I got off to a slow start today.
I stayed up late last night to finish a book, A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths. I happened to buy this book in January – or was it February – before the pandemic had been declared. I realized, at the time, this was the fifth in Ms. Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series but decided to buy it anyway. I was actually rather proud of myself: me? start reading a series out of order? Unheard of! I congratulated myself for such rebellious behavior and plopped the book on my ever expanding ‘to be read pile’.
A couple of weeks later Dave and I went to the library. I happened to see The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – the first in the Ruth Galloway series. What the heck…I checked it out. Read it. Loved it. A dandy mystery with a wonderful lead character. Dr. Ruth Galloway, an archeologist, is a stand out in the genre. A great character and a very interesting story line. Being a mystery lover, I am always delighted to ‘discover’ an intelligent and engaging series. (I know this one has been out for quite awhile – I’ve come to the party a tad late.)
By then, our governor had closed all non essential businesses. No more trips to the library or bookstore for my entertainment – I would have to make due with the umpteen books sitting/piled around my house. What to read? Revisit a comforting old favorite? That would be perfect to sooth the nerves. Or… As I stood in front of my overcrowded bookshelves, my eyes landed on book number five in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series.
I ordered books two thru four from thriftbooks.com. Devoured them. Loved them too. So much so that today I have ordered the next three books. (And a couple from James Doss. His were easy to rationalize, I can’t find them in my library branch.) I’ve learned my lesson. No more random starts or stops – begin at the beginning and stay the course. A lesson for our times.
I’ve gone back to basics.
A few years ago, I admitted to myself it was time to start exercising regularly. It wasn’t that I never exercised, I just never found an exercise I liked well enough to do on a daily/weekly basis. My unofficial hobby became searching for a likable activity.
I tried gyms. Hmmm. I approached my first gym membership with enthusiasm: stationary bike, tread mill, mixed with weights, right? Great… but there were a few things… like the time it took to get the place and back home was almost as long as a workout! And working out in a gym, for me, was okay but I disliked waiting for machines, wiping away someone else’s sweat, and having other people impatient for me to clear off. Next I tried various exercise classes. The dance workouts. I drew the line at the paramilitary stuff. Nothing struck a chord.
What did I like? Walking briskly. I love riding my bicycle although I can’t stand a stationary bike. And yoga. Perfect. Cheap and easy, I can walk or ride my bicycle daily – weather permitting. As for yoga, I adore YogawithAdriene.com. My new goal(s): keep sane, healthy, and finally lose that pesky last ten pounds, through daily basic exercise.
And a bit of wine always helps.
Like after a sad day and wanting nothing more than to turn it off for just a bit, coming across a Harry Potter movie marathon.
Or a nearly full candy dish:
My grandparents kept a candy dish of hard candies in their living room. Grandpa would tuck some in his pocket and carry them everywhere he went. (Looking back, I think his hard candies were his habit – especially after he gave up his cigars.) Sometimes he would have those sweets that were hard on the outside with gooey centers. Not my personal favorite. During the holidays, Grandpa would have Christmas mello cremes, my very favorite. I never saw these delightful treats outside of my grandparents’ house. I didn’t even know they were called mello cremes: I referred to them as ‘like candy corn but in Christmas shapes’. Until recently.
Last Christmas, I decided these candies needed to be in my home. I searched and searched and finally found them. A perfect addition to the holiday! These, which are better than I remembered, are by Sweet Gourmet and, of course, can be found on Amazon. Dave and I agreed mello cremes should make seasonal appearances in our house. So why am I showing Christmas shapes in March? Because the Easter shapes were sold out and I wanted my sweet treat! I took a gamble these would not be too stale and happily aren’t. Well. Come what may, a short break, all thanks to J. K. Rowling, SyFy, and Sweet Gourmet!
Thanks for reading and stay safe.
I was watching our governor’s daily Coronavirus update when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Two bunnies were racing across the yard:
I guess we have some truly yummy weeds growing outside my kitchen window.
Like most everyone else, a lot of my extra brain space is used up with our pandemic. I’m making every effort to find those little happy moments, like these two visitors. In that vein, I’m thrilled to report my stitches from my oral surgery have been removed!
My periodontist took out the stitches yesterday and declared me healing. Not “healed” mind you, but on my way. He said it will still be a month before I can eat anything crunchy and six months before the graft itself is completely healed. Drat. Still, it is great to be another step further along. My craving for popcorn increases.
Thanks for reading and stay safe and healthy!
I’ve spent a whole lot of time feeling disconnected of late.
I think the oral surgery was far more than I expected. Usually I gauge the seriousness of a procedure by how long severe pain lasts, but this time I’ve been achy and tired for almost two weeks after the event. Dave reassures me by very kindly reminding me that I “had a lot of work done”.
And I can’t rule out the Coronavirus as a contributor to my current state of mind (or lack thereof). I’ve done my shopping and Dave is working from home. Our governor has taken actions designed to slow the spread of the disease. It is necessary, practical, and I’m glad that sensible, proactive steps have been taken. (I admit it plays into my hypochondriac tendencies. So far I’ve been convinced I’ve had the virus, IBS, and possibly the plague. Henny Penny has nothing on me.). I hope to continue to support our small businesses. We can still get take out from our favorite pub, and who knows – maybe even our neighborhood coffee shop. Well, we’ll play that one by ear.
One bright moment I almost forgot about in the past couple of days:
I decided last week, (pre closings), I needed to get out of the house. I signed up for a two and a half hour watercolor class. I’ve had some past experience and training with watercolors but it has been years since I’ve painted. I thought a couple of hours out and refresher class should lift my spirits.
My end result:
Not only did I enjoy my time out, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed watercolors.
Sitting here today, I must admit I feel almost like I’ve woken up. I think I’ll spend my time working on my clay, or paints, and feeling lucky to have my family.
Thank you for reading.
I have it.
Sunday, after a trip to the library and supper at home, I settled in for a relaxing look thru my books and maybe a bit of television. Umm. Didn’t quite work out that way. To make an unpleasant story brief, a couple of hours into the evening, I decided I ought to spend the night on the bathroom floor.
Monday and Tuesday have past in a sort of haze. While no longer needing to camp on the bathroom floor, I’ve been wobbly and stuffy headed. Today I’m feeling comparatively spry – sitting upright for stretches of time and everything. I might get reckless and make myself scrambled eggs later. Much later.
Anyway, I must have subconsciously known this flu was about to hit: I unwittingly selected the perfect sick day reading from the library. I started with the always delightful Mma Ramotswe, The Colors of all the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith on Monday. (I’m a bit behind in the series. There are two more books after this one.) Tuesday I moved onto Kerry Greenwood’s Murder in the Dark. I am a fan of the Miss Fisher mystery series on Acorn, but I have never read the books. I grabbed this one at random and spent yesterday wrapped in afghans while immersed in Australia in 1928. I will definitely check out more Miss Fisher adventures. Today, I think I’ll move on to Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. I checked this one out because it is one of those books I thought I had read years ago but really never have.
I will leave you today with this old photo of Brandy. It is one of my favorites:
Thanks for reading!
A nice heavy snow day.
I don’t have to leave the house.
Just look at the snow.
Tonight and tomorrow will be frigid, but that’s tonight and tomorrow’s headache.
Maybe a little tea and snack?
It seems a lazy day mood has settled in…
anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day a day early!
Or perhaps more like a sudden realization.
Maybe just a stirring of memories.
Whatever. I’ll get on with it. But first a bit of my personal history, if you don’t mind……
I grew up surrounded with art supplies and books. On rainy days Mom would cover the dining room table (and the floor) with newspaper and bring out the watercolor paints and paper. PlayDough, my favorite, was permitted everywhere. The 64 Crayola crayon box – with built in sharpener – a hoarded treasure. I loved to draw, but at a certain age, (most likely early in grade school), I was told I “couldn’t draw”.
My love of books has stuck. (According to family lore, I had cloth books with me in my crib. It occurs to me perhaps I should have at least one book cremated with me. Bit morbid. Sorry.)
PlayDough morphed into polymer clay. My jewelry is on Etsy and I put up my tent at local shows. I also love making small animal totems, especially bunnies.
Drawing. All these years and never picked up pencil. Cause I couldn’t draw right? So now I’m taking this class I keep blathering about. I’ve had varied successes in class. I seemed determined to clench up and disappoint myself – knowing what I’ve brought to the table, pretty quickly done. So today I asked myself, “what inspired me to draw all those years ago?” Easy. Dr. Seuss. I still have my books:
I have found my happy moment! What a good morning/afternoon!
Have a great day and thank you for reading!
The songbirds have returned. Standing in my yard, listening to their celebrations of an early spring and eavesdropping on serenades to potential mates, I’m too grumpy (distracted?) to enjoy their glorious songs.
Those last couple of weeks of January were bit too rough, a little too much, I’m still processing events. I think I’ll just talk about one such event today.
Our Brandy died ten days ago.
A ball of light and love wrapped in silky red hair
Brandy was our heart: sweet, silly, ornery, and little bossy
Still youngish, never ill, she was gone in a flash.
Now, this is the part that in time will be a delight but is still a bit difficult: She died chasing a bunny. Seriously.
Dave said she was chasing the rabbit then stopped and then started running again. Her usual. (We had assumed her arthritic shoulder hampered her chases of late.). This time, however, she laid down and was gone.
Anything heart/brain/vascular could have happened. She was current with everything at the vet’s. I do believe it was simply ‘her time’. And what standard dachshund wouldn’t want their last act to be chasing a bunny? (Except for those who want to be noshing on a bit of something.).
All that being said does not make this easy.
I know we will heal. I know, given the time to process her dying, we will be fine. Not quite yet.
Pleasantries. I love that word.
You run into someone at the grocery and you exchange pleasantries.
You meet an acquaintance for coffee – pleasantries.
A friend for lunch? First come the pleasantries.
The last couple of days, I have been fighting a nasty cold. I have avoided the news, the bills, the house cleaning, and instead focused on taking vitamins and resting (and reading). In short – living the pleasantries.
My head cold adverted, I’m up and functioning. No more pleasantries.
I had high hopes for today. My WW purple would have kicked in showing a lovely loss. I would have finished my sketch from last night, (we started charcoal. Which I loved), over a very sensible breakfast. Then yoga, followed by shoe shopping. A short break for an espresso then blogging and clay. Wonderful. In short, the pleasantries tinted version of life.
The truth – –
Had nightmares. The dogs woke me up far too early for an emergency bathroom trip. Recycling didn’t pick up today. Dragged the full bin back into the garage. Realized I left my charcoal pencils in the classroom last night. Added too much black to my turquoise clay and created a sickly mud. The news…cant even go there. The icing on my cake? A text from my sister requiring a specific time to receive her phone call. I’d rather study current affairs.
Now, sitting at my kitchen table with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on TV, I am reminiscing about the pleasantries.
It’s still earlyish. Come what may. Thanks for reading. Today’s photo, bold reds and all: