I longed to be a “team” like a grade level or subject matter.  Now I wonder if I could ever do that again (and judging by the response to the resumes I’ve sent out, probably not) or have I given up because of the bad association with my former job?

I used to do beautiful calligraphy, and as well as the obligatory envelopes for weddings, I would write and illustrate quotes for selling at craft fairs and I enjoyed it.  But again, I haven’t done it in so long, and do I have all the hubris to think I am still good enough?  Drawing/illustrating is so pleasurable yet I am so highly critical of myself that it’s easier not to start.

Writing has always appealed to me as well.  I blog to give me practice in writing on a regular basis (stop laughing, it’s regular for me) so that perhaps I can write this young adult novel that’s been kicking around my head, so if that’s good enough I can write the book I really want to write.

I used to sing.  All the time.  It occurred to me that the last time I really sang was at Christmas Eve services which was over eight months ago.  What happened to me?  Where have I gone?  Who have I become?

I think I have become someone who is actually enjoying not working at a Monday-Friday job, and puttering about the home.  I am spending a ridiculous amount of time on my iPad, but I am reading so much, it’s not just games.  It’s a lot of games, but it’s also a ton of reading.  I am knitting and actually finishing things.  I can meet people for lunch.  During the day.  During the week.  (I know!)  

I am also sort of hovering.  Is this my new reality?  Is this temporary?  Will I ever be employed by someone else again?  (Part of me really hopes “no.”)  Could I write/illustrate/sell a book?  Can anybody point me towards a real shot of self-confidence?

If I had a dog this is what he'd be thinking.

If I had a dog this is what he’d be thinking.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Normal Party

Did you ever walk into a room full of people, politely say “hello” and then wonder why everybody but you seemed normal?  No?  Just me?  C’mon, that can’t be right.

If you’re the first person at an informal gathering of friends, it may be stilted and awkward to make conversation with the hosts (once you get past the “are you sure I can’t help you with anything?” obligatory exchange) but at least you get a prime chair choice: where will your butt be parked for the duration?  Personally, I avoid couches as they’re too soft and difficult to get out of easily, especially if you’re the kind of person who stands when somebody new comes in.  It’s also the seat that everyone wants to steal when you go to refill your drink or grab a couple of chips, so you return all at sea, a ship without its berth, self-conciously juggling your full drink and salty chips in a room full of happily docked boats.  That’s why I usually pick a dining-room chair that’s been pressed into service as “additional seating.”  I like the hard seat, the high supportive back, and the lack of desirability by the other butts in the room.

If you show up when the room is about half-filled with invited guests and give a weak “hello” to everyone in general, you’ll get a “hey” in return from some of them because the rest of them are still laughing at the story that concluded just before you walked in and half of them didn’t notice you arrived.  They have done the parking-lot system of sitting: don’t park next to the car in the lot, leave a space in between or even two, makes it easier.  Except for the poor cars that come later and have to park between a giant SUV and a smart car that’s hanging over the line (and really?  You’re the tiniest car in creation next to the ones the Shriners drive in the parades and you can’t stay in the lines?  I bet you raised hell in kindergarten, didn’t you?), you can sit between two people on the couch or perch on the arm of the overstuffed chair-and-a-half or take the one dilapidated folding chair that doesn’t look like it would support Kate Moss.  (I was going to say Twiggy but I don’t know how many of you are in my age bracket and would get the reference.)  If this is the situation presented to me, I usually go find the hosts in the kitchen where I can snag a kitchen chair, be near the drinks AND the chips, and justify that I’m keeping them company while performing the “are you sure I can’t help you with anything?” rodeo.

But what if the hosts are also in the living room?  You can’t sit in the kitchen by yourself, so you flit around the room saying things like “Oh, your hair looks fabulous, I love that look,” and “Don’t you look comfortable, what a great pair of sandals,” and “That drink looks delicious, what is it?”  Somebody offers to get me a drink, and I say “Oh, I don’t mind getting it myself, just point me” and they follow me to the drink-creating area and now I’m out of the awkward sitting situation and only have to deal with the awkward small-talk situation which is always a little easier if you happen to be slicing limes.  Then you can linger in the kitchen, admire the aromas coming from whatever we will be feasting on, and thank them for their generosity in having everyone over.  You are now the good guest, because you’ve spent quality time with your hosts and thanked them before anyone else.  If you are lucky, the hosts have offered you their seat in the living room as they have to “see to a few things” and bonus! It’s the dining-room chair!

Where I end up not feeling normal (and I do understand that if the preceding narrative hasn’t made me sound not normal, then you are probably just the kind of person I like hanging out with, which, you know, poor you) is listening to other people’s conversations and wondering how they have so many stories to tell, so many interesting facts to relate, such an easy time recalling shared adventures, and so up-t0-date on movies.  I begin digesting the details of their story about meeting the hosts in Manhattan for a drinks and dinner date and how hilarious the escapade was from the train ride through the mixed-up desserts, and sorting it out in my mind when someone says “You’ve eaten there, right?  Did you like it?”

Smiling and anticipatory faces turn to me, willing me to embellish this great story even more with additional bon mots of frightfully good humor, and I say, “Oh, yes!  Yes, we did!  Yes, it was really really good!” and the faces grow a little less smiley and a bit more anticipatory like they’re waiting for the punch line.  “Um…it was just so good… when we went.”  The faces turn back to the main arena, smiling even less and changing the subject.

The thing is, as I’ve mentioned, I’m really bad at small talk.  My strength comes in the little editorial one-liners, the quicksilver observations, the plays-on-words.  I am more the editor than the novelist, more the movie critic than the movie maker, more the taster than the winemaker.  My words come quickly and quietly and are usually only picked up by the people near me, so a group of entertainment-needing people makes me feel not normal at all.  Then I have a conversation with my brain about why we can’t make cool stories like Hannah or funny accounts like Edward or even amusing movements like Rover the family dog, and I look at Hubby who’s sitting silently but has a relaxed expression and will say later what a wonderful time he had and I wish I was normal like him.

 

Go sit in the kitchen.

Go sit in the kitchen.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Laboring

It’s Labor Day here in the US, and a day set aside to honor the men and women who tirelessly sit at a desk all day and create stacks of paper that mean virtually nothing.  Having been in such a job myself in earlier times, I can safely say that this day has virtually nothing to do with reality or sense.  Much like this blog.

I believe it also honors the union workers, who historically labored under dire working conditions without any job security or dignity, and it is due to these unions that we now have the five day work week, minimum wages, and a song that urges us to look for the union label.

Here’s my labor takes:

  • I’m not in labor.
  • I’m not laboring, as I am still without employment.
  • I’m not doing any labor because it’s hot and humid outside and I’m fairly caught up inside.
  • I don’t own a labor-atory.
  • I don’t know anyone having a Labor Day cookout, so it looks like dinner is up to me.

Share your mundane Labor Day so I don’t feel quite so laboriously underwhelmed.

 

For all you hard workers out there.

For all you hard workers out there.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

MOAR Knitting

I told you I finished a blanket, didn’t I?  Did I show you a picture?  Do I expect you to answer me instead of me just checking my archives?  Apparently.

True colors.  Thank you, outdoor lighting.

True colors. Thank you, outdoor lighting.

This was an attempt to recreate a crocheted ripple pattern that my mother-in-law started for my niece before MIL passed away.  I didn’t block it, because it’s a blanket and it’s supposed to have some good squish factor happening.

Artistic drapery on deck railing.

Artistic drapery on deck railing.

This picture is to help see the size and also just how cracked and unconditioned the wood on my deck has become.  Where is my custodial crew when I need them?

Yay, crappy lighting!

Yay, crappy lighting!

And that’s the human holding the blanket to see the perspective.  Okay, I should stop calling it a blanket and call it a lap warmer.  Those ends have been woven in and it’s just waiting to be delivered.

So what am I knitting now?

 

A baby blanket.  I must love not thinking while I knit.

*yawn*

*yawn*

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized