Light…

Painting. We did some tonight! AND we used lightsabers. Because why would we not?

I am beyond excited to check out the photos tomorrow, after I’ve gotten some sleep. I pray it be intensely restful sleep for me tonight.

Post-a-day 2021

^Had to think about it, but got it easily when I did

Yikes

When did I turn into such an old person? When the schedule was Finally released for the week ending with February 13, I was utterly annoyed and frustrated that, not only was I scheduled to work until 9pm one night and 9:45pm another night, but I was schedule to work those two back-to-back.

And I’m still annoyed about it, but that was almost half an hour ago, now. Who gets so upset about having to be out of the house so late? And on a Friday and Saturday, nonetheless?

In case there was doubt before, I believe this shows with significant support that I am like an old person with my sleep schedule and evening habits. Getting home after 7pm bothers me already. I wake up around 4:30am every day, and that’s without an alarm. When I get home after 7pm, I don’t manage to get everything done to get to bed until at least 9:00. And that’s if I hurry. So, working until 9pm means that I won’t be getting to bed until close to midnight. My mom wanted to do a fun run that next morning on Bolivar peninsula, by Galveston Island. Harms an hour and a half away from me. Do you think I want to do that run now?

What’s most frustrating, though, is that I was available to work the whole rest of the week, all day, any day. Yet, I was scheduled for the one time that truly mattered – late the night before the run.

So, now I can’t do the run. It just would be far too stressful for me. We already were considering strongly staying the night down there, simply because all public bathrooms are still closed up. If we did that, I wouldn’t get to bed until probably close to 1:30am, only to be up to run at 8:00am (meaning out of bed around 6:30, most likely).

Ugh.

Let me sit with this and see how I feel.

Ugh!

(Obviously, I know how I feel right now. I mean to see how I feel after the initial anger and surprise have subsided.)

Post-a-day 2021

^Well, I did get that right tonight, so that’s fun

Speedy chatter

Riding in the car with my mom today, I kept noticing how quickly I was talking. I was just so excited to share all that I was sharing with her, say what I was saying, that I was saying it as fast as I could manage while still being understood.

I felt silly yet cute at the same time, like a little kid who’s just super excited to tell his mom about what happened at school today(!). 😛

I haven’t been calling my mom quite as much the past couple weeks, intentionally so, and that has been good for me. I had gotten really, really lovely for a while, and so called her way more often than usual, just to have someone with whom to speak. But I was able to settle myself down and focus on other things I want to do in my day, instead of calling her several times a day. Now, we are back to talking only once or twice a day, for the most part.

But that leaves me with more to say whenever we are together now, especially considering how we don’t talk for very long whenever we do talk on the phone now. It is usually just a quick check-in, not real conversation on much. So, when we are together, I always seem to have so much to say, even if I hadn’t realized it beforehand.

Though, I think I am also just really excited to have someone in person with whom to speak…

In other words, I really am just like that little kid who is super excited to tell all about his awesome day at school today(!). 😀

And I love it.

Post-a-day 2021

^Whoo! Almost missed it this time!

Ever the procrastinator?

Well, I have four days remaining in a 100-day challenge to go 100 miles of cardio activity. It could be swimming, running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, etc. in any combination, just so long as it is 100 miles achieved in 100 days.

I started out strong, and was determined to have all my miles be from running. But then I had that fall that one ridiculous Friday evening, and my running (and general walking for a while at first) plans were ruined. I had hoped that I would be able to start running much sooner than I was able, but the bruised bones really pushed that back for me. I can run mostly okay now, but have to be careful with the cold weather, as it makes the pain show itself in my knee.

However, that all being said, I had accepted conceptually that I would not be able to run my whole hundred, based on my body’s situation after that fall. I had begun walking with my mom on occasion, and counted that toward my hundred. But my subconscious somehow missed the part where I needed actually to start these other cardio activities of my own. I kept just thinking I would do the whole thing running, when I was able to run again, and the only walking I did was once a week, give or take, with my mom. I wasn’t able to start running for real until just a few weeks ago… at which point I wasn’t anywhere near half of the way on those hundred miles. Even as of this week, I wasn’t half way through the hundred.

So, despite my efforts to be ahead of the game here, I ended up doing the bulk of effort right at the end of the whole thing.

But it has been nice, actually. I rode my bicycle around, looking at Christmas lights last night for an hour and a half-ish in the cold, and it was lovely. And I got ten plus miles out of that ride. The other night and tonight, I hung out with my mom at the office where she works, and I used the elliptical-type machine to get some run-walks in not out in the cold. And, this morning, my dad called me and invited me to go to a casual spin class with him at the Y, so I could get some more bicycle mileage in without having to ride outside in the cold.(Actually, I’m not sure how that will be, masks and digital class and all, but it will be nice to be doing it with my dad, and that’s the point of tomorrow’s plan anyway.)

So, fingers crossed that I manage this all appropriately in the next couple days, and I am able to turn in my sheet for the challenge, fully completed!

Post-a-day 2020

December 6th

I asked my mom the other night if she thought Heilige Nikolaus (Saint Nicholas) would leave presents in my shoes if I set them outside my bedroom/studio door in the house where I currently am living (Not a great idea to leave anything completely outside overnight in this neighborhood, you see. It could be okay, but it isn’t amazing odds.), or if he probably only visited the suburbs (where people can leave shoes outside overnight safely). She told me that he probably only uses people’s permanent addresses.

And so, when I arrived to my mom’s house this morning – in the suburbs and the location of my permanent address – I was delighted to find atop her new blanket my croc-like shoes that always remain at her house, filled with delights. There also was a pair of traditional Dutch wooden clogs, also filled with goodies.

Note: When I first arrived, I set a few things on the sofa, plugged in a camera charger for the photo session I would do shortly for someone, and wandered to the kitchen for something or other. As I did all this, my mom asked me if I saw her new table. I turned back and looked toward the fireplace, opposite the sofa, and saw a small table decorated with a new winter blanket and covered with the shoes etc.

I’ve been clear to my mom several times over recent months that I would like, at last, to have a sewing machine of my own. I do not often have gift requests or wishes for my birthday or for Christmas, but a sewing machine and all of its necessities is something that I really need help managing – I do not know enough about brands or specifics or technologies even to guess appropriately what machine to get myself, or in what price range, let alone all the pins and wheels of everything one uses with sewing machines. I think it can all be in the mid-hundreds of dollars for a decent quality everything, but I am not one to know which ones are the decent ones yet. Thus the request for a Christmas present from my mother, a woman who has made clothes (and more) her entire life.

When I got looking at the shoes and goodies, I was tickled that, aside from the delicious-looking babyfood snack packs – yes, they are amazing, if you get the right ones – there happened to be obvious sewing machine supplies: thread, bobbins, pins, machine sewing needles, etc. “Hmm! Clearly Heilige Nikolaus has a hint of what I’ll be getting!” I laughed, and my mom laughed with me. I went through all the items, delighted that they were here, essentially solidifying the fact that I would be getting a sewing machine of my own at the end of the month. Whether it would be new or just my mom’s (and she would get an upgrade for herself) was still to be determined, but one of my own I very likely would have by the end of the month! (At least, it was more likely this time than any other that I’ve asked for one.)

Just as I was about to leave for the photos, I began to pack up. “But you still haven’t finished,” said my mom. “You didn’t see it all yet.” She wanted me to see it all before I left, I knew, but I hadn’t realized that I’d missed something. I went back to the large clogs in the center, and pulled the bits and pieces of sewing materials out of them, looking for what I had missed up in the toes of the shoes.

But there didn’t seem to be anything else. ‘Is it under?’ I ask. And my mom replies in the affirmative. I pick up the clogs, find nothing, and set them back down. I check the wreaths next to them, and it is the same story. I look over the back of the table and ask if it is the cute new-to-me nativity scene just behind everything. No, it is not.

Without thinking much of it, nor expecting much out of it, I flip up the blanket to see under the table.

And it isn’t a table after all.

It is one of the big cardboard fold-outs for laying out sewing patterns and measuring, and it is sitting perpendicular atop another box. It takes a moment to process that the box is a brand new sewing machine.

Even thinking about it, my eyes are welling up now. It was so unexpected, and so amazing, I started crying when I realized what it all meant. Not only did my mom really find me a sewing machine of my own, but the found me a new one. This is something I have wanted for years, but hadn’t figured out how to make happen yet. I felt that I really was ready for it this year, and my mom showed me today that she agreed.

“I figured you could get started on some of the things you’ve been wanting to do lately, instead of waiting,” she said. 🙂

It is time, my dear. It is time. Sew on, love.

Danke, Heilige Nikolaus, Saint Nicholas!!

And thank you, Mom.

And thank you, God, for all this love and joy today and always.

Post-a-day 2020

Advent

Today marked the beginning of my Advent and Advent calendar for this year, complete with presents and my mom falling face forward up the stairs to my room. Trust me, despite the fright in the moment of that final piece happening, it was all extremely delightful and quite festively fun (even the fall, while my mom was lying there, laughing on top of the pile of presents she had been carrying).

You see, firstly, I didn’t know my mom was coming over, and my phone signal was still off. So, when I heard a knock behind me, I genuinely thought it was a raccoon or possum doing some construction work in the attic (or the likes). But then, my bedroom door was opening – by the way, the door to my room is down a flight of halfback stairs, because my room is a converted attic – and I started to freak. out…..

“Hello?” I asked in both annoyance and trepidation. It was my mom. And yes, I had locked the door, as I always do – my fear was that I hadn’t locked it, and I was now about to be attacked. I heard her voice, relaxed, reminded her that I was tutoring, and I went back up the stairs. Just as I was finishing telling the student to log off and back on again to see about resetting her computer’s connection and sound, I looked back down the stairs to see my mother falling forward as she turned the corner to head up the second half of the stairs. She has similar stairs in her house, but there is no step on the turn at the midpoint. Hers are just half and half. Mine are four, then one on the half turn, then another ten in the last part. The light in my stairwell is minimal in the first place, and the baskets of presents she was carrying certainly didn’t give her much help in seeing that single turn step. But they did help her land more safely, fortunately. I rushed down carefully and, basically, lifted her up off the ground on my own, as she had almost no leverage to get herself back up, her arms still wrapped around the presents now beneath her chest.

Even as I lifted her up, we were both laughing. She had determined already that all was well and whole within her body still, and so we could not hold back. It was ridiculous and hilarious to the both of us.

Anyway, the whole unexpected arrival of my mother was due to a request I made of her weeks ago. Would she print out my Advent calendar for me to use this year? I had made one for my cousin years ago, and loved it. I wanted to use it again this year, but I didn’t want to risk seeing the days ahead of time by printing it all out for myself. I had wanted them to be a surprise as much as possible, but I wanted to be able to write down my responses, instead of just look at it on my phone, as I did last year. (Each day has a question/prompt of sorts to which I am requested to respond, you see.) So, here we are on the first day of December, which lines up with how I had created the calendar initially, as a 25-day Advent calendar. My mom has gone above and beyond, as is regularly her style when it comes to fun, creativity-related things – the exact reason I had asked her to do this for me in the first place – and come up with presents for each day, wrapped in Charlie Brown Christmas wrapping paper – the Advent calendar I made is based on A Charlie Brown Christmas – to go with each day’s paper prompt.

Today, I got a box of tea, from which I can have a cup every morning when I open the day’s card and present – again, the original calendars we made are referenced, as they were tea Advent calendars, with a different tea for each day – as well as a Christmas lights necklace and green and red jingle bell bracelets to give me extra festivity this month. Then, my mom proceeded to open up the box of tea and make us each some tea. She actually hung out with me in my room while we snuggled up to our cups in the cold morning air, and just hung out together. Oddly enough, those were two of the things on my list for the first day’s prompt, checked off unexpectedly just about as quickly as I had gotten them written down.

Then she went off to work, and I snuggled in my bed another few hours before going to work myself.

All-in-all, it was a beautiful start to my Advent and my Advent calendar for this year. I am extremely grateful, and feel a strong sense of love and care for me today (for which I also feel extremely grateful). Yesterday was an odd sort of reminder for Advent’s ideas for me, just perfectly timed. And I have a feeling that there is much value to be found for me in and through Advent this year. I look forward to it all with cautious and grateful optimism.

Grazie, World and God. Here we are. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Wow – impactful interactions

Today at the clothing store, I had an amazing exchange with a mother and daughter that lasted close to an hour. I helped others on and off throughout that time, but most of my time and efforts were spent either folding clothing or interacting with the two of them. While part of me wants to go into extreme detail with the whole event, for right now, a greater part of me wants simply to acknowledge that the interaction happened, and then dwell in the delight of it here in my own space, without sharing anything else about it at present.

And I am going to go with that part within me, because it feels true to what I want for myself right now.

Perhaps I will share more about it later, and perhaps not. Either way, you can know that it was a spectacular interaction for me, and it has me slowly thinking more and more about what might be next (or, even, later at some point) for me in my life. It was that amazing for me. : )

Post-a-day 2020

Childhood Christmas

I ordered several items of clothing for work last week. For whatever reason, they were all being shipped separately to my mom’s house. I was excited about them all, but bummed at all the packaging (mostly since they were coming from the same company), but figured it was due to the items being at different origins, and so was inevitable (not simply irresponsible).

Nonetheless, I found it funny that so many packages would be arriving to my mom’s house in sun quick succession. “It’ll be like Christmas!” I declared, laughing at the idea that I wouldn’t know what was what in all the packages, but that each one would be a delightful surprise (since I had selected each one intentionally for myself, but had ordered so many things that I could pretend to forget about what most of them were), as well as the fact that I would get to open them all at my mom’s house.

I shared this thought with my mom, and added that it’ll be just like Christmas when I was a kid, because I will open all my presents and start playing with them right then and there and have a merry time. She laughed and whatever-ed me, allowing my request to come over and ‘open presents’ the next week one day.

When I arrived today to ‘open my Christmas presents’ (from myself), my mom actually fussed at me for starting while she was still upstairs getting dressed. “I didn’t know you actually cared,” I said somewhat questioning.

“Yeah, I was gonna put on Christmas music while you opened everything.”

I was thrilled(!). She then put on a James Taylor Christmas album, I turned on the “fireplace”, and I showed her what I had already opened (just two things), before I preceded to open all the rest with us both in the living room together. And yes, I “played with my toys” (meaning I tried things on) there in the living room with her, and it was an extremely lovely time. I was super excited about my “presents”, and I loved sharing the experience and time with my mom. It really felt like a childhood Christmas for me. 🙂

Our Holiday Fireplace 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Mother-daughter

“I really want that dental tool… and I need underwear.”

What was that?, you wonder. It was something I said tonight on our way home, which was the catalyst for a several-minute cry-fest for my mom and me.

We could not speak. Only the occasional partial word exited our mouths, and none of it comprehensible, even to each of our own ears. Our eyes were pouring water. Our cheeks ached. Our bellies convulsed in silent, intense laughter.

Eventually, we both began to gasp for air, and slowly traded our silent laughter for loud coughing, tears still pouring down our faces.

So, why did this all happen, then?

My mom and I joke regularly about how our brains work on this family. We change topics very easily, but we always return to any topic we have set aside, no matter the reason for doing so. So, it is completely normal that we throw out a complete non-sequitur…. and also normal that the conversation continue with ease and without hesitation or judgement. Oftentimes, the original conversation will continue by one person, while the other person shares a few comments on a non-sequitur before returning back to the original conversation (the one that was continued by the other person).

Example: We are talking about cheese, say.

‘I think Brie would be better, because it’ll work with the crackers.’

‘I’m really glad they banned smoking in bars and restaurants in France.’

‘But a good smoked Gouda is always amazing.’

‘It just would have been miserable for me, if everyone had been smoking all the time.’

‘And a nice Swiss, too.’

‘Like in Japan… ugh. You always just go explore the cheese section at the grocer, and find fancy cheeses all at once there, so just have some in mind, but don’t bother settling on what cheeses ahead of time.’

‘Yeah, you’re right. I always do like doing that.’

See how two conversations kind of just happened at once? Well, we do that.

And we are fine with it.

However, we have, in recent years, begun to notice how it might appear to an outsider, whenever we have any sort of odd or atypical conversation. Therefore, such conversations usually end up with us laughing at some point in the middle of them, as we both realize one another realizing the outside-view-crazy conversation we are having.

Tonight, when, out of nowhere, I mentioned my desire for a dental tool, that was already a bit odd. That I continued with the, “I need underwear,” statement, that sent my mother out of it completely. I, naturally, could not contain myself with her laughing so hard. As I began to laugh, I asked for clarity on why specifically she was laughing, whether at the randomness of the conversation then itself or st the specific combination of those two comments. It was the latter, because she was immediately imagining how the two might go together somehow, like ‘I need bread and milk from the store’. But it was a dental tool and underwear, as though one had to do with the other.

I explained that I had gone to the store recently, but I had forgotten to look for the tool, and they had been out of the underwear I had wanted, so those were the only two items on my list that hadn’t gotten purchased.

That didn’t make it any better, though. 😛

We laughed so hard, it was ridiculous. And it was spectacular.

I love these ridiculous times with my mom, and I am extremely grateful for them.

Post-a-day 2020

Bedtime, for sure

You know, I had something that I felt was really good to share today… yet, I am so tired, at this point, I have no idea what it was.

And it was only a couple hours ago (if that) that I was thinking about it.

Man…

To be fair, it has been a long day. I woke up to use the bathroom just after 5:20 this morning (not seven hours of sleep), and did not go back to sleep. I went for a run and showered and made a smoothie, and I did loads of other stuff, too, all before 7:30, at which point I drove my mom and myself an hour and a half East to my aunt and uncle’s house for a known photo shoot and a surprise tea baby shower (complete with social distancing and a garage turned completely into an old style tea house, working chandelier included). (It really was an awesome event, and an even more awesome surprise for the mom-to-me.) I did photos in a field and from some tall grasses, then drove my cousin and myself to pick up our grandma for our tea time (which was all the two knew about, but which was only the beginning of a whole surprise event). Then I did photos and helped with serving for the party all day (it certainly takes a lot longer to do a party one family at a time, but those 15-25-minute visits are wonderful in their intimacy), and struggled to stay awake on the drive home (I wasn’t the one driving)… at 7pm. Now, as usual, I have taken ages to get ready for bed, and I am finally about to do it… at 11pm… only about 18 hours after I got up this morning…

Wowzer.

P.S. I remembered the thing, but I was already writing this. I’ll use it for tomorrow now.

Post-a-day 2020