Posted in Home, House, Kitchen, Plumbing

K-Day Countdown

Well, we’re getting close! Counter tops should be (I’ve learned to never say “will be”) installed tomorrow. On Tuesday the plumber will return to hook up water to our sink and dishwasher. Then, the kitchen will be done.

half-finished-kitchen
Be Still, My Beating Heart

As you can tell from the dirty dishes, we’re already using the kitchen, sans counter tops and running water. Food gets cooked upstairs. Water gets drawn from the basement, where the dirty dishes are also washed. Up and down, up and down, up and down. No wonder my knees are killing me! One consolation so far, though: I now have places to put stuff away. The cabinets are all in and they all work.

Will she have a functioning kitchen on Tuesday? Tune in Tuesday at 2 to find out!!

Posted in Arlington, Health, Home, Meditation, Seasons, Summer, WordPress.com

Contemplative

It’s been a rough summer health-wise and I’m looking forward to continuing recovery as the cooler weather comes on. I’m trying to balance my work load, to give myself more time to relax and enjoy life. I’m come to realize how incredibly important that is. My problem is that I’m a Type A personality and any time spent “not working” feels like slacking off and being irresponsible. I’m trying to  hide from that mindset and occasionally am successful. But, I’m still dealing with a boatload of guilt every time I do something other than work.

I came across something interesting a few months ago, an inspiration from – of all people – Benjamin Franklin. He was a very busy fellow – inventor, author, diplomat and more. He published an autobiography and some philosophies about how one should live his or her life. Despite his warnings against idleness, he nonetheless did fit an extraordinary amount of free time in his very long day. He even pushed a daily schedule that I’ve found to be quite an inspiration:

I’m not going to follow it exactly, but I like the idea of finding the good in the day and striving towards it. My routine this morning echoed Mr. Franklin’s, although the afternoon fell by the wayside. Perhaps a half day, including some work, is all I can handle at the moment. I took myself out for lunch and then headed over to the library, even though I realized I didn’t have the energy to do any work there. I sat in one of the incredibly comfortable high-backed chairs and went through a meditation routine, then simply sat and took in that portion of the room: the books, the marble fireplace, the iron grating over a door (it’s a beautiful library). Eventually I left, very slowly, and decided to stop at the nearby coffee shop for a decaf.

I almost made it. I was walking slowly, listening to music on my headphones, when I tripped over a cracked part of the sidewalk and went crashing down, landing on my knee, elbow and right palm. So much for my afternoon of peace and quiet. Some very helpful folks helped get me to my feet and I limped the rest of the way to the coffee shop. Sat down with my java and popped a few Motrin. When I was well enough, I walked over to Spy Pond, again very close by, and sat on a stone bench under a tree and watched the water lapping to the shore and  the sun shining on the gentle waves. There was a sailboat in the water, which made things even prettier.

2015-08-26 15.15.26There I sat and there I rested. I did eventually make my way home and spent a few minutes sitting in the living room in front of a fan. I was still listening to the music that had been interrupted by my fall. So now I’m back upstairs, talking about my day, sharing the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin and about to check WordPress.com news to see what’s new there.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Home, Seasons, Summer

Essential

I have discovered essential oils. Blame it on Portland and that foot soak. I also tried a reflexology massage session back here and floated home afterwards. So far I’ve got my hands on lavender, tea tree, bergamot and peppermint oils. I’m incorporating them into my own foot soaks. Heavenly! I also got a jar of Shea butter and rubbed it all over my feet and toes after the soak. Home spa, complete with a candle and appropriate woo music in the background. Works for me!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Arlington, Home, Nature, Seasons, Summer

A Walk in the (Not Quite) Woods

I managed to get out of the house today, wonder of wonders and treated myself to a walk along a bike path that runs past our street. The path used to be a railroad line, so the terrain is nice and flat. There’s a very nice little park behind my street which looks out over spy pond. You couldn’t ask for a prettier scene. Trees, water, birdsong and peaceful nature. I’ll take it.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Arlington, Art, Home, Massachusetts, Sculpture

Sculptures at an Exhibition

Arlington has gone whole-hog on the outdoor art scene. We’ve got painted utility boxes, street festivals and art exhibits in public parks. I’m just up the street from one of those parks, Spy Pond, and visited an exhibit called “Art Rocks Spy Pond,” which is going until the end of May. It was a beautiful day, so I took my camera and came back with some lovely pics. Enjoy!

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Posted in Arlington, Home, Massachusetts, Photography, Photography 101

It’s A Mystery Here on Photography 101

Onto things mysterious. My favorite mysterious photo is of a path leading to a mysterious destination. I’ve got a few of those floating around somewhere but wanted something a bit more current. Since I actually made it outside today, at least as far as the Starbucks across the street, I kept my eyes open for images that ask questions. Like, what’s on the other side?

back of sign
What’s That You’re Trying to Say?

I found a few other intriguing images. This one was kind of fun, since it caught a lonely object on a window sill of the Arlington Center Starbucks, as well as the reflection of the store and the town center.

water bottle
Hey, You Forgot Your Water!

Then, finally, this intriguing fellow painted onto a utility box in the Center. He’s just now become visible in his entirety. He’s looking for/at something. What?

painting on utility box
Ahoy, There!

The poor guy looks a bit washed out after all the snow.

 

Posted in Home, Nature, Photography 101, Seasons, Spring, Winter

Dirty Nature

Well, here comes Janie-come-lately to the next Photo 101 exercise: Natural World and Leading Lines.

Right now the natural world is pretty disgusting. It’s cold and rainy out, threatening to turn to slush the minute the temperature starts to drop. The snow banks are exhausted and filthy and nothing has yet dared to poke its green head out. I tried to find something close to home and, after a few seconds wandering and getting wet, found it. I couldn’t figure out which orientation worked better, so I’m posting both pictures:

tree branch and snow bank

This will someday be a Rose of Sharon. It will be beautiful. Right now it’s emerging, cold and bare, from its snowbank womb. I like the way the branch parallels, or tries to parallel, the gutter to its left.

Or maybe this view is better:

branch against snow bank

You can really see the branch struggling here and there’s an interesting juxtaposition of the vertical branch against the horizontal stripes of the shingles and the front bay window.

It’s drab, dark and depressing, but it’s also a harbinger of better days to come.