Decorating Nonsense

The furniture is moved and the floors are washed. The tree is up but not yet trimmed. The two silk Flores de Noche Buena aka Poinsettias are in the bedrooms. And bits of pine tree and cones are placed in various places so that their scent makes up for the tree fakery. Continue reading

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First Day of Spring

I had plans for today: sleep in until 7, be at church by 8, and afterwards head to the Factory for a few extra hours of work.

Instead, the birds woke me about an hour before sunrise. After a quiet winter, the cacophony is atrocious: squawks and chirrups, with only a few warbling notes to add a pleasant sound. The birds grew louder because they flew closer. By the time I crawled out of bed, there were grackles and redwing blackbirds having a party in the backyard. Continue reading

Spring Cleaning & Lent

I know it’s not Spring. In fact, a beautiful layer of snow covered everything just a couple days ago. But if I don’t start now while it’s cold, I’ll never get it done when it’s warm and the garden beckons the weeds call me out to rumble.

Last week I spring-cleaned the bathroom. That involved exploring the depths under the sink. The collection of lotions and other concoctions surprised me. Truth is that I put things there that I seldom use, like hair gel and the fragrant body cream that someone gave me for Christmas 2012.  Out they went!  The bathroom doesn’t look any different, but it’s better inside.*

Lent, which starts next week, is rather like Spring Cleaning: no huge make-over of body or habits, but some straightening out on the inside.


 

*This weekend it’s the laundry/utility closet. Space is tight and there’s little room for anything but lint and dust, but I suspect when I start pulling things out, it’ll be like unpacking the Tardis.

 

12th Day of Christmas 2015

“Get out a piece of paper or pull up a fresh document and write down every goal you intend to accomplish in your literary lifetime. Write down all your ultimate dreams and then try to write your way to them.” 

-Katz, Christina. “Diversity As You Go.” The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks, & Techniques from Your Writing Career Coach. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest, 2011. 42. Print.

One of the fun things I did this past weekend was taking six books off the shelf and putting them in a bag for the library. A few were guilt-inducing books of writing exercises; they brought me no breakthroughs or epiphanies.

I considered getting rid of Katz’s book but when flipping through, a couple entries caught my eyes. This was one. I like to think of having a lifetime of writing in me, loop after loop of story like a thread spooled somewhere in my heart. Endless. Full of colour and promise.

It reminded me of reading Ray Bradbury explain that he wrote a list of story titles and then wrote the stories that went with them. It took him years, but he did it. Sometimes he had no more than the germ of an idea when he started, but somehow it grew.

 

 

11th Day of Christmas 2015

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

When I returned from my hometown to La Casa de Tontería, I started thinking about  returning to the Factory. Anxiety about work is part of everyday life, and I started feeling it in anticipation of my first day back.

Just like snuggling into my familiar bed and quickly falling asleep, I find myself returning to comfortable – if unhelpful – habits.

Everyday concerns are like everyday spills; you wipe them first. Other things – hobbies, relaxation – are like dust bunnies lying unnoticed except when a deep cleaning draws them to light. At leisure, it’s easy to think about Big Things that are lost in the daily grind.  Grind? Grinder? Oh, coffee! *scribbles on list*

 

10th Day of Christmas 2015

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

Poor Dumbledore. I’d like to take them off his hands. I didn’t get any books as gifts this year, although maybe that’s good. I’ve been working on organizing what I have.

As a bibliophile, I’ve long been captivated by libraries. Many years ago, a friend invited me to a fundraiser at Meadow Brook Hall, a Tudor-revival home.  That was my introduction to a private library (and a gorgeous one at that). Continue reading