Alive, Exercising, and So Not on Main Street

Well, hello.  Remember me?  I’m the one who used to write here quite regularly.  I’m never quite sure how it gets to be Tuesday after it seems that Thursday was just yesterday, but that’s how it goes.

I think I’ve figured out that if I had a way to hang on to my thoughts while I was out walking, or putzing around during the day, I’d have no problem sitting here and downloading them.  But the time passes, and then whatever I thought was so pithy has evaporated.  You know, kind of like that bailout the House was trying to get passed?

I could spend all kinds of time writing about that, but everyone else seems to be handling that quite well.  I’m sure my opinions aren’t needed.

I did notice on my walk this morning, that everyone seems to be sharing theirs, however.  No matter whom I passed, I heard comments regarding “credit,” or “Wall St.” and the beyond annoying “Main St.” reference that is supposed to be us, I guess.  You know.  Average Joes?   This isn’t Kansas, and I don’t live on Main Street.  In fact, does anyone any longer?  I just want to yell, “Snapoutofit!” to all the talking heads.  Ugh.

What a train wreck.

Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to walk this week, I’ve been trying to think about wondering if I might possibly consider attempting to somewhat establish a new routine.  The old routine, walking with my VBF, has been an excellent one that has lasted fairly well for more than two years now.  But she’s quite the busy person, and her appointments have been getting earlier and earlier.  How sad is that?

 

Clouds at Dawn

Although neither one of us is too thrilled with the idea of getting up to exercise that early,  it gets it over with and I know I feel good about that.  Plus, I can have bed head hair and clothes that I wouldn’t be caught dead in at any other time of day, unless you count that I leave them on the rest of the day.  Let’s call it conserving water, shall we?

So today, after I dropped my carpool charges off at school, I continued down the street to park and try my routine near the beach.  Sounds motivational, doesn’t it?  The goal here would be to do this twice a week so I wouldn’t have to think about it.  I’m in the car already, so why not?
Early Morning Beach

It goes something like this:

I park at the beginning of my route, walk about 20 minutes in one direction, then turn around and go back.  Allowing for issues such as feet that ache, a shin that stings, and a butt muscle that is mysteriously aching, the entire effort takes 40 minutes — about the time it takes my friend and I to complete our route.

I can’t figure out what the aches were all about today, because I haven’t had those problems for quite some time.  Walking by myself has never been a thrill a minute, so who knows.  Maybe I wasn’t walking as fast as my friend and I walk.  Her dog usually drags her on the leash, and that keeps us hopping.  But, we do have some hills that have me gasping for breath and I didn’t have to deal with anything like that today.  Maybe I just feel like complaining.  Wonder of all wonders.
Waves at Wind-n-Sea

The nice part about this route is the beauty.  The sun still hadn’t made it over Mt. Soledad, so the beach was cast in shadows.  Here and there, as the sun rose, the light shot through the side streets, coloring the water as it pushed up onto the sand. Very nice.   It looked like there would be blue skies forever today — so different from yesterday’s unusual thunder and pathetic sprinkle of rain.

A thrill a minute, everyone.

Totally.

Now, I only have about five more days of the week to fill with exercise.  I can’t tell you how unexcited I am by this prospect.

It challenges watching dirt cover the ground.

Learning from Writers

I’ve been reading portions of William Zinsser’s Inventing the Truth, a collection of pieces by talented writers on The Art and Craft of Memoir. It lays open in a place that I’ll see it throughout the day so that I can noncommittally pick it up and think about what the writers have to say about their respective experiences writing memoir.

One of the pieces,”Points of Departure,” by  Jill Ker Conway discusses so many different things worth my consideration.  But what I can’t get past is the sheer magnitude of her life — and that I’ve never heard of her before.  How does that happen, and why, after learning of it all, do I not feel insignificant?

Most likely because I’ve never suffered from being or feeling insignificant.  Of course, everything is relative, so it’s easy to say that I’ve been significant to my family, or good friends, or a student here and there.  Perhaps even to birds I’ve trapped inside and released before they hurt themselves crashing against a window to get out.  Definitely the IRS since they can depend on us for tax dollars. But I’m not talking about any of that.  It’s so much larger than the tiny details that we essentially are.

I wander through my day and think, “What does it mean?”

I’ve learned that Anne Lamott’s KFKD will play, relentlessly telling me all things non-constructive — anything to keep me from actually writing something relevant.

Anything.

At least if I continue to read Conway, I’ll write, but I’ll want to write about what distracts me, such as her opinion about women being “lodged in family networks [being] very attractive to the political right because it provides a good reason for keeping [them] from establishing a strong independent identity of their own.”

That’s a few good days of writing all by itself.

Instead, I’ll think more about what she has to say about memories and their separation from the emotion they so readily evoke.

I’ll also think about her question, “Why did it happen that way?”

In the meantime, I’ll write, too.

It’s easier to take on.

Girls are certainly different now, aren't they?

Martha for a Few Hours, Almost

The visit from the “floor” man was interesting yesterday.  I found out he is a general contractor, and the floor sample and measurement plan quickly became secondary to the larger discussion around what to do about bathrooms, and closets, and fireplaces, and windows, and stair railings….

The list seems endless.

We’ve gone through a couple of remodels before, and the visit with this man was different from the start.  He wasn’t trying to sell me anything.  I didn’t feel like he was the one with the agenda.  He was thoughtful, and listened (which is quite challenging around me when I’ve been mulling over something for as long as I have this and finally get to talk about it with someone who gets it).

A quote — actually several — is due today by email and I’ve been told I can think about all of it, or parts.  Again, absolutely no pressure.  Refreshingly, he isn’t the one saying that, I’m just realizing it.

Giddy with possibilities, which as far as I’m concerned, is the secret to happiness…I went through the house and took photos of everything.  You know.  Just in case.

In case we like the quote and work begins.  It’s always fun to have before and after photos.

But I can also say that it was to document that the house was completely spotless and organized.

Well, except for the closet.

Clearly, I can only pretend to act like I’d maybe kind of wannabe Martha.

Time for a Remodel

I’m truly in a quandry.  As I look back over the past year, so much has changed that no one would notice but me.  I’m speaking of my blog world, and not the real world, which is so chaotic right now.  I’d like to say that I believe I can impact change on the latter, but for as much as I harp, I’m not close to being a blip on the radar of change. With respect to cyberspace, that’s different.

There’s been a shift of my interests there,  and when I think carefully about that shift, it seems that it’s been coerced by the group that loves to look at, think about, and cook great food.  It’s compelling, and I imagine at times that I have some small shop with a large window in front that people can walk by each day, gazing at what I’ve put out for them, to tempt them to stop and look a bit longer, or perhaps even walk inside and stay for a while.  The key word would be imagine.

I once imagined or even longed for a shop of my own one day, but I’ve decided that having an imaginary shop is much less expensive, and perhaps just as rewarding considering I do get to decide what to prepare, and enjoy it myself.

But as I’ve said before, it’s quite time consuming keeping that shop, and so this place is pushed aside.  And when I have time for neither, this is the space I want to fill.  Often the other is more of a compulsion, a responsibility, a job.

Writing here has never felt that way.

I’m not quite sure how that happened, but I find it all very interesting — interesting enough to wonder about something.  What if the two were combined?  Others have done it.  And as I read through the many food blogs I enjoy, I notice that because their writers only keep one blog, they are more inclined to write about other facets of life and living.  It’s nice. 

But I was thinking of something different.  Certainly it’s been done before, and a perfect example of someone who does it very well is Pioneer Woman.  I’ve always thought that having a single place that contains a space for everything that keeps my brain occupied would be perfect, but have always been limited by my knowledge of how all of this website business works.  Finding time to write, cook, photograph, and learn how to set up and manage an involved website would be quite daunting for me, but I think I could do it. The only aspect of it all that’s holding me back is being unsure about whether the two can actually coexist.

In the long run, I think it would help me be a bit more humane to my readers here.  It must seem at times as if I’m schizophrenic, ranting about politics, moaning over my pets, or snarking about whatever unfortunate person is being lambasted in the press.  Somehow, I think that if each of those personalities could fit into its own box, it would be so much more neat and orderly.

Labeled.  You know how I crave labels…

So think about that.  You know, give it a good three or four seconds of your valuable time and let me know what you think.

In the mean time, I have to get my real world shaped up.  I may not be building a lodge like Pioneer Woman, but this place certainly needs some attention.  I’ve long complained about the damage our pets have done to the carpet, and have finally decided to have someone come out to give an estimate on floors.  I want to get rid of all the carpet so I can enjoy my aging pets who will continue to leak, drip, and drop their various and assorted bodily unmentionables regardless of how much I dab and complain about it.  No more carpet would mean no more dust, fuss, or muss.

The challenging part of this is that our bathrooms need to be done as well.  Needing to be done can be defined as taking out all the early ’80’s fake burnished gold metal that seems to be covering everything, ripping out the shower since it’s feeble at best, and the tile since it’s really good at growing mold that I don’t want to know the scientific name for or what it’s doing to us.

So if we have the floors done first, then have the bathrooms done, the work on the bathrooms will mess up the floors.  If we wait to do the bathrooms first, then the carpet continues to be the disgusting eyesore it’s become. 

In a nut shell, I don’t want to have another blog about being any kind of a weekend warrior when it comes to remodeling or redecorating on a budget.  But it’s one of the things my brain spends time on, so it could have its very own space for you, kind reader, to skip if you’re not into the Martha side of life.

Just thinking, that’s all.

Good thing it’s free, right?

Okay, back to work.

It would be so nice if it was all free!

Monday: Fair to Middlin’

IMG_4045.JPG I must be mellow today.  I’ll credit the heavy fog blowing across my patio right now, and the drops of water left on my plants and spider webs high in the trees.  It doesn’t look or feel like late summer, but this happens when the desert to the east of us is hot, pulling moisture off the ocean.  I love it, and if I hadn’t already been out this morning before sunrise, I’d go out again, just to walk in it and enjoy the dampening effect fog has on the hustle bustle of the morning commute. IMG_4040.JPG

I find myself again thinking, as I often do, I should go down to the beach knowing that it’s most foggy there, but won’t.  I’ll stay here, mentally building a list of all the things I could do — things like read a book, or watch an old movie on television.

Or write.

No, I’ll busy myself with things I should do, like sorting through old magazines, filing personal papers, and making a feeble attempt to remove even more carpet damage caused by our cat.

I’ll also get up and turn off the noise on the television the MoH left on this morning, talking heads frantically discussing the demise or buyout of huge corporations.  The effect of that should be something new and interesting to concern ourselves with since there seems to be absolutely nothing else going on right now.  Well, unless one considers that eBay is now selling coffee mugs and tee shirts with Lehman Bros. & Merrill-Lynch logos on them, first come, first serve.  I think I’ll pass regardless of how “storied” these “venerable” Wall Street firms have been, and beg to differ about whether I consider it sad they no longer exist.

At least we can all cheer that oil is at least under $100 a barrel, now, though, right?  Feh.

Clearly, looking out the window on an unexpectedly foggy day is far more interesting.

Besides, it will burn off very soon, and I’ll be reminded yet again that we’ve got a ways to go here before getting out a sweater, or cozying up on the couch will be something to look forward to.
IMG_4082.JPG

In fact, it’s beginning to burn off already.
IMG_4066.JPG

Pigs, Lipstick, and Other Shiny Objects

This is not a light-hearted post, so if you’re just not in the mood to be real, that’s fine.  But right now,  I’m thinking that blogging about my patio flowers, or thoughts about floor covering choices for a remodel, or how much I’d like to mail my flea-ridden pets to Siberia are not worth spending time on.

My mind is heavy with the election, and decisions, policies and issues, and I have to pull the plug sometimes. I’m listening to 911 coverage in the background, remembering, and thinking how strange it is that seven years can go by so quickly, yet so slowly…

Continue reading “Pigs, Lipstick, and Other Shiny Objects”

Patriotic Coffee

Voting is a Responsibility
Voting is a Responsibility

Not too much else can be said.

Except this…

This…

Oh, and of course, this.

I’d say our house is in order.
Not bad for a Nearly Wordless Wednesday.