labor day

  • If anyone had randomly stopped by last night (which they didn’t – everyone knows better) they would have found a strange party celebrating the long US holiday weekend. There was a small redheaded girl running around the backyard in shortie pajamas and a tiara, covered in ice cream. There was a woman of indeterminate age (ahem) (also covered in ice cream) glumly prodding at a disappointing campfire and swatting mosquitoes. There was a crazy striped cat hanging off the screen door yowling. There was Valley of the Dolls on Netflix after small redheaded girl repaired to her bedroom to nurse her mosquito bites. Patty Duke, holy cow.
  • How is Wheel of Fortune still on television? Who exactly is still watching this show?
  • We have a mild and rainy summer and my completely unnecessary air conditioner works perfectly well. We have a heat wave over a long weekend and my air conditioner wheezes to a halt. 86 degrees and no A/C, I wouldn’t have made a good pioneer.
  • I haven’t exercised in days and yet every muscle in my body hurts because hey, yardwork. Somehow I just don’t think I’m going to get the same weight loss and toning benefit to pulling weeds as if I were investing the effort in running and planks, but a girl’s gotta do and all that.
  • Tomorrow is the first day of school for aforementioned little redhead girl and there are sacks of school supplies waiting to be packed in a Frozen backpack. There is a new dress to be worn and a new lunchbox to be filled and a mommy whose hand will need to be held on the morning walk to first grade.
  • The leaves are already starting to turn.

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carnival of sorts

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I was going to do a long post ruminating on failure, and how it feels to stand up in front of a group of people you like and respect and be too nervous to speak properly, and forget what you were going to say, and basically look like a stammering sweating idiot…but you know, I’ve relived it so many times in my head that I’m just totally over it. It happened. I fucked up a good opportunity and feel embarrassed about it, but there’s just nothing I can do except move on and stop cringing every time I think about it.

I love this quote from a new blog that I’ve been reading:

“We’re often scared to fail because of what people will think. Lovely people don’t care if we fail. And as for everyone else, stuff them. Have a go anyway. Fail gloriously and then go to the pub, happy that you at least gave it a shot.” – Lazy Girl Running

Or, as Miss L said, “Not everyone can be good at everything, Mommy.”

So yeah, it’s been a week. It’s been one of those weeks where the bad things that have been ripening start dropping off their trees in big swollen clusters of three, and burst their pestilence. I’ve dreamt of owls and 610 and bathtubs and snowstorms, and it’s been a week of death in the family, back thrown out, power failures, missed deadlines, misunderstandings, and poor nutrition. It started with the terrible hour in the boardroom on Monday and ended with poor Sarge digesting half of a knitting project and being horribly ill on green alpaca wool. (He’s feeling better now, I think, and back to chewing fur off toy mousies.  He will never learn.)

I’m a little superstitious and assign strange portent to unusual things. We spent last weekend with my brother and sister-in-law and nephew, and, besides hosting a beautiful party for Miss L’s birthday, they took us to a local fair. It has been twenty years at least since I was at a fair, and we had a riot. I know I will remember it for a long time. You know the kind, the traveling caravans who set up their midways in a parking lot or a field somewhere. The transformation always strikes me, the complexity of lights and colors and sounds that they can create, the maze of booths and rides, the total sensory immersion. It’s a kind of magic, a strange box that opens up and turns into something much bigger and more complex, creepy and beautiful and revolting. Everyone becomes a caricature of themselves and the midway is haunted with spirits of people who don’t exist anywhere else; they drift out of the boxes of staring stuffed animals and dyed goldfish and take twisted shape, gain their flesh for as long as the Ferris Wheel turns. Then when the lights are snuffed out, and carne vale, farewell to their flesh, and, weeping, insubstantial, they are packed back up into their boxes, into their caravan, and they leave behind only a scarred and trash-strewn circle of dead grass and scarred pavement to show they were ever there.

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I think when you buy a ticket, you maybe lose a bit of yourself in that strange carnival for a little while, and that magic has clung to me this week, turning my days into a funhouse mirror, dissipating slowly.

transitions

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It was a beautiful Supermoon last weekend and it seemed like people took more notice of it than other Supermoons. Facebook was full of its golden visage and on Monday morning, I said hello to a conservative coworker in his office; he had the day’s business newspaper folded on his desk and there the Supermoon was again, beaming at me from the front page.

Unfortunately, metro Detroit was hit by a crazy rainstorm on Monday which resulted in massive flooding throughout several counties. I was blissfully ignorant of anything except feeling annoyed at backed-up traffic and wet feet. I got to the back side of my neighborhood and saw a Buick stranded in a rush of muddy water overflowing the drainage ditch. This seemed somewhat unusual and when I got home, I turned on the TV to see ‘TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN” as the local news slogan. The pictures of the stranded drivers and rushing brown floodwaters on the highways were astonishing; I was gobsmacked to see the junction of I-75 and 696 under 14 feet of water.

My basement stayed fortunately dry, and I thanked my stars that I didn’t have to cope with backed-up sewage and a house full of brown water like many of my Michigan neighbors did.

After the big storm, the week turned cool and Octoberish. Even the sky over the Matthei Botanical Gardens looks Octoberish, a shade of blue, the light slanting in that particular way. On Instagram my friend noted that the birds seem to be gathering and I noticed it too, throngs of them on the feeders, the hummingbirds darting in flashes of needle beak and emerald green. I’ve heard that this winter is going to be just as vicious as last winter.

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The summer is waning and several big shifts feel complete and closed out, leaving me with new avenues to wander down and explore.  It has been a long and slow evolution to get to this point of independence. I’m excited for what comes next, happy to re-establish old friendships and relationships that went into dormancy while I dealt with the more overwhelming emotional issues at hand. And happy to start new relationships and friendships, although this has always been a challenge for me, tough to overcome shyness and anxiety. My little brave daughter is so much better at meeting new people and making new friends and going bravely into the world than I am, I need to learn from her optimism and self-confidence and her ability to be open to new things.

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I finally had to admit that the Mizuno Wave Rider 17’s that I got to replace my old beloved 15’s were just not the shoe for me. Constant leg pain and shin splint issues. I tried to find a replacement pair of 15’s but they must be discontinued. So it was back to Running Fit for a consult.  I was sold on the Brooks Ghost 7. These will be my first pair of Brooks; I started running in Nikes, switched to Mizunos, and can hopefully settle here with Brooks and find a model that won’t be changed and tweaked and replaced and discontinued every year. I tried them out on a 2.5 mile interval treadmill run yesterday at lunchtime and feel cautiously optimistic.

This weekend we begin a couple of weeks of Miss L’s birthday extravaganza – GB & I will take her out to dinner tonight at an appropriately loud and chaotic kid-friendly restaurant and do her mommy / daddy presents and cake afterwards.  Next weekend my extended family will celebrate at my brother’s house, with a little Frozen-themed party. My sister-in-law loves entertaining, hosting, and parties, and is making her a very special Elsa-themed birthday cake which promises to be pretty awesome. Pictures, I am quite sure, to follow.

xoxo friends. :)

homesteadin’

I know at some point the thrill of home ownership will wear off, but right now it’s still a mix of apprehension and terror and excitement and pride. My favorite days are those when I can wake up (even with a summer cold like yesterday) and tumble out into the yard and just putter around. There are always weeds to pull or tomatoes to examine or plants to water or birdfeeders to fill. I also am lucky to have an ex-husband who is still one of my closest friends and doesn’t mind coming over to remind me where the weed whacker is hung or supervise a Major Undertaking.

IMG_20140809_131145I’d intended to use the ‘chainsaw on a stick’ (!!) to remove several large dead branches from one of our pines, so GB came over to make sure I didn’t cut an appendage off. My male friends at work had also expressed a lot of skepticism about my ability to do this on my own without maiming myself. Needless to say, I was determined.

Unfortunately, the awesomeness that is ‘chainsaw on a stick’ ran out of fuel midway through the cut of the first and biggest branch. I couldn’t leave it half-cut as it hangs over the back door and I had a terrible image of it giving way and falling on Miss L as she dashed out someday. GB said dubiously, “There’s always the hand saw” so out it came, along with the stepladder. I think at this point he was deeply regretting being involved in this venture and since he’s recovering from a minor injury, he couldn’t just do it himself.

I climbed up on the ladder and worked away on it and laughed at how weak my arms are while he shouted encouragement and then it was done! It came down nicely and I went on to do three other smaller ones on the same tree. I was covered in wood chips and had a glow of pride.

“I feel like a homesteader,” I told him, which made him laugh as I live in the city, but hey, homesteading can even take place in a backyard, I think.

I have a big pile of pine branches in the back that I am excited to cut up and stack for the winter wood stove. I might wait to refuel the ‘chainsaw on a stick’ for that, though.

Reminder: Full supermoon in Aquarius tonight. Mystic Mamma astrologer Kelley Rosano has a wonderful and inspiring commentary on this event and a great message. “Love you more than the need for approval; love you more than the need for others to support you.” I love that message of self-care and internal balance and acceptance, it fits in nicely with my August goals.

xoxo friends!

IMG_20140806_163307Summer colds are the worst. Miss L has been slogging through a particularly bad one that settled in her chest. The doc says it’s a common virus going around lately and let it run it’s course…yep. There were several sleepless nights due to nonstop coughing and the doc gave me the same advice I’ve been getting since Miss L was an infant – prop her up, lots of fluids, etc. This time we were told to give her a spoonful of honey before bedtime to help coat her throat and even Miss L rolled her eyes at that one.

Emmett tried to help out with nursing but it just tired him out and he took himself to a quiet corner to rest.

My yard is not looking too good and I need to get out and do some mowing and trimming and weeding today, but I seem to have woken up with a stuffy nose and a cough…ugh. Looks like the summer cold germ has not quite finished with us.

Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend.