Things I Want(ed) to Do

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!

I’ll be there virtually!

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.

Happy, shiny me.

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.

Looking autumnal.

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.

Trees and rivers. Not a masterpiece, but I like it.

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!

It makes the blue in the rug under my desk not look quite so out of place!

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?

My Poor Nails!

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.

I interrupt this story with a picture of the lamp I had to bring into my dungeon office, because the ceiling light has gotten so dim I can’t see. Note bonus mask holder!

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.

Actual Story?

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.

Ah, so pretty.

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!).

Golden toes. These should be fine.

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.

Base coat left. Top coat right. Memorize. I am not compensated for this photo.

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.

Nice bronze nails, all my own. And a bonus donkey.

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.

FIRE Brings Hope

It’s the SUN! It makes the earth shiny! It kills germs!

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.

Notice how different each brick is.

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.

Alfred’s still guarding the fort. We all need an Alfred from time to time.

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!

Cheers. Who needs to brush your hair in a pandemic?
I do still wear a bra, but it’s a comfy one.

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.

Now I look like Granny Kendall, who had little short, fat fingers and bit her nails to the quick.

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?

Whirlwind of Winning

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.

First

Snazzy stripey.

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?

Second

We’re thinking the vultures were looking over at the Hermit Haus, thinking how dead its rentals were.

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”

It’s Halloween, So Time for Scary Hair

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!

The horror! Very unruly hair, scary eyebrows, and so many wrinkles. Good morning, Suna.

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”

Doing Good at Feeling Fine

This whole thing where I work really hard to live in the moment (ruining my previous hobbies of “pre-worrying” and “dwelling on how things could have gone) has really been working out. Little things keep happening and I just look at them as bumps in the road as I sail down my merry path. And, hey, look, today’s tarot card even shows my merry path!

It is always fun to me when I’m subconsciously thinking of something, and my reading literally draws a picture of it. Archetypes amuse me.

My quest to enjoy the moment led to me just sitting at last night’s high school football game and listening to the drama and pageantry, without worrying about winning or losing. It was just pleasant to be around nice people doing small-town things.

In fact, the current plan is to go with the lady who sits next to me at the games and watch the Away game next Friday. She is a whiz at football, so almost as fun to watch a high school game with as my kids’ friend Wes, who analyzed the games from his trombone spot. He’s now a high-school football coach, so his dream came true, even if his parents didn’t want him playing the game. I’m so glad to make new friends.

Football action. Note how many people the other team had in the stands. They were from a LONG way (Katy, Texas). They won State last year, and we were the only team that beat them. I hope it’s that way for them this year, too.

On my way home I got to see a huge owl eating a kill, then flying off when my car approached [hn hn – Vlassic typed that by laying his head on the keyboard]. Then I found a big spider in the garage, but Vlassic scared it off before I could get a picture.

Continue reading “Doing Good at Feeling Fine”

Austin, You Make Me Smile

I love a mule in a hat.

Anita and I were driving to our last haircut by our current hair person (she’s moving to Dripping Springs). Glancing up I saw the totally Austin spectacle of Santa riding a bay mule down South Congress.

Don’t let the trees fool you. He’s right in front of St Edwards University.

Yee-haw, Santa.

Ok. We looked it up. That was Sam Gray Horse, who rides the mule all over town. Here’s an article!

So shiny! Blinding!

Also I made the nail lady in Cameron do fancy holiday nails. I guess I’m all set.