Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Change is a'comin'

It's only the end of July, but I can already feel Summer rush past. The temperatures are down to the high 50s at night. Sunrise is happening later and sunset earlier. I know Summer in our neck of the woods tends to go on and on until I'm begging for 12 minutes of Fall before we hit Christmas, but I feel it's slipping through my fingers like sand. What happened to the camping trips? The s'mores? What happened to the s'mores, for crying out loud?!

Luckily, August and September are usually pretty good months...balloon races (with chocochip cookies), state fair (ferris wheel and soft serve), more mountain lake trips (followed by lunch at the Char-Pit). But school is one month off and it feels like the end of freedom. Go straight to class, do not pass go. I'm really dreading it. I try to remind myself that it's my ticket to a new career, but as my career goals are still kind of nebulous it makes the final goal that much more intangible (I'm just getting a history degree to get out of the undergrad as quickly as possible and then the masters will be for what I really want to do...whatever that may be). I guess I'd better just throw myself headlong into what remains of Summer and try to be in the moment as best I can.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Say Hello to Jake

I did it. I am now a happy bike owner, once again.

I need to take it back down to the shop to get the brakes adjusted since not having much in the way of brakes makes for an interesting ride when flying down a hill. But all in all, it's very good. I was going to wait for the back order on a sexy Italian bike, but I decided to get the one that I actually was able to take on a test ride. It feels like a Cadillac, smooth and strong. My body, on the other hand, is not so smooth and strong.

I am so out of shape. Before Kidlet, I was a yogini. I'd finish work and go to yoga class a couple times a week (ahhh, back in the days when I had something called "free time"). And before my plantar fasciitis came on strong, I was a runner. I miss yoga but I miss running most of all. I distinctly remember one of the last long distance runs I did, a 12 mile run on trails with Kiko amongst the sunflowers. I was trying to train for a full marathon but my body was breaking down so I abbreviated my goal and managed to do the half. I hope my bike and I will become as good of friends as me and my running shoes once were.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Whew. I made my last contribution to yellow week with just a couple hours to spare. Yellow squash on a yellow table with a yellow wall. Now that I look around, there's a fair amount of yellow in my life. It's a cheerful color to live with. I'm just not that good at finding it, (despite the fact my whole living area is painted yellow).

Thanks for hosting a lovely week, Tracy! It's been a good challenge and has me looking around with a little more attention (always a good thing).

Ok, I'm beat. It's off to bed and my latest books...have a swell weekend, friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yellow: Mediocre

Or how about 'Yellow: Medi-ochre'? Bwa ha ha...I crack myself up.

When the yellow challenge was set, I started looking around my everyday surroundings. I knew I would capture some of the many, many yellow flowers that have overtaken my yard. But what else? Oh! I have brilliant idea! Take a photo of the curb! It was so much cooler in my head, but when it came, not so much. I've taken so many yellow photos today but none of them made me proud. I'm sure I could have done better if I got over my "I feel so goofy (fill in awkward position here) taking photos of (fill in mundane subject here)" feelings. Tomorrow is another day. Another golden, sunny day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good Night Sweetheart

An impromptu night of backyard camping. The new(er) neighbors in the rental quieted down just as it got dark. Kidlet was fidgety and talking, talking, talking.

"Is that a planet? Is that one a planet too? Are they all planets?"
"Sweetie, there aren't that many planets in our solar system. That one looks like Venus and that one looks like Mars. The rest are stars. Or airplanes."

Yip, yip, howwwwwwl....a coyote chimes in with the crickets. We sleep in the cool night air.

Kidlet loved it.

Me too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Walk Around the Yard

It's the height of summer and I'm looking at the yard thinking "hmmm...what do I need to do to make the yard better next year?" I like to make our yard hospitable for wildlife. This year, I'm seeing an absence of bees but more butterflies. Tons of birds (as always) and last night we even saw a toad. Here's what I want to add, some for beauty, some for critters...

--Clematis. A neighbor has one growing all over the remnants of a dead tree and dang, it's amazing. I tried one once and it promptly shriveled up and died.

--Cosmos. They used to be plentiful in our yard but they have disappeared. Maybe the birds ate the seed?

--Mums. I buy 'em at the store sometimes and try to put them in the garden guessed it, they shrivel up and die. But I am ever hopeful. Try, try, again.

--Queen Anne's Lace. There's a ton out here by work. Thinking about collecting some seed and sowing it. So pretty.

--More poppies! My fave!

--More gladiolas. I have a lovely stray peach gladiola that I always forget until this time of year when it pops out in all its peachy-ness.

--Wildflower Mix. I've annually tossed it all around the yard with varying results. I think I'm going to try a different brand this year. 3 years ago the brand that I've been staying true to did me well. Ever since, I've got nothing. Hoping to get some more bees with the right mix.

--Peony. Peony. Peony.

--Less yellow! A funny thing to say during yellow week, but all I have in my yard is yellow with a smattering of white.

Are you making plans for fall planting? I always think when fall rolls around I'm going to remember what I think I might want for the next season and I'm always way off since everything has died back by that point. It's good to take notes now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rain and Rides

The air is thick with the scent of rain this morning. A giant flash of lightning roused me from a dead sleep. I thought it was my alarm at first (as I have a Moonbeam Clock) but I realized it wasn't 6 a.m.. I waited for the thunder. A low, long rumble rolled through the sky. I love summer storms just as long as they don't spark a fire in the hills.

A couple of battered blooms to start off yellow week. I'm loving the hunt for yellow.

I'm dreaming about bikes. Really. I wake up and feel like I pedaled a leg of the Tour. I test-rode several this weekend and they are all lovely. Trying to decide which direction to go...flat bar road bike or drops? Touring? Cyclocross? I have to say, cyclocross bikes are winning my heart as you can do just about anything on them. I like to be prepared.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Morning Glory

I've emerged from my 'quiet time' feeling a bit more refreshed. I forget that it's good to shut up every once in a while. I didn't make it as long as I thought I was going to, but I think I've stepped back long enough.

I didn't do much during my quiet time except just live daily life: work, shuttling the small one to school, going to outdoor and family events. I've been thinking more, doing less. Keeping my eyes open and trying to soak up inspiration. Speaking of inspiration, if you haven't already been visiting, you should make your way over to echoes. Wow. And I'm kick starting my photo brain coming up for ideas for Tracy's yellow week. I've got 3 in my head already.

Still waiting for my tomatoes and blackberries. Still deciding on the 'perfect' bike. Still haven't set a toe in a cool lake. In other words, same ol', same ol'.

A small list...

--Listening to Dr. John's Gris-Gris a bunch. Something about that slow-as-molasses swampiness is working for me.

--Trying to plan a family 2.5 day vacation. Originally San Francisco but nary an affordable motel room to be had. Now I'm floundering.

--Read: A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell (thanks, Bekka!) and (reread) The Summer Book by Tove Jansson of beloved Moomin fame. Both were so very good. Perfect summer reads. Almost done with Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. What a bizarre book, but good. This past year, I watched the film for the (maybe?) first time and really, really loved it (Julie Andrews, you rule my school. Dick Van Dyke, you are quite a handsome devil.). Getting ready to reread The Great Gatsby and (an as of yet unchosen) Hemingway. I'm really enjoying rereading books that I tore through in my teens and catching all the nuances that flew right by me as a young person.

--Dreading going back to school. Yeah, I like to start my dread early. Can I really manage two classes that require tons of writing? Aieeeee.

Ok, that's what I've been up to...what do you have on deck for the weekend? I'm just going to drift and see where it takes me.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Time for me to step away from the computer. I can tell when I'm spending too much time online and now is one of those times. I was able to cross just about everything off last post's 'To Do' list except "Keep computer time to a minimum" (well, that and buy slide film).

Hopefully when I come back I'll be able to tell you about tomatoes and blackberries from my own little plants, a bicycle, time with friends and family, swimming in lakes, making postcards and other goodness. I'll be on flickr to post my weekly CSA photos, just so I can keep them straight. I'm sure I won't be able to hold myself away from the internet entirely (impossible!) so I will be checking in on you, making sure you are having a lovely time.

Hugs! See you in a few weeks!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What I Will Do with my Long Weekend

1. Take Kidlet to the parade, although I feel she will be sorely disappointed after the parades she saw in Disneyland last week.

2. Keep computer time to a minimum.

3. Go to the farmer's market for fruit.
3a. Hoping for strawberries to make the famous strawberry freezer jam that is flying high on the blogging airwaves.
3b. Hoping for blueberries because I love them.

4. Drink a happy drink.
4a. Wine!
4b. Beer!
4c. Coffee!

5. Get my hair cut.

6. Install an air conditioner (we finally caved in).

7. Start knitting another bird for possible inclusion in the state fair (and for giving to a small person for his birthday next month).

8. Break open another pack of Polaroid film.

9. Buy more film.

10. Make the much beloved (but rarely made) peanut butter rice crispy treat ice cream sandwiches.

What do you have planned?