Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Capture - Hand or Chair or Green

I had this picture all ready to go.

Then I walked past the dining nook and saw this.


See more at Beth's.

Monday, June 28, 2010

in the moment

My mom is wonderful. We have a great time together.

This is about my dad.


Dad is a big fan of music. Growing up, I used to sit in the living room while Dad played records. Big, shining vinyl LP records. And what a collection he had. Cream, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, Blind Faith, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Seger..... He would play them, and I would listen. He would tell me about the songs and the artists and why he liked them, and I would listen.

Eventually I would play the records even when he wasn't there. I figured out what I liked and why I liked it. And I would tell Dad. And he would listen.

Turns out we had pretty similar tastes. (With a few notable exceptions.....)

We still "trade music" to this day. He'll tell me about new bands he's listening to, and I'll do the same. (Only now we burn CDs for each other.)


Music is part of the blood that runs through my veins. Kind of like Dad.

But while he is - in quotes - phasing concerts out of his life, I'm trying to get to as many as I can.

And when I heard that Eric Clapton was bringing his Crossroads Guitar Festival to our neck of the woods, I knew that, as much as I wanted to go, I wanted to take Dad even more.

I didn't think he'd say yes, but I asked anyway. "Dad, would you like to go to the Crossroads Festival?" I sent him the link to the website. He read through the line-up - Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Keb Mo', Steve Winwood, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, BB King, Robert Randolph, Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, and on and on. He got back to me and said yes, he thought he'd like to go.

I smiled all day.


My grandma (Dad's mom) and I were close when I was a little girl. And forever the song Lay Down Sally by Eric Clapton will be associated with her.

And I said to Hubby, a few days before Crossroads, that I was sure we would hear Lay Down Sally that day. I felt certain that, with Dad and I there together, Grandma would make her presence known, too.

That thought stayed in the back of my head.


The Crossroads Guitar Festival started at 12 noon and went all day, ending somewhere around 11 at night.

It was hot. Very hot.

Every now and again, we had to get up and move around. Go stretch our legs. Spend $5 on a bottle of water. No one can sit in the blazing sun for 12 hours straight, after all.

In general, Dad would head off with UB (who came along as well) while Hubby and I guarded our seats, then we'd switch.

We kept shuffling around all day.

At one point, Hubby and I were up and about, and we heard Vince Gill being introduced. That was one section of the show I was really looking forward to, so we headed back to our seats as quickly as possible in a crowd of multi-thousands.

When we got back to our seats and plopped down, I found myself sitting by Dad for the first (and, it would turn out, only) time that day.

And we all watched the set. Keb Mo' came out on stage. Albert Lee joined in. Sheryl Crow showed up, too. Feet tapped, hands clapped, there was a bit of singing along.

And as it was winding down, Vince Gill said they wanted to do one for the host of the day, one of Clapton's songs.

Lay Down Sally.


Sometimes a moment comes along, and you don't realize it was "a moment" until later. But sometimes, if you're really lucky, you know it's "a moment" in the moment.

Sitting in the middle of a soccer stadium, under streaming afternoon sunshine, watching music legends, with my Dad, while my Grandma (his Mom) said hello.....

I was definitely in a moment.

And I knew it.


Happy Father's Day, Dad. I hope you liked your gift.

(Definitely better than a gift card for the local coffee shop.)


tell it to me tuesdays

i heart

I'm over here today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

don't panic

I have little panic problem. I guess the technical term is disorder. With anxiety. And I guess it's not actually little.

I get really nervous.

I worry.

About everything. And nothing. Every day.

I get nervous about the things I do and say. That I'll do them wrong, mess them up, upset people, disappoint people, look like an idiot, and on and on.

I worry more than I'm nervous. The worry is worse. I worry about things that might have been. But weren't. I worry about things that haven't happened. That might not ever happen. I worry about things that are happening. Sometimes I worry without being able to figure out what I'm worried about.

Yesterday I was almost convinced I had a very bad disease (and I can't even make myself say the name because it makes me too nervous, like if I name it it will make it true) (horrible disease and world catastrophe are at the top of my list of things that make me nervous and worry). There was an article in a magazine that Hubby brought home. And I seem to have multiple symptoms listed in this article. And seemed to develop more as the day went on. And they might have gotten worse today. (And I know this sounds silly. But it. scares. me.)

And today.... I'm trying to make myself call the chiropractor's office to set up an appointment (which makes me nervous all by itself because this is the new chiropractor - because the old one disappeared - and I will have to talk to strangers on the other end of the line). And at the new chiropractor's office I will be a new patient. And they'll probably want x-rays. And what if the x-rays show things I don't want them to show? Because I don't want to know. I just want to drop dead one day. Preferably before the world blows up. Because I know I can not handle that. (And I know that it sounds silly. But it. scares. me.)

This thought process happens lightning fast in my head. It's like dominoes falling.

This is my life. Basically every day. And this is just one example in one day. And this is the "handling it" version. The version that left me going about my day pretty much like a normal person and not sobbing in the bathroom unable to breathe.

Because it used to be so much worse. I've left carts full of unpurchased merchandise in the middle of store aisles because I had to get. out. now. I've sobbed uncontrollably over the smallest thing because I just couldn't deal with it. I've driven places and driven back home because I couldn't make myself go in. I've just not been able to leave the house at all.

There was a period where I couldn't listen to the radio in case something bad happened out there in the world. But at the same time, I wanted the television on all the time, in case something bad happened out in the world. Except that I couldn't handle any kind of channel that might have news or interrupt this program for a special report. So I left my television on The Disney Channel. All the time. Because that seemed safe. (Because of this, I can call any episode of Boy Meets World within seconds.)

Eventually I had to get help. There was no other option. I couldn't function like a normal person anymore. I spent five years seeing a (wonderful) counselor once a week. For six years I took medication. All in hopes I could learn to cope.

And I did learn to cope. I learned how to handle it. To spot triggers, see the signs, and not let things get out of hand. (At least not too often.)

Most days are just fine. Normal.

But the panic, the nervous, the worry? It's still there.

Most people these days might not even notice.

They don't see the day (or two or three) it takes me to return a simple phone call. (Oh, the phone is still so hard for me!)

Don't see me driving around the block convincing myself it's okay to go in (where ever it is I need to go in to).

Don't see me cry because I'm scared for no real reason (although it's rare, it still happens sometimes).

Don't feel the knots of tension in my shoulders that never go away.

But it's still there.

Despite the daily yoga. And the twice daily meditation.

It's still there.

Even when I look totally fine (because I am fine). Even when I'm in the mix with the rest of the world. Having fun. Laughing. Smiling.

It's there.

Every day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

to dye for

I needed to color my hair. Again.

There was waaaaaaay too much gray for my liking.

I'd been dabbling in the red family for the past several months and decided that this month I would try and find something that was closer to my natural color.

Of all the hair dye choices in Target, which one most closely resembled my original shade of brown?

I might have squealed a little bit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Capture - Down Low

I've always been a bit of a fringe dweller. One who hangs back. Rarely part of the action. Just kind of watching the action.

I suppose shyness is part of the reason. Insecurity maybe another part. And maybe a simple appreciation for solitude.

Sometimes I'd like to jump in to the action myself. But usually, I'm perfectly content watching the wheels go round and round. (I really love to watch them roll.)


See more at Beth's.

rain, rain, rain, rain (9:30 am)

I'm supposed to be running trails. And going for bike rides. And taking walks. And sitting on beaches reading books.

Instead I'm holed up inside. Again.

I might be just the slightest bit over this.

Mother Nature, can summer come out to play?

Monday, June 21, 2010

not even kidding

So, Hubby and I saw Harry Connick Jr. in concert. (My umpteenth time.)

And after the show we met him. (My first time.)

And he is that cute in real life.

And I talked to him about chocolate. (Specifically what the best option is at my favorite chocolate place, as he had had an "accident" with the malt balls earlier, so I advised him of the double dipped chocolate covered peanuts, for future reference.)

And I'm not even kidding.

I met Harry Connick. And we talked about chocolate.

(This is now one of my favorite stories.)

pack it in

I am a backpack kind of girl, no doubt about it.

They hold everything you need. And a lot of things you probably don't need.

They keep your hands free to do other important things, like grocery shop or ride your bike.

They keep weight distributed evenly, you you're not leaning to one side.

They stay put, where as other bags just fall right off your sloping shoulders. (Okay, maybe that's just me...)

They are utilitarian.

They are simple and all-purpose.

The contents of my backpack are as follows:
  • wallet

  • change purse

  • little case that holds all the "cards" (library, Barnes and Noble, staff pass, various beverage punch cards, etc)

  • glasses (in the glasses case)

  • keys - personal and work

  • cell phone

  • umbrella

  • two hair clips

  • one scrunchie

  • compact (I tend to be a little "shiny")

  • lip balm (Crazy Rumors hazelnut latte)

  • notebook (in case I need to write something down)

  • small camera (in case there is a Kodak Moment)

  • daily planner (so I know where I'm supposed to be and when I'm supposed to be there)

  • two cds - David Bowie's A Reality Tour and Jakob Dylan's Women and Country

  • book I'm currently reading - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (never know when you'll have some time to read, although lately not much because that book is short, and I'm not done with it yet.)

  • travel size bottle of Yin Chao (in case I start to develop a cold or some other illness)

  • stupidly large bottle of digestive enzyme pills (to quote the owner of my favorite chocolate shop, who introduced me to them, "I'm all jacked up inside.")

  • a hat (because you never know when you'll need a hat)

  • a plastic spoon (I don't know why)

  • a packet of sugar (don't know about this one either)

  • a chocolate bar (blueberry lavender)

  • a sucker (pomegranate pucker)

  • a bottle of water (I'm thirsty all. the. time.)

PS - I just cleaned out my bag last week. So this is the clean version. Just life's necessities.


Friday, June 18, 2010

lost in the suburbs (stuck in the mall)

So, Hubby had to go to The Suburbs to trade up his work computer. He asked if I'd like to go with. He'd be about two hours (or less), then we could eat at the place where the food is soooooo bad for us, but tastes sooooooo good, and we only eat there, like, once a year so it probably is okay (aka The Cheesecake Factory). He could just drop me off at the Really Huge Mall and I could hang out there while he does his work stuff.

Yes. Yes, I'd like to do that. Because, um, Cheesecake Factory.

Here is what I learned:

* When you arrive at a mall at 10:45 am, there really isn't anyone there. Which is kinda nice since you're used to the Really Huge Mall being filled to capacity with people.

* Even at the Really Huge Mall, you will have walked through the whole place, and browsed through any stores you may want to browse through, and decided that anything you might want to buy should happen later so that you don't have to keep track of extra bags of stuff for two hours, all in 30 minutes or less.

* Two hours at any mall is a really long time.

* The Starbucks at the Really Huge Mall will totally let you sit and read an entire book, cover to cover, even if all you buy is a grande hot green tea. (This would be the Starbucks that you walk into and has tables, like a normal Starbucks. Not the kiosk Starbucks across the concourse that you can stare at through the window of the normal Starbucks.) (And I read The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. And loved it.)

* H&M is a good place to get cheap things. I found two sundresses for $10 each.

* Eventually you will send a slightly desperate text message to Hubby informing him that you've read your entire book and it's been two hours and is he done yet???

* If chocolate bars label themselves as "new moon" and "eclipse" I will buy them.

* When eating at The Cheesecake Factory, focus on how goooooood it tastes. Do not think about the price you will pay (internally) later.

* I should have bought that white hoodie at Gap.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Capture - Water

They say you can see your future inside a glass of water,

the riddles and the rhymes.

Will I see Heaven in mine?

"Glass of Water" by Coldplay


See more at Beth's.

pearly whites

When I was small, I had this horrible fear of the dentist.

I would get so nervous when it was "that time" of year. I would actually feel sick to my stomach. Sometimes even shake with nerves. I mean, they would put sharp objects in my mouth and poke around, and there was always the very real possibility that they'd find some reason to drill in my teeth. And that just sounded awful. My dad worked in construction. I knew what drills did, and I did not want that to happen in my teeth. And they might put that thing over my nose and make me breathe in that stuff that smelled funny and made you feel really, really odd. And then there was the idea that they might have to actually stick a needle in my mouth and give me a shot in my mouth and then I wouldn't be able to feel my mouth. And I was always sure that my teeth must be rotting out of my head and they would have to do all of those things to me all at once. And Oh. My. Gosh.

As soon as we'd walk into the office, and that antiseptic/novocaine smell hit me, I would begin to cling for dear life to my mom. She would do her best to calm me. She would read me "Stand Back Said the Elephant, I'm Going to Sneeze". (That helped a little.) She would tell me that while I was getting my teeth cleaned, I needed to look very carefully at the big mural of the woods on the wall of the office, because there was a squirrel hiding somewhere in there. (I liked squirrels.) She would explain that when it was over, if I was brave, I could pick a prize out of the Treasure Chest that the dentist had. (I liked prizes.)

And then the dental hygienist would come out and call my name, and I had to stand up and be brave and go get my teeth cleaned. Even though I really wanted to run in the other direction as fast and as far as I could and neverever come back.

And sometimes they'd find a reason to drill and give me shots, but most of the time they didn't. And I got to pick out prizes. And I memorized "Stand Back Said the Elephant, I'm Going to Sneeze." And I never, ever saw one single squirrel in that big mural. And I'd survive to see another day. With a new toothbrush, no less.

So, today, I have to go to the dentist. And I feel sick to my stomach. And I think my teeth are rotting out of my head. And I'm worried they'll find a reason to use that hideous drill they have. And my mom's not coming with me. And I'll have to make due with back issues of People Magazine. And I won't get to pick anything out of a treasure chest. And there isn't even a mural of the woods for me to stare at to try and find a squirrel (although I think maybe there never was a squirrel.... maybe they were just telling me that.....).

But I will (most likely) survive.

With a new toothbrush, no less.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 minutes - just write

it's so frustrating to know what it is that you need to do, but to feel completely unable to do it. like not eating so much sugar. i've been obsessing lately (again) about the size of my thighs, the width of my hips, the amount my tummy sticks out. i was reading a book about such things and trying to figure out where all of my unbeliveable (unbearable?) obsessing about this began. because i don't think it was always this way. but i think that i spent a lot of time with my grandma when i was young, and she was very accepting, and she liked food and baking and reading, and that's what i did with her, learned to love reading and baking and food. and then she died. and i looked around at the rest of my family. and they are a wonderful family. really really. i love them all dearly. but my mom, i don't ever remember her being happy or comfortable with her self or the way her body looked, even though she's a great mom and would take me on picnics and made me ribbon barrettes and recorded purple rain and edited out the naughty parts so i could watch it. but i don't remember her liking how she looked. and when i started to notice that my body was kind of becoming shaped like hers, what does that say about me? and then there are a whole gaggle of other people in my family who are not very accepting of differences or different body shapes or the concept of eating in general and are not afraid to let you know that they think you are too big or eat too much or dress frumpy. like my senior year prom night - i didn't go to prom but i went to see all my friends in the grand march. and when i got home to the family birthday party that was going on, i took a piece of cheesecake, fully intending to enjoy it. and a namelss relative said to me "well maybe if you didn't eat so much cheesecake you could go to the prom too." what am i supposed to do with that? and that's just one example. how am i supposed to come out of that with a half way decent body image at all? or even necessarily like myself much. and all the while i was learning to love reading and baking and food, other people were doing things that were apparently more acceptable, like playing baseball and stuff. so there was that, too, that i didn't seem to have much going on in that way. i mean, eventually i found that i loved to run, but that didn't come until later. actually probably too late, because i think maybe ideas about me - mine and others - were already formed and i was just going to be the chubby girl for all eternity. 10 minutes is up now.


tell it to me tuesday

PS- Jade, I might not like you too much right now for making me post this. I'll get over it, though.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

list? time.

1. My chiropractor disappeared. This was a few months ago. I got a call about an hour before my appointment saying that he hadn't shown up for his two o'clock appointment and it didn't look like he was going to show up for mine. Last anyone heard, he was working in Some City about 90 minutes from here. Okay then. I need a new chiropractor.

2. I invented baked potato pizza for dinner the other night. It was way yum.

3. I was running through a park, and there was a bicycle parked along the side of a wooded road. As I was running by, this older fellow, in full bicycle rider attire, comes tumbling up the hill out of the woods, holds his arms open and says "It's my birthday! Do I get a hug?" Um.... No. But watch me run much faster than I am right now.

4. I had forgotten that mini-morsels make cookies sooooo much better.

5. The label on my new running shorts says "Cool iron when necessary." Is it ever necessary to iron your running shorts? I barely even fold them before I shove them in the drawer. Are there people who iron their running clothes? And if so, why? The label also says "Do not dry clean." This was not a thought that ever, ever, ever entered my mind. Not even once.

6. I took a picture of this peanut butter brownie while it was sitting in my lap. We were in the car, and I was about to inhale it, and I wanted to remember how unbelievably amazingly good it was. Because it didn't last long. I hope that cafe has them again very soon.

7. I'm getting a pedicure tomorrow. I feel so sorry for the lady who will do the pedicure. My feet are disgusting. I'll take her some cookies.

8. I had extra cookies last week, so I did this with them.

9. I am determined to try at least one new recipe a week for all of this summer. I get into ruts where I make the same four or five things over and over and over again. So I have vowed to step out of the rut. So far, so good. Wish me luck.

10. I went into Target to buy one item that cost $1.99. And $32.00 later, I left Target. Without the one item I needed.

11. All that was left in my multi-pack of oatmeal was "plain." So I tossed in a handful of dark chocolate double dipped chocolate covered peanuts. Then it wasn't so plain anymore.

12.I bought silver sandals. Because, honest to goodness, there have been four outfits in the past week that I tried on and said, "This would work much better with silver sandals." So I bought some. For $6.30.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You Capture - Fun

Sunburst 2010
It's Totally Worth It to Get Up at 3:00 Saturday Morning to Drive Longer Than You Will Run Just So You Can Run Through the Tunnel and Out to the 50 Yard Line at Notre Dame Stadium


See more at Beth's.

a short essay

Why I Will Never Mow the Lawn
by Chocolate Girl

Frogs, snakes, and toads.

The End.

Monday, June 7, 2010

garden party

So, the ending of the school year has given me some time to (finally) get my yard together. You know, so that we don't look quite so white trashy anymore. (Or at least less white trashy.)

I took my wind chimes out of the shed and hung them in their rightful place outside the bathroom window. It's very relaxing to soak in a tub and hear them chiming in the breeze. Except for the times when it reminds you of a scene from a horror movie and you start to think that maybe a lunatic with a chainsaw is out there next to the wind chimes. Then it 's not so relaxing anymore.

Hubby insisted that we had to have a concrete lawn brontosaurus. So we do. I call him Biscuit. I have no idea why.

I managed to get these into my planters this weekend. Gerbera daisies are my favorite favorite flowers. I had them as my bouquet at my wedding. (Okay, I really wanted lotus blossoms, but those were $24 per bud, so I went with the daisies.)

One day I'll have a big Buddha for my yard (after all, Hubby got his dinosaur). But for now, this one watches over the bird feeder.

I have this odd love of garden gnomes. (I don't know. I just like them.) I have just this one. He plays the saxophone. He's a saxy gnome.

These are African daisies. They're new this year. They're by the gnome. (You know, the saxy gnome.) I think he'll help them grow.

We planted this tree for our first anniversary. It's growing. I think that's good.

These rose bushes came with this house. I do nothing to them, but they keep growing. Myabe that's the key with me and plants.

That's my part of the yard. The "make it pretty" part. Now if I could just get the grass mowed we'd be set. But that's so not my job. That's a whole other post.


Friday, June 4, 2010

and... exhale

In a strange way, this is the most difficult part of the school year. The moments just following its ending.

They are moments of decompression.

This is the time when you have to let go.

Let go of all that you didn't do. All that you couldn't do. Everyone you didn't reach. Everyone you couldn't reach. All of the second guessing, the "did I do enough" -ing. All of the days where, if you had just done one little thing differently, it might have changed everything.

To let go of all of the frustration and the stress that seems to have taken up permanent residence inside you.

And it's so hard.

Because you wanted to do everything. You wanted to reach everyone. You wanted to do more than enough. And you wanted to do it all right.

But that is, of course, impossible.

So you just have to know that you did the best you could. To know that it was more than enough for some, and would never have been enough for others. To know that it was all worth it.

And that next year, you get another chance to do it all again.

But for now...


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You Capture - best shots

I baked this weekend. Shocking, I know.

See more at Beth's.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

just a little worrisome

I worry that I'm going to skip over "middle age" and go straight to "old." I know that I am no longer able to pass myself off as a young adult. And I don't consider myself to be middle age just yet. I think I'm firmly in the "adult" part of my life (not that I know when that happened) . But I'm a little worried that I'm going straight to old.

These are just some recent worrisome moments:

  • I realized that I eat dinner as early as possible. If I can eat at 4:00, that rocks!
  • I bought prunes. In bulk.
  • Hubby and I went to one of our favorite cafes for dinner on Thursday. But we got there a little later than usual. And instead of the quiet little cafe we are used to, it was this hotbed of Emo youth, this army of disaffected college/high school kids in skinny jeans and faux vintage tee-shirts, with big, black discs in their earlobes. The place was literally swarming with them. And they were setting up some kind of sound system, as if some of them were going to play music. And Hubby and I looked at each other, both realizing that we were now the oldest people in the place, and we were both completely annoyed with all of them. One of us might have even said "kids today."
  • I save the twist ties from bags of bread. And I have no idea why.

Seriously. I'm worried. I don't want to miss the middle ages of my life. (I'm confident they'll be like the Middle Ages I studied in school, and I'll get a castle and a horse and big, fancy dresses. That happens, right?). I need to find a way to halt this freaky time skippage (preferably without having to wear skinny jeans and ear discs) so as to enjoy both my adulthood and middle age (before I enjoy my old age).

Maybe summer will help....
tell it to me tuesdays