Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mid Life Mid Year Thoughts

To blog or not to blog? The answer for now, obviously, is Yes. As I am not up for FaceBook, this blog will have to serve as my electronic postcard: GREETINGS FROM CABIN IN NOYO RIVER CANYON! From Paris to Ohio to Santa Barbara to cabin - here until Grand Canyon River trip beginning on Labor Day. It's just me + 8 chicks + garden (s) + stack of books + walks + endless chores.

Tomorrow marks my six month anniversary of freedom from 8 to 5 job. Just about one year since I began the decluttering process, giving clothes, jewelery, and handbags to my daughter. Just about ready to do a clothes & stuff inventory.

My newest revelation: How difficult it is for me to settle down and commit - no matter if it is a Person/Place or Thing. (Okay, have always known about squirminess with People). My desire is to wrestle with this "thing" and be able to make this cabin my home for now. When I look back at how much energy, time and money I have frittered away because I was incapable of settling down - ouch! Granted, there are mighty deep scars that caused the running.

What would it be like to say: I am comfortable ENOUGH; I am going to do my best to make this a Home. Of course my mind goes to worst case scenario: what if you do all this work, get attached and then a forest fire rages through destroying it all. The trickster mind can always be quieted - and what if . . . I would do it again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One of the Thousands of Statues/Sculptures in Paris

What Was I Doing Before Travelling?

I am back now at the cabin - bodily for a couple of days, mentally not yet.

Woke up in middle of night worried about the future - along the lines: What were you thinking? And why does it seem to be a good idea to sell the cabin and give away most of your belongings?

Of course there is no logical answer, only that it seems important to be prepared for something or some thing - And I do have faith/vision that the reasons will be revealed. God, I sound like a mystic in training.

Back to painting the bathroom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I Heart Paris FINALLY!

God am I slow - it took me three visits to Paris in five years to get it: PARIS IS BEAUTIFUL! To think I did not want to go, did not feel up to being in a bustling city - so much for my abilities to predict the future. But now that I am back in the cabin, part of me still remains in Paris.

I was happiest wondering around, watching the people, taking in the architecture, and of course sitting in cafes sipping coffee, accompanied by a baked goodie - which I would never (almost) allow myself here. What's not to like?

Don't know if I believe in ghosts or not, but there is something left in the atmosphere by the presence of the great artists, writers, thinkers. Picasso's studio of many years, where he painted Guernica, is on the same block as the apartment! Every block seems to have historical significance. Yes, there are the magnificent cathedrals, statues, public spaces, but I am in love with the day-to-day way of living:

Number One: Manners

Which translates to having a connection with those one meets Bonjour Madam, Merci Madam - All comings and goings are acknowledged.

Number Two: Appears to Be a Good Place to Be Older

From an outsider's viewpoint, does not look as if one must be out of sight if older than Thirty. From what I could see, all ages have a place (especially women who do not color their hair).

Number Three: Appears to be a Good Place to Be Older and Look Good

There must be something about living in a beautiful city that brings out the beauty in the citizens. All sexes, all ages. Believe me, I rarely see a good looking man in the U.S. - no exaggeration maybe once a year tops. It took me some time to figure out the difference: In Paris, the men seemed to be interesting, as if one could actually have a conversation.

It goes without saying, but I will anyway, the women are gorgeous. I have heard for years they look fantastic but do not actually spend that much on clothes - a few great pieces and that's it. I doubt if I will ever get over the heels. I cannot deny the beauty of a high heeled shoe, but it is a mystery how one could navigate a cobbled street.
My heart is in Ohio as well - getting on a plane (not good for my carbon footprint balance sheet) this Friday for my daughter's college graduation. A bittersweet time as she steps deeper into her life, and away from mine. Of course that is the best gift I have been given, to see her thrive and be independent - and it would not be possible without all the family and friends who have helped over the years. Thank you village!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

To Paris Tomorrow (Photos of Apartment Linked)

Believe it or not I am not crazy about going on a trip. I leave tomorrow, Easter Sunday. And I foolishly believe I can pack in two hours - maybe not so foolish - will practice what I preach & bring a minimal amount.

Not sure if the destination is the important part of travelling or the Before and After of a trip. All the things I will get done BEFORE LEAVING and all the things I will get done AFTER I return. I had to set up Your Money or Your Life's worksheet/graph before leaving - wow, was that a lot of hand-drawn lines - kind of nice to do something so old-fashioned as a graph on butcher paper, with pencil & ruler. More on Your Money or Your Life AFTER I return.

This week has been spent in getting ready for the trip - as one friend puts it: Getting ready for a trip is kind of like getting ready for death. I was able to go through even more of my stuff & was ruthless as in burning journals, letters, cards (saving the card/picture part for a classroom - apparently schools have next to nothing in supplies - one declutter go-round I gave them a bunch or art supplies and notepads). Good god, I would not want my daughter to read some of my ramblings.

What I am looking forward to is seeing meeting up with my sister - this is her apartment:


Smart girl, she mostly rents it out, save for her semi-annual stays. Thankfully I have a job to do at the apartment - too many white walls! The last time I was in Paris, two years ago, we furnished the place, mostly flea market finds - this time I will find a paint store and get busy.

The idea of just going somewhere for "enjoyment" does not do it for me - there is too much I will miss here at the cabin - my tulips will be blooming without me/the chickens will be laying eggs/the spinach,arugula,kale,lettuce is growing like crazy. Oh well, I will have to make it work in Paris: I am up to the challenge of a budget trip. I will be more than happy to shop at grocery store and cook meals at home. Though I will go for a coffee now and again - would not miss out on the people watching.

Speaking of budgets, on my way to airport will be stopping by Rainbow Grocery to return the cosmetics & hair dye. Going to Paris with the hair color as is - grey or silver or whatever combination it is . . . so be it. And not buying a new pair of shoes - will make it work with what I have. Had to learn the lesson again - whenever I buy something I am dissatisfied and I regret the purchase. I was in the throes of obsession/compulsion for about a week there - phew what a relieve that bender is over!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

View From Cabin

Spring has Sprung!

Finally getting the hang of what will work for photo upload - now I have to perform major tune-ups - one cannot tell the white splotch of flowers are trillium.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My New Favorite Blog: Meet Amanda

Now Amanda does not know me from Adam - does it matter? No.

The Post I have chosen is random - any of Posts I have read have gotten me excited about the possibilities out there in the world.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slippery Slope or Slip?

The jury is still out - not sure if my extravagant expenditures are rooted in feeling less than or healthy enhancement of the self.

I do know I spent a lot of dough in less than 24 hours in SF. Box of hair color $16, chemical free make-up (I know, hypocritical, chemicals in hair dye - just not the really bad ones as the dime store hair dye) - this one hurts to admit: close to $70 (includes $6.50 for peppermint oil to make my own toothpaste) - one bright spot 20% coupon off everything (or not - if I did not have the coupon I would have probably spent ZERO. AND clothes at great consignment store - 3 items total a touch over $200. Haircut $70. (not finished yet) tea, coffee & one meal out, give or take $30.

The good news is a spending spree such as this is only once a year - and if I cost average, not too bad. Could I have made due with what I have? Certainly. Is it worth replaying the "should I take back such and such" or should I just move on. Certainly get over it, enjoy what I got and close the chapter.

Simplicity: the mind sometimes throws "good" ideas into the mix and gets me off track = slippery slope.

Frugality: no - spending money is never frugal, in my book - esp. if it's on sale.

Design: I can go for the self-design aspect - why not look as good as I can? Who sees me more than I do (right now) and not crazy about an unzippy reflection.