Photo Friday

I was thinking about how I want to take more photos and realized I needed to expand where and when I thought about taking photos. This week’s theme is the library. I love the library and go at least two or three times a month. I felt a little weird taking photos in a public space that feels so private and was lucky to find some empty stacks to shoot.

Natural light in a library seems rare to me.  

 

How colorful the mystery paperback section is!

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 3/28/18

Something that made me happy:  I stopped buying cut flowers because it seemed an extravagant waste of money.  But at Trader Joe’s I couldn’t resist this little $4 bundle of joy (photo is above).  I made three small vases out of these Chamomile beauties that smell wonderful.  One vase for the kitchen, one for my office and one for my bedroom.  Because you know, I am worth it, at least once in awhile.

Something making me sad: I am not enjoying walking the dog these days, but don’t tell him!  He is part beagle and getting older and he sniffs everything.  It used to be I could just slow down or pause but now it is full stop. And wait and sometimes another ‘and wait’.  I don’t think his sniffer is as sensitive as it used to be.  He doesn’t want to walk as far either and the nearby neighborhoods are getting pretty boring.  So what used to be a pleasure is now a chore (that I can’t imagine not doing!) and that makes me sad.

Something weird:  Remember the word “chiaroscuro”?  A word I don’t think I had ever seen before I read “A Trick of the Light”?  Guess what word was in the very next book I read?  Yup, chiaroscuro was used in “Little Girl Gone”  by Gerry Schmitt.  Crazy right?

What I have been watching: “The Spring Baking Championship”.  I “may” have binge watched an entire season in three nights.

At a crossroads:  By beloved 2001 Saab needs some major work.  Like a week in the shop and two grand type of work.  My first thought was no problem.  But then I started to wonder.  Yes I love my car but I also love reliable transportation.  With a car this old I am wondering what could go bad next and how soon.  I decided I should look around and see if there is another car I could love just as much.  The problems are 1) I love a car that looks a little different from all the rest and not some ultra popular type that I will have trouble finding amongst 20 similar cars in a parking lot. 2) I have owned this car for 15 years and I am really attached.

At red lights I find myself checking out the cars around me. One day soon  I am just going to have to bite the bullet and go to some dealerships and look around.  I hate all the high pressure salesmen but looking on-line doesn’t cut it.  The only car I have noticed driving around that intrigued me is a Honda Crosstour but they stopped making them in 2016 (and the Tesla, just a little out of my budget!).

No matter what I suspect this is going to be a stressful situation.

My first baby!  This car predates spouse, dog and child.  Yes I took this photo but I think it does rather look like a car ad.

Something I am glad is over:  I finished our taxes and e-filed. I refuse to think about them again for another year.

How was your week?

Photo Friday

I really wanted to go up into the Catalina Mountains this month but all the pain and mobility issues with my shoulder have been keeping me close to home. I am thinking I need a much more interesting back yard if I have to keep using it for my Photo Fridays. I do have two trips planned for April, both of which should give me some excellent photo ops.

The sky has been so blue lately.

My trimmed back orange tree did blossom!

My son gave me these seeds for Mother’s Day last year and we planted them in the fall. We are surprised at how the flowers just keep on popping up!

Keep Your Focus!

 

The Week in Review 3/21/18

Spring Weather: I often complain about the lack of weather and seasons here in the desert southwest but this year I realized we sort of are having a Spring. Our temperatures are fluctuating between 60’s and 80’s and we have had clouds and even a little rain. Rain is a big deal here and any amount is welcome. (Well, unless we get bad flash flooding monsoon rains.)  Gentle spring showers are thrilling.

First rose bud of the season!

Spring training:  Every year we go to a game up in Phoenix.  This year we saw the Cubs play the Royals (the Royals won 11-9).  It was a lovely afternoon in the 60’s, Canadiens in front of us reveling in the “warm” weather while I was glad for my warm sweater once the shade creeped over us.

The cold shoulder:  Actually I have a “frozen shoulder”, ironic here in the desert.  Not uncommon for people “of a certain age” with hypothyroidism/diabetes.  The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and I start PT next week after the inflammation goes down.  Pain relief should happen in 2 to 3 days.  I am glad it wasn’t anything more serious.

Why is it:   Why does Netflix says “oops there was a problem”  75% of the first time I go to watch something from my list?  After a few reloads I can usually get to my show but there is never a problem with the previews running.  Strange. And annoying.

New word I learned:  “Chiaroscuro” – the contrast between light and dark, their juxtaposition.  I found the word in “A Trick of the Light”, an Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny.  Man I love these books.  I will be very sad when I get caught up in the series.

 

My interpretation of “chiaroscuro”. 

And how was your week?

Photo Friday

The theme for this week is up close and personal. (I was playing around with a macro adapter lens.)  Back to apparently my current favorite subject: the lemon tree! To be fair I did check out the recently trimmed back orange tree.  Not a blossom to be seen but lots of new baby leaves.

When the buds open up the flower only lasts about 24 hours. I keep checking the tree hoping to see a whole mass of flowers at one time.  With our warmer weather now I wonder if there is a chance that could happen?

One of the few flowers on the tree right now, but we’ve got buds everywhere!

That could be a lot of lemons! 

Four newborn lemons. I suspect only the strongest will survive, knocking it’s tinier siblings to the ground.

 

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 3/14/18

Waiting -Dr’s appointment:  My left shoulder has been bothering me for a few weeks now and I finally went to see my doctor.  She is thinking rotator cuff and I went to get x-rays the same day.  (She wanted to do an MRI but insurance dictates that I get an x-ray first.) Should get word in a day or two what the x-rays show and she already gave me a referral to orthopedics. So now I just wait. And try not to use my left arm in ways that cause pain!

The wait is over – about school:  Last year we started to be very unhappy with my son’s school and this year the feeling has increased.  We have been looking for different options for quite some time now and in January we finally found a private school we really liked and applied. I have no experience with private schools.  When I was growing up you went to the school you were assigned to. Period. This school has a hard cap of 28 kids total to be admitted for fifth grade (two classes of only 14 each!). Fifth grade is where the school starts so all the slots are available.  I don’t know how many applicants they have but a committee makes the decision sometime in March. No specific date and the wait is starting to wear on me a bit.   I feel like I am holding my breath and getting ready to pass out but I can’t take that breath yet.  Two more weeks.  You guys need to write some distracting posts for me.  And maybe say a little prayer?  Thank you!

UPDATE:  My son got in!  Found out late Tuesday night.  Whew, so happy to take a deep breath.

Something I changed:  I decided to jump the gun a bit with spring because frankly my front door “winter” wreath looks pretty silly when it is 80° outside and having a snowman on the mantle was comical. So I swapped out my seasonal decorations a little early.  I constantly have to look for a happy medium to live by as the weather doesn’t match the calendar as far as the seasons go, at least what I think of as “normal” seasons.

 

Paint Chip Poetry:  In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I picked out five green paint chips (words in italics).

Everyone has their own version of the Garden of Eden:

For my Grandmother a trip to the Emerald Isle                                                                                                                 sipping a pint in a low ceilinged pub in front of a peat fire.

My Uncle- sitting behind left field in Fenway Park                                                                                 glove at the ready for a long, high fly ball.

For my sister trapped in the wrong era                                                                                                            a ring of vintage turquoise large enough to choke a baby.

For myself an alpine forest backing up to a mountain cabin                                                                    near a crystal clear snow melt lake.

 

Something I noticed:  My lemon blossoms smell just like honeysuckle, delightful!

 

 

So how was your week?

Photo Friday

When I was looking for a new desktop photo I found myself looking at my pictures from Chicago two years ago.  I only used a few in posts back then so I thought I would share some of the more interesting architectural photos.

This is the one I chose for my desktop.  I love the way the buildings reflect on each other.

 

Can’t go wrong looking up.

 

It’s like a road map going up the side of the building.

 

I like the way the center building is framed and the light near the bottom.

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 3/7/18

Weather:  March came in like a lamb, all warm and sunny.  But February ended with a vengeance. We woke to a cold rain that briefly switched to hail.  Luckily the hail was small but it will take some time to see how my lemon tree blossoms survived. (Those are not decorative white rocks in the plant above but hail.)

The wind blew the canopy off my swing (again).

Something that makes me happy:  All my medical information is available on-line to me which I love.  I like being able to see the actual test result numbers and not just get a “everything is normal” from my doctor.  This week I learned they had upgraded the website and now I can make appointments on-line!  So much easier and quicker than calling.

Something I am learning:  My son is having a terrible time in math these days so I am spending my afternoons learning how to add, subtract and multiple fractions.  I suppose I am actually re-learning  because at some point in my young life I must of had to pass a few tests on this stuff.  I know I deal with fractions when I am baking but obviously not enough for fourth grade math!

Something I watched:  “Before Sunrise”, the first in a series of three movies.  I loved it! I found out about this trilogy from wanderlustywriter.  As luck would have it my library had the first two movies in a set (“Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”) and the third, “Before Midnight” is on Netflix. I plan on watching the second movie this weekend.  I love having something to look forward to.

From the movie “Before Sunrise”.

The Irony of Bowling:  I bowl in two leagues, a regular “normal “one on Thursday nights and the other is a once a month league with the Tucson 500 club. We bowl on the first Saturday of the month and it is a 9 pin “no-tap” league.  (That means if you get 9 pins on your first ball it gets scored as a strike.)  So much fun, all women and I like that we raise money for Special Olympics and Breast Cancer research. On Thursday nights I frequently get a fair number of 9’s on my first ball but last Thursday I actually got some strikes and bowled a 225! (My average is around 150.) And on Saturday, my no-tap league?  My high game was a 192 for the day.  It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss

How was your week?

2018 Aspirations Summary: February

This was a month of success, frustration and continuing education.  The typical mixed bag of life.

Be Healthier

By the middle of the month I was seriously questioning the validity of my goal.  I was not doing a good job avoiding foods with unknown ingredients or sticking to my ‘make it myself’ rule. I thought about specific problems I was encountering and what I could do to overcome them.  If I want to succeed I need to find a way to make my goals realistic.  While I am figuring all this out I have decided to eat no added sugar for 30 days (fruit is okay).  This should also help put a lid on mindless snacking and help me lose a few pounds.  I am also making an effort to eat more vegetables.

In addition to thinking about what I eat I am now thinking about how I eat.  I read this book called “Beyond Chocolate” and I am implementing some of the ideas I found there.  After my no sugar 30 days I love the idea that nothing is off limits because once you make a food a no-no that is all you want.  And eventually you will cave, big time. The catch is you can only eat when you are truly hungry and you have to make a plate and sit at the table and focus on your eating.  No tv or reading.  You very mindfully enjoy satisfying your hunger with a food you truly want.  I love this idea. I hadn’t realized how often I didn’t pay attention to my eating.  I pretty much always read at breakfast and at lunch I either read or watch tv. Seldom do I pay attention to what I am eating much less really enjoy it.  I rather feel like I have had a mini break through here.  I need to focus on eating habits as much as the food itself.  Ah!

Now for the boring maintenance stuff.  I need to put this down to keep myself honest and no I am not that happy about putting my weight out there for the whole world to roll their eyes at, but I am doing it anyway.  Weight on 1 Feb: 148lbs.  I did yoga 18 times and I am back on track  getting in my 10k steps six days a week. (I was a bit of a slacker in January.) I am still doing an excellent job logging my foods and this month I circled everything in red that I considered a junk food snack.

Blue square was when we ate out. And yes, sigh, I eat a lot of junk food.  But not for the next 30 days!

 

Be Happier

I totally embraced my word for the year this month.  “Unhurried” is how I lived pretty much everyday.  And I loved it.  I made a plan every morning and thought about what I wanted to do as much as what I needed to do.  And surprise surprise, even when I took care of myself first all the have-tos got done as well.  Yeah me! I also finished my nagging task of knocking off a tote full of papers to be shredded.

Now I am marching into March with some new goals, a positive attitude about eating healthier for 30 days (even if it kills me!) and some new habits to give a try.  Pray for me.

“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.”   – Franklin D. Roosevelt

This quote cracks me up and makes me think.  I do wonder what the context was when he said this.

Photo Friday

A walk in the park is the theme this week. Udall Park to be specific.

I am undecided if this cactus looks pretty or painful or maybe just scary.

This path is right next to the park but I am not sure if it is considered in the park. It leads to the bike/pedestrian path along a wash.  This artwork is new and interesting.

One thing Tucson has is lots of mountain views.  Those are the Catalina Mountains in the distance.

 

 

Keep your focus!