There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. – Steve Maraboli
When I renewed my driver’s license recently, I was surprised at the weight listed on the new license. I had made no changes during the renewal process, so all of the information was the same as it was several years ago. Was the weight listed my true weight at the time or an aspirational weight? If it were an aspirational weight, I wonder by how much? Short of requisitioning my medical records, I truly have no idea!
Amsterdam is like the rings on a tree: It gets older as you get closer to the center. – John Green
I love Amsterdam, not only because my maternal grandfather (Opa) was born and raised there but because of the canal houses and houseboats, art museums, flowers, and chocolates. I have visited Amsterdam many times, but until recently, I have always stayed in the southern part of the city. From there I explored on foot, but even with a good map, found it difficult to navigate and was always taking wrong turns. This time I relocated to the northern part of the city and had no difficulty at all finding my way around. I am still amazed that a simple change in orientation made such a huge difference. I now see the benefit of changing perspective everywhere in my daily life. Thank you Amsterdam!
Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
Over the last several years I have taken many online and in-person art and craft classes. Instructors routinely have provided students with a list of materials needed for each class. At first I thought it was necessary to buy everything on the list, but unfortunately, practically every instructor had a different set of material preferences so the cost of the more expensive supplies became prohibitive. I finally decided to start making do with what I had. One of my favorite mop brushes came from the town of Saluda, South Carolina. I was walking along the side of a dirt road when I noticed a very large, and thankfully dead, rattlesnake in my path. Oddly, next to the rattlesnake lay a watercolor mop brush. Although it had seen better times – the wooden handle was chipped in many places and the ferrule was dented, the bristles appeared intact. I snatched it up and quickly moved on! On closer examination, the bristles were soft and full, and it has turned out to be the best brush in my stash for doing large color washes. I have made similar but not so exciting finds at Goodwill, garage sales, and in nature. Not having all the designated workshop supplies has not been a barrier to entry for my creative pursuits. In fact, sometimes the found supplies have been the most enjoyable to use!
Blue are the people here That walk around Blue like my corvette its in and outside Blue are the words I say And what I think Blue are the feelings That live inside me I’m blue… From Blue by Eiffel 65
I came across a bin of bed linens in the attic during this year’s spring cleaning purge. In it I discovered a much-loved Ralph Lauren blue duvet cover that I had packed away long ago for a bicoastal move. I had searched and searched for it for many months, but finally gave up assuming it had been lost. Instead of replacing the duvet, I decided that the new surroundings demanded a change in color palette: from the light and dark Denim blues and Linen whites that suited the clapboard Colonial house of the northeast, to the Celadon green, Tuscan orange, and creams of my new Hacienda-style home in the southwest. Over the years, I never really embraced this new color palette, so when I found the denim duvet cover, I placed it on my bed and instantly felt as if I had gone through a portal to wonderful times gone by. Blue has always been my favorite color and I started to think about how not only had I given up the comfort and familiarity of my exterior landscape when I made the move, but how my interior landscape had changed as well.
My father spent his last winter Making ice-grips for shoes
Out of strips of inner tube and scrap metal. (A device which slips over the instep
And holds under the shoe A section of roughened metal, it allows you to walk
Without fear of falling Anywhere on the ice or snow.) My father
should not have been doing All that close work
In the drafty workshop, but as though he sensed travel at the edge of his mind,
He would not be stopped… from “Ice” by Mary Oliver
Our ice calipers were fashioned in rubber with metal studs and they, too, allowed my father and I to travel when the exterior world was covered in ice – like a thick plexiglass covering that offered a view to what was beneath, but no warmth.
In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to. – Dave Hollis
Although I don’t like to think of myself as bound to a daily routine, it is this routine that gives me perspective, stability, and structure, and makes stepping out of it all the more wonderful and exciting!
Fill power is a measure of the loft or “fluffiness” of a down product that is loosely related to the insulating value of the down. The higher the fill power, the more air a certain weight of the down can trap, and thus the more insulating ability the down will have. Fill power ranges from about 300 (in³/oz) for feathers to around 900 (in³/oz) for the highest quality goose down. from Wikipedia
I received a wonderful, dare I say sensual, down comforter for Christmas this year. It has a 950 fill power and weighs less than two pounds. It is meant for fall and spring camping but since my house is quite cold at night, I couldn’t resist using it for sleeping in my bed as well.
Unlike my old comforter that was heavy, rough and prickly from duck feather barbs protruding through the cotton covering, this quilt is light, soft and smooth. I love being enveloped by the luxury of its airiness and warmth.
I began to compare this feeling of the new comforter to being around certain types of people: Some individuals are light, optimistic and well, happy – I might want to hug them, to envelop myself in their positivity, to be in their orb, while others are dark, pessimistic and irritable – like the prickly duck feathers, I want to give them distance. In the New Year, I seek to spend my time with the lighter and more positive fowls.