Posts tagged ‘winter’

Winter Cleansing

"Image courtesy of Iamnee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of Iamnee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Last night, instead of reading or blogging or researching expressive arts (homework) I went on a reorganizing frenzy.  I put dishes away, washed the sink dishes, wiped counters, and cleaned off and reorganized the counter space, moving kitchen equipment that we never use away and out of sight.  I moved the dog cage to the garage — since we haven’t been using it.  I cleaned off and wiped down the divider between the kitchen and living room space. (Originally the objects were there to discourage the cats from entering the kitchen, but we decided that hasn’t been an issue.)   I did a load of towels.  I pulled the metal shelves (not too heavy, but a little difficult to maneuver) from the basement and put them in the garage.  (Brian moved his car before I could scratch it up.  I think I did pretty well with my own, though I don’t really care if it gets scratched.)  I took the gardening odds-and-ends (planters, pots, hoses, soil, fencing, stakes, etc) and put them on the shelves.  I took the recyclables that we are unable to/have not gone to recycle (styrofoam, water bottles and cans that could be worth something, old medicine, old cleaners, light bulbs, batteries, etc) and put those on shelves.  I put the windshield washer fluid and some other car fluid and put those on a shelf.  I put the baseball bats and a rowing oar that Brian found between our house and our neighbor’s on the day of the flood — I hope nobody had to use it! — and put those things on a shelf.  I took our Christmas tree that we moved to the garage after our basement flooded and recycled the old, ruined box — the soaked thing had broken open — and then filled up a whole set of shelves with all of the branches and the plastic interlocking pieces.  I don’t even know what the rest of the stuff in the garage was (I don’t know if Brian even knows), but I put that on shelves, too.  When I was done the garage floor was clean, and I didn’t feel too cold at all, not once throughout a half hour or more of organizing in the cold garage.  (My fingers complained a bit, though.  No gloves on, of course.)  I was so energized and wanting to stay on the freight train of the “Teri cleaning machine” that I continued, organizing a bit of the bedroom, packing up a few things to give away, and then quickly finishing up the kitchen table (i.e. my work space — Brian gets the living room coffee table), as Brian was going up to bed.  I’m a bit tired this morning, but all-in-all, I did a great job, and I feel fantastic! 

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I’m Back!

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had a fantastic weekend at the School of Metaphysics (national headquarters).  I’m not sure I’ve really assimilated everything, but here are the highlights:

1. Lots of hugs!

2. Had a great car ride up and great car ride back with some fantastic people.  The weekend doesn’t start when you get there and doesn’t end when you leave!

3. Had a beautiful sing-a-long holiday concert.  I realized today that I feel like the holidays are completed early.  We did Christmas, yo!  It’s all good. 🙂

4. Got a lot of positive feedback about my singing.  (I know I have a great voice, but it’s so nice to hear someone else believe it, too!)

5. Had a great bird dream.  Grand white bird flew in right in front of me.  I petted its head.  We bonded.

6. Learned how to cut squash.  (Slide the huge knife.  Slliiiide forward.  Not chop!)

7. Enjoyed some sweeping, mopping, and drying.  (Yes, I’m serious.)

8. Learned about relaxing, being positive, breathing, and not comparing while making a huge batch of eggs.

9. Took a three hour nap Friday and later got to sleep in. (No explanation needed.)

10. Enjoyed showers with super lovely hot water. (No explanation needed.)

11.  Learned about self-worth and finding meaning in work — and other wonderful lessons  — while eavesdropping on conversations.  (Everyone is cool with being vulnerable and letting other people in on what they are going through.  It is awesome.)

12. Learned about being truthful and direct (but not unkind) when I witnessed the interactions between different students.

13. Talked a little bit about unconditional love and compassion and the value of using Mary as an ideal for receptivity.

14.  Meditated outside, sitting in a tree.  Another student and I sat on a large branch and relaxed in nature.  I didn’t even notice the rain starting to fall.  (Good thing I brought a change of pants!)

15. Got to experience a little of Windyville life when giving bread to neighbors and hearing one of the area directors talk about the land and his experiences as a student on campus. (Black bears, mountain lions, and elk, oh my!)  One older gentleman invited us in to his workplace, which used to be a mail room and was across the way from an old general store.  We saw his amazing wood carvings of ships and some beautiful acrylic work of the town, boats, and light houses.

16. Read the peace covenant in the peace dome at 5:45 in the morning, and then meditated with another student and my teacher right afterward.  (Group meditation rocks!)

17. Had the BEST bread and the most delicious raw butter and raw milk, right from the school. (Didn’t even notice we hadn’t had dessert.  The bread and butter combo was practically orgasmic!)

18. Perfect driving conditions!  (Thank you, winter weather!)

19. Shared chocolate, cheddar popcorn, Shaklee chips dipped in avocados, and chocolate covered raisins. (Oooo yum!)

20. Witnessed the winter wonderland of crystal forests, dressed in the frozen drippings.  Heard the crackling of ice, the droning of cows, and also the still silence of a space separated from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world.

21. Saw a wonderful slide show of the past year at SOM from a student living on campus.

22. Was happy to be heading home but a little disappointed that it was over.  I’m looking forward to the next weekend!

2 Degrees with Windchill and the Return of the Silverfish

"Sad Woman" courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Sad Woman” courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
Please. . . please. . .. no more snow. . .

To quote someone from Facebook: “The groundhog lied.” The damn groundhog lied. Sorry, Phil — I’m just a little tired today.

This morning the magic spell I had over Bowser apparently wore off: instead of completely ignoring me as I got ready for work and lying quiet and unperturbed in his bed to wait for Brian to rise, he ran up to me, whimpering, his tail wagging in anticipation. “Seriously?” I grunted and then figured it had been nice while it lasted. Brian needed a chance to sleep in, and I could suck it up. Sure, I’d already hit the snooze button once, and I only had a half hour to get ready, but I’d survive somehow.

I was a bit disoriented as I made my way down the stairs toward the door. The alarm had woken me in the middle of many dramatic and vivid dreams, and I was trying to make sense of them and the foul feeling I had carried with me into my waking moments. (My last dreams before waking this morning were of the I’m-at-school-and-I’m-having-a-problem-with-my-students variety.) *On days when I get to sleep in a little bit, I like to stay in bed a few extra minutes and go through the last dreams of my REM sleep. Yes, I know, I know. That’s not the only reason I stay in bed a few extra minutes.*

So anyway, I was getting Bowser’s harness on and grabbing my jacket and some toilet paper as I made my way to the door, and that’s when winter slammed me in the face.  It was cruel enough that he caught me half asleep, but what made it worse was knowing that I would be spending a whole 25 minutes in winter’s icy breath when I had to go out for morning car duty later that same morning.  (I’ve decided just now that winter must be male.  If you don’t like it, too bad.)  And then Bowser made a mess in his hind fur (not his fault – he badly needs a trim), and I spent the next 10 minutes cleaning him up.  (I don’t know how on earth I managed to finish that and pack up and make my tea and smoothie breakfast and still arrive on time, but I did!)  And yes, it was awful, awful, awful out there.  Those of you who live in much more temperate climates – you can laugh at me now.  Those of you who have it worse than me – MOVE!  For the love of all that’s good, how can you stand it??

And in other news, after a long respite, the silverfish has returned.  It’s been sighted twice in the recent past, both times gobbled up by Zelda, the good little princess.   Though I’m not fond of the wee buggers, if they mean spring will finally wake up and join us, bring on all the critters!  (Please remind me of this if I complain later.)

But the good part in all of this is that it wasn’t so bad overall.  Yes, I’m pretty darn tired right now, but I was able to laugh a little at things and keep them in perspective.  Yesterday I used “The Secret” and had a fantastic day (“It’s going to be a great day today; it’s going to. . .  no, it IS a great day today!”  And today I used it a bit to keep my day from starting off as absolutely awful. (“This is still going to be a good day!”)

So, I plan to go to bed a little early tonight and to have sweet, sweet dreams of California and the sweet baby “Angel” who visited me in my dreams sometime in my sleep.

A Little Too Supportive

"Female Body In Underwear" courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Female Body In Underwear” courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Warning: This is probably TMI, but it was on my mind today because I was uncomfortable ALL FRICKEN DAY LONG, so hence the post.  So, gentleman and uneasy ladies, beware!  (And now I think I’ve probably typed a long enough introduction so that my actual blog will be hidden from the Facebook preview when it posts. . .)

Bras.  My topic is bras.  I hate them.  This doesn’t mean that I would feel the need to go all Adam & Eve out-of-doors (although I’d probably do it easily if everyone else were doing it).  It means I’m still totally fine with all the other clothes on my back when I’m out and about – everything, but the bra.   Well, and maybe shoes and socks, but I totally get the hygiene issue with those . . .

And I know that some women have to wear bras.  If they didn’t, it would hurt!  And when I’m working out, I definitely appreciate them a bit more.  But in general, I’d be a much happier woman if society accepted bra-lessness.  I could do without the elastic or wire —  or whatever — digging into my ribs.  I’m tired of the strap and cups/elastic that give me shoulder and chest acne and the complete uselessness and hinderance of the bra straps as they lazily slide down my shoulder and arm. (Sloping shoulders have I.)  I hate those chest-ly corsets!

I realize that sometimes you can see a little too much without one – and that’s why I have to wear one – but what if everyone was showing the same thing? Then would it be ok?  I mean, people used to cover their legs in America!  And their shoulders!  And in some places they still cover everything!  So, what about that?

So, I ask you, ladies: is there some miracle bra out there?  One that is not going to land me a pauper if I buy more than one?  One that makes me forget I’m wearing a bra but still covers what it needs to cover?  I’ve done underwire, no-wire, sports bras, no bra, tankinis, and bikinis (and I love the winter because heavy sweatshirts will let me get away with anything underneath!)  But anyway, if you have a solution, please speak up!

 And come on, society! If you make me wear a bra, I demand that you compensate and make me comfortable, too!

Mourning of the Seasons

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Frozen Forest” courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please come back, Spring and Summer — but not Fall, for though I enjoy your beauty and company, you and Winter are far too close.  I have no love for Winter.  I never have.  Was I ever swept up in the charms of Snow?  I think not.  Or if I was, I care nothing for it now.  Not to drive in; not to sled in; not for forts, or for making men with buttons and pipe.

I do not like the hidden black death that causes my car to skid and people to slip.  Neither do I care for its milky sister who lurks in all other spaces, reducing quick and joyful steps to tentative, terrified ones.

I hate your harsh breath, oh Winter.  With each inhale, I can feel your icy breath rush down my throat, grasping and rattling my lungs, while I cough in self-defense.

But that is not the worst, dear Winter, no.  Can you guess what it might be?  It is that you banished the Sun; it no longer greets me with a kiss when I wake, no longer fills me with its warm glow and assures me that all will be alright.   Nor does it linger long at night to embrace me and tell me it’s time to sleep.  The Sun is weak now, so much weaker.   Perhaps it is depressed, like me?  Sometimes I think you can’t stop us, Winter – we will go out for lunch!  But your chill is too much for me, keeping us separated, though I miss our time together.

You are an unwelcome guest, Winter!  And I hope you will not extend your stay this year.   I know you have been patient this year, arriving late with a gentler touch.  But I also know that you are prone to linger and to even push Spring aside!

So, Spring, please show your face this year.  YOU are welcome!  Even more than Summer (Sorry!)  Though Winter protests, stay strong! The world is ready for you, and so am I.

Meanwhile, I wait for you, in the darkness.

I Love & Need My Car . . . Did You Catch That, Universe?

"Selling And Buying Car" courtesy of suphakit73/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Selling And Buying Car” courtesy of suphakit73/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you ever feel like your life is a little too normal, and you wish you had a little more adventure in your life — don’t.

(Sometimes I wonder if I subconsciously create or attract these situations of drama so that I have a subject to post about later. . .)

I got sloppy this morning, and I confused the timing of a brunch date.  I was in the middle of exercising to Zumba Core on the Xbox360 (trying to get some exercise in because I knew I’d be busy the rest of the day), when I got a text from one of my friends that she was already on her way to the café.

I flew to my laptop, double-checked my Facebook messages, and immediately realized my timing mistake.  I took one of my fastest showers, threw on some clothes, got Bowser in his crate, and ran out the door.

And that’s when my car wouldn’t start.

And suddenly nothing else in the world mattered — not that I was late, not that my hair was wet and knotted, not that I couldn’t remember where I’d left my car garage-door opener, not that I hoped the front door was locked . . .   My world was ending because something I’d always taken for granted was suddenly the most important thing in my life right now: my beautiful 8-year old car.

I tried again.  A little something — then nothing.  I tried again.  Nothing.  I waited.  A little something — then nothing.  I texted Brian; I texted one of my friends.  What do I do?  Then, on the next attempt a “Service Vehicle” message flashed on my dashboard, and the next few days immediately flashed before my eyes.  Would I make it to tutoring?  What about taking my friend to Chicago on Sunday?  What about getting to work?  I just took my car in!  Would I have to take it in again?  I don’t to take it in!  Suck it up, Teri!

Brian told me that my car maybe just needed to warm up.  “How do I get it to warm up?” I cried. “With time,” he texted me.  Time??  I didn’t have time.  I was already 20 minutes late!

(By the way, how do you warm a car up that’s too cold to start?  It was already in the garage.  Are there big thermal blankets make just for cars that heat them up enough to start?  And if there are, I want one.)

Long story, short (but not really), after a few more attempts, the car finally started.  And then I couldn’t get the garage door closed.  Because — if you remember — I didn’t remember where I’d put the garage-door opener, and the outdoor garage-door key pad decided it wasn’t going to work either, and also the keys I needed to get into the house — so that I could locate the opener or at least run through the house after hitting the indoor garage door opener — were in the ignition of my temperamentally running car, AND because I don’t actually have a driveway — my garage door opens up into an alleyway, facing rows and rows of other garage doors — my car was sitting in the middle of an alleyway —  at the precise moment that one of my neighbors had also chosen to leave their house (but with much greater success, except for the annoyance of the crazy neighbor who was blocking the entire alleyway).  Phew!  (Take a breath here.)

So, to make a long story short (for real this time), my totally awesome other neighbor from across the way went into my garage for me and hit the indoor opener button and then did some crazy Mission Impossible run back through the garage and limbo-y hop/dodge under the door and over the sensors, and I was able to finally leave and be unfashionably late to my brunch — which was really more like “lunch” by that point.

Thankfully, my car started after the café.  And it started on the way to the tutoring session (which I made sure to leave extra early for).  And it started on the way back from the lesson.  Thus, I am temporarily convinced that my beloved baby (car, not infant) is not going to die — as previously feared — and will live for many, few happy years to come.  (But, it’s clearly officially over the hill because suddenly cold weather is preventing it from getting up in the morning.)

In conclusion: I love, love, love my car.  And I’m perfectly happy with my life the way it is.  Normal is GOOD.  (Did you get that, universe?  Please don’t take my car.)

On Schedule

"Scheduling A Meeting In Diary" courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Scheduling A Meeting In Diary” courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I finally kept pretty close to my planned schedule for my teaching winter break (still doing some tutoring here and there): writing, ACT prep, Coursera classwork, creativity time, cleaning/schoolwork). I’ve somewhat followed it throughout break — when holiday activities didn’t interfere, but today I’m pretty satisfied with my work.  (This whole schedule thing may sound crazy, but I’ve found that I have to have some structure to my day, or I completely fall apart, getting nothing accomplished and then mercilessly berating myself — and I can be pretty harsh. :-/)

Beginning side note: I can’t believe how quickly I adapted to getting more than enough sleep. My body is right now telling me it’s time for bed, when last night I went to bed around midnight. I’m like: “Hey, it’s only 9:15!” My body is all like: “Um, yeah. Gotta make up for only getting 7 or so hours of sleep last night!”

Didn’t follow my schedule exactly, but this is what happened:

7:05 Hit Snooze Button

7:14 Hit Snooze Button

7:23 Re-set alarm for 7:55

7:55 Laid in bed for a minute, and then crawled out of bed.

8:00-8:30 Phone conference with Cindy

8:30-10:00 Finished book 13 Reasons Why (book club book)

10:00-1:30 Writing/ACT Prep: Math/Argument Class (2 weeks behind, but I’m hanging in there!)

1:30-2:30 Phone conversations & miscellaneous

2:30-4:00 Writing at library

4:20-5:00 Mall Walk

5:00-6:00 Dinner (lentils w/barbeque sauce; spinach, kale, and Gorgonzola salad) /Multiple failed attempts to reprogram the car garage door opener

6:00 Big Bang reruns & struggle with the scanner

7:00 – 8:00 Got scanning done (with A LOT of help from Brian) and successfully uploaded my September teaching picture to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Wyzant. (I’m keeping my same picture for WordPress because it makes me look all glowy and mysterious.)

8:00-10:00 Organized documents from office/ organized papers from work/worked on this blog/watched episodes of Battlestar Galactica

10:00 – Still working on blog /going to bed/beginning Gods Behaving Badly (book club book)

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