Slow Saturday

This morning it was 55 degrees when I got off work at 5 a.m. I went for a short walk around the track across the street. I’ve been doing that more often when I finish. It helps me sleep better, and I like walking at that time of the morning and being on the track takes away the worry about cars, dogs, and waking people up as I stroll past their houses. Plus there are wonderful views of the sky both east and west. The other day, at the height of the Perseids, it rained or was cloudy every night when the viewing was supposed to be the best, but I managed to see a couple of meteors on my morning walks, so it wasn’t a total loss. I don’t do much, half a mile, 2 laps around, but it feels good. And this is a transition time; I can feel the seasons changing, the air getting cooler, the breath of fall tinging the morning breezes. It’s a good time to be out.

After that, I came back and read for a little bit. E. was spending the night with a friend, although I didn’t receive his text message until right before I went to turn off my phone. Don’t know why, as my phone was on all night for work, but there it is. Sometimes they don’t go through right away. He’s been ranging pretty far this summer, which is fine with me. He comes home tired, we talk for a while, he sleeps most of the day and does it all over again. He would be a good night worker. School is probably going to be a struggle this year, mainly because of that, but I think he’s kind of excited about being a junior. He works very hard not to show any emotion, so I don’t really know, but I can usually tell one way or the other despite his stoic demeanor.

The journey to downsizing continues. There’s a big pile of stuff in my bedroom that needs to be taken to Goodwill or ARC. I have given a lot of stuff away, sent various art pieces off to new owner, gave a big footlocker that had followed me around for over 25 years away to a guy here who’s going to make it into a toy box for his daughter. That felt good and gave me more space in my bedroom! I’m donating a king-sized comforter (only twin beds for me in the future!), table cloths, place mats, napkins etc. Don’t need them, don’t use them, why keep them? Working on my closet shelves and a few weeks ago, was horrified…HORRIFIED…to realize that I owned 25 pairs of pants. HOW THE HELL DID I END UP WITH TWENTY-FIVE PAIRS OF PANTS???  Of course, some are worn only in the summer (capris) others only mostly in the winter, some were for camping/hiking, etc. I’ve gleaned through those and am down some, but still have more to go. Will be going through shirts/sweaters soon. I need to downsize my filing cabinet to one portable file box, but I’m pretty sure I can do that, and I need to downsize the stuff in my dresser enough to be able to let it go when I need to. I was worried that I needed to find places for everything, but then I realized that E can just take it when I go to outfit whatever place he ends up in. I believe he still thinks I’m not going to move, so he will be in for a rude awakening, but he can’t say he wasn’t warned and encouraged to be prepared. But, I can’t do it for him.

Books continue to flow to the used book store that is run by the library. I may buy a book here or there to continue a series I’m reading and can’t find one or two of them in the library, but then they will go right back to the store afterward. I still love books more than life, but I really have reached a point where owning them is not that important…save for a few treasures that will be around after I croak.

So, now it’s just a few hours before work. E is still wherever, I’m not motivated to cook anything for dinner, and I’m thinking about going back for a nap. I’ve been working on listening to my body–when it says, man, I’m really sleepy, but I have a list of things I want to get done, I’m starting to put the list on the table and go take a nap. On the days that I work, I’ve given myself permission to sleep as long or as often as I need to, eat when I’m hungry and not feel bad about letting everything else go. E hasn’t been motivated to get himself in the kitchen, but if he won’t even heat up leftovers, then he’ll just have to make do with a bag of chips. I really think that cooking for and having to feed other people on some kind of regular schedule is one of the biggest impediments to women breaking out of domestic bondage. We worry that people (family) will be hungry, that they won’t be nourished, etc. I am beginning to learn that if an able bodied person can’t figure out how to feed him/herself in a kitchen full of food, then they ought to go hungry. Chosen helplessness is SO unattractive.

For me, with this schedule, I am often not hungry at all during the day. Then I’ll eat something right around the time I go to work and then I’m really hungry about 2 a.m. Quite a change from the big breakfast eater I was, but I’m learning to roll with it.

So, now I’m going to lie on my heating pad in hopes of easing a stiff neck, and then off for another work shift. Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

 

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One Minute

Once, long ago:

Laughter, in the car.

Me: “How would you explain me to someone?”

Him: “Very simply. This is the woman I love.”

Years later, I realized I’ve spent the rest of my life looking for this.

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Leaving

Once upon a time, I put everything I owned in the trunk of my car and left behind a house that I had lived in for a long time, but wasn’t mine. I moved to a different city and lived in a mostly empty two-room apartment, that never really felt like mine, even after I bought a table to sit at and eat breakfast. I was scared to death at first, but eventually enjoyed myself and learned a few things.

Then, after a little while, things there got hard and sad and I retreated back to the other house that felt like home but still wasn’t mine. It was comfortable there, but I had become used to moving and so after a while, I found a job that moved me all over the place until I decided to “settle” in a number of ways, in another tiny apartment that did feel like home for a while, but then it didn’t and I left that and moved again, to a larger house that was nice but isolated and far away. Things got scary there, and one night, I left everything behind and moved out in a hurry, in order to save my life.

I went back to the house that still wasn’t mine and stayed there for a while, but all the things I had taken out of the last house stayed boxed up, as if they were waiting for the time that I would move again. When it came, I left most of that behind, put just a few things in a moving truck and this time went across the country to live in another house that wasn’t mine. I had hope that perhaps one day it would feel like mine, and it was comfortable for a while, but then, once again, things happened that caused it to feel strange and alien, and so, leaving everything but a few of the necessaries that I had schlepped from one state to another, I moved into a different small apartment, that for nearly a year, really did feel like home.

Then another opportunity arose to once again live in a house that wasn’t mine, but most definitely felt like home for a longer time than any of the others. But when things went wrong there, they went wrong in a hurry, and all of a sudden, the home was simply another place to leave and I found myself in another small apartment with almost the exact inventory of things that I had left home with nearly two decades ago.

Now, I am in this home-feeling place, but I know that in a fairly short while I will once again be leaving. I’ll once again move to a house that is not mine and leave behind anything that won’t fit in the trunk of my car. The circle will be unbroken.

We come from a long lineage of leavers. Our forebears left countries and societies that had become impossible for them to tolerate, whether for political, economic or religious reasons. They settled for a while along the Eastern shores of a new country, but then, even then, some of them weren’t satisfied and had to leave again, to forge out into the unknown parts of the vast country they found themselves in. They left behind men, women, children, possessions, security. They didn’t know what they would find, didn’t know if they would live long enough to get back, only knew that for some unknown reason, they couldn’t stay.

Today, we leave jobs, we leave homes, we leave relationships, we leave loved ones and not so loved ones, we leave children, we leave friends, and wonder what went wrong. What if nothing went wrong? What if, by a process of selection, like blond hair or big ears, we have simply evolved a leaving gene? What if all this leaving over the span of hundreds of years, has made us incapable of sustaining marriages, jobs, relationships, for more than a few years at a time. You could argue that it’s society that has changed, becoming more mobile, causing the need for job transfers, etc., and that the age of working for one company for 30 years and then retiring is over, and that is true. But how did that happen? When you drill down, what is the basic source? Perhaps our society has evolved this way to actually support the idea of leaving, that “getting out” is what you do, that staying anywhere long enough to put down real roots has become uncomfortable, like feeling trapped. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I can’t answer that question and all of the above are just rambling thoughts that have been going through my mind for a while. Why does one person manage to find a partner, a job, a life that satisfies them for thirty or forty years with relatively minor changes, and another person rambles through their life the way I have, completely uprooting themselves every so often in ways that their friends often can’t comprehend? I may never know, but at least now I’m comfortable with the idea of being a loner and a nomad, and I can pursue my path without disrupting anyone else’s life. For that, I am thankful.

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Discoveries

Time marches on and life goes with it. April was my first anniversary of being here in this little place. The past year has flown by and now we are deep into summer.

Discovery: I really like summer when there’s a pool right outside my door. I’m in there nearly every day, even when I work. I’ll probably go out for a dip right after I post this because it’s still early and it’s going to be fierce hot today (triple digits). I try to stay in about twenty to thirty minutes (without sunscreen) to get my vitamin D for the day. I haven’t burned and I have some tan lines!

I signed a new lease in June. I initially signed a 14-month one to get $100 off the deposit. This time the incentive was to sign a 15-month lease, get $200 off the next month’s rent and have my carpets cleaned. I knew I was going to stay here until E. graduates, so done. Next year, I’ll sign a regular 12 month lease and be ready for the next step in my overall plan by September 2018.

Discovery: I’m perfectly okay with leaving here and leaving E. without knowing what kind of a plan HE has for the next few years. That’s up to him. I’m giving him lots of fair warning.

Discovery: I love being single. Love. It. Oddly, a couple of guys here in the apartment complex have tried to start up conversations with me. I keep it on a completely superficial level. Couldn’t be less interested in anything more. I have no desire to have any kind of romantic relationship ever again. The relief of this realization is palpable. No more justifying my weird habits or my work schedule or my eating or anything else. No more “mushy” decisions, “If you want to.” or “I don’t care, you choose.” and then being wrong. Fuck that. I have a friend here and we try to get together for lunch on a fairly regular basis and EVERY time, I’ll say, where do you want to go, and he replies, “I don’t care.” There are times when I really HATE that. It sometimes makes me just not even want to go. Then other times he’ll text and say, “Half-price wings at Buffalo Wild Wings on Tuesday!” and I’m like YES, finally make a damn decision.

Discovery: I want very little. I’m on a 2-year mission to downsize. I am going to try to downsize five things every day. So far, I haven’t been very good at it, but that’s the goal. I recently ordered myself 2 new pairs of pants…linen…been looking for something like them for a while. But, when they arrive and if they fit, I will need to let go of at least 2 pairs of pants. I have been culling through my drawers on a regular basis…do I really wear this, do I really like this, does this really fit the way I like and will it ever fit that way? If not, gone! And that’s just clothing. I have more books to release. This morning, I woke up thinking about artwork. I have some genre-specific stuff in a foot locker that I will probably never hang. But they are great pieces for the right person. I started thinking of people who might like them and so far I think I’ve found homes for 2 of them. We’ll see how that develops.

Discovery: I like my little garden in pots. I’m getting lots of cherry tomatoes now, the basil is flowering and fragrant and I have discovered that squash plants do not like to grow vertically. The one plant I kept is growing in a bucket and it’s a beautiful plant but all the squash but one have shriveled and dried up before reaching more than a couple of inches long. I think it’s because the plant has to grow UP out of the bucket first. So, I planted another seed in a shallower planter and it’s coming along. We will see what happens. My cucumber plant succumbed to irregular watering and I think its pot was too small. We’ll try again next year in a different pot. Also next year: Peppers and eggplant.

Discovery: It’s all a grand experiment.

Discovery: If by some sick cosmic joke, Donald Trump gets elected president, I am seriously contemplating moving to Canada. There, I said it. That’s one experiment I don’t want to be in the middle of.

Posted in allowing, Appreciation, discoveries, downstream | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Latest WIP*

Made from things in the stash…

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*work-in-progress

 

 

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I. Have. Had. It.

To readers here, friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and elsewhere who continue to counter #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter, please listen. You don’t get it. You aren’t getting it. And you really, really, REALLY need to get it. Please muster all the intellectual capacity you possess and start working at getting it. If you can think that it’s okay for WHITE mass murderers (James Holmes–Aurora Theater killer and Robert Deer—Planned Parenthood killer) to be caught and jailed AT THE SCENES OF THEIR CRIMES without being killed, but say nothing when a BLACK man trying to COMPLY with police orders is shot point blank and killed while reaching for his wallet, then you need to examine yourself. You need to wonder why you’re not speaking up, at least to put a #BlackLivesMatter in a Facebook or Twitter post. You need to wonder if maybe you don’t agree that black people just shouldn’t exist. You need to dig down deep and really examine yourself. And you need to remember that old saw: “First they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Jewish…” and on and on. Well, I can’t do much, but I can speak up. I can say without a doubt that #BlackLivesMatter. I can say that there is a calculated, systemic war on people of color and minorities in this country and all over the world, and that I see it. I can call you out on your #AllLivesMatter and your fucking confederate flags and your praise of Donald Trump as someone who “speaks his mind.” This shit is wrong and it’s wrong on a bone-deep, soul-wrenching, atavistic level. You know it is. You know it’s wrong to bully a child. You know it’s wrong to encourage people to commit mob violence, and you know it wrong to kill someone just because their skin color is black or brown. And if you don’t say something about it, then what does that say about you? And if any of this offends you and you think I’m “overreacting” then I invite you, no, I INSIST that you unfriend, block and unfollow me as soon as possible, because you are obviously not a person I want to know. #PhilandoCastile #AltonSterling #OrlandoPulse #CharlestonChurchShooting #SandraBland #MichaelBrown #TrayvonMartin #AllTheOthersWhoShouldStillBeAlive

Posted in #BlackLivesMatter, Rant, truth | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Open Door Policy

My view from the kitchen earlier this evening…opendoor (600x800)

We’ve been having a lot of afternoon/evening rain/thunderstorms. We may have some later tonight, in which case the door will be closed.🙂

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Work In Progress

I want to talk more about this new obsession hobby of mine, but in the mean time just a photo:

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March Madness

Well, hello, there. I’m still here and I’m pretty sure you are, too. It’s been quite a month. Lots of things going on and most of them are good. Maybe I should do a list:

  • I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of being here in this place and things continue to be great. I have come to the absolute realization that I am just better off and much happier being a single person. I love my friends and enjoy being with them when we get together but then I can go home to my sweet little nest and shut out the rest of the world on my terms. I always knew this about myself but I let society’s overwhelming need to have everyone “coupled” drown out that little voice in the back of my head. No more.
  • E is nearly half way through high school! I think this may be sinking in for him as well. I went to his teacher conferences this month, rather dreading it to be honest, and was pleasantly surprised by all of his teachers. He asked me to join Upward Bound which is a program that helps kids with homework, programs that are college oriented, and even takes them on tours of the various state colleges in Colorado. Of course I said yes! I was thrilled that it was his idea; I didn’t even know about the program.
  • I paid off my car! Now I will have to figure out how to afford insurance for E, but that’s a post for another day. Right now, I’m basking in the glow of one less bill per month.
  • I am really enjoying my quilting projects and have taken a couple of more classes on various tools and techniques. It’s creative, relaxing (at times), and it creates lovely and useful things, so it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s not particularly cheap, but that fabric is so PRETTY…that said, if you are a person who knows me well enough to ever give me a gift, well…the name of the quilt store in Pueblo is Stitcher’s Garden.🙂
  • I’ve planted a few pots already, and hope to get more done in the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure my tomato seeds are going to go as I didn’t start them inside, but everything is an experiment and I’m only planting a few, so I can try again next year if I want. Otherwise, I’ll get a couple of plants at my favorite nursery and go from there.
  • I broke down and bought a microwave! I lived without one for a year and it wasn’t bad, but E still refuses to approach the stove to heat up leftovers, so hopefully, this will make it easier for him to feed himself when I don’t feel like it. Sometimes “simplicity” is not the mere absence of things, but the presence of the right things.

So that’s the big news from here. Otherwise, I’m still working my crazy shift, learning how to sleep better with breathing exercises and other non-drug related things. It seems to be working. On Saturday and Sunday, I am managing to sleep until almost noon some days. Trust me, that is a major accomplishment. I gave myself permission to do two things on weekend days–sleep and work. E is usually hanging out with friends or just here playing video games or watching movies, so it’s all good. I’ll make a casserole or a pot of something and we’ll just eat out of the fridge. Also, thank God for the Dollar Tree.

We just got done with spring break for this year and on that note, I’m leaving a pic of E, his friend A, and sometimes girlfriend, M. Time got away to make plans for a “real” trip, so I took the three of them to the top of Pike’s Peak on the cog railway. The other two kids had never been, so it was fun. Then we went to the arcade in Manitou Springs (I did window shopping) and overall had a really cool day. I hope your season is blooming out, as well!

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Posted in boys, spring break | 3 Comments

Speechless

Today, I was doing my usual day off things, working on another quilt project, trying to keep the house straight, doing laundry, deducing what to make for dinner, etc. Someone knocked firmly at the door. I had just got back from taking the boys from school to the rec center so they could play basketball, so I knew it wasn’t one of them. It was, in fact, the mailman, who I am calling the mailman instead of the letter carrier because I was raised in the age of mailmen. He had a package for me.

At first, I thought it was some fabric I ordered recently for yet another project, but it was not softly fabric shaped, it was rectangular and firm–obviously a book. I had recently ordered a couple of books, but they all arrived last week. I was a little intrigued. I signed for my package and brought it inside.

Then, I recognized the return address. It was from my friend the Autograph Hound. I had no idea what he could have sent me. I had only mentioned one person whose autograph I might be interested in, and I know this person has not written a book. So who?

I eagerly opened the padded envelope. And found this:

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I was truly and utterly speechless. I really do have the best friends in the world.

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