me

Jackson Square ~ Mason Jennings

The first time I heard this song was in the quiet of a springtime afternoon via earbuds. I was consumed by it’s haunting beauty.
It’s gray here this morning and I feel this song fits the feel as I wait for the sun to break through the heavy clouds.

Please listen responsibly.

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cardinal rules

I have a friend who’s second unbreakable life rule or, “Rule # 2” is that no one is permitted into his home.
I find this fascinating. No one in his home. Ever. (my suspicion is that emergency medical providers are the only exception)

I don’t know that I could ever have his second rule. Let us disregard for a moment the fact that I share a dwelling with YBW and his children (part time).
I need that energy that people bring…and I like to be in my own space. So, that would never work for me. I occasionally want to be around people while also remaining in my own physical space.
And that’s OK. I’m me, not him.

That got me thinking: I’m so me. Like, all the freaking time! And that me is an unholy mess of a girl, as well as put together AF.
I like that about me.
I embrace it, and I celebrate it.

It occurs to me that so many people don’t embrace and celebrate the “me” they are. Folks are so busy trying to be something they may not be because of any number of outside influences, societal rules, or even to impress a potential mate.
In trying to become something else, bits of the me get lost.
Some of those could be OK to lose, crap bits to bid a “good riddance” to. But some of those are important pieces. Invaluable and irreplaceable.
The me is the best and most important piece of the puzzle. Even if you haven’t completely figured out your me.
I learn about the me I am every day.
I learn stuff I love, and want to keep, I learn stuff I feel ambivalent about but realize may have value. I learn stuff I know I can chuck in the bin because it’s bad for me and anyone I come in contact with. But even the chuck it in the bin stuff can be embraced, because I learned something from it. At the very least, I learned I didn’t need it…at most, I may have even learned why.

Some folks are so concerned with improvement they don’t stop first to examine what’s there that might be handy. They just dump it and begin searching for new stuff to fill the void.
That will never get anybody anywhere!
If folks are externally motivated, they’re never going to experience the all-important A-ha! moments. Never experience the all-important I did it! moments.
I believe you lose the most important aspect of the me when you’re externally motivated. When you need to be filled up by other people, or things. It doesn’t seem to me that you’re even aware of the me inside you, much less embracing and celebrating it. That makes me so sad. I cannot stress enough how much that (those) someones are missing out!

Embrace and celebrate what you have within you. Learn it and learn from it.
Accept and release some of it. Accept and embrace other of it.
But, above all, celebrate the “me” inside you.

I’m me.
I’m a hot mess and a tight ship. And that is the way I like it. I’m so over trying to be what external influences expect me to be.
I’m just the me I expect me to be.
I’m amazing and wonderful because I’m flawed.
Each lesson I’ve learned, the good, the bad, the indifferent have made and continue to make me this wonderfully flawed woman.

I think that’s the most important of my Cardinal Rules.
If I decided to create unbreakable rules for my life they might look like this.

1. Embrace and celebrate the me I am.
2. Live my intention.
3.

(yeah, I sort of borrowed that one, but I feel it keenly)
4. Communicate with honesty.
5. Know my limits.

That’s just off the top of my head…I might mix it up a little, I might keep it the way it is. But, over all, that’s how I intended to live my life.
Cardinal Rules.
It occurs to me that I already lived them, just never stopped to write them down.

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love-filled, lemon-scented paradise

Y’all know I am absolutely obsessed with porch life. This spring and summer have afforded me loads of time to spend on the back porch.
Currently it’s just too damn hot to even consider going out there. We hit a heat index of 105 yesterday, and it’s not much less today at 101.

Over the weekend and earlier in the week though, I was out on the porch a great deal.
Monday afternoon I went out with my journal and sat writing for the longest time.

I was having a really lovely day. I was productive and felt fully present in my life. I was truly living my intention that day. And while I was writing, the most amazing (albeit obvious) thing occurred to me.
My love of porch life is me living my intention!
I feel like there should be a great big, “Duh!” at the end of that statement. Only I’m not going to judge it. I’m just embracing the hell out of it.

Little reminders. Little things. Little pleasures. That’s the love.
When I’m writing about how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, and how it impacts my daily life, I experience the love.
More times than not, it’s about paying attention.
When I’m present in my life, I mean actively living, and open to the world around me, I’m living my intention without even trying.
Enjoying porch life is a way I can express love for myself. It’s a way of living my intention of love for me.
Life on the porch is a peaceful, love-filled, lemon-scented paradise and if that’s not living my intention, I don’t know what could be.

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Baby Driver, GO NOW!


Y’all! I saw Baby Driver earlier this week!
I’m so serious when I say, “Run. Do not walk to go see this!”

When I first left the theater, I was feeling as though I had so much more to digest. That meant I couldn’t really formulate an opinion. (somebody write that down, stat!) Seriously though, I’ve been thinking on this movie every single day since I saw it.

Edgar Wright did a movie I love, Hot Fuzz. Also Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which I enjoyed. Also Shaun of the Dead, but I didn’t super love that one.

But Baby Driver was something else!
The way everything was timed to the soundtrack made the whole thing for me!
I went in blind. Thing C and YBW were all, let’s go see this movie. I was game so off I went. I knew nothing about it other than Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx were in it. And that kid who died in TFIOS. I pretty much agreed to go because YBW asked me specifically and sweetened the deal with the promise of popcorn.
As I sat in the dark with my popcorn and Coke, I realized how freeing it was to watch a movie for which I had no anticipation or preconceived notions.
I loved it!
Y’all gotta go see this movie!

Here’s something cool about the music in this movie.
Beware: contains spoilers!

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flying by the seat of your pants

Here’s a random thing I like about YBW: his ability to fly by the seat of his pants. That’s isn’t a trait I’m especially good at and he’s teaching me how to…be inclined to try it. Isn’t that fortunate? Flying by the seat of your pants isn’t as anxiety inducing when you’ve got somebody holding your hand.

Yesterday we went out with the plan of visiting a (new to us) winery, with the possibility of stopping to take photos as we might be moved.
Turns out we had old information because when we pulled up to the vineyard, the gates were locked and a sign told us the hours of operation were Friday – Saturday – Sunday 11 to 5. So much for open daily 11 to 5.

In that moment we had a choice.
Let disappointment suck the air out of our sails, or quickly regroup and come up with a plan.
When I suggested we go to “our” winery, YBW asked if I really wanted wine. Not so much.

So we drove along route 55 for a while and found this abandoned barn.

Only this farm wasn’t abandoned, it was just dilapidated. It was actually home to some cows, and a (fairly) modern tractor was parked near the fence.

Since we were nearly there and neither of us had recollection of ever actually being there, we decided to check out Front Royal to see what the little town had to offer.
We ate a yummy lunch before wandering Main Street. It was mostly antique shops, but we had fun. You never know what you’re going to find.
I bought an old glass phone line insulator.

I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do with it, which should always be the first step in purchasing something you don’t really need. But I love the color of it. The history. The fact it has the company name on it.
It’s probably just something that will need to be dusted, but I don’t care. I wanted it. And I spent less than $20 from my babysitting money to own it.
(Is it funny that a grown ass woman talks about her babysitting money? Yeah, it kind of is. But two of my sweetest friends both celebrated their wedding anniversaries the end of June and needed someone to look after their children.)

Anyway, my sweet husband and I had a lovely day together just flying by the seat of our pants.

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people are dumb panicky animals

I can say this stuff to Sundance. She knows me well enough that the meaning is understood in concept without concerning herself with the actuality of it.
Am I a misanthrope?
Not really. I just can’t stand being around ignorant people out in public.


When the squinty eyes come out, you know there’s bound to be trouble.

You ever have days like this?
Days when you just know that if it was up to you, the world wouldn’t be full of

I don’t know what gets me rattled, I should probably just ignore more of what goes on around me. Only I can’t seem to do that. I hold others to the expectations to which I hold myself. How to properly behave in public is something I feel like should be a no-brainer.
I mean, it’s pretty simple, right?
Just don’t act like a dick.

I know my mom was a hard ass, a no-nonsense kind of dictator parent. But she taught me the importance of how to behave around other people.
Sure, I’m a sarcastic bitch. But I don’t act a fool.
Some of these people out in the world need to tighten it the f**k up.
Ugh!

I feel like I’m forever making this face.
The things they say. The physical space they take up. The absolute lack of awareness of the world around them. These rampant packs of fools milling about.
I’m going to need for y’all to get it together already!

Do I simply need more patience?
That wouldn’t be a bad thing…
If folks would get their shit straight out in public, I would attempt a bit more patience. It’s a two-way street, people. I’m just sayin’.

Over all, I believe Kay had it right.

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sisters

My heart is full of love.
I got a snapchat from Thing 2 late last night.
She’s at her sister’s!

The idea of my two Things together makes me so happy!
They have a uniquely precious friendship. It’s been through it’s share of troubles, but what sister relationship hasn’t?

They’ve lived through every moment of their lives (well, Thing 2’s life anyway) together. Every joy. Every sadness. Every fear. Every love. They’ve been each other’s best friend and worst enemy. Though they are quick to get at each other, each girl would kill or die to protect her sister from an outside threat. Even now, after time and events and miles have created a distance between them.

Am I jealous?
No, that’s not the right word.
Do I feel like I’m missing out?
Absolutely!
But not in a selfish way.

Being able to witness their complicated love of the last (nearly) twenty years. To see how their relationship has evolved as they become women. To listen as they speak their own personal language, when they finish each other’s sentences. To laugh at age-old jokes, or family stories they love to share.
I love the relationship my daughters have with each other. They are so blessed to have it. And they know it.
Sure, they take each other for granted. Sure they annoy each other if they’re together for too long. But when it comes down to it, they belong to each other in a way they belong to none of the rest of us.

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all this tricky day planning

This is how I’m feeling about summer!
All this tricky day planning!
That’s why I created a schedule.
That’s why I prioritized my tasks.

House- and schoolwork fall under the challenging catagory, while porch life is without doubt in the seductive.
It’s about marrying the two.
Sure, it makes it difficult to plan your day.

This morning I woke late, mostly recovered from a headache. I’m choosing to set aside my schedule. It’s not about seductive or challenging for me this morning, it’s about paying attention to my body. It obviously needed the rest.
So, my plan of attack for this Saturday will be set aside while I feel out how I’m going to function.
You know what?
It’s fine with me to let the day sort of plan itself.

There will be time for challenges and seduction as the days move along.
Will I plan? Pfft. Do you have to ask?
Will I deviate from those plans? Possibly.
The days we have in this world are a gift. And whether it’s to enjoy or improve, I intend to utilize them to the fullest.

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in the summertime

We had company in the form of YBW’s cousin, her husband, and their three year old daughter the week after school let out. This delayed my “first week of summer” plans. To finish the base cabinets and photograph all my lula merch. Of course porch life plays a big part in how I spend my time. But, every hard working bird needs a lovely place to perch in the afternoon.

I’m not following my schedule
Though I have prioritized my larger tasks.
*finish kitchen
*photograph lula
*finish building outdoor dining table

I’ve completely neglected my school work. And to be quite honest, I’m feeling a bit like Alice when it comes to that.

Only, I know I’ve got to kick it into gear and make some progress.
Oh how I despise being in a degree program I no longer care for.
Means to an end, sister. Means. To. An. End. (That’s what I keep telling myself.)
So, in times of stillness as I work on and complete my larger tasks, I will do homework.
Two courses are nearly in the bag. I just have to tighten it up and hit it out of the park. Effort is where it’s at. I’ll throw effort at it when I get my hands on some.

Tomorrow is the beginning of July! June flew past as I stared open-mouthed.
I’m expending effort into the large projects. Will save a bit for the smaller ones.
I shall prioritize my smaller tasks.
*homework
*writing
*camera time
*reading

Now, I say June flew past, but I have managed to enjoy a bit of the beginning of summer.
A solo trip to NGA where I discovered a wonderful photography exhibit, East of the Mississippi, Nineteenth-Century American Landscape photography. (And yes, I totally bought the exhibition catalog.) Thursday mornings at the farmers market with Meredith, Beau, and their sweet Mommy. A spur of the moment lunch date with Nora on Tuesday. Cider on the porch with Sundance Monday evening. I even managed to squeeze in a mani-pedi.
YBW and I have divided our time between porch life and watching the Nats play.

In the coming week after the kitchen is complete, I’ll spend some time with Catherine. There will be more porch life, (natch) and I’ll be ticking things off those lists. Even the things I don’t want to do.
In the meantime, Mungo Jerry is in my head, so I’ll share with y’all.
Summertime is where it’s at!

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porch life

Though I fully agree with Azrael, that (there is) “No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than central air.”, I’m completely obsessed with porch life.

I ran errands Friday last. Garden center for more lemony herbs to deter mosquitoes, and Home Goods for new planters to put them in.

Then to Lowe’s where I found absolutely perfect outdoor rugs!

It’s a work in progress.
I’ll find other things we need as time goes on. I’m building a bar-height dining table from gorgeous reclaimed red oak. Then I’ll have to shop for chairs and possibly an umbrella too! Aww dang, won’t that be horrible?

I sit out here every chance I get. YBW came home yesterday and I holler into the house, “Come have porch life with me!” Then about an hour later, Sundance came in through the front door and straight out the back door onto the porch.
It’s my current favorite place to hang out. Sometimes we come out here with beers or hard cider. Sometimes just a Coca Cola. It’s a place for great conversations. It’s a place to enjoy good food and company.

I’ve got my freshly brewed peach tea in a glass filled with ice, and I’m heading out.
Porch life.
I’m telling y’all, it’s the only way to live!

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