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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Creativity Has Many Outlets or Why You Don't See Any Knitting

It's true - I have done precious little knitting over the past few weeks. I came to a trouble spot in a garment I was making. I developed bursitis in my wrist. I got crazy busy at work. I was singularly uninspired to do much of anything while on vacation. Knitting, while fun and creative and an important part of my life, requires thought on my part - unless I'm knitting a sock and I haven't been in the mood for that lately. I actually have some very yellow silk yarn on size 4 needles but it is not at a good point for photography. Possibly it will be sometime in July. Then again - possibly it shall not. 

No fear - though. Creativity comes in may guises and TheQueen is exercising hers all over the place. It can be as simple as taking a photograph or as complex as learning new software so you can teach your teen-aged staff how to teach middle school students how to make video ads for the library. 

Here is the apple tree in our side yard - a sick apple tree, alas, but still with a few apples ripening on it's furthest limbs. Obviously it has been possessed by a dryad.
 Here is a double photo of TheQueen's shadow  and reflection in the Mattaponi River.
And here are my traveling companions - ThePrince (Consort) and Cousin F.

So you see - there has been no dearth of creativity - merely a shift in its focus. Monday the creative juices will flow straight up to the bathroom - as Men with Tools arrive to take away the old tiles, enamel-less tub, cracked sink and worn flooring in order to build a brand new bathroom in TheCastle. Photos will be posted - but not today since TheQueen must empty the bathroom and the knee-wall cabinet of all the clutter and litter she has collected in 30 years - a collection to rival the attics of Windsor, I am sure.

Let us pray for cool temperatures and low humidity - because we know we are also going to be getting dust and paint smells.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back from the Beach

Sigh. I can't believe the beach vacation I'd waited so long to take is now a thing of the past and the present I'm living in right now is so hectic I hardly have time to reflect upon it's many treasures. I knew taking a vacation the week before Summer Reading Clubs begin at the library was pushing things mighty close to the edge, but that was the only week we could all agree to cluster and even with months of planning several people we'd hoped to have with us had to cry off - including ThePrince (Consort) and LD. In addition, I caught a wicked cold that resisted naps, flonaise, and lots of fluids. I am coughing still and tempted to call in professional help if the tightness in my chest continues. Nonetheless, we managed to squeeze out some fun ... Joke. We had a blast. 
The weather was surprisingly good - if cool. Certainly no long days of rain imprisoned us. Some mornings were cloudy with a little drizzle but I never used either an umbrella or raincoat. The first few days at the ocean were so calm you'd think the very earth was meditating.

Later in the week big winds churned up even bigger waves. The beach was closed to swimming on Friday and it probably should have been on Thursday. The closest I got to diving in on either day was a splashy walk along the shore's edge. 

There was lots of time to spend with family - new and old! Love me some nephews, nieces and great nephews!

Looks like the wild seas brought out the teenager in some folk - it certainly allowed me to wax nostalgic about shaggin' on the beach. Looks like it did the same for sis.

We are no dummies, though - and knew better than to brave the tunnels in Norfolk on a summer Saturday - so BH and I convoyed west below the Dismal Swamp and took the Jamestown Ferry home. Of course ... that such a route home took us past the Williamsburg outlets had nothing to do with our decision ... And yes - there was Other Shopping Therapy on this vacation, but I will worry about my Visa bill in July ... at Tara.

All in all it was a lovely beach vacation that will be a treat to look back on - when I make it through the madness that is summer reading in the library. When it's the end of August. When I will need another vacation.

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Cold

This has been a Castle of Ill Health for over a week now but it was not till Tuesday that I had to shoulder (or rather - throat & lung) my share of it. BD sprained his ankle about 10 days ago - badly enough to justify a doctor visit - where he also had a temperature and sore throat. 7 days later the sore throat had migrated across the pillows into my body and today I have that heavy chest feeling that presages TheDreadBronchitis. I am about to depart on a vacation with sister and family and now I'm trying to decide if I need the intervention of Medical Science and Chemistry or if I can tough this out with Zyrtec and Flonaise. Not sure there is anything to prescribe until the lungs get infected. It seems stupid to wish for a quick infection just so I can justify bothering a doctor. When oh when are we going to get the home version of a Star Trek medical scanner so I can make good informed decisions?

I'm really bummed about this, especially since I have made it a year without a bout of chest crud and I'd forgotten about getting sick and having my lovely, well organized, productive life tampered with. I'm not exactly sure a doctor would prescribe anything for me.

So. I will let today roll past and if I'm not better, or ugh, even worse tomorrow, I'll make a crack-o-dawn call to the medical man and see if he can help me.

Other interesting things have been happening in TheCastle, but alas, none of them are knitting nor  have any of them been photographed. I really ought to have taken before and after photos of my now sparkling clean kitchen cabinets, but I'm too ashamed to let anybody know how really bad they had gotten. My huge fan base will have to just wait a little longer for interesting content. You all know I love you. Ta.

Friday, June 1, 2012

12 for 12 for June

Every day, identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart's desires.
--Martha Beck, The Joy Diet

I'm letting my favorite life coach, Martha Beck, guide me this month. And in true TheQueenly fashion, I'm going to adapt my own goal to fit the reality of my life like short row bust darts make a sweater fit the reality of my body. 

In June I will: Select a big life goal - a big personal thing - and take one step towards it ... every day. 

I'd actually been wondering how I'll ever keep track of one more habit thingy already. The idea wasn't to try something for a month - but to add something permanent every month. Ambitious? Probably. Possible - well - in an 80/20 sort of way. If I can do it 80% of the time that's good enough ...

But even 80% is tough as the list grows longer - and last month's 12-4-12  was to compliment someone every day.  It was really hard - for two reasons: Sometimes I'd forget to compliment anybody and sometimes I'd forget that I'd complimented somebody. A simple compliment ... doesn't sound that hard does it? I'm not living in prison cell. I talk to people every day. I work in a public arena too - so I ought to be able to drag my self-centered consciousness out of my naval gazing long enough to say "good job" to somebody once a day. Truth? I am not sure I did. Sometimes I'd compliment several people in a day and forget most of them. Those were days when lots of people did things I noticed. But on Sundays when I stayed home and saw only BD ... I don't know if I complimented him or not. We are a long married couple and we're in the habit of saying nice things to each other. Is "I love you so much." a compliment? I'm not sure it is in the context of this habit I wanted to inculcate into my life ... not when the purpose was to really look at the person and see a good thing about them and ... compliment it. The whole point was to Pay Attention To Others. I tried to jot down each day the compliment I made and I did a pretty good job of that till this past week with its long weekend, spent mostly with family - whom I thanked, mind you, for the help they gave me, but is thanking someone actually complimenting them?

Anyway - the idea of the 12 for 12 was not to agonize about my failures but to try to add good things to my world. And I certainly complimented people more than I would have if I'd not made an effort. And I have this month - and the rest of my life -  to keep on doing it.

This month's 12-4-12 is another that requires tracking - but it's much more self indulgent. It can also be much more varied - more ... all over the place ... but it will also be pretty durn pro-active - because most of our daydreams and sighing wishes are static, placid, inactive things. There are 214 days left in 2012 - so if I am successful with June's habit - I should be 214 steps closer to my dreams by the end of the year. And if I miss a few days ... why - I'll still be closer to those dreams than if I had not taken ANY steps at all. 

As for the first 4 12-4-12? Well. I am tracking my food still, and drinking enough water without having to track it - I've gotten an exercise schedule that I really love without becoming obsessive about it and I pray almost every day. I think 2012 really has been a better, happier, more fun, and more productive year because of these little habits I've folded into my life. It's been ambitious, but some how - not as daunting as other ambitious NYR's. Yup. Mostly - I'd say this is a fun thing to do. After all - this is one girl who loves the journey. 

Happy June first to one and all.