typing B while I still can

Cute Buns and I are doing pretty good on our exercise stuff. I think the game plan is to continue in March what we started in February:
 - Get out of Bed.
 - Stretch.
 - Strengthen Injured Areas.

And crank up the intensity of the strength part and add in some cardio. (Rule #1). (That is only funny to people who have watched Zombieland.)

I repeated "Week 0" this week, just to be sure, and I'm glad I did. I think my form could use some work. One things for sure, the second to the last and final "sets" are way easier than the first three. The first three feel wobbly and lame. Those last two actually feel like I'm doing crunches. Next week, I start the program in earnest. (Yikes!)

~ ~ ~

I need someone who knows about plants and trees to come to my house and identify what the heck is in our yard. There are tons of things that look like weeds and errant seedlings of nefarious nature, but I can't be sure. We're planning some spring gardening (aka - rip stuff out and cut stuff down) days in the next few weeks, and I want to know what stuff is before we do something terrible.

We may invest in one of those Sunset landscaping books that tells you what everything is and what zone you live in and what grows best there and when. Garden Nerds. With our rubber shoes and gloves and tubes of udder cream.

~ ~ ~

The prayer of the week (in the regular prayer book, not the Lent one) is particularly timely for me:

Most loving Father, 
whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, 
to fear nothing but the loss of you, 
and to cast all our care on you who cares for us: 
Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, 
that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me 
the light of that love which is immortal, 
and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; 
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, 
now and for ever. 

I love the word image of fears and anxieties being clouds that block the light of God's love for us. Lately, I've been soaking up every drop of sunlight I can. I'll scootch across the floor while I read or write, to follow a patch of it coming in through the window. What a difference in temperature when a cloud passes by! Great physical experience to link to the metaphor in this prayer.

~ ~ ~

My "B" key is sticking occasionally. This is usually the beginning of the end for me and a laptop. My last one, it was the "N" that konked out first. I must be hardcore with my pointer finger, or something. It's intermittent now, which is super fun for logging in to stuff or filling out forms. Hang on, Baby Laptop. You need to last at least three more years!


scenes from a weekend - hybernating through spring

This weekend,

I saw - Almond and cherry blossoms, tulip trees, camellia bushes, daffodils, and, of course, my beloved oxalis.  Spring arrived, too soon, and without enough rain or snow this winter.

In the spirit of spring, I gathered some of the Surprise Daffodils from the back yard and added them to one of my Valentine bouquets. The yellow daffodils and green mums fill a cobalt blue vase on the dining table.

I tasted - On Friday, salmon cakes, quinoa, asparagus, and spinach salad. Yum. A quick dinner before a game night with our friend...

On Saturday, a delicious scramble with mushroom, onion, pepper, kale, and sausage... And later, Serrano ham and melon, spicy pork skewers, and the tastiest grilled eggplant and zucchini, ever. Drinks and tapas with some ladies I used to work with. Smart. Sassy. Well-read. Adventurous. These chicks know how to live. Also, one gave another an actual robat. A robot!...

On Sunday, pizza. Our neighborhood Blockbuster is closing. We were so excited to have an actual Blockbuster in our neighborhood, and were all set to find our ancient cards and rent something, but alas. Everything must go, super duper sale, so on our way to pick up a pizza, we checked out the $3.99 bin. Found Zombieland (our first movie in a theater - can you believe it?), and knew it was meant to be. (Word to the wise: Do not eat pizza while watching this movie.)

I heard - Queensryche. MM and I are doing Cultural Exchanges of music as well as books, and he had this in the car on the way to fencing practice. I never listened to these guys in high school, and my only recollection was "lots of makeup, shiny pants, and giant hair." So he gave me a "tour" of one of their first albums.

As I get to know MM more and more, I start to understand what he's drawn to musically. And I'm gaining an appreciation for styles of music that I used to blow off. I'm learning a lot (like the difference between power drumming and metal drumming) in these exchanges. And I love that he sees beauty in places I never thought to look.

I touched - Lots of sweaters. Despite the sunshine, it's brisk outside. I'm still enjoying my sweaters (and my man's scarves - longer than mine, and warm)

Inside it was "warmies" (yoga pants or jammies, sweatshirts, thick socks, and slippers) and blankets, or a nap under the comforter. We read a lot. And napped. We're still in hibernation mode, I think.

I smelled - Orange peels down the disposal. So great! When we make our morning smoothies, we grind up the orange peels. A very happy fragrance.

I felt - Fragile. Tired. Loved. Cozy. Encouraged.


pancakes, donuts, and cultural exchanges

I almost missed Pancake Day this year! The President's Day* holiday threw me off. Thankfully, I remembered in time to make pancakes instead of biscuits for our stew. (It was actually really good, so I may have to do this again. Sort of our version of chicken and waffles.)

As usual, my heart is more than ready for this season of lent. We're celebrating quietly, wearing more purple, doing some specific readings  in the mornings and evenings, giving up a couple things that aren't really good for us, taking up a few things that are. During lent we do specific things to identify with the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of the world around us.

Honestly, we should do that all year round, but its easy to get distracted and forget. So, we pause and remember. I need these pauses. I'm "prone to wander" as the old song says.

~ ~ ~

We had a deliciously snuggly weekend. It was sunny on the one day that we couldn't go biking, and it rained on the others, and MM's back had a flare up anyway, so we ended up lounging and reading and talking. Gobs and gobs of snuggles and quality time, two big "love languages" for us.

We sped through Anne of the Island, which was a blast to read with MM. He is a full-contact read-alouder, with lots of commentary on characters and plot lines. He groaned and rolled his eyes at Paul and his "little mother" statements, and said that Davey Keith would be completely redeemed if he'd just go punch Paul in the next chapter. He guessed incorrectly that Ruby would be Avonlea's first drug addict, but then freaked out with joy at "Lucy Maud throwin' DOWN the theology" when it turned out to be consumption. He also gave Lucy Maud props for creating a subversively feminist book in 1908.

He thought it was a terrible idea for the girls to let Phillipa into Patty's Place, but she got on his good side when she told Anne she was an idiot for refusing Gilbert. After a whole book of referring to Gilbert as "numb nuts," MM stood by him and kept thinking up violent endings for Roy and Christine (many of which included punching). At the climactic moment, MM threw the horns for his homie, and rejoiced that love had found its way at last. (We can relate.)

I've read these books so many times, but reading them with my husband has been fantastic! He see things I've missed all these years. And the emotions and ideas hit me in fresh ways as he experiences them for the first time. His soul is moved by art, and I love getting to be a part of that with him. Loving the Cultural Exchange.

~ ~ ~

Oh! Speaking of our Cultural Exchange, we rented The Eagle has Landed, since we finished the book last week.


Seriously, seriously bad. I don't even want to waste blog space on this terrible movie, except to say that they completely missed the point of the book! Gah! Awful awful! I wish I knew someone in Hollywood and had lots of money, so that I could persuade them to remake it. (Gah!)

~ ~ ~

I'm late to the party, cuz this song has been covered by everyone and their mother for, like 30 years, but on Friday night, our friends showed us Craig Ferguson's cold open for the Paris show (and had a family dance party with their three year old - too cute!), and I've been humming this (and making up my own fake french lyrics) ever since.

Here's the wiki on the song.

~ ~ ~

The patch of daffodils in our back yard has busted out with sunshiney blooms. I'm going to gather some to mix in with my valentine bouquet. The almond and tulip and camellia trees have bloomed as well, and soon the azaleas will get in on the action.

MM and I have been talking through yard and garden plans for this year. We're starting easy with maintaining the existing flower beds, filling in some of the holes in the lumpy lawn, and doing something with the random strip of earth between the driveway and the oddly-shaped patio. (Seriously, it's like some weird trapezoid thing.) Just figuring that out and remembering to water should be enough for this year.

Item #467 on Things We Will Do When We Are Landlords - Have an automatic sprinkler system. This season of renting makes us keenly aware of all the little things that make life more difficult when using a house as a tool for living. We've lived in two houses that need serious updating.(Hello! Three-pronged outlets work best when the wires are actually grounded! Termites are not your friends! Mold is from the devil! Hey, windows that shut in the winter are awesome!)

And having lived in others' neglected houses, we hope to have the resources to adopt a "Do unto others" approach to landlording. We'd like to offer our tenants homes that are safe and hygienic and don't cost an arm and a leg in utilities, the kind of house WE would like to live in. And if the place comes with a lawn that WE want to stay green, we figure we should ensure that by having an automatic sprinkler that WE maintain.

In the meantime, it's off to Home Depot for hoses and sprinklers. (And pansies!)

~ ~ ~

Well, I've gone on long enough. Have a good one, folks.

~ ~ ~

* MM postulates that President's Day means we are celebrating all the presidents - good, bad, and ugly. So, I figured we should celebrate JFK by eating jelly donuts. Pretty much I just wanted to eat donuts one last time before giving up sugar for lent. ;)


the rewards of exercise

So, one of my words for 2012 is Strong. As in "I am strong." After almost a decade of horrible pain, both physically and emotionally, I am healing, and it's time to embrace my strength and build it up. I'm doing lots towards this emotionally and spiritually, but given my "sacramental" bent, I like to connect those kinds of things to some kind of physical act.

MM and I decided to add morning exercise to our daily rhythm this year. Which is hilarious for two very NOT morning people. We HATE to get out of bed in the morning. Especially when it is cold! And, so that we don't fail and die miserable firey deaths of suck, we are going slow. And I mean sssslllllooooooooowwwwwww. Baby, baby steps. And I'm doing all I can to trick myself into thinking all this is enjoyable.

The basic idea is to just build a habit of exercise into the rhythm of our day, so that at least we do something. Just move. Whatever that looks like. Right now it looks like two sleepy persons rolling around vaguely on yoga mats for 30 minutes, mumbling. But eventually, we'll add more elements, until we have a robust and varied exercise regimen.

For January and February, our Lofty Goals have been:
 - Get out of bed, dammit!
 - Stretch Gently
 - Do a few strengthening exercises for our various injured areas

MM has some strengthening exercises from his physical therapist for his back and from his martial arts drills. My first strength "project" is to work on the 200 Situps program. Eventually, I want to do all the 100s (pushups, dips, squats) and probably a few others. But for now, this is a good beginning.

MM is hard core. He's already lifting some weights and doing things like "reps" and "sets". I am the opposite of hard core. When I saw that week 1 of the beginners (wimpy) situp program meant starting at 3 and working up to 5, I knew that would be too much. (Seriously wimpy, people.) So I came up with Week -2 which started with 1. My intervals were 1, 2, 1, 1, 2 with 60 seconds of rest in between each "set". (Seriously, seriously, wimpy.)

Another change I made was to integrate the situps with my stretches, so it just feels like part of the routine. This may not work when I get into the real program, but for now, it's great. I love the stretches, so its sort of tricking me into liking the situps too. Haha!

The last change I made was to go ahead and do these every day instead of every other day. Again, this won't work when I'm doing the actual program, which depends on periods of rest, but at this point, it was more important that I do something every day and get acclimated to moving. And again, this seems to be tricking me into thinking this is fun.

And it is helping. I'm feeling good. All the deep breathing and stretching is really helping my back. I've been able to forgo a massage for two months, and its been over a month since I was last at the chiropractor. I don't do much, but I already feel stronger. And today, near the end of week 0, I can do 5 situps in a row. I can feel a little bit of that, "Dude, I exercised!" feeling in my muscles. Good feeling. (Even still, my favorite stretches are child and corpse. "I can totally lay down for 30 seconds! Wooo! Look at me exercise!")  

The other great thing is being able to do this with MM. We would both rather spend our mornings snuggled up under the comforter. Neither of us really enjoys regimented exercise. And neither of us is good at doing even truly fun exercise (biking, swords, dancing) solo. But I love our time spent rolling vaguely on yoga mats and mumbling together. He encourages me a lot!

And I think we're a good team. He taught me a classic fencing lunge that gives a great whole body stretch, and he has other exercises from his days in bodybuilding that I don't know. This week, he started having some shoulder issues from increased sword training, and I taught him a stretching routine that relieves pain and helps him loosen up. I can see more of this in our future. I've done dancing. He's run a marathon. We can teach each other and learn together, and spur one another on.

Plus, when he does jumping jacks, his pj/sweats threaten to fall down, and I just know that one of these days, I'm gonna get to see his buns. (My husband has cute buns!)


thursdaybook - five in a row

For today I am

Seeing... The beautiful roses MM gave me for Valentine's day. Dark red and perfect... The heart banner and centerpiece I made to decorate for Tuesday. It's made of maps and pressed petals in tissue and brown craft paper with a lace pattern. To me, it speaks of Romance and Adventure... A few of the morning candles still flickering in the draft... sunlight and blue skies and the neighbor's camellia bush popping out in bright red blossoms...

Hearing... Birds... freeway noise... the occasional clank from Little Blackie the Space Heater...

Tasting... Water - and one piece of the Valentine candy. I ate a piece that has nuts in it, which my man can't eat, so I was taking one for the team, really. A sacrifice. ;)

Working... Gobs of housework to catch up on before people come over tonight, and still, paperwork, filing, yada yada. I hate filing. It will be good when we come up with our new computer network/archiving/storage plan, cuz then I can just scan stuff and be done. Begone! Anyway. Yeah. Quotidian day, mostly.

Reading... Oh, books. It's been a whoosh and a whirl for books lately.
I quickly read a book that one of MM's friends gave him years ago, but he'd not read yet: Ishmael. Blegh! It bugged me. I made MM read it, and he felt the same. He scoffed and snorted and cursed his way through it. "This sounds like a college freshman bull session, where they all think they are soooo brilliant, and no one has ever had such ideas before, and theirs is this glorious, unique revelation. But really, its just half-researched, half-thought out thoughts that a bunch of others had come up with before, based on faulty information." Ahem. Yeah, it was not an awesome book.

Nightstand book (F): Just started a Louis L'Amoure (sp?) book, The Walking Drum. Another of MM's, which he describes as "a ripping good yarn." So this should be fun.
Purse book (Nf): Salt (MM keeps thinking that I don't like this, but he's wrong. I've been enjoying it, this go around, and I feel like my brain can absorb it, finally. The thing is, I don't get out much these days, so when we take books and go sit in coffee shops, I'm all distracted by people-watching. When I'm home by myself at lunch I read this one just fine.)
Bathroom book: Still don't have one. Think I'll just double up on my nightstand book or purse book for now.
Read-aloud with MM (F): Well, since we'd just barely begun Touch the Devil, and MM reads a lot these days, we went back to Plan A. We're zipping along with Anne of the Island, and I'm still getting a kick out of my husband's reactions to these "little girl" books.
Read-aloud with MM (Nf): Hearing God and Changes that Heal
Devotional Books: The Divine Hours, John Baille's Diary of Private Prayer, In the Heart of the World

Learning... I'm still thinking a lot about cabbage and kale and finding ways to integrate them into our diet. Last night for dinner, I sauteed red onion, red bell pepper, mushroom, and kale in olive oil and a splash of balsamic. Then I fried (we don't have poaching pods yet) eggs with thyme, and served those over the greens with some avocado. Holy mackerel, it was good. So good! MM liked it too, and it kept us perfectly full all night. That one's going into regular rotation, probably as a breakfast.

Creating... Tonight, I plan on knitting. I'd love to grab a friend or two and head someplace for a glass of wine and an unofficial Stitch and Bitch meeting. (The real knitters are all at a convention this week.) But, as its a bit late to sound the call to my people, I will probably just tuck myself into the office with a British period piece (and a glass of wine) (AND a piece of valentine candy) to knit.

Dreaming... Of gatherings and celebrations and general hooplah. We've got my mom's 84th birthday (she's a leap year baby, so she's actually 21), and MM's birthday coming up, a few belated "dates" that we owe family and friends, and St Patrick's day is around the corner... Lot's to think about.

Pondering... How relationships morph and change and grow and fade and flourish through the years... My new rhythms of exercise and self care (I am almost completely pain-free! Woohoo! Now, if I get a massage it can be for pampering instead of survival.)...

Thankful for... That MM and I can talk about so many things!... How he made me feel like a princess on Valentine's day... The daffodils that have popped up in the back yard, and the one random bud that we found in the front flowerbed... new soap and shampoo and conditioner... the season's first bike ride... the fact that I can now do 5 situps in a row...


thursdaybook - evening edition

For tonight I am:

Seeing... The yellow and blue calico table cloth my ol' roommate made back in the day. We had similar tastes and so were able to create a cohesive home instead of the usual rommate hodge podge. Yellow and blue in the beginning. Followed by our Lord of the Rings Phase. Hey, don't laugh; it was classy. I found this in a box the other day, and used it for our kitchen table. I normally prefer the natural wood, but now and then, a table cloth seems right. Just on the verge of spring, this little flowered number from back in my spinster days makes me smile.

Hearing... The freeway... the dripping faucet... the tick of the clock...

Tasting... Homemade chicken vegetable soup. Had a few chicken carcases from roasts gone by. Boiled them to smithereens to make stock, took out the bones and skin and weird bits, and added all kinds of veggies we'd had laying around. So freakin good. Remarkably, in this process, I somehow managed to set off the fire alarm in the back office.

Working... We just have to do the evening chores (dishes, dinner cleanup, trash, make lunches, prep oatmeal) and then no more work today.

Reading... Finished On Writing and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I told MM that I enjoyed Hitchhiker, and totally get why all my nerd friends love it, but I think that this is the sort of book that one needs to encounter at 12. At 12, this stuff would be hillarious. That mix of smart and silly and clever and weird that nerds everywhere find delightful and everyone else just doesn't get. When you are 12 and you read these books and laugh and laugh and then find other people who laugh at them too, there's a bonding that happens. You find your tribe this way. I could have used my nerd tribe back then. As it is. I found the books amusing for sure, and I get a lot more nerd jokes now, and I plan on reading the other books in the "trilogy." But I wonder if I will have the same deep affection and fondness for them that I would have if I'd read them back in the day. Time will tell. But for now, it's good to know where my towel's at. I am one seriously hoopy frood.

In other reading:
Bathroom book: There's a book that I really want to be my bathroom book, but its a loaner, and I don't know how people feel about bathroom books. That really grosses some people out, so I don't want to impose myself. It's too bad, cuz this one is perfect - Green from the Ground Up. An overview on how to build houses that are super efficient systems for the folks who live in them and have minimal negative impact on the environment. I may have to find other times to read that one...
Purse book (Nf): Salt
Nightstand book: Just started one my husband has had for years and never read: Ishmael. Not very far in, but wow. Trip.
Read-aloud with MM (F): Touch the Devil. Well, Anne of the Island was the next slotted read-aloud, but one evening, I was cooking and MM wanted to hang out with me, so he started in on this one, and its all actiony, so we can't stop now! :)
Read-aloud with MM (Nf): Hearing God (We just love Dallas Willard. He's smart and kind and gentle. We read this one on Sunday evenings, and its sort of like a fireside chat with a man we respect and enjoy. Sundays with Dallas. Sounds like a Youtube channel...) Changes that Heal
Devotional Books: The Divine Hours (switching to springtime volume this week!), John Baille's Diary of Private Prayer, In the Heart of the World

Learning... About the electrical system of our house. We need to create a map that documents the connection and power levels of our circuit breakers with the various sockets, switches, and rooms of our house. This goes in the Old Houses are Fun category. We blew out a socket this weekend, and we've noticed that different combinations of appliances trip circuits. This way we can know that if Blackie the Space Heater is plugged into the wall by the door and Dixie the Dishwasher is plugged into the wall opposite the bathroom there will be Big Trouble. We discovered yesterday that every switch and socket in two rooms plus the front porch run off of one 15 am circuit breaker. Woohoo! (Old Houses are Fun!)

Creating... Baking some treats for coffee time with my friend tomorrow morning, and sewing some pillow covers. This is freaky to me, because I am harvesting fabric from the covers for the back cushions of our couch. The back cushions are so huge and puffy that people can't really sit on the couch, which sort of defeats the purpose of living room seating. Gonna take the puffy cushions off and replace them with various smaller pillows. Figured I'd cover at least one of them with fabric from the couch, so it looks like they belong. I've got two smaller pillows that have been sitting on our furniture without covers for a year or so. Time to get with the program.

Dreaming... Same things as last time... careers, houses, adventures... longterm financial planning...

Pondering... Still thinking over the emotional healing process. How some people heal, and some don't. That magical something that needs to "click" simply doesn't, and they spend years/decades/lifetimes spinning in circles of chaos and pain. And the healthy solution/better way can be right in front of their face. Obvious. Simple (not easy, but simple). And they won't see it. Can't do it. Try to do it and fail, again and again. And again. Enslaved to addictions or other destructive behavior patterns, they simply have no choice but to "do what they do not wish to do." Some people die in this condition. Yet others, somehow, "get it". That magical something clicks, and they learn a new way. Bam. And they are not the same person. Mystery.

Thankful for... Soup and sandwhiches... fire alarms... candles... turtle shepherds... ingredients for coffee treats... COFFEE!!! FRIDAY MEANS COFFEE!!! (Sorry. Freaked out there for a minute.)... functioning light sockets... finding the money we needed for an unexpected expense... for my man, who loves me with unconditional love, who holds me when I freak out, who makes up goofy songs and dances with me in the kitchen, who stays the course, "even when it hurts." Clariton.


thursdaybook - pie before dinner

For today I am

Seeing... Spring flowers, possibly daffodils, poking up into the unkempt garden beds in back. Previous tenants cultivated lovely things back there, and had the grace to plant perennials, so this will be a year of fun discoveries. I'm going to be careful when pulling things out, so as to not yank up something heirloom-y.

Hearing... Birds. They could care less that we didn't get a real winter and are twittering away, getting ready to get their freak on. Last year, our neighborhood was FILLED with crazy, mating birds and nests and eggs and fledgling catastrophes. It was loud. We'll see what this year and this "quiet" neighborhood brings.

Tasting... My morning cup of tea. I'm doing pretty good with my tea/water alternation (that is totally a word!) plan. Not yesterday, because I was out all day, but most days. And man, does it feel better when I do. Proper hydration is a marvelous thing.

But the coffee? It calls to me. We have an open pantry, and every time I walk by (on my way to get a refresh of tea or water) I get a whiff of deep, dark, forbidden coffee. Sexy. It winks and tries to seduce me, "hey, baby." I have to walk fast.

And, this is sort of related to tasting, but I've added morning smoothies into our meal plan, and I think that means giving up my morning oatmeal. I'm just too full after the smoothie to pull it off. And, the way we do oatmeal (steal cut, cooked the night before) makes it hard to eat it later... I need to figure out a good plan. Sigh. More food plans. Anyway - today's smoothie was goooood. (Say that like Nacho Libre.)
  2 small Tangerines (peeled)
  1 avocado (peeled)
  1 pear (not peeled)
  1 cup of plain, whole, organic European style yogurt
  1/2 T of honey

Working... Thursday is bathroom day in our house. Whoopie! We have a bunch of people over on Thursdays, so it just seems right to keep things hygienic. For the children. And, it's tax season, which is when I go through my files and archive what gets saved and shred the rest. So there's much filing and sorting and shredding and piling and organizing and whatnot. I think today will be a day for my Donna Summer Pandora station.

Reading... Well! We finished The Eagle Has Landed in a marathon reading session. Stayed up til, 2 reading, and then debriefed for an hour or so. Its a good story. And, though not overtly so, moving. Or maybe it was just that MM and I read it together and had a chance to share our reactions to the characters. The thread runing throughout is that humans were not meant for war and death and killing. The main characters (Germans, a Boer, and an IRA soldier carrying out a dastardly plot against the British in WW2) all have poignant moments when their soul longs for peace in the midst of endless war. We had great conversations about pain and abuse and forgiveness and vengeance and grace and the poison of bitterness and the evil of mankind. And the goodness. I would have never read this book were it not for the Cultural Exchange that MM and I are doing. Thankful I got to experience it with him. (Next, we're going to watch the movie and groan over how not like the book it is.)

Purse Book (Nf): Salt (My brain is much better able to absorb the information now. Yay!)
Bathroom Book (Nf): On Writing (Almost done.)
Read-aloud with MM (F): Anne of the Island (Quite a change of pace, but we need some levity after Eagle)
On the Nightstand (F): The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Chuckling a lot, and now I get all the jokes I've heard for years.)
Read-aloud with MM (Nf): Changes that Heal and Hearing God
Morning "quiet time" books: The Divine Hours, A Diary of Private Prayer, In the Heart of the World (by Mother Theresa).

Learning... A lot about Cabbage and Kale. I got a lot of good info via Twitter, email, comments. Thanks, folks!

Creating... Finishing up Valentines today, and making a care package for my mama and sister. Fun little Valentine-y treats. That will take up my creating time today, I think. At some point I want to put up decorations on our house. I mean. Come on, we live in a bright pink house. If anyone has Valentine's Day decore up, it should be us!

Dreaming... On Tuesday night, MM took me out for pie and held my hand and shared some of his dreams for my next career. The things he said resonate with me, but while he is giddy, I am nervous. Lots of fears. Of failure, of criticism, of Mysterious Bad Something. I've had a lifetime of Bad Somethings, so it takes time to relax into these dreams. Deep breaths. Baby steps.

We are also dreaming about our next steps as a family. Buy a house? If so, what? Where? When? Live overseas? When? Where? Which do we do first? Do I make my career switch before or after? Does MM take a sabbatical or make a career switch of his own? Exciting and fun to dream together.

Pondering... How we are all, in some ways, still being "knit together in the secret place". There is a mystery to the growth and healing of a person. Creation, transformation, renewal - whatever you want to call it. And there are things I can do, of course - study, exercise, go to therapy, learn a new skill, read a book... but I cannot make myself grow and heal and become. That just sort of... happens. My job is to show up, and I suppose, pay attention. And even then I miss it. Weird.

Thankful for... The surprise flowers in the garden... that the repair guy was able to fix the leaky pipe... sunshine on wood floors... just enough - and then some... avocado smoothies... pie and coffee before dinner and MM's hand holding mine...