Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Driving and Smiling

Shovel. Photo by the Man, taken on his new iPhone using some sort of funky filter app that makes your pictures look like Polaroid shots.

I can be a pretty snarky driver in the morning. It's hard not to be when dropping off children at Our Fine School, with its signs posted every five feet that announce "This is a Cell Phone-Free Zone! Please hang up your phone so you don't run anyone over, you moron!" (or something to that effect), and all the moms in their SUVs chatting away on their cell phones.

That gets my goat, and I feel I must express the fact that my goat's been gotten. The boys think I'm hilarious, but I suspect I'm not setting a good example. I've written about this before, I think, and I still haven't mastered myself.

So today I tried something new. I plastered a smile on my face and kept it there. It felt really weird. I've read that if you want to cheer yourself up, just smile, and there seems to be some truth to this. I felt oddly cheerful and full of good will. I also felt somewhat medicated in a Stepford Wives sort of way.

Sadly, my happy smiley feeling did not stop me from wanting to plow down the guy in his tiny MG who whipped around me in the drop-off line to get a prime piece of curb territory. No smiles for Mr. Mid-Life Crisis, no sirree bob.


I'm fighting off a cold. I've been taking zinc lozenges that are supposed to lessen and shorten my cold symptoms, and they seem to be doing the trick. I expected to wake up this morning feeling horrible, but I actually felt fine, aside from the fact that I couldn't breathe with my mouth closed.

I think that's it for now. I am smiling as I write this. It makes me like you very much.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Report

Who am I? Do you recognize this bird? It's got some of the markings of a thrush, but that red spot is distracting. Help! Photo Credit: The Man

I have joined a gym. In fact, I'm just back from a session where I learned how to use the various weight machines. Given that my arms are little more than limp noodles dangling from my shoulders right now, it's quite remarkable that I'm able to write this entry.

I've joined a gym because I'd like to lose twenty pounds, and though I walk Travis five mornings a week for forty-five minutes, it's not much of a workout. We meander. We ramble. We pause often to mark fire hydrants and mail boxes with our personal scents. Well, at least one of us does.

So off to the gym it is! I have to tell you, there's a secret part of me that dreams of being Super Workout Woman with lots of muscles and incredible endurance. Believe me, that would be total makeover. Of course, when I envision myself as Super Workout Woman, I'm always about 5' 10", lithe and lean. In real life, I'm 5'4" and highwaisted and sort of chesty. I could lose thirty pounds and none of that would change.

Anyway, even if I don't turn into Super Workout Woman, I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn into one of those babes who wears workout clothes wherever she goes, because, honey, they are comfortable as all get out.

The best thing about my gym? It's not really a gym. It's the fitness center in the new Jewish Community Center, which is just a hop and a skip from my house. When I go to work out, it's me and a lot of other middle aged folks with creaky knees. No pounding music. No young bucks. It's the most peaceful gym I've ever been to.

I'll keep you updated on my progress, and will definitely let you know if I get any taller. In the meantime, I hope you have a lovely weekend and that I'll regain the full use of my arms before it's time to fix lunch.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Do You Slow This Thing Down?

I was looking for a picture to give this post some color. Here's an old one of Jack taken on my MacBook. I'm looking forward to the day when he's in a smiling mood again ...

I love the autumn months, but they always seem to speed by so fast. I've got one thing, and then the next and the next, and they're all wonderful things. They're lunches and walks and coffee with friends. They're working on quilts and books and sketchbooks. They're online classes on design and creativity and in-person classes on food and theology. It's all good, and it's all a bit too much.


So do you have your Christmas shopping done yet?


I'm giving a speech at a conference on Sunday, so the last few days I've been walking around the living room, talking to the dog. The dog naps through it. Is this a bad sign?


Can you tell I'm feeling silly? I just wanted to post a post and say hello. To say life is good, but I wish I could slow it down a little bit.


The online class I'm taking is called The Artist's Toolbox. It's through Quilt University and taught by the reknowned art quilter Lyric Kinnaird. It's a process sort of class, and it's good for me to be creative for creativity's sake.

A friend and I were talking recently about journey people v. goal people. My friend is a journey person. She's interested in what happens as she walks down the road and isn't so concerned where the road is leading. I'm a goal person. I like to know where I'm going and what's going to happen when I get there. There are benefits and drawbacks to both ways. And sometimes you can be a journey person and set goals, and sometimes we goal-oriented folks do stuff just for the heck of it. But it's hard for us.

It was hard for me today to sit in a cafe and draw textured wallpaper, but that was my assignment (to draw something textured) and so I did it. Just to do it. No goal, no grade, no finished product other than a piece of paper with a lot of hashmarks signifying texture.

I don't know how I feel about that.


Here's what I feel good about: The fall garden! The Man has planted spinach, lettuce, and collards. He's ordered bok choy and garlic. We long for broccoli, but have had icky experiences with green broccoli worms that you're lucky to catch sight of right before you put the broccoli in your mouth. So no broccoli for us.


I guess that's it. Just stoppin' in to say hey, as we say down here. Hey. Now you are free to go back and look at colorful Jack. He is a lovely boy, isn't he? He got an A on last week's history test. Yesterday he laughed at one of my jokes. I guess we'll keep him after all.


ETA: Pom Pom was surprised to hear that I'm a goal person. It is surprising! It might be easier to think about it like this: I'm a project person, and I tend to finish my projects (even my knitting projects, except for the ones I give up on because there's no use going on). Really, I'm the sort of girl who needs a carrot dangling in front of me. It's the only way I get things done. Also, setting goals gets me energized. I love the process of doing things, and I'm not at all about doing things perfectly, so I'm not Type A. But I do like having a goal to work toward. It's because I spent the first twenty-seven years of my life being absolutely worthless. Now I'm self-correcting!