Body, Mind, Spirit
Surfaces week! I’m running out of things to take pictures of, but at least my enthusiasm for walking isn’t waning. I swear, sometimes I think it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. I get to go out, even if it’s only for 12 minutes, and be completely by myself. This is so key for an introvert. I need at least an hour per day where I am by myself, completely alone. Normally I do this at night by reading, but walking is even better because I get both mental and physical benefits.
I also get to listen to the music I want to listen to without interruption while I walk whatever route suits me. Most of the time, I don’t even know where I’m going. I’m convinced my iphone is a photographic divining rod leading me to something I can instagram with my feet. So far, the gut feeling technique hasn’t lead me astray too far.
I chose surfaces this week because I thought I would be staying in Laguna for the conference. Since I didn’t know where I would be walking while there, I figured a treadmill or sand would factor in somewhere. Ergo, surfaces. I stayed home so my planning ended up for naught, but the challenge of this photo assignment was good. I had no idea how many of the surfaces in my neighborhood were red. Also, photographing grass with black shoes is really hard. The colors went whacky and it was boring. The end.
The other surfaces: Arizona Flagstone, brick, river rock, Saltillo tile, pavers, and decomposed granite.
Song of the Week
Lost in My Mind – The Head and the Heart
I have been taking my new allergy medication everyday and am feeling much better. During this 365 day project I expected struggles, improved physical fitness, and hoped for muscle tone if not weight loss, but I never thought I would discover I have bad seasonal allergies. I always knew I had allergies, but I didn’t know they were so severe. That’s what happens when prior to the last 118 days the closest you came to being outside was accidentally turning your car’s A/C to recycle.
Now I’m walking daily in an older neighborhood with established trees, plants, and so many cats. Sooooooo many cats. Sometimes I feel like I’m the bowl in a Friskies commercial. Anyway. Allergies: doing much better and still walking.
Mind and Spirit
I’m going to give this part of the project another go after the Mom 2.0 conference and Mikey’s First Communion. I figure I have the walking part down. Now I need to work on the other two, and I might take them on one at a time to keep from overwhelming myself again. I’m looking into an app for my phone–the kind that will remind me to jot down something positive for the day. When it comes to apps I’m fairly uninformed, so if you have an favorites or have heard good things about one in particular, please let me know.
Anyone else doing a 365 project this year? If so, how are you doing? (And feel free to leave a link to it in the comments.) I hope you’re glad you took it on. My project hasn’t gone as planned, but it’s my favorite thing I’m doing this year.
Song of the Week
Can’t Hold Us (Featuring Ray Dalton) — Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
I spent all of Thursday on the sofa sleeping and watching movies. Not a bad way to spend a sick day. I even had the neighbor pick up the boys even though it was my day, something I would never in a million years do. Look at me, being all self-care. Took me 32 days, but whatevs.
On Monday I went to IKEA and didn’t get lost. For those who know me and my sense of direction, this is huge. Yes, I missed the exit on the 405, but I miss the exit so often that I actually know the back roads to IKEA and don’t consider that getting lost anymore.
I watched Mikey and Nico approach the pick up line after school. I love watching their personalities develop. Mikey walks or jogs and then stands there with his feet firmly on the ground, holding both straps of his backpack on his shoulders–it’s going nowhere. Sometimes he’s laughing and talking with his friends, other times he’s deep in thought with his brow furrowed. Either way, he still and intense. Nico runs like a puppy let out of its cage. He’s dragging his sweater by one sleeve in one hand, and his backpack by one strap in the other. His shoelaces are always untied. He has no sense of personal space so he’ll run right up in the middle of Mikey and his friends as if mere proximity could make him part of the conversation.
Mikey is terrified of sharks. Really, really scared. Sometimes his fear becomes unreasonable. (No clue where he gets that trait.) One night last summer he couldn’t sleep because he was convinced a shark was going to attack him while he slept. When I pointed out the obvious–we live nowhere near the ocean–he explained that he read about groundwater and the water table, and that got him thinking that a shark could find one of the groundwater holes and swim underground to our home and then burst! through the floor and get him.
This is why I was nervous I couldn’t go with him on his field-trip to the aquarium. I asked him if he wanted to stay home, and he said no, he was fine and he was going to check out the sharks and buy a shark “plush toy” (do not call them stuffies or stuffed animals) to show how brave he was. He did that and pet the baby sharks and sat on a statute of a great white! I was so proud. He did ask his friend to fold up his poster of the great white shark on attack that came with his Sharkepedia and to keep the book shut on the ride home. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This is a very long way to explain that a kid who believes it is possible for a shark to track him via groundwater should never, ever hear from a classmate the story about the demon that comes out at night and chases its victims before disemboweling them and then stealing their souls. Really, just no good. When I went to check on the boys at night I found them asleep with every single light on in the room and Mikey clutching his rosary. Bless his little heart.
By the way, you can see in the picture his new “plush toy” shark, who he has named Hades. The tag says the shark’s name is Hazel but, “Mom, I can’t think of a dumber name for a shark than Hazel.”
God willing, I’m just sitting here feeling great and answering comments.
I have to be feeling better by the weekend. I have no choice. I have the Mom 2.0 conference and I have to get Mikey and his suit to the tailor for alterations. Plus baseball, tennis, and all that stuff oh my gosh I am starting to freak out.
Body, Mind, Spirit
Succulent/Cacti week wrung me like an old bar towel. There were a few days I was sweating it, because although everyone thinks I live in the desert, I actually live outside the desert. Close, but not quite. I’m about an hour west. It’s a common misconception–people assume anyone who lives 10 minutes east of Orange County dodges tumbleweeds and chickens in the road on the way to their one-room school house–so I think people around where I live are so adamant about “living outside the desert” that they eschew succulents and cacti. Like, they’re trying to make a point.
You want roses? I’ve got roses. So many roses. So many cottage gardens. So many lawns of green grass and petunias and snapdragons and lavender that all but shout, “We are not the desert, and you can stuff your xeriscaping!”
I joked on Instagram that to get most of these shots I had to walk up to the front door and that I was afraid the old man from Scooby Doo was going to chase me off his porch with his walking stick and a gallon of spittle. That’s where you find succulents around here–at the front door, in a pot, like small terra cotta concessions.
That last picture of the cactus is one I took 3 days in a row. It’s on a slope of a house that has seen better days. There are always no less than 20 billion cars in the driveway and they all look like they’ve been parked in a hurry. I suspect it’s a rental filled with university boys, so every time I had to climb up their lawn to take the picture I would say a quick prayer that (1) I would find something better down the street to use instead of this picture and (2) they were not having a kegger but if they were, that it was at the tail end where everyone is too drunk to move but not so drunk that anyone ends up in the hospital. I really didn’t want to explain my 365 day project.
I think next week I’m going to take picture of roses.
Song of the Week
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) — Shakira
I feel like this song deserves a preface. I normally listen to my 60s/70s classic rock on Pandora, but every now and they will toss in something crazy just to see if I’m still listening. Let me tell you, it’s impossible to go from Bob Dylan to Shakira and not listen. Normally, I think Shakira sounds like a goat that can’t reach its feed bag (or a goat yelling like a human), but the song was pretty catchy and, yes, I did walk faster. I used this song to walk 4 miles on Saturday, so thanks Shakira.
On the plus side, there were no locusts, frogs, or rivers of blood this week. Also, Erin–who many of you know from the comments–emailed me to let me know her husband (a musician) and his friends have put together a compilation album to benefit West, TX following the fertilizer plant explosion. The album is available for “pay as you want,” so you can download it for free and leave a tip. You can find the album here!
I was at Michael’s for the 400th time in two weeks returning supplies we didn’t use at The Craft Cabinet last Friday when I saw the latest issue of Mingle near the register. I knew Andrea and were supposed to be in there at some point, but you know how these things go. I picked it up and wouldn’t you know it, there we were!
So listen to what I did. I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but I was so shocked/excited, that I grabbed the magazine and told the checker to add it to my total since, “my friend and I are in this issue!”
What a dweeb. I mean, just an goofball dork. And needy, no less!
It gets better. So she looks at me, blinks, and says, “Sure. Whatever you want, Ma’am.”
I impressed her -300% with my Mingle.
I bought Mikey’s suit for his First Communion and stop with the cuteness. Little man suit.
There is so, so much I have to do and I am really falling behind. Being sick really made me even more unorganized than usual, so I finally had to sit down and write down a to-do list. It was huge. But, like every other time I write out what I have to do, I was able to accomplish so much more than I would have if I went from memory.
This is going to sound crazy, but I had a good week on Twitter. I barely offended anyone that I know of and I had great conversations with various people. This is what Twitter is about for me. I get to talk to people in a more casual environment about whatever seems interesting at the time. It’s like my comment section on steroids and I don’t even have to write a post to generate conversation.
I would be very happy if no one was hurt or their life put in jeopardy today. I would be even happier if today is the last day I ever have to write something so macabre.
Lots of baseball. It’s makeup weekend, so I’m pretty sure we have a game every day. Plus choir. But you know what? Doesn’t matter. We’re happy, healthy, and safe.
Have a great weekend, everyone.