Fess Up: When Was The Last Time That You Did Something Just For The Heck Of It?

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I don’t know if arty is the right word to use here.

Maybe what I did by cutting out images from catalogues and then placing them in a stylish way upon our dining room table isn’t arty.

Maybe it’s just plain goofy.

Or maybe it’s just an example of nostalgia.   You know, the sort of thing that we used to do when we were young and had time on our hands and there was no Pinterest.

Yep, that’s the explanation that I’m going to go with here.  This inspiration board is RETRO.

Something that I did just for the heck of it.  

Like when I was a girl with an eye for graphics and design– but didn’t know that was what I really was doing when I made my inspiration boards.   

Or, as in this case, like an adult trapped inside the house courtesy of frigid temps, looking for ways to “refresh” & “make a statement.”      

A Book Chat [Sort Of] About The Three Books That I’m Reading [Kind Of] This Month

[This month I’ve read three books.  Well, to be more accurate– I’ve been browsing through, glancing at, skimming across three books.  Because these books are not my usual fare of novels, histories, memoirs, I didn’t feel like I needed to read them in a linear way.  Kind of fun to read like this, btw.]

~ • ~

•  For Christmas I received a copy of Giada’s Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis.  The book is mostly a cookbook with a few pages of personal details every so often.  Over the weekend I sat down to read the personal parts of the book and found this quote on page 198: “I have curly hair, so I always brush it in the shower.”

This makes no sense to me.  I’ve always been told to never brush my curly hair when it is wet.  Yet here is Little Miss Accomplished & Gorgeous telling me to do this.

I’m confused.  More than normal, that is.  Why is she doing this?

~ • ~

•  A business acquaintance gave me a signed copy of Bring Your Superpowers To Work by Darcy Eikenberg, ACC.  As some of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with self-help books.  A few of them I’ve found to be useful, but most of them I find to be stating the obvious, poorly written and ultimately defeatist.

That being said, I love this book.  Darcy is a life coach who knows how to write and provides practical ideas about how to become a better version of yourself.  My favorite witticism of hers is on page 51: “affirm the squirm.”  Meaning that if you’re intellectually uncomfortable with a new healthy behavior, then you’re growing a superpower & going in the right direction for you.

I’m still working on my Superpowers List;  but when I complete it, I’ll be epic.

~ • ~

  •  I’d forgotten all about Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg until I found a copy of it when I was reorganizing our home office after the new desk arrived.  I decided that reading bits & pieces of this book, in no particular order, would be a great way for me to jumpstart my writing career.

To wit, the piece that I’m currently enamored of is on page 119 where she talks about making writing sweet:  “… always associate learning with sweetness.  It should be the same with writing.  Right from the beginning, know that it is good and pleasant.  Don’t battle with it.  Make it your friend. “

Isn’t this a lovely thought?  Who doesn’t need more friends?

~ • ~

The Good News Is That The Neighbors Are Getting A New Roof

I cannot catch a break lately.

Last week as I watched my life get rather wonky, I decided that on this Monday, when I had nothing scheduled, I’d hang out on our screened-in porch.  I figured that I’d take my laptop out there and set up camp for the day.  To do this, all I need to do is to move the round glass-topped side table in front of a wicker lounge chair, add a few pillows for back support, reposition a smaller wooden side table for my mug of coffee– and I’m good to go.

And considering that the weather today is finally sunny + clear + mild, you’d think that I’d be out there, wouldn’t you?  Doing my own suburban take on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Walden Pond lifestyle.  Finding spiritual inspiration sitting next to the trees with the birds chirping and the squirrels squirreling.  Being all peaceful and such.

But I’m not.

Instead, I’m in my home office with the French doors to the foyer closed, shades on windows down, trying to ignore the loud ruckus that is going on next door– and in front of my house.  This is because my peaceful screened-in porch sanctuary looks out upon the chaos and mess going on next door as a new roof is being installed.  Meaning that I am not feeling passionately at one with the whole world a la RWE, but I am feeling passive like a victim of Lemony Snicket’s Unfortunate Events.

However, be that as it may, looking on the brighter side of things, the neighbors are getting a new roof that they need after theirs was done-in by some hail damage last summer.  So this is necessary.  And when this is all finished I’ll be the one who gets to look at the prettiest roof in town.

So there’s that.

~ ~ • ~ ~

~ Pretty Pillows Not Being Used By Me Today ~
~ Pretty Pillows Not Being Used By Me Today ~

In Which I Am Not Mindful While Shopping In The Grocery Store

I found myself with an hour of free time late in the afternoon.  As I was already out & about I decided to run into Kroger to pick up a few things.  Because I wasn’t planning on going there, I didn’t have my shopping list with me.

I knew that I needed 6 items to make what I had in mind for dinner, so I decided to assign each ingredient to a finger/thumb.  The result of this impromptu shopping list was that I looked like a child counting on my fingers as I shopped.  Goofy as it was, my finger list did work.  BUT it also meant that I started pushing my cart, a large one, with one hand.

And if there is anything that you must remember about me, it is that I am not too coordinated.  Clumsy, even.

Thus, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that while counting on one hand and pushing the cart with my other hand I managed to block a produce aisle with my catty-wampus, slightly out-of-control cart.

I knew immediately that I was in the way.  Pretty much because I heard the metal clank of my cart bumping another cart head-on.  It’s a sound one recognizes even while staring at one’s fingers and thumb.

I looked up ready to offer an apology when I  realized that the woman who I’d inconvenienced was Lilias Folan.  As in someone famous.  As in someone with a nationally syndicated PBS TV show.  As in the woman who is sometimes credited with introducing yoga to the USA.

Yep, that’s who I bashed into in the grocery produce department.  Good job, Ms. Bean.

But here’s the thing, Lilias was just standing there with a kind smile on her face waiting for the crazy lady [moi] to get out of her way.  She had no where to back up to, so her choice was to be patient OR to get angry.  And because she was living her life off the mat as she did on the mat, she chose the former.

Of course, me being me, after I said that I was sorry I tried to explain myself by babbling about fingers and no shopping list and dinner– et cetera, et cetera.  And my dithery explanation, I’m happy to report, got Lilias laughing.

This made me feel better about my screw-up and got me thinking that it’s time for me to get back into yoga because I want to be that older woman with perfect posture, a calm aura & the ability to laugh when things go wrong.

And who better to emulate than Lilias?  The bumpee in my brush bump with greatness.

Two Nice Guys With The Same Name

My Zen-Den rented a car.  While either in the rental office or while driving the car, my Zen-Den’s black leather business card organizer wallet fell out of his computer bag.  He did not know that this had happened.

This wallet holds about 40 plastic cards that my Zen-Den uses at hotels & airlines & car rental kiosks when he travels for work.  Also, once upon a time my Zen-Den stuck a receipt for a car service visit in the back of this wallet.

[It would be at this point in the story that I could go off on a snarky tangent about paying attention to what’s going on around you… don’t adopt an absent-minded professor persona… zip the sides of you computer bag.  But I won’t.]

• • • 

Last Tuesday morning we received at the house an overnight package.  On it was the oddest address label.  The label said that Zen-Den in MI had sent Zen-Den in OH this package.  I figured that it was work related, so I didn’t open it.

[I could have opened the package immediately but:

  1. It wasn’t addressed to me, which technically means that I shouldn’t open it– like that’s ever stopped me before;  &
  2. I live in fear of anthrax dust because I’ve watched a gazillion times that NCIS episode where Tony gets the bubonic plague.  Hey, don’t judge.  It could happen.]

• • • 

When my Zen-Den came home from work I handed him the package.  He had no idea what was in it, so we both watched as he opened it.  And there was his black leather business card organizer wallet.

There wasn’t a note in the package with the wallet, so we had no idea how the other Zen-Den came to have my Zen-Den’s black leather business card organizer wallet.  There was only the address label with the other Zen-Den’s business address/phone number on it.

[Again, I could make a big issue of the fact that a stranger had information about my Z-D’s vehicle and license plate number and credit card, but that would make me sound churlish, so I won’t mention it here.]

• • • 

So the next day my Zen-Den phoned the other Zen-Den and they talked.  Come to find out someone at the car rental company had found the wallet.  When the car rental company went through their records, they found the other Zen-Den’s name/address & sent him my Zen-Den’s black leather business card organizer wallet.

The other Zen-Den knew that it wasn’t his, but he took the time to look through it where he discovered the car service receipt with our home address on it.  Then, because he was a nice older gentleman, he just mailed it to my Zen-Den.  No big deal.  Just did something nice.

My Zen-Den offered to reimburse the other Zen-Den for the cost of mailing, but the other Zen-Den said not to worry about it.  He had it covered.

And that, gentle readers, is how it came to be that my Zen-Den got his black leather business card organizer wallet back.  Amazing, huh?  Who’d have thought that there’d be two nice guys with the same name?  Just glad that there are.