June’s end

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I’ve been in a somewhat negative philosophical mood. Actually, I’ve just been grousing.

It’s too hot.
After too much rain, now not enough.
What is the meaning of life?
Is there a meaning?
What is my purpose?
Have I accomplished anything at all?

In short, I’ve really been annoying myself.

I think it is due to the odd, floaty, no control sort of feeling that has accompanied the tragic and monumental events of the last six months. There is a kinda compulsive obsession to stay glued to the facts as they unfold. The awareness that we are living through a pivotal historic period cannot be denied but rather should be nurtured. And yet feeling helpless to speed events to their conclusion – the desire to see how it all turns out – to read the last chapter mid book.

You see? Really annoying.

I’ve decided to take baby steps to get this under control. To that end, I’ve recently returned to my ‘stuff to do while under stay-at-home orders’ list: Hmm….. The first on my list was to learn a language(s). Seeing as how I’m sort of a pudding head at this time, becoming conversant in Italian and French needs to stay on the back burner. The same can be said for writing that book or studying the Crimean war (don’t ask. long story.). I haven’t lost those fifteen pounds nor am I in shape for a triathlon.

On the bright side, we have cleared out the spare bedroom, painted and organized, and included an area where I can take product photos. And I have rejoined weight watchers. Yoga is daily and I’ve started meditating. With a bit of motivation, I’ll be able to complete my current clay projects. Well, that’s not so bad. Baby steps. It’ll work.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Odd days and Strange dreams

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A friend of mine described her frame of mind as:”…kinda like an astronaut who was out on a space walk and someone cut the cord to the mothership.” After reading that line, I realized that was exactly how I was now responding to everything. I had gone from involved and emotional to detached and drifty. I think I overloaded. So, I decided, I must knock that off. Well, as best as I can, one step at a time. Like blogging. Or the above photo.

I have been wanting to change our spare room into a study. Or yoga place. Or just a nice living space. Anyway, after looking at every paint chip Benjamin Moore makes, I decided on a soothing pale gray. I pulled out all my small wall art pieces: The things I’ve collected over the years from antique shops, shows, and posters originally purchased for my now defunct shop. Since I wanted to hang everything, collage wall it is. I’m quite happy with way it has turned out. Huge thanks to Dave for making it all happen.

As to blogging. I like it. So, in an effort to engage again, I think I’ll try to blog daily. Well, nearly daily. Okay I’ll play it by ear. I think it will wake me up again. And get reading everyone else’s thoughts and ideas.

So that’s it for today. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Book orders

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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.

Damn.

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.

Exercise and wine.

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.

So.

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.

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Donuts and Scotch

I’ve come to understand that each and everyone of us has that ‘thing’ (or things). That ‘thing’ which is unique to each person: a nagging ailment/phobia/disorder – a chronic condition/burden/’thing’ that challenges us and accompanies (haunts) us throughout life. Where do these ‘things’ come from? Genetics? Predispositions? Misspent youth? A past life determination? Prelife choice? I kinda like that last option. During a ‘fit of fancy’, (as my Grandmother would have called it), I visualize waiting in line. A voice cries out “next!”. My turn. “Now”, says the disembodied voice, “for this upcoming lifetime pick three burdens from column A, four challenges from column B and two blessing from column C.” Looks like I choose periodontal disease.

Hummph. A frustratingly seemingly unending ‘thingy’. Once settled in, periodontal disease has no intention of leaving its dark cozy corners. I have regular cleanings/check ups with my periodontist and also my regular dentist. I get excited when the newest model of electric toothbrush hits the shelf. I have a stash of proxy brushes in the perfect width. I make a special trip to CVS for my preferred dental tape. I can’t remember all the surgeries and treatments I have had. I have planned nutritious soft food menus for post treatments to insure rapid recovery. In short, I have fought the good fight. In December, my periodontist said I needed more surgery. A gingival graft to rebuild my gum line.

After hearing that, (“it is not an emergency – no need to schedule right now”), I went home and sulked. That news made me – well – mad. I spend so much time, effort, and money and here I go again. Right? I ranted a bit. Sputtered. And then gave up. I had the surgery on Tuesday. It was a painful one. But I have decent pain killers. I have to admit, I’m still a bit, (or a lot), sulky. Oh I think I’ll heal fine, I’ll just be cranky about it. I know I need to come to a different point of view but not just yet. Right now I’m going to just eat soft foods and watch movies. But I’ve been thinking… donuts are soft, (must be gluten free for me. I think that was a column B option), and hey – a nice single malt scotch whiskey would lift my spirits – and cut down on my need for the pain killers. Now that’s a plan!

Thanks for stopping and reading!

A full circle…decades in the making.

An epiphany.
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:

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I have found my happy moment! What a good morning/afternoon!
Have a great day and thank you for reading!

I feel dazed…..

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.

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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
All gone.

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

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.
Drat.
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.
Well.
It’s still earlyish. Come what may. Thanks for reading. Today’s photo, bold reds and all:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/736696186/very-bold-and-beautiful-red-and-burgundy?ref=shop_home_active_23&frs=1

Bits and pieces

I can’t believe we are halfway thru January. Did it speed by or creep?

I always think I should be accomplishing great things. Constantly. Yes, I know it is illogical and impossible and I’m working on changing this mindset, but there you have it. Unreasonable expectations leading to a general dissatisfaction. Yep. Well, I have managed to teach myself to look at the stuff I did do/start/maintain.

One thing I am truly delighted about is my drawing class. After all these years of wanting to take a class, I am actually doing it! This inspired me to also buy Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I was able to do a couple of the exercises before my class last night. I was thrilled at my progress. Our assignment was to bring in a photo to draw. I brought a photo I took while on vacation a couple of years ago:

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I drew one duck:

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For me, last night was all about the duck. But I think I’m making real progress. Slowly but surely.

I seem to be spending all my emotional energy on my class, leaving little – if any – for my Etsy site. I tried to sit down several times to create a piece (or several!). Nope. Nothing new or exciting perking in my head. Maybe once I feel a little further along with drawing I’ll be able to focus on my clay. Still, the earrings I have been working on are almost done and looking good!

Sooooo I’m thinking that even tho I haven’t leapt any tall buildings in any number of bounds, maybe I have done alright so far this month. Yes. I think I have.

Update update

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.

I did get these earrings listed:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/754459022/large-black-and-gray-polymer-clay-dangle?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Off to work. Thank you for reading!