Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Friday, y'all!

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."

~ John Burroughs

Merry early Lughnassadh to you as well! These are the days of the first harvest, when the bounty starts to come in. Barbara Kingsolver paraphrased a joke by Garrison Keillor in her book Animal Vegetable Miracle, about how if you live in the country, these are the days when you don't leave your car unlocked when you go into church, because you're liable to come out and find zucchini on your front seat. Thinking of hitting the farmer's market tomorrow with $20...I'm starting to have zucchini and tomato dreams : )
I adore the harvest months!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

~ George Eliot

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And another thing...

When I go a week between blogs, there's bound to be more than just "Taking Stock" rolling around in my head. After reading this post from Unplugged Sunday, it occurred to me that I've been spending my evenings reading lately, because I'm deep into the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.....and feeling guilty about it.

Why? When did sitting around reading become not enough? When technology started to dictate that you alwaysalwaysalways have to be moving, clicking, texting, keyboard-tapping, doing SOMETHING other than pursuits that used to be perfectly "acceptable"?

People get into the elevator at my work and immediately they look down at their phones and start reading or scrolling. It's like it's no longer acceptable to stare straight ahead and let your mind wander. I find a similar situation at the gym, when I realize I'm one of the few individuals there working out with no book, Nook, or iPod earbuds for distraction. Even the machines have gotten in on the act, with TV sets on most cardio machines and gaming options on top of it. I admit I do play some mah-jong or solitaire to make the time go by faster, but I also people-watch sometimes. It really becomes evident how self-conscious people are at the gym by the looks you get if you happen to accidentally make eye contact with someone. Sad.

Toyota nailed it with their most recent ad campaign for their Venza vehicle: 20-somethings lamenting how out of touch their parents are, when in fact the parents have much more active and interesting things going on than the 20-somethings do. And I totally get the message, and then spend my evening on the computer when I just spent 8 hours on the damn thing at work. Why? What am I afraid of? What are we afraid of happening if we shut down a little and perform more old-fashioned pursuits? I dream of sewing, of finishing the dozen or so knitting projects that are squirreled away in corners in the bedroom, of plotting the rewrite of my book. That last one could require the computer, but it doesn't have to, initially...which brings to mind the question of why longhand writing is now fading completely from even some elementary curricula (referencing that Indiana school board decision to eliminate teaching cursive...that blows my mind!). Why must everything be performed faster now? Do we not see the rewards in slowing down, allowing things to evolve more naturally, more organically...?

Plenty of bloggers out there have nailed it and are living my what stops me? I'm learning the how-to from these wonderful ladies, but something is holding me back; and I can only blame it on the apartment, living in Florida, etc. a little while longer, because I'm finally in a position where I think we can make this move happen. So what happens when I start realizing my dreams and I'm still in the same rut? Not that that has to happen, but I think it's important to recognize the possibility so I can keep my dreams on an even keel, remember that NC isn't the only answer, starting a garden isn't the only answer, losing weight isn't the only answer...

Taking Stock

Where the hell's July going?

It's a busy summer. Long, boring work days and trips to SC conspire to suck time away from me. This last trip was a blast, sans friction, and we enjoyed a huge dose of summer fun on Sunday at the niece's 5th birthday party; but it takes DH and I a full 24 hours to decompress afterwards. We've definitely become used to our particular lifestyle.

Luckily, my back's feeling better. Strained it low, probably from one too many turns as a human jungle gym for the 5-year old. Been taking it easy, and it feels almost OK today, so I'll skip the Y one more day and hopefully find the energy to do some easy yoga after work.

Outside: overcast...high 80s/low 90s this week with rain. The mid-Atlantic coast is getting more heat than Florida right now. The world's upside down.

Inside: snore...realizing that the idea of staffing agency in NC may be appealing to me because I'm so bored out of my skull at work...

Wearing: probably same thing as last week, I should check...

Reading: Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I will own the complete Millennium trilogy. Excellent books.

Creating: an iPod case in black Wool Ease (pattern in my head) and pondering frogging the blasted Candleflame scarf, because I apparently have a mental block with that pattern that's insurmountable until I rewrite the damn thing myself.

Going: nowhere...planning trips to NC for August, saving gas because money's so tight.

Hoping: too large a topic...

Image from here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taking Stock

Last weekend was a wash, but I'm OK with it, especially once I realized that I'd spent the entire weekend thinking it was a weekend earlier. No clue how that happened, but I got to work on Monday and my brain was like, whaddaya mean it's the 18th?! Thought it was the 11th! Doesn't mean much, except that we're going to SC this coming weekend now (instead of way out on the 22nd...), so brain shift/planning needed to occur. Am I so in denial of how this move is creeping up on us that I actually rewound a week?

The economy has hiring at a bit of a standstill, I think. People are looking at our national financial sitch, placing ads for new help, and then thinking to themselves, wee-ell, not quite yet...I haven't paid enough attention to Congress's current budget work, because until compromise occurs, it's just two large groups of mostly white men arguing with each other and not thinking enough about their constituents. But it's the only explanation that makes sense, because I've even applied for jobs for web editor (hello! exactly what I do now!) and received zero response. I have 2 staffing agencies in mind when we go up in August, and 4 other names of agencies in the hopper; because the only way this is working is if I find work (and our credit passes the sniff test of whatever property management/landlord we are able to sweet-talk). This is also why I'm going to the bank soon, to see if I can get a bit of financial advice and a credit score. I know you can fetch it up yourself online, but I couldn't get the magical FICO number out of them last time, and since that's what the renters are looking at...

Outside: apparently steamy again, so I haven't been out since the drive to work.

Inside: frigid...took my hair down earlier to warm up my friggin' ears...

Wearing: beige capris, blouse, sandals...originally had darker colors planned, until I turned on the Weather Channel this morning...

Reading: Girl Who Played with Fire...just as in-depth and exciting as the first novel. Also thinking of unearthing the box of pagan books, because Starhawk and T. Thorn Coyle are whispering to my psyche again...

Creating: short row scarf and digging thru UFOs, row here, row there...hoping to start Leaf Lace Shawl, if I can acquire the needles before the weekend...feels so good to be knitting again!

Going: SC this weekend! Niece's 5th b'day, Dad's 3rd chemo. I'm glad for the trip; DH has been in a slump of late. I think he's depressed because he'd love to be there, doing more, but it's barely feasible, given how the house is normally run/number of people who live there. He's scared for his dad, naturally, and wishes we lived closer already.

Hoping: Dad continues to rally and the niece isn't too hyper this weekend. That I get a chance to walk while I'm there. That I spend lots of time outdoors. That the rally that's occuring food and exercise-wise within me continues.

Image from here.

Friday, July 15, 2011


That's about where I'm at today. Hormones have been smacking me about physically, and I need to make some to-do lists for the weekend; because the urge to spend it reading and knitting is kind of palpable right now...just checked Girl Who Played with Fire out of the library and I've been tucking back into knitting in the evenings. It's nice, has me turning off, slowing down a bit. Happy Friday, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taking Stock

I like this one. Again, idyllic as hell, but it's where I need my brain to be as I process the emotions of the week.

The relief I'm experiencing (over not being pregnant) tells me widescreen that now is not the time yet; but my legitimate concern over my age keeps me thinking that there is no wrong time anymore. Don't get me wrong, I SO want to have a child, but we're 3½ months away from (hopefullypleasegod) moving out of state, and I'm pretty sure that job and house hunting while knocked up would cause my brain to short-circuit. I mean, you'd literally be able to hear the "poof!" from wherever you are right now.....Yet as much as I think about delaying until after the move (and may still), there's always that fear that we've already waited too long. Just because I'm still cycling regularly doesn't mean I'm firing on all cylinders down there. Then again, if that's the case, I won't know it either way, so I need to shelve that fear and move forward. Wow...think I just worked that out as I was writing it...

Outside: steamy

Inside: mind-numbing...serious lack of work...

Wearing: fave shirt, black pants, black flats...hasn't been a sandals week for some reason.

Reading: Jane Eyre, of all things...want to start Girl Who Played with Fire, need to figure out if I'm going to grab it at the library or be greedy and buy it...

Creating: working short-row scarf, SnB baby blanket, plain vanilla sock, and just started Candleflame scarf ala KnitPicks in some ancient, but beautiful Shimmer...definitely some fresh knitting mojo going on here...thinking the book will have to wait, because I also want to purchase needles to start the Leaf Lace shawl in some ancient, but gorgeous's been ages since I've worked in laceweight, and the concentration it requires is calming right now...

Going: Home Depot for more boxes; otherwise, sticking to home. SC trip next weekend or the weekend after...NC trip planned top of August.

Hoping: eh, too many to list here...the biggies include getting something that resembles a nibble from the NC job market and that Lil Sis has a safe and stress-free trip back from Singapore on Sunday...

Image from here.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Worse...hormonally pensive. I'm curled in on myself and don't want to be bothered until my brain has sorted some stuff out first. I'm thinking hardhardhard on what's holding me back from my dreams, why it's taken so long for me to even get to this point, why I've let so much time go by...everything from why we don't have children to why I haven't published yet is on the table, and I'm trying hard to look myself square in the eye.

The reality of this latest missed attempt isn't as crushing as I thought it would be, but there is this keening going on in my soul. "Have we waited too long?" screams through my head, thick with silent tears...

What is it about we humans that makes us take life for granted, this one life that we have...I thought I'd gotten the message 4 years ago, when my earth was shaken to its core, but the complacency slowly oozed its way back in and here we are, not really any closer to accomplishing anything...

My sister is in Bali as I write this. She planned this trip to Singapore and Bali to visit a dear friend, not thinking at all, I think, about how very far outside her comfort zone the trip would be. Since Dad, she's built quite a few walls around herself; they are there to maintain the appearance of control in her life. Conversely, my walls kind of fell down when Dad passed, because it illustrated widescreen to me how life is what happens while we're making other plans. So I'm crazy proud of her for going, and wondering if it'll help her unclench a little. And I look at her and wonder how it is that my lack of fear doesn't help me move forward at all...

I want to pound out my hurt on the elliptical, was planning that very thing after work...but I think what I need instead is yoga at home, the fluid movement of poses and centering of mind.

Image from here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Yet another rally...and a post just to push down the previous one...

Don't know anything yet, but I need to get a grip. Got some packing accomplished yesterday, today will be errands and a bit of organizing. Focus on job hunt, let nature do its thing. Easy to say...

Random note: Nescafe is a surprisingly adequate alternative when you're out of contest to the real deal, of course, but I expected it to taste like freeze-dried ass, and it's actually not bad.

OK, stuff to do...

Image from here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A minor bout of small person hysteria...

Just need to verbally spew for a minute here, gang...feel free to ignore my possibly (hopefully!!!) hormonal ravings.

If there's one point in a woman's life when they're at their most irrational, it's the 2+ weeks between attempting to conceive a small human and peeing on the stick.

We haven't tried in almost a year. Time slips away, and Husby's libido/headache sitch hasn't changed. It is what it is. But Dad J being diagnosed with cancer jump-started something (woohoo!) and we started trying again. This is quite the sweet relief, not just for the indoor sports it requires, but also because my next birthday looms and I ache with the concern that we've waited too long.

So immediately following the act comes the internal conversations. I mean, literally inside the woman's head. They go something like this:

"Please gods, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease..."
"Man, I want this too much, there's no way..."
"Can't think that one would ever get pregnant if wanting to played a role..."
"Yea, but I shouldn't get my hopes up yet..."
"Yea, I know, already too late..."
"Man, I'm going to be so damned bummed when I get my period..."
"No, cut that out, that's defeatist thinking, doesn't do anyone any good..."
"Then again, if it's happening, it's already happening and my thinking isn't actually going to change anything, negative or positive..."

"Yea, but still..."
"Plus if you believe in positive thinking, the little critter needs plenty of it right now. It's going up against PCOS, a serious weight problem, sperm that swim in circles, and my damn age..."
"Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease...I want this so damn much..."

Repeat several times daily. Add the fact that I'm not experiencing actual PMS-y mood swings or water retention yet, and my brain sets off on another extreme...that my period's going to come late and taunt me into thinking I'm PG and then crush me.

My analytical brain can't shut the hell up. I do think I've gained weight in my boobs, but I've also been eating garbage lately with a side of garbage, so it could certainly be that too. Today I'm enjoying an all-over body fatigue that's giving me new hope....while also looking forward to the extra week I should wait before I even think about buying a test, because I'm often a little over a 30-day cycle. I've stopped going to the Y, because while I know I need to be in my best possible shape to pull this off, I'm also terrified of doing anything to keep the little sucker from sticking initially. Just give me a couple of more days...I'll do some yoga in the meantime, promise.

Any prayers, positive energy appreciated. Geez, I'm a case.

Taking Stock

Had the afternoon off yesterday, which is probably a sign of how much blogging occurs at work. ::gulp!:: Good thing my readership is so least, I think it is....

Outside: Overcast and humid.

Inside: a little annoying being here...may see if they're still looking for people to escape. Work is desperately low right now; makes me very glad they appreciate my tenure/skills. Yes, I do have them!

Wearing: best slacks on the planet (seriously...I need every color), purple/green striped blouse, sandals...emerald green toe polish. Oh yea, you know you're jealous.

Reading: Finishing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, looking forward to the next one...

Creating: Getting the itch once again. This weekend will be spent, among other things, starting a lacey-fun scarf, trolling the stash, and tucking into UFOs.

Going: nowhere hopefully...with paychecks back to normal, can barely afford gas. Keeps us home, which ain't bad right now. Bought small boxes last week, going to buy some mediums too and get packing!

Planning: because these things need to happen, not just me hoping that they will happen.....creating to-do lists and spreadsheets for the move, analyzing neighborhoods and staffing agencies, writing STUFF down!

Image from here.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Wasn't feeling it this year. Don't get me wrong; I can't imagine living anywhere else than America (well, except maybe Canada, but they'd have to do something about all that snow first...). We've got our freedoms, which are good, and I certainly appreciate the men and women who are serving our country, keeping those freedoms intact. I tend to have a problem with us forcing our way on other countries, but if it keeps the terrorism and violence of the world to a dull roar, then there must be some good in it.

I watched a bit of the July 4th shows on TV last night, found Josh Groban's time on Capitol Fourth to be ho-hum, but nice...missed the Boston Pops this year, because I just didn't have the attention span toward the end of the night. Besides, I grew up in New England, where it was on every year on the local channels and then some, and you can only see fireworks set to JP Sousa so many times before you want to strangle someone in 4/4 time...

But it gets you thinking about patriotism, this holiday. And there are plenty of ways to believe in it without showing it. I've also never liked our national anthem, think that is one poem that never should have been set to song, but that doesn't stop me from tearing up on Memorial and Veteran's Day, when it's played right. And my favorite black & white flick is Yankee Doodle Dandy, so maybe I'm just more Broadway than Constitutional Convention...whatever the hell that means.

But I think a large part of it this year is just location. Our porch is so tiny, there's no point sitting out on it. And that's what I wanted to be able to do last night, as my neighbors grilled and thoroughly ignored the fact that fireworks are illegal in Florida. When we get a house, I hope I can have an area for chairs out back (or front) where I can sit with my mason jar of sweet tea and watch the fireflies come up in the summer evenings. I know that's idyllic, but it's also doable. And we're so close to that, to renting a house hopefully, something with washer/dryer connections and a monthly payment that doesn't kill us, but does also allow us to live in a neighborhood where I don't have to wonder if the fireworks sounds on the 4th are just that, or the gunshots of folks taking advantage of a night where those noises blend together.

July means we have until the end of next month to let our complex know that we're moving. That realization occurred sometime this weekend. I'm researching neighborhoods and planning a trip up there, and thinking hard about starting with an agency for work. It makes the future a little shakier, but I just can't take "no" for an answer anymore where this move is concerned. It's something I've talked about for 10 years, on and off, the desire to get the hell out of Florida. I won't let fear stop us this time.

Image from here.