It’s Friday, my Friends!

There was no Friday post last week! Guess why?

It wasn’t because it was a holiday the night before…or wait…maybe it was. July 3rd and 4th were pretty darn fun in all the best kinds of ways: food, friends, good times. On Friday morning, I wasn’t sure if all the fun caught up to me or I had caught a virus. It could very well be that I caught a virus because the fun caught up to me. I woke up with a terrible sore throat and a fever and spent the next three days in bed reading a book. Oh! Poor me! If it weren’t for the worst sore throat and ear infection ever, I would have called it a “retreat.” Thanks to our fabulous urgent care and the miracle of antibiotics, I was still exhausted but up and at ‘em again on Monday! I’ll still have a sexy gravely voice for a week, but I’ll take it! The upside is that I finished three-quarters of “Under the Dome” over the weekend!

While I was laying in bed…dying…I considered getting up and writing my Friday post, but then thought better of it. I’ll just catch up later, I thought. I’ll be better tomorrow. And then suddenly it was Tuesday.

So here I am. You can’t catch up with life anyway, you can only pick up where you are!

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope your weekend is filled with adventure…even if you’re watching it on Netflix!

Thing I learned: There are amazingly interesting people on the internet! I joined a new Facebook group this week and have been devouring all its content for days. The people! Wow! So many interesting points of view, so many ideas, so much love and interest in being kind and supportive. It’s kinda hard not to invite them all over for coffee! I hear so much negativity about people on the internet, and I do understand it, but I have a feeling we’ve all been adjusting to the new medium and we’ll come out the other side a bit scarred from battle but wiser for the wear.

Thing I’m reading: “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters” by Tom Nichols. Ok. First of all, just the title of this book irritates me. And then when I started to read it, I started to better understand the idea of term “triggered.” Which made me want to read it more! He has some seriously great points to make and I’m understanding something about myself that I don’t like. I’m one of those “don’t tell me what to do” people and sometimes it’s not good for me or the people around me. One thing I started to think while reading it is that specialization is a good thing for society. I agree that division of labor makes everyone’s lives easier. We can’t all be experts at everything! But what do we do when lose trust in just about everyone around us? I’m hoping he has some answers to that by the end of this book!

Thing I heard: A new friend introduced me to a new bluegrass band, and while I’ve never been a big fan of the genre, this was interesting enough for me to listen to a whole album, “Yoder Mountain String Band.” Lucky for me, I have Amazon Music, so I downloaded a couple albums and have been snacking on their tunes as I drive the desert roads.

Thing I want to do: Focus! Oh, lord, please help me focus! Ever since I got back from our vacation, I feel like I’m in a million places at once; like a kid in a candy store, rushing from one bin to the next, shoving every piece into my mouth, my pockets, my bag, and running out before someone tells me no! What am I going to do about it? No idea. A friend shared a picture on Facebook yesterday that I was totally going to post myself and now I can’t because it will look like I’m just copying him! But I digress, again. The picture was simple, “Temporarily Closed for Spiritual Maintenance.” That’s what I need to do, close. I need to shut down social media, turn off my phone, and do some serious re-focusing. But then again, do I really need to? Maybe next week! At the moment, I’m having to much fun to change anything.

Picture of the week:

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This was unexpected! I’ve been trying to post one picture on Instagram every day. Why? No idea. It just seemed like fun. So, the sun was starting to go down and I hadn’t taken a good one that day and I went out into the yard looking for a subject. My yard is a wealth of photo subjects!

Right outside was a birdhouse my Mom and brought over years ago. I had stuck it up in the crook of a Joshua Tree. I seriously doubt any respectable bird would ever make his home there, but it looks pretty sitting there. It’s above my head, but I didn’t bother to get a step and try to take a good picture. I just lifted my phone over my head, pointed it in the approximate angle of the front door, and snapped. I came inside (out of this blasted heat) and posted it on IG. Done!

Here’s the funny part. A few minutes later, a friend commented “Inhabited! Excellent!” What was she talking about? I opened the picture and zoomed to find…a lizard staring out the front door! What?! Another friend said I should call it a “Beardie House.” It was hilarious and adorable!

There has to be some philosophical thing to learn here. Right? We really don’t know what we’re doing when we do it most times. We just point and shoot and share…who knows what magic we’ll find! But what if I hadn’t decided to post a picture a day? Or what if I was just decided, eh…who cares…I’ll skip it today?

Sunday

Well…so much for keeping up. I’ve just never been the consistent type. Even when I have a list in front of me, a schedule to keep, it never gets completed, even if it’s short. I just can’t seem to stay on a schedule.

School was the worst! The same classes, the same days, over and over and over.

My work was awesome! When I worked at Knott’s or Disney, the show or venue changed seasonally. Here’s the funnier part…wait for it…I also don’t like change. It makes me nervous. “Special kind of nuts,” that’s what my kids say. A human that is anxiety ridden when things are different or unfamiliar but gets bored easily! That’s why the entertainment jobs fit me so perfectly: same venue, similar crew, different show, different schedule.

Come to think of it, one of the first reasons that I didn’t send my kids to school was because I couldn’t imagine all of us doing the same thing every day. Get up at the same time, get ready for school, drive there, homework…just kill me now! Homeschooling fixed that. And unschooling made it even better!

That’s it…it’s not me! It’s schedules. They suck!

But…I have to consistently make time for things I want to do, don’t I? I make time to read and work in the yard every day. Hmm…Maybe I have too many things on my “daily essentials” list. My days, weeks, and months can’t be too similar. I’m going to have to look at that.

Maybe make a list!

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“Amor Fati” people! Love Fate! Gotta love Mark Manson’s latest!
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Some days I just want to live like this dog!
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Yard work here isn’t about getting it done, it’s about enjoying doing it. It’s a morning meditation!

Little Things

It’s the little things that make something as big as a lifetime so awesome.

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A book about the decline of civil participation from 2000, that you’d think would depress the shit out of me but doesn’t. I’ll be writing more about that later!

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A tiny rose that blooms from the decorative potted rose plant that I thought was a goner.

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And these reassuring words on the screen when I open up Word. I promised myself I would work on it every day and I am. Proof!

All is well. Keep on.

 

Books, Flowers, Cherries, and MX!

Do you keep a journal? Hand written or on the computer? I’ve done both and written about both before, but this month I did something a little different. I kept a paper journal with me at all times (even at the grocery store) and jotted things down in it as they came up. I wrote down anything that came to mind throughout the day: notes, ideas, rants, lists, quotes. I wrote about what I was doing and when, what I was feeling. I wrote sideways, messy, printed, lists, and expletives. Some of it I’d be so embarrassed if anyone else read. I tried to post a picture so you’d see how crazy it looks, but couldn’t without exposing myself to ridicule. It was amazingly cathartic though!

I’ve always kept a journal of some kind and wondered why, or if anyone else would ever read them. What if the information I wrote about could be used effectively somehow? When I have had the inclination to go back and read what I wrote, it always seemed so time consuming and pointless. But what if I did it more often? Like, what if I made a point of spending the last day of the month reviewing what I’d been doing for the last thirty days or so?

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I left myself a post-it note reminder.

So I did! And as I sat there thumbing through the journal, I picked up a pink pen and made a few comments and pulled a few ideas out to blog about over the next month. I filed the ideas away in a “drafts” file to use as writing prompts later.

It was fascinating.  I wish I could graph my emotional roller coaster for all to see. But then maybe someone would have me committed. It’s enough for me to notice that I do tend to be a little all over the place.

Another recurring theme was “stop eating like we’ll run out of food if I don’t” and a bit of loneliness. I tend to swing from “hermit” to “why won’t anyone come to play with me” fairly regularly. I’d like to be ok with being alone sometimes.

Funny though, in this house, it’s very hard to be alone. There’s always someone doing something, talking, watching tv, playing a game, nearby, but I get lonely for…not really sure what? Connection? Recognition? Novelty? That leads me to believe that it’s just a mood, a cloud over my usually sunny sky. I’ll watch it float by and out of my life.

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I started a new book last week, “A Student of History” by Nina Revoyr. It’s a novel and I finished it this morning. I’ll post about that another time.

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This kid is very proud of his cherry tree. He came back from Germany with big ideas about fruit trees and has been working on this one and an apple tree. The apple didn’t fruit, much to our dismay, but the cherry is doing well. He also has a olive tree that he’s hoping will do well in his care. He loves those trees!

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And then there’s this one. He raced at Glen Helen this weekend but left early because he just wasn’t feeling it. He’s having a bit of trouble finding his “thing.” You know, the thing that drives you, the thing that you have fun doing with your friends after work or school? It used to be motocross, but he’s starting to think maybe he should look somewhere else. He can do it with our support but as an adult, he’s not sure. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and risky and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep doing it. So he’s searching, which is hard on a kid. Hell, it’s hard on everyone. Here I am still searching…by writing all this out and hoping someone will find something useful in it. I know I do.

And then there this week’s flowers! The yellows are out in full force! Enjoy!

Sick

It figures. I set aside a week to get things done at home and that’s the week I get sick. It’s a conspiracy!

We are the experts in last minute plans and this past weekend was no exception! My son remembered on Friday that he wanted to go to the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s and, of course, this is the last weekend of it! We asked if anyone else wanted to go but my husband wasn’t interested in spending $100 to eat berry themed food and my other son said he’d rather not brave the crowds. So he bought tickets for the two of us and we headed into the city on Saturday morning.

It was a great day. It’s been a long time since he and I spent the whole day doing something together. He said it reminded him of “one at a time Disneyland” when he was little. When we lived across the street from Disneyland, we used to go all the time, but it was super special when I would take just one of them. They got to be the boss of the day and not have to share anything!

One thing…I have never seen the park so crowded as it was that day. We knew it would be busy but this was crazy. I’ve always had a hard time dealing with Knott’s and its inefficiency at moving people. The ride lines are always long and food lines…sheesh. If there are two or three people in line for a coke, it’ll take twenty minutes. Makes me crazy. This day didn’t disappoint. It was worse than expected and guess what? We had a great time anyway. Just goes to show you, it’s your attitude that ruins it, not the crowd.

We were there for about nine hours. I think we only sat down a total of twenty minutes. We went on four rides and saw a couple shows. We got the “taster” card and got one of everything they had! All of it was good. Some of it was silly: boysenberry mashed potatoes. And some of it was amazing: boysenberry sausage and relish. We went back for seconds on that!

Here’s my favorite picture from the day:

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We picked up a pie for the rest of the family and headed home satisfyingly exhausted.

In other news, I started this book yesterday.

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So far so good. Because of it, I’ve added six new books to my reading list. Thanks!

What else? Oh, yes, I’m still sick. It’s just a nasty cold, but it makes me so tired and I can’t even read. I spent most of the last two days asleep on the couch or watching TV. Yesterday was good though because I got to watch the movie, “The Bookshop” which I’ve been meaning to see. It’s not a movie “of general interest” so I’d been waiting for a day I was home alone to see it. It did not disappoint!

My experiment with staying off of Facebook during the week is going great. I do share things like blog posts, articles, and podcasts, but I don’t go back to see comments or scroll through the feed until Friday afternoon for a little bit. I shared our Knott’s adventures as we went, but I didn’t go back to see comments until the next day. It is really helping me “stay in the moment.” I find myself wasting way too much time and mental energy on people that aren’t even in my close circle when I constantly check in there.

I’d like to write more about that. Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship that I’ve been seriously re-thinking lately. Maybe I’ll spend some time writing that out tomorrow. Today? I’m off for a snack and to get the laundry!