Posts Tagged With: porch life

Moana, fried green tomatoes, and fireworks

In the old days Independence Day meant a backyard full of people, and a pool full of children.
It was a pot luck, with the best damn macaroni salad you’ve ever eaten. Burgers and dogs on the grill, beer in plastic cups, because ‘no glass by the pool’. I’d always get thrown in fully clothed thanks to my brother and cousin. The kids would be pruned beyond belief, only stopping to grab a handful of fruit or veggies or chips. They’d hork down a burger or dog if you made them, but they couldn’t be out of the water for too long, or they’d miss out on all the fun.

These days Independence Day is much smaller.
Yesterday YBW and Thing G did yard work and I studied.
But in the late afternoon, Meredith and Beau came down with their Mommy. The kids played with Legos and their Mommy and I made fried green tomatoes and drank wine.
YBW and the kids have had a date to watch Moana since it came out, and last night they finally went down to the giant TV and set it up. (thanks Netflix) After we cleaned the kitchen, their Mommy and I joined them. Even Thing G came down to watch!
YBW and I were the only ones that hadn’t yet seen it.
Y’all, I was truly delighted! Disney hit that one out of the park! I laughed, I cried, I absolutely adored it!

Turns out we kind of forgot it was Independence Day because suddenly we could hear loud sounds, even downstairs. That’s when I realized we were missing fireworks.
After the movie, they walked back up the street to home and YBW and I had a quick hem-haw about zipping out to see the fireworks. We grabbed shoes and headed out. Hooked up with Nora and Dale and their kids and ooohed and ahhhed as we watched the color explosions. Apparently, our Manassas fireworks one of the largest local fireworks displays in all of Northern VA.
I didn’t even grab my phone from the car to take photos.
That’s how you know it’s good…choosing to experience everything first hand. The immediacy and authenticity of being present in the moment, not behind the lens. That’s a tricky one for me, but last night it was worth it!

Today is going to be quiet. YBW decided to skive off work today and tomorrow, we’ve got a couple quick errands to run. Might even pencil in a movie. If we’d been quick thinking enough, we might have planned a minibreak…but going away over the fourth just seems like a mess of hotness.

I keep hearing this song in my head, as I always do around Independence Day.

Yes, I am and American girl who grew up in the 1970s.
What are you gonna do?

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first world prob

Yesterday was the first day it didn’t rain in damn near two weeks.
So it was the perfect opportunity to get outside to prep for porch life. Of course, I had to take stuff out with me. My phone, ipod, thingie to play the ipod (I made a choice not to use my earbuds), water bottle, and a knife to cut open the bag of potting soil.
Turns out my hands were a bit too full and what I ended up dropping was my ipod.
When I pick it up, on the screen is the red x of death.

Saddest face Robynbird.
(Should have just used the damn earbuds.)

My immediate solution was to youtube music on my (android) phone while I potted herbs, swept, laid the rugs, and set up the furniture.

Once I was inside I was met with the full force of the loss.
How will I play music in the car?
Apple doesn’t even make the classic ipod anymore, only the ipod touch. That’s pretty much an iphone that doesn’t make calls. I don’t need all that jazz. I don’t want a bigger screen, better camera, face time, messaging, apps for this, apps for that. I want at thing to hold and play all my music.

In the past, YBW has teased that I’m a luddite. I’m not opposed to new technology. I just don’t want a bunch of technology that I don’t need. It seems ridiculous to need one thing but have something that does all this other stuff.
So the question becomes, can I find an ipod classic somewhere in the world for less than what a brand new ipod touch costs?

I know this may seem rather a small problem, and in reality it truly is.
I’m behaving in true first world fashion, being a whiny crybaby about my absolutely first world problem.

The thing is, I love music. I’m never without music. I almost always have music playing.
I want to be able to access all my music at any given time.
So however small in the grand scheme of things, not being able to play my music is a big deal to me.

I’m fortunate the folks around me know and respect my point of view. It helps that I’m not being a dick about it, just sad.
I’m playing music through my computer at home, and going to burn a few cds to play in the car, but I’ll grow weary of that pretty quickly, I like to mix it up with the music.
My dad used to say, “If wishes were horses, beggars could ride.” And Grandaddy used to say, “You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.”
They’re both right.
But I’m just like Russell.

Hey, at least I won’t have a bunch of 8-tracks riding around in the car.

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the difference between planning life and living life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
This quote is from Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) a song by John Lennon. Turns out it was originally from an article written for Reader’s Digest by a guy called Allen Saunders.
Only that’s not really the point I making.

My point is that even the best life plans can become waylaid by simply living your life.

As I get back into the routine of my life after a death, and birthdays and as we anticipate Thing G’s graduation and a house full of people, I know I’ll plan. I know I’ll make lists, and organize time, and tasks, and school assignments.
I’ll create my summer schedule. But I also know I’ll drop everything to go do something fun. Or I’ll spend more porch life time on some days than on others. I know important things will pop up.

All my planning, and list making, and organization will aid me in accomplishing what I set out to do, but I’ll have to be flexible. Because sometimes life is what’s happening all around and in between plans and lists.
As I grow and mature as a human, (refusing to put away laundry notwithstanding) I’m learning to accept that things don’t always go my way. (After my childhood, you’d think I’d already mastered that knowledge, but that’s another whole post.)
Things don’t always go my way. But sometimes they go an even better way. That’s why I have to accept that can only execute a portion of what I plan. Because as mad as my planning skills are, the possibility of being surprised by life can be a lovely experience!

Life happens whether or not you’ve penciled it into your book. And for an uptight control freak list lady like me, that’s not always the most comfortable way to function. (Understatement much?)
I’ll continue to plan. I’ll accept what happens, planned or not.
This is my journey through life, if I’m so busy worrying about planning and not being present for what happens, it’s not going to be any good at all.

You know what Ferris said:

Ferris knows what’s up. He had the best skive day in the history of all skive days!

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herbs, champagne, and a tiara

I woke to fairly heavy rain Sunday morning. And that means these herbs sitting on the porch for nearly two weeks waiting to be planted will simply have to wait another day. We were at the garden center the day before YBW’s mom went into hospital. Our shift in focus was unexpected but necessary, and I’ve been watering the herbs each day in hopes of keeping them happy until they can move to the big containers.

These plants are lemony scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon grass, basil, lavender, rosemary, and lemon thyme. Used together, they’re meant to deter mosquitoes.
Now if only there was something to scare off the pollen…

Thing G told me he saw on the news we’re having the worst pollen season in several years.
Y’all, I believe it. I’ve not had allergy symptoms this severe since I moved from Virginia to South Carolina twelve years ago. Even though all the furniture and rugs are set up on the porch, it’s nearly unbearable to go out there for all the oak pollen. So while I’m eager to engage in a little porch life, looks like that will wait a bit longer.

I’m hopeful the rain will take care of that today, and I’ll be able to get out there later on this week to do a little planting.
But not tomorrow, because International Week of the Birthday continues with going to see The Kills at The Lincoln Theatre.

Yesterday on my actual birthday, I had breakfast at my favorite little dump diner.
When we returned home, I put on my tiara.

Spent the day watching baseball, and drinking obscene amounts of champagne with YBW, and Meredith and Beau’s Mommy and Daddy. We ate greek food and angel food cake with berries and homemade whipped cream.
I was truly celebrated!
This Mother’s Day I’ve spoken to Thing 1 and received texts and social media posts from Thing 2. I suspect she’ll call at the end of the day like she did yesterday.
YBW and I were planning to go see Infinity War again, but it turns out I napped and woke hungry. So now, I’m going to find him and make a dinner plan.

This late spring pollen won’t be around forever, and soon I’ll get those herbs planted and be ready to porch life my ass off!
I can hardly wait!

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when porch life is work

Saturday was one of those rare gorgeous summer days. Sunny and breezy temperatures in the 80’s no humidity to speak of. Of course I took advantage of the beautiful weather by spending the day on the porch but not in the way you might think.
There was no lounging about. No day drinking. No journaling.
It was work work work!
Wanna see?

This reclaimed red oak needed a little love in the form of stain before it becomes our outdoor dining table.

Fence posts are the perfect choice for this bar height table’s legs. A coat of Sikkens is about to protect them even though they’re pressure treated.

Remember I said it was breezy? The plastic blew right over that last post…once I put down the camera, I was able to sort it and got quickly to work.

These “flaws” are what drew me to this piece of wood in the first place. I believe it makes them even more lovely.


Once I got everything finished and lined up to dry, I took a much needed break.


With a little “House Wine of the South” and my special birthday birthday Queen straws from Sundance.
But wait!
There’s something even more exciting!!
I realized that I could “have my cake and eat it too”!
I wanted to be outside in the breezy weather. But I also wanted to be in front of the TV watching the Nats game.
Oh my goodness!

To my surprise and delight, I realized I could sorta-kinda see the game and have porch life at the same time!

The table top wood was still drying Sunday afternoon, so we moved it into the house and set a fan on it. Everything else was already dry so it went back into the garage. It’s raining today, and supposedly tomorrow also, so there will be no actual construction for a few days.
I’ll keep y’all posted on the progress…right after I go shopping for chairs, and perhaps a sail cloth for shade over that part of the porch. Might need some pillows too…guess we’ll just have to see.

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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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patience or self-indulgence?

I was feeling mighty sorry for myself this morning. Filled with sadness and there were so many tears.
Nothing I did eased me.
This thought plagued me: I’m so tired of feeling sad and sorry for myself.

I’m tired of winter. I’m tired of feeling like hell all the time. Will I ever heal?
I’m failing at finding a job. I’m not keeping up with the house. I’m just a pathetic puddle of whininess and I can’t seem to snap myself out of it!

The weather is finally turning. It’s in the 70s today. I brought all the back porch furniture up from the basement and set it up. Filled the fountain and am now sitting out here listening to the water sounds and The Pierces.
20160308_152014.jpg

Thing 2 and I were texting this morning during my sadness. She was kind and reassuring. (I guess today it was her turn to be the Mommy.)
I thanked her and she replied: Of course, Momma ❤ you’re always there for me and I’m here for you. I love you ❤ you’re awesome, don’t lose sight of that because things are crappy.

A bit later I really lost patience with myself and sent this: Shame on me all weepy and whiny when I think about (the young man) being sick and what (that family) is going through I want to slap myself.

She came back with this: Hey now, don’t do that to yourself. Everyone has stuff going on. Yes, their shit is really big and really stinky right now but that doesn’t mean that your shit isn’t any easier or less important. It’s the biggest thing in your world right now so you can’t compare it.

Me: Why are you so wise? How? You truly amaze me.

Thing 2: I may not know a lot about everything but I do know a little bit about a lot of things. And that is something I have always told everyone and will always stick in my head, because that is the truest thing. So feel bad for them and love them, but do not feel guilty because you are “better off” but still feeling bad for yourself.

Me: Thank you! My God, you are amazing!

Thing 2: I try? I don’t see what the big deal is, it just makes sense to me.

Me: It makes total sense. It’s a wisdom that most people your age don’t possess. I have always known you are special. But sometimes you do something that goes beyond.

Thing 2: I am flattered. Thank you.

How does she have that wisdom?
How does she know that it’s OK for me to be miserable even though people I love have worse things to be miserable about?

I wasn’t even excited about the washer and dryer coming. I cannot stress how important it is to note that.
I took pics when they were delivered.
I wrote a blog post about it.
Even though these new machines are a great and wonderful gift, and even though I’ve used them with gusto this afternoon, I have little joy. The underlying sadness is digging in it’s heels.

It’s time for this to stop, it’s gone on too long. I’m beginning to wonder if I can snap out of it. How long before patience becomes self-indulgence?
Perhaps I need one of two things. The first being a swift spiritual kick to the head. The second is to breathe new air. (That’s one of my favorite phrases my friend and mentor says.)
I don’t know. I’m breathing breezy porch air right now…think that’ll help?

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porch life

With the beautiful weather we’ve been experiencing YBW and I decided to spend a little time outside yesterday afternoon. We debated heading over to one of the local wineries but I was in yoga pants and a Nats tee and didn’t really feel like changing to go out. So we decided create that winery experience at home on our lovely but sadly under-utilized porch. We ran to the grocery store for yummies and goodies to make a small charcuterie board.
20150914_175630

We sat out there for quite some time. Talking, laughing, nibbling, and drinking wine.
I officially decided that prosciutto must have been the food of the Gods.
We talked wedding practicalities.
We talked about ourselves and each other.

Oftentimes we’re bogged down in the day to day runnings of our life. But last evening, we just were. We were authentic and immediate and we were completely engaged.
I liked it.
He liked it too.

He’s home with me for the next three days. We talked about taking a mini-break to the beach, but it didn’t really go anywhere. So we’re going to stay home. Tomorrow we’re going to an exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. And on Thursday we’ll go to the Arboretum.
That’s our plan, tentatively…

It’s warmer today, but I may suggest a repeat.
I love when we’re together and able to just be.

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