Day one.

For the last several years birthdays have come and gone and I’ve ignored the number because age is just a number.  One year I had my age wrong all year!  One year on my birthday someone asked me how old I was, and I caught myself doing actual math to calculate which one I was having!

This year, I am looking at my birthday more as a Good Place To Begin A New Year!  And the coming next year is like a fresh blank-paged journal, just waiting to be filled with stories.  And, instead of taking “New Year’s Day” as a kind of fresh start, I decided to take my birthday, yesterday, as the point in time to begin a new year.  Am I over-thinking this?  Nonetheless,  I woke up this morning feeling especially good – like, let’s bring it, Blank Page!

So how did I spend Day One?  Today I took to the yard and cleaned out the dead dry dormant garden boxes.   Then I washed all the loads of laundry.  And finally, I took care of some grocery shopping.  At one point I took a little nap on the couch.  Somewhere in there I also drew a little in my sketchbook, watched last night’s Saturday Night Live, and made egg sandwiches for the boys.

The evening waits now, and I have a pile of clothes that need to be ironed.  The Last Year Me wants to say, “Oh, just do it tomorrow….”  But, the New Year Me says, “Don’t listen to Last Year.  Get the ironing done – just think how glad you will be that it’s done tomorrow!”

So, I’m off to iron a pile of clothes.  I will probably listen to podcasts, or maybe an audiobook to help the time pass faster.  There are a couple of memoirs in my cue that I’d like to get started on. I’m still listening to The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) which I enjoy when I listen, but it is a very long book, so I sometimes put it down for a week or two and then get back to it.

The other day I went to the library to listen to an author.  Zadie Smith, most known for White Teeth.  She read to us – about 7 chapters from her new novel that will be published sometime next year.  Can I just say something right now?  I love listening to storytelling.  I love how listening to a story read aloud somehow adds even more dimensions and layers…. and my thoughts unfold like an origami page, taking me on short trips outside the narrative, like looking out the window of a train, and suddenly I’m thinking about a warm balmy night in a Sanger Harris parking lot illuminated by orange street lights after another performance of Grease at the community theater.  I was 14, and I helped with the lights up in the balcony that summer.

I love so much that I can occasionally find such inspiration when I just listen.  When I hear stories, or songs, or sometimes a moment of quiet.  (Because, in the moments of quiet my mind sort of stops, and allows the narrative to soak in. If that makes any sense.)

The pile of ironing is waiting.  Here’s to today, a good Day One of this New Year.  I count it as Beautiful.

DC without me

One day.  One day, perhaps, I will get to visit Washington DC too.

If you don’t have Facebook (and you know who you are!) here is a link to the Photo Album taken by the professor who hosted the group of 10 students.

Weylin is in several of the photos, many of them solo, which I thought was neat.  When he shared some of the stories, he said when they were at the Vietnam Memorial wall that morning, they could hear President Obama begin speaking in the distance, introducing pope Francis.

I miss me when I’m gone

I don’t know how many times I’ve started writing and then stopped, and then started over.  Know what I mean?

There are snippets of life that happen and they kind of build a picture of me.  You know.  Little vignettes.  The daily routines that fill most of the hours.  And some stories in between.

This morning:  Woke up at 6:15 and staggered to kitchen to make Zane’s sandwich.  He is already dressed and has the coffee going.  (This is a nice “perk” to having a 16yo who gets up when his alarm clock goes off,  likes morning coffee, and is motivated to brew a pot of coffee in the mornings.  He leaves at 6:30 in order to get to school early enough to get a parking spot.  I sip some coffee then get ready and finally leave at 7:15.  Weylin rode with me today since he and his Design class are flying out this evening to Washington DC.  (I’m so jealous!  I’ve never been to DC.)  Coincidentally, their architecture tour trip to DC coincides with the very days that the pope is also going to be there… so they are not sure how much that will affect their experience, in terms of wait times at landmarks, transportation, crowds. They are planning to go all the way up to the top of the Washington Monument.  I hope they do!  And, golly gees!  I’m so jealous!

I can’t wait to hear his stories when he returns.

Little stories are my favorite stories. When the routines are disrupted.  The little stories are found in between the routines.

Not that there’s anything wrong with routines.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this.  I have a Fitbit activity tracker, and I track my sleep now.  Tracking my sleep is part entertainment and part nerdy love for charts and graphs.  I am getting an average 8.06 hours of sleep, if I include weekends. This is interesting to me, I am a geek who finds weird love for statistics.  For example, I know I feel better after 8 hours of sleep than I do if I get less than 6.  This is groundbreaking information.  The data speaks for itself.  You can’t argue with the numbers.

You know, like a profile picture on a dating app.

Wait what?

Hang on, I’m back to that thing up there about ” snippets of life that happen that kind of build a picture of who I am now”, not an actual dating app.  I’m talking about like a profile picture of Life.  You know, how the photos on those apps apparently serve as an instantaneous blink of an eye rush to judgement of who and what and how and everything a person is? Which is the worst form of assessment of reality ever in the history of the world, the end, amen.  (Never mind that old “Love at First Sight” completely contradicts that. I’m not talking about that.  That’s different.) What is more telling of who a person is?  Maybe photos of things that define their daily (routine) life?  (Instragram, duh?)   But the profile picture of a person is really more about the vignettes of daily routines and the short stories in between.

What was I talking about?

Saturday oasis

Whew. What a week. Busy at work + a few days of some fever affliction (all better now) = one depleted human (me.)

It’s now Saturday morning and I’m the only one awake. Waking at 5:45 am on a Saturday??! Makes no sense, but here I am.

While the coffee brewed I played with a new “toy” called “transfer copied image onto things” using an ad market blender pen and photocopies (not print outs, must be toner based not ink). 

Oh the possibilities. 

Here’s a black and white of Frank Lloyd Wright transferred into my sketchbook and then colored with pencils.

I’m going to have some coffee now. Saturday morning coffee on the patio. 68°F. 

An oasis.


pappa is visiting this week.   

We had steaks for dinner and key lime pie, and pears and cheese and blackberry wine for dessert. 

Then this evening we sat outside on the back porch talking and listening to catydids and looked for shooting stars.