Every day Life
By On The Cusp
It’s finally here. Halloween is the one holiday that brings out the child in all of us. No other holiday gives us the social permission to play dress up, make fun of famous people, go to parties and laugh openly at everyone else, and of course, eat a lot of candy.
When I was a kid, Halloween meant begging your mother into sewing a costume, or rifling through the house to pull together an outfit. My sister and I got lots of use out of my father’s weekend work clothes in our hobo costume years. The lucky ones got to buy a shrink-wrapped costume with mask that covered their faces, with tiny holes to breathe through the hard plastic. But most of us in my New Jersey suburb, made do with what was on hand.
Now, Halloween is big business. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average person spends $93.42 on Halloween, adding up to a whopping $7.9 billion in Halloween spend for retailers. This year, more money will be spent on adult costumes than kid costumes. And 11 percent plan to dress their pet.
In a rather alarming trend, the most popular choice for girls is the princess costume. The most popular adult costume, is a witch. I’ll save the commentary on how little princesses grow up and aspire to this new role, for another blog. [How many of us have donned a pointed cap, only to hear comments of ‘no costume, just yourself this year?’]
But back to the here and now. Today is the day to finally carve that pumpkin, if it survived the nightly raids by neighborhood kids. Being a strict triangle-eye novice, I’m in awe of the elaborate creations around me. One neighbor carves elaborate horror expressions, paints ‘em white and makes them into ghosts lining her fence. Others have carved faces that will mirror those of the trick-or-treaters later on today: the gap-toothed smiles, the goofy expressions, the wide grins.
The way my kids see it, candy is the reason for the season. Now that Halloween treats appear in the stores before Labor Day, the candy negotiations start in September. I don’t want to buy any candy I like - which pretty much is anything in the chocolate family - because I know from sad experience that whatever my resolve is, I’ll break down and have just the one piece. One empty bag later, I’ll be making another trip to the store to replenish. My kids lobby for everything I’ve resolved not to buy. We go back and forth until we hit on a few that don’t beckon to me late at night.
My favorite part of Halloween is handing out the candy. I love seeing the little ones in their cute costumes. I love seeing the personalities of the kids through their costumes: the superhero who timidly hangs back behind his siblings; the baseball players who artfully grab handfuls of candy and deftly stuff the loot in their overloaded sacks; the sweet ballerinas and, yes, princesses who carefully look through the basket before choosing their favorites. It’s a night when all along the street, the welcome lights are on, we’re all on our porches, and it feels like a great big party. Some of the parents escort their kids, beverage cart in tow. Happy kids, happy parents.
by Frenzied Femme
Sometimes, the universe seems to be slowing me down. I might need to be somewhere, but it feels like I am running through mud. I'm not sure how many of you have ever run through mud, but it can suck you in and be quite frustrating. This occurred to me a couple of days ago. I was trying to take my daughter to her tumbling class. I told her that we would be leaving in five minutes. But, was she there ready to go after those five minutes? No. She was nowhere to be seen. I called her, and she was ready a couple minutes later. This slow-down continued on our journey. I went to depart the freeway. It is one of those exits that have one exit ramp but two actual exits. For some reason, I started to get off on the wrong one. I had to pull to the side and wait for traffic to clear before I could continue to the correct exit. I have never done this before. And, I had been paying attention to my driving. I could not understand how I made such a silly mistake. As I moved to a normal road, I was stuck in between a vehicle to the left of me and one to the front of me going 20 mph under the speed limit. I remarked to my daughter that we were never going to get to tumbling at that rate. I questioned why people would be driving 25 in a 45 zone. And needless to say, I caught an extra red light due to the snail's pace I was driving.
But, before my journey was over, I questioned whether the Universe was intentionally holding me back, but for good reason. Just before we arrived at the gym, we drove through the aftermath of an accident that had apparently just occurred. A vehicle driving the opposite direction crossed the road, hit a light pole (on the side I had been travelling on), hit a car (on the side I had been travelling on), hit a fire hydrant (on the side I had been travelling on), and came to a rest (on the side of the road that I had been travelling on). It is possible that had we not hit that light, had my daughter not come down a couple of minutes late, had I not screwed up my exit strategy that we would have been involved in the accident.
My take away for the night... be more patience, less anxious. Perhaps, there are reasons to slow down once in a while.
Note: the passenger in the vehicle that crossed the road appeared to be banged up, but OK. The driver's leg was crushed.
I know that we have not yet transitioned from Halloween to November and the month of gratitude, but I'm finding myself thinking about the wonderful friendships I have in my life and how grateful I am for these beautiful souls. I have been so hard on myself lately with harsh introspection and judgement. It's left me one sided and viewing myself with such disdain that it has stunted my ability to move forward and free myself from my past. The opening to forgiveness for me comes from thinking about my close friends and the unconditional love I am offered. To be honest, I don't really understand why they love me like they do sometimes, but I want to embrace it and hold on to that love. I love my friends fiercely, with protection, compassion and an open heart. I know they love me the same way, but I struggle with why they love me. I have also seen and felt how they have struggled with the same self doubts. So, what's up with this?? Why should I doubt that I am loved? Why should my friends feel the same? How can we not see the beauty in ourselves that we see in each other? What makes us think we are not lovable when we have friends that love us so deeply they would do anything for us? I can only see the perfect and the potential in my friends, I have to know that's what they see in me too. I am so grateful for the friends that have come into my life and in ways I never expected. We have experienced plenty of happiness, lots of sadness and suffering, and true unconditional love, wow. I'm so grateful. This is where I just need to allow myself to be loved by these kind and loving people and know, yes I am kind and loving too.
At a recent party, I met a young woman who was poised, confident, intelligent. At one point during the evening, she mentioned that she was an Infant Classroom Teacher. ‘An infant teacher?’, we asked. ‘What is it that you teach?’ She replied brightly, ‘I teach them to hold a bottle; I hold them and rock them and get them to learn to be on a regular schedule.’ ‘In other words’, a friend drily observed, ‘you run the poop and throw-up room’.
Welcome to the age of the creative job titles.
Housewives, thankfully, is a term long since retired from vocabulary. Now there are Homemakers, Household Engineers, Family Managers or Home Economists. The lowly garbage man of yesteryear is now a Refuse Collector or Sanitation Worker or Garbologist. If he works inside a building, he’s now an Environmental Maintenance Officer. Walk into an Apple store, and you won’t find a sales clerk in sight. Instead, you are helped by a Genius Technician.
Going out with friends? Be sure to tip the Cocktail Chemist, Master Mixologist, Drink Consultant, Liquidologist, Beverage Dissemination Officer or Irrigation Engineer.
I started my career as a Staff Assistant. It was a secretarial job and I did secretarial work – but I appreciated not being called a secretary. Today, few are. These positions are now held by Administrative Assistants, Personal Enablers, and Executive Assistants. Even National Secretaries Day has been renamed Administrative Professionals Day.
If your computer needs attention, don’t look for an IT guy or gal to fix it. Instead, you may be directed to the Manager of Technical Operations, a Technical Evangelist or the Endpoint Technology Manager. En route to his or her office, you are likely to pass by the Growth Hacker. If you need remote support, your IT support person may be the Director of Remote Support or even a Chief Chatter. Seriously.
Last December, Forbes published a list of the 21 most creative job titles. My personal favorites: Director of First Impression (receptionist, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Chief Troublemaker (CEO of Matrix Group).
Thankfully, some unusual job titles are on the decline. Today there are fewer job listings seeking Ninja’s, Rock Stars, Gurus and Wizards for hot technical jobs in Silicon Valley. Some of this change is driven by the sheer numbers of these job postings – no longer differentiated title – and by the fact that these whiz kids are growing older and getting tired of having a resume that reads like a comic book.
Finally, let’s not forget about the writers. Today we’re Bloggers, Content Creators, Digital Content Producers or Brand Journalists. But we still write.
W.C. Fields summed it up perfectly, long before the current title mania started: “It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.” Or, as my grandfather used to say, “You can call me anything you like. Just don’t call me late for dinner.”
What's the strangest title you've seen recently? Any Evangelists out there care to comment?
I think for all of us, there is that perfect number on the scale that will change our lives forever. Once that number is realized, we will transform from being fat, undesirable and uncomfortable with our bodies to a reincarnation of ourselves as something resembling Gisele Bundchen, or whatever image springs to your mind. I have let that number on my bathroom scale tell me if i am going to be happy today or feel miserable and fat. Why did i give so much power to something i bought for $25 at Bed Bath and Beyond me? In my youth i was a big fan of diets, there were so many to try and there still are. Most of the diets just made me hungry and ill tempered. But, i saw that miraculous number on the scale and for a day I was beautiful. Then I gained weight and was back to square one. What really changed my life and my relationship with food was to stop dieting. Dieting just makes you focus on food and what you can't eat. We all know how that works out! Instead, I think of what i want to include in my diet, not leave out. As a country, we are blessed with abundance! But we have a negativity bias that is hard wired into our beings. I bring this up, because with all this abundance, our instinct is to think, "this won't last, i've got to eat and store as much as i can!". Our survival instincts and fear of not having enough are a big part of wanting to take in more food than we need. So, I think diets just trigger food insecurities that are built into our brains for survival. Just changing your view of what you eat and why will change how you eat. If you are concerned about weight loss, most likely you are living with abundance and choices. There are so many beautiful foods that are provided by nature for our benefit. I like to take in as many colors as i can daily, each one offering different nutrients. This time of year, think of all the beautiful squashes, apples, dark leafy greens and potatoes of all shades! Of course, all seasons of produce are available now all year round. Lots of folks feel that you should just eat seasonally, but it's 5 o'clock somewhere! It's still nutritious. I love tomatoes and eat them all year!
Bottom line: first acknowledge that you are beautiful, now, the way you are. Any weight you want to relieve your body of is because you want to take care of yourself and this amazing gift of embodiment you were given. Nourish yourself like you would the most precious child in your care, because you are that precious child.
Try to include as many colorful fruits and vegetables as you can. There are a lot of processed foods out there that are convenient, but they have a lot of ingredients that are unnecessary. See if there are dishes you can make for you and your family that are quick and tasty, but without the additives pre packaged food has. There are so many recipes available online! And, don't be afraid of natural fats (in avocados, butter, olive oil, etc..), they offer essential vitamins and/or help your body ingest vitamins. Let yourself enjoy your comfort foods, but enjoy them knowing there will always be more and you don't have to eat it all right now!
The magic of weight loss is loving yourself not hating your body.
Also, keep your body active. It is built to move! I'm a big believer in yoga, it fits every body!
Here in New England, the days are crisp, the days are shorter. The trees have started to put on their annual show of glorious splendor. All of this, of course, means that it’s time for that twice annual ritual: changing out the warm weather clothes for the flannels, sweaters and woolens. This week, as the temperature dipped into the 40s, I swallowed hard and finally gave in to the task ahead.
Changing seasonal wardrobes, by and large, seems to be a strictly-female affair. My husband’s wardrobe conversion involves retrieving 3 sweaters and a few crumpled sweatshirts from the back of his closet. For me, it’s an ordeal involving several hours of hauling boxes from attics and basements, laying out the abundance on beds, and then sorting, cleaning, folding and packing away the past season in the newly-emptied bins.
Early one morning, I ventured up into the attic to start the process. Two boxes of flannel sheets. (TWO boxes? When did they multiply?) Office attire. Weekend flannels. Sweaters. Too-tight-last-year-but-hey-I'm-optimistic boxes. Hand me downs that were waiting for my kids to grow into – now too small given their rapid growth spurts. These, at least, have a one way trip out of the attic. The boxes are heavy, the attic stairs are narrow. Up and down, up and down. On the positive side, I now had my excuse to skip exercise class. My workout was right in front of me. Eight large bins now filled my hallway.
Every year, I swear that this will be the year I follow the rules: If you haven’t worn it all season, out it goes. The best way, they say, is to wear something, then put it back in your closet with the hanger turned the other way. At the end of the season, you can easily see what was worn. Any items on unturned hangers, gets tossed. It sounds like a terrific system… for someone else. As I sort through my closet, I just can’t bring myself to get rid of that dress or summer blazer that just wasn’t right for the day, the week, the season. There’s the pretty summer sundress, waiting for the party that never materialized. The beautiful turquoise shirt – a steal from an end of season sale last year, still with its tags intact. The sweater from my beloved late aunt. The sandals that pinch – just a little. The pocketbook with sentimental value.
This year, however, my daughter has challenged me, and I in turn challenged the rest of the family, to do away with excess. Each of us was to fill one large black bag full of clothing to give away. I create three piles: one of gently-used – and occasionally never worn - items for Dress for Success, the terrific charity that gives underprivileged women a wardrobe to help ease their way into the workforce. Another pile for Goodwill. And a third for that oh-so-comfortable, can’t-be-seen-outside green fleece sweatshirt, for the clothing recycle drive at the school. I look at the excess and shake my head, and vow to stay out of stores for the rest of the decade.
Hours later, five bins are neatly packed away and ready to go back up into the attic. Closets and drawers have been emptied, dusted, and filled. My wardrobe and I are now ready for winter. I take a warm shower and, getting dressed, realize it’s a perfect afternoon to wear the green fleece. I automatically search my drawer and pause when I realize where it went. I tiptoe down to the basement, pull it out of the bag, and sigh contently.
I grew up as a sister but never had one of my own. I had two brothers. My older brother was very serious and preferred his own friends. My younger brother and I were kindred spirits, so we truly tried to kill each other. There was the time I threw the pet project out the 2nd story window and he came back at me furious with scissors. We took every opportunity we had to hit each other. But, when he ran away, i ran with him. We would pitch our yellow plastic "tent" and make it about an hour until we got hungry and went home. We picked flowers and made leis to sell to the tourists, then take the money to the local store for candy. We fought but we also got each other. Ultimately, he got taller than me which messed with my odds of winning any physical contest. So, I declared that boys don't hit girls and that was that. Honestly, I think we were both ready to stop hitting each other. Which brings me to my subject here: sisters. I had two girls. That meant sisters! Wow! what I always wanted they had! It did not start off well I must say. Her sister arrived one day before her second birthday. The look on her face said it all. "What is this?" From that day forward it was a constant battle of who got what, when, where, why and how come i did not? I thought my brother and I could fight, I underestimated sisters. How many road trips did i pull over crying because they were yelling and hitting each other? I would plead with them, "you need to get along, you are sisters, you have each other if I'm not here for you!" Yeah, that never worked. Well, maybe cause most guilt takes time to settle and i really don't think it's the most productive tool to use, but it seemed right at the time! Interestingly, they are a complete compliment to each other. Whatever strengths each one has, the other does not. The same holds true with their weaknesses. Put them together and they are truly amazing! But, I could not put them together and that broke my heart. Flash forward to college; one has graduated, one in school and they are hanging out! The bridge is being built and it looks like a strong one. They want to see each other, oh yeah! The funny thing is, maybe they remember all my tearful pleas(ok, at least i do), but it's really them growing up and appreciating each other in a world not competing for a parents attention and how life is now as an adult. They survived the same stuff (loss of their father and step father), but with different views on the experience. I just love seeing this blossom. I really love that I'm home tonight writing this blog and on this holiday weekend my girls are together in town with each other as sisters. Love my girls and so happy they have each other!! Only took 20 years. Patience and faith.
I come from a line of women artists, most of whom were pretty good. My great-great grandmother won a blue ribbon at the Chicago World Fair in 1893. My grandmother longed to paint her entire life but was discouraged by her mother and then got busy raising her family. When my uncle turned 10, she informed my grandfather that she had done her job and it was time for her to paint. She signed up for lessons and never looked back. When she was in her 70s, the state of Maine honored her with an exhibit at the State House. My mother also dabbled in art; she was good at all sorts of crafts and produced two paintings in very quick order.
And then I came along. I can appreciate artwork, but the talent didn't trickle down. Along the way, grown up things got in the way - working, chasing, cleaning, doing.
And that’s why I jumped at the chance to go to a Paint Nite. Truth be told, I was more interested in getting out of the house with a few good friends – the painting was the bonus on spending girl time together.
For those who have never been to Paint Nite, it’s the speed dating, fast-food equivalent of painting. You sign up in advance based on the featured painting for the night. Thursday may feature a beach scene; the following Saturday could be a starry sky, a cityscape, or a bunch of flowers. Or, it could be, like ours was, a very weird symbolic tree with pink sky and dangling blobs of ... fruit. But I digress.
Once at the paint studio, you put on a smock and fill a paper plate with blobs of paint, according to the number of squirts on the chart. 4 squirts of yellow. 3 browns. 7 whites. 2 cyans. Then you find your seat, where the blank canvas and clean brushes await. Then comes the most important step: You work your way over to the bar and order a big glass of wine. This, to me, proved to be the most essential tool in becoming an artist for the night.
Paint Nites are led by actual artists, who show you a model of the finished product, then whip out a blank canvas. She or he then goes step by step, showing you how to apply strokes and what to do next. You take the big brush and in big strokes, cover the canvas with a certain color. Then, you take a smaller brush and make horizontal lines just so. You mix brown with a touch of white to make it a tawny color. And then you take the small brush to make gray circles. And so on. We admire her work, then hesitate before plunging in. You sip for courage. You talk nervously. And then, magically, the nervousness appears and you just immerse yourself in the evening. You concentrate, and you dab a little paint. You then step back, declare it’s ‘ew’ and paint over the mess. And you sip a little more. Halfway through the evening, I realized that my painting had a distinct resemblance to a Van Gogh. But I didn’t care – it was fun and I felt the stirrings of an artist within.
Two hours later, we were all comparing our paintings to those of our fellow adventurers. Twenty individual artist wannabees, all painting the same scene, which naturally mean that we all had very different paintings in front of us. Our own personalities emerged… demure colors. Bold strokes. Blue where the instructions had been to paint pink. Unique touches of clouds in a night sky. A lone bird in the sky. More dangling, weird fruit. They were glorious in their unity and in their uniqueness.
Paint Nite is pure genius. In our go-faster, do more lives, where the majority of the day involves hands that pound away to fill digital screens, someone has created a fun, fast, and utterly satisfying night out. What better way to unwind from the stress of the day than to sip a little wine, get a little messy, and turn a blank canvas into brillant color. It is this generation’s answer to unleashing the artistry within, if only for a few hours.
Nothing could have prepared me for this….. We received pics of the puppy we were going to get in September from the breeder. We fell in Love with her the same day. We received our puppy on a Friday, she was scratching a lot, but we didn’t see any fleas so we thought it might be fall allergies and change of environment. We took her to the vet the next Monday, we found out that she had a nasty case of ear mites, and more….
When we took in her stool after the initial apt, we found out that she had coccidian and giardia. Ewww!!! They are contagious, even to humans!!! Ewww!!!! “Don’t worry” said the vets receptionist, they are very common, and I’ve never heard of anyone ever catching these “non-worm parasites”. PARASITES???? PARASITES?????? That’s impossible!!!…my whole family has been sleeping with this adorable little puppy for the past week. The vet, when she met her, picked her up and kissed her, let her lick her whole face….my neighbor’s kids and dog played with her. You mean I have a dog that is contagious and can get me and my family sick and that I have to call up my neighbor and ask for forgiveness for maybe getting her and her family sick too??? All I wanted to do at that point was to either leave my puppy at the vet for the next month or so (some times it takes that long to de-parasite them) …or hermetically seal her completely (except the breathing and eating openings) since neither of these were an option, I began my deep breathing and decided to start the cleaning.
Even though I knew I was going to have to really stay on top of my vacuuming and clearing my floors for the puppy, I never thought I would have to bleach everything down, and request everyone in the house to wash their hands after petting our puppy every time. ….what a downer, what a frustration!!! It’s especially hard because this puppy is such a lover too, she lives to sit on your lap and be loved….good thing she’s only 4.5 lbs. …and I’m blessed with wonderful neighbors!!! One great new friend dropped by to drop off some puppy training pads…Absorbs more than cloth alone!!! So now I’m not as anxious about holding her on the couch, I can lay them out on the couch and not worry about any of the parasites.
Even though puppies like our Oreo are susceptible to all parasites since their immune systems are not fully formed, chances are that your puppy had the parasite before it left the breeder if you’ve only had her/him for a few days, since it takes at least two weeks for the parasite to show symptoms. Sometimes, the tests for these parasites don’t come up positive even when the puppy is infected….so retesting may be needed.
Make sure you tell the owners of any other dogs/pets that your pet has played with recently since these parasites are very contagious, and the breeder.
Coccidian and giardia are spread through contact of feces. Most puppies get it from being around their mothers feces. You need to keep everything clean. Continuously wash; your hands, the puppies bowls, any bedding, any beds, clothes, and toys…and make sure you keep loving your pet, it’s not their fault they are infected. They will be clean and healthy soon and because you love them through it, happier than ever.
For ear mites, These pests are so contagious, I’ve heard that it’s impossible to get rid of theme once your pet gets them. Just rubbing up against a dog infected can get your dog infected. They are no threat to humans and are not considered contagious to us. Some people may be allergic to their poop….fun hugh??? So if you get the itches when your dog has them, it probably means that you need to wipe down and vacuum more. They can live over 72 hours off of their host, so keeping your pet off of the sofa and/or the carpet for just a day won’t do it, you need to keep her/him separate for at least 3 days. The best thing for ear mites is to keep their ears clean and free of debris. It’s easy to mistake dirty ears for ear mites, it takes a vets microscope to really see those tiny buggers from a swab. So before you start to clean your pets’ ears, make sure you get them tested because if you don’t take the right precaution, and your pet actually has mites, your pets hearing and health can decline. It’s an easy fix, but it must be done. There are main stream medicines and there are homeopathy ways. I’ve read that some people give their pet apple cider vinegar and water in the ear and to drink to ward off any more mites. But if your pets’ ears are so scratched up that they are almost bleeding, you might want to stay away from the vinegar because it will definitely sting. I’ve also read about mineral oil, or olive oil, or coconut oil. These oils drown the mite, and can be used as antiseptic…especially the coconut oil. Your vet can work with you for the proper medication.
To really keep the ear mites away, you need to keep the ears clean, …atleast once daily. For poodle breeds like our Oreo, their ear hairs will need to be plucked because they are so susceptible to dirt debris and mites. I was told by our vet that it’s just like plucking eyebrows….maybe this is so, but I just can’t bring myself to pull out our puppies hair no matter how many times she poops on my floors.
To give you an idea of what our puppies medication is, she now takes:
Metronidazole 50 mg tinytab: I have to shove the pill down her throat since she likes to lick the peanut butter off and leave the tab (take 1 for 10 days).
Panacur Granules – ..I put ½ pack of this powder onto her kibble every night and she has no problems putting it down, infact I don’t even think she notices it.(take for 6 days)
Albon Liquid ½ oz. I squirt 1 cc onto the bottom of her food dish alone and she licks it up with no problem (the first day was 2cc’s: take this medication for 9 days)
For ear mites:
Tresaderm: 5 to 6 drops in each ear per day, rub gently, you want to hear a squishy sound, and your pet will enjoy the rubbing immensely, even though your tween daughter will run out of the room screaming, Oh my poor Oreo!!! Yuck Yuck Yuck!!!(take for 7 days on , 7 days off, then 7 days on)
Test your puppy again after a month to make sure she has been cleared of the parasites….and as long as she tests positive, she is contagious, so try to keep her and her feces away from other pets and humans.
Here are some more links to help you find your way through the parasite problems:
I'm an empty nester. My birds flew away... My youngest is now a sophomore in college and my eldest just found an apartment in the city close to her job. I worried so much about this time on my own, especially since my partner and love in my life passed away when they were in high school. What will i do when i am truly on my own? I was really suprised by the answer. I walked around my home and noticed how clean it was. Um, did i say clean? Yoga we say sauca! There was no overflow in the laundry room. Their beds were made. The kitchen was as clean as i left it when i went to work. There was a sense of peace i could not have imagined. But, still my girls were not here. That contrasted the peace of all my clean happy vides! But i knew they were not far away either. They wanted to come back and be home (bribes of home cooking and free laundry never hurt!). Just knowing that they were not far away and that I will see them was so comforting. Yes, I could have a clean and organized home for a while, but then i will gladly give it up for some girl time with my chickadees! I thought when they left, they left. The life story i painted for myself (like really alone, so all by myself-there is a song for that!) was so different from what really happens with loved one. So, what I thought my life might be like when my girls moved on was something i could not have defined or understood when i asked it. I feel that about everything in my life, always have. It's so hard to say what will happen in life. All i know is that if i keep an open loving heart and mind, the universe will answer. and she always answers (:
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” - Bob Marley
I woke up this morning with the wind howling and the rain beating down. “YES!” I thought happily, as I turned over and burrowed down deeper into the covers.
If it were a sunny weekend, I would have dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn, too guilt-ridden to stay in bed. I would have stretched and yawned and made a mental list of what I needed to do before my family woke up. I would have gone for a brisk walk in my quiet neighborhood. Upon return, I would have stopped to survey my yard and inevitably would have spent an hour pulling up weeds and trimming the bushes. I may have made a quick trip to the local home improvement store to pick up mums, leaf bags and fall fertilizer. It would have been active. Productive. And all before breakfast.
There is nothing more beautiful in the fall than the deep blue of a cloudless sky and the warm mellow mid-day sun that causes the trees to turn into spectacular colors. Here is in the Northeast, we’ve had plenty of beautiful, sunny days. Despite the record snow in Boston last year, the ground is parched and water levels are very low. This weekend’s rainy forecast is welcome news on many fronts.
My Couch to 5k group will get an extra day to rest our sore, still-developing runner’s legs. Friends on the soccer circuit, get a day off from cheering and shuttling to and from games. Overscheduled kids have a morning or afternoon to themselves. Toddlers will joyously stomp away in the puddles and watch the worms in abundance. The rain is washing away the dust, the dirt, the grime of a sun-baked summer. It is taking care of the drooping garden and the brown lawn.
Rain has its own relaxed fashion rules. It’s all about flannels and jeans weather. Today, there is freedom from hair dryers and styling apparatus: Today’s blown style is courtesy of Mother Nature. Galoshes and old sneakers are the perfect footwear for dashing to and from car to building and back again.
Inside the home, the fashion word is cozy. Gray skies call for lit lamps and candles. Blankets are tossed on the couch, for snuggling in with books and movies. The steady beat of the rain on the windows outperforms anything on i-Tunes. The kitchen will eventually fill with the sounds of the whistling kettle and the smell of cinnamon from apples baking in the oven.
Today is a gift from the outside world that forces us to slow down. And I’m going to savor it, slowly.