Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Capture - play

Hide and Seek - Zoo Edition.

These guys were good hiders, but they just couldn't keep their tails down. So it was kind of a give-away.

Disqualified for use of camouflage technique. Changing color to blend in to your surroundings is so not the same as hiding.

Okay, so it's hard to hide if you're an elephant. Your options are pretty limited. So we cut him some slack for awhile and pretended we couldn't find him.

These guys actually thought we couldn't see them. But we could.

And if you are constantly checking to see if anyone is coming, you will totally be found. Just stay hidden!


See more at Beth's.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

it made my brain hurt

I tried to think of metaphors. I tried to think of similes, which are technically easier. But I couldn't. It gave me a headache. In November I'll be teaching poetry, and if you ask for metaphors then, I will rock that. But right now? I just don't feel so creative today. It felt too much like work. So instead I asked Hubby, the writer, to write something using metaphors that I could post. This is what he gave me.....

She is

An ocean dispersing my particles
Then recreating them
In an atmosphere of floating clouds

A higher place
A plateau not all can reach
Like the wind that answers my call

A telegraph of hope
A reflection of true meaning
Like a beautiful message of truth

A sunset after a storm
An age of new philosophy
A journey with no end

I asked him if he wanted me to say anything about it. But he said he likes to leave things open to interpretation. So, yeah. Interpret away. Idealized love? His cat? Sting? Something to do with Lost? Whatever. It's waaaaaay better than anything I could have come up with. So thank you, Hubby, for the help today.

tell it to me tuesdays

Monday, July 26, 2010

all by my self

So, this weekend, upon returning from the vacation, interrupted we were at a family gathering, and various family members were asking about the trip, and I was talking about my day wandering about by myself. And my mom said something to the effect of she should have come along for that day, too.

My reply?

Then I wouldn't have been able to spend the day alone. Because that one day was the one day of the trip that I was most looking forward to.

I am a solitary person. Some might say introverted. Some might even say anti-social. But really, I'm solitary.

I have no problem being on my own, doing things by myself. Sometimes (okay, often) I'd kind of prefer it.

I love my family, my friends, Hubby. I treasure the time I spend with them. There is absolutely a time and place to be with the people who fill your life.

But there is a time and a place for solitude, too. For being and doing on your own.

I think that's probably true for everyone. But for me, the time for solitude is greater, longer, more necessary than the time for being with others.

It doesn't always work out that way. It almost never works out that way. But it would be my preference, in a perfect world.

So that one day of vacation that was just me, my camera, a book, and a whole, big, wide open day? That was like a little bit of Heaven on Earth.

It offered me a chance to reconnect to myself. To stop and remember who I am, way down inside, in the place holds the most important pieces of me. To remember what I was like before the pressing demands of so on and so forth became a constant presence in life. To think that maybe there's a way to bring part of that girl back to the surface.

It offered me a chance to spend very little time speaking and a whole lot of time listening. So I did. I listened to the water. To the wind. To the birds. To my breath. I might have even heard some answers.

And when that day was over, I was happy to see Hubby again. To give him a hug and hear about his day. It was time for us to be together again. Time for the "real world" to begin again. And I do like my real world. A lot.

But I'm so thankful, so grateful, for that one, brief day in which my only companion was solitude.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

vacation, interrupted (a list) (with some pictures)

1. Apparently, stereotypes exist for a reason. I think I might have more to say about that later, though.

2. Sting wears very tight pants. And does quite a bit of pelvic thrusting. And I'm not sure I mean that as a compliment. But, wow, were the shows great. Like, really great.

Thank you, Sting, for such a wonderful rendition of Desert Rose. And I'm not sure if I was supposed to, but I cried during Why Should I Cry for You. That one line, "I loved you in my fashion," really got to me. And the line "would North be true?" Yeah. I really love that song.

And I promise to wear the Sting shirt that Hubby bought for me. (He's already worn his twice. In less than a week. I've mentioned the man crush.)

3. Thank you so much to my Jeep for waiting until we were all the way home from Act One of the vacation before you bled to near death.

Not kidding. In the approximately 18 hours that we were home between Acts One and Two of the vacation, my Jeep suffered some type of horrid internal injury causing all of the fluids in her body to leak out. Causing her to have to be towed to the garage, and causing the garage to have to do about $750 dollars worth of work to get her up and running again. Causing Hubby and I to cancel Act Three of the vacation.

4. Thank you, Dad, for taking care of all the Jeep related issues while we were on Act Two of the vacation, which couldn't be canceled because it was Hubby's corporate meetings/bonding thing. I know banana ice cream isn't enough of a payment for all you did, but hopefully, it's a decent start.

5. Thank you, Veterinarian, for telling Hubby and me that the cat was dehydrated and not dying, which we kind of thought might be the case (The dying, not the dehydration.), and for helping to get him started on the road to rehydration. That made it much easier for us to leave town 14 hours later. And made it much easier for Little Sister to watch over our house, knowing that the cat wasn't going to die on her while we were gone.

6. Thank you, Hotel That Hubby's Work Paid For, for having this soap. Because by the time I opened it, I really needed to smile.

7. While Hubby was corporate bonding, I spent 8 hours wandering around, just me and my camera and my book. It was stupidly hot outside. But it was also kind of like Heaven. I have more to say about that later, though.

8. I wanted to steal these chairs. I didn't, though. Mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get over/around the gate.

9. I wanted to take him home. I didn't though. Mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get over/around the gate.

10. I saw a lot of mushrooms. And I came to realize that, while I hate the taste and texture of mushrooms, I think they're kind of lovely. I took a lot of picture of mushrooms.

11. I made my first visit to a butterfly garden. It was quite incredible.

12. I made up a lot of stories about this place. I found it beautiful and creepy, all at the same time.

13. This is where I want to be able to sit and do meditation every single day.

14. Did no one actually look at this before putting several of them on a big ol' monument in the middle of a city? I didn't really want to look. I was reminded of Sting and tight pants and pelvic thrusting.

15. When Hubby called to cancel the hotel for the defunct Act Three, he also rescheduled the hotel for a little later this year. I am happy for that. And I think it will be a much lovelier hiking trip in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors.

16. It was nice to come home to a resuscitated Jeep and a rejuvenated cat. (And with that denim overall jumper that I've been looking at since April that was originally $70 but I got it on clearance for $8.)

17. It's nice to be home.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You Capture - Black and White

Some shots from Act One of the vacation:

The flower Hubby brought in after mowing the lawn before we left.

Sting. Who wears very tight pants.

Walking around after eating at one of the best restuarants ever.

Sting again. Because we were at both shows. Because of Hubby's man crush.

And thank you to Little Sisiter for posting this for me, because we're on Act Two of the vacation right now.

More to come...


See more at Beth's.

Friday, July 16, 2010

maybe it's more

I live next door to a wood. I love that wood.

There's something a little magical about it. Maybe it's the way the sunlight makes the leaves glow a golden green. Maybe it's the way the rain makes the leaves seem lush and otherworldly. Maybe it's the way the pink light of sunset illuminates bare branches in winter.

Maybe it's all of that.

Maybe it's more.

Maybe it's the symphony of bird song that plays form early spring until late fall. Maybe it's the raccoons who lumber over to eat the bread we leave in the yard. Maybe it's the woodchuck who waits at the top of the hill to get first dibs on the grass clippings Hubby pours over the side. Maybe it's the snake who seeks coolness by our house on especially sultry days. Maybe it's the deer who come over to graze in the winter. Maybe it's the squirrels who squirrel about all year long.

Maybe it's all of that.

Maybe it's more.

Maybe it's the way the people who live across the street respect the tenants with whom they share this tiny corner of the globe. Maybe it's that these wonderful creatures respect the humans with whom they share this space.

But that wood, it's special.

It's magical.

It's also the wood that the town wants to cut down so they can build a strip mall and a subdivision.

I guess they think trying to attract people with an AquaNails and some cookie cutter houses is important.

I don't agree.

The wood is already the home and livelihood of more creatures the I can count or will ever see.

The wood is the natural heritage of the town's human inhabitants.

It is life giving. It is life sustaining.

The wood is a place full of life. It's a place of beauty. It's a place of magic.

It's all of that.

It's so much more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

a vacation - one week, three acts

Act One: Sting Fest
This weekend we'll be seeing Sting, with a full orchestra, not once but twice. Hubby loves Sting. Really loves him. Hubby has a big 'ol man crush on Sting. (Which I totally get because, hello, U2.) So we're seeing Sting twice. And why drive there and back twice? It's kinda far. I'm pretty sure God invented hotels so we don't have to do that. So we have a hotel booked. A nice one with room service and made to order/all you can eat breakfast. And a botanical garden nearby. And we get to eat at one of the best restaurants in the world, not once but twice. And, of course, see Sting. Twice. Hubby is SO excited.

Act Two: Hubby does the corporate thing and I have a vacation.
After Sting Fest, we head to Hubby's corporate headquarters. He has meetings to attend. He has a presentation to give. He has to do corporate male bonding stuff. And me? I get to stay in a free hotel. Where I will spend a significant amount of time all alone, probably eating free room service and reading. For free. And I get to go running there when it's not a race, and go walk the canal, and go to the zoo, and hang out at the circle (doing whatever it is that people do there, which I think for me means sit and eat ice cream), and go to the mall, and do whatever strikes my fancy. I am SO excited.

Act Three: Hike Time
After Hubby works and I have fun, we head a little further south to do some hiking. Just for a few days. But to a place we've never been. And I hear there are waterfalls and beautiful, challenging trails. (Although the tunnel/cave is closed to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which is apparently spreading among bats. This does not sound fun. At all. White Nose Syndrome spreading among humans is not mentioned, but, um, yeah. So I am fine with not going in the tunnel/cave. For multiple reasons.) We are SO excited.

(Then we come home. And by then, we will be SO excited.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You Capture - Vehicles

He was raised to know of a religion. But not of faith, of belief, in a higher power.

He knew, for years he knew, that something was missing in his life. Something big. That there was more. But he didn't know how to find it, how to get there.

He just had to find the right vehicle for him.

Then, one day, he did.

And all he had to do was take a step.

(After the flood, all the colors came out. - Bono)


See more at Beth's.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

at least it wasn't a snake

I spent 90 minutes today standing on a stool, holding up a sheet to block the back entry way into the kitchen, so that anything that needed to come up from the basement could only go out the back door (which was propped wide open), and not into the rest of the house.

While I was doing that, Grandpa was in the basement, stalking a bird; the goal being to get the bird out of the house. And thank God for Grandpa. He heard my high-pitched, panic-stricken voice on the other end of his telephone this afternoon and was at my back door in five minutes. Literally. I don't think he realized he'd spend the rest of the afternoon on a bird hunt in my basement, but he did it anyway.

And while our basement is not that big, it doesn't seem to take much for one tiny little bird to completely disappear down there. And that bird would disappear. And be silent for multiple minutes at a time. And Grandpa would yell up from the basement and swear the bird was gone. And I would yell down from the kitchen and swear that nothing flew out the door. And he would swear it had to have. And I would swear it didn't. And then the bird would take flight again. In the basement. And we'd start the whole process over.

Eventually Grandpa gave the call up " why don't you bring the cat down here..." The cat that Grandpa had me lock in the bedroom so that 1) he didn't run out the back door and 2) he did not eat the bird. So I got the cat. And the cat was very effective at pointing out to Grandpa where the bird was hiding.

But God bless Grandpa even more, he would not let the bird be hurt. He was determined to get it out of the house without harming it. And he did. With far more patience, and far less freaking out, than I ever could have managed. Because after 90 minutes, he was just as cool, calm and collected as when he arrived. And I was standing on a stool cursing in front of Grandpa.

(And while I did not go in to the basement between the time I realized there was a bird down there and the time Grandpa left for fear of being attacked by said bird, maybe I should have. Because after the fact, when I did go down basement, I realized that a good number of my bras were laying out on the drying rack for everyone, like my Grandpa, to see.)

And did I mention that was the second bird to get in the basement today? That was the second bird to get in to the baement today.

Because Hubby and the cat got one bird out of the basement before the dawn broke this morning. But I don't know the details of that little adventure.

Hubby is currently installing a bird stop on the top of the chimney. And I took peanut butter malt balls and chocolate covered peanuts to Grandpa. And please birds, stay out of my house now.

on the other side of the dessert table

"She's back up there again? Does she remember that she already had some dessert? And it's not like she takes a small portion. She practically filled her plate on her last trip up there. Yep. She appears to be filling it up again. At least it's a dessert size plate, and not an actual dinner plate. And she's smiling about it? Why? Why doesn't she just apply that stuff directly to her butt since that's where it's headed anyway. Does she even think about how many calories are in that? How much fat? I don't care how much she says she runs or whatever. How can she do this to herself again? Eating like that. That's awful. If I saw my daughter eating so much, I'd definitely say something to her about it so she didn't get fat. Does she not remember that, just a few short years ago, she was actually skinny? For real skinny, not just the appearance of thinness by choosing the right clothes to cover the flaws. I mean, at one point you could see her ribs and her hip bones. Her thighs didn't rub together. And now? Ha! Those thighs must produce some kind of friction when she walks. Does she not see it? Doesn't she realize she's gained weight back? Maybe she doesn't own a scale. Or a mirror. I'll have to remember that for her birthday this year."

tell it to me tuesday

(PS - When I saw Jade's prompt for this week, to write about you from another's perspective, this was the first thing I thought of, so I went with it. But I have to say that in trying to put myself in that place and writing from that person's perspective, I am SO glad I'm not actually like that. As we all know, I have my moments of self-dislike and "fat thinking." And sometimes those moments last for days. But usually I'm the one simply enjoying my food. Not just the desserts, but all of it. Fruit and vegetabgles and tea and toast and everything else. I like to cook it and bake it and eat it and share it with others who feel the same. Because it's good. And why would I deny myself that kind of joy. And I had more of that dessert the next day, too. It was that good.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

the pipe dream

Last night a I had a dream.

I was at work. There were a whole bunch of people there I didn't know, but I knew them in the dream.

They were rowdy. They were loud. Things were falling off the walls.

I had so much to do but I couldn't do any of it.

I was angry. I was yelling. I was having trouble breathing.

I woke up aggrivated. (With a headache.)

I have this thought in the back of my head.

I would like to have my own little cafe.

A place where people could come and get a warm beverage. A freshly baked cookie. A yummy veggie-friendly sandwich. Maybe some soup. (I love soup.)

A place where people could sit and sip and read and eat and talk and relax and breathe.

A place that is calm and warm and cozy and quiet and comfortable.

I love places like that.

(I spend a lot of time in places like that.)

I have not one clue about owning a cafe or running a cafe.

I don't really have money to buy a chai, let alone buy a place that would sell a chai.

(Maybe what I'd really like is for someone else to own a cafe and hire me to care for it.)

But I do know that it would fill me to get up in the morning and bake for people, cook for people, brew for people.

That would be nice, I think.

But that's a dream for another day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Capture - America


See more at Beth's.

Increase your Chi? Find some Zen? Um... not today, thanks.

My One Running Friend and I had this fabulous plan to run trails every Wednesday this summer.

We've done this together exactly one time.

But me? I'm on it. Every Wednesday I grab my ipod and head for the hills. Literally. Big ones, made of sand. And I run. No, it might not be pretty, but I do it. It's good for me. Or something.

And this morning, I decided to try and really embrace the whole "Zen and the Art of Running" and "Chi Running" books that I've been reading and trying to incorporate into my training. They make it sound so easy to increase my life force, center myself, and become one with all. So I left my ipod (possibly the most important part of running) at home and headed out for the trail head. I thought it would be sooooo perfect out there on the trails - listening to the waves crashing on the shore, the birds singing in the trees, focusing on my breathing, centering myself. The secrets of the universe would be revealed to me in my little Zen running bliss. I was so excited. So ready.


I heard no waves. Because there was no breeze. Not even the slightest hint. I heard no birds. Apparently, elevently million degrees plus one million percent humidity is enough to keep them quiet. I did hear me panting, and my occasional horse-like exhalation of breath. And the bugs swarming around my sweat-soaked self (and you know they're big when you actually feel the impact when they hit your shoulder). And I heard the creatures that were trying to scamper or slither out of my way. (That was actually the most Zen part of the whole thing - me repeating "it's a bunny, it's a bunny, it's a bunny" every time something unidentified made the undergrowth rustle.)

I saw exactly one other human out there, doing the same thing as me, and we grunted at each other as we passed. And I noticed the raging swarm of gnats around his head and realized, dear Heavens, I must have one of those, too. And they are in my hair. Gross.

Never once did I do anything that the Zen/Chi books suggested. I was too busy hurdling roots and unidentified undergrowth wildlife, and wiping sweat and bugs from my eyes, and cursing my stupidity for even being out there in the first place, to count each left footfall or hold the perfect arm position to achieve enlightenment.

By the time I made it back to the parking lot, I was dripping sweat. And covered in sand. And I might have been cursing a little bit.

And I promised myself that next Wednesday, I would totally bring my ipod.

Because, yeah, I'll totally be back next Wednesday.

Because it increases my life force.

And makes me feel centered.

Stride on.

Monday, July 5, 2010

let it snow. except that it's summer.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow shuffled in yesterday. And I stopped what I was doing to sit down and listen.

By the time it was over, I was itching to get out the Christmas tree and build a snow man.

Except that it's July and elevently million degrees outside so I can't really do that right now.

But I want to.

I am such a Winter Girl. And I am waiting for the first snowfall of the year. Already.

Summer is nice. I really do like it. I get to spend lots of time doing fun things like riding my bike and hiking. And being outside (without 15 minutes of getting layered to go outside). And I can spend all kinds of time reading. And watching the flowers grow.

But Winter? Snow? Just the thought sends a little thrill through me.

I wait all year for the first snowfall. I stop what I'm doing to watch. Each and every year. I swear it's magical, that moment when a raindrop transcends the plainness of itself and becomes a snowflake. Every raindrop is exactly alike, but when those drops of rain turn to flakes of snow? No two are the same. Magic.

I am content, happy even, to wait patiently. To linger through the heat and freedom of summer. To wander though the color and crispness of fall.

But, always in the back of my mind, I am waiting for the day I can put on a sweater and boots and go play in the snow.



tell it to me tuesdays

Friday, July 2, 2010


I love the day the Rose of Sharon bloom.