Just a Riff

A Question Worth Asking

9/30

Let's just start by saying this is not the post I wrote in my head yesterday. 

(And this is not the photo I planned for the post I wrote in my head yesterday, either.  But a decaying leaf from my garden seems appropriate, somehow.)

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Like so many others this morning, I'm struggling to make sense of what happened yesterday.  To understand how I can be walking among so many Americans who are so clearly . . . walking in a different world from me.

Call me an idealist, but I really didn't think I lived in a country that would reward such blatant ignorance!  I've always known I lived in a place that is comfortable with misogyny and racism, but one always can hope for growth and development.  Y'know?  But this ignorance thing?  It's only going to get us in trouble.

Anyway.

I'm trying to get my head around . . . what now?

As I lay in bed last night . . . fretting . . . and not sleeping, one thought kept playing over and over in my head.

What's going to become of us?

And then, I remembered something a friend said recently:  When you find yourself asking that question, sometimes it's best to flip it around and ask a different question.

What are we going to become?

For some reason, flipping that question around this morning has helped me.  (Not much.  Just sayin.)

I think we need to finish feeling all our feels -- for as long as that takes.  (But not too long.  Just sayin.)  And then we need to pick ourselves up and figure out how to move forward. 

Because this can't be the end of the story.

What are we going to become?  I think that's a question worth asking.


Juggling On a Friday

I really can't believe it's the middle of October already.  

Thankfully, we've had several very nice fall days lately.  Lovely afternoons where I can sit in my swing for a few minutes and . . . well . . . just pull things together in my head.

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Which is a good thing.  Because I've got a lot of stuff going on right now.  

Many, many balls in the air.

(And if you don't happen to hear from me for a day or two?  It probably just means I got hit in the head with one of my flying objects...)

(Such was the case yesterday.)

Have a great weekend.  (I'll be remembering that last year at this time . . . I was at Rhinebeck!

 

 


Seeking Normal

I've been Not Blogging since August 11.

I'm going to admit it . . . it's been rather nice to not "think in blog" over the past couple of weeks.  There are just too many other things to stress and worry over right now.

In fact, I can see . . . never blogging again.

Because it is so hard to be upbeat and cheery when life just . . . isn't.

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I'm traversing some uncharted territory.  Picking my steps carefully and trying not to fall over the edge.  Nothing feels quite right at the moment.  I'm not eating or sleeping well.  I haven't worked out in weeks.  I'm not knitting or gardening or drawing.  I'm not blogging.

Nothing is normal.

Everything stinks.

Last night, laying there in bed (not sleeping, of course), I decided I need to flip the switch.  I am not going to be able to face what is ahead of me if I don't . . . seek some Normal in my life.

So.

I'm going to yoga tonight.

I'm going to do some deadheading and weed-pulling in my garden.

And I'm going to blog.

Because I NEED some Normal.  (And I also need all of you.)


Weekending: More Than You Bargained For

So.

How was your weekend?

Such a typical, normal start to a Monday morning between friends.

(But sometimes you get more than you bargained for.  Y'know?)

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My weekend started out pretty well.  All the usual weekend activities . . . gardening, a swim workout at the pool, wine on the patio.  

There was a date with Tom on Saturday afternoon.  (We went to see the new Jason Bourne movie.)  (Which is actually much like all the old Jason Bourne movies.)  (Only maybe not so novel.)

Sunday, though?

Not so much.

It started with a bang.  (Not my story to tell.)  

And then things went downhill.

Like . . . really downhill.

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We have a pretty significant grass slope in our front yard.  As I headed down the hill to check out some massive weeds (I could see them from my front window), I slipped on the very wet grass (we had a lot of rain this weekend) and fell.

I screwed up my knee.  (My bad knee.)

Rest and ice will help.  But, really?  I don't need this in my life right now.  (Or ever.  Y'know?)

But it didn't stop me from rockin' out last night . . . 

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At the Boston 40th Anniversary concert.  (Yep.  40th anniversary.  Time flies.)

So.

This weekend was WAY more than I bargained for.

(And instead of heading up north today . . . I'm searching for Brian's old crutches.  So I can really rest that stupid knee.)

How was YOUR weekend?


Attitude Adjustment: May Day! May Day!

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There's something about May.

I mean. . . I always expect Trouble in December.  I just know - and accept - that December will be Impossible.  Too many activities and too many obligations and too many things to keep track of on the to-do list.

But May?

May always seems to surprise me.

I used to blame kids and school and activities.  You know . . . all those "year-end" things to tie up -- with the added bonus of spring sports.  Field trips.  Awards ceremonies.  Spring concerts.  Final projects.  Exams. Late games. Rain outs. Prom. Fidgety kids.

But I don't have kids at home anymore.  I can't blame school.  No one here is taking any exams.  Or going to Prom.

But May is kicking me in the butt again anyway.  

And I never seem to see it coming.

Suddenly, it's light until 9:00.  My garden is exploding.  The "up north" place is open again.  I have a bike.  The dogs want to run.  Drinks are served -- outside.  

I want to Plant All The Things.  I want to Go All The Places.  I want to Do It All.  

I am overwhelmed.

I blame May.

Does this happen to anyone else???

What I really need is an attitude adjustment.  I need to keep my face to the sun (assuming I can find it) and just . . . 

slow down

step back

breathe

roll with it.

May is busy, sure.  But it's also grand!

(Let's get out of the shadows, shall we?)


Attitude Adjustment: A Riff About the Weather

The weather has taken a turn for the crappy.

It was just a few weeks ago that the weather-folk were going on (and on) about some sort of "Bermuda Ridge" (apparently the opposite of the "Polar Vortex;" obscure weather phenomena only recently "named") and the promise of an early and warm spring.

Now, I don't usually pay overmuch attention to the weather-folk.  (Because biggest hype-machines ever.)  But I do tend to get a little excited when they start to throw around terms like . . . 

early spring

warmer-than-average

get ready for a hot one

LIES.

We've got snow.  Frigid temperatures.  And no end in sight.

(Bermuda Ridge my a$$.)

I'm trying to adjust my attitude.  But, man.  It is hard.  Because March . . . was warm and pleasant.

I started working in my garden here and there - preparing.

I got my bike all ready to go.

Shoot . . . I even got my flip-flops out.

(Really, though.  I should know better by now.)

Lucky for me, these guys are hanging in there . . . and giving me something to smile about.

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Hope abounds.


Not Superstitious . . . Just a Bit Grumpy

Today's Ten on Tuesday - Ten Superstitions We Believe In - doesn't quite work for me.  Because I'm not superstitious, and I couldn't think of ONE . . . let alone ten . . . superstitions I believe in.  Really.  I even step on cracks without the least bit of guilt.

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So.  Not superstitious. 

But borderline irritated; sort of . . . grumpy, I guess.

How about I list my grumps instead (just for fun)?

  • Last night, as I walked the dogs, I saw this very cool sundog as the sun was going down.  By the time I stopped, took out my camera, and tried to take a picture, the cloud cover had changed ever-so-slightly and I couldn't get a good shot.  (The photo above is NOT it, by the way.  It's just a regular old sunset.)
  • The simple- and straightforward-looking online "letter of intent" I was working on yesterday (with a deadline today) turned out to have "trapdoors."  Click an answer from a drop-down list (yes or no, for example) . . . and whole new sets of questions (requiring detailed answers) appear.  Man, that made me grumpy.
  • I stopped at the post office yesterday afternoon to mail a couple of packages -- and was surprised to find the line out the door.  Like it was Christmas -- without the jolly.  The line was so very long and so very slow that I left after 10 minutes.  (Now I get to try again today.)
  • Yesterday I got an estimate from a painter for removing the wallpaper (the last of it; my entire house was wallpapered when we bought it almost 14 years ago) and painting two rooms.  I was expecting one price range -- but was quoted more than double.  (Looks like I'll be doing that nasty job myself.)
  • Snow and ice is in the forecast.  (I can't even.)
  • And there were a few other things . . . that have no business on the blog.  (Y'know?)

Just one of those days.  Minor, silly grumps.  First world problems.  I'm feeling better today.  So far.  
(Until I hit that post office again.)

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Be sure to check out what this week's Ten on Tuesday Gang has to say here.  (Bet they're not grumpy at all.)

 


Backlash

Does this happen to you?  Because it happens to me every year, beginning just before Thanksgiving.

Meet a friend for lunch?

Let's get together after the holidays.

Negotiable deadline for work?

Let's set it for after the holidays.

Pick up my knitting/sewing/drawing for fun?

No time now; it'll have to wait for after the holidays.

Committee meeting?

Let's skip December and meet right after the holidays.

Committment for a friend?

After the holidays.

Follow-up doctor appointment?

After the holidays.

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Basically, then, to get through the tradition and fun and celebration that is The Holidays, I push All The Normal Things into my After the Holidays closet.

And now . . . now that it IS after the holidays . . . it's time to pay the piper!

I opened the closet door.  Everything has tumbled out.

I call it Holiday Backlash . . .

and I am So There.

(Happy weekend.  I'll be dealing with the mess all around me.)

 

 


My Kind of Fall

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It's been My Kind of Fall.

Warm, sunny days.  (Flip-flops?  No problem.)

Cool nights.  (Great sleeping-weather.)

For days on end.  

Warm, sunny day.  
Cool night.  
Repeat.

Our leaves haven't really started turning yet.  They're actually behind "normal" schedule.  (Apparently all that rain we had early in the summer has made our Michigan trees healthy and resilient and unstressed.  So the color will happen -- just later.)  (This according to Mark Torgerossa, Official Weather Person of MLive.)

I'm spending as much time as I can outdoors these days.  Soaking up the sun and enjoying just being outside.  (Without a jacket.)  (Or socks.)

I'm drinking coffee with friends at the outside tables at the coffee shop.

I'm eating lunch al fresco, too, every day.  (Even if it's just yogurt on my patio.)  (With the dogs.)

I'm enjoying before-dinner drinks with Tom on the patio.

I'm writing grants outside.

I'm getting to all sorts of garden chores.

It's fabulous!

I continue to ignore the more pesky signs of "fall," though.  (Like pumpkin spice flavored everything.)  (And "pink ribbon" products everywhere.)  (Yesterday I almost tripped over a display of "pink ribbon" solar garden lights at my grocery store.)  (Really.)

So, yeah.  This is a perfect fall for me.  Summer is getting some bonus extension time.  And I can ease into the best parts of fall unfolding around me slowly.

I hope it lasts a long time more!

(Except not the goofy "pink ribbon" products.)  (I wonder how much money from the sale of the "pink ribbon" solar garden lights makes it to breast cancer research?)  (I wonder . . . wouldn't it be better to just make a direct donation?)

(Don't get me started.)

I think I'll take my coffee out on the patio this morning. . . to watch the sun rise.

 


Things Fall Apart . . . A Riff

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I remember, back in March, I would have been delighted with a day where the temperature reached 55ºF.  

Thrilled, in fact.  

(Now, in May, I feel chilled to the bone.)  

(Because in May, a high of 55ºF is just Not Good Enough.)

We've had a lot of rain here in Kalamazoo over the past couple of days.  I heard 2.5 inches.  Which is quite a lot.

(I should be excited about that.  And I suppose I am.  It's very good for my garden.  It certainly makes pulling weeds a whole lot easier.)  

(And rainbows.)

(But cold AND wet are never a winning combination for me.)

Sets the tone, though.  Because I've got a lot of . . . well, cold-and-wet crap . . . to deal with these days.

(Appropriate weather, I guess.)

Nothing too awfully terrible.  Just . . . crap.

Like, Things Fall Apart crap.

Things around the house.

(Dishwasher.  Microwave.  Leaking shower.  Broken sink.  Mysteriously severed irrigation line. An on-their-last-legs 27 year old washer and dryer pair.)

(Plus we need new windows.)

(Oh.  And some birds made a nest IN MY WALL.)  

(I can hear them chirping right now.)

And the people I love are falling apart a little right now.

(My dad had a bug.  Now my mom has the bug.  Brian had surgery last week.  Erin had a "procedure" yesterday.)

And me.

(Ankle WAY better.  But I still can't run at all.)

(And I found out today at my 6-month dental check-up that I need YET ANOTHER crown.)

What I'm really, MOST annoyed about, though, are corporate activists.

(They do an awfully lot of damage.  They MAKE working things fall apart.)

(In the name of short-term profits.)

(For themselves, of course.)

(Greedy bastards.)  

(Did I say that OUT LOUD?)

(Does NO ONE think about the long term anymore????)

I wish Tom were just a teensy-tiny bit closer to retirement.

(Just sayin.)

I wish it would stop raining.  

(So I could begin putting things back together again.)