Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You Capture - Color

First I had to look up the word color in the dictionary. I wasn't sure I recalled the meaning. Here we have gray. And white. And grayish-white. And that's all.

Once I knew what I was looking for, I went in search of the elusive color. And I got as far as the chocolate shop. Because really, why go any farther than that?

I didn't eat it all. Only, like, half. (But I had run that morning, so it totally, you know, canceled that run out. Yeah, I almost said evened out, but who am I kidding?)

Check out the rainbow at Beth's.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

let's go to bed

Bed. That's all I've got lately. I just want to be in bed. I love it there. I want to be curled up under the covers and nevereverever come out. My bed is soft. It is comfortable. It is peaceful. It is calming. It welcomes me. It's glad I'm there. It conforms to my needs. It doesn't complain about anything or try to argue at all. It wants me to be safe and warm and comfortable. It likes me.

I'm starting to believe that winter, which I've always loved and supported, is slowly killing me.

I'm tired. I'm sad. I'm eternally cold. I feel terrible. Regardless of how hard I try to change that. And I've been trying. But it's hard. And this week, I feel myself giving in to it. I don't want to. It just seems to be happening. I can't pinpoint any fully concrete reason. But it might just be winter.

There has been no sunshine. Everything is gray. I have been indoors almost exclusively. Fresh food is lacking. Movement is limited.

It sucks.

And my bed calls to me. Soft little whispers. All day long.


tell it to me tuesdays

Friday, January 22, 2010

it's so not appropriate to think of this right now, but it's so hard to not

So, we're watching the telethon for Haiti. Which we totally support and all. But, here's the thing.....

There are celebrity operators. And I soooooo want to call. But I would totally be picky.

"This is Mel Gibson? Um. I'm going to call back and try again."
"Reese Witherspoon? Um. I'm going to call back and try again."
"Steven Spielberg? ET is great. I'm going to call back and try again."

"Daniel Day-Lewis? Ohmygosh! I totally skipped school in high school to go see Last of the Mohicans! Okay, so it was only 7th hour which was the last hour of the day and it was only Lounge. But still. I totally skipped. Although I told the Lounge teacher where I was going, so maybe it wasn't really 'skipping,' but still. You're awesome. Okay. I love you. Okay. Bye."


"RINGO!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! IT'S RINGO!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!"


"Jack Nicholson? Um. Is Ringo there?"

Please help if you can.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Capture - Love around the home

Our house was built in 1947. Five years ago, we became its second owners ever. But every piece of everything the original owners had ever owned since, um, they were born had to be removed (thrown away, recycled, given away, etc... Thanks, Mom and Dad!). And carpets torn out. And every surface had to be scrubbed. And painted. But that process really made it ours. We were able to chose just exactly how we wanted everything to be. This house is so very much home. I love everything about it.

This lamp is the very first thing Hubby and I bought together. We bought it just after it was decided he was moving to where I lived. Just being excited that we would have a home together. We bought it for the novelty of buying something for our home, not knowing where that home would be. Now it lives in the meditation room.

I am madly in love with my kitchen. It used to be dark wood and mauve paint and tons of crap piled everywhere. Now it's just how I pictured it in my head, way back in the "planning stages." Full of light and lightness. (And chocolate.) I spend a lot of time in here. It makes me happy.

The bedspread was an anniversary gift a few years back. I love it. Like, really love it. I loved it when I saw it in the store. And I love that Hubby was paying attention to how much I loved it and went back to get it for me. And I love curling up under it every night. And I hate having to get out from under in so early in the morning.

Books kind of overflow from every available space here. (Okay, so they're mostly my books. Like these ones. And the Shaun Cassidy albums tucked in with the books. Those are mine, too.) I love books. We have more books than anything else. I think that's wonderful.

This little makeshift alter kind of thingy is part of the mediation room. Buddha, Krishna, Shiva, and Ganesh. They're calming. Soothing. Which, I think, is the point. I start and end my day here with them.

But this is kind of the best thing about my house. Or, at least, the thing I love the most...

Spread the love at Beth's.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I feel, sometimes, that I'm overly complicated. By overly, I mean unnecessarily. I make things harder than they are. I take things personally. I feel stressed a lot. I work a lot. I run a lot. I yoga a lot. I bake a lot. I eat a lot. I worry a lot. I'm cold a lot.

"A lot" is big for me.

I'm an over-doer. A perfectionist.

And a hypochondriac. The slightest little ache, pain, sniffle, whatever simply MUST mean I'm dying. Or something. I once got so worked up after looking through the book What's Your Poo Telling You that I left the book store, went home, and made Hubby go back with me to see if he agreed that this book was diagnosing me as devastatingly ill and probably dying.

I am also, apparently, lacking sanity.

It's not easy for me to relax. I'm not sure I've ever been really and truly relaxed. Yoga and meditation helps. Drinking tea helps. Being married to my super-mellow Hubby helps (although sometimes I become over-frustrated with his mellow, which kind of defeats the purpose). I wish I was more easy going. I aspire to be more calm. To accept. To find joy. To relax. To let go. (I actually use that as a mantra during morning mediation.) But, um, that's hard for me. Harder than it should be. I have good days, and bad days, and going half-mad days. (Thank you for that line, Mr. Buffett. I use it all the time.)

Yesterday I was at the chiropractor. (I've been going for awhile. He's a very helpful guy) I've been having this odd discomfort in my low back. Right where everything is all screwed up, so I was only in mild panic mode about it.

I'm explaining location and severity. He's examining and testing. Then he says to me:

"You have a lot of repetitive microtrauma."

And I just stared at him, because oh. my. gosh.

He just defined me.

Totally and completely.

I have a lot of repetitive microtrauma.

Silly, insignificant things that, somehow, are a really big deal to me.

Repetitive microtrauma.

That's me.

In a nutshell.

(Not that I'm necessarily happy about this. But it feels oddly good to have the definition. I can sum it all up now; I need to work on reducing the repetitive microtruama.)

(Which seems like something that could produce some repetitive microtrauma. At least, for me.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

sometimes smiles

Sometimes I feel like I need to smile, so I try to make myself smile. It doesn't really work. It's not the mood-elevator that a real smile is.

But sometimes smiles just happen, all by themselves.

When I was leaving for work, Hubby said I look nice today. And I smiled.

I stopped for a chai (because it's been one of those weeks), and there were poppyseed muffins, too. And I smiled. (Because now I have a chai and a poppyseed muffin.)

And when I got to work, my co-worker peeked her head around my door and said "did you see the puppy?" And I got to snuggle with Sugar, the St. Bernard puppy. And oh. my. gosh.

I'm still smiling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Capture - Winter

I love winter. I love everything about it. The snow. The cold. The sweaters. The running. The ice. The glistening. The hot cocoa. The way my glasses fog up when I come in the house. Using the four wheel drive. Snow days. Just every little thing.


This happens to me every year. Right about now. This patch of blue settles over me. Always about this time of year. Always so so hard to navigate through. Always so so easy to just sink in to and kind of wallow. The reasons vary. Maybe it's that subsisting on a diet of peanut butter balls and fudge, no matter how much you continue to run and yoga, will cause you to gain weight. Maybe it's the feeling that your changes in appearance have somehow let loved ones down. Maybe it's the feeling that you might not have much of a place in the greater landscape of your family. Maybe it's something that you can't name at all. Maybe it's something that you haven't even thought of. (And by "you" I mean "me.") But it all adds up to equal blue.

But blue is temporary. Even now, in the middle of it, I know that (as my dear, wonderful boss from my library days used to say) this, too, shall pass. Even now, in the middle of it, I'm preparing for it's passing. I've moved The Beatles into more frequent rotation ("it's been a long cold lonely winter" but "it's alright."). I know there's a detox session on the horizon. And, no matter what, I never seem to lose sight of just how beautiful everything around me is.....

The way the places that are so familiar are so different, but still so comforting.....

Blue is hard. But white can manage to shake blue off, even just for a little while.

Winter marches on at Beth's.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Searching for the answer to one of life's big questions

Why is it that no matter what I do, I always run out of conditioner before I run out of shampoo?

I buy both the shampoo and the conditioner at the same time. Both bottles hold the same number of fluid ounces. I start using them both on the same day. On a daily basis, I do everything in my power to assure that I use equal amounts of shampoo and conditioner. When I begin to notice that the conditioner is dwindling, I begin using ridiculously large amounts of shampoo.

But inevitably, there comes a day when I am desperately trying to get any amount of conditioner out of the bottle, and the shampoo is still just as full as can be.

How does that happen?

Are there little elves that come and refill the shampoo each night? If so, what do they have against the conditioner?

Is some higher power trying to tell me that my hair is conditioned enough? Because if so, that higher power should come have a closer look at my hair.

Am I just grossly miscalculating my conditioner usage, or my shampoo-to-conditioner ratio?

Because, once again, while I have plenty of shampoo left in the bottle, I have to go buy more conditioner.

Can anyone explain this phenomenon to me?


Friday, January 8, 2010

I got this hoping to use it for its intended purpose...

Today I did.

It turns out that sometimes life is good.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

List Time

1. Corinne is sweet and lovely. I've only recently begun reading her blog; my mom sent me the link when Corrine posted about her (lovely) family's trip to Walden Pond. I was hooked from there. Anyone who would purposely go to Walden is one awesome person. (At least in my book. Although I think that should go for everyone's book, too.) And now I have to check in on her daily. Her words are always thoughtful and thought provoking. Her picture capture so much. And she makes me smile. And when Hubby and I (eventually) take our trip to Walden, we'll take her up on her offer to show us around!

2. Corinne gifted me with The Lemonade Stand Award this morning. The Lemonade Stand Award is meant to be given to those who show great attitude and gratitude. I'm not sure I fit that bill (at least not all the time), but I've never gotten a "blog award" and I'm honored she thought enough of me to send this my way.

3. I am now to pass The Lemonade Stand Award on to other bloggers who I feel show great attitude and gratitude. So Lyndsay and In the Fast Lane, this one's for you! Here are the rules:
- Pass the award onto 10 bloggers ( or, you know, however many you want)
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
(There's also a logo you can put on your site or in the post, but I couldn't make it work because I am very, very technologically advanced. But you can steal it here, too.)

4. Lyndsay is awesome. There are very few others who know and love the beauty and brilliance that is Michael Stipe. She's had such a year, and handled it with such grace and such a great attitude (I envy her that!). And she has this gift for "finding joy in the little things."

5. Oh, Fast Lane, you may never know how much you helped me out in the midst of all the knee madness last spring. I will be forever grateful for that. Who else gets up by 4:00 in the morning to do silly things. Like run. (That would be no one that I know) So, so often your posts have me nodding in agreement. Any time you need a running partner, let me know. (You know, as long as you don't want to go too fast. I'm not so fast anymore. =^) )

6. I read Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I was very excited for it, as she also wrote the Gemma Doyle trilogy which I LOVE. (Since I, apparently, love a good smutty teen book.) But, um, yeah, I kind struggled getting in to it. Almost stopped reading it. But I'm glad I kept with it, because once you figure out where it's headed and what's actually going on, it's really hard to put it down. The main character has Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (hence the title). That's all I'll say, though. (Except that it can NOT go on my shelf at work. But it's totally okay for "grown-ups.")

7. Hubby finished the editing of his first novel on January 1. I haven't read it since he finished the initial writing, so I'm really happy to get started on that tonight. I know the story rocks (which is why he asked me to read it first - because I have this thing where I can't lie, and if it didn't rock, I would have told him the truth. I'm so glad it really is really good! I did not want to have to say it wasn't!) but I'm very excited to see it all polished up and such.

8. If anyone knows of a good literary agent or people interested in publishing really good stories by first time novelists, um, let me know.

9. I hooked up this old tv/vcr combo deal that I have in the basement. I've found that watching movies or tv shows makes the elliptical a little easier to take for long periods of time (In elliptical speak, a really long time is more than 15 minutes. Then it's just boring.). Because, even though I LOVE my music, it's not quite enough to make being stuck on a machine in the basement much fun. So this morning I watched an old episode of While You Were Out (Do you remember that show? Andrew Dan-Jumbo? Yeah. I loved that show.). Made the whole experience much easier to take.

10. I found out yesterday that I can read while on the elliptical. I can prop the book up on this little ledge thing and just go. I had to do my mid-week long run indoors last night, and, for the first time ever while "running" indoors, I totally lost track of time. (As opposed to watching the seconds tick slowly by, which is what I'd usually do.) It was pretty awesome.

11. I am quite grateful to have the elliptical because it's very cold and very snowy and very slick right now. Especially when it gets dark.

12. I cannot wait to run outside this weekend when it's light outside, which I will do regardless of how cold or snowy it is, because I've been stuck inside all week.

13. Other things are happening, too, but they deserve their own posts, so I'll talk about them later.

14. I didn't want to end on 13 (being relatively superstitious and all) so I'll just say that oatmeal might be the perfect food. It's warm and creamy and sweet-tasting. It's quick and easy to make. It travels well (make it in a mug and you can totally eat it in the car). It fills you up. There are, like, a bagillion different flavors to choose from (even though I tend to stick with the same few over and over again; maple... cinnamon... yum.). And it's good for you. I love oatmeal.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You Capture - Year in Review

Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights,

in sunsets,
in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches,
in miles,
in laughter,
in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love

See more at Beth's...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to reality

I set the alarm today. For 5:30. Tomorrow it will be 3:30.

Back to work.

Back to reality.

And today, reality is making me sad.

There is no more sparkling tree in my living room. No more jolly Santa faces. No more Josh Groban singing about angels and midnights clear. Although the snowmen will stay around until the end of February, it's not quite the same.

The fudge and cookies that tasted soooooo gooooood just a week ago don't even sound good anymore. Sugar overload has set in. (Although somehow, I'm still eating it.)

I've spent today trying to beat the clock. To get everything done around the house as fast as possible. To get the errands run as fast as possible. To run as fast as possible (ha ha in this weather). All in hopes that I can get dinner together as early as possible so I can get it cleaned up as fast as possible so I can get in bed as early as possible so I can get up for work tomorrow as early as possible.

It's been a work-week Sunday.

I'm already mourning the relaxed pace of the past two weeks. I haven't missed the alarm clock. I haven't missed working. I've relished the reading and the lounging; the running outside in the snow at whatever time I got around to it, covering the miles in however long it took me to do it.

Usually by now, I'm ready to go back to work. This year, I'm not so sure. It's probably a huge mix of factors. But I'm not ready to go back.

I think I just don't want to return to that rush.

I think I need to make a concentrated effort to reduce (or just plain stop) that rush.

I need to make every effort to stay home once I get home from work; to not have to (or choose to) leave the house again in the evening. I'd really rather put my efforts toward having time to unwind, relax, meditate (because I miss it so much), and not rushrushrushrush my way toward bed (then wonder why I don't feel rested in the morning).

I need to make every effort to strip down my food choices to the basics for awhile, and try to rid my system of the months worth of crap that currently bog it down.

I need to remember that my home is the same home that had the pretty tree. But now it's illuminated by brilliant white snow. Or equally brilliant sunshine.

I need to remember that I can, if I try, keep some of that Christmas break calm with me. It might be hard.

It will be hard.

But I think that now I'd rather work at calm. calm. calm. calm. than rushrushrushrush.

We shall see how it all goes.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Simply a new year

So, I quit making new year's resolutions some time ago. I've come to accept the fact that I'm not planning on losing any weight, that my thighs touch, my hips are roundish, and that I fully intend to continue eating chocolate (and, really, sugar in all it's beautiful forms).

But this year, I am making a new year's recommittment.


That's it.

This year I recommit myself to simplifying my life.

I have been working on simplifying for awhile now. Years, actually. Ever since I read Walden for the first time. (So I guess that would be about 18 years.) I was taken with the idea of living as simple a life as possible. I've read and reread Thoreau's words many times since then. My copy of Walden is dog-eared and my favorite passages and quotes are marked in highlighter. Each time I read again, I look for new ways to simplify my own life; to be a little more Thoreau-ish. Little by little, it's added up.

I've worked at purging. In a big way. (Especially in the last few years.) Getting rid of so. much. stuff. Why did I even have all of that stuff? Some of it I'd never even used. Some of it left my house with the tags still on.

I've worked at replacing. If I think I want to buy something, I must give up one thing I currently own in order to make a place for something new. I stood in stores for long periods of time, staring at the ceiling, going through my mental catalog of possessions, trying to figure out what could go. Lots of things haven't gotten purchased that way. I couldn't think of anything I'd be willing to part with to make room for something new.

I've worked at walking away. Especially from the internet. When my online browsing starts to turn in to online shopping, I walk away. I force myself to take 24 hours to think about it. I rarely go back to make the purchase.

I've worked at eating simply. Buying local, fresh, organic whenever possible. Buying food with the smallest ingredient list I can find. And the ingredient list on which I can recognize everything as real, actual food and not chemicals or such. Staying away from the words "partially hydrogenated" and "high fructose corn syrup."

It's made a difference. To me, at least. In more ways that I could have expected. It's rippled right through my life.

But I've kind of slacked off lately in some areas. I'm not necessarily where I'd like to be right now.

So I recommit myself to living simply. To rediscovering the joy of staying home, reading, baking, running, yoga, cooking dinner, watching some of those dvds in the closet, going for walks, meditating, taking pictures, writing, to watching the wheels go round and round. To rediscovering the joy of what I have.

And I know I'll still have bouts of materialism. I know there are things I will do or buy; there are some places I'll go. (I mean, there are U2 tickets in my possession right now. And I am not giving those up.) It's 2010, not 1845. I know this.

But I will do my best to make my home a cabin in the woods (so to speak). I will do my best to remember Thoreau and the path he chose; the path I'd like to follow. To remind myself each day that "a man is rich in proportion to what he can afford to let alone."

To simplify, simplify, simplify.