Monday, October 31, 2011

It's here....

Tomorrow is the first day of November, NatNoWriMo.  Can I do it?  Will I do it?  I can't even commit to a daily journal.  Write a book in a month?

But, since I'm in the middle of a mid-life crisis, I may as well.  I've systematically cleaning my life - as in, no more staying home just because no one wants to go with me.  I'm asking myself important questions, like:  What do YOU want?  What do YOU really, really like?  I've cut and colored my hair (which is a REALLY big thing in my life...control and comfort - right out the window!)  I feel like my quote - leaving little pieces of my former shell behind so the real me can shine through.

So, write a novel in a month.  Realistically, it can be done.  In my current state of mind, no way.  However, I am going to commit to writing something every day - a short story, an essay, just jotting down thoughts.  Some of them may find their way here.  Who knows?  I do know I have to start somewhere...and here is where I'm at, so it's just as good of a place as any!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Winter is on the Way

Tonight, I heard the first flock of geese this season.  I'm sure they've been migrating for weeks now, but I'm inside most of the day, then come home to my second job of the day as chief cook and bottle washer, another inside job.

  We've had a front move in and the cloud cover prevented me from actually seeing them, but they lingered - whether they were a large flock or just circling, lost -long enough for me to sit in my swing and listen for a few minutes. 

Winter is my favorite season.  I love sweaters, low humidity (a must for natural curly hair like mine), crispness in the air, gray skies, and rain makes it even better.  Yes, I'm a freak.  I love rainy, winter days.  I love to curl up, with a blanket and a book, of course, and just look out the window. 

Something about it sparks my imagination.  Perhaps it's just the coziness and the sense that everything has slowed down for a reason.  It's just around the corner and I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Night Sky

This is what the night sky looks like at my house.  I'm far enough away from city lights I can see each and every star in its perfection.

My goal is to one day learn the constellations.  I have a book, but somehow lack the motivation to lay in my driveway and learn them in their places.  It's too hot, too cold, too many mosquitoes or I'm too tired.  Not to mention, the concrete gets hard.

But, I like to stand and look.  I try to stay long enough to spot a plane in the night.  Call me crazy, but I like to imagine where it's flying and perhaps the story of one or two of the passengers.  Guess that's just the writer in me.  Late night and early morning flights have the best stories.  Maybe one day I'll get brave and actually commit them to paper...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Men in Kilts!

Just home from the Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival.  Had a great time!  It was my first year to go and now I know what to expect (and how to better prepare for next year.)  The vendors were exceptionally nice - bought a book (of course) signed by the author...
Scottish Alphabet

and homemade soap...check out their Etsy shop - Pastry Moon.  My scent of choice was Blooms - not too floral, but just sweet enough.

 Almond Vegan Soap

Saw my first highland cow. 

She was short, fuzzy, and pregnant.  Incredibly tame, but she looked hot.

Heard the best group!  The are Four Shillings Short and I love their music.  I've always had a thing for Celtic music...and for you "uninformed" think Bluegrass without the twang.  The instruments are pure, as are the melodies and the lyrics will break your heart.  I bought their CD and hope to see them again.

And now, for the piece de resistance (sorry, can't add the emphasis marks) I present you with:   Men in Kilts!

Truthfully, the front view was better than the back, but considering they were part of a law inforcement group, I didn't feel comfortable asking for the full monty.  There were several groups represented - some with Highland affiliations and others just hanging out in kilts.  Did see some of the Red River Pipes and Drums - but didn't get the full performance.  Oh, well, maybe next year.  My heart probably couldn't take any more excitement - full Highland regalia AND bagpipes?  Dreamy!

Capped the day off at Books a Million.  Asked for recommendations, but didn't get them in time.  Left with two titles by Jon Krakauer.  I read Into the Wild and loved it.  I picked up Into Thin Air and Where Men Win Glory:  The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.  They ought to provide some food for thought.  And, that is how a Saturday in October should be spent!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Self-Reflection is...

Self-reflection is___________(you fill in the blank.)

 Rewarding?  Painful?  Rewardingly Painful?  Painfully Rewarding?  How about just necessary!  This weekend, I spent some time alone with me.  I haven't done that in quite a while.  And, while visiting, I discovered I've got a pretty cool person inside I need to get to know again.  In order to do that, I need to do some cleaning.

Tonight, I'm cleaning out my closet!  And I'm excited about it!  I have boxes of craft supplies (neatly organized, of course) I'm donating to people at my school.  I will take them to work tomorrow and not bring anything home!  I've decided that if it isn't part of my passion (see the previous post) it's got to go to make room for good things.  (By the way, I forgot to add beading to that list of hobbies I've tried.  Two boxes worth of beading...)

I will keep my painting supplies because a) I do enjoy it.  b) I have a project or two in mind. And c) I get paid to paint sometimes.  Other than that, it's got to go.  Good-bye polymer clay, beads, pen and ink supplies, scissors with designer blades, and random other junk I have stored.  Now, I have more room for books and writing things, and books about writing things.  Cleaning makes me feel good, but what makes me feel better is finding out new things about myself...and deciding I'm worth the change.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Holly Hobby

Why do I spend so much time and money on the pursuit of hobbies?  In all of my life, I have not yet found the One Thing I can't go without doing.  I suppose because so much of my job is instilling knowledge (and heaven knows we see so little return) that I long for something tangible, something I can touch. 

I dabble with paints - enjoy acrylics, but paint on demand/command/commission.  Rarely do I feel the urge to just paint.

I tried polymer clay and enjoyed it, once I got it conditioned.  My hands were sore for days!

I would love to knit and/or crochet, but I'm a lefty and that makes things challenging. (Before anyone recommends it, no, there are no classes in my area...and my brain is too tired after work to try to interpret directions from one of those "dummie" books.)

I sew a bit, but it's limited to a need-to basis.  Pillow?  check.  Skirt?  check. 

Nothing that just really strikes my passion that I just can't live without on a daily basis...other than reading and writing.  Can they be hobbies?  I believe my whole spirit would just dry up and blow away if I couldn't read every day.  I usually have several books going at one time, some light, some heavy, some just to pass the time.  Before my CD player quit in my car, I listened to books on tape during my commute.  I'm well and truly addicted.  Currently I'm reading:


Writing, well, that is all-togther another story.  I evade that craft as much as possible, but it lures me with the siren's call.  I'm afraid to put my whole heart into it.  I'm afraid it will become all-consuming.  If I spent as much time writing as I do evading, perhaps I'd have a stack of novels now.  My mind would be a much emptier place (no comments please) and I could actually breathe life to the characters with which I live daily.  Maybe one day I'll be brave.  November is NaNoWriMo.  (That's National Novel Writing Month).  I've wanted to do it for years, but have always been too chicken.  This year may just be my year!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What is it and can you eat it?

I posted this on MaryJane's Farm Forum before I realized I couldn't add my pictures.  So, here it is again.  I have this viney thing that will eventually bush if left alone.  It produces nice purple berries and has gorgeous ivy sort of leaves.  With my luck it's either poisonous or a nuisance plant.  I can't find anyone to identify it.  Care to give it a go?  I live in south Arkansas, zone 8 - and it's hardy.  It will grow on fences, preferrably, but will just about survive anywhere.  Here are the pix:

Post Script:
Thanks for Farmgirl Penny for identifying my mystery plant as Peppervine, or formally known as Ampelopsis arborea.  It's a member of the grape family with little nutritional value for the varmits.  People can't eat it and it's a monster to kill.  So much for my luck.  Inedible and a nuisance plant - but it sure is pretty to look at when the berries are ripe!