It’s been six months since I last posted: six months! Admittedly, I’ve felt some guilt about that. However, moving back into an actual life, as in, I am once again a “contributing member of society,” takes up a whole lot of time and energy. In any case, I’ll start with the big exciting news: as of March 31, my third book, Deeper than the Deep Blue Sea, is complete, and available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle!!! This crazy book (which I honestly love!) seems to have taken forever to finish, but, as with all labor (if the mothers I talk to are to believed) the end result makes it all worth while. Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong, I love bees. I love to sit by their hives and breathe that warm honey-scent that permeates the air. I like it when they land on me; I consider myself bee-blessed. I love their cheerful buzzing, and their endearing clutziness. I don’t mind the work involved in separating the wax from the honey, straining the honey, or cooking down the wax Continue reading
Last night I went to an improve party. Improv is improvisation. In this setting, it’s games that require people to improvise their actions, reactions and behaviors in specific, ridiculous settings (the most famous popular improv example is the TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyway?) When done well it is irreverent, exceedingly silly, often somewhat obscene. Along with over half of the twenty some guests, I’d never participated in an improv event before, though I’ve been wanting to. Sitting near me was a man who sat leaning back in his chair, never laughing, seldom smiling. Of the entire group, he was the only person who looked like he wasn’t Continue reading
The worst thing about injuring my leg is that I’m going stir crazy. No car, and the only other ways into town are taxi or walking down the insane hill, and once I got there I’d have to, you know, walk. Which I could do, but I know that what I really need to be doing is resting this leg for another day or two. I’ve finished three books since I fell on Friday. I’ve watched movies and tv shows. I’ve stalked facebook like an adolescent in lust. David has a life, and he’s continued living it (at my encouragement, grant you), so off he goes, leaving me doing my best not to prowl around the apartment like a hungry tiger in a small cage. Today he went off, leaving Baby behind with me. Continue reading
I know, I know, I’ve been writing about kombucha for a month now. I’ve tried a bunch of different brands and flavors. And I’ve had the scoby – the starter – for making my own for a couple of weeks. I finally got my shiny new 5 liter glass jar to make it in. So today is the day! I was afraid to make the tea right in the jar, because I’d read reviews about these big jars breaking when filled with boiling water. So using a (much!) smaller container, I made batch after batch of tea, pouring them one by one into the big jar. I made up a mixture of organic black tea and organic (what else?) ginger tea. Then I added the sugar, let it all come to room temperature, and, finally, introduced the scoby: Tea? Scoby. Scoby? Tea. That scoby slid into the tea like they were soul mates.
I’ve got a cup full of kefir that was drained to reach the consistency of yogurt. This is for a recipe that I intended to make for dinner tonight, but that’s been put off till tomorrow. It feels and tastes like yogurt, but with a little sharper sourness. And I’ve got a jar full of whey, which is mostly liquid with some debris at the bottom. It is surprisingly mellow in both smell and taste, warm and yeasty. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that; today got unexpectedly hectic, and I haven’t had time to do any research. And I’ve got stuff with the consistency of cream cheese. It is really sour, almost limey. Again, its future is uncertain. I think rosemary might mellow it nicely, but with what else? Any ideas? All in all, I’m quite pleased with that whole experiment.
Ooooookay. This is definitely the first time I’ve tried to return something at a store it didn’t even come from! At least they could steer us in the right direction; it’s a JCPenney’s brand. But guess what: it’s not in the JCPenney’s database either. First time I ever tried to return an item that is so old it isn’t even in the database any more!
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I got the coyote pictures off the internet. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me (note to self: ALWAYS take your camera!). But the excitement, the pure thrill, was real enough. He watched us for a while, and we watched him for a longer while. We were all curious. Then he loped off in one direction, and we kept walking in the other. But we kept an eye on him as long as we could. We’ve read that there are aggressive coyotes in this area. This little beauty didn’t seem to be one of them. Now that is a great (and completely legitimate) ONT!
Enter the book I Dare Me, by Lu Ann Cahn. At about the same age I am now, she was feeling the same way I am. She had a job she loved, a great marriage and a good relationship with her grown daughter (three things I haven’t got!). But she still felt stuck. She didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Life seemed to have no joy for her. Oh, yeah, I can relate! But then her daughter issued her an interesting challenge: do one new thing every day – for a year!
This is a great book, interesting and inspirational. And like No Plot? No Problem, by Chris Baty, it has inspired me to act. (Reading No Plot? No Problem led to my writing and publishing Left Turn at Cloud 9 last year.) My action? I am committed to doing one new thing every day of 2014.
I may even try a chocolate covered grasshopper (my mom ate them as a kid in China, and she survived!).
My first New Thing, on January first, will be walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. And after that? Who knows? I’ve got all those books gathering dust on the shelves about road trips and great places in the wine country, easy bike trips, explorations in the East Bay, little known walks in San Francisco. I’ve always wanted to try Jambalaya, make Gumbo, maybe I’ll even try Tamales (I know someone with a good recipe. . .). I could fly a kite, join a drum circle, visit a “clothes optional” public bath, dye my hair blue. I might learn a magic trick, play golf, play frisbee golf. Maybe I’ll attempt to go a whole day without interrupting anyone! The possibilities are endless!
I’m going to be generous with myself; if I haven’t done it in 10 years or more, I’m calling it a New Thing. And there will be days when it might just be a drive around a new neighborhood. That’s okay, too. The point is to get off my rut and put on a beginner’s mind and shake up my tired old habits. The point is to open my eyes and remember that life is full of adventure and mystery, and I can live it every day. I just have to choose it.
Well, maybe one or two things. . . .
One short block. That’s how long my walk was. And in that block, I found so many things to be grateful for. I have a really nice new camera phone. The sun still shines. I am surrounded by beauty. From coast to coast, I have people who love me.
What else matters?
Terrie and I were sisters-in-law for twenty years, and then we traded that in and have been sisters-in-love for the past twelve, so you could say we’ve known each other for a while now. Believe me when I tell you, she never had that look on her face for the first twenty-five years of our acquaintance. But now? It’s her default expression.
So I think maybe my girl’s got something to teach me about relationships. And maybe I’m (finally) ready to learn.
Now let me state here that Darren would never be the man for me, so I’m able to investigate their relationship without a shred of jealousy to inhibit my ability to learn. (No offense intended, Darren!) And this brings up the first, and maybe the biggest, lesson, because why wouldn’t Darren ever be the man for me (I mean, besides the fact that he is most definitely THE man for my beloved friend)? After all, he’s good looking, he’s fun and funny, he works hard yet leaves his work at work when he comes home at the end of the day. He’s a fantastic and eager cook, he cleans – often and well – and he’s been known to meet her at the door with a glass of wine, and dinner on the table. Apparently he’s also fantastic in other ways that shall remain unmentioned. So what’s not to love?
Now I have been more the person who, at the tenderest of moments, is thinking about what he (whoever) could do, or change, that I might prefer. I am, by nature and by nurture, an editor, an improver. Women all over the known universe share this trait with me, and are sitting back and itching to twitch their men this way or that, a little or a lot. And as we focus on what we wish were different, we become absolutely unable to love what is. And so, another one bites the dust.
I say with great admiration for myself that I’ve come a long way in this area over the last few years. But hanging with Terrie all summer, watching her not only with Darren, and me, but with everyone she encountered, showed me that I’m far from the summit on this mountain. And seeing the great joy and contentment she lives with every day now, I’m inspired to keep right on climbing.
Depression was nothing new for me, but being desperate enough to be willing to take medication, was (I now understand that I had been chronically clinically depressed since I was in grade school). However, once on it, I simply could not go back to the way things were before. They still weren’t great, but they were endurable.
But even with all of this, I am still me, and I still get the blues. I miss my physical therapy team. I miss the friends and the sister I reconnected with. I wander around the house, every step hurting, and I can’t seem to motivate myself to write, or to do the chores that hang over my head, or, you know, anything. This morning I decided that if I’m going to be a real person in this blog, I’d have to write even when I’m in the sh**. So here I am. Writing.
And here’s another one, an improvisation between Bobby McFerrin and Richard Bona. My heart sings with them in this incredible duet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iimMKWF7SK0&list=RD02aE8b4VyY6ck
Nothing lasts forever; everything is always changing. Happy times fade, sad times are forgotten, to be replaced by hope. I started this post after an increasingly tough week, struggling with my discouragement. But after looking through all my pictures, seeing how much joy I’ve had, I know I’ve got lots more ahead of me. Maybe even right now, in this minute, all by myself.