a peek into my crazy

Riding the city bus brings out every bit of my neuroticism.

Normally I’m a pretty confident, capable woman, but require me to take a city bus route – particularly downtown – and I become a nervous wreck. Something will go wrong, I’m sure of it – I’ll miss the bus, I’ll be at the wrong stop, the bus route will magically have changed and no longer go where I need it to (despite the fact that I’m looking at the route on my smartphone as I go), I’ll miss my stop, I won’t have the right change, someone will steal my purse, I’ll forget to grab my transfer, I’ll be held up at the dark stop in the early morning, someone awful will sit next to me and flirt with me, I’ll be late, I’ll be too early, I’ll run into someone I’d rather not, I’ll get lost when I get off, I’ll fall in the aisle, I’ll have forgotten to brush my teeth and the person next to me will die from the stench, my travel coffee mug will spill all over. It sounds ridiculous but in my brain? All distinct possibilities. And Metro Transit is not helping me out, either… for instance, stops are listed as cross streets. Friends, there are four actual corners at each cross street and sometimes there are bus stops on all four. How do I know which one? They don’t all have signs. I’m certain to be at the wrong one and watch my bus roar by. And God forbid I have to change buses! My heart rate shoots up just thinking about it.

Never mind that highschoolers and people who barely speak English and folks who are obviously on something all seem to be able to work it out. This gal here, with a college degree and a good head on her shoulders? Destined to be lost and wandering in the city.

It did not help, this morning, that the change machine on the bus wasn’t able to add. “Did you put in enough money?” the driver asked, and I smiled nervously and giggled and said “I’m pretty sure I put in $2.25” because OF COURSE I did – it was pre-counted at least four times and put in a labeled Ziploc baggie so I could put my frantic heart to rest before bed last night. Not that that helped me sleep. And now I’m holding up the line and everyone is glaring at me (why must they do that?) and all my worst expectations are being fulfilled.

But I made it.

And then I got off early. And since I only studied one route home at one specific time and stop (typed up in Evernote with precise walking directions and change counted out and sealed into another labeled Ziploc) I’m seriously considering sitting around until then. Never mind that it’s two hours from now. I can wait.

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bloglove

I am someone who values relationships deeply, who yearns for friendships and community more than really anything else – more than chocolate and ice cream, even. So I really do mean YEARN. To me, life isn’t worth living if I’m doing it on my own.

Blogging has, for me, been a relatively solitary pastime. I’ve done it – since June 2005 – because I wanted to, and because it was important to me in some indescribable way, and because I couldn’t not. Believe me, I tried to not – and my sporadic posting was very clear evidence of it. But a writer must write, I’ve learned, even if it’s few and far between – eventually the words come and force their way out and the best thing to do is just get out of the way. So, I blogged. Followers came and went, there was no clear community, no regular commenters, no solid friends made. At least, no new ones. The old ones continued to cheer me on, as good old friends must do to be good old friends. But still, it was mostly me, showing up to the screen, offering, and leaving to the silence.

That is, until I learned that a few of my “in real life” friends were bloggers, too, and I saw that they had met kindred spirits and built a solid readership and had what I am constantly searching for, everywhere…. connection. ON AND THROUGH THEIR BLOG. It was a revelation, and it gave me a target to shoot for, though I really had no idea how to do it. It made me a little self-conscious, and a little nervous, and a lot shy. But it also gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start moving past the pixels.

So, in September I went to the Minnesota Blogger’s Conference, mostly because it was free and my friend Heather was speaking at it (she was the first of the aforementioned friends who also happened to be a blogger). I am not a crowd person, friends – I like to stick in small groups where I know at least one other person. I like to have a wing man when I head into things like this. But no, I was flying solo, and I was terrified. Somehow, though, it…. worked. I met some beautiful, amazing, funny, sincere women (and men!) whose blogs I began to devour. Who I began to stalk on twitter. And on facebook.

Now I sound creepy.

Fast forward to last week, when I heard about another meetup – bloglove at Aveda (one of my most favorite places), hosted by the lovely Chris Ann of LoveFeast Table. I jumped at the chance – especially since I had actually hopefully met some of the women before! – and brought myself a wing man, just in case (thanks, Casey!). And it was, in a word:

delicious.
Delicious because Chris Ann made some awesome oatmeal raisin cookies, brought strawberries and grapes and chocolate dipped pretzels and crackers with cheese dip.
Anna, Anna & Chris Ann
Delicious because Aveda was serving us all the Aveda tea we could drink.
Molly getting her hand massage
Delicious because the evening was heaped with opportunities to relax, rejuvenate, pamper (hand massages, back & neck massages, make-up touchups, skin & hair consultations, all the yummy smells you could inhale).
Anna’s hair consultation
(Anna, sorry I didn’t tell you I was taking a picture)
Delicious because they sent us home with sweet little bags of trial sizes & samples (including a bath soak I hope to one day take a bath to use)
Casey, Kristin, Anna, Molly & Anna
Delicious because the women gathered there were frank, and funny, and warm, and honest, and open.
Me getting my makeup freshened
Anna, hope you don’t mind me stealing your photo!!
Delicious because it felt like some beautiful friendships were born, and I met some ladies I definitely want to know more of.
The hand pampering station… scrubs, lotion, hand massages….

Delicious because there were no kiddoes running around at our feet and I actually felt like a woman, not a mommy.

Casey getting a skin consultation
Delicious because afterward I actually got to hang out and have a beer with a friend before hustling home.
Anna & Gussy
Delicious because it was a taste of what I yearn for most: connection.
(Back row) Elle~All Things Bright & Beautiful, Erin~House of Turquoise, Molly~ The Snyder Family 5, Casey~Autumn 2010, Anna~Girl With Blog, Michaela~MindfulMomma, Ria ~ Ria’s Collection, Em~The Raven Quoth
(Front row) Chris Ann~LoveFeast Table, Anna~Motherly Law, Maggie~Gussy Sews, Allison~O My Family, Kristin~High Heels And A Hammer
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lovely lovely Sunday

 

Beautiful scenery, cute animals, hay bales (remember how I love those?), honey sticks, cider, pumpkins!!, a tractor ride… ahhhhh. Lovely. And then a trip to the Malt Shop for the hub’s birthday (and believe it or not, I decided to forego the malt. Crazy, isn’t it?) – replete with melted ham & swiss on rye – HEAVEN. We came home to some drama – the garage of the house behind ours had exploded (!) and there were fire trucks everywhere, not to mention smoke throughout our house – but as I keep reminding Olive, no one was hurt and every house was fine so all in all, not so bad. And then little miss and I went to our neighbors’ house to get some last use out of the jumpy Walker had at his birthday party yesterday and we ended up spending the entire afternoon/evening visiting and chatting. Have I mentioned before what awesome neighbors we have?

An absolutely fantastic, mostly idyllic Sunday. Yum.
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a beautiful day in the neighborhood

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There is nothing so delightfully magnificent as the trees slowly going up in flame. It makes me catch my breath.

That’s what I posted yesterday on Facebook, and to my amusement some of my Californian friends actually thought there was a fire somewhere nearby. I’m still smirking about it to myself, actually. Ha!

What I meant, of course, in my overly-poeticized way, was that all the leaves were changing to the gorgeous fire hues of autumn. And I am absolutely enraptured.

I mean, look at these – how can you not be? I took these photos today while walking/driving around my neighborhood (don’t worry, I stopped the car before I cracked out the camera – one accident a decade is enough). Just everyday scenes, things I see all the time, made amazingly breathtaking by the changing of the seasons.

It’s like magic.

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drenched

Mary was my coworker, unfailingly warm and friendly, just the kind of person you would want working with your child. That anything so utterly horrific should have happened to her is absolutely inconceivable to me and I feel… drenched. Sopping. The slow slogging you feel when you walk through water, when your clothes (which shouldn’t be wet in the first place) are heavy and saturated and holding you back. The cool chill you get when the breeze hits your wet skin. I am waterlogged.

Victims in St. Paul triple homicide are identified

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happy feet

They’re winter feet: the soft, wussy feet of March as opposed to the hardy, hard-soled sun-bronzed feet of, say, September. They’ve been coddled for months in fuzzy slippers and thick, plush socks, safe from the elements and everything else. But today those pale, sad little feet made their debut in (gasp!) sandals, trailing soft cotton pants and a t-shirt. A 3 mile walk with sudden introduction to leather edges did not happy feet make – but the rest of me is elated.

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