On Saturday, I planned a trip to the post office to mail my ballot. I thought Dave would enjoy a trip out too so I suggested he come with me and we could stop for coffee. As we sat outside, (across the street from the pick up window of the coffee shop), Dave said he had heard Barnes Noble was open. Did I want to see if it was empty enough to feel okay to go in and browse? I dithered.
there would be people…
I don’t know if..but then…
We went. Masked of course.
The parking lot was almost empty. We looked in. The store had been reorganized and the layout was far more inviting…more spacious in feel, while at the same time, more intimate. It was very nearly empty.
I spent the next giddy hour ducking and weaving among fellow patrons whilst selecting/rejecting/clutching books. Books that had not been preread by strangers nor purchased online, but fresh new books. Just for me!
After stalking the mystery section a time or two – along with a brief foray into fiction, (election season in a pandemic has quenched any thirst I might have had for both horror and nonfiction), I realized I was carrying the equivalent of my bimonthly grocery budget. Several deep cleansing breaths later, I narrowed my final selection to a far more reasonable number and almost – but not quite – skipped to the car. To round out the day, we had pizza for supper. Yay!
(a brief aside….Massey’s Pizza is the best! Being gluten free takes a lot of yum out of pizza for me – but Massey’s has a cauliflower crust that is great!)
And Sunday. Well nothing much done…. but watching NOVA and reading. But still pretty darn great.
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:
Today seems a bit, well, unreal. Or is it surreal. I’m awake, I’m moving and doing and have that sense of accomplishment but I don’t exactly know why. Hmm. I have done a couple of nice things in last couple of days tho….
My drawing class was lovely. My instructor spoke briefly about drawing, pencils, shading, and course objectives. And then she gestured to a table cluttered with random objects and said “get started”. Um. So we did. And she walked around talking about our drawings. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the class. Of course, the more practice the better. Haven’t drawn yet today but the day isn’t over.
Oooo….Today was weigh in day for Weight Watchers. I lost! All is right in the world again! (Heehee). Yesterday I tried the WW site’s questionnaire to see which program I would be sorted into (I suppose it is just me, but in my head I hear a tatty hat crying,”Better be Gryffindore!”). It was purple. Change is good.
Maybe it that’s it… The weight loss has given that feeling of accomplishment! That makes sense. Still, from my to do list: today I am to finish the two pairs of earrings on my work table and start on a large statement sort of necklace. I should do that. Right. Best get started.
Three days into the new year and I’m floundering. “The best laid plans of mice and men”… etc etc…
One of my first areas of ‘needs improvement’ for this year was my book spending. A couple of yeas ago, I was a regular library goer. Once a week, like in my childhood, I selected my pile of books, (always one or two more than I could possibly read in a week), and contentedly read thru the days. I realized that I had completely fallen away from this positive habit. Not that I had stopped reading mind you, I just purchased the books. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying books – within reason. A caveat I kinda forgot about.
With that in mind, I made a promise to myself – library. But then I remembered an author I have a dickens of a time trying to find – Ovidia Yu. A couple of years ago I read her first Aunty Lee mystery and haven’t found her since. Well. I found her yesterday. And reasonably priced.
Next on the list: WW weigh in. I weight in at home. Crud. Need I say more?
I did however, accomplish one thing on my list, I posted my latest earrings:
Some people will make New Years Eve/Day the Day(S) for a mini life review. Create and make/break oaths, commitments and resolutions. For me, that somewhat (or very) unpleasant/uncomfortable/despairing day is the day after Christmas. Yesterday, I was sucked down that rabbit hole. Somewhere in my journey I made the decision to do something different on this, my day after day. Something just for me: I signed up for a drawing course.
I’ve always wanted to take a drawing course. I’ve got this mental block about it – a kind of embarrassed childhood “they’ll make fun of me” sort of thing. Rather terrible when I think about where it can from; but it is a feeling that has been slumbering virtually unnoticed for a very long time. Well. Next month I start a very short night course, Foundations of Drawing, at my local community center. It is a start. And one I am proud of taking… a little gesture of bravery to end the year.
I got to thinking about one of my favorite childhood beliefs. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, I was told that at midnight on Christmas Eve, animals can speak. (I mean our languages not theirs.). I not only believed, I wanted to have a conversation.
I remember asking my mom about our pets. I got her usual eye roll and snort,
“They do not speak. Go to bed.”
I tried dad.
“I want to talk to Ophelia, (my guinea pig), at midnight. You have to get me up in time to hear her.”
Dad, who always sort of understood about such stuff, said:
“Sweetheart, I can’t get you up because you might run into Santa. I’ll talk to her for you. Go to bed now.”
Thus assured, off to bed I went.
In the morning, I asked dad what Ophelia said.
“She said Merry Christmas and then fell back asleep.”
Mom rolled her eyes and snorted.
A couple of years ago, after a couple of eggnogs, I prodded my dachshunds awake at midnight.
I always seem to be altering something in my life.
Jobs for one. I was once the corporate employee. For quite awhile. Then not.
I’ve done retail. Part time because I really don’t think I could ever handle a full time retail job.
Then of course there are the “self improvement” moments. Scrupulous about taking my vitamins and sticking to WW. (Closely followed by mouthfuls of ice cream eaten out of the pint container.)
I could go on, but the point today is to say: No matter what, I always return to clay. And that is sort of changing too. Or perhaps evolving.
When I started, I made rather small and intricate pieces. I still do technique driven pieces such as:
Minimal and asymmetrical. Yep. That is definitely what I am gravitating towards these days. Perhaps that means I’m streamlining? I don’t know. I do know I am really enjoying this current tangent. I think it will be fun to see where it goes – and how it changes.
Yesterday my aging, blind dachshund had a full dental.
Obviously, she needed to be knocked out for the cleaning. I know it can be dangerous, but of course it is necessary. (If I think about it, I’ve had my share of deep dental cleanings and “mild procedures” during which I would have preferred to be unconscious. Really for most of them. All of them. But I digress.) She did wonderfully with no extractions! When Dave brought our groggy girl home and she dined on a little chicken and water. After a chaperoned tour of the backyard, she came in and promptly fell asleep on her favorite pillow.
Meanwhile, I had come across a Librarians movie marathon. As the first movie got underway, I made popcorn and settled down for the duration. Just as Noah was hacking his way thru the jungle, I heard an odd sound from the floor. My dear dachshund was lurching to her feet. Thinking she needed help for an outdoor trip, I called for Dave. She was very unsteady and staggered towards me. She bounced against the couch, my leg, the couch, my ankle and then sat down hard. Alarmed, I looked to Dave. He shrugged and said, “give her some popcorn,”. Sure enough, The scent of popcorn had revived our girl! huwa!
I set up my work area. It is bright and happy with my dachshunds napping nearby. It’s cold and horrid outside, but I don’t have to go anywhere and it is warm and cozy inside. Settled down. Comfy chair. Poked at a bit of clay. Sat and stared. Decided I wanted a snack.
A snack. That is what brings me to today’s topic.
Last week, I rejoined Weight Watchers (aka WW). I used a new screen name and account to symbolize my fresh restart. (The last time neither my heart nor mind were really into the program and therefore failed.) Of course, I have been a bit obsessive about the program; working out recipes, tracking steps, and logging my points. The free style program is pretty easy – flexible with about a gazillion zero point foods. If there should be a special occasion, say Valentine’s Day, one merely saves her points for the celebration. And today I believe I have discovered an eating trigger: Can’t connect with clay? Snack! (For some reason I see an everything bagel, still warm, with butter and cream cheese. (I can save up the points but I’m also gluten-free. Crud.)) Well.
So today has not been a brilliantly successful day claywise. On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot dietwise. And still, I could do something with clay this evening? It could work… hmmm … there’s also tomorrow… But today was still a start!
It has been at least 4 months since I have created anything. Not touched a single lump of clay. Today was to have been my return to the table.
I did some laundry today.
a bit of exercise.
went thru the mail…
So I’m blocked. Or just not .. I don’t know.
I read this wonderful passage in Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
“I’m not looking, I’m finding,” she declared, and strode boldly off through the dust and the smell of sulphur.
“That’s what Picasso said,” she explained to me in September. “That’s the way he worked: simply take the plunge and see where you end up… “You’ve got to find, not look. Stay open, be receptive, be ready for anything, know what I mean?…”
Okay, so the point is it’s best not have a preconceived notion of what you want to create, (or in Auntie Poldi’s situation how to solve a murder or 2), but rather the ability to simply see what you need to see.