Chasing Inspiration

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Change is Inevitable

  1. Cool autumn days and crisp autumn nights (You'll likely see this more than once)
  2. Cuddle time with Velcro Dog
  3. My cousin who rocks my world with her obsessive love of Doctor Who
I used to watch the really old Doctor Who episodes.  The ones from the 60s and 70s. This was when I fell in love with the francise so it was super exciting when I learned Doctor Who would have a reboot. Sadly, we don't have cable and the episodes were never aired on network TV or PBS in my area.

Then came Netflix. With the rebooted Doctor Who. There was much rejoicing! Except, I loved Christopher Eccleston and didn't know his Doctor was only going to last a season. It was a shock to the system to step into a new episode with David Tennant at the helm of the Tardis. I don't think I watched the older seasons in any specific order and I don't recall seeing the transition episodes for Doctors 1 through 8. I grew to love David Tennant's Doctor even more than Christopher's and dragged my feet when I knew we were getting close to David's reign.

I didn't think I could handle another change. And I really didn't think I could handle the good Doctor going through an existential crisis knowing his incarnation was going to die and a new incarnation would be born from the proverbial ashes. Sure, this new Doctor would have a smilar personality and would retain all of the memories and experiences of the previous 10. But he wouldn't be David Tennant! And he wouldn't be as burdened by his love for Rose. Nor would he so desperately miss Donna, the companion who lifted his spirits and didn't fall in love with him, not even a little. The companion who had the same lust for exploration as he did. All those nuances, they would be gone.

I caved this weekend after almost a year of dragging my feet and I finally transitioned to Matt Smith as The Doctor. I cried. I lamented and while I'm still not completely sure of Matt's rendition of my beloved Doctor, I am willing to continue the ride. Change happens. Change is always going to happen. I can fight it kicking and screaming and always lamenting what was in the good 'ole days. Or I can slide into it and experience something new. The good Doctor wouldn't have survived this long if it wasn't for change, now would he?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Champagne and Pilates


  1. Husband is sick and I haven't caught his crud...yet. Fingers crossed that I remain healthy.
  2. The hot, hot weather, aka Satan's armpit, appears to be over for the season. Here's to a gentle autumn, which is my favorite season. :) 
  3. My Pilates instructor, Jenny.
I started to take Pilates when I was in college. It was all mat work, which is hard, people! But I gained a lot of lean muscle mass and had fun. About a year and half ago I found a Pilates studio near where I live and work and took about a year of private lessons. I started to move better, carry myself taller and feel an overall sense of well being I haven't felt in years. I haven't been a slug all that time, but due to increased pain due to fibromyalgia, I haven't been able to do the kinds of workouts I used to be able to do. And walking, while hugely beneficial to body, mind, and spirit wasn't helping with rebuilding lost lean muscle mass.

I now take a group class with private check in sessions about once every six to eight weeks. I don't ever want to quit! In fact, if we could afford it I would up my sessions so I was at the studio three times a week. It's been amazing for my health and well being and I don't see myself ever stopping.

One of the great Pilate elders passed away in August. Romana Kryzanowska was a protege of Joseph Pilates and taught the classical Pilates method for years after Joseph passed on. If Joseph is the father of Pilates, I think Romana was the earth mother. Almost every form of Pilates taught today has been influenced by Romana. One of the things that she is best known for, aside from Pilates,  was her zest for life. She is known for her Friday glass of champagne, not to settle into the weekend, but to celebrate the week well lived and the joy of friendship.

Jenny embodies this zest for life. She is joyful when she instructs and loves the whole person, not just the physical. For her, it is the whole person who comes to her studio and the whole person who she ministers to. Just this last week while I was with her for my private session, she told me about Romana and pulled out a bottle of champagne. We toasted life, Romana and a week well lived. And I left pondering this simple thought: what if instead of thanking God that it's Friday and the week is finally over, we thanked God that it was Friday because the week was lived?

Thank you, Romana, for being an inspiration to many. And thank you, Jenny for being an inspiration for me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Windows, ABBA , And Me


  1. The rain held off long enough yesterday that we were able to stain two of the four windows that have needed staining for a few years. 
  2. Gluten free gourmet pizza.
  3. ABBA, which is music to stain by and the foundational music for one of the kitschiest and heart-warming movies I own. Pierce Brosnan's singing notwithstanding. 
We have these wonderful windows we purchased as part of the renovation project. They have real wood inside and look fabulous. The downside. We didn't have the wood factory finished because we didn't know what the final product should look like. Would we paint the wood? Stain it? It was completely undecided. 

A few years ago, about two after the windows were purchased and installed, we decided stain it would be. But the years passed and staining was not completed. One year it was because we were forced by the city inspector to replace the deck and that took up the nice summer/early autumn days. Last year it was because my father-in-law died and all spare time was spent getting his house market ready. 

This year, we got two windows completed and if the rest remain unstained until spring, so be it. Hubs let me pick the soundtrack. He was hesitant because I've been listening to Katy Perry, ZZ Ward or P!ink a lot lately (don't ask...I have no idea why these three get stuck on play either), but for staining I went with trusty and true: ABBA. 

I grew up in a conservative home where I was allowed to listen to Christian music, classical, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, and ABBA. Oh, the days of Dancing Queen and Take a Chance on Me.  I remember when Super Trouper came out. I begged and pleaded my parents to take me to the record store where I purchased the album on vinyl and copied it to tape right away. I spent many, many hours listening to Voulez Vous, Waterloo and Super Trouper via headphones. Ah, ABBA. You saved a conservative small town girl from a fate worse than death. Okay, I exaggerate, but I am forever thankful my parents either didn't get the innuendo or didn't think I would. :) 

While putting on the final coats of poly, I dug out my copy of Mamma Mia! and watched it on the computer. The musical was amazing. Hubs even got into it when we went as an anniversary gift when the Broadway traveling cast made their way to town. He wouldn't see the movie with me, but that was okay. I wanted to enjoy it by myself. Just me and half a theater full of other fans during a weekday matinee. Pierce, I love you, but you can't sing worth spit. Everyone else was amazing. And the songs, oh the songs! Flashbacks to childhood days singing along to ABBA records filtered through my brain. 

ABBA, you make everything more enjoyable! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Cleaning Leads to an Epiphany

  1. Even though it was more humid than Satan's armpit earlier this week, the forecast for the remainder of the week is for gentler, more autumn-like weather. This makes me happy.
  2. The gluten-free cookies I made last week taste almost as good as the non-GF chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I make for Hubs.
  3. Grace. I'm very thankful for grace.
This past weekend I did something I haven't done in a long time. I cleaned the master bedroom from floor to ceiling. I went through the closet, the drawers, under the bed, the night tables. I purged, I polished, I organized. I must say that the room looks more restful now than it did when I started. The closet isn't any less full, but the top of the dresser has only necessities upon it and the end tables are neat and tidy without the miscelaneous piles we have gotten used to living around.

I clean the bedroom weekly - dust, vacuum, toss and recycle obvious garbage. But I don't declutter and I don't purge on any regular rotation these days.

As I was going through a pile of books I stashed beside the bed, books I started reading but didn't engage enough to finish, I started thinking about all the things in life I start and don't finish. Which started me down the road of self recrimination. When I was finished with flogging myself for a behavior I felt was not okay, I looked more carefully at each book as I was putting it away. Why didn't I finish it? Sometimes it was because the book didn't grab me. Was that a bad reason to put it down? No, not really. Sometimes the content of the book was very deep and involved and I needed a break to digest the information I had just read. Another fine reason to put a book down and not finish it right away. Sometimes the book was put down because a book I had been waiting to read with great anticipation was finally released or finally available from the library. No need to beat myself up over that.

Perhaps the books could have been put away, or given away, during my break from it. But hey, they were in a neat pile beneat my night table so they weren't really in the way. I continued to clean and while I was vaccuuming I had an A HA! moment. Sometimes I start things for very good reasons. Starting doesn't necessarily mean something needs to be finished now, or ever. Sure, there are things that need to be done - personal finances need to be tended to, budgets updated, dishes washed, dogs walked. There are other things that don't need to be finished. That scarf I was knitting, the book I was brainstorming and wasn't clicking with, the blog post I was writing. There are things that need to be finished but maybe not right now.

I had to apologize to myself for the self-recriminations and flogging. I was judging myself too harshly. As long as my world is not in chaos and I'm making concious choices, so what if some of the things I start are never finished? Or get finished later? Or never started at all? The dishes can wait if  Hubs needs to talk through an issue. The scarf I was knitting, well it never has to be fnished and I can recycle the yarn for a different project if I feel like it. That book that I wanted to toss against the wall? I can stop reading it and donate that to Goodwill or give to a friend who may enjoy it more.

I'm sure I'll kick my own ass again in the future over something I find in a pile that was started but not finished. Until then, I will remind myself that it's okay. There are, after all, only so many hours in the day. I get to choose how I spend them and who I spend them with. That's the fun part of being an adult. :)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Christine, Girls Night Out, and Me


  1. ABBA - there is no better cheque book balancing, bill paying music. 
  2. Kindles and Wine book blog, which has become my go-to-blog of choice for book recommendations. 
  3. My car battery is not dead and Daisy's starter does not need replacing. Phew!
Okay, here's the story. Last night was girls night out with good friend Miss J. We are known to close down restaurants and sit in the car for several hours AFTER we return to her place chatting about anything and everything. We don't get out as often as we used to so it's a real treat when we can leave husbands, children, and dogs behind for an evening of girlfriend fun.

We left one of our favorite haunts after some great food (restaurants that have GF menus to make it easier for your patrons with foodie needs, thank you for the bottom of our hearts!)  and even more amazing dessert, we drove back to Miss J's house so I could drop her off. This was around 11pm. As per our custom, the windows were rolled down, the engine turned off and we sat chatting for another, oh, three hours. There is such joy when you connect with someone and are able to be completely yourself with them. We don't always agree, and we call each other on our shit, but we are sisters of the heart so when said shit is called, we know it's done out of compassion.

So we talked, losing total track of time. I suck at parallel parking so I kept the park lights on during this time, just in case my midnight black car was not easily seen by passing traffic. Three hours later, when I attempted to start my car, all I got was a click, click, click. Thinking the park lights had drained the battery, Miss J and I pulled out jumper cables and attempted to jump my car. Nothing except a click, click, click. The headlights worked and the windows worked so maybe it wasn't the battery. I thought back to a previous demon car from hell and thought the clicking sound was an awful lot like when Spike's starter died. Each time Spike's starter died. 

Miss J graciously drove me home after I locked up Daisy for the night and I crawled into bed next to a completely unconscious husband and slept, hoping I would wake up when he did so I could tell him about poor Daisy.

This morning was hot. Icky, gross, I need an iced tea and a pool boy to fan the waves of heat away hot. Or maybe that was the dream I had last night. Either way, Hubs was not looking forward to climbing under my car to replace the starter. Mr. Grumpy left for Miss J's and called me about ten minutes later. "Were you drunk last night? I jumped the car and it started just fine."

Hmph. Fickle, thy name is Daisy. Of course she started for Hubs. Of course she wouldn't start for me. No, she had to be all coy and make me look like I'm not the daughter of an automotive mechanic who knows how to jump a freaking car. 

On one hand I'm really glad we didn't have to replace the starter and that Hubs didn't have to spend most of his morning working on Daisy's ill-conceived motor design. One the other hand, really? I swear, my car and my husband are in cahoots and trying to make me look bad. Maybe they are both gas-lighting me. Maybe Daisy is really Christine reincarnated and lurvs Hubs with all her little oil pan heart. 

I'm still really glad Daisy is up and running. And even more grateful for girls night out. Miss J, we really must do it again sometime soon! 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Weekend Round-up, Sort Of


  1. Cool breezes in the mornings I walk Velcro Dog. I am not a morning person by nature so these lovely breezes that offset the heat of the day make me very happy.
  2. Long weekends. Nuff said.
  3. Good friends who are willing to keep me entertained during the work day. Seriously, I love being able to email and Google chat with you during the day. It keeps me sane. 
We were away for the long weekend, even took an extra day off to make it a four day weekend. I could seriously get used to those! When I worked part time, back before the days of cable modems and flash drives, you know, the age of electronic dinosaurs, I worked Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so I always had a three day weekend. I tried to get my schedule changed so I had Mondays off as well, but my boss that that was wrong. I worked 10 hour days three days a week so I did work hard, but boy, did I love those days off. Running errands during the middle of the day is so much easier than running them after work. Or on the weekends. 

Yes, I could get used to three or four day weekends. I don't think that is going to happen for me any time soon so I should be thankful that I have two day weekends, right? 

Our time away wasn't all fun and games, though we did have some nice relaxation times. Not to mention sleeping in. Though someone needs to tell Velcro Dog that vacation means he doesn't need his regular morning walk right at 7am. 

We went to the cabin with the intention of doing some sorely needed maintenance. We mostly focused on two tasks: painting/patching windows and cleaning the attic of all signs of mouse infestation. The attic took about four hours. Four stinky, gross, disgusting hours. Please, Lord, never again. The windows took far more time. I won't get into details but let's just say that if we ever let the exterior of our home get into the shape the windows and doors are at the cabin, I think the city would cite and fine us. Not that we let the cabin get into this state of disrepair. We, or rather Hubs, hasn't co-owned it with his siblings until this year and his father owned it prior to that. No finger pointing here. Just wishing there was a little more help. 

It will come. People are still adjusting to what owning another property really means. When someone else owned it, everyone came up to enjoy the lake and the woods. It was fun and nothing was expected of us. Now, it's a shift in thinking and behaviors. 

We're home and back in the grind. Hubs is back in school. We're both caught up at work. And the kitchen is still in slight chaos due to renovations. In other words, things are back to normal. Now, if only Velcro Dog could learn to walk himself...