Scenes from today.
Today was a normal day. Nothing stressful other than software glitches, and repeatedly sending out the wrong minutes for a meeting, today was low key and calm. I love calm. I got all my to-do items done. I’m cooking dinner. Ahh.
I got to spend quality time with all the horses in the calmest possible way as they got their feet trimmed. So much time spent petting soft noses. Ahh. I love farrier day.
I’m not sure what I think about it, but Drew’s new fancy bit arrived today. I believe we don’t use the chain part. It’s just like the one he already uses at Tarrin’s. Who knows if I’ll master it or not, since Apache is bitless and likes it.
I got to enjoy the cranes flying by. These must be stragglers. Never a bad day if you see them! And I’m hearing all the winter birds in the woods. That’s the best part of winter!
And finally, my day was made by the arrival of a nail polish strip box. It was all gold and black, with art deco accents. I gave no idea why I’ve always loved nail polish, unless it’s just that it reminds me of my mom. My one ultra-feminine affectation, I guess. (Shut up, people who know me, don’t tell the readers about all my shoes and turquoise jewelry; guess I’m more femme than I think.)
Happy Tuesday. There’s nothing wrong about normal at all!
Yesterday was lots of fun and I’ll share pictures tomorrow. Today I took it easy, other than cleaning, and got the border put on the heart afghan.
I was glad the squares matched up well. The border really sets off the heart and triangles. It needs one row of a border and it will be done.
The center pattern is called Tune My Heart. It’s a bit weird, but I did it. I now know better ways to make the squares.
I’ll figure out something fun to do with the leftovers. I have black yarn that will look great with the pinks. There’s leftover cream that looks good with the purples. Maybe I’ll make something a little less “beginner” crochet or knitting.
I did my nails spooky, too. Best job application-wise in a long time. The webs work well for the Master Naturalist conference next week!
Just kidding. I can’t help that the Camo Blanket is practically invisible! It makes me invisible, too!
I think it came out the way we intended it to. Kathleen says the colors look better than she feared they would, and I was impressed that I used almost all the green. I guessed well on how many squares I could make.
I like how the zigzag join looks braided. It looks nice on the back, too. And I think the border adds a little interest. I didn’t want to do anything girly for the edging, since its recipient is a manly boy.
It’s pretty big but not too big I hope. It should be good for naps and sitting under on cold hunting trips and alligator killing expeditions! Or watching TV. Whatever the toddler wants to do.
I sure hope the recipient doesn’t read Facebook or blogs yet! This is his Christmas present! I have enough of the brown to maybe make him a camouflage hat, too.
Now to finish off my other project. It’s nice to have a rest day. Tomorrow it should cool off and I’ll make the horses do fun stuff again.
You know when we are bordering on yet another drought around here when the grass starts to crunch under your feet when you walk across the fields. In the past week or so, even our relatively green pastures had started to get crunchy. Other parts of the state have it a lot worse (not to mention other parts of the US. But we here in scenic Milam County care about the Hermits’ Rest microclimate the most! Because of that, I was extra happy to hear drops falling onto the roof this morning.
I went out to feed the chickens (and would have fed Drew, but he ignored me) this morning and saw we’d gotten two tenths of an inch. Even that much made Lee happy. I was really hoping for more, since we hadn’t even gotten any puddles yet. I watched the forecast and tracked clouds on the radar. More was coming.
April is a kind of weird month here. Sometimes we get hardly any rain and sometimes it’s a lot. This year has been on the scant side.
Today has gone well, though listening to the steady rain makes me a little woozy. We are getting the good kind of rain, with no tornadoes, hail (far as I can tell), or other severe stuff. Just a nice rain that has finally filled up Lee’s “pond” and given the new gutters a workout. The fact that it’s up to a half inch is exciting for us!
Other things that pass for exciting are small. For example, I’ve had a pot that appeared to be a pot of dirt sitting on my porch for going on two months. I was beginning to think that Lowe’s had sold me a pot of dirt rather than some bulbs in dirt. At last, things have poked up and someday there will be calla lilies and caladiums in there.
My nails also are exciting this week. I had been doing them in boring ways while some problem nails grew out, but this week I layered flowers over a nice turquoise color and got something that really goes well with my overly abundant rings. By the way, I am using the ColorStreet stuff. I find it works very well for me and lasts about ten days. I can even do nail repairs and it helps keep them looking fine. (I’m actually going to break down and do an MLM party for this stuff, just because some friends want to get some of the colors, and I could use some freebies.) I don’t like it (or anything) enough to sell it, but I can help some other woman make money, even though I am not a fan of MLM “small businesses” in general (here’s where I ranted about that once). The particular sales person I am using right now actually is a good marketer and has nail tips even I, a person who’s been doing her nails since 9th grade, didn’t know.
And that’s it for my blissfully rainy day. Oh, wait, one more thing. I got us more of the pool floats that we like so much. I call it my yacht. Kathleen has a much bigger yacht, but it likes to blow away. One of the man-folk in the family actually asked if I could get a bigger one for him, so I got one in XL. When they arrived I got a chuckle out of the stereotypical bathing-suit lady in the regular one and manly man in the XL (though he is not an XL man, in my opinion). At least they are racially ambiguous; they could be mixed, white, black, Latinx, South Asian, Middle Eastern, or maybe even Pacific Islander. That’s rather good. My favorite part of the packaging, though, is where they have one of those square things to scan. I found the fact that “scan me” is “scanne-moi” in French is pretty funny.
Like I said, it doesn’t take much to pass for excitement around here, and with all the other stuff going on, anything that brings a laugh is good with me.
As I find ways to do more things that help me feel like a regular person again (while still being COVID-aware), I’ve started making a mental list of things I want to do, and figuring out whether I can actually make them happen. Have you been entertaining similar thoughts?
But Wait, I’ve Done So Much!
I managed to get out of town for a weekend with family successfully, so that knocked one off the list. I’m going to spend more time away soon, and I’ll fill you in on that when the time comes. The plan is to not do my beloved shopping and eating out, but still enjoy another place.
Another thing I want to do is hang out with fellow Texas Master Naturalists. The annual meeting starts tomorrow, and I’m taking time off from work to sit at my desk and hang out virtually. I think that will be a good time, but I’ll have to figure out how to get all my movement goals made! If it were in person, I’d be there hiking around Houston already!
Some members of our group are also planning some outings to other counties to count what wildlife can be found there. I hope that will bring us together safely, outdoors, and let us enjoy ourselves while doing some valuable work!
More along the lines of vanity, I really wanted to get my nails done by my friend, Tina, at the nail salon. I hadn’t gone since I had St. Patrick’s Day nails put on. That’s because there are often lots and lots of people there, along with their families, friends, and such. We wanted to avoid crowded spaces, because we wanted out clients and their families to be sure that they knew we were putting their safety ahead of our vanity.
Luckily, Tina came up with a plan for me to go one evening at the end of their open hours (which happens to conveniently be when her husband is disinfecting things), when no one else is there. So, yay! I have nice new nails on my hands and feet, and we got to catch up on a LOT of each other’s goings on. Masks were worn and hands were washed obsessively.
Another thing I want to do is buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I’m a little put off by farmers’ markets, since around here there isn’t a lot of mask wearing. And I seem to always have meetings on Wednesdays, when there’s a lovely small market here in Cameron. However, I did hear about a place nearby that sells hydroponically grown stuff. Maybe they deliver! I’m checking it out.
This probably sounds selfish, but I miss wandering through art galleries, too. I just love to look at hand-made stuff, whether paintings, pottery, jewelry or sculpture. I managed to sort of do it today, when I managed to go to the new antique store in town when it was just about empty. I found a painting of trees that I just loved. $25. I thank the woman who painted it, wherever she is.
I also got a piece of Navajo pottery by A. Joe, who I can’t find anything about other than he’s contemporary. It is just what my fireplace wanted, however. I think this satisfied my desire to enjoy art, since I even brought some home! Check out Chelle’s if you’re ever in Cameron!
I realized I have very few other things on my list, other than eating out at a nice restaurant and having our book club indoors without masks, so that all the members can hear each other. Masks are really difficult for the hard of hearing! But, no wonder I feel better. I’m finding ways to do what makes me happy. And I got a flu shot, so that’s one less thing out to kill me.
It’s funny, I intended to write about things I want to do, but ended up writing about how I’ve done so much of what makes me happy already. What have you figured out a way to do, while keeping to your personal standards of safety? What do you still want to do?
Just a quick funny story (to me). Historical background:
I bit my nails until I was 14. Nothing could stop me; I was an anxious child, and this was one of my soothing behaviors. I really had me some ugly hands.
But, a week before high school started, I got it in my head that I could have a new start, not be the outcast I was in 8th grade, and look a bit better. So I managed to not bite my nails. I can remember being so proud in Algebra I class, when I could see some white at the ends of my nails. The next week, I painted my nails red.
And, most weeks for the ensuing many decades, I’ve painted my nails. I had them really, really long in high school and painted them all sorts of interesting ways (this was LONG before nail salons and professionals; it was all me).
Once I got to college and had to type a lot, the nails got a little shorter, but other than a few brief hiatuses, my quest for great nail polish and perfect nails never ended. I always acknowledged the irony that other than a love of sparkly eye shadow and long nails, I was quite the gender neutral dresser.
Fast forward, and I’m still an eccentric dresser, but also with weird hair color. I hardly ever had professional nail applications; I can remember one in San Francisco in 2005…and a few toenail polish bonding events.
But, I got a hankering for something that lasted longer, and started going to the salon here in Cameron, where I really like the people and had a lot of fun. This blog has plenty of photos of my fanciful dip nails. I miss them.
When the coronavirus stuff started, the salons all closed. I also noticed that the tools they used on my nails had made them paper thin. Well, I thought, a great chance to let them heal a bit.
The salon opened back up, but because of my very visible position at our personal assistance service, and my own desire to stay away from people who are less careful than me, I haven’t been back (and I am so sorry for the nail salon people!).
I found some Essie products that are really strong and last over a week on my fingers, and have been using them. Except last time, I discovered you need to pay attention to what you’re doing.
I put the top coat on as my base coat, and the base coat on top. Hmm, I thought it didn’t come out very shiny. Then, two days later, all my fingernail polish peeled off in sheets. What? I did NOT take a picture.
Yep, that shiny top coat doesn’t stick well to bare nails. And that grippy base coat isn’t shiny.
In fact, the base coat is so grippy that it would stick to my socks when I wore my boots. I kept the toenails for another week, but wow am I happy to have changed to the right polish in the right order.
You’d think that after doing my own nails for so long, I’d learn to read the bottle of clear polish and put on the right one! Sheesh!
What have I learned here? Give me 15 minutes and I can write a long blog post about almost anything. Back to work.
The UU Lent word for today is fire. It came on a good day, because a fiery ball of light appeared in the sky for the first time in a LONG time, or at least it seems.
Seeing the sun this morning made me hopeful. I have read that it’s harder for some viruses to thrive when the sun is out, baking away. I keep hoping the coronavirus is one that will be slowed by sun and heat. It’s supposed to get to 90F today, after many days of cold and damp here in the middle of Texas. (I also hope it helps Fiona’s legs heal up.)
While I’m mostly a watery Pisces kind of person, fire has always meant a lot to me. Like my favorite goddess, Brighid, the goddess of the hearth, the forge, and poetry, I like to make things from fire (pottery, bread) and I like to use my words to ignite a spark of recognition, passion, or learning in others.
I took the picture of the bricks a few days ago. I love how every one of these hand-made bricks is different. And that they’ve required some repair to the mortar holding them together. But they still stand, because they work together. WHOA! A METAPHOR FOR OUR TIMES! We need to be this way.
We may be just “another brick in the wall,” but in reality, we have our own jobs to do right now. And so what if we’re cracked or a little broken, we can still do it! I’m thinking of all my family and friends who are trying hard to hold themselves together. That means YOU!
I’ve actually lit a fire (sticking to my theme) under myself and am getting lots of work done for all the jobs. I guess I’m getting used to the new normal.
I recently read that Texans are drinking the most alcohol during this time. I did my part yesterday with some proseco.
But, here’s a weird thing. I took off all the dip polish and cut my nails. I am hoping that Tina, my nail technician, is able to take some time off to take care of her family, so I spend some time bonding with the smell of acetone and made my nails naked.
They are pretty thin anyway, so even when I go back to the nail place, I’ll probably just get polish for a little while, so they can grow out.
I don’t recognize my hands. They are very clean. I’m having to use so much hand lotion that I took off all the big rings. That’s a new normal for me, too.
What’s your new normal?
No doubt I’ve mentioned at some point on this here blog that winning and losing aren’t really important to my goals (which may surprise anyone who ever played board games with me in my past). But nonetheless, I declare today a win all around (other than my exercise routine, which has suffered due to too much sitting and chatting). And it’s all thanks to all my friends and contacts in little old Cameron, Texas.
I got to sleep in and then had a fine time getting beautiful new navy and sparkle nails. I wanted something wintry, and you know, dark blue matches every outfit I have, since I usually have on blue jeans. Still not sure why I like fun nails so much, but I just do.
It’s one of my girly things, I guess. That and all those rings, huh?
After lunch, Mandi and I stopped by the Central Avenue Bistro again, because Mandi craved their Caesar salad so much. I had a light soup, which was good, but not as spectacular as the white chicken chili yesterday, which was loaded with chicken. Anyway, that’s beside the point. The winning came when we followed up on yesterday’s conversation with my friend Jenecia, who said her husband really wanted to come see the Hermit Haus to potentially rent it. OH BOY.
With all the stuff going on with Hearts Homes and Hands, we’d had to let publicizing the Hermit Haus as an event venue slide, so all we have is a couple of board meetings and the Master Naturalist class going on. We really want to make enough money to cover the building’s expenses.Continue reading “Whirlwind of Winning”
After the boating outing, we spent the second half of yesterday doing the required vacation pampering activities that are probably somewhere in the official rules for women going to resorts: You MUST receive some spa-like service or you FAIL as a vacationer!
We did not fail. My hair had gotten rather unruly, and I’d been having a hard time finding time to find somewhere to get my hair cut in Austin, so hey, why not get it cut in Hilton Head? It’s only hair, right?
Oh, sure. I got an appointment with a random stylist at the place Laura from the resort goes to. It turned out to be someone a bit older than me, so I thought, hmm, I bet I get “old lady hair.” But, I enjoyed chatting with her, and I did get the back shorter, which I wanted.
There was a great deal of time spent by the stylist on blow-drying and spraying stuff on my hair. I thought Anita was going to die from holding in her thoughts until we got outside. I had very high hair. It gave me a good chuckle.Continue reading “It’s Halloween, So Time for Scary Hair”