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It was too cold to be out of bed. For someone.

Cat Tail

But we did emerge yesterday and had breakfast at Leenie’s.

20140208_130100

And did a little shopping. Who could resist this enticing sign?

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And yes, I did get some socks. And a creepy vintage Valentine.

Creepy Vintage Valentine

Along with a slightly freakish addition to the décor of the salle de bain. (Apologies for the blurry image.)

Creepy canoe child

I visited with an old roommate today and had an excellent snuggle.

Maeira

And now am properly attired for tonight’s episode of Downton Abbey.

Downton Hand

I am doing serious battle with the winter blues. Friday can’t come soon enough.

xo

The chrome of a 1950’s BelAir reflects the blue sky and history of Cripple Creek.

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.”  —  H.P. Lovecraft

Daily gratitudes:
Road trips
Horse days
Beautiful days
Red earth
Laughter

 

What did I do today?  MKL and I went to “Cruise Above the Clouds” in Cripple Creek – a classic/muscle car show with about 200 participants.  I love classic cars and they offer a lot of scope for beautiful and creative photography, so I’ll share more images with you over the next few months.  And being up in the mountains showed us that Fall is coming…

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “And she said, It’s okay that you can’t get over it. Maybe you never will. Maybe that hole will never fill. She said, Maybe your learning to leave it empty is the meaning of your life.”  —  Heather Harpham

Daily gratitudes:
Road trips with MKL
Beauty made of steel
Spooky places
Dogs
My wished-for pink taxidermied rooster
The Pine Emporium

Yes, Kelsea really needed a little distance from Colorado, so that’s just what we got today… out-of-state. Fortunately for us, another state is less than 100 miles away.  So we went there.

Wyoming.

We spent the travel time talking and talking and talking.  Mostly about what’s going on in her life, but we did have the occasional bizarre segue, like a debate about the perceived gender of God, and if God were a woman, perhaps we all have really bad weeks when she has her period.  And then about the fact that, yes, to blaspheme is actually a verb.

We were looking for some bizarre rock formations that I had read about on www.roadsideamerica.com a couple of months ago.  My swiss-cheese brain told me it was near the border, but that was as far as it went. So we took a detour east and found some rocks that were inaccessible near the tiny town of Carr. Which also had a great little convenience store.

We debated and declined trespassing on the funky rocks, and turned around to continue our journey. But once we got back on the Interstate, we saw the ACTUAL rocks that we’d been looking for, which we would have seen had we driven another mile or so.  We resolved to stop on our return.

Into Cheyenne, we stopped at the first flea market we saw and poked around for over an hour. It was a good flea market, and we came away with some music for her – I had gotten her an old record player for Christmas, so she’s starting to collect vinyl – and some clothes from my fledgling Ebay vintage store for me. And of course, we got a couple of little things for the house.

A scented china glass conch shell that we initially thought was a salt shaker, but then determined was for potpourri.  Either way, it now lives in the bathroom.

A milk glass covered chicken dish! (The gold perpetually waving Chinese cat was a Christmas present from Kelsea). Both now live in the kitchen.

After browsing and buying, we stopped in at Two Doors Down for an absolutely excellent burger, and played peekaboo with a neighboring baby.

We had an actual purpose for going to Cheyenne – to buy Kelsea a pair of cowboy boots. We braved the wind – one thing we both REALLY dislike about Wyoming is the perpetual wind – and fled into the Wrangler, a longstanding Western store and fixture of downtown Cheyenne.  And I’m happy to say we met with success!

She’s very pleased. And now it’s payback time, because I always make her take MY cowboy boots off when we’re home together.

Our final shop-stop was Ernie November, a head/music shop, where she indulged in a few CDs to round out her growing music collection.  The final music tally looks like this:

Gotta love her eclectic taste in music – she bought Kiss AND Dean Martin!

Time to head home, we did take the detour off the highway back to see the strange rocks, and to get a slightly closer look at the herd of buffalo that we passed.  The sunset was lovely.

And the rocks were REALLY cool.

There were a lot of them, and they created a sort of little maze, complete with small caves and crevices.  But the wind was blowing like cold stink and after scaling one of them, Kelsea decided she’d had enough.

We made a mad dash back to the car, and watched the remaining sunset cuddled in front of the heater.

We’re home now, on the red couch, watching ridiculous television, and happy that we had a few hours in another state of mind.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend, too.

Kelsea and I are here in soft and grey Milwaukee.  While not exactly an impulse weekend, it was an impulsive time to go away as we are moving so soon, but I think it will do us both good.  We are that sort of people, who need to see something new when stress levels are high.

Arriving last night after what was a remarkably short flight, we only got slightly lost on our way to our hotel, the County Clare Inn.  I thought I would indulge her love of Ireland by staying someplace Irish-ish, and sure enough, the check-in girl had a lovely Irish lilt to her voice.  Our little room is lovely, with a big whirlpool tub and a comfy bed.

Dinner was yum – salmon and spinach.  I never take pictures of food, but it was so pretty!

Our waiter, who had lived all over, has adopted a touch of the brogue in his accent.  I’ve never met someone with such a tin ear.  We followed up dinner with darts in the game room and then collapsed.

My sister was supposed to come up to meet us, but her littlest sweet girl got sick in the middle of the night, so I don’t know if she’ll make it.  I hope so. 

We’re off to explore and will keep you posted.

Well, everything else being thankfully ruled out, it appears that Kelsea does have a kidney stone.  She was trooper enough to go to school yesterday, but is sleeping in today.  Sleep and liquid, that’s what she needs.  Hopefully, it will pass soon.  At least in my experience, the passing was the easiest part.  And I felt better immediately.

It has been amazingly, freakishly, frustratingly windy here the last few days.  It makes me not want to go outside.  And so, I’m not. I’m watching Rick Steves traipsing through the Mediterranean on public television, experiencing pangs of envy, and wondering if they’ let ME take pictures inside the Mosque of St. Sophia.

The good thing is that it has inspired me to work some more on the Different BVI travel guide.  I will start a pitch letter next week.

It’s amazing how fast money flows out when no money is flowing in.

The Interstate Mullet Toss is this weekend and I am missing it.  If you’re not familiar with this event, the highlight is a competition in which individuals toss a one-pound dead mullet from within a 10-foot circle on a Perdido Key beach in Alabama, across the state line into Florida.  I am determined to go next year.

Gark.  It’s nearing noon.  Maybe it’s time to take a shower and get dressed.  Or maybe it’s time for tequila.

It’s really amusing to watch the dog try to attack the vacuum cleaner attachments.

One of my dearest friends in the world wrote to tell me her cat passed away this week.  She and I had just had a wonderful two-hour talk last weekend.  Talking to her makes me feel like I’m 17 again.  I ache for her.  Losing Tug and JT is as vivid today as it was the day I had to have them put down.  I wasn’t there when my cat of 20 years died of natural causes.  She knew it was coming and said goodbye to me before I left.  I don’t know if I could have borne it.  But of course I could.  One can bear anything if it provides some modicum of comfort to a beloved soul.  RIP, Guido, and peace to you, my dear friend.

There is an abundance of magic in this world.

I hate Rick Steves.  Why can’t I be Rick Steves?

I have been considering trying silk painting.  One of my favorite possessions is a circle of silk with a seascape of Anegada painted on it.  It was made by a British woman who used to come camp on the beach and paint.  It’s a lovely idea and a lovely piece.

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to seashells tomorrow – it takes more research than you’d think!  I love doing research for that kind of stuff.  Come to think of it, I’ve always liked doing research for term papers and such.  It’s like hide-and-seek or detective work – which are rather similar, aren’t they?

I watched Deadliest Catch this afternoon while working out.  The Captain used to like it, but I had never seen it.  The skipper of the Wizard, Keith Colburn, looks and talks a lot like the Captain, so it’s kind of nice to watch.  But in the episodes I caught today, Captain Phil thought he had a punctured lung and spent considerable time contemplating his own mortality.  I found that interesting, ironic and foreshadow-y, considering his death from a stroke this past February.  I wonder if the two were related?  At any rate, he seemed like a really good dude, someone I would have liked, and his passing, which I took note of in February even though I’d never watched the show, saddens me.

I woke up so incredibly depressed this morning. I feel better now, after the workout and getting out a bit, but I swear I could have just sat on the couch zoning out in front of the TV forever.  I attribute this to several things.

1.  Getting so sick right when I was gearing up to start my new business was a very bad thing.  I lost a lot of momentum.  And I am having a very difficult time getting it back.  Hey, didn’t I whine about this just last week?

2.  It’s hard for me to work at home.  Since I’m not good at keeping in touch with friends, I find myself very isolated.  I don’t miss going to work everyday, but I do miss interacting with people.  Perhaps a part-time job at Starbucks is not a bad idea.  Isn’t barista a transferable skill?At least I will be sure to go write at coffeehouses this week, just to get me out of my own house.

3.  The lack of income makes me feel unsafe.  Yes, I have enough to live on for a while.  But just as I was tired of working so much and taking care of everybody, I find that even taking care of just me is a real drain on my soul.  I have always been so independent that this feeling is truly alien for me, but catch myself tearing up, lamenting my lost childhood, where someone else was taking care of me and I was always safe.  Not that I want to find a man to take care of me, but … but … oh, I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  It is what it is.

I have no plane ticket in hand.  I HATE it when that happens.  Kelsea and I are planning to drive to Topsail this year, which should be an experience and a half.  But I was toying with the idea of a month in Paris.  Why not now?  If not now, when?  OK, how about a week in Sanibel Island?  But this is where the lack of income becomes a huge boil on my spirit.

Duke is in the Elite 8.  I don’t watch basketball, but my parents loved it before they died (and perhaps still – who can be sure about the afterlife?), and they were hardcore Dukies.  So I pay attention to March Madness in their honor.  They’d have been so pleased and excited.  And my Dad, with his West Virginia roots, would have been happy about that team as well.

Why is it so often cold on weekends but warm during the week?  And why, since I am not working (how weird is that?) should it matter to me, as a weekday is the same as a weekend?  Old habits die hard.

Once again, I have missed the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington. This year was the perfect opportunity, as E-Bro had so generously offered to fly Kelsea and me out for Spring Break.  But I couldn’t justify the other expenses just now, so I sadly declined.  Her Spring Break hasn’t worked out the way either of us thought, but at least she hasn’t had to go to school.  A promise: Cherry Blossom Festival next year for sure.  Life’s too short.

That’s just it in a nutshell, isn’t it?  Life’s too short.

I usually only offer up one Randomness post per week, but I’m still sick, so sick my teeth hurt and I can’t think straight enough to come up with a thoughtful, coherent, philosophical or otherwise piece of writing.  So this is what you get.  If you don’t like it, you know what you can do.  (Sorry, but I’m taking sick license.)

Today is Bonza Bottler Day (www.bonzabottlerday.com).  Bonza Bottler Day occurs monthly, when the day is the same number as the month, and most importantly, its mascot is a dancing groundhog.  Don’t ask.

 

littlebonza

 

Today is also the anniversary of the deaths of Yul Brynner (who was incredibly sexy) and Orson Welles – both great actors died on this date in 1985. 

It is the birthday of Emily Dickinson, and here’s a lovely poem (of hers) to honor her:

I Started Early — Took My Dog

 I started Early – Took my Dog –
And visited the Sea –
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – upon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Bodice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –
And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle – Then my Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –
 

It’s also the birthday of Benjamin West, late 18th century American painter who described his style as “epic representation”.  In examining his body of work, he does seem to follow that trend of painters during this era (of which I’ve always been fond) in which ethereal beings are incorporated into historical scenes.  This concept is well-represented in his painting of Ben Franklin discovering electricity (below):

franklin-drawing-electricity-from-sky3
And finally, it is Tuxedo Day and Fijian Independence Day, but I doubt Fijians are wearing tuxedos to celebrate.

Kelsea and I are spending this freezing cold, snowy Saturday watching TV, and she is making sure I take my medicine and will be cooking dinner tonight.

So far, we’ve encountered some truly, truly bizarre stuff on the Hispanic channels (i.e., a woman setting herself on fire and a man wrestling a horse).

We thoroughly enjoyed “Lock and Load”, with its host, the former military guy who is uber-macho.  When his rifle recoiled and hit him in the bridge of the nose, his response was “Eh, not the first time, won’t be the last.”  We appreciated that he addressed us all as “ladies” at the end of the show, even though we knew what he meant – we just felt he was speaking directly to us.  And we learned a lot about how to slice watermelons with sabres and the impact of minie balls vs. round lead balls.

I always like watching Mike Rowe on “Dirty Jobs” – he’s practical, slightly self-deprecating, and attractive (though I hate to think of the amount of bacteria he must accumulate every episode – he must need a ‘Silkwood’ shower every day) – and he used to be an opera singer!  It’s interesting to see what others do for a living.  It gives me hope that I can find another line of work.  Even if it’s disgusting.

I wonder how I could make a living being a storm chaser?  That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

I’ve always been curious how much you would spend if you were to buy everything you saw advertised on infomercials AND the various home shopping channels in a 24-hour period.

Kelsea is off attempting to make cocoa from scratch for us…that’s my girl.

Courtesy of Cuteness Overload

I feel happy.

That may not sound like much to most people, but it is huge for me. 

It’s been a long time since I could say that and really mean it.

But today, that’s what I feel.

And this is despite a bout of flu-ish-ness.  Thank DOC for Tamiflu. When these definitely flu-like symptoms appeared on Thursday morning, I came home to work and started taking this stuff.  The results are interesting.  The worst of the symptoms have been staved off – fever is practically non-existent, muscle aches, stomach stuff, headache and “general malaise” are present but tolerable – not the “I wish I were dead” flu.  At the same time, I can tell that the flu is in my body. I keep picturing something from Stephen King’s “The Stand,” going on in there, good and evil battling it out in the desert of my cells.

After a luxurious night, complete with Chinese food, a viewing of Under the Tuscan Sun, and an intimate sleep, I woke at 6:00, went back to sleep until 9:00, and lay in bed for a while listening to my favorite bird and planning my day to myself.  “A while” turned into almost 2 hours, and it was up and out to breakfast at Dot’s. I still felt good, all the way through breakfast, though the new book I started over the morning meal was perhaps not a good dining choice.  “Charlatan” opens with a vivid description of a quack doctor’s surgical insertion of goat testicles into a human.  Yum?  Or not so yum?  You decide.

Following breakfast, a trip to my favorite local used bookstore was in order, since it was just up the street.  But upon arrival, I started feeling like the flu was about to kick my ass and didn’t want me roaming around Boulder County today. Still, I bought eight books.  I swear, this is like an addiction.  I’ve recently visited a few blogs of individuals who focus on books and book reviews, and they all have a list of what’s in line to be read.  If I were to try such a thing, it would look like a library catalog.  And yet, I cannot resist.  It’s shameful.  Perhaps I will add a couple of page to “Lists”: Books in Queue and (as my Mother maintained) Desiderata.

Unwilling to give in to feeling icky on a lovely day, I visited my favorite secondhand clothing store, where good sense won out over good taste and I did not buy the beautiful white lace sweater for $38.  Which means I win!  I saved $38!  Somehow, the cost of books (albeit used) is never prohibitive, but the cost of clothes is.  Perhaps that means I’m meant to lie around naked, reading.  Sounds good to me.

My photographic eye was on this morning, and there must have been 100 things I wanted to capture in pictures.  I only caught a few, but Monkeyeye will be offering another Weekend in Pictures come tomorrow night.  I wish every road had a walking path paralell to it.  I would love to walk along the roadside and take the pictures I see, but I am hesitant to lay my life on the line for the sake of art.  Drivers are generally distracted and/or insane.

One of my favorite (uncaptured) images of this morning was that of a huge, fuzzy brown llama, herding twin newborn lambs down a hillside at a dead run.  I did stop and took a few pictures of the sheep, but that visual was once in a lifetime, not to be repeated, and so it will live on in my memory.

This sharing of a soul with someone else is a wonderful thing, especially when that soul feels good.

While Spring officially started yesterday, today is the first day I really feel it.  I can SMELL it in the air.  Some of the flowering trees are starting to bloom.  The willows are that yellow-green they turn when they bud.  It’s wonderful.  We made it through a harsh winter, harsh in so many ways.

Later — Well, the flu bug is not agreeing with me, so I spent the rest of the day cybertravelling from Bozeman to Cornwall.  And I’ve started compiling a workshet of bizarre festivals to document for Two For The World. 

I got up long enough to cook some catfish, and Paint Your Wagon is on TCM.  It’s one of my favorite movies and I had decided in bed this morning that I’d watch the DVD – and lo and behold, here it is!  The movie speaks to my wandering, wild spirit.  It’s a nice thing tonight.

Yes, it was a good day.

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