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I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, but I am hoping to try some for the blog.  I was soooo good about posting every day until the last two weeks or so. I’m not sure why I’ve fallen off. I think it’s partly because of the winter blues. I’ve actually been writing more than usual, just on paper not on this keyboard.

Right now, I’m snuggled in bed, working, fighting what seems to be a perpetual rundown-ness, with a cat snuggled at my thigh, a bottle of San Pel at hand, and something old on the TV.  As hard as it was to get any enthusiasm together for the holidays, I’m sad they’re over.  The New Year is off to a good start though – we spent yesterday at the auction, where we bought some cool and strange things. MKL and I bought our first thing ‘together’, which was really cool on a lot of levels. And Kelsea had, as usual, the patience of Job.

Work starts in earnest again tomorrow, along with the year.  So what can you expect from the blog this year?  Well, a few things.

1.  I’d like to continue to share a photo a day, along with quotes and gratitudes.

2. I’d like to provide you with more travel tales, since that’s what I love – so I plan to publish some older travel tales, taking them from paper to screen.

3. I wish to revivify the Weekly Wednesday Poem. I enjoyed learning about new poets and introducing them to you each week.

4. I want to revivify the Original Thursday Poem.  I miss my poetry.

5. More essays and opinions – from me, of course. I miss thinking about things other than work.

6. I’m still going to try for a post a day.

Anything else you readers would like to see?  I’m curious.

So, that said, he’s the Photo of the Day for January 2, 2012.

Photo title: Centerpieces

Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Going home means getting comfortable being who you are and who your soul really wants to be. There is no strain with that. The strain and tension come when we’re not being who our soul wants to be and we’re someplace where our soul doesn’t feel at home”.  —  Melody Beattie

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Ahmed the coffee merchant, the latest member of the household
Old quilts
Knowing that spring is coming
Geese thick in dead cornfields

I was restless today. Antsy. Like one feels before a thunderstorm, sometimes.  That disturbance in the Force again.  I texted a friend about it, who suggested I check in with my spirit guides to see why.  That’s hard for me to do at work, so I wombled off to the Tattered Cover.

A less comfy chair at The Tattered Cover

Bookstores always soothe my soul.  Bookstores with cats are particularly satisfying.  The Tattered Cover doesn’t have cats, but it does have squishy, cushy, comfy couches where you can sit and read or write or meditate.  I did a bit of all three, and I talked to my Little Sister. I wound up the proud owner of four new books from the bargain shelf:

Books are simply irresistible.

Within the forty minutes I was inside, the blue skies had turned threatening and fat raindrops were coloring the pavement.  Back at my desk, I received an email that threw me into a tailspin.  And then the restlessness faded.  It had – as it so often does – predicted both a natural and emotional storm.

Tonight though, things are quieter. I took a bath in the clawfoot tub.  I read my current book. I am looking forward to a first date tomorrow.

Life goes on.  It just does.

(with apologies to the Beatles)

A bloggy friend asked me this morning how I was doing…HONESTLY.  And I honestly said, “I’m doing better.”  And then this afternoon, I fell apart again.  bleah.

I get so very sick of the ups and downs of myself, even though I know that’s normal for everyone.  Especially normal for me, given hormones and coming down with Kelsea’s sore throat, etc.  (Have to get that out of the way before I start work.)

I have a new therapist whom I’ve been seeing for three weeks.  It’s been about a year and a half since I last saw a therapist, and I was really NOT wanting to go, but I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the depression and knew I needed something more than tears and serotonin.  She really has been a godsend.  Tough on me about facing reality, which is something I don’t always want to do.  I’ve found that I tend to hold onto my dreams, and while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, sometimes you just have to let some of them go and evolve on their own without you.  That’s a painful process with me this time.  Very painful.

But as I said, she’s helping me teach myself how to rethink things, how to look at the real world without flinching and realize that I am fine – or that I can be fine.  We’ve been using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which involves retraining your brain to think differently about past experiences that caused you pain.  It’s complicated, and I don’t quite understand it myself, but it does feel like it’s making a difference.   Even on days like today, when I get on a crying jag, if I put on my iPod and listen to my bilateral sound recordings of thunderstorms, the ocean, and mountain streams that she gave me, I tend to get through the “episode” a little quicker and feeling a little less traumatized than usual.

God, I hate being this weak.  It pisses me off.  But it is what it is.  And it keeps, slowly but surely, getting better.

I think.

Oh, dear.  I’m not sure, but I think I broke a bone in my foot.  I caught it at just a particular angle on my coffee table.  I can still walk on it (sort of) but the bruising is wild.  Bleah.  Wonder what my next step (ha) should be? 

It is snowing in earnest now.  Big, fat, thick flakes.  But I am cozy at home today.  I don’t want to go to the store, but it may be necessary.  Or not.

Very much hoping that I will hear about one of the jobs next week.  If not – or if no offer materializes – it will be time to start looking again.  Or go someplace warm for a week or two.  Especially since there’s no news on the house either.  Sigh.

Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow.  Can’t you just smell the enthusiasm?  If I watch, I watch for the commercials;  Kelsea and I generally watch the Puppy Bowl instead.  And speaking of commercials, my latest favorite is the dancing baby elephant on the GE commercials.

My favorite Chinese restaurant celebrated the Chinese New Year last night with dragon dancing and cabbage pinatas.  It took a long time to get the cabbage out of my hair.

Squirrels are absolutely rampaging on the roof of the Cottage.  I wonder if there’s a way to temporarily sedate them?  And why the roof when there are all these great trees and fence rails around?

Well…naptime.  Maybe more rambling later.

Photo Title: Brooms

Wyoming Territorial Prison, Laramie, Wyoming

Quote of the day:  “As soon as forever is through, I will be over you.”  —  Toto

Photo Title: Steamboat Out Of Place

Wyoming Territorial Prison, Laramie, Wyoming

Quote for the day: “The pain of having a broken heart is not so much as to kill you, yet not so little as to let you live.” —  Anonymous

Photo Title: Pink Walls

Cimarron, New Mexico

I am not going to be writing here very much this week, but in the spirit of Postaday 2011, I will be posting some of my favorite images from my various travels in 2010.  There are a lot of them, so maybe Photo Week will become a regular thing.  Hope you enjoy, and have a great week!

Photo Title: Backs

Renaissance Festival, Larkspur, Colorado.

What side of the bed do you sleep on?

When you’re young and you have a twin bed, this is not really an issue – there’s only one side of a twin bed.  If you have tried to share a twin bed with someone, you will probably have discovered that, if you are the one sleeping next to a wall, when you roll over you CAN break your nose on said wall.  Trust me on this.

At some age, perhaps early teens, many of us graduate to a double bed. 

And if you try to go back to sleeping in a twin bed for any length of time after you move to a double bed, you run a very high risk of falling out of bed.  Trust me on this one too.  And believe me when I tell you that hitting the floor as a dead weight in the middle of the night is a distrubing way to wake up.

It seems, and maybe it’s just my perception, that the size of every bed has changed over the last 48 years.  Kelsea’s twin bed seems much larger to me than my twin bed growing up, or the twin beds in the room we share at the beach for that matter.  Double beds seem smaller – queen beds seem more like what I remember double beds to be.  And king-size beds seem huge, with the California King being huger than huge.  I’ve always wondered why they named it California King.  If it’s a description of size, then shouldn’t it have been named Texas King?

During my entire married life, I slept on my husband’s right.  I don’t know why.  He was left-handed, but I don’t think that had anything to do with it.  On the rare occasions when we tried to change sides, it just felt so wrong.  And now that I am single, the idea of sleeping on anyone else’s right side feels wrong.  I imagine I would wake up in a confused fog, thinking that Pat was the person next to me, and that’s really not an episode any courtship needs.  But I could deal with sleeping on someone else’s left side.

When Kelsea and I took road trips last year, we sometimes had to share a bed, and it didn’t matter what side I was on.  Thinking back, it was her right side in Tucumcari and Cheyenne, her left side in Cimarron and Durham.  Apparently, when it’s not a romantic partner, it makes no difference, although with her, I tend to take the side closest to the door, in order to protect her from intruders (which really makes no sense at all).

In my own massive bed, I sleep on the left side (as viewed from my position lying on my back in the bed).  The right side is a dark territory into which I rarely venture, like the wilds of the Amazon, as yet fully unexplored.  Every so often, I’ll wake up lying sideways or diagonally across the bed, but I never start out of the right side, and I never wake up there.  I’m sure part of the reason is because the light switch is on the left side, but I know that’s not all of it. 

It’s truly a psychological thing.  When I moved out, I wanted to change everything.  Since I took almost nothing from the family home, since Kelsea (and of course, Pat) were still living there, I bought furniture.  (Thank heavens I was working at the time.)  Everything was new to me, which fit well with the idea of leaving my old life behind and making a fresh start.  So I deliberately chose to sleep on the opposite side of the bed from that which I’d slept on for the past 24 years. 

And now, here I am, on the other side of the bed.  I dislike the fact that the side to my right is empty, but I hope that will change in time.  It certainly leaves a lot of room for exploration in the future.

It is beautiful here today!  So warm that I drove home from Denver with the car window down – in January!

I took a trail yesterday that I hadn’t taken in about ten years.  The last time I walked it was with Kelsea.  It was spring, and we wanted to go dangle our feet in the water of the creek and this particular trail provides the easiest and safest creek access when dealing with a four-year old, which she was at the time.  I still remember being overly cautious as her little self trotted and weaved out into the flowing water, thinking that if she fell over, she would be swept away by the flood that barely came up to her shins.

Anyway, they’ve restructured the trail since then so there are boardwalks, gates and much less mud, but I did finally reach the familiar spot on the creek where there are some giant old cottonwood trees.  One tree in particular was so inviting that I couldn’t resist and I had to climb into it, rest my back against its trunk, and stretch my legs out on one of its long, low branches.  I did a little journeying, checking in with my animal contact on some information I had gotten in the morning, and basked in the warm sun for a time.  And then I heard something crunching around in the dry grass near the tree.  I had to peek to see if it was a creeper….or something else.

It was a creeper cow!  A big black cow trotted around the back of the tree into the creek right behind me, and stepped delicately around, breaking ice and slurping water.  She emerged with a straw in her lips and a light in her eyes and snuggled up to the left of me next to the tree.  I named her Lunch.

Then, yet ANOTHER black cow, this one even prettier than the first, approached on the right side.  She put her lovely cow face about a foot away from me, investigating, then took a step back and just stayed there, gazing at me.  And I named her Dinner.

Lunch, Dinner and I hung out for a good ten minutes.  I talked to them a little – we just kind of communed (cow-mmuned?)  Dinner spent a lot of time licking her nose, and I learned something new: did you know that when a cow licks its nose, it inserts its tongue UP each nostril?  (Disgusting, yet) fascinating to watch!

A third cow approached; Dinner started enthusiastically grooming him/her (hard to tell).  Then, a fourth cow.  At this point, it was about time to go anyway, since I had left “the zone” a bit, and was starting to feel a little surrounded by bovines.  The herd let me pass, without moving or commenting; I got the feeling they’d have been perfectly happy to let me stay and join them in some grass and grooming.

It was a wonderful episode, and reminded me of a saying we used to have in high school – “we all have bovine instincts deep within us.”  I wish I could remember why we used to say that, but apparently, it’s still true.

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