Saturday, September 20, 2014

Potpourri

My week, more or less.

We had some rain.  It was wonderful.

I've had my creative juices flowing, using some of the things I learned from "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".  Spending hours and hours, that I should be doing more constructive things. However, in the end my store will benefit from all my endeavors.

Bobby came home to roost for the winter.  I had to get rid of some Mud Dauber nests under the eave of my house.  Why they chose to build just above my sliding patio door I will never know.  Sorry, Daubers.

My next door neighbor's daughter moved back to the Pacific Northwest, and is staying temporarily at home, she brought her dogs.  I knew they were there, but Zorro didn't....until yesterday...what a hoot. He drove me nuts all afternoon, in and out, in and out, in and out.  They are separated by a small garden area and a high lattice deck wall, so have not yet had nose to nose contact.  I think Zorro has peed on every bit of green between the house and the back end of the yard.

My huckleberries are ripening.  They are soooooooo good.  I pick a few every time I go outside.

I don't know what it is about September, the sun seems to know it is time to say goodbye.  It's glow is softer, more mellow yellow, and is in a great hurry every evening to hide behind the blanket of trees at the end of my culdesac.

I still hear crickets, but I'm sure they, too, sense their time is short.  

The lights of my neighbor's Piazza are out.

I'm waiting to hear the geese flying south.

I'm starting to think about putting summer yard decorations away, folding up the chairs and covering the park benches.  

Oh, and then there are the leaves...sweep, sweep, sweep.

And, there it is, I've said it all.

Sigh.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ecstasy

Ecstasy (Dictionary.com)

[ek-stuh-see]

noun, plural ecstasies.
1.
rapturous delight.
2.
an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling.
3.
the frenzy of poetic inspiration.
4.
mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.

Okay, okay, I know ecstasy is a pretty drastic word to be using to describe what I felt when I pulled open my bedroom drapes to find my world WET.  But, I was ecstatic.  It was beautiful, the sidewalk was wet from stem to stern, the leaves on the trees were dripping, and (because I didn't believe and collapse them last night) the folding chairs on my patio had puddles of water collected in the middle of the seats.

I raced around the house, making my furry creatures wait for their breakfast and threw open all the windows and took deep, deep breaths. The earth smelled woodsy, as though brought out of a long but troubled slumber.  And the air...oh, the marvelous, marvelous smell of 'wet' clung there, I had almost forgotten rain smells.  It was wonderful, it was glorious, it was magnificent.  I was ecstatic.

If I had been dressed I would have gone outside and danced in it.

Frankie, (of course) thought I was nuts that a few raindrops would send me into such a state and that I certainly was overreacting, stating she hoped I felt the same come January after we had rain for thirty days in a row.

It's true, come January I might not feel the same about the rain, but I hope that come the middle of winter I remember this summer, and how ugly my world came to look.  After years and years of nurturing shrubs and trees it was quite worrisome to see their leaves wilt, and begin to drop to the ground...I stewed, I fretted.  Oh, how I wanted to water, and I did twice when I got so concerned I feared the shrubs and trees would die.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't because we were in a drought that I didn't water, but because my water/sewer bill is so exorbitant I simple could not afford to water.

So it was this morning when I saw that God had finally blessed us with his wonderful, glorious, magnificent rain, I was ecstatic.

Ecstasy  

1.
rapturous delight.  (Indeed I was filled with great happiness and joyful gratitude.)
2.
an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling. (I was overcome with a lightness of heart and felt like dancing and singing, neither, by the way, I do well.)
3.
the frenzy of poetic inspiration.  (I am overcome with inspiration, and that is why I'm sitting here writing, my words not doing justice to the raw emotions I feel.)
4.
mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things. (Oh yes, I'm definitely contemplating divine things, because only divine intervention has caused the uplifting of my spirit that has transported me and my world to a cleansing wash only God could provide.) 

Oh yeah, I'm ecstatic.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So,

last Monday I went to see my doctor.  It went pretty well, except she was not happy that I don't exercise.  I kind of told her a little white lie and said I exercised two days a week.  I don't, but I figured working in the yard and doing laundry and 'stuff' counted as exercise.

Anyway, after she wrote me a note on my 'exit' paper work that I needed to exercise before I do anything else during the day, I took it to heart.  And, reluctantly, the very next day I began to do a workout.  I was over ambitious of course.  Wednesday my muscles ached pretty bad, and I backed off and only exercised for then minutes.  Dang, if only she hadn't written that note!!!!!  Dang, if only I had not taped it to the bottom of my computer monitor!!!!!!!  

Begrudgingly, every morning after I've fed CC and Zorro, I go through the angel, devil thing.  

Angel:  (In disgustingly sweet voice)  "Come one, Sweetie, time for exercise, you promised."
Devil:  (Leaning out over my double chins, glaring at Angel) "What the heck, Sandra, who's going to know if you exercise or not?  You know your computer is calling you."
Angel: (Halo a bit askew) "Don't listen to him, you know every time you do, you have to pull yourself out of muck and mire,"
Devil:  (Laughing heartily) "But, you know you're in pain, you know you hate all the e-f-f-o-r-t exercise takes.  Come on, grab you cup of coffee and let's get to work.  Times a-wastin'"
Angel:  "But, you promised, and a promise is a promise. It's only a few minutes out of your day, and you know the pain is eventually going to go away."

I realize Angel is right, I do owe it to my doctor to at least give this a try, however, I also can see Devil's side, I've become a lazy, slob of a person, and I kind of like it.  Besides, pain....well, pain hurts.  And I've been feeling pain for the last six days, although the more muscles I use on a daily basis, the fewer muscles there are to get back into shape. Plus, if I work out this morning it will be one full week spending time being physical.  Three more weeks and I'll have formed a habit, it should be easy sledding after that.

Devil:  "Come on, you gave it a shot, you know you don't like this new routine."
Angel:  "But, you've come so far, you can't give up now."
Devil:  (pitchfork just below my earlobe...prodding me) "Your office chair is waiting."
Angel:  "So is your exercise mat."

Oh, deary me, deary me.  What to do, what to do?  The simple answer is I want to put this exercise dilemma behind me and slink back into my old lazy, slobbish life, and...I would except...I'm finding Angel is right, my aching muscles are subsiding, I think they are getting stronger, and I sure hate to admit this...I'm feeling better, breathing better and I have a lot more energy.

Take a hike, Devil, I'm going to give this new regiment the best shot I can.  Three more weeks is all I need to establish a brand new life style.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I don't know what to think.

Yesterday, on one of my favorite websites there was an ad from a very well know jewelry store. You would immediately recognize the name. They were advertising diamond engagement rings.  Oh, I do so love 'sparklies', and they were the MOST beautiful 'sparklies'.  I immediately associated this ad with the coming holiday season, as I've not seen an ad from a jewelry store since...well, probably last holiday season...or maybe Mother's Day.

Anyway, I thought it was odd, after all it is only mid September.  Then this morning I saw a new ad for the same jewelry store on the same website.  Hmmm, I'm thinking to myself, so this is indeed a warm-up for holiday shopping.  I'm guessing it won't be long before I see ads from car manufacturers with huge red bows on them.  Somehow I will deal with this.  I certainly can't stop the holidays from coming.

Then, (gulp) this morning I'm lounging with my sweet puppy, still in bed, watching the local news. There, on my bedroom television is an ad. Snow is falling, the announcer states it's time for winter tires and says we don't want to buy a set of 'all weather' tires, no...we need snow tires for better traction and a half dozen other reasons.  Frankly, I really don't care about tires...I don't even own a car.  But, I was appalled that this tire company had totally over looked the lovely season of Autumn/Fall, and showed instead a picture of falling snow.  What the heck?

Didn't this year just start a couple weeks ago?  Where the blankity, blank, blank has the year gone?

Is it just me, or (seriously) has time sped up to the point I simply can't keep up any more.  Man, I'm gonna' miss not being able to have my house open with wonderful fresh air flowing through all the rooms.  I'm gonna' miss the long, warm, daylight evenings.  I'm gonna' miss all the butterflies.  Sigh.

But, on the other hand, hopefully I will have a new winter house guest, perhaps a niece of nephew of Bobby, the shield bug I found 'belly-up' on my patio earlier this summer.   And, even though it will continue to get dark earlier and earlier, I can look forward to the shortest daylight day of the year so I can anticipate the longest one next June.  Plus, I do have the holidays to look forward to, even though I'm not particularly happy advertisers are already trying to shove their wares down my throat...and it's only September.

I don't know what to think, where has this year gone?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I just can't stop...

...crying this morning.

Seriously, I'm an emotional basket case today.  Images of the 9-11 tragedy are all over social media, bringing up uncomfortable memories, nagging questions, and an especially bitter taste in my mouth over the consequences of those horrible terrorist attacks on our country.

Things have not been the same since.  And, sadly never will be again. Since that black day in our nation's history, we entered a whirlpool down, down, down into the belly of decay.  That place where, eventually, all nations go when they have lost respect in the eyes of the rest of the world's nations.

I don't want to belabor any points, we all know what's happening here in the United States, lots of people talk about them, every day...every single day, but in order to correct our downward spiral, we have to collectively, cooperate with each other, and that's something we are no longer willing to do.

We all want to be right.  In order to survive, being right is not the answer, being a collective, being cooperative is. America has always been a melting pot, a medley...a song if you will, of people from nations around the world singing in harmony with one goal in mind, to make America great.

We are singing 'off key'.

If we cannot respect each other and embrace the differences among ourselves, we will never be able to respect our government and what it used to stand for.  And so it was, on the day the planes crashed into the buildings and the ground, the America I knew and grew up in died.  She will never be the same.

Is there hope for our nation?  Maybe.

I worry about my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I never imagined America would become a third world nation.  If the nations of the world no longer respect us, will they come to our aide if we need them...I have my doubts...it's a scary thought.

I just can't stop crying this morning.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sketching

A few years back I went through an 'artsy' phase.  I had bought a book, years, and years, and years...AGO, and it sat on a shelf in a book case for that long basically untouched.  Oh, when I first got the book I was 'gung-ho' to learn to draw.

Then, life took over, things got sticky, and the book and my art supplies gathered dust...literally.

Finally, one day, the art book coughed, wheezed and sneezed at me and I decided, what the heck?  I took the book off the shelf, blew the dust off and flipped the book open to the last page where I had written notes in the margin, (around page 90), and I remembered I had just drawn a pencil sketch of my foot.  Wow! The sketch was pretty darn good and I was excited to move forward.

I found the sketch book I had used for all this books exercises, and flipped the page to a new exercise. Which happened to be a new chapter.  Perceiving the Shape of a Space: The Positive Aspects of Negative Space.  Uh-oh!

I was determined to carry on, and carry on I did.  It took a long time to finish the book, but my art skills had increased substantially.  I discovered I don't like working with pastels or oils, but water coloring was a perfect fit.  Boy, did I have fun.  My favorite 'project' was "An Ugly Corner as Cityscape".  Yes, I had to find a picture of an ugly intersection and draw it.  At the time I didn't have a camera, so I had to depend on the Internet to find one for me.  I checked large cities, but most of those showed only the pretty side because they want people to come visit, and nobody wants to look at ugly when they are paying a thousand dollars for a vacation.

Undeterred, I eventually ended up at my hometown's website.  I didn't really have a lot of hope I'd find a picture of an ugly intersection.  But, lo, there was a picture of one 'butt ugly' intersection.  (No offense, hometown).  Now, not only was this going to be a 'butt ugly' picture, it had to be big. 18x24 inches, to be exact.  THAT was quite a project.

The book ended a two chapters later.  So ended my artistic education, and my artist career. The book went back on the shelf and began to gather dust.  My colored pencils, water colors, and brushes went into a box along with assorted sizes of watercolor and sketch book paper that is also collecting dust.

Then a couple of days ago, (I had no yarn for crocheting projects), I opened the box of artistic supplies, and pulled out a sketch book.  I flipped open the cover and discovered the start of a few sketches in which I had apparently lost interest.  Well, hot diggity!

Oh, my grey matter went berserk.  Why didn't I think of this before.  I could draw all sorts of images to put on the merchandise in my store.  Yes, I'm a bit rusty at the moment, but the possibilities are endless.  Already there are 18 pages of sketches.

In walks my nemesis, good old Frankie, looking over my shoulder.  I've already scanned and set up a new file on my computer to hold my sketches.  I 'blew them up' and printed out each one so they will be more easy to replicate when I want to use them for a Zazzle project.

Frankie begins to thumb through the printed images.  Silence fill the office.  I wait...."I didn't know you could draw."

Whew...I'm off and running folks...off and running.

By the way the name of the book is "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards.  Published by The Putman Publishing Group. Copyright 1989 by Betty Edwards

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pumper-upper

There is absolutely nothing that will get my blood pressure 'pumper-upped' more quickly that a trip to visit my Doctor.  Seriously!

Yesterday was my annual check-up.  You know the one required...or else the insurance company, (or whoever the power to be is), just might not renew your next prescription.  Shoot!  Yep, I got a message kind of like that with the last prescription I had filled.  So, off to the doctor I went.

Of course, the first thing they want to do is weigh and measure me. Okay, I'm overweight at bit, but for some reason that does not seem to bother them any more...does not bother me either.  What does bother me is that I have shrunk to 4'11.5 inches.  I get the feeling that people are soon going to begin patting me on the head as though I am the family pet.

Then, the nurse rolled in the portable blood pressure machine, I warned her the reading was going to be high, as I absolutely hate coming to the doctor's office.  It was high.  She lowered the table so my toes actually touched the floor, advised me I should not cross my legs at the ankle and to take deep breaths.  I did as I was told.  All the while in my head I'm saying over and over...relax, relax, relax. When she re-did the test my pressure had returned to normal.

Whew.

I was surprised had how technical things had become since my last visit, even the thermometer was disposable.  Another thing that surprised me was that I had no desire to touch anything in the office. Normally I would have grabbed an 'older than dirt' magazine and perused it while going through the normal 'wait' times, but this time I thought about all the people who had perused the magazine before me, and all the germs and gunk that was probably on it, deciding it was probably the 'better part of valor' not to touch the magazines or anything else for that matter.

Anyway, my doctor finally entered the room and we went over all the medications I was currently taking, how I was feeling, etc, etc.  It went great until she asked about my exercise program (insert snickering here).  Maybe twice a week I make an attempt at some sort of exercise, if working in the yard and pushing my vacuum cleaner around the house counts...I'm assuming that's what she meant...(insert more snickering here).

I told her exercising was difficult to work into my daily routine, and that the only way I could make it a routine was if she called me every morning...we both had a good laugh over that.  I told her I worked every morning at my on-line store and explained what that was, and she was happy I was busy, but that I still needed to exercise at least two days a week.  Then, at the completion on my exam she left the room and told me, to wait for paperwork.

I got the paperwork, folded it in half and put it in my purse.

I stopped by the lab for blood work, went to breakfast with my daughter, stopped at Joanns, then came home to study my paperwork. And there, in bold print, close to the top of the first page was the following:

Zazzle is your reward time each day AFTER you have done your exercise.  Have fun!

Well, I would not exactly call exercise fun, but I did get the message, and this morning I exercised for almost 20 minutes.  Then I sent her an e-mail to tell her.  I also said I had heard (somewhere) that it takes about a month to establish a habit, and I was going to try.  I said I had printed out her note and that I was going to tape it to my computer monitor as a daily reminder I had to do a workout of some kind before starting work.

I can do this!  At least I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....as the little train said as it puffed, puffed, puffed up the hill.