Wednesday, November 8, 2017
|Polished stick on the left|
My mother inherited these old Belgian brass candlesticks belonging to my her mother-in-law, so they've always been housed by matriarchs who like things polished! I like shiny things, too, but in the last couple of decades, I've only reluctantly taken the time to spiff things up.
Recently I realized how dull and tarnished the candlesticks looked. Although they're sitting on a prominent side-table in my house, and I change out the candles for color once in awhile, I probably haven't really looked at them for seven years. I certainly haven't polished them since we moved in 2010.
|Just another view |
Left to right: "after & before"
After continuing the ordeal, now both are shiny. Maybe that's the last time I'll polish them, particularly since I all but drained the last drop of polish from the very old container.
What's the point of the blog? To remind us how dazzled we should feel when someone compliments our polished speech or our polished home. And we should smile a lot after the hygienist polishes our teeth.
Friday, October 13, 2017
The next day, it will feel so comfortable to eat the "regular" way. Crank up the news and set out the utensils. You'll relish the return of your routine. Mission accomplished.
at 5:20 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
A lot of us in my age bracket are fixating on how expensive our favorite activities have become. For that reason, I've decided to devise some inexpensive activities to take their places. Take, for instance, travel. Here's a way to learn about a country and have a little bit of travel-thrill without any expense. And, you don't even need to locate (or renew) your passport.
First, check out a library book on a destination you would like to visit. Next, make up your bed for sleeping on the opposite end. This will make your bed seem just as foreign as a hotel-room bed. While it may seem like a lot of trouble, it’s easier than going through airport security.
After dinner, start reading. When you begin to get sleepy, arrive at your “hotel”—your own bed with the sheets and blankets tucked in at the opposite end. You’ll feel as though you’re on the road with such an unfamiliar accommodation, and might even need a flashlight for your 2 a.m. trip to the bathroom. You won’t get much sleep, but it’ll be memorable. When you get tired of your "trip," return to the other end of the bed. You’ll feel like you’re back home. And because you pored over text and photos in the travel book, you’ll know a lot about the destination you didn’t see.
For extra fun, pack a suitcase and live out of it for a few days. You won’t have the hassle of the TSA, and when the inconvenience of rummaging around for that last clean pair of undies makes you irritable, you can arrive home that minute!
You get the idea. We’re constantly being told that changing our routines is good for our brains, too. So mix it up! All we have to do is use our imaginations to find small delights.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
|Not very flattering|
but it's how it is
It was through this class that I formed several deep and lasting friendships, and I've become acquainted with wonderful people, all of whom opened doors and windows into my satisfying life. As the years have gone by, instructors replaced instructors and word of mouth caused participants to join up (sometimes as many as twenty-five exercisers on a given day). And, yes, people do stop coming for myriad reasons, too, some of them forever--you get my drift.
After Jay and I moved from Lake Forest Park to Bothell, the commute to Kenmore in morning rush hour traffic became more and more challenging, so several years ago I transferred my enrollment to an Enhance Fitness class (same curriculum) closer to my home at the Northshore YMCA. So all these years later, I still attend EF. The different locale has allowed me to meet even more wonderful people--men and women--and the quality of instruction has endeared the YMCA to me. I just hit my twelfth anniversary as an Enhance Fitness participant! I'd like to say I'm still going strong, but . . .
|Without the permission of participants, I won't publish picture in which |
individuals are recognizable--but you get the drift: Music, movement, sweat!
I am determined to keep at it, however. I can only imagine how decrepit I would be without this class! And I would have never met the dozens upon dozens of wonderful people I exercise with. I deeply appreciate all the benefits that Enhance Fitness has provided me over the years.
at 5:26 PM
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
|The stump sculpture in its youth|
As a result of recently walking to the deteriorating stump-sculpture (also known in our family as the "Jay tree") near downtown Bothell, I revisited one of my favorite, and (in my opinion) profound passages from Hebrew Scriptures.
I fell in love with the Book of Ecclesiastes when I took a summer graduate class in Wisdom Literature at Marquette University in the late 1970s. The old professor (he was pushing seventy) took great pains explaining the metaphors of Qoheleth's poetry to his students. (In my late thirties, I was the oldest in the class.) We learned that almond trees become white when they blossom, grinding women represent the attrition of our teeth with age, lattices refer to cataracts, etc. Each line has metaphorical meaning that now I don't need to have anyone explain.
As a person in my late seventies, I more fully appreciate the professor's passionate approach to this particular section. I also realize how timeless it is, as so many of my peer group enjoy reminding anyone who'll listen how they "find no pleasure" in their myriad exposure to life's current culture and experiences. This translation is by R.B.Y. Scott and published by Doubleday & Company in 1965.
Ecclesiastes XII 1-8
 In the days of your youth, remember your grave,
|We loved it when|
Jay posed for photos by it--
similar eyes and mustache!
When days of trouble have not come yet,
Nor have the years approached when you will say,
"I find no pleasure in them";
 Before the sunshine turns to darkness,
The light fails from moon and stars
And the clouds return, bringing rains.
 When that day comes, the palace guardians will tremble
And the powerful men will stoop,
The grinding women will case work because they are few,
And they will find it dark who look out from the lattices.
 The doors to the street will be shut
As the sound of the mill becomes low,
The voice of the birds will be silenced,
And all who sing songs will be hushed.
 Then will men grow afraid of a height,
And terrors will lurk on the road;
The almond tree will blossom, the locust be weighted down,
And the caper berry be impotent.
For a man is on the way to his long-lasting home
And the mourners gather in the street, [waiting]--
 Until the silver cord be cut, and the golden bowl be broken,
The pitcher shattered at the spring
And the water wheel broken at the cistern.
 So dust will return to the earth where it was before,
And the breath of life will return to God who gave it.
 Breath of a breath! says Qoheleth--All is a breath!
|Today the sculpture is clearly in the throes|
of returning to earth. It is still magnificent.
Saturday, September 2, 2017
The rage (maybe it's dying back a little, by now) is Fidget Spinners, the little gizmos that can be twirled to amuse and assuage the perpetual fidgeter. I bought one, but couldn't make it work very well--so I passed it along to my eleven-year-old granddaughter.
Besides, it didn't take the place of my favorite fidget-management tool, the tiny sketchbook that's always tucked inside my purse.
Even reading the spell-binding novel brought along from home doesn't do it for me when I'm waiting for something--whether it's a doctor's appointment, a plane trip, or a play or concert. I can't focus on a book when there's something 'about to happen,' something I'm waiting for.
That's where my sketchbook comes in handy. All I have to do is look around, pick someone, and start to draw. Most people change their position within two or three minutes, so my drawings are all what might be called "time studies."
None lasts longer than just a few minutes, like a classic life-drawing class where the teacher calls for warm-up exercises by timing models for one-, three-, five-minute poses at the beginning of class.
|Even feet fidget. |
I'll just get started drawing
them,and they move!
I commuted to downtown Seattle by bus (1986 - 1997) and my sketchbook was a great sanity provider then (pre-cellphone), although the commute was plenty long enough to get engrossed in a book. However, sometimes I didn't have a good book, so I began drawing my fellow commuters as they slept for the entire trip. It was a perfect set-up: my subjects didn't know I was drawing them (when a subject does know, I always stop--pretending that I'm making a grocery list) and a sleeping subject is an artist's dream-model: physically static.
These are a few very fast sketches from my current purse sketchbook (4"x 6"), now almost full and ready to be stashed in a shoe box with all the others. Not great art, but considering none is more than five minutes (most are considerably less), it's a fun (and challenging) way for me to fidget while I wait.