The Wonders of this Week

Hello Friends,

This week I am:

Writing

I am writing more chapters for my novel. I have some time while on this trip and it feels good to focus on the writing.

Reading

Lunch in Paris

Lunch-in-Paris2

This is a complete escape and fantasy for me. A fun book full of recipes and romantic memories of life and love in Paris. Perfect.

Listening

To this.

via OregonLive

via OregonLive

I went to the Sarah McLachlan concert at Edgefield almost a week ago. My daughter, Chloe, took me there and we had a great time. It was odd though. It was a bit underwhelming. No opening band. No announcing her move to the stage. She just walked out with her band, in her mom jeans. I kid you not. And she just started playing. She started with one of her new songs that I was not familiar with being that it was from her brand new album, so it took me a minute to realize that it was her. The show was okay, but I wanted the passionate, angst filled, torch singer not the content mom. It was nice to hear her old and new stuff, but the old stuff really plays to her vocal strengths where the new stuff felt flat and lifeless. The setting was fantastic. The company, lovely. The venue, familiar. The performer, lackluster.

Thinking

There is a young man, my son’s age, who lives in our old home town and he is struggling, mightily. He is a smart young man with a ton of great ideas and skills. His home life is completely awful. I really want him to be able to move in with us to finish school but I know he can’t just get in the car and come home with us, not without written consent from his parents. So I am thinking about how to make this happen.

Wanting

A dear friend of mine and I have been fantasizing/planning a trip to Barcelona this fall. Oh, how I want to go. So badly. Barcelona Baby!!

via Watermelon.com

via Watermelon.com

Watching

The tide. We are staying in a friend’s cabin in Pacific City on the Oregon coast and our cabin is on an inlet connecting to a river so we get to watch the tide go in and out. We have seen so much wildlife. Deer walk within ten feet of us when we sit out in the back garden overlooking the river. Cranes land nearby. Herons search for fish. Schools of fish flip and splash in front of us.

Needing

A little more heart in my life. Anyone else find themselves toughening up around the edges sometimes? Yeah, I do. So, I am incorporating more self-care (namely sleep and books for now) into my life. How do you bring a little more heart into your life?

Loving

How our fireplace turned out. It was all brick with a huge built in OAK mantle. It was monstrous, but now the brick is whitewashed and all the wood is a soft gray. I will post before and after photographs soon.

Eating

Lots of clam chowder and fish and chips. Living in northern California, inland quite a bit means we don’t often get to enjoy those most Oregonian of seafood choices. So we are stocking up on rainy days, mist, cold winds, clam chowder, and dory caught fish and chips.

Drinking

A lot of red wine…

I attribute this format to  Blue Bird Baby Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring.  Go check it out.

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine and love.

Love,
S

Q is For Quietude

Hello Friends,

Are you in need of some quietude? A pause in the day? A moment of silence? A place to rest the eyes, metaphorically?

Here are some ideas for gaining a bit of quietude in your busy life.

1. Create a clean surface in your home where the eyes can rest.

2. Make a small pot of tea and drink it. The time it takes to steep can be centering and it can begin the calming process we all need.

3. Look out a window for at least two minutes. Clear your mind and let your eyes wander.

4. Walk around the block. Even a short walk can bring things back in place.

5. Read a poem. Start with this one by William Stafford.

6. Rub lotion on your hands or feet. Try this one.

7. Hand wash your dishes. I know, it sounds crazy, but the warm water and the act of washing can create a relaxing moment.

8. Set the table for supper and allow that tableau to bring you peace.

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9. Write a short letter or note to someone you love. The paper. The pen. The words as they come will calm you and bring out the love you have for the recipient.

10. Breathe. I mean it. Breathe and make each breath deep.

Love,
S

I is for Idleness

Hello Friends,

I have always worked. I am the oldest of four children and I started changing diapers and feeding my little brother when I was about three. I babysat for years. I had a paper route at twelve. I lied and got my Food Handler’s permit at the age of 13 so that I could go to work in a deli/ice cream shop. I worked two jobs while going to school full time and raising my daughter on my own. I have always worked.

Two years ago when we moved here to Northern California for my husband’s position, I resigned from my instructional coaching position to concentrate on supporting my kids and husband with the move. I worked on our home. I made new friends. A year went by. I looked for work, but there aren’t many coaching positions available these days, in this area. So, I planted more vegetables. I filled out flower beds with new roses and other perennials. Another year went by. I added more raised garden beds to our vegetable garden. I painted my laundry room. I sorted my clothes. I wrote.

But all along I felt idle. I still feel idle. As if I am waiting for some great thing to happen. For something to break up the monotony of my days. As if idleness is truly a bad thing. I feel guilty and ill at ease in my idleness. Sure I volunteer. I am on a foundation board. I work on this blog. I knit and crochet. I make delicious meals for my family.

But I am uncomfortable in this new idleness.

My thoughts ramble. I struggle to gain momentum. I need a way to manage idleness. A way to be alright with it.

I have never enjoyed watching television and if I do watch it, I have to be sorting socks, folding laundry, dusting (not that I do that much), knitting or returning emails. I can’t just sit and do nothing. I don’t know how to be idle.

I am sure there are others who struggle with this too. This balance between militant efficiency and sloth-ish negligence. I want a rich and full life of grand discovery and love. I just think it might help me to be still and at peace with the idleness. What might happen if I allowed my mind and body to rest at the same time? Sit outside and just enjoy the new leaves on our oak trees. Look to the bird bath and just enjoy the finches playfully bathing. Close my eyes and lean back in my chair. Take a deep breath and just be.

I bet amazing things would happen.

Love,
S