Happy Holidays

IMG_0004Posts have been few and far between here lately. I usually hate it when bloggers apologize for not blogging- you know, this hobby where I write about the stuff I do? I haven’t kept up with it- bad blogger!
No apologies- no explanations…except, well, my daughter has been sick, and I have longer hours at my day job, and I have lots of ideas, but just not enough time. Sorry. Wait! No apologies, no explanations!
Anyway, whatever holidays you celebrate, enjoy them…happy new year, and I hope to get back into the blogging groove.


get them before they go to seed FAIL! thistle edition.

Doesn't it look pretty, glowing in the late afternoon sun? Yeah. It's a thistle.

I went to a part of the yard that I hadn’t been to check out for  while (no, the yard isn’t that big, but I’ve been busy with school, and taking people to soccer and play practice, and the Girl just started Tae Kwan Do classes, and it was really hot until a few days ago…)

Anyway, the thistles have bloomed. Crud.

Some seed have scattered, some are still attached, so my mode now is to carefully cut off the seed heads and put them in a bag, then put the bag in the trash. My compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill weed seeds, so I avoid putting them in the compost bin.

Philosophically, are my weeds providing me a service? They are holding on to soil, bringing up nutrients from the subsoil, harvesting rainwater, turning atmospheric carbon into fodder for the compost pile?


They do all those things. And more.

But, I don’t want many more of them. Especially the prickly ones. Oh well.

This Lid

Battered enamel, a little rust, but a lot of life left.

DH’s grandma is selling her house, and letting go of things she has had for years. I am amazed by how graceful she is at this- in the past few years,  she has given up living on her own, so she selected things to take with her to her daughter’s (my wonderful MIL’s) house. She has let go of her car, and has now made the decision to sell her house. I think we were all surprised at how fast it sold- 24 hours after it went on the market, they had an offer, and they will close in the middle of September. We went over  last week to help clean and box things, and hear stories. In the grand scheme, there isn’t that much stuff.

“Clean Sweep” is  a guilty pleasure TV show- I watch it, and think, “Well, I’m not as bad as those people!” One of my favorite people on it is Peter, the Australian guy. People on the show will be reluctant to get rid of something and they’ll say, my mother gave me that, and he’ll say, “this is not your mutha” in his Australian accent. He’s adorable.

At GGM’s house, I was talking about my guilty pleasure, and  I  picked up an enameled metal lid and said, “This is not your mutha” hoping to make people laugh, and GGM took it from me. She  said,  “One time I was cooking dinner, and my mother was there, and I had just put a pie pan on top of the pan, to cover it, and she said, “don’t you have a lid?” and I said no, and the next time she came to visit, she brought this one.”

I thought it was a cute story, and figured it was when she was first married, and just getting her house set up.

Um, no.

Great-Grandma had been in her 70’s, which meant that Great-Great- Grandma had been in her 90’s.  Moms. We never give up.

Of course, I asked if I could have the lid- it is now  on the cast iron skillet that lives on my stove top. I will use it every day, and tell the story to whomever will listen. There is a lot of stuff in my house that is clutter, but this lid is meaningful, and deserves to have a place of honor on the stove.

There is no joy in warball

            One of the good things for me about doing yoga is the non-competitiveness of it. I have spent a lot of my life feeling klutsy and bad at sports, and I finally have found a way to move my body where I’m not at risk of losing. When I was in middle school, I was placed in an “adaptive P.E.” class. It was me, another similarly clumsy smart girl, and 2 older kids with Down Syndrome. We threw balls at targets, walked on balance beams, caught bean bags. It was awful, as if regular P.E.,  they gave it to me as an intervention. I remember feeling so frustrated. That clumsy 12 year old is sometimes alarmingly close to the surface of my everyday adult life. I cried a few weeks ago in Yoga class, because I couldn’t do “Dancer’s Pose”- which is where you stand up, reach back, kick your foot up and grab it, then lean forward, balancing. 

Step one, reach back, step two, find your foot...can I go back to step one again...

 That physically retarded (can I use that phrase? probably not)  12 year-old-swam up to the surface, and I wound up just bawling in child’s pose for a while.

After I got myself back together, I got up and finished the class.

I went to class the next week though, and managed to find my foot after asking for help from Kristin, who’s awesome. www.lovelandyogacorefitness.com I’m still not great at the balancing part, but I get stronger every time.

            I had a realization today, in the shower (don’t all great realizations come in the shower?) that I shouldn’t be doing yoga to get better for next week’s class, but to get better for life. See,  when I couldn’t find my stupid foot, I made plans to practice holding my foot back, grabbing it, leaning forward, then I felt guilty when I didn’t follow that plan. A lifetime of experience with gym teachers gave me the idea that I should throw balls at targets to improve my eye hand coordination, or do squats to have stronger glutes, or run faster so that I can … run faster.

            I need to try to keep the idea before me that I walk because walking helps me think, and dancing is fun, and riding a bike feels good, and yoga gives me peace.  I can’t blame the gym teachers- maybe they were trying to teach me this all along, and I wasn’t ready for it. They found joy in war ball? doing the shuttle run gave them time to think, doing jumping jacks brought them peace? Maybe.

            So, what is your favorite way to move your body now? What did you hate in gym class?  Bonus points if the answer is the same, but the attitude has changed… 

One day I’d like to write a novel


Announcing the end of the one day novelist: National Novel Writing Month starts today. The idea is to sign up on the website www.nanowrimo.org  and keep track of the number of words you have written on your own novel over the course of November. Winners are people who make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month. There is no prize- it’s like Farmville- no one asks you if you have real tomatoes from Farmville, right? Same with Nanowrimo- if you win, you have the satisfaction of winning, and a rough draft of a novel.  Pretty cool, I’d say.

 For the last several years I have started this big adventure in writing a novel, and not finished…this year, I think I have it figured out, though.  I heard a writer being interviewed on the radio- don’t remember who, and he said, “To write a novel, you have to have your characters make choices they can’t undo.” That has been my problem- every year I start out with characters that I come to love, and then I become overprotective. “don’t go to that party,” I think, “you’ll get pregnant!” or “you can’t call the lawyer, they just make things worse!”  By the time I get about 30,000 words in, I am bored to tears, then it’s Thanksgiving and I run out of time.

So, my solution this year is to go to greek myths, specifically, Jason and the Argonauts.  All of Jason’s bad decisions got made thousands of years ago, I just have to show him dealing with them. I’ve got a lot of notes, some research I printed off the internet, and will start tomorrow. I’ll try to post a word count here on the blog, in case anyone cares, and I’ll let you know at the end of the month if I have won.  Also, if anyone has title suggestions, please comment